Greg Sheffield


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The sessions may not have been televised, but as a judge for the Miss America pageant, Chris Matthews decided to play "Hardball" with the contestants. One woman was asked where bin Laden is.

Reports the Washington Examiner:

As one of the key judges at the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas this weekend, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews pulled out his “Hardball” best when it came time to question each of the contestants.


Tonight is President's Bush's State of the Union Address. How will the media cover the event: the lead-up to the speech and the post-speech analysis of what Bush "really" said?

If you catch something, share it with your fellow NBers.



As Noel Sheppard noted, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly and Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert interviewed each other on their respective shows. In a gag confirmed by a Fox News spokesman, Stephen Colbert stole the microwave from the Fox News "green room" after he appeared on the "O'Reilly Factor."


As long as it's not about violence in Iraq, the AP is willing to issue corrections, and in big letters.

Says the "new" caption:



Washington Post
media writer Tom Shales noticed how CBS introduced yesterday's Bush speech, but said it was only a "regularly scheduled program."

CBS viewers, especially those who are always suspecting the network of tilting left, may have been jolted by the recorded announcement played during the closing credits of "Armed & Famous," the show that preceded the president's speech on the network. Said an announcer: " 'Criminal Minds' is next, here on CBS."



With reporters declaring that yesterday's Bush Iraq speech was "the most important speech in the president's career," Fox News' Sean Hannity reminded people that the opposition Democratic party has to put foward an alternative view as well. According to TV Newser:


The Associated Press crowed on Jan. 4 that their controversial source "Jamil Hussein" did indeed exist, as it announced:

Ministry spokesman Brig. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, who had previously denied there was any such police employee as Capt. Jamil Hussein, said in an interview that Hussein is an officer assigned to the Khadra police station, as had been reported by The Associated Press.


Michelle Malkin notes that there are now five groups that have been "unable to
confirm the existence of a Captain Jamil Hussein at Yarmouk." Besides her, the "other
four are CPATT, the Iraqi Ministry of Interior (MOI), Marc Danzinger's team, and Eason Jordan's team."

Possible candidates for "Captain Jamil Hussein": Jamil Gholaiem Hussein, Jamil Ghdaab Gulaim, Jamil Ghdaab Ghulaim, or indeed Jamil Hussein, but not as a police captain, but instead as a Sergeant.

A little bit of "Hussein" here, a shade of "Gulaim" there... When you are
never obligated to prove your claims, why not throw in a little
"Gholaiem" as well?

It should be clear from all of this that AP writers are merely story painters, with palettes as large as the earth itself. A painting can be made, or a "trend" created, out of stringing together facts from any set of random people in the world. If you wanted to write a story claiming the 1920s-era flapper style is now all the rage, a shade of "teenager Sarah Wilson likes flapper clothes" here, a touch of "fashion watchers are observing..." there, and you've made a whole new painting out of shoddy-at-best sources, ones you'll likely never have to verify. In the process, you've just proven the existence of the biggest thing to hit the fashion world since blue jeans.



Michelle Malkin
has the latest on efforts to identify the mysterious "Captain Jamil Hussein," the "source" the AP claimed as an authority figure for a number of reports out of Iraq, including the apocryphal November story that claimed "Shiite militiamen grabbed six Sunnis as they left Friday worship services, doused them with kerosene and burned them alive."

As Malkin reports, the AP itself isn't being very cooperative in trying to follow up on new leads.


The Boston Herald reports that hundreds of journalists hungry for advancement have sent in resumés to become Bob Woodward's assistant. Making up facts to fit a preestablished narrative a plus. Also, like Mark Felt, you have to do all the work but give all the credit to Woodward.


CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is well known for bashing those who bash Islam or those who associate it with terrorism. Now they are attacking conservative columnist and radio talker Dennis Prager. Reports the AP:

An Islamic civil rights group wants a columnist removed from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council for criticizing Rep.-elect Keith Ellison's decision to use the Quran during his ceremonial swearing-in next month.



Channel 4, a TV station seen all across England, has decided to embrace the country's coming Islamification. Reports the Daily Mail:

Channel 4 is to reignite controversy over the wearing of the veil - by featuring a Muslim woman in full niqab giving the broadcaster's alternative Christmas message.

The woman, today named only as Khadija and said to be a lecturer in Islamic studies, will go head-to-head with the Queen when she gives her annual speech to the nation on 25 December.

Producers are said to have "discovered" her after a month-long search for a suitable candidate.

A spokesman for the channel added: "We felt it fitting that Channel 4's alternative Christmas message should be given by a Muslim woman in a year when issues of religious and racial identity and freedom of expression have dominated the news agenda.


Yahoo News and Reuters want regular people to send them photos from their personal devices. This way, terrorists don't have to merely give propaganda to journalists in Iraq, they can send it directly to the editors back home. Reports the New York Times:

Hoping to turn the millions of people with digital cameras and camera phones into photojournalists, Yahoo and Reuters are introducing an effort to showcase photographs and video of news events submitted by the public.



The Iraq government has set up an agency to monitor false news coming out of Iraq. After the Associated Press used a government source that doesn't exist, the government wants to make sure the AP and other media outlets cannot get away with similar fraudulent activity. Reports the UK Guardian.


It should be no surprise that journalists are making up facts when up-and-coming journalists cheat on tests about that very subject, ethics. Says the New York Times:

Cheating is not unheard of on university campuses. But cheating on an open-book, take-home exam in a pass-fail course seems odd, and all the more so in a course about ethics.


The New York Post is reporting that sales of the seventh season of "Seinfeld" on DVD are 75 percent higher than lasts year's sale of season six. According to this pattern, a media dressing down should also help sales of Mel Gibson's new "Apocalypto."



Yesterday John Gibson, host of "The Big Story" on Fox News, wondered if a national TV network, NBC, should make the country's foreign policy.

Let me introduce you to somebody. His name is Robert Wright. He is the chairman of the NBC television network, which is actually a few networks including CNBC and MSNBC. In essence, he runs those networks.


Staffers for the Washington Post are now being graded, in an attempt to make those in the newsroom feel the same pressure as those in the boardroom. The grading options: “frequently exceeds expectations,” “sometimes exceeds expectations,” “meets expectations,” “sometimes fails to meet expectations,” or “frequently does not meet expectations.”

Unfortunately, there are no options for "somewhat biased," "hideously biased," or "Pelosi's press agent biased."


The other networks are not quite ready to jump on NBC's "civil war" bandwagon. "Secretary of State Matt Lauer" (according to Howard Kurtz) and other NBC reporters have decided to declare the situation in Iraq a civil war, a move that is praised by some in the MSM and denounced by others. Reports the New York Observer:



The news that six Sunnis were captured by Shiites, doused with kerosine and burned alive, was too sensational to not be picked up by the mainstream media. But it turns out that the event never happened. Furthermore, the Iraqi "spokesman" relied on to give all information regarding this event is as fictional as the story itself.

Jamil Hussein, the man news reports called "police Capt. Jamil Hussein," was the source for all information regarding the burning. Although he is mentioned by USA Today, the Associated Press, CBS News, and other outlets, Central Command says no such person exists. Centcom also asked the Associated Press to retract the story unless it has proof beyond Jamil Hussein's word.


Flopping Aces
has a press release from Centcom, which is in charge of all U.S. forces in the Middle East.

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Associated Press:

On
Nov. 24, 2006, your organization published an article by Qais Al-Bashir
about six Sunnis being burned alive in the presence of Iraqi Police
officers. This news item, which is below, received an enormous amount
of coverage internationally.