John Armor

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With the all-but-corporate death of the UPI, the AP is the main American source for news in the United States. Associated Press articles are mindlessly quoted by newspapers across the nation. Many local radio and TV stations rip and read either directly from the AP, or indirectly from local newspapers which use the AP.

It is not a hold-the-presses moment when a major Hollywood actor comments on American politics and demonstrates that he/she is ignorant as a board fence on the subject. However, as a reminder that some people ARE paying attention and DO know truth from falsehoods, some comments are in order about an interview with Donald Sutherland today (Sunday).

Sutherland was interviewed at the Savoy by Jasper Gerard, and the article was published in the Sunday Times, in the UK.

Normally, I don’t comment on the columns of Cynthia Tucker, Editorial Page Editor of the Atlanta Constitution. It isn’t worth it. But she has finally jumped the shark.

To prove that the “poor are on [their] own,” she cites this article:

James Lee Witt, hired by Governor Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana, stated in one of his first public appearances, on MSNBC on Sunday,

"This was our worst nightmare," Witt said. "You could point the finger at anybody and everybody. ... I don't think they turned a blind eye. I don't think the state did. I don't think the mayor did. I think they worked as fast as they could [to] do whatever they could."

Source: AP.

Here is the lede paragraph from a Washington Post Editorial today (3 September), entitled “Left Behind”:

No, this isn’t about Maureen Dowd or Paul Krugman. That’s too easy. It’s about a story on flooding in New Orleans today (1 September). Here’s the lede:

“The 17th Street levee that gave way and led to the flooding of New Orleans was part of an intricate, aging system of barriers and pumps that was so chronically underfinanced that senior regional officials of the Army Corps of Engineers complained about it publicly for years.”

The second and third paragraphs say:

Today’s New York Post (27 August) carries a story by Niles Lathem entitled “Military ‘Spied’ on Rice.” The good news is that the story ran at all. The bad news is the reporter demonstrated a brass-plated ignorance of how the Able Danger program operated.

A Washington Post story for tomorrow (Sunday, 14 August) demonstrates spectacular ignorance of American post-war histories, with a dollop of political bias added.

Here is the entire lead paragraph of “Sayonara to Japanese Pacifism?” by Ayako Doi and Kim Willenson:

On 10 August, 2005, the Chicago Sun-Times website published an article which (accidentally) revealed the nature of the new President of the American Bar Association, Michael Greco. The revelation came not from what the article said, but what it did not say. Both the APA President and the reporter should have noticed the holes in the article, entitled "Courts threatened by extremists: ABA leader."

Everyone has seen the ubiquitous ads run by the ‘Video Professor’ on all cable networks 24/7. The smiling bald guy introduces his ‘product’ with which anyone can learn anything about operating a computer. Then the ad cuts to the bewildered woman who says, “My three-year-old knows more about using a computer than I do.”

A story by Mike Allen and R. Jeffrey Smith in the Washington Post on 3 August, 2005, reviewed many of the background documents just released concerning Judge John Roberts, nominee for the US Supreme Court. The article’s title got the subject right, “Judges Should Have 'Limited' Role, Roberts Says.” However, once the authors got into the basis of Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade, their understanding of the subject evaporated.

The article said,

This is a public service since the only people besides me who saw Tucker Carlson’s “The Situation” on MSNBC on 1 August, 2005, were probably an Irish Setter and three bowls of goldfish. Carlson introduced the subject that Atkins International, the company founded by Dr. Robert Atkins, had just filed for bankruptcy. Dr. Atkins had died 17 April, 2003, in a coma after striking his head in a fall outside his office.

Mort Zuckerman, publisher of “U.S. News & World Report” and “The New York Daily News,” was on the program, and responded as follows:

The Associated Press ran a story on 27 July, 2005, which demonstrates a gross misunderstanding of Judge Roberts position on legislation by Congress to reduce the jurisdiction of the federal courts.  The title of that article is "Under Reagan, Roberts Opposed Efforts to Strip Supreme Court Jurisdiction."

At the heart of the story is this paragraph:

"The issue of so-called court-stripping legislation crossed Roberts' desk while he worked at the Justice Department in 1982, when [Attorney General] Smith asked his young assistant to argue both sides of the case. The issue to be addressed was the constitutionality of a bill to strip the Supreme Court of its ability to rule on cases challenging voluntary school prayer legislation then pending in Congress."