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On Monday I posted to TimesWatch.org about a review of Gretchen Wilson's newly-released album All Jacked Up, and how New York Times reviewer Jon Pareles lamented what he saw as a departure from hints of class warfare themes in Wilson's last album to the "market-tested populism" embodied in a new duet with Merle Haggard, Politically Uncorrect.


As the Goodridge case worked its way through the court system over the past several years, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts became ground zero in the struggle over "gay marriage." And the Boston Globe, the largest newspaper in New England, certainly chose sides. Referred to by some as the "all-gay, all the time" Boston Globe, the Globe has consistently found ways to put stories on the front page that focus on "gay" issues, whether they're legitimate front-page news or not (most often, not). Back in August, for example, the Globe ran a front-page story on the fact that the pair of swans in Boston's famed Public Garden were both males. ("Some same-sex marriage advocates hoped the swans' celebrity would not be diminished by the revelation of their same-sex status.")


In a bit of news that probably won't be blared too loudly by the MSM, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) strongly implied that Cindy Sheehan misled him in a letter that precipitated their meeting today (Tuesday, September 27, 2005). Sen. McCain believed the meeting would be attended by "constituent mothers" from Arizona. But when the encounter transpired, that was not the case.

After their afternoon meeting, Sen. McCain was interviewed on the Sean Hannity Show (radio). Sean asked the Senator about the meeting. (Audiotape on file, emphasis mine.)



Story compares caffeine to Steroids, but leaves out how commonplace it is.

     A new energy drink for kids, KickStart Spark was treated as a gateway drug and as bad as steroids on the September 26 ABC “World News Tonight.”.

     ABC’s problem with the beverage was the amount of caffeine it contained – less than a cup of coffee. While the report mentioned that children already consume a lot of caffeine from soft drinks and chocolate, it exaggerated the danger and downplayed the benefits of KickStart Spark.



On CNN's “American Morning” today, host Miles O’Brien and correspondent Aneesh Raman downplayed the significance of the announcement that the number 2 al Qaeda operative in Iraq was killed on Sunday by a joint Iraq/U.S. maneuver.  In fact, their exchange suggested that even if the head of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, was killed or captured, things still wouldn’t improve in that country:

RAMAN: But, Miles, it's always unclear whether the capture of anyone outside of the Zarqawi himself, will really impede this organization.

M. O'BRIEN: Well, you have to ask the question, if they get Zarqawi, will that stop it either?

Yet, maybe more interesting is that the report began with Raman discussing a suicide bombing in Baqubah that killed nine innocent Iraqis rather than the news about the death of the #2 al Qaeda operative.

What follows is a complete transcript of this report, and a video link.



This was on the second segment on last night's Hardball with Chris Matthews. Rep. King mowed Chris over once again:
KING: Chris you want me to answer the question. Just because the President doesn't watch you on television doesn't mean he's not doing his job. Franklin Roosevelt wasn't hired to listen to radio accounts of D-Day. You're hired to do the job and the President can do his job without having to listen to Chris Matthews or Andrea Mitchell or Tim Russert or any of the others. He is doing his job.

Video available in WMV.



The dramatic aftermath of Hurricane Rita moved the latest “antiwar” rally to page 12 on Sunday's New York Times (although the front page accidentally sent readers to page 14). But the warp and woof of the reporting was the same. Reporter/publicist Michael Janofsky’s report followed all the traditional rules.


Rene Syler delivered this little blurb at 8:01 today on the Early Show:

In upstate New York, a plea deal in a teacher sex case. Beth Geisel, a former Catholic school teacher, will be sentenced in November for having sex with a 16-year old student. The 42-year old mother of four will serve six months in jail.



The media is starting to admit that it "recycled and amplified" many "unverified reports" about violence in New Orleans following Katrina.

The LA Times reports:



Nearly three times as many of those polled in a new Gallup survey said they believe the media are “too liberal” than “too conservative.” Gallup's Tuesday press release for the poll, which is earning publicity for how it found that “trust and confidence in the news media is up” from last year, reported: “When asked about the news media's political slant, Americans are much more likely to say they are too liberal (46%) than they are to say they are about right (37%) or too conservative (16%). Those views are consistent with what Gallup has measured since 2001. The percentage of Americans saying the news media are too liberal has ranged between 45% and 48%, and has always been the plurality response. There has been a slight increase in the public's sentiment that the media are too conservative, from 11% in 2001 to 16% today.”

Last year, 48 percent saw the media as “too liberal” compared to 15 percent who thought the media were “too conservative.” Given the plus/minus three percent margin of error, the numbers are essentially unchanged from last September. More results follow.



From Tom Shales's WaPo review this morning of the new Geena Davis vehicle, "Commander-in-Chief":

But when she gets tough, she's formidable, even if "the issues" in the pilot are not exactly earth-shaking. Chief among them is the case of a young woman in Nigeria who, by local custom, is to be buried up to her neck in sand and stoned to death for the crime of having sex and giving birth before marriage.



In the weeks that have followed Hurricane Katrina hitting New Orleans, much of the mainstream media have been pointing a finger of blame at the federal government for not properly funding that city’s levee system.  This morning, CNN did a report that tears some holes in this premise.

On “American Morning,” John King visited South Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, a coastal community just thirty-five miles south of New Orleans.  What he found was quite surprising: a town that has been hit by Katrina and Rita just like New Orleans, but has not suffered near the damage. 

Why?  Well, because the local community decided to augment federal funds for their levee system with local tax dollars to install higher quality storm and hurricane protection than what surrounding parishes and cities did.  As a result, CNN this morning gave us all a wonderful look at what happens in this nation when local communities look out for themselves without relying on the federal government's protection. 

What follows is a full-transcript of this interview, along with a video link. 



On this morning's Today Katie Couric and Tim Russert looked like NFL linebackers diving for a loose ball as they piled on Bush from so many different directions. First up was the gas price angle:



At the top of the Today show Katie Couric attempted a guilt by association jab at Bush when she was teased upcoming stories: "But first this is the President's seventh, seventh trip to the hurricane zone and the former oilman is getting a real firsthand look at the devastation that's there."

The "oilman" reference set up the David Gregory piece on Katrina cleanup bids where he implied companies with ties to the administration were getting sweetheart deals:



The Washington Post's Tom Shales takes the opportunity, not once, but twice in today's Style section review of "Commander in Chief" to take a swipe at the current real-life occupant of the Oval Office. What's more, Shales praises in Geena Davis's character, President Mackenzie Allen, what many of George W. Bush's admirers, and even some detractors, see as an admirable leadership quality, the aim "to do the job first and worry about history's verdicts second."