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It has always been that if you put on a mask and spoke Arabic to a camcorder, you could make it big in the media. Now some in Europe want to put an end to it.

According to the British Guardian, the European commisssion declares the "media should draw up a code of conduct to ensure that newspapers, television stations and the internet do not act as propagandists for terrorists."



You knew it was coming. The Hurricane Katrina inspired global warming stories. Well at the top of this morning's Today show Matt Lauer invoked one of the media's favorite boogeymen:

Matt Lauer: "Then why are there so many hurricanes this year and is global warming to blame? We'll take a closer look at that."



At yesterday's funeral for former ABC anchor Peter Jennings, the network apparently placed some rather stringent restrictions on the press who covered it.



Some fabulous news was released yesterday concerning all those missing children from the states recently ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.  Mysteriously, the Washington Post buried the story on page A10:

“Authorities trying to track down more than 2,600 children in Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama still missing three weeks after Hurricane Katrina believe that most of them are not really ‘missing.’

“Rather, authorities said, the vast majority of these children are ‘lost’ -- separated from a parent or guardian during the rush to rescue hurricane victims from rooftops and shelters, when families were divided because of lack of space on a bus or helicopter.”

As the story continues, we find out that about 35 percent of the cases of missing children in the area have already been resolved:

“As of yesterday, the center had resolved 966 out of 3,600 Hurricane Katrina cases, Allen said.”



The AP is constructing bad news for the President (Katrina Adds to Public Doubts About Bush). Again. And to do it, they're using a skewed sample poll, and then misrepresenting what it says. The latest AP-Ipsos poll is what they're reporting on. Once again, they've got a sample of adults, and it is signficantly skewed, with 49 percent Democrats and 41 percent Republicans. And they use that skewed sample as a hammer to hit the President, even if it isn't justified by the actual results.
  • An AP-Ipsos poll shows a sharp increase since the storm in the percentage of people who are most worried about the economy.
    Of course it does. Let's stop, for just a moment, and consider what was happening in the media in this country before Katrina hit. Every day, in every outlet, it was all Iraq, all the time. As soon as the storm went through, and the refineries and supply lines went down, the story changed to Katrina and the rising gas prices, and the devastating economic impact. The fact that there's been a sharp increase in people being most concerned about the economy says nothing about George W. Bush.


In USA Today, reporter Jill Lawrence tackles the subject of the atheist left, and their new organization the Secular Coalition of America, but wait -- she never quite places them on the left.



In a recent editorial entitled “Denying Access to the Ballot,” the New York Times came out against some newly proposed voter reforms due to a fear that they might be discriminatory against the poor, the elderly, and minorities:

“It has been clear since 2000 that the election system is in serious need of reform. But the commission led by James Baker III and former President Jimmy Carter has come up with a plan that is worse than no reform at all. Its good ideas are outweighed by one very bad idea: a voter identification requirement that would prevent large numbers of poor, black and elderly people from voting.”

“But the bombshell recommendation is for the states to require voters to have drivers' licenses or a government-issued photo ID. That would not be a great burden for people who have drivers' licenses, but it would be for those who don't, and they are disproportionately poor, elderly or members of minorities.”

Having been a bank manager for six years, I know these statements to be 100% false.



CBS on Tuesday night delivered a sarcastic look at President Bush's visit to the Gulf coast. After reciting a list of problems people are having in New Orleans, reporter Sharyn Alfonsi jumped to a soundbite of Bush in Mississippi, declaring: “Every time I come back here, I see progress." Alfonsi gratuitously pointed out that Bush was “speaking inside an air-conditioned tent” and noted how “he toured a Folgers plant in Louisiana” but, she stressed, “small business owners say this kind of progress is the exception.” Then, over video of a row of damaged and abandoned store fronts in New Orleans, she countered: “This is the reality.” Alfonsi made it personal, holding Bush responsible for the frustrations of a French Quarter restaurant owner: “After five visits in three weeks, they want the President to wake up and smell the coffee.” (That cute line ran over video of Bush, in a sweat-soaked shirt, shaking hands at the coffee plant.) Restaurant owner Arly Questa demanded: "Hang out, no air-conditioning, eat some MRE's every day, and then you might really understand what it's been like down here in New Orleans."

Picture of Bush's sweat-soaked shirt and transcript follows. Video excerpt: RealPlayer or Windows Media



From the transcript at a Clinton Global Initiative panel discussion (in PDF format) from last Friday, it's apparent that Time Warner chairman Richard Parsons wants to proclaim that CNN, inspired by that global visionary Ted Turner, is the best international news outlet, with a staff who see it "almost as a holy mission" to deliver news to the world.



Byron Calame, public editor of the New York Times, is having a difficult time getting columnist Paul Krugman or his editor to correct a mistake Krugman made in an Aug. 19 column.



The TVNewser blog at Mediabistro.com has a set of recollections from a Peter Jennings memorial service today, and includes "wisecracks" from his ABC colleague Ted Koppel: "Peter was famously, even notoriously, attracted to women. Even so, he only married four of them."



As reported by Brent Baker in today’s CyberAlert, Wolf Blitzer was taken aback by CNN founder Ted Turner’s defense of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il and his treatment of the North Korean people.



David Schatsky of Jupiter Research wrote an article about CBS using the tactics of bloggers for its new site, Public Eye. Jupiter Research is a firm that analyzes blogs and "provides unbiased research, analysis and advice, backed by proprietary data, to help companies profit from the impact of the Internet and emerging consumer technologies on their business."



A New York Times Sunday editorial, "Penguin Family Values," mocks conservatives for praising "March of the Penguins," a surprise hit documentary about penguin families: "The news that emperor penguins are exemplars of self-sacrifice, marital fidelity and steadfast parenting has brought joy to many religious conservatives, who see the brave birds in the documentary 'March of the Penguins' as little Christian beacons of family and faith."