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Howard Kurtz concluded his Monday "Media Notes" column in the Washington Post with a story about much-hyped Democratic star Barack Obama, and how smooth he is at courting reporters, especially ones he's previously miffed. Obama recently relied on National Public Radio to sweeten the apology: 



A man poured gasoline on himself on November 3rd and on the side of the road on Chicago's Kennedy Expressway he lit himself on fire. It caused a traffic jam, but little else. In fact, no one even knew who the suicide was for several days until a friend of his got a letter sent him by the dead man just before his final day.

And still, few cared.



On Saturday, the Washington Post effectively demonstrated how the press cherry-pick snippets of speeches that political and business leaders give in order to completely alter their intent (hat tip to NB member crshedd). In an article entitled “Energy Firms Come to Terms With Climate Change,” authors Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin took a few quotes -- one of them actually errant -- out of a 3,610-word speech that Shell Oil President John Hofmeister gave about a month ago to make it look like he’s totally bought into the myth of global warming (emphasis mine throughout):

While the political debate over global warming continues, top executives at many of the nation's largest energy companies have accepted the scientific consensus about climate change and see federal regulation to cut greenhouse gas emissions as inevitable. [..]

"We have to deal with greenhouse gases," John Hofmeister, president of Shell Oil Co., said in a recent speech at the National Press Club. "From Shell's point of view, the debate is over. When 98 percent of scientists agree, who is Shell to say, 'Let's debate the science'?"

Now, take a look at what he actually said on this issue (emphasis mine):



From Allah at Hot Air, who has the Fox News video at his site -- New York Congressman Charlie Rangel spouts off (HT LGF) on why soldiers in our all-volunteer army sign up:



The Des Moines Register headline focuses on Barack Obama's enlistment of Iowa-savvy aides. But along the way, the article by Tom Beaumont, Obama talks with top advisers in Iowa, offers up some delightful Midwestern understatement.

First, in reviewing the potential Dem field, Beaumont writes of "Kerry, a Massachusetts senator." You can imagine him fuming: "Don't you know who I am? And why didn't you mention that I'm . . . a Vietnam veteran?"

With caution even more delicious, Beaumont notes "New York Sen. Hillary Clinton is believed to be weighing a campaign for the Democratic nomination." Indeed. And in tonight's Nature documentary, a ravenous crocodile



This is pretty hysterical, folks, and certainly requires all drinking vessels to be placed at a safe distance from nearby electronic equipment. Laurie David, the global warming alarmist and spouse of comedian Larry David (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), wrote an op-ed published in Sunday’s Washington Post. In it, she stated that the company which produced Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” wanted to donate 50,000 DVD copies of the schlockumentary to the National Science Teachers Association so that educators around the country could brainwash America’s youth with Gore’s junk science. Thankfully, the NSTA said, “No Thanks”: “In their e-mail rejection, they expressed concern that other ‘special interests’ might ask to distribute materials, too; they said they didn't want to offer ‘political’ endorsement of the film; and they saw ‘little, if any, benefit to NSTA or its members’ in accepting the free DVDs.” Can I get a group “Hallelujah?”

Now, most folks would think that’s a reasonable explanation. However, if you are the type that buys into the global warming myth, reason is not your strong suit. As such, David sees mischief afoot. And, who’s to blame? Well, if you guessed “oil companies,” come on down and accept the keys to your brand new Cadillac:



Reports of burning mosques, like this one from Reuters remain unconfirmed, and may have been fabricated by Sunni militants.


For journalists, the answer depends on whether they are covering the shopping season or company layoffs.
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Last year, I sensed that journalists in general prefer to call this time of the year in commerce that of "holiday shopping" instead of "Christmas shopping," but that when it came to people losing their jobs, they preferred to describe layoffs as relating to "Christmas."

My instincts were proven correct, as you can see below from the results of three different sets of Google News searches in November and December (links to last year's related posts are here, here, and here):

ChristmasSearch2005Results

I've decided to track the same items this year to see if there is any noticeable change or trend.

Based on the first set of Google News searches during this Christmas season, I would say there is:



Putin's Russia poses a potentially serious threat to the United States. But America lacks the moral standing to confront it. That was the view expressed by Ellen Ratner on this morning's Fox & Friends. Ratner, the short, liberal side of 'The Long & the Short of It' duo [seen here in file photo], expressed little doubt that Putin's government was behind the murder of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko.

Ratner: "I think that there's no question. If I were a betting woman it would be 100% Putin and Russia, it's just their operation and they have the means to do it."

She continued: "We have got to take a very good, careful look at Russia. We're in Iraq where you have sort of a ragtag group of insurgents. And we're not focusing on the Russians that have over 5,000 nukes [and other WMDs] . . . Unfortunately, we're in business with these guys, we need their oil."

That's when Ratner asserted that America's alleged moral failings limited its options:

"I don't know what we should do except that we are not in a great position because we don't have the moral standing given what we're doing in Iraq."



Fox News Watch led this week's show with Brent Bozell's condemnation of the press' coverage of the just-concluded congressional campaign. Host Eric Burns noted that Bozell is "head of an influential conservative media watchdog group called the Media Research Center" - which also happens to be the parent organization of NewsBusters.

FNW played a video clip of Bozell stating:



And here I thought I was joking.  Yesterday, I closed this item on Maureen Dowd's column - in which she longed for an Iraqi dictator to whom to surrender - by wondering whether we should "look for Dowd to pop up in Baghdad sometime soon, leading a 'Bring Back Saddam' movement?"



CNN’s Kyra Phillips invited comedian Paul Mooney and radio talk show host Roland Martin on to “Newsroom” Tuesday to discuss the Michael Richards (“Kramer”) issue (hat tip to NB member MyKindaSpam). During the conversation, both guests made what many would perceive as being rather anti-Semitic remarks.

This was Martin’s:

Another piece is when you really examine what he said, he not only said 50 years ago we'd have you hanging upside down from a tree. Well, guess what, 50 years ago, Michael Richards would have been in some oven in Germany being baked because he's also Jewish.

Yikes. Mooney must have felt he needed to top that, for later in the discussion, he said:



From page one of today's Washington Post, an article by Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin that begins with a reference to "the scientific consensus about climate change" as if the "consensus" were an established fact:
While the political debate over global warming continues, top executives at many of the nation's largest energy companies have accepted the scientific consensus about climate change and see federal regulation to cut greenhouse gas emissions as inev


There is perhaps no better time to speak well of someone than when they pass away. But tributes can be excessive to the point where the truth is utterly lost, and low moments of someone's career are glossed over. When we lose presidents, partisans of one stripe or the other think the celebration risks ignoring or going beyond the facts of history.



Anyone who tunes into late-night comedy shows knows that many black comedians utter the n-word with rapid-fire frequency. Perhaps Michael Richards mistakenly thought that what was sauce for the goose was sauce for the white gander. In any case, in a Today show appearance this morning, Jesse Jackson declared that he would be working to "prohibit" the use of the word. He didn't offer specifics, but one question naturally arises.