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Much coverage has been accorded the woman who was issued a restraining order by Santa Fe District Court Judge Daniel Sanchez against talk-show host David Letterman. Typical was Keith Olbermann on Countdown's December 27th program:

"Colleen Nestler of Santa Fe, New Mexico, somehow managed to get a temporary restraining order issued against Letterman last week saying he had to stay at least three yards from her at all times. But the judge who granted that order today reversed himself, lifted it.



In their heart of hearts, do the liberal media believe we are at war? The answer is a resounding 'no', judging by liberal Newsday columnist Ellis Henican's performance on this morning's Fox & Friends Weekend. Thankfully, fellow Newsday columnist Jim Pinkerton was there to remind his colleague of some cold, hard facts.



Without identifying David Cole as the “legal affairs correspondent” for the far-left magazine The Nation, Friday’s World News Tonight on ABC featured his denigration of the probe into who leaked the secret eavesdropping story to the New York Times and his expert declaration that “the President of the United States violated a clear criminal prohibition on warrantless wiretapping.” Reporter Pierre Thomas described Cole as a “constitutional scholar” and the on-screen graphic read: "Prof Georgetown Univ Law School." Cole’s latest piece for The Nation calls Bush an “Emperor.” Thomas did balance Cole with former federal prosecutor David Schertler, but the former homicide prosecutor has no equivalent ties to right-wing politics and did not make a declaration about which side of the dispute is correct.

Substitute anchor Claire Shipman set up the story by mis-characterizing the surveillance of international contacts with those linked to terrorists: "Now to the administration's secret eavesdropping program in which the government monitors domestic conversations without a warrant.” Thomas highlighted how “some constitutional scholars say the NSA spying is illegal and that the New York Times article disclosing it is a public service. They say this investigation is retribution." Cole argued: “On the face of it, there were two crimes committed here. One, a leak by a government official, something that happens almost every day in Washington. The other, the President of the United States violated a clear criminal prohibition on warrantless wiretapping. Yet which one is being investigated?" (More from Cole in The Nation, as well as a full transcript of the ABC story, follows.)



The bogus story of "Pope Joan" was not the only fiction that ABC and Diane Sawyer tried to hustle on the American public in last night's Primetime (Thursday December 29, 2005). In trying to convey the environment of ninth-century Europe, host Diane Sawyer and a guest, Donna Cross (author of Pope Joan), promulgated the debunked feminist myth that the phrase "rule of thumb" originated from a centuries-old law about wifebeating. The popular hoax purports that a man was once allowed to clobber a woman as long as the club was no wider than his thumb.

In her much-acclaimed 1994 book, Who Stole Feminism?, writer Christina Hoff-Sommers shreds the "rule of thumb" myth.

"The 'rule of thumb' ... turns out to be an excellent example of what may be called a feminist fiction ...

"That the phrase did not even originate in legal practice could have been ascertained by any fact-checker who took the trouble to look it up in the Oxford English Dictionary, which notes that the term has been used metaphorically for at least three hundred years to refer to any method of measurement or technique of estimation derived from experience rather than science.



Catching up with an item from last week, on the Christmas weekend edition of the McLaughlin Group which featured the show’s annual “Year-End Awards,” Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift named Cindy Sheehan her “Person of the Year.” Clift championed Sheehan’s negative impact on President Bush: “I give it to Cindy Sheehan, the Gold Star mother who gave the President a vacation from Hell and brought the war home in a way that it hadn’t been before and set


One of the central political issues facing the American People over the past few years, and certain to be one in the next few, is the issue over whether or not governments are required to recognize same-sex relationships in the same manner that marriages are recognized. Ground-zero in that debate, and one of the places where that discussion has joined arm-in-arm with the debate over judicial activism, is the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In November of 2003, in the case of Goodridge v.


The Chairman Mao book requesting student speaks out to the public through the duped newspaper that is valiantly protecting his fragile identity.

"The fact is that my being panicked about this hole (sic) event led me to unfortunately prop up my story (i.e., fabricate it), for that I have to apologize to you and to my professors. I have spoken to my family about the whole issue and the fact is that they were understandibly (sic) angry. My name has been dishonored within my family and so I will spend the rest of the winter trying to restore even a little bit of it back, at least."

Apparently there is no writing requirement at UMass Dartmouth. As for your dishonored name, you might want to free up the spring too. They're really doing fabulous work with the kids at Darmouth. I'm sure all the doors swing both ways, if my Far Side friends know what I'm talking about.

The newspaper used this for the headline: "When a story is too good to be true" apparently admitting that they wanted Bush to have library stalking gestapo.

The article describes how it happened, too long to reprint here but worth a read if you want to laugh. The reporter didn't even have confirmation of the story from the two main subjects -- the student or Homeland Security -- yet they ran the story anyway. It's the kind of reporting you'd expect from a couple of kids with mom's typewriter.



Yes it’s the Friday before New Year's. Yes there is not much in the way of news. But CBS was so desperate to fill time this morning, they brought on an astrologer to predict the future. Needless to say, she predicted a bad year in 2006 for both President Bush and the economy. Would it really have been on CBS had she done otherwise?



A friend told me on Wednesday I had to check out Wolf Blitzer's taped CNN interview with ex-president Jimmy Carter. Filling in as host on "The Situation Room," Tom Foreman puffed up Carter's resume: "Since losing the White House 25 years ago, Jimmy Carter developed a reputation as a better ex-president than president. This is not a reputation that he cares for much.



A UCLA political scientist conducted a recent study on media bias and came to the conclusion that many of us reached a long time ago. The media tilts left. But the study did produce some unexpected results.



Closing out a slow news week on CNN’s American Morning today, anchor Miles O’Brien couldn’t resist taking a potshot at the Iraq war. O’Brien was discussing singer Willie Nelson’s brand of alternative fuel, "BioWillie," with co-host Carol Costello shortly before 6:30 am. Costello noted that Nelson views his product as an anti-war statement, "He says, why not grow--grow our own fuel, instead of starting wars over it?" In response, O’Brien quipped, "Well, then, we’d have to invade Nebraska. Get the corn, right?"

The transcript of the brief exchange follows below.



Our analysts discovered quite a contrast on the evening news shows Monday night, displaying two different ways of covering Iraq. ABC's "World News Tonight" honored the Iraqi voter as part of a series on people of the year. "NBC Nightly News" aired another gloomy Richard Engel piece saying democracy in Iraq was like a kidnapped bride. MRC's Megan McCormack filed both transcripts to show the contrast.



"Mulligan - A golf shot not tallied against the score, granted in informal play after a poor shot especially from the tee."
                                                         
 - The American Heritage Dictionary

A Mulligan is where you act like what just happened didn't really happen even though everyone really knows what really happened. The following, in my opinion, are the 8 worst Mulligans the collective media took in 2005. They are areas of failure in the media that we are supposed to pretend don't exist.

1. UN

The UN is a failure. While the United States pays the biggest portion of the tab, the UN makes backroom deals with our enemies. In 2005 UN diplomats lounged around on what looks like a 1970s Merv Griffin set by day and double parked their cars by night. "Peacekeepers" of the UN raped those they were sent to help, including children, across the world. In the 10 years since Black Hawk Down, 9 million more Africans have been killed from conflict. The last time that many people died, we held people accountable. What, if not this, is the UN for?

Where are the editorials condemning the current state of the UN? The media was too busy in 2005 trying to scuttle the John Bolton nomination because he might be hard on the UN.



Washington Post columnist (and former Post reporter) David Ignatius concludes his year in review by endorsing the notion that liberal reporters ought to stick by their biases and passions. Don't be afraid to be liberal, and don't try to please everyone (conservatives):



Signaling the slow-as-a-glacier news pace right now, the big AP story of the morning is "Core of White House Staff Largely Intact." And they're trying to tell us planes landing safely is not news, but this is? Reporter Jennifer Loven projects: "The big question is how much longer Bush's inner circle can hold together."