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Interviewing 9/11 Commission members Gov. Thomas Kean and Rep. Lee Hamilton on yesterday's Meet the Press, NBC's David Gregory repeatedly pushed his guests to admit Iraq was a distraction from the war on terror. Both Kean and Hamilton gave carefully-worded but clearly affirmative responses to Gregory's question but Gregory, substituting for Tim Russert, kept pushing for a harsher assessment of the administration. Gregory opened the segment reciting the cover of Newsweek: "Welcome both. Let me show you the cover of this week's Newsweek magazine.


According to Reuters photographer Zohra Bensemra, an elderly injured woman lies injured in the ruins of her house, awaiting rescue as Bensemra snaps these pictures.

Let's for a moment try to look past the staging elements that we've become accustomed to searching for over the past weeks.

Ignore for a moment the fact that a wounded elderly woman in a bombed out building is unlikely to be in the kind of physical condition needed to drag several pristine sofa pillows through the rubble and make a bed out of them. Look past the fact that she, in her weakened condition, has found a nearly spotless black blanket in the fine gray dust of a bombed out building to cover her legs against the 80 degree cold. Ignore the conveniently-placed bottled water she somehow found intact and had for the middle photo only.

Cost at pump is 2 cents less than post-Katrina high, 9 cents less than inflation-adjusted high.

President Bush spoke at the State Department this afternoon, and on MSNBC’s "The Most" the graphic on screen was very telling of how the media have covered Hezbollah as it read:

"Breaking News, President Bush: ‘Hezbollah hides behind innocent civilians.’"

When talking with someone who isn't especially political or is left-of-center about the topic of media bias, I will occasionally hear the argument that the media's political orientation doesn't really matter because most people are skeptical of what they hear on TV and elsewhere. In the modern age of low voter turnout, anti-advertising advertising, and the permanent campaign, people are smart enough not to

Medical reporter Robert Pear for some reason covers Saturday's anti-war protest in Lafayette Park ("Rally Near White House Protests Violence in Mideast").

The annual Harris poll of the trust garnered by each profession is out. As usual, journalism nears the bottom of the list, 16 out of 22, lower than the president and lower than another target they like to attack, business leaders.

"Would you generally trust each of the following types of people to tell the truth, or not?"

The following is cross-posted at MRC's

Nearly two week ago, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell suggested hard-line Communist Raul Castro really did have a soft spot for capitalism.

"Raul has been in charge of the military and the economy,” Mitchell explained to the August 2 “Today” show audience, calling Fidel’s younger brother “politically hard-line but more open than his brother to free enterprise, including foreign investment.”

She might be on to something, after all.

“Federal prosecutors in Miami were prepared to indict Raul Castro as the head of a major cocaine smuggling conspiracy in 1993, but the Clinton Administration Justice Department overruled them, current and former Justice Department officials tell ABC News,” ABC’s Brian Ross and Vic Walter reported on August 14.

The caption for the left picture reads:
An Israeli soldier flashes a V for victory sign after receiving orders to stop firing into south Lebanon, along the Israel-Lebanon border, in the early hours. Faced with another Middle East crisis, American Jews have rallied to collect donations for Israel, although some in the community argue that funds should also be sent to war-ravaged Lebanon for aid its reconstruction.(AFP/David Furst)
And on the right, we're treated to:
Lebanese children sit atop a pick up truck as they flash V-signs and wave Hezbollah flags as hundreds of cars with displaced Lebanese returning to southern Lebanon, wait in line to pass the destroyed bridge of Zahrani that was attacked by Israeli warplanes during the month-long operations, south of the port city of Sidon, Monday, Aug. 14, 2006. Thousands of cars flooded Lebanon's bombed out highways heading south within an hour of a U.N. cease-fire taking hold, and Lebanese army troops scrambled to repair roads in time for the deluge of refugees returning home. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)
Ok. So there's nothing unusual about having a war in which both sides claim victory, and in a conflict that's as long-running as this one, I don't think we can expect anything different. But notice the differences in these photos: The Israelis are portrayed as dark, ominous invaders claiming victory, presumably against a civilian populace.

Fast and furious, the media composes, and the blogosphere disposes:

Photographer Alleges Unearthing of Bodies (from Little Green Footballs; HT e-mailer LG)

It's been 18 years but the media still can't get over Michael Dukakis' defeat to George Bush and the Willie Horton ad they blame for that Bush victory.

ABC sniffs out lead on Cuban military chief's hand in cocaine running operations.

In an article on Fidel Castro, his health, and his visit from Venezuelan Fidel fan Hugo Chavez, the Associated Press noted that "birthday articles in state-run newspapers extolled his virtues." The implication is that state-controlled papers aren't apt to be truthful, much less objective.

On this morning’s "Early Show" on CBS, Tracy Smith, co-host of the "Saturday Early Show," served as a substitute co-host. Ms. Smith interviewed Evan Thomas, assistant Managing Editor of "Newsweek" magazine regarding the potential political impact the foiled London terror plot may have.

The subhead in this Time magazine article promises enlightenment, but fails to deliver: "Why do so many young British Muslims turn to violence against the land where they were raised?"