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On Thursday's Countdown show, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann bolstered the ruling by Federal Judge Ann Diggs Taylor against the Bush administration's controversial NSA spying program that involves warrantless monitoring of international phone calls when one participant is a terrorist suspect.



On Thursday, all three network evening newscasts covered the ruling by a federal judge against the Bush administration's controversial NSA spying program that involves warrantless monitoring of international phone calls when one participant is a terrorist suspect.



Omar Abed Qusini, via web conferenceOne quick question: Is it appropriate for photographers who are members of a group called Artists Against the War (or translated via google) to be sent into war zones to document the events as they transpire? And, even if Mr. Qusini were not a member of this group, would his objectivity still be called into question by his association with them? I mean, can we expect someone of that nature to be non-partial in their coverage of events? Can we trust that they'd be able to tell us the truth about something they're wholly opposed to? I'd certainly like to hear what you think, whether you're an interested observer, or are a wire photographer. Do memberships in groups like this affect the coverage you would expect from current events?


If I ever knew that Chris Matthews' brother Jim Matthews is the Republican candidate for Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania, I had forgotten.  Chris manifestly has not, and on this evening's Hardball peevishly berated a Republican guest who had the temerity to remind him of that fact.



MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who never accuses Democrats of "playing politics" with Iraq and the war on terrorism, opting instead to join them in attacking President Bush, continued to slam Bush for "playing politics" with terrorism, which Olbermann labelled as "something that should matter to all of us." The Countdown host, who regularly signs off his show by recounting the number of American troops killed "since the declaration of 'Mission Accomplished' in Iraq" to embarrass Bush, on Wednesday's show highlighted recent



After reading something like a recent story in the L.A. Times, one is struck with how little "news" or analysis is often included in the "news" paper, and how much evocative, emotive, fluff has replaced any attempt at informing the reader of what is really going on.


During the 4pm EDT hour of "The Situation Room," CNN’s Jack Cafferty had a thing or two to say about a U.S. district court judge ruling the National Security Agency’s terrorist surveillance program as unconstitutional. Cafferty attacked the "arrogant" Bush administration for its supposed "abuse of power" and accused the President of lying to the American people and violating his oath of office:

Jack Cafferty: "So what does this mean? It means President Bush violated his oath of office, among other things, when he swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States. It means he’s been lying to us about the program since it started, when he’s been telling us there’s nothing illegal about what he’s doing."



When I was in college (1997-2001), I recall new textbooks ringing up at $75, $80, or even $90. That was pretty steep then, but The Washington Post's Nell Henderson sees similar prices now as a symptom of worrisominflation in her August 17 article:

After poring over reams of data, the Labor Department reported yesterday that inflation rose last month, eating into people's paychecks and savings at a quickening clip.

Emerging from the Georgetown University bookstore in a rush, Linda Dodd didn't need a government report to tell her that. "I just spent $85 and $90 on two books," she said with a shrug.

Textbooks, whose prices have risen at a brisk 6.2 percent pace in the past year, are among the many goods and services that are becoming more expensive as inflation persists at some of the highest levels in 15 years.

There are two problems here. One is Henderson's illustration is misleading. Sure, new textbooks bought fresh off the shelf at a college bookstore are pricey, but millions of students save money everyday either by ordering cheaper new or used books online or by snatching up used textbooks at college or chain bookstores, or even at the media' least favorite superstore, Wal-Mart. As I wrote in my article at BusinessandMedia.org:



Most other media outlets report positive assessments from experts after Wall Street rally.


Little Green Footballs found an item from the New York Sun about BBC reporter Orla Guerin.



From the comedy grapevine of Air America/>/> this morning, host Rachel Maddow (perhaps best known to talk-TV fans as a regular panelist on MSNBC's defunct Tucker Carlson "The Situation" show) followed up on President Bush’s line about defeating the terrorists in Iraq so they don’t “follow us home.” She cracked, “then we’d have to feed them and lov



AP reporter Bassem Mroue runs a personal blog, and Nathan Goulding at NRO's Media Blog found that bashing Israel is one of his extracurricular activities. In addition, one of his personal blog posts resembles a posting made on the official "AP Blog."



Covering a speech by Lebanese political leader Saad Hariri, son of Rafik Hariri, whose assassination launched the Cedar Revolution resulting in the withdrawal of Syria from Lebanon, the Guardian Unlimited goes so far as to list Israel first as a target of Hariri's condemnation.


Yellow journalism at its finest:

KOLKATA, India - A group of Indian television journalists gave a man matches and diesel to help him commit suicide in order to get dramatic footage which was later broadcast on the news, police said on Thursday.

The man died from severe burns to his body in hospital in Gaya town in the eastern state of Bihar on Aug. 15, India's Independence Day.

Footage of the man, screaming and writhing in pain as he ran with his back on fire, was aired on several television channels. Police identified the man as Manoj Mishra.

"We have seized footage clearly showing a group of journalists handing over matches and some inflammable substance -- which we later verified to be diesel -- to the victim," acting Gaya police chief P.K. Sinha told Reuters by telephone.

Mishra, who worked as a delivery man, was upset over what he said was a large sum of money owed to him by a state-run dairy farm whose milk he transported to customers, police said.



Look at any of the casualty figures coming out of Lebanon in the world's major media organizations, and you'll see something very close to this: