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The TV networks have enough trouble noticing a single governor's race across the country. But for some reason, the attorney general's race in New York drew attention when Republican candidate Jeanine Pirro drew a federal investigation for wanting to have her cheating husband wire-tapped. (NBC's Today has aired five segments or mentions of Pirro in the last ten days.) Will NBC and others in national TV news report on her opponent, Andrew Cuomo, and his weird habit of investing campaign money in risky hedge funds run by supporters? The New York Times reported on page A-24 on Friday:

Two years ago, Andrew M. Cuomo put more than half of his campaign treasury into a hedge fund, making him one of the few New York politicians to invest campaign money in anything riskier than a sure bet.

In the case of Mr. Cuomo, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, the hedge fund was directed by one of his largest financial backers, a man who also handled Mr. Cuomo’s personal money. The investment of $750,000 turned out to be all upside, with a return of nearly 20 percent after one year.



In his column on the decline and fall of morality on television this week, Brent Bozell applies scrutiny to the TV critics, a group of people often pushing and shoving the networks to shatter every moral barrier, break through every standard of taste. Showtime has a new series titled "Dexter," featuring actor Michael C. Hall in the title role, slobbered over by the critics for his role as the repressed gay funeral director in HBO's "Six Feet Under." This new show makes a hero out of a sadistic serial killer, because his insatiable desire to kill is channeled into killing other bad guys. During the day, he helps the cops catch other killers by assessing blood spatter patterns. Brent writes "He’s a sociopathic killer-slash-hero, with the emphasis on the slash – he carves his victims up to fit into Hefty bags." Here's more:

As pay-cable pioneers, always pushing the newest disgusting "edge" with an eye on extremely jaded TV critics, Showtime executives feel warm that they have brought more understanding to the world on behalf of the much-maligned serial killer. Said Showtime boss Robert Greenblatt: "This is a complex and fascinating look at serial killers, which, up to this point, have been marginalized and made two-dimensional."

Society has "marginalized" serial killers? Silly me. Here, all along, I thought those folks had done that to themselves.



On Friday's World News with Charles Gibson, ABC anchor Gibson ran a one-sided story on the lingering dangers to civilians of cluster bombs that were used by the Israeli military in Lebanon. The story, filed by correspondent Wilf Dinnick, promoted the complaints of a UN worker named Jihad Samhat without mentioning his history of vitriolic bias against Israel.



Brian Maloney at the Radio Equalizer blog reports the latest in the Air America stealing-from-the-children financial scandal: New York officials have indicted two execs at the Gloria Wise Community Center. Will the flurry of news coverage Brian recounts ever make its way to the mainstream media? The local CBS affilate reported:



TVNewser notes "Dan Rather Reports will still be coming soon to Mark Cuban's HDNet. Just not as soon," Ed Bark reports. The program was to launch in October. But in an e-mail, Cuban now says: "We are moving Dan back to after the elections so there won't be as much going on." Perhaps it's because the last weeks of an election season, he looks a little like Captain Ahab, "reckless, arrogant, and ideologically blind in his pursuit of Moby Bush."

The New York Times adds to its list of "Times Talks" events promoting homosexuality by sponsoring remarks by gay ex-Gov. Jim McGreevey promoting sales and signings of his new memoir book "The Confession." The event is scheduled for next Saturday, October 14 in San Francisco, co-sponsored by the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center. The conversation will by moderated by Dudley Clendinen, described by the Times as "New York Times contributor and author of Out for Good: The Struggle to Build a Gay Rights Movement in America."

At the CBS Public Eye site, Vaughn Ververs reported that a CBS employee (a tape archivist they claim somehow doesn't count as a news gatherer, just a tape gatherer) sent a nasty Foley-related note to the RNC:



In times past, no public figure would want to be associated with dirty political tricks. Nowadays, however, Lawrence O'Donnell is enthusiastically flaunting the fact that the Democrats have stooped to the sleazy tactic of outing gays as a campaign tactic.



In Foley Case Upsets Tough Balance by Capitol Hill’s Gay Republicans, the New York Times describes the plight of gay Republican staffers in DC.



Open for comment this Saturday afternoon.


Just in time for the November elections, a new MSM theme is emerging: Iraq's not the only mess - Afghanistan's in trouble too. Just a couple days I described here the Pentagon's systematic rebuttal of Newsweek's hyper-negative portrayal of the situation in Afghanistan in its article "The Rise of Jihadistan."



In a discussion on Inside Washington about the situation in Iraq and Bob Woodward's book, Colby King, Deputy Editor of the Washington Post's editorial page and a weekly columnist, made clear his disgust with President Bush -- to the point of rejecting Bush as Commander-in-Chief and arguing Bush is more deserving of impeachment than was President Clinton. “If we had a draft today and my sons had to go in the service under this Commander-in-Chief and his military advisors, I'd be hard-pressed,” King revealed, “to say serve under them." Citing how too many are being killed in Iraq “because of dumb decisions made by these people in the Pentagon,” an exasperated King recalled how “they impeached the President...for having some relationship with an intern. What about the people who got us into this mess?"

A bit later in the program aired Friday night on Washington, DC's PBS station, NPR reporter Nina Totenberg predicted: “When the history books are written, we will not be proud of this country or this President.”



In State of Denial, Bob Woodward claims Marine Gen. James L. Jones, the U.S. commander for Europe, said that the Iraq war is a "debacle" and that "the Joint Chiefs have been systematically emasculated by Rumsfeld."



Friday's CBS Evening News led again with the Foley/page scandal, even though the two stories aired offered virtually no fresh information, as anchor Katie Couric justified the news judgment by declaring the issue is “still the talk of the town,” “is not going away” and “is overshadowing every other election issue for the moment” -- all self-fulfilling assessments sustained by the decisions of Couric and her media colleagues. Couric then moved on to Republican Senator John Warner's warning that Iraq is drifting “side-wise,” a comment trumpeted by Brian Williams at the start of the NBC Nightly News, which also led with the page scandal: “When a key Republican Senator comes home from Iraq and says the U.S. has to re-think its strategy, is this a new turning point?”

Buried: The drop in the unemployment rate. ABC's World News, which unlike CBS and NBC, led with something other than the Foley fallout (the fire at a chemical plant in North Carolina), ignored it. CBS Evening News viewers only heard of the positive trend from a clip of President Bush in the middle of Gloria Borger's lead story on how the parties are reacting to the Foley matter: “Today we got more good news: National unemployment rate is down to 4.6 percent." Only NBC offered an actual news report, 20 seconds in length, on the latest numbers.



Wondering who the proprietor of the mysteriously connected "Stop Sex Predators" blog, the originator of the Mark Foley story is?

Head over to Ace of Spades, Hot Air and NBer Dan Riehl's blog where the hunt is on. Apparently, the owner of the blog lives in Royal Oak, Michigan, in the congressional district of prominent House Democrat John Conyers. That may not be significant but it does make you wonder how someone who posted at Daily Kos as WHInternNow would be privy to gossip about a congressman's sex life while living in Michigan.

Update 19:41. Does this shoot down a Dem connection or not?

The source who in July gave news media Rep. Mark Foley’s (R-Fla.) suspect e-mails to a former House page says the documents came to him from a House GOP aide.

That aide has been a registered Republican since becoming eligible to vote, said the source, who showed The Hill public records supporting his claim.

The same source, who acted as an intermediary between the aide-turned-whistleblower and several news outlets, says the person who shared the documents is no longer employed in the House.

But the whistleblower was a paid GOP staffer when the documents were first given to the media. [...]

That Foley’s scandalous communications came to public light during Congress’s final week in Washington was largely determined by the media outlets which obtained the suspicious e-mails in the middle of the summer, said the person who provided them to reporters several months ago. [...]



In an article posted Friday on Time.com, the magazine’s critic James Poniewozik suggests the Fox News Channel, which he sees as tilted to the right, is also responsible for the multi-minute rants that MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann has lately been emitting.


This past week, the media hyperventilated over two developing scandals: Congressman Mark Foley, and Bob Woodward's "State of Denial." ABC, CBS and NBC produced 103 stories on the Foley scandal, quite a bit more time then was devoted to Democratic sex scandals. The "Today" show’s Matt Lauer joined with Tim Russert to slam Speaker Hastert and the GOP. Lauer also contributed to the fawning over Bob Woodward and his new book. The MRC’s Brent Baker noted that Woodward has mocked the President’s intellect in the past.

Speaking of journalists with huge egos, Chris Matthews, yet again, displayed his partisan leanings by defending Robert ‘KKK’ Byrd, claiming that Bush "won’t tell the truth" about Iraq, and praising Clinton for his anti-Fox News rant. Perhaps he should rename his show, "Hardball...For Republicans."

And to think, it was just a few days ago that the former president of MSNBC stated, prior to Fox News, "many in the media scoffed at the notion of a liberal bias." Would this not be the best time to mention that leftist MSNBC host Keith Olbermann recently called Roger Ailes a "fat ass?"