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The media have relied on the threat of hurricanes to keep the audience’s anxiety level high. Whether it’s promoting the theory that global warming is causing stronger hurricanes, or warning that we’re just “a hurricane away” from higher gas prices, reporters haven’t let us forget the devastation of 2005.

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann delivered another of his “Special Comment” rants on Thursday night -- this one his longest yet, clocking in at just over 11 minutes. Olbermann began the diatribe, which concluded the October 5 Countdown, by saying his topic was “lying,” specifically how President Bush is making false claims about Democrats. Olbermann cited how Bush charged that Democrats “don’t think we ought to be listening to the conversations of terrorists” and “think the best way to protect the American people is wait until we're attacked again.” Maintaining that the accusations are baseless, Olbermann asserted: “A President who comes across as a compulsive liar is nothing less than terrifying.” But by Olbermann's reasoning that since no Democrat has said exactly what Bush asserted when he made the political points about the implications of Democratic positions, no one should be able to accuse Bush of lying about Iraq since he has never said he lied about Iraq.

Olbermann proceeded to allege that Bush “has savaged the very freedoms he claims to be protecting from attack” through his “terrifying attempt to hamstring the fundament of our freedom -- the Constitution -- a triumph for al Qaeda, for which the terrorists could not hope to achieve with a hundred 9/11's.” He accused Bush: "You want to preserve one political party's power. And obviously you will sell this country out, to do it. These are lies about the Democrats, piled atop lies about Iraq, piled atop lies about your preparations for al Qaeda.” Olbermann also denounced Vice President Cheney for how he “lives on, in defiance, and spreads -- around him and before him -- darkness, like some contagion of fear.” Sounds more like Olbermann. (Transcript follows)

Video clip (11:10): Real (8.3 MB at 100 kbps) or Windows Media (7 MB at 81 kbps), plus MP3 audio (2.6 MB)

Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia's Center for Responsive Politics should, by rights, watch his reputation as a nonpartisan observer of the political scene go up in smoke as a result of inserting himself into the George Allen "N-word" controversy. More than that, he is a longtime practitioner of selective outrage at negative campaigning so characteristic of so many 527 Media journalists and the "experts" they go to for quotes.

Interviewed by ABC's Charles Gibson at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia shortly before receiving, along with former President Clinton, the center's “Liberty Award,” former President George H.W. Bush zinged the New York Times and Bob Woodward.

We've been here before; the similarities are, well, eerie.

First, the sensational story in the closing weeks of an election, attributed, of course, to an anonymous source. A blogger, William "Wild Bill" Kerr of Passionate America, using clues gleaned from ABC's own website, reveals the name of one of the "victims," and the fact that he was not, as reported by ABC, under 18 at the time of the Instant Message exchange.

While Democrats and the MSM have revelled in stressing the tough sledding in Iraq, they had been constrained to acknowledge that the mission in Afghanistan - from the overthrow of the Taliban to the fostering of democracy leading to the election of President Karzai to efforts aimed at rebuilding a country mired in medieval poverty - has been largely successful.

Rep. Barney Frank gave an interview to yesterday where he compared gay Republicans in Congress to "secret Jews".

In what is billed as an exclusive Rep. Franks stated that the Foley scandal will result in a purge of gays from the Republican Party.

Congressman Barney Frank’s scandalous tolerance of a gay prostitution business operating out of his house, uncovered by the Washington Times in 1989, drew from ABC nowhere near the dramatic amount of attention ABC gave Mark Foley. On the August 25, 1989 World News Tonight, Sam Donaldson noted it just once in passing, a mere 67 words:

USA Today took another swipe at the produce packaging industry in today's Money section.

Reporter Julie Schmit buried an expert in her story who called the industry "superb" at processing vegetables to be safe and germ-free for consumers.

What did Speaker Hastert know about former Congressman Foley’s lurid communications with a former page, and when did he know it? This is an open question that will be resolved through investigations by the House Ethics Committee and the FBI. Yet before all the facts are known, "The Early Show" continued to clamor for Hastert’s resignation.

But reporter buried expert who said the industry does a 'superb' job of cleaning veggies.

Just as PJ Gladnick and I were hypothesizing that Democrats were behind the Mark Foley page scandal, Matt Drudge is reporting this:

When the story broke in July of 1983 on the sexual affairs with House pages by Reps. Daniel Crane and Gerry Studds, ABC did not fuel days of speculation about whether Speaker Tip O’Neill would resign.

Perhaps the Times should rethink its policy on commencement speeches, given that every time a Times staffer gets up in front of a college audience he or she seems to spout left-wing rhetoric that contradicts the paper's increasingly disbelieved claims of objective reporting.

ABC News has just released this statement explaining how blogger Wild Bill of Passionate America was able to learn the real screen name of Mark Foley's Instant Message correspondent:
On Friday, ABC News published instant messages between a former page and Congressman Foley with the IM screen name of the teenage victim redacted. Immediately, we discovered that in one instance, the screen name of the teen on one IM exchange had not been properly redacted. ABC News immediately took down the posting [version 1], redacted the screen name and re-published the posting [version 2]. We certainly believed that we had taken care of the issue quickly. Last evening, after an inquiry from Matt Drudge, it came to our attention that a blogger was able to access our deleted file [version 1] by typing in a slightly modified web address. To be clear, no one visiting our website would have simply stumbled on the old version. We thank the blogger and Drudge for bringing this to our attention.