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Al-Jazeera International, a new English-language channel delivering news from an Arab perspective, is having trouble finding American cable companies willing to place it in their lineups.

Reports the British Guardian:



Media Wrong About Dollar: As the frequency of pessimistic reports increases, their accuracy seems to decline.



Asked by Bill O'Reilly Thursday night on FNC whether she's a liberal, Mary Mapes, the CBS News producer fired in January for her role in the forged National Guard memos and representations she made to her colleagues, first put up the usual avoidance device of a liberal -- “I'm not sure what a liberal is” -- before insisting that “like a lot of Americans, I'm all over the map.” In the taped interview, O'Reilly then pressed her: "Are you registered Democrat?" Mapes seriously responded: “I don't know." O'Reilly scoffed: "You don't know?" Mapes claimed: "I don't know if I'm independent or Democrat. I know I'm not -- in Texas, I'm not sure how I'm registered." (But apparently she's quite sure she's no Republican.) O'Reilly returned to his original interest: "So you would describe yourself politically as?" She maintained: "Oh, my goodness. I'm liberal on some things, I'm conservative on some things."

Video excerpt in Real or Windows Media. (Transcript of this exchange follows.)



In psychiatry the term illusion refers to a specific form of sensory distortion. Unlike an hallucination, which is a sensory experience in the absence of a stimulus, an illusion describes a distortion of a perception so it is understood and interpreted differently.



On his Countdown show Thursday night, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann hyped "new questions now concerning the judicial ethics of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito" because of alleged conflicts of interest, including the judge's participation in court cases involving Vanguard and Smith Barney, companies through which Alito owned mutual funds and stocks. Olbermann expressed his view that "it would seem to me these are throat cutters" and that "he shouldn't be on a federal court after this anymore."

Although Olbermann did note that in the case involving Smith Barney, Alito had sided against the company, he did not present a balanced look at the situation as he merely interviewed George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, whom Olbermann credited as "the first to raise questions about Judge Alito's personal conflict...even before he was officially nominated."

Turley criticized Alito because "a judge is supposed to recuse himself when there's an appearance of a conflict," while he also conceded that "it's not that Judge Alito doesn't have an argument here. It's a technical one." A complete transcript of Olbermann's interview with Turley from the November 10 Countdown show follows:



The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation released results of a new study yesterday indicating that the number of sexual scenes on television has nearly doubled since 1998.  A Google search indicated that there have been upwards of 400 articles and Internet postings on this subject. For the most part, these articles have been at least moderately disturbed by these findings, while trying to offer some explanations for the increase. As a perfect example, please see how the Los Angeles Times’ Jube Shiver, Jr. reported this.

By contrast, Lisa de Moraes’s article in today’s Washington Post seemed to express disappointment that more acts of sex aren’t shown more regularly on television. For example, her second paragraph (which I won’t copy here in respect for those like myself who have children that frequent this site to get informed about the news of the day) used the word “sex” nine times while graphically describing such acts to the reader. In three sentences.

After informing the reader about the increase in sexual scenes on television since 1998, de Moraes made a joke about it:



Rene Syler on Wednesday interviewed former President Jimmy Carter yesterday in the 8:30 a.m. EST half hour of the Early Show, tossing him softball after softball which he hit out of the park while plugging his book, Our Endangered Values. In the transcript of her questions below, you'll see her setting up Carter on the "separation of church and state" theme which Carter used to pontificate about conservative dominance of American politics, particularly by the religious right.



Ted Olsen in a posting today to the Christianity Today weblog provides a detailed fisking of Los Angeles Times coverage of an IRS investigation of the Rev. George Regas, a liberal Episcopalian priest.



     CBS wasnt alone. Headlines like The Dollars Decline Does Matter, Consumers Could Get Caught Under Falling Dollar, and The Dangerous Dollar were all the rage as Americas currency was approaching its lows.

     Other media also cited the Bush administrations economic policies as the cause of these declines, with typically calamitous predictions such as a possible end to foreign purchases of Americas government debt, as well as blaming the rise in oil


Congress and media push to punish oil companies despite the fact governments rake in more from oil taxes than oil companies earn in profits.


Do the votes in New Jersey and Virginia signal a "Republican unraveling," as the Times suggests, or is the paper just promoting wishful Democratic thinking?

Thursday's "House Shelves Plans for Alaska Drilling" by Carl Hulse is ostensibly about the issue raised in the headline, but much of it harps on the Republican losses in Tuesday's elections (even though the party didn't actually lose any seats). The text box argues: "A concession adds sting to Republican election losses."



Fox News Channel on Sunday will air, albeit with a disclaimer, a one-sided documentary on global warming featuring liberal environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

A Fox News Channel documentary on "global warming," set to air Sunday night, provides only the liberal take on the controversial issue and was approved after environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. reportedly "dragged" Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes to a lecture by former Vice President Al Gore, "kicking and screaming."



The media have repeatedly given air time to charges that the oil companies are taking advantage of consumers and earning unfair profits. Throughout the year reporters have alleged "oil companies...are making massive profits," "oil companies have watched their profits soar" and "record profits for the oil producers." But how do these oil profits compare to those of the media companies, themselves?

On November 9th, Congress held hearings and demanded that oil company executives, as ABC’s Jake Tapper said, "explain themselves as to why they’re experiencing record profits." Using Yahoo! Finance, I looked up the profit margin numbers for five of those oil companies and for five of the major media companies.



CNN’s Bruce Morton filed a report today wherein he compared the impact of yesterday’s election results on President Bush to the title of the children’s book “Alexander, George, and the Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Day.” He went on to suggest that Tim Kaine’s victory in Virginia was big because it “showed that a moderate Democrat can win in a very red state.” Morton neglected to inform the viewer that Kaine was replacing a Democrat as governor.

Morton then depicted Kaine’s victory as “a big boost for outgoing governor Mark Warner, a 2008 presidential possibility. And it was a rejection of the president who came to Richmond on election eve to campaign for Republican loser, Jerry Kilgore.”

Finally, Morton suggested that as a result of these elections, President Bush now has less clout with Republicans in Congress, as well as with Republican governors.

What follows is a full transcript of this report, and a video link.



Asked by Larry King Wednesday night live on CNN whether she had a personal agenda against President George W. Bush, Mary Mapes, the CBS News producer fired in January for her role in the forged National Guard memos and representations she made to her colleagues, shot back: "Oh my God no, no of course not.” She insisted that “Dan Rather and I did stories on Hillary Clinton, we did stories on the Clinton administration and terrorism...you question whoever is in your cross-hairs." Hillary Clinton, however, was hardly in her “cross-hairs” when she produced for Rather a 24-minute tribute to her that aired on the May 24, 1999 60 Minutes II and included such tough statements from Rather as, "once a political lightning rod, today she is political lightning" and: “The agenda she lays out seems downright old-fashioned. She sees her work as focusing on children and families..." (See more below.)

Back to CNN Wednesday night, King fretted: “Who got you? The bloggers?” Mapes said she knew of the Drudge Report, but “I really wasn't aware of these really political blogs” and so when “the next day at about 11 o'clock this stuff, this drumbeat started saying the documents were false and I was just incredulous because the White House hadn't raised it, they hadn't indicated this in any way, we didn't have any evidence of that and they went nuts." As she did on Wednesday's Good Morning America, as recounted in this NewsBusters item by Brian Boyd, Mapes maintained her stance that no one has disproved the authenticity of the memos: “Their criticisms last year really didn't reach the bar of proof at all."

Video excerpt: Real or Windows Media. (Complete transcript, of above-quoted exchange, follows.)