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For Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and the Washington Post, teaming up to claim President Bush said something he didn’t say is as easy as one, two, three.

If you doubt that, read the first three paragraphs of this Washington Post story, Democrats Criticize Bush For Saying DeLay's Innocent. Then look at what the President actually said.



It seems like a common pattern lately. A mainstream media outlet publishes a bombshell story, and within days, the whole thing unravels quicker than a cheap sweater swarmed by kittens. Such is beginning to look like the case for The New York Times’ eavesdropping controversy, which is showing a lot of wear and tear for its age.



This is the second update (third installment) of a series that began just before Thanksgiving looking at how the words "Christmas" and "holiday(s)" are being used. I have sensed a couple of tendencies over the years and wanted to see if my suspicions were accurate this Christmas season, and did Google News searches on November 23, December 7, and this morning to investigate. Here are this morning's results (Dec. 22, 9AM ET):

Shopping--



Who would have thought the peaceful Quakers* [though see info at foot of column suggesting some Quakers are not so harmless] would be used as a spearhead?

Yet ironically, in the debate over national security and surveillance, liberals are attempting to beat the Quakers' plowshares into swords.

This morning's Today show offered a prime example.



Though Bob Schieffer introduced Wednesday's CBS Evening News by using loaded language as he pointed out how, “to protest the President's decision to continue spying on American citizens, a federal judge took the unprecedented step of resigning from the court that issues warrants in such cases,” an event also highlighted by ABC and NBC, unlike those networks, CBS White House correspondent John Roberts informed viewers how “the President got support today from an unusual quarter: Democrat Jane Harman, a key figure on the House Intelligence Committee.” He highlighted how she asserted that “I believe the program is essential to U.S. national security” and, in a slam at the leaker and the New York Times, that the “disclosure has damaged critical intelligence capabilities.” Schieffer, however, remained most interested in the resignation. After Roberts wrapped up his story, Schieffer marveled to him: “I want to go back to this federal judge resigning. I must say in all my years in the news business, I've never heard of a federal judge resigning in protest over anything.”

ABC held its “eavesdropping” coverage to an anchor-read brief, but one devoted to the judge, while in a full story on the Patriot Act and Bush's “decision to order spying inside the U.S. without a warrant,” NBC's Kelly O'Donnell highlighted the resignation. (Transcript excerpts follow.)


The current issue of the New York Observer includes Gabriel Sherman's report on the back-and-forth at the New York Times regarding the paper's NSA-wiretap story.

Highlights from Sherman/>/>'s piece:



If Inflation Falls in the Forest...                                                                                                                                If we listened to the media, no one would have heard the biggest price decline in 56 years.

Free Market Project



The December 21st edition of Today featured a rather alarmist report by Andrea Mitchell about domestic spying. The story, complete with requisite pictures of Abu Ghraib, aired at 7:15AM. It started off with Katie Couric's ominous introduction. She stated that with regard to spying, "some are wondering if Americans are losing their civil rights in the process.



According to the worldview of the mainstream press, there are really two kinds of people in the world - normal people who hold normal views, and conservatives, who hold abnormal views. There's a front-page story in Today's Boston Globe that demonstrates this, yet again.


New from the Business & Media Institute


If Inflation Falls in the Forest
When no one reports good news, does that mean it didnt happen? Of course not. And the biggest decline consumer prices have seen in 56 years is pretty big news. Unfortunately, the media paid a lot more attention when inflation rose back in September.



With the medias steady stream of tears for a strong economy, its no wonder so many Americans think were in a recession.


If we listened to the media, no one would have heard the biggest price decline in 56 years.


Canada, a Kyoto Treaty country, did worse than the America. in cutting greenhouse gases.


The New York Times reporter whose National Security Agency eavesdropping article last Friday started a national debate about this issue didn’t appear as concerned with such espionage tactics when Bill Clinton was in the White House.



On December 7, The Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger reported on a rise in factory orders and productivity growth, and quoted an expert who predicted good times ahead:
"The momentum of growth has been very strong," said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at Global Insight in Lexington, Mass. "This suggests that growth in the fourth quarter of this year and early next year will remain robust."
Two weeks later, on December 21 at 8:37 AM ET, in a report on the slight downward revision of third-quarter GDP growth from 4.3% to 4.1%, Crutsinger wrote the following, apparently for consumption by the general population, based on where it appeared (bold is mine):