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After months of encouraging media hype, incoming "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric is now trying to downplay expectations that she'll bring viewers to the last-place network nightly.



Has CBS's Mike Wallace gotten soft in his old age? His usual knock-out style was nowhere to be found during his interview with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, writes in the New York Sun:



Thomas Ricks, The Washington Post’s Pentagon correspondent, appeared on the August 14 edition of "The Daily Show." Ricks, the author of the caustic new book "Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq," told host Jon Stewart that journalists report the situation in Iraq far too optimistically:



Journalists, the self-described writers of the first draft of history, often have a very tough time remembering it. I've lost count how many times I've heard the phrase "most ever," "biggest in history," "worst X ever" and so on.

The BBC provided the latest example of this historical short-sightedness in a not-exactly condemnatory (the Beeb never once calls him a dictator) profile of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, which as the WSJ's James Taranto noted yesterday, contained a major error:

Last Monday the BBC published a puff piece on Cuba's dictator titled "Fidel: The World Icon." Here's how it starts:

Cuba's President Fidel Castro--the world's longest-serving leader--turns 80 on 13 August. This week, we will be assessing his political life and his impact on the Caribbean island.



Andrew Sullivan, Time blogger and man of nuance:

If you’re a Republican in Tennessee and you are in a tough race, what do you do? Hey, your party isn’t a political organization; it’s God’s Own Party:

A Christian prayer group is hoping to provide Republican gubernatorial nominee Jim Bryson with some divine assistance during his campaign. The “Bryson Prayer Force” is inviting Christians to join its current 80 members in praying regularly for Bryson, his family and campaign staff. An e-mail sent out by the group included some suggested prayers. Weekly prayers are to be sent to those who have signed up to be part of the group.

“Pray for an open heaven over Jim and his team in each Tennessee county they visit, that the gates of each county would open to him and his team, and that the Lord’s divine favor will be granted to him everywhere he goes,” reads one example. Blair Morgan, an attorney and vice treasurer of the Davidson County Republican party, is serving as state coordinator of Bryson Prayer Force.

Another part of the message:



Over the last five years, the resurgent radical left has found empowerment in the Democratic Party through what the political scribes antiseptically call the "Internet grass roots." When hawkish Sen. Joe Lieberman lost by four points in the Democratic primary in Connecticut to ultraliberal millionaire Ned Lamont, the media credited this hard left with the upset.



But Tennessee Rep. Jim Cooper, has a liberal, pro-pork barrel, pro-tax voting record.


Discuss topics not covered on other threads here.


Those mean-spirited Republicans. They're all about the politics of hate. And now this! Can you imagine, calling a political opponent an "evil, authoritarian, crypto-fascist puppet master"? Wait a sec. That wasn't a Republican. It's a Huff Poster describing Dick Cheney.



On August 13, a columnist for the Palestinian Territories' government newspaper surmised that Hezbullah's victory opened the door for a revived Palestinian intifada, as reported by MEMRI.
"This is an important moment, that the Palestinian resistance must seize. It benefited from [a similar moment] at the beginning of the Al-Aqsa [Intifada], when the West Bank and Gaza spoke the Lebanese language, after they had long been immersed in American and Israeli illusions. And following [the Al-Aqsa Intifada], the incomplete [Israeli] withdrawal from the Gaza Strip was carried out.
What do you know, but it would seem that today, the wires are teeming with photographs of Palestinian "youths" (all men in their 20's, from the looks of it) throwing stones at IDF soldiers. I haven't seen any photographs of Israeli troops yet, but expect to see the standard formulaic shot of a Palestinian "youth" throwing a stone at a heavily-armored Israeli tank. I'd also expect that we won't see any photographs of the terrorists who are doing any of the actual shooting at the Israelis, but we're used to not seeing that by now, right?


The Washington Post might like to be known as rough and tough, skeptical and questioning, but when it comes to TV news stars, sometimes they sound like a publicist's best friend.



No matter which way the facts are pointing, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann can find a way to entertain an anti-Bush conspiracy theory on his Countdown show when the administration announces a terror alert.



"Report: X-Rays Don't Detect Explosives" is the red letter entry at the Drudge Report, linking the latest Associated Press scoop from a leaked document:
X-ray machines that screen airline passengers' shoes cannot detect explosives, according to a Homeland Security Department report on aviation screening.

The headline is inaccurate.



For the second time in four days, the Los Angeles Times has reported about the illicit and invalid "ordination" of women who call themselves Catholic. The latest effort is by Times staffer Robin Fields, "Female Priest Defies the Catholic Church" (Monday, August 14, 2006).



1956 Storm tracks - Western Pacific
In the opening lines of this alarmist piece, "Global warming behind disastrous typhoon season in China" put out by AFP yesterday (HT to Drudge), the reader is confronted with the the media's view of the facts: