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Two staffers from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), chaired by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), are under investigation by the FBI. The two are alleged to have illegally obtained the credit report of the Republican Lt. Governor of Maryland, Michael Steele, who may eventually run for Senate. The two were reportedly working on "opposition research." The Washington Times reported the investigation in a story dated Wednesday September 21, 2005. The New York Post posted an article on the matter Thursday September 22, 2005, and so did the Washington Post.

Yet as of late Friday afternoon (September 23, 2005), there has been not a peep from the New York Times! The story is nowhere to be found!



In its September 19 editorial entitled “Taking Full Responsibility” – an altogether too obvious reference to President Bush’s hurricane mea culpa - the New York Times continued what appears to be a full-court press on Congress to raise taxes in order to pay for the future costs of New Orleans reconstruction. In the view of the Times editorial staff, the economic health of the nation is at stake.

To drive the point home, the Times relied heavily on some rather tired cliches about tax cuts only helping the rich and budget deficits causing interest rates to rise, while swirving in and out of sound fiscal reasoning whenever it was necessary or convenient.

On the one hand, the Times is not opposed to the government borrowing money:

“Don't get us wrong. In the main, it makes sense to borrow for huge, vital and unexpected projects (World War II comes to mind). Such borrowing spreads the immense costs over generations, all of which presumably benefit from the extraordinary spending.”



At the premiere party Wednesday night in Beverly Hills for ABC's new drama debuting on Tuesday, Commander in Chief, in which Geena Davis plays the President of the United States, actress Sara Rue told USA Today reporter William Keck for a Friday article: "In my mind I'm pretending that Geena Davis is actually running the country because it makes me feel a lot more secure." Keck asserted that Rue, who stars on ABC's Less Than Perfect, summed “up the opinions of the mostly Democratic Hollywood crowd” when she declared: “We all thought of Hillary Clinton when we heard they were making this show. I hope it takes off!"

Davis herself, however, who Keck reported will be “a Democrat playing an independent,” had “clarified: 'We're making this as entertainment. But God willing, if this show stays on and people see a woman in that office for a while, I think it will help people become more used to it. It's certainly about time that we had a few female presidents.'"



TV Week reports Fox chief Rupert Murdoch told investors that his company is moving forward with plans to launch a business cable news channel to compete with CNBC. The launch apparently has been delayed, though, as Fox News chairman Roger Ailes wonders whether or not the startup could so easily thrash the competition like FNC has.


From the AP:

LONDON — A former ABC News correspondent accused the network of dropping his contract because he refused to go to Iraq and other war zones, and he sought $4.2 million in lost earnings at an employment tribunal Friday.

ABC says war zone assignments are voluntary and argues that the decision not to renew Richard Gizbert's freelance contract was motivated by budget pressures.

Mimi Gurbst, ABC's vice president of news coverage, said at the hearing that Gizbert was one of many staffers dropped after she was ordered to cut costs by 10 percent over two years. She said those laid off included many who regularly accepted assignments in conflict zones, and Gizbert's refusal to do so was not the reason for his dismissal.



On CNN's "American Morning" today, anchor Soledad O'Brien played part of a taped interview with former President Clinton. Ms. O'Brien raised what she thought would be an impediment to Clinton and President Bush getting along: "I mean you raised tax cuts and that's sort of a good issue because when people talk about, OK, how do we pay for Hurricane Katrina when you're talking about an atmosphere where it's clearly going to be very expensive. We have troops in Iraq. We have troops in Afghanistan.


A day after NBC's Matt Lauer asked on Today, "why are there so many hurricanes this year and is global warming to blame?" and Robert Bazell ominously concluded an NBC Nightly News story by asserting that "many experts say" hurricane-fueling global warming "results partly from humans releasing greenhouse gases possibly creating even more violent storms in the future," ABC and CBS aired stories which largely dismissed global warming as a culprit. On Thursday's World News Tonight, ABC's Ned Potter featured a soundbite from National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield, who in little-reported congressional testimony Tuesday, discounted global warming as a factor. CBS's Russ Mitchell, on The Early Show, featured a scientist who "says hurricane activity comes in cycles that can last several decades. It seems Mother Nature has mood swings." Mitchell explained that "hurricane cycles are primarily driven by rainfall patterns in Africa and the Amazon basin." As for hype about hurricanes on the rise, Mitchell admonished: "The experts will tell us back in the '50s and '60s we saw some monster hurricanes, but we just have very short memories."

(Viewers of ABC's PrimeTime Thursday, however, heard more hyperbolic lunacy on global warming as Barbra Streisand exclaimed to Diane Sawyer: "We are in a global warming emergency state and these storms are going to become more frequent, more intense, there could be more droughts, dust bowls, you know it's amazing to hear these facts, I mean, the Andes have no ice caps on the mountains in winter. The glaciers are melting. I mean, for the United States not to be part of the Kyoto treaty is unforgivable.")

Full transcripts and CBS's 1950-'60s hurricane graphic follow.



Sigh. The day after Times Watch gave the paper an "attaboy" for delivering a somewhat balanced front-page story on the battle over a proposed left-wing museum at Ground Zero, comes a Friday editorial, "Freedom or Not?" It accuses those who don't want anti-American sentiments enshrined at the site of being "censors."


In an op-ed in today’s New York Times, former president Jimmy Carter and former secretary of state James Baker answered their critics – one of them being the Times itself – concerning voter reforms they have proposed.

As reported by NewsBusters on Tuesday, the Times came out strongly against Carter and Baker’s proposals largely due to a requirement for voters to have proper identification to cast ballots.  The Times’ contention was that this would have a discriminatory impact on the poor, the elderly, and minorities. 

Carter and Baker don’t agree:



Dozens of readers were horrified when The Patriot-News decided to run a front page picture of a man convicted on drug charges sticking up his middle finger at the camera.

How do you justify running this picture where nearly every child at a breakfast table will see it?

Executive Editor David Newhouse: "We believed that this photo powerfully drove home the true impact of drugs."



A few weeks ago, the Washington Post newsroom forced the Post to back out of sponsoring a "Freedom Walk" on September 11 sponsored by the Pentagon, since that would compromise their appearance of neutrality.



In its Katrina coverage, the MSM made hay at President Bush's expense in suggesting that the government's sluggish response was the result of racism.

Given the early and energetic preparations of government at all levels for Rita, you might think that it would impossible for the MSM to recycle the racism canard. But that didn't stop the Today show from giving it the old college try this morning.



There are some who would argue journalists don't do serious stories about religion. The respect for a higher power cherished by the majority in this country is not a voice represented in the newsroom. Some might think that even when religion is approached in a story, it is treated like wacky antics of the criminally insane.

Well that just isn't true. You obviously don't care about black people and want to send the children of others to die in Iraq funded on the lunch money of the poor if you believe that.

Take this local CBS News story from the network's San Francisco affiliate. Sure it didn't bump Cindy Sheehan off the front page, but it did pay respect to religion with this hard hitting investigation titled "Interview with a Vampire".

  • It starts off with the US military purging evil spirits from a New Orleans building with holy water, in the name of Jesus Christ.
  • It has a US soldier talking about New Orleans being "ingrained in voodoo, cannibalism, and witchcraft."
  • The reporter herself sees a ghost, but apparently doesn't consider it worthy of getting on tape.
  • US soldier says "We're bringing the light. Wherever soldiers go, there goes the word of God."
  • US soldiers cite Hurricane Katrina as prophecy from Revelations. Twice.

Is it sweeps already, or are the haunted houses, crusades and voodoo just the 'diversity' angle of religion coverage?

Watch the whole segment here.



In reporting on a Chinese company marketing condoms under the brand names Clinton and Lewinsky, USA Today notes that Clinton "was accused of having a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, a former White House intern."

Accused?



On the Thursday, September 22, 2005, 4 pm PDT broadcast of the National Public Radio (NPR) news, newscaster Corey Flintoff appeared to give Cindy Sheehan's forthcoming anti-war demonstration a free plug. After playing an audio clip of President Bush from a press briefing at the Pentagon, Flintoff tagged the clip with the following (audiotape on file):