"Toilet Paper Rationing Proposed for Inmates" read the teaser headline in the sidebar of my Metro section front page for the April 25 Washington Post. "Since when did Sheryl Crow become a jail warden?" I wondered. Much to my chagrin, I found it was not such a green story after all, unless the green we're talking about is the budget for the Montgomery County, Maryland budget:

Montgomery County labor leaders are urging government officials to ration rolls of toilet paper and bars of soap for the county's inmates to help cut costs and cope with a nearly $300 million budget shortfall.

The suggestion to limit inmates to up to three rolls of toilet paper and two bars of soap each week is part of a long list of savings the Municipal and County Government Employees Organization has submitted to the County Council, which is considering raising taxes, trimming services and revising union contracts that include raises for workers.

That's hardly the earth-friendly sacrifice that Ms. Crow preaches. Inmates have long been accustomed to "three squares a day." Who's to say that should only apply to food?


..... and waits until the 30th paragraph of its online story to reveal it.

The feds seem to be closing in on Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich -- and at least one Chicago television station seems determined to minimize exposure not only of his party affiliation, but of others who have received tainted campaign contributions.

Here are important excerpts from the report of Chicago's CBS Channel 2, WBBM (HT Hot Air and Hot Air commenters):

Rezko Pal, Ex-Aide To Gov. Pleads Guilty

CHICAGO (CBS) ― In an explosive development reaching to the state's highest office, a former high-ranking state official claimed Tuesday that Gov. Rod Blagojevich was on hand when he presented $25,000 in campaign money to now-indicted fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko.

Ali Ata, 56, a former executive director of the Illinois Finance Authority, said Blagojevich then asked Rezko if he had talked to Ata about a job on the state payroll.

Ata said later, after he made a second $25,000 campaign contribution, Blagojevich again brought up the subject of a job and said it should be one in which Ata "could make some money."


The Chicago Tribune continued today to dance around the party affiliation of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) in its ongoing coverage of the Tony Rezko trial. [See Lyndsi Thomas's March 18 blog post here]


Friday's NBC Nightly News took a balanced look at the issue of whether colleges would be safer if students were allowed greater freedom to carry concealed weapons on campus.


Ohio's Old Media needs a collective medical intervention to battle Chronic Reporting Amnesia (CRA).

Ohio's Democratic Attorney General, who has been no stranger to controversy since his election in November 2006, is in major hot water over the conduct of two employees on his staff:

An attorney representing two women whose sexual harassment allegations have triggered a widening scandal at Attorney General Marc Dann’s office says his clients have abundant evidence of their claims.


With the Olympics coming on, what's more poignant than the image of the sprinter hopefully awaiting the official time, only to learn he missed the record by 1/100th of a second? I'm in that same heartbroken mood for the Associated Press this morning. The wire service came so close to equalling the world record for revealing the Republican party affiliation of someone finding himself sideways of the law. Check out the first sentence from this AP story of April 17th:

A Republican congressional candidate was charged Thursday with felony burglary and criminal trespass stemming from an encounter last year with an ex-girlfriend.

MSNBC has refused to air a dishonest anti-gun ad:
The cable network MSNBC has refused to air an advertisement from Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the group created by New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg,on the grounds that the ad is too "controversial."

The ad, below, features each of the three leading presidential candidates pledging to make it harder to buy guns at gun shows, and images of three mayors urging viewers to call Congress and ask that a bill closing the "gun-show loophole" be passed.

The ad is airing on CNN and Fox, and on affiliates around the country, a Bloomberg aide said.


NewsBusters.org - Media Research CenterOn Wednesday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Maggie Rodriguez talked to liberal priest, Fr. Thomas Reese, who also appeared on Monday’s show, and asked about the sex abuse scandals in the American Catholic Church as well as the comments of Pope Benedict XVI regarding the issue: "We heard from some victims' families that a mea culpa is not enough. That merely saying you're "deeply ashamed" is not enough. Do you think anything more will come of this?"

This question followed a report by correspondent Jeff Glor, who began by declaring:

It's believed the Pope could address the issue even further on his visit, either here in Washington or in New York, but some are wondering, why not Boston? For Gary Bergeron, the Pope not going to Boston on this trip is like saying the Pope's not Catholic. It just doesn't make sense... Bergeron was abused and still lives in New England, the epicenter of the scandal.

Glor also played clips of Bergeron, who said of the Pope: "I think it's an opportunity he missed...I would hold out my hand to him so that he could shake it, understand that I'm not the demon here." Of course, the Pope has not "demonized" any victims of abuse, but Glor still decided to use the quote for his report. Despite Rodriguez’s claim that "not enough" had been done, Bergeron actually helped win an $85 million dollar lawsuit for church abuse victims and met personally with Vatican officials.


While the word "humane" does appear within the Supreme Court's ruling today upholding Kentucky's lethal injection method of execution, is it biased of Los Angeles Times reporter David Savage to put the term in quote marks in his lede? I'm leaning towards yes.:

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court cleared the way today for executions to resume across the nation, ruling that lethal injections, if properly carried out, are a "humane" means of ending a condemned individual's life.

The court upheld Kentucky's use of lethal injections by a surprisingly large 7-2 vote.

By contrast, here's how the New York Times's David Stout opened his article, set for print in tomorrow's April 17 edition (emphasis mine):


So I'm reading what is supposed to be a puff piece by Mike Celizic in the Today Show section at MSNBC about Jenna Bush's upcoming wedding to Henry Hager on May 10.

It seems to do a serviceable job of describing their upcoming nuptials, what the attendants will wear, where it will be (an informal affair at the Bush family Crawford, Texas ranch), where they met, where he proposed. All nice stuff.

It's only slightly annoying that a picture caption at the article reads, "Jenna Bush, 25, and her fiance Henry Hager are scheduled to be married on May 10 in Texas." Cold feet on the part of the bride or the groom is always a possibility, but "will be married" seems more appropriate. But really, not a big deal.

But towards the end, Celizic drops in this:

Jenna Bush, 26, is a 2004 graduate of the University of Texas, where she was twice charged with misdemeanors for alcohol-related offenses.


The Associated Press cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered pro-gun or the propaganda arm of the "gun lobby." For example, in 2006 the AP implied that the NRA was responsible for the increase in violent crime begun in 2004.1

In a recent article, the AP once again to insinuated that machinations by the "gun lobby" to sunset the Clinton gun ban may have resulted in an increased criminal use of "assault weapons"; particularly in their "discussion" of a criminal homicide which occurred last fall:


NewsBusters.org - Media Research CenterOn Sunday’s "60 Minutes" on CBS, anchor Scott Pelley provided an update for a story done in February about former Democratic Governor of Alabama, Don Siegelman, who was convicted of bribery in 2006: "A federal court has released former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman from prison six weeks after our story...Siegelman says his prosecution was political, orchestrated in the White House."

The original "60 Minutes" story, which Pelley credits for Seigelman’s release, was aired on February 24 and claimed that not only was Sigelman’s prosecution politically motivated, but that it was done at the direct order of White House advisor Karl Rove. During that story, Pelley talked to Republican Alabama attorney, Jill Simpson, and asked: "Karl Rove asked you to take pictures of Siegelman...in a compromising sexual position with one of his aides?"

During Sunday’s update on the story, Pelley interviewed Siegelman:

PELLEY: Siegelman was once the most successful Democrat in Alabama. He claims that his prosecution by the US Department of Justice was influenced by the president's former political adviser, Karl Rove.