"Put down the candles and step slowly away from the menorah." Reading her pay-per-view New York Times column of today, that's what I felt like shouting at Jennifer Michael Hecht. Hecht manages to turn the Festival of Light into a celebration of the rejection of traditional Judaism - and an odd bow in the direction of colonialism and cultural imperialism.

Hanukkah celebrates "a revolution against assimilation and the suppression of Jewish religion." Syrian-Greeks had colonialized Israel, overturned the Temple, and turned Jews away from their religion. A small band of faithful Jews defeated the Greek army, drove them from the Israel, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of God.

According to Hecht, that was . . .a bad thing. In her view, "progressive, modern Jews" should actually consider the Syrian-Greeks the heroes of the story, and those who fought against them to restore traditional Judaism the villians.

Editor and Publisher seems hardly able to hold back their excitement over the possibility that someone has found proof of the existence of the mysterious "Captain Jamil Hussein" who the Associated Press claimed as a source for the supposed burning of 6 Sunni Iraqis in retaliation for the depredations of that sect on their Shi'ite neighbors.

In a Sunday posting on their site, E&P is crowing about "Conservative Bloggers in the U.S." eating crow.

Why isn't Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs, who first broke the "fauxtography" scandal out of Lebanon, among Time's "digital democracy" change agents?

After looking at the weak collection of candidates available to vote for as Time's Person of the Year last week (based on what they did in 2006, which wasn't much), I wrote:

Perhaps YouTube, online forums, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and online media should be the Thing of the Year: The Shadow Media. Of course, Time would be writing about its own likely eventual demise, but it would fit.

That's essentially what Time has done in its mostly (in my opinion) good decision to name "You" as Person of the Year:

..... for seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game, TIME's Person of the Year for 2006 is you.

Time named as "You" everyone trying to influence the world just a bit from their keyboard. That would include, to a miniscule degree, yours truly, and, again of course, many people who are reading this post.

Oh-so-predictably, two of the three "hard-news" members of the magazine's "15 citizens of the digital democracy" are influencers from the left side; none are from the right -- sorry, libs, a milblogger is not presumptively "conservative" (direct links may not work unless you have already visited Time's web site):

The MRC's new Culture and Media Institute has already drawn national press attention by making a Christmas list -- not your everyday Christmas list, mind you, but a list of who's been naughty in denying Christmas in the public square, and who's nice in upholding traditions. The list of "Santa's Helpers" and "Grinches" is here. CMI's Kristen Fyfe explained:

Today is the beginning of Hanukkah, so can't let this one pass just in case you missed it...

...but my colleague Julia Seymour has got the Airing of Grievances part down for those of us at the MRC's Business & Media Institute.

The camera pans across a sparkling Christmas tree, then zooms in on singer Clay Aiken, who begins to sing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”: “... and ransom captive Israel … that mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear …”

So which holiday is that about?

ABC’s Kate Snow tiptoed around that question on the November 26 “Good Morning America.”

“We have a special treat for you this morning to get you warmed up for the holiday season,” she said, touting Aiken’s new “holiday” record (title: “All is Well: Songs for Christmas”).

In a new Business & Media Institute analysis, “Good Morning America” was the least likely of the network morning shows to refer to Christmas, mentioning it only about 31 percent of the time.

Julia Roberts to Diane Sawyer on why she avoids killing spiders:

"You think, that’s a person, or somebody’s Mom or somebody’s best pal.” Good Morning America, 12-13-06

For creating a story out of nothing and then finger pointing at US society and saying how evil it is, this Dec. 12th CNN story takes the cake. In "Poll: Most Americans see lingering racism -- in others", not only is a somewhat leading poll cited as evidence that America is still rife with racism, but CNN uses comments emailed to them by their viewers as some sort of follow up proof for it!

Cato the Elder famously dragged Carthage into every speech, calling for it to be destroyed. Like a modern-day Cato who has played the DVD of "An Inconvenient Truth" way too many times, The Boston Globe manages to drag global warming into an editorial this morning about, of all things, the baby that Mary Cheney is expecting.

Ana Marie Cox of "Time" magazine asserted that the pregnancy of Mary Cheney, the lesbian daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, shames the White House and pondered whether it was a "...genetic experiment to extend the lineage," on Tuesday’s "Imus in the Morning." Cox, appearing in the 6:00 hour, alluded to Ms.

Well, at least he didn't blame it on Bush. In his column of yesterday, Market Watch's Jon Friedman tells us not to rule out this explanation of CBS Evening News's disappointing third-place finish under Katie Couric's baton:

Those looking for a true conservative to enter the Republican presidential field might be feeling a bit perplexed in the wake of Sam Brownback's performance on this morning's Fox News Sunday. The senator from Kansas: