The New York Times' reliably pro-illegal immigrant reporter Julia Preston, fresh from using a survey compiled by a (unlabeled) Hillary presidential pollster to make a pro-illegal immigrant argument, returned to the beat Saturday with "Farmers Call Crackdown On Illegal Workers Unfair," which located another odd angle to defend amnesty for illegals -- it will hurt agribusiness.



The network morning shows all hyped up the recent remarks from Republican Senator Richard Lugar that the war in Iraq is not going well. ABC’s "Good Morning America" ran a brief story and noted that Republican Senator George Voinovich followed as well.



The network anchors have found their new favorite Republican: Senator Richard Lugar, whose call for a change in policy direction on Iraq led the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts on Tuesday. Referring to Lugar's remarks Monday night on the Senate floor which were later echoed by Republican Senator George Voinovich, ABC anchor Charles Gibson engaged in some hyperbole as he teased: “Tonight, a Republican rebellion over the war: More Senators say the mission in Iraq is no longer in America's best interest.” With “Tipping Point?” on screen, Gibson bucked up Lugar's credibility: “There is no more respected Republican Senator in the area of foreign policy than Indiana's Richard Lugar. Senator Lugar took the floor of the U.S. Senate last night to say for the first time that he feels the U.S. Iraq policy is not working and U.S. troops should start coming home.”

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams matched Gibson's esteem for Lugar: “He's been around a long time, he doesn't speak out often, and so when he does, people listen up. Last night, in the U.S. Senate chamber, Senator Lugar gave a speech in which the respected Republican broke with the President on the Iraq war. Today, another Republican Senator did the same, and so tonight many are wondering if we're witnessing the beginning of some kind of turning point?” Williams earlier teased the newscast with the same formulation: “Is this a turning point in the war?” NBC, however, has a poor record of picking Iraq war “turning points.” In 2005 the network hailed Cindy Sheehan's protest near Bush's ranch as a “turning point” and last October Williams heralded comments from Senator John Warner as he asked: “Is this a new turning point?”



Why is it that conservative characters on prime time television, what few of them there are, almost always end up "evolving" into fuzzy liberals? "Entertainment Weekly" columnist Mark Harris asked that very question in the current issue of the media magazine [Emphasis added]:



It's always curious when liberal-media types start hailing the brilliance of conservatives when their arguments line up with liberal wishes. Since the Jack Abramoff plea, both Newt Gingrich and National Review Online have suggested it would be nice for House Republicans to find a Majority Leader with a more reformist image. To MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews, these people are suddenly brilliant and impressive, as he declared in a "Today" pundit segment on Friday.