The mainstream media seemed to have settled on the sobriquet of “youths” to describe the people who are in their 13th night of burning cars, buildings, and in one instance a handicapped woman, in cities across France. Of course, it is hard to get an exact demographic profile of rioters on the run; however, reports on those who have been arrested are that only 30% are under 21.


Today in Paris, the Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF) issued a fatwa, or religious decree, against the participation of Muslims in the 10 days of rioting and arson in France. Typical of the mainstream media coverage of this action, is this report from Reuters:

“One of France's largest Islamic groups issued a fatwa against rioting on Sunday after officials suggested Muslim militants could be partly to blame for violent protests scarring poor neighbourhoods around the country.



Picking up on a Wednesday Washington Post story about how “the CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe,” on Inside Washington this weekend NPR’s Nina Totenberg declared her shame of her country: “We have now violated everything that we stand for. It is the first time in my life I have been ashamed of my country." Totenberg’s first thought about Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito: "We know he's very conservative." She also managed to squeeze in her near-weekly blast at tax cuts as she chided the Senate for how it “cut $35 billion from the poorest people in the country and food stamps and things like that and at the same time they're going to try to cut, boost tax, tax cuts for the wealthiest people in this country by $70 billion." In fact, the Senate proposal is only an effort to slow the rate of spending growth.

Appearing on the same show, Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas asserted that Bush’s decision to dump Harriet Miers “takes him from stand-up guy to tool of the right.” Thomas urged Bush to move left and drop Rove who “is the problem because Rove's entire engine is to polarize the country.” Thomas recommended: “If he's ever going to moderate, and if he's ever going to create any kind of national unity, Rove is going to have to go."

Video of Totenberg’s “ashamed” comment, in Real or Windows Media. [UPDATE, 9:25pm EST Saturday: Version of show with ads ends seconds before Totenberg's "ashamed" remark. Details below.]
 



It is a fact that the majority of the "youths" and "gangs" who have been rioting outside Paris for a week now are Muslims.

You will not find that fact reported directly in this Washington Post story.

You will read the rioters called "gangs of youths", "rioters", "immigrants", and "poor" and that's it.



It's not every day a major al Qaeda figure with a huge bounty on his head gets captured, so when that happens, you'd expect it to lead the news. But apparently not at CBS, where the Early Show led instead with President Bush's latest poll numbers and the Lewis "Scooter" Libby court appearance today.

First, the teasers from the opening credits tipped off the readers to which story the Early Show found more important:



On Sunday's The Chris Matthews Show, Norah O’Donnell claimed that Wolfowitz and Libby were "two of the angriest people" over the fact the US did not take out Saddam in the first Gulf War. The two then shared a laugh over Saddam's capture:

O'DONNELL: Two of the angriest people after the first Gulf War that we didn't go in and take out Saddam were Paul Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby. They've been holding that grudge ---

MATTHEWS: I thought Cheney was kind of upset too, wasn't he?

O'DONNELL: Yes, but not publicly. BUT Wolfowitz and Libby were.

MATTHEWS: Well they got their way didn't they?

O'DONNELL: HAHAHA! (Eerie laugh)

*****
At the end of the show, Chris Matthews said the milestone of 2,000 dead troops is the reason why we should pull out of Iraq now.

I wish the morality of this was clear for all to see, that the loss of these happy faces makes by it self the case against this war.

DOWNLOAD .WMV



For those who have read or seen a lot of press reports since the announcement of the indictments against I. Lewis Libby on Friday, you have likely observed a growing number of quotes from White House “aides” and “insiders” concerning a state of panic and disarray within the administration. Yet, most of these reports do not give the names of the sources, and, instead, suggest that the informants wish to retain anonymity due to the current environment within the White House.



In the upcoming issue of Newsweek, senior editor Jonathan Alter suggests that the tactics of the Bush administration have acted to lessen democracy in America.



Yesterday, Harriet Miers withdrew as a Supreme Court nominee. Today, Lewis Libby has been indicted by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. So how do Keith Olbermann and Craig Crawford explain the lack of any terror alerts to distract the public from this bad news?



In introducing Joe Scarborough this morning, Katie Couric described him a "former Republican congressman." After witnessing his performance, one is prompted to ask: was "former" intended to modify "congressman," or "Republican"? In any case, Scarborough was living proof of the adage that the kind of Republicans welcome on the Today show are those willing to take swipes at the Bush administration. Scarborough did so in spades this morning. Speaking of the Plame investigation, Katie asked, in her best butter-wouldn't-melt-in-her-mouth ingenue tone:


Tom Gross notes in this week's Spectator (London) that for some reason, if you're Jewish, your death in a terror attack is likely to get a lot less attention ("Dead Jews Aren't News"):

Even though Thaler was a British citizen, born in London, where her grandparents still live, her death has never been mentioned in a British newspaper.

Rachel Corrie, on the other hand, an American radical who died in 2003 while acting as a human shield during an Israeli anti-terror operation in Gaza, has been widely featured in the British press. According to the Guardian website, she has been written about or referred to on 57 separate occasions in the Guardian alone, including three articles the Saturday before last.