Obama/ScarlettAs the city of Denver prepares for this week's Democratic convention, numerous Hollywood celebs are planning to attend in support of Barack Obama and to advocate for pet issues. Gushes Variety,

When Barack Obama accepts the nomination before some 75,000 people at a Denver stadium on Thursday, he'll be surrounded by a contingent of average Americans from all walks of life --- just not Hollywood performers, musicians and other famous figures who have so publicly championed his candidacy.

So what, exactly, will be the role of celebrity during the week of the Democratic National Convention?

This doesn't qualify as any kind of surprise, but it should be noted nonetheless.

Thursday, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama gave a stunningly downbeat assessment of the nation's overall situation in a response to a seven year-old girl who asked him why he is running for president. Obama's media water-carriers have virtually ignored his very telling response, one that is reminiscent of Jimmy Carter's gloomiest, malaise-based assessments of America during his awful presidency.

Here is a rundown of what happened from Ed Morrissey of Hot Air (direct YouTube link to relevant video is here):

How do you make the foreclosure crisis seem even scarier? Add in a potentially deadly virus.

CBS's "The Early Show," reported August 7 that a new stronger strain of the West Nile virus could spread across the country with help from the neglected pools found in foreclosed homes in California.

"Apparently ... as more and more homes are passing into foreclosure and there are many, and many of those homes have backdoor pools, these are being neglected," Dr. Alton Baron of Roosevelt Hospital Center told co-host Maggie Rodriguez. "They're not being maintained and this can become a ripe feeding ground and breeding ground for these mosquito populations."

Baron added that the new strain of the virus "invades the brain and spinal cord" and listed other horrific symptoms including nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, rashes, disorientation, severe muscle weakness, fatigue or even paralysis.

Mosquitoes, which breed in stagnant water, pass on West Nile to animals and humans when they feed off fowl that have the virus in their blood.

Foreclosures in the state of California may have hit a record high, but there are signs of a change-signs "The Early Show" ignored.

Nearly two years ago on Newsbusters, I floated a proposal that newspapers require their editorial and other writers to police themselves for accuracy by requiring them to turn in footnotes with their copy. The process would force writers to check information they think they know that isn't so.

Talk about finding every reason to push the war on climate change. National Public Radio President Kevin Klose found a way to get at the sensibilities of southern California commuters - by telling them global warming will make driving even worse.

Klose was a panelist at the forum "Covering a Changing Climate: The Media Challenge" held at Harvard University in Boston, Mass., on April 30. He said the effects of climate change will include migration from the south and cause a U.S. population boom of 100 million people. Klose told the audience this would be the subject of a series on NPR.

"We're going to do a unique one-week series called ‘The Next Hundred Million,' because in the next 30 years, absent of anything else, there will be another hundred million people living inside the United States of America," Klose said.

Old Media business reporters have a definitionally-incorrect habit of labeling single industries or economic sectors as being "in recession," when the term, as defined here, can only describe national economies or the world economy. Two examples of this are New York Times reporter David Leonhardt's description of manufacturing as being in recession in February 2007 (laughably incorrect, in any event), and the Times's employment of the term "housing recession" 25 times since October 2006, as seen in this Times search (with the phrase in quotes).

But if I wanted to be consistent with this routine form of journalistic malpractice, I would characterize the newspaper business -- at least in terms of the top 25 in the industry's food chain -- not as being in recession, but instead as going through a deep, dark, painful, protracted depression.

Yesterday, Gateway Pundit noticed what he called an "Uh-Oh... This wasn't supposed to happen" event for presidential candidate Barack Obama:

An amazing article appeared in the mainstream news today. McClatchy actually reported that Obama's church merges Marxism and Christian Gospel and preaches that the white church in America is the Antichrist because it supported slavery and segregation.

That they did. But how did they headline it, and how many McClatchy newspapers actually ran the story?

Margaret Talev's Thursday, March 20 description of the fundamental doctrines of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC) does get right to the point. Talev even goes so far as to question the candidate's motivations for his involvement with the church.

Most importantly, which I why I've bolded the related text, Talev notes that while TUCC's radical and racist philosophies will survive the Rev. Wright's retirement, their continued presence will not deter Obama from continuing to attend:

Sometimes a cough is just a cough, and sometimes a cough is a way to avoid answering messy questions about the role of your race-baiting, skirt-chasing ex-president husband with a penchant for perjury might have in your White House.

With just 20 seconds to go in a Super Tuesday interview on San Francisco's KTVU-TV, interviewer Ross McGowan asked, “How will you use your husband, Bill Clinton, in the administration?” As soon as McGowan mentioned Bill's name, Hillary's theatrical and oddly persistent coughing began--and coincidentally continued until time ran out.

Alas, the potentially uncomfortable answer to McGowan's question never came. Gossip site TMZ.com posted the video of Hillary Clinton's health crisis.



Planned Parenthood Golden Gate (PPGG) has unveiled what it calls an “edgy” TV and radio campaign that “focuses on the importance of practicing pregnancy prevention and safer sex.”

Except that the words “pregnancy” and “safe sex” are never spoken.  And the pitch man in the “Mile High campaign” is flamingly gay. The TV ad is being run on MTV, VH-1, Comedy Central and TLC, and the radio ad is running on KMEL-FM, a San Francisco station.  See if you can find the purported "sexual health" education messages in the ad. 

Here is the text of the commercial: (click here to see the video)

A hard-hitting subscription-only editorial in the Wall Street Journal today needs some reinforcement.

That's because Californians relying on Old Media for their news about the Golden State's dire financial situation are being conditioned to believe that only a tax increase will solve the state's problems.

The latest offering in that regard is a Field poll covered at the San Jose Mercury News and the San Francisco Chronicle, headlined "Many voters think deficit fix will require higher taxes" and "Voters resigned to higher taxes to solve budget crisis," respectively. Those headlines conveniently obscure the fact that the margin of those believing that tax increases are necessary vs. those who think that the answer is totally in spending cuts is only 48%-43%.

Here is some of what the Journal had to say:

Barely four years after California's historic recall of sitting Governor Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger's landslide election to replace him, the Golden State is, again, in a budget crunch of its own making.

Oh, it's not as bad as the Gray days -- yet. The $35 billion budget deficit Davis papered over long enough to win reelection in 2002 over Bill Simon, with the help of the state's ignorant and non-inquisitive news media, is 2-1/2 times higher than the $14 billion gap the state is facing over the next 18 months.

The state's Old Media, as would be expected, is moaning about cuts that might have to be made, obsessing over the possibility that "universal health care" might be derailed, and of course giving visibility to anyone and everyone who thinks even more taxes will solve the problem.

As has been the case for well over a decade, nobody that I know of in California's Old Media is considering the idea that the state is paying the price for failing to sufficiently go along with the rest of the country in aggressively reducing welfare rolls. But the numbers support the idea that if the state had done what the rest of the country has "somehow" done without visible suffering, it would be in a much better situation.

(A table and graphs illustrating the situation are after the jump.)