The McClatchy publishing company is more and more beginning to resemble an isolated bunker in the final stages of Götterdämmerung as ugly reality, such as their 99% stock price plunge, closes in on both fronts. Inside the bunker a leader is screaming madly, conjuring up phantom armies to ward off the unpleasant facts facing his company. However, in this case their ranting leader in the bunker isn't McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt who is probably already quietly contemplating his permanent exile with his surfboard off the coast of Satellite Beach but Howard Weaver (photo), the outgoing VP of News at that company. So what set off this latest outburst in the closing act of the Twilight of the Clods? According to McClatchy Watch, it was a Web post by Jeff Jarvis at the Buzz Machine commenting on the fiscal woes of the newspaper industry including McClatchy:

Employees of McClatchy publishing in Iraq were in an unusually good mood recently. The occasion was the aftermath of the Iraqi journalist who tossed his shoes at President Bush at a press conference in Baghdad as you can see in these quotes from Inside Iraq, a blog for McClatchy journalists working in that country. The first quote was from McClatchy employee, "Laith," who was talking about his colleagues and the rest of the quotes were from commentors who may or may not be employed by McClatchy:

Some of the guys were happy and they were talking about the bravery of the journalist who threw his shoes at the American president. When I tried to explain my opinion, I was trying to tell the guys that I don't agree with the way the journalist behaved, but I was attacked by them. One of them said "come on Laith, Bush destroyed Iraq". Another said "he deserves more" while a third one said "he is an occupier." I tried to tell to tell they guys that this is an inslut for Maliki.

The "Shoe heard round the world" was an important symbolic event. I felt his action was appropriate and restrained considering the circumstances.

I applauded this act. I don't care that it is rude. Why are we concerned about etiquette when a country was destroyed? Did Bush ever apologize to the Iraqis for the hundreds of thousands of dead? Bush is an occupier, a clown pretending to be a hero, so enclosed in his own little self-certain world he probably was surprised an Iraqi could be that angry. I am not surprised. I am only surprised such a thing did not happen earlier. 

Last week, the Detroit Free Press's Web site posted "Which books would Palin want to ban?," a column by syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts Jr.  Pitts begins with a series of possible questions for Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.  Then he makes his point:

My first question, though, would not be one of those. I'd simply ask which books she wants to ban -- and why.

Yes, there's a list of titles floating around the Internet right now, but it's a fake. It is, however, established fact that our would-be vice president has in the past tried to pull books off library shelves.

On PBS's Web site today, ombudsman Michael Getler writes of complaints over an incident during last Sunday's pledge drive.  He describes the cheap shot taken by actor Mike Farrell against vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin:

According to Joseph Campbell, vice president of fundraising programs, here's what happened:

On The Situation Room today, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer made a surprising admission to, of all people, real estate entrepreneur Donald Trump:
BLITZER: What do you think of his (Obama's) decision to pick Joe Biden as his running mate?

You... yes, you reading this right now. McClatchy wants you to know you are mean to them, your mistrust of them is merely egged on by a sly political tactic, and you fall for it because you only get your news from an "ideologically tailored" source. In other words, they are telling you that you are misinformed, mean-spirited, easily led... well, they are telling you that you are stupid. And then they wonder why people don't trust them!

In "McCain campaign systematically targets the news media," McClatchy writers Steven Thomma and Margaret Talev decided to try and explain why the Republicans are attacking the media with their basic conclusion being that it is an unfair convention that the GOP has employed at least since Spiro T. Agnew (of "Nattering nabobs of negativity" fame) was VP. But, despite the truth staring them in the face, they explain away the ire Americans have with the Old Media.

 On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia.  Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:

CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.

MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.

Rarely do the media put their institutional political bias on public display, but this past weekend, America's news industry titans left no doubt that they're fully behind one of the nation's most radical cultural and political movements. 

ABC, AP, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the corporate owners of USA Today, the Miami Herald, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Sacramento Bee, The Dallas Morning News and many other newspapers, all spent thousands of dollars sponsoring the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association convention in Washington, D.C.  Many journalists from these Big Media mainstays attended or spoke at the convention. 

In the name of "diversity," all the organizations listed above ran recruiting booths, as did NPR.  Thus, the nation's major news providers demonstrated that they have bought into the central proposition of homosexual activists: that people engaging in homosexuality or bisexuality, along with transsexuals, are a historically oppressed minority group deserving the same preferential treatment and legal protections that society provides to ethnic minorities and women.

UpDownGraphs.jpegRush Limbaugh's new deal with Clear Channel, as flashed by Drudge (also covered or addressed here and here at NewsBusters; here at the New York Times; and here in a very long New York Times magazine article), is north of $400 million for the next eight years.

Good tax planning too: Maharushie will get his reported nine-figure signing bonus this year before a possible President Obama does his hundreds of billions in damage. Limbaugh's tax savings, if the bonus is $100 million and Obama gets everything he wants, would be a hair under $17 mil (12.4% Social Security on all but $148,000, plus the 4.6% planned increase in the top rate).

One conclusion you can reach, based on what newspaper industry watcher Newsosaur told us earlier this week, is that Old Media covering the Limbaugh story is like zombies covering the living (link in excerpt was in original):

The word first popped up in a big way in the 2004 election to explain John Kerry's flip-flops on the issues. See, according to the liberals when a Democrat flip-flops it is really a matter of perception.

McClatchy Newspapers won the MRC’s 2008 Dan Rather Award for the Stupidest Analysis for its article spinning the success of the troop surge in Iraq as bad news for Iraqi gravediggers. Apparently the editors are aiming for a repeat performance at next year’s program.

In his June 26 article, writer Stephen Thomma, on the recently released debate proposal by the Commission on Presidential Debates, found a stature problem for the Illinois senator should he agree to sit-down townhall debates.

Here’s the relevant excerpt from "Under Debate Plan, Obama Loses Height Advantage":

Noel Sheppard of NewsBusters posted Saturday on Barack Obama's tirade against Fox News.

The underlying report by Ryan Alessi of McClatchy's Lexington Herald-Leader also contained this nugget (HT National Review' Online's Media Blog), showing that the candidate's basic geography challenges continue:

Obama conceded that he has a steep challenge to get his message and background to voters in states such as Kentucky — where he trails Sen. Hillary Clinton by 27 points, according to a poll published earlier this week — and West Virginia, where voters chose Clinton over Obama by 40 points on Tuesday.

"What it says is that I'm not very well known in that part of the country," Obama said. "Sen. Clinton, I think, is much better known, coming from a nearby state of Arkansas. So it's not surprising that she would have an advantage in some of those states in the middle."

Trouble is, as a look at a US map (with territories) shows, Arkansas may be "nearby," but Obama's home state of Illinois is "adjacent":