Among political consultants, the general rule of thumb is that a disapproval rating of 40% spells a candidate's near-certain defeat.  After all, virtually no one who disapproves of a candidate will vote for him, while approving of someone is no guarantee of a vote.



Yellow journalism at its finest:

KOLKATA, India - A group of Indian television journalists gave a man matches and diesel to help him commit suicide in order to get dramatic footage which was later broadcast on the news, police said on Thursday.

The man died from severe burns to his body in hospital in Gaya town in the eastern state of Bihar on Aug. 15, India's Independence Day.

Footage of the man, screaming and writhing in pain as he ran with his back on fire, was aired on several television channels. Police identified the man as Manoj Mishra.

"We have seized footage clearly showing a group of journalists handing over matches and some inflammable substance -- which we later verified to be diesel -- to the victim," acting Gaya police chief P.K. Sinha told Reuters by telephone.

Mishra, who worked as a delivery man, was upset over what he said was a large sum of money owed to him by a state-run dairy farm whose milk he transported to customers, police said.



You're a Connecticut resident, a good citizen but not a political junkie. You scan the Hartford Courant - the state's largest paper - this morning and see the following headline:

'Lamont Spokesman: Blog Photo Offensive'



On the public-access TV show I host, 'Right Angle', the topic this past week was immigration. A Cornell campus radical expressed the view that not only should our borders be completely open, but that we shouldn't screen immigrants for criminal history or even . . . for being known Al-Qaeda members.



Bonneville Radio announced yesterday that it will launch Washington Post Radio on three dial settings in the Washington, DC radio market (1500, 107.7, 104.3). Bonneville currently runs WTOP radio, a 24/7 newsradio station in Washington. Are we about to get the Post's liberal bias on the radio, too? Bonneville executive Joel Oxley said in today's Post story, "It's going to be NPR on caffeine. It will be non-drowsy public radio."



The free weekly tabloid Washington City Paper recently started a new feature, Service Industry, its purpose, "rating D.C.'s houses of worship." Religious readers, however, may sense a bit of condescension, intended or not, in the notion of rating a church service much like it were a play, concert, or film, especially if the church rated by the City Paper's reviewer seems to give it bad marks for its conservative or traditional Christian theology.



Fred Barbash at the Washington Post's Supreme Court nomination blog, shows how liberal letters-to-the-editor at various newspapers from around the country contain a stock talking point found on a MoveOn.org grassroots webpage.



While today's Cyber Alert details the media coverage the networks have given Cindy Sheehan---a California woman who lost her son in the war in Iraq last year---Sheehan's previously positive comments about her visit with President Bush last year has caught the attention of the Drudge Report and prompted a reprint by The Reporter newspaper of Vacaville, California, in order to clear up concerns by left-win