:: ::


"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." --C.S. Lewis
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:: Thursday, September 30, 2004 ::

On a scale from one to ten...

Kerry 9.5, Bush 8.5. Kerry will get a 3-5 point bump. Not sure what this means but the IEM seems to be reacting to the debate already.

The conservative bloggers, of course, are giving Kerry the win by a hair but I'd weight it a little more in Kerry's favor--and you've got to figure the press will paint Kerry's (merely) competent performance as a full-blown knockdown giving him at least a weeks worth of lauditory press; this will tend to undermine Bush's numbers going into the next debate. The Kerry team has to be thrilled with the outcome of the first debate.

Ya, I know, Lehrer was throwing Kerry softballs but Bush should've expected PBS wouldn't do him any favors. And it must be admitted Bush is dangerously inarticulate--he didn't blow it entirely but he didn't help himself either (somebody needs to tell him to watch-out for the reaction shots--he looked mighty goofy with the pursed lips/beady eyes routine while Kerry was talking).

:: Max 10:11 PM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 ::
Orange Face Update

The Dems just keep feeding the Blogosphere and OrangeFaceGate is no exception. Of course, Hugh Hewitt has some pithy thoughts as does Blogs of War. Looks like they've resurrected the Oompa Loompa song in Kerry's honor.

:: Max 11:05 PM [+] ::
Conservative African American Blogger

La Shawn Barber has an interesting perspective on conservatism-drop in for a visit [>]

:: Max 10:27 PM [+] ::
:: Sunday, September 26, 2004 ::
"voter fraud on a massive scale"

Powerline reports on a huge, Democrat, voter-fraud scheme emerging in Wisconsin [>]

:: Max 3:41 PM [+] ::
Instapundit points to Mark Steyn on the new left:
"This new crowd -- Democrats and media alike -- are stunted and parochial, their horizons shriveling more every day."

RTWT [>]

:: Max 1:09 PM [+] ::

Here's an excerpt from an astonishingly great NRO column by our hero, Victor Davis Hanson:

"Worse than being duped, worse than cobbling together a highly politicized hit-piece during a war and in the waning days of an election, worse than the shady nature of the "unimpeachable" sources and the likely sordid origins of the story, and worse even than the pathetic nature of CBS's "expert" witnesses — worse than all that was Rather's ten-day denial of reality, culminating in the surreal half-admission that the phony documents could not be verified as accurate. That's the equivalent of saying that a corpse cannot be proven to be alive.


First CBS went into denial; then it tried to smear its critics; next it emulated the Nixonian two-step; and finally it stonewalled altogether, hoping that the 24-hour news buzz would fade before it ultimately did. Meanwhile, more and more Americans yawn and have already switched the channel to cable news. We keep waiting for Mike Wallace on Sunday's 60 Minutes to stare down Dan Rather on the set of Tuesday's 60 Minutes, sticking his mike in Dan's face, springing on him a long list of his previously unknown sins, capped off with the zoom shot on a fidgety, sweating Rather, as the tick, tick, tick fades into a primetime commercial.

The Big Three may deride the newsreaders at Fox as blond bimbos, but millions of Americans learned long ago that there are probably more liberals on Fox than conservatives on PBS, NPR, CBS, ABC, and NBC combined — and the former are honest about politics in a way the latter are not."

It's a classic. By all means, read the whole thing [>]

:: Max 11:40 AM [+] ::
:: Saturday, September 25, 2004 ::
MSM Blinded by Ideology

This LGF post really says it all; MSM's in a state of utter denial. I, for one, like them in this position--delusional--catatonic--insular. Check it out [>]

:: Max 10:38 PM [+] ::
World Media Crisis

If you think we've got it bad with RatherGate and the rest of the pretentious, blow-dryed media icons, spend some time with the European media--you'll be longing for the good old days of 'biased' American network news.

German media unable to make distinction between democracy and dictatorship via David's MedienKritik:

"Isn’t this what we have been saying all along? This is shocking stuff folks, plain and simple. How can we believe anything coming from a media that “barely draws distinctions between democracy and dictatorship?” How can we trust a media that reports not as an objective body, but as an extension of its government? How can we trust a media that fails to adequately provide Germans with even the most basic information as to why the US and England acted the way that they did? And how can we trust a media that portrays Saddam Hussein’s reign of tyranny, war, torture and mass-murder on a grand scale as significantly better than the new Iraq’s difficult first steps towards democracy? The answer is: We can’t!

Well, at least the Germans appear to be catching on. The French, on the other hand are hopeless. No Pasaran quotes Le Monde, (Aljazeera on the Seine) on Allawi's address to congress:

"Ayad Allawi, head of the interim Iraqi government, behaved as an electoral agent of George W. Bush's Thursday Septrember 23, in Washington. Before the Congress, then during a press conference in the White House, and in a television interview, he lauded the American president, he repeated all the Republicans' arguments to justify the war, and he accused the media of "giving oxygen to the terrorists" by exaggerrating the importance of the insurrection.

Mr Allawi's visit was nothing other than an episode in the presidential campaign."

The French really are clueless--in fact, I think their moving into negative-clue territory.

:: Max 9:43 AM [+] ::
I blog, you become perplexed and irate.

:: Max 8:29 AM [+] ::
:: Friday, September 24, 2004 ::
Chilling Report from Alaa

They are roaming the streets and attacking at a fearful rate. Imagine two or three car bombing per day; this is too much. This is not just terrorism; it is a frenzy of hate and mass murder. One is surrounded by fear from all sides; fear seems to pervade the atmosphere; the air itself seems so thick with it; you smell it, you breath it, you live with it constantly. These are masters of terror. For as long as I remember we have been living in this atmosphere. It is not just now but in the old days of the regime also. Fear has been the weapon and method of these people. Of course the ones who are doing this now are the same, the same old operatives; past masters at intimidation and terrorism. One of the important principles of their art is to vary the methods of torture, so that people don’t get too accustomed to only one type and perhaps by this lose some of the poignancy of the feeling of fear.


We are being treated with new forms of torture, and new kinds of horror. It was not just Saddam, but whole tribes and hordes of sick vampires. Saddam was removed and captured but the hordes and tribes are still there, let loose and now without even a Saddam to control them. They are running wild, unchecked and uncontrollable. God have mercy upon us. At these times the vision of the early Christians thrown to the lions comes to mind; the defenseless men, women and children clinging to each other while the Romans (in this case the Arabs), watched with sadistic pleasure the grisly spectacle from their comfortable seats in the amphitheatre. But the Christian faith was not defeated; soon afterwards it was triumphant all over the Western World. Triumph seemed to issue from the torn flesh and open wounds of the children of the early Christian Martyrs brutalized by the beasts of the cruel,decadent, expiring, pagan civilization. Although the lions did tear and devour, yet it was pagan Rome that died and Christianity that lived and conquered the world. Faith proved to be the more potent weapon.

And so it shall be here, so it shall be here, God’s willing, and in God we trust.

Alaa and his neighbors are in harms way--you might want to say a little prayer for this Iraqi blogger and his family. Here's the whole post entitled Faith [>]

:: Max 3:48 PM [+] ::
Victor Davis Hanson on the UN

Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, is...a symbol of all that is wrong with the United Nations. A multi-billion dollar oil-for-food fraud, replete with kickbacks (perhaps involving a company that his own son worked for), grew unchecked on his watch, as a sordid array of Baathist killers, international hustlers, and even terrorists milked the national petroleum treasure of Iraq while its own people went hungry. In response, Mr. Annan stonewalls, counting on exemption from the New York press on grounds of his unimpeachable liberal credentials. Meanwhile, he prefers to denigrate the toppling of Saddam Hussein as illegal, but neither advocates reinstitution of a “legal” Saddam nor offers any concrete help to Iraqis crafting consensual society. Like the UN membership itself, he enjoys the freedom, affluence, and security of a New York, but never stops to ask why that is so or how it might be extended to others less fortunate.

Classic VDH--read the whole thing [>]

:: Max 3:29 PM [+] ::
Dems ratchet up the voter fraud machine

Democrat voter fraud is practically an accepted practice in many urban precincts. Powerline has this disturbing report from the Cleaveland Plain Dealer [>]

:: Max 2:26 PM [+] ::
More Snobbish Insularity

The American Spectator weighs-in on RatherGate and MSMs arrogant response to it. Hat tip to NRO's John Derbyshire.

:: Max 9:21 AM [+] ::
Blast From The Past

Roger L. Simon has a timely reminder of what we are fighting in the middle-east--with so much going on, it's easy to forget barbaric incidents like the destruction of the enormous Bhuddist statues in Afghanistan or the U.N.s blind venality [>]

:: Max 9:02 AM [+] ::
Paypal Threatens Conservative Blogger

Paypal has threatened to terminate their relationship with conservative blogger DailyPundit for 'hate speech' although the company has yet to provide evidence of the offending remarks. This is exactly the kind of arrogant behavior that has alienated so many Paypal users (I'll be looking for alternatives immediately). Hat tip Instapundit. Here's the link to DailyPundit [>]

Instapundit also links to JunkyardBlog which has an update on Micheal Moore's sordid career. If his 'docuganda' wasn't enough to turn your stomach, this'll do the trick [>]

Of course, this new effort will simultaneously enrich Moore while endagering our troops--exactly the scheme that he accuses of Bush and Chaney. Michael Moore is just a despicable human being.

:: Max 8:36 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, September 23, 2004 ::
Conservative Bloggers

Wired's Adam Penenburg considers the new role of conservative bloggers as media watchdogs:

"This isn't the first time that blogs have kept an issue alive. The first blog-driven controversy caused the fall of Trent Lott when bloggers located quotes from previous speeches that many believed were racist. Another led to The New York Times op-ed page instituting a policy on corrections for its columnists.

Whether a blog leans left, right or sideways, as a collective force they are working to keep reporters honest. Journalists may not like their methods -- having your work sliced and diced in public is no fun -- but the end result may be better-quality news.

Just ask Mr. Rather what happens if the facts in a story don't hold up to scrutiny."

It's notable that few if any "liberal" blogs have managed to change anything fundamental about media, politics or much else for that matter.

:: Max 8:31 AM [+] ::
Disruptive Technolgy

During a session at yesterday's Forecast 2005 entitled "Disruptive Technologies," a group of panelists debated the impact of various technologies such as DVRs and targeting software on the media business.

The resolve presented to the group was: "Emerging technologies will completely break down the last vestiges of mass media and mass marketing." Panelists were not completely sold on this notion, but they universally agreed that the TV business in particular was set to undergo tremendous change.

RTWT [>]

:: Max 8:26 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, September 21, 2004 ::
Sorry for the light blogging but I've been in and out of town for the past 48 hours. Back out again tomarrow and home late. In the meantime, just click around on the blogroll and you're likely to come up with stuff just like this [>]

:: Max 11:35 PM [+] ::

Here's a bogus email being circulated on college campuses nationwide. Of course, not only is this legislation being sponsored exclusively by Democrats, they've leveraged it to frighten and intimidate young people into voting for their lackluster candidate. BetsysPage has the scoop:

Mandatory draft for boys and girls (ages18-26) starting June 15, 2005

There is pending legislation in the House and Senate, S89 and HR 163,to reinstate mandatory draft for boys and girls (ages18-26) starting June 15, 2005. This plan includes women in the draft, eliminates higher education as a shelter, and makes it difficult to cross into Canada.

The Bush administration is quietly trying to get these bills passed now, while the public's attention is on the elections. The Bush administration plans to begin mandatory draft in the spring of 2005, just after the 2004 presidential election.

The Congress has added $28 million to the 2004 selective service system budget to prepare for this military draft that could start as early as June 15, 2005.

Bush has ordered the Selective Service to report to him by March 31, 2005 on their readiness to implement the draft by June 2005

The pentagon has quietly begun a public campaign to fill all 10,350 draft board positions and 11,070 appeals board slots nationwide.

Please act on this:

Tell everyone you know - parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents,
godparents, friends, teachers

Call and write to your U.S. Senator and your U.S. Representatives and ask them why they aren't telling their constituents about these bills

As Betsy points out, this legislation has no chance of passing. It's just another duplicitous scheme to attract voters by fear and intimidation--it's all the Dems have to offer.

:: Max 11:17 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, September 20, 2004 ::

You gotta stop for a minute and think about RatherGate--It's bad. Were the shoe on the Republican foot, the liberal media would most certainly make it the central issue of this Presidential campaign cycle, likely tilting the election in favor of the Democrats. However, because the scandal damages Kerry, MSM is poo-pooing the radical implications of collusion by a major media icon as if it were merely an understandible mistake! The gall.

I could give a damn about Rather--he's always been a surrealistic clown--a buffoonish characature right up there with Andy Rooney and Larry King. It's far more disconcerting to me that an American electorate would roll-over and accept this stunning mutation of the truth without insisting on punitative consequences for those who would perpetrate such an outlandish scheme. If it's ultimately proven that CBS was colluding with the Kerry campaign, Rather and his minions should be ostracized from the profession of journalism as Pete Rose was ostracized from the sport of baseball--for ever.

If it's true--if Rather cheated, if Rather lied, and if Rather attempted to manipulate a contentious Presidential election--fair-minded Americans will insist the participants pay a steep price for their arrogant abuse of the public trust.

:: Max 9:34 PM [+] ::
Request For Clarification

"We're not going to continue to have people coming in the back door."

Sen. John Edwards

Well...apparently he said it...

:: Max 7:21 PM [+] ::
This just in

Drudge is reporting--and he's even using a red font--that the New York Times is now reporting that CBS is now acknowledging that 60 Minutes has been duped! No--I'm not kidding--It now appears the Rather documents were fakes!

Boy, I'll bet it won't take long for this to get around the internet--there's all kinds of guys sitting around in their PJs just waiting for Dan Rather to break a story like this one! Sure am glad old Rather's on the case--might not have ever known otherwise...he sure is a smart fella...I'm told he flew all the way to Texas to get the scoop...they're now saying maybe somebody did this ON PURPOSE if you can believe that...I can't believe somebody would try to fake ole Dan out...what in the world were THEY thinking...maybe they thought Rather wouldn't notice that the documents were forgeries...maybe they thought it would be easy to slip forgeries past the legendary anchorman...boy were they wrong...he's all over this story like ticks on a Aunt Bessie's sheep-dog...

:: Max 1:38 AM [+] ::
Hurricane Blogger

One of the best regional blogs by far, Florida Cracker, has been pretty busy lately. Get updated on how the folks in Florida are coping with the aftermath of Ivan [>]

All the sudden I'm hungry for a Grouper sandwich at the Cherry Pocket. (Those who know will understand.)

:: Max 1:10 AM [+] ::
:: Sunday, September 19, 2004 ::


"...the most frequent command in the Koran"


But how are we going to reform Islam if we can't guarantee some minimum level of safety for thinkers? How are we going to do this without freedom of speech? I'm not talking about the danger from a conservative society, as I believe that you can communicate with people and present new ideas in tactful ways without a very serious risk, but I'm talking about the danger that comes from dictators who do not want anyone to think for himself and come up with some new ideas that may disrupt the 'peace' they worked so hard to create in their kingdoms. We need to at least remove these tyrants before any reform could be even possible. They won't accept any change in the curriculum, for instance, that would endanger their positions, and the changes we think about definitely will do that. We have all seen their reaction to the change in Iraq; how terrified they are and how desperately they try to stop the change in Iraq. That should give us an idea of how they are going to deal with it in their own lands.

From Iraq the Model on the corruption of Islamism [>]

:: Max 11:29 PM [+] ::
Movie Review

"out of all the films people would love to see, the authorities had to go for this one--just because this film is in line with the view of the Islamic regime."

Sima Gharavi, a 24-year-old Iranian comments on Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11

And this from Iraq the Model:

"I really don't know why you have to cheat to make the people believe you coz the whole world knew how the Iraqi people suffered from Saddam and you try to show that they were happy with him! In the same superficial manner you used to show that Iraq was a happy place, one could use the pictures of children singing around Stalin celebrating his birthday to show that people loved Stalin and they were happy..."

Via No Pasaran [>]

:: Max 11:08 PM [+] ::
Civil War

Hammorabi is warning that Iraq is on the verge of a civil war. Looks like the Sunnis are attacking Shia at will:

"In the last few days many Shais have been either killed or exposed to intimidation or threats in many areas in Baghdad, and other parts of Iraq.
In Al-Latifyiah city South of Baghdad many have been killed. Now the insurgents there are attacking every car holding a plate number belongs to Shiite cities like Najaf and Kerbala."

The Iraqi bloggers have been very accurate in their predictions. Hammorabi goes on to say that if the Iraq conflict explodes inot a full-blown civil war, the chaos will likely spread to neighboring regions (Pakistan?). Here's Hammorabi's page [>]

:: Max 6:51 PM [+] ::

Redstone Dumps Viacom Stock

Thomas Lifson is reporting Sumner Redstone exercised stock options and sold 341,500 shares of Viacom on September 14th, the day RatherGate exploded in CBS's face. Here's the American Thinker article with links to the original blogger who uncovered the details of the stock sale [>]

Update: This story is not true. Here's the update from Powerline:

"Hopefully you guys won't fall for this b/s story. Perhaps you are the sole voice of the blogosphere that can try to stop this b/s story that Sumner Redstone, CEO of Viacom sold 300,000 plus shares of stock with a link to an SEC filing to prove it.

What they are seeing is a paper transaction of a stock option being exercised, which is the paper sale of some shares at $35 to cover the lower cost ($15) of the option shares. There was no actual sale of shares, no cash gain, and Redstone will not have to pay taxes as a result of exercising his stock option, which is a common practice in corporate America. The reason for the SEC filing is that he is on the Board of Directors of Viacom...

The entire blogosphere is going to have egg on their faces once the MSM gets hold of this, and they will, to say nothing of what CBS and 60 Minutes will do to us. Maybe your voice and a post can stop this suicidal mania on the blogosphere regarding a stock option exercise...

The Bloggosphere is self-correcting, unlike some sources I know.

:: Max 5:52 PM [+] ::
The 'S' Word

Colin McNickle has some timely thoughts on the word Dems are loath to iterate: Socialism. Here it is [>]

:: Max 1:59 PM [+] ::
impot progressif

Guess who wants to tax YOU. You guessed it [>]

:: Max 1:41 PM [+] ::
UN Update

Never thought I'd come to like Koffi Annan but this just might do the trick.

All levity aside, this report does raise an interesting question; who will be the next Secretary General of the UN? (One thing is certain; Koffi Annan will engineer the transfer of power and you can bet your blue-helmet, whoever he choses, he'll be wholly at odds with American interests--no matter who wins the US Presidency in November).

:: Max 1:27 AM [+] ::
For Every Foreigner 1000 Iraqis

It's hard for Westerners to imagine life under the current circumstances in Iraq. If you want to be on top of the news, check into the Iraqi bloggers daily. Here's the reality of a 'normal' day in Baghdad [>]

:: Max 1:12 AM [+] ::
:: Saturday, September 18, 2004 ::
This is an excerpt from PJ O'Rourke's Peace Kills: America's Fun New Imperialism published in today's Opinion/Telegraph:

"...it's instructive to recall what 10 people who offered themselves as potential leaders of the world deemed to be America's foreign policy options.

Incessant activist Al Sharpton pleaded for "a policy of befriending and creating allies around the world". The way Sharpton intended to make friends was by fixing the world's toilets and sinks. "There are 1.7 billion people that need clean water," he said, "almost three billion that need sanitation systems... I would train engineers... would export people that would help with these things."

Ex-child mayor of Cleveland Dennis Kucinich promised to establish "a cabinet-level Department of Peace". The secretary of peace would do for international understanding what the postmaster general does for mail.

Former one-term senator and erstwhile ambassador to New Zealand Carol Moseley Braun said, "I believe women have a contribution to make... we are clever enough to defeat terror without destroying our own liberty... we can provide for long-term security by making peace everybody's business". Elect me because women are clever busybodies. This is the "Lucy and Ethel Get an Idea" foreign policy.

Massachusetts's thinner, more sober senator, John Kerry, said that he voted for threatening to use force on Saddam Hussein, but that actually using force was wrong. This is what's known, in the language of diplomacy, as bullshit.

Previous almost-vice president Joe Lieberman indignantly demanded that Bush do somewhat more of what Bush already was doing. "Commit more US troops," create "an Iraqi interim authority," and "work with the Iraqi people and the United Nations." Perhaps Lieberman was suffering from a delusion that he was part of the current presidential administration.

But imagine having a Democrat as commander-in-chief during the War Against Terrorism, with Oprah Winfrey as secretary of defence. Big hug for Mr Taliban. Republicans are squares, but it's the squares who know how to fly the bombers, launch the missiles and fire the M-16s. Democrats would still be fumbling with the federally mandated trigger locks.

One-time governor of insignificant Vermont Howard Dean wanted a cold war on terrorism. Dean said that we'd won the Cold War without firing a shot (a statement that doubtless surprised veterans of Korea and Vietnam). Dean said that the reason we'd won the Cold War without firing a shot was because we were able to show the communists "a better ideal."

But what is the "better ideal" that we can show the Islamic fundamentalists? Maybe we can tell them: "Our President is a born-again. You're religious lunatics - we're religious lunatics. America was founded by religious lunatics! How about those Salem witch trials? Come to America and you could be Osama bin Ashcroft. You could get your own state, like Utah, run by religious lunatics. You could have an Islamic Fundamentalist Winter Olympics - the Chador Schuss."

Since the gist of Howard Dean's campaign platform was "It Worked in Vermont," he really may have thought that the terrorists should take up snowboarding. On the other hand, the gist of General (very retired) Wesley Clark's campaign platform was "It Worked in Kosovo". Kosovo certainly taught the world a lesson. Wherever there's suffering, injustice, and oppression, America will show up six months late and bomb the country next to where it's happening.

The winner of South Carolina's JFK look-alike contest, John Edwards, and the winner of Florida's Bob Gramm look-alike contest, Bob Gramm, said that America had won the war in Iraq but was losing the peace because Iraq was so unstable. When Iraq was stable, it attacked Israel in 1967 and 1973. It attacked Iran. It attacked Kuwait. It gassed the Kurds. It butchered the Shiites. It fostered terrorism in the Middle East. Who wanted a stable Iraq?

And perennial representative of the House of Representatives Dick Gephardt wouldn't talk much about foreign policy. He was concentrating on economic issues, claiming that he'd make the American Dream come true for everyone.

Gephardt may have been on to something there. Once people get rich, they don't go in much for war-making. The shoes are ugly and the uniforms itch. Some day, Osama bin Laden will call a member of one of his "sleeper cells" - a person who was planted in the United States years before and told to live like a normal American, and...

"Dad, some guy named Ozzy's on the phone."

"Oh, uh, good to hear from you. Of course, of course... Rockefeller Center?... Next Wednesday?... I'd love to, but the kid's got her ballet recital. You miss something like that, they never forget it... Thursday's no good. I have to see my mom off on her cruise to Bermuda in the morning. It's Fatima's yoga day. And I've got courtside seats for the Nets... Friday, we're going to the Hamptons for the weekend..."

But how, exactly, did Gephardt plan to make everyone on earth as materialistic, self-indulgent, and over-scheduled as Americans? Would Gephardt give foreigners options on hot dot-com stocks? That might have worked during the Clinton years.

As of early 2004, America didn't seem to have the answers for postwar Iraq. Then again, what were the questions?

Was there a bad man? And his bad kids? Were they running a bad country? That did bad things? Did they have a lot of oil money to do bad things with? Were they going to do more bad things?

If those were the questions, was the answer "UN-supervised national reconciliation" or "rapid return to self-rule"? No. The answer was blow the place to bits.

A mess was left behind. But it's a mess without a military to fight aggressive wars; a mess without the facilities to develop dangerous weapons; a mess that cannot systematically kill, torture, and oppress millions of its citizens. It's a mess with a message - don't mess with us.

As frightening as terrorism is, it's the weapon of losers. When someone detonates a suicide bomb, that person does not have career prospects.

And no matter how horrific the terrorist attack, it's conducted by losers. Winners don't need to hijack airplanes. Winners have an air force."

This is an edited extract from Peace Kills: America's Fun New Imperialism by P J O'Rourke (Atlantic), to be published on September 23.

Read the whole amazing thing [>]

:: Max 9:30 PM [+] ::
In his own words

From Dan Rather's August 30th interview in Broadcasting and Cable News magazine. Here are a few excerpts:

On the media's election-coverage performance:

"In the end, what difference does it make what one candidate or the other did or didn't do during the Vietnam War? In some ways, that war is as distant as the Napoleonic campaigns."

Who's setting the agenda:

"Since the beginnings of political coverage, journalists have been captive to some degree by candidates and campaigns. Ethical and principled reporters should come to campaigns trying to separate brass tacks from bull shine. But nobody can do that perfectly. To some extent, journalists and reportage manage the campaigns, and, to some extent, the campaigns manage the coverage."

How low ratings affect news coverage:

"That's just the beginning of my dream list. I don't confuse my dreams with reality. We're getting the maximum we can out of the resources at hand."

--Dan Rather

This thing is ripe with irony and "self parody". B&C link courtesy of The Corner's Michael Graham [>]

:: Max 11:18 AM [+] ::
RatherGate Linked to Democrat Party?

Tim Blair links to a NYT column quoting Bill Burkett's August 21st email admission that he "spent some time on the phone with the Kerry campaign seniors yesterday" and also "talked with Max Cleland" and "I asked if they wanted to counterattack or ride this to ground and outlast it, not spending any money. He said counterattack."

Looks increasingly likely Mr. Burkett might be connected to the forged RatherGate documents. If it is ultimately proven that Burkett was the source of the forgeries, and Rather had even a passing knowlege that the documents were faked and that they came from the Kerry campaign itself, the scandal takes on a whole new scope and scale for Rather, CBS, Viacom and MSM by extension.

Interestingly, until this point the blogosphere has taken the lead on the RatherGate scandal but with the stakes this high, you can bet MSM won't let another giant scoop pass them by so easily.

(Bet Burkett's gonna have tough time getting all those CNN tire-tracks out of his front yard)

More: The Corner points to this CNS News column on the Burket connection.

:: Max 10:34 AM [+] ::
Standard Form 180

Kerry, aided and abetted by a disinterested MSM, continues to refuse to sign Standard Form 180 (SF180), a form signed by President Bush, which would allow the Navy to release all of his service records for public scrutiny. Just One Minute reports on the current state of the investigation [>]

:: Max 10:19 AM [+] ::
CBS Document Scandal Timeline

In what may become a pivotal moment in the history of journalism, the Weekly Standard's Jonathan Last has a blow-by-blow, account of how bloggers exposed the RatherGate scandal. Among other things, the article serves to illustrate how MSM, when faced with the facts of an emerging controversy in their own industry, reacted defensively by simply disparaging those who would challenge their authority. Even when faced with an avalance of incontrovertible evidence, 'professional journalists' turned their focus of attention away from the story at hand--Dan Rather's incompetence--choosing instead to expend what was left of their waning credibility twisting their reportage to suit a questionable political agenda.

:: Max 7:40 AM [+] ::
:: Friday, September 17, 2004 ::
RatherGate Update

Ex CBS reporter and media commentator Bernard Goldberg has some thoughts on his old partner's bad habits and what RatherGate might mean for CBS. And over at Town Hall, Jonah Goldberg lines Rather up beside Cronkite and Schorr for a little compare and contrast.

Via RCP [>]

:: Max 6:58 AM [+] ::


I'm getting pretty used to the childish, hystrionic behaviour of the Democrats this year--must be a Howard Dean thing--but this is way over the top. I guess the bright side is this incident will probably cost Kerry a good point--people, Dems and Republicans alike, aren't going to like this one bit. If your interested, you can email Sophia and her dad a thoughtful message here: phil@callmcguire.com

(I'm betting the guy in the AP photo who did this is going to come to regret it)

:: Max 1:01 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, September 16, 2004 ::
LA Times Quotes A Professor!

Tim Blair found this little LA Times jewel:

"The mainstream press is having to follow them," said Jeffrey Seglin, a professor at Emerson College in Boston. "The fear I have is: How do you know who's doing the Web logs?

"And what happens when this stuff gets into the mainstream, and it eventually turns out that the '60 Minutes' documents were perfectly legitimate, but because there's been so much reporting about what's being reported, it has already taken on a life of its own?"

Wow--Jeffery Smeglin--"a" professor at Emerson College in Bosten?!! oooooh

(this guy is a college professor and he hasn't figured out that the CBS documents are phony--and he's questioning the veracity of the blogosphere?)

:: Max 11:07 PM [+] ::
If I was a betting man...

...I'd probably be Keeping a close eye on the Tradesports betting-line on the Presidential election (scroll down to 'Popular') [>]

:: Max 10:47 PM [+] ::
Speaking of blowouts...

...make sure you've swallowed your morning coffee before you push this button [>]

:: Max 10:33 PM [+] ::
AP Buries Bush Blowout

You gotta wade through this whole sorry mess before you get to the good stuff. The title of this AP story should've been: "Latest Gallup poll shows Bush sustains convention bounce--Kerry losing ground." Here's what they really said [>]

Update: Just noticed Drudge has it right:


:: Max 9:58 PM [+] ::
Voter Fraud

The Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby has an eye-popping column on the just how fouled up the voter rolls have become since the advent of motor-voter and the National Voter Registration act. Here's the whole gut-wrenching mess [>]

(wouldn't want to put anybody out by asking for a little ID--geez)

Via RCP [>]

:: Max 7:15 PM [+] ::

Bill over at INDC isn't letting up. He's linked to RatherGate.com which has an automated mass email to CBS sharholders and has also contacted Kinko's Copy Center requesting they preserve the security camera tapes from the Abilene Tx. location from where the phony docs originated. Kinko's has indicated the tapes have now been secured. Go Bill.

Update: Mike at RatherGate.com has removed the mass email gadget because he was threatened with legal action by an angry BIGWIG CBS shareholder guy. I think he should keep it in place and force the issue a little--c'mon Mike--"Courage."

:: Max 5:42 PM [+] ::
"Oh...that liberal media..."

Circulation stats down? Can't imagine why:

Powerline shakes down the Minnesota Star Tribune's rotten polling track record which is currently showing Kerry with a 9 point lead while the two campaign polls and most national media polls are showing Bush Kerry in a dead heat.


CBS's Rather made this remarkable statement YESTERDAY: "If the documents are not what we were led to believe, I'd like to break that story." I'm speechless. Oh, and don't miss Earnest Miller's shake-down the official CBS position--it's a classic. While your at it, you might want to check in with Hugh Hewitt who's still calling for congressional action on the matter. It's not gonna happen but the threat just might compell the big three to reevaluate their research and reportage standards--if they won't, the blogosphere will do it for them.

:: Max 7:52 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, September 15, 2004 ::
IEM Update

Wow--Bush .579; Kerry .422--nearly 16 points and widening.

:: Max 1:27 PM [+] ::
Amateur Hour

Captain Ed has some thoughts on the implosion of the Kerry campaign strategy:

"VanderHei links that performance with Kerry's nosedive in Wisconsin, where he's coughed up eight points to Bush in a state Al Gore (barely) carried in 2000. Again, VanderHei may use a humorous approach, but he's serious about the issue of authenticity. Voters have pegged Kerry as a big phony, in part because of silly incidents like this. Not only did Kerry fail to get the names correct, he did so while claiming to be a big fan of the sports teams. In fact, it's not just being phony that's an issue here, it's a lack of preparation indicating that Kerry could care less about whether he gets it right or not.

This has got to be one of the most poorly managed campaigns in American history--all the more astonishing when you realize Kerry has the main-stream-media in his pocket and is swimming in Dem 527 cash. The Captain has a lot more here [>]

Related: New England Republican has some thoughts on Rather's incredible arrogance. Go [>]

:: Max 11:34 AM [+] ::
Late to the Party

Well, at least they're showing up. Here's Kathleen Parker on the impact of Blogs on contemporary journalism:

"The implication that bloggers are slacker dust bunnies has delighted bloggers, the best of whom are lawyers, professors, scientists, renegade journalists and techies of various sorts, such as the brothers Johnson (Charles and Michael) at "Little Green Footballs," whose years of experience in state-of-the-art graphics and Web design at the "pixel level" enabled them to quickly duplicate the CBS memos and demonstrate their likely origin on a very modern computer.

All of which brings me to my premise that the blogosphere isn't just a challenge to journalism in its currently stagnant state, but a potential boon to problem-solving of a higher order. The beauty of the blogosphere is that it is self-igniting, self-propelling and self-selecting, a sort of intellectual ecosystem wherein the best specimens from various disciplines descend from the ethers, converge on an issue and apply their unique talents."

I would ad SELF-CORRECTING unlike some sources I know...geez.

:: Max 8:27 AM [+] ::
Pajama Update

Michelle Malkin on 'old media':
"As for Klein, his pajama put-down will go down in media history as the death cry of snob journalism.

With amusement, I have watched my colleagues in the Old Media fight every democratizing and choice-enhancing trend during the dozen years I've spent in the information business. They scoffed at Rush Limbaugh as a flash in the pan (and have searched in vain for a commercially viable liberal counterpart for the last 15 years). They sneered at The Drudge Report (then bookmarked his site for hourly reading). They sniped at Fox News (then ripped off every one of Roger Ailes' innovations). They laughed at Regnery Publishing (then snatched up its editors and formed New York knock-offs). They mocked the insurgent New York Post (as their own circulation figures and ad sales tanked). And now, in final desperation, they trash the blogging revolution as an irresponsible pajama party for unprofessional hobbyists (even as they launch their own corporate-scrubbed versions to exhibit their "edginess").

Faced with an unstoppable onslaught of competitive traffic, Dan Rather and the great pretenders in Trusted Journalism have only one choice for survival: Yield."

Note to Dan: The train has left the station.

Via RCP [>]

:: Max 8:22 AM [+] ::

"For three-quarters of a century until last week, when CBS News had entered a fight it had been an unfair mismatch for its adversary. The credibility, research capacity and gatekeeping monopoly of CBS would overwhelm its victim. But last week it was breathtaking to see, moment by moment, the Internet blogger's advantage."

Hey...Dan...over here...

:: Max 1:26 AM [+] ::
The First President to...

...visit the Russian Embassy?! Florida Cracker has it [>]

God forbid MSM would report this.

:: Max 1:09 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, September 14, 2004 ::

Max is a little side-tracked right now, taking care of the business side of the equation. In the meantime, if my blogroll isn't enough for you, you got a bigger problem than I do. When was the last time you checked into Drezner for instance?...hmmm?

In any case, I'll resurface momentarily--like a new puppy, the Blog's a pretty hard thing to stay away from. Back in a jiffy.

:: Max 11:50 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, September 13, 2004 ::
Marcel Matley: "I didn't authenticate papers"

The Washington Post's Michael Dobbs and Howard Kurtz are reporting Marcel Matley is backing away from the RatherGate scandal and have also come to some conclusions about the documents based on their own investigation (geez...what took so long?):
"A detailed comparison by The Washington Post of memos obtained by CBS News with authenticated documents on Bush's National Guard service reveals dozens of inconsistencies, ranging from conflicting military terminology to different word-processing techniques.
(I'm shocked--you mean the documents might be fakes?!)

And believe it or not, the CBS website also appears to be hedging their stance on RatherGate as well. INDC has the link [>]

Look for MSM to dig in now that the ground is a little softer. Dan probably thought this thing was winding down but I think it's just starting to ratchet up.

:: Max 10:40 PM [+] ::
Report Scams!

How convenient is this? [>]

Via INDC [>]

:: Max 6:14 PM [+] ::
Assault Weapon Ban

Hogberg over at That Liberal Media just heard on the radio that the type of gun John Lee Malvo used in the infamous sniper-shootings will become legal again. Hmmm...geez...how to comment...I can't, the irony is palpable. Just go see Mr. Hogberg. And if your into gun-stuff, don't forget to drop in on Kim du Toit--he's loaded (so to speak).

:: Max 3:06 PM [+] ::
Well I'll be danged--you never know where old Max will turn up next!

(well, ole Max did live in SF back when he was a hippy-guy--God what a beautiful city)

:: Max 1:25 PM [+] ::
Extraordinary Admission

This extraordinary quote from a 'CBS producer' via the American Spectator:

"There are at least two people in this building who have insisted we got copies of these memos from the Kerry campaign by way of an additional source. We do not have the originals, and our sources have indicated to us that we will not be getting the originals. How that is possible I don't know."

I'm predicting Rather is so screwed up about this he won't even comment on it tonight--he'll pretend there's no controversey what-so-ever--amazing.

:: Max 1:03 PM [+] ::
IEM Daily Graph

Looks like RatherGate is showing up in the IEM. If you look carefully, you can see how kerry was turing it around and then BAM!--Rathergate hits. Actually, if you track backwards in the graph, you can detect nearly all of the pivotal moments in the campaign--if the Dems were smart, they'd read the IEM tea-leaves. See for yourself [>]

:: Max 10:52 AM [+] ::



WSJs John Fund on CBSs transgression:

I'd Rather Be Blogging

CBS stonewalls as "guys in pajamas" uncover a fraud.

"A watershed media moment occurred Friday on Fox News Channel, when Jonathan Klein, a former executive vice president of CBS News who oversaw "60 Minutes," debated Stephen Hayes, a writer for The Weekly Standard, on the documents CBS used to raise questions about George W. Bush's Vietnam-era National Guard service.

Mr. Klein dismissed the bloggers who are raising questions about the authenticity of the memos: "You couldn't have a starker contrast between the multiple layers of check and balances [at '60 Minutes'] and a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing."

He will regret that snide disparagement of the bloggers, many of whom are skilled lawyers or have backgrounds in military intelligence or typeface design. A growing number of design and document experts say they are certain or almost certain the memos on which CBS relied are forgeries."

Will Safire has probably the best retort. Instapundit has the bigger post on this NYT's editorial but I can't help posting the last word in Safire's column:



(It's refreshing to see the New York Times isn't totally in the tank--guess Rather's fraud is even too clumsy and blatant for 'the old grey lady' to stomach.)

And the American Spectator is keeping an eye on CBS 'suits':

"On Friday, according to CBS News sources, Rather spent the day on the phone and dealing with CBS suits who were nervous about the fall out from the story. "All Dan could say was that this was an attack from the right-wing nuts, and that we should have expected this, given the stakes," says a CBS News producer. "He was terribly defensive and nervous. You could tell."


PERHAPS MOST TROUBLING to the CBS News staff looking into how its story went off the rails is the timing of the memos' appearance. "Some 60 Minutes staffers have been working on this story for more than three years off and on," says the CBS News producer. "There have been rumors about these memos and what was in them for at least that long. No one had been able to find anything. Not a single piece of paper. But we know that a lot of people here interviewed a lot of people in Texas and elsewhere and asked very explicit questions about the existence of these memos. Then all of a sudden they show up? In one nice, neat package?"

I'd love to be a fly on the wall!--this is so big SOMEBODY from inside CBS will start leaking--and you'll see it all unfold in the blogosphere first. Ain't technology wonderful?

Update #1: Speaking of wonderful technology, I just found this comical bit of information Johah posted on the Corner. From the very mouth of Mr. Rather's document 'expert' Marcel (the cheap-lounge-act-magician-looking-guy) Matley:
"In fact, modern copiers and computer printers are so good that they permit easy fabrication of quality forgeries. From a copy, the document examiner cannot authenticate the unseen original but may well be able to determine that the unseen original is false. Further, a definite finding of authenticity for a signature is not possible from a photocopy, while a definite finding of falsity is possible."

Attempting to authenticate a signature from a photocopy is exactly what Matley did for CBS. Game over.

Yikes...Rather's a bigger idiot than even I thought for not having checked this guy out--and he has the nerve to disparage BLOGGERS for their lack of 'checks and balances? WOW.

Update #2: INDC Journal is still pulling the strings out of Rather's magic whole-cloth--here's a thread:

"I am one of the pioneers of electronic typesetting. I was doing work with computer typesetting technology in 1972 (it actually started in late 1969), and I personally created one of the earliest typesetting programs for what later became laser printers, but in 1970 when this work was first done, lasers were not part of the electronic printer technology (my way of expressing this is “I was working with laser printers before they had lasers”, which is only a mild stretch of the truth).


The probability that any technology in existence in 1972 would be capable of producing a document that is nearly pixel-compatible with Microsoft’s Times New Roman font and the formatting of Microsoft Word, and that such technology was in casual use at the Texas Air National Guard, is so vanishingly small as to be indistinguishable from zero.

(Emphasis mine)

The evidence for fraud is simply overwhelming--although I swore I'd never watch CBS again, I'll likely tune-in tonight just to see the 'deer-in-the-headlights' look in Rather's bloodshot eyes.

:: Max 9:11 AM [+] ::
Resistance "invented"

Iraq the Model explains why there is such violent resistance to Democracy in Iraq and the answer is pretty simple: The entrenched dictatorships of the middle east are sending 'insurgents' across the border because the 'Iraq model' of freedom and democracy jeopradizes their anachronistic and profitable regimes:

"After Baghdad's liberation most of the governerates surrendered with their troops not even engaged in a battle no matter how small. That was more than what Arab rulers could take; an "Arab Muslim" country being invaded and the regime being changed without the people putting an effort to resist it? What should this mean? That Iraqis wanted the change? This could give really insane thoughts to Arabs and Muslims anywhere who didn't like their governments, and many of these are not much better than Saddam's regime. It's as simple as that; there was no resistance but there should've been one, so the Iraqi resistance was 'invented'.

It's gonna get worse before it gets better--hope Ali and the rest of the freedom loving Iraqis can turn the tide before it's too late. Read the whole thing [>]

(It's unfortunate so many people don't grasp the extraordinary scope and scale of the Bush Doctrine)

:: Max 8:37 AM [+] ::
:: Sunday, September 12, 2004 ::

I had forgotten about Rather's 'war record'--think maybe he's transferring a little suppressed guilt?

This guy needs a shrink.

Instapunit has the update [>]

:: Max 7:19 PM [+] ::
More RatherGate Fallout

Roger L. Simon points to this Steve Horwitz column on the imapact Bloggers are having on MSM:

"The democratization of knowledge production and the ability of one person with a computer to check the power of the major social institutions is here, and it is the technology of the telescreen that brought it to us.

Left, Right, Libertarian, or whatever, liberty has once again defeated power by redestributing it back to the people."

Simon's got a nice little post on the Rather document scandal as well--don't miss it [>]

:: Max 4:06 PM [+] ::
Lieing With Dogs...

...the Boston Globe woke up with fleas.

If you would like to comment on the Globe's editorial misbehaviour in response to the well-documented RatherGate scandal, here is the address and phone number of the Globe ombudsman:

Christine Chinlund
617-929-3020 / 3022

:: Max 8:18 AM [+] ::
New Documents Released

Polipundit points to this "startling new revelation" [>]

:: Max 2:07 AM [+] ::

Hinderaker finds the right words. Here's an excerpt:

"When he defended CBS's publication of forged documents, Dan Rather spoke of the "checks and balances" that ensure the reliability of news coming from CBS, as opposed to news and commentary from the blogosphere. What are those checks and balances? Ultimately, the main check on the danger that a powerful media giant like CBS might abuse its position of trust by deliberately propagating falsehoods is the assumption that the network values its reputation for accuracy and trustworthiness. In the past, most people have assumed that while broadcast networks, wire services like the Associated Press, and newspapers will occasionally make mistakes, and will certainly spin the news consistent with their political biases, concern for their reputation in the marketplace, and even more among their peers, would prevent them from spreading outright falsehoods.

In the wake of the CBS scandal, that assumption must be reevaluated.

I don't know how the forged document scandal will ultimately play out. I don't know whether CBS will be forced to acknowledge that the documents are fakes, or whether Dan Rather will resign in disgrace. But I do know this: everyone who cares already knows that the "Killian memos" are low-quality forgeries.

Very few Americans are news junkies. Most people will probably never know about the CBS scandal, or will never have enough information to form a judgment about it. For that matter, most don't care. But within the news business, and inside the relatively small slice of the American population where sophisticated consumers of the news dwell, everyone knows, already, that Dan Rather and CBS News tried to influence the November election by telling lies and publishing forged documents. CBS has been disgraced among its peers.

The fact that CBS was willing to barter away what remained of its reputation in exchange for an opportunity to help the John Kerry campaign requires us to re-examine our assumptions about the mainstream media, just as the emergence of the suicide bomber required us to re-examine certain assumptions about security. We never thought that a vast, powerful broadcast network would destroy its own reputation for political gain. Now we know that it can happen.


So we have entered a new era. We now know that our richest and most powerful news organizations are willing to blow themselves up--to destroy their own credibility, once considered a news organization's most precious possession--to achieve a political goal. The landscape will never look quite the same again. Those of us who still value truth must look at the mainstream media in a new, more skeptical and critical way, taking nothing for granted. Because, like suicide bombers, the mainstream news organs will go farther to achieve their political goals than we ever imagined."

This really is a wakeup call for those in the media who would harbor a similar death-wish--the 'good old days' are finally over. As they say in the blogosphere, read the whole thing [>]

(hey--somebody get Cronkite on the horn fast--we got a major problem over here at CB--wha..whadda ya mean he's alseep?!--WAKE HIM UP for Christsakes!--oh jeez, just my luck--how hard can it be to find a friggin newsman when ya need one? OK, try Schorr--right--Dan Schorr--he owes me..)

:: Max 1:58 AM [+] ::
:: Saturday, September 11, 2004 ::
MSM "Term of Derision"

"Powerline was credited for breaking the story by Jim Pinkerton on Fox News Watch. He used the terminology "blogosphere" and said that "MSM" was a "term of derision." Gotta love Pinkerton."

Bill over at INDC is high-fiving--can you blame him? Here's the quote he nabbed from the Washington Times:

"It was like a 'perfect storm' that put us here," said Scott Johnson, the Minnesota-based lawyer behind www.powerlineblog.com, one of several Web sites that questioned CBS' claims through the kind of simple detective work once common to old-fashioned journalism.

Mr. Johnson and fellow debunkers at indcjournal.com, littlegreenfootballs.com, cnsnews.com, freerepublic.com and the Weekly Standard analyzed the typeface from the memos to find they were contemporary in origin, proving them likely fakes. The news was picked up by the Drudge Report and talk radio--and a huge audience.

Yesterday found the big press backtracking, and hiring its own "experts."

This week will go down in history as the week 'Blogosphere' became a household word--what are you waiting for? Hop on over to INDC and clink Bill's glass.

(if this keeps up, won't be long before MSM is a household "term of derision")

:: Max 11:29 PM [+] ::
Girly-man Update

MoDo's got a pretty good column posted on Kerry's effete, pretentious, girly-man personality. If I didn't know better, I'd swear she's getting a little damp over those masculine cowboys in the Republican Party. Hey--don't ask me--go see for yourself [>]

:: Max 11:10 PM [+] ::
Wagons Uncircling?

An emailer to Instapundit who Reynolds describes as a 'journalist' suggests Rather's big-media buddies might not be as generous as the Boston Globe. Maybe it's in their best interest to drive a stake through Dracula's heart once and for all:

"I'm wondering if anyone is going to do to Dan Rather what they did to Stephen Glass of "Shattered Glass" fame- suggest that it's unlikely that this is the first time he "cooked" a story. Maybe rob him of his legacy, somewhat? If anyone wanted to do the fact-checking on old Rather stories that seemed to be "too good". . . .

I think it's kind of like lifeboat ethics at this point, for the MSM (print and network news). The little market-share pie that they're dividing is ever-shrinking as their readership ages and dies off, the young news junkies go for cable news and the internet, and now the last few haggard old survivors-desperate and hungry, now ganging up on the weakest guy (CBS) as the picture grows more bleak."

Well, given all the new alternatives for ad dollars, I'm sure ABC and NBC execs wouldn't shed any tears if CBS News were to vaporize. Dan's gotta be looking over his shoulder every five seconds right about now--it's coming at him from all directions--and rightly so.

(given the nature of the blogosphere, look for former CBS employees and collegues to come crawling out of the woodwork--thars gold in them-thar-book deals--as Dan Rather will tell you)

:: Max 10:23 PM [+] ::
They're Standing Pat

The Boston Globe is crossing over to the Dark-Side covering for Dan Rather and CBS News. INDC has an exclusive report on the widening scandal.

This is their only move; stand pat and simply ignore the facts--the blogosphere be damned.

Update: Powerline is reporting CBS is now USING THE BOSTON GLOBE story to bolster their position--talk about breathtaking hubris--this is old fashioned logrolling on a truly astonishing scale. Next thing you know, the Boston Globe will report CBS News is now confirming THEIR story. Good Lord almighty--can't wait to watch the New York Times crawl into this stinking rat-hole--and you can bet your 401K they will too--they're implicated by default.

Powerline is also reporting the Pentagon has just proclaimed the documents to be fakes but I seriously doubt Rather and CBS will recant or apologize--they're too invested in the scandal now to back out. Hmmm...very stressy situation for the aging anchorman--hope he doesn't pop an artery on live TV.

(if he does, I'll hear about it on the blogosphere cause I'll never watch CBS again--never)

:: Max 9:17 PM [+] ::
Documents are Forgeries

If you're still on the fence about RatherGate, Peterduncan.net posts the definitive test of the disputed documents by an expert on the mechanical typewriter. The tests plainly reveal, even to a casual observer, that the documents are most certainly faked--it's indisputable.

Michelle Malkin suggests, if the documents are proven to be forgeries (duh), viewers should mount a boycott of all CBS advertisers. Bad idea--a much easier and more reliable method is to simply stop watching this stupid network altogether which will have the same net effect of driving ad revenues elsewhere* without having to sacrifice all those wonderful products we're addicted to like Gino's Pizza Rolls and Ciallis (god forbid).

*Assuming, of course, CBS isn't bribing the Neilsen Ratings people. (well...who knows? I certainly wouldn't put it past them!).

Via Powerline [>]

:: Max 4:24 PM [+] ::
60 Minutes 'Research Methodology' Exposed

Ed Morrisey has uncovered some interesting correspondence from a 60 Minutes producer "trolling" for disgruntled military and their families. This is a very revealing window into how CBS shamelessly concocts their 'reportage' to suit their political agenda. In view of the Rather scandal, one would think 60 Minutes had learned their lesson but--no way--they're still at it.

It's obvious the way the following cattle-call is worded how 60 Minutes would craft this piece. It's also notable how it would magically key with the now discredited 'Rathergate' story leading one to surmise the producers are conspiring to stack their reportage against the administration in the weeks before the election. I suppose there's nothing really new in all of this--everybody knows CBS is just a shill for the Kerry campaign--it's just compelling to see the Blogosphere exposing the fraud days and even weeks before this slimy attack is probably intended to air. Here's the email from 60 Minutes producer Leslie Cockburn with an introduction by the Captain:

According to this post, Cockburn's objective approach to CBS News investigations are displayed for all to see in an e-mail sent to Lessin's organization, the anti-war Military Families Speak Out. Cockburn starts with a belief and rather than test the hypothesis honestly, Cockburn trolls for only that testimony which will support the CBS position:

As per our conversation, I am producing a 60 Minutes piece (with Kroft) which addresses the following:

In light of our recently passed 416 billion dollar defense appropriations bill, I am disturbed to hear stories of lack of the most basic supplies among the troops in Iraq.

These include out of date weapons, lack of radios, inadequate water supplies, problems with vests, humvees, troops forced to purchase their own equipment etc. I would like to hear from any family who knows of such problems. I am particularly interested in shortages within the last few months.

I am also interested in maintenance problems...backlogs of repairs on
vehicles and helicopters that may put troops in danger.

In looking at the stories from the field, I am trying to determine whether the Guard is experiencing more difficulties than other forces and also whether these problems continue regardless of promises to fix them.

If any of the families have documentary evidence of problems, photos from the field , home videos and letters etc, I am of course interested.

my [sic] email is LCCockburn@aol.com. (I am based in Washington DC. 202 342 9488)

Many thanks,


[emphasis mine -ed.]

Surprise surprise--Bush is screwing the very same National Guard that he joined to avoid the serving in Vietnam--what an odd coincidence...very odd indeed.

Draw your own conclusions.

:: Max 2:44 PM [+] ::
A Big Part of the Solution

These courageous Muslims are actively denouncing the violence associated with the radical sects of Islamic fundamentalism:

"Muslims must look inward and put a stop to many of our religious leaders who spend most of their sermons teaching hatred, intolerance and violent jihad. We should not be afraid to admit that as Muslims we have a problem with violent extremism. We should not be afraid to admit that so many of our religious leaders belong behind bars and not behind a pulpit. Only moderate Muslims can challenge and defeat extremist Muslims. We can no longer afford to be silent. If we remain silent to the extremism within our community then we should not expect anyone to listen to us when we complain of stereotyping and discrimination by non-Muslims; we should not be surprised when the world treats all of us as terrorists; we should not be surprised when we are profiled at airports. Simply put, not only do Muslims need to join the war against terror, we need to take the lead in this war."

Well said. If you are concerned enough to become a part of the solution rather than standing on the sidelines, you might want to join the Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism--I did. Here's their website [>]

:: Max 2:08 PM [+] ::
What They're Saying

Here's a quick rundown of what some in the blogosphere are saying about RatherGate:

Roger L. Simon:
"...some of us are willing to tell and accept the worst forms of mass lying , forgeries and so forth, for their political ends. I was going to name names but somehow it seems to dishonor the reputations of those who died at the World Trade Center. Some of those people who are telling these lies, or overlooking them, do so because they think they are the holders of a "greater truth." This is so absurd under present circumstances that it is almost laughable. Only it's not. I am not a religious man, but there is no question in my mind that this lying of political convenience is deeply reprehensible on the most basic moral premises. I call on those people on this anniversary to reconsider, tell the truth and move on together. We owe it to those same children and grandchildren."

Simon finds Rather's gambit, in view of the 9-11 context, offensive in the extreme. I agree--CBS has made a terrible mistake here.

Powerline offers further context to CBS's brand of journalism:

"Scenario 1 -- The Swiftvets put out an ad that questions whether John Kerry told the truth about his service during the Vietnam war. The charges go unaddressed for days. When they are finally addressed, the main argument is that the Bush campaign is behind the ads. Thus the charges remain largely unanswered.

Scenario 2 -- CBS airs a story that questions whether George W. Bush told the truth about his service during the Vietnam war. In less than 24 hours, the main elements of the story (the things that made it different from past tellings) are pretty much discredited.

Question -- How do we explain the difference betweeen these scenarios?

Answer 1 -- The Swiftvet story is based on reliable evidence; the CBS story isn't.

Answer 2 -- The Democrats rely on an increasingly incompetent MSM; the Republicans don't, and are the beneficiaries of the efforts of conservative bloggers and their readers"

It's become obvious that Rather's 'reporting' is well beyond mere, left-leaning partisanship--it's blatant propaganda--lies crafted to affect the outcome of the American Presidential election. If there were no bloggers, this story would likely have gone forward without challenge. Think about it.

Jeff Jarvis is angry--and tired of living between the political 'fringes' in a "crossfire" of mudslinging--with 9-11 still smoldering in the background:

"Every year, I return to the site to remember and pay tribute. I retrace my steps that day, grateful to survive. I stand and listen to the litany of innocence and tragedy. And I don't know what emotion is going to take me over until I am here. Two years ago, it was reverence. Last year, I said that sorrow and anger fought and sorrow won.

This year, anger wins.

I am angry to be living in the crossfire, angry to be living between the fringes.

I am angry to hear the names of 2,727 who did absolutely nothing to deserve death ... except that they were in America. They were caught in the crossfire of a war that wasn't theirs. They were murdered just for the sake of it by the fascist fringe.

And I am angry at the same time that the political fringes in America are taking over this election. I'm mad because they are distracting us from the real enemy, the one who struck that day, the one who killed those 2,727 whose names are being read right now, the one who turned America into his battleground; they are making us forget the real war. I'm mad because they are distracting us from the real work we should be about in this democracy. I'm mad because they are turning into America into their battleground, too.

I'm mad because I'm sick of being surrounded by mad people.

As usual, Jarvis takes the high-road in an admirable effort to keep us centered and I agree with his thoughtful position--in principle. I'll admit it--I'm having a very hard time shelving my partisanship in view of the coarse behaviour of the left in this country. From the shrill, unstatesmanlike and hypocritical outbursts of the Democrat leadership such as Kennedy, Dean, Gore and McAuliffe to their ill-informed punk protester constituency, the left has added very little in the way of civil political discourse--much less offering a concrete agenda for how they would handle things any differently at all. Toss a shamelessly dishonest press into the mix and the right will understandabely react as they have--defensively.

Being the moderate I am, I can't imagine I would disagree with much Jarvis would have to say on matters of public policy. But I certainly can not embrace a policy that is ephemeral and chimeric as the one offered by the Democrats this election cycle; it's all smoke, mirrors and vitriol--with 9-11 smoldering in the background.

(fielding a lugubrious, wooden, out-of-touch presidential candidate two elections in a row doesn't help matters for the Democrats either)

:: Max 11:08 AM [+] ::
Rather in Denial

PoliPundit has a nice assesment of the Rather document scandal. Here's an excerpt:

...Dan Rather believes he can bluff and bully his way through the questions and investigation. Like Tereza, Rather does not believe the public has the right to know the truth, or to get a picture he hasn't filtered first. As this scandal deepens (and it will), Rather will go through denial and feigned outrage (how dare the peasants revolt!) , and when it is time to face the reality, Rather will arrange for a minor staffer to get the axe, and like corporations settling out of court, wil deny all knowledge or participation of any wrongdoing.

Ironically, his ratings will probably spike for awhile as people tune in out of curiosity--just to watch the aging anchor fumble around trying to defend the indefensible circumstance in which he finds himself; it'll be like watching a train-wreck in slow motion--we won't be able to avert our eyes.

:: Max 8:49 AM [+] ::
:: Friday, September 10, 2004 ::
Case Closed

Weblogger Little Green Footballs hits grand-slam:

LGF has an amazing comparison of word-processors VS the fake document. If, after having seen 'the CBS Document Experiment', you still believe Rather's bogus 'handwriting analyst', you're a Democrat. For my money, given LGFs exceedingly creative experiment, the case is now closed. Rather has commited an enormous and costly error for CBS News, 60 Minutes and the Democratic Party. Chalk-up another spectacular win for the Blogosphere.

(is anybody in the blogosphere keeping track of the score here?)

:: Max 8:29 PM [+] ::
Rather Watch (something else)

Just watched Rather's 'explanation' of the forgery scandal. He seemed a little rocky and certainly defensive. There was a memorable phrase however, when he blamed "partisan political operatives" for challenging the authenticity of the documents--his hubris is absolutely breathtaking.

But if you stop to think about it, the truly comical thing about this whole affair is that even if the documents are authentic (sure they are), there seems to be very little to the underlying story they purport to bolster. So even if you buy into the paperwork thing, you still end up saying "what's the big deal Dan--I don't get it".

Update: On tonight's newscast, in order to support his claim that the documents are genuine, Rather featured Marcel Matley, an expert in handwriting analysis, to authenticate the the veracity of the suspect documents. Maybe it's just me but, doesn't it seem a little odd that Dan would use an expert in handwriting analysis to authenticate type-written words? Maybe we should hop on over to Mr. Mately's web-page for some clarification--hmmm...yep, this explains quite a lot.

Powerline's all over it [>]

Update 2: Well I'll be-- lookie where else Mr. Matley has turned up:

"I suspect Matley was put on the show so its producers would not be accused of being biased on a highly-charged political issue, and so they wouldn't wind up on the Clintons' sh*t list. At any rate, it shouldn't take too long for those intrepid Internet sleuths who follow every twist and turn of the Foster story to ferret out Matley's credentials and to find out how much he was paid to appear on the program.

For me, it was his goatee--the cheap, lounge-act magician look--it's a dead giveaway. Matley's as phoney as Dan's documents.

:: Max 6:01 PM [+] ::
Irrational Exhuberance

Rich Lowery just posted this:

"Just talked to a Bush strategist, who said: 'Within seven days, this will be a 3-point race. There was no reason for the near-panic among Republicans eight weeks ago or so, and there is no reason for the euphoria now. No one is going to build a substanital lead in this race. It's going to be very close until the end.'"

Sage advice.

:: Max 5:47 PM [+] ::
I'm Dan Rather and I Authorized This Merchandise

Not that this is really unexpected--it just that it happend so fast!

(I love this country)

:: Max 3:52 PM [+] ::
Bernard Goldberg Speaks Out

In an exclusive email sent to Ratherbiased.com, former CBS anchor, Bernard Goldberg offers the following insight into the 60 Minutes/Rather, phoney document scandal:

"Assuming that at least some of the documents are indeed forgeries as they now seem," Goldberg says in an email to RatherBiased.com, "This is what happens when a news organziation operates in a bubble--a comfy liberal elite bubble. They WANTED the story to be true, so they apparently minimized or ignored any information that contradicted their pre-conceived notions.

"This is the nature of bias in the news. no conspiracies. Rather never said, 'I know these documents are phoney, but I'll go with them anyway.' He would never do that. The problem is too much like-mindedness, too much groupthink. What happened was almost invevitable. Sooner or later, when you live in the bubble, something bad will happen.

"Let me add that Dan Rather was my friend yesterday, he's my friend today, and he'll be my friend tomorrow."

Here's the rest of the post with a rebuke by Rather.

Related: Powerline posts excerpts from a Fox interview with Democrat stratagist Patrick Caddell who says that if the documents are forgeries, "the race is over":

"It would be the end of the race," Caddell told Fox News Live. "It would be the end of the race," he repeated.

"[Democratic officials are] so involved in this," the former Carter pollster worried. "They have gotten themselves so involved in this issue [in] the last 24 hours that somebody's going to, if they're not authentic, they're going to be blamed for it. It's incredible to me that they've gotten in this."
Caddell said..."I'm trying to save my party, you know, by telling the truth."

How's Rather going to handle all this tonight? Bet he's glad it's Friday.

:: Max 3:03 PM [+] ::

Dan Rather's Conflict

Here's a report on Rather's longtime association with Ben Barnes and the Texas Democrat party. Looks like the CBS anchor owes his viewers an explanation.

(I haven't watched CBS evening news in years but I think I'll tune in tonight just to see look in Rather's eyes.)

Update 1: Here's a whole laundry list of why Rather's documents appear to be fakes.
Update 2: If the documents are proven to have been faked, has CBS News violated any federal statutes? Maybe: federal wire fraud felony under 18 USC 1343.

:: Max 10:18 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, September 09, 2004 ::

Internal Investigation

I hate to be cruel but, Rather, like Brokaw and Jennings and all the rest of these pretentious media phonies are washed up--their days are truly numbered. Unfortunately, there's no more tactful way to put it--they're finished.

(just wish my father were still alive to witness their ignoble demise).

:: Max 10:46 PM [+] ::
CBS Word Processor Scandal

As of 10:30 PM CST, the Blogfather has pretty much the definitive shakedown of the faked-document accusations entangling CBS's DAN RATHER AND 60 MINUTES. It doesn't get any better than this--enjoy [>]

:: Max 10:19 PM [+] ::

After I've checked into all the 'mega-bloggers', (instapundit, Powerline, etc.) and I'm bored, I'll 'go-to' Florida Cracker to see what's going on in the Sunshine state. I just realized I've made an enormous mistake. Florida Cracker isn't just a casual read--she's a Master Blogger--once-a-day at least--a giant resource. Doubt me? Check this out (just keep scrolling) [>]

(Florida Cracker belatedly appears on the Prairie Fire Master-Blogger blogroll to your left--bookmark it).

(MSM eat your heart out)

:: Max 9:56 PM [+] ::
AP Coverup; Media in Tank for Kerry

The Associated Press is continuing to stonewall Powerline's John Hinderaker regarding the phoney "Bush crowd booed" 'story' the AP ran last week. In his most recent update, Hinderaker names the two 'reporters' that filed the bogus AP 'story' that has now been exposed as a work of fiction. The two 'reporters' are Scott Lindlaw "a well-known Democratic partisan" and Tom Hays whose name appears on the byline of the 'story'. In his most recent effort, Hindraker, attempts again to acquire information regarding the disposition of the AP 'investigation' into the scandal and also inquires as to the disciplinary status of the AP 'reporters' in question. To date, the AP has failed to respond to Powerline's repeated requests for information on the matter, probably hoping the whole thing will simply go away.

The AP, of course, will not take your phone calls but has made this email address available for questions regarding the developing scandal: info@ap.org. If you are concerned, you might write them a nice, polite note requesting any information they might have on the Pravdalike affair.

Note: I've also requested information on the matter but the AP hasn't bothered to reply to my inquiry either (like I'm real surprised).

:: Max 6:43 PM [+] ::
Rather, 60 Minutes Use Counterfiet Docs?

CNS News.Com and Drudge are reporting documents used in last night's Bush smear by Dan Rather might be fakes. Typography experts are now suggesting the 'proportional type' used in the documents are computer generated and could not have been from the era suggested by the 60 Minutes report. Here's the CNS report. Here is a PDF file of the document in question.

When it rains it pours. This email is posted over at the Corner:

"We still have an IBM selectric in the office. I powered it up and typed at bit. The Letter Gothic ball has no smaller superscript "th". Interestingly, the repairman's sticker and phone number was on the machine. I called, just now. He was working on one when I spoke to him. He said positively, no ball he has ever seen has had a "th" together. He said, too, that it can't work as there are no keys on the typewriter with a "th". I suggested the 1/4 or 1/2 (which is available) could have been a substitute key if the ball had a "th" or "st", he said no. He mentioned that NASA approached him, years ago, to see about symbology (math symbols etc.) balls that could work. He couldn't help them with that.

Of course, Frank Rich will probably be the first out of the gate to blame the 'set-up' on Karl Rove. If Rove DID do this, he won't be able to keep a straight face for a week--it's just toooo perfect.

Update: What else can I say:

"I'm a Kerry supporter myself, but . . . I'm 99% sure that these documents were not produced in the early 1970s."

by Stephen F. Hayes
09/09/2004 7:20:00 PM

The Weekly Standard has more [>]

:: Max 5:20 PM [+] ::
Media Bias Reminder

(Bet you won't find this in the 'paper of record')

In view of the unprecedented and excessive liberal bias in this year's election coverage, I though it appropriate to re-post the Stanford/UCLA/Chicago University study entitled "A Measure of Media Bias". For those of you who might be unfamiliar with it, this Sept. '03 study is the bane of Fox/Drudge bashers because it clearly demonstrates that both Drudge and Fox News were the most centrist of all the media considered in the study. Other media sources included in the report were the New York Times, The LA Times, USA Today, and all three network nightly-news shows, all of whom demonstrated "significant liberal bias" "to the left of the average member of Congress".

As UCLA, Stanford or Chicago universities can hardly be considered bastions of conservative thought, you might want to keep this report handy to shove in the face of your favorite liberal next time he tees-off on Fox or Drudge--might shut him up long enough for you to at least get a word in edgewise. Go for it [>]

:: Max 4:50 PM [+] ::
Predictive Markets

MIT's Innovation Futures is a predictive market that focuses on business and technology. Using play money, traders buy and sell futures contracts and winners are eligible for real prizes (big screen TVs, digital cameras, home theater system, etc.). I'm a big fan of predictive markets--they're enormously compelling and actually have do have predictive capabilities (the IEM?). Even if you don't trade, watch the Innovation Futures market to see how well the traders do as compared to the actual outcomes of the challenges proposed. Here's one of todays's examples; 09-09-04 Dow will fall between and including -.51% and -.1%. Check it out [>]

:: Max 1:27 PM [+] ::
New Iraq-Free Iraq

Here are some nice pics from a guy who just spent 11 months in Iraq. When you see stuff like this, you just gotta think maybe there is a chance they'll make it [>]

Via Deans World [>]

:: Max 11:11 AM [+] ::
French 'Trapped' British and Americans in WMD Debacle?

Although I don't think the French are smart enough to come up with this evil scheme, I don't underestimate the limits of their venality either. We report, you decide [>]

Via No Pasaran [>]

:: Max 8:30 AM [+] ::
Is anybody really watching 60 Minutes anymore?

Of course, 60 Minutes unleashed another partisan Democrat to smear Bush last night. If your losing track of how many times this year they've done it, MRC is keeping track: here's the record that should put to rest any doubt as to CBS's complete lack of journalistic integrity whatsoever (as if they ever had any) [>]

Ironically, every time main-stream-media takes another cheap crack at Bush's service record, the whole Kerry Vietnam quagmire remains front and center of the political debate--this strategy is a) creating few if any Kerry converts and is very possibly having the exact opposite effect and b) exacerbating the wholesale shift in television viewers from the alphabet networks to Fox News.

Via The Corner [>]

:: Max 7:44 AM [+] ::

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