Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Georgia on my Mind Again

We commented here about the importance of President Bush's visit to Georgia earlier this month (and the lack of coverage in the MSM), and Daniel Drezner comments on the continuing progress in Georgia with the announced withdrawl of Russian troops.

And How They Spend It

More from John Locke Found. on how the N.C. Senate is spending more and taxing more. Remember the N&O editorial on the same subject decried the budget "cuts" and failed to even mention that the Democrats are in charge of the body that passed this budget.

Government Growth

The N&O will generally talk about N.C. state government budget "shortfalls," implying the govt. took in less than during the previous year. As you might expect, and as demonstrated here by the John Locke Foundation, the growth of N.C. govt. spending has exploded.

Corporate Scandal Spin

Given the media frenzy over the various corporate scandals that started near the end of the Clinton administration (but were only reported when Bush took office), I wonder how much coverage the MSM will give to this news.

And if they do report on the story, will the MSM really claim that the Supreme Court's decision on Andersen is a "setback for the Bush administration" as WaPo online does?

The MSM theme is starting to build, and it will undoubtedly be echoed in the N&O. Didn't you know, as the WaPo claims, that the Bush administration "made prosecution of white-collar criminals a high priority?" A high priority? I have seen this administration make tax relief a high priority, and making schools accountable and fighting the war on terror and bringing freedom to millions of people and reforming our huge Social Security national liability, but I am pretty sure prosecuting white collar criminals was not one of the high priorities.

Maybe a priority, and certainly a priority for the Justice Dept., because that is what Justice is tasked with doing, but not a high priority. Now the story was a high priority with the MSM in their desperate attempt to link corporate malfeasance with the Bush administration (another failed effort), so now the press will spin the other way and claim that the Supreme Court ruling is a "setback" for Bush.

I want the troops at That Liberal Media and Rantingprofs and Right Wing Howler all over this one.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Not Just Delay

Looks like Tom Delay is not the only one who did not report his travel expenses. Wonder if the N&O will cover this story tomorrow after their breathless 9 consecutive days of covering Delay.

Info from Iraq

I just found this blog via Blackfive, and while I don't know who Michael Yon is, he knows what he is talking about, and he is on the scene in Iraq talking about it.

More Headline Shenanigans

While we are on the topic of headline shenanigans, I read a front page N&O story this morning without reading the headline first. These points in the article on Iraq really struck me:

1. Iraqi and U.S. soldiers arrested a former general in Saddam's intelligence service who was also a member of the former dictator's secret police. (This point was buried at the end of the article) .

2. Operation Squeeze Play has so far netted 627 terrorist suspects. (Even if many of these are eventually released, this is a pretty good haul and we will be able to gather some good information from those apprehended).

3. Operation Lightning is an Iraqi-led mission.

So let's choose a headline:
a. Senior Saddam Henchman Arrested in Iraqi Operation
b. Joint U.S.-Iraqi Operation Nets 627 Terrorist Suspects
c. Iraqi Security Forces Take Offensive with Operation Lightning

And what did the N&O choose for the headline? Military sweeps in Baghdad fiercely resisted

And what was the primary evidence presented in the article to support the headline? Reports of running gunbattles and fighting at a police station that lasted half an hour.

So the terrorists are running away when flushed out and shooting as they run. That is a running gunbattle. And the Iraqi-U.S. forces have become good enough that they can quell an attack on a police station in 30 minutes! Last year it would have taken most of a day to reinforce a station under attack.

Besides the headline, the writer (Liz Sly - an apt name) claims that the new security operation brought no immediate apparent improvement in security! Hint to Liz - military and security operations are not intended to bring an improvement to security when they are happening, they are intended to bring an improvement to security when they are finished. Chaotic Normandy Landings Bring Death, Violence and Chaos - Little Allied Progress Made!

On Memorial Day, read a blog like Mudville Gazette before you read a paper like the N&O, who can't even get the story right on this sacred day.

Have a great Memorial Day and say a prayer for our troops.

Sunday, May 29, 2005


Cori Dauber makes a nice point about how the N&O can take a good article (in this case by Jay Price, who will celebrate Memorial Day with the troops in Afghanistan), and create a headline that is unsupported by the article itself.

Pakistan and Iraq

Pakistani troops are claiming they have eliminated AQ remnants in South Waziristan (ok, I don't believe it either, but even a little progress there is good), and Iraq troops kill 27 terrorists in an Iraq-led and executed operation. Sounds like a good day to me.

President Bush at the Naval Academy

I can't imagine why President Bush would speak at the Naval Academy graduation (in front of a bunch of guys whose claim to fame is that they could not get into West Point), but I have heard some clips and he sounded good. This site has the speech.

Tennessee Waltz

This site does a nice job of showing the way a writer can go to great lengths to hide the political party of a Democrat accused of fraud.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Must Read on Memorial Day

Must read from Mudville Gazette on Memorial Day weekend.

LA Times to Take Another Hit

Good News for Republicans

Tip to Michelle Malkin for link to Polipundit commenting on a couple of Senate races that are now in play.

Military Health Care

The administration and the Republican-led Congress recently passed a bill that offers soldiers in the reserve component a generous health care option. For every full year that the soldier has served on duty since Sept. 11th, the soldier (and family if he chooses) can receive 4 years of coverage under Tricare, the military health care system.

But from the perspective of the MSM and the N&O, the story is headlined "Republicans take hit on radio." Democrats are targeting specific Republican congressmen on the radio on Memorial Day for criticism.

This is an AP story, but the N&O is guilty of both choosing the headline and even running the idiotic story in the first place.

House Democrats, solely in order to score political points, and with no chance of gaining passage due to the enormous cost, proposed offering permanent health-care coverage to reserve component members. This is an old trick in politics of offering constituents a great benefit knowing it would not pass but then using the issue to beat up the opposition. But you would think those who edit papers would be pretty familiar with the tactic, and unless they are partisan hacks they would avoid publishing these articles.

Hillary Didn't Know

Hillary's former national finance director was not convicted by a jury of lying to the FEC about the details of a Hollywood fundraiser. The man who bankrolled the fundraiser, Peter Paul, was described by the N&O as a "three-time convicted felon." Hillary didn't know anything about it!

Party On

As we pointed out yesterday, 4 Democrats in TN are indicted with no mention in the MSM or the N&O, but a Republican from Ohio resigns from his job as worker's compensation director and the story gets a long 2-column look. No party bias there.

Clinton Spin

Hillary Clinton's former national finance director was found not guilty of making false statements to the FEC, so he will be one of the lucky Clinton acquaintences to not spend time in jail. The Hollywood fundraising event in question was bankrolled by Peter F. Paul, who the N&O describes as a "three-time convicted felon." Hillary, as usual, didn't know anything about it.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Tribute to the Troops

Here is a nice tribute to the troops from the GOP.

Party Switch

A former state Dem. Party chairman switched to the Republican Party this week, which makes for a big story down here. Even the N&O had to cover the story, though they approached it from the DNC talking points angle. Their quotes focused on Christian beliefs and abortion, so this was just another defection of another religious fanatic. No quotes about taxes or the need for smaller government or state corruption in the Democratic Party - just those pesky religious beliefs caused this guy to switch!

Still Little on Indra Nooyi

Victor Davis Hanson brings up the Indra Nooyi speech again in his column (hat tip to Hugh Hewitt), and notes the lack of coverage in the MSM about the story. I am coming to believe that the more the MSM hides these stories, the greater the likelihood that the bloggers and other conservatives will pursue them to their duration.

More Dem Indictments - Nothing in the N&O

So four legislators from a NC-neighboring state are indicted, and the N&O runs nothing and there is nothing in the MSM. Why not? They are Democrats!

Civitas Institute

I attended an open house at the new John William Pope Civitas Institute on Wednesday and they produced some interesting results from their latest statewide poll. You can read through the poll results here, but to summarize, NC is a pretty conservative state, but that conservatism is not translating into electoral victory at the state level for Republicans.

Part of the problem is that NC govt. is notoriously corrupt, so the party in power can stay in power by raising a lot of money from vested interests (and the Dems do dramatically outraise the Republicans in the state). The Republican Party has also split recently over control of the Assembly, and without that split their statewide support might be higher.

But the most important issue seems to be the need for Republicans to be conservative. We see too many compromises and rollovers on issues like targeted tax breaks for specific industries and companies (as opposed to a tax break for everyone) that allow voters to lump all politicians into the "bought off" category.

Finally, during the Q+A there were a number of comments about the biased press. I have repeatedly brought up the ethical lapses in the N&O when they fail to identify the party of those caught in misdeeds. The Civitas poll supports this claim as their respondents were evenly split on who they thought had the majority in the state Senate. The Dems do control the Senate, but when a terrible budget is proposed out of the Senate, the editorial writers can not even summon the courage to state the fact that the Senate is Dem-controlled.

Education Showdown

Here in Wake County we are facing the classic and oft-repeated showdown of a school board that claims they need $X or they will have to cut classroom programs. Education bureaucrats in this situation always trot out the classroom cuts first in order to get the attention of parents and put some pressure on those who must allocate the money (in this case the Wake County Commissioners as all of Wake County is in one school district).

The timing of these demands by the school board is not the greatest as they are currently under investigation for fraud and kickbacks in their transportation department (which I think the N&O has done a decent job reporting).

Where the N&O has fallen down on the job is in not reporting how much school costs have increased due to the student reassignment policies of the school board. The N&O has endorsed those on the school board who favor moving kids around like chess pieces to try to achieve various socioeconomic and performance goals, so I doubt if they will look at the impact on costs.

I also doubt if they will dig too far into another impact of a poorly-run school board. In Wake County in the last ten years we have gone from around 90% of students attending public schools to around 80%. Every time school policies and performance force parents into the private school system, the public school system has a harder time getting parental support when they need more money. The N&O will paint this as only a problem with "elites," but the real impacts are now being felt.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Good Look at Afghanistan

Jay Price at the N&O again does a great job of showing the reality in Afghanistan with his 1A story today. Price, along with Chuck Liddy, are in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne. Given the tendency of the MSM to report from the US now that it is no longer a novelty to be "in country," I compliment Price and Liddy for making the trip.

The series is calling Afghanistan "The Forgotten War." Reading Price's reporting, the title makes sense because the coalition effort has been successful, the central government is maintaining some sense of order and the Taliban and AQ are only able to operate at the fringes. The telling point for me as I was reading the article is the depiction of Khowst as a peacful town. When we went into Afghanistan, Khowst was like the wild west and it was difficult to imagine that in a short time US troops would be able to move through there without a firefight.

So in this case calling the series "The Forgotten War" is a compliment to US forces and to our strategy in Afghanistan.

Abortions Rising

I have found factcheck.org to be a good source of non-partisan information when examining claims made by politicians. Their latest exposes the lie of Hillary Clinton and Howard Dean when they claim the number of abortions has risen since President Bush took office.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

More Good Filibuster News

Here is a Boston Globe writer who is no fan of Bush also thinking that Bush and Frist will win this one.

Deal Looking Better

This NYT headline looks good to me. I like the filibuster deal more and more and think the Republicans need to push hard now in order to avoid losing momentum.

From the DNC to the N&O

If you put the DNC talking points about a particular issue next to the N&O editorial about the same issue, it is difficult to tell the difference.

Todays Steve Ford/DNC rant deals with the filibuster compromise:

A successful compromise was reached that avoided a proposed change in Senate rules that opponents said would alter the intentions and the great accomplishment of the founding fathers, the United States Constitution.

No comment about what those in favor of the rule change think? No comment about the real purpose of the rule change - to get up-or-down votes on judicial nominees? And why, after pushing for judicial activism and believing that the Constitution is a living document (changeable as a judge sees fit) do liberals all of the sudden fawn over the founders?

Bill Frist ... has been threatening to invoke the "nuclear option" ...

Frist has called the rule change the "constitutional option" for some time. In a paragraph about Frist that does not mention his opposition, why refer to the name that the opposition has given the rule change?

Bush has heated up the rhetoric himself, portraying Democrats as going after qualifying judges just for the partisan sport.

No mention of heated rhetoric on the side of the Democrats or the interest groups they are beholden to. Only Bush is to blame here.

Some conservative Republicans indicate they regret the compromise, and the White House, which has been none too helpful in the course of this discussion, seemed lukewarm.

That sentence is the winner. "None too helpful" to whom, or to what? Does Ford want the White House to be helpful to those who have constantly tried to stall anything the Bush administration is trying to do?

The president, after all, wants to be able to put anyone he chooses on the U.S. Supreme Court when there are openings, without potentially pesky review.

Is there any shred of evidence that the president would like to eliminate the Senate's ability to advise and consent on his Supreme Court nominations? The whole effort here is to get plenty of advise and then vote whether to consent to the nominee taking a position on the bench. All Bush wants is for the vote part to take place.

Editorials like this contribute to the decline in readership of papers that purport to report and analyze the news (the N&O calls itself "The Old Reliable"). This kind of Bush-bashing rant from political hacks, even if on the editorial page, takes away any limited credibility the paper may have built.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Howard Dean

OpinionJournal.com carries part of the transcript of Howard Dean and Tim Russert. Pretty good stuff, and kudos to Russert:

Russert: Republicans will say that the Democrats are speaking a different tune now than they did when they were in control. Robert Byrd, when he was a majority leader in '79, said, "Now, we are at the beginning of Congress. This Congress is not obliged to be bound by the dead hand of the past." And the filibuster used to need 67 votes. They changed it to 60.

Dean: Mm-hmm. . . .

Dean: When the Republicans were in power, they kept a much larger percentage of President Clinton's nominees to the bench. They didn't do it with the filibuster, they did it by bottling them up in committee and not allowing them to move forward.

Russert: The numbers are pretty similar actually.

Dean: OK. They're similar. . . .

Russert: Well, you said there were weapons of mass destruction.

Dean: Some of the things that the president said on our way into Iraq, they just weren't true, and I don't think that's right. So--

Russert: Such as?

Dean: Such as the weapons of mass destruction, which we have all known about, but the--

Russert: Well, you said there were weapons of mass destruction.

Dean: I said I wasn't sure, but I said I thought there probably were. . . .

Russert: When did the president ever suggest that Saddam Hussein was responsible for September 11?

Dean: He didn't. . . .

Russert: Let me stay on your rhetoric. January, I mentioned that [you said] "I hate the Republicans, what they stand for, good and evil, we are the good." In March, you said, "Republicans are brain dead." You mentioned you're a physician--and this is April. "[Dean] did draw howls of laughter by mimicking a drug-snorting Rush Limbaugh. 'I'm not very dignified,'
Dean said."

Dean: Well, that's true. A lot of people have accused me of not being dignified.

Watch for this one in Tomorrow's N&O

Here is another story that will fit right into the latest MSM theme of religious zealot bigot Republican conservatives and how if it weren't for them all would be right with the world and the Dems.


We mentioned Zarqawi as a rumored casualty last week, and here is more from Winds of Change.

More Media Bias

I have not even started to get into criticism of the editorial cartoons the N&O runs, though they are a disgrace, but I will comment soon. Michelle Malkin posts one example of the vicious bias today.

Cloture Vote

Two interesting points on the cloture vote.

First, it was 81-18, which makes you wonder about the principles of those Dems (other than the 7 deal-makers) who were so against Owen before. Hillary Clinton was one of them.

Second, most of the deal-makers on the Dem side are red-staters who clearly had their next election in mind.

Not a Bad Deal

Like most conservatives, I would have preferred the Republicans force the Dems hand and either make them actually filibuster or ram through the rule change to force up-or-down votes. But I am not as down on the deal as Powerline and others.

It seems like the deal gives the Republicans some flexibility and backs the Dems more into the corner. Now if Frist does not bring the other nominees to the floor, and soon, then I will start to grow disillusioned, but he should push them forward in a few weeks, clear the slate, then Bush can nominate more conservatives to the bench in order to push the point home.

Afghanistan Spin

Remember what the left was saying when we went into Afghanistan? We heard the word "quagmire" from Bush critics even as our special operations soldiers were riding horseback with the Northern Alliance. We heard predictions of civil war, of a takeover by warlords, of the impossible nature of the terrain and of the risks that Pakistan would turn on us or Russia would intervene etc. etc.

Yet over 3 years later Afghanistan is an unequaled success. This does not mean the situation is perfect, but none of the predictions of the armchair naysayers came true. Afghanistan has held elections, former warlords have been coopted into the government, the country is run by a man devoted to building a civil society and enforcing the rule of law and remnants of the Taliban and Al Qaeda take a regular beating whenever they come out of their holes.

So what is the N&O headline when President Karzai visits the US? "Bush bars Afghan control of US forces."

First, this is a dumb headline because there was absolutely no chance that the president would allow US forces to be controlled by anyone but him and his subordinate commanders. No chance. So the N&O is creating controversy where there is none.

Second, there is absolutely no mention in the article about past dire predictions from the left and how wrong they have been, and there is very little in terms of positive commentary.

Pure anti-Bush spin.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Newsweek Again

I can't believe too many people actually read Newsweek in the US, but they apparently do overseas. My should-be-a-blogger contact forwarded the following link showing how Newsweek depicts the US in an overseas edition.


The News & Observer ran a classic editorial today where they hit the liberal bias trifecta. The topic was judicial filibusters and the editorial writers first explored the history of the filibuster by stating that "Southern senators used to employ filibusters to block civil rights legislation." The more accurate statement would be, "Primarily Democratic southern senators ..."

Second, the writers use that beacon of objectivity, the NY Times, to point out that the potential change to the rules is "making some Republican senators uncomfortable." That is probably true, but the next paragraph of any solid editorial would explain that Democratic senators (especially those up for election in red-states in 2006) are also feeling uncomfortable acting as obstructionists. Otherwise, why would their party leaders be intent on a "compromise?"

Finally, the writers note the "bitter partisan divide that has plagued Washington since the Newt Gingrich-led revolution." Glad to know there was no bitter partisan divide prior to Gingrich. Oh wait, what about those civil rights filibusters noted earlier. That sounds pretty partisan. Watergate? I'll bet that sparked a little partisanship action. Suspected, and actual, communists in the the State Dept? That seemed to set off some partisan rancor.

I am all for an editorial page taking a position, and I have no problem with the N&O operating from the left. But use the facts to convince us, don't ignore the facts and reveal your lack of editorial ethics.

Give us a Party

I want to compliment the N&O on naming the political party of Democrats who commit misdeeds (because they always put the Republican party front and center if a Republican screws up). On 1A today the paper examines the handouts given by "influential Democratic state senators."

But I had to cringe later when, in an article about the state DOT granting political favors, the paper chose not to name the party of the multiple Democrats involved in the misdeeds.

One of two is not bad for this paper.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

The Media and the Military

Given the current focus on media-military relations in the wake of the Newsweek story and the Linda Foley comments, I asked a West Point classmate of mine if I could post his thoughts on the issue. As you can tell by the post, he is pretty thoughtful, has been a first-hand observer of the media-military relationship and is willing to fault the military where needed. Some of his comments were in response to previous posts on our class website, but it is not hard to follow.

Having dealt with the media extensively overseas, I'm more inclined to believe that the bias in the media coverage of any major event reflects the interests of the outlet's owners/editorial boards as opposed to strictly commercial interests. I do not think there would be any significant drop in circulation (with the corresponding drop in advertising revenue) if the majors reported coalition successes in addition to the daily terrorist attacks, but such a story line would not reflect the political views of the ownership and boards (and probably big advertisers as well).

My unscientific gut feeling is that the majority of Americans would welcome stories on the successes and that such stories would not negatively impact circulation. I know for a fact from having talked to numerous correspondents that success stories were often written, especially in the early days of the occupation, but were killed by the editorial boards for not being "relevant." Since no reporter wants to waste their time and everyone wants to get published, those stories aren't even written anymore (except by Army Times reporters).

I have to say I run into this even more now that I have returned to Washington and met with correspondents here. Without exception, they are aware of the successes, but have been told that there is "no interest" in these stories and that the focus will be on coalition failures.

The situation also reflects the post-Vietnam friction between the media and military - mutual suspicion and mistrust bordering on outright animosity. SAIS held a conference on this subject while I was there back in 1996 and it was extremely interesting to see the dynamic even then. I think this is the major reason why the Army has failed in its efforts to get the success stories written and published - the Army still despises the press and does a poor job of hiding it, and the media mistrusts the Army and therefore anything the Army gives it must, as a rule, be untrue.

It is unfortunately a Catch-22 that the Army should really devote some time and energy to stop. Look at the reporting on USMC operations and you will see that it can be done - the Army just needs to do better and accept the fact that the onus is on the Army to change this dynamic and it is in the Army's vital interest to do so.

I, for one, applaud the writer (he is referring here to a soldier who was sending commentary back to the US) for taking his laptop off safe and giving us a soldier's perspective from the ground. While certainly his impressions are limited by the microcosm that he is currently working in, they reflect the larger issue of what, exactly, is a "free" media and what its role is in time of war -is it a media that provides citizens all the news and information free from distortion, or is it a media that provides only selected information that is skewed and distorted to reflect the political views of the owners and boards, information that may indeed aid the terrorists? I would argue that the latter is as dangerous to our nation and democracy and as "unfree"as any possible "Rumsfeld NPR".

Saturday, May 21, 2005


If you have been a little confused about the details of oil-for-food (and the N&O has played the story down like most of the MSM), then read Stephen Hayes' latest in the Weekly Standard.


Patterico adds good detail on the Byrd-Santorum Nazi quotes comparison (or lack thereof in the MSM) by including Byrd's actual quote.


Interesting stuff in the Carolina Journal produced by the John Locke Foundation here in Raleigh. It would be nice to have learned this from the N&O first:

Former 1st District Congressman Frank Ballance made a total of $53,500 in political contributions from his federal campaign fund in a nine-week period surrounding the signing of a plea agreement on Aug. 30 that required him to make $61,917 in restitution payments.

The agreement, prepared by the U.S. Attorney, required Ballance to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering. It also required him to make restitution to the State of North Carolina, and to forfeit all assets of the John A. Hyman Memorial Youth Foundation.He gave a total of $10,000 in political contributions before Aug. 30 and he kept on giving after signing the agreement.

On Sept. 6 he gave $25,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, for example, and on Oct. 21 he gave $2,000 to the Robert Holloman Senate Committee.Sen. Holloman, a Hertford County Democrat, cooperated with Ballance in questionable financial transactions involving public funds, according to the federal government's case against Ballance. The federal indictment documented a total of $393,000 that Holloman's church and affiliated programs received through the efforts of Ballance. Holloman has not been charged with any crimes.

Trouble Where There is None

Classic job of making a story out of a non-story by the N&O today. This was Laura Bush's comment on the Newsweek story, "In the United States if there's a terrible report, people don't riot and kill other people. And you can't excuse what they did because of the mistake - you know, you can't blame it all on Newsweek."

That comment is right in line with everything the Bush administration has said. Newsweek made a mistake. Sadly, people with no respect for civil society acted on that mistake, rioted and in some cases killed people. Both the rioters and Newsweek are to blame.

But the N&O runs the headline First lady breaks from party line. I understand the N&O editors, as journalists, are feeling the sting of the Newsweek debacle. I understand they don't want to cover the Pepsico or Newspaper Guild controversies because they bring to light the liberal blame-America-first mentality. But they are going to have to come up with something better than this to distract us.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Santorum and Byrd

Santorum makes a dumb comment about the Dems and Hitler and the MSM is all over it. The N&O website now has it listed as the lead political story. But where were the stories several months ago when Robert Byrd (former KKK member, but forget all that now that he is a Bush critic) made similar charges against the Republicans?

Why do They Feed the Bloggers

Rather is gone, Eason Jordan is gone, the Pepsico woman is undoubtedly on her way out, and now Linda Foley is keeping the bloggers busy. Video here - and not yet reported by the N&O!


One of the pleasures of the move from NY to NC is that we traded Hillary for Elizabeth Dole. Here is Dole on the need for up or down votes for judicial nominees - and this is from the Wash. Times rather than the N&O. The N&O gives more coverage to the ramblings of John Edwards, one-term senator, defeated VP candidate and big money trial lawyer than to our 2 sitting senators.

Is Newsweek Journalism?

Tip to Instapundit for posting Jim Geraghty's article questioning whether Newsweek qualifies as journalism.

Ice Caps Grow - It's Global Warming!

When someone measures ice caps melting, it is page 1A. But when we confirm an ice cap is growing (in this case Antarctica), it is N&O back page and buried. And, the LA Times reporter is able to find 2 guys who claim the ice cap expansion is a result of global warming, but nobody who might have another explanation.

Elevating a Non-Story

The N&O and the MSM are going to still be riding the "Bush lied about Iraq" story long after Iraq has emerged far better off (for us and for them) following the coalition intervention.

The latest attempt by the MSM to keep the story alive is the breathless reporting of a British memo saying the the Bush administration had made up their mind to remove Saddam prior to early 2003. The N&O prints the following from the NYT:

It has long been known that American military planning for the Iraq war began as early as Nov. 21, 2001...

American military planners (and I was one), are always planning for multiple conflicts in various places. Whole offices at the Pentagon are devoted to developing contingency plans complete with names and troop dispositions and background information. Don't you think we would be pretty foolish to not have plans?

So the NYT is way off base by suggesting the planning for the Iraq war began after President Bush took office. I would guess (and I have no specific knowledge here) that planning for Iraq was a continuous process between Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. I would bet (and Kenneth Pollack in The Gathering Storm provides some good details) that Clinton officials were briefed frequently on various Iraq plans, to include an invasion.

Remember that the MSM has worked with the Dems to continually claim that we did not have a plan prior to going into Iraq? Yet now they are claiming that we "secretly" had it all mapped out? Constant criticism while making no relevant or consistent point is becoming a trademark of both the MSM and the Dems.

Indra Nooyi

Nothing in the N&O this morning about the president of Pepsico's comments at Columbia. But I will bet Ms. Nooyi is squirming a little bit, and I bet the Pepsico board would rather act sooner than later.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


I think Powerline has the best critique of the problems Pepsico is going to have with the Columbia speech, but read their take on the ABC news problem as well. Got to love the speed that bloggers get these stories out. Any bets on whether the N&O will cover either of these stories tomorrow?

Max Boot

I had dinner with Max Boot and was impressed with his grasp of military matters and his unyielding belief in the ability of the US to make the world a better place. I wish the N&O would run his pieces more, but you can read his latest on Mubarak here.

NYT Article Fisked

I wince at Cori Dauber's "Where's Waldo" comment, but the rest of this post looking at the NYT's latest is worth the read.

More Medicaid!

Great quote from NPR (remember - know yourself and know the enemy) this morning. The program was examining proposed cuts in Medicaid in the NC state budget (and like the N&O, NPR did not have the courage to mention that Democrats are in charge of both houses in NC and are the ones proposing the cuts).

The program brought in an "expert" to comment on how terrible these cuts were. The "expert" said that because NC receives $2 in federal money for each $1 in state Medicaid spending, it made no sense at the state level to cut Medicaid spending! Medicaid for everyone! We can balance the budget!

Zarqawi Pissed

From an AP story that ran in the N&O today, a "top military official" said of Zarqawi, "He allegedly was not happy with how the insurgency was going, the government was getting stronger."

First, I am disappointed to see these terrorists still referred to as insurgents (haven't these spokespeople been reading Hitchens or Dauber?). Second, this comment supports my claim that the Iraqi terrorists are losing because instead of attacking an occupier, they are now attacking innocent Iraqis and the government that those Iraqis elected.

The MSM can run all the stories they want about "chaos" and "record numbers dead," but freedom-loving Iraqis (with a little C-130 gunship help), will win this thing.

Junior Allen

Long and sad 1A story in the N&O about a man named Junior Allen who was convicted of second-degree burglary 35 years ago and is only now getting out of jail. That does seem like pretty stiff punishment, but here is the money quote, "Allen was convicted of second-degree burglary -- a crime that could bring a life sentence then but nowadays draws no more than three years in prison."

So I went from feeling sorry for this guy to wondering how second-degree burglary can only bring, at most, three years in prison (meaning the average sentence is much less). Not sure if that is progress with our judicial system.

The N&O Editors Comment

The guy who wrote this is not a blogger, but he should be:

Let’s start with the Newsweek Koran-toilet fiasco. My own local rag, The News & Observer, has belatedly seen fit to editorialize on the subject. The N&O gently chastises Newsweek for running with a story based only on one trusted source, who afterwards “conceded that he might not have known what he said he knew.” And then there is this little gem: “[P]ublishing a half-baked blurb about desecration of the holy text violates common sense. In contrast, a full-blown report -- one that was thoroughly documented -- would have been defensible.”

NC is of course home to several thousand soldiers, sailors, and marines – active duty, reserves and National Guard – who have served and are subject to serve in Islamic countries. So it “violates common sense” to give the Islamofascists a propaganda coup (and to make conditions all the more hazardous for our troops) only because the report was “half-baked”?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

N&O Knows

Not that this blog had anything to do with it, but the N&O knows they are in trouble as they are setting up a "Reader Advisory Panel." I applied, so we will see how much conservative criticism they really want to hear.

Leaving NY for Good

Every time I am disappointed by the N&O I think back to those 9 years I lived in Manhattan (including 2 with Hillary as senator) and realize that compared to the NYT, the N&O is not all bad. This story reminded me what all those NY liberals are doing with their spare time.

Dean Takes OBL over Delay

James Taranto points out some interesting quotes from Howard Dean that would make a great story for the N&O:

It seems Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee is impervious even to criticism from Rep. Barney Frank. Today's Arizona Republic reports:

Dean, national chairman of the Democratic Party, said Tuesday that he thinks House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has committed crimes that could put the Republican in jail.
DeLay's office fought back with Dean's own words from the 2004 presidential campaign. The former Vermont governor had maintained that even terrorist leader Osama bin Laden should not be pre-judged if captured.

We had forgotten about the bin Laden remark, but we checked and sure enough, we noted it back in December 2003:

"I've resisted pronouncing a sentence before guilt is found," Dean said. "I still have this old-fashioned notion that even with people like Osama, who is very likely to be found guilty, we should do our best not to, in positions of executive power, not to prejudge jury trials. . . ."

It gives a whole new meaning to "politics stops at the water's edge."

Economic Prediction

Stocks are up and bonds prices are up (yields are down) after a tame core CPI reading this morning. Traders apparently believe that the Fed will not have to aggressively raise rates in the future. Yet I will predict that the N&O will find some way to spin this into a negative economic story in tomorrow's edition (following the lead of the MSM).

I used to follow these economic statistics closely as one of those traders responsible for acting on every important number. I remain struck today by how the press is able to take strong job creation (274k new jobs in April), strong retail sales (1.4 % in April), an improving trade deficit and 3+% GDP growth and paint a gloomy economic picture. I remember that the press took similar numbers during the Clinton administration and lauded the Dem economic team, so why no fawning articles on the Republicans?

Deep Blue Campuses

Hat tip to Powerline for the link to the Leadership Institute's "Deep Blue Campuses" report. Great numbers to use for anyone who claims higher ed professors are not biased. I attended a training session here in Raleigh put on by the Leadership Institute and it was excellent. While you are on their site check out their schools and attend if you can.

Patterico on Newsweek

This guy does to the LA Times what I hope to do to the N&O on a smaller scale. Read his latest on the Newsweek scandal.

I commented on his site, but will repeat here:

Having served in the Middle East, the thing that gripes me the most about the Newsweek story (and others like it), is that it damages the military effort in a different way than you think.

The PR damage is serious, but when one of these stories hits hundreds, if not thousands of hours are lost as we have to investigate the charges, file various reports, call soldiers away from their missions etc. I can imagine that right now some poor SPC is inspecting each Koran in each detainee facility to see if any pages are missing. All because of irresponsible journalism.

N&O Goes to Bat for Newsweek

The MSM is hard at work trying to spin the Newsweek story so that it is not a comment on the "blame America first" mentality at liberal news organizations. Today the N&O plays along by running an 11A story from the AP.

Instead of noting all of the individuals and organizations who have condemned Newsweek's actions, the story breaks the battle down as one between the White House and Newsweek. That theme fits into the MSM mindset that this is just another example of the Bush administration stirring up trouble.

Instead of doing any analysis of how Newsweek failed in their reporting duties, the story compares Newsweek's errors to the government's practice (used long before the Bush administration came to office) of distributing information through unnamed administration officials.

Finally, the AP and N&O story desperately tries to prove, using one quote and no other evidence, that the Newsweek story did not cause the deadly rioting in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
If anyone should understand that the cover-up is worse than the crime, you would think it would be the press, but articles like this will add fuel to the fire of those calling for a full accounting at Newsweek.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Blowing Up Kids is Not Insurgency

Cori Dauber from UNC also calls into question the use of "insurgents" to describe these terrorists.

Money Quote

From 14A of the N&O, an article about preschoolers being expelled runs this money quote: "Child-care experts said many expulsions could be avoided with better teacher training and support from psychologists and social workers."

That sentence is classic modern Liberal psychobabble.

First, it avoids placing blame - a favorite Liberal failing.

Second, it makes no mention of the need for better parenting and more discipline at home in order to reduce expulsions at school. Liberals can't make that claim without fear of being grouped into the James Dobson school of conservative parenting (a school I subscribe to with my kids).

Third, it supplies a ready-made solution: more government programs, more government experts and increased taxes to pay for it.

Liberalism captured in one sentence.

Other Blogs

If you know of any other blogs that take aim at a particular MSM newspaper, please send me the link at scott_c_pierce at yahoo dot com.

Soccer Balls to Iraq

This seems like a pretty good idea to me.


Always interesting to watch the MSM reaction when one their babies starts to blow up. The PBGC was created right out of the modern Liberal big-government playbook. Got a problem or a potential problem? Create a govt. agency to solve it. Got a problem funding your agency? Tax somebody (in the case of the PBGC it was corporations) to fund it.

Now that the PBGC is headed toward insolvency and will eventually need a taxpayer bailout, the left is busy blaming everyone from the corporations who fund the thing to the CEOs who run the companies to the Bush administration.

But the most important question, and the one you will never see in the N&O and like-minded papers, is why was the PBGC created in the first place? The mistake with the system is not being made now - now it is too late - the mistake was made by the creators in the Congress that the Dems controlled for about 40 years.


Just like the MSM won't let go of some stories (like the N&O running 9 straight days of stories on Tom Delay's travel costs), so the bloggers will keep alive the Newsweek story until those guilty are gone. Some good details here and here.


The N&O ran an article yesterday quoting some NPR executives, and using the infamous "Top officials at NPR," complaining because of the the old bugaboo - censorship. Now I listen to NPR because, as Sun Tzu taught us, it is always valuable to know what the enemy is doing and thinking. Make no mistake that whatever you think of the Liberalism of the N&O, the folks at NPR make the N&O writers look like Bushies in comparison.

NPR does not get a lot of federal money itself, but the stations that broadcast NPR shows do receive a chunk from taxpayers. So it seems to make sense that the taxpayers would understand where our money is going and what message it is sending. If NPR leaders want editorial independence, they can simply turn down federal funds and sell their shows like every other biased and opinionated outfit does.

More Dem Ills

Another story of scandal in a Democratic stronghold (in this case Detroit), and as expected another story underreported by the N&O.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Need Your Help

If you are reading this blog and have any gripes about the N&O, please forward them to me at scott_c_pierce at yahoo dot com. I would like to see this site expand to include input from a number of different people.

Tricks on the Left

If a conservative group started gathering financial info on liberal judges, you would see it on the evening news and in the N&O. But will we learn any of the details about this story?

Hitchens Joins In

Even a lefty (but an honest one) like Christopher Hitchens doesn't understand why the MSM calls the Iraqi terrorists "insurgents."

Blame for Prisoner Abuses

The more I hear from some of my West Point classmates who have knowledge of the abuses at Abu Gharib, the more I am convinced that the unit had terrible leadership and that the majority of blame rests with Karpinski and a select number of her subordinate officers and NCOs. The consensus seems to be that the leaders either knew about the abuses and failed to stop them, or they should have known. I have yet to hear a compelling story that this was a "conspiricy" concocted at the high levels of govt., despite the left's wish for such an outcome.

John Locke Foundation

I have found that the best research antidote to the warmed-over liberalism in the N&O is Raleigh's own John Locke foundation. You can subscribe to a daily or weekly e-mail from them.

A Little Late

As with most malfeasance by the MSM, the apology usually comes a little too late. Newsweek is the latest to run an irresponsible article in the "blame America first" vein that seems to have infected the left. Only this time, instead of wounding the reputation of the target (the Bush administration), people died due to editorial irresponsibility.

And remember all of the breathless front page articles in the N&O and other papers several years ago about the details of meetings VP Cheney held with energy experts to craft energy policy? The papers have buried the articles now that a judge has ruled that the VP can meet in private to craft policy. The judge's decision seemed pretty obvious in the first place, but at the time the left was trying to get any traction it could, and Cheney looked like a good target.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Good Milblog

This milblog wonders the same thing I have been wondering. Why do we see so many stories in the MSM when US troops are accused (sometimes incorrectly we find out later) of hitting the wrong target, but so few stories about what looks like a suberb operation (Matador)?

Iraqi Deaths

Tim Worstall looks into a UN report on the number of Iraqi civilians killed during the liberation of the country. The most important point he makes is to ask why reports that claim 100,000 Iraqi civilian casualties get such airplay in the MSM, but easy-to-find UN reports showing a much lower number are ignored.

Credit Where Credit is Due

Democrats controlling the NC Senate and General Assembly pass an terrible budget and the N&O editorial writers refuse to even name those leaders or identify their party. But when the military announces proposed base closings and NC comes out looking pretty good, the N&O credits the Dem Lt. Gov. by name and even runs a nice photo of her hugging a businessman who we assume has been saved by her efforts.

The paper makes no mention of the efforts of Republican Senators Elizabeth Dole (who sits on the Armed Services committee) or Richard Burr. Sorting through who really did and did not do the heavy lifting to keep the major NC bases is a difficult task, but you would think the regional paper would have made the effort and at least explained what the Lt. Gov. did to garner all of that fawning attention.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Hammerin' Harry

Harry Reid is on a roll - this time he has smeared a Bush judicial nominee by referring to his secret FBI file. Same deal as always with the MSM - if this was a Republican congressional leader we would hear all about the story, but on this I will wager the N&O doesn't even report it.

Another CBS Problem

Is CBS in problem again. Powerline seems think so, but I have not seen much about it in the MSM.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

MSM Helps the Taliban

Tip to Instapundit for the link to a story on the impact of the MSM's irresponsibility.

Terrorists or Insurgents

After months of having these groups blow up Iraqi civilians, I agree with my friend here who says we should go back to calling these people terrorists rather than insurgents. The N&O can lead the way.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

School Choice in Wake County

If you are interested in the issue of school assignment in Wake County, I recommend a tour of the Assignment By Choice website here. We fought for 2 years to have our neighborhood reassigned to a closer school, and with help from ABC we were successful this year.

The N&O tells only part of the story on the schools, but ABC and its courageous president, Cynthia Matson, fill in the blanks.

Leadership Institute

If you are a conservative activist in the NC area, come to the classes this Saturday conducted by the Leadership Institute. Details below:

Location: Ramada Inn 1520 Blue Ridge Road Raleigh, NC 27607
TIME: Registration will begin at 8:30 AM and the course will start at 9:00 AM, Saturday, May 14. Please be punctual.

MEALS: Breakfast and lunch are included.

CONTACTs : Dana Stevens (202) 997-1011 or email him at Dstevens@LIMail.us, Grassroots Campaign School. 1-800-827-5323.


Tip to Hugh Hewitt for the tip on the Zarqawi story - dead or wounded?

Bolton Ad

Go to Instapundit to see a great new ad ref. the Bolton nomination.

Georgia Still on My Mind

President Bush visits Russia and the N&O leads with a 1A story on " bickering" with Russia. Bush visits Georgia the next day, makes an inspiring speech (see the Rick Martinez OpEd today) and is treated like a hero. Yet the story is buried on 9A of todays N&O.

Here is some of the speech:

"When Georgians gathered here 16 years ago, this square had a different name. Under Lenin's steely gaze, thousands of Georgians prayed and sang, and demanded their independence. The Soviet army crushed that day of protest but they could not crush the spirit of the Georgian people.
"The following year, Georgians returned to this square and pulled down the statue of Lenin. And on 9 April 1991 you declared to the world that Soviet Georgia was no more and that the independent nation of Georgia was born.
"On that historic day, you reclaimed your sovereignty but the hopeful start you made was not fulfilled. So 18 months ago, Georgians returned to this square to complete the task you began in 1989.
"You gathered here armed with nothing but roses and the power of your convictions, and you claimed your liberty. And because you acted, Georgia is today both sovereign and free, and a beacon of liberty for this region and the world."

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

More on Judicial Nominations

Hugh Hewitt has more details on the history of the judicial nomination filibuster, and also takes aim at a Washington Post story that has the same problem as the one in the N&O from Cox.

More Unnamed Scandal

Another scandal in Democratic inner-city politics, this time with the former treasurer of Philadelphia convicted of corruption. Yet in the story the N&O (again) decides to not mention the political affiliation of the treasurer, or of the mayor at the time.

And in another hand-wringing story from the left on the judicial nomination story (this one on 4A from the Cox News Service), the lead paragraph claims that the Bush administration, "threw its political weight behind a Republican effort to end the right of unlimited debate in the Senate." Notice how the story incorrectly makes the reader assume that all filibusters will be ended, when in fact the Republican effort is to ensure judicial nominees get a vote on the Senate floor. In polls, "ending the right of unlimited debate" is frowned upon by the majority of Americans, but "ensuring judicial nominees get a vote on the Senate floor" is supported. So why does this story frame the issue to support the Democrats case?

Monday, May 09, 2005

Can't Keep a Good Story Down

If you visit NYC, or if you live there and somehow read this blog, pick up the NY Sun and put down the Times. You get everything in the Times through other MSM outlets, but the Sun offers the goods on brewing stories like this that will only get bigger.

Georgia Next

Here is a site analyzing the importance of the president's next courageous stop in Eastern Europe - Georgia.


N&O editors chose to run the following 1A header on President Bush's visit to Russia, "Bickering takes back seat." We have a president with the courage to go into areas formerly ruled by the Soviet Union (primarily the Baltic states) and in Reaganesque fashion call the occupation wrong.

But instead of writing "Bush's bold comments cause rift" or maybe "Confronting the Evil Empire's history," we get a headline about "bickering." This is a great example of how the paper spins any Bush victory into belittlement, and any Bush minor failure into tragedy.

You have to admit that if you were part of the MSM left, and you were aware of how segments of the media (start with Duranty and the NYT) failed to criticize the Stalin era, you would be a little gun-shy of the topic as well.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Harry Reid's Comments

Harry Reid referred to some of the Bush judicial nominees as "bad people." Sounds pretty mean-spirited to me, and I am sure the N&O would run an article if a Republican made that type of comment, so let's look tomorrow if we see anything on Reid in the paper.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Military Equipment

As a LTC in the US Army Reserves, I have an interest in the type of equipment we have when we go to war. I read the articles in the MSM blaming the current administration, and even Secretary Rumsfeld personally, for equipment shortages created during the Clinton administration.

So having assigned the blame, you would think the MSM would run (and the N&O would pick up the story) a piece on equipment fielding success. Yet I have seen no wider distribution of the WSJ editorial from Friday explaining how Congressional Republicans pushed through the Rapid Acquisition Authority bill that will allow us to rapidly field a device used to jam IED signals. Nancy Pelosi bravely abstained on the vote.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Polls You Don't See

The MSM loves to use any poll, and any poll question, that supports their political agenda. If you don't want to follow the liberal polling herd, check Rasmussen's various offerings.

Pristine Forests

The Bush administration just returned control of 58.5 million acres of forested land to the states where the forests actually are located. That sounds like a pretty good idea to me, and many of the states had sued to get that control back after the Clinton administration took it away and added to the size and power of the federal government.

So what headline does the N&O run? "Pristine forests lose protected status." Not only is the headline right out of the tree-hugger's playbook, it is also untrue. The forestland has not lost its protected status. The protector has simply changed from the federal to the state government.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Editorial Woes

The editorial page fails in the same way the reporting side of the N&O does by failing to name names when it matters. The lead editorial today is titled Budget Fiasco, and the budget is rightfully taken to task in some areas. But not only did the editorial writers fail to mention who runs the state Senate, they even omitted the names of the Senate leaders. One thing editorial writers are allowed to do is place blame, so why pull the punches now?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Ethics in Reporting

The N&O ran stories about Tom Delay's ethical issues every day for over a week. Now that we know Democrats were involved in some of the same ethical practices as Delay, particularly lobbyist-sponsored trips, why is the story buried on 6A? Also, why is the focus of this article on Delay's aides and not on the Democrats?

The Democrat-controlled NC Senate just released a budget which increases taxes and spending. Yet the N&O leads with "Senate proposal gives rich a tax cut." The tax cut mentioned is simply the elimination of a "temporary" tax increase. If the Republicans were in power, I bet the focus would be on the tax increases in this proposed budget.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Follow-up to Sgrena Lies

The MSM (and the N&O) ran multiple front page stories trumpeting the charges of Sgrena, the communist, US-hating Italian journalist. Now that an investigation has revealed her lies, why are the stories buried?