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October 19, 2008


clarice plumber

Love this line--does he write under the influence?--"The newspaper has run many interpretive articles in the news columns, increasing the opportunities for bias, real or perceived"

Simple Simon

Hearing Colin Powell galling it generational or rather transformational I finally got it Obama is a Transformer character called The One which is similar to Stephen King's It . All it can do is create Buzz and hopefully Sarah Tailgunner Plumber Joe and the Aviator will kill as David and Goliath with a slingshot. Go BladeRunner.


The Times is now beyond parody.


The Times is aggressive this year in assessing the truthfulness of the candidates’ statements and ads, often putting it in an adversarial position with them.

The Times is sooo aggressive that its scary. Save me Joe the Plumber from the aggressors!!

kim jane il

Fox News and the WSJ opinion page always seem to be strangely underrepresented in these stories. Odd, isn't it?

E. Nigma

It's Orwellian newspeak to innoculate the readers of the Times against those meany conservatives' criticism when Obama becomes President and starts all that 'spreading the wealth' and 'social justice', and who knows what else.

Harder than brain surgery? Sure. Balancing your checkbook is hard when you are an imbecile.


C'mon, Leo, the OpinionJournal is labeled as such, and did you see that Fox viewers end up better informed despite not being as formally educated?

Amused bystander

Brother, do they think that we are idiots.

It is beyond belief.

Captain Hate

“Journalism is not brain surgery; it’s more difficult than that,” said Andrew Cline, an assistant professor of journalism at Missouri State University

Cline == Semanticleo?


not exactly, AB, but i'm convinced they think they're smarter than you and me. Indeed, as my henadle suggests, I used to ride with that crowd and date my turn to the right to the period in my life where I started to discover i wasn't as smart and infallible as I'd previously thought. This natural result of the aging process, I believe, lies behind the frequently-observed rightward shift as people age - not the usual (pejorative) explanations.


"Cline == Semanticleo?"

Can you not tell from the deathless prose,the Shakespeare of gibberish ?

Captain Hate


I previously assumed word processing software that had been infected with a virus, but I'll defer to the updated info.


Wow. Is the times trying to alienate one of their few remaining audiences - brain surgeons?

Charlie (Colorado)

Look, I know lots of brain surgeons, and even brain surgery isn't a massively intellectual pursuit. You have to be smart, and you have to be able to study effectively for a long time, but the characteristics that most determine your success as a brain surgeon are manual dexterity and sufficient arrogance to muddle about in a three and a half pound jello mold that no one really understands and still cope with most of your patients dying or being permanently disabled.

That said, I am perforce a journalist, and the notion that writing 10 column inches on deadline is harder than brain surgery is pitifully laughable.


My fave;

"Bias is a tricky thing. None of us are objective. We like news that supports our views and dislike what may challenge them."

Then why do the media continue to deny their bias and predilection for liberalism? Actually, "We" doesn't seem to include the people who produce the bias, just the consumers of the bias.


I'm biased because I disagree with their bias. Or was that BS?


I had a back issue with nerve involvement going on 6 years and 5 neurosurgeons before one figured out what it was. He was special, the diagnosis wasn't really that difficult he just was able to look at things differently.
But he was impressive. it was at a university hospital, he was cracking jokes with my husband and I, asking questions of the medical student and dictating his notes all at the same time. My husband said this guy has 100gb of ram. My surgery was like tying shoes for him compared to his normal gigs. Plus he was a former Navy doc and was ready to volunteer to go into Iraq if asked. He was one of the trauma docs operating right after the Beirut marine bombing and had no truck for terrorists.
Two weeks after my surgery my back pain was gone.

Charlie (Colorado)

laura, I don't mean to denigrate neurosurgeons to the extent that it seems I think they're useless; since medical school, some of my best friends are neurosurgeons. And the story you tell is one of the ones that makes neurosurgery worthwhile.

Charlie (Colorado)


Face it,” he said, “Men like Joe don’t exist. The vast majority of American workers, isolated from the coastal centers of culture and education, are hapless victims of corporate greed who look to Washington as their last best hope. American journalists didn’t believe the legend of Sarah Palin, they’re not going to fall for this ploy.”

Charlie (Colorado)

OKay, someone had a horrible cutting and pasting accident. Here:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Freddie Mac secretly paid a Republican consulting firm $2 million to kill legislation that would have regulated and trimmed the mortgage finance giant and its sister company, Fannie Mae, three years before the government took control to prevent their collapse.

In the cross hairs of the campaign carried out by DCI of Washington were Republican senators and a regulatory overhaul bill sponsored by Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. DCI's chief executive is Doug Goodyear, whom John McCain's campaign later hired to manage the GOP convention in September.

Freddie Mac's payments to DCI began shortly after the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee sent Hagel's bill to the then GOP-run Senate on July 28, 2005. All GOP members of the committee supported it; all Democrats opposed it.

In the midst of DCI's yearlong effort, Hagel and 25 other Republican senators pleaded unsuccessfully with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., to allow a vote.

DCI is a "Republican consulting firm" --- so what they're really saying is that FRE paid a lobbyist with GOP connections to lobby against the GOP-sponsored bill to increase government oversight and auditing standards over the GSEs.

Plumber's Pal

My only brush with a neurosurgeon/neurologist was when my Mother had her first stroke, a hemorrhagic stroke that drowned over half her brain. They spent 6 hours testing her one day while she was in the hospital and a few days later the Doctor came to me and said that he could not give a prognosis because her test scores showed that even with half her brain destroyed, she still scored 50% better than the undamaged control group's results that they use for comparison to estimate brain damage. Her results skewed all their pre-conceived notions and they didn't have a clue what to do with her. Since I'd lived all my life in the shadow of her astronomical IQ and incredible intelligence and quest for knowledge, I wasn't surprised, but it sure knocked the socks off the neuros.

Then they did a follow-up with verbal testing. I sat in on those and I lost all faith in the tester and the test, when the young resident conducting the test concluded she was unable to define words correctly, sighting her answer when asked to define the word "range." She said it could mean a stove or cooktop, a prairie or open land, a mountain range or row of mountains, to roam, or a distance between two sets of numbers. I thought those were pretty good answers for someone who was supposed to be so brain damaged. The resident said she was obviously confused because she defined range as a stove and that was incorrect.

My Mom looked at me and mouthed, "can he really be that stupid?" All I could do was shrug and hope his surgical skills were superior to his vocabulary skills.

Steve Skubinna

Well, this is a refreshing change. It used to be that media bastions such as the NYT innoculated themselves against charges of bias by claiming "Hey, we get complaints from the left, too, so obviously we're right in the middle where we're supposed to be." So the two gripes from the Trotskyites claiming that the NYT was too firmly in the Stalinist camp balanced the five thousand gripes from the Republicans.

Now of course, their response is "we are not biased! You are! I know you are, but what am I? Neener neener neeeener!"

I am curious about one thing: does the position of "public editor" pay as well as, better than, or worse than that of other whores?

jimrhoads aka vnjagvet

Hilarious, PP. I bet she had trouble with multiple choice questions at times. People that smart usually can find at least two correct answers to every poorly constructed multiple choice test. Even though the teacher can't see it.


Tom, thanks for your earlier analogy used with NPR "palmed the card."

It helps us identify Mr. Hoyt's "slight of hand" in drawing our eyes away from the niggling point the if a story is not covered -- like the depth of Obama's past association with Ayers or Obama's institutional desire to tax 95 percent of the 60 percent of people who pay taxes -- one calls it "ommission" rather than bias.

And, yes, "slight" is the proper word. "sleight of hand" is dexterity. "Slight of hand" is correct because Hoyt was showing very little movement from the party line.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Charlie, the FMs were famous for hiring every lobbyist in DC. Some were not even given assignments, they just wanted to make sure there was no one working against them.


Don't pick on the guy he needs to keep his job. Look what happened to the last guy at the NY Times after he wrote a couple stories that were critical of the NY Times news management. They got a new ombudsman and the guy who criticized the NY Times was out of a job. Don't expect this guy to do anything except defend the paper.


I guess since everyone's biased, there's no such thing as bias. Because any claim of bias is really bias on the part of the accuser.

Meaning Mr. Hoyt is now a glorified copy editor.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Here are some Times readers explaining why they're for Obama...and That Girl.

mark l.

forgetting the stock price decline for the moment...

wiki has them at 1.077 million, circulation.

They are 77k, or within MOE, of dropping below the one million mark.

less than 1% of 2004 voters, and less than twice Kieth Olbermann viewers.

Charlie (Colorado)

Like the one about how to use a good barometer to find out how tall a skyscraper is. Three answers:

- tie a string to the barometer, lower it over the edge. When the string goes slack, that's how tall it is.

- drop the barometer over the edge, time how long it takes to hit the ground, solve d = ½at² given t.

- go to the building's superintendent and say "I'll give you a good barometer if you tell me how tall your building is."

Charlie (Colorado)

Yeah, Patrick. it's an astonishing story: FRE hired a GOP connected lobbying firm to lobby Republicans. I can't wait for next week's shocking revelation.


-- Like the one about how to use a good barometer to find out how tall a skyscraper is. --

Remind me, who was credited with that story? I seem to think it was Feynman, or Einstein, or some similarly gifted physicist.


It was Neils Bohr.

jimrhoads aka vnjagvet

From the article Charlie linked, these interesting paragraphs:

If effective regulatory reform legislation ... is not enacted this year, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system and the economy as a whole," the senators wrote in a letter that proved prescient.

Unknown to the senators, DCI was undermining support for the bill in a campaign targeting 17 Republican senators in 13 states, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. The states and the senators targeted changed over time, but always stayed on the Republican side.

In the end, there was not enough Republican support for Hagel's bill to warrant bringing it up for a vote because Democrats also opposed it and the votes of some would be needed for passage. The measure died at the end of the 109th Congress.

McCain, R-Ariz., was not a target of the DCI campaign. He signed Hagel's letter and three weeks later signed on as a co-sponsor of the bill.

clarice plumber

petergus, what a great story:
http://www.shadowscope.com/archives/2008/04/how_to_find_the_height_of_a_building_using_a_barom.php>Bohr wasn't boring


Heh. Speaking of the NY Times, it seems that Fox News has been reporting on the Cindy McCain slander this weekend and running a banner with the following:

Need to cancel NY Times subscription? (they show phone number to do so).


NY Times complaints: (they list executive editor email address).

Gotta love FNC!


It's a couple of years old by now, but permit me to share the fun.


I wrote a letter to the editors of the NY Times, LA Times, Globe, WaPo, and Chi Tribune a week or so ago pointing out that if they are perceived by approximately 50% of their potential readership to be an unreliable source of news, that would possibly translate into a loss of 50% in sales. I think this is what is really happening when one looks at the numbers as the MSM press falls apart economically.

I'm sure an Obama administration will have subsidies for their allies as well.


does anyone seriously think we're entering the "1984" phase?


No matt, but the 1950s era in Orwell's dystopia, when INCSOC takes power and the the time of the Aaronson purge seems likely.
Remember that '1984' is the culmination. It seems dark, but my parents came from a country, whose early rivals to revolutionary
leadership either dissapeared, perished in suspicious accidents (Camilo CienFuegos,
Frank Pais)imprisoned (Huber Matos, Armando Valladares,) or ended up in exile (Bosch, Artime, San Roman)much like the Russian experience (Kirov, Trotsky, Savinkov).


Other than left/right watchdogs like NewsBusters and Media Matters, is there a supposedly non-partison professional entity supposedly keeping the MSM honest by reporting journalistic malfeasance? The Columbia Journalism Review whose non-partison status is a joke, as illustrated by its latest report on campaign coverage, is the only one that comes to mind. The MSM's lingering stranglehold on the news and the lack of accountability for presenting lies and biased opinions as facts are almost unbearable to me, especially after watching Team Obama do their utmost to stifle free speech throughout this campaign. I really fear what awaits us if all the levers of power are in their unscrupulous hands.

Jim Miller

In 2004, my respect for brain surgeons went even higher. The American Neurological Surgery Political Action Committee endorsed Bush. It was the first time they had endorsed a presidential candidate.

(And I won't say anything about the way the porn industry backed John Kerry.)


"(And I won't say anything about the way the porn industry backed John Kerry.)"

Wasn't something like "We can't get wood" ?


Other than left/right watchdogs like NewsBusters and Media Matters, is there a supposedly non-partison professional entity supposedly keeping the MSM honest by reporting journalistic malfeasance?

Nope. Nor should their necessarily be. The idea is that an educated populace and a disparate competitive press would be the only safe deterrent from bad reporting. Of course, we don't have an educated populace; we have a schooled populace. And that schooling continues unchecked through journalism school.

I remain convinced that the best medicine is laughter. Unfortunately, what passes for laughter isn't funny. Jay Leno's writers are all of a kind. Bill Maher was never funny. Jon Stewart actually offers hope because he realizes he needs an audience that is aware of what is going on in order to be funny.

Where is Will Rogers when we need him? Where is H. L. Mencken? P. J. O'Rourke comes closest but he is discounted for writing under the Cato label.

After the election I want to re-examine those columnists we have that ostensibly write on either the liberal or conservative slant. None of them have merit.


Media bits and pieces:

Judith Miller joins FoxNews as an analyst per MediaBistro.

Byron York has an interesting piece on Tito the Construction Worker taking on the press at a McCain rally and the creepy David Corn, specifically.



Wow, cc! David Corn "I'm not the state. I can't take that right away from you". He was speaking of the First Amendment. Oh, the slips; spread the wealth around and take away free speech. We got big trouble, boys and girls.


Judith Miller? David Corn? People have the collective memory of a flatworm.


Judith, when narrative overwhelmed the integrity of the Gray Lady.


SBW: Notice I posted the Miller piece without comment. grin.

David Corn is not the story in the other bit, Tito the Construction Worker, Hispanic immigrant and citizen is the story. Corn is a creep and always has been.


Of course, cc, but I thought Corn's slip was revelatory.


Oh, cc, thanks for posting that NRO link. It's not to be missed! Here it is again. Let's keep posting it throughout the day for folks who might otherwise miss it. It made my day.

bio mom

We are officially cancelling our NYTimes subscription today after 30 years.


Glenn Beck's CNN show has ended, but he's on his way to Fox News. I guess it's too much to hope he'll be replacing Ted Baxter.


Exactly, Kim - Corn is one of those liberals who would like to silence other voices, just NOT his own.


Rasmussen, Obama +4:

"This suggests that the race may be tightening a bit. Prior to the past week, Obama had enjoyed a five to eight point advantage for several weeks.

McCain has regained his advantage among male voters, leading by five. However, Obama leads by eleven among women."

clarice plumber

NYT admits Clinton's HUD head, Cisneros, played huge role in housing debacle:



I haven't read the book for 30 years. Thanks for the elucidation. I am a huge Orwell fan, and if anyone understood the syllogism between the hard left and hard right, it was he. The 1939 non aggression pact was culmination in many ways.If only Adolph hadn't been so interested in lebensraum.

The infatuation with Obama correlates to an extent with the about face of the Left whe the Nazis and Russians made nice. i try to make sense of it, and get nowhere. Consider:

. He promised to accept public funding until it didn't suit him.

. He has poing blank lied about his tax plan

. Somehow, even a major "Catholic" intellectual has found a way to approve Obama despite his support for 3rd trimester abortion, which is out and out murder, which is one of the greatest crimes of any society. Obama's running mate, a supposed Catholic, endorses this position through his silence.

. The history of CAC is a tissue of incompetence and lies, as is his own accounting of it.

. His tax plan makes no sense whatsoever on an accounting basis or any other.

. He will potentially create the Mother of All Wars for real if we precipitously withdraw from Iraq.

. He has somehow triangulated himself to the center despite the most liberal voting record in the Senate, and a history of running over his opponents by any means necessary, to steal Brother Malcolm's line. That half the supposed republican supposed intelligentsia buys into this line of horse manure buys into is nothing short of miraculous.

So, as Will Ferrell said in one of his movies, "am I taking crazy pills?"...It's the end result of the spoiled society, deconstruction, and rationalization. At some point, a rational society might wake up and realize it's all a pipe dream, but with the Fairness Doctrine perhaps to be revived, I don't expect the truth will out.


From the NYT link:

As the Clinton administration’s top housing official in the mid-1990s, Mr. Cisneros loosened mortgage restrictions so first-time buyers could qualify for loans they could never get before.

Apparently hiding behind their "good intentions" does not provide 2008 dimorats with enough cover so they have to conjure Republican Deregulation to avoid reckoning for the consequences of their party's policies.


From Gateway Pundit via Melanie Phillips and Dr. Sanity:

You have to pinch yourself – a Marxisant radical who all his life has been mentored by, sat at the feet of, worshipped with, befriended, endorsed the philosophy of, funded and been in turn funded, politically promoted and supported by a nexus comprising black power anti-white racists, Jew-haters, revolutionary Marxists, unrepentant former terrorists and Chicago mobsters, is on the verge of becoming President of the United States.

And apparently it’s considered impolite to say so.


I posted this on the other thread. Seems more appropriate here.

Folks, I'm afraid we are living in the last days of capitalism. Rasmussen did a poll on the "redistributing the wealth" issue. 44% favor it. 42% don't. Broke down along party lines. 44%.

clarice plumber

Yes, that Phillips graf is outstanding,Jane.

And now bless his heart Biden idiotically tells us to gird our loins which surely has to remind voters that his running mate has no executive experience and no foreign policy or defense experience whatsoever.



How is it possible that terrorists will attack us to test Obama? I have been promised sunshine and roses if he is elected and by damn, I want my sunshine and roses.


America has heard about this ""redistributing the wealth" issue before, but here is a good reminder;

"They start over after all is lost in Africa
Driven from land in Zimbabwe, couple in their 50s seize opportunity in N.C."


Michelle Malkin has it on her blog too.

It's worked the same way in every country where it has been tried. Ask the former middle class from Venzuela, Cuba and many other countries. Why do Americans think it will be different here? America has always been the place where one could come too when things got too bad in other countries; where will Americans go when thing get too bad in America?


We have heard so much about Bush trampling on the constitution. I wonder how much we'll hear about Obama do his own dance on it?


Look, if McCain doesn't pull this out, we are going to be hanging onto the blue dogs as our salvation from socialism. If there is a conservative democrat in your district/state, they need daily reminders of the district/state they serve.

Rick Ballard

Proposed email message:

I support Sarah Palin and John McCain because both have actually worked for the people who elected them rather than for party or special interests. Sarah Palin stood up to her party leaders in Alaska and skillfully negotiated the largest infrastructure contract every awarded in the United States. She won a better deal for the citizens of Alaska than her party bound predecessor had ever considered and eighty per cent of the people of Alaska supported the results she has achieved to date as their governor.

John McCain has been fighting for the United States since he entered the Naval Academy at the age of 18. He gave twenty-two years of his life in service as a Naval aviator and followed it up with more than twenty additional years serving the people of Arizona in the House and Senate. His entire political career has been dedicated to serving his constituent's interests, not his party's interests or special interests. His record as a maverick is crystal clear as are the acts he has taken in demonstration of his commitment to reform.

I will not denigrate Senator McCain and Governor Palin's opponents. They both have records which can easily be found and very quickly read.

I believe the choice to be as clear as the decision is important and I hope you will take the time to examine the actual accomplishments of the candidates and make your decision based upon what they have done, not upon what they vaguely promise to do.
That's the one I'm going to start sending today. I'd appreciate any comments aimed at improving it. If you agree with the sentiments, feel free to clip, copy and send to as many people as possible.


Rick, "record as a maverick" doesn't fly. Try a different phrasing -- "his record of working to make things better, even in the face of strong opposition from any corner, is clear."

Rick Ballard


Thanks. You're right.


Rick B--would you consider sending your message to the editor of our local paper? The idiots just endorsed Zero in this very conservative district.

rickdoyle at wwub.com


The Seattle Times is the parent organization.

Thanks for any consideration.


I don't want to let this thread die without blaming Jay Rosen for some of this carp. What a tool.


Kim, I used to attend Jay Rosen's PressThink blog, contributed a fair amount, and made nary a dent. Dents are impossible where one is confident of the truthiness of ones ideas simply because they are one's own ideas.

Don't just blame Jay Rosen for "some" of the carp, give him credit for a whole lot more. Journalism schools have gone astray for the last 40 years -- certainly from Nixon's time. Want evidence? Any commentary from NPR's Daniel Schorr will do.

The archives on my seldom updated blog will sufficiently illuminate the dent-proof nature of the Jay Rosen mindset. And he, along with his associates, perpetuate journalist's disease in society. They take "objectivity", understood from their point of view, as news. They accept social guilt when it is thrown like sand into their eyes because they never learned how to defend themselves against theater. Rosen, along with his associates, makes possible the long march through our institutions by the Obamas, the Ayers, and their ilk.

Hey, I'd send Jay Rosen a copy of this blog comment, but it wouldn't make a dent.


"his record of working to make things better, even in the face of strong opposition from any corner, is clear."

How about

"his record of pissing off his own party at any available instance."

Probably not the effect you were looking for.


If you want some amusement in your spare time, sbw, go read my one and only essay at PressThink. It was his first post of the new year, I believe 2006, about the Times stonewalling and the public editor. I had a few interchanges with Steve Lovelady about the Mapes mess, and Jay was conspicuously absent, though under attack.

clarice plumber

sbw, If I ran a journalism school no applicant who said he wanted to become a journalist because he wanted "to make a difference" would even get a visitor's pass.



When we start our "College of Neojournalism" we'll chisel that in stone in the archway over the entrance.

Well put.

Angie Smith

Both Sarah and John worked for those people who elected her. She stood up to her party and negotiated the largest infrastructure contract that was ever awarded. Governor Palin has an 80% approval rating. How many of our Senators and Congressman could have a rating as high--not those moronic, liberal illuminati we currently have in office!


This election is pretty clearly a choice between accountability in government and rule by demagogues. I think the polity will instinctively make the right choice.

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