Wednesday, November 30, 2005

More Double Standard on Fake Journalism

UN fake news: Not on the radar screen

An eagle-eyed reader calls my attention to an article in the Los Angeles Times today that describes the practice of the Army paying soldiers to write articles. "Many of the articles are presented in the Iraqi press as unbiased news accounts written and reported by independent journalists. The stories trumpet the work of U.S. and Iraqi troops, denounce insurgents and tout U.S.-led efforts to rebuild the country," said the Times story.

That is, we are led to believe, bad bad bad! But if it is bad, why doesn't the LA Times and the rest of the media write about another institution -- the United Nations -- doing the very same thing? It's a pervasive practice that has been exposed by Accuracy in Media and FrontPage Magazine -- but very little has appeared on the subject in the mainstream media, including the LA Times, the NY Times and Washington Post.

For example, CNBC runs a fake-news talk show called UN World Chronicle, without prominently describing it as produced by the UN propaganda ministry -- as journalistic standards demand. The show is ordinarily hosted by Tony Jenkins, an obscure hack who is a big man on the UN campus, as ex-president of the slimy, scandal-ridden UN Correspondents Association.

The Nation's UN correspondent, the anti-US polemicist Ian Williams, gained notoriety earlier this year for his sleazy practice of taking money from the UN while writing puff pieces on it for various publications. He still boasts about his work for the UN on his website, even as he constantly defends the UN in the media as an unbiased "journalist."

Barely a word on any of this rampant UN correspondent sleaze has appeared in the media, except for Fox News. The UN correspondent group, meanwhile, has clutched Jenkins and Williams firmly to its bosom -- with these two creeps running the annual UNCA dinner, which will be on Dec. 2. Get this: "UNCA Awards ceremony presided by H.E. Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations," says a semi-literate press release announcing the dinner.

Imagine a Pentagon correspondent dinner "presided by" Don Rumsfeld. The screeching could be heard from here to Baghdad. It's just another example of the gross double standard at work here.

Trackposted to: Third World County, Stuck on Stupid, Rempelia Prime, Right Wing Nation, Don Surber, Bright & Early, Adam's Blog

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Uncork the Champagne! It's Palestine Day at the UN!

Hurrah! Hurrah! Let the festivities begin! Yes, folks, today is Palestine Day, as officially proclaimed by the East River Debating and Terrorist Cheerleading Society.

What, never heard of it? That's because the UN's bloated propaganda ministry doesn't want you to know about it -- not if you're an American taxpayer who forks over the biggest portion of the annual tab for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. May not be very much money but, hey, wouldn't pretty much anything be too much?

This nauseating commemoration of a totally execrable cause, is, of course, just another example of how the UN continues to be twisted around the little fingers of its Arab and Moslem members. Strangely, though, there is no mention of this on the main English language UN web page, even though this day of pro-Pal frolics was authorized by a General Assembly resolution just last year. Nothing in the daily news summaries churned out by the Ted Turner-funded UN Foundation, either. Gee, you'd think they were ashamed of it, or something.

True, if you look hard enough, you can see a press release saying that Kofi Annan "called for renewed action by Israelis and Palestinians to meet their obligations under the Road Map peace process, which calls for parallel steps by both parties toward a final agreement."

Wow. Does he really mean that? I mean, wouldn't the Palestinians actually have to dismantle terror groups, as called for in the first phase of the Road Map? Can't be. The New York Times doesn't write about that except when Israeli obligations are involved. So let's not talk about that. This is a day for "solidarity"!

In addition to Kofi's speech and the press release thereon, "a dance performance, a film screening and other activities are scheduled to mark the Day of Solidarity at UN Headquarters."

The Palestinian people have sabotaged, through systematic terror, every effort that has been made to give them an actual state. But doggone it, at least they've got a film and nice speeches and a special day of their very very own. So come on now, guys, celebrate! Dance!

Monday, November 28, 2005

The IHT Scores an 'Analytical Scoop'! Not.

Oreskes Bites the Big One -- Again

When New York Times career bureaucrat -- and proven failure -- Michael Oreskes was shipped overseas to take over the International Herald Tribune, he made a pledge. Oreskes told MarketWatch that the lagging, near-bankrupt IHT would shore up its failing editorial product by getting "analytical scoops."

Instead we've seen one blunder after another -- and still another one lately that is a real doozy. As CAMERA's Snapshots blog reported, on Friday the IHT let Palestinian "negotiator" Saeb Erekat lie about the size of Israeli's army. Erekat calls it the fifth-largest in the world -- when it is not even fifth-largest in the Middle East! (Hat tip: IRIS.)

Sure, it is an opinion piece -- but the Times still has an obligation to not let gross factual errors creep by. The Times has acknowledged that, by the way, several times.

What makes this failure to fact-check particularly unforgiveable is that Erekat is a serial liar.

Way to go, Mike Oreskes! With more "scoops" like this, the IHT may go the way of that other enterprise you drove into the ground, the Times/Discovery Channel. Meanwhile, how about a big, fat, correction?

Myre Fries the Facts on the Gaza Greenhouses

The New York Times today, in a story by the ever-unreliable Greg Myre, describes how the Palestinians are finally squeezing a harvest out of the greenhouses left to them in Gaza by their former Jewish inhabitants. Only problem is that the greenhouses were damaged by the Palestinians, in an orgy of self-destructive violence that received widespread publicity, such as this.

That's what happened, and Myre does briefly mention the Palestinian looting. But -- totally disregarding the historical record -- his story lays the blame for the greenhouses' destruction at the feet of the Jewish Gaza farmers, and not the Palestinians.

It's not as if this happened a zillion years ago, for heaven's sake. It was only this past September, and the media was filled with articles on the Palestinian rampage through the greenhouses. The MSNBC piece, linked above, reported at the time that "Palestinians looted dozens of greenhouses. . ., walking off with irrigation hoses, water pumps and plastic sheeting in a blow to fledgling efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip."

Myre ignores this widely publicized lootingfest, saying instead that "when the Israeli farmers started leaving, they took their most valuable equipment with them, and some greenhouses were damaged or destroyed."

Note the deliberately fuzzy syntax. "Were destroyed"? Why not say, "Palestinian mobs damaged or destroyed them"? Nope, that would be contrary to Times policy of downplaying Palestinian violence. It also provides, deliberately I think, the mistaken impression that the Jewish farners "damaged or destroyed them."

He then says:
James D. Wolfensohn, the envoy for countries involved in Middle East peacemaking, cobbled together a group of wealthy Jewish Americans who pledged $14 million in compensation for the Israeli farmers provided that they left the greenhouses intact. The deal was reached just days before the settlers were evacuated, and it is not clear that it prevented much additional damage to the greenhouses.

Myre presumably had passing grade in high school English. If not, his editors did. Their sloppy syntax had a clear intent -- to unfairly, and inaccurately, blame Israelis for the destruction of the greenhouses, instead of the Palestinians who ripped them to shreds.

As has been my practice with the last few Times items, I'm sending a copy of this item to the Empty Suit, New York Times spokesman (a/k/a "public editor") Barney Calame. Something else for you to ignore, Barney, while you shill for management and focus on trivia.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Empty Suit Watch: Barney Hits the Ice

The Suit: Skating Over Thin Ice

I have been critical of the Empty Suit, New York Times spokesman (a/k/a "public editor") Barney Calame, for allegedly ignoring important issues and instead focusing on trivia and running reader letters as he waits for his contract to run out.

Boy was I wrong!

Today, the Suit dusts off his cobweb-covered "Web Journal" to tackle a vital issue of the day. Let's see if you can guess what it is from the following four choices:

1. The fallout from the Judith Miller mess, in which he has ably served as management lapdog.
2. One of the several dozen issues, ranging from foreign policy to domestic issues, highlighted by TimesWatch as an example of bias.
3. The Times's biased coverage of the Middle East, most recently this atrocity, or perhaps the editorial, not yet corrected, that misstated the origins of the Intifada.
4. Hockey.

Did you guess...... hockey? Give that reader a cigar. Yes, you guessed correctly. In his column today, backdated (as usual) to Nov. 23, Barney responds to this urgent reader concern: "a paucity of coverage of his favorite hockey team by The Times."

As in every other issue touched by the soothing hands of Barney Calame, that too is an area in which you, dear reader, have nothing to worry about. Barney relayed a response from the sports editor to a reader letter that, he assures us, "might be interesting to other sports fans and readers of The Times."

Actually Barney is correct. The Times sports editor ends his dissertation on coverage of hockey by saying, "We hope you'll enjoy our coverage as the season progresses." And you know, that same sentiment can be applied to the Empty Suit. He sure is "enjoyable," in the sense of being unintentionally (or perhaps, maybe even intentionally?) funny.

Barney certainly is the best satirist and parody writer around, as he makes believe he is a newspaper ombudsman. Only problem is that his "season" -- his contract -- with the Times has another year and a half to run. And it sure is starting to drag.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Erlanger "Rebukes" Israel

Erlanger: More One-Sided Pap

New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Steve Erlanger picks up a couple of favorite Times Sulzberger Template themes today -- Israel is groaning under the weight of criticism, and the Road Map for Peace is worth mentioning only when it concerns Israel, not the Palestinians.

Erlanger takes a routine, unpublished report by the European Union containing ritual criticism of the Israeli security fence, and blasts it out of all proportions as reflected by the inaccurate headline, "Europeans Rebuke Israeli Jerusalem Policy." Erlanger reports that "The European Union's diplomatic representatives in East Jerusalem and Ramallah have sharply criticized Israel's policies in East Jerusalem, saying they 'are reducing the possibility of reaching a final-status agreement on Jerusalem that any Palestinian could accept.'"

Uhh.... the only problem is that Israel was not "rebuked" or even "criticized." To do that, after all, you have to communicate with the rebukee/criticizee. But as you can see from the story, this was an "unpublished" report that was not even given to the Israelis-- because the Europeans decided this was not a good time to rebuke Israel! It's right there in the story.

In fact, it was leaked to Erlanger by "someone who wanted to publicize it," -- and an Israeli official only commented on it after he was told about it by Erlanger.

So the EU didn't "rebuke" Israel at all. In fact, a more accurate headline would be "Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Rebukes Israel."

In the course of his "rebuke," Erlanger fails to mention the word "security" even once, and uses the loaded Moonbat term "separation barrier" in referring to the fence that has sharply reduced the number of suicide bombers.

Also, Erlanger once again makes a reference to Israeli obligations to the Road Map while never referring to Palestinian obligations. (You know, to do minor, unimportant things like dismantle terrorist groups.) "Road Map illiteracy" when it comes to Palestinian duties is Times policy, one that Erlanger and deputy foreign editor Ethan Bronner painstakingly defended in a letter to a reader that I wrote about some weeks ago.

As has been my practice with the last few Times items, I'm sending a copy of this item to the Empty Suit, New York Times spokesman (a/k/a "public editor") Barney Calame. Something else for you to ignore, Barney, while you shill for management and focus on trivia.

Seashells, Plastic Mermaids -- and Internet Hate

A reader brings to my attention this cute little item in City Link magazine, a publication of the Tribune Company-owned Sun Sentinel in South Florida that calls itself "South Florida's premier youth culture magazine." In an item on the "best" places in the area, under "Best Place To Buy Tacky Souvenirs," the magazine picks the Peter Pan souvenir shop in Delray Beach, Florida:

You would never know from their business that Alex and Mona Seredin, the current owners of this 54-year-old store, hail from Canada. Stepping inside Peter Pan brings you back to 1950s South Florida, when walking catfish flopped across the roads and your nearest neighbor was likely to be an alligator. This store offers hundreds of pieces of coral, seashell jewelry, straw hats and embroidered T-shirts with Florida themes.

Cute! What the item leaves out, however, is its proprietor's real claim to fame -- which is peddling hate, not "tacky souvenirs." Alex Seredin is the author of literally thousands of crudely anti-Semitic screeds on Internet Usenet boards, commonly referring to Jews as "kikes" and "long noses." Seredin recently opined that Jews "have no right to a country except six feet under," and recommended that "Palestinians expel all the bloody kikes."

Suggestion to City Link: Next time you profile a "tacky" souvenir shop owner, run the name in Google. You might find that more than just the souvenirs are "tacky."

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Good Sense in India vs. Stupidity at the Times

Apropos my item earlier today on an erroneous, typically slanted New York Times editorial on Ariel Sharon, it is interesting to contrast that with an editorial that appeared today in The Pioneer, an Indian daily newspaper.

The Pioneer opined, in an editorial entitled "Perils of Moderation":

. . . Unfortunately, the commonplace wisdom that moderation is a pre-condition for settling conflicts does not hold good when one is dealing with murderous, Islamist terrorists of the Hamas variety who only understand the language of superior force. Mr Sharon has no doubt made it plain that he would not talk to a Palestinian Government that included Hamas. The latter, however, may have to be included in the Government if it does well in the elections to be held on January 25, 2006. Should this happen, Mr Sharon will realise what many following the beaten track on which he has embarked have done in the past - moderation does not pay against terrorism.
Interesting that people in New Delhi get clear-headed analysis like this, while New Yorkers are subjected to typical Times drivel.

Big Boo-Boo In the Times

Big, fat boo-boo in the New York Times today, and it will be interesting to see what if anything is done to correct it.

The lead editorial, predictably urging Israel to make concessions and not saying a thing about Palestinian obligations, repeats the old canard that Ariel Sharon "detonated the Palestinian intifada when, surrounded by hundreds of policemen and soldiers, he visited the plateau in Jerusalem that the Muslims call the Noble Sanctuary and the Jews call the Temple Mount."

Uh-oh. Major screwup, folks.

The historical record is clear: the intifada was "detonated" by Yasir Arafat, as part of the latter's pattern of seeking to obtain in violence what could not be yielded at the bargaining table. As quoted today in an excellent item in Soccer Dad, The Atlantic pretty well laid that old lie to rest in an article a couple of months ago. The magazine's source was authoritative: Mamduh Nofal, former military commander of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

After recounting how Arafat had previously used violence to get his way, The Atlantic reported:

The second intifada also began with the intention of provoking the Israelis and subjecting them to diplomatic pressure. Only this time Arafat went for broke. As a member of the High Security Council of Fatah, the key decision-making and organizational body that dealt with military questions at the beginning of the intifada, Nofal has first-hand knowledge of Arafat's intentions and decisions during the months before and after Camp David. "He told us, 'Now we are going to the fight, so we must be ready,'" Nofal remembers. Nofal says that when Barak did not prevent Ariel Sharon from making his controversial visit to the plaza in front of al-Aqsa, the mosque that was built oil the site of the ancient Jewish temples, Arafat said, "Okay, it's time to work."

Now, Times editorial writers are not especially bright or well-informed. But they could hardly have missed a widely publicized story that appeared on the cover of The Atlantic just two months ago. At the time it appeared, I said that the Atlantic piece was a must-read. But even if the Times's subscription to The Atlantic had lapsed, it has long been clear that Arafat orchestrated the intifada and that Sharon's visit was a shabby pretext. (Again, Soccer Dad proves, in this October 2004 item, that a blog has a better grasp of history than the mighty Times editorialists.)

I'd say a correction is in order, and that the traditional Times method of fixing major boo-boos, a letter to the editor, will not suffice.

As has been my practice with the last few Times items, I'm sending a copy of this item to the Empty Suit, New York Times spokesman (a/k/a "public editor") Barney Calame. Something else for you to ignore, Barney, while you shill for management and focus on trivia.

UPDATE: Good sense in India vs. stupidity at the Times.

Trackposted to:
Adam's Blog
Choose Life
Conservative Cat
Euphoric Reality
Pursuing Holiness
Third World County
Stop the ACLU

Monday, November 21, 2005

Krugman: Get Out of Iraq Because I Say So

I don't read Paul Krugman's column very much for a variety of reasons. Today I rediscovered why I don't.

His column today (unavailable except to lucky Times Select subscribers) basically is an anti-war polemic that, reduced to its essentials, says as follows: "The U.S. should get out of Iraq because I say so."

The title is "Time to Leave." OK. Why? What new evidence do you have or new arguments can you make, Paulie old boy?

OK.... let's see:

"A solid majority of Americans now believe that we were misled into war." You read it here first!

". . .the war is also destroying America's moral authority." Goodness, where does he come up with all these original ideas? (This one is my fave. The U.S. has always been so beloved across the globe! Some people actually believe that.)

"Pessimists think that Iraq will fall into chaos whenever we leave. If so, we're better off leaving sooner rather than later." That makes sense. Better to have that heart attack today, pop. Eat eggs!

It goes on like that. One tired argument after another. Krugman provides no analysis worth mentioning, quotes not a single person. I mean, zilch. And they say blogs are superficial. Hell, at least we try to say something new.

Speaking of which, I apologize for not doing that. Plenty of people have written about how Krugman stinks on ice, so I guess this item isn't saying much that's new.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Shilling for the UN -- It Runs in the Family!

The center of a UN correspondent immigration-law scandal, whose hubby is a kneejerk defender of the UN in the media, has surfaced in what I suppose might be called the family business -- the United Nations!

Anora Mahmudova, wife of the Payola Pundit, the UN media trainer-correspondent Ian Williams, recently churned out a "news dispatch" for a UN website.

Cozy! Her hubby Williams is one of the most slavish defenders of the UN in the media. Even though he boasts on his website that he has conducted media training sessions for UN hacks, he still shamelessly postures as a "journalist" in the media and in speaking engagements.

Williams (the gorgeous creature to the left) just made an appearance at a university out in Michigan, where he was billed as a "UN journalist," to babble on about how the U.S. should be nicer to the UN. (I wonder if he ranted on about how the UN is too pro-Israel, as he did in one recent column.)

Mrs. Williams is famous in her own right. Earlier this year she was nailed by Front Page Magazine for working for UNCA despite not having proper immigration clearance. FrontPage and Accuracy in Media also described the pervasive practice of UN correspondents such as Williams getting UN work while covering the UN, in Williams' case for The Nation.

Sure enough, Mahmudova seems to be following in that famiy tradition. In the Maximsnews website and in various other places, including the official UN correspondent directory, Mahmudova is listed as "BBC World Central Asian Service correspondent in the US and at the United Nations."

So we seem to have a family tradition in the making here. Congratulations!

The Empty Suit Watch: Barney Gets Innovative!

The Empty Suit, New York Times spokesman (a/k/a/ "public editor") Barney Calame, is always coming up with new and creative ways of carrying out his mandate, which is to make believe that he is serving as an in-house journalistic watchdog. In the past, he has filled out his column with the journalistic equivalent of balsa wood -- reader letters and trivia -- while ignoring the many blatant examples of bias and inaccuracy.

Today, Calame rolled out a new one: take a controversial subject, in this case anonymous sources, and pick a few softball examples to make the point that everything is OK and gosh darn it, Times editors are on the job!

"Anonymity: Who Deserves It?" is the title of Barney's column today. "It seems like a good time to assess the state of confidential sourcing at the paper," says Barney. Really? So what's going on and have you got to say, Barney my man?

Well, it seems that there is not too much activity on that front. We don't have egregious examples of bias such as I pointed out yesterday. You don't have a Times film critic using a review to bash Israel. There's an entire website, Timeswatch, that does nothing but examine the very worst examples of Times bias. Any of the stuff on Timeswatch ever addressed by Barney here? Of course not. That's not his job. No, that would not fulfill Barney's mission: to serve as a parody of a public editor.

So today, Barney fills his column in mind-numbingly pedestrian fashion. He cites a couple of examples of anonymous sourcing that are mildly, and I do mean mildly off-base... and some ones that are not mildly off-base, and some that are OK.... and... and .... zzzzzzzzzz.

Bottom line: Everything is under control. "There's a daily conversation on sources," says a Washington editor.

Terrific! But how about a daily conversation on bias too? How about a systematic examination of your coverage of subjects, such as its coverage of Iraq and Washington politics and the Israel-Palestinian conflict, where the Times stacks the deck every day?

Sorry. I was engaged in a bit of fantasy there. For a moment I thought I was dealing with a real newspaper ombudsman, and not a parody of one.

Barney's conclusion: The "[two top editors'] commitment to top-level oversight, and to providing sufficient editing attention to ignite those 'daily conversations' about sources, has to be sustained long after the recent clamor over the paper's use of anonymous sourcing has faded away."

Yep, got to work hard to keep the Times's reputation shiny. Everything is ship shape, folks. All the bias you see in the Times every day? Ain't happening. Just your imagination. That's Barney's World.

Another Must-Read Piece

This one is in the New York Sun (unavailable except to subscribers, alas). The piece, by Nofit Amir, describes how Islamic fundamentalism gulls journalists, with the recent Amman bombing cited as an example:

Most journalists. . . refuse to look at terrorists' religious creed, preferring secular explanations instead. Al Qaeda avidly provides secular explanations, knowing that these have a greater potential of dividing its enemies than religious ones do. If journalists don't start going to the books that terrorists are reading or the sermons they are hearing, they will continue to miss the real story.

This is the kind of sharp analysis you won't read anywhere else, and it is another good reason to read the Sun. However, I sure wish they'd make their newspaper available online. The Times does it. So do the other NY papers. The Sun should too!

(Or, second-best, they could give me a free online subscription.... hint... hint....)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Times Discovers the Road Map!

In the past, I've described how the New York Times has systematically avoided mentioning Palestinian obligations under the Road Map for Peace. The Palestinians must dismantle terror groups in the Road Map's very first phase.

Today, the Times puts its bias on display by showing when it does mention the Road Map in even the tiniest stories.

In a news brief in the "World Briefing" section today by Jerusalem Bureau Chief Steve Erlanger -- not online at this writing -- the Road Map is the central focus. The piece describes how Israel has "invited bids for the building of 13 houses in Maale Adunim... despite an obligation to freeze such construction under the 'road map' for peace with the Palestinians and a promise to President Bush not to expand settlements."

Wow. Thirteen houses -- in a town with a population of 28,700. Terrible! A real "expansion" by maybe 1/100th of 1%.

Compare this joyous magnification of a nonexistent Israeli "violation" to how the Times, again and again and again, refuses to mention Palestinians' refusal to abide by the Road Map by dismantling terrorist groups. To the Times, construction of 13 houses, in a "settlement" bigger than New London, Connecticut, is more important than Palestinians failing to get rid of murder groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

When asked by a reader about their paper's refusal to mention the Road Map, Erlanger and deputy foreign editor Ethan Bronner weaved and evaded and changed the subject. Erlanger sneered that he couldn't put "footnotes" to his stories. A Road Map reference was deleted from a correspondent's story, said Bronner, because of "lack of space."

I'm sending a copy of this item to the Empty Suit, New York Times spokesman (a/k/a "public editor") Barney Calame. Barney hasn't said word one about the Times's systematic anti-Israel bias since coming on board six months ago. Instead, this parody of a public editor prefers to run reader letters and focus on trivia. His job is to carry water for management -- as he did when he piled on Judy Miller.

So don't expect the Suit to do a thing about the Times slanting news about the Israel-Palestinian dispute. Still, I just love getting those computer-generated form letters!

Hey, Barney, here's some more Times bias for you to ignore. Can't wait to get your computer-generated response. Yes, I know, either you or your associate Mr. Plambeck will read this email. And you know what? I believe you will.

Friday, November 18, 2005

TIME Parrots North Korean Propaganda

TIME and North Korea Agree: It Was in NK Territorial Waters

An eagle-eyed reader brought this to my attention: A TIME magazine photo essay, available online here, that sucks up to North Korea the old-fashioned way, by parroting its propaganda.

Click on the second page of the "Exposing North Korea" photo essay, and you get this bit of Pyongyang pap: A photo showing a government official keeping an eye on visitors to the USS Pueblo, which was, the caption says, "captured in North Korean waters in January 1968."

Yeah. So says North Korea -- trustworthy, truth-telling North Korea. No need to do any fact-checking of anything North Korea says!

Not that TIME gives a damn about what our government or the crew of the Pueblo say on the subject, but both are emphatic that the ship was well outside North Korean waters at the time it was captured.

Good old TIME. Take a bow, comrades!

Times Critic Laments Palestinian 'Oppression'

New York Times film critic Stephen Holden today reviews "Private," an Italian indie move on the Israel-Palestinian dispute that -- surprise, surprise -- portrays Israeli soldiers as monsters and Palestinians as victimized, peace-loving and generally just lovely people.

Winding up his equally predictable rave review, the film critic-global strategist Holden tosses in the following Counterpunch-worthy propaganda:

Upstairs in the rooms occupied by the soldiers, their commander. . . copes with the same challenges to his authority as those faced by [the Palestinian hero]. But "Private" also shows the human instinct to fight oppression, even if that rebellion risks disaster. It's what oppressed people do.

Isn't it nice how you can find gratuitous Israel-bashing in just about every part of the Times, even its film columns?

I'm sending a copy of this item to the Empty Suit, New York Times spokesman (a/k/a/ "public editor") Barney Calame.

Hey, Barney! Something else for you to ignore, while you hunt for trivia that makes the Times look good.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A Must-Read Piece

Excellent article today in the American Thinker today on the "New York Times and the Jews." As you can see, and as I have observed in my description of the Sulzberger Indifference Template, this goes well beyond slanted coverage of the Arab-Israeli dispute.

Another great recent article was in the IRIS blog. The Times can't even get its facts straight.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

More Evidence of Times Fairness!

I check just about every day the cobweb-covered "web journal" of the Empty Suit, New York Times spokesman (a/k/a "public editor") Barney Calame. So you can imagine my surprise to check in today to see an item, backdated to "5:38 EDT Nov. 8," that confirms what we knew all along: the New York Times is a fair newspaper.

The backdating is no surprise, I've noted that before, and neither is the Empty Suit's habit of ignoring massive evidence of bias and carefully picking trivial issues that make the Times editors appear fair, even-handed and balanced.

In his "Nov. 8" item, the Suit addresses a burning issue that is on everybody's tongue. You know, the Times's coverage of Alzheimer's Disease. Damn! That man is good. Every time I walk into a room, somebody says to me, "gee, what do you think of the Times's coverage of Alzheimer's Disease? Don't you think it is contrary to established journalistic ethics?"

Well, the Suit brushed off the cobwebs of his web journal to address this issue, one that of course is much more important than whether the Times has knuckled under to the left in the Judy Miller fiasco or is fair in covering Supreme Court nominees or burnished Arafat's reputation.

He did so by duplicating an exchange of emails between a reader and the reporter involved, Randy Kennedy. The dialogue that transpired was much more important than the exchange of emails that I wrote about a few weeks ago on the Times Middle East coverage. You know, the one that contained an admission that the Times made a mistake -- one that it has no intention of correcting.

Important? Not to Barney.

After all, you can't expect the Empty Suit to discuss an exchange of reader correspondence on an important issue that proves bias. That will never do -- not when you can pick correspondence on a minor issue that proves fairness.

The exchange in Barney's web journal went something like this:

Were phony names used in the article on Alzheimer's?

No, they were not.

Did sick people knowingly give consent to be quoted?

You bet.

The exchange, Barney concluded, "indicates to me that the article was approached with appropriate care and thoughtfulness." Of course it did! After all, would we be hearing about it if it didn't?

So rest easy, dear reader. The Times is fair, the Times is just. You have Barney Calame's personal assurance on that -- and you can bet your divan that he isn't losing any sleep over the actual bias that has destroyed the reputation of this once-great newspaper.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Return (Again and Again and Again....) of the Empty Column

Barney's Divan

The Empty Suit, New York Times spokesman (a/k/a Public Editor) Barney Calame, snoozed softly on his divan today, as he ran a column of letters from readers for the sixth time since his tenure as "public editor" began six months ago. (Or to put it more accurately, since his tenure as a "parody of a public editor" and "management shill" began six months ago.)

At one letters column a month, that is a much higher ratio than was practiced by his predecessor, Daniel Okrent. As I pointed out the first time the Empty Suit resorted to this patented time-filling technique--after a grand total of three columns:

"Every biased and inept journalist loves reader letters. They are a thousand times better than the Public Editor roasting your tootsies. That's why the distant rumble you heard this morning was from Times editors breathing a sigh of relief. They're off the hook for another week."

Of course, when I wrote those words, it was not abundantly evident, as it is now, that the Empty Suit was going to be quite the joke that he has turned out to be. Calame is not in the tootsie-roasting business, except for rare exceptions like Times pariah Judith Miller.

Speaking of Miller, today the Suit used another time-tested technique -- running a letter from a disgruntled subject of a personal attack, when the person (Miller) deserved a correction.

UPDATE: Gawker wonders aloud, "Maybe we misunderstood the job, but isn’t the public editor supposed to be more interested in ethics fuckups within the Times than, say, we are?"

You misunderstood the job, grasshopper. Go to the dictionary and look up management shill.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Arafat Mourned, Despite 'Shortcomings'

The New York Times today gets all weepy and sentimental about its favorite Palestinian "leader," Yasir Arafat: "A Year After Arafat's Death, Quiet Homage," says the Times. "His legacy lives on," says Greg Myre, stifling tears. Yeah. I think they had a suicide bombing the other, day, right?

Myre, seemingly puzzled, notes that even though this giant on the world stage was a "father figure" whose portrait hangs copiously in Pal-land, the observances were muted. Says Myre:

Yet public tributes and references to Mr. Arafat tend to be relatively infrequent and low-key. When his name is mentioned, educated Palestinians in particular say any assessment needs to include both his successes and his shortcomings.

Yeah. "Shortcomings." Like ordering Leon Klinghoffer tossed off the deck of the Achille Lauro. Like ordering the execution of Cleo Noel, the US ambassador to the Sudan. Little things like that. You know, "shortcomings." Character flaws.

Compare the rhapsodic treatment of Arafat, reminiscent of the nauseating orgy of coverage a year ago, to the brief, inaccurate item that the Times wrote on the tenth anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin's death. As you can see from the lengthy correction, the author of the piece -- the ever-unreliable Stevie Erlanger -- couldn't even get right the identify the assassin. As even the most casual observer of the Middle East would know, Rabin's assassin was no "settler." This from the Jerusalem bureau chief of what had once been one of the world's leading newspapers.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Welcome New Visitors. . .

.... from Andrew Sullivan's magnificent blog, the ever-readable National Review Online and, above all, Misslissagold, who has sent me a few visitors today, according to my trust Sitemeter.

Hey, it's the small blogs that are the backbone of this nation! (though the big ones result in more hits....)

If You're Superstitious.....

.... avoid this blog today. I just recorded visitor number 66,666.

Calame & Dowd: Where Are the Corrections?

Calame: Owes Miller a Correction

One lingering issue from the Judith Miller fiasco concerns the egregious errors in the one-two punch that she received from Maureen "Are Stupid Columnists Necessary?" Dowd and the Empty Suit, New York Times spokesman (a/k/a "public editor") Barney Calame.

In her website, Miller posts responses to both Calame and Dowd. Both are guilty of blatant errors and journalistic lapses. Rather than list them all -- and to tell you the truth, I'm pretty bored by the whole thing anyway -- I'd suggest just going to this link and seeing what Miller has to say.

Whatever you think of Miller, there's no question that she was shabbily treated by the vicious Dowd and the management-shill Calame. The latter's attack on Miller was particularly loathsome, as he is the individual who is supposed to be the guardian of "fairness" at this once-great paper.

It's long been established that Calame is useless as a journalistic watchdog. Let's see if he has any pretense of ethics when it comes to his own writings.

UPDATE: The Washington Post today makes this remarkable observation:

Several of Miller's Times colleagues, interviewed before her resignation, expressed bitterness after years of watching her seem to slip-slide away from sanction for questionable behavior, like being too cozy with a particular point of view, being too close to her sources, all of which she denies.
Wow. This from the newspaper that gave free reign to the far-left polemicist Chris Hedges?

Remember that back on 2001, while he was on the staff of the Times, Hedges openly advocated the Palestinian cause, and famously accused Israeli troops of killing children for "sport." Turns out that Hedges was mouthing Palestinian propaganda and was basically full of baloney.

Where was the "bitterness" then? Where was the concern that a reporter had become "too cozy with a particular point of view" and too "close to his sources"?

What's Next? Where Alito Buys Coffee?

Latest media lunacy -- the Sam Alito-Vanguard "scandal." Apparently the judge ruled on a case involving the mammoth fund group when he was -- oh no! -- a customer! The perfidy! The horror! What amazes me is not that this sheer stupidity is being pushed by the Democrats, but that the media is not noting or even hinting at the absurdity of it. See here and here and here.

Alito is a customer of the mulit-gazillion-dollar fund group. That's all. Vanguard is no more important to him than the A&P or wherever he buys bread. Maybe less, because you actually have to go into an A&P to buy a loaf of bread, but you can have your entire pension fund managed by Vanguard and never speak to a Vanguard employee. The fund group specializes in index funds and other stuff that is strictly off-the-shelf.

Point is, the media are not supposed to be stenographers. Where is the skeptism in the reporting? I have no particular view of Alito one way or the other -- the merits of judicial appointees are not my thing -- but I know flabby coverage when I see it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Miller, Nursing Knife Wounds in Back, Shuffles Off

Judith Miller made it official this afternoon, shuffling off from the Times after alienating pretty much everybody who came within a quarter mile of her. Have to admit, it is quite an accomplishment to be able to alienate both the left and the right simultanteously, while at the same time making people who had supported her (including yours truly) feel like schmucks.

My "schmuck moment"
came when it became obvious that, just as the looney left had been saying, she was staying in jail unnecessarily. Her source had freely given her permission to testify.

What's interesting -- but totally predictable -- is how quickly the Times, with the encouragement of its management-shill public editor Barney Calame, turned on Miller. Make no mistake about it, this once-great newspaper reflexively defended her for purely institutional reasons, to protect its property rights as a publisher. Once she got out of the hoosegow, Miller reverted to a "reporter who writes stories Republican like" and yecch! Yecch! Get out!

Miller is writing a letter to the editor that appears tomorrow, having been denied the right to publish an op-ed piece defending herself from Barney "Empty Suit" Calame, Maureen "Are Stupid Columnists Necessary?" Dowd and her own editor, who attacked her in the pages of the Times.

The Times story today says "the Times refused that demand - Gail Collins, editor of the editorial page, said, 'We don't use the Op-Ed page for back and forth between one part of the paper and another' - but agreed to let her write the letter." Yeah, when the Times wants to muzzle somebody, the "forth" is OK but not the "back." Miller has a website. She should post her full version of events there.

UPDATE: She did.

What's the Times Afraid Of?

The New York Observer today reports that the dispute between Judith Miller and the New York Times appears to be reaching a resolution. According to the NYO, a sticking point has been giving Miller an opportunity to respond to the personal attacks on her, including a pile-on by that ever-loyal management shill, "public editor" Barney Calame.

Makes you wonder, what is the Times afraid of?

The 'Moderate' Hamas

I've been focused so intently on the NY Times lately (hey, it's a hard paper to ignore) that I miss little gems like this: According to the Associated Press, Hamas is a pragmatic, moderate bunch of mass-murderers that is anxious to engage in dialogue with the Zionist entity:

Hamas is committed to the destruction of Israel and has carried out dozens of attacks that have killed hundreds of Israelis in recent years, but the group also is pragmatic and has proven itself willing to make ideological compromises when it suits its political interests.

Although Hamas' more moderate West Bank leadership had indicated the possibility of talks with Israel, the more hard-line Gaza branch has ruled out negotiations.

The headline: Hamas Might Negotiate With Israel. How nice of them! How moderate!

This is the AP brand of "balance": Give a "hat tip" to Hamas murdering Israeli civilians (tastefully omitting the latter word) while treating that gang of thugs as morally equivalent to Israel.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Paris Riots Lunacy: Criminals? What Criminals?

Coverage of the Paris riots has finally slithered down to outright lunacy. The Washington Post today quoted, with a straight face, an "expert" who lamented how the rioters who are rampaging throughout France are being treated as -- horrors! -- criminals.

I'm not making this up:

"People are shouting they want to be equal," said Christophe Bertossi, an immigration specialist at the French Institute for International Relations. "And the government is treating them as if they were criminals or terrorists."

Well, true, they're not just "shouting," they're also burning and even killing. But the important thing is that the French have to be nice to them.

Hey, I have a suggestion. Maybe the French should make believe that this is 1940, and that the rioters are German troops?

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Charade Ends -- CJR's Corruption Complete

The New York Times reports today that all pretenses have dropped away, and that Moonbat Victor Navasky will now be devoting all his energies to Columbia Journalism Review. That makes complete the corruption of what had once been a respected, neutral journalism review.

This is the first time that the Times has mentioned Navasky's role at CJR, and does so in the context of Navasky being replaced at The Nation as publisher. The DavidM blog, whose reporting had originally revealed the Navasky's role at CJR, notes the scewed news judgment at work here: "Consider this: Leftist replaces leftist as as publisher of leftist magazine (dog bites man), The New York Times writes it up. Leftist takes over neutral media monitor (man bites dog), the Times does not find it newsworthy."

Dave, you're missing the point. You haven't been trained. What to you (and most people) is "man bites dog" is something else entirely to the trained observers at the Times. The "training," of course, being ideological rather than journalistic.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Google Gives Counterpunch The Boot

Some months ago I ran an item describing how the puke-dissemniator Counterpunch was trying to pull a fast one on Google, by inducing people to click on Google Ads. "Four clicks a day is all we ask," said the Counterpunch appeal.

Apparently it worked, with one Counterpunch comrade loyally writing in to the Fascist online rag, saying "I have no money to support you directly. I am pleased to be able to do my bit . . . Just four clicks a day keeps imperialism at bay." Counterpunch changed the language of its appeal, but still was pressing people to click away on those ads.

Only one problem: Inducing readers to click on Google Ads inflates revenues coming to a site at the expense of Google advertisers. The four-click-a-day scheme was expressly prohibited by Google's terms of service.

Well, it seems that the jig is up. A posting in Counterpunch over the weekend contains a pathetic fund-raising appeal that includes the following: "We tried getting money out of Google, but they gave us the boot."

What a shame. Let's hold a collection. Hey, anyone out there have any spare change they want to throw at a bunch of anti-Semitic jackasses? Come on. Bigots need to eat too, you know.

A Public Apology to Byron Calame of the New York Times

Calame: Hard-Working

I would like to publicly apologize to Byron "Barney" Calame, Public Editor of the New York Times. In past items I have used terms like "getting off the divan" and intimated that he doesn't work very hard. Well, I was clearly wrong and would like to take this opportunity to apologize.

As his column today -- on the burning issue of advertising creeping into editorial copy -- makes abundantly clear, Barney is actually extremely hard-working. After all, it must have taken enormous effort, at a time when his newspaper's credibility is coming apart at the seams, for Barney to have found an issue more tangential, more trivial, more utterly off-topic.

And I said the job of being an Empty Suit and parody of a public editor was easy. And I intimated that being a craven toady and management shill -- piling on Judy Miller, for example, when the Times turned against her -- wasn't hard work. Boy was I dead wrong! Apologies! Apologies! Apologies!

The frightening thing about his column today is that I think that Barney might actually believe that his readers are troubled about the non-issue with which he wasted today's column.

Really. I mean, look at this: There are, he says, "pressures to let advertisers tie their pitches more closely to the credibility of the news columns." And that, he says, "can blur the distinction between advertising and articles -- risking erosion of the readers' right to assume that the news columns are pure journalism, both in print and online."

I think it is possible that the Suit actually believes that what endangers Times journalism is encroaching advertising and not shoddy reporting, bias and ideological rigidity.

To cite an obvious example, in recent items I've chronicled how the Times was blatantly wrong in some of its coverage of the Israel-Palestinian dispute. Just go back and read them -- item after item after item, some quoting a correspondence between the Times and a reader, who was fruitlessly trying to reason with Times editor Ethan Bronner and reporter Steve Erlanger. Bronner even admitted that the Times was wrong. There's also been great stuff in Timeswatch and IRIS.

In the face of this massive evidence of bias and error on this single issue there has been no correction. And, of course, not a word from the Suit, either in print or in his cobweb-covered "web journal."

Barney says today "I hold to the traditional view, that readers trust a paper more when there's a clear separation [between advertising and news]. Advertisers are attracted to readers who trust what's in the news columns."

It's easy to make fun of him for saying this in a column devoted to trivia. Don't. Think of the sheer chutzpah involved in devoting a column to something that nobody cares about, at a time when his paper's reputation is in tatters, and then writing with a straight face about "reader trust in the news columns."

Stand up tall, Byron Calame. You're a hard-working man, and I'm sorry that I ever said differently. The suit may be empty, but you should wear it with pride.

UPDATE: A reader points out that Calame is not alone in being fixated on trivia. It seems to be a disease sweeping media-watchers. Take, for example, Slate's Jack Shafer, who this week got upset because editorial writers sometimes use words like "should" or "must." As if that matters more than whether what they say is intelligent or infantile.

Keep it up, Jack, and the title of World's Worst Media Columnist, now held by Jon Friedman of Marketwatch, will soon be yours.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

IHT Scores an 'Analytical Scoop': Massacre! Massacre!

'Scoop' Oreskes Scores Big!

When longtime New York Times bureaucrat Michael Oreskes was bundled off to Paris earlier this year to edit the International Herald Tribune, despite no overseas experience and a record of failure such as the disastrous Times TV venture, he promised "analytical scoops" -- factual ones, apparently, being beyond the capability of the IHT staff and its editor.

Well, Oreskes's IHT has a scoop! Extra! Extra! Read all about it! According to an ex-UN propagandist named Salim Lone, writing in the IHT's Op-Ed Page: "It is not lost on the region that when Israel killed over a hundred Lebanese in Qana in 1996, and when hundreds of Palestinians were killed in Nablus, Jenin and elsewhere in 2003, no UN Security Council action against Israel was taken."

The horrible, horrible Qana Massacre doesn't quite qualify as a scoop, of course, as by now it is old news how Israel wantonly slaughtered Lebanese civilians just for the joy of it -- or, as actually happened, Hezbollah used a Lebanese civilians as human shields by placing a missile launching site adjacent to their compound. (See, for example, here.)

But that pales in comparison to the Nablus-Jenin-Elsewhere Massacre of 2003! While I think Lone here may have his date off by a year, (the famous, fictional "Jeningrad" of 2002, perhaps?) I can't link to a cite refuting this one because it exists only in Lone's imagination. That figures, by the way, as Lone -- though not identified as such, natch -- is a veteran of the UN's Israel-bashing propaganda apparatus, its Department of Public Information.

A scoop! A scoop! An "analytical scoop," because it is contained in an "analysis" -- the point of which was to attack UN Security Council action against Syria -- and a "scoop" because it is an exclusive report on something that didn't happen.

From now on, the editor of this fast-fading Times offspring will forever be known by the nickname he has just earned: "Scoop" Oreskes!

Friday, November 04, 2005

The AP Rewrites UN History

At the bottom of a routine piece in the AP today, we get the following pap:

Since the 1967 and 1973 Mideast wars, Israel has come under attack in the United Nations from a coalition of developing countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

In 1975, the General Assembly voted to equate Zionism with racism, a move that was repealed in the 1990s. But Annan has said "deep and painful scars remain" for both sides. He has made a priority of reaching out to Jews during his tenure.

Yeah, some of his best friends are Jews. But let's put aside the obligatory flacking for Kofi -- this does come from a UN resident correspondent, after all -- turn to a couple of things.

First of all, Israel has been under attack from Arab countries, the Soviet bloc, and their various accomplices since practically day one. It's not as if all was warm and fuzzy pre-'67.

Second of all, "scars on both sides"? Excuse me? Is he saying that the Arab-Dictatorship bloc at the UN is "scarred" by twisting the UN into a hotbed of Israel-bashing and anti-Semitism?

Keep in mind that this naive crap comes from a person who covers the UN for the world's leading wire service.

The Times Sanitizes Hamas

The Hamas Brand of 'Armed Resistance' -- Jerusalem, 2003

The front page of the New York Times today contains a feature story on the Hamas takeover of a town on the West Bank. But this is not the Hamas that is known and loved by all for its sacred mission of mass-murdering civilians. According to Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Stevie Erlanger, this is an "armed resistance" group.

Erlanger used the term twice in his article, thereby adopting terrorist terminology that sanitizes this murderous group. To Erlanger, Hamas's bloodlust is not an oft-proven fact, proudly hailed by Hamas wherever its slimy presence is evident, but is nothing more than just an allegation -- how it is "regarded by Israel and the United States."

The group's tactics -- suicide bombings targeting women and children and rockets fired into civilian areas -- are nowhere mentioned in the story.

Erlanger is, of course, the author of the infamous error-filled puff-piece on a Jerusalem hotel keeper, which ran the other day. Still no correction of those errors, or of Erlanger's earlier article conveniently "forgetting" Palestinian obligations under the Road Map for Peace.

Yoo hoo! Empty Suit! Wake up, Barney. Get off the divan. I want to hear how you're going to excuse this latest example of your employer's longstanding, blatant anti-Israel bias.

UPDATE: Timeswatch's take on Erlanger's latest atrocity.

UPDATE: IRIS today on another Erlanger piece on a poor, poor Palestinian boy being innocently slain by the brutal Israelis -- ignoring how Palestinian children are being systematically used as cannon fodder by being given real-looking phony guns, in the hope of provoking Israeli troops to fire. The aim is to get sympathetic press coverage from a brainless pro-Palestinian hack -- and in this case, it worked beautifully.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Hillary Clinton's Shills Strike Again

Hillary Clinton's best friends in the whole wide world -- the New York Times -- struck again today, with a glorified press release disguised as an article promoting Hillary's upcoming trip to Israel. "A trip that may help her strengthen her support among Jews in New York as she faces re-election next year," says the Times.

That leaves out, of course, why Hillary needs to "strengthen her support." Back in 1999, Hillary stood by like a zombie while Suha Arafat ranted that "Our people have been subjected to the daily and extensive use of poisonous gas by the Israeli forces, which has led to an increase in cancer cases among women and children."

That's what you call the "elephant in the room." Invisible, of course, to Hillary's pals at the Times.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Your Tax Dollars at Work: Fake UN Radio News

Fake news is on the march at the United Nations! Yep, take a look here. The UN's bloated propaganda ministry, its Department of Public Information, today launched "UN Radio News/USA, a new source of audio feeds for radio broadcasters about the world Organization and the issues that affect the American people."

Isn't that great? Read on:
“This service is a ‘one-stop shop’ for broadcasters in the United States”, said Susan Farkas, Chief of the Department of Public Information’s Radio and Television Service. “They have quick and easy access to news that affects all Americans”, she added.

Through the service, broadcasters enjoy access to a selection of actualities, as well as complete, unedited audio of the day’s meetings, speeches, news conferences and media stakeouts, making it possible for stations to cover the United Nations as never before. Spanish news and special reports will also be posted.

As you can see, the UN has moved on from using the UN press corps as its own private army of publicists and fake-news hosts, and has now is offering fake news to any radio broadcasters who want to be corrupted by the East River Terrorist Cheerleading and Debating Society. The best part is that your tax dollars are paying for it. About half the budget of the UN comes from US taxpayers.

UPDATE: Great item in Accuracy in Media ripping to shreds the UN's fake-news apparatus, subject of my earlier item here.

Failure is Contagious

Oreskes: A Proven Failure

I'm a little late with this, but I just got wind of an interesting piece in the New York Post about a possible coup brewing at that fast-sinking ship, the New York Times.

The piece describes the Times Company's failing fortunes, fed by massive losses at both the International Herald Tribune and the Times Discovery Channel.

That caught my interest because, as I noted in passing some weeks ago, the Times recently shifted the hack responsible for the Times Discovery disaster, Michael Oreskes, to the Herald even though Oreskes has no international experience whatsoever!

Oreskes's brilliant intellect is evident in the editorial as well as managerial sphere, judging by his comment that he wants the IHT to score "analytical scoops." In other words, spinning stories is the Oreskes focus, in lieu of outmoded stuff like "new facts." Way to go, Mike Oreskes! Just what the foundering IHT needs. (Say, how do you say "moron" in French?)

I guess failure--like misery--loves company. But here is the thing that occurred to me. Lately a lot of attention has focussed on the Times's plummeting credibility, political bias and, as I have recorded recently, shamelessly pro-Palestinian stance. But how can you expect this newspaper to get its editorial act together when its top management is hopelessly inept, and can't even make sound business decisions?