August 20, 2005
August 19, 2005
The Times Showed Up Late to Air America StoryReaders of The Times were poorly served by the paper's slowness to cover official investigations into questionable financial transactions involving Air America, the liberal radio network. The Times's first article on the investigations finally appeared last Friday after weeks of articles by other newspapers in New York and elsewhere.
The Times's recent slowness stands in contrast to its flurry of articles about Air America in the spring of 2004, when the network was launched. "Liberal Voices (Some Sharp) Get New Home on Radio Dial," read the headline on The Times's article the morning of March 31 when the network went on the air. The article noted that the network had a staff headlined by comedian Al Franken and hopes of establishing a counterpoint to conservative radio personalities such as Rush Limbaugh.
Two months later, The Times reported that the network had come close to running out of money in April but had received an infusion of an undisclosed amount of cash from sources that weren't identified. The article noted that Evan M. Cohen, a primary early backer and the chairman of the network, had resigned.
Yet The Times was silent as other publications reported that city and state investigators were looking into whether the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx had made improper loans of as much as $875,000 to Air America. Mr. Cohen, it turned out, had served simultaneously as a top executive at Air America and as the club's development director. And since the club operated largely with grants from government sources, any money passed to Air America may have come from the public till.
It has become clearer in the past week or so that Air America hasn't yet fully repaid the "loans" from the club, and its financial condition remains murky even in The Times's article Friday. So the future of the radio network seems to be a key question for The Times to answer.
"We were slow in the first place and need to do more," Rick Berke, an associate managing editor at The Times, told me Monday. While it's no excuse for such a belated response to the brewing scandal, it's true that pieces of the unfolding story fell in the domains of three different parts of the newsroom: the metropolitan desk, the business desk and the culture desk. There was, my inquiries suggest, a lack of coordination and awareness of what the paper's competitors across town were writing.
But it seems to me that this story is still unfolding, and The Times, for the sake of all its readers, needs to get to the bottom of any improper conduct and assess Air America's future.
There's another reason to get to the bottom of the scandal. It's the perception problem — a perception of liberal bias for which I haven't found any evidence after checking with editors at the paper.
Failing to cover the story until late last week has led numerous readers, especially those who seemed inspired by conservative bloggers, to write in saying that a liberal bias in the newsroom caused the paper to downplay the budding scandal. One reader put it this way: "If a conservative radio network had been started with money improperly 'borrowed' from a charity like a boys and girls club, it would be front page news for weeks in your paper. Once more, your left-wing bias is showing."
Some interesting facts from the poll.
90% of Republicans say he is doing well.
20% of Democrats say he is doing well.
Huh? How does that add to 42%. It does not.
Here is the key to this folks. On a good Scientific poll, you should sample about 38% each of Republicans and Democrats, the rest independents. In this latest poll, 49% of the sample were Democrats, 30% Republicans. Not exactly a fair and representative sampling.
So we get the following numbers 27 points red, 10 points blue and the balance neutral.
In a fair sample, you would get 42 points before one independent said yeah he is doing ok.
Polls are so easy to skew to the result you are looking for.
For example. Am I in favor of the way we are fighting the war in Iraq? No. I'll fall into the 60% not in favor, but I think we are not being aggressive enough. How often do you hear about that? Uh never.
Do not pay too much attention to the polls folks, they aint all they are cracked up to be.
I've been doing a lot of thinking about the war on terror. I am of the opinion we should of gone to war against Saddam, I do not really wish to argue this. I remember President Bush told us, either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. He may of been serious, but he has not been acting like it.
Here sits Syria, terrorism breeding ground that it is. Here sits Iran building nuclear power (that scares the bajeebers out of me). Here sits Jordan, you know I'm not sure what they are up to but I am sure it is no good. And there on top of the hill sit the Saudi's counting their money.
Saudi Arabia, our great friends there are the key to all of this. Let us transgress back to Gulf War I. Do we all remember what that was about? Saddam invaded Kuwait, and we kicked his butt back over his border. Why? Don't let anyone tell you different, it was for the free flow of oil at market prices.
There have been successes and failures in the current War on Terror, things are going well in Afghanistan (if only they could find the rock Osama is hiding under), if all the news got out of Iraq the American people would be stunned at how much progress is actually being made there. I hate to break it to Senator Feingold, but an exit strategy is already in motion (and telling your enemy what you are going to do in advance, well you can not even win at Risk with strategy like that). There will be a permanent prescience in Southern Iraq and Kuwait, and things are already moving in this direction. I will now remind my bring them all home folks, we still have troops in Germany, Korea, Japan and Kosovo.
Iraq is the key folks. We need things stable there with a friendly government who will be so grateful to us that they will sell us oil at a great price. I think our national foreign policy folks are scared to death of going too far too fast and ticking off the Saudis (the 800# gorilla in all of this). They have our economy in the palm of their seemingly bottomless wells and they know it. We will stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, take that to the bank. Something will likely have to be done about Syrians as well, and if proof is found the Saudi's are tacitly ignoring or financing terrorism, we'll go after them too. But that is the key, only after we have a new source of oil.
Am I saying, I am buying into this illegal war for oil crowd? ABSOLUTELY NOT. For reasons I have stated over and again I think we were justified to remove Saddam from power. I do believe there is more work to be done but the folks over at the State Dept are trying to fight the war on terror in a way that does not cripple our economy, they will also not get it all done before the end of the 2nd Bush term.
PLEASE do not let this thread boil down to another one of those hate monger things. Speak to my theory here. Am I all wet? Splash me. Is this some keen insight? Add to it. Should I of been in bed 30 minutes ago? Absolutely.
August 18, 2005
A Web site announcing Hollywood actor Christopher Walken plans to seek the U.S. presidency is a hoax, his publicist says.
The site, walken2008.com claims to quote the actor as saying, "It's time to get America back on track," and says he will run for the nation's top post in 2008. But his rep told "Entertainment Tonight" that the site is "100 percent not true." "
(It) sounds like someone got a little too excited over his role as secretary of the Treasury in 'The Wedding Crashers' and now they want to make him president," the rep said.
August 17, 2005
I attended the Cindy Sheehan protest vigil in Racine this evening. There were 16 adult-type people, and 2 little kid type people walking around in circles holding candles and small signs.
Also in attendance were myself, my friend Frank and a reporter and photographer from the Racine Journal Times.
- Two cars drove by and honked their horns.
- One car pulled up to the corner with his window down, a protester shouted out to him, "Stop the war", the driver responded, "Finish the job"
Uh that's about it. What can I tell you, it was nothing. 0.00018% of the population showed up for this, and no doubt it will be front and center on the Journal Times in the morning. A bigger crowd than this shows up at Starbucks every morning between 7:00 and 7:15am.
I spent a great deal of time speaking with the Journal Times reporter. He was not at all interested in my name and said the two of us showing up would not be mentioned in his story. He did indicate he had hoped there would be a contingent of Anti-Cindy protestors show up so he would of had a better story.
This was nothing more than a way for moveon.org to keep this story on the front page of papers all over the country, it worked too, I went down and covered it.
How is it this freak can still get paid for six months? Additionally, he was charged two months ago and we are first hearing about this now? Does not the Racine Paper have someone who checks police reports?
Journal Times Story here.
August 16, 2005
Comments... who is your favorite poker player and why?
August 15, 2005
The Badger Blog Alliance has been nominated for Blog of the Week. Ok folks, you propelled RDW to first place a few weeks ago, let us get out and vote for the Badger Blog Alliance.
Seeing as Cindy Sheehan's Hubby has had enough of her little tirade and filed for divorce, can I now say I am sick of her too?
A couple of points on this.
One of things I have heard her going on about was the recruiter tricked her son into enlisting. If that is the case, why did he re-enlist?
She now says she should not have to pay taxes for the portion that goes to war, as she does not agree with it. Can I now stop paying for every stupid government program I do not agree with? Heck I don't have any kids can I stop paying for schools?
Israel out of all Palestine areas, and US out of IRAQ.. Because she said so. So there.
Ok folks the left has found a sympathetic figure, or so they think. How could the right possibly attack a grieving Mom? Problem is she does not act like a grieving Mom, she acts like an ultra-left whack job. I think people pity her. But they pity her because she is being used, she is fueled by her hate in her grief. Hatred of Bush as she needs someone to blame.
How about blaming the terrorists who started all this. And I am not just talking about 9-11, remember the Cole, remember the first trade center bombings, remember multiple embassy bombings? Just a reminder, if you do not agree with them, you are an infidel who deserves to be killed. Not just lefties, not just righties, but all off us. Is that a religion? Islam is a religion. Radical Islamic Fundamentalism is not. If it is, you must also tell me that being a Nazi was religious, how was it any different?
I hate the new energy bill. It has been criticized as just being a money grab for big business. To a large degree that is true. Granted funds have been put into ways to expand and develop upon new forms of energy, that in itself may be a good thing, but this country needs improved energy policies NOW!
Energy is all supply and demand folks. Guess what, demand is going up elsewhere and we have lots and lots of supply we are not touching. You can not look at the reasons behind increased energy costs without looking at the environmental lobby. Too strict environmental policy is hurting our economy. (Unleash the environmentalists)
We need to encourage exploration and development of domestic energy souces more than anything. Technology has improved folks, we can get out higher grade ore, crude and gas while being less invasive and much cleaner to the environment. And just because folks are scared something might happen, well that just is not good enough any more. Let me clue you in on something, that site up in Alaska everyone is fighting about, nobody lives there... it is ice and rock... ooo can not disturb that.
Beyond that we need to do a laundry list of things.
- Expand Hybrid Technology
- Expand Wind Power
- Expand Solar Power
- Expand Nuclear Energy Production
- Improve Ethanol
- Get rid of Boutique Fuels
The current increase in energy costs is an issue of worldwide increase in demand. People will come out and pound on the war on terror, that is a contributing factor, but a small one in total. This is more about the rest of the world starting to use energy like we have for the last several decades.
I am in no way in favor of dirtying the planet, but fear of what if something bad happens, is no longer viable in my opinion.
August 14, 2005
At half time of Thursday's Packer game the great Terrell Owens was interviewed.
In speaking of last years injury he said. "I put it in God's hands and I did it."
Uh Terrell, if you did it, why did you need God?
Congratulations to the poster boy for bad taste, and self grandeur Terrell Owens owns this weeks Hypocritic Oaf award.
You scored as Socially Conservative Republican.
Social conservatives share a belief in traditional morality and social mores and the desire to preserve these in present day society, often through civil law or regulation. The government should use its influence in the public square to support traditional family values.
Kudos to Ben at Badger Blues for creating this.