Archive for ‘media bias’

July 29, 2009

‘He hasn’t gotten where his is today by being a racial opportunist, has he?’

So says NBC’s Matt Lauer to The Boss in the “Today Show” appearance in which, as Human Events says, Lauer “loses his cool”:

This is a good example of why I hate television news. Say what you will about the impact of the blogosphere on journalism, TV has been degrading our profession for decades.

Television is a totalitarian medium, which has trouble accommodating diversity of opinion in a Hayekian universe of facts, where not all facts support any one particular side of an argument. TV tends to takes one of three approaches to controversy:

  1. “That’s the way it is” — The Walter Cronkite Consensus, a phony moderation that may in some sense be “objective,” but is never really neutral. This is the TV version of the phony conventional wisdom that David Broder peddled for decades.
  2. Silencing dissent — The Left has, correctly, excoriated the Beltway press corps for failing to provide due-diligence examination of the arguments in favor of the Iraq invasion. Even ferociously partisan Republicans who were the most hawkish in 2002-03 must now admit that Americans didn’t get the whole story in the months leading up to the invasion. One of the reasons was that TV news did an excellent job of ignoring skeptics, not all of whom were International A.N.S.W.E.R.-type peacenik kooks. TV news tends to reduce arguments to exactly two sides, pro and con, and to exclude voices that don’t fit neatly into those categories.
  3. The “Crossfire” Syndrome — Speaking of Manichean dualism! Lauer evidently feels obligated to challenge and dispute an assertion with which he disagrees. He is not content to do what a good print-news interviewer always does in such a situation: Let the subject of the interview speak their piece, and then come back later to ask them about some particular fact that contradicts their viewpoint.

One of the oldest tricks in the book, as a newspaper reporter, is the give-’em-enough-rope interview method. You’ve got somebody caught dead to rights — the county commissioner who gave a no-bid contract to his brother-in-law, a fact clearly shown by documentary evidence — and yet the obligation of fairness requires that the crooked commissioner has the right to respond to the accusations against him.

No need to be adversarial in such a situation. In fact, the reporter in this scenario wants to present himself as sympathetic and open-minded: “Hey, what’s your side of the story?” You save your toughest question — your smoking-gun “gotcha” — for the end, because if the source gets all huffy and hostile then, you’ve already got a whole notebook full of quotes.

TV news, as a medium, doesn’t work that way. Everything is real-time and the clock rules. Lauer knows going in that he’s got exactly X-number of minutes with Malkin, and begins with the determination to control the interview for its entirety in a way that no print reporter ever does (or should).

There have been times I’ve talked to a source for an hour or more, and the entire news value of that interview was two sentences. Print news is patient in a way that live TV is not.

Much criticism of “the media” is actually a criticism of television, and of TV’s unexamined influence on other media. As a print reporter, it does not matter what my opinion is — especially in a place like Washington, D.C., which has now fewer than four daily newspapers.

So long as I’m reporting facts accurately, any imbalance can be counteracted by either (a) a follow-up story the next day, (b) the outraged letter-to-the-editor presenting “the other side,” or (c) competing coverage in another paper, reporting whatever it was I missed in my story.

TV news is not as easy as it looks — for a 2001 interview, I watched ABC’s Peter Jennings do a live studio anchor on George W. Bush’s first White House press conference, and was impressed — but it cannot be done well by people who are not conscious of its limitations and inherent biases as a medium.

Jennings took heat for bias — he was notoriously sympathetic to Israel’s enemies, which critics attributed to his having shagged every Arab hottie within reach back when he was a Mideast correspondent — but he nevertheless had a concern for professionalism that Lauer entirely lacks.

Believe it or not, Jennings took his critics seriously. Conscious of his own liberal views, he had a real curiosity about what made people see things differently.

Jennings and I stood in the snow on the sidewalk outside the ABC News Washington that day, taking a smoke break. (He kept a pack of Camel Lights in his desk, but said, “Don’t report this. My wife would kill me.”) And as we stood there, off-the-record, Jennings began to interview me.

Who was I? Where did I come from? How many kids did I have? How did I end up at The Washington Times? The man had a real desire to know, and that had a real impact on my perception of a guy whom I’d been prepared to discvoer was a blow-dried Ted Baxter stereotype. Biased or not, Jennings was a real reporter, a guy who took notes and paid attention.
In fact, my feature profile of Jennings was so positive that our editor-in-chief, Wes Pruden, felt the need to edit the story personally, and include a bit of snarky negativity that I considered most unfortunate. And, alas for poor Peter, it wasn’t Mrs. Jennings who killed him, but those Camel Lights.

Matt Lauer, quite frankly, is not fit to be called a “journalist” in the sense that Peter Jennings was. We can trace a descending arc in the quality of TV journalism, and Matt Lauer is not an apogee of that arc.

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July 28, 2009

Headline of the Year

Newsweek’s Obama Correspondent
Joins Administration

First thing Daren Briscoe did? Collect his back pay.

July 7, 2009

The Parable of the Doubting Ace

Ace, that sentence from my column . . .

Other media types joined the rush to write Palin’s political obituary, with a Greek chorus of “conservative” commentators transparently eager to agree that her resignation represented proof that Palin is both unelectable to and unfit for higher office.

. . . was a reference to an entire cottage industry of David Gergen types — The Republicans Who Really Matter — who specialize in going on TV to parrot the conventional wisdom of the liberal establishment, in order to foster the appearance of bipartisan agreement. That was written on Sunday, and it wasn’t until Monday afternoon that I extended the reference in a blog post:

Of course, not all the commentators rushing to write finis on Palin’s career were of the Ed Rollins/David Schuster variety. Both Ace and Allahpundit hastened to endorse the pundit consensus.

Which is true. No accusation of mala fides is involved in saying that you “hastened to endorse the pundit consensus” — and that consensus may, after all, be accurate.

It was evidently God’s will that the Internet service provided by my cable company was on the fritz most of Monday, and despite my paying those jackals $90 a month, I couldn’t even get through on the customer-service phones, which beeped a busy signal all day. So it wasn’t until this morning that I was able to catch up with your post about “heretic hunting in the GOP.”

If anyone is hunting heretics or planning an Inquisition, Ace, it’s not me. (I’m not the type who signs petitions.) The problem is that there have been such purges in the past, for which you are not to blame, and the associations of old memories are stirred when we behold this bandwagon rush to declare an end to The Palin Epoch. If even Robert Novak can be tagged an “unpatriotic conservative” for having criticized the Bush administration’s Iraq policy, the conservative movement has problems far more fundamental than a squabble among bloggers.

Are the Palinistas guilty of intolerant “heretic hunting”? Where did they learn that? It is the conservative elite — the National Review crowd — who have developed the “urge to purge” into a cultic religion. If Rich Lowry wasn’t fired after he banned Ann Coulter from NR, he should have been fired after he published Frum’s “Unpatriotic Conservatives.”

This isn’t just about Coulter or Buchanan or any of the other victims of the exclusive cliquishness practiced by Lowry & Co. Rather, it is about elitism, and a certain type of Republican who craves a conservatism that is respectable within elite circles. This manifests a defensive mentality on the part of the GOP elite that one never encounters on the Democratic side of the aisle, where Democrats routinely associate with shady organizations and individuals (ACORN, Bill Ayers, etc.) without fear that such associations will put them beyond the pale of respectability.

Why this fearful insecurity on the part of Republicans? Why are Republicans embarrassed by Sarah Palin in a way that Democrats are not embarrassed by Joe Biden? It is a mystery worth contemplation, but not one I feel like unraveling this morning (having been deprived, by the will of God and my cable TV company, of reliable Internet service for 24 hours).

Nonetheless, I’m grateful for the Ace-o-lanche, however merited. I didn’t mean to attack you. You’re my hero. You are the wind beneath my wings.

To apply some de-fisking, however, you took strong exception to this paragraph:

First, Palin is a Christian who, in the past, has made straightforward reference to the will of God. What she believes — what she must believe — is that if it is God’s will that she become president, she will.

Yes, Ace, she must believe that. This understanding of God’s will is best expressed by Romans 8:28 and Palin is obviously one of these Bible-thumping hayseed holy rollers who take such things seriously. To quote the apostle Paul from another passage, “we see through a glass, darkly” (I Cor. 13:12) and thus our perception of God’s will is imperfect. Yet we may either seek to know God’s will, and to do it, or else go our own way at our peril, in a state of rebellion.

Shortly after Sarah Palin was announced as Crazy Cousin John’s running mate, there erupted a minor furor over a video of Palin’s June 2008 address at Wasilla Assembly of God in which she spoke of God’s will in reference to the war in Iraq. “Lunacy!” screamed the liberals.

Well, what Palin said might seem insane to those who haven’t spent much time in Bible-believing churches, or who didn’t listen closely to what she actually said:

“Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending them out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”

And let all the congregation say, “Amen!” Pray for your country, pray for its leaders, pray that when they send our troops into war, it is in accordance with the aims of the Almighty. To say this is not to confuse God’s will with George W. Bush’s will, but rather to hope that the latter is conformed to the former, and that . . . well, God bless America . . . God mend thy every flaw.

It might be that the state of our politics in June 2008 was a flaw that the Almighty wished to mend, and that Barack Obama was the instrument by which He chose to mend it. This is not to imply a divine endorsement of Obama’s political agenda, any more than the Babylonian captivity of Israel was an endorsement of Nebuchadnezzar. Nevertheless, the Bible-believer understands that the pagan Babylonians were an instrument by which God chastised the Chosen People, in accordance with His purpose.

To believe like Sarah Palin believes is to conceive oneself an actor in a play of divine authorship, and the conclusion of that drama is foreknown, because it has been foretold. (Aside: Hunter S. Thompson was a huge fan of the Book of Revelation.) If we are living in the End Times — and I am reasonably confident that Sarah Palin also must believe this — then it was surely no fluke that her name was drawn out of the hat as Crazy Cousin John’s running mate.

Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
Esther 4:14

Evidently, it was not in God’s plan that Crazy Cousin John become president, for which mercy we are grateful. But if you believe like Sarah believes, then her selection as his running mate was no accident. Some purpose was intended, in these prophesied times, if only as a sign to the faithful that we are indeed living in such times.

What troubles me most, right now, is the fear that some idiot will do something nutty out of the belief that his insanity is divine. While I was in Alabama this past weekend — I’ll upload the video of my fireworks show later today, God and the cable company willing — my friend’s father said to me, “Stacy, do you think Obama will be assassinated?”

“God, I certainly hope not,” I answered, profanely. (I believe well enough, I just don’t obey so good.)

Since December, I have said that the Democratic economic agenda will be Obama’s undoing — It Won’t Work because The Fundamentals Still Suck — and any kook terrorist who thinks he needs to intercede in that process will be preventing the revelation of a truth as durable as the gospel: In economic matters, markets work, governments don’t.

This goes back to my dispute with Ryan Sager, who asserted an eternal conflict between libertarians and Bible-thumpers, a conflict I consider false:

Some years ago, I was asked to speak to a Christian homeschooling conference — my wife and I have homeschooled our six children — and during the question-and-answer session after the speech, I faced a question for which I was unprepared.
“How has your Christian faith influenced your political beliefs?”
This stunned me into silence for a second. Then I answered: “Well, I guess it comes down to that part about ‘Thou shalt not steal.'”
From there I proceeded to discuss the basic immorality of the welfare state, how it is wrong for government to take money that one man has worked for and give it to someone who hasn’t earned it. . . .
Such a policy is not merely misguided, it is immoral — indeed, it is sinful, as I told the Christian homeschoolers — and by displaying the spectacle of government engaging daily in legalized theft, the welfare state tends to corrupt the morals of its citizens.

You can read the whole thing, but the point is that those who view Christian belief as incompatible with proper principles of government are mistaken. Both Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush have done their part to discredit born-again belief as a guiding force in politics, but God is not to blame for the fact that fools claim to be divinely inspired.

Nor should you, Ace, blame God for any of my foolishness. I am not your enemy, at least not by my own choosing. Right now, the TV in my office — God has granted me cable! –is tuned to MSNBC, which is airing Andrea Mitchell’s ambush interview with Sarah Palin.

There are no accidents. Amen.

UPDATE: Did I say there are no accidents? Andrew Sullivan, Radley Balko and Ross Douthat cage match! If only Conor Friedersdorf would jump in . . .

UPDATE II: On Sully’s assertion of an “absurdly soft” media treatment of Palin, here’s Dan Riehl:

[I]t really does suggest serious emotional issues of some sort. Whatever Sullivan may have been at one point, people who still believe he’s even a semi-honest broker in touch with objective reality are just fooling themselves.
No one in their right mind could possibly conclude the above about the media coverage of Sarah Palin and claim to have a genuine appreciation for an objective political reality. And what’s even more sad is that the web editors of a once prestigious brand like The Atlantic allow it to go on.

I don’t know, Dan. As a matter of New Media “branding,” bugfuck crazy hasn’t hurt me any.

Note the ironic signification of self-awareness. Outlaw!

June 23, 2009

OBAMAPHILIA: LIVE!

President Jonas Brothers meets the editors of his fan-club newsletter, and we’re liveblogging the screaming orgasmic thrill of the White House press conference . . .

12: 31 p.m. ET: He wants to address three issues . . .

12:32 p.m.: “Threats and beatings” — he’s talking about the Teamsters?

12:33 p.m.: “This is about the people of Iran . . .” Oh.

12:34 p.m.: Wow. No Teleprompter today.

12:35 p.m.: Iran must govern through “respect, not coercion.” But just wait until they pass Card Check.

12:36 p.m.: “Clean energy,” the kind that lobbyists and campaign contributors endorse!

12:37 p.m.: Health care — “We will not add to our deficits,” as opposed to everything else Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke have been doing for the past five months.

12:38 p.m.: “Reform is not an option, it’s a necessity” — hmmm. What happened to “respect, not coercion”?

12:39 p.m.: Iranian nukes. Softball.

12:40 p.m.: “An extraordinary debate now taking place in Iran . . . ” Yeah, blood in the streets is “extraordinary debate.” Except maybe in Chicago and Tehran.

12:41 p.m.: He calls on HuffPo!

12:42 p.m.: “We can’t say definitively what happened” when Ahmadinejad stole the election.

12:44 p.m.: “What we can do is to say unequivocally” that we’re not going to lift a finger to stop the brutal undemocratic crackdown in Tehran.

12:45 p.m.: “I’m not going to make news about Ben Bernanke . . .” because I understand that all these anonymous “administration officials” badmouthing Bernanke in the media are actually Tim Geithner trying to cover his skinny ass.

12:46 p.m.: “There’s got to be somebody who’s responsible . . . monitoring the systemic risks,” unlike Neil Barofsky, who’s getting stonewalled by Geithner.

12:47 p.m.: “Systemic risk. Yeah. Systemic risk. Rain man.”

12:48 p.m.: He’s talking AIG now.

12:49 p.m.: Major Garrett throws a 90 mph fastball at Obama’s left ear: “What took you so long?” Obama name-checks “Major,” just to signal to the MSNBC viewers that this is an evil necon question.

12:51 p.m.: More health care questions. Yawn. It’s DOA, because Geithner tanked the economy, and now we can no more afford it than Suderman can afford to marry McArdle.

12:53 p.m.: “Tinkering around the edges . . .” No, by God, we’re going to eviscerate the free-market!

12:54 p.m.: Notice that there’s no concern about “systemic risk” in nationalizing 1/7th of the American economy. . . .

12:55 p.m.: “I get two, three letters a day.” Right. You want to see my e-mail inbox, O?

12:56 p.m.: “Discipline health insurance companies” — with a ball gag and nipple clips.

12:57 p.m.: “Quality care for a reasonable price” — This is where Obama’s resemblance to the Allstate ad guy comes in so handy.

12:58 p.m.: “Legitimate debates” about health care. Let’s just hope it’s not an “extraordinary debate.”

12:59 p.m.: Another Iran question. Everybody laughs at Obama’s joke.

1:00 p.m.: Smitty’s on the phone! “Hey, I’m liveblogging . . .” Smitty says “Dude ain’t packin’ the gear.”

1:04 p.m.: Obama makes an ear joke.

1:05 p.m.: More health care. The Allstate guy sees a “legitimate concern,” but one he plans to ignore.

1:06 p.m.: “You can’t preclude people from getting health insurance because of a pre-existing condition.” Right. Like voting in Chicago, where death is not a “pre-existing condition” that disqualifies Democrats from casting a ballot.

1:07 p.m.: “Guarantee you . . . what’s going to happen is . . .” The Prophet has spoken!

1:08 p.m.: Asked about his smoking habit! Cool. Or, uh, Kool.

1:10 p.m.: This is the one thing I like best about Obama. He’s a nicotine fiend. Maybe after Geithner goes to prison, Obama can send him a carton of Newports every month . . .

1:12 p.m.: “The relationship that we have with Chile . . .” I did not have relations with that Latin American nation!

1:14 p.m.: I’m waiting for him to encourage “extraordinary debate” in Chile.

1:15 p.m.: A gay reporter asks about unemployment and the need for a second stimulus. . . . Obama talks about his inability to predict the future. As opposed to his ability to predict health care, “systemic risks,” etc. Nothing worse than watching an Ivy League law-school graduate talking economics.

1:16 p.m.: “We know for a fact . . .” Whenever a Democrat starts a sentence that way, look for a lie.

1:18 p.m.: “The American people have the right to feel this is a tough time.” Feelings, woh woh woh feelings . . .

1:19 p.m.: “I get letters every day . . .” And I’m in e-mail correspondence with the former oil minister of Nigeria.

1:21 p.m.: African-American unemployment question. Nothing worse than watching an Ivy League law-school graduate talking statistics.

1:22 p.m.: “We want to find tools . . .” Hey, the WH press corps is full of tools!

1:24 p.m.: Somebody tries to interrupt El Presidente!

1:25 p.m.: “We have to believe that ultimately justice will prevail.” This is actually a coded message: Hey, Geithner, get ready for the orange jumpsuit!

June 16, 2009

ABC goes MSNBC?

The White House press tank corps:

On June 24, Drudge reports, the network will broadcast from inside the White House to air a propaganda special for Obamacare.
Opposing voices will reportedly be excluded. ABC News says “thoughtful” and “diverse” points of view will be allowed. In other words: Shills of all colors!

Why compete to become the most mindlessly pro-Obama network? That’s not news, it’s publicity.

UPDATE: Via Memeorandum, conservative bloggers go ballistic: Riehl World View, Right Wing Nut House, Macsmind, QandO, Atlas Shrugs, Babalú Blog and The Jawa Report.

Remember 2002-04, when the “progressive netroots community” went off on a media establishment they felt were too eager to parrot the Bush administration’s line on Iraq? The problem with reverse-engineering that — which is what conservative bloggers must try to do now — is that during the Bush administration, liberal bloggers had the advantage that 90% of the D.C. press corps had voted for Al Gore and John Kerry.

The hopelessly lopsided partisan commitments of the journalistic elite — try a show of hands in the WH press corps, who voted Republican? — have always been the secret weapons of the liberal blogosphere.

How many MSM reporters (Associated Press, NY Times, CBS News, etc.) ever read Hot Air or Instapundit? And how many of them sympathize? The typical MSM reporter sympathizes with Media Matters, DKos and Crooks & Liars. The typical MSM reporter watches Olbermann every night. The typical MSM reporter thinks Letterman’s jokes about Palin are ROTFLMAO funny.

Most D.C. reporters, editors and producers hate Republicans, and that hatred matters.

UPDATE II: Speaking of hatred — and via Little Miss AttilaPundette highlights the “two-minute hate” technique of the pro-Obama media machine, which includes institutions as diverse as the New York Times and the Comedy Central network.

It’s the uncanny coordination of the messaging that makes the Obama media such an engine of terror to its enemies. This harkens back to the JournoList revelation. Once you understand that there is an actual network Democratic political operatives, liberal policy advocates, progressive bloggers and major media journalists connected via a single communications link, suddenly the modus operandi is no longer mysterious.

Jon Henke figured this out three years ago, really, and employed a phrase, “the eyes of the influentials” to describe what is at stake. It is not in my interest to explain everything I’ve deduced in the past three years based on Henke’s insight, but let me say this: Offline private communications that the public never sees are as important as the stuff headlined at Drudge.

Think about that. Think about it hard. Because you can’t beat what you don’t understand.

UPDATE III: RNC chief of staff Ken McKay sends a letter to ABC News, gets a lame, snarky response.

A suggestion for Mr. McKay: How about you kick whoever’s ass needs to be kicked in order to get an actual live blog on the RNC Web site? It hasn’t been updated in 32 days.

Personnel is policy, and this business of assigning important communications operations to clueless do-nothing losers has got to stop.

UPDATE IV: Speaking of kicking ass, Jimmie Bise bloggregates the story at NTCNews.com.

UPDATE V: Welcome (again) Instapundit readers! Maybe he’s trying to make up for the Allah-hate, but if Professor Reynolds keeps this up, Dr. Helen might become suspicious. At any rate, speaking of elites . . .

UPDATE V: Be sure to read down to the comments for good stuff like this from a Methodist pastor:

Is ABC still owned by Disney? Do they still do Fantasy World?

Yes, and soon they’ll be promoting their new ride, “ObamaCare,” which involves a lot of standing in line . . . it’s scary, but not exactly a thrill.

June 15, 2009

Health-care townhall goes green?Obama cultivates the plants!

The MSM is asleep at the switch as Barack Obama fields “spontaneous” health-care questions from . . . a former Democratic Party candidate for Congress:

This questioner can be seen in a CNN video covering the Green Bay event. The woman is identified as “Paulette Guerin” and labeled as an “attendee” of the meeting on the CNN segment. In fact CNN got the spelling of the woman’s last name wrong, it’s not Guerin, but Garin. . . .
Garin was a recent Democrat candidate for Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District. Not only that but Garin is a proponent of a single-payer plan, as Obama was when he was a Senator from Illinois. In fact, Garin says right on her webpage that Obama is a proponent of the single payer plan and she urges fellow Wisconsinites to flood Congress with calls to implement the single payer system . . .

Jeff Gannon could not be reached for comment.

June 11, 2009

Chris Matthews worries Palin ‘talkinglanguage of far right . . of paranoia’

Via Newsbusters, which has transcript:

Wonder who gave him this idea? Joan Walsh or David Letterman?

June 8, 2009

Obama the Job-Saver

Are you getting sick of this yet?

President Barack Obama said on Monday accelerated stimulus spending would create or save 600,000 jobs over the next 100 days, pledging action to slow the growth of unemployment that has reached a 25-year high.
“We’ve got a long way to go, but I feel like we’ve made great progress,” Obama said at a White House meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and cabinet officials aimed at highlighting gains made since Congress passed the massive stimulus package in February. . . .

(Via Memeorandum.) The White House press corps stenography pool doesn’t seem to be asking any of the important questions about the Obamanomics agenda. Monique Stuart asks a good question.

May 14, 2009

Miss December 2001 decides she can no longer associate with Miss USA pageant

Shanna Moakler, whose erstwhile career as a Playboy centerfold has been previously noted here, considers Carrie Prejean a disgrace:

“I cannot with a clear conscious move forward supporting and promoting the Miss Universe Organization when I no longer believe in it, or the contracts I signed committing myself as a youth,” she continues. “I want to be a role model for young women with high hopes of pageantry, but now feel it more important to be a role model for my children.”

Thank you, Miss December 2001 and divorced mom. As “a role model for young women,” your quest for another reality-TV contract and friendship with Perez Hilton will surely be an inspiration to millions.

P.S.: You misspelled “conscience.”

(H/T: Memeorandum.)

UPDATE: Let’s hear from someone who has never appeared nude in Playboy:

Christians are supposed to be fat, balding sweaty little men with bad complexions. It’s liberals who are supposed to be the sexy ones. (I know that from watching “The West Wing” and all movies starring Julia Roberts.) But sadly for liberals, in real life, the fat, balding sweaty little guy with the bad complexion is Perez Hilton and the smoking-hot babe is Carrie Prejean.

Yes, it’s our own adorable Ann Coulter, and you should read the whole thing.

BTW, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the hateful opportunists who attempted to destroy Miss California by leaking those Carrie Prejean nude photos, and thereby drove this blog to previously unimaginable peaks of traffic. Of course, I was the only conservative blogger with the capitalistic foresight to lock down both “Carrie Prejean jailbait” and “Carrie Prejean sideboob” with a single post, but I couldn’t have done it without the assistance of unscrupulous photographers and gay gossip bloggers.

Speaking of naked gay video, Keith Olbermann:

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

(H/T: Hot Air.)

UPDATE II: Welcome Instapundit readers! Remember Professor Reynold’s famous words:

“Personally, I think the more topless photos, the better. But as a straight male, what do I know about beauty pageants?”

More commentary at Jules Crittenden, Pundit & Pundette, Sister Toldjah, and Right View from the Left Coast.

UPDATE III: Perez Hilton plays the “homophobia” card:

(H/T: Townhall) No Perez, Miss Prejean doesn’t hate all gay people. She only hates you.

SEE ALSO:

May 13, 2009

Dear Associated Press: Let’s talk about political celebrities and their ghost writers

Y’know, it was nice of you guys to assign Hilel Italie to write that story suggesting Sarah Palin doesn’t have the brains to write her own book.

Shall we discuss the editorial process behind, say, Bill Clinton’s My Life or Hillary Clinton’s Living History? Between them, the Clintons employed enough ghosts to staff the day shift at Disney World’s “Haunted Mansion” ride.

Having been a Washington, D.C., journalist since 1997, I can assure you that we “talk shop” often enough so that every writer inside the Beltway knows who’s ghosting whom. No need to name names, but suffice it to say that once somebody has served in the Cabinet or been elected Senator, any book published under his name can be assumed to be, at best, a team effort in which the named author was the quarterback. (Or sometimes, as one hears in regard to the Clintons, the meddlesome team owner who insists on second-guessing the editorial quarterback.)

However, since the Associated Press has taken this sudden and keen interest in the subject of potential future presidents and their ghostwriters, perhaps you could be bothered to run down a disturbing theory that has troubled me for several months.

After I founded Authors Against Obama, a reader called to my attention Jack Cashill’s theory that Dreams of My Father was ghost-written. Cashill offered abundant circumstantial evidence to support his theory, and perhaps the mighty AP could assign Hilel Italie to investigate this.

Or, as seems likely, perhaps not.

(Cross-posted at Hot Air Green Room.)

UPDATE: Allahpundit loves me! And Chris Matthews still hates Sarah Palin: