August 13, 2006
I HAVEN’T BEEN MUCH OF A HOMELAND SECURITY FAN, but this report from the Washington Post seems pretty positive.
I HAVEN’T BEEN MUCH OF A HOMELAND SECURITY FAN, but this report from the Washington Post seems pretty positive.
CRACKING DOWN ON BLOGGERS in Iran. “The Internet censors are busy. Their targets include sexual content, international politics, local grumbling, chat rooms and anything else that makes the Islamic leadership uneasy. Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, a prominent human rights lawyer, estimates at least 50 bloggers have been detained since last year.”
SOMEBODY TELL “RAPE GURNEY JOE” TO STOP WITH THE VITRIOL! “Lamont says he’s surprised by harshness of attacks from Lieberman, Cheney.”
FLYING UNDER THE NEW SECURITY RULES: Varifrank reports:
How long did it take to get ticketed, baggage checked, through security and to the gate today at Austin?
30 minutes. Of course everyone in the boarding area was reading newspapers with the headlines ” Chaos at Americas Airports”. I just had to laugh. It was no worse than your average Christmas.
Virginia Postrel filed a similar report on Thursday. And here’s a report from Heathrow: “The flight today was by far the biggest hassle I have had flying since September 11th, that said, it didn’t take that much longer than normal even with all the extra security.”
UPDATE: A rather less positive Heathrow experience, reported here.
ANTI-SEMITIC CARTOONING, in Sacramento. They wouldn’t do this if Jews cut off people’s heads. Then they’d be “sensitive.”
INSIDE THE LEBANESE CABINET: An interview with Lebanese activist Tom Harb.
“DISPROPORTIONATE RESPONSE:” I wish that this were funnier than it is, but it’s all too close to the truth these days.
MORE LIEBERMAN FALLOUT: HANGING UP on Brendan Loy.
THREATS AND BLUFFS, inside the Lebanese cabinet.
JULES CRITTENDEN HAS THOUGHTS on the defused bomb plot.
MICHAEL TOTTEN REPORTS from inside Hezbollah’s free fire zone.
IN THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, a call for an investigation of the Lebanon fake-photos scandal:
There are, however, two problems here, and they’re the reason this controversy shouldn’t be allowed to sputter to its inglorious conclusion just yet: One of these has to do with the scope of what strongly appears to be wider fabrication in the photojournalism Reuters and other news agencies are obtaining from their freelancers in Lebanon. The other is the U.S. news media’s grudging response to the revelation of Hajj’s misconduct and its utter lack of interest in exploring whether his is a unique or representative case.
Thus far, only a handful of relatively brief stories on this affair have appeared in major American papers. The Times picked up one from the Washington Post, which focused mainly on the politics of Johnson’s website. The New York Times, which ran one of Hajj’s photos on its front page Saturday, reported that it has published eight of his pictures since 2003, but none were altered. It then went on to quote other papers about steps they take to detect fraudulent images. No paper has taken up the challenge of determining whether there’s anything dodgy about the flow of freelance photos Reuters and other news agencies — including the Associated Press, which also transmitted images made by Hajj — are sending out of tormented Lebanon. . . .
There’s more, and it’s worth your time to take a look. That’s one of the undeniable strengths of the Internet and of the blogosphere, and the fact that it is being employed to help keep journalism honest ultimately is to everybody’s benefit.
What the major news organizations ought to be doing is to make their own analysis of the images coming out of Lebanon and if, as seems more than likely, they find widespread malfeasance, some hard questions need to be asked about why it occurred.
Read the whole thing.
THERE’S A BROWSER-FRIENDLY FLASH VERSION of our Austin Bay / Jim Dunnigan podcast on the war available, at PoliticsCentral.
THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION’S FOREIGN POLICY: “All carrot and no stick.”
A STARTLING ADMISSION from The New York Times.
LAURA LEE DONOHO: “I propose a Giuliani – Romney ticket. As a southerner I understand my part of the country very well and I know we will support a Giuliani-Romney ticket in a New York Minute.”
Hmm. What do the rest of you think?
DAN RIEHL says he’s identified more phony AP reporting from Lebanon.
UPDATE: A special “peace in our time” FAQ. Best bit:
1) What would happen if all the Arab nations and their terrorist proxies like Hezbollah set down their arms and gave up their ambitions to drive Israel into the sea?
There would be peace in the Middle East.
2) What would happen if Israel disbanded the IDF, junked its nuclear weapons and declared to its neighbors that she would do anything to live in peace?
Israel would be annihilated, millions of its citizens killed. The term genocide could be used to describe the ensuing holocaust, but since that term has been so hopelessly debased by American academics, a new term would have to be created like super-duper-mega genocide to really capture the nature of things.
Read the whole thing.
TIGERHAWK: What will it take to militarize the West?
SOME SUMMER READING ADVICE from the InstaWife.
LAW PROFESSOR KENNETH ANDERSON wrote to the Belgian Embassy in support of Brussels Journal blogger Paul Belien. Anderson posts the response that he got, and Brussels Journal comments. “Our case has nothing to do with racism. Belgium is following an old tradition which, in the fall of 1939, led Brussels to introduce an ‘administrative censorship’ which prohibited ‘anti-German and unpatriotic publications.’”
HOWARD MORTMAN says forget Ned Lamont — what about Charlie Rangel?
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (free link) reports that the focus in airport security is shifting from stopping bad things to stopping bad people.
It’s another podcast full of war news, with Austin Bay and StrategyPage publisher, and author of many books, Jim Dunnigan. Bay and Dunnigan talk about terror plots being busted via electronic surveillance and confidential tips, Israelis in Lebanon, Ethiopians in Somalia, Iranians in Iraq, and what Montgomery Ward taught us about fighting terrorism, plus a look at events in Mexico. And Dunnigan has a lot to say about the utility of various surveillance programs used to identify terror networks.
Music is by 46 Long.
And, as always, my lovely and talented cohost is taking comments and suggestions.
UPDATE: Allah excerpts a bit.
UPDATE: Reader Christopher Jones emails: “Clearly you need to abandon your hybrid vehicle and switch to travelling everywhere by private jet.”
That does seem to be de rigeur.
MICHAEL TOTTEN is podcasting from the Lebanese border.
A BLOGGER MOLE in Minnesota?
A LOOK AT changing images of women.
DICK CHENEY AND JOHN ARAVOSIS: “Making the same mistake?”
IN THE MAIL: Amitai Etzioni’s Public Intellectuals: An Endangered Species? I’d say it’s a rapidly-expanding species, thanks to the growth of the blogosphere, but I don’t think Etzioni is much of a blogosphere fan.
OVER AT DAVID HARDY’S, a Fisking by Don Kates of a New York Times article on self-defense and retreat rules.
MORE SKY TERROR NEWS:
U.S. law enforcement sources tell ABC News the FBI is investigating new leads that involve a possible connection between people in the United States, in major east coast cities, and the London bomb plotters. . . .
With at least five, and maybe more, suspects still at large, it is the missing plotters who are the greatest security concern. Among those still at large are some of the suspected ringleaders of the London plot.
Congressman Peter King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told ABC News authorities are extremely concerned about the missing suspects. “They are on the loose,” said King. “These are desperate, vicious people, who have a good degree of sophistication. And they’re out there, if nothing else, they’re available for future operations. The more deadly threat is that there is a plan B that they would be able to implement.”
Intelligence officials tell ABC News the plot’s trail leads directly to al Qaeda and to the Pakistani city of Karachi, where money for the plot was wired to London.
Hard to know how much to make of this, but stay tuned.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL on the airliner plot:
Let’s emphasize that again: The plot was foiled because a large number of people were under surveillance concerning their spending, travel and communications. Which leads us to wonder if Scotland Yard would have succeeded if the ACLU or the New York Times had first learned the details of such surveillance programs. . . .
In short, Democrats who claim to want “focus” on the war on terror have wanted it fought without the intelligence, interrogation and detention tools necessary to win it. And if they cite “cooperation” with our allies as some kind of magical answer, they should be reminded that the British and other European legal systems generally permit far more intrusive surveillance and detention policies than the Bush Administration has ever contemplated.
It’s also worth noting, though, that a tip from a worried British Muslim played an important role, which is why measures that over-alienate Muslims and immigrants are likely a bad idea. Striking a balance is hard, especially with all the political posturing going on.
MICHAEL YON profiles Omar of Iraq the Model.
Plus, a disturbing commentary on the political situation inside Iraq. “It bears repeating, despite the incredible progress that has been made in Iraq; we are in great peril of losing the war entirely.” I hope that people in the Pentagon are reading this stuff.
UPDATE: Related thoughts here, plus some interesting thoughts in the comments.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Michael Yon emails: “Thank you for not shying away from the peril in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most people are trying to pretend it’s not happening.”
Well, the fact that Big Media can’t be trusted to report honestly on the war — and in large part, they can’t — doesn’t mean that it isn’t important to get bad news when there’s real bad news. As I’ve said before, my problem isn’t with the reporting of bad news, it’s with dishonest and slanted reporting. A press that we could trust would do tremendous service by accurately reporting problems, since those kinds of reports bypass the chain of command, where there’s always a tendency to make things look better as they move up. Unfortunately, we don’t have a press that we can trust. We have a press that runs fake photos, makes things up, and wants to hurt Bush more than to do its job. That’s not only unfair, but robs us of the very benefit a free press is supposed to provide.
Bad news from trustworthy people — like Michael Yon — is a different story.
MORE INFORMATION ON THE ARRESTED TERORRIST PLOTTERS:
British officials identified 19 of the suspects accused of plotting to blow up U.S.-bound aircraft, making public a list of names that fueled suspicions of a Pakistan connection. Travelers at Britain’s airports again struggled with increased security, and dozens more flights were canceled Friday.
Five Pakistanis have been arrested in Pakistan as suspected “facilitators” of the plot, a government official said, in addition to two Britons arrested there about a week ago.
The Bank of England said it had frozen the accounts of 19 people arrested Thursday. The men, ranging in age from 17 to 35, had names of Muslim origin, many of which are common in Pakistan.
Some, however, weren’t Pakistanis:
Neighbors identified one of the suspects as Don Stewart-Whyte, 21, from High Wycombe, a convert who changed his name to Abdul Waheed.
“He converted to Islam about six months ago and grew a full beard,” said a neighbor, who refused to be identified. “He used to smoke weed and drink a lot but he is completely different now.”
Ibrahim Savant of Walthamstow, one of the names on the Bank of England list, was a convert formerly known as Oliver, neighbors said.
Should’ve stayed on the weed. Lots more on developments in this roundup, including stories on the role played by communications intercepts.
Meanwhile, James Joyner looks at the not-so-bright side:
The news that Scotland Yard managed to foil a terrorist attack that would have conceivably dwarfed the 9/11 attacks is not quite as good it might first appear. Certainly, the prevention of “mass murder on an unimaginable scale” is something for which we can be tremendously thankful. Still, our reaction to it has already furthered the terrorists’ aims.
We need to be going after the sponsors and encouragers of this sort of thing, not just the formerly weed-smoking dupes. In particular, that means the network of radical clerics sponsored by Saudi Arabia and Iran. And, once again, we see the benefit of communications intercepts in stopping terrorists.
UPDATE: Good news: A tip from a suspicious British Muslim played an important role, too.
THE GOVERNMENT MAY PROSECUTE RECIPIENTS OF LEAKED CLASSIFIED INFORMATION, not just the leakers. It’s only a District Court opinion, but it’s got to be causing heartburn at the New York Times and the Washington Post.
SIGNS OF THE APOCALYPSE: Tucker Carlson on “Dancing with the Stars?”
Ethiopia and Somalia are about to go to war again, because of a dispute over a lot of semi-arid and thinly populated land (the Ogaden), and generations of ethnic and religious hatreds. Ethiopia usually wins these wars, and there have been many of them in the past.
And, apparently, more to come.
SOME ADVICE for CAIR.
UPDATE: More here: “First, CAIR endlessly tells us that Muslims are peaceful and not terrorists. But then, in the next breath, it sticks up for the terrorists and objects to their being called fascists. Second, CAIR seems to object to any pejorative reference to Islamic terrorists. If we can’t call them fascists, or militant jihadists, or Islamic radicals, or totalitarians or imperialists, what on earth are we supposed to call them?”
Plus, Hezbollah supporters in Dearborn. If this keeps up, people will start questioning their patriotism.
UPDATE: More advice for CAIR: “I cannot help but think that if anyone is fueling anti-Muslim bigotry right about now, it is a group like CAIR who is doing it by raising the wrong fears and condemning the wrong people.”
BRENDAN LOY wonders if the foiled plot was scheduled for August 22.
A BAD REVIEW FOR BUSH ON LEBANON: “The administration now seems joined at the hip with the French when it comes to combatting Hezbollah. It’s almost as if Kerry, not Bush, won the 2004 election.”
Bush certainly seems to have hit the sweet spot — prosecuting the war vigorously enough to anger the antiwar left, but not vigorously enough to please the prowar right.
MICKEY KAUS: “So if Lieberman wins as an independent, and the Democrats pick up six seats in November, doesn’t that mean Lieberman gets to decide which party controls the Senate? And if so, do the Democrats really want to take Kos’ advice and piss him off?”
That’s been my question all along. I understand the notion of making sure that members of your party don’t stray too far from what it’s supposed to mean, but if your major goal is winning back control of Congress it doesn’t seem to me that targeting Lieberman makes sense. But I’m not a political strategist, so perhaps I’m missing something.
UPDATE: Joe Lieberman, then and now.
RUSS SMITH WRITES on Lemann’s last stand.
What’s funny is that the blogosphere is probably less of a threat to The New Yorker than to any other publication. With the exception of a few people like Michael Totten — whose stuff really belongs in the New Yorker — the blogosphere doesn’t generally do long, well-written feature journalism, which is what The New Yorker specializes in.
THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE FACULTY CLUB IMBROGLIO gets a story in Inside Higher Ed. I’m not sure it deserves that much attention.
ANN ALTHOUSE: “If the 9/11 conspiracy theory were true . . . why wouldn’t the government have found a way to silence the persons who began to uncover it?”
Her question is answered in the comments, of course.
DAVID ADESNIK WONDERS if the Lebanese regret it when Israeli children are killed. “Although I suspect that Siniora personally does feel regret, his inability to say it affirms in my eyes that Arab politics takes place in a moral universe where Israeli life is worth nothing.”
THE REPUBLICAN “E-CAMPAIGN” is emailing about this story on Harold Ford, Jr. returning campaign contributions from the adult entertainment industry. Seems like nothing much to me; if this is all they can dig up, he’s looking good. More interesting was this tidbit in the same story about Ford’s support for Joe Lieberman, and another independent candidate who lost a primary:
Last month, Ford told radio talk show host Don Imus that Lieberman was a friend and had his support in the primary race for the U.S. Senate.
Lieberman’s independent run is not the only one Ford may have to contend with. Ford’s brother, Jake Ford, is running as an independent in the 9th Congressional District race in Memphis. State Sen. Steve Cohen last week won the Democratic nomination for the seat that Harold Ford Jr. now holds.
Harold Ford Jr. does not intend to get involved in the local race, he said. “I’m a Democrat. I support Democrats,” Ford said, noting that Lieberman and his brother, though both running as independents, are still Democrats.
(I’ll take a position: Steve Cohen got me tickets to see John Fogerty’s comeback show in 1986 at Mud Island, so he’s got my eternal loyalty). But come to think of it, Ford ought to be embarrassed — for returning the contributions, not for taking them. After all, porn is good for America!
MICHAEL RUBIN: “When it comes to radical Islam, Europe and the United States have mastered the art of repeating mistakes.”
IN THE MAIL: Harry Turtledove’s new Civil War novel, Fort Pillow. It’s not alt-history, it’s just a historical novel.
DONALD SENSING ON THE U.K. BOMB PLOT:
If the plot had succeeded the death toll might have exceeded that of al Qaeda’s attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
As I’ve noted, the terrorists aren’t terribly bright, but they’re very persistent and they learn from their mistakes. That makes them a potent threat.
I suspect, though, that the only real solution is to go after the backers — mullahs and rich guys in Iran and Saudi Arabia, mostly — and not just keep arresting the cannon fodder. I don’t see any signs of that sort of approach, though.
UPDATE: By the way, lots of interesting posts on this at The Corner.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Mary Katharine Ham looks at some reactions.
BEST. LAMONT. SPIN. EVER. “The pro-Bush candidate just got 48% in a Democrat primary.”
This calls for some sort of a prize!
UPDATE: Tim Cavanaugh, who won’t miss Lieberman, observes: “Lieberman is possibly the least libertarian member of the United States Senate.” I dunno, there’s a lot of competition for that slot. But spinning Lamont’s victory as a libertarian triumph is — well, it’s further than even Tim is willing to go!
AUSTIN BAY says that July was a crucial month.
BRITISH TERROR PLOT FOILED:
British police said Thursday they had arrested 21 people in connection with a terror plot against airlines travelling from Britain to the United States which was “intended to be mass murder on an unimaginable scale.”
Officials raised security to its highest level – suggesting a terrorist attack may imminent— and banned handcarried luggage on all trans-Atlantic flights. Huge crowds formed at security barriers.
The extreme measures at one of the major international aviation hub sent ripple effects throughout the world. Officials at Heathrow airport cancelled most flights from Europe.
The U.S. government responded by raising its threat assessment to its highest level for commercial flights from Britain to the United States amid fears the plot had not been completely crushed.
PJ Media has a huge roundup, too.
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has much more.
AN IDF BENEFIT: Massage under fire.
JOHN BATCHELOR: “Why is America waiting to be attacked by Iran?”
DOES ROBERT BYRD KNOW ABOUT THIS? An end to racially segregated classes in West Virginia. About time, I’d say . . . .
THE REAL WINNER FROM THE LAMONT VICTORY: Jim Geraghty, whose new book on “How 9/11 Launched the Era of Republican Leadership” will get a lot of attention as the Democrats move from a party that has supported the war whenever push came to shove, to an outright antiwar party of the 1972 variety.
WIRED NEWS uncovers journalistic fakery — at Wired News.
Good for them, but Gelf Magazine thinks that, well, it really is good for them:
Since it is unlikely that Wired News has a higher percentage of unethical writers than other publications (after all, why should it?), the fact that two of its contributors have been found to produce bogus work in the last two years suggests it is better than other publications at rooting out cheaters. Why is that? Because it has put into place provisions that make it less likely for these guys to slip through the cracks.
Of course, that also suggests that there’s a lot of cheating going on at other journalistic outlets that never gets exposed.
DOUG WEINSTEIN ON LIEBERMAN AND LAMONT:
Let’s see if I’ve got this right. Conventional wisdom says that the country has gone progressively to the center/right. The last two Democratic presidents were centrists. The Democrats desparately want to regain control of Congress in 2006, and the White House in 2008. Joe Lieberman was the Democratic standard-bearer just six years ago, along with Al Gore. The DSCC and the Democratic establishment [aside from President Clinton] provided little or no help to Lieberman in his campaign, which is the same as opposing him. And many left-leaning Democrats are now gleeful over his defeat by a “trust fund baby” in the Connecticut primary, which makes the party as a whole look like total freaking disloyal idiots to the rest of the country. . . .
I wouldn’t be the least surprised if Lieberman runs as an Independent, kicks Lamont’s ass in the general, and then sticks it to the Democratic party forever. I wouldn’t blame him. And I say that as a loyal Democrat.
He’s not the only unhappy Democrat today.
UPDATE: Interestingly, I didn’t realize that Ned Lamont was Corliss Lamont’s son. Though I’m living proof that sons and fathers can have different politics.
MORE: ReliaPundit: “I think that the fact that Joe is Jewish really hurt him with the base of the Democrats.”
Antisemitism? In Connecticut?
Meanwhile, Ilya Shapiro observes:
In all the spin about how a “moderate” cannot win given our nascent “politics of polarization,” we lose sight that Lieberman’s supposed moderation rests mostly in his even-tempered disposition. This is a man, after all, who received an 80 percent approval rating Americans for Democratic Action and only 8 percent from the American Conservative Union (less than Hillary Clinton and Barbara Boxer and equal to Chuck Schumer and John Kerry). Heck, even in voting to authorize President Bush to go to war in Iraq, he was joined by a majority of his colleagues (including Clinton, Schumer, John Edwards, and Minority Leader Harry Reid) in a lopsided vote that was greater than that approving the first Gulf War.
Yet Lamont adviser Jesse Jackson said in an op-ed in the Chicago Sun-Times Monday that “A loss for Lieberman would be a win for progressives.” Jackson went on to fault his party’s putative Vice-President — many who pulled the lever for Lamont no doubt still consider Al Gore to be President — for “embracing key elements of the conservative agenda,” including questioning certain excesses of affirmative action and supporting cuts in capital gains taxes that have ushered in a new class of investors.
Such arguments expose the nasty truth at the heart of the modern “Party of Jefferson”: You have to embrace the entire Democratic catechism (abortion on demand, racial preferences, etc.) or risk banishment from this “party of inclusion.” While accusing the GOP of being a group of intolerant extremists — so intolerant that the party establishment is funding Lincoln Chafee (who has a voting record equal to Lieberman and Clinton, and more liberal than 14 Democratic senators) against a conservative opponent — it is the Democrats who are repeatedly shown to have binding litmus tests.
It’s not a big tent. It’s a pup tent.
JACK BAUER FOR SENATE: In Connecticut and New York. “Jack Bauer is prepared to bend the rules in order to save America, again.”
ANDERSON COOPER NOTES Hezbollah media fakery. “But they clearly want the story of civilian casualties out. That is their — what they’re heavily pushing, to the point where on this tour I was on, they were just making stuff up.”
I’m glad people are noticing. And talking about it.
WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE hate the Jews?
WORKPLACE PRIVACY takes a hit in the Ninth Circuit.
Because it’s not easy to blame Bush for this, it won’t get much attention. But that fact is indicative of our irrational and uneven treatment of these issues.
MORE ON REUTERGATE from the L.A. Weekly:
It’s been a good week for Los Angeles’ most controversial political Web site, Little Green Footballs, widely reviled by some because it takes global Islamist terrorism more seriously than, say, a Dick Cheney hunting accident.
On August 5, Little Green Footballs (LGF) provided convincing visual evidence that a Reuters photograph of the aftermath of an Israeli bombing of Beirut was a poorly Photoshopped fake. The black clouds of smoke and duplicated buildings shown in the photograph were so obviously “cloned,” in Photoshop-speak, that it seemed surprising they could escape notice on one of the world’s most prestigious news desks. But escape it they did, and the image went ’round the world, one more victory in Hezbollah’s propaganda war against Israel and the U.S.
But then, it has long been the contention of LGF’s webmaster, 53-year-old Charles Johnson, who is the co-founder of PJ Media, that an awful lot of dodgy news items seem to slip past the news desks of Reuters, the Associated Press, and other major media organizations and newspapers.
And his case seems to be pretty strong, doesn’t it?
HACKING THE HIMALAYAS: Xeni Jardin looks at the Tibetan diaspora.
FAUXTOGRAPHY UPDATE: The New York Times runs a correction on a misleading photo.
AT WONKETTE: Cynthia McKinney sings! And fights!
MICHAEL MOORE plays Robespierre. Nobody’s pure enough for him, especially Hillary.
UPDATE: Blogometer isn’t very optimistic about Dems’ hopes for talking Joe Lieberman out of running as an independent:
It’s just hard to picture Lieberman accepting defeat at the hands of a movement that calls him “rape gurney Joe.” Thus at the very moment bloggers ought to be celebrating their biggest accomplishment to date, they’re instead heading straight on into a train wreck.
We’ll see. Stay tuned.
ANOTHER UPDATE: InstaPunk offers helpful advice for the Democrats. Well, advice, anyway.
And reader Kevin Pedraja emails:
As a Democrat and a staunch opponent of the decision to go to war in Iraq, I must say I have mixed feelings about the Lamont victory and the resulting triumphalism of the Liberal netroots. I think it’s a mistake to generalize this result (in a fairly moderate to liberal state) as a harbinger of things to come in the 2008 national elections. Kos’ comment about Jesse Jackson being on stage with Lamont during his victory speech is particularly worrisome (a feeling that only grew when I read that not only Jackson but Al Sharpton flanked Lamont). How can any Democrat with a brain think that our chances of regaining control of either house of Congress or the White House go up if we’re “united” behind the tired hucksterism of Jackson and his ilk?
There’s no question that Lieberman’s unwavering support of Bush hurt him with activist Democratic voters (who tend to vote more often in primaries), but he also ran a comically inept campaign, inflicting almost as many wounds on himself as those delivered by his opponent. Should this surprise anyone? After all, this is the guy who thought “Joementum” would be well-received.
The fact is, opposition to Bush and the war is largely visceral in the Northeast corridor. And while dissatisfaction with the president and the war seems to be growing elsewhere in the country, it’s a far more nuanced issue than (as some like Kos would have us believe) “yer either fer us or agin us.” In any event, it seems incredibly premature to start buying the champagne before it’s remotely clear who the respective standard bearers of either party will be.
To me, this seems like a building debacle for the Democratic Party, and a reprise of 1972. But I could be wrong.
THE WASHINGTON POST reports on Reutergate:
Charles Johnson could tell there was something wrong with the news photo the minute he saw it. Something about the three plumes of black smoke rising over the buildings — smoke just doesn’t curl that way, pirouetting in unison. It was, he wrote Saturday, “blatant evidence of manipulation.”
He was right on target. . . .
Little Green Football’s “Reutersgate” and “Rathergate” scalps share a key characteristic: They stem from Johnson’s skepticism of, if not outright hostility toward, the mainstream news media (or as some Little Green Football visitors like to refer to them when they post comments, “the lamestream media”).
In Johnson’s view, the news media haven’t adequately sounded the alarm about threats to Western societies posed by radical Islamic groups — something he says he seeks to redress through his politically conservative blog.
“My main take is that political correctness has kept a lot of the hard truth from being spread by the mainstream media,” says Johnson, 53, a professional musician in Los Angeles who spends most of his time maintaining his blog.
“The vast, vast majority of Muslims want to get along and live a comfortable life just like everyone else,” he says. “But the mainstream media shies away from showing the public the real face of Islamic extremism. They don’t want to offend. And they are influenced by some strong advocacy groups that are funded by Middle Eastern countries, which are actively engaging with the mainstream media to promote a point of view.”
UPDATE: Charles comments on the Post story.
MORE LAMONT FALLOUT: Austin Bay is calling for a McCain-Lieberman ticket in 2008. Cato’s Ed Crane says that this is proof that campaign finance reform just makes it easier for rich guys to buy elections. (“More than 60 percent of Ned’s campaign expenditures came from Ned. Without Ned, Ned loses.”) Guess we’ll see more Neds, then.
And, in a semi-related item, Hot Air bids farewell to Cynthia McKinney.
CYNTHIA MCKINNEY HANDILY DEFEATED:
Cynthia McKinney, the fiery Georgia congresswoman known for her conspiracy theories about the Sept. 11 attacks and the scuffle she had earlier this year with a U.S. Capitol police officer, lost a runoff election Tuesday for her district’s Democratic nomination.
Attorney Hank Johnson, a former county commissioner, soundly defeated McKinney. With 98 percent of the precincts reporting, Johnson led with 59 percent of the vote. . . . Johnson, a political unknown three weeks ago, strode into the ballroom of his campaign party to shouts of, “Hank! Hank! Hank!” Meanwhile, there was no sign of McKinney at her campaign celebration for most of the night.
Let’s hope we don’t see much of her in the future. Perhaps she’ll curl up with a good book!
JAMES MCCORMICK REVIEWS Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail, over at Albion’s Seedlings.
MORE FAUXTOGRAPHY CHARGES, this time involving the AP.
TIME: “Joe Lieberman’s loss Tuesday in the Senate primary also signaled the ascendancy of a legitimate new power center in the Democratic party, the Netroots.”
I think that’s right. The big question now is, can they win a general election the same way. Joe Gandelman has a big roundup of reactions, and asks: “Is Lieberman’s defeat and Lamont’s victory a harbinger of a new direction for the Democratic party with many parts of the party on the same page — or the beginning of a self-defeating split that will cause the Democrats to grab defeat from the jaws of victory in November?”
Kaus says that Lieberman beat the spread, but agrees that his defeat is a big deal, and credits Kos for gloating “effectively and non-megalomaniacally.” But he also relays this bit of snark: “Will history record that the first significant victory of moveon.org was the defeat of a…..Democratic incumbent?”
And Markos observes: “Seeing Al From’s oldest nemesis, Jesse Jackson, behind Lamont tonight must’ve driven him insane. That brings a smile to my face.” And Karl Rove’s, I imagine.
It’ll be interesting to see what effect this has on Republican politicians’ interactions with the blogosphere. Perhaps PorkBusters will get more respect. And Kaus notes similar primary victories in GOP races on the part of the Club for Growth, which suggests that the power of outsiders is generally being magnified by the Internet. Hmm. Intriguing idea!
There’s lots more rounded up over at PJ Media.
UPDATE: Don Surber won’t miss Joe: “So a Trust Fund Baby named Ned Lamont, whose money goes back four generations to a partnership with JP Morgan himself, knocked off Joe Lieberman today. Good for Ned. See ya, Joe. Don’t let the door hit you on that ass you’ve been covering for years in the Senate.”
SOME INTERESTING Lebanon media notes.
Plus, reflections on “fauxtography.”
UPDATE: Interesting stuff on blogospheric fact-checking at USA Today.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Steve Sturm has more thoughts on Fauxtography, and a question:
With all due respect to the abilities and talents of the bloggers who have uncovered these frauds (not to mention all the free time they seem to have), these bloggers are not doing anything the likes of the NYT and Reuters couldn’t do on their own…. if only they were interested in doing so. The fact that they’re not the ones uncovering these frauds is evidence of the lack of effort they’re putting into verifying the legitimacy of the photos – and photographers.
And the reason they’re so willing to accept as true the stuff they’re given? Well, let me answer that question with a question: are the NYT and Reuters giving a free pass to Jewish photographers taking pictures of the destruction on the Israeli side of the border?
Meanwhile, Gateway Pundit has more photo questions.
IPOD VIDEO issues.
EARLY RETURNS FAVOR LAMONT.
UPDATE: John Cross is liveblogging the Lieberman and McKinney elections tonight. Early returns have Hank Johnson ahead of Cynthia McKinney. As with Lieberman/Lamont, though, it’s too early to say much based on these returns. However, Howard Mortman notes that some people have already been writing “Joebituaries.”
Lieberman has conceded the primary to Lamont.
RealClearPolitics thinks a narrow Lamont win is “just about the worst result possible for the Democratic Party.” Political Wire says that Lieberman will run as an Independent.
If he wins, will he pull a Jeffords? It’s interesting to see what Lieberman said about Jeffords’ switch in 2001.
Armed Liberal is thinking of Jean Hagen. And Brendan Loy is undertaking a party switch himself: “Well, if there’s no room in the Democratic Party for Joe Lieberman, then there’s no room in it for me. . . . It’s official now: the Democrats have jumped off the cliff, and are in free fall toward a richly deserved oblivion.”
Plus, GOP triumphalism at PoliPundit. Justified? We’ll see.
I CAN’T SEEM TO REACH VOLOKH.COM at its usual address, but I can still reach it here. Just in case you’ve been having the same problem.
LOADS OF CONNECTICUT ELECTION UPDATES over at The Hotline Blog.
“PARTY OF SATAN:” Saudi religious leader denounces Hezbollah.
REUTERS GETS BURNED, at Hot Air.
PORKBUSTERS UPDATE: A look at pork in higher education: Earmarks for colleges and universities don’t get as much scrutiny as pork aimed at other sorts of institutions, according to this report. “The most recent statistics on college pork come from an article in The Chronicle that reported total earmarks had surpassed $2 billion for the 2003 fiscal year.”
NEWS ABOUT MIGRAINES: Everything you thought you knew is wrong, apparently.
THE SANITY SQUAD IS NOW PODCASTING! [Isn't everybody, now? -- Ed. Seems like it!]
THE U.N.’S “dangerous definitional problem” regarding terrorism.
UPDATE: Link was bad before. Fixed now. Sorry!
TED FRANK looks at the Vioxx litigation: “So out of eleven cases that have gone to trial or almost gone to trial, there is a reasonable suspicion that plaintiffs faked Vioxx usage in as many as five of them. How many more of the tens of thousands of pending plaintiffs have similar flaws? . . . Drug safety is important, but so are the health costs from vaccines and drugs not marketed because of liability risks. If the judicial system cannot police itself adequately, the question then becomes why we want to entrust national drug safety policy to an elected judge and a handful of randomly selected jurors in Starr County, Texas.”
AMIT VARMA WRITES on Reutergate and stringers.
YES, IT’S MY FIVE-YEAR BLOGGIVERSARY, and yes, I forgot about that until just now. I don’t have any special plans to celebrate, beyond just blogging as usual, but if you want to return to those thrilling days of yesteryear, here’s the archive for that week.