Saturday, September 18, 2004

And while we're discussing comedic potential

(Hat tip: cadethappy)

Mark Steyn - CBS defense of Rather hints at bigger story :
Of all the loopy statements made by Dan Rather in the 10 days since he decided to throw his career away, my favorite is this, from Dan's interview with the Washington Post on Thursday:

''If the documents are not what we were led to believe, I'd like to break that story.''

Hel-looooo? Earth to the Lost Planet of Ratheria: You can't ''break that story.'' A guy called ''Buckhead'' did that, on the Free Republic Web site a couple of hours after you and your money-no-object resources-a-go-go ''60 Minutes'' crew attempted to pass off four obvious Microsoft Word documents as authentic 1972 typewritten memos about Bush's skipping latrine duty in the Spanish-American War, or whatever it was.

The following day Charles Johnson of the Little Green Footballs Web site drove a stake through your phony '70s memos by overlaying them with modern MS Word documents, whose automatic word wrap is amazingly an exact match with Lt. Col. Killian's ''typewriter.'' And every document expert agreed with Johnson your memos are junk, including your own analysts.

By now just about everybody on the planet also thinks they're junk, except for that dwindling number of misguided people who watch the ''CBS Evening News'' under the misapprehension that it's a news broadcast rather than a new unreality show in which a cocooned anchor, his floundering news division and some feeble executives are trapped on their own isle of delusion and can't figure out a way to vote themselves off it.

So the only story you're in a position to break right now is: ''Late-Breaking News. Veteran Newsman Announces He's Recovered His Marbles.'' And, if last week's anything to go by, you're in no hurry to do that.
And why's that?
The only reasonable conclusion is that the source -- or trail of sources -- is even more incriminating than the fake documents. Why else would Heyward and Rather allow the CBS news division to commit slow, public suicide?
Ah, the laughs have just started!

Yet another goofy "sports" photo-op

It's not like Lurch doesn't have any advisors for his campaign:
Across the wine-dark sea they come, honing Kerry's message. They come from Harvard, K Street and the studios of CNN. "Once more into the breach!" they cry, as they join the conference call of thousands.

Look at them, these great, unhuddled masses, yearning to wear White House badges. They are consultants, flacks, spinners, strategists, Knights of the Palm lunch table. And yet they come as one, from all corners of the Democratic world, to figure out what John Kerry, age 60, should believe and say.
So who in the horde is responsible for these goofy sports photo-ops? The camera doesn't love Lurch and they're inevitably a source of japery.

Wilson! You're back!
(Hat tip: FR. Pop culture reference here and more humorously, here)

But I'm not complaining. I'm sure the best is yet to come!

Ooooo! What an athlete!
(Hat tip: FR)

Friday, September 17, 2004

You can't tell the players without a scorecard!

(click to supersize)

Rathergate got you confused, Bucky? Unsure of how Captain Dan's little girl, Robin, fits in with Democrat Texas Supreme Court candidate David Van Os who's the lawyer for Bill "Kinkos" Burkett? Wondering how Lurch fits into the big picture?

Well, wonder no more as Kevin explains it all. With friends like this, Lurch would have done better to just continue hanging around the mansions.

Angst among the wingnuts

First left-hand threaded object - Steve Lopez, who "traveled with Gore four years ago for Time magazine and watched as he managed to blow a lifetime of breeding and experience" [what flavor, Steve? - ed.] and has a big sad on in the LA Times. Skipping the obligatory snarking about President Bush and those sneaky Republicans that prove that he is a member in good standing of the mainstream media, Steve's basic complaint is about Lurch:
With only a month and a half before the election, the question is not whether George Bush showed up for National Guard duty 30 years ago, but whether John Kerry will show up for the rest of the campaign.

Yes, I know. Kerry pops up here and there, makes speeches and moves on. But nothing sticks with me, other than the nagging sense that Kerry can't quite warm to the task.
The other day on the radio with Don Imus, Kerry was asked about getting American troops home from Iraq.

"What you ought to be doing — and what everybody in America ought to be doing — today is not asking me," Kerry said. "They ought to be asking the president: What is your plan?"

Even if he'd tried, Kerry could not have come up with a more harebrained answer. All he had to say is that he foolishly bought into the president's justification for war, and soon as possible, he'll get us out of that mess and fight a true war against actual terrorists.

"We're asking you," Imus persisted, "because you want to be president."

Kerry's response?

"I can't tell you what I'm going to find on the ground on Jan. 20."

How about his political career?

A few more answers like that, and he can share a lifetime of what-ifs with Al Gore.
Then a Freeper infiltrates a MoveOn/DNC event in the San Francisco Bay area. Conclusions:
1.) There is a great deal of conflict over whether the CBS memos were forged or not. It seems that a lot of hardcore liberals have accepted the fact that the documents were fake, but there are still some that are clinging on to the slightest shred of possibility that those memos were genuine as though their lives depended on it. Mentioning it in a room full of Democrats is like tossing a grenade, and they'll generate much heat arguing with each other.

2.) It is no longer a faux pas to say that you think Kerry is a lousy candidate choice among the KoolAid drinkers, and many Democrats are turned off by what even they describe is a New England elitist snobbishness that he can never seem to shake. This is San Francisco, so that New England attitude doesn't fly. I offered that I didn't think Kerry was a particularly good choice of candidates and many of the ultra-libs jumped in and stated that they quite frankly detested Kerry -- remember they thought I was one of them. Howard Dean was liked by a great many people, but a lot of liberal Democrats and party activists openly admit that they can barely stomach Kerry if you bring the topic up. When I first brought that point up to see what they thought of him, I wondered if I would get lynched at the first vaguely negative word. In truth, they had harsher words for him than I did.

3.) The the majority of Democrats, at least in the San Francisco area, think that the election is already over and that Bush has won. At this point, they are going through the motions and already planning the next campaign season. There are a few Kool-Aid drinkers who think Kerry will win big, but those folks are in the clear minority. Most are looking at this campaign as the worst they can remember and have already written it off as decided.

My analysis after having attended the event is that the hardcore Democrats are far more dismal about their prospects than is generally reported and that most of them have already thrown in the towel. Even the ones that haven't thrown in the towel don't like Kerry as a candidate and dearly wish they had selected someone else, even most of the Kool-Aid drinkers. I kind of expected most of them to be Kerry-bots, but they aren't. This gives me a sneaking suspicion that the Democrats aren't going to be showing up at the polls come election day.
Aw, too bad! Although there's nothing that spells leftist fun more than a good purge of deviationists. But never count your crackpots until they're hatched.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

It's not dead, it's only resting!

Chris Shugart - It’s the Dead Parrot, Stupid!:
One of my favorite Monty Python episodes is the one where Michael Palin plays the blissfully-in-denial pet shop owner trying to convince dissatisfied customer John Cleese that a recently purchased parrot isn’t really dead. The sketch deteriorates hilariously as Palin tries to provide ridiculous evidence that the obviously dead parrot is absolutely alive.

I thought about that comedy bit in the wake of the Rather/CBS scandal. The similarity was delightfully amusing. Watching Rather and CBS defend a story so full of holes is like watching Palin explain that the dead parrot is only "resting." So I’m here to declare that the news coverage of the 2004 presidential election has hereby officially achieved the status of “amusing.” Hey, sometimes you just gotta laugh.

You gotta laugh watching Dan Rather stubbornly sticking to a story that everyone knows is as bogus as the nose on Michael Jackson’s face. Dan Rather has become the straight man in a reality TV comedy. Once the Killian memos were found to be forgeries, Rather soberly announced, "If any definitive evidence in the contrary of our story is found, we will report it.” Meanwhile the “definitive evidence” that Dan can’t seem to find is flying about like New Year’s Eve confetti.

You gotta laugh when USA Today Editor Ken Paulson provides this feeble defense of the National Guard documents: "The jury is very much out on the authenticity of the documents.” The jury is still out? I’ve got news for this clueless editor: The jury already has the rope tied to a tree.
Captain Dan is "pining for the fjords" too.

Thanks, Sophie!

Leave it to good ole Sophie Cannon to remind us benighted Americans what a vote for Lurch means - Iraq war illegal, says Annan.

Thanks for thinking of us, Sophie, but if you want to worry about legalities, you better make sure your cover-up is in place on the Oil-for-Food scandal.

Smooth move, Lurch!

Can't a guy get a drink around here?

Kennedy won't campaign for Kerry in our area after all:
First, Ted was coming. Now, he's not.

U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy will stump for presidential candidate John Kerry in Harrisburg and perhaps Pittsburgh tomorrow, but he won't swing through Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Shucks! Why's that?
... one source close to the Kerry campaign said the Kennedy visit to Nanticoke was a "done deal" as of Tuesday night.

The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the event was canceled by early Wednesday, soon after news reports of the visit surfaced.

Although no reason has been given for the cancellation, it's possible that Kennedy's ties to the area still haunt him.

Kennedy became forever entwined with the Wyoming Valley on July 18, 1969, when the car he was driving plunged off Dike Bridge into a pond on Chappaquiddick Island, Mass. His passenger, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, a Forty Fort native and Democratic campaign worker, drowned.

Those memories stick with area residents, said one source.

"I think people who were Kerry supporters told the campaign that they were crazy to bring Kennedy here. If he comes, it's going to be a negative, black mark for Kerry."
I always like to help, so here's a link for Lurch's campaign workers - Remembering Mary Jo.

Today's Hoot!

NEW YORK - Veteran anchorman Dan Rather implicated White House Political Director Karl Rove as "the mastermind behind the so-called Acme Group" after his rocket-powered roller skates exploded during a Wednesday CBS Evening News investigative report.

Rather had donned the controversial Acme skates -- along with an Acme brand Bat-Man suit -- in a complicated sting operation to reveal what he termed a "deep conspiracy between the White House and internet partisans to cover up George Bush's shameful military records."

The investigation went awry soon after Rather lit the skates, releasing what NYU Physics professor Alan Sokol estimated as "20,000 to 30,000 pounds of thrust." The heat of the initial explosion was so intense that it singed the hair off several nearby CBS reporters, including Rather's anchor heir-apparent John Roberts.
Rather frantically righted himself just in time to hurtle cleanly though the side of an MTA bus at 7th Avenue, leaving a gaping Rather-shaped hole. The impact sent Rather careening down the stairs of the 50th Street subway terminal, through a turnstile, and onto the tracks of the Uptown-bound 1 train.

"The incoming tunnel was sparking and lighting up, I thought there was some kind of power problem," said Carla Robertson, who witnessed Rather speeding through the tunnel at the 34th Street platform. "Later I realized it must have been his ass hitting the third rail."

Robertson said she didn't pay much attention when she saw a spread-eagle Rather, screaming along the tracks on rocket roller skates.

"This is New York, so we see celebrities all the time," said Robertson. "Then I realized he was heading downtown on the uptown tracks."
Much more by following the link. For those outside the USA, for whom this may be a tad obscure, go here:
Rule 2: No outside force can harm the Coyote -- only his own ineptitude or the failure of Acme products. Wile E.'s ineptitude, possibly a by-product of his distracted obsession with catching Road Runner, is compounded only by the Acme company's products - which may work for other customers, but seem never to work for Wile E., who repeatedly risks life and limb counting on their effectiveness.
Rule 3: The Coyote could stop anytime -- IF he was not a fanatic. (Repeat: "A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim." - George Santayana)

Is this really the best they can do?

First, CBS kept everyone waiting yesterday for some big press release about their "document investigation" and finally delivered a lame paragraph that they hadn't spell checked. (Maybe they need some Microsoft Word classes?)

Then later in the evening, Captain Dan trots out the "Old Lady Defense" - an 86 year old former pool typist in the Texas Guard of the strictly Democrat persuasion who says that while the documents are certainly fake, they're uncannily accurate. That's a swell endorsement, but not to worry because ole Dan is going to keep on "investigating". Of course, he still hasn't run the interviews Mary Mapes already did with Killian's family that reveal that the forgeries aren't accurate at all. Allah has all the links, if you want to watch the hole get deeper.

I guess CBS might well be the "platinum network" - there certainly is some really dense material between their ears.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

And while we're having fun

One time Gore campaign chairman, Tony Coehlo, had a public rant yesterday about the confusion at Lurch HQ. Aside from the slapstick comedy there was this line:
“Here are two groups that have never gotten along and have fought, and it is a lot over money,” says Coehlo. "Because in the Democratic Party the consultants get paid for the creation and the placement of [advertising]. Republicans only pay you for the creation.”
Hmmm, why does that sound familiar? I know! It's because that while Howard Dean's campaign went down the toilet, his campaign manager, Joe Trippi, made out like a bandit. And he worked without salary too, just like some of Lurch's new pals. Why does "the party of the people" always come up with these kinds of innovations?

Today's Hoot!

(click to supersize)

More here and a hat tip to Claire at SondraK's place.

UPDATE: There's even a t-shirt for Captain Dan!

"Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first drive mad"


Get a load (and I do mean load) of Captain Dan, bloated with self-importance, pontifiicating to the New York Observer. He's really puzzled that anyone could get upset about a few forgeries when he has decreed that bigger questions are involved.

But there's comedy too. According to Dan, "powerful and extremely well-financed forces are concentrating on questions about the documents." Sheesh, I hope my check is in the mail.

UPDATE: QandO has a nice take on it:
Now maybe its just me, but does it strike anyone else that what Rather is asking us to do is akin to finding an entry in the "Hitler Diaries" saying Dan's Mom had an ongoing relationship with Adolph and requiring poor Dan to forget the diaries are forgeries and answer the questions about the relationship?
There's also a great suggestion for 60 Minutes (Sunday) to investigate 60 Minutes (Wednesday). What a ratings blockbuster it would be to have Mike Wallace jamming the microphone in Dan's face and asking him where he got the forgeries!

UPDATE: Jonah Goldberg offers another analogy:
Dan Rather says of the memos: "The longer we go without a denial of such things—this story is true."

Well then: I hereby announce that Dan Rather walks around with an elaborate system of studded leather bindings and pulleys under his pants which cause trapped miniature ferrets to bite and claw him in sublimely agonizing ways. In fact, Rather's odd pronouncements are usually the result of a particularly exquisite sado-masochistic pain he's administered to himself just beneathe the news desk. The famous "courage" sign-off was actually a note to himself to endure an especially vicious critter in his trousers trying to eat its way out.

The longer Dan Rather goes without denying this the more likely it is the allegation is true.
I think Dan is more likely a gerbil kind of guy.


Matt Margolis - Economic Comparisons of August '96 and August '04:
As John Kerry parades around the country talking down the economy to his supporters, the Bush-Cheney campaign has noted that the "same statistics Kerry campaigned on in 1996 are the same he rails against in 2004."
Details here. Don't worry sports fans - that won't stop the Lurchster from repeating it mindlessly.

The CBS forgery plot thickens

(Via FR) Nashville radio talk show may give us a clue about who had prior knowledge of the forged documents:
The next question regarding the 60 Minutes fraud is: who gave the CBS show the bogus documents? Veteran Nashville broadcaster, Teddy Bart on his daily radio show, “Teddy Bart’s Roundtable” may have given us a clue about who knew about the documents nearly a month ago. It appears that Bob Tuke, who was a guest on the show on August 11th knew that something was about to happen with regard to President Bush’s alleged failure to show up for a physical examination.

Teddy referenced the episode yesterday (September 9th) when 42:13 seconds into the show he said, “Listeners to the Roundtable will note that something was going to come because Bob Tuke, who is a Nashville attorney and significant in the Kerry campaign in Tennessee, told us about three weeks ago that um there was going to be some document, or implied that there will be a document about Bush’s missing time in the Alabama National Guard, in the National Guard, and that somebody was going to come forward with a document. So it did happen, and uh 60 Minutes had it.”
More by following the link, but here's ole Bob Tuke:
“We may also know why Bush failed to show up for his medical exam that caused him to lose his flight status.” When pressed on his comment he said that, “The physical exam was scheduled for a couple of weeks after the Air Force changed its policy and decided to put drug testing into physical exams so now the speculation is out there about why would a person who has been serving for--supposedly serving for--three to four years in the Air National Guard as a pilot fail to show up for a physical so that he could maintain his flight certification status? Why?”

Teddy pressed him on the issue and Tuke wouldn’t get more specific, but the astute journalist Teddy concluded the first hour of the show by saying that “My sense of it is just, just, just flitting around the edges of Mr. Tuke’s comment, somebody’s going to come forward soon and say something about that physical examination.”
Maybe Tuke has an Ouija board?

Ruh Oh!

There are rumors (via Fox News) that CBS will issue a statement this morning concerning the documents. I'm betting on continued stonewalling. John Ellis describes why they have to and Beldar notes that since they knew the documents were bogus, they are co-conspirators in the fraud. That high-pitched whine you hear is Edward R. Murrow spinning in his grave.

Even forgers are dissing Captain Dan

A master forger-turned-crimebuster who has taken a look at CBS anchor Dan Rather's documents about President Bush's National Guard service says they're such obvious fakes that they're a joke.

Ex-forger Frank Abagnale — played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2002 Steven Spielberg movie "Catch Me If You Can" — scoffed: "If my forgeries looked as bad as the CBS documents, it would have been, 'Catch Me In Two Days.' "

Just Damn!

I am going to actually say some nice things about the mainstream media!

Brian Ross at ABC does some of that icky work stuff and discovers that Captain Dan and the CBS team had been told the documents were fake, but went ahead with the story anyway. He does that by digging up the document examiners that CBS hired and ignored when they didn't provide the desired results:
"I told them that all the questions I was asking them on Tuesday night, they were going to be asked by hundreds of other document examiners on Thursday if they ran that story,"
Indeed! Howard Kurtz had a similar story at the WaPo.

Meanwhile, yesterday was day two of the Kitty Kelly slimefest on The Today Show and she also had a gig with Chris Matthews. I didn't see either, but here's a first hand account:
Those who watched Matt Lauer's interview of Kitty Kelley over the last two mornings on The Today Show, or read our threads about them, know that his tone and approach were surprisingly hostile.

On tonight's Hardball, Chris Matthews tone was more polite. But he had obviously done more homework than Lauer, and ultimately was even more effective than Matt in nailing Kelley as a mongerer of unsubstantiated rumors.
He first forced Kelley to admit that a former Guard member, last name Rogers, whom she quoted to speculate that W might have been taking drugs in Guard, not only didn't know W, but had never met him. She ultimately admitted that Rogers' comments were pure speculation.

Matthews then got Kelley to admit that a Peck Young, who made allegations about W having had an affair with a prostitute while he was married, had no knowledge of W's private life, that Peck Young is a Democrat activist, and that she was unable to ever talk with the alleged prostitute.

Matthews then mentioned that Kelley had alleged that: "some people felt that W has been protected by a coterie of former CIA men who prevented his past from seeping out."

Matthews: "What are your sources for that?"

"That is an informed opinion of the author based on more than 1,000 interviews."

Matthews: "But you cite no sources, only suggesting that people 'felt' that way."

Matthews then referred to the allegation in the book that Laura was "the go-to girl for dime bags of marijuana at SMU, and sold dope."

Matthews: "How do you know she sold dope? Do you have one first-person account from anyone who said 'I was there, I smoked with her, I bought from her?"

Kelley: "I spoke with various people who were unwilling to go on record."

Matthews: "There is a pattern in your book. The people who are willing to go on the record have no first-hand knowledge. And the alleged first-hand sources are all unnamed."

Matthews then asked the most telling question to which he got a devastating admission: "Could you get *anyone* to come forward to say on the record that any of the Bush family broke the law?"

Kelley, abjectly: "No."

Matthews: "It's stunning that you couldn't get one person to go on the record."

Kelley pathetically tried to turn this fatal weakness into a strength: "What you said just demonstrates the power of this family."
I can't get anyone to go on the record saying that Kitty used to do a donkey act in a Tijuana "nightspot". That must show how powerful she is!

I guess when the chips are down even the mainstream media gets a tad squeamish about outright balderdash.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Lock up your womenfolk and hide the liquor!

Kennedy to Hit Campaign Trail for Kerry :
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, often credited with giving a boost to John Kerry's presidential campaign, is launching a seven-week election drive for his Massachusetts colleague that will pair fund raising and travel with a barrage of speeches condemning President Bush's policies.

Kennedy, D-Mass., will make two campaign stops in Pennsylvania on Friday, in addition to appearances around the country nearly every weekend as a surrogate for Kerry.
Kennedy waged a similar war of words against Bush four years ago for Democrat Al Gore. But this time, his work for Kerry will be more active and involve much more travel, Kennedy's aides said.

They would not release a list of places where Kennedy is expected to campaign, but said the liberal Democrat will be in battleground states across all regions of the country.
Oh yeah, that ought to help.

Who says Lurch is just a pretty face?

From Kerry's Time interview via James Taranto. Nice haircut, though.

Someone explain "sunk costs" to Terry

Likely Bedfellows - If it's good enough for 60 Minutes, it's good enough for the DNC
A NEW attack ad from the Democratic National Committee features footage lifted from the much-disputed 60 Minutes segment aired by CBS News last Wednesday...
Republican response:
"The video the Democrats released today is as creative and accurate as the memos they gave CBS.”

That's it - he got hit by a twister!

(From Glenn Beck) Maybe Toto ate Captain Dan's homework too.

Today's Hoot!

From American Digest:

The Tragedy of Omlet, Prince of Massachusetts
Omlet Act 3, Scene 1

SCENE I. A cabin in the Gulfsteam, 40,000 feet over New Jersey.

To be or not to be President: that is my platform:
Whether 'tis more nuanced to vote for before against
The 87 billion of outrageous appropriation,
Or to make my case upon the seas of health care,
And by raising taxes get it fully funded? To windsurf: to trap-shoot:
To say "I cannot bring a gun to the debate." Oh end
The heart-ache and the thousand polling shocks
This campaign is heir to, tis a consume
Devoutly to be reheated. To be elected, to rule;
To rule: perchance to decide: ay, there's the belly rub;
Soft me now!
The fair Teresa! Nymph, in thy checkbook
Be all my ambitions, stubs.

A full soliloquy by following the link. And while you're there, check out this trip down memory lane with the usual suspects at CBS.

"Buddy, can you spare a tin foil beanie?"

Because ole Keith Olberman needs one:
Olbermann Lays Out Right-Wing Conspiracy Behind Faked Memos

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann sees a grand conspiracy in "how the documents came to be so quickly and thoroughly refuted on a right-wing Web site not two hours after they were first revealed on CBS." Picking up on how a poster, "Buckhead," had first suggested a 1970s typewriter could not have produced the memo showcased by 60 Minutes, on Monday's Countdown Olbermann ran through the blogger's resume and concluded, ever so ominously: "So the Killian documents come out and are almost immediately questioned by a lawyer with Republican ties and are distributed to other news organizations without comment by the White House and they suddenly have one of their principal endorsers retract his endorsement. How many rats do you smell?"
Besides Keith and Dan Rather? I guess you have to be a Democrat to criticize blatant forgeries. Or create good forgeries, for that matter:
Turning to Craig Crawford of Congressional Quarterly and CBS News, Olbermann suggested that if Bush opponents had created the memos they would have done a better job of forgery: "Wouldn't somebody faking this to try to hurt Mr. Bush have to think about, at least, the, you know, the type faces that would identify this as a 2004 document as opposed to a 1992 document, or 1972 document, and more importantly, the out-of-date references to the retired colonel? Who would, who, sophisticatedly would leave that stuff in this?"
But not to worry, the rocket scientist finished strong:
"Am I out on my own on this, though, Craig? Are you going to join me out here in science fiction land?"
Make sure there is a double layer of tin foil in that beanie.

If Keith didn't have need of a beanie, he would realize the real question is how could Dan Rather have been so blinded by his bias that he got conned by such an inept forger? Maybe when Dan tells us the source of the documents, we'll have the answer.

C'mon Captain Dan, 'fess up!

I'm shocked! Shocked, I tell ya!

The Note has the scoop on the first day of Kitty Kelley's star turn on the The Today Show (scroll down to "Here Kitty, Kitty"):
On Today today, Kelley appeared at 7:30, and Matt Lauer made the segment much more about the author's credibility than about her charges — sort of begging the question about why have her on once, let alone three days.

Then, right after that, Sharon Bush was on, and she repeated her denial that she made any statements serving as Kelley's second source for the marquee allegations in the book.
Well, there are two more days to make up for it. Meanwhile, Florida Cracker notes:
According to Kitty Kelley's new book, Barbara Bush had the audacity to refuse to shake Jane Fonda's hand. Strangely enough, this is put forth as being a bad thing.
Too bad Barbara didn't put a boot print on Jane's fanny.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Looks like an evil Assault Weapon to me!

(From Registered)

This is just the kind of sophisticated weaponry that terrorists are coming to the USA to buy. Right, Lurch?

Today's Hoot!

From Crush Kerry:
The CBS Evening News Website asks its viewers if they "Know of a scam that needs investigating?", and if so to email them for investigation. Um ... yes. As a matter of fact we do.
Keep those cards and letters coming!

Al throws his beanie in the ring

Gore Unleashes Fury on Democrats' Behalf:
When Gore delivered his latest-in-a-series slam at the Republicans last week, faulting Vice President Dick Cheney for "sleazy and despicable" criticism of the Democrats, a White House spokesman dismissively responded: "Consider the source."
In recent weeks and months, as an uncensored voice for the Democratic cause, Gore has skewered President Bush's team for moral cowardice, the "lowest sort of politics imaginable," aligning itself with "digital brownshirts" who intimidate the press, and political tactics as craven as those of Richard Nixon. Just to cite a few examples.
Hey, no one sent me my shirt or the secret decoder ring!
GOP strategist Keith Appell likens him to "some kind of cheerleader on acid."

"Some of the things he has said have been outrageous and he says them in this high-pitched scream," Appell said. "I really don't know what to call that."
It's because he keeps forgetting to leave his beanie on!

"Being Dan Rather means never having to say your sources"

My apologies to Love Story, but that's just what Captain Dan is having with himself. Cut to the aging megalomaniac:
"Until someone shows me definitive proof that they are not, I don't see any reason to carry on a conversation with the professional rumor mill," the CBS anchor said.
Sheesh! Someone explain the burden of proof to ole Dan. Cox and Forkum got it exactly right:

Meanwhile back at CBS HQ, the Washington Prowler tells us that things aren't going so well:
While CBS news anchor Dan Rather can say there is no internal investigation under way over the alleged forged documents used as the foundation for an investigation into President George W. Bush's National Guard service, you wouldn't have been able to tell from the 15 or so 60 Minutes and CBS News" staffers working away feverishly on Friday and Saturday to try to nail down their story.

On Friday, according to CBS News sources, Rather spent the day on the phone and dealing with CBS suits who were nervous about the fall out from the story. "All Dan could say was that this was an attack from the right-wing nuts, and that we should have expected this, given the stakes," says a CBS News producer. "He was terribly defensive and nervous. You could tell."
MEANWHILE, OVER THE WEEKEND journalists from around the country were attempting to track down the original source of the documents. "We're having a hard time tracking how we got the documents," says the CBS News producer. "There are at least two people in this building who have insisted we got copies of these memos from the Kerry campaign by way of an additional source. We do not have the originals, and our sources have indicated to us that we will not be getting the originals. How that is possible I don't know."
Nice tight ship they run over there. Hey, just ask Lurch's team to send over another set! If there's a problem, they can always just type up some more. Preferably matching the ones CBS already has, of course. Hey, they seem to have been forged to order anyhow:
But we know that a lot of people here interviewed a lot of people in Texas and elsewhere and asked very explicit questions about the existence of these memos. Then all of a sudden they show up? In one nice, neat package?"

This CBS New producer went on to explain that the questions 60 Minutes folk were asking were specific enough that people would have been able to fabricate the memorandums to meet the exact specifications the investigative journalists were looking for. "People were asking questions of sources like, 'Have you ever seen or heard of a memo that suspended Bush for failing to appear for a physical?' and 'Have you heard about or know of someone who has any documentation from back in the 1970s that shows there was pressure to get Bush into the National Guard?' It was like they were placing an order for a ready-made product.
Much more by following the link including another appearance by "air combat ace", Tom Harkin.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Rather Lied

and Kerry Died. Rodger has been doing more photo digging. Yesterday, he found out where Lurch was hiding from the press.

Buh Bye, Dan!

After reading Joseph Newcomer's assessment, Allah says "Game over, man." My favorite part:
The probability that any technology in existence in 1972 would be capable of producing a document that is nearly pixel-compatible with Microsoft’s Times New Roman font and the formatting of Microsoft Word, and that such technology was in casual use at the Texas Air National Guard, is so vanishingly small as to be indistinguishable from zero.
Which is the crux of the matter in all the typography arguments, of course. Then there are the oddities with the contents. Even the NY Times is on that. CBS has got zip except that the documents reinforced their pre-existing opinion so therefore must be real. From tomorrow's Investor's Business Daily:
And could it be that CBS and Rather let their well-documented political leanings overrule their journalistic sense? Have they become just another hack voice in the political game?

Sadly, the answer seems to be yes. CBS' bias made it vulnerable to a hoax that fit nicely with the network's left-leaning culture.
You can't cheat an honest man, so I guess we know where that leaves Captain Dan and his little pals like Mary Mapes.

Dan, it's time for you to do the honorable thing, if you still remember how. Resign.

Today's Hoot!

If CBS weren't spending so much on Dan Rather's hairdo, they could have bought the right software for the job - MS Forger.

Kitty's got a big surprise for us!

Don't forget, kids! Tomorrow's the kickoff of Kitty Kelley's 3 day slimefest on The Today Show. NBC must be feeling left out that CBS is getting all the heat. Meanwhile Kitty's publisher, Doubleday, is all cranky:
The publisher of Kitty Kelley's controversial new biography of the Bush family has accused Newsweek of allegedly violating a prepublication agreement and said the magazine owed "substantial damages."
A letter sent this week to Newsweek editor Mark Whitaker cited a signed confidentiality agreement reached in August in which the magazine promised not to disclose details of the book before publication. Newsweek was to receive an early copy.

According to the letter, Newsweek violated the terms when correspondent Howard Fineman appeared on Don Imus' radio show Tuesday and "disparaged" the book, saying the magazine would not publish excerpts because of questions about Kelley's reporting. The letter also noted a Washington Post report that Newsweek had decided not to run an advance story on "The Family," citing similar concerns. The magazine had allegedly promised such an article.

"In reliance upon such representations, Doubleday turned down an offer from Newsweek's major competitor (Time) to publish a news story," reads the letter from Katherine Trager, general counsel for Random House, Inc., of which Doubleday is a division.
Well, that's easily solved. A one sentence article:
Kitty Kelley misses the litter box and soils herself.
Time to fire up your IBM Selectric Composers for some letters to NBC and Random House.

(Hat tip for the fetching snap: FR poster Henry Krinkle)

Don't quit your day job, Lurch!

You ever wonder what Lurch will do if he loses the election? He's so bored with the Senate that he rarely shows up, and the surf and slopes can't always be right for extreme sports in goofy outfits. How about the comedy circuit? Jeff Jacoby has some some samples:
For some reason people are forever commenting on how dour and stiff Kerry is. But it's a bum rap. As anyone who has followed his career knows, the guy's a regular Jackie Mason.

Take his great quip about Saddam Hussein's military back in 1997, when he was advocating an expansion of the NATO no-fly zone. "The Iraqi Army is in such bad shape now," Kerry said, "even the Italians could kick their butts." Everyone split their sides, they were laughing so hard. Well, almost everyone.
A year earlier, when Kerry was running for reelection, he uncorked a priceless rib-tickler about his opponent, Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld. "This guy," he said on Don Imus's radio show, "takes more vacations than the people on welfare." Is that a hoot? And yet, believe it or not, some people didn't think it was funny.
Speaking of sophisticated comedy, have you heard the one about the camel and the ass? This must be Kerry's favorite joke, to judge from the frequency with which he told it during last year's primary campaign. Here it is, taken verbatim from his remarks to the Florida Democratic party convention in December:

"A little more than 5,000 years ago, Moses said, `Hitch up your camel, lift up your shovel, mount your ass. I will lead you to the promised land.' Five thousand years later, Franklin Roosevelt said, `Light up a Camel, lay down your shovel, sit on your ass. This is the promised land.' Today, George Bush will outsource your camel, tax your shovel, kick your ass, and tell you there is no promised land."

No doubt there are some grouches who would regard this as excruciatingly unfunny, not to mention an insult to FDR. ("Lay down your shovel, sit on your ass" was not exactly the motto of the Works Progress Administration.) But as any connoisseur of good humor will attest, you can't hear jokes like this even in the best comedy clubs.
He better not divorce Teresa just yet.

Trolling for Wingnuts

Ace has his siren up on Source for the Forged Documents Unmasked? and all signs are pointing to well known wingnut, Bill Burkett, who previously claimed to have found all sorts of stuff in a dumpster and has been shopping his stories around for years. Hit the link for the details, but here's the part I like from a Newsweek article:
Burkett was impressive enough to cause CBS producer Mary Mapes to fly to Texas to interview him.
Mary Mapes. Where have I heard that name before? Cut to Allah:
And speaking of which, Michele just e-mailed me some information she heard on Sean Hannity's radio show today. Here's how scrupulous Rather is:
[Hannity] had on both [Ben] Barnes' daughter -who admitted she was being pressured to recant everything she said yesterday - and Killian's son, who said - get this - that CBS interviewed both him and his stepmother prior to the airing of the 60 minutes show. They BOTH told the interviewer (somebody named Mapes, a female) that they didn't believe the documents could be real. They both refuted that their father had anything to do with this. They gave a myriad of reasons why they don't believe any of it.

CBS never put any of their words on the show. Not only that, but the son offered up names of people who flew with Bush and could offer rebuttals to any stories about him shirking his duties and not only did Mapes not call them, she actually said about one of them, "Well, he's pro-Bush, so I'm not calling him." The son and stepmother are LIVID about this and the daughter of Barnes is under so much stress you could hear her voice shaking. Someone is putting an enermous amount of pressure on her to go against her former word (that her father is a liar) and she refuses to back off. Also, Barnes attended many of the same functions as Rather back in the day and there is a possibility they knew each other before the interview.
(My emphasis.) No wonder ole wingnut Bill sounded so "impressive" to Mary. Sounds like that CBS impartiality we know so well - dig deep under rocks for disreputable wingnuts that fit the bias and filter out any hints of rationality that threaten the theme. But there's good news for Captain Dan: You have a fall girl!

Of course, it's not like this is an unfamiliar occurrence at 60 Minutes. How about this beauty from the nutsos at the "Veterans for Peace" website (hat tip FR):
Date: Mon Jun 14, 2004 1:25 pm
Subject: CBS News/60 Minutes Seeking to talk with Military Families

From: "Chante Wolf" Sent: Monday, June 14, 2004
12:50 PM Subject: Fw: CBS News/60 Minutes Seeking to talk withMilitary Families, Soldiers\ about recruiting, re-enlisting

Dear Military Families,

We received the email below from Michael Bronner, a producer for 60 Minutes, and spoke with him as well. He is looking to speak with families who have concerns about recruiting practices (for new recruits) AND re-enlistment schemes/pressures in the military. If you would like to email or speak with him, his contact information is below.

Thank you!

In Peace and Solidarity, Nancy Lessin and Charley Richardson, for MFSO

----- Original Message ----- From: Bronner, Michael

Sent: Monday, June 07, 2004 10:28 AM Subject: CBS News/60 Minutes

I am a producer at 60 Minutes and am working on a story about military recruiting. I have heard anecdotally about several concerns regarding recruiting methods employed by all of the armed forces, and am wondering whether there is anyone at MFSO working specifically on these issues, or any families with relevant experiences they might be willing to share.

Please reach me by phone though the contacts listed below.

Thanks very much.

-Michael Bronner, CBS News Michael Bronner
CBS News/60 Minutes II
555 W. 57th St., 8th Flr. New York, NY 10019 tel. 212.975.7938 fax
212.975.9310 mobile: 646.331.3694
Based on the linked web sites, I'd say the folks at 60 Minutes probably enjoyed the fishing.

Update: Captain Ed caught a different 60 Minutes producer fishing in the pond scum.