Saturday, January 26, 2008

Kerry: Voters “see” Bill Clinton’s “abuse of truth”

This just in from CNN, a leading Democratic Party news organizations:

John Kerry, the Democratic Party's 2004 nominee for president, took aim at Bill Clinton Friday, telling the National Journal the former president does "not have a license to abuse the truth."

The Massachusetts senator, who endorsed Barack Obama's White House bid earlier this month, said Clinton's criticisms of the Illinois senator have been "over the top," and suggested the former president is getting "frantic."

Targeting Clinton's recent spate of attacks on Obama, Kerry said, "I think you had an abuse of the truth, is what happened. …I mean, being an ex-president does not give you license to abuse the truth, and I think that over the last days it's been over the top.

"I think it's very unfortunate, but I think the voters can see through that," Kerry added. "When somebody's coming on strong and they are growing, people get a little frantic, and I think people have seen this sort of franticness in the air, if you will." …
Sen. Kerry's right at least as far as most of the public goes.

Most people know the former President has lied often. ("I never ever had sex with that woman, Ms. Lewisnsky" is only the best known of his lies. )

I'm glad Kerry's said what he said, but his announcement’s at least 10 years late.

That reminds me: has Kerry set a new date for the public release of all his Navy records?

Didn't he first promise to do that about 5 years ago?

Or was that when he said he was going to prove he spent Christmas in Cambodia?

Isn't it tough to keep up with people like Kerry and Bill Clinton?

The entire CNN article is here.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Churchill Series - Jan. 25, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

It was true of Churchill as it is of all of us: To achieve, we first must be taught.

With that in mind, I've looked for a way to use Churchill’s life to express something we share: A deep appreciation for good classroom teachers.

Today, thanks to an essay in The Churchill Centre’s Finest Hour, I found a way to do that.

The essayist is Robert Courts. At the time of Finest Hour publication (Summer, 2002) Courts was age 23 and training to be a barrister. Here’s part of what he said in “Take Your Place In Life's Fighting Line: What Churchill Should Mean to People My Age:”

My earliest contact with Churchill must have been 1980s World War II documentaries. I remember, through the veil of time, a gruff, defiant, vaguely angry man growling streams of liquid words that struck me more powerfully than anything I had ever heard.

In school I wrote an admiring essay about Churchill and a kindly teacher lent me his copy of William Manchester’s The Last Lion.

My class was later presented with a copy of Churchill’s own paean to youth, My Early Life—for no other reason, I think, than because my teacher wanted us to read it. We certainly didn’t study it in any formal way. But reading that book at the age of fourteen set me off. …

Churchill shows better than anyone, historical or contemporary, that if you want something badly enough, you can get it. He wanted to join the Army: it took him three tries and a near-fatal accident en route, but he made it. …

His lesson — focus and succeed — can be applied to whatever path one takes in life: military, politics, writing, law, business, teaching. How admirably stands the example of Churchill against those of all the micro-celebrities who tower over today’s society.

(In) My Early Life, there is much sound advice for those on the beginning of (life’s) road: “Don’t take No for an answer. Never submit to failure. You will make all kinds of mistakes, but as long as you are generous and true, and also fierce, you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her.” It is advice, both reassuring and inspiring, that I have tried to follow.

Courts' essay is wonderful for reminding us how much we owe good classroom teachers.

Churchill never forgot that. Throughout his life he paid tribute to his teachers, never more profoundly then when he used language and history in the cause of freedom.

Thank your teachers, stay warm and have a nice weekend.


Raleigh N&O Flacks For John Edwards

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer tells readers today [excerpts]:

[Former Senator John] Edwards has made much of his renunciation of his Iraq war vote. But he has not stopped there.

His entire campaign has been an orgy of regret and renunciation:

As senator, he voted in 2001 for a bankruptcy bill that he now denounces.

As senator, he voted for storing nuclear waste in Nevada's Yucca Mountain. Twice. He is now fiercely opposed.

As senator, he voted for the Bush-Kennedy No Child Left Behind education reform. He now campaigns against it, promising to have it "radically overhauled."

As senator, he voted for the Patriot Act, calling it "a good bill . . . and I am pleased to support it." He now attacks it.

As senator, he voted to give China normalized trade relations. …

He now campaigns against liberalized trade with China as a sellout of the middle class to the great multinational agents of greed, etc.

Breathtaking. People can change their minds about something. But everything? …

What is different about Edwards is his endlessly repeated claim that the raging populist of today is what he has always been. That this has been the "cause of my life," the very core of his being, ingrained in him on his father's knee or at the mill or wherever, depending on the anecdote he's telling. You must understand: This is not politics for him. "This fight is deeply personal to me. I've been engaged in it my whole life." …

The audacity of the all-my-life trope is staggering. By his own endlessly self-confessed record, his current pose is a coat of paint newly acquired. His claim that it is an expression of his inner soul is a farce.

A cynical farce that is particularly galling to authentic and principled left-liberals. "The one [presidential candidate] that is the most problematic is Edwards," Sen. Russ Feingold told the Post-Crescent in Appleton, Wis., "who voted for the Patriot Act, campaigns against it. Voted for No Child Left Behind, campaigns against it. Voted for the China trade deal, campaigns against it. Voted for the Iraq war. . . . He uses my voting record exactly as his platform, even though he had the opposite voting record."

It profits a man nothing to sell his soul for the whole world. But for 4 percent of the Nevada caucuses?

Now take a look at some of what the Raleigh News & Observer’s Rob Christensen reports today on its front page. The story begins :
The speeches this week end with a poignant moment: Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards joins hands with bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley to lead the crowds in singing "Amazing Grace."

The music of Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys now has more prominence than "The Rising" by New Jersey rocker Bruce Springsteen, the unofficial campaign anthem at Edwards' rallies in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The campaign's tone has also changed as Edwards has returned to his native state for Saturday's South Carolina Democratic primary. Edwards' basic message of the need for "economic fairness" remains. But some of the edge has been rounded off.

In front of politically moderate South Carolina Democrats, Edwards no longer uses phrases such as "corporate greed" or talks about corporations stealing children's futures.

Instead, Edwards emphasizes his Southern roots and his understanding of small towns where textile mills have closed and of the decline of rural America. And he promises never to forget these people if he gets to the White House.

"No one has to explain to me what happens when the factories and the mills close and the jobs leave," Edwards said in Lancaster. "That is the difference of having a president who comes from here, who understands what is happening here. ... I will not forget where I came from when I'm president."

Edwards comes from a career as a trial lawyer which made him a multi-millionaire and enabled his to recently build a 30, 000 sq. ft. house. But the N&O’s story doesn’t mention that.

The N&O continues:

Edwards has struggled against the better-funded campaigns of Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama in the first three contests, in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. …
After first saying he wouldn’t do it, Edwards applied for public funding of his campaign. He’s received millions in taxpayer dollars.

The N&O’s story doesn’t mention that but it does go on to serve up this home cookin’

"I remember very well going to Friday night high school football games," Edwards said in Lancaster. "I played in a few myself. I remember going to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night. I know very well what your lives are like and are built around."

Edwards strikes a chord with some voters in the hard-hit upstate textile belt.

"He can relate to the cotton mill people," said Glenn Fuller, 57, a retired highway patrolman from Gaffney. "He knows about how we're raised, the values of the South."

Norman Hutto, 57, a retired state employee from Gaffney, said Edwards understands the region's economic problems. "He has a sense of what life is like around here," Hutto said.

The N&O serves up more home cookin’. It’s all here.

Krauthammer’s column is here.

A while back I complained to an N&O editor that the paper flacks for Edwards.

“Oh, no,” the editor replied. “If anything, we’re a little tougher on Edwards then the other candidates because we want to be careful not to seem to be giving him a break.”

Well, yeah. And the N&O also says it’s “fair and accurate.”

Hat tip: Mike Williams

Major French bank in "turmoil" following fraud

The International Herald Tribune ( NY Times owned) reports:

Societe Generale, one of the largest banks in Europe, was thrown into turmoil Thursday after it revealed that a rogue employee had executed a series of "elaborate, fictitious transactions" that cost the company more than $7 billion, the biggest loss ever recorded in the financial industry by a single trader.

Daniel Bouton, the Societe Generale chairman, said the employee, later identified by other bank employees as Jerome Kerviel, had confessed to the [euro] 4.9 billion fraud, although he did not appear to have profited personally from the trades.

The bank has started legal proceedings against the employee, whom the governor of the Bank of France, Christian Noyer, said was currently "on the run."…
The rest of the story is here.

Does anyone know whether former President Bill Clinton has agreed to pardon Kerviel?

Has Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign finance chairman been able to reach Ferviel or his lawyer?

Responding to Addison's Motion (Post 1) Comments

Readers Note: If you’re not very familiar with these posts -- Addison's Motion to Dismiss (Post 1) and Addison's Motion to Dismiss (Post 1)Comments – I encourage you to read them in order to understand the post below.


Folks, I'm responding here to parts or all of some of the comments on the thread of Addison's Motion to Dismiss (Post1) Comments.

Commenters are in italics; I’m plain.

Silent @ 6:00 AM said:

I apologize for the error you noted -- I somehow crossed two dates (March 13th and March 28th), and turned a period of almost two weeks into a period of almost a month. Now if only I could inflate time like that it my own life. :)

Silent’s error was accidental in an otherwise outstanding post. I’ve made much worse errors at JinC and elsewhere.

Silent continues: And yes, you're quite right about the timing of the sudden urge to correct the original outrageous phrasing. It would be tough to argue, as Addison will likely need to argue, that this phrasing, regardless of what he had been told, was appropriate for a "reasonable, trained officer" in his position.

As for the question of whether his comments were false, misleading, and inflammatory, KC had a lovely response to that on Jan 16th at DIW, itemizing which specific comments were false, which were misleading, and which were inflammatory.

I definitely understand the legitimate purpose behind giving police officers the limited form of immunity they enjoy, but it is not, and should not be, a license to do anything they want, for any reason, and then claim immunity.

Silent put things just right. I’ll only add: “Amen.”

Anon @ 11:36 AM said:


You make is very clear that


Some Duke students sometimes drink too much, drive too fast and do other things that are wrong.

But overall, I think Duke students are part of what’s good about Durham.

I’m glad they’re here.

I've seen many Duke students do wonderful things for our city. Their services as well as their fine character are underreported by our local media.

A number of Duke students have become my friends and my family’s friends.

I'm glad those students are an influence on our grandchildren.

And I’m glad you commented.

kbp, one of my favorite citizen journalists, said in part:

I did not wish to leave the impression that I felt Addison's motion was a good defense, simply that his only defense was to play dumb.
That’s just what I understood kbd to say.

If I suggested otherwise, I apologize.

Here’s the next comment in full:
Anon @ 1:06 here, sorry I clearly did not make my point well.

I did not think, believe, suggest, or even imagine Addison would actually try to deny statements he made on video, etc.

I do believe, however that the sentence I quoted did just that. Not because he denies specific details but because it is poorly written. I would have expected better in a written, legal response.

I once wrote a letter to the editor that my lawyer reviewed before I submitted it and he showed more care and concern about what I said than I see here.

It appears they threw in the blanket denial as an afterthought.
I can’t judge whether “they threw in the blanket denial as an afterthought.”

I’m posting Anon@1:06’s comment in full as a way of saying to Anon@ 1:06: "If I in any way misunderstood your comment, I'm sorry. I’ve posted your explanation in full on the main page as a way of trying to set things right in case I misunderstood."

My guess is Anon @ 1:06 and I are very close together on Addison and his dismissal request.

BTW – For all of you: I very much doubt Addison will be dismissed as a defendant in a suit I feel certain will go forward to discovery and trial.

Anon @ 11:25 said
4/10/06 was also the date that DA Nifong and 2 DPD officers (Himan and Gottlieb) met with DNASI's Meehan and were told that there was male DNA on items from CGM's rape kit that were not from Duke Lax team members.

That was the day DPD and DA knew that Duke Lax team members were innocent, and that very likely there was no crime. It also meant that CGM was confused about not having intimate activity for 7 days prior to 3/13/06 (as she had claimed. That could also have been a reason for changing the CS info.
DPD knew before 4/10 no brutal gang rape like Crystal Mangum claimed had been committed.

DPD knew that in the early morning hours of March 14 when then DPD Sgt. John Shelton found Mangum “passed out drunk” in “the second dancer’s” car and directed his back-up, DPD Officer Willie Barfield, to take Mangum to Durham Access.

If Shelton had seen anything like the severe, very possibly life threatening injuries a woman battered and gang-raped by three young athletic men for thirty minutes in a small bathroom would’ve suffered, he would’ve called for an ambulance and emergency medical assistance.

When then DA Mike Nifong first learned the details of Mangum’s false claim, etc., he too knew they were false.

I very strongly doubt Mangum was “confused about not having intimate activity for 7 days prior to 3/13/06.” But I can’t be sure.

I appreciate the comments as I’m sure most JinC readers do also.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Churchill Series - Jan. 24, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

In Summer, 1975, a certain Dr. Merry informed London's Daily Telegraph readers that Churchill drank too much.

What's more, the good doctor was sure Churchill's drinking influenced his judgement and led him to make decisions which lengthened WW II.

Well, as you'd guess, many readers were unwilling to swallow Dr. Merry's concoction.

Here's what two of them said in letters to the editor:

"The inappropriately named Dr. Merry is undoubtedly correct when he says that Sir Winston Churchill was responsible for lengthening the war. Had it not been for Churchill the war would have ended much earlier in Britain's defeat."

M. A. Wicking
Tunbridge Wells.

"What did Lincoln say when it was reported to him that Grant was getting through a bottle of whisky a day? 'Fine, find out what brand and send a case with my compliments to all the other generals.'"

Leon Drucker
If we met them, I bet we'd all say to Wicking and Drucker: "Well done" and "Cheers."
The Churchill Centre: Action This Day, Summer, 1975, page.(Scroll down)

Raleigh N&O Cuts Jobs, Outsourcers

This posted a few hours ago at I follow with comments below the star line.

From - - -

The News & Observer Publishing Co. will cut as many as 16 jobs from its advertising department and begin sending some of that work overseas.

The company has partnered with a Chicago-area company called Affinity Express to help produce and design display ads for the paper. Most of the work by Affinity Express will be done at its production facilities in the Philippines and India.

“These kinds of decisions are never taken lightly,” said Al Autry, the N&O’s senior vice president of advertising. “They are truly done to try to make us a stronger operation in the future.”

Partnering with Affinity Express will allow faster turnaround of work and result in “significant cost savings,” Autry said. He declined to give specific figures.

The 26 employees in the affected department will be able to apply for the 10 remaining positions or other jobs at the N&O.

The ones who are laid off will be eligible for severance packages including health benefits and pay, based on their length of time with the company.

The transition is expected to be complete by May 30.


I’m sorry for the people who will lose their jobs. I hope the N&O actually provides those people with substantial severance packages and not token ones as some news organizations have done.

As far as I know these job losses are the first the N&O has publicly acknowledged as such. It’s previously disguised job losses as part of “reorganization” or the introduction of “new features readers will find in the paper.”

For example, the McClatchy Company, which owns the N&O, recently promoted Melanie Sill who, as N&O executive editor for news, oversaw the paper’s biased, often false and racially inflammatory coverage of the Duke lacrosse case.

Sill's now vice president and executive editor for news at McClatchy's flagship Sacramento Bee.

McClatchy named as Sill’s replacement the N&O’s managing editor, John Dresher, and eliminated the managing editor’s position.

How did the N&O tell readers the managing editor’s position had been eliminated?

Here’s the N&O reporting on it in a Jan. 8 story: “Senior editors take key posts” [excerpt]:

The News & Observer named three senior editors Monday who will run the paper's daily operations and report to Executive Editor John Drescher.

Linda Williams will oversee the daily news report. Steve Riley will be in charge of enterprise reporting, including the Sunday paper, and the visual journalists. Dan Barkin will oversee the online report.

Williams, Riley and Barkin had been deputy managing editors reporting to Drescher when he was managing editor, the No. 2 job in the newsroom. He was named the top editor in October.

The changes will make The N&O newsroom "quicker and more responsive" by cutting a level of management, Drescher said, and will allow the paper to maintain another front-line position, such as a reporter or photographer. ...
The way the N&O reported it, you’d hardly know McClatchy decided to eliminate the managing editor’s position, would you?

The way the N&O reported it reminded me of the story of the man who’d just served 10 years in Leavenworth for bank robbery. He applied for a job at, of all places, a bank.

The bank manager said: “You have a good resume except it says nothing about the last 10 years. What have you done during that time?”

Man: “I had a very secure position at a federal agency in Kansas.”

Today’s N&O report leads me to ask whether the N&O has ever reported on what friends at the N&O tell me is one of the most talked about stories in its newsroom: the crash of McClatchy’s stock price during the past five years from about 60 to a closing price today just below 11?

During those same five years the Dow, despite recent market turmoil, has risen about 50%.

Something else: The N&O regularly blames President Bush for American job losses due to outsourcing.

But I don’t see how it will be able to blame Bush for its own outsourcing.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Churchill Series - Jan. 23, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Following the attacks of September 11 Finest Hour, The Churchill Centre's quarterly, republished an essay by Churchill's official biographer, Sir Martin Gilbert, which the Centre first published a decade before.

The Centre said it was republishing the essay, "Churchill For Today," “because of its particular relevance in 2002.”

It's as true now as it was six years ago that Gilbert’s essay has “particular relevance.” Here are excerpts, followed by a link to the entire essay.

"Why study Churchill?" I am often asked. "Surely he has nothing to say to us today?"

Yet in my own work, as I open file after file of Churchill's archive, from his entry into Government in 1905 to his retirement in 1955 (a 50-year span!), I am continually surprised by the truth of his assertions, the modernity of his thought, the originality of his mind, the constructiveness of his proposals, his humanity, and, most remarkable of all, his foresight.

When, in 1919, Churchill called Lenin the embodiment of evil, many people thought it was a typical Churchillian exaggeration. "How unfair," they exclaimed, "how unworthy of a statesman." …

From the first days of Communist rule in Russia, Churchill did not doubt for a moment that the Communist system would be a blight on free enterprise and a terrible restraint on all personal freedoms. …

Nevertheless, Churchill was always an optimist with regard to human affairs. One of his favourite phrases, a Boer saying that he had heard in South Africa in 1899, was: "All will come right." He was convinced, even during the Stalinist repressions in Russia, that Communism could not survive. Throughout his life he had faith in the power of all peoples to control and improve their own destiny, without the interference of outside forces....

[In 1950,] at the height of the Stalin era, these were Churchill's words, in Boston: "The machinery of propaganda may pack (peoples') minds with falsehood and deny them truth for many generations of time, but the soul of man thus held in trance, or frozen in a long night, can be awakened by a spark coming from God knows where, and in a moment the whole structure of lies and oppression is on trial for its life." …

Once a war had been thrust on any nation, Churchill was a leading advocate of fighting it until it was won, until the danger of subjugation and tyranny had been brought to an end. He was equally certain that, by foresight and wisdom, all wars could be averted: provided the threatened states banded together and built up their collective strength.

This is what the Western world failed to do in the Chamberlain era: Churchill always regarded the Second World War as the "unnecessary war" that could have been averted by a united stand of those endangered by Hitler. Forty years later, in the Reagan-Thatcher era, Churchill's precept was followed. The result is that under their successors the prospects for a peaceful world were much enhanced. …

In every sphere of human endeavour, Churchill foresaw the dangers and potential for evil. Many of those dangers are our dangers today. He also pointed the way forward to our solutions for tomorrow. That is one reason why his life is worthy of our attention.

Some writers portray him as a figure of the past, an anachronism, a grotesque. In doing so, it is they who are the losers, for he was a man of quality: a good guide for our troubled decade and for the generations now reaching adulthood
Gilbert's essay is here.

Note to Regulars & Commenters on 1/23/08

I plan to respond on the main page to a number of your comments, including ones relating to my post on Sgt. Addsion's dismissal motion.

But as Augustine said when he first asked God to make him chaste: not now.

Look for something tomorrow.

In the meantime, thanks to all of you who've made civil and thoughtful comments these past few days.



What's really hurting the Raleigh N&O

I've just sent the following email to the N&O's public editor, Ted Vaden;

Dear Ted:

In your most recent column you said:

"small errors can have larger consequences. Not to mention misinforming or confusing the public. And -- drip, drip, drip -- eroding the newspaper's credibility with readers over time."
Small errors don't do much harm to the N&O's credibility. The public understands we all make errors.

I don't think even large errors, if fully acknowledged, explained and corrected, would do much harm to the credibility the N&O currently has.

What's really hurting the N&O's credibility, in my opinion, is its failure to acknowledge, explain and correct its large errors.

Because of the Internet and blogs, more and more readers are becoming aware of the N&O's failure to admit and correct large errors. Their awareness translates into reduced credibility for the N&O.

I hope you agree.

In any case, I want to ask you about a claim by Ruth Sheehen which, so far as I know, the N&O has never disputed.

Sheehen says Mike Nifong was the anonymous source for her May 27, 2006 "Team's Silence Is Sickening" column.

You very likely know what I'm talking about but in case you don't, and for the benefit of JinC readers, I'm providing the following information and asking you to respond on behalf of the N&O:

Author Don Yaeger (with Mike Pressler) in the book It's Not About the Truth (Threshold Editions, 2007) quotes Sheehan:
"I think on Saturday [March 25] we had the interview with the alleged victim. It was on Sunday I called into the office. I already had a column in the can because I run on Mondays.

But I called in about this story and they told me that there was another story with Nifong talking about how there was this wall of silence.

That's when I decided on that Sunday to write my first column about the case. [...]

I have to write a column about what people are talking about. And everybody was talking about it. It was so outrageous, the stuff that was in the paper. Her story, Nifong's recounting of it. Oh, my God. It was just like . . . you couldn't even believe it." (ellipses in Yaeger) (pg. 154)
A little further on Yaeger writes:
As she wrote, Sheehan made clear that in her mind the stories bubbling up from Nifong's office and the Durham Police Department were true. She was not alone. (pg. 155)
Yaeger then tells readers Sheehan added:
"Back during that period, no one was telling us that the players had been cooperative," she said in a January 2007 interview. "I know now that was not true. If I had known that then, I would have never written what I did. I would have thought what is Nifong talking about? That's not a wall of silence then. How is that a wall of silence?"(pg. 155)
The N&O’s March 25 "anonymous interview" story refers to “authorities [who’ve] vowed to crack the team's wall of solidarity.”

In the N&O's recent report of Yaeger’s book, staff writer Jim Nesbitt didn't even mention Sheehan’s account.

I posted on Nesbitt’s story here. I raised questions about why the N&O’s story said nothing about Yaeger's reporting on Sheehan’s column or any other part of the N&O’s framing of the lacrosse players last March.

I emailed Nesbitt and asked why that was the case. I offered to publish his response in full.

I received no reply to my email or to phone messages I left for Nesbitt and other N&O staffers.

Ted, there are at least three reasons why I have no doubt Yaeger quoted Sheehan accurately:

1) - Yaeger, a veteran reporter, must certainly have taped what Sheehan said, retained those tapes and been very careful to quote accurately from them;

2) - It’s now common practice for publishing houses to require that interviews of the sensitivity the one(s) Yaeger conducted with Sheehan are taped so it/they can be reviewed by the publishers’ attorneys for liability issues.

I believe Yaeger and Simon & Schuster would’ve been very careful to quote Sheehan accurately in any case; but they were no doubt particularly careful because, at the time the book was being prepared, Nifong was the subject of State Bar ethics charges, three lacrosse players were still under indictment, and Pressler’s suit against Duke was active.

3) - Sheehan has not disputed anything Yaeger attributes to her nor has the N&O so far as I know.

I think it would be in the best interests of the N&O and its readers for you to explain in your column Nifong's role as an anonymous N&O source in Spring 2006.

I look forward to your response which I'll post in full at my blog.


John in Carolina

Edwards finds his voter group

At American Spectator Andrew Cline, editorial page editor of the N. H. Union Leader and editor of the humor blog, tells readers there's a voting group which supports former Sen. John Edwards.

With tongue in cheek Cline begins:

In his quest for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, former U.S. Sen. John Edwards has failed to win a single primary or caucus. But exit polls in several states show he is winning a majority of the angry dandy vote.

In Nevada, where Edwards finished a distant fourth this past weekend, garnering only 4 percent of the vote, he swept upper middle-class male boutique clerks, personal assistants, celebrity publicists, hairdressers and Cher fans.

"John Edwards has finally found his base," said UNLV political scientist Gale Cerf. "If only America were filled with pampered white males with impeccable fashion sense and a burning resentment of wealthy industrialists, he'd have it made."

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., won 84 percent of the black vote in Nevada, and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., won about half the female vote in New Hampshire and more than half of it in Nevada. Edwards, however, has failed to rally white males, with most of them splitting between Obama and Clinton.

Unable to capitalize on sex or race in a contest now obviously divided by both, Edwards has struggled to find a base of support -- until the Nevada exit polls confirmed what some in his campaign had long suspected: He's a hit with angry, effete men.

"John's dual message of seething rage at the corporate tycoons who secretly run this nation and immaculate grooming has won him an avid and smashingly dressed following," said campaign manager David Bonior. "Obviously, we are trying to reach as many of them as we can in South Carolina. We currently are attempting to merge the mailing lists of The Nation and the Brooks Brothers catalogue, and we've got volunteers standing by ready to race over and invite anyone who shows up on both lists to discuss John's campaign over coffee at Starbucks."
The rest of Cline’s wonderful satire is here.

You’ll enjoy it unless you’re someone who takes John Edwards as seriously as he takes haircuts.

Message to Andrew Cline: By the third paragraph I was LOL.

At DSED: Comments & Suit Breakdowns, Too

I should have mentioned before that Duke Students for an Ethical Durham now allows comments.

DSED is also posting breakdowns of the complaint recently filed in federal court on behalf of three unindicted Duke students who were members of the school’s 2006 Men’s lacrosse team falsely accused of criminal acts by Durham Police and others.

Among those the suit names as defendants are Durham City and Police, Duke University, and many individuals.

The suit concerns actions alleged to have been undertaken by defendants following lies told by Duke lacrosse accuser Crystal Mangum, as well as actions some defendants are alleged to have undertaken before Mangum’s false accusations on Mar. 14, 2006.

The actions the suit alleges preceded Mangum’s lies and concern what the suit alleges was/is a “zero tolerance policy” for its students’ behavior which Duke entered into with Durham Police and authorities.

The suit’s complaint filing is 400+ pages.

You can read it here. (pdf)

The suit breakdowns DSED has posted to date are an important service to DU students and all others wishing to understand the suit but perhaps overwhelmed by the lengthy complaint filing.

DSED is providing a “one part at a time” opportunity.

As examples of what DSED is doing here are breakdowns concerning the three students on whose behalf Durham attorney Bob Ekstrand filed the complaint:

Duke’s Treatment of Ryan McFadyan

Duke’s Treatment of Matthew Wilson

Duke’s Treatment of Breck Archer

Thanks are due DSED for its suit breakdown work to date.

With DSED now accepting comments, readers will be able to question breakdown items they don’t understand or want more information about.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Churchill Series - Jan. 22, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

When using his initials Churchill commonly signed "WSC." But some political foes and others who considered themselves wits took delight in playing on WC. Thus when Churchill was defeated in the 1925 general election, an opposition newspaper said it was sure the members in the new parliament could manage "with one less WC."

Churchill took it all in stride. On occasion he would even make a "WC" joke as he did in February, 1940 while returning to England from France aboard a destroyer.

There were mines in the ship's path and its guns were fired to destroy them. The gunfire churned the water and debris began floating past the destroyer. Among the debris was a lavatory door.

Churchill, standing a the ship's rail, looked at the door, grinned and said to those beside him: "That door has my initials on it. They must have known I'd be aboard."
Tom Hickman, Churchill's Bodyguard. (Headline, 2005)(p. 88-89)

But what about the Dems winning?

Here’s a post from Instapundit with my comments below the star line.


Pity the U.S. presidential candidates. They had their positions on Iraq all worked out by last summer and have repeated them consistently ever since. But events on the ground have changed dramatically, and their rhetoric feels increasingly stale. They're fighting the Iraq War all right, but it's the wrong one.

The Democrats are having the hardest time with the new reality. Every candidate is committed to "ending the war" and bringing our troops back home. The trouble is, the war has largely ended, and precisely because our troops are in the middle of it.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: More thoughts from IraqPundit.

"It would make a lot more sense if the candidates, especially among the Democrats, would talk about what they would do in the current circumstances, rather than bicker among themselves over past votes on war funding, while urging withdrawal from the Iraq of 2006."
Folks, we know it would make a lot more sense.

But it wouldn't help the Dems' chances of winning the '08 presidential election.

And how would it help them retain control of Congress?

This American's very glad to see what's undoubtedly progress in Iraq.

But I'm not forgetting that even as we made tremendous progress during WW II, our enemies were still capable of inflicting massive casualties on us and our allies.

Estimated American casualties during the Battle of the Bulge: 80,000 killed, wounded, taken prisoner or missing.

We need to remember Churchill's admonition: "In war: resolution."

What the Dems offer is: "In war: a speedy withdrawal."

I don't doubt that had the Dems of today and their MSM flacks been around during the winter of 1944/45, and the political winds had been right, they would've memed: "Bring our troops home."

John Edwards might even have added that he was lied to regarding pre-war intelligence.

Closing thoughts:

We're in a global war on terrorism we didn't choose.

It's a shame so many Dems have positioned themselves such that if America does well in Iraq, they lose.

That tells us a lot about them.

And that was their choice.

I'm not a Republican, but I'm rooting for out success in Iraq and everywhere else we're fighting terrorists.

N&O headline framing on 4/19/06

With biased, racially inflammatory and sometimes deliberately fraudulant coverage, the Raleigh News & Observer on Mar. 24, 2006 took the lead in propegating the public part of the attempt to frame Duke lacrosse players for crimes that never happened.

An N&O news columnist has even admitted the N&O used the now disbarred former Durham DA Mike Nifong as an anonymous source. (See here and here)

For weeks the N&O evidenced a blatent pro-prosecuter bias. It withheld important news it had which was exculpatory for the players while also withholding news it had damaging to the woman the N&O had told readers was "the victim."

But for all of that, a myth has grown up that goes like this: Maybe the N&O didn't get everything right those first few days, but after that it's coverage was fair and accurate.

As part of my effort to expose that myth, I offer as one example the N&O continued its bias after "those first few day" the following extreact from a JinC post published Apr. 19, 2006, the day following the arrest, handcuffing and booking of Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann.

Here are a few Duke lacrosse headlines The McClatchy Company's Raleigh News & Observer's published in the last 24 hours:

Durham DA pursues third arrest

3rd suspect sought in lacrosse case

Finnerty's exclusive neighborhood in shock

Suspects in rape share background of privilege
The N&O's exec editor for news, Melanie Sill, has blasted national news organizations for "sensationalist" reporting. She's invited them to leave the Duke and Durham area.

Is anyone surprised that Sill, who's since been promoted to serve as vp and exec editor for news at McClatchy's flagship Sacremento Bee, is one of those now who promotes the "first few days" myth?

For that matter, is anyone surprised Sill was promoted?

Will the NY Times’ Sulzbergers Sell?

John Ellis at RealClearMarkets -------

In the last five years, the New York Times has declined in value by an astonishing 70 percent. There is no indication that things will get better any time soon. Indeed, as the specter of recession looms, there is every reason to believe that things will get worse.

At some point here in the near future, the market capitalization of the New York Times will fall below $2 billion. At that point, a psychological floor will have collapsed and the company will be in play.

The company that has the most to gain from buying the New York Times is Google.
If it proffered a Murdoch-like, no-auction bid of $4 billion, wouldn't the Sulzberger family have to accept it? Every single class B shareholder would accept the offer. It's their only exit.

It is also likely that Times employees and retirees would enthusiastically support the deal; it's their only exit as well. So it would all come down to whether the Sulzberger family (smaller in number and not as far-flung as the fractious Bancroft clan that owned Dow Jones) would accept the deal.

The choice for the family would be basically this: double your money or double down on "young Arthur," as the NYT's Chairman and CEO is sometimes called.

In the back of their minds, the prospect of doubling down on "young Arthur" could only mean that the company's stock will continue its relentless decline. The prospect of doubling up with Google offers realized value, a global platform and thus a much clearer path to future growth. Everyone would be a lot richer than they are now. Assuming a cash/stock transaction, some might be a whole lot richer in the future.

I am told by smart people who know the business that the Sulzbergers will never sell; that their identity is the New York Times. It's also said that they take their role as stewards of journalistic "excellence" and "integrity" seriously.

They're plenty rich as it is, if not as rich as they once were, so it's not about the money. It's about the Statue of Liberty and justice and righteousness, all of which they feel The New York Times embodies. And I believe that they believe all that.

But as everyone knows, and the Sulzbergers know better than most, the game has changed. Classified advertising has been gutted by Craig's List (and a thousand other web-sites). Department stores have consolidated and newspaper advertising budgets have consequently declined.

The way people access information has fundamentally changed, thanks to the Internet. On and on it goes.

But perhaps the biggest change is that The New York Times is squarely in the cross-hairs of the aforementioned Rupert Murdoch. Mr. Murdoch recently acquired Dow Jones for $6 billion. He did not buy Dow Jones because of its growth potential. It's a mature business, to say the least.

He did not buy Dow Jones because he sees limitless growth opportunities in financial news and business information. It's a crowded field. He bought Dow Jones so that he could own The Wall Street Journal.

He intends to use The Wall Street Journal as a precision-targeted weapon. And the target he has locked onto is The New York Times.

The Sulzbergers understand this. The question they have to ask themselves, knowing that Mr. Murdoch intends to bleed them to death, is this: Can they afford to engage in this battle without a very deep-pocketed partner or do they sell the New England properties (The Boston Globe, NESN, The Boston Red Sox stake and the Worcester Star-Telegram) and use the proceeds to fund the counter-offensive?

Given "young Arthur's" tenure as Chairman and CEO of the enterprise, is there any evidence that he would deploy the proceeds from the sale of the New England properties in a manner that would thwart Mr. Murdoch's siege. […]

Ellis' column extracts end here.

Ellis’ entire column is here.


IMO Ellis is bang on when he says the Times can’t turn it around with “young Arthur” at the helm.

“Young Arthur,” btw, is 56. He’s been NYT publisher for 15 years.

When he got off to a very bad start, the Family decided the thing to do was to also make him NYT chairman.

With the added power of the chairmanship, Sulzberger was able to more speedily head the Times left and down.

Sulzberger’s first job in journalism in the late 1970s was as a reporter for the Raleigh Times, an afternoon paper which was later taken over by the Raleigh News & Observer which folded it.

The Durham Herald Sun’s Bob Ashley also worked at the Raleigh Times.


And in case you’re going to ask, no, Bob Ashley is not referred to as “young Bob,” but I can understand why you’d ask.

Your turn.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Churchill Series - Jan. 21, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Readers Note: I responded to a comment on the thread of the Jan. 17 post.


Churchill was always interested in the mail he received from the public. Naturally he couldn't read it all, but his staff did.

Churchill had the staff keep a count of the letters by categories he determined. The categories were a mix of "perennials" and subjects of current interest.

Here's the list he made and the counts for the week of April 2, 1955, when his retirement as Prime Minister was widely rumored:

Requests for autographs, photographs - 45

Foreign letters - 23

On the atom bomb and H-bomb - 21

Requests not to retire - 42

Congratualtion and good wishes - 30

"Lunatics" - 76
Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill: Never Despair. (p. 1117)

Book concerning Medal of Honor reciepient Navy Lt. Michael Murphy

In response to a post concerning Medal of Honor (posthumous)
reciepient Navy Lt. Michael Murphy a JinC Regular, LB, commented:

Locomotive Breath said...

This is the book that tells the story...

Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10

by Marcus Luttrell

The battle raged ten thousand feet up in Afghanistans Hindu Kush Mountains. Four US Navy SEALs in a fight to the death against 150 armed Taliban warriors. Despite wiping out half the Taliban force, it all ended as the worst day in the history of the SEALs: three of the four dead, eight more killed when the rescue helicopter was hit and destroyed by an Al Qaeda rocket grenade.

Now, two years later, in the summer of 2007, hear the spellbinding, first-hand account by the SEAL who survived. It is a heartbreaking, yet inspiring story of heroism, courage, and sacrifice written by the only man who lived to tell the tale.
I've not read the book, so I won't recommend it.

But I can recommend LB's judgment. It's first-rate.

My guess is Luttrell's book is well worth reading.

Bill Clinton has a "dream"

The NY Post reports with photo and video clip former President Bill Clinton's appearance today at a Harlem church service honoring the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Be sure to take a look before you go to sleep tonight.

Obama talks about Bill Clinton's "habit"

Which habit is that, you ask?

From ABC News:

In an exclusive interview with…"Good Morning America" today [Sen. Barak] Obama, D-Ill., directly engaged the former democratic president on a series of issues.

"You know the former president, who I think all of us have a lot of regard for, has taken his advocacy on behalf of his wife to a level that I think is pretty troubling," Obama said during his first morning television interview since coming in second in Nevada. "He continues to make statements that are not supported by the facts -- whether it's about my record of opposition to the war in Iraq or our approach to organizing in Las Vegas.

"This has become a habit, and one of the things that we're going to have to do is to directly confront Bill Clinton when he's making statements that are not factually accurate," Obama added. . . .
The entire ABC story is here.

At Captain's Quarters Ed Morrissey reacts:
Wow! Who'd have thought that Bill Clinton doesn't tell the truth?

Only all of the Republicans and at least a few Democrats who retained consciousness throughout the eight years of his presidency. He has demonstrated many things over the last sixteen years, but candor and honesty are not traits that come to mind.

Ed's post, Obama: Bill Clinton Lies, is here.

A few comments:

As many Dems try to cool things between the Clintons and Obama, he makes remarks he knows will keep things hot.

Is Obama's internal polling telling him that, at least as far as Saturday's South Carolina primary goes, the war of words betweem him and the Clintons is playing to his advantage?

Obama said we all have a lot of "regard" for the former president. He didn't say "respect."

Does that mean anything?

I don't know. But I'm sure the hypersensitive, egocentric Bill Clinton will wonder about it.

Maybe Obama knew that.

Dr. King and "civic literacy"

Josiah Bunting III, former superintendent ar Virginia Military Institute, currently chairs the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s National Civic Literacy Board which oversees the ISI’s American Civic Literacy Program.

As we honor Dr. Martin Luther King today Bunting reminds us:

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. believed that the highest principles of liberty were enshrined in America's founding documents and that one key to securing equal justice for all was to make certain that Americans remembered -- and remained true to -- their national heritage.

Someone visiting Birmingham, Ala., in 1963, King once wrote, would have seen not only America's most segregated city, but also a place where the municipal leaders had never learned basic lessons of American history.

"You might have concluded that here was a city that had been trapped for decades in a Rip Van Winkle slumber," he said, "a city whose fathers had apparently never heard of Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, the Bill of Rights, the Preamble to the Constitution, the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, or the 1954 decision of the United States Supreme Court outlawing segregation in the public schools."

When King was jailed in Birmingham in 1963 for marching without a permit, he wrote a letter from his cell that is a supremely logical, yet passionate, defense of civil disobedience in pursuit of civil rights. It was the demonstrators in city after city, not the authorities who imprisoned them, King argued, who were defending America's founding principles.

"One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters they were in reality standing up for the best in the American dream and the most sacred values in our Judeo-Christian heritage, and thusly, carrying our whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the Founding Fathers in the formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence," he wrote. . . .

As we remember King today, it ought to be obvious that future generations of Americans will not be able to claim this inheritance unless they know what it is.

Unfortunately, a recent survey revealed that American colleges are doing a miserable job when it comes to teaching students many of the basic facts about our founding documents and how the principles they enshrine have -- or have not -- been implemented through the decades.

Last fall, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute surveyed 14,000 randomly selected freshmen and seniors at 50 colleges nationwide. Each student was given a 60-question multiple choice "civic literacy" test that focused on American history, government, international relations, and economics. The average freshman scored 50.4 percent, or an "F." The average senior did little better, scoring 54.2 percent -- also an "F."

The results revealed, for example, that only 45.95 percent of college seniors knew that the line "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal . . . " comes from the Declaration of Independence. Only 47.71 percent knew Fort Sumter came before Gettysburg, which came before Appomattox. Only 61.42 percent knew Abraham Lincoln was elected sometime between 1851 and 1875. Only 42.77 percent knew that the struggle between President Andrew Johnson and the Radical Republicans was over Reconstruction. …

The failure to significantly increase civic knowledge among college students has immediate practical consequences: The more civic knowledge a student gains in college, the survey data demonstrated, the more likely he or she is to vote and participate in other civic activities.

It also has profound consequences for the longer term. As King argued, the rights enshrined in the Declaration, protected by the Constitution, and eventually redeemed by all Americans through decades of civil struggle and reconciliation, are universal and irrevocable.

If we forget what they are, we will forget who we are: one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
In a society such as ours in which many information sources are available to all of us, collage-age students and adults bear a good deal of the responsibility for what they know and value. I don’t doubt Bunting agrees.

With that said, I admire Bunting’s informed tribute to King whose public life, lived under extraordinarily difficult circumstances, did so much to help America “live out the full meaning of her creed.

And I appreciate the work Bunting’s doing to call to our attention the “miserable job” colleges and universities are doing “when it comes to teaching students many of the basic facts about our founding documents and how the principles they enshrine have -- or have not -- been implemented through the decades.”

The ISI finding of little difference in “civic literacy” between college freshmen and seniors leads me to wonder: What would the results be for two test populations who did not attend college and were the same averages ages as the test’s freshmen and senior populations?

Bunting's entire tribute to Dr. King and call to us is here.
What do you think.

Hat tip:

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Addison's Motion to Dismiss (Post 1) Comments

On the Addison's Motion to Dismiss (Post 1) thread there are currently three very thoughtful comments.
I want to respond to a part of each here; and also to a part of one of the offline comments I received.

Let’s begin -----

KBP, a citizen journalist who’s been commenting with useful information and probing questions since before Duke’s Dick Brodhead claimed on 60 Minutes he had no way of knowing what Nifong was up to, said:

A good part of the reasoning looks to be a claim about what he MIGHT not have known, so that lack of knowledge shields him.
I don’t doubt that will be part of the claim.

But when Addison’s attorney advances the “lack of knowledge” claim to shield him, his attorney, James Maxwell, will also have to contend with questions concerning what “a reasonable, trained officer” would or should have known or been expected to do.

No one disputes, for instance, that on Mar. 28, 2006 Addison distributed via email to DPD substations, media outlets and others the text of the Durham CrimeStoppers Wanted poster.

Addison’s stated without any qualification suggesting doubt that “[t]his horrific crime” occurred at the Duke lacrosse party.

Would a reasonable, trained police officer have done such a thing on Mar. 28?

That’s a question the court may ask.

If it does, I’m told claims such as “the lead investigator told me” or “the other investigator told me” generally don’t excuse you.

Addison’s actions will be judged by the court against the “reasonable, trained officer” standard with “but they told me” not an excuse for a “reasonable, trained officer.”

The next comment was from Silent @ 7:39 AM.

Silent provided an excellent summary post relating to Addison, the CS Wanted poster, etc.

I saw only one error in the entire post. Silent says the poster wasn’t corrected until almost a month after if was distributed.

In fact, the poster text as originally distributed Mar. 28, 2006, first via Addison’s email, and then on DPD official letterhead (Full disclosure – DPD denies it’s responsible for the distribution of the poster) was changed two weeks later on Apr. 10.

Changes included no longer calling Crystal Mangum “the victim” and no longer referring to “this horrific crime.”

I note Silent’s discrete error in an otherwise excellent post for three reasons:

1) Apr. 10 was the day the results of the first round of DNA testing done at the state lab were released to the defense attorneys and by them to the public.

2) Based on email copies I and no doubt attorneys for the plaintiffs have in hand, Addison made successive changes to the CS “Wanted” poster text in response to emails from DPD Maj. Lee Russ. All Russ’ emails were sent to Addison on Apr. 10.

3) Noting the single error in Silent’s comment allows me to call eveyone’s attention to the fact that the “horrific crime” CS Wanted poster was out in the community for two weeks before Addison modified it at the direction of his DPS supervisor who requested the modifications on the day the first DNA lab results were to be made public.

Anon @ 1:06 quotes from the Memorandum of Law in Support of the Motion to Dismiss:
"... even assuming that in his official capacity as a spokesperson for the Durham Police Department, Addison made some false, misleading or inflammatory statements (which is all denied by the Defendant, David Addison)"
If I’ve understood Anon’s comment correctly, Anon is wondering whether the quote doesn’t mean Addison is somehow going to deny he said or emailed certain statements.

I doubt it does mean that at least as far as statements which were taped or of which there are copies of his emails are concerned.

What I believe the quoted extract from the memorandum is saying is that he will deny he knew they were false and misleading; and he will dispute they were inflammatory.

The offline comment included this:
As it relates to Durham's responsibility, I reviewed Gottlieb's deposition given in connection with Nifong's ethics hearings. Note in particular the following statement by Gottlieb:

" And then there were several other people from high ranking positions across the community who would sit in on some of these meetings."

Gottlieb specifically mentions the City Manager, the DA and senior Duke police officials.

In particular we are aware of the 3/29/06 meeting attended by city manager Baker, Durham chief of police Chalmers, deputy chief Hodge, Gottlieb , Himan, senior Duke police officials Dean and Graves, and an attorney from DPD. Given the events which occurred just before and just after this meeting ( negative DNA test results from SBI, release of Ryan M. e-mail, Duke police giving players' key card Durham police, the illegal photo ID/lineups ) I strongly suspect that this was not a routine status meeting.
I agree it wasn’t a routine meeting.

I’ve posted before that Baker’s explanation that the purpose of that meeting was merely for him to check in with Gottlieb and Himan to make sure they were getting all the assistance they needed is preposterous.

Two other things I want to note about the 3/29 meeting.

It followed by a day the distribution of the CS Wanted poster.

Duke’s Police Director Robert Dean was at the time chair of the Durham CS executive board and is David Addison’s friend and mentor.

Thanks to each of you for commenting.

NT Times scrupulous? No, it was exposed.

Like most MSM journalist the Raleigh News & Observer's public editor Ted Vaden admires the New York Times.

In his column today Vaden tells N&O readers:

[The New York Times] "is scrupulous to the point of anal about correcting errors."

Vaden's wrong. Not only is the Times not scrupulous about correcting errors, it often takes considerable public exposure and pressure before it corrects some of its most obvious and grossest errors.

Take, for example, the Times' failure last October to report President Bush's bestowel of the Congressional Medal of Honor (posthumous) on Navy Lt. Michael Murphy, and consider just some of the public exposure and pressure which had to be brought to bear before the Times finally reported the story.

Back on Oct. 15, 2007, Clay Waters at Times Watch posted: "Medal of Honor Winner's Story Unfit to Print?"

Waters began:

Last Friday, President Bush bestowed the first Medal of Honor of Operation Enduring Freedom to Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy for heroism in Afghanistan. Peter Hegseth has the details at National Review Online's military blog The Tank, from the heroic to the pathetic:

"Surrounded by over 50 Taliban fighters, Lt. Murphy's four-man reconnaissance patrol was pinned down and in need of support. In order to save his fellow SEALs, Lt. Murphy, who was already wounded, crawled into the open to radio for help, further exposing himself to enemy fire. He was killed, but only after successfully calling for help, allowing for the rescue of one of his men."

"But you've never heard about this if you read the New York Times. Say what you want about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but there are no excuses for the 'paper of record' not running this story. The Washington Post noted it, as did the Los Angeles Times. But according to the New York Times, this story of courage and sacrifice is not 'fit to print.'"
The Times' tabloid rival The Post editorialized:
"So while Bush's announcement merited stories and appreciative editorials in The Post, The New York Sun, the Daily News and even the front page of liberal Newsday, it shouldn't be all that surprising that the Times didn't publish a single word about Murphy's well-deserved honor.

"What did the paper of record focus on yesterday? No fewer than three stories reported on how Americans had killed innocent Iraqi civilians."

From the Post's news article Saturday on the Medal of Honor hero, by Bill Sanderson and Selim Algar:

"The posthumous award of the nation's highest battlefield honor to a Long Island war hero has become another black mark for the Gray Lady.

"The New York Times carried not a whisper of news yesterday about the bestowal of the Medal of Honor to Navy Lt. Michael Murphy of Patchogue -- the first time the honor has been given for action in Afghanistan.

"Area veterans, as well as Murphy's neighbors, were outraged -- but not all that surprised -- that the paper carried nothing about Murphy in Friday's editions, unlike The Post, The Daily News and Newsday, which all carried prominent reports and photos.

"'It's amazing that a Long Islander and a New Yorker can receive the highest commendation this country can bestow and the Times doesn't see fit to mention it -- especially on the heels of the Gen. Petraeus ad,' said [New York State veteran James] Casey -- referring to the paper's decision to run a full-page ad from a liberal group containing the headline words 'General Betray Us."'

Times Watch has shown the paper's past neglect of military heroes in Afghanistan and Iraq, when it was happy to devote dozens of stories to the prisoner abuses in Abu Ghraib.

Of 20 men who were awarded the Air Force Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross or the Congressional Medal of Honor, only two were recognized by the Times.

Myrna Blyth at National Review Online found irony in what the Times did find time to cover on Friday:

"On Friday, the Times instead carried a story headlined 'Marines to Conduct Inquiry Into the Killings of Afghan Civilians.' This story was about a court of inquiry being set up to examine the circumstances surrounding the killing of several Afghan civilians by members of a special-operations platoon, in a remote area of Afghanistan, near the border of Pakistan. Some of the Marines involved, who are an elite group of combat-tested troops, are now, of course, hiring their lawyers.

"There is a very special irony is this. Why? Because Mikey Murphy and his three SEAL comrades, during their operation, were concerned about the potential of a story just like the one in the Times. They wanted to avoid a situation in which they would find themselves forced to defend a life saving action in a court of law."



After days of urging, the Times finally published a story on Lt. Murphy which you can read here.

Message to Clay Waters: Your excellent Oct. 15 post helped expose the Times' failure to report on Lt. Murphy and no doubt was a factor in the Times' decision to finally run a story a week later.

Thanks for your contribution to that and for the fine day-to-day work you do at Times Watch. It can't be easy watching the Times.

There must be many days you wince or gag; and some days maybe both.

Message to JinC readers: I'm sending a link to Ted Vaden.

Hat tips: Michelle Malkin, Powerline

What about the Durham H-S’s ad revenue?

I can’t give you exact figures because the Durham Herald Sun’s parent company, Paxton Media Group, is privately held and I was unable to obtain any ad revenue information from the H-S.

But I can tell you what the H-S ad revenue “picture” looks like to me based on the volume of ads appearing in the newspaper and the paper’s circulation,

It appears dismal.

Since Paxton took over the H-S three years ago this January and installed Bob Ashley as “Paxton’s man in Durham,” the volume of ads has plummeted.

Consider revenue-generating ad content in the H-S’s Monday, Jan. 14 edition.

The “A” section, which includes the editorial page and a half-page weather forecast, totaled 6 pages. (Yes, 6 pages.)

Of that total, about ¾ of a page was revenue-generationg advertising. There were four advertisers: two advertised storm windows, vinyl siding and the like, one advertised mattresses ( “Less money, more mattress”), and one was a bank.

The “B” or Metro section totaled 6 pages, with ½ page of that being a H-S circulation ad.

Obituaries comprised almost ¾ of a page. To its credit and reflecting the H-S’s heritage as “a community newspaper,” the H-S still publishes a basic obit at no charge. For an extended obit the H-S asks that you contact the paper for rates.

I estimate ads in the rest of the “B” section to total 2 pages, including a full-page ad by a hearing aid center.

The Sports section totaled 6 pages and contained no advertising.

A fourth section has a header: Marketplace. It totaled 6 pages and included almost 3 pages devoted to comics, the crossword, astrology, Hints from Heloise, bridge and TV listings.

There is one full-page ad but it’s not a revenue generator. It’s a H-S ad urging readers to use its classifieds.

The remaining two pages in the Marketplace section are devoted to classifieds which are typically big revenue generators for newspapers.

But scattered throughout the H-S’s 2 classified pages are many ads for H-S services. Also, the headers for each category of classified (auto, home, etc.) are large (about 2 inches long).

Of the 2 classified pages, I’d estimate the revenue generating space on those pages totals no more than a page.

Summing up – The Jan. 14, 2008 H-S contained by generous estimate revenue-generating advertising space of about 4 ½ pages. ( “A” section – ¾ page; “B” – 2 ¾ (I counted all of the obit space as revenue generating); Sports – 0; and Marketplace – 1)

In the past three years H-S circulation has declined by at least 25% while the population and economy in its circulation area boomed and the Duke lacrosse case played out on its doorstep.

There’s no doubt the Paxton Media Group is looking at a dismal revenue picture at its Durham Herald Sun.

Are the Clintons too extravagant?

Norm @ tells readers:

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her camp ate a little higher off the hog than her rival Barack Obama during their week of campaigning in Las Vegas.

Both campaign camps called N9NE Steakhouse at the Palms minutes apart Friday for a food delivery.

Chef Barry Dakake and Jenna Morton, wife of N9NE co-owner Michael Morton, delivered around $200 worth of food, including two Kobe burgers, two organic chicken sandwiches and one order of Dover sole, to Obama in a conference room at the Las Vegas Signature Terminal.

The Clintons' tab came to $1,530 and included entrees of nine steaks, three chicken, three salmon and three Maine scallops, two lobster pappardelle, salads, sashimi, rock shrimp, and various side dishes.

The Clintons, who spent the week in a Bellagio villa, also had a big order delivered from N9NE on Monday.
I know some of you will gasp at the Clinton’s tab.

But keep this in mind: The Clinton’s are used to renting out the Lincoln bedroom @ $75, 000 per night.

When you look at it that way, is their N9NE tab really that out of line?

Anyway, what’s $1,530 these days?

It wouldn’t even buy John Edwards four haircuts.

Newspaper corrections I laughed at

About eight paragraphs down in Raleigh News & Observer public editor Ted Vaden’s column today you come to:

"Errors are a major contributor to an erosion in the level of trust in the press," writes Craig Silverman in a new book, "Regret the Error." "Once this trust begins to be lost, the rights of the press and indeed of speech itself are threatened. It is then a matter of time until laws are enacted that impinge on the press's right to publish accurate reports and alternate views that inform and encourage public discourse."

That someone could produce a 366-page book on newspaper errors -- or that anyone would read it -- is a surprise to me. But Silverman has plenty of material to work with, unfortunately, and his book is getting a lot of interest from those of us in the inky trade.

He cites some amusing examples:

* From Newsweek: "In the original version of this report, Newsweek misquoted Falwell as referring to 'assault ministry.' In fact, Falwell was referring to 'a salt ministry,' -- a reference to Matthew 5:13, where Jesus says, 'Ye are the salt of the earth.' "

* From The Daily Mail (UK): "Mr Smith said in court, 'I am terribly sorry. I have a dull life and I suddenly wanted to break away.' He did not say, as we reported erroneously, 'I have a dull wife and I suddenly wanted to break away.' We apologise to Mr Smith, and to Mrs Smith."
The Mail’s “apologise” is a British spelling.

How many laughs did you count in the Vaden column extract?

I’m sure we all counted the Newsweek and Daily Mail corrections.

But how did you react when Vaden told readers he was surprised “someone could produce a 366-page book on newspaper errors -- or that anyone would read it?”

Laugh? Groan? Some of each?

I think if I were not familiar with Vaden and his columns I’d have groaned.

But I laughed.

I laughed again when Vaden told readers:
Some of my favorite corrections come from The New York Times, which is scrupulous to the point of anal about correcting errors.
Yes, I know I shouldn’t laugh at that.

But with all we know about NY Times errors and its reluctance to admit them, I just found it funny that Vaden would say that and expect informed readers to believe it.

Or maybe he’s not writing for informed readers?

I reported. You decide.

Vaden’s entire column is here.