Saturday, August 02, 2008

Trouble accesing JinC? Stiemeter explains

Starting last evening, those of you using Internet Explorer 7 had trouble accessing John in Carolina and certain other blogs which use Sitemeter.

Some of you found ways around the problem, and a few of you helped me to work a solution from my side by about noon today.

Now the best of all outcomes: Sitemeter says its got the problem fixed for all of us. (I hope so. Fingers crossed.)

Thanks to all of you for your understanding, and an extra "thank you" to those who sent "here's how to fix it, John" emails.

Now it's all Sitemeter's - - -

Dear John,

We apologize for the problem this has caused on your website. We became aware of a compatibility issue with our SiteMeter tracking code and IE 7 (possibly IE 6) browsers that started last night.

The problem was related to some work we were doing on the backend system for our upcoming website launch.

We’ve identified and resolved two separate but related issues -

1 - IE Users viewing pages - There was a problem with users who placed their SiteMeter tracking code outside of their HTML Body Tag. Because of the changes we made this created a failure for visitors viewing sites using Internet Explorer 7.

2 - Accessing SiteMeter and Stats - Individuals trying to access or view their SiteMeter stats by clicking on their SiteMeter logo/icons were unable to gain access. This again appears to have affected only individuals using IE7.

At this time both problems have been fixed and our services are fully operational.

If you have any additional questions please let me know.

SiteMeter Support

Guess who Obama’s Times blames for “injecting race”

Excerpts in italics from an Aug. 1 article (“McCain Camp Says Obama Is Playing ‘Race Card’” ) in Sen. Obama’s New York Times, with my comments in plain.

Senator John McCain’s campaign accused Senator Barack Obama on Thursday of playing “the race card,” citing his remarks that Republicans would try to scare voters by pointing out that he “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.”

The exchange injected racial politics front and center into the general election campaign for the first time, after it became a subtext in the primary between Mr. Obama and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
(all emphasis added)

The claim that this is “the first time” “racial politics” have been “injected” “into the general election campaign” is, as the Times knows, absolutely false.

Who doesn't recall Rev. Wright’s racist remarks at the National Press Club? Has anyone forgotten Sen. Obama injected race into his recent speech in Jacksonville? And who can forget Rev. Jackson, while waiting to appear on Fox News, using the N-word when criticizing Sen. Obama?

It came as the McCain campaign was intensifying its attacks, trying to throw its Democratic opponent off course before the conventions. …

The purpose of the sentence above is to begin casting the McCain campaign as the people who began the exchange.

In fact, the McCain campaign was responding to Obama's raising the race issue with his now famous claim that he's being attacked because “ he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills.”

Obama hasn’t said who, besides himself, has been making the dollar bill references. Maybe he heard them during his recent grand European tour.

Later in the story Obama’s Times leaves its faithful readers in no doubt as to who it wants them to believe "started things" and who “the bad guys are.”

With his rejoinder about playing “the race card,” [McCain campaign manager] Davis effectively assured that race would once again become an unavoidable issue as voters face an election in which, for the first time, one of the major parties’ nominees is African-American.

And with its criticism, the McCain campaign was ensuring that Mr. Obama’s race — he is the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas — would again be a factor in coverage of the presidential race. On Thursday, it took the spotlight from Mr. Obama when he had sought to attack Mr. McCain on energy issues.

And so goes another day of “news reporting" at Obama’s Times.

The entire article’s here.

The Churchill Series – Aug. 1, 2006

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

Readers Note: Prompted by a readers thoughtful comments and question concerning Churchill and King Edward VIII, I'll post on their early relationship before the Prince of Wales became King, the abdication crisis and their subsequent relationship.

Now to today's post - - -

Scotland Yard’s Detective Inspector Walter Thompson, Churchiill’s principal bodyguard for many years, including all of WW II, tells us:

Mr. Churchill did not always respect the rules created for his own protection. One of my duties was to ensure that photographs were not taken of him with landmarks in the background that could be recognized

[During WW II while] he was [still] at the Admiralty, we were walking over one day to 10 Downing Street when a press photographer intercepted us. This was not a suitable place for a photograph and I waved the pressman aside.

Winston, however, had other ideas. He called to the cameraman, “Do you want to take a photograph?”

“Yes, please, sir," was the reply.

The photograph was taken and I was not pleased. I turned to Churchill and said, “I thought that photographs were forbidden here, sir?”

“Ah, well,” came the answer, with that irresistible boyish grin. “After all, he is one of God’s children, Thompson.”

By then he saw that I was not mollified, and in the garden of No. 10 he returned to the subject. “They have to do something to get a little copy, you know.”
Churchill had his share of faults, as do we all. But at his core he was just what one of his secretaries told an historian he was: "such a nice man."

I hope you all have a very pleasant weekend.

Ex-Detective Inspector Walter Thompson, Beside the Bulldog:The Intimate Memoirs of Chrchil’s Bodyguard. (pg. 83)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Talking to Regulars and Commenters

( A post in the old web log tradition of “notes at the end of the day” meant for those familiar with the material. Don’t look for links in this one and be ready for something that looks like it got only a quick reread. If you’re OK with all of that, read on. - - - JinC)

There’s an awful lot on the comment threads I want to comment on or bring to the main page.

Thanks to all of you who are sending in heads-up.

I’ve posted on the video (3 minute history of Edwards-Hunter affair) but not posted on another video which appears to be one of the “Webisodes” which vanished from Edwards campaign site when the news of the affair first broke. I’ll post it later tonight.

Bob Wilson’s column has caught national attention, especially from journalists and news executives.

Jim Romenesko is a widely followed news media columnist and when he posted and linked it meant thousands of his readers would see Bob’s column.

Some of those readers have contacted me. I’ve had a number of conversation I’ll write about over the weekend.

Another outcome from Bob’s column is the possibility he’ll be a guest on Bill O’Rielly’s show early next week. I’ll keep you posted.

I’ve also had a conversation with N&O exec editor for news John Drescher. It will take time to write that up and share it. I want to be fair to both of us.

I just tell you the foregoing to let you know why I’m running before the wind and not posting on some things I need to post on very soon – eg. – today’s N&O story on Edwards-Hunter.

A lot has happened regarding the bogus McCain-54 story which smeared ABC News & Raddatz. Look for a post on that tomorrow.

I've not posted this week on the Duke hoax, frame-up attempt and on-going cover-up. But I'll be back to it all very soon.

I finished reading the New Yorker article on Obama. I'll reread it and make notes this weekend. Then I'll post some comments I've not seen mentioned by anyone.

I’ve got to end now.

I’ll be back later tonight.

Thank you all who’ve made comments that are civil, thoughtful, critical but informed and in other ways contribute to this blog.

Often the best that's here is on the thread.


Edwards - Hunter 3-minute video

An Anon commenter sent a link to a Death By 1000 Cuts video which it says covers the "entire John Edwards Love Child Scandal from October 2007 to July 2008 in 3 minutes."

It's extremely well done and IMO captures "the essential Edwards." It works cuts of Rielle Hunter speaking about Edwards into the swift-moving narrative. The satirical use made of that is devastating.

The video ends with a few graphics concerning MSM coverage of the affair and a challenging question for the news media.

And oh yes, you will hear a mirthful Edwards refer to Hunter as "camera girl."

Thanks to Anon for sending the link. And congratulations and thanks to Death By 1000 Cuts for an outstanding video on a very important matter.

Now I hope you all give the video a look.

John Edwards, Rielle Hunter Love Child Scandal - video powered by Metacafe

Some thoughts about Elizabeth Edwards

In reporting and commenting on various aspects of the Edwards-Hunter affair, I’ve given most attention to the reluctance of the liberal MSM to cover it and the fact that left unreported by media and unexplained by Edwards, the affair leaves him vulnerable to blackmailers.

Among many aspects of the story I’ve ignored or barely mentioned is anything having to do with Edwards’ wife, Elizabeth.

But I want to share some thoughts about her today in connection with the currently unfolding story.

Many of those reporting and/or commenting on the story mention that Elizabeth Edwards has cancer, something she’s discussed publicly. Then some go on to say, “She’s dying.”

Well, so are we all. It’s just that some of us will go sooner than others.

Among those making the “quickest exits” will be some who are very healthy right now or at least think they are. But they won’t last the day.

Others, including those battling various forms of cancer - even ones considered incurable - will be here for quite a while, and do much that is good and important.

I don’t know the current state of Elizabeth Edwards’ health. Whatever it is, we can all be sure she’s facing a lot right now.

I wish her well and will keep her in my thoughts and prayers, as I'm sure almost all of you will, too.


The Churchill Series - July 31, 2008

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

On the evening of December 7, 1941 Churchill and the American Ambassador, John G. Winant dined the the PM's official country home, Chequers. In his Churchill and America, historian Martin Gilbert records the following:

”I turned on my small wireless set shortly after the nine o’clock news had started,” Churchill later wrote. “There were a number of items about the fighting on the Russian front and on the British front on Libya, at the end of which some few sentences were spoken regarding an air attack by the Japanese on American at Hawaii, and also Japanese attacks on British vessels in the Dutch East Indies. …

Winant later recalled the ensuing scene. “We looked at one another incredulously. Then Churchill jumped to his feet and started for the door with the announcement, ‘We shall declare war on Japan’”
Gilbert’s account continues:
Winant added: “There is nothing half-hearted or un-positive about Churchill – certainly not when he is on the move. Without ceremony I too left the table and followed him out of the room. ‘Good God,’ I said, ’You can’t declare war on a radio announcement’

He stopped and looked at me half-seriously, half-quizzically, and then said quietly, ‘What shall I do?’

The question was asked not because he needed me to tell him what to do, but as a courtesy to the representative of the country attacked. I said, ‘I will call up the President by telephone and ask him what the facts are.’ And he added, ‘And I shall talk with him too.’”
Roosevelt and Churchill did talk. Roosevelt confirmed the attack (“We are all in the same boat now.”) and said he would ask Congress the next day to declare war. Churchill promised Britain would declare war “within the hour” of Congress’ war declaration.

A few minutes after their conversation ended, Churchill’s principal private secretary informed him the Admiralty had just confirmed that Japanese forces were attacking British bases in Malaya.
Martin Gilbert, Churchill and America. (pgs. 240-244)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Why didn’t Edwards “get in front” of his scandal?

Smart politicians know when a scandal begins to break involving them, they “get out in front” and spin whatever it is the public’s about to learn.

“I’d just come in to the house. I still had my gloves on and I wasn’t wearing my glasses. My wife hollered from upstairs: ‘Quick! Put the pistachio ice cream in the freezer before it melts.’ It never occurred to me someone for whatever reason might’ve left a stack of $100s on our kitchen table.”

Former Sen. John (“I want people to know who I really am”) Edwards is a smart politician.

So how come he didn’t “get out in front” of the National Enquirer’s July 22 report about his Beverly Hilton Hotel tryst with Rielle Hunter while a friend watched their "love child" in another room in the same hotel?

People will begin asking that question in the next few days when it becomes obvious Edwards and the MSM have lost control of the story.

Nine days after the story broke, McClatchy’s Washington bureau’s put a story on its wire reporting Hunter’s baby’s birth certificate lists no father.

Other news services and networks will now be forced to report on the growing scandal.

I’ll be reporting and commenting on some of that tomorrow.

In the meantime, we can ask ourselves why Edwards went 10 days trying to pretend the Beverly Hilton tryst never happened.

Did he think he could get by with silence?

Sure, he was right to think almost all of MSM would do back-flips to avoid reporting the scandal.

But didn’t he learn anything in 2004 when Sen. John Kerry failed to get by with claims he’d released all his Navy records, never smeared our military who’d served in Vietnam, and spent that Christmas in Cambodia?

Almost all of MSM went along with Kerry, while they chased after anything in President Bush’s military background that might damage him.

But when a lot of the “new media” refused to go along with most of MSM, Kerry got exposed and so did the phony Dan Rather/CBS TANG story.

What could Edwards have been thinking?

Obama injects race. Again!

For a candidate who keeps saying he doesn’t want people bringing race into the campaign, Sen. Barack Obama sure does a lot of it himself.

The AP reports his latest:

Democrat Barack Obama, the first black candidate with a shot at winning the White House, says John McCain and his Republican allies will try to scare them by saying Obama "doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills."

Stumping in an economically challenged battleground state, Obama argued Wednesday that President Bush and McCain will resort to scare tactics to maintain their hold on the White House because they have little else to offer voters.

"Nobody thinks that Bush and McCain have a real answer to the challenges we face. So what they're going to try to do is make you scared of me," Obama said. "You know, he's not patriotic enough, he's got a funny name, you know, he doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills."…
Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit comments:
Er, all those other presidents? Isn't there just one President on the dollar bill?

And have you noticed that it's always Obama who's actually injecting race into the campaign, under the guise of warning about what those Evil Republicans will do? And is it really likely that John McCain would be out there saying "don't vote for Obama, he's black?
Yes, I have noticed.

Senator Obama's continually bring up references to those "injecting race into the campaign" reminds me of the 1960 campaign when then Vice-President Richard Nixon “promised” at a campaign appearance in the Deep South he wasn’t going to make an issue of then Senator John Kennedy’s Catholicism.

Kennedy saw right through what Nixon was doing: “I bet he'll says that at every campaign stop in the South.”

Why’s Obama using a Nixon tactic? I thought he was supposed to be like Kennedy.

The entire AP story's here.

N&O finally touches Edwards affair story – sorta

That’s the way an Anon commenter described today’s Raleigh News & Observer’s first story ever reporting on former Sen. John Edwards' affair with his filmmaker friend Rielle Hunter.

The N&O put the story in the “B” section on pg. 3 with a print edition headline: “Facing questions, Edwards evades reporters.” At the story’s posted a few clicks back from the main page beneath the headline: “John Edwards ducks questions on tabloid story.”

And what about the "sorta?"

The story refers to “a former campaign videographer,” but doesn’t name Rielle Hunter.

It says nothing about the “Webisodes” she made for Edwards’ presidential campaign for which she was paid more than $100,000. The “Webisodes” were supposed to show Edwards as just “a regular fella” voters could relate to and trust.

Because the N&O didn’t mention the Edwards-Hunter “Webisodes,” it couldn’t tell readers the “Webisodes” suddenly vanished from Edwards' campaign Web site just at the time last year when the National Enquirer first disclosed the affair. (I’ve been told one of the “Webisodes” shows Edwards tucking in his shirt as he hurries to a campaign appearance before a group of teachers. And yes, I'm thinking the same thing you are.)

The N&O makes absolutely no mention of Hunter’s stays at the gated Governors Club, just a few miles from Edwards home and the N&O’s Chapel Hill office.

You'll find more examples of the N&O's "sorta" reporting in the story.

I can’t commend the N&O for finally reporting a story that’s played out for more than a year during which time Edwards was first running for President, and then angling for the Vice-Presidential spot on the Dems ticket with Sen. Obama or a Cabinet post should Obama be elected.

All that while, the N&O knew Edwards' affair, if not publicly and fully exposed, left him subject to blackmailers.

Yet the N&O choose to say nothing about the affair until the day after the publication of former Durham Herald Sun editor Bob Wilson's column here and Poynter's Jim Romenesko's posting on and linking to Wilson's column.

What a newspaper.

To give the N&O its due, its story today is strong on press efforts to get Edwards to talk about the affair yesterday. Here’s some of what the N&O reports:

…On Wednesday, Edwards apparently exited through a side area used by the kitchen staff at Washington's historic Hotel Monaco.

Edwards emerged near the rear of the hotel with two men. When approached by a reporter, Edwards said, "Can't do it now, I'm sorry" and quickly walked past.

Asked about the Beverly Hilton last week, Edwards said "sorry" and got into a waiting car with the other men. Asked twice more to address the Enquirer story, Edwards was silent until the car doors were closed. …
”Sorry” is an appropriate, if understated, descriptor of Edwards' affair and the N&O’s decision to tell readers nothing about it until today.

The entire N&O story’s here.

Coulter skewers Beverly Hilton “poverty fighter”

If you believe Monica really stalked Bill or that "something happened" that night at the Duke lacrosse party, read no further. Go directly to the liberal/leftist Raleigh News & Observer's Website here. You'll love it, especially the Editors' Blog.

The rest of you don’t want to miss Ann Coulter’s column which begins - - -

For those few Americans without an Internet connection and to whom I have not faxed the National Enquirer stories: Evidence is accumulating that John Edwards is right -- there really are "two Americas."

There's one where men cheat on their cancer-stricken wives and one where men do not cheat on their cancer-stricken wives.

To put it another way, it would appear that ambulances aren't the only things John Edwards has been chasing lately.

Last year, the National Enquirer broke the story about New-Age divorcee Rielle Hunter, formerly Lisa Druck, telling friends she was having an affair with Edwards and that she was pregnant with his "love child."

Who knew that "my father was a mill worker" could be such a great pickup line? In his defense, Edwards had to do something to kill time between giving $50,000 speeches on poverty. . . .

The rest of the column’s here.

Now today's A Little Advice column:

Don’t ever buy a used car with bullet holes in it.

Don’t trust “poverty fighters” who get $400 haircuts, even if the price includes coloring and a blow dry.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Churchill Series - July 30, 2008

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

If you could ask Churchill one question, what would it be?

Churchill’s official biographer, Sir Martin Gilbert, was asked that question a few years ago during an interview conducted by Canadian Broadcasting Company news anchor Peter Mansbridge.

Mansbridge prefaced his question by reminding CBC viewers that Gilbert’s written not only a multi-volume life of Churchill, but more than a dozen other Churchill books. What’s more, Mansbridge said, it’s been estimated the total of Churchill documents Gilbert’s read weigh 15 tons.

So what question would Gilbert ask Churchill?

”It would be a question he asked [in his lifetime] and I'd like to know what his answer would be. He asked a friend, ‘Do you think I spent too much energy on the German question and not enough on the Soviet question toward the end of the war?’ “
I don’t know anything about Mansbridge other than what I learned from reading a post by Canadian blogger Mike Campbell who quoted from Mansbridge's interview but we can be grateful Mansbridge followed Gilbert’s answer with the question that was on most viewers minds: “What do you think [Churchill’s] answer would be?”

Gilbert responded:
”I'd like to feel that it would be 'No,' that he did his best but he was a very self-critical person so he probably feels that he did fail in that regard.”
What Gilbert said is, we know, speculative, but it’s very informed speculation by the person now alive who “knows” Churchill best.

Now some work for all of you: If today you could ask Churchill one question, what would it be; and what do you think his answer would be?

If Presidents Obama and Ahmadinejad meet – a parody

The Dems’ presumptive presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, says he’ll meet with anyone, even leaders of organizations most Americans view as terrorist.

Suppose Obama Come to Save Us is elected President, and he’s as good as his word.

So without preconditions he sits down with Iran’s President Ahmadinejad Come to Destroy the Zionist Entity.

What do they talk about?

I’m sure it won't be a plan for the destruction of the Zionist Entity.

Well then, what?

The start of this article in the Jerusalem Post might give the two leaders an idea for starting their “historic meeting.”

Iran's president on Tuesday blamed the US and other "big powers" for nuclear proliferation, AIDS and other global ills and accused them of exploiting the UN and other organizations for their own gain and the developing world's loss. ...
That's it!

Ahmadinejad: “The U. S. started AIDS.”

Obama: “That’s just what my former pastor kept saying for 20 years. Michelle and I were so impressed by him, we took our children to his church for religious instruction.

"And now you say the same thing.

"That's so cool.

"This must mean now is the time and we are the leaders.

"Let's fist bump at the start of the press conference."

The Post's entire story's here.

N. C. Editor Decries Raleigh N&O’s Edwards Affair Blackout

Robert (Bob) Wilson is a retired North Carolina journalist. For many years he was editorial page editor of the Durham Herald Sun when it was one of the Tar Heel State’s most respected newspapers. He speaks out today about the Raleigh News & Observer’s news blackout of the affair involving former Sen. John Edwards and his filmmaker friend Rielle Hunter. Edwards calls the N&O “my hometown newspaper.” - - - JinC

When is a news story not a news story? When The National Enquirer smokes out former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' double life.

It's been a week and a half since a squad of Enquirer reporters nailed Edwards in Los Angeles. The paper reported that Edwards visited his alleged paramour, Rielle Hunter, and their child at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, describing the public aspects of the tryst in stunning detail.

Chapel Hill resident Edwards, who made his stash as a trial lawyer, knows truth is the only defense against libel; tellingly, he has not threatened to sue the Enquirer.

Edwards has three children by his wife Elizabeth. Although weakened by incurable cancer, she has until recently gamely accompanied him on political trips, often introducing him to audiences.

As a prominent public figure with national political ambitions, elected or appointed, Edwards was, and remains, fair game for the Enquirer. In a July 22 story ( "Sen. John Edwards Caught With Mistress and Love Child" ) the scrappy king of the supermarket tabs let him have both barrels on its Web site and in its print edition.

So why haven't you read about Edwards' picaresque adventure at the Beverly Hilton in The News & Observer, his hometown newspaper, or in such news hounds as The Washington Post and The New York Times?

Because the Enquirer don't get no respect in the mainstream media, even though the tab has a record of accuracy that many a mainstream newspaper should envy.

The Enquirer often left the MSM coughing in its dust with the O.J. Simpson story a decade ago. Press critic Jack Shafer, who writes for the online journal Slate, is one of the few people with a national audience who defends the Enquirer, noting that it was preparing to reveal the Rev. Jesse Jackson's love child several years ago when Jackson got wind of what was coming down and went public to soften the impact. It worked.

Meanwhile, the liberal-leaning MSM gave Jackson a pass.

Interesting thing about Slate. The Washington Post Co. owns it. Apparently, Shafer can write about Edwards, Rielle Hunter and their love child until the cows come home -- but nary a word about Edwards' escapade has sullied the Post. Presumably, it is above such trifles.

The Washington Post, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times (the latter forbids its staff bloggers from even mentioning the Edwards affair, much less writing about it) can do as they wish with this story, which is to blithely ignore the whole thing. No one can force them to acknowledge it.

However, it's much harder for the N&O to justify non-coverage. The Old Reliable has been a worker bee in Edwards' hive from the start of his political career, but if the paper is as fair and honest as Executive Editor John Drescher proclaims in his weekly column, his staff would be all over this story.

If nothing else, the N&O should be able to recognize as nationally significant a tragic-comic news story when it sees one. A hotel security guard interviewed by Fox News, one of the few domestic news organizations to acknowledge the story, described Edwards as fleeing in panic when confronted by Enquirer reporters at 2:40 in the morning as he was about to leave through a basement door.

The guard said an ashen Edwards scurried into a men's room, where he held out for 15 minutes while the reporters yelled questions at him. Hotel security officers later gave the shaken Edwards safe passage out of the hotel.

This was news, real and unalloyed. Still, a newspaper that downplayed a gang-related brawl Saturday night that shut down Triangle Town Center, a major shopping venue in East Raleigh, isn't likely to sling ink at a big political story, whether in Raleigh or in Beverly Hills, that doesn't mesh with its institutional liberalism.

If the mainstream media don't bestow their self-defined legitimacy on a story, it isn't news. The New York Times boasts, "All the news that fit to print." Except of course, when a supermarket tab breaks the story about a national figure who just happens to belong to a protected class: leftist Democratic politicians.

Ah, Johnny Reid Edwards, the Two Americas hardly know ye! But the one that goes to “new media” sources for its news is starting to learn about you, one tryst at a time.

Al-Qaeda shifting to North Africa

I comment below the star line following extracts from Amir Taheri’s op-ed in today’s London Times.

Taheri writes - - -

… [Al-Qaeda jihadists beaten in Iraq and] looking for new places to pursue their holy war against “Zionists and Crusaders”, ended up in Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Thailand and helped to reignite the fires of jihad.

However, North Africa appears to have attracted the largest number of returnees.

According to the buzz in jihadist circles, confirmed by officials and analysts, a new arc of terror is taking shape in Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania - the five countries of the so-called Arab Maghreb in North Africa. …

By all accounts, Algeria may be facing a new round of the War against Terror as it faces mounting political and economic problems. In the first phase of the war, Algerian jihadists never used suicide tactics. In recent months they have carried out at least four such operations, indicating total adoption of al-Qaeda tactics. They have also tried to kill President Bouteflika on at least four occasions. The latest plot was uncovered last week, 24 hours before a provincial visit.

Last month the President invited Ahmed Ouyahya, the architect of Algeria's victory against the terrorists, to assume the premiership again. His return acknowledges that the policy of cuddling the Islamists, preached by the former Premier, Abdulaziz Belkhadem, has failed.
While Algeria is well prepared to face a resurgence of jihadism, Morocco, long recognised as one of the most moderate and peaceful countries in the Muslim world, may prove more vulnerable.

Visitors returning after three or four years would be struck by changes in the urban scenery. The number of al-Qaeda-style beards has grown along with the number of neo-hijab headscarves designed to identify women as partisans of jihad. Women in jeans or mini-skirts have all but disappeared from public, along with all females who favoured the colourful dress of the Berber.

One sees countless women draped in black that remind one of Hitchcock's The Birds. Jihadist propaganda is sold on the streets in stalls provided by the municipal authorities.

Fewer and fewer places serve alcohol, and parts of the main cities are becoming no-go areas for foreign tourists. Over the past year, almost 1,000 people have been arrested in connection with terrorism after attacks that claimed at least 60 lives.
Few of the jihadists come from the poor and illiterate slum-dwelling masses. Most of those arrested are graduates, often from well-to-do middle-class families.

While Algeria is well prepared to face a resurgence of jihadism, Morocco, long recognised as one of the most moderate and peaceful countries in the Muslim world, may prove more vulnerable.

Visitors returning after three or four years would be struck by changes in the urban scenery. The number of al-Qaeda-style beards has grown along with the number of neo-hijab headscarves designed to identify women as partisans of jihad. Women in jeans or mini-skirts have all but disappeared from public, along with all females who favoured the colourful dress of the Berber. One sees countless women draped in black that remind one of Hitchcock's The Birds. Jihadist propaganda is sold on the streets in stalls provided by the municipal authorities.

Fewer and fewer places serve alcohol, and parts of the main cities are becoming no-go areas for foreign tourists. Over the past year, almost 1,000 people have been arrested in connection with terrorism after attacks that claimed at least 60 lives.
Few of the jihadists come from the poor and illiterate slum-dwelling masses. Most of those arrested are graduates, often from well-to-do middle-class families.

More disturbing is that dozens were army, police and security officers. According to a senior official, the jihadists used the Army to obtain military training and the Government had to abolish the conscription system that obliged all male Moroccans to join the Army for two years. The Government has also banned military personnel from attending mosque congregations. …

Taheri’s entire op-ed is here.



It’s no surprise al-Qaeda, beaten for now in Iraq, is shifting its attention to North Africa. We should expect many such shifts, which amount to strategic redeployments, to occur until the global war on terror is finally won.

Americans and the rest of the civilized world must remember al-Qaeda lost the battle in Iraq; the global war goes on.

Our military recognizes what Al-Qaeda’s doing as abandoning a position it can’t hold and moving terrorist-fighters into new locations where they’ll be trained and equipped for the next battles.

I didn’t include one of the most informative and worrying parts of Tehari’s op-ed. It deals with a linking of Turkish and Moroccan Muslim extremists who in both countries are putting on their “civil masks” and seeking to advance jihad through political means until such time as they’re strong enough to use force.

I hope you give Tehari’s op-ed a read.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Churchill Series - July 29, 2008

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

Readers Note: Yesterday, outside the series, I posted a few Churchill book recommendations, including three by one of the 20th century's greatest historians, Sir Martin Gilbert. I thought, therefore, you might be interesed to read a bit about Gilbert. So I "dusted off" the following post which first ran in Dec. 2006.


Frequent readers of this series know I often quote passages from the works of Churchill’s official biographer, Sir Martin Gilbert. I thought it might be interesting, therefore, to offer something today about Gilbert himself.

So here are excerpts from an interview a writer for an Ottawa, Canada newspaper conducted shortly after the publication of Gilbert’s Churchill: A Life.

Everyone asks Gilbert if he ever actually met Churchill. Regrettably, no. But as a schoolboy he regularly went to the House of Commons and watched him in action, and one night stood outside No. 10 ("You can’t do that now of course") when Churchill gave a dinner party on his resignation.

Gilbert had, of course, met Clementine. "I used to read chapters to her once a month. She insisted I look at all their private letters. . . . She imposed no censorship whatsoever and let anything be used. . . . She felt he was a large enough man to survive things that were not so creditable. You did not need to whitewash someone like him."

The sheer volume of their correspondence amazes even Gilbert. "When he came to Canada, in 1929, every night he would write eight or nine pages to her, and in the trenches during the war, while his fellow officers were sleeping, he would write her five or six pages every night."

Gilbert himself did not have an official assistant for years — "I couldn’t afford one" — until enough money was sprung loose for a graduate researcher on a three months’ trial. He married her.

"We both read all the documents (most of which are photo-copied because of the risk of loss). I write my next chapter and she reads it and points out anything I may have left out. Sometimes she suggests re-writing." The eighth volume is dedicated to her; the new book, to his two children. It was Suzy, his wife, who recently made a drastic alteration to Gilbert’s writing habits.

Over the years a total of 40 books, which include definitive works on the Holocaust and 12 historical atlases, Gilbert has always written longhand, in pen and ink on the right-side pages only, leaving space for alterations on the left. But two years ago when he started on Churchill: A Life, his wife presented him with a personal computer.
The entire interview is here.

Hat tip: The Churchill Centre

My favorite Obama-in-Berlin one-liner

On July 22 I posted Obama’s grand European tour hits bumps.

The short of it: Der Spiegel reported with not very well-disguised glee that the Brits and French were put out by all the attention Sen. Obama would be paying to Germany.

I took a light approach to the report and suggested tongue-in-cheek Obama Come to Save Us could soothe the hurt feelings of the Brits and French by beginning his speech with:

“Mesdames et Messieurs, Ich bin ein typical politician."
I thought that was pretty good until an Anon commenter said:
Or: “Ich bin ein Beginner.”
I haven’t seen a better Obama-in-Berlin one-liner so it’s my favorite.

What about you? Do you have one you like more?

Or do you think we shouldn't be kidding about something as serious as a major Obama campaign speech?

Could McCain benefit from Obama’s trip?

Gallup’s Frank Newport and Jeffrey Jones say, “Several observations from the just-completed USA Today/Gallup poll suggest that this is a possibility.”

The explain why. It’s all here.

Hat tip:

Edwards’ “hometown” N&O continues tryst blackout

Former Sen. John Edwards calls the McClatchy Company’s liberal/leftist Raleigh News & Observer his “hometown” newspaper.

Other’s here in the Tar Heel State say the N&O's Edwards’ “back pocket newspaper.”

Among other things, the “back pocket” folks point to the N&O’s complete news blackout concerning John Edwards affair with his filmmaker friend Rielle Hunter. For more about that see this post - TIMES: "EDWARDS CAUGHT IN SEX SCANDAL" - which includes excerpts from an extensive, bylined Times of London story.

Yesterday in – Raleigh N&O's Edwards-Hunter news blackout – I reported a search of the N&O’s archives going back to Jan. 1, 2004 revealed the N&O has been totally silent about the affair a good deal of which has occurred within a few miles of Edwards Chapel Hill home and the N&O Chapel Hill office.

The archives search produced only one story mentioning Hunter, a little puff piece by Edwards-friendly political reporter Rob Christensen about “Webisodes” filmmaker Hunter made for then presidential nominee candidate Edwards.

Today I went to the N&O’s political blog, Under the Dome. The N&O touts it as the place North Carolinians should go for comprehensive, up to date, tell-it-like-it-is reporting.

I searched back through every Under the Dome post going back to July 21, 2008, the day before the National Enquirer broke the story of the latest public Edwards-Hunter “Webisode” - oops - I meant episode.

Nothing on the episode.

Yet between the July 22 NE publication and today a number of news organizations - including The Times of London, Fox News, the Hartford Courant and Slate – have reported and/or commented on the story.

But as of today at 3 PM ET you'll not find at Under the Dome or anywhere else a mention of that story in John Edwards’ “back pocket” newspaper which circulates in his hometown.

Gawker on why MSM's covering for Edwards

Gawker posted this a few days ago. I meant to call it to your attention. It begins - - -

If you want an efficient, capsule summary of why you haven't read anything in newspapers or seen anything on major network news about how John Edwards ran from National Enquirer reporters in a hotel parking garage, about how he hid in a bathroom for 15 minutes, and about how he was holed up overnight with his alleged mistress and love child — an awesome, amazing story — parse these three revealing sentences from Washington Post "gossip" columnist Roxanne Roberts, in response to one of many persistent questions about the scandal in an online chat yesterday:

“The Enquirer is not going to sell papers with nuance or sensitivity. I need more reporting from a credible source before I'm prepared to pass judgment. I'm not sure Edwards is a real candidate for the VP job, but if so will have to address this one way or another.”
It's important to keep in mind, when reading this odd answer, that traditional news media used to have something of a lock on the dissemination of information, and allowed themselves to be convinced that they had a bizarre duty to filter even accurate information of interest to their audiences, and to do so in the service of reinforcing various social institutions and norms, even though their jobs, their Constitutionally-protected jobs, were to do just the opposite, to disseminate information and challenge long-cherished moral codes.

This self-shackling, this corruption of a trade, has become fundamental to American news media, and in the quote above we see Roberts concisely showcasing her own deep-seated instincts.

First, there's a dig at the Enquirer, the implication that the publication threw aside the nuanced truth to sell newspapers. This sort of reflexive swipe itself lacks nuance, and ignores history. In 1994, the Times declared that, on the OJ Simpson story, the Enquirer "stands heads and shoulders above [any other publication] for aggressiveness and accuracy."

Slate's Jack Shafer in 2004 offered support for the tabloid's standards, if not its presentation, in "I Believe The National Enquirer/Why Don't You?," noting, "if you correct for stylistic overkill, you find a publication that is every bit as accurate as mainstream media."

Granted, the supermarket tabloid has stumbled, including with a 2006 libel case involving Kate Hudson, which it lost, and a retracted story involving false allegations that Cameron Diaz was cheating. But so have plenty of other publications, many with fewer than the Enquirer's 1 million readers. …

The rest of Gawker's post’s here.


I’ve posted before refuting the “It’s in the National Enquirer” MSM excuse for covering up a story concerning a prominent Democrat. See, for example, my post NE's Edwards-Hunter tryst story's verifiable.

How much legwork does it take to confirm with police that NE reporters filed a criminal complaint accusing Beverly Hilton Hotel security of roughing them up while protecting Edwards and spirting him out of the hotel?

What does it take to ask the police whether they’re investigating the complaint?

If yes, can they say what they’ve learned so far? Have they interviewed John Edwards, the principal witness to the alleged roughing up?

If yes, what did he say?

If the police aren’t interviewing Edwards, why not?

Folks, I’m sure you can think of many other questions reporters could ask to verify or refute the story including, “Hey, why don’t we call John Edwards and ask him some questions?”

Hat tip: Walter Abbott

A Churchill book recommendation

A reader has asked for a recommendation of a Churchill book somewhat in the style of The Churchill Series posts.

Sorry, there’s no Churchill book out there that bad.

Now, what about the good and the great ones?

Martin Gilbert’s one-volume Churchill: A Life and William Manchester’s two-volume The Last Lion would be on any Churchillian’s short list. Both authors provide countless amusing, interesting and often inspiring anecdotes as well as sound and insightful historical perspective.

Gilbert’s In Search of Churchill: A Historian's Journey has become one of my favorite books period. Gilbert takes the reader along with him in his search which began when Churchill’s son Randolph hired the young Gilbert just beginning his career to help him research for the multi-volume biography of his father Randolph had begun writing.

But Randolph, who according to his father’s wishes was to be Churchill’s official biographer, died after completing only the first two volumes of the life.

In 1968 Gilbert was selected to carry on the biography and for the next twenty years it was his principal occupation. He completed the biography in 1988 with the publication of the 8th volume, Never Despair.

Here’s some of what one reviewer said about In Search of Churchill: A Historian’s Journey:

This brilliant account is at once a striking portrayal of Winston Churchill as seen through the eyes of those closest to him and a rare, inside look at "the Agatha Christie side of the historian's art" (London Financial Times).

In Search of Churchill reveals the staggering extent of Gilbert's research, an epic undertaking that he began in 1962 as Randolph Churchill's assistant. From that auspicious beginning to the exultant moment when, some twenty-five years later, the author "reached the final file in the bottom drawer of the last filing cabinet," we witness the extraordinary process of countless interviews, of digging ever more deeply to dispel the myths and stereotypes, of alternately charming and cajoling those sources reluctant to confide.

Now, share some of the great moments in Martin Gilbert's pursuit, and meet an unforgettable cast of characters along the way: secretaries, assistants, diarists, correspondents, soldiers, politicians, civil servants; the eminent and the unknown.

All had tales to tell, many appearing for the first time in this book. …
Yes, the reviewer is very “rah-rah,” but the book calls for “rah-rahs.”

The Gilbert and Manchester books I’ve mentioned are in print; and with some net searching you can also pick up good-condition used copies.

Thanks for asking, reader.

And that’s enough from me.

What about the rest of you? What are your favorite Churchill books, and why?

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Churchill Series - July 28, 2008

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

Readers Note: When I didn't publish a series post last Friday a reader came along and left a comment that can stand as a post. Take a look here and thank you to the reader.


Today's post is a tweaked version of one I first published in September 2006.

It's an amusing story about some British soldiers who were enjoying a bottle of port at the front during WW I, when suddenly their much respected and very strict Colonel came upon them.

In My Early Life. Churchill recalls "one day in the winter of 1915 when I was serving [at the front] with the Grenadier Guards."

He continues:

Our Colonel, then the well-known 'Ma' Jeffreys, a super-martinet and a splendid officer utterly unaffected by sixteen months of the brunt, deprecated the use of alcohol (apart from the regular rum ration) on duty, even under the shocking winter weather and in the front line.

It was his wish, though not his actual order, that it should not be taken into the trenches.

In a dark and dripping dug-out a bottle of port was being consumed, when the cry, "Commanding Officer," was heard and Colonel Jeffreys began to descend the steps.

A young officer in whom there evidently lay the germs of military genius instinctively stuck the guttering candle which lighted the dug-out into the mouth of the bottle. Such candlesticks were common.

Everything passed off perfectly.

However, six months later this young officer found himself on leave in the Guards' Club, and there met Colonel Jeffreys.

"Have a glass of port wine?" said the Colonel. The subaltern accepted.

The bottle was brought and the glasses emptied: "Does it taste of candle grease?" said the Colonel; and they both laughed together. (p.50)

First, the bogus McCain-54 email. Now, another email's questioned.

This afternoon Bill Dupray linked me to his The Patriot Room blog post describing “an email from an 23 year veteran and an ‘impeccable source’ about Senator Obama’s visit to a base in a combat zone[.]” Bill said the [email author’s name was] “redacted to prevent identity.”

I hope you’ll read Bill’s post, its thread and posts by Blackfive and Confederate Yankee which directly address the contents of the email Bill called to my attention.

Please also read the threads of the three posts. They "advance the story."

All three bloggers' posts concern the same email describing lack of access troops had to Sen. Barack Obama and his availability and/or willingness to meet with them during his recent visits to Afghanistan or Iraq. (The email doesn't explicitly say which country, but as you'll see when reading the posts, it's now agreed the country is Afghanistan. - - JinC)

Regarding the very important matters Patriot Room, Blackfive and Confederate Yankee report and discuss, I’ve two thoughts to share tonight, with perhaps more to follow tomorrow:

1) View this post ( Andrea Mitchell blasts staged Obama events ) which includes a video of NBC’s Andrea Mitchell telling the public that Obama’s visits to military sites were “staged.”

2) As for the parts of the three bloggrs' posts reporting Obama only meet with military personnel from his home state:

If you wondered how that could happen, I'm betting you were never in the military.

Those who were know that when a congressional VIP asks to visit with personnel “from home,” the U. S. military is mighty accommodating, to say the least.

For example, some of you Army vets reading this may have lost a 12-hour pass or been forced to cold shave after you came off the lines because “your Congressman is visiting at Division, Private, and you need to get your ass into Class A's. We got a jeep waiting for you.”

I'm told it works like that in the other services, too.

On the staging, I don't blame Obama out of hand because even if he'd said, "Turn me loose," America's military would have found a way to stage things.

Most of that would've been to protect Obama; a part would've been to PR.

Mind you, as JinC Regulars know, I've enormous respect for our military.

This Sunday I'll post some "Staging" posts explaining why, as I understand it, the U.S. military does staging.

Sometimes it's for the best of reasons, and sometimes it's for bad ones.

Back to Obama and the three bloggers:

Obama in Afghanistan and Iraq included a lot of staging; and we all owe Mitchell thanks for pointing that out.

I only wish more MSM folks had done the same as “loud and clear” as Mitchell.

Final thought:For thoughtful Americans the most revealing and therefore most important part of Sen. Obama's recent overseas trip was his decision to pass on a visit to wounded troops once he learned he couldn’t bring his staff and fawning media cadre with him into their hospital rooms and wards.

McCain gains in latest USA Today/Gallup poll

USA Today just posted the following at its political blog and the news sure surprised me. I comment below the star line.

USA Today - - -

Republican presidential candidate John McCain moved from being behind by 6 points among "likely" voters a month ago to a 4-point lead over Democrat Barack Obama among that group in the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. McCain still trails slightly among the broader universe of "registered" voters. By both measures, the race is tight.

The Friday-Sunday poll, mostly conducted as Obama was returning from his much-publicized overseas trip and released just this hour, shows McCain now ahead 49%-45% among voters that Gallup believes are most likely to go to the polls in November.

In late June, he was behind among likely voters, 50%-44%.

Among registered voters, McCain still trails Obama, but by less. He is behind by 3 percentage points in the new poll (47%-44%) vs. a 6-point disadvantage (48%-42%) in late June.

Results based on the survey of 791 likely voters have margins of error of +/- 4 percentage points -- so McCain's lead is not outside that range. Results based on the survey of 900 registered voters also have margins of error of +/- 4 percentage points.

Gallup editor Frank Newport tells Jill that "registered voters are much more important at the moment," because Election Day is still 100 days away, but that the likely-voter result suggests that it may be possible for McCain to energize Republicans and turn them out this fall. . . .

The rest of the post's here.


As I said, I'm surprised.

For one thing, it was only yesterday we were hearing about Sen. Obama's "commending 9-point lead" according to a recent Gallup poll.

For another thing, the June and July "likely voter" polls show a 10-point shift in Sen. McCain's favor.

That's impressive under any circumstances, but especially so for occurring at a time when McCain has been having obvious trouble organizing his campaign and Obama was finishing his grand "Save the World" tour.

What is your reaction?

Hat tip to Tom Beven at whose blog I found the USA Today/Gallup results.

Raleigh N&O’s Edwards-Hunter news blackout

Let’s look at the last portion of Sunday’s Times of London story – “Sleaze scuppers Democrat golden boy.”

It has information I want to use to highlight the news blackout former Sen. John Edwards’ hometown newspaper, the McClatchy Company’s Raleigh News & Observer, has imposed on the story of Edwards’ affair with filmmaker Rielle Hunter, including the latest, extensively documented developments reported July 22 by the National Enquirer.

The N&O’s news blackout and that of other news organizations is harmful to America because without full disclosure of what’s happened and an explanation from Edwards, we’re in no position to judge what sort of person he really is, and he’s in a position where he’s subject to blackmail.

Even if we allow that the N&O and Democratic news organizations will do what they can to manipulate the news to help their party, shouldn’t we demand disclosure and explanation in this case so a man considered to Sen. Obama’s possible vice-presidential running-mate or attorney general if an Obama administration is no longer in a situation where he’s subject to blackmail?

The Times’ text is in italics; my comments are in plain.

Hunter’s existence was first mentioned by Newsweek in 2006, when the magazine claimed that the little-known film-maker had been commissioned by the millionaire candidate to make behind-the-scenes web videos of his presidential campaign after they “met in a New York bar”.

Hunter, a former aspiring actress, was paid $114,000 (£57,000) for her work. Months later, a writer on The Huffington Post website wondered what had happened to the videos, which had vanished from Edwards’s campaign site. The headline read, “Edwards mystery: innocuous videos suddenly shrouded in secrecy”.

A search of the Raleigh News & Observer’s archives for the period Jan. 1, 2004 to Jul. 28, 2008 using the search term “Rielle Hunter” returned only one article.

The article’s headlined – "Web clips show hip Edwards" – and has a publication date of Dec. 27, 2006. Under the byline of Rod Christensen, the N&O’s Edwards-friendly political reporter, it includes the following:

…Last week, Edwards began posting scenes from the campaign trail on his One America Committee Web site and on YouTube.

The camera catches him on planes and in cars, in jeans, and tucking in his shirt as he heads to a teachers' conference in Iowa and a union-sponsored anti-Wal-Mart rally in Pittsburgh.

"I've come to the conclusion I just want the country to see who I really am -- not based on some plastic Ken Doll you put up in front of audiences."

The "Webisodes" are the idea of Rielle Hunter, a New York filmmaker. ...
With only one article returned for “Rielle Hunter,” I searched for the same period using first the entry “Huffington Post” and then in a separate search the entry “Webisodes.”

The “Huffington Post” entry returned 7 articles, none of which concerned Edwards, Hunter or the “Webisodes.” There were 4 articles that mentioned “Webisodes:” the one I’ve already cited and 3 that made no mention of Edwards, Hunter or the “Webisodes.”

So it’s fair to conclude that while Edwards-friendly Christensen and the N&O reported the “Webisodes” put-ups on Edwards' One America Committee Web site and on YouTube, they decided on a blackout of any mention of their subsequently "vanishing."

As the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination gathered pace in October last year, the Enquirer claimed that Hunter was the candidate’s mistress. “It’s completely untrue. Ridiculous,” Edwards said. “I’ve been in love with the same woman for 30 years.” Two months later the magazine revealed that Hunter, a 43-year-old divorcee, was six months pregnant.

Since the N&O’s mentioned Reille Hunter only once since Jan. 1, 2004 as cited above, it obviously decided to suppress the news of Edwards’ denial.

I’m a regular reader of the N&O as are a number of friends. None of us can recall the N&O ever reporting on the Edwards-Hunter affair.

If any of you know an instance where it did, please let me know and I’ll correct and update.

I also plan to ask the N&O's managing editor and public editor if they know of any Edwards-Hunter coverage by the N&O other than the "Web clips show hip Edwards" article.

The story took a bizarre turn when she claimed that Andrew Young, a long-time aide to Edwards and a married family man, was the father of her child. Young’s lawyer acknowledged his paternity.

Hunter moved from New York to the same gated community in North Carolina as Young and his wife and young children, raising speculation that he was really her minder. Young has not commented on the latest allegations.

The gated community the Times mentions is The Governors Club located a few miles from Edwards’ Chapel Hill home and the N&O’s Chapel Hill office.

The National Enquirer may publish photographs corroborating Edwards’s presence at the hotel this weekend.

It hasn’t so far. But I feel certain it has photographs; and I’m almost as certain the Beverly Hilton Hotel’s security cameras caught some of what the Enquirer reported.

A reporter for The Washington Post said yesterday: “To be quite honest, we’re waiting to see the pictures. That said, Edwards is no longer an elected official and he is not running for office now. Don’t expect wall-to-wall coverage.”
(emphasis added)

The WaPo reporter, if quoted correctly, isn’t being “quite honest.” The July 22 is extremely well-documented with many witnesses named, etc. It can easily be verified or refuted in part or in whole. (See NE's Edwards-Hunter tryst story's verifiable )

It’s an extremely important story the WaPo should be following up on and reporting just the way it would if Edwards was a prominent Republican.

Roger Altman, who has a controlling stake in the National Enquirer, is a former official in Bill Clinton’s administration. Some wags believe the magazine poured resources into the love child story to scupper John Edwards’s chances of beating Hillary Clinton for the presidential nomination.

Were the latest revelations timed to finish him off as a potential running mate? Despite the rumours, it is not likely. Few people think Clinton is still on Barack Obama’s shortlist.

I’ll pass on this part of the Times' story.

David Perel, the Enquirer’s editor-in-chief, said the magazine’s parent company had “nothing to do with the editorial side, which I run”.

“We stayed on the story,” he said. “We did it the old-fashioned way with lots of legwork. We did what the [big] news organisations used to do. We knocked on doors, ran down leads and talked to people.”

Meanwhile, the Raleigh News & Observer maintains its news blackout for John Edwards.

Yet its editors get upset when readers refer to the N&O as “Edwards’ back pocket newspaper.”

I'll repeat a prediction I made last week when the NE story first broke: The N&O won't report on the story until it knows its going to break through "the wall of silence" it and almost all of MSM has thrown up to protect Democrat Edwards.

Google and John Edwards “tryst” or “trust”

Last Thursday, July 24, I published Is it John Edwards “tryst” or “trust,” Google asks?

The short of it: When I searched Google using the entry words – John Edwards tryst – Google, along with returning some hits, asked: Did you mean - John Edwards trust (all emphasis Google’s).

In the circumstances, I could only smile.

Today at 10:45 AM I went to Google and again searched using – John Edwards tryst.

Guess what?

Yes, Google again asked: Did you mean – John Edwards trust

Then I looked at the first hit returned.

It was John In Carolina: Is it John Edwards “tryst” or “trust,” Google asks?

So goes the world of Google.

If you want to check "what's happening now," here's the link to the entry.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sarkozy Slam Dunks CNN’s Amanpour

Beneath the headline - CNN's Amanpour Bizarrely Connects French 'Scum' Rioters to Obama” - Media Research Center news analyst Scott Whitlock reports:

During a joint press conference between Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris, CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour bizarrely connected the Illinois senator with a 2005 comment by then-Interior Minister Sarkozy that French rioters were "scum."

She asked the now-president of France, "And I'm wondering whether you feel, today, when you stand next to someone you clearly admire so much, and who has broken so many barriers, that you regret that term or that you wish you hadn't said it?"

There’s much more to Whitlock’s report, including details of Amanpour’s earlier reporting from France. Think gaffe!

If you’ve ever watched a presidential news conference and thought, “Someone ought to set that reporter straight,” you don’t want to miss Sarkozy’s response to what was, in effect, Amanpour’s “I’m so smart and aren’t you sorry you beat your wife” statement phrased as a question.

I’ll be commenting further on the exchange later tonight.

All the Edwards news fit to boycott

John Hinderacker at Powerline - - -

I don't think we've written anything about the John Edwards/Rielle Hunter story. It isn't really our beat.

As Roger Simon points out, however, the press's boycott of the story has become newsworthy in its own right, with the Los Angeles Times ordering its bloggers not to mention it. [There’s more to report on the LA Times’ Edwards’ news boycott since Simon posted. See LA Times’ CYA email follows gag order. - - JinC]

I also find it ironic (though hardly surprising) that the New York Times has yet to mention the Edwards/Hunter story. The contrast with its behavior vis-a-vis John McCain is obvious: in that case, the Times didn't just report on a baseless rumor about McCain, it actually started the rumor.

Given that Edwards is a former vice-presidential nominee, until recently a candidate for President, and currently, once again, a possible vice-presidential nominee, the paper's attitude toward the two stories can be reconciled only by the fact that [ Folks, is there anyone reading this – Dem, Ind, or Rep – who can’t correctly finish the sentence? - - - JinC]

LA Times’ CYA email follows Edwards Gag Order

Friday I posted LA Times' editor's email & MSM's implosion.

Slate’s Micky Kaus had posted LAT Gags Blogs exposing the Los Angeles Times’ banning its bloggers from reporting anything concerning a National Enquirer story about former Sen. John Edwards’ tryst at LA’s Beverly Hilton Hotel with filmmaker “friend” Reille Hunter while a friend in a nearby room watched the baby NE said was the pair’s “love child.”

Kaus’ post included a copy of an email from LAT editor Tony Pierce which included this:

There has been a little buzz surrounding John Edwards and his alleged affair. Because the only source has been the National Enquirer we have decided not to cover the rumors or salacious speculations. So I am asking you all not to blog about this topic until further notified.
I noted Pierce's “rumors and salacious speculations” claim was an excuse. The NE story which broke July 22 can be easily confirmed or refuted in part or in whole because of multiple witnesses are named or identified in other ways, specific facts are mentioned and their's a very strong likelihood NE has photos and the hotel security cameras caught a great deal. ( See NE's Edwards-Hunter tryst story's verifiable )

I then said the story would break through the “wall of silence” the LAT and almost all the MSM had thrown up to protect Democrat John Edwards.

I also made an easy prediction about what would happen when the story broke through and offered readers some advice:
When that happens, I don’t doubt we’ll soon hear from editor Pierce that there was no cover-up. The LAT, he’ll say, was “asking questions” and “trying to get more information.”

Don’t believe that. There was plenty for the LAT to follow-up on the moment the National Enquirer’s very important story appeared.
Well the story hasn’t quite broken through yet, but already the LAT is in full CYA mode while still resisting reporting on the story.

LA Observed has obtained and posted an email from LAT's Website executive editor Meredith Artley to LAT's bloggers dated July 25 with the subject head: "Hubbub":
Hi everyone.

Many of you have probably seen the Slate item titled “LAT Gags Blogs” citing Tony’s note asking you all to steer clear of the alleged Edwards affair. It’s now linked to from Drudge, and Gawker has an item too. (JinC’s been posting on it since July 22. - - - JinC)

In the spirit of transparency I want to give some background on this, and to note how in hindsight we might have done things differently to avoid the discontent that led to yet another public poke in the eye.

Various colleagues on the 3rd floor have been working on reporting the story. I made the decision that while we are working on verifying if this has any truth to it, we should stay away from joining the fray. We still don’t know that, and national and metro are still pursuing.

Our message to you (I asked Tony to drop you guys the note) should have been more nuanced. I should have first not encouraged posting on this topic, but if any of you feel that you have a post you really to write, to please discuss it with Tony and myself first since we must always tread carefully on unverified stories.

And I should have explained the thinking behind that decision. The idea was not to muzzle any of you and then walk away – that is never a recipe for success.

Russ, myself, Tony and all the editors you work with trust you guys to engage us in open and frank dialogue on just about anything that’s on your mind, and we’ll do the same. You have our confidence and we expect the same.

We have a strong network thanks to all of the thoughts that many of you have shared, creating better blogs, growing the readership, and staying focused on the work and not the drama. Let’s keep that up and settle for nothing less.

Questions, thoughts, etc? Ask me or Tony.

Meredith Artley
Executive Editor,
I have a few questions for Meredith and Tony:

Two NE reporters have sworn out a complaint claiming hotel security staffers roughed them up. LAPD has to follow up and investigate the complaint. Why haven’t you reported on the complaint and actions, if any, taken by LAPD?

Have you asked to interview hotel security staff and other hotel staffers?

Putting aside the issue of whether hotel security roughed up NE reporters, does hotel management deny anything NE reported as happening at the Beverly Hilton that night?

You know Edwards is widely regarded as a possible vice-presidential nominee on a ticket headed by your candidate or a possible attorney general in his administration. You know the behavior the NE reports, if true, could very well, if not publicly exposed, leave Edwards subject to blackmailers.

Doesn’t that make this a major story, even if it won’t help your fellow Democrats?

Hartford Courant: Edwards' "serpentine" tryst

Ever so slowly the Dem-dominated MSM’s “wall of silence” protecting former Sen. John (Beverly Hilton tryst with Reille Hunter) Edwards is beginning to crumble.

Today Hartford Courant columnist Kevin Rennie tells readers “Know You Know.” [excerpts] - - -

… Early last week, [National] Enquirer reporters observed Edwards skulking his way into the Beverly Hills Hotel, where they heard he was to rendezvous with the mother of his new baby.

Edwards serpentined around the hotel, before reaching the rooms where both his alleged paramour and baby were staying, according to the Enquirer, which appears to have had a platoon of reporters in strategic spots.

Edwards probably thought he would not be noticed when he left at 2:30 in the morning, so he alighted upon the lobby from an elevator. Reporters greeted him when he stepped out.

The former presidential aspirant and vice presidential nominee took refuge in a men's room until hotel security could escort him out and block the five reporters who wanted a few words with him.

Edwards later issued a brief statement criticizing the tabloids. (It was only a very brief statement dismissive of “tabloids” in general. Edwards said nothing specific such as “I was never at the hotel that night,” or “I just ducked in to use the men’s room and grab some mints from the registration desk” - - - JinC)

He didn't address the love child story, though it was the right time to deny it if it isn't true. Whether it's true or not, his behavior was bizarre for a potential attorney general. (And, if true as I’m convinced it is, the tryst put Edwards at great risk of blackmail. - - JinC)

Edwards has been mentioned now and then as a possible running-mate again this year. He would be a serious contender for a hefty spot in an Obama administration. He made his marriage and his devotion to his ailing wife, who made many sacrifices for him, a central point in his 2008 presidential campaign.

The big media enterprises have so far ignored the John Edwards story told by the Enquirer. It's become widely known beyond the Enquirer's 1 million readers, however, through the online Drudge Report. (And blogs, Slate, Fox News, and today, Sunday, July 27 major stories in The Times of London and The Independent with other British newspapers expected to publish on it tomorrow. - - JinC)

Rennie’s entire column’s here.

Rennie is not your typical MSM journalist. He’s an attorney who’s the former chairman of Connecticut’s Republican State Committee.

Hats off to him for doing his part to get this most important story out there.


Former Sen. John Edwards' "hometown" Raleigh News & Observer continues to cover-up for him by telling readers nothing and asking Edwards nothing about the scandal which The Times headlines:

Gotcha: Senator John Edwards, whose wife has cancer, has been caught in a sex scandal that ends his vice-presidential hopes
Under Washington-based reporter Sarah Baxter’s byline, The Times of London’s report begins:
SCRATCH John Edwards off the list of potential vice-presidential candidates. The former White House contender, who had been hoping to get the nod from Barack Obama, is in the midst of a full-blown sex scandal.
That's important news you wouldn't know if you depended for you r news solely on the Anything for Obama NY Times or the liberal/leftist Raleigh N&O, which many consider Edwards' “back pocket paper.”

The Times of London continues:
Every supermarket shopper knows that the preternaturally youthful former senator for North Carolina may have fathered a love child with a film-maker while Elizabeth, his saintly wife, is dying of cancer. There are sensational new details on the National Enquirer website, although most of the media have done their best to ignore them.

The tabloid magazine cornered Edwards, 55, leaving a Los Angeles hotel where Rielle Hunter, his alleged mistress, and her baby were staying, at 2.40am last Tuesday. He ran down a hallway and dived into the men’s bathroom.

A hotel security guard confirmed the encounter. “His face just went totally white,” the guard said.

The story has been bubbling away for months, but so far there has been not a word about it in the mainstream newspapers, even though Edwards was John Kerry’s running mate in 2004 and has been tipped for a prominent job in an Obama administration – if not vice-president, then attorney-general or antipoverty tsar.

Edwards volunteered recently: “I’m prepared to consider seriously anything, anything [Obama] asks me to do for our country.”

He can stop waiting by the telephone. News of the “gotcha” rapidly circulated on the internet via the Drudge Report and has been buzzing on the blogs.

The Enquirer’s story appears to be well sourced. (all emphasis added)
”Well sourced” is an understatement. See my post: NE's Edwards-Hunter tryst story's verifiable.

The “not your Pinch Sulzberger’s” Times continues:
According to the magazine, Edwards arrived at the Beverly Hilton on Monday at 9.45pm after attending a meeting on homelessness in Los Angeles and was dropped off at a side entrance. Two rooms were allegedly booked for Hunter in a friend’s name.

Edwards emerged hours later and was confronted by journalists from the Enquirer. His usual spokesmen and defenders have scurried for cover behind a wall of “no comment”, while the details of the story have gone unchallenged.

Even so, Tony Pierce, editor of the Los Angeles Times, issued an edict to the paper’s own bloggers to stay off the subject. “Because the only source has been the National Enquirer, we have decided not to cover the rumours or salacious speculations,” he wrote.

Mickey Kaus, a blogger for Slate magazine, leaked the memo. He noted: “This was a sensational scandal that the Los Angeles Times and other mainstream papers passionately did not want to uncover when Edwards was a formal candidate and now that the Enquirer seems to have done the job for them it looks like they want everyone to shut up while they fail to uncover it again.”

The New York Times has not deigned to touch the story, although it recently ran thousands of words on a relationship between McCain and a female lobbyist, which appeared to be based more on innuendo than fact. ...
You can read The Times of London's entire story here.

The Times of London story will help knock down the MSM “wall of silence” on this critically important story.

But how are we going to change outfits like the NY Times, the LAT and the Raleigh N&O which work to advance their party’s interests while ignoring their readers need for “the truth without fear or favor, regardless of any party, sect or interest involved?”

I’ll keep posting on the N&O’s cover-up of the scandal surrounding “golden boy” Edwards.

Update re: Bogus claim targeting Martha Raddatz & ABC News

It will help you understand this post if you’re familiar with Raddatz, ABC News targets of bogus claim.

I said in that post I’d send Raddatz a copy which I did.

She responded with an appreciative email.

I also said I’d send an apology note to ABC News head David Westin and Raddatz.

I’ve not done that, but will.

One reason for my delay: I wanted to be able to tell Westin and Raddatz the post had been of some use in knocking back the bogus McCain-54 story I’d published without first fact-checking it.

Some of my hoped for knocking back has happened.

For example, attorney and The Conservative Voice columnist Michael Gaynor, in a full and gracious apology to ABC News and Raddatz for publishing the bogus claim, cited my post as helping convince him the claim was bogus. ( Gaynor, one of those who early on saw through the Duke hoax and realized it had spawned a frame-up attempt, was overly generous when characterizing my Duke Hoax work. But that’s for another day.)

Others have cited the post when letting readers know the claim is bogus.

And still others are about to.

I want to wait until they do before sending my apology.

There’s more I plan to say in future posts about ABC News, Raddatz, and the bogus McCain-54 claim.

I also want to say a few things about the Net which all of us can use to provide one of Democracy’s essentials – information- or misuse by passing on falsehoods.

Stay tuned.

Obama curls and breaths deeply

Greg Pollowitz at NRO says it “has to be the funniest in-the-tank for Obama piece yet. Think Elaine meeting JFK, Jr. in Seinfeld.”

It starts with Germany’s BILD telling readers:

As thousands waited at the Sieges Saule monument in Berlin to hear Obama’s sensational speech, a BILD reporter met Barack all alone – in the gym! Here's the incredible account of Judith Bonesky’s meeting…
Take it away, reporter Bonesky:
It's 16:02pm and I’ve been training in the gym of the Ritz Carlton hotel in Berlin. A man in a suit approaches me and says: "Barack Obama is about to come and train ...“

Shortly after half past four and he actually arrives! Barack Obama is wearing a grey t-shirt, black tracksuit bottoms – and a great smile!

"Hi, how’s it going?“ asks Obama in his deep voice.

My heart beats. "Very good, and you?" I say.

Obama replies: "Very good, thank you!"

He goes and picks up a pair of 16 kilo weights and starts curling them with his left and right arms, 30 repetitions on each side. Then, amazingly, he picks up the 32 kilo weights!

Very slowly he lifts them, first 10 curls with his right, then 10 with his left. He breathes deeply in and out and takes a sip of water from his 0,5 litre Evian bottle. …
You can read it all here and view a picture Obama and reporter Bonesky standing side-by-side and smiling.

Did you notice that while Bonesky mentions Obama’s deep breathing, she says nothing about her own breathing?

That’s a mark of her professionalism. “Real MSM journalists” keep themselves out of their stories.

Bonesky sounds like she’d fit right in at one of the networks or NPR.

Now please pass the Evian. I want a sip of water as soon as my heart stop racing and my breathing slows.