Monday, May 01, 2006


Naturally the mainstream media kept true to its form and were too cowardly, dumb or lazy to report much of substance on Stephen Colbert's brilliant and courageous performance at the White House Press Corps dinner the other night. CNN's morning crew on American Morning (aka Faux News Lite) showed footage of the Bush friendly double piece. Aside from a lot of giggling on the part of the anchors, not much else transpired. Disgusted, I switched to CSPAN’s Washington Journal. The mainstream media is beyond pathetic. At the end of today's post is an article written about the Colbert non-coverage sent by Ken from LS

Despite what you will read in the mainstream about Rove, there are competent journalists who seem to know what is really going on with his case. Like journalists who actually do research. Ken also sent this piece written by Mr. Jason Leopold of


Here's a lighter weight article on Rove on


Robert Scheer gave an incredible and bone chilling interview with a reporter for recently. Scheer has been interviewing presidents for 30 years, (Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and finally W.). Mr. Scheer said nothing prepared him for Bush. Never in his dreams did he expect the lies and cynicism of the man. LS


Another journalist of character and substance, Mr. Frank Rich, of the New York Times, says Downing Street Memos have been proven to be accurate.



Ken sent this wonderful piece yesterday from The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

This is a really big deal. The GOP has done so many illegal things in Ohio that they must be terrified of losing the state to us. Since they can steal elections at will, it is going to be quite a specatcle when they try to do it in November. -K

Ohio voters down on GOP
Blackwell leads Petro, but Democrats hold edge in governor's race Sunday, April 30, 2006 Mark Naymik Plain Dealer Politics Writer

Secretary of State Ken Blackwell has an imposing 21 percentage-point lead over Attorney General Jim Petro in the Republican Party's expensive and divisive gubernatorial primary, a Plain Dealer survey of party members shows.

But while Blackwell's advantage, 50 percent to Petro's 29 percent, strongly suggests he will win the party's nomination, it may not be much of a prize beyond Tuesday's primary.

Ohio voters say they are unhappy with Republicans -- from Gov. Bob Taft to President Bush -- and prefer to see a Democrat occupy the governor's mansion, a broader survey of frequent voters shows.

Underscoring that point, voters say Democrats are better suited than Republicans -- 41 percent to 28 percent -- to deal with the issue of taxes and government spending, typically the GOP's bread-and-butter issue.

"When Democrats are winning that question, that's not a good sign for Republicans," says Brad Coker, managing director of Mason-Dixon Polling and Research Inc., the Washington, D.C., firm that conducted the polls.
"Whichever Republican comes out of the primary will have an uphill fight."

Support for the Republican Party, which controls the statewide offices and the legislature, has been waning for more than a year, thanks to a weak state economy, growing discontent with President Bush and a major scandal involving party fund-raiser and coin dealer Tom Noe.

Taft pleaded guilty to four ethics violations last year related to the Noe controversy.

The Plain Dealer poll of frequent voters shows that even two-term Republican U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine, who has nominal opposition in the primary and has no connection to the party scandals, appears vulnerable heading into November.

While he holds an 11-point lead over his Democratic challenger, U.S. Rep.
Sherrod Brown of Avon, less than one out of every two voters surveyed have a favorable opinion of him.

"His lead is probably just a name-recognition advantage outside of Cleveland," Coker says. "He has a 41 percent favorable rating, and that's always dangerous for an incumbent."

"There wasn't too much good news in the poll" for Republicans, Coker says.

Kari Sharpe of South Euclid, who participated in the survey and plans to vote for a Democrat, says she is doing so because "we are definitely headed in the wrong direction under a Republican governor."

Sharpe's sentiment is reflected in Taft's abysmal approval rating.

Sixty percent of voters surveyed say Taft is doing a "poor" job in office.

In a head-to-head contest between the Democratic Party's likely nominee, U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland of Lisbon, and Blackwell, voters favor Strickland by 10 percentage points, 47 percent to 37 percent.

Petro, whose voter appeal is potentially broader because of his positions on social issues, fared better than Blackwell in a head-to-head match-up with Strickland, trailing him by only 6 percentage points.

Despite his strong showing among Republican voters, Blackwell barely tops Democrat Bryan Flannery, who stands little chance against Strickland in the primary.

Democratic voters prefer Strickland to Flannery 64 percent to 11 percent.

The polls were conducted April 24-26. The broader poll surveyed 625 frequent voters and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Mason-Dixon also asked 400 likely Democratic primary voters and 400 likely Republican primary voters specifically about their respective party candidates. The primary survey has a margin of error of 5 percentage points.

The polls were taken during a week in which Blackwell and Petro began airing negative commercials about each other; the Democrats were virtually silent.

Carlo LoParo, a spokesman for Blackwell, says the results are encouraging.
"But we are not taking anything for granted, and we have a full day of campaigning Sunday and Monday planned," he says.

Blackwell is the party's most prominent conservative, an issue that appears to have mattered to some voters surveyed.

Connie Moore of Circleville, who participated in the Plain Dealer primary poll, says she and her husband believe Petro would be a better candidate in November. But, she says, they lean toward voting for Blackwell because he more strongly supports gun rights, anti-abortion laws and a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

"He's very consistent on those, and that will probably be our deciding factor," she says. "The gun issue is probably No. 1, the abortion issue and same-sex marriage."

Blackwell touts his anti-abortion and gay-marriage positions in commercials and at campaign stops more so than Petro. He also benefits from an association with influential evangelical ministers, who support him.

Bob Paduchik, Petro's campaign manager, downplays the polls' results.

"This campaign is not focused on polls but on working hard the next three days to get out the vote, and we are looking at the final poll on May 2,"
he says.

Several statewide issues headed for the November ballot could also influence the election, the poll shows.

Frequent voters say they support Blackwell's proposal to limit state spending, known as the Tax Expenditure Limitation Amendment, 51 percent to
27 percent.

Though the amendment has strong opposition from Republican leaders, who fear it will hamstring local governments, it has remained popular among voters, according to the Plain Dealer poll and earlier surveys by other media outlets.

Democrats could see a boost in turnout related to an amendment they are pushing that would increase the state's minimum wage to $6.85 per hour.

Voters overwhelmingly support the idea, 76 percent to 21 percent.

© 2006 The Plain Dealer


On the other hand, there was a stunning amount of no-Colbert in most of the other outlets. Here's a piece that was in SALON.COM -K

Ignoring Colbert: A Small Taste of the Media's Power to Choose the News - The White House Correspondents' Association Dinner was televised on C-Span Saturday evening. Featured entertainer Stephen Colbert delivered a biting rebuke of George W. Bush and the lily-livered press corps. He did it to Bush's face, unflinching and unbowed by the audience's muted, humorless response. Democratic Underground members commented in real time (here, here, and here). TMV posted a wrap-up.

On Colbert's gutsy delivery, watertiger writes, "Stephen Colbert displayed more guts in ten minute of performance at the White House Correspondents Dinner than the entire Bush family. He, along with the ever-feisty Helen Thomas, deftly exposed the "truthiness" to the world (or at least those who were watching) that Bush AND the D.C. press corps are indeed a naked emperor and his gutless courtiers."

Mash at dKos says, "Standing at the podium only a few feet from President Bush, Colbert launched an all out assault on the policies of this Administration. It was remarkable, though painful at times, to watch. It may also have been the first time that anyone has been this blunt with this President. By the end of Colbert's routine, Bush was visibly uncomfortable.
Colbert ended with a video featuring Helen Thomas repeatedly asking why we invaded Iraq. That is a question President Bush has yet to answer to the American public. I am not sure what kind of review Stephen Colbert's performance will get in the press. One thing is however certain - his performance was important and will reverberate."

It appears Mash's misgivings about press coverage are well-placed. The AP's first stab at it and pieces from Reuters and the Chicago Tribune tell us everything we need to know: Colbert's performance is sidestepped and marginalized while Bush is treated as light-hearted, humble, and funny.
Expect nothing less from the cowardly American media. The story could just as well have been Bush and Laura's discomfort and the crowd's semi-hostile reaction to Colbert's razor-sharp barbs. In fact, I would guess that from the perspective of newsworthiness and public interest, Bush-the-playful-president is far less compelling than a comedy sketch gone awry, a pissed-off prez, and a shell-shocked audience.

This is the power of the media to choose the news, to decide when and how to shield Bush from negative publicity. Sins of omission can be just as bad as sins of commission. And speaking of a sycophantic media establishment bending over backwards to accommodate this White House and to regurgitate pro-GOP and anti-Dem spin, I urge readers to pick up a copy of Eric Boehlert's new book, Lapdogs. It's a powerful indictment of the media's timidity during the Bush presidency. Boehlert rips away the facade of a "liberal media" and exposes the invertebrates masquerading as journalists who have allowed and enabled the Bush administration's many transgressions to go unchecked, under-reported, or unquestioned.

A final thought: Bush's clownish banter with reporters - which is on constant display during press conferences - stands in such stark contrast to his administration's destructive policies and to the gravity of the bloodbath in Iraq that it is deeply unsettling to watch. This may be impolitic, but wouldn't refraining from frat-style horseplay be appropriate for this man? Or at the least, can't reporters suppress their raucous laughter every time he blurts out another jibe... the way they did when Colbert put them in their place?

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