Friday, February 25, 2005

Advise and Consent in the Senate

Hugh Hewitt raises the question of GOP Senate leadership: "Grant or McClellan" in his latest Vox Bloguli.

Right now Harry Reid has threatened to shut down the Senate. To quote a certain San Fransisco Police Inspector: "Go ahead... make my day." This would be, as Hugh pointed out, the greatest gift the Democrats could give to the GOP.

So why am I worried?

The Senate GOP has traditionally been an amiable bunch of gentlemen playing a gentleman's game of debate. The idea of changing a long standing Senate rule--the one by which a fillibuster of a judicial nominee facing an up-or-down floor vote can be ended with only 51 votes instead of 60--is going to be tough for them. The very fact that they refer to this as "the nuclear option" shows just how reluctant they are to do anything.

I am worried that they will go the way of McClellan--endlessly planning and never taking action. Judicial nominees will continue to be bottled, the GOP leadership will remain nonconfrontational... and there it will sit until at least the mid-term elections.

I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think so. Frist is just too... "nice".

The GOP should be thinking "60 in '06". I'm not ready to part with any long green toward that end, though, until I see at least a little movement from the leadership. Bringing the judicial nominee issue to the forefront would get me off my wallet in a hurry.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Juror #53

I've been on jury duty this week. So far I've been dismissed before lunch on Monday and Tuesday. Today I don't have to return until 1pm. I'm hoping against hope that I'll be dismissed for the rest of the week and will get to travel back to the DC Area to visit LOML a couple days sooner.

I wonder if blogging would make me more or less likely to get picked for a panel...

EDIT: I didn't even get a chance to find out. The case they had called us all in for was settled without a trial, and we were dismissed for the rest of the week.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Washing Post: Jordan Resigns

Well we won't have Eason Jordan to kick around anymore. At least not at CNN.

The WashingPost's Howard Kurtz -- also the host of a show on CNN, incidentally: filed the following: (registration required)

CNN's Jordan Resigns Over Iraq Remarks
News Chief Apologized For Comment on Troops

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 12, 2005; Page A01

Eason Jordan resigned last night as CNN's chief news executive in an effort to quell a bubbling controversy over his remarks about U.S. soldiers killing journalists in Iraq.

Even as he said he had misspoken at an international conference in suggesting that coalition troops had "targeted" a dozen journalists and insisted he never believed that, Jordan was being pounded hourly by bloggers, liberals as well as conservatives, who provided the rocket fuel for a story that otherwise might have fizzled.

Translation: "And we would have got away with sweeping it under the rug if it weren't for you meddling bloggers!"

Eason Jordan said he was resigning so that CNN wouldn't be "unfairly tarnished."

Unfairly? I'm not sure. I'm thinking his previous silence about 12 years of Saddam Hussein's atrocities in Iraq would have tarnished them pretty darn well as it was.

Jordan, 44, said in a statement yesterday that he was quitting after 23 years at the network "to prevent CNN from being unfairly tarnished by the controversy over conflicting accounts of my recent remarks regarding the alarming number of journalists killed in Iraq. . . . I never meant to imply U.S. forces acted with ill intent when U.S. forces accidentally killed journalists, and I apologize to anyone who thought I said or believed otherwise."

I am skeptical, but I'd have thought that he'd be one to choose his words more carefully. "Targeted" has a pretty specific meaning. I suppose what he means by this is they were killed accidentally... or were mistaken for terrorists.


Jay Rosen, chairman of New York University's journalism department, who has covered the controversy on his PressThink blog, said he didn't think Jordan "had engaged in a firing offense."

Bloggers "made a lot of noise" about the Jordan flap, Rosen said. "But there was basic reporting going on -- finding the people who were there, getting them to make statements, comparing one account to another -- along with accusations and conspiracy thinking and the politics of paranoia and attacks on the MSM, or mainstream media."

That's the nature of this game; the open source aspect brings in all types. I speculated rigth along that Eason was trying to trigger a congressional investigation what with Barney Frank (D-MA) and Chris Dodd (D-CT) in the audience. It is good to have some recognition of the basic reporting. (Michelle Malkin, who got Chris Dodd and Barney Frank on the phone, comes to mind, as does Captain Ed who tracked down Jordan's previous statements regarding the alleged torture of journalists, and La Shawn Barber.)


Blogs operated by National Review Online, radio talk-show host Hugh Hewitt and commentator Michelle Malkin were among those that began slamming Jordan last week after a Davos attendee posted an online account, but the establishment press was slow to pick up on the controversy.

It has been postulated that the establishment press doesn't have the first clue about what goes on in the blogosphere. If it isn't in the NYT or the Washing Post they don't know about it. You'd think after the ludicrous documents CBS tried to pawn off as the basis for a story on George W. Bush's TANG days, they'd get a couple folks each monitoring the goings on in the blogosphere. I recommend at least an hourly scan of Glenn Reynolds for starts.

The Washington Post and Boston Globe published stories Tuesday and the Miami Herald ran one Thursday. Also on Thursday, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Bret Stephens, who was at Davos, published an account accusing Jordan of "defamatory innuendo," and the Associated Press moved a story. As of yesterday, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and USA Today had not carried a staff-written story, and the CBS, NBC and ABC nightly news programs had not reported the matter. It was discussed on several talk shows on Fox News, MSNBC and CNBC.

Eventually the other cable news channels were bound to dive on their wounded rival. I'm not shocked by the failure of the broadcast networks to mention it, though. I doubt they like to think about cable much.

Gergen said last night that Jordan's resignation was "really sad" since he had quickly backed off his original comments. "This is too high a price to pay for someone who has given so much of himself over 20 years. And he's brought down over a single mistake because people beat up on him in the blogosphere? They went after him because he is a symbol of a network seen as too liberal by some. They saw blood in the water."

He also had a pattern of slandering the military. (Go back to the Captain Ed link above for some examples.) If it helps, think of it as more of a lifetime achievement award.

In his statement, Jordan said: "I have great admiration and respect for the men and women of the U.S. armed forces, with whom I have worked closely and been embedded in Baghdad, Tikrit, and Mosul" and other places. "As for my colleagues at CNN, I am enormously proud to have worked with you, risking my life in the trenches with you."

I guess he supports the troops when it suits the audience he's in front of.

Jordan made at least 15 trips to Iraq over the years and was fiercely and emotionally involved in the coverage.

...except where precious access could be at risk.

*snipped the very last paragraph in which Mr. Kurtz finally gets around to telling his readers--at least those who stuck around that far--about CNN's silence over 'some of' Saddam Husseins atrocities.*

Howard Kurtz hosts CNN's weekly media program.

(just to show that it was mentioned) And I'm sure this had nothing to do with Mr. Kurtz's reticence to publish anything on the subject sooner.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Sisyphean Musings: Eason Jordon WEF Video

Sisyphean Musings: Eason Jordon WEF Video

Sisyphean Musings is working to get a copy of the WEF video wherein Eason Jordan slandered the US military.

Developing, as it were.

The WEF folks are not going to give up the tape. Sisyphus has posted an exchange with Mark Adams here.

A bummer, that, but I can understand the Davos viewpoint. The same non-attribution philosophy is the underpinning for software process assessments.

Still, CNN's reputation has been further tarnished by the story, at least among the blognoscenti. Anecdotes such as Hugh Hewitt's regarding Chris Matthews's disbelief and Judy Woodruff's not having heard any of this don't surprise me. They have the New York Times and the Washington Post and perhaps the LA Times and the Boston Globe. Beyond that... they don't know anything. If those sources don't report, the people who inhabit the former monopoly media just don't have a clue.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

WWA Gloat

I made it through the February woodworking quiz/maze! Each answer leads you to another question, and another. Should you answer incorrectly, eventually you will run into a dead-end and will need to back track to figure out where you went wrong. It is a time consuming process but once you get to a certain point, you have only a few minutes to answer the remaining questions correctly--thankfully you can go back and fix your errors within the time limit!

I didn't get it done first, but I did take third this month... not bad for a guy returning to the woodshop for the first time since high school. :)

Katz Touts Illini for Perfect *Regular* Season

Listening to the game at the Izzone last night, ESPN's Andy Katz was on at halftime with Loren Tate. He said that if the Illini held on against Michigan State "they would run the table."

Today Katz repeats it online. He isn't going so far as to say they'd sweep the Big Ten tournament and the NCAAs after that... but he gives his analysis of the last 8 games of the season here.

Meanwhile, Dicky V reports on the historical difficulties of going undefeated in the Big Ten right below.

It won't be easy. But it does appear do-able for the Men in Orange. I suspect after last night's 13 3-pointer performance, teams are going to put more emphasis on guarding the perimeter. It'll be up to Augustine's play in the post, the driving ability of Head and Brown, and the backdoor cuts of Roger Powell to make 'em pay.

Oh Eason, where art thou?

Eason "Access over the Truth" Jordan, CNN News exec, apparently dropped one whopper of an allegation at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Now if Eason Jordan really does know something about US troops intentionally killing journalists in Iraq, he would have one helluva story on his hands. And given that Fox News Channel is beating the living daylights out of CNN, don't you think they'd already be running with this story like a marlin on a mackeral?

Presumably he doesn't really know anything. Abovitz describes Eason as backpedaling when pressed, but also wavering the other way when pressed by others. That doesn't sound like a man with the courage of his convictions to me.

However, two of his fellow panelists were Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA). Given the American Left's penchant for demanding investigation based on nothing so much as an allegation--"It is the seriousness of the charge, more than the nature of the evidence..."--it smells like Jordan is trolling for a Congressional investigation. And then CNN can run with the story of calls for investigation.

If this is just so-much-BS as I suspect, Jordan needs to come clean, and quickly. I don't know how much credibility CNN has after Jordan admitted to covering up the news CNN knew about in Iraq for 12 years. But to turn around and engage in blatant newsmongering at a Forum entitled "Can Democracy Survive the Media?" could be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
Hat tip to Hugh for lighting off this blogstorm.
A gracious personal thanks for correcting the link. Something went ker-blooey when I last tried to edit this.
Edit 2:
GayPatriotWest writes that Barney Frank also pressed Jordan for details, for which Jordan could provide none to bolster his claim of targeting journos. If a call for investigation were to come from Congressman Frank's office, I suspect Eason Jordan could be called up as a witness.

Kudos to the Congressman from Massachussets!
(Hat tip: New Sisyphus)

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Stones Cry Out: Moyers a Moonbat

I didn't believe in a year 2000 calamity. Yet, somehow I'm beginning to think that something did indeed happen that year. The election of George W. Bush seems to have had serious impact on the mental health of many in this country. That he has been re-elected has caused some on the left to screech even louder.

Former PBS commentator Bill Moyers is one such. He has left TV but still writes the odd screed. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune picked one of them up for their editorial page. (Registration Required)

The lads over at Stones Cry Out fisked it rather wonderfully. Check that out here.

Another Tuesday...

...and another Big Ten road game for the Illini. This time Big Orange travels up to the Breslin Center in East Lansing to take on Michigan State. While no road game is easy in the Big Ten, this is a particularly difficult place to play.

The guys have been talking about this game since right after the win over Minnesota, so they're going to be up for it. Just as long as they are not TOO up for it out of the gate--if the Illini bigs get too aggressive at the outset and end up in early foul trouble, this game could get ugly.

I was pessimistic before the huge win over Wisconsin a week ago. When Illinois came back from 8 down late in the game in front of the Grateful Red at the Kohl Center, I was blown away by their grace under pressure.

Can Illinois do it again? Yes. Will they? We'll see.