Yes, Virginia . . .

Chi Trib has come through with another in its series on hard times in America, rubbing raw the sores of discontent in Saul Alinsky style — hey, why be a newsman if you can’t rub sores?

Today’s is Mark Silva’s “Bush touts it, jobless doubt it: President’s talk of strong economy hard for some in St. Louis to believe.”  This is hard-copy page-one stuff, though run as a business story on-line.  It’s a nice prep for listening to Bush’s State of Union speech tomorrow, meaning don’t believe the s.o.b. when he reports on the economy:

The president will trumpet the nation's economic successes, with unemployment down and productivity up, crediting his tax cuts and calling on Congress to make them permanent. But the gap between the president's view and that of many working Americans is a yawning one and quite apparent in this once proud but dramatically shrunken middle-American city where good-paying work is hard to find,

says Silva, who has a nose for bad news.  Is this not what Dems and other leftists want to hear?  Does not Chi Trib deliver it neatly and on time?  Hey, Bush lied, what’s a mainstream newsie to do?  Rather, “Bush touts.”  “Tout” is a favorite here.  It used to refer to the guy at the track tipping you to a winner.

Bush and his chief economic advisor are quoted with simple statements, no arguing their case.  Touts.  A Democrat state senator complained?  No, she just “said.”  No colorful language here.  Why would there be?  Trib takes her seriously.  A St. Louis U. political science (not even economics) professor gets a paragraph, supporting Trib’s angle — which no man dare call slant.  Another, who teaches “American studies” (?), agrees. 

And, of course, so does Angie Totten, who just got laid off.  This is a business story?  It’s Job Losses Under Bush for Dummies.  That’s us, who read Chi Trib and others of the antique media to find out what’s happening.


All is not leftist in Trib news coverage, however.  Its 2/2/04 article, part of a series, on Bridgeview Islamicists — “Struggle for the soul of Islam,” has star billing at Power Line, where Scott Johnson calls it “outstanding” and quotes it at length, including this:

Among the leaders at the Bridgeview mosque are men who have condemned Western culture, praised Palestinian suicide bombers and encouraged members to view society in stark terms: Muslims against the world. Federal authorities for years have investigated some mosque officials for possible links to terrorism financing, but no criminal charges have been filed.

The issue is not dead, says Johnson, referring to Friday’s Wall Street Journal piece by Joel Mowbray, “Reign of the Radicals: One man fights to take back his mosque from Islamists” — in light of which “the Tribune article deserves a second look,” says Johnson.  Mowbray writes about Omar Najib's 20–plus-year fight to save the Bridgeview mosque from fundamentalists, concluding that

Notwithstanding Mr. Najib's protests, the current leadership seems quite popular. An estimated 2,000 people attend Friday prayers, a 20-fold increase from 1983. The ever-expanding contingent of mosque-goers appears to consist largely of fundamentalists in sync with the leadership's worldview, which seeks a return to "pure Islam" and preaches withdrawal from secular society. By Mr. Najib's count, the overwhelming majority of men at the mosque have religious beards and almost every woman is covered from head-to-toe. Stepping foot through the door, he says, "is like walking inside the Taliban."

While most Americans believe--or, at least, hope--that all but a handful of their Muslim countrymen find radical Islam noxious, Mr. Najib's tale is not encouraging. Not only has no one at the mosque publicly backed his reform efforts but "you can count on less than two hands the number of people who have supported me privately," Mr. Najib laments. "It's been a lonely fight."

Since the Spanish Civil War, such people have been called Fifth Columnists.  Or as Bobby Kennedy titled his book about labor-union corruption, the enemy within.  Is that too strong?


Analyzing main stream

Power Line’s Paul Hinderaker strikes again with his account of Stephanopoulos’ assuming that leftist blogs “won’t let” MSM outlets go all objective with their newsgathering.  He argues that to save themselves they should do just that but won’t, he fears, because they lack “a strong desire to be objective, and perhaps [harbor] post-modern doubts about the concept of objectivity itself.”  Read it here.


What hurts is good for us

Is bad news, like money, driving out good as regards the economy?  Republicans think so, as the gopusa.com site has it.

Despite the fact that the economy continues to grow at a healthy rate and the country has had thirty-one straight months of positive job growth, you wouldn’t know it from watching your network nightly news. The economic picture, according to the spin from ABC, NBC, and CBS, is more about job losses and outsourcing than it is about real economic growth and job gains.

This complaint unfortunately gains credibility from last Sunday’s Chi Trib page-one story about hard times in Decatur, though admittedly the Trib flies under the radar of most mainstream media criticism.

While returning to this story, however, it’s good to repeat the question, maybe to be answered in future stories, about how many jobs are lost to China vs. those lost to Tennessee and other low-taxes states.  Jobs, the answer to welfare problems, flee taxes, we must remember.

They also flee Chicago city council’s anti-Wal-Mart bias, to nearby Evergreen Park, Sun-Times tells us today.  Wal-Mart, the free-enterprise success that liberals love to hate, was rejected for 83rd & Stewart with its 325 jobs and tax revenues for the city.  So it got itself to a suburb a block away from Western Ave. city limits with its 325 jobs and tax revenues for Evergreen Park.  Too bad, aldermen, with your allegiance to labor unions, who, Samson-like, blinded but with a good grip on the pillars, would rather screw things up than give an inch.


What the . . . ?

If you were reading Michael Sneed this morning in Sun-Times — “It’s over . . .” — with her scoop about the friendly deal struck by Antonio Davis, wife Kendra, and Michael Axelrod — “Sneed is told” etc. — you would have looked again to see what day’s paper you had, because if you had watched WGN-TV News at Nine last night, you would have known all about it.

If you were reading Rev. Richard McBrien’s column in the Los Angeles Catholic paper about a pro-life protest of the Boston mayor’s being welcomed to a Catholic Charities dinner in December and were a regular reader of the Boston Globe, you also would have checked dates to see who copied whom.  You would have seen right quick that the Globe’s Eileen McNamara got there first by a month, which is why McBrien’s employer, U. of Notre Dame, is doing its own checking.

"These folks do not just miss the Latin Mass; they miss Cardinal Bernard Law. ... There's Bill Cotter, pining for the good old days when Law would allow Operation Rescue to use Catholic churches as staging areas for illegal blockades of abortion clinics,"

wrote McNamara.

"These ultraconservative activists, for whom abortion is the only moral and political issue that counts, not only miss the Latin Mass but also the former archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Bernard Law, who allowed Operation Rescue, a militant anti-abortion organization, to use Catholic churches as staging areas of illegal blockades of abortion clinics,"

wrote McBrien, who may be trying to do to much and may have wandered down the primrose path to column-writing.

Unaccustomed as I am . . .

. . . viewing WGN-TV news at 9 p.m. in anticipation of a story tomorrow night on senior(-citizen) bloggers in which I figure, I have found the show’s first 15 or 20 minutes the fastest-moving. clickety-click-produced news show on TV.  They move along briskly, with good pick of Chi-area stories.  Can’t help but notice, however, that:

* The on-scene reporter about young Axelrod and the Antonio Davises coming to terms, that A. “has the luxury of returning to private life,” apparently in reference to Davis serving a five-game suspension (near $70G worth!).  Flip slip of lip maybe, but it sounds as if A. got off easy.  Anyhow, D. has private life for five games with his family in Naperville.

* The Washington reporter saying Bush “claims” the NSA “spying” was legal — “says” would do — and Bush’s mounting “a PR campaign” to convince people.  “Campaign” would do.  It’s odd to characterize a government’s trying to justify itself as “PR,” which is usually considered private-sector stuff.  It also denigrates the effort.

* The anchor man’s story on chips that tell Someone Out There about us, imbedded in things we buy, was a pretty obvious playing to fears about privacy violations — complete with people on street saying they don’t like it: we were to expect they would like it?  It had Tom Cruise clips to go with it, from the sci-fi movie "Minority Report.”  WGN does not help its credibility with such a ploy.  The story had that old bias smell.


Some more on woe for us

Picking up on Chi Trib’s story of Working for Less in Decatur, it should be noted that Illinois taxes have a role to play in Illinois’ job picture.  If Decatur is doing badly compared to 10 years ago, can that have something to do with high taxes in Illinois vs. in, say, Tennessee or Florida.  Or any other state that is not doing as badly.  This is presuming that jobs have left Illinois not only for China but also for Tennessee and Florida.  I ask this not knowing the answer but wanting to know it and finding nothing to help me in the story at hand.

Another point has to do with what Nicholas Lemann is trying to do at Columbia Journalism, as explained by Hugh Hewitt in Weekly Standard, namely teach

a capacity to discover and analyze data.  . . . more sophisticated research and analytical skills than most journalists bring to the table. 

"'Regression analysis is the best example,' [Lemann] tells me [Hewitt]. 'Every social science study in the United States depends upon regression analysis, but almost no reporters understand it. You can't read and understand these studies if you don't know how regression analysis works. I taught myself how to do it, and we are going to teach the M.A. students, equipping them to go beyond their ordinary reliance on dueling experts interpreting studies.'"

Mark Tapscott, who is quoting the Hewitt article, says he’s been trying to do just that at the Heritage Foundation, where he went in 1999 from his daily-paper job.  It’s Computer-Assisted Research and Reporting (CARR).  He runs one– and two-day CARR “boot camps” at the foundation.  Nine are scheduled for 2006.  It’s the 7th year for the camps, which have graduated 200–plus newsies.  This year they are partnering with the Media Bloggers Association for a two-day camp in Nashville as part of the association’s annual meeting.  This is more than checking and verifying, copy-desk style.  They work on “computer modelling.”  One of their models is the

U.S. economic model described by The New York Times as among "the most frequently used" in Washington. Investor's Business Daily used [Heritage’s] U.S. economic model to compare the 2000 presidential candidates tax proposals. Other available models include the Heritage World Trade Model that measures things like the economic impacts of changing trade trends and tariffs and the Social Security Rate of Return Model, the first to project returns by ethnicity and geography.

There’s more, more, more in all this, and it takes us far beyond the tried and still true checking it out when your mother says she loves you, of City News lore.


Woe is us

Chi Trib’s page one-er is not the ultimate weeper, but it’s competitive.  The story “Will Work for Less” — that’s the head, in inch-high type, with its Buddy-can-you-spare–a overtones — is all about a guy in Decatur who is making less than half the $27/hour he made six years ago.  The pic (of the guy) is an art shot, 6x9 with forehead cropped, chin in hand, looking dramatic.  It can fit on his mantel, if he still has a mantel.  We learn in the second ‘graph that he can barely afford a $3 slice of pizza.

That is, the story seems all about him.  But by the 6th ‘graph, it enters discussion of the “underworld . . . now the reality. . . for thousands of workers as the industrial Midwest undergoes the most wrenching economic transformation since the bad old Rust Belt days of the 1970s.”  That’s how you write such a story.  You start with the emotional grabber, you see, carry it a few paragraphs, then smack-dab your topic lead with as much drama as you can muster.  It’s classic newspaper journalism, done perfectly by Stephen Franklin, with maybe some help from his desk and copy editors, though at the Trib it seems sometimes that those guys and gals just stand around and watch.

The story continues: “ . . . forces of globalization . . . slash costs . . . move out or go under . . . [no] competitive advantage . . . pay cut.”  It moves to the man’s employer filing for bankruptcy, and then to “any number of industries where American factory hands are competing against the Chinese or the Cambodians . . . and the fallout is the same: The standard of living for the Americans slips.”  Then one expert, an economist:  "For the United States, it's the end of labor as we once knew it.” 

And then Decatur and the human-interest side of it, including one man’s complaint about "corporations” and how they “want the American worker [collectively considered] to tread water or sink so other workers around the world can catch up with us.”  Now we are at the down and dirty, hearing the man on the street — actually on his 10 acres with a 13–foot pond — talking like we talk, you know. 

Again, perfect performance in accepted daily-paper style.  Art department supplies graphs, charts, and boxed, oversize figures that cite government bureaus.  It’s all there.  We read of the union’s losing battle.  And cases.  The man with two kids in college and one headed for college makes do with an old car and buys day-old bread.  Bang, bang, bang.  We get it.  His college-educated young bosses make him feel like “a second-class citizen.”  Ouch.  That phrase still around? 

But Herrnstein and Murray said this 12 years ago in The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life.  A “cognitive elite” is emerging.  There’s “cognitive partitioning by occupation” and “economic pressure to partition” and “steeper ladders, narrower gates” for employees.  Is it therefore news that in Decatur people used to get along on “two strong arms and a willingness to put in a hard day” but can’t do that now?  If so, to whom? 

The story’s last eight inches are pure human interest, hard luck reiterated in Saul Alinsky rub-raw-sores-of-discontent manner without a hard edge, but rather the obligatory aura of disinterest.  The writer has to be cool about it.  People don’t like rant.  But ah, the closer, in a quote from the last-described sufferer, gives us true-blue classism:

 "We're in a cycle right now where corporations have the advantage, and unions don't," he said. "But soon the cycle will change."

This is Franklin’s last word on the subject, for now.  This is designated a “Tribune special report,” which means, as reporters used to type at the bottom of their hard-copy, there must be more more more to come.

Meanwhile, at Columbia School of Journalism, Nicholas Lemann is “trying to teach a new generation of journalists what he calls ‘power skills.’ By this he means the capacity to discover and analyze data through sophisticated research and analytical skills,” reports Paul Mirengoff at Power Line: Too little, too late?, citing Hugh Hewitt in Weekly Standard. 

But there’s the old-dog, new-tricks problem.  The piece by Franklin, done just right by conventional standards, is this morning’s best shot from the major, major media outlet Chi Trib.  But it’s at best a preliminary snippet toward understanding what’s going on, devoid of context except what’s supplied by various OK words, some them tired and abused.


NBA quiz

If Kendra Davis has it right about the United Center confrontation between her and Michael Axelrod, and cursing and name-calling (of her husband Antonio) was going on all night until she finally got up to do something about it, what were the security guards doing all that time?  On the other hand, if the security guards saw nothing amiss and didn’t come over until Axelrod motioned them when she got in his face, were things as bad as she says they were?

Osama Who?

Chi Trib began its lead editorial 1/21 cleverly: “Osama bin Laden, like Mick Jagger, cannot relinquish the microphone.”  But the funniest thing happened.  One elderly reader, picking up on the simple “Osama's unease” headline, read “Obama” and found the lead wonderfully appropriate, thinking momentarily of the junior senator from our state who gets more ink, pix, and air time than any other junior senator in our memory.


Monday morning at the Trib

If it’s Monday, it’s Dennis Byrne and Charles Krauthammer day on Chi Trib op-ed page. Yesterday, that is. In "Not another Chavez chump: Venezuela's president didn't count on Chicago being Chicago," longtime (going back to Chi Daily News glory days) Chicago reporter, writer, and columnist Byrne notes that Chicago (Transit Authority) refused $15 million in free gasoline from U.S.-basher, dissent-crusher, Venezuela-poverty-ignorer Hugo Chavez. It’s not our kind of gas, CTA said. Trade it for your kind, complained Cong. Luis Gutierrez, apparently having no problem with U.S. bashing, dissent crushing, and poverty-at-home ignoring.

The $15 mill would have barely shown up on the CTA billion-dollar budget. One gulp, and there would go Venezuelan oil but not propaganda for S. America’s dictator with the mostest (money). He, that is the country he runs, owns Citgo, which offers no bargains in heavily Spanish-speaking Pilsen, Byrne discovered, and is actually (gulp) an arm of "Big Oil," which Congr. G. and lib-dem friends usually condemn. Read all about it here or in yesterday’s paper if you haven’t pitched it yet.

Meanwhile, C. Krauthammer exposes Spielberg’s "Munich" as 99% anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian propaganda.

If Steven Spielberg had made a fictional movie about the psychological disintegration of a revenge assassin, that would have been fine. Instead, he decided to call this fiction "Munich" and root it in a real historical event: the 1972 massacre by Palestinian terrorists of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. Once you've done that--evoked the actual killing of innocents who, but for Palestinian murderers, would not be much older than Spielberg himself today--you have an obligation to get the story right.

K. seems to have it right. S-berg and his writer Tony Kushner have skillfully evoked the Palestinian side of things, for example humanizing the Munich murderers but presenting Israeli pursuers in the worst possible light.

Roger Ebert, however, gave it four stars, calling it "an act of courage and conscience," in that S-berg had one of his characters say at movie’s end, "There is no peace at the end of this." (Gimme a P, gimme an A, gimme a PAC, on to I-F-I-C-I-S-M.) Called "an attack on the Palestinians," the movie is no such thing, says Compleat Leftist (apologies to Isaak Walton) Ebert. "By not taking sides, [Spielberg] has taken both sides." Ebert essentially writes an apologia for Spielberg, whom he seems dying to defend. Or did he and Krauthammer see different movies?




Sunday Trib

Joey the Clown Lombardo “was arrested while sitting in the front passenger seat of a 1994 silver Lincoln parked in an alley outside a home in the 2300 block of North 74th Street,” reports Chi Trib’s Brendan McCarthy, supplying good detail.  But it’s 74th Avenue, as are all north-south numbered streets in west suburbia.  Where was the copy desk? 

“One World, Many Stories” is Trib’s Perspective section page one head.  Subhead says Trib is “one of a handful of American newspapers that field their own foreign correspondents,” etc., which smacks of a promotion, does it not?  First up is Hugh Dellios on “how Mexicans’ need for jobs and [villainous?] America’s drug habits collide at the U.S.-Mexico border.”  Ten other correspondents have stories, each probably respectable.  But the promo feel persists.

Trib’s Kathy Bergen has a page one Business section piece on Berghoff Restaurant closing, “Life's `perfect' plate being cleared away: . . .  many longtime workers will lose good-paying unionized jobs with full benefits, increasingly rare for Chicago food-service employees,” which cites high cost of unionization as maybe, in part why it’s closing.  It’s a fair speculation.


"Truth or consequences" -- Remember that?

Debra Pickett of Sun-Times deserves warning: If I ever meet her, I will hug her, mostly because of today — her discussion and dissection of the latest truth controversy: Front & center, Oprah Winfrey, you lover of dissembling.  Oprah endorses the “emotional truth” defense mounted by fiction author in guise of nonfiction author James Frey of A Million Little Pieces best-seller fame. 

The book’s appeal, abetted by an Oprah show appearance, lay in this guy’s having conquered vice in pursuit of virtue — managing the transition from addict to role model, etc. — which he relayed to the gullible in excruciating detail, much of which he made up.  (For shame!)  Exposed, he says so what?  Said it on Larry King, and Oprah called in to agree with him, blissfully unaware that the halfway alert Oprah fan will be somewhat less likely to be inspired by her show’s next success story. 

If Oprah had any sense in the matter, she would have called in to Larry and reamed the author out.  Not on your Nielsen rating.

Along comes Ms. Pickett, noting that the author once lived in Chicago and drawing comparisons with his plea and Chi scam artists, many in office thanks to gullible voters. 

Read Ms. Pickett, please.  She has a nice touch and in her we may have a durable winner.


Mirrors, please

Dem interrogators of Alito have their own shady pasts lurking, notes Tom Bevan in Real Clear Politics.



Dennis Byrne has a new McCarthyite.

The longest 30 minutes

Judge Alito got in 72 words during his half hour with Sen. Joe Biden yesterday, according to John Podhoretz at NRO Corner, via Radio Blogger.

So?  What does Alito think he is, a judicial candidate?  It’s not his senate anyhow, it’s Joe’s.

Bias alert: he blew whistle? Or just blew it?

You’d think one of our most main stream outlets would play it down the middle, wouldn’t you?  Letting us decide?  Not so in case of ABC, which has decided for us that the NSA operative who spilled classified beans to NY Times did not violate his so-called sacred trust but gave us news wholly fit to print:

“Russell Tice, a longtime insider at the National Security Agency, is now a whistleblower the agency would like to keep quiet,” says Brian Ross of ABC, hoping we all will think, if ABC says it, it must be so. 

However. “Did it ever occur to ABC News that maybe the NSA wants to keep Tice quiet because they take seriously the sensitive nature of what they do every day to protect the nation against terrorist attacks?” asks John McIntyre at The RCP Blog.

If it did, the thought was dismissed immediately, we presume.

“My question is,” continues the RCP man, “why is a guy who divulges highly classified information to people who aren’t cleared to have that information necessarily a whistleblower? How does ABC News know that Mr. Tice is a whistleblower and not a criminal?”

Hey, they have their sources.


Daily papers in decline

“Among the five major dailies in the Chicago of my early boyhood, my father preferred the Daily News, an afternoon paper reputed to have excellent foreign correspondents,” says Joseph Epstein in Commentary. “Democratic in its general political affiliation, though not aggressively so, the Daily News was considered the intelligent Chicagoan’s paper.”

Something has happened, however.  Epstein cites all the familiar grim details about newspapers’ decline in our day:

Four-fifths of Americans once read newspapers; today, apparently fewer than half do. Among adults, in the decade
1990-2000, daily readership fell from 52.6 percent to 37.5 percent. Among the young, things are much worse: in one study, only 19 percent of those between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four reported consulting a daily paper, and only 9 percent trusted the information purveyed there; a mere 8 percent found newspapers helpful, while 4 percent
thought them entertaining.

He adds loss of advertising, draconic staff cutbacks, reduction in size of pages, UK parallels to all this.  His father read his Daily News religiously, but

Today, his son reads no Chicago newspaper whatsoever. A serial killer could be living in my apartment building, and I would be unaware of it until informed by my neighbors. As for the power of the press to shape and even change my mind, I am in the condition of George Santayana, who wrote to his sister in 1915 that he was too old to “be influenced
by newspaper argument. When I read them I form perhaps a new opinion of the newspaper but seldom a new opinion on the subject discussed.”

He gets the NY Times, reading it (a) to see who died, (b) to learn “if anyone has hit upon a novel way of denigrating President Bush; the answer is invariably no, though they seem never to tire of trying,” and (c) in general to stay abreast of what’s said, as Santayana did in 1915.  This daily exercise takes him a half hour.


How many minutes does it take?

For how long FISA takes to approve a wiretap, see Natl Review’s Byron York quoting the 9/11 Commission and other pretty good sources showing how long it takes, not for FISA to decide, but to ask it:

In 2002, when the president made his decision, there was widespread, bipartisan frustration with the slowness and inefficiency of the bureaucracy involved in seeking warrants from the special intelligence court, known as the FISA court. Even later, after the provisions of the Patriot Act had had time to take effect, there were still problems with the FISA court — problems examined by members of the September 11 Commission — and questions about whether the court can deal effectively with the fastest-changing cases in the war on terror.


Coleen Rowley, the FBI agent who ran up against a number roadblocks in her effort to secure a FISA warrant in the case of Zacarias Moussaoui, the al Qaeda operative who had taken flight training in preparation for the hijackings. Investigators wanted to study the contents of Moussaoui's laptop computer, but the FBI bureaucracy involved in applying for a FISA warrant was stifling, and there were real questions about whether investigators could meet the FISA court's probable-cause standard for granting a warrant. FBI agents became so frustrated that they considered flying Moussaoui to France, where his computer could be examined. But then the attacks came, and it was too late.

Which is what Bush wants not to happen again.


Whistleblowing aid and comfort

If you were wondering how the NSA leaks endanger us, read this.  And weep.

DePaul gets it?

Under fire from FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), DePaul U. has revoked its

vague ban on “propaganda” that it used last fall to silence student protest of a campus appearance by controversial University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill,

as mentioned below.  Read about it here and here.

Wisdom reigns among the heirs of Monsieur Vincent?

Meanwhile, FIRE’s “Spotlight: the Campus Freedom Resource” has lots more about DePaul and gives it a speech code rating of Red, which means it has “at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech.”

What would St. Vincent say?


Let the virtuous decide

ChiTrib’s Steve Chapman says the NSA-eavesdropping leaks and the Valerie Plame leaks are different, because

unmasking Valerie Plame served no useful purpose. The leaks in this case, by contrast, served a function that is vital in a democracy: letting the public know that the government is secretly doing something it is not authorized to do.

How is this different from saying it’s ok to break the law because your motives are good?


DePaul again (sigh)

DePaul U. can’t win for losing in the left-right scheme of things.  Its College Republicans say their posters were banned in protest of the U. of Colorado pseudo-Indian and terrorist sympathizer Ward Churchill before his lecture there in October.  they couldn’t even attend a Churchill workshop, they say, barred by a special regulation.  The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) stepped in, complaining to the president, Dennis Holtschneider, who said, "Denunciations of speakers are not posted." New policy, said the Republicans, citing First Amendment rights but mostly doubletalk by DePaul administration. 

DePaul came under FIRE earlier in the fall in the Thomas Klocek case, he being the veteran adjunct prof who has sued it for penalizing him for arguing with pro-Palestinian students in a cafeteria on campus.



. . . via Forbes.com [via Instapundit]:

"Microsoft is again facing a public relations backlash after a Chinese web blog hosted on its MSN Spaces service was allegedly shut down."

This echoes Reader Cynthia’s concerns in “Get Serious” below.


Noteworthy, important

Newspaper establishment pillar Bill Kovach in the Louisville Courier-Journal:

I think blogging is one of the great advances in democratizing speech with all the pitfalls and values any expansion of unrestrained speech can have. I believe it is one of the tools MSM [MainStreamMedia] should embrace to make themselves more transparent and create the continuing dialogue journalists and the public must have.

I check out a lot of blogs including, not in any order: Instapundit, LA Observed, Buzz Machine, Power Line, Press Think, RealClear Politics, Daily Kos, The Volokh Conspiracy, etc., etc.

I really don't have a favorite and sample something new every time I have a chance.

Chicago Tribune Labels Very Liberal Congressman 'Mainstream Democrat' | NewsBusters.org

Some good points made here

Chicago Tribune Labels Very Liberal Congressman 'Mainstream Democrat'
Posted by Michael M. Bates on January 1, 2006 - 13:28.
In today's front page story on Bobby Rush, "Pastor Rush stirs hope, skeptics in Englewood," the Chicago Tribune describes the Illinois Democrat as a "former militant Black Panther turned mainstream Democratic congressman." One wonders what the Tribune considers mainstream.

Rush's voting record in Congress, as measured by assorted special interest groups, reflects little in the way of moderation. In their most recent evaluations, for example, the National Abortion Reproductive Rights Action League awarded him a 100 percent rating. The National Taxpayers Union gave him a puny 11 percent while Americans for Tax Reform ranked him at 10 percent. Getting a 100 percent rating from the American Civil Liberties Union, the AFL-CIO, Americans for Democratic Action, and the National Education Association, Rush received a zero percent rating from the American Conservative Union and the National Rifle Association, and 10 percent rankings from both the American Security Council and Citizens Against Government Waste.

All in all, Bobby Rush can hardly be designated mainstream. Then again, among Democrats and the Chicago Tribune, perhaps his record is considered fairly moderate.

Chicago Tribune Labels Very Liberal Congressman 'Mainstream Democrat' | NewsBusters.org