I have been incredibly busy of late but I thought I would take a minute to catch up here on some stuff that I have seen over the past couple of weeks. I was recently appointed News Director at WKXL 1450, along with my arts and entertainment duties. I will also continue to submit stories and host two hours of news during the day. It's an incredibly invigorating job. The news team all wear multiple hats at the station. Barring some minor production problems, it has been pretty good so far.
Here is a good story about what is going on in Concord radio, including some cute comments from my boss about what we are doing: ["Radio industry in flux "]. It is pretty exciting to be working for a truly community radio station.
Alright, let's start with this: ["Ridge, Pollsters Met During Bush Campaign"]. It isn't bad enough that he was taped partying in Hawaii on the dime of the federal government, under the guise of "homeland security," as covered by "20/20," but now we read that he was working with Republican pollster Frank Lutz while stating he wasn't involved in Bush's campaign. Yes, the same Lutz who was doing polling analysis and focus groups of the Democratic candidates for MSNBC was meeting with Ridge about homeland security issues. This is outrageous. Imagine if one of Clinton's underlings had done this in 1996. They would have been castrated! Yet, barely a peep about it in the news. Just this story and then, poof, it's gone. Gee, wonder why?
Also, isn't it interesting that we don't see those colored terrorist warning charts much anymore? Lutz is a pretty fair, IMHO, pollster. And yeah, pollsters are whores. They work for whoever pays the bills. But he should have known better than to get involved in this. It smells. It smells like stealing an election with fear.
Then, there is this: ["Bush team tried to suppress pre-9/11 report into al-Qa'ida"].
[Bretweiser] told The Independent: "There were 52 threats that were mentioned. These were present threats - they were not historical. There were steps that could have been taken. Marshals could have been put on planes that spring. Condoleezza Rice's testimony is undermined." To the consternation of members of the commission who published the original report last year, the administration has been blocking the release of the latest information. An unclassified copy of this additional appendix was passed to the National Archives two weeks ago with large portions blacked out.The site for the documents is here: ["document"]. It kind makes you wonder about all of this. Maybe folks like Sander Hicks are on the right track: ["The Big Wedding"].
Hunter S. Thompson: R.I.P. When I heard he had committed suicide, I began to wonder about this too. The guy was always playing with guns, he lived a full and chaotic life, and then, he actually takes his own life? It doesn't make any sense. I know that Denver cops were furious at him for defending this woman on death row. Anyhow, read "Fear and loathing on the campaign trail, '72," one of the best political books ever written. Writers for the Boston Phoenix have a tribute here: ["Remembering Hunter S. Thompson"]. As does my ole Cambridge bud Ralph Lopez here: ["Huge balls to the end"].
Speaking of not seeing things in the media, why is it only the underground press that is talking about Jeff Gannon/J.D. Guckert gay prostitute getting a "hard" - no pun intended - press pass to the Bush White House? Why isn't this as huge as the story about Dan Rather going after the president leaving the National Guard early when we all know he left the National Guard early? Some of the video on this Gannon/Guckert guy is hilarious - thrashing Democrats and throwing softball questions at the president [Once again, thank God for C-Span!]. But when you combine this with Cheney's lesbian daughter and her wife on stage with the president after winning the election, I really have to wonder what is going on in this nation. I have no problem with people's personal opinions. But I hate people who act stupidly. It is clear that the good Christian folks of America, who do mean well, were duped by this clown. Or were they? Their other main choice was the pathetic, flip-flopping John Kerry. So, since they didn't really have a choice, maybe they weren't duped at all. Bring on 2008.
Speaking of 2008, there may be hope for the Democrats after all. Howard Dean was named DNC chairman last week. However, not all are happy with this move. Here is a piece by Bob Burnett that is worth a quick read: ["Meet The New Boss "]. I don't agree with his point at all but it is a different point of view that is worth noting for originality alone. I think he is off base because Dean has committed to invigorating the base from the ground up. And if he can do that - with incorruptible, normal folks trying to do what is right - the country will be a better place.
On a similar note, here is my hero, Ralph Nader, really clocking the NYT's Bob Herbert: ["A 'Participant-Observer' on Losing Elections, Pushing Agendas"].
There is another kind of abdication. That is when a progressive columnist, who reaches millions of readers, sits idly by and watches the Democratic Party spend millions of dollars with corporate law firms to file phony lawsuits to push Nader/Camejo off one state ballot after another, and unleash torrents of lies about this candidacy. Denying candidates' right to freedom of speech and assembly, which is what running for elective office comprises, might have been seen by a consistent Bob Herbert as an important violation of civil liberties - if not for the candidates, at least for the voters who were denied their choice of candidates.It's true. There were very few columnists and writers who defended Nader's right to run. I was one of the few who did - and got beat up for it too. But who cares? In the end, the voters did what they did and the liberals still lost. But where are the responsibilities of those on the editorial pages to fight for freedom? If those folks won't fight for us, who will? And let's chuck the two-party system into the garbage can already. Every other country in the world - even the Iraqis - have more choices than we do. Enough already.
In the wake of destruction, some positive things occur. Check out this story about an ancient city found outside of India: ["Tsunami Uncovers Ancient City in India"]. Can you say, Wow!? And then there is this, lights above Hawaiian skies: ["Astronomy Picture of the Day"].
I'm not a big fan of The Nation's David Corn. Sometimes, he writes good stuff. Other times, he acts like a whiny liberal. However, this piece on his blog just nails it so hard it isn't even funny: ["Negroponte's Dark Past"]. And there is this from the Boston Phoenix today: ["Dumb Intelligence"]. And now this guy is the Director of National Intelligence? He couldn't see the crap going on in Latin America and now he is in charge? This, along with Alberto Gonzalez as the new AG, and is there any wonder that the United States of America is marching down the road to banana republic?
Another reason why I love bloggers: ["CNN's Nuke Plant Photos Identical for Both Iran and N. Korea!"]. How do they dig this stuff up?
Suicide is never the answer: ["'Over my dead body'"]. Rest in peace Curtis Greene.
This will open your eyes: ["Twenty Questions: Social Justice Quiz"]. Again, we are going backwards.
Why free speech is important, Part 1: ["Display Stirs Controversy In Land Park"]. Part 2: ["O'Malley Likens Bush's Proposed Cuts to Sept. 11 Attacks"]. Part 3: ["Professor refuses to apologize for essay, book about Sept. 11 attack"]. Part 4: ["What Ward Churchill Didn't Say "].