Book 4 of 52 – So Wrong for So Long


So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits--and the President--Failed on Iraq So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits–and the President–Failed on Iraq by Greg Mitchell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am saddened to say that I discovered the fabulous Editors & Publishers website *just* before it closed shop. It is being re-launched under the same name, but without the brilliant editor who put together this compilation of E&P essays & with a somewhat different focus sadly.

The essays trace a time line from 2003-2007 detailing the very LACK of a liberal bias in the nations newspapers. Not only that, but just a complete lack of willingness to get a story RIGHT no matter what sort of bias might be perceived. It’s like they were all paralyzed by the groundswell of patriotism that swept the country after 9/11 (understandable to some extent), but forgot their role as reporters to not view events through such prisms.

It’s an easy read if you call reading about the unfolding of war easy. Especially a war launched for the wrong reasons, yet never once questioned until we were mired in it’s web. But the essays are short and concise and several of them gave me chills.

View all my reviews >>

*** Apologies as this Year of the Book endeavor will mean some cross-over into politics here since I do love to read these non-fiction books as much as the fiction! ***

Must see & hear to laugh & dance into the weekend!


I just had to share these two things to escort you into the weekend. I’m still quite flabbergasted from yesterday’s unexpected promotion of my post to the main WordPress front page – which explains why there are all those comments! I’m used to 1 or 2, not 30!! Anyhoo, as I gather energy and recover from that shock to go into another weekend of playoff football, workouts, baseball and the always entertaining Halloween night leading to Raider/Charger game on Sunday – I will be dancing away to Adam’s latest single and laughing away at a very classic Jon Stewart clip oh so perfectly summing up recent events in the WH vs a Certain Media Outlet ;-) Enjoy!


Click here to listen to the new single For Your Entertainment on Adam’s official site (bonus of Time for Miracles there as well). FYE will make you shake your booty!!

Yes, that’s yet another image for his album. The man really is the Glittery Alien from the Planet Fierce.



Some people say…….


…. that I have green eyes.

Some people say…….

……. that the Loch Ness Monster is real.

Some people say……..

……. that they saw Elvis just last week (for real!)

and some people say……..

……. that Fox News is Fair and Balanced.

No matter which news station you watch, or listen to, or which news source you read in newspaper, magazine or electronic form – watch for that key phrase:

Some people say

It’s a cop out. It let’s the person saying it/writing it introduce their own spin on whatever the topic might be. There is no real source, no basis in scientific fact – just this very vague “You know, SOME people say….”

And yes, I threw in that Fox News reference above because they are the Kings of unsourced innuendo beginning with “Some people say…” but quite frankly I lookse respect for ANY so-called news source using that phrase.

Meanwhile – here’s a refreshing paragraph from Steve Coll of New Yorker magazine writing about finally getting corroboration on an old tidbit about Osama Bin Laden purportedly spending two weeks in the US when he was much younger (dispelling some theories that he had no real sense of Western culture) :

In that story, I also reported Batarfi’s on-the-record but unconfirmed account of Osama’s visit to America; Batarfi believed the travel had occurred not long before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, in 1979. U.S. customs and immigration records from the relevant period had been routinely destroyed—and so the question of whether Osama had personal experience of America, and what that experience might have been, remained elusive. (Bin Laden has never referred to any trip to this country in his writings or statements.) While I found Batarfi to be credible, a single-source account, based on hearsay, could hardly be regarded as satisfactory (emphasis mine).

How refreshing! A reporter who still relies on the old standby of at least TWO solid references/sources of information before believing it’s credible! I think this guy needs to conduct a little refresher course for just about EVERYONE ELSE right now!!

No, he was NOT a nice young man!


Media Rant:

Is anyone else just over and done with that tired line? I’d really like to know what the purpose is of interviewing neighbors of accused criminals? Really, what the hell do you expect to learn that the police haven’t figured out at that point? Has an interview with a neighbor EVER provided any interesting, never before heard information? Because I swear in my experience of being subjected to watching those interviews or reading them that they all sound just like this one:

Family Friends React To Arrest

As Weiman awaited the results of a psychiatric evaluation to determine his immediate fate, friends of the Weiman family spoke with Local 10 about the man police said is responsible for killing and mutilating at least 19 cats in his South Florida community.They described him as “smart, polite, a nice young man” — the polar opposite of the teen accused of 19 counts of animal cruelty, four counts of burglary and 19 counts of improper disposing of an animal’s body.

Of course they “seem” nice! If they showed their true nature to everyone from the start, they would never get away with 19 cat killings! Serial murders, rapists, child molesters, domesitc abusers – hell, they all know how to be ‘nice’! I think you’ve been watching too many movies if you *expect* the evil doers to all look and act like Heath Leadger’s Joker from Dark Knight eh? And even if someone did have in inkling into the true nature of the accused, are they going to say so? No! Because then the follow up would be “well, why didn’t you report him sooner?” So they all say, and I mean ALL “Oh, it’s such a shock! He was such a Nice Young Man!”

But really, can I blame the stunned and shocked neighbors? They just want a little face time on the TV, right? No, I blame the reporters for even *asking* one of the stupidest questions of all which ads NOTHING to these stories.

I was wrong – AIG unlocked my writing brain



I’ve talked before how the passage of Prop 8 here in California was a double edged sword for gay rights. Yeah, it was a setback, but I believe that was only momentary. The passage created so much publicity that the topic of gay marriage and dicussions on nearly every news program brought the conversation out in the open. And I think everyone knows what can happen when a little light is turned on an ugly little secret like discrimination. Anyway – this isn’t about that, but more about the point of how people have become more aware of it. I am pretty certain that taking the same vote today would bring much different results – perhaps even tipping the scales thanks to all the talk.

Meanwhile, we have the bailouts of big companies during these economically trying times. With multiple examples across industries of companies doing incredibly stupid things AFTER receiving govt bail out money. Spa weekends. Super Bowl parties. Bonuses. Yes, bonuses. Um..may I ask please, a bonus for WHAT? Superior performance? A share of company (non existant) profits? No, AIG claims they are contractually obligated. Yeah well,  auto manufacturers are contractually obligated to their union workers too – yet those union workers were told they had to reduce demands on their companies or else the govt would not help. So auto workers who do not make *nearly* the salaries of these financial company employees were told to tighten their belts as a condition for funding, but no one else? Sorry folks, but that is just bullshit. Oh, and those contracts? Wouldn’t they have been violated had AIG gone under? Which is what we were told would happen if they were not bailed out. Collapse of company. Kaput. Jobs gone. Uh, that would have meant no bonuses! Seems to me the fair compromise in exchange for being allowed to KEEP their jobs and salaries would have been to forgo those contractually obligated bonuses. Why was THAT set up as a condition for money like the conditions put upon the auto companies? Why the double standard people??? I know this was all originally set up under the prior administration, but I am also quite disappointed that Obama’s admin has not clamped down on these inequities sooner. There have been rumblings and complaints amongst progressives from the start about his choice of Geitner and Sumners as economic advisers. For sure even my layman eyes can see the problems with Geitner given his earlier role in the marketplace. I fear he is much too loyal to these financial executives to see clearly how their business practices are so wrong.

In the long run, what does encourage me is that the media is shining a light on these excesses. The public is more aware now. I hope that translates into demands on Congress for more accountability.

If all else fails – I say we just sic Jon Stewart on them :-)

The media – GAH! Or, maybe it’s the people watching?


*Note – my own life is rather incredibly routine at the moment so putting the spotlight on others is just way more interesting :-)*

I saw this tag line on Politico today during lunch: “Going gray’s just fine, man” and I immediately knew it was a write up on Howard Fineman.


Why? Because while watching him yesterday on Hardball I noticed that he has been letting himself go gray.  This picture shows him before – I searched and could not find a recent one with the gray more prominent. Actually I noticed it a few days ago on Countdown when he and Keith were side by side and it kinda looked like Keith’s natural gray (which I love) was bleeding over onto Howard. And I like it. I wrote once about how I love gray hair and will not be coloring over mine. So when I see TV stars/personalities letting their gray show I tend to notice. But, it was just something I *noticed* – not something I freaked out about which prompted me to start emailing or blogging about the hair color change.

Freaked out about you say? Blogging about it you say? Emailing the man himself over it? Yeah – check out this part of the posting from Politico:

Perfect strangers, we hear, go up and talk to him about it. If you Google “Howard Fineman” and “hair,” 30,500 hits pop up.

Fineman told Shenanigans, “I’m letting my hair go gray — duh — but it grows slowly. I attribute [last week’s] particularly disconcerting look on ‘Hardball’ to two factors: I drove around town with the top down on my old convertible, and I read the hair-raising details of the stimulus package. By the way, nothing I’ve ever said, reported or written over the years has generated as much comment as the Hair Transition, which says a lot about the power of television and, I guess, the importance of what I have said, reported and written.”

(emphasis mine)

Agree or disagree with him, this is a very well respected political correspondent. The Chief Political Correspondent for Newsweek magazine and someone who has interviewed every President since 1984. And it’s his HAIR COLOR that has people talking about him?????

I would love to blame this on what is an easy to pick on shallow media, but from that Google stat and the feedback he is getting from what must be much more than just reporters, I now have to just put it out there – perhaps the media is shallow because the VIEWERS are shallow?? Maybe that’s all they really want? Is this a which came first question? Did American dumb down the media by only demanding and responding to fluff? Or did the media dumb us down by only feeding us fluff?


And yes I realize that I will be adding to the Google stats with this post.

So called ‘liberal’ media.


I’ve been through lots of debate over the last few years on media balance/bias. Some people point to the commentary or ‘spin’  by hosts found in certain networks as an indication of bias. Some like to point to studies on who watches which networks along political party lines. I’ve been more interested in something more black and white. Which political party is more strongly represented on the networks? Because that is more easily identifiable – was the congressperson an R or a D? No gray area :-)

A study done during the last presidential term showed a heavy skewing towards his party across all networks (not just one he one you would suspect). The excuse given by all the heads of those networks was that they were the party in power so it was only natural that they received more air time. Ok, fine. So how have things been looking over the last two weeks?



Ok, network big wigs – what’s the excuse now?

(source for both graphs is here)