Slacker Friday


We've got a new "Think Again" column called "Plummeting Press Freedom," on press freedom in the U.S. and the rest of the world, and my new Nation column, "A Liberal Supermajority (Finally) Finds Its Voice" is here, and closes with a quote from that late great political pundit, Sam Cooke.

I also did a post on the Rashid Khalidi controversy for the Guardian, and the Times has a follow up story, here, which is fine, save for the fact that it suffers from treating Daniel "Professor of Hate" Pipes as a credible source, and thereby worsening the problem.

Eric Boehlert writes: We last noticed Time's John Cloud when he wrote a blogospheric classic in the form of a Valentine to Ann Coulter (has it really been three years?), where the hate mistress was transformed into a public intellectual. Now Cloud's back with "The Gay Mafia That's Redefining Politics," and the troubles with the piece pile up fast. Read more here.

Something scary.

Name: Steve Crozier
Hometown: Oceanside CA

Eric --

I've been reading about the various negotiations concerning the status of forces agreement with Iraq.

In light of John McCain's proclamation that "victory" is near I find it somewhat amusing that we have to "negotiate" the SFA.

It seems to me that a real victor in a war would impose a status of force agreement -- not negotiate one.

Look at who is doing the negotiating and who is doing the imposing in this case. Doesn't say much for our "victory" does it.

Name: Larry Israelson
Hometown: Glendale, CA

I just submitted the following comment to ABC News:

Dear Mr. Gibson:

I am a middle-class white male heterosexual registered Democrat who donated $20 to Sen. Obama's Presidential campaign and I don't care who knows about it.

If anybody wants to follow suit, go here.

Name: Michael Green
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV

If you want to know why newspapers are in trouble, here is a blog by the editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, whose publisher and editors have been in the tank for McCain and calling Obama a socialist long before McCain started doing so.

He believes that confidential sources shouldn't be protected. Isn't that lovely?

Name: Bob Wenning
Hometown: Chicago

It just amazes me how these media types shrug at the existence of an entire network devoted to spreading right-wing propaganda but go into hysterics because a couple of shows on MSNBC have a liberal orientation (see link in this post from Tuesday).

The one good nugget in this article was the admission by Frank Luntz that liberals were dominating the internet while conservatives dominate talk radio (and that he'd prefer to dominate the internet). I believe the reason for this is because liberals generally will not simply spew their opinions without some basis of fact. Fact-free, hate spewing speech is the bread & butter of right wing radio and there is really no way to contradict them and correct their facts. As Media Matters has shown, it is relatively easy to dispel the ridiculous stories and conspiracies espoused by right wing bloggers - which is why they are not as successful (although why it didn't catch up to Drudge before now is a mystery -- but I guess the MSM doesn't like questioning their assignment editor).

Name: Ken
Hometown: Lenexa, KS

Now I read that Republicans are talking about curtailing advance voting. I commute a fair distance to my IT job (a subject for another time) and would have to drive back home, stand in line, and then drive back to work if there was any day left. Essentially, it would force me take a day off unpaid to exercise my right and responsibility to vote. Sounds something like those unfunded mandates Republicans used to scream about.

Name: Carl Lowe
Hometown: Arab, Alabama

Dr. A,

Listening to Lawrence Eagleburger's endorsement of McCain on NPR this afternoon, I laughed when he was asked about Sarah Palin and he had to answer, after a moment of uncomfortable silence, that no, she was not ready to take over the reins as Commander in Chief if "God forbid" something happened to McCain. Unfortunately the moderator didn't press Mr. Eagleburger on what the choice of Palin said about McCain's judgment. But it was pretty clear to anybody listening that even to Eagleburger the choice of Palin was a mistake as he struggled to both be honest about his feelings and not diss the McCain ticket.

Wonder if the other four former Secys of State who have endorsed McCain have the same reservations? Maybe a journalist somewhere should ask them.

Name: Martin E. Cobern
Hometown: Cheshire, CT

While Casino Royale was the first of the Bond books, it was, I believe, the last of the original series to come to the screen straight. This was, perhaps, a result of the first Casino Royale, starring Peter Sellers, Woody Allen and a gaggle of stars, with a theme by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.

Name: Bob Hawks
Hometown: Chicago

With regard to Bill's critique today of swapping out baccarat for poker in the film of Casino Royale, difficulties in adapting books to film aside, as a long time Bond film fan who finally read his first Ian Fleming book, Casino Royale, lemme just point out that in the book James Bond's big assassination escape plan consists of -- wait for it -- leaning back too far in his chair, falling over backwards, and running like hell. Daniel Craig he was not ...

Name: Jeff Weed
Hometown: Little Elm, TX

Dr. A,

From the lyrics to "Live And Let Die" printed in my CD sleeve of Sir Paul's "All The Best" compilation:

"But if this ever-changing world in which we live in makes you give in and cry..."

Case closed ... unless you believe the record company/publisher would actually make such an error based upon a common mishearing of the lyric. This would be the equivalent of an official reprint of Creedence Clearwater Revival lyrics making reference to a "bathroom on the right." Sure, the lyric would be more sensible as "in which we're living" -- but, after all, this IS the guy who wrote "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da."

FYI: The Rock Book of Lists even gave this line the "Throw-In-An-Extra-Preposition-And-Call-It-Artistic-License" Award for Dubious Recording Achievements.

Eric replies: So it's a single redundancy, rather than the unique achievement of a double redundancy. Actually, it was "Oh bla dee, Oh bla da," and it's bloody Shakespeare compared to "Live and Let Die" ...

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