Friday, April 02, 2004

every so often i'll go to salon & sit through the ad so i can get that elusive "day pass" that allows you to read their articles without subscribing (actually, at first i put up my hand to block the screen from view until it was over, but then i realized the ad was for the book house of bush, house of saud, which i'm actually curious about, so then i watched the ad).

today's big story on salon is an in-depth feature on justice anton scalia. the focus of the article is on how scalia has increasingly marginalized himself over the past few years, with his radical opinions & unwillingness to even acknowledge that those who disagree might not be out of their minds. (did i just forget that scalia actually had to recuse himself from the pledge of allegiance case because of some ridiculous off-the-cuff remark?)

there's also this interesting story (actually an AP story, but i read it on salon & today is "salon links day") about a media squabble between cnn & david letterman. i haven't watched any late night show other than conan in years, but apparently on tuesday night, dave aired a video that "showed Bush at a March rally in Orlando, Fla., standing at a lectern with several listeners behind him -- among them, a boy in his early teens who could barely stay awake. While Bush spoke, the young man yawned, twisted his head, checked his watch and generally seemed dead on his feet."

the story continues:

Tuesday morning, CNN attempted to lighten its news mood by running the segment, credited to CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman,'' on its ``CNN Live Today.''

But then CNN host Daryn Kagan added: "We're being told by the White House that the kid, as funny as he was, was edited into that video, which would explain why the people around him weren't really reacting.''

Later, during CNN's "Live From ...,'' anchor Kyra Phillips reran the tape but cautioned viewers: "We're told that the kid was there at that event, but not necessarily standing behind the president.''

The truth was: The White House never complained, and the footage was real.

but krugman at the nyt describes it differently:

But here's the really interesting part: CNN backed down, but it told Mr. Letterman that Ms. Kagan "misspoke," that the White House was not the source of the false claim. (So who was? And if the claim didn't come from the White House, why did CNN run with it without checking?)

In short, CNN passed along a smear that it attributed to the White House. When the smear backfired, it declared its previous statements inoperative and said the White House wasn't responsible. Sound familiar?

the AP article blindly accepts cnn's later statement that the white house was not the source, & with that seem content to let the story drop... or at least, AP goes on to hype up the "confusion" aspect, but does not follow up on where the confusion actually came from. only krugman wonders who would actually make such a ridiculous accusation, if not the white house, or why cnn would bother airing it.

the yawning kid is booked for tonight's letterman show, & his press is now handled by the white house in a blatant bit of bush damage control (but it's nevertheless an amusing media tidbit).

(krugman's column [if you can even read it; registration req'd] also contains a nice [but short] rebuttal to bush flack jim wilkinson for his recent character assasination work against richard clarke... wilkinson gets a much longer rebuke from buzzflash in a detailed piece that covers the highlights of wilkinson's career as a top bushco PR dude.)

oh yeah, getting back to salon, there's also a nice interview with former senator gary hart, who personally warned powell, rice, & rumsfeld about terrorism in jan2k1. hart alleges that bushco sat on the idea of homeland security until after 9/11, among other things.

No comments: