Thursday, December 02, 2004

If Ohio Were Another Country, Would the Times then Cover It?

Thursday's New York Times still can't find the Ohio voting story
*With a court verdict one week ago (that's never been dealt with in anything other than a national briefing). 
*With two third party candidates fighting for a recount. 
*With Jesse Jackson both speaking out in person (and on Democracy Now! and The Majority Report) as well as dedicating one of  his Chicago Sun-Times column to the issue. 
*With the Kerry campaign asking an Ohio judge to allow them to join with Cobb and Badnarik in the legal battle.
* With a competing paper (New York Daily News) addressing the issue (Juan Gonzales' article, see blog entry "John Kerry, Ohio & Juan Gonzales" 
* With a rally to be held Saturday in Columbus.
With all the above, The New York Times still can't see the topic as news worthy?
It sure is nice to know that a decidedly for profit tour of a King Tut exhibit is news.  Please note, this isn't a story about artifacts in the exhibit -- which might be news.  Nor is a story on a reality based event such as crowd's reactions -- that would depend on the exhibit having begun.  It hasn't.  It will soon.  Why, this very June, the tour will debut in America (Los Angeles County Museum of Art).
I'm all for increased coverage of arts in the Times -- when it's news.
They can't cover Ohio which is going on right now but a section of the front page is reserved for what may be news . . . in six months? 
Elsewhere on the front page, Eric Schmitt & Thom Shanker's "U.S. to Increase Its Force in Iraq by Nearly 12,000" is worth reading:
The American military presence in Iraq will grow by nearly 12,000 troops by next month, to 150,000, the highest level since the invasion last year, to provide security for the Iraqi elections in January and to quell insurgent attacks around the country, the Pentagon announced Wednesday.
The Pentagon is doing this mainly by ordering about 10,400 soldiers and marines in Iraq to extend their tours - in some cases for the second time - for up to two months, even as their replacement units begin to arrive. The Pentagon is also sending 1,500 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division in the next two weeks for a four-month tour.
By extending the tours of some 8,000 soldiers from two brigades, the Army is risking problems with morale and retention by breaking its pledge to keep troops on the ground in Iraq for no more than 12 months, some commanders and military experts said.
Also please check out Robin Toner's "A Changing Senate Looks Much Better to Foes of Abortion" .  From the article:
"We are all expecting a battle on the Supreme Court," said Nancy Keenan, the new president of Naral Pro-Choice America. And, she added, "The number of anti-choice restrictions will be increasing. We'll be fighting that day in and day out."
Four stories that should have been expanded and would have qualified for front page news?
Neil A. Lewis's "Face of Guantanamo Detainees Is Debated in Federal Court" (page A29) :
Could the president of the United States imprison "a little old lady from Switzerland" as an enemy combatant if she donated to a charity not knowing that her money was eventually used to finance the activities of Qaeda terrorists?
Possibly, a government lawyer replied Wednesday to this hypothetical case posed by a federal judge as they wrangled over the limits of a president's powers to detain people he deems enemy combatants and whether the administration has satisfied the requirements set out in a June Supreme Court decision to provide a justification for their detention acceptable to federal courts.
The courtroom of Judge Joyce Hens Green on Wednesday served as the stage for the beginning of what is expected to be a long and bruising second phase of the legal battle over the Bush administration's efforts to keep the fate of the detainees held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in the hands of the military instead of federal judges.
The issue of whether or not "Defense Department analyst, Larry Franklin, gave" classified information on Iran's nuclear capabilities to person or persons who passed it on to Israel remains a non-issue, not covered anywhere except in Josh Micah Marshall's Talking Points Memo (, gets a tiny AP story on page A24 (
"Indonesia to Press Pollution Suit Against U.S. Mining Company" by Jane Perles on A4 ( begins:
The Indonesian authorities plan to go ahead with a criminal lawsuit against the world's biggest gold producer, the Newmont Mining Corporation, charging that the company polluted a bay with arsenic and mercury, a spokesman for Indonesia's Attorney General said Wednesday. The company will be charged with "purposely disposing hazardous and poisonous material" into the water "though they are fully aware that the material is dangerous, polluting and dangerous for the people's health," the spokesman, Suhandoyo, said.
About 200 villagers live on Buyat Bay, on Sulawesi Island, and many have complained of ailments like headaches, difficult breathing, skin tumors and rashes. Three villagers filed a $543 million lawsuit against Newmont in August, contending that mine waste had caused the illnesses and ruined their fishing income.
Newmont, based in Denver, has vigorously denied polluting the bay and says the illnesses are caused by poor sanitation and nutrition. A spokesman for Newmont in Indonesia, Kasan Mulyono, said the company had not been officially notified of the coming charges but added, "We will continue to cooperate with the government and the prosecutor."
Finally, as Carl, Matt & Janeane have already commented on in e-mails this morning, on page A29 you can find "Gonzales to Steer Clear of C.I.A. Leak Inquiry" by Eric Lichtblau which details how Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General nominee, has assured Senator Charles E. Schumer that he will "remove himself from oversight of the politically charged investigation into the disclosure of a C.I.A. officer's indentity if he is confirmed as attorney general."
As Matt comments, on The Charlie Rose Show, Richard Cohen "wrongly talked about how the focus on this case was on Valerie Plame, which is where it should be, on the harm done to her, but the press hasn't devoted and real ink to that topic, and here we go again." 
Matt, Janeane and Carl wonder when this topic will be explored by the Times in a way that doesn't "focus on Judy Miller" (Carl, who notes that not every "issue" prompts the publisher of the paper to write an op-ed as Miller's "issue" did) and "somewhere other than in a [Paul] Krugman op-ed" (Janeane)?

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