Monday, January 17, 2005

Australia cares about whether or not Chertoff gets nominated and the fluff that Bumiller writes

We have a new visitor to our site who hopefully will continue to visit. "Australia" is following the events of the Bully Boy even more closely than some of us in this country are.

On January 12th, we highlighted an article by Eric Lichtblau
(we went with the online version that posted on the 12th, it made the print edition on the 13th).
Another highlight from the article was discussed on January 13th [see,].

Australia would like a section highlighted and we're more than happy to do so. Maybe the Times has decided it's a lifestyle mag (People's In Style perhaps?) and intends to drown us with features on the inauguration? Whatever the inent is, they've dropped the coverage on Chertoff (serious coverage that they were late out of the gate with). So we're happy to highlight this section Australia requested:

"Newly disclosed documents in the John Walker Lindh case appear to conflict with assertions made to Congress by Michael Chertoff, nominated this week as homeland security secretary, about the Justice Department's handling of ethics concerns in the high-profile prosecution."
. . .
"It's incredible to me that we would want someone leading the Department of Homeland Security who gives equivocal and misleading statements to Congress and avoids answering the tough questions," she said.

Judith Miller's ears must be burning, because Australia also shared opinions on her as well as the perception that Elisabeth Bumiller be training to become the newest Judy Miller. Australia, those may be fighting words to Miller! If she wasn't so busy bashing the UN and logging court appearences, she might try to look you up because, if anyone missed it, Miller thinks her lead
up to the war "reporting" has born out:

Miller had her own explanation as to why she was being hunted by effete ethicists. Disengaging herself from reality, she told Salon, "You know what, I was proved f--king right. That's what happened. People who disagreed with me were saying, 'There she goes again.' But I was proved f--king right."

There Judy goes again. (Note, she knows people thinks she's lost her grip. "People . . . were saying, 'There she goes again.'") By the way the pull quote above is from James Wolcott's Attack Poodles (page six) which is a wonderful book that will inform and entertain.

Australia, like Wolcott, follows Salon and recommends a story from last week documenting Bumiller's soft porn gazing at the opposites attract same-sex bond between Roland W. Betts
and the Bully Boy. (Keesha called it Friday morning: " "Bumiller's turning out another one of her star-crossed lovers theme.")

Why Bumiller continues to be allowed to write these pieces of nonsense (or why they so often make the front page), I have no idea. But whether it's The Daily Howler or CJR we're always looking for people who also puzzle the mystery that is "What does Bumiller contribute to journalism?" Tim Grieve tries to decipher it in Salon's War Room(

This time around, Bumiller lets us know that Betts thinks the president isn't as conservative as the press makes him out to be, and that -- all indications to the contrary -- Bush actually likes puzzling through the tough questions that face him. And Bumiller offers up Betts' explanation for why Bush refused to talk with the 9/11 Commission unless Dick Cheney could be there at his side. It wasn't because Bush needed Cheney's help. No, Betts explains -- and see if you can follow this -- Bush insisted on having Cheney with him in order to show that Bush was really in charge at the White House. "What he told me was that he wanted people to see how deeply he understood this, and how we was calling the shots," Bumiller quotes Betts as saying.
Somehow, Bumiller doesn't find room for the fact that Betts has shoveled
buckets of money to the Bush campaign and the Republican National Committee. And while Bumiller notes that Betts pushed Bush to hold the Republican's convention in New York last summer, she doesn't mention that Betts' company, which developed and operates New York's Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex, might have had a financial interested in having such a high-profile event come to the city. Nor does Bumiller mention that Bush appointed Betts's wife, Lois Phifer Betts, to the Kennedy Center's Board of Trustees.

Australia also urges us to read Elaine Cassel's piece on Chertoff from CounterPunch (2003)
( (quoted from on the 12th, see links above).
If there's anything else we can highlight, e-mail the site ( That goes for Australia and everyone else. Remember the Thursday Alternative Weekly Review is only three days away. (And may actually go up on Friday evening since I'll be out of town Thursday.)
So if you see something worth highlighting, please pass it on.