Saturday, March 19, 2005

Skimpy news section in the Times

No links to the Times today. I'm on a laptop and have just finished reading the print edition. There will be other posts going up today. (Thanks to a friend who'll be posting items I've saved to draft.) And I will be assisting The Third Estate Sunday Review (or intend to) later tonight.

The Times web site has a search engine, you can also check by section. Print headlines sometimes differ from online headlines, so search by author of the piece or utilize the sidebar the Times provides which allows you to visit various sections (e.g. "national," "international," . . .).

It's a skimpy paper today.

Check out Cornelia Dean's "In a New Screen Test for Imax, It's Creationists vs. the Volcano" (this is a front page story). You'll find that our standards as consumers of documentaries have fallen so much that a documentary on volcanoes is having trouble with distribution in some southern states (the phrase "the Bible belt" is used) due to concerns of alienating some audience members. While that might be fine at some theaters, one place refusing to show the film is the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.

Billie: Just read the Times online and I can't believe my very own Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is refusing to show the film. I don't know what they're expecting? Pickets?
If so, that could be a good thing to make people more aware of the museum. I believe Keesha did a thing on the Times dopey editorial re: abstinence training and how there was science and there wasn't. Keesha's point becomes increasingly valid. With our science scores currently, I don't know how a museum of "science and history" gets away with justifying not exhibiting this film.

Douglas Jehl reports on what the CIA wants out there. "C.I.A. Says Approved Methods Of Questioning Are All Legal." Ben notes: "Is this a press release? It sure isn't reporting."

From the article:

The Central Intelligence Agency said Friday that all interrogation techniques are approved for use by agency personnel in questioning terrorism suspects were permissable under federal laws prohibiting torture.
"All approved interrogation techniques, both past and present, are lawful and do not constitute torture," the agency said in a statement.

Joel Brinkley's Diplomatic Memo might better be titled "Ass Smooch Memo" according to Kelli.

Kelli: Is he obsessed with her fashion nonsense? "Wears" is used even when not referring to clothes. This is like really bad Sassy reporting.

Zach wants people to note the AARP's full page advertisment on A7 for Social Security.

Zach: This is an eye catching ad. I like the slogan too "IF YOU have a problem with the sink, YOU DON'T tear down the entire house."

I couldn't bring myself to read Elisabeth Bumiller's "Stumping on Social Security, Bush Gets Mother Help." The day's too jam packed for me to waste it on the Elite Fluff Patrol squad leader.

But Bonnie breaks it down for us.

Bonnie: In good news for Americans, Bully Boy just started a ten day vacation. I think America and the whole world feels a little more at ease when Bully Boy is out of Washington. And might I ask when exactly did Barbara Bush start looking so much like Charlton Heston? Honestly, the photo makes it look like Bully has his hand on a dragged-out Heston."

Eric Lipton's "Contract to College With Ties to Ridge Draws Fire" raises an issue of cronyism then quickly dismisses it.

Randall: Only $96,000? That's how much Ridge's buddies will recieve and the Times says "$96,000, a tiny sum for a department that expects to buy $11 billion in goods and services this fiscal year. The Times is out of New York, right? Where they've been grossly underfunded?
$96,000, "tiny" or not, could be applied here. Would it make a huge difference? No, but it would aid a little and since we had two of the three attacks on Sept. 11th, I think it should be and I question Lipton's judgement in word choice.

Lot of Schiavo news but I feel like more than enough was said about that story sometime ago.
Tina, however, did e-mail a comment.

Tina: [Senator] Harry Reid should be ashamed of himself for allowing this bill to go forward. And shame on Congress for the way so many conducted themselves yesterday. Congressman Henry Waxman said it best - "Congress is turning the Schiavo family's personal tragedy into a national political farce." Reminds me of The Times's attempt to turn a bar brawl into an international incident.

Lastly, Steven Greenhouse has a front page story entitled "Wal-Mart to Pay U.S. $11 Million in Lawsuit on Immigrant Workers." From the article:

Federal prosecutors and immigration officials announced yesterday that Wal-Mart Stores had agreed to pay a record $11 million to settle accusations that it used hundreds of illegal immigrants to clean its stores.
Federal investigators said they had decided not to bring criminal charges against Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer, because it was cooperating and had pledged strong action to prevent future employment of illegal immigrants at its 3,600 stores in the U.S.

Naturally, Wal-Mart "did not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement." And the usual excuse is "contractors" hired the immigrants.

Other than Bumiller, I've read the main section dealing with news. I'd argue you can skip the paper today other than what's highlighted today. Spend your time doing something better . . .
like attending a peace rally, march, teach-in, etc.

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