Sunday, June 12, 2005

NYT: Condi plays, Martinez sways, Mad Cow filets?, and mystery haze surrounds the death of two Guardsmen

Perhaps you remember David D. Kirkpatrick's "Hearing on Patriot Act Ends in an Angry Uproar" from yesterday's paper? Ugliness erupts in a committee hearing, the Republican chair closes it down and has a snit fit. The committee was discussing the Patriot Act. Presumably, between the topic and the drama, that was a story worth covering. The Times saw fit to give it six paragraphs. But today Condi Rice, no Carole King, sits down at the piano and the Times sees fit to run a nine paragraph article ( "Rice Makes a Rare Public Performance on Piano" from the Associated Press) on it. Nine paragraphs of Condi at the piano. The Patriot Act hearing disintegrating into "an angry uproar?" Six paragraphs. Tell me, if Condi had jammed with Jimmy Page, could she have gotten the front page?

They do have their priorities at the New York Times. And reporting actual news used to be one of them.

Walk on,

An Associated Press article that the Times runs ("Republican Urges Closing Guantánamo")
tells you that Mel Martinez (senator from Florida, Republican) thinks it's time to "consider closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay." Also noted in the article: "Mr. Martinez, who strongly supported Mr. Bush's efforts in Iraq during his campaign last year, also expressed concerns about progress in the war." Note, it's an Associated Press article. Lifestyle reporting takes up a lot of the Times's time, apparently.

Following up on an AP story the paper ran yesterday is Alexei Barrionuevo's "More Tests Planned in Suspected Case of Mad Cow Disease" on page A18 which Emily e-mailed to note. From the article:

The Agriculture Department said Saturday that it would conduct further tests on an animal suspected of having mad cow disease before confirming the results, which if positive would indicate the second case of the disease to be found in a cow in the United States in the past two years.
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns confirmed late Friday that an older animal had tested positive for the brain-wasting disease, sparking fears that foreign countries would shun American beef again, at a time Mr. Johanns is making a strong push to reassure export markets that the nation's beef is safe.
Officials from the Agriculture Department said Saturday that a series of tests would be carried out on the cow's brain tissue at a department laboratory in Ames, Iowa, and at an internationally known facility in Weybridge, Britain, to determine if the animal is infected with mad cow disease, clinically known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The tests could take up to two weeks, Reuters reported a department spokesman saying.

KeShawn e-mailed to note Damien Cave's "Dead Guardsmen's Families Must Mourn and Wonder, Too:"

The friends and family of two New York National Guardsmen who were killed in Iraq on Tuesday said yesterday that their grief would be compounded by confusion until the military finished its criminal investigation into how they died.
Joan Esposito, the mother of one of the soldiers, Capt. Phillip T. Esposito, 30, of Suffern, N.Y., said her son's wife, Siobhan, should be given a clear account of his death as soon as possible. "I just want what's right for my daughter-in-law," Ms. Esposito said. "She needs answers."

[. . .]
On Friday, military officials said that they were opening a criminal investigation into the soldiers' deaths and that investigators had determined that they could not have occurred in a mortar attack. Military officials declined to provide more information, citing the continuing investigation.

Lori, Joan, Brad, Zach and Keesha all e-mailed to express dismay regarding this morning's main section.

Lori: We've come to expect the front page to be lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle on Sundays but there's so little else in the paper. Condi plays piano? It's a story? And yet another story on Michael Jackson's trial? When will we get some real news?

Wally noted it was "100% fluff for the majority of the main section" but did note this lifestyle story that he enjoyed, Sam Dillon's "War on Terror Dominates Talks Given at Graduations."

We'll note three speeches noted in the paper:

Marian Wright Edelman
Founder, Children's Defense Fund
Colgate University
The new racism that is seeping up across our land is wrapped up in new euphemisms, in budget technicalities, in judicial and criminal justice choices, in racial disparities in health and in education. Frederick Douglass warned us it is still the same old snake. I am deeply concerned that the black preschool boy today, born in 2001, has a one-in-three chance of going to prison before he reaches 30, that we've got 58,000 black males in prison and fewer of them - 40,000 - who graduate from college each year. A cradle-to-prison pipeline threatens decades of hard-earned civil rights progress for poor children, especially poor males of color.

Margaret H. Marshall
Chief Justice, Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
Brandeis University
Seldom have I felt as concerned for the rule of law. ... Prominent elected officials, and others, talk openly about the need to punish judges - and that is their word, "punish" - for making unpopular decisions. Judges are threatened with impeachment for ruling to uphold constitutional rights of disfavored minorities, or for striking down laws of Congress. Proposals are advanced to strip courts of jurisdiction to hear certain kinds of cases, to deny courts the ability to review even constitutional claims. A prominent Congressman endorses a campaign, in the word of its sponsors, to "save America from the judges." ... I worry when judicial independence is seen as a problem to be solved, and not a value to be cherished. ... Respect for the rule of law is deeply embedded in our American experience. But it is not imbedded in our DNA. Each new generation must decide, each of you must decide, whether to embrace, to protect the rule of law or to repudiate it. And make no mistake, inaction and indifference are acts of repudiation.

Doris Haddock
"Granny D," Unsuccessful 2004 Candidate for Senate
Hampshire College
Not long ago I read from the Declaration of Independence in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington. I was arrested and jailed for doing so. As I thought that was a violation of my free speech rights under the Constitution, I went back and read from the Bill of Rights. That landed me in jail, too. I felt freer in that jail, because I had spoken out as a free person, than I have ever felt in the open air. And I am not finished being a free American, whatever happy costs await me. I do not know what is in store for you. But I know that courage is freedom, and freedom is joy.

Have you visited The Third Estate Sunday Review this morning? Their new edition is up. Check out the editorial.

MINISTERS were warned in July 2002 that Britain was committed to taking part in an American-led invasion of Iraq and they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal.
The warning, in a leaked Cabinet Office briefing paper, said Tony Blair had already agreed to back military action to get rid of Saddam Hussein at a summit at the Texas ranch of President George W Bush three months earlier.
The briefing paper, for participants at a meeting of Blair’s inner circle on July 23, 2002, said that since regime change was illegal it was “necessary to create the conditions” which would make it legal.
This was required because, even if ministers decided Britain should not take part in an invasion, the American military would be using British bases. This would automatically make Britain complicit in any illegal US action.
The above is from Michael Smith's article in today's Sunday Times of London ("Ministers were told of need for Gulf war 'excuse.'") Yes, Michael Smith again. Yes, The Sunday Times of London, again. And yes, thanks to BuzzFlash for making it the big story on their website this morning.Last week, we said it was time to connect the dots.
Forget connecting them, there are so many now that it's a pointalism work of art that says "We were lied into war!" That comes as no surprise to many of us who were against the invastion/occupation from the start.

Not a word of that in the New York Times. Maybe if Pamela Anderson was arrested for shoplifting a copy of the Sunday Times of London, the New York Times, in passing, could note the big story in the Sunday Times of London?

Isaiah's contribution will be posted this morning, but it was an all night session with The Third Estate Sunday Review and I need to go outside and get some fresh air. Point, I'm taking an hour to run so don't expect to see The World Today Just Nuts for a bit.

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