Friday, November 04, 2005

Other Items

Wynann e-mails to note Stephen Labaton's "Broadcasting Ex-Chairman Is Removed From Board" in the New York Times about Kenny Tomlinson being forced of the CPB board:

The move came after the board began reviewing a confidential report by the inspector general of the corporation into accusations about Mr. Tomlinson's use of corporation money to promote more conservative programming.
They included Mr. Tomlinson's decision to hire a researcher to monitor the political leanings of guests on the public policy program "Now" with Bill Moyers; his use of a White House official to set up an ombudsman's office to scrutinize programs for political balance; and secret payments approved by Mr. Tomlinson to two Republican lobbyists.
The move - and a statement by the corporation - strongly suggested that the inspector general discovered significant problems under Mr. Tomlinson, but officials at the corporation declined to discuss those findings. Board members who had copies of the report declined to discuss it, citing confidentiality agreements.
The statement said the board did not believe that Mr. Tomlinson "acted maliciously or with any intent to harm C.P.B. or public broadcasting." The statement also said Mr. Tomlinson "strongly disputes the findings" in the report.

If he wasn't attempting to harm it and he was acting maliciously, his behavior may be explained by the fact that he's "appalling inappropriate" and a "jerk" (to quote the Times' Deborah Solomon -- July/August 2005, CJR, "Turning The Tables On The Q&A Queen" by Kathy Gilsinan).

Cory e-mails to note Philip Shenon's "DeLay Asked Lobbyist to Raise Money Through Charity:"

Representative Tom DeLay asked the lobbyist Jack Abramoff to raise money for him through a private charity controlled by Mr. Abramoff, an unusual request that led the lobbyist to try to gather at least $150,000 from his Indian tribe clients and their gambling operations, according to newly disclosed e-mail from the lobbyist's files.
The electronic messages from 2002, which refer to "Tom" and "Tom's requests," appear to be the clearest evidence to date of an effort by Mr. DeLay, a Texas Republican, to pressure Mr. Abramoff and his lobbying partners to raise money for him. The e-mail messages do not specify why Mr. DeLay wanted the money, how it was to be used or why he would want money raised through the auspices of a private charity.
"Did you get the message from the guys that Tom wants us to raise some bucks from Capital Athletic Foundation?" Mr. Abramoff asked a colleague in a message on June 6, 2002, referring to the charity. "I have six clients in for $25K. I recommend we hit everyone who cares about Tom's requests. I have another few to hit still."

Lloyd e-mails to note Matthew Rothschild's "Rosa Parks, Hillary Clinton, and Iraq" (This Just In, The Progressive):

When Hillary Clinton strode to the podium at Rosa Parks’s funeral, she was greeted as the Presidential heir apparent.
But she hasn’t earned that role, and she pales in any comparison between her and Rosa Parks.
On the pivotal issue of her day, Rosa Parks rose to the challenge.
On the pivotal issue of our day, Hillary Clinton has shrunk from it.
That issue, of course, is the Iraq War, which Hillary voted for in the first place. And unlike John Kerry and some other Senators who have since come to their senses, Hillary is still in favor of the Iraq War, 2,000 dead U.S. soldiers later,15,000 wounded U.S. soldiers later, and maybe 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians later.
How many lives is she willing to sacrifice on the altar of her ambition?
Unlike Rosa Parks, Hillary is not taking a courageous stand on principle. She is engaging in a narrow, opportunistic calculus of political advantage.
I think her math is off.
I believe a Democrat with guts to oppose this war can win in 2008.
But Hillary is under the sway of the same hypnotic triangulators who trained her husband.
These are the ideologues of the immoral middle.

Rachel e-mails to note Tom Engelhardt's "'Hotel Journalism' Not the Essence of What's Happening in Iraq" (Common Dreams):

Increasingly, the fixers and translators have morphed into journalists -- and brave ones at that -- while services like Knight Ridder (whose coverage of Iraq has been outstanding) and Reuters have been hiring Iraqi reporters. Some of these reporters have then found themselves in American jails for covering the Iraqi insurgents; and almost 40 of them have died (without much note in our press) reporting the occupation and the insurgency -- as well as one, Yasser Salihee, evidently killed by an American sniper while driving to get gas on his day off in the low-level war zone that is much of Iraq. Some of them, like photographer and reporter Ghaith Abdul Ahad, given a chance to write under their own names in major papers, have done extraordinary and daring work.
With rare exceptions -- including the Washington Post's remarkable
Anthony Shadid (now in Syria), whose dramatic book on his time in Iraq, Night Draws Near, reflects his superb reporting -- American reporters may be almost as crippled by not being Arabic-speakers as by the dangers of Iraq. It remains an amazing fact that an American occupation which began largely without Arabic-speakers -- it was going to be too easy to stock up on people who actually spoke the language -- has since been covered in our press mainly by reporters who can't communicate directly with the people they're covering (unless, of course, they happen to speak English).
Still, there can be little question that in Iraq (and possibly elsewhere) the nature of war reporting is undergoing some kind of sea change. Iraq is a war in which correspondents disappear into detention or die not because they are covering dangerous events and happen to be caught in a crossfire, but because they are often prime targets themselves --
of guerrillas and terrorists, of gangs of for-profit kidnappers, or of the American military. As a result, the war (and the Iraq) we see in our newspapers, and especially on our television sets, is a distinctly constricted one, often hardly wider than the nearest giant American military base or Baghdad's well-fortified Green Zone. Perhaps reporters, bearded or not, slipping by as anonymously as possible or in heavily armed security convoys, embedded with American or even Iraqi troops, can make it to spots around Baghdad, or, on rare occasions, elsewhere in the country (as part of military operations), but even for the bravest Western journalists, this has to be a desperately limiting situation.

Rod e-mails to note the scheduled topics for today's Democracy Now!:

* Was the 2004 Election Stolen? A discussion with Mark Crispin Miller (author of the new book "Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election & Why They'll Steal the Next One Too") and investigative reporterMark Hertsgaard.
* President Bush heads to Argentina where he is expected to be met by massive protests against U.S. trade policy.

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