Sunday, February 12, 2006

NYT: Apes Mother Jones (from two years ago) and buries their photo of Bully Boy and Abramoff

On the front page of the New York Times this morning, Juliet Macur and assorted photographers do what Mother Jones did (and did better) in their March/April 2004 issue (with text by Verlyn Klinkenborg and photographs by Nina Berman). As a thank you for discovering the wounded, should we get them a subscription to Mother Jones? Or just send them back issues from 2004 in the hopes that they'll continue to play catch up?

Moving inside the paper we'll note A22 which is where Philip Shenon and Lowell Bergman's "Photograph Shows Lobbyist at Bush Meeting With Legislators" [is]. It's also where the photo is ("the first!" screams the copy). So here's the obvious question, why isn't this on the front page? Are mixed marriages (religious for today's paper) really more "newsworthy"? Or maybe the diet habits of Lun Lun and Yang Yang are? (Two pandas in the Zoo Atlanta.) Here's what's happening in the photo buried inside. Bully Boy's shaking hands with Raul Garza ("chief of the Kickapoo tribe in Texas") while Jack Abramoff grins in the background. How'd the paper get the photo? Garza gave it to them. And so happy with their exclusive, the paper buries [it] inside the paper on page 22. Well, it could be worse. They could have sat on it for eleven months . . .

So Abramoff wanted Garza for a client. To demonstrate his power, apparently, and his connections, ditto, Abramoff arranges for the chief to meet Bully Boy. Now the spin (yes, Scotty McClellan's talking) is that the 20 minute meeting (with others) was so Bully Boy could "thank a group of state legislators who supported the president's 2001 tax cuts" and I guess I'm having trouble seeing how Abramoff or Garza fit that description?

Our "national security" Bully Boy apparently was invaded, at the White House no less, by Chief Garza and Abramoff. Well if you like to play cowboy, you can't be surprised when . . . McClellan insists that he is "unclear how the lobbyist had entered the White House grounds." Watch for Bully Boy to dub the meeting an "invasion" of the homeland and declare war on Native Americans. (That's one way to get his hands on the oil many reservations sit on.)

On the lighter side, if there is one to this, Kyle found Barbara Novovitch's "Outsiders Find West Texas, And Public Radio Follows" "interesting." Why? Well Marfa is getting their first NPR and our "reporter" tells us that:

Marfa may seem an unlikely home for public radio. The town is the county seat of Presido County, which has a median household income under $20,000, less than half the national average.

Oh, okay Babs, public radio, created to serve the public, is only for the people pulling in more than 20K a year? The New York Times' "troubles" with the "heartland" have less to do with "issues" and more to do with snide little judgements like that making it into "news stories."

Also inside the paper is David Johnston's "Inquiry Into Wiretapping Article Widens." Can you say "running scared"? The paper is. We've noted, some time ago, that when support for the paper cratered (no, not among readers, readers never matter) and the paper found itself 'out in the cold' they backed away from this story. Today, they're so desparate that they'll note the following to shore up their side:

Former Vice President Al Gore has called for a special prosecutor to investigate the government's use of the program, and at least one Democrat, Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, has said the eavesdropping effort may amount to an impeachable offense.

That's Gore's famous speech he gave on MLK day. The one the paper noted as an aside only previously. That's the Conyers' hearing that they were more fond of minimizing and ridiculing in the one article they ran on it. (And focusing on a remark that had Repubes crying "foul.") That's the Al Gore that they smeared to the point of turning a smear job into an art form. Today, both men are worthy of note. Suddenly. Interesting how that works out.

And? That's it for me. We're holding the editorial at The Third Estate Sunday Review so I could get over here and do this entry. I'll be posting Isaiah's latest as soon as this is published (that takes longer than when it first shows up at the site, lately that takes 18 to 24 minutes). Up thus far (only new content is listed):

TV Review: On the lack of layers
It's all White
On playing the fear card
Cowardly Journalism Review (Parody)

And Trina's Kitchen has a non-cooking recipe for those interested in preparing a dish but preferring to avoid the stove or oven.

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