I hope we didn't move too fast but we most likely did -- at least for Campbell Robertson. In today's New York Times, Robertson files a really bad report entitled "At Trial, Iraqi Calls Shoe-Throwing Payback" which is nonsense on every topic it covers and it covers a lot of topics. Regarding math, he writes, "Mr. Maliki's party, Dawa, holds a solid majority on the councils of Iraq's two largest cities, Basra and Baghdad." In Baghdad, there are 57 seats. Dawa won 27 of them. (For those who need a second source, you can check the numbers in this bad McClatchy article.)
27+27=54. 54 is less than 57. A majority of seats are not held by Dawa in Baghdad.
I am so very sorry that the New York Times apparently needs to hire a math tutor. Are we clear on a majority? Do we need to discuss simple majority or plurality next?
Campbell Robertson's article indicates no one reads at the Times, they just waive things through. (In fairness, Alissa J. Rubin has long demonstrated math isn't her strong point. So any catch wouldn't have been made by her on this topic.)
When someone has so many problems with math fundamentals that they most likely were steered towards Developmental Math in college, I really hate to also tack on a reading list but Campbell makes it necessary by writing:
Right after the election, some Awakening leaders threatened violence when the Iraqi Islamic Party claimed to have swept Anbar's election, as it had in 2005 when most Sunnis boycotted the vote. The leaders toned down their words as early results showed that the former governing party had not done nearly as well as it had said.
That's when the sheiks toned it down? That's when? Not when the US military moved into Anbar to ensure safety, not when the US military met with the sheiks, not when Nouri al-Maliki sent an envoy telling them to tone it down?
Realizing that math tutorials will keep Campbell busy for some time, we'll whittle the required reading list down to one source, the New York Times, and to two articles only: Alissa J. Rubin and Steven Lee Myers' "As Iraqis Tally Votes, Former Leader Re-emerges" and Sam Dagher's "Iraqi Government Aims to Calm Tensions in Anbar Over Allegations of Election Fraud." There are many, many more. The Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post did some great work on this topic, for example. But we'll keep it as simple as possible for Robertson who may not only have math and comprehension issues but also location ones as well. If that is the case, Campbell need not fear embarrassment by asking, "How do I find Washington Post online?" Campbell can instead saddle up to Alissa or Steve and Sam and say, "Hey, I'd really like to read that article you wrote about the sheiks. Could you print a copy up for me." And, Campbell, no one will ever know that you were unable to find it on your own. They will never know. They need never know. It will be our secret. Pinky swear.
And for Campbell Robertson's praise -- it's so upsetting when teacher can't also impart a positive, apparently -- despite the fact that Robertson gets everything so wrong, Campbell thankfully avoided joining in the hot new fad: insisting Kurds are begging for violence and war by maintaining the Iraqi Constitution should be followed. Campbell did not join the other alarmists on that for which we can all be thankful. Campbell also does well in unstructured playtime.
Public television notes. Both programs being airing tonight in most markets. NOW on PBS offers a look at sexual harassment:
A shocking statistic—teenagers are in more danger from sexual predators at their part time jobs than through the Internet. According to one estimate, 200,000 teenagers are assaulted at the workplace each year. It's a vastly underreported phenomenon, but some brave young women are stepping up publicly to tell their stories.
This week, NOW collaborates with the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University to bring you an unprecedented broadcast investigation of teen sexual harassment in the workplace.
In the program, abused teenagers share their own stories with Senior Correspondent Maria Hinojosa. We track their legal journeys to justice, and how the issue impacts hundreds of thousands of teenagers across the country—many of whom don't know how to report workplace abuse, or to even recognize when their bosses cross the line.
This is the first report in a new NOW on PBS beat on women and men in the twenty-first century we call "Life Now."
Late Friday night, NOW should be available online for those who'd like to watch online. On Washington Week, Gwen continues to demonstrate how difficult it is for her -- despite PBS' mandate -- to offer up a panel with an equal number of men and women. Four slots open and yet again Gwen's only been able to find one woman. Jeanne Cummings stands by while Gwen and the boys have a measuring contest. NPR's Tom Gjelten, New York Times' David Sanger and the Associated Press' Charles Babington. (Though who knows what Gwen's packing, smart money is on Charlie as the winner.) This will be available online for streaming Monday afternoon and a transcript will be posted then as well. If you podcast, the show will be available either late tonight or Saturday morning -- podcasts for Washington Week are available at iTunes (for free) in audio or video form (audio downloads faster).
Moving over to broadcast TV (CBS) Sunday, on 60 Minutes:
The Drinking Age
Lesley Stahl examines the debate over lowering the drinking age to 18, a controversial idea embraced by some people and roundly criticized by groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving. | Watch Video
Kidnapped In Basra
When the Iraqi army regained control of the city of Basra from warring religious militias, it meant peace for the city's war-torn residents and rescue for CBS News producer Richard Butler, who had been held captive there for three months. Lara Logan reports. | Watch Video
A young Jewish boy who fled into the forest after his family was killed by the Nazis was later captured by Nazi soldiers who, not knowing he was Jewish, gave him a little uniform and a gun and made him their mascot. Bob Simon reports. | Watch Video
60 Minutes, Sunday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
60 Minutes Update:
The Kanzius Machine
On Wednesday, Feb. 18, John Kanzius, a retired radio technician who invented a possible cancer fighting machine in his garage, died after a long battle with leukemia. In April 2008, Lesley Stahl reported on Kanzius and his machine, which had been dreamed up while he was battling the side effects of chemotherapy treatment. Experiments building on John Kanzius' research continue. | Video
Ava and I noted Washington Unplugged in "TV: Blustering Boys" and, all week long, I've intended to post the video to the segment with Thomas E. Ricks, author of the new book The Gamble.
Watch CBS Videos Online
Slate's John Dickerson did the interview and anchored last week's show. Bob Schieffer is the regular anchor. Washington Unplugged is CBS News' online program. They do it every Friday. It is made for online. It is not a clip job of CBS reports from other news programs. Also remember that Washington Unplugged streams every Friday afternoon at CBS News. (You can click on either link. Option for streaming is usually on a banner at the top of the page and Washington Unplugged contains archives of previous episodes.)
Last night, Marcia wrote about United Progressives in "United Progressives and other thoughts" and this is their latest press release:
44 Music Square East
Nashville, TN 37203
The e-mail address for this site is email@example.com.
the new york times
alissa j. rubin
steven lee myers
now on pbs