Monday, January 31, 2005

THE BILE OF BILL MOYERS

A Bill Moyers column for the Minneapolis Star Tribune is pure acid and is a "departure from elementary standards of opinion journalism," according to this dissection over at the Volokh Conspiracy.

UPDATE: This response by James Lileks.

RATHERGATE UPDATE

The media bias incident involving CBS's overt effort to sway the election in Kerry's favor gets more airing from insiders in this New York magazine piece.

BEE GETS SUCKERED IN WITH THE REST OF MSM

The January 30 print edition of the Bee contains a cartoon attacking James Dobson's much reported remarks on Spongebob Squarepants being gay. Except that, Dobson never called Spongebob gay. But why check the facts on an issue if you can nail a right-winger to the wall with a cartoon. Dobson responds to the media attacks here.

NEW YORK TIMES LOVES GLOOM

New York Times gets caught omitting positive headline on article about Iraqi election. Apparently, NYT omitted a positive paragraph as well.

OUR SAUDI FRIENDS

Saudi government is the source of many publications touting anti-democratic, pro-totalitarian bile.

UPDATE: More comments on this matter over at Little Green Footballs.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

THE BEE MUST BE DEPRESSED

The Bee continues to exude cynicism at George Bush's inaugural speech that emphasized freedom for people living under the boot of oppression.

In a January 28 editorial titled "Bush's opaque agenda," did the Bee spend a single sentence even suggesting that this administration's promotion of freedom is a worthwhile component of our foreign policy. Nope. Instead the Bee admits that it is "not sure" what Bush's declarations for "spreading freedom and ending tyranny" mean. This does not stop the Bee from assuming the worst. The Bee cannot seem to crawl out from under the dark cloud they see as George Bush.

The Bee declares that "those around" Bush have a "triumphalist mind-set . . . who seem still to believe that the United States can go it alone in pursuing the utopian goals the president has embraced." The fact that the Bee would describe "spreading freedom and ending tyranny" a "utopian" goal is indicative of how cynical the Bee editorial writers have become. And to make the assertion that people in the Bush administration believe the United States can "go it alone" is simply, well, creative interpretation.

The editorial ends with an absolutely nonsensical rhetorical question that is seemingly written with the hopes of being quoted by someone. The Bee asks whether Bush's "fervor for global freedom. . . will be channeled in directions that help restore America's status as a promoter of freedom achieved through peaceful, not warlike means." Let me get this straight. The U.S., with the aid of many countries (but since France and Germany didn't help, the countries that did help don't count), liberated Iraq. Because of this, somehow the U.S. can no longer be considered a promoter of freedom via peaceful means? Is the Bee kidding? Somehow the U.S.'s constant effort to promote freedom in a great many countries around the world don't count. The liberation of Iraq negates all of the other U.S. efforts around the globe? Clearly those efforts don't count for the Bee because, as the Bee states, our status must be "restore[d]." I could go on, but you get the point.

The day the Bee editorial writers become less interested in sounding like righteous, deep thinkers to the Bee's readers, then perhaps these editorials might exude some sort of pleasure in this administration (hell, any administration) shouting about the merits of a free society.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

BIAS DISCUSSION MERITLESS?

Here is an interesting (albeit dated) article on media bias.

Although dated, here is is an interesting article (and links) on media bias.

Friday, January 28, 2005

MORE BIAS AT THE GUARDIAN

You are shocked, I can tell. Apparently suicide bombers are massacring people because they are the victims of injustice. The Guardian article doesn't bother to condemn the massacres.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

LOOKING DOWN THEIR NOSES

The editorial titled "Biowasteful spending?" in the January 27 edition of the Bee contained a rather snobbish insinuation. (Online version) In describing California's bad ranking in a report by the "nonpartisan" Trust for America's Health, the Bee tried to emphasize the bad rank by stating "Mississippi and Louisiana scored better.

The implication being that if the backward hayseeds in those ghetto states (Red States no less) can score better than California, then progressive Blue State sophisticates like us are in trouble.

CANADA IS USELESS

"A major study of politicians, diplomats and thinkers from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America has concluded that Canada has become an irrelevant force on the international stage," reports the Edmonton Journal.

INTERNATIONAL TAX PROPOSED

France's Jacques Chirac proposes an international tax to fight AIDS. (hat tip: Wizbang) This is obscene on many levels, not the least of which is that deaths from cancer far exceed that of AIDS. However, cancer is not the chic, sexy disease with which one wants to make a pet cause.

BIAS AT WASHINGTON POST

This evidence of media bias at the Washington Post will obviously get overlooked by the MSM. Good analysis at That Liberal Media (their January 26 posting).

BEE AGAINST ALBERTO GONZALES

The lead editorial in the January 26 edition, titled "Tainted justice" (Online version), of the Sacramento Bee opines that Alberto Gonzales should not be Attorney General (you're surprised, I know). It isn't for lack of experience says the Bee, it is because of "his inability or unwillingness to confront head-on questions about the administration's policy on the treatment of prisoners designated as 'unlawful combatants.'" The example the Bee gives clearly contradicts the Bee's own position that Gonzales was evasive.

The Bee states that when asked whether U.S. soldiers or intelligence agents could "legally engage in torture under any circumstances," Gonzales stated: "I don't believe so, but I'd want to get back to you on that and make sure I don't provide a misleading answer." The Bee stated that this "statement itself is as misleading as it gets." Huh? How? The Bee never explains why. Can't blame the Bee, their editorials are not known for heady analysis.

The Bee admits that after the hearing, Gonzales wrote a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee that although non-military personnel were not bound by a 2002 presidential directive that promised the humane treatment of prisoners, the President had also banned the use of torture by all non-military personnel. The Bee calls this "sidestepping." Huh? What exactly was sidestepped? Remember, the Bee opposes Gonzales because he was unwilling to confront issues on the treatment of prisoners. Gonzales said that the administration banned all forms of torture by military and non-military personnel. What more does the Bee want?

The Bee goes on to state that the "accumulating evidence of abuses" goes "far beyond" a few "bad apples." What evidence in particular suggests this? The Bee doesn't say. True to the Bee's pattern of editorial writing, it writes in broad, abstract language without providing much factual foundation for its position.

The Bee goes on to state that even if Gonzales' involvement was limited to his "legal advice" to the president, this was sufficient for the Bee to take the position that this was an "appalling lapse in judicial prudence." Oh my, this is just sophomoric. First, was Gonzales' role limited to "legal advice" to the president?

Second, what "legal advice" is the Bee talking about? Is the Bee saying that Gonzales advised the president that torture was ok? I thought the Bee just informed its readers that the president banned torture.

Third, how is the "legal advice" an "appalling lack of jurisprudence"? Was he wrong on his interpretation of domestic and/or international law? How? The Bee doesn't explain, but hey, if you want opinions grounded in abstract nothingness, this paper is for you.

But wait! Near the end of the editorial the Bee posits that Gonzales failed to "give straight answers about what constitutes torture" and "how the administration plans to end to end it once and for all." The Bee doesn't give the reader any insight on how exactly Gonzales failed to live up to the Bee's standard on the "what constitutes torture" issue. And what on earth is the Bee talking about regarding ending torture once and for all? I thought the Bee already said that Gonzales explicitly told the Committee that the president banned torture! What more do they want, a presidential directive stating "therefore, it is our stated policy that we really, really, really prohibit the use of torture."

The Bee portrays the administrations policy as somewhat of a mystery. In fact, the administration has stated that torture is "abhorrent" and "unlawful" even when premised upon protecting national security. Woops. This doesn't exactly figure into the Bee's analysis here, so why bother mentioning it to the readers.

Note to the Bee editorial board: time to take the happy pills.


Wednesday, January 26, 2005

ALMOST . . .

Only days away from my monthly review of the Sacramento Bee cartoons, letters to the editor, columnists and editorials. . . . . like you've got better things to do.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

AP GETS CAUGHT

The Associated Press ran a story titled "al-Qaida Official Admits to U.N. Assault." Get it, they have political legitimacy now. But the AP changed the title of the article this morning. A Google search for "al Qaida official" turns up a pathetically large number of hits.

SHAME

Wow. Truly scary when it gets to the point when a country's legislature debates this type of anti-Semitic BS.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

WASHINGTON POST vs. WASHINGTON POST

What happens when newspapers just print their opinions instead of facts? You get this inconsistency.

Friday, January 21, 2005

BIAS

This is an interesting report on general media bias that cites to this March 21, 1997 Pew Research Center study.

JOURNALIST ETHICS

Here is an interesting story implicating journalistic ethics of AP reporters who happen to be taking money from the Palestinian Authority.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

CAN'T SEEM TO SPREAD THE BLAME

Today's lead editorial titled "A billion, borrowed" in the Bee doesn't seem to spread the blame for the pension mess this state is in. The Bee seems to put a half-hearted blame in the government leaders for ramping up pension benefits when the governments can't afford it. Let's put the blame on everyone responsible, including the unions that have a vice-grip on the Democratic legislators. When there was a budget surplus several years ago, every interest group came running with their hands out and decried the heartlessness of those who suggested that the surplus should be spent on anything other than funding their particular cause. The Bee just can't bring itself to call the union leadership selfish.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

NORTH KOREA WANTS TO BE FRIENDS

Let's start with an easy premise: North Korea's leader Kim Jong Il is a total loon. He kidnapped South Korea's most famous actress and her husband years ago and forced his goons to chant that he is a "genius from heaven." It has a history of outright lying to the US and failing to live up to promises.

So with this in mind, why does the Bee say that the most recent talks with the US and a number of other nations (Japan, China, South Korea, North Korea, and Russia) have stalled in part because of, you guessed it, George Bush's preoccupation with Iraq. Excuse me. Of course North Korea blames the U.S. in part for the stalled talks. North Korea has also blamed the talks on South Korea. North Korea recently said that it would go to war with Japan if Japan levied sanctions against it. And it was North Korea that did not show up for the last round of talks in September 2004 because it wanted to wait to see if the U.S. elections would change administrations. Perhaps the Bee blames Bush because, well, it puts great weight in the words of Chinese government flunkies who blame Bush.

PLEBEIANS CAN SEE YOSEMITE IN PICTURES

An editorial in the January 16 print edition of the Bee reminds me of the elitism that is environmentalism. (Online version) I have been hearing for as long as I can remember that the environment must be saved for everyone to appreciate, especially inner city folks who just don't have the opportunity to see it that often.

The Bee's editorial exudes a giant sigh of relief that the recent hike in the entrance fee has cut down on "drive-by visitors" (read: daytrippers). Who does this fee affect? Not those staying at the expensive hotels or investing several days worth of lodging, travel, and food to visit. Its affecting those who can't afford to do that, and most likely those who least afford it. So much for the concern that everyone should be able to see the beauty of the park.

The editorial gives passing mention to the worry that this entrance fee hike has on low income individuals, but then rationalizes that the fee is less than it would cost to take the family to the movies. Yes, so what. These are two entirely different experiences. But, if it means keeping the roads in Yosemite less clogged for the elite then the rabble can see Yosemite at the movies.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

BEE MISREPRESENTS COURT DECISION

On January 4, the Bee contained an editorial on a recent federal appellate court decision from the Ninth Circuit regarding sex discrimination. (Online version) The case was Jespersen v. Harrah's and the Bee's obtuse editorial seemed like such a kneejerk reaction that I thought I would read the decision.

If the Bee read the case then they either outright lied or didn't understand a single word of the decision. If they didn't read the case, then the Bee simply based its editorial on the talking points memo it got from Mother Jones Magazine.

The editorial states that Harrah's instituted a workplace appearance policy that stated women must "wear stockings, lipstick, foundation, blush, mascara and nail polish . . . [and] fix their hair 'teased, curled, or styled,'" while men must "merely have to be clean and neat in appearance." This is a lie. The policy is set forth in the court's decision and it requires men to have their hair, hands, and shoes to appear in a specific manner.

The Bee's editorial states that the "two judges [in the majority opinion] do not think that Harrah's policy imposes any extra cost or time on women beyond 'ordinary good-grooming standards.'" Not only is this a lie, but the two judges the Bee references expressly state that they had to rule against Jespersen on this issue because she presented no evidence that extra cost or time was imposed on women than men by the policy:

Even if we were to take judicial notice of the fact that the application
of makeup requires some expenditure of time and money, Jespersen would still
have the burden of producing some evidence that the burdens associated with the
makeup requirement are greater than the burdens . . . [Harrah's] policy
imposes on male bartenders, and exceed whatever "burden" is associated with
ordinary good-grooming standards. Because there is no evidence in the
record from which we can assess the burdens that . . . [Harrah's] policy imposes
on male bartenders either, Jespersen's claim fails for that reason
alone
.

There you have it. The court could not rule in favor of Jespersen's claim because she did not bother to present any evidence in support of it. . . more precisely, her lawyers failed to do so.

The Bee tries to bolster its indignation by citing a U.S. Supreme Court case Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins which stated that it is unlawful to discriminate against employees on the basis that the employee's failure to dress and behave according to the stereotype corresponding with her gender. As the two-judge opinion pointed out, the Price Waterhouse case did not address the issue of whether an employer can impose sex-differentiated appearance and grooming standards on its male and female employees. Attention Bee editorial staff: Do you see the distinction? The court specifically said that it was bound by the Ninth Circuit's en banc decision ("en banc" means every appellate judge in the Ninth Circuit weighed in on the written opinion) of Frank v. United Airlines, Inc. which reiterated the legal standard that the Jespersen court used.

The Bee's editorial is so slapdash and an embarrassing misrepresentation of the case.

IRONY ALERT

It is ironic that in the other editorial of January 14, the Bee scolds a politician for offering "no explanation" as to why the politician was advocating a position. (Online version) The pot calling the kettle black.

BEE ENDORSES POSTPONEMENT OF EXECUTION

The January 14 lead editorial in the Sacramento Bee contains a particular inane argument endorsing a reprieve of his impending execution of convicted murderer Donald Jay Beardslee. (Online version) Beardslee's attorneys claim that there is "new evidence of severe brain damage" that "impaired Beardslee's functioning since birth."

The Bee editorial states that "Traditionally, California governors have granted reprieves to conduct further investigation and medical tests to determine whether it would be appropriate to grant clemency." Really. Well, no. The Bee editorial states that the last time a California governor did this was in 1967, which was 37 years ago. Where's the "tradition."

One would think that in an editorial endorsing the reprieve and the commutation of Beardslee's sentence to life without parole there would be facts and argument addressing why a severely brain damaged person should not be executed. The Bee's argument is limited to a single sentence. That sentence was the above-noted sentence about how governors in California have done so. Well, the Bee editorial refutes that "tradition."

There is not a single sentence regarding what the significance of this purported brain damage has on the legal standard which determines whether or not someone should die. The editorial is a rambling mess avoiding this tough argument. If Beardslee had the ability to comprehend and appreciate the acts for which he was convicted and knew the acts were wrong, then what on earth is the basis for granting clemency. Of course clemency is the real agenda behind this editorial. The editorial spends more time advocating clemency without even knowing if he is brain damaged than than providing a factual or legal basis for granting a reprieve. The editorial's title is a classic bait and switch.

What are the Bee's bases for endorsing a clemency: (1) the prison warden supports clemency for Beardslee, (2) "correctional officers" support clemency (How many? Two? Ten? All of them?), and (3) if Beardslee is found to be severely brain damaged, then because California does not execute mentally retarded people we should also not execute those who are severely brain damaged. The Bee also interjects that the "correctional officers" note how Beardslee has been a model prisoner. This is truly distasteful and repugnant to suggest that good behavior in prison should be a consideration of whether to change his judgment.

Friday, January 14, 2005

THE IRRESISTIBLE TAG

Today's article by Tony Bizjak titled "Fewer limits on housing sought" is, in its totality, a fair article regarding Governor Schwarzenegger's proposal to modify the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). (Online article) The title is misleading because the article does not state that regulations would be reduced, instead the article states how the Governor, legislators, and the private sector wish to streamline CEQA and the time it takes to approve urban projects. In fact, the article states that the Governor's representatives indicate that the Governor does not want to weaken the law.

Although the article is balanced, reporters just can't resist the ominous, negative "tag" at the end of an article which is nothing more than a skeptical view of the Governor's "real" agenda. In this article, the reporter ends the article with a quote from a Sierra Club representative (a very partisan group). The Sierra Club representative states that the Governor's recent comments on the "need to eliminate regulatory hurdles that delay construction" was ominous of things to come: "That is a warning flag to me."

The Bee can't just report the facts. It must inject speculation to induce worry.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

KUDOS TO THE BEE

The Bee gets kudos for its editorial regarding who will run to fill the seat of late U.S. Representative Robert Matsui. The Bee lightly scolded those who suggested that it would be "unseemly" for someone to run against Doris Matsui, wife of the late Mr. Matsui. The Bee said that competition for the seat would benefit democracy. Indeed.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

ANOTHER ROUNDUP

I intend to post weekly Opinion page roundup summarizing the nature and opinions of the columnists published by the Bee. This will be revealing, oh my.

CARTOON ROUNDUP

A while back I recall the Bee printing a cartoon from a South African paper that depicted American soldiers raising a flag on a pile of dead, nude Iraqi civilians. The cartoon was a takeoff of the World War II image of marines raising the American flag on Iwo Jima's Mount Sunbachi. Sacramento Bee publisher Janis Heafy said in response to the protest that "publishing cartoons such as this one is part of the newspaper's responsibility, because they give our readers a sense of how the United States is viewed in other parts of the world." (Source)

I thought that was a squishy answer, especially the referral to the abstract notion of the paper's "responsibility." Where exactly does this responsibility come from? Anyway, I also thought it silly because the Bee's cartoons are an excellent view into the mindset and bias of the Bee. Therefore, a regular feature of this blog will be a weekly cartoon roundup characterizing the cartoons that appeared in the previous week.

January 1: 1 anti-American consumerism; 1 anti-Bush/military
January 2: 1 anti-"West"; 2 anti-Bush; 1 anti-military; 3 neutral
January 3: 1 critical of pharmaceutical industry; 1 poking fun at Bush
January 4: 1 neutral (memorial of Matsui, by Rex Babin); 1 critical of Social Security
January 5: 1 neutral (Rex Babin); 1 depicting social security exploding
January 6: 1 anti-fire department transgressions/Mayor Fargo; 1 anti-Alberto Gonzales
January 7: 1 anti-Bush/Administration/social security policy

There you have it. Not fancy. The characterizations are as accurate and short as possible. Over time the trends will be obvious. Rex Babin is the Bee's in-house cartoonist who has a history of being extremely caustic at anything not liberal.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

WHO NEEDS FACTS

On of the Sacramento Bee's editorials in the June 6 edition exemplifies why perhaps anyone can be an editorial writer at the Bee. Just under the lead editorial that criticizes Governor Schwarzenegger for leaving out the details for his budget and political agenda, the Bee has an editorial titled "Bush's dubious choice." It is of course an editorial criticizing Alberto Gonzales.

The thing is, this editorial is absolutely packed with vague references about the nefarious conduct of Gonzales that it makes the editorial absolutely useless as a meaningful source of news.

For example, it accuses Gonzales of either authoring or passing on to the president "several memoranda that defined torture so narrowly as to suggest the president has the right" to "bypass international treaties and U.S. law banning torture of combatants." You will have to look elsewhere to figure out to which memoranda the Bee is referring. And damn, you mean Gonzales can just, like, define torture anyway he wants and it gives the president the right to proceed? Or was it that Gonzales took the present factual scenario, applied the facts to domestic and international laws that pertain to torture, and then made a conclusion as to what behavior/conduct is or is not "torture" in regard to the detainees.

Seriously, the Bee's use of the word "bypass" implies that the term is synonymous with "violate." I'm sure that's how the Bee feels, but can you please make a coherent argument for the reader.

The Bee goes on to state "a key memo has been modified." Which memo? Modified by Gonzales?

The Bee states that senators "must press him" to explain "why he took such an extraordinary position on the treatment of prisoners." Am I missing something? Has the Bee described any treatment Gonzales advocated? No. It stated that Gonzales "authored or passed on" some memos on the definition of torture and that the White House has not assured everyone that it "feels" bound by "Geneva Conventions' guarantees of humane treatment of prisoners." You'll have to go elsewhere to discern what "extraordinary position" the Bee is specifically referring. As for the assurances the Bee desperately needs but says it does not have, it appears this is incorrect. According to this lefty outfit's website, certain assurances were given in 2002.

This next quote is so vacuous and so precious: "The job of attorney general is far too important to remain a tool of the White House political agenda." This line is so sophomoric I'll keep my comments short. The justice department is part of the executive branch and part of its job is to . . . implement the policies of its boss . . . .the White House. Is it suppose to create its own agenda. Or maybe it can just ask direction from, I don't know. . . . how about the North-Polk Sewer & Water District in Latah County, Idaho. In addition, perhaps the Bee can elaborate on what appointed positions are not too important to be tools of the White House political agenda.

With editorials so full of assumptions and so few details, perhaps the editors should, as they recommended to the governor, "sleep on it a bit longer."

UPDATE: Powerline reports that the extent of his involvement was as follows:

1) he received a memo written by the Justice Department on the question of what conduct would violate a statute that prohibits torture and other cruel and inhumane activity. The Justice Department's analysis of that statute appears to me to be sound, but, in any event, it was their analysis, not the nominee's. 2) He received from the Justice Department, and passed on to the President, a memo from the Justice Department on whether the Geneva convention applies to al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

GONZALES FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL

The Bee printed an article by journalist James Rosen on page A12 of its January 5 print edition titled "Ex-officers air doubts on Gonzales." The entire article details how approximately 12 ex-Pentagon types "challenged" the nomination of Alberto Gonzales to the top spot of U.S. Attorney General. There is not a single word in the article regarding whether Gonzales has the support of any ex-Pentagon personnel. Considering the harsh words some of these "ex- officers" have for Gonzales' interpretation of the "Geneva Conventions and other international legal protections for war prisoners," some clue as to the ex-officers' understandings of international law would be helpful for the reader to gauge the merit of their arguments. A clear failure of balanced reporting Mr. Rosen.

RADICAL CHANGES

A January 5th article by Lawrence O'Rourke, Kevin Diaz, and Rob Hotakainen titled "Congress off to fiery start" is a fairly balanced report on the big issues that the Republicans and Democrats will be fighting about. Near the end of piece, the authors charcterize the Republican's suggested change to the filibuster rule. The procedural rule (note: not a constitutionary right; not a statutory right) allows unlimted debate unless 60 of the 100 Senate members vote to stop debate. Republican's floated the idea that they may change the rule to lower the votes needed from 60 to 51, or a simple majority. The Bee characterizes such a move as a "radical change in Senate tradition."

Tradition in this context is good, even if it gives disproportionate power to the minority. Let's see . . . let me think . . . when did the Bee rail against the disproportionate allocation of power held in the hands of the minority. Oh yeah, when it involved Red States.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

INCREASE IN AID ASSOCIATED WITH AMERICAN STINGINESS

The January 2 print edition of the Bee runs an Associated Press story by journalist Chris Brummitt in which the increase in disaster aid to Asia is associated with the criticism the Bush administration gave too little. I'll have more later on the "donations per capita" silliness. (online version)

UPDATE: Apparently, we are not as stingy as the MSM would have us believe.

UPDATE: Our giving is now impugned by the EU.

SACRAMENTO BEE's FIRST EDITORIAL OF THE NEW YEAR: "It's Time to Ditch The Electoral College"

Although the editorial is couched within the safe, equivocal tone of "Gee, we're not sure what it should be changed to," their solution may have leaked out near the end of the piece: "The presidency is a national office and election of the president should reflect the directly expressed will of the American people." A direct expression of the American people is direct democracy. There you have it. Add the numbers up, winner take all.

There is one problem with this. America is quite large and different regions of the country call dear to different interests. That much is obvious. If coordinating campaign stops is governed solely by population, then regional interests are devalued more than they are now. Don't think so? Try this. George W. Bush won the 2004 election with a total vote of approximately 60,600,000 votes, to John Kerry's approximately 57,280,000 votes. (Source) In order for any president to get just enough to win, he/she need only do simple math. The population of the five largest states in the United States is approximately 106,000,000 people. (Source) OK, not all of these people vote. So take the population of the largest ten states, which is about 157,000,000. All a contender needs to win is approximtely 60,000,000 votes. You get the picture. A direct democracy further marginalizes small states.

So what, the small states have it coming to them, the punks. Well, it is a problem if presidential candidates have zero incentive to campaign in the smaller states because there are not enough votes to make it worthwhile. The smallest 15 states each have less than 2,000,000 residents residing there, and seven states have less than 1,000,000 residents. I have been around long enough to have read and heard the same cynical refrain from people representing every political stripe: Politicians do what is in there interest to get reelected. If this is true, then under a direct democracy it is very likely that the smaller states will become virtually ignored. Sad.

And another thing: Whatever happened to the Bee's enthusiasm for government activism to uplifting the disenfranchised and underdogs. Oh, those less populous states are . . . Red States.

RATHERGATE UPDATE

Folks over at Wizbang dissect Columbia Journalism Review article on the Rathergate saga. CJR gets it wrong. Badly.

UPDATE: A look at CJR's article here.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Because this blog will be a part-time endeavor, I cannot yet fill it with the in-depth analysis that I would like. For this reason, and because the web is filled with what seems an endless number of perspectives, I would hope that the readers of this blog will contribute with comments to the posts. I am also willing to turn this into a community blog whereby multiple individuals make regular postings. Please contact me.

Although the primary purpose of this blog will be to tee off on the patent biases displayed by the Bee, I also intend to post other items of interest and link to my sister site if non-Bee related items start clogging up this blog.

Although I consider myself an opinionated person, I endeavor to make nothing but the most factually accurate posts I can. Does this mean I'll conduct endless research for every fact I posit here. No. I will be honest, but unfortunately I may not always be accurate. I invite anyone to make corrections and point out my boobery when it happens.

INAUGURAL POST

Having long ago abandoned reading the Sacramento Bee, Sacramento's largest daily newspaper, I recently thought it would be appropriate to initiate a blog dedicated to putting the standards of journalism practiced at the Sacramento Bee under the spotlight. Why? First, the Bee professes its objective reporting standard while many people believe otherwise. I believe it should give up the charade and registered as a 527 . Second, my medication isn't working. Third, the Bee will not critically analyze themselves, and I have about 38 seconds of unallocated free time each week to do so. Fourth, I sure wish there was a local paper I could buy, read, then trust what I had just read. Avast, yee holed-up, wanna-be policy makers masquerading as journalists, here comes some needed critique . . . . and sometimes a little bourbon-induced crankiness.