13 November 2008 @ 9:12AM >>
Did you hear the story claiming that Sarah Palin didn’t know Africa was a continent? Turns out it was a hoax
It was among the juicier post-election recriminations: Fox News Channel quoted an unnamed McCain campaign figure as saying that Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent.
Who would say such a thing? On Monday the answer popped up on a blog and popped out of the mouth of David Shuster, an MSNBC anchor. “Turns out it was Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, who has come forward today to identify himself as the source of the leaks,” Mr. Shuster said.
Trouble is, Martin Eisenstadt doesn’t exist. His blog does, but it’s a put-on. The think tank where he is a senior fellow - the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy - is just a Web site. The TV clips of him on YouTube are fakes.
And the claim of credit for the Africa anecdote is just the latest ruse by Eisenstadt, who turns out to be a very elaborate hoax that has been going on for months. MSNBC, which quickly corrected the mistake, has plenty of company in being taken in by an Eisenstadt hoax, including The New Republic and The Los Angeles Times.
Given the nature of our media, a lot more people heard the lie than will ever hear that the lie was a lie.
We just elected a president who doesn’t seem to know how many states are in the country, but for some reason, that fact received much less attention than this hoax.
A cynic might conclude that the media has a political agenda.
Update & Clarification:
The hoax appears to be “Eisenstadt” claiming credit for the Palin leak. Apparently he is not the leaker; assuming the leaker exists, it’s someone whose identity is still not known.
So what do we know? That an unnamed person apparently told a reporter that Palin didn’t know Africa was a continent. We don’t know exact Palin quote that led to the anonymous allegation, so we can’t evaluate the context or whether Palin’s words were misinterpreted or deliberately mischaracterized.
We also know that this anonymous report got a lot more media coverage than a gaffe captured on videotape in which Barack Obama seems not to know the number of states in our country.
The details surrounding this hoax and the original report are fuzzy, whereas Obama’s goof has incontrovertible proof.
While I misinterpreted the original scope of this hoax—mea culpa—it still serves as yet another case in which the media ignores undeniable evidence of an Obama gaffe while piling on Palin for an infraction that’s anonymously sourced and of which no recording exists.
12 September 2007 >>
In the course of defending myself against accusations of quote doctoring, a reader discovered that MSNBC silently changed a quote in an article about journalists’ contributions to political causes.
A few days ago, I was criticized by a reader for allegedly removing an important part of a quote. The reader said I was “bad for democracy” and that I “should be ashamed of [myself].”
I replied that the quote I cited in my post appeared that way in the article at the time I wrote my post. My only defense was that I copied and pasted the text out of the article and did not change it. But the text that the reader cited did differ from mine, and I could not prove that the text had changed since my post appeared. MSNBC had apparently changed the quote without mentioning the change, even though the article does list another correction.
Yesterday, another reader did a bit of forensic websurfing and found proof that I was not lying:
The reason that the internet is so great is that information is rarely ever lost. It’s there if you know where to look. You can, for example, use the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.
If you use it to search for the URL of the MSNBC article <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19113485/> you come to this page:
It seems that the page has been updated only twice. Once on June 25th, when it was created, and once on June 26th. The June 25th version has the Mark Singer quote exactly as you posted it. But then it’s changed in the June 26th version. And, oddly enough, this change is not included with the other correction noted.
Hope this was helpful!
As happy as I am to be vindicated, I do think it’s odd that MSNBC added to Mr. Singer’s quote apparently to take some of the sting out of it. Especially when the network obviously has a policy of noting corrections—after all, they posted a different correction notice to the very same article.
So what led to the change in Mr. Singer’s quote? Did he demand it? Or did someone at MSNBC just think he needed to be softened up a bit?
Inquiring minds want to know!
10 September 2007 >>
In an e-mail entitled “Why you’re bad for democracy,” a reader takes me to task for this post
, in which I passed along a study analyzing the political contributions of journalists. (The study
said that reporters give $9 to Democrats and liberal causes for every $1 given to Republicans and conservative causes.)
The e-mailer wrote:
It’s so funny that someone who blogs about biased reporting does what you did:
You quote Mark Singer as saying...
“If someone had murdered Hitler Ã¢â‚¬â€? a journalist interviewing him had murdered him Ã¢â‚¬â€? the world would be a better place. I only feel good, as a citizen, about getting rid of George Bush, who has been the most destructive president in my lifetime. I certainly donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t regret it.Ã¢â‚¬?
In fact, the quote, in the very article to which you linked, was...
“If someone had murdered Hitler Ã¢â‚¬â€? a journalist interviewing him had murdered him Ã¢â‚¬â€? the world would be a better place. As a citizen, I can only feel good ABOUT PARTICIPATING IN A GET-OUT-THE-VOTE-EFFORT to get rid of George Bush, who has been the most destructive president in my lifetime. I certainly don’t regret it.”
You actually then proceeded to suggest that he advocated the murder of Bush (”Ah yes, the fine reporter would have killed President Bush”), when in fact, he was actually EXPLICITLY supporting the notion of ousting him by the vote - which in case you didn’t realize it, is actually what democracy is all about.
I know you’re not too stupid to know the absolutely massive distance in meaning between your quote and the actual quote. So I can only assume you deliberately chose to misquote him. So you could skew it to your own biases. If that’s not “Michael Moore-ish”, then I don’t know what is!
You should be ashamed of yourself.
The reader is correct in pointing out that the article now contains the Singer quote as rendered in the e-mail.
However, the quote as shown in my post is a direct copy-and-paste from the MSNBC article as it appeared at the time of my post. That’s always how I quote chunks of text from other sources. I’m too lazy to retype all those long quotes.
Whenever I modify something I’m quoting, I enclose all changes in brackets, even if I’m just changing the case of a single letter at the beginning of a word. If I’m removing anything from the quote, I note this using an ellipses enclosed in brackets: “This is a quote from which I’ve removed a few [...] words.”
I do this whether I’m removing a word, a sentence, or a paragraph.
The only exception to the rule of using brackets is if I’m changing the case of a publication that for stylistic reasons capitalizes words or several words at the beginning of a paragraph or section.
This is a standard that I’ve used since starting Brain Terminal over six years ago.
I can’t guarantee that I haven’t missed something, and if I have in any way rendered a quote inaccurately, I hope vigilant readers will let me know. I will post the criticism, I will note the mistake, and I will somehow correct the original post.
Still, I do know that the quote in my original post is a direct copy-and-paste. In this case, MSNBC must have modified the page after my post.
Outlets often quietly change text after an article’s original publication. I sometimes update posts after they’re published if there is a simple typo or of I decide that different wording conveys my thoughts and feelings more accurately. I’ve seen a number of establishment media outlets change text after publication without noting it.
In the future, I should keep screenshots of quotes I cite in order to have more fixed documentation than a simple web link can provide.
[Update: Another reader found proof that the original text of the article matched what I originally quoted in my post.]
But even with the new wording, I don’t think Mark Singer sounds any more sympathetic.
A good writer knows that mere juxtaposition can cause readers to draw inferences that the writer doesn’t want to explicitly state. In this case, Singer doesn’t want to come out and say it would be a good thing to kill President Bush, but here is what he said (at least as it appears in the MSNBC article as of now):
1. Singer says there should “probably [...] be a rule against” journalists making political contributions.
2. Singer then says, “But there’s a rule against murder.”
3. He then states it would have been good to murder Hitler (thereby implying that a rule against murder isn’t necessarily a good thing).
4. And then he starts talking about “feel[ing] good about participating in a get-out-the-vote effort to get rid of George Bush, who has been the most destructive president in my lifetime.”
Either the leap from item 3 to item 4 is an addle-brained non-sequitur, or Singer is saying (1) it’s not necessarily good that there’s a rule against murder, but there is and (2) that’s why I contribute money to anti-Bush causes. And if it isn’t necessarily bad to murder someone as destructive as Hitler, is it such a leap to assume that Singer would support murdering someone he considers “the most destructive president in [his] lifetime.”
I suspect Singer didn’t put those statements in that order by accident. If he’s smart enough and a good enough writer to work for the New Yorker, then I don’t think he’s careless with words.
My take on it is, he’s equating President Bush with Hitler and hinting that Bush’s murder would be a positive event.
14 February 2007 @ 7:59AM >>
The federal budget surplus increased by 82%
(Surplus? There’s a budget surplus? Who knew? Certainly not the media.)
Update: A criticism of the post is that by focusing on one month, I painted an inaccurate picture. The statistics were for the month of January. I generally assume people will follow the links for the full story. But just in case, the first link from MarketWatch indicates that tax receipts are generally higher in January due to individuals (like me) making estimated tax payments.
But MarketWatch also states: “For the first four months of the 2007 fiscal year, the deficit was $42.2 billion, about 57.2% lower than the $98.4 billion deficit in the same period in the previous fiscal year.” The trajectory of the falling deficit is impressive, potentially leading to a balanced budget by mid-2008.
My distrust of the establishment media’s reporting of the economy still stands. I would hope the media would be equally vigorous in reporting good economic news regardless of which party occupies the White House. And by many measures, the economy over the last few years has outperformed the economy of the mid-to-late 1990s. Unlike then, today’s boom is not based on the irrational exuberance of an Internet-driven stock market bubble. And unlike today, the 1990s economy was not saddled with the massive economic damage caused by the September 11th attacks.
Nevertheless, a surplus in a single month is not the same as a surplus for the fiscal year, and we’re not there yet. The fact that, in my view, the media represents the economy inaccurately is no excuse for my doing the same.
10 February 2007 @ 5:58PM >>
A reader points out that the tax disparity I highlighted in yesterday’s Two Americas
post may be more severe than I indicated:
I think you understate the problem. You say “Yet today, 14 million Americans are receiving representation without paying any taxes, while 50% of the population pays 97% of the taxes. That means there are 14 million free-riders who have a vote that enables them to call for taxes to be raised on everyone else.” But the article says “about 14 million Americans at lower incomes have been removed from the federal income tax rolls since 2000“.
TaxProf’s Blog gave the percentages a couple years ago: 25.2% of filers reported zero tax liability in 2000, compared to 32.4% in 2004. The underlying report reveals the raw number of the untaxed grew nearly 10 million (from 32.5 million to 42.5 million) in those 4 years. I can’t find the latest numbers, but it’s certainly conceivable that 4 million more free-riders were added in 2005 and 2006. And this is just the number of tax returns filed, not the number of Americans. The report goes on to say “roughly 15 million individuals and families earned some income last year but not enough to be required to file a tax return.... Even 57.5 million is not the actual number of people because one tax return often represents several people. When all of the dependents of these income-producing people are counted, roughly 120 million Americans Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 40 percent of the U.S. population Ã¢â‚¬â€œ are outside of the federal income tax system.”
To be fair, however, a study of tax liability and propensity to vote is warranted if you’re going to claim tyranny of the majority. The study concludes by breaking down the numbers by several demographics, but “likely voters” isn’t one of them.
Thanks for the careful reading of the original report, Bill. It seems clear that I did understate the problem.
7 August 2006 @ 3:37PM >>
Last week, I wrote
[T]he Middle East would be much better off if there were more countries like Israel, the region’s only stable, functioning democracy where Jews and Muslims are even allowed to serve side-by-side in the legislature.
A reader responded to point out that the Iranian parliament sets aside one seat for a Jew, who represents the approximately 25,000 Jewish residents of Iran. (Before the Islamic revolution in 1979, some 100,000 Jews lived in Iran.)
As blogger/law professor Eugene Volokh notes:
Naturally, this doesn’t mean that Jews in Iran have equal rights, or are treated well by the government or by fellow citizens — the presence of a non-set-aside Jewish politician would be much better evidence of social tolerance than the presence of a set-aside one — but only that Iran’s Islamic legal system sometimes yields things that are unexpected to the uninitiated.
And while this doesn’t invalidate my original assertion—I don’t think Iran can be rightly called a “stable, functioning democracy“—it was worth noting.
23 March 2006 >>
Teachers at nursery schools in Oxfordshire, England, have asked children to change the words of “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” to “Baa, Baa, Rainbow Sheep” to avoid the possibility of offending anyone.
Wait a minute, if using the word “black” to describe sheep in this children’s song is supposedly offensive to black humans, then wouldn’t changing it to “rainbow” just end up offending everybody?
This isn’t the first time nursery rhymes have fallen victim to the British PC campaign. In 2003, the Mothercare store chain in England began selling cassette tapes and CDs featuring a new version of Humpty Dumpty in which there was a happy ending. The new version said that “Humpty Dumpty opened his eyes, falling down was such a surprise, Humpty Dumpty counted to 10, then Humpty Dumpty got up again.”
Most have argued that “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” has nothing to do with race. The nursery rhyme dates back to the mid-1700s and is related to a tax imposed on wool by the king [...]. Black wool was apparently taxed at a lower rate than white wool.
Sounds like the white sheep should find a lawyer. They’ve got a discrimination case on their hands.
Stuart Chamberlain, manager of the Family Center in Abingdon, England, and the nearby Sure Start Center in Sutton Courtenay, told the Oxford Star weekly newspaper that the nursery schools had changed the words of “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” to follow stringent equal-opportunity rules.
“No one should feel pointed out because of their race, their gender, or anything else,” he said.
Not even sheep.
Update: The veracity of this story is being disputed by Parents and Children Together, a charity that runs some of the nurseries cited in the article linked above. However, it appears that no such denials have been issued by the Family Center or the Sure Start Center.
3 November 2005 @ 10:05AM >>
When you turn on the news or open the paper for reporting from Iraq, what do you see? These days, news coverage is little more than a recitation of the latest casualty reports on our side. One solider was killed by a roadside bomb. Another soldier was killed in a helicopter crash. Do you ever wonder what these soldiers were doing while they were alive? You’ll rarely hear that. Are you ever curious about any of our military operations? If we still had the media of World War II, you might actually learn something beyond the latest death count. But today’s media can’t be bothered with that.
And how about the political progress in Iraq? There have been two historic national elections, one to fill a parliament, and another to ratify the country’s new constitution. Iraqis literally risked death just to vote, and they still had higher turnout than American elections do. Yet I saw more media coverage of long lines at polling places in Ohio than these two Iraqi elections combined. It’s pretty damn remarkable that a country went from a brutal dictatorship to a struggling but hopeful democracy in two years. So why aren’t we hearing more about it?
Whether it’s bias, laziness, incompetence, or just a fascination with the bloody, if you get all of your news from the establishment media, you’re getting a pretty skewed vision of the new Iraq. Many people have noticed this for a long time, soldiers especially. Recently, CNN interviewed one soldier who gave a critique on the media’s coverage:
[I]t is kind of disheartening sometimes to see everything focused on just the, the death and destruction and the IED strikes and not focused on how well the U.S. and coalition forces are doing building up the Iraqi police services and the Iraqi army. It really is a tremendous effort being put into that infrastructure and building a self-sufficient government over there. And they’re absolutely making progress.
But you almost never see that progress covered. Instead, you see the exact same story—with a few variables changed—repeated over and over.
The media’s decisions about what to cover and not cover are made by a handful of people in New York and Washington, DC. If they all share similar views, that may explain why virtually all coverage of Iraq is identical: the latest death count, and little more. It’s been this way for so long that even journalism students are beginning to notice. In the Columbia Journalism Review, certainly no bastion of neo-conservatism, one columnist questions the state of Iraq reporting:
[T]he 2,000th military death in Iraq happened to fall on exactly the same day as the Iraqi constitution was officially passed. The constitution story, though appearing on many front pages, paled in placement and headline size to the 2,000-death story, with many papers boldfacing and enlarging the number “2,000,” so that it eclipsed any other nearby story. As one would expect, conservative critics jumped at this as further proof that, once again, the liberal media was trumpeting the bad news and suppressing the good news.
The columnist did a quick search and found that “[i]n the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times there was just one story each about the constitution passing. Whereas the 2,000 deaths story inspired three to four stories and a couple op-eds and editorials per paper.”
In my mind, every soldier who dies is significant. The first, the fiftieth, and the five-hundredth death are equally worthy of our sorrow and our gratitude that some people are willing to sacrifice their lives for others. But the 2,000th death is a story only because we happen to use a base-10 counting system. Is one number a bigger story than another because it has a few zeros on the end? Is it a big enough story to eclipse something as historic as a freed people voting themselves a new constitution?
In the media’s reporting, the storyline for each event in Iraq is set even before it happens. To the small clique of media bigwigs who make these decisions, negative stories get prominence and virtually everything else gets ignored. So what happens when reality doesn’t quite fit the predetermined model? Well, that’s just a minor inconvenience that can be fixed with a little selective editing. Take, for example, The New York Times and its body count watch for the 2,000th soldier killed in Iraq. The Times coverage mentioned Corporal Jeffrey B. Starr, who died earlier this year on Memorial Day. Starr left a note for his loved ones to be read in the event of his death. Here’s some of what he wrote:
Obviously if you are reading this then I have died in Iraq. I kind of predicted this, that is why I’m writing this in November. A third time just seemed like I’m pushing my chances. I don’t regret going, everybody dies but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it’s not to me. I’m here helping these people, so that they can live the way we live. Not have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. To do what they want with their lives. To me that is why I died. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark.
Here’s how the Times reported Starr’s statement:
Sifting through Cpl. Starr’s laptop computer after his death, his father found a letter to be delivered to the Marine’s girlfriend. “I kind of predicted this,” Cpl. Starr wrote of his own death. “A third time just seemed like I’m pushing my chances.”
Starr’s words posed a problem for the predetermined storyline, so the Times just left most of them out. That’s how a statement in support of the operations in Iraq became a simple fatalistic prediction of death. And that’s far from the first time the Times has shaped quotes to fit its worldview.
So what does this all mean? For now, it means that the media’s artificially negative portrayal of Iraq is sapping U.S. support for the war. But in the long run, it’s proof that the establishment media is willing to destroy itself in the process of furthering a political agenda. The media’s only real asset is their credibility, and they’re pimping out that credibility every time they try to jam current reality into a Vietnam-era model of the world.
Psychologically, it is understandable. The media has never been as powerful as it was when it turned the nation against the Vietnam war. Some people have a hard time letting go of their glory days. But for an industry that’s already in decline, selling a product with so many obvious flaws makes about as much sense as shooting yourself in the head while you’re jumping off a skyscraper.
An earlier version of this post erroneously referred to Corporal Jeffrey B. Starr as the 2,000th U.S. soldier who died in Iraq. His profile was included in New York Times
coverage of the 2,000 mark, but was not himself the 2,000th soldier killed.)
14 September 2005 @ 12:54PM >>
An e-mail in response to “Prayer in School? Only for Muslims
” points out an imprecision in my argument:
Subject: prayer in school
Date: 8 September 2005 5:20:04 AM EDT
To: Evan Coyne Maloney
You wrote: “Everybody knows that prayer isn’t allowed in school—for Christians.”
As I understand it, this ruling is nothing new... Christians can pray in schools, privately, during non-class time. As this case appears to be about a Muslim girl who wants to pray during lunch (not class time) I don’t see what the big deal is.
I’m a fan of Brain Terminal and your movies, but I think you’re overreacting to [this case.]
Yes, as I now understand it, voluntary student-initiated prayer is permissible during non-class time. If that were the extent of the case, then I don’t think there would be much discussion. I don’t have any problem with Muslim students praying in public schools, so long as the rules for them are the same as for anyone else. So, if this portion of the original news item is the only salient point, then it seems the Muslim student has a legitimate gripe:
While her classmates were eating lunch, she wanted to go off by herself for a few moments to pray. The 14-year-old was told she couldn’t, and went home distraught that afternoon in October 2003.
However, the same article, entitled “Schools loosen limits on prayers,” implies that some sort of special consideration is being sought:
Her case was part of a nationwide grass-roots effort by Muslim parents to make public schools more friendly and accommodating to Muslim students.
...and that schools are changing their procedures in response to that effort:
“You’re seeing a lot of schools becoming more sensitive this way,” said Michael Yaple, a spokesman for the New Jersey School Boards Association.
If the schools are following the existing rules, then they accommodate Muslim, Christian, Jewish, etc. students equally. If they are not following the existing rules and are somehow treating Muslim students worse than any other group, then that is wrong and it should stop. But it sounds like the problem is that because strict Muslims need to pray five times a day, they are asking for special consideration from the schools beyond what is granted to anyone else.
Should American school schedules be reworked to make it easier for Muslims to pray? That’s a point that can be debated. But it seems to me, over the last 50 years, American schools have become much less welcoming to the practice of Judeo-Christian faiths during school hours. So I find it odd that as our society continues to stamp out any trace of our own religious heritage, we would start bending over backwards to embrace the religious practices of others.
23 April 2005 @ 2:25PM >>
Reader Court Sansom wrote in to ask about my recent article “The Campus Political Establishment
From: Court Sansom
Subject: Re: The Campus Political Establishment
Date: 20 April 2005 10:59:56 PM EDT
To: Evan Coyne Maloney
I had to e-mail you about this little sentence here:
“When some female students saw that the [Women’s Resource Center] was in the business of arranging trips to political protests, they asked for similar help setting up a trip to a rally with a different political philosophy. The students were turned down.”
I’m just curious if you have any additional details about which rally we’re talking about here. I could almost feel you batting your eyelashes innocently when I read that, so I’m wondering if these other female students weren’t attempting to be demonstrative. I know in the past here at [my university], I’ve seen exactly this type of behavior. A group is offended by some attention their opposition is receiving from the University, and asks for permission to do something completely out of the question just to get the “no” answer. It’s happened *quite* a few times recently.
On the other hand, I’ll just go ahead and concede your general point that these groups tend to be affiliated with more liberal than conservative philosophies. Except at Bob Jones University...
Hope all is well!
The rally that the Women’s Resource Center sponsored was the “March for Women’s Lives,” which was billed as a pro-choice rally, but from all the pictures and videos I’ve seen, it was indistinguishable from any other anti-Bush administration rally. (Perhaps there was a higher percentage of hand-drawn vaginas on signs that bore the slogan “Bush out of my Bush,” but I’ve seen those at anti-war rallies as well.)
The female students approached the WRC about sponsoring a trip to an anti-abortion rally.
Their request seems pretty fair and legitimate to me—perhaps not to others, the WRC being an obvious example—and in my mind is another bit of evidence showing that the WRC has a political agenda that goes beyond merely “serving women.”
Thanks for writing,
7 April 2005 @ 8:55AM >>
Turns out the mystery Schiavo memo
came from a staffer of Republican Senator Mel Martinez
. The staffer has resigned, as he should have, not only for his putrid politicization of the issue, but also because, according to some of the drafts I’ve seen online, he is an atrocious speller.
Still, as PowerLine points out, the news of the memo’s source does not absolve the media of charges that it reported the story erroneously. For example, Washington Post referred to the memo being “distributed to Republican senators by party leaders.” A staffer of a man who has not even been Senator for a quarter year does not a “party leader” make.
Meanwhile, Jonah Goldberg quotes Senator Martinez denying knowledge of the memo prior to it being made public:
[Chris Wallace, Fox News]: Senator, how do you explain, then, these talking points, which have been circulated among Republican senators? And let’s put them up on the screen, so our viewers can see them.
Martinez: And I reject those. I’ve never seen them before today. And I’ll tell you, they’re not a part of what I think this case is about.
It may be possible that Senator Martinez’s staffer passed around a memo that he himself never saw. But is it likely? Looks like Mel’s got some splainin’ to do.
As with the much else in the Schiavo case, nobody seems to come out of this looking good.
31 January 2005 @ 2:41PM >>
Unemployed women in Germany may be forced to work in brothels
if they can’t find other jobs.
Update: Snopes previously reported that this story could not be verified. That report has since been updated with new information. It appears that the story above is entirely erroneous. Check out the updated Snopes report.
8 December 2004 >>
Turns out the DLC didn’t have the backbone
I thought it did:
CORRECTION: the original sub-headline of this New Dem Daily mistakenly summarized the piece as calling for Kofi Annan’s resignation. Actually, in calling for the secretary general to “step aside,” we simply meant to convey that he should remove himself from any involvement in the oil-for-food investigation, and let Paul Volcker, a man of unquestioned integrity and ability, conduct it independently and publicly release his findings. We deeply regret this error.
Hmmm. Now that Clinton pardon recipient Marc Rich has been implicated in the Oil-for-Food scandal, I wonder who got to the DLC and told them to back off Kofi?
Doesn’t matter. Kofi’s still cooked.
23 November 2004 @ 5:35PM >>
British authorities have apparently thwarted
a September 11th-style attack against multiple targets in and around London. Just another reminder that the threat still exists.
Update: The Independent (London) is reporting that the claims of a blocked al Qaeda attack have been “discredited.”
5 November 2004 @ 9:58PM >>
This post previously reported a 5% difference between President Bush and John Kerry in the popular vote totals. That was when 91% of the voting precincts were in.
Now, Yahoo has updated its totals to reflect 99% of the precincts, and the margin has returned to 51% versus 48%.
Meanwhile, New Mexico and Iowa have finally been called for Bush; the ending electoral vote count is 286 to 252.
9 July 2004 >>
Not everyone attending a Bill Clinton book signing is necessarily a rabid Clinton supporter. I found this out when I received an e-mail from Ed Dvir, one of the folks I interviewed
during Clinton’s recent book signing in lower Manhattan.
Ed, the gentleman in the brown hat who speaks of skipping to the juicy parts of Clinton’s autobiography “like a romance novel”, is not a fan of Clinton. He was actually there to get a signature and sell the autographed book on Ebay, which he did to the tune of $620. Not bad!
Although the video itself did not characterize the people standing in line as supporters of Bill, the old introductory text to the video did. Understandably, Ed objected to being lumped in with the Clinton worshippers, so I’ve changed the text describing the video.
My apologies to you, Ed. I can only imagine the severe stain on one’s reputation by being erroneously labeled a fan of Clinton!
17 July 2003 >>
In The Great Media Meltdown, I cited a Washington Post article stating that the number of artifacts missing from the Iraqi National Museum was 33. According to Internet journalist David Nishimura, that figure “represents items from the main exhibit areas of the museum” and does not reflect the entire body of missing artifacts.