Monday, January 31, 2005
Zero For Six
Bill Roggio has an interesting analysis of the left's election woes. Check it out at the Fourth Rail
. His conclusion:
The Democratic Party is heavily influenced by the Left, and shows no signs of marginalizing this radical coalition that refuses to understand that their views are not mainstream. Based on the past performances of the Democratic Party and Left, and their inability to learn, the chances are the worst has yet to come.
So what do you guys think?
My Two Cents Worth
Iraqi election coverage will continue to dominate the news for a couple of more weeks and I have some advice for the left and the right. For the right, no gloating, yesterday was a great day but we have made many mistakes in Iraq so we should not gloat. For the left, turn off your hate-anything-Bush-does feelings for one second and realize that yesterday was a victory for freedom, the Unites States and most especially the Iraqis. What it comes down to is both sides need to say "yeah Iraq" and then shut-up, but that is just my two cents worth.
Fellow blogger Hammorabi
gives his sentiments about the election yesterday in his country. Contrast this with the "experts" who are worried about a fractured Iraq:
Our voting is:
No to the terrorists!
No to the dictatorships!
No to hate and racism!
No to the fascists!
No to the Nazis!
No to the mentally retarded tyrants!
No to the ossified, narrow-minded and intolerants!
The Iraqis are voting in few hours time for the new Iraq.
We are going to create our future by ourselves not by dictators.
We are going to say:
Yes for the freedom and democracy!
Yes for the civilized Iraq!
Yes for peace and prosperity!
Yes for coexistence!
Yes for the New Iraq!
The Iraq Election & Words
Just a quick aside on something you may not have thought of after the success of yesterday's election in Iraq. It is painfully obvious that the people the SAEN calls insurgents, are really just thugs with no support whatsoever. The editors over at the SAEN need to reconsider their position on the use of "insurgent" and find a more appropriate word such as "criminals." I know they will never use "terrorist" to describe these killers, but perhaps they will stop trying to romanticize this criminal element trying to stop the march of freedom. According to MSNBC the turnout in some Sunni areas was 40% and in others in was near nothing. Either way, the "insurgents" had their legs cut out from under them yesterday and it is time for the SAEN to call a thug a thug.
Straight From Iraq:
Mike from Rhetoric & Rhythm
alerts us to the following e-mail that he received from his brother in Iraq:
The elections have kicked off here with a bang. Both literally and figuratively. These are some very persistent people who deserve the right to vote. There was a suicide bomber at one polling place who blew up. Before officials could clean up the situation, the people calmly got back in line and continued voting. There are restrictions on driving to reduce the car bomb threats. People are walking in groups of hundreds to go vote. This is definitely going well.
Mucho thanks to Mike for passing this on to the Commando and may God keep his brother, and all our soldiers, safe. The SAEN could not have been more wrong in it's coverage running up to the election. The fact that the SAEN got something wrong is not new as most of my readers already know. I was almost heartened by the election reporting in today's paper, but once I got past the front page I was back in a world of hurt. If you were to describe the election yesterday it would be hard for you to underestimate just how important a moment in human history it was. Moreover, it was a success, but the SAEN does it's best to cast a pall over the election by pointing out the negative. From page 5A, this comment from a story on Bush's remarks really struck me:
Middle East analyst are concerned about how the divide among the electorate Sunday could translate into trouble when Iraqis get down to forming a government and particularly writing a constitution.
Isn't it amazing at how short-sighted "experts" can be? The Baath remnants and terrorists in Iraq have tried to foment civil war between the Kurds, Shias, and Sunnis and it has not happened. Leaders of each group have expressed their desire to live in a free, democratic Iraq. So we can learn from recent events, which the SAEN never covered, that the people of Iraq are proud to be Iraqis and all the hand wringing of experts is most likely misplaced.
Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled
Here is my solemn oath to all my readers: I will not, under any circumstance, comment, in any way, on the Michael Jackson case...ever...not a once.
Sunday, January 30, 2005
I think that it is safe to say that the election in Iraq was a success. Early reports are that voting in the Sunni areas was respectable. Even CNN and MSNBC are having trouble saying otherwise; however, I did hear one commentator on MSNBC say that "elections do not guarantee democracy or legitimacy." This might be the tactic the MSM will use over the coming days and weeks to downplay the success of today. I look forward to tomorrow's SAEN. In other news, al-Zarqawi's group took responsibility for eight suicide attacks on polling stations saying "eight lions became martyrs today." Excuse me, but is that the best this terrorist mastermind could do? We have known about these election for over a year and all he could find is eight "lions of Islam" to die for him? If you ask me, things in Iraq don't sound too promising for al-Zarqawi and his cult of death; he should consider packing his bags and going somewhere else.
Friday, January 28, 2005
Point Of Order
I really should not have to explain this, but I will due to many comments I have received via e-mail. There is a difference between the news side of the SAEN and the editorial side; not the least of which is that they have different staff. In addition, the news side is supposed to report the news without any type of political bias. They do not do this and that is why this site exists. The editorial side gives opinion, some liberal and some conservative and some in between. That is what the editorial page is supposed to do so I don’t have a beef with them, although I do sometimes comment on editorials or columns from time to time. Finally, the fact that Jonathan Gurwitz writes for the editorial page is not proof that the news side of the SAEN is not biased, just as the fact that Maureen Dowd appears on the editorial page doesn’t prove the news side is liberal. I hope that is clear to everyone. Finally, Oswald was the lone gunman, and there was no CIA conspiracy.
A Fair Question I Think...
"Best of the Web" asks: Suppose that, when South Africa held its first postapartheid election in 1994, Afrikaner turnout had been depressed by similar measures [as those being used in Iraq]. Would that have made the enfranchisement of a long-oppressed majority any less a cause for celebration?
Commando: You know, this is exactly the kind of question that the SAEN hates because it shows just how biased they really are. The SAEN is hoping that the election is a failure, and in fact they are going to report it as such no matter the outcome Sunday.
El-Kikhia takes an interesting approach today, or at least novel, by criticizing Americans because they are not Arab and therefore should not criticize Arabs. I know, I know, I got a headache just writing that sentence so let's move on from that point, but he writes:
Only people who speak the language and are immersed in the culture can interpret events and thoughts. One might not agree with what they say, but at least one can get a good idea of their rationale.
He begins his article by being appalled by this: "A poll conducted last month found that more than 47 percent of Americans surveyed didn't object to formal surveillance and restrictions of the civil rights of Arab Americans." I got to tell you, I am appalled that the number is not higher than 47, and why El-Kikhia can't wrap even the smallest bit of comprehension around the reasons for this is beyond me. Should we round up all Arabs and arrest them, no; but neither should we ignore the fact that the terrorists on 9/11 were Arab as are most of the terrorists that would do us harm. They are almost all Muslims as long as we are talking about it and we should not ignore that fact either. But what I find most inexcusable is the absolute silence of "moderate" Muslims to the horrors being perpetrated in the name of their religion. Finally, El-Kikhia uses the article to take a swipe at fellow SAEN columnist Jonathan Gurwitz:
Case in point: a recent editorial in the San Antonio Express-News. The piece claims the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan reported Americans were harvesting organs from Iraqis. It went on to lambaste the Saudis. I obtained a copy of Al-Watan's article and found the Express-News editorial wanting
Let's hope Mr. Gurwitz responds.
Update: In response to a complaint from one of my readers let me address the point of “moderate” Muslims and their silence about what a few fanatics perpetrate in their name. I don’t expect Dr. El-Kikhia to apologize for acts of terrorism. That’s absurd, but he is upset at what some Americans think about Islam and much of this stems from the fact that we hear about Muslims blowing themselves up to kill others or cutting off people’s heads, and then we hear silence from the so-called moderate majority of a so-called religion of peace. If he wants non-Muslims to understand Muslims better then maybe he can use a few columns to talk about Islam and maybe debunk the beliefs of people like al-Zarqawi, who find their inspiration in the Koran. Finally, as of this Sunday, 50 million Muslims will experience freedom because of America after 9/11. If he can’t see that we are the solution and not the problem in the Middle East then he will never be persuaded. You can’t have it both ways: America was bad for supporting Saddam because he was a bad guy, but now America is bad for going over at freeing the Iraqi people from Saddam. I guess the only option left is to do nothing, and we all have seen what eight years of that did.
Panic Grips The SAEN
The Iraqi election is just days away and the SAEN is in full panic mode. On today's front page we have a story headlined "Panic sweeps the streets of Baghdad," but one wonders if this is the whole story. Never one to inflame the passions, the story begins: "This city (Baghdad) kicked into panic mode three days before the election." Are they slipping in to panic or just planning wisely? How many of my readers have emergency kits in their houses as a precaution in a post-9/11 world? Does that mean you are in a world of panic? I would like to draw your attention to something the SAEN won't report
Using CNN, the Pentagon's preferred channel for information management, Brigadier General Lessel confirmed that a dramatic 50 per cent reduction in terrorist activity had been seen over recent days, and indicated that a spectacular attack on a key target might be pending.
If you get a chance to read the article in today's SAEN please do so. I knew that they were going to do their best to report doom and gloom in the run up to the election, but this story by Hannah Allam takes the cake. It is about as upbeat and balanced as a Y2K story in the December 1999 edition of "Militia" magazine. We should all just accept this as fact: no matter what happens in Iraq on Sunday the SAEN will do all it can to report the elections as illegitimate. One last point: the SAEN story reports that "Insurgents blew up six polling places." How can they report that fact since all polling places remain a secret.
Thursday, January 27, 2005
That’s Quite A Prediction
Commando reader Kelly Ramirez is our first contestant in "Find the Bias!" She points out this little gem, in all caps no less, from the front page of today's paper: "VIOLENCE WITHOUT END" in a story about Iraq. She does not say in her e-mail if Miss Cleo is the author of the story. I guess the editors over at the SAEN are "the glass is half-empty" kind of people. Kelly, good job and thanks!
They Know Who I Am
I did not get a paper today. I think that the editors over at the SAEN have figured out who I am and cancelled delivery to my secret HQ, deep within the bowels of the Edwards Aquifer. I went searching for a paper at 5 o'clock this morning and could not find one so I won't be posting today because I am heading out of town on business. If any of my readers have identified an example of bias in today's paper feel free to post it as a comment or e-mail it to me and I will post it on my site when I get home tonight. You're a daisy if you do! In the meantime, check out this story
from the indispensable MEMRI if you get the chance. See you all back here tomorrow; same time, same place.
What Is Genocide
Over at the Fourth Rail guest blogger Justin B. attempts to shine a light
on to the debate of what consititutes genocide 60 years after the Holocaust. It is an excellent read.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Just A Thought...
Okay, by now we all know that a fundraising letter
from Senator Boxer exists and that she references her brave stand against Dr. Rice's nomination as a good reason to donate to the Democrats. Here is my question: will the Democrats be donating all the funds they receive as a result of that letter to the tsunami victims? It is the least they can do after carping about the costs of the Inauguration. I certainly hope that the SAEN will join me in this effort.
The War For Freedom
Well, I hate to say it, but I agree with al-Zarqawi on this, and no I am not insane. Most of us that were in favor of going in to Iraq, and still are, did not feel that WMD’s were the sole reason. After 9/11 we realized that not only do we need to kill terrorist in the present, but we need to plant the seeds of freedom and democracy in the Muslim world for the future. Many on the left believe that 9/11 was our fault; the result of failed policies in the Middle East. I could not disagree with that more and now, in his latest tape, al-Zarqawi agrees with me. From Jonah Goldberg’s latest column
"We have declared a fierce war on this evil principle of democracy and those who follow this wrong ideology," Zarqawi declared in a statement. "Democracy is also based on the right to choose your religion," he said, and that is "against the rule of God."
The war on terror is not rich against poor, or Christian against Muslim, it is the forces of freedom against Islamo-fascist who want to force their narrow view on the world. Why can’t the guys and gals over at the SAEN figure that out?
If the Democrats want to dig their own graves and try to smear Dr. Rice prior to her confirmation who am I to complain. What does concern me is the coverage that the SAEN gives to them. On page 4A of today's SAEN there is an article addressing the Rice nomination, "Some Democrats paint Rice as a liar." And besides the poor choice of the word "paint" I would like to point out that nowhere in the entire article can you find a quote from Dr. Rice defending herself against the charges of the Democrats. There are plenty of quotes from Democrats calling her a liar, but not a one defending her. Senator Frist is on record saying that she will win confirmation, but that still is not a direct defense against the charges. Why not throw in the Rice quote from the hearing in which she threw the liar charge back in to the heavily painted face of Senator Boxer? Just for the record: the AP story linked to above has quotes from Senators defending her so why did the SAEN take them all out?
Don't Get Hysterical
Here is the headline for a front page story on the deficit: "War has budget bleeding red ink." Keep reading and you will find out that the deficit is projected to be $427 billion and that President Bush has asked for $80 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan. That means that if the entire $80 billion for the war is added to the deficit it constitutes 18.7% of the $427 billion. How does 18.7% of anything cause "bleeding." So you might say, and you would be right, that overspending on domestic issues is causing the bleeding. Clearly this was a sensational headline written by, surprise-surprise, somebody over at the SAEN who does not support the Iraq war, but that does not mean that the editors should let them lie about it.
Straight on the heels of agreeing to spend $200 million for another 1,000 beds at the convention center we learn today what the council knew then: the already depressed convention business is going to tank starting in 2007.
Looking For: Part-time Human Shields
Be sure to check out Jonathan Gurwitz's article today
about the hypocrisy of human shields. Gosh, you would think they would be more committed than that.
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
The Perils Of Blogging
A group has formed to shine a light on the torture and imprisonment of bloggers. Please go by and check out the Committee to Protect Bloggers
. Their first campaign is to free a couple of bloggers that have been jailed by the freedom loving mullahs of Iran.
Most of you will recall the hissy fit that the MSM made about looting of priceless artifacts after the fall of Saddam. I think it was made in to such a huge story because at the time they could not very well complain that the war was too short. The coverage was wall to wall for several news cycles. Later, we learned on the net that the looting wasn't as bad as first reported, but the MSM all but ignored this. Now, a story about some artifacts returned to Iraq by the U.S. Customs Service. I predict that the SAEN will ignore this too:
Priceless Iraqi artifacts stolen from the Iraq National Museum after the fall of Saddam Hussein were returned January 18 by U.S. Immigration and Customs officials who discovered them hidden in a traveler's suitcase 18 months ago.
Three Mesopotamian cylindrical seals, estimated to date back to between 2340 B.C. and 2180 B.C., were turned over to Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations, Samir Sumaida'ie, in a ceremony marking the first time artifacts taken from Iraq since 2003 were returned from the United States.
The selective memory of the people over at the SAEN is awe inspiring.
The Other Occupation
Dr. El-Kikhia is upset. He is upset because he believes there is a Zionist plot to occupy all the Middle East; just look at the U.S. in Iraq and of course then there is Israel. Funny that this man who wants freedom for Arabs in the Middle East just ignores the occupation of Lebanon by Syria. In fact, the MSM all but ignores it too. The latest news
in this saga is that the Syrians have decided they are going to stay a little while longer:
Lebanon's leading opposition figures criticized Syrian comments that its troops will remain in the country for another two years, despite a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for their withdrawal.
Dr. El-Kikhia's silence says it all. Want to read more; then head over to the Dead Can't Rant blog, where "they report, we deride" and check out this post
about Dr. El-Kikhia.
He's Just Misunderstood
The capture of al-Zarqawi's bomb maker is the lead story in today's paper. Who was this dangerous man? Well, for one thing he worked for al-Zarqawi, who is described in the story as a "Jordanian militant." If you will allow me I would like to quote former presidential candidate Howard Dean: "Yeeeeeeaaaarrrrrrgh!" I hate to keep having to revisit this, but it is important. Let's not forget that, in addition to all the other terrorist acts al-Zarqawi can be linked to, he personally cut off the head of Nick Berg. He cut his head off and all this rates is the tag "militant?" Nick Berg's body was later found hanging upside down, his head on the ground below. What does that make him, a "smart-aleck?" Please check out last week's Outrage of the Week
for more on this.
Stupid Pun Alert
From page 2A: "Study: Obesity can weigh on prostate test." Somebody please make it stop.
Update (1/26): A special "Hullo" from the Commando to Raving Heretic's mother!
Monday, January 24, 2005
Iraq has announced the arrest of al-Zarqawi's head bomb maker. This is great news that even the SAEN won't be able to ignore...I think:
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq announced the capture of a senior aide to leading militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi on Monday, hours after Zarqawi claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing near the offices of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.
There they go again, refusing to call al-Zarqawi a terrorist, but I am not going to let that dampen my spirits in regards to this great news. Let's hope that the arrest of al-Zarqawi isn't far behind. This begs the question: why is it the guys that make it possible for other people to blow themselves up in some misguided attempt to go to paradise are always captured alive?
Picture Of The Day: Iraq
Iraqi female soldiers march in formation during training. Despite what the SAEN would have you believe there are many Iraqis working to take an ownership stake in rebuilding thier country.
Iraqis Remain Hopeful
It is funny how things work sometimes. The Iraqi people are hopeful about their country and the upcoming election even in the face of terrorism, but the media elites in this country, from their cushy offices in Manhattan or downtown San Antonio, are ready to call Iraq a lost cause. Thank God the Iraqis have backbone, not to mention the support of all us Americans who don't work at a newspaper. This article, "Most Iraqis remain committed to elections, poll finds
"; appeared in the 1/21 edition of the Washington Post
. The people over at the SAEN should take note:
An overwhelming majority of Iraqis continue to say they intend to vote on Jan. 30 even as insurgents press attacks aimed at rendering the elections a failure, according to a new public opinion survey.
The poll, conducted in late December and early January for the International Republican Institute, found 80 percent of respondents saying they were likely to vote, a rate that has held roughly steady for months.
So we will know in less than a week if that number holds steady. In the meantime, be prepared for great wailing and gnashing of teeth from the American media in it's coverage of the Iraqi election. One last thing, before we go and make insinuations about the Iraqi election based on voter turnout we should be mindful of our own poor record when it comes to this. What percent of eligible voters actually bothered to vote in last year's City Charter amendments election? According to the SAEN
only 8% of eligible voters actually bothered to vote. If you want good election coverage from people who know, then go to the site Friends of Democracy
, a site dedicated to democracy in Iraq(hat tip: the Fourth Rail).
The SAEN Is Too CAIRful
On today's front page ("Terrorist sets war on democracy) the SAEN continues it's efforts
to rehabilitate and romanticize terrorists. I actually thought that if there was one thing that me and the SAEN could agree on it's that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is a terrorist, not Robin Hood. But right there on today's front page the SAEN uses words like "militant" or "guerilla leader." Good for them that they used the t-word in the headline, but they might want to consider editing the columns they borrow from other papers a little better.
Saturday, January 22, 2005
Pinch Me, I'm Dreaming
I could have sworn that the SAEN's lead story today is about the Norwegian's being appalled that President Bush made the UT hand sign at the Inauguration because they believe it to be a sign of devil worship. But then I said to myself, no, the SAEN wouldn't waste the space on such a stupid non-story. So I double-checked, but I still did not believe it; that a major daily newspaper would even bother with such a story so I asked Mrs. Commando to allay my fears. She confirmed that the SAEN did in fact run as the lead story on the front page the Norwegian's fears about President Bush; I had not been seeing things. So now I am left with another problem: I am speechless, I don't know what to say. And as Mrs. Commando will confirm this is a rare thing indeed. If you look at the SAEN website even they have this story filed
under "Strange News" so that begs the question: what editor thought it should be the lead story for today and what does this say about the SAEN?
Of Dead Bodies...
Back when the terrorist in Iraq started chopping off people's heads Lynnell Burkett wrote an article for the SAEN saying they would not show pictures of such events because they were too sensational or too graphic, I forget. Of course, since then the SAEN has regaled us with dead Americans on several occasion and this morning we see the bodies of a couple of Iraqis who died in a suicide bombing. I think I see a pattern here. Bodies that might remind people why we fight are not shown and bodies that support the SAEN's lack of support for the war are shown. Okay, I get it, but is that really fair?
Friday, January 21, 2005
Despite the best efforts
of many of us in the blogoshpere, the ghouls over at ABC News ran a story on a funeral that took place yesterday for a soldier that died in Iraq. My deepest apologies to all soldiers, veterans and their families. Here is an excerpt:
Peter Jennings: Fair to say, we think, that at some point today here in Washington, the war in Iraq was on everyone's mind, when the president spoke; when the antiwar demonstrators shouted as the president went by; when one or another military unit did something here today as part of the celebration. And we thought, too, of the many wounded at the army hospital here, watching it all on television.
And in Rockport, Texas, today, just about the time the president was speaking, there was a funeral for a young marine reservist, 21 year-old Matthew Holloway was killed in Iraq last week by a roadside bomb. His brother told a local paper that as much as Matthew wanted to be home, he was very proud of what he was doing in Iraq, and it is something you hear from so many people in the services, including the 10,000 who have already been wounded.
It makes me believe that there is not an ounce of humanity to be found there. Please take the time to contact ABC News
and let them know what you think. Thanks to fellow Alamo City blogger Raving Heretic
for putting this all in perspective.
Outrage Of The Week
Congratulations to the SAEN on today's winner of the Outrage of the Week! For the second week in a row the Outrage of the Week is the SAEN's negative coverage of Iraq. If you read the paper this week you would be well within your rights to conclude that nothing good ever happens over in Iraq. In addition, they refuse to call the people who blow themselves up in order to kill Iraqi women and children "terrorists," opting instead to use words like "militant" or my favorite "doo-doo head." Okay, that last one was a joke, but you get the picture. For more on the MSM's failure to call a terrorist a terrorist check out this must-read post
from the Fourth Rail. So that's this week's Outrage of the Week; congratulations to everyone over at the SAEN; the terrorists
Iraq Picture Of The Day
As if our soldiers don't have enough to do, these guys volunteered in their off time to clean up an Iraqi orphange; removing debris that was a safety hazard for the children. Just because the SAEN won't report good news from Iraq does not mean it isn't happening.
A bodyguard for Michael Moore was arrested this week for carrying an unlicensed firearm. I am telling you, you can't make this stuff up! Now I know why Moore doesn't care if the government takes away my guns: he's rich enough to pay somebody to carry them for him. Come on, guns are bad...except maybe when they are used to protect me. What a hypocrite!
I actually don't have too much to complain about regarding the SAEN's coverage of the Inaugural; it was about what I expected. I think most Americans enjoy Inaugurations no matter what party is taking the oath. Only the most cynical among us, and it is surely a small percentage, wouldn't enjoy the celebration of freedom that an Inaugural is just because the president being sworn in is from the other party. If I had to pick my favorite moment it would have to be seeing the Chief Justice walk down the steps and administer the oath. He is clearly not in the best of health, but he managed to show up anyway. I loved it! Contrast that with some people I saw on TV who were staying home and watching videos because a Democrat wasn't being sworn in (yes, there would be some Republicans doing that if the opposite were true). Be that as it may, all in all, it was an excellent day for our country.
I Do Care...No Really I do
I hope the SAEN didn't pay this lady for her advice. I am really worried that they wasted their money; see, I do care! You can file this in the "I hope they didn't pay her" file. From an Inauguration story on page 11A, Cal Jillson of SMU said the following: "If you liked the first term, you'll like the second term." She continues "If you didn't like the first term, you probably won't like this go-round either." All I can say is "Thank God for experts!" I mean, next thing she is going to tell me is: "Boss Hog will never catch those Duke boys; he didn't catch them in the first season so he probably won't catch them in the second season, or even the third."
My best advice for Dr. El-Kikhia is to steer clear of writing about domestic policy and stick with what you know....umm, whatever that is. Don't worry I won't be leaving it at that, but I have to head to work. Feel free to post your comments about what he had to say today; I welcome them.
Just Thinking Out Loud
MSNBC is reporting that a mosque in Iraq has been bombed. What strikes me as odd about this story is that they are treating it like it is just another story. If a Marine farts within 100 yards of a mosque MSNBC brings out all their Arab experts to tell us that the mythical "Arab Street" is really going to get mad this time and take it out on us. It's just something to think about.
Thursday, January 20, 2005
Express-News Watch In Action
My post, Absolutely Disgraceful
, that was picked up by Power Line regarding soldiers' funerals is creating some excellent commentary about blogs in general. It just goes to show you that even a small-time local blog like this can affect a media giant like ABC News. The blogoshpere is going to be a fun thing to watch in the coming years. Here is an interesting excerpt from the Fourth Rail
The Old Media/Mainstream Media have some tough lessons to learn if they want to use the web to post biased stories or solicit assistance in promoting their agenda. As ABC News’ recent foray into the web makes obvious, the Blogosphere has eyes (San Antonio Express-News Watch), a brain (Powerline), a mouth (InstaPundit, Hugh Hewitt, Betsy’s Page, PoliPundit and a multitude of others) and a memory (Captain’s Quarters).
The Old Media/Mainstream Media can no longer foist off their bias as just another isolated incident of shoddy journalism gone wild. The San Antonio Express-News Watch is but one of thousands of citizen watchdogs monitoring the media’s actions. And blogs have only begun to make their impact. The Old Media/Mainstream Media had better understand we are watching, we can think, we can spread the word, we can uncover their attempts to hide the truth and we have an audience that seeks the truth.
Folks, the Fourth Rail is a blog worth reading on a regular basis and that is just what I will be doing. In addition, I am proud to say that this blog garnered mention in the Weekly Standard
and Little Green Footballs
! Let me take the opportunity here to thank everyone who has e-mailed me with their support and praise. Just remember that I cannot make the SAEN change it's ways without your help. God bless you all.
Iraq Photo Of The Day
An American soldiers teaches an Iraqi girl about dental care. Despite what the SAEN reports, wonderful things like this happen every day in Iraq.
It's Time For...
Stupid Headlines! A recurring feature on this site, Stupid Headlines points out the many lame attempts at humor which appear in the SAEN on a regular basis. As fate would have it all of them appear in today's paper.
1. An article about wine: "Research produces news worth toasting"
2. An article about Medicaid: "HHS pick prescribes changes in Medicaid"
3. About a possible tsunami: "Japan avoids a wave of panic"
4. About a worker strike: "French strikes derail train..."
I could go on, but do I really have to? It just goes to show you that it is impossible for liberals to be funny (Mike T. being the exception to the rule).
Unless you read the SAEN that is. A front page article today informs us that the City of San Antonio has identified some land it wants for an A&M campus. There is only one problem: people already live there. And if the owners don't go willingly the City will be more than happy to exert eminent domain! The SAEN managed to interview one person in the area in the City's bull's-eye and they support a buy-out! Apparently reporter Greg Jefferson was just too lazy to find somebody opposed to the buy out and/or the proposed abuse of eminent domain.
(Sigh) The Youth Are Our Future
The SAEN has a couple of special features for us today, and I couldn't be more excited! First, check out the SA Life section to see letters to the President from various youths around town. At the end of it all you will discover that apparently the young people of this city are overwhelmingly liberal...just like the "newspaper" they write in. All these letters are introduced on the front page of the Life section by guest columnist Danette Morris. An excerpt from Ms. Morris' column:
John Kerry's endearingly quirky platform moved me and gratefully my family was supportive as I experienced deep sadness at his loss.
I found this statement odd since I felt an overwhelming since of joy at the election, but I digress. I read them all, and after the dizziness went away I realized how important it is for us all to get involved in the current legislature and help improve Texas' education system. By my count there are 16 letters from students, and the breakdown is: two could pass as positive towards President Bush, three were a toss-up, and eleven were negative. How's that for fair and balanced! Unfortunately I kept reading, and came upon this commentary
in the Metro section written by a senior at Medina Valley High School. The premise of this brilliant piece by Drew Clary is that Social Security reform is connected to, if not born out of, what he calls our "failure" in Iraq. Here is a taste of Mr. Clary's commentary about President Bush:
Had his presidency ended today, his mark would not have been very positive. He would have been remembered as the president who shouldn't have been in office, and the one who brought us together for a few months after 9-11 before leading us into an illegitimate war.
His professional and optimistic view is that Iraq will end in civil war. SAEN Editor Bob Rivard must be in love with this kid! Now, I don't want to be hard on the kid, after all he is the product of the aforementioned bad Texas school system, but let me point out that President Bush has been talking about reforming Social Security since he started running for president...the first time. I don't necessarily like it, but every second term administration tries to build a legacy and faulting only Bush for this rings false.
Rice Nomination Blocked
Hmmm, that is interesting. I see the story on page 5A of the paper, "Demos planning to trip up Rice," but I don't see any mention of Dr. Rice's biggest critic in the Senate: former KKK Wizard Senator Robert Byrd. The SAEN does like to sensationalize stories still, right? Think about it, here we have the first black woman to be nominated to be Secretary of State having her nomination opposed by a former member of the KKK. It's a great story! Never mind that Dr. Rice is capable and qualified. So what am I missing here? Am I crazy or is this a Robert Byrd quote:
I should rather die a thousand times and see old glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again than see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen of the wilds.
(Note: In all fairness I should mention that I find Senator Byrd to be a jack-ass of the first order.) Let's continue: Oh, I know, Senator Byrd is a Democrat, yes that must be it because the SAEN never fails to remind us when Republicans make even a perceived racist remark.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Update: The Blogs Strike Back
Welcome Power Line readers! Thanks to the great guys over at Power Line
ABC News has removed their disgraceful search for the families of soldiers being buried on Inauguration Day that I talk about below. Lucky for us, Captain Ed has a screen shot
of the page. Power Line adds:
Note that only the families of Iraqi war dead need apply. If a soldier died in Afghanistan, or aiding tsunami victims in Indonesia or Sri Lanka, or in a training exercise, never mind. That isn't the "balance" ABC is looking for.
I think almost everyone will agree that what ABC News did was disgraceful. The other sad aspect to this story is that I am not surprised. The people over at ABC News are so out of touch, not just with their fellow Americans, but with reality that it just baffles the mind.
ABC News is looking for soldier funerals, yes funerals, to report on during the Inauguration of President Bush. Who thought they could stoop so low? From ABC News:
For a possible Inauguration Day story on ABC News, we are trying to find out if there any military funerals for Iraq war casualties scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20.
If you know of a funeral and whether the family might be willing to talk to ABC News, please fill out the form below:
: ABC News has shut the offending site down, but Capitain Ed has a screen shot
Update, Part II
: For excellent commentary on this incident and the growing power of blogs please see The Fourth Rail
and the Weekly Standard
Update, Part III
: Despite our best efforts, the ghouls over at ABC News ran the story anyway. You can see a transcript here
. Please, please take the time to send ABC News your comments
I have consistently criticized the SAEN’s Iraq coverage. It has been overwhelmingly negative and the SAEN, along with the rest of the MSM, has put itself in the unenviable position of being the best ally the terrorists in Iraq have. No, I don’t think this is over the top either. Now, Lt. Colonel Tim Ryan has echoed this sentiment from his post in Iraq:
All right, I've had enough. I am tired of reading distorted and grossly exaggerated stories from major news organizations about the "failures" in the war in Iraq. "The most trusted name in news" and a long list of others continue to misrepresent the scale of events in Iraq. Print and video journalists are covering only a fraction of the events in Iraq and, more often than not, the events they cover are only negative.
The inaccurate picture they paint has distorted the world view of the daily realities in Iraq. The result is a further erosion of international support for the United States' efforts there, and a strengthening of the insurgents' resolve and recruiting efforts while weakening our own. Through their incomplete, uninformed and unbalanced reporting, many members of the media covering the war in Iraq are aiding and abetting the enemy.
His letter appears in the World Tribune. It is worth your time to read the entire thing. Lt. Colonel Ryan continues:
From where I sit in Iraq, things are not all bad right now. In fact, they are going quite well. We are not under attack by the enemy; on the contrary, we are taking the fight to him daily and have him on the ropes. In the distance, I can hear the repeated impacts of heavy artillery and five-hundred-pound bombs hitting their targets. The occasional tank main gun report and the staccato rhythm of a Marine Corps LAV or Army Bradley Fighting Vehicle's 25-millimeter cannon provide the bass line for a symphony of destruction. As elements from all four services complete the absolute annihilation of the insurgent forces remaining in Fallujah, the area around the former insurgent stronghold is more peaceful than it has been for more than a year.
I couldn't have said it better myself!
We are sure to see this in tomorrow's SAEN. Reuters builds on the theme that the world fears and dislikes President Bush:
PARIS (Reuters) - The rest of the world will be watching with anxiety when President Bush is inaugurated Thursday for a second time, fearing the most powerful man on the planet may do more harm than good.
Many world leaders, alienated by Bush's go-it-alone foreign policy and the U.S.-led war in Iraq, would have preferred him to lose the U.S. election last November. Since his victory, they have been urging him to listen and consult more.
Forgive me if I shed no tears for them. By the way, there are more than 70 countries involved
in the war on terror and there are 21 countries involved in operations with Central Command at this time. These critics should take Senator Biden's advice; I paraphrase from yesterday's Rice confirmation hearing: "Get over it. President Bush is our President. It is time to get on with your lives." He was speaking to Old Europe, but I think that many on the left and in the MSM (the editors of the SAEN included) should take his advice to heart.
The head of CBS says that John Stewart is being considered for a slot on CBS News when Dan Rather leaves:
Asked twice, Moonves wouldn't rule out a role on the evening news for Comedy Central's Jon Stewart, whose "The Daily Show" skewers politicians and the news media each night.
I am no expert, but shouldn't CBS stay away from a guy who makes up the news after the National Guard debacle? Or, maybe John Stewart is the perfect guy for the job! He can pick up Rather's mantle of fake news from him. Just another example of how the people who run the MSM are clearly insane.
The SAEN editorial page took a surprising stance today regarding the cost of the inaugural. I was pleasantly surprised. They come to the same conclusion
that I did yesterday: the critics of the cost should really just be quiet.
Iraq: Picture of the Day
An American soldier hands out crayons to Iraqi children. This is the side of Iraq the SAEN won't show you.
Bad News, Page 1; Good News, Page 7A
As I expected, the news that Archbishop Casmoussa was released yesterday only warranted page 7A, whereas his capture was the lead story, page 1.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Iraq: What the SAEN Refuses to Show
The other side of operations in Iraq. Two soldiers help an elderly Iraqi at a U.S. medical clinic. Would it kill the SAEN to show stuff like this?
Opinion As News #2
At the bottom of today's front page the SAEN has another opinion piece presented as a news story, this one headlined "War could hamstring Bush as it did LBJ." The headline is clearly meant to draw a comparison between Vietnam and Iraq. This is absurd in every sense of the word. About Iraq, an LBJ biographer says:
Because of Vietnam, there are already people talking about quagmire. Vietnam is the memory people refer to when thinking about Iraq.
Of course, because the SAEN refuses to report any good news from Iraq many people are under the ill-informed impression that everything is going badly there. As I pointed out yesterday
there is plenty to be hopeful about.
Captured Bishop Released
The Catholic Bishop seized in Iraq has been released unharmed. Will this good news be the paper's lead story tomorrow since his capture was the lead story today?
Opinion As News
The SAEN is constantly guilty of packaging opinions as news, and today is no exception. First, the front page article "Some say inaugural costs out of control" is nothing more than the regurgitate of the DNC's talking points. Nowhere is the story identified as an opinion. Moreover, if the story's author, Rebeca Rodrigues had bothered to spend 30 seconds on google she could have found out that donors to the inauguration have give upwards of $30 million to tsunami relief efforts, but she left that little tidbit out so that she could make the charge that the money would be better spent that way. It's absolutely shameful.
Monday, January 17, 2005
Part 19 of Arthur Chrenkoff's "Good News from Iraq" is up today! The stories are wonderful and hopeful, and don't expect to see them in the SAEN any time soon...I mean ever. And in spite of the pessimism of the American media, it is clear that the Iraqi spirit to be free is strong.
(Sigh) They're Terrorists
It is Monday and the SAEN continues to refuse to call a terrorist a terrorist; in two articles, the first on page 1 ("Sharon taking off the gloves") and on page 4A in a story about Iraq ("GIs nab dozens of insurgents"). Let's take a look at some of the words they use in place of terrorist: militants, gunmen, insurgents, and my favorite, the morally obtuse "attacker." But the Commando is not above giving credit where credit is due: they must really burn the midnight oil coming up with ways not to hurt the feelings of terrorists everywhere. Good for you! In the spirit of getting along I have a few more suggestions to add to the list: bad guy, bandit, competitor, rival, critic, enemy, backbiter, and finally, nagger. Glad I could help guys!
Good News The SAEN Won't Print
This installment of Good News the SAEN Won't Print is called "Economics for Dummies (Liberals)." The SAEN has been using the deficit number to hammer the President on a regular basis, and rightly so, but now that we have good news as it relates to the budget deficit the SAEN is strangely silent. If you are in a hurry let me sum it up for you: Lower Taxes = Increased Revenue = Lower Deficits. Simple right...let's call it supply side economics just for fun! As of December 2004 the year-to-date FY 2005 budget deficit is $11 billion less than last year's and revenue is up more than 10 percent. Surely this will lead to a call by liberals to cut taxes so they can have more of our money to spend, right? Don't hold your breath. We can't even get our local "newspaper" to be unbiased long enough to report it.
File this under isn't the universe a strange place: Baghdad has 55 newspapers. Every day the SAEN tells us what a horrible and violent place Iraq is, but Baghdad still has 55 papers and we have one. Every time a major story happens in the world we get the story through the liberal prism of the SAEN, but the folks over in Baghdad get to choose from 55 different viewpoints. What a wonderful thing!
Friday, January 14, 2005
**Mayor Garza Blasts The SAEN!**
In the January 2005 edition of Scene in SA
, Marco Gilliam of Newspaper Veterans for Truth interviews various Alamo City movers and shakers about the SAEN. The most open about his opinions on the "paper" was Mayor Ed Garza. Here are couple of the Mayor's quotes:
"The paper does not reflect the diversity of the community. I’m not talking about just ethnic diversity. I’m talking about the viewpoints, opinions, attitudes… The paper is not a true mirror of the community, of what people do and how they think. But it should be."
And perhaps most damaging, the Mayor goes on to say:
“Omission of facts seems to be the norm (at the Express-News),” he said. “In most cases, reporters do know all the facts---I know they know, because I was there in the middle of it all---but they leave some out on purpose. There are a few times when facts are omitted because the reporters just did not know, but that is not the usual case.”
Sounds like the Mayor agrees with the Commando on this. Mr. Rivard, are you listening? Scene in SA
is available all over town
so go out and get yourself a copy.
In his piece today Dr. El-Kikhia falls in to that tired mantra of blaming the United States for all the bad things happening in the Middle East. I would like to point out to Dr. El-Kikhia Thomas Friedman's Rule #6 (free registration required) for Middle East reporting:
The most oft-used phrase of Mideast moderates is: "We were just about to stand up to the bad guys when you stupid Americans did that stupid thing. Had you stupid Americans not done that stupid thing, we would have stood up, but now it's too late. It's all your fault for being so stupid."
El-Kikhia complains that the Bush administration (the Evil Empire) has created too many "hoops" for the Palestinians to jump through. Let's take a look at that for a second. President Bush has called for the Palestinians to stop terrorism if they want our help. Does El-Kikhia really think that this is asking too much? Do you?
Mahmoud Abbas - Terrorist or Peacemaker?
Today's lead editorial states that the election of Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) is a "...source of hope" for the chances of Mideast peace. I am not here to take issue with that, not that I entirely agree with it. Perhaps Mr. Abbas is serious about peace with Israel. What I take issue with is the whitewashing regarding Mr. Abbas' past as a terrorist. No where in the editorial does it mention this past which includes financing the 1972 attack at the Munich Olympics where a dozen or so Israeli athletes were slaughtered. He was a founding member of Fatah, an organization with the stated goal of destroying Israel. Nor does the editorial mention that Mr. Abbas has a Ph.D. and that his dissertation was titled The Other Side: The Secret Relations Between Nazism and the Leadership of the Zionist Movement
. And as cartoonist John Branch pointed out January 12th
, Abbas may have talked peace when western cameras were around, but he talked terror when they were not. It remains to be seen if Mr. Abbas can change his spots; is he going to be a peacemaker or a terrorist?
Is the MSM opening it's eyes to the fact of it's liberal bias? Doubtful, but Ken's article in today's paper is a welcome addition to the debate anyway. Ken finds that CBS' actions regarding the fake Bush guard documents were the result of political bias and an attempt to derail a sitting president. The reason this blog exists is to point out the liberal bias in the MSM, and more specifically at the SAEN, and Ken's sentiments are welcome here. An excerpt:
Almost everyone can see that CBS has been undressed, exposed for what it is — a left-wing news organization.
The New York Times no longer pretends to be objective. The newspaper admitted its liberal bias in an article last summer. CBS should follow suit.
A two-person independent panel may not have concluded the obvious. But in the eyes of this columnist and many others, the verdict regarding bias at CBS is clear: Guilty as charged.
Now if he would only admit that his own "newspaper" shares the same bias as the NY Times and CBS and we would be getting somewhere.
Commando's Outrage of the Week
Today we begin a new weekly feature, the "Outrage of the Week;" (Drum Roll Please) to celebrate this inaugural event we will have a double whammy. This weeks' outrages are the SAEN's continuing coverage of the Abu Ghraib story and their coverage of Iraq in general. They continue to refuse to report on anything positive in Iraq. Stay tuned next week when I will have another installment of "Good News from Iraq" courtesy of the blogger from down under, Arthur Chrenkoff
Some people maintain that there is no such thing as liberal media bias. Well, this story should help illuminate the problem. Last week the MSM, and many lefty bloggers, were in a tizzy because conservative Armstrong Williams took money from the Bush administration to tout No Child Left Behind. This was clearly a problem and people on the right joined in condemning Mr. Williams’ action. Now we have a story courtesy of the Wall Street Journal that two bloggers that are favorites of the left took money from the Dean campaign to promote his candidacy.
The partisan Democratic political bloggers who were hired by the Dean campaign were Jerome Armstrong, who publishes the blog MyDD, and Markos Zuniga, who publishes DailyKos. DailyKos is the ninth most linked blog on the Internet, according to Technorati, a measurement service, and in October, at the height of the presidential campaign, it received as many as one million daily visits.
Will we hear the same condemnation from the left on this? Will we even hear about it in the MSM?
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
New Posts Coming Soon
The Commando will begin shining the light of truth on the liberal bias over at the San Antonio Express-News starting Friday, January 14th. Also coming soon: Commando gear! So, I will see you Friday.