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Today's Game: Find the Bias

Newsday: "WE QUESTION THE TIMING OF THIS HURRICANE!" Ladies and Gents, the highlights (in extended entry):
* Once Hurricane Charley is gone from Florida, it's a safe bet President Bush will sweep in. Natural calamities present political opportunity, and many crucial electoral votes are in the path of Charley's howling winds. * Bush swiftly issued a disaster declaration to expedite federal aid as Charley tore into the Florida Gulf Coast on Friday. He was acting on a request that had come from his brother Jeb, the governor... * Officials are loath to ascribe campaign motives to emergency response, but politics infuses everything this close to an election. No more so than in the state that handed Bush the presidency. * The hurricane bore down not only on the scene-stealing state of the last election, but one of the most politically dynamic parts of it - * For Bush, lessons of disaster politics are close to home. His father's political advisers were caught flat-footed at a similar point of the campaign cycle -- August 1992 -- when Hurricane Andrew wreaked havoc in Florida. * Barring an obviously inept performance from the White House, natural disasters inoculate presidents from campaign criticism for a time.. * Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, for example, won't let himself be seen as begrudging Floridians federal relief dollars no matter how generous, analysts say. * In 1992, Democratic candidate Bill Clinton toured Andrew's aftermath but carefully avoided jabbing at his opponent over the halting response * Clinton's on-the-scene empathy after the Oklahoma City bombing moved people during a low point in his presidency, and his visits to disasters including Midwestern floods became a tour de force. I ask you. Bias or not?


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» Disaster update [UPDATED] from it comes in pints?
[UPDATE] Michele notes additional bias. Thank goodness Clinton never toured a disaster area for political gain Kathy Kinsley is okay, but her truck suffered some damage. Donations welcome. Mommabear's keeping us updated. On a different, somewhat smalle... [Read More]

» Newsday Politicizes Hurricane Charlie from Say Anything
This is absolutely unbelievable (via Dean's World and A Small Victory). Hurricane Offers Political Silver Lining WASHINGTON -- Once Hurricane Charley is gone from Florida, it's a safe bet President Bush will sweep in. Natural calamities present politic... [Read More]


Considering this story has factual problems (Clinton DID jab at Bush) and that Florida went to Bush in November)......


Agreed - if this were a political commentary, it would be one thing - but it reads like it's supposed to be a news story. And, is positioned as "National News"....

SOOOO biased.The only thing it is missing is the reference to the Jewish weather technology that caused the storm.

it's a safe bet President Bush will sweep in. Natural calamities present political opportunity,

What? A national disaster occurs and the President should not "sweep in"? Providing immediate relief is mere political opportunism?

Jaysus on a Pony, if this were AnyBodyButBush in the White House the MSM would be cheering the prompt attention to the obligations and responsiblities of the Presidential Office ...

More likely, Hurricane Charlie is providing an excellent opportunity for the MSM to maintain their blackout of Kerry's Christmas in Cambodia story.

That's right, Darleen. I question the timing of the hurricane. It was obviously unleashed by the Democratic attack machine to provide cover for Kerry's Cambodian vacation......

Done channeling DU now. Sorry for the interruption.

Wow, Karl Rove's Enron Beams are so powerful that they can create and change the path of hurricanes! I better make sure that my tinfoil hat is on really, really tight.

I sit here trying to come up with something witty but find I am stumped by the hallucinatory stupidity of this Newsday article. It speaks volumes that at a time when many people have lost so much, even their lives, that for some the only priority is to continue hating the President. Sickening.

Everyone remember that Eric Alterman says that the press has a conservative, right-wing bias. Yeah, right. Sure.

I blame it all on Frank J.'s laser beam thingie.

Well, consider the implications for the Democrats. If Karl Rove (has to be him, we all know that dopey Smirky McChimpyburton is to stoopid to work the weather control machine) can do this to two states, what's to stop him from doing it to an individual presidential candidate?

Even the ABB crowd is going to dump Kerry if wherever he goes he's followed by lightning strikes and flash floods.

People are digging tattered family photos out of rubble. Others are franticly trying to discover if loved ones are dead or alive.
Last I saw they're still trying to get ambulances into some of the worst hit areas.
This is the best the Press can come up with?

You missed one quotation which is quite clearly relevant to the question of news bias:

"Barring an obviously inept performance from the White House, natural disasters inoculate presidents from campaign criticism for a time because opponents are wary of second-guessing the nation's leader in a crisis and can't be seen as trying to capitalize on people's misfortune."

Now what else but bias could account for the assumption that the White House would turn in an "obviously inept performance" in response to a crisis?

After all, we have just watched the really smooth move the White House just made over the last two weeks to protect us from the "immanent" terrorist attacks to known buildings in New York and Washington.

And, with the publication of two other highly biased AP wire reports yesterday and today ("Official: No Evidence Attack is Immanent" "DC Exasperated by Security Measures"), we can clearly see the well oiled machine of the Bush Administration in action.

Not only have dozens of reporters now been briefed privately that there was no evidence of an "immanent" attack, the city of DC also had to have a "meeting" with federal officials to get them to finally allow ambulences and firetrucks through the security checkpoints in central Washington.

No evidence of any ineptness of handling in these matters, is there? And any assuption that there might be in the future is just plain poliitical favoritism, right?


You're forgetting that Bush Is Evil.

Obviously, BusHitler would prefer to just cackle evilly while Cheney sends Haliburton to Florida to sell relief supplies at a 1000% markup. Then he'd start making false WMD (Weather Making Device) claims against Iran so he can invade and take their oil; and for good measure, Ashcroft would arrest everyone who ever checked out a library book on hurricanes and send them to Gitmo to be tortured.

But, thankfully, this is an election year, so his evil can be reined in ever so slightly.


I read the quotes, and thought you had made them up, tongue-in-cheek.


We need a whole new word for bias, something a whole lot stronger and more descriptive.

Geee, Joseph. Does it hurt when you spin like that?

And it's imminent. I-M-M-I-N-E-N-T.

So what's the next move for the Kerry circus then?
Are they going to sue mother nature for campaign finance violations?

geez, Marshall

I was listening to Gov. Jeb Bush today talk about hurricane amnesia... I'd say you seem to be suffering another contextual form of it ...

When you reach my age, Michelle, (and you soon will if previous posts are any indication) you will note that letters simply vanish from words and do all sorts of other tricks when you type. It is something you adapt to, like bi-focal glasses.

As to spinning, well, I can do it as well as the next man. Is the article biased? Certainly. I would defy anyone to take on the issue given the facts stated and not have their political opinions show through. Give it a try yourself.

Politicians make capital by comforting the disaster-struck in the same way they do by kissing babies. It's mild moral shame, but unavoidable in a profession where you really have no private opinions and no private life, merely hidden corners of your public one.

As to the so-called "Bush Hating", I can't speak for all who wish him gone. But I can speak for myself. So I will.

I have watched this administration very closely since 2000 and my criticism both of it, and of the man who heads it, is that it takes no action whatever that is not purely opportunist and results in the most immediate and obvious payoff, politically or otherwise. This is far worse than bad ideology, because these men even abandon the ideology at the drop of a hat when it doesn't pay dividends. This leads to decisions which defy common sense.

The current President and his men are simply incapable of any long term planning about anything. On the front of foreign policy they have left us solely with a boastful piece of grandstanding, called the Bush Doctrine, which we cannot enforce. On the domestic front they have left virtually every problem this country faces not only unsolved, but actually even unaddressed. And they have borrowed an utterly absurd amount of money, soon to amount to literally trillions of dollars, to spend doing practically nothing with any real permanence.

I challenge anyone here to say that this President, with the highest popularity rating in recent times and a majority of his party in Congress, has even accomplished anything which, in the long run, furthers the Conservative ideological agenda.

Why? He really doesn't dare, and his co-party members in Congress don't dare either. When you stop asking questions about the Democratic messenger and start asking about the Democratic message, most people agree at least mildly with it. Our messengers are human and flawed, like yours. And a campaign to magnify every wart or pimple can be mounted against them, which is the best way to campaign when you have no message of your own.

But what campaign can be mounted based upon what George W. Bush has actually done? George W. Bush is not Hitler. But there are days when he comes real close to Charlie Chaplin, and his men often remind me of the Keystone Kops.


One of these days, Marshall, I hope you realize that most of life's problems are neither the responsibility nor the obligation of the Feds.

The Democratic Party, now almost indistinguishable from the contemporary Left, flips John Kennedy's tenet ... What the modern Dems say is

"Don't ask what you can do for yourself, ask what your government can do for you ... and demand it as a right!"

Darlene,add to that"If anything goes wrong at all it is the fault of the feds for not protecting us from it,so we must extract our due"

It seems no one is addressing the really important point:


Joseph: I have been through more hurricanes than you have hairs (left) on your head, so I think I can safely say -- go fuck yourself, you bitter, pompous, dried-up old hippy.

I was wondering when the lefties were going to blame the Hurricane on Bush/Zionists. Didn't take too long did it?

It's Newsday - it has never claimed impartiality.

And yeah, the piece they wrote is quite weak, though I seem to remember lots of rightists saying Gore was a wild opportunist for these same so called political reasons.

I do remember a time when, but in all but the worst of events, - such 9-11 or the OK City bombing, it was the VPs role to go, under the guise that neither could do much standng their anyway.

Out of sheer exasperation, I will point out that it's 'loth,' not 'loath.'

What is writing coming to?

Well, Darlene, speaking personally, I've already sacrificed a $12.50 hr @ 48 hours a week job, a $10.00 hr @ 10 hours a week job (it was to have been 20 hours and to have lasted longer, but the demand for planted interiors diminished due to cost cutting "productivity increases" among our clients), and am now hanging on at $7.50 an hour @ 8-16 hours a week while I continue to send out endless resumes and cover letters which fall into a black hole.

My health insurance is long gone and I subsist on my former GP's generosity (I can't pay him so I don't visit him) with pharmaceutical samples for four separate and serious medical conditions. And, in my state, since I am not a foreign immigrant, I can't even qualify for medicaid.

Under these circumstances, the only bit I can do for my country is to vote, be a poll judge, and stand ready for jury duty if called. I do all three.

And I also participate, on borrowed computers, in this virtual political discussion, with all the good cheer I can muster--which is considerable good cheer actually. Far more good cheer than I sometimes receive in return.

This is so for two reasons: my religious beliefs and my sense that I am fighting for common justice.

Religion tells me that no matter what may appear in the mirror of this common life, the mirror itself remains absolutely unaffected and unchanged.

My sense of justice tells me that if you always keep in mind that you may be wrong, fighting for what is right is enough, even if you lose a battle or two.


There are no guarantees in life, and I understand the struggle more than you know.

However, when you talk about the goodness of your GP and your neighbors in helping you out, I'm sure you understand that they are doing it voluntarily. When one demands that all disappointments in life be ameliorated by Nanny Government one is the supporting the ethos that it is one's right to live off one's neighbors where they have no say in the matter because one's needs always trumps another's ability.

My sense of justice tells me that if I discover I may be wrong and that my fighting for that wrong is in actuality hurting people I purportedly are fighting for, then it is morally incumbent upon me to stop and re-examine my premise. You know, that thing about good intentions and the path to hell?

BTW Marshall

I do wish you luck in securing a new job.

Well, as far as any of what I say may be wrong, I'm sure I can trust the posters here to offer correction. I don't mind--you sharpen your knife against the hardest stone you can find.

And I don't think that any statement I make in support of what I believe to be justice is likely to do any more harm than the mere bruising of an ego.

I make myself availible for riposte and I have taken far harder strokes, I think, than I have ever given. I trust the truth will out and I encourage all to do so as well.

But I am a happy warrior. It is Michele's desire and pleasure to take the more ridiculous of my fellow liberals and hold them up to public censure while all the rest cheer.

It is interesting, however, to see what she, or you, or anyone who posts here can do with a defense of liberal views which has, perhaps, a little less folly than the ones she likes to choose.

Without intending to tresspass on beliefs which I do not hold, it seems to me that at least part of Christ's meaning "render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's", is a command to participate in the world as you have to.

We have real political choices, and they are not obvious ones, however firmly we have made up our minds about them.

I would be very surprised if anything I posted here changed anyone's mind--but it might encourage a little reflection about what the other posters really do think, and whether the politicians they support really give more than lip service to the Conservative views they hold.

Unlike many with Liberal views, I do recognize that the Conservative point of view represents a different intellectual tradition in politics than my own, with real intellectual consistency.

I also recognize that the Christian religion represents a different intellectual tradition than the one I have converted to, and it also has its own intellectual consistency.

I think both are likely to stand up to any questions or challenges I put to them from my differing point of view. Neither has shown any signs of being blown away by mere wind.

“Jewish weather technology”? “Enron beams”? “Frank J's laser beam thingie”? Obviously it was all due to global warming because Bush didn’t sign the Kyoto agreement. The glaciers are coming! The glaciers are coming!

And thanks for the good wishes.


Actually it's "loath". According to the ol' dictionary.

"Loth" is recognized as a variant, but this is the first time I've ever seen it.

You've misrepresented the article in question Michelle, which is hardly a surprise anymore. Anytime you see the words "George Bush" your brain seems to go into sleep mode.

It's not that Bush is going to do his job (for a change) and divert FEMA aid to Florida. It's that he's gonna go out of his way to do it on television.

See the difference?

Of course, any incumbant would do the exact same thing---it's pretty much standard operating procedure. It's no big thang, really. But since the Bush White House can't take a crap without weighing the political ramification, it's just a tad bit unseemly.

Wrong, Cap. I didn't misinterpret the article. I just stated the obvious bias. You just validated my opinion. Thanks!

--and am now hanging on at $7.50 an hour @ 8-16 hours a week while---

I thought if one works 20h/w/ at grocery stores, one gets insurance, tho that may have changed. I know the salary might not be as good and it would be a trade-off.

There's hiring in my neck of the woods, lower end, of course, but stay at it and you could work your way up. Do you have a degree?

Unlike many with Liberal views, I do recognize that the Conservative point of view represents a different intellectual tradition in politics than my own, with real intellectual consistency.

Well, we're also interested in results, maybe that's why we downgrade intellectualism.

The world is a petri dish, Joseph, and a lot of the stuff the dem side has advocated and put into place these past 60 years isn't working so well.