The Spectacle Blog

The Journalism Paycheck Wars

By on 2.16.06 | 11:43AM

Aren't over by any means. Iain Murray defended the practice "in our pages" a couple weeks ago, writing that pundits' arguments should be challenged, not their paymasters. One pundit accused of "payola," longtime TAS contributor Michael Fumento, fires back at mainstream media journalists engaged in very similar activity.

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Anger and the Dems without compassion

By on 2.16.06 | 9:44AM

Academic source identifies a fresh way to look at the extremes of political discourse. A speaker who identifies himself or herself as angry at the opposition, very very angry, who consistently takes far far positions with regard political disputes, this same person shows surprisingly little compassion for other human beings. This does not mean only that he or she only demonstrates little compassion for his or her opponent in a dispute, debate, political season; this means he or she demonstrates little compassion for any human being at any time.

The more stridnet the op, the less compassionate the op, the less charitable, the less generous, the less altruistic, philanthropic, empathetic, sympathetic.

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Reboot Peggy

By on 2.16.06 | 9:30AM

Sadly, the most intelligent (and desperately original) thing Peggy Noonan has to say about the Cheney hunting accident is to liken the White House to a frozen computer screen (hence the clever column title, "Hit Refresh?") and to speculate that "one night over drinks at a barbecue in McLean one top guy will turn to another top guy" and suggest that Dick Cheney's time as Vice President may be up. Of course, Noonan writes this in her insidery "this-is-what-folks-are-thinking-but-I've-covered-myself-by-hypothetically-framing-it" style. Cute. Back in reality, Cheney's one of the only tethers between this White House and economic conservatism. Who cares if he's a "hate magnet" (is that a technical term, Ms. Noonan?)? Usually, that's a sign that the other side is frustrated with your success. Sure, Cheney has his PR baggage. But what would you rather do: carry a little PR baggage (suffering mostly the White House/Washington press corps) or scuttle the baggage and with it any sense of a free market, small government philosophy?

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West Nile on Saddam tapes???

By on 2.16.06 | 1:12AM

Fresh clue, unconfirmed, but connects to intel from best signals source. On the Saddam tapes, word used for plague, as in, how do we send a plague against the USA?? Word used is plague in Arabic, but it is the same word used in other source that Saddam Hussein regime connects with its West Nile Virus development, 1997-1999. Moved labs and equipment to Sudan in 1999.

Not confirmed. Not confirmed. Not. This is all analysis. Early days.

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Ahmadinejad Missing Days: Apocalypse Now

By on 2.15.06 | 9:13PM

Best signals source says that Ahmadinejad's missing ten days in late January early February can now be explained by his busy, Ernst Blofeld schedule.

The first several days Ahmadinejad was participating in a national exercise to rehearse air defense and national deployment in the event (and it is expected sooner rather than later) of the strategic strike by US and Israeli air and special operations power.

After that, Ahmadinejad toured coastal fortresses to inspect the offensive missile and seaborne power (cruise missiles, ground to ground medium range stuff) to strike at shipping in the Straits of Hormuz and also at the major oil fields in eastern Arabia.

Ahmadinejad and the IRGC leadership and the Council of Elders are of one mind that the US and Israel will attack (sooner rather than later). The Tehran regime will not wait to be attacked. It is most likely that the Tehran regime will attack first, using proxies in Syria, in Lebanon, in Gaza, directed against Israel to force the US to respond piecemeal and hastily.

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Cheney’s Misfire

By on 2.15.06 | 6:37PM

Having spent hundreds of hours afield in pursuit of quail, pheasant, chuckar, ducks and geese, I sympathize with the Veep. He's made a bad mistake that we all hope won't prove fatal to his hunting pal. But that's all there is to it. Or would be, but for the fragile egos of the White House press gaggle.

Were it up to them, Cheney would have been dialing Tim Russert's home number before poor Whittington hit the ground. The arrogance of the White House knows no bounds. How dare they give the story -- indirectly, at that -- to a local paper and not CBS or the NYT? How could they not issue a press release? Shouldn't the pool reporter have been in the ambulance with Ol' Harry?

The fact that this story has ridden the front page for so long is a testament to the press's narcissism, and nothing else. It's not yet fair to compare their outrage to Muslims rioting over the Mohammed cartoons. Yet.

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Many Saddam Tapes Still Untranslated

By on 2.15.06 | 6:19PM

Important to note that Brian Ross tonight on Nightline will stipulate that the Saddam tapes that gave ABC News are just a small part of the assembled tape recordings of Saddam Hussein cabinet/staff meetings over many years. Also Brian Ross stipulates that the remaining available tapes are still undergoing translation.

This is a careful if general way of communcating that these are the early days of revelations from the tapes. Hoekstra doesn't know what's on them, ABC News doesn't know, neither -- to my certainty -- does DNI, CIA, DIA, FBI or any of the dozens of most concerned intelligence services from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and the variety of Arab League states.

In sum, the tapes contain unknown material that may threaten present regimes. May. Threaten. Present.

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Reigniting the Fire

By on 2.15.06 | 5:21PM

Cheney on Hume's show: "They didn't like that we called the Corpus Christi Caller-Times instead of the New York Times." Priceless, and right on target. Good for him. And now the story will last for another couple days.

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