The Spectacle Blog

The David Gregory Show

By on 2.14.06 | 11:41AM

The NBC correspondent's on his high horse about White House disclosure of the hunting accident. He's not playing inquisitive reporter anymore, but conducting himself like a prosecutor in cross examination. This is quickly descending into Gregory whining.

Batman Goes To War

By on 2.14.06 | 10:52AM

Comic-book legend Frank Miller has announced that his next book, Holy Terror, Batman!, is "a piece of propoganda" where Batman goes after al Qaeda:

The reason for this work, Miller said, was "an explosion from my gut reaction of what's happening now." He can't stand entertainers who lack the moxie of their '40s counterparts who stood up to Hitler. Holy Terror is "a reminder to people who seem to have forgotten who we're up against."

It's been a long time since heroes were used in comics as pure propaganda. As Miller reminded, "Superman punched out Hitler. So did Captain America. That's one of the things they're there for."

That's a refreshing change from the anti-war Superman that appeared a few years ago.

Re: WMD, Hamas and Western Will

By on 2.14.06 | 10:20AM

James: I agree. We need to be vastly more clear in our opposition to government participation by terrorists. One of the troubling things I heard in Iraq in December was several of our top commanders talking about a "Sinn Fein" solution to the insurgency. Letting them become part of the government can only be done after the terrorists have renounced violence and turned in their weapons, not before.

I do have one large bone to pick with you: "contextualize"??? ARRRRRRRRGH. I hereby propose that anyone who takes a perfectly innocent noun and turns it into a verb by adding "ize" should be lashed publicly or at least locked in the stocks to be pummelled with vegetables.

Bethell on Government Objectivity

By on 2.14.06 | 10:11AM

TAS senior editor Tom Bethell had a piece in the Washington Times Sunday on the fallacy that government-funded science is pure. He specifically takes on NASA scientist and global warming booster James Hansen. Don't miss it.

WMD, Hamas, and the Western Will

By on 2.14.06 | 10:02AM

How will the Saddam tapes contextualize the apparent U.S.-Israeli decision to sink Hamas? Having scored a stunning Victory for Democracy in Palestine, the administration now finds itself working to junk the outcome and declare, Harriet Miers-style, a do-over. Machiavellan phantoms whispered once that HM was the perfect sacrificial lamb, the fall girl who made for unmatchable cannon fodder and the trailblazer for Sam Alito. May we detect the same manufactured blunder here? On the warpath against tyranny in this world, is "freedom" itself a manipulable tool, and democracy-hypocrisy a deployable means to a realpolitikal end?

A Wealth of Material

By on 2.14.06 | 10:00AM

The New York Times lists the beneficiaries of the Cheney story:

The incident provided a wealth of material for Democrats, gun control activists and critics of the Bush administration, not to mention late-night comedians.

The White House press corps fits into the first three categories.

Hackett Out

By on 2.14.06 | 9:55AM

Paul Hackett, the liberal Democrat who lost Ohio's second Congressional district to Rep. Jean Schmidt in the special election, has dropped out of the Democratic primary for the Senate. He claims Chuck Schumer pushed him out to allow Sherrod Brown a clear path to the nomination, but Schumer's spokesman says Hackett's decision was his own.

Hackett's base is mixed about the news: Kos is ambivalent, but some of his readers aren't having it.

More Saddam Tapes

By on 2.14.06 | 9:37AM

More with regard the Saddam tapes that are available in translation on Sat 18 February from there is much more on the recordings of Saddam's scheming to constitute CBW. Best source points to four areas of discussion, in Saddam's voice with thirty or forty of his best kindred of Cain: 1. How we fooled and will fool as long as necessary the stupid UN teams under Blix and ElBaradei. 2. How we can hide the missiles that have warheads on them. 3. How we can ask the Russians for advice to hide the worst of the stuff. 4. How we are going to attack America with WMD.

Other concepts that may be on the tapes (remember these are best of; somewhere there are the originals to be translated and released): anthrax may be mentioned, nuclear weapons may be mentioned, fooling the US over many years may be mentioned, friends of Saddam may be mentioned.

I have not heard the tapes. I will put them on air next week, with translations. I am keen to hear how Saddam discussed attacking America. Did he mention using anthrax???

Saddam Had No WMD — Not

By on 2.14.06 | 9:09AM

Am told by two sources that Brian Ross of ABC News was on air in Washington, WMAL, this morning to confirm that the Saddam Hussein tapes of many conversations from 1988 to 2002 with his staff and ministers and generals is an authentic tape (it is actually a best of many tapes) -- and that the recordings confirm in Saddam Hussein's voice his intention and capability to reconstitute his CBW programs.

Much more information coming from this weekend, especially the release of the transcripts on Saturday, 18 February at 8 a.m. at Crystal City in Virginia.

The crowd that lives on "Saddam had no WMD" is about to get a new brain twister to play with: "Well, he wanted WMD, and he had WMD at one time, and he really was tricky, but he had no WMD at some point, or why would he discuss getting back the WMD he had???"


By on 2.14.06 | 8:25AM

Sitting in the White House press room yesterday, the most interesting dynamic was watching the TV pretty people down front mugging for the camera. But the more important to the hectoring and lecturing going on by the media, was the talk of the TV and big-media types before the cameras went on and Scott McClellan took the podium.

What really cheeses these guys off isn't so much that the White House didn't tell them. It's that a private citizen gave the story first to a local reporter down in Texas. Again and again, we kept hearing something along the lines of, "I can't believe a local paper got it first."

There is a sense of betrayal that the White House actually expected reporters who cover the President and Vice President to get a story on their own. They are so used to have it spoon-fed to them, either through press release, pool report or illegal leak.