Patterico's Pontifications

7/23/2008

Doltermann on Full Tilt Last Night — Quite Hilarious To See

Filed under: General — WLS @ 11:44 pm

Posted By WLS:

Just caught the late night replay of Doltermann’s show from last night.  The transcript won’t be available until tomorrow, so I’ll annotate this post later with some quotes.

But the best part I saw was he and Rachel Madcow looking at the issues surrounding CBS’s editing of Katie’s interview with McCain.  Doltermann played the unedited video of a couple questions as part of his segment dealing with the claim that McCain doesn’t understand the timeline of the surge strategy — typical juvenile affair, made moreso by the fact that Doltermann called upon the Washington Bureau Chief of The Nation for commentary.  But the segment with Madcow dealt with whether the press is really in the tank for Obama, or if that’s just nonsense coming out of the McCain campaign.  They looked into the issue of an apparent editing error done by CBS in the McCain interview.  Apparently one of McCain’s answers was edited in out of order, which happened when a cut was made in the interview to insert some video of Gen. Patreaus.  The answer to the question posed by Couric should have been McCain’s answer which has generated so much left-wing commentary about whether McCain really understands the surge.  But because of the editing error, which CBS seems to have admitted, the answer from McCain that followed the question was one in which he commented on Obama’s failure to understand the success behind the surge, an answer which ended with McCain making the comment that he would rather lose and election and win a war, whereas Obama seems willing to lose a war to win an election.

In their breathless commentary Doltermann sincerely questioned whether or not CBS was really in the tank for McCain and not Obama — recalling that the Swift Boat smear on Kerry would not have been possible without the complicity of the press (secretly supporting Bush I guess), only to be topped by Madcow’s comment that what really troubled her was the fact that the supposed editing “error” resulted in McCain’s embarrassingly wrong answer getting omitted, and in its place CBS just happened to use his smear that Obama is traitor to his country.

I was still laughing when the next segment came on with Dana Milbank in which they covered the outrage of the McCain campaign in juxtaposing Obama’s comments written in a Holocuast Museum guestbook against Obama’s comments last year that preventing genocide was not a good enough reason to keep troops in Iraq.  I thought I could see spittle actually flying from Doltermann’s mouth as he prattled on.

Maybe I can get some video up tomorrow.

Remember Last Week When I Commented On How the Price of Oil in the Futures Market fell After the Lifting of the Exectuive Ban on Off-Shore Drilling?

Filed under: General — WLS @ 6:47 pm

Posted by WLS:

If you have forgotten you can read it again here.

Funny thing happened after the price fell two days in a row, totaling a 7% decline — it continued to fall all the way to today.

Recall that subject of my post last week was the closing price of $134.60, which was a drop of over $10 in just two trading sessions from the closing high of $145.18 the day before the President ended the off-shore ban.

Today’s closing price for delivery of a barrel of oil in 90 days was $124.23.

That’s a one week total decline of nearly $20, which is a 14% decline.  One article Drudge has linked right now predicts $3.50 gas by Labor Day.

Maybe $3 by election day?

Just so you know — oil prices passed the $120 mark on May 5, 2008.

So it took about 70 days for oil to go from $120 to $145, but only 7 days to go most of the way back to $120.

Update:  On the drive home I heard a radio commentator attributed to Marketwatch.Com suggest that we could see a drop in gasoline prices by as much as .30 a gallon over the next three weeks as wholesalers and retailers battle to lure back drivers who have backed down their driving habits.  Some retailers have their seen their gross volume sales decline by 15% over the last few months as prices climbed over $4 a gallon.  Market forces may lead them to try and lure back those customers by underpricing their rivals, thereby creating a mini-price war, as they sacrafice a few cents a gallon in order to increase their sales volume.

“Dodd, If You Want To Be VP, I Need A Favor – Fast.” UPDATED WITH VIDEO

Filed under: General — WLS @ 11:58 am

Posted by WLS:

Where’s the MSM on this? From Obama’s press conference today in Israel:

Now, in terms of knowing my commitments, you don’t have to just look at my words, you can look at my deeds. Just this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran, as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don’t obtain a nuclear weapon.

Well, he has been away from the Capitol a lot lately:

Democrat members of Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee:

Dodd (Ch), Johnson, Reed Schumer, Bayh, Carper, Menendez, Akaka, Brown, Casey, and Tester.

http://banking.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Information.Membership

Maybe being unfamiliar with the layout of the Capitol given the infrequency of his visits, he wandered into a meeting of the Senate Banking Committee, sat down and figured that made him a member.

Or maybe he was just being “inartful” again?

Or maybe he’ll blame it on a staffer who compiled the list of his committee assignments for him to memorize since he wouldn’t be otherwise involved, given the campaign and all.

H/T Powerline

UPDATED: Here’s the video of him making the statement — no misstatement here, just a blatant lie.

Update x2 — Why is this any less significant than Hillary’s embellishment of her Bosnia-landing under sniper fire?

But He Had Good Mechanics On His Three Pointer ….

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — WLS @ 10:30 am

Posted by WLS:

Reading the transcripts of some of the interviews Obama is giving on his tour with the Washington Nationals around the Globe, conjurs (oops) up in my memory the scene from the movie Troy, where Menelaus, the brother of Agememnon, after battering Prince Paris in their duel over Helen of Troy, watches him crawl away back towards his brother Prince Hector.  Menelaus looks up towards Helen watching the one-sided fight and yells at her “IS THIS WHAT YOU LEFT ME FOR?”

From yesterday:

“What I think can change is the ability of the United States government and a United States president to be actively engaged with the peace process and to be concerned and to recognize the legitimate difficulties that the Palestinian people are experiencing right now and recognize that it is not only in the interest of the Palestinian people that their situation improves – I believe that it is in the interest of the Israeli people…That’s why terrorism is so counterproductive as well as being immoral because it makes I believe the Israelis want to dig in and simply think about their own security regardless of what’s going on beyond their borders.”

Lets deconstruct this banality into its parts:

1.  Past Presidents have not been actively engaged in the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.

2.  Past Presidents have not recognized or been concerned with the legitimate difficulties being experienced by the Palestinian people.

3.  Past Presidents have not recognized it is in the interests of both the Palestinians and Israelis that the situation of the Palestinians be improved.

4.  Terrorism is not only immoral, it is counterproductive.

5.  Terrorism makes Israelis want to dig in their heels and simply think about their own security regardless of what is happening beyond their borders.

Well, there you have it.  Obama’s foundation for solving a problem that reflects hundreds of years of enmity which is rooted in ethnic and religious hatred.  Its all simply a matter of community organizing Chicago-style.

BRILLIANT!!! [to quote a beer commercial]

H/T — Weekly Standard Blog

UPDATE:  I just saw a news brief on another statement made by Obama today in Israel that seems to further clarify and refine his views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

“I believe it is in the interests of Israeli’s security to arrive at a lasting peace with the Palestinian groups.”

Is it possible to simply bypass the November election, and move Obama into the WH immediately upon his return from his trip?  With wisdom like this, the world cannot afford to wait until January for the Obamesiah.

Der Spiegel Rewrote the Whole Maliki Interview — Of Course!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:16 am

The Columbia Journalism Review has a maddeningly sloppy and incomplete, but also interesting and informative article about how the Maliki remarks came to be translated so differently by the New York Times and Der Spiegel. It turns out that, not only did Der Spiegel rewrite the critical passage without telling anyone, it also rewrote the whole interview, while pretending that it was a verbatim exchange.

The piece quotes Der Spiegel‘s second version of the remarks (the author of the piece seems blissfully unaware of the first version) and then the New York Times translation, and notes the differences:

How come that version is so different from Der Spiegel’s version?

“His original words were unprintable. It would have been embarrassing to him. So we edited it,” says Müller von Blumencron. “There are very few people you can do a Q&A with without editing for grammar. And you always have to make it shorter.”

Quite true. As any journalist could tell you, if a printed interview transcript reads like a punchy exchange, with each sentence a complete thought and each paragraph well formed, odds are someone has done a lot of tweaking to help the direct transcription along. But extreme care must be taken not to distort the speaker’s original meaning.

The editor’s hand gives any claim of misrepresentation a little credence—especially if there’s translation involved too.

“Quite true,” the author nonchalantly responds to the claim of the Der Spiegel editor that, of course, you always have to change the content of an exchange you represent to be verbatim remarks. You have to make it shorter!

So, for example, if a guy says something about the need for national security improvements, you take it out! Voilà! Shorter!

The CJR article is very congratulatory of the New York Times for seeking out the original version, and makes a big point of noting that Maliki was provided the transcript and had a chance to object to any inaccuracies:

There’s something else that journalists calling Der Spiegel would have learned. “We have a policy at Der Spiegel when we do a question and answer session to provide a transcript to our counterparts in case they want to have a minor thing changed,” says Müller von Blumencron, who says Zand verified that Maliki’s aides received the publication-ready advance copy. They had no response, and presumably no complaints, before its release.

Why would they? The original version they reviewed is presumably the same version that Der Spiegel originally published, before rewriting the passage without telling anyone. (Again, the CJR author appears to have no idea that this happened.)

But of course we have been told that the New York Times was “provided” a copy of the remarks. Turns out that’s not true either. They apparently weren’t given a copy; they were just allowed to listen:

According to Müller von Blumencron, Times reporter Sabrina Tavernise and her translator met with Zand in Baghdad, where he played them the relevant quote.

The article does not say how many times the reporter and her translator were allowed to listen to the passage. It may have been only once.

In a remarkable display of arrogance, Der Spiegel will not release the tape. But they say they’ll play it for anyone who asks:

Der Spiegel has no plans to release the tape (“We don’t see a need to improve upon our credibility by, say, putting the audio on the web.”) but is happy to play it—in person, over the phone—for any journalist interested in verifying.

“Anyone who wants to hear it can hear it,” says Müller von Blumencron. “But no one else has asked.”

I’m asking. My quick perusal of the Der Spiegel site didn’t reveal contact information, but I’m juggling a million things nowadays and didn’t have time to look closely. If anyone knows how I can contact this editor, tell me.

Meanwhile, I love that quote: “We don’t see a need to improve upon our credibility by, say, putting the audio on the web.” Well, friend, I do. Your credibility is pretty much shot in my eyes, with your admission that you’re rewriting allegedly verbatim interviews to make them shorter and save “embarrassment” to the subject of the interview — and then rewriting the rewrite, in a critical area, without telling anyone (apparently thus fooling the Columbia Journalism Review, among others). Yeah, I think your credibility could use a little shot in the arm, and releasing the audio might be one way to do it.

P.S. This is a media criticism post, not a “Maliki doesn’t really agree with Obama” post. I’m not arguing that Maliki doesn’t really agree with Obama. I say that for the benefit of idiot lefties who will claim otherwise if I don’t explicitly say so (some still will, even though I have said otherwise).

I think conservatives have to come to grips with the fact that, differing translations aside, Maliki has clearly indicated some level of comfort with something closely resembling the Obama plan. The exact level of agreement has been muddied by the irresponsible secret rewrites of this interview by Der Spiegel, but all translations (and subsequent events) point to Maliki generally being on board with something like Obama’s plan — and if conservatives aren’t facing up to that, and are using the translations as an excuse, they should stop.

Of course, we’d never be in this position had we followed Obama’s advice on the surge, but that’s another story.

Thanks to reader im bowie, who seems to think the CJR article somehow shows me “off the mark” on this story. If I was “off the mark,” it was in failing to suspect just how sneaky Der Spiegel had actually been.

Louisiana Seeks Rehearing of Decision on Death for Child Rape

Filed under: Court Decisions,Crime,General — Patterico @ 6:26 am

Ed Whelan reports on Louisiana’s effort to get the Supreme Court to re-hear the case that found unconstitutional the death penalty for child rape. You may recall that, in dishonestly finding a national consensus (one so overwhelming that both presidential candidates rushed to denounce the decision), the Court’s chief gasbag Anthony Kennedy completely missed the federal government’s approval of exactly that penalty for exactly that crime in passing amendments to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Here’s a quote from the attorney who filed the petition for rehearing:

I am personally opposed to the death penalty, but I am also opposed to courts taking fundamental decisions away from American voters…. Since the Supreme Court’s decision came down, new evidence has emerged that the justices may have been too quick to identify a national consensus in this case, so when the State of Louisiana gave me the chance to help, I was happy to accept.

Good for him.


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