Patterico's Pontifications


New York Post Publishes Idiot Piece

Filed under: General,Morons,Terrorism — Patterico @ 6:22 pm

This New York Post Page Six entry is just plain idiotic:

MSNBC loudmouth Keith Olbermann flipped out when he opened his home mail yesterday. The acerbic host of “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” was terrified when he opened a suspicious-looking letter with a California postmark and a batch of white powder poured out. A note inside warned Olbermann, who’s a frequent critic of President Bush’s policies, that it was payback for some of his on-air shtick. The caustic commentator panicked and frantically called 911 at about 12:30 a.m., sources told The Post’s Philip Messing. An NYPD HazMat unit rushed to Olbermann’s pad on Central Park South, but preliminary tests indicated the substance was harmless soap powder. However, that wasn’t enough to satisfy Olbermann, who insisted on a checkup. He asked to be taken to St. Luke’s Hospital, where doctors looked him over and sent him home. Whether they gave him a lollipop on the way out isn’t known. Olbermann had no comment.

There is not a damn thing funny about getting white powder in the mail. I don’t care if you’re a Senator, a news anchor, or just a panderer and failed sportscaster. Mocking the guy for taking the letter seriously is just dumb. I would insist on a checkup too.

This is especially obnoxious because the New York Post was a recipient of one of the actual anthrax letters. Therefore, you’d think that paper in particular would refrain from making fun of someone who takes precautions after receiving powder in the mail.

You’d think that — but you’d be wrong.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey says almost exactly the same thing.

UPDATE x2: So does Rick Moran.

UPDATE x3: Add Hugh Hewitt as well, who also notes (as I did above) that the Post was a victim of the real anthrax attacks.

It’s great to see these three writing almost exactly the same post as I did — apparently without any of us having seen the others’ posts first.

L.A. Times Uses Republican’s Quote Out of Context

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Politics — Patterico @ 5:58 pm

The other day an L.A. Times article painted Republicans as more prone than Democrats to engage in negative advertising. The story had fair and balanced quotes such as this: “mudslinging is crucial to the Republican plan for this year’s midterm elections.”

The story also contained the following passage, which you should read carefully:

Republican incumbents this year began running attack ads earlier than ever. But the hardest-hitting are yet to come.

“You haven’t seen the majority of the negative ads yet,” said Carl Forti, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, where a staff of 10 has been deployed on opposition research.

In context, this passage makes it sound like his quote related entirely to Republican ads — as in: you haven’t seen the majority of our sleaze yet. I suspected otherwise, and said:

I bet if you were to ask Forti about that quote, he’d tell you that he meant the negative ads coming from both sides — but the story makes it sound as though he’s talking only about ads coming from Republicans. If I can track him down, I’ll ask him.

Well, today I did. I spoke with Forti briefly by phone at lunchtime. Unsurprisingly, Forti said that the quote referred to ads both from Democrats and Republicans — not merely to ads by Republicans, as the quote implies.

Forti was clearly reluctant to criticize the L.A. Times article directly. He said that Republicans have made no secret of the fact that they do opposition research and believe it to be effective. If a newspaper wants to criticize Republicans for doing that, he said, so be it. But he stressed that Democrats do just as much negative advertising, and that this is nothing new.

Was I surprised to learn that Forti’s quote was ripped out of context? No. But we should all be distressed that such one-sided pieces continue to come out of a newspaper with such wide reach and (believe it or not) respect.

Kurtz Officially Drops Ball on Clinton Interview

Filed under: General,Media Bias — Patterico @ 5:45 pm

Howard Kurtz follows up on that Clinton interview, which Kurtz recently implied was tougher than interviews Wallace has done with Bush officials. But Howie doesn’t note Chris Wallace’s previous tough questioning of Donald Rumsfeld, despite the fact that I had e-mailed Kurtz about it, and news of the Rumsfeld interview was all over the blogs and mentioned on Brit Hume’s show.

More on Allen

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:08 am

See Dubya has more on George Allen. Are the Allen allegations a smear job or a genuine issue? You be the judge. But one of the main witnesses (Sabato) is looking pretty weaselly.

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