Patterico's Pontifications


Is This a Media Double Standard on Hostages?

Filed under: Media Bias,War — DRJ @ 10:26 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The international media stayed mum for seven months when New York Times‘ reporter David Rohde was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Executive Editor Bill Keller convinced media around the globe not to publish information about Rohde’s capture:

“Keller said he had a responsibility for his employees. Based on advice from security experts and others, including Rohde’s family, the newspaper kept the abduction quiet.

“The more you talk about who did what … the more you’re writing a playbook for the next kidnapping,” Keller told CNN.”

Like the New York Times, the Department of Defense wanted to protect one of its own, Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl (23, of Ketchum, Idaho), who was captured by the Taliban on or about June 30. Apparently it took the BBC just two days to release the news of his capture:

“The military first made Bergdahl’s capture public on July 2, though he was believed captured on June 30.

A Department of Defense official told ABC News on Friday that if it hadn’t been for the BBC reporting on the missing soldier on July 2, the military would have kept the capture quiet. The goal, he said, was to minimize the amount of information that might get back to his captors that might influence the military’s search and recovery.”

It’s not clear if other media sources declined to cover Bergdahl’s capture before the BBC broke the story or if the BBC was simply the first to find out about it, but it looks like a media double standard.


Remember Mary Jo

Filed under: General — Jack Dunphy @ 9:07 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

People of a certain age will certainly recall where they were when they watched those flickering images of Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong taking his small step and Giant Leap on the surface of the moon, which occurred 40 years ago tomorrow. Less remembered is the event that occurred 40 years ago yesterday, when Senator Edward Kennedy left 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne to drown after driving his car off a bridge on Martha’s Vineyard. In a piece on, writer Dave Gibson informs those who may have forgotten or never learned of Kennedy’s execrable behavior that night, which can be summed up in this sentence from the column: “It was obvious to most people that Kennedy had allowed a young girl to drown, in a desperate and self-serving attempt to protect his political career.”

Forty years have not erased the shame.

–Jack Dunphy

Anti-Hug Quote of the Day

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 8:33 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Then Senator Barack Obama to Bono, after he successfully avoided a hug from President George W. Bush:

“Nice work with the hug dodge.”

Here’s a link to the original report from Irish Central. I guess some hugs, like some days, are better than others.


Millions Saved From AIDS in Africa

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 6:56 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

New research says AIDS in Africa is decreasing because of a project initiated by George W. Bush:

“Thousands of AIDS experts at an international AIDS conference cheered Sunday when Dr. Julio Montaner announced the result, saying it is from a yet-to-be published analysis of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, called PEPFAR.

Bush’s pet project is credited with saving millions of lives. It focused on the worst-hit African countries.”


Birthday Wishes

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 4:41 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Happy Birthday, Scott Jacobs!


Another Philandering Governor?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:13 pm

The New York Daily News slings the latest gubernatorial gossip:

Another gubernatorial sex scandal may be looming. Even as South Carolina’s Mark Sanford waits to see whether his wife, Jenny, forgives his romp in the pampas, a New York call girl could plunge one of America’s most prominent governors into a fresh hell.

In March, we told you about a high-end escort who claimed that former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer had gotten overly aggressive during some kinky role-play (a charge Spitzer’s lawyer called “outrageous and defamatory”).

Now the elegant blond courtesan, whom we’ll continue to call “Annie,” is talking about three “dates” she allegedly had with another state’s chief executive, who we’ll call Gov. X.

Who is Gov. X (assuming, of course, that the woman is telling the truth)? We’re not told — but the most telling hint would appear to be Annie’s statement: “His wife is quite prominent in her own right.”

Hmmm. How many governors have wives who are ‘quite prominent” in their own right? Only one leaps to mind. Am I overlooking any other obvious possibility?

P.S. “He didn’t take the full hour.” Another hint . . . but I don’t know what to make of that one.

UPDATE: Happyfeet notes a governor who has a wife who is a federal judge. Would a courtesan consider that “prominent”?

Death Row Inmate Dies of Natural Causes After 29 Years on Death Row

Filed under: Crime,General — Patterico @ 1:28 pm


A 55-year-old inmate who was on death row at San Quentin State Prison for the kidnapping and killing two Southern California girls died of natural causes early Friday morning.

. . . .

Mattison was sentenced to death in 1980 for the murder of a 9-year-old girl he kidnapped near a community swimming pool in Sante Fe Springs in 1978, and the kidnapping and murder of a 16-year-old girl in Laguna Beach two months later.

This story claims that Mattison was “on death row at San Quentin State Prison for more than 19 years.” Yes, it’s technically true, but I’m still activating the buzzer. Bzzzzzzt!! Back to the remedial math class with you! (Here at Patterico, we know how to subtract 1980 from 2009 — no applause necessary.)

This guy was on Death Row for 29 years.

P.S. You will find people arguing that we should abolish the death penalty because people spend so long on Death Row. These people probably clean their own kids’ rooms, because when they tell their kids to clean their own rooms, the kids whine and take forever to do it.

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