Another Cheer for Cindy Sheehan
With White House reporter Elisabeth Bumiller writing, rest assured there's room for anti-war Bush-basher Cindy Sheehan, even in a story headlined "For 3rd Day in a Row, Bush Says Withdrawal Now From Iraq Would Embolden Terrorists."
And for the secondday in a row, Bumiller ignores Cindy Sheehan's inflammatoryremarks about Bush and Israel: "President Bush told thousands of National Guard members and their families on Wednesday that an immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq would only embolden terrorists and make America and its allies more vulnerable to attack. Defending his administration's military stance for the third day in a row, he presented another tough, if implicit, rebuttal to war critics like Cindy Sheehan, the mother of an American soldier killed in Iraq who has generated a monthlong protest outside his Texas ranch. Mr. Bush said, 'As long as I'm the president, we will stay, we will fight and we will win the war on terror.'"
Later Bumiller rehashes: "Mr. Bush met Ms. Sheehan in a similar setting in June 2004, but she has said he acted as if he was at a party, did not know her son's name and was disrespectful to her, calling her 'Mom' throughout the session."
The Times has yet to own up to what Sheehan has also said about her meeting with Bush - when she told her local paper in June 2004: "I now know he's sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis. I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith."
Then there's this cynical take on a family who is doing literally everything possible to support the war in Iraq: "In a thinly disguised counterpoint to Ms. Sheehan, Mr. Bush showcased an Idaho woman in the crowd, Tammy Pruett, whose husband and five sons have served or are serving in Iraq."
To read the rest of Bumiller on Bush, click here.
Bob Herbert, Faithful Recycler
If any more proof was needed that former NBC reporter and now NYT columnist was a reliable liberal, Bob Herbert's Thursday's column shows he firmly believes in recycling.
For "Truth-Telling on Race? Not in Bush's Fantasyland," Herbert recycles a column he wrote back on May 20, 1999. Of the 16 paragraphs of Herbert's "new" column, the middle part (nine graphs) are lifted almost verbatim from 1999.
Using a front-page story from Wednesday as a hook, Herbert opens today's piece: "The Bush administration has punished a Justice Department official who dared to tell even a mild truth about racial profiling by law enforcement officers in this country.
"In 2001 President Bush selected Lawrence Greenfeld to head the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which tracks crime patterns and police tactics, among other things. But as Eric Lichtblau of The Times reported in a front-page article yesterday, Mr. Greenfeld is being demoted because he complained that senior political officials were seeking to play down newly compiled data about the aggressive treatment of black and Hispanic drivers by police officers.
"My first thought when I read the story was that burying the messenger who tells uncomfortable truths has always been a favorite tactic of this administration, which seems to exist largely in a world of fantasy. (Grown-ups don't do well in the Bush playtime environment. Remember Gen. Eric Shinseki? And former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill?)
"My second thought was of a couple of stories from several years ago that dramatically illustrated the differences in the ways that white and black drivers can be treated."
After that, Herbert recycles his 1999 column, dredging up the disparate treatment given at two police stops, one involving Rachel Ondersma, a white high school senior in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and an incident involving three black men and a Hispanic on the New Jersey turnpike.
Herbert plagiarizes himself down to his lame attempt at humor:
From 1999: "An officer cuffed the girl's hands behind her, put her in the back seat of a police cruiser and locked the doors, leaving her alone. What happened after that was captured on a video camera mounted inside the vehicle. And while it would eventually be shown on the Fox television program 'World's Wackiest Police Videos,' it was not funny."
From 2005: "An officer cuffed Ms. Ondersma's hands behind her and left her alone in the back seat of a police cruiser. What happened after that was captured on a video camera mounted inside the vehicle. And while it would eventually be shown on the Fox television program 'World's Wackiest Police Videos,' it was not funny."
In 2005 he writes: "As I watched the videotape, I was amazed at the way she was treated when she was pulled from the cruiser. The police did not seem particularly upset. They were not rough with her, and no one could be heard cursing."
The van of minorities was fired at when it began rolling toward the police car. The explanation of the differing reactions, according to Herbert: Ondersma was white, the men in the van weren't.
Is the reliable civil libertarian Herbert really angry that a senior high school girl wasn't treated more roughly by police?
For the rest of Herbert's "new" column, click here.
Brian Williams, Blogger
Jacques Steinberg reports on NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams' foray into the whole blog thing for Thursday Arts section, "An Anchor by Evening, A Blogger Any Time."
"While Mr. Williams is careful not to traffic in gossip or observations that might breach his journalistic objectivity on matters like the course of the war in Iraq, his dispatches for what is known as "The Daily Nightly" (on nightly.msnbc.com) are striking in two main respects."
Here's a sample of Williams' most recent "journalistic objectivity," courtesy of the MRC's Brent Baker: "With increasing numbers of Americans telling pollsters they've turned against the war, with the attention one woman received for camping out near the entrance to the President's Texas ranch, and with the daily reports of the loss of life here on the news each night, and that includes two more Americans killed in Iraq today, the President is stepping up his defense of the U.S. effort. It doesn't help that a prominent Senator, in his own party, is comparing it to Vietnam. So on this day, when Iraq crept closer to a draft constitution, the President went before the VFW to make his case yet again."
To read more about Brian Williams' blog, click here.
"Bush's" Rejection of Kyoto
Wednesday's lead story by Anthony DePalma, "9 States In Plan To Cut Emissions By Power Plants," includes this recurring bit of Times' misinformation: "The Bush administration's rejection of the Kyoto Protocols has caused deep divisions nationwide, with many local governments attempting to force the administration to taking action by passing their own carbon dioxide rules."
Sigh. As Times Watch has noted many, manytimes, the Kyoto Protocol was rejected by a 95-0 vote in the Senate in 1997 - during the Clinton administration, no less.
For the rest of DePalma's front-page story, click here.