March 5, 2004
Hailing the Conquering Kerry
"In war and politics, Mr. Kerry has proved himself in past battles and he professed to be ready for the fray." - Todd Purdum after John Kerry's near-sweep on Super Tuesday, March 3.
Anti-Cleland Conspiracies and False "Juxtapositions"
"Rob Behler isn't saying Max Cleland's Senate seat was stolen by rigged electronic voting machines, but he insists it could have been. Mr. Behler, who helped prepare Georgia's machines for the 2002 election, says secret computer codes were installed late in the process. Votes 'could have been manipulated,' he says, and the election thrown to the Republican, Saxby Chambliss.Mr. Cleland's loss was, some say, a surprise. He was said to be leading in the polls before Election Day, but ended up losing decisively. Many political observers attribute his loss to President Bush's strong support for Mr. Chambliss, and attack ads picturing Senator Cleland with Osama bin Laden. But others are suspicious of the new voting machines in Georgia." - Editorial writer Adam Cohen on electronic voting machines, February 29.
Cleland wasn't pictured with bin Laden. (Go here for the Republican ad on Cleland.)
"But the low point, [former Democratic Ga. Senator Max] Cleland said, came when Republicans ran an advertisement juxtaposing his face with those of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. The commercial infuriated the Senate's Vietnam veterans, including Mr. Kerry and two Republicans, John McCain and Chuck Hagel, who rushed to Mr. Cleland's defense." - Sheryl Gay Stolberg, February 26.
No juxtaposition took place. (Go here for the Republican ad on Cleland.)
Marriage Defenders and the Return of George Wallace
"And so the vacuum will be enthusiastically filled by Defenders of Marriage eager to foment the bloodiest culture war possible. They are gladly donning the roles played by Lester Maddox and George Wallace in the civil rights era, even at the price of turning women like Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin into the new century's incarnation of Rosa Parks.The rhetoric of die-hard segregationists is back as well, complete with its warnings of how untraditional marriages can beget polygamy and bestiality." - Editor turned columnist Frank Rich on the fight over gay marriage, February 29.
Pointing Out Liberal Bias = Throwing a Grenade
"But after her decision to throw a grenade over her shoulder upon leaving an industry she was very much a part of for more than three decades, many in her former cohort see her as traitorous and self-interested." - David Carr on Myrna Blyth, author of "Spin Sisters," which alleges a liberal bias among editors of women's magazines, March 2.
Hope He Didn't Bet on the Oscars
"It's hard to imagine the movie being anything other than a flop in America, given that it has no major Hollywood stars and that its dialogue is in Aramaic and Latin (possibly without benefit of subtitles)." - Frank Rich, attacking Mel Gibson's movie about the last hours of Christ, August 3.
"The Passion of the Christ," Mel Gibson's new film about the Crucifixion, continued its strong box-office run over the weekend. It took in an estimated $76.2 million over Friday, Saturday and Sunday, for a total of $117.5 million since it opened Wednesday. That is the second-highest five-day total ever for a Wednesday opening, behind only 'The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,' which made $124.1 million in its first five days in December. 'Passion' had the highest opening-day ticket sales of any February film in Hollywood history." - Evelyn Nussenbaum, March 1 New York Times.
Justice Blackmun's "Remarkable" Liberal "Evolution"
"Released Documents Show The Remarkable Evolution Of a Supreme Court Justice." - Jump headline to a front-page story on conservative-turned-liberal supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, March 4.
More Victims of the Fall of Communism
"Beginning in 1937, the Soviet Union established a series of drifting ice stations near the North Pole, in part to gather oceanographic and weather data, but also to maintain control of a region where the ice is in constant flux, often drifting hundreds of yards an hour in unpredictable directions. The effort ended in 1991, when the 31st station was abandoned as the Soviet Union collapsed. Arctic scientists around the world lamented the loss of what many said was the longest nearly continuous effort to gather data in the central Arctic Ocean." - Andrew Revkin, March 5.
"The Soviet Union outlawed polar bear hunting in 1956, but since the fall of Communism, illegal shooting has steadily risen, experts say. - Revkin, June 17, 2003.