November 18, 2005
Hollywood Left too Smart to be Fooled by Bush's Iraq Lies
"[Hollywood activists] were willing to accept - in fact, they recognized almost viscerally - that the president's story about Iraq and weapons of mass destruction was too richly timed and too tightly wrapped, and they understood that once a storyteller began to tinker with facts, there was no end to the scenarios he might invent that he might dubiously claim to be 'based on a true story.'" - Contributing writer Matt Bai, writing about the Hollywood left in the November 13 New York Times Magazine.
Passing on "Bush Lied" Talking Points as Fact
"Mr. Cheney echoed the argument of Mr. Bush and Mr. Rumsfeld that Democrats had access to the same prewar intelligence that the White House did, and that they came to the same conclusion that Mr. Hussein was a threat. What Mr. Cheney, Mr. Bush and Mr. Rumsfeld left out was that the administration had access to far more extensive intelligence than Congress did. They also left unaddressed the question of how the administration had used that intelligence, which was full of caveats, subtleties and contradictions. Many Democrats now say that they believe they were misled by the administration in the way it presented the prewar intelligence, and that the White House distorted the conclusions." - White House reporter Elisabeth Bumiller, November 17.
Bush "Lashed Out" at Those Who Call Him A Liar
"President Bush lashed out today at critics of his Iraq policy, accusing them of trying to rewrite history about the decision to go to war and saying their criticism is undercutting American forces in battle." - Lead sentence to online story from Maria Newman on Bush's Veterans Day Speech, November 11.
Trumpeting GOP "Losses" in NJ, VA
"House Republican leaders were forced to jettison a plan for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska on Wednesday night to save a sweeping spending bill, a concession that came one day after the party suffered significant election loses [sic]." - Lead sentence of an online version of a story by Carl Hulse, November 10. Republicans didn't actually lose seats in the Virginia or New Jersey elections.
"Stinging Defeats for G.O.P. Come at a Sensitive Time" - Headline to Robin Toner's post-election November 9 story on the New Jersey and Virginia governor's races, when Democrats retained seats.
"With Big Issues Absent, The Little Things Count." - Headline to Richard Berke's November 6, 1997 story on the New Jersey and Virginia governor's races, when Republicans retained seats.
Fitzgerald as Eliot Ness, Ken Starr as Torquemada
"It was as if Mr. Fitzgerald had suddenly morphed from the ominous star of a long-running silent movie into a sympathetic echo of Kevin Costner in 'The Untouchables.'" - Todd Purdum on Libby prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, October 29.
"Back in the United States attorney's office in Chicago, the relentless prosecutor is known as Eliot Ness with a Harvard degree." - TV critic Alessandra Stanley, October 29.
"But by the time he stepped down in October 1999, relentless attacks by Democrats and Clinton allies had created a powerful caricature of [Clinton prosecutor Kenneth Starr] as a prude and a Torquemada leading a partisan inquisition." - Then-Washington bureau chief Jill Abramson, March 22, 2002.
Anti-Crime French Minister Sarkozy? Trs Gauche
"The major power struggle has been within the governing center-right party, and so far it looks as if the winner has been Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy. He has managed to dominate government policy by expressing the sentiments of the angry, anti-immigrant right while drowning out arguments that immigrants have grievances that should be addressed." - Craig Smith reporting on the Paris riots, November 13.
"The violence has isolated the country's tough-talking, anticrime interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, whom some people blame for having worsened the situation with his blunt statements about 'cleaning out' the 'thugs' from those neighborhoods. France has been grappling for years with growing unrest among its second- and third-generation immigrants, mostly North African Arabs, who have faced decades of high unemployment and marginalization. Critics say Mr. Sarkozy's confrontational approach has polarized the communities and the government." - Craig Smith from Paris, November 5.
"While some expressed anger at those causing the unrest, they said officials had aggravated the situation, particularly Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, who has used unsparing language to describe those who have carried out attacks." - Craig Smith and Mark Landler from Paris, November 8.
"Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, whose hard-line rhetoric has been criticized even inside the police departments for stoking aggression, is also on the firing line." - Reporter Katrin Bennhold, November 8.
Big, Bad Wal-Mart Strikes Again
"Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer, often intimidates its competitors and suppliers. Makers of goods from diapers to DVD's must cater to its whims. But there is one company that even Wal-Mart eyes warily these days: Google, a seven-year-old business in a seemingly distant industry." - Lead sentence to the November 6 story by Steve Lohr.
What Ardor for "Shrinking Government"?
"Has the American voter's ardor for cutting taxes and shrinking government cooled? Voters in California, Colorado and Washington State rejected ballot measures this month that would have rolled back tax increases or limited state spending. Some say the votes could mark a turning point in a decades-old revolt against high taxes that got its symbolic start in California in 1978 with Proposition 13, which sharply limited property tax increases for homeowners and cut deeply into state services." - John Broder, November 15. Social spending went up in California after Proposition 13.
This Just in From Mars
"Indeed, one of the favorite mantras of the current Bush White House and its conservative allies is that the media suffer from a 'liberal bias' - a constantly repeated accusation designed to drill this notion into the public consciousness while putting the press on the defensive. Recent history flies in the face of this assertion." - Chief book critic Michiko Kakutani promoting Craig Crawford's book "Bushes' War Against Media," November 11.