Friday, July 06, 2007

Chochmeh of the Week

"Well, it is interesting to see the President's spokesman now speaking Yiddish, and suggesting that chutzpah is involved. And for Tony Snow to declare that he is something of a maven on chutzpah gives me tsuris, because clearly in this case he's acting like a schlemiel, if not an outright putz."

-- MSNBC's Dana Milbank, on Snow's accusing
President Clinton of "chutzpah"

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy July 4th

In an Independence Day ceremony in Baghdad, 600 of our troops stood in line to reenlist.

And 161 soldiers became American citizens. That's right: they have been fighting for the country they love, even though it wasn't the country they were born in. That's patriotism.

Take a moment today to send some good thoughts to them, as well as to the men and women fighting in Afghanistan. Pray we get them home soon.

Kurtz Has Been in the Jungle Too Long

Howard Kurtz's CNN show Reliable Sources used to be something I watched when it was on, on Sunday mornings. As it's become more and more boring and less and less sensible, it's moved later in the week for me. Now I watch it on Wednesdays, and I think from now on I won't watch it at all.

I realized Howard Kurtz was coming unhinged when he objected to the format of the first Democratic debate a couple of months ago. Howard thought it was ridiculous to include "candidates who have no chance of winning."

Howard? Umm... Not one vote has been cast yet.

Do you mind if the American people have just one chance to weigh in before you start crossing out candidates?

Then he started to go really nuts. Every week he would say things that just plain weren't so.

Finally, Last Strawville was reached this past weekend, when he was outraged -- OUTRAGED, I tell you! -- that the media took Ann Coulter's GMA crack about John Edwards and terrorists out of context. Why didn't they play the whole quote, Howard demanded to know. Bad media! Bad media!

Howard was right. I am the last person to stick up for Ann Coulter, but her quote had been taken out of context. She wasn't saying she wished John Edwards killed by terrorists... She was saying that if Bill Maher could get away with wishing Dick Cheney killed by terrorists, she'll stick to that where John Edwards is concerned.

Howard was proud of himself for divining the truth. She was just commenting on the awful thing Bill Maher said.

Except Howard didn't actually show the tape of what Bill Maher said. Might have been nice.

Especially since Bill Maher said exactly the opposite of what Coulter said he did. He said he disagreed with people who wished Cheney had been killed. Later in the conversation, when he said that it's a fact that there are more people who would be alive if Dick Cheney were dead, there was an implied "even though" before it. He was interrupted before he could finish his sentence.

By the way, it's true that there are people who would be alive if Dick Cheney were dead. More than true, it's indisputable. If you don't believe me, just start with the two dozen people killed in the botched attempt on his life.

As Bill Maher was trying to say, that's a fact. Still doesn't mean that he or I wish Cheney were killed by terrorists. (Also, by the way, doesn't make it okay to censor those who do. That was Maher's larger point, which like most points got lost in media coverage.)

At the time, even Bill O'Reilly said on his show that Maher was being taken out of context. That he obviously didn't say he wished Cheney dead.

Ann knew that. She lied.

Howard didn't bother to check his facts. Journalism 101, Howie.

If Only Keith Olbermann Were a Senator

Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart? I Doooooo...