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Rep. Hank Johnson on Ferguson and His Bill to Stop Police Militarization:
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MEDIA EMERGENCY!!!
Please Read and Take Action!
By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2004 2:12pm PT  

SUNDAY UPDATE: My highly placed source inside H&C tells me your Emails are making a difference! Keep speaking up! Your voice matters! If you Democrat/Liberal/Progressives think it makes sense to simply write Fox off entirely, please see this.

It was announced at the end of Friday's Hannity & Colmes on Fox that their Monday (Election Eve) guests would be:

ON THE RIGHT: Karl Rove, Dick Morris, William Weld (UPDATE!) Jeb Bush just added!!!
ON THE LEFT: Bill Richardson

Obviously, this is anything but "Fair and Balanced" and on the eve of a national Election it's simply outrageous!

I have a highly placed source inside the Hannity & Colmes show who I've sent Email to complain about this, and I received back a similar response to the ones I usually receive from them on the lack of balance on H&C. Namely; the Kerry campaign is simply not as willing to help them by supplying guests as the Bush campaign is. (I wonder why!)

I have tried to explain to my source that it's Fox's and H&C's responsibility to ensure that their show is fair and balanced! Not the responsibility of the Kerry campaign or the DNC to ensure that!

No matter how much the Democrats wish (or do not wish) to supply top-level guests to H&C it is the responsibility of the news organization, and debate show --- which claims to offer "Fair and Balanced" debate from both sides --- to do everything they can to ensure that the American people whom they serve receive an equal representation from both sides!

Last week, for example, Hannity had half-hour one-on-one interviews first with George W. Bush and then again with Dick Cheney. After which, both Hannity and Colmes pointed out that they had invited Kerry and/or Edwards to enjoy the same, to which apparently they declined.

In lieu of Kerry or Edwards then, H&C should have given an equal amount of time to a Democratic representative --- any Democratic representative, if necessary! --- to do at least their best to try and offer balance, even if they were not able to get Kerry or Edwards themselves!

And now, on their Election Eve show, such sorry excuses are simply intolerable! Having three Republican guests --- two of them, Rove and Morris, who will likely be offered segments where no balancing Democrat representative is there to supply balance --- is beyond the pale on the final show before Americans go to the polls!

I've contacted MediaMatters.org about this issue in hopes that they can help make some noise about it. I hope you will do the same, as well as helping to spread this word, and contacting the people at Fox News and the Hannity & Colmes show with your opinions about this outrageous example of attempting to effect the Presidential Election on the nation's most-watched channel for Election news coverage on the night before the Election!

CONTACT...
Sean Hannity: hannity@foxnews.com
Alan Colmes: colmes@foxnews.com

FOX News Channel FOX News Channel:
1-888-369-4762
Comments@foxnews.com

Media Matters:
www.MediaMatters.org
Email

Click here to Email all of the above at once!

UPDATE: If you have any question where Hannity & Colmes --- the show that claims to offer "Fair and Balanced Debate" stands, see the front page of their website right now. Here's a screenshot. Note all three featured stories offered to readers: Interviews with Peggy Noonan (Conservative, Ronald Reagan's speech writer), George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

We've come to expect this from H&C by now, of course, but their Election Eve coverage is even more outrageous than on most days! And, certainly more important than just any old day of the week!

UPDATE 11/1/04: Hannity & Colmes now announcing that Jeb Bush is added to tonight's show!!!

GOOD NEWS UPDATE 11/1/04: Just heard from my source: Terry McAullife now added to show for balance! Your letters are working! Keep it up! You are making a difference!!!

FINAL UPDATE: Victory (mostly)! Final lineup: 2 guests from the Right, 2 from the Left! But H&C managed, incredibly, to skew it to the Right anyway. Click here to read how.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2004 1:41pm PT  

As usual, Josh Marshall hits upon the essence of the question:

Which of these two statements sounds like it comes from the stronger leader?

John Kerry: In response to this tape from Osama bin Laden, let me make it clear, crystal clear. As Americans, we are absolutely united in our determination to hunt down and destroy Osama bin Laden and the terrorists. They are barbarians. And I will stop at absolutely nothing to hunt down, capture or kill the terrorists wherever they are, whatever it takes. Period.

George W. Bush: Earlier today I was informed of the tape that is now being analyzed by America's intelligence community. Let me make this very clear: Americans will not be intimidated or influenced by an enemy of our country. I'm sure Senator Kerry agrees with this. I also want to say to the American people that we're at war with these terrorists and I am confident that we will prevail.

You decide ...

Marshall also notes, in another item, that apparently the Bush team learned of the impending bin Laden statement yesterday morning, but didn't notify the Kerry camp about it until later in the afternoon.

And then, as Bush finished criticizing Kerry for criticizing Bush for not doing more to catch bin Laden, there was this report from AFP:

Speaking to reporters outside the campaign rally here, White House communications director Dan Bartlett said that the tape should not affect the way Bush campaigns but that Kerry should have marked a 12-hour truce.

"You would think that there would be a, maybe, 12 hours to let the American absorb what has just happened today," he said.

Prodded on why, if the tape ought not to affect the campaign, Kerry should have stopped criticizing the president, Bartlett revised his statement, saying that the problem was that Kerry's attack had been "discredited."

Prompting Marshall to aptly note: "There's nothing, it seems, they won't game."

ReddIt this story!



From Last Night's Bill Maher...
By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2004 12:39pm PT  
NEW RULE!:
This Election Day in Florida, to make up for the Republican dirty tricks in 2000, black Floridians must go into white districts and hang around the polling places and scare white people away!

Which is both funny and insightful. But if any of you folks are paying attention, it's Ohio that I'd be very concerned about this year. Seems to me the G.O.P. is just begging to create a race war there.

It's one thing to disenfranchise several thousand elderly Jews in retirment homes in Boca Raton. It's another matter altogether to systematically and aggressively disenfranchise black voters in real time at the polls in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati.

From what I saw reported on Nightline last night, it looks like the G.O.P. is playing with fire out there, and hoping to start trouble as part of their strategy. I'm very concerned about what may happen in Ohio on Election Day. There's your heads-up for the moment...

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2004 7:52pm PT  

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White House Restores Audio/Video to their Website!
(But what hasn't yet been restored? Apparently, plenty!)
By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2004 5:17pm PT  

Success! Mostly.

Chalk it up to "one for the little guy"!

In the wake of our series of reports on the White House quietly removing embarrassing Audio and Video from their website, it seems the bulk of that material has now been restored online! Thanks, no doubt, to the adverse attention they received via wire reports and Washington Post articles that our reporting was able to spur, the Administration seems to have gone through thousands of web pages and restored the previously available media to them.

That alone seems to disprove the theory offered by Jim Gilliam, one of the creators of the excellent OutFoxed documentary, who reported being told by the White House at the time that there was a policy to remove old audio/media after a year. As we previously reported, there was much media still online well over a year old. If this supposed policy was done for storage-space reasons, the restoration of gigabytes of media now would seem to disprove that notion as well. Looks like the WH was at least victorious in selling their line to those filmmakers. Just another in a series of apparent lies and nonsense peddled, too often successfully, by this corrupt Administration.

So what material is still not restored to the publically owned and historical website?

Their removed "List of Coalition Members", which originally started all of this when it was taken down just after Dick Cheney accused John Edwards of not counting Iraq as part of the "coalition" during the V.P. Debate is still, unbelievably, not available. We caught them red-handed at the time. And as of this date, in the final days of a Presidential campaign, in the middle of a war, the Whitehouse.gov website still has no list or information as to who our allies are in that effort.

Beyond that, there is no way of knowing what else has been deleted, removed, changed, redacted or disappeared since the White House doesn't allow Internet Archive sites to index it's thousands of pages. Thus, it's nearly impossible to track everything that has been changed and deleted. For example, the "Secretary Paul O'Neil testifies about terrorism risk insurance" link in their special report detailing "America's Response to Terrorism" is still missing (as illustrated at right).

At this point, all we can do is hope the Bush Administration has any respect left for "the rule of law" since all of the documents they release on their website are "historical documents" that belong to the people. As we previously reported, their deletion or editing without approval from the National Archives seems to be in clear violation of the "Presidential Records Act".

But they'd never disrespect "the rule of law" at this White House. Right?

ReddIt this story!



(If you own the media.)
By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2004 4:08pm PT  

EnjoyTheDraft.com's new ad campaign (a couple of ads from it seen below) has been cancelled at the last minute by senior management at Yahoo. John Aravosis of AMERICABlog, part of the group that created EnjoyTheDraft.com, is reporting that management at "the highest levels of Yahoo" decided at the last minute to cancel the campaign after ads were bought, paid for, and set to go live today. The original announcement for their campaign, with more graphics, etc, is here.

{DISCLAIMER: EnjoyTheDraft.com is a paid BRAD BLOG advertiser. We're proud to have them as a sponsor!}

ReddIt this story!



Let the Spin Begin...
By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2004 3:29pm PT  

Who stands to benefit from the re-emergence of Bin Laden? The best spinners, I guess. I'm looking over the transcript of the video now, as posted on Drudge.

More on that as I go through it. But in the meantime, no doubt, the Bushies will spin this as proof that bin Laden supports the election of John Kerry. The Kerry team will spin this as proof that Bush took his eye off the ball, and use his statement that he was "truly not that concerned about him" to blast Dubya.

Now the Bushies are better spinners, in general, and have a far more sophisticated "spin apparatus" in place via their echo chamber control of the media. As well, this helps to get the awful al Qa-qaa news and the Administrations disastrous handling of same --- being remarkably flat-footed and ham-handed in their many responses --- off the news. So overall, I'm leaning towards Advantage: Bush on this one for the moment. But I don't know yet.

What are your thoughts? Other than it's the American people (and the world) who "lose" by bin Laden still being alive, who "wins" from today's news on this?

ReddIt this story!



New Video Confirms Bin Laden Alive!
(Bush "truly not that concerned" about him.)
By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2004 2:29pm PT  

Story here. Video here (sorry, CBS-haters, the Fox version wouldn't download).

Don't let this worry you though, since our "President", as you may recall, was "truly not that concerned about him". So why should you be?

(Video tape of that statement available here, despite the White House's version of same having been scrubbed from their website).

UPDATE: Whaddaya know? Since our report on the scrubbing of that audio/video, and since The Washington Post's coverage of it, the White House has restored the Audio and Video from that March 2002 press conference that they'd previously removed!

ReddIt this story!



Number dwarfs previous estimates.
(Number of WMD found - still 0)
By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2004 1:58pm PT  

Little wonder the Pentagon refuses to report or count Iraqi casualty figures.

We've been reporting that 28,000 Iraqi military (many whom were conscripted out of their village at gunpoint by Saddam) were reported killed at the end of "major hostilities" by various Pentagon sources at the time.

Since then, the best estimates we've been able to round up are that over 22,000 civilian Iraqis are estimated as dead. But apparently, we've been low-balling it!

This just out from The Independent:


The first scientific study of the human cost of the Iraq war suggests that at least 100,000 Iraqis have lost their lives since their country was invaded in March 2003.

More than half of those who died were women and children killed in air strikes, researchers say.

By way of comparison to the "at least 100,000 Iraqis" who've been killed so far --- and had nothing whatsoever do with 9/11 --- the U.S. lost 2,973 on that fateful day. That'll show 'em!

ReddIt this story!



Why doesn't anybody believe George anymore?!
(Another one from the 'Fool Me Once' File?)
By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2004 12:59pm PT  

Even the CIA won't play along with the White House anymore. The New York Times reported yesterday on the diplomatic "no thank you" the CIA took on rubber-stamping a White House-proposed report they hoped to release this summer subtly titled: "America Is Safer Without Saddam Hussein"

In an internal memorandum sent to the White House in August, the C.I.A. declined to take a position on whether overthrowing Saddam Hussein had made America "safer," the officials said.
...
But in that memorandum, administration officials acknowledged, the agency proposed "factual corrections" to assertions included in a draft fact sheet prepared by the White House titled "America Is Safer Without Saddam Hussein."

The assertions to which the C.I.A. recommended changes were included under headings that described Mr. Hussein as "a major obstacle" to political reform in the Middle East and said he "maintained ties to terrorists and terrorist organizations."
...
They reflected what counterterrorism officials say is a continuing debate among intelligence officials, with some senior analysts within the C.I.A.'s Counterterrorism Center arguing that the invasion of Iraq has helped to fuel Islamic terrorism by inflaming anti-American sentiment.
...
In an interview, a White House official said the question of whether the invasion of Iraq had made Americans safer was "not an intelligence judgment."

Say what?! What sort of judgement is it? An "emotional" one? A "political" one? Well, if it's up to this White House, I guess... Anyway, the report goes on...

Among the "factual corrections" contained in the document were a recommendation that Mr. Hussein be described as "an obstacle" to reform in the Middle East rather than "a major obstacle," as he had been called by the White House.
...
The White House fact sheet was never released, but a copy was obtained by The New York Times. A White House spokesman, Sean McCormack, said the decision not to release it had nothing to do with the C.I.A.'s comments.

heheh...

ReddIt this story!



BRAD BLOG Fan Mail Just Keeps Comin'!
By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2004 12:09pm PT  

In reply to one of our "White House Website Scrub" stories, this comment was posted last night by someone identifying themselves as "Spakeh":

JOHN KERRY IS LIKE A BIG GRAY HAIRED BITCH THAT NAGS AND COMPLAINS. HIS WARM SPINCHTERED LOVER EDWARDS IS A LITTLE BITCH TOO. I'VE NEVER HEARD AN ELECTION CAMPAIGN LIKE YOURS EVER! YOU'RE SUCH THE NAG FAG BOYS. WAKE UP AND GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEADS THAT THE UNITED STATES WILL FAIL UNDER YOUR SO CALLED LEADERSHIP. YOU DON'T HAVE WHAT IT TAKES! VOTERS AND POTENTIAL VOTERS SHOULD REALIZE THAT BEFORE ENTERING THE POLL BOOTHS. WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO IMPRESS US WITH YOUR RHETORIC DONKEY FACE? BEWARE OF KERRY, HE CANNOT DELIVER.

After posting that same message about 10 times, the same user (same IP address) then posted another comment right after that one using another name, "wEEwEE":

Sweet site

Wow. Talk about your flip-flops! Anyway, thanks for supporting the BRAD BLOG "Spakeh"/"wEEwEE"! I feel the love...All the way down to my WARM SPINCHTER.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2004 11:43am PT  


JON STEWART: Tell us who's gonna win.

POLLSTER, JOHN ZOGBY: Kerry.

Any more questions?

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By Brad Friedman on 10/28/2004 11:27pm PT  

No clue on the authenticity of the flyer below that was scanned and sent to Kos as he reported today. Given the similarity in it's message to past known examples of such dirty tricks and flyers just like this, as well as the orchestrated voter suppression tactics beginning to emerge now in Ohio and Florida, I'd rather err on the side of vigilance.

Keep your eyes out for this kinda crap...I think there will be plenty of it (if the language in the hate mail I've been receiving of late is any indication).

ReddIt this story!



Panic at GOP
By Brad Friedman on 10/28/2004 7:02pm PT  

(Reposting this from memory as best I can after something happened to the main index and this entry got killed somehow. Part of the hack/DDos attacks we've been getting today?)

If you've been listening to Rush this morning, you can tell what kind of panic they're in. He doesn't sound like someone who thinks he's about to win.

He's been going ape-shit all morning over al Qa-qaa. And for good reason. A new report this morning from KSLT Eyewitness News has an eyewitness embedded reporter who was on the scene --- with video and pictures! --- on April 18, 2003. And explosives were still there!

The video report shows footage from inside the bunkers:

During that trip, members of the 101st Airborne Division showed the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS news crew bunker after bunker of material labelled "explosives."
...
They also found bags of material men from the 101st couldn't identify, but box after box was clearly marked "explosive."
...
Once the doors to the bunkers were opened, they weren't secured. They were left open when the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS crew and the military went back to their base.

"We weren't quite sure what were looking at, but we saw so much of it and it didn't appear that this was being secured in any way," said photojournalist Joe Caffrey. "It was several miles away from where military people were staying in their tents".

Are these definitely the high explosives that are now missing? Don't know. But it doesn't look good, and Rush, Sean, Fox and the GOP are now officially in an all-out panic.

UPDATE: More on the above now from ABC. Looks like possible confirmation of the drums and the seals seen in the video:

The barrels were found inside sealed bunkers, which American soldiers are seen on the videotape cutting through. Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency sealed the bunkers where the explosives were kept just before the war began.

"The seal's critical," Albright said. "The fact that there's a photo of what looks like an IAEA seal means that what's behind those doors is HMX. They only sealed bunkers that had HMX in them."

After the bunkers were opened, the 101st was not ordered to secure the facility. A senior officer told ABC News the division would not have had nearly enough soldiers to do so.

Dead to rights?

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 10/28/2004 5:28pm PT  

Fin does it again! Check his latest (and final?) video of the season!

It rocks!

Then run out and give the link to everybody you know between now and Election Day! And tell them to give it to everybody they know!

Kick. Ass. We're almost there!!!

(If you can spare a few bucks so we can take out a few BlogAds for it, please DONE HERE NOW! Thanks!)

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