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But REAL Conservatives Know Better.
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2004 9:25pm PT  

Do you believe for a second that CNN and MSNBC, much less Fox, Rush, Sean, O'Reilly and all the other monkeys out there wouldn't be wetting their panties over the headline John Kerry is being endorsemed by the government of Iran? Drudge would have used two sirens for Christsake. But no, in this case, as reported by AP, "Axis-of-Evil" member Iran endorsed Bush, so it's barely a blip on the media landscape. Hmmm...I wonder why they'd endorse Bush?

For an endorsement that means even more, I'd point all you Fake Conservatives out there to this endorsement from the Conservative/Libertarian publisher of The Columbia Tribune in Missouri. He endorsed Bush in 2000, and again about a month ago, until he finally came to his senses:

[D]ay by day, the prospect of a Kerry presidency is more encouraging. It's time to remove Bush from the White House, and Kerry emerges as a reasonable alternative. Earlier, I wrote I probably would hold my nose and vote for Bush. Today I breathe freely, quite at ease with removing this incumbent and installing another leader who deserves more confidence.

To do justice to this subject, one must spend time on both sides of the equation. I can go on indefinitely about the shortcomings of President Bush. He is an immoderate man who is quite willing to expand state power over the freedom of individuals. He will use this power, including a packing of the U.S. Supreme Court, to enforce his own view of a sectarian national morality. Despite our most fundamental national tradition, he does not believe in separation of religion from government. He is trying, with some success, to sell the American public on this dangerous idea.

I'd suggest reading the whole column, particularly if you truly consider yourself a Conservative.

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But They Play it on TV.
How Dumb is America, anyway?
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2004 9:04pm PT  

It's extraordinary, but I still receive Email from folks who really seem to believe that Fox is "Fair and Balanced". They just seem like they favor Republicans, because the rest of the media is so liberal. Or so the folks tell me, many of whom also still believe Dubya is a man of his word and we may still find those WMD's and Saddam probably was involved in 9/11 and things really are going well in Iraq, except for that goddamn liberal media.

Given the real Rightwing bias of that supposedly "Liberal" media, it's probably a waste to even bother debunking the lie that is Fox "News", but sometimes I just can't help myself. After Media Matters documented FNC's "Fair and Balanced" Convention coverage (where they gave 20% more live prime-time coverage to the Republican Convention than they did for the Democrat Convention), it seems they're still at it with just two weeks to go before a national election. Media Matters once again has the proof:

On October 18, President George W. Bush delivered a speech in Marlton, New Jersey, on national security, and Senator John Kerry delivered a speech in Tampa, Florida, on health care. FOX News Channel carried Bush's speech live for 47 minutes --- four minutes more than MSNBC and eleven minutes more than CNN. Before going to live coverage of Kerry's speech, FOX News Channel anchor Martha MacCallum said: "And now we take you directly for fair and balanced coverage in Tampa, Florida, where John Kerry will be speaking moments from now." FOX then carried Kerry's speech live for just under 10 minutes --- 30 minutes less than MSNBC and 25 minutes less than CNN.

Are those that claim to believe Fox is not biased just stupid? Or are they kidding themselves? Or do they know better, but just don't give a fuck? Anything, after all, to win. What do you think?

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Admitting Guilt
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2004 8:36pm PT  

If you've been following O'Reilly since his recent fall from pretend grace, you've probably noticed the side-effect as his troubles have smacked him back a few yards closer to reality. His once barely veiled dilligent Pro-Bush spin is now entirely out in the open. I guess he figures since everyone in America now knows what he sticks up his ass, why bother hiding who he supports in this election?

The only thing left for him to do is come out and say "I am going to vote for George Bush and will do anything I can to help him win". Other than that, a few minutes listening to his "Radio Factor" or suffering through the TV show make it clear that he's not even trying to hide his bias anymore.

Now that he realizes he will never get the John Kerry interview that only O'Reilly could make himself believe that he was entitled to, he's given up all pretense. Announcing on both radio show and TV today that George W. Bush is now going to win this election. If you listen to O'Reilly, it's now all over but the recounts.

Sure, he still gives lip service to some mythical "fairness" that he'd love us to believe that he and Fox offer, but you can tell that even he knows he's spinning. Next week, he promises, he's going to make up an interview with Kerry in lieu of getting a real one. That's "the most trusted name in news" for ya.

Tonight, he went out of his way to remind Juan Williams (who actually did get an interview with John Kerry) that it was "Fox News" who broke the Bush DUI story in the days prior to the 2000 election. That, he claimed, showed all those Liberal Fox Haters how "faaaaair" FNC really is.

Too bad he's wrong about that too. It was not FNC, but a local Fox Affiliate (who does not work for FNC in NY) who broke the story. He and Brit Hume, however, have been going out of their way to pass off that particular fiction for quite some time.

In non-fiction related O'Reilly news, his evil nemesis, the much funnier-on-purpose Al Franken, once again beat the "Radio Factor" in the latest NY Arbitron radio ratings, as reported by Drudge. That despite No Spin Boy's repeated assertions on the air over the past year about "Stuart Smalley's failed little radio show". Please stop! I'm dizzy from all that No Spinning!

But apparently there's some things even O'Reilly can't spin his way out of. That seems to be his, as of yet, uncontested guilt in the Andrea Mackris Sexual Harrasment case. His silly cries of "extortion" in his pre-emptive suit against her didn't bother to deny any of her charges. And yesterday's "Radio Factor" featured this moment that should haunt him for a while, as caught by the always vigilant Media Matters (audio here):

CALLER: One quick thing. My money's on your side in this unfortunate lawsuit you're going through.

O'REILLY: Well, thank you. I appreciate that.

CALLER: You gotta take Sister Mary Peters with you when you're with single women.

O'REILLY: Listen, I have to say this --- I had to protect my family, this is my fault. I was stupid, and I'm not a victim, but I can't allow certain things to happen. And I appreciate your support, we get thousands of letters, but I'm not --- I am stupid. I am a stupid guy, and every guy listening knows how it is. That we are very stupid at times.

But there comes a time in life where you gotta stand and fight. And I knew these people were gonna do this, I knew they were gonna do everything they could to try to destroy me and the channel. And I just made the decision that I'm just gonna ride it out. And I'm gonna fight 'em, because what's right is right.

Trademark false machismo and bloviation aside...Since he's now all but come out and admitted guilt in the matter, what exactly are the "certain things" he "can't allow" to happen? "What's right is right?" - What the hell is he talking about? He's a married man, with "kids", admitting to making obscene phone calls, while servicing himself with a vibrator, to an underling employee of his. Is he implying that if she'd asked for a few million less, that would have made it all "right"? But since she didn't, he's "gonna fight 'em, because what's right is right?" Apparently so. Just as he forced Fox to file their embarrasing law suit against Franken which was quickly laughed out of court, again he has allowed his over-inflated ego to back him into a No Spin Corner from hell.

But hey, sex scandals with prostitutes didn't seem to hurt tonight's O'Reilly's Fair and Balanced guest Dick Morris, much! Neither did millions in secret gambling losses cause too terribly much shame for Hannity & Colmes' featured weekly guest, William Bennet, just a few minutes later. So perhaps O'Reilly will survive this as well. After all, in the fairy tale Land of Fake Conservatism, "Values" is just a word cynically pulled out every few years to help win elections. Don't make the Red State mistake of thinking these people actually have any.

Perhaps you can fool about 48.9% of the people (MoE 3-4%) all of the time.

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and Sinclair Runs for Cover
...As their stock continues to tumble.
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2004 2:26pm PT  

The 5 day graph tells the story...

...Which may help explain this just issued poor attempt at face saving:

Sinclair says will not air Kerry show in entirety
Tue Oct 19, 2004 04:14 PM ET
NEW YORK, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. (SBGI.O) , under widening scrutiny over plans to air a documentary about Sen. John Kerry's wartime activities 30 years ago, said on Tuesday it would not show the program in its entirety.

"Contrary to numerous inaccurate political and press accounts, the Sinclair stations will not be airing the documentary 'Stolen Honor' in its entirety," the Baltimore-based company said in a statement.

Sinclair said it would air a special news program on Friday called "A POW Story: Politics, Pressure and the Media" that would discuss the allegations surrounding Kerry's anti-Vietnam War activities.

So now it's "inaccurate political and press accounts" that's done in poor Sinclair.

Here, by the way, is one of those "press accounts", from Sinclair Broadcasting's own DC Bureau Chief, Jon Lieberman, yesterday:

"It's biased political propaganda, with clear intentions to sway this election ... For me, it's not about right or left --- it's about what's right or wrong in news coverage this close to an election."

Mr. Lieberman was promptly fired and "escorted from the building" by Sinclair yesterday evening.

UPDATE: More details on Sinclair's latest lame attempt to cover their ass here.

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By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2004 12:48pm PT  

As we reported a few days ago, Bravo's new Queer Eye for the Straight Girl is taping our neighbor, outside our window, as one of their subjects.

We promised any dish we could offer. The previous item reported the rumor that there would be a Fab Three instead of a Fab Five. While it looks like there are at least three guys it also looks like there's a girl along with them as they just filmed the familiar run out of the house to the car with the victim in tow. The girl --- presumably a lesbian, but not Mary Cheney --- was a stylish looking red-head with short hair and a business suit.

Also, lots of British accents were heard during the "knock on the door" entrance segment taped an hour or so ago, so it looks like England may finally be getting their revenge. More as things develop...

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By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2004 1:13am PT  

AP: "Bush Faults Kerry for Scare Tactics"

We are now officially through the Looking Glass, folks.

Please make sure your seatbelts are fastened and your seats are in the upright and locked position. This could be a bumpy ride.

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By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2004 10:54pm PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2004 9:39pm PT  

While Dubya has been sitting on his ass playing "President" while doing nothing for four years to promote the development of automobiles that use alternative fuel sources --- even after 9/11 when it became crystal clear that we've spent enough blood and treasure in the Middle East --- the rest of the world is getting the jump on us.

So while Bush fiddles as Iraq burns, here comes China to do to us what the Japanese did to us back in the 70's and 80's. They've developed a car than runs on hydrogen peroxide! No doubt, this too is Bill Clinton's fault, like everything else.

The car emits only water vapor and oxygen. My favorite quote from the story; the developers would have made it look better, but they "only had three months to develop this."

In related news, crude sweet oil hit a record $55.33/barrel today. Up about $20/barrel from when Bush complained in 2000 that the Clinton/Gore Administration wasn't doing enough "jaw boning" with OPEC to get them to "open [their] spigots".

And oh, yeah, 1,101 U.S. troops have now been killed in Iraq.

(Thanks Desi for the tip!)

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Smile Asshole! Get Angry and Start Over!
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2004 8:38pm PT  

Our friend Krup from "I'm Just Sayin'" updates us with this short video from Debate #3. With some music that should make you smile. (DISCLOSURE: Opening voice-over by yours truly.)

Our friend Fin from "What We Know" finds another gem with this one. The song may not be appropriate for work (so play it low) but it should also definitely make you smile...for a completely different reason than the one above.

Finally, we've featured this one before, but we think it should be spread far and wide from now to Election Day cause it rocks and should kick a lot of asses out to the polls! We're getting more hits here now than ever (well over 6,000 unique users today alone so far) so I thought it would be a good time to give it another pop! Hit it!

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They only look dangerous.
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2004 8:10pm PT  


They look dangerous, don't they? Bush/Cheney '04 thought so, and had them removed from a recent rally and threatened with arrest! Here's the sad story.

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Audio & Video Removed!
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2004 1:44pm PT  

In addition to the documents removed from the White House website reported here previously, it looks like the White House is now removing even more content from their site! This time it's audio and video that has been taken down!

As with the last "disappeared" material, this one also includes info that directly rebuts a comment made in the Debates. In the 3rd Presidential Debate, Bush said:

BUSH: Gosh, I just don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden. It's kind of one of those exaggerations.

Which was a direct contradiction to his March 13, 2002 statement at a White House Press Conference in which he said:

"Well, as I say, we haven't heard much from him. ... And, again, I don't know where he is. I --- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him."

The White House Website's posted transcript of that Press Conference is still available, for the moment, right here but the links to the Audio and Video of the Press Conference, links to which are still on that page, for the moment, (linkbox pictured at right) are no longer available! They've been taken down!

Audio and Video from the Press Conferences immediately before and immediately after the one in question are still available, but no longer for the March 13, 2002 Press Conference.

Why they would try and remove such public information is beyond me, since the footage is widely available elsewhere. Atrios, for example, has the video clip in question right here, and the Press Conference was covered by all the networks. I can only assume they're hoping to make this information less available however they can? Perhaps they're getting sick of all the homegrown Anti-Bush Videos out there, and are now using the White House website (illegally, I would think) to eke out whatever partisan political advantage they can?

And again, I ask, what else are they "disappearing" from the historical record of the White House website? If you find more missing, please let us know!

(Thanks to eagle-eyed emailer David K. for catching this one!)

UPDATE: More missing Audio/Video on this page...
7/17/02: "President Bush, President Kwasniewski Hold Joint Press Conference"
A very quick breeze through the transcript shows discussion about Poland's involvement in the "Coalition", and some stuff about both Halliburton and Harkin. Any guesses why they want that audio/video unavailable?

Still looking for more...Tips welcome...

UPDATE 10/21/04: Boatloads of more Audio/Video missing! Update here!

UPDATE 10/22/04: Hooray! Mainstream media finally picks up on this story!

UPDATE 10/25/04: The Washington Post finally picks up the story today! Twice!

UPDATE 10/29/04: BRAD BLOG SUCCESS! WH restores Audio/Video! Though much still missing...

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(Lesbian Mary Cheney Need Not Apply)
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2004 12:48pm PT  

Maddeningly, it's already impossible to find parking on our street, but it's worse this week. The entire block has become a No Parking / Tow-Away Zone for the entire week in order to make way for the crew shooting my next door neighbor who is apparently the subject of an episode in the new Queer Eye for the Straight Girl coming to Bravo TV.

The bad news is the parking. But the good news is I can watch them come and go from outside my office window, and even see a bit into my neighbors apartment where they'll be filming this week. So if I can get a digital camera from someone, I may even be able to give you a scoop on the new "Fab Three" (as I understand there will only be three Queer Guys in this one) and otherwise bring you any dish, queer, straight or otherwise, that I maybe able to gain this week from my convenient bird's-eye perch here in the Hollywood Hills.

UPDATE: A bit more Queer Eye dish from the Straight Guy here.

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Blame Anyone But Bush.
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2004 12:37pm PT  

As you know, George W. Bush is now telling people to not get vaccinated this year if they can help it, and warrants and arrests are being issued to Doctors and Clinics who are vaccinating folks.

At a time when one would think it would be a top Homeland Security priority to keep America well equipped to ward off any and all of the possible viral attacks we're being constantly warned about, having plenty of flu vaccine, one of the easiest to create and distribute to Americans, you'd think that success on this front be a no brainer.

But life is different when you're a "President" who doesn't make mistakes! Just ask Rush Limbaugh, who after four full years in office, is still able to come up with a reason why Bush is not to be blamed for our lack of Flu Vaccine this year. Any idea who's fault even this one is? You guessed it, as Rush instructed the nation last Friday, even this is all Bill Clinton's fault.

Good thing the Republicans are not the party who like to talk about personal responsibility all the time! Oh, wait...

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Isn't it time for a REAL President again?
By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2004 4:35pm PT  

Watching the debates over the last few weeks, it's occured to me how nice it'll be to once again have a real President of this country, instead of somebody who's playing "President".

This embarrassing passage from Ron Suskind's New York Times' Magazine article on Bush today sorta sums it all up. It's from a meeting in the Oval Office in December of 2002 where Bush was discussing "The Road Map for Peace in the Middle-East" with lawmakers. On the topic of which army could be trusted as peacekeepers by both Israelis and Palestinians, Hungarian born Holocaust survivor Congressman Tom Lantos, a Democrat, spoke up:

Lantos went on to describe for the president how the Swedish Army might be an ideal candidate to anchor a small peacekeeping force on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Sweden has a well-trained force of about 25,000. The president looked at him appraisingly, several people in the room recall.

''I don't know why you're talking about Sweden,'' Bush said. ''They're the neutral one. They don't have an army.''

Lantos paused, a little shocked, and offered a gentlemanly reply: ''Mr. President, you may have thought that I said Switzerland. They're the ones that are historically neutral, without an army.'' Then Lantos mentioned, in a gracious aside, that the Swiss do have a tough national guard to protect the country in the event of invasion.

Bush held to his view. ''No, no, it's Sweden that has no army.''

The room went silent, until someone changed the subject.

Vote November 2nd. Dear God, please vote! And take as many friends with you as you can. Please?

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Caught Red-Handed. The Deception Continues.
A BRAD BLOG Follow-up...
By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2004 3:00pm PT  

Following up a BRAD BLOG article from Oct. 6th...

During the Vice-Presidential Debate Dick Cheney accused John Edwards of being "dead wrong" when Edwards asserted that "we've taken 90 percent of the coalition casualties." Cheney argued that we've only taken 50 percent because Edwards, apparently, was not counting Iraqis as part of the "Coalition".

To fact-check that, I went to the White House website to see who they counted as part of the "Coalition" and came across a page at the site from a special "RENEWAL IN IRAQ" report they have online. The page was entitled "The Coalition".

On the page was a sidebar (pictured at right) with a link to a document named "Who are the Coalition Members?" Clicking that link lead to an error page that said "The file you have attempted to access cannot be found..."

Thanks to Google's cached archive of the White House site, I was able to find the document originally linked there which listed some 40 countries as "Members of the Coalition". None of them were named Iraq.

A Bush supporter Emailed me that accidents like that happen all the time, and I shouldn't presume, simply from a broken link, that the White House was trying to hide something. Especially since I had also asked in my original article "what other official pieces of information once posted to the White House website (theoretically owned by the people of the United States of America) have been scrubbed as well from the historical record?" He told me that he'd written to the White House Webmaster to tell them about it, and he suggested I give them a week or so to fix the link before crying foul. He had a point, and so I too emailed the webmaster to ask what was up.

That was almost two weeks ago, and I've not received a reply from the White House webmaster on the topic. However, you'll be glad to know they fixed the link. By removing it. The updated sidebar on the same page (pictured at right) no longer features a link to "Who are the Coalition Members?" It's just been scrubbed entirely.

The White House can no longer be given the benefit of the doubt here, since someone had to actually change the linked graphic in question. Historical documentation on the people's web site has been removed. Period. Who knows what else is no longer there, removed after it was no longer political useful to the White House to have it online? (And are they supposed to be using the tax payer supported White House website for political purposes?)

For the record, since the Iraq War began, America has taken 1,100 military casualties. All other countries combined in the "Coalition" (whoever they may be) have taken a total of 138 military casualities. America's share of "Coalition" casualties: 89.5%.

Bush/Cheney '04: Will Say Anything to Win.

UPDATED THOUGHT: Remember how critical the Right was of Michael Moore for showing all those happy Iraqi children playing peacefully in Saddam's Iraq in Fahrenheit 9/11? Well, here's the White House's banner graphic for their special "Renewal in Iraq" report on their website:

It should be noted that some 21,800 Iraqi civilians, many of them children like the ones above, have been killed in Iraq since America started the war there.

LATE UPDATE 10/18/04: Audio and Video now being removed from White House Website as well! See this update - "More Scrubbing of White House Website!!! Audio & Video Removed!"

MUCH LATER UPDATE 10/22/04: Hooray! Mainstream media finally picks up on this story!

WAY LATER UPDATE 10/25/04: The Washington Post finally picks up the story today! Twice!

MUCH MUCH LATER UPDATE 10/29/04: BRAD BLOG SUCCESS! WH restores Audio/Video! Though much still missing...

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Brad is an independent investigative
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