Saturday, September 09, 2006

You thought Sept. 11, 2001 was an unforgettable date?

No ... the one to really look back on with regret is this one: Jan. 27, 2000

That's when Dubyah told the Nashua, New Hampshire crowd:
"I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family."

We were warned. We just didn't listen.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Path to ... Libel

The most important lesson in journalism school is the one that teaches you how to avoid getting sued. It's pretty simple - print the facts. Flasehoods that do injury are actionable.

It's conspicuous when reading the letters of former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright that they understand the standard for them is higher. They are public figures - they are famous. That means, for example, that they are very available targets for commentary - even for some degree of false accusation. In order to libel them, they'd have to prove that the accused (in this case, the ABC network) published information about them or their actions that they knew to be false and defamatory (doing measurable injury to the reputation, holding them up to public distain). If ABC airs "The Path to 9/11" next week and does not edit out the falsehoods that have already been documented, it would seem very clear that these two will sue their pants off. It's clearly documented to be false. There's little question that it would injure their reputations. If ABC runs it anyway, they will meet the malice standard -- they knew it was wrong and they did it anyway.

Oh, it's not news, it's entertainment, right?

No. Not for this. Real names. Real places. Real events. Real big lawsuit.

Couldn't have said it better

Thank you, Rep Jane Harman, for blasting the president's self-serving and inflammatory Let's Scare America To The Polls Tour. She's a well-respected, non-hysterical member of the House Intelligence Committee and she's tired of being insulted by her president.

At home recovering from surgery, I've had the opportunity (?!) to watch several of Bush's campaign kick-off speeches live and in their entirety. At this point, I think it's on the media ... they need to cut him off. CNN carries this stuff live each morning and it's nothing more than a 30 minute infomercial for the Darth-Vader-boo-scarey campaign -- you know -- the stuff that seems to come up whenever Bush's power is threatened.

We thought Willie Horton was rough? Geez. That was the good ole days.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Doncha wonder what it'll take?

"I can't tell you if the use of force in Iraq today will last five days, five weeks or five months, but it won't last any longer than that. "

This inspiring words from none other than Donald Rumsfeld. If Bush hits 30% approval, maybe he'll get inspired to retire.