Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Uncle Sadr

Woops, Iraq’s Uncle Ho does exist.

He is Muqtada al-Sadr, as one can see from flamingly anti-war CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer’s recent report:

Al-Sadr is the thirtysomething heir to a religious dynasty. His grandfather's picture is pasted all over the Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad that bears the family name: Sadr City. . .

Muqtada al-Sadr himself has only basic religious training. He is married, but childless, and keeps his private life away from the camera. But he flaunts his ferociously anti-American message, which boils down to "Get your troops out."

But it's not only that message that appeals to many of Iraq's Shiite majority, many of whom are poor and powerless. When bombs in Sadr City killed more than 200 people last Thursday, al-Sadr's organization raced to the rescue with first aid, crowd control, and the next day, compensation.

So there it is. Al-Sadr, protector of innocent women and children, and anti-American to boot, which remember, is the right thing to be if you are an anti-(American) war correspondent like Elizabeth Palmer, and anti-war like CBS’s Vietnam correspondents—Palmer’s heroes—were in the early 1970’s.

Monday, November 27, 2006

If Iraq is Vietnam, Where is Uncle Ho?


Etymology: Middle English appesen, from Anglo-French apeser, apaiser, from a- (from Latin ad-) + pais peace -- more at PEACE
1 : to bring to a state of peace or quiet : CALM
2 : to cause to subside : ALLAY
3 : PACIFY, CONCILIATE; especially : to buy off (an aggressor) by concessions usually at the sacrifice of principles

Before “appeasement” acquired its undesirable third meaning, it was a respectable word used by pacifists who wanted to prevent a second world war. In the end, pacifists were done in by Hitler, a human being so evil he made war necessary.

In the 1960’s, U.S. foreign policy leaders justified going into Vietnam by saying the U.S. needed to avoid “another Munich.” We saw giving into Communism’s rising influence over South Vietnam as analogous to the West’s conceding Czechoslovakia to Hitler in 1938, and forcing ourselves to go to war later at much greater cost.

The analogy was faulty. Vietnam was a civil war, not another domino in Communism’s drive for world domination. The Soviet Union, China, and Vietnam all had their separate interests; their leaders turned out to be nationalists more than Communists.

One could actually see Vietnamese nationalism in the person of its ruthless Comunist leader, Ho Chi-Minh. For decades, Ho fought to get the French out of Vietnam. He didn’t do so to have the Americans take their place.

One fact struck me in James Q. Wilson’s article about the media’s parallel efforts to get us out of Vietnam and Iraq. In the early 1970’s, Wilson found, “Of 164 references to North Vietnamese policy and behavior, 57 percent were supportive.”

Today, the hate-fueled speeches of Ahmadinejad, Bashar Assad, Hezbollah’s Nasrallah, and others the media wants America to “talk peace with” are remarkably similar to Hitler’s—they're about eliminating Zionists from the face of the earth. At least so far, the enemies of the U.S. seem too radioactive for the media to attempt to market as garden-variety nationalists.

And that makes “appeasement”, in its third meaning, the right word for Western talk of giving up territory in exchange for peace.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Pink Party Rules!

Ellen Goodman, your party, the Pink Party, has control. So be my guest,it's your time,it's your agenda:

Speaker-elect Pelosi has broken the "marble ceiling" and has the bruises to show for it. Yes, there will be more women in Congress than ever before, but so far the percentage has only gone up from 15.4 to 16.4485981. Hold the applause.

This was, however, the year women provided the Democratic margin of victory. If men had been the only voters in Missouri, Montana or Virginia, we'd have a Republican Senate. This is also the year in which women drove the agenda.

Pollster Celinda Lake, who coined the terms "soccer mom" and "security mom," hasn't found the right moniker yet for women in 2006. She tries out two of them — "change moms" and "had-enough women" — and then settles for an explanation, "Women solidified around change a year ago and didn't budge."

They were the first to think the war was going sour and first to believe the economy was going downhill. And, at the family heart of the matter, a majority of women unhappily concurred that their children were going to be worse off than they are. . .

So if women drove the agenda, what will make things "better"?

At the top of everyone's mind is Iraq. . .Beyond that, women voters . . . are looking for a broad, overlapping domestic agenda. . .The post-election survey done by Ms. Magazine and the Women Donor Network showed surprisingly that a majority of women listed rebuilding after Katrina as a top priority for the next Congress. Katrina was a turning point for women who saw the government's reaction as cold indifference. "Katrina" also became a stand-in for the issues of poverty and division.

. . .for many, the biggest concern still is health care. As Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, one of the new breed of young moms in Congress, says, "I don't want the next generation of moms hand-wringing over how to deal with the sniffles and waiting until it turns into pneumonia." It's past time to make health care available to all kids.

As for education, especially early education and child care? The desire to truly "leave no child behind" tops terrorism on the female list. And for women who share a family-table view of the world, economic security includes the increasingly elusive retirement security. . .

[More] good news from one of the post-election surveys[:] voters are three times more likely to see female politicians as trustworthy.

Friday, November 24, 2006

To gain peace, we have to fight, not run.

The hard work of building a new Middle East will be done by the Arabs, or it won't happen.

--David Ignatius
Washington Post

the anti-Bush wave . . . is a new force. Powerful technologies--the Web, TV and newspaper front pages--combine to amplify ancient human barbarities every day from the Sunni Triangle. . .Baghdad has become the blood-soaked, psychological equal of the Somme or Gettysburg. The sense grows daily among the American public that helping "them" is hopeless and "we" should pull back to our shores.

--Daniel Henninger
Wall Street Journal

As Daniel Henniger says, the U.S. is full of David Ignatius-types who say we have no business striving for democracy in the Middle East. Thomas Paine:

THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

Why is militant Islam posing such a problem for today’s world? Among the several answers: 1) the humiliation Israel inflicted on Arabs in the wars of 1948, 1956, and 1967; 2) Israel’s efforts to frustrate creation of a viable Palestinian state; 3) the contrast between Israeli prosperity and high unemployment in the surrounding Arab countries; 4) the unrestrained assault of libertine Western culture, via television, movies, music, magazines, and the internet, on traditional Muslim values; 5) the vast and growing oil wealth of the Middle East, and the determination of the authorities who control that wealth to deflect hostility away from them and toward non-Muslims; 6) the asymmetrical ability of terrorists to wreak havoc on those who have much to lose, and who unlike terrorists are not willing to sacrifice their lives; 7) terrorism’s growing successes, beginning with Algeria in 1954-62, airline hijackings from 1968, the Munich Olympics in 1972, the virtual destruction of Lebanon in 1975-90, the Iranian revolution and occupation of U.S. Embassy Tehran in 1979, the successful effort to drive the U.S.S.R. from Afghanistan in 1979-89, assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981, Hezbollah’s creation and subsequent destruction of the Beirut U.S. marine barracks in 1983, PLO hijacking the Achille Lauro cruise ship in 1985, the rise of Hamas, its control in Gaza and use of suicide bombers starting in 1987, the rise of Al-Qaeda in 1993-2001, Al-Qaeda’s success in Iraq, especially with IEDs, from 2003, the radicalization of Iran and its pursuit of nuclear weapons under Ahmadinejad from 2005, Hezbollah’s renewed attacks on Israel in 2006.

The answer to all this would seem to be U.S. support of more democracy, not less, more free market successes, not less, with both generating peace, not killing, peace that benefits Muslims more than the rest of us.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Media on Iraq: Losing is Winning

Former Harvard government professor James Q. Wilson has written a very long City Journal article about the media’s hostility to war and professional military. Here are highly selective excerpts:

When the Center for Media and Public Affairs made a nonpartisan evaluation of network news broadcasts, it found that during the active war against Saddam Hussein, 51 percent of the reports about the conflict were negative. Six months after the land battle ended, 77 percent were negative; in the 2004 general election, 89 percent were negative; by the spring of 2006, 94 percent were negative. This decline in media support was much faster than during Korea or Vietnam. . . People who oppose the entire War on Terror run much of the national press, and they go to great lengths to make waging it difficult. . .

[Of course, it began in Vietnam.] When Douglas Kinnard questioned more than 100 American generals who served in Vietnam, 92 percent said that newspaper coverage was often irresponsible or disruptive, and 96 percent said that television coverage on balance lacked context and was sensational or counterproductive.

An analysis of CBS’s Vietnam coverage in 1972 and 1973 supports their views. The Institute for American Strategy found that, of about 800 references to American policy and behavior, 81 percent were critical. Of 164 references to North Vietnamese policy and behavior, 57 percent were supportive. . .

Sociologist James D. Wright directly measured the impact of press coverage by comparing the support for the war among white people of various social classes who read newspapers and news magazines with the support found among those who did not look at these periodicals very much. By 1968, when most news magazines and newspapers had changed from supporting the war to opposing it, backing for the war collapsed among upper-middle-class readers of news stories, from about two-thirds who supported it in 1964 to about one-third who supported it in 1968. Strikingly, opinion did not shift much among working-class voters, no matter whether they read these press accounts or not. . .

But in the Vietnam era, an important restraint on sectarian partisanship still operated: the mass media catered to a mass audience and hence had an economic interest in appealing to as broad a public as possible. Today, however, we are in the midst of a fierce competition among media outlets, with newspapers trying, not very successfully, to survive against 24/7 TV and radio news coverage and the Internet. As a consequence of this struggle, radio, magazines, and newspapers are engaged in niche marketing, seeking to mobilize not a broad market but a specialized one, either liberal or conservative. . .

Focusing ever more sharply on the mostly bicoastal, mostly liberal elites, and with their more conservative audience lost to Fox News or Rush Limbaugh, mainstream outlets like the New York Times have become more nakedly partisan. And in the Iraq War, they have kept up a drumbeat of negativity that has had a big effect on elite and public opinion alike. Thanks to the power of these media organs, reduced but still enormous, many Americans are coming to see the Iraq War as Vietnam redux. . .

[A deep] suspicion, fueled in part by the Vietnam and Watergate controversies, means that the government, especially if it is a conservative one, is surrounded by journalists who doubt almost all it says. One obvious result is that since World War II there have been few reports of military heroes; indeed, there have been scarcely any reports of military victories. . .

The mainstream media’s adversarial stance, both here and abroad, means that whenever a foreign enemy challenges us, he will know that his objective will be to win the battle not on some faraway bit of land but among the people who determine what we read and watch. We won the Second World War in Europe and Japan, but we lost in Vietnam and are in danger of losing in Iraq and Lebanon in the newspapers, magazines, and television programs we enjoy.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Democrats Achieve Landscape-Changing Victory

Pew has done a major poll post-election that is the first good look at how much the Democrats’ victory has altered the political terrain. Here are some of the survey’s major points:

• Reactions to the Democratic victory are as positive as they were to the GOP's electoral sweep of Congress a dozen years ago. Six-in-ten Americans say they are happy that the Democratic Party won control of Congress; in December 1994, roughly the same percentage (57%) expressed a positive opinion of the GOP's takeover.

• Half of Americans approve of the Democrats' plans and policies for the future, which also is comparable to approval of the GOP's proposed agenda in 1994.

• By 51%-29%, more Americans want Democratic leaders—rather than President Bush—to take the lead in solving the nation's problems. Twelve years ago, the public was divided over whether GOP congressional leaders (43%), or President Clinton (39%), should take the lead in addressing national problems.

• Roughly six-in-ten (59%) say Democratic leaders will be successful in getting their programs passed into law; again, this is on par with the confidence that Americans voiced about GOP legislative prospects in December 1994.

• The public is dubious that the election will lead to increased bipartisanship on Capitol Hill—just 29% think that relations between Republicans and Democrats will get better in the year ahead.

• The broad opposition to President Bush among independents is reflected in their strong preference (53%-25%) that Democratic leaders, rather than the president, take the lead in solving the nation's problems.

• Sen. Barack Obama has emerged as the leading rival to Sen. Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party's nomination—39% of party voters back her, compared with 23% for Obama.

• Regarding Iraq, the public remains divided over whether the U.S. should bring its troops home as soon as possible (48%) or keep troops in Iraq until the situation has stabilized (46%).

• Roughly seven-in-ten voters (69%) say they got most of their campaign news from television, and more voters relied on cable news (30%) than either network news (24%) or local news (22%).

Friday, November 17, 2006


This from the AP’s Stephen Ohlemacher (11.14.06):

Decades after the civil rights movement, racial disparities in income, education and home ownership persist and, by some measurements, are growing.

White households had incomes that were two-thirds higher than blacks and 40 percent higher than Hispanics last year, according to. . .the Census Bureau. . .

“Race is so associated with class in the United States that it may not be direct discrimination, but it still matters indirectly,” said Dalton Conley, a sociology professor at New York University and author of Being Black, Living in the Red.

When will those white people stop discriminating against poor blacks and Hispanics? Hasn’t it been almost 400 years already? Enough is enough, I say.

Except for one inconvenient fact, dropped in the same story, but not explained or in any way related to discrimination, direct or indirect:

Asian household incomes were 19 percent higher than whites’ and almost double the income of black households.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Fact I Didn’t Know

We [Democrats] are a civil bunch, owing to our contentious upbringings. With a smart well-spoken woman for Speaker instead of the lumbering mumbling galoot who covered for the Current Occupant. . .

--Garrison Keillor

Lake Wobegon, a place "where all the women are strong, the men are good looking, and all the children are above average" is led by a man who is openly a Democrat. In fact, Garrison Keillor, whose work is based upon poking gentle fun at solid, Midwestern values, has even authored a book—timed for the 2004 effort to bring Bush down—titled Homegrown Democrat. Keillor begins his book by saying he can be excused for being a Democrat because he was born that way. Yet the thrice-married Keillor was also born a Christian Fundamentalist, which he, equally openly, no longer is.

Surprise but no surprise: Public Radio’s most famous entertainer and hayseed is a declared Democrat.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

MSM Returns to Power

[T]his is not the first time Democrats have tried to personalize their message around an unpopular Republican figure. Starting in 1996, the poster child was Newt Gingrich. . . And Democrats have tried this tack before against Mr. Bush, in the 2004 election. . .But what [Bush] had going for him in [2004] was Sen. John Kerry. . .In 2006, there was no way for Mr. Bush to turn the questions and doubts about him into a comparative question.

--Todd Lindberg, Washington Times

The mainstream media (MSM) can’t win an election on its own. But make a mistake, and the MSM will get you. Particularly if you are a Republican playing to a conservative base. Particularly if you took us into an elective war.

The modern “politics of personal destruction” seemed to begin in 1988, with Lee Atwater’s Willie Horton commercials against Michael Dukakis. But the MSM had by 1988 already brought down Johnson, Nixon, and, somewhat without thinking, Jimmy Carter as well. 9-11 briefly threw the MSM off-stride, but when Bush went into Iraq, the MSM started an uninterrupted effort to drive down Bush’s poll numbers, and drive him from office unless he left Iraq first.

Success in Iraq would have pushed the MSM off-stride again. And that was (and remains) Bush’s most urgent task—succeed in Iraq. Iraq success would have overcome the absence of WMD, the Plame Affair, the failure to kill Osama bin Laden, Abu Ghraib, delays in building an Iraqi government, stillborn privatization of social security, Katrina, increased Iraqi sectarian violence, and the rise of Iran extremism. Lack of success in Iraq enabled the MSM to pound into the public consciousness an image of Bush as an incompetent failure, an image that combined with Mark Foley’s, did cost Republicans control of Congress.

For the MSM, however, it’s not enough just to break Bush’s power. Measured against the media giants of a generation ago who drove two presidents from office and ended a war, the current crop cannot celebrate until America is out of Iraq.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Yin-Yang D.C.? You’re Kidding, Right?

Exit polls showed that, once again, self-identified moderates made up a near-majority of the electorate — 47 percent — and this group split 62 percent to 36 percent Democratic — a 9-point Democratic gain from 2002 and 8 points above 2004.

--Roll Call’s Mort Kondracke

: complementary division, male and female, two halves combine to make a whole. Many hope that Democrats in Congress and President Bush will create a female-male, yin-yang complementarity. Voters—the moderates who replaced partisan Republicans with new Democrats—are tired of bitter division and want cooperation and progress.

But yin-yang unity is not to be. Why?

The country is pretty evenly divided into two warring camps. The Republicans effectively nationalized congressional elections in 2002 and 2004, turning out Democrats for being wrong on the War on Terror. Now we have a third straight nationalized election, this time by the Democrats running in every section of the country against Bush and (the heretofore-unknown) Mark Foley. Nationalized elections and polarization are the result of efficient political operations that find and bring home their voters. These nationalized elections are here to stay, and will keep America divided.

2008 will shape the next two years in Washington. Democrats in Congress aren’t interested in passing the kind of legislation Bush might sign. They’re interested in electing a Democratic president in 2008, so they can truly take over. Every issue they push through Congress will be designed to divide Republicans from the national majority, so that Democratic control will replace divided government. Every Congressional investigation of Bush administration wrongdoing will reach for the same objective. Taking over Congress is just a first step to true power.

Only united government produces real change. The last burst of real Democratic creativity came in 1964-65, when in the aftermath of Kennedy’s assassination, Democrats had the full control they needed to pass tax reform, civil rights legislation, Medicare, and the National Education Act. Reagan had a burst of creativity in 1981-82, because a Republican Senate and Southern “Blue Dog” House Democrats provided the majority needed to cut taxes and the size of government. Then after Clinton beat back Newt Gingrich’s effort to shut down the Federal government in 1995, the two united to produce welfare reform and the balanced budgets that turbocharged our late 1990’s economy. Clinton needed Republicans to give him a record to run on for re-election. And Gingrich fully understood he was aiding Clinton’s re-election. Democratic leaders, unlike Gingrich, hope for their own president in 2008. Once everything is pink, Democrats will achieve their next burst of creativity.

A couple of other points about divided America:

• Rahm Emanuel, guru of the House Democratic take-over, is not only a Clinton insider, his Hollywood agent brother Ari gives Rahm a direct link to Beverly Hills. According to Wikipedia, “Bradley Whitford's character Josh Lyman on NBC television series The West Wing is. . . based on Emanuel. His younger brother Ari . . . inspired Jeremy Piven's character Ari Gold on the HBO series Entourage.” Hollywood, of course, represents the polar opposite to Evangelical America.

• Unified rule can blow up in your face. To hold Republicans together, Bush had to entertain the views of his extremes (House Republicans would only pass programs supported by a majority of their majority, which equals minority rule). Extremism ended up costing Republicans the election. The same thing happened in 1993-94, the last time Democrats controlled everything.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What Sort of Man Votes Pink?

I will not forget the wound to our country and those who inflicted it. I will not yield, I will not rest, I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people. The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them.

President George W. Bush
September 20, 2001

Today, the party of Bush and Reagan stands for the courage to die overseas to keep America safe from terrorism at home. We wish other nations would join the fight. We know we can only support the Muslims who lead their own nations toward democracy and prosperity. But we cannot give up just because the going gets tough.

Or can we? What sort of man would leave Iraq when Sunni and Shiite terrorists still rule the streets? What sort of man votes pink?
Well, there are millions, including:

Card-carrying men of the liberal elite. Intelligent people are opposed to Iraq because they see the venture as politically-inspired; designed to perpetuate Republicans in power at the expense of the coalition of government, media, arts and entertainment, academe, and nonprofits that benefit from government money or mandates Republican rule threatens.

Coalition men. Union leaders, though the union movement is increasingly female as jobs shift to government and the service sector. Workers in the industrial sector hard-hit by free trade policies. Men who are part of minority groups that benefit from the Democratic coalition, including African-Americans.

Secular men.
Those opposed to the role religion still plays in America, a force centered in Hollywood, where the film industry long chafed under restrictions imposed by religious pressures. Hollywood relies on emotion as well as logic to make its points, and is the most effective counterweight to faith’s emotional element. (Pictured, Hollywood actor and director Warren Beatty with Diane Keaton in “Reds.”)

Why Republican?

Women and Democrats go together. As mentioned earlier, half of all U.S. women are single, and this group picked Kerry over Bush in 2004 by 25%. In 2006, one-third of the Democratic candidates in the most crucial U.S. Senate and House races are female (v. one-fifth of the Republican candidates). Democrats are the party of minorities, and for some (mathematically illogical) reason, we lump women with minorities.

The biggest reason many women are Republicans is religion. As Democrats are the party of women, Republicans are the party of faith. A woman who practices religion may not be a Republican, but the draw will be there. By the same token, a secular woman is overwhelmingly likely to be a Democrat.

Iraq: Worst Month in Years

Here’s our latest monthly, highly abbreviated version of the Iraq Index, published and updated twice a week by Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution:

Americans Killed in Action, Iraq (monthly average)

2003: 32
2004: 59
2005: 56
2006: 55
October: 97

Americans Killed in Action, Vietnam (weekly average)
1965:* 30
1966: 97
1967: 177
1968: 263
* = First U.S. combat troops arrived in Vietnam, 5.3.65
Vietnam table compiled by Galen Fox using Defense Department sources.

Note please—the Vietnam KIAs are weekly, not monthly, averages.

Crude Oil Production (m. bbls./day)

Prewar: 2.50
Goal: 2.50
actual: 2.30 (10/06)

Electricity (megawatts)

Prewar: 3,958
Goal: 6,000
actual: 4,100 (10/06)

Since our last monthly Iraq report, American KIA's are up dramatically, to their highest level since November 2004. The death toll was so high in October that it raised the 2006 monthy average to 55, almost the same monthly average as 2005's 56. And oil production is down, electricity output flat. The statistics underline headline news that the U.S. is doing poorly; news that comes on the eve of a mid-term election focused on our involvement in Iraq.

Late September Iraqi poll results offer additional bad news. By 52% to 47%, Iraqis think events in their country are moving in the wrong direction; in June, a plurality of polled Iraqis said the country was headed the right way. Even worse, now a majority--62%--of Shia have joined the overwhelming majority of Sunnis who approve of attacks on U.S. forces. In January, only 42% of Shia welcomed attacks on Americans.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Party in Pink

[Democrats] would have America leave Iraq before the job is done. That's the kind of withdrawal that Osama bin Laden has been predicting. He and his followers believe that America doesn't have the stomach for this fight, and they are absolutely convinced they can break the will of the American people.

—Vice President Cheney

11.2.06 speech

It’s pretty clear TV networks chose red to represent Republican states because they wanted to avoid associating Democrats with “Reds.” Nobody will admit it, though (see here).

Democrats are the party of the left, and red was their color. Republicans began with the Civil War and Lincoln, so blue was their color. But to really nail the Democrats of today, recognize they are the pink party. And in fact, there is a women’s peace organization associated with anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan that calls itself CodePink (website here).

Pink is the Democrats’ right color for these reasons:

1. Women dominate the Democratic Party—women and men sympathetic to feminism. The civil rights struggle was the great cause of the 1960s—equal rights for all. Almost seamlessly, the work that went into ending Black segregation shifted to realizing full equality for women, including “the right to choose.” Democrats led this effort and their party remains the home of activist women. The energy level of Democratic women remains so much higher—compare Hillary and Laura, or Pelosi and Libby Dole. And add the intelligent, hard-working teachers—one of every four Democratic convention delegates is a member of the National Education Association.

2. The Democrats’ agenda is a women’s agenda. All war is bad, a wasteful and costly diversion from real concerns. We go overseas only to help the desperately poor or to stop genocide. Otherwise, Americans should be supporting government and nonprofit programs helping our own—minorities, the elderly, children, the poor, the sick, and women. In the traditional family, the male was the bread earner and the female was stuck with whatever he brought home. Think of business as the traditional male. Think of government as the family’s female—once a tiny economic factor, now playing a major role balancing and compensating for business (male) failings.

3. Women drive the Democrats’ dream. To me, the Democrats’ agenda seems so tired, so old-fashioned. When business broke down during the Depression, government was there to lift us up. Now business, not government, represents the future. Unleashed, business is able to deliver jobs and prosperity to people of any status, including the most needy (if indirectly, through taxes on business growth). But to women, especially baby boomers, it is so obvious equality has yet to be achieved that there can be no question of abandoning government’s corrective role. Government must rebalance the scale. “Affirmative action” still makes sense.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Media Cares about Midterm Election; Swinging Hard for Democrats

“Media Mix” columnist Peter Johnson, writing in USA Today, reports on the biased coverage of the 2006 campaign, as seen in the three major TV networks:

An analysis by the Center for Media and Public Affairs of midterm election stories aired on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts Sept. 5-Oct. 22 found that 2006's coverage has been almost five times as heavy as in the [last] midterm elections: 167 stories, compared with 35 four years ago.

The study found that three out of four evaluations of Democratic candidates' chances of winning — such as sound bites — were positive, compared with one out of eight for Republicans. Coverage has been dominated by two major themes: the effects of the Foley scandal, and the impact the Bush presidency is having on the party's congressional candidates.

The Foley scandal produced 59 stories alone, compared with 33 on Iraq and 31 on terrorism/national security issues. "What's hurting Republican candidates is the media's focus on two non-candidates: Mark Foley and George W. Bush," says center director Robert Lichter.

Because of the focus on Foley, the re-election race of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., was featured in 42 stories. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was featured in 10 stories, even though he's not up for re-election this year. Sen. Hillary Clinton's possible 2008 presidential run was grist for nine stories.