Wolcott on the MSM’s circus of “Circle jerks”

via cagle.com
James Wolcott, as he is apt to do, just annihilated my post-in-progress with this vapid and hilarious assessment of the msm v. blog credibility dichotomy in light of so-called “top-tier” journalists recent escapades in patheticism.

No blogger has comported him or herself with the lazy arrogance and sloppy ethics of some of the Big Names in journalism (Bob Woodward, Judith Miller, Bob Novak), nor has done as much damage to the public’s right to know and their own profession.

Go ahead, read the rest of his “Circle Jerks” post.

[Vanity Fair has just released writer Seth Mnookin’s feature expose on Judith Miller. E&P has the lowdown here. James Wolcott is a contributing editor to VF]

Frank Rich: Pentagon Propaganda is “Pure Ali G”

Early reviews are mixed on the charge-for-content concept — personally, I think I’m in good as my Sundays-only New York Times print subscription includes full access to TimesSelect.

Today I had one of those couple-times-a-year multimedia zen moments and it involved listening to Mark Moran read Frank Rich’s Sunday NYT column It Takes a Potemkin Village while trying to read theh broadsheet in my hands.

Stricken by the sharp humor after one and a half paragraphs… i had to just sit back and listen — i was laughing too hard to even read.

Its a challenge to find the podcast page even if you DO have TimesSelect access, so I’ve decided to take the liberty and host this .mp3 right here for all to enjoy.

Click the icon to get to the TS podcasts page.

Click here to listen to (or download) the .mp3 (podcast) of the aforementioned op-ed column, especially if you find yourself convulsing too hard with laughter to enable a proper read.

For a great contextual run-down of the term “Potemkin village,” including its historical meaning; see Ed Strong’s blog.

Is the U.S. shrugging off American hostages in Iraq?

American Hostage
The report of an American hostage killed Thursday, if confirmed, represents the first foreign hostage killed in Iraq in four months and the first American in over a year.

Who is this reportedly slain hostage? NBC affiliate KTUU in Anchorage, Alaska reported Wednesday:

Family members have confirmed that the American hostage on a video released Tuesday is, in fact, Ronald Schulz of Eagle River.

Schulz grew up a farm boy in North Dakota and later became a marine, according to Thursday night’s KTUU news, which included footage of his family members at a press conference:

?Our family is aware that the Iraqi people have concerns regarding the U.S. government presence in their country. However, murdering Ron will not solve these issues,? said Julie Schulz, Ron Schulz?s sister.

It appears that Schulz, an industrial electrician, purchased a round trip ticket from Anchorage to Amman, Jordan, where some believed that he was to marry, others were unsure whether the trip was for business or pleasure, according to KTUU.
family of Ronald Schulz

While the kidnapping of Schulz is confirmed, Thursday’s claim that he was murdered was posted on an Islamic militant website as reported by CTV:

“[T]he American security consultant for the Housing Ministry was killed after the end of the deadline set to respond to the Islamic Army’s demands.”

The U.S. government squelched the claims immediately, and it rotated to the back of most news round-ups.
Continue reading “Is the U.S. shrugging off American hostages in Iraq?”