Daily Illini Editor Fired

As he largely expected, Daily Illini editor-in-chief Acton Gorton was fired last night for his role in publishing the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons last month. Quite pathetic that a public university would take such drastic action.

Gorton told AP:

“If I can be fired, what will other students think who maybe want to challenge the status quo?” […] “This is a bad precedent.”

Is this any way to pretend nothing ever happened or is it just an example of bad bureacracy?

Obama Guns Down Cheney, Bush in Jokefest

All reports from the D.C. Press Corps is that the Saturday night’s annual roast at the Gridiron Club produced some of the funniest remarks of the year from Bush, Cheney and the White House All Stars (considering, of course, only those remarks intended to be funny).

But, as a native Illinoisian, I can’t pass up this opportunity to reprint some of the classic lines delivered by freshman Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), as gleaned from Chicago Tribune White House reporter and blogger Mark Silva.

I’ll print some highlights, but do yourself a favor and read the entire wrap.Condoleezza Rice strums a charango embossed with a coca leaf presented to her by Evo Morales

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was absent this year, as she was in South America to get up to speed with newly elected Bolivian President and former coca farmer Evo Morales en route to the swearing-in ceremony for Chilean President Michele Bachelet.

None of this kept Obama from throwing a bone at Rice:

“You know, the president promised a muscular foreign policy. And anyone who’s seen the Condi Rice workout tapes knows he means business.”

Cheney, as could be expected, was railed upon by everyone, including his boss protege, Dubya. But Barack was relentless:

“The truth is, I’m terrified to be here. Not because you’re such a tough audience, but because they’re serving drinks. I’m standing about 30 yards from the vice president, and I’m a lawyer. The only thing that could make this more dangerous is if he considered me a friend.

“Mr. vice president, I know you came here expecting to be a target, which, it turns out, may prove easier for you than shooting at one,” […] “You’ve taught us a valuable lesson. “Aim higher.”

Kind Tribune blogger Silva did not stop there, reproducing Obama’s further rips on Dick and Lynne.

Before launching into song (“If I Only Had McCain” – recounting the recent tension reported in the press between himself and the Republican Senator from Arizona, Obama referenced the Grammy he won in February:

“I’ll tell you, that Grammy was a big surprise. I thought, for sure Jack Abramoff would win for his rendition of ‘It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.'”

Three 6 Mafia with Jack Abramoff

Ironically, Bush found much humor in this line, eliciting a “big belly laugh” Silva noted parenthetically, despite the president’s contention that he doesn’t even know who Abramoff is.

The Sun-Times has an equally expansive report in their blog. For more B-Rock, see the transcript or video from Sunday’s lame interview by Face the Nation’s Bob Schieffer.

Bloggers Campaign to Free Jill Carroll

Curt Hopkins, founding director of the Committee to Protect Bloggers, passed me a note as part of a call-to-blogs to help free Jill Carroll by disseminating a video PSA plea for her safe release.

The video is here (Arabic). Translation is here.

It shouldn’t be necessary to remind readers of this blog that 28-year-old Christian Science Monitor journalist Jill Carroll was kidnapped January 7.

A late February deadline set by her captors passed quietly and there has been no confirmation of her whereabouts or well-being, although optimism remains strong. The Christian Science Monitor announced last week that it has “reinvigorated its Iraqi media campaign” to free Carroll.

[technorati tag: blogjill]

WaPo Supports ‘1,300 Killed’ Report

A week ago, I was surprised to see the Wasington Post go out on a limb and publish that over 3 times the widely reported official number of nearly 400 Iraqis had been killed in the days of violence following the destruction of the al-Askariya mosque.

Numbers as high as the Post’s reported 1,300 dead have yet to be mentioned anywhere else in the media and even the venerable Post itself seemingly retreated from its initial reporting — apparently garnered from Iraqi morgue reports.

Today, they’re back, and they appear to have trimmed the number to 1,000, without being “clear whether that covered only Baghdad or all of Iraq.”
So Jaafari’s competent in his U.S. style manipulation of facts, but will anybody else please report a number different from the official government lie? Or us ol’ Rumsfeld still somehow succeeding at instilling fear in the media — fear to tell the truth?