Dispatches > The Buzz

Blog Watch

Buzz from online journals, including www.worldmagblog.com

Issue: "Abortion: All the rage," May 8, 2004

Daschle's journalistic gatekeeper?

Jason Van Beek (southdakota

politics.blogs.com), researching the papers of former Sen. James Abourezk (D-S.D.), former employer of current Sen. Tom Daschle, discovered numerous memos detailing connections between Democratic campaigns and South Dakota's leading political journalist, David Kranz of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. After chronicling memos from Sen. Abourezk's campaigns that describe Mr. Kranz as a "good democrat," Mr. Van Beek complained that "Kranz has a rich history of bias." That's particularly important in one of this year's key Senate races, between Sen. Daschle and Republican John Thune. As Jon Lauck (dashlevthune.type

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pad.com) puts it, "Kranz doesn't report the bad things that are written about Daschle in the national press and allow voters to decide for themselves if the criticisms are meritorious. Kranz acts as a journalistic gatekeeper who prevents stories which might hurt Senator Daschle from being heard by SD voters."

More bias: Mickey Kaus (kaus

files.com) noted that Ron Suskind, author of the anti-Bush book The Price of Loyalty, reviewed in The New York Times Karen Hughes's new book, 10 Minutes from Normal. Mr. Kaus wrote, "Shockingly, it's a pan! ... Suskind's potential bias is so gross and obvious it can be discounted-but do you trust him to salvage all that might be good or informative in Hughes's book? I don't." Mr. Kaus suggested some other reviewers: "General Foods' nutritionists review Post Grape Nuts, DaimlerChrysler's Jurgen Schrempp on the new Ford 500, Macy's on Gimbels.... The Times's message machine, in which all letters are pro-Kerry, sure isn't sputtering.... Which is creepier-the possibility that the Times prints only pro-Kerry letters, or the possibility that it receives only pro-Kerry letters?"

'Never again'

Phil Libin (vastlyimportant.com/

vastly) argues that airport security has gone too far: "Someone attempting an exact replay of the 9/11 attacks today would likely be beaten to within an inch of death ... by passengers with nothing to lose. Even if the terrorists managed get to the cockpit, physical locks and airline policy would make it impossible to take control of the plane.... 'Never again' is not just a solemn vow here. It is a statement of fact. Why, then, do I still have to surrender my nail clippers, take off my belt, and wait three quarters of an hour to go through a metal detector?"

The Zen candidate

Wonkette (wonkette.com) offered a possible explanation for John Kerry's recent troubles: "Poor Kerry. The media is so hung up on his possessions: He threw away his Vietnam medals, he didn't throw them away. They were his medals, they weren't his medals. He owns an SUV, no, his family owns an SUV. Do not call him a hypocrite, call him a Zen master. For him, objects are transient and ephemeral-not really worth 'owning.' He feels the same way about political positions."

More sermons, fewer celebrities

Bruce Reed on washingtonmonthly.com expressed his sympathies for the April 25 pro-abortion rally (see p. 36) and commented on the left's religion problem: "I'd feel a lot better if our side spent less time running down the religious right, and more time building a religious center-left.... I was willing to overlook the symbolic irony that marches now always seem to take place on Sundays, when much of America is in church.... Still, the Mall could have used more sermons on Sunday, and fewer celebrities. It's not fair to compare a Sunday spent listening to well-meaning activists with that day Martin Luther King called all God's children to join hands and sing the words of the old spiritual, 'Free at Last.' But as we helped our children count the number of dogs at the march so they wouldn't count the number of obscenities one entertainer was shouting from onstage, I couldn't help thinking about what has been lost along the way."

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