Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Thursday, October 30, 2003

Imagine my early morning blog horror!
A small A Section story in the Washington Post grabs my attention as a candidate for bloggery.
Then, I notice, this tiny story is read aloud, uncontested on C-SPAN’s Journal by the same host who received Cher’s call-in Monday.
I’ve emailed this fellow before and, this morning, I emailed again:

Sir, I've written before and you were kind enough to reply so I'm thinking perhaps you will give this email some attention while both of us are still basking in the glow of the Cher call in.
Perhaps I can explain the lady who senses your bias toward the Bushies.
In the previous email I was angry at your abrupt attitude toward some callers. I think you have improved a great deal with regard to the callers but are still a tad supercilious when challenged about the Journal's increasingly unsatisfying themed call-ins.
This morning, from my biased liberal perspective ;-), was a perfect example of what frustrates so many viewers left and right.
As I first brought my attention to the toob, you were reading the tiny A Section Washington Post story, Bush Says Religion Mended His Ways, credited to Dana Milbank.
I had selected this little gem for some yet unwritten blog ranting.
The unformed blog rant will hopefully deal with the concept that Bush administration errors of fact are not just gigantic, like Iraq WMD, or medium, like the Lincoln banner flap, but small and insignificant like the implied fact, that Mr. Bush gave up drinking in his youth, contained in Mr. Milbank's item.
The lead graph:

President Bush, speaking Wednesday night at a Christian youth center in Dallas, gave an unusually candid assessment of religion's role in leading him from his wayward youth.

The President's youthful sobering is a running leit motif in the discordant Bush symphony.
But, when does youth end and adulthood begin?
Google'ing the words "Bush" and "drinking" results in 608,000 hits. Some of these are compilations of news stories from just before the 2000 election when the President 1976 drunk driving arrest was made public. Those stories contain this sentence:

Bush has said many times he quit drinking on his 40th birthday in 1986 and has not had a drink since.

Since when is a 40 year-old adult male considered a youth.
You (the C-SPAN Host) read the story straight. The lack of an Open Phone segment prevented a correction of the "youth" characterization much less a remark concerning the President's unseemly blurring of religion and state.
I don't think some of the other hosts would have let these contrary and very public domain aspects of the Milbank story pass like you did.
Then, as your show progressed, one of the editors of the Capitol Hill newspaper appeared.
These men have previously identified themselves as having prior Republican political backgrounds (didn't one of them work for Buchanan for God's sake).
This fellow or the other one (I can't tell them apart quite honestly), in their reports, have mentioned the Kentucky Governor's race, including this morning.
As a Kentucky resident, the coverage is particularly attention-getting.
Both stories that I've watched dealt with former Senator Wendell Ford campaigning for Mr. Chandler.
This is a fair story.
However, the Republicans, according to Josh Marshall of the blog Talking Points Memo, are diverting money and manpower toward voter intimidation in the heavily black western counties around Louisville and Lexington. Also a fair story, but, on C-SPAN, this Republican electioneering is a yet unmentioned one.
One wonders how Marshall's news escaped the attention of these CapHill newshounds?
I could have attempted a phone call this morning but no open phone segment was broadcast.
As a long time viewer of the Journal, I find myself, like the lady who did call in this morning, more often frustrated by your format than informed through it.
And, don't for a minute think that those open phone calls, in an aggregate with loonies and the thoughtful, were not very meaningful to citizens across the country. I found them highly interesting and, perhaps, this is why they are no longer a regular part of the format.
In these times of almost Sci-Fi quality news, I don't think a fair person could blame another for suspicious thoughts.
Of course, my blog, with thousands of kind wonderful readers, meets my vent needs far better than an occasional random shot on your program but many other people are not so lucky.
I do wish you fine people would consider more open formatting ideas.

The C-SPAN Host, Peter Slen, has replied to my emails before.
I'll post portions of his reply if he decides to write back.

November 7th Update: Slen did not reply.

On another topic
The Catholic Church makes a great deal between sins of omission and sins of comission.
Through Atrios, this MUST READ Associated Press story on privately contracted soldiers:

The cavernous white mess tent on the base of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Baghdad...There, a $3 million contract with Kellogg, Brown & Root paid for the tent's construction and the Bangladeshi and Indian cooks who feed 4,000 troops daily. One soldier breakfasting inside the tent, a nine-year veteran, said she's been sent to patrol Baghdad since contractors took her job as a cook.

Read it, then let the shocking implications happen naturally in your mind.

Images: Brother Dave's Cave and Associated Press
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