Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for December 1st, 2007

The seven lean years

Posted by Charles II on December 1, 2007

Via BarbinMD at DailyKos, this from Katie Zezima, NYT:

Food banks around the country are reporting critical shortages that have forced them to ration supplies, distribute staples usually reserved for disaster relief and in some instances close.

Posted in economy, Good Causes, poverty | Comments Off on The seven lean years

(Not So) Great Moments In Journalism

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 1, 2007

Oooh! Oooh! Jack Murtha has changed his mind, he thinks that Iraq is A-OK now!

Um, except that he didn’t:

In his agenda-setting Politico Playbook, Mike Allen led off this morning with a “breaking news” story he called a “game-changer”: “A leading Democratic war critic says the surge is working, and rank-and-file members report that the political ramifications are clear: Voter interest in the issue has waned remarkably.”

We’ve been down this road before, of course: The last time the media reported that a Democrat had said the surge was “working,” the Democrat was Hillary Clinton, and that wasn’t exactly what she’d said. And the last time we remember Allen hyping a Politico piece as a race changer — he called it a “debate-changer” then — was when the Politico reported, falsely, that the Democrats were zero-for-40 in getting antiwar measures through the House and Senate.

So what does the Politico have this time? Why, it’s Rep. Jack Murtha declaring that “the surge is working.”

Is that really what Murtha, a longtime critic of the war, actually said? Yes, in the same sense that it’s what Clinton said back in August: While the surge may be working militarily, the Iraqi government is not using the breathing space it has created to achieve the political gains that are necessary for long-term stability there.

“I think the surge is working, but that’s only one element,” Murtha said on a videoconference call with reporters Thursday. “It’s working because of the increase in troops, but the thing that has to happen is that the Iraqis have to do this themselves.”

That comes from the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein, who actually participated in the videoconference call. Murtha’s office tells us that the Politico wasn’t on the call, which is maybe why it took its first swing at Murtha — in a blog post titled “Murtha’s comments on ‘surge’ are a problem for House Democrats” — by quoting him as saying (and this is every inch of it) the “surge is working.”

But of course, it wasn’t “every inch of it” — The Politico left off the rest of what Murtha said.

What makes this really funny is that when Murtha tries to remind The Politico of what he actually said, The Politico respond with a post titled “Murtha ‘clarifies’ his comments on the surge,” implying that he was somehow doing some revisionist spin when in fact he was trying to correct the record that The Politico studiously ignored. “The military surge has created a window of opportunity for the Iraqi Government,” Murtha said in a statement his office released yesterday morning. “Unfortunately, the sacrifice of our troops has not been met by the Iraqi government and they have failed to capitalize on the political and diplomatic steps that the surge was designed to provide. The fact remains that the war in Iraq cannot be won militarily, and that we must begin an orderly redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq as soon as practicable.”

Meanwhile, per Dan Froomkin, who can usually be trusted not to suffer from recto-cranial inversion, Murtha has been saying that Bush is privately discussing a plan that would call for a troop pullout in December 2008 — after a new president has been elected, and during Bush’s lame-duck period. In other words, he wants to leave the hard decisions of the pullout, just as he’s leaving the hard decisions connected with the monumental debt and busted-out economy he’s created, to whoever succeeds him in January of 2009.

Posted in beat the press, Iraq war, media, Media machine, mediawhores, WTF? | 3 Comments »

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