Florida Pilot

A compendium of random thoughts from a former Washington Beltway insider who is now having a lot more fun flying small airplanes in Central Florida.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

mainstream liberal media -- prepetually "stuck on stupid"

Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, Federal military commander in New Oreleans, used the phrase "stuck on stupid" to describe the media's incessant focus on claimed Federal failing related to Hurricane Katrina. The phrase seems to be abhorent to the liberal mainstream media, probably because it is so apt. In the instant case, Honore was trying to describe plans to evacuate individuals from New Orleans as Hurricane Rita approaches but the media refused to let him make the announcements that needed to be made.

The phrase "stuck on stupid", however, has general applicability to much of the activities of the mainstream media. Well over a year into the effort to introduce a democratic government into Iraq, the media are still debating whether it was appropriate to remove murdering dictator Saddam Hussein from office as insufficient evidence of weapons of mass destruction were uncovered.

During last year's presidential election, the media were "stuck on stupid" when it came to George W. Bush's national guard service, despite that fact that it was never a significant part of his qualifications for high office. On the other hand, the media were never willing to provide the same scrutiny to John Kerrys' Vietnam service, despite the fact that it formed the centerpiece of his campaign.

Are the liberal mainsteam media "stuck on stupid"? Most of the time, it appears that they are.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

"I hate Bush, send money" -- John Kerry

Yesterday, John Kerry formally joined the list of democrats who have decided that the benefit of using the Hurricane Katrina tragedy to bash the Bush administration outweight the disadvantages. In the case of Kerry, he is evidently asking that readers of his diatribe contribute money to him; I guess he assumes the Katrina victims are all married to folks with substantial inherited wealth and, unlike himself, do not need financial assistance.

So, what are the disadvantages to democrats of bashing the Bush administration? Apparently, getting the facts all wrong is not an important consideration. Certainly the liberal media have proven willing to forgive that as long as the statements made are strongly enough anti-Bush. Also, polling results suggest that the bizzare claims, made without any evidence, that the Bush administration is employing discrimatory policies. have evidently been convincing to many African-Americans.

Of course, the idea of John Kerry criticizing the administration for mismanagement is almost laughable. After the election, Newsweek magazine, not exactly friendly to Bush, published information revealing that the Kerry campaign was in total disarray. It is hard to imagine that a man like John Kerry who could not keep a small campaign aparatus running smoothly, could someone manage the response to a major natural disaster.

Monday, September 19, 2005

great drama but just not true

Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish, La., (like being in charge of a county) grabbed for his 15 minutes of fame when being interviewed by Tim Russert on NBC's Meet the Press. Broussard gained points with the liberal mainsteam media by attacking the Bush administration and, in a very emotional manner which was widely rebroadcast, essentially claiming that Bush administration delays were somehow responsible for the death of a co-worker's mother.

The drama was superb and, since the story line was consistent with the theory that the Federal goverment was responsible for all of the problems associated with Hurricane Katrina, the media never bothered to look into the numerous holes in Broussard's story. The blogsphere did and found a lot of problems.

Now, over two weeks later, NBC is characterizing Brossard's story as a "misunderstanding". But the facts of the story prove that it had nothing to do with the Federal goverment at all. In fact, the woman died almost a week before Brossard claimed she did, quite a significant "detail" to be characterized as a "misunderstanding". Also, the failure of the owners of the home the woman lived in to evacuate has led to criminal charges being filed against them.

At least NBC is more honest than CBS was when it was caught peddling the Bush forged documents. But the failure to do even minimal fact-checking of stories critical of the Bush administration is a hallmark of liberal media bias.

Friday, September 09, 2005

a distinction without a difference?

Attacks by the liberal media on the Bush Administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina are becoming more and more extreme even as more and more information is uncovered that points to local and state officials as primiarly responsible for shortcoming in emergency response.

Time Magazine apparently scrutinized FEMA head Mike Brown's background to a degree not seen since the CBS "investigation" of President Bush's Air National Guard service came up with the now-famous forged documents that will always be associated with liberal reporter Dan Rather.

Here is a summay of what Time is reporting.

"Before joining FEMA, his only previous stint in emergency management, according to his bio posted on FEMA's website, was "serving as an assistant city manager with emergency services oversight." The White House press release from 2001 stated that Brown worked for the city of Edmond, Okla., from 1975 to 1978 "overseeing the emergency services division" In fact, according to Claudia Deakins, head of public relations for the city of Edmond, Brown was an "assistant to the city manager" from 1977 to 1980, not a manager himself, and had no authority over other employees. "

To the vast majority of Americans, the distinction between "Assistant City Manager" and "Assistant to the City Manager" for a job held about 30 years ago is not very significant. To a liberal Bush-hater, however, this is something to play as much as possible and all of the mainstream liberal media have publicized this as much as possible just like the CBS document forgeries.

It is interesting that the media are so concerned about details of a job title held by a Administration appointee almost 30 years ago but last year, during the Presidential election, they showed no interest in the issues raised about John Kerrys' Vietnam service which was the centerpiece of his entire campaign. In addition, Brown's service during last year's hurricane season was considered to be outstanding; shouldn't that record of recent service carry more weight than whether a job title from decades ago was accurately reported.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

USATODAY.com - Berger to pay $50,000 for taking classified material

Well, no one can say that the Bush Administration is excessively aggressive in protecting classified materials from abuse by liberals. The Administration evidently recommended a paltry $10,000 fine be assessed to Clinton national security advisor Sandy Berger for deliberate theft and destruction of classified documents and subsequent lying about it. A Federal judge found that the punishment was so inappropriate for the crime that he bumped the amount up to $50,000; still a relative slap-on-the-wrist for well-off Berger.

Do you think any of the liberals that have been after Karl Rove, claiming he should jailed for being accused of leaking the classified name of Kerry-backer Joseph Wilson's wife will complain about the soft treatment of Berger?

It is hard to believe that an "ordinary" person who did what Berger would not be facing at least a year or two of Federal prison time. In Washington, the saying should be "the bigger there, the easier the deal they get"

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

New Orleans and the liberals

The effects of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are shocking in their scope. It will take a concentrated effort over an extended period of time to accomplish a recovery.

For many liberals, however, the storm damage simply provided another opportunity to bash conservatives and President George W. Bush.

Perhaps the first attack was launched by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. in The Huffington Post. This bizarre piece blamed Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour for the fact the Katrina took dead aim on Mississippi; somehow equating some prior memorandum Barbour wrote opposing the Kyoto "global warming" treaty as incurring the wrath of God. (The Kyoto treaty was designed to marginally reduce carbon dioxide emissions from selected countries but required no reductions or even controls on emissions from such major countries as India and China. Anyone who has ever been in Wal-Mart can understand that China has a large and growing economy and failure to consider it in any kind of environmental program is simply foolhardy). The Kennedy piece was written before New Orleans was inundated due to levee breaks. Kennedy provided the following update "[UPDATE: Alas, the reprieve for New Orleans was only temporary. But Haley Barbour still has much to answer for.]" Of course, using Kennedy logic, one might conclude that the Lord, in his infinite wisdom, decided to increase the pain on New Orleans residents in response to Kennedy's irresponsible comment.

But the Kennedy comment was just the beginning. Although emergency response is clearly a primarily local and state responsibility, the liberal mainstream media were quick to attack the Bush administration, ignoring as much as possible the clear incompetence of those such as the mayor of New Orleans and the governor of Louisiana. Obviously, those folks were not elected based on their skills in handling emergency situations.

The media have had been trying to ignore some pretty strong pieces of evidence that point to local and state officials as the key contributors to the chaos we have all seen. Local officials told New Orleans residents weeks before the storm that they would be on their own in the event of a major storm. Subsequently, they waffled about whether to order an evacuation and, when they finally did so, instructed folks with no means out of the area to come to the Superdome which apparently had no food, drinking water, or even remotely adequate facilities. News cameras have continued to show a large parking lot filled with school buses that are mostly under water, begging the question as to why they weren't used by local authorities to evacuate residents. This is one oversight that is going to be hard to blame on Bush so don't expect to hear about it from the major networks.

Recent news has the mayor of New Orleans now deciding that he is now really, really serious about his evacuation order and intends to forcibly remove folks who don't want to leave. He has also gone back and forth about how looters should be dealt with. This sort of waffling may appeal to the liberal media as it is sure reminiscent of John Kerry.

So far the liberal media attacks on Bush do not seem to have swayed public opinion. It looks like the liberal attempts to exploit Katrina may be no more effective that their attempts to exploit crazy Cindy Sheehan (who seems to have drifted so far from reality that her media entourage has evaporated).