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December 23, 2003
Go With the Flow

It's tough to come up with an analogy that dramatizes the awesome irony of Glenn Reynolds lecturing the New York Times on journalistic competence, but let me try: it's like a gay Mormon eunuch teaching Hugh Hefner how to get chicks...

Well, that still probably understates the case a bit, but it will have to do for now.

Meanwhile, the Swingin' Libertarian Schoolmarm demonstrates his palsied grasp of journalistic principles at

The Pentagon is now planning to get its story out by creating its own satellite channel carrying news out of Baghdad that other media organizations aren't carrying. That's yet another difference between this war and Vietnam -- this time, it's the media who want to control the news flow!

I hope that the Pentagon will make these video feeds available on the Web, as well as via satellite. Bloggers and others will find them useful, and they'll help us compare what the big guys are reporting with what we know on our own.

When Reynolds writes that the Pentagon is "planning to get its story" out, he actually gets something right for a change. Too bad he doesn't seem to believe that the obvious perspective implicit in the word "its" amounts to anything. In his mind, Evil Big Media invariably wants to control the news flow in a pernicious, corrupt, anti-American manner, while the Pentagon, with its storied tradition of journalistic accomplishment, just wants to report the facts, ma'am.

And by watching the Pure, Objective Truth that the Pentagon provides, liberal bias truffle-pigs like Reynolds will "know" when "the big guys" are pulling a fast one.

Which is not to say that a Pentagon satellite channel won't be of any value: the more news sources, the better. But why completely ignore the fact that the whole point of the Pentagon news feeds is to present the news with a very strong bias?

Posted by Greg Beato at 12:50 PM
December 22, 2003
Hard To Swallow

In October, Rush Limbaugh promised that he would cooperate fully in any government investigation into his promiscuous drug procurement: "I am unaware of any investigation by any authority involving me. No government representative has contacted me directly or indirectly. If my assistance is required, I will, of course, cooperate fully."

In December, the recovering pill-popper assisted investigators by trying to keep his medical records from them: "[I am] being subjected to an invasion of privacy no citizen of this republic should endure."

* * *

In October, the National Enquirer broke the story of Limbaugh's drug addiction. The initial piece reported that Limbaugh had been illegally purchasing prescription pain-killers from his housekeeper Wilma Cline and that he had paid her "$80,000 he owed her, plus another $120,000." In November, Limbaugh tried to heap scorn on the National Enquirer's credibility: "It's quite hilarious to listen to people quote The National ENQUIRER as the world's foremost authority, and I'm here to tell you they're not, and what you know, or think you know, you don't know."

In December, during court proceedings, Limbaugh's attorney Roy Black revealed that "Limbaugh paid 'extreme amounts of money' to Wilma Cline, his former housekeeper, and her husband, first for pills and then for extortion." Or to put it another way, Black confirmed the National Enquirer as the world's foremost authority on the drug procurement habits of Rush Limbaugh.

* * *

In November, Limbaugh explained that all those near-$10,000 bank withdrawals that investigators were interested were not instances of money-laundering and had nothing at all to do with his drug addiction: "The cash in question here, most of it had to do with the two-and-a-half-year remodel we did for the home in Palm Beach…So just one of the many areas, the money was for travel, it was for food, it was for gratuities, as I was out and about and playing a lot of golf tournaments as you know building the house. I think the total amount of money they're talking about here comes to about $300,000 over five or six years. It's a lot of money, but given the amount of money I earn and so forth, it's pretty much in proportion with, you know, what anybody else earns in terms of the percentage of walking-around money and cash that they use for things."

In December, apparently referring to all those near-$10,000 bank withdrawals, Roy Black stated that "It's not money laundering to pay blackmail and extortion."

* * *

Is there any aspect of this case where Limbaugh has not been guarded and deceitful? Supposedly cured after 30 days of self-examination and hard reckoning, Limbaugh seems like he's still pretty much thinking like a junkie: he didn't do anything wrong, except for all the wrong stuff that he did, but that stuff wasn't really his fault…

Posted by Greg Beato at 11:23 PM