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On the air

I’ll be on “The Glenn Mitchell Show” on KERA radio in Dallas this afternoon at noon Central time (1:00 PM Eastern). I’ll be discussing the CBS mess, going up against Jonathan Last of The Weekly Standard.

You can listen live here.

Bias, bias everywhere . . .

Finally—proof that the New York Times is biased. At least when it comes to the sports section, anyway.

I’ve kind of taken over as CJR Daily’s unofficial sports media critic, having done pieces recently on coverage of the BALCO steroids case and USA Today‘s coverage of the Bowl Championship Series (they pay for one of the polls used to calculate which teams get in).

Speaking of bias: If you want to read my view on whether political bias has anything to do with how the Armstrong Williams rent-a-columnist scandal is playing, there’s a letter of mine posted on Romesesko’s letters page. Here’s the kicker: “Isn’t it time that we started treating paid partisans like paid partisans, even when they’re dressing up their ideology in the guise of media criticism?”

Freedom - lots and lots and lots of freedom

Fun facts: About 2.5 percent of the words in Bush’s inaugural address were either “freedom” or “liberty,” or some varient. (I counted 27 “freedom"s, 15 “liberty"s and another 7 “free"s, adding up to 49 words out of 2083 total).

Freedom is clearly on the march—at least through the White House teleprompter.

It’s official

Ben, Brendan and I are closing down our operations at Spinsanity—the official announcement is over there.

It’s certainly not without a tinge of regret that we do this, but, after nearly four years, it’s time to move on. I’ll still be fighting the good fight over at CJRDaily trying to get the political media to hold politicians accountable, and I’ll be blogging here on the same topic (as will Brendan on his personal blog.)

How to really get the news

Next Wednesday, I’ll be moderating a panel at the 92nd St. Y/Makor here in New York. I get to grill Chris Regan of “The Daily Show” (not the Chris Regan of JunkYardBlog, New York magazine notwithstanding), Jon Friedman of CBS.Marketwatch.com (not the comedian Jon Friedman, New York again notwithstanding) and Jesse Oxfeld of Editor & Publisher (not MediaBistro—strike three, New York), on “How to Really Get the News.” Evidently one of the answers is, “don’t trust peoples’ affiliations as published in New York‘s listings.”

At least New York got the date and time right—7:30 p.m. on the 19th.

RatherGate: The dirty laundry is even dirtier than you thought

One of the most disturbing aspects of the Thornburgh/Boccardi report on the CBS Bush National Guard documents fiasco is that it reveals how the network essentially turned its own evening news broadcast into a PR campaign for itself. CBS went on the air day after day contending that the documents had been authenticated when they very obviously hadn’t been in any meaningful sense of the word, and they misrepresented what even sources they put on the air had been telling them.

If anyone wants their darkest suspicions about the modern news business confirmed, they need look no further.

(I have more on this over at CJR Daily.)

Angels in Los Angeles

Baseball’s Anaheim Angels are changing their name to—I am not making this up—the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Evidently they want “Los Angeles” in there for marketing purposes, but have to keep “Anaheim” as part of the name in order to satisfy their stadium lease. (I’m guessing that the local hockey team has the same sort of deal with the city, since they’re called “The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim”—perhaps that’s where the Angels got the idea.)

I can appreciate the e.e. cummings-style word play of turning Los Angeles into an adjective (though I imagine the new name might sound completely bizarre to anyone who speaks Spanish), but if they really want to make the marketing people salivate, how about just calling the team the OC Angels?

They must not teach “rocks for jocks” at Yale

I’m a little late on this one, but here’s a pretty stunning excerpt from President Bush’s press conference last Wednesday:

Q: Mr. President, are you confident that the U.S. west coast residents—Hawaiian residents, Alaska residents—are well enough protected with early warning systems for possible tsunamis affecting this country and coastal --

The President: No, I appreciate that question, it’s a—I think that part of the long-term strategy in how to deal with natural disaster is to make sure we have—“we,” the world, has a proper tsunami warning system. ... I can’t answer your question specifically, do we have enough of a warning system for the west coast. I am going to—I am now asking that to our agencies and government to let us know. I mean, that’s a very legitimate question. ...

Q: ... [D]oes it concern you that we may not have that mechanism in place? Or is this something we can use through our civil defense air raid siren system?

The President: I just have to look into it, that’s a very legitimate question. I am on the—I presume that we are in pretty good shape. I think our location in the world is such that we may be less vulnerable than other parts, but I am not a geologist, as you know. But I think it’s a very legitimate question.

By “location” I guess he doesn’t mean the Cascadia subduction zone that could drop a http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/12/29/WARNING.TMP">40-foot tsunami on the west coast, or that fault zone up in Alaska that produced a magnitude 9.2 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 1964.

And I guess he wasn’t watching the World Series in 1989 . . . after all, the Rangers weren’t in it.

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