Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Press Likes Blowjobs

On January 22, the day after The Washington Post first broke the Lewinsky story, that paper ran a total of 11 articles, written by or using contributions from at least 20 reporters, and comprising 11,844 words dedicated to allegations that the president lied about a consensual relationship.

The New York Times gave the story similar treatment, running a total of eight articles, written by at least eight reporters, comprising 9,044 words.

In contrast, on December 17, 2005 -- the day after the initial disclosure of the Bush administration's use of the National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct illegal spying on American citizens, the Washington Post ran three articles, involving eight reporters and 3,227 words -- and that's generously including a USA Patriot Act article in the tally.

Similarly, the Times ran two articles, involving four reporters and 3,076 words.

All told, on January 22, 1998, the Times and the Post ran 19 articles (five on the front page) dealing with the Clinton investigation, totaling more than 20,000 words and reflecting the words of at least 28 reporters -- plus the editorial boards of both newspapers.

In contrast, on December 17, 2005 the Times and the Post combined to run five articles about the NSA spying operation, involving 12 reporters and consisting of 6,303 words.

So, the press likes stories about blowjobs more than they like stories about Presidential abuses of the Constitution, by a factor of 3:1.

Read more here.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Dershowitz Explains How to Fix the Confirmation Process

"I propose that the Judiciary Committee take a page from other Congressional committees by hiring outside lawyers to conduct their hearings. They should bring in three or four first-rate trial lawyers with backgrounds in constitutional scholarship to ask the hard questions. Of course Committee members will consult with the litigators to ensure that they cover all the issues of concern to the senators. But during the hearings, the senators' job will be to listen and then to vote.

History provides instructive examples of committee lawyers helping conduct important Congressional hearings. Congress hired outside counsel to examine witnesses in both the Watergate and Iran Contra sessions. Supreme Court confirmation hearings are no less important. The next time a seat on the Court opens, the Judiciary Committee members should check their egos and hire lawyers who will force both the Committee and the nominee to put substance before spectacle."

Read more here.

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