The Curse of the Pulitzers

The Curse of the Pulitzers

The Curse of the Pulitzers

A mostly political Weblog.
April 5 2005 1:38 AM

The Curse of the Pulitzers

Plus--Naked, unbridled scooplust at WaPo!

Not quite there yet: DNC chair Howard Dean, speaking recently in Tennessee, recognizes it's probably a mistake to tell "moral issues" voters to their faces that they're stupid. But beyond that it's not clear he's made much progress:

We have to acknowledge people's fears. It's not just about gay rights and abortion. It's fear of what happens to their families. What they need is a signal from the Democratic Party that we're going to make it easier for them to raise their kids. The mistake is to think we're going to talk people out of their fears. These are not logical fears. Most kids will turn out fine, even in this era of bad stuff on television and things like that. You cannot sit down and logically explain to people why they have their fears. [Emph. added]

'There, there, you worried irrational people. My pollster's told me about you. We're on your side, however illogical your pathetic little fears!' ... From vilification to condescension. This is progress in the Democratic Party. P.S.: Of course, Dean's clumsiness will mainly serve to make Hillary look good. ...The table is being set. ... It's all going according to plan. ... 10:17 P.M.

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Damn you, Pulitzers! Alert and anguished L.A. reader "G"--not me! And not Brady Westwater neither!--writes:

Two more Pulitzers are going on the wall at the L.A. Times, which means the editors at Spring St. can delude themselves, for at least another year, with the belief they are putting out a decent newspaper.

Prizes, which award either prestige or cash, are meant to reward, and thereby encourage, good behavior. ... And, at their best, the Pulitzer Prizes encourage papers to pursue serious journalism. The possibility of a Pulitzer is a good reason for an editor at a small paper with a limited budget to let a reporter spend a lot of time investigating a local scandal.  ... But at large papers ... the Pulitzers are reinforcing bad behavior. At the LA Times, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and every other large paper in the country, editors year in and year out mount big projects with Pulitzers in mind ... (Did you make your way through even one of the NYT's Pulitzer-winning Race in America series? I didn't think so.) Typically these projects are snoozes which have their largest readership among Pulitzer judges. ... But at the WSJ and NYT, that's okay. Both papers are excellent despite their Pulitzer pursuits.

But by continuing to hand out prizes to the LAT, the Pulitzer committee is complicit in the journalistic disaster in Los Angeles. This is not to say that it's King/Drew series or Kim Murphy's reporting from Russia weren't excellent. ... Or that the four Pulitzers it brought in last year were undeserved. Under [John] Carroll and [Dean] Baquet, the LAT does national politics and foreign reporting about as well as anyone out there.

But for some reason that high quality journalism seems to stop at the Los Angeles County line. Local coverage (that is the daily stuff that isn't in a prize-bait series) is shoddy. Anyone who actually lives in L.A. and is dependent on the local paper for news and analysis of L.A. will be sorely disappointed.

There's every reason to pop champagne bottles and give self-congratulatory speeches in the newsroom today. But tomorrow, please mull this thought over: winning Pulitzers may be the thing that the LA Times does best. Which is a kinder way of saying, no matter how many Pulitzers go up on the wall each year, from the vantage of your local readers, you still put out a lousy paper. [Emph. added]

I suspect declining circulation numbers and heat from the Chicago boys at Tribune Co. may get the message to Carroll & Baquet through the celebratory haze. .... 7:26 P.M. link

Anti-Lutz Putsch? GM  scales back press fave "car guy" Bob Lutz's authority? ... The Lutz blog is unhelpful in explaining what this means. ... Does GM think the news will get buried under the Pope's death? Doesn't it know Jo Moore Day was last Friday? (Sandy Berger knew!) ... 3:38 P.M.

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Blogging in Print: According to de facto MSM Damage Controller Howie Kurtz, WaPo's Mike Allen is apparently now admitting what has been obvious to everyone else  who has followed the controversy over those alleged "GOP Talking Points": the Post's stories were not entirely  "accurate and carefully worded"  (Kurtz's words), nor is it true that Allen "stuck to what we knew to be true and did not call them talking points or a Republican memo." Instead, he let an early version of his story ship out containing the unsupported claim that the memo was "distributed to Republican senators by party leaders." [Emph. added] ...

Obviously at some point Allen thought or assumed the memo was a GOP leadership document, and before he'd nailed that down he temporarily let his scooplust get the better of him. This is a perfectly forgivable mistake. At least I hope it is--I make it all the time. You get all excited thinking you have a great story and then when you think more about it you realize you have a not-quite-as-great story, so you go back and make it "carefully worded"!  ...

The problem is that the MSM is now claiming that it's somehow better at balancing the urge to scoop with the need to check than non-MSM writers.As cartoonish LAT credential-snob David Shaw put it:

When I or virtually any other mainstream journalist writes something, it goes through several filters before the reader sees it. At least four experienced [editors] will have examined this column, for example. They will have checked it for accuracy, fairness, grammar, taste and libel, among other things.

If I'm careless — if I am guilty of what the courts call a "reckless disregard for the truth" — The Times could be sued for libel … and could lose a lot of money. With that thought — as well as our own personal and professional commitments to accuracy and fairness — very much in mind, I and my editors all try hard to be sure that what appears in the paper is just that, accurate and fair.

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In contrast, Shaw says,

"Many bloggers — not all, perhaps not even most — don't seem to worry much about being accurate. Or fair. They just want to get their opinions — and their "scoops" — out there as fast as they pop into their brains.

What the Allen incident shows is that credentialed MSM reporters are under just as much "scoop" pressure as bloggers--maybe more pressure, since they must meet to a set of rigid deadlines, with demands (in Allen's case) not only from the reporter's own paper but from all the other papers that subscribe to his paper's news service, not to mention all those apparently ineffective editor-checkers who are waiting around to go home.  Because bloggers don't have these rigid corporate deadlines, they may actually find it easier to balance the "scoop" imperative with the "check" imperative--if a story hasn't checked out, they can just wait an hour or two. (Although, in Allen's non-defense, he wasn't reacting instantaneously to a breaking event. He had more than a day to nail down Linda Douglass' initial report of the memo but apparently hadn't by the time his first report shipped.) ...

Second blogging advantage: if you don't know the truth, you can usually at least ask a question. "Was this memo distributed by the Republican party leadership or just some ham-handed lobbyist--or is it maybe a plant?" That's a trick an MSM reporter like Allen typically can't get away with. Why? I don't know. It would help frame the issue for readers if journalists routinely asked such questions, and they'd get answers by return email. But it might destroy the veneer of MSM omniscience.  More important, in the case of the Schiavo memo, honestly revealing how little Allen knew of the memo's provenance would have drained much of the interest from his story--which depended for its bite largely on the unsupported impression it gave to the casual reader that this was, in fact, a GOP leadership memo. "Careful" wording is a form of deception if it serves mainly to gull those who don't give a careful reading. ...

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Update: Powerline notes that Allen's initial published report also said:

Republican officials declared, in a memo that was supposed to be seen only by senators, that they believe the Schiavo case "is a great political issue"... [Emph. added]

Yes, it was a great story, that first draft. ...   2:47 P.M. link

OK, now I'm convinced Americans were in favor of removing Terri Schiavo's feeding tube: Zogby says they were against it. ... 1:20 A.M.

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Saturday, April 2, 2005

Try Five Layers! The LAT gets the hometown and state of its new publisher wrong ... Update: An L.A. Times editorial page falsely declares that "California under Schwarzenegger has watched its bond rating plummet." Insufficiently embarrassing corrective squib, Brady upbraiding follow. ... 2:59 P.M.

Beyond I-Drive: In the same vein, BMW's latest innovation. ... The dashboard actually looks nice. ... Update: This seems to be a self-mocking corporate April Fool's joke that ultimately steers you to the official BMW UK site--a fake April Fool's joke, if you will, which makes it a pretty good April Fool's joke. ... Next it will turn out that BMW is secretly sponsoring the Stop Chris Bangle petition. (Now that they know the names of those 11,928 Bangle-haters, they can roll up the network! Old Leninist trick.) ... 2:24 P.M.

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Thursday, March 31, 2005

How many editorial layers does it take to look completely clueless? Here's a classicgravely concerned, say-nothing LAT editorial out of the '80s. Noting the problem of transnational gangs, it declares boldly that

Washington needs to broaden its dialogue, and assistance programs.

The editorial doesn't even let its readers know about, let alone take a position on, the continuing controversy over whether local police should be able to arrest and deport known gang felons who are in the U.S. illegally. The PC (and MALDEF) position, of course, is that there should be an insane wall between the police and immigration officials in order to encourage resident illegals to cooperate with police. But the Times apparently felt it was best not discuss the issue at all--readers might disagree! The editorial doesn't Raise Vital Issues--the erstwhile lowest-common-denominator standard in eye-glazing editorializing. It Sweeps Vital Issues Under the Rug.

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Except, of course, that this worthless, issue-suppressing editorial wasn't from the '80s. It ran on Tuesday. I thought Michael Kinsley was supposed to change things at the Times. ... P.S.: Brady Westwater pounces. ... P.P.S.: Westwater 1, PC 0. The issue of whether police can arrest known illegal alien felons--also ignored in the LAT's recent gang-roundup coverage--finally made the paper today, on the front page, complete with a quote from Heather Mac Donald. Somebody clue in the ed board! ... Further Study: A complete NEXIS search for "Special Order 40," the official name of the LAPD's don't-tell-the-INS policy, turns up only 8 mentions in the past two years before today. Two of those were in letters to the editor; one was in a Heather Mac Donald opinion piece, and one occurred when a KABC radio personality pressed the issue in a mayoral debate in February. That leaves four mentions in the LAT's regular reporting, only one of those in the past 10 months. None in editorials. Pathetic. ... Update: Westwater on what the Times is still leaving out. ... 4:06 P.M.

Credibility-building (and possibly revealing) admission from Bush's pollster, Matthew Dowd:

"The country's generally unhappy, and maybe they think the Terri Schiavo case is taking away from things that Congress or Washington ought to be working on." [Emph. added]

Were the Bushies eager for the Schiavo case to go away? ... P.S.: If the country thinks the way Dowd seems to think it thinks, the country's wrong, of course. a) The economy is in relatively good shape, Iraq seems to be going BTE, and Bush's unpopular private accounts plan isn't about to be enacted; b) The Schiavo battle was hardly a distraction from important issues. Even if you are an anti-tubist, it will result in millions more people who make their wishes known in living wills; c) When the Congress and Washington start visibly "working on" something does it typically improve the situation? ... 3:07 P.M.

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And they say blogs are stupid: Here is the first sentence uttered by Brian Williams on last night's NBC Nightly News:

Age bias. A big win for millions of workers over 40. The US Supreme Court just made it easier to sue the boss for age discrimination.

Well, it may be a "win" for particular plaintiffs. But is it a "win" for "millions of workers over 40"? That would seem to depend on many factors, including whether employers stop hiring workers over 40 for fear of later getting sued for age discrimination, or whether American corporations, deprived of the ability to lure new, younger, cheaper, more energetic workers (see. e.g. GM), lose out to foreign competition, causing their over-40 employees to lose their jobs. Maybe the net result of the ruling will be a transfer of income from under-40s to over-40s and a net increase for the latter group, but it's a highly complex and controversial claim. ... NBC's hardly the first to buy into the facile plaintiff's lawyer's notion that a "win" in a particular lawsuit for a particular group of people means a "win" in the larger sense--as if litigation were costless and free of perverse consequences, as if damage awards are a bonus that materialized out of the ether. But it's relatively rare to see this hack fallacy become the actual lede of a newscast. ... 12:49 P.M.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

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Let's Kill It With Improvements! David Shaw brilliantly  explains the problem with the L.A. Times:

When I [write] something, it goes through several filters before the reader sees it. At least four experienced Times editors will have examined this column ....

What's likely to be a livelier read--a newspaper at which each piece is examined by four experienced editors or a newspaper at which each piece is examined by three experienced editors? ... Or two or--heaven forbid--one experienced editor? ... I think I know how the Tribune Co. could save some money! ... P.S.: I'm looking at my treasured copy of the Sept. 25, 2003 pre-election Los Angeles Times with the headline "Aides Grow More Confident in Davis' Chances." How many layers of experienced Times editors signed off on that one? Four hardly seems enough. ... 8:18 P.M. link

Newsday's Jim Pinkerton actually makes a fresh Schiavo point:

The religious right, for example, insists on using a certain level of technology to preserve life, such as feeding tubes and antibiotics. But the religious right also insists, at the same time, that not too much technology be used. The most obvious example is stem-cell research.

What would happen, for instance, if scientists announced that they could grow a new brain from stem cells for Terri Schiavo? That is, the wizardry of medical technology would allow the unfortunate woman to regain her mental faculties. Such an announcement, admittedly hypothetical at present, would put the "right to life" supporters of Schiavo in an awkward position. On the one hand, they would support her continued existence in a "vegetative" state. But on the other, they would oppose stem-cell-based intervention that would lead to her genuine physical recovery.

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Which brings up a mystery first pointed out to me a week ago by reader P.K:

In watching the coverage of the Schiavo saga unfurl I am struck by the absence of the pro-medical miracle Left, if I may so anoint them.

What's a sounder basis for ambitious liberal affirmative government--a) an optimistic desire for often-expensive government action to preserve and extend life or b) a resigned, fatalistic willingness to delegate life-ending decisions to private citizens? If the answer is a), shouldn't left-wingers be pro-tubists? NPR's "bias legend" Nina Totenberg was ridiculed for saying, on Inside Washington, that

"if we really believed in an unmitigated, uncurbed in any way culture of life, we would be having universal health care."

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But it seems to me that Totenberg has pointed in exactly the direction the Democrats should have been heading on the Schiavo issue. Has their political and moral sense been so twisted by the hard dogma of "abortion rights" (and disdain for fundamentalist Christians) that they don't see this? ... "More chances at life for all citizens, whatever their status or station"--that's still more of a Democratic slogan than a Republican one. I hope. ... 5:20 P.M. link

The Hollywood pill du jour: Lexapro. Mothers are on it. Children are on it. ... When the whole family takes the same antidepressant, it promotes healthy bonding! 4:50 P.M.

Who Is "Mike Allen"? WaPo's Mike Allen defends his paper's report on that anonymous Schiavo "talking points" memo:

We simply reported that the sheet of paper was distributed to Republican senators and told our readers explicitly that the document was unsigned, making clear it was unofficial ... We stuck to what we knew to be true and did not call them talking points or a Republican memo.

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But Michelle Malkin has come up with a smoking gun undercutting Allen's claim--a Seattle Times squib, bylined "The Washington Post," which shows that either a) the Post did too put out at least one story saying the memo was "distributed to Republican senatorsby party leaders," [emph. added] or, more likely, b) the Post's coverage was misleading enough to fool whoever rewrote the Post story for the Seattle Times into thinking it was an official GOP memo. ... P.S.: Why doesn't ABC News, which everyone agrees is more culpable than WaPo, at least retract and apologize for its Web headline labeling the memo "GOP Talking Points"? Or does ABC not take responsibility for its Web site?

Update: Even Smokin'er! Here's an Oakland Trib storywith a "Mike Allen" byline that says the memo was "distributed to Republican senators by party leaders." ... This is the same language as in the Seattle Times. It's looking as if possibility (a), above, is actually the correct answer. [Thanks to The MinuteMan.] ... More: Malkin notes  other outlets that published reports by the same mysterious "Mike Allen" on "party leaders." (Or is it the same "Mike Allen"? Maybe there are three of them!) ... 4:36 P.M.

At a luncheon yesterday to promote AARP's glossy magazine among Hollywood types of a certain age, honoree Liz Smith ragged gleefully on the L.A. Times for its pathetic, stuffy, circ-killing, even David-Shaw-like refusal to have a gossip column. Smith noted the LAT actually subscribes to her column but doesn't publish it. "I guess the editors like to read it the night before." ... P.S.: Smith was much funnier in person than she is in the column, though. You'd think by now she'd have figured out a way to get across her actual personality. ... P.P.S.:  They introduced Smith by boasting that she's in her '80s, which was hard to believe. The whole event suggested the possibility of a reverse AARP chic, in which Hollywood celebs start pretending they're older than they are. "I'm not 50--I'm actually 90!" ... Of course, all this works against AARP when it comes to defending the current Social Security system. If 70 is the new 40, what's the justification for spending trillions to let people to retire at 65? ...  P.P.P.S:Best lookin' senior celeb in person: Rita Moreno! Who knew? ... [Update: Reader E.S. writes: "What in the hell are you doing at a liz smith/aarp lunch?" Don't be jealous of the glamorous "blogger" lifestyle! It's not all AARP glitz. Behind the facade is a lot of napping.] 1:19 P.M.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

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A chased ambulance is right twice a year: Jesse Jackson, pro-tubist.10:53 A.M. 

Monday, March 28, 2005

The Talk of L.A.: Will the LAT be sold by its owner, the Tribune Co.? It won't be until "a number of years after 2007"   that the FCC might force the company to choose between owning the Times and owning its local TV station, says the Tribune's CEO (as reported by the Chicago Trib'sJames P. Miller).  But the Tribune Co.  recently lost a District Court case on this issue--and the same CEO says he wants to "eliminate areas of uncertainty." Selling the Times would eliminate a big one, no? ... [Via L.A. Observed via Romenesko ] 12:45 P.M.

Kerry Delenda Est: 57 days and still no Form 180. 12:13 P.M.

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Center-right anti-tubists-- Reynolds, Sager, and Sullivan-- are getting some righteous, echo-chamber traction denouncing Congress' action in the Schiavo case for its violation of "states' rights" principles. Here's Sager, quoted by Reynolds:

The forums for matters such as the Schiavo case are state courts, upholding state laws. Conservatives, especially religious conservatives -- who want Roe v. Wade overturned and the issue of abortion moved back to state legislatures and courts -- should understand this better than any other group of Americans.

That's a fine argument if you're a states rights conservative. But what about those of us who aren't? Do we now have to agree with William Rehnquist's jurisprudence? I've always thought the country would be better off divided into 10 numbered sectors. State governments mainly multiply the federal bureaucracy X 50. And if state laws have created a crazy system for making life-ending decisions--a fictititious judicial hunt for the near-decedent's "wishes" guided by potentially-conflicted spouses--it's perfectly reasonable to seek a better, national solution, just as it was reasonable to blow off "states' rights" when local jurisdictions sought to discriminate against blacks. ... P.S.: Roe v. Wade is inapposite here. Roe didn't transfer authority over abortion from the state legislature to the federal legislature. It removed the issue from both state and federal legislatures--from any sort of democratic decisionmaking--and gave it to the Supreme Court. If Roe is ever overturned, will the abortion issue go back to the states? I doubt it. Federal legislation would be inevitable, and proper. ... 8:48 A.M.

Today's Quiz: When, in an NYT  story about CNN president Jonathan Klein's newest ratings-boosting strategy, his corporate superior says

"What I can assure you is Jon will be successful in this position, and he'll be in this position for many years to come."

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it means:

1) Klein's newest strategy will fail.

2) Klein will be gone by August.

3) (1) and (2).

1:01 A.M.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Career advice for Mickey Rourke from Ben Affleck: Is the best expert to quote on the problems at GM and Ford really Helmut Panke, the research-driven ex-McKinsey consultant who has arguably been driving the BMW brand off a cliff? ... (See, e.g., this WSJ analysis [$]) ... 9:57 P.M.

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Friday, March 25, 2005

GM Gives Up?  USAT on GM executive Bob Lutz's decision to cancel the company's new rear-drive mid-size car line:

But he pulled the plug on the North America models after determining the vehicles could not be engineered and assembled to sell at prices competitive with the popular Chrysler 300C, Ford Mustang and other models, without sacrificing quality and content.

Isn't this perilously close to saying he determined that GM could not compete in the industry it's in? If the company can't engineer and assemble cars at competitive prices what product is it going to sell? And if GM can't compete with Chrysler and Ford, what chance does it have against Toyota? ... Update: Lutz defends his decision on his blog, and it actually does him some good. Maybe Hugh Hewitt is right about businesses needing blogs. ... 11:25 A.M.

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Head-jolting shockfest! It's a good thing CNN's Jonathan Klein got rid of Tucker Carlson so the network could finally  approach the news with the seriousness it deserves. [via Polipundit] 10:58 A.M.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Anti-tubist prof. Mark A.R. Kleiman, bizarrely, agrees with me about the wording in that ABC Schiavo Poll.  He argues the wording reflects reality ("persistent vegetative state") but not the case "as seen in the media."  I tend to think the media has, if anything, presented a mildly anti-tube version of events--but we agree fair polling question would not adopt one side's version of reality. It would present the issue as it is being presented (e.g., one side says "no consciousness," the other side says "we don't know for sure.")  The point is, in part, to figure out which reality those polled have bought into, no? ... . ... P.S: It's clear that a solid majority is anti-tubist. Too many different polls show it. But note that the CBS poll also shows a mild but unmistakable pro-tube trend on several questions since 1990. (Example: "If a patient is in a coma, should close family member be able to have a doctor remove the feeding tube and let the person die?" 1990 answer: 81% yes. 2005 answer: 73% yes.) This is consistent with the theory that baby-boomers will become more "anti-death" (on abortion, capital punishment, and end-of-life issues) as they a) see their parents pass away and b) approach death themselves. ... A potentially major, underdiscussed counteravailing factor is the one cited by pollster Andrew Kohut  in his recent NYT op-ed:

One-third of the respondents to the ABC News poll reported that a friend or relative had died after life support was stopped. And more than half of these respondents were involved in the decision.

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One way of putting it is that the end of life is so messy, and riddled with potentially guilt-inducing glitches, that nobody wants to be judgmental about it (as the pro-tube position requires). Another way of putting it is that the culture of end-of-life euthanasia--as practiced by humane, cost-conscious doctors and hospitals-- is so entrenched that too many people are implicated in it for it to change. If you say pulling a tube is wrong you seem to be accusing them of being complicit in murdering grandma! This is a possibility they don't want to consider, a moral burden they do not feel they deserve to bear. ... But if this factor were dominant wouldn't the trend in that CBS poll be going the other way? ... 6:07 P.M.

Tapped's Matthew Yglesias is all over that Social Security trustees' report looking for signs of 1) spinning and fiddling, 2) excessive pessimism, and 3) unexplained changes in assumptions. He's found them all, I think. Start here and scroll up. ... 12:45 A.M.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Shame of ABC: I hadn't realized that the surprising ABC poll about the Schiavo case--showing overwhelming anti-tube sentiment--was so badly worded and biased. (For one thing, it deceptively tells pollees that Terri Schiavo is on "life support."  * For another, it leads with the flat assertion that "Doctors say she has no consciousness and her condition is irreversible."**)   Michelle Malkin and "Captain Ed" Morrissey  are onto the ABC poll. ... MalkinMorrissey and Powerline also raise doubts about that clumsy Republican talking points memo that ABC's Linda Douglass first trumpeted.  I'm not so sure that you'd expect a letterhead on such a hastily-drawn memo, or even the correct bill title. It's not like it's a blog or something formal! It's less clear that the memo was written by anyone in the GOP leadership as opposed to a pro-life lobbying group, as Malkin points out. Yet unless you listened very carefully to Douglass' slyly worded report you got the distinct impression that it was a Republican leadership document. (ABC's own web site headlined the story "GOP Talking Points on Terri Schiavo ") [Update:Powerline confirms  epistemological fishiness of the memo as a "GOP" doc.] ... Anyway, why should it be news--obscuring the actual merits of the case--that politics is involved in federal legislation? The civil rights movement was a political constituency too. ...  ABC's performance during this whole story --starting with its sneering Friday coverage--has been pretty much a disgrace. ... 

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*Update--Many readers have pointed out that a feeding tube is defined as "life support" by at least one medical authority. But using the word at the start of a poll of laypersons conjures up far more elaborate support systems--e.g. heart and lung machines. If not "false"--as this post originally characterized it--the phrase is highly misleading. (I disagree with MP on this. The question is not whether the phrase is technically defensible, but whether it's reasonably calculated to produce an accurate poll of what people think. It's no defense to say, as ABC's Gary Langer does, that the language was taken from the very court decision that is the point of controversy. A court, even in its outline of "facts," is going to use language that buttresses its conclusion.)

**--Dr. Krauthammer, who winds up calling Congress' action a "travesty," nevertheless disagrees with the ABC poll's flat assertion on the issue of consciousness:

The husband has not allowed a lot of medical testing in the past few years. I have tried to find out what her neurological condition actually is. But the evidence is sketchy, old and conflicting. The Florida court found that most of her cerebral cortex is gone. But "most" does not mean all. There may be some cortex functioning. The severely retarded or brain-damaged can have some consciousness.

P.S.: I'm not saying a non-slanted poll would somehow reveal majority support for the pro-tube position. As MP notes, other surveys suggest widespread anti-tube sentiment. But, as far as I can see, no other poll has as large an anti-tube majority (63%) as ABC's. ... Update: Still true!CBS has now  released another poll with a large anti-tube majority. The crucial question (#14) is prefaced with a run-up of hypotheticals locking respondents in to the concept of Michael Schiavo's spousal authority--but CBS's anti-tube majority (61%) still isn't as big as ABC's number. (Question #14 was only asked of a "partial sample." A second "partial sample" was asked a question ABC didn't ask about what should happen now: "Should the tube be reinserted ...?" That produced a larger (66%) anti-tube majority, perhaps because some people feel that the tube, once out, should stay out. For example, they might believe reinsertion could be painful. ... If you find CBS' sample-splitting confusing, you are not alone.)  11:32 A.M.

External Relations and Outreach! Who said gossip is inconsequential? Here's Topic A at the World Bank. ... 1:14 A.M.

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Links

Drudge Report--80 % true. Close enough! Instapundit--All-powerful hit king. Joshua Marshall--He reports! And decides!  Wonkette--Makes Jack Shafer feel guilty.  Salon--Survives! kf gloating on hold. Andrew Sullivan--He asks, he tells. He sells! David Corn--Trustworthy reporting from the left.  Washington Monthly--Includes Charlie Peters' proto-blog. Lucianne.com--Stirs the drink. Virginia Postrel--Friend of the future! Peggy Noonan--Gold in every column. Matt Miller--Savvy rad-centrism. WaPo--Waking from post-Bradlee snooze. Calmer Times--Registration required.  NY Observer--Read it before the good writers are all hired away. New Republic--Left on welfare, right on warfare!  Jim Pinkerton--Quality ideas come from quantity ideas. Tom Tomorrow--Everyone's favorite leftish cartoonists' blog.  Ann "Too Far" Coulter--Sometimes it's just far enough. Bull Moose--National Greatness Central. John Ellis--Forget that Florida business! The cuz knows politics, and he has, ah, sources. "The Note"--How the pros start their day. Romenesko--O.K. they actually start it here. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities--Money Liberal Central.. Steve Chapman--Ornery-but-lovable libertarian. Rich Galen--Sophisticated GOP insider. Man Without Qualities--Seems to know a lot about white collar crime. Hmmm. Overlawyered.com--Daily horror stories. Eugene Volokh--Smart, packin' prof, and not Instapundit! Eve Tushnet--Queer, Catholic, conservative and not Andrew Sullivan! WSJ's Best of the Web--James Taranto's excellent obsessions. Walter Shapiro--Politics and (don't laugh) neoliberal humor! Eric Alterman--Born to blog. Joe Conason--Bush-bashing, free most days. Lloyd Grove--Don't let him write about you. Arianna--A hybrid vehicle. TomPaine.com--Web-lib populists. Take on the News--TomPaine's blog.  B-Log--Blog of spirituality!  Hit & Run--Reason gone wild! Daniel Weintraub--Beeblogger and Davis Recall Central. Eduwonk--You'll never have to read another mind-numbing education story again. Nonzero--Bob Wright explains it all. [More tk