The shame of NBC.

A mostly political Weblog.
April 20 2007 4:24 PM

Brian Williams or Don Imus?

Who did more damage? It's not even close.

(Continued from Page 4)

Does this Chicago Tribune story really debunk the idea, which Katie Couric (or whoever!) put on her blog, that Barack Obama "grew up praying in a mosque"? I don't think so, despite Media Matters' and Eat the Press' outrage at Couric. Young Obama seems to have only gone to the mosque with his stepfather "occasionally." OK! Occasionally. That's within the bounds of what Couric (or ghost-Couric) said. (Was Obama praying anywhere else? How many kids only go to church "occasionally" and still label themselves Christian?)... P.S.: It doesn't bother me that Obama went to a mosque as a kid! I'm with the liberals who see it as a potential asset. It does bother me that Dem press watchdogs seem to be straining to brand anyone who mentions it (i.e. "Couric") as a smear artist.  Even if he went to a mosque only twice, and his Muslim father was a swingin' free-spirited half-animist Muslim father, that's still an unusual background for a presidential candidate. Obama has to figure out a way to effectively deal with it himself--which won't be by claiming 'that's all been debunked' when it hasn't. ... P.P.S.: And, yes, it's also troubling that CBS panicked and changed Couric's blog (rendering it near-senseless, as ETP points out). If that's the post-Imus world--corporate news even blander than before,  bland as school textbooks--I'm not enthusiastic. But it will be good for the blogs.** ...

**-Maybe this post-Imus arrangement is inherent in the technology of the Web. 1) The Web lets individuals express themselves to the world in a way that's very difficult to suppress. But 2) the Web also makes it much easier to organize campaigns to pressure those media institutions--i.e. CBS and NBC--that can be pressured via their advertisers.  Therefore, as the Web takes hold, individual blogs become freer and wilder while big, advertiser-supported MSM outlets head in the opposite direction, becoming even more controlled and anodyne. Just a theory. Maybe even a numbingly obvious theory. But for a while there it looked as if the MSM was going to get more loosey-goosey like everyone else. ... 6:27 P.M. link

Sell!**General Motors is apparently delaying production of its desperately-needed rear-wheel-drive cars. According to Car and Driver, GM product macher Bob Lutz

outlined a series of rear-drive projects that have been put on hold until the auto maker knows how strict the proposed new corporate average fuel efficiency (CAFE) regulations will be.

Mounting casualties so far include migrating the next Chevy Impala to the Global RWD Architecture (formerly known as Zeta), an ultra Cadillac based on the 2003 Sixteen concept, potential plans for a rear-drive Cadillac DTS, and work on the smaller Global Small RWD Architecture to produce a baby Caddy.

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GM seems to persist in thinking the market for rear-drive cars consist mainly of tire-burning, horsepower-mad car nuts--hence Lutz's pathetic attempt to buy off the buffs with a souped up Corvette. But, as I've argued, rear-drive is cheap fun for everyone, including non-buffs, including staid middle class parents driving to football practice and the mall. And there's no reason a rear-drive car can't be reasonably economical (look at the smaller BMWs). They can even be hybrids, no? ... Can't they design the cars so they'll take both an optional big engine and a small engine--the usual practice--and then adjust the mix as CAFE requires? It seems like another factor must be at work: a) GM is pressuring Congress on CAFE; b) GM's L.A. Times-like bureaucracy is dug-in on front-drive; or c) the Zeta cars suck ... [via Autoblog]

**--Do not rely on kausfiles for financial advice. Exhibit A. ... 4:08 P.M.

Friday, Ap ril 13, 2007

Howie Carr condemned Imus?  If memory serves, Howie Carr's radio show was the most offensive radio program I'd ever heard when I listened to it during the 2000 New Hampshire primary--more offensive, in terms of ethnic insensitivity and general sneering inhumanity than anything I've seen attributed to Imus's broadcast.

**--In 2004, I appear to have blogged that when I tuned in again that year, "Carr's show wasn't vile anymore." I defer to my 2004 self on that issue. Still. ...

Update--Sullivan Unhinging Watch: I thought the above post was pretty clear about Carr's show: Vile in 2000! Not vile in 2004. Andrew Sullivan seems to believe this is a contradiction, and proceeds to condescendingly defend  me while soliciting similar forgiveness because he's a "human being" and "blogging in real time" and therefore guilty of some "minor inconsistencies." (Like 'Yes, war!' and 'Sorry, mistake!') No thanks. ... P.S.: Sullivan declares the asterisked graf above was "subsequently added." I forget, but think the whole thing was posted at the same time. ... P.P.S.: What happened to "Faggot-Guy"? I thought I was Faggot-Guy. You just can't rely on some people. ...   1:33 A.M.

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