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Attila the Pun
Sunday, October 31, 2004
 
Statisticians for Kerry

The Lancet study that claimed 100,000 people had died in Iraq as a result of the war got plenty of exposure. The Defence Minister, Robert Hill, faced media questioning over it.

Problem is, it never passed the 'sniff' test, and thankfully Fred Kaplan has now taken the long handle to it:

The report's authors derive this figure by estimating how many Iraqis died in a 14-month period before the U.S. invasion, conducting surveys on how many died in a similar period after the invasion began (more on those surveys later), and subtracting the difference. That difference—the number of "extra" deaths in the post-invasion period—signifies the war's toll. That number is 98,000. But read the passage that cites the calculation more fully:

"We estimate there were 98,000 extra deaths (95% CI 8000-194 000) during the post-war period."

Readers who are accustomed to perusing statistical documents know what the set of numbers in the parentheses means. For the other 99.9 percent of you, I'll spell it out in plain English—which, disturbingly, the study never does. It means that the authors are 95 percent confident that the war-caused deaths totaled some number between 8,000 and 194,000. (The number cited in plain language—98,000—is roughly at the halfway point in this absurdly vast range.)

This isn't an estimate. It's a dart board.

Bear in mind that this is Slate, and that Kaplan has endorsed Kerry, saying:

I'm voting for Kerry. Bush has done too much damage to America's reputation in the world. His view of the world is naive and, too often, wrong. His victory would mean a victory for the most cynical politics practiced by any president in my memory. I also generally admire Kerry.

so this is no Republican hatchet job.


Thursday, October 28, 2004
 
"Stealth- logistics experts"

More on those cunning insurgents managing to sneak out 400 tons of high explosives right under the noses of those bumbling Americans:

Even if repeated inspections by U.S. troops had somehow missed this deadly elephant on the front porch, and even if the otherwise-incompetent Iraqis had been so skilled and organized they were able to sneak into Al-Qaqaa and load up 400 tons of Saddam's love-powder, it would have taken a Teamsters' convention to get the job done.

and

We owned the skies. And when you own the skies, you own the roads. We were watching for any sign of organized movement. A gaggle of non-Coalition vehicles driving in and out of an ammo dump would have attracted the attention of our surveillance systems immediately.

I think Peters has the benefit of a) not being rabidly anti-Bush and b) extensive military experience. This means that when a story like this appears, he doesn't immediately wet himself like other members of the media, but instead casts a careful eye over the sheer plausability of the whole thing.

This means that when faced with the suggestion that a ragtag bunch of terrorists managed to move 400 tons of high explosives without the most powerful military force the world has ever seen noticing, his first reaction is not "Ah-ha! Bushitler has really cocked it up this time", but rather:

The bottom line is that, if the explosives were ever there, the Iraqis moved them before our troops arrived. There is no other plausible scenario.

(via the Blair)

 
Hey hey,goodbye

After 1 July 2005, we can expect the media to seek no further comments from the tree hugging greens, the wine stealing democrats or the vote shedding laborites. Why? Because they don't matter anymore.

Thats right Lady and Gentleman, Johnny got control of the Senate (well actually the Nationals did, but they know to toe the line unless they want Liberal candidates running in every seat). My natural conservatism means I have some affection for the role of the Senate as a house of review, but having seen it be consistently hijacked by unrepresentative minor parties, I am happy to see the Man of Steel slip behind the wheel.

Although I am sure he will be relatively timid about flexing his new found muscle, at least to begin with, it is almost impossible to underestimate the effect this may have. Legislatively speaking, there is almost nothing that the Coaliton will be unable to do (up to, but excluding, amending the constitution).

All thanks to the fishing party, and a man named Barnaby. I love this country...

Wednesday, October 27, 2004
 
Explosives? What Explosives?

Remember this damning indictment of the Bush's handling of the Iraq occupation?

Remember how it didn't smell quite right?

Well I looked here and here, and not a single follow up story. Even when Kerry used it to attack Bush, thus giving the story extra legs, you are telling me that nearly 400 kilograms of high explosive is allowed to go missing, even after the IAEA told the Americans about the depot, and there is no follow up?

Could it be that the original story was a massive beat up? Surely not. This bit from the original story would put to rest any suggestions along those lines..:

US officials have not made public the disappearance but last week they answered questions about it posed by The New York Times and CBS News.


 
Quit while you are behind

You remember 'the handshake' that some have tried to claim helped sink Latham's bid to be PM? Turns out it was all Howard's fault:

"He has an unusual handshaking style," Mr Latham told Sydney radio 2GB.

"... and I've found with experience the easiest way to shake his hand is to get a bit closer rather then (deal with) the flapping style he had been using earlier in the campaign, so I don't think there is any big deal in that."

It was also the room's fault:

Mr Latham said the room in which the handshake took place was small and crowded, requiring a more up-close approach.

"I came out of the studio and shook his hand. It was a crowded room and I can assure you the handshake from the other end was very vigorous and he was flapping around," he said.

Any rumours or scuttlebutt suggesting that Latham is refusing to take any personal responsibility for Labor's drubbing, are of course a media driven myth....

Tuesday, October 26, 2004
 
Hmm

In relation to the 'missing' high explosives, how does this:

UN weapons inspectors had monitored the explosives for many years, but White House and Pentagon officials acknowledge that the explosives vanished after the US invasion

match up with this?:

NBC News: Miklaszewski: “April 10, 2003, only three weeks into the war, NBC News was embedded with troops from the Army's 101st Airborne as they temporarily take over the Al Qakaa weapons installation south of Baghdad. But these troops never found the nearly 380 tons of some of the most powerful conventional explosives, called HMX and RDX, which is now missing.

 
Next up - cage match!

A BRAWL between a parent and a teacher in front of 19 primary school pupils sent a mother to the emergency room and the teacher to jail in the US.

The cause?

According to police interviews, parent Lurella Amica went to Bruce-Weir Elementary School to deliver a note to her nine-year-old daughter.

At the classroom door, the girl told her mother Rucker had thrown her bag in the trash can, the report said.

Amica entered the classroom and tried to get the book bag, but Rucker grabbed for it and the two struggled, the report said.

Then it got really weird:

After Amica wrestled the bag away, police say Rucker picked up a chair and hit her in the back, knocking Amica to the floor. Rucker then began punching Amica in the face and body.

I bet the referee had been distracted by the teacher's tag team partner - they always try something like that...



 
Huzzah!

If one wishes to command one of her Majesty's Regiments, then one needs to be able to handle media inquiries with a certain elan. I present the response of Lieutenant-Colonel James Cowan, commanding officer of the Black Watch, to comments by media panty-wringers fretting about the dangers they will face in the Sunni triangle:

"There's been much sensationalist talk about the threat we will face," he said. "Frankly, this regiment beat Napoleon, beat the Kaiser and beat Hitler. For the Jocks of the Black Watch this is just the latest chapter in our history and another job to be done."

 
Stop it guys, you're killing me..

And the Labor bickering continues. Next up, the dumping of Craig Emerson from the front bench. It had been suggested that this was payback for Emerson's backing of Latham against the wishes of Labor heavy Bill Ludwig. Ludwig's measured response:

"That is just complete rubbish," Bill Ludwig said yesterday, "and Emerson is putting that about because his feelings are a little bruised, but let me tell you the only reason he's not on the front bench is because he's f---ing hopeless.

If that is an accurate characterisation, then I would have thought a senior leadership position would be more appropriate for Dr Emerson...

Friday, October 22, 2004
 
'al-Ghoul' now 'ex-Ghoul'

Is there a better name for a Hamas bomb maker than 'Adnan al-Ghoul'? And is there a more fitting end for him than an Israeli missile attack?

And check out the Palestinians 'inspecting the damage'. I would hate to be there when they attend an open for inspection at a real estate property.

 
Attention giant japanese robot fans

Don't even try and pretend this isn't the coolest thing. Ever.

(via engadget, who remark 'Yeah right, as if you didn’t already know the Japanese are totally insane.')

 
Florida, Queensland

If the Greens do challenge the Queensland Senate result in the High Court, and are sucessful, does that give all Liberal supporters the right to go on endlessly for the next three years about the 'stolen' senate majority?


Thursday, October 21, 2004
 
enamoured fans

I am as big a fan of Mark Steyn as anyone, but some seem a little too into him:

I love you soooooooooooooooooo much . Sitting here in NYC, having a stroke a minute in this liberal cesspool, I can only calm down after I read your columns. Thank you.
Mara Wolynski


Oh, she means *that* kind of stroke. My bad.

 
I love terrorists: Howard

The SMH's headline:

We might negotiate to free hostage: Downer

My god, so you mean after all his tough talk, Downer may be crumbling, and be willing to negotiate with the terrorists holding the director of CARE International's Iraqi operation?

err, not quite:

Mr Downer said the government would never offer money or change its policies to win a hostage's release.

oh

"It depends what you mean by negotiate," Mr Downer told Melbourne radio 3AW.

"The Australian government would never offer money for the release of somebody, and we certainly wouldn't change any of our policies.

"But if, by negotiate, it means people should speak to these terrorists who are holding her and plead for her release, that's, of course, a different thing."

It is a different thing, and the SMH knows it.

I wonder what the group holding Ms Hassan will be described as by the SMH et al - militants, insurgents - terrorists? Currently they are "an unnamed Iraqi group."

I hope they do find the correct people to negotiate with, then I hope a detachment of SAS or similar faciliate the speedy and safe release of Ms Hassan.

 
Take that zombie scum

See Dawn of the Dead (the remake)? Great movie. One thing bugged me however. Apparently it bugged this reviewer on IMDB as well:

Her character is only clichéd and therefore flawed once throughout the campaign. As the genius of the group, she is the first to work out that when people are bitten they become very ugly, very quickly and develop a penchant for biting others. However she is still inexplicably opposed to killing the aforementioned soon-to-be cannibals.

Agreed - if someone so much as looks like zombing out, they are toast. They continue:

I don't know about you but whilst she was still talking through the morale dilemma of killing would-be zombies before they turned, I'd already be choosing which sponge I was going to use to clean my shoes after removing my trusty shot gun from a red blob that used to be somebody's face. Maybe that's just me though.

Nope.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004
 
squeak squeak

The Labor party really should invest in some of those plastic discs they put on ship's ropes to stop rats crawling on board.

Of course, in this case, the idea would be to stop the rats deserting the sinking ship.

Look out for Labor's new front bench, consisting of Latham, Gillard, Crean, Garrett and, err, some other people they will rustle up soon, honest.

It should be like in primary school sport, where when one team has way more good players than the other, the good team has to lend a couple of people to make it a bit more of a contest.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004
 
Jesus built my hotrod

Gerard Henderson writes about the ALP's failure to recognise the growing importance of the religious vote. Interesting without being earth shattering (there is almost an overwhelming amount of labor post-mortem stories available, take your pick.)

What is more interesting is observing the way the ugly Fairfax twins headline the story.

The Age:

Jesus' people have spoken

Nothing particularly provocative there, and basically reflects the main thrust of the article.

Sydney Morning Herald:

Mock Christians at your peril, lefties

Haha. as if the SMH readers don't already hate Henderson enough, headlines like that should certainly help his cause. Its basis is Henderson's dicussion of Kerry O'Brien's comments regarding the success of Family First:

On the ABC TV's election night coverage, compere Kerry O'Brien put the following (loaded) question to the Liberal senator Nick Minchin: "I know that Family First favours your side of politics; but I wonder how healthy it is for a party to be entering the political fray that is so strongly religious based, particularly with that strong connection back to Assemblies of God."

Minchin replied that O'Brien's query was "a bit rich" and made the point that, in democratic societies, parties with "Christian" and "pro-family" values are entitled to engage in the political process. O'Brien responded with the suggestion that "religion and politics are supposed to be separate". Yet has the presenter of The 7.30 Report objected when a member of the Christian clergy opposed the coalition of the willing in Iraq?


I think Red Kerry was getting a bit punch drunk by that stage, but even so, it was a dumb question that got the treatment it deserved.

Monday, October 18, 2004
 
The day after the Day After Tomorrow

Lileks' memo to Roland Emmerih after watching the Day After Tomorrow. Highlights include:

5. Next time, have Dennis Quaid set his Acting Face on something other than “woke up to the sound of the smoke alarm.”

6. Early in the movie we infer that Dennis Quaid is no longer married to Sela Ward because his demanding job as a paleoclimatologist drove her away. Given that this means he preferred drilling ice to – well, Sela Ward, do you expect us to have any sympathy for this idiot at all?

7. You remember that scene where the guys in the Scottish station are sitting around pounding the Balvenie, knowing they're going to die, and one of the guys is talking about never seeing his son grow up as if he's describing a lottery ticket he lost six years ago that may or may not have had the winning numbers? Bookmark that scene should you ever wake in the middle of the night wondering "do I suck, completely?"

His kid also needs help.

Eventually I woke to hear her composing a little play with two Barbies. “Erika’s dead,” she said. “That’s too bad. Are you sure?” Pause. “She’s only dead in the dark.”


 
My two cents

I am sure this point has been raised by those more astute than I, but I would like to make a suggestion as to why we are looking at Howard potentially controlling both Houses.

There wasn't anybody else to vote for.

Those who tend to vote Conservative, are as the name suggests, conservative. Coupled with an inherent mistrust of government, and you have a group which is highly unlikely to give complete legislative control to a party, even a party which they are sympathetic to.

Howard won the lower house by popular mandate, and the upper house by default. Picture this, you are an undecided voter, (if such a thing truly exists), who is sympathetic to Howard, doesnt trust Latham, finds the Greens too feral, isnt a Christian, and doesnt align with the other fringe parties.

You believe Howard should be returned as PM, but would like some sort of check put on the Libs having complete power.

Who do you vote for in the Senate? Labor, no, as you found Latham too volatile. Greens? No, you realise that they are no longer a single issue party (if they ever were) and don't agree with their social policies. Family First? You aren't big on fundamentalist christianity, and believe that what people get up to the in privacy of their own homes is their own business. Democrats?

hahahahahahaah

Sorry, lost it for a second there. The Dems used to be the recipient of these kind of people's votes. Touchy-feely enough to take the rougher edges off the government, but not so ideologically extreme that they will automatically block anything the government proposes, purely because the government is the Coalition.

Of course, the Democrats have now lurched to the left of their founding place, and have no natural constituency. Who would vote for them? Wet Liberals? No, the Dems are too lefty. Hard core lefties? nope, they arent left enough. Workers? What do the Dems offer to them, or anybody?

There was no party available which people who were generally centre to centre right could vote for in the Senate. They had to vote for the Liberals, and we are seeing the results.

 
Which step is denial?

Although Labor have avoided a full scale implosion over their election whipping, some dissent in the ranks is starting to leak out. Grattan on Latham today:

Critics of Mr Latham, who mostly decline to go on the record, complain he is in denial and not personally accepting enough of the blame for defeat.

and Latham's defenders?

His defenders insist, despite the party losing seats nationally, that he campaigned well. Warren Mundine, one of the party's national vice-presidents, said yesterday: "Mark Latham did a fantastic job."

This is followed by an absolute gem of a quote from Mr Mundine. If you wanted to sum up why Labor crashed to a resounding loss, you would be hard pressed to find a quote which better summed up the insularity of the modern ALP:

"He campaigned well. You only have to look at all the political pundits around the country who said he really campaigned well over the last eight months," Mr Mundine said.

Wow, Alan Ramsey said how well Latham campaigned, and the Margonauts waxed lyrical about how much cosmic energy he had built up, so he must have campaigned well - right?

Wrong.

He goes on:

"He did a great job for us. We were looking at a disaster 12 months ago. He pulled us back, and we did quite well. The results in NSW are fantastic".

Labor has won 20 out of 50 divisions in NSW. Anybody that can look at any of the ALP's results in this election, and label them 'fantastic', is not living in the real world.

As with alcholics, the first step to curing a problem is admitting you have one. Apparently Labor isn't keen to have a 'moment of clarity'.

But NSW ALP general secretary Mark Abib said: "Mark Latham ran a very strong campaign . . . This isn't the time to be throwing blame at any group or person."

Au contraire Mr Abib - now is exactly the time to be throwing blame around. Lucky for Labor, they have plenty of dead wood hanging around to soak up the massive amount of blame which is due to be handed out.





Monday, October 11, 2004
 
Zoom zoom

My cheeks are hurting from grinning too much, and the stench of smugness is getting rather overpowering, I wish to blog on something other than the election. Namely - cars! Specifically the "Torana" concept car unveiled by Holden at the recent Sydney Motor Show.

It is a nice looking unit. Shame about the colour, and I hate the name (it is the only name that is more bogan than Monaro). That said, there is one reason why this car must make it into production:

Finished in layered ManGenta paint, the four-seater show car features a stark black and white contemporary interior described by Holden's colour and trim team as "nu luxury". It was inspired by the storm troopers from the Star Wars films.

One point - I don't remember seeing many magenta coloured star destroyers in the movies (though I havent seen the 'new' versions, so god knows what Lucas has got up to..)

Sunday, October 10, 2004
 
Commence gloating

I am sorry, but I just cannot get the smile off my face. Being a news junkie, and a regular reader of blogs, it was easy to go into this election thinking that the Liberals were hanging on by a thread, and that this election was going to go right down to the wire.

Instead? Labor copped an absolute hiding. In the face of a sometimes vitriolic campaign against Howard personally in the media, the Coalition increased its majority, and may actually get de facto control of the senate.

Labor and its supporters are already trying to spin their fourth consecutive loss. The voters are stupid, the Liberals scare campagn worked etc etc. They will also continue to maintain the fiction that Latham 'won' the campaign. If they continue on this line, along with believing that everybody hates Howard and Costello as much as they do, then I look forward to gloating again in 2007.

As far as the blog round-up, my favourite line so far has come from the Currency Lad:

This has been a myth perpetuated for months now - that the public is really taking to Mark Latham. With a stick maybe.

Saturday, October 09, 2004
 
Colours nailed to the mast

My contribution:

GO JOHNNY!

Mike Jericho's:

We cannot allow this to happen. The 88 Australians that died in the Bali Bombing, and the ten Australians that forever vanished amid the rubble of the World Trade Center cry out to us, and plead with us not to abandon them, to not forget them, or the lesson their deaths impart. The war on the murderers that killed a hundred children in Beslan, and thousands of our American cousins on September 11 cannot be simply walked away from. This is our fight, as much as anyone else's.

So it is with a heavy heart that I say to all our American, British, Polish and Italian friends, if Mark Latham and his party of isolationism should win tomorrow, bid us farewell, and try not to resent us our folly. Remember us for how we were, and not for how we've allowed ourselves to become.

For there are old Australians amid the new, and I swear to you, our time shall come again.

Okay, so his may be a bit more eloquent.

Thursday, October 07, 2004
 
UN corruption not surprising enough to be news

Event - Release of report by Iraq Survey Group.

The Age's reporting of it:

Contradicting the main argument for a war that has cost more than 1000 American lives, the top US arms inspector reported today that he found no evidence that Iraq produced any weapons of mass destruction after 1991.

and this:

The inspector's report could boost Kerry's contention that Bush rushed to war based on faulty intelligence and that sanctions and UN weapons inspectors should have been given more time.

comes before this (buried in paragraph 7):

But Duelfer also supports Bush's argument that Saddam remained a threat.

Interviews with the toppled leader and other former Iraqi officials made clear to inspectors that Saddam had not lost his ambition to pursue weapons of mass destruction and hoped to revive his weapons program if sanctions were lifted, the report said.

So sanctions and weapons inspectors should have been given more time to do what exactly? If there were no weapons, what would more time have done? The report suggests that the only thing stopping the creation of WMD were the sanctions. Is Kerry (and the rest of the pro-Saddam lobby) suggesting that sanctions should have been left there indefinitely? To prevent WMD surely the only two options would have been a) indefinite sanctions or b) remove Saddam?

The sanctions were blamed for bringing misery on the Iraqi people, and we have heard what a bad idea removing Saddam was, so what course of action should we have taken?

Speaking of sanctions, and the oil-for-food program, it comes as no surprise that these findings in the ISG report didnt get a mention anywhere in the Australian media:

The report by Charles Duelfer, head of the Iraq Survey Group, alleges the Iraqi government manipulated the U.N. program from 1996 to 2003 in order to acquire billions of dollars in illicit gains and to import illegal goods, including acquiring parts for missile systems.

The alleged schemes included an Iraqi system for allocating lucrative oil vouchers, which permitted recipients to purchase certain amounts of oil at a profit.

Benon Sevan, the former chief of the U.N. program, is among dozens of people who allegedly received the vouchers, according to the report, which said Saddam personally approved the list.

The secret voucher program was dominated by Russian, French and Chinese recipients, in that order, with Saddam spreading the wealth widely to prominent business men, politicians, foreign government ministries and political parties, the report said.

Surely not! But weren't the Russians, French and Chinese steadfast in their desire to see Saddam removed and Iraqsis freed from under the thumb of tyranny? Didn't the UN do all it could to assist?

 
Here we go again...

Further coverage of the Vice-Presedential debate in today's Age.

A slip of the tongue by the vice president during last night's debate with Senator John Edwards led web surfers to a site run by George Soros, a billionaire who makes no secret of his opposition to the Bush administration.
In answering a question about his involvement with Halliburton, a major government contractor in Iraq, Cheney meant to direct people to FactCheck.org, a nonpartisan site run by the University of Pennsylvania.


He urged people watching the debate to go to the site for facts countering Edwards' statements about the corporation Cheney used to run.

But Cheney cited FactCheck.com, a for-profit advertising site based in the Cayman Islands.

and

Mr Cheney also made another debate mistake. After what initially seemed like it might go down in history as one of those killer debate moments Cheney, who presides over the Senate, said he'd never met Senator John Edwards until their encounter in Cleveland.

...

But the bon mot backfired. Cheney was wrong.

and

It also was a stretch for Cheney to suggest that he frequently presides over the Senate.
Cheney wields the gavel only when he's needed to cast tie-breaking votes, which happened only three times in 2003.


Fair enough, Cheney shanked it on the website, and is going to get called on it. Nor do I wish to get into an argument that Cheney's comments were referring to Edwards' absence from voting, as opposed to cermonial appearences.

What I do want to ask, is what about Edwards' errors? In an article purporting to fact check the debate, why are only Cheney's bloopers getting a run.

Lets have a look at the non-partisan factcheck.org shall we?

Edwards twice accused the administration of having "lobbied the Congress" to cut the combat pay of troops in Iraq, when in fact the White House never supported such a plan.

and

He implied that Cheney was in charge of the company when it did business with Libya in violation of US sanctions, but that happened long before Cheney joined the company

Anybody here surprised that the article is hopelessly one sided? Nope, didn't think so.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004
 
Aaah AP, you've done it again

To continue our series of looking at how the media is reporting the debates in the US election, lets now turn to the Cheney/Edwards debate.

This Reuters/AFP/AP story quotes Edwards seven times (though one quote is repeated) Cheney? Three.

How about paragraphs? 4 to Cheney, 8 to Edwards. But who won the actual debate you ask? The article doesn't declare a winner, but curiously include this:

The face-off between the two vice presidential candidates took on added importance after President George W Bush's uneven performance against Democratic challenger John Kerry last week.

Hmm, so they are happy to call last week a win for Kerry, but nothing about this one? Would it be uncharitable to suggest that this means Cheney gave Edwards a towelling? If it was close, or if Edwards had come out on top, who honestly doesnt believe that this would have rated a mention?

Now check out Marian Wilkinson's 'report':

There was no trace of the scowling, growling candidate who scared children during last week's presidential debate when he faced his rival John Kerry and came off second best.

Where does she get this crap? Where was the growling? What children is she referring to? (infantile SMH readers do not count)

In an unbelievable reversal, a Gallup Poll taken after the presidential debate has Mr Bush and Senator Kerry in a dead heat. Just a week ago, the same poll put Mr Bush so far ahead - by eight points - that Democrat supporters accused the polling company of bias, citing the owner's ties with evangelical Christians.

She doesn't point out how stupid that now makes these "democrat supporters" look, or state which position we should take seriously - has Kerry had a stunning reversal, or is Gallup a hopelessly compromised god-bothering organisation whose results we should ignore? Oh, I get it, we ignore them if they show Bush in front, but if they show a Kerry revival, then we should report breathlessly on a "unbelievable reversal"

While Mr Bush's campaign strategists are now saying the tightening race is "no surprise", the truth is they are thrown by Senator Kerry's comeback in the polls.

Got any proof for that Marian, any quotes from strategists to back up your assertion about the 'truth'?

A week ago, Mr Bush's political right-hand man, Karl Rove, dubbed "boy genius" by the President, was telling the conservative Washington Times that Senator Kerry was on the run and the battleground state of Ohio was about to fall to Mr Bush. The campaign there, he said, was as "strong as an acre of garlic".

But the *truth* is that he is thrown right?

But on the night of the presidential debate, it was Mr Bush who was on the defensive.

Again - proof?

And when Mr Rove tried to tell reporters that Mr Bush had turned in a solid performance and Senator Kerry had put in his "worst", he was met with incredulity. One reporter asked, "Can you say that with a straight face?"

Bingo! There you go - the group of anti-Bush reporters that Marian is hanging out with think that Bush did terribly, and that his strategists are running scared, ergo, that is the truth. This really has got beyond a joke.


Friday, October 01, 2004
 
Bush bad Kerry bad too Bush Bad!

Psychologists refer to the 'primacy' and 'recency' effect, whereby when a person is exposed to a series of pictures/people/statements/information etc, they are more likely to remember the first and last ones. Which is more prominent is not clear

But when you read the Age's report on the Presidential debate between Kerry and Bush, you realise it doesn't matter anyway:

First paragraph:

US Democratic challenger John Kerry today accused President George W Bush of making a "colossal error of judgment" over Iraq in their first televised debate today.

Last paragraph:

Kerry said Bush had misled the country on the war by pledging to plan carefully, give diplomacy every chance to prevail and more. He said Osama bin Laden had used the invasion as a recruiting tool for terrorists.

A complete coincidence I am sure. And this is just purely subjective:

Bush appeared perturbed when Kerry levelled some of his charges, scowling at times and looking away in apparent disgust at others.

and Kerry's reactions?

Kerry often took notes when the president spoke.

oooh, what an intellectual.

This is also chucked in apparently at random, it is not a quote from Kerry, or even follows a point made by him:

More than 1,000 Americans have been killed in Iraq since the US-led invasion in March 2003, many of them by insurgents battling American forces.

Of course, none of this comes as a great shock when you read this at the bottom:

- AFP/AP

Is any of this earth shattering? Of course not, it is just further symptoms of the bias that infects the media. There are high profile examples. like Rathergate, but there is also day to day bad journalism like this.


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