The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Tuesday, October 26, 2004  

With Media Miscellany
October 26, 2004

My Kind of Undecided Voter [*]
Stu Bykofsky, the still unretired Philadelphia Daily News columnist, is my kind of undecided voter: "I'm an undecided voter. I'm undecided about whether to vote for John Kerry . . . in the morning or in the afternoon."

Very Important [*]
How important is this election? Susie explains.

Brock, Limbaugh, and NBC [*]
David Brock of Media Matters for America has written an open letter to Neal Shapiro of NBC News, asking the network not to feature right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh as a political commentator on election night.

Malkin's Self-Imposed Internment
David Neiwert of Orcinus turns the tables on the whiney and cowardly Michelle Malkin, and asks, "What is she afraid of?"

Like so many right-wing half-pundits, Malkin hides behind squeals of "censorship" in order to duck the "open debate" she claims to be fostering with her half-baked, non-scholarly, Regnery-backed churn of self-righteous anger. Neiwert catches Malkin in the act of ducking, repeatedly:

But what's most striking to me about Malkin's refusal to do a phone interview is that she's suggested that time constraints are her chief reason for backing out. But the interview, as I told her, would only require about 30 to 45 minutes of her time. If I were to submit the questions to her in writing, and she were to respond even half-adequately, the writing time involved would almost certainly take up a good deal more time than that. Phone interviews, in my experience, are always less time-consuming than written responses to questions.

Malkin pretends to be a blogger -- about as well as she pretends to be a pundit and a scholar -- but she's obviously unwilling to respond to Neiwert, her most informed and reasonable critic in the blogosphere. What is she afraid of?

The Eagle is Grounded
It looks like Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.) might not make time for that great big nationwide campaign on behalf of Bush-Cheney. The Los Angeles Times reports ("Gov. Won't Commit to Stump for Bush," by Peter Nicholas): "[Gov. Schwarzenegger] told reporters afterward that 'we haven't really made up our mind yet' as to whether he would campaign for [President George W.] Bush in the last week of the presidential race. He is considering a single trip to Ohio -- there and back the same day, probably Friday."

Krugman on Bush Secrecy
In "A Culture of Cover-Ups," Paul Krugman writes: "Although President Bush's campaign is based almost entirely on his self-proclaimed leadership in that war, his officials have thrown a shroud of secrecy over any information that might let voters assess his performance."

Scheer on Cheney Secrecy
In "The Man Behind the Oval Office Curtain," Robert Scheer writes: "Whatever one thinks of George W. Bush -- do you see a smile or a smirk? -- it is now patently obvious that the most powerful vice president in U.S. history is in charge of the White House. [Vice President Dick] Cheney's ultra-secretive, anti-democratic and crony-capitalist instincts have defined this administration."

The Times on Rumsfeld Secrecy
The New York Times reports ("Delays on 9/11 Bill Are Laid to Pentagon," by Philip Shenon): "A months-long, behind-the-scenes lobbying effort by the Pentagon to water down the powers of a new national intelligence director is largely responsible for a stalemate threatening to derail Congressional efforts to enact the major recommendations of the independent Sept. 11 commission, Congressional officials and commission members said Monday."

Ted Kennedy Visits Philadelphia
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) was in Philadelphia Sunday, his visit sort of lost in the hoopla surrounding the stumping here by former President Bill Clinton. It was a well-timed and successful visit. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports ("A Day of Stumping Ends on a Light Note," by Natalie Pompilio):

In Philadelphia, Kennedy addressed the congregations of two largely African American churches -- Mount Airy Church of God in Christ on Ogontz Avenue and Zion Baptist -- and the mostly Latino users of a community center on North Third Street.

At Zion Baptist, the Rev. Daly Barnes Jr. introduced Kennedy by noting that the senator's work "has been service to all God's creatures across this nation."

Afterward, Sheila Olivo, 55, said that she had choked up listening to Kennedy's speech. "It means everything to us, his being here," the Manayunk resident said. "We know he is sincere, and we know we have a voice in politics with him. And it's the first time we've had a person in politics learn the language and sing from the heart."

Pennsylvania House Races
More reasons the keep your eyes on Pennsylvania: The New York Times yesterday focused on a handful of critical congressional races in the Philadelphia and Allentown areas.

[* Note: Additional items may be posted to “Political Notes” after initial publication but only on the day of publication, excluding post-publication addenda. Such items, when posted, are designated by an asterisk.]

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