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Friday, June 11, 2004

Howler 

Read today's Daily Howler. Maybe Sommerby's best work! Read it, read it now! Why are you still reading this? Click the damn link!

The first part is about Reagan, and as I said, demands to be read. But the last part is about the coverage of when Kerry went to the coffin. As Guth just told me, how can anyone read this and still claim the New York Times is biased towards Democrats?
From the annals of polite Big Pol conduct
PERFECT GENTLEMEN: You’ll recall John Kerry’s surly behavior when he “paid his respects” to Reagan (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 6/9/04). Let’s face it–character counts in a possible president. Luckily, the New York Times’ fearless scribe, David Halbfinger, was willing to report what he did:
HALBFINGER (5/9/04): Mr. Kerry, who came to Los Angeles to see his daughter Alexandra, 30, graduate from the American Film Institute on Wednesday, briefly paid his respects to Mr. Reagan at the presidential library in Simi Valley, Calif., Tuesday afternoon. Momentarily cutting through a cordon of mourners, he saluted Mr. Reagan’s coffin with his hand over his heart, bowed his head, crossed himself, saluted again and left–all in the space of a minute.
Good God! But then, it’s just like a Massachusetts liberal to engage in such fake, phony conduct. Halbfinger was shocked when Kerry refused to spend ten hours standing in line with the proles. And he wasn’t afraid to tell his readers about the “war hero’s” troubling conduct.

This morning, we finally see the sequel. Yesterday, President Bush and other Big Pols also paid their respects to Reagan. They certainly could have jumped the line too. But in Bush’s case, we saw real character! Here’s how Sheryl Gay Stolberg describes his visit in this morning’s Times:
STOLBERG (5/11/04): President Bush and the first lady, Laura Bush, made a quick visit on Thursday evening, surprising some of the everyday people who were already in the Rotunda. They approached the coffin silently and bowed their heads. Then Mr. Bush put his hands on the flag, smoothing it, before he led Mrs. Bush away.
Clearly, the Bushes didn’t cut into line–or Stolberg, like Halbfinger, would have said so. Impressively, Bill Frist and Mikhail Gorbachev stood in line for ten hours too:
STOLBERG: Earlier in the day, Senator Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, escorted the new interim president of Iraq, Sheik Ghazi Ajil al-Yawar, who bowed his head and put his right hand across his chest. Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet president, lingered by the coffin and placed a hand on it.
Stolberg’s failure to describe any “rooting” tells us it just didn’t happen. But don’t take Stolberg’s word for this. Thom Shanker also describes Gorbachev’s visit this morning. He didn’t see Gorby cut in line either:
SHANKER: His solemn duties for the day came first, and Mikhail S. Gorbachev bowed his head before the coffin of Ronald Reagan in the Capitol Rotunda on Thursday and stopped at Blair House to pay a condolence call on Nancy Reagan. Only then did he pause and let the memories come flooding back.
Readers of the New York Times got an invaluable lesson this week. Bush and Frist were perfect gentlemen–but thanks to the work of David Halbfinger, Times subscribers learned about the character problems of a liberal line-jumper. Four years ago, Katharine “Kit” Seelye played the same role, endlessly alerting her paper’s readers to the troubling conduct of Candidate Gore. When Gore wouldn’t tell lies, she just made her lies up. This week, Times readers saw their clowning paper continue its valuable work.
This is really infuriating, isn't it?
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