Saturday, September 30, 2006


As in "stimulate." Springfield's newest magazine has been published in print and digital format, and it's worth your time.

Not because CHATTER's chief typist contributed to the first issue (though the story on bloggers isn't a bad read). STIM is worth the time because, as editor Colin Wright notes, "It's time. Seriously." Time to shake off old conventions. Time to try some new things.

Congrats to Wright and his people for making something out of nothing. Tip of the pinhead to Fat Jack for putting the mag link on his page.

Read the first issue by clicking here. The story on bloggers: And Then The Listeners Started Talking. Nice hed. Wish we'd have thought of it.

Friday, September 29, 2006


Brad Belote, executive producer at KYTV, is headed to KSPR to become the station's news director, a source tells CHATTER.

KY3 and Perkin Media recently announced their shared acquisition of KSPR, the local ABC affiliate. Belote becomes the first known name to make the transition. There could be more station staff swapping in coming weeks. It's clearly good news for KSPR, a station that has had its share of wretched news directors (and equally bad ratings) over the years. What's it mean for KY3?


A bunch of bullets to take you into the weekend:

•Regarding our earlier post on George Brett's missing head: Said head has been located, according to the News-Leader, in a ditch near Camdenton. The news just makes its own jokes, doesn't it?

•We've been busy doing work for the Doug Harpool campaign. A 100-second video biography of the candidate can be found here at YouTube. A higher resolution version of the vid resides here.

•There's hope for the future. New Scientist reports that solar activity will srcew the GPS pooch in 2011:
A study reveals Global Positioning System receivers to be unexpectedly vulnerable to bursts of radio noise produced by solar flares, created by explosions in the Sun's atmosphere.

When solar activity peaks in 2011 and 2012, it could cause widespread disruption to aircraft navigation and emergency location systems that rely heavily on satellite navigation data.
Once it's disrupted, ditch the OnStar and head for the hills. They won't be able to track you.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Who stole George Brett's head?

The former Kansas City Royals player was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1994. A bust of the player is at the hall in Springfield. Or was.

Someone reportedly stole the head from the hall. Nothing else taken. Just the Brett head. What the hell?


Thursday morning found a certain radio host giving grudging admiration to the "mind control" powers of former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who spoke Wednesday night at a public forum about the Iraq War.

The radio host was a member of the same panel. He'd attempted to pack the audience with his sycophants, casting the event as some sort of Patriots vs. Peaceniks clash. But a News-Leader account of the meeting makes it clear -- the Peaceniks are winning this war:
The crowd was less favorable toward panel member Vincent David Jericho, a conservative talk-radio host on local station KSGF.

Although Jericho garnered thunderous applause when describing America as "the greatest country in the world," he drew fire after suggesting the U.S. is also "morally superior."

Moderator Bob Ranney had to ask the audience to refrain from catcalling after several other comments from Jericho, including his contention that "Jesus wasn't some velveteen wuss, he was a man ..."

Jericho characterized the current war on terror as a religious war and defended past statements by the president that American soldiers are "Christian crusaders."

"The Bible isn't a book of peace," Jericho said. "Never has been, never will be."
And the walls came tumbling down.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


This sick little story from Foley, Ala., is sure to disgust. WPMI reports:
In the middle of a local WalMart, police say a man relieved himself sexually, on a young girl and then runs off. It happened at the WalMart Supercenter off Highway 59 in Foley. Police are now searching for the suspect they believe may have acted out before.

Taken in a crowded WalMart store in Foley, a surveillance video depicts a man in a green shirt, lingering on the right side of the screen. He's not shopping, he's stalking. Police say he's fondling himself as he watches a 13-year-old girl across the isle and out of the camera's view. After a while, investigators say he crosses the isle to violate the unsuspecting teen in an unimaginable way. Sergeant Tony Fuqua with the Foley Police Department describes what happened: “Then he went over to her and relieved himself sexually on the outer clothing of the 13-year-old.”
Across the isle? Obviously a fan of "Lost."

Monday, September 25, 2006


The 82-year-old congressman from Illinois is retiring. You may remember him as one of the GOP gang that pressed the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

Speaking with Robert Novak, the columnist, Hyde spilled this little gem:
"I'd like to go back and do the impeachment again ... I was soft on the treatment we received from the Senate. We couldn't produce a witness without their permission. I should have had the president come in and testify. And if the Senate wouldn't let me, I should have gone before the body and Chief Justice Rehnquist and made a motion. That would have dramatized that the Senate was not letting us try our case. A lot of things could have been done differently."
Heh-heh. He said he was "soft."

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Zero tolerance gone awry, and a great payoff quote in this story from Layton, Utah. The Associated Press reports:
A 15-year-old high school football player faces simple assault charges for putting a thumbtack in his glove before shaking hands and high-fiving players from a rival school, authorities said.

The student was kicked off the team following the incident, which happened Thursday after a game against Davis High School. The student's name has not been released.

"This was a young man who made a very immature decision," said Layton High School Assistant Principal Dee Burton.

Several members of the Davis team were jabbed with the tack, said Layton Police Sgt. James Petre. One chose to press charges.

Davis School District spokesman Christopher Williams said he was told salt had been poured on the Layton football field earlier this week, but "that does not justify what the student did."

He said he did not know if the field was damaged.

"There's been a rivalry between the two for years, but it doesn't justify one student to hurt another student," Williams said.

Along with criminal charges, the student could face further sanctions from the school if an administrator decides the tack was a weapon and that the incident wasn't merely a prank, school officials said.
When tacks are outlawed, only outlaws will have tacks.


Mike Smith, the director of news for public radio station KSMU, retires next week after 25 years of work.

A reception will be held at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27 at Plaster Student Union on the Missouri State University campus. It'll be in the Union Club, Room 400.

Smith doesn't like to think of himself as "the voice of KSMU." But longtime listeners of the station know it's a fact.

We have several war stories to tell on the man. Do you?


The assistant editorial page editor of the News-Leader shows off his lack of style with a Saturday column that reeks.

He claims to be a Christian, but his first sentence is anything but:
I hate news conferences when television personalities start hunting for sound bites.
Yeah, that Jesus was such a hatemonger.

Lewis apparently has problems with "television personalities" who want quotes:
Here are some of the questions one television personality asked: How do you define cloning? Is it a sin to vote for this amendment? Is it a sin to vote for this amendment? Is it a sin to vote for this amendment? Why then don't you just say it is a sin to vote for this amendment?

Sigh. Theological illiteracy meets gotcha journalism.

What are the brainstorming sessions like at these television stations? Religious folks oppose this. They must be shouting some irrational hoodoo. Let's catch them.
Yeah, "gotcha journalism." That explains why Lewis belittles the questions — and then prints the answers given by Alan Keyes and Rick Scarborough.

Lewis also shows his disregard for basic newspaper-writing style.

He notes a conversation with "Greene County Medical Society president John Mihalevich." Mihalevich is a physician. AP style calls for him to be referred to as "Dr. John Mihalevich" on first reference.

Lewis identifies Scarborough as "Rev. Scarborough" on second reference. A definite AP style no-no.

But hey, we shouldn't expect anything better from a guy who begins his column with the words, "I hate." We'd call him a "newspaper personality," but that gives him too much credit. Call him a "newspaper typist."

Friday, September 22, 2006


Pretend to be a woman, place a post on Craigslist promising a hot little time, and wait for the suckers to roll in. Cops say 35-year old Ernest Ray Lamey pulled the peculiar scam on a 23-year-old man with loving on his mind. The Austin American-Statesman, that kicking read, reports:
The man who answered the door promised that his female roommate, who he said had left, would soon return, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. That's when Lamey offered the 23-year-old a drink laced with Ambien, a sleeping pill, and waited until it kicked in before sexually attacking him, the affidavit said.

Lamey was charged Wednesday with sexual assault, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. He was being held in the Travis County Jail on Thursday in lieu of $20,000 bail. ...

The online advertisement the man responded to was for "partying and hanging out with other men and women," according to affidavit. The man e-mailed the address provided in the ad and arranged a meeting, the affidavit said.

Lamey showed the man a picture of a woman he said was his roommate before offering the drink, the affidavit said.

He "took a few drinks and started feeling very sleepy," the document said.
Another tragic case of thinking with the wrong head.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


KYTV, the NBC affiliate in Springfield, is taking over operations at KSPR, the ABC affiliate, two sources tell CHATTER.

Announcements were made in the stations' newsrooms on Thursday afternoon, the sources say. Some KSPR management positions have already fallen to the axe, the sources add.

KYTV is the area's top-rated television station. KSPR traditionally holds last place among the three network affiliates.

Discuss, discuss.


Quite the interesting thread on Missouri Radio this week, as broadcasters discuss the latest News-Leader innovation. Former KTTS news director Morris James posts:
They have purchased digital camcorders, digital voice recorders, and laptop computers with mobile web capability and are entering the breaking news arena. They are also hiring a small separate staff of people, versed in breaking news and the web, to take on radio and yes, t-v. The concept is simple, film the scene and beam the info right back to the paper. While radio is using antiquated equipment because of no investment, and television is restricted by time constraints (running stuff during regular news times), the paper is out to win. Reporters and photogs have been going to classes in Des Moines, getting training. The paper is being refocused on the future...the web. Many sites featuring video are not top-notch broadcast facilities, they look amatuer. But folks are glued to them like crazy. The train has left the station for the paper...who is going to play catch up?
Good idea? Bad idea?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Finally, one thing Republicans and Democrats ought to agree on: Electronic voting machines can be bad news for democracy.

A recent study from Princeton University shows the machines -- rolled out in the aftermath of the botched 2000 national election -- can be hacked with uneasy ease:
In a paper posted on the university's Web site, Edward Felten and two graduate students described how they had tested a Diebold AccuVote-TS machine they obtained, found ways to quickly upload malicious programs and even developed a computer virus able to spread such programs between machines.

The marketing director for the machine's maker — Diebold Inc.'s Diebold Election Systems of Allen, Texas — blasted the report, saying Felten ignored newer software and security measures that prevent such hacking.

"I'm concerned by the fact we weren't contacted to educate these people on where our current technology stands," Mark Radke said.

Felten and graduate students Ariel Feldman and Alex Halderman found that malicious programs could be placed on the Diebold by accessing the memory card slot and power button, both behind a locked door on the side of the machine. One member of the group was able to pick the lock in 10 seconds, and software could be installed in less than a minute, according to the report.
This week it becomes clearer how easy it would be to bust into a Diebold machine and make mischief. This report notes that Diebold machines have locks that can be opened with a generic key:
[T]he exact same key is used widely in office furniture, electronic equipment, jukeboxes, and hotel minibars. It’s a standard part, and like most standard parts it’s easily purchased on the Internet. We bought several keys from an office furniture key shop — they open the voting machine too. We ordered another key on eBay from a jukebox supply shop. The keys can be purchased from many online merchants.
And no, the Diebold machines won't keep your tiny tequila bottles cold. But they can put a chill on voter confidence.

Monday, September 18, 2006


Conservation International announces ... a walking shark:
Not far from the Foja Mountains, where a CI team recently discovered a "lost world" of rare plants and animals, another CI-led expedition has found a new trove of extraordinary marine biodiversity in a region known as the Bird's Head Seascape.

Among the new species were two kinds of epaulette shark (Hemiscyllium sp.) – small, slender-bodied bottom-dwellers that use their pectoral fins to "walk" across the seafloor.


The world's a little nuts on Monday. Or perhaps that's so, and we're only seeing the nut side of life.

Chris Fluharty isn't happy. The man who would be legislator -- he's running as a third-party candidate for a north Springfield seat in the Missouri General Assembly -- was profiled in a recent Brian Lewis column, and it's the lede that torqued him off:
Chris Fluharty thinks Republican voters made a big mistake. What does he know? Fair question. Fluharty isn't a Republican. He's a member of the Constitution Party. And perhaps a little crazy.
Fluharty responds in Monday's News-Leader:
I need to thank Brian Lewis for the lesson in politics and the press. I never imagined from our interviews that he would railroad the story that way. Here, I thought it was a story on a person who, in spite of cancer, a full-time job and finishing a master's degree, still is running to give the people of the 137th District a conservative choice. Instead, I found my faith and my party in the middle of an inquisition and was found to be "crazy."
No, only "perhaps crazy." But Fluharty shows he has more than a nodding acquaintance with the crazy button:
That's OK. I bet those brave American patriots were considered crazy when they declared independence from the king. I guarantee those great Southern secessionists were seen as crazy when they stood up to a tyrannical and unconstitutional president. Thank you for putting me in such great company. If loving God and state are crazy, then I am certifiable.
Crazy, baby.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Where's the station's delay? Sunday listeners of "Cracker Barrel," the highly rated call-in show, were treated to a caller claiming that those who advocate withdrawal of troops from the Middle East are "chickens--t."

You can't make chicken salad out of it, and you're not supposed to allow it on the radio. Who dropped the KTTS ball on Sunday morning?

Saturday, September 16, 2006


A tip of the pinhead to Randy @ The Turner Report for first mentioning this bit o' media news: Pam Maples, a former News-Leader whiz, will be the next managing editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Maples has been at the Dallas Morning News, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

From the Post-Dispatch story:
Maples, 48, has been assistant managing editor for projects and investigations at the Morning News since 2000. Before that, she served as national editor and deputy national editor. She also has worked at the Rocky Mountain News, the Albuquerque Tribune and the Springfield (Mo.) Daily News. In 1994, she was a member of the reporting team in Dallas that won a Pulitzer Prize for international reporting for "Violence Against Women: A Question of Human Rights."
Maples is an ace. This ought to be good.


And we come full circle. Our recent post on Jenny Fillmer's departure from Ye Olde News-Leader -- 96 comments and counting -- now has meat to the bones.

From Saturday's News-Leader report on the hiring of Fillmer (pardon us, Jenny Fillmer Edwards) as information officer for Greene County:
Presiding Commissioner Dave Coonrod said Edwards will "be the funnel through which information about the county is disseminated to the public."

"We're probably way behind the curve on this," Coonrod said, noting that most other government entities — including city hall and public schools — already have public information officers. ...

"My goal is to help Greene County residents understand the role county government plays in their lives," [Edwards] said. "I have experience anticipating what kind of questions the public wants answered and taking complicated and nuanced information and presenting it in a way the average person can understand."
In other words, she knows how to be a reporter. She'll do fine for the county.

As for the paper: Word has it that a new political reporter starts in early October, just in time to get thrown into the frenzied peak (and pique) of the general election campaigns. We wish her luck.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Next week the opponents of stem-cell research come to Springfield to make a frenzied noise.

Alan Keyes and Rick Scarborough are scheduled to speak at the Central Assembly of God church on Sept. 21. But first they made a swing through the Kansas City area, rattling the rafters in a (largely empty) church in Raytown.

Kit Wagar of KC Buzz Blog provides the color:
The event was part religious revival, part science lecture, part prayer meeting and part call to political action against the "devilish science" of early stem cell research. Whatever your position on stem cells, you had to acknowledge that these speakers were good.

All speakers agreed that taking stem cells from fertilized human eggs or by cloning cells in the lab kills a microscopic human being. Keyes compared the research to slavery. To White Europeans, he said, slavery was justified because black Africans "were not like us." The same justification fits stem cell research, Keyes said, because the people in the Petri dish "are not like us."

"Slavery was all about greed," Keyes said. "Racism was just the tool to getting the money."

He warned that the targets of unethical research today might be in a Petri dish. But know one knows if tomorrow “some demagogue will make your blond hair, your brown eyes or your black skin the basis for some kind of abuse,” Keyes said.

Scarborough stalked the stage like a panther, urging church members to go to the polls to block the initiative and stop the killing of microscopic human people. He said Christians are citizens of heaven, but citizens of the nation as well.

"Don't buy the lie that we can't preach about this," Scarborough told the ministers in attendance. The left, he said, has politicized every moral issue, "even politicizing the killing of babies."

The stem cell initiative will pass, he said, only if "the church sleeps this one out." He bemoaned the tendency for 75 percent of church members to skip voting.

“This is a hill worth dying on,” he said.
But is it worth lying about? Scarborough said Amendment 2 forces voters to "decide whether it is legal to create a human being for the purpose of destroying it." That's not what Amendment 2 proposes. Scarborough probably knows this, but his circus act would suffer if he told the truth.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


The former governor of Texas had battled cancer for some time. In 1988 she delivered a memorable address to the Democratic National Convention. Two years later, she was elected governor.

Point goes to Adrianna, who beats JJ to the death knell bell by four seconds. No, Addie, you cannot transfer your point to Mayor Dan.


Figurative REDRUM, of course, not the literal kind. Who would want to wish any ill will or bad future on the KSPR weatherman?

Excepting KSPR boss types. Drum is out of there, according to this thread on the Missouri Radio forums. Drum was easily the best-known on-air person at the ABC affiliate.

Besides Jasmine Huda, of course. Come Friday she'll become the senior City Hall beat reporter among Springfield's press corps. Ponder that fact for a while before weeping.


That's the headline of a news release from Grant Story, public information officer for the Springfield Police Department. As one might imagine, the auto won. From the SPD:
The crash occurred in the 700 block of south Glenstone at 9:41 p.m. on September 12. The pedestrian has been identified as Nathan J. Horne, age 29, of Springfield.

The crash occurred as a 2002 Mitsubishi Montero, operated by Nathan A. Law, age 17, of Springfield, was northbound on Glenstone in the right hand (outside) lane and Mr. Horne was walking in the area. Mr. Horne was subsequently struck by the Montero, and suffered life-threatening injuries. He was transported to St. John’s Hospital where he remains in critical condition.
If you know anything about the wreck, call police at 864-1810.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Consider this a follow-up to a recent News-Leader story about a woman and her monkey.

Published in late August, the story featured Debby Rose, a Springfield woman who "rescues and cares" for wild animals. Including Richard, a bonnet macaque. From the story:
Her near-constant companion for two years, Richard accompanies Debby to work, shops and even restaurants.

Aware that there might be questions about Richard's outings, she met with Springfield-Greene County Health Department officials.

They have received calls, says Jim Fry, coordinator of environmental health services for the department. The state does not require certification for service animals, he explains, and the Americans with Disabilities Act recognizes numerous animals help those with mental and physical disabilities.

"If she says it's a service animal, you have to allow it in or run the risk of violating the ADA regulations," he says.
Well, she said it was a service animal. But now the health department apparently disagrees.

In a memo sent to restaurants after the News-Leader story was published, Ron Lawson of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department wrote:
Due to numerous complaints and recent discussions of the definition of service animals with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, this Department has made the decision not to allow Ms. Debby Rose to enter a Food Establishment with her monkey. According to the U.S. Department of Justice definition of service animals, such an animal must be able to perform a specific task for people with disabilities. It has become apparent that this monkey does not qualify as a service animal.

Please be advised that should Ms. Rose be allowed to enter your Food Establishment with her monkey, you will be in violation of the 1999 Missouri Food Code Section 6-501.115 which is a critical violation.
Restaurants in Springfield have been put on notice -- don't let the monkey darken your doorstep. If Rose doesn't comply, restaurant owners are supposed to call the health department, or the police if it's after 5 p.m.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Our spies at Bluesfest spotted former KY3 anchor Tony Beason and grabbed some scoop. Beason retired from the station and promptly pulled a Johnny Carson, staying clear of any media appearances.

What's he been doing? Playing bass in a band with his wife -- and giving the razor a rest. "He had a beard," our spies report. "A pretty good one, too." Nothing like ZZ Top, but certainly much more than a scrawny tangle.

Good for him.

Speaking of KY3, we hear the old on-air set has been gobbled up by City Utilities; the energy company will rehab the set and use it for their own communications projects.

One other local media note while we're at it. Our little post on the departure of News-Leader reporter Jenny Fillmer certainly struck a nerve, lanced a boil, released the hounds. Nearly 70 comments now grace the post, and man, it's good -- albeit bittersweet -- reading. Sweet because sometimes the media need tweaking. Bitter because several people from our era at the News-Leader still survive in that place, and in spite of the crap they endure, they try to thrive.

Got scoop on the local media? Drop us an e-mail and dish.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


To use the always popular phrase, mistakes were made in Iraq. No one disputes this obvious fact. Except for Vice President Dick Cheney, who on Sunday insisted that Iraq had a pre-way link to al-Qaeda -- and that hindsight means nothing to him. The Financial Times reports:
He acknowledged that the US intelligence on Iraq had been poor but he appeared to put the blame on the Central Intelligence Agency, saying George Tenet, the former director of the spy agency, had told President George W. Bush that the case that Mr Hussein had weapons of mass destruction was a "slam dunk".

But he said the lack of weapons of mass destruction would not have changed the decision to invade Iraq.

"If we had to do [it] over again, we would do exactly the same thing," Mr Cheney said.
No matter the cost.

Friday, September 08, 2006


With her bare hands. The Associated Press reports on the strange story from Oregon:
Susan Kuhnhausen, 51, ran to a neighbor's house after the confrontation Wednesday night. Police found the body of Edward Dalton Haffey 59, a convicted felon with a long police record.

Police said there was no obvious sign of forced entry at the house when Kuhnhausen, an emergency room nurse at Providence Portland Medical Center, got home from work shortly after 6 p.m.

Under Oregon law people can use reasonable deadly force when defending themselves against an intruder or burglar in their homes. Kuhnhausen was treated and released for minor injuries at Providence.

Haffey, about 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, had convictions including conspiracy to commit aggravated murder, robbery, drug charges and possession of burglary tools. Neighbors said Kuhnhausen's size - 5-foot-7 and 260 pounds - may have given her an advantage.

"Everyone that I've talked to says 'Hurray for Susan,' said neighbor Annie Warnock, who called 911. "You didn't need to calm her. She's an emergency room nurse. She's used to dealing with crisis."
Owned by a big nurse with strong hands.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Iraq celebrates another milestone in its march to sweet, sweet freedom. The Telegraph explains:
The brutal excesses of Saddam Hussein's regime were relived yesterday as Iraq's new government announced that it had hanged 27 prisoners convicted of terror and criminal charges.

Mass executions at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison, which has several gallows erected in the execution chamber, were suspended after coalition-led troops overthrew Saddam three years ago. The death penalty was reinstituted in 2004, and yesterday's executions took place just days after control of Abu Ghraib was handed over to the Iraqi authorities.

An Iraqi Justice Ministry official said two of those hanged had been convicted of terrorism charges, and the other 25 – including a woman – were convicted of murder and kidnap.
The morals that they worship are gone.


Ten years ago, on Sept. 7, 1996, Tupac Shakur was shot several times in Las Vegas. He died on Sept. 13.

They just can't stand the reign
Or the occasional pain
For a man like me who goes against the grain.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Five heads, all human, tossed onto a crowded dance floor in western Mexico, according to early reports. Cops say drug gangs are responsible for the littering:
"Hooded men dressed in black stormed into a bar, fired into the air and threw down five heads," said Rosaura Trujillo, a spokeswoman for the Michoacan state prosecutor's office.

The men also left a card with the message: "The family does not kill for money. It does not kill women. It does not kill innocents. It kills only those who deserve to die. Everyone take note - this is divine justice."
Sol y Sombra is the name of the club. Sun & Shade. A place to lose your head.


Jenny Fillmer, reporter for the local daily, has accepted a public-information position with the county of Greene. Fillmer, who previously worked as a reporter for KSMU, starts her new job later this month.

Good reporter. Should make a good spokesperson. Sorry to see she's leaving the paper, however. The last thing the News-Leader needs is another vacancy in its reporting ranks.


The News-Leader's editorial page editor, Tony Messenger, slammed the paper's report on a Labor Day visit by former Sen. John Edwards.

Messenger claimed the story "reads like an advertisement for the Democratic Party" and added:
There's no doubt that John Edwards appearance along with U.S. Senate candidate Claire McCaskill at a Labor Day picnic is big news and ought to be on the front page on what is generally a slow news day. But to not get any sort of Republican response is a major mistake. No doubt, either a Jim Talent spokesman or Paul Sloca of the Republican Party would have had something to say. In fact, Sloca issued a news release the morning of the event.
This is what's wrong with the modern mainstream media mindset. When a big Dem comes to town, ring up the big Repubs and ask them what they think. Why? To give the other side a free punch. There is no other reason.

Does Messenger believe Sloca or Talent would actually have something constructive to say? Of course not. The same applies when national Republicans come to town and major Dems are contacted for comment. In their quest to be "fair," "balanced" and "unbiased," many modern media outlets have instead become predictable caricatures. It's a ridiculous practice that ought to stop.


Hey, we dug it. Katie Couric's debut as solo anchor of the CBS Evening News brought boffo ratings to the network once known as Tiffany. Couric seemed prepared, poised.

Some critics, like Tom Shales of the Washington Post, were decidedly not impressed. Shales typed:
Couric, who began the newscast standing up and promoting what was to come, oddly wore a white blazer over a black top and skirt, the blazer buttoned in such a way as to make her look chubby, bursting at the button, which we know she isn't.
Did Shales ever write about Dan Rather's sweater and whether it made him look fat? Doubtful.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


The first word that comes to mind is hubris.

Rather than find common ground, Republican lawmakers in Missouri threw in the towel on Tuesday and said there will be no special session next week to restore funding for a disabled workers program.

After cutting the program in 2005, GOP lawmakers were pummeled with criticism and promised to fix the program in 2006. Tuesday, they broke that promise. The Associated Press reports:
Gov. Matt Blunt said in July that he would call a special session if lawmakers could reach consensus on a pair of Medicaid bills - one addressing fraud by medical providers, the other restoring coverage to some disabled workers. Any special session likely would have begun next week.

But Ed Martin, Blunt's new chief of staff, said Tuesday that the governor has no intention of calling a special session.

"There doesn't seem to be consensus over what the issues should be," Martin said.

State Rep. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, also said there will not be a special session. Schaaf, who was leading the House's efforts on the Medicaid fraud bill, said he discussed the legislation with sponsoring Sen. Chris Koster, R-Harrisonville, but the two could not reach a compromise.
Who cares about thousands of diabled working Missourians? Not the Republican Party. It proved that on Tuesday.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Crikey. Reports from Australia's 7News says a stingray attack killed Irwin. It happened near Cairns. According to 7News:
"It is understood he was killed by a sting-ray barb that went through his chest," Brisbane's Courier Mail reported this afternoon.

Irwin was best known for his documentary series "The Crocodile Hunter".

He was born in Victoria and found his love of animals after following in his father's footsteps, volunteering his services to the Queensland Government's East Coast Crocodile Management program.

He spent years living on his own in the mosquito infested creeks, rivers and mangroves of North Queensland, catching huge crocodiles single-handed.

In June 1992, he married American Terri Raines after they met when she visited Irwin's Australia Zoo.

The 44-year-old is survived by his wife and two children, Bindi and Robert.
What a rip-off way for Steve Irwin to die.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


The last survivor of the fateful Dallas motorcase in November 1963 was the widow of John Connally, the former governor of Texas, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Yellow roses and red blood, she once said, remembering the day in Dallas.