Archive for November, 2009

Revisionist Historians at Fox News?

November 30, 2009

According to Dana Perino, there were no terrorist attacks during President George W. Bush’s tenure:



Our Annual Tradition

November 30, 2009

Okay, we have several. But this time of year its become tradition to apply this particular college football season’s set of facts and team accomplishments to arguments for why the BCS sucks. We all know it sucks: the logic of the superiority of a playoff system is inherent, manifest, and bountiful in examples. And yet we have college Presidents clinging to the fallacy that playing 3 or 4 playoff games like their smaller school brethren would somehow defecate on the concept of the student athlete out of a misplaced fear that a playoff would net their institutions of higher learning fewer millions of dollars and sated wealthy alumni than the bowl system. And so we make due with the BCS to placate us with the thought that at least this sucks less than the old system, where whomever the polls deemed #1 could hide in their conference’s bowl tie-in, or at a bowl played in their home stadium (yes I’m thinking of you The U.) hope that divine provenance would hand them an 8 win pantywaist of a foe and laugh all the way to glories reward.

Anyhow, let the beatings begin anew:

Ohio High School Football Finals

November 29, 2009

As per usual there will be 3 games each at Massillon’s Paul Brown Tiger Stadium and Canton’s Fawcett Stadium. Here is the exact schedule:

Friday, December 4
Division III – 11:00 a.m. – Massillon
(14-0) Youngstown Cardinal Mooney vs.
(11-3) Columbus St. Francis DeSales
Division V – 3:00 p.m. – Canton
(10-3) Youngstown Ursuline vs.
(13-1) Coldwater
Division II – 7:00 p.m. – Massillon
(12-2) Maple Heights vs.
(12-2) Cincinnati Winton Woods

Saturday, December 5
Division IV – 11:00 a.m. – Canton
(14-0) Chagrin Falls vs. (14-0) Kettering Archbishop Alter
Division VI – 3:00 p.m. – Massillon
(14-0) Norwalk St. Paul vs. (14-0) Delphos St. John’s
Division I – 7:00 p.m. – Canton
(13-1) Cleveland Glenville Academic Campus vs. (12-1) Hilliard Davidson

Good luck to the lucky dozen that made it this far!

Week 13 College Football TV Schedule

November 27, 2009

Awful Announcing was a bit tardy getting this posted, and then I didn’t get a chance to check the site until just now, but here is the Saturday portion of the schedule:

Saturday, November 28th

Clemson @ South Carolina (ESPN, Noon)- Bob Wischusen, Brian Griese
North Carolina @ North Carolina State (ESPN2, Noon)- Pam Ward, Ray Bentley
Mississippi @ Mississippi State (SEC Network, Noon)- Dave Neal, Andre Ware, Cara Capuano (Will Air on MSG, CSN California, Washington)
Syracuse @ Connecticut (Big East Network, Noon)- Mike Gleason, John Congemi, Quint Kessenich (Will Air on Altitude, CST, MASN, SNY)
Wake Forest @ Duke (Raycom, Noon)- Tim Brant, Rick Walker, Mike Hogewood
Oklahoma State @ Oklahoma (FSN, 12:30pm)- Bill Land, Dave Lapham, Jim Knox (Will Air on FS Arizona, Detroit+, Florida, Midwest, North, Ohio, South, Southwest, West; FSN Northwest, Pittsburgh (JIP), Rocky Mountain; CSN Bay Area, Chicago, New England, Washington; MSG+2)
New Mexico @ Texas Christian (MTN, 1pm)- Ari Wolfe, Blaine Fowler, Amanda Mazey, Cash Sirois
Southern Mississippi @ East Carolina (CBS College Sports, 1:30pm)- Tom Hart, Aaron Taylor
Central Florida @ Alabama-Birmingham (Bright House, 1:30pm)- Drew Fellios, Mark Royals, Dave Baumann
Marshall @ Texas-El Paso (WSAZ, 3pm)- Keith Morehouse, Mike Bartrum
Tulane @ Southern Methodist (Time Warner-MetroSports, 3pm)- CJ Martin, Bruce Wiseman
Florida State @ Florida (CBS, 3:30pm)- Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, Tracy Wolfson
Arizona @ Arizona State (ABC, 3:30pm)- Terry Gannon, David Norrie
Missouri v. Kansas (ABC, 3:30pm)- Dave Lamont, JC Pearson
Miami @ South Florida (ABC/ESPN, 3:30pm)- Mike Patrick, Craig James, Heather Cox
Virginia Tech @ Virginia (ABC/ESPN, 3:30pm)- Clay Matvick, David Diaz-Infante
Boston College @ Maryland (ESPNU, 3:30pm)- Todd Harris, Tom Luginbill
Middle Tennessee @ Louisiana-Monroe (Sun Belt TV, 3:30pm)- Todd Kalas, Derek Rackley (Will Air on CSS, CST)
Utah @ Brigham Young (MTN, 5pm)- James Bates, Todd Christensen, Toby Christensen, Sammy Linebaugh (Will Air on CBS College Sports)
Utah State @ Idaho (ESPN Plus, 5pm)- Trey Bender, Jay Taylor (Will Air on Altitude, MASN)
Texas Tech v. Baylor (FSN, 6pm)- Dan McLaughlin, Gary Reasons, Emily Jones (Will Air on FS Arizona, Midwest, South, Southwest, West; FSN Rocky Mountain; CSN Bay Area, Chicago, New England; MSG+; SUN; Comcast Network)
Washington State @ Washington (FSN Northwest, 6:30pm)- Tom Glasgow, Mack Strong, Jen Mueller, Jason Stiles
Arkansas @ Louisiana State (ESPN, 7pm)- Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge, Erin Andrews
Tennessee @ Kentucky (ESPNU, 7pm)- Eric Collins, Brock Huard
Notre Dame @ Stanford (ABC/ESPN2, 8pm)- Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit, Lisa Salters (Will Air on ESPN2 in areas not receiving game on ABC)
Georgia @ Georgia Tech (ABC/ESPN2, 8pm)- Sean McDonough, Matt Millen, Holly Rowe (Will Air on ESPN2 in areas not receiving game on ABC)
New Mexico State @ San Jose State (Aggie Vision, 8pm)- Joe Cerny, Danny Knee (Will Air on Altitude2)
Rice @ Houston (CSS, 8pm)- Matt Stewart, Chuck Oliver, Allison Williams
San Diego State @ Nevada-Las Vegas (MTN, 9pm)- Tim Neverett, Robert Griffith, Molly Sullivan
UCLA @ USC (FSN, 10pm)- Barry Tompkins, Petros Papadakis, Michael Eaves (Will Air on FS Arizona, Detroit+, Midwest, North (JIP), Ohio, PrimeTicket, South, Southwest; FSN Northwest, Pittsburgh, Rocky Mountain; CSN Bay Area, Chicago, New England, Philadelphia, Washington; SUN; MSG+)
Navy @ Hawaii (ESPNU, 10:30pm)- Carter Blackburn, Charles Arbuckle

Pro-Life Democrats

November 27, 2009

The delicate position of Pennsylvania’s junior Senator, Bob Casey:

NFL TV Maps for Week 12 for Pittsburgh/Youngstown/Wheeling Markets

November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Its a tripleheader on Turkey Day starting on Fox at 12:30pm with Green Bay @ Detroit, followed at 4pm on CBS with Oakland @ Dallas. I don’t know this for dead certain but I assume Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will do the Fox game and that Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will do the CBS game. I am especially sure of the latter as Nantz/Simms are not on the Sunday schedule. At 8pm the NFL Network will carry NY Giants @ Denver with Bob Pappa and Matt Millen. Sunday afternoon all local CBS affiliates will show Cleveland @ Cincinnati at 1pm with Ian Eagle and Rich Gannon. Fox has the doubleheader: at 1pm all local affiliates will show Washington @ Philadelphia with Kenny Albert, Moose, and Goose and at 4:15pm show Chicago @ Minnesota with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. The Sunday Night game on NBC is Pittsburgh @ Baltimore with Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth and the Monday Night game on ESPN is New England @ New Orleans with Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworksi, and Jon Gruden. As always this info courtesy of and subject to change. Enjoy the games!

NFL Standings After Week 11 & Clinching Scenarios

November 24, 2009

All teams are now 5/8 of the way through their seasons and the playoff races are starting to take shape. Some things look reasonably clear at this point, while a number of other things are as clear as mud. Here is a quickie synopsis, starting with the AFC:

1. Indianapolis
2/3/4. New England/Cincinnati/San Diego
5. Jacksonville
6. Pittsburgh
0 games out of 6th: Denver
1 game out of 6th: Miami, Baltimore, Houston
2 games out of 6th: NY Jets, Tennessee
Planning for 2010: Kansas City, Oakland, Buffalo, Cleveland

Indianapolis seems to have a near mortal lock on the #1 seed; going 4-2 down the stretch would flat out guarantee things without looking at scenarios. In the more immediate term they can clinch the division this Sunday with a win coupled with a Jacksonville loss. Even if it doesn’t happen this weekend its a fait accompli. After that things get more interesting. New England, Cincinnati, and San Diego all lead their divisions at 7-3 and they all have 5-3 conference records at the moment. The Bengals will visit the Chargers later in the season but other than that these teams do not play each other so they have little impact on each other. Of course none of them have their divisions sewn up, though the Patriots have a two game lead, the Chargers are surging and the Broncos reeling, and the Bengals have sweeps over their pursuers. As for the wildcard picture 3 teams are currently tied at 6-4. Jacksonville is placed 5th currently with a superior conference record, then when you re-evaluate for the 6th seed the Steelers edge the Broncos on head-to-head. 3 other teams are right there at 5-5. Miami has one less conference loss than Baltimore and Houston. The Ravens have two huge games left with Pittsburgh, Miami finishes the year with the Steelers, and Houston has a remaining game with Jacksonville having lost the first meeting, so they all have some measure of control over their own destinies. Also don’t look now but the Titans have won 4 straight games after purging their curse of the Terrible Towel by donating an autographed Towel to be auctioned for charity a month ago. If they survive the next couple weeks playing the Cardinals and Colts and get to 6-6 they’ll be a legit factor. The Jets are still alive also but fading fast and I think them moving into the planning for 2010 column is a matter of time. Given that the AFC is currently +4 against the NFC I doubt 9-7 is sufficient to get in, and the teams already on 7 losses I don’t see going on 6 game winning streaks.

As for the NFC:

1. New Orleans
2. Minnesota
3. Dallas
4. Arizona
5. Philadelphia
6. Green Bay
0 games back of 6th: NY Giants
1 game back of 6th: Atlanta
2 games back of 6th: San Francisco, Carolina, Chicago
Planning for 2010: Washington, Seattle, Detroit, Tampa, St. Louis

The Saints and Vikings both look good for winning their divisions and for getting the conference’s bye seeds. Indeed, New Orleans can clinch their division this weekend though it would involve Atlanta losing to Tampa and the Saints beating New England Monday Night. I currently score Dallas ahead of Arizona for 3rd and 4th though they have the same number of conference losses the ‘Boys have one more win. Arizona is virtually certain to win the West but Dallas is still in a legit 3 team race for the East. The wildcard realistically is 4 teams (2 East teams, Green Bay, and Atlanta) with the Falcons 1 game behind the rest after losing to the Giants Sunday. Philadelphia currently leads a division tie with the Giants having won their first matchup and gets the 5th seed on a better conference record than the Packers (2 vs 3 losses). Then the Packers get the 6th seed over the Giants (both have 3 conference losses but Green Bay one more win right now). Like I said Atlanta is one game back and very much alive but can’t afford much more losing. With 6 losses the Bears, Panthers, and 49ers are still alive but all 3 took huge losses this past weekend and are in big trouble. Being -4 to the AFC it is mathematically more likely on current trends that 9-7 works for an NFC team in a multi-way tie situation but I feel confident in saying neither the ‘Skins nor Seahawks will run the table and at 9-7 either of them would have 6-6 conference records that probably wouldn’t get the tiebreaking job done anyhow.

Between this weekend and next weekend there are a total of 4 games whose start times have been “flexed” from the original schedule. On 11/29 the Bears @ Vikings and Cardinals @ Titans games have been moved from 1pm to 4:15pm in order to comprise the Fox doubleheader schedule. And on 12/6 in a somewhat interesting move Patriots @ Dolphins has been demoted from Sunday Night Football to 1pm and Vikings @ Cardinals promoted from late afternoon to NBC. I guess Favre out-ratings Brady and Fox still has Cowboys @ Giants they can feature nationally.

Barnes Finalist for Biletnikoff

November 23, 2009

Bowling Green wideout Freddie Barnes has been named a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award given to the nation’s best receiver. He joins Texas’ Jordan Shipley and Notre Dame’s Golden Tate as finalists:

One assumes he is probably an underdog against those two BCS school receivers, but its a great honor just to be a finalist. Way to go Freddie!

BCS Bowl Games Announcer Pairings

November 23, 2009

Info courtesy of Awful Announcing:

Rose Bowl – Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit (ABC, January 1st)
Sugar Bowl – Thom Brennaman and Brian Billick (FOX, January 1st)
Fiesta Bowl – Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan (FOX, January 4th)
Orange Bowl – Dick Stockton and Charles Davis (FOX, January 5th)
BCS Championship Game – Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit (ABC, January 7th)

Which is to say either Oregon or Oregon St fans will have Kirk Herbstreit in the booth during an Ohio St game New Year’s Day. But I think Herbie does a good job being neutral . . . if anything too hard on the Buckeyes.

Weekly Media Matters Update

November 22, 2009

Media Matters: The Palin chronicles

It was all too predictable.

From the moment Sarah Palin was airlifted out of the Alaska hinterlands by John McCain and plopped onto the national stage, she’s been telling anyone who will listen how poorly she’s been treated by the media, the Democrats, the blogosphere, etc. After she did her part in scuttling McCain’s already foundering campaign, she added to her list of personal persecutors the same McCain staffers who made her a household name in the first place. The conservative media have cheered on her personal pity party every step of the way, adamantly refusing to acknowledge that Sarah Palin — perfect Sarah Palin, conservatism’s hockey-mom messiah — has done anything wrong.

So it was inevitable that when Palin and her ghostwriter teamed up to produce her newly release memoir, Going Rogue: An American Life, it would be anything but a tedious exercise in self-martyrdom. The second half of the book, which recounts her time with McCain and the aftermath of the presidential campaign, is a litany of complaints peppered with absolutions of any errors on her part. Palin’s account of her disastrous interviews with CBS anchor Katie Couric consists mainly of attacks on Couric for “badgering” her, “edit[ing] out substantive answers,” and trying to “frame a ‘gotcha’ moment.” She chastises McCain campaign staffers for having “no script to begin with,” for not following her advice and talking about Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and for nurturing the “wardrobe fairy tale” so they could throw her “under the media bus” after the campaign ended.

When not complaining about how ill-treated she was, Palin wildly revised her own history, showcasing her penchant for falsehoods both big and small. She claims that the media were reporting “lies” about the Bridge to Nowhere, when it was she who, from the very start, lied about her own position on the bridge. She claims that she immediately liked the idea of going on Saturday Night Live, even though internal campaign emails show that she was initially reluctant because of the show’s “gross” treatment of her family, going so far as to call the SNL crew “whack.” She claims that there is no aerial hunting in Alaska, even though she proposed legislation supporting that very practice. The list goes on and on.

But remember, this is Sarah Palin we’re dealing with here, and no matter how self-discrediting and ridiculous her book was, the conservative media would leap to her defense, claiming (once again) that she was the victim of a vicious liberal onslaught. Palin herself got the ball rolling before the book was even released, chastising the Associated Press (which got its hands on a copy prior to the release date) for assigning 11 reporters to fact-check it, saying that their time would be better spent fact-checking “what’s going on with Sheik Mohammed’s trial.” Palin made no attempt to respond to the several factual errors and distortions the AP found, and neither did Fox News, which picked up where Palin left off and ran a breathless segment wondering why, exactly, the AP had assigned so many reporters to the book.

Then there’s Rush Limbaugh, Palin’s staunchest defender and perhaps the conservative media personality most disconnected from reality — two traits that are in no way mutually exclusive. On November 13, Rush proclaimed that Going Rogue is “one of the most substantive policy books I’ve read.” He must have received a special unabridged edition, because to every other observer — even Fox News campaign reporter/operative Carl Cameron — the book’s policy prescriptions are few and far between, and rarely more detailed than “Ronald Reagan was right.” In the conservative blogosphere, the adoration was even more comical: John Ziegler, the devoted Palinista who is — and forgive the indelicate bluntness, but there is no better word — an idiot, called the book the “greatest literary achievement by a political figure in my lifetime.”

Meanwhile, the mainstream press ties itself into knots with their obsessive Palin coverage, trying to explain how it is that a riotously unpopular and ill-informed ex-governor speaks for legions of Americans. Newsweek undercut whatever merit its critical analysis of Palin’s role in the political world had by festooning it with sexist Palin imagery. David Brooks continues to vacillate in his opinion of Palin, at various times calling her “smart,” “a joke,” “courageous and likeable,” and a “cancer.” PBS’ Gwen Ifill said women “will be drawn to her story,” even though Palin’s popularity among women is in the toilet.

None of this is to say that Palin isn’t shrewd. She’s figured out that she can say whatever she pleases, lie freely, quit elected office to become a professional Facebook bomb-thrower, cash in on a ridiculous book she didn’t even write, and still enjoy the adoration of her conservative fan base, as well as the attentions of the mainstream press.
Other major stories this week

KSM trial drives conservatives into hypocritical hysterics

On May 3, 2006, Bill O’Reilly led off his Fox News show with the sentencing of Zacarias Moussaoui, who was tried in civilian court and handed several consecutive life terms for his role in the September 11 terrorist attacks. According to O’Reilly: “The al Qaeda savage promptly thanked them by saying ‘America, you lost. I won.’ But like what most of this degenerate says, he is wrong. Moussaoui is condemned to rot in his cell until he does die and if the Federal penitentiary is run properly, Moussaoui will be denied any and all privileges.” O’Reilly explained that “by not executing Moussaoui, the U.S.A. shows the world we are a nation of laws, a nation that puts power in the hands of regular folks.”

Now fast-forward a few years — the Democrats take control of the White House, and the new president announces he’s bringing Khalid Shaikh Mohammed to New York to face trial before a civilian court. O’Reilly, who praised the civilian trial of Moussaoui, says of the decision to Bush White House adviser Karl Rove: “Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, that is a terrible decision. … Because you know, I know, and everybody knows it’s going to cost the city of New York between $75 and $100 million. These animals are going to get up there. They’re going to lie. The lawyers are going to turn it into an anti-Bush, anti-CIA, anti-American extravaganza.”

Just think about that one for a moment — O’Reilly, who praised the civilian prosecution of Moussaoui in 2006, is complaining about the White House’s civilian prosecution of Mohammed in 2009, to a person who was part of the White House that decided to prosecute Moussaoui in a civilian court.

O’Reilly wasn’t the only person to pull the ol’ Moussaoui/Mohammed switcheroo on Fox News. Former New York mayor and 9-11 enthusiast Rudy Giuliani appeared on Neil Cavuto’s show last Friday to attack the Mohammed decision as a “terrible, terrible mistake,” explaining that the terrorist “should be prosecuted in a military tribunal.” Cavuto neglected to point out that in 2006, Giuliani said of the Moussaoui trial: “It does demonstrate that we can give people a fair trial, that we are exactly what we say we are. We are a nation of law.”

Indeed, confusion abounded among conservatives everywhere. Morning Joe namesake Joe Scarborough declared it “unprecedented” to try a terrorism suspect in the U.S. judicial system. To his credit, Scarborough later corrected this false assertion.

No one expects conservatives to support President Obama, particularly on issues of national security. But is a little consistency too much to ask? Well, maybe consistency is too much — how about something less than outright hypocrisy?

Rupert’s “racist” revisionism

Last week, Media Matters chronicled News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch’s humanitarian efforts to help recuperate ailing Fox News superstar Glenn Beck by going on TV and announcing that Beck was right to call Obama a “racist.” It was a curious comment for several reasons — Fox News had already dismissed Beck’s statement as an expression of opinion and not the position of the network, and people were already painfully aware that Beck hadn’t faced any repercussions for his outburst. So in throwing his lot in with Beck, all Murdoch did was essentially confirm that outlandish attacks on the Democratic president are nothing short of official policy over at Fox News.

Then, of course, came the inevitable denial, in which Murdoch’s spokesman stated without elaboration that his boss “does not at all, for a minute, think the president is a racist.” Perhaps he was unaware that when you say things on TV, lots of people see it (unless, of course, you say it on Fox Business Network).

So you can understand why we were feeling a bit confused. Does Rupert Murdoch think President Obama is a racist or not? Well, there was only one way to get an answer — ask Rupert himself. And that’s exactly what we did. Confronted by Media Matters and asked which comment of the president’s he considered racist, Murdoch responded: “I denied that absolutely. … I don’t believe he’s a racist.”

Well, that clears things up.

Wait. Actually, no … it doesn’t.

It’s funny, in a way, to watch all this play out. Murdoch and his Fox News underlings know that even they have lines they can’t cross, such as lobbing accusations of racism at the president, but they do it anyway, seemingly unable to help themselves. And when they do get in trouble, their response is always the same — deny you said that thing that millions of people saw you say, make sure absolutely no one faces any consequences whatsoever, and move on to the next ridiculous story about Obama, which this week was the hyperventilating obsession over Obama’s bow to the Japanese emperor.

Fox News would like everyone to believe that they operate under some sort of journalistic standard. If you want to be extremely generous and grant that this standard does in fact exist, then it’s irreparably broken. Misbehavior is rewarded, accountability is nonexistent, and the ethical cues coming from upper management are hardly worth emulating.