Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Manny Ramirez Auctions Grill On E-Bay

Manny Ramirez, not content with his current $18 million a year salary, has placed a JENN-Air grill up for auction on E-Bay. The text of his auction states the following:

Hi, I`m Manny Ramirez. I bought this AMAZING grill for about $4,000 and I used it once... But I never have the time to use it because I am always on the road. I would love to sell it and you will get an autographed ball signed by me =] Enjoy it, Manny Ramirez.

Currently, the latest bid is at $99,999,999.99. For some reason, I imagine E-Bay will have to do some housekeeping soon to determine the authentic bids from the fraudulent ones.

To see the bid, and Manny Ramirez posing next to his grill, click here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

NYTimes Public Editor Comments on Slowness

On a related note, the New York Times public editor wrote a column about the New York Times' slowness with regards to covering news stories that competitors first broke. Though it does not mention the US Attorney story, apparently it took nearly two months after the Wash Post first wrote about the Walter Reed scandal for the Times to write a short piece about the story, and similarly, nearly 6 months for the Times to cover the story of marines allegedly killing Iraqi civilians in Haditha after Time magazine first broke it.

Though in fairness, this is a common problem with other publications, including the Washington Post.

Read the column here.

Monday, March 19, 2007

TV Slow To Catch Up on Attorney Story

This is an article about the time lag between TPM's first post about the US Attorney story and the nearly two months before the network news broadcasted their first segment about the story. The article gives a fairly detailed timeline. The article also talks about a similar lag that occurred with the reporting of the Walter Reed Medical Center scandal, which first broke on, where it slowly percolated its way to the Times/Post frontpages and finally the Evening News shows.

It mainly posits that the reasons for the time lag are many: the network news leans on the Washington Post and New York Times for their news agenda and also that it took some time for their to be "footage" (namely the Senate hearings, Bush's statement, Gonzalez's apology) for the shows to properly "frame" the story for broadcast.

Read the article here.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Wikipedia Article on "Conservapedia"

Outraged at the flagrant liberal bias of Wikipedia, conservatives have created an alternative on-line encyclopedia named "Conservapedia," which more accurately reflects the infallibility of evangelical Christianity and American industry.

As conclusive proof of Wikipedia's liberal bias, the Conservapedia site claims that:

1) Wikipedia allows the use of B.C.E. and C.E. instead of mandating the BC and AD dating system. This is clearly an attempt to deceive people into thinking that Jesus did not personally create the time-line.

2) Wikipedia's abortion entry reads like a pamphlet from the abortion industry.

3) And finally, Wikipedia is six times more liberal than the American public.

The full list is here.

However, as the Wikipedia entry notes, "Critics such as libertarian conservative writer Andrew Sullivan, conservative blogger Jon Swift, science writer Carl Zimmer and others, have criticized and mocked the Conservapedia website for factual inaccuracy, extremism, hypocrisy, bias, and ignoring the scientific consensus on subjects such as the Big Bang and evolution in favor of biblical exegesis. Widely disseminated examples of Conservapedia articles that contradict the scientific consensus include the claims that all kangaroos descend from a single pair that were taken aboard Noah's Ark, that "Einstein's work had nothing to do with the development of the atomic bomb" and that gravity and evolution are theories that remain unproven."

To be fair, the Wikipedia entry has been flagged for its potential lack of neutrality.

The Wikipedia entry on Conservapedia can be found here.

Addendum: Jon Swift, one of the individuals cited in the Wikipedia Entry, has kindly provided a link to the entirety of his blog post regarding Conservapedia. Read it here.

His comment also reminded me that I should hat-tip the Washington Post blog for first informing me of this story. Therefore [Hat-tip to the Washington Post]

Friday, March 02, 2007

Swiss Army Accidentally Invades Liechtenstein

(AP) 170 Swiss infantry soldiers wandered 1.2 miles across an unmarked border into Lichtenstein early Thursday before realizing their mistake and turning back. Both the Swiss and Lichtensteinian authorities are playing down the incident, noting that no one noticed the intrusion and that the soldiers, while armed, did not carry any ammunition.

Switzerland has long held policy of neutrality and self-defense, and is neither a member of the European Union or the United Nations. This policy of neutrality has also served as a plot device in many World War II films, with the nation often depicted as a safe haven for escaped Allied POWs and plundered Jewish artwork.

Lichtenstein has no military, and basically, anything of note to speak of, except for a slightly off-color and funny name.

The article is here.

Correction: The nation is actually spelled "Liechtenstein"

Bus Plunge Kills Six

ATLANTA, Georgia (New York Times) -- A bus carrying college baseball players plunged off a highway today, killing six, including the bus driver and his wife. Twenty-nine others were injured as well. The bus landed on Interstate 75, several miles away from here. The driver apparently mistook a left exit ramp for a through lane when the bus plowed through the guard rail to plummet to the highway below.

The full article is here.

AP Ends Hilton Blackout

The Associated Press has has officially ended a self-imposed Paris Hilton news blackout with this article about Ms. Hilton recently receiving a traffic ticket in West Hollywood. And, if you were as concerned and curious as me, the first thing that should have popped in your mind was, there was a Paris Hilton news blackout?

In a strange and somewhat self-congratulatory announcement, the AP stated that the Paris Hilton blackout was "experimental" and was pleasantly surprised when editors and other supporters praised the AP's bold stance against further sensationalizing Ms. Hilton's rather drab and quotidian existence. That the blackout only lasted a few days is neither here nor there, of course, since K-heds are still a necessity even in the age of digital editing software and on-line publishing, and there is no better source of gap filler that people inexplicably care about than Ms. Hilton.

Of course, as reported in the New York Observer, who obtained an e-mail memo about the blackout last week, the intent of the blackout wasn't some moral stance against the philistine and irrelevant, or even a a serious commentary on the current state of the news media, but rather a way to throw some attention on the Associated Press. As written by AP entertainment editor Jesse Washington:

“Hopefully we will be able to discuss what ‘news’ we missed,” read the memo, which could have used some stern copy-editing, “the repercussions of our blackout for AP both editorially and business-wise, and most importantly the force that cause the world to be fixated on this person who, despite her shallow frivolity, represents an epochal development in our culture.”
(Courtesy of the New York Observer)

And if one wants to read the equally epochal navel-gazing that the AP purports to be insightful self-analysis, read it here.