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Why America hates the D.C. media
Marketwatch.com ^ | Feb 22, 2006 | John Friedman

Posted on 02/22/2006 4:50:06 AM PST by abb

Commentary: Plus, Dick Parsons has no more excuses

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) - It has become a tradition that's almost as old as the White House itself: America loathes the White House press corps.

This is especially true when the journalists preen for the television cameras, yell at the press secretary to achieve a dramatic effect, act bratty and petulant, appear openly disrespectful to the president and the vice president and generally behave like unruly five-year-old children playing in a sandbox.

If you needed a reminder, consider the circus that ensued last week as the media did its best to nail Vice President Dick Cheney with anything it could.

They pursued his lack of remorse over accidentally shooting his 78-year-old friend, Harry Whittington, in Texas during a hunting trip; whether he had been drinking heavily; why he didn't notify the national press himself (instead of allowing the owner of the ranch to call the local Corpus Christi newspaper); if he had betrayed President Bush's trust and why he ultimately granted the only post-shooting interview to Brit Hume, the anchor of the ever-sympathetic-to-Bush Fox News.

Last week, the poster child for inappropriate, self-serving behavior was NBC's David Gregory (GE), the television media's version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

When he is working the White House beat, Gregory can be a very good and tenacious reporter. He is fearless, smart and analytical. In short, the journalistic side of Gregory could serve as a role model for his colleagues. But when he stands up at one of those pathetic no-news-allowed White House press briefings, he is a role model for one of those kids in the sandbox.

I can appreciate that it's frustrating when an organization does every thing it can to undermine independent reporting.

Pssst, David: It's just bad form to try to make White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan look like your own personal piñata - even when he deserves that kind of treatment. Yes, it worked once for ABC's Sam Donaldson, but that was then.

Also, it doesn't serve a purpose for you - or one of your peers - to be shown losing your cool. Even if McClellan stands there like a statue, he looks classier than a reporter - even one who is justifiably exasperated - who is in the act of throwing a fit.

A recent exchange between Gregory and McClellan reminded me of the time, during the height of President Richard Nixon's Watergate crisis, when the embattled Nixon baited then-CBS White House correspondent Dan Rather. Nixon, egging on the combustible Rather, pointedly asked him, "Are you running for something?" And Rather retorted, "No, Mr. President, are you?"

NBC recently provided this exchange on the Internet:

McClellan: "David, hold on, the cameras aren't on right now. You can do this later."

Gregory: "Don't accuse me of trying to pose for the cameras. Don't be a jerk to me personally when I'm asking you a serious question."

McClellan: "You don't have to yell."

Gregory: "If you want to use the-that podium to try to take shots at me personally, which I don't appreciate, then I will raise my voice because that's wrong."

McClellan: "Calm down, Dave, calm down."

Gregory: "I'll calm down when I feel like calming down. You answer the question."

When "Meet the Press" moderator Tim Russert asked Gregory to elaborate on Sunday's show, Gregory said: "I think I made a mistake. I think it was inappropriate for me to lose my cool with the press secretary representing the president. I don't think it was professional of me. I was frustrated, I said what I said, but I think that you should never speak that way, as my wife reminded me, number one. And number two, I think it created a diversion from some of the serious questions in the story, so I regret that. I was wrong, and I apologize."

I think Gregory buried the lead - as he said himself, he obscured serious issues by making himself the focus of the story.

I hope he and his colleagues will get as worked up about the government's awful plan to contract the operation of six major U.S. ports to Dubai's DP World. Go to it, David.

Back to work for Parsons

Presumably, Time Warner Chairman (TWX) Dick Parsons & Co. have finished celebrating the decision by corporate raider Carl Icahn to end his attempt to call the shots at the world's largest media company.

Icahn's gambit was pretty weird. He didn't EXACTLY want to take over the company (but he clearly had grown impatient for Parsons' tortoise-like pace).

It's put-up-or-shut-up time for Parsons and his management team. If he can't come up with a coherent strategy to boost Time Warner's stock market prospects, he has only himself to blame.

Parsons has sold off a few properties (such as Time Warner's stake in the Comedy Central cable channel and the parent's meandering music division) over the past few years. Those constructive moves sharply reduced the company's debt burden but it seemed a lot like addition by subtraction to some skeptics.

The company's stock has hardly budged in recent years from its perch in the high teens, a condition that alternately infuriates and bewilders Time Warner's fed-up shareholders.

Parsons had a shot at achieving true greatness early in his tenure. But he couldn't bring himself to do what seemed essential: unload Albatross Online - oops, I meant America Online.

Maybe Parsons' ego couldn't permit him to run a markedly smaller company. Perhaps he truly believes that AOL will make a Phoenix-like comeback. Or, it's possible that Parsons is simply a stubborn guy who can't admit that it was a huge mistake to let Time Warner be acquired by AOL in the first place.

Parsons can argue that it was a decision made by his predecessor, Gerald Levin, and that's true. But it's also the case that Parsons, as Levin's top lieutenant, literally sat at his boss's side as he tried to sell the media and Wall Street on the wisdom of the deal. Parsons' supporters have defended him by falling back on the chaos caused by the AOL deal, the government's prolonged investigation into AOL's business practices (since settled), and now Icahn's interference.

Now the decks are clear. It's all up to him. No more excuses.

MEDIA WEB QUESTION OF THE DAY: Do you hate the Washington press corps?

WEDNESDAY PET PEEVE: As it turned out, Fox News can, indeed, seem every bit as petty as CNN. Fox's Chris Wallace shunned CNN during his Sunday talk show when he talked about an interview with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff (who also appeared on CBS that morning). CNN had done the same to Fox a few days earlier when Brit Hume got an exclusive with Cheney. Neither CNN nor Fox would credit the other by name. Talk about acting like kids in a sandbox.

A READER RESPONDS: "I enjoyed your comments about CNN not recognizing Fox, but please be fair. Fox may be friendly to the Bush administration, but have you ever heard of the Clinton News Network: CNN?" Douglas Arnold (Media Web appears on most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays)


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: District of Columbia
KEYWORDS: dinosaurmedia; gregory; msm; oldmedia; press
Thumbsucker Friedman's spin on the White House Press Scrum....
1 posted on 02/22/2006 4:50:09 AM PST by abb
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To: abb

I wish we could clone Rumsfeld and have him as the Press Secretary.


2 posted on 02/22/2006 4:55:07 AM PST by Riley ("What color is the boathouse at Hereford?")
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To: abb
Thumbsucker Friedman's spin on the White House Press Scrum....

Is that Scrum or just plain ole Scum?

3 posted on 02/22/2006 4:57:12 AM PST by democrats_nightmare
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To: abb

Neither Clinton or even Ronald Reagan were treated as badly and rudely as President Bush.

These SOB's represent a new low in garbage urinalism!


4 posted on 02/22/2006 5:00:03 AM PST by lawdude (2006 Republican bumper sticker : Vote Republican: We are NOT democrats!)
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To: democrats_nightmare

Dictionary.com - Scrum: Chiefly British. A disordered or confused situation involving a number of people.


5 posted on 02/22/2006 5:00:20 AM PST by abb (Because News Reporting is too important to be left to the Journalists.)
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To: abb

America hates the DC Media because they are simply DNC water-carriers.


6 posted on 02/22/2006 5:01:07 AM PST by Thom Pain (Supporting the Constitution is NOT right wing. It is centrist.)
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To: Thom Pain
America hates the DC Media because they are simply DNC water-carriers.

...who loudly squawk at every opportunity about how impartial and unbiased they are.

7 posted on 02/22/2006 5:04:27 AM PST by Riley ("What color is the boathouse at Hereford?")
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To: democrats_nightmare

Scrum is a rugby term and it fits the activities of the WH press whores to a T


8 posted on 02/22/2006 5:09:11 AM PST by OldFriend (MSM ~ controversy, crap, & confusion.....compliments of Alan Simpson)
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To: lawdude

How true. There is no respect for the office of the President and no code of conduct enforced or in place for the media. Whatever happened to politeness and civility?


9 posted on 02/22/2006 5:12:23 AM PST by SueRae
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To: abb

Partisanship aside, The Press Corps is a joke. If you sit down and listen to the conferences, you hear 2 or 3 questions that ask for facts. The rest are Begging the Question fallacies, moronic queries, or political agenda with a question mark at the end.


10 posted on 02/22/2006 5:36:32 AM PST by stacytec (Nihilism, its whats for dinner)
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To: abb

Anyone that didn't see this one coming....pinch yourself....

11 posted on 02/22/2006 5:40:09 AM PST by cbkaty (I may not always post...but I am always here......)
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To: lawdude

I remeber Fitzwater under Bush Sr. getting it pretty bad during the Gulf war, althogh it seemed that Fitz was better at protecting himself and putting a positive spin on the crap thrown at him.


12 posted on 02/22/2006 5:40:25 AM PST by stacytec (Nihilism, its whats for dinner)
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To: cbkaty

Just damn.... my oat bran is backing up on me now...


13 posted on 02/22/2006 5:44:47 AM PST by abb (Because News Reporting is too important to be left to the Journalists.)
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To: abb
Just damn.... my oat bran is backing up on me now...

I said "pinch yourself"...not a loaf!

14 posted on 02/22/2006 5:49:50 AM PST by cbkaty (I may not always post...but I am always here......)
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To: Riley
"I wish we could clone Rumsfeld and have him as the Press Secretary."

Rumsfeld would be a good choice. But R. Lee Ermey would be entertaining as all get out.

15 posted on 02/22/2006 5:59:36 AM PST by libs_kma (USA: The land of the Free....Because of the Brave!)
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To: abb
Someone *please* tell me the downside to kicking the press corps off the grounds and ending the kabuki BS that is the modern press briefing.

Sure, the press will be infuriated as will their followers. But a similar number of folks will view it as a good, long overdue move and support the administration.

There is nothing here that can't be accomplished by a web-based daily press release by the WH followed by hours of blow-dried liberal media whining about every last syllable.

16 posted on 02/22/2006 6:03:05 AM PST by AngryJawa ("But honey, I *need* a Main Battle Rifle...[NRA])
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To: Riley; Allegra; beachn4fun; tomkow6; Echo Talon; pax_et_bonum; beyond the sea; Recovering Hermit; ..
Gad! Is it morning already? Well, I've been up all night getting this edition out, so enjoy...

I have more New York Slimes Editions on my FR Homepage and my Archives Page

17 posted on 02/22/2006 6:06:05 AM PST by Bender2 (Redid my FR Homepage just for ya'll... Now, Vote Republican and vote often)
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To: AngryJawa

I think dissolving the press corps has merit ( as it currently exists). Being a member of the press shouldn't be thought of as an exclusive club. As far as I'm concerned, a small media outlet should have the same access to the press secretary as a large media outlet, and no reporter should have exclusive access. Perhaps a lottery system or, as you stated, using the net can be helpful.


18 posted on 02/22/2006 6:12:58 AM PST by stacytec (Nihilism, its whats for dinner)
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To: Bender2

Your "Slimes" is too funny....I absolutely love it!! Thanks.All I can say is that I'm glad my Cheerios have holes in them or I might have choked to death reading your "Slimes" report this morning.


19 posted on 02/22/2006 6:17:22 AM PST by geezerwheezer (get up boys, we're burnin' daylight!!!)
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To: libs_kma

General "Don't get stuck on stupid" Honore should be the press secretary.


20 posted on 02/22/2006 6:22:02 AM PST by Dilbert56
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To: geezerwheezer
Thanks, Geeze... I'll add you to my ping list.
21 posted on 02/22/2006 6:27:56 AM PST by Bender2 (Redid my FR Homepage just for ya'll... Now, Vote Republican and vote often)
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To: Dilbert56

I go for justice Scalia who I watched on C-Span reaming the tender behinds of a bunch of nutbrained lefties. He would drive the press corps to a communal bawling jag within a week.


22 posted on 02/22/2006 6:31:28 AM PST by gaspar
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To: Bender2

Poor VP. NO peace from Bender.

23 posted on 02/22/2006 6:33:02 AM PST by beachn4fun (I was born an American; I will live an American; I shall die an American. ~ Daniel Webster)
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To: Bender2

Love the little Mo Do headline...


24 posted on 02/22/2006 6:39:10 AM PST by ErnBatavia (Meep Meep)
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To: beachn4fun
Now, Beachy, don't go blaming #2 for what those sorry liberal journalists print... He just hacks into their computers and gets the editions early...

Thanks, Mr. Vice President, I appreciate the support.

Well, #2, if it wasn't for you, I'd never have gotten to first base with Ann Coulter...

25 posted on 02/22/2006 6:45:11 AM PST by Bender2 (Redid my FR Homepage just for ya'll... Now, Vote Republican and vote often)
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To: ErnBatavia
Hell, if the Veep would blast that Zeta-Jones bitch, I'd start voting Republican!
26 posted on 02/22/2006 6:47:24 AM PST by Bender2 (Redid my FR Homepage just for ya'll... Now, Vote Republican and vote often)
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To: Bender2

Another good one ... LOL

btt


27 posted on 02/22/2006 6:56:53 AM PST by maggief (and the dessert cart rolls on ...)
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To: abb; Bender2; IncPen
We can hope that the left wing/whacked out mediots continue to embarrass themselves in public.


28 posted on 02/22/2006 6:57:30 AM PST by Grampa Dave (Visit Free Republic to enjoy shameless Schadenfreude as the lies of liberals are exposed!)
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To: Grampa Dave


Let's revise the title of this piece to better describe it.:

"Why the D.C. media hates America"

I don't know about you,but Sam Donaldson's "goins on" did it for me years ago.
America very likely really does'nt care a fig about the D.C. Media.


29 posted on 02/22/2006 7:10:36 AM PST by CBart95
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To: CBart95

I was in the DC area during the time of Blather and Rabid Donaldson. There were a lot of old time democrats as well as republicans, who were appalled at the behavior of the White House Press Corp.


30 posted on 02/22/2006 7:14:32 AM PST by Grampa Dave (Visit Free Republic to enjoy shameless Schadenfreude as the lies of liberals are exposed!)
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To: Grampa Dave
I feel that sometimes the media in D.C. really doesn't know what decorum means, or is. They are in the PEOPLE'S house, meaning all of us, yet they seem to think the world revolves around their needs and wants, not the PEOPLES'. It is a damn shame and Mr. Bush should be calling them out on it and stay after them like the snot-nosed brats they are. It will get worse, and then what do we do? Enough is enough, and like millions of others, I'm sick of it.
31 posted on 02/22/2006 7:30:05 AM PST by geezerwheezer (get up boys, we're burnin' daylight!!!)
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To: Bender2
"Why doesn't VP kill important folks like Zeta-Jones?" Dowd asks.

Don't worry Catherine, if VP Cheney is near I'll throw my body across yours to save you. Look out there he is < leap>


32 posted on 02/22/2006 7:32:35 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Next Olympics I want wide track bobsledding. Four sleds on the track at once - like Ben Hur on ice.)
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To: abb
NBC recently provided this exchange on the Internet:

McClellan: "David, hold on, the cameras aren't on right now. You can do this later."

Gregory: "Don't accuse me of trying to pose for the cameras. Don't be a jerk to me personally when I'm asking you a serious question."

McClellan: "You don't have to yell."

Gregory: "If you want to use the-that podium to try to take shots at me personally, which I don't appreciate, then I will raise my voice because that's wrong."

McClellan: "Calm down, Dave, calm down."

Gregory: "I'll calm down when I feel like calming down. You answer the question."

I guess NBC or the liberal known as Friedman forgot to put in the EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <---I found them here.

33 posted on 02/22/2006 7:34:25 AM PST by subterfuge ("We're going to take things from you for the greater good..."---Hillary Rod-Ham Clinton)
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To: abb

Quite true,but I would add the following;


The single greatest reason to "hate" the media is because they are, by definition, 'bystanders' and not 'do-ers'. I can think of very few ways in which one could earn a substantial living with less work -- there is no great physical labor in simply repeating 'news' that people would have found out on their own had they actually been there when the event occurred, in acting, or simply yacking on the radio. The only reason many of these people go to college is to learn how to disperse their 'take' in a way that makes it sound logical, concise and reasonable.

Only 'welfare queen' and 'civil rights activist' require less meaningful work than 'news reporter', 'commentator' or 'celebrity'.

That having been said, we must make exception for those who actually do some work in ensuring that what they put out to the general public at least includes a germ of turth and logic; these are people who have a genuine passion for debate and who recognize the responsibility that comes with their ability to affect the thoughts and lives of millions. These people are few and far between.

The vast majority, however, are simpletons and mere gossips, who wear the title 'journalist' in such a way as to appear to be relevant to society.


34 posted on 02/22/2006 7:37:46 AM PST by Wombat101 (Islam: Turning everything it touches to Shi'ite since 632 AD...)
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To: abb

On a somewhat related note, did anyone see on C-SPam yesterday the International Law conference where Justice Scalia was taking questions? He had to suffer through a bunch of liberal nutjobs in their twenties who couldn't even get out a cogent thought. Some were foreign, others we blathering fools who didn't have the sense to use decorum or manners. One guy got kicked out. Any threads on this?


35 posted on 02/22/2006 7:37:52 AM PST by subterfuge ("We're going to take things from you for the greater good..."---Hillary Rod-Ham Clinton)
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To: Bender2

Love the new one! Sick minds think alike.


36 posted on 02/22/2006 7:46:28 AM PST by Beagle8U (An "Earth First" kinda guy ( when we finish logging here, we'll start on the other planets.)
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To: KarlInOhio; Allegra; peacebaby; beachn4fun; tomkow6; Echo Talon; pax_et_bonum
Re: "Why doesn't VP kill important folks like Zeta-Jones?" Dowd asks.
Don't worry Catherine, if VP Cheney is near I'll throw my body across yours to save you. Look out there he is {leap}

Isn't that just like a man!

Hey, I agree with Karl. Old CZK has a nice set of....

Hey, Professor?

Yes, Leela, what is it?

Remember what you did to Bender last week? The little work you did on him for the Drag Queen Ball? Well, do the same for #2.

I'd be delighted!

Later...

Gadzooks... These are great!

When will I ever learn...

37 posted on 02/22/2006 7:55:40 AM PST by Bender2 (Redid my FR Homepage just for ya'll... Now, Vote Republican and vote often)
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To: Beagle8U
Look down one post to #37...
38 posted on 02/22/2006 8:00:13 AM PST by Bender2 (Redid my FR Homepage just for ya'll... Now, Vote Republican and vote often)
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To: Bender2
Yes, I check your HP often, I saw you corrected that minor error. It makes more sense now, and was emailed off to friends for their enjoyment.
39 posted on 02/22/2006 8:21:52 AM PST by Beagle8U (An "Earth First" kinda guy ( when we finish logging here, we'll start on the other planets.)
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To: geezerwheezer; Bender2
Your "Slimes" is too funny....I absolutely love it!!

I know...I love reading about all the stuff Dick Cheney has been up to.

That VP is OUTTA CONTROL!!

40 posted on 02/22/2006 8:24:51 AM PST by Allegra (Save the Mediterranean Fruitfly!)
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To: Allegra

Was the V.P. driving that Ferrari yesterday that wrecked out in California? Or was that Mr. Bush's fault? Inquiring minds don't want to know!


41 posted on 02/22/2006 8:44:37 AM PST by geezerwheezer (get up boys, we're burnin' daylight!!!)
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To: abb

Wouldn't you love to corner one of these smirking bastards in a parking lot, after they gave you all the justification in the world to defend yourself? Yanking your car door open and shoving a microphone in your face...

Dream the dream...


42 posted on 02/22/2006 8:49:30 AM PST by guitfiddlist (When the 'Rats break out switchblades, it's no time to invoke Robert's Rules.)
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To: Allegra
Hello Allegra, Zap Brannigan here. Everyone else is out at the moment, but do come in and have a drink so we can get acquainted. I've heard a lot about you... And I am sure you have heard a lot about me. Spaceman, Soldier, Statesman, Man About Town...

And friend to the Working Girl! Honestly Zap, get off my bed and out of my bedroom!

Hi Allegra, sorry about that. It has been a madhouse here every since #2 started hacking into the Slimes website and printing out their front pages... Well, I don't have to tell you about working hard.

If these guys here had to work as hard as we women... They drop dead of exhaustion!

You go, Girl!

You need any help over there, Allegra? I could use a change of scenery...

I could be of assistance in arranging you passage out of...

Thanks, but no thanks, Louie...

Are the guys you work with as big a jerks as these?

Whoa, Leela! We're not all jerks! Are we, Homer?

Homer? Homer?

Bad example, #2. Even I know Homer's a jerk... I'll tell you who is not a jerk. John Redcorn, that who.

Says good night, Dick...

Good night, Dick!

Good night, Dick.

Very interesting... But dumb. Very dumb!

43 posted on 02/22/2006 9:42:25 AM PST by Bender2 (Redid my FR Homepage just for ya'll... Now, Vote Republican and vote often)
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To: OldFriend
Scrum is a rugby term and it fits the activities of the WH press whores to a T

Thanks for the analogy for I agree with you that these White house press whores are pond scum in the food chain of life.

44 posted on 02/22/2006 9:45:50 AM PST by democrats_nightmare
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To: abb
Dictionary.com - Scrum: Chiefly British. A disordered or confused situation involving a number of people.

Or like a herd of swine at the trough? ;-)

45 posted on 02/22/2006 9:47:13 AM PST by democrats_nightmare
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To: geezerwheezer
Was the V.P. driving that Ferrari yesterday that wrecked out in California?

I don't believe Cheney was driving it, but I can assure you he caused the wreck.

And then he shot the driver.

46 posted on 02/22/2006 9:53:08 AM PST by Allegra (Save the Mediterranean Fruitfly!)
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To: libs_kma
Rumsfeld would be a good choice. But R. Lee Ermey would be entertaining as all get out.

I have a friend who bumps into him every now and again, I'll pass that along. :-)

47 posted on 02/22/2006 3:41:50 PM PST by Riley ("What color is the boathouse at Hereford?")
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