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Bush's Rhetoric Targets Unnamed Critics
Associated Press via Forbes ^ | 03.20.20 | JENNIFER LOVEN

Posted on 03/22/2006 10:44:07 AM PST by Alas Babylon!

"Some look at the challenges in Iraq and conclude that the war is lost and not worth another dime or another day," President Bush said recently.

Another time he said, "Some say that if you're Muslim you can't be free."

"There are some really decent people," the president said earlier this year, "who believe that the federal government ought to be the decider of health care ... for all people."

Of course, hardly anyone in mainstream political debate has made such assertions.

When the president starts a sentence with "some say" or offers up what "some in Washington" believe, as he is doing more often these days, a rhetorical retort almost assuredly follows.

The device usually is code for Democrats or other White House opponents. In describing what they advocate, Bush often omits an important nuance or substitutes an extreme stance that bears little resemblance to their actual position.

He typically then says he "strongly disagrees" - conveniently knocking down a straw man of his own making.

Bush routinely is criticized for dressing up events with a too-rosy glow. But experts in political speech say the straw man device, in which the president makes himself appear entirely reasonable by contrast to supposed "critics," is just as problematic.

Because the "some" often go unnamed, Bush can argue that his statements are true in an era of blogs and talk radio. Even so, "'some' suggests a number much larger than is actually out there," said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

A specialist in presidential rhetoric, Wayne Fields of Washington University in St. Louis, views it as "a bizarre kind of double talk" that abuses the rules of legitimate discussion.

"It's such a phenomenal hole in the national debate that you can have arguments with nonexistent people," Fields said. "All politicians try to get away with this to a certain extent. What's striking here is how much this administration rests on a foundation of this kind of stuff."

Bush has caricatured the other side for years, trying to tilt legislative debates in his favor or score election-season points with voters.

Not long after taking office in 2001, Bush pushed for a new education testing law and began portraying skeptics as opposed to holding schools accountable.

The chief opposition, however, had nothing to do with the merits of measuring performance, but rather the cost and intrusiveness of the proposal.

Campaigning for Republican candidates in the 2002 midterm elections, the president sought to use the congressional debate over a new Homeland Security Department against Democrats.

He told at least two audiences that some senators opposing him were "not interested in the security of the American people." In reality, Democrats balked not at creating the department, which Bush himself first opposed, but at letting agency workers go without the usual civil service protections.

Running for re-election against Sen. John Kerry in 2004, Bush frequently used some version of this line to paint his Democratic opponent as weaker in the fight against terrorism: "My opponent and others believe this matter is a matter of intelligence and law enforcement."

The assertion was called a mischaracterization of Kerry's views even by a Republican, Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Straw men have made more frequent appearances in recent months, often on national security - once Bush's strong suit with the public but at the center of some of his difficulties today. Under fire for a domestic eavesdropping program, a ports-management deal and the rising violence in Iraq, Bush now sees his approval ratings hovering around the lowest of his presidency.

Said Jamieson, "You would expect people to do that as they feel more threatened."

Last fall, the rhetorical tool became popular with Bush when the debate heated up over when troops would return from Iraq. "Some say perhaps we ought to just pull out of Iraq," he told GOP supporters in October, echoing similar lines from other speeches. "That is foolhardy policy."

Yet even the speediest plan, as advocated by only a few Democrats, suggested not an immediate drawdown, but one over six months. Most Democrats were not even arguing for a specific troop withdrawal timetable.

Recently defending his decision to allow the National Security Agency to monitor without subpoenas the international communications of Americans suspected of terrorist ties, Bush has suggested that those who question the program underestimate the terrorist threat.

"There's some in America who say, 'Well, this can't be true there are still people willing to attack,'" Bush said during a January visit to the NSA.

The president has relied on straw men, too, on the topics of taxes and trade, issues he hopes will work against Democrats in this fall's congressional elections.

Usually without targeting Democrats specifically, Bush has suggested they are big-spenders who want to raise taxes, because most oppose extending some of his earlier tax cuts, and protectionists who do not want to open global markets to American goods, when most oppose free-trade deals that lack protections for labor and the environment.

"Some people believe the answer to this problem is to wall off our economy from the world," he said this month in India, talking about the migration of U.S. jobs overseas. "I strongly disagree."

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed


TOPICS: Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: brownshirtsforkerry; bullzogby; bushhasser; dnctalkingpoints; iraqwar; kerryvoter; lyingliar; mediabias; paidshill; thebiglie; zogbyism
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Jennifer doesn't loven President Bush. This is being pushed as a NEWS article folks. Just unbelievable. What politician doesn't use rhetoric?

Clinton always used "...reasonable people (would agree, would have to agree, agree, say)...."

Never once did AP write a story about this.

1 posted on 03/22/2006 10:44:09 AM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: Alas Babylon!

Guess it looks like this man has "gravitas" after all.


2 posted on 03/22/2006 10:51:27 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Alas Babylon!

Pres. Bush needs to shrug off the media attacks and keep using the bully pulpit.


3 posted on 03/22/2006 10:52:07 AM PST by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestu s globus, inflammare animos)
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To: Alas Babylon!

Would this "some" mentioned by Bush be related to the "some" who appears constantly in newspaper stories? Or that favorite device of AP and the New York Times, "critics say"? When reporters quit attributing things to un-named "sources," then we can criticize Bush for invoking "some."

Some might call this a piece of crap story.


4 posted on 03/22/2006 10:53:44 AM PST by speedy
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To: Alas Babylon!

Bullsh**. This is an editorial.

I wonder who Jennifer Loven voted for in 2004?

Remember, you can't spell "cheap" without AP.

Putzes.


5 posted on 03/22/2006 10:53:54 AM PST by RexBeach ("There is no substitute for victory." -Douglas MacArthur)
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To: Alas Babylon!
Jennifer Loven Strikes Again
6 posted on 03/22/2006 10:54:57 AM PST by SkyPilot
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To: Alas Babylon!
Because the "some" often go unnamed.

I provide one name to get things rolling:

Jennifer Loven.
7 posted on 03/22/2006 10:55:00 AM PST by A Balrog of Morgoth (With fire, sword, and stinging whip I drive the RINOs in terror before me.)
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To: Alas Babylon!

Looks like power line had this ditz nailed a year and a half ago: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/007959.php


8 posted on 03/22/2006 10:59:01 AM PST by speedy
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To: Alas Babylon!

--Because the "some" often go unnamed.--

I have a list of 57 names!!! How about John Smurpha, Russ Slimemold, John Con-yours, etc. ?


9 posted on 03/22/2006 11:01:17 AM PST by rfp1234 (I've had it up to my keyster with these leaks!!! - - - Ronald Reagan)
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To: Alas Babylon!
JENNIFER LOVEN's HUSBAND WAS A JOHN KERRY ADVISOR!! HER BIAS IS RAMPANT!
10 posted on 03/22/2006 11:02:18 AM PST by Recovering_Democrat ((I am SO glad to no longer be associated with the party of Dependence on Government!))
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To: Alas Babylon!

I love this hissy fit the MSM is going through.

I see WIN/WIN here for us.


11 posted on 03/22/2006 11:07:50 AM PST by FreedomNeocon (I'm in no Al-Samood for this Shi'ite.)
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To: Alas Babylon!

BARF ALERT should have preceded this article.


12 posted on 03/22/2006 11:08:23 AM PST by conservative blonde (Conservative Blonde)
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To: Alas Babylon!
Could not agree with you more!

And yet ANOTHER "specialist"; one in "presidential rhetoric". Completely unnecessary. We do not need someone to tell us what the president said, or that we should not like his choice of rhetoric, etc. etc.

Wayne Fields - get a REAL job, and earn money in an honest way with integrity and honor.

13 posted on 03/22/2006 11:09:27 AM PST by Constitution1st (Never, never, never quit - Winston Churchill)
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To: Alas Babylon!

The babies in the press are crying again. Nevermind they constantly cite "unnamed critics" and anoynmous sources in their opinion columns...which this is. Actually, it's propaganda from the DNC.

Difference with the President is that he's actually being truthful in his reports of the critics' assertions. Nuances of their arguments and all included. :-)


14 posted on 03/22/2006 11:23:23 AM PST by Soul Seeker ("The Republican Party is now principally moderate, if not liberal!" Arlen Specter (R-Pa))
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To: Alas Babylon!

I think most of the MSM and liberal Dimocraps are still down after the count from yesterday's beating at the hands of the President. Helen Thomas is still out in spite of vast amounts of smelling-salts administered. President Bush showed great skill with his jabs, sticking and jabbing while setting up straight rights and lefts. Helen Thomas's face reveals the severe punishment she received while she failed to slip any of Bush's jabs even while stepping into several rights - or was her face that way from birth?
I loved all two rounds of that fight.


15 posted on 03/22/2006 11:23:25 AM PST by caisson71
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To: speedy
Similar to: "sources close to..." "White House sources..." "Anonymous sources..." "Unnamed sources..." and of course, the blast from the past "Deep Throat"

Perhaps the President is playing a bit of pot meet kettle!
16 posted on 03/22/2006 11:23:48 AM PST by BlessedByLiberty (Respectfully submitted,)
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To: BlessedByLiberty
sources close to the White House

I always interpret this to mean 2 reporters walking by the White House discussing the spin or rumor of the day.

17 posted on 03/22/2006 11:27:55 AM PST by Freee-dame
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To: BlessedByLiberty
Perhaps the President is playing a bit of pot meet kettle!

I think so. Reporters never respond well when the tables are turned against them.

18 posted on 03/22/2006 11:30:06 AM PST by speedy
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To: Freee-dame

No kidding!


19 posted on 03/22/2006 11:31:55 AM PST by BlessedByLiberty (Respectfully submitted,)
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To: Alas Babylon!
Bush's Rhetoric Targets Unnamed Critics Idiot Reporters Who Don't Realize They Are Being Criticized.

There, I fixed it.
20 posted on 03/22/2006 11:32:19 AM PST by dan1123
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To: Alas Babylon!

LSM pissed that Bush uses their own tactics against them! SCREW ALL LSM MEDIA and THEIR REPORTERS/NEWS MANUFACTURERS!

LLS


21 posted on 03/22/2006 11:35:44 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (Preserve America... kill terrorists... destroy dims!)
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To: speedy

President Bush not only turned the tables on them this time, he shoved it against the wall, walked out the room and locked the door.

MSM are the ones trapped in a bubble which alternative media have been pricking with needles for some time. It escalated with Dan Rather's fiasco where a sharp rapier was thrust into that bubble. The President added his own sharp instrument to the bored partisan condescending MSM's WH press corps bubble.

Popcorn will be at the ready when the bubble's last gasping hiss is heard.


22 posted on 03/22/2006 11:38:32 AM PST by BlessedByLiberty (Respectfully submitted,)
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To: Alas Babylon!
"Some look at the challenges in Iraq and conclude that the war is lost and not worth another dime or another day," President Bush said recently.

[snip]

Of course, hardly anyone in mainstream political debate has made such assertions.

Care to fill her mailbox with examples of just such negativity from congressmen(D) and "journalists"? How about those activists of the antiAmerican War movement?

Or are they all outside of the mainstream?

23 posted on 03/22/2006 11:45:26 AM PST by weegee ("Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but Democrats believe every day is April 15.")
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To: RexBeach

idiotorial, not editorial.


24 posted on 03/22/2006 11:46:31 AM PST by weegee ("Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but Democrats believe every day is April 15.")
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To: Freee-dame

"Sources close the White House...", wellll actually they served under an earlier administration but they DID work in the White House once...


25 posted on 03/22/2006 11:48:04 AM PST by weegee ("Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but Democrats believe every day is April 15.")
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To: Alas Babylon!
I think AP is finally figuring out it's number is up. They've almost destroyed the news service with their hatred of this president. Unfortunately for them, the American people are a lot smarter then they are and we've figured them out.

They're in denial and are still trying to cover their tracks, but with GPS we don't need to follow the tracks anymore.

26 posted on 03/22/2006 11:50:18 AM PST by McGavin999 (The US media is afflicted with Attention Deficit Disorder)
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To: caisson71

The President should have held Helen Thomas accountable for media abuses where they completely fabricated interviewees, prisoners, documents, and abuse photos.

What publications do I refer to? Obscure fringe sources like the NY Times, Boston Globe, CBS Nightly News...

"Get Bush" is Zogbyism. FAR worse than McCarthyism ever was. McCarthy claimed to have a list of names (which his critics claim fluctuated) but did they ever see his list? Who did he wrongly identify as a Communist?

The press routinely fabricates evidence. OLD OLD Communist trick.

Make this antiAmerican shill pay for the sins of her crooked industry.


27 posted on 03/22/2006 11:53:01 AM PST by weegee ("Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but Democrats believe every day is April 15.")
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To: Alas Babylon!

If this is not an editorial, it should be front page news when the author is fired. Please tell me this is an editorial. Otherwise it should be saved for all time as proof positive that the AP is not in any way objective, and never again should anyone question conservatives when they talk about the liberal press.


28 posted on 03/22/2006 11:55:08 AM PST by soloNYer
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To: weegee

We can make them ALL pay buy refusing to buy their papers and stop supporting their advertisers.


29 posted on 03/22/2006 12:01:49 PM PST by caisson71
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To: Alas Babylon!
I remember during the Clinton years, he and his shills always bolstered thier argument by using phases like "The American people say" or "The American people feel" before stating whatever. It really used to burn me up!
30 posted on 03/22/2006 12:14:21 PM PST by Tony O (hibobbi!)
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To: soloNYer

I kid you not. This was in the Sunday edition of my local small city rag posted in the national News section.


31 posted on 03/22/2006 12:18:28 PM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: Tony O

Yes, I remember that well. "The American people understand lying about sex to protect your family's honor". I used to laugh and wonder then how screwing the help did his family any honor in the first place!


32 posted on 03/22/2006 12:20:29 PM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: Alas Babylon!
It's such a phenomenal hole in the national debate that you can have arguments with nonexistent people

Because whenever the president names his critics, the following media story is how "the president is attacking his critics--this from a man who promised to change the tone in Washington." The guy can't win and the media can go to hell.

33 posted on 03/22/2006 12:27:58 PM PST by rabidralph (We don't need no fancy book learnin,' now, get off the property!)
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To: Alas Babylon!
Good point! How honorable could he be in the first place?

Using "the American people" catch phrase also implied that if you didn't agree you were somewhat un-American, or at least out of touch with American thought.
34 posted on 03/22/2006 12:35:41 PM PST by Tony O (hibobbi!)
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To: Alas Babylon!

I would think that unless I've been dreaming for the past couple of years that probably all of the so-called "strawman" arguments are factual. Just not to this moonbat, who absolutely proves the liberal press point.

I can't look them up now, but would love to see her flooded with quotes. I'll try when I have a moment (probably Brent Bozell's site?).


35 posted on 03/22/2006 12:42:28 PM PST by soloNYer
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To: Alas Babylon!

I guess Jennie lives in a bubble if she isn't aware of how many people/entities fall into the category of "some" as the Prez talked. For every claim he made, I'd wager a month's pay that anyone with 10 minutes and a decent internet connection could find a hadful of examples with the sources of who made the statements or insinuated the opinions to each of them.


36 posted on 03/22/2006 12:44:39 PM PST by trebb ("I am the way... no one comes to the Father, but by me..." - Jesus in John 14:6 (RSV))
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To: Alas Babylon!
Unmanly Men Fear Bush

And women who want to be men love unmanly men...

37 posted on 03/22/2006 12:50:14 PM PST by the anti-liberal (Hey, Al Qaeda: Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent)
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To: caisson71

Get their house organs out of our public schools and libraries as well. The lies of today become the reference materials of tomorrow.


38 posted on 03/22/2006 1:10:26 PM PST by weegee ("Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but Democrats believe every day is April 15.")
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To: Timesink; martin_fierro; reformed_democrat; Loyalist; =Intervention=; PianoMan; GOPJ; ...
Media Bias PING...

"Some look at the challenges in Iraq and conclude that the war is lost and not worth another dime or another day," President Bush said recently.
[snip]

Of course, hardly anyone in mainstream political debate has made such assertions.


Care to fill her mailbox with examples of just such negativity from congressmen(D) and "journalists"? How about those activists of the antiAmerican War movement?
39 posted on 03/22/2006 1:13:01 PM PST by weegee ("Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but Democrats believe every day is April 15.")
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To: Alas Babylon!
Bush's Rhetoric Targets Unnamed Critics

Rhetoric ??

40 posted on 03/22/2006 1:29:49 PM PST by Mo1 ("Stupidity is also a gift from God, but it should not be abused." Pope John Paul II)
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To: Alas Babylon!
Loven may recognize the President's use of indefinite pronouns because of her familiarity with the tools Democrats (and their talking heads) use.

Perhaps she is familiar with the phantom favorite of Democratic talking heads which begins with, "The American people (fill in the blank with whatever criticism of Bush the speaker wants to make)."

What a hatchet piece she has come up with! Her "clever" attempt to delegitimize Bush's rebuttals to critics simply serve to reinforce their validity.

Loven's problem is that her political blinders keep her from seeing that us real "American people" out here know exactly who the President is talking about, because we have heard and read their criticisms.

41 posted on 03/22/2006 1:35:27 PM PST by loveliberty2
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To: Alas Babylon!

Those AP-Holes at the AP can't figure out that they are the LEGITIMATE Targets???


42 posted on 03/22/2006 2:11:20 PM PST by funkywbr
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To: Alas Babylon!

.."can somebody read back to me what he said to me yesterday? I left my pad in what I thought was the ladies room, it turn out to be a hall closet, but I can't remember what hall, or even if I wiped"

43 posted on 03/22/2006 2:13:09 PM PST by Doogle (USAF ...7th AF...408MMS..Ubon ,Thailand..."69"..Night Line Delivery ..AMMO!!)
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To: Tony O

Same with the Clinton rhetoric device of "reasonable" people. Disagree? You're unreasonable!

Never one mention in the whole article about any other politicians using rhetoric. I can think of a whole host of BS phrases used by other folks. Clinton was just one example. Loven never wrote such an article in 8 years of his silvered tongue wagging. I guess she found more uses than speaking for that!

Never a mention about any others. Just Bush. Pathetic. It's not as if politicians don't use rhetoric a thousand times a day. Loven acts as if Bush is the first person to do so. And get her "expert" professor, too. "It's such a phenomenal hole in the national debate that you can have arguments with nonexistent people," Fields said. "All politicians try to get away with this to a certain extent. What's striking here is how much this administration rests on a foundation of this kind of stuff." How much THIS administration? Was he sleeping from 1992-2000?



If other folks can't see the bias in that, there just ain't no such thing as bias.


44 posted on 03/22/2006 2:14:51 PM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: Alas Babylon!

At least we no longer have to listen to our President say things to us like, "I never had relations with that woman...not once" on a semi-annual basis. *Rolleyes*

I agree. President Bush needs to keep talking to us and not shut up...not once! :)


45 posted on 03/22/2006 2:18:22 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: Alas Babylon!

Oops.

Left out a couple of paragraphs about what the professor missed:

Did he not hear how many democrats cried "Bush Lied!" and Bush mislead us!" Algore's spitting roar of "He betrayed us! He played on our fears!!!!"????

Calling the President of the United States a liar, a betrayer of our people and such isn't as much of a "whole in the national debate" as the Katie Couric "some people same" rhetoric?????


PULLEASE!


46 posted on 03/22/2006 2:19:58 PM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: Alas Babylon!; governsleastgovernsbest
I presume tomorrow Jennifer will have a scathing attack on Katie Couric, who has used the "some say" tactic for at least 5 years, as governsleastgovernsbest can document.

Fat chance. But how funny that she attacks this when all of her colleagues use the exact same device, daily!

47 posted on 03/22/2006 2:46:31 PM PST by Miss Marple (Lord, please look after Mozart Lover's and Jemian's sons and keep them strong.)
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To: Alas Babylon!

awwww is this little jennifer snit got her nose out of joint because the Pres has the cohunas to tell the truth???

awwww poor, poor little jennifer....go home to mommy and she will dry your tears.


48 posted on 03/22/2006 3:28:52 PM PST by HarleyLady27 (My ? to libs: "Do they ever shut up on your planet?" "Grow your own DOPE: Plant a LIB!")
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To: Alas Babylon!; Just mythoughts; finnman69; speedy; A Balrog of Morgoth; rfp1234; ...

Ruh Ro! Jennifer Loven is in a bit of trouble now. She went too far with her bias this time, and Editor and Publisher did a story on it.

The worst part for her is that it is linked via Drudge’s page. The AP will be forced to marginalize and muzzle her for awhile – and hope this doesn’t get too much coverage. They better hope no one discovers that her husband is a DNC insider and advisor to John Kerry.

AP's Bush 'Straw Man' Story: News Analysis Or Unlabeled Opinion?

NEW YORK Did a recent Associated Press story examining President George Bush's alleged tendency to use a "straw man" approach in his speeches cross the line from news to biased opinion? Or was it just a long-overdue, in-depth review of the president's public speaking approach? The viewpoint, as often happens in Washington, depends on whose blog you are reading, and what you consider opinion and analysis. Still, the article by reporter Jennifer Loven sparked an interesting debate on the blogosphere, and in some newsrooms, over how such an examination of a public figure can cross the line from reporting to opining. Since the piece was not labeled a column, or even analysis, it raised some eyebrows as it veered into a sharp attack on Bush's use of such tactics.

49 posted on 03/22/2006 4:40:50 PM PST by SkyPilot
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To: Phsstpok; jmc1969; Bahbah; Txsleuth; MNJohnnie; eeevil conservative; Alas Babylon!; ...

Check this out!

Totally biased smear!


50 posted on 03/22/2006 4:50:42 PM PST by Alas Babylon!
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