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It's How You Play the Game


Knowing what we
now know, shouldn't we
insist that those who
cannot afford the
kind of life we
enjoy, have a wage
raise, long before our

Rob (playing a game of Scrabble): Oh, I see an easy five letter word right away, F-R-E-E-P. Freep.
Jerry: Freep? What's that?
- The Dick Van Dyke Show
Episode title: A Man's Teeth Are Not His Own
Original Air date: Dec. 19, 1962
Episode number 43 (13th episode of the 2nd season)

"I wonder if he's in touch with the critics out there, like Matt Damon, the actor" -Chris Matthews

Owning guns is subversive behavior. You don't need to own a gun. Just ask any tyrant.

"One Hour Photo": Sy Parrish: Family photos depict smiling faces...births, weddings, holidays, children's birthday parties. People take pictures of the happy moments in their lives. Someone looking through our photo album would conclude that we had led a joyous, leisurely existence...free of tragedy. No one ever takes a photograph of something they want to forget. I've been doing P.O.S. mini-lab work for over 20 years now. I consider it an important job. When people's houses are on fire, what's the first thing they save after their pets and their loved ones are safe? The family photos. Some people think that this is a job for clerk. They actually believe that any idiot that attends a 2-day seminar can master the art of making beautiful prints in less than an hour. But of course, like most things, there's far more to it than meets the eye. I've seen the prints they fob off on people at the Rexall or Fotek. Milky, washed out prints. Too dark prints. There's no sense of reverence for the service they're providing for people. I process these photos as if they were my own. Monday is our busiest day. People tend to shoot most of their pictures on weekends. The store has several regular customers. There's Mrs. Von Unwerth, who only takes pictures of her cats. I've never seen a picture of a human being. Just cats. There's Mr. Siskind. Mr. Siskind is an insurance claims adjuster. He only brings in pictures of wrecked cars. We get all the new parents which, in this neighborhood, makes up a big part of our business. New parents go photo crazy. Cindy, a nurse from a nearby cosmetic surgery clinic is a regular customer. We do all of the before and after shots. Then there's the amateur porn artists. We have to report kiddie porn and animal cruelty, but anything else, no questions asked. I'm sure my customers never think about it, but these snapshots are their little stands against the flow of time. The shutter is clicked, the flash goes off, and they've stopped time, if just for the blink of an eye. And if these pictures have anything important to say to future generations, it's this "I was here. I existed. I was young. I was happy and someone cared enough about me in this world to take my picture." Most people don't take snapshots of the little things... the used Band-Aid...the guy at the gas station... the wasp on the Jell-O... but these are the things that make up the true picture of our lives. People don't take pictures of these things.

"Amadeus": Salieri: Extraordinary! On the page it looked nothing. The beginning simple, almost comic. Just a pulse - bassoons and basset horns - like a rusty squeezebox. Then suddenly - high above it - an oboe, a single note, hanging there unwavering, till a clarinet took over and sweetened it into a phrase of such delight! This was no composition by a performing monkey! This was a music I'd never heard. Filled with such longing, such unfulfillable longing, it had me trembling. It seemed to me that I was hearing the voice of God.

"The Apartment": Bud: On November 1st, 1959, the population of New York City was 8,042,783. If you laid all these people end to end, figuring an average height of five feet six and a half inches, they would reach from Times Square to the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan. I know facts like this because I work for an insurance company - Consolidated Life of New York. We're one of the top five companies in the country. Our home office has 31,259 employees - which is more than the entire population of Natchez, Mississippi. I work on the 19th floor - Ordinary Policy Department - Premium Accounting Division - Section W - desk number 861. My name is C. C. Baxter - C. for Calvin, C. for Clifford, however most people call me Bud. I've been with Consolidated for three years and ten months and my take-home pay is $94.70 a week. The hours in our department are 8:50 to 5:20 - they're staggered by floors, so that sixteen elevators can handle the 31,259 employees without a serious traffic jam. As for myself, I very often stay on at the office and work for an extra hour or two, especially when the weather is bad. It's not that I'm overly ambitious, it's just a way of killing time, until it's all right for me to go home. You see, I have this little problem with my apartment...I live in the West Sixties, just half a block from Central Park. My rent is $85 a month. It used to be eighty until last July when Mrs. Lieberman, the landlady, put in a second-hand air conditioning unit. It's a real nice apartment - nothing fancy - but kind of cozy - just right for a bachelor. The only problem is - I can't always get in when I want to.

"Amadeus": Salieri: All I ever wanted was to sing to God. He gave me that longing... and then made me mute. Why? Tell me that? If he didn't want me to praise him with music, why implant the desire? Like a lust in my body? And then deny me the talent?

"The Godfather": Bonasera: I believe in America. America has made my fortune. And I raised my daughter in the American fashion. I gave her freedom, but -- I taught her never to dishonor her family. She found a boyfriend; not an Italian. She went to the movies with him; she stayed out late. I didn't protest. Two months ago, he took her for a drive, with another boyfriend. They made her drink whiskey. And then they tried to take advantage of her. She resisted. She kept her honor. So they beat her, like an animal. When I went to the hospital, her nose was a'broken. Her jaw was a'shattered, held together by wire. She couldn't even weep because of the pain. But I wept. Why did I weep? She was the light of my life -- beautiful girl. Now she will never be beautiful again. (Bonasera breaks down) Sorry...I -- I went to the police, like a good American. These two boys were brought to trial. The judge sentenced them to three years in prison-- suspended sentence. Suspended sentence! They went free that very day! I stood in the courtroom like a fool. And those two bastard, they smiled at me. Then I said to my wife, "for justice, we must go to Don Corleone."
Vito Corleone: We've known each other many years, but this is the first time you came to me for counsel, for help. I can't remember the last time that you invited me to your house for a cup of coffee, even though my wife is godmother to your only child. But let's be frank here: you never wanted my friendship. And uh, you were afraid to be in my debt.
Bonasera: I didn't want to get into trouble.
Vito Corleone: I understand. You found paradise in America, had a good trade, made a good living. The police protected you; and there were courts of law. And you didn't need a friend of me. But uh, now you come to me and you say -- "Don Corleone give me justice." -- But you don't ask with respect. You don't offer friendship. You don't even think to call me Godfather. Instead, you come into my house on the day my daughter is to be married, and you uh...ask me to commit murder, for money.
Bonasera: I ask you for justice.
Vito Corleone: That is not justice; your daughter is still alive.
Bonasera: Then they can suffer then, as she suffers. How much shall I pay you?
Vito Corleone: (stands, turning his back toward Bonasera) Bonasera... Bonasera... What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? Had you come to me in friendship, then this scum that ruined your daughter would be suffering this very day. And that by chance if an honest man such as yourself should make enemies, then they would become my enemies. And then they would fear you.
Bonasera: Be my friend --(then, after bowing and the Don shrugs)-- Godfather?
Vito Corleone: (after Bonasera kisses his hand) Good. Some day, and that day may never come, I'll call upon you to do a service for me. But uh, until that day -- accept this justice as a gift on my daughter's wedding day.

"Goodfellas": Karen: Well, we weren't married to nine-to-five guys, but the first time I realized how different was when Mickey had a hostess party. They had bad skin and wore too much make-up. I mean, they didn't look very good. They looked beat-up. And the stuff they wore was thrown together and cheap. A lot of pant suits and double knits. And they talked about how rotten their kids were and about beating them with broom handles and leather belts. But that the kids still didn't pay any attention...After a while, it got to be all normal. None of it seemed like crimes. It was more like Henry was enterprising and that he and the guys were making a few bucks hustling, while the other guys were sitting on their asses waiting for hand-outs. Our husbands weren't brain surgeons. They were blue-collar guys. The only way they could make extra money, real extra money, was to go out and cut a few corners...We were all so very close. I mean, there were never any outsiders around. Absolutely never. And being together all the time made everything seem all the more normal.

Henry: For most of the guys, killings got to be accepted. Murder was the only way that everybody stayed in line. You got out of line, you got whacked. Everybody knew the rules. But sometimes, even if people didn't get out of line, they got whacked. I mean, hits just became a habit for some of the guys. Guys would get into arguments over nothing and before you knew it, one of them was dead. And they were shooting each other all the time. Shooting people was a normal thing. It was no big deal. We had a, we had a serious problem with Billy Batts. This was really a touchy thing. Tommy'd killed a made guy. Batts was part of the Gambino crew and was considered untouchable. Before you could touch a made guy, you had to have a good reason. You had to have a sit-down, and you better get an okay, or you'd be the one who got whacked.

Henry: You know, we always called each other good fellas. Like you said to, uh, somebody, 'You're gonna like this guy. He's all right. He's a good fella. He's one of us.' You understand? We were good fellas. Wiseguys. But Jimmy and I could never be made because we had Irish blood. It didn't even matter that my mother was Sicilian. To become a member of a crew you've got to be one hundred per cent Italian so they can trace all your relatives back to the old country. See, it's the highest honor they can give you. It means you belong to a family and crew. It means that nobody can **** around with you. It also means you could **** around with anybody just as long as they aren't also a member. It's like a license to steal. It's a license to do anything. As far as Jimmy was concerned with Tommy being made, it was like we were all being made. We would now have one of our own as a member.

Henry (voice over): It was easy for all of us to disappear. My house was in my mother-in-law's name. My cars were registered to my wife. My social security cards and driver's licenses were phonies. I never voted. I never paid taxes. My birth certificate and my arrest sheet, that's all you'd ever have to know I was alive. See, the hardest thing for me was leaving the life. I still love the life. And we were treated like movie stars with muscle. We had it all, just for the asking. Our wives, mothers, kids, everybody rode along. I had paper bags filled with jewelry stashed in the kitchen. I had a sugar bowl full of coke next to the bed. Anything I wanted was a phone call away. Free cars. The keys to a dozen hide out flats all over the city. I bet twenty, thirty grand over a weekend and then I'd either blow the winnings in a week or go to the sharks to pay back the bookies. [Henry leaves the witness stand and speaks directly to the camera.] Didn't matter. It didn't mean anything. When I was broke I would go out and rob some more. We ran everything. We paid off cops. We paid off lawyers. We paid off judges. Everybody had their hands out. Everything was for the taking. And now it's all over. (back to voice over.] That's the hardest part. Today everything is different. There's no action. I have to wait around like everyone else. Can't even get decent food. Right after I got here I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce and I got egg noodles and ketchup. I'm an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.

"Jaws": Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss): You were on the Indianapolis?
Brody (Roy Scheider): What happened?
Quint: Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, chief. It was comin' back, from the island of Tinian Delady, just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in twelve minutes. Didn't see the first shark for about a half an hour. Tiger. Thirteen footer. You know, you know that when you're in the water, chief? You tell by lookin' from the dorsal to the tail. Well, we didn't know. `Cause our bomb mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent. Huh huh. They didn't even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, chief. The sharks come cruisin'. So we formed ourselves into tight groups. You know it's... kinda like `ol squares in battle like a, you see on a calendar, like the battle of Waterloo. And the idea was, the shark would go for nearest man and then he'd start poundin' and hollerin' and screamin' and sometimes the shark would go away. Sometimes he wouldn't go away. Sometimes that shark, he looks right into you. Right into your eyes. You know the thing about a shark, he's got...lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eye. When he comes at ya, doesn't seem to be livin'. Until he bites ya and those black eyes roll over white. And then, ah then you hear that terrible high pitch screamin' and the ocean turns red and spite of all the poundin' and the hollerin' they all come in and rip you to pieces.
Y'know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men! I don't know how many sharks, maybe a thousand! I don't know how many men, they averaged six an hour. On Thursday mornin' chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player, bosom's mate. I thought he was asleep, reached over to wake him up. Bobbed up and down in the water, just like a kinda top. Up ended. Well... he'd been bitten in half below the waist. Noon the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a Lockheed Ventura saw us, he swung in low and he saw us. He'd a young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper, anyway he saw us and come in low. And three hours later a big fat PBY comes down and start to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened? Waitin' for my turn. I'll never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred men went in the water, three hundred and sixteen men come out, the sharks took the rest, June the 29, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb.

"Manhattan": Ike: "Chapter One. He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion." Uh, no, make that: "He-he...romanticized it all out of proportion. Now...to him...no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin." Ahhh, now let me start this over. "Chapter One. He was too romantic about Manhattan as he was about everything else. He thrived on the hustle...bustle of the crowds and the traffic. To him, New York meant beautiful women and street-smart guys who seemed to know all the angles." Nah, no...corny, too corny...for...my taste. [He clears his throat] I mean, let me try and make it more profound. "Chapter One. He adored New York City. To him, it was a metaphor for the decay of the contemporary culture. The same lack of individual integrity to cause so many people to take the easy way out...was rapid ly turning the town of his dreams in--" No, it's gonna be too preachy. I me and, you know...let's face it, I wanna sell some books here. "Chapter One. He adored New York City, although to him, it was a metaphor for the decay of contemporary culture. How hard it was to exist in a society desensitized by drugs, loud music, television, crime, garbage." Too angry. I don't wanna be angry. "Chapter One. He was as...tough and romantic as the city he loved. Behind his black-rimmed glasses was the coiled sexual power of a jungle cat." I love this. "New York was his town. And it always would be."

"Planes, Trains, and Automobiles": Del: God, you're an ungrateful jackass. Well, go ahead, sleep in the lobby, see if I care! I hope you wait up so stiff you can't even move!
Neal: You're no saint. You got a free cab, you got a free room--and someone'll listen to your boring stories! Didn't you notice on the plane when you started talking, eventually I started reading the vomit bag? Didn't that give you some sort of clue, like maybe this guy is not enjoying it? Y'know, not everything is an anecdote, you have to discriminate! You choose things are funny or mildly amusing! You're a miracle! Your stories have none of that! They're not even amusing accidentally! "Honey, I'd like you to meet Del Griffith, he's got some amusing anecdotes for ya! And, oh, here's a gun so you can blow your brains out, you'll thank me for it! I could tolerate any insurance seminar. For days, I could sit there, and listen to them go on and on with a big smile on my face! And they'd say, how can you stand it? And I'd say, because I've been with Del Griffith, I can take anything! Y'know what they'd say, they'd say, "I know what you mean, shower curtain ring guy...whoa!" It's like going on a date with a Chatty-Kathy doll. I expect you to have a string on your chest that you pull out and have to snap back. Except I wouldn't pull it out and snap it back, you would! (imitating) Dyah dyah dyah dyah! And, you know, when you're telling these little stories, here's a good idea: have a point. It makes it makes it so much more interesting for the listener!
(Long pause.)
You want to hurt me? Go right ahead if it makes you feel any better. I'm an easy target. Yeah, you're right: I talk too much. I also listen too much. I could be a cold, hard cynic like you. But I don't like to hurt people's feelings. You think what you want about me, I'm not changing. I...I like me. My wife likes me. My customers like me. Because I'm the real article. What you see is what you get.

"Shawshank Redemption": Brooks: (voice-over) Dear Fellas. I can't believe how fast things move on the outside. I saw an automobile once when I was a kid, but now they're everywhere. The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry. The parole board got me into this halfway house called the Brewer, and a job bagging groceries at the Food-Way. It's hard work. I try to keep up, but my hands hurt most of the time. I don't think the store manager likes me very much. Sometimes after work I go to the park and feed the birds. I keep thinking Jake might just show up and say hello. But he never does. I hope wherever he is, he's doing okay and making new friends. I have trouble sleeping at night. I have -- bad dreams, like I'm falling. I wake up scared. Sometimes it takes me a while to remember where I am. Maybe I should get me a gun and rob the Food-Way, so they'd send me home. I could shoot the manager while I was at it, sort of like a bonus. I guess I'm too old for that sort of nonsense anymore. I don't like it here. I'm tired of being afraid all the time. I've decided not to stay. I doubt they'll kick up any fuss. Not for an old crook like me.

Red: And that's how it came to pass, that on the second-to-last day of the job, the convict crew that tarred the plate factory roof in the spring of '49 wound up sitting in a row at ten o'clock in the morning, drinking icy cold Bohemia style beer, courtesy of the hardest screw that ever walked a turn at Shawshank State Prison...The colossal p**** even managed to sound magnanimous. We sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders and felt like free men. Hell, we could have been tarring the roof of one of our own houses. We were the Lords of all Creation. As for Andy, he spent that break hunkered in the shade, a strange little smile on his face, watching us drink his beer...You could argue he'd done it to curry favor with the guards, or maybe make a few friends among us cons. Me, I think he did it just to feel normal again, if only for a short while.

Red: Rehabilitated? Well, now, let me see. You know, I don't have any idea what that means ... I know what you think it means, sonny. To me, it's just a made-up word. A politician's word, sonny. Young fellas like yourself can wear a suit and a tie and have a job. What do you really want to know? Am I sorry for what I did? ... There's not a day goes by I don't feel regret. Not because I'm in here. Because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then. A young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I wanna talk to him. I wanna try to talk some sense to him. Tell him the way things are. But I can't. That kid's long gone and this old man's all that's left. I gotta live with that. Rehabilitated? That's just a bull**** word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because, to tell you the truth, I don't give a ****.

Red: I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don't wanna know. Some things are best left unsaid. I like to think they were singing about something so beautiful it can't be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man at Shawshank felt free.

Red: Sometimes it makes me sad though, Andy being gone. I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. But still, the the place you live in is that much more drab and empty now they are gone. I guess I just miss my friend.

Red: Forty years I've been asking permission to ****. I can't squeeze a drop without say-so. There's a harsh truth to face: no way I'm gonna make it on the outside. All I do anymore is think of ways to break my parole so maybe they'd send me back. Terrible thing, to live in fear. Brooks Hatlen knew it. Knew it all too well. All I want is to be back where things make sense. Where I won't have to be afraid all the time. Only one thing stops me - a promise I made to Andy. (Red hitchhikes and finds the stone under the tree in the field Andy told him about; he finds the letter and the money Andy left for him)
Andy (voice-over):
Dear Red, If you're reading this, you've gotten out. And if you've come this far, maybe you're willing to come a little further. You remember the name of the town, don't you? I could use a good man to help me get my project on wheels. I'll keep an eye out for you and the chessboard ready. Remember, Red. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things and no good thing ever dies. I will be hoping that this letter finds you, and finds you well. Your friend, Andy.
Red: Get busy living or get busy dying. That's goddamn right. For the second time in my life, I'm guilty of committing a crime. Parole violation. Course, I doubt they're going to throw up any road blocks for that. Not for an old crook like me. I find I'm so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel. A free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.

"Swimming With Sharks": Buddy Ackerman: Christmas Eve-- 12 years ago. She was on her way to the mall. I was supposed to have gone with her. We hadn't started our Christmas Shopping yet. But it was gonna be simple. Just some stuff for our parents. Money was tight and shopping was a hassle anyway. We even promised not to give each other gifts. On the way, there was a car that had broken down, so Mallory pulled over to help. I always told her she was such a busy body, but she just called it being nice. She got out and asked if everything was all right, or something stupid. Anyway, It was a scam. Bunch of punk kids stealing cars. They shot her. I was stuck at the office wrapping Christmas gifts for my boss. Lot of gifts. We'd had a good year that year. I was there till three a.m. And the whole time, I'm thinking to myself 'Oh Boy. She is gonna be pissed. When I get home, I am a dead man.' [Laughs] Anyway, I got home, got the message, went down to the hospital to identify her. It was a whole week into the New Year before I found them. These stupid wind-up toys and a note. 'In the constant rat-race of life, don't ever forget to unwind.' She was never really any good at writing notes.
You think you know it all, don't you? You're 25 years old. You're a baby. You don't know ****. Look, I can appreciate this. I was young too. I felt just like you. Hated authority. Hated all my bosses, thought they were full of ****. Look, it's like they say. 'If you're not a rebel by the age of 20, you got no heart, but if you haven't turned establishment by 30, you've got no brains!' Because there are no storybook romances, no fairytale endings. So before you run out and change the world, ask yourself--What do you really want? Don't come preaching to me about your idea of what's fair. Because you're no martyr here. You're no hero. You're just a ****ing hypocrite. You're just like any other punk kid out there, looking for a way in, any way in, and you need me. What, you think someone just handed me this job? I've handled the phones. I've juggled the bimbos. I've-- I've put up with the tyrants, the yellers, the screamers. I've done more than you can even imagine in that small mind of yours. I've paid my dues-- Dammit, it's my turn to be selfish. It's my turn. See that's the trouble with your ****ing MTV, microwave dinner generation. You all want it now. You think you deserve it just because you want it? It doesn't work like that. You have to earn it. You have to take it. You have to make it yours. But first, Guy, you need to decide what it is you really want. You wanna go back to your *****y little existence? Go ahead, leave. There's the door. No one's stopping you. You could have left any day, but you stayed. So let's forget the Dudley-damn-do-right crap. Because out here its kill your parents, **** your friends, and have a nice day! Look, I don't make the rules. I play by them. What, your job is unfair to you? Grow up, way it goes. People use you? Life's unfair? Grow up, way it goes. Your girlfriend doesn't love you? Tough ****, way it goes. Your wife gets raped, and shot, and they leave their unfinished beers-- [Begins crying.] Their--their stinking long-necks--just lying there on the ground-- So be it. Way it goes.

"You've Got Mail": Kathleen: I like to start my notes to you as if we're already in the middle of a conversation. I pretend that we're the oldest and dearest friends -- as opposed to what we actually are, people who don't know each other's names and met in a Chat Room where we both claimed we'd never been before. What will NY152 say today, I wonder. I turn on my computer, I wait impatiently as it boots up. I go on line, and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words: You've got mail. I hear nothing, not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beat of my own heart. I have mail. From you.


July 16, 2004

Liberal Media, Uncloaked

Capital Eye, the newsletter of the Center For Responsive Politics, last year published a chart of political contributions from the 25 largest media companies in the last two major election cycles, and the percentage of their support that went to each political party. The general results will not shock too many people, but the extent of the bias surprised me, and might surprise you too.

Capital Eye based its report on public filings with the FEC in April 2003, and it shows that twice as many of the top 25 corporations gave more to Democrats than Republicans, 16-8; in fact, only one company (Hughes Electronics) managed to split their donations 50-50. Even apart from the number of companies on either side of the divide, the companies that tend to give more to Democrats tend also to do so more dramatically.

Most companies (with one notable exception) managed to give some significant percentage of their donations to both parties, although the difference between what was given each varied widely. The gap between percentage of donations given to each party for Dem-leaning companies was 35.1, while GOP leaners had a narrower gap of 27.1 points. Not surprisingly given that analysis, those companies with the widest gaps leaned Democrat. The top 5 gap companies all leaned Democrat, as did eight of the top 10, more than the 2-1 ratio that we see overall:

* New York Times - 92 D (94%/2%)
* Discovery Communications - 81 D (90/9)
* Viacom - 62 D (81/19)
* USA Interactive - 60 D (80/20)
* NBC - 54 D (77/23)

In comparison, the oft-reviled News Corporation, owned by Rupert Murdoch and the parent of Fox Broadcasting, only has a gap of 24 R (38/62) and comes in 13th, just past halfway down the list. AOL Time Warner, parent of CNN, comes in just ahead of News Corp at 27 D (63/36). Except for Disney (ABC's parent) with its gap of 10 D (55/45), all other television broadcasters have larger gaps than News Corp -- and all lean Democrat.

Of the companies that had the largest amount of contributions, the top six all leaned Democrat. These six corporations donated almost $20 million during the last two election cycles with an average gap of 25.5 (in millions of dollars):

AOL Time Warner** - 6.2
Vivendi Universal - 3.4
Viacom - 3.2
Disney - 2.7
EchoStar Communications - 2.0
Cablevision Systems - 1.9

The next four positions are held by half of the Republican-leaning corporations, but only two of them spent more than a million dollars (News Corp and Comcast). Comcast only barely leaned GOP, with a gap of 6 R (47/53).

Of the print parents, most of them leaned Democrat to the extent they contributed much at all. Six out of ten listed lean Democrat, but interestingly, the Washington Post (Dana Milbank and Walter Pincus notwithstanding) isn't one of them. The Post gives slightly more to the GOP, with a gap of 16 R (42/58), but since they only gave $8200, it hardly made much of a dent. Ditto for the solid-Dem New York Times, whose atrocious 92 D gap (94/2) is only mitigated by its parsimonious $11,683 in political donations. Gannett, Hearst, and Tribune all run large dailies in scores of American cities, and all go Democrat. In fact, if you leave out News Corp, which owns the New York Post and several overseas newspapers, no primarily print-media corporation gave over $200,000, and the average contribution total is just $71,307. In other words, newspapers are cheap.

When people tell you about how liberal-media bias is just an urban legend, just refer them to this study. And if you wonder why people like Joe Wilson can suck up all of the media oxygen when he's making allegations but suddenly disappears from the media when proven wrong, these political donations should remove any doubt about the motivation behind story selection. (Thanks to reader William S. for the link!)

Posted by Captain Ed at July 16, 2004 08:07 PM


Problems with the CBS memos are not limited to the style
or form.

May 4, 1972 Lt Col Killian orders Lt Bush to report for a physical examination no later than May 14, 1972.
- In TexANG squadron officers did not write orders for flight physical exams.
- Physical exams were routinely scheduled based on officer's birth date.
- There is no record of Lt Col Killian writing orders for physical exams.
- Officialy Bush could take his exam as late as 31 Jul 72.

May 19, 1972 File memorandum, Lt Col Killian discusses Lt Bush
transfer request to Alabama for personal reasons
- This does mesh well with Bush's efforts to transfer to non-flying status so he could live and do political work in Alabama.

August 1, 1972 Lt Col Killian verbally orders Lt Bush suspended from flight status.
- Bush's suspension from flying status was actually handled by Col Harris, and the tone of Harris' memo is routine and not at all like this memo attributed to Killian.
- Standard Texas Air National Guard abbrv. was 'TexANG' not 'USAF/TexANG'.
- Lt Col Killian abbreviated 'lieutenant' as 'Lt' not 'Lt.' period.
- There is a 'flight evaluation board' but NO 'flight review board.'
- Lt Col Killian and Tex Air NG did not use the Army term 'billet.'
There are many clues that the author was not Lt Col Killian TexANG.

June 24, 1973 Lt. Colonel Killian authors a Memorandum to 'Sir,' about Bush not receiving a TexANG annual evaluation while stationed in Alabama.

- Again, Lt Col Killian did not put a period after 'Lt' or 'Lt Col'
- Killian abbreviated Fighter Interceptor Squadron as 'FIS' not as 'F. I. S.'
- Lt Col Killian never addressed memos to 'Sir' and was very strict about addressing people by their rank and name, another clue that the author was not Killian.
- Otherwise, this meshes with Bush's transfer to non-flying in Alabama.

August 18, 1973 Lt. Colonel Killian authors a CYA File Memorandum stating as follows:
1. Staudt has obviously pressured Hodges more about Bush. I'm
having trouble running interference and doing my job. Harris gave
me a message today from Grp regarding Bush's OETR and Staudt
is pushing to sugar coat it: Bush wasn't here during rating
period and I don't have any feedback from 187th in Alabama.
I will not rate. Austin is not happy today either.
2. Harris took the call from Grp today. I'll back date but
won't rate. Harris agrees.

- General Staudt had been retired for at least 17 months by the date ascribed to this memo and by all TexANG sources had no involvement with TexANG internal affairs after his retirement.
- Group is abbreviated as "Gp" in all other TexANG memos, not "Grp".
- 'OETR' is not the correct TexANG abbreviation for Officer Efficiency/Training Report (OER), another clue that the author was NOT TexANG.