Posts from April 13, 2004

The Pres’ words

The Pres’ words
: He’s no Tony Blair, but Bush had strong words tonight on Iraq:

America’s commitment to freedom in Iraq is consistent with our ideals and required by our interests. Iraq will either be a peaceful, democratic country or it will again be a source of violence, a haven for terror and a threat to America and to the world….

As I have said to those who have lost loved ones, we will finish the work of the fallen.

America’s armed forces are performing brilliantly, with all the skill and honor we expect of them. We’re constantly reviewing their needs. Troop strength now and in the future is determined by the situation on the ground. If additional forces are needed, I will send them. If additional resources are needed, we will provide them….

Now is the time, and Iraq is the place, in which the enemies of the civilized world are testing the will of the civilized world. We must not waver….

Yet, in this conflict, there is no safe alternative to resolute action. The consequences of failure in Iraq would be unthinkable.

Every friend of America in Iraq would be betrayed to prison and murder, as a new tyranny arose. Every enemy of America in the world would celebrate, proclaiming our weakness and decadence, and using that victory to recruit a new generation of killers.

We will succeed in Iraq.

Good speechwriter. Things didn’t stay quite so stentorian when the Q&A began, of course.

: WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Fred Wilson fisks the Pres.

The Pres conference

The Pres conference
: It is as if Bush listened to Jay Rosen and ignored the press in the room and addressed the people directly. He spoke for 20 minutes regarding Iraq with more eloquence and force than usual, about our obligation and our determination. He will send more troops. We cannot think of defeat.

And it’s as if the press is listening to Rosen, too, and plays its bozo role perfect, asking the first question about Iraq and Vietnam and a “quagmire.”

Now I hate to bring everything back to bloggers; it’s so damned blogcentric, so blogotistical, so blognoxious.


If I were the Pres’ press secretary, I’d invite a few bloggers to the Pres conference and make sure the Pres called on them. These people, as citizens, would represent the citizens and their questions better than the detached, obvious, quagmiring reporters in the room. The press would hate it. But how could they complain, really, about citizens coming to the White House to question power? Isn’t that what reporters are supposed to do? Not challenge power. Not disdain power. Question power.

: Just amazing that the reporters keep harping on wanting Bush to say that he made a “mistake” or “failed” or should “apologize.”

Jeesh, do they think this is Oprah and they’re all Dr. Phil?

Is this on the test?

Is this on the test?
: Chris Albritton gives extra-credit questions about blogging for his NYU journalism class. Would you pass?

  • How many blogs are there?
  • What is considered the first blog?
  • What are the types of blogs; how do they differ from each other?
  • Why is blogging important?
  • Why should journalists know about blogging?
  • How can it help or harm journalism?
  • Who are considered some of the Web’s top bloggers?
  • What are the top five stories each on Daypop, Blogdex and Technorati for April 23, 2004? (You’ll have to wait to research this.)
  • What did you learn in this class?
  • Pres conference: Jay Rosen has

    Pres conference
    : Jay Rosen has a pre-Pres conference message.

    Enabling the conversation

    Enabling the conversation
    : Honest to God, I was sitting on the couch last night thinking, gee, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a link on every post to see who’s linking to it and what they’re saying: the point-to-point Technorati.

    And this morning, I see that Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing has done just that.

    Dave Sifry explains how to do it yourself.

    What’s so great about Technorati is that it enables the conversation: You say something; I link to it and react; you link back; somebody else links to one of us. It’s the conversation.

    I looked at what Cory and Dave created and explained and said to myself it’d be even better if it did one more thing. And then came a message from Cory asking for two more great ideas: A counter so you can tell whether there are links and a degree-of-separation that lets you know not only who linked to this post but who linked to the links in this post (that is, who else linked to Cory’s post above).

    The conversation gets more and more voices. It’s a chorus.

    : Hmmm. I just tried it but it didn’t work for me, because it didn’t pick up the anchor tag for my permalinks….

    What it takes to win

    What it takes to win
    : After Vietnam, the meme (were there memes back then?) was that we either should have done what it takes to win the war or gotten out a lot sooner. “What it takes” in that case was usually code for nuke ’em in Hanoi.

    I wonder what the definition of “what it takes” is for Iraq.

    It starts with more troops to establish and secure order for rebuilding and elections.

    Andrew Sullivan says this morning what many have said: that the war was done well but the aftermath was — is — mishandled:

    It’s worth saying here what we now know the president got wrong – badly wrong. There were never enough troops to occupy Iraq. The war-plan might have been brilliant, but the post-war plan has obviously been a failure. We needed more force and we needed more money sooner. The president has no excuses for not adjusting more quickly to this fact: he was told beforehand; he was told afterward; but he and the Defense Secretary were too pig-headed to change course. I still favor the war; but I cannot excuse the lapses and failures of the administration in the post-war….

    GMail hooey

    GMail hooey
    : Ripclawe send me email properly outraged at this: A California state senator is drafting legislation to decree Google’s GMail “an invasion of privacy.”

    As I’ve said before, “privacy” is becoming the most over-used and badly used word of the age.

    GMail, like it or leave it, is an opt-in service. You get it free because it has ads. Don’t want the ads? Don’t get the service. Want the ads? Take the deal.

    This is like saying that an airline needing to know where you fly to give you frequent-flier miles is an invasion of privacy.


    Early Bird blog

    Early Bird blog
    : The Wall Street Journal reports on a compilation of military reporting in worldwide press — the “Early Bird — that’s hot reading in Washington, from Rumseld on down.

    It’s just a blog on paper.

    The Current News Early Bird, or simply “the Bird,” as it’s known around the Pentagon, is compiled by a staff of four Pentagon employees from a grubby building it shares with a sheet-metal-workers union in downtown Alexandria, Va. Articles from major publications such as the New York Times and the London Telegraph jostle with squibs from more-obscure journals, such as Inside Missile Defense and Manufacturing & Technology News.

    The Bird shows how, in a capital where information is a precious currency, even a humble news digest can take on huge influence if it has the right readers. With two U.S. wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan and military affairs dominating headlines, the Bird has become indispensable for many people in Washington. It has been cited in Harvard dissertations and congressional testimony and spawned copycat publications in other government offices.

    The White House, for instance, publishes its own compilation of news clips for officials who want to bypass reading the newspapers. So do agencies ranging from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission to the Treasury Department. The State Department’s “Media Reaction Unit” operates a massive clip service that publishes updated editions throughout the day. Called “Daily Clips,” it has never had the insider heft that the Bird does. “Maybe we need a catchier name,” one State Department official says.