(h/t Chevy Chase)
Speaking of fake news, didja hear the one about FEMA’s fake news conference this week, featuring friendly questions from “reporters” who turned out to be FEMA staffers?
Weekends are the slowest time for actual news, and the time when the fewest people pay attention to the news, which is why so many interesting things happen Friday afternoon. The Bush administration in particular has perfected the art of the Friday Afternoon News Dump ™, in which embarrassing or unflattering news items are released at the very close of business Friday so as to show up, largely unnoticed, in Friday’s late-night news and the lightly read Saturday morning papers. It’s a cute (and often effective) way to bury a story.
No apparent FANDs today, though. The New York Times does have a nice piece on the real significance of George Bush’s tough new sanctions against Iran: the fact that they’re being carried out unilaterally, walking away from both the support of European allies and the diplomatic process the Europeans have championed. Pointedly, the sanctions came without any parallel diplomatic overtures. Another sign pointing toward the Bush cabal’s intent for war with Iran.
Back in the old war (well, the most recent of the old wars), the Iraqi government announced yesterday that it is revoking the law guaranteeing immunity for U.S. contractors. Of course, it still has to catch them, which, without cooperation from the U.S., will be virtually impossible, so it is in many ways a meaningless gesture. As is the Iraqi government itself.
The top local story: Puget Sound Energy’s sale, to an investment company comprised of Canadian and Australian firms — though you have to read to near the end of the P-I’s story to pick up on that nugget, or that the sale will take PSE private so that the utility’s finances will not be open to public inspection except during rate hikes.
The Bothell Times, on the other hand, has nothing at all on the PSE sale, but does have a lead story using a confirmed grand jury involvement to recycle the week-old news of rape allegations against illusionist David Copperfield
The P-I pulled the same stretching-for-a-story trick with a piece on the SEC investigating insider trading at Jones Soda. Well, maybe they are. Turns out the whole story is based on the paper’s reading of an SEC refusal of a FOIA request from the newspaper. That’s the basis for more digging, but not for a story in itself. Unless it’s Saturday and you’ve got space to fill.
And why is the P-I also flogging next Monday’s (sold-out) Hannah Montana Key Arena show on its front page, with not one but two stories? (The word “pandering” springs to mind — specifically, to kids who think their parents’ newspaper is boring.) Telling us above the fold that a Disney Channel teen sensation has fans who are teenagers is many things. “News” is not one of them.
Oh: while I’m here (and since Goldy does this so shamelessly, why shouldn’t I?), I’m on the radio this and every Saturday morning (and have been since 1996) from 8:30-9 AM, commenting on the news of the week on Mind Over Matters on KEXP-90.3 FM. The show is also archived, for those of you who don’t get up that early in the morning on a weekend; check it out at www.kexp.org.