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June 29, 2010

Matt Taibii illustrates why network journalism has sucked since the 70s

Lara Logan, You Suck -- RollingStone.com
I thought I'd seen everything when I read David Brooks saying out loud in a New York Times column that reporters should sit on damaging comments to save their sources from their own idiocy. But now we get CBS News Chief Foreign Correspondent Lara Logan slamming our own Michael Hastings on CNN's "Reliable Sources" program, agreeing that the Rolling Stone reporter violated an "unspoken agreement" that journalists are not supposed to "embarrass [the troops] by reporting insults and banter." Anyone who wants to know why network television news hasn't mattered since the seventies just needs to check out this appearance by Logan. Here's CBS's chief foreign correspondent saying out loud on TV that when the man running a war that's killing thousands of young men and women every year steps on his own dick in front of a journalist, that journalist is supposed to eat the story so as not to embarrass the flag. And the part that really gets me is Logan bitching about how Hastings was dishonest to use human warmth and charm to build up enough of a rapport with his sources that they felt comfortable running their mouths off in front of him. According to Logan, that's sneaky — and journalists aren't supposed to be sneaky: "What I find is the most telling thing about what Michael Hastings said in your interview is that he talked about his manner as pretending to build an illusion of trust and, you know, he's laid out there what his game is… That is exactly the kind of damaging type of attitude that makes it difficult for reporters who are genuine about what they do, who don't — I don't go around in my personal life pretending to be one thing and then being something else. I mean, I find it egregious that anyone would do that in their professional life." When I first heard her say that, I thought to myself, "That has to be a joke. It's sarcasm, right?"
*Big thanks to Savage Jeff Lester for the link*

Supreme Court rules states and cities can't ban any guns

Gun rights: Supreme Court extends 2nd Amendment's protections - latimes.com It's yet another case of the Roberts Court throwing out a hundred years of precedent. The thing I don't understand is how you legally justify removing the right to bear arms from convicted criminals. Shouldn't that right be as protected as their first amendment speech rights? Y'know, if what the Supremes say here is remotely true.
Washington…The Supreme Court ruled Monday that cities and states must abide by the 2nd Amendment, strengthening the rights of gun owners and opening a new chapter in the national debate over gun control. In a 5-4 decision, the justices said the right to have a handgun for self-defense is "fundamental from an American perspective (and) applies equally to the federal government and the states." The high court overturned 19th Century rulings that said the 2nd Amendment restricted only federal gun laws, not local or state measures. The decision will almost certainly void ordinances in Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois which forbid residents from having a handgun at home. The justices ruled in favor of the Chicago residents who wish to have a gun and sent the case back to Chicago for a lower court to issue a final ruling.

June 28, 2010

Britain considering testing all pregnant women to see if they've been smoking

BBC News - Pregnancy smoking test suggested
All pregnant women should be tested for smoking so that they can be given quitting advice if necessary, a health watchdog says. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said carbon monoxide tests should be carried out on every expectant mother. If implemented, every woman would have the breath test at her first ante-natal appointment. Midwives criticised the test, saying it could make the women feel "guilty". NICE said the guidelines were not aimed at penalising smokers but were designed to help women and their families give up smoking during and after pregnancy.

Heroin abuse surging in Chicago and its Suburbs

And it's a huge problem in the Detroit suburbs as well.
More people in Chicago and its suburbs are admitted to hospital emergency rooms for heroin use than in any other major city, and heroin is now the most common illegal substance for which people in Illinois enter drug treatment, a new study shows. In addition, heroin-related deaths have risen sharply in the collar counties, as use of the drug continues to expand among young, white suburbanites. These are among the key findings from a report released today by Roosevelt University's Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy. The report -- which is based on federal and state data on admissions to hospitals and drug treatment programs, as well as county death records -- illustrates that heroin is "the most significant illicit drug threat in the Chicago metropolitan area," according to co-authors Stephanie Schmitz and Kathleen Kane-Willis.