- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Bad spellers

“Are Red Staters really the uneducated rubes that so many beautiful Blue people make them out to be? ” David Freddoso asks at National Review Online (www.nationalreview .com).

“Maybe. But Oklahomans, Hoosiers, and Idahoans have at least one thing over their well-educated New York counterparts — they can at least spell their presidential candidate’s name correctly,” said Mr. Freddoso, who is a political reporter for the Evans and Novak Inside Report.

“According to the official documents displayed on the Web site of the National Archives, the Empire State’s 31 electoral votes all went for someone named ‘John L. Kerry’ from Massachusetts. No such person could be found in the phone book, although there is a John T. Kerry in Plymouth.

“New York Deputy Secretary of State Eamon Moynihan was audibly surprised when the mistake was pointed out to him over the phone. ‘It was a typo in Albany,’ he explained later in the day, after looking into the matter. ‘It will be corrected — a corrected version will be sent with an explanatory note,’ he said.

“This electoral-college mistake was not the only one for 2004. The press has widely noted that one of Minnesota’s 10 electoral votes was not cast for Kerry. However, the write-in electoral vote for president did not go to John Edwards, as was widely reported, but instead for someone named ‘John Ewards.’ ”

The Ailes interview

Roger Ailes, chairman and chief executive officer of Fox News, fired back at his critics during an interview Sunday on C-SPAN’s “Q&A.;”

“You know, we get attacked and we get copied, usually at the same time by the same people,” Mr. Ailes told interviewer Brian Lamb. “And basically, it’s fear that we’re doing something they’re not doing, and they try to pretend that we’re doing something political which they’re not doing, but that’s nonsense. We’ve been around eight years. We’re not retracting stories. We don’t have a former attorney general looking into us to try to determine how we screwed it up, we’re just doing the news every day. …

“What they’re trying to do is say that Fox News is mixing opinion and fact. That’s just simply not true. I mean, if you watch Shep Smith’s show at 7:00, I have no idea what Shep thinks politically. I don’t see any particular agenda. Bias can be a lot of different ways — story selection, story placement, story emphasis. There’s a lot of ways you can create subtle bias. But the networks for years have mixed these things, and now they’re claiming we mix it, when, in fact, Bill O’Reilly is a news analysis show, or Greta [Van Susteren] or somebody else, and the hard news we do is not in question.”

Mr. Ailes, responding to recent criticism from ABC News chief David Westin, said: “He’s the guy who wanted Leonardo DiCaprio to be a journalist for him. He’s the guy who had his head of politics during the election basically come out and say they didn’t have to be fair, they should support Kerry in the debates. I find that odd. I think David’s got a lot of work to do in house before he goes out taking a shot at us.”

The Fox executive also referred to CNN International as “the anti-American channel.”

Moral vicars

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