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Inside Blogotics

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 15, 2008

That's better

In this space last week, we noted the vulgarity-laden grave-dancing at the Daily Kos upon the death of former Sen. Jesse Helms.

So a tip of the hat to two of the most popular liberal sites for their actions in Saturday's death of Tony Snow, a former White House press secretary and editorial page editor for The Washington Times.

John Cole at Balloon Juice wrote, "Fifty-three is just way too damned young, especially for a man with a family. Terrible. And, I should note, despite what you thought of Snow, he was the only competent Press Secretary of this administration." He also warned his commenters in his initial post, "You know the drill, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

Mr. Cole then stood by that order, harshly rebuking the couple of posters who violated it among the 170 who had commented by Sunday evening.

Meanwhile, the Huffington Post put up a wire-service obituary and a piece that basically repeated without comment President Bush's statement and two video clips, from CNN and even the evil Fox News Channel.

The obituary had its comments closed after six hours and 78 comments, nearly all of which were condolences to the Snow family or words to the effect of "I didn't agree with him, but that doesn't matter on this day."

Not one lap

What else might Sen. Barack Obama secretly and bitterly cling to?

Tom Bowles of the Sports Illustrated Web site reported last week that "for the first time in history, a major presidential candidate may sponsor a race car in NASCAR's premier series. According to sources, Barack Obama's campaign is in talks to become the primary sponsor of BAM Racing's No. 49 Sprint Cup car for the Pocono race on August 3."

Conservative blogs quickly started laughing at this as a ridiculous and transparent effort to make up for his remarks about working-class and small-town white voters being bitter and clinging in desperation to guns, religion and nativism.

Sister Toldjah remembered that a few months back, Mr. Obama couldn't name a favorite NASCAR driver. "He said in a March interview with the Charlotte Observer - when asked who his favorite driver was - that he hadn't been able to catch that many races this year. Uh huh," she wrote.

Michelle Malkin gave Mr. Obama a warning. "Watch out for those NASCAR cooties!" she wrote, referring to a story broken by The Washington Times about House staffers being required to get shots for travel to stock-car races in Alabama and North Carolina.

One NASCAR fan predicted the reaction to an Obama car, telling The Times: "He stands against everything NASCAR stands for ... They will put him in the wall on the first turn."

Mr. Bush, tear ...

There is no wall to tear down, and "Mr. Gorbachev" is not in a position to do anything if there were.

Nevertheless, German media reports have said the White House is taking no chances on Sen. Barack Obama giving a historic speech before Berlin's Brandenburg Gate during the presidential campaign. Der Spiegel magazine and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper have both written that the German government isn't enthusiastic, with the latter reporting that the Bush administration has applied behind-the-scenes pressure to scotch such an idea.

Greg Sargent at TPM Election Central noted the following "odd" comment from spokeswoman Dana Perino: "I'm not going to comment on any conversations. We have no view on the locations of candidates' speeches or events. Our position is that the candidates have to make their own decisions."

Was pressure brought to bear? "The German government denied this. But the White House didn't," Mr. Sargent wrote.

Trust us, infidels

If a government takes American hostages, calls for wiping Israel off the map, executes gays, hosts Holocaust denial conferences and has an apocalyptic president who wants to end the world to bring about the final imam ... all that can lead even to lying.

The Little Green Footballs site showed that a photo of a test-firing of four missiles, released last week by Iran's Islamist government and disseminated in the West by Agence France-Presse, had been altered. Certain sections of the photo were "cloned" and then pasted in elsewhere in the photo to cover up elements of the image that shows something unwanted - like hypothetically, a missile test fire failing.

"At least one of the photographs released today by Iran and published by an unquestioning Western media is a Photoshop fake," LGF's Charles Johnson wrote Wednesday. The next day, he wrote, "here's another one for my collection."

From AFP, in attention-grabbing all-caps: "Attn - Editors. Corrective refile adding information about digital alteration to image." The alert then goes on in conventional lettering: "A handout picture released on the news website and public relations arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Sepah News, shows an image apparently digitally altered to show four missiles rising into the air instead of three during a test-firing at an undisclosed location ... The 2nd Right missile has apparently been added in digital retouch to cover a grounded missile that may have failed during the test."

The Revolutionary Guards photo made the front page of the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune and was the lead image on the New York Times site for a while Wednesday afternoon. The Washington Times receives the AFP photo service but did not run the photo in any form.

LGF commentor "Silhouette" said, "Bad news: our media are still so bias[ed] that they assume anything our government 'claims' is a lie, but will take what genocidal [madmen] say without the [slightest] question. Good news: Iran has to use fauxto-fraud to show their military 'might.'"

Anti-anti-gay

Fred Barnes last week advised Sen. John McCain to shore up the social-conservative base by making a bigger issue of matters related to homosexuality.

On "Fox News Sunday," the Weekly Standard pundit said, "Barack Obama is for allowing gays in the military ... Gay marriage is another one. These are both issues that I think McCain is gonna have to use."

Conservative blogger Gay Patriot West replied that "the Barnes Option" would not prevent him from voting for the Arizona Republican but would overall be "counterproductive."

"It would also upset most rank-and-file Republicans, who would rather our party's presumptive nominee focus on national security, the economy and the importance of appointing conservative judges," the pseudonymous West Hollywood resident wrote. "The judicial issue should appeal to social conservatives without upsetting independent voters. Most people would rather have legislatures than judges resolve controversial social issues."

His reasoning: "I think most Americans are neither pro-gay, nor anti-gay, but are 'anti-anti-gay [and] would rather that ... politicians didn't talk too much about gay issues'" and thinks focusing on homosexuals would mark a candidate as obsessed.

Contact Victor Morton at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.