Thursday, January 13, 2005

WHAT? STILL NO WMD? O.J. Simpson is still looking for the real killer, but the White House has quietly ended its search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the Associated Press reports. If this were merely a post-election ploy, it would be outrageous. But, in fact, the previous US weapons inspector, David Kay, reached precisely the same conclusion a year ago. During the presidential campaign, not even Bush or Dick Cheney continued with the pretense that weapons would be found. So this is more a sour denouement than a scandalous new development.

Bush tells Barbara Walters:

I felt like we'd find weapons of mass destruction - like many here in the United States, many around the world. The United Nations thought he had weapons of mass destruction. So, therefore: one, we need to find out what went wrong in the intelligence gathering.… Saddam was dangerous and the world is safer without him in power.

It's true that the consensus of opinion was that Saddam Hussein was harboring WMD. What makes Bush unique was that he kicked UN weapons inspectors out of Iraq even as they were accelerating their work so that he could begin his misbegotten war. Doesn't look like Walters reminded him of that, though.

MEDIA SCANDALS COMPARED. Hilarious and sickening, all at once.

TRIBUTE TO BRUDNOY. WLVI-TV (Channel 56) will broadcast a half-hour tribute to the late radio talk-show host David Brudnoy this Sunday, January 16, at 8:30 a.m. Hosted by a longtime friend of Brudnoy's, Channel 56 political analyst Jon Keller, the program "will include excerpts of Brudnoy discussing political issues during guest appearances on Keller at Large, highlights of Brudnoy's speech at the 2003 charity roast of then-House Speaker Tom Finneran, and a 1997 interview of Brudnoy discussing his autobiography, Life Is Not a Rehearsal," according to an announcement the station sent out.

Says Keller in the announcement, "It's my hope that the legions of Brudnoy fans will be reminded of what they loved about him and enjoy this retrospective of the master at work."

Must viewing.

TODAY'S OBLIGATORY METRO ITEM. Rory O'Connor's got yet another follow-up at But he's a day behind - the two Metro International officials who've been accused of making racial slurs have resigned, though one, weirdly, is moving to a new position "without operational responsibilities," according to the Globe. (Quick synopsis: the New York Times Company, which owns the Globe, announced last week that it would buy 49 percent of Boston's Metro, a free weekday tabloid, for $16.5 million. Herald publisher Pat Purcell is fighting the deal on anti-competitive grounds.)

The Herald goes nuts again. If there's news, it's in this Greg Gatlin story, which quotes an antitrust lawyer named Conrad Shumadine to the effect that Purcell's legal complaint against the New York Times Company might have legs. Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, adds that he believes the Herald has "a serious case."

MEA CULPA, MR. JOBS. Apple fans say I didn't know what I was talking about when I questioned the wisdom of the new $500 Mac Mini, which comes without keyboard, mouse, or monitor. Read comments here.

My argument was that the all-in-one $800 eMac struck me as a better deal. But my critics point to this Hiawatha Bray column in yesterday's Globe, which reports that you can buy the peripherals for just a little more than $100. (Note to self: Never weigh in on a tech item without checking to see what Bray has written.)

Also, Apple is marketing the Mini to PC owners who've already got the needed peripherals stuffed in the closet somewhere. "If you already own a monitor, keyboard and mouse, you can get up and running in minutes," the company says.

So maybe the Mini will be a hit.

NEW IN THIS WEEK'S PHOENIX. The CBS report documents the latest in a long string of media misdeeds. You can bet it won't be the last.


Anonymous said...

Excellent piece as usual, DK, but a small point: perhaps I'm WAY more to the right than I realized but Bob Zelnick always impressed me as "right down the middle", i.e. rather than "conservative-leaning", he is in fact "more conservative than DK". In fact, this is the first time I ever heard anyone speak of bias in either direction by Zelnick. I presume he would take that as a compliment.

Dan Kennedy said...

I actually asked Zelnick whether it would be accurate to describe him as "conservative-leaning," since I agree that he's hardly what anyone would consider a right-winger. His response: yes.

Anonymous said...

Actually Hiawatha's column noted that the Monitor, not the peripherals, can be purchased as low as $100. So unless you're doing a straight swap-out of the computer (which is entirely possible) you're looking at $600 for the computer and monitor, and still have to buy the keyboard, mouse and speakers.

Dan Kennedy said...

Actually, Bray reported that you can get a monitor for $100 and the keyboard and mouse for $20. Which is why I said "just a little more than $100" for all three. As for the speakers ... who doesn't have an extra pair of $5 headphones stuck under sofa?