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Liberals and Israel

"'It's the usual "shoot the messenger,"' Milbank, who writes the paper's Washington Sketch column, said yesterday evening. 'But we followed the ground rules scrupulously.'

"Milbank said Steele's press secretary, Doug Heye, was aware of which quotes he planned to use. Milbank forwarded to The Sun an e-mail he received after the luncheon from Heye, offering to 'sign off' on the quotes. 'I can hold off on signing off for other press for the time being, as well,' Heye volunteered, suggesting that he approved of Milbank having a scoop on the story."

Dick Polman says of Steele:

"If indeed his candidacy is in trouble -- he's trailing the two most viable Democrats in the polls -- that would be further proof that this year's oft-repeated story line about 'the rise of the black Republicans' is a crock.

"I have been repeatedly tempted this year to write 'the rise of' story, but whenever I gear up, I ultimately shut down, having digested the latest evidence -- that Lynn Swann's gubernatorial candidacy in Pennsylvania peaked the day he announced; that Ken Blackwell's gubernatorial candidacy in Ohio is threatening to tank (he's now down by 20 points); and, now again, that Michael Steele might be lamenting his fate as a carrier of Bush baggage." ( Might be because Steele had not yet confirmed at the time of Polman's Philly Inquirer post.)

Did the nation's television writers dis Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes at their Pasadena convention? The Miami Herald says:

"About two-thirds of the 150 critics left the room before Ailes took the stage, several of them openly voicing their scorn for what they say is Fox News' conservative spin."

But in a letter to Romenesko, Peter Carlin of the Portland Oregonian objects: "I have no idea what made him think that two-thirds of our colleagues left the room before the Fox News session with Roger Ailes. If some reporters left grumbling about FNC's politics they were a distinct minority."

Herald reporter Glenn Garvin stands by his observation: "I certainly heard several derogatory comments about Fox News before the session from critics who did not attend." One person who was there tells me Garvin had it right, which doesn't exactly make the critics look fair and balanced.

By the way, HuffPoster Eric Boehlert says Fox has been a cheerleader for Israel during the Mideast war.

Despite my many years of critiquing the New York Times, apparently I don't know Jack. Because I would never think to assess the paper's television listings , as Slate's Jack Shafer has done:

"The capsules spend 20 words--and usually fewer--to pass informed judgment on movies. Even if you never intend to watch any of the films, the capsules make for good morning reading. Consider this taut kiss-off of The Matrix Revolutions: 'Ferocious machine assault on a battered Zion. Stop frowning, Neo; it's finally over.' Appreciate, if you will, the efficient setup and slam of the 2 Fast 2 Furious capsule: 'Ex-cop and ex-con help sexy customs agent indict money launderer. Two fine performances, both by cars.' And for compression, it's hard to better the clip for the Julie Davis feature Amy's Orgasm. It warns potential viewers away with just four syllables: 'Change the station.'"


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