The Murdoch Challenge: Prove Fox News Is Biased

Rupert Murdoch:

We don’t agree with that. We are fair and balanced and we challenge anyone to show FOX News has any bias in it. People appreciate it for a number of reasons: it’s better presented, it’s more entertaining. We are first with the news. We beat CNN time and again on every big story. The major networks have been openly biased to the point of being very leftist. That’s different from being middle-of-the-road. I don’t call myself a conservative. I call myself an independent.

New Mandatory Minimum Law for Pot Possession Set to Pass House This Week

For those of us who keep wondering when the American people will wake up to the GOP over-reaching, maybe this is it:

Republican Congressman James Sensenbrenner [who served as a “manager” during the Clinton Impeachment] has launched his next assault on freedom. The full House Judiciary Committee is set to vote as early as next week on H.R. 1528, which creates a new group of mandatory miniumum penalties for non-violent drug offenses, including a five year penalty for passing a joint to someone who’s been in drug treatment.

That’s right: Passing a joint to someone who used to be in drug treatment will land you in federal prison for a minimum of five years.

The “Defending America’s Most Vulnerable: Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child Protection Act of 2005” (H.R. 1528) was introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) on April 6, and it has already passed out of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.

The one thing we know for sure is that jailing pot heads would only serve to jam more nonviolent citizens into our over-crowded prisons. What is fuzzy about this is how a joint-passer would learn the rehab status of the recipient of said joint. Every pot smoker would have to learn to ask, “Dude, have you ever, like, been in rehab?”

Even if you don’t care about legalizing pot, the US leads the world now in the percentage of its citizens in prison. Please visit the Marijuana Policy Project site and send an email to your Congressional representative to tell them you are against sending more nonviolent offenders to jail over something as silly as passing a joint to rehab graduate: Go HERE to send an email to Congress.

UK Libel Trial against Schwarzenegger Could Keep Him in Witness Box in ’06

The fifth paragraph in this story from article about the libel case brought against Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger by British TV talker Anna Richardson, right, caught my attention:

Unless the governor wins a late judicial reprieve or reaches an out-of-court settlement, he may find himself spending part of the 2006 election year — his re-election year should he choose to seek another term — in a witness box, answering questions under oath before 12 British jurors and a bewigged judge.

The article says that the Gubernator and his staff have tried everything in their power to quash the suit, however an expert on the British legal system, who also knows the Governor, says it now comes down to a choice for Schwarzenegger: “He’s going to have to fight this here or he’s going to have to capitulate. My expectation would be that he would come and fight it.”

Richardson was one of six women who came forward in an LA Times article published a week or so prior to the Recall election to reveal that they were sexually assaulted by Schwarzenegger. Reaction to the article in the MSM and rightwing radio was hard and swift – the article was painted as spurious agitprop from the liberals at the Times. (I know people who voted for Schwarzenegger because they “were convinced” the article was unfair, even if the allegations were true.)

The Richardson incident has proven to be the most durable allegation in the article. It happened in December 2000, when Schwarzenegger was in London to promote his film, “The 6th Day.”

According to her account, Schwarzenegger, who had behaved as a “perfect gentleman” in her previous interviews with him about his films, kept staring at her breasts during the 2000 interview at the Dorchester Hotel.

“I went to shake his hand and he grabbed me onto his knee and he said, ‘Before you go, I want to know if your breasts are real,’ ” Richardson told the Times. She said they were real and looked around for help, and “at that point, he circled my left nipple with his finger and he said, ‘Yes, they are real.’ ” Then, she said, he let her go.

When asked for a response to the charges during the Recall campaign, Arnold’s spokesman, Sean Walsh, referred reporters to a studio flack named Sheryl Main – you gotta love that! – who told a completely different story.

According to Main’s account, as quoted in the Times, Richardson stood up after the interview, cupped her right breast and said, “What do you think of these?” She then sat on his lap and was immediately escorted out.

Richardson’s suit does not focus on the groping incident but rather on the reporting of it. She’s suing the two flacks over their comments to the Times.

The response from Schwarzenegger’s lawyer is classic: “Arnold Schwarzenegger did not make any of the statements that were attributed to his aides. He didn’t ratify or authorize the statements.”

Right. Well, then. That settles it. Flacks in the employ of the movie star and his studio were just popping off, making wild, untrue and libelous statements without his knowledge. Happens every day, I’m sure.

But not in this town…