Sneaking Suspicions
Archives-- September 12-18, 2004

This page includes posts from September 12-18, 2004 in the usual reverse order. Each posting on the home page is perma-linked to these archive pages.

September 17, 2004
Is Rathergate expanding?

Tonight’s late-breaking news at DelawareOnline included a startling report that might just reflect an unfortunate mixing together of the worlds of sport, broadcasting, and politics.

Eagles warn of counterfeit tickets
More than 300 were turned away Sunday

More than 300 fans were turned away from Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday because their tickets were counterfeit, the Eagles announced today.

Little can be done to protect fans for the rest of this season because tickets for all the games have already been printed and the counterfeiting has grown so sophisticated. Leo Carlin, the director of ticket client relations, said the team is considering adding a watermark or a hologram for next season that would be nearly impossible to duplicate.

Now, let’s think about this.

  • Last week the CBS ran a “news” story on 60 Minutes II that depended for its acceptance on the use of now-universally-recognized forged documents.

  • Other major media outlets, including Fox, pick up on the story from the bloggers that broke it first, and run with it.

  • Fox carries the Philadelphia Eagles games.


You decide.

Admittedly, this possible connection may seem a bit far-fetched. Even so, it makes at least as much sense as CBS continuing to insist that Dan Rather didn’t use forged documents.

Except, of course, for the fact that the Eagles fans were the victims of "sophisticated" counterfeits.

Note: Unlike CBS and its forgeries, I’m only kidding around about the Eagles and the Tiffany Network.

September 16, 2004
Separated at birth?

I flipped through the television channels last night, watching the various reactions to CBS’ audacious, Nixon/Clinton-like statement about its apparent knowing reliance on forged documents for a “news” story on 60 Minutes II.

When I reached Fox News, their cameras displayed Tony Snow in a standard head shot with a blue background.

Max Headroom came immediately to mind:

Tony Snow Max Headroom

Spooky, isn’t it?

Fortunately, Tony doesn’t have Max’s stutter--very similar sense of humor, though, which is fine with me.

The CBS statement itself raised up an older memory, from Firesign Theater’s Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers—namely, Mrs. Presky’s reaction to the prize behind the door:

I’m in full agreement with Mrs. Presky.

September 15, 2004
Not too far out on that limb

Bob Schieffer of CBS News is one of my favorite guests on the Imus radio show.

He's typically witty, frequently blunt, and usually comes across as fair in his discussion of Washington politics.

Perhaps that's why I found his reported take on the Tiffany Network's current forged documents problem to be just a tad frustrating.

He spoke at a news conference in Iowa, and is reported to have said the following:

"I think we have to find some way to show our viewers they are not forgeries,'' Schieffer, CBS' chief Washington correspondent and host of the network's "Face the Nation,'' said at a news conference in Sioux City. "I don't know how we're going to do that without violating the confidentiality of sources.''

Well, geez, Bob, it's pretty simple.

If a source gives you incredibly bad forgeries and somehow successfully fools you into believing that they're real, you're under no ethical obligation to keep their names confidential once you discover that fact. It'll be painful to make the admission and burn the source, but there's a larger point here--no one should think they can escape the consequences of their fraudulent behavior, right?

And you agree with me about "no one," don't you, Bob?

I was actually amused by the other quote:

Schieffer ... addressed the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce's annual dinner/meeting Tuesday night. "Would somebody do this in an effort to smear George Bush? That may be so. We're in the middle of a political campaign, and this would not be the first campaign where somebody on one side slipped something to a reporter because he feels it would hurt the guy on the other side.''

You're sure you're not going too far out on a limb with the "may be so" quote, Bob?

Let's just recall that at least since Bush ran for the Texas governorship, folks have been trying to find documents like these to use against him. Years later these blatant forgeries magically appear within two months of the general election for his second term as President, and we're supposed to assume it's just part of a disinterested search for the truth?


I expected better, Bob. Just be a mensch and admit the obvious. It won't hurt and might help.

Hat tip:

September 14, 2004

Thanks to Steven Green for the Vodkalanche he caused around these parts by noting yesterday's post about the DNC fundraiser email.

It's always a bit startling to see one's daily stats jump four-fold.

September 13, 2004

Today the national Democratic Party sent me an email soliciting contributions.

I’m not surprised at being asked, what with being a registered Democrat and all.

What is a bit surprising is the fact that even at this late date in the campaign, the email never once mentions any substantive, policy-based reason to vote for the Kerry/Edwards ticket.

Instead, the entire message is an extended attack on President Bush and Vice-President Cheney (whom they attempt to diminish by referring to them as George and Dick, without mentioning their official titles).

It’s a mystery to me why the DNC chose to engage in this kind of choir-preaching. If they wanted to recruit Democrats to rely on this and similar emails to push for Senator Kerry’s election, why not give them some helpful material? From my experience, folks don’t mind being told why the other guy doesn’t deserve it, but what they really want to hear is why your guy merits their vote.

Trashing alone simply won’t do.

Here are some of the email passages, with a few comments inserted in the usual format I follow here:

We will remember that George Bush and Dick Cheney tried to completely ignore reality -- and we will remember that we stood side by side and refused to let them get away with it.


Surely the media’s slander-by-forgery emphasis on the President’s National Guard years isn’t coming from Republicans feeding them the false documents. These attacks give every appearance of being an attempt to ignore the current reality--deciding what the next steps should be in the struggle against Islamofascism.

George Bush and Dick Cheney wake up every morning with their fingers crossed, hoping the American people will ignore their miserable record, forget their trail of failures, and fear the future. But with your help, we are going to make sure that the American people see through their bluster and macho posturing, and see what a mess they have made.

I’d give this approach more credence if I saw more evidence that John Kerry actually took a position during his Senate years and kept to it. That didn’t happen, apparently.

And as for Senator Kerry's biography, emphasizing four months’ experience in your twenties is all well and good, when you’re still in your twenties. It’s a bit much when you’ve had 30 years after that time to build up a record you could stress during your campaign for President.

When you don’t stress what you’ve done lately, I’m inclined to think you’re the one hoping we’ll forget about a "miserable record".

They misled America into war, failed to plan for the peace, and are running up a $200 billion bill at the expense of America's middle class taxpayers.

I assume that first clause relates to the WMD issue. Nonetheless, anyone who believed that the Administration gave WMD as the reason to go to war, at a level of policy-making below the defense against Islamofascism, is at best misguided or at worst guilty of willful denial of the facts.

As for the alleged peace plan failures, I’d be happy to hear the details, after I concluded that we’re at peace. I make no such assumptions at this point in the war.

I also think that the Democrats’ money-better-spent-on-domestic-priorities argument insults our intelligence.

Fighting terrorism doesn’t come cheap. It’s not as if there really was a peace dividend after the Cold War—the Islamofascists’ attack on America simply caused us to change the manner in which our defense dollars needed to be spent.

And now they are acting like they are doing us a favor by standing for re-election. They even have the gall to tell the American people how risky it would be if we turned them out of office.

I fully expect both parties to suggest that the other side’s victory would make us less safe. It’s a fair argument in a political campaign, for which this Democratic solicitation makes no response other than sputtering, if not “macho posturing”. Remember Kennedy’s bogus missile-gap ploy in the 1960 campaign?

There’s more to the email, but the choir-preaching noted above is typical of the remaining passages.

If anyone would like to see the entire solicitation, I will gladly send it along. [You can also click here.]

And no, I won’t be sending any checks to the Democratic Party any time soon.

September 13, 2004
The perils of persistence

I usually applaud those who display the character trait of persistence. The ability to keep plugging away at one’s chosen task, despite the presence of significant distractions, is deeply admirable.

There are exceptions, however.

This simple truth may now be clear to a young man from Milford, Delaware, who was using a public access computer for some, ah, research:

Police said officers were called to the Milford Public Library, 11 S.E. Front St., at 1:56 p.m. on a complaint that a man was engaged in a sexual act in the library. The suspect continued even after officers arrived, police said.

According to the News-Journal, the youth was charged with engaging in a lewd act, and told to stay out of the library for the time being.

There’s a chance that the young man will learn from this embarrassing episode. With any luck, he’ll soon have a handle on how to behave in public arenas.

After all, being a jerk of any kind is just not the way to live.


Contact Information:

Fritz Schranck
P.O. Box 88
Nassau, DE  19969


Home Page
Table of Essays
Table of Essays 2002
Links to the Weekly Archives

Official small print disclaimer: This is, after all, a personal web site. Any opinions or comments I express here are my own, and don't necessarily reflect the official position of my work as a government attorney or any of my clients.

That fact may become obvious later on, but it needs to be said here anyway.

© Frederick H. Schranck 2002-2004