Louisiana Politics Everyday

Friday, July 13, 2007

John Hill: An Exercise in Irresponsible Journalism

Case Study 1: Over the 'Hill'

It seems that John Hill's career as a reporter has ended and now he is trying his hand at screenplays. He has a flare for the flamboyant, and a preference for fiction over facts. In an article he wrote to smear US Senator David Vitter and create the appearance of GOP division, John "Capote" Hill chose a wild cast of characters to source.

When Hill wrote, "Some top Republicans are discussing whether to ask U.S. Sen. David Vitter to resign and packaging a deal with Democratic Gov. Kathleen Blanco to appoint a place-holding Republican to take his place," he cited former Governor Dave Treen, Vincent Bruno, Christopher Tidmore, and Mike Bayham as "top Republicans". You have to forgive Mr. Hill if his GOP rolodex is a little thin, he does spend most of his time in Kathleen's lap...

Let's look at these characters:
Dave Treen - Former Governor, but left elected office for the last time in 1983...24 years ago! He was defeated by Vitter for Congress in a bitter contest in 1999 and left with thousands in debt. His brother is a whole other story...

Vincent Bruno - Served time in the federal pen for a scheme to bribe a judge. Mr. Bruno admitted to payroll fraud as an employee of the Orleans Levee Board and he was fired from the NOPD for violating office policy. Seriously, how bad do you have to be to be fired from the NOPD?

Christopher Tidmore - Quasi-journalist that first broke a rumor that is still yet unfounded. Between his "newspaper" and "radio" program, his audience amounts to seven (he, his mother, and the voices inside his head). The only thing more irresponsible than his reporting is his wardrobe.

Mike Bayham - Where do you start with Mr. Bayham? At nearly 40 years old, Mikey still hasn't outgrown the College Republicans. Mike's idea of a hot Saturday night is dreaming up party resolutions over a nice cup of Treen Kool Aid.

GOP Solidly Behind Vitter

Support for US Senator David Vitter continues to pour in from Republican elected officials, party activists, and citizens from throughout Louisiana. Early media reports to the contrary have proven reckless and unfounded.

"Any talk of David Vitter resigning or me being appointed to his Senate seat is ridiculous. It's just not going to happen." - Former Governor Dave Treen

"My prayers are with David and his family during this tough time. He is an effective Senator for Louisiana, and I look forward to continuing to work with him." - Congressman Jim McCrery

"David is doing the right thing taking some time to be with his family. I look forward to his returning to work soon and know he'll continue to dedicate himself to working tirelessly on behalf of the people of Louisiana."
- Congressman Rodney Alexander

"My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this trying time. Your great work for our state should not get lost in the current frenzy. You have been and will continue to be a great advocate for the State of Louisiana in the US Senate." - Secretary of State Jay Dardenne

“I am honored to call David Vitter a friend and supporter. I am proud of his service to this state and his strong record of reform. True Christians should be forgiving. I look forward to the day when David can get back to work and the day when the healing is complete.” -State Representative Mike Strain

"Senator Vitter has been a strong leader for our state. I continue to support the work he's doing on important issues like the recovery of our region and immigration reform. My prayers are with David and his family."
- State Representative Steve Scalise

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Your Second Cup

  • Nobody Is Dumping Vitter (Gannett) - John Hill has dropped his best Vitter-bash effort this morning. Seriously , your best sources are two bitter, washed up old men (the Treens) and a never-has-been quasi-journalist (Tidmore)? I always expect less from John Hill.
  • Attorney For NOLA Madam Denies Vitter Involvement (The Advocate) - “David Vitter’s name was never picked up on a government wiretap nor is it listed in any transcript or court document as part of the Canal Street brothel case,” Mosca said Wednesday.
  • Legal Trouble Unlikely For Vitter (Times-Pic) - Sen. David Vitter, R-La., isn't likely to face any criminal liability over allegations by the operator of a former Canal Street brothel that he was a customer, or his own apology for his connection to an alleged Washington, D.C., prostitution ring.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

McCaindenburg Plunges Toward Fiery Death

In what seems to be another nail, in an endless series of nails, in the coffin of Sen. John McCain's Presidential aspirations, his campaign manager and chief strategist have resigned.

In statements, Terry Nelson, a veteran of President Bush's successful 2004 re-election effort, said he resigned as campaign manager effective immediately and John Weaver said he stepped down from his post of chief strategist on Tuesday.
This follows yesterday's news that Texas renegade, Ron Paul, had more cash-on-hand than McCain. "Streamline" all you can, John. The Fat Lady will soon sing.

Where's Roy Fletcher when you need him?

Monday, July 9, 2007


If you ask 100 people if our current health care system is broken, 100 people will say "yes." We here at OrN are not looking to defend the status quo, however, it's no surprise that Michael Moore's film, Sicko, does nothing to advance the serious debate. America's king of half-truths and outright lies focuses his newest "mockumentary" on the shortfalls of the American health care system and proposes his novel solution...universal health care (big surprise). Moore continues to rely on emotion over fact and values sensationalism over honest, open dialog.

From the New York Times article, What's Lacking In 'Sicko',

WHEN it comes to economic decisions, there are always trade-offs. Gain one thing and you lose something else. This is particularly true in health care, a market in which a scarce good is ridiculously expensive, but needed by everybody.

The central argument of Michael Moore’s movie “Sicko” — that the cure to the nation’s health care problems is a single-payer system — is hardly novel and is certainly worth consideration, whether or not you agree with it. But in comparing the American system with single-payer plans of other countries —Britain, France, Canada and Cuba — Mr. Moore left out the trade-offs, characterizing those countries as health care paradises.

The elisions have been noticed — and criticism is coming not just from Mr. Moore’s most bellicose and dogmatic detractors.

Kurt Loder, the film critic who is best known as the anchor of “MTV News,” wrote a scathing critique of the film for MTV’s Web site. “ ‘Sicko,’ ” he allowed, “does a real service” in portraying victims of American insurance companies — like the people who died because their only treatment options were deemed “experimental” and therefore not covered.

But the film as a whole, he concluded, is “breathtakingly meretricious,” in large part because of its characterizations of other countries’ health care systems.

When “governments attempt to regulate the balance between a limited supply of health care and an unlimited demand for it, they’re inevitably forced to ration treatment,” Mr. Loder asserted. He ticked off a number of negative anecdotes and statistics to counter the positive ones offered by Mr. Moore. Mr. Loder cited the short film “Dead Meat,” which presents anecdotes of failure in the Canadian single-payer system. In its one-sidedness, “Dead Meat” (available online at onthefencefilms.com) might have made for a nice double feature with “Sicko,” and left moviegoers with a more complete understanding of the complications of deciding on a health care system.

Mr. Moore also decided to ignore or gloss over problems in other countries, like France’s high taxes and Britain’s cash-short hospitals.

This all makes an otherwise “emotionally compelling film not necessarily an intellectually gratifying one,” wrote Darren Barefoot, a Canadian blogger (darrenbarefoot.com).

Your Second Cup

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