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Inside the system

November 8, 2002 | Page 4

All the news that's fit to ignore

SOME REPORTERS just can't count. In covering the October 26 antiwar protest in Washington, D.C., where well over 100,000 people marched, National Public Radio's Nancy Marshall declared, "It was not as large as the organizers of the protest had predicted. They had said there would be 100,000 people here. I'd say there are fewer than 10,000."

When the New York Times first covered the protest in a brief article on October 27, it wrote, "Fewer people attended than organizers had said they hoped for...Participants said the shootings in and around the city in the last three weeks had kept people from planning to visit Washington."

So many people complained that on October 30, the Times ran a "make-up" piece, which gave a more accurate description of the march. The new article mentioned, for example, that marchers formed a "two-mile wall" outside the White House--and that march organizers had taken out a permit for just 20,000 attendees (when five times that many came) and expected just 30 buses (when 650 buses showed up).

--Editor and Publisher Online, October 30, 2002

Simple Simon runs for governor

CALIFORNIA'S REPUBLICAN candidate for governor, multi-billionaire Bill Simon, has a full mouth these days. He's been sticking his foot in it constantly.

Simon's campaign against incumbent Gov. Gray Davis has been plagued by his own bumbling--including accusing the governor of sounding like "Karl Marx" when Davis requested that Simon release his tax returns to the public.

Simon's latest blunder came in early October, when he accused Davis of accepting campaign contributions in the governor's office in the state capitol--which is illegal--and provided a picture as proof. But Simon and his flunkies apparently never bothered to look at the picture--which was of Davis accepting a check at a 1998 fundraiser held at a private residence.

When reporters questioned him about it, Simon could only sputter, "I'm not the tribunal here. It's not our job to verify this evidence." And later, Simon refused to apologize, saying: "I don't have any basis right now for an apology."

--San Francisco Chronicle, October 10, 2002

Heard it through the grapevine

"WE SHOWED that Russia cannot be brought to her knees."
--Russian President Vladimir Putin, after Russian military forces killed more than 100 hostages while storming a Moscow theater.

"YOU COULD be next."
--Excerpt from one of 120,000 leaflets, written in Arabic and dropped by British and U.S. combat jets, threatening immediate retaliation against Iraqi forces who try to stop patrols of the no-flight zones

"WE ARE tired of Dennis...Are you?"
--Excerpt from a newspaper ad, paid for by Connecticut State Rep. Dennis Cleary's relatives, who don't support his re-election campaign

"THE LARGEST detention camp in the world."
--British Ambassador to Israel Sherard Cowper-Coles, describing the Palestinian Authority on a recent trip

"THE AMBASSADOR has forgotten that the British mandate is over. He went too far."
--Unnamed senior Israeli official, responding to Cowper-Coles' comment

"I'M NOT a sexist person, but a woman has no business being down there trying to make some comment about a football game."
--CBS commentator Andy Rooney, on women sportscasters

"AMERICA SITS and wonders why it is that al-Qaeda, this ragtag bunch of terrorists scattered all over the globe, can reorganize themselves. I think the difference is that al-Qaeda doesn't have a Senate. Al-Qaeda doesn't have a Senator Daschle."
--House Majority Leader Rep. Dick Armey (R-Texas)

"THERE'S NO cave deep enough for America, or dark enough to hide."
--George W. Bush

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