Author: The BPI Squirrel

Furthermore! – Rumors and Lies

It’s hardly breaking news that the internet is not a 100% reliable source, but when a rumor seems just perfect for the point you want to make … be suspicious. (More) I find lots of information on the internet. Some of it is important, some of it useful, some of it fun. I mean, who would have guessed that a sea otter can play basketball? I know, I know. I otter have known. And you otter get a better joke. For example, you could send an email to a staffer for a Republican senator who is claiming Chuck Hagel may have taken money from terrorist-related organizations and ask for specific names and dates. You might include a joke, such as asking if the senator has evidence that Hagel gave a speech to the “Junior League of Hezbollah, in France” or the “Friends of Hamas.” Your none-too-veiled point being: you’ll write about evidence, but you won’t join in a baseless smear campaign because you’re a principled, professional journalist. Then a day or two later you discover that your pointed joke is the hottest new element in that baseless smear campaign. Oops. It’s not your fault. You’re dealing with the kind of people who – when you see what’s happening and say “Um, I made that up. That group doesn’t exist. It was a joke!” – will then say you confirmed...

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Furthermore! – Chateaux Fauxrage

Say what you will about the weekend habits of BPI’s resident faculty. Unlike the Beltway press corps, our faculty don’t hang out in the whine cellar. (More) I stay out of the BPI wine cellar library. It may surprise you to learn that there aren’t a lot of books down there. Or it may not surprise you. Anyway, I do most of my research online and Chef gave me her old e-reader when she got her new tablet. She even helped me get it up into Árbol Squirrel, so I can read books in my office. I downloaded some teen books for Nancy and Michelle too, so we’re pretty much set. I also avoid the wine cellar library because I don’t want to look like this. And that’s pretty much what the Beltway press corps have looked like since Friday, when they were told they couldn’t follow President Obama around on his golf weekend in Florida. This is a very big deal, according to Fox News correspondent Ed Henry: Speaking on behalf of the White House Correspondents Association, I can say a broad cross section of our members from print, radio, online and TV have today expressed extreme frustration to me about having absolutely no access to the President of the United States this entire weekend. There is a very simple but important principle we will continue to fight...

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Furthermore! – Remember the Maine 5: Remember With a Vengeance

I watched the MSNBC documentary Hubris last night, and it sounded like the fourth Remember the Maine movie. Worse, now they’re trying to make another one. (More) MSNBC didn’t schedule their excellent documentary Hubris: The Selling of the Iraq War with Squirrel Standard Time in mind, but I stayed up to watch it anyway. So the Remember the Maine movies may have happened in my dreams. But here’s how I remember them: Remember the Maine – In the original movie, the dastardly King Espana hatched a plot to attack the USS Maine in Havana harbor. Or at least that was the story as told by William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, who were competing to sell newspapers in New York City. Most U.S. leaders knew the explosion that sank the Maine was an accident, and later investigation determined that gases in the coal bunkers ignited. But the newspapers hyped the attack story and, to the stirring strains of “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” the U.S. went off to war and won a quick, decisive victory … if you ignore the three-year Philippine-American War that followed, as most history books do. Remember the Maine 2: Remember the Dominoes – The sequel begins in the Gulf of Tonkin, as two dastardly North Vietnamese torpedo boats hurl dominoes at the USS Maddox. Struck on the shoulder by a double-six, the captain of...

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Furthermore! – When ‘Experts’ Aren’t

I wasn’t in any of the cable news executives’ meetings yesterday afternoon. I haven’t spoken with them, or anyone who knows them. But that won’t stop me from telling you what they were thinking. (More) You can trust me on this, because I’m BPI’s roving reporter. That makes me a journalist, sort of, and that means I’m qualified to discuss the thoughts, fears, and intentions of any journalist or news executive. For example, when the Chris Dorner manhunt came to a head in California yesterday, cable news executives huddled to discuss whether they should cover it 44 minutes of each hour – all but the average 16 minutes per hour of ads on cable television – or cancel the commercial breaks and go with wall-to-wall coverage. They recognized that Los Angeles is the second largest television media market in the U.S.. They feared losing audience share during Neilsen’s February sweeps period, on which ad rates for the next quarter are based. Once law enforcement officials asked the FAA to close the airspace around the cabin where Dorner was believed to be hiding, studio hosts could no longer speculate on video footage of the cops were doing. Having decided to go wall-to-wall with the manhunt, these executives had to avoid dead air. So they called up the usual experts: former FBI profilers, psychologists, and anyone else willing to speculate on...

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Furthermore! – All My Children

Given the weight of the scientific evidence, conservatives who deny evolution are nuts. You’re all my children. By that I mean … you’re squirrels. (More) Humans aren’t as beautiful as squirrels. For starters, you lost your tails a few million years ago, and that’s unfortunate because – frankly – a lot of you are … well … unbalanced. Then again, I’m not sure a tail would help Wayne LaPierre. But I digress. Fact is, we squirrels don’t think much about being beautiful. We clean ourselves and such, but we don’t bother with this kind of evolution: Instead, we’re more proud of this kind of evolution: That’s your earliest primate ancestor: Purgatorius. Don’t blame me for the name. But be honest: doesn’t he (or she) remind you of that night in college when you … well, you know the night I mean. And aren’t you glad none of your friends had cell phones with video cameras? Anyway, that was you, back in the Palocene Era. But now biologists can wind the clock back a bit more and show us the earliest placental mammal: That’s our mom. Come on, admit it. She’s a cutie. She’s about 65 million years old, and she’s the first mammal to carry fertilized eggs in her placenta and bear live young. Including all of my ancestors. And all of yours. Yes, that’s right. You’re a squirrel....

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