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The media treated George W. Bush very well during the early days of his administration (as it does every incoming president) but the slavish devotion to Barack Obama is an embarrassment. How low can they go? This low:
There weren’t a lot of places where “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams wasn’t allowed during his taping of “Inside the Obama White House,” the newsman says. The first hour of the two-hour program aired Tuesday night, with the second hour airing at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
“Sum up this guy,” Williams said of Bo, the Obama family’s Portuguese water dog, as President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and their interviewer stood by the first pup.
“Let me see if he does the whole …” Obama said, leaning to get a robust, white-pawed shake from the shaggy black pooch.
“See, I taught him that … that’s what I’m talking about,” exclaimed the president, playfully growling at his puppy for NBC’s cameras.
Brian Williams, well-trained pet.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”