Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Kerry, Durbin rush to back "Fairness Doctrine 2.0"

The push by Senate liberals to revive the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" continues to gain converts. Dick Durbin and John Kerry have joined the august ranks of Hillary Clinton, Babara Boxer, and Dianne Feinstein in calling for government censorship of talk radio. (See here and here for past posts on what I'm calling "Fairness Doctrine 2.0.") Kerry's comments can be heard by clicking on the YouTube video below. Durbin, the Senate's majority whip, told The Hill: “It’s time to reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine... I have this old-fashioned attitude that when Americans hear both sides of the story, they’re in a better position to make a decision.”

How funny, senators. Some of us have an even "older fashioned" attitude that Americans deserve a free press. I think it was even mentioned in that silly old document that's kept under protective glass at the National Archives but otherwise ignored.

If we weren't talking about something as abhorrent as government censorship, it would be amusing to note how liberals are focusing solely on talk radio pundits. Reporters' contributions favored Democrats 9-t0-1, so clearly the staffs in the nation's newsrooms tilt solidly leftward. Perhaps that's why broadcast coverage during the 2006 elections also favored Dems. And yet I haven't heard liberals call for a Fairness Doctrine aimed at TV and newspapers.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hillary isn't smelling like a rose

Over at Politico, Suzi Parker reports how the fortunes of the Rose Law Firm have gone south since they became embroiled in the Clinton scandals of the 1990s. Parker notes that Rose no longer even mentions its famed partner emeritus on its website.


DiFi joins Fairness Doctrine 2.0 supporters

Yesterday on "Fox News Sunday" Sen. Dianne Feinstein confessed she was also leaning toward support of the Fairness Doctrine as a means of controlling talk radio:

Asked if she would revive the fairness doctrine, which used to require broadcasters to present competing sides of controversial issues, Feinstein said she was "looking at it."

"I remember when there was a fairness doctrine," she said, "and I think there was much more serious correct reporting to people."

As I discussed last week, DiFi's esteemed colleagues Clinton, Boxer, and Lott have all voiced support for censorship of political content on talk radio. Feinstein admits that she views censorship as possibly necessary given opposition to the Senate's grand compromise on illegal immigration -- or, to be more blunt, to address the audacity that some Americans are displaying by daring to have a viewpoint that conflicts with the august body of which she is a member.

Lott, for his part, seems to be backing away from his prior statements in support of the Fairness Doctrine's return. WND quotes him making this muddled statement: "I've been defended by talk radio many times and I will support their right to tell their side of the story, right, left or the middle, forever. I don't think this Fairness Doctrine that would try to require that there be X amount on both sides is fair. So you know, it's caused quite a stir, but, you know, it goes with the territory."

Labels: , ,

Friday, June 22, 2007

Fairness Doctrine 2.0: Hill & Babs target talk radio

Sen. James Inhofe says that he overheard Hillary Clinton and Barbara Boxer discussing plans to "regulate" (i.e. censor) talk radio. (Listen to his radio interview here.) While the dynamic duo denied the claim, this comes on the heels of a report issued by a left-wing think tank calling for government control of political content on the nation's radio stations.

This comes on the heels of Trent Lott's absurd statement last week: “Talk radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem.” Lott was grousing about talk radio's ability to stir up opposition to the Bush/McCain/Kennedy compromise on immigration and amnesty.

If you think that We the People have no business keeping an eye on Washington's actions, then what these Senators are saying makes sense. In that case, let's allow these wise and august leaders to tell the little people what's best for them. But why stop with talk radio? My company is publishing Dr. Jerome Corsi's new book, The Late Great USA, which hits DC hard for undermining American sovereignty. If talk radio needs to be censored, what's to stop Congress from muzzling all elements of the press and requiring companies like World Ahead to reserve several chapters at the back of each book for a rebuttal?

Anyone with a shred of concern about free speech understands that what Clinton, Boxer, and Lott are saying is despicable. No, let me rephrase that -- they are despicable. They are displaying utter contempt for the Constitution and the American people.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Reporters' contributions favor Dems 9 to 1

Bill Dedman at MSNBC reports that 9 out of 10 political contributions made by journalists went to Democrats or liberal causes. identified 144 journalists who made political contributions from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign, according to the public records of the Federal Election Commission. Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes. Only 17 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties.

Labels: ,

Hacker claims to post Harry Potter spoiler

A hacker allegedly swiped a soft copy of the forthcoming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows from London-based Bloomsbury Publishing and posted a spoiler online. The publisher is dismissing this as just another theory, but the hacker claims to have done it to "make reading of the upcoming book useless and boring." I'm not linking to the spoiler because I regard the hacker's actions (if true) as theft and wouldn't want to draw more attention to him. But I do consider the story itself to merit discussion because of what it could imply about marketing in today's online world.

While it's likely that the hacker did steal the file or is lying, there is also a third possibility: this could be deliberate misinformation. Deathly Hallows is the most anticipated book in a long time, and a publicized rumor like this could be one way to muddy the waters and keep fans guessing, perhaps in case the real ending gets leaked, or just to stir up further hype. Some claim that George Lucas is a master of this practice, and much has been written about how studios and fanboys alike do it online. Could this be the case with Potter? I have no idea, but with technology allowing rumors to travel quickly and with so many other forms of entertainment stealing away readers from the publishing industry, it's possible.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Operation Gratitude sends 250,000th package to troops

Congratulations to our friends at Operation Gratitude on their 250,000th care package! This is a wonderful organization dedicated to boosting our troops' morale by sending them gift boxes assembled by volunteers. The group was founded after 9-11 by Carolyn Blashek to enable ordinary Americans to show their support for the brave men and women in our military. This recent milestone speaks volumes about both the dedication of Carolyn and her fellow volunteers, as well as the appreciation the American people feel toward our troops.

For those of you interested in learning more about Operation Gratitude, here's a short video describing what they do:

Labels: ,

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Religion of Peace? (part IV)

Muslims around the world are raging over the decision to bestow knighthood upon Sir Salman Rushdie. The mad mullahs of Iran labeled the Queen "an old crone." More seriously, The Times of London reports:

Effigies of Rushdie and the Queen were burnt in Pakistan, where presidential elections at the end of the year have destablised an already volatile political climate. Hundreds of protesters in Multan, Karachi and Lahore set fire to British flags and chanted “Death to Britain, death to Rushdie” and Islamist leaders called for nationwide protests after Friday prayers.

Ijaz-ul-Haq, the Religious Affairs Minister, told the assembly in Islamabad that the award of the knighthood excused suicide bombing. “If somebody has to attack by strapping bombs to his body to protect the honour of the Prophet then it is justified,” he said.
I've addressed the topic of Islam and violence before (see here, here, and here), and I'm hardly the greatest mind to note that the faith of Mohahmmed seems intrinsically violent. I think Greg Davis, author of Religion of Peace?: Islam's War Against the World, said it best in this essay from Human Events several months ago.

Labels: ,

Man fired for using gun to save life

Colin Bruley is a hero. At 2:00 AM he heard a woman crying out that she had been shot. Colin grabbed his shotgun and ran out of his apartment to the aid of the victim. The woman's life was saved, but Colin lost his job. His offense? His employer, the apartment building where he's a resident, called his act of heroism a workplace violation. Read the rest of this insane story here.


Friday, June 15, 2007

Some pictures are worth 1,000 words...

Although this picture conveys just one.

P.S. Dingy Harry isn't incompetent in all matters, though. Read p. 39 in Caucus of Corruption and you'll discover he knows a thing or two about Nevada real estate.

Labels: ,

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Vaclav Klaus nails global warming alarmists

In an FT editorial today, Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus calls global warming hysteria the greatest risk to freedom now facing the world:

As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism. This ideology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning.

The environmentalists ask for immediate political action because they do not believe in the long-term positive impact of economic growth and ignore both the technological progress that future generations will undoubtedly enjoy, and the proven fact that the higher the wealth of society,
the higher is the quality of the environment. They are Malthusian pessimists.

I agree! The dogmatic attitude displayed by global warming activists is undeniable. My debate opponent during my recent Hardball appearance had that same attitude; she claimed that Liberals Under My Bed was "too scary" for kids (was it the Ted Kennedy character?) but at the same time children needed to be indoctrinated in eco-activism at an early age.

No wonder we've gotten so much hate mail in response to our upcoming children's book, The Sky's Not Falling. Al Gore's crowd really does want the world to believe that it is falling, because how else can you scare people into turning over economic control to global bureaucracies?

Labels: , , , ,

Google/eBay spat over stunt takes page from "PayPal Wars"

eBay canceled an ad campaign it had planned to run with Google in retaliation for a publicity stunt planned by the search giant. Evidently Google's Checkout intended to rain on PayPal's parade during the "eBay Live" user convention in Boston this past weekend. Checkout had organized a "Freedom Party" near the site of the Boston Tea Party as a tongue-in-cheek protest to eBay's policy banning Checkout from their auction site in order to preference PayPal. Google canned the event following a protest by eBay, but evidently Meg Whitman wants to make sure Eric Schmidt learns his lesson, hence the ad campaign retaliation.

My question is, are the guys at Google Checkout using The PayPal Wars as their playbook to wage war against eBay? That "Freedom Party" sounds an awful lot like the stunt we pulled at PayPal during the first eBay Live conference. Readers of my book should recall how we set up shot at the hotel next to the Anaheim convention center and handed out free PayPal T-shirts the night before the conference began. The next morning, during Whitman's keynote address, about one-quarter of all the attendees were wearing PayPal shirts. That made her pretty mad, too.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

E-books for kids

In a sign that the e-book market continues to develop, Disney and Scholastic will offer electronic versions of some of their children's titles.

Labels: ,

Monday, June 11, 2007

Fox News interview from Sunday

Here's the video from my appearance on "Weekend Live" with Molly Henneberg this past Sunday to discuss The Sky's Not Falling, our upcoming kid's book on global warming.

Labels: , ,

Rather: Couric trying to "tart up" CBS News

Dan Rather blames the ratings slide of CBS News on the decision to bring in Katie Couric: "the mistake was to try to bring the 'Today Show' ethos to the evening news and to dumb it down, tart it up in hopes of attracting a younger audience."

Far be it from me to defend Couric, but Rather dumbed down his network's news long before the tart era began. WND founder Joseph Farah writes in his book, Stop the Presses!: The Inside Story of the New Media Revolution, that Rather was one of his journalistic heroes until he realized the man was little more than a partisan who was tough on conservatives while giving liberal politicians a free ride.


Potteronomics not magical for booksellers

Reuters reports that stiff competition coupled with a generous 12 million copy print run means that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows could be a money-loser for many retailers. Besides explaining Potteronomics, the article provides a glimpse into the state of affairs facing booksellers in general:

Online retailer and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. have slashed nearly 50 percent off the book's $34.99 list price, forcing many independent booksellers to follow suit to stay competitive. Barnes & Noble Inc. and Borders Group Inc., the world's largest booksellers, are selling it at 40 percent off.

Such price cuts drive sales, but usually result in minimal profit margin, something Jefferies & Co analyst & Co. analyst Tim Allen said typically happens on every bestseller. "It's so discounted, there's minimal, if any, gain," Allen said. "Retailers try to make up the shortfall by marketing loyalty cards, which they hope will entice shoppers back into their store."

Industry data I've seen suggests that book retailers have it pretty bad, and the net margins (4-5%) for even the mega-chains are usually below those of publishers. Evidently it's difficult to make much money when you combine the high overhead of operating a store with the cost of providing choice in this "long tail" world. (See here and here for more on this topic.)

Labels: , ,

Friday, June 08, 2007

Fox News appearance this Sunday

I'm scheduled to appear on Fox News this Sunday at 12:40pm Eastern / 9:40am Pacific to discuss why World Ahead publishes conservative kid's books.

Labels: ,

"Ike" author talks desegregation

This short film features Kasey Pipes, the author of Ike's Final Battle: The Road to Little Rock and the Challenge of Equality, discussing Eisenhower's personal journey as our nation's first civil rights president. (Also, in case you missed it, the WSJ reviewed Kasey's excellent book a couple of months ago.)

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Letters from liberal fans

Last Friday's L.A. Times article and Hardball appearance generated a lot of fan mail from some of liberalism's finest, and I even had some encouraging voicemails waiting for me when I got back into the office on Monday. Here are a couple that came in over World Ahead's website:

"I saw you on MSNBC tonight with Chris Matthews talking about your book 'Help Mommie, there is a liberal under my bed'. Listen you little ****-*** right-wingnut panty-waste. Go get a job and do something useful with you life. Nice haircut. I guess you have taken it up the *** more than a few times! DROP DEAD you ***** ******!!!!! " -- Robert Dodelin, Progressive, Anti-War, Republican hating liberal from the North East

(Note: the book's correct title is Help! Mom! There are Liberals Under My Bed!)

"I saw your interview with Chris Matthews. Aside from looking like you're 12 years old in that little buzz cut of yours, you come across as a little snot-nosed brat. You have a lot to learn about what the Republican party has done to this country. Seeing your picture with that moron Zell Miller on the home page of your website confirms that for me." -- Joel Hammer

Aside from wondering what this sudden obsession by liberals with my hair is all about, I really don't feel a need to respond; these letters speak for themselves. The hatred and malevolence they convey is plain enough, and unfortunately it's increasingly common for the Angry Left. I'll forego any lectures, but I will post that picture of me with former Senator Zell Miller that Joel seems to like so much:

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, June 04, 2007

MSNBC appearance with Chris Matthews

Here is the video from my appearance on MSNBC's "Hardball" last Friday where I discussed the issues raised in the L.A. Times' front page profile of World Ahead. I came into it expecting that Chris Matthews and his guest would gang up on me, and I wasn't disappointed.

Labels: ,

Friday, June 01, 2007

World Ahead profiled on L.A. Times front page

The L.A. Times has a page-one profile of World Ahead in today's print edition. The reporter, Stephanie Simon, visited our office several weeks ago and set in for an entire day's worth of meetings as we planned our own book to counter Scholastic's upcoming global warming kid's book. Here's an excerpt of the article:

Publisher aims to teach kids right from left

A Torrance executive says he sees too many children's books with liberal
views. His titles aim to tilt the shelves the other way.

PUBLISHING executive Eric Jackson's first foray into children's books was a cartoon tale of two brothers and a lemonade stand.

Hoping to earn money for a swing set, young Tommy and Lou squeeze lemons until their little hands ache. But they are thwarted by broccoli-pushing, camera-hogging, Jesus-hating liberals who pile on taxes and regulations and drive the boys out of business.

The book, "Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed!," came out two years ago. Jackson said it sold nearly 30,000 copies, which in the publishing world made it a bona fide hit. That success reinforced Jackson's view that the nation's bookshelves had tilted way too far left and that a correction was in order.

Kindergartners these days can leaf through a picture book promoting the virtues of medical marijuana. They can read a fairy tale about two princes who get married — to each other.

But where are the children's books denouncing affirmative action? The fairy tales promoting gun rights?

"You don't hear a lot of umbrage out there about conservative books being foisted onto kids," Jackson said. "There's a need in the market for books that show the other side of the equation."...

Now, World Ahead is expanding into more sober-minded children's books — and is going head-to-head with Scholastic, the powerhouse of children's publishing.

Scholastic will be coming out in September with "The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming," a 176-page call to action aimed at children ages 8 and up. World Ahead will counter with its own book intended to debunk global warming and discourage environmental activism...

Click here to read the rest of the article.

By the way, I've never thought of myself as "spiky-haired and baby-faced," but subsequent to this article coming out I've had several people tell me that this description is dead-on. :-)

Labels: ,