Giuliani Just Can't Do Anything Right

Plus: Squeamish Liberal Movie Critic Warns Readers Not to Read Graph Describing Abortion
Giuliani Just Can't Do Anything Right...Except Lead in GOP Polls
"An odd cellphone call from his wife, two rogue volunteers exploiting the memory of 9/11 to raise money, renewed questions about shifting stances on crucial domestic issues, upheaval within the campaign's upper ranks and more focus on an unconventional family life. It has been a rough time on the campaign trail for Rudolph W. Giuliani." - Opening lines to Marc Santora's October 1 "Political Notebook" on Rudy Giuilani's campaign.

Let Me Get This Straight...You Think the Supreme Court Is Conservative?

conservative majority under Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. drove the court to the right in a series of high-profile rulings during the term that ended in June. That performance, as well as a series of books and articles by and about justices, has placed the court in an unusually bright spotlight as the new term opens. The conservative bloc will not necessarily prevail in every important case. For example, the Bush administration is clearly on the defensive as the court prepares to hear a third-round challenge to policies governing those held as enemy combatants at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. But the conservative justices clearly have the upper hand in the all-important task of shaping the court's docket..." - Opening to table-setting piece by Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse, October 1 (emphasis added).

Holocaust Denier Being "Demonized" by West?
"But it is because of [Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's] provocative remarks, like denying the Holocaust and calling for Israel to be wiped off the map, that the United States and Europe have never known quite how to handle him. In demonizing Mr. Ahmadinejad, the West has served him well, elevating his status at home and in the region at a time when he is increasingly isolated politically because of his go-it-alone style and ineffective economic policies, according to Iranian politicians, officials and political experts." - Michael Slackman, September 24.

Not Very Observant, Is He?
"It is true that we don't have many conservative columnists on the Op-Ed page. Actually, right now, we have David Brooks, who gets to be the dunking target for a lot of readers because he's a Republican and a conservative. Most of our other columnists are clearly not either, although I would defy anyone to label Maureen Dowd by party affiliation or ideology. I've known her and worked closely with her for 20 years and I can't tell you the answer to either one." - Editorial Page Editor Andrew Rosenthal response during a week-long online Q & A, Sept. 24-28.

Even on Non-Breaking News Story, Times Flubs Basic Fact-Checking
"Just a few short years ago, she was a party-loving college girl, sticking her tongue out at Secret Service agents and giving her parents heartburn. Now Jenna Bush, 25, is sporting a diamond-and-sapphire ring, engaged to be married - though probably not at the White House, her mother says - and heading out on a book tour....Their mishaps made headlines; Jenna, tagged 'the blonde one' in the gossip pages, was twice arrested in connection with under-age drinking." - Sheryl Gay Stolberg, September 29. As the Times admitted in a correction the next day, Jenna Bush was sticking her tongue out at the press, not the Secret Service, and was cited, not arrested, for underage drinking.

Jobless Rate Low, Stocks Near All-Time High - Yet Economy's In "Turmoil"
"Until recently, the ballyhoo was not much needed. The revival was going well, in Baltimore and in other cities making the transition away from manufacturing. But now, the banners are the most visible evidence of the incipient damage to this major American city from the turmoil in the national economy." - Louis Uchitelle, October 4.

Squeamish Liberal Movie Critic Warns Readers Not to Read Graph on Abortion
"Not everyone will agree about the abortion visuals, including, perhaps, those who worry that such explicit imagery can speak louder than any pro-abortion-rights argument. It's an understandable concern. Because they are filmed (the dead woman is immortalized in a still photograph), the abortions are unnerving, which is why I suggest that the faint of heart skip the rest of this paragraph. After the first operation, a second-trimester abortion, the doctor sorts through a tray of fetal parts, including a perfect-looking tiny hand and a foot, to make sure that nothing has been left inside the patient, which might lead to poisoning or even death. The doctor then holds up the severed fetal head. One eerily bulging eye looks as if it's staring into the camera and somehow at us. My initial and admittedly angry first thought about these images was that the director, Tony Kaye, was just resorting to shock tactics." - Critic Manohla Dargis in her October 3 review of Tony Kaye's abortion documentary "Lake of Fire."

Never Trust Pro-Lifers
"I wish there were more of those fully formed human beings in 'Lake of Fire,' which has an awful lot of men talking about what women should and should not do with their bodies. There are women here, to be sure, though it may be instructive that one of the most memorable female voices belongs to an unreliable witness who talks about seeing 'babies' stacked in an abortion-clinic freezer. Mr. Kaye follows this startling testimonial with otherworldly and unidentified images of intact late-term fetuses or babies or maybe even dolls. Because I couldn't tell what I was looking at, I asked the film's distributor. According to the company, these images had been given to Mr. Kaye by members of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue." - Manohla Dargis, October 3.

Times Joins Rest of Media in Misleading on Limbaugh
"Having abandoned for now their effort to force President Bush to withdraw troops from Iraq, Democrats are not giving ground against a lesser nemesis: Rush Limbaugh. With the help of liberal advocacy groups, the Democrats in Congress are turning Mr. Limbaugh's insinuation that members of the military who question the Iraq war are 'phony soldiers' into the latest war of words over the war." - Congressional reporter Carl Hulse, October 3.