U.S. presidential politics 2008 (& Cannibal tribe apologizes for eating Methodists)

August 21, 2007


1. BBC’s FM broadcasts knocked off the air in Russia
2. Proceeds from O.J. Simpson book to benefit foundation
3. Want to know who is giving how much to whom?
4. Bill Gates no longer world’s richest man
5. Being paid to read Maureen Dowd
6. Bloomberg rules out White House bid, says Dan Rather
7. Cannibal tribe apologizes for eating Methodists

[Note by Tom Gross]

Below are a few of the recent entries I have posted on the National Review’s Media Blog. These entries mainly concern Media and Politics, and are not specifically related to the Middle East. By separate email dispatch in a few minutes I am sending items related to Islam, the media, Europe and the Middle East.


(August 19, 2007)

From the Associated Press:

“The BBC has said that its Russian-language FM broadcasts have been taken off the air by its Moscow distributor, which said its programs were ‘foreign propaganda.’

“The decision by Bolshoye Radio leaves the BBC’s Russian-language services available only on medium and shortwave broadcasts, the BBC said in a press release.”

So it is Putin vs. the BBC. Talk about a battle of the propagandists.



(August 15, 2007)

A literary agent for the family of stabbing victim Ron Goldman has made a deal to repackage and publish O.J. Simpson’s canceled If I Did It book about the slayings of Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman.

Sale proceeds will go to the “Ron Goldman Foundation for Justice.”

The planned release last year of If I Did It, Here’s How It Happened, in which Simpson creepily explains how he might have committed the 1994 killings, was canceled following worldwide public outrage.

Last month a federal bankruptcy judge awarded rights to the book to Goldman’s family to help satisfy a $38 million wrongful-death judgment against the former football star. Simpson was, to many people’s great surprise, acquitted of the murders of Nicole and Ron in 1995. He then lost the wrongful-death civil suit in 1997.



(August 8, 2007)

If you want to check on which 2008 presidential candidates your friends and colleagues are contributing to, and how much, here it all is, in a new site launched yesterday, courtesy of The Huffington Post: http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com

A dangerous site perhaps?

There is also a section where you can search entire zip codes. For example, among rich Upper East Siders with 10021 addresses, Hillary appears to be twice as popular as Rudy.



(August 8, 2007)

With nearly $60 billion, Mexican telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim Helu has overtaken Microsoft founder Bill Gates for the title of the world’s richest person, Fortune magazine reports in its latest edition, due to hit newsstands shortly.

Gates, who is now in second place, had held the title for at least a decade.

The strong performance by Slim’s holdings on the Mexican stock exchange in recent months (his companies make up one-third of the Mexican stock market) have pushed him into top spot. “His net worth has jumped $12 billion this year alone,” Fortune reports.

Mexican financial website Sentido Comun estimates that the 67-year-old Slim (who is of Lebanese origin) is in fact even richer, with a personal fortune at almost $68 billion.

It seems that Gates has been too busy working on charitable issues with his wife Melinda to add to his fortune recently. Slim, however, once derided Gates and fellow philanthropist and investment guru Warren Buffett for giving away so much of their wealth, reportedly saying: “Poverty is not solved with donations... Building businesses does more for society than going around like Santa Claus.”



(August 8, 2007)

The New York Times’s paid online subscription service for its op-ed writers, TimesSelect, is soon to be no more.

Even though The New York Times charged less than $8 per month to read the likes of Thomas Friedman and co., there were few takers.

Indeed there are those of us who think the Times should pay us, not the other way round, for having to read Maureen Dowd’s pieces through to their tortuous end.



(August 18, 2007)

Has New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg unequivocally ruled out running for the presidency in 2008? Dan Rather, the former CBS anchor who quit in disgrace after being exposed for being less than honest by bloggers and now hosts a news program at HDNet, thinks so.

The City Room blog reports:

Mr. Rather, during a taping of “The Chris Matthews Show,” told Mr. Matthews this afternoon that the mayor had stated he would not run for president. NBC released a partial transcript of the conversation between Mr. Rather and Mr. Matthews, which will be broadcast at 10 a.m. tomorrow (Sunday):

Mr. Rather: “Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York, told me that he was not going to run for president. In a direct answer to a direct question, would he run under any circumstances, he danced around a bit and finally said ‘No.’ Furthermore, he said he wasn’t open to even considering running as a vice presidential candidate with anybody, and he wouldn’t take a place in anybody’s cabinet.”

Mr. Matthews: “Is he going to run against Spitzer for governor next time?”

Mr. Rather: “I wouldn’t bet against it.”



(August 17, 2007)

It’s about time.

From today’s London Daily Telegraph:

A tribe in Papua New Guinea has apologized for killing and eating four 19th century missionaries under the command of a doughty British clergyman.

The four Fijian missionaries were on a proselytising mission on the island of New Britain when they were massacred by Tolai tribesmen in 1878. They were murdered on the orders of a local warrior chief, Taleli, and were then cooked and eaten.

The Fijians – a minister and three teachers – were under the leadership of the Reverend George Brown, an adventurous Wesleyan missionary who was born in Durham but spent most of his life spreading the word of God in the South Seas.

Thousands of villagers attended a reconciliation ceremony near Rabaul, the capital of East New Britain province, once notorious for the ferocity of its cannibals. Their leaders apologised for their forefather’s taste for human flesh to Fiji’s high commissioner to Papua New Guinea.

‘We at this juncture are deeply touched and wish you the greatest joy of forgiveness as we finally end this record disagreement,’ said Ratu Isoa Tikoca, the high commissioner.

Cannibalism was common in many parts of the South Pacific – Fiji was formerly known as the Cannibal Isles – and dozens of missionaries were killed by hostile islanders.

-- Tom Gross

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.