January 10, 2005

LinkNews Digest [01/10/2005]

John Stewart - Mission accomplished!

NEW YORK - CNN said goodbye to pundit Tucker Carlson on Wednesday, and with him likely the "Crossfire" program that has been the granddaddy of high-volume political debate shows on cable television.

CNN will probably fold "Crossfire" into its other programming, perhaps as an occasional segment on the daytime show "Inside Politics," said Jonathan Klein, who was appointed in late November as chief executive of CNN's U.S. network.

Klein on Wednesday told Carlson, one of the four "Crossfire" hosts, that CNN would not be offering him a new contract. Carlson has reportedly been talking with MSNBC about a prime-time opening replacing Deborah Norville. The bow-tied wearing conservative pundit got into a public tussle last fall with comic Jon Stewart, who has been critical of cable political programs that devolve into shoutfests.

"I guess I come down more firmly in the Jon Stewart camp," Klein told The Associated Press. He said all of the cable networks, including CNN, have overdosed on programming devoted to arguing over issues. Klein said he wants more substantive programming that is still compelling.

"I doubt that when the president sits down with his advisers they scream at him to bring him up to date on all of the issues," he said. "I don't know why we don't treat the audience with the same respect."

Mexican Gov't Distributes Border Crossing How-To Comic

MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) -- The Mexican government is distributing a comic-book guide that warns would-be migrants about the perils of crossing illegally into the United States and offers tips to stay safe -- enraging some advocates of stricter immigration policies in the United States who argue the booklet encourages illegal migration.

The booklet, which officials began distributing last month, explains the safest way to enter the United States is with a U.S. visa and a Mexican passport. But it also offers tips on avoiding serious injury or death to those who have decided to cross illegally.

On one page appears a colorful drawing of people walking in the desert near power lines, with the hint that, "If you get lost, guide yourself with light poles, train tracks or dirt roads." Also, "Crossing a river can be very risky, especially if you cross alone and at night," the booklet warns. "Heavy clothing becomes heavier when wet, and this makes swimming or floating difficult."

Critics argue the tips serve more as instructions on how to cross illegally than as a deterrent to would-be migrants."With this document the Mexican government not only has not instructed its citizens to obey immigration law but, in rich detail, it has supplied a manual on how to circumvent U.S. immigration law," said John Keeley, director of communication for the U.S.-based Center for Immigration Studies, a group that favors stricter immigration policies. "It's very, very troubling."

Bush Admin. Approves Creationist Theory of Grand Canyon

Washington, DC — The Bush Administration has decided that it will stand by its approval for a book claiming the Grand Canyon was created by Noah’s flood rather than by geologic forces, according to internal documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

Despite telling members of Congress and the public that the legality and appropriateness of the National Park Service offering a creationist book for sale at Grand Canyon museums and bookstores was “under review at the national level by several offices,” no such review took place, according to materials obtained by PEER under the Freedom of Information Act. Instead, the real agency position was expressed by NPS spokesperson Elaine Sevy as quoted in the Baptist Press News: “Now that the book has become quite popular, we don’t want to remove it.”

Actual quote from the book: "The mile-deep canyon itself which could never have been carved out of the waters of the present river, tells of a time when a great dammed-up lake full of water from (Noah's) Flood suddenly broke...digging deeply into the path it had chosen."

Penguins Can Be Gay, say Researchers

TOKYO (AFP) - Researchers have found a number of same-sex pairs of penguins at aquariums in Japan, with an imbalance between the numbers of male and female birds suspected to be the cause, a report said.

A research group led by Keisuke Ueda, professor of behavioral ecology at Rikkyo University in Tokyo, found about 20 same-sex pairs at 16 major aquariums and zoos, Kyodo news agency said.

Penguins in captivity "may be more likely to form same-sex pairs" due to the difficulty of finding partners of the opposite sex because breeding facilities in Japan only have an average of 20 birds, the agency quoted Ueda as saying.

It is not known if the frequency of homosexuality is higher than in the wild, where telling the sexes apart is tough, he said.

Elvis' Backwash Sold on Ebay

MIAMI (Reuters) - Wade Jones of North Carolina says he snared a plastic cup from which Elvis Presley drank at a concert in 1977 and kept the cup and the water for 27 years before selling the remaining few tablespoons of water on eBay.

The winning bid for the water was $455. He says he won't sell the cup.

A 40-year-old resident of Belmont, North Carolina, Jones said he was 13 when he attended a Presley concert at the Charlotte Coliseum in February, 1977, six months before the death of the rock 'n roll icon. After the concert, Jones went to the stage looking for a souvenir. A policeman gave him the plastic foam cup, from which he had seen Elvis drinking earlier, he said.

"I've been selling on eBay since 2000. People said you ought to sell that Elvis cup," Jones said. "When I heard the recent news ... about the (Virgin Mary) grilled cheese sandwich, I kind of thought about it. "I didn't get $28,000, it's true," he said of the winning bid on the 3-4 tablespoons of water. "But I'm happy."

1 comment:

  1. I thought that the bit from PEER looked a little fishy, so I looked into it. The book isn't sold as science. It's sold in the spiritual reading section of the National Parks bookstore, not the geological one. While the author may have wished to pass off the writing as scientific, the National Park Service did not. It is listed along with other books that may be "of interest." It's notable that PEER neglected to mention this. Isn't there enough ammo to use against Republicans without creating a tempest in a teacup?