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Can we clone her?
(P.S. The problem in this country is just activist bloggers in case you didn't get the Fox News Alert.)
After yesterday's BRAD BLOG exposť on the use of a satellite photo of a (presumably) Iranian nuclear facility which was misrepresented as a nuclear facility in North Korea by the U.S. Government funded "news" site Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in an April 2004 story, the site has now removed that photograph from the article without giving explanation on their webpage for the removal.
To make matters worse, we pointed out yesterday that the photo of the (follow closely now) supposed Iranian nuclear facility that was used with the article on North Korea was actually filenamed "Iraq-nuclear.jpg"!
It has now been discovered that the same photograph was indeed also used on RFE/RL stories about WMDs in Iraq!
A search of RFE/RL's website reveals that there were at least 9 different instances of that same "Iraq-nuclear.jpg" photo being used along with stories about nuclear or WMD programs in all three different countries. The first known instance of its use at RFE/RL was on February 5, 2004 in an article headlined --- ironically enough --- "CIA Head Defends WMD Intelligence on Iraq"!
In another instance (see screenshot at bottom of this story, captured prior to scrubbing of photo), a story from RFE/RL published on April 20, 2004 titled "Iraq/U.S.: New Book Contradicts CIA Director's Intelligence" the photo was --- again, ironically enough --- used above the caption: "Convincing enough?"
As of this afternoon it seems that all of the RFE/RL stories on either Iraq or North Korea, which had once used that same file photo to represent nukes or WMD in all three respective countries, have now had the photo either removed entirely or replaced by another. Only the stories on Iran continue to use the photo, and even one of those was changed to a photo of the International Atomic Energy Association's Muhammad el-Baradei (again, for reasons not explained on the site).
After asking for comment on the originally discovered use of the photo with their North Korea story from March 2004, Martins Zvaner from RFE/RL's communications office emailed the following explanation to The BRAD BLOG...
Zvaners supplied no answer to our inquiry into the original source for those photos. That issue is of the utmost curiosity here given that it was originally CNN's use of a photo of the same purported Iranian facility represented as a North Korean facility in their story last Saturday on six-way talks with North Korean President Kim Jung Il.
CNN, unlike RFE/RL is not funded by the U.S. government and, in theory, should be checking facts before reporting to America and the world and displaying photos possibly supplied by Administration officials who may have a particular agenda to grind.
Our discovery of the photo on additional stories at RFE/RL, including Iraq stories, occurred during the interim as we were waiting for the above email reply from RFE/RL. We have since followed-up asking for further explanation of the photograph's use on the Iraq stories and why no explanation was given for the various removals of the photo from the many different web pages. We will update with that reply when and if it is received. (NOTE: We have now received a reply to our follow-up email to Zvaners. Please see the bottom of this article for that updated info.)
As BRAD BLOG's story from yesterday pointed out, RFE/RL is funded by the U.S. Government and its corporate board of directors is composed of nine Presidential appointees. It broadcasts news from an American point of view across Europe. Therefore, the use of American propoganda is not wholly surprising for them.
CNN's use, however, of the same Iranian facility in a story about North Korea still requires some explaining since --- in theory --- CNN is not a government-funded propoganda arm of the United States government!
It was the discovery of CNN's use of that same alleged Iranian nuclear facility used to represent a facility in North Korea that begin this odyssey on Monday with this BRAD BLOG exclusive showing the use of the same facility in stories over the past week describing the image respectively as a nuke plant first in Iran and then again as one in North Korea.
We have attempted since Monday to receive an explanation from CNN who has since replaced the photo on their North Korea story following our story. Numerous messages to various CNN divisions have gone unanswered, while a staffer in their Press Relations office yesterday morning promised us a comment "soon". We are still waiting to hear back from them and will report what --- if anything --- they have to say for themselves.
The stories at RFE/RL which all used the same Iranian nuclear facility photo are listed here (we have most of the original stories cached showing the photo which has, in most cases, now been scrubbed from these pages):
UPDATE: Martins Zvaners from the communications office at RFE/RL has replied to our follow-up questions with this answer:
To my knowledge, our web editors got the photo file from a wire agency photo service, run by either AFP or the Czech news agency CTK.
So he's blamin' it on the Czechs, huh?!
Either way, we appreciate the quick response from Mr. Zvaners. Especially, while we're at three days and counting and still waiting for a reply...any reply...even a made up reply...from CNN.
We had just under 25,000 unique visitors to The BRAD BLOG yesterday. Without combing the records too deeply, I do believe that was a daily record for unique visits. It was a busy day.
Which either means I'm doing a lousy job at blogging, or a lousy job at letting folks know that your support here means everything. Especially now.
As this little habit of mine has become a 24/7/365 pursuit in the last several months, the imperative to toss out the occasional humiliating plea for your support becomes more and more necessary if I'm to have a chance of staying on the job and continuing to fight the evil-doers.
So thank you to all of you who have supported us with a donation of late! And to the others, feel free to cancel cable TV for a month, read The BRAD BLOG instead, and send at least half of your savings here!
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Yesterday we reported that CNN's website was using photos of the same alleged nuclear facility in two different stories about two different nuclear programs in two different countries.
One CNN story, from last Wednesday, was on Iran's purported nuclear program; the other, from last Saturday, was on North Korea's purported nuclear program.
The satellite photos accompanying each respective story turned out to be the same facility despite captions below each photo claiming each represented an alleged facility in the respective countries discussed in each article.
Later in the day, after our report swept the net (topping out mid-afternoon at #6 on Technorati) CNN changed the photo in the North Korea article to a different satellite image of, apparently, a different facility purported --- as was the first one --- to be near Pyongyang, North Korea.
No explanation was given for the error beyond a statement by CNN, in a correction box, that "an image that was incorrectly identified..."
And now...thanks to some crack sleuthing by "EarlG", an administrator over at Democratic Underground, we've discovered yet another "news" outlet who used another photograph of that same facility --- which is apparently in Iran --- in yet another story on North Korean nukes!
The newly discovered story is from March of 2004 and found on the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty website!
RFE/RL is a U.S. government funded "news" organization broadcasting over Europe!
And to make matters even more troubling and/or confusing, the filename of the photo used in the RFE/RL story is "Iraq-nuclear.jpg"!
Here is a screenshot from the RFE/RL story which shows the same facility as seen in the photos used with both of the CNN stories:
Here again are the photos from the two different CNN stories (prior to the so-far-unexplained "correction" by CNN):
And here is a side-by-side comparison of the photo from CNN's Iran story again, next to a rotated shot of the photo from RFE/RL's story on North Korea:
So we ask again, what the hell is going on here? And, again, who are the sources for these photographs that keep running with stories on both North Korea and Iran?
As we asked in yesterday's piece, is the source for these photos "someone who may have an interest in ginning-up fears over the two so-far unconquered players in Bush's 'Axis of Evil'?"
Or is it all just an innocent mix-up, as some commenters have suggested?
That "innocent mix-up" explanation certainly becomes more difficult to swallow now that the very same facility has shown up again, apparently errantly, in a story from almost a year ago, on an entirely different site, and one which is funded by the U.S. Government!
As well, it's worth noting that RFE/RL's "corporate board of directors is composed of the nine Presidential appointees to the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which has oversight responsibility for all nonmilitary U.S. government-funded international broadcasting activities" according to their website's "Mission Statement".
And now we must wonder why the RFE/RL photo was named "Iraq-nuclear.jpg"?! Just another "innocent mix-up"???
In regards to CNN's two stories, we have finally reached someone at CNN who has promised to get back to us with comment on the CNN-related questions from yesterday. We will, of course, share their explanation here if and when it's received.
We have asked RFE/RL for comment as well, and they too have promised a reply on this matter. The author of their North Korean piece, Mark Baker, RFE/RL's "deputy managing editor of the News and Current Affairs Department", apparently works out of Europe, however, and thus the time difference may delay a reply from him on this matter.
UPDATE 2/16/05: Same photo also used on Iraq stories at RFE/RL! While all North Korea and Iraq stories have now had the photo scrubbed from their web pages! Updated story with details here...
No, it's not Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute (Akroyd on SNL, circa 1979) but it might as well be.
The bloggers continue to break the news. And the news media continues to fault them for it. Feeling appropriately endangered much, boys?
AmericaBLOG gets the goods (and unfortunate --- no, really unfortunate --- naked pictures) on Gannon/Guckert's days as a gay male prostitute.
RAW STORY reports on WH press spokesman, Scott McClellan's possible gaiety and whether he may have come across Gannon/Guckert during alleged trips to gay bars in Austin. (Apologies for the almost-accidental disturbing turn of phrase there).
And the corporate media turns apoplectic as they begin to realize that we're doing the job they ain't. NY Times lashes out today and CNN's Judy Woodruff devoted the bulk of her Inside Politics hour this afternoon to us terrible bloggers.
The most appalling part of it all, ironically on a day where we had to hold CNN's feet to the fire for claiming an identical photo was a nuclear plant in both Iran and North Korea, is the MSM's new line that bloggers in the Gannon/Guckert story crossed the line by going into his private life.
To which we'd respond, as Aravosis has pointed out on several occassions, that one would think it somewhat troubling that a prostitute (gay or straight, former or current) used a fake name in the White House press briefing room and received, apparently, classified CIA briefings from the Administration. That's a legal issue. Not a personal one. We'll even leave the "moral" issue out of it for the moment.
Secondly, we note that it's only when leftie bloggers report on such things that it becomes an issue at all. In this case, the notion of "crossing the personal line" recently and continuingly floated by WaPo's Howard Kurtz and other soon-to-be dinosaurs is, pardon us, nothing but bullshit.
Setting aside the legal questions mentioned above, the assertion is being made that it's somehow inappropriate to question the sexuality of those in the administration, and/or Republican party in general, and/or their whores (in this case literally) in the media who have attempted to forward specifically anti-gay laws and constitutional amendments. Isn't it appropriate to point out when such people are saying one thing (supporting anti-gay laws) and doing another (being gay)?
So where was the collective fake moral outrage from the media when the internet (or the MSM themselves) reported for example that Al Gore was supporting public education, yet --- outrageous! --- in his private life he was sending his children to private schools?!
Did Howard Kurtz declare his self-righteous and self-serving indignation against the rightwing media that reported on that non-story at the time?
Of course not.
Lines are crossed by lefties only. While the wingnuts draw those lines where ever they damn well please (where it suits their political agenda, in other words).
And the so-called "liberal" media buys it. Hook, line and sinker. What a world.
Looks like we're on our own here, folks.
Two stories posted in the last week on the CNN website, one on nukes in Iran last Wednesday, and another on nukes in North Korea on Saturday, both use the same aerial photograph of the same purported nuclear power plant!
But one is supposed to be in Iran and the other is supposed to be in North Korea!
A story posted Saturday to CNN's website suggesting that North Korea is rallying behind their leader Kim Jong Il in his latest nuclear saber-rattling makes use of a satellite photo described in the caption as "An aerial photo of North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear plant outside of Pyongyang".
The photo is the third in a "slide show" at this CNN page. Hit 'Next' two times in the "slide show" and the following photo with caption will appear:
Oddly enough, last Wednesday the CNN website ran a story on nuclear weapons in Iran with an image captioned "Satellite image of a suspected Iranian nuclear-related facility".
That CNN page is here. The photo from that story is below:
Look familiar? Look very closely at both pictures if it doesn't.
In truth, if this wasn't so sad (and actually somewhat frightening) the irony of the sub-title for CNN's Iran story --- "Former weapons inspector: 'It's d√©j√† vu all over again'" --- might be somewhat amusing. In the piece, U.S. chief weapons inspector David Kay is quoted urging the U.S. "not to make the same mistakes with Iran that he said it made with Iraq".
D√©j√† vu, indeed.
All of which begs at least these questions:
Who is the source for these photos? Was it the same person in both instances? Were they supplied by someone who may have an interest in ginning-up fears over the two so-far unconquered players in Bush's "Axis of Evil"?
Or will it be another CNN staffer who steps forward again to take the fall for this one?
And finally, a question that has been asked all too frequently here over the past year: What the hell has happened to the media in this country? Are there simply no national media organizations left who know how to do the job of reporting accurately, responsibly and in such a way that doesn't send us to war again due to their utter failure to do their jobs correctly?! (Yes, Judith Miller of The New York Times, we're talking to you...but you're not the only one).
The tip on this came in after midnight early Monday morning, too late to make any calls to try and get some answers to the above before going to sleep for the evening. However, we hope that by the time we wake, someone from the responsible media --- which apparently seems to be now considerably narrowed to the likes of bloggers and Internet-only news sites like RAW STORY --- gets some answers to these questions before CNN once again aids and abets the Bush administration into sending this country into yet another unnecessary and immoral war.
UPDATE 10:30am PT: As of this update, it seems that CNN has quietly now replaced their previous photo on the North Korea story with the following one instead:
No comment was given to note the "correction", though the date for the story on the page has been updated to today's date. We will attempt to contact CNN for explanation if possible and will update here if we are able to do so.
UPDATE 1:56pm PT: CNN has added the following text to the Korea story:
No explanation yet for the error. Still attempting to get comment. Will update here when we do.
UPDATE 5:47pm PT: Our hopes of getting comment and/or explanation from CNN have so far been dashed for the today. About 15 different calls, with about 15 different forwards and 15 different answering machine messages left has yielded not one LIVE person who is willing to talk about what happened. We'll keep trying when "business hours" resume once again tomorrow.
UPDATE 2/15/05 6:27pm PT: A different news organization has published a story using a different photo of the same alleged nuclear facility that CNN used in both its North Korea and Iran stories! That story was also about... North Korea! And it's a U.S. government funded "news" site! Click here for that new story!
The short article in this coming week's TIME Magazine begins this way:
Sound familiar? It will to regular BRAD BLOG readers.
The article, titled "China's Big Export: When it comes to spying, Beijing likes to flood the zone", continues...
But instead of assigning one well-trained agent to pursue a target, "the Chinese are very good at putting a lot of people on just a little piece and getting a massive amount of stuff home," says a U.S. intelligence official.
So if this is a real problem in the United States, why has at least one --- Hai Lin Nee (a/k/a Henry Nee), the one who was reported to authorities years ago by Clint Curtis as spying on the United States while working at Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) --- been arrested on three counts, allowed to plead guilty to just one, and then let go with hardly a slap on the wrist?
(Nee, believed by Curtis and YEI CEO's Executive Secretary, Mike Cohen, to be an illegal alien has been allowed to stay in the U.S. and received just three-years probation and a $100 fine after having admitted "that business has been slow in the last year and that he had only sent parts out of the country ten to twenty times" according to the plea agreement. See our earlier exclusive report for more details and a look at the court papers.)
Perhaps the answer to that question might be found in TIME's closer:
Hmmm...Has Henry Nee turned "asset"?
Is he now spying on/informing on his old friends at YEI?
Is that why late just last year the Feds allowed him to plead guilty to just one charge and then walk despite his arrest after a four-year sting operation?
Is that why he is still allowed to work for YEI, a company which requires "Top Secret clearance" for sensitive contracts with NASA and others which Jeb Bush's former running-mate Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) had helped them attain? A company which, despite their denials, a "Special Agent assigned to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in Orlando, Florida" claimed via email on Nov. 22 of 2004 was "under investigation by another Division of the FBI"? (Would the company even know if they were being investigated by the FBI? Does the FBI send out telegrams as a courtesy to inform such companies in order to give them time to shred the evidence?) A company, mind you, which still claims that Nee had never been an "employee" or a "consultant" despite public records published late last year by The BRAD BLOG which demonstrate they are lying?
Has Henry made a secret deal with the FBI to turn state's evidence against the Yang's in exchange for his extraordinarily light sentence?
And finally, on a somewhat personal sidenote, shouldn't all the rightwingers who've unsuccessfully attempted to discredit Curtis as a liar be ashamed of themselves for doing so simply to protect Feeney and his good friends, the Bush's, while Curtis has been, apparently, both patriotic and extremely courageous in trying to help keep secrets of United States weapons technology from being stolen by the People's Republic of China?
Do such rightwingers have any allegiance to their country and the safety of its citizens? Or is the retension of political power for their party of choice, even at the expense of National Security, one of those "moral values" they pretend to have and that we've heard so much about?
We have a feeling this story will continue...
For the record, as of today, at least 1,460 "young Americans" have died "for the chickenhawks who dreamt up this war". Scores of thousands of "young Americans" have been wounded for life.
Nearly 50 times the number of innocent women and children who were killed on 9/11 have been killed in Iraq alone by the United States of America.
0 Weapons of Mass Destruction have so far been found. But, of course, you knew that.
Despite having spent a fair portion of our adult life as a computer programmer and having read the following AP story some four times, we still fail to discern what the hell they are talking about or how the following error could have occurred. Perhaps a computer whiz who is whizzier than us can explain it all for us in comments...
The mistake, caught several days after the election, had Bush receiving 4,258 votes in a precinct in the Columbus suburb of Gahanna where only 638 voters cast ballots. The corrected official count showed 365 votes for bush.
The review completed last week showed no fraud or tampering, said Matthew Damschroder, director of the Franklin County elections board.
Since December, Damschroder has said the error occurred when cartridges from individual voting machines were inserted into a reader connected to a laptop that sends data over secure lines to a central computer.
Danaher Controls, the voting machine manufacturer based in Gurnee, Ill., inspected the counting system from beginning to end and agreed that was when the error occurred, then figured out how.
Technicians concluded the laptop was busy completing another task just as numbers from that precinct were being fed into it.
"As a result, the laptop did not receive the data as fast as it was sent," said an elections board report on the probe. "Consequently, data was lost."
Danaher went further, identifying what computer bytes in the data disappeared. By feeding in data missing those bytes, technicians produced the same wrong vote total.
The good news, at least, is that both the Board of Elections in Franklin County, Ohio and the manufacturer that sold them the machines both agree that it wasn't their fault in any way, and was just a computer error, and we have nothing to be worried about.
Glad that's been cleared up.
Oh...P.S....These aren't the droids you're looking for.
The National Security Council memo by Richard Clarke written on January 25, 2001 requesting an urgent "Principals level review on the al Qida network has finally been released, just yesterday, by the National Security Archive.
Reuters reported this story last night.
The document was submitted by Clarke, George W. Bush's official Counterterrorism Coordinator just days after Bush took his first oath of office.
The first paragraph of the "Memorandum to Condoleezza Rice" contains the following sentence [emphasis in original]:
The memo was declassified on April 7th, 2004. The day before Condolleeza Rice's testimony before the 9/11 Commission on the 8th.
It was not released to the public until yesterday, almost one year and exactly one Presidential Election later.
Rice had said prior to her sworn testimony in a Washington Post op-ed that "No al Qaeda plan was turned over to the new administration".
It would appear that Rice was either lying in op-ed, or to the commission, or perhaps it depends on what the meaning of either "plan" or "turned over" means.
Part of the first page of the memo is posted below. The National Security Archive has posted a story on the matter with other supporting documents including a copy of Richard Clarke's full 3-page memo [PDF].
The first page of the memo also cites Al Qaeda as having two major goals. One of which is to install "Muslim countries with theocracies".
In not-unrelated news, 23 people were killed in one attack in Iraq today which, according to AP, "occurred as election officials announced provisional final results from the Jan. 30 elections for provincial councils in 12 of the 18 provinces, showing Shiite religious groups winning handily over secular tickets in local races in much of the country."
In actual unrelated news, we're working on several investigations related to the Clint Curtis matter so posting here has been light over the last couple of days while we've been on that job. We trust you understand. More news on that when it's appropriate and not a moment sooner.
UPDATED 2/12/04: Thanks to you, we're four for four!
Now that all the categories for Finalists in the 2004 Koufax (Best Blog) Awards have been announced, it looks like your votes have brought The BRAD BLOG to the final step in all four categories in which we were nominated as semi-finalists!
Thanks again to the fine folks of Wampum for sponsoring the awards, and thanks to you all for voting. Now that all the categories are announced, we promise this will be the last time (this year anyway), that we'll ask you to stop on by to give us your vote!
If you are so inclined, please vote for The BRAD BLOG in the FINALIST voting in each of the following categories! (Click each of the links below, scroll to the bottom, and leave a Comment with your vote):
We're in very good company! The competition is stiff now with some of the best (and widest read!) blogs up against us! So we'll need all the votes we can muster to overtake some of the big boys!
Of the thousands (millions?) of blogs in the sphere, however, we're pleased to have just made it this far!
Voting ends next Friday we're told, so we'll try to leave this item on top until then.
In the meantime, we'll take the lazy bloggers way out for the moment, and point you to a story you may already know something about. Or may not.
John Aravosis of AmericaBLOG deserves the credit for cracking open the J.D. Guckert (a/k/a Jeff Gannon/Talon "News") scandal and has been following all of its developments hard since then.
But if you're just coming aboard this one, we'll point you to Ennis again over at Toolz for the New School who's put together a good primer on the fascinating matter including a stunning video round-up of Jeff Gannon's greatest fake hits.
If you're not by now interested in this story, we'll offer the most general of background to say that "Gannon" has been exposed as a fake journalist, "still sexy" AOL gay swinger, and apparent gay military escort business facilitator...and oh yes, a favored White House briefing room "reporter" who received a daily permission slip to join gaggle even with his fake credentials!
One would think he would have been exposed as a fraud by the 40 or 50 White House "reporters" who sat next to him everyday in the briefing room while he was routinely chosen to ask questions (unlike, say 57-year White House veteran reporter Helen Thomas who has been demoted by the Bush White House to the back of the bus) but no, it took one of those crazy "Bloggers" to expose the White House's latest fraud on the American people.
Be sure to check Ennis' video to see why Scottie Mclellan and Bush himself may have preferred Gannon's fake questions over Thomas' real ones.
Is there anything this bunch of liars won't do?
It's gonna be a fun few years, folks. Except for that whole destroying democracy and shredding the constitution business. But everything has a price we guess.
Just in minutes ago from a source attending an invitation-only event at the Capital City Brewery next to Union Station in D.C.
With the last of the challengers for DNC chair now having dropped out of the race, an invitation went out just last night for "A Grassroots Celebration with Governor Howard Dean" organized by Democracy for America.
The crowd was so much larger than expected (the source estimates 2000 were there), that Dean moved outside to make his speech.
Below are some of the excerpts we were able to transcribe via the live cell phone connection from our source who was standing just next to the good doctor during his impromptu speech:
We have to NEVER be afraid to say what we believe! [HUGE CHEERS]
The people of this country are extraordinary exceptional people. 95% percent of the people want the same thing...Whatever category you think you fit into...We want to be respected in the world, not just have the strongest military in the world...We want jobs and job opportunities and to keep them in America. We want economic security...The largest number of personal bankruptcies are because of people who have medical emergencies, even those with insurance...We want to improve our public school system so we have the same chances our parents and grandparents had.
We're gonna do a lot of things together, because I can't do anything without all of you...This is your party, not mine.
But above all, we need not just to organize, not just to raise money, we need to stand up and speak up for what is right!
I will never use rhetoric that is used to divide America merely to win elections...We will never divide one American from another in order to win. If we do that, we will not be able to make an improvement once we get here.
...Take a look behind me (pointing to U.S. Capital Building)...In 2006 we're gonna make major strides in taking that building back and in 2008 it'll be a Democrat walking up Pennsylvania to take the oath of office! [CROWD WENT WILD]
We're not big Democrats around here these days. But we're big supporters of Dean, and couldn't give a crap what the detractors say (and boy, will we be hearing a lot from them now! We suggest you ignore them and smile in their general direction!), he's the man to change the party into something that's worth fighting for. Let's see if he can do it.
A Few Great Blogs
· Baghdad Burning
· Brilliant at Breakfast
· Crooks and Liars
· Dan Froomkin
· Fired Up! Missouri
· Freedom's Phoenix
· Freeway Blogger
· Glenn Greenwald
· Huffington Post
· Jesus' General
· Juan Cole
· Washington Monthly
· Media Matters
· Nashua Advocate
· Oliver Willis
· RAW STORY
· Sanoma State's
Project Censored Sites:
· Daily Censored
· Media Freedom
· Project Censored
· Scholars & Rogues
· Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
· Talking Points Memo
· Think Progress
· Tom Tomorrow
· TV Newser
· Ben Sargent
· Bill Deore
· Bob Gorrell
· Cagle's Index
· Chan Lowe
· Don Wright
· Doug Marlette
· Glenn McCoy
· Jeff Danziger
· Joel Pett
· Mike Luckovich
· Non Sequitur
· Not Banned Yet
· Pat Oliphant
· Paul Conrad
· Ted Rall
· This Modern World
· Thomas Burns
· Tom Toles
· Tony Auth
· Stuart Carlson
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