Sunday, September 25, 2005

Australian Solar Car Race. Kudos To Fox's Smith. Red Sox Update.

Australian Solar Car Race Begins

A solar car race across the Australian Outback began today. The race, which features an international field, should, in the wake of the latest hurricanes that have upset the price of gasoline, focus greater attention on fuel efficiency here in the U.S. Yahoo News AP wire excerpt:

DARWIN, Australia - Energy-efficient cars from 10 countries started the World Solar Challenge on Sunday, a 1,190-mile race from Darwin in Australia's north to Adelaide in the south.

The Nuon Solar Team from the Netherlands, which won the last two races, led the 21 solar cars across the start line for the expected four- to five-day trip down the center of Australia. Other favorites in the race are the Sky Ace Tiga from Japan and Australia's Aurora entry.

The cars, traveling only from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, are expected to reach Adelaide late Wednesday or early Thursday. Nuon, which won in 2001 and 2003, holds the record of 32 hours, 39 minutes of total race time.

With spiraling world petrol prices, race director Chris Selwood said this year's race takes on added significance.
"It will definitely focus people's attention on petrol alternatives," said Selwood. "The almighty dollar always can help effect elements of change."

Full Story

But will this race, and the vehicles participating in it have the intended impact here in the good old U S of A, where many motorists ran out of gas evacuating Houston in advance of Hurricane Rita? Hundreds of drivers ran out of gas on the crowded roadways as they inched along in their 8-10MPG SUVs. And for all of President Crooked Oil Man's talk about creating more energy efficient cars, well that ain't gonna happen, at least not under his watch.

Fox Anchor Lauded For Telling The Truth!

In a shocking development, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith is being praised for the way he told the truth about what was happening in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. His emotional and urgent reporting showed just what a lousy response all levels of government provided to these victims, and Smith didn't let talking heads like Sean Hannity roll out typical knuckledrag characterizations from the safety of the network studio. Yahoo News AP wire excerpt:

NEW YORK - Much like a youthful Dan Rather made a name for himself with stellar coverage of a Gulf Coast hurricane two generations ago, Fox News Channel's Shepard Smith opened some eyes with his work in the face of a powerful and blustery force.

And we're not just talking about Hurricane Hannity.

Smith's passionate reportage from a New Orleans highway overpass clogged with the sick and dying won critical praise, helped renew interest in his nightly newscast and earned him his first visit to David Letterman's couch. Letterman's people called even before Smith's memorable exchange with talk show host Sean Hannity.

Fox's chief anchor will increase his profile even more with a nightly radio newscast that begins airing Monday on more than 260 Fox affiliates.

"What he did down in New Orleans was really an extraordinary accomplishment, which goes way beyond what we would expect a news anchor to do," said Paul Levinson, chairman of Fordham University's communications and media studies department. "He not only reported what was going on, he did not allow other people to minimize or mischaracterize what was happening."

An already tired and incredulous Smith appeared with Geraldo Rivera on "Hannity & Colmes" on Sept. 2, four days after Hurricane Katrina had blown past New Orleans to leave misery behind.

Hannity opened his show with images of the National Guard arriving in New Orleans, bringing hope and authority to a lawless town. Smith's reporting was far different. He talked of people at the overpass who believed they were getting the government's help but hadn't, and were suffering as a result. They weren't even allowed to cross a nearby bridge from New Orleans to Gretna.

"Over there, there's hope," Smith said. "Over there, there's electricity. Over there, there is food and water. But you cannot go from there to there. The government will not allow you to do it. It's a fact."

"All right, Shep," Hannity said. "I want to get some perspective here, because earlier today..."

Smith interrupted him. "That is perspective!" he said. "That is all the perspective you need!"

It was an electric, much replayed moment. Critics of President Bush and the administration's response to the hurricane seized upon it as an example of cold reality splashed in the face of one of the president's biggest fans.

Full Story

I'm not a fan of Fox. They have been carrying water for the Bush administration since he stole his way into power, and I usually tune in just to see how crazy their "reporting" gets from day to day, but I must give credit where credit is due. Shepard Smith stood up to Sean Hannity and made that brutal little thug eat it in front of his many viewers on Hannity and That Other Clown. Smith did two HUGE things in his report. One, he had the balls to actually get into the shit and find out what was happening to the victims, and then report honestly about it. Two, when Hannity began his typical knuckledragging, Smith slapped him down with an emphatic dose of humanity, a concept with which Sean is shamefully unfamilar.

Thanks to the double-team of Smith and Geraldo Rivera, it has been established that the stories of rampant crime in the affected areas were exaggerated, and that the hurricane's victims were treated brutally by law enforcement. Perhaps without realizing it, Fox News did this nation a favor by showing its viewers that this administration and it's talk of Compassionate Convservativism was all a bunch of bullshit. What a huge slice of irony it must be for the Bush team to know that the stories Fox carried may have helped push the President's favorability ratings into the toilet.

Red Sox Update

The Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles in Camden Yards this afternoon by a score of 9-3 to sweep the three-game weekend series. Manny Ramirez hit his 41st home run of the season as part of a five run top of the first inning, and Johnny Damon later hit his 10th as the Sox bats crushed Orioles starter John Maine. Sox starter David Wells survived back-to-back first inning homers by Melvin Mora (his 23rd) and Miguel Tejada (his 26th) to pitch into the seventh inning.

The Sox now return home for the final seven games of the season. The first four are against the Toronto Blue Jays, and the final three will be played next weekend against the AL East co-leading New York Yankees. The Yankees beat the Blue Jays today 8-4.

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