March 6, 2012
By Paul Farhi
Rush Limbaugh offered more contrition Monday for his comments about a Georgetown law student, but the conservative radio talk-show host continued to lose advertisers as a result of outrage over his characterization of the woman as a “slut” and a “prostitute.”
“Those two words were inappropriate and uncalled for,” Limbaugh said at the start of his show on Monday, referring to Sandra Fluke, a student who had spoken out in behalf of insurance coverage for contraception. “They distracted from the point I was actually trying to make and again I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for using those two words.”
The apology reinforced a statement Limbaugh posted on his Web site Saturday in which he said that his “choice of words was not the best” and that he was attempting to be humorous in his attack on Fluke on two programs last week.
Many thought Limbaugh’s initial apology was inadequate, and their outrage helped compel advertisers to pull their commercials from Limbaugh’s program.
March 5, 2012
By Alana Horowitz
“Here is just another example why Ron Paul is the man. Not many republicans would go against their party and criticize Limbaugh, but then again, Ron Paul is not like most republicans. This is just one reason why he needs to be president. He’s an independent at heart.” –KTRN
Rush Limbaugh may be sorry he called student advocate Sandra Fluke a “slut,” but Ron Paul isn’t buying it.
“He’s doing it because some people were taking their advertisements off of his program. It was his bottom line he was concerned about,” Paul said. “I don’t think he’s very apologetic. It’s in his best interest, that’s why he did it.”
Limbaugh is facing intense backlash after ranting calling Fluke, a Georgetown University law student who testified in Congress in support of Obama’s birth control rule, a “slut” and a “prostitute.” Several advertisers have pulled ads from his show and a slew of journalists and politicians have spoken out against his remarks. Even President Obama called Fluke to express his support for her.
Though Limbaugh apologized for his comments, the damage may be done. Several sponsors who backed out have said they won’t reverse course in light of his apology.
Paul also called Limbaugh’s comments “over the top,” though he maintained that he did not support Obama’s mandate.
June 30th, 2011
By: Tim Mak
MSNBC senior political analyst Mark Halperin was suspended on Thursday by the cable network after he called President Obama “a dick” on a popular morning show and then quickly apologized.
“I thought he was a kind of a dick yesterday,” Halperin, who also is an editor-at large for Time, said on Morning Joe, referring to the President’s conduct during his press conference.
A couple of hours later, MSNBC issued a statement, saying, “Mark Halperin’s comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable. We apologize to the President, The White House and all of our viewers. We strive for a high level of discourse and comments like these have no place on our air. Therefore, Mark will be suspended indefinitely from his role as an analyst.
The cable outlet also put out a statment from Halperin at the same time, saying, “I completely agree with everything in MSNBC’s statement about my remark. I believe that the step they are taking in response is totally appropriate. Again, I want to offer a heartfelt and profound apology to the President, to my MSNBC colleagues, and to the viewers. My remark was unacceptable, and I deeply regret it.”
Time issued a statement later Thursday calling Halperin’s comments “inappropriate and in no way reflective of TIME’s views.”
The magazine did not suspend Halperin but said, “We have issued a warning to him that such behavior is unacceptable” and noted that he had “appropriately” apologized.
During the Morning Joe show, host Joe Scarborough asked Halperin what he thought of Obama’s press conference and Halperin asked if the seven-second delay were in effect so he could give his real opinion – apparently thinking it would be bleeped out before hitting the air. Scarborough told Halperin to go for it because they would use the delay to prevent whatever he said from being broadcast. “You fall down, I’m going to catch you,” Scarborough told Halperin.
At that point, Halperin said he thought Obama had been “kind of a dick.” Scarborough then expressed amazement that Halperin had actually said that and told him he had only been joking about using the seven-second delay.
“Delay that. Delay that. What are you doing? I can’t believe… don’t do that. Did we delay that?” Scarborough said.
“I was just joking,” Scarborough said to Halperin.
“Catch me now, I’m falling,” Halperin responded.
Just minutes later, Halperin quickly apologized on the air to the president and viewers for his choice of words. “Joking aside, this is an absolute apology. I shouldn’t have said it. I apologize to the president and the viewers who heard me say that,” Halperin said.
“We’re going to have a meeting after the show,” Scarborough said.
According to Scarborough, there had been a mishap with the seven-second delay button – a new executive producer apparently didn’t know how it worked. “You are supposed to know how to do the job,” Scarborough said of his producer. “I would tell you what I think of him, but he doesn’t know what button to push.”
Later in the show, Halperin again apologized, saying, “I can’t explain why I did it. It’s inappropriate, disrespectful. I’ve already apologized, and I will again to the President. I’m sorry, I’m sorry to the viewers…It is disrespectful, what I said was disrespectful to the president and the office but it also lowers our discourse.”
He also tweeted to his followers, “I want to offer a heartfelt and profound apology to the President and the viewers of Morning Joe. My remark was not funny. I deeply regret it.”
Scarborough and Morning Joe Executive Producer Alex Korson said they were sorry for what happened.
“Certainly (host) Mika (Brzezinski) and I also apologize to viewers,” Scarborough said. “And we hear this all the time – parents come up and say, ‘Hey, by the way, we don’t just watch the show, our kids watch the show.’”
June 7th, 2011
The Huffington Post
Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) sought to do damage control on Wednesday in the wake of an inappropriate picture being sent from his Twitter account.
Reuters relays background on the image in question:
Weiner has said his account was hacked when a lewd photo of a man in bulging boxer briefs was tweeted to a 21-year-old female college student in Washington state over the weekend.
The New York congressman has repeatedly denied passing along the photo. During an interview on Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier,” however, he would not confirm that it was not himself captured in the picture.
“We’re trying to get to the bottom of where the picture came from, and we’re trying to get to the bottom of what it’s of and who it’s of,” explained Weiner when asked about the matter. “We’re concerned about saying anything definitively. Pictures get manipulated, pictures get dropped into accounts. We’ve asked an internet security firm and a law firm to take a hard look at this to come up with a conclusion about what happened and to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Baier pressed Weiner on the issue, asking him if he’s concerned about an image already out there of him in his underwear.
“Here we have been sitting down for a brief moment and you are already asking me if there are pictures of me in my drawers,” the congressman said. “In fairness, I answered questions about this on Saturday, I answered questions about this on Sunday, I answered questions about this on Monday. On Tuesday…I admit this, I was pretty contentious with reporters who wanted to talk about an Internet prank.”
After expressing a bit of frustration with reporters on Tuesday when asked to address the social media controversy, Weiner apologized earlier on Wednesday for having been “a little stiff” in his handling of the situation. “It was a big mistake I made yesterday when I said I was bound and determined not to let this become a story for four more days,” he reportedly said.
“When your name is Weiner, you get a lot of people who are doing mischievous things, making jokes about your name,” the congressman said on Fox News on Wednesday night. “That’s what this was it appears. It was an intention to distract me, maybe make fun of me, maybe mock my name. It is now days later and the questions are becoming more and more about other things, so I am pleased to get a firm to try to get to the bottom of this so we can get back to work.”
October 25th, 2010
By: Vanessa Allen
Google was accused of spying on households yesterday after it admitted secretly copying passwords and private emails from home computers.
The internet search giant was forced to confess it had downloaded personal data during its controversial Street View project, when it photographed virtually every street in Britain.
In an astonishing invasion of privacy, it admitted entire emails, web pages and even passwords were ‘mistakenly collected’ by antennae on its high-tech Street View cars.
Privacy campaigners accused the company of spying and branded its behaviour ‘absolutely scandalous’.
The Information Commissioner’s Office said it would launch a new investigation. Scotland Yard is already considering whether the company has broken the law.
Google executive Alan Eustace issued a grovelling apology and said the company was ‘mortified’, adding: ‘We’re acutely aware that we failed badly.’
Critics seized on the admission as the latest example of technology’s ever-expanding ability to harvest information about ordinary households, often without their knowledge or consent.
Google sent a fleet of specially equipped cars around Britain in 2008, armed with 360-degree cameras to gather photographs for its Street View project.
There were immediate complaints that the pictures were a security risk, after householders complained that house numbers and car registrations were easily identifiable.
Privacy fears followed when it emerged that individuals could be seen, including a man emerging from a sex shop in London’s Soho, three police officers arresting a man in Camden, North London, and children throwing stones at a house in Musselburgh, Scotland.
Earlier this year the California-based firm admitted that the cars’ antennae had also scanned for wireless networks, including home wi-fi, which connect millions of personal computers to the internet.
Google registered the location, name and identification code of millions of networks and entered them into a database to help it sell adverts.
The firm – which uses the slogan ‘Don’t be evil’ – was able to record the location of every wireless router and network without alerting households because wi-fi signals are ‘visible’ to other internet devices, including the cars’ antennae.
Google played down the significance of the wi-fi mapping and insisted it had not collected or stored data from personal computers.
It then backtracked and said its software had ‘inadvertently’ collected fragments of data which were being transmitted as the cars criss-crossed Britain.
The cars’ antennae skipped networks five times a second, it said, meaning each network was only accessed for one-fifth of a second.
But it has now emerged that entire emails, web pages and passwords were copied and stored during that split-second.
The information was only gathered from wireless networks which were not password-protected.
But it means the antennae potentially harvested millions of private emails and passwords around the country. It is not known how many householders have unprotected wireless networks.
October 1, 2010
David S. Morgan
The U.S. government has formally apologized for a secret study conducted in the 1940s in which Guatemalan prisoners, service members and mental hospital patients were secretly infected with gonorrhea and syphilis without their knowledge or consent, calling the program “clearly unethical.”
In a joint statement issued Friday by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, released in English and Spanish, the government apologized to Guatemala and to those involved in the study, conducted by the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) between 1946 and 1948.
The results of the Sexually Transmitted Disease Inoculation Study were uncovered by a Wellesley College researcher, Susan Reverby.
The story is uncomfortably similar to the “Tuskegee” Syphilis Study in the 1960s, in which the PHS monitored, but did not treat, hundreds of African American men suffering from syphilis.
Unlike that case, however, subjects in the Guatemala study were intentionally infected with sexually transmitted diseases, and then given penicillin, to help determine the efficacy of the drug to cure or even vaccinate against STDs.
Reverby wrote that the Guatemala syphilis inoculation project was run by a PHS physician, Dr. John C. Cutler (who would later oversee the Tuskegee, Ala., study two decades later).
The study’s doctors chose as subjects men incarcerated at the Guatemala National Penitentiary, as well as army service members, and men and women confined in the National Mental Health Hospital. There was a total of 696 people in the study. Guatemalan authorities (and not the individuals themselves) granted permission, in exchange for supplies.
According to Reverby, who studied Cutler’s records in the University of Pittsburgh archives, doctors used infected prostitutes to pass the disease on to prisoners (conjugal visits were allowed in Guatemalan jails). Direct inoculations of syphilis bacteria were made to other subjects. Treatment by penicillin was also administered, though not always successfully.
Cutler seemed to recognize the delicate ethical quandaries their experiments posed, particularly in the wake of the Nuremberg “Doctors’ Trials,” and was concerned about secrecy. “As you can imagine,” Cutler reported to his PHS overseer, “we are holding our breaths, and we are explaining to the patients and others concerned with but a few key exceptions, that the treatment is a new one utilizing serum followed by penicillin. This double talk keeps me hopping at time.”
Cutler also wrote that he feared “a few words to the wrong person here, or even at home, might wreck it or parts of it … ”
PHS physician R.C. Arnold, who supervised Cutler, was more troubled, confiding to Cutler, “I am a bit, in fact more than a bit, leery of the experiment with the insane people. They can not give consent, do not know what is going on, and if some goody organization got wind of the work, they would raise a lot of smoke. I think the soldiers would be best or the prisoners for they can give consent.”
Apparently difficulties in transmission, as well as in replicating results, added to concerns over the study, and it was dropped after two years.
Cutler went on to participate in another Syphilis Study at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, N.Y. (although in that case the subjects were informed about the nature of the inoculations administered to them).
“Although these events occurred more than 64 years ago, we are outraged that such reprehensible research could have occurred under the guise of public health,” today’s State Dept./DHS statement said. “We deeply regret that it happened, and we apologize to all the individuals who were affected by such abhorrent research practices.
“The conduct exhibited during the study does not represent the values of the United States, or our commitment to human dignity and great respect for the people of Guatemala. The study is a sad reminder that adequate human subject safeguards did not exist a half-century ago.”
The officials also announced an investigation into the specifics of the case from 1946, and will also convene a meeting of international experts to devise methods that effectively ensure all human medical research meets rigorous ethical standards.
February 11, 2010
Best-selling author and infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau was held in criminal contempt Thursday and threatened with jail after he urged visitors to his Web site to unleash a massive barrage of e-mails that crashed a federal judge’s computer in Chicago.
U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettleman’s computer became hopelessly clogged with e-mails from admirers of Trudeau’s diet book and other volumes, the judge told a hearing. Court technicians had to be called in to make his inbox usable again. Something similar happened to his BlackBerry, Gettleman said.
Gettleman has overseen Trudeau’s long-running legal battle with the Federal Trade Commission, which claims ads for Trudeau’s books offering cures for dozens of ailments — from faltering memory to hair loss — misrepresent the facts.
The judge said Trudeau urging the deluge of e-mails was harassment.
“The penalty I will impose will probably include some custody and a fine,” the calm, soft-spoken Gettleman said after holding Trudeau in direct criminal contempt. He ordered Trudeau to post a $50,000 bond and surrender his passport.
Gettleman said the glut of e-mails delayed court business and will force the U.S. Marshals Service to do a threat assessment.
Trudeau arrived in court voluntarily after Gettleman threatened to send marshals to bring him in. He sat silently through the hearing before being led away for fingerprinting and a mug shot.
Chief defense counsel Kimball R. Anderson told Gettleman that Trudeau had posted an apology on his Web site and urged visitors not to attempt further contact.
“I am confident this incident will not occur again,” Anderson said.
The apology message posted on Trudeau’s Web site admitted asking visitors to the site Wednesday to communicate with Gettleman but added “that was a mistake.”
“It was wrong to make that request,” Trudeau’s posting said. “Please do not under any circumstances communicate with the court or the judge. I apologize for the mistake.”
In 2004, Gettleman ordered Trudeau to end the claims cited by the FTC.
Three years later, the judge held Trudeau in civil contempt for misrepresenting some of the facts in an ad for his book “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About.” Gettleman fined him $37.6 million and banned him from appearing in infomercials for the next three years.
A federal appeals court upheld the finding of contempt last August, but ordered Gettleman to recalculate the fine and reconsider the infomercial ban.
Weeks ago, Gettleman said there would be no fresh process of “discovery” — fact finding — as the court goes forward with the case. He said the previous discovery process was adequate. That apparently prompted Trudeau’s request to those who visited his Web site to tell Gettleman how much they liked his books.
February 1, 2010
By Richard Gray and Rebecca Lefort
The revelation will cause fresh embarrassment for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which had to issue a humiliating apology earlier this month over inaccurate statements about global warming.
The IPCC’s remit is to provide an authoritative assessment of scientific evidence on climate change.
In its most recent report, it stated that observed reductions in mountain ice in the Andes, Alps and Africa was being caused by global warming, citing two papers as the source of the information.
However, it can be revealed that one of the sources quoted was a feature article published in a popular magazine for climbers which was based on anecdotal evidence from mountaineers about the changes they were witnessing on the mountainsides around them.
The other was a dissertation written by a geography student, studying for the equivalent of a master’s degree, at the University of Berne in Switzerland that quoted interviews with mountain guides in the Alps.
The revelations, uncovered by The Sunday Telegraph, have raised fresh questions about the quality of the information contained in the report, which was published in 2007.
It comes after officials for the panel were forced earlier this month to retract inaccurate claims in the IPCC’s report about the melting of Himalayan glaciers.
Sceptics have seized upon the mistakes to cast doubt over the validity of the IPCC and have called for the panel to be disbanded.
This week scientists from around the world leapt to the defence of the IPCC, insisting that despite the errors, which they describe as minor, the majority of the science presented in the IPCC report is sound and its conclusions are unaffected.
But some researchers have expressed exasperation at the IPCC’s use of unsubstantiated claims and sources outside of the scientific literature.
Professor Richard Tol, one of the report’s authors who is based at the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin, Ireland, said: “These are essentially a collection of anecdotes.
“Why did they do this? It is quite astounding. Although there have probably been no policy decisions made on the basis of this, it is illustrative of how sloppy Working Group Two (the panel of experts within the IPCC responsible for drawing up this section of the report) has been.
“There is no way current climbers and mountain guides can give anecdotal evidence back to the 1900s, so what they claim is complete nonsense.”
The IPCC report, which is published every six years, is used by government’s worldwide to inform policy decisions that affect billions of people.
The claims about disappearing mountain ice were contained within a table entitled “Selected observed effects due to changes in the cryosphere produced by warming”.
It states that reductions in mountain ice have been observed from the loss of ice climbs in the Andes, Alps and in Africa between 1900 and 2000.
The report also states that the section is intended to “assess studies that have been published since the TAR (Third Assessment Report) of observed changes and their effects”.
But neither the dissertation or the magazine article cited as sources for this information were ever subject to the rigorous scientific review process that research published in scientific journals must undergo.
The magazine article, which was written by Mark Bowen, a climber and author of two books on climate change, appeared in Climbing magazine in 2002. It quoted anecdotal evidence from climbers of retreating glaciers and the loss of ice from climbs since the 1970s.
Mr Bowen said: “I am surprised that they have cited an article from a climbing magazine, but there is no reason why anecdotal evidence from climbers should be disregarded as they are spending a great deal of time in places that other people rarely go and so notice the changes.”
The dissertation paper, written by professional mountain guide and climate change campaigner Dario-Andri Schworer while he was studying for a geography degree, quotes observations from interviews with around 80 mountain guides in the Bernina region of the Swiss Alps.
Experts claim that loss of ice climbs are a poor indicator of a reduction in mountain ice as climbers can knock ice down and damage ice falls with their axes and crampons.
The IPCC has faced growing criticism over the sources it used in its last report after it emerged the panel had used unsubstantiated figures on glacial melting in the Himalayas that were contained within a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report.