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Friday, Jul. 31, 2009 3:54 AM

So if yesterday's 'beer summit' between President Obama, Professor Henry Gates, and Sgt. James Crowley was a 'teachable moment,' what exactly did we learn?



A term that got tossed out by Lou Dobbs in this past week's folderol over his coverage of the 'birther' conspiracy theory was 'liberal mainstream media.'

If you're a regular, you'll know I dislike the term 'mainstream media,' not only because I'm in the broadcast news business, but because it's a load of bunk - it's a pressure tactic, no different than a young child throwing a temper tantrum ... only we haven't had the good sense to tell the kid to sit down and behave.

Still, if one takes 'liberal mainstream media' as referring to the other guys, what does that make Dobbs? The conservative fringe media?

Did you catch the harum-scarum report about tanning beds being as dangerous as arsenic or chain-smoking? The experts claim that your risk of melanoma increases by 75%!

Wow! That sure sounds serious!

Except ... 75% of what? If we're talking a 4% chance to begin with, then your risk increases to 7%. We need to know what the base rate of acquiring melanoma is for the 'increase' to be meaningful.

This is the last day of Congress' current session before the fall recess. It remains to be seen if Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid have the political will to delay that recess - as they threatened - in order to complete work on healthcare reform.

Of course, if they don't, not only is it another tick in the 'spineless Democrats' column, one has to wonder what the next excuse for heel-dragging will be.

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