WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily morning collection of media and politics hits/misses from a wide variety of sources including (at the bottom) fun videos and musical picks. And return for updates every afternoon.  Plus: Don’t forget to keep up with fresh items, events and analysis on Twitter @MediaFixBlog and @GregMitch. Email me at: epic1934@aol.com.


Amid uproar, Helen Thomas retires, at age 89.  Her final question at a press conference, for Obama last week: When are we getting out of Afghanistan? Dave Weigel of Wash Post tweets: "On the plus side, invites to Helen Thomas’s 90th birthday party just got a lot easier to score."  Tribute on career and friendship from Anderson Cooper blog at CNN. 

In that case of Wikileaks leaker arrested:  NYT updates today.   Reuters confirms it’s all about the "Collateral Murder" video–which showed two Reuters journos killed….Wash Post denies WIkiLeaks claim that it sat on that video for a year–but a Finkel twist.

GOP gets Petty (and other rockers):  TPM with lengthy review of rock and roll artists protesting GOP candidates using their tunes: from Orleans to Springsteen and David Byrne. Israeli promoter today charges "cultural terrorism" as more bands cancel gigs, latest The Pixies and Gorillaz.  Earlier, Elvis Costello, others. 

Amnesty Int’l report charges US with using cluster bombs in Yemen. Update on report of US using doctors to aid in harsh interogation and experiments.  Salon has more here.   

Here come the mass exits? Top prober Mike Isikoff leaving Newsweek for NBC.  

Whoops: NYT on Ohio nuke plant that almost caused disaster in 2002–old problem returns just as nuke industry gearing up….. Andy Borowitz:  "BP Says It Has Successfully Contained Flow of Information About Spill." 

Peter Beinart’s latest in series of tough pieces, this time at Daily Beast, on Israel being out of touch—as leaders there "wait for President Palin." Those who equate strong criticism of Israel w/ anti-Semitism would have to put high number of Israelis in that category. Just read Haaretz, e.g. On the Media (NPR) radio debate on Israeli assault and aftermath, with Peter Beinart, more.  Israelis kill 4 Palestinians in diving gear off Gaza—claim they were "terrorists," while others say just training.

Only in S. Carolina:  Lt. Gov. takes polygraph to prove he did not push one of the NIkki Haley "affair" claims….. Think Progress: Rand Paul’s latest op-ed distorts disabilities act, even as he calls smoking in restaurants a "God-given" right.

Given the priest abuse crisis, Andrew Sullivan finds a very unfortunate cover image in a Catholic magazine.


THE LONGEST WAR   Robert Greenwald: The war in Afghanistan, now in 104th month, tops Vietnam as America’s longest war in this count (and see new Rethink Afghanistan video).  "Every year is a bad year to get out of Afghanistan"—we are told. Dexter Filkins: Afghan guards suspected of colluding with insurgents.

COLLATERAL ARREST?    Wired: Military analyst who may have leaked controversial "Collateral Murder" Iraq video to WikiLeaks (and so much more) busted after talking to friends and/or posting on Facebook.  WikiLeaks tweets that if indeed he is responsible for that video "he is a national here."  Adds:  "We are investigating the claims, if true, sources should be reminded to ONLY SPEAK TO WIKILEAKS."    Meanwhile, Wikileaks claims Wash Post had that video for a year without releasing to public.

DEAD, NOT LOVING IT IN GULF  Dead birds covered in oil discovered in Texas for first time.

McClatchy: Thad Allen, man in charge for USA,  refers to "siege" throughout Gulf and long, long cleanup, even though "cap" now capturing much of leak.

Mother Jones:  More on warnings of disaster ("I told you!")

Who would go to jail if criminal probe succeeds?

Story here on success of satirical Twitter feed @BPGlobalPR, which I quoted here first and often.

GAY / MARRIAGE    Lots of fun jokes about Elton John playing Rush Limbaugh’s umpteenth wedding—what Dylan foresaw as a "Million Dollar Bash."  Lizz Winstead revealed bride and groom heading for "Viagra Falls" for honeymoon.  Glenn Greenwald with a more serious look at champions of  "traditional marriage" getting divorced over and over.

NOTE TO DAYBOOK FANS  New daily featured introduced today—along with "Today’s Laff" video now at bottom of page, we’ll also have "Today’s Music."  Also: click link at left if you missed weekend Daybook.

SIMON SAYS  SImon Johnson with big piece on Dallas Fed chief ripping White House and Larry Summers for  "softly, softly" handling big banks.

CRACKBERRY ADDICTION AND MORE  New NYT/CBS poll finds surprising number of younger people admit they are concerned about computers/smart phones taking over their lives or at least proving too "distracting."  And a warning about loss of our "cognitive life" from same cause.  Tell me about it!  Plus even more concern about "your brain on computers." 

DOUBTING THOMAS   Speakers’ bureau drops Helen Thomas for Israel remark (which she has apologized for)—Lanny Davis reliably calls here an "anti-Semitic bigot."  Michael Tomasky in The Guardian calls for sanctions but points out "double standard"—Mike Huckabee, for example, has called for Palestinians to be transferred out of the area. Media Matters wonders why no comparable level of outrage from right over past Limbaugh, Beck, Coulter statements? 

REPORTS SURE TO OFFEND  Physicians for Human Rights just released report charging that doctors were used to "improve," or judge the effectiveness of, harsh interrogation practices such as waterboarding. Pro Publica with related story…

DON’T MESS WITH BILL  Text of Bill Maher’s "rule" Friday night hitting the climate change deniers and urging Al Gore to make a sequel to his film.

PLEDGE WEAK   Andy Borowitz, on new PBS show, mocked PBS pledge campaigns, but offered giveaway with your donation, DVD set of Ken Burns’ Ken Burns series.  See text and video here.

ON THE CAN-PAIN TRAIL  WSJ: Tomorrow could see more major setbacks for Tea Party movement in primaries. Someone named Mitch Daniels making serious test of waters for 2012 GOP run for prez, on cover of Weekly Standard.  Chicken lady Sue Lowden now trailing in Nevada GOP Senate primary.

JEWISH DOCTOR   Update on Israel admitting it doctored audio tapes to calim flotilla activists were "anti-Semitic." Democracy Now!:  Israel rejects int’l probe of flotilla atttack.  Max Blumenthal a guest today.

CHENEY:  LIZ MORE AND LESS    Think Progress with partial transcript (and fact-checking) of Liz Cheney, Arianna, Markos, George Will on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, with a debunking of Liz defending Halliburton, dad and Bush. More on Liz and Israel here.  When does Chelsea Clinton get to go on Sunday talk shows? Refreshing:  Markos Moulitsas admits, corrects, effort on ABC’S This Week before PolitiFact even gets to it.

BITS & PIECES    David Carr with 8 suggestions on what Newsweek should do, whoever ends up owning it.  Includes: Hire more women.  And writers should spend less time on TV…  Politico: Dems and Repubs alike targeting public employees and unions as they look for budget cuts… GOPers plotting new ways to NOT repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell… They say guns protect owners but states with weakest gun laws have most gun deaths… Mixed in with other marriage write-ups in NYT on Sunday:  swell actress Jane Lynch and Lara Embry (in Massachusetts).  Cool photo too.


Before Kevin Costner and James Cameron were asked to help solve the Gulf oil leak, South Park imagines the Pentagon asking M. NIght, Michael Bay and Mel Gibson for "creative ideas" to stop terrorists.  "Say what you want about Mel Gibson, but the bastard knows story structure." (h/t Daily Dish)


To mark his 70th birthday, here’s Levon Helm doing "Don’t Do It."