Below the Fold for Sept. 28

Let's check out some political stories we found Below the Fold:

Do as I Say, Not as I Do

Thousands of angry Americans have phoned Denver Judge Edward Nottingham, who ruled last week that telemarketers have a First Amendment (search) right to annoy us. There's a nice irony to having his phone ring off the hook -- but there's more: It turns out that Nottingham's office last July signed up for -- you guessed it -- the National Do-Not-Call Registry.

Fittingly, Nottingham did not return reporter phone calls seeking comment.

Fair and Balanced?

We are proud to report that the establishment-press hysteria over the success of FOX News continues apace. Al Neuharth, who as chairman of the Gannett Corporation ran the most ideologically regimented media empire this side of Pravda, assembled a panel of journalists upon whom he has lavished distinguished journalism awards over the last five years -- Robert MacNeil of PBS, Judy Woodruff of CNN, Lou Boccardi of the Associated Press, John Siegenthaller of the Nashville Tennessean and Tom Curley of Gannett.

The consensus was that FOX is not as fair and balanced as, say, PBS, CNN and Gannett are. MacNeil intoned: "The FOX claim is a con on the public... the network is blatantly unbalanced."

Ms. Woodruff added:  "FOX is concerned about its news reputation. At CNN, we don't need to use those terms." It was unclear whether she meant the words, "news," "reputation," "fair," or "balanced."

Mamma Mia!

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (search) this week tried to offer U.S. businessmen a sales pitch they can't refuse.

"Italy is now a great country to invest in," he told Wall Street moneymen. Of one previously troublesome group of Italians he said, "There are much fewer communists than before… and those who still are, deny it."

Then, shifting his focus to another traditionally powerful group of Italians, he added, "We also have gorgeous secretaries, superb girls."