Anti-American commandos from Iran are already helping the Iraqi military by doing the sort of logistical coordination that President Obama promised from the U.S. Army today, NBC's Richard Engel noted in a June 19 Nightly News report from Baghdad. "The image I've had in my head all day, Brian, is of this driver's ed car with two steering wheels, with one with the U.S. Army now about 300 people on one steering wheel and the Iranian Quds Force-- which is often hostile to the United States at the other wheel -- and I'm not sure that Iran and the U.S. have any intention of driving this car in the same direction," the network's chief foreign affairs correspondent told viewers at home.
"Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s crashed hard drive has been recycled, making it likely the lost emails of the lightning rod in the tea party targeting controversy will never be found, according to multiple sources," Politico's Rachael Bade reported Wednesday evening.
Although the revelation has congressional Republicans understandably furious and at least one prominent IT expert trashing the IRS's digital documents-retention policy as "mind-boggling", the Big Three broadcast networks all ignored the latest developments in the IRS saga on their Thursday evening newscasts, even as they had time for Harrison Ford's broken leg (NBC), a new technology for police car chases (ABC), and comedian Tracy Morgan's car accident (CBS).
There's delusional, and then there's the fortified, industrial-strength, liberal strain exemplified by Ed Schultz.
Schultz last month abruptly quit his three-hour long radio show that aired weekdays, opting instead to post a podcast to his website on the same schedule. Not only is the podcast much shorter than the radio show (usually about 30 minutes but occasionally shorter) and features no telephone calls from listeners (Schultz used to boast that his radio program was "Where America Comes to Talk"), Schultz still delivers commentary that is often comical albeit not to his intended audience. (Audio after the jump)
But now it seems a friend of the Clintons has taken it upon herself to ban Goodman and other Free Beacon employees, using "intellectual property" considerations as the legal pretext for what obviously is a rather impolitic maneuver. From Goodman's June 19 Free Beacon story on the ban (emphasis mine; you can read the full story here):
Reacting to the announcement from President Obama that the United States will be sending approximately 300 special forces to Iraq in non-combat “advisor” roles, the panel on MSNBC’s The Cycle was skeptical that the move would accomplish anything significant. It’s fair to say that the panel was not exactly erring on the side of more intervention, however.
After reading a quote from Time magazine which pointed out that many dictators in the Middle East have argued that only their oppressive measures could quell the tension between Sunnis and Shiites, guest host Luke Russert asked, “After what's happened in Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Syria, is it fair to say the West was better off with dictators?” [MP3 audio here; video below]
At the top of Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams seized on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office revoking the trademark of the Washington Redskins as part of the liberal crusade to force the team to change it's name: "Taking a hit. The feds go after the Redskins where it hurts the most, money from team merchandise, as the controversy over the team's name takes a surprise turn." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing the later report, Williams proclaimed: "The pressure just increased on the Washington Redskins to change their team name. Starting with the fact that they may no longer have the exclusive use of their own name in the lucrative business of NFL merchandise." Correspondent Kristen Welker touted the government abuse of power as "A victory for Native Americans who say the name should go, calling it just as racist as the 'N' word."
All three networks on Wednesday morning skipped a gaffe by a possible 2016 Democratic presidential candidate. In an interview with National Journal, former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer asserted that Republican Congressman Eric Cantor set off his "gaydar" and that southern men are "effeminate." The silence contrasts greatly to how the networks pounced on a gaffe by Todd Akin in 2012.
Only CBS This Morning offered the story any attention. Co-host Norah O'Donnell noted that Schweitzer may have "put his foot in his mouth." She explained, "The former Montana governor lashes out at California Senator Dianne Feinstein for criticizing the CIA. Schweitzer accuses her of being, quote, 'a nun' when it comes to spying." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The slams against southerners and the GOP majority leader went unmentioned. CBS's entire story lasted 15 seconds.
On June 12, the night of NPR’s surprising grilling of Hillary Clinton on Fresh Air over her apparent lack of fervor for gay marriage over the years, NPR’s top-of-hour newscast ran a clip. But a Nexis search of NPR reveals there's never been an NPR feature on (or quoting from) the Terry Gross interview.
Not only that, but NPR news programs have only barely touched on Mrs. Clinton's surfeit of interviews and appearances since the interview, with a brief mention on Weekend Edition Sunday and another brief mention in a decline-of-Iraq story on Wednesday’s All Things Considered. Why so quiet?
Wednesday night, word came out via Politico that the hard drive to the computer of former IRS official Lois Lerner was destroyed and recycled. This follows the news that emails from Lerner and six other officials that were being investigated for the IRS' pointed targeting of conservative non-profits were lost. Without a doubt, this revelation is big news. But not in the minds of ABC, CBS, and NBC as all gave no mention to the matter.
Only ABC’s Good Morning America included a brief mention on the scrolling news feed at the bottom of the screen. The small headline read, ‘Computer Hard Drive Belong to Former IRS Official at Center of Targeting Scandal Was Destroyed, According to Politico.’
On the June 19 edition of NewsNation With Tamron Hall, the MSNBCer and Today news desk anchor interviewed Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) on American intervention in Iraq. When Hall asked the congressman what he believed would be the consequences if Maliki refused to meet American demands for reform, Meeks’s answer morphed into a rant against former Vice President Dick Cheney. Meeks snarled, “how dare he come and even raise his ugly head at this time.”
Violent rhetoric is not new for the Democrat facing multiple allegations of fraud and corruption. Just this past March, Meeks displayed a similar lack of tact towards the former veep, stating “Dick Cheney should just keep his mouth shut and stay at home.” These sentiments were mirrored later in Hall’s interview when he snapped “the guy should just go stay retired, take care of his health and just keep his mouth shut.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
In its annual survey of the public's faith in 17 key institutions, TV news has fallen to a new low, with only the U.S. Congress ranking below it in terms of public esteem.
Just 18 percent of U.S. adults say they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in TV news, down from 23 percent who gave those answers last year. The previous record low was in 2012, when just 21 percent said they had "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in TV news.
The Liberal Clerisy Media never saw it coming. They never heard of Dave Brat. And therein lies a considerable media tale.
Let's be clear. The person responsible for electing Dave Brat and defeating Eric Cantor is...Dave Brat. But this is as good a moment as any to have a discussion about conservative talk radio and its role in various races around the country.
In a startling display of bipartisan humor, Jon Stewart made fun of both CNN and Fox's over-hyped "exclusive" interviews with Hillary Clinton on the June 18 edition of The Daily Show. Stewart noted how CNN ridiculously took the time to set the stage and “introduce the chairs” before the interview.
In a later bit, the Comedy Central host played a montage of all the times Hillary promoted the title of her book Hard Choices by cleverly weaving it into her answers to her interviewers. [See video below]
Yesterday's NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll garnered a great deal of attention, primarily because of its findings about President Barack Obama, particularly the one showing showing that "54 percent – believe the term-limited president is no longer able to lead the country."
The poll also asked respondents a series of three questions on the Common Core standards which were clearly designed to elicit majority support for them and to then mislead the public into believing that the opposition is a noisy, anti-Obama minority which should be ignored. Stories covering the poll at both NBC and the Wall Street Journal indicated as much.
As of June 19, 2014, it's been 400 days since Nightline, the once-serious news program, has covered the growing scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of Tea Party organizations. This includes the new revelation that the IRS has "lost" former director Lois Lerner's e-mails and the hard drives have been destroyed. In fact, Lerner's name has never been uttered on Nightline.
What have these ABC journalists been covering instead? On June 18, Dan Abrams promoted a story on "real male strippers." He enthused, "They're revealing more than just their muscles...We go behind close doors as they expose their dirty secrets." Continuing the tabloid theme, on June 12, Juju Chang suggestively profiled, "Almost naked. They're spornosexuals, a combustible mix of sporty, sexy, metrosexuals. Meet the stars taking the World Cup by storm." [To see a montage of the superficial stories reported on Nightline, see below. MP3 audio here.]
The networks have mostly ignored new stories on the Internal Revenue Service claiming on Friday they lost two years of lost e-mails from IRS official Lois Lerner (and then six others) in the investigation of IRS attempts to inhibit conservative groups in the Obama years. But what about America's leading newspapers? Not Saturday. Not Sunday. Not Monday.
The Watergate hounds at The Washington Post didn’t report on Lerner’s “lost” e-mails in the paper until Tuesday, on page A-17. Today’s paper floods the zone on a Patent Office decision on “Redskins”– including a front-page spread and a gooey top editorial – but this is chopped liver. The New York Times also arrived on Tuesday, on page A-15.
In a remarkably tough interview with Secretary of State John Kerry aired on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie interrogated the nation's top diplomat on the Obama administration's failure to prevent terrorists from invading Iraq: "It seems like the U.S. was totally caught off guard by this....did you act too slowly? I mean, [Iraqi Prime Minister] Maliki was asking for help with air strikes in the last few weeks as this was coming, as ISIS was coming toward this part of Iraq. Why didn't we act then?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Later in the exchange, Guthrie pressed: "What's happening now in Iraq is directly related to the situation in Syria. Did the U.S. – did the President miss the moment, make a huge mistake by not trying to turn the tide in Syria then and what's happening in Iraq now is just the chickens coming home to roost?"
It is a rare occasion when I have reason not to criticize a news report, but to praise it copiously. But give credit where it’s due: In Tuesday’s early afternoon newscast on CNN, host Brooke Baldwin and her crew aired several superb segments relating to the arrest of alleged Benghazi-attack mastermind Ahmed Abu Khatalla.
Baldwin led her newscast with a few words of welcome, and then this: “For almost two years, the U.S. has been trying to bring to justice the raid on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya. But even though CNN could locate one of these suspects, the U.S. apparently could not. In fact, we talked to him, in public, inside a café – but finally today that suspect is in U.S custody.”
On Thursday's Morning Joe, co-host Joe Scarborough had a little bit of fun with the IRS claiming to have thrown away Lois Lerner’s computer containing the e-mails at the center of the scandal surrounding the IRS targeting of conservative organizations.“Who are these idiots," Scarborough exclaimed at one point.
He mocked, “This is one of the most important people at the Internal Revenue Service so maybe these e-mails are of some worth." The segment came at the top of the 6 a.m. hour of the broadcast. Mika Brzezinski was attempting to read through the headlines for the show when Scarborough, unable to contain himself, went off on the latest excuses from the IRS and Lois Lerner.
As Iraq descends once more into chaos in the wake of Obama's withdrawal of U.S. troops, New York Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer took a lazy, snarky tone in a Thursday news profile of "neoconservative" John Bolton, he of the "sea-otter mustache" (and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations) who has been outspoken against Obama's foreign policy: "Former Envoy Pipes Up in Conservative Chorus of ‘Told You So’ on Iraq."