Yesterday I dismissed the idea that PBS couldn't find anyone conservative to comment on the Bush team's alleged war on the press. Talk-radio host and blogger Hugh Hewitt, a long-time host for PBS in Los Angeles, explained on his blog that the Frontline folks at PBS tried to cajole him into an interview for their "News War" four-hour marathon, but he ultimately declined. Here's his story:
Producer Raney Anderson journeyed to California to make the case for why I ought to participate, and I declined. I spent a decade inside the PBS system, and while I think Ms. Anderson is a talented and sincere documentarian, the form is inherently biased as the moment a cut gets made, an editorial choice has been rendered, and I didn't trust a PBS team, however talented, to make those choices about what I have to say about media, new and old.
Diamonds don't cause conflicts in Africa, bands of armed thugs do. But you wouldn't know that if you followed the media's slant on "conflict diamonds," which, much like stories on gun control, often blame the object instead of the evil person misusing it.
It goes without saying that we wouldn't want to provoke such a person -- it could harm his self-esteem. Unfortunately, President Bush doesn't seem to have gotten the message. But thank goodness for David Gregory. As luck would have it he turned up at today's White House press conference to convey the message to the president: stop provoking poor Mahmoud!
Gregory began by observing: "A lot of critics say that you are using the same quality of intelligence about Iran that you used to make the case for war in Iraq . . . and that you are doing that to make a case for war against Iran. Is that the case?"
The proposed Castle Doctrine law being considered in the Texas legislature is getting the typical Brady Campaign treatment. An examination of their tactics is a good study for any state considering the law.
Does Brady Care More About Criminals Than Law-Abiding Victims?
Brady came out against Castle Doctrine because of its impact on criminals:
“The law only changes things for the bad guy,” Mr. Ragbourn said. “The good guys already had the law on their side.”1
The New York Times political blog "The Caucus" and editor Kate Phillips seemed to sympathize with two bloggers, Andrea Marcotte and Melissa McEwan, who recently quit the John Edwards campaign after coming under fire for bigoted, irresponsible, and vulgar statements they'd written on their own blogs in the past.
The name Timothy Ball should be familiar to many conservatives as one of the leading international skeptics of man’s role in global warming. He was interviewed recently by Bill Steigerwald of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and once again made some fascinating statements about the media hysteria surrounding this issue (emphasis mine throughout):
As I tell audiences, the minute somebody starts saying “Oh, the children are going to die and the grandchildren are going to have no future,” they have now played the emotional and fear card. Just like in the U.S., it’s almost like the race card. It’s not to say that it isn’t valid in some cases. But the minute you play that card, you are now taking the issues and the debates out of the rational and logical and reasonable and sensible and calm into the emotional and hysterical.
Ball addressed the recent IPCC report by the United Nations:
On the Tuesday edition of "Good Morning America," Diane Sawyer, on the last leg of her Dictator ‘07 tour, asked Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad her silliest questions yet. Sawyer mused about Iranian environmental problems and also wondered how often the Holocaust-denying leader cries. The ABC program featured several segments with the President of Iran. After a piece where she only lightly pressed Ahmadinejad on his calls for the destruction of Israel, the GMA anchor asked if Iran’s President, who is seeking a nuclear bomb, is "sentimental and sympathetic" This question allowed Americans to see a softer side of the unpredictable leader:
Diane Sawyer: "Well, in a minute we're going to talk and I'm going to get the questions you have from e-mails. But a number of people have already said is there anything surprising, personal about President Ahmadinejad that we didn't know? Well, it turns out, someone told me he cries a lot. That he is dramatically sentimental and sympathetic if someone comes up and expresses a personal plight. So I just asked him, are you often in tears?"
The Washington Post's Amit Paley did an excellent job giving a balanced, factual report just four days ago on a recent stock sale by Sallie Mae chairman Albert Lord. His February 14 Business section article, however, is a different matter. Instead of digging for evidence on both sides, Paley relayed Democratic complaints and clipped a quote from a company spokesman.
Blogs such as NewsBusters are an "incredibly important" news medium whose influence will only continue to grow, a senior U.S. military official said today. Speaking from Baghdad, Major General William Caldwell, senior military spokesman in Iraq, made the remarks in the course of a conference call with bloggers in which this NewsBuster participated.
Said MG Caldwell in closing remarks: "Thanks for what you all do. I've just been amazed. I had no idea ten months ago what an incredible addition you all are in helping tell what's going on and providing information. You're an incredibly important news medium, that from what I've seen is just growing in importance from last May until now, and will only continue to do in the future."
A very funny moment occurred during Tuesday’s White House press briefing between Press Secretary Tony Snow and CNN’s Ed Henry. As the latter tried to back the former into a corner over claims that Iran is arming Shia in Iraq with weapons, Snow comically admonished the CNN correspondent for getting a bit excited during his questioning.
After Kyra Phillips introduced Henry during the 1PM EST installment of “CNN Newsroom,” Henry went right into Democrat talking points concerning the allegations of Iranian weaponry in Iraq (video available here):
On last night's Hardball Chris Matthews, interviewing Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, was peeved that Democrats weren't pushing hard enough to have a vote on the surge. Citing polls in opposition to the surge a flustered Matthews worried Democrats were going to roll over for the President and demanded Hoyer not let the President ignore Democrats like he ignored Katrina. In the first segment of the February 14th, Hardball Matthews declared to Hoyer: "He is gonna treat you, the first branch of the Constitution, as if you're Katrina, not to be paid attention to."
The following is the full question from Matthews:
Chris Matthews: "Well, we have a new poll that shows that seven, seven out of 10 Americans are watching Congress to see how they vote on this and they say that they vote and they say that if they vote the wrong way, they're going to remember that come election time. You know, Mr. Leader, you and I were grew up in a country where presidents were very attune to Congress and respectful of it, especially those who came out of Congress like Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy and even Richard Nixon. They watched the Congress, they paid attention to it and they cared about its legislative duties. This President, and I know you respect him as we do, as President, but he came out and said the other day that he's not even gonna bother watching the floor debate. He doesn't even want to hear about it. He's got other things to do. He is gonna treat you, the first branch of the Constitution, as if you're Katrina, not to be paid attention to. Does that bother you constitutionally that the President doesn't think that this major debate on war is something he's not even gonna bother to watch on television?"
Several MRC employees have encountered a new pamphlet on the subway system in the Washington D.C. area called the "CBS Evening News Report" with a big picture of Katie Couric on the cover. (It also promotes the local CBS news on Channel 9.) Inside the 14-page pamphlet are articles by Dr. Jonathan LaPook, Armen Keteyian, Byron Pitts, Steve Hartman, and Jim Axelrod.
But it's mostly promoting Katie. In the front, "A Word From Katie" carries the usual messages with exclamation points selling the magazine. "Hi everyone!...We hope it'll serve as an appetizer, and maybe entice you to try out the main course!...We'll do our best to keep you on track. Meantime, thanks for taking us along for the ride!" Showing the pamphlet's age, though, is a two-page article with Katie recounting her "remarkable conversation with a remarkable man," embryo-destruction spokesman Michael J. Fox -- in October.
In every electoral cycle, the liberal media informs us that the Democratic Party will fight fiercely for the votes of religious Americans and refute the ugly, even slanderous caricature that the Democrats are the party that mocks God, prayer, and everything most Americans hold dear.
And then, suddenly the alleged caricature has a name. Meet Amanda Marcotte.
Marcotte is a hater – to be precise, a hater of the Christian religion and how it apparently warps society with its oppressive myths. For some mysterious reason, John Edwards, just a few years removed from being inaccurately hailed by coddling correspondents as a Southern centrist balancing the John Kerry ticket, hired Marcotte as one of his official bloggers.
The novelty of the 2008 presidential campaign is the apparent necessity for every campaign to have an official blogger or two. The problem, it seems, is that Edwards never seemed to read – let’s hope he never read – a thing his sneering new employee wrote over a period of months. It was all summed up in one outrageous alleged joke from last summer:
Of the broadcast network evening newscast stories Tuesday night on the House debate over the non-binding resolution that “disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush...to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq,” only ABC’s Jake Tapper included the views of soldiers in Iraq. Tapper's report on World News featured soundbites from two Army Sergeants in Ramadi, and both condemned the resolution. First Sergeant Louis Barnum declared: “It makes me sick. I was born and raised a Democrat, but when I see that it just kind of makes me sad.” Sergeant Brian Orzechoski went even further: “I don't want to bad-mouth the President at all. I mean, to me it's treason.”
Video clip (30 seconds): Real (1 MB) or Windows Media (1.1 MB), plus MP3 (200 KB) Audio is over-modulated, but that's how it aired on ABC's DC station.
It's one thing for Chip Reid or David Gregory to give Mitt Romney a hard time over his abortion position change, as I documented here and here. But on this evening's Hardball, Chris Matthews took it to a fiery new level, and Pat Buchanan got into the act.
Matthews: "This is like the kind of conversions you had in Spain in the old bad days where if you were Jewish, you were Christian the next day or you were burned alive!"
The screencap shows Chris Matthews giving Pat an approving finger as the paleo-con posed and answered his own question:
"Do I believe these are sincere, honest conversions of Rudy or Romney? In my judgment, probably not. I think they're changing their positions for political reasons. And you either accept that or you take the alternative which may be Hillary Rodham Clinton."
For days, a New York City police officer, Cesar A. Borja, who died of lung disease last month, was held up as a symbol of the medical crisis affecting the thousands of emergency personnel and construction workers who labored on the smoking remains of the fallen World Trade Center after the 9/11 attack.
Despite his natural aptitude for rapping, Velshi will probably keep his day job, in which he earns well above minimum wage to spoon-feed bad economic theory to breakfast hour viewers. For instance, did you know government could grow the economy by mandating a higher minimum wage?
Several national newspapers praised the four-hour PBS Frontline series beginning Tuesday night titled "News War," on how Team Bush (and Team Nixon before that) undemocratically waged war on the press. There's not much on whether the press was undemocratically waging war on the elected president in those cases. (Who, pray tell, voted for the New York Times to run the country?) The man setting the table for the first two hours is Arun Rath, who the South Asian Journalists Association website jokingly notes "acquired a semi-classical education at Reed College in Oregon ('Atheism, Communism and Free Love')." What a surprise for an NPR/PBS producer.
In a new interview on the SAJA website, Rath explained how he was somehow completely incapable of tracking down conservatives to comment on the show's arrogant liberal thesis, namely that the press is crucial to save democracy from freedom-crushing Republicans:
Chris Hedges, who served at the Times as a reporter and Middle East bureau chief for a total of 15 years, appeared last Thursday on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," hosted by Stephen Colbert, to discuss his new book, "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America."
You may remember Hedges for being booed off a college commencement stage in the middle of an anti-war rant in May 2003.
Here's a selection of the transcript from the second half of the interview with host Stephen Colbert, who kept up his act as conservative Christian straightman, setting up the dour Hedges to make cracks at Christianity: