In the 6:00 AM hour of CNN's American Morning on Tuesday, reporter Allan Chernoff singled out Republican New Jersey Senatorial Candidate Tom Kean Jr of engaging in brutal attacks against his Democratic counterpart, Senator Robert Menendez. Chernoff stated in his first report.
Allan Chernoff: "Good morning Soledad. Talk about a dirty race. I think the whole state of New Jersey will want to take a shower tonight after this election is all done with. And certainly Senator Menendez has endured brutal attacks. He's scheduled to vote here in about ten minutes. He'll be glad to have this whole campaign done with because the Kean campaign has consistently been accusing him of corruption, claiming he's under federal investigation."
The polls have only been open for a few hours, and MSNBC is already reporting allegations of voter intimidation in Virginia. Of course, “Hardball’s” David Shuster only discussed Democrat complaints towards Republicans even though the FBI refused to comment (video here). The article on this subject at MSNBC.com stated (hat tip to TVNewser):
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the possibility of voter intimidation in the U.S. Senate race between Sen. George Allen, a Republican, and Democratic challenger James Webb, officials told NBC News.
This just sounds too good to be true: Dan Rather's going to be an election pundit tonight....on the fake-news special on Comedy Central. No, really. (There's no mention if the whole hour is being sponsored by Kinko's Copies.) Gail Shister reports in the Philadelphia Inquirer that the CBS/Viacom offshoot is rolling out the red carpet for the disgraced CBS anchorman:
This is not a joke.
Dan Rather will analyze election results with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert tonight at 11 on Comedy Central's live, hour-long Indecision 2006 special.
"It's a risk, I guess, but what the hell," says Rather, who covered every national election since 1962 for CBS before being drop-kicked in June. Now he's global correspondent for Mark Cuban's HDNet.
"For a combination of reasons -- increasingly bullish prognostications by independent handicappers, galloping optimism by Democratic leaders and bloggers, and polls that promise a Democratic blowout -- expectations for the party have soared into the stratosphere. Democrats are widely expected to take the House, and by a significant margin, and perhaps the Senate as well, while capturing a majority of governorships and legislatures.
As some of our readers know, I'm heading off to Iraq, where I'll be reporting for CNS, the news agency of MRC.
Our focus at NB is of course exposing liberal media bias, and to the extent I have a chance to "cover the coverage" I'll certainly be blogging on that. At the same time, I'm thinking that our NB readers might enjoy experiencing more generally some sights, sounds and impressions from the trip. So, with the indulgence of my editors, I'll maintain an 'Iraq Diary' here with written reports, photos and even some video clips - internet connections permitting.
Here's the schedule, which is of course subject to change:
November 8th - travel commercial from Ithaca to Charleston, SC November 9th - fly from Charleston AFB to naval base in Rota, Spain, near Gibraltar Nov. 10th - arrive Rota Nov. 11 - depart Rota, arrive Balad, Iraq. Nov. 11-13 - International [Green] Zone. Visits with Gulf Reconstruction Divsion of Army Corps of Engineers and military hospital featured in HBO documentary 'Baghdad ER.' Nov. 13th-20th - With Marines in Fallujah. Nov. 21st-23rd - heading home Nov. 23rd [Thanskgiving] - arrive base Dover, DE
Have you heard the brouhaha about so-called “robo-calls”? These are repeat telephone calls by a telemarketing software program that critics claim violate federal communications laws. As you might imagine, the media have been wrongly depicting this as exclusively being a Republican strategy, while ignoring the Democrat campaigns that are doing exactly the same thing.
The New York Times published an article about this subject Tuesday, and CNN reported on this matter during Monday’s “Situation Room” (video here with transcript to follow). Of course, neither outlet chose to inform the public about Democrat candidates utilizing the same telephone strategy as reported here, here, here, and here (hat tip to Michelle Malkin).
CNN’s Jacki Schechner declared: “Wolf, there's an audio clip that's making the rounds online on some of the top liberal blogs and we got the same clip from Tammy Duckworth's campaign, she's the Democrat running in Illinois' sixth district against Republican Peter Roskam. Take a listen.”
Isn't it interesting how CNN these days seems fixated on the propaganda being disseminated at "top liberal blogs?" Keeping with that theme, Schechner continued:
Michael Steele, the Republican candidate in Maryland's Senate race, victim of the Washington Post's desire to keep him out of the Senate tore into the liberal newspaper on "Fox News Sunday."
Transcript continues below the fold. Video available here.
Lieutenant Governor, the Washington Post endorsed your opponent, Ben
Cardin, over the weekend, and they had some very harsh words for you.
Let's put them up on the screen.
"Despite his efforts to construct an image as an independent-minded
newcomer, there is nothing in Michael Steele's past — no achievement,
no record, no evidence and certainly no command of the issues — to
The Post says that as lieutenant governor for the past four years, you have had marginal influence.
I know. Isn't it a shame? Well, you know, Chris, that is pitiful.
government leader in Iraq's Kurdistan region has told Gold Star
Families visiting U.S. troops in the Mideast that the news media's
coverage of the situation in Iraq is terribly biased.
International and Al Jazeera are equally bad in their coverage of the
situation in Iraq," said Nerchivan Barzani, the prime minister of Iraqi
I was in the United States recently and read the negative news in the
Washington Post, New York Times and in the network TV broadcasts, I
even wondered if things had gotten so bad since I had left that I
shouldn't return," he said.
Just moments ago on North Carolina' Morning News with Jack Boston on Raleigh-based News-Talk 680 WPTF, former CBS anchor Dan Rather defended the infamous 60 Minutes
story using forged documents to attack President Bush's service with
the Texas Air National Guard as being, "absolutely true," a charge a
testy Rather reiterated at least four or five times.
Rather not only defended the report, but the validity of the forged
documentation that the report relied on, saying it had never been
proven false (despite copious evidence to the contrary).
I've contacted the station, and hope to get audio of that portion of the interview posted later in the morning.
A few weeks ago on the Right Angle TV show I host, my guest was Barry Strauss, the brilliant professor of history and the classics at Cornell University. Our conversation focused on his recent book, "The Trojan War", which one reviewer has described as so authoritative "it may well preempt future historians from ever trying to improve on it."
Toward the end of the show I invited Prof. Strauss to comment on whether he saw any parallels between the fall of Greek and Roman civilizations and the situation in the West today. While eschewing sweeping generalizations, the professor did observe that one sign of a civilization in decline is its disinclination to believe in itself coupled with a loss of will to fight for its survival.
Even before any results were known, former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw already had his template for the mid-term elections: The people are tired of “far right” Republicans and pleased by the emergence of Democrats who are “moving toward the center.” Brokaw, who will be part of the NBC News election team, was asked by Brian Williams, on Monday's NBC Nightly News, what “trends” he sees emerging. Though a Democratic takeover of the House would likely put the far-left Nancy Pelosi into the Speaker's chair along with several other hard-left Congressman into committee chairmanships, Brokaw applied an extremist ideological tag only to Republicans as he saw an end to a “polarized” nation ahead:
“The country is sending a signal to both parties: We want you guys to work together to solve problems. You've got Republicans running from the far right much more toward the center. You've got a new breed of Democrats this year in Jim Webb in Virginia and Bob Casey in Pennsylvania, moving toward the center. So we may be working our way toward the end of a deeply polarized country politically at the national level.”
The Washington Post certainly waited until the last-minute, the day before the mid-term elections, to run a story pointing out how soldiers in Iraq are committed to the mission and don't want the U.S. to leave, but they should get kudos for printing the article which contradicts the assumptions of much of the media's reporting on Iraq, “Soldiers in Iraq Say Pullout Would Have Devastating Results” -- though the paper's editors only squeezed it onto page A-13. From “Forward Operating Base Sykes,” Post correspondent Josh White disclosed that he talked to “dozens of soldiers across the country” and they feared “leaving Iraq now would have devastating consequences.”
White reported in the article published November 6: “With a potentially historic U.S. midterm election on Tuesday and the war in Iraq a major issue at the polls, many soldiers said the United States should not abandon its effort here. Such a move, enlisted soldiers and officers said, would set Iraq on a path to civil war, give new life to the insurgency and create the possibility of a failed state after nearly four years of fighting to implant democracy.” In addition, “the soldiers...expressed support for the Bush administration's approach to the war, which they described as sticking with a tumultuous situation to give Iraq a chance to stand on its own.”
Somehow, in the midst of all the surprising polling data released on Sunday, this article by Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell went unnoticed. In her piece entitled “Balance and Bias on the Political Beat,” Howell pointed out some problems with the paper’s coverage of Sen. George Allen (R-Virginia) and senatorial candidate Michael Steele of Maryland (emphasis mine throughout):
Allen supporters think he can't catch a break; I sympathize. The macaca coverage went on too long, and a profile of Allen was relentlessly negative without balancing coverage of what made him a popular governor and senator.
What a difference a week makes – along with a huge gaffe by a former presidential candidate, and some unexpected changes in polling results.
The New York Times has published an Election Day article entitled “For Democrats, Even a Gain May Feel Like a Failure” (hat tip to AJ Strata) that dramatically lowered the bar of expectations for the Party of Pelosi and Reid. The piece by Adam Nagourney ominously began:
In most midterm elections, an out-of-power party picking up, say, 14 seats in the House and five seats in the Senate could call it a pretty good night.
But for Democrats in 2006, that showing would mean coming up one seat shy of taking control of both the Senate and the House. And it would probably be branded a loss — in the case of the House, a big one.
Here’s a shocking thought for your Election Day: A Keith Olbermann-style anchorman on every television news program on every channel spewing vitriol and animus as only he can. Some Halloween trick, huh? Well, if Aaron Barnhart, television critic of the Kansas City Star is right, this could be the case in the near future (hat tip to TVNewser).
Barnhart’s column on Monday entitled “Numbers look good for Keith Olbermann; Is MSNBC newscaster's 'Countdown' journalism's saving grace?” absolutely gushed praise on America’s premiere Bush-hater (emphasis mine throughout):
Keith Olbermann is, to date, the most perfect expression of [the fake newsman] idea. As he continues to pick up steam -- that he will pass CNN’s Paula Zahn for second place at 7 p.m. seems inevitable -- it’s worth asking if his brand of journalism will be, and should be, the future of TV journalism.
Election Day is upon us which means it's time for an official NewsBusters predictions thread.
Unlike other places, though, there's an actual prize for being correct. The commenter who most closely predicts the margin of both houses of congress will win a free Apple Ipod Nano. Entries must be submitted before 11:00 AM Eastern time. (Please do not post anything other than numeric predictions on this thread.)
Update 16:42. Comments are reenabled on this post. The chat server is also available at live.newsbusters.org.
This is just too delicious. Propagandist Michael Moore posted a message at his website Monday beseeching folks to vote for Democrats (hat tip to Michelle Malkin). Big surprise, right? However, trust me, it’s worth a chuckle: “Tomorrow night, those who sent 2,800 of our soldiers to their deaths -- all because of a lie the president concocted -- will find out if America chooses to reward them -- or remove them.”
Nice beginning, huh? Just imagine the kind of person that is motivated by this kind of stuff. Probably a Keith Olbermann fan, right? Alas, Moore was just warming up:
And, in truth, many journalists are probably rooting for a Democratic House. But not for the reason you might think. After six years of almost uninterrupted GOP control of Washington, divided government would produce what reporters like best: conflict. A spate of investigations and subpoenas of the Bush White House, led by such new committee chairmen as John Dingell, Henry Waxman, Barney Frank and Charlie Rangel, would liven things up for the capital's chroniclers.
Of course a divided government and the conflict it would produce will weaken the country and make us more susceptible to terrorist attacks, but who ever accused journalists of trying to make the U.S. stronger or safer? The job of journalists is to sell newspapers, not protect this great nation.
Contending that “it's hard to imagine there have been many elections more important than this one, certainly not in non-presidential years,” MSNBC's Keith Olbermann ended his election-eve Countdown show with another anti-Bush diatribe in which he urged viewers to vote against the administration -- though this was his shortest, at just under five minutes. Olbermann saw suspicious timing in the death penalty assessed Sunday on Saddam Hussein: “Each of us must wonder about the convenience of the timing of his conviction and sentencing.” Mocking Bush's assertion that if radicals takeover in the Middle East the price of gas will soar, Olbermann asked Bush whether he went “to war in Iraq to break the bonds of tyranny there, while installing the mechanisms of tyranny here?” and then proposed: “Or did you go to war in Iraq to keep gas prices down?”
Olbermann complained: "Having frightened us, having bullied us, having lied to us, having ignored and rewritten the Constitution under our noses, having stayed the course, having denied you've stayed the course, having belittled us about 'timelines' but instead extolled 'benchmarks,' you've now resorted, sir, to this? We must stay in Iraq to save the $2 gallon of gas?” He argued: "Mr. President, there is no other conclusion we can draw as we go to the polls tomorrow. Sir, you have been making this up as you went along.” And Olbermann fretted: “Saddam Hussein will get out of Iraq the same way 2,832 Americans have and maybe thousands more. He'll get out faster than we will.” He concluded to exhorting his viewers to return “checks and balances” to the political system, slamming the Bush administration: "Unchecked and unbalanced. Vote."