In an interview with the CBS News website Public Eye, CBS reporter Sharyn Alfonsi displayed a typically leftish enthusiasm for New York Times columnists and former Democratic presidents who pride themselves on being Southern charmers.
When asked about the last "really great movie or book you've found, Alfonsi mentioned a classic Southern novel and "Also, I just finished Thomas Friedman’s From Beirut to Jerusalem. I love him. He’s a great writer and a genius." When asked about the "most fascinating person," Alfonsi displayed her years in Arkansas journalism: "Most fascinating: I interviewed Bill Clinton a few times. He’s a study."
Brian Williams of "NBC Nightly News" surely intended to praise the heroism and selflessness of our various service people. But he employed at best an awkward, at worst an inappropriate and offensive manner of doing it.
On this evening's 7 PM ET edition of Hardball, Chris Matthews mused about the UK-born terrorists whose plot was foiled today:
"Here we have maybe 24 people who have lived in London and England and the free world for all these years that become citizens, subjects of the Crown, and, yet, after having gotten to know us, they want to kill themselves to hurt us. Isn't that an even deeper conundrum here than the chemicals being used in these attacks?"
Williams [appearing from London's Heathrow airport]: "And that, Chris, that last aspect, the willingness to take one's own life -- I always tell people there are guys on our team like that, too. They're called Army Rangers and Navy Seals and the Special Forces folks and the first responders on 9/11 who went into those buildings knowing, by the way, they weren't going to come out. So we have players like that on our team."
In a seeming shot at the Bush administration's priorities and competence, on Thursday's World News with Charles Gibson on ABC, Richard Clarke, the former counter-terrorism chief in the Clinton White House who left and then denounced the Bush White House, asserted the plot against airplanes uncovered in Britain shows al-Qaeda is still going after five years while the U.S. “eliminated” Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in four years.
Anchor Charles Gibson asked Clarke about how President Bush blamed “Islamic fascists,” but the leader of the plot “has links to al-Qaeda. So is this al-Qaeda?" Clarke, now an ABC News consultant, replied by proposing that “what today's plot reminds us is that five years after 9/11, the United States has not eliminated al-Qaeda. We eliminated Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in under four years, but five years into this war against al-Qaeda, they're out there still plotting major attacks against the United States." (Transcript of the exchange follows)
Today on Neal Cavuto, the usual panel was on, including Ben Stein and Stuart Varney. The topic was whether or not the events of yesterday and today would have an impact on our economic outlook. Ben Stein talked about a nation “bound together by the silk and threads of airline travel,” and how when those threads are frayed, it will strain us. However, he opined that if we let that happen, the terrorists win. (brief video to follow from MsUnderestimated)
Stuart Varney then talked about a recent poll of British Mulslims, and this even took my breath away!
Varney: I think that the British have to get used to the economic negative impact of having a large hostile and murderous minority living in their midst.
TVNewser broke the news that acting CNN political director Molly Levinson has been named the new political director at CBS News. But he did not note that she's newly married to Joshua Wachs, a recent executive of the Democratic National Committee, as The New York Times noted in its Weddings & Celebrations pages on July 9:
The bridegroom, 34, was until February 2005 the chief operating officer of the Democratic National Committee in Washington. This month he is to become the vice president for community relations for the National Basketball Association in New York. He graduated from Oberlin College.
Made-in-the-UK Islamic radicals are trying to murder people - and it's the UK's fault for not doing a better job integrating them into society.
That was the view expressed on Fox News this afternoon by Angela Corpe of Sky News - Fox's UK sister network. Fox's Page Hopkins asked: "Given that you had 7/7 and we in New York know what it was like after 9/11. [Is it] still very fresh in Londoners' minds that these were home-grown would-be terrorists?
Corpe: "It was a problem even before 7/7 happened last year. . . We are not facing foreign terrorists but people bred here in the UK. Something our politicians have been discussing today. Not only [must we] be more tolerant of the Muslim faith and realize these few do not speak for the Muslim faith. These people born here, brought up here, going to our schools and still feel the need to blow up planes to, to plot to explode buildings and tube stations.
Continued Corpe: "We have a real job to do here in the UK to try to reintegrate these people and find out where we are going wrongin helping these people realize that if they want to stay in this country they have to accept the freedoms we have here and respect human life in the same way we do."
With that kind of attitude, should Angela ever want to 'cross the pond' she should have no problem finding employment in our MSM.
Update: Demonstrating that the UK doesn't have a monopoly on journalists concerned not to trample Islamo-fascist sensitivities, Alison Stewart of MSNBC this afternoon referred to the 'alleged' plot to plant bombs on planes. This is the same MSNBC that yesterday, on Tucker Carlson's show, decided to extend air time to a controlled-demolition nutjob arguing that the Bush administration was behind 9/11.
On this morning's Today, NBC's Kevin Corke wondered how long the administration knew about the averted bombing plot and why they would withhold that information, asking: "If the administration has known about this potential plot what was the hold up in getting the word out, especially domestically?" Either this is a case of the media being overly-skeptical or just being clueless. Clearly the administration wouldn't want to release any information before any arrests were made so as not to tip off any suspects in the U.S. or Britain. The following is the full exchange between NBC's Ann Curry and Corke.
Ann Curry: "And British Prime Minister Tony Blair briefed the President overnight about this plot. Well NBC's Kevin Corke is in Crawford, Texas at the President's ranch this morning. Kevin, good morning. Any word from the President?"
Remember the facile, early-'90s notion that Michael Moore was the left wing's answer to Rush Limbaugh? True, both used humor to attack their political adversaries, and both were fat, and...well, that was pretty much it. Still, the comparison was popular for a while, at least until Rush lost a lot of weight at about the same time that Al Franken started to make Limbaugh-bashing a cottage industry.
Whatever lefty author/columnist/blogger Eric Alterman thought of the old Moore-Limbaugh formulation back in the day, he certainly doesn't care for it now. As far as he's concerned, the leftist counterparts to the likes of mainstream conservative figures such as Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Jonah Goldberg aren't Moore or Noam Chomsky, but rather hardcore, fringe ideologues. From Alterman's Tuesday MSNBC.com blog post (emphasis added):
It is certainly true that a picture is worth a thousand words when it comes to news photographs, and it’s especially true of news photographs from war zones.
One of the famous photos from the war was a 1968 Eddie Adams photo for the Associated Press showing a general shooting a Viet Cong fighter in the head with a pistol on a Saigon street. That picture became the left’s rally poster for American withdrawal from Vietnam. Adams won the Pulitzer in 1969 for his Vietnam photos, but he regretted the unintended consequences to his dying day. As he wrote in Time magazine, "The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them; but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths."
60 Minutes contributor Mike Wallace engaged in a heart-to-heart with the man who says Israeli should be "wiped off the map" and the holocaust was a "myth."
The Associated Press reports that the elderly correspondent said of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, "He's an impressive fellow, this guy. He really is. He's obviously smart as hell." Wallace also remarked, "I expected more of a firebrand. I don't think he has the slightest doubt about how he feels ... about the American administration and the Zionist state. He comes across as more rational than I had expected."
Brenda Goodman follows up on her NY Times story on the loss in the Democratic primary by inflammatory Rep. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia, but lets her allies blame the Republicans in "Democrat Says G.O.P. Voters Led to Her Loss."
As she did yesterday, Goodman ignores McKinney's nutty statements alleging 9-11 conspiracies and her anti-Israel animus, saying today only that many new district voters "were not impressed by her confrontational and occasionally erratic style."
The Jerusalem Post reports that some Israeli diplomatic officials say that the BBC "reports we see give the impression that the BBC is working on behalf of Hizbullah." The government boycotted the BBC during violence in 2003 and is considering it again.
The Foreign Ministry is under pressure from Israeli citizens to resume its boycott of the BBC and to withdraw credentials from its reporters due to "one-sided" reports on the war in Lebanon, Israeli diplomatic officials said Wednesday.
For seven months during a wave of Palestinian violence in 2003, Israeli officials boycotted BBC news programs, declining interviews and excluding BBC reporters from briefings. The boycott was ended after the BBC appointed a panel to oversee its Middle East coverage and to ensure it would be unbiased.
In a special bonus feature in our ongoing “Friday Night Fights” segment, a real barnburner took place Wednesday evening on CNN’s “Larry King Live.” In the left corner, Air America radio personality Randi Rhodes. In the right corner, nationally syndicated radio host Neal Boortz (hat tip to Ms Underestimated with extraordinary video to follow).
As fight lovers would expect, this was a classic battle between the conservative approach to boxing with the more progressive tactics of an extreme southpaw. This was evidenced right after the opening bell, as Boortz jabbed with why Israel has to defend itself:
Keith Olbermann's regular media critic guest, Michael Musto of the Village Voice, called Ann Coulter a 'bastard' on last night's Countdown.
The topic was the news that Vanity Fair has picked celeb photographer Annie Liebovitz to snap the first pics of Suri, newborn daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. There is controversy as to whether Suri actually exists, given that, months after her announced birth, there have been no photos or sightings of the child.
Musto is clearly a skeptic on the subject. When Olbermann asked him what we should expect from Liebovitz's images of Suri, Musto responded with this strained effort to draw a connection to the left's bête noire :
"We should expect an image of a pillow. An illegitimate pillow, mind you. A bastard pillow. What's the word for a female bastard? Ann Coulter! An Ann Coulter pillow!"
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams ended his Wednesday newscast by reading a few e-mails from viewers, starting with one which matched an August 1 NewsBusters/August 2 MRC CyberAlert item I wrote, "NBC's Williams Ignores Declining U.S. Troop Deaths, Highlights Total Iraq 'Death Toll.'" With the text on screen, Williams read aloud the comment from the unidentified e-mailer (a NewsBusters reader?) who complained about how Williams was guilty of "sensationalizing U.S. deaths in Iraq with a huge body count number flashed on the screen," and asked: "Do you think it might also have been news worth noting that July's casualty count was the third lowest in the past 2 years and that they FELL in July for the third straight month? Of course not -- because that does not fit the template of your news program." (Transcript, and the matching NewsBusters item, follows)
I misheard the annoucement on Today. What the BBC's Stephen Sackur actually said, reading an incoming report, was this: "We understand that it is now being suggested by officials that British-born ... er... men were involved in the alleged plot."
Could something else have been written after "British born" that caused
Sackur to pause? Whatever the case, I apologise for suggesting that
Muslims might in any way have been involved in this attempted terrorist
attack. What was I thinking?
Further update. Sackur's missing word? This from Sky News:
The fauxtography scandal is blowing out of control as proof after proof rolls in how much of the self-described photojournalism coming out of Lebanon is illegitimate. If you're a blogger (or are reading some) covering the story, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll include a link in this roundup. And of course, you can link in the comments as well. Comments are now open to unregistered users.
UPDATE 6:25. After an overnight hardware failure, NB is back up and running. The links will begin momentarily.
UPDATE 6:38. Snapped Shot is another blog worth checking out. Keep those links coming, folks!
UPDATE 7:05. Via NB reader Geepers comes this link to a German TV news show proving that the infamous Salam Daher, aka "greenhelmetguy," is a stage manager for Hezbollah. The video shows him rehearsing the removal of a body from an ambulance and giving directions to the camera operator.
In a classic “Do as I Say, Not as I Do,” the leader of the new cult the Global Warmingists, Al Gore, appears to not practice what he preaches. A USA Today op-ed by author Peter Schweizer reported Wednesday evening (hat tip to Drudge with emphasis mine):
Graciously, Gore tells consumers how to change their lives to curb their carbon-gobbling ways: Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, use a clothesline, drive a hybrid, use renewable energy, dramatically cut back on consumption. Better still, responsible global citizens can follow Gore's example, because, as he readily points out in his speeches, he lives a "carbon-neutral lifestyle." But if Al Gore is the world's role model for ecology, the planet is doomed.
Shhhh. Wait. It gets better (coffee cups down, kids!):
That truth is the first casualty of war has been borne home by the proliferating 'fauxtography' scandal of photographs of the current Middle East crisis doctored or staged so as to portray Israel in the worst possible light. At this point, can we look at any image from the area without a good dose of doubt?
Take this morning's report on the Today show. NBC's Richard Engel, in Tyre, Lebanon, reported that:
"The fighting has made humanitarian relief efforts almost impossible. Israel has cut roads and attacked vehicles, isolating Hezbollah and everyone else."
This was followed by a clip of the unidentified individual pictured here. Judging by his words and accent, he might have been a Red Cross official. He asserted:
"Lots of people have died because they just couldn't make it to a hospital in time. Ambulances clearly marked with the Red Cross were hit right in the middle of the roof of the car. The Red Cross stands for protection and neutrality. This should not have happened."
It seems some in the legacy media are entering into that next phase
of narrative manipulation—a redefining of terms in order to 1) provide
revisionary cover for its ideological fellow travelers, and 2) to
fabricate and then facilitate a bandwagon effect. For instance, The New York Times this morning editorializes on the Lamont victory this way:
rebellion against Mr. Lieberman was actually an uprising by that rare
phenomenon, irate moderates. They are the voters who have been unnerved
over the last few years as the country has seemed to be galloping in a
deeply unmoderate direction.
An “uprising” of “moderates”? Come now. Lamonts’ supporters are to
moderates what Jeffrey Dahmer was to gourmands: just because they
believe themselves to be the arbiters of political taste doesn’t make
them anything more than simple partisan cannibals. And I doubt very
much many of his supporters would even identify themselves
as moderates—though if they believe adopting the label will help them
regain power or take control of the Democratic party, they’ll almost
certainly suck it up and wear it in the months and years to come. The
ends justify the means, after all—and the New York Times has
shown itself willing to equate the Kossacks with Bill Clinton
Democrats. That is, they’ve signaled their willingness to help the
netroots take control of the party (see the new Kossack directive for
completing the purge here)—and
the plan is to do so by massaging the narrative and finding labels for
the players that strike just the right chords with Americans who don’t
follow politics all too closely.