Scott Pelley conducted a very tough interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad which aired on Sunday's 60 Minutes, but on Monday’s Early Show Pelley was very generous in his personal assessment of the man. Host Harry Smith and Pelley agreed that Ahmadinejad is "crazy like a fox" while Pelley also hailed Ahmadinejad as "incorruptible" and "modest." Pelley contended the dictator, who denies the Holocaust, wants Israel destroyed and is causing the deaths of U.S. soldiers in Iraq, is a lot smarter than Westerners believe and is even a "friendly" guy:
The important thing, I think, Harry, to understand, he's described in the West as a madman, crazy, that's not the case. I found him to be as many politicians are, very engaging, very friendly, he's clearly not mad, he's sane. In fact, he's very wily I would tell you.
Maybe Ahmadinejad should announce his candidacy for 2008?
MSNBC.com highlights the AP story with the headline "Gay characters disappearing from network TV." But as is often typically the case, the situation is not as dire as it seems. The first paragraph reads:
A new report says a total of seven series on the five broadcast networks feature regular lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) characters this season, down from nine last season. The number has dropped for the past three years, according to the annual "Where We Are on TV" study by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
"Studies" of this type will never produce "satisfactory" results since they would require an increase every year! In addition, with the "massive" decrease of two whole shows not featuring gay characters this season, doesn't this mean that it is likely some other "underrepresented group" thus gained representation?
While ABC’s Chris Cuomo played softball with Columbia University president Lee Bollinger on the upcoming speech of Iranian president Ahmadinejad, CNN’s John Roberts directed tough questions to John Coatsworth, dean for Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. Roberts opened the interview with a question which summarized Ahmadinejad’s record. "Here's a leader who's advocated the destruction of Israel, denied the Holocaust, and is accused by our government, the United States government, of supplying both fighters and equipment to insurgents in Iraq, to kill U.S. troops. Why would you ever want him on your campus?"
That great liberal electronic short bus that is the Daily Kos offered the blogosphere another gem yesterday morning. DKos diarist laxmatt posted a poll on Sunday giving readers two choices for U.S. president, the current occupant George W. Bush or Iran's Mahmoud "Holocaust? What Holocaust?" Ahmadinejad.
The question reads, "I would rather have as President of the United States..." and lists the aforementioned presidents. I suppose this is on the same wavelength as the HuffPo blogger who said that at least Hitler, unlike President Bush, "meant well."
Roughly 24 hours after laxmatt posted his poll, Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs found that Bush was leading but A-jad still had a respectable plurality in his favor: 45 percent.
At the time of this posting, Bush's lead is up, but roughly 4 in 10 poll respondents still would prefer the music-hating, Sharia law-loving A-jad.
For a comprehensive listing of NewsBusters coverage of Daily Kos, click here.
Democratic presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton appeared on all five Sunday morning interview shows, but not all raised two controversies of interest to conservatives and, even when they did, not all took a tough approach to her lack of condemnation of MoveOn.org's “General Betray Us” ad and the donations gathered for her by now-captured fugitive Norman Hsu. ABC's George Stephanopoulos and NBC's Tim Russert brought up both matters -- though Stephanopoulos did so in the gentlest way -- CBS's Bob Schieffer asked about Hsu and not “Betray Us,” while Fox's Chris Wallace and CNN's Wolf Blitzer skipped Hsu but raised “Betray Us.”
No one pressed Clinton on how at the hearing with General Petraeus she said his report required “the willing suspension of disbelief.” Only Wallace, on Fox News Sunday, pointed out how Clinton had voted against a Senate resolution condemning the MoveOn ad: “Senator, you have refused to criticize the MoveOn.org ad about General Petraeus. And in fact, this week you voted against a Senate resolution denouncing it.” In contrast, on ABC's This Week, Stephanopoulos presumed Clinton was disturbed by the ad as he asked: “Why not speak out earlier?” On the Hsu case, Stephanopoulos approached the issue from the concerns of other Democrats: “A lot of people look at this and say they're afraid they're going to go back to the days of 1996 when there were some campaign finance violations that many Democrats feel cost President Clinton a couple of points in the final days of the election. How do you assure them that's not going to happen again?” Only NBC's Russert, on Meet the Press, used Hsu to remind viewers of Johnny Chung's illegal 1996 donations to the Bill Clinton campaign.
Los Angeles Times reporter Matt Lait failed to inform readers that a critic of overcrowded jails is himself a convicted felon. [No, this is not a NewsBusted joke but check the bottom of the post if you want to make it one.]
What's more, Stephen Yagman is no petty one-time offender, notes Patterico:
There’s just one little thing about Yagman that The Times’s Matt Lait neglects to mention: Yagman is going to have a hard time continuing to represent these inmates . . . because he has been convicted of numerous felonies in federal court, and is likely headed to federal prison.
Indeed, the State Bar has taken notice, and has put Yagman on interim suspension. As the Metropolitan News-Enterprisereported on September 14:
Journalists like to tell us about their professionalism and the many layers of editors that ensure their accuracy. However, somewhere in those layers of editors, have reporters lost the ability to perform basic research? In the case of Reuters reporter Jeff Mason, it would seem to be so. Mason wrote an article on California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Monday speech on global warming, in which he wrote,
President George W. Bush pulled the United States out of the Kyoto accord, saying it unfairly burdened rich countries while exempting developing countries like China and India.
It's not enough that the media is waving the white flag of defeat in Iraq but now they're declaring yet another war lost. NBC's "Today" co-host Meredith Vieira seemed so convinced that the U.S. had lost the war in Afghanistan she was perplexed when Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai didn't share her assessment of failure. On the Monday "Today" show, in a taped interview, a bewildered Vieira responded to Karzai's statement of victory with: "What have you won?"
The following exchange occurred in the 7am half-hour of the September 24, NBC "Today" show:
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," co-anchor Chris Cuomo conducted a mostly softball interview with Columbia University President Lee Bollinger about his decision to host Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the prestigious school. Rather than grill the University president about the unpopular decision, Cuomo offered friendly questions, such as when he wondered, "What value do you think Ahmadinejad's comments will add to the debate in this country?"
The ABC host also appeared to have left an actually compelling question on the cutting room floor. At the end of what was apparently a pre-taped piece, Cuomo observed to co-host Diane Sawyer that Bollinger would consider inviting Osama bin Laden. He claimed, "Even when we brought up Osama bin Laden for an invitation, it wasn't dismissed. No one was dismissed." And yet, that query isn’t actually in the segment at all. Wouldn’t such a shocking answer be big news? At the very least, one would assume, that quote would be included in the interview. It should also be noted that Sawyer responded defensively to Cuomo even referencing the missing bin Laden question. She quickly added, "Yes, but [Bollinger] says the invitation has not gone to Osama bin Laden."
Scientists from all over the world are coming out strongly against an inexcusably hysterical article recently published by the planet's leading wire service.
As NewsBusters reported Saturday, the Associated Press published an unbelievably disgraceful article about global warming induced sea level rises supposedly destined to wipe out large amounts of American coastal communities in the next 100 years.
When liberal journalists put on their political pundit hats to ostensibly handicap the policy stances of Republican politicians, you can rest assured that conservative or center-right stances will almost always be panned as political/electoral suicide.
Time magazine's Karen Tumulty is no exception in her recent Swampland blog post, "SCHIP: A Really Dumb Fight for Bush to Pick." in which the veteran reporter took President Bush to task for his veto threat for Democratic legislation that seeks to expand the size and mandate of the federally-backed State Children's Health Insurance Plans (SCHIP).
Over at Times Watch, I've been pretty hard on New York Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt -- finding most of the biweekly columns from the paper's inside watchdog to suffer from either an excess of corporate loyalty or to be simply pointless (when he's not sniping at the paper from the left).
So it was particularly surprising when Hoyt actually unbuckled his company badge to tackle an issue raised by conservatives -- the inflammatory MoveOn.org ad -- in his Sunday Week in Review column. Hoyt did some actual reporting and got a belated admission of error that the paper's actual news reporters were unable to uncover: It was a mistake to grant MoveOn.org a deep discount for its infantile attack ad against Gen. David Petraeus that appeared the very day he testified before Congress.
"For nearly two weeks, The New York Times has been defending a political advertisement that critics say was an unfair shot at the American commander in Iraq.
I wonder how many NewsBusters readers knew they were racist.
After all, if the New York Times publishes a column saying that we are, it's got to be so given that it is the paper of record in this country, correct?
Ironically, it does seem fitting days after the civil rights protests in Jena, Louisiana, that one of the Times' leading columnists would point fingers at the Party largely responsible for getting civil rights laws passed four decades ago.
Yet, that didn't stop the Times' Paul Krugman, as facts never seem to matter whenever he puts his fingers on a keyboard. As such, for those that can stomach it, here were the lowlights of his "Politics in Black and White" (emphasis added throughout):
A columnist from a Chicago suburban paper has equated smoking to abortion in order to explain away her support of an abortion mill struggling to open in Aurora, Illinois. Saying that since smoking is legal, and it “kills” people, why shouldn't abortion be legal, we find her reasoning is strained and absurd. If there’s a more ridiculous comparison out there, I'd like to see it. Following her tortured logic, we should outlaw everything that might kill someone if we also outlaw abortion -- which WILL kill someone.
There are so many specious arguments that this supporter of infanticide tries to use in this article to support abortion that it must spin the head of most readers. The whole thing has a feel like the author of the column, Joni Hirsch-Blackman, is throwing just about everything she can think of against a wall to see what sticks quite regardless of any logic or sense to it all.
After simple-mindedly explaining that "Tobacco kills," which in reality is not a literal truth because often times it does not, Hirsch-Blackman explains that, while she "sneers" at smokers, she would never protest against it because it is legal.
This morning's column by James Carroll, the Boston Globe's resident gushy liberal, is so predictable you wonder whether it might have been produced by a liberal-column-generator software program. You know the kind: insert issue, names of political players, a few factoids, and let the program spit out the boilerplate of a standard leftist diatribe.
I mean, as soon as you knew that Carroll was writing a column about Ahmadinejad's visit to the U.S., could there be any doubt as to where he'd come down on the controversy surrounding the Iranian president's desire to visit Ground Zero? And Carroll doesn't disappoint. Naturally, this was just one big Kumbaya moment squandered:
Monday's Washington Post op-ed page has a debate of sorts between Post columnists on the Dan Rather lawsuit against CBS. Eugene Robinson takes up the pro-Rather side, barely acknowledging Rather's phony documents en route to suggesting Rather "makes a valid argument about the larger issue," that CBS was cowardly in defending the story because corporations don't challenge the government like they used to, as in the golden days of the "Pentagon Papers." Recent experience doesn't exactly suggest the media is unwilling to expose national-security programs the ACLU wants exposed.
The anti-Rather side is taken up by Charles Lane, who's not buying any of Rather's bluster. (For the record, Lane was editor of The New Republic when Stephen Glass loaded that magazine with phony quotes and stories, so that either makes him the voice of experience, or a strange scold.) But his fake letter of Rather's is definitely fun to read:
"Dear CBS News:
"My new career at HDNet is keeping me busier than a bordello at Mardis Gras.
On Friday's Countdown, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann questioned why Democrats are not accusing Republicans of racism because of the decision by GOP presidential candidates to reject invitations to debate at black and Hispanic events, as he asked: "When the Republican presidential candidates refuse to debate at black or Hispanic venues, why are they not being asked if they're as racist as that seems?" As he discussed the issue with liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, during which the words "White Wingers" were displayed at the bottom of the screen, the Countdown host raised the possibility Republicans are interested in re-segregating schools by overturning Brown versus Topeka Board of Education. Olbermann: "Is it possible they're actually hoping to move backwards in this, that there is some part of the Republican party that says, you know, we got to roll back, those activist judges in Brown versus Board of Education, we got to get rid of them?" (Transcript follows)
In speaking about the "Jena 6" case last week, the Rev. Jesse Jackson repeated the oft-heard line that there are "more blacks in jail than college." (In addition to televised reports (CNN), his words were also reported in articles like this one and this one.)
In 2005, according to the Census Bureau, there were 864,000 black men in college. According to Justice Department statistics, there were 802,000 in federal and state prisons and jails, "even with the old heads holding on," [director Janks] Morton says.
Between the ages of 18 and 24, however, black men in college outnumber those incarcerated by 4 to 1.