Something amazing happened on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday: Cokie Roberts practically floored host George Stephanopoulos with the political truth that most impartial individuals already know (video to follow). The discussion centered on what it would mean for the Democratic Party if Ned Lamont beat Joe Lieberman in Connecticut next week. Stephanopoulos asked Roberts, “How did this happen?” After a somewhat lengthy explanation, Roberts said, “But it's, I think, a disaster for the Democratic Party, and it's going to be very interesting to see what happens as a result of it.”
Stephanopoulos looked stunned, and asked: “Disaster for the Democratic Party? Why?” Roberts elaborated:
Last night's report by Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs that a "Beirut burning" photo that was clearly and clumsily doctored with Photoshop editing tools had made it way onto the wires from Reuters has morphed into what must be considered a full-blown scandal that should, by rights, shake the news service and other "Mainstream" Media outlets to their very foundations, and force them to reexamine how they conduct and control their photojournalistic efforts around the world.
Consider just some of what has happened in the 24 hours or so since my NewsBusters post very early Sunday morning:
Reuters has "dropped" the freelance Lebanese journalist after the image in question was shown to be doctored:
The wire service offered perhaps the lamest excuse ever offered in the history of photojournalism for Adnan Hajj, the photographer involved --
Subbing for reporter/columnist Dana Milbank on the Washington Post's snarky "Zeitgeist Checklist" feature in the Sunday opinion section, Post reporter Michael Grunwald goes on a tear, with every time on the ten-item list having a lame connection to Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic drunk-driving rant. Here's how it starts with the number one issue of the week, the Middle East conflict:
Fighting intensifies in Lebanon, as dozens of innocents die, but President Bush senses a "moment of opportunity." Linguists note that in Chinese, the character for "opportunity" also means "quagmire." And "Hezbollah" means "Party of Mel Gibson."
Four states, four regions, four local authors giving folksy, personalized takes on the candidates and the issues. You can't knock the Times' choice of format for giving readers a sense of Senate races across the country. But when it came to substance, it soon became clear that just beneath the authors' fly-over state surface lay Upper West Side attitude.
Setting the tone, author Deirdre McNamer might have found the only farm equipment store manager in Montana who makes "taking care of the homeless" his first priority. The Dem candidate's barber was also brought in to accuse the Republican in the race of "lies [and] cheap shots," complaining for good measure about money spent on the Iraq war.
Something doesn't quite seem right with this glowing interview the Washington Post conducted with environmental activist Dr. Lara Hansen of the World Wildlife Fund.
Dr. Hansen is quoted saying, "When I was 5 or 6, my father read me an article in Science magazine about ozone depletion, which is what causes increased ultraviolet radiation..."
Here's a link to Science. Look at it and tell me a 5-or 6-year-old could understand it.
I'm the mom of three six-year-olds, and not a one of them reads articles in Science about ultraviolet radiation. Lest it be said that my kids are simply below-average, allow me to note that I frequently am with other six-year-olds, and none of them have ever once mentioned Science magazine, radiation, ozone depletion or even Al Gore's movie.
I venture to say I'm not alone in thinking that the new "Bold moves" series of car ads by Ford Motor Company quickly replaced the Dodge ones with the HEMI-obsessed schlub as the dumbest auto ads on the tube lately.
But that's not deep enough for The Washington Post's David Montgomery. He sees one particular ad as a window to America's psyche on immigration of all things. Here's how he opened his story.
So this hunky, swarthy, full-lipped guy in a white cowboy hat is
tooling down a country road in a red pickup truck. He comes upon a big
tree fallen across both lanes. No problem. He off-roads around the
obstacle and cruises on.
It's time for today's game of see how long it takes The Washington Post to acknowledge the wild-eyed liberals (filled with "Nedrenaline") behind Ned Lamont's crusade to turn out Sen. Joe Lieberman. Instead, the MoveOn crowd are merely "grassroots Internet activists" who are "anti-war." The headline of Dan Balz's front-pager is: "Conn. Race Could Be Democratic Watershed: Loss by Lieberman May Embolden Critics of War." The story dumps off the front-page before the first L-word is deployed, 371 words in:
The passion and energy fueling the antiwar challenge to Sen. Joseph Lieberman in Connecticut's Senate primary signal a power shift inside the Democratic Party that could reshape the politics of national security and dramatically alter the battle for the party's 2008 presidential nomination, according to strategists in both political parties.
Fox News’s Neal Gabler was on quite a roll on Saturday's "Fox News Watch." Apart from taking on Mel Gibson as reported by NewsBuster Mark Finkelstein, he also went after conservative columnist Michelle Malkin referring to her as an "opinion monger" (video to follow).
The discussion centered on how the media have been reporting on the Hezbollah-Israeli conflict, and, in particular, the event in Qana. Gabler, almost foaming at the mouth, went on quite a rant which included going after a Fox News contributor. Pay particular attention to Gabler's intentionally exaggerated display of disgust as he said Malkin's name:
Madonna's recent glittery cross and crown of thorns during her concert tour is designed to stir outrage, but at this point in her career, it screams Desperate Housewife. But then there are always the young singers who are corrupted into imitating the routine. Probably the last one you'd expect to try Sacrilege 101 would be the girl named Charlotte Church, but obviously she's trying to live her (stage) name down. Catholic News Service reports:
The U.S. publishing company Ignatius Press has refused to sell any works by Welsh singer Charlotte Church after she called German-born Pope Benedict XVI a Nazi and mocked the Catholic Church...Church, dubbed the "Voice of an Angel" before she turned her talents to popular music, also dressed up as a nun and pretended to hallucinate while eating "communion" wafers imprinted with smiling faces signifying the drug Ecstasy.She smashed open a statue of the Virgin Mary to reveal a can of hard cider inside, said she worshipped "St. Fortified Wine," and stuck chewing gum on a statue of the childJesus.
UPDATE: As commenter "Sua Sponte 75" noted, Reuters has issued a "Picture Kill Advisory" (link is to Michelle Malkin, as original PKA appears to have been moved) and has admitted altering the photo. Drudge is currently linking to the story at the very top of his page. To the extent that an organization like Reuters cares about such things, it appears that it has been humiliated.
Commenter "Ten7s" asks a reasonable question -- "Makes me wonder how much deft photo manipulation gets printed in the media." Indeed. _________________________________
Every once in a while you want to tell yourself that media bias is accidental and not deliberate, a sort of "they can't help themselves" phenomenon.
This is NOT one of those times.
Here is a photo published by Reuters that is captioned, "Smoke billows from burning buildings destroyed during an overnight Israeli air raid on Beirut's suburbs August 5, 2006. Many buildings were flattened during the attack. (Adnan Hajj/Reuters)":
Numerous bloggers and others have pointed out that the image has been heavily photoshopped. Some of them include:
The New York Times has done it again. In their latest soft selling of the terror organization, Hezbullah, The Times is revealing the kinder, gentler side of the outlaw group to help us all better understand how wonderful they really are. Even the title almost seems nice...
But wait! Apparently The New York Times thought even that title was too harsh. They later changed the name of the piece to "Charity Wins Deep Loyalty for Hezbollah". Best to get that nasty "gun" word out of there, I suppose. Why, we can't expect people in America to come to love Hezbullah like the TImes does if people think they are somehow connected to guns after all!
Neal Gabler might not look like an athlete, but don't be surprised to see him lining up for the long jump at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. For on this evening's Fox News Watch, Neal made a logical leap of Beamonesque proportions.
According to Gabler, the fact that a drunken Gibson made anti-Semitic remarks retroactively proves that his 'Passion of the Christ' was anti-Semitic too.
Here's how the liberal media critic put it:
"The interest here is 'The Passion.' It made something like $400 million. It was accused of being anti-Semitic. The mainstream press didn't really want to touch it. Because they were afraid of being clobbered from the right.
In the weeks leading up to the release of The Passion of the Christ film over two years ago, Tim Rutten, media columnist for the Los Angeles Times, wrote no less than six hyperventilating columns that dealt almost exclusively with breathless concerns over anti-Semitism in Mel Gibson's film. At one point, Rutten attacked Mel Gibson as "a little brat" and "an unwholesomely willful child playing with matches." Yet when the blatantly anti-Christian and anti-Catholic The Da Vinci Code was released a few months ago, Rutten's reaction was a ho-hum and a yawn; far from a concern, Da Vinci is "only a movie," asserted Rutten! Bigotry, anyone? Of course. As we've catalogued before (here and here, for example), anti-Christian and anti-Catholic prejudice is alive and well at the Los Angeles Times.
With this as a backdrop, it was no surprise to see the shameless Rutten juice Gibson's arrest to plaster Mel anew in his latest column (Saturday, August 5, 2006). Especially brazen is Rutten's implication that cheerleaders of Gibson's The Passion of the Christ have been exposed as supporters of anti-Semitism. This is a shameless and ugly column, folks.
Dontcha love it when liberal media members are confounded by poll results that don’t fit their view of the world? It drives them so batty that they suddenly start espousing all manner of absurd rationalizations they believe explain why so many Americans disagree with them.
Such was the case during the 7PM installment of “The Situation Room” Friday when Jack Cafferty shared with his viewers recent poll statistics showing that half of the country believes that Saddam Hussein had WMD before America invaded Iraq in March 2003. This didn’t sit well with Cafferty, who, true to form, blamed the public’s sentiments on Republicans.
This is really wonderful stuff necessitating the reader to be careful with drinking vessels (video link to follow):
"Most Cubans have insisted that they are sure Castro will recover and that the government will function fine until then. But others have privately expressed worries that their leader may be more sick than the world knows."
They certainly seem amazed that anyone could respect Dick Cheney since, according to them, "Cheney is favorably regarded by only about a third of Americans". This one third statistic is pretty normal for just about anyone who has any well known contention swirling about them. After all, it is well accepted by historians that only one third of the American colonists supported the Revolutionary war, too. People who take strong stands often find that they get the adoration of one third, the outright hatred of one third and no opinion out of the last third.
It seems safe to say that many Republicans are fed up with the propagandist ways of America’s “newspaper of record,” the New York Times. On Friday, majority members of the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works issued a statement regarding an August 3 op-ed by the Times’ Bob Herbert.
Herbert’s column began, “It may be time to get serious about trying to slow the catastrophic trend of global warming.” As you will see, Republicans on the EPW committee believe it may be time to get serious about trying to slow the catastrophic trend of globalwarmingism:
The August 3 New York Times op-ed by Bob Herbert titled “Hot Enough Yet,” makes several dubious global warming claims. See: http://select.nytimes.com/2006/08/03/opinion/03herbert.html?hp Herbert promotes the idea that the recent heat wave that has swept across the United States is another example of human caused catastrophic global warming. But the facts do not support this latest example of climate hysteria.
The statement then went point for point with Herbert, basically tearing apart all of his insipid falsehoods. Put your drinking vessels at a safe distance, for this is really delicious stuff:
As many of you know the press room in the White House, the place where countless spokesmen for the President have held innumerable briefings on issues important and not so important, is being shut down and a new one is being built to better fulfill the needs of a more modern era. The creation of this new press room is Hirschman’s excuse to attack Karl Rove and the Administration who he imagines wishes to "weaken the press corps".
There’s a new poll out from Scripps Howard/Ohio University claiming “Thirty-six percent of respondents overall said it is ‘very likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ that federal officials either participated in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or took no action to stop them ‘because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East.’"
When you watch the following video (with graphic images and language that might be offensive to some), you will understand why (hat tip to Ms Underestimated). This nine-minute clip includes an interview done by Jack Blood, a syndicated radio talk show host with some bizarre ideas about America. His guest was Dylan Avery, the 22-year old director of the 9/11 conspiracy theory schlockumentary “Loose Change.”
As you watch, you will be amazed to hear two Americans mock the
If there is such a thing as a “good liberal,” Peter Beinart of The New Republic is certainly one. Whether or not you agree with his point of view, at least Beinart’s columns are well-reasoned and intelligently presented as opposed to much of the shrill non sequiturs plastered across the opinion pages of most MSM.
With that in mind, Beinart entered the ring Friday night against Ann Coulter, on CNBC’s “Kudlow & Company.” Beinart clearly looked like an able opponent right from the start:
Well, look, if the Democrats take control, you're going to see a lot more aggressive oversight from both houses, and I think as you have said, look, as a nonpartisan matter, we have checks and balances in this country. Our government works when the Congress is aggressively checking the executive branch and vice-versa, and that really hasn't been happening very much as the Republican Congress, particularly in the House, has acted as an arm of the White House rather than an independent branch, and I think it has hurt the congressional Republicans themselves. The ones who looked the best, people like Lindsey Graham, are those who have exercised some independence, and I would gather that if Republicans in Congress had exercised a little more oversight and a little more independence, not only would we be in better shape as a country but they would be in better shape as a party running for re-election this year.