The plot of tonight’s (Friday) Law & Order on NBC will revolve around a “right-wing” character who is clearly inspired by Ann Coulter and who brags about having a drink with “Rush.” In a 20 second promo aired this week for the February 2 episode that will air at 10pm EST/PST, the announcer touts how “a controversial speaker causes a campus shooting.” A detective calls the Coulter character “a real pain in the a[ss]-" before the promo cuts to a scene of her excusing herself from the DA's office: “I've got drinks with Rush.”
The Coulter character is played by a beautiful blonde, though huskier than the real Coulter, actress Charlotte Ross. She is probably best-known for playing “Detective Connie McDowell” on ABC’s NYPD Blue. (IMDb's page on Ross.) Yahoo posted this plot summary: “Someone in a crowd fires a gun, killing a student, during a question-and-answer session of a controversial speaker.” TV Guide.com offered a fuller rundown with the political edge: “A student is shot at a politically charged college assembly and the investigation leads to a Ph.D. student dealing in embryonic stem-cell research who feels threatened by the tactics of the assembly speaker (Charlotte Ross) -- a right-wing conservative.”
WFAA TV in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas market has been touting a story that they obviously think is some sort of tragedy. So bad, in fact, that the first words of their story are, "'Inhumanity' and 'atrocity' are just two words being used to describe news..."
One would think that the world was ending, wouldn't one?
The TV station is wracked up in high dudgeon over a family of Palestinians who are in the country illegally and were scooped up by Immigration officials and remanded to a rather posh housing center to await the outcome of the machinations of government officials trying to determine their fate.
Brent Bozell, President of the Media Research Center which operates NewsBusters, appeared Thursday night, with Rachel Sklar of the Huffington Post, on FNC’s Hannity & Colmes. Topic: The publication by the New York Times on Monday of a picture of a dying U.S. soldier in Iraq, suffering from a head wound, being carried on a stretcher. Sklar and Bozell had very different answers for how they’d react to a picture/video of a killed love one being posted by the Times, but before where the clip below begins Sklar did state that the Times was in the wrong if their actions contravened an agreement with the military about what embedded journalists could include in their stories.
The Times has agreed to apologize to the family of Staff Sgt. Hector Leija and the photo has been removed from the online posting of the January 29 article, but an accompanying video, which unlike the printed picture does not show the wounded soldier’s face and head -- but does show the events around the shooting and the wounded Leija’s legs -- remains online. The MRC’s TimesWatch posted an excerpt from Thursday’s Houston Chronicle article, "N.Y. Times to apologize for photo, video of soldier: Paper to send family a letter of explanation, regret over using images of the dying Texan."
Video clip (4:00): Windows Media (7.8 MB at higher quality 256 kbps) or Real (3 MB at lower quality 100 kbps), plus MP3 audio (1.4 MB)
About 12 minutes into Thursday’s NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams warned viewers about “global warming,” but just eight minutes later NBC ran a story about the month-long “deep freeze” in Colorado. If journalists can fret about global warming every time there’s a heat wave, it’s just as legitimate to point out such a glaring contrast on a newscast even if the events are really no more contradictory than claiming above average temperatures one month are evidence of global warming.
With “Global Warming” on screen in the graphic over his shoulder, Williams promoted the “much-anticipated” upcoming report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: “Global warming, they are to say, is very likely to be caused by people, by very likely, the scientists behind this report say, that means 90 percent certain.” Williams went on to trumpet how “Al Gore has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work fighting global warming.” Then, 20 minutes into the program, viewers saw “Deep Freeze” on screen as Williams noted how a month ago “the devastating first wave of winter smacked into Colorado,” and as a result, “many of the cattle in Colorado are in deep trouble and suffering badly now.” Reporter Kevin Tibbles began with a newborn calf struggling “to survive in an especially brutal Colorado winter.” Tibbles highlighted how the majority of calves born to one rancher have died and the rancher blamed the temperature: “They were born in the snow and it was too cold...”
After avoiding politics the previous day, the ladies on Thursday's The View seemingly compensated for their lost time. Joy Behar led the way first calling for more political speeches at the Oscars, then cheered for Gore’s nomination, apologized for Joe Biden, Rosie said she’d never run for office, and took the solemnity of a political columnist’s death to attack President Bush.
Barbara Walters returned from Los Angeles where she interviewed some Oscar nominees for her upcoming Academy Awards special. Joy Behar wants more nominees to shove their opinions on all Americans.
Joy Behar: "I pray that somebody is controversial and assertive. I pray it. Because, it’s so tedious otherwise, you know. Thank you, thank you, my piano teacher. Who cares? Say something political and interesting."
So which do you think will be a greater source of indigestion at the Clinton dinner table this evening: Barack Obama possibly getting the Democrat nomination for president in 2008, or Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007?
Regardless of the answer, as amazing as it might seem, the former vice president was actually nominated for such an honor according to the Associated Press (emphasis mine throughout): "Former Vice President Al Gore was nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his wide-reaching efforts to draw the world's attention to the dangers of global warming, a Norwegian lawmaker said Thursday."
Extraordinary. Before you read the rest of this nonsense, please remove combustibles and sharp objects from proximity:
Yesterday, President Bush became the second sitting president to ever take a stroll on the New York Stock Exchange floor (Ronald Reagan was the first to do so). Bush also gave a speech at Federal Hall in which he defended his tax cuts, as well as No Child Left Behind, and his policy initiatives in general. But his policy remarks got no attention last night on the evening newscasts, which instead hyped his talking points on CEO pay and income inequality, two liberal themes.
I am posting this as the mainstream media hasn't picked it up.
While not being able to keep up with all of his many accomplishments over the years, I do speak from personal experience when I say Rush Limbaugh's 1992 Best Seller The Way Things Ought To Be may have done more to carry discussion of conservative ideas and the concept of political freedom into elements of American popular culture where it was never thought much about before.
On Tuesday night, the ABC program "Nightline" devoted almost nine minutes of air time to a group of atheists who are encouraging teens to take the "blasphemy challenge" and videotape themselves denying the existence of God. Although reporter John Berman did ask some challenging questions to the creators of blasphemychallange.com, he also tossed softballs, such as "What’s wrong with God?" Additionally, the ABC correspondent first related how atheists are actually an oppressed minority and yet also the wave of the future:
John Berman: "Two of the best-selling books on Publishers Weekly religion lists are by atheists about atheism. There's a hard-hitting documentary questioning the very existence of Jesus. There's even an atheist lobby in Washington."
Blogs such as NewsBusters play a key role in helping the truth bypass the filter of the mainstream media. That was the view that Rear Admiral Mark Fox expressed to this blogger today.
I had the opportunity to participate in a conference call for bloggers with RADM Fox, a Silver Star recipient who scored the first Navy MiG kill in Operation Desert Storm, and who now serves as the Communications Director for MNF-I in Baghdad. Given NB's mission, when I had the to ask a question I naturally focused on MSM coverage of the war. I cited to Admiral Fox the headline and opening paragraph of the New York Times story on the recent battle in Najaf in which Iraqi-US forces killed over 200 enemy fighters and captured more than 400. Predictably, the Times sought to cast the success in the most negative possible light.
Occasionally I'm contacted by media
organizations who want to tape an interview, usually when events occur
which will impact military families. Right before the President's
speech on the way forward in Iraq, I received some media requests. The
aim was to come to my home, film me watching the speech and then
interview me about my reaction to what was said. I have never done a
television interview. Ironically, I think I would have accepted one of
these invitations, but I happened to be out of town and not in
Washington during the President's speech, so I was unavailable.
I farm these interviews out when possible. My husband calls me a
"chicken" for doing this, and he's mostly right. When I'm contacted,
it's usually because the outlet is looking for a "pro-victory" point of
view and they know, obviously, that I represent that point of view. No
doubt they already have the opposing view lined up. One of the reasons
I'm leery of television interviews is because of ambush tactics such as
those recently used against my blog mom, who was asked to appear on an
ABC News show with another mother to discuss Iraq.
arrived at the prescribed time, I put my earpiece in, got the
microphone clipped to my sweater and the cord appropriately hidden. The
New York producer and the director (or tech guy??) both spoke in my ear
and I did the microphone test... 1, 2, 3, 4... 10, 9, 8, 7. I sat
listening to the broadcasts and news feeds in my ear for a good 20
minutes, including a few on-air promos of the upcoming interview “with
two military moms with their take on the President's State of the Union
Address,” as well as the two lead-in interviews with two of ABC's
female political reporters -- one in New York and one in D.C.
thinking, Great. I have Hillary or Nancy in the other chair! Close.
Turns out it was Barbara Boxer’s friend, Anne Roesler not to mention Nancy Pelosi’s
darling. While there was a small legend that appeared and quickly
disappeared under Ms. Roesler’s picture, turns out that Anne Roesler is
no ordinary, average “military mom”, but a practiced anti-war speaker
and writer -- AND HAS BEEN SINCE BEFORE THE WAR ACTUALLY BEGAN.
Half-serious warning: those with heart conditions are advised to have their medications handy when reading this.
With Democrats in congressional power, are leftists feeling suddenly empowered to express formerly taboo views? First came a column in the Los Angeles Times arguing we have overreacted to 9-11. Now comes Washington Post columnist William Arkin to express contempt for our troops and question how much we really owe them after all.
"I've been mulling over an NBC Nightly News report from Iraq last Friday in which a number of soldiers expressed frustration with opposition to war in the United States. I'm all for everyone expressing their opinion, even those who wear the uniform of the United States Army. But I also hope that military commanders took the soldiers aside after the story and explained to them why it wasn't for them to disapprove of the American people."
"These soldiers should be grateful that the American public, which by all polls overwhelmingly disapproves of the Iraq war and the President's handling of it, do still offer their support to them, and their respect."
"Through every Abu Ghraib and Haditha, through every rape and murder, the American public has indulged those in uniform, accepting that the incidents were the product of bad apples or even of some administration or command order."
"We pay the soldiers a decent wage, take care of their families, provide them with housing and medical care and vast social support systems and ship obscene amenities into the war zone for them, we support them in every possible way, and their attitude is that we should in addition roll over and play dead, defer to the military and the generals and let them fight their war, and give up our rights and responsibilities to speak up because they are above society?"
Democratic presidential candidate (for now, anyway) Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware got headlines for all the wrong reasons yesterday when he referred to Sen. Barack Obama, who's also running for president, as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy" in an interview with the New York Observer.
"Biden Unwraps His Bid for '08 With an Oops!" read the headline over Adam Nagourney's Thursday story in the New York Times. Credit the Times for putting it on the front page, and to Nagourney for bringing up Biden's equally strange comment last summer that aired on C-Span: “You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.”
There was an extraordinary debate about global warming on CNN’s “Larry King Live” Wednesday night that perfectly demonstrated the battle that is waging on this issue. In particular, it marvelously depicted the hysteria being exhibited by the media versus the reason of those who actually make a living analyzing the problem.
For instance, King began the discussion:
Tonight, what is global warming? Could it really kill us all, submerge cities like New York and Washington and San Francisco under floods from melting Arctic ice caps? Cause deadly heat waves lasting weeks? Would such a disaster be manmade?
Some bedside manner, wouldn’t you agree?
After playing some video clips of frightened Senators, and a petrified Al Gore, King turned to Weather Channel climate expert Heidi Cullen:
Most media storylines on the economy are predictable. Tax cuts "cost" the government money. The wealthy don't pay their fair share, and, socialized medicine is the only comprehensive way to address health care problems.
That last one's been in vogue lately as Democrats have raised health care as part of their "100 Hours" agenda. So our very own Julia Seymour took a look at the media's push for Big Brother to play doctor to 300 million Americans.
But then there's the ones that are just patently laughable. Like where the media pick the interests of say fish, over people. Look to none other than our friends at The Washington Post for that one. You can find our writeup on that here.:
Like describing a spiral staircase without using your hands, "Today" pulled off the impressive feat this morning of getting through an entire segment about the UK terror plot uncovered yesterday without once mentioning that the suspects are Muslim. Oh, the word "Muslim" did pop up - but only or purposes of describing the intended victim of the plot and concerned area residents.
NBC's Keith Miller reported from London, mentioned that "the alleged target of the kidnaping [was] a British Muslim soldier on leave from Afghanistan."
In our continuing calvalcade of coverage of the Biden "clean and articulate" comments, we thought it would be interesting to see how three of the leading liberal newspapers treated the story on their respective front pages this morning.
At the New York Times, the headline on the smallish front-page article brought a dash of downplaying humor to the story: "Biden Unwraps His Bid for ’08 With an Oops!"
But that was better than nothing - which was exactly how much coverage the Boston Globe and Los Angeles Times devoted to the story on their front pages.
Now, you might cut the Globe some slack since Beantown was focused on the Turner Broadcasting System marketing stunt for a Cartoon Network television show that littered the city with small battery-powered light screens, igniting fears of terrorism and shutting down much of the city for the day. Even so, the Globe editors found room on the front page for a variety of other stories including one on a pol caught in a sick leave scandal.
"The House passed a $463.5 billion spending bill Wednesday that covers about one-sixth of the federal budget as Democrats cleared away the financial mess they inherited from Republicans."
Cleared away the financial mess, all in one spending bill? That's not just editorializing, it's bald-faced partisan rhetoric, not fact. Just paragraphs later, Taylor suggests the Democrats are still a lot like Republicans: