The gist is that global warming is causing Arctic ice to melt, depriving polar bears of territory to hunt seals, the staple of their diet.
Author Geoffrey Lean [special sympathy for the hungry?] brands Bush's stance on climate change "obdurate," which last I looked means "hardened in wrongdoing or wickedness; stubbornly impenitent." No media bias there!
Saturday's CBS Evening News devoted its “Weekend Journal” segment to, as anchor Russ Mitchell explained, “the Senate veteran who is known far and wide as 'Saint Jack.'" Bill Whitaker proceeded to relay, without any competing voices, the anti-Christian Right enmity of former moderate, at best, Missouri Republican Senator Jack Danforth who is on a crusade to rid the Republican Party of the influence of Christian conservatives. Whitaker began with a clip of Danforth declaring: "I am concerned about the Republican Party becoming, in essence, the party of the Christian conservatives." Whitaker then bucked-up Danforth's authority: "This is no Republican-basher speaking. It's party stalwart John Danforth, a lifelong Republican with rock solid conservative credentials.” To support the ludicrous claim that Danforth holds “solid conservative credentials,” Whitaker cited how he “led the bitter partisan battle to put Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court” -- when that just reflected personal loyalty to Thomas who had worked on Danforth's staff when he was Missouri's Attorney General -- and how as “an episcopal priest, he presided over the funeral of Ronald Reagan," as if all those involved in the service were right-wingers.
The Los Angeles-based Whitaker, who traveled to La Quinta, California to interview Danforth, trumpeted how “this faithful Republican is worried about the direction his party is taking." After relating Danforth's contention that the involvement of religious conservatives “makes the party seem exclusive, and I think it makes American politics meaner” as well as his complaint that Republicans “pander” in “the conscious development of wedge issues in order to excite religious passion,” Whitaker sighed: "But even he admits it works. The GOP now controls the White House, the Senate, the House. But at what cost?" Danforth alleged: "If by winning an election we've caused such divisions in the country that we are unable to address the really big issues before us, then we've done more harm than good." (Transcript follows.)
In fact, on Aug. 30, the President began his day in San Diego where he took part in an anniversary observance of V-J Day and visited a Naval hospital. Later he flew to Arizona to speak on medicare; after which he flew to Texas. Throughout the day, the President was kept informed of Katrina developments and made decisions regarding relief efforts.
After President Bush delivered his speech on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in April 2003 welcoming U.S. troops home from Iraq and declaring an end to major combat operations, the media for some time sought to embarrass Bush each time American soldiers were killed by recounting how many U.S. troops had died since that speech, and by referring to the "Mission Accomplished" sign displayed at the time. On Monday February 6, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann used his Countdown show to resurrect references to that speech with a new addition to his regular signoff, which he has repeated each day during the past week, in the form of recounting the number of days it has been "since the declaration of 'Mission Accomplished' in Iraq."
Olbermann, who has long used his Countdown show to criticize President Bush regarding the Iraq War, has typically ended each night's show with words similar to, "That's Countdown for tonight. Keep your knees loose. Good night and good luck," before balling up a piece of paper and tossing it toward the camera. On the February 6 show, Olbermann first inserted words into his signoff tallying the number of days since the display of the "Mission Accomplished" sign. After the final segment on Monday, the Countdown host ended his show: "That is Countdown for this, the 1,012th day since the declaration of 'Mission Accomplished' in Iraq. I'm Keith Olbermann. Good night and good luck." Olbermann repeated this recounting each night of the week. (Transcripts follow)
Al Franken wrote a blog piece for the Huffington Post on Saturday entitled “Reflections on the Wellstone Memorial and the King Funeral,” wherein he tried to explain how people of his political persuasion behave at what most Americans believe to be solemn events. In the way that only a man who best understands how lying liars lie, Franken began his piece by employing an uncanny amount of revisionist history to refute contentions that the behavior of the crowd at Paul Wellstone’s memorial service in October 2002 was unfitting the occasion: “The chapter was mainly about how cynically Republicans used the memorial politically as they complained that the Democrats had used it politically. And how the mainstream media, many of whom had neither attended the memorial nor seen it on TV, bought into the Republican spin.”
Now THAT’S an interesting concept – mainstream media buying into Republican spin. That happens as often as hell freezes over. Franken continued:
On the Washington Post op-ed page today, Colbert King snidely protests the conservative feeling that liberals turned the Coretta Scott King funeral into a bit of whooping political theater. "The fuss over the funeral is probably the silliest snit of all."
King raised several straw men. First, how could you expect a funeral for a political icon like Coretta not to raise issues of racism, poverty, and war? (But we didn't expect it to be free of political themes. We did expect it to be free of whooping ovations of sentences that seemed designed to embarrass the President as he sat there.) Second, he claims this is the way black Baptist funerals are. (But the "mourners" were not worshiping Jesus, saying Amen to their Lord in loud voices. They were whooping at liberal anti-Bush sentiments. If that's a black Baptist funeral, then it IS as much a campaign event as a religious event.) King concludes:
When's the last time you recall a prominent elected official being called a morning malt liquor drinker on live national TV? It just happened on the Today show.
Today was no doubt looking for a light touch when co-host Campbell Brown interviewed New Orleans magician, comic and eccentric extraordinaire Harry Anderson in a pre-Mardi Gras piece on "Life after Katrina." But the NBC show surely got more than it was bargaining for.
When Anderson took some shots at FEMA and the federal response to Katrina, Brown, in an apparent bid for balance, responded:
"Let me ask you about Mayor Nagin, because your mayor has come under a lot of crticism too for how he's handled the rebuilding effort. What do you think of the mayor?"
Over at Townhall, columnist Larry Elder wrote about an interview on National Public Radio's "Fresh Air with Terry Gross." Most of the interviews and reviews on that show are about arts and culture, but politics are also a topic. It airs on at least 350 NPR affiliates across the country. Elder writes about her interview with former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin about the inappropriateness of the Bush tax cuts. (Audio can be found here.) He centers in on the liberal questioning:
Gross: "This is the first time, as far as I understand it, that we've cut taxes during wartime. What does the math look like, paying for Iraq while cutting taxes?"
For two consecutive nights, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann has ignored the recent report from AP detailing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's dealings with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. But on Friday, the MSNBC host devoted a segment on his Countdown show to discussing an email written by Abramoff that disputes President Bush's claim that he does not know Abramoff.
Olbermann compared Bush's memory to the excellent memory of Richard Nixon, recounting the story of Nixon's 1959 meeting with the Chicago White Sox in which the then-Vice President knew all of their names. After reading an email Abramoff wrote to Kim Eisler of Washingtonian magazine in which Abramoff claimed Bush "has one of the best memories of any politician I have ever met," Olbermann brought aboard correspondent David Shuster to discuss whether Bush has been honest in his denial of knowing Abramoff.
In an interview conducted in her office, Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman, the ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told FNC’s Jim Angle that the “very valuable” terrorist surveillance program “fits within” the FISA law. In the session excerpted on Friday’s Special Report with Brit Hume, she deplored how leaks are hurting intelligence efforts and scolded the news media for “not extremely accurate” characterizations of the program. Zeroing in on the New York Times, which first revealed the program, Harman asserted their story was “inaccurate” because they reported it included a “domestic-to-domestic” surveillance effort. She also charged that “these leaks are compromising some core capability of the United States,” regretting how “it's tragic that this whole thing is being aired in the newspapers.” As to who is the blame, however, she bore in on the Bush administration for how “this can't be handled in normal channels because this administration refuses to share the information with Congress." (Transcript follows.)
Appearing by phone on Friday’s Imus in the Morning radio simulcast on MSNBC, to plug his upcoming Sunday night 60 Minutes report on the struggles and achievements of some military members severely wounded in Iraq, Mike Wallace admitted he was “astonished” at how “almost all of them support the war despite the fact that it's taken such a toll on them.” He elaborated, “We asked them flat out: What about should we be there? And the ones that are the most severely hit believe yes, we should have been there. They are not angry at the President...” Wallace has previously made clear his disgust with the war. In late November on FNC, he contended that "Iraq is becoming a kind of Vietnam" and asserted that "we should never have gone into Iraq. We were sold a bill of goods." Back in 2004 at a Smithsonian forum, Wallace argued that “this is not, in my estimation, a good war” and declared that “it sure is not a noble enterprise." (Transcripts follow.)
According to Lipton's story, the White House knew of flooding in New Orleans by midnight August 30.
But the alert did not seem to register. Even the next morning, President Bush, on vacation in Texas, was feeling relieved that New Orleans had "dodged the bullet," he later recalled. (bold added)
the Times knows the next morning the President was at the North Island
Naval Air Station in San Diego taking part in an anniversary observance
of V-J Day. Here's The White Press release of the event, including photos.
The Associated Press reported Thursday that Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has much stronger ties to former lobbyist Jack Abramoff than had been previously believed. Yet, most of the mainstream media have ignored this stunning revelation suggesting that, contrary to press assertions, this isn’t just a Republican scandal.
According to AP: “Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid portrays convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff's activities as involving only Republicans. But Abramoff's billing records and congressional correspondence tell a different story."
The article continued: “The activities -- detailed in billing records and correspondence obtained by The Associated Press -- are far more extensive than previously disclosed. They occurred over three years as Reid collected nearly $68,000 in donations from Abramoff's firm, lobbying partners and clients.”
On last night's Hardball Chris Matthews invited on Rep. Barney Frank to defend the wild claim Frank made during the Hurricane Katrina hearings: "We have to do more, because here’s what I have to say and I hate to have to have to say this about my own government. But I believe what we are seeing with regard to New Orleans and the surrounding area is a policy frankly of ethnic cleansing by inaction."
Tim Graham blogged about it here but a quick survey of MRC analysts reveals MSNBC's Hardball has been the only network show to touch on the remark. This is a far cry from the reaction Pat Robertson received for his controversial remarks especially when you consider the arguable relevance he still has at least compared to Frank's status as a current sitting member of Congress.
President Bush gave some details Thursday concerning foiled plots by al Qaeda to attack America, including one plan to fly a plane into the tallest building on the West Coast that was successfully averted. Unfortunately, those that rely on either The New York Times or The Washington Post for their news might have missed these revelations, for this story was curiously not placed on the front page of either of these papers.
The New York Times strategically placed its article on this subject on page A22. Times’ editors must have felt that more information about what the administration knew concerning the levees in New Orleans before Katrina hit, warnings on ADHD drugs, how Haiti elections are shaping up, a resignation at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, security issues at America’s borders, and how magazines use numbers on their covers to tantalize consumers were more important than America foiling al Qaeda attacks.
Vice-President Cheney spoke, last night, to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington. The AP has a snippet of his speech in their video stories this morning. The passage that they've got up includes the following from the Vice President, speaking on the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program:
Some of our critics call this a "domestic surveillance program." Wrong. That is inaccurate. It is not domestic surveillance. We are talking about communications, one end of which is outside the United States and therefore interational and one end of which we have reason to believe is somehow tied to or related to Al-quaeda. It's hard to think of any category of information that could be more important to the safety of the United States.
MediaBistro's FishBowl DC bloggers, Garrett Graff and Patrick Gavin, posted an internal Washington Post report on racial diversity at the newspaper. The January 26 cover letter to newsroom staff from top editors -- Executive Editor Len Downie, Managing Editor Phil Bennett, and Deputy Managing Editor Milton Coleman -- boasted of increased diversity in hiring: "Through determined recruiting, we have increased the number of minority journalists working in our newsroom to an all-time high of 152, which is 23.5 percent of our professional staff. The two percent increase from 21.4 percent at the end of 2004 is the largest ever."
But the real dirt in the 30-plus page report is the testimony of anonymous Post reporters. This one sticks out for me, on page 5: "One person noted an anti-religion bias in the newsroom. When referring to the faithful, 'the word of choice around here is "kooks".'This same person felt offended during the recent coverage of the Pope’s death, when some of her colleagues, she said, were mocking the Pope. 'I was [too] intimidated to complain, even since my editor was part of it, so I got up and left. Faith is derided.'" Other reporters complained:
She interviewed NBC reporter Richard Engel on this morning's Today show in the wake of the release of a new videotape of Jill Carroll, the US journalist kidnapped in Iraq last month. The tape showed a composed Carroll speaking before a floral backdrop.
Couric, ever the fashion maven, declared "it's actually kind of a pretty setting." Perhaps Katie can pick up some matching shoes while in 'Torino'. Engel explained that the captors appear to be sending the message that they are looking to negotiate.
Over at the NBC Nightly News "Daily Nightly" blog, NBC "investigative producer" Robert Windrem relates how at the 2:30 pm editorial meeting on Wednesday, "we had a lively discussion of what the context should be" about the Muslim cartoon jihad. For his part, Windrem agreed with local liberal academics, who somehow can link cartoonists to police brutality:
The bottom line for me was that this can't be dealt with as a story about cartoons or even about Islamic prohibitions about the depiction of Muhammad. It has to be about the simmering pot that went to boil, as Shibley Telhami, the University of Maryland scholar, said this morning on Washington radio. He noted that this is the Islamic version of the Rodney King verdict. In that case, it wasn't just about the verdict against four Los Angeles policemen. It was about African-Americans' belief, whether based on reality or perception, that they had been the victims of decades of racism and thuggery by the LAPD.
The first words issued by NBC Nightly News host Brian Williams tonight were as follows:
"The plot thickens. Tonight, the President reveals new details about an alleged terrorist plot involving hijackers, shoe bombers, and a sky scraper in Los Angeles.
But there are questions."
And with that, Brian Williams launched into what appared to be quite a skeptical analysis of the details released by President Bush today regarding the foiled plot to hijack a passenger jet and crash it into an L.A. sky scraper.