The lead story on Friday’s Today, in a surprising and uncommon move, featured all Republicans. Of course, all of these Republicans are opposed to the president’s plan in Iraq. NBC’s Chip Reid profiled the sponsor of one of the resolutions opposing the surge, Republican Senator John Warner of Virginia.
Reid high lighted Warner’s service in both World War II and Korea, then played a sound bite of Senator Susan Collins of Maine, another Republican opponent, stating "when a distinguished veteran like John Warner speaks out on this issue, and cautions us to take another look, it matters." Reid then played a sound bite from Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, perhaps the fiercest Republican opponent of surge and of course emphasized that he’s a Vietnam War veteran. In this story, Reid did not devote any time to Republicans that actually support the surge, including its strongest supporter, former Vietnam prisoner of war, Senator John McCain.
National Public Radio media reporter David Folkenflik has done a very unusual thing: brought the king of commercial talk-radio to the 700-plus affiliates of NPR. As part of a series on their evening show All Things Considered on "Crossing the Divide," Folkenflik profiled Limbaugh as an example of someone who declares he has no interest in compromise. Limbaugh was rebutted, in part, by radio/TV talker Glenn Beck, who worried about divisive talk radio: "I truly believe it's going to be the death of us. It's going to be the death of our industry, and the death of our country, if we don't stop dividing ourselves like this. It's not right." Later, he seems to contradict that a bit.
Folkenflik also relied on to former L.A. Times/Newsweek reporter Tom Rosenstiel, the usual Chairman of the Mainstream Media Party (with the Project for Excellence in Journalism), who unfolded the old smear that talk-radio hosts have no interest in accuracy, unlike the more professional guardians of the public interest in the liberal media elite:
Whoever produced GMA's segment on Hillary's prospects in Iowa is no big fan of the junior senator from New York. Among other things, the decidedly downbeat piece [from Clinton's perspective] reached back to 2003 for a clip of Hillary, campaigning in Iowa in 2003, screeching "it begins in Iowa and ends on Pennsylvania Avenue!" Not quite "sick and tired" screechy, but not a pretty sight by any means.
We were also treated to a clip of pre-makeover Hillary [shown here] campaigning in the Hawkeye State for her husband in 1992.
In contrast, a telegenic John Edwards was shown posing for a photo with a female admirer, and we were told that he "has been all over Iowa, winning the early popularity contest heading into the caucuses a year from now." Next, a clip of a younger woman-in-the-street saying "I like [Edwards'] grass-roots campaign, how he's connected to the people."
Then, as the narrator observed that Sen. Barack Obama "drew huge crowds last fall while supporting congressional candidates" a clip was shown of Obama making his way through a crowd with rock music blaring in the background. Subliminal message: rock music for the rock star of the Dem party.
Sometimes, you have to read all the way to the end of an article to find that Time is still asking, like their famous 1966 cover, "Is God Dead?" At the end of its January 29 cover story (or cover essay) by Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker, the academic drops the typical bomb: religion "devalues life on earth," and the "most famous practioners" of belief in God in our time "hijacked the airliners on 9/11."
In the closing section, titled "Toward A New Morality" (that would be "post-religious morality"), Pinker sought to rebut author Tom Wolfe. He asserted:
...few scientists doubt that they will locate consciousness in the activity of the brain. For many nonscientists, this is a terrifying prospect. Not only does it strangle the hope that we might survive the death of our bodies, but it also seems to undermine the notion that we are free agents responsible for our choices -- not just in this lifetime but also in a life to come. In his millennial essay "Sorry, but Your Soul Just Died," Tom Wolfe worried that when science has killed the soul, "the lurid carnival that will ensue may make the phrase 'the total eclipse of all values' seem tame."
As the 2008 campaign heats up, members of the mainstream media are having trouble deciding between their old favorite (Hillary) and the new flame (Obama). Both CNN and ABC leapt to the defense of Senator Barack Obama after he was accused of attending an Islamic madrassah as a child. (Of course, ABC once devoted an entire episode of "Nightline" to murky allegations that George W. Bush did coke as a younger man.)
But perhaps Obama should be a little worried. The "Early Show" demonstrated exactly why Hillary is still the media’s favorite. Over on MSNBC, Chris Matthews told Hillary Clinton that "ideologues on the right" were responsible for the death of her famous health care plan.
ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos asked another 2008 candidate, Bill Richardson, if, as president, he would please just raise taxes.
It's not uncommon for an interviewer to tell a guest offering orotund pronouncements that he's sounding "like a candidate." But Meredith Vieira took that one giant step further this morning, informing renegade Republican Chuck Hagel that he was sounding downright "presidential."
Of course, nothing sounds more presidential to an MSMer's ears than defeatist criticism of the war in Iraq and by extension of the current occupant of the White House. But when it came to the key question, Hagel, far from flashing presidential timber, equivocated like a garden-variety pol.
Vieira: "Senator, at this point, do you believe we are fighting and dying for nothing?"
Hagel immediately went into bob-and-weave mode: "Well, I think the Congress needs to take a look at it and each member of Congress needs to go on the record and need [sic] to address the issue in a very clear way so that they can go back to their constituents and say yes I either support an escalation to put 22,000 more troops in the middle of a sectarian civil war, or I don't."
For the second time in less than three months, the New York Times is forced to correct basic facts in a story regarding Sen. John Kerry's "botched joke" about U.S. troops being "stuck in Iraq." (TimesWatch pointed out the repeat flub yesterday.)
The Times has appended a thorough correction to political reporter Adam Nagourney's Thursday article.
The headline conveys the obvious impression that our troops are fighting Iraqi soldiers and not terrorists/"insurgents."
Based on the story that follows, the headline is obviously false.
Bryan thought the headline at the original story had been updated, but that turns out to have been incorrect. Yours truly tipped him, and he noted, that the story is still there in all its ignominy. What's more, he noted, by reviewing Google News results, that the false headline, even if corrected now, has spread around the country and around the world. Further supporting the Pandora's Box nature of the AP's journalistic malpractice, here's a regular Google search on the headline (in quotes) showing that it still generates thousands of hits. And even though most of underlying linked stories appear to have different titles now, some (like this one) still have the original.
When the Washington Post notices a conservative personality with a front-page Style section profile, they are acknowledged that he may have Arrived. But that doesn't mean the profile will be nice. David Segal's profile of CNN Headline News and syndicated radio host Glenn Beck starts out on the front page as noticing Beck is a tad more moderate in persona than Bill O'Reilly, acknowledging his own faults and finding gray areas, and "he won't offer the righteous condemnations you'd expect from the God-fearing conservative that he constantly reminds viewers he is."
But turn inside, and Segal has profiled Beck for the purpose of a public whipping by leftists over Beck's questioning of Muslim Rep. Keith Ellison: "I have to tell you, I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.' And I know you're not. I'm not accusing you of being an enemy, but that's the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way." Segal lines up the liberal critics:
We all know the face of real terror. Nick Berg getting his head sawed off by a knife wielding Islamist, suicide bombers laying waste to mass transit in Israel, the World Trade Towers collapsing on the morning of 09/11/01. That is real terror.
But, to Reuters, enforcing U.S. immigration laws is terror.
Words like "fearful", "shock", "afraid" and "terrified" are sprinkled all through the article leaving the impression that something mean and violent is occurring to these poor people. One would think that we are rounding up Mexican and Central and South Americans who are in this country illegally and herding them off to torture camps or to some Holocaust redux.
Sunday's episode of Showtime's drama centered around the lives of lesbians in Los Angeles, the L word, will feature the “Unauthorized Abortion of W,” a sculpture of a woman's body with an exposed womb displaying George W. Bush's adult face with each of his hands holding onto a rocket labeled “U.S. Air Force.” The rockets are angled to suggest they represent forceps. (Showtime is part of CBS.)
In a promo for the January 28 episode, character “Bette Porter,” the dean of a university's art school played by Jennifer Beals, tells a new character played by Marlee Matlin: “I'm bringing one of our biggest donors to tour the studio. There's a radical sculpture.” Through a male interpreter, the deaf Matlin character, whom the L word's Web site describes as “an artist whose work is politically incendiary,” observes: “He's not going to like that piece.” Porter/Beals confirms “no.” Then as a man comes into view, presumably the big donor, the camera quickly pans the figure of Bush in the womb as Matlin explains: “This is called the 'Unauthorized Abortion of W.'” Video clip of Showtime's promo for the January 28 episode (45 seconds): Real (1.3 MB) or Windows Media (1.6 MB), plus MP3 audio (275 KB)
Paul Begala lamented on CNN Tuesday night that President Bush had committed a grave sin by calling his new opposition the "Democrat majority" instead of the "Democratic majority." Liberal reporters in the last few years have called Bush a dictator and compared Vice President Cheney to Darth Vader. But to call someone a "Democrat" is worse? Thursday's Washington Post carried an entire article championing Begala's complaint in the Style section Thursday titled "President's Sin of Omission: Dropped Syllable In Speech Riles Democrats."
It was bad enough for Post columnist Ruth Marcus to devote an entire column of wailing and mourning to this slight in November. Before dutifully recycling Begala's pleas on CNN, reporter Libby Copeland noted that this has long been a part of "Republican warfare" on those people who represent the public interest:
Another classic contrast in media bias is emerging with Saturday’s "anti-war" march on Washington, just six days after the annual March for Life. Already, the Washington Post is showing more love in column inches for the left-wing protest. The Post had no article previewing the pro-life march, but on the front page of Thursday’s Post, in a box promoting its "Faces of the Fallen" pages of the war dead, a promotional blurb:
Actors, Other Activists Plan Mall War Protest
Jane Fonda and Susan Sarandon are expected for Saturday’s anti-war rally and March Metro
The article was inside the Metro section, on page B-6. Reporter Michael Ruane’s story was headlined "Large Rally Planned Saturday on Mall: Organizes Oppose Increase in Troops and Plan to Seek Withdrawal Deadline." That’s a little bland for the hard left, especially when UFPJ’s attitude toward the troops is advertised with their website headline "‘We Have A Haditha Every Day’ -- TAKE ACTION!"
As NewsBusters has reported here, here, here, and here, former President Jimmy Carter has gotten himself into quite a pickle over his new book about the Israeli/Palestinian issue.
On Tuesday night, Carter spoke to students at Brandeis University. CNN’s report on this speech during the 7PM EST installment of Wednesday's “The Situation Room” appeared to be rather anti-Semitic potentially in an attempt to deflect criticism for Carter himself expressing anti-Semitic views in his controversial book (video available here, h/t Hot Air).
Early in her report, correspondent Carol Costello stated:
While Vice President Dick Cheney stared daggers into CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer over his pushing questions about his lesbian daughter’s December announcement of her pregnancy, Blitzer insisted it was a “responsible and fair question.” Cheney disagreed. There's an argument that Blitzer's question citing Focus on the Family, when considered alone, is a fair (if not kind) question. There's no doubt that Blitzer's question was a trouble-making question, which could easily serve to sow division among Republicans and press Cheney into making a big gaffe or controversy.
Here’s where it’s clearly unfair. When has a Democratic national candidate’s sons or daughters ever been the subject of a national controversy? Try this as Exhibit A. In 2000, while the networks tried to make great hay in the election’s last weekend over an antique George W. Bush drunk-driving ticket, CNN and the other liberal networks hyper-sensitively avoided the story of Al Gore's teenage son Albert Gore III, caught driving 97 miles per hour on an interstate highway, an offense on the public record, just two days before the 2000 Democratic convention. As I wrote for National Review Online in 2000:
The View co-hosts are so anxious at an opportunity to blast the vice president, that the truth does not seem to matter. On Thursday’s View, co-hosts Rosie O’Donnell, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Joy Behar, and guest co-host Tina Fey weighed in on the recent interview Vice President Cheney gave to CNN regarding Cheney’s lesbian daughter’s pregnancy. Through the course of the conversation they falsely asserted that Cheney is a staunch gay-marriage opponent.
Although token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck thought inquiring into his family life was inappropriate, they all agreed the vice president is a hypocrite for not supporting gay marriage while retaining a strong relationship with an openly gay daughter. Joy Behar summed it up along with her ignorance of the vice president's role.
CNN anchor Lou Dobbs appeared with the ladies on ABC's The View to deliver some rather liberal opinions. He stumped for a minimum wage increase, railed against the influence big corporations have on politics, and pushed for universal healthcare. Interestingly, Dobbs was not grilled the way Bill O’Reilly was on the same show several months ago. Also of note, the co-hosts did not even touch illegal immigration, the one issue where Lou Dobbs is famously conservative.
Rosie O’Donnell asked the question she has been obsessing on lately.
O’Donnell: "Mr Dobbs, do you think that some Senator for principle, if not for follow through, should call for the impeachment of George Bush?"
Dobbs did not answer the question, perhaps because he does not want to upset his CNN colleague Jack Cafferty. Instead, Dobbs sighed and exclaimed "boy" before listing his complaints about Bush administration failings. ABC went to a hard break before O'Donnell and Joy Behar could get a definitive yes or no out of him.
Video clip of Dobbs failing to reject the idea of impeaching President Bush, ending with ABC's hard ad break (56 seconds): Real (1.7 MB) or Windows Media (1.9 MB), plus MP3 audio (400 KB)
Why is it so hard for the New York Times to obtain the basic facts of Sen. John Kerry's "botched joke"?
Political reporter Adam Nagourney, like Kate Zernike before him, spins Kerry's November gaffe about U.S. troops "stuck in Iraq" at a political rally in California to make them seem less harmful, in Thursday's "Kerry Will Not Enter Presidential Race."
"But Mr. Kerry’s hopes were probably most damaged by what he said was a botched joke he told while campaigning on behalf of Congressional candidates in the final week of the 2006 election campaigns.
On Thursday’s "Good Morning America," ABC’s Jake Tapper continued the media’s campaign to defend Senator Barack Obama against charges that, as a young child living in Indonesia, he attended a madrassah, an Islamic school that teaches virulent anti-Americanism. Co-host Robin Roberts and Mr. Tapper alternatively referred to the charges as "smears," "dirty tricks" and "lies." According to a 1999 MRC Reality Check, ABC gave no such courtesy to then-Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush. On August 24 of that year, "Nightline" host Ted Koppel devoted an entire half hour episode to the unsubstantiated rumors that Bush used cocaine as a younger person. Obama, who has admitted trying cocaine as a teenager, was not asked about it in a January 24 GMA appearance. Here is Koppel’s explanation for the media’s interest in Bush’s youth:
Ted Koppel: "So here we are in this curious twilight in which [Bush] plainly acknowledges excessive use of alcohol until he turned 40, makes no claim of privacy in the area of marital infidelity, unlike some people we know he did not cheat on his wife, but leaves the question of youthful cocaine use ambiguously addressed with this assertion: I did make mistakes years ago."
-Nightline August 24, 1999
And here is the combined defense of Robert's introduction and Tapper's report on the January 25 "Good Morning America."
Robin Roberts: "Now, to the field of contenders, the presidential hopefuls who want President Bush's job. And the dirty tricks seem to have already begun. The target? Senator Barack Obama."