See UPDATE at foot: Gen. Petraeus subsequently testified to the importance of Iraq to national security.
In the wake of the odious MoveOn.org ad calling our commander in Iraq "General Betray Us," [read Dean Barnett's excellent take here] you might have thought the last thing a responsible member of the media would do would be to accuse other senior officials of "betrayal."
I did say "responsible." On this afternoon's "Hardball," Chris Matthews accused President Bush of "betrayal" for his handling of Iraq.
The "Hardball" host was fuming over Gen. Petraeus's reluctance to state whether the war in Iraq would make America safer.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: He couldn't say whether what we're doing in Iraq makes America safer or not. He couldn't say whether the lost lives, the misery, the hundreds of billions of dollars being spent are worth the effort in terms of our national security.
Not even CBS anchor Katie Couric is sufficiently liberal to satisfy New York Times drama critic turned political commentator Frank Rich, who in his latest epic Sunday column accused the CBS anchor, who recently went to Iraq, of "drinking the…Kool-Aid" regarding Bush's optimistic pronouncements on the war. (Screen shot is of Rich on the September 7 Late Show with David Letterman plugging the paperback edition of his book, 'The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth in Bush's America.'
Following the lefty line, Rich also referred to two scholars from the left-of-center Brookings Institution as "Pentagon junketeers" for daring to suggest things are improving on the ground in Iraq.
The morning shows on CBS and NBC both ignored the embarrassment and discomfort that a new MoveOn.org ad, which vilifies General David Petraeus, is causing Democrats running for the White House. While "The Early Show" and "Today" failed to cover the print advertisement from the liberal group, ABC’s "Good Morning America" at least briefly addressed the subject. The ad in question wondered if four-star general David Petraeus would "betray" the U.S. and also accused him of "cooking the books for the White House."
GMA co-host Robin Roberts took pains to discuss the advertisement, which appeared in the New York Times on Monday, in neutral terms. She claimed it simply "caught everybody’s" attention and caused "a lot of reaction." Explaining the political ramifications, ABC's George Stephanopoulos went further. He asserted the MoveOn ad puts "Democrats on the defensive" and "in a bit of a bind." The "This Week" anchor also provided a reason as to why Democratic '08 contenders haven’t rejected the advertisement. He explained, "They want the support of MoveOn.org, so you saw the presidential candidates saying, ‘Well, we don’t like what they said,’ but they wouldn’t repudiate it."
The BBC decided to set up a website explaining 911 to kids. They have several sections set up to help the kids out on understanding the war on terror the BBC way. In one section they ask, Why Did They Do It?Guess who gets the blame?
The way America has got involved in conflicts in regions like the Middle East has made some people very angry, including a group called al-Qaeda - who are widely thought to have been behind the attacks.
In the past, al-Qaeda leaders have declared a holy war - called a jihad - against the US. As part of this jihad, al-Qaeda members believe attacking US targets is something they should do.
When the attacks happened in 2001, there were a number of US troops in a country called Saudi Arabia, and the leader of al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, said he wanted them to leave.
On Sunday, NewsBusters published an article about Salon editor-in-chief Joan Walsh voicing displeasure with CBS anchor Katie Couric's "softball," "puff piece" reports from Iraq last week.
Moments after the piece was published, I received an e-mail message from MoveOn civic communications director Adam Green providing me with a video posted hours prior at YouTube by his organization, and forwarded to me so that I could see "Katie Couric's lapdog journalism" I was "defending."
Tuesday morning, Walsh amazingly responded to my article, and defended her views of Couric by embedding in her piece - wait for it - the YouTube video MoveOn had created and sent to me on Sunday (emphasis added throughout):
It should come to no surprise to those who know the liberal reputation of CNN that they have decided to rerun Christiane Amanpour’s "God’s Muslim Warriors" during prime time on the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The more logical choice on a day where the country remembers those who were killed by an insidious act of terror might be a retrospective on what happened that day, or a look at the lives of some of the victims. Instead, anyone who tunes in between 8 pm and 10 pm Eastern will see this bias-tinged examination of Islamic fundamentalism, which Amanpour introduced by saying, "God's Muslim warriors -- they are much feared and little understood."
If you're the Boston Globe, there's no day like 9-11 to suggest negotiating with terrorists. For that's what the Globe appears to propose in its editorial of this morning, "Toughness after Sept. 11."
The gist is that in response to 9-11, President Bush's "aggressive foreign policy" and his "version of toughness" have had "tragic and unpredictable consequences," including "tens of thousands of civilians dead" in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the trampling of civil liberties at home.
So what does the Globe propose as the alternative to toughness? The editorial approvingly notes that "Churchill sought rapprochement with the Soviet Union following Stalin's death in 1953. Reagan realized he could negotiate with the Soviet Union after Mikhail Gorbachev came to power."
I have been following the strange (and mostly unreported) case of fugitive criminal and major Democratic Party fundraiser Norman Hsu since September 5. Paul Mirengoff of the Power Line blog has a post today wherein he notes that the mainstream media, led by the Wall Street Jornal, are finally taking the time to look into Hsu's attempted flight from justice. However, as Mirengoff pointedly notes,
I think the pertinent questions are: Where did the money come from?
In a September 10 Big Blog entry, Seattle Post-Intelligencer online reporter Monica Guzman filed an interview with an illegal immigrant from Peru.
While it's arguable there's a place for her softball questions about the hopes and dreams that compel illegal immigrants to come to America for opportunity, a balanced interview would call for some harder questions about the laws broken by immigrants who do so.
Unfortunately Guzman didn't offer any such tough questions, although the P-I encourages readers to submit questions for reporters to ask in future interviews here.
Whenever the United Nations makes any dire proclamation about the future of the planet, whether dealing with global warming, the environment, war, or poverty, you can be sure media will give it great attention.
Yet, when the World Federation of UN Associations released its extraordinarily optimistic "State of the Future" report Monday, with positive news about literacy, mortality, economic growth, and poverty reduction, the press couldn't care less.
In fact, despite the Associated Press, which true to form cherry-picked one negative finding in this study for its article on the subject, absolutely no American media outlets shared this report's release. Not one.
Fortunately, thousands of miles away, Agence France-Presse felt this astoundingly upbeat study from the Millennium Project was newsworthy (emphasis added throughout, h/t Benny Peiser):
As America headed into the weekend before the sixth anniversary of the horrific September 11 terrorist attacks, the latest purported video from Osama bin Laden reminded the country that the war on terrorism is still a real and persistent battle. But some people despise the whole war-on-terror concept. They believe that commemorating 9-11 is getting tired and dated and even psychologically harmful to the country.
As hard (or as easy) as it may be to believe, The New York Times, situated just miles from Ground Zero in Manhattan, published a typically portentous Sunday article asking: "As 9/11 Draws Near, a Debate Rises: How Much Tribute Is Enough?" Times reporter N.R. Kleinfeld suggested the whole rigamarole was tedious, and perhaps distasteful: "Again there will be the public tributes, the tightly scripted memorial events, the reflex news coverage, the souvenir peddlers. Is all of it necessary, at the same decibel level -- still?" Amassing the usual anonymous mass of radicals who are allergic to expressions of national unity or love of country, Kleinfeld insisted "many people feel that the collective commemorations, publicly staged, are excessive and vacant, even annoying."
"Excessive and vacant, even annoying." Come to think of it, that's a pretty good motto for the masthead of The New York Times.
At the risk of giving third-rate left-wing comedian Kathy Griffin more than her due of publicity, I thought I'd pass along something I saw over at Brutally Honest. The one-time 'The View' co-host prospect making light of award winners who thank Jesus or thank God for their accomplishment at the podium:
On September 7th we noticed that the scandal in the Democrat Party over illegal campaign donations was barely getting any coverage in the print media and the internet. Well, apparently, TV news isn't doing any better still. It's so obvious, even the juggernaut of the left, The New York Times, has taken note of how few network news reports have aired on the Hsu scandal... though not making a big deal of it, naturally. The news media is doing their level best to deep six the story to benefit Hillary, it seems. If the Hsu fits, anyway. (Do I have to explain that his name is pronounced "Shoe" in Chinese for that joke to work? I sure hope not.)
Also in a shocking move, in the Times' story revealing Hillary Clinton's decision to return an additional amount of Hsu's contributions, some strong words were used to describe the fugitive -- strong for the Times, anyway.
In Monday's New York Times, reporter Patrick Healy described how Democrats pandered to a Latino audience during their debate on the Spanish-language channel Univision (although candidates spoke in English): "They expressed concerns that Republicans were enabling anti-immigrant feelings and even racist attitudes, or at least not taking a tougher stand against them." Hillary Clinton blamed media people for those anti-Latino and even racist attitudes:
Mrs. Clinton said legislative proposals to overhaul the immigration system, which all the Democrats at the debate endorsed, had been used by Republicans and some in the news media to "bash immigrants" and engage in demagoguery. Later, Mrs. Clinton added: "There are many in the political and frankly in the broadcast world today who take a particular aim at our Latino population. I think it’s very destructive." A spokesman for Mrs. Clinton said after the debate that she was referring to the CNN anchor Lou Dobbs and the radio host Rush Limbaugh, among others.
Some people are hard to shop for, but when it comes to MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski it's going to be a breeze. Next to her name on my Chanukah list, I'm putting her down without hesitation . . . for a Roget's Thesaurus. Because when it comes to describing the performance of people across her political divide, Mika seems stuck on a solitary word: "underwhelming."
As noted here, reading the news of Fred Thompson's "Tonight Show" appearance last week, Mika editorialized that "it was sort of underwhelming, but . . . it's done."
At the top of today's "Morning Joe," host Joe Scarborough invited Mika to assess General Petraeus's performance before Congress yesterday, and . . . you guessed it.
The Los Angeles Times has an article today (Mon. 9/10/07) about a new law in Missouri. It dictates that all of Missouri's abortion mills be properly stocked with medical equipment and have adequately wide doorways and hallways to handle emergencies. Abortionists are raising a stink because renovations to their facilities could be burdensomely costly. The law would also apply to clinics who solely issue the abortion pill.
In reporting the story, the Times completely omits some important facts about the abortion pill. Since it was approved for use in the United States in 2000, Mifepristone (Mifeprex/RU-486/"the abortion pill") is "associated with the deaths of at least 8 women, 9 life-threatening incidents, 232 hospitalizations, 116 blood transfusions, and 88 cases of infection. There are more than 950 adverse event cases associated with RU-486 out of only 575,000 prescriptions, at most" (emphasis mine) (source, US House of Representatives hearing, May/Oct. 2006).
On the day of the long-anticipated report from General David Petraeus on the “surge,” the CBS Evening News ignored how its latest poll discovered the third straight month of an increase in the percent of Americans who believe the surge has “made things better” in Iraq. As the percentage has gone up, CBS's interest in the result has gone down. In July, anchor Katie Couric led with how only 19 percent thought the surge was “making things better” and a month later, in August, when that number jumped to 29 percent, CBS and Couric gave it just 12 seconds 20 minutes into the newscast..
While Monday's CBS Evening News skipped how the share crediting the surge for “making things better” rose to 35 percent in the survey conducted through Saturday, the newscast found time to highlight three other findings that stressed public opposition to the war and distrust of President Bush. Jim Axelrod relayed how “in the latest CBS News/New York Times poll, just four percent think Iraq will become a stable democracy in the next year or two. More than half [53%] say it'll never happen. [On screen: Yes, but it will take longer: 42%] And just five percent think the Bush administration best able to make the right calls on the war. [Congress: 21%; U.S. military commanders: 68%].” A bumper before the first ad break showcased how on “U.S. troop levels in Iraq,” 30 percent said they “should increase/keep the same,” while 65 percent responded they “should decrease/remove all.”
The “La Raza” organization of Hispanics could hardly be more racist. “La Raza” means “The Race” — the Mexican race. But are they ever criticized for that? Not that I have heard. In fact, we read below in the left-leaning Associated Press that “La Raza” is “a mainstream advocacy group”.
“Charlie Norwood, a congressman from Georgia who died earlier this year, appeared to accept the conspiracy at face value, accusing the National Council of La Raza, a mainstream Washington advocacy group, of acting as a front organization for the “radical racist group” MEChA, or Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan.