'Wishin' and hopin' and 'Thinkin' and prayin', 'Plannin' and dreamin' 'Each night of his charms, 'That won't get you into his arms.' - Dusty Springfield, 'Wishing & Hoping'
If E.J. Dionne's wishes were horses, Democrats would ride them to the White House. In his WaPo column of today, The End Of the Right?, the liberal pundit foresees the fall of conservatism. The immediate springboard for his prediction was yesterday's failed vote for an increase in the minimum wage. According to Dionne:
"The most obvious, outrageous and unprincipled [conservative] spasm occurred last night when the Senate voted on a bill that would have simultaneously raised the minimum wage and slashed taxes on inherited wealth.
As the world watches events unfold in the Middle East from the comfort of their living rooms, evidence is mounting that Hezbollah is using the media in a fashion that would make Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels extremely proud. Such an assertion has far reaching implications to be sure, as it points an accusatory finger at the behavior of the American press as well.
Supporting this contention is a paper written in 1948 by Yale psychology professor Leonard W. Doob entitled “Goebbels’ Principles of Propaganda.” In it, Doob enunciated the famed Nazi’s nineteen-point plan for the effective use of the media to advance Germany’s goals.
Fifty-eight years later, a Haaretz article published Thursday outlined the power of the Hezbollah propaganda machine. So coordinated are these efforts that it is easy to imagine the terrorist organization using Goebbels’ principles as a virtual playbook while it molds events and news reports to impact international opinion. The article began:
Was Matt Lauer showing balance in criticizing Hillary Clinton along with Donald Rumsfeld this morning - or was his skepticism about Hillary simply voicing the view of the Murtha/Lamont wing of the Dem party?
Interviewing all-purpose commentator Howard Fineman, Lauer seemed insistent that it was time for Rumsfeld to go.
Lauer: "[Clinton] said the president should accept Rumsfeld's resignation. He lost credibility with Congress and the people. It's time for him to step down. This is not the first person to call for his resignation, but at some point, do you think it's a possibility especially in the near term?"
Fineman held his fire: "Well, the Democrats will try to make it that."
With its editorial of this morning, Justice After Guantanamo, the Los Angeles Times has raised the bar when it comes to expressing exquisite sensitivity for the rights of accused terrorists. The Times waxes indignant that in trials of Gitmo denizens the Bush administration favors - brace yourself - the admission of hearsay evidence. Send in the smelling salts.
Says the Times:
"New draft legislation to bring the military commissions established by the administration into compliance with a Supreme Court decision borrows heavily from the Uniform Code of Military Justice. That's the good news. The bad news is that on some issues — particularly the use of hearsay and evidence obtained by coercive or inhumane interrogation — the administration still clings to the notion that the end justifies the means."
Washington Post reporter Juliet Eilperin puts the pedal to the metal in her Friday story, "More Frequent Heat Waves Linked to Global Warming." We're told "scientists who have studied decades of weather records and computer models" are connecting the heat to Al Gore's favorite bogeyman.
Eilperin lines up all the studies promoted by global-warming salesmen, and the skeptics aren't granted an appearance until the end, in paragraph 18: "Some climate experts and industry lobbyists, however, question the correlation between global warming and heat waves."
But here's one place where I just start to choke on the panicked claims.
Since July, 179 Americans, most of them Californians, have died in the current heat wave; more than 52,000 died during the 2003 episode in Europe, where air conditioning is less common.
For Fox News fans who like Alan Colmes almost as much as they like Eleanor Clift or Helen Thomas, Wednesday night’s “Hannity and Colmes” was a blessed event (hat tip to Expose the Left with a video link to follow).
In a special Wednesday night edition of our ongoing “Friday Night Fights” series, in the left corner, Alan “I’m only here to disagree with everything my more intelligent partner says” Colmes. In the right corner, Mark “The Great One” Levin. Let’s get ready to rrrrrrrummmmmbbbble.
Like the CBS and NBC evening newscasts on Thursday, ABC led with how at a Senate hearing Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace and General John Abizaid acceded to the “possibility” that Iraq “could” fall into civil war -- what substitute ABC anchor Diane Sawyer heralded as a “stunning admission” -- but ABC also hyped as important how after the hearing Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton called for President Bush to accept the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Sawyer touted “breaking political news tonight” and brought aboard George Stephanopoulos from Washington, DC who trumpeted how “for the first time, she has called on President Bush to accept Secretary Rumsfeld's resignation.” Stephanopoulos asserted that the New York Senator “has resisted that for the last three years” and propounded that though the “chances of President Bush accepting that advice are about zero,” it is, ABC's Chief Washington correspondent insisted, “a dramatic sign of how much the support for this war effort is slipping on Capitol Hill." (Transcript follows)
Variety reviewer Robert Koehler (formerly of the L.A. Times) recently reviewed a new documentary titled "Mr. Conservative: Goldwater on Goldwater." The main driver behind the project is his granddaughter, C.C. Goldwater, and it's scheduled to air on HBO on September 18. The list of interviewees underlines it's not a big right-wing project: it includes Walter Cronkite, Ted Kennedy, Al Franken, Helen Thomas, James Carville, Bob Schieffer, Andy Rooney, Julian Bond, Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn, John Dean, and erstwhile Goldwater Girl Hillary Rodham Clinton. A few righties appear (Richard Viguerie, George Will) and some more centrist GOP types do, too (John Warner, Sandra Day O'Connor).
Here's how Koehler sums the film up: "Pic reflects on a contempo religious GOP right wing that would have profoundly alienated Goldwater, who rarely brought God into his politics."
“Careers that last as long and have been as distinguished as Mr. Bennett’s have something to tell us about collective cultural experience over decades. It has been said that Sinatra’s journey from skinny, starry-eyed ‘Frankie,’ strewing hearts and flowers, to the imperious, volatile Chairman of the Board roughly parallels an American loss of innocence. As Sinatra entered his noir period in the mid-1950’s, his romantic faith gave way to a soul-searching existentialism that yielded the most psychologically complex popular music ever recorded. Following a similar arc, the country grew from a nation of hungry dreamers fleeing the Depression and fighting ‘the good war’ into an arrogant empire drunk on power and angry at the failure of the American dream to bring utopia.”
Our one-year anniversary is coming up very soon (Aug. 9). As we head into our second year of operation, we're pleased that NewsBusters has become one of the top 10 conservative blogs and one of the top 100 blogs in the world according to Technorati.
What are some of your suggestions for our second year? What kinds of new features, events, site components or other things would you like to see?
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz did a report Thursday (hat tip to Drudge) on the Hezbollah propaganda machine. As one reads the revelations about how this terrorist group uses the media to affect opinion in Lebanon, Israel, and across the globe, it is difficult not to wonder what impact similar efforts by liberal press representatives in America is having on the war in Iraq as well as the war on terrorism.
If Hezbollah-run media are to be believed, then 35 Israel Defense Forces soldiers were killed or wounded in Aita Shaab, militants downed an Israeli helicopter and destroyed a house in which IDF soldiers were hiding, and IDF troops are always hit in the back because they are running away.
An ABC Good Morning America story by Claire Shipman reports on the $150 billion in tax revenue that the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations says is lost because of the wealthy who figure out ways to avoid paying taxes.
That's enough money to cover the budgets for the Department of Education, the State Department, the Justice Department, and the Department of Homeland Security.
Or to purchase 60 Virginia-class nuclear subs. Or enough to give $500 to every American.
As required, Republicans have to be trashed in this story and not Democrats. First she quoted a Democratic Senator who moralized about the situation, not any Republicans, which fit in nicely with the next principle, which is to only cite Republicans who are doing the immoral thing in question.
"Something smells here. … Something is rotten here," said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who sits on the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.
"The abuse of offshore tax havens by U.S. individuals are shifting the tax burden to all of us," Levin said. "The report blows the lid off tax haven abuses."
It's become a punchline: Sure, Fidel forces champions of democracy to rot in prison. Yes, his kleptocracy-called-communism has empoverished the masses while enriching the elite. OK, he did permit the Soviets to install nuclear weapons pointed at us. But - altogether now - THEY HAVE FREE HEALTHCARE IN CUBA!
You'd think the Boston Globe would be embarrassed to sing that song. But apparently the MSM are beyond shame. Here's what the Globe had to say in its editorial of this morning, On Cuba, Try Kindness:
"Cuba is justifiably proud of its healthcare system."
Even the Bush-bashing New York Times can tell you today: there's no room for conspiracy theories about the White House sending reporters across the park for press briefings for a few months while they renovate and update the briefing room. Everyone in the press corps knows this room is a pit, with rotten, broken theater seats and drafty conditions that ruin your mood in hot weather and cold -- but especially hot, since you're already got on a big press day a pile of TV lights and 50 reporters squeezed in like sardines.
Nearly everyone has the same reaction upon seeing the room for the first time: This is it? This run-down shack? (I certainly did when I arrived in 2001.) But no one actually works in the briefing room most of the time. The big-time 24-7 wire and network reporters work in tiny cubicles behind the briefing room, and some more are down the stairs (in my tenure, that was for Fox News, Salem, and Bloomberg, among others.) If you work for a daily or weekly print publication, you don't work inside the gates.
The Washington Post is editorializing today against the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which held hearings twice in July on questions surrounding the "hockey stick" temperature studies.
Says the Post: "Instead of concentrating on the changing climate, the House Energy Committee picks on climatologists."
Whoever wrote the Post editorial seems to be genuinely unfamiliar with the hearings held, their purpose and what they revealed. It was irresponsible of the Post to publish something like this editorial without researching the matter a little bit first.
Appearing on FNC's The O'Reilly Factor Wednesday, former CBS News anchor Dan Rather conceded there's a "problem" with America's media in its treatment of Hezbollah and Israel with "moral equivalence," even including himself as part of the problem. As host Bill O'Reilly brought up the topic, stating his criticism that "Some networks give moral equivalency to Hezbollah in the reporting of this war," Rather voiced agreement and went on to acknowledge the media's reluctance to label Hezbollah as a "terrorist organization." Rather: "It's a problem that those of us in journalism have been reluctant to address -- I do not exclude myself from this criticism -- reluctant to address that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. It's committed to the destruction of Israel. It isn't committed to trying to just gain territory. It's committed to its destruction." (Transcript follows)
Using the very same expert the CBS Evening News cited on Monday, Wednesday's NBC Nightly News made -- as its second story of the night -- the case that the current heat wave can be blamed on global warming. Anchor Brian Williams set up the piece by ruminating about how “you hear a lot of people saying it didn't used to be like this, didn't used to be this hot, and because of global warming we've done this to ourselves.” Reporter Tom Costello asked: “So is our current heat wave a symptom of global warming?" Jay Gulledge of the self-interested Pew Center on Climate Change confirmed “this heat wave” is “completely consistent with what we expect to become more common as a result of global warming,” before Costello noted there have been heat waves in the past, but insisted that “experts say our current heat wave is unique."
Costello soon cautioned that “scientists want to see whether this heat wave is part of a pattern of longer more intense heat waves before declaring it all part of a bigger global warming phenomenon.” Costello concluded, however, without any doubt, as he referred to “the concern that in the coming decades 100 degrees may be the new summertime norm.” (Transcript and more follows)
It is safe to say that most conservatives hold Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan) in minimal esteem, which is probably putting it mildly. So, when a member of the press goes gaga over anything this man says, it really makes for a boatload of chuckles. As such, the reader is hereby warned to make sure all drinking vessels are tucked safely away from proximity.
Assuming you have followed directions, Jack Cafferty, on the 5PM ET installment of Wednesday’s “Situation Room,” used his media platform to promote another in an ongoing litany of anti-Bush rants by the gentleman from the Great Lake State (video to follow). Cafferty began:
Well, somebody has finally worked up the nerve to say it out loud. We have a constitutional crisis in this country. So says Congressman John Conyers of Michigan.
Dontcha just love the delicious irony of a Congressman with the kind of ethics problems Conyers has talking about a Constitutional crisis? Obviously, this was lost on Cafferty, who continued...with a straight face, no less: