"They strike on Capitol Hill. And no domestic program is safe. They're . . . the Evil Republican Spending Slashers!"
Just like "It's a Wonderful Life" at Christmas time, the MSM trots out the reruns of the "Evil Spending Slashers" every time a Republican president proposes to increase entitlement spending by less than some liberals would like.
With the spunky Contessa Brewer hosting in the studio, and reporter Patty Culhane braving the global-warming induced cold wave on the White House lawn, MSNBC ran a classic of the genre this afternoon. At one point the graphic below was displayed, warning of domestic spending "cuts" in a number of programs.
Reminded by Tim Russert on Russert's Saturday night CNBC show, about how Vice President Cheney predicted U.S. troops would be welcomed as “liberators” by the Iraqi people, New York Times Iraq reporter John Burns corrected Russert's presumption that Cheney was misguided: “The American troops were greeted as liberators. We saw it. It lasted very briefly, it was exhausted quickly by the looting.” Burns added: “I think that the instincts that led to much that went wrong were good American instincts: the desire not to have too heavy of a footprint, the desire to empower Iraqis.”
As for what led to the inaccurate assumption that Iraqi would “stand up” for democracy, Burns contended that journalists made the same error: “I think that the policy makers in Washington, and to be on honest with you the journalists also, to speak for myself, completely miscalculated the impact of 30 years of violent, brutal repression on the Iraqi people and their willingness, in President Bush's phrase, ' to stand up' for themselves, to take authority, to take risks.” Burns also rejected the notion that different U.S. strategies would have prevented the current chaos: “My guess is that history will say that the forces that we liberated by invading Iraq were so powerful and so uncontrollable that virtually nothing the United States might have done, except to impose its own repressive state with half a million troops, which might have had to last ten years or more, nothing we could have done would have effectively prevented this disintegration that is now occurring.”
For TV news watchers, the most interesting Super Bowl ads were CBS promoting itself. Not the ads for its sleazy sitcoms like "Two and a Half Men," or its dark, gory dramas like "Criminal Minds," but more incessant ads for Katie's Evening News. Earth to CBS: the last $10 million didn't work either. I didn't see a single plug for Super Bowl coverage on "The Early Show,' but lots of Katie talking about what's great about America: "We hear a lot about what’s wrong with America. But there are so many examples of America’s can-do spirit. Good people doing great things on the CBS Evening News."
Katie's promoting the newest ratings gambit for the Katie-cast: a segment on "The American Spirit." This could be flagged as false advertising. They might try a feel-good story pandering to patriotism in a sweeps period, but on most nights, CBS will tell you America is ruining Iraq and hurtling the planet toward a global-warming catastrophe. And they'll consider anyone with an opposing opinion as hopelessly delusional or certainly bribed.
As already noted on NewsBusters, ABC’s Diane Sawyer threw softballs to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in an interview for Monday's "Good Morning America." However, GMA featured a section segment that was, amazingly, even worse. In the piece, the hard-hitting journalist probed the dictator about pertinent issues such as his favorite movies ("Pursuit of Happyness"), music (Shania Twain and Faith Hill), and whether he enjoys video games (no). Rather then press Assad over points such as the fact that Freedom House recently gave the country its worst scores (7 out of 7) for both political and civil liberties and ranked it "not free," Mrs. Sawyer allowed the Syrian leader to play film critic:
Diane Sawyer: "And American movies?"
Bashar Assad: "Sometimes. Not– Not– Not very much to movies in general. I don’t have time actually."
Sawyer: "But you like true stories?"
Assad: "True stories and historical stories. Want to know the names?"
Assad: "Yeah. ‘The Pursuit of Happyness.’"
Sawyer: "And you liked it?"
Assad: "Yeah. It tells you a story that you– Maybe there’s many beneficial things to learn from, about real life. Providing that it's accurate about the story. The real story."
The Laura Ingraham Show this morning had a big discussion about the odd part of Prince's performance of "Purple Rain" during the Super Bowl halftime show last night. Prince is obviously self-impressed with the symbol he used for a name for a few years (the TAFKAP Era, for The Artist Formerly Known As Prince). Not only was there a huge symbol on the stage, it was also the shape of his guitar.
So many people thought putting Prince behind a flapping curtain with a spotlight so you could see him in silhouette playing his odd guitar sent an obvious er, male-genitalia message last night. Was this just a dramatic flourish gone awry? Some sort of Austin Powers hommage? And why would CBS let it slip through their censors after the Janet Jackson Wardrobe Malfunction of 2004? Anyone else think of old Prince lyrics about the "lion in his pocket"?
On Monday’s The View, co-host Rosie O’Donnell made light of a near-verbal mistake which may clue in to what she is thinking. In a nutshell: this is really MY show, with three sidekicks who chime in occasionally.
When opening a segment on fashion on a budget, O’Donnell stated "it is budget week here on The View. I almost said the Rosie O’Donnell Show [laughing]. That would have been a mistake!"
A wonderful thing is happening in the scientific world now that the United Nations has claimed that it is 90 percent certain anthropogenic global warming is real: scientists around the world are speaking out against this assertion.
Another such scientist, Canada’s Timothy Ball, wrote an article today addressing his view of the media hysteria which marvelously began (h/t QandO, emphasis mine throughout):
Global Warming, as we think we know it, doesn't exist. And I am not the only one trying to make people open up their eyes and see the truth. But few listen, despite the fact that I was the first Canadian Ph.D. in Climatology and I have an extensive background in climatology, especially the reconstruction of past climates and the impact of climate change on human history and the human condition. Few listen, even though I have a Ph.D, (Doctor of Science) from the University of London, England and that for 32 years I was a Professor of Climatology at the University of Winnipeg. For some reason (actually for many), the World is not listening. Here is why.
Victorious Colts coach Tony Dungy said to CBS sports anchor Jim Nantz on the post-game show last night that he and Bears coach Lovie Smith were proud to be successful black coaches, but more proud of being Christian coaches. How many media outlets will use the first half, and snip away the second?
I tell you what. I'm proud to be representing African-American coaches, to be the first African-American to win this. It means an awful lot to our country. [SNIP!] But again, more than anything, I've said it before, Lovie Smith and I, not only the first two African-Americans, but Christian coaches, showing that you can win doing it the Lord's way. We're more proud of that.
The interview aired right around 10:13 Sunday night.
“Countdown” host Keith Olbermann made a huge mistake last Thursday night: he chose to make radio host Mark Levin “The Worst Person in the World” for nominating Rush Limbaugh as a potential Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
In response, Levin spent a large part of his show on Friday ripping this abomination apart. Audio links are available here and here courtesy of our friend at Olbermann Watch (h/t Dan at Riehl World View).
Before clicking on these links, please be advised that Levin went after Olbermann with guns blazing, and discussed at length allegations of an unsatisfactory tryst in a hotel room with an unhappy female fan that was reported in the New York Post last October. As such, the reader is warned about potentially offensive content.
Every year on February 6, Ronald Reagan's birthday, the owners of Ropewalk Tavern in Baltimore throw a free birthday bash for the late great president complete with jelly beans and drink specials.
It's a bit of a hike from MRC headquarters in Alexandria, Va., but I may go this year. At any rate, it made me wonder how many other bars and restaurants throughout the fruited plain host similar parties.
Feel free to use the comments field to post information about any Reagan birthday bashes in your neck of the woods.
Wikipedia habitually delivers unflattering content about conservative media figures while giving liberals a much lighter treatment. That's the result of an informal survey of the site. According to alexa.com, Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia project that can be edited by just about anyone, is currently number 12 in worldwide traffic rankings on the Web.
When one thinks of a conventional encyclopedia entry, one expects to find rudimentary information: full name, birth date, birthplace, family, education, and career highlights. Wikipedia takes it one step further - especially with conservatives.
Unflattering personal episodes, embarrassing revelations, and factual missteps are frequently a major staple in entries about conservative figures; they are most often filed under the heading of "Controversy" or "Criticism." Meanwhile, entries on liberal personalities rarely contain such headings; unflattering episodes by liberals are often non-existent or downplayed.
When a despot you're interviewing denigrates the value of democracy in another country, wouldn't your journalistic instincts prompt you to ask him about the utter lack of democracy in his own? Not in Diane Sawyer's case.
The ABC powerhouse is in Syria this week. This morning's GMA aired an interview she scored with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Joe Biden would surely declare Assad "articulate;" the tyrant does speak excellent English and has a mild-mannered, urbane demeanor. But, in his case, appearances are definitely deceiving. Assad is the ruthless ruler of one of the most oppressive regimes on earth. On a scale of 1-7, Freedom House recently gave Syria its lowest possible rating of '7' on political rights. Bashar is of course following in the bloody foosteps of his father, Haffez. Among other acts of rule by terror, the previous tyrant infamously erased from the face of the earth the Syrian town of Hama, massacring an estimated 10-25,000 people in the process.
Sunday's Washington Post Magazine had another one of those true Post chestnuts, chronicling how cruel and backward the state of Virginia is to lesbians. April Witt's story focused on two women who entered into a civil union in Vermont now battling for custody of an artificially inseminated daughter. Vermont says Janet the lesbian partner is automatically a parent, Virginia says not so fast. The story contained several elements that the gay left does not appreciate -- Lisa the birth mother left behind homosexuality and embraced Christianity, and the story mentions ex-gay authors and ministries. But it also carried the classic tendency to divide the ideological combat between "conservatives" and not liberals, but "gay rights activists," activists whose work is in historic "landmark" cases.
The trend starts early in the story: "On one side are lawyers who are leading gay-rights activists; on the other are legal combatants for a conservative Christian foundation associated with Jerry Falwell."
There's no denying that the recently-released National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq is anything but rosy. But the key question is 'where do we go from here?' The answer, for every one of the Dem presidential contenders, is 'home,' at varying rates of speed. In editorializing on the NIE report, don't you think, then, that it would have been appropriate for the New York Times to mention what the report foresaw as the result of a hasty withdrawal?
But the Times had better things to do with its ink, spending most of its editorial spinning the recent military success in Najaf in the most negative possible terms. In doing so, the Gray Lady ignored this key aspect of the report, as described here by CNN:
"The estimate also makes it clear, however, that simply walking away from Iraq may even be worse. If the U.S. makes a 'rapid withdrawal' from Iraq, a move many Democratic lawmakers have called for, the estimate said it could lead to the collapse of the Iraqi Security Forces, potentially plunging the country into a chaotic situation marked by "extreme ethno-sectarian violence with debilitating intra-group clashes."
To ignore this key conclusion, which goes to the heart of the debate raging in Washington today, is no mere negligence on the Times' part. It is nothing short of a journalistic fraud perpetrated on its readers. Mark was in Iraq in November. Contact him at email@example.com
Here's my question. How many people look at that picture and think the
polar bears were living on some ice and it melted around them and now
they are stuck?
And, yes, I realize a polar bear can drown...
if, say, it's exhausted and swimming over 50 miles. But basically,
these things can swim 15 miles easily, at a speed of 6 miles an hour,
and they use the edge of an ice floe as a platform from which to hunt.
Where's the photograph of the bear chomping down on a cute baby seal?
no, I'm not denying that there's global warming, even as I sit here a
double pane of glass away from minus 12° air. I'm just amused at human
behavior, such as the way it is possible to feel arguments at us.
In particular, we are susceptible to argument by animal. We love the
animal, if it's pictured right, in a way that pulls our heartstrings.
If it's possible for the New York Times to jump the proverbial shark, they went one better. Given this, it would appear they jumped right out of an ever rising sea due to global warming and landed in a rest home by a beach in Iraq:
No commercial that appeared last night during Super Bowl XLI directly addressed Iraq, unlike a patriotic spot for Budweiser beer that ran during the game two years ago. But the ongoing war seemed to linger just below the surface of many of this year’s commercials.
More than a dozen spots celebrated violence in an exaggerated, cartoonlike vein that was intended to be humorous, but often came across as cruel or callous.
You see, those commercials weren't slick messages often containing bottles launched from Madison Avenue and designed to sell products like beer at millions of dollars a pop. They were all metaphors for a nation deflated, if not defeated, and dangerously obsessed with Bush's misguided war.
For those that are unfamiliar, one of the finest writers on the political landscape today is Mark Steyn. His piece Sunday concerning the absurdity of global warming hysteria is a fine example (h/t NB member aero).
First, Steyn mocked statements by the media about how solid the science surrounding this illusion is (emphasis mine throughout):
Indeed. If the science is so solid, maybe they could drag it out to the Arctic for the poor polar bears to live on now that the ice is melting faster than a coed's heart at an Al Gore lecture.
Great idea, Mark. I'd happily pay to see that. He wonderfully continued:
Despite the media and Al Gore’s ad nauseum contention that there is actually a scientific consensus for the existence of anthropogenic global warming, the facts speak otherwise. Conveniently, the media never interview folks who disagree with their fantasy, thereby making it easy to promote.
Of course, those interested in the truth know of many outspoken members of the scientific community who are not being bullied by the politics of the situation. Another in a growing list of such skeptics is Israeli astrophysicist Nir Shaviv who has been doing research for years to identify if there is any connection between rising levels of CO2 and rising temperatures. As reported by the National Post, Shaviv’s studies suggest otherwise (h/t Drudge), leading him to actually recant his previous position on this issue: