On Thursday, all three network morning shows covered the announcement that former Senator Fred Thompson would be entering the 2008 race for the White House. And while CBS downplayed the news and NBC’s Chris Matthews wondered if Thompson "has the stuff" to run for the White House, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos was the only individual to introduce what will apparently be a new Democratic talking point. Appearing on "Good Morning America," the "This Week" anchor claimed Thompson "can also expect questions about his one term in the Senate, whether it’s a thin record or not.Democrats are already raising questions about that."
Who would those Democrats be? Will Barack Obama, who, until 2004 was an Illinois state senator, broach the issue? Or perhaps Hillary Clinton, who only gained her Senate seat in 2000, will bring up the subject of experience. Thompson, despite Stephanopoulos’ claims, was not a one term Senator. He won a special election in 1994 and a full term in 1996. He served longer than both those candidates and also Republicans such as Mitt Romney, who can claim just one term as governor of Massachusetts. Perhaps Obama and Clinton assume that the media will simply ignore such facts.
[Update/related MRC study: Rich Noyes reminded me of his 2002 study of CNN's favorable coverage of the Cuban regime.]
My only complaint with Siegelbaum is her describing the Cuban state media as an "information service," that pedals "information" handed it by the Castro regime. When many biased, liberal journalists skeptically eye anything coming from the White House or Pentagon as "spin," it becomes all the more annoying that Cuban state media are seen as relaying "information."
A funny thing happened during the search for gun control.
Entering the keywords “gun control” at the search engine Dogpile returned the warning: “You've entered a Web search term that is likely to contain adult content.” From there, you have two choices: click on the link which allows you to “View Unfiltered Dogpile Web results with Adult Content” or select the link with “No Adult Content”.1
An examination of “adult content” results does bring up a message at the top of the page: “View adult results provided by DestinationXXX.com.”2 The search also returned 76 links on May 28, 2007, none of which, besides this reference to Destination XXX, were adult content. An inquiry to Dogpile resulted in this response:
Now, a week later, a press release from the Media Research Center answered the question:
To their credit, CNN and Fox News Channel ran stories on the declassified material. Yet nine days since the material was released, neither ABC, CBS, NBC, The New York Times nor The Washington Post has run a story with the photos of this shocking evidence of al-Qaeda’s barbarism.
MRC President Brent Bozell issued the following statement regarding this matter:
Update: SEE Editor's Note at bottom of post for related MRC content.
1Q07 Home Prices Up 0.5%, 4.3% Over 12 Months Ago
Those looking for a pervasive and severe nationwide decline in home prices are going to have to keep looking.
The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) just released its House Price Index (PDF) for the first quarter of 2007. This most comprehensive of home-price reports shows that nationwide prices increased 0.45% (rounded to 0.5% in the announcement) in the first quarter of this year, and went up 4.25% (rounded to 4.3% in the announcement) in the past four quarters.
Core inflation during those two time periods was 0.6% and 2.5%, respectively. OFHEO says that inflation excluding only shelter costs only rose 1.6% during the past year.
Context (from Pages 4 and 5 of the report):
From 1990 through 1997, reported four-quarter appreciation was less than the 4.25% just reported 28 out of 32 times.
During that same time period, individual-quarter appreciation was less than the 0.45% just reported 14 out of 32 times -- including six nationwide quarterly declines.
I recall no discussions of pervasive real estate "bubbles" or fears of steep, widespread declines during the 1990s.
ABC’s Bill Blakemore wrote an article posted at the network’s website Tuesday citing global warming alarmist and NASA scientist James Hansen as stating that the earth is at a tipping point “with dangerous consequences to the planet” (emphasis added):
With just 10 more years of "business as usual" emissions from the burning of coal, oil and gas, says the NASA/Columbia paper, "it becomes impractical" to avoid "disastrous effects."
Unfortunately, Blakemore chose to completely ignore decades of hysterical predictions by Hansen that have already proven wrong, and that this is not the first time the NASA scientist has referred to ten years before disaster strikes.
For instance, here is what the Washington Post reported last January (emphasis added):
Washington Times reporter Martin Arostegui has an excellent article in today's paper about the socialist leaders of two South American countries following Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez's example by moving to restrict press freedoms in their respective countries. By contrast, the news didn't even meake the "World in Brief" digest on page A16 of today's Washington Post:
SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia -- The leaders of Bolivia and Ecuador are moving
with Cuban encouragement and in concert with their mentor, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez, to restrict press freedom in their countries.
Bolivian President Evo Morales and Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa
both announced steps to crack down on independent broadcasters within
days of Mr. Chavez's closure on Sunday of Venezuela's main independent
television station, RCTV.
Demonstrating the insular liberal world of New York public television, PBS late-night talk show host Charlie Rose hosted an interview for Al Gore in front of a very supportive draft-Gore-for-president audience at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan and then made it his Friday night national television broadcast. He asked Gore if the election was stolen in Florida, if Gore would consider running in 2008 now that he's speaking his mind freely without consultants, and how the network news elite has played a part in "The Assault on Reason."
The whole thing had the air of Bravo's Inside the Actors Studio, with Charlie Rose playing James Lipton and a supportive audience bathing the guest in adulation. Rose began with an effusive tribute, reading purple prose about how right he is on the issues and how graciously accepted defeat in 2000 (apparently leaving out the six weeks of desperate pleading and lawyering?) from two liberal columnists from The Washington Post and a liberal venture capitalist:
If you knew an institution was incapable of keeping tabs on one, crucially-important, person, why would you believe it could track 12 million? And yet . . .
The government knew that one man in Atlanta had a highly-infectious, potentially fatal, disease that puts the lives of untold numbers of people at risk. The MSM is quick to point its finger at the government for its failure to keep track of him. But the same MSM is largely supportive of an amnesty-based immigration bill that would require that same government to keep tabs on untold millions of immigrants and administer a highly-complex "pathway to citizenship."
The MSM is turning the tale of the Georgia man with TB who roamed over Europe and flew back to the US, endangering his fellow passengers, into a story of government misfeasance. Typical of the MSM take was that of Chris Cuomo on today's "Good Morning America." Cuomo spoke to ABC medical consultant Dr. Tim Johnson at 7:04 am EDT this morning.
In an interview on Monday’s edition of “Democracy Now” on radical (and taxpayer-supported) Pacifica Radio, host Amy Goodman relayed listener questions to Cindy Sheehan on her self-pitying Withdrawal from Politics tour. We learned again that Sheehan will not run for office: “I have been asked by the Green Party to run for president, but, you know, that’s not anything that I want.” (Imagine what Hillary Clinton would try to do to a female third-party threat. Eek.)
It was funnier when Goodman passed along a question from left wing “PR Watch” guru John Stauber: “What is your opinion of MoveOn and the role it played in the recent congressional debate over war funding?” Sheehan found it hilarious that the “corporate media” would categorize MoveOn as part of the “antiwar left.” So where the devil on the ideological spectrum is it? She said:
On May 29th a Catholic Priest from Chicago's St. Sabina Church joined a rally in front of a gun shop and called for the owner of the shop and all pro-gun legislators to be "snuffed out", yet, the media is strangely silent on the "Father's" extreme comments -- words one would think would be explosive enough to get media coverage. Father Michael Pfleger, known the city over for his overt political activism, made the obscene comments while demonstrating with Jesse Jackson and his Organization Operation Push in front of Chuck's Gun Shop in Riverdale, a Chicago suburb.
This from the Capitol Fax Blog (one of Illinois' best political sites):
Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina’s Church, went way over the top this week. During a protest against Chuck’s Gun Shop, Father Pfleger twice threatened to “snuff out” the shop’s owner and threatened the same fate for legislators who oppose his position on gun control.
“We’re gonna find you and snuff you out,” Fleger said about the gun shop owner, likening the man to a “rat.” He later repeated his threat to “snuff out” the owner.
Politics has become so divisive that liberals in America really and truly believe that President Bush is utterly delusional. The rest of the country disagrees in varying degrees. It's clear, however, which side AP reporter Jennifer Loven is on. Hat tip: Power Line:
Confronted with strong opposition to his Iraq policies, President
Bush decides to interpret public opinion his own way. Actually, he
says, people agree with him.
Democrats view the November elections that gave them control of
Congress as a mandate to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq. They're
backed by evidence; election exit poll surveys by The Associated Press
and television networks found 55 percent saying the U.S. should
withdraw some or all of its troops from Iraq.
Reporting moves by Fred Thompson to launch a presidential campaign, ABC's Jake Tapper on Wednesday night interjected a conservative take on the actor and former Senator, suggesting “Thompson will soon face questions” about “the liberal positions he's taken in the past on campaign finance reform and abortion.” Describing McCain-Feingold as “liberal” is noteworthy in itself. In his World News piece, Tapper had explained how, given conservative dissatisfaction with the three leading Republican contenders, Thompson thinks he can be “a conservative with star power.” But, Tapper cautioned, “playing a President is a lot easier than being one.”
The NBC Nightly News also took time to look at a potential Thompson bid, but neither Brian Williams or Tim Russert hinted at any liberal views held by Thompson. In fact, Williams relayed how “he would run as a red-meat conservative” and Russert reported that, to fill the vacuum felt by conservatives, “Thompson would try to cast himself as a consistent conservative.”
Although most media coverage of the closure of RCTV by the Hugo Chavez government in Venezuela has been somewhat bland, we now have an example of a journalist who actually supports the takeover of that long established television station. It is the former Associated Press reporter in Venezuela, Bart Jones, who wrote an approving article in today's Los Angeles Times, Hugo Chavez versus RCTV. Jones justifies the closing of that station by the Chavistas by claiming that it supported the 2002 coup against Chavez:
RCTV's most infamous effort to topple Chavez came during the April 11, 2002, coup attempt against him. For two days before the putsch, RCTV preempted regular programming and ran wall-to-wall coverage of a general strike aimed at ousting Chavez. A stream of commentators spewed nonstop vitriolic attacks against him — while permitting no response from the government.
In Tuesday's Chicago Sun-Times, TV critic Doug Elfman wasn't enthusiastic about a new USA Network program, "Starter Wife":
"The show just kind of lies there, like the bird poop that fell on our president's face at a press conference the other day. Oh, I mean, his shirt. Sorry. Wishful thinking."
When Elfman won an award at a newspaper he previous wrote for, the editor cited him for his "quick wit."
Perhaps among mainstream media types, wistfully dreaming of bird poop on President Bush's face qualifies as a real knee slapper. What's next at the Sun-Times, the food editor hoping to see the President slide on a banana peel?
Elfman is right about one thing: He is indeed sorry.
Do you ever find it amusing when liberal newspaper reporters tear their hair out in frustration that all the Bush administration gives them is publicity, not news? If someone wants to argue that it's not a reporter's job to recycle robotically the publicity blurbs of the party in power, there is a two word retort: Bob Dart. Bob Dart of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote an article on how the House was taking up a bill to make gas price gouging a federal crime, since we face "much of the nation complaining that gas prices are the highest ever."
Dart's story featured this lineup of the notable and the quotable: Speaker Pelosi (Democrat); Rep. Bart Stupak (Democrat), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations; and Tyler Slocum energy expert with the left-wing group Public Citizen. He mentioned Sen. Maria Cantwell (Democrat) in passing. (CORRECTION: Dart's original story from the Cox News Washington Bureau also included, in paragraphs 19, 20, and 21, a statement from Marlo Lewis of the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute and a refiners' representative, but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution edited it out.)
In the new 40th Anniversary Edition of Rolling Stone magazine, Editor Jann Wenner asks rocker-icon Bob Dylan, "Do you worry about global warming?" and Dylan responds: "Where's the global warming? It's freezing here."
The point is that Dylan was half-serious and questioning Wenner's liberal assumptions, as were a number of other 1960s rock icons who gave some startlingly sober answers to the hyper-idealized drivel regurgitated by Wenner and other questioners. (Hat tip to Cincinnati.com.) When asked his views about the 1960s, Director Steven Spielberg replied, "Just narcissism, a collective and personal narcissism."
New York Times columnist and reporter Jim Dwyer provided comfort to left-wing anti-Bush conspirators everywhere when he gave respectability to Rosie O’Donnell’s wacky theorizing about how World Trade Center No. 7 collapsed (“miraculously, for the first time in history, steel was melted by fire”).
Even the headline misleads: “On Her Way Out the Door, Rosie O’Donnell Revives a Conspiracy Theory About 9/11.” Actually, the recently departed co-host of “The View” said it on the March 29 edition of the show -- two full months ago.
“The first day of the post-Rosie O’Donnell era on ‘The View’ television show has come and gone, and by any fair accounting, an often useful provocateur has left the building.