CNN Saturday Morning News included the customary mainstream media genuflection to Senator Barack Obama. Anchor T.J. Holmes and senior national correspondent discussed Senator Hillary Clinton's announcement of an exploratory committee to examine her candidacy for the Democratic nomination in 2008.
HOLMES: "So, has Senator Barack Obama just really shaken things up in the Clinton camp to where they have to change things, shake things up, move a timetable up a little bit because of just the rock star power that this guy has and all the attention that he's generating?"
ROBERTS: "I think that Barack Obama really has changed the dynamic for the Clinton folks. . . Suddenly, in comes Barack Obama, steals a lot of the limelight. And he's just one of those guys that the spotlight loves. You know, he doesn't love the spotlight so much as the spotlight loves him, if you understand what I mean."
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at this below from Mike Stark, it probably isn't the first time he's issued a threat upon which he doesn't have a prayer of delivering.
I don’t mean to be a dick, but the truth is by the time the 6-7 minute segment is over, CNN will want to hire me as a sanitation engineer because I will have mopped the floor with Mr. Riehl… Mike Stark
Hopefully I'll have a few minutes tomorrow courtesy of CNN's Reliable Sources to point out that from throwing pies at conservative lecturers and guests, to physically assaulting Jim Gilchrist of Minuteman fame, see Hot Air and Michelle Malkin for more on that - to trying to shut down The Path to 9/11 and now the KSFO incident while Dennis Kucinich talks about bringing back the Fairness Doctrine, this is all in fact part of the Left's on going effort to shut down conservative rhetoric whenever and wherever they can.
With that in mind, CAIR’s legal director, Arsalan Iftikhar, went on the “O’Reilly Factor” Friday to discuss his organization’s views on this subject (video available here). O’Reilly marvelously set the discussion up:
Isn't this political correctness gone crazy? I mean, let's face it, come on, you have a program that's a fictional program. Everybody knows it. You have in this world Muslim villains. They are on the other side of the war on terror from us. There are Muslims who want to kill Americans, you know that. So you combine fiction with reality in this program. And now you guys are complaining about it? And the far left nuts are complaining about it? What's going on?
As reported by NewsBusters, Bill O’Reilly and Stephen Colbert squared off Thursday evening in well-publicized meetings on each other’s popular programs. According to the Los Angeles Times, this was a ratings bonanza for both:
Colbert helped O'Reilly draw more than 2.9 million viewers, a boost of 46% over last quarter and a hike of 67% among 25- to 54-year-old viewers.
With O'Reilly on his show, Colbert garnered 1.64 million viewers, up 50% over last quarter, and his biggest audience ever.
NewsBusters fans are certainly aware that former Partridge Family member Danny Bonaduce is a highly outspoken conservative that doesn’t mince words as reported here and here. On Friday, Bonaduce was John Gibson’s guest on Fox News’s “The Big Story,” and the pair took issue with the following statements recently made by Robert Redford (video available here courtesy of our friend at Ms Underestimated):
ROBERT REDFORD, ACTOR/DIRECTOR: In light of what's happened in the last six years, political diversity has been attempted to be thwarted, and we have kept it alive here. We have nodded here to any of the snuffing attempts that have come from the administration.
I think anybody with a rational mind, with a sense of decency, is being positioned as a lefty by the behavior of the extreme right.
Gibson was first up to take swings at this piñata:
If the timing came as a bit of surprise, nothing could have been less unexpected than Hillary's "I'm In" announcement of today.
But have a look at the video of her announcement. Rather than her "let's chat" rap, please focus on the background. Look out the door. Presumably the announcement was shot in one of Hillary's homes: Chappaqua or Georgetown. Now I know it's been a mild winter, but even so, surely the leaves are gone from the trees and bushes in either spot. And check out the yellow spot in the bushes. At first I thought it was just a warm dapple of sunshine. But freeze the frame when, about 1/4 of the way through, Hillary says "how to end the deficits that threaten Social Security." That's not sunshine -- those are flowers in bloom.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released what it calls its Usual Weekly Earnings Report for the Fourth Quarter of 2006 on Friday.
This is one of the more important reports the BLS releases because:
It looks at the earnings of full-time wage and salary workers, excluding part-timers, business owners, and the self-employed.
It looks at individuals, not households or families.
Unlike most reports, it tells us median earnings, the point at which half of workers are earning more and half earning less. Other reports covering "average" results may be distorted by the impact of high earners bringing up the reported average while a "typical" person at the median might not be making any progress.
It specifically compares nominal earnings increases at the median (i.e., before inflation) to inflation that occurred during the same time period. It therefore tells us whether the "typical" (as opposed to "average") worker has gotten ahead or has fallen behind during the period covered.
So it was very heartening to read the first paragraph from Friday's Usual Weekly Earnings report:
Median weekly earnings of the nation’s 106.9 million full-time wage and salary workers were $682 in the fourth quarter of 2006, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. This was 3.5 percent higher than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 1.9 percent in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) over the same period.
The AP has published a story today about the grand opening of the first McDonald's outlet with a drive-through window in China. It opened yesterday in Beijing to rave reviews from its first customers.
Apparently, the fast food chain is growing by leaps and bounds in the communist enslaved nation. McDonald's China CEO, Jeffery Schwartz is quoted in the AP piece about the company's growth in the Red Nation. "It's huge. It's a real priority for the global company because of the potential growth in China...We think drive-throughs are a big part of this."
And, when you read the AP's story everything seems upbeat and glowing about McDonald's growth and future opportunities in China." It's all good", as they say. And, it is no surprise that the AP's business writer, amusingly named Joe McDonald -- no I am serious, that IS his name-- was so aglow over the heightened business opportunities for the McDonald's chain.
In the course of her recent Los Angeles Times column, Rosa Brooks wrote this about the levels of electricity and oil production in Iraq:
"Before the U.S. invasion, the . . . residents of Baghdad used 16 to 24 hours of electricity each day. Today, thanks to us, they thriftily make do with about six hours of electricity a day . . . Oil production is still well below prewar levels."
Alarms went off for me when I read Brooks' claims. They were largely at odds with what I had learned when I interviewed in Baghdad in November the directors of the electricity and oil sectors of the Gulf Region Division of the Army Corps of Engineers - the people responsible for overseeing the reconstruction of those elements, among others, of Iraq's infrastructure.
(Big thanks and HT to reader Tony S.) Even the Columbia Journalism Review* was drawn to using the words "galling negligence" to describe the work on an incredibly misleading and flawed New York Times article from earlier this week. As we reported in this NewsBusters piece on Wednesday (1/17/07), the Times published a piece called, "51% of Women Are Now Living Without Spouse." We illustrated how the Times tinkered with the numbers to get their headline. Yesterday (Thu. 1/18/07), CJR Daily chimed in on what was so clearly a problematic article. (Emphasis mine:)
Leaving aside what struck us as strange methodology (like the fact that the survey counted anyone over the age of fifteen as a woman), there was something else disturbing about the piece. It had a tone of exuberance that spun the numbers as an unambiguously positive piece of progress for women. A quote from William H. Frey of the Brookings Institute captured the mood of it. The shift away from marriage, Frey said, represents "a clear tipping point, reflecting the culmination of post-1960 trends associated with greater independence and more flexible lifestyles for women." ... (snip) ...
Back in the United States from Baghdad, NBC News correspondent Jane Arraf, who joined NBC last year after eight years with CNN, conceded that life in Iraq “isn't entirely what it seems” from the constant media focus on bombings. In studio with Brian Williams on Friday's NBC Nightly News, she acknowledged how journalists are “really good at getting across the relentless bombing and the violence, but it's really a lot harder for us to portray those spaces in between. I mean, for us, we live in the city. It's as secure as it can be, but we wake up to the sound of car bombs. We feel the mortars sometimes. And in a horrible, inevitable way, it becomes sort of like the weather, and it's kind of the same for Iraqis. Unless they're in the middle of it, life looks amazingly normal."
Williams noted how “we get asked all the time....where's the good news we know is going on there?" Arraf conceded there's “a piece of good news that's out there every day that's really hard for us to get at,” and that's how “there are children walking to school, there are girls and boys, there are Iraqi girls who are walking to school, and it's that wonderful sign of resilience that is the fabric, the background of life there.” But, “to go out and do that story....we'd probably be putting those children in danger because that is the nature of television.”
Well, well. Some “climate expert” on “The Weather Channel” wants to take away AMS certification from those of us who believe the recent “global warming” is a natural process. So much for “tolerance”, huh?
I have been in operational meteorology since 1978, and I know dozens and dozens of broadcast meteorologists all over the country. Our big job: look at a large volume of raw data and come up with a public weather forecast for the next seven days. I do not know of a single TV meteorologist who buys into the man-made global warming hype. I know there must be a few out there, but I can’t find them.
I’m really verklempt, and need to go get a tissue.While I’m away, you should continue reading the truth about this matter as expressed by someone in the business as opposed to a former vice president looking to get his name back into the political mainstream:
Chris Matthews and John Fund had something of a nuclear showdown on this afternoon's Hardball. Matthews' current kick is worrying that President Bush might launch an attack on Iran without congressional authorization. In that context, talk turned to Saddam's nuclear program and that of North Korea.
This week the New York Times took every opportunity to mislead on the nature of the terrorist-surveillance program, triggered by Wednesday's announcement by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) would have jurisdiction over the program that eavesdrops on international calls of people in the U.S. suspected of terrorist ties.
Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News, probably seeking to recover from anger on the left, is again raising the global warming alarmism. Williams spoke of the Antarctic landscape "where a catastrophe is unfolding slowly but surely." Williams then punted the story to ITN reporter Lawrence McGinty reporting from the barren landscape of Antarctica.
McGinty took the viewers for a tour of Antarctica and scientists on the ground examining samples from deep in the ice shelf. The scientists test for carbon dioxide levels which McGinty adamantly states are "the main cause of global warming" and "the levels of carbon dioxide today suggest we’re in for another [big melting]."
On January 4, 2007, Consumer Reports released what the media considered a damning report that found that many infant car seats are unsafe at 38 mph side-impact crashes. In other words, small children were a car crash away from a grave injury or fatality.
The next morning, ABC, NBC, and CBS's morning programs played up the report, featuring the story prominently. CBS's Hannah Storm even used a newborn baby in a car seat as a prop during an interview.
Well, two weeks and a federal government study later, Consumer Reports issued a retraction. Turns out the laboratory they hired basically performed crash tests that simulated a side impact at 70 mph, a speed at which you are very lucky to come out alive regardless of your age or whether or not you're restrained in a car seat.
Of course, industry insiders felt this was coming, and one even said so on the January 5 "American Morning." But you didn't hear any of that two weeks ago on "Today," "Good Morning America," or "The Early Show." [full story here]
When Diane Sawyer interviewed Nancy Pelosi on Friday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC anchor seemed more interested in subjects such as building up the new House Speaker’s reputation for toughness and talking about trash, then she did on quizzing Pelosi about Iraq. While Sawyer did ask about the conflict, she also pressed the San Francisco Democrat from the left, twice wondering if Pelosi would consider cutting off funds. More often, Sawyer characterized Pelosi in positive, almost glowing terms. She began, however, by asking whether toughness or determination would be a better description of the new Speaker:
Diane Sawyer: "For two centuries in America, the Speaker of the House looked like this. [Montage of former Speakers, all male obviously] So, how is it a 66-year-old mother of five, and grandmother, broke the mold? Like a freight train she's already moved six major pieces of legislation through the House. Everything from stem cells to minimum wage. And whatever side you're on, when this new Speaker moves, she moves fast. Nancy Pelosi says power is not handed to you. You have to know how to win it. When she walks into a room, she is quiet, polite. But her fellow politicians say she's galvanized steel with a smile. Now, 100 hours. 100 hours in. What's the word that you, that you would use for yourself in those first 100 hours? Tough? Determined? What's the word?"
Is there any industry that elite liberals in the media don't want to regulate? Perhaps it's a little tongue-in-cheek, but The Washington Post's Robin Givhan opened her fashion column in the January 19 Style section thusly:
"If anyone ever needed evidence of why industries should not be allowed to police themselves, the Council of Fashion Designers of American just provided it."
You know we've progressed as a society when our modern-day Upton Sinclair is a clothing critic concerned about models strutting down the catwalk rather than the slaughterhouses that produce the hamburgers they won't touch with a 10-foot pole.
Some times, real surprises arrive in your e-mail, such as: Newsweek's International Edition welcomed the New Year with an article titled "Iraq's Economy Is Booming." Nobody noticed this "mother of all surprises" in America, since the article wasn't placed in front of domestic customers (it is online). Why not? Liberal, Bush-hating politics, perhaps? Despite the often-reported violence and terrorism, Newsweek's Silvia Spring asserted "there's a vibrancy at the grass roots that is invisible in most international coverage of Iraq."
Canadian columnist Neil Reynolds noticed Spring's piece in Toronto's Globe and Mail:
OTTAWA -- More than U.S. troops are surging in Iraq. As the international edition of Newsweek magazine reported at year-end, the Iraqi economy is expanding at a rapid rate: "Civil war or not," writer Silvia Spring says, "Iraq has an economy and - mother of all surprises - it's doing remarkably well." Amid anarchy and savage violence, Iraq's construction industry is booming.