Thomas Friedman shouldn't be so modest. The opening line of his column today proclaims his inability, based on his current trip to Iraq, to see the big picture there. But buried in his description of three experiences from his journey is a conclusion as unequivocal as it is harrowing.
In the first anecdote in [subscription-required] "Letter from Baghdad" Friedman describes his experience visiting a U.S. Army platoon based in Baghdad's Ameriya neighborhood. As the author explains, this had been an affluent Sunni area that had first been ravaged by Shia militias and then by pro-Al Qaedi Sunnis who had 'imposed a reign of Islamist terror" on the neighborhood. Secular Sunnis from the area banded to together to form the “Ameriya Knights" and fight alongside the Americans to expel the Al-Qaeda terrorists.
USA Today lends a big assist in promulgating Chinese propaganda as the paper helps explain away the nature of the forced military training that Chinese children undergo. Calling the compulsory training a benign sounding "camp" and presenting the children's training as if it is a mere summer excursion, USA Today soft sells China's militarization of their youth in theirs titled, "Chinese kids undergo required military training."
As USA Today dutifully reports China's propaganda -- the children go there to "sing songs" with the training only meant to "bolster teamwork" -- we see a disgraceful example of the MSM's practice of not "offending" a totalitarian nation so as not to lose their "access" there. Instead of reporting the harsh truth, we have USA Today offering a sunny and happy report on Chinese warmongering.
The Chinese government forces all children between the ages of 9 and 18 to undergo military training at regular intervals during Summer break from school. They have no choice and neither do their parents. This is the sort of complete lack of freedom of choice that can be expected from a totalitarian government, of course. In the West, we decry militarizing our children by force, so isn't it odd that USA Today so softens this training? Isn't it shameful that the paper helps China promote the propaganda that these military training sessions are really a wonderful time for China's youth?
"The Path to 9/11," ABC's five-hour miniseries from earlier this year, is still not out on DVD and now the film's screenwriter is claiming that ABC is blocking the release of the DVD to save Hillary and Bill Clinton the embarrassment they suffered when the show originally aired on TV. Why would ABC do this? Because we are at the beginning of Hillary Clinton's run for president and ABC wants to keep the Clinton's failures against radical Islam from coming to the fore says series writer Cyrus Nowrasteh.
On Tuesday's "Countdown," MSNBC host Keith Olbermann delivered his latest "Special Comment" rant against President Bush, branding him a "liar" because the President raised the possibility of withdrawing some American troops during his speech in Iraq, after the President had also spoken, in Robert Draper's new book, "Dead Certain," of "sustaining a presence" in Iraq. Olbermann assumed Bush's two statements -- about withdrawing some troops and "sustaining a presence" -- could not be consistent, thus contending Bush had revealed an "evil secret." Olbermann: "A man with any self respect, having inadvertently revealed such an evil secret, would have already resigned and fled the country! You have no remaining credibility about Iraq, sir!" (Transcript follows)
I bet you can't say the following without laughing hysterically: the media were much kinder to George W. Bush during the 2000 election campaign cycle than Vice President Al Gore.
As absurd as this statement might seem, such was the premise of an article in October's Vanity Fair written by contributing editor Evgenia Peretz and marvelously entitled "Going After Gore."
In it, Peretz - apparently with a straight face - claimed: "The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other top news outlets kept going after [Gore], with misquotes (‘I invented the Internet'), distortions (that he lied about being the inspiration for Love Story), and strangely off-the-mark needling, while pundits such as Maureen Dowd appeared to be charmed by his rival, George W. Bush."
Makes one wonder what the color of the sky is in Peretz's world. Regardless, for your entertainment pleasure, here are some of the absolutely hysterical lowlights (emphasis added throughout):
It was not exactly a plum assignment for a Republican to go on network television to discuss the alleged foot-tapping ways of the soon-to-be former GOP senator from Idaho. But Republicans also could easily see the delight in the eyes of the liberal media when word of Sen. Larry Craig’s Minneapolis airport arrest broke. The press went right back to last year’s smash-mouth Foleygate talking points about how this wasn’t just about the moral turpitude of one member of Congress, but it was about the impending end of the Republican Party, and potential doom for American conservatism.
On Tuesday, NBC’s "Today" show had opened with Matt Lauer asking: "Can the right wing withstand yet another scandal involving one of its own?" (Try imagining Matt Lauer, or any other network journalist out there, asking if "the left wing" could withstand yet another scandal after the breaking news of any one of the endless scandals revolving around Bill and Hillary Clinton.) Ann Curry chimed in, wondering "how does this specter of hypocrisy affect the Party?"
The issues of interest to Iowa caucus-voters “tend to be the same issues that everyone is concerned about around the country,” ABC's Kate Snow maintained Tuesday night, a contention she illustrated by citing “one voter” who recited to her a litany of liberal agenda topics: “She's worried about health care, Social Security and...'getting the Hell out of Iraq.'”
Snow's conclusion from Des Moines followed a World News piece from Jake Tapper in New Hampshire where he similarly found getting out of Iraq is the most important issue, at least to “independent” voters. After pointing out how there are more independents than either Republicans or Democrats in the Granite State, Tapper explained that “a key issue for so many independents here, such as contractor Gerry Hamel, is opposition to the war in Iraq.” Hamel expressed his view that “we can only be there so long and it's time to leave.” Tapper helped Hamel out as Tapper unintentionally showed how Snow's take on Iraq matched the Democratic position: “And the Democratic candidates are saying that, not the Republicans?” Hamel agreed.
CNN, in their day-long reporting on Tuesday about the opening day for a controversial publicly-funded Arabic-language school in New York City, sympathized with the school and its supporters, and helped denigrate its opponents. On "American Morning" and throughout the day on Tuesday on their "Newsroom" program, CNN aired a report from correspondent Richard Roth on the Khalil Gibran International Academy, whose curriculum will focus on teaching "Arabic language and culture" (as detailed in a CNSNews.com report last week). The report focused on Carmen Colon, a mother and "community activist" in Brooklyn (a detail not mentioned in Roth’s report) who pulled her son from the school before its opening. The report closed with a clip from Colon, who said, "The people who are so against this school who, for me, seem more like the terrorists by terrorizing the community and making us feel that it's unsafe for our children to be there. They're the ones who are terrorizing us, not the school, not the principal, and not the administration."
On Tuesday's "Today" show Matt Lauer discovered the solution to all the environmental crises Al Gore and his ilk have warned about, there's just one hitch, it involves the extinction of all mankind. Promoting a book that examined how long it would take for the Earth to clean up "the mess we've made" Lauer and his co-host Meredith Vieira pondered how pristine the planet would be without us:
Matt Lauer: "Then we're gonna talk to the author of a book and this is, really asks an interesting question. The book is called The World Without Us and it asks the question what would happen to planet Earth if human beings were to suddenly disappear. What would happen to our cities? What would happen to our landmarks? How quickly would our streets turn to rivers? How quickly would our farmland turn to forest? What would happen to natural wonders and man made wonders, like the Panama Canal or the Statue of Liberty. We're gonna talk to the author about that. And really it's all about trying to figure out how long it would take nature to reclaim what we've created."
Meredith Vieira: "The mess."
Lauer: "How long it would take nature to fix the mess we've made?"
After more than two decades in which Dan Rather used his anchor desk to push a liberal agenda — culminating in the forged document scandal in 2004 — the CBS Evening News needed its new anchor to be the epitome of fair and balanced journalism.
Instead, the CBS brass hired Katie Couric, who put her liberal fingerprints all over Today during her 15 years at NBC. Making the switch to CBS, Couric could have reinvented herself as a fair and down-the-middle reporter. After one year on the job, however, the ratings for her version of the CBS Evening News are as low as they've ever been, down to an average of just 6 million viewers per night.
And Couric has maintained the same liberal approach that got Rather into such trouble in 2004. A short review:
In its Labor Day report entitled "GDP Growth Not Reaching Paychecks," CNN/Money began with this multi-faceted howler (bolds are mine):
The economic expansion that began six years ago has failed to benefit most workers, according to a report from the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute, released Monday.
Productivity growth, although slower of late, has been strong since 2000. After a sluggish start in the period, employment has picked up, although at a slower pace than in past recoveries. Yet, that growth hasn't transferred to workers' paychecks, particularly for workers at the lower and middle end of the pay scale, the report found.
After rising quickly in the second half of the 1990s, most workers' (sic) real wages have been stagnant in the 2000s, especially since 2003.
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," anchor Chris Cuomo talked to the authors of a new book about how liberals in the media allowed their politically correct biases to color coverage of the accused students in the Duke lacrosse rape case. Critiquing the media, Cuomo acknowledged, "It was difficult to report on this story fairly because there was so much pressure about pushing the angle that something had to happen. Something had to happen. It couldn't be nothing." He even proclaimed a lesson of the case to be "what people have always suspected, which is be careful what you hear from the media."
Stuart Taylor, co-author of "Until Proven Innocent," indicted liberal journalists who hold an obsession with race and sex. He derided the media’s gleeful handing of the case, saying, "The New York Times loved it, or a lot of people at the New York Times loved it. USA Today loved it. Nancy Grace on CNN loved it." However, while Cuomo did engage Taylor and his co-author K.C. Johnson on the subject of the media’s failing, the GMA anchor ignored an example from his own network. In April of 2007, ABC reporter Terry Moran blogged on the network’s official site that Americans shouldn’t feel too bad for the Duke students because of their wealth. He also claimed that the women of Rutgers basketball team suffered more from Don Imus:
Andrew at Biased BBC has an excellent take on the British news agency's flawed reporting on the recent release of some South Korean aid workers. For starters, the original headline glossed over the brutal murder of two hostages. Andrew also noted that contrary to BBC's own style guide, the news agency characterized the murdered missionaries as having been "executed," which implies a legal penalty governed by due process of law.
"It is time for the United States to stop treating every American Muslim as somehow suspect, leaders of the faith said at their largest annual convention, which ended here on Monday….The image problems were among the topics most discussed by many of the 30,000 attendees. A fresh example cited was an open letter from two Republican House members, Peter Hoekstra of Michigan and Sue Myrick of North Carolina, that attacked the Justice Department for sending envoys to the convention because, the lawmakers said, the Islamic Society of North America was a group of 'radical jihadists.'"
Whether senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was outed for political purposes remains a subject of pure speculation one thing, however, is clear: There is a very dedicated group of left-wing gay activists out there who have made it their goal to drag gay Republicans' sex lives out into the public eye unless they toe the line politically.
Regardless of whether you think the Republican party should be more accepting of homosexuality, this tactic of invading people's private lives and exposing them to the public is nothing short of blackmail. Instead of condemning it, however, the liberal press celebrates such efforts as Patterico points out in a blog entry debunking a fawning Washington Post profile of gay blogger Mike Rogers:
Americans are often exhorted to be more like Europeans in the environmental department. We're told to buy less! Leave the SUV at home and ride your bike more often, or take public transport! Fix old appliances rather than replace them! And of course, environmentalists constantly whine that the U.S. government has yet to ratify the Kyoto protocol like our more enlightened continental friends.
Yet it seems that perhaps the Europeans aren't quite as concerned about being green as our media and other global warming cheerleaders purport them to be. Reuters reported yesterday that at IFA, a huge consumer electronics fair being held in Berlin through September 5th, consumers were more interested in how big and bright television screens were than how green the electronics companies are striving to be.
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," George Stephanopoulos showcased a "quirky" poll indicating that Americans would like Hillary Clinton next to them for a multi-hour, cross country drive. Additionally, according to anchor Diane Sawyer, the poll also found a majority of citizens would choose the New York senator to run the company that employs them. Stephanopoulos, host of "This Week" and former top aide to Bill Clinton, spun the good news for Hillary as getting "at what people are looking for in a president."
The two ABC anchors also discussed Senator Clinton’s attempts to increase her likability ratings. Stephanopoulos repeated a talking point by parroting the former First Lady’s claim to be "the most famous person in the world that people don't know." Then, he helpfully played clips of Mrs. Clinton demonstrating warmth and humor on such venues as "The Late Show" and Ellen Degeneres’s program." Finally, what little time was left for the Republicans was spent bashing former Senator Fred Thompson for "fritter[ing]" the summer away and not exciting crowds.
Now here's a story the climate change obsessed media can really sink their teeth into: a Berkeley, California, based environmental group claims that dams all around the world are adding to global warming.
If you're keeping score, this means we can't use heating oil or coal to produce energy to heat and/or light our homes. They killed nuclear power. Now they want to ban all hydroelectric facilities.
Just how far back into the Stone Age must we go to save the planet?
While you ponder, Australia's News.com reported this astonishing claim Tuesday (emphasis added throughout):
Here's a story a climate change obsessed media are sure to ignore: a Congressman from Southern California has actually suggested America spend financial resources to fix the endangered entitlement programs of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid rather than to solve global warming.
I don't imagine Katie, Charlie, and Brian will be doing a segment on this tonight, do you?
Regardless, Rep. John Campbell (R-California) published a must-read op-ed Tuesday entitled "Global Warming Heresy" (emphasis added throughout):