Lt. Col. Rick Francona (USAF Retired) is an MSNBC military analyst who also writes for the network's "Hardblogger" blog. But while Francona has plenty of thoughts on how to deal with Iran's hostage-taking and on the notion of setting a withdrawal deadline for U.S. troops in Iraq, a review of Nexis showed zero hits for Francona on MSNBC recently, and only one appearance on NBC's "Nightly News" the day after the British servicement were taken hostage. And even then, he was featured with a sound bite about the Pat Tillman investigation.
WITHDRAWAL DATE FOR IRAQ AIDS THE ENEMY (March 23)
GULF ARABS DRAW A RED LINE AGAINST IRAN (March 19)
The 15 British sailors and Royal Marines were captured on March 23. Francona has written more on Iran specifically and the Middle East in general, it's just not all been posted to MSNBC's Web site. Francona runs his own Web log, Middle East Perspectives, and has a few additional posts in the same time period, including one dated March 25 explaining the long-disputed Shatt al-Arab waterway in which Iran captured its British hostages.
So given Francona's expertise and his being on the MSNBC payroll, he's been pretty busy appearing on air, right?
Well, a Nexis search for "Rick Francona" among MSNBC documents from March 19-April 3 turned up no hits.
The redesigned Time magazine is lending itself to selling the letters and quotes that are pleasing to liberals. In the Inbox section, letters praising Al Gore and Caroline Kennedy are in bold letters, as is a letter demanding Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should have been canned along with Donald Rumsfeld when CBS broke open Abu Ghraib in 2004. In the Verbatim section, only two quotes were in bold type: from Elizabeth Edwards and Bush-bashing Sean Penn.
Next to a picture of Al Gore came the bolded letter: "Whatever Al Gore's electric bill is, he has alerted the public to global warming. Gore doesn't have to live in a cardboard box to be right on this issue." -- Bruce Rider, Grapevine, Texas.
A caption underneath the picture and letter pitches Gore as a "leading light of environmentalism."
When Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced she had taken in $26 million in campaign donations on Monday, "Good Morning America" focused on the "historic," "staggering," and record shattering nature of the total. But on Tuesday, April 3, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney received only suspicion over his equally impressive announcement of a $23 million fund-raising total.
GMA host Robin Roberts repeatedly asked Romney questions such as "where is the money coming from, Governor?" Ms. Roberts also wondered how the candidate’s Mormon faith factored into his fund-raising. She even challenged the Republican hopeful to take a page from John Kennedy and address his faith:
Robin Roberts: "Many are wondering if you will do, take a page from former President Kennedy, who had addressed the nation about his Catholic upbringing. Do you anticipate, anticipate doing the same?"
So far the New York Times has apparently yet to do any original reporting on the lawsuit filed by six imams against US Airways and some passengers who reported suspicious behavior by the imams before a flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix last year. The imams were taken off the plane in Minneapolis for behavior that included loud chanting, cursing the United States, and praising Saddam Hussein. Yet even passage by the House of a bill to protect passengers who report suspicious behavior on airlines apparently hasn't motivated the newspaper to actually cover the controversy for itself.
Bill Buckley has a great syndicated column out today on how the global warming crusade is really getting out of hand:
The heavy condemnatory breathing on the subject of global warming
outdoes anything since high moments of the Inquisition. A respectable
columnist (Thomas Friedman of The New York Times) opened his essay last
week by writing, "Sometimes you read something about this
administration that's just so shameful it takes your breath away."
What asphyxiated this critic was the discovery that a White House
official had edited "government climate reports to play up uncertainty
of a human role in global warming." The correspondent advises that the
culprit had been an oil-industry lobbyist before joining the
administration, and on leaving it he took a job with Exxon Mobil.
The April 3 edition of "The Early Show" reported on the fallout from the Supreme Court decision regarding EPA regulatory policies. Business correspondent Anthony Mason featured auto industry analyst John Casesa who claimed it "will force Detroit auto companies to radically change their business model," but there was no mention of the potential cost to the consumer.
The story also uncritically aired a sound bite from David Hawkins of the left wing Natural Resources Defense Council, but aired nothing from organizations opposed to the ruling. The Competitive Enterprise Institute, for example, issued a press release stating experts are "available to comment" on the decision. CBS must have missed it. The transcript is below.
CHRIS WRAGGE: The Supreme Court ruled Monday that so-called greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide can be considered air pollution. And the federal government has the duty to regulate them. As CBS News business correspondent Anthony Mason reports, it's likely to mean big changes and big problems for the U.S. car industry.
Update: See bottom of post NBC's Martin Savidge took the prize for unexpected environmental advocacy on this morning's Today show. In a global warming story, disguised as a health report, Savidge went over-the-top as he blamed your car's exhaust for seemingly every problem under the Sun. In what was initially teased as an allergy report Savidge blamed fossil fuel emissions for an increase in the pollen count that is not only leading to exacerbated allergic reactions in humans and their pets but also getting in the way of police officers trying to collect fingerprints.
In the 7am half hour, Today co-host Matt Lauer introduced Savidge's global warming, masquerading as health story, segment this way: "Are you sniffling and sneezing right now? Are your eyes so watery you can barely see the TV?Well it could be your allergies. And guess what? We may only have ourselves to blame. That story now from NBC's Martin Savidge."
Supreme Court rebukes Bush administration for refusing to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
The link takes readers to today's front page article by Robert Barnes and Juliet Eilperin, "High Court Faults EPA Inaction on Emissions."
But both headlines not only skew the issue that was before the Court -- turning a legal matter into a political drama, and making the Supreme Court into a veritable high court of climate science -- they mislead readers about the actual finding of the Court's majority.
I'm no fan of the majority's reasoning or their ruling, but as Barnes and Eilperin themselves report deep in their article, Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the majority, noted that "We need not and do not reach the question"of whether the EPA "must make an endangerment finding." In other words, the ruling is not some stern Al Gore-like command for the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.
Indeed, while the scientific geniuses in the Court majority in Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. EPA did hold that carbon dioxide may be defined as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act and hence may result in future EPA regulation, the ruling is not a rebuke to the Bush, and Clinton, administrations* for years of non-regulation.
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program featured a segment on the growing feud between "View" host Rosie O’Donnell and FNC anchor Bill O’Reilly. Although reporter Taina Hernandez did highlight some of Ms. O’Donnell’s more extreme statements, the segment mostly portayed the back-and-forth as simply a celebrity squabble.
And one topic that GMA left out? Any reference to Rosie’s recent on-air touting of 9/11 conspiracy theories. Co-host Robin Roberts previewed the segment with a tease that offered moral equivalence between the FNC host and the woman who recently suggested that the kidnapping of British Marines was a modern day Gulf of Tonkin incident. Roberts wondered, "Has Rosie gone too far this time?" But she quickly covered herself by asking, "Maybe O’Reilly’s crossed the line? We’ll let you be the judge and weigh in on that."
It seems CBS is expanding its search for interns by placing not just ads on its Web site, but sponsored "news feed" items on Facebook, a social networking site popular among college students and recent college graduates:
One sign that a news outlet is liberal is how they can find nothing controversial in peace protests by long-time avant-garde hippies like Yoko Ono, the widow of John Lennon. The Washington Post greeted her latest publicity stunt in DC with an honorific article on the front page of the Style section headlined "Yoko Ono's Peaceful Message Takes Root." Jessica Dawson didn't mention how this alleged peacemaker caused the War Among the Beatles that broke up the band. Dawson could only produce awe for her celebrity and for her care for all humanity: "Yes, that was Yoko Ono whispering into the bark of a cherry tree at the Tidal Basin yesterday morning. The artist, performer and widow of John Lennon visited Washington on Sunday and Monday to bring her 'Imagine Peace' project to the city."
Ono encouraged public participation in art by having people write their wishes on a piece of paper and tie it to one of her peace trees. How scribbling a wish on paper is "art" is anyone's guess. Is it art if you bring your calligraphy pen? The Post account continued this press release for peace:
Would someone please let Andrea Mitchell know that John McCain is competing for the Republican presidential nomination? He's not going up against Obama, Hillary et al. in a race to determine who can surrender fastest in Iraq.
Giving her expert analysis on this morning's "Today" of John McCain's lackluster fundraising results, Mitchell claimed that John McCain is "hurt by his support for the Iraq war."
Could Andrea possibly be more wrong? McCain's support for President Bush's Iraq policy is the only thing keeping him alive, if barely, in the GOP race. Opposition to the war would put McCain in Chuck Hagel territory -- so unpopular among Republican voters that he dare not even throw his hat into the ring.
Chris Matthews attacked campaign fund donations to Mitt Romney last night on Hardball, calling the entire system of political fund raising "unsavory" along with claiming that Romney's contributors in particular are all "rich people" and people who are "loaded". In fact, he didn't seem to understand at all why anyone would even donate to a Romney campaign because he thinks everyone sees him as a "stranger".
In a report that was supposed to be about this first round of fund raising of all the candidates, Matthews found no time in a ten minute segment to even mention the many millions of dollars raised by Democrats, focusing almost entirely on his distrust of Romney, even though Romney raised far less than Clinton.
The National Center for Public Policy Research's health care senior policy analyst, David Hogberg, contacted
the CBS television show "60 Minutes" five times last week -- by telephone, fax and e-mail -- to warn the show's producers that a report by the leftie big-government health care lobby group Families USA, which "60 Minutes" planned to highlight in Sunday's show, rested on faulty data.
The Families USA report made certain claims in support of calls that Medicare be permitted to "negotiate (read: dictate) drug prices to drug companies. An analysis David completed for the National Center in January, and which he made available to "60 Minutes," called the Families USA study "nonsense."
As David explained in a National Center press release today:
Reporting on the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision (PDF) that the EPA has a “statutory obligation” to regulate carbon-dioxide emissions from motor vehicles, CBS's Wyatt Andrews on Monday night avoided labeling those in the majority while describing those in dissent as “the Court's most conservative justices.” CBS and NBC led by championing the narrow ruling, but NBC's Pete Williams, as well as ABC's Jan Crawford Greenburg in a story a few minutes into World News, managed to avoided ideological tagging.
Andrews began his CBS Evening News story by stressing how, “in a hard slap to the administration, the Supreme Court ruled the EPA does have authority to regulate greenhouse gases as air pollution. Justice John Paul Stevens writes [text on screen]: 'The harms associated with climate change are serious' and that EPA's political reasons for inaction are illegal, 'arbitrary,' he wrote, 'capricious...or otherwise not in accordance with law.'” After not labeling Stevens or any of the four justices who joined his opinion, Andrews concluded by pointing out how “this was a 5-to-4 decision with the Court's most conservative justices dissenting. But you can still add the Supreme Court to the list of voices advocating action on global warming.”