Weighing in on Time's "Swampland" blog, journalist Joe Klein opined that the best question of last night's GOP primary debate was the infamous "What do you dislike most about America" question. Klein slammed the candidates' performances, but particularly picked on Romney, whom he mocked as overly optimistic:
I could imagine him doing the Reagan nice-guy, slightly-boggled head
twitch, especially when he was asked the question of the night: What do
you dislike most about America?
Romney's answer: I love America. Great. Good. Great Great. Creative. People. The American People. Love. Great....
This is a basic DNA difference between the parties. Republicans
see the American people as perfect; the American government as an alien
import from France. You put America and Flawed in the same sentence,
and any Republican will go all (faux) De Toqueville--great good great
Al Gore's prophecy tour of doom hit a snag the other day. Apparently, he caused a stir among some atheist environmentalists for stating that he believes in creation science. Amazingly, no one in the media has picked it up. The irony is especially delicious since many on the left are making fun of some of the GOP presidential candidates for having the same belief.
One liberal Canadian blogger who was at a Gore presentation reports Gore's act of blasphemy:
The slide I found particularly interesting/shocking/sad, was his new(?)
slide containing a graph of human population growth over the past
couple hundred-thousand years. It started off good. He pointed at the
beginning of the graph, showing the population of humans on Earth from
200,000 years ago, and referred to the “rise of humans." Cool beans. So he believes that Homo sapiens evolved from other hominid ancestors, right? Nope.
When a lie makes it into print once, it's happenstance. A mere accident, no doubt, due to a lapse of judgment in editing the news feed. What, then, is it called when a lie is repeated countless times without apology?
Apparently, it's called "businessasusual" for the media.
Whenever a funeral is presented by photographers embedded in the Palestinian territories, we're faced with dozens of photographs of crowds of weeping, screaming, shouting people parading around in the streets. We're also inevitably presented with a caption describing how the Israeli occupiers are responsible for the deaths, and how Israel is pouring out suffering all over the innocent, helpless Palestinian people.
While these photos always make for a powerful statement, and are picked up by news organizations worldwide for their raw emotional appeal, the information presented along with them isn't always what it appears at first glance to be.
Romney won, Rudy lost. That's Chris Matthews' take on the GOP presidential debate he moderated on MSNBC last night. Matthews made his views clear during his appearance on this morning's "Today." Meredith Vieira, who interviewed Matthews at 7:09 EDT, seemed to share her colleague's assessment.
TODAY CO-HOST MEREDITH VIEIRA: Winners and losers in your assessment?
MSNBC HOST CHRIS MATTHEWS: Oh, come on. Well, let me just say I thought that just factually, Giuliani stood out on the issue of abortion rights, clearly. At one point I asked if they would be happy, if it would be a good day for America, if the courts struck down Roe v. Wade, the court decision back in '73 that gave a woman the right to an abortion, and he said 'that would be OK,' Very tentative. And then later on he reasserted his position that he is for abortion rights. So I think that separated him on a big issue.
VIEIRA: Yeah, but Chris, he also said it would be OK if a strict constructionist judge upheld Roe v. Wade. It sounded like he was talking out of both sides of his mouth there.
Diane Sawyer granted an interview for the May issue of Reader’s Digest. In it, Sawyer said she is eager to interview North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, and would jump at the chance to interview Osama bin Laden. The interviewer, Sara Davidson, did not press Sawyer on the question of whether she was too soft or light in her interviews with anti-American heads of state (as with asking Syrian dictator Bashar Assad whether he has Shania Twain on his iPod). But Sawyer did use the words "fanatic extremists" and "horrific terrorists," which doesn’t always emerge first in journalistic conversations.
RD: Who else are you most eager to interview? Sawyer: Kim Jong-il. I think he is unlike anyone else in a leadership position in the world right now, and North Korea is such an intriguing country.
If a high-ranking member of the Taliban told Al-Jazeera that the recent attempted assassination of Vice President Dick Cheney was devised by Osama bin Laden, would you expect the media to report it?
In reality, after this interview, the claim was largely discredited. However, one has to wonder why Mullah Dadullah’s (the believed leader of the Taliban in southern Afghanistan) statement made last Wednesday went largely ignored.
Was this an attempt by a media seemingly always interested in downplaying the war on terror to keep the public from even considering that bin Laden could have been involved?
Update (15:33): MRC/NB's Rich Noyes will be on Fox News at 4:15 p.m. to discuss this. Look for a new post shortly thereafter with video.
In a debate packed with silly
questions and ones matching left-wing attack points on GOP candidates, in
the first “Interactive Round” of questions submitted by the public on
Politico.com, a co-sponsor of the debate, Mitt Romney got the most
bizarre. The Politico Executive Editor Jim VandeHei, a Washington
Post political reporter before jumping to The Politico earlier
this year, found this one worth posing: “Daniel Dekovnick [sp phonetic] from
Walnut Creek, California wants to know, 'What do you dislike most about
America?'" Romney responded: “Gosh, I love America. I'm afraid I'm
going to be at a loss for words...”(More questions below)
clip of VandeHei posing the “what do you dislike most about America?”
question and Romney's response (45 secs): Real (1.3 MB) or Windows Media (1.5 MB),
plus MP3 audio (260
Read past the jump for more oddball questions and a huge blog roundup.
CBS Radio might be about to get a very expensive lesson in contract law, for terminated former “shock-jock” Don Imus has just hired topnotch legal counsel in what could be the most-watched trial since O.J. Simpson’s.
Don Imus is suing CBS Radio for more than $40 million. He is suing for vindication, according to a media expert, who said “(Imus) wants his name cleared.”
The former talk show host hired one of the country’s top First Amendment trial lawyers to sue CBS for firing him over racial and sexual on-air comments. But Imus points out his contract calls for “irreverent” and “controversial,” and his “nappy-headed ho” remark was certainly that.
Hmmm. That was in the contract? It appears CBS somehow forgot:
One-third of Americans say
they have a negative view of Katie Couric, her personal popularity
lagging behind rivals Charles Gibson and Brian Williams just as her
evening news program trails in the ratings.
For the past two and a half years, the page has been run by an Obama
supporter from Los Angeles named Joe Anthony. At first, that
arrangement was fine with the Obama team, which worked with Anthony on
the content and even had the password to make changes themselves.
as the site exploded in popularity in recent months, the campaign
became concerned about an outsider having control of the content and
responses going out under Obama's name and told Anthony they wanted him
to turn it over.
Over the past few days, Gates of Vienna discussed a very troubling story about Finnish blogger Mikko Ellila, “who has been summoned by the police for a hearing next week, all because of the content of his blog posts.” Mikko posts in Finnish but contacted several people in English about this, such as the Australian blogger Prodos, who owns the site that hosts the potentially criminal blog. Mikko explained to Prodos why he is going to be questioned by Finnish police:
According to the letter, I am suspected of “hate speech” merely because I have pointed out that Islam is a fascist ideology that advocates killing Jews, atheists, homosexuals etc.
Fellow Finnish blogger Vasarahammer explained more about Mikko's problem:
New York Times reporters can'tstand it when President Bush actually has the nerve to speak in front of supportive crowds, and neither did the headline writer to reporter Jim Rutenberg's Thursday story, "Outing Finds Bush in the Thick of Softball Season." The text box reads: "In a challenging time, the president turns to a friendly audience."
That "friendly audience" would be the Associated General Contractors of America. Rutenberg, as if in disbelief, quoted chapter and verse the often-religious, positive bent of some of the audience questions to Bush.
A “promising” new drug could save lives of people fighting osteoporosis, but neither ABC “World News with Charles Gibson,” nor CBS “Evening News” even mentioned the drug’s manufacturer - Novartis Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: NVS) - in May 2 broadcasts.
Zoledronic acid “may be just what the doctor ordered,” according to Katie Couric. The broadcasts cited a new study that found a 70-percent decline in spine fractures and a 41-percent decline in hip fractures among the patients studied.
Yesterday, NewsBusters executive editor Matthew Sheffield passed along how bloggers had picked up on Virgin Airlines screening the 9/11 conspiracy documentary "Loose Change" as an in-flight movie selection.
Andersen reminds her readers that "one simple phone call" can make all the difference, as was the case with Wilkow's producer complaining to Virgin. I suspect, however, that a large, irate blog readership also had a role to play. Over 15,000 hits came up for my "loose change" search on Technorati, while over 600 hits came up when I looked for "Virgin Airlines" on the blog search site.
Hundreds of thousands of potential airline passengers are not worth messing with, after all.
For two straight days, "Good Morning America" featured interviews with Dina Matos-McGreevey, the ex-wife of former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey. For both segments, co-host Diane Sawyer peppered Mrs. McGreevey with questions about homophobia and whether people should feel sorry for her former, now publically gay, spouse.
During Wednesday’s interview, Sawyer mentioned a subject that arose in custody hearings for the couple’s children. Apparently Jim McGreevey, who resigned after his homosexual affairs and hiring of grossly unqualified individuals became public, kept a rather large photograph of a naked man in his apartment where the children could see, much to the horror of his ex-wife. Sawyer prefaced this by calling the issue one where people "will come down, maybe, on two sides of it." She also wondered if homophobia could be a reason the governor’s wife reacted so negatively:
It's commencement speech time again at colleges and universities across America. Goshen College is one of the few to have already graduated its class of 2007, and CBS producer Greg Kandra took notice. Kandra plugged a speech by the Rev. Joy Carroll Wallis* at Goshen College:
In the days to come, we'll be reading a lot of snippets from
commencement speeches. 'Tis the season. Some will be hilarious. Some
dreadful. A few will actually say something that make you put down your
morning coffee and think. This speech is one of those.
Print it. Save it. Share it. It's worth it.
So I'm following Kandra's advice. I printed it (should I buy a tree-offset too?) and I'm sharing it with you. Unfortunately it contains the usual liberal platitudes you hear in a college commencement speech. Here's a sample: