“Now we switch to the housing market and the U.S. economy and this is a big story,” said NBC “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams on August 23. “Listen to this number on mortgage foreclosures in this country. They’re up 93 percent nationwide last month from the same period last year. This situation is dire. It’s creating a lot of anxiety about how that’s going to affect a great many homeowners and the economy as a whole.”
On Friday’s "Good Morning America," reporter David Wright sought out a socialist, a liberal activist and a Democrat to bash President Bush for failing, thus far, to visit Vermont during his two terms in office. However, he didn’t discuss how President Clinton similarly neglected Nebraska for nearly eight years. Following up on a CNN report about Bush’s "snub," co-host Robin Roberts began the segment by asking why the Commander in Chief was giving the state a "cold shoulder." An ABC graphic continued the complaining, it read, "Vermont Feeling Left Out: Why Won’t The President Visit?
While Wright found time to note that the northern state is "eco-smart and gay-friendly," he managed to ignore the fact that Bill Clinton didn’t visit Nebraska until a little over a month before his term ended. (In its report, CNN did mention this point.) The ABC correspondent spent much of his segment discussing Bush’s absence with Vermont Senators Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy, one a Democrat, the other a self-described socialist, and also Ben Cohen, a liberal activist and founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.
On Thursday, Alex Johnson wrote an article about beleaguered quarterback Michael Vick published at MSNBC.com.
In it, he quoted Rev. Al Sharpton as basically saying that the whole issue was being over-hyped due to racism stating, "If the police caught Brett Favre (a white quarterback for the Green Bay Packers) running a dolphin-fighting ring out of his pool, where dolphins with spears attached to their foreheads fought each other," Favre wouldn't get arrested.
"It's a horrible prospect to ask yourself, 'What if? What if?' But if certain things happen between now and the election, particularly with respect to terrorism, that will automatically give the Republicans an advantage again, no matter how badly they have mishandled it, no matter how much more dangerous they have made the world,"
This brings up two points. Firstly, how low has political campaigning sunk that any candidate for the Presidency would even consider saying something like this as part of a campaign?
Washington State authorities and the FBI on Monday released photos, taken by the captain of a Pugent Sound ferry, of two men that passengers and crew saw acting suspiciously -- taking photos of doorways, for instance -- but Thursday's Good Morning America seemed more concerned about “ethnic profiling” than identifying the potential terrorists who had been seen on up to a half-dozen ferries. “The case is raising concerns about security. But it's also raising concerns about possible ethnic profiling,” declared news reader Kate Snow. Reporter Neal Karlinsky asked: “Are these two men terrorists casing the boats for attack?” or “are they totally innocent passengers, the victims of ethnic profiling?” After noting their suspicious behavior, Karlinsky characterized them as victims: “But the men are not accused of anything, leading the Muslim community to wonder, what if the two men did not appear to be of Middle Eastern descent?” Aziz Junejo, Seattle Muslim Community spokesman, asserted: “To point that person out because of the features of a Middle Easterner is just plain wrong.” Karlinsky concluded: “The FBI says the huge ferry system is among the most vulnerable maritime targets in America. The question is, are these men a threat, or just victims of a jittery public?”
The culprit is, of course, global warming. Dingell heads the House Energy and Commerce Committee and has been looking for ways to appease the Gore wing of the party without hurting the auto manufacturers Dingell represents. "In order to address the issue of climate change, we must address the issue of consumption," he said in the article.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer Managing Editor David McCumber has posted a blog item defending his decision to not run the photos of the two ferry passengers the FBI is seeking in order to question them about their suspicious activities on several Seattle-area ferries in recent weeks.
McCumber says the paper didn't consider the photos news-worthy.
I certainly have plenty of feedback to consider from the ferry photo issue as we go forward.
I understand that people have a hard time with the concept that we get to decide what is news and what isn't, and what is fair and what isn't.
Several people have basically told me I didn't have the right to withhold the photos of the individuals the FBI want to identify. One person even said, "You have a responsibility to obey all FBI directives."
Joe Scarborough prides himself on being an independent thinker. Apparently that extends to not uttering a peep of protest, and indeed tending to concur, when a left-wing guest flatly accuses the Bush administration of using Nazi tactics to suppress democracy.
At about 7:45 A.M. EDT today, Naomi Wolf was a guest on "Morning Joe," there to promote her new book, the pretentiously-entitled The End of America: A Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot. The operating thesis of this alarmist screed is that the Bush administration represents a clear and present danger to democracy.
In a time when modern science and scholarship have begun to cast doubts on traditional faith, many on the left, right, and center are increasingly abandoning traditional religion. While most such people on the center-right are content simply not to believe, many on the left continue to cling to the salvationist ethos. In the past, that impulse was satiated with communistic reveries. If religion was the opiate of the masses, socialism was the heroin of the secular leftist.
That no longer seems, at least outwardly, to be the case. With a worldwide record of abject failure, socialism lost its claim to the miraculous. Despite this, the left's desire for cosmic justice remained unfilled; it was only a matter of time before something stepped into the teleological breach.
That something is radical environmentalism. In a fantastic essay at his site Number Watch, John Brignell shows how extreme environmentalism has become a secular religion. The comparisons are striking and ought to give pause to any agnostic or atheist wary of the influence of religion on society. Even if you don't share Bridgnell's view of religion, this is an essay worth reading. Here's a small excerpt:
As related in my blog post yesterday, Dennis Kucinich felt that ABC News was unfair in the way it covered him following last Sunday's debate sponsored by that network. Well, statistical analysis provided of the words spoken and the time alloted to each candidate shows that ABC News was indeed extremely unfair to both Kucinich and Mike Gravel during the debate itself. Here is the analysis by USA Election Polls:
We took a look at the entire ABC News Debate transcript from 8/19, parsed the file, and counted how many words each of the candidates were able to speak. The two candidates with the least amount of words were Kucinich and Gravel. Obama and Clinton as you would expect dominated in how many words they were able to speak.
MSNBC's Tamron Hall [file photo] is a big "Us Weekly" fan. Even more disturbing: she believes that guilty pleasure is expiated by her reliance on the New York Times for her news.
Hall has been taking Mika Brzezinksi's place on this week's "Morning Joe." This morning's show opened with Joe Scarborough decrying the disparately lenient judicial treatment doled out to Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan. They have received slaps on the wrist, doing virtually no jail time for their drug-fueled escapades, whereas Paris Hilton spent over 20 days in the hoosegow.
When Joe asserted that Paris has been walking the straight and narrow since exiting the Big House, Tamron corrected the record.
An August 22 article in the UK's Times Online gave some insight into the paper's behind-the-scenes views with this headline, “Paris vacates the moral highground to give Washington a helping hand” (h/t Fausta).
For the Times, France's “moral highground” was a four-year diplomatic lock-out with Iraq that began after the “US-led invasion” (and, interestingly, at the end of several Frenchmen profiting from the corrupt UN Oil For Food scam) that Sarkozy broke by sending his Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner to Baghdad yesterday for a three-day fact-finding trip with the goal of helping the Iraqis, through the UN, rebuild and stabilize a country that could easily devolve into genocide without adequate attention.
After CNN and YouTube organized a fairly silly and yet seriously liberal presidential debate for the Democratic presidential candidates this summer, GOP contenders developed cold feet about placing their ambitions at the feet of these groups. When only two GOP candidates accepted invitations for a proposed CNN/YouTube debate in September, the event was called off. In response, a set of conservative bloggers started a website called Savethedebate.com, urging that “Republicans cannot afford to write off the Internet” and risk “denigrating” the youth vote and the way they communicate. Five GOP candidates have now agreed; the new date is November 28.
These bloggers are fine conservatives, but no one should be under the illusion that writing off one website is “writing off the Internet.” That said, GOP candidates do not have the Democrats’ luxury of ignoring hostile media outlets like FOX as if they did not exist.
You knew this was coming: the Seattle office of CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has come out against the FBI's release of photos of two men observed acting suspiciously aboard as many as six different Seattle-area ferry routes in recent week.
The Seattle Times - which published the photos at the FBI's request - reported Thursday that CAIR-Washington "resented" the release of the photos, which the FBI released in order to enlist the public in helping identify and locate the men so the FBI could talk to them. (CAIR also has an excerpted version of the Seattle Times story on its website.)
Republican Senator John Warner's call for the withdrawal of 5,000 troops from Iraq by Christmas was trumpeted by the broadcast network evening shows Thursday night: CBS's Katie Couric touted a “major blow tonight to President Bush's Iraq policy” and ABC's Martha Raddatz saw a “stunning announcement that could have a powerful effect on the war” as the NBC Nightly News, for the fifth time in two years, heralded a “turning point” against the war. NBC anchor Brian Williams introduced “another major story we're covering this evening that could amount to a turning point in the debate over America's involvement in Iraq. Tonight, there has been a major defection from President Bush's camp.” (This wasn't the first time Williams has hailed the prescience of the very same Senator. When Warner warned last October that Iraq was drifting “side-wise,” Williams teased: “Is this a new turning point?”)
After a report from Andrea Mitchell, which began with “Turning Point?” on screen, Williams compared Warner to Walter Cronkite, reminding Tim Russert about how during Vietnam President Johnson “famously said, 'If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America.' Well, if George W. Bush has lost John Warner, how big is this, Tim?” Russert affirmed: “In a word: Very big.” Similarly, on the CBS Evening News, Bob Scheiffer declared that “John Warner is the single most influential Republican voice on Capitol Hill” and so his recommendation will “have a major impact.”
Views on abortion are basically binary: you're essentially either pro-life or pro-choice. And Americans are almost evenly divided. According to the Gallup Poll:
[W]hen the entire issue is distilled to the labels most commonly used on each side of the debate -- pro-choice vs. pro-life -- the public is split nearly down the middle.
Under these circumstances, it would seem logically impossible for one of the positions to be inherently "more moderate" than the other. But consider this sentence from a New York Times article of today, Opponents Attack Giuliani’s New York Record:
Socialist thinking can often pop up in the most unexpected places.
One of the “most powerful bond investors in America” is calling for a full-fledged government bailout of homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgages. Pimco Chief Investment Officer and founder Bill Gross thinks the Fed and monetary policy need to step aside for direct government intervention by President George Bush.
“Write some checks, bail 'em out, prevent a destructive housing deflation that Ben Bernanke is unable to do," wrote Gross on his September blog, which appeared in an Associated Press story on August 23. “This rescue, which admittedly might bail out speculators who deserve much worse, would support millions of hard working Americans whose recent hours have become ones of frantic desperation.”
Arthur Bremer, the man who on May 15, 1972, attempted to assassinate then-Gov. George Wallace (D-Ala.), is scheduled to be released from a Maryland correctional facility later this fall, the Associated Press reports.
In 1963, during his first term as Alabama's chief executive, the Democratic governor famously declared: "I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever."
While Wallace recanted his segregationist views years later, in May of 1972 he still espoused racist rhetoric during his run for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Is the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) politically picky when taking umbrage with topics pursued by the media? Could be. After Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report posted the "Obama Wife Slams Hillary" headline across his site, CJR ran an article complaining Drudge Barks, TV News Bites.
It seems the CJR is upset that Drudge's headline sparked a media feeding frenzy in which the major news sources all picked up both on the original story in the Chicago Sun-Times and on the interpretation that Michelle Obama's remark constituted an attack on Senator Hillary Clinton. Now for anyone who read the original story, there seems little doubt that Mrs. Obama's remark really was a thinly disguised dig at Hillary. The Sun-Times wrote: