MRC's Mike Rule noticed CBS's "Early Show" on Friday was going to extremes to play up the drama of recent gas price increases. People are now suddenly pawning items for gas money?
Julie Chen: “Oil prices reached a new record this morning, at one point they topped $73 a barrel. That's not helping high gas prices; some are going to extremes to pay for gas, pawning their belongings.”
The Washington Post's Web site on Friday posted the Reuters' dispatch, "At 74, Ted Kennedy still roars." The piece was largely favorable, lauding the Massachusetts senator for "speaking out on such trademark issues as civil rights, education and health care." It's noted that Time magazine recently named Kennedy one of America's ten best senators and that he "has helped enact legislation to protect civil rights, expand health care, upgrade schools, increase student aid and crackdown on discrimination."
Naturally, no mention is made of the costs associated with Kennedy's initiatives or their impact on expansion of Federal power. There are two references to Chappaquiddick, identified as the "scandal that tarnished his reputation and prospects of becoming president." Later, the article states: "Kennedy was dogged by personal problems early in life, most notably a 1969 accident in Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts, that took the life of a young woman who drowned when his car plunged off a bridge after a night of partying."
Liberals who believe both Fox News and CNN have become cheerleaders for the war in Iraq may have another alternative: Al Jazeera International.
The Rocky Mountain News reports that the nascent English-language channel has finally found at least one carrier in the U.S. who is willing to put the channel in its lineup.
EchoStar's Dish Network is the only cable or satellite operator in the U.S. publicly willing to consider carrying controversial Arab news channel Al Jazeera's planned English-language spinoff.
Even on Dish, Al Jazeera's attempt to provide an alternative to Western news outlets like BBC World and CNN International isn't likely to appear on any of the satellite-TV operator's popular programming tiers.
"We have several offers and options under consideration, including with EchoStar, but have not yet signed anything," said Rana Jazayerli, a Washington-based spokeswoman for the news channel. "We will make our plans public after we have finalized."
On Friday's Countdown show, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann plugged the Rolling Stone cover story by historian Sean Wilentz which argued that George W. Bush may be the worst President ever, citing the opinions of over 400 historians. As he introduced his interview with Wilentz, Olbermann sympathetically referred to the recently fired CIA employee who leaked classified information on the agency's use of secret prisons in Europe in the War on Terrorism, calling her a "whistleblower," and asked the question: "President Bush, whose administration is now firing, perhaps prosecuting whistleblowers, is he simply the worst?"
While introducing the segment, Olbermann listed several of Wilentz's attacks against Bush without challenging their validity, including accusations of "fabricated evidence" of WMD, a "retro fiscal policy" of "massive tax cuts" for the wealthy that "racked up monstrous deficits," and a criticism citing an unnamed Republican strategist who claimed that the Republican Party is "the first religious party in U.S. history." Olbermann, who perennially makes comparisons between George Orwell's novel 1984 and the Bush administration, managed to work in yet another reference to Orwell as he ended the interview mocking the administration's use of the term "pre-9/11 thinking," charging that Bush would accuse Wilentz and the other historians of being "guilty of pre-9/11 thinking, as George Orwell might have said." (Transcript follows)
Every year the White House Correspondents Dinner is protested by members of the conservative site FreeRepublic.com. Known as "FReepers," they gather each year to protest liberal media bias as they "freep" the event.
The protest, planned for next Saturday evening, was announced on FreeRepublic.
All FReepers and lurkers in good standing are invited to join the D.C. Chapter of Free Republic at our 8th annual freep of the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday, April 29, 2006 in Washington, D.C.
This is our most fun freep of the year. You never know who in the media and political world you'll meet there. Over the years, we've met and debated the likes of Al Franken, razzed Paul Begala and James Carville, been filmed by Drew Barrymore, cheered on Fox News reporters and freeped the liberal media with humor and serious barbs.
When Ellen Ratner went a couple weeks without any major liberal loopiness, one wondered whether perhaps Jim Pinkerton was having a salubrious effect on her. But things got back to normal this morning when Ratner let Pinkerton goad her into boasting that she supports "open immigration."
The opening topic on today's 'Long & the Short of It' segment on Fox & Friends Weekend dealt with Howard Dean's recent claim that job # 1 in his view is tougher border security.
The controversial country rock singer Neil Young was interviewed on CNN’s “Showbiz Tonight” Tuesday evening (video link to follow). During the segment, Young talked about his new album which is largely devoted to anti-Bush and anti-war themes.
When CNN’s Sibila Vargas asked Young if impeachment, as discussed in his new song "Let's Impeach the President," was called for, Young responded:
“Yes, yes, I think it is. I think it`s called for, and so do a lot of other people. As a matter of fact, when I played in there for 100 people, they all stood up and gave me a standing ovation. There wasn`t one person that wasn`t standing. And we were looking for that kind of backing.”
As his answer ensued, Young made clear what this “backing” was:
A new book about former FBI Agent Mark Felt, the alleged "Deep Throat" of "All the President's Men" (Watergate) fame, says Felt believes journalist Bob Woodward violated an agreement not to describe him in print.
A Washington Post story by Lynn Duke about the new book "A G-Man's Life: The FBI, 'Deep Throat' and the Struggle for Honor in Washington," by Mark Felt and John O'Connor, leads with the information that Felt's late wife, Audrey Robinson Felt, committed suicide in 1984.
By paragraph four, however, the article reveals something entirely different:
...And the book tells of Felt's deep anger at what he believed was Woodward's violation of their source-reporter relationship. Felt did not want to be described in any way in print, but Woodward both described him and called him "Deep Throat" in 1974 in "All the President's Men."
"Mark has never seen himself as a chatterbox who gave up secrets," writes O'Connor in a lengthy introduction.
"If this book does nothing else, let it destroy that caricature. Deep Throat was a journalistic joke; the name never described Mark Felt. After Woodward revealed that he had a senior source in the executive branch, thereby breaking his agreement with Mark Felt, and after the journalist identified his confidant as 'Deep Throat,' the retired FBI man was furious -- slamming down the phone when Woodward called for his reaction" to the 1974 book.
At least one leading mainstream journalists isn't too happy about the revelation Friday that on Thursday the CIA fired an official who admitted being the leaker of top secret information about CIA prisons overseas used to hold al-Qaeda suspects. Bob Schieffer didn't withhold his personal opinion from his newscast as he introduced a CBS Evening News story by asserting that “it is no secret that the current administration does not like its people hanging out with news reporters without permission” and he described the firing as “a first -- a dubious first, to be sure.”
Citing the Washington Post story on the then-secret prisons and the New York Times article disclosing terrorist surveillance efforts, both of which won Pulitzer Prizes on Monday, NPR's Nina Totenberg declared on Inside Washington that nefarious Bush administration practices justified the decision to reward the two newspapers: "It's a good thing that they won for those intelligence stories because the Bush administration is investigating now and is threatening to subpoena and conceivably jail those reporters. So I think it's important that those stories be rewarded as something important to have done." (Transcripts follow.)
Advice to any Republican loyalists planning to watch a replay of this evening's Hardball: hide the sharp objects, put the firearms under lock and key, flush any potentially poisonous potions. With lovely-but-lethal Norah O'Donnell sitting in for Chris Matthews, this might have been the most unrelenting gloom-a-thon since Watergate. Riffing off the latest polls showing W at 33%, it was one guest after another - from Bob Shrum to Kate O'Beirne to a panel of "hotshots" - painting a decidedly unrosy scenario. And just when things couldn't get any more dread, a former Clinton administration official popped in to predict millions might die from bird flu thanks to government inattention "in recent years."
Does lacrosse lead to rape? NBC’s Today show seriously investigated that question in the April 21 edition. Matt Lauer teased the story with this scintillating query:
Lauer: "And still to come, the Duke lacrosse rape case. Is there something about the sport of lacrosse that causes players to act out of bounds?"
Natalie Morales furthered this line of thinking when she introduced the segment at 7:32AM EDT:
Morales: "But first, Matt, the investigation into the alleged rape by some members of the Duke lacrosse team. It's not the first time the players there have been in trouble and it has some wondering whether this aggressive sport leads to aggressive behavior."
Appearing on CNN’s The Situation Room April 20, real estate executive, and star of NBC’s The Apprentice, Donald Trump discussed his views of the Iraq war. During the 5:30pm interview, anchor Wolf Blitzer tried several times to get "the Donald" to use his famous catchphrase from his reality show to describe what he would do to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld if he were his boss:
Wolf Blitzer: "All right, now here’s the question. If Don Rumsfeld worked for you, what would you say to him?"
Trump: "Well, I know what you want me to say, you want me to say, ‘You’re fired.’ But I wouldn’t necessarily say that..."
Blitzer: "Why wouldn’t you fire Donald Rumsfeld if he worked for you, and helped get you into this mess, as you described it, in Iraq?"
Trump: "Well, I’m not saying I wouldn’t fire him. I’m saying I don’t think the President will...I don’t think this President will fire Secretary Rumsfeld."
Blitzer: "But let me press you. Would you?"
Blitzer was finally satisfied when Trump stated that he would "make a change" and would "get out of that war as soon as possible."
A new conservative student newspaper, which bills itself as not for
''the faint of heart," hit a snag during its debut this week at
Students running the Northeastern Patriot
distributed about 2,000 copies on Monday, then received a call from
university officials cautioning them that they had to register as a
student organization before distributing another issue or change the
paper's name. The university requires groups with Northeastern in their
name to register.
Liberal movie critic Manohla Dargis continues to mix popcorn and politics in her Friday review of "American Dreamz."
"But what gives the film its gleam of topicality, its suggestion of relevance, is that it directly sends up both the Bush presidency and 'American Idol,' those twin pillars of contemporary homespun populism. The problem being that, as Jon Stewart, among many others, habitually reminds us, both surrendered to self-parody some time ago."
See Times Watch for more New York Times bias, including Times Watch's just-released study on the paper's fawning coverage of Sen. Hillary Clinton as she prepared for a presidential run in 2008.
The Los Angeles Times announced Thursday that it is suspending the blog of a columnist after another blogger exposed him for posting comments under various pseudonyms defending both himself and the newspaper.
The columnist, Michael Hiltzik, had used at least three aliases on a number of sites (including his own blog), occasionally using them to converse with each other. Hiltzik was exposed by long-time LAT watcher Patrick Frey who blogs at Patterico's Pontifications.
"The Times has suspended Michael Hiltzik’s Golden State blog on
latimes.com," the paper said in a posting. "Hiltzik admitted Thursday that he posted items on the
paper’s website, and on other websites, under names other than his own.
That is a violation of The Times ethics guidelines, which requires
editors and reporters to identify themselves when dealing with the
public. The policy applies to both the print and online editions of the
newspaper. The Times is investigating the postings."
Something wild happens on Hardball whenever Chris Matthews ventures outdoors. It was during an outdoor panel when Zell Miller challenged Chris to a duel and last night outside the MSNBC studios Matthews called the current White House communications team: "Vicious, almost canine," and so sweaty that, "They wouldn't pass lie detector tests, they've got such a sweat problem."
Matthews posed the following question to Pat Buchanan at around 5:43pm on last night's Hardball:
Matthews: "Are they gonna bring in some nice people to work at the White House or more mad dogs? The next press secretary, will it be a good, nice fellow to deal with like Tony Snow or Tony Blankley or will it be one of these vicious, almost canine people they have working for them right now, who will do anything to advance their cause?"
"I will tell you what I'm doing when I have a clue [myself]," Snow told his radio audience. "That does not happen to describe my state of mind right now. I don't have a clue so I'm not going to give you any news scoops."
Snow didn't deny a report that he had talked with the White House about the job and noted that if he decided to accept, they would make the announcement first.
Researchers from (where else) the University of California Berkeley claim to have conclusive proof that the Fox News Channel gives more votes to Republicans. The study is entitled "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting."
Between October 1996 and November 2000, the conservative Fox News Channel was introduced in the cable programming of 20 percent of US
towns. Fox News availability in 2000 appears to be largely idiosyncratic. Using a data set of voting data for 9,256 towns, we investigate if Republicans gained vote share in towns where Fox News entered the cable market by the year 2000. We find a significant effect of the introduction of Fox News on the vote share in Presidential elections between 1996 and 2000. Republicans gain 0.4 to
Something very good happened in Iraq yesterday, and, for a change, The New York Times noticed. In fact, the editors not only put this news on the front page, but also published an editorial about it – color me shocked.
As you all likely know, Iraq Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari has been under immense pressure from the Bush administration to resign due to his failures to form a unified government after the successful December elections. As the Times reported in its lead paragraph: “Under intense domestic and American pressure, Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari dropped his bid to retain his job on Thursday, removing a major obstacle to forming a new government during a time of rising sectarian violence.” Paragraph two was just as optimistic: “Leaders from each of Iraq's main factions — Sunni Arab, Shiite and Kurd — called the decision a breakthrough.” So was paragraph three: “‘I believe that we will succeed in forming the national unity government the people are waiting for,’ Adnan Pachachi, the acting speaker of Parliament, said at a news conference at the Convention Center inside the fortified Green Zone.”
Amazing. Three opening paragraphs of positive news about Iraq – on the front page no less. When’s the last time that happened at The Times?
Of course, it wasn’t all positive, as paragraph four demonstrated:
The New York Times says Fox News commentator Tony Snow is in negotiations to become the next press secretary. Snow is said to be valued for his connections in the Washington media. Anonymous sources told the Times that he had surgery for colon cancer last year and is waiting on a doctor's approval before taking such a high-pressure job.
Republicans said that Tony Snow, a commentator for Fox News and a former speechwriter for Mr. Bush's father, was in negotiations for the job of White House press secretary. Mr. Snow would replace Scott McClellan, who announced Wednesday that he was resigning....
Mr. Snow is the host of his own radio program and comes from the news operation that flashes from every television in the West Wing.