Reading yesterday's entry I realize I never did get around to describing my meeting with Dr. Ali Aldabbagh, chief spokesman to Iraqi PM Maliki. Dr. Aldabbagh told me that a precipitous US withdrawal would be a "huge gift" to the terrorists. He also described Muktada Al-Sadr as a man of "restraint" and said that, like it or not, he is a "player." Events of today have perhaps put those statements in an interesting light. For a full report see my story at Cybercast News Service.
We made a quick Blackhawk trip from the International Zone to Fallujah on Monday night, and were met at the helipad by Captain Duncan of Gary, Indiana. He escorted us to our quarters which were a pleasant suprise - a modular unit with actual beds and a unit just down the line with internet. That was very welcome of course, but it put things in perspective when we learned today that one of the Iraqi internet technicians who installed and maintained the service was murdered, presumably for his collaboration with US forces.
The story: A priest works at a Miami high school as a history teacher and assistant chaplain. Nude photographs of him interacting physically with other men are discovered on the Internet. The priest resigns from his job. Graphic Internet photos are readily available for the media.
In light of the recent media frenzy over Rev. Ted Haggard (5,500 results at Google News), it sounds like everything would be ripe for a story that the media would just love to jump all over. But, curiously, the mainstream media has essentially ignored this story. Why?
The answer may lie in the priest's denomination. Here's the story. You see, Rev. Parry is not a Catholic priest. He's not even a pastor from one of those conservative Evangelical churches. Rev Parry is a priest of the increasingly liberal Episcopal Church in the USA.
A year after the networks let their evening newscasts by championing Democratic Congressman John Murtha's anti-war views, the CBS Evening News on Monday night touted an “exclusive” interview with Murtha, whom anchor Katie Couric favorably described as “a highly-decorated Vietnam veteran” who was “long considered a hawk on defense issues” when he “stunned House colleagues by calling for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.” Though the news media trumpeted Murtha last November, Couric painted him as a victim as she reminded him of how “there was hell to pay, though, Congressman, for what you said. You were called a 'defeatocrat,' a 'liberal turncoat.' Senator John McCain said you had become too emotional, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said your comments were damaging to troop morale.” She then cued him up: “Did you feel vindicated last Tuesday?" Murtha, naturally, agreed with Couric's characterization: "Oh, I certainly did feel vindicated.” (Transcript follows)
On this weekend's syndicated Chris Matthews show, the host of MSNBC's Hardball endorsed Hillary Clinton for...Majority Leader. In his final commentary Matthews said the election afforded Clinton "a great new career option," that she was "a natural," and leading the Senate would prove, she has the "necessary ability to bring us together." Matthews puffed up the Senator from New York as an expert on health, education, the economy and even defense issues: "Not only does Hillary Clinton know her stuff, she cares about it, especially the issues that cut so close to daily life in this country: health, education, economic opportunity. And ask the generals who say that this member of the Armed Services Committee could well be the best prepared senator there is in that life-and-death world."
Unsatisfied with American domination of the international news market, a French company is getting ready to launch a cable/satellite news channel.
The staff of France 24 insists they'll be different than CNNi, BBC, and others, but in one respect they're perfectly similar. Just like their American counterparts, they pretend they're objective. They also appear to have trouble perceiving reality. Regarding the Iraq war, managing director Gerard Saint-Paul says:
"Our image will be more panoramic as compared to other channels – but
that doesn’t mean that the other channels are bad at all. Let me give
you an example to better illustrate: Concerning coverage in Iraq, which
constitutes a cornerstone in media coverage, I find that CNN conveys an
American-directed message to a large extent, and more precisely one
that is in favor of President George Bush. What we will offer is a
wider vision that is different from what others present, and this of
course, will be affected by the historical and emotional relationship
between France and Lebanon, as well as the closeness of the relations
between France and the Arab world."
This is, of course, the news channel that actually is more anti-conservative and critical of the United States than its American counterpart. I guess Saint-Paul prefers a more Pravdaesque approach to covering international news.
I also can't help but note the hypocrisy in that France 24 has its country of origin in its name (and likely is benefiting from French subsidies as well) and talks about how its mission is to bring the French approach to news and culture to the world. Somehow this is OK but bringing an American approach is bad.
On Sunday's Reliable Sources on CNN, the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz recognized the media's soft treatment of Speaker-to-be-Nancy Pelosi. CBS's Gloria Borger, ABC's Martha Raddatz and CNN's Candy Crowley also acknowledged the “honeymoon” for Pelosi -- and all three insisted coverage of her will turn tough. After some clips of the softball questions posed to Pelosi last week by network anchors, Kurtz asked: “Is Nancy Pelosi getting pretty soft treatment from the media?" Borger sarcastically replied: "Honeymoon, you think? Yeah, I think -- I think it will remain a honeymoon for a while.” Raddatz predicted that “there will be this minor little honeymoon period -- the whole female, first female Speaker of the House. That will go away really quickly.”
Kurtz turned to Crowley and raised the media's hostile attitude toward Newt Gingrich, who didn't get any media honeymoon: “Is Nancy Pelosi ever going to get the kind of tough press scrutiny that, for example, Newt Gingrich received when he became Speaker in 1995?" Crowley insisted: "I think so,” contending journalists will “if only because everybody is sort of aware of that. I mean, I think there will be tough scrutiny.” Crowley proposed the tough coverage will come after Democrats take over, “so I would think long about February you're going to begin to see tough scrutiny, because I think it's incumbent upon us and I think everybody knows that." We'll see.
"Washington Post" reporter Sally Quinn appeared on Monday’s "American Morning," ready to psychoanalyze President Bush in the wake of last week’s midterm defeat. Quinn discussed the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the hiring of Robert Gates as a replacement, and how President Bush is secretly "relieved" over the drubbing the GOP received. Now, either Ms. Quinn has become a psychological expert on why Bush is hiring former advisors to his father, or she’s just another member of the media who wants to be a part of important inner-circle decisions:
Quinn: "But I just have a feeling that it was clear to the father that the son -- clearly, he made Rumsfeld Secretary of Defense -- that the son did not want his father's advice on a lot of these things....I felt the other day watching Bush that he was almost relieved in a way about losing the House and the Senate. I know that sounds weird, but it was as though, ‘Okay, now I really have permission. I can take my father's advice.’ And, also, that it's not all on him anymore. It's not all on the Republicans. The Democrats are going to have to take a lot of the responsibility now."
O’Brien: "It's nice to, nice to share a little blame, isn't it, in some cases? And in this case, perhaps share some blame with his father. I wonder why it took him so long to reach out this way. wonder why it took him so long to reach out this way. Did -- was -- did he have to have that election in order to prompt this?"
Speaking as an alumnus to students at Brown University over the weekend, liberal New York Times reporter James Risen -- best known for breaking open the government's terrorist-surveillance program -- hailed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's resignation as "the best thing to happen in a long time" and cheered that it's "sinking in" with President Bush that his foreign policy is "too radical."
Risen also typically complained of how vital the New York Times is to American democracy. The Bushies have "suppressed dissent throughout the administration," and the climate of fear is "palpable" and "frightening to watch." The press is vital because "there's been almost no congressional oversight." And cable news just rips off the newspapers: "CNN, which is probably the best of them, does almost no original reporting" and the cable networks have "24 hours to fill and nothing to say." In the Brown Daily Herald, reporter Abe Lubetkin wrote:
For the third time in as many weeks, ABC continued to showcase Democratic Senator Barack Obama. Anchor Diane Sawyer interviewed the first-term senator from Illinois on Monday's Good Morning America, and asked him about a range of topics, from the war in Iraq and a potential Obama run for the White House in 2008, to the groundbreaking of the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial on the National Mall. The most eyebrow-raising moment of the interview, however, occurred when Sawyer asked Obama about Sunday’s Washington Post article which questioned whether racism and sexism plays a role in the decision-making of American voters:
Diane Sawyer: "We have seen new polls this morning about you and Senator Hillary Clinton. Here's my question. Do you think that residual resistance is greater for race or for gender? Is the nation secretly, I guess, more racist or more sexist?"
I guess we should have seen this one coming: the United Nations has published a children's book raising international fears about global warming. As announced this morning by the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works (emphasis mine throughout):
Nairobi, Kenya – A new United Nations children’s book promoting fears of catastrophic manmade global warming is being promoted at the UN Climate Change Conference in Kenya. The books main character, a young boy, is featured getting so worried about a coming manmade climate disaster that he yells “I don’t want to hear anymore!” The new children’s book, entitled “Tore and the Town on Thin Ice” is published by the United Nations Environment Programme and blames “rich countries” for creating a climate catastrophe.
What a day. We learned that the IED we heard yesterday killed 35 police recruits. As fate would have it, this morning I interviewed Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hunzeker, who heads the Civilian Police Assistance Training Team. You should find a full report on our conversation over on CNSNews in the next day or so, but I will pass along the fact that Iraqis show a tremendous determination to serve in the police despite the violence. Recruitment and training goals have been achieved, and as tragic as it is, when some recruits have fallen, others have stood up to take their place.
Later we visited the US Embassy within the Green Zone and spoke with folks from the GO operation, a press project designed to bring good-news stories to the attention of the media and to get people out to the field to cover them. Example: our S. Korean allies have created a vocational training program in the north, helping Iraqis gain skills in everything from auto repair to plumbing. These are people who will now have jobs and a stake in society. A thrill for me: I was permitted to tape a couple minutes of a special edition of my TV show, 'Right Angle,' from the embassy studio!
Jack Shafer writes in Slate that the media are trying to sweeten up their relationship with the presumed new House speaker, Nancy Pelosi. The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal are slathering "calculated praise" on the Democratic leader.
The Washington press is already ladling the sugar on Nancy Pelosi, and she's hasn't even been crowned speaker of the House yet. Yesterday's (Nov. 9) Page One story in the Wall Street Journal painted the presumptive speaker in such a thick coat of butter-cream frosting that I scarcely recognized her. Strategically placed after the jump to reduce professional embarrassment, Neil King Jr., Yochi J. Dreazen, and Greg Jaffe canonized their subject, writing:
Much as the president freely speaks of his conservative evangelical faith, Mrs. Pelosi reflects a Catholic sense of social justice when it comes to aiding the poor and disabled, and frets about missing Mass on hectic weekends.
Framing Pelosi's redistributionist views as an extension of her Catholic sense of social justice neatly removes her from the New Deal compost pile from which her political career blossomed. Pelosi's father, Thomas "Old Tommy" D'Alesandro, was a Baltimore political hack who held every office—state delegate, city council, member of Congress, mayor—but dogcatcher.
Acting "more like Pelosi's press secretary than a skeptical reporter," Washington Post reporter Lynne Duke says:
Theirs was the politics of the New Deal, of the hand up for those who were down.
"It was always about the progressive economic agenda for a fair economy, where many Americans, all Americans, could participate in the economic success of our country," Pelosi said yesterday when asked about the influence of her family's politics on her own.
So this week’s Time magazine has declared an end to Ronald Reagan’s conservative revolution? It wouldn’t be the first time — the fortune tellers at Time also saw the end of the “bankrupt” Reagan era back in 1993, after novice President Bill Clinton pleased Time’s writing staff by passing a budget that raised personal income tax rates and increased the tax on gasoline. Too bad the “return to the economic orthodoxy of balanced budgets” Time promised wasn’t achieved until voters put budget-cutting Republicans in charge of the House and Senate the following year 1994.
“Overturning the Reagan Era” screamed Time’s cover, which showed an upside-down image of President Reagan. The cover story, by Nancy Gibbs, showed Time’s obvious infatuation with liberals' concept of “fiscal responsibility,” namely, punish the private sector with tax rates high enough to pay for all of the fat government programs that Democrats can dream up (although Gibbs wished for even higher taxes, saying the ones Clinton and the last Democratic Congress pushed through "weren't very brave.").
With all the gushing going on by the liberal media over Keith Olbermann, it’s only fitting that one of his foremost critics on the Internet, our friend at Olbermann Watch, would be reaching across the aisle after last Tuesday’s “historic” elections. What would be more appropriate given this supposedly new era of bipartisanship than a demonstration of solidarity between such foes?
With that in mind, Olby Watch has created a stirring video of some of KO’s more memorable moments as an olive branch for the man some call the Edward R. Murrow of our time (hat tip to Hot Air). As you watch the following video (available here), just imagine how wonderful and informed a world we would live in if all newscasters were more like Keith.
How long do you think it will be that we must stay under the thumb of the kind of PCism that posits that all white people are evil, wrong, losers, stupid or otherwise weak and bad?
Apparently Cisco Systems hasn't seen the end of it and that is why, in their TV commercial for their new TelePresence video conferencing system, the white kid loses.
The commercial starts off with a white boy in an obviously American class room staring at the camera. Then cuts to an obvious foreign class room with a little Asian boy doing the same. As the commercial rolls all the children in their two respective classes gather around their intensely staring classmate to see what will happen.
Then the white boy blinks.
The white boy's classmates erupt in a raucous yell, while the classmates of the Asian child jump up in victory because their boy won the staring contest being made possible by the video conference system that can obviously span the globe.
It goes without saying that November 7, 2006, will be viewed by history as a bad day for the Republican Party. The question is, how bad?
Despite suggestions by an exuberant media that this Democrat victory represented a significant change in the political makeup of the country, the reality is that it is way too early to come to any such sweeping conclusions. That didn’t stop Joe Klein from getting the misreading of the tea leaves-ball rolling in Time’s November 20 cover story:
This was a big deal. Certainly, it was the end of George W. Bush’s radical experiment in partisan governance. It might have been even bigger than that: the end of the conservative pendulum swing that began with Ronald Reagan’s revolution. [emphasis added]
Not to be upstaged, one of the New York Times’ top liberal shills, Paul Krugman, asserted similarly in a November 10 TimesSelect column:
One writer in the San Francisco Chronicle really likes MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. Not only is he "hot," with ranting "Special Comments" at the center of the new liberal zeitgeist, he's apparently a model for the newscast of the future. Or so says C.W. Nevius:
And just like that, Olbermann found his voice -- the angry everyman. He became a liberal counterpoint to conservative media ranters like O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, and an Internet star, too.
The result has been a cultural earthquake.
"Here's what happened,'' Olbermann said in a phone interview this week. "Five years ago (on Sept. 11), 50 percent of the country went quiet. There was this self-imposed censorship. Suddenly it became unimaginable to criticize the administration. And no one else was brave or stupid enough to say, 'I don't remember signing that document.' ''
I don't know if reporter Naftali Bendavid intended it that way but her glowing Chicago Tribune article about Rahm Emanuel revealed some big Democrat fault lines that will have implications in the near future. We see one example of such tension at the beginning of The House That Rahm Built.
Rahm Emanuel was seething.
He was hurtling down an asphalt road in upstate New York on the 47th trip of his ferocious campaign to win back the House. A lecture, even from political consultant James Carville, was the last thing he needed.
Perhaps you've noticed, the left really, really hates Donald Rumsfeld? They won't even let him go away in peace because this very morning the New Yorker has taken the time to give him at least one more kick.
In a piece by Jeffrey Goldberg titled,END OF THE AFFAIR, the New Yorker details the "heartsickness" that long time co-worker Kenneth Adelman has over his failed friendship with Donald Rumsfeld.
The New Yorker's piece beats up Rummy pretty good and ends with this kick in the head:
A few days later, Rumsfeld was out. Adelman is, apparently, still in. “I’m heartsick about the whole matter,” he said. He does not know what to make of the disintegration of Rumsfeld’s career and reputation. “How could this happen to someone so good, so competent?” he said. “This war made me doubt the past. Was I wrong all those years, or was he just better back then? The Donald Rumsfeld of today is not the Donald Rumsfeld I knew, but maybe I was wrong about the old Donald Rumsfeld. It’s a terrible way to end a career. It’s hard to remember, but he was once the future.”