Keith Olbermann used the solemn occasion of the fifth anniversary of 9/11 to launch a no-holds-barred political attack on President Bush, as you can see in this September 11 Countdown video. Olbermann also added to the poor taste of his bad timing with this quote from an episode of the Twilight Zone called The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street:
The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts... attitudes... prejudices. To be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill, and suspicion can destroy, and the thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own for the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to The Twilight Zone.
Was Maureen Dowd kidding about having called Tim Russert to ask if VP Cheney washed his hands after his Meet the Press appearance this Sunday? By all indications she was not, making one fear the Times columnist is slipping ever deeper into Bush Derangement Syndrome.
Dowd writes in her pay-to-read column of today, Vice Must Wash Hands Before Returning to Work, "I called Tim Russert to ask if Dick Cheney had washed his hands after their interview on Sunday. Any sort of scrubbing, I wondered? Antiseptic wipe, Purell, quick shower on the way out?"
Russert reportedly replied in the negative.
Dowd was prompted to ask after reading a recent Times' health section article about a new study on the “Macbeth effect," which concluded that people who washed their hands after contemplating an unethical act were less troubled by their thoughts than those who didn’t.
This one has to go in the category of “If you live long enough...”
Civil rights activist Dick Gregory was interviewed last week on XM radio (hat tip to Hot Air), and according to Redding News Review, he had some rather extraordinary things to say about a British film dealing with the assassination of President George W. Bush (video clip preview of the film now available here):
WASHINGTON, Sept. 08, 2006, 11:20 p.m.- Controversial comedian and activist Dick Gregory today said he would not be surprised if a UK film's fictional assassination of President Bush comes true and he does not "finish his term out."
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights and individuals from across the country have sent nearly 2,000 letters to The Cavalier Daily and to the University administration in response to the publication of two controversial comics Aug. 23 and Aug. 24.
Both comics were drawn by third-year College student Grant Woolard. The first comic was titled "Christ on a Cartesian Plane," and depicts the Crucifixion with a parabolic graph superimposed on the figure of Christ. The second comic is titled "A Nativity Ob-scene" and features dialogue between the Virgin Mary and Joseph about an "immaculately transmitted" rash....
Some ultra-PC alarmists inside the BBC are fretting about a video made to spoof assistant editor Simon Torkington's new gig at Al-Jazeera. The video features his colleagues dressed up in Middle Eastern garb, singing a parody song.
A company statement called the video "illjudged, and we will be speaking with those involved." This means that censorship now extends to private parties for the self-flagellating BBC. In forty years, hopefully Al-BBC executives will be just as abhorrent of anti-European jokes.
Members of the BBC London news team today face a grilling from senior bosses after they filmed a spoof video making light of the conflict in the Middle East.
The film, a skit on Peter Kay's (Is This The Way To) Amarillo? was made to mark the departure of assistant editor Simon Torkington who is going to the news channel Al-Jazeera International in Qatar with his wife, former ITV news anchor Shiulie Ghosh.
The man nobody at the Washington Post can really classify, the reporter/columnist Dana Milbank, has his page 2 "Washington Sketch" column Wednesday on the hot Democratic anger topic: "The arrival of Treason Season, heralded by the charged address President Bush gave on Monday's 9/11 anniversary, is right on schedule."
The liberal Democrat-media complex was abuzz yesterday about the Republicans charging the Democrats with being solicitous of terrorists. This, to anyone who's read the Rich Noyes Special Report, is obvious: Democrats and their media pals have appeared much more concerned about protecting the procedural liberties of terror suspects than they are with protecting the American people from another successful terror plot. Think specifically of the NSA's surveillance of phone calls to suspected al-Qaeda contacts. Milbank explained what so offended the Dems:
In her Today show debut this morning, Meredith Vieira gave a flash of her ego - but not of her liberal politics. There was the obligatory opening love-in with co-host Matt Lauer in which Vieira claimed "I feel like it's the first day of school and I'm sitting next to the cutest guy." But then there was an interesting exchange that might presage conflicts to come. In what is apparently a Today show tradition, Matt had the crew replay the opening voice-over announcing "Meredith Vieira, live from Studio 1-A in Rockefeller Plaza."
Asked Matt: "Like the way it sounds?"
Vieira: "I do, but it's still 'Matt Lauer' and 'Meredith Vieira.'"
Lauer: "I don't think that's going to change - unless you bump me off."
Cartoonist Henry Payne of the Detroit News welcomed Katie Couric to CBS with a couple of cartoons about her Photoshop diet: they're here and here. (There's also this one on Plamegate.) I thought the overeager people making Katie skinnier was a silly mistake. If you want to suggest that Katie's just as good as the men, the last thing you do is suggest she has to be supermodel-skinny to succeed.
As the Dancing With the Stars host said, Tucker Carlson - host of the MSNBC show of the same name - "has braved some of the most perilous situations in the world, but now [for] his most intimidating assignment - dancing the cha-cha-cha on national television."
It was Tucker's turn to shine on tonight's episode of Dancing With the Stars. Carlson's professional dance partner Elena Grinenko did her best to lower expectations. Said the sultry Russian "when it comes to Tucker's ability for dancing . . . " She let a grimace express her dubious assessment. But - thanks to MRC's Brent Baker - we have the video: so you be the judge!
What would you call someone who, as per Project Vote Smart, within the last six years has received a 100% rating from NARAL and Planned Parenthood and a 0% from the National Right-to-Life Committee? A 100% rating from the ACLU. A 0% rating from Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum. A 100% rating from the League of Conservation Voters and a 0% rating from the conservative Family Research Council?
Oh, and someone who voted against George W. Bush for president in 2004, against the confirmation of Sam Alito to the Supreme Court, and who demands the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq?
I'd call that person a liberal. Not MSNBC. Not Hardball. Not Chris Matthews's field correspondent David Shuster. The person in question is Republican-barely-in-name-only Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island. How did Shuster describe him in a set-up piece for Hardball's discussion of the Rhode Island GOP senatorial primary this evening? A "moderate Republican."
In national politics, most in the business will tell you that things don't get serious until after Labor Day. That's when many Americans who normally ignore politics will start tuning in.
That's true this year as always, but the '06 election cycle also brings a new problem: the political censorship of advertising which even peripherally dares to mention a politician. Jacob Sullum has more on this outrage (h/t: NB reader sarcasmo):
As of Friday, when the 60-day blackout period for "electioneering communications" by nonprofit interest groups begins, political speech will enjoy less protection than dirty movies. While a sexually explicit film is protected by the First Amendment if it has some socially redeeming value, an "electioneering communication" is forbidden even if it deals with important and timely public policy issues.
Supporters of this ban, imposed by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, say they want to eliminate "sham issue ads" that are aimed at electing or defeating a candidate and therefore should be funded only by political action committees subject to campaign contribution limits. But since the ban applies to any TV or radio spot that mentions a federal official who is up for re-election, it also prohibits genuine issue ads.
On Monday's Late Show on CBS, David Letterman read a humorous list of suggested sign-offs Katie Couric could use at the end of the CBS Evening News. Among the proposals: “Three of tonight's stories were fake. Write in if you think you know which ones,” "I’m gonna go get my freak on," "Let’s turn this mother out again tomorrow," "Til tomorrow, morons,” “Return to your sad little lives,” “From me to you, suck it” and, my favorite, “Putting the 'BS' in CBS.” (Full list below)
UPDATE: Couric ended Tuesday's CBS Evening News by showing Letterman reading seven of his ideas, but none of the ones hinting at false stories: "Save us, Superman," "Well, I’m off to the dog track," "That’s the deal, Lucille," "Here, kitty kitty kitty," "Keep feelin’ the funk," "Oh, Lordy, I gots the news fever" and "I’m Katie Couric, I'm gonna go get me some ribs."
It was stunning, and yet it was eerily reminiscent of the extraordinary discipline of Team Clinton. Days before the ABC miniseries "The Path to 9/11" was to air, they determined the network fudged in its commitment to follow faithfully the facts in the 9/11 Commission report. A scene or two in the otherwise remarkable presentation was false.
And this was the angle Team Clinton needed in order to pounce. The Clinton campaign kicked into high gear in the days before it aired, with the ex-president and his lawyering aides and Democrats in Congress all pressuring ABC to dump the film.
It’s important to understand that Team Clinton didn’t demand the film be edited for accuracy. They wanted everything -- including all the accurate criticisms and findings – thrown in the garbage. Clinton had his usual cleanup squad write letters to ABC chief Bob Iger demanding the $40 million movie be deep-sixed: "We expect that you will make the responsible decision to not air this film."
On the September 10 episode of "Sunday Morning," Katie Couric talked with the "Jersey Girls," the 9/11 widows who endorsed Senator John Kerry for President in 2004 and have been highly critical of the Bush administration. However, there was no balance or features of 9/11 families who support President Bush such as Debra Burlingame, who lost her brother in the terror attacks. In the piece, Couric just barley touched on the groups endorsement of John Kerry in 2004, while she picked out select quotes from Rush Limbaugh, (no date given for his supposed remarks) and a quote from Ann Coulter's book "Godless" that present the views of those who disagree with the 'Jersey Girls' as being unsympathetic to their loss:
Rosie O’Donnell, the new host of "The View," restrained herself for exactly one week before letting fly with her extreme liberalism. On the September 12 edition, in response to fellow co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s comment that militant Islam is a grave threat, O’Donnell stated that "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America." The comedienne also attacked America’s response to 9/11:
O’Donnell: "We were attacked not by a nation. And as a result of the attack and the killing of nearly 3,000 innocent people we invaded two countries and killed innocent people in their countries."
CBS’s "Sunday Morning" claimed the rights of Muslims in America have been trampeled since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. "Sunday Morning" ran a story narrated by Elizabeth Kaledin, a reporter who normally discusses health issues, that featured three Muslims complaining about American policy since 9/11 and offered no voices of Muslims who disagree. One of the three, Mohammed el Filali claimed:
"There is liberty and justice for all, except if you're Muslim."
Latest dispatch from the MSM moral-relativism front.
MSNBC's Tony Maciulis appeared on the network's 'The Most' show this afternoon to report on a story dealing with Craigslist, the online classifed ad website. A man called Jason Fortuny had posted a fake personal on the Craigslist's Seattle page, posing as an attractive 27-year old woman seeking sex with men. The ad elicited numerous replies, many including explicit photos of the suitors.
Fortuny in turn posted the men's replies, including the photos, on another website, no doubt causing embarrassment if not more for many of them.
'Most' host Alison Stewart asked Maciulis whether the men who submitted the replies "were doing anything wrong?"
Jane Fonda, Rosie O'Donnell and Gloria Steinem team up for a new radio network and NBC's Today, not surprisingly, is ready to promote it. The Today show invited on the "legendary Jane Fonda," as Ann Curry called her, to plug the new Women's Radio Network this morning. In fact the Today cast couldn't contain their excitement for the "sometimes controversial" activist.
Curry: "By the way Jane Fonda, you look great. You look marvelous."
Lauer: "Yikes! She looks fantastic doesn't she? I don't think she can hear us otherwise she'd be saying thank you."