The editorial in the September 11 edition of The Weekly Standard, written by Fred Barnes and posted on Saturday, contended now that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, not part of the pro-Iraq war White House cabal, has been identified as who told Bob Woodward and Bob Novak about how Joe Wilson was married to a CIA staffer, “the hoax lingered for three years and is only now being fully exposed for what it was.” Barnes asserted “the rogues' gallery of those who acted badly in the CIA 'leak' case turns out to be different from what the media led us to expect. Note that we put the word 'leak' in quotation marks, because it's clear now there was no leak at all, just idle talk, and certainly no smear campaign.” Barnes suggested “a few apologies are called for, notably by [Colin] Powell and Armitage, but also by the press. A correction -- perhaps the longest and most overdue in the history of journalism -- is in order.”
I don't know about you, but by the end of the Bush-bashing festival that was the MSM's coverage of the one-year Katrina anniversary, I was about ready to climb up on my roof with a bedsheet message begging to be evacuated by helicopter.
Neal Gabler also has a complaint about the Katrina anniversary coverage: there wasn't enough of it.
On this evening's Fox News Watch, Gabler made his comment in the context of the panel's discussion of the John Mark Karr fiasco. Griped Gabler:
"The embarrassment isn't that he wasn't guilty, the embarrassment is the disproportionate amount of coverage he got even if he had been guilty. The problem is there [were] virtually no [TV news] minutes devoted to Katrina on the eve of the Katrina anniversary."
With Katie Couric poised to take over the CBS Evening News anchor chair on Tuesday following his departure from the network this summer, Dan Rather's era at CBS News has come to a definitive end. The coda certainly came Friday night with CBS's send-off re-airing of its Dan Rather: A Reporter Remembers special first run in March of 2005 (NewsBusters item on it.) As a holiday weekend treat from the MRC's video archive, enjoy one of Rather's wackier moments -- from the June 22, 1994 Late Show with David Letterman -- when Rather sang his version of Johnny Cash's The Wreck of the Old 97.
Saturday's edition of the Times has a pretty misleading article filled with Karl Rove's woe and informing all of us beyond the beltway lifeforms that Rove is now useless to the Party where once he was a kingmaker. At least they are hoping this to be the case.
Where it is misleading is that, as they fill the piece with how Rove is losing influence, they don't balance that claim with the simple fact that nearly every 2nd term president and his team struggles to keep hold of the Party reins as that president's last years in office roll on. It happened to Clinton, too, if the Times will remember?
One would think that Rove has lost his midas touch and that he is now routinely ignored by Party hopefuls and candidates all up and down the line by this piece.
Republican? Want to make a "remarkable political comeback"? Become the functional equivalent of a Democrat. At least that would seem to be Good Morning America's advice. A segment of the ABC show focused this morning on the transmogrification of Arnold Schwarzenegger from a Republican who muscularly confronted the Democrats in Sacramento to one working hand-in-glove with them.
The spark for the segment was the deal Arnold has worked out with the Dem-dominated legislature to cut carbon emissions 25% over the next 15 years. Co-host Kate Snow hailed it as "a bold move made despite resistance from the Bush administration." She then turned things over to senior national correspondent Claire Shipman, who had earlier scored an interview with the governor.
It's funny how sometimes reporters can find cool objectivity when the subject is wildly inflammatory. Kevin Sullivan's review of the Bush-assassination-scenario movie for Saturday's Washington Post calmly presents the question of tastelessness as an either-or scenario: "The film, "Death of a President," has been alternatively derided as a tasteless publicity grab and defended as a serious look at a plausible event that could have dramatic ramifications for the world." The real standout lines were here:
Rod Liddle, a newspaper and magazine columnist who also makes documentaries for Channel 4, said he thought the Bush film gave voice to a common sentiment in Britain. "You will never, ever be able to overestimate the degree to which the British people loathe George Bush," Liddle said. "It will be a free round of drinks in every pub for the person who plays the assassin."
Well, we don’t, but The Washington Post sure does. Remember Gaia – the crackpot idea that “Earth acts like a living organism?” The Post devoted more than 2,400 words to the theory’s creator today with his own loony end-of-the-world scenario.
Yes, Al Gore fans, we’re all going to be crispy like some KFC dinner. James Lovelock says warming is “going too fast.” “We will burn.”
The Post piece called “The End of Eden” is particularly well-timed. According to The Australian, “The world's top climate scientists have cut their worst-case forecast for global warming over the next 100 years.”
That's not a typo in the headline. According to this Wall Street Journal article reprinted in the Star-Telegram, "on average, GM pays $81.18 an hour in wages and benefits to U.S. hourly workers, including pension and retiree medical costs."
But in his vituperative rant against the Big Three U.S. automakers, Boston Globe columnist Derrick Z. Jackson manages to ignore the huge labor cost advantage enjoyed by non-union Toyota.
How much of an advantage? According to that same article, "Harbour Consulting President Ron Harbour estimates Toyota's total hourly U.S. labor costs, with benefits, at about $35 an hour." That's right, GM's average labor costs are 130% higher than that of the US operations of its Japanese rival. That translates into a $1,000/vehicle average labor-cost advantage enjoyed by Toyota. Thank you, UAW!
As the summer ends, so ends the season of the superhero blockbuster, and some parents of young boys that I know are still getting over their annoyance at the superhero movie-marketing gap. The toy stores and burger joints carry all the merchandise for the grade-school set – and the movie is rated PG-13. What happens when your first-grader wants to see the movie that’s tied in with his new toy?
Suffice it to say that our news media would be more upset about the fat content in the Happy Meal food than the dangers of taking young children to movies they may not be ready to handle.
"Superman Returns" was a big, noisy, critically acclaimed blockbuster – and it was PG-13 for intense violence. But just look at how the movie was promoted by Burger King: eight different toys, including sweat bands, sunglasses, action figures, Frisbees, and fans. There was even a drawing for a Superman laptop computer.
Apparently responsibility isn't a subject that the Philadelphia Daily News is interested in propagating. In an irreverent piece called Freshmen alert: Beer is more complex than you think, writer Don Russell who bills himself as "Joe Sixpack", is advising students to dispense with all the worrying over all the "Alcohol is Evil' speech" stuff.
I have to question this attempt at "common man" humor when directed at people who are a tad less than the "men" (read adult) that such a pointed satire of an adult point of view might be more properly aimed. Should we really be minimalizing alcoholism and binge drinking in articles pointed at our college students who are already too prone to taking chances with their health, not to mention their schooling, already?
Based on the Jose Antonio Vargas account of the MTV video music awards bash in The Washington Post, I'm spurred to ask the following:
1. When Vargas reports that MTV still knows how to create awards-show moments such as "Al Gore, to wild applause, giving a short lecture on the effects of global warming," is the audience reaction due to Gore's cause, or were the cheers for the brevity of the lecture?
2. When Vargas describes MTV News diva Suchin Pak as the "Katie Couric of MTV," is that a compliment? Or was her apparent failure to ask the Juicy Big Questions about dueling female singers Couric-esque?
3. Now, based on the MTV website, is Al Gore signaling hard enough that he's eager to be seen as un-presidential? I refer to this report of "chilling" with the "Jackass" crew:
This week, the MRC’s Megan McCormack brought us a second-by-second account of Kyra Phillip’s now infamous "bathroom chat." She also did a follow-up on FNC’s "Fox and Friends" parody of the event. Soon, the story became a full blown media sensation.
During the course of a conversation with former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Jed Babbin on this afternoon's show, Tucker Carlson described himself as "a real conservative."
But it was just a few minutes earlier, chatting with New Republic editor-at-large Peter Beinart, that Carlson mentioned in passing that he hadn't supported President Bush for president in 2004.
When Carlson stated that he had been wrong to support the war in Iraq [and now opposes it], Beinart retorted:
"You've just made a statement which almost guarantees that you're going to have to support the Democratic candidate in 2008 because there's virtually no chance we're going to have a Republican candidate who says they were wrong to support the war in Iraq. So I congratulate you on flipping over to the other side."
Replied Carlson: "Well I doubt I'm going to support the Democratic candidate. Whether I'll support the Republican candidate is a whole separate question. I didn't last time, I may not this time."
If you want to force propaganda onto young people, shouldn't you at least find an entertaining messenger? During last night's MTV Video Music Awards, Al Gore lectured about global warming and what that generation needed to do to fix the problem.
Nekesa Mumbi Moody of the Associated Press said the award show "had about as much spontaneity as an episode of 'Cribs.'" Viewers did "NOT watch for lectures from former Vice President Al Gore on global warming. When does the phrase 'here's a photo of a glacier melting' ever fit into an awards show?"
Ankle Biting Pundits says the former vice president also remarked, "The environment was the number one response when you were asked what the biggest problem your generation will face. We can solve it but we must act quickly."
Tonight (Friday) at 9pm EDT/PDT, CBS will re-air its special, Dan Rather: A Reporter Remembers, that first ran on Wednesday March 9, 2005. The program showed the MRC's logo on screen at one point as Rather, dismissing a series of efforts to "intimidate" him, drew a line from being called "an 'N-lover'" during the civil rights movement to the Vietnam war years when critics tagged him with a "bad name: 'anti-military, anti-American, anti-war,'" and "then, when Watergate came into being was the first time I began to hear this word 'liberal' as an epithet thrown my way." Viewers then saw a montage of video clips and shots of Web sites with text accusing Rather and CBS of being "liberal," including the Media Research Center's logo and a headline over an MRC page on Rather. Without addressing evidence of his liberal tilt on policy, Rather charged that "people who have very strong biases of their own, they come at you with a story: 'If you won't report it the way I want it reported, then you're biased.'" On the Memogate affair, the CBS special touted how the review panel found "no political agenda."
Video clip with Rather's claims about "intimidation" with the MRC's Web site featured on screen (1:30): Real (2.6 MB), Windows Media (3 MB) plus MP3 audio (450 KB)
In a September 1 piece for the "Today" show, NBC reporter Keith Miller sought out Jerry Coyne, a University of Chicago professor, to discuss the struggle between science and religion, since it's now being debated in front of Pope Benedict XIV. NBC labeled him simply as a "evolutionary biologist." This is what he had to say about the mixing of faith and science:
Jerry Coyne: "The scientific way of looking at the world, which defends on evidence, and the religious way of looking at the world, which depends on faith, are fundamentally incompatible."
Coyne: "And if there is anything the history of the church should show, it's that if they fight scientific advances, they lose."
Who is Jerry Coyne really? He’s a leftist professor who attacked Ann Coulter for her new treatise on liberals and religion, "Godless." Writing in the "New Republic," he called her a "beached flamingo" and went on to compare Coulter to a zoo animal, saying:
"This beast draws crowds by its frequent, raucous calls, eerily resembling a human voice, and its unearthly appearance, scrawny and pallid."
Much like the UN's credibility, this cluster bomb seems to be hanging by a thread.
But, for starters, is it really likely that it landed there by itself? Or is it more likely that someone identified it as a dud and hung it from a tree?
And secondly, how's this for moral equivalence: Is there ANY distinction between Israel "raining down cluster bombs when a cease-fire was in sight," and Hezbullah "firing rockets at Haifa AFTER THE CEASE-FIRE WENT INTO EFFECT?"
Why is one REGULARLY condemned in articles written by the dhimmis in Europe, and one REGULARLY ignored?
Jan Egeland, who according to the caption accompanying this picture, is shocked and appalled at Israel's "completely immoral" behavior. strike this...[Jan presumably has no problem whatsoever with terrorists hiding behind civilians, as he has yet to utter a single word condemning that behavior]... (Correction: As pointed out by reader "truth squad," Jan Egeland has in fact condemned that behavior:
But a day after criticizing Israel for "disproportionate" strikes against civilians, U.N. humanitarian chief Jan Egeland accused Hezbollah of "cowardly blending" among Lebanese civilians.
I'm not good at poring over the Corrections box in the Washington Post, but Patrick Gavin of Mediabistro's FishBowl DC blog captures this priceless item about ye olde liberal New Republic scandal in today's "Corrections":
An Aug. 29 Business article incorrectly referred to Stephen Glass, subject of the movie "Shattered Glass," as a plagiarist. Glass did not steal material; he fabricated it.
Gavin suggested "Stephen Glass Calls the Post in Protest...or least we suspect that he did." For those of you to young to remember Glass's high-profile rise and fall, here's one example from our man Bozell on his so-called journalism: