Here we go again. Anne Kornblut’s Wednesday story on Sen. Hillary Clinton’s speech in Chicago (“A Speech on the Economy, for 2006 or 2008?”) helps the senator and potential presidential candidate by ludicrously awarding her “conservative credentials.”
Kornblut, like Times’ reporters before her, sets Clinton on a mainstream path that bears little resemblance to the liberal senator’s actual voting record (she sports a lifetime record of 9 out of a possible 100 from the American Conservative Union rankings of senators' voting records).
“Mrs. Clinton did not, in her 57-minute speech to the Economic Club of Chicago, assail President Bush by name. Indeed, Mrs. Clinton repeatedly emphasized her conservative credentials and alliances, and she blamed the sharp partisan fighting in Washington for dissuading business leaders from working with government.”
Those at ABC News are certainly fans of leakers who give them scoops. But when the leaker is in their midst, the attitude is reversed. Someone leaked to Matt Drudge an email from John Green, an executive producer for the weekend "Good Morning America," in which he said Bush "makes me sick." He has since been suspended for a month without pay.
Rebecca Dana writes in the New York Observer that TV news divisions have "always been tough on leakers," and the individual whom ABC suspects of leaking the email is feeling the wrath of their legal department.
Television news divisions have always been tough on leakers. Two ABC sources said that an internal investigation into the leak is believed to be ongoing, though a network spokesperson declined to comment on how hotly executives may be pursuing it.
Early suspicions focused on what a number of blogs and The Washington Post called a “disgruntled former employee” of weekend Good Morning America—a man who had a well-known beef with Mr. Green and who was dismissed two weeks before the e-mails surfaced.
This morning's NBC "First Read," ostensibly an analysis by NBC News's Political Director Elizabeth Wilner (and others), misleads about the contents of an NBC/WSJ Poll:
The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll and other surveys continue to show that Americans have little appetite for extending the tax cuts in the face of more pressing domestic concerns -- including energy prices.
The poll contains exactly two questions about taxes. By a 49-29 margin, respondents said they were more likely to vote for a candidate favoring "making the tax cuts of the past few years permanent." And by a 56-39 margin, respondents support the tax cuts (Question 18). Gas prices do not show up on the list of questions. The only support for Wilner's comment is that by a 49-19 margin, people asked are more likely to vote for someone who "emphasizes domestic issues over military and foreign policy issues," leaving those issues completely unspecified.
Wow, the CBS Christmas parties are sure going to be fun. Veteran commentator Andy Rooney recently amended his earlier comments about designated Evening News anchor Katie Couric. I don’t think these statements will be popular over at CBS either:
Rooney: "I have this ancient view of CBS News as a paragon of journalistic virtue, and that time is gone."
The most charitable way to characterize that statement would be as a backhanded compliment.
In November, famed television host Oprah Winfrey was gushing over the possible presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton (D-NY) at the International Emmy Awards ceremony. Unfortunately, it appears that these two prominent liberal women don’t share the same view concerning wealth in our nation, for one panders as if she hates it – lavish book contracts and futures trading forays aside – while the other proudly revels in it.
Bloomberg reported Monday: “In an interview previewing a major speech she will give tomorrow at the Chicago Economic Club, Clinton said, ‘the rich are getting richer, everybody else is marching in place’' and ‘I don't think that's good for us.’''
Well, speak for yourself, sister, for People magazine reported on Tuesday: “Oprah Winfrey is a rich woman – and she's got no problem with that."
Say it isn’t so, Oprah! Liberals aren’t supposed to admit – at least not in public anyway – that they are just as fascinated by money as conservatives:
An outspoken critic of the war in Iraq, Vieira says she's being unfairly labeled as a raving liberal by some right-wing bloggers.
"I'm an independent. I'm not a Democrat or a Republican. I'm not particularly interested in politics, truth be told. Every time you read the paper, somebody lies about something [about the war.] I've been vocal about it.
While ABC and NBC presented viewers last night with many of the reasons for the rising cost of gasoline, CBS ignored the link between Iran’s push for nuclear power and rising oil prices. Instead, the network cheered on a “corporate catfight” between automakers and oil companies.
“I won’t be able to afford either rent or gas,” CBS News’s Anthony Mason showed a woman complain on the April 11 “CBS Evening News.” Warning of $3-a-gallon gas this summer, the CBS correspondent sought a culprit in American business, and highlighted a war of words between corporate executives.
Mason pointed to a blog posting by a DaimlerChysler executive blaming oil companies for high prices, and an ExxonMobil advertisement blaming SUV makers for fuel inefficiency.
In the past couple of weeks as illegal immigration has dominated the front pages and the lead stories of virtually every network’s evening news program, you haven’t been able to swing a gato muerto without hitting some pundit or broadcaster discussing the “unwanted jobs” being taken by undocumented workers. In fact, according to LexisNexis, there have been over two hundred news reports since this brouhaha began containing the phrase “jobs Americans won’t do.”
Jobs Americans won’t do? Excuse me?
I don’t know about you, but I find this concept almost as offensive as racial epithets directed at illegal immigrants. After all, is there really a job that Americans won’t do, and, if so, why?
On the other hand, if this is indeed not the case, but rather a convenient media affectation to simplify a complex problem for those with lukewarm intelligence quotients, what is the truth that is clearly eluding the talking headless?
To answer this question, I delved into the hallowed halls of employment data buried deep in the recesses of the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics…God bless me. There, I found answers that some might find rather shocking.
On the politics beat in Wednesday's Washington Post: first, don't ever let them tell you that liberal reporters don't want to be stenographers to power. They don't mind writing news stories that read like a press release...if they're about Hillary Clinton. Political reporter Dan Balz writes up the junior senator from New York's speech on the economy in Chicago without a single critic, just Mayor Richard Daley welcoming the hometown girl "whatever office you are in." Hillary's speech had shades of Old-Style Liberalism in it: "America did not build the greatest economy in the world because we had rich people," she said, "We built the greatest economy in the world because we built the American middle class." She also insisted tax cuts were not "the cure-all for everything that ails the American economy." Balz couldn't note she tends to hate tax cuts...just like liberal reporters.
On a light news day, why not run a generic piece on President Bush's low poll numbers and his assertedly bleak prospects for reviving them? That was apparently the thinking at the Today show this morning.
Today themed the segment "Can Bush Save Presidency?", and NBC White House reporter Kelly O'Donnell seemed to answer the question in the negative, kicking things off with this gloomy assessment:
"For President Bush, low poll numbers have not just been a dip or temporary rough patch but appear now to be a sustained pattern that is different than his predecessors of both parties who went through their own tough times." She continued: "His . . presidency appears to have a chronic case of the below-40 percent blues."
After David Gergen was shown suggesting that "presidents have sometimes broken out of slumps when they've had big, bold initiatives and unexpected victories - that often shake things up" O'Donnell reappeared to dump cold water on the notion that W could have any such luck:
"Looking back, some second-term presidents have been able to rebound. President Reagan's approval fell to 34 percent with the arms-for-hostages scandal. Pres. Clinton hit 41 percent around impeachment. But both bounced back up to the 60s as they left office. Analysts say the prospects for Mr. Bush are not as good because of the weight of ongoing events: Iraq, gas prices, the CIA leak case and hurricane response."
Gergen popped back up to pessimistically proclaim: "After a while those negative feelings really do congeal, they crystallize, they become firm and then it's very hard to break out."
O'Donnell: "political observers claim big speeches and staff changes won't turn things around and suggest the president may have to wait to seize on any good news."
Commentator Stu Rothenberg then observed: "If there is something he can brag about he needs to quickly then be able to go to the American public and make his case and drive home the point. But for now he simply doesn't have much ammunition at his disposal."
Count on Today and its MSM cohorts to do their best to keep things that way.
W. Thomas Smith, a former Marine, writes about myths that are being perpetuated about American soldiers. The one most trumpeted by the media is that recruitment is down because of the war in Iraq.
Five of the biggest myths include:
1) The U.S. Defense Department is unable to recruit enough military personnel to defend the country and its interests abroad.
2) Critical combat arms units are not being filled.
3) The military will accept any warm body and any dull brain it can get its hands on.
4) American minorities (and those from lower income urban areas) are suffering disproportionately higher losses on the battlefield.
5) Female soldiers are fighting in offensive ground combat operations.
Poor John Green. The executive producer of ABC’s weekend “Good Morning America” broadcasts got a month-long involuntary vacation after his private e-mails were exposed saying “Bush makes me sick,” and that former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has “Jew shame.”
Once the e-mails were publicized, the people inside the media were agitated. How many of them are equally guilty? How many people inside the liberal media send snarky anti-Bush notes to each other every day? The New York Times lamented the “chilling effect.”
Watching Chris Matthews and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California) on Tuesday’s “Hardball,” it was impossible to differentiate between the political talk show host and the Democrat senator searching for mid-term votes for her party. In fact, at times, it seemed that the host was the Democrat senator, as Matthews appeared to be beseeching his guest to censure President Bush regarding terrorist surveillance.
Matthews began the segment (hat tip to Expose the Left): “Let me ask you this, Senator, are you going to follow through with this? Are you going to try to get him censured?” As Boxer answered, Matthews could regularly be heard in the background saying “Right” to the senator’s statements as if he was one hundred percent in agreement with everything one of the most liberal members of Congress was saying.
For example, when Boxer said, “Now we see how hard the president himself tried to hurt Ambassador Joe Wilson, who told the truth about Saddam Hussein and the nuclear weapons program. He told the truth that it wasn`t happening,” Matthews said, “Right.” Boxer continued, “And yet in fact, this president wanted to release information that even he knew, and the administration knew, was suspect.” Matthews again interjected, “Right.”
Matthews then went into full cheerleader mode sans miniskirt and pompoms:
In this ABC made-for-TV production of “The Ten Commandments” we have a new Moses, ethnically and religiously cleansed.
As played by Dougray Scott (Charlton Heston, not), Moses has been homogenized, pasteurized, sanitized and dry-cleaned so as not to offend any race, religion or creed. This Moses (as opposed to the Moses of the Bible and even the Moses of Cecil B. DeMille) is not Hebrew, and in fact he’s not anything but multi-cultural.
Along both parts of this series (new and improved over DeMille!!!) that ran Monday and Tuesday, April 10 and 11, the word “Hebrew” never came up, neither attached to him or to his people, yes, the Hebrews. The best this fat-free, low-calorie script could do was refer to Moses as a “slave” and later, as the “leader” of a “people.”
CNN's Wolf Blitzer wondered, on Tuesday's Situation Room, “if Bill Clinton could run for President again, would he be re-elected?" Though Clinton never reached 50 percent (43% in 1992, 49% in 1996), Jack Cafferty excitedly agreed with the proposition: "Oh, I think he probably would be, in a heartbeat, don't you?" Cafferty listed some other potential candidates, such as "the Governor down in Virginia" who "might be a good guy" and "they got Barack Obama," but instead, “who do you see on TV? You see Hillary and Chuck Schumer and Ted Kennedy." Cafferty maintained: "Clinton would be the answer to a prayer. Not Hillary, her husband." The exchange followed the 5pm EDT hour “Cafferty File" segment question: "Can religion help the Democrats?" That was prompted by Bill Clinton's recommendation to Democrats that they emphasize “values” and religious beliefs. None of the e-mailed replies Cafferty read had made any suggestion about Bill Clinton running for President again. (Transcript follows.)
At today’s Pentagon press briefing, a reporter said Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld didn’t dispute or address a claim from a book about the run-up to the War in Iraq. Rumsfeld interrupted him and made him look like a fool:
RUMSFELD: You think I'm going to stand around reading your books and disputing things in them or validating or not validating? I have a real daytime job. You would do nothing else but that if you did that. The fact that I haven't disputed something -- I mean, if I disputed all of the mythology that comes out of this group and the books of the world, I wouldn't have any time to do anything else.
On Tuesday's Lou Dobbs Tonight on CNN, Dobbs scolded “this country's major daily newspapers” for how they “misled” readers in their coverage of immigration rallies since “their headlines failed to tell the truth about what the rallies are all about: Rallies in favor of illegal immigration, and amnesty for illegal aliens.” Dobbs showed the front pages of four newspapers, starting with the New York Times' headline of “Immigrants Rally in Scores of Cities for Legal Status,” followed by the Washington Post's description of “Immigration Rights Rallies,” USA Today's “Historic rallies voice a 'dream'” and the Wall Street Journal's “Immigration-Policy Protests Draw Huge Crowds of Workers.”
Dobbs, however, offered praise for one newspaper's “astute” take, quoting approvingly from a Tuesday Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial which contended: “Organizers wanted the marches to be more about people and less about policy. Most television stations swallowed the bait and delivered news reports soft enough to follow Sesame Street on PBS.” (Transcript, of the comments from Dobbs, follows.)
In light of CBS’s and CNN’s obvious pandering to left wing sensibilities on the illegal immigration issue, FNC’s Fox and Friends provided a welcome alternative. The April 11 edition of the show featured a interview with Pete Sepp, a spokesman for the National Taxpayers Union. Co-host E.D. Hill opened the segment this way:
"If a citizen fails to pay taxes, I mean, we’ve got a tax day coming along, say you don't feel like doing it this year, well what happens when the IRS comes, excuse me, where's that money? Well, what do you get charged with, what do you have to pay in terms of fines versus what an illegal alien would have to do?"
I'm truly amazed at the oozy, woozy promotional coverage the pro-amnesty rally received in The Washington Post today. (For a nice dose of balance, for a more skeptical take on the rally, see Michelle Malkin's photo/video roundup.) But the really woozy take on the power of the rally crowds emerged in the Style section today from classical-music critic/fanciful political essayist Philip Kennicott. Which one of these Kennicott beauties is the weirdest quote of the day?
A. "The crowd is a tapestry, an abstract pattern of color and shapes; or it is something like an engulfing sea of humanity that threatens to overwhelm. Within those two categories, there are other choices. Is the abstraction an organic shape, that flows like blood in the veins? Or is it regimented and linear, something suggestive of a military force gathered for battle? And does the oceanic crowd attack fragile markers of civilization and good order? Or does it cleanse the decadent vestiges of an old and unjust regime?"
Yesterday, many people from around the country gathered in cities and demanded rights for illegal immigrants, and these protests were the primary focus of this morning’s "The Early Show" on CBS. In one segment, co-host Harry Smith interviewed Lou Dobbs, host of CNN’s "Lou Dobbs Tonight" and Bill Richardson, governor of New Mexico. Through his questions, Smith made it pretty clear where he stood on the immigration issue.
In his first question to Lou Dobbs, Harry Smith was awe struck at the outpouring of patriotism demonstrated by the protestors:
"When you saw these pictures yesterday from these demonstrations in all these cities across the country, hundreds of thousands of people, American flags unfurled, people draping themselves in the American dream, what did you think?"