Never mind the personal feelings of people, which they're entitled to have, over the notion of a mosque being built in close proximity to Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan. Those sensitivities have nothing to do with what's really going on. It's really all about President Barack Obama and his political opponents according to New York Times columnist Frank Rich.
On MSNBC's Aug. 26 broadcast of "The Rachel Maddow Show," host Rachel Maddow admitted she was befuddle that anti-Islam sentiment has seemingly peaked in the past few weeks and wondered why it has suddenly been brought to boil, with the mosque in question at the forefront.
"For all the bad decisions made post-9/11, we really didn't see a national, like, open partisan two-minutes hate toward Muslims the way we are seeing now about this mosque debate," Maddow said. "Why is it happening now?"
However over a year later, the comedienne shows no remorse for her remarks about Limbaugh. She appeared on the Aug. 25 broadcast of CNN's "Larry King Live" and revisited the occasion, which she said she hoped Limbaugh's "kidneys failed" since he wanted President Barack Obama to fail, even though that part of her attack on Limbaugh was conspicuously missing from the CNN highlight reel. Nonetheless, King asked her if she went too far, and Sykes said no.
KING: You think you went a little too far there? SYKES: Not at all. Not at all. KING: There's no connect here, right, between here and you, right? SYKES: Probably not. It might be a little speed bump, you know, just a little one.
Wasn't comparing your political opponents to Nazis once a no-no? I mean, just remember how upset the liberal concern police would get if some wayward individual at a Tea Party event in some random place in the United States had a homemade sign protesting President Barack Obama and invoked Nazi Germany symbolism?
Well, you would think - or at least expect a national TV host (even with considerably lower ratings than his competition) would certainly avoid using Nazis symbolism to attack those with which they disagree, right? No, apparently it's just a double standard. On MSNBC's Aug. 25 "The Ed Show," a seemingly angry host Ed Schultz said he was "fired up" about the Aug. 28 Glenn Beck event at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
"This is the story that has me fired up tonight - Glenn Beck is distorting Martin Luther King's dream and his Tea Party followers are on edge," Schultz sais. "You know, I just sense that we are going down a very dangerous road right now when a political organization like the Tea Party has members trying to intimidate elected public officials."
We've heard the knocks on NBC and the institutional bias that exists in its network - from the subtle spin in its flagship network's news coverage at NBC to the over-the-top bias at its cable news channel MSNBC. So maybe the man behind the curtains at NBC Universal would like to be more overt with his opinions - as a politician?
On MSNBC's Aug. 25 "Morning Joe," Jeff Zucker, president and CEO of NBC Universal, addressed both his possible political aspirations and bringing back one of the network's former star personalities. Host Joe Scarborough asked Zucker where his political interests were at this stage.
"You know Joe - look, politics is something I've always had an interest in," Zucker said. "It is something I've always thought about. It is not something that is on my current radar. It's not something I'm thinking about in the next few years, but it is something that I would always consider. I think - I love politics. I would love to give back. I would love to serve. I would love to do something, but it is not imminent. It's nothing now."
It is vile bitterness put on display for America every night of the week - even though not as many people tune in as they do to his competitor. But, still Keith Olbermann seems to obsess over the Fox News Channel.
On the Aug. 24 broadcast of his show "Countdown," Olbermann demonstrated just how sensible the so-called "professional left" can be when criticizing things they perceive to be antithetical to their world view. At the top of his "Worst Persons in the World" segment, viewers were treated to a bonus attack on Fox News, who Olbermann mockingly tried to portray as a sponsor of the show's segment.
"Get out your pitchforks and torches -- time for tonight's worst persons in the world brought to you by Fox News Channel: Official propaganda arm of Glenn Beck's ‘I Have a Scheme' speech, book tour rollout and 100 percent guaranteed in advance miracle. Fabricating and promoting events and then covering them as if they were news since 1996," Olbermann said. "I wish there was a joke here. There isn't. Fox News Channel: Making [expletive] up since 1996."
Every time the question about President Barack Obama's faith is brought up, the wizards of smart in the mainstream media get up in arms about "right-wingers" or "tea partiers" perpetuating those allegations. But is it possible that by devoting so much attention to these issues of Obama's faith and his citizenship, the media are creating the very feeding frenzy they're appalled by?
On CNN's Aug. 19 "The Situation Room," host Wolf Blitzer led his program off with at what first glance is a startling chyron: "W.H.: Pres. Obama Isn't Muslim". That graphic was in response to a recent Pew Research Center poll that found 18 percent of respondents thought Obama was Muslim.
Later in the program, Blitzer went to his panel - CNN political analyst James Carville and Washington Times columnist and Heritage Foundation fellow Tony Blankley. Initially Carville said he didn't have a clear explanation.
Video with partial transcript and commentary below fold
February 2009 was a pretty dark time for the conservative movement. The arguably most liberal president in the history of the United States has been sworn in to office just weeks early. The Congress had solid Democratic majorities in both chambers. And there were overtures that only way to save the nation from suffering the worst of a downtrodden economy was through an avalanche of costly legislation that would create huge budget deficits and ever-expanding bureaucracy.
But in the midst of that dark spell, CNBC's Rick Santelli lit the spark that ignited the conservative pushback. On CNBC's Feb. 19, 2009 "Squawk Box," Santelli called for a "tea party" in Lake Michigan to protest the idea the Obama administration was preparing to enact a massive housing bailout to reward people who took part in risky behavior by purchasing a home they couldn't afford.
While lefties are foaming at the mouth over what Republican Senate candidates like Sharon Angle and Rand Paul have to say, they're not quite willing to publicly embrace or defend the antics of their own duly elected nominee, South Carolina U.S. Senate Democratic nominee Alvin Greene. That is, they weren't until now.
On the Aug. 17 broadcast of her radio show, Randi Rhodes went to bat for Greene. According to Rhodes, the indiscretions that brought Greene indictments, in which he allegedly showed obscene photos to a University of South Carolina student and then talked about going to her dorm room, weren't really that bad. Although it's not clear if Rhodes was being serious, and it's difficult to tell, she claimed he was "sharing a wonderful moment of pornography" with this student and bewildered why such an approach warranted criminal charges.
"Let me tell you - you know my candidate for Senate in South Carolina is Alvin Greene," Rhodes said. "I left off where he was supposedly indicted for you know sharing a wonderful moment of pornography with a girl who was over 18 in a college library - in a college library where he had attended college by the way, so he still has his ID card to get on the campus, so. I don't know what law he broke, but apparently they say he did and they indicted him. And so the local TV went over to his house to see what his comments were about the indictment."
One may think that someone as well connected as long-time Washington correspondent and MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell might also connect the dots. After an unseasonably rough DC winter occurring right in the midst of the ClimateGate scandal, she would be aware of doubt being cast over the idea of manmade global warming.
But if you want evidence her mind is made up regardless of any of this, you could detect from her reaction to a report from Politco's Jim VandeHei that some Republican candidates are using the climate change debate to advance their campaigns. On MSNBC's Aug. 18 broadcast of "Andrea Mitchell Reports," Mitchell expressed her surprise that candidates would invoke this issue.
"Well, you might think that the link between manmade greenhouse gases and global warming is clearly established science, but some Republican candidates are challenging conventional wisdom this year," Mitchell said.
Want to see a textbook example of how the left has tried to frame the debate against extending the Bush tax cuts? Take a look at Cenk Uygur, of "The Young Turks" fame, playing the class warfare/populism card.
On MSNBC's Aug. 17 broadcast of "The Dylan Ratigan Show," Uygur was up in arms over the argument that taxes shouldn't be raised by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire. He alluded to Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, who made the case in 2007 that the wealthy should give more to society.
"Look at what Warren Buffett said," Uygur said. "He's talking to 400 wealthy donors and he says, ‘Look, the 400 of us pay a lower part of our income in taxes than the receptionists do, than our cleaning ladies do. For that matter, if you're in the luckiest 1 percent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 percent.'"
And Buffett has been a long-time advocate of higher tax rates - something easy to be for when you're one of the richest men in the world. However, Uygur says it's not good enough for Buffett to be charitable. According to Uygur, this "giving" must come in the form of "mandatory" higher taxes.
Paul Krugman and Larry Kudlow - not exactly two guys you would associate with one another. However, they are two media figures Washington Post columnist Frank Ahrens thinks should be candidates for the same job.
In his case for Krugman, Ahrens wondered that since Krugman can talk the talk, can he walk the walk as well.
"Outside the academic world, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman is best known for his New York Times columns arguing that the $787 billion, debt-busting stimulus bill was not enough, so even moderate Democrats -- not to mention conservatives -- might lose their minds with this pick. But maybe it's time for Krugman to put his money where his mouth is," Ahrens wrote. "You think government needs to spend more to get us out of this funk? Okay, Paul. Here's the key to the car."
Whenever Fox News host Glenn Beck raises the history of progressives and eugenics, or the possibility that eugenics is part of the motivation of a legitimate policy debate, the left-wing has a hissy fit. But when the left introduces it, we're supposed to accept it as high-minded and scholarly, especially in the case Princeton University's Melissa Harris-Lacewell.
On MSNBC's Aug. 12 "Countdown," liberal blowhard Keith Olbermann asked Harris-Lacewell, an MSNBC contributor, what the motivation was behind the proposition the 14th Amendment of the Constitution should be altered to close a loophole for illegal immigrants to achieve legal status in the United States. As expected, Harris-Lacewell suggested it was motivated by racism, but took it even further to say there was some sort of desire for genetic purity pushing it.
"It certainly is xenophobia, but it's got a little eugenics mixed in with it," Harris-Lacewell said. "Part of what I see going on here is, first, a deep misunderstanding about the 14th Amendment, and for whom the 14th Amendment provided citizenship. And although certainly part of it was about newly freed persons after the Civil War, it was also about all Americans."
Love him or hate him as a "conservative," MSNBC host Joe Scarborough just showed he hasn't been completely brainwashed at his network. On his Aug. 11 program, Scarborough demonstrated just how thin the veil is over the parlor tricks going on with in the U.S. House of Representatives controlled by Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
At the center of this was the back-and-forth between Reps. Peter King, R-N.Y., and Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., over Sept. 11 responders compensation legislation. Their disagreement has been well documented dating back to Weiner's late-July outburst on the House floor accusing House Republicans of playing politics with this legislation. The two had one more dust-up on Fox News a day later, but since then it has been a he-said, he-said situation.
Weiner alleges this was a non-controversial bill that should have been passed easily with a two-thirds vote. King argues the Democratic House leadership could have offered it up and it would have passed with a simple majority. But there were some issues with offering the bill up under normal House procedure with the Hispanic Caucus.
No matter what happens, even surrounding his personal life or his pet cause global warming, former Vice President Al Gore just isn't going away.
During an Aug. 10 conference call, Gore launched into a critique of the media's recent coverage of ClimateGate, specifically blogs, talk radio and "biased right-wing media."
"Well I believe Mark Twain often gets the credit for the saying ... that a lie runs around the world before the truth gets its boots on," Gore said. "Now I'm not sure that's the real reason for it, but there is a sad but undeniable truth that those who wanted to try sowing confusion used an echo chamber from blogs and talk show hosts and biased right-wing media to promulgate the distortions of the paid skeptics and professional deniers who tried to undermine the evidence."
Gore, who earlier during the call said he all but given up on cap-and-trade legislation being passed this Congress (audio here), alluded to a handful of "formal inquiries" that he argued cleared the science of any doubt that may have been caused by the leaked e-mails from ClimateGate, despite the questionable circumstances surrounding these inquiries.
"You know, to think that we could affect weather all that much is pretty arrogant," Myers said. "Mother Nature is so big, the world is so big, the oceans are so big - I think we're going to die from a lack of fresh water or we're going to die from ocean acidification before we die from global warming, for sure."
But fast forward a year and a half and you'll see how things change. On the Aug. 9 daytime broadcast of CNN's "Rick's List," that same Myers has a little bit different view. Myers was asked by the show's host Rick Sanchez the so-called "$60,000 question," but not without a preemptive cheap shot at climate skeptics on the right.
OK - it's not really much of a surprise. However, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has responded to the slowing economic recovery with restraint, not tinkering with interest rates and showing a continued willingness to buy mortgage-backed securities and long-term Treasury bonds. And that was roundly applauded by the markets, and CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer.
"Here's what you need to know about the Fed," Cramer said. "They're not in the way. I'm a Fed-is-friend, Fed-is-foe guy."
On CNBC's Aug. 10 "Street Signs," during his "Stop Trading" segment, Cramer explained that the Fed is acting appropriately and noted it wasn't the Bernanke that was holding the economy back. Who is to blame? It's Congress, according to Cramer, with its complicated health care bill and even more indecipherable financial regulation bill.
On MSNBC's August 9 broadcast of "Countdown," Yglesias did his best to psychoanalyze people that are upset a mosque is being built in the shadow of Ground Zero, where over 2,600 people died in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. According to Yglesias, whose blog, ThinkProgress.org, is a function the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress, opposition to the plan had nothing to do with sensitivities but instead economics. The anti-mosque sentiment, he believed, couldn't exist without masterminds like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich whipping conservatives against the mosque into a frenzy.
"Well, it seems to me that there is or at least there - it's much more visible than it used to be because we're seeing it stoked by sort of the leads in the conservative movement, by Sarah Palin, by Newt Gingrich, by others, in a way that we never had before 9/11," Yglesias said. "And I think what's happening is that when the economy goes down, people become anxious, you see, historically, a lot of increase in xenophobia, in fear and in sort of intolerance. And we've got the conservative movement leaders, very opportunistically trying to take advantage of that, try to play on people's anxieties, and build this kind of anti-Muslim hysteria in a way that President Bush never did in 2001 and 2002."
It's one thing to have liberal guilt, but this is taking it way too far.
In a video posted to YouTube on Aug. 5, popular liberal talk host Thom Hartmann, identified what he considered was the appropriate way to cope with this guilt type, specifically that of which came with the issue of LGBT rights. Hartmann hails himself as "the 10th most important talk show host in America, and the No. 1 most important progressive host, in their ‘Heavy Hundred' ranking" according to Talkers Magazine.
"Well yesterday, Judge Vaughn Walker, the chief judge of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, ruled that California's Proposition 8, which said that it was illegal for gays to get married in that state, was unconstitutional," Hartmann said. "He said that he based his ruling, although the right-wing is all over him for being gay himself - he said he based his ruling on the preponderance of scientific evidence that was presented to him in court, which indicated that the children of families of gay couples grew up every bit as normal, and in fact in some studies more normal and healthy, psychologically healthy, as the children of straight families and that gay couples and their relationships are every bit as psychologically, and socially, and economically significant and legitimate as are straight couples."
Ah yes - liberalism, or as its recent branding has labeled it, progressivism, is the most open-minded and culturally sensitive place to be on the ideological spectrum. Those who subscribe to those beliefs are far more enlightened and far more able to respect those from all over the globe, or least all over the United States, right?
Not the case with liberal talk show host Bill Press. On his Aug. 4 program, Press launched into a long-winded rant about a handful of U.S. Senators who question the interpretation of the 14th Amendment, which allows for so-called "anchor babies" to provide a way for some illegal immigrants to achieve legal status, despite having broken the law by entering the United States.
Press took issue with Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who suggested the 14th Amendment is being abused and wasn't what was intended by the original authors of it. But he didn't just disagree with him for his stance. Instead, he took to mocking his southern accent, playing to a stereotype of people from the South.
"You know the only thing we're missing with that are the banjos, you know," Press said. "I mean - yeah, Jeff Sessions. I mean give me a freaking break. [In faux southern accent with banjo music playing] You know our founding fathers didn't know them jet skis - they got them jet skis in Tijuana. They do, they just zip up the coast and have their baby on the beach in La Hoya, La Joya, La Jolla and then they back to Tijuana with a little baby American. God darn if Thomas Jefferson had only know'd that we would have been different."
These are some of the outtakes that the Ecuadoran plaintiff lawyer Steve Donziger probably wished were left on the cutting room floor.
Back in May 2009, CBS's "60 Minutes" featured a story on the legal conflict between Chevron and an eco-group called the Amazon Defense Coalition for $27.4 billion in so-called environmental damage in Ecuador's rain forest from then-Texaco Petroleum's (Texpet) operation of oil well sites over a decade ago. However, in 1998, the government of Ecuador certified that Texpet, a minority partner in an exploration and production venture state-owned oil company PetroEcuador, had met Ecuadorian and international remediation standards and had released Texpet from future claims and obligations.
During that May 3 broadcast, Donziger was portrayed by CBS "60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley as a shining individual with a deeply rooted compassion for the indigenous people of the Ecuadorian Amazon.
Outtakes of CBS's "Evening News" show Couric taking a few petty shots at Palin in her coverage leading up to the 2008 Republican National Convention. This five-minute clip has several highlights, showing Couric favoring "moose burgers and beauty pageants," instead of her professional credentials as mayor of Wasilla, a town Couric has trouble announcing, and her tenure as governor of Alaska.
Although it's not clear if Sidney Harman made the best offer of the suitors vying to purchase Newsweek magazine, there is one reason that was made clear by Donald E. Graham, chairman of The Washington Post Co. (NYSE:WPO).
According to Mike Allen at Politico, Harman's bid was accepted by Graham partly because he felt comfortable with Harman's politics.
"Graham felt comfortable with Harman's centrist politics, and was comforted by the idea of selling to a stalwart of the Washington establishment," Allen wrote. "Harman is expected to preserve the serious-minded, essentially New-Democratic tone [outgoing Newsweek editor Jon] Meacham set for the magazine."
But a closer look at Harman's political donations implies there is hardly anything "centrist" about his politics. According to The Center for Responsive Politics' website OpenSecrets.org, the husband of Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., has given generously to Democratic candidates - over $130,000 dating back to 1992.
"Compiled by more than 300 scientists from 48 countries, the report said its analysis of 10 indicators that are ‘clearly and directly related to surface temperatures, all tell the same story: Global warming is undeniable,'" Schmid wrote. "Concern about rising temperatures has been growing in recent years as atmospheric scientists report rising temperatures associated with greenhouse gases released into the air by industrial and other human processes. At the same time, some skeptics have questioned the conclusions."
Perhaps it's the proximity of North Dakota, Ed Schultz's home state, to Minnesota but the MSNBC host has an identifiable fixation on a certain conservative Republican congresswoman from Minnesota.
On his July 29 program "The ED Show," Schultz once again attacked Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. This time this wizard of smart attacked her for loving to get "her mug out there." But if that's a crime then Schultz is an accomplice.
"Well, that's Michele Bachmann said, she wanted to create a ‘receptacle' for the Tea Party and so, this might be the first thing in the ‘receptacle,'" Schultz said. "I think she is doing it to stay visible. She loves getting her mug out there, she loves the visibility. She was rather an obscure congresswoman until she made an asinine comment on ‘Hardball with Chris Matthews' about investigating members of Congress. That pretty much put her on the map, Roy."
Missed? Perhaps, but this story of complacency by President Barack Obama's administration has certainly been under-reported thus far.
On Fox News Channel's July 28 broadcast of "Studio B," the network's judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano discovered a potential lapse in responsibility by the Obama White House. For the broadcast of his July 31 Fox Business Network show "FreedomWatch," Napolitano interviewed Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.org, the so-called "whistleblower site" which released tens of thousands of classified files about the Afghanistan war. During the interview, Napolitano reported Assange revealed he offered the Obama White House the documents, but they were unresponsive. (h/t @CrabbyCon)
"STUDIO B" HOST SHEPARD SMITH: You just interviewed Julian Assange. Now Julian Assange is the man who is the founder of WikiLeaks - released these, or on his site was released the 92,000 pages of documents that lead to all this discussion about our complete failures in Afghanistan and thoughts that we need to get out of Afghanistan. He told you something that I considered to be a blockbuster bit of news. NAPOLITANO: And that is that WikiLeaks presented the documents - there were over 100,000 pages of them, to the White House. SMITH: When? NAPOLITANO: Weeks before they were released. He wouldn't give me an exact date.
Gold has been a highly valued commodity going at least as far back as the ancient Egyptian culture in 2600 BC. But now, with economic instability and uncertainty over the health of major global currencies, the demand for gold has risen as a store of value and a hedge against inflation.
Over the past 12 months, the price of gold has gone up dramatically - up 25 percent from July 2009 (from $929 per ounce to $1,163 per ounce, after reaching a high of $1,250 per ounce). That has outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) on a percentage basis.
UPDATE: HuffPo's Jason Linkins offers explanation (see bottom)
Maybe this is the way former Hearst Newspapers columnist and so-called dean of the White House Press Corps Helen Thomas would have wanted it.
Although Thomas' old seat in the White House press briefing room hasn't officially been designated for a particular outlet, and this might be wishful thinking on the part of the Huffington Post's Sam Stein, the White House correspondent for website, took the seat for the July 27 briefing with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
Stein's questions from the front row dealt with the possibility of President Barack Obama making recess appointment, in dealing with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and what he deemed the "lethargic pace" of judicial confirmations. Stein then followed up with four additional questions for his piece posted on the Huffington Post later that afternoon.
Like a dog chasing its tail, the left has spent a great amount of time trying to determine who the leader of the Tea Party movement is. And often, there are accusations of prevalent racism among its members. But according to CNBC's Rick Santelli, the Tea Party is more of a philosophy than a group, which has nothing to do with racism.
"First of all, we should have zero tolerance for racial discrimination, period," Santelli said. "Beyond that, if the indirect question is, ‘Is the Tea Party racist?' I think the real question is, ‘Are there racists in the Tea Party?' And I would contend that statistically there's going to be racists in any group."
Last week, CBS "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer made the incredible confession that he was unaware of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation cast on CNN's July 18 "Reliable Sources." The show's host Howard Kurtz asked why Schieffer didn't ask Attorney General Eric Holder about the case when he had the opportunity in an appearance on his show.
"I was on vacation that week," Schieffer said. "This happened -- apparently, it got very little publicity. And, you know, I just didn't know about it"
To compensate for this oversight, Schieffer has assembled a panel for his July 25 broadcast of "Face the Nation" to discuss this issue. The problem - it's heavily stacked in favor of the Obama administration's perspective on the issue.
According to the "Face the Nation" website, Schieffer's panel will Abigail Thernstrom, Vice Chair, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Michael Eric Dyson, Georgetown University, Cornel West, Princeton University, John Fund, a Wall Street Journal columnist and Michael Gerson, a Washington Post columnist.
"It's so hot outside, you could fry an egg ..." or something like that.
Perhaps ABC News should have rehearsed their attempted dramatic presentation to promote global warming alarmism before going forward. But instead, they have egg on their face - after failing to fry an egg in the heat, that is.