On this day in the year 2000, the guided missile destroyer USS Cole was attacked by Islamic terrorists associated with Osama bin Laden's al-Quaeda group. Today is the seventh anniversary of that attack. Seventeen American sailors were killed and thirty-eight injured in the attack which severely damaged the ship. Yet not a single major media organ has reported this so far.
Attacking a warship has been long viewed as an act of war. The most recent example occured in 1968 when North Korea attacked the USS Pueblo. To our national shame, the Pueblo is still in the hands of that country. A rather more forceful response occurred in 1941, when Japan attacked the US Pacific Fleet at anchor in Pearl Harbor.
It's time for 'Name That Party' again. The besieged mayor of Atlantic City, Robert Levy, resigned today after allegations of claiming false military benefits, according to his lawyer. The lawyer also gave a reason for Levy's disappearance.
Attorney Edwin Jacobs said that the mayor had been undergoing treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues since city officials last heard from him Sept. 26.
However, according to the story in the Los Angeles Times, there were even larger reasons for Levy's disappearance- he was under investigation by Federal officials for falsely claiming military benefits to which he had no right. The Times reported,
Federal officials have been looking into whether Levy, 64, lied about his service in order to increase his veteran's benefits. The mayor was in the Army for 20 years -- serving two tours of duty in Vietnam -- and received numerous medals, awards and citations, Jacobs said.
(c) No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America, except during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea, when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel of the Navy.
Reuters is busy smearing the troops by claiming they opened fire on civilians. But while accusations of misconduct are always good for several months worth of front-page stories, somehow the media never has time to comment on the many good deeds that the United States Armed Forces perform all over the world. And unfortunately, the US military does not do as well as we would wish at getting the word out.
Did Reuters reporter Noor Mohammed Sherzai ever take a class in journalistic ethics? If so, perhaps he slept through it, as his article today uses himself as a quote. Sherzai writes today that US troops fired towards a crowd in Afghanistan. However, the main quote that he is able to produce to substantiate his accusations is from himself. He writes,
"I saw the fire brigade vehicle rushing to the area at top speed. Somehow its brakes failed and hit one police vehicle and coalition vehicles, then the Americans started firing," said Reuters correspondent Noor Mohammad Sherzai.
Does the media have any understanding at all of how important they are to terrorists and other enemies of the United States with their determined moral equivalency? When it comes to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the answer appears to be a resounding no. Time Magazine's Richard Stengel provides a glowing puff piece on the Iranian leader, entirely abrogating his responsibility as a reporter to provide any context whatsoever. Stengel writes of Ahmadinejad,
The invitation was on creamy stationery with fancy calligraphy: The Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran "requests the pleasure" of my company to dine with H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The dinner is at the Intercontinental Hotel — with names carefully written out at all the place settings around a rectangular table. There are about 50 of us, academics and journalists mostly. There's Brian Williams across the room, and Christiane Amanpour a few seats down. And at a little after 8pm, on a day when he has already addressed the U.N., the evening after his confrontation at Columbia, a bowing and smiling Mahmoud Admadinejad glides into the room.
This is now an annual ritual for the President of Iran. Every year, during the U.N. General Assembly in New York, he plots out a media campaign that — in its shrewdness, relentlessness, and quest for attention — would rival Angelina Jolie on a movie junket. And like any international figure, Mr. Ahmadinejad hones his performance for multiple audiences: in this case, the journalists and academics who can filter his speech and ideas for a wider American audience.
Is the media hypocritical on censorship when conducted by Democrats versus Republicans? It would seem that this may indeed be the case. The media likes to claim that President George Bush's Administration is clamping down on civil rights, although they have a difficult time citing any actual examples of such. However, when the Clinton campaign really does exercise press censorship, the media is largely silent. According to the Politico online magazine, GQ magazine was poised to run a story that would have been critical of the Hillary Clinton campaign. This in itself is a relative rarity in the current media. However, by threatening to withold access to former President Bill Clinton, the campaign managed to force GQ to pull the planned story. Editor Jim Nelson then tried to claim that this was normal procedure,
“I don’t really get into the inner workings of the magazine, but I can tell you that yes, we did kill a Hillary piece. We kill pieces all the time for a variety of reasons,” Nelson said in an e-mail to Politico. He did not respond to follow-up questions. A Clinton campaign spokesman declined to comment.
Journalists like to tell us about their professionalism and the many layers of editors that ensure their accuracy. However, somewhere in those layers of editors, have reporters lost the ability to perform basic research? In the case of Reuters reporter Jeff Mason, it would seem to be so. Mason wrote an article on California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Monday speech on global warming, in which he wrote,
President George W. Bush pulled the United States out of the Kyoto accord, saying it unfairly burdened rich countries while exempting developing countries like China and India.
Do student journalists understand the difference between free speech and common sense? If they are at Colorado State University, the answer appears to be a resounding no. According to the Associated Press, the editorial staff of the student-run Colorado State University newspaper The Rocky Mountain Collegian published an editorial which in its entirety read'Taser This... F*** Bush'. Then the student staff claimed that it was all about free speech,
Collegian Editor David McSwane said a group of seven student editors discussed the statement for several hours before agreeing to publish it. "We felt it illustrated our point about freedom of speech," McSwane told 7NEWS. "I think we could write 250 words and ramble on and I don't think anyone would pay attention."
Can the Associated Press distinguish between racial supremacy groups and civil rights groups? Apparently not. AP writer Maria Sudekum Fisher covers the appointment of 73 year old Frances Semler to Kansas City's parks board, which Fisher opposes because Semler is a member of the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps. As Fisher writes,
But Frances B. Semler's appointment could now cost the city millions of dollars because she is a member of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a group that advocates vigilante patrolling of the Mexican border and reports illegal immigrants to authorities.
Journalists are responsible for presenting the news of the day to ordinary citizens. Their requirements include objectivity and analysis. However, they are also expected to understand the difference between a mass-murderer who espouses a form of global slavery and an elected leader of the freest country on Earth. Unfortunately, it appears that Ryan Yeomans, of the Central Connecticut State University does not have that understanding. Writing today in the opinion pages of The Recorder, Central Connecticut State's college newspaper, Yeomans states,
The Smart car, a tiny two-seater produced by Mercedes-Benz, is being released in the United States, and Newsweek decided to celebrate by shilling for the supposedly socially-conscious vehicle. Newsweek allowed Smart's U.S. president David Schembri essentially free space to advertise in what is being represented as a news column.
Reporter Tara Weingarten served up softballs such as "With just two seats, it’s the perfect car for the friendless. And you don’t have to be nice and offer people rides." Weingarten also allowed Schembri to get away with such marketing-speak as,
You can help out other drivers by taking up a smaller parallel parking space, consume less fuel, thereby helping the environment, and feel great about it. Why is that bad?
Barry Manilow epitomizes the liberal reaction to being forced to share a stage with someone with whom he disagrees- instant flight! Manilow is apparently cancelling his scheduled appearance on the mostly-liberal gabfest show 'The View' because new host Elizabeth Hasselbeck is a conservative. According to TMZ, Manilow said of Hasselbeck,
In an exclusive statement to TMZ, Barry says, "I strongly disagree with her views. I think she's dangerous and offensive. I will not be on the same stage as her."
So it seems that is is perfectly acceptable for liberals and/or Democrats to only go where their views will not be challenged, isn't it, Barry?
Is the mainstream media uninterested in radical Islamists in America? Recent events would seem to indicate that that may indeed be the case.
Today, according to the Dearborn, Michigan Press & Guide, a Muslim medical student named Houssein Zorkot was arrested while wearing full combat gear and carrying an AK-47 rifle. His website contained a plethora of anti-American imagery and included shots of him posing with a picture of Hezbollah leader Sheik Nasrallah. Of course, the local media neglected to mention the Islamic connection when reporting Zorkot's arrest. He was identified only as a 'third-year medical student'.
Marshall University psychology professor W. Joseph Wyatt should probably stick to psychology as oposed to attempting media analysis. However, he has decided to write an op-ed in the Huntington, West Viriginia Herald Dispatch claiming that media bias is a myth. Professor Wyatt begins by claiming that,
However, a 2002 Gallup poll showed that slightly more than a third of journalists describe themselves as Democrats, meaning that the vast majority are something else, and unlikely to be liberal.
I have been following the strange (and mostly unreported) case of fugitive criminal and major Democratic Party fundraiser Norman Hsu since September 5. Paul Mirengoff of the Power Line blog has a post today wherein he notes that the mainstream media, led by the Wall Street Jornal, are finally taking the time to look into Hsu's attempted flight from justice. However, as Mirengoff pointedly notes,
I think the pertinent questions are: Where did the money come from?
Conservatives tend to crave order and structure in their lives, and are more consistent in the way they make decisions. Liberals, by contrast, show a higher tolerance for ambiguity and complexity, and adapt more easily to unexpected circumstances.
Fugitive Democratic Party donor Norman Hsu was arrested today in Colorado, according to the Associated Press. However, while discussing the fact that many of the politicians to whom Hsu gave money are returning it or giving it to charity, the AP seems strangely reluctant to discuss the mysterious sources of Hsu's contributions. The story talks about several Democrats who are returning Hsu's gifts, and states,
The growing flap over Hsu's contributions prompted Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd to release a statement Thursday vowing "to refuse to accept or possess campaign contributions raised, solicited, or delivered by fugitives from justice."
"Growing flap". That's nice. But it would be even nicer if one of the so-called professional media organizations would devote some time to digging into the actual source of Hsu's large contributions.
Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu, whose many large contributions to Democratic coffers, including Hillary Clinton came from an apparently non-existent source, has jumped bail yet again. As reported by the Associated Press,
Hsu, a Hong Kong native, was also supposed to turn over his passport Wednesday. Hsu's prominent Silicon Valley criminal defense attorney Jim Brosnahan said Hsu failed to give the passport to the legal team on Monday. "Mr. Hsu is not here and we do not know where Mr. Hsu is," Brosnahan said outside court. Brosnahan said that "there was some contact" with Hsu a few hours before the scheduled 9 a.m. court appearance, but he declined to say how and who talked to Hsu. Hsu pleaded no contest in 1991 to a felony count of grand theft, admitting he'd defrauded investors of $1 million after falsely claiming to have contracts to purchase and sell Latex gloves. He was facing up to three years in prison when he skipped town before his 1992 sentencing date.
The world's media are busy mourning the death of the Princess Diana ten years ago. But while they are mourning the fact that they lost a ready-made newsmaker who shared many of their goals, they have forgotten to remember the anniversary of a far more important event than the death of the former wife of Great Britain's heir to the throne. As I was reminded by Lead and Gold, today is the twenty-seventh anniversary of the Polish communist government agreeing to the demands of striking shipyard workers. This surrender by the Communist leadership of Poland presaged the breaking loose of the satellite nations of the Soviet Union's Iron Curtain and led directly to the fall of the U.S.S.R. As Lead and Gold writes,
The strike marked the beginning of the end of communist rule in Eastern Europe. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher are, rightly, given the greatest share of credit for winning the Cold War. But Lech Walesa and John Paul II played indispensable roles. ...
Apparently the media is only interested in secret surveillance programs when they are conducted by the United States government against enemies of this country. When similar measures are used by the City of New York to track employees, the press collectively yawns. Based on cell-phone GPS tracking records, administrative Judge Tynia Richard in New York has recommended that a city employee be fired for leaving work early. Fair enough. However, there are a few questions I would like to raise in regards to this decicion. Firstly, the employee in question, one Mark Halpin, was issued a city phone without being told that it contained a GPS system that would be used to track his movements. This sounds suspiciously like covert surveillance to me. Secondly, it turns out that Halpin often showed up for for work as many as two hours earlier than his shift began. However, the judge did not take that into account. According to the New York Post,
Halpin questioned the reliability of the data and argued that his privacy was invaded, since officials tracked him when he wasn't at work.
A majority of Americans - 54% - believe the United States has not lost the war in Iraq, but there is dramatic disagreement on the question between Democrats and Republicans, a new UPI/Zogby Interactive poll shows. While two in three Democrats (66%) said the war effort has already failed, just 9% of Republicans say the same.
Many Democrats, seeing the fact that the surge appears to be working, have realized that their defeatist attitudes and willingness to surrender may cost them dearly in the next election, have changed their tune somewhat, or, like the New York Times, have merely moved the goalposts of what constitutes victory. However, the major media, who have been overwhelmingly in favor of a precipitous defeat seem to be a little slow in reporting that their years of negative reporting and defeatism have not yet managed to dissuade a majority of their countrymen from wanting to win.
To those who may not be familiar with the case, this is essentially a test case as to whether the United States government has the legal authority to perform secret surveillance on anyone. The plaintiff is a Muslim organization called Al-Haramain that has been linked to a variety of Muslim terrorist organizations and has been shuttered in many countires for its unabashed laundering of money to said terrorists. Even the United Nations has placed Al-Haramain on its list of banned organizations.
It is becoming ever more obvious that the press treats cartoons poking fun at Islam in a much different manner than those poking fun at any other religion. One might even say there is a double standard, and why not, since the media themselves acknowledge that it is true.
"The strip came in and I knew we would have to send out an alert to all the newspapers," Lago said. "I do that fairly regularly with materials that might pose issues for local areas. ... We knew that because it was a sex joke, it could raise issues. And there is another client that has issues with any Muslim depiction whatsoever." ... But she did alert newspapers about the Muslim-themed cartoon because there was a question about whether Muslim readers would be offended. "I don't necessarily think it's poking fun [at Islam]," Lago said. "But the question with Muslims is, are they taking it seriously?"
Has the US media turned a completely deaf ear to actual events in favor of a warped view on what they wish to occur in Iraq? It would seem so. Ever since it became apparent that the miltiary 'surge' strategy was succeeding in Iraq, both the media and the Democratic Party have been complaining that the poltiical benchmarks in Iraq were not being met. in particular, they castigated the Iraq civilian leadership for failing to make strides in rteaching out to the minority Sunnis and releasing political prisoners.
"It's a horrible prospect to ask yourself, 'What if? What if?' But if certain things happen between now and the election, particularly with respect to terrorism, that will automatically give the Republicans an advantage again, no matter how badly they have mishandled it, no matter how much more dangerous they have made the world,"
This brings up two points. Firstly, how low has political campaigning sunk that any candidate for the Presidency would even consider saying something like this as part of a campaign?
Is the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) politically picky when taking umbrage with topics pursued by the media? Could be. After Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report posted the "Obama Wife Slams Hillary" headline across his site, CJR ran an article complaining Drudge Barks, TV News Bites.
It seems the CJR is upset that Drudge's headline sparked a media feeding frenzy in which the major news sources all picked up both on the original story in the Chicago Sun-Times and on the interpretation that Michelle Obama's remark constituted an attack on Senator Hillary Clinton. Now for anyone who read the original story, there seems little doubt that Mrs. Obama's remark really was a thinly disguised dig at Hillary. The Sun-Times wrote: