Bill O'Reilly was on The View today to discuss his new book Culture Warrior and, although there weren't fireworks, he and co-host Rosie O'Donnell got into a heated exchange about the war in Iraq. O'Reilly pressed O'Donnell with the question of whether she wanted the US to win in Iraq. Rosie refused to answer. She said she doesn't think it's possible. She wants America to be what "the founding fathers wanted it to be." But she wouldn't say that she wanted the US to win in Iraq. According to Rosie, wanting the US to win in Iraq is "antiquated thinking."
On Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer today, Howard Dean said that he had been watching UN ambassador "Josh Bolton" on all the morning shows talking tough about the UN resolution on North Korea that the Chinese have already said they're not going to fully enforce and he said it shows that the Bush administration is "toothless" when it comes to national security. When it came time for Blitzer to follow-up, he corrected Dean on what Bolton's first name really is but Blitzer failed to ask Dean the obvious question: how would he or other Democrats have gotten anything better out of the UN?
Putting aside the fact the Arianna Huffington dubiously implied on tonight's Factor that Bill Buckley and Chris Shays agree with John Murtha about a strategy for Iraq, what was frankly unbelievable was her ignorance and
abject indifference towards the plight of the Kurds under Saddam
Hussein. Huffington argued that the Kurds were free before we invaded
Iraq, that their situation has not changed "one iota" since the
invasion, and even replied "so what" to O'Reilly's assertion that
Saddam persecuted the Kurds.
I'm not going to waste my time fisking Keith Olbermann's rant against President Bush on tonight's Countdown, but the gist of tonight's "Special Comment" was basically that President Bush has used 9/11 to drive a wedge between Americans, bring the country into an unjust war, and should be impeached.
Asked how he feels about what happened, Armitage said, "Every day, I
think I let down the president. I let down the Secretary of State. I
let down my department, my family and I also let down Mr. and Mrs.
[Armitage] says he was reading Novak's newspaper column again, on
Oct. 1, 2003, and "he said he was told by a non-partisan gun slinger."
I just watched Katie Couric's debut as the anchor of the CBS Evening News
and it was, much to my surprise, not very different than it was when
Bob Shieffer was helming. I expected at least a couple radical
stylistic changes that would set the CBS Evening News apart
from it's competitors on NBC and ABC and shake things up a little. But
there was nothing new. All in all, Couric's debut was, well, ordinary.
I've put together a 4:21 video summary of Couric's debut, available here, in case you missed it.
In terms of substance, Couric began the broadcast by wondering if it was
"back to the drawing board" on the war on terror because things seem to
be going poorly in Afghanistan. She spoke at length with Thomas
Friedman about the words versus the actions of the Bush administration.
Norah O'Donnell, Roger Simon, and Evan Thomas all seemed to agree on tonight's "Hardball" that there's no way that President Bush actually read The Stranger by Albert Camus and three Shakespeare plays as he claimed in an interview with Brian Williams yesterday. In other words, all together now, "Bush is an idiot." The originality of the criticism of President Bush continues to baffle my mind as I'm sure it does yours as well.
Of the three, Evan Thomas is by far the worst, joking that he "doesn't believe President Bush does read"--which draws a sizable laugh from O'Donnell--and then continues by saying, "but before we get too snooty about this, he does read some and, you know, that's not a bad thing. If there's some intellectual curiosity by the President, it's to be encouraged."
I usually wouldn't make a big deal out of something like this, but today's just the wrong day for the gratuitous slam of FOX News as "fake news." You know, because two of it's journalists were just freed from the very real experience of being kidnapped while on the job and then held hostage for 13 days.
I don't really expect David Letterman to challenge his political guests and, apparently, neither does Nancy Pelosi. Appearing on the Late Show on Tuesday, Pelosi got away with rhetorical murder implying that George Bush wants to "phase out" Social Security altogether, Democrats really want to secure our borders, the military barely has any combat ready units, and terrorists don't really care about killing people, they just want to instill fear and thus, George Bush is playing right into their hands.
On tonight's Hardball, Chris Matthews pretty much allowed Howard Dean to slam Sen. George Allen without challenging him on his assertions. Asked about Allen, Dean said that he served with Allen while they were both Governors and that Allen "doesn't belong in public service." Dean also said that Allen "always shooting from the hip, he never thinks through what he means, and he caters to the wrong instincts in people" of which the "macaca" incident is supposedly proof.
Matthews did ask Dean if he knew what "macaca" meant but did not ask Dean if he knew what it meant before this incident, which seems like the more obvious question to me. My bet is that he didn't have a clue much like the vast majority of people in this country including, perhaps, Allen himself.
At a White House press conference this morning, veteran reporter Helen Thomas once again--as Tony Snow famously said--presented "the Hezbollah view" and asked the President why he gives Israel "a pass" and only focuses on Hezbollah's rocket attacks against Israel.
On tonight's Hardball, Rep. John Murtha claimed that Marines in Iraq stormed a house and intentionally killed innocent women and children in response to the murder of a fellow Marine. According to Chris Matthews, the Marine Corps is currently investigating this incident. It goes without saying that this is an outrageous allegation to make--especially without any proof--and one would think that Murtha, a former Marine himself, would give the benefit of the doubt to our Marines before making wild accusations. Then again, it's been awhile since Murtha has basked in the glory of the MSM spotlight.
CAVUTO: You don't negotiate with someone who's crazy, right? I mean, you would never have accepted a letter from Slobodan Milosevic, right? Neither would Bill Clinton, right? I mean, crazy is crazy is crazy...
ALBRIGHT: We talked with slobodan milosevic and I went to see Kim Jong Il, the leader of North Korea, because I thought it was worth talking to them to see...
It seems to me that those that are in such an uproar over the leak of Valerie Plame's name and claim that it had a negative impact on our national security would be hesitant, to say the least, about disclosing further information about Plame--especially information that pertains to what she was working on while at the CIA. But apparently, if that particular information is potentially damaging for the Bush administration, it's a different story. Here's what David Shuster reported on tonight's Hardball:
MSNBC has learned new information about the damage caused by the White House leaks. Intelligence sources say Valerie Wilson was part of an operation three years ago tracking the proliferation of nuclear weapons material into Iran. And the sources allege that when Mrs. Wilson's cover was blown, the administration's ability to track Iran's nuclear ambitions was damaged as well.
And now for some fake news, The Colbert Report. If you flip through the cable news channels any week night, you're bound to see a collection of talking heads, or rather, shouting heads, who draw large audiences with a diet of often wildly inaccurate but patriotic and combative noise. The shows are not exactly news or entertainment but are exactly outrageous. Bill O'Reilly perfected the formula on FOX and others have successfully followed his recipe. With all of their excesses, it was only a matter of time before someone came along to skewer them. Well, the eagle has landed.
Move over Britney Spears, Cynthia McKinney's — oops! — done it again.
The flap-plagued congresswoman, who has been in the media spotlight since she scuffled with a Capitol Hill police officer last month, was caught bad-mouthing a senior staffer Saturday.
Unfortunately for McKinney, a DeKalb County Democrat who is running for re-election in the 4th Congressional District, a TV microphone she was wearing picked up her indelicate grumbling.
"Crap!" an irritated McKinney is heard saying after ending an interview with CBS 46 in which reporter Renee Starzyk repeatedly asked about the fallout from the police dust-up. "You know what? They lied to Coz and Coz is a fool."
There is no doubt that the leak of classified information concerning possible CIA prisons in Europe by CIA analyst Mary McCarthy has harmed U.S. national security and put our relationships with European allies on the line. Regardless of these facts, however, on today's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Sen. John Kerry said he was "glad" McCarthy "told the truth."
STEPHANOPOULOS: On another -- on another front, excuse me, CIA official Mary McCarthy lost her job this week for disclosing classified information according to the CIA probably about a WASHINGTON POST story which reveal revealed the existence of secret prisons in Europe. A lot of different views. Senator Pat Roberts praised action but some former CIA officers described Mary McCarthy as a sacrificial lamb acting in the finest American tradition by revealing human rights violations. What's your view?
On the 35th anniversary of his famous "Genghis Khan" testimony before the Senate, John Kerry has a piece on The Huffington Post today reflecting on his actions then and his feelings about the war in Iraq now. The basic argument Kerry makes is that speaking out against "a policy that is wrong" is the most patriotic thing a person can do and those that use "Swift Boat-style attacks...hurt our democracy even more than they wound their target." Like many of Kerry's arguments, however, he tries so hard to hit every liberal talking point that the core of his argument is rendered incoherent. Here's a taste:
Just as it was in 1971, it is again right to make clear that the best way to support the troops is to oppose a course that squanders their lives, dishonors their sacrifice, and disserves the American people and our principles.True patriots must defend the right of dissent and listen to the dissenters. Dissenters are not always right, but it is always a warning sign when they are accused of unpatriotic sentiments by politicians trying to avoid accountability or debate on their own policies.
Last night, Rev. Jesse Jackson appeared on The Situation with Tucker Carlson to discuss the Duke lacrosse team rape allegations. Specifically, Jackson's RainbowPUSH Coalition has decided to offer the accuser in the case free college tuition--regardless of whether her accusations prove to be true. As usual, Jackson is shamelessly injecting himself into the "hot" race-related case of the day for sake of his own publicity. But, at this point, it hardly comes as a surprise.
Anyway, it was a great shootout and Carlson does a fine job of disputing Jackson's recycled talking points.
As the breathlessness grows over calls by a handful of former generals for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to resign, The Political Pit Bull has learned that General Tommy Franks--the former commander of CENTCOM who led both Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq--will announce on tonight's Hardball that he supports Rumsfeld and respects the job that he has done as Secretary of Defense. As someone who worked more intimately with Rumsfeld than any of the retired generals that are criticizing him, General Franks is in a unique position to comment on Rumsfeld's performance.
On last night's Hardball, Newsweek's Evan Thomas stated that he believed the primary reason for the war in Iraq was to "teach Arabs a lesson" after 9/11. Again, what liberal media? Thomas was on with Christopher Hitchens but because it was the end of the segment, Hitchens didn't have time to respond to this ridiculous comment--although, at the end of the clip, you can hear Hitchens mentioning the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act (you know, the one that made regime change official U.S. policy).