A recurring feature on her "Couric & Co." blog is the "10 Questions" interview, usually posed to a think tank official or politician on a major political issue. In the past, I've blogged about how the interviews have generally skewed leftward, but I was pleasantly surprised with the CBS anchor's mostly neutral agenda of questions in her August 9 interview with Robert Moffitt of the conservative Heritage Foundation.
Generally speaking, the questions sought to elicit Moffitt's perspective on tackling health care without pressing him with loaded questions. I was annoyed at question #4, but Moffitt immediately pointed out that foreigners seeking treatment in America are fleeing inefficient, shoddy socialized medicine in their home countries.
Here are Couric's questions. For Moffitt's answers, check here.:
This is still developing apparently, but Ed Morrissey of Captain's Quarters is all over what appears to be a hare-brained smear of presumptive GOP presidential candidate and former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson. Here's an excerpt:
It doesn't take long for provocateurs to crawl out of the woodwork to attack candidates, especially in stealth attacks. With Fred Thompson, they've apparently started before he officially enters the race -- and in one case, race is the operative word. Apparently hoping to confuse web surfers looking for Fred's website at www.imwithfred.com, a new site has appeared at www.imwithfred2008.com -- only this site welcomes people to the Ku Klux Klan, "Bringing a Message of Hope and Deliverance to White Christian America!" It includes links to a variety of disgusting racist sites.
Who would post something like this as a smear on Fred Thompson? Someone a little too stupid to cover his tracks, possibly? A DNS search gives us an answer. The domain name, registered through GoDaddy (no great shock there), belongs to:
On August 3, NewsBusters contributor Scott Whitlock noticed the network morning shows largely ignored Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) dovish blanket assertion that he would rule out the use of nuclear weapons in "any circumstances" in dealing with terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. At the time, Sen. Hillary Clinton called the pronouncement unwise. But according to the Associated Press, it appears Clinton is contradicting a statement she made in April 2006 that aligns with Obama's stance.
On August 2, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) took the opportunity to disagree with Obama's dovish stance. As the Washington Post reported in the August 3 paper:
Awaiting the presidential press conference shortly before 10:30 this morning, CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric tossed a question to Pentagon correspondent David Martin. But Couric apparently wasn't informed that Martin has lost his voice and was ill-equipped to go live on national television as he could barely whisper the answer to Couric's question.
Overall all the tax questions pushed Bush towards hiking taxes. Notice the first question out of the gate was on raising the gasoline tax, not about oh, how the gas tax funds are perpetually raided by Congress for non-infrastructure spending. The question on corporate tax rates and carried interest also come from the left, pushing Bush on the matter of tax "fairness." I particulary find the questions in bold obnoxious vis-a-vis fiscal policy.
11:18: president concludes news conference.
11:14, unid'd reporter: Given the decision to commute Libby, is it fair for people to ask about your commitment to accountability?
11:13, unid'd reporter, citing Libby pardon, Al Gonzales hearings: Can you give clear examples of how you've held people accountable during your presidency?
11:12, Ann, followup: So you're confident you can continue to sustain the level of spending in Iraq?
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) recently told an Illinois woman that while his grown sons have never served in the military, they are displaying their patriotism by campaigning heavily for their father's nomination for the presidency.
The Politico and USA Today have picked up on the item. USA Today's "On Politics" blog noted in an entry posted at 11:45 Eastern that:
The questioner, 41-year-old Rachel Griffiths of Milan, Ill., told Susan later that she is not a Republican and is in fact a member of a "Progressive Action for the Common Good."
Asked if she was satisfied by Romney's answer, Griffiths said:
Update (14:15): Welcome to Rush Limbaugh listeners. You can find more on media bias about the Minnesota bridge collapse on our site here.
By now it's been so widely adopted by the media that it's easy to be numb to it, but Chicago Tribune's E.A. Torriero breathed new life into the Bush-caused-it meme in the I-35W bridge collapse story by adding a new twist. The bridge collapse, suggested Torriero, is insult added to injury for mostly Muslim Somali immigrants already angered by American foreign policy.
In a story filed the evening of August 7, Torriero portrayed the collapse as insult added to injury for Somali immigrants, weaving in suggestions that America under President Bush is becoming akin to a third world country, unable or unwilling to build and maintain safe infrastructure:
While looking at a friend's profile on Facebook today shortly after 10 a.m., I spotted her "Election '08" application which proudly lists her support for the Republican Party in 2008. Immediately below are three of the "latest politics headlines" on Newsvine.com, the Web site that created and manages the Facebook application. Yet the headlines were hardly the "latest" and had nothing to do with the 2008 race or its principals. What's more, all three headlines carried downbeat news:
Don't get me wrong. I like that mainstream media do take some efforts to report more religion and faith news items these days, including blogs like "The Seeker" at Chicago Tribune's home on the Web and the ongoing "On Faith" feature hosted by the Washington Post and Newsweek.
Slate magazine found out that Rudy Giuliani's daughter Caroline has a crush on Obama.
Well, maybe not a crush, but she had joined a pro-Obama Facebook group and describes herself as "liberal" (but then that's also how many Republican voters would describe Caroline's father).
The article, complete with evidentiary screen grab, was written this morning by Lucy Morrow Caldwell, like Caroline Giuliani also a student at Harvard University. Caldwell has a profile on Facebook in the Harvard and Washington, DC networks, and has poor taste in sunglasses, as the screencap below shows:
The Washington Post's Jose Antonio Vargas reported in the August 6 paper about worries in the Yearly Kos crowd that the liberal blogosphere is too white and too male. Critiquing that August 6 article, Jack Turner of "Jack & Jill Politics" disagreed with Vargas' assessment that every attendee at YearlyKos was wringing his or her hands about how to "diversify" the attendance.:
Recently Oklahoma officials announced a deadline extension to order special license plates dedicated to the global war on terrorism. Oklahoma is not the only state that has one. Virginia has had one for years that reads "Fight Terrorism" and features a Pentagon, the Twin Towers, and an American flag.
In other words, this is nothing new and its an unremarkable story. Except for MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, whose staff ran the item in his blog "The NewsHole" with no comment, letting his left-wing loyalists provide the yuks. The August 2 headline, however, was a snarky, dismissive phrase: "Ridin' In Style."
While some commenters found the new plate non-controversial and wondered what the big deal was, others took the chance to mock the design.
One "T. Brooks" from Oklahoma even pulled a Natalie Maines, all while referencing a classic country hit:
It's hard to write a blog aimed at being both red meat for Fox News haters and Reagan conservatives. That didn't stop Keith Olbermann's staff from trying yesterday in a blog that highlighted Giuliani's friendship with Fox News chairman Roger Ailes.
Implying that Ronald Reagan would have something damning to say about Giuliani "from the grave," Keith Olbermann's "NewsHole" blog picked up an item run on HuffPo and American Spectator that cited one brief reference from the Gipper's diaries that called the then-federal prosecutor "crazy."
The Los Angeles Times reports in the August 3 paper that "Los Angeles television newscaster Mirthala Salinas was suspended without pay for two months — but not dismissed — Thursday from KVEA-TV Channel 52 for covering Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa while they were romantically involved, a relationship that journalism experts said damaged the station's credibility."
But wait, there's more. The Telemundo reporter (pictured at right with Villaraigosa*) apparently has a history of dating Southern California Democratic politicians:
Her affair with Villaraigosa was an open secret in KVEA's Burbank newsroom and in the mayor's office at City Hall. Salinas also had dated Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez (D-Los Angeles) when he was divorced — and before he remarried his wife — as well as former Los Angeles City Council President Alex Padilla, now a state senator.
I found a rarity in Iraq media coverage in the August 2 Washington Post: a positive story on U.S. troops in Iraq. And it was on page 11. Not A-11 or B-11 but T-11, or the 11th page of my "Prince George's Extra," a special tabloid section that comes with Thursday editions of the Washington Post.
Sounding more like ABC's Sam Champion or Al Gore than a "fair and balanced" news anchor, Fox's Shepard Smith slammed Americans in general and his studio audience in particular in a recent "Studio B" interview with a British man who swam at the North Pole as a global warming-related publicity stunt.
See the YouTube video below the fold. Here's an excerpt of the exchange:
What follows are Klein's complaints from his August 1 "Swampland" blog post, followed by my snarky translation:
--it doesn't mandate that insurance companies cover everyone at the same rate, regardless of pre-existing conditions (community rating).
Who cares if you're a chain-smoking, trans fat-loving, Burger King-is-your-second home kinda guy with diabetes, high cholesterol and a coronary bypass under your belt? Health insurance companies shouldn't charge you a penny more than the marathon-running vegan next door whose idea of splurging is a little extra sugar in his mango strawberry soy milk smoothie.
I've already left my suggestions. If you're on Facebook, you can join their group and place yours. With its solidly liberal blogger bullpen and wildly liberal fan base (read the comments threads on an empty stomach), the blog could use a conservative voice to bring in balance in reporting and analysis of the '08 race and the Democratic Congress.
Update/retraction (13:11): Missed the update on LGF. It is in fact an image of a mosque in Brunei. My apologies to CAIR and to NewsBusters readers.
"Little Green Footballs" noticed yesterday that the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which is cheering the impending crimes prosecution of a Pace University student for putting a Koran in a toilet, depicted the US Capitol dome as though it were the dome of a mosque. Gone was the Statue of Freedom that graces a pedestal atop the cast-iron dome (see picture at right)
Now imagine if the Catholic League photoshopped the cross-topped dome of St. Peter's Basilica or if the Christian Coalition replaced Freedom with country church bell tower in an image endorsing its "American-Christian Voter Survey." Something tells me the media would not find some cynical way to round up liberal critics who would allege those conservative Christian groups want to turn the federal government into a theocracy.
Blogger Michelle Malkin has an excellent item today at RealClearPolitics.com about how the media have a lack of interest in stories about Christian missionaries kidnapped, brutalized, and tortured at the hands of Islamist terrorists. Here's an excerpt, after which I share my thoughts on what we could expect to see from the biased media should some of the South Korean missionaries make it back alive and find themselves interviewed on say "Dateline NBC":
The blood of innocent Christian missionaries spills on Afghan sands. The world watches and yawns. The United Nations offers nothing more than a formal expression of "concern." Where is the global uproar over the human rights abuses unfolding before our eyes?
The Baltimore Sun is hardly a right-wing rag, in fact its editorials and its overall news judgment, as many a Marylander registered on this site can tell you, is rabidly left-wing. But even the Sun, reporting on yesterday's heinous, grisly discovery of four murdered stillborn infants in Ocean City, Md., used the term "baby" to describe the victims. The Associated Press also used the term "baby" to describe the pre-born or stillborn victims.
So what's holding Andrea Stone of USA Today back? The word "baby" appeared twice in her July 31 story, but only in quotes, from a police spokesman and the Worcester County State's Attorney. Likewise the term "infant" was only used once in Stone's story, again within quotes from a police report.
Also to the Sun's credit--although really it should be standard practice when the MSM report on abortion matters-- Sun reporter Lynn Anderson avoided the left-wing euphemism "woman's right to choose" in favor of a grammatically correct phrase that includes the word "abortion." In this excerpt, Anderson is describing the law under which suspect Christy Freeman may be prosecuted:
SAN FRANCISCO — Brooke Brodack remembers her first online "hater."
Nearly two years ago, the person posted rude comments about a video she had posted on YouTube, says Brodack, 21, of San Francisco, whose videos show her lip-syncing and creating characters. "It was shocking to me. Why would someone want to be so mean for no reason?"
Why, indeed? Nasty comments, sometimes even death threats, have become ubiquitous on virtually any website that seeks to engage readers in discussion.
"Ur ugly u suk and u should die," says a typical comment beneath one of Brodack's many videos. Such vulgar messages have inspired heated discussions, and video responses, on YouTube.
Reporter Janet Kornblum later brought the topic around to how mainstream media Web sites have taken to banning comments after persistent problems:
The Washington Post 2008 campaign blog "The Trail" has an update on Cleavage-gate, a minor row that seems to have caught the paper's fashion critic Robin Givhan with a dear-in-the-headlights look while giving New York's junior senator a change to perk up her campaign's finances. [Update: Tim Graham has an excellent take on the matter, coming at it from a different angle than I did here. It's a good read. Check it out.]
As the Post's Howard Kurtz and Anne E. Kornblut note, Givhan protests that she:
...would never say the column was about a body part... It was about a style of dress. People have gone down the road of saying, 'I can't believe you're writing about her breasts.' I wasn't writing about her breasts. I was writing about her neckline.
No matter. Kurtz and Kornblut note that Hillary's acolytes are using Givhan's July 20 article to push-up fundraising:
Covering Raul Castro's July 26 hour-long Revolution Day speech, the Washington Post characterized the fill-in dictator's latest speech as one that "hits capitalist notes while placating hard-line party loyalists." But in truth Castro's speech was the typical Communist agitprop fare: empty promises for more pay, a call for harder work from the people, and above all else, blaming the United States for the collectivist economy's failure.
"Wearing his trademark tinted eyeglasses and military uniform, Castro, 76, struck distinctly capitalist notes before tens of thousands of flag-waving Communist Party loyalists," reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia noted in his July 27 story, filed the day before from Camaguey, a city 350 miles east of Havana.
Yet from Roig-Franzia's article itself, it becomes clear Castro is not a Latin incarnation of Milton Friedman. A little more foreign investment is the only capitalist bone to be thrown Cuba's way.
Nothing biased here, just an amusing video to kick off your weekend. Yesterday shortly after 3:30 p.m. Eastern on "Studio B," Fox News anchor Shep Smith cracked up his guests and crew by joking about the all-too-frequent incidence of false fire alarms at Fox News Headquarters in New York.