Still smarting from his Memogate spanking, disgraced former "CBS Evening News" anchor Dan Rather is trying to reclaim journalistic glory by trumpeting the claims of a supposed Boeing whistleblower. Paul at Wizbang sees an all-too-familiar scenario:
Stop me if you're heard this one....
A has-been anchorman, trying to reclaim past [false] glory tries to destroy a person or an institution by using accusations from a dubious source back-up by documents of dubious credibility. A big blogosphere welcome back to Dan Rather.
This time his target is Boeing but his reportage skills are about the same. Even without benefit of seeing the report (it airs tonight) there are already problems with it.
What problems? Well apparently the Seattle Times has found that the would-be whistleblower, Vince Weldon, has credibility issues:
At Ed Morrissey's secondary blog, Heading Right, the Captain's Quarters editor and Blog Talk Radio host noted that by giving MoveOn.org a discount to smear General Petraeus, the paper of record has exposed itself as a radical activist shill willing to engage in character assassination (emphasis mine):
By writing off more than half of its normal price, it encouraged the publication of a nasty hit piece on the honor of a serving commander in a theater of war. The Paper of Record helped call Petraeus a traitor, surely one of the worst moments in modern American media.
The vaunted e-elite of the Left, the so-called Netroots, aren't quite what they and the media would have us believe. Far from a mostly middle-class Gen X and Gen Y coalition, blogger Joshua Trevino reminds us the data show Kossacks tend to be rich, areligious, aging hippies forever mentally mired in their glory days of Vietnam protests and Nixon-hating:
James Joyner of Outside the Beltway complains that the New York Times buried the lede with an article about an Israeli airstrike in Syria. Turns out there's reason to believe that North Korea may be smuggling "nuclear material" to terror-sponsoring states Iran and Syria:
Talk about burying your lede. This is seven “paragraphs” down in the story (I use scarce quotes because newspaper style favors incredibly short paragraphs and breaks even when the subject has not changed for ease of editing). It’s wise to be wary of assertions from unnamed officials about this sort of thing, especially when the target is those perennial bogeymen Iran and Syria but it’s hardly inconceivable that the DPRK would sell nuclear materials to our adversaries.
In an entry entitled, "Protest du Jour," Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Candace Heckman let the paper's "The Big Blog" readers know that, "[c]oast to coast, Sept. 12 has been declared National Call-In Day to End the Iraq War by a conglomeration of advocacy groups."
Oh how nice.
Today's protest is expected to take place all day over the telephone. The idea is to call your congressman or congresswoman (or any congressman or congresswoman) to express displeasure in the United States' continuing involvement in Iraq.
Heckman proceeded to give out the phone numbers for the state of Washington's delegation to the 110th Congress. The P-I blogger noted that "as with all demonstrations, war and troop supporters are also expected to counter-protest, also by telephone."
A few days ago I wrote about how blogger Flip Pidot of Suitably Flip found that while the Hillary Clinton campaign vowed to give the Norman Hsu campaign contributions to charity, his name still appeared in a list of "HillRaisers," top-dollar fundraisers and bundlers for the Hillary Clinton 2008 presidential race.
Now reporter and blogger Robert Stacy McCain has an interview on the Washington Times Web site with Pidot. Below are some questions pertaining to Hsu and Pidot's research and blogging about the Clinton contributor:
Q: You actually went to the New York address listed on Norman Hsu's [Federal Election Commission] forms. ... Did you see anything?
Paul Mirengoff has an excellent item up at Powerline about a BBC Web site geared to kids that oh so helpfully explains the "why" of 9/11. No surprise here, the Beeb hints its American foreign policy that is to blame:
The BBC explains 9/11 in terms so simple a child can understand. It seems that "the way America has got involved in conflicts in regions like the Middle East has made some people very angry including a group called al-Qaeda." Moreover, "when the attacks happened in 2001, there were a number of US troops in a country called Saudi Arabia, and the leader of al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, said he wanted them to leave." Thus, "al-Qaeda members believe attacking US targets is something they should do."
Reporting comedian Kathy Griffin's offensive remarks at an award show set to air on Saturday, MSNBC anchor Norah O'Donnell left out the harshest line. The effect was to make it sound like the liberal former "View" guest host was being unfairly "censored" by TV producers for making a mild joke about award recipients who thank Jesus for their success, rather than blaspheming Jesus Christ directly.
In a September 10 Big Blog entry, Seattle Post-Intelligencer online reporter Monica Guzman filed an interview with an illegal immigrant from Peru.
While it's arguable there's a place for her softball questions about the hopes and dreams that compel illegal immigrants to come to America for opportunity, a balanced interview would call for some harder questions about the laws broken by immigrants who do so.
Unfortunately Guzman didn't offer any such tough questions, although the P-I encourages readers to submit questions for reporters to ask in future interviews here.
At the risk of giving third-rate left-wing comedian Kathy Griffin more than her due of publicity, I thought I'd pass along something I saw over at Brutally Honest. The one-time 'The View' co-host prospect making light of award winners who thank Jesus or thank God for their accomplishment at the podium:
Brian Montopoli's writing at CBS's Public Eye blog has been sparse of late. Now the co-ombudsblogger is announcing he's moving elsewhere within the network:
Starting today, I’m officially becoming a political reporter for the new CBSNews.com politics section, which will be relaunching in its shiny new form soon. And that means, after two years, I’m saying goodbye to Public Eye.
This should be fun. NewsBusters has taken Montopoli to task before for his work with Public Eye, including a January 17 post where he hit a network correspondent from the left for not being biased enough:
Persistent Bush critic and recurring Sunday morning talk show fixture Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) is announcing his retirement from the U.S. Senate. Reporting the story in the Sunday paper, the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman and Chris Cillizza described the Iraq war critic as a "mainstream conservative who raised his profile nationally through his fierce opposition to President Bush's Iraq policies."
While it is true that Hagel has a respectable 85.2 (out of a possible 100) lifetime score from the American Conservative Union, the Associated Press's Anna Jo Bratton more colorfully described the senator as "a thorn in his party's side when it comes to Iraq." The characterization is apt but perhaps a bit charitable given the retiring politician's suggestion that President Bush could be impeached over the war.
While both the Bratton and Post accounts focused on Hagel's retirement as another obstacle in the uphill battle for control of the Senate in 2008, neither article mentioned that Hagel made an oblique reference in March to the potential to impeach President George W. Bush over the Iraq war:
Writing for the September 9 Style & Arts section, Washington Post staff writer Jonathan Padget found a queer angle on an upcoming NBC action drama. The ratings-challenged network is remaking the 1970s "Bionic Woman" sci-fi series. It's a ratings gamble for the peacock network with any demographic, yet Padget seems to peg the success of the show on gay viewers, and finds a way to smack around former "Grey's Anatomy" co-star Isaiah Washington in the process:
What's a thoroughly postmodern gay to do when one of the iconic heroines of '70s television is relaunched on a network that eagerly embraces an actor who gets dumped from his hit show on another network after proving himself all too comfortable with a certain homophobic slur?
Hillary Clinton fundraiser and recently-captured fugitive from justice Norman Hsu is STILL listed as a major "HillRaiser" on Hillary Clinton's campaign Web site, reports blogger Flip Pidot:
While Clinton has pledged to turn over some of this money (only Hsu's direct contributions, representing roughly 13% of her total haul from Hsu's network) and has professed bewilderment at the man's colorful legal history and recent behavior, she hasn't yet taken the one very easy (and admittedly fairly meaningless, but nonetheless advisable) step of removing Hsu from her list of vaunted HillRaisers.
At least she hadn't as of 2:50 pm on September 6th. What gives? If Hsu turns himself in (again) and heads off to prison, is that sufficient contrition for Clinton to welcome him back into the fold? Is this failure to fully sever Mr. Hsu from the campaign deliberate or just careless (and mildly comical)?
A recession is classically defined as two back-to-back quarters of negative growth in gross domestic product (GDP), something that last happened six years ago with the 2001 recession. So what did Witt see that portended an imminent collapse?
Well, "[f]inancial experts were blindsided by a new report today that found 4,000 jobs were cut last month. That is the first time that's happened in four years. These numbers follow another report that finds home foreclosures have hit a record high," Witt explained.
Voilà! Two scary negative statistics and there you have it, the economy teetering of the brink of utter ruin. Only, we've heard the media hype about pending recessions before. From our friends at the MRC's Business & Media Institute:
CBS Public Eye blogger Matthew Felling has a message for those of us who complain about media bias. Don't expect the media to pursue balance. In fact, it's YOU who should balance your news diet, with slanted reporting from the opposing side of the political spectrum. Insisted Felling, "It’s one thing for an ideologue to cry bias over this story or another, but it’s far more productive to offer a solution or an alternative."
If you're a Rush listener, try Ed Schultz. If you like Keith Olbermann’s take, change channels afterwards and see what Sean Hannity has to say. Likewise, if you see something coming down the pipe that looks like the "Censored" list or Goldberg's liberal media smoking gun -- and you initially resist it -- don't dismiss it offhand.
Until we push ourselves out of our media comfort zone, we risk continuing to argue past each other -- us of the by-now-trite 'red' and 'blue' Americas --wearing blinders and not connecting at all. So even if you like your blinders and feel intellectually justified in wearing them, don’t be afraid to swivel your head once in awhile to get a fuller view.
The CBS ombudsblogger --Public Eye purports "to bring transparency to the editorial operations of CBS News"-- offered this advice after he tossed up a liberal and a conservative complaint about media bias, hoping to show that left and right-wing complaints have equal merit and/or that media bias is subjective according to the ideological lens of the beholder.
I know, it's a dog-bites-man story, but I thought I'd pass along that longtime White House correspondent and left-wing columnist Helen Thomas addressed the College Democrats at the University of Maryland on Wednesday evening.
I live close to the campus, but unfortunately found out about the event after the fact and hence was unable to drop in and take in my own observations. Fortunately Maryland's student paper The Diamondback covered the event. Unfortunately the reporter covering the assignment failed to press Thomas on her commanding respect as a journalist while forsaking any attempt to objectively report news from her perch at the White House. In fact reporter Chidima Okaparanta labeled Thomas's abrasive technique as a "straight-shooting reporting style, especially regarding the war in Iraq."
Below are some excerpts with portions in bold reflecting my emphasis:
Writing at National Review Online, Kimberly Kagan of the Institute for the Study of War talks about the revitalized Dora Market in Baghdad as a sign of success in Iraq. Kagan attributes the Petraeus strategy significant credit and in doing so takes a swipe at the Washington Post for its slanted reporting on the Dora success (h/t Instapundit):
In Wednesday’s Washington Post, Sudarsan Raghavan, criticized the Dora market in an article called "Weighing the ‘Surge’: The U.S. War in Iraq Hinges on the Counterinsurgency Strategy Of Gen. Petraeus. The Results Have Been Tenuous." The Dora market is a frequent stop for visitors to Iraq assessing the progress of “the surge.” Raghavan criticizes the market, and the frequent visits it receives from distinguished guests of General Petraeus: “[T]he Dora market is a Potemkin village of sorts. The U.S. military hands out $2,500 grants to shop owners to open or improve their businesses. The military has fixed windows and doors and even helped rebuild shops that had burned down, soldiers and others said.”
Yet when one considers the 300 shops reopened in the Dora market in the context of the past year, rather than in pre-2003 terms (more than 800 shops then, according to Raghavan), it is easy to understand why General Petraeus might think it worthwhile for visitors to see the Dora market.
Scott Johnson at Powerline argues that liberal opinion journal The New Republic really needs a grown-up in charge to clean up the magazine's act:
Although the -- I believe the correct word is "venerable" -- Martin Peretz is nominally the editor-in-chief of the New Republic, the lack of adult supervision at the magazine has become painfully apparent in the course of the magazine's continuing Beauchamp disgrace. When are "the editors" going to render their verdict on their Baghdad Fabulist, anyway?
The lack of adult supervision at the magazine is apparent beyond the Beauchamp disgrace. Here the juvenile TNR staffer Joshua Patashnik does little more than direct sarcasm at the New York Times's relatively favorable review (by Carl Cannon) of Stephen Hayes's book on Vice President Cheney. Unlike Patashnik, Cannon actually shows evidence of having read Hayes's book.
Chicago, like Washington, D.C., has a stringent gun ban. So naturally the move by the District to defend the ban before the Supreme Court will be big news in the Windy City. Yet that doesn't excuse the Chicago Tribune's James Oliphant for breezing over gun rights advocates in his article, "D.C. gun case may hit Chicago."
Oliphant began by telling his readers that gun rights advocates would come gunning for Chicago's gun ban if they succeed before the high Court.:
The District of Columbia is going to the Supreme Court to protect its 1976 law that effectively disarmed its crime-plagued law-abiding civilian populace. In addition to an editorial cheering on the appeal, Washington's largest broadsheet is all to happy to skew its front-page coverage accordingly.
In their September 5 article "D.C. Case Could Shape Gun Laws," reporters Robert Barnes and David Nakamura quoted from gun ban proponents Mayor Adrian Fenty (D) and D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer as they laid out their arguments for the gun ban. Only one opponent of the gun ban was quoted, and even then his ink was wasted on explaining his next move:
Andrew at Biased BBC has an excellent take on the British news agency's flawed reporting on the recent release of some South Korean aid workers. For starters, the original headline glossed over the brutal murder of two hostages. Andrew also noted that contrary to BBC's own style guide, the news agency characterized the murdered missionaries as having been "executed," which implies a legal penalty governed by due process of law.
In light of the Larry Craig scandal, Time magazine's Joe Klein stepped up to the pulpit at the magazine's "Swampland" blog to insist that conservative Christians are being, well, un-Christlike with their moral opposition to homosexuality. Klein points to conservative objection to homosexuality for creating a culture of shame that forces gay men to seek sex in public restrooms.
To Klein, it's the religious right's fault, and boy are they misunderstanding what Jesus --or "Dr. J" as Klein calls him-- was all about (emphasis mine).:
Some people get angry at Craig's--and a long list of theofoolish sexual demagogues'--hypocrisy because they don't consider consensual adult homosexuality a matter of morality at all. Some people are infuriated at people like Craig etc. because they promote the social stigma that forces closeted gay men to find sexual solace in secret, shame-ridden places like public restrooms. Some people are angry enough to actually celebrate Craig's outing because of the untold pain and suffering that people like Craig have caused.
As NewsBusters has recorded, Snow has tangled with biased journalists in his role as the White House's chief spokesman. Perhaps one of the most memorable was an episode in June 2007 reported by NewsBusters contributor Justin McCarthy:
MRC old timers like Geoff Dickens and Tim Graham will remember how in the late 1990s, MSNBC was largely a re-run channel. MSNBC's programming was largely "Time & Again" and "Headliners & Legends," two programs that relied heavily on canned news content and usually consisted of puffy profile pieces.
Well, now with the 10th anniversary of Princess Diana's death, MSNBC's gone back to the bad old days of stale newscasting, running highlights, as it were, from Diana's September 6, 1997 funeral, including Scripture readings and eulogies by British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Diana's brother Lord Earl Spencer.
MSNBC is justifying the gauche gimmick as a "Living History Event."
As an MRC study has proven, liberal broadcast media has a strong record of skewed coverage of illegal immigration. Print coverage in major metropolitan broadsheets in no different. In her August 30 article, Washington Post staff writer Pamela Constable featured English-speaking illegal immigrants lamenting "hateful talk against immigrants."
"Many have no legal documents," Constable conceded of the day laborers waiting at 5:30 a.m. outside a Gaithersburg, Md., work center operated by "the nonprofit CASA de Maryland." Constable failed to note anywhere in her article the pro-illegal immigration, pro-amnesty stance CASA consistently promotes.
Indeed, Constable's mission was not to report both sides of the immigration debate, but rather to paint a stark, emotional account full of loaded language, including comparing the plight of illegal immigrants to Jews hiding from Nazi persecution:
MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell appeared on the August 29 "Glenn Beck Live" on CNN Headline News. He discussed the Washington Post's decision to censor the August 26 edition of Berkeley Breathed's "Opus" cartoon mocking radical Islamists.
Earlier that day, Bozell appeared on FNC's "Fox & Friends" to discuss the Post's double standards on religious sensitivity. You can find video of that at this NB post.
The rockier the rib, the more likely you'll find pink lingerie under the trousers or a bullwhip and manacles in the bedside drawer. You can bet those Beltway dominatrices, madams and escorts (gay and straight) have been able to buy second homes -- maybe even in Sun Valley! -- with their haul during W's reign.
Oh, it gets better. According to Burleigh, gay-baiting and the Amish vote were keys to Bush's 2004 re-election victory:
Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs has an item today about an Arabic newspaper editor pronouncing his plans to dance in London's Trafalgar Square should Iran ever use a nuclear weapon on Israel:
That's what I thought when I received an e-mail from NewsBusters reader Lori Puente informing me that Yahoo News is listing an article about Katie Couric's upcoming trip to report from Iraq and Syria in the "entertainment news" section.