The Washington Post made a big splash today with a story linked by almost everyone that said congressional Democrats had backed down on Iraq withdrawal timetable after their failure to override President Bush's veto which struck it down.
In a possible continuance of the congressional Dems' jostling with the Washington Post after their complaints against Post columnist David Broder, Democratic leaders are denying that they have caved to liberal blogger Joshua Marshall:
[T]he offices of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are denying a Washington Post
story today saying that Congressional Democrats have backed down to the
White House by offering to remove Iraq withdrawal language from the
now-vetoed Iraq bill.
In case you haven't heard, the entire Senate Democratic caucus sent a letter to the Washington Post complaining about a column that David Broder, the paper's respected moderate liberal columnist wrote criticizing Democratic leader Harry Reid for saying the Iraq war is "lost."
We've talked about it quite a bit here at NB (here and here for some of our coverage) but today's New York Sun makes a point worth posting today:
"The episode illuminates how thin-skinned and intolerant the left is in this country of a press corps that is anything less than completely pliant. It began with the Democratic presidential candidates refusing to participate in a presidential debate that would be aired on the Fox News Channel, a network so reflexively right-wing that its regular paid contributors include Michael Dukakis's campaign manager Susan Estrich, National Public Radio's Mara Liasson, and the 2006 Democratic candidate for Senate in Tennessee, Harold Ford Jr. First they came for Fox News Channel, then they came for David Broder."
That's exactly right. The problem Broder is encountering is that even though he is a liberal, the fact that he has crossed the far left on its most important agenda item (surrendering in Iraq) has made him anathema. Same with Joe Lieberman.
Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is involved in a scandal that so far the media has completely ignored. David Keene reports:
Anyone who knows much about real power in Congress knows that almost
every member of the House and Senate lusts after a seat on the
Appropriations Committee and hopes one day to achieve the status of
Cardinal. The Cardinals, of course, are the folks who chair the various
Appropriations Committee subcommittees and literally control the
billions of dollars that pass through their hands.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) chairs the Senate Rules
Committee, but she’s also a Cardinal. She is currently chairwoman of
the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies subcommittee, but until
last year was for six years the top Democrat on the Military
Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (or “Milcon”)
sub-committee, where she may have directed more than $1 billion to
companies controlled by her husband.
If the inferences finally
coming out about what she did while on Milcon prove true, she may be on
the way to morphing from a respected senior Democrat into another
poster child for congressional corruption.
For all journalists' talk about political elitism and cronyism, they are probably more inclined to toe the party line when one of their own comes under fire.
Almost always, you can count on an elite media figure to defend another one. Such was the case earlier today when Donald Graham, the Washington Post's publisher defended the second-class status that regular shareholders receive in comparison to a small liberal clique that has almost exclusive control over the money-losing paper. Incredibly, Graham's argument includes the preposterous premise that making Times (or his paper which operates under a similar structure) be accountable to public investors would promote biased journalism.
Many conservatives don't like Bill O'Reilly. He's an advocate for gun control, amnesty for illegal immigrants, believes in global warming, etc. Still, you have to respect the fact that an entire journalism department just created a "study" which accuses him of being the most vile type of propagandist, going so far as to compare him to a Nazi sympathizer.
You'd think that the Indiana University department has better things to be doing (how about teaching kids about real diversity and fairness in journalism?) than studying a one-hour show on cable, but there it is.
According to the gurus of IU, O'Reilly is eerily similar to Father Charles Coughlin, a Nazi sympathizer during World War II:
"In this study, O'Reilly is a heavier and
less-nuanced user of the propaganda devices than Coughlin," the geniuses tell us.
I think the operative word is "this study." A more objective department might have compared O'Reilly to a myriad of other media figures such as Bill Moyers or Dan Rather who hardly present the news in an objective fashion, all while saying that's exactly what they do. Click past the jump to read an excerpt.
You'd think that by now the left would have abandoned the ludicrous argument that businesses are inherently conservative. Simply untrue. There is so much evidence that this is not the case such as how most public TVs are tuned to CNN, not FNC, or how conservative books generally get worse placement at bookstores compared to liberals ones.
Via LGF, I learned of another proof of this: Virgin Airways is showing a 9/11 conspiracy film, "Loose Change," as the in-flight movie to some travelers. There's contact info for Virgin at Charles's entry.
Update 16:14. To keep track of these types of stories, I've made a new category for it "Corporate liberalism." Use our feedback form to send us examples of this when you see or read about it.
Yesterday, the computer geek world was abuzz with news that someone had managed to break the encryption code on the next-generation DVD system, HD-DVD.
The code was posted all over the internet (a Google search for "09 F9," the first four digits of the code turns up 62,000 results). One site it was posted on was digg.com, a popular and somewhat left-leaning news community. Digg, however, was contacted by Hollywood lawyers who warned them to delete the post or face legal action under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Digg deleted the post and in the process set off a firestorm of user protest within its community. Immediately, everyone started posting the code into non-related entries and denouncing Digg for being a censor. It got so bad that the site shut down entirely.
Despite Al Gore and friends' best hopes, not everyone on the left is running around proclaiming catastrophe when it comes to global warming. One such liberal is Alexander Cockburn who is uneasy about just how close alarmist global warming rhetoric seems to be to a religion:
In a couple of hundred years, historians
will be comparing the frenzies over our supposed human contribution
to global warming to the tumults at the latter end of the tenth
century as the Christian millennium approached. Then, as now,
the doomsters identified human sinfulness as the propulsive factor
in the planet's rapid downward slide.
Here's today's open thread. Oh, and in case you haven't noticed, I've made it easy for everyone to submit NB stories to your favorite social networking web sites. Just click the little icons for whichever site you want and submit.
Turkish, Pakistani and Afghan leaders sign a pact to fight terrorismGood news is no news, at least when it comes to the war on terrorism.
On Monday evening, the State Department released its annual Country Reports on Terrorism showing a number of interesting findings, including steep declines in terrorist attacks and murders in many regions of the globe. That has not been the lede story in America's liberal media, however. Instead, they've chosen to focus their attentions on how terrorism has increased in Iraq and in Afghanistan.
That's not entirely unjustified. Both of those countries have significant amounts of American troops in them (although I doubt that the left-wing French or German press, say, is covering this any differently). What has been unacceptable, however, is the American press's complete ignoring of the rest of the State Department's numbers.
Instead of saying that terrorism has increased markedly in Iraq (the truth), the media are extrapolating beyond that to claim that, as Reuters puts it, "U.S. sees sharp rise in global terrorism deaths."
Over the weekend, blogger Jim Hanson (aka "Uncle Jimbo" at Blackfive) appeared on CNN's "This Week at War" where he asked about how the U.S. military was going to improve its response to the pretty sophisticated usage of the media that Islamic terrorists have begun to develop.
Of course, the fact that the terrorists have gotten good at using the media isn't simply a deficiency of the Pentagon. It's also one of the western media. Hanson pointed this out and mentioned CNN's airing of a tape of an al Quaeda sniper killing an American soldier as being part of the problem.
"You force me to point
out you guys did put out a pretty heinous video of snipers, of the
insurgents killing U.S. troops on CNN, so you guys to some extent
helped them with their own propaganda."
Full transcript of the segment available at Blackfive. Click below the fold to watch the video.
According to the New York Post's Don Kaplan, Roseanne Barr is the early favorite to replace the deposed Rosie O'Donnell.
Barr is no less of a liberal and almost as controversial as O'Donnell. If she were to replace O'Donnell, Barr would continue to tilt the show to the extreme left and fail to bring back the many viewers of "The View" who were offended at the numerous outrageous statements made by O'Donnell.
In a March appearance on HBO's "Real Time," Barr alleged that conservatives "liked Reagan because he's a confederate. [...] They worship him because he dismantled working rights for people."
Barr will bring a left-wing agenda to "The View." She admitted that she had one earlier this year:
For the fifth straight year, America's biggest newspapers (especially the left-leaning ones) have experienced big drops in circulation.
The Audit Bureau of Circulation released its annual numbers today. Among the findings: Two of the three national newspapers (USA Today and the Wall Street Journal) gained circ while the New York Times fell 2 percent on weekdays and nearly three-and-a-half percent on Sundays.
The biggest loser was the Dallas Morning News which was off 14 percent on weekdays and 13 percent on Sundays. The Miami Herald lost 10 percent on Sundays and 5.5 percent on weekdays.
Let's imagine for a moment now what types of stories we'd be hearing about these bad numbers if liberal journalists applied the same standards to themselves as they do to Republican presidents.
Now that you're done laughing, let me say that I don't think that liberal bias is the sole reason for these drops. It's also old thinking. The proof is that some papers like the New York Post and the Indianapolis Star have gained circulation. It can be done in an age of mass alienation from mass media. (h/t Stephen Spruiell)
During the latter part of the Clinton admin, the left media often tossed around the phrase "scandal fatigue," a term of art to explain that certain portions of the public had become upset at the Republican party for going after then-president Clinton over trivial things.
Politicians and their allies do have this tendency. But it's not just Republicans who have it. Democrats do as well.
Since President Bush came into office, Democrats have continued this tradition, cooking up a host of psuedo-scandals on everything from spying on China to Valerie Plame. None of it's stuck. Yet instead of speaking wishfully about "scandal fatigue," the left media has instead been doing the very opposite as John Hinderaker at Powerline points out:
I have heard of journalists thinking they're gods of objectivity but this is a new one. Apparently, when you become an elite journalist, you also become a prophet.
AP reporter Nedra Pickler (her real name) filed a story on the recent Democratic presidential debate 45 minutes before the event had even started. Mickey Kaus reports (h/t Small Dead Animals):
Why have a debate? AP has already written its lede: It's 3:15. The big South Carolina Democratic debate starts in 45 minutes. But you don't have to actually watch it. AP's Nedra Pickler has already filed her story, in the past tense.
presidential candidates largely stood together Thursday in support of a
U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq and then sought to separate themselves
on the details in the first primary debate of the 2008 race.
The "Daily Show" is definitely a liberal show. However, on occassion, it does put liberals in the cross hairs. Such was the case recently when it slammed enviro-hypocrites like Matt Damon and Oprah Winfrey. Enjoy!
Do you remember that Washington Post guy who somehow managed to wiggle himself into the Scooter Libby trial? Well it looks as though someone from NBC has managed to sneak himself into another high-profile trial:
The murder trial of famed record
producer Phil Spector is set to open this Wednesday in a downtown Los
Angeles courtroom. The legendary rock and roll music producer is
charged with killing actress Lana Clarkston at his Alhambra mansion
February 3rd 2003.
presiding Judge, Larry Paul Fidler, has agreed that cameras will be
allowed in the courtroom and the trial will be televised. Judge Fidler
said that he believed it was time to be able move on from the OJ
Simpson murder trial. "We have to get by that case," he said. "There's
going to come a timethat it will be commonplace to televise trials. If
it had not been for Simpson, we'd be there now," Fidler concluded.
Web use has become such a widespread phenomenon that for next year's presidential election, Yahoo is set to host the first-ever online presidential debate.
Unfortunately, all of the web media sources it's chosen to partner up with are liberal leaning. David All explains:
When mega-giant Yahoo! decides to play in the political sandbox, I’m going to pay attention. Yahoo! is currently ranked number one in Alexa.org’s Top 500.
So when it was reported this week that Yahoo! had partnered with Slate, Huffington Post, and PBS's Charlie Rose to host the first-ever online Presidential debate, as a conservative Republican, I immediately felt a curling in my stomach [...]
For a crowd that was very insistent
that America "move on" from the issues surrounding the
impeachment of Bill Clinton, you'd think the far left would give it a
rest when it comes to the subject of the lead-up to the Iraq war. It
doesn't take much digging to conclude that whatever false
intelligence the Bushies believed, the Clintonites did as well--as
did the rest of the western world.
But the left, especially the loony
left, is like a bulldog once it gets an idea into its head. The
latest variant of this intellectual virus is that not only did
President Bush "lie us into Iraq," the American press
enabled, both willingly and unwillingly, his "lies." The
argument is nonsensical, especially the part about how hard-core
liberals like Pinch Sulzberger (and his newspaper which hasn't
endorsed a Republican since Eisenhower) would actually advocate for a
war launched by a Republican.
Aside from its factual erroneousness,
however, there is another big problem with this argument being made
by the media left: it flatly contradicts what they say about the
press when it comes to the media's gross lack of ideological
No one ever mistook Harvard for a right-wing, neocon bastion so the fact that Marvin Kalb, a left-wing, former CBSer professor there just released an extensive report documenting how the Western media play right into the hands of Islamic terrorists comes as quite of a shock.
The report goes beyond that, however, and mentions how that the Western media has become transformed "from an objective observer to fiery advocate" for groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. Here's an excerpt:
For 34 days in the summer of 2006, the world’s attention was once again riveted on the Eastern
shores of the Mediterranean. There, in Lebanon, a lovely country of cedar trees and sectarian
strife, a bloody war erupted between Hezbollah and Israel.
It quickly became apparent that this was not the traditional war between Israel and an Arab
state; it was rather an asymmetrical war, the new prototype of Middle East conflict, between a
state (Israel) and a militant, secretive, religiously fundamentalist sect or faction, such as, in the
case of Lebanon, Hezbollah, the “Party of God,” often referred to as a “state within a state,” or,
in the case of the Gaza strip, Hamas, the radical wing of the Palestinian movement that refuses to
recognize Israel’s right to exist as an independent nation.[...]
What a rare bit of good news to report. Finally a member of the media has apologized to the falsely smeared Duke men's lacrosse team. Ruth Sheehan, staff writer at the Raleigh News Observer, offers this apology in Monday's edition:
Members of the men's Duke lacrosse team: I am sorry.
Surely by now
you know I am sorry. I am writing these words now, and in this form, as
a bookend to 13 months of Duke lacrosse coverage, my role in which
started with a March 27 column that began:
"Members of the men's Duke lacrosse team: You know. We know you know."
was when Durham police and District Attorney Mike Nifong were
describing a "wall of silence" among the men who attended the
now-vaunted lacrosse party at 610 Buchanan Blvd. Nifong, now described
by the state attorney general as a "rogue prosecutor," was widely
respected as solid, even understated.
Update at bottom of post: Other bloggers react to Rosie announcement.
Controversial daytime television host Rosie O'Donnell just confirmed rumors on "The View" today that she will be leaving the show.
"I can't come to terms," O'Donnell said, referring to an ongoing contract dispute that she had been having with ABC, the owner of the show.
Despite her departure, O'Donnell will be a "frequent guest host," she said. "View" founder Barbara Walters said she was not involved in O'Donnell's negotiations with ABC and said that she was "sad" that the former solo daytime host was going to be leaving after such an "interesting" year.
O'Donnell's role as co-host of the syndicated talker has come under scrutiny in recent months for injecting her strident brand of left-wing politics into the show.
Ironically, after Rosie made her announcement, Walters made some left-wing remarks of her own, stating that George W. Bush "is the president, not a king" in response to her walk home from the office.
Video: Real (3.3 MB) WMV (3.8 MB), plus MP3 (604 KB)
Full transcript from NB's Justin McCarthy below the fold.
The left is famous for its general intolerance and suspicion of religion, especially in the public sector. Yet, increasingly, an exception seems to be made for Islam.
Scott at Power Line caught another instance of this in today's Minneapolis Star Tribune where the normally anti-religious editorial page is oddly favorable to a local college's installation of a foot-washing basin for Islamic students:
It's worth remembering that
this question first arose at MCTC as a matter of safety, not religion.
A student slipped and fell after another student used a campus sink to
wash his or her feet. [...]
Banning Christmas carols on the official campus coffee cart -- which
incensed the school's critics -- seems plainly in keeping with a long
string of court rulings that forbid the use of public resources to
endorse a particular religion. But accommodating the prayer practices
of some devout Muslims seems akin to putting kosher items on the
cafeteria menu and letting employees display religious objects in their
private workspaces -- accommodations that MCTC has in fact made in the
Is it just me or does it seem that liberal political figures seem to have a propensity to say "it was just a joke" whenever a particularly idiotic idea of theirs meets with appropriate ridicule?
That at least, is what Sheryl Crow is now saying after her remarks about how everyone should only use one square of toilet paper were derided worldwide. I'm inclined to agree with Ace. He quotes from Crow's original blog post and then asks:
If someone can point out the tropes typically used to indicate ironical intent here, I'd appreciate it. Seems to me like a list of earnestly-proposed "solutions."
All daffy. But daffiness is the left's stock in trade. Whereas irony, self-awareness, and humor generally are not.
Oldie but goodie: Yet another example of Al Gore "killing" the planet in order to "save" it, this time in Saskatchewan, Canada:
Inside the Brandt Centre, he may have been preaching his "Inconvenient Truth".
the truth of the matter is, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore travels
in style, when he goes from place-to-place to explain how people need
to take care of the environment.
Take for instead, his mode of
both, air and ground transportation. Since Gore only travels in hybrid
vehicles, the Lexus that got him from the airport to the Brandt Centre
was just that -- an $80,000 hybrid.
The left-wing press is notorious for its hypocrisy and double-standards, especially when it comes to itself. No news organization is a bigger case in point than the New York Times, the so-called paper of record which touts itself as holding the Bush administration accountable, all the while engaging in unprofessional and unethical behavior and never being held accountable for it.
Well today, some accountability came.
Investors in the New York Times have been outraged as the paper continues to lose market share and bleed money faster than Rosie O'Donnell at a hamburger stand. This has been going on for years and nothing's been done to stop it, in part because the people who own most of the Times stock actually have no control as to who runs the company since their shares can't vote on a majority of the board of directors. That position is reserved for the uber-leftist Sulzberger family (headed by Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger Jr.) who has been running the paper into the ground financially and off a cliff when it comes to bias, all the while stuffing its own pockets.
Fed-up investors finally had enough. Earlier today, they gave the Times a loud vote of no confidence by refusing to vote at all for the small number of director seats that they can vote on:
Roger Friedman, gossip blogger for FNC has an interesting item about the anti-Katie Couric piece that I blogged about yesterday. According to Friedman, the piece was done partly at the behest of Couric's predecessor, the seemingly avuncular Bob Schieffer.
That wouldn't surprise me, but before I get into why, here's Friedman:
[O]ne of Couric's frequently
mentioned enemies is Bob Schieffer, the lovable, durable veteran
journalist who filled in as anchor of the "CBS Evening News"
between Dan Rather's departure and Couric's arrival.
But sources say that Schieffer has been
unhappy lately, mainly because his airtime, which was prominent when
Couric first started, has dwindled in recent weeks.
It's been suggested that a hit piece on
Couric written by Gail Shister in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer
was inspired by Schieffer as its main source.
"He has a direct line to her,"
one insider said.
This type of thing is hardly unprecedented within the television news business. CBS isn't quite the San Diego of "Anchorman," but it's had no shortage of anchor feuds.
If you run a policy group in Washington, your chances of getting on network television are slim if you happen to advocate for a cause not favored by liberals. Your chances are even worse that anything you say won't be slapped with a "conservative" label to warn viewers of your perspective.
That's a good thing. Most groups can be placed somewhere on the political spectrum and that placement should be disclosed to the news consumer. The unfortunate thing, however, is that if you're a liberal group, your affinities often are not disclosed.
Such was the case with this MSNBC.com article on the subject of guns which features a quote from one Joseph Vince who happens to be a gun control advocate. This information is not disclosed to the audience. Instead, we get this:
CBS's $15 million experiment of hiring Katie Couric has not
paid any dividends. Six months into her tenure as anchor of the
"Evening News," Couric has actually fallen in the ratings from her
predecessor, Bob Schieffer, sparking talk within the network that the
former NBC star will soon be shown the door.
Besides ratings, CBS insiders and TV observers quoted by
Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Gail Shister take
issue with Couric over
her inability to relate to the 50+ news viewer and fluff news
Couric's personal pride seems to be the stickler, though: