Just as PJ Gladnick and I were hypothesizing that Democrats were behind the Mark Foley page scandal, Matt Drudge is reporting this:
According to two people close to former congressional page Jordan Edmund, the now famous lurid AOL Instant Message exchanges that led to the resignation of Mark Foley were part of an online prank that by mistake got into the hands of enemy political operatives, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal.
According to one Oklahoma source who knows the former page very well, Edmund, a conservative Republican, goaded Foley to type embarrassing comments that were then shared with a small group of young Hill politicos. The prank went awry when the saved IM sessions got into the hands of political operatives favorable to Democrats. This source, an ally of Edmund, also adamantly proclaims that the former page is not a homosexual. The prank scenario was confirmed by a second associate of Edmund.
The news come on the heels that former FBI Chief Louis Freeh has been named to investigate the mess.
One aspect of the Mark Foley scandal that hasn't gotten a lot of coverage is how the story even became one at all. The first public source of the story was an obscure blog called Stop Sex Predators which seemingly was started with the express intent of outing the GOP congressman's sex life.
How did such a small blog with no readership manage to score such a scoop? Its owner refuses to say. He/she/they has posted this message:
Maybe I'm not so happy that so many people are coming to this blog site.
not interested in media interviews. Thank you for your interest, but if
you were doing your job to begin with, Mark Foley would have been
exposed a long time ago. Instead of wanting to do a story about this
blog, how about covering the fact that the media sat on this story for
over a year. You're as bad as the Congressional Leadership that covered
Today's starter: Patrick Frey (better known as Patterico in the blog world) has been doing a series of interviews with a military nurse who was stationed at the Gitmo prison for accused terrorists. In today's interview excerpt, the nurse talks about how detainees there commit violence against U.S. personnel and that the guards and they, not the staff, are the ones who have desecrated the Koran.
So why haven't we seen this kind of journalism from the liberal media? Are they really more willing to take the word of terrorists and their sympathizers over that of the American serviceman? Or is it just that prison abuse is a more sensational story? Or is it ultimately about being suspicious of Gitmo staff because their commander in chief is a Republican?
Related: Gitmo detainees have gained weight while in U.S. custody.
Today's starter: The latest Rasmussen poll says the Senate is a toss-up, meanwhile, the sports betting sites I mentioned earlier are trading GOP House retention a good deal lower than before. Who will control Congress in 2007?
I'm also pleased to welcome our latest NB sponsor, HistoryShots. They make attractive posters tracking various historical moments such as the emergence of political parties and the race to land on the moon.
As the Virginia senate race continues to degenerate into a media cesspool of preposterous racial accusations, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann's "Countdown" took things further downward Friday by deliberately editing a report on the latest Democratic activist accusing Republican George Allen of being a racist:
On Friday, "Countdown" reported on the latest allegations against
George Allen. We noted that they did so by rerunning a report that
aired Thursday on Hardball. David Shuster interviewed a woman who said
she heard Allen using racial slurs.
But as we revealed exclusively on Olbermann Watch, the Countdown
version differed from the original "Hardball" broadcast in one
significant respect. Snipped from the taped piece were a series of
questions that revealed the political affiliation of accuser Pat
Today we're unveiling a new occasional feature, a contest for readers of NewsBusters.
Since Rosie O'Donnell has joined the ABC-syndicated show "The View," tensions have risen pretty dramatically on the set between the co-hosts. Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the lone right-of-center host has reportedly brought to tears repeatedly. The rest of the show's staff is also upset.
Your task: Predict who will be the first to leave the show and when. The person closest to the date will become the winner of your very own Rosie O'Donnell doll, voodoo pins not included, and any conservative book of your choosing. (Entries must be posted as comments on NewsBusters before the end of the day Wed., Oct.
Here's a blast from the past: The only woman ever accused and convicted of being Tokyo Rose, an anti-American radio announcer during World War II died this week. She was later pardoned by president Gerald Ford after word got out that some of her accusers were lying. Here's an excerpt from the Washington Post's story:
Iva Ikuko Toguri D'Aquino, 90, an American woman branded "Tokyo Rose" during World War II, imprisoned for making treasonous radio broadcasts and decades later exonerated with a presidential pardon, died Sept. 26 at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. No cause of death was reported.
Although nearly a dozen female broadcasters were given the moniker during World War II, Mrs. D'Aquino was the one most tarred by the name Tokyo Rose, which, along with the name of Japanese War Minister Hideki Tojo, came to personify Axis infamy in the Pacific.
Taunting millions of servicemen with stories of infidelity on the home front, false reports of battle outcomes meant to demoralize them and frequent spins of pop songs to keep them listening, the broadcasts of Radio Tokyo were notorious instruments in the propaganda war. Many American sailors and soldiers found the broadcasts cartoonishly incredible, which Mrs. D'Aquino said was exactly her intention.
The name Tokyo Rose was an American invention. On air, Mrs. D'Aquino called herself "Orphan Ann," a reference both to her favorite radio program as a child and her lonely status as an American trapped in enemy territory. She refused to renounce her U.S. citizenship during the war, and many described her as a victim of her own courage and naiveté.
In today's Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan sounds a
pessimistic note about today's media landscape. Sparked by former
president Bill Clinton's contentious interview with Fox's Chris
Wallace, she hails the demise of the liberal elites who monopolized
America's political agenda through control of the media but bemoans
what she believes to be the proliferation of cultural detritus. I'll
have more on this later but I thought it's worth putting out right now.
Do you think she's right or wrong?
The new media did not divide us.
The new media gave voice to our divisions. The result: more points of
view, more subjects discussed, more data presented. This, in a great
republic, a great democracy, a leader of the world in a dangerous time,
is not bad but good.
But nothing comes free. All big changes have unexpected
benefits and unanticipated drawbacks. Here is a loss: the man on the
Forty and 50 years ago, mainstream
liberal media executives--middle-aged men who fought in Tarawa or
Chosin, went to Cornell, and sat next to the man in the gray flannel
suit on the train to the city, who hoisted a few in the bar car, and
got off at Greenwich or Cos Cob, Conn.--those great old liberals had
some great things in them.
One was a high-minded interest in
imposing certain standards of culture on the American people. They
actually took it as part of their mission to elevate the country.
Here's a shocker: Oliver Stone doesn't like President Bush or the Iraq war. More of a shock is his remark: "Terrorism is a manageable action. It can be
Is it just me or does that seem surprisingly honest for a media liberal to admit he feels this way?
Filmmaker Oliver Stone blasted President Bush Thursday, saying he
has "set America back 10 years." Stone added that he is "ashamed for my
country" over the war in Iraq and the U.S. policies in response to the
attacks of Sept. 11.
"We have destroyed the world in the name of security. [...] From Sept. 12 on, the incident (the attacks) was politicized and it
has polarized the entire world," said Stone. "It is a shame because it
is a waste of energy to see that the entire world five years later is
still convulsed in the grip of 9/11.
In a speech today on the floor of the Senate, James Inhofe (R-Okla.) blasted the news media for its bias on the subject of global warming. He also went after a completely one-sided report CNN aired on today's "American Morning" which portrayed him as a servant of the oil and gas companies with his out-of-the-mainstream views on the issue.
Below is a transcript of the CNN piece, filed by "Morning" anchor Miles O'Brien. Read on for Inhofe's remarks, including his disputation of O'Brien's assertion that the senator refused to be interviewed by CNN:
MILES O'BRIEN: In California, they're taking some tough action aimed at stopping global warming. The state imposing a cap on greenhouse gases. In the U.S., politicians have been slow to recognize global warming as a problem. Well, that is changing. An influential skeptic remains. No question, there is a political climate change inside the Republican Party. Arnold Schwarzenegger in San Francisco announcing with great fanfare, a California law to curb emissions of greenhouse gases at the root of global warming.
Michael Moore, darling of the American left, is also a big hit in Islamic fundamentalist quarters. We already knew that Osama likes him, now, we learn that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is also a big fan.
Following his infamous speech to the United Nations, Ahmadinejad held a few receptions for Iranians and Iranian-Americans as well as the media. His translator while he was in this country wrote an account of Ahmadinejad's itinerary:
The following morning, Mr. Ahmadinejad held a 7:30 a.m. breakfast meeting, again at his hotel, with American academics and journalists. Earlier, he had expressed some interest in having Michael Moore attend, and although attempts were made to reach him (even by myself, since I was asked), they were unsuccessful. I was seated between Gary Sick (of Columbia University) and Jon Lee Anderson (of The New Yorker), and three hot issues were covered: nuclear power, Israel and the Holocaust.
Since the other threads got full on tonight's posts, I'm opening up another thread for comments. I also want to point everyone to a new project: the NewsBusters FAQ. It's the place to go to get all your questions answered about NB. It's nowhere near complete so please post your thoughts.
Fox News president Roger Ailes blasted former president Bill Clinton in an interview with AP reporter Dave Bauder:
Fox News chief Roger Ailes says former President Clinton's response
to Chris Wallace's question about going after Osama bin Laden
represents "an assault on all journalists."
Ailes said Clinton had a "wild overreaction" in the interview,
broadcast on "Fox News Sunday." Hundreds of thousands of people
subsequently watched clips over the Internet, with Fox foes rallying
"If you can't sit there and answer a question from a professional,
mild-mannered, respectful reporter like Chris Wallace, then the hatred
for journalists is showing," Ailes said in an interview with The
Associated Press on Wednesday. "All journalists need to raise their
eyebrows and say, `hold on a second.'"
All the buzz generated by Chris Wallace's explosive "Fox News Sunday" interview with former president Bill Clinton surely came as great news to the Fox News publicity staff and management. "Sunday" has long lagged behind its competitors and this was just the kind of press it needed.
Part of the reason the interview got so much attention was the internet. But because Fox hasn't provided an easy way for its visitors to link to videos, all the web traffic for the interview went to sites which did make it easy to view, YouTube, Hot Air, and others. This must've upset someone in the legal department over at Fox Television because yesterday, YouTube users who used the keywords "fox news" in their descriptions of the Clinton-Wallace exchange received cease and desist letters from YouTube which said Fox News had lodged copyright claims against it. (h/t USS Neverdock)
After booting Rush Limbaugh over non-political remarks that
media favor Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb because he
is black, ESPN, the radio home of Keith Olbermann, allowed left-wing
director Spike Lee to go off on a rant about how New Orleans is not
rebuilt. Limbaugh touched on the topic in his show Tuesday:
must tell you, I watched the game a little bit last night. I had a very
important secret meeting and I didn't get to see the entire game,
missed some of the beginning, but as soon as I tuned in who do I see
but Spike Lee in the booth being asked questions as though he's an
expert on social policy and everything else. I listened to a little bit
of it, and I kept saying, "It's a football game! Couldn't you have done
this in the pregame show?" I find out they did, they devoted a lot of
time to the pregame show.
was pure politics in the booth at ESPN last night, and it was pure
liberal politics, disguised as social compassion. Give us the game,
guys! I'm getting sick of all these shots of the fans and the crowds
and the shots that take us away from the field. It's no different than
if you're at the game and a bunch of drunks in the row in front of you
stand up and you can't see what's going on on the field. That's what
these networks do. I don't want to hear Spike Lee when I'm watching the
Atlanta Falcons and the Saints. I don't care. He got his HBO
documentary. It doesn't matter to me. This ain't a social
welfare-concern show. Now, I know that there might have been some
pressure brought by the NFL. We gotta make New Orleans look good. We
gotta make people understand still a lot of work to do here and so
forth, but it got so syrupy and Milquetoast that I was about to puke.
It's a football game! And football announcers, I thought, were not
supposed to delve into politics. Where did I hear that once? Did
politics we get all over the place, and we got liberal politics, and
how rotten and horrible it is. "You may think Bourbon Street looks
good, but we had to go on a tour of all these areas of New Orleans that
are still dilapidated and un-repaired."
Hinderaker of Power Line points out the broader implications
of CNN being foisted upon Glenn and many other travelers:
This has become my major issue with air travel, worse even
having to throw away my shaving cream and toothpaste. (Want a stock
tip? Invest in a company that makes really, really small toiletries.)
The airports of America--as far as I can tell, there aren't any
exceptions--have entered into a contract with CNN whereby CNN's
outrageously one-sided coverage blares non-stop at every airline gate
in the U.S. Talk about a captive audience! You really don't have any
choice but to sit at the gate, waiting for your plane to load, and the
volume is turned up so loud that you can't miss a single snarky attack
on the Bush administration. Frankly, I think I'd rather be
waterboarded. Do you suppose John McCain can do something about this?
This is just one of many manifestations of the fact that the
Democratic Party is the "home team" of American politics. CNN is the
"official" news network, viewed by corporate America as neutral and
unobjectionable even though, in fact, it is relentlessly liberal. If
anyone proposed that they shift the contract over to Fox, for the sake
of more competent news coverage if nothing else, the reaction would be:
we can't do that, Fox is conservative! It isn't, actually, for the most
part. But occasional moments of conservatism will drive a network more
or less underground, while constant liberalism is considered middle of
the road, and suitable for infliction--like it or not--on the air
travelers of America.
had the same experience, most airport TVs I've run across show
CNN. But CNN is not only the channel of most major airports,
it's also the channel in most public spaces where ESPN isn't being
shown, simply because liberalism is the default political viewpoint set
up for Americans. It's not the raving, Bush-is-Hitler bile that
left-wing blogs and Air America pine for, but it's there nonetheless,
surrounding us all like a comforting political amniotic fluid, helping
us know what's right, who's evil, and what's sensible and moderate.
It's also probably one of the bigger reasons why liberal media bias
As alert readers have noticed, NewsBusters is now offering advertisers a chance to get your message out. If you're interested in a chance to reach out to NB's 70,000 daily visitors, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.
Liberal press critics are quite the paradox. Most such writers like Eric Alterman, Michael Wolffe, and Michael Massing, are pretty sophisticated about the media in non-political matters, but when it comes to politics, they can't help repeating a slightly toned down version of rhetoric you'll find over at the Daily Kos. They deny the press is tilted toward the left (ignoring scores of content studies and surveys of reporters) and yet they cheer when the media chooses to favor the left, as if that's the media's natural role. Which it is, of course--if you're a liberal
This line of thought is far too common among left-wing media critics. In an interview with the Huffington Post, writer Michael Massing provided a textbook example of it, arguing that the press has properly began pushing back against the Bush Administration while also saying that conservative critics are fundamentally wrong in their opinion of the media:
My working hypothesis on all this, which I have mentioned in some of
those articles, is that the more powerful the President, the more timid
the press. There's an inverse relationship between the popularity of
the President and the willingness of the press to challenge him. And
right now, Bush's popularity is very low. I think we're seeing the
press pushing back in a very strong way. If I were writing an article
today about what's been happening, I would say more about how the press
has been pushing back. And I think there's a big appetite for this
among readers. The Bush administration is so beleaguered and has done
so many things that have upset the public that the press sees an
opening and has been moving to take advantage of it.
If 35,000 people were to show up and rally against a speech President Bush right across the street from him, that would surely be news. Thousands of people, led by a few political figures such as Jesse Jackson, Noam Chomsky, and others protesting a world leader they consider to be a threat should be news if only because of the proximity.
Change the scenario to include thousands of demonstrators against Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, though, and you see another perfect portrait of media bias according to Meryl Yourish (h/t Instapundit):
Can you find a news source for the rally against Ahmadinejad at the
UN yesterday? Correction: Can you find a non-Jewish media source, or a
non-blogger source, for the rally?
This story about a Vietnamese man who was a spy for the communists during the war as well as a reporter for Reuters and Time magazine is nothing short of an outrage. It also makes you wonder how many agents for totalitarianism are working in the press today. An's assertions of impartiality are all too familar as well. (An old MRC MediaWatch item on him is here.)
HANOI, Vietnam - Pham Xuan An, who led a remarkable and perilous double life as a communist spy and a respected reporter for Western news organizations during the Vietnam War, died Wednesday at age 79. [...]
In the history of wartime espionage, few were as successful as An. He straddled two worlds for most of the 15-year war in Indochina as an undercover communist agent while also working as a journalist, first for Reuters news service and later for 10 years as Time magazine's chief Vietnamese reporter — a role that gave him access to military bases and background briefings.
He was so well-known for his sources and insight that many Americans who knew him suspected he worked for the CIA.
Before Saigon fell to the communists, An worked to help friends escape, including South Vietnam's former security chief who feared death if he was found by northern forces. An later revealed his true identity as a Viet Cong commander, but said he never reported any false information or communist propaganda while in his role as a journalist.
Sometimes when I'm talking about the media with someone who's smart but
not particularly that political, they'll sometimes wonder why it's
worth pointing out press bias or unfairness. The way they figure it,
basically everyone is smart enough to take everything they see in the
press with a grain of salt. If they come across something that's not
true, they'll reject it.
It's a nice idea in theory, but in practice it just doesn't work that
way. Most people are either too busy, too apathetic, or not intelligent
enough to question the accuracy of something they see on TV or read
The latest Gallup survey provides a great illustration for this point.
According to Gallup, nearly one-half of the American public believes
that President Bush is deliberately manipulating oil prices to help
Republicans. The following is from USA
Today's recount of the poll (h/t: Ace):
Back when I was in college, I was involved in journalism in various capacities, in the classroom and at student newspapers. I couldn't help but notice in each place I went, women far outnumbered men. The Star-Tribune of Minnesota has picked up on a similar trend in the television industry. Men seem to be disappearing:
In TV news these days, a good man is hard to find.
networks, men still rule -- Katie Couric notwithstanding -- but at the
local level, women have taken the lead. Nationally, they account for 57
percent of TV news anchors. [...]
The male disappearing act
starts in the classroom. At the University of Minnesota this fall,
women outnumber men 227 to 125 in the professional journalism major,
which includes broadcasting. Ken Stone, a broadcast journalism
professor who spent 20 years working in radio and TV news, has 10 women
and six men in his advanced reporting class; he said that's as balanced
as it gets.
Stone traces the trend to the 1970s, when women and
minorities protested about domination of the airwaves by white men. One
of his first journalism professors asked the men in his class to stand
up, then told them, "Get a new career, there are too many of you." [...]
Breaking in a parallel universe somewhere: NBC is set to air live footage of actor Jean Reno portraying the Islamic prophet Mohammed engaging in sex acts with another man.
In our real world, according to Matt Drudge, the network is going to be airing a "special" concert featuring over-the-hill singer Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone (aka Madonna) singing her song "Live to Tell" while standing on a disco-style crucifix and sporting a glittery pretend crown of thorns. It's a repeat of shows she's done in Europe.
Frankly, I have to yawn at this point. There's nothing new here. If these Hollywood types had any real guts or edge, they'd do PR stunts in the style of Trey Parker and Matt Stone's "Team America." But since they and Ciccone are pseudo artists, that's not likely to happen.
Note to the professionally offended: I am not advocating ridiculing any particular religion here. Just saying what Ciccone et al. would do if they ever thought about living up their supposed ideals.
Bill Press, the former CNN and MSNBC host refuses
to yield ground on the Plame story. Starting to sound a lot like a crazy guy shouting about aliens, Press creates a unified
conspiracy theory of Plame. That's a little difficult given recent news
events, so Press has to resort to distorting the words of columnist
So where's my apology to Karl Rove?
what many readers want to know: Having accused Karl Rove of leading a
conspiracy within the Bush White House to reveal the identity of
undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame, don't I owe Rove an apology now
that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage has admitted
that he, not Rove, was Novak's primary source?
here's my answer: Hell, no! Armitage's involvement doesn't disprove the
Rove conspiracy. It only proves it was a lot wider than we originally
With the gun control movement running for the hills nationwide,
opponents of the Second Amendment have taken comfort in the fact that many of America's largest cities remain solidly in the anti-gun camp. In such places, it's not uncommon
for local government officials to initiate so-called gun buyback
programs where police purchase weapons citizens bring in, no questions
Basically no one who studies firearms policy believes
these initiatives actually work to reduce crime or take guns away from
by the DOJ and even Harvard University have discounted the
effectiveness of buyback programs. Just a few months ago, the liberal
Boston Phoenix alternative newspaper ran an article
that contended they enable criminals to afford newer, more deadly
weapons. Most of the time, the bulk of residents selling their guns are
older, as are their firearms--not exactly the kind of people you'd see
engaging in armed robbery.
All of this information
can be easily found on the internet. Surely the District of Columbia,
which hosted a buyback program over the weekend, was aware of it. One
would hope that at least one person at the Associated Press or the Washington Post
knew that gun buyback programs don't work, or that they'd at least have
the journalistic inclination to look into how effective such
initiatives are. But hard-hitting, thoughtful local reporting isn't
exactly in high supply in America's newspapers today, to say nothing of
research critical of liberal shibboleths.
If you thought Al Gore would somehow go away after the 24/7 promotion of his lecture film "An Inconvenient Truth," you couldn't be more wrong. The failed presidential candidate is continuing to build his media empire with a follow-up book entitled "The Assault on Reason." He's going to use its commercial appeal to decide whether he should run for president or not, at least according to the Washington Post:
Although saying he has no plans to run for president in 2008, former
vice president Al Gore has nonetheless left the door ever so slightly
ajar. It's a good bet that door will swing open a good bit wider come
That is when Gore is scheduled to publish his next
book. With no fanfare, he signed a few weeks ago with Penguin Press to
write "The Assault on Reason."
As described by editor Scott Moyers [any relation to Bill?], the book is a meditation on how
"the public arena has grown more hostile to reason," and how solving
problems such as global warming is impeded by a political culture with
a pervasive "unwillingness to let facts drive decisions."
First there was "Dowdification," named after the NYT columnist's deliberate truncation of a speech by President Bush to falsely imply he had said al Qaeda was "no longer a problem. Now, Patterico (aka Patrick Frey) suggests a new term, "Isikoffed" for the Newsweek reporter who similarly truncated a memo by Alberto Gonzales to make the Bush admin look like it considers all the Geneva Conventions to be "quaint" when it comes to the war on terrorism. Instead, Gonzales was making the sensible point that some of them, such as the requiring prison guards to provide inmates with scientific instruments and athletic clothes, are obsolete.
That the MSM has not sufficiently corrected the record on this point continues to be a problem since many liberals in and out of the blogosphere continue to believe this bit of misinformation.
Update 11:02. While you're over at Patterico's, be sure and read his post about how the LA Times is providing cover for a left-wing church leader who basically said voting for Republicans is a sin.
Cyrus Nowrasteh, the screenwriter behind ABC's "Path to 9/11" miniseries, has an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal about his experience. Unsurprisingly, he has little good will for left-wing critics who tried to censor a film that portrayed Democrats in any kind of a bad light:
It would have been good to be able to report due diligence on the part of those who judged the film, the ones who held forth on it before watching a moment of it. Instead, in the rush to judgment, and the effort to portray the series as the work of a right-wing zealot, much was made of my "friendship" with Rush Limbaugh (a connection limited to two social encounters), but nothing of any acquaintance with well-known names on the other side of the political spectrum. No reference to Abby Mann, for instance, with whom I worked on "10,000 Black Men Named George" (whose hero is an African-American communist) or Oliver Stone, producer of "The Day Reagan Was Shot," a film I wrote and directed. Clearly, those enraged that a film would criticize the Clinton administration's antiterrorism policies--though critical of its successor as well--were willing to embrace only one scenario: The writer was a conservative hatchetman.