Well, sports fans, we knew if the Democrats won back Congress, even though history has shown this typically happens during the second year of a president’s second term, liberal media members would be shouting from the rooftops about how extraordinary and unprecedented a victory it was. Of course, such sentiments coming from a shill like the New York Times’ Paul Krugman is certainly no surprise. However, it should make for good laughs on a Saturday (emphasis mine throughout):
But we may be seeing the downfall of movement conservatism -- the potent alliance of wealthy individuals, corporate interests and the religious right that took shape in the 1960s and 1970s. This alliance may once have had something to do with ideas, but it has become mainly a corrupt political machine, and America will be a better place if that machine breaks down.
It is important for the reader to remember what Krugman said here, because, true to form, he is going to contradict it later: “the potent alliance of wealthy individuals, corporate interests and the religious right that took shape in the 1960s and 1970s.” Krugman continued:
Well, this certainly didn’t take long, did it? The Time magazine website just published an article about a lawsuit being filed in Germany seeking criminal prosecution for Donald Rumsfeld over abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay (hat tips to Joe Myers and Jay at Stop The ACLU):
Just days after his resignation, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is about to face more repercussions for his involvement in the troubled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. New legal documents, to be filed next week with Germany's top prosecutor, will seek a criminal investigation and prosecution of Rumsfeld, along with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA director George Tenet and other senior U.S. civilian and military officers, for their alleged roles in abuses committed at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
In a rare edition of our “Friday Night Fights” feature, the well-known duo from the Fox News hit “Hannity & Colmes” teamed together on Thursday to take on Rev. Al Sharpton (hat tip to our friend at Ms Underestimated). To set this melee up, a radio ad was played in Atlanta, Georgia, just before Election Day suggesting that a Republican-run America is like the United States before the civil rights movement (as reported by NewsBusters here):
You think fighting off dogs and water hoses in the Sixties was bad, imagine if we sit idly by and let the right-wing Republicans take control of the Fulton County Commission.
Rev. Al Sharpton was invited on H&C to discuss this outrage, and was met with punches from both sides when he didn’t condemn the message. Colmes began (video and full transcript follow): “I'll tell you, Reverend, I'm glad Democrats won, but I don't like ads that compare Republicans to Bill Connor. And you don't really believe that if Republicans got re-elected there that Bull Connor would -- his spirit would live on.”
Lately, it seems that comedian Bill Maher is in a competition with MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann as to who can say the most virulent, disgraceful and absurd thing about Republicans. In a posting at HuffnPuff Thursday, Maher compared members of the GOP to radical Muslims, stated that religion and the “Islamic Menace” are myths, and suggested that the Administration are fascists. Not bad for one six-paragraph article, wouldn’t you agree?
Here are some of the low points (emphasis mine throughout):
Was it an innocent scratching of the nose, or a classic Goose moment right out of the movie “Top Gun?” I report, you decide.
In a question and answer session at Kansas State University on Thursday, outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was posed the following: “If you were going to give yourself a letter grade for your performance as Secretary of Defense, what grade would that be?”
As he answered, "Oh, I'd let history worry about that," Rumsfeld used his middle finger to scratch his nose. Coincidence, Freudian slip, or something much, much more? And, did CNN intentionally show this clip on “Lou Dobbs Tonight” to discredit the former Secretary? Regardless, I hate it when it does that.
For your analysis and viewing pleasure, the incident in question is at the tail-end of the following video.
As NewsBuster Brad Wilmouth reported, comedian Bill Maher was on with CNN’s Larry King Wednesday night saying some rather outrageous things. Beyond his derogatory comments about President Bush, Maher told King: “A lot of the chiefs of staff, the people who really run the underpinnings of the Republican Party, are gay.” When King pressed Maher for names, Maher said, “Ken Mehlman” (video here).
King then questioned Maher’s sincerity: “I never heard that. I'm walking around in a fog. I never...Ken Mehlman? I never heard that. But the question is...”
Maher answered: “Maybe you don't go to the same bathhouse I do, Larry.”
Now, according to the Huffington Post – which has video of both segments here – when CNN replayed this show, it cut out this part. Makes one wonder why. Regardless, what follows is a full transcript of this segment.
Most people know Ted Rall as the highly acclaimed liberal cartoonist with impeccably bad taste as reported by NewsBusters here. What you might not have known is that he is also an op-ed writer.
With that in mind, on Wednesday, Rall published a rather disgraceful piece of hyperbole and vitriol that quite demonstrated just how far off the reservation this man has strayed. It was titled “Our Long National Nightmare Has Just Begun” (emphasis mine throughout): “I'm tempted, in the aftermath of the widest and most stunning electoral repudiation of Republicanism since Watergate, to mark the Democratic recapture of governorships, the House of Representatives (and probably the Senate) as the beginning of the end of Bush's fascism lite, and thus a long overdue vindication of what I've been saying about him since his December 2000 coup d'état.
Stick with this, folks, because it’s going to get worse:
As many NewsBusters have commented, the liberal media were anything but gracious in victory last night. CNN political analyst Paul Begala was a fine example when during the 8PM “Situation Room,” he took the opportunity to attack the most popular conservative radio talk show host in the country (video here with transcript to follow).
As the conversation centered on the Missouri Senate race, and how stem-cell research and Michael J. Fox might have impacted the outcome, Begala said the following (as previously reported here):
But Bill Bennett was not the face and the voice of the anti-embryonic-stem-cell-research debate. It became Rush Limbaugh, a drug-addled gasbag who is self-discredited. That's good for Claire McCaskill.
Obviously, Begala sees himself as a uniter and not a divider. Thankfully, Bill Bennett was there to clean up the mess:
As NewsBusters reported on Tuesday, the media have been all over allegations that Republicans are using a variety of tactics to intimidate Democrat voters in Virginia. Information obtained from the Virginia State Board of Elections (VSBE) suggests that these reports are exaggerations based upon information released by the James Webb for Senate campaign.
Furthermore, there is evidence that liberal bloggers were used to disseminate this material, in particular Daily Kos.
It appears that this firestorm began Monday when the Webb for Senate campaign created a press release that was e-mailed to a variety of recipients (complete text here). Oddly, this release doesn’t appear to be at the Webb for Senate website, and is not materializing in any LexisNexis searches. It does, however, appear at some blogs; more on that later.
The polls have only been open for a few hours, and MSNBC is already reporting allegations of voter intimidation in Virginia. Of course, “Hardball’s” David Shuster only discussed Democrat complaints towards Republicans even though the FBI refused to comment (video here). The article on this subject at MSNBC.com stated (hat tip to TVNewser):
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the possibility of voter intimidation in the U.S. Senate race between Sen. George Allen, a Republican, and Democratic challenger James Webb, officials told NBC News.
Have you heard the brouhaha about so-called “robo-calls”? These are repeat telephone calls by a telemarketing software program that critics claim violate federal communications laws. As you might imagine, the media have been wrongly depicting this as exclusively being a Republican strategy, while ignoring the Democrat campaigns that are doing exactly the same thing.
The New York Times published an article about this subject Tuesday, and CNN reported on this matter during Monday’s “Situation Room” (video here with transcript to follow). Of course, neither outlet chose to inform the public about Democrat candidates utilizing the same telephone strategy as reported here, here, here, and here (hat tip to Michelle Malkin).
CNN’s Jacki Schechner declared: “Wolf, there's an audio clip that's making the rounds online on some of the top liberal blogs and we got the same clip from Tammy Duckworth's campaign, she's the Democrat running in Illinois' sixth district against Republican Peter Roskam. Take a listen.”
Isn't it interesting how CNN these days seems fixated on the propaganda being disseminated at "top liberal blogs?" Keeping with that theme, Schechner continued:
Somehow, in the midst of all the surprising polling data released on Sunday, this article by Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell went unnoticed. In her piece entitled “Balance and Bias on the Political Beat,” Howell pointed out some problems with the paper’s coverage of Sen. George Allen (R-Virginia) and senatorial candidate Michael Steele of Maryland (emphasis mine throughout):
Allen supporters think he can't catch a break; I sympathize. The macaca coverage went on too long, and a profile of Allen was relentlessly negative without balancing coverage of what made him a popular governor and senator.
What a difference a week makes – along with a huge gaffe by a former presidential candidate, and some unexpected changes in polling results.
The New York Times has published an Election Day article entitled “For Democrats, Even a Gain May Feel Like a Failure” (hat tip to AJ Strata) that dramatically lowered the bar of expectations for the Party of Pelosi and Reid. The piece by Adam Nagourney ominously began:
In most midterm elections, an out-of-power party picking up, say, 14 seats in the House and five seats in the Senate could call it a pretty good night.
But for Democrats in 2006, that showing would mean coming up one seat shy of taking control of both the Senate and the House. And it would probably be branded a loss — in the case of the House, a big one.
Here’s a shocking thought for your Election Day: A Keith Olbermann-style anchorman on every television news program on every channel spewing vitriol and animus as only he can. Some Halloween trick, huh? Well, if Aaron Barnhart, television critic of the Kansas City Star is right, this could be the case in the near future (hat tip to TVNewser).
Barnhart’s column on Monday entitled “Numbers look good for Keith Olbermann; Is MSNBC newscaster's 'Countdown' journalism's saving grace?” absolutely gushed praise on America’s premiere Bush-hater (emphasis mine throughout):
Keith Olbermann is, to date, the most perfect expression of [the fake newsman] idea. As he continues to pick up steam -- that he will pass CNN’s Paula Zahn for second place at 7 p.m. seems inevitable -- it’s worth asking if his brand of journalism will be, and should be, the future of TV journalism.
This is just too delicious. Propagandist Michael Moore posted a message at his website Monday beseeching folks to vote for Democrats (hat tip to Michelle Malkin). Big surprise, right? However, trust me, it’s worth a chuckle: “Tomorrow night, those who sent 2,800 of our soldiers to their deaths -- all because of a lie the president concocted -- will find out if America chooses to reward them -- or remove them.”
Nice beginning, huh? Just imagine the kind of person that is motivated by this kind of stuff. Probably a Keith Olbermann fan, right? Alas, Moore was just warming up:
Just four days before the election, the network news shows downplayed reports of a major drop in the unemployment rate and the creation of 231,000 new jobs. CBS’s Katie Couric groused, “But do the jobs out there pay enough?” NBC’s Brian Williams declared, “That was below expectations,” and ABC’s Charles Gibson gave the issue a total of 15 seconds.
That wasn’t the way the networks handled bad news in 2002 and 2004, when the final employment reports before Election Day were disappointing. On both occasions, ABC’s “World News Tonight” began its broadcast discussing the negative reports.
As Ace’s “CNN To The Rescue” headline both accurately and comically depicted, the most trusted name in news released a poll of its own on Monday with significantly different numbers than those released by three other media outlets yesterday as reported by Newsbusters here, here, and here. Not surprisingly, much like results shared on Saturday by Newsweek, CNN’s polling organization, Opinion Research Corporation, found that support for Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections has expanded in the past week by nine percentage points.
Yes, folks, you don’t need to wash your monitor's screen. CNN said there's been an increase in Democrat support of nine percentage points in the past week. Don't believe it? Well, read it for yourself:
This certainly wasn’t something I expected to see published just hours before a crucial election, but there it was in Monday’s Washington Post (hat tip to Patterico), “Soldiers in Iraq Say Pullout Would Have Devastating Results.” Granted, Josh White’s fabulous piece got relegated to page A13. But, let’s not look a gift-horse in the mouth (emphasis mine throughout):
For the U.S. troops fighting in Iraq, the war is alternately violent and hopeful, sometimes very hot and sometimes very cold. It is dusty and muddy, calm and chaotic, deafeningly loud and eerily quiet.
The one thing the war is not, however, is finished, dozens of soldiers across the country said in interviews. And leaving Iraq now would have devastating consequences, they said.
This is pretty hysterical. On Sunday, three different polls – Pew Research Center, USA Today/Gallup, and Washington Post/ABC News – were released showing evidence that the preference for Republicans in the upcoming midterm elections has been surging in the past couple of weeks, with the gap favoring Democrats now down to between four and seven percentage points. However, Newsweek released the results of its own poll Saturday, and the magazine actually sees the Democrats expanding their lead. I kid you not (emphasis mine throughout):
Imagine if you will that a month ago, a major newspaper, in combination with a major polling organization, had pronounced that the Republicans were ahead by 23 percentage points in voter preference for the upcoming midterm elections. Further imagine that just two weeks ago, this lead had been trimmed to thirteen. And, just for argument’s sake, with two days to go before the pivotal elections, the Democrats had cut this lead to only seven points. Do you think the opening paragraph in the article on this subject by this major, left-leaning newspaper might address this?
Well, USA Today just posted an article at its website (hat tip to The Strata-Sphere) concerning a new poll done with the Gallup Organization (this author is waiting with baited breath for the full results to be published!), and the most important finding of the survey didn’t come until the sixth paragraph (emphasis mine): “What's more, President Bush's last-ditch push for votes and Sen. John Kerry's comments that seemed to denigrate the education level of U.S. forces in Iraq have helped energize GOP voters. A Democratic advantage of 23 percentage points a month ago and 13 points two weeks ago is now down to 7.”
Instead of leading with that important information, the reader had to wade through the following:
Another poll was released on Sunday showing a late surge of support for Republicans in the upcoming midterm elections on Tuesday (grateful hat tip to NB reader American Infidel). This time it’s the Pew Research Center defying conventional wisdom (emphasis mine throughout):
A nationwide Pew Research Center survey finds voting intentions shifting in the direction of Republican congressional candidates in the final days of the 2006 midterm campaign. The new survey finds a growing percentage of likely voters saying they will vote for GOP candidates. However, the Democrats still hold a 48% to 40% lead among registered voters, and a modest lead of 47%-43% among likely voters.
In my first piece about this surprising Washington Post/ABC News poll published on Sunday indicating that the Republicans have been picking up ground on the Democrats in the past two weeks, I said that it would be interesting to see how this survey got reported. As compared to what ABC’s “This Week” did Sunday morning (i.e. beginning the program discussing it), CBS’s response was much more predictable. However, what was peculiar is the person CBS used to discredit the data given his pedigree and bona fides.
With that in mind, Bob Schieffer invited CBS political analyst Stuart Rothenberg on Sunday’s “Face the Nation.” Rothenberg made it clear that he sees a big Democrat victory in the House on Tuesday (up to 40 seats), and the Democrats picking up four to seven seats in the Senate (video here). As the discussion moved to who will actually turn out to vote, Rothenberg questioned the methodology of the Washington Post/ABC News poll:
This Thursday New York Times article slipped under the radar until Howard Kurtz referred to it Sunday morning on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” Thanks for the hat tip, Howard. Anyway, it was rather shocking – even though it was buried on page A22 – to see a headline like “G.O.P. Ads Star Democratic Leader” at the Times. Even more amazing were the opening paragraphs (links to four of these ads follow):
Representative Melissa Bean of Illinois, a Democrat, has a Republican opponent in next week’s election, but he does not appear in the advertisement that skewers her. Instead, that role is being played by a fellow Democrat, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the minority leader.
Judging by some of the political name-calling in the final days before the elections, Ms. Pelosi seems to be in the thick of campaigns for Congress from Illinois to Georgia and several places in between. She is the unwitting star of at least a half-dozen television spots — and countless radio spots, direct-mail campaigns and candidate debates —warning voters that if they choose their local Democrat for Congress, they are also casting a vote for Ms. Pelosi.
After casting some doubt over whether this strategy will work given how little-known Pelosi is around the country, the article continued with a fairly anti-Nancy focus:
In a piece early Sunday morning concerning a new Washington Post/ABC News poll showing the Republicans gaining strength heading into Tuesday’s elections, I said that it would be interesting to see how this would be covered, “especially by ABC tomorrow on ‘This Week’ and ‘World News Tonight.’” Well, we have the answer on the former, and you better sit down because it’s quite shocking: “This Week” actually began its program this morning with this poll.
After the teaser, George Stephanopoulos introduced “World News Tonight” anchor Charles Gibson, and after some pleasantries said: “But first, a little election news this morning. We have a new poll out this morning, an ABC poll, it shows the race has tightened.”
I’ve had to check and double-check the link on this one, sports fans, and highly imagine you’ll do the same. Irrespective of how implausible this seems, the Washington Post has just published results of a new poll it did with ABC News, and the numbers show quite a tightening in the public’s preference for Democrats and Republicans in the upcoming elections (hat tip to Strata Sphere).
In this most recent poll, Democrats were preferred to win the House next Tuesday 51 percent to the Republican’s 45 percent amongst likely voters, a margin of 6 percent. Two weeks ago, it was 55 to 41 percent, a 14 point margin. This is a huge decrease in just two weeks.
Newsweek published an article at its website Saturday about last week’s John Kerry foot-in-mouth debacle. One couldn’t immediately tell the motives behind the piece from the title: “Botched; Assessing the damage done to Democrats—and his own chances in ’08—by John Kerry’s epically flubbed joke.” Nor could one glean the significance of the authors involved: Susannah Meadows with Howard Fineman and Eleanor Clift. However, in the end, when taken in its entirety, it appears fairly obvious that this was the beginning of the assassination, and John Kerry’s chances of making a second run for president have been officially kyboshed.
The hit job started innocently: “Chuck Schumer got right to the point. On Thursday afternoon, the New York Senator, who’s leading the Democrats’ efforts to win back the Senate, called John Kerry and let him have it.”
Unless you’ve been asleep all day, you are well aware of a New York Times article published Friday concerning a website the federal government set up last March to “make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war.” Conservative talk radio and blogs have been enthralled by this piece, in particular, the following paragraph (emphasis mine):
Among the dozens of documents in English were Iraqi reports written in the 1990s and in 2002 for United Nations inspectors in charge of making sure Iraq had abandoned its unconventional arms programs after the Persian Gulf war. Experts say that at the time, Mr. Hussein’s scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away.
In a report about this issue early Friday morning on MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell was highly critical of conservative bloggers, and said that these revelations would be harmful to the Bush administration just before Tuesday’s elections (video here):
This is too good, folks: “Hardball” anchor Chris Matthews is getting lambasted for doing an abysmal job moderating a recent debate between gubernatorial candidates in Florida (hat tip to TVNewser). The St. Petersburg Times published an editorial on Tuesday that was highly critical of the MSNBC host (emphasis mine throughout):
The last debate between Florida's candidates for governor Monday night was supposed to give voters one final opportunity to size up Charlie Crist and Jim Davis on the key issues facing this state. Instead it was hijacked by a cable television windbag and a third-party candidate who had no business being on the same stage.
In an effort to resolve the recent brouhaha surrounding statements John Kerry made at a campaign stop in Pasadena, California, Monday, the junior senator from Massachusetts released a statement on Wednesday declaring, “I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted.” This is not the first time in Kerry’s career that he has used this excuse. Will the media report it?
As reported by the Boston Globe on June 19, 2003, during Kerry’s first run for the Senate in 1984, he revised answers to a questionnaire that he had filled out for a nuclear disarmament group called Freeze Voter ’84. Kerry had been outscored in this questionnaire by his opponent, Rep. James M. Shannon, seriously threatening his primary run. As a result, Kerry’s campaign manager at the time sent him a memo asking him to “explain how [his] position was misinterpreted.” As the Globe reported, this alteration and explanation likely saved his campaign (emphasis mine throughout):
A real barnburner occurred on Fox News Wednesday. Yet, strangely, the competitors were on the same side of the aisle. As “Hannity and Colmes” welcomed Tennessee Senatorial-hopeful Congressman Harold Ford (D-Tennessee), one would have expected the fireworks to be lit when Sean was doing the questioning. However, the liberal-minded Alan Colmes showed America the lack of tolerance the media and the left have for moderate members of their club. As a result, Colmes gave Ford the full Lieberman treatment, beginning by listing positions Ford holds which are verboten for the current Democrat party:
But, you say, in addition to the issues Sean brought up, the Ten Commandments should be posted in courtrooms around the state. You favor school prayer. You say you’re pro-life. You want an anti-flag burning constitutional amendment. Are you going to vote with the Democratic caucus if you get into the Senate?
Effectively toeing the “principles and issues are irrelevant” line of his party, Colmes tried banging into the head of his opponent the fact that voting with the caucus is all that matters. Ford tried placating his hostile host with issues that should have appealed to him: