Although many of them live 3000 miles from New York, and are certainly not her constituents, stars and dignitaries from Hollywood, California, are lining up to open their wallets and pocketbooks to Sen. Hillary Clinton’s reelection campaign. In fact, as reported by the Associated Press (hat tip to Drudge), the donors list reads like a virtual Who’s Who: “Top stars such as Tom Hanks, Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson donated to the New York senator in recent months, generating the kind of cash usually associated with a major box office opening - or a potential presidential bid in 2008. Clinton, who doesn't face much of a challenge in her re-election, received $4,200 from ‘The DaVinci Code’ star Hanks, the Academy Award- winning actor, and his wife, Rita Wilson.”
As the AP reported, the Clinton war chest continues to grow:
Something very surprising happened on Wednesday: Comedian Bill Maher actually said something positive about America’s current president. Now, in fairness, his statements were written and published at The Huffington Post, which means that maybe only 500,000 people will read them as compared to his larger audience on HBO’s “Real Time.” And, it remains to be seen whether Maher will share such sentiments with his television audience.
However, for those who have watched Maher move further and further to the left over the years – so far so that his current television program seems like an hour-long excuse to bash conservatives – it was quite surprising to read the following: “I have to say, watching George Bush talk about Israel the last week has reminded me of a feeling that I hadn't felt in so long I forgot what it felt like: the feeling of pride when your president says what you want your president to say, especially in a matter that chokes you up a bit. I surrender my credentials as Bush exposer - from the very beginning - to no man, but on Israel, I love it that a U.S. president doesn't pretend Arab-Israeli conflict is an even-steven proposition.”
Shocking to say the least. However, he wasn’t done:
“Hardball” host Chris Matthews was Jay Leno’s guest on “The Tonight Show” Tuesday, and did more Republican bashing than even he usually does (grateful hat tip to Greg Tinti at Outside the Beltway with video link here). One of the first zingers was directed at former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Leno asked Matthews what he thought of Gingrich’s claim on Sunday that what is going on now in the Middle East is World War III. Matthews responded, “I think Newt is World War III.”
A bit later, Leno asked about the recent expletive that President Bush was caught saying to British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the G8 summit, and what Matthews thought about the press feeling that they needed to cut the word out of their broadcasts. Matthews saw this as a great opportunity to swipe at the Bush administration about a totally irrelevant issue: “I wish they'd cut out the 16 words that got us into Iraq, however, but they didn't cut those 16 out.”
The next interesting vignette was when Leno asked Matthews his opinion of Rudy Giuliani. Matthews began with something that will strike many conservatives as the height of hypocrisy:
On Tuesday’s “Countdown,” host Keith Olbermann chose to virulently attack two of America’s most prominent conservatives in his Worst Person in the World segment: radio host Michael Savage, and author Ann Coulter. Olbermann began with Savage (video courtesy of Crooks and Liars):
"Our runner-up tonight, Michael Savage. Now, the bar is higher for him because ordinarily we do not like to mock the insane. But get this from his radio show 'The American left is cheering today. They`ll probably break open the jug wine and cheer that Jews are dying. They can tear off their masks once and for all and show themselves to be what they really are, which is the Nazis of our time.'
"This just in from hell: Satan has chosen Michael Savage`s show to broadcast over the P.A. system to torture the souls of the eternally damned."
Olbermann then went after Coulter for a comical e-mail response sent to a fashion magazine as reported by NewsBusters Tuesday:
There are likely many conservatives around the country that have felt the New York Times has been shrinking for decades…in relevance, that is. However, now the “paper of record” is literally shrinking. As reported by Reuters (with a hat tip to Drudge): “The newspaper will be narrower by 1 1/2 inches.” “The narrower format, offset by some additional pages, will reduce the space the paper has for news by 5 percent, Executive Editor Bill Keller said in the article.”
Of course, Keller didn’t comment on whether this five percent reduction in “news” will result in a much-needed decline in liberally-biased viewpoints, bashing of Republicans, or the release of top secret intelligence information to America’s enemies here and abroad.
Regardless, this appears to be a growing trend in the print media:
Most NewsBusters readers have likely not heard of Women’s Wear Daily, but the Raw Story tipped me off to a truly delicious piece written by Jacob Bernstein that will definitely require all coffee cups and drinking vessels down: “If you falsely yell ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater and everyone tramples each other to death, you get sent to jail. So what should be done with Ann Coulter, who has argued that The New York Times should have been blown up by Timothy McVeigh and that Times executive editor Bill Keller should be executed by firing squad?”
The article continued:
This was the question one Times source asked on Friday after an employee at the paper of record received an envelope with an X scrawled through it and a suspicious powder inside. "This thing makes all of Ann Coulter's comments a little less funny," said the source. "I wonder if she considers herself at all responsible when lunatics read her columns and she says that we should be killed."
So, a representative of WWD sent an e-mail message to Coulter’s AOL account asking such quesions, and, according to the article, actually received this hilarious response:
On September 11, 2001, as planes slammed into New York City, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, the earth seemed to stop spinning for a few hours, and the planet’s billions immediately realized that the world had changed forever. A similar shudder happened last week when Hezbollah attacked Israel, and it would be prudent for these same billions to look upon this event as seriously.
The sheer volume of terrorist activity Israel has endured in the last 58 years seemingly would suggest that attacks on this particular nation are divorced from the global war on terrorism. But such a conclusion would be folly, for the events of last week are not just another episode in the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Lebanon has now become an albatross for Israel much as Afghanistan was to the United States prior to 9/11.
This one is truly delicious (grateful hat tip to Little Green Footballs): The International Federation of Journalists condemned Israel for attacking the headquarters of Lebanese broadcaster Al-Manar. For those that are unfamiliar, this is the television station and website run by Hezbollah, the terrorist group that started this recent conflagration against Israel.
As reported by the Islamic Republic News Agency: “The International Federation of Journalists Friday condemned the Israeli bombing of the Lebanese broadcaster Al-Manar, warning that the attack follows a pattern of media targeting that threatens the lives of media staff, violates international law and endorses the use of violence to stifle dissident media.”
It wasn’t the barnburner it could have been, but there was a wonderful mini-flyweight boxing match Friday night on MSNBC’s “Hardball.” In the left corner, weighing 105 pounds, Norah O’Donnell. In the right corner, weighing 100 pounds, Ann Coulter (video to follow).
The crowd got a sense before the opening bell that O’Donnell was ready for a donnybrook when prior to Coulter even stepping foot out of her dressing room, O’Donnell referred to her opponent as a “conservative provocateur.” The first actual fisticuffs though came early in round one with O’Donnell jabbing at Coulter over the recent hostilities in Israel and Lebanon being the fault of the Bush administration:
As reported by NewsBusters Wednesday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had a fund-raising videoat its website showing flag-draped coffins of American soldiers killed in Iraq. The Associated Press reported Saturday that the DCCC has decided to pull this ad:
Democrats pulled an Internet ad that showed flag-draped coffins Friday after Republicans and at least two Democrats demanded it be taken down on grounds the image was insensitive and not fit for a political commercial.
The ad by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee called for a "new direction" and displayed a staccato of images, including war scenes, pollution and breached levees as well as a photograph of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay doctored to look like a police mug shot.
Without expressing any outrage whatsover concerning the contents of this ad, the article continued:
Trey Parker and Matt Stone of the hit Comedy Central series “South Park” were recently interviewed during MTV Networks Television Critics Association tour as reported by Reuters, and the irreverent duo made some interesting statements about episodes of theirs that have been censored: “The creators of ‘South Park’ lambasted Comedy Central Thursday for removing an episode that lampooned Scientology and Tom Cruise from the network's repeat schedule and for blanking out the image of Muhammad during another.” Parker said, “‘So there are two things we can't do on Comedy Central: show Muhammad or Tom Cruise.’”
Most NBers are likely unfamiliar with the name Eric Boehlert. He is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone magazine that used to write for Salon, and has a book out called “Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over For Bush.” In it, he accused the media of actually having a pro-Bush bias in a book that the Washington Post’s Book World comically declared was “written as though a cadre of Bill Clinton's defenders were its editors.”
Well, Boehlert is at it again, this time claiming at Huffington Post that “the Arab-Israeli conflict is told in the United States mostly through the eyes of Israelis, and that's especially true on cable news channels.”
Boehlert’s angst stemmed from watching CNN on Thursday after reading a Reuters article about 53 Lebanese civilians being killed in an Israeli attack, “a fact that struck [him] as central to the unfolding story” in the Middle East:
The Business Wire just reported that Valerie Plame Wilson and husband Joe Wilson have scheduled a press conference Friday to announce a lawsuit against I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Karl Rove, and Vice President Dick Cheney:
Valerie Plame Wilson, Ambassador Joseph Wilson and their counsel, Christopher Wolf of Proskauer Rose LLP, will hold a news conference at 10 AM EDT on Friday, July 14 at 10:00 AM at the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC 20045, to announce the filing of a civil lawsuit against I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice-President Richard Cheney and Karl Rove.
On Tuesday night’s “O’Reilly Factor,” host Bill O’Reilly and guest Laura Ingraham had a marvelous time tearing apart The New York Times (video link to follow). During the discussion, Ingraham pointed out something that many Americans now feel about the Old Grey Lady:
Well, I think that they truly believe that America is the single biggest danger to the modern world.
I don't think, Bill, that they believe that they have a dog in this terrorism fight. I think they think it's a fight between two groups of fundamentalist, the fundamentalists who are the Islamists. They don't much care for them.
But then the fundamentalists in the Bush administration, who have this messianic view of the world that they can make the world in their own image. And I think they're more petrified of the Bush fundamentalism, as they refer to it, than they are the Islamists.
Yikes. That about says it. O’Reilly then asked a pivotal question:
President Bush announced some great news about the economy Tuesday, but the media weren't in any mood to celebrate. Though the budget deficit for 2006 looks to be significantly lower than forecast just five months ago, TV news outlets were quick to rain on the president's parade.
CNN's Ed Henry cynically compared this announcement to the president declaring an end to major combat operations in Iraq in 2003. Meanwhile, NBC's Brian Williams downplayed the good news by stating “administration critics say the White House has deliberately inflated its own deficit projections in the past few years to score political points when the actual numbers came in lower.”
The MRC’s Rich Noyes noticed that a new campaign ad for Congressional Democrats shows a picture of American flag-draped coffins in its vignette (hat tip to Drudge). Given the media outrage concerning President Bush using 9/11 images in his 2004 advertisements, this raises the question as to whether the press are going to be equally disgusted by such imagery when it is employed by Democrats two years later.
The video in question is currently posted at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee website, and shows a variety of images including a satellite picture of Hurricane Katrina approaching New Orleans, the devastation caused by the hurricane, lobbyist Jack Abramoff, war pictures from Iraq, and at one point, flag-draped coffins presumably of American soldiers.
As the MRC reported on March 12, 2004, when a campaign ad for the re-election of President Bush that year showed images of the 9/11 attacks on America, the media were quite outraged:
In a fine example of life imitating a Marx Brothers movie – which should give you a clue as to what should be done with your drinking vessels! – Republicans on the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works issued a press release Wednesday concerning a documentary that former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw has done for the Discovery Channel about global warming (hat tip to NRO’s Media Blog). No matter how hard you try, you just can’t make this stuff up: “Former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw’s lack of objectivity and balance on the issue of global warming appears to have tainted his upcoming Discovery Channel documentary called: ‘Global Warming: What You Need To Know’ airing on July 16.”
Isn’t this great? The press release marvelously continued: “Brokaw’s partisan past and his reliance on scientists who openly endorsed Democrat Presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004 and who are financially affiliated with left wing environmental groups, has resulted in a documentary that is devoid of balance and objectivity.” Well, it’s good to see our tax dollars are finally going to good use. Yet, because this is really too delicious to interrupt any further, here is the rest of this release for your viewing pleasure:
Better put your coffee cups down, folks – and your wine glasses for that matter – as Team CNN yesterday provided viewers with quite a knee-slapper. During the 7PM ET installment of Tuesday’s “The Situation Room,” Wolf Blitzer and the boys shared some global warming gloom that must have made sommeliers around the country spit up their merlot.
Blitzer began (with a straight face, mind you!): “Global warming threatening California's multi-billion dollar wine industry, that's the crux of a new study which says as much as 81 percent of the state’s prime growing areas will be unusable by the end of the century.”
81 percent, huh? Are you drunk?
(Update -- For even more laughs, a reader e-mailed me an October 31, 2005 San Francisco Chronicle article reporting that 2005 was expected to be the second-largest grape harvest in California history!!!)
Blitzer then passed the bottle to correspondent Chris Lawrence:
It appears that the post-Yearly Kos month from hell is continuing for Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, the proprietor of the Internet’s premier liberal blog Daily Kos. After receiving some extremely negative press from major publications such as the New York Times, The New Republic, and Newsweek immediately following his seemingly successful bloggers’ convention in Las Vegas, Kos is now faced with an even greater challenge: dissension within his ranks.
David Brooks of the New York Times has been on quite an anti-liberal blogosphere roll of late. After eviscerating Markos Moulitsas Zuniga – the proprietor of the Daily Kos – in a June 25 op-ed entitled “Respect Must be Paid For,” Brooks again ripped into Kos on Friday night’s “The News Hour” on PBS (video link courtesy of Crooks and Liars). Brooks followed this up with another op-ed tangentially on this subject Sunday.
On Friday evening, the discussion between host Jim Lehrer, Mark Shields, and Brooks centered around Joe Lieberman’s problems in Connecticut. Lehrer asked Brooks how Lieberman is impacting the 2008 presidential campaign. Brooks responded (emphasis mine):
As reported by NewsBusters here, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Delaware) made some rather insensitive statements last month concerning not being able to “go to a 7- Eleven or Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.” CNN invited Biden on Friday's 5PM ET installment of “The Situation Room” to discuss how things are going in Iraq – amongst other things – and then gave him a great opportunity to explain these Indian remarks (video link to follow).
Rather than challenge the Senator in any way, host John King filling in for Wolf Blitzer basically gave Biden a platform to rationalize why these statements weren’t inappropriate. After reading the offending sentences from Biden captured by C-SPAN, King simply asked, “What were you thinking?” Biden was then given the floor to make any statement that he wanted about this issue, without any grilling or interrogation whatsoever by King:
On Thursday, “The Smoking Gun” website published the Homeland Security manifest, including the June 29 affidavit signed by Rush Limbaugh, concerning the conservative radio host’s customs detention in Palm Beach, Florida, last month (hat tip to Radio Equalizer).
With the headline, “Rush Limbaugh's Dominican Stag Party,” and a sub-headline, “29 Viagra pills, two ‘24’ producers among radio star's all-male crew,” it seems that this is likely to incite more lurid media speculation concerning why Limbaugh had Viagra on an “all boys” trip to the Dominican Republic:
As NewsBuster Mark Finkelstein pointed out on Friday, there is quite a double-standard in the media concerning what’s acceptable for a Democrat to say versus a Republican. With that in mind, as captured by C-SPAN, Senator Joe Biden (D-Delaware) recently made some comments concerning folks from India that were not at all flattering. As of yet, there appears to be no media outrage.
Here’s what Biden said:
“In Delaware, the largest growth of population is Indian Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7/11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.”
Our friend Ian at Expose the Left has the videoso that you can watch for yourself to gauge the seriousness of these statements, and what might have happened if a Republican had said the same thing.
Did you hear that sound on Thursday, June 29? That was millions of conservatives gasping in horror when the Supreme Court issued its Hamdan v. Rumsfeld decision seemingly giving the Bush administration a stunning defeat over terrorist detention centers at Guantanamo Bay.
Irrespective of such justifiable concerns, when combined with another leak by the New York Times of a counterterrorism program just six days prior, Republicans were actually handed a tremendous gift dramatically improving their chances to hold both chambers of Congress in the November elections.
Brian Maloney (The Radio Equalizer) has identified something interesting at Amazon.com: “Is liberal Air America host Sam Seder's new book inadvertently encouraging readers to join the conservative cause?”
He continued: “In what is either a strange error, an Amazon.com staffer with a real sense of humor, or a bona fide trend, Air America host Sam Seder's new book FUBAR: America's Right-Wing Nightmare seems to be encouraging buyers to purchase Ann Coulter's Godless instead!”
For those not familiar with how Amazon works, when you go to the site and enter a book title, a page comes up that describes the book, gives some reader reviews, offers other books of typically similar content or style that readers might also enjoy, and then documents what people have actually purchased after looking at such titles. In the case of the F.U.B.A.R. page, these numbers are currently (at 10:50 AM ET, July 6):
What do customers ultimately buy after viewing items like this?
All coffee cups and drinking vessels down, please. This is toooo good.
The New Zealand Herald is reporting (side-splitting hat tip to Drudge): “A New Zealand peace activist is facing serious assault charges after he allegedly punched a rock singer in London, leaving the man in a coma.”
Shhhh. Wait. It gets better (emphasis mine): “Christiaan Briggs, 30, who spent three weeks in Iraq with the Truth Justice Peace Human Shield Action Group in 2003, appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court on Tuesday to face a charge of grievous bodily harm.”
Safe to say Briggs isn’t an effective “human shield” anymore. But I digress:
The American Spectator published an article Wednesday thoroughly refuting claims by the New York Times that counterterrorism information revealed in its June 23 exposé was common knowledge. Moreover, to discourage it and the Los Angeles Times from publishing these reports, both were informed of three ongoing investigations using information from SWIFT:
According to Treasury and Justice Department officials familiar with the briefings their senior leadership undertook with editors and reporters from the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, the media outlets were told that their reports on the SWIFT financial tracking system presented risks for three ongoing terrorism financing investigations. Despite this information, both papers chose to move forward with their stories.
"We didn't give them specifics, just general information about regions where the investigations were ongoing, terrorist organizations that we believed were being assisted. These were off the record meetings set up to dissuade them from reporting on SWIFT, and we thought the pressing nature of the investigations might sway them, but they didn't," says a Treasury official.
Without giving away vital secrets, these briefings were detailed enough to convince both news organizations of the effectiveness of this program:
Today, America celebrates her independence from the British. Many journalists, liberal and conservative, have offered their opinions about the history of this event, and what it means 230 years later, at newspapers, websites, and blogs across the fruited plain.
At the extraordinarily liberal Huffington Post, people like Congressman Jack Murtha and Senator John Kerry took the opportunity to discuss what they believe patriotism is.
So did actor Alec Baldwin. However, in his case, he chose to share a dream of his wherein he kills Osama bin Laden, and, depending on how far bin Laden falls, Vice President Dick Cheney.
As a courtesy to those who would prefer not to be offended by such drivel on this day, his dream will be posted in the “Read More” section. However, before we get there, on this Independence Day, Baldwin also wanted his readers to know that “Bush/Cheney stole both the 2000 and the 2004 elections with the help of the Supreme Court in one and Diebold in the other.”
Nice thoughts on Independence Day, no? Now, to Alec’s patriotic fantasy on this Fourth of July:
Anybody that has read the Declaration of Independence knows that taxes were a big issue for our Founding Fathers. Certainly, this has been lost on most media in our country as they regularly advocate a higher and higher financial burden on the citizenry to pay for government programs.
No finer example of the divide between the media and the intent of our Founding Fathers was demonstrated than in an op-ed published in today’s Washington Post entitled “Tax Inheritance, Not ‘Death.’” In it, authors Maya MacGuineas and Ian Davidoff – fittingly from the New America Foundation, as their ideas certainly go contrary to the America our colonists fought and died for – proposed that estate taxes in America should be replaced by inheritance taxes for everybody that tries to pass on more than $10,000 to their heirs.
Yes, they really said $10,000: “A far better approach would be to tax people equivalently on all the income they receive, whether it be from earned or inherited income, by replacing the estate tax with an income tax on inheritances. Under such a tax, inheritances would be treated the same as other forms of earned income and taxed in the same manner.”