Surely, Americans of all stripes ended up rooting for CNN's Wolf Blitzer as he sparred against that oily hater David Duke on Wednesday night. But many Americans also might suspect that the Duke booking was a stunt to goose ratings and create buzz for CNN. Conservatives have often been outraged that liberals would suggest Duke was one of them, when he was always appearing in the liberal media, and not on conservative talk radio. They made him famous. For those readers who are too young to remember the last national media heyday for David Duke, it was in the presidency of George H. W. Bush, whose election was widely believed by liberals to be the result of racist Republicans responding to Willie Horton's face in political ads. Here's an old article I wrote in 1992 on the phenomenon:
Why is David Duke famous? The national media jumped all over the Duke story from the time he campaigned for and won a state representative seat on January 21, 1989. He gained nationwide infamy because his presence proved two things journalists would like to believe about American politics -- first, that the country's whites as a whole are still inherently racist; and second, that George Bush won the 1988 election almost completely because of that.
Media: After resigning from CNN after
making baseless accusations that American soldiers were deliberately
trying to kill journalists, Eason Jordan has resurfaced as the head of a new Iraq war news site. Among other things, the site will attempt to find the mysterious AP source and purported Iraqi policeman Jamil Hussein. Michelle Malkin will be going there to look for him as well.
John McCain is trying to sell himself as the GOP establishment candidate this time around, according to Robert Novak. Ed Morrissey doesn't think it's working, at least at this point. John Kerry, meanwhile, is going to visit Iraq.
The Boston Herald reports that hundreds of journalists hungry for advancement have sent in resumés to become Bob Woodward's assistant. Making up facts to fit a preestablished narrative a plus. Also, like Mark Felt, you have to do all the work but give all the credit to Woodward.
Last October, Dante Chinni wrote in the Christian Science Monitor that Bob Woodward has an uncanny knack for finding quotes to match any narrative, even if it contradicts one of his earlier narratives.
You may not be Carl Bernstein, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work with Bob Woodward.
The legendary journalist is currently looking for a new assistant and took the unusual step of advertising on Web sites like journalismjobs.com.
The longer President Bush refuses to completely accept the Iraq Study Group's recommendations the more irked NBC's Tim Russert and Meredith Vieira seem to get. On this morning's Today show Vieira and Russert seemed dumbfounded that the President has yet to wave the white flag in Iraq as they ran down the results of the latest NBC News poll. Vieira declared to Russert: "As polls go it is as bad as it gets for the President." and after running a clip of Bush cynically pondered: "It sounds like the same old President Bush to me. How much do you think he has taken from this listening tour?" Russert, pivoting off the negative poll results quipped: "Real pessimism. When the Iraq Study Group came out and said the situation was 'grave and deteriorating,' that resonated with the American people. I think the President's political condition as we sit here this morning is 'grave and deteriorating."
Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s drop the partisanship for a second and recognize that the media coverage of Sen. Tim Johnson’s (D-SD) sudden illness has been nothing but disgraceful.
The first reports I heard on this issue came early yesterday on CNBC, and immediately the discussion was about how this could change the balance of power in the Senate. I was disgusted. (Update follows with how the network evening broadcasts covered the story.)
As my daughter and I left the gym in the early evening, she questioned me about the Senator, and how this would impact politics. I was a bit shocked, and asked her where she had heard about his malady. She said that it was on the television in the ladies’ locker room, and the announcers were discussing how this might hurt the Democrats.
Let’s get a grip for a second here, folks. A man is fighting for his life right now, and that should be much more important than how this impacts who will control the Senate. Yet, just moments ago, this was the headline of an Associated Press article: “GOP governor has the power to appoint Senate replacement.” These were the first two paragraphs:
Comedy lovers are likely familiar with the name Elayne Boosler, who was a popular comedienne in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Today, she is somewhat of a liberal activist, having moderated a Democrat presidential forum in 2003, and regularly subbing for syndicated liberal radio talk show host Stephanie Miller.
With that as pretext, Boosler published a blog at HuffnPuff Wednesday with a fascinating take on the recent Michael Richards AKA Kramer episode (emphasis mine throughout):
Words won't kill you unless they are "Ready, aim, fire!". Now that some time has gone by since the Michael Richards rant, let's talk about the true victim of the "n" word; standup comedy. The L.A. Times continues to feature articles on the Laugh Factory, focusing on further "n" word developments, and on black comedians lamenting the loss of their use of the "n" word at the club. They're determined to say it, even though the clubowner is fining them for it.
Stay with her, folks, for she’s got a compelling point:
For those who enjoy watching a well-known racist and unapologetic anti-Semite get beat up by a television anchorman, CNN’s “The Situation Room” was the place to be Wednesday. Host Wolf Blitzer invited former Ku Klux Klan member David Duke on to discuss the Holocaust conference in Tehran, and the fireworks started immediately. After being introduced, Duke came right out of his corner, and attacked Wolf (must-see video available here):
Well, first off, Mr. Blitzer, I resent the introduction you made of me. You mentioned the Ku Klux Klan 11 times. That was over 30 -- well, 30 years ago in my life, and since that time I got elected to the House of Representatives, I became -- and I received a full doctorate, I have been a teacher, I have one of the best selling books in the world.
And you interview many former communists in governments all over the world and you don't introduce them by saying former communist and certainly not 11 times. I think you're biased because you're a former lobbyist for AIPAC. You're a Jewish extremist, supporter of Israel, so you want to bias anyone who criticizes Zionism.
Nice way to start an interview, wouldn't you say? Blitzer then asked, “Well, do you hate Jews?” Duke responded:
The latest word from AP on hospitalized Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota is that he was disoriented, but did not suffer a stroke or heart attack. Everyone should wish him well. He's about to turn 60, which doesn't seem so old these days, especially for Senators.
AP writer Mary Claire Jalonick adds this sentence near the bottom of the piece: "Johnson, a centrist Democrat, was first elected to the Senate in 1996 and has been one of the more reserved members of the chamber, rarely taking center stage at news conferences." He certainly is low profile, but his lifetime ACU rating is 20, and his last two sessions in the Senate were 11 percent in 2004 and 13 in 2005.
Talk about bad timing. Dennis Kucinich yesterday announced that he will be running for the Democrat presidential nomination in '08 and almost no one noticed. No wonder. It was impossible for Kucinich to get the least bit of attention focused on himself because most of the media was in the midst of an orgy of Obama worship even though the junior Senator from Illinois hasn't even officially announced that he is running for president. In case you think things couldn't get any worse for the Kucinich campaign, they do. The day before Kucinich made his announcement that almost no one noticed, his former press secretary made a startling confession of personal incompetence and declared that Kucinich might not be qualified to become president because he was clueless enough to hire a press secretary with absolutely no ability such as himself. In case you think this is a skit for a comedy show, it's not. You can read for yourself the confession of incompetence by William Rivers Pitt at the Democratic Underground:
Liberal New York Times columnist Frank Rich was among friends during his appearance on Wednesday’s edition of The View. While co-hosts Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Rosie O’Donnell were nowhere to be found during the segment, Joy Behar and Barbara Walters allowed Rich to promote his book, which Walters herself said "tears the Bush White House apart." While Walters did pose one challenge to the writer’s assertion that the Iraq war cannot be won, most of the questions directed to the columnist would not be considered so tough.
Walters began the interview with the Times columnist with this glowing introduction:
Barbara Walters: "Every Sunday, millions of people turn to New York Times columnist Frank Rich to hear his views on everything from politics to pop culture. That's how important his opinions are. Not everybody loves his opinions, and in his new book, The Greatest Story Ever Sold, he absolutely tears the Bush White House apart. This is a book that is such fascinating reading."
Regret the Error, a blog
corrections has released its annual
list of funniest mistakes, apologies, frauds, hoaxes, and
embarrassments perpetrated by and on the self-styled arbiters of the truth.
Some of my favorites:
Reuters, the news agency that brought you the fraudulent
Adnan Hajj, also makes real mistakes. In an Oct. 25 story about bees,
it mistakenly said that Queen Elizabeth has "10 times the life
expectancy of workers and lays 2,000 eggs a day."
In the dubious sources category: "Don Spille -- A man who
told the Tallahassee Democrat that he lost
everything in Katrina – including his father. Ed Spille Sr.,
father, later contacted the newspaper to disagree. 'I might be dead to
him,' he said. 'At 80 years old, I’m dead to a lot of
student newspaper at Purdue University had a real scoop about Supreme
Court justice Samuel Alito during his nomination process: "His motive
for shooting John Paul in the abdomen on May 13, 1981, remains
unclear," the paper asserted in a caption of Alito being sworn in at a hearing.
One of the most persistent tics of the passive-aggressive press is its denials of its power, that it doesn't run the country, or at least try to run the country. All that journalism-school boilerplate about how the media is merely a watchdog, or like it's the BASF of democracy, you know, it doesn't make everything, it just makes the secret ingredient that makes everything better? Baloney. Some of us signed up for the media-criticism business because the media want to pretend they're not major players in the political process that make every other actor in the political system try to figure out how to capture the warm glow of media adulation, or at least avoid it like an obstacle course. So when Dow Jones Chairman Peter Kann wrote an editorial on the press (see it over on his company's Opinion Journal), I liked the end the best:
After a prolonged absence for health reasons Chris Matthews returned to the airwaves last night and as if making up for lost time quickly returned to bashing Bush over Iraq. As part of Hardball's College Tour, Matthews brought former Senator and Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to join in the bashing and within the first few minutes of the show asked Edwards if Bush going to Iraq "was a daddy thing," and if he thought it was "scary" that "a President of the United States of limited ability," was able to create a "firestorm of almost messianic nuttiness."
Bob Schieffer continued the "Early Show’s" praise of Barack Obama on Wednesday, declaring that the Illinois Senator "comes across as charming, as bright, and fresh." Schieffer, appearing in his weekly "Capitol Bob" segment on the CBS morning show discussed campaign 2008, at least as it pertains to Obama and to some extent Hillary Clinton, and opined on why the White House has delayed an announcement from President Bush on a new direction in Iraq strategy.
"Early Show" co-host Hannah Storm played the footage of Obama’s appearance on Monday Night Football before fawning over the Senator’s sense of humor and charm:
"Showing a great sense of humor there. He's so charming, the public is really in this honeymoon phase with him right now, but how do you see this campaign playing out?"
NewsBusters has been nominated for the 2006 Weblog Awards in the "Best Media Blog" category. Help NB win by going to the page and voting for us. Right now, the far left blog Raw Story is ahead. You can vote multiple times, although only once per day.
Update 12-14 14:00. NB has moved up but still is in second. Keep those votes coming! Today is the last day. Also, please help Little Green Footballs beat the Daily Kos in the Best Blog category.
Update 15:44. Apparently leftist Raw Story followers are trying to cheat their way to victory. At least one of their readers appears to have constructed an automatic voting script to artificially drive up their numbers. They also seem to bedoing the sametrying to drive up Daily Kos's numbers against LGF.
"The Cost of an Overheated Planet" dominates the front page of the Tuesday Business section, accompanied by a cliched graphic of a Planet Earth with a giant thermometer stuck into it.
Reporter Steve Lohr is no less certain that global warming exists, as he celebrates the head of an energy company who favors federal regulations on carbon dioxide emissions.
"The iconic culprit in global warming is the coal-fired power plant. It burns the dirtiest, most carbon-laden of fuels, and its smokestacks belch millions of tons of carbon dioxide, the main global warming gas.
...but my colleague Julia Seymour has got the Airing of Grievances part down for those of us at the MRC's Business & Media Institute.
The camera pans across a sparkling Christmas tree, then zooms in on singer Clay Aiken, who begins to sing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”: “... and ransom captive Israel … that mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear …”
So which holiday is that about?
ABC’s Kate Snow tiptoed around that question on the November 26 “Good Morning America.”
“We have a special treat for you this morning to get you warmed up for the holiday season,” she said, touting Aiken’s new “holiday” record (title: “All is Well: Songs for Christmas”).
In a new Business & Media Institute analysis, “Good Morning America” was the least likely of the network morning shows to refer to Christmas, mentioning it only about 31 percent of the time.
This one caught me quite off guard: a major American magazine recognizing that all of the problems in the Middle East can’t be tied directly to the never-ending standoff between Israel and the Palestinians. This was even more shocking given the recent suggestions by the Baker-Hamilton commission that the problems in Iraq would be lessened by a resolution of this seemingly extraneous conflict.
Yet, there it was in a Time magazine op-ed by assistant managing editor Lisa Beyer entitled, “The Big Lie About the Middle East,” with a subheading, “Tell James Baker: Arab nations don't care about the Palestinians” (emphasis mine throughout): “In lumping the Iraq mess in with the Palestinian problem--and suggesting the first could not be fixed unless the second was too--the Baker-Hamilton commission lent credibility to a corrosive myth: that the fundamental problem in the Arab world is the plight of the Palestinians.
That great American ambassador and lovely lady Jeane Kirkpatrick has left us, but her passing also causes us to remember her strategic sense and moral clarity. She came to national prominence in Reaganite circles in 1979 with her marvelous Commentary magazine essay on “Dictatorship and Double Standards.” It argued that traditional authoritarian autocracies were both more susceptible to liberalization and more amenable to American interests than totalitarian dictatorships of the left, which came into power with disturbing frequency in the late 1970s, with America as their stated enemy.
She easily explained how the Carter administration and the liberal press romantically saw in the revolutionary left a shared commitment to modernity over tradition, science over religion, an educated bureaucracy over private hierarchies, and futuristic and universal goals over appeals to an archaic and ordered past.
Julia Roberts to Diane Sawyer on why she avoids killing spiders:
"You think, that’s a person, or somebody’s Mom or somebody’s best pal.”Good Morning America, 12-13-06
I trace the beginning of my evolution from pro-choice to pro-life to a comment I heard on the radio a decade or so ago. It might have been Rush Limbaugh who made the point that many of the people moved to tears at the thought of the killing of baby seals are the same ones who "celebrate" a woman's right to have an abortion.
Something clicked. What kind of moral compass is that?
In a column published last night, Eric Boehlert does an excellent job of showing why David Brock's Media Matters
should be regarded as the alimentary canal of punditry; on one end it's
good at regurgitation, and on the other, the finalized product is
consistently something better flushed.
By the next day, even more details had emerged in the AP's story along with a description of why the alleged attacks finally ended.
Synthesize the various versions of the story, and you will have a
horrific story of how Shia gunmen attacked while the Iraqi police and
military stood by, without interfering, as four mosques were destroyed
and as many as 18 people were killed, including six Sunni men pulled
from a mosque and burned alive after being doused with kerosene. Only
the arrival of American military units brought an end to the carnage.
But here's the problem... there is little to no evidence that any of these events took place.
Contrary to the AP's reporting, the Ahbab al-Mustafa, Nidaa Allah,
al-Muhaimin and al-Qaqaqa mosques were never blown up. There is no
evidence uncovered that a single soul, much less 18, were burned in an
"inferno" at the al-Muhaimin mosque. In fact, soldiers from the 6th
Iraqi Army Division found al-Muhaimin completely undamaged.
Media: Court hearings on FCC's reinvigorated anti-profanity policy will be televised, meaning the argument over naughty words on TV will be shown on TV. The Christian Science Monitor damns conservative milblogger Bill Roggio with faint praise (Bill, and Karl at PW respond). Patterico ponders copyrights today, wondering who would own the rights to an answering machine message left by a singer during a concert.
Politics: A BBC report out of Ukraine says that newborn babies may have been killed for the purpose of taking their stem cells.
In Iraq news, Gallup's pollsters
are starting to ask people if they're confident elected officials will
"do the right thing in Iraq." Of course, that question is rather
meaningless unless you define right, something few would agree on. John at Power Line
also notes an interesting fact: 81% of the public trusts the military
to do the right thing. Related: Yet another Islamic militant leader takes pride in the GOP's 2006 defeat: "It seems that every bullet that mujahedeen had fired toward the
Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan has turned into a vote against Bush."
Society: Democrats get religion (or at least start paying consultants
for it). Conservatives, meanwhile are being shut out of the academy.
One of the lonely righty profs details just how in a lengthy,
informative Chronicle of Education article here.
Regarding the recent death of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, David Frum
notes many lefties are incensed that the U.S. supported Pinochet but
seem today to be arguing against the idea of promoting democracy in
One of the more interesting double standards in the media and politics is how folks on the left are allowed to make sexist remarks – or, in the case of a former president, exhibit obviously sexist behavior – with total impunity. Yet, the same actions by someone on the right will be met with so much scorn as to threaten the individual’s career.
A fine example of this occurred on Tuesday’s “Hardball” when host Chris Matthews made some extraordinarily sexist comments to former Senator John Edwards and his wife Elizabeth. So as not to offend anyone, the partial transcript of this exchange follows in the “Read More” section. Furthermore, the must-see video is available here:
The Pentagon announced that all four major branches of the military met or exceeded their recruiting goals for the month on November. Normally the media glosses over these stories and relegates them to the rarely read deep recesses of the B section. That is unless the news can be used to embed a story within a story – the sort that poisons the main message with a carefully crafted sub-context that is related to any one of a number of liberal agenda items that are being tossed about in the latest news cycle.
This is the case with the AP’s coverage of the pentagon announcement
For creating a story out of nothing and then finger pointing at US society and saying how evil it is, this Dec. 12th CNN story takes the cake. In "Poll: Most Americans see lingering racism -- in others", not only is a somewhat leading poll cited as evidence that America is still rife with racism, but CNN uses comments emailed to them by their viewers as some sort of follow up proof for it!
Very scientific, I know. After all, CNN used science via the Internet and phone lines to conduct this farcical poll, I suppose.
(CNN) -- Most Americans, white and black, see racism as a lingering problem in the United States, and many say they know people who are racist, according to a new poll.
But few Americans of either race -- about one out of eight -- consider themselves racist.
The Baltimore Sun wasn’t alone in promoting Nancy Pelosi, not even among its fellow newspapers in the Tribune publishing group. On Monday, in a story headlined "Pelosi Piques Public's Interest," Los Angeles Times reporter Faye Fiore portrayed Pelosi as an object of public fascination:
As Pelosi prepares to be sworn in Jan. 4 as the first female speaker of the House, she has become an object of fascination and curiosity in political circles and beyond. Barbara Walters interviewed her as one of the year's 10 most fascinating people. People magazine has written about her twice in recent weeks. An article in a Palm Springs newspaper ran with the headline: "How To Get the Nancy Pelosi Look." (Answer: an Armani suit.)
Only weeks ago, Republicans were doing their best in the heat of the campaign to paint Pelosi, 66, as a conservative's nightmare — a San Francisco liberal out of touch with the American mainstream. But more recently, a poll measuring political charisma showed that she had "dramatically improved her standing" with the public, sponsors of the survey said, with voters knowing her better and feeling warmer toward her.
If political reporters think their job is to lay out the facts, then why would anyone try to claim Nancy Pelosi is not a liberal? In Tuesday's Baltimore Sun, reporter Matthew Hay Brown is the latest Pelosi profiler to suggest liberal is just a "brand" Republicans have tried to burn on her. He began: "As she introduces herself next month to a national audience, incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be stressing her roots in working-class, Catholic Baltimore as a way of recasting the liberal image with which Republicans have tried to brand her." Brown extensively used liberal professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson, often used by network reporters over the years to debunk political ads, to attempt to make plausible the bunk that Pelosi is firmly in the mainstream because, forget the voting record, she's a Catholic grandmother. In 19 years in the House, Pelosi has a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of three out of 100.
Cato the Elder famously dragged Carthage into every speech, calling for it to be destroyed. Like a modern-day Cato who has played the DVD of "An Inconvenient Truth" way too many times, The Boston Globe manages to drag global warming into an editorial this morning about, of all things, the baby that Mary Cheney is expecting. In doing so, the Globe hypocritically invades the very Cheney privacy it claims to want to champion.
Writing of the decision of Cheney and Heather Poe to bring a child into the world, the Globe claims that:
"Like any couple choosing to become parents, they must have concluded that the joy of raising a child outweighs the uncertainties of introducing it to a planet threatened by global warming, nuclear proliferation, and other terrors of the modern world."
Barbara Walters ended her Tuesday night ABC News countdown special, “The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2006,” by touting, near the end of the 10pm EST/9pm CST hour, incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the “most fascinating person of 2006.” ABC's Web page for the special listed the first nine profiled (list below), but not Pelosi, as its text ended with a plug: "Who is the Most Fascinating Person of 2006? Tune in Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET to find out."
Walters celebrated Pelosi's victory: "We picked our most fascinating person on election day this past November. Next month, Congress will get a Speaker of the House unlike any before. Our most fascinating person of 2006: Mother of five and Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi. In January, Nancy Pelosi will become the most powerful woman in America. She will assume office as the first-ever female Speaker of the House, two heartbeats from the presidency." Walters soon pleaded to Pelosi: "You've talked about sometimes using your mother-of-five voice. Now I sit here, and you're very gentle. Talk to me in the mother-of-five voice." She also asked Pelosi to confirm that she thinks President Bush is “incompetent and irresponsible and not a leader?"