Actually, Bill Maher didn't add that Seinfeldesque qualifier when describing Republican affection for Ronald Reagan. Maher was a guest on this afternoon's "Hardball." In the course of taking a cheap shot at Fred Thompson, this Cornell alum [what is it about my alma mater, which also churned out Keith Olbermann?] had this to say:
BILL MAHER: It amuses me so much that the Republicans now are talking about the great charisma of Fred Thompson, basset-hound faced Fred Thompson. The Republican party has this campy fixation with Ronald Reagan. It is almost gay about the way they are talking about him and obsessing about him.
Geopolitical instability and inefficient allocation of resources from state-run oil enterprises in Venezuela and other oil-producing countries are one factor in the rising cost of petroleum products. Unfortunately the way Chavez's May Day oil grab is being reported, it's little more than a footnote.
On Tuesday, well known Bush hater Frank Rich appeared on liberal Stephanie Miller radio show. (Miller is being given a test run this week on MSNBC in the departed Don Imus’ spot.) Proving that there’s nothing the New York Times columnist can’t use to slam the President, Rich attacked Bush for not telling jokes at the White House Correspondents Dinner and members of the media for not rebelling against it:
Frank Rich: "The, uh, the general play where Bush stand up and says he is not going to do his usual comedy routine because of Virginia Tech, that’s outrageous and the press sits there and applauds."
A few years ago, the Left pulled several muscles exerting itself with the strange theory that the Public Broadcasting Service was lurching dangerously to the right. When Corporation for Public Broadcasting chairman Kenneth Tomlinson had the audacity not only to speak internal profanities (“fairness” and “balance”), but to try and build on them, it became clear to them that he was out of control and needed to be stopped.
Tomlinson made several small but significant steps toward balance on our taxpayer-subsidized airwaves, nudging the creation of two right-leaning talk programs – “Tucker Carlson Unfiltered” and “The Journal Editorial Report” – and both suffered from the TV equivalent of crib death. Liberals really erupted when they learned Tomlinson secretly hired someone to assess the political balance of some PBS and NPR programs. This initiative was doomed, not only because the internal bureaucracy would never tolerate it, but because proving liberal bias at PBS is beyond easy. It’s like proving Rosie O’Donnell has a liberal bias: is it really necessary to conduct a study?
Update: Video, audio links for interview below the jump.
It is rare for a mainstream media journalist to openly criticize the media’s coverage of a particular issue. But that is exactly what CNN’s Lou Dobbs did on Tuesday’s "American Morning." In an interview with co-host Kiran Chetry, Dobbs blasted the media’s coverage of illegal immigration, saying "They're selling an agenda. And they're not applying critical judgment. And critical judgment and skepticism is our job as journalists. We're talking about comprehensive immigration legislation as reform. We're using the word 'reform' as if it were true. There's no skepticism."
Dobbs’s interview was part of "American Morning’s" coverage of pro-illegal immigration rallies on May Day, the traditional socialist workers’ holiday. When asked if any progress had been made in the past year concerning illegal immigration, Dobbs said that "we're making, at the margin, progress, but it's at the margin, " and that there was some better enforcement at the border. He then criticized one of the Congressional immigration reform proposals, the Flake-Gutierrez immigration bill, calling it "an absurdity."
Surely, CNN doesn’t stand for Communist News Network. But CNN’s Soledad O’Brien went looking for the "grass roots" of the pro-illegal immigration movement in Chicago during Tuesday’s Your World Today at mid-day. She interviewed a man she described as "Shaun Harkin of the March 10th Movement." She did not describe him with ideological precision: he’s a fervent Leninist.
An instant Googling of "Shaun Harkin" quickly brought up an article from Socialist Worker Online, where "SHAUN HARKIN explains why the Russian revolutionary Lenin and the theory that Lenin developed about the rise of imperialism remains so relevant today." Harkin concluded: "The dynamics of imperialism that Lenin analyzed are still present. His approach continues to offer the best framework to understand imperialism -- and is an essential tool for revolutionaries today."
Newsweek’s April 30 article by Eleanor Clift recycled old gun-control mythology and misleading statements with a renewed call for something to be done in the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting. The article mixed the usual anti-gun talking points with some subtle pining for the good ol’ days of President Clinton’s Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) that supposedly made the streets safer by taking the extra, extra, super-scary looking guns out the hands of all Americans (except for the criminals who obtained them illegally, of course). Clift starts off with one of the more ridiculous statements (emphasis mine throughout):
Rahm Emanuel was once a fierce gun-control advocate. As a top aide to Bill Clinton, he helped push the president's assault-weapons ban. At the time, Emanuel argued there was little reason for anyone to have a military-style weapon designed to kill as many people as possible in the shortest time.
With baseball season underway, Tony Snow today used a metaphor from America's pastime to knock out of the park NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell's allegation that the U.S. is to blame for Cuba's economic woes.
As I noted here earlier today, Mitchell reported on MSNBC from Havana on the occasion of Cuba's May Day celebrations. Describing conditions in Cuba, as the country transitions from Fidel Castro to brother Raul, Mitchell claimed:
There have been no major problems, other than the continuing economic difficulties that of course this country faces because of the U.S. embargo, the economic embargo.
This NewsBuster participated in a conference call today with White House Press Secretary Tony Snow. Asked by me to comment on the Mitchell claim, Snow, flashing midseason form, observed:
The May 1 edition of "The View" marked the fourth anniversary of President Bush’s famous "mission accomplished" announcement with Rosie O’Donnell’s predictable rants against the war and the administration. The co-host mysteriously claimed Afghanistan had nothing to do with September 11 and downplayed the Al Qaeda threat, claiming it is simply a U.S. government scare tactic. Additionally, Rosie, with the aide of guest co-host Ricki Lake, followed Charles Rangel and Andy Rooney to assert that U.S. soldiers are not patriots, but losers who join out of desperation.
O’DONNELL: Wait, can I just say something? Why do people enlist in the Army?
RICKI LAKE: To get an education, and they're poor-
O’DONNELL: Thank you.
LAKE: -and that’s the only way to get one.
O’DONNELL: The vast majority– Yes, Elisabeth. It’s true!
Using the newly released George Tenet book and four year anniversary of the President's "Mission Accomplished" speech as a backdrop, NBC's Today show invited on Congressman John Murtha to talk about a troop pullout and even impeachment. During her interview Today co-host Meredith Vieira asked Murtha if the Democrats had a "fallback plan" against a Bush veto of their troop withdrawal bill and then followed that query by bringing up the ‘I' word as she pressed: "Is impeachment really on the table?"
The following questions came during a segment in the first half-hour of the May 1st Today show:
Vieira: "Well let's, let's look forward sir because there is a war funding bill that is gonna be before the President, that the, the Congress has handed him, and he has said he is going to veto it because it sets a timetable for the removal of troops from Iraq. So what is your plan when he does, indeed, veto this? What is your fallback plan?"
On the Tuesday edition of "Good Morning America," the ABC program used the fourth anniversary of President Bush’s "Mission Accomplished" speech to slam the "Bushian bravado" of an event that "this administration will never live down."
Correspondent Claire Shipman marveled at "how naive that banner looks four years later." The day after the President landed on the USS Lincoln aircraft carrier, however, GMA wasn't so prescient. ABC Anchor George Stephanopoulos labeled the speech an "A++," "well done" and seemed impressed with the "small poster that said ‘Mission Accomplished.’"
It goes without saying that Fox News’s Sean Hannity is never one to mince words, especially when the subject matter is something he feels passionately about.
In such instances, one better strap oneself in tightly, for you're in for a bumpy, no holds barred ride.
Such was certainly the case Sunday evening when the outspoken conservative did a ten minute segment on “Hannity’s America” (h/t Tim Graham) about how the Democrat Party has been taken hostage by extreme left-wing forces on the Internet (video available here).
First, Hannity addressed the recent blog posting by Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) on the website that last year got itself into a bit of a brouhaha for publishing a blackfaced picture of Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Connecticut):
Here's today's open thread. Oh, and in case you haven't noticed, I've made it easy for everyone to submit NB stories to your favorite social networking web sites. Just click the little icons for whichever site you want and submit.
There's really only one problem for Cuba: those yanqui imperialists and the embargo they slapped on the country. Just ask Andrea Mitchell. The NBC correspondent is in Cuba today for the May Day festivities. Here's an excerpt from her conversation on MSNBC at 9:07 EDT this morning with host Contessa Brewer.
MSNBC HOST CONTESSA BREWER: Is there an expectation among the crowd there, a sense that Castro will return to power at some point?
NBC CORRESPONDENT ANDREA MITCHELL: Officials are pointing out, and it's certainly true from my visits here that the government runs, it's business as usual, that they have managed this succession rather well. Raul Castro is here today, he and other leaders are very much in charge. There have been no major problems, other than the continuing economic difficulties that of course this country faces because of the U.S. embargo, the economic embargo.
In 1995, Bill Clinton said this to a Houston fund-raising audience about the 1993 tax increase his administration is infamous for:
Probably there are people in this room who are still mad at me at that budget because you think I raised your taxes too much. It might surprise you to know that I think I raised them too much too.
John Edwards, on the other hand, must think that the Clinton Administration and the congress at the time raised taxes too little, because he said on Sunday that he wants to go beyond what was done in 1993 (link requires registration; HT Colorado Right):
It always amazes when the MSM congeals an entire presidential administration into a form that posits that every member of that administration is the president. Like when they claim that "Bush Lied" about the faulty intelligence that led to the presentation to the UN to garner support for the action in Iraq given by then Secretary of State Colin Powell. Yet, when the MSM wants to exonerate a single member of any particular administration, suddenly the President is forgotten as a part of the discussion and the individual administration official the press is currently in love with is held as a man responsible for his own decisions and exonerated on that basis.
This week's new media darling is former CIA chief George Tenet, one of the worst directors of the CIA we've seen in decades. The MSM have suddenly found him to be an honorable and serious man because of his newly published Bush bashing tell-all.
Less than a week after Havana-based CBS News producer Portia Siegelbaum trumpeted on CBSNews.com how “thanks to the socialist island’s free health care system -- which emphasizes preventive medicine -- Cubans enjoy a very high life expectancy," Monday's CBS Evening News salivated over the anticipated May Day return of Fidel Castro as Lara Logan confidently relayed the views of “Cubans” and “people here” in the repressive totalitarian state supposedly “enraged” by the U.S. release of a man convicted of blowing up a Cuban airliner in 1976.
Anchor Katie Couric heralded: “In Cuba tonight, a lot of anticipation. Reports there say Fidel Castro may lead tomorrow's May Day celebration.” From Havana, Lara Logan asserted: “Just as Cubans are hoping that Fidel Castro will make his first public appearance since falling ill nine months ago, people here have been enraged by the re-emergence of one of his oldest and most hated enemies. Luis Posada Carriles is to Cubans their Osama bin Laden.” Speaking for all Cubans, Logan insisted that “Cubans want him to face terrorism charges. Outraged, they've taken to the streets here in silent protest day after day.” After video of those protesters of supposed free-will, Logan issued another generality: “People here accuse the U.S. of hypocrisy, asking how America can condemn countries who harbor terrorists while refusing to hand over Cuba's most wanted terrorist.” She offered no soundbites or names to support her assumption.
Turkish, Pakistani and Afghan leaders sign a pact to fight terrorismGood news is no news, at least when it comes to the war on terrorism.
On Monday evening, the State Department released its annual Country Reports on Terrorism showing a number of interesting findings, including steep declines in terrorist attacks and murders in many regions of the globe. That has not been the lede story in America's liberal media, however. Instead, they've chosen to focus their attentions on how terrorism has increased in Iraq and in Afghanistan.
That's not entirely unjustified. Both of those countries have significant amounts of American troops in them (although I doubt that the left-wing French or German press, say, is covering this any differently). What has been unacceptable, however, is the American press's complete ignoring of the rest of the State Department's numbers.
Instead of saying that terrorism has increased markedly in Iraq (the truth), the media are extrapolating beyond that to claim that, as Reuters puts it, "U.S. sees sharp rise in global terrorism deaths."
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, Tom Brokaw gave a sentence to a criticism of the Clinton administration, by former CIA Director George Tenet, not mentioned in broadcast network evening newscast stories last week, or Monday night on ABC and CBS, nor on Sunday's two-part 60 Minutes interview -- all of which focused on Tenet's attacks on Bush officials. Brokaw relayed: “He said that he was frustrated during the Clinton administration because, he said, Attorney General Janet Reno had ruled that a CIA plan to assassinate Osama bin Laden was illegal.” Brokaw didn't raise that subject during his live Monday Today show session with Tenet about Tenet's book, At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA, but it could come up in part two set to air Tuesday morning on tape.
Brokaw had ridiculously implied on Friday's NBC Nightly News that conservatives who have cited former CIA director George Tenet's “slam dunk” comment about Iraq possessing WMD had, in fact, claimed that the comment was a prediction that the war itself against Iraq would be a “slam dunk.” Brokaw relayed how Tenet insisted “he was talking about assembling a stronger case to take to the public so it would have a better understanding of what the CIA believed to be true. He was not, he says, saying that a war against Iraq was a slam dunk.” (Brad Wilmouth's NewsBusters item)
In the wake of NBC's and MSNBC's embarrassment over the firing of Don Imus for his racial insensitivity to black women on the Rutgers basketball team, NBC News promoted Lyne Pitts, a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), to be vice president of NBC News. Mrs. Pitts, the wife of CBS correspondent Byron Pitts, has ascended rapidly since she arrived to produce the Weekend Today programs in February 2006.
It's not hard to imagine this has a lot to do with assuaging the roiling internal rage over Imus that boiled over in that meeting NBC News President Steve Capus had with Al Roker and the gang before Imus was canned. Don't miss this sentence in her job description: "She also serves as the division's point person on diversity issues."
NBC's Today show loves to promote former administration officials with scathing tell-alls, so long as they're criticizing a Republican president. Tom Brokaw's prodding of George Tenet to criticize the Bush administration's path to war was just the latest example of Today show's love of former GOP administration officials with an ax to grind.
Back in 2004, then Today co-host Katie Couric praised former Bush Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's book for its critiques of President George W. Bush. However if the tell-all slights a Democratic administration, as George Stephanopolous did with his book, Today takes a decidedly more skeptical tone. Of his 1999 tome, All Too Human, Couric called Stephanopolous' revelations "creepy" and wondered if he was "a turncoat."
Blogger, law professor and case expert KC Johnson has noted the Times has never corrected falsehoods in the timeline in Wilson's August 25 story. Wilson's Saturday piece hews closer to the truth, but without acknowledging his original errors.
In an April 30 "Public Eye" entry, CBS ombudsblogger Brian Montopoli wrote about CBS's quandary over CIA director George Tenet has a faulty memory regarding an exchange with Richard Perle that supposedly happened the day after 9/11 at the White House. The problem, Perle was stuck in France. He returned to the country on Sept. 15, 2001. So what to do with Web site transcripts of the April 29 "60 Minutes" segment?
On the heels of his award-winning destruction of Congressman Mark Foley over inappropriate instant messages to teenaged House pages, ABC investigative reporter Brian Ross is on the sex beat again. On Monday's Good Morning America, Ross highlighted ABC’s plans to rummage through a D.C. madam’s list of prostitution clients for "people in the Bush administration." But in 1996, when the tabloid newspaper The Star found Bill Clinton’s chief political guru Dick Morris had a relationship with a prostitute, ABC News (and especially anchor Peter Jennings) found it ugly, distasteful business. On the August 26, 1996 World News Tonight, as President Clinton prepared for his convention’s acceptance speech, Jennings began with a complaining tone:
Good evening, we begin tonight with the sweet and the sour of the Presidential campaign. Here in Chicago today the President has been fine tuning as they say, the speech he will be giving to this convention and to the country tonight. And he has a lot to be pleased about. A very upbeat convention. A very successful train trip here with rising poll numbers to accompany it. And very important set of statistics about the economy today, which he will certainly point to as evidence that the country should re-elect him. And then along comes a nasty little scandal to take the edge off the good news at least for the day. The President’s chief political strategist, a man named Dick Morris, resigned from the campaign today, after a story in a supermarket tabloid that he has been having, he’s a married man, a lengthy relationship with a prostitute and talking about his job.
Over the weekend, blogger Jim Hanson (aka "Uncle Jimbo" at Blackfive) appeared on CNN's "This Week at War" where he asked about how the U.S. military was going to improve its response to the pretty sophisticated usage of the media that Islamic terrorists have begun to develop.
Of course, the fact that the terrorists have gotten good at using the media isn't simply a deficiency of the Pentagon. It's also one of the western media. Hanson pointed this out and mentioned CNN's airing of a tape of an al Quaeda sniper killing an American soldier as being part of the problem.
"You force me to point
out you guys did put out a pretty heinous video of snipers, of the
insurgents killing U.S. troops on CNN, so you guys to some extent
helped them with their own propaganda."
Full transcript of the segment available at Blackfive. Click below the fold to watch the video.
"Because when you saw us flirting with $3, all the sudden we got a burst in hybrid production, we got a burst in ethanol production," Wastler explained to the "In the Money" crowd.
But the CNNMoney managing editor did not explain the burst in government mandates and regulations that helped fuel those alternatives.
The "In the Money" team including Ali Velshi and Christine Romans not only urged higher gas prices (with taxation), but hyped the threat of $4-a-gallon gasoline, though the national average is still below $3-a-gallon.
There is another scandal in the making concerning a Democratic presidential candidate’s blog. Longshot candidate Mike Gravel has a BIG problem. On his website, he proudly quoted and linked to a site which posted some online support of Gravel, excitedly announcing, “Meet the next president of the United States of America.” The site is called “Wake Up from Your Slumber.” Sounds nice and netrooty—very energizing and MoveOn-ish. Well, not exactly. It appears to be an anti-Semitic, conspiracy hate site.
Anyway, why do I think this? Well, it declares the Iranian president, Mahmoud “Death to Israel” Ahmadinejad is “The Man, The Legend” in a post that linked to a video of him denying the Holocaust. The post was titled, “Ahmadinejad: Zionists are NOT Jews” and quoted the Iranian president's speech about “Zionists” and, of course, world domination: