Checking in Wednesday night from Tehran with Iranian reaction to what anchor Brian Williams described as the new intelligence assessment that “Iran is not developing nuclear weapons after all,” NBC correspondent Ali Arouzi held up a newspaper to show how it portrayed President Bush “as Pinocchio.” Arouzi described crowds cheering President Ahmadinejad's railing against lies spread by the U.S. and how the state media are calling President Bush “a liar and a warmonger.” On the upside for Iranians, Arouzi found the “many” who “have long been worried that the United States will attack Iran over its nuclear ambitions” now have “a sense of relief that that won't happen.”
Thomas Fingar, the Deputy Director of Analysis for the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), is the media rock star of the moment.
Why? For the just released NIE assessment he co-authored that proffers with "high confidence" that Iranian nuclear weapon development came to a halt in 2003.
This lands him myriad press plaudits because it affords them yet another opportunity to bash President George W. Bush.
However, those with any sort of political memory recall a July 11, 2007 Congressional appearance by the very same Thomas Fingar. Just these scant four months ago, he gave the House Armed Services Committee a very different "high confidence" perspective on Iran and their efforts to develop the bomb.
Following the recent GOP debate in which CNN chose to air a YouTube question putting candidates on the spot as to their belief in the literal truth of the Bible, there was much breast-beating as to the inappropriateness of religious tests for office.
But that didn't stop Tucker Carlson's two liberal guests this evening from taking potshots on religious grounds at President Bush and Mitt Romney.
Between her tirades against White House press secretary Dana Perino, Helen Thomas granted an interview to the Huffington Post about how she has never made a major mistake. "I don't have any mistakes to tell you about," she said. The Huffington Post’s Seema Kalia replied: "You don't have any recollection of any time you didn't do something well?" Thomas said: "No, not that I know of. I don't say I'm perfect, and I do say I've made mistakes, but nothing that's colossal." This is not the standard she’s used to judge President Bush, writing at least two columns that lamented his answers to list-your-mistakes questions from the White House press corps.
Being a billionaire certainly has its advantages. You can throw your money around and get what you want, and in the case of leftwing billionaire George Soros, what he wanted was a proposed gold mine killed that would have brought economic prosperity to an impoverished village in Romania. Soros, who has investments in rival gold mining companies, organized opposition to the project via his Open Society Institute in Romania, working hand-in-hand with several non-Romanian NGOs against the project.
If Soros was a rightwing billionaire, his efforts and intervention in this matter would no doubt be scrutinized by the American media and held up as an egregious example of capitalism run amok and of undue Western interference in the affairs of another country.
But Soros is a primary funder of the American Left, and as such his activities get little scrutiny from a politically sympathetic American media. That's a shame. Because the shutdown of Gabriel Resources' mining project in Rosia Montana, Romania, means an immediate loss of hundreds of jobs and a long-term loss of perhaps thousands of jobs created at the mine and spillover economic growth in the impoverished region.
How often in the past couple of years have you heard a climate alarmist refer to a so-called scientific consensus concerning man's role in global warming?
Almost any time you see a report on the subject, correct?
Have you ever considered how this belief that a consensus exists came to be, and if it actually means anything?
Answering such questions is the Wall Street Journal's Holman W. Jenkins Jr, whose op-ed Wednesday should be must reading for citizens, media representatives, and especially politicians that actually believe an overwhelming majority of scientists around the world are drinking Al Gore's Kool-Aid (h/t NBer dscott, emphasis added throughout):
Joy Behar’s case of Bush Derangement Syndrome is so severe that she mocks them for what she herself it guilty of. It is no secret she hates the Bush administration to the point of calling them liars and murderers, comparing their former defense secretary to Hitler, applying a different standard to Bush than to Hillary Clinton, and even to the point of airing falsecharges on the administration. The December 5 edition of "The View" added some hypocrisy in her latest charge.
The Financial Times (FT) is reporting that an Iran-bound ship seized by the United Arab Emirates last month "contained materials banned by UN Security Council resolutions 1737 and 1747, while the purchaser of the materials has been barred by the same resolutions."
Those resolutions were put in place, FT writers Simeon Kerr and Najmeh Bozorgmehr noted in their December 5 article, "to curtail its [Iran's] nuclear development programme."
Although Kerr and Bozorgmehr's Emirati government source "declined to identify the contents of the cargo or the Iranian company" that ordered them, the development is newsworthy, particularly in light of the shift in the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), that now concludes that Iran stopped its nuclear program in 2003.
A search of the December 5 Washington Post found no articles similar to Kerr and Bozorgmehr's, although it's unclear if the FT reporters have an exclusive scoop.
On Wednesday's "Good Morning America," reporter Brian Ross's story on Mike Huckabee featured a misleading onscreen graphic that claimed the then-Arkansas governor pardoned a rapist who went on to murder two women in Missouri. In fact, Huckabee didn't pardon Wayne Dumond, the man in question. The ABC graphic read, "Huckabee's Pardon: Rapist Struck Again After Release." The inaccurate information appeared beneath the December 5 segment for two minutes and 50 seconds of a three minute plus segment. (Hat tip to NewsBusters reader TE.)
On "Fox and Friends," which got the story right, co-host Steve Doocy explained that the governor lobbied the Arkansas parole board to release Dumond. They did so. He then played a clip of Huckabee on FNC in November in which the governor pointed out, "I did originally support parole, but governors don't parole anybody." "The Early Show" on CBS also refrained from using the term "pardon." NBC's "Today" ignored the story completely.
According to Barbara Walters’ set of rules, Venezuela's socialist anti-American dictator Hugo Chavez does "positive things." Promoting her annual special "The Ten Most Fascinating People" on the December 5 edition of "The View," Walters discussed one of her top ten, Hugo Chavez. Walters, who recently gave a puffy interview to the anti-American zealot, noted his recent setback exclaiming she "was amazed that he...didn’t get to be president for life" and "he’s a charismatic character."
Joy Behar inquired if he’s "still fascinating even though he didn’t win the election." Walters quickly answered "yeah."
When Walters allowed the co-hosts to guess who her secret number one is, Sherri Shepherd guessed Britney Spears. Walters refuted it claiming "we try to have people that do positive things."
Following two days of positive coverage of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and his front-runner status in Iowa, on Wednesday the CBS "Early Show" decided it was time to tear down the former governor’s campaign: "He's being dogged by new reports that he had a much bigger role in the parole of convicted rapist Wayne Dumond while he was Governor of Arkansas than he had previously been claiming."
Compare that statement by co-host Harry Smith, with Smith’s previous assessment of Huckabee when previewing an interview with the candidate two days ago:
When he announced he was running for the Republican nomination, many people said Mike who? Hucka what? But Evangelical Christians, a powerful force here, have rallied to his support. Pro-life, traditional marriage, they have found their champion. But they have found something more, a candidate who is good on his feet...His thoughtful debate performances have set him apart.
Baltimore Sun reporter Arin Gencer gave readers of the December 5 paper a slanted treatment of a move by a Taneytown, Md., city councilman who wants to clarify that his city is not a so-called "sanctuary city" where illegal immigrants can count on local officials actively failing to report immigration violations to the proper federal authorities.
Gencer pitted resolution proponent Paul Chamberlain Jr. against Taneytown's Mayor Jim McCarron, who dismissed the resolution as "mean-spirited" and "a slap in the face to anybody that has ancestors who were immigrants, or is currently an immigrant."
The Sun reporter failed to allow Chamberlain to rebut that allegation, although he quickly moved on to a pundit who dismissed resolutions like Chamberlain's as political posturing, and later to an official from the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), which Gencer simply tagged a "Latino civil rights and advocacy organization."
ABC investigative reporter Brian Ross on Wednesday continued his habit of offering up critical takes on Republican front-runners and ignoring Democratic scandals. So far this year, the correspondent has featured four hard-hitting segments on GOP candidates and only one on a Democrat.
During a piece on "Good Morning America," Ross investigated a developing story of whether then-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee used his influence to secure the release of a convicted rapist who went on murder two women. The story has received major play on the left-wing blog site Huffington Post, a point Ross mentioned, but he left out any attribution of the web page's very liberal leanings.
Former "CBS Evening News" anchor Walter Cronkite, much like his former colleague Bob Schieffer, appears to be dead set against the war in Iraq regardless of how conditions have improved in the past several months.
In an op-ed published at the liberal website Common Dreams, Cronkite made his strongest surrender appeal to date, whilst of course castigating the Bush administration.
Readers are advised to proceed with caution, and keep a trash receptacle handy in case of unexpected reverse peristalsis (emphasis added, h/t Dan Gainor):
The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor today reported revised productivity data--as measured by output per hour of all persons--for the third quarter of 2007. The seasonally adjusted annual rates of productivity growth in the third quarter were:
6.7 percent in the business sector and 6.3 percent in the nonfarm business sector.
In both sectors, changes in productivity are higher than the preliminary estimates published November 7, and represent the largest productivity gains since the third quarter of 2003.
I highly doubt that readers of the Washington Post enjoying the morning paper over a steaming cup of coffee deserve to flip to the Style section only to be greeted by a huge photo of Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich making out.
Of course the front page photo -- unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your perspective, I couldn't find it online -- wasn't the only sloppy wet one the Post planted on Kucinich in the page C1 article, "The Love Song of Dennis J. Kucinich." Staff writer Libby Copeland gave readers of the December 5 Post an article sopping wet with the magical fairy tale of the Kuciniches' unlikely romance, sprinkled with the Ohio congressman's political ramblings.
While Copeland did paint Kucinich as dopey and eccentric, in the process she puffed up Kucinich's far-left politics, as seen by the adoring eyes of equally left-wing better half Elizabeth, the statuesque redhead that joined Rep. Kucinich at the altar two years ago.
What's more, staff writer Libby Copeland spilled some ink to given ear to relay Kucinich's rant about "corporate media," and how he believes it's conspiratorially biased against him:
Back in September, when General David Petraeus reported that the surge in U.S. troops had improved the security situation in Iraq, the big three broadcast networks were openly skeptical.
"Insurgent attacks are down from 170 in January to 120 in August," ABC's Terry McCarthy noted on the September 9 World News Sunday, the day before Petraeus testified before Congress. "But that is still four attacks a day, on average. Iraq remains a very violent place....Life in central Iraq is still deadly dangerous."
It must be wonderful to be a Democrat and know that your indiscretions are very unlikely to get much attention by media minions only willing to cover the crimes and shortcomings of folks on the opposite side of the aisle.
Take for example James Michael McHaney, an aide to Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) who NewsBusters reported had been arrested last Friday for trying to lure a thirteen-year-old boy into a sexual encounter.
Not only did this get buried on Friday so as likely not to take focus away from Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) looking regal and presidential during that day's hostage crisis in New Hampshire, but also once the Associated Press deigned to actually inform subscribers on Monday that something potentially nefarious had occurred, press outlets either continued to ignore the subject, or buried it nicely so that precious few would be made aware of it.
On the television side, according to LexisNexis, the only outlet which felt this newsworthy was CNN which aired its only report on this matter during the 6:00 AM EST "American Morning" Tuesday:
The Laura Ingraham radio show began Wednesday morning with a red-hot burst of outrage at yesterday's National Public Radio debate with the Democratic presidential candidates. She called it "an underreported treasure trove of idiocy" and said the broadcast completely lived up the boutique-liberal NPR stereotype -- which is why it was underreported by the rest of the media.
The show began with an NPR question on why America is so hated in the Muslim world, which couldn't be a bigger softball to Joe Biden, and the rest of the candidates, who quickly blamed the Bush administration for the unsettled Muslim world.
The lead-in to NPR's evening newscast All Things Considered last night was all ‘crazy neocon’ Iran quotes last night from the candidates. (They play the theme song, and then you get that featured soundbite or set of soundbites). Sadly, that’s not on the NPR website, but the two-hour debate is here.
How can a report stating that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons work in 2003 possibly be viewed by anyone as a negative for America, the world, or the Bush administration?
Coming coincident with the invasion of Iraq, the capture of Saddam, and the suspension of similar activities by Libya, should this report have validated Bush foreign policy in the region post-9/11, or is the press right that this demonstrates his failures?
Finally, if intelligence was so horrible prior to 9/11 and the Iraq invasion, why are media so quick to accept this report as unassailable? Given recent intelligence failures, and the press's continual pounding of such, shouldn't there be some skepticism about the veracity of this NIE? Or, is anything that can potentially be used to bash Bush above reproach?
Hillary Clinton, victim of an unfair press? Bill certainly thinks so. Associated Press writer Philip Elliott reported: "Bill Clinton said Tuesday that if reporters covered the candidates' public records better, his wife's presidential bid would be far ahead of her rivals. During a campaign stop on behalf of his wife, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former president said he can't understand why so much of the media coverage of the campaign ignores her experience—and, without naming him, the relative lack of experience of her closest Democratic rival, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama."
Press coverage aside, if this Democratic race was really about experience, wouldn’t Joe Biden and Chris Dodd be the two front-runners? It is amazing and shameless that the Clintons can complain that the 89-percent pro-Clinton press isn’t pro-Clinton enough, that if the press did their job correctly, Hillary would have an enormous lead, as if media professionalism was defined by how well the media elite realized and established for the public that she is just what the country desperately needs. Elliott continued with Bill’s mighty whine about the media being rude to his wife (as if he’s never been):
General Keith Kerr IS a general! Our purpose here at Newsbusters is to chronicle and expose the leftist media bias that infests their coverage of the news, that is true. But, I feel compelled to also urge that our efforts be as true and guided by integrity as possible. I want to take a case that many on "our side" are taking up, claiming that it is an example of media bias and leftist "lies." Unfortunately, it is not a good hook upon which to hang our hat because, while it may be a confusing issue, it is not an example of any bias and if we insist on making this an issue it will make us look petty and uninformed. This is the case where people are claiming that the "gay CNN general" is not really a general. In fact, if his rank is that of general in the State forces, he is and can properly be called a general.
Reports on Tuesday's broadcast network evening newscasts all highlighted concerns the new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), which concluded Iran stopped working on its nuclear weapons program in 2003, will reduce international pressure on Iran. But just a couple of minutes after CBS's Jim Axelrod asserted that “maintaining an international coalition to confront Iran will no doubt be trickier now,” CBS's Elizabeth Palmer contended from London that pressure to impose sanctions, “led by the European leaders,” remains “huge” since “they've always said, 'look, the point is to stop Iran enriching uranium that could be one of the ingredients for a bomb.' And they believe that sanctions could be very effective in finally curbing that program which remains very active as we speak.”
Like Axelrod, NBC's David Gregory noted that “the President is making the case that the international community cannot let up on Iran,” but “the question is whether a skeptical public and skeptical international community will listen?” ABC's Martha Raddatz related how the White House is “concerned” and “I've been in touch with some diplomats. The ones who have to go overseas and say please join us with these sanctions. There is definite concern...”
As NewsBusters reported over the weekend, liberal antagonist Helen Thomas was deliciously smacked down during last Friday's press briefing by White House press secretary Dana Perino.
Fox News's Bill O'Reilly must have heard about this wonderful event, for on Monday's "O'Reilly Factor," the conservative host played some of the encounter for his viewers, and then offered his own opinion.
In the wake of the new National Intelligence Report which found that Iran apparently halted its nuclear weapons program, some in the media rallied around a single word to describe the revelation - "embarrassment"
‘Face the Nation’ anchor Bob Schieffer, in a conversation with anchor Russ Mitchell following President Bush’s press conference on Tuesday, thought the finding rose to a level higher than embarrassment.
Congress.org, a service of Capitol Advantage and Knowlegis LLC -- "private, non-partisan companies that specialize in facilitating civic participation" -- seems to have a partisan problem. This past weekend, their main page featured its "Hot Topics in Congress," and the subject of the Iraq "surge" was featured prominently (including a pic of John Murtha).
Notice the two links shown. Now, if you think the surge is indeed working, you'll click the "Yes, the surge is working" link, right?
Is CNN capable and professional enough to host presidential debates? After last week’s CNN-YouTube debate fiasco, even Tim Rutten, a media writer for the left-leaning Los Angeles Times, was giving CNN a big fat F for failure: "In fact, this most recent debacle masquerading as a presidential debate raises serious questions about whether CNN is ethically or professionally suitable" to host debates. CNN had the opportunity to perform a journalistic swan dive. Instead it produced an enormous belly flop. It’s far worse when you realize this mess of a production was the highest-rated primary presidential debate in history.
Back in May, after the Democrats stiff-armed the Fox News Channel invitation to debate, many conservatives believed the Republicans should return the favor with CNN and its proposed CNN-YouTube debate. I disagreed. I suggested in this space that Republicans should accept debates on CNN, but be more forceful in setting the terms and selecting the hosts. It seemed correct to assume at the time that CNN would attempt to be more fair and balanced simply because so much was riding on the outcome, namely CNN’s very credibility as an impartial observer of the political process.
I was wrong. We can’t expect CNN to be an honest broker.
Did you know that you're causing global warming just by reading this article on your computer screen?
Or that a medium-sized server has the same annual carbon footprint of an SUV that gets 15 miles to the gallon?
Well, shame on you for not being aware of just how harmful to the environment your laptop is, because according to an English environmental organization called Global Action Plan, the Information and Computer Technology industry is about to surpass the aviation industry in annual carbon dioxide emissions.
I kid you not.
Here are some of the highlights of this organization's paper on the matter entitled "An Inefficient Truth":