Former Time reporter Nina Burleigh is unhappy she was criticized on NewsBusters for her Clinton-defending review in The Washington Post of Sally Bedell Smith’s book For Love of Politics. She lamented on The Huffington Post on Saturday night that before many could even read the review, "an apparently insomniac internet goon named Tim Graham had penned a screed dissing The Washington Post for having me review the book. Graham is the lifetime College Republican running ‘Media Research Center,’ one of the most persistent groups to express shock and awe over what one of the newsweekly wags called my "quote of the century." Those unfamiliar with my sarcastic remark need only google my name and the word blowjob."
Other than Nina recalling her infamous quote about fellatio for abortion-rights presidents, just how much of this is wrong? I don’t "run" the MRC; I work several levels below the pinnacle. I was never a College Republican, although I did work at the RNC as a minimum-wage phone fundraiser in the late 1980s in my first years in Washington. I did post my critique at 6:35 in the morning, but I sleep like a rock, so that should at worst make me a "early-rising Internet goon." A longer look at Burleigh’s article also strangely calls me part of the "self-righteous and supposedly apolitical establishment" that rules Washington. What a strange passage, in which I am also a troll:
Past articles document the media’s bias against Castle Doctrine, insinuating that this enhanced self-defense law impedes investigators and handcuffs prosecutors,1 or that the right of self-defense originated with Castle Doctrine.2
Laura Whitley of ABC Houston affiliate KTRK covering a recent self-defense story where Rodney Shamlin was shot by homeowner Gary Southworth, wrote:
Even as scientific advancements on stem cell research have vindicated George W. Bush's resistance to destroy actual embryos, Michael J. Fox refused to give the President any credit on Monday's "Today" show, instead choosing to indirectly insult him as he declared that after the next election "the chances are very good that there's gonna be a new attitude towards science."
When asked by NBC's Maria Menounos, whether the ability to reprogram ordinary cells to mimic those of embyronic stem cells changed his view on the issue, Fox refused to abandon the practice of embryo destruction as he warned: "At the same time too we don't want to discontinue the embryonic stem cell research that's being done because one begat the other and, and it all becomes part of a broad canvas that we want to continue to work on."
The following is the full segment as it aired on the December 3, edition of "Today":
After discussing the British woman in Sudan charged for naming a class teddy bear Muhammad on Friday’s "View," with no outrage directed towards the Sudanese government, the ladies again discussed the topic. Barbara Walters inquired to the panel what would happen if someone named a teddy bear Jesus in the United States.
Unlike Rosie O’Donnell, who exclaimed "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam," Joy Behar, to her credit, said "Christians in this country would not be as uptight about it." Later she added "in the Sudan is that it’s, it’s state sanctioned there. Here it would just be an uproar from certain people." [Video embedded below the fold, courtesy of user pundital on YouTube]
Perhaps seeking to paint a sympathetic portrait of a woman charged with illegally voting in a federal election before naturalizing as a U.S. citizen, the Chicago Tribune's Antonio Olivo buried the lede in his story, "Citizenship in sight, but then she voted."
In the midst of lamenting the plight of one Beth Keathley, Olivo uncovered concerns about so-called motor-voter registration and how it can lead to non-citizens successfully registering to vote, although doing so is against the law. Of course, this information didn't start to come to light until the 10th paragraph in Olivo's story, well after he mentioned how a deportation could tear Keathley from her 9-month-old daughter (emphasis mine):
On Sunday’s CBS "60 Minutes," anchor Scott Pelley, who referred to Iranian President Ahmadinejad as "friendly," "modest," and "incorruptible," compared American forces in Iraq to barbarian hordes of the past while examining the plight of Iraqi Christians since the war began in 2003: "The Iraqi Christian community, which had survived invasions by Mongols and Turks, was driven out under American occupation."
During the segment, Pelley interviewed an Anglican Reverend in Baghdad named Andrew White:
PELLEY: He was first sent to Baghdad by the Archbishop of Canterbury nine years ago, well before the Christian persecution. You were here during Saddam's reign, and now after. Which was better? Which was worse?
WHITE: Well, it's difficult to describe. The situation now is clearly worse now, but --
PELLEY: Worse than Saddam?
WHITE: Oh, far. There's no comparison between Iraq now and then. Things are the most difficult they have ever been for Christians. Probably ever in history. They've never known it like now.
PELLEY: Wait a minute. Christians have been here for 2,000 years.
WHITE: Yes. And it's now the worst it has ever been.
Over the past two months, it has been on the way according to the media. But as of December 3, the price of crude has decreased - not increased as predicted.
"Crude briefly cracked $90 a barrel for the first time and analysts say that will soon trickle down to the pump," Alexis Christoforous said on the October 20 "CBS Evening News." "Some predict gas will jump $0.20 or more in the coming weeks. And if crude tops $100 a barrel, they say we could be looking at $5 a gallon."
Add the Washington Post to the list of news agencies suspenseful over Fidel Castro's reelection to dictator. From the World in Brief digest on page A14 of the December 3 paper (emphasis mine):
In the first official indictation that he could remain Cuba's unchallenged leader, Fidel Castro was formally nominated Sunday as a candidate for the communist island's National Assembly, a requirement for continuing as president.
It remained unclear whether the ailing Castro would seek the post, but the nomination keeps his candidacy in play, providing a rare bit of suspense in a Cuban presidential election, analysts said...
While the Post culls its World in Brief feature from varying news wires, it could have reworked the wording to more accurately reflect upon Castro as an ailing dictator who's never faced a free and fair election, not a beloved leader emotionally rent at the notion of leaving public service.
Did the New Hampshire man who took several Hillary Clinton staffers hostage on Friday do so because of a lack of health insurance? That's what "Good Morning America" reporter David Kerley seemed to imply during a segment on Monday's show. First, he pointed out that the individual, Leeland Eisenberg, was turned away from a mental health support due to a lack of "money or insurance."
Then, after playing a clip of a Clinton campaign ad in which a man lauds the New York senator for helping to save his son's life by absorbing medical costs, Kerley revealed that Eisenberg targeted Clinton "because he saw this Clinton ad in which a New Hampshire supporter says the candidate helped him get health insurance." Kerley closed the segment by observing that the hostage-taker stormed the office and demanded to see Senator Clinton. The GMA correspondent intoned, "That didn't happen, but he may finally get the help he was pleading for."
The Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post are all referring to a package of recently-defeated Venezuelan constitutional amendments as "reforms." In reality, those so-called reforms were all bent on amassing more power and influence in the hands of Hugo Chavez.
Washington Post's Juan Forero gave readers early of the December 3 Home Edition article (published before the outcome of the December 2 referendum was finalized) an idea of what was at stake for everyday Venezuelans waking up this morning.:
Demonstrating how out of touch he is with conservatives in the Republican base, on Sunday's Face the Nation Bob Schieffer, who conceded the “surge” has “frankly” made “more of a difference than I would have thought,” expressed his frustration with the focus on immigration over Iraq in the Republican campaign. He fretted to guest John McCain: “Why immigration? I mean, we've got a war going on in Iraq, Americans are dying there, it costs what, about $10 billion a month....An enormous amount of money. And yet, every Republican debate it seems to come down to a shouting match over immigration. We saw this last one with Romney and Giuliani going at it hammer and tong. Why immigration?” Of course, the candidates were only responding to the YouTube questions selected by CNN, so Schieffer's beef with the lack of focus on Iraq would better be directed at CNN.
In his closing commentary, CBS's chief Washington correspondent acknowledged how “the additional troops the administration put into Iraq this year have made a difference -- frankly more of a difference than I would have thought,” but “the whole idea of sending those troops in was to quiet things down so the factions within the Iraqi government could work out ways to share power” yet “they haven't moved an inch.” Schieffer concluded with an admonition: “Immigration has dominated the recent presidential debates, and it is important to be sure, but Iraq is still the place where Americans are dying. We need to be hearing more about that.”
Believe it or not, "climate change" and the "perilous state of the polar bear" is being used to justify a global giant’s campaign to help market an upcoming movie.
Coca-Cola is among the many corporations that is participating in a promotional partnership with Time Warner to market the upcoming movie 'The Golden Compass,' which is based on the first of Philip Pullman's 'God-killing' trilogy of novels, 'His Dark Materials.'
Author Rick Kephart wrote Coca-Cola, telling them that group of villians in the novels is called 'The Magisterium,' which is the name of the Catholic Church's teaching authority. The response Kephart received from Coca-Cola tried to change the subject to the "hot topics" of climate change and polar bears, of all things.
For all their self-important huffing and blustering about "dictatorial" policies of the Bush administration, when it comes to standing up to actual dictators and reporting the truth, the American press usually takes the easy way out.
This ignominious tradition of pandering to the world's dictators began with Cuban ruler Fidel Castro and continues to this day. The Associated Press provides the most recent example (h/t Ace), wondering if Castro will be able to swing getting "elected" president:
City council officials in eastern Cuba nominated Fidel Castro for a parliament seat Sunday, a position the ailing 81-year-old must hold if he wants to remain the communist-run island's president after national elections in January.
Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly interviewed Media Research Center president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell on the December 3 "America's Newsroom" program about a reality dating show in the works in which the contestants are immigrants (some potentially in the U.S. illegally) seeking to gain permanent resident status by marrying a U.S. citizen.
Oh, how Old Media wants a recession. Too bad the economy isn't cooperating.
The latest Institute for Supply Management (ISM) report on the Manufacturing Sector, covering about 15% of the non-government economy, was just released this morning, and led as follows:
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in November for the 10th consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the 73rd consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.
True, the reading of 50.8% was barely above the 50% cutoff point for expansion. But it's barely lower than the 50.9% turned in last month, and still came in slightly ahead of expectations, which averaged 50.4%, according to the Associated Press, and 50.7%, according to Bloomberg.
This makes three out of three fourth quarter ISM reports showing continued growth -- two in manufacturing, plus October's non-manufacturing report that came in at 55.8%, up from 54.8% in September. If Wednesday's ISM report on non-manufacturing for November comes in at 55.9% or higher, it will means that the economy as a whole, as ISM measures it, is not only growing, but growing faster. Recession, reschmession.
Update 12-03 | 1:55 PM: Barack fires back; claims Hillary becoming "more desperate and negative by the day." See complete update at foot.
Are Hillary's internal polling numbers telling her staffers that she's in big trouble? That's the provocative theory that Chris Matthews floated on today's Morning Joe.
Host Joe Scarborough asked what could have caused Hillary and her senior aide Howard Wolfson to go on the attack against Barack Obama this weekend, respectively questioning his character and accusing him of maintaining an improper political "slush fund." In response, Matthews conjectured that Hillary's helpers have looked at the polling data . . . and seen her support "crashing."
View video here [with apologies for mediocre video quality.]
Al Gore must've gotten to the Associated Press and introduced to them his invention, the Internet, because they have announced a refit for the new news age. The New York Times spins some coverage for the venerable news wire service's newest venture, even taking the chance to extend a compliment for AP's creation of the "24-hour news cycle" (I know, that one made my head turn, too). So, at last the AP has decided the world has changed... took 'em long enough.
First off, let's dispense with the Times' claims that the AP invented the "24-hour news cycle."
The defeated reform package would have created new types of communal property, let Chavez handpick local leaders under a redrawn political map and suspended civil liberties during extended states of emergency. Without the overhaul, Chavez will be barred from running again in 2012.
Other changes would have shortened the workday from eight hours to six, created a social security fund for millions of informal laborers and promoted communal councils where residents decide how to spend government funds.
What does this mean to the United States, and how will media cover this monumental defeat for their hero Hugo?
In Monday’s Washington Post, media reporter Howard Kurtz is noting how Rudy Giuliani uses the "liberal media" as a foil in his campaign, and also offers the latest in a trend of adding prominence to his old WashPost colleagues at The Politico website for their scoop on Giuliani’s use of public money (for his security detail) for his messy private life (visits to his mistress in the Hamptons). Giuliani called the story "totally false," five years old, and a "debate-day dirty trick."
Kurtz did not ask about that "liberal media" and their double standard: that the public moneys wasted on enabling adultery was always a distasteful right-wing trash-for-cash story when the Clintons were in the spotlight (Troopergate, anyone?), and that a five-year-old Clinton adultery story was always something the liberal media would regard as news no one needed to read. Kurtz went to his long-time Post colleague John F. Harris for a rebuttal:
Returning to the airwaves this morning after a seven-month exile, Don Imus seemed intent on demonstrating two things. First, that he was unequivocally contrite concerning the comments he had made about the Rutgers University women's basketball players that resulted in his firing. Second, his contrition notwithstanding, he wasn't going to change his irreverent ways when it came to the country's political leaders.
To prove his iconoclastic bona fides, Imus concluded his monologue by observing "Dick Cheney is still a war criminal, and Hillary Clinton is still Satan."
Listen to audio here [with apologies for the mediocre sound quality.]
But before ending on that defiant note, he took several minutes to describe his meeting with the women of the Rutgers team, and the way the entire experience had changed him.
The Washington Post "Reliable Sources" gossip column led off in the upper left-hand corner on Monday with shocking comments from Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean "razzing his journalist hosts" at the Saturday night Gridiron Club dinner:
Fox News said, 'Stalin thought he was right when he did the same thing.' That was painful.... If anybody knows about Joseph Stalin's tactics, it would be the people at Fox News....
It's not the first item in the online version, perhaps because it's a quote, and not a written report. But it's definitely shocking, even from Howard Dean. Does he think that Roger Ailes has his own KGB, and maybe a Gulag in the basement?
The subject was how Dean suggested that if people don't want politicians to talk in sound bites, you could bar the press. (Nothing gets the press upset faster than the words "bar the press.") Here's the complete Dean quote as it appeared in the column by Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts:
To be caged like an animal and deported to Siberia as a 14-year-old girl is to know a level of brutality that seemingly stands outside of reality, as one gulag survivor puts it in a new documentary on Estonia.
When the Soviet Union began its occupation of the country, prison quotas were set for Russian soldiers who grabbed any convenient person they could find, the narrator informs audience members during a film segment that reviews key historical moments.
As it turns out, one-third of those deported to Siberia beginning in 1940 were children, according to the film.
It's one thing for NewsBusters and conservative commentators to blast CNN for its shoddy "moderation" of the recent Republican YouTube debate. It's quite another thing to see CNN get eaten by one if its own. And that's exactly what happened in the surprising LA Times article titled "CNN: Corrupt News Network."
LA Times Columnist Tim Rutten (who is no stranger to NewsBusters) pulls no punches in blasting CNN.
[T]his most recent debacle masquerading as a presidential debate raises serious questions about whether CNN is ethically or professionally suitable to play the political role the Democratic and Republican parties recently have conceded it.
Dictator-groupies Sean Penn, Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover are at it again. They are among the “artists, scholars and performers” calling themselves “representatives of the cultural sphere in the US,” who sent a letter to President Bush asking him to “end the travel ban,” allowing a cultural exchange between nations.
Most troubling is the group did not address Cuba's lack of freedom and limited their travel demands to Cuba's “artists and scholars.” That wasn't a mistake. As faithful fans of the Cubano Dear Leader, they don't care about all Cubans' ability to travel, just those carefully-selected Party-approved “artists and scholars." Under heavy guard, of course, to avoid more embarrassing defections.
Despite all the good news coming out of Iraq lately, it's perfectly clear that whatever happens there, CBS's Bob Schieffer isn't prepared to change his antiwar stripes any time soon.
In fact, as media outlet after media outlet - including even the liberal New York Times - admits that conditions in Iraq are improving, the host of "Face the Nation" wanted his viewers to know Sunday morning that he clearly is not willing to put down his white flag.
In fact, Schieffer's commentary is sure to make our troops putting their lives on the line for this country wonder why they are doing so (video available here):
There was a truly fascinating event on Sunday's "Meet the Press" that could definitely have lasting meaning on the 2008 presidential campaign.
Not only did host Tim Russert bring up former President Bill Clinton's flip-flop on his support of the Iraq war, but also NBC's David Gregory said, "It's a reminder of what some people who don't like Hillary Clinton don't like."
Maybe Bill shouldn't have complained about how his wife was treated by Russert and Gregory during the October debate in Philadelphia.
Possibly recalling the former president's criticism, Russert started this fascinating exchange (video available here courtesy Allah):
The Democrats are better at understanding the impact of globalization on working people in America. The wages that have been arrested and halted in their growth, while, you know the boys in investment banking are making 10 times the average income of an American. I think the Democrats understand the consequences of it more than the Republicans and, frankly, another disagreement I've got with Republicans is that they are compulsive interventionists. They seem to have learned nothing and forgotten nothing from what happened in Iraq when they are talking about doing the same thing in Iran. -- Pat Buchanan, November 29, 2007
The next time you hear the MSM defending itself against charges of a lack of balance by pointing to Pat Buchanan's presence on its panels, remember his statement above. On globalization, Pat echoes the Seattle street protesters, seasoned with some John Edwards "Two Americas" rhetoric about Wall Street fat cats. On foreign policy, Pat sounds like someone auditioning for Secretary of Peace in Pres. Kucinich's cabinet.
As climate alarmists around the world gather at a tropical resort in Bali to discuss the liberal bogeyman known as global warming, it is a metaphysical certitude green media will cheerlead the event while distorting science and history to blame all the planet's supposed ills on George W. Bush.
A fine example of this was a piece posted at Yahoo Friday evening which in its very first paragraph completely misrepresented the facts behind the Kyoto Protocol, and, especially, who was in the White House when this treaty was agreed upon and signed.
As reported by Agence France-Presse (h/t Tim Graham, emphasis added throughout):
For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: Don Rickles, who is the subject of an HBO documentary broadcasting this evening.
For those old enough to know who Don Rickles is, and who saw him regularly on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson, you understand that he is, in his way, the originally shock comedian. His schtick often involved race, religion, gender, sexual preference, and appearance, and was often done in an attack style. Question: In today's politically correct world, could a white man get away with Rickles' style of humor, or would he be deemed a racist, sexist, homophobe?