You may have seen one of the 19,000 mentions of the "Home-made helicopters from Northern Nigeria." Once the AFP article hit Yahoo! News, it crossed the blogosphere like wild fire. I highly doubt it is true, and if journalists knew the first thing about flight, they might not have been so easily duped.
For starters, let's look at the measurements provided by the journalist.
For a four-seater it is a big aircraft, measuring twelve metres (39 feet) long, seven metres high by five wide.
Seven meters high? That's 23 feet tall. Does the photograph look like the helicopter is over two stories tall and 39 feet long? But the real problem with the story is with the tail rotor -- or lack thereof. France 24 has several more of the photos of this "helicopter", and in the one where the "pilot" is opening the cardboard flap that covers the engine, you can see that there is no axle to turn the tail rotor. The tail rotor, which keeps a real helicopter from spinning the same speed as the main rotor, is purely aesthetic.
The reporter claims this helicopter has "flown briefly on six occasions" at an "altitude of seven feet", but the reporter fails to corroborate this with any other witnesses. In true journalism fashion, the reporter takes a shot at a government for allegedly not supporting the wild ideas of this dreamer:
Although some government officials got very excited when they saw him conduct a demonstration flight in neighbouring Katsina state, Nigeria's Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has so far shown no interest in his aircraft. "No one from the NCAA has come to see what I've done. We don't reward talent in this country," he lamented.... In a country with Nigeria's abysmal air safety record officials may be loath to gamble on one student's home-made helicopter.
Who are the "government officials" who "got very excited"? What were they excited about? What exactly did the reporter expect the government to "gamble on"?
CNN's Jack Cafferty used one of his Monday “Cafferty File” segments to denounce the Bush administration for opposing the expansion of the S-CHIP program, and now threatening to veto spending for home energy assistance, while pushing more money for Iraq. An exasperated Cafferty: “No money for kids' health insurance, no money to help poor families pay their heating bills, but President Bush wants $190 billion additional for 2008 for his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Cafferty contended “thirty million of the poorest Americans will be left in the cold this winter because a government program that's supposed to help pay their heating bills doesn't have enough money” and yet “the Bush administration wants to cut the program's budget. No heat for the poor people. Starting to sound familiar, isn't it? Remember a couple of weeks ago President Bush went into a closed office, shut the door, no reporters, vetoed a health bill to provide health insurance for kids.”
Cafferty's loaded question in the 7pm EDT hour of The Situation Room:
When it comes to American citizens, you really have to wonder what President Bush's priorities are. Where do the citizens of this country fit into his game plan? Hundred and ninety billion for the wars, cut the heating bill budget, veto the kids' health insurance. The question is the Bush administration doesn't have enough money to help poor families pay for heat this winter, but they want $190 billion for the Iraq war. What's your reaction to that?
Meredith Vieira on Monday's "Today" show, like Katie Couric on Sunday's "60 Minutes," offered a sympathetic venue to Valerie Plame Wilson, but unlike Couric, her replacement pointed out how the leaker of Plame's name was not a White House operative with a vendetta against Plame's husband and quoted an editorial that contended Plame's outing was her husband's fault.
Vieira began the interview by prompting Plame to explain her perception of “four-and-a-half years of character assassination.” When Plame said she felt “betrayal,” Vieira suggested: “By the President himself?” Vieira also invited Plame to denounce the supposed “beating of the drums” about Iran, “a lot of the rhetoric that you heard leading up to Iraq from the President and from the Vice President,” and wondered: “Do you believe what happened in Iraq could possibly happen in Iran? Do you believe we are headed toward war in Iran?”
If this is how the memory of heroes gets treated in the U.S. today, then I wouldn't blame any U.S. soldier if they would stop caring about their own country -- not that any soldier has done so. I reported several months ago that a bunch of ignorant, ingrates in Colorado were trying to stop a memorial to a local hero from being erected where school kids could see the display. And now we have a story where a fallen Marine's grave is desecrated. Of course this report raises the question as to whether we will hear this story on the national news?
In fact, have we heard any story on the national news of our troops being mistreated once home by anyone other than our Veteran's Administration? In any case, it begs the questions; where is people's shame? Where is their patriotism? Where is their common decency? The Houston Chronicle reports that Marine Jeremy Burris' grave was desecrated in Liberty, Texas this week.
A rare upbeat story on Iraq ran Monday night on ABC's World News. Anchor Charles Gibson touted “an extraordinary comeback story” about Fallujah, the city of one of the war's bloodiest and longest battles, but now where reporter Miguel Marquez discovered bustling markets, Marines welcomed by kids and no car bombs or shootings of Marines in several months. Gibson effused about how “we have an extraordinary comeback story tonight from the place where the Marines suffered their worst losses of the war. Fallujah is undergoing a remarkable turnaround. Tribal leaders, local officials and the U.S. Marines have united behind a common cause. Bringing security to a place that had been one of Iraq's most insecure.”
Over matching video, Marquez described how “the markets bustle. Traffic chokes the streets. Marines, once despised here, are now a welcome sight.” Viewers saw video of a Marines with kids before Colonel Rich Simcook told Marquez: “This is one of my big measures of effectiveness, where, you know, kids will come up to you, you know, they feel safe to come out and play.” Speaking with a Marine Sergeant, Marquez wondered: “When's the last time you were shot at these days?” The Marine replied: “I'd say, end of March.” Marquez saw a corollary sign things are going well: “The last car bomb in Fallujah was in May.” Though Marquez added some caveats about high unemployment and the lack of weapons for the Iraqi police, he concluded on the bright side: “There are encouraging signs. Schools just opened, and enrollment is at its highest since before the war. Construction, from huge infrastructure projects to fixing sidewalks, is everywhere. Fallujah even sports solar street lights...”
File this one under "Mental Images We Could Do Without."
Discussing her attempt to straddle the Iran issue, Chris Matthews has accused Hillary Clinton of a "wide stance." For some time, the "Hardball" host has been making the point that while Hillary now claims she voted for the 2002 Iraq resolution only for purposes of authorizing more diplomacy, at the time everyone and his uncle knew that it was a war authorization.
For example, interviewing Hillary advisor Howard Wolfson on "Hardball" back in July, Matthews stated: "Anybody who didn't think we were going to war in the months leading up to the war in Iraq wasn't paying attention."
Today, Matthews employed the infelicitous metaphor for purposes of accusing Hillary of pulling a similar stunt on Iran.
Two years ago, Time magazine did a story implying China was selling out on dictator Mao Zedong's communist legacy -- with a picture of Mao covered in Louis Vuitton bag logos. So it's a bit strange to turn around to the back cover of the October 29 edition of Time and see an ad that's -- why, it's former Soviet dictator Mikhail Gorbachev selling Louis Vuitton bags. Oh, how the anti-capitalist idealism is dwindling in Time's Man of the Decade!
The ad features a photo of Gorby in a car near the Berlin Wall, fancy bag by his side. The text says:
A journey brings us face to face with ourselves.
Berlin Wall. Returning from a conference.
The bold text is theirs. Underneath comes a note of disclosure: "Mikhail Gorbachev and Louis Vuitton are proud to support Green Cross International."
Both CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric and "Early Show" co-host Harry Smith portrayed Valerie Plame and her husband, Joe Wilson, as innocent victims, even though Plame admitted to being "partisan" in a "60 Minutes" interview with Couric on Sunday.
On Friday’s "Early Show," Smith opened a segment previewing the upcoming interview by explaining that, "Valerie Plame spent nearly 20 years in the shadows of the CIA. Then suddenly, she became a public figure." He later played a clip of the interview in which Couric exclaimed how "18 years of meticulously crafted cover were gone in an instant." Strangely there was no mention of the "Vanity Fair" photo op that Plame and her husband posed for, which Couric asked about in the "60 Minutes" interview:
Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, the old saying goes. It's certainly applicable to liberal talk show host Bill Maher, who got a taste of venom from the far-left 9/11 conspiracy crowd during a recent taping of his "Real Time" program before a live studio audience.
The mainstream television media, for the most part, ignored yet another potential Clinton scandal. As NewsBusters’ Richard Newcombe reported, the Los Angeles Times, certainly not a conservative publication, broke the story of the Clinton campaign raising a large sum of money from very poor Chinese immigrants. One third of these immigrants could not even be located and the vast majority of those located were not even registered to vote. Additionally, there is a possibility of coercion among those immigrants.
How did the morning shows cover it? On Monday, October 22, only FNC’s "Fox and Friends" covered the story. The remaining shows, NBC’s "Today," ABC’s "Good Morning America," CBS’s "The Early Show," and CNN’s "American Morning," all covered for Senator Clinton, ignoring the story.
CNN decided to not to break away from its almost non-stop coverage of the California wildfires as President Bush formally awarded a Navy SEAL killed in Afghanistan the Medal of Honor, as its competitors Fox News and MSNBC aired the ceremony at the White House live.
The Medal of Honor went to Lt. Michael Murphy of Patchogue, New York, who died in the line of duty in 2005 during operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Murphy received the first Medal of Honor awarded from Operation Enduring Freedom. President Bush made the decision to give Lt. Murphy the nation’s highest military honor on October 11.
“Instead, trade between the two [United States and Venezuela] is soaring, with our exports tripling between 2003 and 2006,” Parade said. “Car sales to Venezuela grew from $9.3 million to $323.9 million, where exports of computers and related accessories rose more than 400% and organic chemicals increased 800%.”
"It’s a children’s show, folks. To think we would be putting sexual innuendo in a children’s show is kind of outlandish." -- spokesman for Itsy Bitsy Entertainment Co., which licenses Teletubby characters in the United States.
Yeah, outlandish. I mean, how could anyone imagine there could be undisclosed gay characters in pop-culture materials for children? That Jerry Falwell, what a Christian conservative crank! We all remember how the MSM rightly unloaded on him when he suggested that the Teletubby Tinky Winky could be a hidden homosexual, because "he is purple, the gay pride color, and his antenna is shaped like a triangle, the gay pride symbol." Not to mention that he carried a purse. What ridiculous speculation!
Nine years have passed since The New Republic came to grips with the fact that it had a serial fabulist on its hands in writer Stephen Glass. Now the liberal magazine is facing more scrutiny for more faulty reporting at the hands of Scott Thomas Beauchamp.
"I couldn't help but be struck by the similarities and differences at The New Republic, then and now," blogger Ed Morrissey wrote after viewing the 2003 film "Shattered Glass," based on the rise and fall of New Republic writer Stephen Glass. What's most damning, Morrissey argues, is that the Beauchamp scandal is much worse in terms of the gravity of the news material that was faked and the disparity in how the TNR editors have responded:
America should export generosity and hope instead of bombs and fear. Host Robin Roberts quoted these sentiments from Archbishop Desmond Tutu and columnist Thomas Friedman to Laura Bush on Monday's "Good Morning America." Roberts was traveling with the First Lady through the United Arab Emirates and other Middle Eastern countries as part of a tour to increase breast cancer awareness in that region. And while the ABC host mostly stuck to discussing the honorable nature of the trip, she couldn't resist a few pointed barbs.
The GMA anchor first cited New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman's suggestion that the U.S. "should export hope instead of fear."Roberts then regurgitated another bumper sticker slogan by mentioning a discussion with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. She recounted, "Desmond Tutu went even farther, saying the generosity of Americans, that's what we should export instead of our bombs." In a follow-up interview with Middle Eastern women who survived breast cancer, Roberts awkwardly asked, "Does it help with Mrs. Bush and the United States coming here?...Or is it seen as, 'Okay, the Americans are, again, trying to force something on us?'"
While everybody on the face of the planet seems most interested in whether or not Nobel Laureate Al Gore is going to run for president in 2008, an article was published by Slate Monday asking questions of the Global Warmingist-in-Chief far more crucial than his future political aspirations.
An update on an earlier Rush Limbaugh post: On her blog at Salon, Joan Walsh reports that the charge from New York magazine's David Edelstein’s suggestion that Rush Limbaugh had threatened Time’s Richard Corliss in 1995 with an old porn piece in the leftyVillage Voice drew a very hostile e-mailed cry of "BS!" from Corliss. Wrote Walsh:
I saw the post Wednesday night and was about to link to it, but I decided to track down Corliss for comment first. He strenuously denies Edelstein's claim. Here's what he e-mailed:
"The David Edelstein column, as it relates to me, is total [B.S.], unfounded and irresponsible. Rush Limbaugh never called me, ever, and never uttered a hostile word in my direction. He certainly never defamed me, which leaves him one up on Edelstein.
To commemorate the Media Research Center’s 20th anniversary this month, we’ve just published a special expanded edition of our ‘Notable Quotables’ newsletter. This issue contains more than100 of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes we’ve uncovered over the past 20 years.
Over the next few days, I’ll be writing about some of the more obnoxious quotes we’ve uncovered over the years. To read the full issue, and watch any of the 50 video clips that accompany the issue, please visit www.MRC.org.
Today’s installment: The liberal media and communism. Probably the most sickening display of pro-communist propaganda to air on an American network was the seven-hour series ‘Portrait of the Soviet Union,’ produced by (you guessed it) Ted Turner. It aired back in March 1988 on Turner’s TBS, and was narrated by ‘Jaws’ actor Roy Scheider. Here are a few excerpts from the first night’s installment:
Post-debate reactions, other news commentaries go here.
On a different note, we're looking to do some further expansions to NB and are going to need your help. If you have some free time and would like to help out, please send me a private message. Note: You must be a registered NB member in order to send/receive private messages.
It has been five days since Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen used an offensive ethnic slur to describe the Chinese workers who built the railroads across the American West in the 1800s. Bredesen used the term in a dispatch he wrote and emailed to some Tennessee newspapers while traveling in Beijing.
The ensuing media firestorm has yet to, well, ensue. Terry Frank explains why Bredesen's rude language won't be his "macaca moment," and takes issue with Bredesen's attempt to portray himself as the victim in the story. (He blames the newspapers for not editing his piece and, contradictorily, for suggesting the word might be offensive.)
Oh, did I mention that Bredesen is a liberal Democrat? That may explain why the media firestorm never ensued.
Careening from the accusatory to the adoring, there was only one constant in Ann Curry's interview of Benazir Bhutto aired on this morning's "Today": an over-the-top emotionalism that had the show's news anchor lurching from shouted accusations to the verge of tears.
Curry is in Pakistan this week, and scored an exclusive with Bhutto, whose triumphal return to the country where she has served as Prime Minister ended in tragedy as terrorist bombs on her motorcade route killed about 140 people. Curry began her interview by focusing on Bhutto's feelings of responsibility for those deaths. While the transcript is telling, only the video completely conveys Curry's mawkish meltdown.
Monday’s Washington Post carried a long, splashy article on the divorce of Richard Mellon Scaife, major conservative philanthropist (and backer of the MRC, truth be told). The joy in Scaife’s misfortune was hardly hidden. The headline was “Low Road to Splitsville: Right-Wing Publisher's Breakup Is Super-Rich In Tawdry Details.” Reporter David Segal’s article began and ended with the gimmick that the divorce was so entertaining that you should literally pack a lunch and travel to Pittsburgh to watch it. Most of the details were personal, except for this bizarre paragraph about Scaife’s alleged philanthropic failures:
When he isn't tending to this modest publishing empire, he's underwriting what Hillary Clinton once called "a vast right-wing conspiracy." His highest-profile expenditure is the $2.3 million he gave the American Spectator magazine in the mid-'90s, to try to unearth prurient and embarrassing details about Bill Clinton's years as governor of Arkansas. (The magazine came up virtually empty-handed.)
On Sunday's "Late Edition," CNN's Wolf Blitzer aired a pre-recorded interview in which the CNN anchor asked one of the most irrational questions of the weekend, as he seemed to treat as credible accusations by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah that Israel was behind the recent assassinations of anti-Syria politicians in Lebanon. As Blitzer interviewed Walid Jumblatt, a member of the Lebanese parliament who is a "harsh critic" of Syria, the CNN host read a quote from the Hezbollah leader charging that "the hand that is killing is Israel's," and that Israel "has a sure interest in the assassinations." After Jumblatt scoffed that "that's the biggest joke that I've ever heard," Blitzer responded: "So you reject what Hassan Nasrallah is saying, that Israel is responsible for all of this?" (Transcript follows)
Blitzer had set up the interview with Jumblatt: "It's an extremely dangerous time for politicians in Lebanon. There have been a series of high-profile political assassinations, with many Lebanese blaming Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, and his regime in Damascus. Walid Jumblatt is a leading member of the Lebanese parliament. He's a very harsh critic of Syria. I spoke with him here in Washington this week."
Man, after reading this AP report on the retiring of a Chinese official, you'd think that the folks at the Associated Press were star struck by this communist oppressor. I mean, I've seen less adulation on a Britney Spears fan site! You wouldn't expect to see more slobbering, sycophancy from a 12-year-old waiting in line to see the latest boy band to appear. Their adulation of vice premier Miss Wu Yi ranges from calling her a "master problem solver," to saying she has "charm," and an "unusual degree of personal warmth." You'd think that the AP is ready to cast her as the new Aunt Bee in a remake of The Andy Griffith Show.
Starting out with obvious marvel at Yi's indispensability for those lucky Chinese, AP seems to totally forget that she is part of an oppressive communist regime that kills people daily, oppresses all manner of religious sects, and withholds the basic freedoms from their people.
Congratulations, Bobby Jindal, on winning the governorship of Louisiana. Now if only you stood any chance of your constituents liking you, much less you getting anything done as governor. At least that's the highly pessimistic message readers of the October 21 New York Times received courtesy of reporter Adam Nossiter.
It's safe to say Nossiter, reporting from New Orleans, didn't exactly spend his "Louisiana Saturday Night" by dancing "in the kitchen 'til the morning light" over Jindal's victory (emphases mine):
The ascendancy of the Brown- and Oxford-educated Mr. Jindal, an unabashed policy wonk who has produced a stream of multipoint plans, is likely to be regarded as a racial breakthrough of sorts in this once-segregated state. Still, it is one with qualifiers attached.
NewsBusters readers are well aware of the recent controversy involving Al Gore’s schlockumentary “An Inconvenient Truth.”
A few weeks ago, a British judge cited nine errors in the film. Team Gore responded Thursday in a rebuttal published at the Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog.
Now, famed climate change skeptic Christopher Monckton, in a detailed report published by the Science and Public Policy Institute, not only refuted Gore’s defense of the movie's contents, but also listed a total of 35 errors in the award-winning abomination responsible for most of the global warming hysteria sweeping the planet (emphasis added):
The next Republican debate is taking place tonight at 8:00 pm ET on Fox News Channel. Make your pre-debate predictions on this thread, once it starts, head over to NB Chat to discuss it in real time as it happens.
Heartbreaking video! Kellie Adams, a victim of the DC Snipers, tearfully speaks out about a broadcast of John Allen Muhammad by CNN where he tries to rally support and convince people he isn’t a monster. She wonders why CNN gives air time to such un-newsworthy, and white-washed garbage, when no one talks to victims families and victims anymore to see what they are going through five years later.
John Stossel dares to question the conventional wisdom of liberal minds and MSM on the topic of global warming in the following video.
The heartbreaking part of this report is to see the reaction of the children being interviewed. They have obviously been indoctrinated with only one side of the story to the point of fear. When asked where they learn this, one kid points to Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth."
One point that John takes apart as factless is that even if global warming is real, that it is man's fault. Despite recent developments, man can't control the weather, much less the climate.
John points out that there is another side to the story and that too often the scientists that have tried to tell it have been silenced and threatened. As John says, "Give me a break".
Even though folks like Al Gore say "the debate is over", the debate is long from over. The only reason it appears so is because the critics are too often silenced.
National political reporters and pundits have often forwarded preposterous-sounding reports about one of the biggest political problems that Bill and Hillary Clinton have: their spectacle of a marriage. That's why it's so interesting that Newsweek (one of those shameless outlets that wrote of how the devoted Clintons "don't kiss, they devour each other") would feature a page on biographer Sally Bedell Smith's new book on the Clinton marriage, For Love and Politics. (And that Smith had a rough time getting Hillary nuggets out of the Clinton Presidential Library.) NBC's Ann Curry also interviewed her on Friday's Today. MRC's Justin McCarthy jotted down the good parts:
CURRY: You found something pretty interesting. Not only evidence of Hillary's early ambitions from very young to run for president. But also you say on one page here that Hillary had to sign off on all the big decisions that her husband made as president. Now, how do you know that?