Wednesday’s CBS ‘Early Show’ had a recurring theme in its coverage of the Southern California wildfires: the federal government failed to provide resources. Co-host Harry Smith opened the show by exclaiming that "...a fire chief says it's "the absolute truth," with more air resources, we would have been able to control this." In a later segment of the show, co-host Hannah Storm asked FEMA Administrator David Paulison, "Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California complained the ability of the state's National Guard has been compromised because too much of their equipment and personnel is in Iraq. Is that true?"
In addition to Smith’s blame-the-government show intro, he later observed in a report from the fire line that "I'll tell you, resources is a big part of this story...There are just not enough planes, there's not enough people, there's not enough equipment." Smith then sent the coverage to CBS reporter Bill Whitaker, who asked a firefighter if the wildfires could be brought under control, to which the firefighter responded "...if we get the resources..." Whitaker then remarked, " Now, considering how stretched resources are all across Southern California, that is a big "if."
It might not be as sexy as an item about an MSM anchor exposing his liberal bias. But if there's one thing I'd encourage conservatives to read, consider and act on in the blogosphere today, it is the Patrick Ruffni column "Information Gaps on the Right" at Hugh Hewitt's blog.
Ruffini's fundamental point is the need for professionalized, conservative "feeder blogs," sites that "tee up" information for other blogs. Ruffini points to Think Progress as a model from the left of what this should be:
Reporter Claire Shipman did her level best to get California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to say the efforts to combat the state's wild fires were going poorly. Shipman interviewed the governor on Wednesday's "Good Morning America" and wondered about "the comparison to Katrina that everybody's making in the back of their mind..." At one point, Governor Schwarzenegger cut off Shipman's pleas for negative assessments of the effort by grabbing her arm. He bluntly scolded, "Trust me when I tell you, you're looking for a mistake and you won't find it because it's all good news, as much as you maybe hate it, but it's good news."
Earlier, the ABC correspondent attempted to deflate Schwarzenegger's sunny optimism by mentioning unnamed officials in Orange County who asserted the state doesn't have enough resources, including firefighting aircraft. The former actor simply wouldn't go along with this premise of victimization. He firmly retorted, "Anyone that is complaining about the planes, just wants to complain because it's a bunch of nonsense." Schwarzenegger then proceeded to point out that the state has 90 planes and only wind has hampered their use.
The hills of Los Angeles are burning and the media keep finding reasons to blame global warming.
CNN found a way to work global warming into its reporting on a national tragedy on October 23.
During “Anderson Cooper 360: In the Line of Fire,” CNN’s Tom Foreman even looked into his crystal ball to predict the future by warning of a possible “century of fires, just like what we're seeing now” as a result of global warming.
Foreman cautioned viewers that, “greater periods of rain” that fuel “increased vegetation growth” over the next century may provide a “potential link between these fires and global warming.”
Like clockwork, much of the mainstream media quickly jumped to blame the California wildfires on global warming. As CBS’s "60 Minutes" and "NBC Nightly News" jumped on the global warming bandwagon, Headline News’ Glenn Beck offered a different take: government forest mismanagement and environmental pressure groups forbidding California homeowners from clearing flammable brush around their land.
Stephen Colbert, the liberal comedian who portrays a conservative TV talk show host, recently launched a similarly fake presidential campaign. Trouble for him and his network, the fact that Colbert's PR stunt is funded by Viacom (Comedy Central) and Doritos may make it illegal:
With its snack-food sponsorship, Democratic and Republican affiliations [MS: isn't that somehow a violation of Colbert's conservative schtick?], and Sen. Larry Craig as a possible running mate, Stephen Colbert's run for the presidency is hardly serious business.
But the joke could be on Colbert if federal election officials decide his candidacy is for real. [...]
It's not every day you read an article in a major newspaper stating unequivocally that media radically misreported a current event that made national headlines, especially one with a racial component.
However, that's exactly what happened Wednesday when the Christian Science Monitor published an article written by the assistant editor of the Jena Times about how press outlets "got most of the basics wrong" concerning the beating of a white student by six black students in Jena, Louisiana.
In fact, the author, Craig Franklin, was by no means shy with his criticism of just how poorly media behaved (emphasis added, h/t Glenn Reynolds):
For many months, NewsBusters has been warning readers that the hysteria being generated by the media and the Global Warmingist-in-Chief Al Gore concerning climate change would eventually begin to impact energy and economic policies.
Following last Thursday's landmark decision in Kansas to not give an electricity producer a construction license for a coal-fired power plant due to global warming fears, more than a dozen states are set to file a lawsuit against the Bush administration for holding up efforts to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from cars and trucks.
I kid you not.
As reported by the New York Times Wednesday (emphasis added throughout):
To commemorate the Media Research Center’s 20th anniversary this month, we’ve just published a special expanded edition of our ‘Notable Quotables’ newsletter with more than 100 of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes we’ve uncovered over the past 20 years. Earlier this week, I presented quotes showing the media’s sympathy towards totalitarian communism and hostility towards Ronald Reagan and other conservatives.
Today’s installment: The media’s love affair with Bill and Hillary Clinton. For 15 years, liberal reporters have made themselves looked like the sycophants they are, as they made excuse after excuse for the Clintons’ moral failings even as they applauded the couple’s supposed greatness. But perhaps no one looked sillier than Dan Rather on May 15, 2001, when the then-CBS News anchor was asked on Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor if he thought Bill Clinton was honest.
As Valerie Plame does the interview rounds – CBS, NBC, CNN, NPR – someone might miss the far-left, Bush-hating blog interviews. On Firedoglake, the most notable pro-Plame blog, Plame did a typewritten chat with her leftist admirers on Monday. She loved the leftist bloggers at FDL – even had them to her home for dinner -- and declared her interviews on CBS and NBC were fair. Her husband, Joe Wilson, popped in to suggest that two people convinced the Wilsons to fight the pernicious far right: Sidney Blumenthal – and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Former Watergate figure John Dean also popped in – to suggest Plame could be Hillary’s CIA Director.
See update at foot -- ESPN teases football player for dressing like Tinky Winky.
Like a youngster stubbornly unwilling to admit that the Tooth Fairy isn't real, Keith Olbermann seems unable to accept that Tinky Winky is gay. Perhaps the MSNBC host should check with some of his more sophisticated friends.
Today it's being reported that Louisiana State Senator Derrick Shepherd stands accused by the FBI of money laundering. The AP duly reported the messy story surrounding this charge, of course. Their story was long and exhaustive for an AP report. Only one tiny, little thing seems to have been forgotten by the AP. They seem to have forgotten to mention that Shepherd is a Democrat. I know... shocking, eh? This is just another in a long, long line of MSM reports -- and AP reports in particular -- where a report on criminal activity by an elected official seems to lack party identification... IF that criminal activity is perpetrated by a Democrat, of course.
In a recent Web interview with "Foreign Policy" magazine, dated October 2007, which focused on environmental issues, CNN founder Ted Turner claimed that global warming presents a greater danger to the world than Iran. Turner: "Iran does not put us in peril like global warming does." In a September interview with "GQ" magazine, Turner had similarly downplayed the nuclear threat from Iran as he argued that America's nuclear arsenal poses a greater threat to the world: "I'm much more worried about our nuclear arsenal than theirs. Iran, at best, can get a few nuclear weapons. We have tens of thousands." The CNN founder further suggested that global warming is to blame for the drought in the Southeast, and contended that the same Al Gore who refuses to debate scientists on global warming is as "smart as a whip." (Transcript follows)
From that headline alone you can see part one of CNN's ballyhooed "Planet in Peril" program was a mixed bag. More than an hour of the first night focused on the extinction of rare species as a preface to global disaster. Forty-five minutes into the program, I began to envy some of the creatures and wondered what poacher would put me out of my misery and save me from a "planet under assault."
The photography was good, not Discovery Channel quality, but above average and the locales were exotic. But the first hour moved with almost glacial tedium. Only when hour two got going did it get more interesting - exploring Chinese pollution and Anderson Cooper's bloodstream.
The special, called by the network "the story the world can't afford to ignore," was led by Cooper, and also featured Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin. As the program went on, it got more interesting. Gupta whipped out typical Malthusian claims of global overpopulation saying there simply aren't enough natural resources to support everyone.
With pressure mounting, Democratic Congressman Pete Stark finally apologized today for his reprehensible statements on the House floor last week.
In his disjointed anti-war rant last Thursday, Stark shamefully remarked:
You don't have money to fund the war or children. But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement.
Republicans immediately objected, with House Minority Leader John Boehner demanding a retraction and noting that "Congressman Stark's statement dishonors not only the commander in chief, but the thousands of courageous men and women of America's armed forces who believe in their mission and are putting their lives on the line for our freedom and security.''
As much as liberals decry major corporations that act as if they’re above the law, there’s always quiet when the subject is Planned Parenthood, America’s number one corporate provider of abortions. During its 2005-2006 fiscal year, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America performed a record 264,943 abortions, reported a tidy profit of $55.8 million – and received a record high in taxpayer funding of $305.3 million.
This is one corporation the media hold in the highest regard. They’re not "merchants of death." That would be the tobacco companies, or gun manufacturers, or hamburger joints. These are the heroic "providers" of "a woman’s right to choose."
They’re also sleazy in their business practices. In Aurora, Illinois, Planned Parenthood planned to build the biggest abortion clinic in the country, but they lied by omission to the city. Throughout the construction process, the McDonald’s of the abortion industry applied for permits by listing the owner as "Gemini Office Development," not as Planned Parenthood.
ABC and CBS stuck Tuesday night with news stories on the impact of the roaring California wild fires, but as houses were still burning NBC Nightly News found it an opportune time to make the case that global warming caused the fires. NBC's sole expert, however, delivered a circular argument in which the lack of scientific proof did not detract at all from his media-shared presumption that anything bad which occurs in the environment can be tied to global warming. After reporter Anne Thompson cautioned scientists say you can't know “after just one season” whether warming is to blame, Princeton professor Michael Oppenheimer, a leading global warming alarmist who, NBC failed to mention, serves as a science adviser to Environmental Defense, reasoned:
The weather we've seen this fall may or may not be due to the global warming trend, but it's certainly a clear picture of what the future is going to look like if we don't act quickly to cut emissions of the greenhouse gases.
President Bush has shown that he can be empathetic, sensitive and decisive. But those qualities eluded him for days after Hurricane Katrina . . . He didn't cancel his vacation until two days after Katrina struck and didn't visit the region until four days after the storm. -- "A compassionate Bush was absent right after Katrina", USA Today, 9-9-05
USA Today's broadside is typical of the MSM criticism leveled at Pres. Bush for his failure to visit New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. So, now that President Bush has announced that he will be visiting California on Thursday while the wildfire flames are still burning, naturally the MSM and Dems will put politics aside and laud his decision, right?
As NewsBusters reported Friday, Rep. Pete Stark (D-Cal.) made some rather disgusting comments on the floor of the House last week about kids being sent "to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president`s amusement."
On Tuesday, Stark took to the floor once again, this time remarkably to apologize for his previous statement.
As the broadcast networks almost completely ignored Stark's comments Thursday - not one of the evening news programs bothered to report it all - one wonders whether the Congressman's statement today will get any more attention.
After all, what left-thinking media outlet is going to want to report a Democrat Congressman actually apologizing to a Republican President this way (video available here, h/t Hot Air):
With Southern California in the midst of dealing with disastrous wildfires, on Sunday’s "60 Minutes," anchor Scott Pelley used the issue to promote Global Warming ideology. He did a segment on wildfires in the American west and declared in traditional alarmist fashion: "It appears that we're living in a new age of mega-fires, forest infernos ten times bigger than the fires we're used to seeing." It did not take long for Pelley to find the culprit for this crisis as he talked to University of Arizona professor, Tom Swetnam:
Swetnam says that climate change-- global warming-- has increased temperatures in the west about one degree, and that has caused four times more fires. Swetnam and his colleagues published those findings in the journal "Science," and the world's leading researchers on climate change have endorsed their conclusions.
Earlier in the segment, Pelley talked to head of federal fire operations, Tom Boatner:
Monica Guzman, an online reporter with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, told readers in an October 22 blog post that global warming could be causing the number of stray cats in Seattle to increase. In an interview with shelter director (and amateur climatologist) Don Jordan, he said:
"A decade ago or two decades ago, when there were cold spells in the winter, a certain part of the cat population died off. But if we're not having those real cold spells, a lot more animals stay alive through the breeding season."
It is no secret that Air America is a favorite of most if not all the liberal denizens of many newsrooms. In Austin today, Austin Statesman reporter W. Gardner Selby cemented that reputation in his/her publicity piece on Air America's demise in Austin, Texas. Wrote Selby,
Air America seeks another home in Central Texas, but nothing is imminent, Kaufman said. He'd welcome tips at email@example.com. "If someone can point me in the direction of someone more amenable to picking up our format, I'll take all the help I can get," Kaufman said.
I am aware that the liberal media will do virtually anything to try to counteract the conservative dominance of talk radio, but for a supposedly neutral reporter to publish the liberal talk radio's contact information along with a barely-disguised plea for someone to add Air America to their radio lineup strikes me as somehow beyond the pale.
Don Feder doesn't take Ann Coulter seriously "as an evangelist," but "no one can get the left going like Ann." He captures some stunning Coulter-hatred in the media.
The piece de hysteria (believe me, the competition was stiff) was a column by L.A. Times media critic Tim Rutten, who darkly warned that, "The rails leading to Auschwitz were greased by precisely the opinion Coulter expressed on American television this week."
Rutten -- who's saying that evangelizing facilitates genocide -- needs to be kept away from a keyboard, for his own safety.
On October 7, NewsBusters shared the astonishing statements of journalists from the Washington Post and CNN as to why good news from Iraq should not get reported.
Two weeks later, the Iraq Interior Ministry announced: "Violence in Iraq has dropped by 70 percent since the end of June, when U.S. forces completed their build-up of 30,000 extra troops to stabilize the war-torn country."
Such was reported by Reuters at 1:01 PM EST Monday. Not surprisingly, the major American media outlets ignored the good news.
Deliciously coincident, military blogger Michael Yon posted a piece at his website Monday appropriately titled "Resistance is futile: You will be (mis)informed" that should be must-reading for all Americans, especially elected officials (emphasis added throughout):
Valerie Plame (wife of serial anti-war misleader Joe Wilson) has just published "Fair Game," the biography of her life before and after columnist Robert Novak "outed" her as a "CIA operative" in a column in 2003, starting a domino effect that made her and her husband heroes of the antiwar movement and the media, including the New York Times.
Times critic Janet Maslin's review Monday neither questioned Plame's story nor raised a single inconvenient truth.
"Needless to say, the story of how her career was derailed and her C.I.A. cover blown also has its combative side. But the real proof of Ms. Wilson's fighting spirit is the form in which her version of events has been brought into the light of day. 'Anyone not living in a cave for the last few years knew I had a career at the C.I.A.,' writes Ms. Wilson (who has gone by that name since she married former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV in 1998). Once that career was destroyed, she wrote this account of her experiences as a means of both supporting herself and settling scores. She was contractually obligated to submit a draft of the book to the Central Intelligence Agency's Publications Review Board. That draft came back heavily expurgated. She was then expected to rewrite her book so that it made sense despite many deletions."
Every time the media feature an ostensibly Average Joe to further a liberal Democratic talking point, my curiosity is piqued as to how that person was singled out by a news agency to flesh out the human dimension of a policy argument. Many times it turns out the poster child/family in question is delivered to the media on a silver platter courtesy of a professional liberal activist.
The Frost family of Baltimore seems to be no exception, as Lisa Rein of the Washington Post noted in passing deep in her October 23 article on Bonnie Frost's pro-socialized health care activism.:
"Bonnie's a symbol of the true depth of the health-care crisis in Maryland," said Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative, which is sponsoring the new radio ad. "Luckily, CHIP is there for their kids, but there's nothing for them."
Want to know the fate of humanity? Why pick up a copy of Rolling Stone, of course. There you'll find the latest eco-extremist prediction designed to scare the world into global warming action. Gaia theory creator James Lovelock is in the latest issue predicting mankind will almost be wiped out by 2100 from global warming.
Lovelock told Rolling Stone that predictions of the earth's warming will be "nearly double the likeliest predictions of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change." Rolling Stone summed it up by saying "The human race is doomed," in a story posted on its site October 17. Only as few as 500 million will survive "with most of the survivors living in the far latitudes - Canada, Iceland, Scandinavia, the Arctic Basin."
The Bush administration is starving for good news out of Iraq, and it may finally have some: new U.S. government statistics showing that violent attacks of all kinds are down to levels not seen since 2005. But until recently, the administration appears to have resisted acknowledging a key element of the new data, because it flies in the face of President George W. Bush's ongoing rhetorical confrontation with Iran's clerical regime. According to three senior U.S. officials, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, the decline in Iraq violence also includes a decrease in the number of attacks attributable to insurgents backed or armed by Iran. Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell confirmed to Newsweek that "there has indeed been a drop" in such attacks, but he added that "it's not entirely clear what the reason for that is."
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Bush administration has now been accused of trying to cover up good news from Iraq. The second paragraph just piles on the ignorance - with a shocking secret revealed:
After dedicating nearly 10,000 words over two months to promoting feminist author Susan Faludi's bizarre screed "The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America," the New York Times finally ran into some opposition: its own book reviewer.
Clay Waters described the paper's September 27 interview with the author here. It was one of five articles the paper dedicated to the book, which argues that the reaction to the 9/11 attacks amounted to little more than an attack on feminism.
Today, the paper's book reviewer, Michiko Kakutani, cuts right to the chase: "This, sadly, is the sort of tendentious, self-important, sloppily reasoned book that gives feminism a bad name."
Keep in mind, the review totaled little more than 1,000 words. That leaves the Times dedicating about 9,000 words to sloppy reasoning on a very important subject. But, given the paper has great influence over how history is written, this dissent -- the shortest of the five pieces on the book, including an October 22 reprint of the whole first chapter -- should be noted, especially because Kakutani's effective shredding of Faludi's theory stands in such contrast to the four, earlier puff pieces.