Latest Posts

By Tim Graham | March 29, 2011 | 8:43 AM EDT

One sign that the broadcast networks aren’t vigorously opposed to President Obama’s air strikes in Libya is the utter lack of polls. There were no ABC/Washington Post or NBC/Wall Street Journal polls touted before Obama’s Libya address, and a Gallup poll showing only 47 percent support for military action has been barely mentioned.

CBS News did a poll (without The New York Times) and briefly touted its results on March 22. Katie Couric offered one sentence on the Evening News: “A CBS News poll out tonight finds most Americans are following the events in Libya closely and nearly seven out of ten approve of the air strikes.” But the question was phrased in a way to encourage support for a coalition effort protecting innocent civilians:

"As you may know, the U.S. military and other countries have begun cruise missile and air strikes in Libya in order to protect civilians from attacks by Qaddafi's forces. Do you approve or disapprove of the U.S. and other countries taking this military action in Libya?"

By Mark Finkelstein | March 29, 2011 | 8:32 AM EDT

Many here at home may have criticized President Obama's speech last night on Libya.  But abroad, there was at least one man who dug PBO's remarks: Muammar Gaddafi . . .

That was the educated estimation of NBC's Jim Maceda, reporting from Libya on Morning Joe today.  It was PBO's failure to call for regime change that would have buoyed Gaddafi, says Maceda.  He reported that regime officials are acting much more "bellicose" and "defiant" in the wake of the president's speech.

View video after the jump.

By Tim Graham | March 29, 2011 | 8:05 AM EDT

Penny Starr at our sister site noticed how even the Easter Egg Roll under the Obamas need a sheen of political correctness:

The White House announced Monday that this year’s Easter Egg Roll will be “more environmentally friendly,” with eggs made ofwood certified by an environmental activist organization and packaging that will “minimize waste and environmental impact.”

The press release issued by the White House states that the eggs will be produced in the United States from hardwood “certified” by the Forest Stewardship Council, a non-profit organization with a presence in 50 countries and a mission “to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests.” 

By Noel Sheppard | March 29, 2011 | 12:31 AM EDT

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Monday went to great pains illustrating the similarities between President Obama's Libya address to the nation and his December 2009 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

Not surprisingly, the devout dove suddenly turned hawk chose not to discuss the irony (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):

By Matt Hadro | March 28, 2011 | 7:00 PM EDT

In discussing the present "kinetic military action" in Libya, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell and Contessa Brewer both tried to shift scrutiny away from President Obama and toward Republicans Monday afternoon, hours before the President's address to the nation on Libya.

O'Donnell tried to pinpoint the hypocrisy of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for criticizing Obama's failure to obtain authorization from Congress for military action in Libya. The liberal MSNBC host referred back to a nonbinding Senate resolution passed unanimously on March 1, calling for the U.N. Security Council to implement a no-fly zone over Libya.

Since the resolution passed unanimously, O'Donnell believed McConnell to be a hypocrite for voting for a no-fly zone and then calling out President Obama for failing to seek authorization from Congress. The nonbinding resolution, though, was effectively an opinion from the Senate on the matter. The U.S. Congress never authorized President Obama to declare war or preside over military action in Libya.  

(Video after the jump.)

By Jack Coleman | March 28, 2011 | 6:36 PM EDT

For a mercifully fleeting moment, Ed Schultz was considered a possible candidate for Senate.

It came in the wake of Sen. Byron Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota, announcing in January 2010 that he would not seek re-election. Speculation briefly centered on Schultz running to succeed Dorgan until Schultz adamantly denied he had any intention of doing so.

On Friday, Schultz demonstrated why he is unfit for public office or anything resembling genuine power over other people. It came during a conversation with a caller to Schultz's radio show after the caller complained that "war criminals" in the Bush administration were "not held accountable" for their crimes  (audio) --

By Matthew Balan | March 28, 2011 | 5:57 PM EDT

CNN's Soledad O'Brien's Sunday documentary about the controversial mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee predictably leaned towards the local Muslims who want it built. O'Brien brushed aside an opponent's concerns over Sharia law in the U.S.: "In New York City, we have a big Muslim community. There is no Sharia law [there]." She also omitted how a featured Muslim woman is related to one of the mosque's planners (audio available here).

Forty-five minutes into her hour-long documentary, which aired at 8 pm Eastern, the journalist noted the fall 2010 trial which asked for an injunction to halt the construction of the mosque, but instead of reporting that the trial focused on concerns that the approval of the mosque "did not provide adequate public comment and that its members will impose Sharia Law on Murfreesboro residents," as a local newspaper reported, O'Brien spun this by playing up how, apparently, "in a small courtroom in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Islam was on trial." She then explained that "opponents claim the facility would increase traffic, damage water quality, and provide a foothold for radical Muslims and Islamic law."

[Video embedded below the page break]

By Kyle Drennen | March 28, 2011 | 5:36 PM EDT

On CBS's Sunday Morning, left-wing commentator Nancy Giles managed to attack Rush Limbaugh while condemning a UCLA student's internet video rant against Asians: "Her monologue was straight out of the Rush Limbaugh playbook from a few months ago....And Rush is a cartoon. In my humble opinion."

A clip was played of Limbaugh mocking Chinese President Hu Jintao after a joint press conference held with President Obama in January. Giles could have just as easily said that UCLA student Alexandra Wallace was taking a page out of the Rosie O'Donnell playbook.

By Scott Whitlock | March 28, 2011 | 5:20 PM EDT

Former Nightline host Ted Koppel appeared on Sunday's Reliable Sources and wistfully called for a return to "more serious objectivity" and the need for reporters who can tell audiences "what's really important in the world."

This is the same Ted Koppel who once stopped just shy of calling Rush Limbaugh "hateful," who in a commentary said of enhanced interrogation techniques, "You know, it’s almost the moral equivalent of saying that rape is an enhanced seduction technique."

Talking to CNN anchor Howard Kurtz on Sunday, Koppel proclaimed, "I think the journalism requires, and our times require, a little more serious objectivity." He added, "And I think there has to be a willingness on the part of the public to accept that journalism is trying to do an honest job of giving them an objective accounting of what's going on in the world and an objective appraisal of what's really important in the world."

By Ken Shepherd | March 28, 2011 | 3:51 PM EDT

While President Obama has been withdrawn from press scrutiny over his handling of Libya, he's managed to sit down to no less than six local TV interviews this month, with a view to a friendly format focused on issues of concern to his liberal base in swing states.

Washington Post's Peter Wallsten has the story on today's print edition front page (emphases mine):

By Clay Waters | March 28, 2011 | 2:23 PM EDT

There was some labeling slant in New York Times reporter Kim Severson’s take on a crackdown on illegal immigrants in Southern states in Saturday’s “Southern Lawmakers Focus on Illegal Immigrants."

By Matt Hadro | March 28, 2011 | 1:50 PM EDT

During Monday's "Morning Joe," Time's Mark Halperin and co-host Mika Brzezinski helpfully provided some spin for the White House to borrow as President Obama finishes his prepared remarks for Monday evening's address to the nation on the events in Libya.

President Obama has received sharp criticism for his foreign policy concerning Egypt and Libya, but Halperin threw cold water on that, calling Obama's strategy "extremely deft in a very tough situation." Brzezinski agreed with his premise, adding that his "deft" handling is also in accord with promises he previously made.

"He's pro-democracy, right? He's anti-violence. He's anti-unilateral U.S. intervention," Halperin noted of Obama, trying to connect his current policy with the peacemaker he claimed to be as a presidential candidate.

(Video below the jump. Comments begin at the 12:30 mark.)

By Tom Blumer | March 28, 2011 | 1:39 PM EDT

On Friday, Steven Ertelt at Life News, with video backup provided by prolife protesters who were on hand, relayed something New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg said at a pro-Planned Parenthood rally in Englewood, New Jersey in response to the protesters:

They want other people not to be able to have their own opinions. These people (referring to the pro-life advocates) don’t deserve the freedoms in the Constitution, but we’ll give it to them anyway.

So how did the establishment press cover Lautenberg's tyranny-supportive remarks?

By Clay Waters | March 28, 2011 | 1:18 PM EDT

 Sunday’s New York Times's National section led off with Kirk Johnson's “Inundated With News, Many Find It Difficult To Keep Up on Libya,” which dug up some novel excuses for the public’s resistance to Obama’s war in Libya (a Gallup poll shows only 47% approve of the bombing strikes): Information “overload,” “compassion fatigue,” and the NCAA basketball tournament.

Denver Bureau Chief Johnson, whose reporting has a pro-Democratic slant, blamed the findings in part on “compassion fatigue.” That itself is a leading description -- would the Times have ever suggested Bush’s involvement in Iraq was borne out of “compassion” for innocent Iraqis?

In the case of a war waged by Obama, the Times ignores other reasons why the public could be skeptical: Fears of mission creep, questions about exit strategies, and concerns about the wisdom of choosing sides in a civil war. Instead, Johnson faults information overload. The inference? The public would be showing more support Obama’s war if they weren’t so distracted by the Japan earthquake and the NCAA basketball tournament.

By Clay Waters | March 28, 2011 | 10:57 AM EDT

The latest installment of New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller’s Sunday Magazine column, “Among the Guerrillas -- What role do the mainstream media play in an environment beset by Assanges and O’Keefes?” likened conservative guerrilla film-maker James O’Keefe, who brought down ACORN and the executive suite at National Public Radio with his hoaxes, to Julian Assange, the anti-American anarchist who spilled secret diplomatic cables with the intent of harming U.S. interests.

Intriguingly, Keller went further than he usually does to meet his critics, confessing that his paper could be rightfully accused of a liberal outlook in a cultural sense, though he managed to make this particular brand of urban cultural liberalism sound appealing: “[Former Public Editor Daniel] Okrent went on to explain that The Times’s outlook, steeped in the mores of a big, rambunctious city, tends to be culturally liberal: open-minded, skeptical of dogma, secular, cosmopolitan....Okrent rightly scolded us for sometimes seeming to look down our urban noses at the churchgoing, the gun-owning and the unlettered.”