What do you call someone who rips off the American taxpayer by spending Katrina relief funds on champagne, "Girls Gone Wild" videos or gambling sprees? Why, a "victim," of course. At least, you do if you're an editorial writer at the Los Angeles Times.
The sub-headline in the editorial in today's LA Times reads like a parody of liberal paternalism gone wild: "It's Wrong to Blame Victims for Spending Irresponsibly." No, that's not a misprint.
While acknowledging that the 16% of improper expenditures 'is indeed high', the Times doesn't want us to get all worked up about it: "some misuse of the FEMA-issued debit cards is hardly shocking."
On MSNBC's Countdown show on Friday, substitute host Brian Unger featured a softball interview with Democratic Congressman John Murtha during which Unger queued up Murtha to attack the Bush administration's Iraq policy and Republican critics. The Countdown host bolstered Murtha's credibility by referring to his war record and labelling him a "traditional hawk" while he discredited White House advisor Karl Rove by negatively labelling him as a "partisan attacker trying to squash discussion about Iraq," and proclaimed "the Swift-Boating of the 2006 election has begun." Unger also saw no irony in fretting about "personal attacks" on Murtha even as Murtha referred to Rove "sitting on his fat backside in an air-conditioned office." (Transcript follows)
Media Matters is criticizing the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Chris Horner for saying, on the Fox News Channel's Your World with Neil Cavuto, that ratification of the Kyoto global warming treaty was not a high profile issue for President Bill Clinton during the Clinton Administration. The Media Matters headline reads: "On Fox's Your World, CEI's Horner Misled on Kyoto, Global Warming."
Media Matters says, in part:
On the June 13 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, Chris Horner, counsel for the oil industry-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), claimed falsely that the Clinton administration chose not to submit the Kyoto Protocol to the Senate for ratification because it did not consider global warming a "high-profile issue." In fact, Senate Republicans made clear at the time that Clinton would not be able to garner enough votes in the Senate to ratify the treaty...
Objecting to former President Bill Clinton taking credit for efforts to curb global warming during his presidency, Horner claimed that Clinton "set the U.S. policy, which was [that] for the final three years of his presidency, the U.S. would not seek participation in -- that is ratification of -- Kyoto." Horner made the claim to advance his suggestion that the Kyoto Protocol, a treaty mandating that countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, "was not a high-profile issue or a priority issue for the Clinton administration, like, say, school uniforms. It was not even a low-priority issue, like, say, finding Osama bin Laden."
Friday night PBS chat shows delivered a couple of slams from journalists at President Bush over his surprise trip to Baghdad early this week. After Richard Keil of Bloomberg News, who accompanied the President’s entourage, described some of the security precautions taken, Washington Week host Gwen Ifill cited “excessive security” as she derided the trip: “I wonder to what degree anybody in the White House thought maybe it might undermine our point if we have to take such excessive security precautions in order to go claim victory or whatever it was the President was trying to accomplish?" So trying to keep the President of the United States and his traveling party, including journalists, safe was “excessive”?
Up next on Washington, DC’s PBS affiliate after Washington Week: Inside Washington. On it, NPR reporter Nina Totenberg suggested Bush was rude toward Iraq’s new Prime Minister since he arrived “unannounced” and she compared Bush going to congratulate a just-chosen leader of a fledgling democracy, where over 100,000 U.S. troops are located, to British Prime Minister Tony Blair flying into DC congratulate Bush: “How would we feel if Tony Blair showed up right after -- you know, to say congratulations and didn't tell us, right after President Bush had won an election?" (Brief transcripts follow)
According to Drudge, the checkbook journalism practiced by People Magazine extended to another Time Warner property; Anderson Cooper.
There's loud chatter among industry insiders that the $4 million deal PEOPLE Mag's editor Larry Hackett cut with Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt for their baby pictures extended to CNN, also part of the TIME WARNER family. A rep for CNN denies any TIMEWARNER deal secured the interview. "Angelina Jolie's representative approached Anderson Cooper's senior executive producer David Doss because Angelina is an admirer of Anderson's work, especially his commitment to covering Africa and the plight of refugees."
There is one sure way of finding out. It is imperative that Time Warner immediately release the original contract with Angelina to determine if anything other than People Magazine is mentioned. If it were any other organization implicated in an unethical practice, wouldn't CNN demand the same of them?
Their actions over the weekend will speak directly to the ethics, transparency, and values of the news operation. (i.e. don't expect much more than more denials, obfuscating the facts, and refusing to expose the contract.)
On this morning’s "Early Show" CBS terrorism analyst and former FBI agent Christopher Whitcomb told co-host Hannah Storm that he believes the seized al Qaeda documents are believable, i.e. the ones where al Qaeda admits it’s losing in Iraq, and that the United States is making significant progress in the overall war on terrorism.
Ms. Storm began her interview of Mr Whitcomb inquiring about the authenticity of these al Qaeda memos:
"The Iraqi government has released a document it said was found at the site of the bombing when al Zarqawi was killed. Actually, the U.S. government says it was found a few weeks before on a hard drive. But the bottom line is this document says that al Qaeda's weakening. It's an al Qaeda document, supposedly. Do you buy it? Can we take it at face value?"
CBS News scooped the rest of the liberal media in noting the Iraqi government distributed an al-Qaeda memo loaded with pessimism about how time is on the side of the Americans, and recruits are down. While The Washington Times trumpeted the news on its front page, Friday's major liberal newspapers seemed to work very hard to bury that memo and suggest it's quite possible it's dubious in origin.
The New York Times touched on the documents in a front-page story by Dexter Filkins on Zarqawi's replacement, which carried the subhead "Details Include Hints of Group's Disarray." In the fifth paragraph, Filkins noted American officials suggested there were "signs of disruption, and a potential power struggle" inside the group. But the documents were inside the paper, beginning in paragraph 19, and paragraph 21 carried the line about "time is now beginning to be of service to the American forces." But Filkins was careful to note "There was no way to verify the authenticity of the document."
In the past week, President Bush has visited Iraq, had his top political operative cleared of wrongdoing, and presided over the elimination of the terrorist mastermind Abu Musab Al Zarqawi. NBC’s Today show took note of this fact and the June 16 edition featured a segment on Bush’s upturn in fortunes. But if conservatives expected the media to be happy about Bush’s "good week," they were sadly mistaken. Today reporter Norah O’Donnell began her piece, which aired at 7:13AM EDT, by stating that the Bush administration hoped the current string of positive events would become more then "just a fleeting bit of good news." She also implied that the President’s trip was a political stunt:
"And the President may get the most mileage...literally and figuratively, out of his drop-in to Baghdad...with secrecy both necessary and adding dramatic effect."
It’s about time that bribe taker and thief, William Jefferson, Democrat Louisiana, was booted off his committee assignments in the House of Reps.
Now, obviously we should not ask him to resign until the investigation is complete, but it is perfectly sensible to tell him to vacate his position on any committees where he can influence legislation.
The House stripped Democratic Rep. William Jefferson of his committee seat on Friday in an unprecedented action against a lawmaker ensnared in scandal, but not under indictment.
Interesting that they feel they have to say how “unprecedented” this “action” is, though. In fact the whole article is couched in the flavor of how badly kindly ‘ol Mr. Jefferson is being treated by all those mean folks in the House.
But, here is the question I have… The offices of William Jefferson were entered on May 20th and it was then that it was revealed the huge amounts of cash, cash identified as marked FBI money, that he had hidden in a freezer proving his bribe taking. Yet, we are only now seeing him forced to step down on June 16th.
A recent Washington Post article claims “More than 500 children die annually from accidental gunshots: Some shoot themselves, while others kill friends or siblings, often after discovering a gun.”
To understand how a biased or under-educated writer makes an inaccurate and misleading error, we must first clarify the term “child”. Oxford English Dictionary defines the word “childhood” as: “The state or stage of life as a child…the time from birth to puberty.” Oxford defines “puberty” as: “The period during which adolescents reach sexual maturity and become capable of reproduction, distinguished by the appearance of secondary sexual characteristics.” In terms of age, there seems to be general agreement that this ability to procreate occurs by the age of 15: childhood is over by then.
Dan Bobkoff, who covers Massachusetts for Albany, N.Y.-based WAMC/Northeast Public Radio, has written a piece for CBS News's Public Eye blog in which he offers ideas for reform of the broadcast networks' evening newscasts. (Hat tip: Romenesko.) Bobkoff, a former intern for ABC's World News Tonight, opines:
...I think the shows should try to become as different from one another as possible.
The first step toward originality would be to turn off all the TV's in the newsroom. Producers love watching the "competition" on a row of monitors while they work, and will note with glee if they air an important story five minutes before another network. But watching each other doesn't create a better product; it creates sameness.
After they turn off the TV’s, they should cancel their subscriptions to The New York Times. The paper's great, but it shouldn't be TV's job to read the paper and then steal the feature stories for that evening’s newscast (unusual baby names, ABC?)
With nothing to copy off the TV or from the papers, the newscasts then could think about broadening what they cover...
Just days after substitute Today co-host Campbell Brown applied a little bit of weekday Tim Russert elbow grease to Howard Dean, asking about the Democratic split on Iraq, Brown's interview with James Carville this morning didn't even contain questions, just set-up statements.
First, MRC's Scott Whitlock reported, Brown asked a soft question on the segment's premise on whether Bush is on the mend: "So let me ask you both this question. And Michael you start. Are we going to look back at this week and say this is the week that President Bush got his mojo back?" Smerconish said yes, Bush was now the "comeback kid."
Then came Brown's completely supine non-question: "All right, James. You're laughing. Go ahead."
CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS REPORTER: WordCentral.com defines terrorism as the use of a violent or destructive act to achieve a goal. Why is it so difficult for the international community to agree on a definition for terrorism?
OCTAVIA NASR, CNN SENIOR EDITOR FOR ARAB AFFAIRS: Well, I think for one, terrorism for one person is a freedom fight for another. And you know, the Arab world always talks about this, as they say the so-called terrorism, because they believe that - in Iraq, for example, many people are struggling against occupation, so in many ways they support that struggle against occupation but then they draw a line between those who are struggling. They want a free Iraq, they want the occupiers out and those who are pushing the envelope and crossing the line by terrorizing people. And when we say terrorizing people, in a sense, it's going after the innocent civilians, the unsuspecting civilians, taking hostages, beheading them. Committing acts that are totally unacceptable, even by the standards of a freedom fight. So, you know, if you think about it, "terrorism" is a subjective term depending on which side you are on.
TV critic Alessandra Stanley goes after host Jay Leno for not laying a glove on his Wednesday night guest Ann Coulter in Friday’s Arts review, “A Battle of Wits, And No Clear Win.”
It’s clear who the liberal Stanley is rooting for in this clash of TV talker vs. best-selling conservative titan, chastening both Leno and David Letterman for failing to verbally spank Coulter: “As his tut-tutting chat with the mean girl of the moment showed, Jay Leno is a terrible interviewer….Mr. Leno, who will be replaced by Conan O'Brien in 2009, can afford to slack off, but it is [rival TV talker David] Letterman who seems to be taking too many of his shows pass/fail. And it's a shame, because the host of CBS's ‘Late Show’ is the comedian intellectually and temperamentally most suited to taking on the conservative enfant terrible and giving her a much-deserved public swat.”
Rachel Marsden writes at Front Page Magazine that ever since news of terrorist plots in Canada came out, "Canadian journalists have been busy spitballing accusations of ethnic insensitivity at each other."
Seventeen alleged Islamic terrorists were arrested in Canada recently, leaving approximately 50 more terrorist cells to go, according to federal spy agency sources. But even with authorities acknowledging that more arrests are inevitable, there’s one thing that could hinder further takedowns: political correctness.
Since the terror busts, some Canadian journalists have been busy spitballing accusations of ethnic insensitivity at each other from the nation’s editorial pages. Obviously, they’d rather be picking the lint out of each other’s navels than worrying about the folks who want to kill us.
Meanwhile, the political climate here is so charged that politicians, editors and police are treading on eggshells, afraid that the wrong words could be enough to send some Islamofascists on a bender—as though they actually need an excuse.
Red Herring reports that Yahoo is planning a new citizen journalism website where users can upload their own videos or camera phone pictures immediately from the location of an incident.
The terrorist attack of the July 7 London bombings is what inspired Yahoo to pursue the venture, as average citizens provided material instantly seen around the world.
Yahoo News, one of the world’s most popular news aggregation sites, plans to launch a citizen video-journalist news service at the end of June that will act as a collection and publication site for news videos generated by the public.
Sources involved in discussions with Yahoo News said the project, which has been in development for months, will introduce an upload capability that will take the PC out of the connectivity loop, so amateur video journalists can upload footage directly from the location of the event.
Writing at NewsMax, Steve Malzberg talks about how the liberal press holds Ann Coulter to a much higher standard than it does for left-wing humorists.
You have to admire the brazen
hypocrisy being exhibited by the liberal media when it comes to the
treatment that Ann Coulter has been receiving from them.
She has been so vilified that at least one liberal columnist has
reportedly suggested she'd be better off dead. He actually asked her,
"Would it kill you to do us all a favor and kill yourself?" But that
columnist, Simon Dumenco of Ad Age, gets away unscathed – as do the
rest of those who have directed vile, outrageous and shameful remarks
in the direction of Coulter and others on the right.
The Washington Post reports on Friday's front page that Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich, a Republican, fired his appointee to the D.C. area Metro transit authority board after he said on a local public-access cable talk show that we shouldn't "proffer a special place of entitlement within the laws of the United States for persons of sexual deviancy."
Obviously, that special place of entitlement already exists in the political culture: Robert Smith was terminated for calling homosexuality "deviancy," even as he complained it has "nothing to do with running trains and buses." But the Post demonstrated its bias by suggesting that this catering to the gay left qualifies as "centrism." Reporters Lena Sun and Matthew Mosk wrote that Ehrlich for months now "has been working to position himself as a centrist."
As this op-ed column from today's Los Angeles Times illustrates, the MSM and the left-dominated American academy continue to side, in the name of 'human rights', against measures designed to protect us from another 9/11 and with those who might potentially do us harm.
Author David Cole, a law professor at Georgetown University and volunteer attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, was co-counsel to the plaintiffs in Turkmen vs. Ashcroft. He condemns the district court ruling in that case, which, as described in this article from Jurist, held:
On MSNBC's Countdown show on Thursday, substitute host Brian Unger suggested President Bush views American troops as "expendable" as he picked up on an erroneous report by the Washington Post that the new Iraqi government would offer amnesty to insurgents who had killed American troops. Unger contended that the President is "apparently okay with that," and wondered if the White House risked being "perceived as believing that American lives in Iraq are expendable." By contrast, FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume corrected the Washington Post's inaccurate story, which was based on an interview with an outgoing Iraqi government official. And just days after Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a high-level member of al-Qaeda's leadership, was killed in Iraq, Unger dismissed Iraq's relevance to the war on terrorism, calling it "a link that has been proven not to exist." (Transcript follows)
All three broadcast network evening newscasts on Thursday night put the 2,500 deaths of U.S. servicemen in Iraq mark ahead of the Iraqi government’s release of an al-Qaeda memo which admitted they are losing as it characterized their situation in Iraq as “bleak” and conceded that “time is now beginning to be of service to the American forces and harmful to the resistance.” The CBS Evening News, however, at least incorporated both developments in their lead story run before the news that Bill Gates plans to step down from Microsoft in two years, though CBS anchor Bob Schieffer managed to slip in a plug for the upcoming Gates story as he opened: "We have two big stories tonight; Bill Gates, whose inventions changed the way we lived, is giving up day-to-day operations at Microsoft.” Schieffer then jumped to his lead: “There was also a grim milestone today. U.S. military deaths in Iraq now total 2,500.” Both ABC and NBC led with Gates.
Civil War re-enactor Tim VanRaemdonck said he was just staying in character when he wrote "slave" as the occupation of black children on fictitious enlistment papers during Civil War Days at Crossroads Village.
Word reached Crossroads Village manager Garry Pringle, who had two conversations with VanRaemdonck and asked him to leave.
Gosh! Imagine that! A black person being assumed a slave in 1860's Georgia?
Yesterday Lee Cowan, of CBS News, may have exaggerated the size of the protests in Baghdad by people loyal to cleric Muqtada al Sadr, in response to President Bush’s surprise visit. But today, he made up for it. Cowan, reporting from Baghdad for "The Early Show" on CBS, was the only reporter on the 3 major network morning shows to quote from al Qaeda documents found after the death of terrorist leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi.
While "Good Morning America" on ABC and "Today" on NBC gave only cursory mention of the documents, "The Early Show" led the program with the story. Co-host Julie Chen noted the significance of the documents and what they could mean when she introduced Cowan’s piece:
Here's what BMI's Dan Gainor posted Thursday about Lauer's Tuesday night foray into documentary-making (click here for the full article):
“We are the problem,” declared NBC’s “Today” co-anchor Matt Lauer doing a stint as host for the SciFi network. Lauer was referring to mankind’s alleged misuse of planet Earth, but his comment better suits the media and his apocalyptic documentary.
Lauer’s program, “Countdown to Doomsday,” merged nearly every science-fiction disaster flick ever made – “The Terminator,” “Deep Impact,” “I, Robot” and, of course, the SciFi Channel’s own “Battlestar Gallactica.” Lauer’s news background gave an air of respectability to the documentary and the show was filled with news footage from Hurricane Katrina, 9/11 and more to reinforce that impression.
ABC political reporter Liz Marlantes covered the coming House debate on Iraq for "Good Morning America" Thursday, but something seemed seriously missing: conservative Republicans who support the war. They seem to be the ones who have organized the resolution being debated, but they're not in ABC's story anywhere. Marlantes began:
Today the House of Representatives will debate a resolution that honors U.S. servicemen and women and declares the U.S. is committed to completing the mission in Iraq. Democrats are already calling it a political trap. Despite a positive turn of events in Iraq, the debate in Washington is all about an exit strategy.
Once again, the alternative media broke news before the MSM. Last May, NewsBusters reported that CBS and Dan Rather were about to part company. Today, the Philadelphia Inquirer's Gail Shister and the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz confirmed it. From Shister's story:
Barring a miracle, CBS will not renew the legendary newsman's contract when it expires in late November. All signs point to it.
Still, like Sisyphus, Rather keeps pushing the rock at Black Rock.
"I don't quit. It's not in me," Rather, 74, said yesterday in a rare
interview about his future at CBS. "As long as there's any chance I can
stay and do meaningful work, that's what I want to do. Not every day
can be bliss."
Bliss? The McCarthy hearings would be bliss compared to Rather's last 18 months at CBS.
Following Memogate, he was forced to step down as CBS Evening News anchor in March '05 after a record 24 years. Mike Wallace, among several other marquee colleagues, said he should have been fired.
The situation and conditions of the resistance in Iraq have reached a point that requires a review of the events and of the work being done inside Iraq. Such a study is needed in order to show the best means to accomplish the required goals, especially that the forces of the National Guard have succeeded in forming an enormous shield protecting the American forces and have reduced substantially the losses that were solely suffered by the American forces. This is in addition to the role, played by the Shi'a (the leadership and masses) by supporting the occupation, working to defeat the resistance and by informing on its elements.
So in private, al Qaeda is saying that America is winning. Hear that New York Times?
However, here in Iraq, time is now beginning to be of service to the American forces and harmful to the resistance for the following reasons: 3. By undertaking a media campaign against the resistance resulting in weakening its influence inside the country and presenting its work as harmful to the population rather than being beneficial to the population.
Well, maybe they aren't rooting for a recession, but the mainstream media sure are anticipating one coming around the bend any time now, and have for quite a while.
That's the finding in the Business & Media Institute's latest newsletter story, available online here.
Here's a taste:
No matter how the economy is doing, the word “recession”
never seems too far away. CBS began the year with talk of a recession and
similar discussion has cropped on up ABC and CNN throughout 2006 and even going
back to Hurricane Rita last fall.
ABC delivered two separate warnings of the latest recession
fears on June 7. Starting with “Good Morning America,” the network ran counter
to recent news that first-quarter growth had been revised upward. The new
number was even stronger: 5.3 percent. Despite that excellent performance,
reporter Robin Roberts warned that a recession was possible. “The two-day sell
off was sparked by concerns that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates
too much, cooling the economy to the point of recession,” she claimed.