We're all a little tired of the parade of Pat Robertson gaffes that the press seems to enjoy -- the latest one being the leg-press-a-ton boasting. But Catholic blogger Mark Shea reports the latest from gay bishop Gene Robinson, an outrageous gaffe that the secular media will predictably ignore:
Pinkerton reports on his brief foray inside the belly of the 'immigrant rights' beast. Far from being an echo of the black civil-rights movement of the '60s based on non-violence, Pinkerton says that it's a radical 'movimiento' animated by dreams of 'reconquista.'
Pinkerton explains that earlier this week he attended a panel discussion entitled "The New Immigrants Movement," part of a "Take Back America" conference convened in Washington, D.C., by the left-wing Campaign for America's Future.
The New York Times has sunk to a new low in their quest to shut down Gitmo's terrorist training facility, this time by turning over their opinion page to a suspected terrorist.
Today's editorial page features an op-ed from Mourad Benchellali, a French national awaiting trial in France on terror charges. Benchellali's op-ed, titled "Detainees in Despair," claims that he was unjustly plucked from an outdoor cafe by Pakistani police, and held under brutal conditions at the Guantanamo Bay facility without reason or probable cause.
I was seized by the Pakistani Army while having tea at a mosque shortly
after I managed to cross the border. A few days later I was delivered
to the United States Army: although I didn't know it at the time, I was
now labeled an "enemy combatant." It did not matter that I was no one's
enemy and had never been on a battlefield, let alone fought or aimed a
weapon at anyone
During the panel segment on Wednesday’s Special Report with Brit Hume on FNC, Fred Barnes and Morton Kondracke criticized and ridiculed the questions posed by the White House press corps during the morning’s presidential press conference in the Rose Garden. Kondracke pointed out how “there was hardly any question, critical question from the right,” such as about how Bush was following a misguided Clintonite path on Iran or how not enough troops are being allocated to securing Baghdad.
Barnes proposed: “These questions tell you what reporters are interested in and not what is really important or what the American people would like to hear about.” Barnes mockingly recited what upset him: “The President just went on a trip to Iraq to demonstrate that he's not pulling out the troops right away. If you couldn't realize that that's what that trip was partially about, you're an idiot. And yet the first question was about a troop pullout. The second question was about getting out of Guantanamo. I mean, it just went on and on. Two questions about Karl Rove. Karl Rove has just been vindicated, and these questions were, 'Mr. President, now really, now he may not be indicted but he really did bad stuff, right? Tell us about it.' Come on. This is, these are obsessions of reporters that don't match the feelings of the American people." Barnes also zeroed in on “preening by some reporter with a gotcha question. Ridiculous." (Transcript from Hume’s show, and of several of the questions posed in the Rose Garden, follow.)
Talk radio show host Michael Smerconish appeared on tonight's Scarborough Country to promote his suggestion, set forth in this column, Cut Coulter Loose, that the GOP disavow Ann Coulter for the statements in her most recent book, 'Godless', about the 9/11 Jersey Girl widows .
Smerconish told Scarborough that the Republican party needs to "make clear" that Coulter's comments are "appalling."
Scarborough sympathized, saying that Coulter's Jersey Girl comments "need to be condemned." He complained that when you do criticize Coulter, "conservatives accuse people like us of being traitors."
Using language which painted Karl Rove as a guilty party who succeeded at avoiding capture by authorities, not proving his innocence, in his NBC Nightly News story on Wednesday (also carried at the top of MSNBC’s Countdown) about President George W. Bush’s morning Rose Garden press conference, David Gregory asserted: “Mr. Bush dodged several questions about Karl Rove eluding prosecution in the CIA leak case.” Viewers then saw this clip of Bush: “And obviously, along with others in the White House, took a sigh of relief when he made the decision he made and now we’re going to move forward.” The Oxford Concise Dictionary, built into the Corel WordPerfect I’m using to write this, defines “elude” as “evade or escape adroitly from.” Dictionary.com offers: “To evade or escape from, as by daring, cleverness, or skill.” Their illustrative example in a sentence: “The suspect continues to elude the police.”
Here's a lovely example of liberal media bias: A CBS poll finds that 60% of Americans say it's likely "that the United States will ultimately find success in Iraq," and more than 50% say "Iraq will eventually become a stable democracy."
So is the headline, "Majority of Americans Foresee Success in Iraq"? Nope, it's "Poll: Zarqawi Death Has Little Impact." [Subhead: "Despite Zarqawi Death, Most Americans Say War's Going Badly."] CBS chose to play up this finding:
After being off the last two days, Harry Smith returned to CBS’s "Early Show" this morning and apparently he didn’t forget the bias. Today Smith interviewed Dan Bartlett, a counselor to President Bush. While Smith set up Senator Joe Biden on June 5 to go on the offensive against the war, he tried his best to keep Bartlett on the defensive while downplaying President Bush’s surprise visit to Iraq yesterday.
Smith began the questioning:
"Well, the Iraqis now have a constitution. Now they actually have a government as well. What they don't have in Baghdad is day-to-day security or even electricity. How does the president's visit change that?"
Earlier this week, the Media Research Center released a new study documenting the fairly heavy coverage ABC, CBS and NBC have provided of yet-unproved claims that U.S. Marines engaged in a “massacre” in Haditha, Iraq last year. The study found those same networks have provided relatively paltry coverage of the select group of American heroes who’ve been given the military’s highest honors: the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross, the Air Force and the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Today’s Washington Times (Jennifer Harper) has a nice summary of our study’s key findings, plus some reaction from the multi-national force in Iraq. Excerpts from her article, “‘Bad News’ Rife in military coverage”:
You'd think that President Bush's surprise visit to Iraq would warrant a big front-page headline in one of the country's largest newspapers. Yet today's print edition of the Los Angeles Times (Wednesday, June 14, 2006) blares the headline, "Crackdown Underway in Baghdad." A reference to the surprise visit is relegated to the sub-headline, and only a tiny 1.75" x 2" photo of President Bush and Prime Minister Minister Maliki occupies the page. The far-more appropriate title is platooned to the continuation of the story on page A24: "Bush Visits Iraq Ahead of Major Sweep."
The Times appears to be continuing its practice of downplaying good news for the Bush administration (here and here are just a couple of many examples; see also this).
Apparently, Countdown’s Keith Olbermann doesn’t play well with others – color me shocked.
According to Lloyd Grove of the New York Daily News (hat tip to TV Newser), MSNBC’s Olbermann sent an e-mail message to one of his three fans that aren’t related to him that included a rather derogatory comment about his colleague, Rita Cosby:
“‘Rita's nice,’ Olbermann wrote to a fan from his MSNBC E-mail account, ‘but dumber than a suitcase of rocks.’ Yesterday Cosby retorted: ‘Keith got it wrong. I'm not that nice.’"
Outgoing CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer is a man who's never been ashamed to portray himself as not always the first guy to get the news -- or stay with the news as it happens. (Remember how he took a nap as Trent Lott destroyed his career? It's the last quote here.) MRC's Brian Boyd reports it happened again this morning on the Imus simulcast on MSNBC at 7:42 AM EDT:
Don Imus: “Hey, how about Hillary Clinton getting booed at this liberal gathering in New York for her stance on Iraq. Did you hear about that?”
Rigby is the pastor at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Austin, TX. He has gotten into hot water for conducting ceremonies for homosexual couples. His church has also admitted a professed atheist as a member.
Lashawn Barber writes at Townhall.com that the Duke lacrosse rape story was just too good for the mainstream media to ignore: privileged white college students having their way with a poor black single mother.
When a black stripper claimed three white Duke University lacrosse players gang-raped her at a party, I knew instinctively it was a lie. The tale reeked of Tawana Brawley-like fabrications. At 15, Brawley claimed that six white men abducted and raped her, smeared her with feces and wrote racial epithets on her body. The media loved it.
It turned out that Brawley lied to get out of trouble for skipping school to see a jailbird ex-boyfriend. The media glommed on to the Duke rape story in a similar man-bites-dog fashion. Since news accounts of black-on-white crimes are rather commonplace, journalists jumped at the chance to exploit a fresh angle.
The blog Sweetness & Light has done excellent legwork exposing Time magazine's reporting on the Haditha incident. Sweetness & Light wants to know why it took so long for the incident to be reported by the media (four months) and who were the shadowy figures who gave the material to Time.
The Washington Times wrote an excellent summary of the work done by Sweetness & Light.
Time first broke the story on Haditha in March, four months after the incident -- a delay which too few of the Marines' more ardent accusers (such as Rep. John Murtha) failed to question. One of Time's key sources who had taken footage of the aftermath was represented only as a "journalism student." It has since been learned that this eyewitness was Taher Thabet al Hadithi.
Here's how Time reporter Aparisim Ghosh described Mr. Hadithi: "[H]e's a young local man ... He brought the tape to Hammurabi Human Rights... and they brought it to us once they found out that we were inquiring about this."
NY Times editorial writer Adam Cohen was on the Las Vegas junket attending the left-wing blog gathering of DailyKos fans in Las Vegas (“The Yearly Kos”), along with political reporter Adam Nagourney and columnist Maureen Dowd. Cohen plugs it in a starry-eyed editorial today, “Could a 15-Year-Old With a Laptop Be the New Campaign Media Guru?”
(The guru in question is one Ava Lowery from Alabama.)
Patrick Quinn, Chief of Southeast Europe News for the Associated Press, says President Bush's trip to Iraq was a complete failure. With a trip this bad, it's a wonder the White House even planned it.
Many Sunnis and even some Shiite political parties dismissed President Bush's visit to Baghdad on Tuesday as merely an attempt to associate himself with positive developments in Iraq – formation of the new government and last week's killing of the country's most feared terrorist.
Since he could find "many" Suunis and "some" Shiites who didn't like the visit, couldn't he also find "many" Sunnis and "some" Shiites to praise the visit? Apparently not, as every source cited in the article plays down the trip.
An aide to Muqtada al-Sadr denounced the visit, as well as a Baghdad University professor.
In America, people are innocent until proven guilty, unless of course they are Republican.
No finer example of such legal relativism has occurred in recent memory than the case of President Bush’s top advisor, Karl Rove. For months, virtually every mainstream media outlet proclaimed his guilt regarding the Valerie Plame Wilson affair, or what has been not so affectionately named the CIA-leak case.
Take for example the media’s excitement over pending indictments for Rove. This hit a fevered pitch last fall as Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, after almost two years of research, depositions, and grand jury testimonies, was about to announce his findings on October 28.
Sadly for the drive-by media, no indictments were handed down for Rove that day.
As a result, restaurateurs and bar owners around the country were likely forced to give back millions of dollars in deposits for all the “Rove is Going to Jail” parties that ended up being cancelled by disappointed Democrats coast to coast.
However, hope – which some ironically claim springs eternal – reemerged in late April when Rove appeared in front of a grand jury for the fifth time to answer more of Fitzgerald’s questions. This re-ignited a media firestorm of enthusiasm
PBS talk-show host Charlie Rose returned to his set on Monday night after some weeks off for heart surgery. While he was out, PBS used a rotating set of liberal-media stars as hosts, including Barbara Walters, Brian Williams, and CNBC's Maria Bartiromo. Just last week, MRC intern Chadd Clark found some typical liberal thoughts coming from guest hosts.
On June 5, former CNN anchor Judy Woodruff interviewed Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and she echoed Charlie Gibson's lame idea that public opinion on so-called "gay marriage" is a 50-50 polling proposition:
The United States Senate today, spending the day debating an amendment to the US Constitution to ban gay marriage. President Bush lobbying hard for it. The polls show the American people almost split down the middle. You've written a letter urging members of the Senate to vote for the ban. Why?"
Has Katie Couric's departure had a salubrious effect on Matt Lauer? Freed his inner moderate? The jury's still out. And to be sure, in his interview of Bill O'Reilly this morning Lauer managed to take shots at Ann Coulter and the Iraq security situation. Still, when an MSM host suggests that releasing prisoners from Guantanamo could result, of all things, in an 'international Willie Horton,' it does make you sit up and take notice.
Meanwhile, BOR himself, fresh from his visit to Guantanamo, energetically made the case for the current system of detaining enemy combatants.
Lauer did start things out with a quick jab at the state of security, or lack thereof, in Iraq:
On Monday, movie star/director Robert Redford appeared on "Hardball" to discuss environmentalism. Hardballs weren't really expected. (Remember Chris Matthews fawning over Jane Fonda?) MRC's Geoff Dickens found that Redford sounded predictable notes about how Bush and Cheney were "living in the '50s" with their energy policies, driven by their oil riches and narrow minds. Al Gore's film showed that green groups had idealism comparable to JFK and Martin Luther King. So why can't the Democrats win? They're too "open to all points of view."
Matthews began, predictably, by praising Redford's activism and this great new moment to be green:
In the Clinton years, the Clintons fans loathed Chris Matthews, locating him firmly inside the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. In the Bush years, Matthews is whacked regularly by the left and by the right. On Monday, MRC's Geoff Dickens found him sounding just like another disgruntled member of MoveOn.org as he interviewed John Murtha: the Democrats are too conservative.
“Why are the Democrats so conservative on this war? I was looking at the, the, the fundraising money. Is the fact that the Democrats are getting a lot of fat cat money no, more conservative people contributing to the party, an explanation of, if you were getting your money from college professors, you wouldn’t have this problem. You’re getting it from rich people. You’re catching up, in fact, passing the Republicans in fundraising. Is this steering the Democratic party to a more conservative position on the war, the money?”
Support the war in Iraq without having been there and you're a "chickenhawk," but travel to Baghdad and it's a political stunt. Such is the logic of the New York Times editorial page, which still hasn't gotten over President Bush's visit to the USS Abraham Lincoln in 2003.
Three years after declaring from the deck of an aircraft carrier
that America had accomplished its mission in Iraq, President Bush flew
to Baghdad yesterday to make much of two modest pieces of encouraging
news — the belated confirmation of the last three members of the Iraqi
cabinet and the death of Iraq's top terrorist, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
now, Americans surely know the difference between a presidential
publicity stunt and a true turning point in this ever-lengthening war.
If they had any question about which one this was, Karl Rove provided
some guidance in New Hampshire, where he delivered the campaign talking
points to the Republican faithful: the Democrats could never have
summoned the will to kill Mr. Zarqawi. For an administration that is
supposed to be rallying a nation at war, it was a revealingly nasty,
partisan and divisive moment.
MSNBC Countdown fill-in host Brian Unger on Tuesday night asked David Shuster about how “your sources seemed to indicate that Karl Rove would be indicted. What happened?" In fact, back on May 8, as recounted in a Tuesday NewsBusters posting, Shuster had gone beyond just citing sources and declared: “I am convinced that Karl Rove will, in fact, be indicted.” Responding to Unger, Shuster first blamed his sources: “The defense lawyers who have witnesses in front of that grand jury, sometimes they get it wrong, and that seemed to be the case in this particular case.”
Then Shuster suggested Rove really is guilty, but prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was afraid he’d be embarrassed if he lost such a high-profile case and so pulled back. Shuster contended that with the exception of Rove’s lawyer, “all” of the lawyers involved in the case contend that in “the same circumstances all over again, somebody testifying five times before a grand jury, somebody who had the burden to stop the charges, somebody who had to testify for three and a half hours the last time, and oh, by the way, he had a classification in the Libby case that almost suggested he would certainly be indicted, the lawyers saying they would have reached the same conclusion” that he would be indicted. “The issue, they say, though, is not that prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald concluded that the case was unwinnable, rather that it was not a slam dunk.” Unger presumed Fitzgerald let Rove off easy as he cited “straight arrow” Fitzgerald’s “remarkable restraint.” (Full transcript follows)
The media is overflowing with stories about the incident in Haditha on November 19, 2005. There are so many stories and so many interviews but there is a problem. Many of the stories and recountings of events are inconsistent and seem ever changing.
Take the conflicting stories from Thaer al-Hadithi - the "young Iraqi journalist" and AP's "Iraqi human rights investigator". Al-Hadithi claimed that his "own house was barely 100 yards from the IED explosion." He recounted that the blast shattered his windows. Al-Hadithi claimed he "ran outside in time to see Marines from three other humvees springing from their vehicles and heading for four homes on either side of the road."
But in his interview with the AP, he claimed "he was visiting his family in Haditha". Al-Hadithi described an "eerie silence after the explosion". He told the AP that he watched from the window of his home and had a clear view of two of the houses.
Of the broadcast network evening shows on Tuesday night, ABC’s World News Tonight delivered the most rancorous take on President Bush’s surprise trip to Baghdad with Martha Raddatz citing “deception” and fretting about how while Bush was in the air to Iraq his staffers were still giving journalists a false schedule and she concluded by pointing out how there are more troops in Iraq now than when Bush last visited in 2003.
Raddatz asserted: "This trip was not only surrounded in secrecy, there was a bit of deception as well” since “at 7:45 last night Mr. Bush excused himself from a meeting, saying he was 'losing altitude' and wanted to read awhile before bed." Instead, he traveled to Andrews to get plane to Iraq. “While the President was flying,” Raddatz complained, “the White House Press Office was giving the Washington press corps a fake schedule." ABC News producer Jon Garcia then bemoaned: "They were still giving out details and information about a supposed White House Rose Garden event with the President." Raddatz sighed: "Not until he landed in Iraq did Washington know the truth.” She concluded by suggesting failure in how there are not fewer troops in Iraq: “When the President visited the troops in 2003, Charlie, there were 120,000 Americans there. Today, there are 128,000 Americans there, and no sign that those troops will be reduced dramatically in the future." (Transcript follows)
In his Tuesday World News Tonight story on how top White House adviser Karl Rove will not be indicted for perjury in the Valerie Plame case, ABC’s Jake Tapper, in a rare instance of one journalist criticizing another, actually highlighted an agenda-driven media miscue as he featured a quote showcased earlier today on NewsBusters: “The investigation has already resulted in one indictment, former White House adviser ‘Scooter' Libby. And some Democrats and some in the media wrongly predicted Rove would be next."
Viewers then a saw Web video quality clip of MSNBC’s David Shuster from the May 8 Countdown: “I am convinced that Karl Rove will, in fact, be indicted." (Tapper, who earlier featured a soundbite from RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman, then moved on to how “Democrats said while Rove may not have violated the letter of the law, he may have violated a sacred trust.")
"Tonight" host Jay Leno might want to consider wearing referee stripes on Wednesday's show when Ann Coulter and George Carlin are his guests.
Coulter, the acid-tongued conservative with a new book out, and Carlin, the quick-witted, anti-establishment comedian who's in the voice cast for the new animated film "Cars," were booked at separate times for the NBC late-nighter, a spokeswoman said Monday.
But the duo's meeting could produce serious fireworks for "Tonight," which usually limits its political fodder to Leno's bipartisan monologue jokes.