Does the media have any understanding at all of how important they are to terrorists and other enemies of the United States with their determined moral equivalency? When it comes to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the answer appears to be a resounding no. Time Magazine's Richard Stengel provides a glowing puff piece on the Iranian leader, entirely abrogating his responsibility as a reporter to provide any context whatsoever. Stengel writes of Ahmadinejad,
The invitation was on creamy stationery with fancy calligraphy: The Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran "requests the pleasure" of my company to dine with H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The dinner is at the Intercontinental Hotel — with names carefully written out at all the place settings around a rectangular table. There are about 50 of us, academics and journalists mostly. There's Brian Williams across the room, and Christiane Amanpour a few seats down. And at a little after 8pm, on a day when he has already addressed the U.N., the evening after his confrontation at Columbia, a bowing and smiling Mahmoud Admadinejad glides into the room.
This is now an annual ritual for the President of Iran. Every year, during the U.N. General Assembly in New York, he plots out a media campaign that — in its shrewdness, relentlessness, and quest for attention — would rival Angelina Jolie on a movie junket. And like any international figure, Mr. Ahmadinejad hones his performance for multiple audiences: in this case, the journalists and academics who can filter his speech and ideas for a wider American audience.
As a country music fan, it often frosts me to flip open the pages of a newspaper and read snide, left-of-center snark from music reviewers about the right-leaning, patriotic sentiments of country musicians. Toby Keith, in particular, has been a favorite target of liberal journalists, although the tide's been turning a bit of late.
So here's something that might just end up "Shock'n Y'All": CBS "Early Show" co-anchor Hannah Storm praising Keith's patriotism, work ethic, and talent in a September 24 blog post:
Are profane, sexist, and violent rap lyrics harming America? That question was asked at a House hearing convened yesterday to examine the role of the music industry in public affairs:
Lawmakers, music industry executives and rappers disagreed Tuesday over who was to blame for sexist and degrading language in hip-hop music but united in opposing government censorship as a solution.
"If by some stroke of the pen hip-hop was silenced, the issues would still be present in our communities," rapper and record producer David Banner, whose real name is Levell Crump, said in prepared statements to a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing. "Drugs, violence and the criminal element were around long before hip-hop existed."
CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric lined up with her hero Hillary Clinton in opposing the current war in Iraq, reports the Washington Examiner:
“Everyone in this room would agree that people in this country were misled in terms of the rationale of this war,” said Couric, adding that it is “pretty much accepted” that the war in Iraq was a mistake.
“I’ve never understood why [invading Iraq] was so high on the administration’s agenda when terrorism was going on in Afghanistan and Pakistan and that [Iraq] had no true connection with al Qaeda.”
Jeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin added the former Today co-host traced her discomfort with the administration’s march to war back to the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Carter Wood of Shopfloor.org is not buying what Columbia Journalism Review is selling. Not after its smug, self-important pitch letter whining about supposed attacks on freedom of speech and press in America. Not after said sales pitch falls so close to Columbia welcoming dictator and enemy of press freedom Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
Columbia Journalism Review picked an inauspicious time to be sending out subscription pitches to Journalism School alumni, coinciding with the debacle that was Ahmadinejad's appearance at the university.
Reading through the pitch letter (.pdf copy here) signed by CJR Editor Mike Hoyt, we were struck by the unremitting hostility it emits toward U.S. institutions, primarily the government but also business and religion. In CJR's world view, a journalist's responsibility is apparently to attack, attack, attack -- because the institutions being reported on are corrupt and a threat to our freedoms.
And the come-on leads with a preposterous assertion:
Assume for a moment that one of the world's leading oil companies was identified to be using child laborers in various countries in order to cut payroll costs. Do you think that would be front page, headline news in the States?
Well, it appears that the carbon offset scam, devised largely to assuage the environmental guilt of wealthy people, is resulting in the exploitation of children in India. Yet, it seems a metaphysical certitude that global warming obsessed media won't bat an eye.
Why might that be?
As reported in Britain's Sunday Times (emphasis added, h/t Marc Morano):
Does National Public Radio have a nose for news? Or a nose that's offended by the scent of President Bush? NPR news boss Ellen Weiss has snubbed an exclusive interview opportunity with President Bush. Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz reported Wednesday that the White House offered NPR’s Juan Williams an interview on race relations, but NPR didn’t want it on its airwaves. So it aired instead on the Fox News Channel.
Williams told Kurtz he was "stunned" by NPR's decision. "It makes no sense to me. President Bush has never given an interview in which he focused on race. . . . I was stunned by the decision to turn their backs on him and to turn their backs on me." Fox was even sharper. "NPR's lack of news judgment is astonishing, and their treatment of a respected journalist like Juan Williams is appalling," said Fox spokeswoman Irena Briganti.
Figures. Who else would Mika Brzezinski's ink-stained doppelganger be but Maureen Dowd?
"Morning Joe" has apparently introduced a new feature, "Three Things to Read Today," in which each of the panelists recommends an item from that morning's newspaper crop. Willie Geist went first today, and being the pop-culture maven he is, suggested the New York Post's coverage of the sexual harrassment lawsuit that a former female New York Knicks employee has brought against coach Isiah Thomas.
This is one of those times when I really, really wonder about traditional media reporting.
You see, the Cleveland Plain Dealer spent almost six years, going all the way back to November of 2001, covering the saga of ultimately deported Cleveland Islamic leader Fawaz Damra. I count over 45 stories at the PD's Damra collection.
Are the producers and Barbara Walters over at TV's "The View" already about to dump a new View co-host over her controversial views? Rumors to that effect are beginning to leak out, anyway. While Rosie got well over a year to spout her anti-American, anti-Bush garbage before the folks at The View finally got motivated to dump her for a new hostess, it looks like the new gal isn't as lucky. What seems to have disgusted "The View's" backstage handlers this time is a perceived "conservative" doubting of evolution in favor of a religious viewpoint that Sherri Shepherd recently revealed in one of her early appearances.
So, at issue is the comment new Viewette Shepherd said about evolution. As Bill Zwecker, Chicago Sun-Times TV writer says:
The definition of ironic? A media outlet that omitted positive information about Iraq...from an article that criticized the media for doing just that.
Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch commander of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, which is stationed in Iraq, spoke to reporters while on leave in the US. He denounced the media habit of omitting or downplaying positive news coming out of Iraq and then gave an example of the kind of news that is usually downplayed or omitted by the media (thnx NewsBusters reader).
In a perfect illustration of what Lynch meant, Editor & Publisher, a leading industry journal, let its metaphorical slip show and omitted Lynch's positive news about Iraq from the paper's September 21 article.
Anybody that has logged on to the Internet in the past couple of days is well aware that the far left in our nation are doing what the far left are best at: calling people racists, and hoping folks will be fired as a result.
The latest conspiracy fabricated by the left - albeit in a long line of conspiracies - deals with comments made by Fox News's Bill O'Reilly on his radio program.
Tuesday evening, O'Reilly invited liberal NPR correspondent Juan Williams on "The Factor" - who, coincidentally, was O'Reilly's radio guest when the supposedly offensive words were uttered - for his views on the subject.
Likely much to the chagrin of liberals throughout the nation, Williams came strongly to O'Reilly's defense, and pointed an accusatory finger at those that have intentionally mischaracterized what transpired for their own benefit (video available here, h/t Johnny Dollar):
When the news broke that Dan Rather was suing CBS News for $70 million for somehow destroying his reputation, the most noticeable reaction came from the media establishment itself. From the first story in the New York Times, it carried a different tone between the lines of the breaking news. Rather’s former colleagues think he’s lost his marbles.
The Times story by Jacques Steinberg said Rather’s career came to an “inglorious end” and now he’s taking “vehement issue” with CBS’s soft-scrub internal investigation. Rather claimed “to be reduced to little more than a patsy” in the story, and now works for an “obscure cable channel.” The implication between the lines? Gunga Dan’s picked one battle too many.
Less than a half-hour after Kiran Chetry and Roland Martin speculated whether O’Reilly’s recent comments on race would be the next "Imus Moment," the cast of MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" mocked the Fox News host. Co-host Mika Brzezinski put on her best Meryl Streep imitation after a clip of O’Reilly’s comments were played. "Oh, my God.... Wow... That's attractive," and also made an audible Al Gore-style sigh. Guest host Willie Geist went further. "Also, using the term 'blacks.’ I don't think anybody's said that since like 1973." Come again?
Brzezinski, Geist, and host Joe Scarborough discussed O’Reilly at the top of the 8 am Eastern hour on Tuesday’s "Morning Joe." While the cast played the O’Reilly clip for the first time, a caption spun O’Reilly’s words: "O’Reilly Shocked That Harlem Restaurant is ‘Normal’ (see above picture). The three were so "overwhelmed" by the clip that they played it again.
Nearly eight weeks before six medical doctors were arrested for their involvement in the late June terrorist attempted car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow, ABC's "Boston Legal" drama -- which has its 90-minute season premiere tonight (Tuesday) -- aired an episode which ridiculed the idea a doctor could be a terrorist.
In the May 8 episode, titled "Guantanamo by the Bay," attorney "Alan Shore," played by James Spader, takes up the case of British citizen "Benyam Kallah" suing the government, oddly in state court, over Kallah's torture at the Guantanamo Bay facility after he was picked up in Afghanistan where he claims he was doing "humanitarian" work. On the witness stand, Kallah describes the torture and how a friend detained with him couldn't take the torture any longer and so committed suicide. Concluding the scene meant to show the silliness and incompetence of the military for detaining such obviously innocent men, Shore asked: "Was your friend a terrorist?" Kallah replied: "No, he was a doctor."
In his usual odd commentary segment on Sunday’s "60 Minutes," CBS commentator, Andy Rooney decided to take a look at presidential vacation habits, and observed that while "President Bush has made 66 trips to his Texas ranch since taking office...having spent 436 days away from the White House," Jimmy Carter "took off only 79 days."
While Rooney recited a long list of presidents in his wandering train of thought, including Clinton, Reagan, Johnson, and Kennedy, he made sure to emphasize the contrast between Bush and Carter. Despite Andy’s admiration for Carter’s workaholic presidency, I think there are many who wished Jimmy had taken a few more years off.
Rooney then ended with the typically sarcastic conclusion that: "President Bush is back in the Oval Office now, so everything ought to be all right again in Washington."
Could this be the start of the same kind of “do nothing Congress” media push for the Democratic majority that we saw for the Republicans in 2006? The September 25 article “Bush Eager for Budget Showdown” highlighted the Democrats' failure to send even a single bill to President Bush and even included a few stinging comments.
Don't worry libs, the AP still managed to subtly paint an image of uncaring Republicans thwarting the generous Democrats who just want to make life better by spending more money on domestic projects, while ignoring the legitimate reasons for opposing the bills.
From the birds-of-a-feather department comes news that former ABC "Nightline" host Ted Koppel is "hurting" for former CBS anchor Dan Rather.
The latter's ouster was a "travesty," Koppel said, on account of the fact that Rather's infamous National Guard story was "much more correct than incorrect." More:
“Dan Rather was squeezed out” with such little class from CBS News, Mr. Koppel said today at a forum at Fordham University in New York City that was put on by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
I suppose that Karen DeYoung's story could have been buried deeper in the Washington Post, but it would take some effort:
Civil war has been averted in Iraq and Iranian intervention there has "ceased to exist," Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said yesterday.
"I can't say there is a picture of roses and flowers in Iraq," Maliki told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. "However, I can say that the greatest victory, of which I am proud . . . is stopping the explosion of a sectarian war." That possibility, he said, "is now far away."
While political reconciliation is not yet complete, he said, progress is being made. "Reconciliation is not a decision that can be made, but a process that takes continuous efforts and also needs strategic patience," Maliki said.
Viacom-owned MTV has recently rolled out "Think MTV," a new community interaction site oriented toward student activism. Imagine "Facebook" with a social-activist theme. Exploring the site quickly reveals that MTV's notion of social activism has a decided liberal tint.
The home page lists a dozen major areas for potential activism. Click on "Politics" and -- what do you know! -- the first photo that pops up is one of John Edwards looking pensively toward the future. Three videos on political themes are displayed. The only one from a named author is by . . . Kanye West [the rapper who during the 2004 election famously claimed that "Bush doesn't care about black people."] Other celebrities involved with Think MTV: Bono, Jay-Z, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Rock. Do you detect a trend?
NewsBusters readers are aware that one of my contentions concerning global warming alarmism is that those involved are doing it for the money.
Well, this editorial from the Olympian in Washington state will give you an idea that it's not just folks like Al Gore, Laurie David, and carbon offset marketers that are cashing in on this scam.
Now, media members are getting into the act as well.
Entitled "Climate Change Event Mishandled," the editorial deliciously complained about the Olympia, Washington, City Council paying a speaking fee to Andrew Revkin of the New York Times (emphasis added):
On Monday’s "Nightline," co-anchor Terry Moran spent almost the entire 30 minute program gushing over Bush-bashing rapper Kanye West. The ABC host asserted that West’s 2005 comment that "George Bush doesn’t care about black people" turned West "into a cultural force to be reckoned with" and extolled the "complex and thoughtful pop star." Moran even opened the program by asking, "What went through [West's] mind when he blasted the President in the wake of Katrina?" The co-anchor breathlessly wondered, "Would he say it again?"
Moran could hardly be more effusive in his adulation for the rapper. During the course of the program, he rhapsodized that West "is more than merely popular. He's a very interesting figure on the cultural landscape, a complex icon of music and style." Dropping all pretext of objectivity, Moran lauded the performer, who essentially called President Bush a racist, as "a shrewd and self-reflective observer of America's racial politics" and someone who has "got a lot to say." The ABC host briefly played music critic and marveled at West’s "complex and intricate rap lyrics." It’s probably not surprising that, during a discussion over whether the rapper is boastful, Westcomplimented Moran as "definitely one of the better reporters who have interviewed me."
The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that Telemundo reporter and mayoral mistress Mirthala Salinas is heading back at work after a two-month suspension, albeit demoted to a less prominent job within the network:
Television newscaster Mirthala Salinas, who was suspended without pay for two months in August after her affair with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa became public, is scheduled to return to work Monday. But she won't be taking up her old job as a fill-in anchor on evening newscasts for KVEA-TV Channel 52.
Instead, executives with the Spanish-language Telemundo network confirmed Monday that Salinas would be sent to the station's Inland Empire bureau in Riverside as a general assignment reporter, a notable fall for a one-time rising star who has become one of the most recognizable faces in local Spanish-language television.
CNN co-host Kiran Chetry and CNN contributor Roland Martin, in a segment on Tuesday’s "American Morning," discussed comments on race Fox News host Bill O’Reilly had recently made on his radio show, and the question you might expect came up: "Is this going to be one of those Don Imus moments?"
Chetry asked this question to Martin due to some blogs "buzzing" over O’Reilly’s comments about a visit he made to a "soul food" restaurant in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City with Al Sharpton. Martin denied that this was going to be O’Reilly’s "Imus moment."
O’Reilly, in a conversation with NPR host and Fox contributor Juan Williams, had said of his visit to Sylvia’s Restaurant in Harlem, "I think black Americans are starting to think more and more for themselves. There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, ‘M-Fer, I want more iced tea.’ They were ordering and having fun, and it wasn't any kind of craziness at all."
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program once again demonstrated the template for GOP figures to receive air time: Trash your fellow Republicans. GMA featured former Congressman J.C. Watts questioning whether top 2008 GOP presidential candidates are racist for skipping a PBS debate on minority issues. Continuing the theme, co-host Robin Roberts asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, "...Why are Republicans so reluctant to talk to minorities?"
In a piece setting up the Gingrich interview, Roberts intoned that the absence of Republican front-runners at the event is "raising questions about the message it sends to some voters." GMA co-host Diane Sawyer teased the segment by not-so-subtlety asking, "...Are the Republican candidates snubbing minority events?" Roberts and Sawyer never bothered to mention that Thursday’s PBS debate will be moderated by liberal host Tavis Smiley who, for instance, wondered in May, "Why shouldn’t we be outraged" at George Bush. Perhaps the Republican front-runners simply don’t want to go into a hostile, left-wing event. Would "Good Morning America" insist that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton attend a forum hosted by the NRA?
CORRECTION: 2007-09-25 14:20:00 -0400 [An earlier version misidentified Jake Tapper as saying the event is "raising questions about the message it sends to some voters." This was actually said by co-host Robin Roberts.]
This Thursday, PBS is hosting a Republican presidential debate with liberal commentator Tavis Smiley. For various reasons, the top four GOP candidates have all decided to skip it. In doing so, they are making a big mistake, my friend Bob Cox argues in today's DC Examiner. Here's an excerpt. My comments are below the fold:
One by one, the four leading candidates for the Republican nomination for president have announced they will not participate. This is not only a strategic mistake for these campaigns but also a major embarrassment for the Republican Party.
How can voters take seriously a candidate asking for their support to be leader of the free world when that same candidate is unwilling to take questions from black journalists, in front of a predominantly black audience? [...]
As NewsBuster John Stephenson reported Monday, a Politico column by Ben Smith revealed that the Clinton campaign apparently forced GQ magazine to not publish a negative piece about Hillary if they wanted future access to Bill.