A new documentary about Vice President Dick Cheney is set to air this evening on PBS. It’s called “The Dark Side,” and based upon a review published in today’s New York Daily News, it doesn’t appear to be very flattering.
First, the title comes “from a quote by Vice President Cheney in the wake of 9/11. Cheney said that the CIA, the Pentagon and other intelligence-gathering U.S. forces would have to ‘work from the dark side’ to glean information and combat and defeat terrorism.”
However, let’s be serious: what viewer isn’t going to assume that the title is a more direct reference to the movie “Star Wars,” and that Cheney is being depicted as Darth Vader? Forgive me, but as George Carlin said many years ago, you don’t have to be Fellini to figure that out.
The documentary then picks up some rather familiar liberal themes that we’ve all been hearing ad nauseum for years:
Now that CBS News and Dan Rather have officially separated, the Media Research Center has re-organized and updated our extensive archive of Rather's liberal bias from over the years. Our index page, "The Dan Rather File: Decades of Liberal Media Bias," features video of the infamous 1988 encounter with VP George H.W. Bush and has links to several compilations of quotes and videos, such as “Liberal Bias by Topic,” “Liberal Bias by Year,” “Journalists Praise Rather and Rather Defends His Discredited Story,” “Dan's Downfall: Forged Documents,” “'Corny in Kansas' Rather-isms” and “Rather Lame Denials of Bias.” For a quick overview of Rather's worst quotes, check our February 28, 2005 special four-page Notable Quotables, "Dan Rather's Legacy of Outrageous Liberal Bias."
Predictably, following what I suggested yesterday, ABC's "World News Tonight" hailed the election of the new female Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church USA as a "milestone" and a "significant advance for women in religion." To the media elite, it is a political victory for feminism, and the religious angle is barely worth mentioning.
ABC reporter Dan Harris hailed Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori for denting the "stained glass ceiling," but said nothing about her theological beliefs, including her expressing the liberal view on CNN that homosexuality "is not a sin." The battle over gay clergy and "marriage," not female leaders, is the real battle in the Anglican Communion.
The Morning Call has an article about Allentown's gay pride parade. Just in case you thought the paper was going to treat the spectacle fairly, you should know that the paper's feature writer and weekly columnist was the parade's grand marshall... along with his man. And the paper, as a non-partisan observer and reporter of fact, helped fund the event.
Don't think for a minute the newspaper doesn't know how wrong all of this is. Vicki C. Mayk, Morning Call director of community relations released a statement saying: "The highest duty of journalists in a democratic society is to provide credible information devoid of favor toward or obligation to any group or agenda." But that doesn't mean they would actually stop their reporter from... leading the train.
With all the fairness they could muster, the article takes a shot at point out how tragic it is that we don't accept gay marriage.
''They're normal and they do the same things as straight people do,'' Chadwick, who is not gay, said as a choral group sang the national anthem. Many gays and lesbians would like the list of ''normal'' things they do to extend to marriage... ''It's not for everyone,'' said Enrique Reid, 21, of Allentown, who sported a wide rainbow-patterned scarf around his waist and nothing else. ''As long as I am happy with that man. I don't need to put a ring on his finger.''
Walking around in nothing but a scarf? Oh yeah, that's normal, just like what straight people do.
The original source of the whole blogger investigation was an article printed in New York Times blog (disclosing how Armstrong was found by the SEC to have promoted junk stocks and bonds on the web) which never appeared in the print edition and is unreadable without a paid subscription to the web site. After the story came out, The New York Post printed its own story, and in the process taking the scoop. It's starting to seem as though NYT blogger Chris Suellentrop's editors did not deem newsworthy a story which reflected badly on the left-wing blogosphere despite devoting mucho coverage to it this month.
NBC's Campbell Brown couldn't contain her laughter this morning as The Nation’s liberal columnist Calvin Trillin poked fun at George W. Bush. Promoting his new collection of poems A Heckuva Job: More of the Bush Administration In Rhyme, Trillin cracked up Today show co-host Brown with such old poetic knee-slappers as: "Obliviously on he sails with marks not quite as good as Quayle's." Brown went on to praise Trillin's latest work as "great stuff" and predicted, "It's going to be a hilarious book." Brown even urged Trillin to recite verses from A Heckuva Job:
Brown: "But the new, the title of your book came from what you, perhaps feel, is the President's most memorable line thus far?"
CBS radio news just ran an item on the departure of Dan Rather. There was a surprising bit of candor in which CBS reported that Rather had "expressed frustration, feeling he'd been shelved by the network."
There was also a bit of - presumably - unintentional humor. We were treated to a clip of the Washington Post's [very liberal] media critic Tom Shales informing us that Rather "was a very activist anchor, and he changed the role of anchor."
The media have ignored heroes among the U.S. troops in Iraq, and have instead fixated on scandals representing a small percentage of troops, such as the New York Times' "love affair" with the Abu Ghraib scandal, manifested in 50 front page headlines.
After years of watching and reading coverage of the War on Terror, many citizens, including us, have been awestruck by the lack of balance and objectivity exercised by American reporters and news executives. The dearth of hopeful or heroic stories reported has given viewers a lopsided perspective.
Case in point: the New York Times and their love affair with the Abu Ghraib prison abuses. To date, the New York Times has devoted over 50 front page articles to the story! Currently, not a single individual chronicled in our book, Home of the Brave: Honoring the Unsung Heroes in the War on Terror, - some of the most highly decorated members of the United States military - has received a front-page story devoted to his or her valorous actions.
CBS has made the final announcement: Dan Rather is no longer at the network. CBSNews.com has the details, as well as a tribute to the former anchor's career. The moments they are most proud of are his two interviews with Saddam Hussein.
Dan Rather is leaving CBS after 44 years with the Tiffany Network.
Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports, made the announcement.
"Of all the famous names associated with CBS News, the biggest and brightest on the marquee are Murrow, Cronkite and Rather," McManus said. "With the utmost respect, we mark the extraordinary and singular role Dan has played in writing the script of not only CBS News, but of broadcast journalism."
Two weeks certainly aren’t a large sampling, but since the much-heralded – and over-celebrated – departure of the perky Katie Couric, NBC’s “Today” show actually widened its average daily viewing margin over second-place rival ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
As reported by the Associated Press (hat tip to Drudge): “‘Today’ beat second-place ‘Good Morning America’ of ABC by an average of 1.3 million viewers in the two weeks following Couric's last show on May 31, according to Nielsen Media Research. The NBC show's margin of victory (5.85 million to 4.92 million) was tighter during Couric's last full week on the air.”
Yikes. And, generating advertising dollars without Couric hasn’t been a problem either: “NBC also says it has earned about $25 million more in ‘upfront’ advertising sales for ‘Today’ in the fall than it did last year at this time, when the morning show was facing a stiffer challenge from ABC.”
Double yikes. Finally, one of NBC’s top brass might have added a bit of a parting shot at Katie to drive the point home:
CNN commentator Jack Cafferty appeared for a phone interview on the leftist Stephanie Miller show on Tuesday (9:30 AM D.C. radio time), as Miller oozed over how much she loved his "anti-Bush administration rants" and joked that the country needs "President Jack Cafferty." When the show's impressionist, Jim Ward, started doing a rather underwhelming Wolf Blitzer impression, suggesting Blitzer thinks President Bush is on a historical plane with Churchill and Abe Lincoln, Cafferty was self-deprecating about their on-air relationship, saying something like (paraphrasing): "Wolf comes from a more traditional news background," so it's odd for Blitzer to sit next to a "fringe lunatic" like him.
Miller mentioned several times how Cafferty is on her "future husbands list," and asked Cafferty for his take on the two soldiers found killed in Iraq today. He said there was not much to say, it's "horrible," and then sounded a lot like a Murtha: it's "time to get the Hell out of there...pack up and come home. Enough already." He claimed he was "not a peacenik," but the war "just reeks" and has "no upside" for America.
For a TV host, there's nothing much more difficult than interviewing a family member of someone who has been killed or seriously harmed. So when the uncle of one of the US soldiers kidnapped and killed in Iraq called for the offering of a massive ransom and a prisoner exchange, give Matt Lauer credit for having had the courage to challenge him.
Here's how it went down.
Lauer was interviewing Ken MacKenzie, a well-spoken, well-informed uncle to PFC Kristian Menchaca. Asked Lauer:
"A group linked to al-Qaeda on its website has claimed that they actually took Kristian and another soldier. What's your reaction to that?"
"My reaction is the United States government should have immediately notified these Shura Council mujahadeen that the United States government was offering a $100-million reward and offering to exchange the 2,500 mujahadeen detainees that Prime Minister al-Maliki of Iraq plans to release several weeks from now. I think the U.S. government was too slow to react to this, they should have had a plan in place. Because the U.S. government did not have a plan in place, my nephew has paid for it with his life."
In the second hour of "The Early Show" on CBS Monday, co-host Harry Smith promoted one of Ted Kennedy's two new books this year: this one is a children's book called "My Senator and Me," written from the perspective of Kennedy's dog: "Splash." If you thought for one second that anyone at CBS was going to ask about the dog's name and er, Chappaquiddick, you might think "Captain Kangaroo" was still on the air.
MRC's Mike Rule reported that Smith asked vaguely about Kennedy's son Patrick and how his rehab is going, and then very gently asked Kennedy about "your feelings as we move forward" considering recent progress in Iraq. (A better question might have been: "So, Ted, still the best vote you ever cast?") I think the whole transcript is the best way to digest this interview:
In so many ways does the mainstream press demean conservatives who work on environmental issues.
In this Los Angeles Times piece by Jim Puzzanghera, conservatives wary of the Henry Paulson nomination are described as "causing problems" for Paulson because Paulson likes to watch birds.
Here's how the article begins:
WASHINGTON - As a three-decade Wall Street veteran and chairman of one of the nation's premiere investment banks, Henry M. Paulson Jr. makes a living watching markets.
But it's his hobby of watching birds that is already causing problems for his nomination as the nation's next Treasury secretary.
An ardent environmentalist, Paulson is expected to be questioned during confirmation hearings about his role as chairman of the Nature Conservancy, and whether he adequately cleaned up the organization's questionable land sale and tax break practices. Another potential sticky issue: a decision by Goldman Sachs, the investment bank Paulson heads as chairman and chief executive, to donate 680,000 acres of land in a remote section of Chile to an environmental group with ties to his son...
Unlike the 53-state commission, where members were nominated by regional blocs, the council's 47 members were elected by the U.N. General Assembly, a change which proponents say makes it more difficult for rights violators to win a seat.
Sounds better than the previous UN Human Rights watchdog, right?
Unfortunately, the story doesn't mention the fact that several members of this "new" Council are some of the worst human rights abusers in the world today.
Two eye-raising events in the world of religion have been reported in London's leftish Guardian newspaper. In the U.K., the Guardian reports, Christian girls are banned from wearing chastity rings in school at a top state school -- even as Muslim and Sikh girls wear head garb that's not part of official school uniforms. Says the mother of one: "Here you have 12 girls who want to live an alternative lifestyle: we are not asking the school to subscribe to it, just respect it." The Guardian also ran a report from AP religion writer Richard Ostling on the latest decisions from the progressive faction of the Presbyterians -- although he never described them as liberal or progressive, even as their opponents were repeatedly described as conservative:
The divine Trinity - "Father, Son and Holy Spirit'' - could also be known as "Mother, Child and Womb'' or "Rock, Redeemer, Friend'' at some Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) services under an action Monday by the church's national assembly.
Delegates to the meeting voted to "receive'' a policy paper on gender-inclusive language for the Trinity, a step short of approving it. That means church officials can propose experimental liturgies with alternative phrasings for the Trinity, but congregations won't be required to use them...The assembly narrowly defeated a conservative bid to refer the paper back for further study.
MRC intern Eugene Gibilaro found that on CBS’s Sunday Morning yesterday, movie critic David Edelstein politicized his movie review of "The Lake House." Edelstein discusses time travel movies and describes the plot of "The Lake House," as:
"I even loved the incredibly dumb time travel romance "The Lake House," where Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock send letters back and forth between 2004 and 2006."
Seems Edelstein couldn’t resist the opportunity to interject his political philosophy into the review as he alluded to the 2004 election and the fact that he believes George Bush and the Republican Party stole Ohio:
It's not especially newsworthy that Connie Chung and Maury Povich's Saturday program on MSNBC, which debuted in January, has been canceled. Perhaps no more newsworthy, but definitely more amusing, is that on the show's final episode this past weekend, Chung, as she danced on top of and around a piano, bade her audience farewell in song, to the tune of "Thanks for the Memories." (Hat tips: Drudge and NRO's The Corner.)
To be fair, Chung sings better than Elaine Benes danced. That said, watch this and you'll appreciate Bob Hope (not to mention Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys) more than you ever did before. (Monday's New York Post printed some of her lyrics.)
In the New York Times, a Sunday story from Berkeley, California on the closing of a legendary local bookstore carries a surprisingly old refrain. Reporter Jesse McKinley found that some leftists are still blaming Ronald Reagan for the business slump on Berkeley's main drag, Telegraph Avenue, right there in the first paragraph:
Depending on whom you ask, the reason Cody's Books is going out of business is either because of the City of Berkeley, the homeless, the University of California, the war in Iraq, Ronald Reagan, the Internet or the lack of short-term parking.
Reagan? Even now, after his death? Blaming Reagan for every negative social event was common liberal-media sport in the 1980s and 1990s, slowing a bit with the onset of Reagan's Alzheimer's disease. McKinley comes back around to the Reagan-bashing arguments at the story's end:
Former "CBS Evening News" anchor Dan Rather's departure from the network where he worked for the past 44 years could be finalized as soon as Monday (June 19), and he already might have landed another gig.
HDNet chief Mark Cuban confirmed Friday that he and Rather are discussing a deal that would have Rather anchoring a one-hour weekly interview/newscast on the high-definition premium channel.
The illegal immigration issue threatens to hurt Democrats in the fall 2006 elections, so The New York Times has delivered a very special -- front page, above the fold -- Father's Day article that will no doubt serve as talking points for many left-leaning "civil rights" groups, such as the ACLU.
The New York Post reports that the former head of Disney, Michael Eisner--who now hosts his own CNBC show--grilled television preacher Pat Robertson on social issues during a taping of "Conversations With Michael Eisner" that will air Tuesday night:
Television preacher Pat Robertson was a little irked after being challenged by Michael Eisner, the former Disney boss-turned-talk show host, on several topics, including whether or not Jewish people go to heaven.
Robertson, who most recently made headlines by claiming to have leg-pressed 2,000 pounds, had his p.r. handler e-mail CNBC executives last week following a taping for "Conversations With Michael Eisner," according to network sources.
Karl Rove's accusation that Democrats, particularly Senator John Kerry and Congressman John Murtha, want to "cut and run" from Iraq enraged and baffled CBS's Bob Schieffer, as evidenced by how he repeatedly raised the quote on Sunday's Face the Nation. With his first guest, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, Schieffer read to him how Rove charged that "Democrats 'are ready to give the green light to go to war, but when it gets tough, when it gets difficult, they fall back on that party's old pattern of cutting and running. They may be with you at the first shots, but they are not going to be with you for the last, tough battle.'" Schieffer demanded: "What pattern is he talking about? When have Democrats been cutting and running?" Schieffer followed up: "But are you comfortable with characterizing the Democrats as people who want to cut and run?" Later, with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who appeared with Democrat Joe Biden, Schieffer again cited the quote and then expressed his displeasure: "He's talking about two men who were wounded in combat when he says that. Is that really, is that really fair?"
In her latest column, Ann Coulter says it's sad that so many people are trying to make money attacking her new book "Godless," and ignoring the godless-liberal parts, as if that's hardly worth disputing any more. The column ends by citing how the MRC has the goods on an uncivil liberal media, citing some golden oldies:
In precisely five minutes on the Media Research Center's Web site, I turned up some random examples of the sort of civility we got from the MSM before the alternative media allowed conservatives to be heard, too. These are all-new quotes I've never even seen before. There are about a hundred more in my book "Slander."
On Ronald Reagan: "I predict historians are going to be totally baffled by how the American people fell in love with this man (Ronald Reagan) and followed him the way we did."— CBS News White House reporter Lesley Stahl on NBC's "Later With Bob Costas," Jan. 11, 1989
If there were great news out of Iraq, which media outlet would be the least likely to report it?
a. An anti-American news network from Qatar
b. A terrorist-run television station in Lebanon
c. The New York Times
d. The Washington Post
If you answered “a” or “b,” you were contradicted by last week’s coverage. Some absolutely magnificent news did come out of Iraq last Thursday, yet, hard as it might be to believe, subscribers to The New York Times and The Washington Post would have been better off visiting the websites of the anti-American television network Al-Jazeera, or the Hezbollah-run television station Al-Manar if they wanted to find out about it.
The following are the surprising opening paragraphs of Thursday’s report by Al-Jazeera.net – a media outlet never shy about its hatred for America or its support for Islamic terrorists – in a story amazingly titled “‘End’ of al-Qaeda in Iraq,” and containing information that neither The Times nor The Post shared with their readers:
The three broadcast networks have focused growing attention on inflation recently – 42 stories since early May. CBS anchor Bob Schieffer declared on June 14 “Well, it is back, inflation, that is.” The following day, ABC’s Bill Ritter cautioned, “everything from mowing the lawn to joining a gym could cost you more money.”
Yet, when positive inflation news was announced just hours later by the new chairman of the Federal Reserve, ABC didn’t even bother reporting it on its evening news program. Meanwhile, the other two broadcast networks paid inflation relatively little notice compared to their other stories that night.
On June 15, Fed chairman Ben Bernanke told Chicago’s Economic Club that higher energy costs haven’t had a big impact on other prices, and there are even signs that such pressures may be waning. The stock market exploded on the announcement with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising by almost 200 points, or 1.83 percent – its best one day showing since April 2005.
Rather than welcome the news after focusing on the evils of inflation, the networks paid little attention. ABC’s “World News Tonight” didn’t even report Bernanke’s statement about inflation. This was particularly odd as “Good Morning America” just hours a few earlier did a rather lengthy segment on the issue.
Over the weekend in Columbus, Ohio, American Episcopalians elected a female as a new presiding bishop for America, Katherine Jefforts Schori of Nevada. The news media greeted this in typical terms: female bishop (no liberal ideology listed) selected, angering church "conservatives." (Ann Curry did that on NBC this morning.) Dig a little deeper, and find that of course, the new bishop delights the libertine left, as the Washington Post reported Monday:
The Rev. Jennifer Adams, who presides at Grace Episcopal Church, which is deemed "gay friendly" by the Grand Rapids, Mich., branch of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, described Jefferts Schori at the convention as "a woman of integrity, consistency and faith. I have no doubt her election as presiding bishop will be a gift to our church."
Liberal blogger Markos Moulitsas ("Daily Kos") appeared on CNN's Reliable Sources yesterday (Sunday, June 18, 2006). Host Howard Kurtz asked Kos about a comment he made on his blog a couple of years back. In April 2004, in a thread about the coverage of the brutal murders of four Americans in Fallujah, Kos posted a comment in which he wrote (bold mine), "I feel nothing over the death of merceneries. They aren't in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them."
Know what the problem is with the Bush administration? They take terror threats too darn seriously. And that causes a 'backlash.'
At least, that's the claim of author Ron Suskind, who was on the Today show this morning to discuss his recently-released book, 'The One Percent Doctrine'. Suskind is a former Wall Street Journal reporter. Those who might think that would indicate a conservative bent should be aware that, perhaps more than at any other paper in America, there is a remarkable contrast in the political leanings of the news and the editorial operations of the WSJ. Yes, the editorial page is keenly free-market conservative. But as per a 2004 study, the Journal's news operation is 'the most liberal of all 20 news outlets [studied]', more liberal than even the New York Times.
To paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy: if you're an American who wants marriage to be reserved exclusively for one man and one woman . . . you might be a yahoo!
Don't believe me? Ask liberal Newsday columnist Ellis Henican. He appeared on Fox & Friends First this morning to debate radio talk show host Mike Gallagher on a variety of topics, including the Democrats' recently announced six-point plan to be implemented should they take back the House in the November elections.
Gallagher argued that this was something the Dems cooked up on the spur of the moment, frustrated by the good news for the Republicans generated by the killing of Zarqawi, the exculpation of Rove and other events.