ABC contributor Cokie Roberts apparently approves of propaganda, as long as she agrees with it. The veteran journalist appeared with George Will and Sam Donaldson on Sunday's "This Week." In response to a claim by token conservative Will that Al Gore grossly exaggerates the threat of global warming, Roberts positively assessed, "The truth is, there have always been propagandists who make something popular."
Using a strained comparison, Roberts continued to justify Gore's misinformation by arguing that the former Vice President popularizes the work of climate change scientists: "Go back to the revolution....You had Tom Paine and you had the Continental Congress. So you do have the two and they both work for a debate."
On October 11, Clinton told CNBC’s John Harwood she wasn’t going to jump the gun and scare people by addressing their Social Security concerns. “I think what I owe the American people is to tell them I will not spook them and sound the alarm over Social Security because that’s not merited,” Clinton said. “We have time to deal with this problem. I will deal with it in a responsible fashion.”
But, ABC correspondent David Wright reported data that would make you think otherwise.
Twenty or thirty years ago, the Nobel Peace Prize was considered to be among the most prestigious awards in the world. It helped make historical figures out of Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, and Lech Walesa. But in the last twenty years, its prestige has lessened as its political correctness has hardened.
It went from an award that championed human rights to an award that honored dictators and terrorists (Mikhail Gorbachev, 1990 or Yasser Arafat, 1994). It even honored frauds – Rigoberta Menchu, a Guatemalan Indian, was honored in 1992 upon the 500th anniversary of the historic voyage of that "oppressor" Christopher Columbus, based on an autobiography full of phony stories.
The October 16 edition of "Fox and Friends" featured conservative talk trailblazer Rush Limbaugh to discuss Harry Reid’s and 40 other Senate Democrats’ smear of Limbaugh. The radio talk show host called the letter "the smear of a private citizen...based on a total lie."
In response, Rush is now auctioning the letter on E-Bay to raise money for the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, which provides scholarships for children of Marines and federal law enforcement officials killed in the line of duty. Rush noted he will match the final bid to go to the same charity. He asked Reid and the other 40 Democrats to do the same. As of this morning, he has "not heard from them."
Wired magazine's Sarah Lai Stirland is reporting that liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org is reversing course after it was lambasted for censorship for pushing Google to censor anti-MoveOn.org ads by Maine Senator Susan Collins' (R) campaign.:
The left-leaning political advocacy group, MoveOn.org, is backing down in a flap over the use of its name in online advertisements, permitting an influential Republican senator to criticize the organization in a reelection ad on Google's search engine.
"We don't want to support a policy that denies people freedom of expression," says Jennifer Lindenauer, MoveOn.org's communications director.
Gore managed to find time amidst celebration this past weekend to post a series of videos on his peer-to-peer video sharing site, Current.tv – including one calling for “government-funded” health care. He is chairman of Current.tv.
Looking more like a bored college student making a video in his dorm room or a clip from Saturday Night Live, Gore was shown proclaiming that health care in America “ought to be a matter of right,” addressing what he thinks to be an “immoral” health care situation.
Living in DC has its interesting moments. Coming into town from Atlanta Sunday night, I happened to bump into former White House adviser Karl Rove. In the process I learned two things: Karl Rove flies coach class now that he's left the White House and that he also is a fan of NewsBusters.
My girlfriend and I had gone down to Atlanta to visit some friends for the weekend. On our way back Sunday night, we flew into Reagan National in coach class. After the plane landed, I realized that we'd been sitting not too far away from Rove. I only realized this, however, after some guy (a short, reporterish-looking fellow) started accosting Rove on the plane badgering him with questions about his post-White House career.
From the Downfalls of Centrist Labeling Department: An MRC colleague E-mails his amazement at the Washington Post's World News section: "The head of China is a middle-of-the-roader according to Sunday’s Post. I guess a middle-of-the-road totalitarian dictator."
The headline to Edward Cody's piece on Hu Jintao and the current Communist Party's National Congress was "Hu Set for Second Term at China's Helm: Political Middle-of-the-Roader Has Limited Reform Efforts to Economic Sphere." The story goes from page A-20 across to page A-21, where the headline is "Hu Poised for Five More Years Steering China on Centrist Track."
Using the same ideological labels for communist countries that you try to use in Western democracies is inherently frustrating. It's not like Hu Jintao is leading China on a Clinton-style Third Way corporate-liberal program, where Jesse Jackson would be denouncing his allies in "Communists for the Leisure Class."
The media is very pleased to report about the United States' occupation of Iraq, and they never seem to tire of insinuating that it is both unpopular and illegal. However, they seem to be strangely shy of reporting on other occupations, which are both more long-standing and of a imperialistic nature. A case in point is the Associated Press story today on President Bush's meeting with the Dalai Lama, the exiled god-king of Tibet. Tibet, a historically independent kingdom, has been under a Chinese military occupation since 1951. Yet the AP chooses not to mention any of this in their report, which instead concentrates on the Chinese outrage that President Bush would meeet with the leader of an occupied state. The AP wrote in their second paragraph that,
Both Bush and members of Congress - who are presenting him with the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal on Wednesday - are stirring anger in China by honoring the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet's Buddhists. "We solemnly demand that the U.S.
MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell appeared on the October 15 "Hannity & Colmes" to discuss the New York Times ignoring retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez's recent complaints about shoddy, biased, and inaccurate media coverage of the war in Iraq.
Among other complaints, Sanchez hit the media for its "unwillingness to accurately and prominently correct your mistakes and your agenda-driven biases sometimes contribute to this corrosive environment."
Below is the opening exchange between Bozell and liberal co-host Alan Colmes:
In true Joy Behar fashion, the piece, after giving some details of the attack along with Rhodes’s apparent injuries, quickly addressed the possibility that the event was indeed political, and somehow connected to Hillary Clintons vast rightwing conspiracy (emphasis added throughout, h/t NBer lunaticcringeradio):
In another swipe at the U.S. Military, the website of the Isthmus, a weekly alternative paper from Madison, Wisconsin, published a short piece called, “Army Aims at Schoolkids,” in which the paper quotes an anti-military activist as saying that the ad banners for the U.S. Army posted in Madison’s High Schools is “extremely inappropriate.” Of course, we should expect one of these anti-military nuts to call out against the U.S. Army for advertising in our schools, but what we shouldn’t expect is the subtle bias from the paper that helps those who hate our troops attack the Army.
The hallmarks of an editorial board that is against the military is evident throughout this report.
As NBC’s Today reported from Chicago on Monday, they went a little overboard in playing up Hillary’s Chicago credentials – especially her Chicago Cub fan credentials. It’s a little odd for NBC to tout her as a Cub fan just a few weeks after NBC’s Tim Russert asked her in a September 26 debate who she would root for in a potential Cubs-Yankees World Series and she straddled: "I would probably have to alternate sides." The Russert exchange was omitted from the gooey story oozing that "Not since Abraham Lincoln debated Stephen Douglas have two Illinois homegrowns drawn so much attention."
Matt Lauer welcomed viewers to Chicago and strangely and inaccurately claimed Hillary is "these days" claiming Chicago as her home: "Welcome to a split edition of our show on this Monday morning from New York and Chicago. Of course they call this place the Windy City but it's not because of the weather, it's because some long-winded politicians. And these days two very prominent politicians are calling this place home, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. And that's made for some tough choices among the locals. NBC's Lee Cowan joins us now to find out if either of these people has a home-field advantage. Lee, good morning to you."
When it comes to global-warming alarmism, it takes a lot to make Al Gore look moderate. Even the IPCC, the UN group that shared the Nobel with him, predicts on average a sea-level rise only 1/12th as high as the 20 feet by 2100 that Gore has forecast.
But when it comes to sky-is-burning scaremongering, the former Veep has met his match in the person of Paul Epstein. The scenario he sketches in his "Looking back"column in today's Boston Globe is so wildly alarmist that you could imagine a sci-fi movie Hollywood honcho rejecting it as too implausible.
As far as Epstein's concerned, the apocalypse can't wait till 2100 He looks back from only next year to predict the following litany of environmental disasters:
It's Tuesday which means another episode of "NewsBusted!" Watch the show over at the top of the sidebar of this page. We're continuing to change the pace this week as we feature Frazer Smith as the comedian.
Click here to see the show archive, you can also subscribe to "NewsBusted" to be automatically notified via email whenever we post new episodes.
Hillary Clinton arrived for another soft-soap interview with the women of The View on ABC Monday, delighting the cast with a pledge that if she's elected, "the era of cowboy diplomacy is over." She told Elisabeth Hasselbeck her policy on interrogations is "We do not condone or conduct torture....Because that gives us a lot of moral authority, which we have lost, unfortunately." The cast was also touched by her standard campaign boilerplate that women in their 90s want to see her be president, and parents point to her and tell their daughters that they can be anything.
When Hillary declared an end to "cowboy diplomacy," an old liberal phrase often deployed against Ronald Reagan, the View crew was delighted, as if they'd never heard that before:
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: So what are the first three things for you that you see most important?
Asked by Jay Leno on Monday's Tonight Show “how are we doing” in Iraq?, CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan asserted that “we're doing extremely badly” and proceeded to fret, that since images of dead American soldiers are “hidden,” the public does not realize the situation is “much worse than the picture, the image we even have of Iraq.” As for the impact of the “surge,” Logan, who reports regularly from Iraq, allowed that it is “working in certain places,” but only “temporarily” because “if you haven't altered the fundamental dynamics” then you “still have the same problem.” Logan's full answer to Leno's question about how the U.S. is doing in Iraq:
We're doing extremely badly, from my point of view. I was asked if I felt any guilt for the fact that the world has an impression of the war in Iraq as being very bad and going very wrong? And I said I really don't because I can't imagine the last time anyone saw a dead American soldier. We've hidden that from view. Nobody knows what that looks like and I've seen plenty of it. It's much worse than the picture, the image we even have of Iraq.
There's something to be said for a slightly irreverent, punchy writing style when it comes to reporting political developments in an online news venture. But is conjuring up the image of Ohio as flyover country a way to endear outside-the-Beltway readers to The Politico?
A nine-term member of Congress, Hobson, 70, announced his plans to retire Sunday. “I wanted to go out on top,” said Hobson, who said his health is good. In a telephone interview with Politico, he said he had been thinking about retiring for quite a while and “almost did not run last year.”
Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) will now face questions over the fact that three of the 12 Republicans (Hobson, Ralph Regula and Deborah Pryce) who have announced their retirement this year come from the Buckeye State, Boehner’s home.
The news media “eagerly reported” comments from General Ricardo Sanchez, the former top commander in Iraq, “calling the war in Iraq a quote 'nightmare with no end in sight,'” FNC's Brit Hume noted Monday night before pointing out how “there has been considerably less reporting of his harsh criticism of the press in the same speech.” Indeed, in his Friday address to a group of journalists, Sanchez regretted how “tactically insignificant events have become strategic defeats for America because of the tremendous power and impact of the media” and scathingly asserted that reporters “are perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our country and killing our service members who are at war.” Sanchez also charged: “For some of you, just like some of our politicians, the truth is of little to no value if it does not fit your own pre-conceived notions, biases and agendas.”
Not surprisingly, that deprecatory view of the media did not interest journalists over the weekend. The NBC Nightly News, for instance, ran a full story Friday night on Sanchez's comments critical of Bush officials, but didn't mention what he said about the news media. CNN's Wolf Blitzer led the 7pm EDT hour of Friday's The Situation Room with how “Ricardo Sanchez says 'America is living a nightmare with no end in sight.' That's a direct quote. And he's sharply critical of U.S. strategy with stinging judgment of government officials.” The critique of the media didn't come up in the segment with Pentagon reporter Jamie McIntyre. Saturday's front page New York Times article, “Ex-Commander Says Iraq Effort Is 'a Nightmare,'” ignored the media angle while front page story in Saturday's Washington Post, "Ex-Commander In Iraq Faults War Strategy," didn't refer to the scolding of the media until the very last paragraph.
In his recent article, Time.com's Joe Klein makes the case that the white male vote is the key demographic in the 2008 presidential campaign. So if you're Joe Klein - and you want to speak to the typical white male voter - who do you interview? Well, you were right if you guessed has-been country singer Merle Haggard.
That's right. Joe Klein's article is titled "Does Merle Haggard Speak for America?" and of course details Haggard's alienation from the Republican Party and support for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
Chris Matthews joined anti-war rockers David Crosby and Graham Nash as they pined for the good old days of Vietnam war era campus activism and hoped it would rise up again to oppose the "shameless liars" in the Bush administration. Invited on Monday night's "Hardball" to promote their appearance at a peace concert at the National Cathedral, Crosby and Nash riffed with the "Hardball" host about everything from the trashing of the Dixie Chicks and Bill Maher to how Big Oil has made "obsence" profits off the Iraq war.
Crosby and Nash received such a friendly audience from Matthews that Nash actually sucked up to his host as he credited Matthews, along with Keith Olbermann, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, as the only ones who are really "asking the questions":
On Monday’s CBS "Early Show,"host Harry Smith teased an interview with Barack Obama at the beginning of show and spoke of how the Democratic presidential candidate is often, "...greeted as a Rock Star," by voters.
The toughest questions asked by Smith were questions of why Obama is behind Hillary Clinton in the polls, something Smith attributed to the fact that, "There are people who like you a lot, who are saying we want more of that audacity, there's not enough audacity in the campaign." Well, we already know that Smith is in the Al Gore camp, so finding any actual candidate as audacious would be a challenge.
Smith continued to wonder about the futility of Obama’s campaign against Hillary, assuming her nomination as a forgone conclusion: "A lot of people say it's a fait accompli. I mean, not only will she get the nomination, she's going to get elected." French terminology aside, Smith tried to urge Obama on, wondering if the Illinois Senator was putting his full energy into the campaign: "Are you too cool? Have you been too cool?" I’m sure Smith also believes that Fred Thompson has not brought enough "audacity" to the campaign, or has been "too cool."
“[T]he avalanche [Oct. 19, 1987 stock-market crash] was made worse by computer program trading, but the things that triggered it were overvalued stocks, a weak dollar, a period of extreme market volatility and a summer of worrying economic news,” Christoforous said on the October 14 broadcast. “Sound familiar? Some market strategists are warning investors now to strap in.”
There’s no doubt there is risk involved when investing in the stock market and historical data should play a role in smart investing. However, the comparisons of stock values from October 1987 to October 2007 aren’t accurate according to the October 15 Wall Street Journal.
As my colleague Tim Graham has noted before, Newsweek's "Conventional Wisdom Watch" is a reliable weekly rehash of liberal conventional wisdom. Indeed, as Tim noted in a March 25 blog entry:
It really would be more honest for Newsweek to call it "Newsweek Consensus Watch." Or "What We Say To Each Other Over Lunch."
It looks like not much has changed in the past six month, as the crew at CW tapped into left-wing blogger outrage over conservative bloggers who smelled something fishy with the Democratic poster family for SCHIP, the Frosts of Baltimore, Md.:
On Monday’s edition of "The View" on ABC, Barbara Walters despaired that Ann Coulter is getting any attention for her religion remarks on CNBC last week. When Whoopi Goldberg suggested she get an invite to the show, Walters yelled "No! No! No!" She declared "there are so many wonderful, fascinating people on this show, and we don't have time for all of them. So I'd rather have positive, rather than controversial, rather than negative."
Walters also expressed her displeasure that a Jewish man was dating Coulter. "Doesn’t he care? Doesn’t it matter?" Joy Behar agreed with the insult: "This a woman who thinks 'Schindler's List' is a comedy, okay?"
It was only a matter of time before someone on CNBC took a shot at Fox Business Network and it came from CNBC’s resident loose cannon, “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer. (Video of the incident is available here.)
“I had the choice of watching a rival business channel or getting a root canal,” Cramer said on CNBC’s October 15 “Street Signs” “And I chose the root canal.”
Cramer appeared on his daily segment on the afternoon CNBC show with host Erin Burnett talking out of one side of his mouth analyzing several stocks. However, Cramer struggled with his speech during his analysis of the potential XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Radio merger and spit all over Burnett when he abruptly said something that sounded like “Fox” for an unknown reason.
“I’m having problems,” Cramer said. "I admit it ...”
Saturday's lead editorial in the New York Times celebrated Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize for his work on "global warming," "A Prize for Mr. Gore and Science." Before the praise, the Times stopped to spout misstatements on Gore's effort to overturn the 2000 election results.
"One can generate a lot of heartburn thinking about all of the things that would be better about this country and the world if the Supreme Court had done the right thing and ruled for Al Gore instead of George W. Bush in 2000. Mr. Gore certainly hasn't let his disappointment stop him from putting the time since to very good use.
But the Supreme Court "ruling for Al Gore" would not have automatically put Gore in the White House, as the paper assumes. Gore asked for a statewide manual recount -- which the Times's own comprehensive report shows Bush would have won.
Time's Joe Klein (file photo at right) has a bit of a hypocrisy problem. After earlier saying he wanted to "throw up" after seeing President Bush showcase "snowflake babies," children adopted as frozen embryos, during a ceremony marking his veto of a bill to expand federally-funded destruction of embryos for medical research, Klein professes disdain not at Democratic partisans who used 12-year-old Graeme Frost to plug the vetoed SCHIP expansion, but conservative bloggers who brought scrutiny to bear on Frost's parents, Democratic officials, and a lapdog liberal media that uncritically relayed the Frost family's account.
The former top U.S. military commander in Iraq, Army Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, addressed the annual conference of Military Reporters and Editors on October 12. While his condemnations of what he called “a glaring and unfortunate display of incompetent strategic leadership” have been widely reported, his criticisms of the media’s Iraq coverage has received far less attention. Here is an excerpt of Sanchez’s speech:
As all of you know I have a wide range of relationships and experiences with our nation’s military writers and editors. There are some in your ranks who I consider to be the epitome of journalistic professionalism -- Joe Galloway, Thom Shanker, Sig Christensen, and John Burns immediately come to mind. They exemplify what America should demand of our journalists -- tough reporting that relies upon integrity, objectivity and fairness to give accurate and thorough accounts that strengthen our freedom of the press and in turn our democracy.
On the other hand, unfortunately, I have issued ultimatums to some of you for unscrupulous reporting that was solely focused on supporting your agenda and preconcieved notions of what our military had done.