Bill Maher accused Vice-President Cheney of being responsible for people "dying needlessly." In its own way, today's Boston Globe editorial cartoon takes that calumny one step further, suggesting that the vice-president flatly welcomes as many American deaths in Iraq as possible, as a sign of national strength.
When it comes to portraying the image of the Vice-President, the Dan Wasserman effort is also remarkable for its sheer malice.
Mark was in Iraq in November. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Time magazine is not going to play to the stereotype of only praising Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. They can find obscure Democratic presidential campaigns to praise. The infamous Joel "I Don't Support Our Troops" Stein has filed a piece praising fringy Dennis Kucinich, the candidate who would create a Department of Peace. Stein acknowledges he's on the outer edges of political feasibility, and yet there's something so right in his "progressive" idealism:
"And yet the universe has been going his way lately. Even his old kooky ideas are looking pretty good these days. His decision to allow Cleveland to default instead of selling its electric-utility company cost him re-election and landed him in a book about the worst mayors in American history, but he was later honored by the city council for refusing to sell, a move that saved customers nearly $200 million over 10 years. More inconceivable, less than two years ago, his office was visited by a stunning 6-ft.-tall Julianne Moore look-alike 31 years his junior, a Brit who was working for the American Monetary Institute. After some smooth wooing on his part ("I gave her a copy of my Department of Peace legislation and my e-mail address") and one date (at MacLaine's house), she agreed to marry him. If that happened to you, you'd think you could be President too."
Chief New York Times political reporter Adam Nagourney went to CPAC, the 3-day conservervapalooza gathering in Washington, D.C., and came back with profiles of Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, both trying to appeal to social conservatives despite their past liberal stands on some social issues.
But Nagourney also guarded the Clintons' right flank on its history of fighting terror by misleadingly suggesting former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani gave the Clinton administration a pass in its response to terrorism before 9-11, although Giuilani devoted several minutes of his CPAC speech to criticizing the Democratic mindset on fighting terror.
By now most of you have heard about the Discover Channel "documentary" fronted by executive director James Cameron that claims to refute conventional religious wisdom on the resurrection of Jesus. Specifically the filmmakers claim that they have scientific proof that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had a son, Judah based on DNA evidence in combination with lexical analysis of names found on a tomb.
Since then the announcement of claims by the filmmakers has been met by scorn and ridicule by scholars of all walks who soundly denounce the claims as one sided speculation at best. But that rarely stops those with an agenda. Instead the doubters are summarily dismissed and often put in unflattering light as if they are the ones who have something to prove.
CBS blogger Brian Montopoli took a swipe at conservative CPAC attendees in his entry on Ann Coulter today, blaming them for her "faggot" crack about presidential candidate and former senator John Edwards (D-N.C.). Montopoli described Coulter's audience as a "gathering of right-wing true believers."
As the Skeptic's Dictionary notes, "True-believer syndrome is an expression coined by M. Lamar Keene to describe an apparent cognitive disorder characterized by believing in the reality of paranormal or supernatural events after one has been presented overwhelming evidence that the event was fraudulently staged."
So conservative activists are superstitious adherents to an ideology disproven by overwhelming evidence?
"As many political observers see it, [Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William] Howell is maturing into the leadership role he took on four years ago," wrote The Washington Post's Tim Craig in today's paper. And what exactly is developing the Republican speaker into an upstanding young chap?
Nothing more than a newfound willingness to raise taxes in the Old Dominion.
Here's the first two paragraphs of Craig's Metro section front pager:
How is Al Gore going to explain this one? Multi-platinum-selling rapper Kanye West, who infamously said during the Katrina telethon, "George Bush doesn't care about black people" has something else to explain. The AP reports that Kanye asked a restaurant in Cardiff, Wales to fly a chef and a meal across the Atlantic ocean to a Manhattan business meeting this Wednesday for about $4000 "plus travel and accomodation for the restaurant's head chef" and the addition of lots of Earth-killing greenhouse gases. OK, that seems typical for the music biz, after all, Bono did have a forgotten favorite hat flown first class that was flown from London to Italy for about $1700, but now people are now paying attention to celebrity hypocrisy more closely. Kanye is signed up for Al Gore's Live Earth, which is designed to raise money for and awareness of human-caused global climate change and is the latest giant concert that will save the world. (AP didn't connect the political dots.)
As modern media has seen a fusion of news, opinion, and entertainment, are too many things being politicized? I think so.
The news media have contributed to this state of affairs more than any other group so it was refreshing to see the New York Times actually point out a case of inappropriate politicization in an article about "300" the new movie about a group of Spartans who held off a large Persian army.
The Times also makes the point that in many cases a media outlet will attempt to gin up controversy about its product to get the public to tune in.
Three weeks ago a handful of reporters at an international press junket here for the Warner Brothers movie “300,” about the battle of Thermopylae some 2,500 years ago, cornered the director Zack Snyder with an unanticipated question.
“Is George Bush Leonidas or Xerxes?” one of them asked.
The questioner, by Mr. Snyder’s recollection, insisted that Mr. Bush
was Xerxes, the Persian emperor who led his force against Greek’s city
states in 480 B.C., unleashing an army on a small country guarded by
fanatical guerilla fighters so he could finish a job his father had
left undone. More likely, another reporter chimed in, Mr. Bush was
Leonidas, the Spartan king who would defend freedom at any cost.
Mr. Snyder, who said he intended neither analogy when he set out to
adapt the graphic novel created by Frank Miller with Lynn Varley in
1998, suddenly knew he had the contemporary version of a water-cooler
movie on his hands. And it has turned out to be one that could be
construed as a thinly veiled polemic against the Bush administration,
or be seen by others as slyly supporting it.
If the nation’s educators really wanted to obtain a long-term perspective on the job they were doing teaching Americans reading comprehension skills, they should publish conservative articles on the Internet which included a feedback mechanism. As they read all the vitriolic hate mail, they’d be amazed at the percentage of responses indicating a third grade level or lower understanding of what they actually published.
No finer example of this premise has occurred recently than when NewsBusters published an article about HBO’s Bill Maher clearly showing regret over the failure of terrorists to assassinate Vice President Cheney.
We'll see how the electorate decides, but there's no doubt who won the "Today" show primaries this morning. For the Dems, it was Barack, and among Republicans, Rudy.
Narrating the segment on the political duel between Obama and Hillary in Selma, Alabama this weekend, Andrea Mitchell portrayed Obama as having authentic appeal, while picturing Hillary resorting to heavy-handed political tactics.
Consider Mitchell's opening line: "On the 42nd anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the historic clash over voting rights in Selma, Alabama, Barack Obama was supposed to be the main attraction, until Hillary Clinton, slipping in the polls to Obama among African-Americans, decided to come." Translation: a sinking Hillary tries to steal Barack's limelight. Not very flattering.
As Mitchell mentioned that Hillary had brought Bill because of his "enormous popularity with black voters," a clip rolled of a woman literally squealing in excitement and delight as Bill walked by in the parade. But doesn't that highlight Hillary's relative weakness as much as Bill's strength?
After stating that "Obama answered critics who say his mixed ancestry makes him not black enough," Mitchell rolled a clip of Obama speaking in a preacher's cadence as he told a church gathering: "don't tell me I'm not coming home when I come to Selma, Alabama. I'm here because somebody walked."
Compare and contrast Obama's strong -- versus Hillary's screeching -- pulpitperformances here.
The double standard of Leftists who are ignoring the outrage of Bill Maher -- who alluded to his wish that Vice President Dick Cheney was assassinated – while at the same time are wildly fanning themselves in mock outrage as if they had the vapors over Ann Coulter -- for calling Democrat John Edwards a bad name -- was on full display in the MSM over the weekend.
If you are a conservative who stays up on the "happenings" in conservative news, you'd have by now heard that firebrand Columnist Ann Coulter called Democratic Candidate John Edwards a "faggot" at the CPAC convention the other day. You are also probably aware of all the lefty types wading into the waters of high dudgeon over her typically button-pushing remark and you'll have seen Democrats and their supporters coming out of the woodwork to claim astonishment at Coulter's comment, demanding that conservatives distance themselves from her.
"Bush Iraq Strategy Has No Option for Failure," read the headline on the Washington Post home page when I accessed it at 1:30 this morning. [UPDATE with some thoughts from Captain's Quarters tacked to bottom of post]
But is that just a statement of fact or a lament about a lack of a "failure option" for the war in Iraq itself. Here's the blurb that followed teaser headline:
Eager to appear resolute and reluctant to provide fodder for skeptics,U.S. officials rebuff questions about failure with a mix of optimism and evasion.
And what exactly does the Post find evasive? You need look no further than the first two paragraphs of Karen DeYoung and Thomas Ricks's front page March 5 article to find that it's a determination to win the war in Iraq.:
On Friday's TheView, Joy Behar explained why we have free speech and criticized Bush yet again. Law & Order's S. Epatha Merkerson was a guest host and during the "Hot Topics" segment, they discussed the recent revelation that the New York Daily News broke; the relatives of the late Senator and former segregationist, Strom Thurmond (R-SC), owned the ancestors of professional agitator and occasional Presidential candidate, Al Sharpton. They all displayed a strange amount of surprise and fresh outrage and acted ike they were unaware that slavery and segregation had ever existed in America.
NBC may no longer employ Kennedy family journalist Maria Shriver, but NBC's favorite historians can still be accused of being big Kennedy fans. A new book from RFK's daughter Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who lost a run for governor of Maryland to Bob Ehrlich in 2002, slams the religious right and warns of mixing God and politics. In a book ad in the Book World section of Sunday's Washington Post, her book boasts three promotional blurbs: one from Bill Clinton, one from perennial NBC/MSNBC guest Doris Kearns Goodwin, and one from Michael Beschloss, listed in the ad as "bestselling author and NBC News' presidential historian."
The book's title is "Failing America's Faithful: How Today's Churches Are Mixing God wth Politics and Losing Their Way." I doubt Mrs. Townsend would ever write a book about Martin Luther King Jr., lamenting how he mixed God with politics. But if the cause is conservative, then the religion is spoiled. The book summary on Amazon explained:
WASHINGTON, D.C.-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's demand to have regular use of a luxurious C-32 for flights to her San Francisco home and other official trips was publicly rebuked by the U.S. House today via the Cantor amendment to the Advanced Fuels Infrastructure Research and Development Act (H.R. 547) by a vote of 385-23.
As originally reported in the New York Post, the aircraft has a game room, stateroom, showers, a communications center and seats 42 to 50 people and it costs taxpayers $22,000 an hour to operate, according to the Air Force.
"The request by Speaker Pelosi to have a private jumbo-jet is an extravagance that taxpayers should not have to pay for," said Cantor.
Before the 30-day window of Google News expires, let's see how much coverage the rebuke received (searching on "Pelosi rebuke" and "Pelosi rebuked," both without quotes; the first search was narrowed to February 7-11 to avoid hundreds of listings relating to the Iraq Troop Surge Resolution "rebuke," as spun by the press, of President Bush) as of 9:30 PM on Sunday, March 4:
Plugging her monthly "Color of Money Book Club" entry today, Washington Post finance columnist Michelle Singletary made a gratuitious reference to Al Gore, comparing consumer debt to global warming:
James D. Scurlock, author and director of "Maxed Out," hopes to do with the overselling of credit what former vice president Al Gore has done for global warming -- elevate people's consciousness about a terrible threat to our existence. In this case, it's our financial well-being.
Today's starter: Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, a conservative broadcast network anchor, and an old drunk are walking down the street together when they simultaneously spot a hundred dollar bill. Who gets it? (read on for answer)
Those tuning in to hear one of the White House’s most outspoken foes castigate the president and his staff like virtually no one else in the media were not disappointed (video available here courtesy of our friend Ms Underestimated).
After some introductory pleasantries, Maher asked: “I know from your latest article that we ought to be worrying about a war with Iran?”
It's a bit early for a Passover Seder, but Tim Russert recited his own version of the Four Questions on this morning's Meet the Press. Not once, not twice, but four times Russert put questions to Jack Murtha clearly designed to provoke the anti-war congressman into taking a verbal swing at Vice-President Cheney. Murtha refused to rise to his host's bait. Russert began by displaying Mr. Cheney's recent statement [displayed below]. Palpably fishing for an irate, headline-grabbing response, he put this provoking question to Murtha:
"How does it feel to be linked with Al-Qaeda by the Vice-President?"
Fox & Friends Weekend hasn't lost Kiran Chetry -- it's gained Ainsley Earhardt. The recent FNC hire began her tenure on this weekend's shows, and by all appearances has made a smooth landing. Sandwiched between the "Kelly Brothers," Kelly Wright and Greg Kelly, one of the first stories the trio discussed this morning was the results of the presidential straw poll at this weekend's CPAC conference in Washington.
Kelly Wright described Mitt Romney's straw poll win as a surprise "because of his Mormon background," then added that "he isn't running to be chief theologian, he's running to be chief executive officer of the United States." Observed Earhardt: "a lot of people were skeptical about [Romney] but many people after hearing him speak at the CPAC conference yesterday, many people were calling to say he's going to be the top candidate." Ainsley also made reference to Newt's relatively strong showing of 14% despite the fact that he won't join the race, if at all, until at least September.
When liberals try to deny that National Public Radio is a taxpayer-funded media sandbox for liberals, there’s nothing like reading liberals writing about NPR to rebut it. Michael Tomasky, a leading liberal and editor-at-large of The American Prospect, recently wrote in anguished protest when WETA-FM in Washington dropped its relatively new news-talk format to return to its classical-music roots. This left him without "Weekend Edition Sunday," anchored by Liane Hansen.
Tomasky writes of how NPR is always on in the background at his place on weekend mornings, and he can recognized that the tone can be soporific, the hosts can sound self-satisfied, and – "there's that air of genteel, tea-service liberalism suffusing the whole enterprise." He later added, when talking about a vice president at WETA, that "He's the kind of guy you'd like to have a (remembering the medium) chardonnay with."
Merrill Goozner at the leftie Center for Science in the Public Interest (as opposed to the Center for Objective Science, presumably) went to the equally-leftie Guardian in Britain to argue in favor of expanding the insolvent U.S. Medicare system to cover uninsured people.
Goozner's column focused on 12-year-old Deamonte Driver of Prince George's County, MD, who died as a result of an untreated tooth infection. The left has been using Driver's death, not terribly convincingly (given the facts of the case), as an argument-by-acecdote in favor of socialized medicine.
On Sunday night, when the movie An Inconvenient Truth won an Oscar, its star, Al Gore, took the stage with a message about global warming. He called for people the world over to change the way they live, so that they have less impact on the environment.
Not so fast, said a libertarian think tank called the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. They called up the Nashville Electric Service and asked about the bills for the Gore's 10,000-square-foot home.
NBC 'Today Show' co-host Matt Lauer, rear, and weatherman Al Roker ride a toboggan down a slope of snow imported onto the show's Rockefeller Plaza set in New York, Thursday, March 1, 2007 in a tribute to the nation's winter festivals.
Don't bother looking for it via Google News. There hasn't been a single major story published on him since Charles Rust-Tierney appeared in Court. A local source sent me this, which Google either didn't capture, or hasn't spidered, yet. Previous coverage here and here.
Alexandria, Va. (WUSA) -- A public defender from Arlington now finds that he is the accused. Fifty-one year old Charles Rust-Tierney appeared in United States District Court in Alexandria Wednesday.
I was at the 2007 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for only part of the first day, but I think Politico.com writer Jonathan Martin's characterization of CPAC attendees as gloomy about the crop of 2008 hopefuls to be a little over-dramatic.
Caroline Daniel of the Financial Times, on the other hand, had a less dramatic view in her March 3 article, "Conservatives search for presidential candidate."*
Daniel reported that many attendees feel no one candidate captures all that they are looking, but noted in closing "some conservatives are willing to overlook" socially liberal stances from candidates like Giuliani if they are solid on the War on Terror.
It seems likely given the focus the media gave Ann Coulter's remark about John Edwards that most NewsBusters readers know the controversial, never at a loss for words writer spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., this past Friday.
In yesterday's Los Angeles Times, columnist Rosa Brooks' piece is titled "The lunatic right returns." The cause of her current displeasure is the presence of people associated with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth on a Conservative Political Action Conference panel.
Comments Ms. Brooks: "IF YOU HATED IT the first time, you might like the sequel better.
"Remember Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the right-wing goon squad whose defamatory insinuations helped sink John Kerry's presidential campaign? They're back! This afternoon, key Swift boaters George 'Bud' Day, Mary Jane McManus and Carlton Sherwood are holding a little reunion, in the guise of a panel discussion at the American Conservative Union's annual Conservative Political Action Conference. The panel topic? 'The Left's Repeated Campaign Against the American Soldier.'"