As Scott Whitlock noticed today, the networks are loading up the Darth Cheney segments again, based on this week’s "Angler" series in The Washington Post. The most obnoxious installment so far of the four-part series was Monday’s front-pager, which carried the big headline "The Unseen Path to Cruelty." Beneath those words was a picture of a Gitmo guard tower at sunset that associated Cheney with the guilt for Abu Ghraib: "The vice president’s office pushed a policy of aggressive interrogation that made its way to the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, above, and Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq." Now that Rumsfeld’s gone, the center of the Abu Ghraib conspiracy map moved across town.
For as much as liberals love the notion of "activism," they certainly haven’t demonstrated much of it in the war on terrorism. The Clinton administration didn’t capture top suspects like Abu Zubeida and Khalid Sheikh Muhammad. They could only manage to indict Osama bin Laden in absentia. They don’t even accept the terminology. Late in this massive story, Post reporters Barton Gellman and Jo Becker write: "For all the apparent setbacks, close observers said, Cheney has preserved his top-priority tools in the ‘war on terror.’"
The network anchors have found their new favorite Republican: Senator Richard Lugar, whose call for a change in policy direction on Iraq led the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts on Tuesday. Referring to Lugar's remarks Monday night on the Senate floor which were later echoed by Republican Senator George Voinovich, ABC anchor Charles Gibson engaged in some hyperbole as he teased: “Tonight, a Republican rebellion over the war: More Senators say the mission in Iraq is no longer in America's best interest.” With “Tipping Point?” on screen, Gibson bucked up Lugar's credibility: “There is no more respected Republican Senator in the area of foreign policy than Indiana's Richard Lugar. Senator Lugar took the floor of the U.S. Senate last night to say for the first time that he feels the U.S. Iraq policy is not working and U.S. troops should start coming home.”
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams matched Gibson's esteem for Lugar: “He's been around a long time, he doesn't speak out often, and so when he does, people listen up. Last night, in the U.S. Senate chamber, Senator Lugar gave a speech in which the respected Republican broke with the President on the Iraq war. Today, another Republican Senator did the same, and so tonight many are wondering if we're witnessing the beginning of some kind of turning point?” Williams earlier teased the newscast with the same formulation: “Is this a turning point in the war?” NBC, however, has a poor record of picking Iraq war “turning points.” In 2005 the network hailed Cindy Sheehan's protest near Bush's ranch as a “turning point” and last October Williams heralded comments from Senator John Warner as he asked: “Is this a new turning point?”
On tonight's Hardball, MSNBC's Chris Matthews blind-sided his guest, conservative columnist Ann Coulter, with a live call from Elizabeth Edwards. The wife of presidential candidate John Edwards proceeded to demand Coulter stop her "personal attacks" on her husband, but Coulter shot back that at least she wasn't "bankrupting doctors by giving a shyster, Las Vegas routine."
The following is the full transcript of the exchange as it occurred on the June 26th edition of Hardball:
Chris Matthews: "You know who's on the line? Somebody to respond to what you said about Edwards, yesterday morning, Elizabeth Edwards. She wanted to call in today, we said she could. Elizabeth Edwards go on the line, you're on the line with Ann Coulter."
Why would Rosie O'Donnell, a woman known for her wild-eyed rants against firearms, the war on terror, and the military, dress her child in a camo shirt, camo bandana and a bandolier of bullets and then post that picture on her own website? I certainly can't answer that stunner and neither can the denizens of her nutroots website who seem shocked and utterly unable to assist me in finding out what is going on with this business.
Yet, there it is, for all to see on her Web site; exactly the photo described above.
The Dow Jones Company and News Corp reached a major milestone today, an agreement to preserve the independence of DJ's news publications. Looks like Rupert Murdoch just might get to buy the Wall Street Journal after all:
Dow Jones & Co. and News Corp. have agreed in principle on a set of editorial protections for Dow Jones, according to people familiar with the matter.
While there remained some "open items" to be resolved, the two sides had essentially finalized the last points on the agreement Tuesday morning, these people said. The accord paves the way for the sale of the publisher of The Wall Street Journal to Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate for about $5 billion.
Bill Dedman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for MSNBC, recently filed a report on the MSNBC website that won’t win him any Pulitzers. He investigated political donations made by journalists, and found a resounding liberal tilt: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes, and only 16 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties.
Does this prove cause and effect, a subsequent tilt in the liberal media’s coverage of the news? No, but to believe there is no causation at play here is ludicrous: if a survey of journalists found that 86 percent were donors to the National Right to Life Committee, would anyone dispute labeling the media "pro-life"?
The talk radio lines were ablaze with commentary. Predictably the news media reacted with near silence. Fox News, of course, was on it. MSNBC television lightly covered the result on TV – but refused to discuss the media bias angle. Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post filed a good story, as did a few other "mainstream" newspapers, but that was it.
Just over 12 hours after Monday's NBC Nightly News reported that 50 out of 141 high school seniors visiting the White House presented President Bush with a handwritten letter asking him to "stop the violations of the human rights of... all detainees, including those designated enemy combatants," CNN's "American Morning" had 3 of the 50 students on for an interview. Co-host John Roberts asked the students to recount their experiences writing the letter, obtaining signatures, and handing it to the president, and asked one student, "[I]n response, the president said, ‘we respect human rights,' do you buy that?"
The three students who were interviewed - Mari Oye, Leah Anthony Libresco, and Colin McSwiggen, all recently-graduated high school students, were among the one-third of the Presidential Scholars who signed a letter asking President Bush, among other things, "to do all in your power to stop violations of the human rights of detainees, to cease illegal renditions, and to apply the Geneva Convention to all detainees, including those designated enemy combatants." Roberts emphasized the apparent intelligence of the three. "And you want to talk about brain power, the collective group that you're seeing there. Mari and Leah going to Yale next year, Colin accepted to MIT." None from the remaining two-thirds who didn't sign the letter made an appearance on "American Morning."
Dateline: San Francisco. A city which HumanEvents.com ranked as the "most liberal city in America" is taking another shot at business and consumer rights and another step towards socialism with it's most recent ban. This week’s victim? The plastic shopping bag.
Jane Meredith Adams, a contributing editor to Parenting Magazine penned this June 25 special to the Chicago Tribune in which she ignores the impact of the law’s demands on businesses and consumers but instead highlights the fashionable nature of "eco-chic grocery totes."
“American Morning” provided another forecast of mostly cloudy skies for the housing market on June 26.
“I got to tell you John [Roberts, “American Morning” co-host], this is not good news for people who are out there trying to sell their house and this of course is supposed to be the biggest time of year for sales,” said Gerri Willis to begin her report.
Willis, the personal finance correspondent for CNN and host of “Open House” was reporting new data from the National Association of Realtors that showed lower median home prices and slipping sales.
While the NAR data was downbeat, Willis called it too “upbeat” and “optimistic.” She then labeled a doomsayer with a more negative prediction “respected."
A story on the US News and World Report website reveals that the reason women are paid less in general may have something to do with what they study in college:
The April release of Behind the Pay Gap by the American Association of University Women Education Foundation reported that one year after college graduation, women working full time earn just 80 percent as much as their male counterparts. The report noted that one potential reason for this difference is that female students are clustered in college majors tied to careers that lead to smaller paychecks. Areas such as education, health, and psychology are dominated by women, while men make up the majority of engineering, physical science, and mathematics majors—occupations that typically pay more.
Assume for a moment that you were a co-host on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” and you were given the assignment to interview outspoken conservative writer Ann Coulter.
With everything going on in the world – from Iraq, to immigration, even to Gore-made global warming – what would be the first topic you would ask Coulter to address?
Well, ABC’s Chris Cuomo Monday chose none of those issues, and instead decided to ask his guest about a joke she made several months ago regarding Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards' sexual preference (video available here):
Myra Langerhas of "Snarking Dawg" had this pointed take on those vaunted "campaign finance reform" champions at the liberal New York Times that I thought I'd share with you:
Typical editorial from every litterbox's paper of record. Boil it down
to bones - 'Bong hits 4 Jesus' banner by a high school student during
class hours demands 1st Amendment protection, but an ad from a private
group that asks Senators to vote on judicial nominees needs to be
censored by the Federal Gubmint.
Wow, and the 'smart guys' read this fodder.
Our very own Clay Waters scoops out that litterbox regularly. You can track his record of the Times' droppings at TimesWatch.org.
As Newsbusters documented, CBS ran more than onestory on the U.S. soldiers’ heroism and compassion in their abused Iraqi orphans’ rescue. The June 26 edition of "The Early Show" ran another story on their heroism, this one focusing on an individual soldier and his wife.
Lieutenant Jason Smith has a wife who teaches special education and a brother in law who is mentally disabled. Lt. Smith, as anchor Maggie Rodriguez put it, "was unknowingly training for his mission for years." The story then ran footage of Smith nurturing the recovering Iraqi children and his wife offering words of praise for her deployed husband.
Western-based New York Times correspondent Kirk Johnson wondered why Colorado residents are getting so worked up over illegal immigration, given they don't even know any illegals, in Sunday's "Anxiety in the Land of the Anti-Immigration Crusader." Even the photo caption was slanted: "The skyline of Highlands Ranch, a booming suburb of Denver that is largely white."
(Back in February 2005, Johnson defended University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, who called the victims of 9-11 "little Eichmanns," from those trying to suppress his free speech: "Many students interviewed on campus in recent days said they feared that the lines being drawn around Professor Churchill were also creating boundaries about what could be freely and safely talked about in the United States.")
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," reporter David Wright narrated a sarcastic segment about Vice President Dick Cheney and his refusal to hand over classified documents to the National Archives. In order to amplify the portrayal of Cheney as dark and scary, Wright featured clips from liberals such as Jon Stewart, left-wing blogger Ana Marie Cox and the Comedy Central program "Lil Bush." The GMA reporter helpfully added that "the Vice President's noncompliance plays right into the perception that he's some sort of shadowy super villain." Video: Real (1 MB) or Windows (1.25 MB) plus MP3 (176 KB)
Of course, Wright never identified the liberal, anti-Cheney leanings of the above individuals. Instead, he framed the Vice President’s refusal to hand over the documents as indicative of an out of control politician who won’t listen to anyone:
David Wright: "Quick civics quiz for you: Is the Vice President part of the executive branch of government? You might think the answer is obvious, but apparently not to the Vice President. The man who is a heartbeat away from the Oval Office thinks that some of the rules that apply to everyone else who works here do not apply to him."
In its rush to paint yesterday's Supreme Court ruling that struck down an issue ad ban contained in the so-called McCain-Feingold Law, the Chicago Tribune described the case as a win for President Bush and the GOP, even though the Bush administration's lawyers lost the case in question and even though the case benefits liberal activist groups as much as it does conservatives. What's more, Bush's appointees to the court actually restrained the conservative majority from taking a bigger swipe at the campaign finance law.
Here's the lede from the Tribune staffer David Savage:
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court gave President Bush and Republican
leaders two important 5-4 victories Monday by clearing the way for
corporate-funded broadcast ads before next year's election and by
shielding the White House's "faith-based initiative" from challenge in
Oh really? President Bush signed the campaign finance bill into law, it was his Federal Election Commission that pleaded and lost the case, and he's not able to run again for reelection, yet somehow he won yesterday by virtue of his Federal Election Commission losing?
What's more, Republicans, conservatives, and business interests can certainly benefit from the change in the law, but so can Democrats, liberals, and labor unions, a point that the Washington Post's Robert Barnes picked up on in his reporting, which tracked favorable reaction from labor and business leaders:
Depending on which newspaper you read Tuesday morning, the wildfires in the Lake Tahoe region of California and Nevada were either caused by global warming or environmentalists.
I kid you not.
In Northern California, just a few hours from the devastation, the number one paper in the region, the San Francisco Chronicle, chose to blame the fires on overdevelopment in Tahoe, and, of course, global warming (emphasis added):
According to the UK's Life Style Extra, a majority of 4,000 people surveyed believe global warming is a natural occurrence, as opposed to being caused by mankind, despite a scientific consensus claimed by the article:
ALMOST three quarters of people believe global warming is a 'natural occurrence' and not a result of carbon emissions, a survey claimed today.
This goes against the views of the vast majority of scientists who believe the rise in the earth's temperatures is due to pollution.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which represents most scientists, stated earlier that the increase in global temperatures is 'very likely due to the observed increase of man-made greenhouse gas concentrations'.
They define very likely as 'more than 90 percent certain'.
Ubergizmo.com, a “trendy web magazine dedicated to consumer electronics news and reviews,” such as a $2,650 Fujitsu Tablet PC and a “Wiener Dog Accent Lamp,” had a puzzling entry last week that discussed an amazing new sleeping tent, then surprisingly slammed the free-market system by whining about glorifying “the excesses of capitalism.“ Basically, the Water Shelter tent is an easily portable tent that also collects rainwater and can even be dropped in by air, which would be a lifesaver for flood refugees.
At the end of the blurb, the author threw in a comment that is strange for a site that is filled with small articles designed to highlight and promote capitalist goods. Was this an unclear joke or yet another anti-capitalist dig from an unlikely source?
By now you should know the drill concerning potables, combustibles, and sharp objects…
American heartthrob Tom Cruise has been prevented from filming scenes to a new movie about the assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler at German military sites due to the actor’s connection with Scientology.
I kid you not.
As reported by Reuters Monday (emphasis added throughout):
As the media and their alarmists like soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore have shamefully convinced enough of the population that man can actually impact the climate, law firms around the nation are gearing up to sue possible offenders.
I kid you not.
As reported in Monday’s Dallas Morning News (h/t NBer alamojb, emphasis added throughout):
Mika Brzezinski is at it again. As noted here and here, the daughter of Jimmy Carter's former National Security Advisor is inclined to inject her personal political views into her MSNBC newsreading role.
At 6:10 am EDT on today's "Morning Joe," Mika read an item reporting that Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) had called for a change of course in Iraq and expressed support for the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, co-chaired by James Baker and Lugar's fellow Hoosier, Lee Hamilton.
Mika couldn't restrain herself, archly asking:
MSNBC NEWSREADER MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Whatever happened to the Iraq Study Group, because I believe President Bush asked for those pieces of advice, correct?
Host Joe Scarborough immediately called Mika on her editorializing.
MSNBC HOST JOE SCARBOROUGH: The thing is, Mika, if you write for the front page of the New York Times, they don't let you go into the editorial room.
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams highlighted a "surprise" letter presented to President Bush by high school students visiting the White House who wanted the President to "stop the practice of torture." Williams: "When they got there, 50 of them [out of 141] presented him with a handwritten letter that they had signed demanding that the United States stop the practice of torture."
During the 37-second segment, Williams recounted the story and at one point showed a copy of the letter on-screen with the sentence "We do not want America to represent torture" blown up so it was readable to viewers. The NBC anchor concluded by relaying the President's response. Williams: "The President told them the United States does not practice torture, the very same thing the President has said publicly in the past." (Transcript follows)
Despite the seemingly ad nauseum claims by alarmists in the media of a consensus amongst scientists that man is responsible for global warming, it now seems that virtually every week, another highly-credentialed individual comes forward to profess a skeptical view.
With that in mind, a significant paper concerning the relationship between sunspot activity and rainfall was published this month in the Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering refuting a number of positions held by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Though highly technical, the work of these five scientists acts to further discredit alarmists’ assertions that the anthropogenic global warming debate is over (emphasis added throughout):
The Supreme Court on Monday issued two rulings related to free speech, but CBS was more concerned by the court's move “to the right,” while ABC deplored the impact of the ruling striking down of a ban on advocacy advertising 60 days before an election. In the other case, the court upheld the right of school officials to ban student signs advocating illegal behavior. Substitute CBS Evening News anchor Harry Smith, however, saw only one of the cases as involving free speech as he stressed the ideological direction of the court: “Today the justices ruled on a broad range of issues, including campaign finance reform and free speech for students. The rulings illustrate a distinct turn to the right due in part to the court's newest members.” Instead of seeing a victory for free speech, Wyatt Andrews described it as “part of a trend in which the Roberts court generally has moved to the right.” Andrews soon touted how “often the court's only woman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, would verbally strike back,” such as when “she said the partial-birth abortion decision reflects ancient notions about women's place in the family, and this was out loud in open court.”
Over on ABC, anchor Charles Gibson relayed how both of the big rulings “involved freedom of speech,” but only in the school case did ABC put “free speech” on screen. With “Campaign Ads” on screen, Gibson rued the triumph for free speech: “The court weakened a key provision of the campaign finance reform law, opening the way for many more groups to run many more political ads.” Gibson told Stephanopoulos that campaign spending “is out of control” and Stephanopoulos lamented how groups can now “run TV ads right up until election day praising candidates, criticizing candidates, as long as you don't use the words 'vote for' or 'vote against.' And it's very easy to get around that.”
The MSNBC report about 144 journalists donating to leftwing causes 9 to 1 over conservative causes has resulted in news staffers being let go, including a reporter and a cartoonist.
KTPM Omaha fired reporter Calvert Collins, who had posted her photo with a congressional candidate on her Facebook page with the caption, "Vote for him Tuesday, November 7!"
"In a way, I'm glad this happened to me at age 23, and not 33," Collins said, "and I will learn from it."
Being fired is probably not the lesson she expected to learn.
Freelance editorial cartoonist Paul Fell will no longer be drawing cartoons for the Lincoln, Nebraska "Journal Star" due in large part to snide comments he made when it was disclosed that he had donated $450 to Maxine Moul, a Democrat candidate for Congress. Editor Kathleen Rutledge wrote,