It's time for 'Name That Party' again. The besieged mayor of Atlantic City, Robert Levy, resigned today after allegations of claiming false military benefits, according to his lawyer. The lawyer also gave a reason for Levy's disappearance.
Attorney Edwin Jacobs said that the mayor had been undergoing treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues since city officials last heard from him Sept. 26.
However, according to the story in the Los Angeles Times, there were even larger reasons for Levy's disappearance- he was under investigation by Federal officials for falsely claiming military benefits to which he had no right. The Times reported,
Federal officials have been looking into whether Levy, 64, lied about his service in order to increase his veteran's benefits. The mayor was in the Army for 20 years -- serving two tours of duty in Vietnam -- and received numerous medals, awards and citations, Jacobs said.
You know The Washington Post is a liberal newspaper when it hails Democratic grande dames -- in the Home section. The lead story in the Thursday section was "Secretary Albright's Sugar Shakers: And Other Significant Parts of Great Women's Houses." Post reporter Annie Groer touted the effects of "great women" like Madeleine Albright. When Albright ran through her official flower budget as U.N. Ambassador, "she pressed her antique sugar shakers into centerpiece duty in New York and later in Foggy Bottom." A large picture of Albright and her shakers dominated the top of the page.
In a free-swinging democracy such as ours, rare are the restraints on political speech by our elected representatives. One exception are rules of decorum, such as those governing the House of Representatives that prohibit members from speaking in negative personal terms about their colleagues and other officials.
There is a similar, unwritten rule by which former presidents do not criticize their successors. And while the occasional lapse has occurred over the history of the republic, no president has so thoroughly trashed the tradition as Jimmy Carter, who has made stinging criticism of the Bush administration a virtual art form. Earlier this year, for example, Carter publicly labelled the Bush administration "the worst in history."
“Jimmy Carter is back in the news tonight,” NBC anchor Brian Williams declared Wednesday night in making true what he, but not the ABC or CBS evening newscasts found newsworthy, “this time because of harsh words for the current Vice President.” Williams proceeded to highlight how “in an interview with the BBC, former President Carter calls Vice President Cheney quote, 'a disaster for America' and 'a militant,' who has been in Carter's words, 'overly persuasive' on President Bush.” A few hours later, MSNBC's Live with Dan Abrams led with Carter's derision with “'DISASTER'?” on screen under a picture of Cheney.
A Reuters dispatch, “Jimmy Carter calls Cheney a 'disaster' for U.S.,” reported Carter's attack:
The MRC's Brad Wilmouth alerted me to a slip of the tongue Wednesday night by ABC anchor Charles Gibson, who didn't catch and correct his error -- at least in the 6:30pm EDT feed of World News. In a brief item on the congressional resolution labeling a 1915 massacre of Armenians as "genocide," Gibson inadvertently said "Americans" instead:
Hard to believe, but there was a political fight in Washington today over something that happened 92 years ago. In 1915, as many as a million and a half Americans were killed by Ottoman Turks...
Ann Coulter did her best to drop a bomb on the October 10 episode of "Tucker" on MSNBC. At the conclusion of her interview, Ann Coulter announced (video) that the National Enquirer was just reporting that John Edwards had an 18-month affair while on the campaign trail. You can read the story here.
Before going any further, this allegation must be met with a healthy degree of skepticism. First of all, the story is originating from the National Enquirer, which in and of itself, raises questions as to the story's reliability. Secondly, Coulter had a notorious run-in earlier this year with Elizabeth Edwards on an MSNBC episode of "Harball." Coulter would have every motivation to repeat a salacious tabloid sex allegation about John Edwards.
With that said, though, you would think that the mere allegation would be worthy of a media frenzy based upon its recent behavior. The media have extensively covered the "bathroom sex" case of Senator Larry Craig. Before that, the media happily reported when Sentator David Vitter's phone number showed up in the records of the "DC Madam." Even before that, the Mark Foley story lingered for a month during a crucial point in the 2006 campaign.
Network morning news programs showcase musicians all the time with concert series and the like, and sometimes musicians make political statements in between songs, as Bruce Springsteen did on the September 28 "Today" show. But usually those segments are fluffy revenue raisers meant to hook audiences with popular musical acts. The politics are notable for their general left-wing slant, but otherwise unconnected to the news reporting on the program or the network.
Not so with Michael Stipe's appearance on the October 10 "Anderson Cooper 360," which will give Stipe and his band REM a platform to make a politically correct ecological statement in line with CNN's upcoming special, "Planet in Peril."
According to CNN.com:
(CNN) -- Rock group R.E.M. plans to debut a song from its upcoming album Wednesday on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360°" program.
David Herszenhorn's front-page "Political Memo" for Wednesday's New York Times was devoted to the fight over Graeme Frost, the boy pushed forward by the Democrats to deliver the response to Bush's weekly radio address on the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP).
The inimitable Mark Steyn is one of several conservative writers unhappy with Democrats "desperate enough to send a boy to do a man's job."
Herszenhorn accused Republicans and "conservative bloggers" of attacking the boy and his family. While not as bad as the local coverage in the Baltimore Sun as outlined earlier by Ken Shepherd, there is a hostile tone:
But ABC's "World News with Charles Gibson" led its broadcast with the Energy Information Administration's report by saying "Tonight, news of a cold wind a coming that promises to have a chilling effect on the American pocketbook," and continued to sing a different tune than Couric, professing that "the average American homeowner will pay 10% more for heating during what will be, generally, a colder winter."
On September 29, 2007, Baltimore 12-year old Graeme Frost became the Democratic poster child, literally, for SCHIP. Frost read the Democratic Party's official response to the president's weekly radio address, attacking President Bush for his veto of a Democratic-sponsored bill to balloon federal spending on the 10-year old program.
The Baltimore Sun ran a story that morning noting young Graeme Frost's brush with political football history, and two days earlier ran a gauzy profile on Graeme's mom and dad and their push for the Democratic SCHIP expansion here. But now that conservative bloggers have been raising questions about the portrayal by Democrats and the Baltimore Sun of the family's financial plight, the Sun is hitting back by attacking conservatives bloggers as heartless and obsessive, Michelle Malkin noted on her blog.
On Tuesday's "Good Morning America," co-host Chris Cuomo and media critic Howard Kurtz ignored the role that liberal bias has played in the decline of ratings for the network evening newscasts. At the same time, Cuomo and Washington Post reporter seemed to be proud of the media's ability to turn Americans against the war in Iraq. Kurtz, who has written a book on the subject, asserted, "I believe that these newscasts in 2005 and 2006 played the biggest single role in helping to turn public opinion against the war."
Cuomo agreed and complimented the journalist's analysis. He enthused, "It's easy to say, 'Oh, well. The war was unpopular. People were looking for the unpopularity of it. At some point, the networks gave that to them.' But you have a more penetrating look at it. You take a look at it in terms of the role of the nightly newscasts in shaping the ideas about the news..." According to Kurtz, the top three network anchors kept "framing the story in such a way" that the bad news finally had an impact. And while the two reporters wondered about the effect the iPod and internet are having on network low ratings, at no time did they discuss liberal bias or salient facts such as that journalists backed John Kerry over George Bush by a two-to-one margin.
Those pesky conservative suburbanites and their market forces! They'll be the ruin of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, bellows Anonymous.
Hugh Hewitt and Ed Morrissey have taken on the unattributed complaints of a self-described Star-Tribune ("Strib") veteran, who laments that his beloved paper is becoming a right-wing shill for, gasp, hiring a token conservative opinion columnist.:
The Rake, a local alternative newspaper here in the Twin Cities, published an interesting cri de coeur from "one Strib veteran" about the direction of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The anonymous attribution wears thin in the first line of the quote:
Tuesday’s Metro section of The Washington Post covered a controversy at D.C.’s George Washington University, where fliers appeared on campus blaring "HATE MUSLIMS? SO DO WE!!" Post reporter Susan Kinzie mentioned that the GWU chapter of the conservative Young America’s Foundation denied the posters were theirs, and Kinzie noted that it was probably a prank, since the fine print at the bottom had the words "'Brought to you by Students for Conservativo-Fascism Awareness' -- and a postscript recommending a BBC video on the politics of fear." But while Wednesday’s article in Metro confirmed that it was a prank "produced by students who were attempting to mock those they thought were trying to stir fear of Muslims," YAF wasn’t named anywhere in the article as the vindicated victim.
Jason Mattera of YAF is rightfully upset: "The Post mentions Young America’s Foundation three times, even though the fliers were obvious hoaxes. Yet the paper’s article today explaining that the fliers were fabricated doesn’t mention Young America’s Foundation even once! The Post will report possible incidents of hate speech, but when those incidents turn out to be contrived, the paper doesn’t vindicate those who were targeted!!!"
With politicians and newspapers like they have in California, it's no wonder the state has become a magnet for millions of illegal immigrants. The latest lunacy? The legislature has enacted a bill giving illegals scholarships to state universities. And the Los Angeles Times predictably wants Gov. Schwarzenegger to sign it into law.
The so-called "California Dream Act" was cooked up by state Sen. Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles). In its editorial of today, "Make the Dream Reality," The Times plays lip service to the problem the law would create: "We understand the objections that arise when a society extends benefits to illegal immigrants that once were reserved solely for legal residents. The easier life becomes for those who crossed our borders illegally, the more incentive there is for others to follow."
Exactamundo. But wth its next breath the newspaper brushes off the very problem it identified:
Just when you thought it was safe to turn on your radio again, a major media advocate has issued a strong warning to companies thinking about hiring Don Imus: Don't you dare!
For those that have been out of the country since the beginning of the year, one of the original shock-jocks got himself in trouble in April when he referred to the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos."
After being fired by CBS Radio and NBC, Imus has been mounting a comeback, and is in serious talks with two leading radio outlets.
Unfortunately, as measured by its press release Tuesday, the National Association of Black Journalists isn't pleased (emphasis added throughout, h/t Dan Gainor):
At the top center spot of Wednesday's front page -- above those debating Republicans -- The Washington Post spotlights its interview with Hillary Rodham Clinton. The headline is "Clinton Cites Lessons of Partisanship: Senator Says She's Best Equipped to Unite America." (Washingtonpost.com changed its header to "Clinton Cites Her Resilience.")
Since when has Hillary been either a uniter, or a centrist? Post reporters Anne Kornblut and Dan Balz offered little skepticism (and no account of her consistently liberal voting record) in their account of her remarks, summed up with this: "I intend to win in November 2008, and then I intend to build a centrist coalition in this country that is like what I remember when I was growing up."
The ruckus over the Rush Limbaugh "phony soldiers" statement is dying down. It ought not to. There is a huge story here.
What did Rush say? In a September 26 conversation with a caller to his program who claimed the media never interview "real soldiers," but just people out of the blue, Rush added for emphasis, "the phony soldiers."
The left saw its opportunity and pounced with a vengeance. Led by the George Soros-funded and Hillary Clinton-inspired Media Matters outfit, it unleashed a scorched-earth attack on Limbaugh for insulting the military, stating that any servicemen or women who might oppose the war in Iraq had been defamed by the talk show host as "phony soldiers."
The television networks, newspapers, and leftist blog sites were ablaze with stories about Democratic outrage. There were calls for his show to be yanked from the Armed Forces Radio Network. There were demands that Clear Channel make Rush apologize, and that advertisers pull their sponsorship.
The news media have hardly been admirers of Richard Nixon, but ABC News found new respect Tuesday for Nixon's assessments now that old tapes show how during Watergate he ridiculed furure GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson as “dumb as hell.” On the day of Thompson's debut at a GOP residential debate, both Good Morning America and World News featured stories from Brian Ross, who in the World News version boasted that “we spent weeks going through the hours of Nixon Oval Office tapes.” But though Ross reported nothing not posted two months ago on ABCNews.com, he claimed to have discovered “a tantalizing inside look at how Thompson was regarded by the President and his inner circle.” Reminding viewers that Thompson was the Republican counsel on the Senate committee investigating Watergate, Ross reported that “when Nixon's aides told him of Thompson's appointment, the President was less than impressed.” ABC then played audio from May 14, 1973 of Nixon denigrating Thompson: “He's dumb as hell.”
Cuing up a bite of Nixon asking, “He isn't very smart, is he?”, Ross relayed: “By June 1973, Thompson was still being described in the Oval Office as not very smart, but at least beginning to play ball with the White House behind the scenes.” For expert analysis of Thompson's complicity with Nixon, Ross turned to “author” John Dean who maintained Thompson saw it as “his duty...not necessarily to find the truth, but to find out what would be best for Richard Nixon.” Of course, viewers of MSNBC's Countdown know Dean as one of Keith Olbermann's favorite guests and author of such books as Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush and Conservatives Without Conscience.
“[W]ell, we’re coming to you from the Ford Performing Arts Center,” co-moderator Maria Bartiromo said during the October 9 CNBC “Closing Bell.” “And there’s a lot of buzz and excitement around. We're just about an hour away from the debate and of course, this is the first national presidential debate focused only on economic issues. We'll be talking taxes, trade, housing, broad economy, foreign relations, protectionism.”
But it didn’t end up that way. While there were four questioners, co-moderator Chris Matthews was the most obvious in asking questions that had little to do with the economy. Out of his 49 questions, 28 were largely non-economic.
Florida resident Joe Winiecki was told by airline employees to turn his lewd shirt inside out, change shirts or get off an October 7 flight according to The Associated Press. The “sexually suggestive” shirt read certified “Master Baiter.” But Roberts didn’t see it that way.
“A passenger wearing a T-shirt with a somewhat off-color joke on it about his fishing prowess was told that he couldn't board the flight while wearing it.” Roberts said on the October 9 “American Morning.” The CNN co-host used the story to promote a CNN online poll that asked if airlines should play the role of “fashion police.”
At 3:35pm ET on today's CNN Newsroom (10/9/07), the hosts were reading viewer e-mails. Here's what they read from a "Chuck" in Las Vegas, Nevada (emphasis mine):
After all these years of sex and money scandals, to say nothing of the born-again idiot in the White House, one might reasonably expect that by now the Christians would have lost some of their smug superiority over the rest of us. Dear Jesus, save us from your followers!
A couple moments after the letter was read, both hosts appeared to momentarily show slight mischievous grins.
Chris Matthews couldn't help himself during the GOP debate in Michigan, as he returned to his "No blood for oil," rant, when he essentially asked Republican candidates if they thought the U.S. would have invaded Iraq if it didn't need the oil. On CNBC's live coverage of Tuesday's Republican debate the "Hardball" host asked Ron Paul the following:
"Congressman Paul would you, would we have gone to war in Iraq if we weren't so dependent on Middle East oil?"
Matthews then repeated that same question to Sam Brownback:
"Do you believe that, Senator Brownback, that we would've gone to war in Iraq if we weren't so dependent on Middle East oil?"
On Tuesday’s CBS "Early Show," host Hannah Storm exclaimed that Fred Thompson "has received a lot of criticism...for being underwhelming so far out on the campaign trail." This just hours before Thompson’s participation in his first GOP debate.
The segment began with a report by Nancy Cordes who observed that Thompson’s "...been trying to keep expectations low."Storm then invited on guests Arianna Huffington and Michael Smerconish for political analysis, both of whom bashed Thompson. Smerconish began the attack:
Well, unfortunately, I think the delivery probably matters over substance in this case because he is getting a reputation on the stump so far as being a bit of a dolt. Somebody needs to light a fire under his fanny.
Huffington brought her ususal class to the argument:
And then there are all these stumbles, you know, on the issues too. It wasn't just a matter of being underwhelming in terms of passion and energy...You know, he didn't know much about the Everglades in Florida...he didn't know much about Terri Schiavo. And he thought Hezbollah was in Afghanistan. You know, these are kind of major problems, especially after all these years with George W. Bush. People want a little more competence in the sense of the grasp of the issues.
On Monday’s "Lou Dobbs Tonight," host Lou Dobbs took aim at Katie Couric and Bill Moyers for "silly public statements" they’ve made regarding the practice of wearing an American flag lapel pin. "CBS's Katie Couric, of all people, taking exception to an American journalist saying 'we,' when referring to the United States.... I'm sorry, Katie Couric, but who could possibly be offended by acknowledging those troops who have sacrificed so much for us and ours?... PBS's Bill Moyers says the flag's been hijacked and turned into a logo, the trademark of a monopoly on patriotism. Oh, please, Bill Moyers, you're too smart for this kind of babble."
On the 40th anniversary of Che Guevara's death, October 8 New York Times penned a peppy little story about how his well-to-do children feel about their father's legacy as a Communist “revolutionary icon” and the commercialization of his image.
Glaringly absent was any mention of his unpleasant history, especially the nickname he was given when he was Cuba's high executioner, The Butcher of la Cabana.
The NYT lamented that Che's image has fallen prey to the claws of capitalism and his “message” diluted. Too bad there was no description of the brutal way that “message” was delivered (emphasis mine throughout):
CNN’s Anderson Cooper appearing on "The View" to promote his special "Planet in Peril." At the outset, Cooper claimed the series has no political agenda.
"There’s a lot of politics surrounding it, a lot of arguments surrounding it. But we just want to look at the facts. There’s no agenda. There’s no- we’re not trying to- we’re not advocates for any cause. We’re basically just looking at facts and letting viewers make up their own minds."
Really? Later in the segment it sure looked like it did. Co-host Joy Behar asked what can be done. The CNN anchor noted to save the environment, we need "major policy decisions."