Blogging at the "Couric & Co." blog, CBS producer Ward Sloane admitted that many journalists who covered the Gipper were wrong about the 40th President's political and policy acumen. Noting a new book that reveals entries from Reagan's journal, Sloane made it sound like the media were only echoing a large swath of the American electorate:
The fact is that many Americans and -- not surprisingly to some of you
reading this blog -- many members of the mainstream press believed that
Ronald Reagan was aloof and disconnected from the events that marked
his presidency. Historian Douglas Brinkley, who edited the diaries at
the invitation of Nancy Reagan, says they show Reagan to be exactly the
If the AP didn’t write about it, it didn’t happen, right? In an article about a topic I blogged earlier in the week here at Newsbusters, the AP also reported it, but with a different angle. The Primary Source, a conservative newspaper at Boston’s Tufts University was charged with harassment and creating a hostile environment on campus by publishing what the paper called political parody; they were found guilty of the charges by a disciplinary panel. The catch is, the AP worded it in a way that only reported half the story and ignored the paper's other harassment complaint that the panel was judging-at the same time-a fact-based satire of Islam.
Does L.A. Times columnist Rosa Brooks think 9-11 was "fictional and entirely implausible"? I ask, because in The GOP's Torture Enthusiasts today, that's how she describes a similar scenario that Brit Hume sketched during this past Tuesday's GOP presidential debate.
In inviting the candidates to discuss their views on interrogation during this past Tuesday's get together, debate moderator and Fox News DC Bureau managing editor Brit Hume said the following:
The questions in this round will be premised on a fictional, but we think plausible scenario involving terrorism and the response to it. Here is the premise: Three shopping centers near major U.S. cities have been hit by suicide bombers. Hundreds are dead, thousands injured. A fourth attack has been averted when the attackers were captured off the Florida coast and taken to Guantanamo Bay, where they are being questioned. U.S. intelligence believes that another larger attack is planned and could come at any time.
Brooks sniffed at the scenario, calling it "the kind that most intelligence experts consider fictional and entirely implausible."
Al Gore, "improbably charismatic"? That's the premise of this week's cover story in Time magazine, titled "The Last Temptation of Al Gore." He is, according to the ogling opening of Time writer Eric Pooley, everything the Democrats could want, "the perfect stealth candidate for 2008," with "the grass-roots appeal of Barack Obama," who "spoke out loud and clear and early" against the Iraq war, but also " candidate with the operational toughness of Hillary Clinton—someone with experience and credibility on the world stage." In short:
In other words, you would want someone like Al Gore—the improbably charismatic, Academy Award–winning, Nobel Prize–nominated environmental prophet with an army of followers and huge reserves of political and cultural capital at his command. There's only one problem. The former Vice President just doesn't seem interested.
Time magazine has interviewed Michael Moore in anticipation of his next film, Sicko, which reportedly takes aim at the U.S. health care system. (HT: Drudge.) The interview is a run-of-the-mill Q&A that's basically a yawner until Moore lets out some pure hilarity.
TIME: Do you think people will accuse the movie of inaccuracy?
MOORE: I offered $10,000 to anybody who could find a single fact in Fahrenheit 9/11 that was wrong.
TIME: Have you had to pay anything?
MOORE: No, of course not. Every fact in my films is true. And yet how often do I have to read over and over again about supposed falsehoods? The opinions in the film are mine. They may not be true, but I think they are.
Restrained praise is in order for the BBC’s Radio 4 series on anti-Americanism called “Death to America.” The brainchild of senior Washington correspondent Justin Webb, the three-part program examined the hatreds toward America that are bubbling over in France, Venezuela, Egypt and beyond. “A pattern was emerging and has never seriously been altered,” Webb said of his experience of anti-Americanism in Europe. “A pattern of willingness to condemn America for the tiniest indiscretion—or to magnify those indiscretions—while leaving the murderers, dictators, and thieves who run other nations oddly untouched.”
It was this realization, he said, that launched him into the series, which aired three consecutive weeks last month. Any regular consumer of the BBC, if he’s honest, must admit that Webb’s simple insight is rarely if ever heard across the BBC’s media colossus. It took gumption for Webb to approach his superiors about the program concept, and a refreshing measure of fairness for the BBC's top brass to sign off on it. [...]
HBO’s Bill Maher is quickly becoming a walking billboard for the concept that hate is blinding.
In a blog published at the Huffington Post Wednesday, Maher actually implied that he knows more -- from his residence in Southern California -- about what’s going on in Iraq than America’s troops that are risking their lives there (emphasis added throughout):
Since this war began the number of soldiers in Iraq who think Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11 has stunned us all. We continue to be surprised by the number of troops over there who still think we're winning, convinced we're doing good, and that if America pulls out they will follow us home.
Well, Bill, if this is what the troops on the ground are saying, shouldn’t we listen to them? Apparently not:
On only his second day as a Don Imus-substitute, NBC reporter David Gregory proved that he can promote Democratic talking points in any medium. For the Thursday edition of "Gregory Live," which is simulcast on MSNBC and on radio, the veteran correspondent interviewed Illinois Senator and White House contender Barack Obama and asked him no tough questions.
He began by noting how the Democratic Senator has received "great media attention, great enthusiasm and crowds and people showering you with money." How absurd is it for Mr. Gregory to refer to Obama’s "great media attention" in the third person? After all, it was NBC’s "Today" show, where Gregory sometimes guest hosts, that labeled the Senator an "electrifying" "rock star."
After his fawning preface, Mr. Gregory did manage, finally, to segue into a question:
It's quite rare for President Bush to lecture reporters, but he did it Thursday morning to British reporters in a Rose Garden press conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. When reporters for Sky News and BBC tried to suggest strongly that Blair was the lamest of ducks, President Bush upbraided them for "trying to do a tap dance on this political grave" and said Blair is a solid, respected leader, unlike some political players (in the press?): "There's a lot of blowhards in the political process, a lot of hot air artists, people who've got something fancy to say."
After reporter Adam Boulton of Sky News pressed Bush if he's "partly to blame" for Blair retiring, a reporter for the program BBC Newsnight really stirred up the president:
QUESTION: Mr. Blair, you outlined some very big policy areas there in your discussions with the president. Is it really possible, do you think, to make significant progress on them in the time that you have left? And, Mr. President, if I could ask you: Is this really still the right man to be talking to?
On this morning's Today show NBC's Ann Curry revealed her green-streak as she pedaled her way on a "people-powered blender" to save the environment. Appearing with the co-founder of Ben&Jerry's Ice Cream, Jerry Greenfield, Curry gushed over the company's liberal causes and even mounted a stationary bike to blend smoothies and boasted: "You see, you can save the environment! It is possible!"
Video (1:24): Real (2.32 MB) or Windows (2.65 MB), plus MP3 (1.24 MB).
That’s how the “American Morning” anchor described Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) annual salary of $162,100. He also called the Obama family incomes of “$470,000 up to $1.4 million” “pretty modest” during the May 17 report. Roberts used the word “modest” three different times to depict some part of Obama’s financial life.
In other words – nearly four times the median household income. The median household income in the United States is $46,326, according to the U.S. Census. That’s 29 percent of Obama’s “modest” Senate income and about 10 percent of the “pretty modest” amount the Obamas declared as the low end of what they earned last year.
A few weeks ago, NewsBusters reported on the environmental think tank that believes having too many children is bad for the planet.
Comedian Jimmy Kimmel must have gotten wind of this daffy position, for his crew (time unknown) created a wonderful parody of Al Gore’s schlockumentary wherein the former vice president ties the global warming problem to various behaviors by children.
Entitled “An Inconvenient Youth,” this brief segment is guaranteed to even get a chuckle out of Gore sycophants like Laurie David and Sheryl Crow.
However, the reader is cautioned that this is a bit raw, and possibly offensive though well-intentioned (video available here, grateful h/t to NBer Hero Squad).
Almost from the moment that Jerry Falwell's death was announced on Tuesday, the leftwing nutroots at the Democratic Underground began gleefully dancing upon his grave. Here are just a few of their hate rants about Falwell:
Uncharitable or not, I am sorry his death was not more painful and drawn out. He did not deserve a relatively peaceful, painless and quick death.
Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson, who is chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute, today made something of a pitch in The Hill newspaper for using the Fox News Channel for presidential debates, citing "the unbiased forum" of a pair of debates shown on Fox four years ago.
This time around, the CBC Institute had planned a Democratic presidential debate to be aired on Fox that leading candidates John Edwards, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have vowed to boycott. A second CBC Institute debate to be aired on CNN will not be boycotted.
In a letter to The Hill printed this morning, Rep. Thompson explained that the debates are the work of his institute, and that “the institute has not been approached by any member of the CBC requesting it to withdraw from the debates on Fox.”
Can you imagine CNN providing live coverage to a Republican presidential candidates forum before a conference put on by the Family Research Council? Or would CNN worry that their coverage was promoting the FRC event and adding heft to the FRC’s national image? Flip that scenario to a group on the religious left, and you have the reality of CNN’s announcement that they will air a forum for the top three Democrat contenders at a conference organized by Sojourners, a group of "progressive Christians" who want more government aid to the poor and less money for the "disastrous" war in Iraq. CNN announced in a press release:
CNN will serve as the exclusive broadcaster of a presidential candidate forum on faith, values and politics during the Sojourners "Pentecost 2007" conference in Washington, D.C. The event will be held Monday, June 4, on the campus of The George Washington University, and CNN will broadcast the forum live during the 7 p.m. (ET) hour of The Situation Room.
The Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners and author of the best selling book God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It, has invited Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Hillary Clinton, former Sen. John Edwards and Sen. Barack Obama to share their ideas and proposals about pressing social issues with a special emphasis on poverty. Wallis also invited CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O'Brien to moderate the forum.
The May 17 edition of "The View" featured Rosie equating the United States with the terrorists, and Joy announcing her support for a Republican...but not what you may think. Token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck strongly made her case for how evil terrorists are and Rosie scuffed, "I don’t think you should use the word terrorist." Hasselbeck then noted a murderer is a murderer and asked what we should call terrorists "sweet peas?"
Rosie, in interrogating the non-liberal co-hosts, implied that the United States are the real terrorists.
O’DONNELL: I haven't -- I just want to say something. 655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?
CBS News producer/blogger Greg Kandra opened the e-mailbag today to relay to "Couric & Co." readers some negative reaction to the network's coverage of Rev. Jerry Falwell's death. In particular, Kandra quoted from a female Liberty University graduate and vascular surgeon who took issue with historian/guest pundit Douglas Brinkley's assessment of Falwell's views on women.
In an appearance on the May 15 "Evening News," Brinkley dismissed Falwell as a reactionary who (emphasis mine) was "opposed to some of the
progressive liberal high watermarks of the 1960s, and certainly he
wanted--his returning to family values was returning to women being in
the kitchen, in many ways."
Did you hear about the nineteen Democrats that sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) expressing concern that a global warming bill being discussed in the House could reduce energy supplies and raise prices?
You didn’t? Want to know why?
Well, because other than Environment & Energy Daily, nobody reported it.
*****Critical Update: Complete text of letter follows.
Regardless, the short piece by Ben Geman was rather extraordinary (h/t Benny Peiser, subscription required, emphasis added throughout):
Do you hear that hissing sound? That’s the balloon that soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore and his band of not so merry alarmists have floated concerning a scientific consensus on man’s role in global warming losing air.
As the media continue to pound the table about the debate being over, another state climatologist has come out of the closet so to speak to voice his views about all things climate change.
As reported by the Columbus, Mississippi, Commercial Dispatch Wednesday (emphasis added throughout, h/t NBer dscott):
Time.com Washington Editor Ana Marie Cox directed "Swampland" blog readers to a compendium of Mitt Romney gaffes in a post entitled "Gaffe-a-Minute Mitt," calling it "The missing sidebar to Karen's cover story on the Mittster." Cox was referring to Karen Tumulty's May 10 article, "What Romney Believes."
The link takes the reader to a Cox-compiled "top ten" list of the former Massachusetts governor's gaffes. "Mitt Romney may be leading the underwhelming Republican presidential
field in fundraising, but he also has a less dubious distinction —he
leads the pack in committing professional-grade gaffes," Cox opened her special report.
Of course, former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R-Wisc.) has also had his fair share of gaffes in the past few weeks, as has Democratic contender, Sen. Barack Obama. For instance, shortly after the Virginia Tech mass murder, Obama gave a rambling speech about violence that made little sense. More famously, on May 8, Obama said that 10,000 people perished in the Greensburg, Kansas, tornado when in fact that number was considerably smaller.
My review of the Time "Swampland" blog postings from on and around April 16 and May 8 revealed nothing by Cox snarking about either incident.
In today's Washington Post, staff writer Carol Leonnig heavily
skewed in favor of the District of Columbia gun ban. The stringent 1976
gun law was overturned earlier this year by a three-judge panel of the
D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals but may be appealed to the Supreme Court. Notice the skew of the article in favor of the D.C. government's position in the first two paragraphs of "Gun Ban Ruling Puts Fenty on the Spot.":
D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty
must make a risky choice about the District's gun ban: defend it before
the Supreme Court or write new, looser laws governing how city
residents can keep guns in their homes.
As he wades into a
high-stakes debate over the Second Amendment, the new mayor of the
nation's capital faces the possibility that the city could lose the
case and undercut decades of hard-fought gun-control legislation across
Yeah, because it's a darn shame when laws that undercut a
constitutional right might, you know, be repealed by the highest Court
in the land.
Remember all the false reports coming out of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina? Don't try to relive them at CNN. The network has gone back and corrected a report that originally talked about snipers on the rooftops without any sort of retraction.
Remember in 1984, where
Winston's job was to revise newspapers of the past to keep up with the
ever changing present? This is very interesting. A couple years ago,
during the Katrina disaster, I linked to a CNN report and quoted it [...]
of my readers ran into that posting of mine--and noticed that the CNN
report at that link no longer said anything like that. It was much,
much more upbeat. Nothing about the police snipers on the roof. Did I
copy the wrong link? Did I have a brief attack of delusion, and make
It goes without question that the San Francisco Bay Area is infamous for its extreme liberal views. Having lived here for 28 years, I know this to be a fact that most residents consider a badge of honor.
Sadly, in the middle of this leftist motif is KTVU’s “Ten O’Clock News,” an award-winning program that often is so liberally biased that it’s unwatchable.
Such was certainly the case Wednesday evening when the station’s political editor, and eight-time Emmy Award winner, Randy Shandobil, featured an antiwar segment asking the question:
We’re now in the fifth year of the war in Iraq, and if the polls are accurate, it’s even more unpopular than Vietnam. So how come we’re not hearing more protest songs?
Amazing, wouldn’t you agree? Alas, it got worse as Shandobil then spoke with the music director of Berkeley’s KALX who blamed the lack of protest songs on the absence of a draft (video available here):
Appearing on Good Morning America today, Geraldo Rivera claimed that illegal aliens in the United States are "law abiding." Is he right?
In a debate moderated by GMA co-host Diane Sawyer that began today at about 7:15 am EDT, Geraldo faced off against Glenn Beck. Rivera made a case for letting the estimated 12 million illegal aliens remain in the country.
GERALDO RIVERA: We have 12 million people who are gainfully employed; the vast majority of them are. I submit to you that these people are a vital part of the American economy. That they are doing jobs that essentially Americans don't want. Americans are fully employed. To lose these 12 million hard-working people, law-abiding, family people, socially-conservative people in many ways, I think would be a travesty.
When Beck challenged Geraldo's law-abiding claim, pointing to the three illegal aliens who were among the al Qaeda-inspired terrorists planning to attack Fort Dix, Rivera retorted that the fence Beck favors wouldn't have kept them out, since they came in through JFK airport.
Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz interviewed America's top anchorman for Thursday's paper, and the anchor of ABC's World News was determined: "Charlie Gibson was determined not to lead his newscast with the preacher's death." He explained:
"It lends importance to a figure whose legacy contained a lot of positives and a lot of negatives," says the ABC anchor, who was once a reporter in Falwell's home base of Lynchburg, Va. "It venerates the subject to an extent that I didn't think belonged there. He was a controversial figure."
In the unlikely event John Edwards is elected the next president of the United States, don't look for Dee Dee Myers twirling on the dance floor with him at the Inaugural Ball. Appearing on this morning's "Today," the former Clinton press secretary took some serious shots at the former senator from North Carolina.
At about 7:08 am EDT this morning, Meredith Vieira began a tour of the presidential horizon with Myers and conservative commentator and radio talk show host Laura Ingraham. Talk turned to Edwards, and Vieira framed the issue in a manner not particularly flattering to the ex-trial lawyer.
What does it say when porn-peddler and sex-shop owner Larry Flynt treated Jerry Falwell’s death with more class than CNN? As Newsbusters reported yesterday, during “Anderson Cooper 360,” CNN used a still from an old protest video that had a large illustration of Jerry Falwell next to a large illustration of Hitler.
Despite being courtroom and media adversaries that was kicked into overdrive when Flynt ran a fake ad in “Hustler,” which claimed that Falwell’s first sexual experience was with his mother in an outhouse and resulted in a lawsuit producing a landmark First Amendment ruling by the US Supreme Court, allowing the parody of public figures, Flynt issued this surprisingly generous and thoughtful statement to "Access Hollywood" on May 15 (emphasis mine):
Brian Williams turned over just under five minutes of Wednesday's NBC Nightly News to a live interview with former President Bill Clinton about his effort to address global warming, a fawning session which amounted to little more than pontificating from Clinton cued up by Williams, who set the tone by asking: “What does the current administration have to answer for? How much of it, in your view, is their fault?” The ostensible news hook for the segment: The “Clinton Climate Initiative's” announcement of “a global Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Program.”
The three other questions Williams managed to squeeze in between Clinton's long-winded answers to the easy inquiries: “What have you done in your personal life that contributes to better environmental health, let's say, in this country?” Clinton insisted: “I have a hybrid vehicle which I drive, which I drove to New York to work today.” Does the former President of the United States really drive his own car and not ride in a Secret Service-driven limo? And where do the agents ride in a puny hybrid? [Update: or it could be a not so puny hybrid SUV] Williams didn't ask, but instead treated Clinton as an energy use expert: “For the people who find it hard to believe that replacing bulbs in their home or changing the vehicle they drive could make a difference, what's your counter-argument?” Finally, Williams turned cute: “How much of your personal time these days are you spending as, let's call it, political advisor to somebody close to you?”
Chris Matthews is not a liberal. Andrea Mitchell has told us so. Yet there are times when our fervent belief in that tenet is strained. Such as on this afternoon's "Hardball," when the only two moments from last night's GOP debate that Matthews singled out for praise were when candidates adopted liberal positions: McCain opposing torture and Rudy sticking up for abortion.
MSNBC HOST CHRIS MATTHEWS: Last night in Columbia, South Carolina, the two GOP frontrunners showed profiles in courage: McCain opposing torture, Giuliani defending abortion rights. . . Here's Senator McCain on the issue of torture last night; I was very taken with these words . . . You know, I don't offer strong opinions all the time on this show [of course not], I usually bow to the guests. But I am so taken with that . . . I know he scored, Chuck [NBC political director Todd] no points last night but he scored one with me . . . Anybody's who's ever been in uniform is against torture, and it's the pencil necks, if you will, the armchair generals who always like wars a lot except when they or their family members might be in those wars.