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.
Dan Rather is hardly averse to posing for pictures
Dan Rather, the disgraced former CBS anchor who always denounced TV news for being too "soft," will soon be making his entertainment television debut:
There were gasps of surprise at ABC's fall-schedule announcement
this week when the veteran TV newsman popped up as an actor in clips
for "Dirty Sexy Money," a new drama about a wealthy, misbehaving New
The role wasn't exactly a stretch. Rather plays a reporter at a
fancy dinner party pressing a politician, portrayed by William Baldwin,
about his future political plans.
Rather initially said no when the show's executive producer and
director, Peter Horton, called to ask if he'd be interested. News
people occasionally pop up in fictional settings, like CNN's Christiane
Amanpour on Tuesday's "Gilmore Girls" series finale, but it is frowned
upon at CBS News--his former home for decades-- and Rather had never
Proving that he's not a fan of Republicans, "Hardball" host Chris Matthews slammed 2008 GOP contenders on Wednesday for running a "mordant," "negative campaign." Sounding like a Democratic activist, he appeared throughout the day on MSNBC and, at one point, bitterly complained about former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s jibe that Congress spends money "like John Edwards at a beauty shop."
Mr. Matthews condemned the line, which was delivered during a May 15 presidential debate, as "stupid," "embarrassing" and "pandering." (Is it surprising that a Republican would play to his Republican audience?)
Video (1:22): Real (2.25 MB) or Windows (2.54 MB), plus MP3 (1.22 MB).
The "Hardball" host showed up in the 2pm hour of "MSNBC Live" to trash Governor Huckabee for daring to make fun of John Edwards. Responding to a question by host Contessa Brewer about whether Huckabee prepared the line in advance, Matthews could barely contain his contempt:
In 2003, David Kuo resigned from the Bush administration's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and later wrote a book [published just before the 2006 mid-term elections] claiming that the administration was hypocritical in its dealings with religious conservatives.
The MSM had a field day because according to them [as E.J. Dionne wrote here, for example], Kuo was a religious conservative himself. But is that true? What kind of religious conservative, the day after Jerry Falwell died, would go on MSNBC's Tucker Carlson show and say this about the late pastor?:
DAVID KUO: In bringing the pulpit to politics in the very strident, narrow and frankly angry way that he did, he very much damaged the name of Jesus.
Less than 10 minutes after it featured Christopher Hitchens hate-filled remarks against Jerry Falwell, Tuesday night's “Anderson Cooper 360" featured another critic of the late evangelist, Mel White. White, an openly gay minister, runs a radical homosexual activist organization called Soulforce. White wrote two books for Falwell before coming-out as a homosexual. While he expressed his sadness upon hearing of his former colleague’s death, White expressed his belief that Falwell caused the deaths of homosexuals by his rhetoric.
After asking White what he was feeling after learning of Falwell’s death, and about his own strained relationship with the late evangelist, host Anderson Cooper asked, “Personally, do you think he [Falwell] hated gays?” White responded,
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has issued a call to media outlets to stick to a script of liberal bias and emphasize "Falwell's history of denigrative comments and examine the cultural progress toward inclusion, acceptance and respect that he fought against." Their website even included a story from CNN’s Newsroom from Tuesday afternoon, in which CNN prominently included old protest video that placed a large illustration of Falwell’s face next to a large illustration of Hitler’s face. So much for GLAAD's "anti-defamation" pose. Video: Real (582 KB) or Windows (659 KB) plus MP3 (97 KB)
On "Anderson Cooper 360," CNN correspondent Randi Kaye, who raised eyebrows in December for a story worrying about Saddam suffering when he hanged, shared no comparable horror at the death of Falwell. Her transcript read like a commercial for GLAAD, as their president Neil Giuliano was the only talking head in the piece (except for taped tidbits of Falwell) as he insisted Falwell was un-Christian: "Falwell’s attacks were a violation of religious faith."
Update/Related (16:44 | May 17) P.J. Gladnick of "DUmmie FUnnies" (also an NB blogger) has a blog entry about Democratic Underground worrying about commenter bile over Falwell damaging their "cause."
Update (10:14 EDT | May 17): WikipediaReview.com picked up on this post. The discussion board's slogan: "Now with 100 percent better judgment, care, and sensitivity than Wikipedia itself." Check them out.
(Content warning: Inappropriate, crass comments from left-wing nutjobs excerpted below)
Joking that an elderly religious man died from suffocating on a penis is not my idea of anything "comical." It is to the George Carlin wannabes at Wonkette though, reporting on a vandalized Jerry Falwell page on Wikipedia:
Something happened to somebody famous, so guess what happened on
Wikipedia … that’s right, the person’s page was comically vandalized! Nobody ever gets tired of a really good joke.
You'll recall that in March, MRC's Brent Bozell wrote about Wikipedia's bias against conservatives, but this is ridiculous.
On Wonkette's part, posting such an item served only to provide another comment thread for wingunuts to spew hatred about Falwell and religious conservatives, such as this dirge by commenter "choirboy":
Those are not exactly words you'd expect to hear an American journalist use to refer to a Latin American dictator who has been seizing American-owned property this month. Yet Barbara Walters used all three to describe Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, in various ABC broadcasts on March 16.
Even though Chavez has recently assumed "control" of oil fields that were run by Chevron, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips, ABC, NBC and CBS haven't even reported it. Chavez also plans to takeover private Venezuelan media soon. That hasn't been reported either, let alone criticized.
Despite the fact that Chavez seized power and shut down his opposition in Venezuela, the media rarely portray him as a dictator, preferring kinder words like “controversial” and “populist.” Walters even talked about how "beloved" he is.
“President Hugo Chavez is so beloved by some of his supporters that they hang pictures of him in their living rooms in the poor barrios that ring the city,” Barbara Walters gushed on ABC’s “Nightline” March 16.
While global warming alarmists like soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore and his band of not so merry sycophants continue talking about a scientific consensus concerning man’s role in “climate change,” the list of scientists that have grown skeptical of this nexus continues to grow.
Unfortunately, a media obsessed with advancing hysteria on the subject refuse to acknowledge the existence of such folks as they continue to pound the table about the imminent doom to the planet.
With that in mind, Sen. James Inhofe’s office (R-Oklahoma) is preparing a “detailed and comprehensive sampling of scientists who have only recently spoken out against climate hysteria [that] will be forthcoming in a soon to be released U.S. Senate report.”
Inhofe’s communications director, Marc Morano, published a few of these names, as well as their backgrounds and conclusions, at Inhofe’s EPW Press Blog Tuesday:
Over the past years, the liberal mainstream media has produced gushing tributes to deceased "secular saints" such as Princess Diana, John F. Kennedy, Jr., and Coretta Scott King. It would have been practically sacrilegious for these outlets to air any kind of immediate criticism of such figures. Yet, in the 24 hours or so since the death of Christian conservative leader Jerry Falwell, the mainstream media has given air time to every sort of criticism of the late evangelical. On Tuesday night's "Anderson Cooper 360," noted atheist Christopher Hitchens launched one of the most vitriolic attacks to date on Falwell. Among the terms Hitchens used to describe Falwell were "ugly little charlatan," "bully," "fraud," and "little toad."
A NewsBusters reader sent us an MP3 clip
of an ABC News radio report from the afternoon of May 15 by "Nightline"
host Terry Moran. In it, Moran boils down the late Rev. Jerry Falwell's clerical career and political activism to one extreme soundbite from
shortly after 9/11.
Moran left unmentioned that Falwell later
clarified his statements to reflect more accurately his belief that God lifted the "curtain" of His protection to allow 9/11 to happen, and closed his report emphasizing Falwell as a marginalized political actor:
In 2001, just two days after the 9/11 attacks, Falwell infamously and
appallingly blamed the mass murder not on terrorists...
FALWELL sound bite: The pagans and the abortionists...
We've been hearing a lot about Bush's low approval ratings, but what about the new Democratic congress? Despite the fact that they won the 2006 elections, Democrats' poll numbers are actually lower than that of President Bush.
If the Democrats have had a few laughs looking at approval ratings for
George Bush, the laughter has probably stopped this morning after Gallup's latest survey.
It shows that Congress has even lower ratings than the President, and
the number has dropped consistently since the Democrats first took
How bad is it? Even Democrats mostly disapprove of Congress. Only
37% of the majority party's voters think that Congress has performed
well; Gallup doesn't mention the percentage that disapproves, but it
seems almost certain that it outstrips 37%, unless more than 26% are
clueless. Congress gets its worst ratings not from Republicans (25%),
but from independents (24%). That should get the attention of
leadership in both chambers, who owe their majorities to those
The TV industry is a fickle business, just ask any veteran of the small screen. While most actors in Hollywood would probably tell you that they're at the mercy of you the viewing audience, blogger LaShawn Barber noticed that comedian George Lopez whipped out the race card to complain about his five-season-long show being canned by the alphabet network.
"TV just became really, really white again," complained Lopez, who was reacting to the premise of "Cavemen," the sitcom that will replace his show. "Cavemen" will basically transform the Geico commercial cavemen premise into a half-hour laugh riot (you can tell I suspect it will be even less funny than Lopez's show).
This is really delicious, folks, and definitely requires potables, combustibles, and sharp objects to be properly stowed.
Schlockumentarist and radical leftwing activist Michael Moore challenged possible Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson to a debate Tuesday; Thompson comically responded by video (available here).
Sure, it's a basic Judeo-Christian tenet that we will be accountable to God for our actions on earth. But if a reverend from the religious left had died yesterday, do you think Diane Sawyer, immediately after reviewing controversial statements he had made in the course of his career, would conclude by archly observing that the reverend has "gone to answer to his Maker"?
Neither do I. But that is just what the Good Morning America co-host Diane Sawyer did today on the occasion of the death of Jerry Falwell. After a brief biographical review, Sawyer stated "as the years went by, even some believers saw intolerance buried inside his attacks." She highlighted three of his statements. First, a clip of Falwell stating "I happen to be a Bible-believing Christian. And the Old and New Testament both teach that homosexuality is sin." Sawyer and anyone else are free to reject that teaching. But in Sawyer's eyes, does stating what Scripture says amount to "intolerance"?
The sudden death of Rev. Jerry Falwell on Tuesday marked not just the passing of a television evangelist, but of a historic conservative leader and regular cable TV pundit. The mainstream media developed a strong distaste for him because he entered the political arena and helped establish a stronger conservative movement. For reporters, he was the definition of the far right, someone whose support made a Republican unacceptable, and any Republican who attacked him (like John McCain in 2000) quickly became a media hero. The Washington Post infamously described him as leading a flock that was "largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command." Here's a selection of "Notable Quotables" capturing their attitudes:
"In 2000, John McCain ran for President as a different kind of politician....Straight talk included taking on powerful Christian conservatives like Jerry Falwell, whom he called an ‘agent of intolerance.’....McCain is [now] trying to repair relations with the religious right.... For McCain, doing so could jeopardize his reputation for being a different kind of politician." — Reporter Dan Harris on ABC’s World News Tonight, April 14.
The second presidential debate is over. The dust is still settling as to who did the best or the worst but one thing is clear: Fox News proved to be a much better debate host than MSNBC.
Stephen Spruiell has a video comparison of MSNBC/Politico questions and those asked by FNC's staff:
I think the MSNBC/Politico questions actually got stupider with age.
contrast, the FOX News questions were serious and the questioners
tenacious in pursuing answers. Even the questions that viewers
submitted to FOX via e-mail were far better than "What do you dislike
most about America?" and the other nonsense that got past the
Politico's electronic gatekeepers.
Watch the video. I
created a montage of MSNBC questions first, followed by a montage of
FOX questions. The increase in the seriousness and difficulty of the
questions is comparable to that between high school and college
In another sad example of self flagellation by western elitists, the Guardian Newspaper in England published a column on how we Americans (and our English cousins) should not celebrate the founding of Jamestown, the first Virginia colony, 400 years ago because of... you guessed it... slavery.
Here we have another elitist congratulating himself that he is "informed" enough to know that slavery makes the founding of the USA a blight on humanity instead of the great event it truly is. Another leftist who cannot bring himself to be proud of anything the west has been responsible for because there were some bad things mixed in with the good. In fact, the bad things make us such hypocrites, goes this type of thinking, that all the good should be discounted over it. (It is always in fashion for Europeans to look down on the US, isn't it?)
A stunning videotape appears to show a staffer at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles advising a woman whom she thought to be a 15-year-old girl to conceal a statutory rape.
The episode has been reported on outlets such as CNSNews.com, LifeNews.com, and WorldNetDaily. And although the story has taken place in Los Angeles and adjacent Santa Monica, one place you won't read about the details is in the Los Angeles Times. They have not published a single syllable on the story.
Webster’s tells us that an extremist is one who is "at the end or outermost point; farthest away; most remote." In politics, extremism is "the extreme right or the extreme left." Both sides have their respective ideological embarrassments, but with one striking difference: if you’re a left-wing environmental extremist you are treated as sensible, even praiseworthy, by ABC News.
Meet Colin Beavan, a man who touts himself as "No Impact Man," a walking Manhattan publicity stunt with a book deal and a documentary filmmaker to publicize his year of monastic self-denial. He sounds like a comic-book superhero, but the more you hear of his story, the more it’s simply comic. He describes himself whimsically on his own No Impact Man blog as a "guilty liberal" and a "tree-hugging lunatic," and that was good enough for ABC’s "Good Morning America," which on May 10 devoted eight and a half minutes to exploring Beavan’s World.
Ah, live television--where chipper interns can embarrass even the most self-important anchor types.
Earlier today, MSNBC's Contessa Brewer cited the anti-Bush parody web site Whitehouse.org as if it were the official web site of the president. Later in the show, she corrected her mistake, but tried to make it seem she mentioned the phony site on purpose.
It was a really bad error, too, since, as Allahpundit points out, Whitehouse.org is quite over-the-top in its "tribute" to Falwell, having the fictional reverend speak warmly of his "foot-high stack of mostly gay hardcore pornography" on the same page that Brewer quoted from.
The ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts Tuesday night couldn't resist ridiculing the late Jerry Falwell for pointing out how a children's character on a PBS show appeared gay -- though gay rights advocates had earlier made the same observation -- and CBS brought aboard liberal presidential historian Douglas Brinkley who called Falwell “comedy fodder for people,” found it relevant that “feminists never liked him,”and dismissed him as “a backlash figure” whose “returning to family values was returning to women being in the kitchen.”
On ABC's World News, which unlike CBS and NBC did not lead with Falwell's death, Dan Harris asserted: “In the final years of his life Falwell alienated some in his own movement with a series of controversial statements. For example, he said the children's TV character 'Tinky Winky' was a gay role model.” CBS's Richard Schlesinger recalled that in later years “Falwell started making embarrassing missteps, denouncing a popular cartoon character as a gay role model.” Over on the NBC Nightly News, Bob Faw, who concluded his piece by asserting that “the Reverend Jerry Falwell -- crusader and polarizer -- was 73,” raised the PBS show: “In 1999, Falwell was ridiculed when he complained one of the PBS Teletubbies was gay.” But a 1999 Cox News story archived on a gay news Web site, began: “In the flap over whether Tinky Winky the Teletubby is gay, the real news is that the Rev. Jerry Falwell is late to the party.” Phil Kloer pointed out that in 1998, the year before Falwell spoke out, “the gay magazine The Advocate presciently wrote that 'PBS is clearly terrified that the same fundamentalists who boycott Disney are going to flip once they get wind of the latest lavender love puppet.'”
I want my MTV! Somewhere a soldier or sailor in Iraq or Afghanistan is probably thinking that today. According to the AP, on May 14, the Department of Defense blocked “worldwide” the US troops who use its networks and computers from accessing 12 popular websites that include, YouTube, MTV, MySpace, Blackplanet and Photobucket. The Defense Deparmene which the DoD said“take up a large amount of bandwidth, and others that can open up department computers to hackers and viruses.” (emphasis mine throughout)
US Forces Korea Commander (USFK) Gen. B.B. Bell explained in a memo sent out Friday that the new policy will not impact the military's ability to send and receive email, but the “Department of Defense has a growing concern regarding our unclassified DoD Internet, known as the NIPRNET. The Commander of DoD's Joint Task Force, Global Network Operations has noted a significant increase in the use of DoD network resources tied up by individuals visiting certain recreational Internet sites.”
If you've ever wondered why stories critical of Islam are often dropped off sites like YouTube and Digg, look no further than this email currently being circulated among YouTube users encouraging the formation of a private group to promote Islam through gaming YouTube's favorites system:
Date: May 14, 2007, 11:18 AM
to all muslim brothers and sisters please read
Our Islamic videos will not get full attention unless they come in
the top ranked videos in youtube. For this purpose we all Muslims have
to rate the videos to 5 stars and have to add them to our favorites.
This will not be achieved if we Muslim Youtubers are scattered, i.e.,
one muslim rating one video and other muslim rating another. So we have
to be highly organized. We will do a massive campaign of focusing to
rate a single video collectively at once, so that it can show up on the
top videos at least in the “Today’s top videos” list.
XM Radio announced today that radio shock jocks Opie & Anthony will be suspended for 30 days. The news release excerpted below makes a nondescript reference to a crude May 9 radio bit with a homeless man in which said man suggested he'd like to rape Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Here's an excerpt:
Radio deplored the comments aired on "The Opie & Anthony Show" last
week. At the time, the company strongly expressed its views to Opie and
Anthony, and they issued an immediate apology.
Comments made by
Opie and Anthony on yesterday's broadcast put into question whether
they appreciate the seriousness of the matter. The management of XM
Radio decided to suspend Opie and Anthony to make clear that our on-air
talent must take seriously the responsibility that creative freedom
requires of them.
Patrick Ishmael of NewsBuckit notices that XM didn't find the rape references worthy of discipline but rather that the shock jocks may "appreciate the seriousness of the matter." Ishmael also points out CBS Radio plans to keep airing O&A, even though it quickly canned Imus shortly after MSNBC killed his simulcast: