Again exploiting children and mothers to advance the goal of expanding federal spending and dependency, ABC's World News led Wednesday night by giving voice to the media-political establishment's astonishment that President Bush would veto a bill to provide health insurance “for children.” Anchor Charles Gibson led his newscast: “Most politicians like to kiss babies, pet dogs and support programs for children. Not often you'll see one take a stand against a proposal providing health insurance for children. But that's what President Bush did today, vetoing the so-called S-CHIP program that would have expanded health insurance for children by $35 billion.”
Reporter Martha Raddatz highlighted how “the country seems to disagree” with Bush since “72 percent of Americans support expanding the program,” which the media have promoted, “including majorities of Republicans and conservatives.” Indeed, ABC's poll (PDF) found self-identified conservatives favor the expansion by 61 to 36 percent. Raddatz, who two weeks ago used a crying mother to push increased spending, warned Wednesday that “the veto could have a profound impact.” To back her assumption, Raddatz featured an unlabeled left-wing activist from Families USA followed a mother who pleaded: “Having it taken away would be devastating. You can't do that to children. It's not right.”
Cat fight on the left? On today's "Tucker," a "Media Matters" representative denied Hillary's claim that she "helped start" the organization.
Welcome back, Tucker. Really.
While Carlson was away, guest host David Shuster sullied Tucker's name-sake show with the tasteless "gotcha" game he sprang on Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), then compounded matters by leading a liberal love-in.
Tucker's been back in the saddle for a couple days, and this evening took on Wesley Clark and later a representative of Media Matters.
Speaking with Paul Waldman, Senior Fellow and Director of Special Projects of "Media Matters," Carlson displayed the graphic shown here, in which Hillary Clinton stated that she had "helped start" Media Matters. Under close questioning by Carlson, Waldman wound up contradicting Hillary's claim.
It looks like a comedy skit about a shallow network anchorman who emphasizes form to the total exclusion of substance. However, if you look closely at the featured player in this video, you will see that he is not portrayed by a comedy actor. Instead it is the real life Dan Rather playing himself as a CBS News anchorman completely obsessed by his on-camera appearance. This piece, introduced by Harry Shearer with exactly the proper amount of suppressed jocularity, presents an episode from Rather's past when he was about to anchor the news from a Seattle rooftop on a cold, windy day. Rather is presented with a crucial choice: should he wear a trenchcoat or not? And if he does wear a trenchcoat, should the collar be turned up?
It was getting ever closer to broadcast time, and after 20 minutes of pondering his choices, Rather expounds on one the crucial issues of our time:
CNN’s Jack Cafferty, in a "Question of the Hour" segment on Wednesday’s "The Situation Room," offered a loaded question involving President Bush’s veto of a proposed expansion of the SCHIP program. "President Bush has increased the national debt by trillions of dollars. Why would he veto a bill providing health insurance for children?"
Cafferty’s question came 10 minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour of "The Situation Room." Before he asked that question, Cafferty detailed that President Bush’s veto of SCHIP "was cast very quietly this morning behind closed doors. No fanfare, no news coverage," and the reasons the President listed for his veto. He then added that "this is the same man who will soon go to Congress and ask for another $190 billion to continue that glorious war in Iraq." Cafferty also outlined how under President Bush’s leadership, the ceiling for the national debt has been increased for the fifth time in seven years to $9.8 trillion, and how apparently, President Bush "has borrowed more money from foreign governments and banks since taking office than this country's first 42 presidents combined."
Despite the fact that the print media have mostly backed off the "phoney soldiers" smear against Rush Limbaugh, on Wednesday's "Hardball," host Chris Matthews refused to correct the record, instead choosing to toss a softball to anti-war Congressman Jack Murtha as he asked him on Wednesday's "Hardball":
"What do you think of Rush Limbaugh's comment the other day that somebody was a phony soldier because they opposed the war? He also said they were a phony Republican, by the way, because he said Republicans couldn't possibly, a Republican couldn't possibly be against the war? What do you make of that?"
Rep. Jack Murtha: "I don't watch Rush Limbaugh."
Matthews: "Ha! You don't have to watch him, you gotta hear about him. I don't either, I hear about him."
Associated Press reporter Jennifer Loven practically blew kisses to the Left with her biased coverage of President Bush's veto of the Democratic proposal to boost SCHIP by a whopping $35 billion over five years.:
WASHINGTON -- President Bush, in a sharp confrontation with Congress, on Wednesday vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have dramatically expanded children's health insurance.
It was only the fourth veto of Bush's presidency, and one that some Republicans feared could carry steep risks for their party in next year's elections. The Senate approved the bill with enough votes to override the veto, but the margin in the House fell short of the required number.
Ah yes, the old paint-the-conservatives-as-the-bad-guy trick. Bush's veto is [cue ominous music] a "sharp confrontation" that prevents kids from getting health care and is sure to doom the GOP to wander the electoral desert.
Those are all nice partisan talking points, but you'll notice no quote marks. It's all Loven's spin.
Erik Prince, CEO of Blackwater USA, testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform making the lead story on “World News,” “NBC Nightly News” and “CBS Evening News.”
“Glad to come here and correct some facts,” Prince said to the committee.
But, out of the 13 comments on the three broadcasts from members of the 41-person committee, only one was a Republican. Rep. Christopher Shays was also the only member to say something positive about the company.
Is Whoopi Goldberg becoming the Rosie O’Donnell type bully? It appeared that way on the October 3 edition of “The View.” A discussion about Hillary Clinton’s $5,000 a baby entitlement plan quickly descended into a heated exchange between Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Whoopi Goldberg about abortion.
When Hasselbeck noted that $5,000 a baby could lead to fewer abortions in the world, Whoopi told Hasselbeck to “back off” because Hasselbeck has never “been in a position” where she “had to make that decision.”
Whoopi, who claimed to march in a NARAL rally with Katie Couric, also added Elisabeth should have “a little bit of reverence” to the women who had abortions and then spread propaganda about women “found bleeding dead with hangers in their bodies.”
In an uncommon bout of journalistic self-control, the New York Times had thus far ignored the phony controversy over Rush Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" comment on his radio show last Wednesday, remarks wrenched out of context by the far-left Media Matters.
But on Wednesday, congressional reporter Carl Hulse used an action by some liberals in Congress yesterday as an excuse to bring it into the Times news pages in his "Congressional Memo," "Limbaugh Latest Target In War of Condemnation."
"Having abandoned for now their effort to force President Bush to withdraw troops from Iraq, Democrats are not giving ground against a lesser nemesis: Rush Limbaugh.
"With the help of liberal advocacy groups, the Democrats in Congress are turning Mr. Limbaugh's insinuation that members of the military who question the Iraq war are 'phony soldiers' into the latest war of words over the war."
According to the media's parade of children who need government assistance for insurance, President Bush must really just hate children. After all, he vetoed a bill today that would have expanded the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
Leading up to the October 3 veto, the media couldn’t resist scripting it as a vote against children.
What’s at stake, though, included a proposed $35-billion expansion of taxpayer-funded insurance made possible by a huge tax increase on tobacco users many of whom are poor -- burdening the same families the program is designed to help.
On the Wednesday "Today" show, Ted Koppel joined NBC's Matt Lauer in refusing to expose the lie behind the Media Matters and Democratic attack on Rush Limbaugh over "phony soldiers", choosing instead to write the controversy off as just another "foolish" thing the talk show host had said. However when asked about Dan Rather's lawsuit of CBS, the former longtime host of ABC's "Nightline" expressed sympathy: "I feel great pain for Dan."
Koppel's compassion wasn't just reserved for Rather but he extended it to criminals too, as he was invited on "Today" to promote his latest Discovery Channel documentary on overcrowded prisons. During the segment, Koppel criticized "three strikes" laws and griped about the state of prisons in this country:
"In 2000, Americans were reminded that electoral votes select presidents. In 2004, Democrats were reminded that Bruce Springsteen does not."
I guess the Boss doesn't read George Will.
His concert at the Hartford (Conn.) Civic Center last night wasn't just an evening of classic tunes mixed with an introduction to his new album. He must have memorized some kind of script, because the following (from the Hartford Courant's review) was similar to the screed he gave when he performed live for the "Today" show last week:
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) took to a popular conservative blog today to issue a defense of radio host Rush Limbaugh against left-wing smear attacks. As NewsBusters has reported, Blackburn herself was the target of a "gotcha" game by MSNBC's David Shuster.
In "Why let the truth get in the way of a good story," Blackburn expressed to Red State readers her support for Limbaugh and noted her resolution before the House of Representatives to commend Rush for this dedication to America's men and women in uniform:
On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," co-host Robin Roberts, for the second day in a row, intimated that Clarence Thomas was guilty of sexually harassing Anita Hill. Interviewing Anucha Brown-Sanders about her successful harassment lawsuit against New York Knicks coach Isiah Thomas, Roberts gratuitously segued, "Yesterday, sitting where you are right now, Anita Hill, who was here to talk about what happened 16 years ago when she was brought before the Judiciary Committee, with Clarence Thomas being a nominee for the Supreme Court..." Roberts then asked Browne-Sanders, "Do you think your decision in your court case can have a similar impact?"
Implicit in this question is the idea that Hill’s claims against the now-Supreme Court justice are true. Would Roberts use Clinton-accuser Paula Jones as a similar comparison to a modern case? On Tuesday’s GMA, the ABC host employed the same tactic in the interview with Anita Hill. Roberts sympathetically questioned, "Is it better now in the workplace for women?" Again, this leaves the assumption that for things to be "better," Thomas must have been guilty of making them worse for Hill.
"It's not merely despicable, it's transparent," a top conservative blogger fumed of the Washington Post's slanted treatment of Iraq war coverage.:
How they can even continue posturing as neutral fact-finders presenting the news without favor or prejudice is beyond me. Do they not even understand they are lying to claim this posture? Or does it simply not even matter to them anymore?
(c) No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America, except during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea, when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel of the Navy.
The media are finding new and innovative ways to disparage those who question global warming hysteria.
You’ve probably heard that Scott Pelley from CBS likened global warming skeptics to Holocaust deniers back in March, but in an article dated October 1, Newsweek Senior Editor Sharon Begley (pictured at right) found a fresh analogy that vilifies skeptics.
When asked if journalists should be more interpretive or analytical in their climate change reporting Begley said, “It depends …When you cover the history of the space program, you don't quote the percentage of Americans who think the moon landings took place on a stage in Arizona.”
Following ABC’s lead and sixteen years of puffball precedent, a CNN camera crew with an unidentified reporter caught up with Anita Hill in New York City and threw softball questions at her. The interview aired on Tuesday’s "The Situation Room," at the bottom of the 5 pm Eastern hour. The "unidentified male" used the term "painful" in two of his questions to describe Hill’s past in the Clarence Thomas saga. For example, "Do you think your experience, as painful as it was, changed the society and its approach to this particular issue?" I guess that’s the kind of "withering scrutiny from the press" Robin Roberts was referring to on Tuesday’s "Good Morning America."
The full transcript of the Anita Hill interview from Tuesday’s "The Situation Room:"
Earlier today President Bush vetoed a bill to expand the federal State Children's Health Insurance Plans (SCHIP) by $35 billion over five years. Reporting the story, CNN.com pulled out all the stops, showing a cutesy photo of kid protesters on Lafayette Square (pictured at right) and rounding up a negative quote from an otherwise conservative Republican:
Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah was among those Republicans who split from the president. "It's very difficult for me to be against a man I care so much for," he told his colleagues on the Senate floor before the vote. "It's unfortunate that the president has chosen to be on what, to me, is clearly the wrong side of this issue."
A Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted September 27-30 found 72 percent of those surveyed support an increase in spending on the program, with 25 percent opposed. The poll's margin of error was 3 percentage points.
It did not take long after the infamous Rush Limbaugh smear for Democrats to call for a return of the Fairness Doctrine. On the October 3 edition of "Fox and Friends" at 7:33 AM, Congressmen Joe Sestak (D-PA) and Mike Pence (R-IN) discussed Rush Limbaugh’s "phony soldiers" remark. When Congressman Pence asserted that this is an excuse for the Democrats to re-insert the Fairness Doctrine, Congressman Sestak called for a return to "ensure the tone changes if we are to approach this war correctly."
SESTAK: We should be talking about the Fairness Doctrine. And what we should be doing is saying, Mike, this war is it hurting or helping our security? How can we bring about a better end to this? And that's what I believe needs to be done. Do I think both sides' words are wrong? The tone is absolutely wrong. So let's not defend either side and say whether we think or don't think.
Americans willing to look at the manmade global warming debate with any degree of impartiality and honesty are well aware that those spreading the hysteria have made a lot of money doing so, and stand to gain much more if governments mandate carbon dioxide emissions reductions.
In fact, just two months ago, ABC News.com estimated soon-to-be-Nobel Laureate Al Gore's net worth at $100 million, which isn't bad considering that he was supposedly worth about $1 million when he watched George W. Bush get sworn in as president in January 2001.
Talk about your get-rich-quick schemes, how'd you like to increase your net worth 10,000 percent in less than seven years?
Fortunately for the world's foremost warm-monger - a term I'd love to see become part of the parlance concerning what, in the long run, will likely be viewed as the greatest con ever perpetrated on the American people - his current wealth represents a mere pittance of what it will be if governments around the world are scared into all of his preposterous recommendations.
With that in mind, Deborah Corey Barnes published a marvelous piece at Human Events Wednesday that would be rather sobering for folks on both sides of the aisle if only a global warming obsessed media would be willing to share the information with the citizenry (emphasis added throughout):
Ah, those diversity-loving liberals. You know, the kind who would stifle free speech with their Orwellian "Fairness Doctrine," who threaten legal action against mom-and-pop T-shirt makers who criticize MoveOn.org. Wesley Clark would now take things one step further, whacking Rush Limbaugh off the Armed Forces Network radio airwaves.
"Today" co-anchor Meredith Vieira interviewed the retired general and former Dem presidential candidate on this morning's show.
Last Thursday, on her new show "Tell Me More," NPR talk show Michel Martin held another one of those non-debates on whether the Republican front-runners should have submitted to the debate organized by leftist PBS host Tavis Smiley. She invited both former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele and former Gingrich pollster Frank Luntz to come on and denounce the GOP no-shows for political stupidity and moral cowardice. Luntz insisted "Tavis Smiley is an incredible host, and he is completely fair." But while Martin pointed out that Smiley had prevailed on Steele to help cajole Republicans to attend for several months, she failed to tell listeners that Luntz was hired by Smiley to do polls after the PBS Democratic candidates debate in June. This is not a little-known fact. Liberal Democrat groups like Media Matters had a fit that Smiley hired a Republican pollster for a Democratic debate, and (unsuccessfully) demanded PBS fix it.
In refusing to interview anyone who felt that PBS and Tavis "George Bush is a serial killer" Smiley were offering a hostile forum for Republicans, Martin merely said the RNC failed to send a spokesman – as if there aren’t many conservatives outside the RNC building on Capitol Hill who would accept that opportunity. That's a lazy way to avoid having a contentious debate, instead of a double-beating.
In the information age, misinformation is too often traded as a counterfeit currency in our marketplace of ideas.
The recent Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh non-scandelettes have proven this in spades. But disingenuous attacks on individual public figures are hardly the only kind of falsehood you'll find in the partisan press. Today's merchants of disinformation also trade frequently in false stereotypes of large groups of Americans, especially those who even slightly oppose abortion.
Those of you who are pro-life may not know this but despite whatever you may think, all of you are actually overweight, hyper-religious, uneducated, spouse-beating, rural, white males. Or at least that's what you are in the minds of the fanatically pro-choice left.
The "magic" of the 2001 and 2003 (mostly 2003) supply-side tax cuts looks like it has just about run its course. Presidential candidates taking their cues from Old Media, which is gushing over ideas like "baby bonds," the usual "soak the rich" schemes, and (of all things) a war tax surcharge, are going to miss a great opportunity to steer the agenda towards what taxpayers really want -- a tax cut.
It's clear that my prediction of $315 billion in federal receipts during September is not going to be met, as the chart below shows (line item data is from the Daily Treasury Statements of 9/29/06 and 9/28/07; the Sept. 2006 total can be found in the latest Monthly Treasury Statement; the final two items in Sept. 2007 column are estimates):
Rush Limbaugh has done it again. He's driven the left mad. The lies about Limbaugh that Democrat Party House members are promulgating have rekindled talk of the dreaded Fairness Doctrine. And in a piece on the brewing battle between the anti-free speech Democrats and conservative talk radio supporters in the House of Representatives, the Washington newspaper The Hillcontinually mischaracterizes the debate at hand, trying to make it seem that talk radio supporters are only out to guard radio station's "profits" when the issue is clearly being fought over free speech, not money. Why would The Hill try to dismiss the conservative position as just about the cash? Why would The Hill so slight the real issue of free speech and government oppression? Of course, the most probable reason is that writer Alexander Bolton's agenda is to discredit the drive to protect talk radio as much as he can without being too obvious about it. Bolton's former employer was the lefty journal, The Nation magazine, so we must understand the ideological position from which he hails. But his jabs at talk radio supporters is more heavy handed than he imagines and not nearly as subtle and slick as he thinks it to be.
FNC's John Gibson opened Tuesday's The Big Story by looking at the “gall” of liberal Democrats condemning Rush Limbaugh for supposedly insulting as “phony soldiers” Iraq war veterans who oppose the war. During a segment with former Republican Senator Rick Santorum and Jonah Goldberg of National Review Online, on how liberals have deliberately misconstrued Limbaugh's remark, Gibson played soundbites, critical of troop performance, from Senator Harry Reid, Senator John Kerry, Congressman John Murtha and Senator Dick Durbin. Following each clip, FNC displayed a bumper with a sound effect: “Who said that? Not Rush Limbaugh!” Gibson explained after the four videos aired: “None of those things were uttered by Rush Limbaugh. I mean, in a way you wonder where do they get the, I don't know, gall to be going after him over this?”
In my twentysomething days, one of the most infuriating, even sickening cases of media bias was something they inflicted on Clarence Thomas called "the Hill-Thomas hearings." That’s a very bland and generic description for a woman named Anita Hill trying to sabotage the Thomas nomination to the Supreme Court – first anonymously, and then on the record -- by telling wild and unproven stories about the judge’s lewd talk around her.
When I was invited to dine with Clarence and Virginia Thomas and an impressive crew of columnists and bloggers at the Heritage Foundation Monday night, I wasn’t sure what I would ask Justice Thomas if given the chance. I wanted to ask about the media, but Justice Thomas was very clear at the outset of his remarks about the media that’s supposed to know him best. He said "we’re not talking to the Supreme Court reporters." He said that would be like trying to train a pig. It would have been nice to raise Jeffrey Toobin’s forever-furious theories, but I didn’t.
Bill Bennett corrected CNN's Wolf Blitzer's presumption on Monday that Rush Limbaugh's “phony soldiers” comment was directed at soldiers who served in Iraq and now oppose the war, but in setting up the “Strategy Session” segment on Tuesday's The Situation Room, Blitzer again adopted as fact the spin of the far-left group pushing the attack on Limbaugh. With the text on screen, Blitzer highlighted how “Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania...says: 'Someone should tell chicken hawk Rush Limbaugh that the only phonies are those who choose not to serve and then criticize those who do.'” To Bennett and Donna Brazile, Blitzer wondered: “What do you make of this strategy that Harry Reid...and others are saying now that Rush Limbaugh was inappropriately offensive to veterans?” Bennett retorted with “not much” and observed: “When you shoot at a king, and he's the king of talk radio, you better get him. They didn't get him here.”
On Monday night, Blitzer had dismissed Limbaugh's explanation, that he was referring to anyone who claims to have served in Iraq but has not, and introduced a story on “Limbaugh's charge that some veterans who are criticizing the war are, in his words, quote, 'phony soldiers.'" Meanwhile, on Tuesday's American Morning, CNN anchor Kiran Chetry proposed: “Two weeks after Republicans went after MoveOn.org's 'General Betray Us' ad, the Democrats are turning the tables on Rush Limbaugh. They say that he made hateful and unpatriotic remarks about U.S. troops on his radio show.” Not until the end of the story, after relaying Senator Tom Harkin's insult that “maybe he was just high on his drugs,” did Chetry provide Limbaugh's take.