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.
Oh sure, sometimes they love to hate us, but one thing is clear: NewsBusters is must reading for MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.
As I noted here, Scarborough and panelist Willie Geist blasted Media Matters on today's "Morning Joe" for using a "phony story" to go after Rush for his "phony soldiers" comment. Joe and Willie recognized the truth of the matter: that Rush had been speaking of one phony soldier indeed, Jesse Macbeth, and not of anti-war soldiers in general.
Later, at 8:03 A.M. EDT, in the context of the Media Matters-inspired attack on Rush, Joe and Mika made clear that they have NewsBusters on the noggin.
Has the New York Times started a journalistic jihad against corn-based ethanol? It certainly looks that way, judging from the spate of critical stories, editorials and blog posts emanating from the NYT in the past month. Consider the following selection of stories from the past few weeks...
The spin is that ethanol is good for the environment because it will “reduce our dependence on foreign oil.” But there are mixed opinions over the energy gains from ethanol. In 2006, a study out of the University of Minnesota found that ethanol returns only 25 percent more energy than it takes to produce it — and critics have suggested that the study didn’t calculate all the variables that go into producing it, such as the power to irrigation equipment to water the corn crop being used, the power consumed in making the fertilizers that nourish the crop, the cost of the farm equipment used to harvest it (and the fuel to power that farm equipment).
National Public Radio is continuing its historical place as the scene of the original unproven allegations of Anita Hill. NPR's Nina Totenberg broke the story of Hill's unsubstantiated tales of sexual harassment back in 1991. On Monday, NPR talk show host Diane Rehm professed it was "a remarkable thing to say" that Virginia Thomas would dare ask for an apology from Hill. At NPR, they can't even imagine a possibility other than Thomas is a liar. Rehm also wondered if "this kind of fury" from Thomas has biased his court decisions against "the people he calls the liberals who were out to get him." (Audio here.)
Diane Rehm's Monday guests were CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and Jeffrey Rosen of The New Republic. (Rehm described them as "two authorities on the Supreme Court," with no troublesome ideological label.) Toobin spurred Rehm's commentary by spinning his wild theory that Thomas was both popular at the Court and simultaneously "furious all the time," and Rehm didn't respond by asking if he'd ever met Thomas:
With liberal House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appearing on "The View" "objective" journalist Barbara Walters hit Speaker Pelosi from the left. After briefly discussing the renewed Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill controversy, Walters attacked Pelosi for not doing enough to retreat from Iraq.
BARBARA WALTERS: The Democrats came in. They were going to try to bring the troops home. They were going to try to end the war. What happened?
HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: Well, we are trying to do that. We have a contrast her between a ten year, $1 trillion war that the president is proposing and we’re talking about a year that, that redeployment begins as soon as safely possible and ends within a year. That’s the debate.
Is "The View’s" Joy Behar comparing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to O.J. Simpson? With a comment on the October 2 edition of the women’s chat show, it sounded like it. The "Hot Topic" discussion involved Justice Thomas’ new book "My Grandfather’s Son" and Anita Hill’s sexual harassment allegations. In that context, Joy Behar offered the following snarky remark.
"Why is he writing this book? He won basically the round. He’s the Supreme Court Justice for life. He should write a book, ‘If I Harassed Her.’"
Presumably she was alluding to O.J. Simpson’s book, "If I Did It." Joy’s comments amused even the show’s "conservative" Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
It doesn't take you a comprehensive Media Research Center study to know that the Huffington Post is a leftist site. Of course, MRC/NewsBusters' Tim Graham did such a study, but it's common knowledge in the media that HuffPo skews leftward. Yet New York Times staffer Bill Carter downplayed the liberal nature of the site in his October 2 story "CBSNews.com Chief to Lead a News and Blogs Site."
Carter kicked off his article by taking pains to avoid the ideological bent of HuffPo, instead painting HuffPo's new hire of a CBSNews.com staffer for chief executive as a sign that "new-media" outlets no longer have to sit at the MSM's version of the kids table:
The Huffington Post, a news Web site, plans to announce today the appointment of a new chief executive, Betsy Morgan, who will leave her job as the general manager of CBSNews.com.
Yet another "Political Notebook" piece by New York Times reporter Marc Santora takes aim at Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign, especially when he discusses his leadership after the terror attacks of September 11. Santora's latest update from the trail, "Campaign Swing Reveals Trouble Spots for Giuliani," begins:
"An odd cellphone call from his wife, two rogue volunteers exploiting the memory of 9/11 to raise money, renewed questions about shifting stances on crucial domestic issues, upheaval within the campaign’s upper ranks and more focus on an unconventional family life.
"It has been a rough time on the campaign trail for Rudolph W. Giuliani."
"In a three-day swing through California, including a speech here on Saturday before 1,500 members of the National Federation of Republican Women, the many roadblocks that could trip up Mr. Giuliani’s quest for the Republican nomination were very much evident.
The other day, CNN’s "Reliable Sources" show sought to explore Hillary’s Sunday morning interview blitz of September 23. Why do the media pine for her so? Michelle Cottle of the New Republic gave the typical liberal answer: "She's a celebrity. She and Bill have passed some point where they're no longer just politicians. They're rock stars."
There is absolutely no doubt that liberals really do think of the Clintons in rock-star terms, and the "objective" media have not merely treated them that way with a long-running assembly line of dazzled profiles and shoe-polishing interviews. Their royal treatment of the Clintons sends a signal to the rest of the political world: you cannot hope to contain these deeply impressive world leaders.
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," ABC host Robin Roberts sympathetically interviewed Anita Hill and asserted that her 1991 testimony in front of the Senate resulted in the law professor enduring "withering scrutiny from the press." Roberts also pointedly noted that Hill "passed a polygraph test. Clarence Thomas refused to take one. You passed one." An ABC graphic defiantly observed, "Anita Hill: ‘I Stand by my Testimony’"
The segment on GMA stood in stark contrast to the mostly positive and fair coverage Thomas received on Monday’s "Good Morning America" and "Nightline." (The Supreme Court justice has been promoting his new autobiography.) Reporter Jan Crawford Greenburg allowed Thomas to tell his side of the story and attack accusers, such as when Greenburg noted, "Thomas says he faced more racism in the confirmation fight than he did as a child in the segregated south."
As the MRC’s Tim Graham wrote on Monday, Hill, who accused then Supreme Court nominee Thomas of sexual harassment, hardly suffered through "withering scrutiny" from many media outlets, especially in the wake of the hearings. In early 1992, "60 Minutes" reporter Ed Bradley gingerly asked Hill, "When someone looks at you and sees Anita Hill, what do you want that to mean?"
Update (NB Staff | Oct. 3, 14:55): Ingraham's producer was kind enough to send us an MP3 (14:03 long, 4.82 MB) of the exchange.
On Monday’s Anderson Cooper 360, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin unspooled a wild, unsubstantiated theory that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is "furious all the time" and when Cooper asked if his "hatred of the media" started with the Anita Hill charges, Toobin said that event sent his rage into "the stratosphere." Toobin also criticized CBS for not cross-examining Thomas on sexual harassment on 60 Minutes, when "subsequent evidence" (books by liberal reporters) "generally favors Anita Hill, not him, in what really happened between them."
On Tuesday’s Laura Ingraham show, Toobin accepted an interview invitation, and Ingraham, who was a clerk for Justice Thomas, lit into him about his Cooper interview. She found it "incredibly condescending," and also "appalling and stupid." She asked Toobin if he knew Thomas, and he changed the subject, referring to the theme of anger in his writings and speeches. Later, when Ingraham asked Toobin if he had ever met or interviewed Thomas for his new Supreme Court book, "The Nine," he wouldn’t even say yes or no. (Ingraham took that as a no.)
How can someone who's supposedly a media professional claim without ever meeting someone that they’re "furious all the time" and even "furious his entire life"?
From the no-news-is-good-news department (and Instapundit) comes news that the media have suddenly decided to start covering Iraq less. Investor's Business Daily explains:
Ever since the Sept. 10 testimony of Gen. David Petraeus, we've heard less and less from the mainstream media about the war in Iraq. The old adage "no news is good news" has never been truer.
That the media are no longer much interested in Iraq is a sure sign things are going well there. Instead, they're talking about the presidential campaign, or Burma, or global warming, or . . . whatever.
Why? Simply put, the news from Iraq has been quite positive, as Petraeus related in his report to Congress.