The press corps is scheduled to move from temporary facilities back into the spiffed-up, rewired briefing room in May or June. [Helen] Thomas, who has been questioning presidents and press secretaries for 46 years, plans to be there. But her front-row seat won’t be. Plans call for her to be moved to the second row to make room for a cable news channel – a sign of Washington’s changing pecking order, and of the new ways that Americans get their news.
I think that deserves a standing ovation! Yet, the fun wasn’t over:
NewsBusters' mission is that of exposing and combating liberal media bias, and that's what I spend the great majority of my time here doing. But I hope our readers -- and my editors -- will indulge me when I offer a bit of personal analysis here.
The outbreak of nastiness between the Obama and Hillary camps -- initiated by comments made by Obama supporter David Geffen and quoted by Maureen Dowd in her column today -- is stunning. For the Obama camp to come out this early -- and this hard -- against Hillary has riveted the attention of the political world.
For those who didn't catch it, David Geffen -- certified member of the liberal Hollywood elite, billionaire producer and co-founder of DreamWorks, and former avid and generous Clinton supporter and donor turned major Barack backer -- told Dowd:
"I don’t think that another incredibly polarizing figure, no matter how smart she is and no matter how ambitious she is — and God knows, is there anybody more ambitious than Hillary Clinton? — can bring the country together."
“I don’t think anybody believes that in the last six years, all of a sudden Bill Clinton has become a different person, [in terms of his personal proclivities] . . . I think [Republicans] believe she’s the easiest to defeat.”
Most damning was this: "Everybody in politics lies, but they [Bill and Hillary] do it with such ease, it’s troubling.”
CBS's Bob Schieffer just can't resist making analogies to Vietnam, especially when it comes to a setback in Iraq. In the wake of British Prime Minister Tony Blair's decision to start withdrawing his nation's troops from Iraq, which CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric paired with Denmark's decision to withdraw its 400 soldiers to form her lead story Wednesday night about “the shrinking U.S.-led coalition in Iraq,” Bob Schieffer came aboard via satellite from Washington, DC to compare the Iraq situation to Vietnam: “I think what we're seeing here, Katie, is what happened back during the Vietnam era when things were going badly and the crusty old Senator from Vermont, George Aiken, said 'there's only one way out there, that's to declare victory and just leave.'”
Schieffer often sees the world through the prism of Vietnam. This was at least the third time just this year he has raised the comparison:
Sen. Barack Obama visited Los Angeles yesterday (Tuesday, February 20, 2007), and the Los Angeles Times wanted to make sure that everyone knew about it. Check out the huge, 38-square-inch, full-color, awash-in-red-white-and-blue, front-page photo on the cover of the Times today. (See it here; btw, I had to reduce the size to fit the page.) Good grief! Oh, yeah. There is yet another flattering photo of Obama inside on page A12; the black-and-white photo of the senator surrounded by fans is very generous as well, covering a large 35 square inches.
One simple question: Can you imagine the Times giving such a fawning, glowing treatment to a McCain, Giuliani, Romney, or Brownback? I didn't think so.
We have reported on the Times' ongoing love affair with Barack Obama and its disparate treatment so far in the 2008 campaign here, here, here, here, here, and here.
So asked James Taranto in his Wednesday “Best of the Web Today” column for OpinionJournal.com. Taranto highlighted a Sunday Los Angeles Times story, “Pilots traced to CIA renditions: The Times identifies three fliers facing kidnapping charges in Germany related to a 2003 counter-terrorism mission,” which though it did not list their real names, identified the aliases and enough information about each to help anyone trying to find them, including how they all live within 30 miles of a certain rural airport. One “drives a Toyota Previa minivan and keeps a collection of model trains in a glass display case near a large bubbling aquarium in his living room,” another “is a bearded man of 35 who lives with his father and two dogs in a separate subdivision” and a third “is 46, drives a Ford Explorer and has a 17-foot aluminum fishing boat” where he lives “in a house that backs onto a private golf course here." (Taranto explained: “In a town of 13,000 the Times identifies in its dateline.”)
Taranto ruminated: “Remember all the outrage when Robert Novak 'outed' Valerie Plame, who apparently worked a desk job at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va.? Here the L.A. Times is publishing extensive personal details on three men who have actually done dangerous work defending the country. Where's the outrage?” Good question.
LOS ANGELES, January 17, 2007 - Two men arrested in connection with a stray shot that killed a 9-year-old girl in Angelino Heights were released without being charged after authorities determined the bullet that killed the girl was fired in self-defense, it was reported Wednesday.1
This case started out reasonably, though tragically. On December 22, 2006 the Los Angeles Police Department announced the arrest of “two key suspects [Cesar Zamora and Steven Castanon] connected with the shooting” of a 9-year-old girl, and their bail was set at $500,000 each. At the time, the girl was hospitalized in critical condition.2
If you make more money than I do is that anyone’s problem?
The news media made a big deal out of “income inequality” especially “out of control” CEO pay as NBC’s Carl Quintanilla called it on Oct. 20, 2006 during the “Today” show. Robin Roberts took aim at the same topic: “Now to the golden parachute that has a lot of people seeing red,” during “Good Morning America” on January 4.
But the reports on the income gap missed two alternative perspectives from economists: that the widening income gap is an illusion and that in either case the gap really doesn’t matter. Read the full Business & Media Institute report here.
On the Wednesday edition of "Good Morning America," ABC correspondent Jake Tapper reported on the power of Hollywood in presidential politics and the pitfalls of accepting celebrity support. However, while GMA found the time to gush over Barack Obama’s celebrity status, going so far as to include a graphic of an Oscar statue with Obama’s head on it, Tapper didn’t mention that Hollywood’s fund-raising is almost exclusively for liberals and Democrats:
Chris Cuomo: "Now, to the power of Hollywood on presidential politics. Candidate Barack Obama raked in $1.3 million by going Hollywood. It's a deep pocket that more and more are trying to reach into. Here's senior national correspondent Jake Tapper."
Jake Tapper: "Last night, at the Beverly Hills Hilton, the stars came out for another million dollar affair, honoring a thin, statuesque idol of color. No, not Oscar, Obama. Barack Obama."
Actor George Clooney: "He's the most charismatic person I've been in a room with in a long time."
The New York Times surprised on Wednesday with a front-page article by James McKinley Jr. suggesting that tougher border security in the form of new barriers and more guards was actually reducing illegal immigration along the Mexican border ("Tougher Tactics Deter Migrants At U.S. Border").
"All along the border, there are signs that the measures the Border Patrol and other federal agencies have taken over the last year, from erecting new barriers to posting 6,000 National Guardsmen as armed sentinels, are beginning to slow the flow of illegal immigrants.
White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, NBC’s David Gregory, Newsweek’s Richard Wolffe, and others gathered on Tuesday at the National Press Club to discuss a variety of issues including media reporting of political events (video available here).
As the conversation ensued, Gregory made the following observations:
Because it- it's the Internet, and the blogs, that have really used this White House press conference to somehow support positions out in America- political views- and they- and they- uh- they will clip, and digitize portions of these briefings to fit into their particular argument and I think people try to divine motives of the questioners and- and certainly draw conclusions about, uh, the answers, or- or non-answers, uh, based on their, their, their own political views.
Snow then gave his own rather negative impression of blogs:
Having gotten myself and others into a spot of bother when I wondered awhile ago whether there might have been some "trickeration" involved in an image appearing on Hillary's campaign website, far be it from me to suggest that there's anything altered in the photo displayed here. It turned up today in a Clinton fundraising email I received. Yes, I'm a duly member-registered member at HillaryClinton.com.
But I do believe the photo raises another issue. Chris Matthews recently and repeatedly raised concerns that Bill's failure to "behave" could cause problems for Hillary's campaign. Hillary has now chosen an image making an implicit statement about the nature of her relationship with Bill. Since she has put the matter on the table, will the MSM do anything to verify -- or debunk -- the photo's unstated but unmistakable suggestion?
A British hospital conducted a study recently that I doubt will get much coverage here in the States considering its erosion of a left-wing feminist myth that men are sexual predators. According to the study, none of 75 women who came in for treatment of "date rape" drugs had actually been given them. In fact, they'd just drank too much. Too bad the study didn't come out in time for V-Day, the radical left's attempt to ruin Valentine's Day.
Here's an excerpt from a London Evening Standard summary of the report:
Women who claim to be victims of 'date-rape' drugs such as Rohypnol
have in fact been rendered helpless by binge-drinking, says a study by
They found no evidence that any woman seeking help
from emergency doctors because their drinks were allegedly spiked had
actually been given these drugs.
Around one in five tested positive for recreational drugs while two-thirds had been drinking heavily.
Last Thursday, I provided Associated Press Media Relations Director Linda Wagner with confirmation that a January 4 Steven R. Hurst article appears to be 180-degrees from the truth.
To date, neither Wagner nor any other AP contact has deemed to provide
any sort of response. Frankly, I didn't expect one. The Hurst article
was a CYA piece written to provide cover for shoddy Associated Press
reporting, and it is not in their personal interests to admit that
they've been caught apparently fabricating that story from the ground
I've thus resorted to contacting several members of the AP Board of
Directors with the following letter sent out just moments ago, hoping
that they will display the integrity that neither AP reporters nor
senior management seem to have any interest in maintaining.
If they decline to investigate this extended "Jayson Blair" moment,
then their integrity and credibility as a news organization, to put it
mildly, is shot.
Here is a copy of the letter, with links added for context and HTML formatting added:
So, you think the global warming alarmists are actually concerned about the environment or the future of the planet? Think again, for a recent funds request from the World Bank to solve this “problem” should clue you in as to what is really going on with those advancing theories emanating from junk science.
As reported by Reuters (emphasis mine throughout): “The World Bank wants to breathe life back into a mooted $10 billion-plus fund to combat climate change which would need public and private sector backing, its Chief Scientist Robert Watson told Reuters on Tuesday.”
Nothing for the MSM like dumping a little pre-emptive cold water on the Bush administration and the situation in Iraq. Introducing his interview with Vice-President Cheney this morning, ABC correspondent Jonathan Karl claimed:
"It would appear that the British announcement [of a partial withdrawal of forces from Iraq] is bad news for the Bush administration, but in the first official reaction from the United States, Vice-President Cheney told ABC News that he thinks that the announcement is actually good news -- a sign of progress in Iraq."
ABC then ran the clip of VP Cheney making his case: "I look at it, and what I see is an affirmation that in parts of Iraq things are going pretty well. I talked to a friend who just the other day had driven from Baghdad down to Basra [in the Shia-dominated south], seven hours. Found the situation dramatically improved from the way it was a year or so ago. Sort of validated the British view that they have made progress in southern Iraq and that they can therefore afford to reduce their force levels."
You might have thought the sad soap opera that has been the life and death of Anna Nicole Smith would have offered a safe haven for those seeking respite from presidential politics. But Hillary cannot be pleased that echoes of a low point of her husband's presidency managed to work their way into the three-ring circus yesterday and onto this morning's "Today" show.
Lawyer Opri uttered her line outside the courthouse where Judge Larry Seidlin was auditioning for a TV show in the guise of conducting a trial. She was asserting that Howard K. Stern, Smith's companion, could not possibly be the father of her infant daughter.
On his blog Changing Channels, Miami Herald TV critic Glenn Garvin warned that Oprah Winfrey will appear on the Ellen DeGeneres daytime chatfest on Thursday, and it's not exactly an intellectual Clash Of The Titans. He cited this exchange on the presidential race:
Ellen: Hillary and Barack ... That’s very interesting, right? Oprah: Very interesting. Ellen: Very interesting. Anyone that you’re feeling right now? Oprah: (nodding yes) Um hum. Ellen: Yeah, you want to say or no? Oprah: I’m feeling Barack. Ellen: You’re feeling Barack Oprah: I’m feeling Barack. Oprah: I know it’s tough -- the thing about it is, it doesn’t make the other candidate any less. I’m just feeling Barack. Ellen: ....I’m really torn because I love him. I really love him. Oprah: I don’t just love him. I respect him.
To laughter, cheers and applause from the Burbank audience of NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Bill Maher on Tuesday night issued a litany of denigrating insults at the intelligence of President George W. Bush, as if his decisions are not in accord with many experienced experts. Maher pointed out how MSNBC's “Joe Scarborough did a whole week of panel discussions on whether he was an idiot.” Maher elaborated: “The people who were defending him were saying, 'well, he's just inarticulate.' But inarticulate doesn't explain foreign policy. I mean, it's not that complicated. The man is a rube. He is a dolt. He is a yokel on the world stage. He is a Gilligan who cannot find his ass with two hands. He is a vain half-wit who interrupts one incoherent sentence with another incoherent sentence.”
Maher appeared as a guest to plug his weekly Friday night HBO show, Real Time with Bill Maher, which returned last week to the pay-cable channel. On his program the Friday before the 2006 election, Maher warned his viewers that if they vote Republican then “you vote to enable George Bush to keep ruling as an emperor -- a retarded child emperor, but an emperor.” (NewsBusters item with video)
Al Gore may not have won the presidency (thank God), but over the last two years, he’s been given an enormous consolation prize by his friends on the left. He’s been designated as the Savior of the Planet.
First came the warm wave of supportive publicity surrounding his slide-show documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." Katie Couric and Harry Smith and Oprah Winfrey all touted Gore as so warm, so vulnerable and self-effacing, and his predictions so impossibly scary. Last May, Gore and Couric sat together on a sunny day in Central Park and unspooled the doom. Manhattan would be under deep water soon if we don’t take drastic measures, they warned.
Now comes another warm wave of media smooches and applause with the news of his plan for an international set of "Live Earth" concerts to promote massive government action to curb humanity’s excessive reliance on energy. Impending global doom has become such a hip cause it’s now pushed by Cameron Diaz, Jon Bon Jovi, and a flock of other Hollywood astrophysicists, the homelessness issue having become passe.
As you'll see below, the alleged big news today of a Brit withdrawal from Iraq is not really news. It actually appears to be less than was planned months ago. And pardon me for yet once again pointing out what an idiot Glenn Greenwald, now at Salon, is while making the point.
ABC's World News led Tuesday night with an unusual spin, one favorable to conservatives: the survival of a baby born in Florida last October just 21 weeks and six days after conception, the least time ever spent in the womb by an infant who has survived (AP article). Anchor Charles Gibson teased: “A tiny miracle that raises big questions in the debate over abortion." Setting up his top story, Gibson acknowledged the impact on the abortion debate: “The fact that she has survived and grown to more than four pounds, and is about to go home, is a miracle, yes, but a miracle that may have an effect on the debate over abortion. And it may change what people think about life.”
Reporter Dan Harris soon outlined how “anti-abortion activists” are using her: "For her parents, Amillia's story is a personal and emotional one. But for anti-abortion activists, Amillia is a national poster child. Today they promised to hold her up as an example in future debates over restricting abortion.” Leading into a soundbite from Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Harris noted that “only one state, North Carolina, explicitly prohibits aborting a fetus as the point at which Amillia was born.” Harris, however, countered Perkins by stressing how “bio-ethicists we spoke with today argue that Amillia is a miracle baby, and that it's unwise to change public policy based on miracles." (Transcript follows)
Many conservatives are familiar with a marvelous book by Peter Schweizer entitled “Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy.” In it, Schweizer detailed how America’s top liberals are famous for not practicing what they preach.
On Sunday’s “Hannity’s America,” the host demonstrated how the country’s leading global warming alarmist, Dr. Al Gore, is a perfect example of a liberal who doesn’t come close to following the lofty environmental ideals he demands of the rest of us (video available here).
At issue was the inherent absurdity of a self-righteous politician complaining about the dangers of greenhouse gases while he flies fly around the world in private airplanes:
Far left conspiracy theory rants are not enough to lose the praise of a CNN anchor. On the February 20th addition of American Morning, anchor Soledad O’Brien announced that Spike Lee won a Polk award for his film When the Levees Broke. The man who does not think it is "far fetched" that the levees in New Orleans were bombed, earned praise from O’Brien who editorialized, "if you haven’t seen it, you should really run out and get it" and added, "good work Spike!" Additionally, it is very telling that such conspiracy theories can win one a journalism award. The transcript is below.
Soledad O’Brien: "Director Spike Lee, who's been helping us on this project, helping hand out the cameras and giving the kids some tips for shooting, and becoming really film makers. We have a little congratulations in order for him today. His documentary, called When the Levees Broke, it won the George Polk award, which of course, is one of the top prizes in journalism. It showed the government's failed response to Katrina. If you haven't seen it you should really run out and get it. So a big congratulations to Spike Lee for this honor. Good work Spike!"
Interviewing Barack Obama's senior strategist, David Axelrod, Chris Matthews made a pitch to get Obama on his Hardball College Tour. On last night's edition of the show, Matthews made this syrupy plea to Axelrod: "I think it's a great, it's a great platform for a guy who, clearly, according to my kids, and maybe me too, the kid in me, appeals to the youth of America and the young at heart."
The following is the full exchange as it occurred on the February 19th edition of MSNBC’s Hardball.
Matthews: "Let me ask you, David Axelrod, let me just try to make a proposition to you. On behalf of our producers here and everybody that works at MSNBC, we would like a lot to have your candidate, Barack Obama, to sit, the junior senator from Illinois be our guest, our special guest on a town meeting with college students at some college, perhaps, of his choice. Certainly a good college. And we'd love him in the round with the students for an hour, like we did with John McCain and we've done with other candidates, including Hillary Clinton in the past, and, and Rudy Giuliani and the others. We've tried to get everybody. We would really like to get Barack Obama. You don't have to answer today."
On February 8, in the midst of Diane Sawyer’s Dictator ‘07 Tour, a whirlwind trip that saw her offer softball questions to both the dictators of Iran and Syria, the "Good Morning America" anchor sat down to speak with a group of Syrian women. As already noted on NewsBusters, Sawyer portrayed the brutal Syrian regime as a family friendly paradise. An onscreen ABC graphic identified one female, Bouthaina Shaaban, simply as a "top ranking female in President’s cabinet." Sawyer afforded Shaaban a platform to bash America for its failure to help women balance home and career:
Diane Sawyer: "What do [Syrian females] think of American women? They say we have so many opportunities, yet they'd give us something from Syria, safety on the streets, family to help with children, and the government helping too."
Bouthaina Shaaban (Top ranking female in President’s cabinet): "They could be a lot better, family and professionally-wise in making family life in balance with the profession. I feel the U.S., as a very rich and strong country, could have offered a lot more for working women."
As it turns out, slamming the U.S. is a common action for Shaaban. She’s actually a fierce propagandist, as well as virulently anti-American and anti-Israel. Last year on CNN, she likened the actions of Israel in Lebanon to those of the Nazis in World War II, an outburst that drew no response from Wolf Blitzer. And in February of 2005, Shaaban hinted that the United States and Israel were behind the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Better get a trash receptacle handy just in case this turns your stomach: former Vice President Al Gore is rumored to be up for an honorary doctorate in climatology. As unbelievably reported by the Minnesota Daily (h/t Drudge):
Former Vice President Al Gore could pay a visit to the University [of Minnesota] in the near future to receive an honorary degree for his work in climatology.
University President Bob Bruininks spilled the beans at the February Board of Regents meeting, saying that "two of our colleges are working with Vice President Gore to provide, we hope, an honorary doctorate."
Amazing. This guy makes a science fiction schlockumentary creating unwarranted hysteria about an unproven theory, and an American university wants to give him a degree? You’ve got to be kidding?
On the February 19th edition of Paula Zahn Now, guest host Kyra Phillips, well known for her restroom comments, confused Senator Barack Obama with the world’s most wanted terrorist. When interviewing African American film maker John Ridley on Obama’s standing in the black community, Phillips posed this question.
Kyra Phillips: "What do you think is Osama bin - is, is Obama - boy that was a terrible slip of the tongue, right? Barack Obama, is he that new leader?"
CNN confused the two before. As newsbuster Scott Whitlock noted, a graphic on The Situation Room asked "where’s Obama?" next to a picture of Osama bin Laden.