For Hillary Clinton and her terminally unfaithful husband, last week must have seemed like a Wes Craven version of an old musical comedy reworked and entitled “A Ghastly Thing Happened on the Way Back to the White House.”
With Hillary leading in most polls as the prohibitive favorite to be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2008, many party loyalists and typically favorable media members appear to be jumping off her bandwagon. At the same time, these very folks are falling over themselves to assist in the makeover and revitalization of former vice president Al Gore.
Coincidence? Unlikely. In fact, this is starting to resemble what these same folks did to Howard Dean during his 2004 presidential run.
For those that have forgotten, Dean was riding high in the polls in the winter of 2004. However, few top-ranking Democrats believed that he could beat President Bush in November. As a result, Time and Newsweek both ran cover stories on January 12, 2004 questioning his “electability” beyond the primaries. As Eric Boehlert wrote in Salon on January 13:
Goldhagen wrote in the Times in reference to Pope Benedict's recent appearance at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp. The smears and invectives from Goldhagen are numerous. He baselessly asserts an "unavoidable causal, historical and moral link connecting the church, the Nazis and Auschwitz" while staking his bogus claim of "a connection between the Catholic Church, Christianity and the Holocaust." Goldhagen then accuses Pope Benedict of "clouded historical understanding" and "whitewashing of the past."
The media spins up for an attack swarm against the US military…
By now I am sure you have heard of this incident between US Marines and Iraqi civilians in Haditha? It absolutely must be foremost in our minds that all the facts are not in. Still, the MSM are falling all over themselves saying that, when one of their own was killed by an IED and several more were injured, a squad of Marines lost their collective minds and murdered some two dozen Iraqi civilians.
If this really happened it is a horrible incident. It just should never have happened. And, further, those who did this deed will be tried and punished appropriately if found guilty. It is a black mark on the Marines and the USA. The criminality of this incident must not be diminished.
But, even if true, it is just one of some very few such incidents in this war. However, while regrettable, shameful even, it just cannot be said that this incident is indicative of a general US policy in Iraq. Nor can it be said to represent any kind of policy of the US military historically.
The topic was the disconnect between Hillary Clinton's support for the Iraq war and the fact that her coterie is composed of hard-core, anti-war liberals. In discussing it with guest Dee Dee Myers on this evening's Hardball, Chris Matthews let slip that he equates liberalism with 'caring' for peace and human rights.
Here's how it went down. Discussing Hillary's inner circle, Matthews suddenly interjected:
"Here's something I find to be a mystery, and it just came to me, Dee Dee. You can answer it, you can solve it. When I think about the people who are really loyal to Senator Clinton, they're all pretty much liberals - and I mean liberals - I don't mean just on big spending programs at home, but they really care about peace, and they care about human rights, and they're very suspicious of foreign policy intrigue and overreach. And yet Hillary Clinton is for that. She was for the war with [sic] Iraq. She still is. How can she build a campaign for president on the backs of people who don't agree with her on the central issue of our time?"
Newsbusters readers who had the misfortune of watching CNN May 30 were not experiencing deja vu. Democratic Congressman John Murtha was interviewed on not one, not two, but three separate network programs throughout the day. Murtha’s day of CNN appearances began with an interview conducted by American Morning's Soledad O'Brien, followed by a late afternoon exchange with Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room. Anderson Cooper 360 viewers, not to be left out, were treated to a pre-taped interview between Cooper and Murtha during the 10pm hour.
While O’Brien and Blitzer were eager to hear Murtha equate the alleged shooting of Iraqi civilians by U.S. Marines in Haditha to the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, only Cooper questioned whether Murtha might be rushing to condemn the Marines before the official investigation is complete.
Cooper: "Congressman Murtha, you believe the military investigation will ultimately show that the, the troops in Haditha, quote, ‘overreacted because of the pressure on them and killed innocent civilians in cold blood.’ That’s a quote from you. How are you so sure at this point? The investigation isn’t even complete."
Former Vice President Al Gore was on "The Early Show" this morning to discuss his documentary about global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth," and his political future with co-host Harry Smith. The former Vice President, or as Harry Smith referred to him, this "road warrior for the environment," claimed there was no reason to debate the existence of global warming, "And, I’ve been trying to tell this story for 30 years, Harry, and the debate among the scientists is over. There’s no more debate, we face a planetary emergency." Harry Smith acknowledged that global warming is not a universally accepted fact, but also charged that it’s the conservative media who don’t accept the premise, "But if I look at more elements, more conservative elements of the media, I would say there is a debate going on..." Mr. Gore responded by comparing conservatives who question the science supporting global warming to those who question the moon landing or the shape of the Earth. Harry Smith did not question this conclusion, instead he just interjected "right." In fact, this sounded less like an interview, and more like a discussion on the Senate floor between 2 liberal Democrats who agree with each other.
CBS's Early Show wasn't the only morning show yesterday doing unpaid commercials for "social justice" products. MRC's Geoff Dickens noticed that on her penultimate Today performance Katie Couric was talking up Global Goods Partners products. Katie once again insisted we know exactly what she thinks about America:
Couric: "I think it's really wonderful how you, just purchasing these products. I mean not only do you get a beautiful object, but you really do feel good about consuming. You know because so often it's just sort of blind consumption, especially in this country, I think. And so to be able to have the full circle happen is really I think a very gratifying thing."
Robert Samuelson has an interesting column today (hat tip Captain's Quarters) on how the media have completely failed to report a significant fact about the Senate's recently passed immigration bill, that it likely will double the number the number of legal immigrants coming into the United States each year. Nowhere was this fact prominently reported.
The Senate passed legislation last week that Sen. Edward Kennedy
(D-Mass.) hailed as "the most far-reaching immigration reform in our
history." You might think that the first question anyone would ask is
how much it would actually increase or decrease legal immigration. But
no. After the Senate approved the bill by 62 to 36, you could not find
the answer in the news columns of The Post, the New York Times or the
Wall Street Journal. Yet the estimates do exist and are fairly
startling. By rough projections, the Senate bill would double
the legal immigration that would occur during the next two decades from
about 20 million (under present law) to about 40 million.
CNN anchor Lou Dobbs has experienced huge growth with his focus on illegal immigration. Reports TVNewser:
Lou Dobbs "continues to exhibit explosive growth," according to CNN. In May 2006, Dobbs' 6pm program was up 85 percent in the demo and 94 percent among total viewers compared to May 2005.
This month, Dobbs averaged 207,000 demo viewers, compared to 112,000 a year ago. FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume averaged 229,000 demo viewers, down from 276,000 a year ago. In May 2005, there was a 146 percent gap between CNN and FNC at 6pm -- and now the gap stands at just 11 percent, CNN noted...
Off the wires from Marketwatch (registration may be required; bolds are mine):
May Chicago PMI rises to highest level since October
Business activity expanded in the Chicago region for the 37th consecutive month in May, the National Association of Purchasing Managers-Chicago said Wednesday. The Chicago purchasing managers' index rose to 61.5% from 57.2% in April, much stronger than the expected decline to 56.2%. It was the highest level since October. Anything over 50% indicates growth. The prices paid index fell to 76.9% from 77.2%. The new orders index rose to 69.6% from 60.8%.
The New York Post reports on a double-amputee veteran from the Iraq war who is suing Michael Moore for $85 million for taking out of context a statement he made to NBC News. The clip was shown in the film "Fahrenheit 9/11".
Sgt. Peter Damon, 33, who strongly supports America's invasion of Iraq, said he never agreed to be in the 2004 movie, which trashes President Bush.
In the 2003 interview, which he did at Walter Reed Army Hospital for NBC News, he discussed only a new painkiller the military was using on wounded vets.
"They took the clip because it was a gut-wrenching scene," Damon said yesterday. "They sandwiched it in. [Moore] was using me as ammunition."
Can you imagine the visage of Adolf Hitler being incorporated as a kitsch pop item and celebrated as a "kind of George Washington, James Dean" icon in the mainstream press?
Probably you can’t. But left-wing mass-murderers get an irony pass in both the media and pop culture. Chairman Mao's image is almost as ubiquitous as that of Che Guevara (another left-wing killer, albeit on a less grand scale). A Sunday Week in Review story by David Barboza ("Chameleon Mao, the Face of Tiananmen Square") celebrates Mao's image without acknowledging the millions of murders under his long reign.
Well the final goodbye came this morning but Today has been drawing out Katie Couric's farewell for what seems like forever or at least the last few weeks. Starting back on May 15th Today as been running a regular Goodbye Katie segment featuring some fond adieus from Katie's buddies in the media, entertainment and political worlds. Below you can find a list of those who said goodbye and no surprise it's full of liberal politicians and celebrities. Republicans are few in number, only four to be exact. Some of the goodbyes were particularly syrupy, like this long-winded goodbye from Bill Clinton on yesterday's Today: Video: Windows Media or Real Player Plus MP3
You have to admire the consistency of Katie Couric and her Today show crew. In her final appearance as Today show host, we were treated to a litany of parting shots at Republicans and bouquets tossed to Democrats. The first half-hour was a stroll down memory lane with Katie-the-hard-nosed-reporter asking the tough questions. But . . . surprise! The only objects of pointed inquiries were non-Democrats.
First was her famous ambush interview of Pres. George H.W. Bush when the ostensible purpose of her White House visit was a tour with Barbara Bush on the occasion of the building's 200th anniversary:
Couric to Bush: "Some Democrats say you have not leveled about your knowledge of Iran-Contra."
Next was this question/snipe for Ross Perot: "Some people are left with the impression that you're vindictive, that you're ruthless. a sore loser, and they don't feel comfortable with that."
She was seen interviewing Kofi Annan and Bill Clinton, but there were no questions, no context.
But when Bob Dole appeared, in an interview from some campaign past , Tough Katie suddenly re-appeared: "Some people think from your comments that you've made of late that you're being an apologist for the tobacco industry, that somehow they have you in their pocket."
There are days when you get up and stare at the front page of the newspaper and you just have to put the paper back down. May 30 was one of those days. After escaping for the long Memorial Day weekend, one returns to the real world Tuesday morning. But those who read The Washington Post are reminded that some people live forever in the world of make-believe.Witness the front-page headline: “Clinton Is A Politician Not Easily Defined: Senator's Platform Remains Unclear."
That is to politics what “The DaVinci Code” is to theology.
The national media are completely allergic to associating the anti-war movement with communist groups, even as Trotskyites like International ANSWER organize the big rallies. But protest illegal immigration, and it becomes an occasion for the media to find every faction and fraction of the Klan and the Nazis. Time's Jeffrey Ressner became this week's publicity agent for liberal "anti-hate" groups. The headline was "Rousing the Zealots: Neo-Nazis, white supremacists and militiamen are revivified by the furor over illegal immigration."
Translation: shut up, border enforcers. You're bringing out the kooks. Ressner began associating the Minutemen to the hate groups:
With immigration perhaps America's most volatile issue, a troubling backlash has erupted among its most fervent foes. There are, of course, the Minutemen, the self-appointed border vigilantes who operate in several states. And now groups of militiamen, white supremacists and neo-Nazis are using resentment over the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. as a potent rallying cry. "The immigration furor has been critical to the growth we've seen" in hate groups, says Mark Potok, head of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Just as last week's Dixie Chicks (ahem, with balls) cover story in Time magazine was expanding on an earlier plug in their Time 100 issue, in this week's editions, reporter Karen Tumulty expands on her earlier "movie star" plug for Al Gore. The headline for this four-page package is "Lights, Camera, Al Gore!" (Yes, an exclamation point.) And: "The ex-president is enjoying an unlikely heyday as a movie star. All that buzz invites the question: Will he audition again for President?"
A "movie star"? May we remind Time's headline writers that the Gore movie debuted in just four theaters and grossed $281,330? (Nice pre-screen average, but c'mon, it's a political event.) May we remind Time that almost no one is going to say "hey, kids, get your popcorn, it's time to watch the Al Gore global warming slide show"? By this standard, we could look up the weekend box-office charts and claim Michael J. Pagan was a "movie star."
Citing one comment from a meteorologist quoted on the ninth page (78th paragraph) of a Washington Post Magazine story, remarks by an unnamed “pundit” and an unidentified “Fox News analyst,” as well as a gentle TV ad campaign with the hardly threatening tag line of “Carbon dioxide. They call it pollution. We call it life," fill-in MSNBC host Brian Unger ludicrously devoted a segment of Tuesday's Countdown to the “Swift-Boating of Al Gore.” Unger gushed about how "Gore wants to do something admirable like save the planet” and then fretted: “And what do critics call him? Hitler. The 'Swift-Boating' of Al Gore already in full swing."
Unger maintained that Gore's “wake-up call on climate change” has led “to some unfortunate analogies” and he then cited how meteorologist Bill Gray charged: “Gore believed in global warming almost as much as Hitler believed there was something wrong with the Jews.” Unger added: “Then there's the pundit who compared the Gore movie to Josef Goebbels' films about Nazi Germany, the Fox News analyst who said that global warming was bogus and dreamed up by environmentalists to stop economic development. And in true Swift Boat fashion, the campaign-style attack ads produced by a conservative think tank." That “campaign-style attack ad” doesn't even mention Gore's name and it attacks no one, a reality that became obvious when Unger played it. Ironically, Unger complained that when Gore “launches his campaign to save the world from global warming, his critics decide to ignore the science and attack Al Gore." But the ad deals only with science and Unger ignored science since the lengthy Washington Post Magazine story from which he quoted Gray was all about global warming skeptics, yet he didn't utter a syllable about their facts. (Transcript follows)
SCHIEFFER: Sen. McConnell, let me start with you. Republicans are fighting among themselves in a way I haven't seen in quite a while; the war is going on; those gas prices are up; the Veterans Administration has found a way to let twenty-seven-and-a-half million veterans - has found a way to let their records, including their Social Security numbers - to be stolen; the former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said the other day that Democrats didn't really need an agenda any more. They really only had to say is, "Had enough?" I want to ask you: Are you gonna be able to hold your majorities in the Senate and House this year?
There are surely Bill O'Reilly experts out there who have carefully charted the history of his pronouncements on the Iraq war. But as a casual observer, it seemed to me that in this evening's Talking Points, O'Reilly struck an altogether more negative tone on Iraq, with implications for future US foreign policy.
Here's what he had to say: "The chaos in Afghanistan and Iraq will never end, because there will always be people who hate Americans. And we are an occupying force in those countries. The very important question is how do we as citizens process what's going on in those theaters of war? In Afghanistan, the Taliban are just waiting until we leave and will always be waiting. Whether the Karzai government will ever be strong enough to defeat them is an open question.
Anyone who pays even scant attention to the news cannot have helped but see that CBS news correspondent, Kimberly Dozier, was severely injured by one of those insidious IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) that have been responsible for so many of the casualties to coalition forces and common Iraqi citizens in Iraq over the last few years.
Ms. Dozier is certainly brave enough for taking the call to go to Iraq and attempt to learn what it is like there and to file her stories from that turbulent region. There is certainly no reason to laugh at her injuries. It is also sad that members of her news crew were killed by the same explosion. We see the names of those men in every report about this incident. Cameraman, Paul Douglas, and sound man, James Brolan, lost their lives in pursuit of the story that day. Brave souls all, regardless whether you think their work is ultimately good or bad.
In reporting on President Bush’s nomination of Henry Paulson as his new Secretary of the Treasury, CBS’s Jim Axelrod on Tuesday night suggested that "the administration needs a salesman,” citing how “no matter how much they trumpet 5.3 percent economic growth in the first quarter, 5.2 million more jobs since August 2003, or unemployment down to 4.7 percent, there's another number to contend with. In the most recent CBS News poll, just 34 percent approved of the President's handling of the economy.” But might not part of the problem lie in lack of media attention to the booming economy? For instance, Axelrod’s citation of the 5.3 percent GDP growth in the first quarter, the fastest rate in two-and-a-half years, was the first on the CBS Evening News which ignored it when the number was announced last Thursday.
Earlier is in his story, Axelrod snidely marveled at why anyone would want to join the declining Bush administration: “Leaving a job that paid him $38.3 million last year in salary, stock, and options, to take one that pays 175 grand, and to join the last two and a half years of a struggling administration, the question isn't why the White House would want him, but why he would want the job?" (Transcript follows)
Does Osama bin Laden read the work of left-wing media figures and bloggers? It's quite possible, argues Brendan O'Neill:
When Al Jazeera broadcast Osama bin Laden's latest audiotape in January, it provoked the same sense of déjà vu as Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden, recently published by the leftist publishing house Verso.
The book is a collection of every public utterance made by the Al Qaeda leader from 1994 to 2004. According to The Observer's excitable reviewer, it shows that he is a "charismatic man of action, an eloquent preacher, a teacher of literature and a resilient, cunning, wonderfully briefed politician." To me, however, there was something irritatingly familiar rather than surprisingly eloquent about his tone and turns of phrase.
Then it struck me: Bin Laden is a blogger. Not literally, of course, but he certainly speaks the language of the blogosphere. He references Robert Fisk and Michael Moore, those darlings of the anti-war Web. His latest statement recommends that people read Rogue State by William Blum, whose e-mail newsletter, Anti-Empire Report, is frequently republished and discussed in the left-wing blogosphere.
It got a little crazy in the 8:30 half hour of "The Early Show" on CBS as co-host Harry Smith, hosted a segment on "organic furniture." Smith interviewed Susanna Salk, a special projects editor for "House and Garden" magazine. The segment focused on "green" fashion and the benefits of hemp. Why is this a big deal? Hemp is monitored by the DEA because it resembles marijuana and as USA Today reported, "The DEA says allowing farmers to grow hemp in the USA would undermine the war on drugs."
Smith acknowledged the relationship between hemp and marijuana:
"And every time you say hemp, people are going to giggle because they think they can smoke their chairs."
Last week the press was full of reports on Senator Hillary Clinton's "major speech on energy." A typical report was carried in the Columbus Ledger-Inquirer, picked up from the wire service of the New York Post. But from the evidence in the national press coverage, it does not seem that a single reporter leaned back in his chair and actually thought about what she said on the critical issue of nuclear energy.
The main point of Senator Clinton's speech (other than that she is positioning herself to run for President), was that our national energy policy is trapping us into bad decisions internationally. She said, "Right now, instead of national security dictating our energy policy, our failed energy policy dictates our national security."
Over the weekend, Iraq's foreign minister, Hoshyar Zibari, and Iran's foreign affairs chief held a meeting to discuss, among other things, Iran's nuclear program. Afterward, the two held a press conference. CNN reported on the conference but instead of reporting that Iraq wanted Iran to guarantee its program was for peaceful purposes, the network implied that Iraq was backing its neighbor entirely.
Iran doesn't claim that they want to obtain a nuclear weapon or a nuclear bomb, so there is no need that we ask them for any guarantee now.
Here's what he actually said, as translated by Omar from the Arabic original:
We respect Iran's and every other nation's right to pursue nuclear technology for research purposes and peaceful use given they accept [giving] the internationally required guarantees that this will not lead to an armament race in the region.
The Sunday before Memorial Day, reporter Kate Zernike allowed Sen. John Kerry to refight his own personal Vietnam War against the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ("Kerry Pressing Swift Boat Case Long After Loss"). The Times puts the battle on the front page, and judging by the respectful tone of the story, seems to think the pro-Kerry forces vanquish the Swift Boat Veterans.
"John Kerry starts by showing the entry in a log he kept from 1969: 'Feb 12: 0800 run to Cambodia.' He moves on to the photographs: his boat leaving the base at Ha Tien, Vietnam; the harbor; the mountains fading frame by frame as the boat heads north; the special operations team the boat was ferrying across the border; the men reading maps and setting off flares."
Early yesterday morning at about 3:00 am on the West Coast, someone in Britain connected to the Internet and browsed over to this article at the Guardian by Inayat Bunglawala, media secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain: This code could open doors.
Bunglawala’s piece (about the Da Vinci Code) is in the section of the Guardian site where readers can comment, and someone posted a link to LGF as a rebuttal to Bunglawala. Our Swedish British visitor clicked that link, leading him/her/it to this post: Swedish Muslims Demand Shari’a.
Liberal bias is nothing new to the weekly PBS program, This Week in California. When reporters from the San Francisco Chronicle typically represent the right side of the political spectrum on the show's panel, viewers pretty much know what they're in for.
But the May 19 show took bias to a new level by shamelessly promoting Republican congressional candidate Pete McCloskey over his opponent. Former U.S. Rep. Pete McCloskey is going up against incumbent Rep. Richard Pombo of Tracy in the upcoming GOP primary for California's 11th Congressional District.
Because of Pombo's position as Chairman of the House Committee on Resources and his vocal opposition to various environmental restrictions, he has become enemy number one to California's environmentalist movement. Pombo is also being investigated for allegedly receiving funds from indicted former lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the Indian tribes he represented.