On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," Chris Cuomo conducted part one of a mostly softball interview with "Sicko" filmmaker Michael Moore. (Another segment will air on Wednesday.) But despite a flowery introduction where the GMA anchor asserted "[Moore’s] critics are struggling to fight his basic premise that America's health care system is in trouble," Cuomo still found himself backpedaling after labeling the liberal filmmaker’s Cuba trip a stunt. The ABC host, son of Mario Cuomo, quickly exclaimed, "Look, I like your stunt."
The stunt in question, Moore’s escorting of 9/11 Ground Zero workers to Cuba for treatment, resulted in this retort from the director:
Mark June 12, 2007, on your calendar, for on this day, a Canadian economist named Ross McKitrick proposed a carbon tax plan marvelously designed to make people on both sides of the anthropogenic global warming debate happy.
Of course, it is quite unlikely that any American media will cover this compromise solution, for it calls the bluff of the climate change alarmists. Fortunately, we at NewsBusters are not so constrained to share facts with our readers.
With that in mind, as reported by Canada’s National Post (h/t Alar Aksberg, emphasis added throughout):
On the June 12 "Early Show," anchor Harry Smith again pounded Tony Snow, and Tony Snow again responded with a reprimand. Smith, who recently offered a puffy interview of Al Gore, continued his harsh interrogation of the White House press secretary. When discussing the G-8 summit, Snow asserted that Bush has "taken the lead" on initiatives such as climate change. Smith interrupted Snow like wise.
CNN hosted three presidential debates last week, two for the Democrats and one for the Republicans. Democratic candidates were awarded twice as much airtime in a three-day period. CNN has its work cut out for it if it wants to be seen as impartial in the upcoming presidential election.
What tilted the schedule in the Democrats’ favor? Both Sunday’s and Tuesday’s two-hour traditional debates in New Hampshire with each party were hosted by Wolf Blitzer. But on Monday, CNN devoted an hour to the top three Democrat contenders, hosted by the religious-left group Sojourners. Each received 15 minutes of air time. When that hour was over, CNN awarded most of the "second tier" – four more Democratic contenders – more time to discuss their faith in individual interviews on "Paula Zahn Now." That’s almost another two hours for the Democrats.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his political party are pretty popular these days. He's only enjoying a landslide parliamentary election a month after he routed Socialist Segolene Royal to gain the keys to the Élysée Palace.
But the way you read it in the Associated Press, it almost sounds as if Sarkozy is a latter day Robespierre, at least in that there's some Reign of Terror just waiting to break out all over the Fifth Republic. [Emphasis mine]
PARIS -- President Nicolas Sarkozy appears to have won a mandate for change after his party swept first-round parliamentary elections, and he is picking up speed in his plans to overhaul France's welfare state. But rivals say he should watch out.
A major misstep, critics warn, and the streets again could explode in anger.
Twenty years ago, on June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan, standing on the west side of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, gave a speech that many believe signaled the beginning of the end of the Cold War.
In this extraordinary moment in history, President Reagan challenged the Soviet Union’s Mikhail Gorbachev:
General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
THIS is CNN in 1998; the link is to a story debunking the network's Peter Arnett and April Oliver, who accused Vietnam soldiers of war crimes in Operation Tailwind.
This is from 2003. The network's Eason Jordan confessed that the network twisted the news out of Saddam Hussein's Iraq, thereby giving false impressions of the regime to the world so that it could maintain its access to the country (the article is posted at the author's web host for fair use and discussion purposes).
Then there's this from 2005. Eason Jordan accused the US military in Iraq of targeting journalists, and ultimately resigned in the wake of the outcry. "Somehow" the actual video footage of Jordan's accusations, made at the World Economic Forum in Davos, never surfaced.
Big tip of the hat to Scott Johnson at Power Line for tipping me off to an excellent op-ed in the New York Times which makes one of the few correct comparisons of Iraq to Vietnam: that withdrawal before the task is done diminishes American credibility abroad.
Today, in Iraq, there should be no illusion that defeat would come
at an acceptable price. George Orwell wrote that the quickest way of
ending a war is to lose it. But anyone who thinks an American defeat in
Iraq will bring a merciful end to this conflict is deluded. Defeat
would produce an explosion of euphoria among all the forces of Islamist
extremism, throwing the entire Middle East into even greater upheaval.
The likely human and strategic costs are appalling to contemplate.
Perhaps that is why so much of the current debate seeks to ignore these
As in Indochina more than 30 years ago, millions of Iraqis today see
the United States helping them defeat their murderous opponents as the
only hope for their country. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have
committed themselves to working with us and with their democratically
elected government to enable their country to rejoin the world as a
peaceful, moderate state that is a partner to its neighbors instead of
a threat. If we accept defeat, these Iraqis will be at terrible risk.
Thousands upon thousands of them will flee, as so many Vietnamese did
Since the left has, in Alexander Cockburn's words, become "entranced by the allure of weather as revolutionary agent" comparisons between liberal globalwarmingism and socialism are becoming increasingly apt.
One of those comparisons comes on the question of income inequality and environmental correctness. No radical leftist can tell you just how far the government should go to "fix" this "problem." They won't be satisfied unless there is a mass redistribution which is why attempts to placate them on this account are fruitless. It's the paradox of the moderate. When you accept the premise of the extreme, you are often bound to their results.
The same paradox has come around and bit Rolling Stone magazine in the butt recently as its efforts to become more environmentally correct simply aren't working:
[A]s Rolling Stone and others try to be green, they draw criticism
from environmentalists who think that if this is walking the walk, it
is doing so with a pronounced limp.
In Monday’s daily online Washingtonpost.com political chat, reporter Shailagh Murray grew readably irritated when a reader questioned her use of the label "ultraconservative" for Rep. Barbara Cubin in a June 7 story on who would succeed the late Sen. Craig Thomas. "I get irritated with people who assume knee-jerk bias in reporters, based on one story that they happen to read. I actually don't see such terms as inflammatory, but as descriptive, and I'll use them as a I see fit."
The reader also asked her if she ever puts the word "ultra" in front of "liberal" in her stories, and who would fit the "ultraliberal" label. The reporter skipped the first question (suggesting she doesn’t use "ultraliberal"), but offered a list of ultraliberals: Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, and Sen. Barbara Boxer. Not a bad list, but guess what? It’s easy to find Post stories where those ultraliberals are written up, and are only called "liberals" and more often, aren’t labeled at all.
What is it about some news outlets that they can't report a story without trying to flavor it with their own biases? That they can't give "just the facts m'am" but have to throw in their snide asides and negative phraseology? And, it's bad enough when they do it in their normal attempts at "reporting" the news, but when they do it in between an upbeat report by one of our soldiers who's opinion is that the surge is working and our presence in Iraq is a good thing, it's all the more grating. But, then, they just can't leave their hatred for American foreign policy aside long enough to report this soldier's enthusiasm, now can they?
In this case, Boise, Idaho TV 2 News, in a story by Scott Logan, just can't leave the snide comments out of their story of Army First Sergeant Noah Edney's enthusiastic point of view on our efforts in Iraq. Even the title seems to take a swipe at policy: Boise Infantryman In Baghdad Shares Views On "Surge" -- notice the quotation marks around the word surge? Even as surge is a commonly acceptable term and not one to be questioning with quotations they cast doubt onto it by using the grammatical device.
But, if you might think the parenthesis around the word surge might not be suspect, they quickly set the record straight on how they feel about the policy with their very first line of the story.
ABC and CBS on Monday night led by celebrating a 2-to-1 federal appeals court ruling against the Bush administration's policy of holding a sleeper cell suspect at a military brig without redress in civilian courts, but in eagerly quoting from the ruling neither bothered to mention that the two judges in the majority were Clinton appointees. “Tonight,” Charles Gibson teased at the top of World News, “a stinging rejection for the President.” Gibson set up his lead story by marveling at how “it is not often you will see a federal court call a policy of the President's 'disastrous.'” Gibson recited how the appeals court “says the President 'claims power that far exceeds that granted him by the Constitution,' a strong rebuke of the administration,” a characterization soon repeated by ABC legal reporter Jan Crawford Greenburg: “The language in this decision is almost indignant, it's a sharp rebuke to these policies of President Bush...” ABC also featured the suspect's attorney, who asserted: “The court is warning is that if they can do that to Mr. Al Marri, they can do it to you, they can do it to your mother.”
With “Bush Setback” on screen, CBS anchor Katie Couric trumpeted “a big defeat for President Bush." Reporter Wyatt Andrews relayed how “the ruling bluntly tells President Bush he has gone too far arresting civilians as enemy combatants,” but he at least quoted a clause from the dissenting judge before concluding by describing the ideology of the court circuit without regard for who nominated the two judges who issued the ruling: “This is a case the White House lost in the appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, perhaps the nation's most conservative. And while the President is still arguing he has unquestioned authority to detain terror suspects, the courts are now firmly saying he does not.”
Chicago Tribune “public editor” Timothy McNulty claimed on Friday that he has been sensitized to a gross indignity: stories referring to Hillary Rodham Clinton as merely “Hillary.” Prodded by feminists, he claimed that this indignity deserves exploring, even as he acknowledges that Hillary uses “Hillary!” as a first-person promotional tool in her own campaign. As Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post blew it off in his online chat today: “I used to have the same concern until HRC began running for office and promoting herself as "Hillary" on her Web site, in literature, etc. If it's good enough for her, it's good enough for me.”
The prodding feminist McNulty quotes in the piece is online Tribune editor Jane Fritsch, formerly of The New York Times, who wrote McNulty in an e-mail that "The simple fact is that Hillary Rodham Clinton is running in a field of men who are never referred to by their first names...The argument that we call her Hillary to avoid confusion is a weak one. There are easy alternatives. ... Certainly the problem created by the existence of two presidents named George Bush has been a difficult one, but we found ways to solve it without diminishing George W. Bush."
In the You-Can’t-Make-This-Up Department, ‘In the Money’ show reporter Polly Labarre complained employees don’t get enough time off. We’ve got it so darn bad, according to the folks at CNN, “we work more than medieval peasants used to work.”
Ordinarily, I’d debunk that June 9 report, pointing out that peasants had to work dawn to dusk eking out a living little better than slaves. But it’s so ridiculous, why bother?
Like so much in the media, this little nugget comes from another goofy group that the media miraculously fail to ignore. It’s called the “Take Back Your Time” movement. The group has a long list of demands of more time off for Americans and Canadians.
This really is delicious: a television anchorman in Connecticut has been exposed as having lobbied members of that state’s legislature in order to get a bill that benefited broadcasters passed.
As reported Friday by the Hartford Courant (h/t Dan Gainor):
Al Terzi, anchor of WFSB, Channel 3's "Eyewitness News," personally called a key legislator to urge the bill's passage. Terzi's WFSB colleagues Kevin Hogan and Susan Raff also lobbied for the bill, according to the legislator.
"Al Terzi called me," said state Rep. Emil "Buddy" Altobello, D-Meriden, an original sponsor of the bill, which concerned only security guards. "To ask for some help on the bill."
The bill, if signed by Gov. M. Jodi Rell, would limit employers' ability to restrict when and where security guards and broadcasters subsequently work.
How sweet. The article continued by pointing out the obvious conflict of interest:
Perhaps the surprise of Monday morning was that CNN's "American Morning" hosted liberal Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz to discuss his support of former Cheney aide Scooter Libby, whom Dershowitz says has been given too stiff of a sentence. "Considering all of the circumstances of the case, first offender, good record, generally, you wouldn’t get a sentence of that length."
Co-host Kiran Chetry asked, "So, this is a little puzzling because you are not known as a friend of this administration. Some may have been a little surprised to read that you did file this friend of the court's brief on behalf of Scooter Libby. Why?" Dershowitz explained his stance, and how the circumstances of the Libby case wasn’t "a Republican-Democrat issue for me."
Update: Regardless of your religious views, the point of my post here is to lampoon the silly false choice posed by the poorly-worded question. I think I know what Quinn and Meacham are getting at. Allow me to be their oracle as to what they meant to ask: "In obtaining salvation, in your faith perspective, which is more important, faith or good works?" That wasn't so hard, now was it?
As already noted on NewsBusters, former CBS anchor Dan Rather appeared on Monday’s edition of "Morning Joe" and lobbied for a "a strategic withdrawal from Iraq." He also found time to twice bash his "Evening News" successor Katie Couric for dumbing down and tarting up the news. After giving the standard caveat that Couric is a "nice person," he went in for kill. Speculating on the program’s declining ratings, Rather complained to MSNBC host Joe Scarborough that "the mistake was to try to bring the ‘Today’ show ethos to the evening news and to dumb it down, tart it up in hopes of attracting a younger audience."
Rather vociferously derided the media’s obsession with celebrities, in particular the hyperbolic coverage of the Paris Hilton affair. (This is a fair point, but it’s a little odd to be making it on MSNBC, one of the worst offenders in Hilton overkill.) For a second time in the 7:30am hour, he attacked the "superficial changes" made in his absence:
Time magazine's "Swampland" blog last week gave former Rep. Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Tex.) a platform as guest blogger and left-wing readers quickly pounced with all the juvenile invective they could muster. One commenter to Armey's valedictory post wished that Armey would eat sh*t and die, albeit saying so with more flowery language: "May you engage in coprophagy, then shuffle off this mortal coil."
Perhaps seeking to establish balance in the guest roster, this week "Swampland" invited John Edwards staffer David "Mudcat" Saunders into the electronic quagmire. Saunders is most notable for his role in guiding Mark Warner (D-Va.) to victory in the Old Dominion governor's race in 2001.
But the reception for Saunders is hardly any warmer than that of Armey, even though Saunders is far to the left of the former congressman's laissez faire economic preferences that were much-maligned by Joe Klein and company last week.
Although Saunders is an advocate of class warfare, the radically left-wing readers of "Swampland" aren't buying Saunders as a true liberal. In fact, crude and unfair stereotypes of Saunders and other white Southerners are frequently cropping up in the comments fields for today's posts:
On Sunday night’s “1/2 Hour News Hour,” comedian Dennis Miller gave Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) the on-air tongue-lashing that every conservative in America has longed for since Reid replaced Tom Daschle as the Democrats’ top guy in that chamber of Congress.
In a two and a half-minute evisceration, Miller referred to Reid as a “dim bulb” stating that he’s had it with the Senator’s “projectile naysaying” while deliciously presenting his views “with no due respect.”
Back in January, I reported on a particularly odd funeral over in the Palestinian territories of a 10-year-old girl named Abir Aramin, who was supposedly killed by the Israeli Defence Forces at an "anti-barrier" protest.
Figure 1: Bassam Aramin, Jan. 20, 2007.
Imagine my surprise, then, to learn from freelance journalist Hélène Keller-Lind over the weekend (en Anglais for we non-Francophiles) that this poor girl's father has been shamelessly using her death as an anti-Israeli prop, during a "neutral" peace conference hosted by the Shimon Peres Centre for Peace.
The first sign of trouble was the fact that the event was scheduled on the 40-year anniversary of the Six Day War. For such a date to escape the notice of the "peace movement" by accident seems unlikely, so one is left to wonder whether the event organizers were trying purposefully to single out Israel for scorn by picking such a controversial date. The Al Quds Association for Democracy and Dialogue, in fact, confirmed that as far as they were concerned, the date was selected for that very reason!
Which brings us back to Bassam Aramin, the father in question, who just happens to be associated with the Al-Quds group.
The immigration bill crafted by U.S. senators and White House negotiators behind closed doors may have been Topic A on talk radio over the past few weeks, but after heavy positive coverage of the “landmark” deal on May 17 and 18, ABC, CBS and NBC provided surprisingly little airtime to the hot debate.
MRC’s Matt Balan and I examined the broadcast networks' morning and evening news coverage from May 17 through June 8. We found just 73 stories (36 full reports and 37 brief items) totaling 104 minutes, or one percent of available airtime.
Nearly half the coverage (45%) aired May 17-18 as the deal was introduced, after which the issue virtually disappeared. The CBS Evening News, for example, ran no stories from May 22 until June 7, when Katie Couric read a brief item on the bill's imminent failure.
Michael Moore has teamed up with former Al Gore lawyer David Boies to defend himself from a Treasury Department investigation into a trip he took to Cuba for a movie. The trip was not authorized by the U.S. government and Moore seems to think that despite this, he should be let off the hook since he's obviously being investigated for political reasons:
Michael Moore's attorney said
Monday that the filmmaker's criticism of the Bush administration may
have prompted a federal investigation into his trip to Cuba for the
upcoming health-care documentary, "Sicko."
Appearing on the Monday edition of MSNBC’s "Morning Joe," former CBS anchor Dan Rather slammed the war in Iraq as a "strategic catastrophe of historic proportions." Talking via phone with host Joe Scarborough, the veteran journalist freely advocated the Moveon.org position, calling for a "a strategic withdrawal from Iraq."
The Times' new Public Editor, Clark Hoyt, started work early and showed a bit more initiative than his predecessor Barney Calame in mildly criticizing the Times' decision to underplay the terror threat at Kennedy International Airport, though he agreed with Times editors that the plot wasn't a credible threat.
Mireya Navarro of The New York Times took 32 paragraphs in her June 10 Fashion & Style section article to tell you what I'm about to in one sentence. (h/t Clay Waters of NB sister publication TimesWatch)
Liberal Hollywood doesn't feature women having abortions in TV and movies very often because it's bad to alienate a sizable chunk, if not an outright majority, of your audience who are pro-life.
Of course, you can't fault Hollywood for being pro-choice where it counts to them most. Choosing plotlines and conventional stories that boost the bottom line. That is, unless you're an artiste who is forever battling the crass capitalistic forces of banality, like say, Christopher Keyser. You know, the cinematic Michelangelo that gave us the late-1990s Fox drama 'Party of Five.' Navarro thought it important that we hear from him and other liberals in the industry who lament this one area where Hollywood remains mostly conservative, if only because they feel the heat rather than see the light.
The May 14 issue of Newsweek proclaimed that some descendants of famous Republicans--Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Barry Goldwater--are thinking about changing parties and voting Blue. In an article titled, “Generational Tensions: Thesons and daughters of some iconic Republicans (Ike! T.R.!) are contemplating crossing the aisle,” reporter Michael Hirsch set up the improbable idea that the logical move by unhappy "fiscally conservative" Republicans is to the Democratic Party. According to Ike's granddaughter Susan Eisenhower, “moderate ‘Eisenhower Republicans’ “ are not content, but Newsweek did not fully explore the illogic of this proposed alternative (emphasis mine throughout):
Increasingly, however, she says that the partisanship and free spending of the Bush presidency—and the takeover of the party by single-issue voters, especially pro-lifers—is driving these pragmatic, fiscally conservative voters out of the GOP.
Debatably, the dissatisfaction of moderate Republicans with the Iraq war and with what the article categorized as religiously influenced issues surrounding topics like Terri Schiavo, abortion and homosexuality can be answered by the Democratic Party, but not the problems of bloated bureaucracies and out of control spending. The article did not state the obvious; a Big Government GOP is still smaller than the modern Democratic Party.
There's nothing like a Republican turning on his President to get liberal reporters tongues wagging. On this morning's Today, co-host Meredith Vieira along with Tim Russert and Andrea Mitchell repeatedly whacked President Bush over the head with Colin Powell's criticism from his Meet the Press appearance.
In the 7am half-hour of the program, the Vieira first teased the segment this way:
Vieira: "President Bush's former Secretary of State Colin Powell is speaking out for the first time in a long time and his former boss cannot be happy about what he is saying."
Then Mitchell opened her report with Powell's laundry-list of complaints: