On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program once again demonstrated the template for GOP figures to receive air time: Trash your fellow Republicans. GMA featured former Congressman J.C. Watts questioning whether top 2008 GOP presidential candidates are racist for skipping a PBS debate on minority issues. Continuing the theme, co-host Robin Roberts asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, "...Why are Republicans so reluctant to talk to minorities?"
In a piece setting up the Gingrich interview, Roberts intoned that the absence of Republican front-runners at the event is "raising questions about the message it sends to some voters." GMA co-host Diane Sawyer teased the segment by not-so-subtlety asking, "...Are the Republican candidates snubbing minority events?" Roberts and Sawyer never bothered to mention that Thursday’s PBS debate will be moderated by liberal host Tavis Smiley who, for instance, wondered in May, "Why shouldn’t we be outraged" at George Bush. Perhaps the Republican front-runners simply don’t want to go into a hostile, left-wing event. Would "Good Morning America" insist that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton attend a forum hosted by the NRA?
CORRECTION: 2007-09-25 14:20:00 -0400 [An earlier version misidentified Jake Tapper as saying the event is "raising questions about the message it sends to some voters." This was actually said by co-host Robin Roberts.]
This Thursday, PBS is hosting a Republican presidential debate with liberal commentator Tavis Smiley. For various reasons, the top four GOP candidates have all decided to skip it. In doing so, they are making a big mistake, my friend Bob Cox argues in today's DC Examiner. Here's an excerpt. My comments are below the fold:
One by one, the four leading candidates for the Republican nomination for president have announced they will not participate. This is not only a strategic mistake for these campaigns but also a major embarrassment for the Republican Party.
How can voters take seriously a candidate asking for their support to be leader of the free world when that same candidate is unwilling to take questions from black journalists, in front of a predominantly black audience? [...]
As NewsBuster John Stephenson reported Monday, a Politico column by Ben Smith revealed that the Clinton campaign apparently forced GQ magazine to not publish a negative piece about Hillary if they wanted future access to Bill.
Is the media hypocritical on censorship when conducted by Democrats versus Republicans? It would seem that this may indeed be the case. The media likes to claim that President George Bush's Administration is clamping down on civil rights, although they have a difficult time citing any actual examples of such. However, when the Clinton campaign really does exercise press censorship, the media is largely silent. According to the Politico online magazine, GQ magazine was poised to run a story that would have been critical of the Hillary Clinton campaign. This in itself is a relative rarity in the current media. However, by threatening to withold access to former President Bill Clinton, the campaign managed to force GQ to pull the planned story. Editor Jim Nelson then tried to claim that this was normal procedure,
“I don’t really get into the inner workings of the magazine, but I can tell you that yes, we did kill a Hillary piece. We kill pieces all the time for a variety of reasons,” Nelson said in an e-mail to Politico. He did not respond to follow-up questions. A Clinton campaign spokesman declined to comment.
It's Tuesday and that means another new episode of "NewsBusted" has arrived! Topics in this episode: Dan Rather, taser boy, Columbia University, Ford Motor Company and more. Click the "play" icon in the video frame to the right of this page. You can watch the show on YouTube here.
We're pretty excited about how the show is coming. Thanks to your support, "NewsBusted" is more popular than left-wing humor shows (not to mention funnier) and also one of the most popular regular political vlogs on YouTube. Note: To be automatically notified by email whenever we post new shows, click this link.
If you like the show, spread the word by telling your friends and favorite bloggers about it. We can always use positive comments and ratings on YouTube as well since liberals love to trash anything that isn't politically correct.
In the October 1 issue of Time magazine, TV critic James Poniewozik interviewed PBS star Ken Burns -- star filmmaker, to be sure, but still a star, someone they rush out to Congress at PBS funding time -- and he bashed the Bush administration along a traditional liberal line on the subject of his new World War II documentary. Comparing the sacrifices of that era to now, Poniewozik wrote "Today the government is loath to lay out a price, or ask one." Added Burns:
"People yearn for the memory of shared sacrifice that the Second World War represents," Burns says. "Now we're all free agents. We don't give up nothin'. We were asked after 9/11 to go shopping. It was sort of 'Don't worry your pretty little head about it.'"
Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts wondered about game-show bias in their Washington Post gossip column "The Reliable Source" on Tuesday, Drew Carey’s game show in prime time on CBS that asks contestants to guess about polling questions they’ve asked the public:
We always thought Drew Carey was a Republican, but the comedian took a potshot at Jenna Bush during CBS's "Power of 10" game show Sunday night. Carey, who performed at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner in 2002, asked a contestant to guess what percentage of American men would not want to be the president's son-in-law. The upside, said Carey: Free rides on Air Force One, dinner at the White House, great networking. "But then, you have to be married to Jenna Bush," he snarked.
I’ve also seen the show’s pollsters ask a contestant to guess what percentage of respondents thought they would get shot by Dick Cheney in a duel, so this isn’t the first time they’ve tweaked the Bush administration.
Now, here we have a very interesting debate about journalism, racism, crime and the new media on the internet. The Sacramento Bee has been forced to revisit a long standing, 15-year-old policy this week. It seems that for years the Bee has, for the most part, avoided mentioning the race of a suspected criminal in their crime coverage. They claimed that they only mentioned race when the story was "accompanied by a detailed physical description or when reporting a serial crime or when using police sketches of suspects." Critics of the paper, however, claim this policy is merely a paean to PCism and this refusal of the paper to mention the race of a suspect makes the Bee's coverage less than informative and has made it practically useless as a tool of assistance to the police.
As the Bee states in their editorial, "the issue's volatility has ebbed and flowed, sometimes lying dormant for months only to arise anew in the wake of a particularly heinous crime."
I am sure that "ebbed and flowed" is an understatement.
According to Alan Colmes, since evil dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not a liberal, but instead a "conservative," then conservatives in America should not be offended because the Iranian leader received better treatment on a college campus than some of America's conservative political figures, some of whom have been met with attacks with pies or other violence.
Such was the absurd argument suggested by the liberal FNC host during a discussion on Monday's "Hannity and Colmes." Colmes commented to conservative guest/author David Horowitz: "Ahmadinejad's not a liberal. He's a conservative. He's very right wing. He was welcome at Columbia University. You shouldn't be complaining. Phil Donohue, Hillary Clinton, they've been all booed off stages. You don't talk about that." (Transcript follows)
Reading Bob Novak's new book about his years as a Washington reporter, I came across his recollection about how back in 1980, when marginal income tax rates stood at 70 percent, political reporters considered it bizarre that then-candidate Ronald Reagan supported the Kemp-Roth plan to reduce income taxes by 30 percent. On page 357 of 'The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington' (Amazon's page), Novak related a conversation he had, the week before the 1980 election, with Walter Isaacson, then a new Time magazine reporter. Isaacson eventually moved up the ranks to run the magazine and later CNN:
The connection of Reagan's emphasis on tax reduction to his late  campaign surge was lost on reporters covering the Republican candidate. One of them was Walter Isaacson, a twenty-eight-year-old Time correspondent. The former Rhodes scholar, in his second year with the magazine, was given the plum assignment of covering Reagan. On the campaign trail that last week, he introduced himself to me and started a conversation about Reagan's and my tax-cutting views. He said he believed I was the only journalist he knew who actually supported Kemp-Roth, which accurately reflected the political press corps' mind-set. “I just wonder if you could explain to me how you got there,” he said. Walter sounded like a modern scientist encountering somebody who believed the earth was flat.
In recent years, the liberal press has become increasingly upset with conservative religious people who maintain the rightfulness of having their political views stem from their religious ones on issues like abortion, gay rights, and welfare. Such views, according to the media, are illegitmate and even threaten the balance of church and state within our society.
Trouble is, though, liberal journalists don't apply this standard consistently. While the media are adamantly opposed to religious motivations on cultural issues, rarely do you hear the media grouse about Christians and Jews who oppose capital punishment on religious grounds. That's because religion is like anything else to the radical left--a means to an end. In the eyes of the media, the moral value of anything or anyone is directly proportional to its usefulness to liberalism.
It's for this reason that I highly doubt you'll hear any complaints from the press gallery about the latest initiative of Pope Benedict XVI, promoting the idea of human-caused global warming:
After first extolling the "F--- Bush" headline, MSNBC's David Shuster, substituting for Tucker Carlson today, later engaged in a grotesque game of "gotcha," exploiting an Amercan soldier killed in Iraq to make his partisan point.
Chatting with Newsweek's Richard Wolffe and MSNBC analyst Craig Crawford, talk turned to the controversy surrounding the editorial in the Colorado State student newspaper headlined "Taser This: F--- Bush" [f-word spelled out in headline].
Wolffe went first, and was patently delighted by the incident. With a hearty grin, he observed . . .
Early this summer, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign for president learned that the men’s magazine GQ was working on a story the campaign was sure to hate: an account of infighting in Hillaryland. So Clinton’s aides pulled a page from the book of Hollywood publicists and offered GQ a stark choice: Kill the piece, or lose access to planned celebrity coverboy Bill Clinton.
Despite internal protests, GQ editor Jim Nelson met the Clinton campaign’s demands, which had been delivered by Bill Clinton’s spokesman, Jay Carson, several sources familiar with the conversations said. Source
Scott Pelley conducted a very tough interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad which aired on Sunday's 60 Minutes, but on Monday’s Early Show Pelley was very generous in his personal assessment of the man. Host Harry Smith and Pelley agreed that Ahmadinejad is "crazy like a fox" while Pelley also hailed Ahmadinejad as "incorruptible" and "modest." Pelley contended the dictator, who denies the Holocaust, wants Israel destroyed and is causing the deaths of U.S. soldiers in Iraq, is a lot smarter than Westerners believe and is even a "friendly" guy:
The important thing, I think, Harry, to understand, he's described in the West as a madman, crazy, that's not the case. I found him to be as many politicians are, very engaging, very friendly, he's clearly not mad, he's sane. In fact, he's very wily I would tell you.
Maybe Ahmadinejad should announce his candidacy for 2008?
MSNBC.com highlights the AP story with the headline "Gay characters disappearing from network TV." But as is often typically the case, the situation is not as dire as it seems. The first paragraph reads:
A new report says a total of seven series on the five broadcast networks feature regular lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) characters this season, down from nine last season. The number has dropped for the past three years, according to the annual "Where We Are on TV" study by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
"Studies" of this type will never produce "satisfactory" results since they would require an increase every year! In addition, with the "massive" decrease of two whole shows not featuring gay characters this season, doesn't this mean that it is likely some other "underrepresented group" thus gained representation?
While ABC’s Chris Cuomo played softball with Columbia University president Lee Bollinger on the upcoming speech of Iranian president Ahmadinejad, CNN’s John Roberts directed tough questions to John Coatsworth, dean for Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. Roberts opened the interview with a question which summarized Ahmadinejad’s record. "Here's a leader who's advocated the destruction of Israel, denied the Holocaust, and is accused by our government, the United States government, of supplying both fighters and equipment to insurgents in Iraq, to kill U.S. troops. Why would you ever want him on your campus?"
That great liberal electronic short bus that is the Daily Kos offered the blogosphere another gem yesterday morning. DKos diarist laxmatt posted a poll on Sunday giving readers two choices for U.S. president, the current occupant George W. Bush or Iran's Mahmoud "Holocaust? What Holocaust?" Ahmadinejad.
The question reads, "I would rather have as President of the United States..." and lists the aforementioned presidents. I suppose this is on the same wavelength as the HuffPo blogger who said that at least Hitler, unlike President Bush, "meant well."
Roughly 24 hours after laxmatt posted his poll, Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs found that Bush was leading but A-jad still had a respectable plurality in his favor: 45 percent.
At the time of this posting, Bush's lead is up, but roughly 4 in 10 poll respondents still would prefer the music-hating, Sharia law-loving A-jad.
For a comprehensive listing of NewsBusters coverage of Daily Kos, click here.
Democratic presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton appeared on all five Sunday morning interview shows, but not all raised two controversies of interest to conservatives and, even when they did, not all took a tough approach to her lack of condemnation of MoveOn.org's “General Betray Us” ad and the donations gathered for her by now-captured fugitive Norman Hsu. ABC's George Stephanopoulos and NBC's Tim Russert brought up both matters -- though Stephanopoulos did so in the gentlest way -- CBS's Bob Schieffer asked about Hsu and not “Betray Us,” while Fox's Chris Wallace and CNN's Wolf Blitzer skipped Hsu but raised “Betray Us.”
No one pressed Clinton on how at the hearing with General Petraeus she said his report required “the willing suspension of disbelief.” Only Wallace, on Fox News Sunday, pointed out how Clinton had voted against a Senate resolution condemning the MoveOn ad: “Senator, you have refused to criticize the MoveOn.org ad about General Petraeus. And in fact, this week you voted against a Senate resolution denouncing it.” In contrast, on ABC's This Week, Stephanopoulos presumed Clinton was disturbed by the ad as he asked: “Why not speak out earlier?” On the Hsu case, Stephanopoulos approached the issue from the concerns of other Democrats: “A lot of people look at this and say they're afraid they're going to go back to the days of 1996 when there were some campaign finance violations that many Democrats feel cost President Clinton a couple of points in the final days of the election. How do you assure them that's not going to happen again?” Only NBC's Russert, on Meet the Press, used Hsu to remind viewers of Johnny Chung's illegal 1996 donations to the Bill Clinton campaign.
Los Angeles Times reporter Matt Lait failed to inform readers that a critic of overcrowded jails is himself a convicted felon. [No, this is not a NewsBusted joke but check the bottom of the post if you want to make it one.]
What's more, Stephen Yagman is no petty one-time offender, notes Patterico:
There’s just one little thing about Yagman that The Times’s Matt Lait neglects to mention: Yagman is going to have a hard time continuing to represent these inmates . . . because he has been convicted of numerous felonies in federal court, and is likely headed to federal prison.
Indeed, the State Bar has taken notice, and has put Yagman on interim suspension. As the Metropolitan News-Enterprisereported on September 14:
Journalists like to tell us about their professionalism and the many layers of editors that ensure their accuracy. However, somewhere in those layers of editors, have reporters lost the ability to perform basic research? In the case of Reuters reporter Jeff Mason, it would seem to be so. Mason wrote an article on California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Monday speech on global warming, in which he wrote,
President George W. Bush pulled the United States out of the Kyoto accord, saying it unfairly burdened rich countries while exempting developing countries like China and India.
It's not enough that the media is waving the white flag of defeat in Iraq but now they're declaring yet another war lost. NBC's "Today" co-host Meredith Vieira seemed so convinced that the U.S. had lost the war in Afghanistan she was perplexed when Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai didn't share her assessment of failure. On the Monday "Today" show, in a taped interview, a bewildered Vieira responded to Karzai's statement of victory with: "What have you won?"
The following exchange occurred in the 7am half-hour of the September 24, NBC "Today" show:
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," co-anchor Chris Cuomo conducted a mostly softball interview with Columbia University President Lee Bollinger about his decision to host Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the prestigious school. Rather than grill the University president about the unpopular decision, Cuomo offered friendly questions, such as when he wondered, "What value do you think Ahmadinejad's comments will add to the debate in this country?"
The ABC host also appeared to have left an actually compelling question on the cutting room floor. At the end of what was apparently a pre-taped piece, Cuomo observed to co-host Diane Sawyer that Bollinger would consider inviting Osama bin Laden. He claimed, "Even when we brought up Osama bin Laden for an invitation, it wasn't dismissed. No one was dismissed." And yet, that query isn’t actually in the segment at all. Wouldn’t such a shocking answer be big news? At the very least, one would assume, that quote would be included in the interview. It should also be noted that Sawyer responded defensively to Cuomo even referencing the missing bin Laden question. She quickly added, "Yes, but [Bollinger] says the invitation has not gone to Osama bin Laden."
Scientists from all over the world are coming out strongly against an inexcusably hysterical article recently published by the planet's leading wire service.
As NewsBusters reported Saturday, the Associated Press published an unbelievably disgraceful article about global warming induced sea level rises supposedly destined to wipe out large amounts of American coastal communities in the next 100 years.
Do student journalists understand the difference between free speech and common sense? If they are at Colorado State University, the answer appears to be a resounding no. According to the Associated Press, the editorial staff of the student-run Colorado State University newspaper The Rocky Mountain Collegian published an editorial which in its entirety read'Taser This... F*** Bush'. Then the student staff claimed that it was all about free speech,
Collegian Editor David McSwane said a group of seven student editors discussed the statement for several hours before agreeing to publish it. "We felt it illustrated our point about freedom of speech," McSwane told 7NEWS. "I think we could write 250 words and ramble on and I don't think anyone would pay attention."
When liberal journalists put on their political pundit hats to ostensibly handicap the policy stances of Republican politicians, you can rest assured that conservative or center-right stances will almost always be panned as political/electoral suicide.
Time magazine's Karen Tumulty is no exception in her recent Swampland blog post, "SCHIP: A Really Dumb Fight for Bush to Pick." in which the veteran reporter took President Bush to task for his veto threat for Democratic legislation that seeks to expand the size and mandate of the federally-backed State Children's Health Insurance Plans (SCHIP).
Over at Times Watch, I've been pretty hard on New York Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt -- finding most of the biweekly columns from the paper's inside watchdog to suffer from either an excess of corporate loyalty or to be simply pointless (when he's not sniping at the paper from the left).
So it was particularly surprising when Hoyt actually unbuckled his company badge to tackle an issue raised by conservatives -- the inflammatory MoveOn.org ad -- in his Sunday Week in Review column. Hoyt did some actual reporting and got a belated admission of error that the paper's actual news reporters were unable to uncover: It was a mistake to grant MoveOn.org a deep discount for its infantile attack ad against Gen. David Petraeus that appeared the very day he testified before Congress.
"For nearly two weeks, The New York Times has been defending a political advertisement that critics say was an unfair shot at the American commander in Iraq.
I wonder how many NewsBusters readers knew they were racist.
After all, if the New York Times publishes a column saying that we are, it's got to be so given that it is the paper of record in this country, correct?
Ironically, it does seem fitting days after the civil rights protests in Jena, Louisiana, that one of the Times' leading columnists would point fingers at the Party largely responsible for getting civil rights laws passed four decades ago.
Yet, that didn't stop the Times' Paul Krugman, as facts never seem to matter whenever he puts his fingers on a keyboard. As such, for those that can stomach it, here were the lowlights of his "Politics in Black and White" (emphasis added throughout):
A columnist from a Chicago suburban paper has equated smoking to abortion in order to explain away her support of an abortion mill struggling to open in Aurora, Illinois. Saying that since smoking is legal, and it “kills” people, why shouldn't abortion be legal, we find her reasoning is strained and absurd. If there’s a more ridiculous comparison out there, I'd like to see it. Following her tortured logic, we should outlaw everything that might kill someone if we also outlaw abortion -- which WILL kill someone.
There are so many specious arguments that this supporter of infanticide tries to use in this article to support abortion that it must spin the head of most readers. The whole thing has a feel like the author of the column, Joni Hirsch-Blackman, is throwing just about everything she can think of against a wall to see what sticks quite regardless of any logic or sense to it all.
After simple-mindedly explaining that "Tobacco kills," which in reality is not a literal truth because often times it does not, Hirsch-Blackman explains that, while she "sneers" at smokers, she would never protest against it because it is legal.