For those who think that sports broadcasts might offer a respite from liberal media spin . . . think again. At least when it comes to ESPN [an arm of ABC] the same ESPN that forced Rush Limbaugh out from his position as an NFL commentator for expressing his views on QB Donovan McNabb.
ABC chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross, along with colleague Richard Esposito, reported at “The Blotter” blog on Monday that they have been informed by a “senior federal law enforcement official” that their phone calls are being monitored to identify confidential sources: “‘It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick,’ the source told us in an in-person conversation.”
The blog continued: “Other sources have told us that phone calls and contacts by reporters for ABC News, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, are being examined as part of a widespread CIA leak investigation.”
Why do Ross and Esposito believe they are being targeted? “Our reports on the CIA's secret prisons in Romania and Poland were known to have upset CIA officials. The CIA asked for an FBI investigation of leaks of classified information following those reports.” And: “People questioned by the FBI about leaks of intelligence information say the CIA was also disturbed by ABC News reports that revealed the use of CIA predator missiles inside Pakistan.”
Yet, Ross and Esposito confirmed what the administration has claimed about this program that is contrary to a recent USA Today cover story and most drive-by media reports on the subject:
Following President Bush's Monday night prime time address on immigration, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann ruminated to Chris Matthews: “Could he also be kind of back-dooring changes in the personnel totals in Iraq with this because, as Dick Durbin did point out in the Democratic response, an assignment of 6,000 National Guards troops is not just 6,000 guys going to the Southwestern borders of this country, it involves a lot more people and could provide at least a reason to bring people back from Iraq and Afghanistan out of the Guard. Could it not do that? Could he not be, in a sense, saying that?" Matthews called Durbin "generous in his math" in estimating 150,000 National Guard members will be needed over two years to maintain 6,000 on the border, before Olbermann again prodded Matthews with his contention: "Don't they have to come from Iraq? In other words, could this be the way, you know, as I said, a backdoor way for the President to say, 'Well, I've got to bring these people in for this pressing urgent issue on the Mexican border and we have got to just coincidentally reduce troop levels by removing the National Guard from Iraq and Afghanistan?'"
CNN aired live footage of President Bush rehearsing for his address to the nation. The following video shows CNN political contributor Jeff Greenfield commenting before the feed cuts into Bush in the Oval Office. Bush abruptly stops and seems embarassed as he looks for advice from his media advisors. After over 15 seconds of showing Bush, CNN cut back in pre-speech coverage with an apology from Wolf Blitzer. CNN was the only network that "accidentally" cut into the Oval Office.
George Will is fond of saying that American politics is played between the 40-yard-lines. Well, according to the Denver Post, Republicans are somewhere in the shadows of their own goalposts:
As the deadlines to get on the ballot near, all but one of eight Republicans vying to replace Joel Hefley in Colorado's 5th Congressional District are running hard to the extreme right - touting views against abortion, gay marriage and stem-cell research.
Never mind that support for Roe in its current form is now the minority position. Never mind that gay marriage runs behind even Walter Mondale at the polls. And never mind that the stem cell debate is, at this point, about federal funding rather than the research itself. These positions are "extreme."
Mumin Salih writes in Islam Watch, a blog of ex-Muslims, that the Arab satellite news channel Al-Jazeera was given legitimacy by the West when American and British politicians "joined the race with their desire to appear on this channel to address the Arab people." The Western media has not helped, either, who "are engaged in a mission of self-flagellation and self-blaming for all the faults in the world including the terror crimes."
Since its launch in 1995, Aljazeera followed a consistent anti-American policy. Its clever editing and broadcasting made the un-informed and gullible audience think of Aljazeera as an impartial news channel. At the same time it was directing the minds of that simple audience to its mindset of thinking. This mindset is normally an anti American one. Even when America sided with the Muslims of former Yougoslavia and intervened for their protection, the channel could not hide its position vis-à-vis Milosevic, the Serbian leader who was seen as a friend and ally by the Iraqi dictator. The Iraqi leader awarded Milosevic with the highest Iraqi Medal!
Aljazeera came to be known to the west after the terrorists’ attacks on 9/11 and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. By then, its alliances with Taliban, Alqaeda and Saddam were difficult to hide. Their reporters were given previliges by those terrorist organizations not given to any one else. Aljazeera’s news footages were broadcast everywhere by western channels providing Aljazeera with free worldwide publicity.
In Monday's NY Times, pro-Democratic congressional reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg lauds yet another prominent and controversial Democrat. Stolberg puts what (even for her) is some pretty impressive pro-Kennedy family spin on Rep. Patrick Kennedy's recent Capitol Hill car crash, complete with a helpful headline portraying Kennedy as a crusading victim: "For a Kennedy, Fighting the Stigma of Mental Illness Becomes Personal."
"He has attributed the accident to confusion caused by two medicines, Ambien, a sleep aid, and Phenergan, for gastric distress. Medical experts say his explanation for the accident is plausible, though the Capitol Police, who complained that their supervisors barred sobriety testing, said they suspected that Mr. Kennedy had been drinking. He said he had not."
In an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos aired on Sunday's This Week, First Lady Laura Bush rejected the notion the media are “unfair” to her husband, but citing how the press puts low approval polls on the front page and how those she meets around the nation aren't nearly as downbeat as the media portray, she charged that “I think they're maybe enjoying this a little bit. I mean, that's what it seems like.” To which Stephanopoulos, surprised by the suggestion, exclaimed: "Enjoying it?" Mrs. Bush elaborated: "That's what it seems like a little when I read it in the paper. Because it isn't really what I see everywhere. I mean, I travel all around our country. I go to every part of our country, and what I see is that Americans are standing with our troops. They want them to succeed. They want them to be successful. They want the Iraqi people to be successful. They want the people in Afghanistan to be successful, and they want to rebuild the Gulf Coast. I mean, that's what I see everywhere in our country."
Co-opting liberal rhetoric in the immigration debate, ABC's Dan Harris asked viewers, "What is the higher biblical priority, being a Good Samaritan, or upholding the law," while heading out to commercial on the May 14 "World News Tonight."
Aside from displaying a simplistic liberal agenda-friendly interpretation of Christian Scripture, the rhetoric Harris borrowed came straight from the mouth of woman featured in his story.
"Anyone who believes" Jesus's parables "should be
outraged that … the government is making it a crime to be a Good
Samaritan," activist Maryada Vallet was quoted in a January 20 Religion News Service article.
Vallet's work for "No More Deaths"-- a group which refuses to alert the Border Patrol to the location of illegal immigrants -- has been documented elsewhere in print, including the Scottsdale Times.
More grist for the media-corporations-are-conservative crowd, proving that life is a little more complicated than Noam Chomsky preaches:
"This is how poisonous it's gotten in Washington," says a consulting
lobbyist for a broadcast network. "You have Republicans taking money
from companies and firms working to end their control of Congress, and
even worse, working with outfits like MoveOn.org. And they are taking
this money to not only help groups dedicated to defeating Republicans,
but also for legislation that would regulate the Internet." [...]
makes [Republican lobbyist Vin] Weber's cynical support of the
legislation even worse, say Republican Hill staffers, is that his
activities also aid MoveOn.org, the extremist, left-wing organization,
which is now being financially backed by Google so that MoveOn can help
Google with "Net Neutrality." Google has become the single largest
private corporate underwriter of MoveOn. According to sources in the
Democrat National Committee, MoveOn has received more than $1 million
from Google and its lobbyists in Washington to create grassroots
support for the Internet regulation legislation. Some of that money has
gone to an online petition drive and a letter-writing campaign, but the
majority of that money is being used to fund their activities against
Republicans out in the states.
For example, MoveOn is said
by one DNC source to have funneled at least $100,000 "Net Neutrality"
money to its operations in Pennsylvania (where MoveOn is organizing
against Sen. Rick Santorum). It has also sent funds to Florida, Ohio,
New White House press secretary Tony Snow never thought it would be this hard. Unlike most press secretaries, Snow had little time to prepare for the job. He thought he could tame the rowdy press corps, but during his first press gaggle, held in his office, he did nothing of the sort.
In a chaotic and contentious first outing — a dress rehearsal of sorts for his first televised briefing Tuesday — Snow was asked about the Bush administration's domestic spying program, about the reports that it had collected vast data on Americans' phone-calling habits and whether all this would sink Bush's nominee for CIA director.
Business Week reports that CNN founder Ted Turner is leaving the media world for good, and will spend more time promoting his restaurant chain, Ted's Montana Grill. He is leaving at the comparatively young age of 67, younger than his archrival and Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch, who is 75.
Turner will leave the board of Time Warner, and Business Week says he is "just tired of the game." The final straw was the board's "decision in February to sell his Turner South sports network to Murdoch."
"If I only had a little humility, I would be perfect." Ted Turner always managed to give us good quote. For that alone, we will miss the outrageous from Captain Courageous, as he became known for his yachting prowess. On May 19, Robert Edward Turner III bids adieu to the media world when he steps off the Time Warner Inc. (TWX ) board at the company's annual meeting in Atlanta. Except for his remaining 33 million Time Warner shares, Turner's resignation will sever his ties to the media industry, ending a prolific career that began in 1961 when the Brown University dropout joined his father's billboard business.
The outspoken proprietor of The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington, had some extremely harsh words for senator and presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. In a Sunday post entitled “Cracking the Hillary Code,” Huffington used the occasion of the release of the film “The Da Vinci Code” to compare and contrast the recent activities of America’s former first lady: “Unlocking the latest Clinton cryptex, we find not a papyrus map but other kinds of symbolic clues: Making headlines with her warm assessment of Bush. Partying with a Who's Who of the GOP power elite, including Karl Rove, Karen Hughes, Tom DeLay, and Bill Frist. Planning a fundraiser to be hosted by -- wait for it -- Rupert Murdoch.”
Huffington was just warming up, although her next statement has been obvious to many Americans since Hillary and her prevaricating husband first rose on the national scene in 1991: “It doesn't take a dashing Harvard symbologist and a sexy French cryptographer to figure this one out. Hillary Clinton is determined to single-handedly remove every last vestige of authenticity from American politics.”
That’s like saying the sun sets in the West, Arianna. From there, Huffington continued stating the obvious, though it’s always marvelous reading the truth as written by someone from her current side of the aisle:
On May 13, Saturday Night Live allowed Al Gore to plug his global warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, not once, but twice. As Noel Sheppard has already reported, Gore opened the program with an "alternate" address from "President" Gore. This bizarro-Gore reviewed the achievements of stopping global warming, balancing the budget and providing universal health care. The second segment that the former Vice President appeared in was even more sanctimonious. Weekend Update co-host Tina Fey introduced the sketch at 12:15AM EDT:
Fey: "Okay, so thank you for being here and, uh, global warming is a scientific fact. It’s happening. We’re not going to debate that. So for tonight’s point/counterpoint, Vice President Gore will take the point that global warming is bad. And Amy will defend her personal point of view that global warming is awesome."
It’s not very often that a reporter for a major cable news network will openly express their desire to see political change, but viewers of CNN’s In The Money on May 13 heardjust that. CNN Headline News correspondent Jennifer Westhoven was interviewing the New America Foundation’s Len Nichols, along with Money host Jack Cafferty and CNN business contributor Andy Serwer, on the new Medicare prescription drug benefit. Following Nichols’ conclusion that the Bush administration was "far right of the edge" on health care policy, Westhoven wrapped up the interview by expressing her desire to see "different" political leaders [i.e. Democrats] in office.
Len Nichols: "...I would say it’s very important to keep a distinction between the Bush administration’s philosophy and Republican philosophy. In my opinion, the Bush administration is the far-right of the edge, and most Republicans are not there, which is why Chuck Grassley, the chair of Senate Finance, among others, have worked very hard to try to correct the mistakes of this implementation process and I think as we go forward we do have hope of bipartisan success."
Jennifer Westhoven: "Len Nichols, director of the health policy program at the New America Foundation. Thank you very much. And we will hope that there’ll be maybe some different political leaders at some point, maybe after the elections, who are looking out for people who are getting left out by some of these programs. Thank you."
Remember the scene in "The Naked Gun" when Leslie Neilsen (as incompetent cop Frank Drebbin) is working undercover at a baseball game as opera singer "Enrico Palazzo," and botches the National Anthem on live TV?
The scene shifts then to the real Palazzo, bound and gagged in a locker room with a TV, writhing in anger and despair as he watches Drebbin butcher the anthem under Palazzo’s name.
It wasn’t quite that dire, but as Biased BBC reports, the BBC’s 24-hour news channel made a similar faux pas a few days ago.
"BBC News 24 cocked things up big time last Monday when they interviewed respected technology commentator Guy Kewney on the outcome of the Apple Computer vs. Apple Music case. Except, rather than place Mr. Kewney in front of lightweight Karen Bowerman, they chose his taxi driver for her to interview instead. Bowerman proceeded to interview the taxi driver, whose Frank Spencer style expressions, when he realises their mistake, are priceless!"
Much of the debate about high gasoline prices involves allegations that oil companies are 'gouging' and making 'windfall profits.' So if you were an MSM show preparing a graphic display of the various components that add up to the price of gas at the pump, the one thing you would be sure to separately break out would be profit, wouldn't it?
Not if you're the Today show. Not if you want to camouflage the fact that, in fact, the government's take via taxes dwarfs the amount that the various levels of commerce take in profit.
In conjunction with the appearance of Chevron CEO David O'Reilly, this morning's 'Today' ran just such a graphic display of the components of the price of a gallon of gas. The first panel showed that the cost of crude oil contributes $1.67 per gallon. Next was taxes, 44 cents. Now, you might have thought that the final panel would have shown profit. But no. Instead of separating out profit, Today displayed a panel mystifyingly lumping in profit with "refining and transportation" for a total of 78 cents, or roughly double government's tax take.
Peter Johnson of USA Today profiled Meredith Vieira, the incoming co-host of "Today" on NBC, and at the very end of the piece, we "conservative bloggers" made a brief entrance:
Then there was the peace rally she attended with Lily at the 2004 Republican National Convention, which conservative bloggers dug up when NBC announced that she would succeed Couric.
"I have a lot of issues with what's going on in this country, and I wanted my daughter to see what this process is like," says Vieira, who describes herself as "in the middle" politically. "I don't regret anything, but now I have to be objective. I won't preface an interview with 'I think you're a stupid idiot, but what do you think about ... ?' "
In April and May, the Washington Post devoted very heavy resources to covering pro-illegal immigration protests. When a contingent of the Minutemen came to Washington for their turn – and a much smaller group it was, estimated by the Post at "about 150 people," awfully tiny by D.C. standards – how would the Post greet their chance to speak? In Saturday’s Post, they did get a small box at the top of the front page, on how they were "fired up over a proposal to give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship."
Consider that a remedial shout-out, following behind the massive coverage the amnesty rallies received. But the actual story was on B-3, not even the front of the Metro section.What went on the front of the Metro section instead? To a Minuteman from out of town, it must have looked awfully puzzling. Hogging the attention on B-1, with large color photos, was a story about prom-goers in New Orleans. New Orleans? The story by Annie Gowen was a followup to a A-1 story on Friday, also with color pictures, and it wasn’t until you turned inside the B section that you discovered what on Earth would make proms in New Orleans a D.C. "Metro" story – an 18-year-old girl from Beltsville, Maryland held a local dress drive that provided 2,800 gowns.
With gas prices likely to head higher over the summer, expect urban
liberal journalists to step up their campaign to get everyone to not
just vote like them, but to live like them as well. The suburbs aren't
going away anytime soon, though, regardless of what Iran or Katie
Couric might do.
Kotkin has an interesting article in Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle which argues
that high gas prices will not only not kill off suburbia, they will actually
make more people want to move in.
Predictions of the demise of suburbia, choked to death by high gasoline prices, may be greatly exaggerated.
wisdom suggests that high prices at the pump mean less driving and,
hence, the withering of far-flung suburbs, whose residents must drive
to jobs, shopping and recreation. [...]
Inquirer commentary page editor John Timpane, for example, suggests
that high prices at the pump will lead to a return to the much
mythologized urban past. He calls it, "Driving us back to the way we
were." [...] CNN
recently published a study that suggested that the "best cities" in an
oil crisis are those much-loved traditional cities such as San
Francisco, New York, Boston and Chicago.
It must have been a dream come true for the folks at NBC, as well as all those associated with the long-time comedy variety show “Saturday Night Live.” Last night, NBC welcomed former vice president Al Gore to open the show posing as America’s president addressing the American people five years after having "overwhelmingly" won in 2000 (hat tip to Expose the Left with video link to follow). In reality, despite the obvious left-leaning bias, this was a good piece of comedy, with Gore doing a very fine job. Some of the highlights:
“In the last 6 years we have been able to stop global warming. No one could have predicted the negative results of this. Glaciers that once were melting are now on the attack.”
“Right now, in the 2nd week of May 2006, we are facing perhaps the worst gas crisis in history. We have way too much gasoline. Gas is down to $0.19 a gallon and the oil companies are hurting. I know that I am partly to blame by insisting that cars run on trash. I am therefore proposing a federal bailout to our oil companies because - hey if it were the other way around, you know the oil companies would help us.”
“On a positive note, we worked hard to save Welfare, fix Social Security and of course provide the free universal health care we all enjoy today. But all this came at a high cost. As I speak, the gigantic national budget surplus is down to a perilously low $11 trillion dollars.”
“There are some of you that want to spend our money on some made-up war. To you I say: what part of ‘lockbox’ don't you understand?”
“There have been some setbacks. Unfortunately, the confirmation process for Supreme Court Justice Michael Moore was bitter and divisive. However, I could not be more proud of how the House and Senate pulled together to confirm the nomination of Chief Justice George Clooney.”
What follows is a full transcript of this sketch courtesy of Crooks and Liars, and a video link courtesy of Expose the Left.
If I'm to believe The New York Times, former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio is a hero for not allowing the National Security Agency to have records of phone calls:
Mr. Nacchio learned that no warrant had been granted and that there was a "disinclination on the part of the authorities to use any legal process," said the lawyer, Herbert J. Stern. As a result, the statement said, Mr. Nacchio concluded that "the requests violated the privacy requirements of the Telecommunications Act."
..... Qwest was the only phone company to turn down requests from the security agency for phone records as part of a program to compile a vast database of numbers and other information on virtually all domestic calls. The program's scope was first described in an article published on Thursday by USA Today that led to an outpouring of demands for information from Congressional Republicans and Democrats. The article said that AT&T, BellSouth and Verizon had agreed to provide the information to the security agency.
Incredibly, the article makes no mention of a "little" problem Mr. Nacchio is facing these days:
The front page of Saturday's Style section in the Washington Post carried an article on commencement addresses by Don Oldenburg. But the really amazing nugget came about 25 paragraphs in:
Most universities settle for small-splash speakers such as state politicians or captains of local industry, but others aggressively enter the celebrity lottery. Generally this means bestowing an honorary degree and covering travel expenses, rather than paying a fee...But some offer big bucks. Katie Couric, the soon-to-be CBS anchor, will receive $110,000 to speak at the University of Oklahoma's commencement -- all paid for from private funds, the university emphasizes.
Tonight (Sunday, May 14 at 8pm EDT/PDT, 7pm CDT/MDT) NBC will air the final episode of The West Wing. Since its debut in September of 1999 when "President Josiah Bartlet," played by Martin Sheen, told some cartoon-ish conservative religious leaders to "get your fat asses out of my White House" (an episode NBC will re-air before the final episode), the prime time drama regularly advocated liberal policies and showcased liberal causes. The MRC has compiled text and video/audio for a "Top Ten Left Wing Scenes on NBC's The West Wing" presentation of some of the program's most notorious liberal moments and crusades. Actually, you'll find nine scenes pushing liberal ideas followed by one unusual scene which mocked liberal opposition to tax cuts.
House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Michigan) wrote an op-ed in Saturday’s Los Angeles Times that should be must reading for all Americans, especially those that believe the leaking of national security information is actually a good thing if it helps your party regain power. In it, Hoekstra practically attacked USA Today for its recent front-page article concerning the National Security Agency collecting domestic phone records:
“WE ARE IN the first war of the Information Age, and we have a critical advantage over our enemy: We are far better at gathering intelligence. It's an advantage we must utilize, and it's keeping us safe. But every time classified national security information is leaked, our ability to gather information on those who would do us harm is eroded.”
Hoekstra continued: “We suffered a setback Thursday when USA Today ran a front-page story alleging that the National Security Agency was collecting domestic phone records. This article hurt our efforts to protect Americans by giving the enemy valuable insights into the Terrorist Surveillance Program, which has been focused like a laser beam on Al Qaeda and its known associates.”
Hoekstra then stepped forward to defend the actions of the NSA and the president:
Natalie Angier, the feminist writer for Science Times, best known as the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Woman: An Intimate Geography," hailed by Gloria Steinem as "nothing less than revolutionary biology," has a strange way of writing up Mother’s Day. She turns to the animal kingdom, and notes that many species are anything but maternal. On the front page of Tuesday's Science Times section, The article began:
"Oh, mothers! Dear noble, selfless, tender and ferocious defenders of progeny: How well you deserve our admiration as Mother’s Day draws near, and how photogenically you grace the greeting cards that we thrifty offspring will send in lieu of a proper gift." Then she explains that in nature, animal mothers are often heartless and cruel, from the guinea hen to the panda bear to the African black eagle.
If you're not outraged by the NSA program that monitors phone-calling patterns, you're probably . . . too dumb to understand its implications. That, in a nutshell, and I do mean nutshell, was Ellen Ratner's argument on this morning's 'Long & the Short of It' segment on Fox & Friends Weekend. Oh, well, that - and opening our borders with Mexico.
Host Julian Phillips [who expressed his personal opposition to the NSA program] put it to Ratner that "most Americans don't care about this. They say the NSA should do that to keep our security intact."
"Until some neighbor who might work at a spy agency gets their phone records and starts spewing it around town that somebody is talking to somebody or divorce records get subpoenaed or something like that. You know, most people don't understand the impact of how bad this really is."
It's the weekend, so under the more relaxed weekend rules, permit a somewhat aged item. Like a nice cheese. MRC's Geoff Dickens just recently found a Geraldo Rivera rant from the end of his syndicated show on the night of the May 1 work-boycott protest for illegal immigration.
They are demonstrating for justice and fair play for the 11 or 12 million living and working in the United States illegally. Many taking to the streets for these May 1st rallies are drawn from the community of the undocumented, others are citizens of the U.S. who, like myself, believe this nation of immigrants has room for more. Driven in part by the hysterical response of vigilante groups like the so-called Minutemen and by opportunistic congressmen who’d make felons of all those who are here illegally. Millions more of us today ask our fellow countrymen to treat the undocumented as honored guests.
Okay, selling Oprah as God-like has been done as a joke before, but Yahoo is highlighting an Ann Oldenburg article in USA Today taking it seriously, headlined "The divine Miss Winfrey?" Oldenburg began:
After two decades of searching for her authentic self -- exploring New Age theories, giving away cars, trotting out fat, recommending good books and tackling countless issues from serious to frivolous – Oprah Winfrey has risen to a new level of guru...Over the past year, Winfrey, 52, has emerged as a spiritual leader for the new millennium, a moral voice of authority for the nation.
"She's a really hip and materialistic Mother Teresa," says Kathryn Lofton, a professor at Reed College in Portland, Ore., who has written two papers analyzing the religious aspects of Winfrey. "Oprah has emerged as a symbolic figurehead of spirituality." (Later, Lofton added, "She's a moral monitor, using herself as the template against which she measures the decency of a nation.")
psychosis: 'A severe mental illness in which the person has lost contact with reality."
OK, I'm not kidding: judging from tonight's episode of Hardball, either the MSM is psychotic, or I am. You be the armchair psychiatrist.
Chris Matthews' guest was NY Times media reporter Bill Carter. Matthews, discussing W's low poll numbers, observed:
"Bush is down there, Lou Harris, a liberal pollster, let's get straight on that, has got him down at 29. Is it too easy now to bash him? Even the money guys now in our business are saying, 'hit him again'. Is it too easy now to bash him?"
Carter: "You have to say, the media didn't go after him for a long time."