A week after NBC's Law & Order aired an episode revolving around an Ann Coulter-like character (NewsBusters item with video) whose anti-embryonic stem cell research position so angered a student suffering from Parkinson's disease that he tried to kill her (but his gunshot kills an innocent student), tonight's (Friday) episode is inspired by the Ted Haggard case -- though with the added twist of murder. From TV Guide.com:
“A popular reverend is suspected of a gay actor's murder when it is discovered the victim threatened to out the pastor and expose his hypocritical stance on homosexuality.”
Tim Russert, Washington bureau chief of NBC News, walks with the aid of crutches as he leaves U.S. Federal Court, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2007, in Washington. Russert is key prosecution witness in the I Lewis 'Scooter' Libby CIA leak trial. (AP Phoito/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' inflammatory new campaign bloggers Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan will be retained by the campaign after making public apologies for past postings that were controversial, to put it mildly. In a surprise, the New York Times played the story on Friday's front page, albeit under the mild headline "Edwards Learns Campaign Blogs Can Cut 2 Ways").
Marcotte is notorious for a January 7 post on the Duke lacrosse "rape" case, one she later eliminated after it became an issue after her hiring: "Can't a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it? So unfair."
The left-leaning media are so predictable, aren’t they? Regardless of the well-documented recent failings of the United Nations – the Oil-for-Food scandal, the sex scandals, you name it – America’s press just can’t bring themselves to question anything that comes out of this corrupt body.
Such was certainly the case in devout liberal Ellen Goodman’s Boston Globe piece Friday concerning global warming (emphasis mine throughout):
By every measure, the U N 's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change raises the level of alarm. The fact of global warming is "unequivocal." The certainty of the human role is now somewhere over 90 percent. Which is about as certain as scientists ever get.
Game, set, and match for Goodman. Yet, this wasn’t nearly as unequivocal as she got:
The City of Brotherly Love could soon become the second major U.S. city to ban trans fats from its eateries, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported today. The new law passed the city council unanimously and awaits Mayor John Street's signature.
So you'd think in a city like Philly you'd have plenty of people who would find such a ban ridiculous, and would not be shy about telling some reporters the same. That may well be the case, but in today's paper, the Inquirer's Patrick Kerkstra and Julie Stoiber only gave readers one critic of the ban, an official at the American Academy of Chefs. In fact:
With Barbara Walters away, whom did ABC choose to guest host The View today? A woman who thinks a 9-11 nutcase is "so great." Singing the nutcase's praises in the screencap is Christine Ebersole, a Broadway actress and former Saturday Night Live cast member, I've learned. And there she was, guest hosting on this morning's View, when she let this drop:
"I'm going through 'the change' in my life."
That was good for a high-five with Rosie, who said she is, too.
Ebersole explained that one symptom is insomnia, which has turned her into a YouTube addict. Speaking of her YouTube favorites, she continued:
Is Al Gore a prophet? This was a suggestion made by Harry Smith in yet another one-sided story on CBS about global warming. Smith interviewed former Vice President Al Gore and Richard Branson, the Chairman of Virgin Group to discuss actions they are taking to combat, what they claim, is man-made global warming. During the segment, Smith seemingly urged Al Gore to run for President -- "would you not be better off trying to affect this change from the White House?" -- and CBS displayed its agreement with Gore and Branson’s approach, running the graphic "Saving the Planet" on screen throughout the almost five minute long segment.
Gore and Branson, appearing in the 7:00 half hour of the "Early Show," discussed a reward offer, where they are offering $25 million to a scientist who can figure out a way to extract carbon from the atmosphere. But, Mr. Smith lamented that this idea sounded like the men were giving up on the idea of conservation and reducing emissions:
This week, Chris Matthews' anti-Bush bigotry spilled over into a profanity laden rant. The "Hardball" host dropped the F-bomb during a live interview with Don Imus.
Meanwhile, CNN’s Paula Zahn connected opposition of illegal immigration to, you guessed it, the Ku Klux Klan. This is the same network, however, that tried to downplay proven religious bigotry by a blogger for the John Edwards campaign.
Over on ABC, "Good Morning America" anchor Diane Sawyer spent the week in Syria. She let the despotism of President Bashar Assad go mostly unchallenged.
During other segments, Sawyer chose to ask him about video games and whether he uses an iPod.
The highly anticipated report from the Pentagon’s acting inspector general concerning prewar intelligence was released on Thursday, and depending on the media outlet you rely on for information, the determination was either that “officials did nothing illegal,” or their reporting was of “dubious quality and reliability.”
As a result, it appears that if a media outlet wanted to present a negative picture of what the Bush administration did with intelligence before the war, it could. Conversely, if another organization wanted to depict the opposite, that was possible, too.
For instance, one of the most consistently antiwar writers has been Walter Pincus of the Washington Post who actually wrote about bad intelligence information days before the war began. On Friday, he wrote this in the first paragraph of an article on the Pentagon report published on WaPo’s front page (emphasis mine throughout):
Last weekend, the Chicago Sun-Times gave nearly an entire page in their "Controversy" Section to a man who feels America is under attack by a radical, religion that is inseparable from Nazi Fascism. He feels it is a hateful religion that is out to destroy America and everything it stands for and it must be stopped at all costs.
No he did not mean Islamism, amazingly enough, but Christianity.
There are times when people find their lives empty and begin to look for a "new" way of life. Sometimes they find that life in a cult and become brainwashed converts like "Azzam The American", the recent American born al Qaeda mouthpiece, or Johnny Lindh Walker, the young enemy combatant from California who was caught fighting for al Qaeda against US forces. If one looks for something, one usually finds it. And too often when what is being looked for is found, it causes more trouble than it really is due or takes on a larger meaning than reality permits. The saying "Be careful what you wish for comes to mind.
A full court press is underway to re-brand self described anarchist Josh Wolf as an embattled journalist who is being wrongly imprisoned for refusing to "divulge his sources". Wolf, whose pen name is "insurgent" on his new blog The Revolution Will Be Televised, has been sitting behind bars on and off for a total of 169 days as of Tuesday February 6th. (Wolf's old blog at thisrevolution.blogspot.com comes complete with the header "I live in San Francisco. I'm an artist, an activist, an anarchist and an archivist; this is my videoblog.").
Is the man running to be president . . . or Saint Barack of Chicago? Hard to tell after GMA's hagiography this morning. The segment was a run-up to Obama's planned announcement tomorrow of his presidential intentions.
Obama's own advertising consultants might have balked at the presentation as too over-the-top in its worshipful tone and substance. Here's what we got:
Robin Roberts introduced the segment by saying that while Barack is a presidential front-runner, "he may also be the least well known." Was that Robin's way of disputing HIllary's claim to being "the most famous person you don't know"?
Claire Shipman narrated the segment and began by describing Obama as "calm and charismatic." Explaining that despite all the media attention, "there are some things about Barack Obama you might not know," Shipman began the elucidation with a clip of Obama bagging groceries, as he explained "I used to work as a bagger in a grocery store." Hmm. George H.W. Bush: supposedly unfamiliar with checkout scannners. Barack: worked as a bagger. Check.
Next, Shipman assured us that "he's a listener." To drive home the point, a sash appeared in the corner of the screen flatly stating, yes, "Listener." After mentioning that "he's renowned for his compelling oratory" and treating us to a short sample thereof, Shipman added "insiders say his real talent is hearing people." Not only does he listen, he hears.
CNN isn't the only media outlet reporting on the anti-religious John Edwards campaign bloggers in a painfully incomplete manner. Howard Kurtz carved out a little space deep in today's Washington Post Style section (on page C-7) for a story headlined "John Edwards Keeps Controversial Bloggers." Although bloggers on both sides are identified by labels, there's no ideological "liberal" or "feminist" label used for the Silky Pony's poison pens:
Former senator John Edwards said yesterday that while he is offended by some inflammatory remarks written by two bloggers before he hired them for his presidential campaign, he is keeping them on anyway.
Political correctness is on the march again in the Washington Post sports section. In a column highlighted on the Post home page today with the headline "Sexuality Disclosed, Ignorance Exposed," sports writer Michael Wilbon uses former NBA player John Amaechi's coming out as gay as an opportunity to bludgeon the "ignorance" of anyone who would offer a discouraging word.
If we're lucky, the men and women who are both enlightened and emboldened will not only be supportive but will drown out the knuckleheads and Neanderthals and everybody who wants to slow the march of progress. Even one step away from tolerance, whether we're talking about race, gender, religious beliefs or sexuality, simply slows the march to the day when none of this stuff matters.
First came the movie, then the media publicity, next the Academy Award and Nobel Peace Prize nominations, and now the concerts. This dreadful circle likely won’t end until the next Ice Age starts in about twenty years.
At least that gives us all something to look forward to.
Until then, the Financial Times reported Thursday (h/t Drudge):
A series of concerts "bigger than Live Aid" is being planned for July, in a bid to put the subject of climate change before an audience of a global audience of 2bn.
The event, scheduled for July 7, will feature co-ordinated film, music and television events in seven cities including London, Washington DC, Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town and Kyoto, with major broadcasters and media owners aiming to extend the reach of public awareness of global warming.
This isn't exactly news since he's been saying the same thing to anyone who'll listen for the past 20 years, but Walter Cronkite is a very upset man. You may have heard this before so I've taken the liberty of translating the former CBSer's remarks to keep it interesting:
Pressures by media companies to generate ever-greater profits are
threatening the very freedom the nation was built upon, former CBS News
anchor Walter Cronkite warned Thursday.
In a keynote address at Columbia University, Cronkite said
today’s journalists face greater challenges than those from his
generation. No longer could journalists count on their employers to
provide the necessary resources, he said, “to expose truths that
powerful politicians and special interests often did not want exposed.”
Translation: Journalists are no longer as able to spout leftist talking points and pass it off as news like they did in the days of Egbert "Edward" Murrow.
While the media fawn over despots like Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, they rarely report on the horrors of life for most under such rule. With that in mind, it seems safe to assume that a current meat and sugar shortage in Venezuela that appears to be caused by government price controls is likely to go mostly unnoticed.
As reported by the Associated Press (emphasis mine throughout):
President Hugo Chavez's administration blames the food supply problems on unscrupulous speculators, but industry officials say government price controls that strangle profits are responsible. Authorities on Wednesday raided a warehouse in Caracas and seized seven tons of sugar hoarded by vendors unwilling to market the inventory at the official price.
Hmmm. Price controls and government intervention in the free market causes shortages and hyperinflation. You don’t expect to see that reported on the broadcast network news programs tonight, do you? Regardless, the article continued:
Just imagine if you opened up tomorrow’s paper and saw a headline “Anti-Americanism ‘Helps Al-Qa’eda.’” Would have to be the Washington Times, or the New York Post, right?
Well, The Daily Telegraph ran a story Thursday entitled “Anti-Americanism in Europe ‘Helps Al-Qa’eda,’” and frankly, the American media along with the politicians they so revere could learn how a strong U.S. ally feels about slamming Uncle Sam in public (emphasis mine throughout):
Anti-American feeling in Europe is playing into the hands of al-Qa'eda and unwittingly encouraging terrorism, Australia's foreign minister said today.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Alexander Downer urged European politicians to weigh the consequences of their words before they "leap out there and attack America".
Not exactly a popular philosophy here in America, is it? The Telegraph continued:
The co-hosts of Thursday’s The View discussed the controversy surrounding Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her air travel preferences. Joy Behar downplayed it by shifting the blame to the vice president stating sarcastically, “the fact that Halliburton and Dick Cheney were in bed together for many years making money in Iraq, that’s too complicated. This is easy.” Rosie O’Donnell agreed asserting that “this is the art of distraction.”
Rosie then brought up how Anna Nicole Smith is distracting from the real news (note that this show first aired before news of Anna Nicole’s untimely death). Token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked Rosie and conspiracy theorist Joy Behar if Republicans are behind the Anna Nicole “distraction.”
Rosie and Joy both said no with Joy conceding “you can’t blame the Republicans for everything.” A man in the audience shouted out “why not?” Rosie loved that comment so much she exclaimed “I don’t know you, but I want to have lunch.” The entire transcript is below.
On this morning's Today show, viewers were coyly teased of an Ann Coulter versus Michael Eric Dyson debate on race in the 9:30am half-hour. NBC's Natalie Morales tantalized viewers of the upcoming fight with sure to be expected fireworks: "Michael Eric Dyson and conservative commentator Ann Coulter are gonna square off right here. Should be a very good debate." However viewers and perhaps even Today's producers, had to be disappointed as Dyson and Coulter were surprisingly chummy. Morales even remarked: "You're being very civil this morning."
Not surprisingly, Morales did engage in the old habit of one-sided labeling, as she called Coulter a "conservative commentator," but refused to note Dyson's liberal leanings, as he was referred to as merely a "civil rights activist." Morales also called the liberal Dyson's book, Debating Race, "fascinating" and "great," but didn't apply the same superlative adjectives to the conservative Coulter's book, Godless.
If you're a regular viewer of network morning news shows -- a practice I don't really recommend, we watch them so you don't have to -- you know that CNN's "American Morning" is particularly concerned about the "epidemic" of childhood obesity.
Indeed, just two weeks ago, CNN's top doc, Sanjay Gupta, lamented a lack of regulation on Internet "advergaming" to children You know, playing Spoons with Snap, Crackle, and Pop, that sort of thing.
But this week, well, the crew at "American Morning" actually found it ridiculous that the makers of M&Ms have agreed to stop advertising to children. Not that they do much of that anyway, they just won't anymore, now that European regulators are breathing down their necks. And today, anchor Soledad O'Brien preached the virtues of moderation as she mocked schools that ban cupcakes. [cont'd...]
On Wednesday, Ralph Nader continued his media adulation tour, this time stopping by "The Daily Show." Just as with his appearance on "Late Edition," the only tough questioning Nader received was on the issue of the 2000 election and whether he placed George Bush in the White House. Stewart once again made clear exactly why conservatives view him as a not a political humorist, but a partisan, liberal comic. At one point, he told the consumer advocate that he was always right. And when Nader attacked President Ronald Reagan, the Comedy Central host joined right in:
Jon Stewart: "Please welcome back to the program, Ralph Nader! Ralph! Come on! Nice to see you again. Thanks for joining us. So they say they’re going to make a film about you, ‘An Unreasonable Man,’ and they come to you, and you say, ‘I'm in.’"
Ralph Nader: "What are you going to do? ( Laughter ) Everything– You know, you want air bags in cars and seat belts in cars so you lose the freedom to go through a windshield. Reagan didn't like that. He liked the freedom to go through a windshield."
Stewart:: "Exactly. So he was considering you an anti-liberty–."
Nader: "Yeah. Right."
Stewart: "Exactly. Ralph Nader. Tear down that belt. That sort of thing?"
To listen to Harry Smith, you'd think Mickey was drowning.
ABC, NBC and CBS were so busy with their hysterics about global warming as the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) summary report was released that they missed downward revisions to predictions of rising sea levels.
“Do people here [South Beach, Fla.] know that very likely in the next – well several decades – all of this is going to be underwater?” CBS “Early Show” anchor Harry Smith asked in an interview about the appeal of Miami, Florida.
John Edwards is retaining his attack-dog leftist bloggers. His campaign has a statement on the Edwards blog, and the candidate claimed "they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith, and I take them at their word. We're beginning a great debate about the future of our country, and we can't let it be hijacked."
As anyone who's read the Kathryn Lopez smackdown on their blazing blog guns at Catholics (and Pope Benedict, the alleged dictator) knows, it's quite clear they intended to malign a faith. The subject emerged on CNN's The Situation Room Wednesday night, but the most disturbing part of the story appeared on screen. The graphic emphasized unproven allegations:
What? Kathryn's beginning made the vicious anti-Catholic flavor of Amanda Marcotte's blogging very clear:
"Six years ago, Brian Lavelle moved out of the city of Cleveland to the nearby suburb of Lakewood for what he thought would be a better life. Back then, Lavelle, 38, was a forklift operator in a steel mill making $14 an hour. He had a house, a car and was saving for his retirement. Then, three years ago, the steel mill closed and Lavelle found that the life he dreamed of was just that, a dream. The suburbs, he quickly learned, are a tough place to live if you're poor. For starters, there isn't much of a safety net in his community. Food pantries, job-retraining centers and low-cost health clinics are hard to come by.
How can Nancy Pelosi tell she's lost the Plane-Gate argument? When even MSNBC brands it "Air Pelosi." Check the screencap.
But Pelosi has apparently decided to go down fighting. She's now playing the gender card, and for good measure has thrown in a soupçon of Rumsfeld-phobia. MSNBC just aired a clip of Speaker Pelosi making the following remarks on the issue of her request to the Pentagon for a large plane to transport her home:
"I don't even know the numbers of the planes. So this is something that is really very strange. That the Department of Defense, the Pentagon, which I have been a constant critic of the war in Iraq, and where I understand Mr. Rumsfeld still has a desk, even though he's no longer the Secretary, has decided that they would go public about a conversation on an issue that applied to the previous Speaker. Now, as a woman, as a woman Speaker of the House, I don't want any less opportunity than male speakers have had when they have served here."
New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny again spun in a Democrat direction in his coverage of the fierce arguments over non-binding resolutions regarding Bush's troop increase in Iraq. On Thursday, Zeleny claimed: "Senator John W. Warner, a Virginia Republican who led the bipartisan resolution against the president’s troop buildup plan, went to the Senate floor on Wednesday to read the letter only two days after siding with Republican leaders on a vote that blocked the debate."
After more than a week of ignoring the controversy over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s request for access to an extravagant plane, the three network morning shows finally covered the subject on Thursday, albeit briefly. CBS and ABC both offered full reports during the 7AM hour of the February 8 shows, while only CBS included a quote from a Republican lawmaker who criticized the possible ethical issues raised by having the opportunity to fly friends home in a posh C-32 jet. NBC’s "Today" show mentioned the story only in a news brief and then co-host Matt Lauer briefly asked correspondent David Gregory about the plane controversy.
All three networks included snarky reports on this "hot controversy." Lauer wondered if the incident would make Pelosi "look bad from a PR standpoint," while Cuomo used the pithy term, "turbulence." One wonders why it took a week for the media to jump on such a "hot controversy." At 7:06am, "Good Morning America’s" Cuomo introduced Jake Tapper with a few quips about "plane envy:"
Chris Cuomo: "We begin with the turbulence over Speaker Nancy Pelosi request for a new plane. A request that has been quickly turned down. Senior national correspondent Jake Tapper has the latest on the controversy from Capitol Hill. Jake, is this about security or ego? Sounds like a case of jet envy."