On this morning’s Early Show, co-host Hannah Storm implied to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist that the Congress ought to pay attention to the immigrant boycott and protests from yesterday and pass "immigration reform," a euphemism for "amnesty." That if one million immigrants rallying across the country isn’t enough, what more is it going to take:
"Wanna change gears here for a second because Monday over one million immigrants skipped work and skipped school and marched in streets across America. What is it going to take, Senator, for Congress to come together and institute some meaningful immigrant reform, and how long is that going to take?"
On the opening of last night's edition of Countdown, host Keith Olbermann said "now he can wizz all over himself instead of everybody else" on the subject of Rush Limbaugh's mandatory random drug test. Olbermann presented this as if it were "news," when instead Rush has had to do them for years.
Later in the broadcast, Olbermann ran a smear segment on Rush, as if there was any more news, saying "at least now when he wizzes all over himself, there is a good reason for it".
Olbermann ended his Limbaugh coverage with a jab at his weight saying, "and while no specifics about the random drug screenings were revealed, there is no truth to rumors that Limbaugh will also be tested for steroids and meatloaf."
The lure of class warfare has now seduced even the Fox News Channel. The network, often derided by liberal critics as overly conservative, featured a segment on the May 2 edition of Fox & Friends about the "outrageous" perks that CEOs receive. Co-host E.D. Hill cynically teased the piece by asking, "You know, if you go to work, you get your paycheck, but don't you wish you got a plane too?" She then continued:
Hill: "Or maybe a car or a boat or a country club membership or those sort of things? Well, you will be blown away to find out what perks some executives get."
FNC anchor Brian Kilmeade continued the theme of class envy by noting that some people are "upset about Exxon because they're making way too much money."
Monday’s CBS Evening News inaugurated a new series, “Eye on the Road,” the network’s latest gimmick to keep people outraged at the high cost of gasoline. Reporter Sharyn Alfonsi is driving from Florida to Boston to find people to complain about the high prices, and last night she highlighted senior citizens who are ostensibly sacrificing food and medicine because of Big Oil’s greediness.
Alfonsi highlighted a poll taken by the liberal lobbying group AARP to supposedly prove the hardship gas prices are having on the elderly. “They’re used to living on fixed incomes,” Alfonsi reported, “but now skyrocketing gas prices are forcing seniors to make difficult choices. Some are cutting back on medicine, others say they’re eating less.”
As she spoke, the screen showed the words “AARP Survey” plus the words “Cutting Back,” followed by “Medicine 6%,” then “Food 13%.”
But the poll wasn’t taken “now,” during the wave of network stories wailing about high gas prices. It was actually conducted for the AARP newsletter AARP Bulletin nearly eight months ago, in early September 2005, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and fairly extensive supply disruptions in the eastern U.S.
On Monday’s 5PM EST version of “Hardball,” host Chris Matthews and MSNBC correspondent David Shuster made a number of factual misrepresentations and suppositions involving Valerie Plame/Wilson and the Bush administration (video link to follow). The most absurd part of this segment was Shuster’s suggestion that the current stalemate with Iran over its nuclear ambitions was exacerbated by the release of Wilson’s name to the press: “Intelligence sources say Valerie Wilson was part of an operation three years ago tracking the proliferation of nuclear weapons material into Iran. And the sources allege that when Mrs. Wilson`s cover was blown, the administration`s ability to track Iran`s nuclear ambitions was damaged as well.”
Of course, neither the names nor the positions of such sources were revealed by Shuster in this report. Also, there were absolutely no details given to support this wild assertion as to specifically what Plame was working on at the time, or what information concerning Iran ended up being missed by the Administration as a result of her departure from the CIA.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only problem with this report. In his preview of the segment, Matthews said:
Columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts write in the Washington Post that the "the consensus is that President Bush and Bush impersonator Steve Bridges stole Saturday's show -- and Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert's cutting satire fell flat." The problem with Colbert, they say, was that he "ignored the cardinal rule of Washington humor: Make fun of yourself, not the other guy."
"You have to have a great deal of confidence to do self-deprecating humor, especially when you're being attacked day in and day out," said Landon Parvin, who helped Bush and Bridges write the jokes contrasting Bush's public voice with his supposed inner thoughts. Parvin, a former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, is responsible for most of the president's intentional humor, as well as the famous parody song "Secondhand Clothes" for Nancy Reagan's 1982 Gridiron appearance, and Laura Bush's deadpan triumph at last year's correspondents' dinner.
A PR campaign by the U.S. military to ease relations with Iraqi civilians is explained this way Tuesday by Pentagon reporter Thom Shanker:
"There is no doubt that in the three years since the invasion, American forces have alienated Iraqis in large numbers, ranging from the catastrophic events at Abu Ghraib prison, where Iraqi detainees were abused by their American jailers, to more minor yet daily insults, when some soldiers have used unnecessarily rough techniques at checkpoints, in raids and during searches."
Is this a news article or an opinion piece?
For more NYT bias, visit the redesigned TimesWatch website.
Thou Shalt Not Stereotype ranks among the top ten rules that govern respectable newspapers.
Unless, of course, you happen to dislike a particular individual, or his politics.
As the Philadelphia Inquirer sounded the trumpets for yesterday’s nationwide march with the headline IMMIGRANTS SEND A RESOUNDING CALL, with photos glorifying the event, the paper still found room to profile Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) who opposes amnesty for illegal aliens. This is not popular, this point of view.
The Inquirer interviewed dozens of these marchers and while we were given their names we were not treated to their physical characteristics.
Were they short, fat, ugly, tall, slim, handsome -- none of that because that is none of our business.
I linked to a Wall Street Journal editorial
about the elite media's double standard on leaks, especially how leaks
to the New York Times and Washington Post that damaged the Bush admin's
anti-terrorism efforts are awarded prizes while syndicated columnist
Robert Novak is condemned for revealing the occupation of an outspoken
Bush critic. Today, the Journal prints a letter from NYT executive
editor Bill Keller which responds to some of the editorial's charges.
Unsurprisingly, Keller makes no mention of the Valerie Plame Wilson
matter, a scandal which his paper's news and editorial pages have
overhyped since its inception. Instead, he focuses exclusively on leaks
which he does find not only acceptable but praiseworthy, that is the
disclosure that the U.S. may secretly be imprisoning suspected
terrorists (leaked to the Washington Post), and that Americans said to
be communicating internationally with terrorists are being spied on by
the NSA (leaked to the New York Times).
Keller bristles at the Journal's suggestion that the Times's and Post's sources are partisans:
When most women want a makeover, they spend a few hours at the beauty salon. If it’s for their prom, or their wedding, maybe they spend the better part of a day there.
In the case of Sen. Hillary Clinton, the media must figure it’s going to take at least 30 months to makeover the lifetime, power-seeking politician into just a regular, apple pie-lovin' gal from Illinois that the average American can identify with.
For its part, New York’s Newsday put some lipstick on this…former first lady in a May 1 article entitled “Politics Wasn't First on List of NY Sen. Clinton's Career Picks” (hat tip to Drudge).
Done laughing yet? Well, that’s just the headline: “‘I wanted desperately to be an Olympic athlete,’ Clinton said Monday at a Purchase College symposium on Title IX, the 1972 law outlawing sex discrimination in educational programs that receive federal funding.”
That was just the facial. Next came the foundation:
Via Romenesko, we learn that long-time "NBC Nightly News" anchor Tom Brokaw was making some wild claims Monday night at a speech in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The local newspaper reported he "begged the audience to put partisanship aside while the nation is at war," which the media certainly haven't. He "defended his profession against those who suggest journalists have not been balanced in covering the war and have ignored certain stories." He claimed there's mutual respect between journalists and soldiers, and while they may not always see the world "through the same prism," they have other similarities:
"We (both) live unconventional lives, we like to live off the land," he said. "Most of all, we like to get the bad guys and point out where evil is," Brokaw said.
Let’s look at USA Today's story which ran just five days after the media began reporting on the rape allegation and its fallout. I think even those of you with a low opinion of MSM will be shocked by the story’s blatant bias.
The flier being distributed outside Duke's student union Wednesday night looked like a wanted poster: 40 faces of young men, smiling smugly for the camera.
What was most disturbing to those gathered was the possibility several of the Duke men's lacrosse players whose photos were arranged in those neat rows may have committed criminal charges, including forcible rape and sodomy.
Jennifer Harper reports in the Washington Times about an Arizona State University study of 300 al Qaeda statements, letters and other papers. The study was conducted by the university's Consortium for Strategic Communication and a Defense Department .
Says the director of the consortium, Steven Corman, "People are surprised the jihadis think of the media as a weapon."
His study analyzed almost 300 al Qaeda statements, letters and other documents, many of them captured during U.S. military actions in the Middle East and recently declassified by the Pentagon.
Katie Couric took industrial-strength umbrage this morning when Bill Frist suggested to the soon-to-be CBS anchor that she opposes drilling in ANWR.
Yesterday, Matt Lauer gave respectful treatment to Rush Limbaugh's suggestion that Frist's proposal of a $100 rebate amounted to treating taxpayers like ladies of the night. So the Majority Leader surely knew he was walking into the lion's den this morning.
At one point, Katie hit Frist with excerpts from two letters to the editor of her apparent paper of choice - the NY Times.
"Let's see, $100 rebate checks to all taxpayers to offset rising gas prices. That's money out of my tax dollars back to me to give back to gas companies. The way I figure it that rebate won't even cover my gas one way to Washington to complain."
Well, Pinko De Mayo has come and gone, and this year's celebration of
the Bolshevik Revolution by communism's useful idiots had new life
breathed into it in the United States. Hundreds of thousands
of illegal aliens and their misguided supporters decided to protest
against the rule of law in our country on the one day of the year that
reminds most older Americans of the genocidal policies of men like
Stalin and Pol Pot.
Hundreds of businesses across the country closed their doors in
deference to the wishes of America's illegal workforce, and many
failed to prevent their dangerously naive students from joining
demonstrations which only proved to the rest
of us just how utterly foolish and immoral years of systematic liberal
brainwashing has left them.
Yesterday's May Day protests for amnesty for illegal aliens received broad, prominent, and positive coverage in the Washington Post Tuesday morning -- a fraction, certainly, of the enormous coverage of April 11, but still signaling the issue's importance in the diversity-conscious Post newsroom. Once again, the liberal bias came through: there were no liberal labels for any activist at the protest, no use of the word "amnesty" in the coverage, and no mention of what speakers said at the protest rallies. One story noted protesters chanted in Spanish "Bush, listen, we are committed to the struggle!" And, perhaps, most importantly: critics of illegal immigration appeared almost nowhere in any of this coverage. (Correction: I originally claimed critics were nowhere, but Clay Waters noted Rep. Tom Tancredo is quoted via Reuters in paragraph 12 of the Fears-Williams overview. My apologies for the error.)
All three broadcast network evening newscasts led Monday night with multiple favorable stories about the day of protests to promote the cause of illegal aliens. Bob Schieffer opened the CBS Evening News by trumpeting: “From coast to coast, from north to south, they wanted us to know what America would be like without them and so millions of immigrants missed work, skipped school and marched in the streets. They want America to find a place for those who came here illegally and it's too soon to know if they changed any minds in Congress. But what we do know is that construction sites shut down, hundreds of restaurants and many small businesses closed across the country...”
ABC's Elizabeth Vargas touted how “altogether, close to a million people took to the streets in more than 30 cities. And that number could still rise. It was the newest wave of protests against legislation that would increase the penalties for being in the U.S. illegally. Tonight, we have reports from around the country,” including a piece on a “man in San Antonio, Texas, who broke decades of tradition” -- for 29 years never missing a day of work -- “to make his own statement." Over on the NBC Nightly News, which put six reporters on the story, Brian Williams heralded how “we've been covering a major story unfolding all day,” showcasing video of “solid people for blocks.” Williams concluded that “the protests worked in many cases. Stores closed as workers headed out the door, and live television covered it all, all day long. We have comprehensive coverage tonight from coast to coast...” (Partial transcripts follow)
CBS and NBC on Monday night couldn't resist reminding their viewers of President Bush's “Mission Accomplished” speech. CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer announced: "Today marks the third anniversary of what many thought at the time was one of the cleverest photo-ops ever, even opponents of the Iraq invasion were impressed when the President flew on to an aircraft carrier decked out in a dashing flight suit and then spoke beneath a banner that said 'Mission Accomplished.' But it turned out not to be.” Citing another CBS News poll which surveyed significantly more Democrats than Republicans, Schieffer proposed to Jim Axelrod: "With the President's approval down to another new low, 33 percent, I take it this is one anniversary the White House did not want to talk about today." Axelrod highlighted how “three years ago when the President appeared on the deck of the USS Lincoln, 74 percent of those polled approved of the way the President was handling Iraq. But contrast that to the latest CBS News poll, just 30 percent now approve of the way the President is handling Iraq. That's 44 percent, Bob, in three years."
"Today marks the third anniversary of President Bush's so-called 'Mission Accomplished' speech aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln," NBC anchor Brian Williams intoned. "On that day he declared, 'the tyrant has fallen and Iraq is free.' Today the message was less upbeat." Williams gratuitously added: "By the way, the U.S. death toll in the war is nearing 2,400." (More on the poll and partial transcripts, follow)
It seems to me that those that are in such an uproar over the leak of Valerie Plame's name and claim that it had a negative impact on our national security would be hesitant, to say the least, about disclosing further information about Plame--especially information that pertains to what she was working on while at the CIA. But apparently, if that particular information is potentially damaging for the Bush administration, it's a different story. Here's what David Shuster reported on tonight's Hardball:
MSNBC has learned new information about the damage caused by the White House leaks. Intelligence sources say Valerie Wilson was part of an operation three years ago tracking the proliferation of nuclear weapons material into Iran. And the sources allege that when Mrs. Wilson's cover was blown, the administration's ability to track Iran's nuclear ambitions was damaged as well.
On this morning's Today Katie Couric and Matt Lauer heartily promoted Jimmy Buffett’s latest project, a new environmentalist movie aimed at kids called Hoot. Apparently the movie, based off the liberal Carl Hiaasen’s book, features kids vandalizing a construction site. However Matt and Katie simply pitched it as a "movie with a message," about, "some young people who come together to help save an endangered species." Couric also endorsed the book in wishing Buffett good luck: "Yeah good luck with Hoot I loved the book I can't wait to see the movie." The following conversation came at 8:31am, conveniently preceeded by an ad for Hoot in the previous commercial break:
On this morning’s Early Show, in the 7:00 half hour, co-host Harry Smith interviewed Democrat Governor Bill Richardson and Republican Senator Lamar Alexander regarding the immigration debate. While Smith asked Richardson weak "how do you feel" questions, he grilled Senator Alexander over the issue. He began by asking about the protests: "Senator, let me ask you first, is this protest today a good idea?"
Senator Alexander, in his response tried to remind viewers what the protests were really about:
"Well, free speech is a part of living in this country. Unexcused absences from work or from school have consequences. And protests about legal immigration, I think most people in the Congress would welcome. Protests in favor of illegal immigration have very little sympathy here."
Washington Post congressional reporter Shailagh Murray was blunt about America's energy problems in her Monday "Post Politics Chat": While most of the media is decrying "pain at the pump," Murray worried that "making gas cheaper only makes matters worse." A questioner complained about an earlier answer, in which Murray insisted her experience told her the price of crude oil is about supply and demand, and not who's president:
I may be going out on a limb here, but I don't think the price of crude oil has much to do with who occupies the White House. As a former Wall Street Journal reporter, I fall back on the simple supply and demand principle. People want to drive SUVs. A gazillion highway lanes are being built in China. Limited supplies of crude oil, whatever happens with ANWR. Of all the things to be surprised about, high gas prices should not be one of them.
The Washington Postreports that new White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten is considering removing cameras for most of news conferences. The thinking is this will discourage reporters from grandstanding and being heroes for their favorite liberal causes in the press room.
Bolten tipped his hand in only one area, suggesting that the White House might stop allowing its daily news briefing to be televised in full in hopes of discouraging posturing for the cameras and toning down the confrontational atmosphere. Television cameras were permitted only for the opening minutes of the briefing until Clinton White House press secretary Michael McCurry allowed them to air the entire session beginning in 1995.
Blogads commissioned a study on the demographics of those who read political blogs. Reports the Washington Post:
Think the people who while away their hours reading and commenting on political blogs are slovenly twenty-somethings with nothing better to do?
Think again, said a survey last week by Blogads, a company that many leading political blogs have used for ad placements.
In an unscientific Web survey of 36,000 people, Blogads reported that political blog readers tend to be age 41 to 50, male (72 percent), and earn $60,000 to $90,000 per year. Two in five have college degrees, while just a tad less have graduate degrees.
"These are not people who are politically idealistic and born yesterday," said Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, who runs the popular liberal site DailyKos.
ABC seems to love the story of Rush Limbaugh's "drug deal." The same story that led the Friday edition of ABC’s World News Tonight was also mentioned at the top of this morning’s Good Morning America, even though there's nothing new to say.
So instead of news, ABC just suggested Limbaugh belongs in jail. Co-host Charlie Gibson teased "Rush to judgment? Rush Limbaugh is set to sign a deal with prosecutors today after three years of prescription drug fraud investigations. But, did he get off easy? The controversy ahead."
Then at the end of the 7am EDT half-hour, Gibson again suggested Rush deserved harsher punishment: "Coming up on Good Morning America, a rush to judgment? He’s made a deal with prosecutors. Did Rush Limbaugh get off easy?”
Andrew Revkin is the chief environmental reporter for the Times, a true believer in the idea that humans are making the planet warmer. He also plays in an "acoustic-roots" band, "Uncle Wade," and even wrote an environmental protest ditty, "Liberated Carbon," which he recently performed during a talk at Bowdoin College in Maine.
In this retelling of the creation story, Satan offers coal and oil to humanity instead of an apple (environmentalism as religion, once again).
Since we had snow - Tony Snow - in April, why not another unseasonable event - Matt Lauer citing Rush Limbaugh as a respectable source for purposes of making a point?
The issue was high gas prices, and the pandering band-aid some in Congress have proposed by way of a $100 tax rebate. Today displayed this quote from El Rushbo, from his show of this past Friday:
"Instead of buying us off and treating us like we're a bunch of w----s, just solve the problem."
If Lauer did not explicitly endorse Rush's take, he came close, certainly recognizing that Rush's point merited a response. Lauer filled in the blanks when he read the quote out loud, then posed this question to guest Pat Buchanan: "Pat, has anyone put forth any solution that can solve this problem?"
Washington Post reporter Juliet Eilperin filed a Monday story from the New Orleans Jazzfest this weekend. Late in the story, she noted rock star Bruce Springsteen "delivered a scathing assessment of President Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina." Having surveyed the city on Saturday, he said "The criminal ineptitude makes you furious. This is what happens when political cronyism guts the very agencies that are supposed to serve American citizens in times of trial and hardship." The federal government is shoveling billions and billions to New Orleans and liberals are still saying the agencies are "gutted."
Eilperin wrote that Springsteen played a two-hour set Sunday night that included a rewritten version of the folk song "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?" with new Katrina-response lyrics:
Watch me. I am sitting here all by myself turning this out. It may be good. It may be lousy. But it is all mine. Look around. Do you see a room-full of (high-salaried) gag writers that I can lean on if I go empty? I snap my fingers and someone says, “Try this.” No, it’s all up to me to find the right words, to earn the praise, deserve the blame, and that’s how it is for most writers who are for real.
No knock on Stephen Colbert, necessarily, or on Jon Stewart, whom we’ll get to in a moment -- and this is not about their politics. Never mind that. It’s about the business of being funny, and I do mean business. So I checked in on this evening’s “60 Minutes” (Sunday, April 30) on CBS and caught the segment on Stephen Colbert who spoofs the news on Comedy Central, as of course does Stewart, who uses scoffing as his art.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice found herself knocked off message Sunday, forced to defend prewar planning and troop levels against an unlikely critic - Colin Powell, her predecessor at the State Department ... Powell sideswiped her by revisiting the question of whether the U.S. had a large enough force to oust Saddam Hussein and then secure the peace.
The truth is that the only one doing the sideswiping, knocking, and forcing were Sunday hosts Bob Schieffer (on CBS' Face the Nation (link)) and Wolf Blitzer (on CNN's Late Edition (transcript)), along with Quaid herself.