Stephen Spruiell at NRO's Media Blog rightly whacks Slate's John Dickerson -- formerly a White House reporter for Time magazine and the son of pioneering network TV reporter Nancy Dickerson -- for his assertion Monday that liberal bloggers merely want the press to improve, but conservatives can't stand that the press exists, that they want them.....dead?
One of the healthiest things about the left-wing blogosphere is its confrontational dislike of the mainstream media. There's a distinction here with the media's critics on the right. At some level, the right doesn't much like that the press exists. They don't want to fix it, they want to drive a stake through its heart. The left, on the other hand, just wishes the establishment press would do a better job.
It's been reported that Karl Rove will not be indicted for the Valerie Plame case. But that doesn't mean Reuters doesn't wish the opposite would have occurred. The organization resurrected a picture from last month and ran it this month after news that Karl Rove was off the hook.
Various media around the world have been using this shocking photo to smear the US Marines in connection with the Haditha incident.
As Michelle Malkin has reported, the photo has nothing to do with US Marines: "The photo is of fishermen executed in a Haditha stadium by terrorists six months before the Nov. 19 incident under investigation by the US military."
That didn't stop the Times of London from running it on June 1st, alleging it was of the alleged Marine action in Haditha. The Times later apologized.
What's gotten into Campbell Brown? I'd had her pegged as a conventional MSM liberal, but in recent times, she has manifested a refreshing streak of independence that was very much on display in her interview of Howard Dean on this morning's Today show.
Things came to a head over the Dems' vague and conflicting positions over Iraq.
Began Brown: "Let me ask you about Iraq. I want to ask a straightforward question. What is the Democrats' position on Iraq? What solution do Democrats have?"
Dean: "We believe that the President is wrong to say this will be left to the next president. That's not the right approach. Secondly, we believe there needs to be a transition, that the Iraqis need to take over and our troops need to come home and be redeployed to other parts of the world to fight terrorism. The war on terror has nothing to do with the war with Iraq, or at least it didn't until the president got us in there. We believe in transition. This is now the responsibility of the Iraqis. And we believe that this cannot be left to the next administration. It needs to be dealt with now."
Hit back Brown: "But 'dealt with now', that's not that different from President Bush's position."
The networks have been eager over the last few weeks to highlight every new charge or claim related to the alleged massacre by U.S. Marines of 24 civilians in Haditha, Iraq last November (a new study from the MRC counted 99 stories or interviews about it over just three weeks on the ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening shows), but when a front page Washington Post article on Sunday recounted Marine Sergeant Frank Wuterich's contention that he and his squad followed the rules of engagement and were justified in their actions, the networks lost interest. NBC gave it a few seconds on Sunday's Today and a fuller story on Sunday's Nightly News, but ABC and CBS ignored it on their Sunday morning shows (GMA and Sunday Morning) while ABC's World News Tonight gave it a mere 20 seconds before a full story on suicides at Guantanamo and the CBS Evening News skipped it completely. On Monday, despite interview segments and stories on Iraq, the broadcast network morning shows ignored Wuterich's version, though ABC and NBC made time for full Guantanamo pieces. Amazingly, ABC's Charles Gibson didn't raise it with Congressman John Murtha, the lead accuser who appeared on GMA. The Monday evening shows also avoided the topic. (Detailed rundown and contrasts follow.)
In Newsweek, Allison Samuels hypes the latest music from Ice Cube. Over a full-page black-and-white photo of the rapper, his latest “social commentator” lyrics from his song “Why We Thug” are highlighted boldly in capital letters:
“Since I was little not a damn thing changed / It’s the same ol’ same / Bush runs things like Saddam Hussein.”
Most of these words are in green, but “Bush” and “Saddam Hussein” are in white letters for emphasis. Newsweek’s Samuels is giddy: “He was a savagely angry (and wickedly witty) social commentator on N.W.A.’s late-‘80s benchmarks ‘Straight Outta Compton’ and ‘F—- tha Police’…Cube’s new album may be the his best since the searing ‘Amerikkka’s Most Wanted’ in 1990.” Samuels lauds this junk as part of “rap’s long tradition of politically righteous anger.”
At a fundraiser (the only place you'll likely find a Clinton in an election year) Bill Clinton told how he and Al Gore "were right about global warming" to a crowd shouting "four more years." It is undertermined why the crowd, ignorant of the 22nd Amendment, wants four more years of doing nothing about global warming.
In the short Associated Press article by Brendan Farrington, he writes: "as Tropical Storm Alberto threatened to strengthen into the ninth hurricane in 22 months to affect Florida..." What he fails to mention is that:
10 hurricanes per year is normal, and Florida is the biggest target. In 1933, there were 21 hurricanes, apparently this was the height of global warming.
In the ongoing left-wing saga of “They Stole The Election From Us,” New York Times columnist Bob Herbert (hat tip to Raw Story) wrote Monday another gratuitous piece about how George W. Bush swiped the 2004 election from John Kerry.
This stuff is really delicious. But, I caution the reader to not have food or drink in his or her mouth while reviewing this information, for uncontrollable laughter can erupt at any moment and without warning:
“Republicans, and even a surprising number of Democrats, have been anxious to leave the 2004 Ohio election debacle behind. But [Robert F. Kennedy Jr.], in his long, heavily footnoted [Rolling Stone] article (‘Was the 2004 Election Stolen?’), leaves no doubt that the democratic process was trampled and left for dead in the Buckeye State. Kerry almost certainly would have won Ohio if all of his votes had been counted, and if all of the eligible voters who tried to vote for him had been allowed to cast their ballots.”
Now, remember folks…the key, much as it was in Florida, is to count all the votes. Of course, most of us remember what that looked like. Comically, the article continued: “No one has been able to prove that the election in Ohio was hijacked.” Actually, Bob, this is a great point you make. Why is it lost on you?
MSNBC surprised everyone Monday with its announcement that the struggling channel will now be headed by an executive tag team of "Today" chief Phil Griffin and one of its own show hosts, Dan Abrams.
The appointment of Griffin didn't exactly come as a surprise; last week's scuttlebutt had him being given the top spot. Abrams's elevation did. It also gives insight into what MSNBC's strategy to avoid being known as "electronic journalism's version of the Chicago Cubs."
Some key facts:
Griffin, known officially as "executive in charge," is also keeping his title as executive producer of NBC's "Today" show.
Newly dubbed "general manager" Abrams will keep his job as NBC's top legal affairs analyst but will be giving up his current main job as host of the courts-heavy "Abrams Report."
Griffin will not move his offices over to MSNBC's far-flung New Jersey location.
NBC is in the process of buying out its partner Microsoft's stake in MSNBC entirely. It's already the majority owner.
For Aaron Barnhart, the verdict seems in: "They're letting him keep his network job. Which tells you something about what a high priority fixing MSNBC is over there at GE."
UPDATE 20:54. My take: That Abrams was brought in as Griffin's deputy indicates that there may be relatively major changes in the near future, with a team comprised of a newsie and an exec, it will be harder for competing factions within the organization to resist management. Abrams's hiring also likely means that MSNBC is going to approach news with more irreverence, and give greater latitude to anchors to express their opinions and show emotion (i.e. be more like human beings instead of talking infoheads). [Abrams not getting the top spot also shows that upper management views this as a test of sorts for him. If he pulls it off, expect him to move up the NBC ladder.]
Looks like Chris Matthews really isn't sure who the good guys are in Iraq. Over the weekend on his syndicated show Chris Matthews speculated that after Haditha the public may realize: "that we might be the bad guys." After brushing over the success of killing Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Matthews asked the panel about the political damage done by Haditha:
Chris Matthews: "Let me talk about Haditha or ask you to talk about Haditha. It seems to me a lot of people would like to have some reason to get out of Iraq. We can't win is a good reason. There's too much bloodshed would be a good reason. But on the other hand, the difficulty of the task is an argument for a lot of people to stay in. ‘We know it's tough,' the President says. ‘We know we're taking casualties, but we gotta win this one and these people are sacrificing their lives and their family members for this work. All the more reason to stick with the fight.' But there's one thing that turns people off. The sense that we might be the bad guys. My Lai, Haditha. In your reporting for Time, do you think Haditha is gonna measure up to one of those pivotal moments where ya say, ‘This war smells bad, it tastes bad. We're getting into situations of counterinsurgency, which are brutal. We don't want to be there.'"
On this Sunday’s "Face the Nation" on CBS, Bob Schieffer once again turned to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman for analysis on developments in Iraq, the overall war on terrorism, and the Israel/Palestinian peace process.
Among the claims Friedman made were claiming that the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay was the "anti-Statue of Liberty." That America is alone in Iraq, discounting the contributions by the British and other coalition partners. And that he doesn’t "really want to blame America" for the inability of the Israelis and Palestinians to come to a workable peace agreement.
Friedman began by seemingly eulogizing Zarqawi. He focused on how effective Zarqawi was as a terrorist, but doesn’t offer praise to our troops or thanks that he has been removed from the equation in Iraq:
The National Center for Policy Analysis writes about the rise of "docu-ganda" films, movies that are portrayed as "just the facts" filmmaking, but actually have an agenda and make no attempt to carry both sides. In this way, they are like the news media. Both docu-ganda filmmakers and news reporters strive to be thought of as dispassioned observers, and want to be regarded as speaking with the "voice of God."
Documentary films promise to tell an "untold" story, but is it the full story, asks Daniel Wood of the Christian Science Monitor?
Don't count on it; the days when "documentary" reliably meant "inform the audience" are over. Today, makers of such films feel little or no obligation to heed documentary-film traditions like point-by-point rebuttal or formal reality checks, says Wood.
Not that there's been any doubt as to the politics of NPR and PBS - home to world-class Republican haters such as Bill Moyers. Still, it's instructive to see just who has launched a massive organizing effort to ensure continued taxpayer funding of the two organizations. Turns out . . . it's none other than the far-left MoveOn.org.
Here's a mass email sent out today by Move-on:
From: Noah T. Winer, MoveOn.org Civic Action Sent: Monday, June 12, 2006 12:27 PM To: Subject: Deadline tomorrow! Re: Save NPR and PBS (again)
This certainly goes way beyond the vitriol we’ve seen in the past week concerning conservative author Ann Coulter, and may be a new low in media response to, well...anything.
On Monday, Advertising Age magazine’s Simon Dumenco wrote an article imploring Coulter to kill herself.
Dumenco -- who refers to himself as “The Media Guy” -- did a bit in this week's column called "WIKYpedia" wherein he “asks repeat offenders in the media world to give us a break already.” The joke went something like “would it kill you to stop it?”
Dumenco finished this piece: “Would it kill you, "Godless" author Ann Coulter, to do us all a favor and kill yourself? (Oh, well, yeah, I guess it would kill you.)”
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," co-host Charles Gibson interviewed Rep. John Murtha, the perfect opportunity to press him hard on how Zarqawi might not have been defeated if our troops had gone "over the horizon," as CNN’s Carol Lin suggested the other day. But that didn’t happen. MRC's Brian Boyd reports Gibson calmly set him up to turn the entire good news around into more grist for getting out of Iraq ASAP. It began with Charlie playing up Murtha’s military credentials (oops, left out those controversial medals):
"We're going to turn now to Congressman John Murtha, who has been a very outspoken critic of the war in Iraq. A combat veteran; spent 37 years in the Marine Corps, himself; and he's joining us this morning from Johnstown, Pennsylvania."
The news magazines are having trouble mustering much enthusiasm for the defeat of Zarqawi. U.S. News & World Report, which featured Zarqawi only at the top of the cover, carried an article from White House correspondent Kenneth Walsh titled "A Bit of A Bounce." Walsh didn't have any actual polling data, but noted at the article's beginning that Zarqawi and the election of Rep. Brian Bilbray were bright spots. Walsh ended, however, with liberal historian Robert Dallek (no label, of course), who wasn't budging from his stubborn take that Iraq is Vietnam:
Zarqawi's death may be a PR coup, but Dallek and other scholars argue that the U.S. occupation increasingly resembles U.S. involvement in Vietnam, an exhausting morass that haunted the country for a generation. Until there is real improvement in Iraq, they say, Bush's presidency will probably remain a troubled one.
The writers of The New York Times apparently think that every day's a good day to bash the Bush administration. And any hook will work, whether it's factually correct or not. Today's example comes from yesterday's Times, and Niall Ferguson. He's got a long piece about the burgeoning Federal debt.
Well, I'm all in favor of concern about the debt, because I'd rather have a lower debt than a larger. (I rather suspect that, as a matter of policy, the New York Times would not agree with me on the proper means for lowering the debt, but we'll leave that aside for the moment.)
So, what exactly is Ferguson's take?
Since becoming president, George Bush has presided over one of the steepest peacetime rises ever in the federal debt. The gross federal debt now exceeds $8.3 trillion. There are three reasons for the post-2000 increase: reduced revenue during the 2001 recession, generous tax cuts for higher income groups and increased expenditures not only on warfare abroad but also on welfare at home. And if projections from the Congressional Budget Office turn out to be correct, we are just a decade away from a $12.8 trillion debt — more than double what it was when Bush took office. [emphasis mine]
To paraphrase Douglas Adams, "this is obviously some strange usage of the word peacetime that I wasn't previously aware of." Even if you want to describe the 1990s as "peacetime" despite the fact that we had troops active in Iraq (and Somalia and Bosnia), it is difficult to comprehend how someone could describe the period since 9/11 as "peacetime." After the United States was clearly attacked, we have responded militarily, removing the governments of two different nations in the past 5 years, with all of the military costs that those operations have required. There's no legitimate usage of the word "peacetime" in that context. The only reason that you would use that word is to make a false comparison that makes the Bush administration's performance look worse than it has been.
How unusual to see something like that in the New York Times...
At National Review Online today, Byron York wrapped up his coverage of the Yearly Kos convention by noting that one thing was missing in the coverage of Markos Moulitsas, the nation's top foamy-mouthed leftist blogger at the center of the Daily Kos:
While his writings—and the controversies they have caused—are an old topic in the blogosphere, they have remained largely unexamined in major media outlets. For example, one of Moulitsas’s most famous statements, involving the brutal murders of four American contractors in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004—“I feel nothing over the death of mercenaries. They aren’t in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them.”—has been the target of extensive criticism on conservative blogs and in conservative media outlets, but, according to a search of the Nexis database, has never been mentioned in the Washington Post. (It was quoted, once, in the New York Times, deep in a September 2004 feature story on bloggers.) Nor has it been reported in any major newsmagazine or been the topic of conversation on any major television program.
The same is true for other things Moulitsas has written. For example, in January of this year, Moulitsas reflected on the Bush administration’s conduct of the war on terror:
With more people now going to the internet for news, forecasters predict tough times ahead for newspapers. Reports Reuters:
The U.S. newspaper industry is likely to face a "somber" second half of the year, with circulation and advertising revenue remaining under pressure, according to an analyst's report released on Friday.
The report casts doubt on any hopes of a major recovery for an industry that has seen share prices fall by 15 percent in the last 12 months amid declining readership and a migration of advertising dollars to the Internet.
"The environment will get harder for newspapers before it gets better," according to Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Ginocchio. "And we're not sure when it is going to get better."
Associated Press media writer David Bauder reports that Al-Jazeera International, the new English-language version of the original Al-Jazeera, is having more trouble than expected in placing the channel into American homes.
The English-language Al-Jazeera International TV network faces enough hurdles to make Olympic champion Edwin Moses tremble.
It has missed its launch date and won’t set another, has no public commitments by anyone to show it in the United States, saw its closest competitor beat it to the market and is the target of a pressure campaign by a group hoping it never airs here.
Al-Jazeera International’s operators are nonetheless pressing forward with plans to create a worldwide news operation, despite a name that immediately raises hackles in the West.
Media reporter turned columnist David Carr quotes the now-notorious comment out of Ann Coulter’s new book regarding the media-lionized “Jersey Girls” who lambasted Bush for failing to stop 9-11, then huffs in his Monday column:
"That typical Coulter sortie was hardly a misstep on some overamped talk show. That doozy of a sentence was written, edited, lawyered and then published.”
Two New Jersey state Assemblywomen, Joan Quigley and Linda Stende, want Ann Coulter's new book, "Godless: The Church of Liberalism," banned from all book stores in New Jersey. So much for free speech for opposing views.
Say the Assemblywomen:
"Ann Coulter's criticism of 9-11 widows, whose only desire since the attacks have been to repair their shattered lives and protect other families from the horrors they have experienced, is motivated purely by petty greed and hate," the two Democrats complained.
"Coulter's vicious characterizations and remarks are motivated by greed and her desire to sell books . . . She is a leech trying to turn a profit off perverting the suffering of others."
"No one in New Jersey should buy this book and allow Ann Coulter to profit from her hate-mongering. We are asking New Jersey retailers statewide to stand with us and express their outrage by refusing to carry or sell copies of Coulter's book. Her hate-filled attacks on our 9-11 widows has no place on New Jersey bookshelves."
Here's a strategy for pro-life activists: start talking up the fact that humans share 90% [or whatever the number is] of their DNA with seals. It might win you more sympathy from the MSM. For while the liberal media love to celebrate 'a woman's right to choose', they go all weepy at the prospect of baby seals biting the dust, er, ice.
The Today show was at it again this morning with a segment on the baby seal harvest in Canada, complete with the predictable footage of those cuddly baby seals at the mercy of heartless hunters. 'Today' even warned us that "what you are about to see may be disturbing to some people."
What have the Dems and their MSM echo-chamber been clamoring for, nay, demanding, when it comes to Iraq? Why, a troop withdrawal, of course. Yet there was Matt Lauer on this morning's Today, fretting that President Bush might . . . withdraw troops.
Lauer's lament came in the course of his interview of former General Barry McCaffrey, looking ahead to the Iraq summit that Pres. Bush is holding at Camp David beginning today with his top national security advisers.
" Do you worry about a political side of this, that the administration may pull a substantial number troops out of Iraq just prior to November's mid-term elections simply to sway public opinion?"
Howard Kurtz reviews the latest Ann Coulter publicity salvo in his Monday Media Notes column, but fails to ask: why would the harsh remarks of this mere author be seen by the networks as more earth-shaking then, say, the shrillness of Hillary Clinton? Ann Coulter is not about to run for president, so why are her remarks bigger news than when Hillary opens a rhetorical can of fanny-whack?
Kurtz also reports that New York Times columnist Tom Friedman drew the ire of General Motors for his column suggesting GM was dangerous to America, but the Times acted like it had no stomach for anyone attacking them in letters to the editor:
GM withdrew a letter to the editor after the paper insisted the automaker not call Friedman's column "rubbish," suggesting instead "we beg to differ" and, when that didn't fly, "not so."
Howard Kurtz this morning invited National Review’s Jonah Goldberg, The New Republic’s Michelle Cottle, and Time’s Karen Tumulty on to discuss Ann Coulter’s new book, and her recent appearance on NBC’s “Today” show (hat tip to Ian Schwartz of Expose the Left with his video link to follow). The quartet actually did a spectacular job of dissecting this event that is well worth the eight-minute view.
Conceivably one of the most salient points made was that the mainstream media know full well what is going to happen when they invite Ann on their programs, or put her on the covers of their magazines, and that they are doing it to sell their wares like any other corporate entity. Here’s what Jonah Goldberg said of this:
Without question, one of the most liberally biased journalists and political commentators in the mainstream media today is Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift. Week after week, her columns and her words spoken on “The McLaughlin Group” sound eerily similar to Democrat talking points coming directly from the likes of Howard Dean, Ted Kennedy, and John Kerry.
This is what makes her column on Friday quite shocking, for it not only deviates from the party line that she rarely strays from, but is also written without her normal inflammatory hyperbole for anything right of center. And, even more surprising, Clift actually had negative things to say about her left-leaning brethren.
Clift’s rare moment of sanity was evident right in the first paragraph:
“The death of the top-ranking operative of Al Qaeda in Iraq is a welcome moment of clarity in a war desperately in search of a rationale. Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi personified the face of evil and was controversial even among jihadists for staging large-scale attacks on civilians. The news out of Iraq has been gloomy for so long that Zarqawi’s demise, along with the agreement on the remaining cabinet ministers to fill out the new government, may buy some time with the American public, and give President Bush the breathing space to figure out what to do next when he meets with his advisers at Camp David next week.”
She continued with the importance of Zarqawi's death:
Dan Balz's outlook on life may be too sunny and stable to regularly read Markos Moulitsas's Daily Kos. That would explain why Balz fails to describe the far-left venom that powers the Kossacks in his account of their Las Vegas conference, Bloggers' Convention Draws Democrats. If Balz had provided some excerpts from Moulitsas's website, it would help explain why every one of the 20-odd candidates they've backed for national office office has lost. But he doesn't mention that either.