At 5:00 pm, Saturday, April 2, cable news outlets reported that a Blue Angels jet crashed in Beaufort, SC. Fox News and the local town paper, the Beaufort Gazette, reported the pilot did not make it. CNN reported that there is one fatality but has not specified who that fatality is. The plane appeared to "drop out of the sky," clip a power line and then break up, slamming into pine trees. Our thoughts and prayers are with all involved.
A Fox News anchor called the area "remote," but with a Marine Corps Air Station and a population of 12,950, the area isn't exactly remote. I guess it seems remote to those in major news, especially if they have to drive more than an hour or two.
CNN and FNC covered it live for about an hour and then went to regular programming. MSNBC didn't cover it live at all and ran a pre-recorded "true-life crime story," but it did mention the crash during the commercial breaks. Should MSNBC have covered it live, too? Would the media have devoted more time to the FA-19 crash if it had been commercial or private?
Although it goes without saying that Internet denizens of all colors, shapes, and sizes typify the concepts inherent in the First Amendment, conceivably nothing incites more ire from bloggers than out of control comments sections.
As this issue came to a head last month in the midst of the Kathy Sierra debacle – a computer programming instructor that ended up canceling speaking engagements due to death threats – a debate has ensued throughout the blogosphere concerning what should be done to increase civility without jeopardizing free speech. This has even gone so far to evoke discussions of creating a “bloggers code of conduct.”
In reality, comments sections can be so hostile that many bloggers debate the pluses and minuses of having them at all. Law professor Ann Althouse posted a deliciously comic view on this issue Saturday that is much like John Kerry’s position on funding the Iraq war (emphasis added):
Of course there were many other newsmaking events this week, but the relatively silent treatment this story received from Old Media is still not a surprise (the link is to a story at a trade publication's web site; very few papers had a related story written by the Associated Press):
ABC’s weatherman, Sam Champion, continued his crusade to get every American to adopt liberal environmental polices. While standing in front of a massive bank of televisions, he lectured viewers on their contribution to global warming: "If you think you have nothing to do with global warming, think again. From the car you drive, to the house you live in, it all contributes to the problem."
New York Times columnist Tom Friedman appeared on the "Today" show to announce that America’s best shot at winning the war on terrorism is by going green. NBC, of course, promoted the segment as "save energy, save the world."
Rod Paige, the first Education Secretary under George W. Bush, has a new book on the dangers of teacher unions, so you wouldn't expect a nice review in The Washington Post. Richard Kahlenberg of the "radical centrist" vogue at the New America Foundation argues that Paige can't find the nuances, and then finds Paige's nuances. First he argued:
Like his old boss, Paige doesn't "do nuance," even when given more than 200 pages to state his case. Granted, teacher unions are by no means perfect. As Paige notes, too often the unions protect incompetent teachers and resist efforts to pay the teacher who works long hours any more than the one who springs for the parking lot the moment the bell rings. But "The War Against Hope" does little to acknowledge the innovative proposals that some teacher unions have backed on those two issues and the positive roles they play in education.
If in the wake of the Imus incident the Rutgers women's basketball players had spurned an invitation to meet with President Bush, do you think ABC might have told us about it? Natch. But when those same players blew off a chance to meet Hillary Clinton, ABC managed to put a positive spin on matters.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton finally dropped by Rutgers to meet with the school's women's basketball coach -- but the players themselves skipped the half-hour meeting, citing their studies and Imus fatigue.
"Many of the players were in study hall from eight to noon and some had finals," explained a Rutgers source who said the players were "tired" of all the attention. "These young women need to do their classes, and wrap their spring semester."
It's enough to give a guy flashbacks to co-eds shooting him down for a Saturday-night date because they had to study.
It's very natural for journalists, just like anyone else, to dismiss scandals when your friends or heroes are involved. As CBS anchor Katie Couric is embarrassed by having a ghost writer make up her childhood memories -- and plagiarize someone else's work -- CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien insists it will pass, and insists that poor Katie is often personally attacked because she dared to be a pioneering woman anchor. The New York Observer reported:
The Transom asked for Ms. O’Brien’s take on the recent scandal over at CBS, which fired producer Melissa McNamara after she plagiarized a Wall Street Journal column for one of Katie Couric’s first-person commentaries. “Well, you know, she’s a mentor of mine, so I talk to her all the time,” Ms. O’Brien said of Ms. Couric. “When I was at NBC and I didn’t have an agent, she called up her agent, and the next thing I knew, I was represented by CAA. I mean, people don’t do that. So I’ve always been incredibly grateful to her.
“I think she’s a great role model for women, because she’s made a very brave choice,” Ms. O’Brien continued. “She’s gone out and tackled something, and nobody before her—no woman—has done the evening news, and I think she has gotten a lot of barbs because of that. Some of the attacks are very personal, and because she is a woman. I’m sorry to have to admit that, but it’s true. I think she’s handled it with grace. This too shall pass, because one thing Katie Couric is, is a terrific journalist. Everybody knows that. And Brian Williams too!”
Several major media players, including print icons, are losing money. An April 20 article in the New York Times reported that the New York Times Company (NYT and the Boston Globe) and the Gannett Company (USA Today) declined in first-quarter revenue while the Tribune Company (the Chicago Tribune and the LA Times) actually lost money.
The Times has recently been rocked by major scandals such as Jayson Blair’s plagiarism and fabrication and Rick Bragg's plagiarism. Newsbusters and Times Watch have documented the Times’ leftward-tilting reporting and an inability to acknowledge reporting mistakes in stories like the Duke lacrosse hoax, the story about rape in the military that was printed when known to be false and the recent article which wrongly claimed an El Salvadoran woman was jailed for an illegal abortion. Radar Online noticed the lowering of journalistic bar at the paper and ranked their ten worst reporters. It’s no secret that the print media are in dire straits, and even the NYT wrote that the “disappointing results underscored the increasingly tough economic times faced by the industry as advertisers continued to shift their focus away from print to the Internet.” The Times gave the numbers for the downturn:
Proving once again how badly the left suffers from BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome), Comedy Central is launching a new animated show lampooning George W. Bush and all surrounding him that was originally broadcast through cell phone networks.
Included in the cartoon attacks will be Vice President Cheney, Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice and a brother JEB who is "dumb as paint".
In what may be a TV first, Comedy Central’s new series Lil’ Bush (which premieres in June) comes to TV by way of mobile devices such as web-enabled cell phones. The property began as mobisodes seen on 2” mobile screens.
ABC's Good Morning America and World News on Friday displayed disappointment that liberals and Democrats have not pursued gun control in the wake of the mass murders at Virginia Tech. GMA's on-screen graphic for a 7am half hour story demanded, “Politicians and Gun Control: Why Aren’t They Outraged?” Co-host Robin Roberts rued: “After every major shooting in the U.S., without fail, there has been a heated debate about gun control on Capitol Hill. But not this time. In fact, most politicians have been running away from the debate on guns. So, why is this happening?” Reporter Jake Tapper echoed the theme: “It was the worst school shooting in American history, and yet what some liberals are referring to as a deafening silence from Democrats on Capitol Hill. After reciting how Democrats fear the electoral impact of the agenda, Tapper concluded by relaying how “in the rest of the world, of course, gun rights in the United States are viewed somewhat oddly.”
Just over 12 hours later, World News anchor Charles Gibson recalled how “when I spoke to President Bush at Virginia Tech, he told me he thought the killings at that college would spark new debate on gun laws. So far, it hasn't. The discussion, in fact, has been surprisingly muted.” (Naturally, Gibson had prompted that answer: “After Columbine, there was ignited a national debate on guns. Do you think this is going to rekindle the national debate?”) In Friday's story, Tapper highlighted how “for gun control activists...the Democrats' silence was deafening.” He went on to explain that “many Democratic strategists think Al Gore's liberal gun control stance cost him key states like West Virginia and Tennessee in the 2000 election” and “Democrats recaptured the Congress last November partly because of pro-gun Democrats.” Tapper showcased how “this weekend a TV ad campaign begins airing that faults the Democratic Congress for not backing a gun control measure.”
[UPDATE: PBS's Gwen Ifill: “Have the Virginia tech shootings changed the debate” about gun control? "Not so much. But why not?”]
On his HBO show that aired over the last week, Bill Maher joked that last Friday, "President Bush spoke at a Catholic prayer breakfast, and you could tell this was a Catholic prayer breakfast because [Maher laughs] it was in the morning and he said 'I'm dying for a little joe' and they brought him an altar boy." The crowd laughed and applauded, and Maher said, "See, I'm not afraid!"
Aside from the fact there are craven bishops who still deserve this joke, isn't this show supposed to be "topical"? Isn't this a little like cracking jokes about that wacky Senate Majority Leader, Tom Daschle?
A week after we heard endless lectures about how hard-working ethical heroes like the Rutgers women in no way deserve the humor Don Imus dished out, can't we also suggest that hard-working ethical heroes like the nation's Catholic priests in no way deserve Maher's line of "ho" humor?
On her "Couric & Co." blog today, the CBS "Evening News" anchor posted a 10-question interview with gun control activist Paul Helmke. Couric's questions largely lobbed softballs for the Brady Campaign's Helmke to hit out of the park. But beyond that, she let slip a suggestion a keener ear might have caught and followed up on.
Helmke suggested he'd prefer a law making law-abiding citizens have to show references for purchasing a gun.
That's right, references, as in asking friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. if they think you should have the right to own a gun. References for the government to pry into your life (well beyond any criminal record) before you, a law-abiding citizen, to purchase a gun, something you have the right to do under the Constitution.
Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer, right, and correspondent Pete Williams report, in New York Thursday morning April 19, 2007, on a video manifesto and photos sent to their network by Virginia Tech gunman Cho Seung-Hui.
Soon it’s going to cost you more to mow your lawn, and the Christian Science Monitor doesn’t mind because it’s all in the name of a cleaner planet.
“[H]elp is on the way. Thanks to a new rule unveiled by the Environmental Protection Agency this week, homeowners will finally be able to buy mowers that give their lawn a truly clean cut,” wrote Mark Clayton of the Monitor.
But it was not homeowners who pressured mower manufacturers to lower emissions, but a mandate from the EPA. According to the new rule, beginning in 2011 small engines like those used in lawn tractors must filter out “an additional 35 pollutants … in addition to the 60 percent reduction mandated last year.”
In Friday’s Weekend section, Washington Post music writer Richard Harrington composed the requisite schmooze article on Sheryl Crow’s and Laurie David’s propagandistic Earth Day weekend in DC, noting how it’s “aimed at inspiring students to become part of the movement.” Which movement, a liberal movement? How many times have readers found the term “liberal movement” in the Washington Post? (Answer: a Nexis search shows not since last July 17, when then-Postie Jim VandeHei wrote "A year after its founding, Democracy Alliance has followed up on its pledge to become a major power in the liberal movement.")
The headline of the soft-scoop piece is “College Tour Means The World to Sheryl Crow.” Crow typically um, crowed that the debate was over and it’s irresponsible to oppose her. That would include opposing her strange notion that the global-apocalypse specialists cooking up global-government schemes at the United Nations can be categorized as “conservative” scientists:
Rush Limbaugh has long compared aspects of the environmentalist movement to a religion. CNN’s Ali Velshi has given some evidence of that hypothesis. Friday’s "American Morning" featured a segment on carbon offset credits, which Velshi and cohost Kiran Chetry all but endorsed. At the beginning of the segment, Velshi stated that the credits were a way for companies to "basically buy their way out of their sins." At the segment’s close, he uses the exact same terminology - "It's the idea that you're paying or you're making up for your pollution and your sins." Video: Real (793 KB) or Windows (893 KB), plus MP3 (125 KB).
Al Gore has complained that the media are biased against the inconvenient truth of global warming. "I believe that is one of the principal reasons why political leaders around the world have not yet taken action," Gore told a "Media Ethics Summit" at Middle Tennessee State University back in February. Gore lectured journalists that any coverage of views opposed to his own was irresponsible, calling it "balance as bias."
It's impossible to imagine the big TV networks actually accepting an edict from a conservative politician to report only their side of a major public policy issue, but a new Media Research Center study of ABC, CBS and NBC's global warming coverage finds the networks are giving Gore practically everything he demanded. Not only does nearly every global warming story exclude any contrary voices, but the coverage of Al Gore personally has been exceptionally positive as well.
Here's one ally that most people opposed to the airing of Cho's material would surely just as soon do without.
In an MSNBC column, Siva Vaidhyanathan claims that NBC News' decision to air the material was unfair to, that's right, Cho the mass murderer.
In Material from Killer Should Not Have Aired, Vaidhyanathan does note en passant that the airing "ultimately was disrespectful to the victims and their families." But the lion's share of his column is devoted to complaining that NBC was "exploitative of Cho's condition and that of all severely mentally ill people."
We will see sick attempts at humor, bigoted jokes about Korean immigrants and chilling calls to violence. And we will see a proliferation of hateful material that will be an assault on the mentally ill and their families.
In addition to asking ABC's chief climate alarmist Sam Champion about the snow-laden wind farm he
surveyed today and what it says about "global warming," NewsBusters would love to
hear the "Good Morning America" personality chalk 100 trapped sealing boats in Canada up to Americans who use too much fossil fuel and thereby warm the planet.
Here's just a few news sources covering the story:
The American press is so encumbered by political correctness and ignorant of Islamic doctrine that it is allowing extremist Muslims in this country to mask a hard-core ideology in minority politics. So says M. Zuhdi Jasser, a moderate American Muslim leader (h/t: LGF).
This pandering on the part of the American press (I would add international as well), is preventing the emergence of a pan-Islamic consensus to marginalize extremists like Osama bin Laden, Jasser argues. Instead, the reverse happens--criticism of Islamists gets suppressed by naive liberals who misguidedly think it's racist:
Dennis Wagner of the Arizona Republic broke the story on April 10, 2007 about PBS's censorship of the documentary, Islam vs. Islamists from its America at a Crossroads series which debuted this week. The film's producers, Frank Gaffney, Alex Alexiev and the veteran filmmaker, Martyn Burke of ABG Films, Inc. have since presented in shocking detail their painful protracted experiences trying to navigate the censors at PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting which funded the film with $675,000 of the taxpayers' monies but now has chosen to shelve it. In just the last week of public debate, there has been a firestorm of outcry from the public who are demanding that oppressive methods of editorial content control by power brokers at PBS be investigated and the real story behind the shelving of Islam vs. Islamists be exposed. PBS's exploitation of the public dime and the public airwaves for the narrow point of view of the Islamist sympathizers with the exclusion of the anti-Islamist Muslims is just now beginning to be understood.
With co-host Whoopi Goldberg on the set, the ladies of "The View" continued to discuss the Imus controversy on the April 20 show. Goldberg felt strongly that Imus deserved at least a strong suspension and noted that, while all Americans have free speech, our words can still have consequences. The guest co-host then went through a long list of celebrities whose careers were damaged from inflammatory statements. Rosie responded with another one of her scary predictions and Joy Behar reacted with the "Nazi Germany" card.
ROSIE O’DONNELL: I think racist is one thing. But when people start to say this person has a dissenting political opinion, therefore we want them off the air. That's when we're in dangerous territory. That’s what I think.
As part of ABC’s Earth Day "celebration," the Friday edition of "Good Morning America" featured another segment on just how wasteful Americans are. GMA anchor Diane Sawyer hosted a piece on the destruction Americans create simply by existing. The piece repeatedly hit the United States for producing so much trash. What follows is a sampling of some of Sawyer’s comments about her wasteful compatriots:
Diane Sawyer: "Well, think of Americans with all our waste."
Sawyer: "Toss in some other emblems of consumption, American style. Like all those cell phones in your life, TVs and computers and cars. "
Sawyer: "And let's be honest with each other about the way Americans squander water."
Paul Schneider, a contributor to the Times' Friday Travel section, visits the quaint Southern town of Flippin, Ark., the center of the first of many Clinton administration scandals, in "Remember Whitewater? The Place Is Still There."
Though his story is mostly concerned with hiking, fishing and caving (and occasional cracks about the South), Schneider opened with liberal conventional wisdom:
"It's hard now to remember those shiny days before 9/11 when Congress seemed to believe that the greatest threat to the republic lay in an obscure land deal in northwestern Arkansas called Whitewater. Given all that has passed under the bridge, there’s something quaint and nostalgic about so much froth and fury over something that in the end went nowhere, like a slightly gonzo Norman Rockwell cover showing democracy in action.
Friday’s "Good Morning America" kicked off Earth Day with a push for liberal solutions to environmental issues such as climate change. And while weatherman Sam Champion reported on global warming in snow covered New York, GMA co-host Chris Cuomo appeared live from France to tout how far ahead that country is compared to America's envrionmental progress. In Paris, he noted approvingly, "the price of gas here is $6 a gallon to discourage guzzling."
Later in the piece, Cuomo agan touted the superior Europeans:
Chris Cuomo: "Europe does have a lot of significant issues it has to deal with, like the United States. But they're much more innovative here in terms of figuring out what to do."
When Republican strategist Michelle Laxalt began to describe the clinical reality of partial-birth abortion on MSNBC this morning at about 10:55 AM EDT, MSNBC host Chris Jansing cut her off, saying she didn't want to get into an "emotional debate." Of course not. Better to focus on the antiseptic "right to choose" without letting the gruesome reality of the matter intrude.
In partial birth abortion, the doctor collapses the near-term baby's skull and its brains are then sucked out. Immediately after stopping Laxalt just as she was about to state that, Jansing herself said that the GOP might welcome the debate on the partial birth abortion issue "after Iraq and some of the other things that have gone on at the White House that have sort of sucked the life out of the Republican party."
Alleged actor Alec Baldwin can be pretty vicious, at least verbally. He's called Vice President Dick Cheney "a lying, thieving Oil Whore." During the Clinton impeachment, he said: “If we were living in another country, what we, all of us together, would go down to Washington and stone (Republican Congressman) Henry Hyde to death, stone him to death, stone him to death! Then we would go to their house and we’d kill the family, kill the children.” (see update below for MRC coverage of same)
Kill the children? A typically measured, thoughtful comment from a member of the Hollywood Left. So perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that Baldwin's contempt for children extends even to his own.
Today at SFGate.com, Associated Press entertainment writer Sandy Cohen reports on a recent voice mail message left by Baldwin for his 11-year-old daughter. He tells her "You are a rude, thoughtless little pig" and "You don't have the brains or the decency as a human being."
As a Canadian environmental consultant, Dr. Timothy F. Ball isn’t a household name in America...yet.
However, his writings, speeches, and television appearances concerning the science and lack thereof surrounding anthropogenic global warming make him a distinguished member of the growing list of skeptics around the world desperately and passionately fighting to inject some facts into this contentious debate.
On Thursday, I received an e-mail message from Dr. Ball addressing the dangers inherent in the current global warming alarmism being exhibited by the media and folks like soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore, and how “incompetent” and possibly “malevolent” scientists are unfortunately aiding in the misinformation campaign.
What follows is a partial text of his e-mail message presented with his permission (emphasis added):