With Katie Couric in Iraq, the CBS Evening News on Wednesday allowed viewers to hear directly from U.S. soldiers who regretted how people back home don't hear more about “the good things soldiers do for the Iraqis” and warned that a pullout by the U.S. would lead to “mayhem.” Couric asked a small group of soldiers: “What would you like people to know that you don't think they're hearing back home?”Army Sergeant Jamie Wall answered: “The good things that happen out here, the good things that soldiers do for the Iraqis and how the Iraqis react to us.” Sergeant Brady Marcus predicted: “If we pulled out now, the gangs would take over, the streets would be in mayhem, and this place would be a disaster area.” Couric responded by suggesting it “sounds like, in your opinion, there's no easy answer,” which prompted Marcus to reproach Couric's simplistic appraisal: “There's not an easy answer. We're at war, Katie, and it's not an easy thing to get through.”
Pillars of the news media and foreign policy establishment were scolded Wednesday night on ABC by Jack Keane, a retired four-star General and former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, who asserted both are living “in the past” in their pessimistic warnings about Iraq. Fareed Zakaria, Editor of Newsweek International, had asserted that “the American Army has presided over the largest ethnic cleansing in the world since the Balkans.” For World News, anchor Charles Gibson gathered Zakaria, Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Keane to assess the road ahead in Iraq. Zakaria charged: “One of the dirty little secrets about Iraq is that Iraq has increasingly been ethnically cleansed. It's sad to say, but the American Army has presided over the largest ethnic cleansing in the world since the Balkans. When people say bad things are going to happen if we leave, bad things have already happened. Where were you for the last four years?” Haass maintained: “We should be realistic. Iraq is likely to be a messy and slightly dysfunctional country for the foreseeable future.”
Keane pounced: “Both of you are really not describing what's happening in Iraq. I mean, you're in the past, to be quite frank about it. The Sunni insurgency has gone through a conversion. They have thrown the towel in. They have now saddled up along side of us...”
I guess Adrian "Wrong Way" Flanagan is less than pleased with the blog posted here yesterday by your humble NewsBusters correspondent. Whilst trapped by arctic ice, Wrong Way has taken time out from his travails to attack Yours Truly on his Alpha Global Expedition Blog entry tenderly titled, Spot the Moron:
After a badly written piece for a French news wire service, a false story has started circulating through the Internet.
Amazing how rapidly inaccurate information can spread.
The first corrections are starting to appear and we liked the postings by Dan Xavier. One is reproduced in full on BSD - The Detector
Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu, whose many large contributions to Democratic coffers, including Hillary Clinton came from an apparently non-existent source, has jumped bail yet again. As reported by the Associated Press,
Hsu, a Hong Kong native, was also supposed to turn over his passport Wednesday. Hsu's prominent Silicon Valley criminal defense attorney Jim Brosnahan said Hsu failed to give the passport to the legal team on Monday. "Mr. Hsu is not here and we do not know where Mr. Hsu is," Brosnahan said outside court. Brosnahan said that "there was some contact" with Hsu a few hours before the scheduled 9 a.m. court appearance, but he declined to say how and who talked to Hsu. Hsu pleaded no contest in 1991 to a felony count of grand theft, admitting he'd defrauded investors of $1 million after falsely claiming to have contracts to purchase and sell Latex gloves. He was facing up to three years in prison when he skipped town before his 1992 sentencing date.
A lot of you have been reporting problems lately accessing NB. It was apparently triggered by a bug in Internet Explorer 7. After a few days of futzing with the DNS and some of the database backend, I think I've fixed the problem.
Scott Johnson at Powerline argues that liberal opinion journal The New Republic really needs a grown-up in charge to clean up the magazine's act:
Although the -- I believe the correct word is "venerable" -- Martin Peretz is nominally the editor-in-chief of the New Republic, the lack of adult supervision at the magazine has become painfully apparent in the course of the magazine's continuing Beauchamp disgrace. When are "the editors" going to render their verdict on their Baghdad Fabulist, anyway?
The lack of adult supervision at the magazine is apparent beyond the Beauchamp disgrace. Here the juvenile TNR staffer Joshua Patashnik does little more than direct sarcasm at the New York Times's relatively favorable review (by Carl Cannon) of Stephen Hayes's book on Vice President Cheney. Unlike Patashnik, Cannon actually shows evidence of having read Hayes's book.
Chicago, like Washington, D.C., has a stringent gun ban. So naturally the move by the District to defend the ban before the Supreme Court will be big news in the Windy City. Yet that doesn't excuse the Chicago Tribune's James Oliphant for breezing over gun rights advocates in his article, "D.C. gun case may hit Chicago."
Oliphant began by telling his readers that gun rights advocates would come gunning for Chicago's gun ban if they succeed before the high Court.:
The District of Columbia is going to the Supreme Court to protect its 1976 law that effectively disarmed its crime-plagued law-abiding civilian populace. In addition to an editorial cheering on the appeal, Washington's largest broadsheet is all to happy to skew its front-page coverage accordingly.
In their September 5 article "D.C. Case Could Shape Gun Laws," reporters Robert Barnes and David Nakamura quoted from gun ban proponents Mayor Adrian Fenty (D) and D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer as they laid out their arguments for the gun ban. Only one opponent of the gun ban was quoted, and even then his ink was wasted on explaining his next move:
Frustration with CENTCOM's and the military's ability and willingness to get its message out abounded late last year.
Although I'll allow that many things get past me, I have noticed bare improvements at best out of CENTCOM since then.
One blogger in Ohio has now done something about it.
Fortunately, heroic (that IS the right word) onsite milbloggers and others on the ground in Iraq have picked up much of the slack in the meantime. I would attempt to enumerate them here, but I'm sure I'll miss many who don't deserve to be overlooked. Collectively, I believe that they have conferred a degree of balance in the war-related news in two ways.
NBC's "Today" show devoted its entire 7:30am half-hour of its Wednesday morning program to Bill and Hillary Clinton as it invited on the former president to tout his wife's candidacy and his new book. During almost 13 minutes of one-on-one interview time with Clinton, Matt Lauer brought up the issue of too much money in politics but never asked about Bill's or Hillary's fundraising scandals, asked about Republican Larry Craig's sex scandal, but didn't mention Bill's own personal indiscretions and even let Clinton rant about the GOP's "Swift boat tactics" against Hillary.
Bill Clinton promoted his new book "Giving" in the second half-hour of NBC’s Today on Wednesday morning. Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira repeatedly promoted how the idealistic former president would arrive to tell viewers "how you can change the world." (That's a play on the book's subtitle.) To set up the interview, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell compiled a story in a typical story on the Clintons, with no conservative or Republican critics in it, and the toughest, most skeptical expert in the piece was Dee Dee Myers, the former Clinton press secretary. Myers declared that Hillary has the problem that her husband is "a global rock star and one of the most popular people on the face of the planet." Mitchell concluded that the former president is "one of her biggest assets."
New York Times reporter Gretel Kovach reported on the tragic shooting death in Dallas of Jeffrey Carter Albrecht, the keyboard player for Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians, in "Musician Is Killed For Banging On a Door." But unwittingly or not, that headline (killed for banging on a door -- talk about harsh Texas justice!) suggested the shooting was an overreaction, and Kovach's article further politicized the issue from the second sentence on.
A Texas rock musician was shot to death here early Monday by a neighbor who fired through a closed door, thinking he was scaring off a burglar.
The incident occurred just three days after a new law took effect strengthening the right of Texans to use deadly force to protect themselves and their property.
Gabriel Resources, a mining company based in Toronto, Canada, has begun to fight back against the lies and war of misinformation being waged against its proposed Romanian gold mine by leftwing billionaire George Soros. As I have written about several times on my own blog, BillHobbs.com, the poverty-stricken place village of Rosia Montana, Romania, is seeing its best-ever chance at economic progress and a better life for its people blocked by environmental groups and NGOs, and by Soros, a wealthy man who doesn't lack for things like indoor plumbing and electricity the way many of the people do in Rosia.
The New York Times, PBS and other media outlets have in recent weeks presented a false picture of the Rosia Montana project, describing it as a small village trying to fend off destruction by a big Canadian mining company. The real picture is much different - the truth is, the people of the village largely support the proposed mine, and want the benefits it will bring, and the opposition is largely non-local and heavily funded by Soros.
Two months later, the BBC has scrapped "Planet Relief," a proposed day-long special about climate change, specifically citing the failure of Al Gore's international concerts as one of the reasons for the cancellation.
As reported by England's Times Online Wednesday (h/t NB reader Chris Stacy, emphasis added throughout):
Led by a number of conservative bloggers (including, full disclosure, me), some of Tennessee's news media outlets have begun to report on the connections of convicted felon and big-time Democratic fund-raiser Norman Hsu to the Tennessee Democratic Party and the failed Senate campaign of former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr., who now heads the Democratic Leadership Council.
After a few days of reports by blogger Terry Frank, myself and other Tennessee conservative bloggers, and discussion on the popular Steve Gill radio show, following publication of a long list of Hsu's money recipients, the story has begun to appear in the mainstream Tennessee media, including the Nashville City Paper, the Knoxville News-Sentinel, and NashvillePost.com, so far, not in The Tennessean, which serves the capital city of Nashville, or the Memphis Commercial-Appeal.
Bill Clinton has a new book out titled Giving (no, it's not free), and the book launch already has loads of media help. Today's Washington Post carries a gooey article from reporter David Segal about a Harlem book launch event and panel discussion in Harlem for Clinton hosted by Tavis Smiley, the nightly PBS chat-show host. The headline on the front of the style section was "Bill Clinton's Got What It Takes for 'Giving.'" Segal can't get over how Clinton consistently sounds like a genius, and how it makes him long for the glory days:
He still has this way of presenting his ideas for reforms as simple, elegant solutions that would all but enact themselves if enough people get behind them or merely get out of their way.
He spoke, at one point, of "whittling down materials to retrofit buildings to combat global warming in Bangladesh, and whatever it means, it sure sounds like a good idea. He said the market for charitable giving was "under-organized" and "under-capitalized," and again -- it makes sense even if you're not sure about what it means.
As the media focus continued attention on supposedly receding glaciers in Greenland, they conveniently ignore those right here in America that are actually expanding.
Adding insult to injury, as prominent California congresswomen House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California) travel abroad to laughingly see evidence of global warming, they could drive north of their residences in the San Francisco Bay Area - with an entourage of gushing media sycophants of course - to see evidence that goes counter to their alarmist theories.
In fact, as reported by Sacramento's CBS affiliate Sunday, glaciers on California's Mount Shasta have grown by 30 percent in the past 50 years (video available here):
Although it isn't a blue moon, it might as well be. In this September 3 article, the AP ditched the generally obvious anti-Israel bias and gave rare insight into what it is like to be on the receiving end of Gaza's rockets in Israel. Not only did the AP describe the difficulties and fears the Sderot townspeople endure, but the wire service even made available a photo of Israeli school children sitting under desks during a rocket-attack drill (photo to the right*). The AP usually saves that kind of sympathetic reporting and imagery for the Palestinians.
Surprisingly, the AP named those responsible and labeled them with the “I-word,” Islamic. Even more amazing, AP writer Yaniv Zohar did not blame Israel for the shelling and did not focus on Palestinian children in this unusual article (emphasis mine throughout):
A Palestinian rocket exploded Monday next to a day care center crowded with toddlers in southern Israel, sparking anger and panic in the frequently targeted town of Sderot and bringing warnings of retribution from Israeli leaders.
Thomas Friedman shouldn't be so modest. The opening line of his column today proclaims his inability, based on his current trip to Iraq, to see the big picture there. But buried in his description of three experiences from his journey is a conclusion as unequivocal as it is harrowing.
In the first anecdote in [subscription-required] "Letter from Baghdad" Friedman describes his experience visiting a U.S. Army platoon based in Baghdad's Ameriya neighborhood. As the author explains, this had been an affluent Sunni area that had first been ravaged by Shia militias and then by pro-Al Qaedi Sunnis who had 'imposed a reign of Islamist terror" on the neighborhood. Secular Sunnis from the area banded to together to form the “Ameriya Knights" and fight alongside the Americans to expel the Al-Qaeda terrorists.
USA Today lends a big assist in promulgating Chinese propaganda as the paper helps explain away the nature of the forced military training that Chinese children undergo. Calling the compulsory training a benign sounding "camp" and presenting the children's training as if it is a mere summer excursion, USA Today soft sells China's militarization of their youth in theirs titled, "Chinese kids undergo required military training."
As USA Today dutifully reports China's propaganda -- the children go there to "sing songs" with the training only meant to "bolster teamwork" -- we see a disgraceful example of the MSM's practice of not "offending" a totalitarian nation so as not to lose their "access" there. Instead of reporting the harsh truth, we have USA Today offering a sunny and happy report on Chinese warmongering.
The Chinese government forces all children between the ages of 9 and 18 to undergo military training at regular intervals during Summer break from school. They have no choice and neither do their parents. This is the sort of complete lack of freedom of choice that can be expected from a totalitarian government, of course. In the West, we decry militarizing our children by force, so isn't it odd that USA Today so softens this training? Isn't it shameful that the paper helps China promote the propaganda that these military training sessions are really a wonderful time for China's youth?
"The Path to 9/11," ABC's five-hour miniseries from earlier this year, is still not out on DVD and now the film's screenwriter is claiming that ABC is blocking the release of the DVD to save Hillary and Bill Clinton the embarrassment they suffered when the show originally aired on TV. Why would ABC do this? Because we are at the beginning of Hillary Clinton's run for president and ABC wants to keep the Clinton's failures against radical Islam from coming to the fore says series writer Cyrus Nowrasteh.
On Tuesday's "Countdown," MSNBC host Keith Olbermann delivered his latest "Special Comment" rant against President Bush, branding him a "liar" because the President raised the possibility of withdrawing some American troops during his speech in Iraq, after the President had also spoken, in Robert Draper's new book, "Dead Certain," of "sustaining a presence" in Iraq. Olbermann assumed Bush's two statements -- about withdrawing some troops and "sustaining a presence" -- could not be consistent, thus contending Bush had revealed an "evil secret." Olbermann: "A man with any self respect, having inadvertently revealed such an evil secret, would have already resigned and fled the country! You have no remaining credibility about Iraq, sir!" (Transcript follows)
I bet you can't say the following without laughing hysterically: the media were much kinder to George W. Bush during the 2000 election campaign cycle than Vice President Al Gore.
As absurd as this statement might seem, such was the premise of an article in October's Vanity Fair written by contributing editor Evgenia Peretz and marvelously entitled "Going After Gore."
In it, Peretz - apparently with a straight face - claimed: "The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other top news outlets kept going after [Gore], with misquotes (‘I invented the Internet'), distortions (that he lied about being the inspiration for Love Story), and strangely off-the-mark needling, while pundits such as Maureen Dowd appeared to be charmed by his rival, George W. Bush."
Makes one wonder what the color of the sky is in Peretz's world. Regardless, for your entertainment pleasure, here are some of the absolutely hysterical lowlights (emphasis added throughout):
It was not exactly a plum assignment for a Republican to go on network television to discuss the alleged foot-tapping ways of the soon-to-be former GOP senator from Idaho. But Republicans also could easily see the delight in the eyes of the liberal media when word of Sen. Larry Craig’s Minneapolis airport arrest broke. The press went right back to last year’s smash-mouth Foleygate talking points about how this wasn’t just about the moral turpitude of one member of Congress, but it was about the impending end of the Republican Party, and potential doom for American conservatism.
On Tuesday, NBC’s "Today" show had opened with Matt Lauer asking: "Can the right wing withstand yet another scandal involving one of its own?" (Try imagining Matt Lauer, or any other network journalist out there, asking if "the left wing" could withstand yet another scandal after the breaking news of any one of the endless scandals revolving around Bill and Hillary Clinton.) Ann Curry chimed in, wondering "how does this specter of hypocrisy affect the Party?"
The issues of interest to Iowa caucus-voters “tend to be the same issues that everyone is concerned about around the country,” ABC's Kate Snow maintained Tuesday night, a contention she illustrated by citing “one voter” who recited to her a litany of liberal agenda topics: “She's worried about health care, Social Security and...'getting the Hell out of Iraq.'”
Snow's conclusion from Des Moines followed a World News piece from Jake Tapper in New Hampshire where he similarly found getting out of Iraq is the most important issue, at least to “independent” voters. After pointing out how there are more independents than either Republicans or Democrats in the Granite State, Tapper explained that “a key issue for so many independents here, such as contractor Gerry Hamel, is opposition to the war in Iraq.” Hamel expressed his view that “we can only be there so long and it's time to leave.” Tapper helped Hamel out as Tapper unintentionally showed how Snow's take on Iraq matched the Democratic position: “And the Democratic candidates are saying that, not the Republicans?” Hamel agreed.