Do you ever have one of those moments when you're reading the newspaper, and you feel like a reporter is just pulling a number out of the air? The way that reporters staunchly suggested without a study that there were three million homeless Americans in the 1980s?The Washington Post gave me that impression with its Monday story on Latinos converting to Islam. How common is it, and who's done a study? The Post warns "precise numbers" aren't available, so it makes what sounds to me like an over-guess:
Across the nation, thousands of Latino immigrants are redefining themselves through Islam, including a few hundred in the Washington region, according to national Islamic groups and community leaders.
The Tuesday ABC and NBC evening newscasts ran tributes to Princeton University’s salutatorian, illegal immigrant Dan-el Padilla Peralta, and NBC also hailed the efforts of illegals in Queens to defy efforts to crack down on them. At the top of World News Tonight, Charles Gibson fretted, “American dream: A Princeton graduate who rose from homelessness to the top of his class, but could now be banned from the country because he is an illegal alien." Gibson soon touted how “we have an extraordinary story tonight of one illegal immigrant” who was amongst the few able to attend college, specifically “a young man who graduated from Princeton University today near the top of his class. He defied the odds spectacularly. Yet, because he is illegal, he faces an uncertain future.” David Muir explained his plight: "Dan-el is an illegal immigrant, which becomes very important because he's been invited to study at Oxford. And if he goes, U.S. immigration law says because he is an illegal, he can't come back for at least a decade."
Brian Williams ended the NBC Nightly News by trumpeting how Peralta “got over a major hurdle today. He graduated from the Ivy League despite living in the U.S. illegally. He moved here from the Dominican Republic when he was four. His mother was sick.” Just before the admiration from Williams, NBC ran a piece from David Gregory which looked at the immigration debate through the prism of illegals: “You see a neighborhood among the most diverse in the city on the leading edge of this fight. Some are afraid. Luis Amigo owns this bodaga. Here illegally, he says he won't visit his sister anymore, fearing he'll now get stuck in Mexico." Gregory set up “community activist” Ana Maria Archilla: “Leaving really isn't an option?" And before a minister, who didn’t differentiate between legal and illegal immigrants, argued that “we would fail our forefathers if we are not doing what we are supposed to do, to welcome immigrants,” Gregory delivered this chastisement of conservatives, "There is also this appeal: Don't let today's politics change the country." (Transcripts follow)
Earlier today, the Los Angeles Times reported that Pentagon officials were considering
dropping Article 3 of the Geneva Convention from FM 34-52, the Army's
field manual on interrogation. While the Pentagon has not reached a
final decision on the potential modifications to FM 34-52, the Times
and USA Today certainly have. Follow the escalation.
"The Pentagon has decided to omit from new detainee policies a key tenet
of the Geneva Convention that explicitly bans "humiliating and
degrading treatment," according to knowledgeable military officials, a
step that would mark a further, potentially permanent, shift away from
strict adherence to international human rights standards."
In a further dumbing down of definitions for mental disorders in our mental health system, now it is claimed that millions have something called "intermittent explosive disorder" which manifests itself in the so-called road rage outbursts across this great land of ours.
More proof that our "mental health" practitioners are all too often full of crap. From the AP: (Click here for story)
"CHICAGO - To you, that angry, horn-blasting tailgater is suffering from road rage. But doctors have another name for it -- intermittent explosive disorder -- and a new study suggests it is far more common than they realized, affecting up to 16 million Americans.
"People think it's bad behavior and that you just need an attitude adjustment, but what they don't know ... is that there's a biology and cognitive science to this," said Dr. Emil Coccaro, chairman of psychiatry at the University of Chicago's medical school.
Road rage, temper outbursts that involve throwing or breaking objects and even spousal abuse can sometimes be attributed to the disorder, though not everyone who does those things is afflicted.
Looks like another person on the CBS payroll missed a memo. First it was weatherman Dave Price giving positive reports on Iraq. Now, on this morning’s "Early Show" Colonel Randy Larsen, the director of the Homeland Security Institute and according to co-host Hannah Storm, a CBS News consultant, debunked a few myths that have been promoted by the media.
Larsen used the arrests in Canada to defend the National Security Agency’s (NSA) reported collection of phone records data and to illustrate its usefulness:
"But, it's a superb example, Hannah, of this controversy in the past few weeks about NSA and having the big database of telephone calls. When they arrested these people this weekend, they got cell phones and they got access to other phone numbers they didn't have before. And I'll tell you what, as a U.S. citizen, I'm really happy there's a database we can quickly look into now and see who they've been calling in the United States and start looking into that. So, there's a specific example of about how this data mining can really provide us more security here."
Web media is the dominant at-work media and No. 2 in the home, according to a new report from the Online Publishers Association.
The Web also ranked as the No. 1 daytime media.
A research project, conducted by Ball State University's Center for Media Design, tracked the media use of 350 people every 15 seconds. The subjects represented each gender, about equally, across three age groups: 18 to 34, 35 to 49 and 50-plus. The people were monitored by another person for approximately 13 hours, or 80 percent of their waking day.
One hopes this Time mag profile of leftist blogger Markos "Kos" Moulitsas from ex-pseudo blogger Ana Marie Cox (occasionally formerly of wonkette.com), is not allowed into the magazine lest more innocent people will be exposed to its fatuousness.
Compact and wiry, Moulitsas, 34, exudes quivering intensity. He speaks
in staccato paragraphs, punctuated by intense stares and a raised
eyebrow. His eyes bulge slightly outward, as if reacting to the
pressure of all the ideas inside his head. Many of those ideas find a home on Daily Kos. A
clearinghouse for liberal screeds and progressive perspective on the
news, the site claims to get more than 500,000 unique visitors daily
and more than 10,000 members maintain their own sub-blogs (called
"diaries") within its reaches.
In other words, he's nuts but it's in a good way. The nonsense hardly stops there, though:
Moulitsas’s rhetoric and passion have made him a posterboy
bomb-thrower. He's the left's own Kurt Cobain and Che Guevera rolled
into one, dripping sex appeal for progressives for whom debate has
become synonymous with losing, who need a muscular liberal answer to
the cowboy swagger adopted by the Bush Administration and its fans.
Andrew C. McCarthy writes in National Review that when the New York Times reported on the foiled terrorist plots in Canada, they took great pains not to mention the terrorists were Muslim.
Not only were all those arrested Muslims. The reported evidence against them fits to a tee the shopworn pattern of Islamic terrorism repeated for much of the last two decades. Young men were radicalized at the local mosque and its companion school by elders preaching from the Koran.....
Nonetheless, the rigorous media practice in Phase One is to suppress any reference to Islam, the single thread that runs through virtually all modern terrorism—from New York, to Virginia, to Bali, the Djerba, to Baghdad, to Mombassa, to Tel Aviv, to Nairobi, to Dar es Salaam, to Ankara, to Paris, to Riyadh, to Amman, to Sharm el-Sheikh, to Aden, to London, to Madrid, and, now, to Toronto.
Coming on long after Ann Coulter presumably left the Today show set Kathy Griffin couldn't resist taking a shot at the conservative author. Griffin cracked Al Roker up when she called Coulter a "nut-ball" and asked Al: "Doesn't she just make stuff up?"
Kathy Griffin: "I like to make fun of everybody. I think nobody is sacred, everybody can be ridiculous. And I love making fun of just all of celebrity culture."
Al Roker: "So you basically have gone after, you, you've made Steven Spielberg angry, now you're going after Oprah."
Griffin: "I go, although I'd like to go after Ann Coulter. I saw that nut-ball on the show earlier."
In Washington these days, all eyes are directed to the White House as literally the center of the political universe. President Bush’s job approval rating is the benchmark by which the left measures his clout – and by contrast, its own. When he is brought low, it means they are having a good year.
This is especially true for the national news media, which can barely refrain from a collective self-satisfied smirk these days. But here’s the funny thing. Nobody looks at <ital>their<ital> approval rating. A Harris poll in February found that only 25 percent said they have a “great deal of confidence” in the White House – but only 19 percent had great confidence in TV news, and only 14 percent for “the press” in general.
In the latest liberal media press release disguised as a news story, Bill Clinton has now provided his own audio tour of the Clinton library, reports Jill Zeman of the Associated Press from Little Rock, and it seems to have a lot of boasting against Republicans of the "you can't stop me, you can only hope to contain me" variety.
At the impeachment exhibit, Clinton says, "So when I won, it was a profound sort of psychological shock to a lot of them," he says of his opponents, with a chuckle. "Then they went into overdrive fighting me. They weren't accomplishing anything, just banging away."
As Letterman might say, isn't it "banging away" that started this whole trouble in the first place?
CNSNews.com has an exclusive interview with Ann Coulter today as her book "Godless" The Church of Liberalism" hits the book stores. She tells Randy Hall that abortion is the "virgin sacrifice" of the liberal "religion" she describes in the book. Coulter goes on to say that one of the main goals of the American public education system is to force small school children to become atheists. Coulter takes on the spectrum of what she considers liberal doctrine, ranging from global warming and stem-cell research to "dry" toilets. Here's a sampler of her lines:
Cybercast News Service: During his May 10 appearance on the "700 Club," Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said: "One of the misconceptions about the Democratic Party is that we're godless and that we don't have any values. The truth is we have an enormous amount in common with the Christian community, and particularly with the evangelical Christian community." How would you respond to his statement?
Ann Coulter: Who knew Howard Dean had a sense of humor?
Matt Lauer has two different sets of standards for politically provocative authors. If you are on the left he laughs with you, if you are on the right he slams you. On this morning’s Today show Ann Coulter’s statements drew outrage from Matt but last October when Al Franken suggested Karl Rove and Lewis Libby be executed for treason Matt and the Today show crew laughed. Lauer’s interview with Coulter got particularly testy when he read excerpts from Coulter’s new book and demanded she defend them. Below are the most explosive portion of this morning’s Coulter v. Lauer showdown
While considerable attention focuses on Ann Coulter's more superficial charms, from a conservative perspective Ann's real beauty is her absolute refusal to buy into liberal logic, no matter how pervasive. That independence of mind was on display this morning during her 'Today' interview with Matt Lauer. Ann was on to tout her new book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, released today on . . . 6/6/6 - sign of the devil and all that. [See today's open thread.]
The first example came in the context of President Bush's current push for a constitutional amendment that would prohibit gay marriage. The liberal mantra on his initiative, as exemplified by Ann Curry's performance on yesterday's Today, is that this is a cynical political ploy and a waste of time when there are myriad 'real' issues out there to be addressed.
In the wake of the Ann Coulter interview on Tuesday's "Today" -- specifically the part where Matt Lauer simply couldn't believe Coulter's attacks on 9-11 widows channeling their grief into anti-Bush attacks on TV news shows -- here are a few reminders of how the Kristen Breitweisers of the world (who endorsed John Kerry in the fall) were given the lion's share of attention by network hosts like Matt Lauer.
An MRC study of relatives on the morning news shows found the disparity of anti-Bush victim relatives to pro-Bush relatives was 20 to 3. (The report concluded, "These relatives are entitled to their views, of course. But network viewers are entitled to a little balance, too.")
A week earlier, it was already obvious Breitweiser was doing election-year publicity against Bush:
A new ABC News poll found that by a 22-point margin -- 58 to 36 percent -- a solid majority of Americans believe “same-sex marriage should be illegal,” yet, on Monday’s World News Tonight, ABC anchor Charles Gibson declared that “the polls show Americans are fairly evenly split on this issue.” ABCNews.com headlined its story, “Most Oppose Gay Marriage; Fewer Back an Amendment,” and reporter Jake Tapper pointed out how “forty-five of fifty states have passed either constitutional amendments or laws banning same-sex marriage, including in Democratic-leaning states Oregon and California.” Nonetheless, a seemingly befuddled Gibson asked George Stephanopoulos: “Why does the White House think this is a political winner for the President if indeed we're split?" Stephanopoulos explained that “the number of Americans who are strongly opposed to gay marriage is more than twice the size of the number who are strongly for it, and that group of voters who want to block gay marriage is three times as likely to vote on the issue.”
Gibson next relayed what Stephanopoulos characterized as the Democratic spin. Gibson inquired, “why, if the votes are not there for this constitutional amendment, does the Senate spend three days on this issue when there are a lot of issues that perhaps they could do something about it?" Stephanopoulos answered, “The Democrats think their best issue is misplaced priorities, and they say exactly what you say: The Senate shouldn't be spending their time on this when you have high gas prices and a war raging in Iraq." (Transcript follows)
All too often all we get are the bad stories about this war on terror from our Mainstream Media. Not only that but we only hear about our allies when they are quitting their support for US led efforts to combat terror in the world and never when they are in support or do something to help the effort. So, I suppose it isn't beyond belief that we never heard this heartwarming story anywhere in the US Media.
For the last two years, Fran O'Brien's Steak house in Washington D.C. has treated our wounded servicemen from Walter Reed Army Medical Center to a steak dinner on Friday nights. But they recently lost their lease at the Hilton Hotel in D.C. leaving the Friday night dinners in doubt.
Enter the Italian Ambassador and his staff who, on May, 21st, conjured up a full Italian dinner for 27 of our wounded heroes. When Ambassador Gianni Castellaneta, and his wife, Lila, found out that O'Brien's had lost their lease, they decided to step in to substitute lasagna for steak. (See Stars and Stripes article Click here)
The Washington Post's Alan Cooperman reported on protesters who staged a silent demonstration during Mass at a Catholic service in St. Paul, Minnesota. The group of gay activists wore rainbow-colored sashes as they went to receive Communion in protest of Church teachings on homosexuality.
Cooperman's description of a subsequent mishandling of the Eucharist refused to condemn the act as objectively disrespectful of the sacrament:
In an act that some witnesses called a "sacrilege" and others called a sign of "solidarity," a man who was not wearing a sash received a Communion wafer from a priest, broke it into pieces and handed it to some of the sash wearers, who consumed it on the spot.
As noted by Tim Graham and Mark Finkelstein, the Today show has already portrayed the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment as nothing more then pandering to conservatives. Liberals will be comforted to know that incoming Today host Meredith Vieira concurs. The View, which Ms. Vieira leaves at the end of the week, featured a same-sex marriage discussion during the June 5 edition of the ABC program. Vieira introduced the segment by snidely stating, "President Bush is getting involved in someone’s marriage other then his own." She then referenced a Newsweek piece that quoted an anonymous Bush ‘friend’ as saying, "...He really doesn't care about this. He's just pushing it because he want to pander to conservatives." At one point she derided President Bush’s motives, saying, "So then it is just pandering." Later on she added, "It’s a response to a base falling out, I think." As Mr. Graham pointed out, liberals like Nancy Pelosi support repealing the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" ban on gays serving in the military. This is also an attempt at mollifying a political base, but don’t expect Katie Couric’s replacement to mention it.
On this morning’s "Early Show" on CBS, co-host Harry Smith continued his crusade against the war in Iraq, and suggested that not only is the war in Iraq a quagmire, but the whole war on terror is one as well. In an interview with Senator Joe Biden, a Delaware Democrat and probable candidate for President in 2008, Smith accentuated the negative in Iraq without challenging Biden on his positions.
Smith set the tone for the segment with his first question, suggesting that nothing has been accomplished in Iraq:
"The insurgency appears to be operating virtually at will. Have we made no progress there or is there, do you see any signs of hope of this ending?"
While NBC interviewed Joe Scarborough on the "gay marriage" front (and CBS stayed out of the fray), ABC followed up their Claire Shipman report on "Good Morning America" with an interview with very liberal San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Typically, co-host Charles Gibson asked about whether this issue is pandering and good politics for Republicans, but not whether it's been pandering or good politics for Democrats.
Gibson began: "We're going to turn next to Gavin Newsom. He's the Democratic mayor of San Francisco, and as you'll recall, a couple of years ago, he ordered city officials to marry gay couples, and he touched off this debate to some extent. And Mayor Newsom is joining us from our San Francisco bureau. It's good to have you back with us, Mr. Mayor...Your opinion on this? Do you think there's any chance, snowball's chance in you know where, that this will become part of the Constitution, or is this just politics?"
Looks like NBC's Matt Lauer isn't missing Katie Couric too much. Emceeing a fundraiser last Wednesday night for the ahem, taxpayer funded Sesame Workshop, Lauer had a good laugh at the expense of Couric. In a bit with Elmo, Lauer uttered what sounded like a set-up line for the muppet: "Katie is moving on to a wonderful challenge, and it's one of those days that reminds me of that very famous saying..." Elmo piped in with this punchline: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, I'm free at last!" The following appeared in Lloyd Grove's column:
Matt Lauer was sure in a lovely mood the night Katie Couric left the "Today" show for good.
Normally I don't dabble in the liberal toils of Great White North newspapers, but this one I can't resist. The Toronto Star reporters that Maurice Strong, the lead architect of the Kyoto Protocol says that China is more progressive than Canada in tackling pollution and global climate change.
Really? Canadians wear masks because it's cold. The Chinese wear them because you can't breathe through all the pollution. Which city shuts down factories the week before dignitaries visit so you can see the sky, Toronto or Hong Kong? Which country has 7 of the 10 most polluted cities? Which country is exempt from having to curb pollution under the Kyoto Protocol anyway?
But don't take my word for it, let's go to the tape. In the picture here, from a NASA satellite, you'll see the cloud of filth that moves from factories and power plants in China throughout the rest of the world. Every day. Most of what you see is acid-rain causing sulfur dioxide belched into the air, but there's enough CO2 to keep Al Gore sipping lemonade all year 'round.
I don't recall ever seeing a cloud like that coming out of Canada. Is this what makes China progressive?
The next time someone starts about Al Gore, inconvenient truths, SUVs, or how horrible America is in the area of environmental protections, remember this picture. We aren't at the heart of the problem. And nothing is going to force China to change, not even the Kyoto Protocol.
While NBC's David Gregory described the marriage-amendment battle as a move to placate conservatives on Monday morning, ABC's Claire Shipman's story on "Good Morning America" highlighted opposition to the amendment within the White House. MRC's Brian Boyd found the labeling imbalance was here, too:
Shipman: "He's wading into one of the nation's most divisive social issues again today...Restating his position in the hopes of driving his conservative base to the polls in November." Liberals were unlabeled: "Both pro- and anti-gay marriage forces have been pushing their agendas in state legislatures and courts. Thirteen states have passed bans on gay marriage. Only Massachusetts has made gay marriage legal. The public is divided. Half of Americans, 51 percent, oppose legalizing gay marriage.
Mark Steyn writes in the Washington Times that the media thinks it can finally turn Iraq into Vietnam with what happened at Haditha. Just like elites tried to turn the Abu-Ghraib scandal into an indictment of the other 99.9 percent of soldiers in Iraq, so they will attempt with Haditha.
Anyone who supports launching a war should be clear-sighted enough to know that, when the troops go in, a few of them will kill civilians, bomb schools, torture prisoners. It happens in every war in history, even the good ones. Individual Americans, Britons, Canadians, Australians did bad things in World War II, and World War I. These aren't stunning surprises, they're inevitable: It might be a bombed mosque or a gunned-down pregnant woman or a slaughtered wedding party, but it will certainly be something. And, in the scales of history, it makes no difference to the justice of the cause and the need for victory.
A book about the semi-retired Dan Rather (remember him?) would seem to be a tough sell at this point, even if it carried a catchy title like The Da Rather Code. That said, a biography to be published right around the time Katie Couric takes over the CBS Evening News does juicily report that Rather endorsed the bumping-off of a prominent CBS colleague.
Here's part of today's New York Post Page Six item on the book:
In "Lone Star," an unauthorized bio of Rather out this September, Alan Weisman writes that [Morley] Safer "has not been a friend of Rather's for years, since their days in Vietnam." The final straw came when Rather took over for Safer not long after Safer's jolting report about the burning of a Vietnam village by a platoon of U.S. Marines.
The Capital Times ran a front page story on Memorial Day that was the perfect way for a newspaper to celebrate our military heroes; the cookie cutter foreign war vet who "can't get a job" despite 4.6% unemployment story. Oh yeah, and of course he's homeless.
Well, actually he made the story up. And the checks and balances of the editorial process in today's skeptical journalism climate meant they ate up his story without so much as a phone call to confirm it. The paper says "We've been snookered" with a line suggesting it slipped past due to a holiday weekend. I guess that's what you get for waiting until the weekend before Memorial Day to do your homeless vet story.
At least they observed Memorial Day. [FYI: For more information about how to fight Google censorship, see the comments.]
The Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute (formerly the Free Market Project) is co-hosting a symposium on June 6 with TCSDaily.com at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Hollywood's treatment of capitalism on the silver screen. The panelists include Fox News Watch's James Pinkerton, film critic Michael Medved, Clinton acolyte Lanny Davis, and BMI director Dan Gainor.
The free event lasts from 6-9 p.m. and includes free cocktails. Bloggers are particularly welcome.
Seats are still available. Please RSVP to email@example.com.