It was hard to tell what was making Andrea Mitchell angrier: Bill O'Reilly's assertions that NBC has a liberal bias, or his repeated and perhaps ungentlemanly references to the lady's "30 years" of experience. In any case, the look on Andrea's face was unmistakable: she was not the happiest of campers.
Mitchell appeared on this evening's Factor for purposes of touting her new book. But kudos to O'Reilly for taking the occasion to directly confront a leading NBC light with the network's undeniable leftward tilt - which Mitchell proceeded to flatly deny.
This is must-see video, which you can see here, but let me entice you with these two tidbits.
NBC's Martin Savidge began a Friday story, on the rising murder rate in New Orleans, by pointing out how “in the last week more Americans have died in New Orleans than in Iraq.” Savidge explained in his NBC Nightly News piece: “Since December 29th, there have been eight military deaths. In the Big Easy, there have been 14 murders. Among the latest victims, Helen Hill, a 36-year-old mother shot in her home in front of her husband and two-year-old.” Savidge bemoaned how the Crescent City “killers are growing more brazen, striking in broad daylight, using assault rifles, even with police just 30 yards away. And witnesses are refusing to talk.”
Brian Williams introduced Savidge's report by showing the headline on the front page of Friday's New Orleans Times-Picayune: “Killings bring the city to its bloodied knees.” (PDF image of the front page)
How do you know when things have jumped ugly at Hardball? When host Chris Matthews himself has to jump in to separate the warring parties, even warning a Dem consultant to lay off the ad hominems.
Bob Shrum is always spoiling for a fight. In contrast, Ron Christie is normally mild-mannered and affable. But the former aide to Pres. Bush and VP Cheney had definitely eaten his Wheaties this afternoon.
The video portrays things beyond my poor power of description, but the fur began to fly when Shrum accused Christie of using talking points. Things went downhill from there.
I'd say Christie landed the single most-telling blow of the evening. Shrum gave him an opening, calling for the cut-off of funding for the Iraq war at a date certain, claiming "this is how we've always ended wars. We honored Gerald Ford last week for helping to end the war in Vietnam. And that's how it was ended - the funding was cut off."
Christie pounced: "Now you're going to tell me that's how we end wars? We actually end wars when we achieve our objectives that we've set militarily."
I know, you thought things must be pretty darn good for the economy when you were spending an hour circling mall parking lots for a space so you could plunk down about 900 bucks on everything from a Nintendo Wii to a Tickle Me Elmo T.M.X.
Well, Katie Couric wants you to know that the 2006 Christmas shopping season was just "ho ho hum."
ABC, once again, tries to have it both ways on global climate change. As Noel Sheppard blogged back in November, Good Morning America hyped heat waves last summer as symptomatic of global warming. When reports came out that October was unusually cool, and the hurricane season was unusually quiet, the same reporter blogged on the ABC News website that "weather is not climate." Are you following this? Weather is climate, then it’s not. Now, with an unusually mild winter, weather is now climate again in the ABC News world.
On Friday’s Good Morning America, Diane Sawyer questioned again whether the mild winter in the eastern half of the United States is a result of global warming. Sawyer started her global warming hype stating, "And [climate change] can make a warm winter even warmer and more repetitively warm as we face the years coming up."
This week, the Democrats certainly got their fair share of good press as they took control of the Congress. Looking back at the evening newscasts from the first week of January 1995, it’s interesting that the Republicans got fairly positive coverage on January 4, the day they ended 40 years of Democratic control of Congress. “This was the country at its best, making a peaceful political transition while elsewhere in the world men are killing one another in the name of freedom and unity,” ABC’s Peter Jennings optimistically intoned that night.
But the GOP honeymoon was not long-lasting. The very next night, ABC’s World News Tonight featured an interview with President Bill Clinton where Jennings suggested that the Clinton’s problem was that voters were unaware of the fantastic accomplishments of the Democratic administration. And then-ABC reporter Aaron Brown offered a lengthy report designed to rebut the very premise of the Republican platform, arguing that conservative voters don’t appreciate all the wonderful services they receive for their federal tax dollars.
Today's announcement there were 167,000 net new jobs in December (196,000 counting revisions to prior months), and that the unemployment rate held steady at 4.5%, made me wonder how job growth during the Bush prosperity compares to job growth during comparable periods in the 1990s.
NBC's Matt Lauer celebrated 10 years at Today this morning and to be sure his run as co-anchor is chock full of biased interviews and liberal slants on a range of issues from the environment to the war on terror but a review of Lauer's record indicates one issue stands out as a particular obsession of Lauer's - guns. Whenever the issue of gun control was hot in the news Lauer could be counted on to push his guests for the harshest restrictions on the Constitutional right to bear arms. On September 5, 2002 Lauer asked then NRA President Charlton Heston: "Have you ever gotten up one morning, read the newspaper or seen the news about a particularly horrific crime or event that involved a shooting and thought even for a second, I may be on the wrong side of this issue?" And when asked by an interviewer in 2000 if he could ask Bill Clinton just two questions, Lauer eschewed impeachment, declaring: "It wouldn't be about [Monica Lewinsky]. I'd ask, 'What are you going to do about guns? Why not make this issue one of your legacies?''
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper began the Thursday edition of his "AC: 360" program by announcing that he intended to "keep them [the Democrats] honest." A few seconds later, reporter Dana Bash described Nancy Pelosi’s elevation to Speaker as "a moment to savor." For everyone? Ms. Bash elaborated, saying that portents of Democratic power could be seen everywhere, including the appearance of Hollywood celebrities and the sight of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert sitting in the back of the chamber:
Anderson Cooper: "Day one for lawmakers who are promising a whole host of legislation in their first 100 hours of work. We're here tonight to help keep them honest. So, throughout the hour, we will be looking at how Democrats hope to make law. First, though, CNN's Dana Bash on how they are making history."
Dana Bash: "A moment to savor -- Nancy Pelosi seized the gavel and, with it, power for the Democrats, an ambitious agenda, but, today, history, the first female Speaker, second in line to be president."
The distinctly liberal Dan Froomkin writes the "White House Briefing" column for the Washington Post's web site. Here, in its entirety, is the last item in Froomkin's Friday column:
How long did your New Year's Resolutions last?
Bush's didn't make it a day.
Bush was telling reporters last week about how his thoughts were with the troops when he volunteered: "People always ask me about a New Year's resolution -- my resolution is, is that they'll be safe. . . . "
The Department of Defense reports: "Sgt. Thomas E. Vandling Jr., 26, of Pittsburgh, Pa., died Jan. 1 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle while on combat patrol."
It’s really marvelous to watch a member of the media get slapped around, especially on their own turf. Such was certainly the case on Thursday’s “Today” show when co-host Meredith Vieira tried to catch multibillionaire Donald Trump in a “Why are you talking about Rosie O’Donnell” trap. Even though Vieira claimed to know Trump “for a while,” she dramatically underestimated his ability to dance between the raindrops and demonstrate to the audience why he could buy and sell her a thousand times over (video available here, hat tip to Hot Air).
The pummeling came early and often after Vieira asked, “Why would you reduce yourself to this kind of mudslinging with Rosie O'Donnell?” After Trump gave a reasonable answer, Vieira said, “But is it dirt.” And that’s when the fun began, as Trump appropriately responded:
Matt Lauer, co-host of the NBC 'Today' television program, kisses Miss Piggy who popped out of a cake to surprise him during his 10th anniversary show, Friday, Jan. 5, 2007. Lauer has been co-anchor of 'Today' since January 6, 1997. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Matt Lauer, left, co-host of the NBC 'Today' television program, is embraced by the show's former co-host Bryant Gumbel during Lauer's 10th anniversary show, in New York, Friday, Jan. 5, 2007. Lauer has been co-anchor of 'Today' since January 6, 1997 when he replaced Gumbel. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
On a recent episode of rightANGLE, a current-affairs TV talk show I host, I had the opportunity to interview Charles "Cully" Stimson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs. While Stimson has responsibility for detainees world-wide, much of our discussion focused on those held at Guantanamo Bay -- Gitmo.
Observed Stimson: "We've had over 2,000 journalists visit Gitmo. People who go and see it for themselves realize it's almost Alice in Wonderland - down is up and up is down. The caricature of Guantanamo is exactly the opposite of the reality of Guantanamo. Detainees at Gitmo are treated humanely, in accordance with Common Article Three of the Geneva Convention."
Dana Milbank's column in the WashPost today does occasionally dare to unwrap little tidbits that won't please Democrats. In the midst of yesterday's Pelosi-palooza, he chose instead to cover the Senate swearing-in. He reported that Senate President Pro Tem Robert Byrd was effusive at being sworn in yesterday, yelling "Hallejujah!" And "Yeah man!" Milbank added:
"His colleagues were amused. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) at one point pretended to tilt a bottle into his mouth, though it was unclear whether Byrd was the target of that gesture."
Milbank reported Reid was not only overshadowed by the new female House Speaker, but by Senate spouse Bill Clinton, who attracted a wave of press attention by using the bathroom in the Senate press gallery.
Geraldo Rivera had it in for both businesses big and small as he attacked them and conservatives over minimum wage and compensation packages on last night's Geraldo At Large. During his final commentary, on the Fox News syndicated program, Rivera found conservatives' resistance to a minimum wage increase, "deeply troubling," and claimed it exposed "a cancer at the very heart of capitalism," compared to the "obscene fortunes" made by "mediocre business executives." Rivera then proclaimed his "belief in free enterprise," but invited on Rep. Barney Frank to spew this socialistic propaganda: "We are talking about a very real inequity in our society where a very small number of people are monopolizing almost all the increased wealth and most people are getting none of it." To expose inflated compensation packages Rivera singled out former Home Depot exec Robert L. Nardelli, calling him a "loser," but perhaps Rivera shouldn't be so quick to attack the overpaid given that his own employer, Fox News, just axed his show.
The new year may have just begun, but members of the media are relying on time-tested bias to attack conservatives and Republicans. Chris Matthews recently slimed Fox News host Bill O’Reilly by linking him to such despotic leaders as Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
During the funeral of President Gerald Ford, Katie Couric attacked the Reverend Billy Graham for being "remarkably partisan." A "Time" magazine correspondent slammed the departed Ford for not criticizing the Iraq war publically, calling it "unpardonable."
A groundbreaking study of 1,946 male veterans of World War II and Korea suggests that vets with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are at greater risk of heart attacks as they age.
The conclusion: war is bad for your health.
Wow. Wonder how much taxpayer money was wasted on THAT study!?
At least our veteran's aren't so stupid that they wouldn't have been able to know it all upfront, without a "study".
"It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out," said John Oliveira of New Bedford, Mass., a former Navy public affairs officer and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now, I certainly don't want to make light of the problems of coping that our veterans confront upon returning from war. Robert E. Lee once said that it is good that war is so horrible or we'd get too fond of it and he knew whereof he spoke.
People are vastly different and, whereas some may never experience much discomfort or anguish from their war service, others are bothered with the mental images for the rest of their lives. And we, as a society, should be observant and responsive to the needs of our returning heroes even as they advance into old age.
Allergies? The warm weather makes it tough on people with fall allergies? Is that really the best GMA can do when it comes to wringing its hands over the warm winter weather people in the Northeast have been enjoying?
Except for fleeting references to January bouquets and falling oil prices, GMA's segment this morning was one long whine-a-thon about the mild winter. I do mean long. GMA led with the segment and devoted over six of its precious first-half hour minutes to the subject, more than it spent on the historic takeover of Congress by the Dems.
Robin Roberts kicked things off by fretting: "Animals are not hibernating; people are still suffering from fall allergies."
ABC reporter John Berman took it from there, repeating that "the warm air is bad news for people with allergies" and bringing in a doctor to explain: "there's still plenty of mold in the air left over from the fall because it hasn't been cold enough, long enough, for that mold to go away."
In 2006, one of the most shameless Democrat pols in the media was certainly MSNBC correspondent David Shuster who repeatedly and consistently behaved more like a left-leaning political operative than a television journalist. On Wednesday’s “Hardball,” Shuster made it clear that objectivity and impartiality were not on his New Year’s resolutions list.
As NewsBuster Mark Finkelstein has been reporting, Chris Matthews has been virtually foaming at the mouth lately concerning his desire for American troops to be immediately withdrawn from Iraq. On Wednesday, his partner in crime nicely set up the 7PM EST installment with an antiwar rant that could have been performed by Cindy Sheehan (video available here).
After showing a brief clip of President Bush asking the new Congress to “set aside politics and focus on the future,” Shuster complained, “But the president made no mention of the Iraq War.” Then, the rant really began. The reader is hereby warned to put a lobster bib on to protect clothing from the foam spewing out of Shuster's mouth:
To quote Jimmy Durante: everybody's trying to get into the act.
At the "Today" show, it's not enough anymore to be subjected to the liberal preaching of Vieira, Lauer and Curry. Now weatherman Al Roker wants to harangue us, too. Roker had been off for a few days, and this morning we found out why:
"We were in South Africa at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy. Life changing. Good for her. She's done such an amazing job." Wonderful. Good. Glad to hear it. But Al didn't stop there.
"And to the people who are castigating her: boo on you. If you've done as much as she's done, very nice. But if you didn't: shut up."
Has anyone checked the video to see if Chris Matthews was part of Cindy Sheehan's noisy protest that brought Rahm Emanuel's press conference to a halt the other day at the Capitol? Because Matthews has been on an absolute anti-war rampage. As noted here, in the days preceding Nancy Pelosi's ascension to the speakership he was demanding that she use the power of the purse to cut off funding for the war. Yesterday afternoon he snapped at Matt Lauer when his NBC colleague opined that the Democrats have no choice but to fund the war so long as US troops are in the field.
Matthews continued his campaign on last night's Hardball. Check out these excerpts from his conversation with Dem strategist Hilary Rosen and former Republican representative Susan Molinari:
Demanded Chris of Rosen: "Will the Democrats do what they promised to do in the campaign or will they let the voters down again and not stop this war?"
As last reported on NewsBusters, the AP has been under fire for a November '06 report that 6 Iraqi Sunnis were burned alive in sectarian violence a claim that was never adequately proven and is hotly disputed by both Iraqi Government and US Military officials. And, as many Bloggers investigated (such as Michelle Malkin and Patrick Frey of Patterico's Pontifications among many more), the identity of the AP's lone source seemed impossible to establish.
At last it seems some light has been shed on the existence of this capt. Hussein as we get the story from Michelle Malkin's site. Michelle has been the chief bulldog in efforts to reveal the AP's mysterious source.
Katie Couric concluded Thursday's CBS Evening News on a triumphant note of 'women, hear us roar' as she insisted that “we can't let this historic day pass without mentioning Susan B. Anthony who fought so hard for the right of women to vote, but didn't live to see us get it.” That right “didn't happen until 1920, 14 years after she died,” Couric lamented before marveling: “Can you imagine there are still more than three million American women alive today who were born before women were allowed to vote?” Couric then touted how “now there are a record 90 women in this new Congress, including for the first time ever, the Speaker of the House.” The CBS anchor proposed: “Wouldn't Susan B. Anthony be proud? Or maybe she'd ask, 'what took so long?'”
ABC anchor Charles Gibson opened Thursday's World News by trumpeting how, video of Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the House floor holding a baby while she talked to colleagues, demonstrated “the ultimate in multitasking: Taking care of the children and the country.” Seconds earlier Gibson had hailed how “for the first time in the 218-year history of the Congress, a woman was voted by her colleagues to be Speaker of the House. Nancy Pelosi, Democrat from California, took the gavel.” He then moved to tout what he described as “a picture perhaps even more symbolic, the new Speaker was on the floor for a time, holding her 6-year-old grandson, all the while giving directions on how events were to proceed. It seemed the ultimate in multitasking: Taking care of the children and the country.” In fact, it was clearly a six-month old, not a six-year old.
We already know that two of the Reuters' reporters covering Haditha were once imprisoned by Coalition forces for their terrorist ties. Now we hear that Reuters is communicating with Mullah Omar (or one of his reps) via email...
"PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar has added to the mystery over Osama bin Laden, saying he hasn't seen his ally and fellow fugitive since U.S.-backed forces ousted the Taliban from Afghanistan in late 2001. "No, I have neither seen him, nor have I made any effort to do so, but I pray for his health and safety," Omar said in an e-mailed response to questions sent by Reuters. The questions were relayed to Omar through his spokesman Mohammad Hanif, and a reply was received late on Wednesday."
Okay - Reuters has email contact with Mullah Omar, Taliban chief, fugitive, terrorist, etc. and reports it as if it is no big deal. What the heck is wrong with this picture? Where did Reuters get the email address from - Omar's MySpace page? Has Reuters shared this email address with the authorities - i.e. the military hunting for terrorists? Or is the email addy for personal communication only. Which Reuters' employee was involved with the email communication?
Why do we continue to tolerate this blatant terrorist enabling so-called media organization? These journalists are responsible for "telling us the story" from the front of the war on terror. I just didn't realize it was only the terrorists' story they were interested in promoting.
Blogger Mary Katharine Ham of Townhall.com was none too pleased with The Washington Post's biased, inaccurate treatment of her church, The Falls Church Episcopal, in a front page article of the January 4 paper.
NBC's Today show cast celebrated the return of the Democrats to power to the House as "historic" but when the Newt Gingrich-led Republicans took over the House in 1995 Today wasn't so laudatory. At the top of this morning's Today show Meredith Vieira, as first noted here, declared: "Look it's a very historic day on Capitol Hill. Nancy Pelosi the first woman to become Speaker of the House. I'm excited as a woman to see that happen." Then Vieira's colleague, Natalie Morales, repeated the "historic" refrain during the 8am news update: "It's a history making day on Capitol Hill. Democrats take control of both chambers of Congress for the first time in 12 years and they're set to elect a woman, Nancy Pelosi, as Speaker for the first time ever."
However a flashback to January 4th, 1995 shows Today didn't exactly greet the GOP so graciously.
MRC Times Watch man and NB blogger Clay Waters appeared again Thursday on Fox's "Your World with Neil Cavuto" on the subject of the constant and ongoing New York Times wailing and lamenting the botched execution of Saddam Hussein. Clay was joined in the Cavuto segment by James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation. Waters offered this take:
“Everyone of course has some misgivings about how it was, especially with the leaked videotape. But what struck me was the tone of the coverage. It could not give him Bush or the U.S. a single positive thing out of it. Even Slate, which is no one’s idea of a right-wing rag, they said ‘a distinct strain of grudging admiration’ that ran through the Times coverage of Hussein's trip to the gallows.” And if Slate says it, there must be something fairly obvious about the Times.” Video Clip: Real (2.39 MB) or Windows (2 MB) Plus MP3(948 KB)
Proving that he can be just as hard on Democrats as Republicans, CNN’s Jack Cafferty savaged the Democratic Party--for going easy on George Bush. Appearing on Thursday’s edition of "The Situation Room," the veteran journalist slammed Dems in Congress for stating that they won’t impeach the President, for refusing to cut funding for Iraq, and generally not standing up to Bush. According to Cafferty, this makes them "no better than the people committing these crimes."
The CNN host began by lamenting the agenda of the incoming Democrats:
Jack Cafferty: "But the Democrats are focused on raising the minimum wage. That’s fine, I guess. They’ve already said they won’t impeach President Bush. They’ve already said they won’t cut funding for the war. And several Democrats are hedging on the issue of independent ethics oversight of Congress. Gee, we don’t need that, do you?...If the Democratic Party refuses to confront this administration in a meaningful way on the issues that are threatening the very survival of our nation, then they’re no better than the people committing these crimes."