“Entertainment Weekly's” online site, EW.com, is usually politics-free, but not this week. Who would have thought that EW's “Lost” blogger could inject a little Bush Derangement Syndrome into a review of the show's May 23 season finale? Somehow, writer Jeff Jensen managed to find a way (spoilers ahead).
In case you aren’t a “Lost” viewer, here’s what you need to know to help explain this article about the show's season closer entitled “Through The Looking Glass.” Ben, the leader of the Others, intercepted the retreating Losties to negotiate with their leader Jack. Three Losties stayed behind to attack the Others’ but were taken hostage in the process. Ben threatened to have them killed by their captors if Jack didn’t follow his demands. So, now that the scene is set up, here is the BDS in full glory (emphasis mine):
You're Hillary Clinton [work with me here] tuning into "Today" the morning after you've voted against funding the Iraq war . What's the one image you dread seeing pop up? But there it was.
This isn't shaping up as Hillary's favorite day. As the Washington Post reports here, two books about Clinton have hit the shelves, and neither paint a flattering portrait of the former First Lady. What's more, Hillary won't be able to blame this one on the VRWC. The authors are, respectively, the very lefty Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame, and a pair of New York Times reporters.
But while the Hillary camp is surely less than thrilled about those books, my sense is that in the long run, her candidacy has more to fear from being stuck with the dreaded Kerry flip-flop label. Imagine the paroxysms of pain for the Hillary camp while watching this morning's "Today." Discussing Hillary's 'no' vote on Iraq funding, the NBC show broke out the dreaded footage of Kerry's "I actually voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it."
The Washington Post reports on the top of the front page Friday that it's been given copies of the new Hillary biographies by former Post star Carl Bernstein and New York Times reporters Jeff Gerth and Don van Natta. Since they're media-elite fixtures and not "ideological enemies," they "could be harder to dismiss," the Post says. Reporters Peter Baker and John Solomon explained: "The Hillary Clinton who emerges from the pages of the books comes across as a complicated, sometimes compromised figure who tolerated Bill Clinton's brazen infidelity, pursued her policy and political goals with methodical drive, and occasionally skirted along the edge of the truth along the way." Talk about your weasel words!
While the Clintonista spokesmen emerge with the usual lines (It's old news, "cash for rehash"), the most interesting part of the Post summary is how the books underline how preposterous it was for Hillary to describe herself in her 2003 memoir as "gasping for breath" at the idea of Clinton's adulterous liaisons with the intern Monica Lewinsky. Instead of the clueless ingenue of her fictional memoir, Hillary plotted to destroy Bill's bimbos, even interviewing them herself:
The Associated Press imagines itself a “news” organization. Ordinarily, “news” does not convey opinion, but only facts… at least that’s the ideal. That being the general understanding of what comprises news, it is interesting when we at Newsbusters find odd bits of opinion encased inside any particular AP “news” story. But, it is really odd to find a story that is predicated almost entirely on opinion. Such is the case with the AP’s ”Frozen federal tax on gasoline leading to more toll roads, higher state fuel taxes”, a story that bemoans the fact that Federal gasoline taxes have stayed stagnant for 14 years.
Why is the AP worried about stagnant Federal gas taxes? Because the “falling” revenue prevents high spending on roads and bridges by the states. The AP worries that “A cash crunch is fast approaching for the government trust fund that pays to build and repair highways and bridges” and broadly hints that the taxes must be raised to save our roads.
NewsBusters reader Bender messaged me earlier noting that, given an opportunity to explain her views on American troops and terrorism, Rosie O'Donnell made no effort to clear the air on her blog in a posting the evening of May 23 at Rosie.com.
Brent Bozell, President of the Media Research Center which publishes NewsBusters, appeared live Thursday night on FNC's Hannity & Colmes to discuss Michael Moore's latest far-left documentary, Sicko. IMDb describes it as “a comedy about 45 million people with no health care in the richest country on earth.” Sean Hannity pointed out how the New York Times called it “a virtual love letter to Hillary Clinton” and how in it Moore takes workers sick from the 9/11 site to Cuba to get better health care.
Bozell characterized Moore as “Dennis Kucinich-crazy” and recalled how “Michael Moore said in 2003 that the Saudi Arabian royal family was hiding bin Laden in Saudi Arabia and the Bush administration knew where he was.” Indeed, that comment from Moore to HBO's Bob Costas was a runner-up in the “The I’m Not a Geopolitical Genius But I Play One on TV Award” category at the MRC's 2004 DisHonors Awards (posted with a streaming Real clip and transcript).
On a day when Rosie O’Donnell was absent from ABC’s “The View,” an intelligent person would expect the discussion would be a bit more civil, right?
Instead, as co-host Joy Behar discussed her evening at the theatre to see the critically acclaimed “Frost/Nixon” – which she actually referred to as “Nixon/Frost” – the comedienne stated that the former president was “an orangutan who’s constipated” as well as a “paranoid drunk.”
I kid you not.
The unpleasantries commenced shortly after Behar mentioned that she had gone to “see this Nixon/Frost play” last night. Barbara Walters interjected:
As if President Bush needed any new actions for which to be criticized by the news media....In a Thursday CBS Evening News story on the federal government's Memorial Day weekend effort to get people to wear seatbelts, reporter Nancy Cordes maintained that President Bush “is taking heat” for not wearing a seatbelt while driving his pick-up truck at his Texas ranch. Cordes began with a new public service announcement (PSA) from New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine who was seriously injured in a high-speed auto accident (“I'm New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine and I should be dead....I have to live with my mistake. You don't. Buckle up.”)
After showing how characters in television shows often don't wear a seatbelt, Cordes turned to Bush: “Corzine's not the only politician taking heat for his habits. The White House press corps wants to know why President Bush won't buckle up when he's tooling around his Texas compound.” But she had to concede, as she led into a clip of White House Press Secretary Tony Snow: “It's not illegal. He's on private property, but still.” As for “taking heat,” that heat came in the very last question posed at Snow's May 22 briefing -- so hardly a priority for any journalist but those at CBS News.
Time Magazine appears to have difficulty telling one Republican presidential candidate from another. Its "McCain and Romney's War of Words" article includes this addendum:
The original version of this story featured a statement made by John McCain to reporters — "No, we did not hire anyone who was in this country illegally, and we made sure we didn't. And you might go back to my opponent's camp and [tell them] we've moved. We now live in a condominium, OK? Duh." — that was incorrectly attributed to Mitt Romney. The statement has been omitted from the story.
Confusing the candidates may be Time's subtle way of encouraging the Republican Party to, as they say, celebrate diversity.
Several witnesses testified that climate change is going to economically harm winter tourism and sporting businesses. But the committee did not consider the costs to recreation if green activists get their way – or what Congress could possibly do to protect winter sports. Pass a mandate on snowfall perhaps?
“The recreation industry’s true threats come not from climate change – which has always changed and will always change – but from the so-called global warming ‘solutions’ being proposed by government policymakers,” said Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) in a press release about the hearing.
In early 2004, when the first revelations about prisoners being tortured by American soldiers at the Abu Ghraib facility in Iraq appeared, the media covered the story on almost a daily basis for months.
With that as a pretext, the website The Smoking Gun has obtained graphic sketches of various torture techniques being employed by al Qaeda, as well as pictures of victims that have undergone such treatment.
As reported by TSG (link to article comes after the break due to graphic nature of the content):
In a recent raid on an al-Qaeda safe house in Iraq, U.S. military officials recovered an assortment of crude drawings depicting torture methods like "blowtorch to the skin" and "eye removal."
The article gruesomely continued (reader is warned to proceed with caution):
Put aside for a minute the chuckles over a leftist magazine, dedicated to the poor of the earth and the worship of Mother Earth, holding a cruise for the rich on a big, polluting cruise ship. Guess who's coming to dinner on The Nation's Tenth Annual Seminar Cruise? Mary Mapes, touted on the Nation Cruise website as the "Peabody Award Winning Former CBS News Producer." It should read: "Phony Document Specialist/Celebrated Smearer of Bush's National Guard Record."
For those who would protest this environmental violation, the Nation Cruise website also pleads its case that "The Nation has partnered with EcoLogic to reforest an area in Guatemala recently devastated by mudslides, planting enough trees to offset the carbon emissions produced by each Nation cruise passenger on this 7-day cruise." Of course, "the cost is $11 and is strictly optional." Imagine: the cruise could cost $8600 per person, but you can't spare the carbon offset change?
On May 15, NewsBusters noted that the press were missing the seemingly obvious connection between higher gasoline prices and the federally mandated use of ethanol.
In doing so, they were also mysteriously passing on a fine opportunity to bash the Bush administration, something that obviously defied logic and precedent.
Well, it appears nine days later the folks at the New York Times recognized this oversight, and published a front-page business section article entitled “Oil Industry Says Biofuel Push May Hurt at Pump” (emphasis added throughout):
That's right. Bubble, shmubble, despite this picture from Matt Drudge, who got snookered on this one:
Fire sales, schmire sales.
The Chief Snookerer in the latest search for the elusive housing bubble is Martin Crutsinger of the Associated Press, with a significant assist from the Commerce Department (link is to a PDF), which inexplicably did not, and apparently does not, report the regional sales data needed for a more detailed look.
Crutsinger took Commerce's housing report showing a significant decline in the nationwide median selling price of a new home, both in the past month and year over year, and ran with it at an all-out sprint (bold is mine):
During Monica Goodling's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee testimony Dem congressman Steven Cohen of Tennessee quizzed the former Justice Department official regarding her Christian faith and the law school at Regent University, founded by Pat Robertson, that she attended.
An internet search reveals brief references to the interrogation in articles by Dana Milbank in the Washington Post and Maura Reynolds in the Los Angeles Times. But I saw no coverage of the grilling on any of the morning news shows, nor have CNN or MSNBC picked it up as far as I have noticed.
I'm setting forth the actual transcript below, taken from this article, with the following changes. In place of "Regent" university, I'm substituting the name of an apocryphal Islamic university, which I'm calling "Prophet." In place of Christian or Christianity, I'm substituting Muslim. And in place of God, Allah.
Now imagine what kind of MSM uproar there would have been if a Republican congressman had posed these questions to a person of Muslim faith.
Congressman: And it says you went -- chose Muslim universities in part because they -- value they placed on service. What was the other [reason] that you chose Muslim universities?
On Thursday’s morning shows, all three networks covered the dust-up between Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck on "The View," but only ABC’s "Good Morning America" framed the shouting match as "a debate that is playing out over kitchen tables across the country."
Really? Americans are having spirited discussions during supper over "who are the terrorists?" Because that’s what "The View" co-hosts were debating, Ms. O’Donnell’s insinuations that the U.S. is responsible for the deaths of Iraqi civilians and, therefore, an enabler of terrorism, at the very least.
GMA co-host Robin Roberts began the May 24 segment by asserting that O’Donnell’s over-the-top comments had larger implications:
In a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards rejected the “metaphor” of the “war on terror” that America has been fighting since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
But appearing on ABC News on September 11, 2001, just a few hours after the attacks occurred, Edwards left no doubt how he felt the country should respond to al Qaeda’s terrorism, declaring “We should treat it as an act of war.” Video: Real (398 KB) or Windows (442 KB) plus MP3 (65 KB)
Brent Bozell, President of the Media Research Center, appeared Fox News Channel Thursday morning to discuss the recent radio controversies, such as Don Imus’ firing and XM Radio’s suspension of Opie and Anthony, who had joked on air about violently raping Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Bozell argued that such vile speech plainly crosses a line, but at the same time defended the need to have unfettered political speech from both the Left and Right.
Referring to left-wing campaign to go after talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Bozell warned: “We also have to be very cognizant that there are some people who are playing games,” using the pretense of “decency” to suppress political speech.
On Wednesday's Countdown, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann attacked Congressional Democrats for their "betrayal" of the voters for making a deal with President Bush on funding this "war of lies," and even found it insightful to compare their deal with Bush to the deal that Neville Chamberlain made with Adolf Hitler before World War II. Olbermann: "That's what this is for the Democrats, isn't it? Their 'Neville Chamberlain moment' before the Second World War. All that's missing is the landing at the airport, with the blinkered leader waving a piece of paper which he naively thought would guarantee 'peace in our time,' but which his opponent would ignore with deceit.
Last week, NewsBusters readers were introduced to Portland, Maine’s fabulous fifteen-year-old, Kristen Byrnes, whose website “Ponder the Maunder” marvelously takes on anthropogenic global warming myths including those being advanced by soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore.
As will be revealed post haste, this newest – and likely youngest – member of the growing list of folks skeptical about man’s role in climate change actually walks the walk better than she talks the talk.
Yet, despite her youth and precocious scientific acumen, it seems quite unlikely that she’ll be sitting down with Matt Lauer or Diane Sawyer any time soon to discuss her research concerning one of the most popular subjects on the media’s front-burner. Why?
Because a prediction that she made last month concerning Australia's drought has marvelously borne fruit making the scientists employed by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change look a bit foolish.
To set this up, here’s what the IPCC Summary for Policymakers report released on April 7 predicted regarding Australia (emphasis added):
The Digg community is notorious for instantly burying stories by conservatives or about conservative-themed issues. Digg seems to be doing something that might help a little; they are banning users who bury stories (as well as those who Digg) without taking the time to read them. (hat tip Hot Air)
An Australian tech blogger named Dan posted a letter on his blog TheWrongAdvices.com from Digg notifying him that his account had been banned for Digging or burying too quickly. Strangely, Dan’s blog account has been suspended and his site is inaccessible, and so, the Righty blogger Weasel Zippers now seems to be the only source to read the email.
Bogus caricatures, flat-out misinformation, and bias-by-omission have recently plagued the Los Angeles Times when addressing the issue of abortion. For example:
1. A Tuesday, May 22, 2007, front-page piece by Stephanie Simon (whose work we've addressed before here, here, here, and here) tackles the fact that the number of abortion doctors in the United States is dwindling. Misinformed stereotypes and misleading information riddle the article. For example:
a. Simon paints an overly grisly portrait of abortion in the years before Roe v. Wade (emphasis mine):
When it comes to anti-war politics, Rosie O'Donnell is one bedfellow Chris Matthews would gladly do without. The MSNBC host made that crystal clear on this afternoon's Hardball. Matthews played a clip of O'Donnell's recent slanging spate in which she unmistakably intimated to Elizabeth Hasselbeck that US troops are terrorists, responsible for 655,000 civilian deaths in Iraq [itself a grossly exaggerated figure in any case].
MSNBC HOST CHRIS MATTHEWS: While I generally sympathize with her point of view, her skepticism about this war, I do have a problem with her suggestion that we're the terrorists, which is clearly what the intent of that conversation was.
Almost 28 years ago I toyed with my first professional writing adventure. My college roommate Joe Duggan had approached me with the proposition that we freelance a profile piece on the man who was grabbing national headlines with his political activism, so we drove down to Lynchburg Virginia, attended a service at the Thomas Road Baptist Church, and then settled in for an hour-long interview with its founder. Yesterday I returned to that church, this time with my son David, and joined by the 6,000 packed inside the building, and thousands more seated at Liberty University’s Vines Center and Williams stadium, we paid our final respects at Jerry Falwell’s funeral service.
His story is one of extraordinary professional accomplishments: The Thomas Road Baptist Church, with 24,000 members; Liberty University, with 27,000 students and 125,000 graduates; the Old Time Gospel Hour radio and television programs – on and on it goes, a ministerial enterprise that operates on a $200 million annual budget. Oh, and along the way he also founded the Moral Majority, the political juggernaut critically instrumental in the election of Ronald Reagan.
The Associated Press ran a story Wednesday entitled “Edwards Calls ‘War on Terror’ an Ideological Doctrine” (h/t LGF).
Unfortunately, the author chose not to look into former Sen. John Edwards’ (D-North Carolina) past to see whether the presidential candidate had either referred to or supported this “ideological doctrine” himself.
Had the AP done some homework, it would have found that not only did the former senator tell Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly in October 2001, “I think that we will be united with the President throughout this war on terrorism,"(Allah has video here), but also that he and Sen. John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) both referred to this war in their respective acceptance speeches at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
To set this up, Wednesday’s AP piece began (emphasis added):
Today, President Bush gave an address at the Coast Guard Academy's commencement, in which he revealed specific details about Osama bin Laden's personal involvement in the creation of a terror cell in Iraq that sought to commit terrorist attacks in the U.S.
Yet several hours before the speech, "American Morning" host John Roberts and CNN White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux questioned the timing of the President's speech.
In his first question to Malveaux, Roberts asked, "what's the reason that he's declassifying part of this and trotting it out in his speech? The information is two years old." Malveaux attributed the release to President Bush "using any kind of power that he has to make his case to justify the Iraq war."
Editor's Note (Ken Shepherd): The 9/11 conspiracy nuts behind "Loose Change" are supposed to be guests on the May 24 "The View." It's odd that Rosie wouldn't be on to share her thoughts about fire being unable to melt steel.
After Rosie O'Donnell's now infamous fight with Elisabeth Hasselbeck on the May 23 edition of "The View," Rosie hinted on her blog that she may not co-host the show tomorrow. The homepage of rosie.com starts with a rambling poem ending with, "tomorrow [Rosie's partner] Kelli turns 40. I will not be at work."
First, they offered a report on the prediction of an “above normal” hurricane season. CNN Severe Weather Expert Chad Myers provided a rare media perspective as he told viewers that global warming is not to blame, but rather natural cycles.
“The numbers are still high still,” said Myers, referring to the NOAA prediction. “The numbers are not high because of global warming, they don’t think. The numbers are still high because of this multi-decadal cycle.”
If you were planning on a backyard barbeque this Memorial Day weekend, the media want you to cancel it. Unless of course, boiled tofu is on the menu.
Grilling, steaks, chicken, burgers, hot dogs, not to mention most of the other fixins’ are just too bad for you or the environment according to journalists.
We can’t broil and grill anymore?” replied “Today” co-host Ann Curry after a nutritionist said grilling is dangerous. She was talking to Joy Bauer, who said people need to avoid salty foods, grilling, frying and whole milk dairy products.
National Review contributor John Derbyshire has been a favorite whipping boy of snarky left-wing bloggers for a while, but perhaps most noticeably after some controversial postings he made on the heels of the Virginia Tech shooting.
But now a blogger at Wonkette is portraying Derb as a crotchety bigot on the basis of a blog post whereby Derbyshire notes Gov. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.) both insists on voters judging him on the basis of his leadership and agenda, not race, but then goes back to pandering to a crowd on the merits of his Hispanic heritage:
Outraged over Big Bill’s public admission of Mexican-ness during a time
when Americans are supposed to be united against the Mexican Menace,
Derbyshire bravely decides to use that very Mexican-ness against