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."
On Thursday’s Good Morning America, correspondent Claire Shipman offered a very positive, Obama-like portrayal of newly elected Congressman and Muslim Keith Ellison. Because Ellison’s use of the Koran in his swearing in was once owned by Thomas Jefferson, it has "impeccable American credentials" and it is "a politically savvy move" by Congressman Ellison. Shipman continued her glowing report calling him "affable" and states that he "charms almost every crowd."
Despite the historic first, Shipman failed to report that Ellison was associated with the racist and anti-semitic organization, the Nation of Islam. Although Keith Ellison has since distanced himself from that organization, he retains strong ties with the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) which has connections to the Palestinian terrorist organization, Hamas. CAIR grew to be so controversial that even ultra liberal Senator Barbara Boxer disassociated herself from them.
Amidst all the media hype over what CBS’ Bob Schieffer called the congressional Democrats’ "ambitious schedule" to reform ethics rules and regulations, Wednesday’s "Anderson Cooper 360" actually provided a tough, worthwhile report on what real ethical reform would be. According to CNN correspondent Drew Griffin, convicted members of Congress still receive thousands of dollars in pensions. Yes, disgraced felons such as James Traficant, Randy Cunningham, and Dan Rostenkowski each year accrue large sums of taxpayer money. Host Anderson Cooper introduced the subject and seemed to issue a challenge to the Democrats:
Anderson Cooper: "Well, the new Congress convenes tomorrow with Democrats in control, who have pledged to pass a number of bills in the first 100 legislative hours. They have also promised to change some ethic rules on Capitol Hill. One law that they're not tackling is pensions for convicted members of Congress. That's right, tax dollars used to pay for the retirement of felons."
In his profile of John McCain for the February issue of Vanity Fair, Todd Purdum notes that "the constituency that McCain sometimes jokingly refers to as his base" is -- wait for it -- "the press."
Purdum goes on to acknowledge in so many words that McCain's remark, regardless of how humorously he delivered it, expresses the basic truth that reporters tend to be fans of Arizona's senior senator, which in turn may explain why, during a recent visit to Wisconsin, McCain defended the media's coverage of the Iraq war:
[T]hat afternoon, at a roundtable with more Republicans in Appleton, McCain gets testy with a woman who says that her grandson and granddaughter have served in Iraq and that things there are going better than the American media say.
"By electing me as speaker you have brought us closer to the ideal of equality that is America's heritage and America's hope," Pelosi said. "This is an historic moment — for the Congress, and for the women of America. It is a moment for which we have waited more than 200 years. Never losing faith, we waited through the many years of struggle to achieve our rights."
For CNN, New Years Eve arrived on January 4. "Situation Room" anchor Wolf Blitzer literally counted down the seconds until the Democrats officially took control of Congress. However, when the Republican Revolution swept the GOP into power in 1994, the cable network did not display such a running tally. At 11:45am, Mr. Blitzer hosted a special edition of his program and explained the digital readout:
Wolf Blitzer: "Right now, we’re counting down to the power shift. Both the House and the Senate will be called to order at noon eastern. That’s when our countdown clock runs out and ceremonies ushering in the new era in Congress begin."
And here I thought Chris Matthews reserved his hardballs for his guests, not his colleagues . . .
To use one of Imus's favorite phrases, there are "tension conventions" breaking out all over MSNBC today. Earlier, I noted the shots Andrea Mitchell took at Nancy Pelosi over her "unseemly, imperial" celebrations marking her ascension to the speakership.
Later, things got a bit ugly between Chris Matthews Matt Lauer over the funding of the war in Iraq. It was a very rare display of real anger between fellow members of the NBC/MSNBC stable. Alluding to President Bush's speech of yesterday calling for the Democrats to avoid the kind of politics that will lead to stalemates, Lauer asked Matthews:
"What kind of stalemate are we going to see over Iraq in Congress?"
And my colleague Julia Seymour has the proof right here.
As the new majority of Democrats takes over the House of Representatives January 4, they have big plans – plans the media have supported.
Journalists have called arguments against a minimum wage hike “a lot of bull” and even came out in blatant endorsement of socialized medicine.
"The only answer is going to be, eventually, some kind of national, universal coverage. A guaranteed system that everybody regardless of income will have at least basic health care," said ABC medical correspondent Dr. Timothy Johnson on the Oct. 16, 2006, "Good Morning America."
Brian Stelter at TV Newser reproduced some New Year's resolutions from CBS News stars from their weekly newsletter called the "C-Note." The head-turner in an otherwise routine pile (like morning show host Hannah Storm resolving to "take more naps") is long-standing "60 Minutes" correspondent Morley Safer saying he never wants to be a saint, since they are "the most tedious people." He boasted:
"I resolve to never make resolutions. My sins are all pleasurable, my virtues impeccable. I love animals, small children and I am never cruel to grown-ups, unless it is absolutely necessary. I smoke too much and occasionally over-medicate on good red wine. Saints are the most tedious people, humorless and lacking in imagination. I have no intention of ever becoming one."
According to Bob Schieffer, the Democrats in Congress will be pursuing an "ambitious schedule" on ethics reform. Yet, Schieffer neglected to mention what the Democratic leadership is going to do about ethically challenged Democrats like William Jefferson of Louisiana or Alan Mollohan of West Virginia. Schieffer, appearing on the "Early Show’s" weekly "Capitol Bob" segment, noted loopholes in the Democrats plan on ethics reform, but was pleased that the new Congress was "going to get started."
However, when the Republican controlled Congress attempted to overhaul ethics procedures in June, Schieffer classified these attempts as "not much more than a joke." In a June 11, 2006 commentary on CBS’ "Face the Nation," Schieffer lamented:
Has that blizzard in the Plains blown all the way into Hades? On the day of Nancy Pelosi's congressional coronation, a rhetorical shot was taken at her from an unexpected quarter, that of Andrea Mitchell.
Interviewing veteran Dem congressman John Dingell of Michigan, Mitchell asked:
"Are you happy with this big celebration that Nancy Pelosi has planned for herself? Is it a bit unseemly to have Stevie Wonder and Tony Bennett and the dinners and the lunches and the brunches and the trip to Baltimore to rename the street in honor of her. Isn't this a little bit too imperial?"