On a Monday morning discussion on Nancy Pelosi’s Syrian misadventure, NPR talk show host Diane Rehm sneered at the idea of a "so-called liberal press" when some national newspapers were harshly critical of Pelosi’s bungled remarks abroad. (It's about nine minutes into the show if you want to hear the audio.) She asked her guest John Podesta, the former chief of staff to Bill Clinton:
REHM: John, as you well know, there’s been a great deal of criticism about the so-called "liberal press." How do you account for the fact that so many newspapers as cited here this morning came out very critically against Nancy Pelosi?
PODESTA: Well, I don’t know that you know, the Washington Post editorial page, let alone the Wall Street Journal editorial page, I would characterize, particularly on the Middle East, as being liberal.
Calling the Fox News debate a "sordid event," Time magazine's Joe Klein offered Barack Obama the journalistic version of the cinematic slow clap with an April 9 post to Time's "Swampland" blog:
First, congratulations to Barack Obama for dropping out of the
Congressional Black Caucus Institute-Fox News debate. With John Edwards
already out, that means this sordid event is over...Back in 2004, I
remember raising an eyebrow or two when it was announced that Fox would
sponsor a debate in partnership with the CBC, of all groups. Roger
Ailes' strategy seemed classic:
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," co-host Diane Sawyer reported on the second day of her tour of Afghanistan. Unlike previous trips to Syria and Iran, the anchor had no dictator to coddle. She did, however, have time to ask somewhat bewildering questions to members of the United States military. Speaking to one soldier who just had his tour extended, Sawyer wondered if the young man ever felt like just giving up:
Diane Sawyer: "How do you make it through 15 months out here? I mean–"
U.S. Military member [Name not given]: "Well, it's just one of those things. I mean– We, we have a job to do."
Sawyer: "How many times a month do you say, I don't know that I can do another month of this? A day?"
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s make-believe Secretary of State routine in Syria has been painted by the press as a sign of emboldened Democrats taking on Team Bush’s neocon bumblers. Chris Matthews echoed his colleagues’ sentiments when he joyously declared she would "open the doors to peace."
It was, of course, an outrage, a direct slap at the President, an effort to humiliate him on the international stage. President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and White House spokesman Dan Bartlett were quoted decrying Pelosi’s diplomatic freelancing. Conservative talk radio was livid. But where, oh where, were the congressional Republicans?
More to the point, where is the GOP leadership? I haven’t seen the polling data, but it would surprise me if one in ten Americans could even name them, so absent are they from the scene. John Boehner and Roy Blunt lead the House; Mitch McConnell and Trent Lott lead the Senate. Other than an occasional spot on the Sunday talk shows, they might as well adorn milk cartons with most Americans.
If Don Imus' racially bigoted remark merited a two-week suspension by MSNBC, for how long will MSNBC and HBO ban Bill Maher after his bit of religious bigotry on today's "Imus in the Morning"?
Maher, ostensibly on to discuss Imus' imbroglio, engaged in this repartee with the host:
DON IMUS: I used to think that all of these things that the administration did were either because of the war criminal Vice-President and that psychopath who was over at the Pentagon, because of them, or because of stupidity. But I really believe, in my heart, that it's arrogance, and maliciousness and mean-spiritedness. Mike Lupica and I, the columnist, tried to find out, and we know everybody, well, not really, when was the last time Vice-President Cheney was at Walter Reed Hospital and they wouldn't tell us and we couldn't find out. We've narrowed it down to hadn't been in the last year. So it's that kind of cynicism and that kind of arrogance and that kind of meanness is what I think we're dealing with as opposed to, I was trying to cut them some slack saying they're just stupid but I think it's way beyond that.
BILL MAHER: Stupid and arrogant, in a way only the religious can be.
Just to give our readers a look at how fastidiously accurate we are at the MRC, we've been having a bit of an in-house debate about the proper spelling for the nominative plural for "ho," as in the street slang for whore. Yes, news is stranger than fiction, and we only have Don Imus's "nappy-headed hos (?)" remark to blame for this journalistic quandary.
My colleague Matt Balan and I have combed the Web to see how different news orgs handle it and we found no consensus:
UPI uses "ho's": "Imus last week described Rutgers University's women's basketball team as 'nappy-headed ho's.' Imus also apologized for the comment during his talk show."
Associated Press uses "hos": "Radio host Don Imus, suspended for two weeks for calling the Rutgers female basketball players 'nappy-headed hos,' called the punishment appropriate Tuesday but stressed, 'I am not a racist.'
LA Times uses "hoes": "Radio provocateur Don Imus apologized Friday for referring to the Rutgers women's basketball team as 'some nappy-headed hoes' on a broadcast of his syndicated radio show 'Imus in the Morning,' which also airs live on MSNBC."
We at NewsBusters typically follow Associated Press Style and since the AP wire is going with "hos," that probably will be the default for any future posts, for what that's worth.
In the meantime, for more examples, you'll just have to follow Rosie O's advice and "Google it!"
UPDATE 2 (April 11 | 12:40 EDT): A word of thanks to Greg Gutfeld of Fox News Channel's "Red Eye," who linked to this post on his "Daily Gut" blog and discussed the matter during the Imus-related segment of his April 11 program.
In 2004, Lars Mortensen TV-Produktion of Denmark created a documentary about global warming myths entitled “Doomsday Called Off.”
In it, scientists from around the world shared real data and statistics refuting claims by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concerning man’s role in warming the planet (must-see video in five parts available here, here, here, here, and here, grateful h/t to NB member dscott).
Much like the recent British documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle,” it is almost a metaphysical certitude that this spectacular program will never be aired by American television.
Are people who applaud black ministers of hate really in the best position to demand that others be fired for racial insensitivity? The National Association of Black Journalists is one of the primary groups demanding the ouster of Don Imus for his ridiculous "nappy-headed hos" remark about the Rutgers women's basketball team. NABJ leader Bryan Monroe was present for Al Sharpton's radio show, and the group is promoting the fireworks on their site.
But the NABJ can't proclaim they're a force for racial harmony and understanding when they gave Al Sharpton a platform at last year's NABJ convention. Not only that, but at the NABJ convention on August 21, 1996, the group drew headlines for welcoming Rev. Louis Farrakhan (of Judaism is a "gutter religion" fame) to denounce them as scared-to-death slaves of Whitey:
How big was the Imus story on this morning's "Today"? The show devoted the entire first half-hour and half of the second to it. Both Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira seemed uncomfortable, struggling to sound the right note. But while Vieira had the gumption to confront Jesse Jackson with his own record of having made a bigoted statement, Lauer tiptoed to the edge and backed off when confronting Al Sharpton about his racially-charged past.
Both ABC and CBS on Monday night used the fourth anniversary of the toppling of the Saddam Hussein statue in Baghdad as a chance to highlight the regret of a man who used a sledgehammer to destroy the pedestal. After starting her story with anti-U.S. protests inspired by Moqtada al-Sadr, ABC's Hilary Brown, presumably referring to ABC's March poll of Iraqis, asserted that “the appalling bloodshed has turned most Iraqis -- 78 percent -- against the occupation. Thirty-six percent now say that life is worse than it ever was under the dictator.” She proceeded to focus on how “one Iraqi in particular remembers, and now regrets, that iconic moment four years ago when the huge statute of Saddam Hussein was toppled.” Brown relayed how Khadim Yabani “says 'but now I just feel regret because nothing has improved.' That's why he says it would have been better that Saddam had never been overthrown.” On the CBS Evening News, Martin Seemungal, before he highlighted Yabani, at least acknowledged that “in some places, like in the southern city of Basra, people were out celebrating the anniversary.”
Meanwhile, ABC's World News led with Diane Sawyer in Afghanistan where she suggested misplaced priorities as she pointed out that “on this anniversary of the fall of Baghdad, the leaders here note the U.S. has spent some four-times the amount in Iraq, per person, as in the place the fight against terrorism started.” Sawyer reminded Afghan President Hamid Karzai of how “you have said if the U.S. had given Afghanistan what it spent in Iraq, it would be like 'heaven' here. Did the U.S. give too little? In your view?" Karzai refused to take Sawyer's bait, responding: “We are grateful to the American people, to the taxpayers, for having helped Afghanistan, in a big way.”
Soledad O'Brien and Miles O'Brien must be preparing for a new line of work in fortune-telling.
On the April 9 "American Morning," the CNN anchors didn't wait for someone to complain about executive pay before making it an issue.
Instead, after Soledad complained that she was "desperately" underpaid she also predicted that the AFL-CIO would gripe about Occidental Petroleum Corp. CEO Ray Irani's $400 million executive compensation package.
"You think with a number like that they will. I've got to imagine," mused Soledad to Andrew Ross Sorkin who was "Minding Your Business."
Sorkin told viewers Irani's package was "what has to be one of the largest numbers in history," but admitted it took several years to earn. "Had he not taken all these options he would have made just a paltry $55 million."
On Monday’s "American Morning," CNN spent five minutes on the outrageousness of its daily competition: Don Imus’s remarks on MSNBC describing the Rutgers University women’s basketball team as "nappy-headed hoes." New CNN contributor Roland Martin was brought on to echo Al Sharpton’s demand that Imus be removed from his radio and TV microphones. Martin also went after left-wing women’s groups for not signing on to the anti-Imus cause as quickly as the National Association of Black Journalists.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: I was surprised to see how many women's groups did not sign on early on. You listed some now, but that's like late, right?
That was the message of a two-page "Dante's Inferno: Green Edition" in the May issue of Vanity Fair. That was just part of a full-issue assault in which the magazine unleashed its vitriol against businesses, conservatives and even radio host Rush Limbaugh.
Limbaugh "has blinded millions of Americans to the climate crisis," proclaimed Vanity Fair. The magazine also accused him of "the environmental destruction that he did so much to enable in his multi-decade reign of denigration."
But El Rushbo was far from the only target in Vanity Fair's line of fire.
"It is an ongoing mystery to me why Republican administrations are such wretched protectors of our land, inasmuch as Republicans own so much of it," editor Graydon Carter said in the issue's introduction.
Vanity Fair even assigned industries and individuals to the circles of Dante's Hell.
Newsbusters senior editor Tim Graham wrote earlier today about how the Washington Post chose to focus on religious controversies in its obituary of cartoonist Johnny Hart.
Not to be outdone, Post magazine humor columnist Gene Weingarten found room to slam Hart's Christian faith in his online chat today. A reader/chat participant did seem to egg him into it, but all the same it's rather tasteless to besmirch the man's faith in an ostensible celebration of the man's artistry and sense of humor. Portions in bold are my emphasis:
VA: For four months you leave us, and now you think you can just walk
in here like nothing happened? At least offer us a poop joke and some
words about Johnny Hart.
Gene Weingarten: I tried to write an
appreciation of Johnny for today's paper, but failed. It was coming out
nasty, and that was bad. [continued below jump...]
New York Times reporters Helene Cooper and Carl Hulse's Saturday "Washington Memo" -- "As One Syria Trip Draws Fire, Others Draw Silence" -- defended House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's controversial trip to Syria with familiar Democratic talking points.
"With a final stop in Lisbon on Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi headed home to a Washington that is still ringing with complaints from senior Bush officials that her stop in Damascus to visit with Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, bolstered the image of Syria at a time when United States policy is to isolate it.
Imagine for a moment that warmer-than-normal winter temperatures in Alaska were making it difficult for the endangered sea otter to find food, and making it easier for natural predators and illegal hunters to kill them.
Would the global warming alarmists in the media be all over this story as another example of how man-made “climate change” is destroying the planet and endangering species that are its inhabitants?
Well, as NewsBusters reported on April 5, it’s been pretty darned cold in Alaska this winter, so much so that the Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday that it’s wreaking havoc with the local sea otter population (emphasis added):
In a front-page article in the Washington Post in 1993, reporter Michael Weisskopf quipped that Christian conservatives were "largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command."
Of course, that's utter malarkey, but even when well-educated Christian conservatives serve in high offices in the federal government, they don't fare much better in the liberally biased media, particularly if they graduated from Regent University, an accredited private graduate school founded by [gasp] Pat Robertson.
Take CBS's Andrew Cohen. The legal analyst/blogger who recently argued that Alberto Gonzales may well be the nation's worst Attorney General ever, picked up on a Boston Globe article to turn his anti-Gonzales drumbeat into a swipe at Bush political appointees who hail from evangelical Christian circles:
One week apart, "The Early Show" provided very different segments about 2008 presidential contenders. The April 2 edition provided a very glowing, positive review of the candidates. The April 9 edition was far more critical of the contenders. Why the difference? The former reviewed the Democrats. The latter reviewed the Republicans.
On April 2 Hannah Storm discussed Hillary Clinton’s "amazing [fund raising] numbers." John Harris of Politico.com agreed noting "they are incredibly impressive numbers." Though Democratic rival John Edwards raised a much smaller $14 million, Storm wanted to know if the former vice presidential nominee saw a "spike in donations" after his wife announced her breast cancer is not curable.
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," weatherman and left-wing environmental activist Sam Champion took his global warming lobbying to the next step. Champion appeared at Southern Methodist University in Texas with liberal celebrity activist Laurie David and noted anti-Bush singer Sheryl Crow for the start of the "Stop Global Warming College Tour."
It’s rather amazing that ABC is allowing on-air talent to kick off a political campaign with specific policy agendas. Would Champion appear at the commencement of a nationwide "Stop Abortion" tour? ABC even let David, wife of "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David, and Crow introduce the 8:30am hour. Co-host Robin Roberts, ignoring David’s liberal activism, referred to the celebrity wife simply as a "global warming activist":
Laurie David: "Hi, I'm Laurie David."
Sheryl Crow: "And I'm Sheryl Crow. And we're here in Dallas, Texas at SMU!"
David: "To kick off the Stop Global Warming College Tour. Good morning, America!"
So it seems the position of left-wing Democrats is to deal with the terrorist states of Syria and Iran -- but don't deal with Fox News because it just gives them "a platform." As noted in an earlier posting, Democratic candidate John Edwards had a fine time and voiced no complaints after participating in a pair of Fox News-sponsored debates in 2003, but now he's boycotting the highest-rated cable news network: (Updates added at the end.)
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards on Friday pulled out of a second debate co-hosted by Fox News Channel, saying the cable network has a conservative slant.
If George Allen turned up on Good Morning America to protest an incident of alleged anti-white bigotry, what are the odds the GMA host wouldn't mention Allen's macaca moment? I'd say they'd be a Dylanesqe "Love Minus Zero."
But when GMA aired a clip this morning of Al Sharpton expressing his outrage over Don Imus' recent comments about the Rutgers women basketball players, not a discouraging word was heard about Sharpton's history of racially-charged statements and actions that go far beyond the former senator's gaffe.
Whatever Andrea Mitchell has it seems to be catching. Repeatedly, NBC's Mitchell has claimed John McCain's declining support in the polls has to do with his pro-war stance, a stance that quite frankly isn't unpopular within the GOP base. Well on this morning's 'Today' show her colleague David Gregory, in a piece about low Republican morale, claimed the very same thing. Gregory claimed: "John McCain has lost ground in the polls because of his support for the Iraq war."
Now any GOP insider could tell them McCain's support for the war is one of the key stances that is keeping McCain afloat with the base of the party. One has to wonder if Mitchell and Gregory are just having the same conversation with themselves and coming to the same inaccurate conclusions.
Last month’s despicable harassment of a female blogger has created a serious discussion about Internet incivility, especially as it pertains to women.
With that in mind, CNN’s Howard Kurtz invited three prominent female bloggers – Mary Katharine Ham of TownHall.com, Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post, and Joan Walsh of Salon – on Sunday’s “Reliable Sources” to discuss the recent treatment of technology blogger Kathy Sierra, and what it means for the blogosphere (video available here).
As you might imagine, an interesting debate developed between the conservative Ham and the others when Kurtz suggested that this behavior was just as prominent at conservative blogs as liberal ones. (Update: Mary Katharine gives her take of this segment here.)
Ham marvelously took issue with this inanity, and didn't cede ground when the others predictably agreed with Kurtz:
The infighting and hostility in the blogosphere best exemplified by the recent Kathy Sierra brouhaha has led some prominent Internet denizens to push for rules that could reduce or eliminate the popular comments sections at blogs.
For those that have forgotten, Kathy Sierra is a programming instructor and blogger who last month had to cancel a speaking engagement at a technology conference in San Diego, California, due to death threats she had received at her website as well some that she had no affiliation with.
With that in mind, some folks want to do something to prevent this type of behavior in the future. As reported by the New York Times Monday (emphasis added throughout):
Johnny Hart, the wildly successful comic-strip artist of "B.C." and "The Wizard of Id" has died at his drawing board at 76. (We should add the tiny footnote that Hart was a three-time judge of the MRC’s "Best of Notable Quotables" in the mid-1990s.) In his Monday obituary in the Washington Post, Adam Bernstein noted Hart’s success, but focused like a laser beam on how Hart’s religion-themed strips were sometimes censored by the Post and other newspapers with "insensitive and at times offensive themes."
The Post story did not note that often liberal editors perceived the mere expression of Hart's Christianity as offensive, that somehow religion didn't belong in cartoons, even as liberal newspapers used Christian themes against Christians. In 1996, we noted how Hart's strips were pulled for "religious overtones," and how that compared to other images of Christianity in those papers:
What better way to start the week than with a rousing round of WIARHSI, or in this case, an entertaining variation thereof: What If a Conservative Cartoonist Had Drawn It?
Check out Tom Toles' editorial cartoon in this morning's Washington Post. Toles depicts Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, complete with East L.A. hairstyle, having to be taught to pronounce the name of the department over which he presides in preparation for his congressional testimony.
It looks like Toles tried to give himself some cover by having Gonzales say he knows what a department is [though perhaps not what "justice" is]. Perhaps the cartoonist would try to argue that he was mocking the presumably white administration official who was coaching Gonzales, not the AG himself.
The Associated Press reported rallies celebrating the fourth anniversary of the liberation of Iraq from Saddam Hussein -- without ever mentioning Saddam Hussein. Lauren Frayer's article makes it sound like the American forces deposed a city, not a dictator: "Tens of thousands marched through the streets of two Shiite holy cities Monday to mark the fourth anniversary of Baghdad's fall." Nowhere in the article is Saddam even mentioned. The headline was also "Rally marks anniversary of Baghdad's fall."
The reader quickly learns the rallies were organized by Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army as an anti-American event, which would explain why it broke through the media's resistance to hopeful-sounding news:
If a leading expert writes an op-ed in a national news magazine contradicting the conventional wisdom of the "lapdog media", will a liberal read it?
I'd say there's a 70 percent chance that won't happen, at least as long as the subject is global warming. Richard S. Lindzen, a well-respected and widely published professor of meteorology at MIT just published a very clear-headed and sober editorial in this week's Newsweek. (Update: Lindzen's article appears only in Newsweek's international editions and on their web site. U.S. subscribers won't see it in the issue that arrives in their mailboxes.) It got picked up by Drudge and a number of right-leaningblogs but as of this posting, has not been written about by any popular left-wing blogs.
So for those lefties who are stopping by, allow me to reprint some key grafs from Lindzen's piece: