On Monday’s "Good Morning America," correspondent David Wright highlighted an ABC poll which claims a "stunning" 100 percent of Iraqis in Baghdad and Anbar Province view the troop surge negatively. Wright offered this rather amazing statistic during a dour preview of the Iraq progress report that General Petraeus will give to Congress this week. In October of 2002, the veteran journalist highlighted another nearly unanimous poll. Showing extreme naivete, he famously observed on "World News Tonight that in a 1995 Iraqi election, "... Saddam Hussein won 99.96 percent of the vote. Of course, it is impossible to say whether that's a true measure of the Iraqi people's feelings."
While discussing the ABC survey of Iraqi households, Wright didn’t question the fact that not one person could be found who viewed the troop surge positively. After comparing Petraeus’s testimony to that of General William Westmoreland at the height of the Vietnam War, Wright went on to discuss how the poll indicates that Iraqis believe the prospects for the future are "grim at best." He then closed the report by stating the obvious: Unlike ABC, General Petraeus will actually mention signs of progress, in addition to discussing the struggles. "And no doubt we're going to be hearing a starkly different assessment today from this chair by General Petraeus," he concluded.
I'll ask all of my readers to please check out Pajamas Media after noon (Eastern U.S.) today [update:it's up now], and see what you think of my exclusive interview which should be coming online right about then.
In the meantime, Michelle Malkin and her team at Hot Air released a crushing "Vent" today, interviewing Michael Goldfarb, the writer for the Weekly Standard that broke the story with his post, "Fact or Fiction?" on July 18, and also paying a surprise visit to the offices of the New Republic to try to get in to see Franklin Foer.
All in all, this is going to be a very bad day for Franklin Foer and the New Republic, who by now, just wish this story would go away. What they don't seem to grasp is that at this point, they are the story.
Touting it as a “Geraldo at Large investigation you won’t soon forget,” FNC’s Laurie Dhue filed a report from inside a men’s bathroom on what supposedly happened last June between Senator Larry Craig and an undercover police officer, with actors in separate stalls rubbing their feet together.
After pointing out that the chances that Craig’s conduct was simply misunderstood by the police officer were “extremely low,” Dhue suggested that any stigma on homosexual behavior was the fault of the Republican Party.
Dhue declared: “I think the sad part about all this is that Larry Craig had to go to a public place — if it’s true, if he is gay — he had to go to a public place, and that’s the shame of homosexuality in this country right, today — at least the shame that the Republican Party puts on it.”
"This is John Smith, reporting live from the beaches of Normandy, where Allied troops have launched a massive invasion aiming to defeat the Axis."
"John, this is Bob Brown back in the studio. When does General Eisenhower think the first Allied troops can start to come home?"
"What the . . . ?"
OK, the surge isn't D-Day. But surely an important part of what we are looking for in General Petraeus's report today is his assessment of the prospects for success in Iraq, right? Wrong -- if by "we" you include CNN. According to it's 9 A.M. EDT preview of the report, the only thing "everyone" cares about is the timing of withdrawal:
By now, most conservatives have likely seen or heard about the video Fox News's Sean Hannity aired on Sunday's "Hannity's America" wherein the Global Warmingist-in-Chief, soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore, was seen getting off a private, fuel inefficient jet at San Francisco Airport before stepping into a non-hybrid, Lincoln Town Car.
This raises a question: Should we expect to see this video on CNN and MSNBC all day Monday, as well as on the morning and evening news programs of ABC, NBC, and CBS?
Illinois Democrat Rahm Emanuel and California Republican Duncan Hunter appeared on CNN's American Morning Monday to discuss the Iraq War and anticipated address from General David Patraeus. CNN's John Roberts questioned the congressmen.
During the interview, Hunter challenged his Democratic counterpart (Emanuel) by pointing out that Democrats had previously implored President Bush to "listen to his generals," but now the Democrats were preemptively being critical of General Patraeus. Having heard enough, Roberts switched the questioning to Emanuel, prodding for a response to Hunter's point. But in asking for a response, Roberts addressed the Illinois congressman as "Rahm," as in - what is your response to that point "Rahm?"
Roberts, recognizing his mistake almost immediately, thereafter made a point of addressing Emanuel as "congressman." Roberts, however, never addressed the California congressman as "Duncan."
And here I thought liberals were the ones who love to glorify those "hard-working average Americans." The mythic salt of the earth who sit around the supper table discussing the need for universal health care, or whatever, before getting up in the morning, grabbing their lunch buckets and heading off to work hard and play by the rules.
Isn't it supposed to be those mean-spirited conservatives who denigrate those same folks as irresponsible?
And yet . . .
Proving that there's no elitism like liberal elitism, the Boston Globe emits an astonishing editorial this morning, analogizing those with less-than-ideal credit to a bunch of drunks who can't resist the handout of a bottle.
Candidate Fred Thompson is the butt of media jokes, once again. This time it is due to the reporting by the New York Daily News of Thompson's comments in Sioux City, Iowa over the weekend. Thompson's claim that an al Qaeda enforced smoking ban in Iraq led to many Iraqi citizens joining the U.S. side in the attempt to rid the country of the foreign terror network was reported to the misinformed media's amusement, becoming an excuse to make fun of the candidate. But, as is the case with most "reporting" by the MSM, Thompson turns out to be right in his assertions and the MSM has egg on their faces, once again. It seems more and more that the media has decided to do their level best to destroy Fred Thompson's bid for the White House. I wonder what that says of their fear of him?
The NYDNews reported Thompson's comments on Saturday.
Bloggers have caught a politician saying one thing in a speech, while carrying a very different rendering of a critical passage at a supposed "transcript" of that speech.
The difference is significant.
The transcript whitewashes a slander on the performance of US troops in Iraq delivered by a United States senator.
Specifically, New York's Charles Schumer gave a made a speech on the floor of the Senate last week ascribing the turnaround in the Anbar province in Iraq to the locals, and discrediting the notion that American troops could have had anything to do with it.
Here is the relevant portion of Armchair General Schumer's speech you will hear at the YouTube video:
And let me be clear. The violence in Anbar has gone down in spite of the Surge, not because of the Surge.
The inability of American soldiers to protect these tribes from Al Qaeda said to these tribes, "We have to fight Al Qaeda ourselves."
However, that section of the "transcript" of Schumer's speech posted at his Senate web site (a backup screen cap, in case the transcript gets revised at a future date, is here) reads thusly:
On the one hand, I was very pleased to see CNN's Howard Kurtz mention on Sunday's "Reliable Sources" the recent decision by the BBC to cancel "Planet Earth," a proposed daylong special to focus attention on anthropogenic global warming.
On the other hand, I was surprised when Kurtz chose not to include one of the key reasons this project was scrapped, namely, the failure of Al Gore's Live Earth concerts.
For several years as the manmade global warming myth has taken center stage, the media have led people to believe that reports published by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were written by thousands of scientists around the world all sharing a consensus view regarding this controversial issue.
In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
On Thursday, climate data analyst John McLean wrote a fabulous analysis of the most recent IPCC Assessment Report released in April, and in so doing, obliterated many of the press assertions that have become prominent fixtures in climate change lore.
Published by the Science and Public Policy Institute, this paper should be must reading for all media members and global warming alarmists. It began with a rather harsh review of the important Summary for Policy Makers (emphasis added throughout):
"Osama Bin Laden’s widely publicized video address to the American people has a peculiarity that casts serious doubt on its authenticity: the video freezes at about 1 minute and 36 seconds, and motion only resumes again at 12:30. The video then freezes again at 14:02 remains frozen until the end. All references to current events, such as the 62nd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Japan, and Sarkozy and Brown being the leaders of France and the UK, respectively, occur when the video is frozen! The words spoken when the video is in motion contain no references to contemporary events and could have been (and likely were) made before the U.S. invasion of Iraq."
The Los Angeles Times's love affair with Barack Obama continues to writhe hot and heavy. We've reported on it in the past here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
The paper continued its string of flattering, adulatory profiles of Obama yesterday (Sat. 9/8/07) with a generous, front-page, 2100+-word piece. With the article are two photos, including a nice full-color pic of Barack and his wife Michelle enjoying a smooch (see images of the article here and here). As with other pieces the paper has run on Obama, any unflattering episodes about the candidate are downplayed or excused.
During a report on Friday's The Situation Room about each party's message regarding the war on terrorism, CNN's Bill Schneider slanted the piece toward plugging Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' challenge to Republicans. Schneider relayed the desire by Republicans to make the 2008 election about the war on terror, and, after summarizing Edwards' proposal for an "aggressive new policy against terrorism," Schneider concluded the report: "Edwards' message is: If the Republicans want to refight the 2004 campaign, bring'em on." (Transcript follows)
Since it is the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Jack Kerouac's ground-breaking book, "On The Road," many are using the occasion to reminisce about the author. However, Tom Hayden is using this anniversary as a way to lament in the Huffington Post over the fact that Kerouac was too much of an iconoclast to buy into his collectivist leftwing agenda:
Every now and then one has to read an article four or five times to actually believe someone could possibly write such nonsense.
The following item, from Time magazine's special report "The 50 Worst Cars of All Time," has to qualify as one of the most absurd pieces of...journalism I've come across so far this year (h/t NB reader Paul Head).
To set this up, it goes without saying that Ford's creation of the Model T represents a seminal moment in American history as it made cars affordable to the general population for the very first time, and caused a huge economic explosion in our nation.
Alas, that's not how Time sees it (emphasis added to really point out the stupidity):
Never's a long time, but, "Never Enough" seems appropriate for the state Democrats and their enablers over at the Denver Post. This morning, the paper's Local & Western Politics Blog runs an uncritical story about the desire of state Democrats to raise taxes again under the title, "Seventeen tax proposals under discussion in Colorado." The two liberal groups quoted, the Bell Policy Center and the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, are not identified as such. Members of Bell campagned with Ref C supporters a couple of years ago. And the CFPI's parent institute, the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, describes its mission as: "The Colorado Center on Law and Policy's mission is to promote justice and economic security for all Coloradans, particularly lower income people.
"CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric couldn't possibly expect to be criticized by a fellow, female, liberal journalist when she went to Iraq last week to report firsthand what was going on in that embattled nation.
Yet, on Sunday's "Reliable Sources," Salon editor-in-chief Joan Walsh ripped the leading member of the media sisterhood for "lobbing kind of softball questions," and not "working terribly hard to go beyond that kind of puff piece drop in for a few days kind of journalism."
In fact, Walsh demonstrated what happens when a discernibly liberal press representative dares to do an impartial, balanced report which doesn't exclusively bash Republicans, the president, and the war:
If you watched any television newscasts Friday, or read a paper Saturday, you were bombarded with claims of doom and gloom as a result of the August unemployment report showing 4,000 fewer people on American payrolls than in July.
Yet, what media largely ignored were shifting sociological population dynamics indicating this summer's poor jobs gains could be caused by the smallest percentage of teenagers seeking work since such data started being collected in 1948.
In fact, though the "civilian noninstitutional population" of persons sixteen to nineteen-years-old reached 17 million for the first time in history last month, only 5.665 million of these teens were employed, the fewest for any August since 1965 when the population of such young adults was only 13 million.
Isn't this newsworthy? Well, there's much more that was ignored in this report for those actually interested in facts rather than excessively bearish, pessimistic spin.
The state of Delaware's largest daily, the News Journal, writes that the state's 'All-white court casts long shadow' and laments that there is no African-American serving on the state's Supreme Court.
A former border state whose citizens kept slaves but also supported the Underground Railroad, Delaware today has a rich tradition of black culture and achievement.
But unlike other states with such diverse populations -- and many whose residents are far more monochromatic -- Delaware has never had a black jurist on its Supreme Court, the last stop for most criminal and civil decision-making.
Stop the presses! ABC's got a scoop: the situation in Iraq isn't ideal.
Trying to pave the way for the rejection of the Petraeus report, today's "Good Morning America" took the tack that the lack of complete calm is proof of the surge's failure.
Co-anchor Kate Snow set the negative tone by displaying a poll finding to the effect a majority of Americans believe the Petraeus report "will try to make things look better" in Iraq rather than portraying the situation "honestly."
Then it was on to a report from Iraq by ABC's Terry McCarthy. Don't miss the video of Snow and co-anchor Bill Weir walking in unison across the GMA stage, crossing a floor-map of Iraq to a video screen displaying McCarthy's report. Their studied maneuver reminded me of a bridesmaid and groom attendant doing their earnest best at a wedding rehearsal.
The leitmotif of McCarthy's report: yeah, things might be better in Iraq, but darn it, they're not perfect.
What is it about the Clintons that prompts supposedly cynical political reporters to use gauzy metaphors? In Sunday's Washington Post Book World, reporter Peter Baker reviewed Bill Clinton's book Giving by oozing about Bill and Hillary: "The notion of Bill Clinton taking on a secondary role as his wife leads a presidential campaign and, at least potentially, the country, has always been hard to imagine. For a man who has spent his life at the center of his own comet, it must be an enormous challenge to find the right place as another streaks toward the sun."
Maybe this is just another day at the office for a reporter who was so dazzled riding along with Hillary Clinton in Egypt in 1999 that he lamented she was settling for the Senate when people she met on her trip wanted her to be "Queen of the World."
Projection: The attribution of one's own attitudes, feelings, or suppositions to others.
Could Maureen Dowd's idée fixe -- that Republicans seek father figures -- be the projection of the columnist's deep-seated desire for a strong man of her own? Dowd's columns are as much pop psychology as political commentary. The NY Times columnist understands virtually everything in terms of the underlying impulses of the id, ego and super-ego.
When it comes to presidential preferences, Dowd's theory is that Republicans seek strong men who will dole out discipline and authority. Take today's [p.p.v.] opus, Old School Inanity, in which Dowd twice trots out her father-figure formula [emphasis added]:
In the past couple of days, the media have reported "grim" melting of ice in the Arctic while disgracefully ignoring the history of the region prior to 1979 and explorations of the area as far back as 1903.
As the Washington Post reported Friday (emphasis added):
The Arctic ice cap is melting faster than scientists had expected and will shrink 40 percent by 2050 in most regions, with grim consequences for polar bears, walruses and other marine animals, according to government researchers.
Unfortunately, like the Post, most press outlets conveniently ignored a crucial element of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration study being cited. As reported by the Seattle Times Friday (emphasis added):
Writing for the September 9 Style & Arts section, Washington Post staff writer Jonathan Padget found a queer angle on an upcoming NBC action drama. The ratings-challenged network is remaking the 1970s "Bionic Woman" sci-fi series. It's a ratings gamble for the peacock network with any demographic, yet Padget seems to peg the success of the show on gay viewers, and finds a way to smack around former "Grey's Anatomy" co-star Isaiah Washington in the process:
What's a thoroughly postmodern gay to do when one of the iconic heroines of '70s television is relaunched on a network that eagerly embraces an actor who gets dumped from his hit show on another network after proving himself all too comfortable with a certain homophobic slur?
You better put down your drinks, and make sure there's nothing in your mouths, for the New York Times's David Brooks made a comment on Friday's News Hour that is guaranteed to evoke uncontrollable fits of laughter from those on the right side of the aisle.
*****Updates at end of post include similar opinions from conservative bloggers, as well as a video of a CNN correspondent saying roughly the same thing, and a response from the Kos Kidz.
After introducing regular guests Brooks and Mark Shields, host Jim Lehrer asked their opinions concerning the just-released Osama bin Laden video.
Brooks was second up with this absolutely marvelous observation (final warning to put down your drinks, video available here):