On NBC's "Daily Nightly" blog, anchor Brian Williams explained that he was a big fan of Jerry Ford, and has a pile of handwritten letters from Ford in his later years. You can read between the lines the respect and nostalgia liberals have for a moderate Republican in a much more liberal era:
The truth is Jerry Ford was a nice man. He was decent, courageous, honest...and a loving and faithful partner to his wife, a wonderful and trail-blazing woman. By today's political standards he just might be a liberal. By today's standards he is an anachronism of a kind of cooperative, deal-making and dare I say much more bipartisan brand of politics.
The liberal encomiums for a more bipartisan time do seem to omit that the Democrats held the House by a majority of about 145 after the post-Watergate sweep in 1974, so bipartisanship was pretty much mandatory, even if it was a natural fit for Ford.
Global warming is killing the polar bears? Sounds like a fund-raising letter from Greenpeace or the World Wildlife Federation, but it was actually the subject of two stories on Thursday’s "Early Show" on CBS. CBS News correspondent Thalia Assuras delivered a brief report and "Early Show" Co-host Harry Smith , talked with Jeff Sailer, animal curator at New York City’s Central Park Zoo, and gushed that the U.S. government is "finally acknowledging" that the earth is getting warmer and the polar bears’ habitat is shrinking. But it doesn’t sound like the government is acknowledging that here.
The Christmas break replay season offered a chance to catch up on shocking episodes of "The View" on ABC. On December 26, a replay of the December 6 program gave viewers in the Eastern and Central time zones the chance to see James Brolin pitch a government-set-up-9/11 website: "Can I tell you to have a look at www.911weknow.com? And then wait until I see you next time." The first broadcast was blocked in the East due to doting live coverage of the Iraq Study Group report release. (The eagle eyes at Hot Air lamented the dropout at the time. Hey, maybe that event was a government conspiracy to silence Brolin....) Video: Real (1.7MB) or Windows (1.9 MB)Plus: MP3 (292KB) The transcript is below.
A December 26 AP story tried to make people feel bad for Ford auto workers stuck between staying with the struggling company and possibly losing their jobs in the future, or choosing up to a six-figure buyout. Workers like this man:
Scott Swiercz, chose to stay at a job he knows he could lose rather than take any of eight buyout options, one of which is a $100,000 lump sum. Swiercz said it feels “100 percent” like a gamble, wrote AP business writer Ellen Simon.
This isn’t exactly Vegas. Most Americans would love to have a chance to get twice the median household income for working at a place for about 11 years.
Former Senator and Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards announced on Thursday that he will once again be a candidate for president in 2008, and he appeared on all three network morning programs to discuss his aspirations. Given the treatment he received on NBC’s "Today" and ABC’s "Good Morning America," it is clear he is not the darling of the media for this campaign cycle as ABC highlighted a potential campaign by Barack Obama, and NBC portrayed Hillary Clinton as the inevitable Democratic nominee.
On "Good Morning America," George Stephanopoulos accused Senator Edwards of exploiting hurricane Katrina by announcing his candidacy in New Orleans and wondered why Democrats should nominate him over "someone who was against the war from the start, like Barack Obama?" On NBC, "Today" co-host Matt Lauer inquired on whether Edwards can truly connect with the "have-nots" in America, given that he lives a luxurious lifestyle, and would he once again accept a nomination to be vice president, this time with Hillary Clinton at the top of the ticket, "So down the road, would you consider a vice-presidential slot for Hillary Clinton?" However, on CBS’s "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith gave Senator Edwards a softball interview. He asked simple questions that did not challenge Mr. Edwards record or current positions such as what advice Edwards would give President Bush on Iraq.
The New York Post's Page Six column reports that well-traveled television news executive (and longtime Bill Clinton pal) Rick Kaplan may join CBS News:
RICK Kaplan, the veteran network news exec who most recently ran MSNBC, is rumored to be coming to CBS News to help boost Katie Couric's ratings on the "Evening News." After a brief stint on top of the ratings when she launched in September, Couric has been mired in third place, right where Bob Schieffer was and where Dan Rather was before him. Kaplan...has been unemployed since Dan Abrams replaced him last summer at MSNBC. CBS News denies Kaplan is coming aboard, but the buzz goes on.
The night after Christmas, the PBS show "Tavis Smiley" reran the Smiley interview with Rather from October when he was plugging the launch of his show on HDNet. Aside from his boast that he found reporting from the field "more addictive than crack cocaine," (and, um, how would Dan know that?), the interesting part was that Rather made it sound like he didn’t seem to discover the injustice of racism until he was 31 years old, and then professed that seeing racial hatred face to face made him a different media professional.
"When I came to the civil rights movement, covering it for CBS News, when I first came to work for the network in 1962, I had no idea. I was dumb as a fence post about civil rights. I'd vaguely heard of Dr. Martin Luther King, heard some things about sit-ins. But it became my first major responsibility for CBS News was to cover Dr. Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, just as it was beginning to really take traction. They'd been trying to get it to take traction for a long while. And the education that was for me, if I hadn't been before, and you can argue that I already was, that I became addicted to field reporting. And once you get addicted, trust me, it's more addictive than crack cocaine."
WASHINGTON, Dec. 27 — At the close of the Senate’s lame-duck session, in between formulaic tributes to senators departing voluntarily or otherwise, a Republican backbencher suddenly rose to give one of the most passionate and surprising speeches about the war in Iraq yet delivered in Congress.
If you follow DC reporting on Iraq, you may be familiar with the speech by Republican Gordon Smith of Oregon, though with so many 24 hour news cycles come and gone, it may tax your memory to recall it. Enter the New York Times.
Not surprisingly, all three morning shows featured the Bob Woodward interview with recently deceased former President Gerald Ford, in which Ford criticized the Bush administration for its decision to go to war with Iraq. Good Morning America and the Today show were the most eager to showcase Ford’s critique of the administration, broadcasting full reports and featuring audio clips from the interview during the 7am half hour, while CBS’ Early Show relegated the story to a brief anchor-read at 7:35 am.
On ABC, anchor Robin Roberts, substitute co-host George Stephanopoulos, and reporter Claire Shipman seemed disappointed that the former president had not come forward publicly with his criticism prior to his death, saying that it could have made a difference in the U.S.’s decision to go to war:
Never underestimate the mainstream media for their ability to advance a theme that runs counter-intuitive to the sensibilities of most clear headed individuals.
Thus I was not surprised to read that both the New York Times and the BBC furthered the idea that life in Somalia was relatively calm under the Sharia law that was imposed on the Somali people ever since the Islamists ran the warlords out nearly six months ago.
The Islamists came to power earlier this year as a grassroots movement that drove out Mogadishu’s warlords and restored a semblance of order to a city that was once one of the most violent on the planet. - The New York Times
Some residents say lawlessness has returned to Mogadishu - which had been under Islamic rule for six months. - BBC News
Beware of New York Times articles that include labels commonly associated with progressive political movements. For instance the use of the term "grassroots" typically means a community effort to further an idea or an agenda. I don't know about you but I tend to think that the term is almost always referenced in a positive manner to connote the uprising of popular ideas with communal backing.
Catspawing for another candidate, or just solid journalistic probing? In either case, ABC's George Stephanopoulos gave John Edwards a rough go when the former NC senator appeared on Good Morning America today to announce his candidacy for president.
Steph was on the offense from the get-go: "Back in 2004, you criticized President Bush for exploiting the tragedy of 9/11 by having his convention in New York City. Aren't you exploiting Katrina by announcing your candidacy in New Orleans?"
Edwards didn't respond directly to the exploitation allegation, asserting only that he was seeking to draw attention to New Orleans's plight. And not to himself? At the risk of reading too much into every jot and tittle, I'd say that Steph's formulation "aren't you exploiting?" is considerably more accusatory than would have been "are you exploiting?"
WorldNetDaily reported yesterday on the discovery of a State Department document released earlier this year (Here it is, converted to an HTML doc by yours truly for easy reference). State acknowledges, apparently for the first time, something that Scott at Powerline (here and here) demonstrated definitively more than three years ago from other available evidence.
The admission is that State has known for decades that the late Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the head of Fatah, plotted and supervised the 1973 murders of three diplomats: two from the United States (Cleo Noel and George Curtis), and one from Belgium (Guy Eid) who was apparently in the wrong place at the wrong time, in Khartoum, The Sudan.
The Khartoum operation was planned and carried out with the full knowledge and personal approval of Yasir Arafat ..... Fatah representatives based in Khartoum partcipated in the attack, using a Fatah vehicle to transport the terrorists to the Saudi Arabian Embassy.
Today, New York Times congressional reporter Carl Hulse hands over nearly all his news hole for the newly empowered Democrats to whine about the GOP's supposedly corrupt years of control of Congress.
"Republican rule on Capitol Hill drew to an exhausted end just before dawn on Dec. 9 after lawmakers dispatched a pile of bills that few had read and even fewer had helped write. Democrats say the era of such chaotic and secretive legislating came to a close as well."
Hulse lets us know that a kinder, gentler group is taking over.
On the McLaughlin Group's "2006 Year-End Awards" aired over the Christmas weekend, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift hailed Al Gore for the "Best Comeback," trumpeting him: "Al Gore, who is now in contention as a possible presidential candidate and who is leading a campaign to recognize the potential danger of global warming. Hooray that he is back."
After giving her "Enough Already!" distinction to "Bush and Cheney," Clift championed Democrat James Webb as her "Person of the Year" at the end of the show: "Virginia Senator-elect James Webb, the former combat veteran, novelist won the race and has the stamina and the imagination to help lead the campaign to get this country out of Iraq."
New homes sales: Back from the dead? New home sales rise more than expected and prices post gains despite continued rise in completed new homes on the market. December 27 2006: 11:11 AM EST
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- New home sales and prices both showed surprising strength in November, according to a government report Wednesday.
New homes sold at an annual pace of 1.05 million, up from the revised annual rate of 1.01 million in October. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast that home sales would rebound to a 1.02 million pace.
Evening network broadcasts on the day after Christmas whined that a 6.5-percent increase in holiday spending for 2006 simply wasn’t enough. Ironically, only a month earlier CBS complained that Americans weren’t saving enough money. My colleague Julia Seymour wrote about the “humbug” attitudes of ABC, NBC and CBS here.
“Stores need more than returnees to turn this so-so Christmas shopping season into one to celebrate,” said Bill Whitaker during the CBS “Evening News.” Later Whitaker added that “in December the sizzle fizzled.”
But on Black Friday, CBS was singing a different Christmas tune:
You just knew it. "Today" was going to find a way to use the death of President Ford to take a shot at George Bush. You had to wait till the very end of the first half-hour, but sure enough, it came. The preceding twenty minutes had been a respectful review of the life of the 38th president. And after all, if there is one Republican president it's not too hard for the MSM to like, it was Ford, who replaced the hated Richard Nixon. Tom Brokaw even admitted that, in retrospect, Ford had made the right decision in pardoning Nixon.
But then came Ann Curry. Her mild demeanor can obscure one of the more baldly partisan hearts. Speaking with NBC consultant and presidential historian Michael Beschloss about Ford's handling of the Watergate aftermath Curry observed:
"I can't help but think we are now in troubled times as a nation. Very different, but still troubled times. Are there any lessons to be taken away, on this day when we mourn former President Gerald Ford, as we look to the future that still looks very murky."
The Associated Press reported moments ago that former President Gerald Ford died Tuesday:
Gerald R. Ford, who picked up the pieces of Richard Nixon's scandal-shattered White House as the 38th and only unelected president in America's history, has died, his wife, Betty, said Tuesday. He was 93.
Ford had battled pneumonia in January 2006 and underwent two heart treatments — including an angioplasty — in August at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
He was the longest living president, followed by Ronald Reagan, who also died at 93. Ford had been living at his desert home in Rancho Mirage, Calif., about 130 miles east of Los Angeles.
When righting yourself after a downturn in life, it is best to first take an honest inventory to understand how your own actions influenced the outcome. It may seem emotionally easier to blame outside influences, but professional victims do not expend any effort to improve their lot in life, expecting somebody else to straighten things out instead. This runs counter to liberty, where personal freedom is reflected by an equal amount of personal responsibility. So we need to see exactly where we stand before we plan our recovery from the 2006 elections.
When the Clouds Cleared…
In the House, 23 A-rated, NRA-endorsed representatives–17 of them incumbents–lost to F-rated challengers. (Assumes initial rating of “?” is really an “F”.) In the Senate, 5 endorsed candidates lost, four of them incumbents, for a 72% winning percentage.
It amazes me that this Kwanzaa business has been washed of the real life criminal activity of its creator. The man was a race monger, a violent thug, a rapist, a torturer... just a horrible human being.
Yet never a word of this man's evil is ever uttered when his pseudo holiday is discussed in the MSM.
Kwanzaa turns 40 today. The colorful holiday, invented by California professor Maulana Ron Karenga in 1966, is like a jazz musician who fuses bits and pieces of music into a vibrant mosaic of sound. Kwanzaa, "first fruit" in Swahili, is a fluent, nonreligious holiday that borrows liberally from a patchwork of cultures and traditions.
Karenga originally created the seven-day observance to empower black communities and uplift black culture and identity.
..... On Saturday, the Security Council voted unanimously to impose sanctions on Iran for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment, increasing international pressure on the government to prove that it is not trying to make nuclear weapons.
..... Iran insists its nuclear program is intended to produce energy, but the U.S. and European nations suspect its ultimate goal is the production of weapons.
That's "funny." Here's an AP story from December 11 by Alicia Chang, AP Science writer, about potential global cooling that might occur as the result of a nuclear war that says:
Despite all the proof, Paul Krugman and most of Old Media will probably never let go of the "stagnant wages" meme to describe the Bush 43 prosperity. Their failure to acknowledge the obvious becomes clearer with nearly each passing day.
Tuesday's OpinionJournal.com feature editorial (may require free e-mail registration) doesn't merely show that the favorite meme of Krugman and his economic brothers and sisters is a folk tale. It also reveals a completely unreported item about this prosperity compared to the 1990s that even yours truly was not prepared for -- a truth (in the third excerpted paragraph) that needs to be trotted out on a weekly basis for about the next year -- or ten (bolds are mine):
Appearing on this Boxing Day edition of the Today show to plug tonight's airing of "In the Shadow of the American Dream," the latest in the “Tom Brokaw Reports” series, the former Nightly News anchor offered a variety of views on the subject of illegal immigration straight out of the amnesty-crowd playbook.
The Washington Post had a light-hearted headline for the day after Christmas at the top left of the front page: "Democrats Pledge to Restrain Spending." Lori Montgomery's article reflects a talk to the chairmen of the House and Senate budget committees. She reported they "said they will have little room in their budget blueprints for significant new domestic spending, such as closing a much-criticized gap in the new Medicare prescription-drug benefit that forces millions of seniors to pay 100 percent of drug costs for a few weeks or months each year."
But have no fear, Sen. Kent Conrad has an easy solution, as he emphasized war costs. "Raising taxes would certainly be an option...The President this is his policy. He's got an obligation to pay for it." So why isn't the headline "Democrats Say Raise Taxes"?
As Christmas Day approached, a host of cable television outlets were not afraid to take to the airwaves with "specials" that challenge conventional Christianity. Episodes from CNN, the History Channel, and National Geographic presented discredited and dubious information surrounding the life of Jesus and the history of early Christianity.
1. National Geographic took to the airwaves with "The Secret Lives of Jesus." The episode presented dramatized fables of Jesus as a mischievous youth who performs insidious acts and miracles. Jesus is also shown to have had a sensual relationship with Mary Magdalene. (Thankfully, the channel presented an expert who underscored that there is no evidence of any such intimacy.)
This is truly amazing - a major media organization with direct ties to major players in an incident in which 8 American soldiers are charged with murder and/or coverup. Yesterday I exposed the background of Majid Hameed, a Reuters reporter who had been incarcerated in Iraq due to questionable terrorist ties. Hameed wrote the Iraqis demanding justice story for Reuters on Friday 12/22.
Today while reviewing the excellent recap of Haditha reporting over at Euphoric Reality, I stumbled across a blurb about another Reuters reporter that was taken into custody along with Majid Hameed. This other Reuters employee's name is Ali Omar Abrahem al-Mashhadani.
For months before Election Day, Americans were brainwashed by the media concerning a Republican “culture of corruption,” and the need for the Democrats to clean it all up. Unfortunately, in the middle of this web of lies, the press chose to ignore the misdeeds of any politician with a “D” next to his or her name.
Sadly for America, some of the content in this front-page article by Jonathan Weisman has been available for almost a year and a half. But, investigative reporting like this that might out a Democrat was specifically verboten by members of the drive-by media before November 7 (emphasis mine throughout):