Six years after the fact, the attacks of September 11th seem to have lost their cultural relevancy for much of America. In a thought-provoking essay Jonah Goldberg wonders how we got to this point. In his view, it is largely a communication issue, something for which the media shares a significant amount of blame (h/t Ace):
[I]t’s important to remember that from the outset, the media took it as their sworn duty to keep Americans from getting too riled up about 9/11. I wrote a column about it back in March of 2002. Back then the news networks especially saw it as imperative that we not let our outrage get out of hand. I can understand the sentiment, but it’s worth noting that such sentiments vanished entirely during hurricane Katrina. After 9/11, the press withheld objectively accurate and factual images from the public, lest the rubes get too riled up. After Katrina, the press endlessly recycled inaccurate and exaggerated information in order to keep everyone upset. The difference speaks volumes.
Crusty CNN commentator Jack Cafferty had a "Live Chat" on The Huffington Post on Wednesday, and he sounded like a regular HuffPost blogger, charging that Bush lied us into war to enrich his friends, and never wants America to leave: "I don't think President Bush ever had any intention of leaving Iraq. I think we have been lied to about that the same way we were lied to about WMD. Military bases are under construction all over the country including one on the Iran-Iraq border." Cafferty also agreed with a questioner complaining about how the "good concepts" of "Kucinich, Paul, Richardson, and Gravel" are ignored by the media, and suggested the country needs publicly-funded political campaigns, but it will never happen.
The typical Bush-buried-3,000-troops-for-his-rich-friends line tumbled out this way:
The Democrats hit General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker with the results of an ABC/BBC poll of Iraqi citizens during the two days of testimony. Barbara Boxer was so immersed in the poll results that she couldn't even muster up a question for General Petraeus. Since the poll results were not released until Monday September 10, 2007, it left little time for an indepth look at the poll, the sampling size, the surveyors and the results from all the questions.
First of all - the sample size. The number of Iraqis questioned for the poll was approximately 2100 people. 2100 people in a country with an estimated population of 27,499,638 according to the CIA Factbook. That means the poll results were from 1/1000 of the population. How can a sample size that small even be considered partially representative of the population?
As NB's Ken Shepherd wrote yesterday (Tue. 9/11/07, here), MSNBC reported on some harsh and offensive remarks spewed from comedienne Kathy Griffin during an acceptance speech set to air on an awards show. (Read the story here.) Yet when they reported the story, MSNBC left out the most inflammatory words that Griffin voiced. And if you picked up today's Los Angeles Times (Wed. 9/12/07), the paper did the exact same thing.
The Times quoted the exact same words that MSNBC did. And like MSNBC, they made no reference to Griffin's most offensive words of her speech: "Suck it, Jesus. This award is my God now."
Viewers of her program today got a good look at one of the things she wants to share: Her undiluted enthusiasm for guest Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards. Ms. Ray devoted almost a third of today's program to Elizabeth.
Rachael expressed her admiration for Mrs. Edwards in her continuing battle with cancer and said "her speeches help inspire women across the country." She told Mrs. Edwards that her book "is a great read and you're a wonderful writer." Other sentiments from Ms. Ray included, "We all love you so much," and "I feel this connection with you."
As far as MSNBC's Chris Matthews is concerned, David Petraeus, four-star general, commander of the Multi-National Force-Iraq, someone who has devoted his life to serving our country, is no better than Charlie McCarthy, a ventriloquist's dummy.
In analyzing the video, Neal Krawetz of Hactor Factor, an expert on digital image forensics, said in his latest blogs that the video contained many visual and audio splices, and that all of the modifications were of very low quality.
Most striking is bin Laden’s beard, which has been gray in recent images. For this video it is black. “As far as my tools can detect, there has been no image manipulation of the bin Laden portion of the image beyond contrast adjustment. His beard really does appear to be that color.”
"Sixty years after a Congressional panel grilled 10 uncooperative writers, directors and producers about their supposed Communist connections, Hollywood still quarrels over the heroes and villains of its Red Scare."
Notice how the phrase "Red Scare" comes without quotation marks, as if that liberal term is the objective view.
"The propriety of giving Elia Kazan -- one who 'named names' -- an honorary Oscar in 1999 remains a contentious subject. And only five years ago Stanley Kramer's widow bitterly battled the makers of a television documentary that depicted her late husband using the blacklist to deny his former partner Carl Foreman a producer's credit on 'High Noon.'
James Joyner of Outside the Beltway complains that the New York Times buried the lede with an article about an Israeli airstrike in Syria. Turns out there's reason to believe that North Korea may be smuggling "nuclear material" to terror-sponsoring states Iran and Syria:
Talk about burying your lede. This is seven “paragraphs” down in the story (I use scarce quotes because newspaper style favors incredibly short paragraphs and breaks even when the subject has not changed for ease of editing). It’s wise to be wary of assertions from unnamed officials about this sort of thing, especially when the target is those perennial bogeymen Iran and Syria but it’s hardly inconceivable that the DPRK would sell nuclear materials to our adversaries.
While right-thinking people across the fruited plain cast their anger at MoveOn for its disgraceful ad placed in Monday's New York Times, "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann should be sharing the dishonor.
As adroitly identified at Olbermann Watch Wednesday: "Long before the moveon [sic] ‘Betray Us' advertisement, back on August 16th, the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann began his ‘newscast' in the usual fashion, bellowing the opening spiel."
Taken directly from MSNBC.com's transcript that evening (emphasis added):
In the 1990s, Laura Ingraham was an exception to the rule, a conservative allowed into the rarefied air of network news. She was a Sunday night commentator on CBS Evening News -- matched on the left by Sen. Bill Bradley -- and then a host of a live morning show on MSNBC. In her brand spanking new book Power to the People, just out yesterday, Laura dishes on what it was like in the lion's den:
From Day One, I was a fish out of water in the television news business. I didn’t come from their world and I didn’t buy into their worldview. They knew it and I knew it. As a conservative lawyer who had worked for the Reagan administration and clerked on the Supreme Court for Clarence Thomas, I didn’t fit the CBS mold of the earnest, idealistic, liberal, "citizen-of-the-world" type attracted to the news business. I might as well have dropped in from a blinking spaceship from Saturn. One of the closet conservatives at the network told me that most of the producers and on-air talent thought the top brass’s decision to hire me was a "pathetic sell-out to the Right."
In an entry entitled, "Protest du Jour," Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Candace Heckman let the paper's "The Big Blog" readers know that, "[c]oast to coast, Sept. 12 has been declared National Call-In Day to End the Iraq War by a conglomeration of advocacy groups."
Oh how nice.
Today's protest is expected to take place all day over the telephone. The idea is to call your congressman or congresswoman (or any congressman or congresswoman) to express displeasure in the United States' continuing involvement in Iraq.
Heckman proceeded to give out the phone numbers for the state of Washington's delegation to the 110th Congress. The P-I blogger noted that "as with all demonstrations, war and troop supporters are also expected to counter-protest, also by telephone."
Iraqi ethnic cleansing, a "positive thing"? That's what Barack Obama seemed to say on this morning's "Today." The Dem presidential contender spoke with substitute co-anchor David Gregory on the heels of Meredith Vieira's ill-tempered interview of Condoleezza Rice.
Today's New York Times includes the article, "A General Faces Questions From 5 Potential Bosses," an account of yesterday's testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by General David Petraeus and Iraq Ambassador Ryan Crocker. The item noted an exchange between Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) and Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), both Democratic presidential candidates:
The senators were allowed only seven minutes each for questions, a limit that Mr. Biden, as a committee chairman, tried to enforce. But he did not try overly hard to cut off Mr. Obama, perhaps because he did not want to be seen in the ungentlemanly act of silencing a political rival. “Why don’t you try to summarize quickly what you said, O.K.?” Mr. Biden genially asked him as his time ran out.
The Daily Mail, which seemingly has a reputation for being a "conservative" newspaper in the UK, has performed an act of self-censorship. An article in the September 12 edition of Britain’s second most-popular newspaper featured the accounts of seven British women who had abortions. It appeared in both the web and print editions of the newspaper.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) might not be familiar to many, but its reports and analyses are used by nations across the globe to set policy.
Unfortunately, American media only cover papers and announcements from this organization when its findings support a liberal agenda.
For instance, when the OECD presented its new paper, "Biofuels: Is the Curse Worse Than the Disease?" at Tuesday's Paris meeting, American media ignored it, likely due to conclusions which go counter to soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore's views concerning the need to expand ethanol usage in order to solve manmade global warming.
As the Financial Times reported Monday, the OECD believes "the current rush to support alternative energy sources will lead to surging food prices and the potential destruction of natural habitats" (emphasis added throughout, h/t Benny Peiser):
A few days ago I wrote about how blogger Flip Pidot of Suitably Flip found that while the Hillary Clinton campaign vowed to give the Norman Hsu campaign contributions to charity, his name still appeared in a list of "HillRaisers," top-dollar fundraisers and bundlers for the Hillary Clinton 2008 presidential race.
Now reporter and blogger Robert Stacy McCain has an interview on the Washington Times Web site with Pidot. Below are some questions pertaining to Hsu and Pidot's research and blogging about the Clinton contributor:
Q: You actually went to the New York address listed on Norman Hsu's [Federal Election Commission] forms. ... Did you see anything?
Here at NewsBusters, we try to stay on the cutting edge of both media and technology, which is why I'm pleased to announce the addition of “NewsBusted,” a comedy show we're releasing today. You can watch the video now over on the top right of this page.
The idea for the show is really quite simple. Politics is absurd, so is the news. Why not have some laughs from it all?
“NewsBusted” will air twice weekly and be available on every NB page as well as on YouTube. We also are taking joke submissions from readers. If we like your joke, we'll pay you $50 and use it in a future show. Send jokes along with name, email, and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PS: If you are trying to get into the NB live chat, click the "chats" link at the top of this page.
The problem with writing politicized movie reviews is that often most of what is seen depends on the viewpoint of the reviewer. Such was the case of the dueling movie reviews of "3:10 to Yuma" in the Huffington Post. Bill Robinson saw this movie as an allegory about the Iraq war:
As the reviews will tell you, it's an exceptional film, with gorgeous photography, stunning action and hypnotic, sublime performances. But what I am surprised I have not read, are the all-too-real parallels to Iraq.
On CNN Sunday night, it was like Ted "Captain Planet" Turner was still running the place. CNN anchor Tony Harris interviewed Robert Redford with a sense of awe about his latest Sundance Summit with local officials to "fight global warming." Redford trashed President Bush as "pretty transparently awful on the environment," and the administration as "retarded in its views," but said "what I think is the exciting part, which is the optimistic part, which is that we can now do something ourselves as individuals that can change the course of things." The anchorman, Harris, replied: "That is so great." He professed disappointment that the president would not meet with Redford, as if he were a world statesman and eminent scientist: "Boy, I sure would love to see the day when the two of you -- you and the president, actually had a real dialogue. But I guess it's not going to happen."
This USA Today story about an AP report should be called headline abuse instead of "detainee abuse" because if one were to just read the headline and move on, you'd get the wrong impression about what the story really reveals. You'd obviously read USA Today's headline, "Guantanamo detainees tell of abuses," and assume the story is another abu Ghraib styled yarn about how evil US soldiers are abusing these poor, poor terrorists in the Guantanamo Bay detainment facility -- after all the prevailing MSM story has been just that when the word "abuses" is used. But, if you take the time to actually read the story, there seems less of the "abuses" you'd expect to find and more of how the detainees themselves are abusing each other, themselves, and their guards. Instead of BEING abused, the detainees seem more like the abusers and this is certainly not the message that the headline imparts in today's MSM climate. One wonders why USA Today would want to leave such a wrong conclusion with a headline that doesn't quite seem to match the story.
Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, as the New York Times revealed Tuesday, may be concerned about how much evening news program coverage fugitive donor/fundraiser Norman Hsu attracts, but they had nothing to worry about Tuesday night. ABC didn't utter a word about the campaign's decision to refund the largest amount ever, $850,000 solicited by Hsu, yet anchor Charles Gibson found time to note how the New England Patriots broke an NFL rule by videotaping New York Jets coaches giving signals, while CBS's Katie Couric gave Hsu barely 20 seconds -- about half the time she devoted to the death of “Alex the Parrot” -- and NBC allocated 25 seconds, but only after a three-minute piece framed around how Rudy Giuliani's 9/11 image “stirs angry resentment.”
Antonio Villaraigosa is not some small-town mayor. The former president of the ACLU of Southern California leads one of the largest cities in the Western hemisphere. He's graced the cover of Newsweek magazine. Hillary Clinton was thrilled to win Antonio's endorsement, and she appointed him to be a national co-chair of her campaign (link/link). Did I mention that he's a Democrat?
So wouldn't it be fairly big news that the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission fined the mayor $5,200 for 30 campaign violations related to his 2003 run for a District council seat?
Apparently, the folks at the Los Angeles Times did not see it as such a big deal. They buried the story in the "Los Angeles County 'In Brief'" section with a puny 148 words on page B4 (story) (see an image of the article here).
In his September 10 article "Opportunities Squandered Since 9/11," CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen declares that "[o]ur leaders have made it far worse for themselves, and for us, by choosing confrontation over collaboration in the creation of a new legal order to best combat terrorism." Cohen's idea of "collaboration," of course, means that Republicans and the Bush Administration should listen to and implement the ideas of Cohen (and others who think lik