Interviewing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on this morning's Today show, NBC's Matt Lauer suggested Iraqis were less fearful of violence under Saddam Hussein than they are now. The Today co-host citing a poll of Iraqis asked the following:
Lauer: "Let, let me tell you about a current poll. Iraqis were asked about their lives today, Madame Secretary. Listen to these results. Nearly nine in 10 people said that they live in fear, that the violence is ravaging their country will strike them or the people that they live with. That's startling. 90 percent fear that they'll fall victim to the violence in that country right now. Don't you have to wonder what that percentage would have been under Saddam?"
Viewers tuning into this morning's Today show for their 4th year anniversary coverage the Iraq war were assaulted with doom and gloom from the news team at Today beginning with its host Matt Lauer who opened the show asking: "Is the war worth it?" At the top of the show Lauer teased Today's look back on the war this way:
Lauer: "Good morning, Iraq: Four years later. On this date in 2003, the start of Shock and Awe. Then the fall of Saddam but was it Mission Accomplished?"
George W. Bush: "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended."
Lauer: "As the war enters its fifth year America is shell-shocked, the casualties staggering, the price tag in the hundreds of billions. Is the war worth it? And is there still a chance for victory? A look back and a look forward today, Monday, March 19th, 2007."
In Monday's Los Angeles Times, reporter James Rainey raised the issue of a conflict between political reporting and family ties: "Some of America's most prominent political journalists are, quite literally, wedded to the 2008 presidential race: Their spouses work for one of the candidates." Rainey made a short list of four of the conflicted:
It’s put up or shut up time for soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore who was formally challenged to defend his well-publicized global warming theories in a debate with a former advisor to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
As reported by PR Newswire (emphasis added throughout):
In a formal invitation sent to former Vice-President Al Gore's Tennessee address and released to the public, Lord Monckton has thrown down the gauntlet to challenge Gore to what he terms "the Second Great Debate," an internationally televised, head-to-head, nation-unto-nation confrontation on the question, "That our effect on climate is not dangerous."
After his comments this morning, if Don Imus ever gets invited to a party on the terrace of Katie Couric's midtown apartment overlooking Central Park, he would be well advised not to get too close to the ledge.
Chatting with Imus on MSNBC at 8:45 ET this morning about the travails of the CBS Evening News and the advent of Rick Kaplan as its executive producer, media maven Howard Kurtz observed: "I don't know if this is attributable to Rick, but it seems to me that in the last week the show has a little bit of a harder edge, a little bit of a faster pace."
That set Imus off on an anti-Couric tirade: "It's unwatchable. And it's unwatchable because she's unwatchable. I'm sure she's a nice lady, but I mean . . ."
Can Bill Maher do an entire episode of “Real Time” without attacking President Bush?
For those that can actually bear watching his program on HBO, the answer would be a resounding, “NO!” Yet, in the March 16 installment, Maher came very close.
Having seemingly suffered through more than 55 whole minutes without saying something disgraceful and offensive about the most powerful man on the planet, Maher, who must have been having an allergic reaction to the uncharacteristic civility on display, made up for it in spades during his final “New Rule” rant.
Entitled “Orewell That Ends Well,” Maher repeatedly made the asinine assertion that since 9/11, President Bush has actually stripped Americans of their civil rights (video available here):
As NewsBusters reported about the March 11 installment of “Meet the Press,” former “Nightline” anchor Ted Koppel made some almost verboten observations concerning the dangers of a premature withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. Amongst other things, Koppel claimed the battle between Sunnis and Shia currently taking place there would become a much larger religious conflict throughout the entire Persian Gulf region.
With that as pretext, another side of this issue ignored by the media is how Hizbullah and Iran are licking their respective chops at the thought of such a troop withdrawal and the opportunity it would present for the total annihilation of Israel.
Consider for example some recent comments made by Abdallah Safialdeen, Hizbullah’s representative in Iran. A few weeks ago, he gave an interview on Irani television, and made statements that if ever broadcast in America would radically change how U.S. citizens viewed the war (video available here courtesy of Memri TV):
The Washington Post is so enamored of the idea of getting Attorney General Al Gonzales to resign for firing a few U.S. Attorneys that it's even seeping into the Sports section. In their attempted-humor column called "Starting Lineup," Dan Steinberg and Desmond Bieler mock underperforming Washington Redskins cornerback Adam Archuleta this way:
"Let's get this straight, a prominent Washington organization wants to shed one of its troublemaking employees because of performance-related issues? Um, paging Alberto Gonzales."
Darfur today is not Iraq under Saddam. But there are sufficient parallels to render this morning's Boston Globe editorial deeply ironic. While the Globe has condemned the coalition intervention in Iraq, it clamors for aggressive international action in Darfur.
Why is it that sitcoms always go for the cheapest gags? And why is it that those gags are always shibboleths of leftist ideas? Does Hollywood imagine that the left never does anything that can be made fun of? Apparently Conan O'Brien and Andy Richter of the new sitcom "Andy Barker, P.I." don't think so, anyway.
In the pilot episode for the new sitcom from NBC starring former Conan O'Brien sidekick Andy Richter, within the first few segments we get one joke that makes Christians out to be mean-spirited and another that presents Americans in general as being reactionary racists post 9/11. In fact, these two jokes are back to back.
In the pilot episode, the main character rents a storefront in a small strip mall styled complex to open his CPA business. He meets the video store Owner downstairs who takes him on a tour to give him the lay of the land of the other shops in the complex.
There were two Iraq polls released on Sunday. One is guaranteed to be headline news. The other will likely be totally ignored.
In fact, one of the polls was already referenced by George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week,” as well as reported by USA Today and CNN.
Know what the difference is between these surveys, both of which rather compelling as they asked questions of Iraqi citizens? Well, one painted a rather dire picture of conditions in the embattled country, while the other found a very optimistic people who don’t believe their nation is in a civil war.
As the American media will likely focus all of its attention on the more pessimistic survey, here is the contrary view nobody other than Fox News is likely to cover as reported by the Sunday Times (emphasis added throughout):
As reported by NewsBusters here, here, here, and here, this has been an awful week for global warming alarmists and their hero, soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore. From an unfavorable article about him in the New York Times, to a Gallup poll showing that Americans aren't buying into his junk science, Gore must feel a long way from Hollywood and Oscar night.
Marvelously adding to the torture was BusinessWeek magazine which published an article stating that carbon offsets “amount to little more than feel-good hype” (h/t American Thinker).
As previously addressed here, carbon credits or offsets are a theoretical way for one to assuage one’s guilt for all those awful greenhouse gases you’re releasing into the air whenever you heat your home, drive your car, or eat too many beans.
Unfortunately, these offsets aren’t what they seem (emphasis added throughout):
A truly astounding thing happened on HBO’s “Real Time” Friday evening: a panel comprised of four liberal media members actually voiced unanimous displeasure with Democrats.
I bet you’re looking out your window to see some airborne swine right about now.
As shocking and unlikely as such a public display might seem, when host Bill Maher moved the discussion to the recent cancellation of a presidential debate to be hosted by Fox News, he and his guests all felt the Democrats made a mistake.
Defying the currently in vogue theory of anthropogenic global warming, hell hath begun freezing over.
Present and accounted for were former CBS anchor Dan Rather, ABC’s Martha Raddatz, and comedian Jason Alexander. What follows is a partial transcript of this shocking event (video available here courtesy of our friend Ms Underestimated):
In their report on Saturday’s Pentagon protest, New York Times reporters David D. Kirkpatrick (formerly assigned to cover the conservative movement for the Times) and Sarah Abruzzese offered readers several things the Washington Post did not. Their story used the "liberal" label (twice), explained that the ANSWER Coalition was affiliated with the Workers World Party, noted the ANSWER signs celebrated communist icon Che Guevara, and quoted Cindy Sheehan’s speech (typically) calling out President Bush and Vice President Cheney as "war criminals."
Unlike the Post, the Times story was not featured on Sunday’s front page (and I can’t tell from the website whether it made the print edition at all.) The headline was unremarkable: "In March, Protesters Recall War Anniversaries." The Times duo quickly applied the liberal label to protest groups:
[Note: Link to YouTube video showing Capitol spray-paint at bottom of post.]
In her March 18 article, the Washington Post's Brigid Schulte informed readers about why Gathering of Eagles counter-protesters set out to guard the Vietnam War Memorial on March 17 during the scheduled anti-war protests:
At a Jan. 27 antiwar rally, some protesters spray-painted the pavement on a Capitol terrace. Others crowned the Lone Sailor statue at the Navy Memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue with a pink tiara that had "Women for Peace" written across it.
Word of those incidents ricocheted around the Internet.
“That was the real catalyst, right there,” said Navy veteran Larry Bailey. “They showed they were willing to desecrate something that's sacred to the American soul.”
Yet a review of major newspapers in Nexis found few mentions of anarchist anti-war protesters who spray-painted the U.S. Capitol steps in late January. In fact, the New York Times yielded no reporting on the defacement, while the Washington Post only ran a brief item on page B2 three days after the fact.
Here's the 170-word squib from the Post’s Elissa Silverman in the January 30 paper:
The Washington Post highlighted Saturday’s anti-liberation of Iraq protest march to the Pentagon on the front page, splashing a large color photo of a crowd of leftist demonstrators over the headline "4 Years After Start of War, Anger Reigns: Demonstrators Brave Cold to Carry Message to the Pentagon, as Counter-Protesters Battle Back." Counter-demonstrators won an article and two photos of their own in the Post, but Post reporters repeatedly referred to jeering conservatives giving the leftists a battering of abusive comments. The Post used no ideological labels or explained the communist origins of the organizers of the ANSWER Coalition – unlike The New York Times, which did both in their Sunday coverage.
The lead sentence of the front-page Post article by Steve Vogel and Michael Alison Chandler mentioned that the "anti-war" protesters were "jeered along the way by large numbers of angry counter-demonstrators, but the rest of the front page was devoted to the left, especially the standard sympathetic rookie protester: 72-year-old Korean War veteran Paul Miller "making his first appearance at an anti-war rally" who felt "so bad for the young Marines who are getting their legs blown off and losing their lives."
So how many Gathering of Eagles (GoE) counterprotesters were in Washington yesterday, and how did their numbers compare to the Answer Coalition's protest count?
The New York Times (may require registration) reported "several hundred counterdemonstrators" (HT Michelle Malkin, who has the priceless quote of the day -- ".... the NYTimes relied on 'several veterans of the antiwar movement' to give them crowd estimates of the Gathering of Eagles. It's the domestic equivalent of MSMers relying on dubious Iraqi stringers to provide them with war coverage...." -- THWAP!)
The Washington Post, in its article about the protest, wrote of "thousands of counter-demonstrators."
CBS continues to pound away the US attorney firings story. On the March 16th edition of "The Early Show," reporter Bill Plante lead his story stating "the hole just keeps getting deeper." Plante then played a sound bite from Democratic hyper partisan Senators Chuck Schumer at Patrick Leahy. After playing a few clips of White House staffers Karl Rove and Tony Snow, they hyped Republicans calling for their resignation, touting Senator Gordon Smith and playing a sound bite of Representative Dana Rohrabacher implying Gonzales should go.
Anchor Harry Smith sought some expert opinion from Republican strategist Ed Rollins and Democratic strategist Mike Feldman. Fair and balanced debate? Not from what Mr. Rollins said from the start.
HARRY SMITH: Ed, let me start with you. Alberto Gonzales, two questions, should he stay or should he go?
Keying off the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war this Tuesday, the networks will be running overviews of the situation there all week. Judging by the opening salvos this morning on ABC and NBC, you might when tuning in want to hide the sharp objects and keep the Zoloft handy. The picture painted is ceaselessly dismal, with any bright spots ignored or explained away.
Take the report by ABC's Terry McCarthy on today's Good Morning America. After citing weekend casualty statistics, he began by claiming that "now more than ever" Iraqis are nervous about the future of their country. According to McCarthy, "the sound of bombings and gunfire are constant backdrops to everyday life." Constant? Really? I daresay that in the great majority of the country, people rarely hear either. Even in hotspots like Baghdad, while such sounds are not unusual, neither are they "constant" by any means.
One challenge for the MSM is explaining away the largely peaceful and prosperous Kurdish north. McCarthy did his unlevel best: "even in northern Iraq's Kurdish region, which is relatively peaceful, the fight to keep terrorists out takes up a lot of time and energy. The Kurds dug a six-foot ditch all around the largest city, Irbil, to stop car bombs from entering."
Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, center, flanked by Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern, right, and Democratic Presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. talk to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Would you take a paycheck from an organization you consider illegitimate? Neal Gabler apparently would.
"I don't want to bite the hand that feeds me my Kool-Aid," claimed Gabler on this evening's "Fox News Watch." He then proceeded to do just that, claiming that Democrats pulled out of the Fox-sponsored presidential candidate debate in Nevada "for the same reason that Republicans would not go on Air America -- it doesn't make any political sense. Why in the world would you want to legitimize a network that spends hour after hour after hour after hour to, to."
A reader of the Washington Post wrote the paper today to tell editors they need to brush up on their military jargon:
Regarding the March 13 Metro section headline "City Council Considers Slavery Apology, Cadet Case":
Former Navy quarterback Lamar S. Owens Jr. is not a "cadet." He and all students at the U.S. Naval Academy are midshipmen. Midshipman is a rank in the Navy. Students at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., are cadets.
I would expect The Post to know this, given that the Naval Academy is in your back yard.
On the one hand, I have to give the Washington Post credit for frontpaging today's story on longtime Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe's campaign of police thuggery against opposition leaders.
Yet when I looked through the article, I found no mention that Mugabe is a socialist or leftist, nor was he labeled a dictator.
In fact, the only dictator reference came in a graph that noted that the latest high-profile victim of Mugabe's violence, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, has himself been accused by political rivals of having "dictatorial tendencies."
On this morning's CNN Newsroom, anchor T.J. Holmes interviewed an Alabama 16-year-old who for the past two years has run an anti-Iraq war Web site.
Holmes began by pointing out to the girl, "Of course, your message is anti-war, not anti-troops." He then asked her about death threats she claims she's received.
He next asked her if she'd be endorsing a presidential candidate for 2008 based on their views on Iraq and wrapped up the interview with an enthusiastic plug for her anti-war site:
"Wow. It sounds like they all need to be after your endorsement right now. Ava Lowery, again, 16-years-old, been keeping up with that blog. It's some great stuff you're doing. It's peacetakescourage.com. Folks, check it out."
The big three networks seem to have found religion. Bush-bashing religion, but faith nonetheless. ABC’s "Good Morning America" and "Nightline" highlighted Mayan "spiritual leaders" who protested a visit by President Bush to Guatemala.
The two shows focused on the "evil spirits" that the President supposedly brought and worried that the Commander in Chief has "angered the gods." NBC’s "Today" noted the protesters plans to "purify" the site and featured a demonstrator who chanted "Gringo go home."
This week, NewsBusters told you what the rest of the media won’t: While the Bush White House played a roll in the dismissal of eight U.S. Attorneys, Bill Clinton fired all 93 attorneys at the beginning of his first term.
On "Good Morning America," host George Stephanopoulos, who was a Clinton spokesman in 1993 and defended the then-President’s firing, hypocritically grilled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for firing 85 fewer attorneys.
As is usual and customary, the peaceniks inside the Washington Post offered a second day of protest publicity before Saturday’s radical march to the Pentagon. The story by Steve Vogel and Michael E. Ruane doesn’t dominate the front page of the Metro section as protest coverage did yesterday, but it’s certainly promotional at the very bottom of Metro’s front. The headline is "Rousing, Emotional Start for War Protest."
Vogel and Ruane also employed the usual and customary practice of not using any ideological labels for protesters, and downplaying the radicalism of rally speakers. The main protest drew about 2,800 people at the Episcopalian National Cathedral. The reporters quoted Celeste Zappala, who lost a son in Iraq, saying "I am here tonight as a witness to the true cost of war...the betrayal and madness that is the war in Iraq."
For his level-headed professionalism, Lester Holt is on my [admittedly short] list of MSM faves. But while Holt did hit former Ambassador [to Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe] Joseph Wilson with one tough question on this morning's "Today," he let Valerie Plame's husband hijack the beginning of the interview, lobbed him numerous softballs, and failed to challenge Wilson on his blatant misrepresentation of Plame's role in sending him to Niger.
In the set-up piece preceding the interview, "Today" aired a clip of Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) asking Plame, during yesterday's congressional hearing, whether she was a Republican or a Democrat. For the record, Plame sardonically acknowledged that she was indeed a Dem.
Friday night on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, Dan Rather praised left-wing comedians with television shows, namely Bill Maher and Jon Stewart, for “speaking truth to power” at a time when journalists have “lost our guts.” Then, though last July Rather declared he "absolutely" believes "the truth" of his discredited Bush National Guard story based on forged memos, actor Jason Alexander hailed Rather: "I am really honored to be sitting next to a man that I think was one of the beacons of integrity in news journalism." Alexander, who is best-known for playing "George Costanza" on Seinfeld, proceeded to lean across fellow guest Martha Raddatz of ABC News to shake hands with Rather.
Rather declared to Maher that “comedians, such as yourself, Jon Stewart and others, are a valuable supplement” to the mainstream news media since “good journalism...speaks truth to power,” but “we've lost our guts. We need a spine transplant. What's happened is comedians, in their own way, speak truth to power and fill that vacuum that we in journalism have too often left, particularly post 9/11.”