The mainstream press has been shying away from a case that should worry everyone who is concerned about freedom of speech and how terrorism is funded. Faced with a civil suit, the Cambridge University Press has agreed to destroy any unsold copies of the book "Alms for Jihad" (2006). The publisher has also said it will contact some 200 libraries to ask that copies in their possession be returned.
Written by American authors Robert Collins and J. Millard Burr, the book became the subject of a libel suit in Britain when one Sheikh Khalid Bin Mahfouz claimed it defamed him as a terrorist. Rather than fight the allegations in court, the publisher apologized, said it would destroy the remaining copies, and will pay damages and court costs. (Interestingly enough, Sheikh Mahfouz is worth $3.1 billion. He plans to donate the money to UNICEF.)
If you have trouble imagining the establishment media speaking at CPAC -- although I do remember a slick Tim Russert and a prickly Ted Koppel attending one at the invitation of Accuracy in Media ten years ago -- it's not as hard to imagine "objective" reporters at the second annual lefty-blogger Yearly Kos convention, this year in Chicago. Mike Allen of the Politico (formerly of Time), Matt Bai of the New York Times Magazine (formerly of Newsweek) and Time deputy Washington bureau chief Jay Carney will all be speaking at the Chicago event. At the Huffington Post, blogger Ari Melber explains he will be moderating a let's-kiss-and-make-up panel on Friday between the media and bloggers featuring Allen and Carney:
I'm moderating a panel that will pair bloggers Glenn Greenwald and Jill Filipovic with The Politico's Mike Allen and Time magazine's Jay Carney, to discuss whether media-blog relations can evolve towards more constructive interactions. We're calling it "Blogs and the MSM: From Clash to Civilization."
Is it the pinnacle of an anti-American, socialist actor's career to be praised by an anti-American, socialist dictator?
If so, Sean Penn is on quite a high today -- which of course is nothing unusual -- as the so-called president of Venezuela -- the lovable Hugo Chavez -- had wonderful things to say about the actor made famous as a pot-smoking surfer in the teen movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."
As reported by the Associated Press (emphasis added throughout, h/t Dan Gainor):
When leading Republican candidates Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney demurred on attending a Republican presidential debate hosted by the video-hosting site YouTube, some web-savvy Republicans protested. That's the background for New York Times reporter Katharine Seelye's "Allies Urge Republicans to Join YouTube Debate" Thursday.
"When the leading Republican presidential candidates started to squirm last week about attending a Sept. 17 YouTube debate, in which the public would ask questions via video, there was a surprising backlash from the world of Republican and conservative bloggers."
What's so "surprising" about bloggers wanting their party's candidates to participate in an Internet debate?
Seelye later referred to the situation as "a mess." Then there was this identification of blogger-author Andrew Sullivan
Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani has received plenty of flak from both the Left and the Right for various reasons, but CNN's "American Morning" on Wednesday spent more than six minutes discussing an article critical of Giuliani's wife in the latest issue of the left-wing glossy magazine "Vanity Fair." Co-host John Roberts interviewed the author of the article, Judy Bachrach, as well as got a response from Giuliani friend and campaign aide Randy Mastro. In addition to this, "American Morning" ran a segment from "Anderson Cooper 360" political reporter Tom Foreman on Giuliani's criticism of the universal health care proposals of several Democrat presidential candidates. Foreman, using an overexcited tone in his voice, compared Giuliani to Tony Soprano, and portrayed Giuliani in a pretty unflattering light. (see more including transcript after the jump)
A bridge in Minnesota tragically collapsed Wednesday killing an unknown number of innocent people. As reported by the Associated Press:
The eight-lane Interstate 35W bridge, a major Minneapolis artery, was in the midst of repairs when the bridge buckled during the evening rush hour Wednesday. Dozens of cars plummeted more than 60 feet into the Mississippi River, some falling on top one of another. A school bus sat at an angle on the concrete.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those involved including friends and relatives.
Sadly, as every disaster that has occurred since late January 2001 has been somehow blamed on the Bush administration - most notably Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the recent tornados in Kansas - a question needs asking:
There appears to now be a double-secret, international competition to figure out new planetary ills that can somehow be tied - regardless of the seeming inanity - to manmade global warming.
This announcement out of Toronto could be the best yet: a warmer climate is causing stray cats - no, not Brian Setzer and the boys - to mate more frequently thereby resulting in an explosion in furry, feral felines.
On the other hand, the frontrunner has to be brothels in Bulgaria that are having a hard time finding employees because ‘the best prostitutes have moved to ski resorts, where they entertain tourists who cannot ski because of a lack of snow."
You really can't make this stuff up.
As reported Wednesday in Canada's National Post (emphasis added throughout, better stow potables):
Will the fear and loathing among the liberal press for all things Fox never cease?
In the latest installment of the media's Fox Derangement Syndrome, the New York Times, the self-styled paper of record, has spent hundreds of hours researching and trying to dig up dirt on the friendship between Rudy Giuliani and Fox News Channel head Roger Ailes. This article was all they could come up with, a semi-conspiratorial bit that is more sizzle than steak and more hype than substance.
Yes, as reporter Russ Buettner discovered, the former New York mayor and Ailes are friends and have done a few activities together. Yes, Giuliani tried to get his city to carry FNC shortly after its launch when local cable monopoly TimeWarner, then in the process of buying CNN, refused to carry the channel (something it would do throughout the country, incidentally but never mind). That, however, is it as far as "dirt" goes.
Sure there's more stuff in the article but it's all innuendo coming from a paper with an agenda of its own. Did you know, for instance, that even though the Times does mention that during Bill Clinton's presidency, CNN was headed up by a friend of his named Rick Kaplan, that the Grey Lady never bothered to mention this fact at the time? The contrast is stark.
In one of her one-minute "Katie Couric’s Notebook" speeches on her Katie & Co. blog, CBS anchor Katie Couric came lecturing to Hillary Clinton’s defense on August 1 over Robin Givhan’s Washington Post fashion review of her cleavage on C-SPAN2, but she never mentioned the Post, just how the story "dominated cable news for days, and it’s disgraceful." She sounded the feminist alarm: "By focusing on this display of decolletage, it seems we’ve plunged to a new low. What’s next? Studying a candidate’s too-tight jeans?" She said this election was too important for trivia: "If we focus on the issues, we could judge the candidates not on the color of their clothes, but on the content of their character." She acknowledged some fashion issues were "fair game," when the targets were men: the John Edwards $400 haircuts and how "Dick Cheney was slammed for wearing a parka when he visited a concentration camp."
Under the category of "WELL DUH!," Editor & Publisher had an amusing little blurb on August 1st about a Harris poll "measuring public perceptions of 23 professions and occupations." It's hard to imagine that anyone would need to go to all that work to create the poll, however, at least as far as answering the question of where the occupation of journalism would rank with the American people. All they had to do was to take a peek at Newsbusters to get that easy answer: at the BOTTOM of the pile!
In his recent blog ("Making Headlines: The Law, Summer 2007"), CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen describes his midsummer night's dream of legal headlines he would "like to see, but probably won't." In the tradition of another more-famous CBS employee, Cohen lists his "top ten" legal headlines - a wish list with an obvious liberal slant.
Here are some of Cohen's headlines, along with the necessary translation.
The media love comparing Iraq to the Vietnam War. So why didn't Reuters relate Iraq to this July 31 story about a joint Cambodian-UN tribunal that charged one of Pol Pot's top henchmen with crimes against humanity related to the deaths of 1.7 million people in that country's “Killing Fields?”
They also like to link America's actions to unpleasant world events. So why not even mention how the US pulling out of Vietnam and Congress halting aid to Vietnam and Cambodia, allowed the rise of Pol Pot's brutal and deadly communist Khmer Rouge regime that killed, tortured and displaced millions? Maybe take it a step further and connect it to what might happen if the US follows the wishes of many Democrats and withdraws from Iraq too soon?
The tribunal charged Duch with the deaths of 1.7 million people after confessing to “committing multiple atrocities during this (sic) time as head of the capital's notorious Tuol Sleng or S-21 interrogation center.” (emphasis mine throughout):
Among the very few Huffington Post bloggers willing to break the predictable liberal mold is John Ridley (pictured) who has frequently appeared as a guest panelist on Joe Scarborough's Morning Joe show on MSNBC. Although many of Ridley's previous opinions might have made the Huffington Post readers somewhat uncomfortable, I doubt that any of his other postings sparked the firestorm of outrage of his July 31 blog, The Left Fringe Needs to Quit Being Scared of the Fox. The only problem I have with that title is that it isn't just the "Left Fringe" that is afraid of appearing on Fox. It is also the mainstream Democrats, including such pandering presidential candidates as John Edwards and Barack Obama.
Wednesday's CBS Evening News trumpeted two liberal efforts to expand government power, leading by heralding “landmark legislation” to have the FDA regulate cigarettes followed by a story slanted in favor of, as reporter Thalia Assuras described it, an “historic expansion of health care coverage for children” of the “working poor.” Assuras, however, ignored such inconvenient facts as how a family of four with an income as high as $82,600 could get on the taxpayers' dole. Katie Couric had teased her top story: “Tonight, landmark legislation that supporters say could save millions of lives. Congress takes a step toward regulating everything about cigarettes for the first time ever.”
Next, Couric introduced a look at “getting medical coverage for the millions of American children who don't have it.” Assuras touted how a proposed expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) “boosts funding by $50 billion over five years, almost doubling the number of uninsured kids covered from the current six million children to about 11 million.” Sinking to the all too common media technique of exploiting a victim to push a liberal policy, Assuras cited “children like seven-year-old Pilar Edwards whose ear ache was so severe her mother brought her to this mobile medical clinic where she could get help even though Pilar is uninsured.” Assuras did pass along how critics contend “the legislation is a slippery slope toward a universal health care plan,” but against two negative soundbites, viewers heard from four advocates as Assuras concluded with a Senator's charge that “it would be a travesty if the President vetoed this legislation,” followed by these final words from Assuras: “With kids caught in the middle.” More like taxpayers.
Arizona senator John McCain is certainly one of the best-known Republican presidential candidates but that notoriety hasn't helped him much when it comes to winning over the conservative base. He hasn't been helped by his support for the recent immigration bill debacle but I think McCain's overall problem has been that he is perceived as a sellout to the left, particularly the media left.
With his support continuing to plummet by the day, McCain doesn't have a lot of chances left to get back in the good graces of the GOP. Over at Slate (h/t Glenn Reynolds), Mickey Kaus wonders if the only chance McCain has left is to turn on his old friends in the liberal media:
Airing tonight on Soapnet is a new reality show called “The Fashionista Diaries.” The show documents six newcomers to the cutthroat fashion industry and, like most reality shows out there, would be hard to distinguish if not for its advertisements, which use Communist imagery and slogans for promotion. (side-by-side comparison shown at right)
The main graphic for the ads has a woman dressed up like Che Guevara wearing a beret and sunglasses complete with a Communist red star. The slogan placed with the picture is "the revolution will be accessorized."
According to CNN business reporter Ali Velshi, the relationship between oil and gas prices is difficult to grasp.
"A lot of folks are saying, 'Why have my gas prices come down 17 or 18 cents in the last couple weeks when oil prices are going up?'" said Velshi on the August 1 "American Morning."
Trust me Ali, that's not what I've heard at the pump.
"Well, I hope we've all figured out there's no way, there's no mathematician in the world who can figure out the relationship between gas and oil prices, but you can expect with oil up at 78 bucks a barrel, gas prices will soon follow and that takes things—that takes money out of the pockets of consumers who keep this economy going," he continued.
But Velshi, has not always had such a tough time making sense out of oil and gas economics.
Due to a bug in Internet Explorer 7, several NB readers have had trouble getting into the site. We're working on the issue. In the mean time, I recommend you download the Mozilla Firefox web browser onto your computer as it does not have the bug.
Update 19:23. The problem should be fixed now. Please post a comment on here if you continue to have troubles with IE 7.
What follows are Klein's complaints from his August 1 "Swampland" blog post, followed by my snarky translation:
--it doesn't mandate that insurance companies cover everyone at the same rate, regardless of pre-existing conditions (community rating).
Who cares if you're a chain-smoking, trans fat-loving, Burger King-is-your-second home kinda guy with diabetes, high cholesterol and a coronary bypass under your belt? Health insurance companies shouldn't charge you a penny more than the marathon-running vegan next door whose idea of splurging is a little extra sugar in his mango strawberry soy milk smoothie.
You'd think it was the news media that "got a raise" last week for all the cheering. The federal minimum wage was increased on July 24 by 70 cents to $5.85 an hour and will go up by the same amount in 2008 and 2009.
CNN's Ali Velshi gleefully greeted the change on "American Morning" July 24. He called it "unmitigated good news."
ABC's Claire Shipman also called it "good news for thousands of low-paid workers," on "Good Morning America" the same day.
I've already left my suggestions. If you're on Facebook, you can join their group and place yours. With its solidly liberal blogger bullpen and wildly liberal fan base (read the comments threads on an empty stomach), the blog could use a conservative voice to bring in balance in reporting and analysis of the '08 race and the Democratic Congress.
Who says the MSM only report bad news? An online ABC News story reports that emigration from the US to Canada has increased dramatically . . . and that the departees are largely liberals. Hollywood stars never get around to making good on their promises to leave. But many everyday liberal folks are apparently carrying through on their plans.
In another example of hand-wringing, excessive, faux compassion that ignores the real statistics, the Charlotte Observer has given space to one of their writers to vent against the evil gun, once again. I love how these people want to present themselves as more "caring" than an evil, stupid gun owner, yet their "compassion" is predicated not on facts, but on mere feelings.
The Observer's Dannye Romine-Powell (God save us from another hyphenated named liberal) gets all amush over the "unruffled thinking" of her gun hating husband and tries her hand at citing statistics to such poor effect... poor once some perspective and reality is brought to bear on the issue, that is.
Democratic catfights are usually papered over on liberal networks. But NBC’s Wednesday morning coverage of the ongoing battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama over his goofy declaration to meet with America-hating tyrants without preconditions came jam-packed with words of praise for Bill Clinton, the "peacemaker" of the duel. Matt Lauer began: "Now to Bill Clinton, peacemaker. Every president would like that label but they don't normally get it for keeping the peace between their own party's candidates, especially when one of them happens to be his wife." Lauer later added that Clinton is an "elder statesman" and "experienced voice of reason" within the Democratic fold.
In David Gregory’s story, viewers witnessed the usual Bill-adoring lingo from John Harwood, CNBC's chief Washington correspondent: "One of the things that we know about Bill Clinton is that his political instincts are second to none, and if he thinks that there's a dangerous point in this fight with Barack Obama that's a pretty good sign that Hillary Clinton ought to back off a little bit."
Normally liberal media snobbery is irritating (and career-threatening if you're a young conservative journalist), but not when that snobbery is completely ineffectual to stop the thing which the whiney reporters hate. Schadenfreude is the word of the day after reading this Los Angeles Times piece about how "aghast" many reporters in the Wall Street Journal newsroom are at being employed by the son of Satan himself, Rupert Murdoch:
Reporters reacted bitterly to the prospect of Murdoch's gaining control of the Journal, which has long been regarded as a beacon of financial journalism.
They voiced concern that Murdoch would diminish the paper's quality, imbue it with some of the glitzy style of his crosstown New York Post and slant the Journal's news coverage to advance his business interests.
"People are aghast that this could have happened," said one reporter, who like others spoke on condition on anonymity. "It's a sickening realization to know that this really great iconic newspaper is [not only] no longer going to be independent, but is also going to be controlled by a man whose values are inimical to ours." [...]