The Australian reports on a passage from a new book by terrorism expert Peter Bergen in which bin Laden's Pakistani biographer Hamid Mir recalls seeing the terror leader watching CNN.
"When I met him after 9/11, he said: 'I was watching you on the Larry King show a few days ago, and you told Larry King that when Osama bin Laden talks on religion, he is not convincing, but when he talks on politics, he is very much convincing. So today I will convince you on some religious issues.'"
"So I said, 'OK, you watched the Larry King show?'.
"He said, 'Yes, I am fighting a big war, and I have to monitor the activities of my enemy through these TV channels'."
With Republicans and Democrats both up in arms over the port deal with the United Arab Emirates, what are the newspapers in the UAE saying about the controversial deal? Today’s Gulf News, a Dubai-based newspaper that has an English language edition on the Web, has an article today that throws all of its fire at those in Congress who would block the Dubai Ports World from taking over operations at six major U.S. ports -- Hillary Clinton is singled out -- while a second article gives President Bush pretty good reviews for standing firm.
For an insight into how the port fight is being portrayed in the region, here’s an excerpt from the February 22 story by GulfNews.com staff writer Shakir Husain, which heavily quotes a pro-Dubai article from the Financial Times:
When Progress for America tried to air a commercial with Minnesota veterans defending U.S. war policy in Iraq, they soon found their money was no good at KSTP - Channel 5. What was the offending remark in the ad that caused this censorship?
The message contains the idea "That the media only reports the bad news" and "you would never know it from the news reports, but the enemy in Iraq is al Qaeda."
This is over the line for KSTP, who believes the statements to be untrue. "That, says [General Manager Rob] Hubbard, is plainly false. He points out that both KSTP and ABC, its parent network, have reported on the Iraqi elections, progress concerning reconstruction of the country, and the reopening of its schools--all of which qualifies as 'good' news. 'When someone is watching our news, we're "the media."' Hubbard explains. 'We know that [the claim in the advertisement] is inaccurate as it relates to us.'"
Apparently they believe it is inaccurate as it relates to all media, because the commercial never mentioned KSTP. I looked through the KSTP Web site to see all these examples of reporting "good news". I couldn't find a single story, perhaps they could point us toward some of this work. For instance, an article about the Iraqi elections opines:
Alec Baldwin at the infamous Huffington Post on Wednesday apologized to America for labeling Vice President Dick Cheney as a terrorist, and then quickly referred to him as a “lying, thieving Oil Whore”:
“I want to apologize to all of the readers of this blog for referring to Vice President Cheney as a terrorist. I suppose that, in the post-9/11 world, one would be hard-pressed to refer to anyone other than a militant Arab fundamentalist who hijacks a plane and pilots it into a building somewhere on our shores or a Palestinian who bears a bomb into a cafe in Israel as a terrorist.
“How about something more measured, then? How about...a lying, thieving Oil Whore. Or, a murderer of the US Constitution? No wait! Try...the worst Vice President in US history? Anyway, let me work on that.”
After referencing how wonderful things were under his hero, Bill Clinton, Baldwin then included other Republicans in his attack:
Slate "Press Box" columnist Jack Shafer has a pictoral essay up today on "TV's Aryan Sisterhood," where he mocks the hair of anchor-babes from Paula Zahn to Katie Couric to Diane Sawyer. (He links to an old MRC page for a pic of Katie the Brunette.) This page (5 of 9) cracked me up:
I imagine that at one point in her life, the 60-year-old Diane Sawyer of ABC News was an honest blonde, but is there any middle-aged woman alive whose hair naturally looks like this? A relatively late arrival to the blond gang is NBC's Andrea Mitchell, 59, who looks like an Earl Scheib paint and body shop hosed her hair down with a gallon of Gold Leaf Metallic Clearcoat.
Just when you thought the Cheney accident news was over, Washington Post Health section columnist Abigail Trafford had one more spin yesterday: the accident should cause Cheney and his "macho colleagues" to "learn" from it and support socialized medicine:
What's missing is a reliable safety net for those struck by events beyond their control -- or for those who are not able to pass the smart-consumer test. Perhaps that's why 45 million Americans have no health coverage and medical bills are a leading cause of personal bankruptcy. There's a public empathy gap. As a society, we don't seem to care.
The problem with a narrow focus on personal choice and responsibility is that it spreads the illusion that each of us can control our medical destiny. This is health hubris. To be sure, we can influence our health status by minimizing risks of injury and illness. But Cheney's accident brings us back to reality: People will get injured and sick even if they are careful and competent...even if they floss and jog and follow all the common-sense rules for a long, healthy life. (Ellipses hers.)
When it comes to the controversy surrounding the UAE port operations deal, left is right, right is left and the MSM seems caught somewhere in the middle, trying to balance its cultural versus its political instincts.
Then, on this morning's Early Show, Dan Bartlett sounded more like a multi-cultural sensitivity trainer than the presidential counselor he is when he declared:
"We shouldn't be setting different types of rules for different types of companies just because they may come from the Middle East . . . What kind of mixed signals are we sending to the world when we say that some companies that play by the rules can have business with America but other companies who play by the rules can't? That's not the way America does business."
All three broadcast network evening newscast anchors separated themselves from the “partial-birth” abortion term, some more awkwardly than others, as all ran full stories Tuesday on the decision by the Supreme Court to take up, in the fall, the constitutionality of a federal ban on the abortion procedure -- of whatever name -- which lacks a “health of the mother” exception. After CBS reporter Wyatt Andrews touted how former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor had “protected” the women's health exception, anchor Bob Schieffer saw not the potential now of new “protections” for the unborn, but instead worried about new “restrictions” that may be “imposed” on abortion. Schieffer channeled left-wing fears as he asked Jan Crawford Greenburg of the Chicago Tribune: "So does that mean this is going to be the beginning of the end of legal abortion in this country?" Greenburg, who at another point described Justice Alito “as much more conservative” than the pre-Alito/Roberts court, set him straight: "No, there's still five justices on the court who would vote to uphold Roe versus Wade, which guaranteed a woman's right to an abortion.”
Schieffer introduced the CBS Evening News coverage, with a “Late-Term Abortion” graphic over his shoulder: “The court agreed today to consider the constitutionality of the ban that Congress imposed on a kind of late-term abortion that critics call partial-birth abortion.” In his top of the broadcast tease from Torino, NBC anchor Brian Williams asked: “Can the federal government outlaw late-term abortions?" He soon awkwardly offered this description: “A late term abortion procedure that opponents of it call 'partial-birth abortion.'” Yes, he said “of it call.” Reporter Pete Williams cited "what opponents call partial-birth abortion." Over on ABC, anchor Elizabeth Vargas wasn't so awkward as she stuck to the simpler “so-called partial-birth abortion” verbiage. ABC reporter Jake Tapper at least folded in a description as he delineated what occurs: “The law in question is President Bush's ban on certain procedures where the fetus is at least partially removed from the womb before its aborted.” (Transcript of CBS follows)
On the 7pm hour of CNN's The Situation Room, Jack Cafferty who anchors the segment "The Cafferty File" said that President Bush used the "fear" card to get elected to a second term in office. Cafferty also implied that the War in Iraq is not apart of the War on Terror when he compared the Iraq war as being "advertised" apart of the latter. Cafferty also mocked the "fight them [terrorists] over there so we don't have to fight them over here" line.
JACK CAFFERTY: Since 9/11, the priority number one has been to protect this country from another terrorist attack. President Bush rode our fear of that very thing to a second term in office. The War in Iraq is advertised as part of the War on Terror. A half a trillion dollars and 2300 dead Americans soldiers, so that we can quote "fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here". But what about over here?
Conservative author? Want to be invited on MSM shows and given deferential treatment? No problema! Just be willing to take serious shots at a Republican president. Case in point: on tonight's Hardball, Chris Matthews rolled out the red-carpet for author Bruce Bartlett, who had worked in the Reagan and Bush, Sr. administrations. Title of Bartlett's book? "Impostor : How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy". Bingo!
Matthews: "If you had to narrow it down to the biggest offense, as you see it, that Bush is not conservative, what is it?"
Bartlett: "Spending. Spending is just totally out of control. Bill Clinton was actually vastly better on the budget and there is simply no comparison between the two."
By checking with our network watchers and double-checking with Nexis, ABC, CBS, and NBC have all completely ignored Al Gore's speech in Saudi Arabia, where he denounced the U.S. government for committing "terrible abuses" against Arabs after 9/11, and that Arabs had been "indiscriminately rounded up" and held in "unforgivable" conditions.
So that's a big fat zero even as David Gregory was still defending his anti-Cheney ardor on "Imus" this morning. That was not on MSNBC, which was running Olympic hockey, or I might have a transcript. I came in halfway through, and Gregory got very defensive when Imus started making cracks about how Cheney's friend Katherine Armstrong looks just like Willie Nelson. Gregory warned he didn't want to be associated with or identified as approving of these remarks. It was all quiet for Cheney on the morning-show front today.
The Times finds the burgeoning property rights movement (set in motion by the Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Kelo vs. New London upholding a broad interpretation of eminent domain) worthy of a Tuesday front-page story by John Broder, “States Curbing Right to Seize Private Homes.”
That negative headline reads as if the paper takes for granted that overturning property rights is something a government has a right to do, a “right” that’s now at risk of being “curbed.”
As Matt Welch noted in Reason Magazine after the eminent domain decision was handed down, the Times editorial page was one of the few and definitely the most enthusiastic supporters of the 5-4 decision upholding a Connecticut town’s right to condemn private homes to make way for private development. The chilly title of the Times editorial: “The Limits of Property Rights.”
You can take the man out of CBS and NBC, but apparently you can't take the MSM out of the man.
Long-time MSMer Marvin Kalb, former moderator of Meet the Press, is now a Fox News contributor. But the specialist on foreign affairs is still offering up opinions that would put him in the mainstream back at CBS or NBC.
Interviewed by Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, Kalb offered a very grim take on the nuclear stalemate with Iran, suggesting that any diplomatic or economic sanctions aimed at the country could result in Iranian retaliation in the oil markets.
Kalb might well be right. But he took his un-rosy scenario one giant step further, flatly stating that U.S. air strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities are "not going to work." It wasn't clear if he meant that in military or diplomatic terms, or some combination thereof, though he did add "imagine the international uproar that would be created by the United States bombing another Muslim country."
In an attempt to keep the New York Times-imposed NSA kerfluffle on somebody's radar screen, a rehash of the situation ran today in the paper's Washington section. The lede is particularly interesting, since it gets it wrong right out of the gate:
After two months of insisting that President Bush did not need court approval to authorize the wiretapping of calls between the United States and suspected terrorists abroad, the administration is trying to resist pressure for judicial review while pushing for retroactive Congressional approval of the program.
Well, that certainly is news to everyone. The Presidency has never been required to obtain court orders to wiretap those communicating out of or into the country. I don't know what legal standard the New York Times thinks it is citing here (none is cited in the article), but the argument the paper was trying to make about two weeks ago was that he needed court orders to monitor domestic-to-domestic communications. Nobody, including the President, has disputed that. So exactly what premise is the lede attempting to set up? That the President has to get Congressional oversight (despite breifing the Senate Intel Committee dozens upon dozens of times since 9-11-01) to excercise the executive branch's Constitutionally granted authority to monitor international communications with terrorists?
One of the more astounding spectacles of the Cheney hunting-accident brouhaha was the media's all-too-typical tolerance of tremendous Clinton chutzpah: that is, Hillary's claim, as Brian Boyd noted last week, that Dick Cheney is way too secretive. ABC aired a clip of an angry-looking Senator Hillary Clinton arguing, "The refusal of this administration to level with the American people on matters large and small is very disturbing." The Clintons? Arguing that someone else isn't forthcoming? After the seven months of sticking with "I did not have sexual relations" with "Miss Lewinsky"? And the "vast right-wing conspiracy" trying to smear Clinton with the baseless accusation of intern nookie?
Noel’s piece on CNN drawing out Jimmy Carter’s foreign-policy genius on President’s Day also extended to The Washington Post op-ed page. I’m not saying you refuse an op-ed from a former president, but Carter offered quite a lulu, arguing for giving terrorists a fair shot at governing the Palestinian territories. (You can argue that the Post allowed George Will to completely mock Carter on this point. As Will has said, the Carters of the 1930s expected the Nazis to be pragmatic and moderate their extremes. Didn’t happen.)
Here’s the interesting media part. On Sunday night and Monday morning, the home-page headline at Washingtonpost.com aptly summarized his sentiment: "Let Hamas Govern." (An even better headline would have had a John Lennon-Yoko Ono echo: "All We Are Saying...Is Give Hamas A Chance.") But then, perhaps after someone complained, the homepage shifted to the actual op-ed page headline: "Don’t Punish the Palestinians."
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer interviewed former President Jimmy Carter on “The Situation Room” Monday to discuss Mr. Carter’s views on Israel and Hamas. From suggesting that Israel has stolen money from the Palestinians, to implying that Hamas is no longer a terrorist organization, and recommending that America get around laws preventing the funding of terrorist states by – get this – giving dollars to the United Nations so that it can funnel American money to the Palestinians, Mr. Carter was in rare form. What follows is a LexisNexis transcript of the first half of this interview, and a video link courtesy of Expose the Left.
*****UPDATE***** With thanks to a reader that sent me an e-mail regarding this subject, it appears that Mr. Carter is wrong about a key statement made to CNN:
“Since August of 2004, Hamas has participated in a cease fire, which I think in Arab is called a hadna (ph). And they have not violated this cease fire all. There have been no terrorist activities attributed to Hamas for the last year and a half, 18 months.”
According to a February 6, 2006 Jerusalem Post article, this is quite inaccurate:
On Monday night's Countdown, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann devoted a segment to Bryant Gumbel's race-baiting admonition on HBO, about the Winter Olympics, to “try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention." Olbermann aired a video clip of Gumbel playing "an unusual race card," and given its blurry nature and tinny sound, as well as how it exactly matched what was posted last week on NewsBusters, I'd bet the MSNBC producers lifted it from that Web-quality posting.
When the video ended, Olbermann reported that “as the transcript of that inched its way around the Internet, Gumbel was attacked by far-right bloggers.” Though the NewsBusters posting was quite critical of Gumbel, Olbermann cited how “a writer at the right-wing Web site NewsBusters noted Gumbel's remarks 'perfectly sums up my feelings regarding the Olympics.'” Olbermann also suggested Gumbel was either vindicated or somewhat undermined over the weekend when Shani Davis won “the gold in the men's thousand meter speed skating, the first African-American ever to win a gold in an individual Winter Olympic event.” (Transcript follows.)
A year after Bill Moyers won a “career” award, the 2005 winners of the “George Polk Awards,” which “memorialize the CBS correspondent who was murdered while covering the civil war in Greece in 1948,” were announced late Monday. The winners, as selected by an advisory panel assembled by Long Island University, are a who's who of liberal activists, including left-wing New York Times columnist Frank Rich and Victor Navasky, the long-time Editor of the far-left The Nation magazine. Virtually all the winners in reporting categories went to journalists who revealed secret anti-terror operations, undermined the Bush administration's anti-terror efforts or embarrassed people and/or contractors linked to the Bush administration.
As posted tonight (Monday) by Romenesko, the “Television Reporting” award went to ABC's Brian Ross “for revealing the treatment, which many experts consider to be torture, that the CIA used in secret detention facilities. In naming the countries where the facilities were located as well as exposing the White House-approved 'enhanced interrogation techniques' used by the CIA...the reports triggered an avalanche of critical reaction from governments and the public around the world.” The “National Reporting” nod was earned by “Dana Priest of the Washington Post for unveiling the existence of secret CIA-run prisons and wrongdoing that included the death of an Afghan detainee and the attempted cover up of the mistaken imprisonment of a German citizen. Priest detailed the elaborate covert operations in a series of 10 articles that unleashed an international furor and raised troubling questions at home about the government's counter-terrorism campaign.” (More award winners follow.)
How do members of the media really feel about Dick Cheney? Mark Shields, a syndicated columnist appeared on the roundtable discussion show Inside Washington, which airs on Friday nights on local PBS powerhouse WETA.He blasted Cheney, linking the accident to his Vietnam deferments, saying:
"I’m just grateful that he had his five deferments, because, my God, if he’d had gotten a platoon, he would have wiped out half his own men."
Shields, who has previously connected Tom DeLay to the West Virginia coal mine tragedy, also accused the Vice President of not caring about the troops and possibly being drunk when he shot Harry Whittington. Shields, in one sentence, brought up the old canard that Cheney is running the country and also suggested that the Vice President doesn’t care as much about American soldiers as he does Harry Whittington:
In recent days, Rush Limbaugh has called attention to the sharp-elbowed way in which the Democratic leadership forced former Marine major and Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett out of the race for U.S. senator from Ohio, installing Cong. Sherrod Brown in his place. On tonight's Hardball, Chris Matthews offered an interesting theory: that Hackett's controversial statements, particularly his unsubstantiated allegations of past cocaine use by President Bush, became too hard for the Dem leadership to defend.
In a set-up piece, MSNBC's David Shuster reported that "Hackett's style began creating waves. On [a past edition of] Hardball, he stood by his allegation that President Bush was once a cocaine user." Shuster rolled tape of Hackett on an earlier Hardball stating that he took such allegations "at face value" and assumed they were "quite factual." In that same earlier Hardball, Matthews was shown grilling Hackett hard: "you know for a fact that Pres. Bush, the Commander-in-Chief, because you're running for the US Senate, was a cocaine user? You know that for a fact?"
After NPR's Mara Liasson relayed on Fox News Sunday how a Time magazine poll "showed 65 percent thought he [Dick Cheney] should have taken immediate responsibility as opposed to waiting," fellow panelist Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard pointed that while Time's press release highlighted that finding, they didn't stress numbers which demonstrated the public doesn't see the hunting accident revelation time line as such a big deal. Kristol cited how by 52 to 42 percent most approve "of how the Vice President handled this and when asked, "Do you think the Vice President is an asset to the President and to his administration or damaging?," by 41 to 37 percent the plurality chose "an asset." Kristol postulated: "Time obviously commissioned this poll desperately hoping 'Cheney's numbers plummet, damaging Bush administration.' They couldn't find a thing like that. So it tells you much more about the press corps than the Vice President, I think." A Sunday NewsBusters posting by Noel Sheppard, “Time's New Cheney Poll Shows Huge Divide Between Public and Media Opinion,” also looked at the magazine's poll. (Partial transcript from Fox News Sunday follows)
Editors at The Oregonian talked about the issue but gave little consideration to publishing the cartoons that have sparked violence across the world. They reasoned that sharing the cartoon was not necessary for readers to understand the story.
"We have every right and an ability to publish the cartoons," says Therese Bottomly, managing editor for news. "But that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do."
Bottomly says the newspaper could convey the content of the cartoons to readers without also offending readers. She likened it to the newspaper's avoidance of the "N" word; the racial slur can be described without repeating it.
Staff Writer Ted Vaden of the News & Observer hits Rush Limbaugh for reading a "satirical" article about the Dick Cheney shooting. The crux of the argument is that everyone should have known that the article was satirical. Have a look at the article in question for yourself. Do you see "Satire" at the top? Is there a disclosure to note that fake news follows?
Limbaugh read about half the column over the air. But he left out the half that made clear that the N&O columnist was satirizing the Cheney affair. Not quoted, for instance, was this line: "When obstinate countries declare their unwillingness to negotiate with Secretary of State Condi Rice, all we have to do is roll out Deadeye Dick."
So it was that line that was supposed to clue us all in that it was a fake article? It reads just like any other moonbat column to me. 500 people responded to the article, all failing to pick it up as "satire."
Here are some tips for other journalists wanting to practice writing fake news:
If you print fake news "satire" where truthful facts should reside, don't be surprised when it comes back to bite you.
If you want to risk the credibility of your newspaper on making a political point, there is no need to ask later what happened to your credibility and subscriber base.
You can act like The Daily Show but you won't get their accolades, age group or the ratings that they have, and you aren't even close to being as funny.
The front page of the Times Sunday Business section is dominated by reporter Landon Thomas Jr.’s profile of conspiracy-mongering author John Perkins (“Confessions of an Economic Hit Man).”
In “Confessing to the Converted -- How a Book Tries to Tap Into Fears of ‘Corporatocracy,” Thomas begins:
“It is standing room only in Transitions, a New Age bookstore in Chicago, and John M. Perkins, the author of ‘Confessions of an Economic Hit Man,’ is describing to his audience the quandary that faces Evo Morales, the recently elected president of Bolivia. Leaning low into the microphone, Mr. Perkins affects a deep conspiratorial whisper as he sets the scene for the imagined encounter between the new president and the representative of the multinational corporate interests Mr. Morales had vilified during his campaign.”
According to the Daily Times of Pakistan (hat tip to the American Thinker), former President Bill Clinton stated to reporters in Islamabad last Friday that the publishers responsible for the Muslim cartoons that have started riots around the world should be convicted. Yet, despite this call by a former president to limit the freedom of the press, America’s media have paid virtually no attention to Clinton’s declarations.
As reported by the Daily Times: “Talking to reporters after meeting Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in Islamabad, Clinton said he disagreed with the caricatures and that the publication was against religious and ethical norms.”
Some people may have been wondering if the nine-day old Dick Cheney hunting story would be going away. Don’t count on it. On the February 20 edition ofthe Early Show, Evan Thomas, assistant managing editor at Newsweek, told Harry Smith that "People who don’t like [Cheney] think this is the dark, Darth Vader type." His analysis coincided with the new issue of Newsweek that features a cover story, written by Thomas, on "Cheney’s Secret World." The online edition features this sub-headline:
"He peppered a man in the face, but didn’t tell his boss. Inside Dick Cheney’s dark, secretive mind-set-and the forces that made it that way." (Italics added)
Mainstream media coverage of Bryant Gumbel's denigrating remark on the racial makeup of the Winter Olympcs has been scant. The host of HBO's "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel" said:
"Try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention."
Gumbel's statement on white athletes is more direct than Rush Limbaugh's statement about black quarterbacks in 2003, when discussing black Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. Said Limbaugh on ESPN:
"The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."