[Update at bottom of post] On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program featured two segments on President Bush’s commutation of Dick Cheney aide Lewis Libby. Substitute co-host David Muir opened the program by wondering, "This morning, above the law?" and GMA glossed over Bill Clinton's infamous pardon of Marc Rich. Instead, various anchors found time to twice highlight Senator Dick Durbin’s comment that "even Paris Hilton had to go to jail."
Although reporter David Kerley's segment did feature a quote from Republican strategist Rich Galen, both pieces seemed more interested in Democratic outrage. Kerley and Muir seemed taken with Senator Dick Durbin’s comparison to Paris Hilton:
Kerley: "But one of the most stinging statements came from Senator Dick Durbin, who said, quote, ‘Even Paris Hilton had to go to jail. No one in this administration should be above the law.’"
David Muir: "Not surprisingly, the Democrats are jumping on this. We heard from the Democratic candidates there. Senator Durbin saying even Paris Hilton went to jail. Some real red meat for the other party."
Well, not so fast, ‘cause I got your consensus right here!
According to a new poll done in England, a majority of British citizens aren’t buying the science is settled nonsense that folks like soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore and his band of not so merry global warming alarmists are peddling from sea to shining sea.
For those with climate change derangement syndrome, that means in England, you’d be in the minority.
As deliciously reported Tuesday by BBC.com (h/t NB member Par for the Course):
If American media fails to cover this with the same amount of gusto that they have pursued Haditha and Abu Ghraib, they will be demonstrating their preference for whom they wish to win this conflict. The press has to tell the story that evil really does exist in this world. Imagine if the story of the Holocaust was never told because the media was only interested in reporting Allied atrocities. Yes, by failing to treat this war objectively, the media does indeed enable massacres such as this one and history will judge the coverage of this war very harshly.
Writing about Lester Holt, I've more than once praised the NBC host for his level-headed professionalism. I may have to re-evaluate after his performance on this morning's "Today." Interviewing Joe Wilson about the Libby commutation, Holt seemed to seek to throw gasoline on the fire with leading questions, while obfuscating an important fact. Later, Meredith Vieira interrupted Bill Kristol to offer a heartelt defense of Wilson.
Holt began by reminding Wilson of his recent statement that the Libby sentence demonstrates that "this remains a nation of laws, not men."
Holt then lobbed in this question.
NBC HOST LESTER HOLT: Do you still believe that this morning?
Wilson knew just what to do with the hanging curveball:
Elizabeth Edwards is even more of a hypocrite than NewsBusters readers already think. Everyone knows that during the infamous “Hardball” phone-call confrontation, Mrs. Edwards criticized Ann Coulter's “hate speech” and her “personal attacks" that “lower our political dialog.” But regular readers know that NewsBusters pointed out the hypocrisy of Elizabeth Edwards' comments, considering that until liberal bloggers Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan resigned, they worked for the Edwards' campaign and were known for anti-Christian “hate speech” and "personal attacks" toward Republicans.
Now it's even worse than Mrs. Edwards condemning Coulter because "(w)e can't have a debate about issues [while] using this kind of language” after employing Marcotte and McEwan. Guess who hired them in the first place? Yep, Elizabeth Edwards herself.
I keep seeing this talking point phrase in multiple MSM stories about the Libby conviction; "Libby was convicted in March, the highest-ranking White House official ordered to prison since the Iran-Contra affair roiled the Reagan administration in the 1980s."(emphasis, mine) This is a misleading statement that makes the reader imagine that no high-ranking Presidential appointee, adviser, or member of the White House has been convicted of anything or sentenced to anything since Reagan's era. But, at least one past official's name should be placed above that of Libby's. Henry Cisneros was the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, appointed to that position by President Bill Clinton. Cisneros, it should be remembered, was indicted in 1995 on 18 counts of conspiracy, false statements and obstruction of justice. Cisneros pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of lying to the FBI. Now, I'd dare say that Libby, who only worked in the office of the Vice President, was a minnow in the pond in which Cisneros swam. Cisneros was the Secretary of HUD, a presidential cabinet member, after all!
Naturally, on his way out of the White House in 2001, Clinton pardoned Cisneros.
On Monday's Countdown, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann opened his show railing against President Bush, contending that the President "lied us into a war" and "needlessly killed 3,584 of our family and friends and neighbors" as the Countdown host attacked the President for commuting the sentence of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, referring to Libby's involvement in the "greatest crime of this young century." Olbermann later tagged Bush as "Worst Person in the World," and announced that he will call on President Bush and Vice President Cheney to resign in a "Special Comment" on Tuesday's show. Olbermann: "As you may have suspected, tomorrow night, here on Countdown, a 'Special Comment' calling on this Vice President and this President to resign."
With “Angry Reaction” on screen, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux opened the 7pm EDT hour of The Situation Room by asking if on the Libby commutation: “Are conservatives as angry as Democrats?” Toward the end of the hour, Malveaux, filling in for Wolf Blitzer, cued up ex-Clinton operative Paul Begala: “President Clinton was impeached for lying before a grand jury. What do you think? What do you make of this? Does this smack of a double standard?” Malveaux announced at the top of the program: “Spared from prison, President Bush commutes the sentence of former White House aide Lewis 'Scooter' Libby. Tonight, the breaking news and the reaction. Are conservatives as angry as Democrats?”
Analyst Bill Schneider soon echoed her theme: “There's going to be a lot of anger out there. I don't think it's going to be restricted simply to Democrats. Independents and some Republicans are going to be angry and it's going to feed into the anger at Washington that seems to be poisoning the mood of the country.” As for the idea “this would be popular with the base,” Schneider opined: “I'm dubious about that.” Referring to a CNN poll, Schneider argued that “when you have only 19 percent who would support a pardon...I'm not sure that I would say that this could have any positive repercussions for the President.” Malveaux, who seconds earlier cued up Begala with a liberal talking point about a Republican double standard, confronted Republican strategist John Feehery: “Does it cut two ways here? We've heard Bill Schneider saying he doesn't really think this is going to play out much in a partisan way. He believes that there are going to be a lot of Republicans who see it the same way as Democrats and say, you know, this is just preferential treatment.”
The story of Immaculée Ilibagiza is nothing short of remarkable. During the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Immaculée and six other women hid in a tiny bathroom in the house of a Protestant minister as rival tribesmen searched to kill them. They hid under unimaginable conditions for three months as the threat of a gruesome death lurked outside.
During my waking hours I was in constant communication with God, praying and meditating for 15 to 20 hours every day. I even dreamed of Jesus and the Virgin Mary during the few hours I slept. (page 107)
Yet when 60 Minutes profiled Ms. Ilibagiza's story last night (Sun., 7/1/07), no mention at all was made of her persistent prayer, even though this is absolutely a central component throughout her amazing story. Her prayers seemed to result in miracles during her confinement. (Read the book. I have, and it's unbelievable.)
Chris Matthews, presumably away on vacation, handed the reigns of MSNBC's Hardball to Democratic activist Reverend Al Sharpton. The first two guests, in the first half-hour, of the Sharpton hosted July 2 episode, were Democrats - Howard Dean and Terry McAuliffe. The hot topic of the discussion with Dean was about how the John McCain campaign and the GOP, overall, were suffering in their fundraising efforts. The following "hardball" segment, with McAuliffe, featured the Hillary Clinton campaign chairman crowing about her fundraising success.
After the McAuliffe segment, Sharpton, actually interviewed a Republican. Predictably, Sharpton's questions to presidential candidate, Representative Duncan Hunter, were tougher than the ones to his Democratic colleagues. Following the Hunter segment, Sharpton quickly returned to his Democratic friends, as he invited on Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Chris Dodd.
Tavis Smiley's interview of Michael Moore, aired June 29 on Smiley's eponymous PBS program, is just another reminder of the ridiculous lack of credible journalism which goes on at the taxpayer-funded network.
The interview was nothing more than Smiley lobbing softball after softball straight over the plate while Mr. Moore hit his talking points out of the park on everything from the "far right"to a wage gap between whites and African-Americans.
Smiley’s ceremonial first pitch was enough to clue in viewers that there would be no attempt on Smiley's part on conducting an unbiased or challenging interview. “You have done it again,” Smiley gushed to the veteran political filmmaker.
Not only does Moore advocate for socialized medicine, he also gets to let loose against what he calls the "far right" (anyone who doesn't think socialized health coverage is the answer) and portrays himself as someone who just wants to enlighten America on the "facts."
Below is part of the interview (emphasis mine), followed by my analysis:
The wicket has gotten sticky for those who, in the wake of terror attacks, seek to blame the West for the disaffection of a few Islamist youths gone wrong. The profile of those involved in the latest rash of terror incidents in the U.K. has stood that theory on its head.
Consider the dialogue on this morning's "Today" at 7:06 a.m. EDT between NBC's Lester Holt and Lisa Myers, both reporting from London.
NBC'S LESTER HOLT: Lisa, we always hear when these sort of things happen in the U.K. about disaffected young Muslim men, sort of home-grown terrorists. When you talk about physicians, does this change the nature of what anti-terror authorities here would expect in these cases?
NBC'S LISA MYERS: Absolutely, Lester. This greatly complicates the profile. Most of the recent plots had been the work of so-called home-grown cells with ties to Pakistan; disaffected young British Muslims who in some cases went to Pakistan for terror training. Here you have a group of highly-educated foreigners, the kind of people that this country actually encourages to come to Britain. So that makes it very tough, Lester.
There has been a massacre of innocent civilians in Iraq. An entire village of Iraqis were murdered and buried in a mass grave. The dead included women and children. The murderers even slaughtered the animals in the village. From the state of the surroundings it was obvious that this was a deliberate act - maybe brought on by rage of the death of a comrade or just the overwhelming pressure of fighting in a war zone.
Amazingly the media in the US has not picked up on the story. Tim McGirk has not headed to Iraq to do an expose on this latest My Lai incident. Murtha hasn't called a press conference to call out the perpetrators for committing "cold blooded murder". The liberal bloggers have failed to equate the massacre to the "torture" at Abu Ghraib.
The Iraqi government, especially the Prime Minister, has yet to demand an explanation or an investigation. The group, Iraq Veterans Against the War, has not scheduled a street theater like Operation First Casualty to decry the treatment of the civilians. United for Peace and Justice has not published a list of talking points about the incident. CodePink has yet to hold a fundraiser for the side fighting against the murderers.
Do you have a bad case of poison ivy? According to "The Early Show" you can blame that on those that drive SUV’s and cook on the grill. On the July 2 edition’s usually non-controversial "Health Watch" segment, host Harry Smith began the segment stating "scientists say [poison ivy] is worse than ever for a number of reasons, including global warming."
"Early Show" medical contributor Dr. Emily Senay cited a study that "rising levels of carbon monoxide" is "spurring poison ivy to grow bigger, to grow faster, and to produce a more potent form of this oil that it makes, urushiol."
What's in a name? If your name is Al Gore, it means that a majority of respondents to a worldwide poll believe you have the power to battle the evil known as global warming:
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, talk show host Oprah Winfrey and ex-U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan are best suited to champion work to fight climate change, a 47-nation opinion poll said on Monday.
The three were most picked by more than 26,000 Internet users from a list of more than 20 politicians, actors, singers and soccer players to highlight links between celebrities and the environment before Live Earth pop concerts on Saturday.
Gore was chosen by 18 percent of people when asked to pick up to three people from the list as the most influential to "champion efforts to combat global warming".
Over the weekend, the New York Times covered the fallout from Bush's failed amnesty-for-illegal immigration bill, finding that the GOP has doomed itself among Hispanics by its harsh talk radio rhetoric, while devoting space to the disappointment of illegal immigrants and Mexicans who want to be, and interviewing two of the few conservative activists that actually supported the bill, apparently without interviewing the myriad conservative activists aligned against it.
"But the bill's demise may have greatly damaged the party's ability to meet its enduring goal of attracting a large percentage of the growing number of Hispanic voters -- thousands of whom are ostensibly in line with the party on a host of other issues, said many Republican lawmakers, consultants and Hispanic voters."
NBC's announcement that Today news anchor and Dateline host Ann Curry (file photo from 2006 at right) will co-anchor NBC's prime-time simulcast of Al Gore's "Live Earth" concerts on Saturday is an obvious indicator that it won't just be a rock concert. It will include gooey interviews where celebrities and rock stars will be praised for their global conscience.
Curry's big prime-time gig could be a reward for the one-sided environmental activism she's long displayed at NBC's morning show. In her time at Today, Curry has brought her trademark sappy personality along with the expected liberal bias to numerous environmental interview segments. In the last five years, Curry often revealed her soft spot for all things green.
The storyline. That's the thing. Feed the storyline.
The media has been just enthralled with the idea that the removal of political appointees, and their replacement with other political appointees, somehow constitutes a grand scandal, since it's a Republican adminstration that did it. The storyline was promoted again in a Reuters piece on Friday.
An assistant attorney general at the Justice Department announced her resignation on Friday, becoming the seventh official to quit the department since the Democratic-led Congress launched an investigation in March into the firing of nine federal prosecutors. Rachel Brand, assistant attorney general for legal policy, said she would step down on July 9. No reason was given.
Sounds pretty suspicious, doesn't it? Pretty sinister? Just more fuel on the fire that is the scandal of the President exercising his power to appoint and remove federal prosecutors.
This is a little old as it was published last Thursday, but MTV's Kurt Loder (pictured at right) did a yeoman's job in dissecting Michael Moore's paean to socialized health care, in a movie review on MTV.com entitled, "'Sicko': Heavily Doctored."
While Loder conceded that Moore's handpicked stories of bureaucratic madness are "horrifying, and then infuriating" and praises scrutiny of HMO manager Kaiser Permanente, the MTV personality quickly turned to slamming Moore for a one-sided propaganda film that failed to present viewers with a command of the complexities of providing health care to a nation of some 300 million people. Portions below in bold are my emphasis:
Unfortunately, Moore is also a con man of a very brazen sort, and never
more so than in this film. His cherry-picked facts, manipulative
interviews (with lingering close-ups of distraught people breaking down
in tears) and blithe assertions (how does he know 18,000* people will
die this year because they have no health insurance?) are so stacked
that you can feel his whole argument sliding sideways as the picture
unspools. The American health-care system is in urgent need of reform,
no question. Some 47 million people are uninsured (although many are
only temporarily so, being either in-between jobs or young enough not
to feel a pressing need to buy health insurance). There are a number of
proposals as to what might be done to correct this situation. Moore has
no use for any of them, save one.
As I begin my much-needed vacation, I awoke this morning to frantic e-mail messages from concerned readers all including the same link to the same New York Times op-ed submission from the Global Warmingist-in-Chief himself, soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore.
As a kayak and a beautiful lake beckon, it is impossible to really do this piece the injustice it so badly deserves.
However, needless to say, the planet's greatest climate change alarmist was truly in unfortunately not so rare form when he input this factless, feckless. feculent foolishness that sadly will be eaten up like fine caviar by his sycophant devotees across the globe.
As such, without further ado, here are a few of the lowlights (emphasis added throughout, better strap yourselves in for a bumpy ride):
When it comes to the First Amendment, too many people in this country have a distorted sense of what that document actually means.
This is especially true of the liberal elite media which construe the First Amendment in the following manner: 1) Congress shall not make any attempt to censor or diminish the rights of any media outlet--except those dominated by the right. 2) Congress shall not restrict flag burning or any form of pornography. 3) Religious people do not have the right to express their religion in public. 4) Political speech is equal to money and therefore can be censored at whim.
To those who doubt that, take a gander at this recent Kansas City Star editorial, denouncing the new John Roberts court:
result, made clear in rulings handed down this week and earlier, is
empowerment for the powerful and callousness toward individuals.
On Friday's Anderson Cooper 360, CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta examined the accuracy of the claims presented in Michael Moore's film Sicko. Gupta found that while there are complaints about America's health care system, "you won't find medical utopia elsewhere." Although Gupta did not show much skepticism in reporting that life expectancies in Cuba are about equal to those in America despite being outspent by American 26 to 1 in health care, the CNN correspondent did report that in countries with tax-funded universal health care, that "even higher taxes don't give all the coverage everyone wants."
Gupta discussed the waiting lines that exist in some industrialized nations, and found that "Americans have shorter wait times than everyone but Germans when seeking non-emergency elective procedures," although he also found that "only Canada was worse than the United States when it comes to waiting for a doctor's appointment for a medical problem." After informing viewers of the higher taxes paid in other countries, he also relayed that "even higher taxes don't give all the coverage everyone wants" as health analyst Paul Keckley informed viewers that "15 to 20 percent of the population will purchase services outside the system run by the government." (Transcript follows)
Sometimes a newspaper story is so bizarre that you have to review it twice just to be sure you really read what you had just read. Such was the case with this Palm Beach Post column, "Immigrants new right-wing fear factor," by Frank Cerabino (pictured at right). We enter the surreal zone with this report:
I feel bad for Jennifer Lasko, the Delray Beach firefighter who made a significant sacrifice for her favorite presidential candidate.
On Saturday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Pete Williams presented a one-sided look at the Supreme Court's "shift to the right," conveying complaints by liberals over recent court rulings, but without showing any conservatives who supported some of the court's recent right-leaning decisions. Williams began his piece by quoting liberal Justice Stephen Breyer's complaint that "It's not often in the law that so few have so quickly changed so much," before playing a soundbite of the ACLU's Steven Shapiro: "Civil liberties and civil rights took a beating virtually across the board from race to religion to abortion to speech to the basic right to come into court and sue when you've been a victim of discrimination." Williams also found that Chief Justice John Roberts "has turned out to be more conservative than even some of the court's liberals thought he would be." (Transcript follows)
On Tuesday's The Situation Room, CNN's Wolf Blitzer noted that it was the 14th anniversary of a cruise missile attack on Iraq, ordered by then-President Clinton, in retaliation for a plot to assassinate former President Bush in Kuwait earlier that year. CNN also played a clip of the CNN correspondent from June 26, 1993 in which, referring to President Clinton's speech to the nation, Blitzer relayed the Clinton administration's desire "to make sure that the Iraqi government does not engage in what the U.S. describes as state-sponsored terrorism." (Transcript follows)
Below is a complete transcript of the item from the June 26 The Situation Room on CNN: