The Minneapolis Star Tribune is currently investigating how one of its editorial writers has been taking portions of New Yorker magazine editorials and inserting them into his own articles. The Power Line blog raised one of the allegations and has the details.
How often do you watch a show like MSNBC’s “Hardball” just hoping that one of the guests will spank the host when he makes an obvious misstatement, or is just being rude? Well, such occurred Wednesday when David Shuster, filling in for the vacationing Chris Matthews, tried to bully Iraq’s ambassador to the United Nations Feisal Istrabadi
Right from the get-go, it was apparent that Shuster had no intention of showing any respect whatsoever to this dignitary, which of course was in stark contrast to how he gushed and fawned over former President Jimmy Carter just 24 hours earlier as reported by Mark Finkelstein. This is not to suggest that anyone should be accorded the respect of one of our former presidents. Instead, it was the comparative disrespect which was so striking; it was almost as if Istrabadi was a Republican.
Toward the end of the interview, it was clear that the Ambassador was getting tired of Shuster’s belligerence, and decided to fire back when the guest-host said:
With a grateful hat tip to Hot Air, all NBers that are devout ‘Seinfeld’ fans in desperate need of some comedy-induced sanity in the midst of Michael Richards’ racist breakdown must watch this video created by the folks at National Lampoon. It’s quite hysterical, and extremely well done.
Please be advised that it is a bit raw with unedited footage of Richards’ rampage, as well as being a tad off-color – obvious pun intended.
It's hard to be a sunny optimist when considering the situation at Iraq. Things are tough, no doubt. That said, was Today, the show whose NBC News parent famously declared "civil war" earlier this week, giving us a fair-and-balanced view of matters this morning when the only expert we heard from expressed the most unalloyed pessimism on Iraqi prospects?
Meredith Vieira interviewed Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations and former principal adviser to then Secretary of State Colin Powell. At the end of their conversation, Vieira summed up Haas's views this way: "You do not believe that there is anything about the situation that is winnable, I take it."
It in turn touted a study by a social work master’s student at Southern Connecticut State University purporting to find that there exists "a direct link between mental illness and support for President Bush."
The National Science Teachers Association has now officially responded to Laurie David's Washington Post op-ed (see Noel Sheppard's Newsbusters post on the op-ed here) essentially accusing the group of being captive to corporate interests when it declined a gift of 50,000 "An Inconvenient Truth" DVDs for distribution to classrooms.
It doesn't say so, but presumably the NSTA is also responding to MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann's Monday evening accusation that the NSTA president, Linda Froschauer, is "available at the right price," a statement made by Olbermann in a commentary that appears to have been based on the Laurie David Washington Post op-ed.
The "police captain" that the Associated Press used as the source for their story about six Sunni men dragged from prayers and burned alive by Shiite militants is not a policeman and does not work for the Iraqi government in any capacity, according to the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior.
CENTCOM had warned the AP about Hussein and other questionable sources they were using, but was rebuffed by the wire service organization. The AP's sensational story of the burning Sunnis was cited by NBC as a reason they decided to start calling violence in Iraq a "civil war." The source, "police captain Jamil Hussein," has been quoted in wire service stories since April of this year.
As reported on Newsbusters by Michelle Humphrey, actor Danny Devito was on ABC's "The View" today and went into a seemingly drunken tirade against President Bush and generally acted the fool on the show.
But, this "apology" is interesting in that ABCNews mentions all the wild statements and strange behavior by Devito on every subject except his Bush bashing. We are left wondering why it was "proper" reporting to mention Devito's seeming inebriation, his mention of partying with actor George Clooney, his slurred speech, his being bleeped, his Clinton White House story and then his "apology" to Barbra Walters.... yet not a single mention of his attack on president Bush.
I understand that NBC Today star Matt Lauer is the toast of Manhattan, but letting your wife name your son "Thijs"? Way too precious if you don't live in Amsterdam. He'll clearly hate his brother, who is simply named "Jack." Clearly, this boy is never going to see the inside of a public school with a name like that. Even the teachers might think the name is somehow a typographical error. It's pronounced Tice, as in the best you could do as a dad to explain it to men is say "ahem, you know, Tice, like Mike Tice, the former Minnesota Vikings coach." Lauer certainly can't argue he's a '70s music nut and fan of Thijs van Leer, responsible for that big hit "Hocus Pocus"
“Those two campaigns have now come together to bring the strength of both communities, the disarmament community, and the women’s rights communities together in order to stop armed violence against women, recognizing that the disarmament conversation, too often does not involve women, and that the women’s rights movement has too often not realized the importance of taking away the weapons.”
Clay Waters, Editor of the MRC's TimesWatch site and a regular contributor to NewsBusters, was a guest this afternoon on FNC's Your World with Neil Cavuto. Topic: Liberal bias in the New York Times and the impact of its publishing leaked information, specifically the timing of the Wednesday front page story: “Bush Adviser’s Memo Cites Doubts About Iraqi Leader.”
Clay appeared as part of a panel at the top of the 4pm EST show which will re-run at 5am EST Thursday morning.
Video clip (6:05): Real (4.52 MB) or Windows (3.76 MB) plus MP3 (1.76 MB)
The media’s fascination and love affair with Jimmy Carter apparently have no limits. CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer interviewed the ex-president on Tuesday’s "Situation Room" and cited his knowledge and experience of dealing with Iran:
Wolf Blitzer: "You know a lot about Iran. You spent the last 444 days of your presidency focusing in on the American hostages."
Jimmy Carter: "I remember that."
Blitzer: "I know. I remember it very well. I think everyone who was alive remembers it, as well. This is a regime -- basically, the same people who were in charge then, who took over for the shah, are still in charge right now, led by a supreme ayatollah, who has been meeting today with Talabani, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met yesterday with Jalal Talabani, the president of Iraq."
Blitzer may remember the event, but it’s unclear if he recalls the botched Carter rescue attempts, including one that left eight U.S. servicemen dead. If he did recollect the event, the CNN anchor certainly didn’t bring the subject up.
The Dan Rather Rehabilitation Tour traveled to "Live with Regis and Kelly" on Wednesday, and Rather said very little that was new. Philbin greeted him with an over-enthusiastic schmooze: “It’s like lookin’ at Mount Rushmore!”
In between explaining how you can get your HDNet so you can be one of the 40 viewers of Rather's show, Rather did get in his belief that “journalism is an important part of our system of checks and balances in this government” and that his show is “a wee small voice for journalism with integrity and quality journalism on Tuesday nights.” He's so dedicated that he said journalism twice. Nobody asked if using phony memos really fits Rather's definition of "journalism with integrity." When Philbin asked his opinion of the "Brit Pack," the new celebrity party girls hanging out with Britney Spears, Rather would only say, “None of them are as pretty as Kelly.”
As artificial as a breast augmentation surgery itself, the media's hype over dangers from silicone breast implants has been pretty much debunked by over a decade of scientific review. But that hasn't prompted the media to admit to and deflate the unfounded fears it blew up 16 years ago. From my colleague Julia Seymour's BMI newsletter article.
The FDA has put silicone breast implants back on the market. But journalists, who hyped the implants’ dangers more than a decade ago, have shown they’re not convinced.
“Given the history of this product, I think a lot of people are going to have a hard time with the government blessing for this particular product, being a foreign substance being sewn inside the bodies of women,” said NBC anchor Brian Williams on the Nov. 17, 2006, “Nightly News.”
It seems safe to say that Keith Olbermann has found his audience, and hit his stride. At this point, all he has to do is find a well-known conservative to bash and belittle each night, and his viewers comprised of Netroots denizens and Michael Moore devotees across the country will gush over and applaud each vitriolic statement.
With that in mind, the Tuesday installment of “Countdown” certainly didn’t disappoint such folks, as the conservative in the crosshairs du jour was former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (video available here). At issue was a speech Gingrich gave Monday night at the Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment Award dinner in New Hampshire wherein he suggested that due to the ongoing war on terror, new rules might need to be applied to our Constitution to protect the citizens. Olbermann didn’t like this idea very much, and badly misquoted a famous German theologian to evoke images of Hitler and Nazis:
As Matt Drudge reported earlier, actor Danny DeVito seemed drunk when he went on an anti-Bush tirade on ABC’s The View on Wednesday. DeVito recounted how he last visited the White House during the Clinton years, warmly noting that "the place was, had that kind of Clinton feeling, you know," before denigrating President Bush as "numb nuts" (or something like that — ABC bleeped over the last part of that word).
DeVito then began what was supposed to be mimicry of Bush, making a variety of weird sounds and facial expressions. It’s impossible to really capture DeVito’s performance in words (he’d admitted he’d been up partying all night with George Clooney), so I’ve posted a short video of one of his more explosive moments. Video Clip: Real (1.97 MB), Windows (2.26 MB), MP3 (338KB)
Staffers for the Washington Post are now being graded, in an attempt to make those in the newsroom feel the same pressure as those in the boardroom. The grading options: “frequently exceeds expectations,” “sometimes exceeds expectations,” “meets expectations,” “sometimes fails to meet expectations,” or “frequently does not meet expectations.”
Unfortunately, there are no options for "somewhat biased," "hideously biased," or "Pelosi's press agent biased."
“I initiated this because we’ve had complaints over the years from reporters who would be evaluated and feel that their evaluations were inconclusive,” said Peter Perl, assistant managing editor for training and career development.
Today's KidsPost section of The Washington Post gives young readers an introduction to the anti-artistic agenda of the smoke nazis.
Reporter Susan Levine gave The American Legacy Foundation plenty of ink to promote their cause in today's article "Hollywood Not Yet Kicking Butts."
Basically they think any movie involving fictional characters that smoke should merit an automatic R-rating. A picture showing historical figures who actually smoked, like FDR, is fine and dandy, however.
In contrast, the Motion Picture Association of America was given one paragraph to defend artistic license, and even then most of the graf was centered on reiterating the warning that, yes, smoking is bad for you.
Call me crazy, but how hard is it to find a libertarian or conservative pundit with the other side to be quoted for this article? (post continues after jump)
The other networks are not quite ready to jump on NBC's "civil war" bandwagon. "Secretary of State Matt Lauer" (according to Howard Kurtz) and other NBC reporters have decided to declare the situation in Iraq a civil war, a move that is praised by some in the MSM and denounced by others. Reports the New York Observer:
“It was their decision to make and their process,” said Jon Banner, the executive producer of ABC’s World News. “We constantly discuss editorial matters here—all the time, every day. How that decision got made there I have no idea, nor do I want to guess.”
“To be honest with you, I think it’s a political statement, not a news judgment,” said Rome Hartman, the executive producer of the CBS Evening News. “We deal with the events of the day, and we decide the best way to describe those events based on the news of the day, not by—never mind, I’m not gonna go there.”
Then he did.
ABC’s John Stossel is well known for his libertarian views and for challenging liberal conventional wisdom. On Wednesday’s Good Morning America, Stossel was at it again as he debunked the widely held perception that liberals are more generous in their charitable contributions than conservatives. As part of a 20/20 special airing Wednesday night, Stossel interviewed Syracuse University professor Arthur Brooks, who conducted a study which found that conservatives, while making slightly less money than liberals, actually contribute more:
John Stossel: "But it turns out that this idea that liberals give more is a myth. These are the twenty-five states where people give an above average percent of their income, twenty-four were red states in the last presidential election."
Arthur Brooks, Who Really Cares, author: "When you look at the data, it turns out the conservatives give about thirty percent more per conservative-headed family than per liberal-headed family. And incidentally, conservative-headed families make slightly less money."
On November 27, 2006, the media stepped up their demands for an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq by officially naming the incursion a civil war. While questioning their motives, Americans must also be extremely concerned with how quickly these same voices will demand our military be sent back in a humanitarian effort to halt the inevitable post-retreat genocide.
Amid all the seemingly principled antiwar discussions that have transpired the past several years, one issue has been shamelessly and immorally absent: if American troops leave Iraq too soon, one of the largest mass-murders of innocent people in history might ensue.
I felt myself cringing from the very beginning of Maureen Dowd's column this morning. You had a dread sense of where the story was headed when Dowd opened by writing "Nick Rapavi’s family and friends described him as a tough guy with a selfless streak. He’d wanted to be a Marine since high school, and his dress uniform had a parade of medals for heroism in Afghanistan and Iraq, including a Purple Heart." Sure and sadly enough, Dowd informed us that "the kid described as being 'full of life' died Friday in Anbar Province, the heartless heart of darkness in western Iraq, the hole-in-the-desert stronghold of the Sunni insurgency and Al Qaeda fighters."
In one of those "analysis" pieces reporters love to write, Washington Post White House reporter Peter Baker underlined on Wednesday one reason why NBC might have started using "civil war" to define Iraq: it severely undercuts the Iraq war in opinion polls.
Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), a member of the Armed Services Committee, said Bush would rather frame it in the terrorism context to preserve public support. "If it's a civil war and only a small portion of it involves al-Qaeda operatives, then it's suddenly not the central front in the war on terror, it's a struggle by Iraqis for political power," he said. "That means the rationales for this are severely undercut."
Polls suggest that most Americans have already settled this debate in their minds -- 61 percent of those surveyed in September by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal described the situation in Iraq as a civil war, while 65 percent agreed in a CNN poll and 72 percent in a Gallup poll. Of those who described the conflict as "out of control" and a "civil war" in a later Gallup-USA Today poll, 84 percent called U.S. involvement a mistake, compared with 25 percent of those who did not view the situation that way.
Late on Tuesday night, National Review reporter Byron York provided some early grist to challenge strange claims by media critics like William Powers that "journalists are more aggressive under Democratic rule." Somehow, the nation's leading newspapers weren't hustling alongside York as he chased the story of whether Nancy Pelosi would give the reins of the House Intelligence Committee to Rep. Alcee Hastings, who was impeached as a federal judge:
Tomorrow the Washington Post, on its front page, reports the news that Alcee Hastings will not be chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. For a story about Nancy Pelosi's decision, the Post piece gets into a number of details about the Hastings case itself. Why? One reason might be that, during the last few months when concerns about Hastings' impeachment and conviction were being raised, the Post never reported the basic facts of the case. A Nexis search for Hastings' name and that of William Borders, Hastings' co-conspirator in soliciting bribes, reveals exactly one recent story — a November 1 column by the Post's Ruth Marcus, who had covered the Hastings story years ago. As Congress buzzed, and Pelosi deliberated, the Post never bothered to tell its readers what the controversy was about.
By the way, if you do the same search for the New York Times, you'll find the same thing — just without the Ruth Marcus column. Which means that perhaps the most interesting so-far-unnoticed aspect of the story is that so much political pressure built up on Capitol Hill while the nation's two leading newspapers were looking the other way.
On Tuesday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann included Fox News Watch as one of the nominees in his regular "Worst Person in the World" segment. Awarding the FNC show third place with the "bronze" distinction, the Countdown host relayed conservative columnist Cal Thomas' choice of Olbermann as "Turkey of the Year" during last Saturday's show. While Thomas had taken Olbermann to task generally for "inaccuracies" and "hot air," Olbermann only mentioned Thomas' joking comment about Olbermann accusing him of dying his hair as he made fun of the FNC show's misspelling of his name (Olberman) in its on-screen graphic. Olbermann also labeled Fox News Watch as "the only program on Fox News Channel that tries to live up to the network's otherwise ironic slogan 'Fair and Balanced.'" Notably, as documented here by NewsBusters, Olbermann last year posted on his Bloggermann Web site that Fox News Watch was one of "ten television shows worth watching," quipping that it was created by Roger Ailes "to fulfill some legal requirement that his network actually be at least .0005% 'fair and balanced.'" (Transcript follows)
Asked by a reporter about how “President Bush today blamed the surge of violence in Iraq on al Qaeda,” incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded with a disjointed answer about how “the 9/11 Commission dismissed that notion a long time ago and I feel sad that the President is resorting to it again." Though al-Qaeda is clearly in Iraq and responsible for deadly bombings, and the 9/11 Commission conclusion was about links before September 11th, on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News reporter David Gregory treated Pelosi's off-base retort as credible and relevant. Without suggesting any miscue by her, Gregory segued to Pelosi's soundbite with a bewildering set up of his own about how “incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi disagreed, warning that such rhetoric about al Qaeda will make it harder for Democrats to work with the White House."
On FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume, after panelist Mara Liasson characterized Pelosi as “confused” and Morton Kondracke suggested she was just “mixed up,” Fred Barnes maintained that “she clearly screwed up here. The question was absolutely clear. 'President Bush today blamed the surge in violence in Iraq.'” Barnes argued the media wouldn't let a Republican get away with such a flub, telling Kondrake: “If some Republican had done this, if Bush had done this at a press conference, if Newt Gingrich had said it, if John Boehner had said it, if Roy Blunt had said it, you'd have been all over it. It would be inexcusable."
The screen graphic claimed that Jimmy Carter was playing "hardball." But this wouldn't have qualified as softball. Not even T-ball. This was David Shuster coming down off the pitcher's mound to help his octogenarian guest swing the bat.
Guest hosting for Chris Matthews on this afternoon's Hardball, on three different occasions Shuster took up the cudgel for the man he repeatedly referred to as "the 39th President of the United States." I couldn't help but imagine Shuster saying to himself - "wow, Chris is away, and here I am, interviewing a former POTUS!"
Shuster first served as pinch hitter in the context of Iraq, asking Carter "does it anger you?" when President Bush points the finger at Al Qaida in explaining the troubles there. With Shuster having clubbed W for him, Carter was able to diplomatically allow that he was not angered and understood the need of a president to defend his policy.
If we were to believe liberals, the last several years could be dubbed the Age of Propaganda, what scandalized columnist Frank Rich, who knows quite a lot about this subject, calls the “decline and fall of truth.”
They complained when government agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services put out “video news releases” that some lax TV stations aired without editing. They complained when the Pentagon hired American P.R. companies like the Lincoln Group to place positive stories about American forces in the Iraqi newspapers. They complained when conservative P.R. man Armstrong Williams struck a deal with the Department of Education to promote the Bush “No Child Left Behind” policy.
But the same left-wing crowd that claims to hate propaganda seems to be offering nothing but flowers and best wishes for the November launch of al-Jazeera English.
On this past weekend’s edition of the "McLaughlin Group," panelist Eleanor Clift of "Newsweek" insisted global warming is man made, and called contrary opinions "theological arguments," and moderator John McLaughlin referred to those who do not accept Clift’s premise as "neanderthals." Ms. Clift also displayed her environmentalist sympathies, proclaiming "...[Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma] has, like, a zero rating from the environmentalists. And he, thankfully, will not be chairing that [Environmental and Public Works] committee anymore in the Senate."
In the opening segment of the program, McLaughlin brought up the subject of global warming. Token conservative on the panel, Pat Buchanan, asserted that though global warming is occurring, there is a real debate as to the cause, but he was outnumbered by his fellow panelists: Jay Carney of "Time," Clarence Page of "The Chicago Tribune," and Ms. Clift.