Possible discussion point: How's "global warming" impacting your summer?
This has been possibly the coolest summer in Northern California in at least 20 years. The weather in Texas has been so cold that the cotton crop is in danger. England hasn't even had a summer yet, and meteorologists there are predicting a very early start to fall. Parts of the southern hemisphere are experiencing the harshest winter in decades. And, we have yet to have a serious hurricane hit our mainland.
So, for those interested, how's global warming going for you? :-)
While Hillary Clinton was assuring the union crowd last night that she knows how to battle the "right-wing machine," Huffington Post blogger Blake Fleetwood reports that Bill Clinton is still taking on the Clinton-challenging media machine. At a fundraiser closed to reporters (but not to bloggers?), the former president asserted "the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal is even more right wing and irrational than most of the commentators on Fox News."
He also asserted that a major American corporation was attacked by the Journal editorial board because it supported Clinton, and didn't care about whether its attacks were factual. Once the company's CEO "sent a check to Bob Dole, and announced it in the newspapers, and the WSJ never said one bad word about his company again." Here's the rundown of Clinton's media claims as the paper is being acquired by Rupert Murdoch:
When New-York based "Today" went looking for a local sports reporter to defend Barry Bonds the morning after he set the career home run record, it didn't turn to the New York Post, whose headline this morning reads JUNK BONDS: ‘SULTAN OF SYRINGE'. Nor was it likely that the designated hitter would be someone from the Daily News, whose back page screams "King of Shame." Instead, "Today" looked to the New York Times, and in particular to sports writer William Rhoden [pictured here with Matt Lauer], to embrace Bonds.
'TODAY' CO-ANCHOR MATT LAUER: You've been very critical of baseball actually leading up to this milestone for the way they've been wringing their hands trying to figure out what to do with this record. Barry Bonds you wrote, quote, "he will be baseball's king, it's emperor, it's czar." How are you feeling this morning?
NYT SPORTS REPORTER WILLIAM RHODEN: I think it's a great moment, Matt. It really is. It's an historic moment. The number's there, no matter. There's going to continue to be hand-wringing, but there's no hand-wringing in the Bonds household [proving what?] . . . It's just a tremendous accomplishment . . . I don't think anyone doubts that.
Most members of the Mainstream Media keep their opinions to themselves if they are uneasy about the character of any of the major Democrat candidates for president. One of the few who broke ranks in this area was Brad Warthen, the Editorial Page Editor of The State newspaper in South Carolina. Although Warthen's observations about Edwards originally appeared in his blog last February, it wasn't until it was written up yesterday as an editorial column, Why "I See John Edwards as a Big Phony," that it sparked an angry reaction from the Edwards campaign. Warthen's view of Edwards as a phony comes from three personal encounters which he calls strikes against him. Strike One:
Larry W. Moore, Jr. was convicted of the felony sex offense known as "indecent liberty with a child" in North Carolina in 1994. Moore later moved to Georgia, where he came within the jurisdiction of Georgia's sex offender registry laws. Moore failed to properly register and was convicted for a first violation in 2005. Moore has now been convicted of a second violation, and faces a penalty of life in prison under the Georgia statutes.
Keith Olbermann a "fair and balanced" journalist for a day? Did the sweltering Chicago temperatures somehow get to him? The MSNBC host who is notorious for anti-Bush, anti-conservative rants employed a more balanced approach when he moderated Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate, hosted by the AFL-CIO. While audience members posed numerous left-leaning questions to the candidates, Olbermann asked a number of challenging questions, a few even posed from the right. Olbermann not only asked "what should we not be funding" to find the money for repairs to infrastructure, without even suggesting a tax increase, but the MSNBC host also asked about the possibility of an al-Qaeda takeover in Iraq. Olbermann: "If you get us out of Iraq and somehow al-Qaeda takes over anyway, what will you do then?" (Transcripts follow)
There’s some funny items sitting around on the transcript shelf here. On Monday’s Today, Matt Lauer and Chris Matthews briefly discussed the hard-left Yearly Kos convention, and Matthews insisted that the junior Senator who adopted New York didn’t really belong to the bloggers: "Hillary’s not one of them. Hillary’s not a lefty in this campaign and she’s pro-corporation."
Sunday’s Chris Matthews Show began with Matthews wondering "Is there anything that’ll stop the Democrats?" He said no: "We put it to the Matthews Meter, 12 of our regular panelists. ‘Is the ‘08 election the Democrats’ to lose?’ It’s a wipe out. Rarely do we see this perfection. Twelve to zip. Everyone says yes, it’s the Democrats’ to lose. In other words they’re probably gonna win easily."
NBC has apparently abandoned any doubt about the formulation that bad or hot weather in the summer proves man-made global warming since just two years after NBC Nightly News pointed out how “three of the five warmest summers on record were in the 1930s,” Tuesday's newscast showcased a UN report to contend “extreme weather” and an August heat wave demonstrates man-made global warming. Back on the July 25, 2005 NBC Nightly News, after a man on the street declared that “it seems like each summer is a little warmer than the one before,” reporter Carl Quintanilla countered: “Actually, that's not right.” He noted that “three of the five warmest summers on record were in the 1930s. Climate experts like Kevin Trenberth say the one-degree increase in temperature this century is no reason to break a sweat.” (MRC CyberAlert item which began with panic from CNN's Lou Dobbs: “Record heat and drought in the United States and Europe. New fears tonight that it's all the result of global warming. Is the Earth witnessing a massive environmental change?”
Two years later, on Tuesday night, fill-in NBC anchor Ann Curry segued from a summer heat wave story to how “a new report out from the UN says we are in an extreme weather year all over the globe and the question tonight: Is global warming to blame?” Citing “a worldwide path of destruction,” Anne Thompson asserted that “global land surface temperatures in January and April were likely the warmest since records began 120 years ago, extremes scientists say are consistent with an increase in carbon dioxide, man-made global warming.” Thompson moved on to a report from the left-wing, though naturally unlabeled, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on how heavy rains caused by global warming “churn up pollution in waterways, ruining beach plans.”
Whenever NBC News needs someone to put the current presidential campaign into historic context they usually go to liberal historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and in recent days, on two different NBC News outlets, Goodwin has delivered with her unique historic and liberal perspective on Hillary Clinton.
On this morning's "Today" show, NBC's Andrea Mitchell went to Goodwin for a critical take on Hillary, but even when asked to find a negative about the Senator from New York, Goodwin couldn't help but fill her critique with superlatives as she determined Hillary may need to soften her "articulate" and overly "prepared," image by intentionally making a mistake. The following analysis was aired on the August 7, "Today" show:
Bob Murray is the founder and President of Murray Energy Corporation, the company that owns and operates the Utah mine that collapsed after an earthquake struck the area on August 6th. Apparently he has been under a lot of pressure from the mainstream media and various interest groups to accept blame for what he calls a natural disaster. But Mr. Murray is not taking the pressure sitting down. This morning he held a press conference to cast away any doubts as to the cause of the collapse, clear up any misconceptions about the mine's safety record and put the American people on notice that they should not depend on the Associated Press for any truths. He also took a swipe at Fox News and Congress for recent global warming legislation; a little something for all. (video at Webloggin)
I particularly cite Mr. Seth Borenstein of the associated press for particularly bad reporting and as of this morning the Fox News Network on what has occurred here. Rather than utilize the truthful statements that you have heard here, the associated press and Mr. Borenstein chose to use statements from Mrs. McAteer, Oppegard, Odell and Roberts, who were totally false and have nothing to do with or have any understanding of what's happened here. And this morning Fox News network was at it also. I hope you report that and I will cite to you in every one of these interviews all false reporting that we hear. But I would certainly not depend on the Associated Press and Mr. Borenstein for any truths if I were an American citizen.
In December 2005, the New York Times broke the story of the National Security Agency's monitoring of communications between people in America and terror suspects overseas. Many say the revelations hurt the anti-terrorist program. Over the weekend, the House and Senate passed, by surprisingly bipartisan votes, changes to the terrorist surveillance measure that left many liberals angry at the Democratic Congress's betrayal of civil liberties.
The Times seems rather disappointed in the Democrats as well.
Here’s one sign that Hillary Clinton is the Democratic presidential frontrunner. Reporters are tripping over themselves to convince us how likable and human she is, strong and yet nurturing. It’s the same playbook the media used for Al Gore and John Kerry, both just as stiff, robotic, and unlikeable then as Hillary is now. So they’re portraying Hillary not only as strong and invincible, but also as warm as a down comforter and as sweet as Mrs. Butterworth.
The New York Times stands out as a primary transmission belt for the Clinton campaign’s effort to melt the ice-queen image.
CBS’s Harry Smith led the charge against "global climate change," first with billionaire airline founder and activist Richard Branson and then in the health segment. On the August 7 edition of "The Early Show" at 7:49 AM, Harry Smith hosted the health segment on how to handle the heat with the current heat wave that is affecting much of the eastern half of the United States. With many Americans baking in the hot conditions, Smith appealed to their emotions with this editorial comment.
"Before we do anything else, there is in fact, global climate change. It really affects some climates much more than others, and it's really caused some real serious problems."
The New York Times is poised to stop charging readers for online access to its Op-Ed columnists and other content, The Post has learned.
..... The number of Web-only subscribers who pay $7.95 a month or $49.95 a year fell to just over 221,000 in June, down from more than 224,000 in April.
Not that it was a particularly insightful prediction, but yours truly wrote the following in November 2005 (first item at link), when the Times announced it had reached 135,000 online TimeSelect subscribers (current print subscribers get TimeSelect access free of charge):
Willie Geist's genius as an observer of the political and pop-cultural scenes has been his ability to stay largely above the fray. But guest-hosting for Joe Scarborough on today's "Morning Joe," Geist let the curtain down enough to make clear his pessimism about the Iraq war and desire to have the US exit post-haste. At the same time, retired General Barry McCaffrey made no effort to hide his contempt for Barack Obama's foray into foreign policy regarding Pakistan.
Geist interviewed MSNBC commentator McCaffrey at 6:30 A.M. EDT this morning. McCaffrey at one point opined that he could envision the possibility of reconciliation between Iraqi Shias and Sunnis. Geist was not so sanguine.
MSNBC'S WILLIE GEIST: Could we possibly stay there long enough, though, to see a reconciliation between Sunni and Shia? We're talking years, possibly generations for that to change, aren't we?
Later, looking ahead to tonight's Dem debate, Geist's focus was on which candidate could extricate us from Iraq fastest.
GEIST: Which [candidate] gives you the best sense that they will help us end this war, get us out of there?
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," reporter Jake Tapper used the story that Rudy Giuliani’s daughter had joined a pro-Barack Obama Facebook group as a segue to recount the travails of other presidential children. Somehow, his list of wayward youths included only the offspring of famous Republican politicians, while ignoring Democratic embarrassments, such as the recent drug arrest of Al Gore III.
Additionally, GMA anchor Diane Sawyer closed the segment by discussing parent/child relationships with guest host George Stephanopoulos. Sawyer mentioned how she fought with her father, a Republican judge, over politics:
Diane Sawyer: "...I remember what a hard time I gave my father about politics."
Yesterday I wrote a piece about reporter Mika Brzezinski's handling of a story that reflected a political double standard on her part. While hosting MSNBC's "Morning Joe" for the vacationing Joe Scarborough, Brzezinski aired a video of a female reporter chasing after Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Before she could catch up with the mayor however, the reporter was intercepted by a very large security guard and sent barreling into the side of what appeared to be a nearby dumpster. At the time Brzezinski brushed off the incident as "not that pressing," in stark contrast to the seemingly endless attention the David Vitter scandal received on "Morning Joe" throughout July. This morning however, Brzezinski seems to have changed her mind and now believes "That story's important."
For a little context, Villaraigosa, a Democrat, has been under scrutiny since he confessed to an affair with Spanish language reporter, Mirthala Salinas. Not surprisingly, Salinas received special access to the mayor during their affair.
Yesterday, after airing the video, Brzezinski gave her opinion as to the newsworthiness of the story. Here is her quote from the August 7 show:
Don't get me wrong. I like that mainstream media do take some efforts to report more religion and faith news items these days, including blogs like "The Seeker" at Chicago Tribune's home on the Web and the ongoing "On Faith" feature hosted by the Washington Post and Newsweek.
Let's say you are a scandal-ridden governor looking for some love. Where would you find it? Well, if you are New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, aka Steamroller Spitzer, immersed in a scandal that threatens to destroy your political career, you go looking for love in the Daily Kos with a divorced from reality "Happy Talk" blog post that makes no mention any pending unpleasantries. Spitzer's "Happy Talk" love fest on the Daily Kos will have no effect in stopping the scandal investigations but perhaps it is temporarily therapeutic to brag about himself to his fellow leftists in his blog post titled, Congratulations on a Great Weekend :
While we are seeing a mounting reform movement at the national level, I would also urge you to be aware of some of the important developments that are occurring in statehouses across the country. There are some exciting things happening, demonstrating that your activism is also paying dividends at the state level.
Once again the Associated Press give us more of its prosaic brand of "unfair and unbalanced" news with a Jesse Jackson anti-gun story that doesn't offer a single word to counter his propaganda, their report doesn't present even a hint that there is any "side" but the anti-gun position. We aren't shocked at this, of course, but it needs to be pointed out for the record nonetheless.
Jackson faces a trial and possible jail time for his absurd June 23rd picketing of a gun shop in Riverdale, a suburb of Chicago. During the effort to disrupt the shop's business Jackson and his cohorts illegally blocked the entrance to the establishment an action that resulted in his arrest for trespassing.
As the AP reports on Jackson's first appearance in court to face these charges, they made all efforts to make Jackson seem the righteous actor, unruffled and heroic. AP even decided he was "relaxed-looking" is his appearance.
As laid out in this video, entrants are asked the following in order to receive $100,000 while, at the same time, saving Al Gore from looking like one of the biggest charlatans to ever walk the face of the planet:
Can't say we haven't seen this before: Scott Thomas Beauchamp, a writer for the New Republic, has recanted his tales of American military savagery according to the Weekly Standard (h/t Powerline):
The Weekly Standard has learned from a military source close to the investigation that Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp--author of the much-disputed "Shock Troops" article in the New Republic's July 23 issue as well as two previous "Baghdad Diarist" columns--signed a sworn statement admitting that all three articles he published in the New Republic were exaggerations and falsehoods--fabrications containing only "a smidgen of truth," in the words of our source.
A former member of the Clinton administration, and current Senior Fellow at the virtual Clinton think tank the Center for American Progress, claimed Monday that global warming might have played a factor in the collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis last week.
I kid you not.
Writing at Climate Progress, the global warming blog of CAP, Joseph Romm - who served as Acting Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy in 1997 and as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary from 1995 though 1998 - stated in a piece amazingly entitled "Did Climate Change Contribute To The Minneapolis Bridge Collapse?" (emphasis added throughout):
Editorial page editor Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal Constitution was asked why letters that are "factually inaccurate" are allowed into the newspaper. I had long assumed it was the same reason stories that are factually inaccurate are used in the newspaper, but not-so says Tucker: "We live in such a politically polarized age that not everybody agrees on the facts. My letters policy tends to be a bit looser than those of some other editorial page editors."
This includes "Readers who still believe Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that they were taking to Syria are allowed to express that view even though it is clearly not true." As you may recall, I addressed this "inaccuracy" once before for ACLU president turned journalist, Robyn Blumner.
George Ou reports that Dateline NBC investigative "journalist" Michelle Madigan was run out on a rail when she tried to infiltrate DEFCON in Las Vegas, the convention for hackers and security specialists, hoping to catch someone admitting to a crime. This is the same group of people who play "spot the spook" at their yearly conventions, so Michelle never had a chance. This all came after DEFCON organizers gave her four chances to register as press. Instead, Madigan made reference to how "people in Kansas" would be interested in what the hackers were up to (Kansas being the reference to the fly-over area between LA and NY) and then made a trip to the restroom to get her pinhole camera running.
A pronounced example of how bad news is news and good news is much less newsworthy: On Friday night, ABC and NBC teased full stories on the 281 point plunge that day in the Dow Jones average, but on Monday, after the Dow rebounded by five points greater than Friday's loss in the biggest one-day gain in five years, the networks limited coverage to a few seconds. “The stock market stumbles again today exposing fault lines in the nation's housing market,” ABC's Charles Gibson teased a full story Friday night on the stock market and troubles in the mortgage industry which he introduced by emphasizing how “the gains of the past couple of days were more than wiped out by a dramatic late-day sell-off.” But on Monday night, Gibson didn't tease the rebound news and held coverage to barely 20 seconds.
Brian Williams teased Friday's NBC Nightly News: “Stocks slide again on Wall Street. What is spooking the market tonight as we head into the weekend?” Williams spent a minute-and-half with CNBC's Jim Cramer discussing reasons for the plunge, but on Monday fill-in anchor Ann Curry gave the good news just 20 seconds, not counting time for more bad news: The bankruptcy filing by American Home Mortgage. CBS's Katie Couric on Friday only devoted 25 seconds to how “investors headed for the exits, and the Dow plunged 281 points. So, since hitting a record high 14,000 two weeks ago, the Dow has now given up more than 800 points.” On Monday, however, she squeezed in a piddling eight seconds on the rebound, not counting unemployment news and a note about American Home Mortgage.