Wishy washy mayor Ray Nagin said hurricanes are messages that God is mad at us for being in Iraq, and that New Orleans will be "chocolate" again (is that what you call it?) Don't worry, the media will only portray Pat Robertson as crazy for purporting to know what God is thinking.
Al Gore is on a rampage claiming that George Bush is a criminal for
There were no Democrats involved with the Abramoff probe? After reading the latest online NYT assesment of the facts, you'd think that.
Ladies and Gentlemen - we have entered the twilight zone. In their ongoing efforts to obscure the depth and bipartisan nature of the congressional corruption scandal, the New York Times shows itself to be little more than a public relations organ of the Democrat Party. Committing the sin of omission once again, a piece on the Abramoff probe by Anne Kornblut neglects to implicate any Democrats in the scandal, instead focusing on slicing and dicing Bob Ney. The Grey Lady accomplishes this by dumping every allegation made in Abramoff's plea agreement all over the pages, mixed with the filtered responses of anyone who might support him (including his lawyer, who is quoted once with two sentences).
On "Good Morning America" today, the 8 AM newscast had a few embarrassing errors. News anchor Kate Snow stumbled as she explained that today's NASA mission to Pluto will be powered by "24 pounds of plutonium" -- "I'll have to check that," she said as she read through it. (Doesn't she read through the news a time or two before taking the newscast on air?) At newscast's end, she said my bad, yes, it's 24 pounds. Obviously, Kate Snow is literally not a rocket (or nuclear) scientist. At least she didn't highlight the liberal angle of anti-nuke protesters.
Then entertainment critic Joel Siegel arrived on the Golden Globe beat, noting that Philip Seymour Hoffman, Reese Witherspoon, and Joaquin Phoenix all won awards last night for playing real people whose last name starts with C. He then suggested it could mean Oscar magic for the actors, since Jamie Foxx won last year for playing, he claimed -- "Johnny Cash." Oops. That would have been a real actor's challenge. But he didn't correct it to Ray Charles. ABC whistled past it.
The demonstrators' signs read "Withdraw the Terrorist US Army", so naturally I assumed it was a DNC event, perhaps with John Kerry and Al Gore leading the way. But no, turns out that for the second day running the Today show devoted an extended first segment to the attempted strike on Zawahiri and the harm it might have done to our relations with Pakistan.
Katie Couric introduced the piece, labeling it "collateral damage in the war on terror," and noting "one thing is for sure, the attack killed women and children and has put a strain on the relationship between the US and this key ally."
FNC’s Brit Hume on Monday night picked up on how, in trying to smear Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito as a bigot, Senator Ted Kennedy, in a quote showcased by many media outlets, read from what was really a satire. Hume noted how at the hearings last week Kennedy read this from a magazine published by Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP): “People nowadays just don't seem to know their place. Everywhere one turns, blacks and Hispanics are demanding jobs simply because they're black and Hispanic.” Hume informed his viewers: “But the magazine's editor at the time says the article was pure satire, a send-up of what liberals think conservatives think. He added quote, 'I think left-wing groups have been feeding Senator Kennedy snippets and he has been mindlessly reciting them,' unquote." As Tim Graham noted in a Friday NewsBusters item, in his ABCNews.com blog that day, Jake Tapper first reported how Dinesh D’Souza, the editor to whom Hume referred, had let him know that the 1983 piece in Prospect magazine was satire.
Last week, NBC, CNN and the Washington Post -- amongst many other outlets -- highlighted Kennedy’s reading of the quote, which he displayed on a board behind him, yet none, as far as I’ve observed, have offered any clarification. NBC’s Pete Williams featured the Kennedy soundbite on Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News and Thursday’s Today; CNN’s Bob Franken recited it himself on Thursday’s American Morning; and two Thursday Washington Post stories quoted Kennedy’s citation of the quote. (Rundown follows.)
NBC and ABC on Monday night gave time to short items on Al Gore's charge, leveled during a morning speech, that President Bush's “domestic surveillance” means he “has been breaking the law repeatedly and insistently." And MSNBC's Countdown led with it as host Keith Olbermann showcased a clip of Gore with his allegation before Olbermann insisted: "Just more old-fashioned partisanship? Not when it's Bob Barr joining Gore in the same complaint about NSA spying. Not when it's Arlen Specter calling for a full investigation." Seeing great import in the Gore-Barr alliance, Olbermann ruminated about how “the creations of the last two serious third political parties in this country define the cliche politics makes strange bedfellows.” Seemingly suggesting a potential repeat scenario, Olbermann recalled how in 1854 Republicans “started as a third party with disaffected Democrats abandoning their own sitting President and the Whigs, who had been in office until a year earlier, deserting en masse, putting aside their personal hatreds to create a one-issue party against slavery.”
NBC anchor Brian Williams relayed how “Gore made some of the toughest charges yet from a prominent Democrat. He called for an independent investigation of the NSA spy program which he called a threat to the very structure of our government." After a clip of Gore's declaration, “What we do know about this pervasive wiretapping virtually compels the conclusion that the President of the United States has been breaking the law [rising applause] repeatedly and insistently," Williams offered no contrary view and then passed along how "Al Gore noted that he gave the speech on Martin Luther King Day because Dr. King himself had been a victim of illegal domestic spying by the FBI." But in holding the FBI accountable for the “spying,” Williams obscured who was behind it: Liberal heroes Lyndon Johnson and Robert Kennedy. ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas at least pointed out that while “Gore called for an independent counsel to investigate the program,” it's a policy “which the administration has said is, in fact, legal." (Transcripts follow.)
A Saturday New York Times editorial, “A Home for the Drawing Center,” celebrates the fact that a left-wing museum, originally to be located at Ground Zero, has found a new home in Manhattan, and accuses opponents of the project of opposing free speech.
“The Drawing Center, of course, was once part of other plans to rebuild Lower Manhattan. It was going to inhabit a planned cultural center at ground zero, until, in a memorable spasm of apparently unscripted patriotism, Gov. George Pataki made it impossible for the center to remain. If nothing else, the battle over culture at ground zero made it perfectly clear that Governor Pataki favors free speech, but only if it takes place in another part of town.”
Winston Churchill was once quoted as saying that "a fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." Whether it's an actual Churchill quote or not, I'm not certain. I am certain, however, that it's an apt description of the Associated Press. They are, and have been, obsessed with the Bush administration's war on terrorism, and have repeatedly gone out of their way to drag in unrelated items to use as clubs against the Bush administration. I tire of writing that "the AP is at it again," but the AP is at it again.
Yesterday on Face the Nation Bob Schieffer asked Dianne Feinstein if she would support a filibuster. Despite the fact that she said Alito was "qualified", Feinstein has allowed her politics to dictate a "no vote" for Alito as she said that there most likely wouldn't be a filibuster.
When the administration tried to buck up troop morale by warning that some of the war's critics go too far, NBC's David Gregory had a hissy fit and portrayed the administration as the thought police. On this morning's Today Matt Lauer introduced Gregory's piece that aired in the 7am half hour: "On Close Up this morning is all fair in love and war? Not according to President Bush. The President says it's okay for Democrats to criticize the war in Iraq as long as they don't go too far." Gregory, apparently offended that someone other than the MSM or the Democrats was trying to set the agenda opened: "Good morning to you Matt. Well in this election year with the debate over the war bound to intensify you said it the President is now attempting to preempt his Democratic critics by demanding that they disagree responsibly. It's the President's executive order to war critics: don't cross the line."
Just a heads up for a great piece on the New York Times’ latest entry into the “liberal phony photo-journalism posing as editorial content” category.
Kudos to Thomas Lifson of The American Thinker who has busted the Old Grey Lady once again:
Is a fake staged photo fit to print? What if it staged in a way that makes the US forces fighting the War on Terror look cruel and ineffective? The evidence argues that yes, it can run, and in a prominent position - at least in the case of the New York Times website.
Interviewing liberal Republican Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter on Sunday’s This Week, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos devoted all of his questions about the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, to chafing over his position on abortion and how he will make the Court “more conservative.” Stephanopoulos first asked: “You are pro-choice and you’re voting for Judge Alito. Does that mean you’re convinced he won't vote to overturn Roe v. Wade?” Next, Stephanopoulos worried that, unlike, Chief Justice John Roberts, Alito “wouldn't use the word 'settled law’ to describe Roe v. Wade. And despite your best efforts, he also wouldn't describe it as a 'super-super precedent,’ so he did seem to leave a lot of wiggle room there.” Stephanopoulos then pointed out the guidance offered by the New York Times: “The New York Times editorial page said that abortion rights supporters like you should not be able to support Judge Alito in good conscience. How do you respond?” In his fourth and last question on the hearings, before moving on to “eavesdropping,” Stephanopoulos fretted: “Isn't it very likely that now with Judge Roberts, and the likely confirmation of Judge Alito, that the Supreme Court is going to shift in a more conservative direction?” (Transcript follows.)
Drudge notes that AP media reporter David Bauder wrote up former CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite's latest call for American withdrawal, meeting with reporters in Pasadena, California:
Former CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, whose 1968 conclusion that the Vietnam War was unwinnable keenly influenced public opinion then, said Sunday he'd say the same thing today about Iraq. "It's my belief that we should get out now," Cronkite said in a meeting with reporters.
Several on the left have been begging around to find a "Cronkite moment" that would tip the momentum in Iraq into abject withdrawal, and Cronkite probably figured he was the best person to attempt another Cronkite moment. He proclaimed that it was one of his proudest moments to tell the nation in an anchorman's commentary that the Vietnam war "was unwinnable and that the U.S. should exit. "
Tasteless personal attacks are nothing new on Air America Radio, but some deserve special mentioning. Coming out of a taped skit at the beginning of the second hour of her afternoon show on Friday (January 13, 2005), here's the incomparable Randi Rhodes (emphasis mine / audiotape on file):
Okay, please take this with a grain of Cheesehead salt, but um, I have a reason why conservatives could root for the Carolina Panthers against those dreaded Chicago Bears today. Bears QB Kyle Orton? Big liberal. In the midst of some research into the weird absence of the words "Kerry" and "Hillary" within 50 words of each other in the fall of 2004, I came across this USA Today piece, where an Orton teammate at Purdue related, "He said that if John Kerry doesn't get elected, he's going to throw himself headlong into the Hillary Clinton camp." The report had more detail:
Now he understands that Orton's success on the football field could one day be seen as the introduction of an ambitious liberal democrat to a larger audience.
Once might be excused as an aberration. Twice signals a troubling trend.
On Saturday, Julian Phillips - the over-promoted host of Fox & Friends Weekend - downplayed the threat posed by Iran's nuclear ambitions. He implied that there was limited cause for concern since Iran has agreed to allow International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to carry out surprise inspections of its nuclear sites with as little as two hours notice.
On Sunday, Phillips was back at it . His guest was Barry Schweid, senior diplomatic correspondent for AP and a Fox News contributor. And once again, Phillips trotted out his pet theory:
"They agreed to protocols with the UN in 2003 for snap inspections in two hours or less. Why are these inspections not enough?"
A little religion-news blogging before church on a Sunday morning...One liberal Web site devoted to religion and the news media is called The Revealer, operated by Jeff Sharlet, author of "Killing the Buddha: A Heretic's Bible." (It's been favorably compared as spiritual writing on a plane with the oh-so-spiritual....Jack Kerouac.) But I find the site a useful window on the religion-and-the-news debate. Some times, I find useful tidbits where I didn't expect it: I've now discovered on the rebound that Planned Parenthood has now turned Michelangelo's portrait of God touching fingers with Adam to....have God handing Adam a condom. That's at least as outrageous as anything Pat Robertson says.
In the aftermath of a U.S. air strike in Pakistan targeting Osama bin Laden's righthand man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, ABC's World News Tonight played up Pakistani anger at America over the operation on its Saturday January 14 show. Anchor Dan Harris prominently featured Pakistani "outrage and condemnation" at the attack and introduced reporter John Yang's piece on the subject intoning that "there is most definitely a reaction in Pakistan, and it's an angry one." ABC also downplayed the importance of killing the senior al-Qaeda member, with Yang calling a potential kill a "largely symbolic victory."
With the words "Attack Condemned" featured on-screen, Harris teased the January 14 show: "Taking aim at al-Qaeda's number two man: The U.S. government doesn't know yet whether it hit its target, but in Pakistan tonight, this attack is provoking outrage and condemnation." After leading with a story on the CDC's warning on drug-resistant flu strains, Harris set up reporter John Yang to focus on Pakistani anger toward the U.S., ending his introduction by noting that "there is most definitely a reaction in Pakistan, and it's an angry one." While Harris read his introduction, the words "Attack Condemned" again appeared, this time in the background, above a photograph of targeted al-Qaeda leader Zawahiri.
I'd like to add a word or two on the Washington Post's pickup today of the CNSNews.com story on John Murtha's medals. First, kudos to the Post for not ignoring the story, which it certainly could have done. (We all remember ABC going about three weeks with its fingers in its ears during the Swift Boat vets fight in 2004.) But the headline? "Web Site Attacks Critic of War." That's reasonably bland. But is that the way they see investigative journalism when they do it? "Post Attacks Tom DeLay"? Did they cover the CBS Memogate story as "CBS Attacks George W. Bush"? Or is there simply a story there to be told?
The story by Howard Kurtz and Shailagh Murray recounts the Murtha story well enough, and reasonably explains what CNSNews.com is all about. I think it's a little gratuitous to add that the site "averages 110,000 readers, mainly conservative, and provides material for other Web sites such as GOPUSA." Would Kurtz say the Post "averages a million readers, mainly liberals"? Would it go through the list of publications that buy Post articles through the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service or the Washington Post Writers Group for clues as to how liberal the newspaper is? (This was quickly used by lefty bloggers to tie CNS to "Jeff Gannon," the White House reporter they destroyed, although there's no real professional tie other than the Internet location.)
Mr. In Denial himself, Eric Alterman, is set to debate with Tucker Carlson over media bias. Alterman's take: "There’s no question that television leans rightward rather than leftward" and that "liberal points of view are underrepresented on national and cable news television."
Some other comical quotes from Alterman about this "bias":
“I would say that right-wingers, like Bill O’Reilly, like Rush Limbaugh, like Sean Hannity, definitely dominate the discourse on television.”
While Bill and Sean may "dominate the discourse" on FOX News, I hardly doubt that they dominate the discourse on CBS News, ABC News, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The L.A. Times, The A.P., Reuters, USA Today, and every other media outlet, which Alterman fails to find an example of conservative bias coming from them. And even then, Alterman is comparing political talk shows to the Media that is supposedly presented in an unbiased fashion. Also, I wonder how Rush Limbaugh dominates discourse on T.V., unless Alterman was taking Rush's "show prep for the media" really, really seriously.
On tonight's edition of Hardball, host Chris Matthews makes it look like that we would not being this way if it wasn't for the oil resources in Iraq. His proof? Because Vice President Cheney CEO of Halliburton.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Why is the President saying it's wrong to say this war was about oil or Israel. I can see where the Israel part would be sensitive, but why is he denying this was about oil? Does he think anybody think we would go into Iraq if it was down in the Congo or Bolivia. It's oil that makes that such a sensitive area, isn't it?
RICHARD HAASS: On one level, you're right. It's the strategic background to everything we do in the Persian Gulf. But it is fair to say that oil was not the thing that led the United States to pull the trigger. The people who are arguing for this war were not basing it on access to oil. They were arguing it on weapons of mass destruction, on the idea we would transform Iraq or the region politically. This was not a war about control of oil.
MATTHEWS: Even though there were promises made around the edges that we would get cheaper gas?
HAASS: Some people thought that. But as you know now, it's producing less oil been of that the war it was never a war about gaining oil supplies. It's always the left that talks about the economic motives to American foreign policy. The kind of thing the Marxists did for years, they were wrong then and they're wrong now.American foreign policy -- for better or for worse -- tends to be motivated by ideas, not things like oil.
MATTHEWS: Do you think that's true of Cheney?
HAASS: Very much.
MATTHEWS: Really? I think of the first resident Bush and Jimmy Baker who said the issue of going into Iraq the first time was jobs, jobs, jobs, he was right there saying it wasw about oil. These are guys from the oil patch. You've got a Vice President from Halliburton. You're telling me this has nothing to do with oil, that fact that we're over there fighting these wars?
During the time Matthews was going on about his conspiracy theories of why (the last thing he said) we're over there because of oil, Richard Haass was laughing.
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Marc Morano and Randy Hall at CNSNews.com also discovered that John Murtha has a past resembling John Kerry in telling different stories about his war wounds and a politicized process at seeking out Purple Hearts for surface wounds that did not require evacuation from the combat zone:
A Cybercast News Service investigation also reveals that one of Murtha's former Democratic congressional colleagues and a fellow decorated Vietnam veteran, Don Bailey of Pennsylvania, alleges that Murtha admitted during an emotional conversation on the floor of the U.S. House in the early 1980s that he did not deserve his Purple Hearts.
"[Murtha] is putting himself forward as some combat veteran with serious wounds and he's using that and it's dishonest and it's wrong," Bailey told Cybercast News Service on Jan. 9. Murtha served in the Marines on active duty and in the reserves from 1952 until his retirement as a colonel in 1990. He volunteered for service in Vietnam and was a First Marine Regiment intelligence officer in 1966 and 1967.
Judging by her comments on this morning's Fox & Friends, a five-week hiatus to attend to a detached retina has done nothing to mollify Ellen Ratner's malice. Only the bitterest of partisans would have said this, as did Ratner, of Mrs. Alito's very public distress at her husband's treatment at the hands of Senate Dems:
"Washington is a tough game. If you cannot play it, you shouldn't be in it."
Perhaps realizing that she had pushed the acrimony meter too far, Ratner added some boiler plate about "feeling sorry" for Mrs. Alito. But the cat was already out of the bag as to what was truly in Ratner's heart.
While the liberal media laud John Murtha so vigorously that their hearts almost glow out of their chests like E.T., some reporters have looked back to the larger career of John Murtha. At CNSNews.com (the online news outfit of the MRC), reporters Randy Hall and Marc Morano are relaying new information about Murtha's role in the FBI's Abscam sting -- the big scandal that forgetful reporters now say was the last big congressional scandal before Jack Abramoff's plea bargains.
Members of the press have given extensive and glowing coverage to Rep. John Murtha's criticism of the war in Iraq, but have overlooked a number of other controversies the Pennsylvania Democrat has experienced over the past 25 years. This includes his reported role as an un-indicted co-conspirator in the Abscam bribery scandal of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
You know the Ted, Chuck & Joe Show flopped when even Chris Matthews accuses the Dems of "buffoonery" in the Alito hearings. Yet that is exactly what Matthews did in his appearance on this morning's Today show:
"I don't think any points were scored by the Democrats. There was a lot of buffoonery by Democratic senators."
For whatever reason, Matthews was on his most 'fair & balanced' behavior. For example, in discussing Pres. Bush's joint appearance with German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday, Matthews described Merkel's predecessor, the left-wing Gerhard Schroeder, as "very obnoxious," having taken "one cheap shot after another at us" and exploited our tribulations in Iraq for his own political gain.
On Friday's Countdown show, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann questioned whether the leaking of an FBI investigation of terror suspects who tried to buy untraceable cell phones from Target and Wal-Mart stores was timed to bolster the administration's case for its controversial NSA wiretapping program. The Countdown host, who has a history of questioning whether the Bush administration politically times terror alerts to distract attention from events embarassing to the administration (see NewsBusters postings covering his Oct. 11 and Oct. 12 shows for details), made known his latest suspicions: "Reassure me it only looks too convenient to be believed." While interviewing Time magazine's Mike Allen, Olbermann proclaimed that "the administration sure gets a lot of these breaks. Their position is challenged, and then suddenly there is a hazy story about something that seems to at least tangentially justify that position."
Olbermann relayed to the audience that the recent leak by FBI sources, first reported by ABC News, regarding the arrests of terror suspects who had bought mass quantities of untraceable, disposable cell phones coincides with the NSA whistleblower who "suggests the illicit tapping of American phones is thousands of times larger and thousands of times less focused than the President claims." Olbermann reasoned that the story, if true, "makes the wiretapping look like a good idea and its leakers look like they've already helped terrorists outsmart the eavesdropping."
You can’t swing a dead cat lately without smacking into an article concerning Congressman John Murtha’s (D-Pennsylvania) view of the necessity to withdraw American troops from Iraq. In fact, as reported by the MRC’s Brent Baker, Murtha is going to be on CBS’s “60 Minutes” discussing exactly that on Sunday with none other than Mike Wallace. However, for some reason, that same demised feline has little chance of ever coming in contact with a report of the Congressman’s proclivities to take funds from Washington lobbyists. Today, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette broke ranks from the mainstream media in this regard.
In an article entitled “Santorum Reaps Money From Lobbyists,” the Post-Gazette’s Maeve Reston led with the revelation that Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania) has taken more money from Washington lobbyists in the 2006 election cycle than anyone else on Capitol Hill. However:
The media’s idolizing of Democratic Congressman John Murtha, who in November advocated withdrawing from Iraq, will continue on Sunday’s 60 Minutes, which will feature a segment on him and his supposedly prescient forecast that most troops will soon leave Iraq, by Mike Wallace, a journalist who has already made clear that he shares Murtha’s view of the war. In late November on FNC, Wallace contended that "Iraq is becoming a kind of Vietnam" and asserted that "we should never have gone into Iraq. We were sold a bill of goods." Back in 2004 at a Smithsonian forum, Wallace argued that “this is not, in my estimation, a good war” and declared that “it sure is not a noble enterprise.'"
Previewing, on Friday's CBS Evening News the Sunday 60 Minutes segment, Wallace bucked up Murtha’s credibility by touting how he “is a decorated veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He was a Marine for 37 years, knows a lot about the military, been a Congressman for 32 years, so he knows a bit about politics, too.” And “based on all of that, he told us that most American troops will be out of Iraq a lot sooner than we think." The brief excerpt from the Sunday 60 Minutes piece focused on Murtha’s prediction that by the end of the year the “vast majority” of troops will be out of Iraq. Wallace relayed: “Murtha told us that mounting pressure from constituents in this election year will force the Congress to pass his withdrawal plan or something like it to bring the troops home." I’d bet the full 13-14 minute version on Sunday night, which is previewed on CBSNews.com, will include a lot more admiration for Murtha and his cause. (Transcripts of the CBS Evening News story, as well as Wallace’s comments about Iraq, follow.)
At an event attended by Hillary Clinton, Harry Belafonte said that President Bush has begun to "suspend our Constitution" and that doing so is an "act of terror." The pop singer made these comments after giving a speech at a children’s charity dinner. The exchange was reported on the January 13th edition of Fox and Friends, at 7:08AM EST. Co-hosts Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade and E.D. Hill began by discussing Mr. Belafonte’s earlier comments, where he referred to the President as "the greatest terrorist in the world." (Noel Sheppard reported this story for Newsbusters.) Ms. Hill set up the new Belafonte statements by saying, "You know what we did? We sent someone from Fox News Channel to go find out if that’s what he really meant to say." Mr. Belafonte told FNC: