A federal appeals court today overturned a Carter-appointed judge's opinion last August that the National Security Agency's terrorist surveillance program, dubbed by opponents as "domestic spying," was unconstitutional. Eleven months ago, the media latched on to the decision as a "major legal defeat" for the Bush administration, with CNN's Jack Cafferty crowing about how the decision proved "President Bush violated his oath of office, among other things, when he swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States."
Both ABC and MSNBC hosted constitutional lawyer Jonathan Turley, who suggested the President should be impeached as a result of the ruling.
Amazing! Not all rock stars are slaves to their own celebrity. The British band Arctic Monkeys will not be taking part in Live Earth tomorrow because, in their words, they don't want to be "patronizing" or "hypocritical."
It's a bit patronising for us 21 year olds to try to start to change the world," said Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders, explaining why the group is not on the bill at any of Al Gore's charity concerts.
"Especially when we're using enough power for 10 houses just for (stage) lighting. It'd be a bit hypocritical," he told AFP in an interview before a concert in Paris.
Bass player Nick O'Malley chimes in: "And we're always jetting off on aeroplanes!"
Most right-thinking people that have been following the goings on of soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore and his sycophant devotees have been having a lot of fun pointing out the hypocrisies in the upcoming Live Earth concerts.
Even better than this being accomplised by conservatives, a truly delicious irony has been identified by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals concerning vendors selling hamburgers and hot dogs at the event.
As reported by Britain’s Life Style Extra (emphasis added throughout, strap on your seatbelts!):
As noted here, MSNBC's John Ridley went off on Al Gore this morning, suggesting he should hug his kid rather than the planet, save his son, not ice caps. But NBC's "Today" offered up a more predictable MSM response, as the show sought to downplay the Gore incident by pointing to Republican politicians whose kids have caused trouble, while praising Chelsea Clinton as unusually mature.
Introducing the segment, Meredith Vieira shifted the spotlight from Gore's situation to the broader issues.
'TODAY' CO-HOST MEREDITH VIEIRA: And now to politicians and their children. It's tough being a parent, and as former Vice-Pesident Al Gore learned this week, it's even tougher when you're in the public eye and your child makes a big mistake.
NBC reporter John Yang, who narrated the segment, was also in an understanding mood.
YANG: The arrest of his son and namesake on drug charges is giving former Vice-President Al Gore a lesson that millions of parents have learned before.
Cut to a clip of presidential historian Allan Lichtman, happy to let Al off the hook: "There are things you can control, and things you can't control in your own children's conduct." Roll footage of the Bush daughters, including the shot shown here of Jenna.
YANG: The saga of Al Gore III is just the latest example of politicians being embarrassed by their children, something that seems to be part of the political landscape. President Bush's twin daughters gained notoriety with citations for underage drinking.
John Ridley might be an NPR regular, someone who says he likes the "center-left" and even professes admiration for Al Gore's work. But that didn't stop the "Morning Joe" panel member from ripping Gore on the MSNBC show this morning at 7:20 a.m. EDT for his choice of continuing his Live Earth concert tour rather than being at the side of his troubled son.
A clip was aired of Gore telling MSNBC's Chris Jansing that despite his son's latest run-in, his plans hadn't changed to attend the series of Live Earth concerts around the world. In a mantra reminiscent of his "no controlling legal authority" line from years ago regarding questionable fund-raising, Gore informed Jansing and other media that he was treating his son's situation as "a private family matter." Ridley went off on an extended tirade. Excerpts:
MORNING JOE PANEL MEMBER JOHN RIDLEY: Why isn't he with his son? He's in New York yesterday doing all these media hits. His son is in California. If my son were in crisis, I would be home with my son.
Former Vice President Al Gore poses for a photograph beside Live Earth's Seven Point Pledge at the end of a news conference Thursday June 28, 2007 in New York announcing a series of commitments that Live Earth will be asking people across the globe to make to combat the climate crisis. Live Earth is a music event that will take place in more than 100 nations around the world on July 7, 2007 to combat the climate crisis.
Wow...Enrique Iglesias is the first Western pop singer to perform in Syria in over 30 years. Notwithstanding the obvious danger Igliesias faced by traveling to the region, this article (written by the AP's Samar Kassabli) is laugh-worthy in that it sidesteps reasons why Western entertainers might be avoiding it:
Although Syria is rich with culture, historic and tourist sites, Western celebrities have largely stayed away from the autocratic country for years.
However, Syria has been taking small steps to open up the Socialist-style economy and allow greater opportunities and access to information for young people
London-based New York Times reporter Alan Cowell was no fan of Tony Blair's support for George Bush and the Iraq War -- he particularly enjoyed repeating left-wing anti-war mockery of Blair as "Bush's poodle."
"Before Gordon Brown took power as Britain's new prime minister, there was much talk about whether the electorate would warm to the dour, methodical and detail-driven Scot, particularly after so many years of soaring oratory from his predecessor, Tony Blair
“If you can find money to kill people [referring to money spent to fight World War II], you can find money to help people,” said Tony Benn, a former Member of Parliament, in Michael Moore’s movie “Sicko.”
The Times said that the eight suspects involved in the recent British terror plots, “are all young, Muslim and connected to the medical profession. But they come from Jordan, Iraq, other Middle Eastern countries and India …”
Today's release of the Institute for Supply Management's Non-Manufacturing Activity Report, which measures business conditions in the 86% of the economy other than manufacturing, came in with a reading of 60.7, after recording a 59.7 last month.
This was the 51st consecutive reported month of expansion for the Non-Manufacturing Index (any reading above 50 indicates expansion). It comes on the heels of Monday's ISM Manufacturing Report, which came in at 56, marking the 47th month of expansion in that index in the past 49 months.
So 14% of the economy is expanding nicely, while the other 86% can fairly be said to be nearly booming. Who knew?
(The rest of the post has the detail, including an era-by-era chart.)
American foolish enough to read anything by the clearly anti-Bush McClatchy news service were treated to an astoundingly disgraceful Independence Day gift Wednesday with an article that blamed all the problems in Gaza on – wait for it – the White House (h/t Dan Gainor).
In this smear piece published on the occasion of our nation’s 231st birthday, the hits started right in the glorious headline: “How U.S. policy missteps led to a nasty downfall in Gaza; Plan to isolate Hamas boomeranged.”
Isn’t that special? Alas, that was only the beginning (emphasis added throughout):
In an interview published today in the Tampa Tribune, Meredith Vieira talks about how wonderful her two jobs are, co-hosting NBC's "Today" and hosting the game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." In particular, she loves the "switching gears" aspect of the stories she covers on "Today":
She says 'Today' is a great challenge 'because you can go from reporting on the presidential pardon of Scooter Libby to grilling hamburgers outside on the patio - from one kind of grilling to another - and I love that. Switching gears makes it so much fun.'
Presidential pardon? Pardon me? President Bush did not pardon Libby, he commuted his sentence. There is a huge difference between a pardon and a commutation. The felony conviction is still on his record, along with the huge fine he was ordered to pay, and he still faces the possibility of having his law license revoked. The only difference is that Libby won't have to serve jail time. And while the White House says a full pardon has not been ruled out, it hasn't happened yet.
Is it just me, or did the Bloomberg "news" service just release a hit piece on Senator Fred Thompson disguised as a bio on the Senator just in time for a Michael Bloomberg entrance into the race as an independent presidential candidate? On June 28th Bloomberg writers Kim Chapman and Julianna Goldman brought us "Thompson's Backers Check His 'Fire in the Belly' for 2008 Race", a piece that reads more like a long series of snide undercuts of Thompson than any serious report on his status as a candidate. The duo exploits every single detraction thrown at the Senator since his days in the Senate leaving the speculation that he is left wanting standing like the elephant in the room.
They begin by making Thompson's whole life seem like one undeserved, happy accident after another saying that the man has "ascended without much apparent effort" to his place in life. It doesn't seem to occur to our two intrepid reporterettes that making something seem effortless doesn't necessarily mean it was so. After all, Fred Thompson did at the very least pass the bar exam, not something so easily done by just anyone. (Chicago's Mayor Richard M. Daley, for instance, took the bar exam 5 times before he passed and his daddy, Richard J. Daley, was the most corrupt and powerful man since Huey Long and could easily have fenagled his son's sudden passing grades if he'd have wanted to, fer gosh sakes!) Someone should inform our feminine cynics that it is usually a mark of excellence when someone makes something look easy, not one of accidental "ascendance."
Michael Yon doesn't have an answer (HT to NewsBuster reader "acumen") as to why Old Media won't cover the Al Qaeda massacre of a small village near Baqubah, Iraq that he reported earlier this week (related NewsBusters posts are here and here):
Coordinates to the area of the gravesites are MC 679 381.
In my dispatch, I reported that six people were killed, but mentioned that Iraqi soldiers were still digging out bodies when I left. A few hours ago, Colonel Hiduit put the number at 10-14, and said the search for bodies had ended. I made video of the graves, bodies and of interviews with Iraqi and American soldiers while we still were at the scene and have been working to make material from this available on this website.
..... But for those publications who actually had people embedded in Baqubah when the story first broke and still failed to cover it, their malaise is inexplicable. I do not know why all failed to report the murders and booby-trapped village: apparently no reporters bothered to go out there, even though it’s only about 3.5 miles from this base. Any one of the reporters currently in Baqubah could still go to these coordinates and follow his or her nose and find the gravesites.
NB contributor Bob Owens has a great piece over at Pajamas Media on how he helped spot yet another instance of the Western press getting snookered by a fake news story promulgated by terrorists in Iraq. Once again, the media's desire to portray Iraq as a total disaster let them get tricked:
On Thursday, June 28, The Associated Press—and to a lesser extent,
Reuters, and a small independent Iraqi news agency—ran stories claiming
that 20 decapitated bodies had been found on or near the banks of the
Tigris River in Um al-Abeed, a village near Salman Pak, southeast of
By 8:10, Thursday morning, I’d fired off the first of a series of
queries to Multi-National Forces-Iraq (MNF-I) Public Affairs and
current and former liaisons with the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior
Civilian Police Assistance Training Team (CPATT) Public Affairs Office,
asking what they knew of this claim. I was immediately suspect because
of the dubious sourcing prominently noted in one version of the
original Associated Press story:
On May 17, NBC reported a blockbuster exclusive on the superiority of Dragon Skin body armor over Interceptor, the body armor that the US Army issues to soldiers in combat zones. But NBC’s story has a major flaw: It’s wrong about nearly everything.
Watch the latest installment of Hot Air's Vent and actually hear an Army official, Brigadier General Mark Brown, conclude that NBC News possibly committed "emotional terrorism" after airing an "exclusive" segment on body armor. The segment, aired by NBC senior correspondent Lisa Myers, was "simply bogus," concludes Preston.
Politics has once again managed to work its way onto the pages of ESPN. I recently wrote about Kenny Mayne adopting "Obama!" as a new signature call. For the record, Mayne wrote me to say that he was an independent, didn't intend any political overtones by "Obama!" and didn't realize, when agreeing to endorse Progressive Insurance, that head honcho Peter Lewis is a huge donor to a variety of left-wing causes including MoveOn.org.
This morning's online ESPN edition brings an article by Jason Sobel discussing, among other things, Tiger Woods' political potential. The item is prompted by Woods' appearance this week as host of a new tournament at the famed Congressional Country Club, just outside D.C. Observes author Sobel: "Hey, he's already among the world's most recognizable figures. Now he practically holds the key to the nation's capital by bringing professional golf to an area that was devoid of any tournaments when the tour's schedule was first announced. It's no secret that Congressional's first club president also happened to be a U.S. president, as Herbert Hoover resided in that capacity and fellow commanders in chief William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Woodrow Wilson acted as founding life members."
That's when things get sticky. In lauding Woods, Sobel says "Tiger is as as distinguished as Barack Obama, as eloquent as Hillary Clinton, as esteemed as Rudy Giuliani."
I was confident the New York Times would find a way to pour cold water on the Fourth of July. Still, turning to it this morning, I was curious to see just what kind of wet [with that cold water]blanket the Times would throw on our national holiday. And the Grey Lady didn't disappoint, with a sour, melancholy editorial viewing America through the eyes of other countries -- and naturally finding us wanting.
Looking Outward on the Fourth begins with a lament over "these very difficult times, four years deep into a war that has turned much of the world against this country." Got that? It's America's fault that times are tough, not that the world seethes with madmen who want to destroy the West. The editors then take a shot at unnamed "political leaders" [who could they be?] who "seek to arrogate the idea of freedom as their own political preserve."
Today, Wednesday, July 4 at 3:21pm EDT (2:21pm CDT, 1:21pm MDT, 12:21pm PDT), C-SPAN2 is scheduled to carry the MRC's March 29 "2007 DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2006" -- the showcase of the MRC's 20th Anniversary Gala -- which was followed by Rush Limbaugh accepting the MRC's first annual "William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence."
The AP's David Rising discusses the diverse backgrounds of the British bombers:
The eight people held Tuesday in the failed car bombing plot include one doctor from Iraq and two from India. There is a physician from Lebanon and a Jordanian doctor and his medical assistant wife. Another doctor and a medical student are thought to be from the Middle East.
Gee, what else might they have had in common? Anyone? Don't want to spoil the suspense, but we find out in paragraph 8, sort of. By implication:
On Tuesday's Countdown, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann used his latest "Special Comment" to call on President Bush and Vice President Cheney to resign because of the commutation of Scooter Libby's prison sentence, contending that President Bush is only president of a "rabid and irresponsible corner of the Republican Party." Olbermann further accused Cheney of being "without conscience" and compared the two to a "ventriloquist" and "dummy." After calling on Congress to "pressure, negotiate, impeach," Olbermann concluded: "Display just that iota of patriotism which Richard Nixon showed, on August 9, 1974. Resign. And give us someone, anyone, about whom all of us might yet be able to quote John Wayne, and say, 'I didn't vote for him, but he's my President, and I hope he does a good job.' Good night and good luck." (Transcript follows)
August 17, 1999, Los Angeles Times: Although Newt Gingrich no longer serves in Congress, Times opinion writer Robert Scheer rips into the national media for not digging the knife deep enough into Newt over his two messy divorces. "Now it's his turn to be judged bad fruit," wrote Scheer. Scheer's tone is certainly angry and vindictive. (Note: Scheer no longer works for the Times as of November 2005.)
July 3, 2007: The Los Angeles Daily News, L.A.'s #2 paper behind the bigger Times, becomes the first major news outlet to report that Democratic Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has admitted to currently having a "relationship" with "Telemundo 52" anchor Mirthala Salinas. About a month ago, the mayor announced that he and his wife of 20 years, Corina, were separating (LA Times article). (As an anchor, Salinas herself reported the news of the mayor's separation on Telemundo. (Video at latimes.com) Yikes.) A few days later, Corina announced she was filing for divorce (LA Times article). (On June 20, the Times published a letter from Calif. State Senator Sheila Kuehl, a far-left Democrat, telling everyone to "leave the guy alone.")
Broadcast network anchors and reporters on Tuesday night seemed to be in a near panic over the possibility President Bush might yet pardon Lewis “Scooter” Libby, while ABC's Martha Raddatz illustrated special treatment for Libby by highlighting a man sentenced to 20 years for selling cocaine, whose commutation request Bush rejected, and Martha Stewart who served five months for violations similar to Libby's. With “Libby PARDON?” on screen, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams warned that Bush is “not ruling out the possibility of a full pardon.” Bush remarked on Tuesday that “as to the future, I'm, you know, rule nothing in and nothing out.” CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric made that her hook, citing “a lot more fireworks today...sparked by what the President said he may or may not do in the future.” Bill Plante began: “A day after he commuted Lewis Libby's prison sentence, President Bush raised the ante by leaving the door open to an eventual pardon.”
ABC anchor Charles Gibson teased World News: “Angry reaction to President Bush sparing Scooter Libby jail time while the President doesn't rule out granting Libby a full pardon.” Martha Raddatz reported: “Mr. Bush took it one step further today, saying a full pardon for Libby is not off the table.” After running a clip of White House Press Secretary Tony Snow maintaining “you do not engage in these acts for symbolic or political reasons,” Raddatz charged: “But that is going to be a hard accusation to shake. At the very least, Libby went to the front of the line. There are currently close to 2,000 commutation requests pending. More than 4,000 have already been denied. During his nearly seven years in office, President Bush has granted only four commutations, including Libby.” She proceeded to highlight how “former Kansas City Royals slugger Willie Mays Aikens, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1994 for selling two ounces of crack,” but “Aikens' request to have his sentence commuted was turned down by President Bush.”
Back in 2001, the broadcast network evening shows weren't quite so fast to jump on President Bill Clinton's Inauguration Day morning pardon of Marc Rich, a fugitive from justice over fraud and tax evasion, who was hiding overseas and whose ex-wife was a big Democratic contributor. ABC's World News got to it a day later, but it took the NBC Nightly News another day. The CBS Evening News didn't bother reporting it until the Thursday after Clinton's Saturday morning action -- and then Dan Rather framed it as another instance of Clinton being victimized by unrelenting critics who wouldn't let go even after he left office: “Critics of former President Clinton are going beyond the very end. They're raising new questions about one of the end of term pardons President Clinton granted.”
The Tuesday broadcast network morning shows all led with President Bush's commutation of the 30-month prison sentence for Lewis "Scooter" Libby, but CBS displayed "Libby Pardon" on screen throughout a report from Bill Plante; over video of Bush and then Libby ABC put "Above the Law?" on screen to frame its coverage; and both CBS and NBC featured Hillary Clinton's slam at Bush's "cronyism" -- yet failed to bring up the name Marc Rich. NBC's Meredith Vieira scolded Bill Kristol for daring to describe Joe Wilson's claims, that President Bush "subverted the rule of law" and could be "a suspect in an ongoing obstruction of justice case," as "ridiculous." Referring to the commutation, not the prosecution, Vieira lectured: "There are many people who feel that this was a travesty of justice."