The latest op-ed piece by liberal Los Angeles Times columnist Rosa Brooks is called, "When crass is called for" (Friday, February 10, 2006). It begins with the eye-opening line, "It's time to take a stand against civility, decency and appropriateness."
The rest of the column is essentially a defense of the tasteless remarks by Rev. Joseph Lowery and former President Jimmy Carter at the funeral of Coretta Scott King on Tuesday. At one point of her piece, Brooks unbelievably declares, "I saw nothing uncivil about the remarks made by Lowery and Carter."
And in her concluding paragraph, Brooks shrugs (emphasis mine), "And if Bush was offended by Lowery's and Carter's remarks? Tough luck."
In an interview conducted in her office, Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman, the ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told FNC’s Jim Angle that the “very valuable” terrorist surveillance program “fits within” the FISA law. In the session excerpted on Friday’s Special Report with Brit Hume, she deplored how leaks are hurting intelligence efforts and scolded the news media for “not extremely accurate” characterizations of the program. Zeroing in on the New York Times, which first revealed the program, Harman asserted their story was “inaccurate” because they reported it included a “domestic-to-domestic” surveillance effort. She also charged that “these leaks are compromising some core capability of the United States,” regretting how “it's tragic that this whole thing is being aired in the newspapers.” As to who is the blame, however, she bore in on the Bush administration for how “this can't be handled in normal channels because this administration refuses to share the information with Congress." (Transcript follows.)
Appearing by phone on Friday’s Imus in the Morning radio simulcast on MSNBC, to plug his upcoming Sunday night 60 Minutes report on the struggles and achievements of some military members severely wounded in Iraq, Mike Wallace admitted he was “astonished” at how “almost all of them support the war despite the fact that it's taken such a toll on them.” He elaborated, “We asked them flat out: What about should we be there? And the ones that are the most severely hit believe yes, we should have been there. They are not angry at the President...” Wallace has previously made clear his disgust with the war. In late November on FNC, he 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." (Transcripts follow.)
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Thursday he was blindsided by President Bush's announcement of new details on a purported 2002 hijacking plot aimed at a downtown skyscraper, and described communication with the White House as "nonexistent."
"I'm amazed that the president would make this (announcement) on national TV and not inform us of these details through the appropriate channels," the mayor told The Associated Press. "I don't expect a call from the president — but somebody."Bush has referred to the 2002 plot before but he publicly filled in the details Thursday. (bold added)
Yes, it's an old news story but the AP still wants to shock us with L.A. Mayor Blindsided by Bush Announcement.And, of course, give His Honor the chance to tell us just how bad The White House is at communicating with him.
According to Lipton's story, the White House knew of flooding in New Orleans by midnight August 30.
But the alert did not seem to register. Even the next morning, President Bush, on vacation in Texas, was feeling relieved that New Orleans had "dodged the bullet," he later recalled. (bold added)
the Times knows the next morning the President was at the North Island
Naval Air Station in San Diego taking part in an anniversary observance
of V-J Day. Here's The White Press release of the event, including photos.
The Associated Press reported Thursday that Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has much stronger ties to former lobbyist Jack Abramoff than had been previously believed. Yet, most of the mainstream media have ignored this stunning revelation suggesting that, contrary to press assertions, this isn’t just a Republican scandal.
According to AP: “Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid portrays convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff's activities as involving only Republicans. But Abramoff's billing records and congressional correspondence tell a different story."
The article continued: “The activities -- detailed in billing records and correspondence obtained by The Associated Press -- are far more extensive than previously disclosed. They occurred over three years as Reid collected nearly $68,000 in donations from Abramoff's firm, lobbying partners and clients.”
On last night's Hardball Chris Matthews invited on Rep. Barney Frank to defend the wild claim Frank made during the Hurricane Katrina hearings: "We have to do more, because here’s what I have to say and I hate to have to have to say this about my own government. But I believe what we are seeing with regard to New Orleans and the surrounding area is a policy frankly of ethnic cleansing by inaction."
Tim Graham blogged about it here but a quick survey of MRC analysts reveals MSNBC's Hardball has been the only network show to touch on the remark. This is a far cry from the reaction Pat Robertson received for his controversial remarks especially when you consider the arguable relevance he still has at least compared to Frank's status as a current sitting member of Congress.
President Bush gave some details Thursday concerning foiled plots by al Qaeda to attack America, including one plan to fly a plane into the tallest building on the West Coast that was successfully averted. Unfortunately, those that rely on either The New York Times or The Washington Post for their news might have missed these revelations, for this story was curiously not placed on the front page of either of these papers.
The New York Times strategically placed its article on this subject on page A22. Times’ editors must have felt that more information about what the administration knew concerning the levees in New Orleans before Katrina hit, warnings on ADHD drugs, how Haiti elections are shaping up, a resignation at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, security issues at America’s borders, and how magazines use numbers on their covers to tantalize consumers were more important than America foiling al Qaeda attacks.
Vice-President Cheney spoke, last night, to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington. The AP has a snippet of his speech in their video stories this morning. The passage that they've got up includes the following from the Vice President, speaking on the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program:
Some of our critics call this a "domestic surveillance program." Wrong. That is inaccurate. It is not domestic surveillance. We are talking about communications, one end of which is outside the United States and therefore interational and one end of which we have reason to believe is somehow tied to or related to Al-quaeda. It's hard to think of any category of information that could be more important to the safety of the United States.
MediaBistro's FishBowl DC bloggers, Garrett Graff and Patrick Gavin, posted an internal Washington Post report on racial diversity at the newspaper. The January 26 cover letter to newsroom staff from top editors -- Executive Editor Len Downie, Managing Editor Phil Bennett, and Deputy Managing Editor Milton Coleman -- boasted of increased diversity in hiring: "Through determined recruiting, we have increased the number of minority journalists working in our newsroom to an all-time high of 152, which is 23.5 percent of our professional staff. The two percent increase from 21.4 percent at the end of 2004 is the largest ever."
But the real dirt in the 30-plus page report is the testimony of anonymous Post reporters. This one sticks out for me, on page 5: "One person noted an anti-religion bias in the newsroom. When referring to the faithful, 'the word of choice around here is "kooks".'This same person felt offended during the recent coverage of the Pope’s death, when some of her colleagues, she said, were mocking the Pope. 'I was [too] intimidated to complain, even since my editor was part of it, so I got up and left. Faith is derided.'" Other reporters complained:
She interviewed NBC reporter Richard Engel on this morning's Today show in the wake of the release of a new videotape of Jill Carroll, the US journalist kidnapped in Iraq last month. The tape showed a composed Carroll speaking before a floral backdrop.
Couric, ever the fashion maven, declared "it's actually kind of a pretty setting." Perhaps Katie can pick up some matching shoes while in 'Torino'. Engel explained that the captors appear to be sending the message that they are looking to negotiate.
Over at the NBC Nightly News "Daily Nightly" blog, NBC "investigative producer" Robert Windrem relates how at the 2:30 pm editorial meeting on Wednesday, "we had a lively discussion of what the context should be" about the Muslim cartoon jihad. For his part, Windrem agreed with local liberal academics, who somehow can link cartoonists to police brutality:
The bottom line for me was that this can't be dealt with as a story about cartoons or even about Islamic prohibitions about the depiction of Muhammad. It has to be about the simmering pot that went to boil, as Shibley Telhami, the University of Maryland scholar, said this morning on Washington radio. He noted that this is the Islamic version of the Rodney King verdict. In that case, it wasn't just about the verdict against four Los Angeles policemen. It was about African-Americans' belief, whether based on reality or perception, that they had been the victims of decades of racism and thuggery by the LAPD.
You have to love it when reporters play dumb. The case for the NSA program, approved by the American people in nearly all polls (sometimes by as much as a 2-1 margin) understand, fund and support the program.
“President Bush offered new information on Thursday about what he said was a foiled plot by Al Qaeda in 2002 to fly a hijacked airplane into the tallest building west of the Mississippi, the U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles, as he sought to make the case for his record on national security.”
The first words issued by NBC Nightly News host Brian Williams tonight were as follows:
"The plot thickens. Tonight, the President reveals new details about an alleged terrorist plot involving hijackers, shoe bombers, and a sky scraper in Los Angeles.
But there are questions."
And with that, Brian Williams launched into what appared to be quite a skeptical analysis of the details released by President Bush today regarding the foiled plot to hijack a passenger jet and crash it into an L.A. sky scraper.
On tonight's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann, MSNBC's "moonbat in chief", spent 10 minutes of his show pondering if President Bush used the news of a thwarted terror plot for political gain. Olbermann, who often refers to President Bush as "Mr. Bush", had "investigative reporter" Gerald Posner on as a guest tonight. Posner is just as liberal, if not more, as Olbermann and agreed with the host word for word as Keith played puppet master and controlled his strings. At one point during the interview, Posner charged that President Bush is "using terror as a political weapon" and constantly does this in a time when he needs to justify certain policies, such as, according to him, the Patriot Act.
The ironic thing in all of this is Keith agrees with him and thinks that no one should play politics with terror. Olbermann should have taken his own advice when he ran a piece called "The Nexus of Politics & Terror" late last year that was an attack on Bush's timing of "calling" terror alerts as if they weren't serious. If you are into liberal conspiracies, that segment was for you.
Reporting on President Bush’s Thursday speech in which he detailed a foiled al-Qaeda attack on a Los Angeles office tower, the three broadcast network evening newscasts fretted about the timing in relation to controversy over “domestic eavesdropping.” ABC co-anchor Charles Gibson cued up George Stephanopoulos, “Democrats in Washington immediately began asking: Why is the President talking about this now?” Stephanopoulos contended “there is a lot of politics at play here,” but portrayed Democrats as the victims as he relayed how “Republicans hope that this war on terror issue is going to be the key to have them keeping control of the House and the Senate in these 2006 mid-term elections” while Democrats “know” they “can’t let Republicans play the fear card.”
CBS’s Jim Axelrod maintained that “the eavesdropping issue is starting to cut just a little bit differently, as even some Republicans now are starting to call for more oversight" and “the President's speech came at a time when his tactics in the war on terror are under attack from some quarters with the eavesdropping controversy consuming Washington.” It certainly is “consuming” the press corps. Axelrod zeroed in how “the White House won't go anywhere near this question of whether the eavesdropping program had anything to do with the foiling of this West coast bomb plot, won't go anywhere near it. But checking across the government today, we couldn't find one single U.S. official to say that it had.” Jim Stewart reported that “they got this information not from any wiretap, but from what they called the rigorous questioning of some al Qaeda detainees.” To which Bob Schieffer translated: “Torture." NBC’s Brian Williams opened: “The White House says it was just a coincidence that during this time while the President is under fire for a program of domestic eavesdropping, and while he's been trying to renew provisions of the Patriot Act, he just happened to choose today as the day to talk about a planned terrorist incident in the U.S. that was thwarted.” (Transcripts follow.)
Nancy Soderberg, a former Ambassador to the United Nations and Foreign Policy Advisor under the Clinton administration, repeated the often-heard myth that President Clinton prevented Millennium attacks on the United States. Soderberg made the debunked claim as a guest on tonight's episode of The O'Reilly Factor (Thursday, February 9, 2006).
Soderberg's claim would refer to the arrest of terrorist Ahmed Ressam at the U.S-Canada border on December 14, 1999. It was later learned that Ressam planned to bomb Los Angeles International Airport on or around New Year's Day 2000. Clinton defenders have often falsely cited this incident as evidence that Clinton proactively and successfully defended the United States against terrorism.
Viewers of today's American Morning on CNN were treated to co-host Miles O'Brien's view of scientists who dare question the validity of global warming. In a debate between Reverend Jim Ball, director of the Evangelical Environmental Network, and Reverend Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's ethics commission, shortly after 8:15am, O'Brien revealed his beliefs.
Miles O'Brien: "You know, I know that science and religion are often at odds, but the scientific evidence is overwhelming at this point. Are you denying that?"
Reverend Richard Land: "There are scientists who deny it. There are scientists who've said -- "
O'Brien: "Scientists who are bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry, usually."
Land: "Well, not, not necessarily. I'm not going-"
Via Romenesko, we learn New York Daily News gossip columnist Lloyd Grove reported that retired CBS "60 Minutes" boss Don Hewitt finally decided that Dan Rather did in fact deserve the ax for that Memogate fiasco:
CBS legendDon Hewitt hasn't been shy about criticizing Dan Rather, but the grand old man of "60 Minutes" had stopped short of publicly recommending termination for the central figure in CBS News' painful 2004 Memogate flap.
"Should Dan Rather have been fired?" Time magazine managing editor Jim Kelly asked the 83-year-old Hewitt during a Court TV journalism panel at Michael's.
Ken Shepherd forwarded to me another piece of evidence that the NAACP has thrown its old attempted bipartisan stance, last seen in the Benjamin Hooks era, out the window. Reporter Hazel Trice Edney, a Washington correspondent for the National Newspaper Publishers Association ("The Black Press of America"), has this report in the Baltimore Times and other papers:
Although the head of the Republican National Committee and President George W. Bush have pledged to make a more concentrated effort to win over Black voters, 98 percent of Republicans in the House and Senate earned an F on the latest NAACP Civil Rights Report Card, compared to only 2 percent of Democrats receiving failing grades...
Lizette Alvarez reports from Denver Thursday on the Army’s drive to recruit more Hispanics in “With Charm and Enticements, Army Is Drawing Hispanic Recruits, and Criticism.”
She paints the drive in a negative light:
“In Denver and other cities where the Hispanic population is growing, recruiting Latinos has become one of the Army's top priorities. From 2001 to 2005, the number of Latino enlistments in the Army rose 26 percent, and in the military as a whole, the increase was 18 percent. The increase comes at a time when the Army is struggling to recruit new soldiers and when the enlistment of African-Americans, a group particularly disillusioned with the war in Iraq, has dropped off sharply, to 14.5 percent from 22.3 percent over the past four years.
Imagine you're the host of a morning news show, and the head of the country's major opposition party has just invoked the danger of the President of the United States turning the country into a police state akin to Iran. Would you perhaps ask a follow-up question challenging your guest to substantiate his inflammatory remark? No, you wouldn't. At least, not if you're GMA's Charlie Gibson. For when Howard Dean made just such an allegation this morning, Gibson never blinked.
Discussing the NSA terrorist surveillance program, Dean stated:
"All we ask is that we not turn into a country like Iran, where the President of Iran can do anything they [sic] want at any time."
The gargantuan task of rebuilding New Orleans after hurricane Katrina is an ongoing news story -- but it doesn't have to be presented solely as a liberal narrative, with the Democratic local officials, Mayor Ray Nagin and Gov. Kathleen Blanco, assigned only the role of heroic pleaders to the racist Republican administration, while left-wing protest groups cheer on Barney Frank's claims that the administration is conducting "ethnic cleansing by inaction."
But that's precisely what Washington Post readers get today on the front page and beyond. Reporter Linton Weeks begins with Gov. Blanco declaring "It's time to play hardball, as I believe it's the only game Washington understands," and readers are told it represents "the fervor and frustration of someone living in Limbo Land." Mayor Nagin is contacting foreign governments for aid. They're doing this "because they say they need more money to rebuild New Orleans. They are trying to appeal to the federal government and also minister to impatient constituents. New Orleanians are angry that President Bush did not devote more of his State of the Union speech to the city and are concerned that Washington's attention is no longer on them. They feel as though they are living in the mean in-between." To Weeks, the story line is a deprived and neglected New Orleans, with no mention that President Bush says $85 billion has been committed to reconstruction.
In an article written earlier today by Benny Morris and published by the UK's Guardian Unlimited newspaper, famous historian and civil rights activist John Hope Franklin had this to say regarding his home:
"This country is so arrogant, so self-certain," he says,
asked whether the west is now engaged with the Muslim world in a war of
civilisations. "I am not sure that is what we are confronting. [But I
am also] not sure we have done what we ought to have done to cultivate
the rest of the world. We're so powerful and so presumptuous that it
makes us unattractive, almost unbecoming. We don't treat other
countries and people right. Power without grace is a curse."
Press reaction – that Mideast imports are no big deal – is inconsistent with earlier assertions that oil is the reason for Iraq war. Free Market Project
Since the 1973 Arab oil embargo, politicians and pundits have argued that America’s Mideast foreign policy was governed by oil. Such claims were quite common before and after the Iraq invasion in 2003. As recently as January 14, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked on “Hardball”: “Why is the President out there saying out of nowhere that it’s wrong to say that this war was about oil or Israel? I can see where the Israel part would be sensitive, but why is he denying that this was about oil? I mean, does anybody really think that we would go into Iraq if it was down in the Congo or if it was in Bolivia?” Despite the oily hype and condemnation that has surrounded the Iraq war, the media have either dismissed or downplayed the president’s proposal to reduce U.S. reliance on Mideast oil.
ABC’s “Good Morning America” asked two different guests if this plan was just a “pipe dream.” Meanwhile, The Washington Post suggested that this could have “come straight from the mouth of Jimmy Carter. The only thing missing was the sweater.”
These same media outlets seemed to forget the “no blood for oil” drumbeat they had championed in the months before the Iraq invasion and largely since. Such reports normally focused on supposed cabals constructed by “neoconservatives” within the administration for the domination of the Mideast and its vast oil reserves, or simply to aid the profits of Vice President Dick Cheney’s former company Halliburton.
The Case Against Mideast Oil Such disturbing conspiracy theories ran rampant throughout the media the past four years. For example, The Washington Post published an article on Aug. 6, 2002, about a Pentagon advisory board meeting that depicted Saudi Arabia as America’s enemy and outlined a strategy supposedly concocted to take over the entire region: “This view, popular among some neoconservative thinkers, is that once a U.S. invasion has removed Hussein from power, a friendly successor regime would become a major exporter of oil to the West.”
USA Today published an article three days later concerning this same conspiratorial premise stating that “the administration is hearing from critics who support radical changes in U.S. policy, including ‘liberating’ the Saudi province that contains its oil fields.” And The New York Times ran an April 10, 2003, story discussing Vice President Dick Cheney’s position on the war: “He showed little reaction, they said, to protests around the world in which he was portrayed as the instigator of a ‘blood for oil’ war and was accused of using the conflict to benefit his former employer, Halliburton, the oil field services firm.”
That Was Then; This Is Now All this makes the ironic response to Bush’s Mideast oil reduction platform more surprising. The New York Times devoted three stories on February 1 to the president’s address dealing with this proposal. Elisabeth Bumiller and Adam Nagourney’s article quickly dismissed it with “But even that goal was less ambitious than it might have appeared – the United States gets less than 20 percent of its oil from the Persian Gulf.” They later emphasized this with “Energy analysts also said Mr. Bush's goal to replace 75 percent of America’s Mideast oil imports by 2025 was not as meaningful as it appeared because the bigger suppliers to the United States are Mexico, Canada and Venezuela.”
▪ And where was this three years ago?: The Times and USA Today reported different figures on the subject. As reported by USA Today on February 2, “Middle East countries account for about 22% of total U.S. oil imports, Energy Information Administration data show, or roughly 14% of the oil used in the USA.” If America did reduce Mideast oil imports by 75 percent and didn’t replace them with other sources of oil, this would represent a 16.5-percent decline in total imports. It would also mean a 10.5-percent cut in the nation’s oil usage, both foreign and domestic.
▪ Nothing new under the sun: The Times’ David Sanger dismissed the president’s call to reduce Mideast oil imports by suggesting it was a program whose only novelty was its name: “What was new was his Advanced Energy Initiative, though the increases he proposed in clean-energy research, better batteries for hybrid cars and new ways of making ethanol largely piggyback on programs already under way at General Motors and Ford, Toyota and Honda, rather than charting a new course.”
▪ Yeah, yeah: The Times continued its attack on this proposal with an article entitled “Call to Cut Foreign Oil is a Refrain 35 Years Old.” Matthew L. Wald and Edmund L. Andrews echoed much of the content of the prior two pieces, while suggesting the public not take it too seriously: “President Richard M. Nixon promised in 1971 to make the United States self-sufficient in energy by 1980. President Jimmy Carter promised in 1979 that the nation would ‘never again use more foreign oil than we did in 1977.’”
▪ Pipeline or pipe dream?: ABC’s “Good Morning America” decided to dismiss the seriousness of this proposal. While discussing the content of the address with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on February 1, Charles Gibson asked: “Talking about energy, talking about reducing dependence on Middle Eastern oil by 75 percent in 20 years. Pipe dream? Doable?” Gibson later asked his second guest, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) virtually the same question: “You think the idea of using alternative sources to reduce dependence on Middle Eastern oil, 75 percent, 20 years, pipe dream?”
▪ Is anyone really ‘stable’?: Meanwhile, using a premise similar to that of the Times, The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler downplayed the president’s point about reducing oil demand from countries that were somewhat unstable: “Only three of the 10 biggest suppliers are from the Middle East – Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Algeria.” Needless to say, it seems a bit disingenuous to minimize the significance of Saudi Arabia when talking about oil imports, or Iraq when it comes to instability. In addition, it would be a stretch to classify two of America’s other major oil exporters, Mexico and Venezuela, as “stable.” And, after the events of this past weekend, with riots throughout parts of Europe and Asia over a cartoon, who’s to say what represents stability?
▪ Alternative energy’s identity crisis: USA Today took a different approach to downplay the significance of Bush’s proposal. Bush proposed that a reduction in American oil demand will involve alternative energy – something that has been hyped by the political left for some time. However, in one staff article on February 1, USA Today wrote: “The former Texas oilman ticked off a series of alternative-energy initiatives, but the dirty reality is that most of the new technologies Bush is touting are costly, require taxpayer subsidies and are years if not decades from making any meaningful impact.” When did the mainstream media begin concerning themselves with such issues as cost and taxpayer subsidization? More importantly, nuclear energy, ethanol, wind and solar power are not decades away – most of these technologies have been in existence for many years and are already being employed at both the consumer and commercial levels.
Some speakers at Tuesday's memorial service near Atlanta for Coretta King used the opportunity to blast from the left the racial, budget and foreign policies of President George W. Bush, who was himself amongst the speakers. Yet Wednesday's NBC Nightly News managed to turn the event into an indictment of Bush and imaginary “deep cuts” in social programs, without mentioning the vitriolic hatred directed toward him by the very black organizations and leaders NBC's Andrea Mitchell suggested he has snubbed. Anchor Brian Williams noted how the service included “criticisms of President Bush's domestic and foreign policies.” But then he framed the story around how it supposedly “raised fresh questions about the Bush administration's record on race.”
Mitchell began with a back-handed slap at Bush: "It was an in-your-face rebuke rare for any President, especially one who doesn't often surround himself with critics." Mitchell at least pointed out how Andrew Young considered it an inappropriate forum for attacking a President, before she recited Bush's mistakes: “After five years in office, deep cuts in social programs, and searing criticism of the response to Hurricane Katrina, George W. Bush is still struggling to explain himself to African-Americans.” Of course, there haven't even been mild cuts in social programs, never mind Mitchell's ludicrous claim about “deep cuts.” Mitchell also relayed how “critics, often Democrats, remember that he has not attended an NAACP convention since taking office.” Maybe that's because a few months after he attended one in 2000, the NAACP produced a TV ad narrated by the daughter of James Byrd, the black man murdered by being dragged behind a pick-up truck, which charged that since “Governor George W. Bush refused to support hate crimes legislation, it was like my father was killed all over again.” And Mitchell also skipped how just last week NAACP Chairman Julian Bond alleged that the Republicans' “idea of equal rights is the American flag and the Confederate swastika flying side-by-side" and he asserted that “Republicans draw their most rabid supporters from the Taliban wing of American politics." (Transcript follows, as well as video of the 2000 NAACP ad)
Hardball's screen graphic "Global Fury" presumably referred to the rioting over the Mohammed cartoons. But it might also have been a subliminally sardonic comment about Chris Matthews' guest, Amy Goodman, host of the far-left radio show "Democracy Now."
If Hillary is angry, perhaps she's taken lessons from Goodman. This is one angry woman. Goodman's explanation by way of a justification of the rioting?
"This is about people feeling marginalized. This has to do with the war in Iraq, this has to do with 'the Occupation' [translation: Israel's claim to a right to exist], this is about hundreds being held at Guantanamo with the Koran being desecrated."
On Tuesday's Hardball, the discussion turned to Jimmy Carter's remarks at the funeral of Coretta Scott King. The former president had brought up wiretapping. Host Chris Matthews observed: "Of course that‘s hot because J. Edgar Hoover was wiretapping Dr. King and feeding all the dirty to LBJ, you know?"
The former FBI chief had indeed wiretapped the late civil rights leader, but not on his own authority and initially not for President Lyndon Johnson. King biographer David Garrow wrote in a 2002 Atlantic Monthly article:
"On October 10, 1963, U.S. Attorney General Robert
F. Kennedy committed what is widely viewed as one of the most
ignominious acts in modern American history: he authorized the Federal
Bureau of Investigation to begin wiretapping the telephones of the
Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Kennedy believed that one of King's
closest advisers was a top-level member of the American Communist
Party, and that King had repeatedly misled Administration officials
about his ongoing close ties with the man."
While the TV-news world buzzes over whether Katie Couric brings her powdered perkiness to the "CBS Evening News" throne of Dan Rather, her current morning job still makes her look quite silly, more "That Girl" than "Evening News" anchor/icon. Drudge today is wondering whether she was "discharged" upon as she fed pigeons in Milan on camera shortly after 8 AM Eastern. Our views of the video today show no visual evidence of the number-two (and Katie later denied it happened*), but a surplus of dopey jokes about it, with Couric remarking on "sometimes you're the pigeon, sometimes you're the statue," and then claiming she might be needing "Purel" to clean her hands after the pigeons fed there. She makes CBS anchor Connie Chung reporting from Tonya Harding's ice rink look like the essence of hard news. Windows Media Player or Real Player
Perhaps the dumber Olympics-related "Today" moment came last Thursday, as MRC's Geoff Dickens sent along the transcript:
As noted previously on Newsbusters, the violent Muslim protests against the publication of cartoons lampooning Islam has clearly put The New York Times in an uncomfortable position. The rioters, while to the Times an embattled minority in the West, are attacking free speech. Not good. But their most vocal critics are conservatives. Indeed, the Times describes the paper that first ran the cartoons as “conservative.” Can’t side with them.
In today's “Critic’s Notebook” piece, headlined "A Startling New Lesson in the Power of Imagery" and featuring a photo of children holding a sign "Danish People Not Welcome Here," writer Michael Kimmelman unwittingly describes the paper’s dilemma halfway through his meandering 1,396-word item: