The mainstream media is of course replete with liberal opinionistas who criticize Republicans far more harshly than Democrats. That is nothing new. It is truly shocking, however, when supposedly "objective" news outlets employ even more egregious double standards than the openly-biased commentators.
The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto caught the Associated Press employing one such double standard over the weekend. The AP's Ben Feller penned quite a sob story about the president's response to the Gulf spill, saying that Obama is "having to work through unforeseen problems" and made sure to note that his "ability to calmly handle many competing issues simultaneously is viewed as one of his strengths."
A contrast with the AP's rheotroic on the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina reveals quite a discrepany in the organization's views on the executive's accountability for natural disasters. That New York Times columnist Frank Rich and uber-liberal mudslinger Bill Maher have both had harsher words for the current president and his response to the Gulf spill speaks volumes.
On Sunday’s syndicated Chris Matthews Show, Time magazine columnist Joe Klein joined the ranks of left-leaning media figures like Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann in blaming the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on the Bush administration. As the panel discussed President Obama’s handling of the disaster, Klein opined that "this is more Bush’s second Katrina than Obama’s first," and, after agreement from host Matthews, Klein continued: "Yes, because it was the Bush regulations, it was Dick Cheney’s deregulation, and lording over the Minerals Management [Service]-"
Later in the show, as the group discussed whether President Obama would recover from his current sagging approval numbers, Klein asserted that Obama is lucky because Republicans "look worse" on the oil spill than do Democrats: "He is incredibly lucky in his opposition. I mean, you know, the oil spill is a great example. The Republicans look worse on that than the Democrats do. I think that, because there are no really coherent Republican leaders now, he’ll come back."
Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Sunday, May 30, syndicated Chris Matthews Show:
It's the American way, right? It is patriotic to exercise the 1st Amendment by petitioning the government for a redress of grievances - unless of course your effort has a tie to some corporation or lobbying interest. Then regardless of its size, it's phony baloney Astroturf activism.
While groups like the George Soros-funded MoveOn.org have managed to elude the "Astroturf" moniker, from its inception, the Tea Party movement has taken shots from its critics. One of the most popular left-wing charges was to call it "Astroturf," meaning it was presented as a grassroots efforts, but wasn't really grassroots. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi labeled the Tea Party movement "Astroturf" back during the original Tax Day Tea Party protest on April 15, 2009.
"This initiative is funded by the high end - we call it Astroturf," Pelosi said. "It's not really a grassroots movement. It's Astroturf by some of the wealthiest people in America to keep the focus on tax cuts for the rich instead of for the great middle class."
That attitude has been widely echoed in media coverage of the Tea Party, as if it were a corporate effort to subvert the U.S. government's ability to collect revenue and redistribute wealth through public works and social program. Meanwhile, environmental causes, like Earth Day or global warming with their own corporate sponsorship - are rarely labeled Astroturf.
The Pentagon rescinded the invitation of evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at its May 6 National Day of Prayer event because of complaints about his previous comments about Islam.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation expressed its concern over Graham's involvement with the event in an April 19 letter sent to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. MRFF's complaint about Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, focused on remarks he made after 9/11 in which he called Islam "wicked" and "evil" and his lack of apology for those words.
Col. Tom Collins, an Army spokesman, told ABC News on April 22, "This Army honors all faiths and tries to inculcate our soldiers and work force with an appreciation of all faiths and his past comments just were not appropriate for this venue."
A new study predicts that global warming, contrary to claims made by Nobel Laureate Al Gore and the his fellow climate alarmists, will actually reduce the number of hurricanes by as much as 34 percent by the year 2100.
The report just published in the journal Nature Geoscience also found that the increase in tropical storm activity the planet has seen since 1995 is part of a natural cycle completely unrelated to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
These revelations represent another serious crack in the claims made by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and therefore seem quite unlikely to be reported by American media that have been largely ignoring all the errors that have been found recently in key IPCC documents.
As is typical, this bombshell was uncovered by a British publication, the Sunday Times (h/t Ed Morrissey):
Time after time, the Obama White House has demonstrated a desire to control the message and flow of information, whether it's issues on health care, the economy, bailouts and the latest - climate science.
But AccuWeather.com's chief long-range and hurricane forecaster Joe Bastardi, who appeared on the Fox Business Network's Feb. 9 "Cavuto," warned there are other implications with the government having an expanded role in climate forecasting. According to Bastardi, it could lead to an effort to shut out other opinions.
On Saturday, NB's Noel Sheppard reported on this statement made by Education Secretary Arne Duncan: "I think the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans was hurricane Katrina. That education system was a disaster. It took hurricane Katrina to wake up the community and say we have to do better."
CNN host T.J. Holmes read that quote aloud during a broadcast. "Of course I agree" with Duncan's statement, said one guest, CNN contributor Steve Perry. The host and correspondents went back and forth about how the hurricane may or may not have helped public schools, never once impugning Duncan's motives.
Contrast this media response with the response to former Republican Congressman from Louisiana Richard Baker's statement regarding Katrina: "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did." It sparked outrage among the liberal media (h/t NRO's John Miller).
On Monday’s edition of Rosie Radio, host Rosie O’Donnell spun the outpouring of support for the victims of the Haiti earthquake as a result of President Obama’s leadership. She then falsely accused George Bush of not quickly speaking out after Hurricane Katrina: "If two days after Katrina, you know, the President of the United States went on and said, 'You will not be forsaken. You will not be forgotten. We are sending in the Army-’" [Audio available here.]
The satellite radio host added, "If there was that, sort of, mass impulse to help, I think, then, Americans would have felt more justified of, you know, helping..." In fact, two days after Hurricane Katrina, on August 31, 2005, President Bush said this in the Rose Garden: "Right now, the days seem awfully dark for those affected. I understand that."
He continued, "But I'm confident that with time, you'll get your life back in order. New communities will flourish. The great City of New Orleans will be back on its feet. And America will be a stronger place for it. The country stands with you. We'll do all in our power to help you." The speech also laid out exactly how the National Guard, FEMA and other government agencies would assist the effort.
Just days after the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change admitted it used junk science to predict Himalayan glaciers would vanish by 2035, its claim that global warming is linked to increased natural disasters has also been found to be wrongly concluded.
THE United Nations climate science panel faces new controversy for wrongly linking global warming to an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods.
It based the claims on an unpublished report that had not been subjected to routine scientific scrutiny — and ignored warnings from scientific advisers that the evidence supporting the link too weak. The report's own authors later withdrew the claim because they felt the evidence was not strong enough.
A rather remarkable thing happened Thursday: a documentary highly skeptical of man's role in global warming was aired on broadcast television.
The program, "Global Warming - The Other Side," was created and hosted by John Coleman, the founder of The Weather Channel, and debuted on San Diego's independent television station KUSI.
Readers should be familiar with Coleman as the man who not only called global warming "the greatest scam in history," but also advocated suing Nobel Laureate Al Gore to expose the fraud.
Breaking with American media's tradition of almost exclusively broadcasting programs supporting Gore's view of climate change, "The Other Side" remarkably devoted an entire hour to fully explaining what the global warming-obsessed press dishonestly hide from the public (videos in four parts embedded below the fold, h/t Climate Depot):
Rolling Stone, a music magazine in the same sense that MTV is a music-video channel, was featured on this morning's edition of Morning Joe. Their cover story is not about the latest escapades of Kanye West or Lady Gaga; instead, they have chosen to write about global warming. Before anyone asks, none of the above recording artists (to my knowledge) have recorded a song which would have spawned this article.
"As the World Burns," is the eyes-bleeding hyperbolic title of the article. Contents: The 17 people whom Rolling Stone calls "climate killers." And the first target of the article: Billionaire investor and ardent Obama supporter, Warren Buffett:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: You put Warren Buffett on that list, I thought he was an Obama supporter?
"Having given her sleight of hand stamp of approval to the birthers, Sarah Palin is now moving on to an almost equally popular far right mythology, climate change denial."
So began MSNBC's Keith Olbermann in his number one story on Wednesday's "Countdown."
"Getting her facts wrong and misrepresenting her record as governor of Alaska, again, not enough for Palin`s latest foray into opinion piece, this one for 'The Washington Post,'" said Olbermann. "So she went into full-on denial, climate change is all political mode."
The "Countdown" host then brought on the Nation's Chris Hayes who claimed that people who don't believe in manmade global warming are like folks who "argue that 9/11 was an inside job" (video embedded below the fold courtesy our friend Story Balloon, partial transcript with commentary):
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Gore prominently quotes Deuteronomy, "I’m offering you the choice of life or death."
The cover of Nobel Laureate Al Gore's new book "Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis" was intentionally doctored to exaggerate the appearance of hurricanes in the northern hemisphere as well as reduce the amount of ice present in the Arctic.
Maybe even more ominously, Florida was so diminished it's almost totally gone.
As reported by Florida State University hurricane expert Ryan Maue at the website Watts Up With That, the truth was apparently inconvenient for the Global Warmingist-in-Chief (h/t NBer Blonde):
Kudlow, referring to the Oct. 26 broadcast of MSNBC's "The Ed Show," which featured Rep. Barney Frank, perennial presidential candidate Ralph Nader and the host Ed Schultz, noted all the participants were left-of-center. And in the appearance, Frank made a pitch for the expanded role of government and argued the only reason people opposed it was because they were disillusioned by the government for its failures during the Bush administration, specifically dealing with Hurricane Katrina.
Monday’s Lou Dobbs Tonight on CNN gave attention to filmmaker Phelim McAleer – whose film Not Evil, Just Wrong premieres this Sunday and challenges Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth – in the aftermath of his recent attempt to get Gore to respond to the British High Court ruling that there are nine factual errors in An Inconvenient Truth. But McAleer’s microphone was cut off as he tried to get Gore to answer for some of these inaccuracies and whether the former Vice President was trying to correct his mistakes. After a report by correspondent Casey Wian – who showed a clip of the exchange between McAleer and Gore, and who also mentioned some of the inaccurate points in An Inconvenient Truth about polar bears and Hurricane Katrina – Dobbs hosted a debate segment between McAleer and Fred Krupp of the Environmental Defense Fund.
McAleer pointed out that many of the environmental scientists pushing global warming theory were pushing global cooling theory decades earlier: "And the same environmentalists who are now saying it is warming, 20 and 30 years ago were saying we're going to have an ice age. I'm old enough to be at school and I was told that we're going into a new ice age."
Mark Sanford can’t run for President in 2012, all because he went for a hike. [UPDATE: He went to Argentina.]
At least, that’s what Mike Allen of Politico would have you believe. On June 23, during his normal appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Allen was discussing the recent media snafu over the governor’s jaunt through the woodlands:
I think it might well be that he was just hiking. But the point is, he would have been a promising Republican for 2012. He's the rarest thing in the Republican party, which is a true conservative. There would have been a lot of momentum behind him. He threw out the idea very recently. But, you talk about the finger on the button – you want someone stable, someone you can trust. And this, as they were talking about yesterday on MSNBC right away, in a moment, diminished the brand.
NBC Universal and its networks have been criticized for the global warming alarmism it parades on a regular basis. However, now the criticism is coming from its own affiliates.
Prior to its April 26 airing on MSNBC, shows on NBC had been promoting the first part of the climate special "Future Earth" - an MSNBC program that used computer animation to show the possibilities of a polar icecap melting. That prompted Bill Steffen, a meteorologist for NBC's Grand Rapids, Mich. affiliate, to call out MSNBC for that special.
At a time when Americans increasingly aren't buying into the theory of anthropogenic global warming according to a recent Rasmussen poll, NBC and its cable news network MSNBC are bringing out the big guns to slow the rise of that mentality down.
On NBC's April 26 "Today," anchor Lester Holt previewed his special "Future Earth: Journey to the End of the World," slated to appear on MSNBC on the night of April 26. According to the preview shown by Holt, the TV special is remarkably similar to Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," forecasting several doom-and-gloom scenarios.
"With the Arctic possibly ice free as soon as the summer of 2013, the world will warm even faster as the Arctic's waters absorb the sun's rays rather than being reflected by ice," Holt said. "The result unfortunately might bring on a doomsday scenario befitting a Hollywood disaster film. But this will be no movie - the likelihood of super storms picking up strength from warming ocean waters, oceans on the rise."
Remember when the alarmists were taking the premise that anthropogenic global warming was more of a threat to the planet than just polar bears and penguins, but also sea levels and catastrophic weather patterns?
"A lot of premises have turned out to be wrong lately," Weisberg wrote. "I'm not talking about evanescent bits of conventional wisdom, but about overarching assumptions that were widely shared across the political spectrum."
"The ocean covers the place where once-popular Perrotti Park used to be. The park benches that stood on dry land are gone. So are the water fountain and coin-operated binoculars through which visitors once observed the harbor," Miller wrote. "Adjacent to the park site, America's Cup Avenue is history, too, along with the harbormaster's building and the salon, restaurant and stores that did business on nearby Long Wharf. It is 8:16 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2100."
MSNBC cable-show host Rachel Maddow shares much in common with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Both are wonkish former Rhodes scholars in their mid-30s, bright and personable. Each could be perceived as a political outsider, Maddow for being openly gay, Jindal by dint of skin hue and ethnicity.
Their politics are poles apart, however, with Maddow an unabashed liberal and Jindal a staunch conservative. And that Maddow views Jindal as a threat became clear this week.
After Jindal delivered the Republican response to President Obama's address before Congress on Tuesday, he became the recipient of withering criticism from both sides of the aisle. Maddow's critique of Jindal, however, was so over the top that it bore little resemblance to what Jindal actually said --
Well, it seems that the folks at Vanity Fair realized that they won't have George W. Bush to kick around any more. So they decided to launch the journalistic equivalent of thermonuclear war against him in an attempt to get its shot at a "draft of history."
In a 14 web-page tome (the photo at the top right is at its beginning) that fancies itself an "oral history," the magazine hauls out every criticism, real or imagined, hurled at the president during the past eight years. It reminds everyone that the media's favorite stereotype of conservatives and Republicans is that they're dumb (I guess Ike's orchestration of D-Day was some kind of accident, and George W. Bush's MBA -- he is the first president to hold one -- was some kind of gift from Poppy).
Sadly, the magazine finds a few former administration officials to pile on. One of them likens Bush to Sarah Palin (that's supposed to be an insult). We're left with the long-discredited meme of Dick Cheney as puppet master and Bush as impotent since Katrina (then how did Bush get that Iraq Surge past everyone and make it stick anyway?).
All you really need to know to spare yourself a truly painful read is what is in the tease paragraph after the headline. Brace yourself:
If you needed any more proof climate alarmists are an extraordinarily deluded bunch that will do anything to protect their dogma, you got it Saturday when a 56-page report on military strategy incited ire because it included two paragraphs on global warming that don't perfectly fit Nobel Laureate Al Gore's agenda.
In fact, all the brouhaha was largely about one sentence: "In many respects, scientific conclusions about the causes and potential effects of global warming are contradictory."
Seems innocent enough, don't you think?
Well, not according to the Boston Globe's Bryan Bender, or any of the folks he chose to question about it:
On Thursday's "Good Morning America," journalist Bill Weir touted left-wing filmmaker Spike Lee as a "social critic" and ignored any mention of the director's bizarre conspiracy theories, such as his 2005 contention that the United States government intentionally blew up the levees during Hurricane Katrina in order to flood African American areas. Instead, Weir marveled, "No director in Hollywood has attacked the thorny issue of race quite like Spike Lee."
While promoting Lee's new World War II film, the anchor of the weekend edition of GMA enthused, "'Do the Right Thing' and 'Malcolm X,' still loom over his 15 other feature films as ground breaking emblems of righteous anger." Weir also labeled the more hopeful tone of Lee's "The Miracle at St. Anna" as a "reflection of one social critic's mood in an age of change."Of course, Weir neglected to mention that this same "social critic" has also declared "it's not far-fetched" to think that the levees in New Orleans were destroyed by the United States government.
For almost a week, practically foaming at the mouth media members scared the heck out of the American people presaging doom and gloom in New Orleans as well as rising oil and gas prices all at the hands of a hurricane that hadn't even entered the Gulf of Mexico yet.
Of course, let's not forget the reports about Hurricane Gustav destroying the Republican National Convention thereby damaging John McCain's chances of winning the White House.
Now, as Gustav has been down-graded to a tropical storm, having caused less damage in New Orleans than anyone anticipated, America is quickly getting back to normal likely much to the disappointment of those on the left and in the media that hoped for a replay of Hurricane Katrina weeks before Election Day.
And, as Bloomberg reported Tuesday, energy prices are plummeting (photo courtesy CNN Money):
Nobody would ever hope or pray for a hurricane to strike at the expense of their political opponent. Or would they?
Well, maybe Michael Moore would. In fact, he did, as has already been discussed on this site.
By the same token, the Financial Times has also demonstrated a knack for cheering on a catastrophic event in the hopes of striking a blow to the GOP convention this week.
While delegates and attendees at the GOP convention spent Monday offering prayers, scaling back the pageantry, and generally demonstrating that most have their minds on the well-being of Americans in the Gulf region, liberals have been taking the opportunity to make jokes about their religion and hoping that a catastrophic event derails the Republicans all together.
If you put controversial left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore and MSNBC "Countdown" anchor Keith Olbermann in the same setting - there's bound to be some sort of lunatic remark made. Their latest get-together, neither failed to disappoint.
"I was just thinking, this Gustav is proof that there is a God in heaven," Moore said, laughing. "To have it planned at the same time - that it would actually be on its way to New Orleans for day one of the Republican Convention, up in the Twin Cities - at the top of the Mississippi River."
In our ongoing series "What's Happening at the Washington Post," today's "I Can't Believe I Saw This There" moment is a rather lengthy article by Joel Achenbach, conspicuously placed on the cover of Sunday's section B, and conspicuously skeptical about the liberal bogeyman known as global warming.
Maybe more surprising, Achenbach took on media representatives that feel the need to blame every catastrophic weather event on climate change.
In fact, without naming names, he even picked on our friend at Newsweek, Sharon Begley, totally debunking her claim that global warming was responsible for the June floods in Iowa (emphasis added):
Updates at end of post: Schmidt responds to (and ignores!) NBers' questions.
Last Saturday, one of the nation's leading climate alarmists -- a government employee with a history of attacking people that don't agree with his views on anthropogenic global warming -- wrote rather disparagingly about a somewhat satirical NewsBusters piece.
Despite claiming he typically doesn’t comment on things “written about climate change in the more excitable parts of [sic] web,” NASA’s Gavin Schmidt took time out of his busy Saturday schedule to respond to something he described as “probably the most boneheaded article that I have seen in ages.”
Was this an effort by one of the founding members of RealClimate – the world’s leading website specializing in climate change hysteria – to correct errors he felt existed in my article? Or, was this a predictable attack on a popular conservative blog that not only regularly exposes the one-sided nature of media reports about global warming, but also frequently brings attention to studies that go counter to RealClimate’s, and maybe more importantly, Schmidt’s views?
After all, to climate alarmists like Schmidt, media shouldn’t be reporting the realist (nee “skeptical”) side of this issue as was made perfectly clear by Nobel Laureate Al Gore during an interview with NBC’s Meredith Vieira during the November 5, 2007, installment of the “Today” show (photo via NPR):