Talking to political director John Dickerson on Thursday's CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O'Donnell tried to dismiss Texas Governor Rick Perry calling the current border crisis President Obama's "Katrina moment": "Is there some truth to that or is there, as we say in Texas, is that a bunch of bull?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Dickerson flippantly replied: "Well, you know, the Katrina moment since that disaster has gotten kind of thrown around, it's become something of a political cliche. I think this might be the President's maybe twentieth Katrina moment."
On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's Kate Bolduan all but lobbied Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine to support President Obama's multi-billion dollar request to deal with the ongoing illegal immigration crisis: "There's an immediate crisis on the southwest border. The President is going to ask for $2 billion....He says it's emergency funds to help stem...the flow of immigrants coming in. Can you support giving the President these emergency funds?"
Bolduan especially went after the Republican congressman after he slammed the Obama administration's draconian press restrictions for a planned media day at an immigration facility in Oklahoma: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's New Day, liberal CNN commentator Paul Begala attacked Rick Perry as a "dope" and a "demagogue" during a discussion of the Texas Republican criticizing President Barack Obama for not visiting the border to see the illegal immigration crisis in person.
Begala went on to insult Perry's intelligence: "I mean, if he's going to pick Rick Perry's brain, that is the very definition of slim pickings."
CNN co-anchor Kate Bolduan reacted by exclaiming, "Ohhh, Paul!" and a bit later admonished him for going over the top as she brought in fellow guest and Republican strategist Kevin Madden. Bolduan:
The blog Soopermexican reported that on Wednesday, MSNBC host Alex Wagner “found it to be a shameful moment to be an American” when protesters in California demanded that illegal immigrants go back to their home country. It was rude to “people who are seeking a new day here in America.”
Her guest was Janet Murguia of the National Council of LaRaza, who attacked the "extremist" protesters and became unintentionally hilarious when she insisted that “we have to honor a process” to help the illegal aliens. Since when have they ever “honored a process” and tried immigrating legally? (Video below):
Once again, as it did a month ago in two separate stories, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, left the name of Lois Lerner, the former IRS official who ran its section on tax-exempt organizations, out of its headline and opening paragraph. This time, for good measure, AP reporter Stephen Ohlemacher didn't reveal Lerner's name until Paragraph 3.
Before getting to Ohlemacher's journalistic malpractice, let's take a look at the how the Politico handled the same story of Congress holding Ms. Lerner in contempt yesterday, and at one example of how the AP itself covered the story of another controversial figure's anticipated congressional appearance in the 1980s.
Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was Jay Leno’s guest on the Tonight Show Friday, and he didn’t have kind things to say about the current White House resident or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
At one point in their discussion, Romney said, "I'm not a fan of the president - in case you didn't know that."
On the Tuesday, May 14, All In show, Chris Hayes linked former President Ronald Reagan to a former Guatemalan dictator convicted of genocide as the MSNBC host seemed to suggest that the story was as worthy of attention as Benghazi and ended up sarcastically challenging Fox News to give attention to it.
After playing a clip of Reagan from 1982 praising the then-ruler of Guatemala, Hayes continued:
Frank Bajak of the AP lionized Venezuelan autocrat and "fighter" Hugo Chavez minutes after his death on Tuesday, playing up in the second sentence of his item how the "former paratroop commander and fiery populist...outsmarted his rivals time and again." Bajak later hyped Chavez as a "master communicator and savvy political strategist."
With President Obama's election win, the worldwide celebrations have commenced again. NBC's Today show documented as much as they possibly could on Wednesday morning.
Reporting from London, foreign correspondent Michelle Kosinski was tasked with narrating the story of how the election has been perceived and reported overseas. Eerily similar to four long years ago, jubilant residents from other sovereign nations were shown in a high spirits after a second term was guaranteed to Obama. [ video below, MP3 audio here ]
As of 2 PM ET, various searches at the national web site of the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press (on "furious"; on "Univision"), Reuters ("furious"; "fast and furious"; "univision"), and United Press International ("furious"; "Univision") indicate that the three wire services have given no coverage to reports from Univision exposing the wider geographic scope and far more fatal fallout of the deliberately untrackable guns-to-cartels operation known as Fast and Furious.
I wonder how the leading U.S. Spanish network's broadcasters and audience feel about getting the same treatment the establishment press gives center-right blogs? (A lengthy yet partial transcript of Univision's broadcast with details which will shock all but those who have immersed themselves in the evolving scandal follows the jump.)
On Monday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Bill Whitaker seemed to allude to a debunked statistic that most guns that go to Mexican drug cartels originate in the United States as he repeated accusations by the newly elected Mexican president's party that the U.S. is the "exporter of guns fueling the violence" in the drug wars. Whitaker:
The New York Times Sunday Magazine's latest venture into esoteric Latin American leftism: Novelist Francisco Goldman's 5,000-word profile of left-wing student activist Camila Vallejo, member of the Communist Chilean Youth and considered hot stuff by besmitten leftists, including Goldman, judging by his yearning prose in "'They Made Her An Icon.'" Goldman does not mention her Communist Party affiliation until paragraph 21, almost halfway through the tale. (Vallejo is in Cuba now, to mark the 50th anniversary of Cuba’s Union of Young Communists.)
As Goldman wrote, Vallejo is organizing public protests in Chile (they don't have protests in Cuba) for free education...and higher taxes...and nationalization of resources. In another words, a Communist Party member is pushing a Communist agenda in Chile, and the Times is giving her a huge platform through Goldman's celebration of Vallejo's photogenic looks and media-friendly charisma.
A few years ago, when FNC's Fox and Friends substitute co-anchor Peter Johnson, Jr., accidentally referred to left-wing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as "Cesar Chavez," the famous American labor and civil rights activist, the flub received attention from some of FNC's left-wing critics, even though the FNC host corrected himself moments later.
But Tuesday's World News on ABC demonstrates that you don't have to be a target of the left to make the same flub. (Video below)
Pete Yost's Friday evening story at the Associated Press, also known to yours truly as the Administration's Press, on the latest development in the Operation Fast and Furious scandal (that's my word, certainly not Yost's) has a "this is a boring story, don't read it" headline ("Prosecutor intends to take 5th if called in probe"), followed by an opening sentence which acts as if it has nothing to do with at least 300 Mexican citizens, a slain Border patrol agent, and thousands of disappearing guns.
Yost's opening sentence: "A federal prosecutor in Arizona intends to remain silent if called for questioning in a congressional probe of a problem-plagued gun smuggling investigation." Yep, Yost wants readers who don't get past the first paragraph to believe that it's only the "investigation" that's messed up beyond all recognition, not what happened in the Fast and Furious operation. Here's more from Pete's pathetic piece (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The Fox News host pressed the journalist on her revelation from Tuesday's Laura Ingraham Show, that associate White House communications director Eric Schultz "screamed and cussed" at her for her reporting on the controversy. Attkisson would only state that "the conversation, as you reported it, was accurate," and later added that "the point is really not the content of that. The point is, story-wise, it seems significant and important how people handle questions, and how they react when you ask questions" [video clips available below the jump]
Mark Hemingway of The Weekly Standardreported on Wednesday afternoon that he had attempted to interview CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson about her dogged coverage of the ongoing "Fast and Furious" controversy, but was told that she was "unavailable." Attkisson has been the sole journalist on the Big Three networks regularly covering the story, particular during the past several weeks.
Hemingway described in his blog entry that he called CBS News to interview the correspondent, but was "told by CBS News senior vice president of communications Sonya McNair that Attkisson would be unavailable for interviews all week. When I asked why Attkisson would be unavailable, McNair would not say." On Tuesday, the reporter revealed on Laura Ingraham's radio show that Obama administration officials had "screamed and cussed" at her over her coverage of the story.
CBS's Sharyl Attkisson revealed on Tuesday's "Laura Ingraham Show" the extent of the rage directed at her from the Obama administration for her reporting on the "Fast and Furious" controversy: "The DOJ woman was just yelling at me. A guy from the White House on Friday night literally screamed at me and cussed at me." Attkisson also stated that "they think I'm unfair and biased by pursuing it."
The journalist appeared on the conservative talk show host's program at the bottom of the 9 am Eastern hour to talk about her latest reporting on the growing Justice Department scandal. She highlighted on Monday's "CBS Evening News" that "new documents...show Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial 'Fast and Furious' operation as far back as July 2010. That directly contradicts his [May 3, 2011] statement to Congress."]
A Mexican President praises Governor Rick Perry for offering in-state tuition to illegal immigrants in Texas. Mitt Romney uses footage of it in a campaign ad. Something wrong with that? Apparently yes--in the eyes of Chuck Todd.
The host of MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" critically quizzed Romney campaign strategist Russ Schriefer over the ad today. Video after the jump.
At least one person in the White House knew about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives gun-running operation three months before weapons from the botched sting were found at the murder scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
That’s what a high-ranking ATF official told Congress on Tuesday.
"A lot more Americans are going to learn to speak Spanish, and I think that's a fine thing."
So said Newsweek's Eleanor Clift Friday in the middle of a "McLaughlin Group" program devoted in its entirety to looking at how America is responding to a growing Hispanic population as well as an ongoing economic expansion in Latin America (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In a report for the Associated Press on Sunday, Jim Kuhnhenn fawned over President Obama's tour of Rio De Janeiro during a trip to Brazil: "Obama played grand tourist....The president's sightseeing Sunday was sure to endear him even more to a diverse and multicultural country where his personal story already makes him popular."
The article described how Obama, while visiting a community center in one of Rio's poorest slums, "shed his coat and tie, rolled up his sleeves and dribbled one-on-one soccer with one surprised boy." And noted: "The president walked out into the streets and waved to throngs of residents who cheered him from rooftops and balconies. Dozens of young children pressed up against a chainlink fence trying to get a look."
From a visit to this city’s most infamous slum to a national address amid the gilded elegance of a celebrated theater, President Obama on Sunday sought to underscore the shared histories and futures of the United States and Brazil, reaching out to the people of one of the most racially diverse countries in the Americas.
But Mr. Obama, on the second day of a five-day tour of Latin America, once again seemed to sidestep mentioning his own racial background in appearances here, even as Brazilians who gathered at a plaza trying to catch a glimpse of him said that he had inspired millions in this country because of his African heritage.
Hugo Lindgren, the new New York Times Magazine editor-in-chief, has already left his mark on the paper’s reputation by choosing an embarrassingly sympathetic portrait of convicted terrorist helper Lori Berenson as the cover story for the relaunch of the Sunday magazine. He compounds the error by hailing writer Jennifer Egan’s embrace of radical chic as “in every way a classic Times Magazine story,” in his self-congratulatory “Editor’s Letter” that will also appear in Sunday’s upcoming issue.
With even less excuse than Egan (the novelist who penned the 8,300-word cover story love letter to Berenson) Lindgren reveals his own lack of basic understanding of the case, showing the convinted collaborator as engaging in naive, youthful political hijinks, rather than knowingly and deceptively helping murderous left-wing terror group Tupac Amaru (abbreviated in Spanish as M.R.T.A.)
The New York Times Magazine is based on long-form narrative journalism, and this week’s cover article, by Jennifer Egan, is a prime example. It is about Lori Berenson, a New Yorker who moved to Latin America as a young adult, got mixed up in revolutionary politics in Peru and was promptly thrown in prison, where she spent the next 15 years before being paroled last year. Egan traveled to Lima, where Berenson must remain until 2015, and tells the story of a wounded but resilient woman struggling to sort out a place for herself in the world. It is in every way a classic Times Magazine story.
American Lori Berenson, middle-class Manhattanite turned foreign terrorist helper, was sentenced to life in prison in Peru in 1996 for housing Marxist terrorists of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA), which took part in assassinations, kidnappings, and bombings during the 1980s and 1990s. Berenson let them use her apartment as a storehouse for ammunition. Standing before police, she exclaimed in Spanish: "There are no criminal terrorists in the M.R.T.A. It’s a revolutionary movement!"
Novelist Jennifer Egan interviewed Berenson in Peru over several months as she shuttled between parole and jail before being freed for good, and came up with a 8,300-word portrait for Sunday’s upcoming New York Times Magazine (It was posted online Wednesday).
Michael Calderone got a sneak peek at the cover shot of the newly revamped magazine, an image with her son that John Podhoretz at Commentary calls "consciously designed to make Berenson look like the Madonna with child."
Egan, a discerning fiction writer, brought none of that perception to this profile. Instead Egan found excuses for Berenson’s notorious outburst and terror ties, trying to put M.R.T.A.’s leftist political violence in context, offensively referring to a four-month hostage ordeal as the terrorist group's last "big idea," and chalking up Berenson’s own involvement to positive personal characteristics like her ability to “absorb fear and discomfort.”
(first listing) "not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring: a bold hero."
(third listing) "necessitating courage and daring; challenging: a bold adventure."
One thus has to take the following sentence, the first in James's report, as a virtually explicit expression of admiration for the latest authoritarian moves by the country's "El Presidente," Hugo Chávez:
On Friday’s CBS Evening News, travel editor Peter Greenberg filed a report in which, without challenge, he passed on Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s charge that America is "the key part of the problem" of drug cartels in his country. And, even though the overwhelming majority of guns seized from Mexican drug cartels are known to originate from countries outside the U.S., Greenberg seemed to claim that all were bought in the U.S. Greenberg:
He (Calderon) claims American drug use is financing the cartels, and smuggled American guns are arming them. This is an example of the more than 90,000 weapons the Calderon government has confiscated in the last four years - almost all of them high-powered, and all of them bought in the United States.
These are some of the outtakes that the Ecuadoran plaintiff lawyer Steve Donziger probably wished were left on the cutting room floor.
Back in May 2009, CBS's "60 Minutes" featured a story on the legal conflict between Chevron and an eco-group called the Amazon Defense Coalition for $27.4 billion in so-called environmental damage in Ecuador's rain forest from then-Texaco Petroleum's (Texpet) operation of oil well sites over a decade ago. However, in 1998, the government of Ecuador certified that Texpet, a minority partner in an exploration and production venture state-owned oil company PetroEcuador, had met Ecuadorian and international remediation standards and had released Texpet from future claims and obligations.
During that May 3 broadcast, Donziger was portrayed by CBS "60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley as a shining individual with a deeply rooted compassion for the indigenous people of the Ecuadorian Amazon.
On Wednesday's Newsroom, CNN's Tony Harris omitted the pro-illegal immigration activism of guest Isabel Garcia, just as his colleague Suzanne Malveaux did more than two months earlier. Harris twice referred to Garcia as merely the "deputy public defender in Pima County, Arizona," and didn't mention her involvement in the beating and decapitation of a pinata effigy of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The anchor brought on the activist, as well as Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, the author of the state newly-passed anti-illegal immigration law, for two segments starting 10 minutes into the 11 am Eastern hour. After asking Senator Pearce's position on the federal government's new lawsuit against the enforcement of his law, Harris turned to the public defender: "Isabel, you've been patient. Weigh in here."
Garcia (her pro-illegal immigration organization, Coalición de Derechos Humanos, whose website features a logo incorporating the southwestern states into Mexico, was identified on-screen as the "Human Rights Coalition") immediately went on the offense against Pearce, playing the race/ethnicity card against the Republican politician:
Liberal director Oliver Stone revealed his anti-American bent on Monday's Good Morning America, praising the rise of mainly left-wing leaders across South America and even went so far to support Brazilian President Lula da Silva for "trying to strike to deal with Iran," wildly predicting "it's going to be like North Vietnam again" if the U.S. pursued sanctions against the country.
Anchor George Stephanopoulos interviewed the Oscar-winning director 44 minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour. Stephanopoulos referenced how Stone has "tackled war, Wall Street, and the Kennedy assassination" and is now "taking on South America. He says our neighbors to the south haven't gotten a fair shake from the American media, and, armed with a camera, he's set out on a road trip to try to change that."
Before asking about Chavez, Stephanopoulos played a clip from Stone's documentary "South of the Border," which included a sound bite from CNN's John Roberts that gave the impression that the anchor was condemning the Venezuelan leader: "He's more dangerous than Bin Laden, and the effects of Chavez, his war against America, could eclipse those of 9/11."
Actually, Roberts, in the January 15, 2009 segment from his American Morning program, actually was reading a quote from a book by his guest, Doug Schoen: "Right off the bat, in the very front of the book, you quote Otto Reich, who was the former ambassador to Venezuela back in the 1980s, as saying that he's more dangerous than bin Laden and the effects of Chavez, his war against America could eclipse those of 9/11."
On Monday’s The O’Reilly Factor, during the show’s regular "Reality Check" segment, FNC host O’Reilly seemed to pick up on a NewsBusters item which highlighted ABC’s Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts defending Mexican President Felipe Calderon using his speech in Congress as a forum to criticize Arizona’s effort to enforce laws against illegal immigration. In their defense of Calderon on Sunday's This Week show's Roundtable segment, the the two ABC News veterans brought up past American Presidents criticizing communist dictators in China and the Soviet Union.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the "Reality Check" from the Monday, May 24, The O’Reilly Factor on FNC: