A new reality TV show featuring C-list celebrities doing military training exercises to compete for charity was denounced as "empty jingoism" and a modern-day spin on "[a]dding a celebrity quotient to the military-industrial complex," kind of like when Bob Hope entertained the troops during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.
That's pretty much the reaction of Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever to the new "Stars Earn Stripes" program, which debuts tonight at 8 p.m. EDT on NBC. "It also feels about five years too late, in both its reality-TV tropes and its message of pride," Stuever huffs. "It harks back to the 'Mission Accomplished!' era of attacks and setbacks in the Middle East":
If you were producing a pilot for a new series hoping your show would get picked up for an entire season and beyond, wouldn’t you try not offending half your potential viewers?
On Monday, TNT premiered a new show called Perception that for some stupid reason - in the very first episode! - completely trashed former President George W. Bush as a liar (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
It's only natural that the leftists at the Daily Kos would whole-heartedly agree with the sentiment of MSNBC weekend host Chris Hayes that our military men and women aren't "heroes." In a piece headlined "Stand Up for Chris Hayes," a blogger with the byline "mcgoverngreatpatriot" insisted that "dating back to Viet Nam, I have known many who have fallen in wars, and they were anything but heroes."
"Some that I can think of, came home on leave from Viet Nam bragging about how many innocent women and children they killed," the blogger complained. "They carried body parts of those they killed as kind of a trophy, made into tobacco pouches, etc. When they returned to Viet Nam, some of these people were killed. They were not heroes." It's somehow McCarthyism for NewsBusters or anyone else to protest these remarks:
During a panel on Tuesday's NBC Today, liberal pundits Star Jones, Donny Deutsch and Nancy Snyderman condemned left-wing MSNBC host Chris Hayes for suggesting fallen U.S. troops are not heroes. Deutsch was the strongest in denouncing Hayes: "I hope that he doesn't get more viewers as a result of this...this guy is like a – if you've seen him...he looks like a weenie." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Jones was clearly appalled by the offensive comments: "...the person that he [Hayes] was talking to was the officer whose job it was to call the families of fallen soldiers. Could you be more inappropriate on Memorial Day?" Snyderman voiced her disgust as well: "To criticize the young men and women who put themselves in harm's way to protect us and then cheapen it..."
Effete: affected, overrefined, and ineffectual; see "Chris Hayes." OK, I appended the name of the MSNBC host to the dictionary definition. But if ever you wanted to see the human embodiment of the adjective in action, have a look at the video from his MSNBC show this morning of the too-refined-by-half Hayes explaining why he is "uncomfortable" in calling America's fallen military members "heroes."
Hayes is worried that doing so is "rhetorically proximate" to justifications for more war. Oh, the rhetorical proximity! View the video after the jump.
Rachel Maddow loves to gush of her admiration for Americans who serve in uniform. She also complains how it's borderline criminal that New York City has not held a ticker-tape parade for soldiers who served in Iraq.
It's all posturing, nothing more. Maddow considers the military contemptible, as true-blue leftists always do. (video clip after page break)
In his report on the February 2012 monthly federal deficit on March 12, Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press (aka the Administration's Press) told readers that the month's deficit was $232 billion, but "somehow" forgot to tell readers that it was an all-time record for a single month in U.S. government history.
Well, there's good news, much worse news, and an utterly predictable agenda-driven item in the AP's coverage of March's deficit, this time courtesy of the wire service's Martin Crutsinger. The good news is that Crutsinger recognized that March's deficit was the highest on record for any March. The much worse news is that, as I forecast AP and others would do at my home blog last last week when the Congressional Budget Office estimated March's results, he failed to tell readers that March's spending of $369.37 billion was the highest single-month amount ever recorded by $30.32 billion -- a whopping 8.9% above the previous record of 339.05 billion set in March 2011. The increase is largely due to the fact that checks for many April 1 items were written on March 30 because April 1 was a Sunday, but a record is a record, and failing to recognize one (and only then trying to explain it away if there is cause for it) is shoddy journalism. The utterly predictable agenda-driven item is after the jump.
Some on the left have noted a disturbing trend – despite their best efforts, people keep seeing the U.S. military as admirable. When Seal Team 6 killed Osama Bin Laden on the orders of a liberal Democrat commander in chief, lefties had to endure the nation’s celebration of the special ops warriors. Then “Act of Valor” his theaters last month, and a variety of liberal outlets branded the heroic film as propaganda.
And now singer Katy Perry – who, as an entertainer, should know better – has made a video celebrating the training and commitment of U.S. Marines.
Daily, American soldiers defend the freedom of speech the left loves to exercise to repeatedly condemn the American military. As soon as “Act of Valor” was released, lefty outlets wasted no time in crying the newest military flick is nothing more than glorified Pentagon “propaganda,” while savaging the acting of the active duty Navy Seals who comprise most of the cast.
“Valor” has topped the box office; grossing more than $29 million, and proving there’s a market for stories about the sacrifices, bravery and skill of the U.S. military. But all many left-wing outlets saw was supposedly sub-par acting and plot. “Act of Valor” used active-duty Navy SEALS for actors, and one can hardly fault them if their acting abilities are not quite up to Oscar standards.
Michael Schmidt reported from Baghdad Wednesday for the Times on the conclusion of the trial (held in California) of the last Marine accused in the so-called Haditha massacre in Iraq: “Anger in Iraq After Plea Bargain Over 2005 Massacre.” Although Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich pled guilty to a single misdemeanor that called for a maximum of 90 days in jail, Schdmit insisted on calling him a "ringleader" in the "massacre."
After the incident came to light in July 2006, Times reporter Paul von Zielbauer filed over 30 stories on the alleged killings of two dozen Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha, which anti-war activists were quick to compare to the My Lai massacre of Vietnam. The Times has long presumed the guilt of the Marines involved, while barely covering the steady drip of acquittals of all but one of the eight Marines charged in the “massacre.”
Matt Lauer became a regular co-host of NBC’s Today show on January 6, 1997 and while his partners have changed over the years from Katie Couric, to Meredith Vieira and most recently Ann Curry, he’s joined them in regularly serving viewers a hearty portion of liberal spin to go along with their morning cup of coffee.
Over the years Lauer has treated his Democratic guests with light and frothy questions, as was the case when he asked Barack Obama how he would be able to “manage” the “expectations” of those hoping he would be their “Savior” and “Messiah.” In contrast he’s hit Republicans with bitter queries about their ability to lead, like the time he asked then Senator-Elect Rand Paul if Republicans, after having rode a “wave of anger and energy” into office in the 2010 midterms, would then “govern in Washington with anger?”
Below are just a few examples of Lauer's bias over the years. For a more extensive collection please visit his Profile in Bias page. (video after the jump)
An April 20, 2008 New York Times story by David Barstow, “MESSAGE MACHINE: Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand,” won a Pulitzer Prize for the explosive claim that the Pentagon had cultivated “military analysts” in a “trojan horse” campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay.
On December 1 of this year, the Washington Times reported that an investigation by the Pentagon’s inspector general, spurred by Barstow’s reporting, found no wrongdoing, and quoted a spokesman for former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld saying the New York Times should return its Pulitzer. But the New York Times itself did not report the Pentagon's vindication until Christmas Day, on page A20.
When anti-war liberals are pressed about whether they are anti-military, they normally claim to support the troops while disagreeing with the war the troops are under orders to take part in.
But, as he introduced Thursday's Last Word show, MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell certainly sounded like he was attacking the U.S. military as he not only absurdly suggested that it was the U.S. military, rather than the President, that "chose" to "stay encamped for nearly nine years" in Iraq, but he even recounted the number of Iraqi civilians killed by both the U.S. military and Iraqi insurgents combined.
O'Donnell began his Thursday, December 15, Last Word program on MSNBC (Video and transcript follow):
Appearing as a guest on Monday's Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN, singer Tony Bennett declared that President Obama is the "greatest accomplishment that the United States ever came up with," and expressed admiration for the President whom he labeled as "more than intelligent."
A bit later, when asked by host Piers Morgan whether he believed war was ever "justified," with Morgan specifically asking if it was "imperative" to "defend yourselves" against Adolf Hitler in spite of the "collateral damage," Bennett, a World War II veteran, was not so sure:
UPDATE AT END OF POST: O'Donnell evaded draft with college deferment.
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain and MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell had quite a heated battle on Thursday's "The Last Word."
During one segment, after O'Donnell besmirched his guest for not enlisting for military service during the Vietnam War despite having worked for the Department of Navy as a ballistics analyst, Cain marvelously asked, "Do you stay up night to come up with the wording in these questions or do you have someone writing them for you?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It really has been amazing watching dovish media members who were perpetually complaining about the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay and the enhanced interrogation of its residents when George W. Bush was president now cheering the assassination of United States citizen turned terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki.
A fine example of this hypocrisy occurred on HBO's "Real Time" Friday when the host who just last year supported a civilian trial for 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed applauded Awlaki's murder while encouraging his audience to join in the merriment (video follows with transcript and commentary, vulgarity warning):
In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, New York Times reporters overcame enormous danger and duress to perform often-heroic feats of journalism, as proven by the Pulitzer Prize winning “Portraits of Grief” series, which commemorated the lives of every single victim of the terrorist attacks. But in the months and years that followed the paper reverted to partisan and liberal ways, even when the subject was the deadly attack on their hometown.
On Sunday the Times will print a special section marking the 10th anniversary of 9-11 (you can read it online now). In anticipation of the paper's commemoration, here’s a sampling of the paper’s years of slanted coverage related to the attacks.
By all accounts, President Obama has been far more hawkish than anyone anywhere in the world could have possibly imagined.
Despite this, "New Yorker" magazine editor David Remnick told the crew at MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Friday that the current Administration is responsible for the lack of anti-American displays in Arab Spring uprisings (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Naturally, most liberal Democrats are stifling their disappointment with President Obama in order to preserve any electability he still holds. That's not true of Rev. Jesse Jackson, who absolutely denounced Barack Obama's America on Friday on radical (yet taxpayer-supported) Pacifica Radio. This is a little ironic, since Pacifica griped a bit to Jackson in 2008 that he was being sidelined by Obama to preserve his electability.
The show "Democracy Now" offered a segment Friday on the new monument in Washington to Martin Luther King, which offered the opportunity for leftists to decry how King's dreams of the late Sixties for socialist revolution and an end to all American war-making were now being ignored:
NBC Today co-anchor Ann Curry is the cover story of the September issue of Ladies Home Journal and discussed how she fought with her U.S. naval officer father about the Vietnam War, (unsurprisingly) taking the liberal, Walter Cronkite-inspired anti-war position:
"When I was a teenager," she says, "Dad and I would have dinner table debates about the Vietnam War. I was deeply affected by Walter Cronkite's reports, and I questioned our country's role. Sometimes our discussions got so heated my siblings would leave the table. At the end of those conversations my dad would say, 'I don't always agree with you, but I'd still vote for you for president.'
New York Times reporter James Dao has filed his second story in nine days critical of the Afghanistan war. First came the 3,000-word Sunday front-page story on May 29, "After Combat, the Unexpected Perils of Coming Home," emphasizing the negative from the start:
Capt. Adrian Bonenberger made plans for his final patrol to Imam Sahib. But inside, he was sweating the details of a different mission: going home. Which soldiers would drive drunk, get into fights or struggle with emotional demons, he wondered....The final weeks in a war zone are often the most dangerous, as weary troops get sloppy or unfocused. Once they arrive home, alcohol abuse, traffic accidents and other measures of mayhem typically rise as they blow off steam.
While Times stories involving conservative complaints are invariably overloaded with "conservative" labels, Goodnough included only one mention of the obvious ideological tilt of the opponents of Lockheed Martin, the military contractor proposing a clean energy project with the town. The leftists were balanced only by wishy-washy local officials and corporate boilerplate from a Lockheed spokesman.
The top half of the page was dominated by a picture of someone strumming a protest song on an acoustic guitar, and the Times also reprinted what looks like a pair of old-style woodcuts ("eye-catching") from a local artist comparing Lockheed Martin to both the Devil and the Trojan Horse.
Sunday was an historic day for America, an historic victory in the War on Terror - Usama Bin Laden, the man who had ordered the death of over 3,000 Americans on 9/11, had finally been killed. It was also an historic revelation that, conducting the war according to far-left liberal policies would have prevented this day from ever happening.
The New York Times offered a distorted glimpse into the prison at Guantanamo Bay and the Bush administration's treatment of suspected terrorists in a series of reports published on Sunday and Monday.
Scouring hundreds of leaked military documents, Times reporters used emotionally-charged phrases and cherry-picked anecdotes to paint an unflattering picture of the facility that has jailed hundreds of enemy combatants captured in the War on Terror.
Robert Redford's "The Conspirator" is a thinly-veiled political allegory warning against the danger of trying terrorists in military tribunals. And that's why his movie about the military trial of Lincoln assassination conspirator Mary Surratt is problematic.
That's not me talking, that's Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday in her April 15 movie review:
ABC's undercover news show, What Would You Do, on Friday continued to search for examples of bigotry across America. Anchor John Quinones narrated a segment featuring two men pretending to be gay military veterans displaying affection in a New Jersey restaurant.
As cameras rolled, Quinones explained the set-up: "They're holding hands, stroking each other's hair and caressing each other's legs...So what will happen if we throw in our actor Vince, posing as an irritated diner, who's had enough of this PDA?"
An actor, "Vince," interrupted the faux soldiers and complained, "Excuse me. We appreciate your service to the country and everything, but you should respect the uniform a little bit more than that."