There's something about these big events that cause MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews to go off script and say something seemingly ridiculous.
Matthews has publicly admitted President Barack Obama has given him a thrill up his leg after a campaign speech in Feb. 2008, and uttered "oh God," earlier this year after an Obama address to Congress, prior to the Republican response from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal earlier this year. And on Dec. 1, he referred to West Point as "the enemy camp" in coverage following a speech from Obama announcing his intentions to increase troops in Afghanistan. And, later that night - Matthews took a shot at former Vice President Dick Cheney (emphasis added).
"The president said tonight that we're fighting in Afghanistan because al Qaeda is in Pakistan," Matthews said. "Is that what this is all about? Is that why we're fighting and some are dying in Afghanistan? To deliver the message to the government over in Pakistan to fight harder against al Qaeda. It sounds more Rube Goldberg than ‘Remember the Alamo.' Also try tonight to workout whether the president's goals in Afghanistan are achievable. Are they? And of course, there's always Dick Cheney who jumped it from under his bridge to bite the president's ankle even before he made the speech tonight."
Either MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews let one slip tonight, or it was an extremely poor choice of words.
Following President Barack Obama's Dec. 1 speech, which he announced his intentions for increasing troop levels in Afghanistan, MSNBC followed with wrap-up coverage of his speech with arguably three of their most prominent on-air personalities - "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann, "The Rachel Maddow Show" host Rachel Maddow and Matthews.
Matthews referred to a scene from "Gone with the Wind" about the American Civil War as an example of "excitement" going into a war. He said that was lacking in the room during Obama's speech.
Writing for Newsweek magazine’s feature on the top ten “startling scoops” of the past ten years, ex-CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather identified the most shocking: “Abu Ghraib has opened our eyes, serving as a dark icon that reminds us our fiercest enemies – hubris, cruelty, and ignorance – wage war from within.”
Rather went on to proclaim that the prisoner abuse scandal “is still the subject of debate and the source of despair, a shadowy gateway to learning how these wrong-headed practices became American policy.”
Early in the brief article, Rather claimed: “Many don’t know that the story aired in the wake of debate and delay. At the time, there were deep fears that all of us would face a blast furnace of criticism for taking on the administration, ‘undermining the troops,’ and possibly exposing our soldiers to fresh anger from the Muslim world.” Rather certainly was not concerned with going after the Bush administration with fraudulent documents later that same year.
Rather defended the decision to break the story by arguing: “It was only the American public that was in the dark, never consulted or considered when these policies were approved. Back then, we all needed awakening to what was being done in our names.” He then alleged more widespread abuses by the U.S. military: “A couple of years earlier, when our team was in Afghanistan, we had heard whispers of abuse underway at Baghram Airport, where Americans were in charge of an unknown number of prisoners. We flat out didn’t believe it. Now we know better.”
But who does the snob Sheridan choose to blame in advance should his war-themed film flop? Not his own bonehead decision to jump into a genre with a 100% failure rate, not the investors who dove in with him … no, he blames We The American People:
It's a night and day difference between the media's scrutiny of former President George W. Bush and the current command-in-chief, President Barack Obama. And the coverage of three Navy SEALs now facing a court martial that captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq, who allegedly was the mastermind of the murder of four Blackwater contractors in Fallujah in 2004, is proof.
John Scott, host of "Fox News Watch" noted this story on the show's Nov. 28 episode and asked why there hasn't been more coverage about it.
"Pretty outrageous story came out, in my view, this week," Scott said. "These three Navy SEALs who were involved in capturing one of the most wanted bad guys in Iraq - the guy supposedly responsible for planning the execution of those four Blackwater contractors. The SEALs are now facing charges because the guy somehow wound up with a bloody lip. Is the media paying attention?"
Forget Ford Hood and investigating the so-called "terror" connections of Nidal Hasan.
Yours truly has come across something the current crowd running our government might see as even more sinister. The Obama administration, the FBI, the Justice Department, and, most importantly, the White House's speech police simply have to get on this right away.
You see, General David Petraeus visited the Air Force Academy last week and may have uttered a word once thought to have been stricken from all speeches and discussions relating to military matters.
At the end of Sunday’s Face the Nation on CBS, host Bob Schieffer offered commentary on the cause of the mass shooting at Fort Hood: “That doctor [Major Nidal Hasan] should not have been at Fort Hood. I don’t care how hard-up the Army is for mental health professionals....sadly, this shows the Army still does not take protecting soldiers’ mental health as seriously as it does training them to shoot.”
Schieffer went on to argue: “And then there is the other part that often happens in government. Don’t deal with the problem, shuffle it off to somewhere else. When he had problems at Walter Reed hospital, the doctor was just packed off to Fort Hood.” In similar fashion, Schieffer “shuffled off” the responsibility of an overly politically correct media that continually denounces profiling of criminal suspects or terrorists.
Earlier in the broadcast, Schieffer asked Congressman Ike Skelton: “Do you think this is a sign that the military is simply overextended?”
So while chuckleheads like Jesse Jackson and Senator Roland Burris hilariously blame George Bush for Chicago losing the 2016 Olympics, whiny columnists like Mike Lupica are up in arms that conservatives might be gloating over President Obama’s big screw-up. Apparently laughing at all this is somehow anti-American, because Obama is our President, and he was doing this for all of us.
You know… kind of like when Bush was trying win a war in Iraq – and all those left wingers stood behind him.
And that’s my first point: The right has every right to gloat over Obama’s humiliation, because, thankfully, NO ONE DIED.
Somebody really needs to find the Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger some OCD therapy. It seems that he has a not-magnificent obsession with the two major theaters of the War on Terror (yeah, I still call it that), and that he seemingly won't be able to conquer it without outside intervention.
In his report on August's federal budget deficit, the AP reporter continued to cite the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as contributors to the increase in the federal budget deficit, when they are in fact virtually if not totally irrelevant. Additionally, he betrayed a critical misunderstanding of how the government has decided to account for "investments" the Treasury Department has made in many financial entities, General Motors, and Chrysler.
This is the third consecutive month for Crutsinger's war-connected crud:
Reacting to the Associated Press's decision to publish -- against a grieving father's wishes -- a photo of a mortally-wounded Marine, MRC President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell blasted the news wire in a statement today:
The Associated Press should be ashamed for even thinking something as preposterous as this. This photo will do nothing but cause great sorrow for the family of a hero. As the father of a Marine, I cannot imagine the pain they will endure because of its publication and the damage it will cause in their grief.
Way to go, AP. On the eve of the federal holiday dedicated to the American worker, you are causing pain for the family of a hero that has given the ultimate sacrifice of his life in labor for his country.
The AP defended its decision by insisting the decision came "after a period of reflection" and was done to convey "the grimness of war and the sacrifice of young men and women fighting it."
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has also slammed the AP's decision, reports Mike Allen of The Politico:
In a Thursday New York Times appreciation of CBS producer Don Hewitt, television writer Mike Hale avoided the whole concept of liberal bias in the work of Hewitt or his creation, 60 Minutes. Instead, Hale suggested that in threading the needle between an "increasingly radicalized" audience and stuffy advertisers, CBS and Hewitt created a "kinder, gentler, more conservative take" for 60 Minutes than controversy-stoking British and Canadian shows that inspired it. (Hewitt represented "cautious CBS News values, the kind exemplified by that other recently deceased titan, Walter Cronkite.")
How hard was it for CBS to be "more conservative" than the Canadians? Consider this brief explanation of the "slyly subversive" film Mills of the Gods: Viet Nam, produced for the TV show that inspired CBS: "Working without a script, [filmmaker Beryl] Fox went to Vietnam with portable equipment and shot two kinds of cinema verite footage: placid images of the ordinary life of the Vietnamese peasantry and shocking images of the war’s carnage and destruction as wrought by sometimes disturbingly cheerful American pilots and soldiers." These were then edited together for propaganda impact.
In May 2007, Matt Mabe was a junior Army officer who had done two tours of duty in Iraq and was leaving the service for good to pursue a career in journalism -- or so he thought.
In "One of Us," which appears in the new issue of the Columbia Journalism Review, Mabe reveals that of his journalism school colleagues, "most, it seemed, had never met a veteran," although that didn't stop them and their teachers and lecturers from hostile stereotyping of military members as troubled, poor, scheming, and stupid.
Over at Media Bistro, we find an odd story that has it all: foul language, boorish behavior, sexual harassment, a male U.S. Navy officer, and a female journalist. Only the story isn’t what you might think it would be considering the ingredients. In this case it is the naval officer filing a complaint against the female reporter for sexual harassment.
Media Bistro has learned that US Navy Commander Jeffrey D. Gordon has filed a sexual harassment complaint against the Miami Herald's Carol Rosenberg with Gordon claiming that Rosenberg made comments about Gordon’s “sexual orientation,” repeatedly showered foul language upon him, and made comments of a sexual nature to him in the presence of others.
In his report's apparent final incarnation early Tuesday morning, the AP writer:
Told us the amount of June's deficit ($94.3 billion), but didn't disclose the figures for June's receipts ($215.4 billion) or "outlays" ($309.7 billion), or how they compared to June of last year. In doing so, he "succeeded" in concealing the accelerating decline in tax collections.
Didn't tell us that the past month's deficit is by far the worst June ever.
"Forgot," as he did in May, to tell readers that the deficit would be hundreds of billions of dollars higher if it weren't for an "accounting change" retroactively put into place by Treasury in April that changed the definition of "outlays."
Cited the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as contributors to the deficit situation, while not identifying several other expenditure categories that have been worse offenders by far.
Found an economist, without dissent, to support the claim that what the Obama administration has done had to be done.
And that doesn't even count Crutsinger's Krugmanesque rewrites of the history of the 1930s Depression era and 1990s Japan, or the apparatchik-like tone present in a few of his paragraphs.
The CBS Evening News may have only devoted 13 seconds last Monday night to the deaths of seven soldiers in Afghanistan -- as Katie Couric anchored from the Staples Center the night before the Michael Jackson memorial -- and just 15 seconds Wednesday night to their caskets arriving back in the U.S., but the producers of CBS's Sunday Morning should be commended for giving Martha Gillis, the aunt of an Army Lieutenant killed in Afghanistan the same day Jackson died, an “opinion” segment in which she conveyed the frustration of military families over the media's misplaced priorities.
“My 24-year-old nephew, Brian Bradshaw, was killed by an IED in Afghanistan on June 25th, but you'd never have known it from the national media. I cannot tell you how that silence added to the pain of losing this bright, funny, thoughtful young man,” Gillis began as she expressed the “pain shared by many of the 4,000-plus grieving families whose loved ones have sacrificed their lives in two wars that have largely disappeared from the news.” Enhancing the impact of her words, CBS interweaved still shots from the procession and funeral for 1st Lt. Brian N. Bradshaw.
After recounting the respect and support from those she encountered as she attended her nephew's funeral, Gillis powerfully concluded:
Once I left town, though, soldier's deaths once again became invisible. Because of the incredible kindness of the people of Steilacoom, Washington, I wonder how many other people, in Maine or Texas or New York City, would also have honored Brian and the other soldiers who have died in the last two weeks if the media had simply let them know: Somebody's little boy, all grown up, died today. Someone's little girl found out today that Daddy is never coming home.
That news is hard to bear. When the nation they died for barely notices, it's crushing.
Last Tuesday, NewsBusters Editor-at-Large Brent Baker noted that seven soldiers who had been killed the week prior in Afghanistan received just 1/20th of the evening newscast time that ABC, CBS, and NBC devoted to the passing of pop star Michael Jackson.
The same day, NewsBusters Publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell slammed the broadcast networks in a statement: "There is no justification for determining that the death of a celebrity over a week ago merits 20 times more news coverage than the tragic deaths of American soldiers in Afghanistan."
Perhaps in some measure reacting to the criticism, CBS's "Sunday Morning" program yesterday aired a nearly 3-minute-long opinion segment featuring Martha Gillis, whose nephew, 1st Lt. Brian Bradshaw, was killed on June 25 in Afghanistan.
In the video, Gillis criticized the media for its lack of coverage [audio available here]:
Call it "Yankee Imperialist Corrupts Impressionable Iraqi Youth":
Am I supposed to believe that USA Today had no other more relevant pictures they could have used? The fact that they went back to an AP file photo from 2007 is pretty strong evidence that USAT's page-fillers were looking to make a point.
Two days after Sunday's Washington Post carried a letter from a woman who asked “where was the coverage of my nephew or the other soldiers” who were killed in the days after Michael Jackson died, attacks in Afghanistan took the lives of seven U.S. soldiers, but their deaths earned a total of less than one minute combined on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts on Monday night -- 1/20th the time devoted to Jackson a week-and-a-half after he passed away.
Emblematic of the disparity in priorities, CBS anchor Katie Couric read her 13-second item on the deaths in Afghanistan as she sat in Los Angeles with the Staples Center, the venue for Jackson's memorial, in the background. Those 13 seconds were squeezed in around just over 13 minutes, more than half the newscast's 22 minutes, dedicated to Jackson -- a disparity of 60-to-1 (790 v 13 seconds). ABC and NBC allocated about eight times more time to Jackson than Afghanistan (2:50 v 20 seconds on ABC; 3:00 v 23 seconds on NBC).
On CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, news reader Erica Hill and Cooper spent nearly 40 seconds discussing the “Wife-Carrying World Championship” in Sonkajarvi, Finland and how the winner got his wife's weight in beer, but allocated just 15 seconds to Afghanistan. (The Situation Room aired a full story on the challenges in Afghanistan.)
Army 1st Lt. Brian N. Bradshaw was killed in Afghanistan, fighting in a war to protect all Americans, the same day that Michael Jackson died, prompting a letter to the Washington Post, which the paper published on Sunday, from Bradshaw's aunt, Martha Gillis, who scolded media priorities:
My nephew, Brian Bradshaw, was killed by an explosive device in Afghanistan on June 25, the same day that Michael Jackson died. Mr. Jackson received days of wall-to-wall coverage in the media. Where was the coverage of my nephew or the other soldiers who died that week? There were several of them, and our family crossed paths with the family of another fallen soldier at Dover Air Force Base, where the bodies come “home.” Only the media in Brian's hometown [in Washington State] and where he was stationed before his deployment [Alaska] covered his death.
In the letter the Post headlined, “A Life of Worth, Overlooked,” Gillis, a resident of the Washington, DC suburb of Springfield, Virginia, fondly recalled: “He had old-fashioned values and believed that military service was patriotic and that actions counted more than talk. He wasn't much for talking, although he could communicate volumes with a raised eyebrow.”
Walsh's grave transgression: calling the senator, "ma'am." For that, the "Hardball" host treated Walsh as part of the day's "political sideshow," literally, in his June 18 program:
Sen. BARBARA BOXER: Do me a favor. Could you say, "Senator," instead of "Ma'am"? It's just a thing. I worked so hard to get that title. So I'd appreciate it. Yes, thank you.
Brig. Gen. WALSH: Yes, Senator.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: She sure did, she's been elected three times, by the way. So I guess the question is this: Had he said "sir" to a male senator, would that senator be correct in correcting the general? There is a history, however, and let us not forget, of male-female condescension in the U.S. Senate. Just recall the Anita Hill testimony of not too long ago.
In light of some awful high-profile murders by sick individuals, the Los Angeles Times' Tim Rutten wants the Department of Homeland Security to revisit its report from earlier this year that connects potential terrorism to "right-wing extremism." And Rutten seems especially concerned about those serving in the military. From his column:
Two months ago, the Republican National Committee and many conservative commentators went into paroxysms of rage over a report by the Department of Homeland Security drawing attention to the potential terrorist threat of resurgent right-wing extremism. The department ended up apologizing for noting the extremist underground's attempts to recruit returning military personnel. (All three of the men involved in the Oklahoma City bombing met and developed their convictions while serving in the Army.) As the body count mounts, the department may want to reconsider that apology.
Rutten appears to imply that extremist "convictions" are developed while serving in the military.
Filling in for Bob Schieffer on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, host Harry Smith helped finish the sentences of ACLU executive director Anthony Romero, while grilling New York Republican Congressman Peter King during a discussion on recent national security decisions by the Obama administration.
Smith began by asking Romero about the Obama administration’s decision to reinstate military tribunals for terror suspects: "The headlines from this -- no evidence admitted gained from harsh interrogation techniques. Hearsay, some hearsay will be admissible in court. To you, Anthony Romero, is there any good news in this?" Romero replied: "First, by continuing with the Bush military commissions, we are going to delay justice. It will take years before we see justice in these commissions." Smith helped to bolster the point: "Because, one, there’s -- already they said at least hundred and twenty days before this can go on."
As media members pressure Congress and the White House to prosecute Bush administration officials for enhanced interrogation techniques employed at the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay, they present their case as if such practices began quite recently.
This is by no means surprising as the full grips of Bush Derangement Syndrome cannot be felt without either a complete revision of history or one totally ignoring everything that happened prior to January 20, 2001.
With this in mind, an op-ed published in Sunday's Los Angeles Times, which accused one of the left's most-sacred golden idols, Robert F. Kennedy, of being involved in teaching torture techniques to Brazilian police officers, is sure to raise a few eyebrows (h/t Gary Hall):
The New York Times's "Visual op-ed" columnist Charles Blow issued his latest conservative-baiting column on Saturday, "The Enemies Within." Blow actually defended the infamous report from the Department of Homeland Security that vaguely tarred anyone active in conservative causes like abortion or immigration as potential extremists.
Blow focused on what the report said about U.S. veterans, who are apparently not smart enough to avoid getting involved in hate groups after returning home. The text box read: "Hate groups want our veterans." Blow's piece came with a helpful visual aid showing the number of "Veterans in White Supremacist Groups." The total confirmed or claimed over the last seven years? A less than overwhelming 203 out of a group numbering millions.
Oh, the Navy's gone and done it. They've made the pirates angrier, and hence more dangerous.
Newsweek's Mark Hosenball and Michael Isikoff predicted in their April 15 piece that the future of pirate encounters off the Horn of Africa will only result in more "Blood in the Water," because it will "radicalize the [Somali] population" according to some insurance and shipping experts.
Before the demise of three of the Maersk Alabama pirates, the Somali pirates were downright nice bad guys, aside from hijacking unarmed civilian shipping vessels and yachts:
Recycling the mid-1990s liberal smear campaign against grassroots conservatism, CNN has posted an article on the new DHS threat report complete with a Getty Images photo (shown at right) of neo-Nazi and white supremacist flags.
If the report were about Nazi extremists, that picture would be warranted. However, the DHS report warns against an amorphous “right-wing extremism,” failing to mention by name any particular threatening group or intelligence of any planned attacks.
The DHS report did cite returning war veterans as at-risk for recruitment by right-wing extremist groups. It seems strange to think that those men and women who risked their lives to protect this country and their government could be or become Nazis, but that seems to be the implication.
Moreover, one wonders where exactly the CNN report on the other extremism report was.
In a report this morning on the situation off the coast on Somalia, Associated Press reporters Elizabeth A. Kennedy and Paul Jelinek seemed oddly sympathetic to the cause of the terrorists in training the world insists on calling "pirates," almost to the point of grudging admiration.
Check out some of the words the AP pair used in their 9:15 a.m. dispatch (saved at host for fair use and discussion purposes, and for future reference if or when the text changes) following the "breaking news alert" at the link:
Undeterred Somali pirates hijack 4 more ships
Undeterred by U.S. and French hostage rescues that killed five bandits, Somali pirates brazenly hijacked three more ships in the Gulf of Aden, the waterway at the center of the world's fight against piracy.
..... The latest trophy for the pirates was the M.V. Irene E.M., a Greek-managed bulk carrier sailing from the Middle East to South Asia, said Noel Choong, who heads the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur.
The Irene was attacked and seized in the middle of the night Tuesday - a rare tactic for the pirates.
When Hollywood movies and their stars trash America's brave soldiers, the anti-war press can't give them enough attention.
Yet, when cast and crew members of the soon to be released prequel of the sci-fi classic "Star Trek" visited service men and women in Kuwait on Saturday, newsrooms across the fruited plain couldn't care less.