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.
In what almost seems a gleeful pronouncement, The New York Times trumpeted America's powerlessness over the recent capture by pirates of a captain of a U.S. run freighter on the high seas. With an April 9 headline that blares, "Standoff With Pirates Shows U.S. Power Has Limits," the Times almost seems to revel in that taking down of an arrogant America by mere pirates in power boats.
It's quite hard not to feel that the Times is celebrating the enfeebling of the "world's most powerful military," here.
"Forget about bringing the troops home Iraq - we need to get the troops home from World War II," Maher said. "Can anybody tell me why in 2009, we still have more than 50,000 troops in Germany and 30,000 in Japan? At some point these people are going to have to learn to rape themselves."
Despite being in so much financial trouble it could be facing extinction, the San Francisco Chronicle continues to be one of the most disgraceful newspapers in the country.
In a piece dealing with Saturday's anti-war protest held in the City by the Bay, the authors disgustingly felt the need to share with their readers a truly offensive t-shirt that was for sale at the event (file photo):
On the December 9, 2008, Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann charged that Bush administration members – whom he did not specify by name but presumably President Bush was meant to be included – deserve to be "in hell," as he cited a report that a post-war insurgency in Iraq using roadside bombs to attack U.S. troops had been predicted by the U.S. military before the invasion. During the show’s regular "Bushed!" segment, Olbermann lambasted the Bush administration:
So not only did the Bush administration and the Bush Pentagon ignore the prewar intel, that the WMD we sought to recover were not in Iraq, but the Bush administration and the Bush Pentagon ignored that if we removed Saddam Hussein an insurgency of some sort would develop in Iraq. And now we learn the Bush administration and the Bush Pentagon ignored the prewar intel that when an insurgency did develop, it would use roadside bombs to kill the troops we needlessly sent there.
I don’t know what, if any religion you belong to, but I suspect you’ll agree that people who ignored that many foretellings of preventable death should have a long time to think about it in hell!
Below is a complete transcript of the "Bushed!" segment from the December 9, 2008, Countdown show on MSNBC, with critical portions in bold:
On Thursday’s CBS Evening News, Katie Couric incorrectly called one of the munitions reportedly used by the Israeli military a "banned weapon," and, after ignoring numerous violations of international law perpetrated by Hamas, relayed charges that Israel may have committed "war crimes." Referring to Israel’s alleged use of white phosphorus in Gaza, Couric introduced the report: "Hamas gave a thumbs-down to President Obama today, saying his Middle East policy is no different from President Bush's. Hamas just ended a bloody war with Israel in Gaza, and tonight there is growing evidence the Israelis may have used a banned weapon. Some even accuse them of war crimes." Video plus an online version of the story can be found here.
But the use of white phosphorus (WP) is not banned outright, though there are restrictions on its use near civilians areas, and the munition has actually been used by the American military in Iraq. After reports that WP was employed in Fallujah, Iraq, including criticism that it was employed too close to civilians, former Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace defended its use in a November 29, 2005 Pentagon briefing: "White phosphorus is a legitimate tool of the military. It is used for two primary purposes. One is to mark a location for strike by an aircraft ... The other is to be used ... as a screening agent so that you can move your forces without being seen by the enemy. It is not a chemical weapon ... it is well within the law of war to use those weapons as they are being used for marking and for screening."
On Wednesday’s The O’Reilly Factor, during the show’s "Talking Points Memo," FNC host Bill O’Reilly slammed the New York Times and NBC News, presumably referring to MSNBC hosts like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, accusing them of having "damaged their own country in a disgusting display of propaganda and outright lies" by "convincing the world that the USA is a nation of torture, a country that sadistically inflicts pain on both the innocent and the guilty." O’Reilly further attacked the "insane call for fishing expeditions to find something that will lead to prosecuting the President and Vice President," and added that he "despises, despises those who, in the name of ideology, want to weaken the country, putting us all in danger," and charged that doing so would be "un-American."
O’Reilly then hosted a discussion with FNC military analyst retired Colonel David Hunt and, to argue the liberal point-of-view, FNC analyst Bob Beckel, and Hunt contended that he had used "coerced interrogation" in the past that had "saved guys' lives."
When historians look back in wonder at how a long-established publication like the New York Times could have declined from its virtual king-of-the-world status in mid-2002 to its Bush-deranged, 85%-devalued shadow of its former self, they will surely make a few stops at Maureen Dowd's twice-weekly, lost-in-another-world columns (the Dowd picture is from the Times's web site).
Today's offering from Dowd (HT Hot Air Headlines) is intended to be a final figurative kick in the shins at George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, something she admits to fantasizing about having done to the Vice President this week when she had opportunities.
But the Dowd diatribe really ends up as a self-portrayal of someone who deeply imbibed the kool-aid her paper dished out over the past seven years and is beyond ever letting go, and serves as a microcosm of what the Old Gray Lady has done to itself in that same timeframe:
Comedienne Roseanne Barr called Israel a "NAZI state" Tuesday, while declaring "The destruction of the jews [sic] in Israel has been assured with this inhuman attack on civilians in gaza [sic]."
She also liked Hamas to a bunch of street gangs while depicting Israel's military action "equivilent to los angeles [sic] attacking and launching war on the people of watts [sic] to attempt to kill the bloods [sic] the crips [sic]."
Such was actually posted at her blog Roseanne World Tuesday.
The entire disgraceful rant is below the fold for those that can stand it (h/t Mere Rhetoric):
CNN, as is their typical style, has ignored facts and reality when reporting an incident involving an encounter with a Gaza relief boat, and an Israeli patrol boat.
Karl Penhaul, a CNN correspondent aboard the pleasure yacht known as Dignity, and frequently on the wrong side of an issue, was pretty much allowed carte blanche in recalling the incident -- an incident which was as much publicity stunt for the so-called Free Gaza Group and former Congressnut Cynthia McKinney, as it was peacekeeping mission -- while the report simultaneously shrugged off the Israeli point of view.
The presentation clearly wants you to believe that the Israeli boat was hostile and went well out of their way to attack the ‘peaceful' minded vessel. In reality though, it was nothing more than a typical group of protestors who use the word ‘peaceful' as a security blanket in their malicious efforts to defy authority, whether it be the authority of the United States government, or in this case, the Israeli navy.
A report via the Atlanta Journal Constitution (H/T Michelle Malkin) indicates the pre-determined goal of the mission (emphasis mine throughout):
Former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney is a high-profile member of a boatload of activists that set sail Monday from Cyprus to deliver medicine to war-torn Gaza...
The Los Angeles Times recently created a stir among the Pentagon press corps, running a page one story implying that the Defense Department was cheating wounded warriors out of their disability pay.
The LAT shared the story of a Marine “wounded twice in Iraq -- by a roadside bomb and a land mine” and a soldier who “crushed her back and knees diving for cover during a mortar attack in Iraq.” The LAT indignantly reported: “…in each case, the Pentagon ruled that their disabilities were not combat related.”
A Department of Defense official tells me that a number of prominent MSM Pentagon correspondents were ready to take the Pentagon to task, but all ultimately dropped the story. Why? It turns out that, upon investigation, the LAT’s page-one piece was mostly fiction.
On Sunday's episode of "60 Minutes" (11/30/08), Lara Logan profiled Army hero Private Monica Brown, an 18-year-old medic who was awarded the Silver Star. Yet as wonderful as Brown's heroics were, Logan's profile could not shake the impression that it really wanted to get in some cheap shots at the United States military. Here's how Logan opened her piece:
Private Monica Brown is only the second woman to be awarded the Silver Star since the Second World War. She’s an Army medic who risked her own life to save two critically wounded paratroopers of the 82nd airborne division in Afghanistan.
O.K. so far. But then Logan abruptly switched gears:
Under Army regulations, women cannot be assigned to front-line combat units, but in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq today, that’s exactly where they often end up. Some male soldiers aren’t so happy about that, including members of Private Brown’s own unit. But her superior officers say she’s a hero, a hero who earned one of the military’s highest awards for exceptional valor when she was only 18 years old.
That women "cannot be assigned to front-line combat units" is a theme that Logan hammered throughout her piece. The problem? Private Brown was not on a front-line combat mission. As Logan's own story indicated, Brown was a medic in a unit that had been "searching for weapons in a village" when it was ambushed while returning to base. (By the way, Logan identifies those who ambushed our men and woman simply as "hidden enemy fighters.")
John McCain has said he'll be taking a tougher line against Barack Obama and his associates, and reporter Scott Shane's front-page piece in Saturday's New York Times on the "sporadic" ties between Obama and William Ayers, a founder of the 1960s domestic terrorist group Weather Underground, serves as a 2,100-word inoculation, a long investigative piece that does little in the way of actual investigating, providing the appearance of due diligence while exonerating Obama.
The two men knew each other years in Chicago politics, most notably when Obama served as chief executive of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a school project co-founded by Ayers, while Ayers served on the board. Ayers and his wife, fellow Weather Underground member Bernardine Dohrn, hosted a gathering for their Hyde Park neighbor Barack Obama. It was Obama's "coming-out" party for politics.
Ayers has never repented from his domestic terrorism, which included a bomb attack on the Pentagon (a Weather Underground member planted a bomb in a Pentagon restroom). In a Times profile that coincidentally appeared the morning of September 11, 2001, Ayers said, "I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough." In his memoir, "Fugitive Days," he wrote: ''Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon."
The L.A. Times' Rosa Brooks has done it again, taken a serious subject and made an uninformed romp of it. One wonders how the old Georgian lady seen in news photos standing wounded among the ruins of her apartment building, or the Georgian Mother running down the street, infant in her arms, trying to escape Russian tanks might feel about the humor with which Brooks brings to bear upon their plight? But, there it is for all to see in Brooks' "The Cold War, reheated" wherein Brooks puts the funny back in war. It's been too serious for too long for Brooks, apparently. We need the sunny side of ethnic cleansing, brutal invasion, and crushing occupation, don't we?
Oh, and let's not forget the skewed history, incorrect conclusions, and partisan inanities that Brooks blurted out with her little attempt at "Springtime for Gorbachev." Only with this production, Brooks is seriously trying to absolve the U.S.S.R.
Besides a complete withdrawal of American troops, what would have to occur for the media to think the war in Iraq is over?
Such seems an important question as hostilities in the embattled nation continue to decline, as do American casualties.
In fact, on Tuesday, a former Reagan administration official named Bing West wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal with the compelling headline "The War in Iraq Is Over. What Next?" (emphasis added throughout):
The New York Times is miffed. They aren't happy that there has been a dearth of news photos showing dead American soldiers in the war in Iraq. The Times is lamenting that there have been "4,000 U.S. Combat Deaths, and Just a Handful of Images," so more carnage and death is their druthers. Well, more American dead, anyway. They aren't interested in the dead of the enemy, to be sure.
Using the story of photog Zoriah Miller who had his embed status removed when he publicized photos of dead U.S. Marines after a suicide bombing, the Times reveals their pique over the fact that not enough dead Americans have been peddled to the American public. The Times denounces the military for protecting the troops and their families saying, "after five years and more than 4,000 American combat deaths, searches and interviews turned up fewer than a half-dozen graphic photographs of dead American soldiers."
Complaining for opponents of the war that the lack of casualty photos has created a a situation where the "public portrayal of the war is being sanitized," the Times wonders if the homefront is being badly served because we here are not seeing the "human cost of a war that polls consistently show is unpopular with Americans."