Earlier this week, NewsBusters' Tim Graham noted the downbeat mood in many of the nominated movies at Sunday's Oscars, as originally written up by a Washington Post staff writer. NB's Matt Sheffield addressed the Feature Documentary award winner, "Taxi to the Dark Side," and the dearth of libertarian or conservative representation in the list of that category's nominees.
Taxi to the Dark Side? Never heard of it. Did not even know it existed. They wonder why no one watches the Oscars.
Voodoodaddy is far from alone, and his comment begs a bigger question: Why, as I believe is the case, would a company make a film knowing full well that almost no one will see it?
That's certainly not a question anyone in Old Media is asking. Two of the five nominees in the Feature Documentary category ("War/Dance" - $57,640; Operation Homecoming" - either $4,516 or $6,795) did barely noticeable business in 2007.
Left-wing blowhard Michael Moore didn't win an Oscar last night but the Academy of Motion Pictures didn't dissappoint the PC crowd, giving its award for best documentary to "Taxi to the Dark Side," a film by Alex Gibney and Eva Orner which accuses the U.S. military of engaging in torture around the globe:
The harrowing film throws the spotlight on US interrogation techniques at military facilities and investigates the death in custody of a Afghan taxi driver - Dilawar - at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan in 2002. [...] Gibney, who also produced hit documentary "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room," said in his acceptance speech that his wife had wanted him to make a romantic comedy.
"But honestly after Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and extraordinary rendition that simply wasn't possible," the film-maker said, before dedicating the film to Dilawar and his own father.
Americans will be in far greater danger of a terrorist attack after midnight Saturday due to House Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.), deciding to leave town for a break rather than vote on a surveillance bill that cleared the Senate Tuesday.
Sadly, the good folks at the Associated Press don't seem concerned, for instead of painting an accurate picture of this truly abysmal delay tactic by the left, the wire service chose to defend Pelosi and the Democrats while conveniently ignoring some key facts.
As reported moments ago (emphasis added throughout):
A Yahoo photo slideshow of Ground Zero perfectly demonstrates the bias news agencies frequently insert into captions. Instead of just describing the photo, Yahoo included captions with partisan cheap shots unrelated to the image to score typical anti-War On Terror points (h/t NB reader Larry Jordan).
Out-of-place comments about waterboarding, the downturn in the economy and a criticism of Rudy Giuliani were captioned under photos of a smoking World Trade Center and Ground Zero rubble (bold mine throughout):
Slide 1: Early morning light illuminates the wreckage of the World Trade Center on September 25, 2001 in New York. The head of the CIA said Thursday it is uncertain whether the use of waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning widely condemned as torture, would be lawful if used today against Al-Qaeda detainees.
Is ABC "View" co-host Joy Behar so far out of the political mainstream that she has a skewed sense of what entails a "liberal" and a "conservative?" The same woman who called Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama "very moderate" on the February 7 show, John McCain has "been very conservative in all his policies." Apparently anyone who does not march lockstep with NARAL is an arch-conservative, as Behar explained that McCain is "so conservative because he’s against choice."
Very conservative in all of his policies? John McCain’s 2006 rating with the American Conservative Union was 65. While he certainly votes for the conservative position more often than not, he has far from a solid conservative record. The Club for Growth assailed McCain’s vote against the 2001 tax cuts and his class warfare reasoning for opposing it.
"View" co-host Joy Behar offered her political expertise to explain the conservative opposition to John McCain: Conservatives support "torture" (a liberal propaganda term for CIA interrogation methods of actual terrorists). On the February 4 edition of "The View," Behar, who considers the term "fringe liberal" "name calling," explains why "very extreme right wing conservatives" oppose McCain.
BEHAR: Ann Coulter, she says, Coulter, who makes a living by being provocative, picked a predictably offensive reason to oppose McCain. Quote, from Ann, "he has led the fight against torture at Guantanamo." That’s why she doesn’t like him because he is against torture. I think that’s fascinating.
GOLDBERG: I think if she meets him, he would torture her.
New York Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt got angry this week. Not at the Times' shoddy, statistically worthless slam of U.S. veterans that appeared on last Sunday's front page (next week, perhaps?), but at conservative blogger Ed Whelan, for having the temerity of bringing up a possible conflict of interest involving the Times' Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse.
Whelan, who is President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and writes the "Bench Memos" blog at National Review Online, unearthed the Supreme Court reporter's controversial tie last month.
Instead of leading with the Iowa caucuses, Wednesday’s "The Situation Room" began its broadcast covering attorney general Michael Mukasey’s decision to open an investigation into the destruction of interrogation tapes by the CIA. Host Wolf Blitzer, during a segment with CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, compared this investigation to the investigation by Patrick Fitzgerald that led to the obstruction of justice conviction of Scooter Libby. "Whenever they [Bush administration officials] have to go testify, whether before a grand jury or to the FBI, and tell what they know... they fall into that dangerous area where they might not necessarily tell the whole truth, and then they could be charged with a cover-up, if you will, sort of along the lines of Scooter Libby."
Despite what former President Bill Clinton and most Democrats think, Fox News's Chris Wallace really is the epitome of fair and balanced.
In case you had any doubt, his interview Thursday with WOR radio's Steve Malzberg was a perfect example of why Wallace is the most impartial of all the Sunday talk show hosts.
To give you an idea of just how unbiased he is, during this extraordinary segment, Wallace strongly disagreed with Rush Limbaugh's recent remarks concerning Hillary Clinton's aging appearance, and actually came to her defense.
Later, Wallace supported media's questions concerning Mitt Romney being a Mormon even though Sen. Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) belief in this faith is totally ignored.
On the flipside, Wallace ridiculed MSNBC's David Shuster for some of his recent comments about Fox News, and mocked those that find water-boarding so deplorable.
Here are some of the highlights of this absolutely spectacular interview (15-minute audio available here, readers are cautioned to prepare themselves for an almost astounding level of candor from someone regularly depicted as a GOP mouthpiece):
"But Mika Brzezinski agrees with me!" might not be Mike Huckabee's best pitch to Republican primary voters in defending his harsh criticism of the Bush administration on foreign policy. But the fact is that Mika has done her best to throw Mike a lifeline on the matter.
In a "Foreign Policy" magazine article, an excerpt of which appears below, Huckabee had famously written of "the Bush administration's arrogant bunker mentality."
Interviewing Huckabee on today's Morning Joe, Mika teed up some recent news as supporting evidence for the "arrogant bunker mentality" allegation -- and the candidate was only too happy to take a swing.
Shane began by likening the CIA to a group of grifters afraid their luck may finally be running out.
"For six years, Central Intelligence Agency officers have worried that someday the tide of post-Sept. 11 opinion would turn, and their harsh treatment of prisoners from Al Qaeda would be subjected to hostile scrutiny and possible criminal prosecution.
"CIA tapes destroyed despite court order" blares an Associated Press headline today. But the court order allegedly breached applied to videotapes in possession of the U.S. military of interrogations at Guantanamo Bay, not videos of interrogations held at secret CIA sites in foreign countries.
But that's okay, insists AP writer Matt Apuzzo as "Attorneys say that might not matter."
But what attorneys? Apuzzo offers up attorney David H. Remes, "a lawyer for Yemeni citizen Mahmoad Abdah and others." According to Apuzzo, he's "asked [U.S. District Judge Henry H.] Kennedy this week to schedule a hearing on the issue. Kennedy gave the government until Friday to respond."
While it's hard to begrudge a defense lawyer from exploring any and all potential legal manuevers to assist his client -- that IS his job, after all -- it's notable that Mr. Remes is also an active Democratic campaign contributor, having given $500 to Sen. Hillary Clinton in July 2007.
In an effort to have a fair and balanced debate on the issue of the destruction of CIA interrogation tapes, "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer invited Democratic Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Jay Rockefeller, and liberal Republican, Senator Chuck Hagel, on to Sunday’s broadcast. Hagel proved to be left of Rockefeller:
We are saying what to the world? That the Army Field Manual applies to our Army people, our armed services people, but the C.I.A. and all these Blackwater-type variations of militias and armies are unaccountable to what? That's not who we are as Americans, Bob. We're better than that. We don't need that. The world wants us to be better than that. We want to be better than that. We need to be smarter. Burning tapes, destroying evidence, I don't know how deep this goes. Could there be obstruction of justice? Yes. How far does this go up in the White House? I don't know.
That does not sound like an opinion from the mainstream of the Republican Party.
MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and David Shuster squared off in a heated battle on Tuesday over whether waterboarding constitutes torture. Scarborough appeared exasperated with his left-leaning guest and, at one point, derided, "Are you an expert? When did you decide and when did the liberal media decide and when did all of us in Manhattan, Georgetown and West Hollywood decide that waterboarding was torture?"
Later in the segment, Shuster began wildly comparing waterboarding to violent acts: "If you believe that America should torture, fine! Waterboard them! Drill them in the kneecaps. Shoot, shoot their legs off! Whatever you want to do." Scarborough responded by laughing and, in a nod to "24," announced, "I'm not Jack Bauer."
On Sunday’s "Face the Nation" on CBS, host Bob Schieffer aksed in his commentary at the end of the show: "Have we helped our cause with the rest of the world when they come to believe we have sunk to using the tactics of those who oppose us?" Speaking in reference to the recent news that the CIA destroyed videotapes of the interrogations of terrorists, which some believe may have involved water boarding, Schieffer began his rant by invoking the name of the great liberal icon, Edward R. Murrow (video available here):
Finally today, Edward R. Murrow was one of the first to understand the power of worldwide communications, but it was the message, not the power to reach so many people, that concerned him...I thought about that as we learn more about the C.I.A.'s use of what our own Army and the Geneva Conventions define as torture and how officials destroyed evidence when a federal judge demanded tapes of the interrogation episodes.
Quickly reacting to the December 9 Washington Post's front page revelation yesterday that some Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi knew about waterboarding interrogation techniques YEARS ago, Time's Joe Klein sought to silence criticism of Democratic hypocrisy.
The Washington Post reported today that select members of congress were briefed by the CIA in 2002 about enhanced interrogation techniques. Included in the briefing was current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.
"The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough," said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.
According to the article, the CIA gave congressional overseers approximately 30 private briefings, some of which included descriptions of waterboarding, other harsh interrogation methods, and virtual tours of the CIA's overseas detention sites.
Then-Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-FL) was also a party to the briefings.
The media have gone into full frenzy mode the last two days over some destroyed CIA interrogation tapes. And are you really surprised? The story has all the ingredients that the mainstream media just can't resist: 1) waterboarding, 2) allegations of cover up and obstruction of justice, 3) and the opportunity to ask "what did they know and when did they know it?"
Liberals wouldn't lift a finger to stop the torturing to death of an unborn child. But put a terrorist [or a baby seal, for that matter] in the block and watch them spring into sensitive-soul mode.
Rosa Brooks epitomizes the mindset in her current LA Times column, "Torture: the new abortion." Her notion is that among Republicans, the new litmus test for presidential candidates is not opposition to abortion but support for U.S. officials who order the "torture of prisoners."
It was waterboard Wednesday in the New York Times, as Philip Shenon and Scott Shane filed separate articles on the issue of waterboarding and "torture" in general.
Shenon's article on the positive outlook for Michael Mukasey's attorney general nomination tsk-tsked:
"Even some of Mr. Mukasey's supporters said at the hearing to vote on the nomination that they were troubled by the way Mr. Mukasey handled questions about waterboarding, which the United States has fiercely condemned when carried out by other nations and had prosecuted as a war crime after World War II."
On Monday's "Countdown," MSNBC's Keith Olbermann delivered his latest "Special Comment," inspired by revelations that former Acting Assistant Attorney General Daniel Levin had advised the Bush administration that waterboarding of Al-Qaeda terrorists should be considered torture, as the "Countdown" host charged that "the presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush." He further accused Bush of intentionally inducing Al-Qaeda prisoners to make false confessions which Bush could speak of publicly for political gain, which Olbermann contended would "mean George W. Bush is going to prison." He also warned that Bush would like to use his "nightmare presidency" to move America on a course similar to that of 1930s Japanese fascism.
On Firday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith began a segment on the controversy over Attorney General nominee, Michael Mukasey’s stance on water boarding with a report from Capitol Hill Correspondent Chip Reid, who exclaimed that:
Water boarding is a highly controversial interrogation technique that simulates drowning...It's been used by interrogators since the Spanish Inquisition. Reportedly, it's been used by the CIA in real life, too, on a small number of Al Qaeda suspects.
In addition to this exaggerated characterization, Reid also made it seem as though the issue of water boarding was a sudden, shocking controversy, rather than an instance of a consensus nominee, well-liked by Democrats and Republicans, being attacked by those who once welcomed him:
Michael Mukasey looked like he was sailing along to easy confirmation as attorney general, until he ran aground on the issue of water boarding...If he is defeated, water boarding will be the issue that made the difference, something no one could have predicted when the hearings began.
As we've noted at NewsBusters before, it's perfectly sporting to liberal reporters to scoff at conservative activism by college-aged Republicans. Just the same, the left-wing activists of kids not old enough to drive is enough to make journalists warm and gushy inside.
Take Linda Ellerbee, formerly of NBC and CNN, who has a new Nick News special on kids engaging in political activism, and yes, it's heavy on left-wing action items from protesting alleged "torture" sanctioned by the Bush administration, to decrying standardized testing in Seattle, Washington, as racist, to aiding PETA in protesting the use of circus animals. (h/t Blackfive)
To commemorate the Media Research Center’s 20th anniversary this month, we’ve just published a special expanded edition of our ‘Notable Quotables’ newsletter with more than 100 of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes we’ve uncovered over the past 20 years. Earlier this week, I presented quotes showing the media’s hostility towards Ronald Reagan and other conservatives, and sycophantic coverage of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Today’s installment: America the Awful. On Monday, I recounted how many journalists offered sympathetic coverage of totalitarian communist regimes. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, too many journalists opted to take a harsher approach with their own country. In a commencement address at the State University of New York at New Paltz back on May 21, 2006, New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., exposed his extreme left-wing agenda as he railed against everything he saw as wrong with America:
On Sunday’s 60 Minutes, Anchor Scott Pelley interviewed left-wing rocker Bruce Springsteen and said of the aging musician that he "sees himself following a long American tradition that reaches back through Vietnam and on to the Great Depression, from Dylan to Guthrie."
Pelley opens the segment exclaiming that "He’s returned to full-throated rock and roll, and a message that is sharper than ever, damning the war in Iraq, and questioning whether America has lost its way at home." Pelley then helps to further frame Springsteen’s political activism and wonders what the message is:
Much of the new music is a protest. Some of it blunt, as in the song that asks "Who will be the last to die for a mistake," but most of it subtle, like the story of a man who returns to his all-American small town but doesn’t recognize it any more, "It's gonna be a long walk home." What's on your mind? What are you writing about?"
It should not be that difficult to read the Boss’s mind on that one Scott.
Presuming Bush administration dissembling and illegality, NBC anchor Brian Williams considered it “big” news Thursday night that the administration “secretly authorized abusive interrogation techniques for terrorism suspects, including torture, despite denial from everyone from President Bush on down. And the policy remains even though the Supreme Court ruled against it.” Picking up on the front page New York Times disclosure of the classified documents, which neither the ABC nor CBS evening newscasts considered newsworthy, the NBC Nighty News ran a very slanted story that, other than one short soundbite from White House Press Secretary Dana Perino about how “they were safe, necessary and lawful, these techniques, and have helped save American lives,” aired only condemnatory comments as reporter Andrea Mitchell assumed the methods are torture.
She reminded viewers that “after a political firestorm, devastating pictures from Abu Ghraib and a Supreme Court ruling,” last year the President promised “the United States does not torture” and “I will not authorize it,” yet the New York Times reported that in 2005 the Justice Department under Alberto Gonzales issued memos “authorizing much harsher techniques, including head-slapping, waterboarding, frigid temperatures and 'combined effects' -- using several practices simultaneously, despite dissent on his staff. Today leading Democrats vowed to pass new laws.” Without any consideration for how the memos could have been written to allow the use of the techniques in only the most dire circumstances, and thus the techniques may not have been employed, Mitchell warned: “There's also a big impact on foreign policy. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has promised U.S. allies that the administration does not use torture, even though officials say she knew about the memos.”
On to promote his new book, "Letters From Nuremberg," about his father's experiences at the Nuremberg trials Democratic Senator and presidential candidate Chris Dodd, prompted by NBC "Today" co-host Ann Curry, accused the Bush administration of supporting torture at Guantanamo Bay on Tuesday's "Today" show.
After Curry spoke to the senator about the book and the trial of Nazis after World War II, she pushed Dodd to contrast the fairness of the Nuremberg trials compared to the Bush administration's support of "tortures" at Guantanamo Bay. The following exchange occurred on the September 18 "Today" show: