Government Agencies

By Mark Finkelstein | December 15, 2014 | 6:40 PM EST

With 2015 only a couple of weeks away, Ed Schultz just managed to sneak under the wire in the race for Most Inane Question of the Year by an MSNBC Host.  Speaking to Valerie Plame's husband Joe Wilson on the The Ed Show this evening, Schultz suggested: "Your wife was outed by the Vice-President and now he's saying he has no problem with torture. How do you feel about that? I mean isn't it torture what your family went through?"

Wilson wasn't wacky enough to bite on Ed's bait, but in other comments made clear that he would like to see Cheney prosecuted in international and/or domestic courts.

By Tom Blumer | December 14, 2014 | 10:31 AM EST

Here's a small window into a journalist's mindset.

In a report on how lower gas prices are affecting the companies operating retail gas stations, Associated Press reporter John Fahey revealed his apparent believes that there are millions of us walking around, perhaps including him, obsessed with getting back at gas station owners for charging us so much at fill-up time for years:

By Tom Blumer | December 13, 2014 | 11:00 AM EST

Dictionary.com defines "glib" as "readily fluent, often thoughtlessly, superficially, or insincerely so."

Jonathan Gruber's apology at his Tuesday congressional hearing included that word. The word, especially the "superficial" element of its definition, applies to how the establishment press covered the hearing. With only rare exceptions, it excluded any mention of what has accurately been called "the most moving moment of the Gruber hearing": Wyoming Republican Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis's emotional recounting of how her husband died while the status of his coverage under Obamacare was in dispute.

By Tom Blumer | December 11, 2014 | 11:20 PM EST

Tuesday afternoon, Kyle Drennen at NewsBusters observed that the Big Three networks "Appear Finished With Gruber Coverage," and that their Tuesday morning shows had no coverage of the de facto Obamacare architect and his congressional appearance.

One factor likely influencing the nets' posture is how original news sources like the Associated Press and the nation's largest dailies have managed to shield their readers from almost anything relating to Gruber for weeks. One particularly comical example of that has been the Los Angeles Times.

By Jeffrey Meyer | December 11, 2014 | 2:15 PM EST

Kristen Welker, NBC News White House Correspondent, served as fill-in host on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports Thursday afternoon and took the opportunity to badger Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.) over the Democratic Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists. Speaking to her Republican guest, Welker asked “some of the enhanced techniques that the report found included extended waterboarding, sleep deprivation, rectal rehydration, slapping and stress positions. How is that not torture Congressman?”

By Tom Blumer | December 11, 2014 | 1:09 PM EST

Two recent items in the Washington Post support my contention that the establishment press is currently doing more than anyone besides Lena Dunham and "Jackie," both of whom have been irrefutably exposed as rape story fabulists, to cause victims of sexual assault to be reluctant to come forward (Note: That's not to say that the two women haven't been victims of sexual assault, "only" that the stories they are currently promulgating cannot possibly be true).

As Tim Graham at NewsBusters noted this morning, the Post provided feminist character witnesses supporting Dunham (including one who still "completely believe(s) her") and made pathetic excuses for the "Girls" star, including that she has a "demanding job." Meanwhile — and to be clear, this is appropriate work which Rolling Stone should have done in the first place — the Post has been thoroughly vetting the story of alleged University of Virginia fraternity gang-rape victim "Jackie."

By Jeffrey Meyer | December 11, 2014 | 12:25 PM EST

A day after Rosie O’Donnell proclaimed that the CIA engaged in “horrific” and “illegal” “torture,” on Thursday morning the cast of ABC’s The View decided to revisit the controversial Democratic Senate report on the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists.  Predictably, Rosie doubled-down on her claim that America “tortured” people but conservative co-host Nicolle Wallace eagerly slapped her down. The ABC host insisted that she has “never been more proud to defend the people who walk the line for this country and this city and the city in which I worked, the city where my mom and dad lived.” 

By Tom Blumer | December 10, 2014 | 11:41 PM EST

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Nick Pistor has quite an odd take on Dorian Johnson, the closest eyewitness to the killing of Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson in early August.

The occasion enabling Pistor to publicly purvey his perception was news on Monday that Johnson had taken a job with the City of St. Louis. Before getting to those details, let's look at Pistor's astonishing opening paragraph (bolds are mine throughout this post):

By Tom Blumer | December 10, 2014 | 6:42 PM EST

Nearly six years into Barack Obama's presidency, it's still George W. Bush's fault.

Early Wednesday morning, Julie Pace at the Associated Press proved yet again why it is more than appropriate to characterize the wire service where she works as the Administration's Press. The headline at Pace's story tells us that poor President Barack Obama still has to confront the "Bush legacy," and is still stuck with his wars and "big chunks of Bush's national security apparatus." Cry me a river, Julie. One of Pace's more important omissions is the fact that the enhanced interrogations program Senate Democrats are decrying was a creation of none other than Bill Clinton.

By Jeffrey Meyer | December 10, 2014 | 3:20 PM EST

On Wednesday, Michael Morrell, former Deputy Director of the CIA and current CBS News Senior Security Contributor, appeared on CBS This Morning to discuss the Democrat-led Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists. While the former CIA official vehemently rejected the contents of the report, co-host Norah O’Donnell did her best to discredit Morrell’s defense of the agency. O’Donnell proclaimed “to me the idea that someone could be waterboarded, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, 183 times and that's not torture, I just don't understand that definition.”

By Mark Finkelstein | December 10, 2014 | 8:23 AM EST

Who were those guys on Morning Joe today—two Feinstein staffers? Nope, they were Mark Halperin and Jeremy Peters, making like Dem aides in defending the report on the CIA that Dem Senator Diane Feinstein released yesterday.

Halperin, head of Bloomberg Politics, had the chutzpah to claim that the report was not "political."  Peters of the New York Times then chimed in to say that in releasing the report, the Senate conducted itself in a "very sober" way.

By Matthew Balan | December 8, 2014 | 4:30 PM EST

On Monday, ABC and NBC's morning newscasts both touted the upcoming congressional report on the CIA's post-9/11 interrogation techniques as "explosive" and "damning." However, neither network pointed out that it was Democratic members on the Senate Intelligence Committee that commissioned the document. By contrast, CBS This Morning reported that "Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee are set to release a controversial report on the CIA."