As violent, deadly demonstrations have broken out in Afghanistan following the recent accidental burning of Korans, it's interesting to look back nearly three years ago when the U.S. military burned a shipment of Holy Bibles written in the Pashto and Dari languages. The military destroyed the Bibles rather than ship them back stateside apparently out of fear the American church that sent them would just try shipping them back through other channels to Afghanistan.
The al-Jazeera network was involved in the breaking of the story, but a search of Nexis found no stories from the time by the Washington Post or New York Times nor the ABC, CBS, or NBC networks about the disposal of the Christian holy texts.
In an MSNBC "Lean Forward" promo aired on today's Morning Joe, Tamron Hall says she's been upset and saddened by the use of patriotism and military families as political pawns.
So where did Hall station herself for purposes of the spot? Why, in front of an A-4 Skyhawk military jet! As she so often does during her on-air appearances, Hall also spoke of her background as member of a military family. Speaking of using the military as a pawn, have you ever heard Hall or any of her MSNBC cohorts criticize President Obama for staging shots like the one seen [along with the Lean Forward video] after the jump?
On Monday, Calvin Woodward, with help from Martin Crutsinger and Pete Yost, produced a "Fact Check" on the budget proposal the White House released earlier that day.
After properly criticizing the administration's plan to use "about $850 billion in savings from ending the wars and steers some $230 billion of that to highways" (and actually quoting someone knowledgeable, who pointed out that "Drawing down spending on wars that were already set to wind down and that were deficit-financed in the first place should not be considered savings"), Woodward went off the rails:
Pressing Rick Santorum on his opposition to women serving in combat, CNN's Wolf Blitzer quoted a liberal veteran who harshly criticized Santorum's policy. Blitzer did not identify the veteran or his group as "liberal," thus failing to address the critic's possible political motives against the conservative candidate.
"A very angry response from one veteran," Blitzer noted, before quoting the co-founder of VoteVets.org. The group identifies itself as the "largest progressive organization of veterans in America." [Video below the break.]
In the only network morning show interview with Rick Santorum in the wake of his three-state victory on Tuesday, NBC Today co-host Ann Curry on Friday pestered the former Pennsylvania senator on whether he would "commit" not to do any negative campaigning and attempted to portray his recent comments on women serving in military combat roles as a gaffe.
Curry put this question to Santorum early in the interview: "...it is clear that negative campaigning generates votes....aren't you going to now have to go negative? Will you commit that your – you and your PACs will not? Or are you going to have to now?"
A new Washington Post/ABC News poll with a striking finding has New York Times Editorial Page editor Andrew Rosenthal in dismay: 53 percent of self-described liberal Democrats support keeping Guantanamo Bay open. Does this mean their previous virulent opposition was not based on concern for civil liberties, but was just partisan Bush-hatred? Of course not.
Rosenthal’s Thursday morning post “Hurray for Guantanamo Bay” ignored that clear Democratic hypocrisy while making excuses for President Obama. Apparently it’s all the fault of Republicans in Congress. (Left-wing civil liberties advocate Glenn Greenwald strongly disagreed in a March 2011 op-ed for Salon.) Rosenthal wrote:
In his pre-Super Bowl interview with Matt Lauer on Sunday, President Obama was asked the following question about Iran in light of the heightening tensions over its nuclear program and the possibility of an Israeli air strike: "(In repsonse) Do you fear that they will wage attacks within the United States on American soil?" Obama responded as follows: "We don't see any evidence that they have those intentions or capabilities right now."
Really? The President's statement directly goes against statements made recently by other government officials, up to and including Attorney General Eric Holder. Lauer, who is paid to look good while delivering the news and conducting interviews but not necessarily to deliver on substance, especially if it might disturb the American people before the Big Game, totally missed the contradiction. Fortunately, Ed Lasky at American Thinker didn't (internal links added by me):
In two items about today's report on economic growth from the federal government's Bureau of Economic Analysis today, Martin Crutsinger claimed that today's lower-than-expected annualized growth of 2.8% during the fourth quarter of 2011 (vs. expectations of 3% or higher) was hurt because of big "cuts" in government spending, especially federal spending -- supposedly the biggest cuts in 40 years. I guess the underlying message is supposed to be that Congress shouldn't try to reduce federal programs any more, because already they're allegedly being cut at historic rates.
Baloney. Crutsinger was either being incredibly ignorant by assuming that all government spending is part of GDP (it's not; only government purchases of goods and services are components of GDP), or he deliberately deceived his readers. At the federal level, purchases of goods and services and "investment" are only about 30% of all government spending. Total spending has hardly gone down at all. Here are the relevant paragraphs from his two reports:
Would someone please buy the Washington Post's Josh White a clue? He can't seem to get a handle on the "motive" for the actions of Yonathan Melaku (actually, I think White is pretending).
Melaku has just pleaded guilty and will be sentenced to 25 years in jail. Authorities say he vandalized military grave markers, shot at the Pentagon and military museums, and was working on an improvised explosive device. But the headline to White's story (HT Atlas Shrugs) and the reporter's content act as if no one has the foggiest idea what drop Melaku to do what he did (words which betray motivation are bolded):
There are few things the liberal media like more than a Republican renegade. David Stockman has made a career out of strutting his independence from the GOP. So little surprise that he was an honored guest on this morning's Up With Chris Hayes on MSNBC.
That Stockman repaid his hosts by attacking Republicans was utterly predictable. Even so, the absurdity of Stockman's particular assertion was breathtaking. The former Reagan budget director actually claimed that the notion of American exceptionalism, a focus of Newt Gingrich's campaign, is nothing less than . . . "neo-con code" for an aggressive foreign policy. Video after the jump.
On the Monday, January 9, Imus in the Morning, as he was interviewed by phone, New York magazine's Frank Rich - formerly of the New York Times - argued that he believes President Obama should be reelected, and seemed befuddled when host Don Imus, who plans to vote for Mitt Romney, asserted that Obama's foreign policy has been "disastrous." The liberal columnist then tried to give President Obama credit for the death of Osama bin Laden.
After Imus asked, "So you like President Obama, don't you? I mean, you'll vote-"
On Friday, two Deputy Secretaries, one at the Department of Transportation and the other at Defense, in their capacities as co-chairs of the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Executive Committee, released a one page letter concluding that the modified broadband deployment plan of LightSquared could not coexist with current GPS devices and their spectrum. That's because: a) LightSquared's deployment "would cause harmful interference to many GPS receivers"; b) It would not be "compatible with several GPS-dependent aircraft safety-of-flight systems," and c) "there appear to be no practical solutions" to the problems.
Stories about the release, to the extent they exist, are largely avoiding the mention of "Falcone" (that's hedge fund operator and heavy Obama campaign contributor Philip Falcone, "SEC" (which is investigating Falcone and his hedge fund, and "Obama" (as in President Barack Obama, the beneficiary along with the "Democratic Party" -- another unmentioned term in any variation -- of said contributions). Coverage by Daniel Fisher at Forbes at least brings up Falcone, the SEC, and the Obama administration:
CBS's Bob Schieffer led his interview of Herman Cain on Tuesday's Early Show by asking, "Why did you accept the invitation?" Cain must have been wondering that himself by the end of the segment, as Schieffer and Norah O'Donnell conducted a hostile interrogation of the entrepreneur, pressing him about his qualifications to be secretary of defense, and even asked about the state of his marriage.
The Face the Nation host, filling in as CBS transitions to its new morning show lineup, noted how someone at his network "had the idea...why don't we ask Herman Cain to come on?...Well, of all things he said, yes." Schieffer then turned to the former GOP presidential candidate and asked his "why accept the invitation" question, adding, "Do you have something you want to tell us this morning? Are you going to endorse a candidate? What brings you to television this morning?"
There are press memes which won't go away no matter what, and no matter how often disproven. One, repeated in an Associated Press report a couple of weeks ago as our troops were about to leave Iraq, claimed that "No WMD were ever found" there. The truth: Yes they were — along with 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium found in Iraq after Saddam was overthrown, specifically “the stuff that can be refined into nuclear weapons or nuclear fuel.”
Another meme which won't die and fails to pass the truth test was in an AP item by Julie Pace about President Obama's decision to defer raising the debt ceiling by $1.2 billion today. In it, she repeated the leftist line about how the national debt has grown so large (HT to an NB emailer):
At the Associated Press on Friday, reporter Jim Kuhnhenn provided yet another reason why characterizing the wire service as The Administration's Press is perfectly appropriate.
In wake of President Obama's use of a "signing statement" objecting on constitutional grounds to congressionally-imposed "restrictions on his ability to transfer detainees from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the United States," Kuhnhenn wrote that presidential candidate Obama "promised to make his application (of) the (signing statement) tool more transparent." No he didn't, Jim; as will be shown, he promised not to use them. Kuhnhenn's first three paragraphs, plus two later ones describing another signing statement matter, ran thusly (also note how the term "signing statement" was kept out of the story's headline):
The day before the one-year anniversary of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, both ABC's World News and the NBC Nightly News on Wednesday took the time to celebrate the first time that a same-sex couple won the U.S. Navy's lottery that allows their welcome home kiss to be featured as the first photographed kiss. ABC substitute anchor George Stephanopoulos read a short item on the subject:
At the top of Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams sadly declared: "At a ceremony in Baghdad today, the Americans lowered the flag and it was a quiet ending to a war that went bad not long after its spectacular start." While Williams stressed the "high cost" of the war, citing figures of dead and wounded, the report that followed ignored accomplishments in the conflict.
Chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel followed Williams sorrowful tone: "For a big war, it was a remarkably small closing ceremony. A few hundred troops, a five-piece band on a base by the airport on the edge of Baghdad." He later rhetorically wondered: "Did America prevail? Iraq's future remains uncertain....What was conspicuously absent today, Brian, there were no parades among Iraqis, no victory celebrations, no thank yous."
Opening NBC's Nightly News on Wednesday, anchor Brian Williams touted the U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq as an Obama administration accomplishment while slamming the war effort itself: "The President promised they'd be out by New Year's Eve and here they come....The war started with the event somebody called 'shock and awe' and it became a tragic and prolonged slog."
In the report that followed, White House correspondent Kristen Welker announced: "Mr. Obama has opposed the war since his days as a state senator. And today he said it's harder to end a war than to begin one....The President, facing a tough re-election battle, did not declare victory in Iraq, but has called the withdrawal a campaign promise kept."
In an interview with Vice President Joe Biden in Iraq aired on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry depicted the war effort there as a failure: "In a war that was started to protect the world from weapons of mass destruction that were never found, can the United States claim victory?" [Audio available here]
Biden agreed with Curry as he took a jab at the Bush administration: "We're not claiming victory. What we're claiming here is that we've done the job our administration set out to do, to end a war we did not start, to end it in a responsible way, to bring Americans home, to end the bleeding, both financially and physically that this war has caused..." [View video after the jump]
In a live report from Baghdad on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry described her arrival to the country with Vice President Biden: "Security is heavy amid an uptick in violence as the U.S. brings its divisive eight-year war in Iraq to an end. The Vice President timed his trip to the last days of America's war in Iraq."
Later in the report, Curry listed the cost of the war: "Eight years after 'shock and awe,' after the toppling and death of Saddam Hussein, after at least 4,473 American lives lost, and 32,226 wounded in action, and a roughly estimated 100,000 Iraqi civilian deaths, America leaves a significantly less violent but not completely stable Iraq."
On Sunday's World News on ABC, correspondent Nick Schifrin filed a report recounting complaints by Pakistanis that CIA drone attacks that have successfully killed high-profile terrorist figures residing in Pakistan have also resulted in civilian deaths and injuries.
With the words "A Young Man's Plea" displayed on screen next to him, anchor David Muir introduced the piece:
On today's Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace devoted the last five minutes of a 13-minute interview to sparring with Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, as the Fox host challenged the former Pennsylvania Senator for his opposition to gays serving openly in the military.
After playing a clip of Santorum from a recent debate arguing against the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Wallace began the exchange:
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):
The ABC and NBC morning and evening newscasts on Sunday gave attention to President Obama's attack on the Republican presidential candidates for not scolding a couple of audience members who booed a gay solder asking a question at a recent debate. Monday's "Special Report with Bret Baier" on FNC noted that Obama has his own history of standing by without condemning inappropriate comments at public events.
In an interview with Vice President Joe Biden, ABC's The View co-host Joy Behar brought up rogue crowd members at a recent GOP debate who booed after a gay soldier asked a question of the candidates. After Biden condemned the action, Behar slammed the Republican candidates for not rebuking the audience members.
"I thought it was reprehensible," Biden said of the booing, to which Behar added "And no one spoke up. The entire panel, not one person said anything."
The end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) is almost a week-old story, but the Washington Post is still busy churning up gushy human interest stories about gay and lesbian soldiers who are coming out of the closet.
Liberals watching CNN Friday morning would have been pleased by the "Political Buzz" segment that targeted Republicans for criticism and hyped the possible political career of Chelsea Clinton.
CNN reported that the "crowd" at Thursday's GOP debate booed a gay soldier serving in Iraq. From the video they provided of the incident, it was clear that a couple of rogue crowd members booed the man, and not the audience in general.
For the second day in a row, the Washington Post celebrated the end of the 18-year-old "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, this time with a front-page center-column story that opened with the tale of a soldier who videotaped and posted to YouTube the phone call in which he announced to his father that he was gay: