Military

By Tom Blumer | November 24, 2014 | 2:38 PM EST

As is the case with so many executive changes in both the public and the private sector, there is vagueness in the circumstances surrounding the end of Chuck Hagel's stint as Obama administration Secretary of Defense.

While it's not unusual for an exec to be asked to resign to avoid being formally fired, which was apparently the case with Hagel, the higher-ups involved are usually smart enough to pay tribute to the departed official and move on without letting contrary information get out. Apparently not this White House, and not the New York Times — unless their joint mission is to subtly discredit Hagel. The contradictions in today's report by Helene Cooper (saved here for future reference and fair use purposes) seem too obvious to be accidental (bolds are mine):

By Matthew Balan | November 18, 2014 | 4:02 PM EST

On Monday's AC360 on CNN, retired Lt. General Russel Honore rebuked the media's coverage of the ongoing controversy surrounding the police shooting of Michael Brown. Anderson Cooper raised how a liberal legal analyst contended that Missouri Governor Jay Nixon's activation of the National Guard, in anticipation of a grand jury decision on the case, was an "escalation of this military-style approach that didn't work in the first place." He then asked, "Do you agree with that – that it could, in some ways, do more harm than – than good?"

By Matthew Balan | November 13, 2014 | 12:56 PM EST

On Thursday's Daily Rundown on MSNBC, Jim Miklaszewski misidentified the political ideology of the protesters that attacked three American sailors in Istanbul, Turkey. Miklaszewski reported that "these radicals – these right-wing radicals, who are pro-communist and anti-U.S. – were more intent on propaganda than causing these individual sailors harm." The perpetrators are members of the Turkish Youth Union, which hold left-wing views.

By Matthew Balan | November 12, 2014 | 9:30 PM EST

ABC, CBS, and NBC's evening newscasts on Wednesday glossed over the radical left-wing ideology of the Turkish protesters who assaulted three U.S. sailors in Istanbul earlier in the day. ABC's Martha Raddatz reported that the "the attackers [are] members of an ultra-nationalist group called the Turkish Youth Union, angry at what it calls 'American imperialism.'" NBC's Brian Williams underlined that "these were apparently the actions of a fringe group."

By Mark Finkelstein | November 11, 2014 | 8:02 AM EST

Hey, at least Google didn't "honor" Veterans Day with a homepage featuring Jane Fonda on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun. So yes, let's take some satisfaction from the fact that Google did depict actual members of the US military on its homepage this morning. That said, Google couldn't resist inflicting its PC-politics onto the homepage, with wildly unrepresentative demographics....

By Matthew Balan | November 10, 2014 | 1:05 PM EST

CNN's Chris Cuomo expressed his nagging doubt on Monday's New Day about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Co-anchor Alisyn Camerota boasted, "I find it satisfying to hear about his last seconds – I got to say." Cuomo initially agreed with his co-anchor, but then reversed course: "Actually, I don't know that I do. I don't like the idea of anybody having to lose their life, but that gets into a different conversation."

By Tom Blumer | November 9, 2014 | 10:12 PM EST

On Thursday, the first paragraph of a column by the Washington Post's David Ignatius on what he thinks President Barack Obama's foreign policy might be for the next two years contained what may qualify as the "Notable Quotable" of the year.

The first sentence was a pretty impressive failure at perception: "President Obama looked almost relieved after Tuesday’s election blowout." Look, David, even the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, noted that Obama "struck a defiant tone." But it's the second sentence of Ignatius's opening paragraph that is the side-splitter (HT Patterico):

By Tom Johnson | November 9, 2014 | 7:31 PM EST

David Masciotra believes we should “discourage young, poor and working-class men and women from joining the military,” and that “part of the campaign against enlistment requires removing the glory of the ‘hero’ label from those who do enlist.”

By Tom Blumer | November 9, 2014 | 10:40 AM EST

Saturday morning, Erica Werner at the Associated Press, aka the Administratino's Press, channeled her inner Nancy Cordes to play "gotcha" with Republicans who won election to the House on Tuesday.

Werner's report essentially regurgitated Cordes's petulance in the CBS reporter's question directed at House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday. Cordes identified supposedly stupid or ill-advised things some of the incoming freshmen have said in the past, while of course not identifying a single similar thing a sitting Democratic Party congressman has said on the floor of the House or in House committee hearings during their tenures. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

By Mark Finkelstein | October 30, 2014 | 9:12 AM EDT

You really have to watch the clip of President Obama strutting his self-righteous anger at states that are imposing Ebola quarantines.  I, Barack thunders that such quarantines reflect a lack of leadership, and "that's not who I am."  Thank you, sir, for letting us know what a strong leader you are.  

On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough scalded President Obama's self-righteous hypocrisy.  Mockingly quoting the President, Scarborough said "'This is America. And we do things differently'—unless it's in Barack Obama's own government, the military." Where of course a quarantine is being imposed on soldiers returning from Ebola hot zones. In the unkindest cut, Scarborough cast Obama's hypocrisy as "a Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker moment."  Ouch.

By Tom Blumer | October 23, 2014 | 1:48 AM EDT

Sandwiched in between two domestic terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists in Canada during the past three days, USA Today ran a Tuesday op-ed which appeared in Wednesday's print edition by Mary Zeiss Stange called "Beware the Christian Extremists."

With all due respect, ma'am, we've got bigger worries. But in Ms. Stange's world, Christian "religious extremism taken to potentially lethal ends" is really the "primary threat to homeland security." She castigates the news media, which in her view "have been remarkably slow when it comes to zeroing in on the pervasive reality of hate-based Christian extremism," because "It is easier, after all, to blame the un-American other."

By Matthew Balan | October 16, 2014 | 3:45 PM EDT

As of Thursday morning, NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the New York Times's front-page article on Wednesday about Saddam Hussein's chemical weapons stockpiles in Iraq, which were discovered by U.S. forces after the Iraq War. NBC was quick to cast doubt on the existence of these WMD's during the immediate aftermath of the U.S.-led invasion.