During Tuesday’s Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough called for the firing of General Stanley McChrystal. He boldly exclaimed that this discharge should not come from the Commander-in-Chief because “Democrats have to treat generals differently from Republicans.”
He goes even further and states, “Were this a Republican, were it George W. Bush, McChrystal would have been fired yesterday,” and “the press would have understood it.” Of course, because during the last administration, the media was noted for giving former President George W. Bush the benefit of the doubt, especially with military decisions.
Interestingly enough, a flashback to January 31, 2006, tells a different tale.
No general should criticize his or her commander, and Gen. Stanley McChrystal is no exception. But the mainstream media is primarily concerned with the political fallout of McChrystal's apparent insubordination as revealed by a piece in Rolling Stone. They are not concerned with whether his critiques are accurate, in stark contrast to other military officers' critiques of war policy under the Bush administration.
During Bush's tenure, active duty generals that spoke out against administration policy were portrayed as courageous whistleblowers. Retired generals were treated as ever-wise sages of military policy. None were scrutinized as McChrystal, pictured right, has been in the hours since Rolling Stone released its article.
The most prominent active duty general to earn the media's affection was Gen. Eric Shinseki, current Secretary of Veterans Affairs (to the media's delight). He insisted in 2003 that, contrary to Defense Department policy as iterated by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the United States would need to send "hundreds of thousands" of troops to Iraq during the initial invasion. The media ate it up.
Contessa Brewer got a lot more than she was likely looking for when she interviewed Col. Jack Jacobs [ret.] this afternoon about the McChrystal situation. The MSNBC host wanted to focus on the impropriety of McChrystal publicly airing his criticisms of Pres. Obama and others in the chain of command.
But while the Medal of Honor recipient readily agreed that McChrystal was out of line, and would probably pay with his job, Jacobs also went out of his way—twice—to add an inconvenient truth: that when it comes to the substance of the criticism, most in the military think McChrystal "was right."
“Who was Bob Hope?” To anyone over 35 that seems like such a strange question. Bob Hope, everyone knows, was one of the greatest American entertainers of the 20th century, and whose greatest public service was his decades-long commitment to U.S. troops all over the world for many decades, which earned him the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among other honors.
And yet it's quite possible that a senior graduating from high school this month would scrunch up his face with a puzzled look over the question. It is why it was refreshing to hear that the Library of Congress has a new exhibit called “Hope for America: Performance, Politics and Pop Culture,” drawn from the Bob Hope Collection, which was donated to the Library by the Hope family in 1998.
Unfortunately, as with so much that affects our popular culture, this man’s legacy is also an excuse to unveil a leftist political agenda, the likes of which Bob Hope would be the first to denounce.
Catching up from Friday night, on the last Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO until September, Maher insisted “I’m not trying to be a conspiracy theorist,” but then proceeded to assert the Defense Department “uses more oil than anywhere else to kill people in the Middle East to get fuel to fight wars,” so “I do think there’s something -- just the way the pharmaceutical companies sometimes come up with a pill before they come up with the disease -- I think maybe we need a war all the time so we can wear out equipment and buy oil.”
Maher’s claim came during a one-on-one with far-left film director Oliver Stone, who is producing a ten-hour documentary for Showtime, Secret History of America, about how, as Maher agreed, “America always does seem to need an enemy.” When Stone maintained the Cold War was fueled by an exaggerated fear of communism, Maher jumped in: “I’d like to blame it on oil.”
As left-wing comedian Kathy Griffin appeared on Friday’s Larry King Live on CNN, after the conversation turned to her "My Life on the D List" show’s trip to Wasilla, Alaska, featuring Levi Johnston, host King asked her about her "attraction" to Johnston, referring to talk of a relationship between the two which is rumored to just be a publicity stunt. The left-wing comedian asserted that "every time that I'm with Levi and put him in the public eye, I feel that it's my very subtle middle finger to Sarah Palin." Griffin then added, "Yeah, go ahead, Tweet me, Palin freaks, I don't care anymore."
A few minutes later, as the subject turned to her taking her show to a Senate hearing about the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy on gays in the military, Griffin recounted her meeting with Republican Representative Michele Bachmann, whom she referred to as a "moron," and, after she seemed to perceive that King was uncomfortable with the insult as he noted that Bachmann has been on the show before and is a "strong, conservative person," Griffin shot back: "Oh, boy, I didn't know it was 'Be Kind to Bachmann Day' because my word for that is 'idiot.'"
The subject of the Gaza-bound "Freedom Flotilla" organized by pro-Palestinian activists that attacked Israel Defense Forces as they boarded a cargo boat, was the subject of Charlie Rose's talk show Tuesday night.
Rose's roundtable included Ethan Bronner, Jerusalem bureau chief of the Times, who accused Israel of acting with "disproportionate force" and for causing "increasing disillusionment in the world." As if using superior force is somehow unfair to those who are attacking you.
Here's Bronner, 17 minutes into the show:
I think what's been very interesting over the last sort of six or eight years is that Israel has taken the view that military activity works and diplomacy has not actually worked all that well. And in the short term, you could argue that it has. It has stopped terrorism from the West Bank, it has stopped rockets from Gaza, stopped rockets from Hezbollah in Lebanon and so on. But the problem is, that every time it acts with this disproportionate force in order to carry out a military and security goal, what it gets is increasing disillusionment in the world. And the question is, where does the advantage of one stop and the disadvantage of the other grow so that it overwhelms it. And I think that what may be happening is that we are at that tipping point, even from an Israeli perspective.
On Thursday evening, ABC’s World News and the NBC Nightly News both marked the passing of retired Navy Lieutenant John Finn, who was the oldest living recipient of the Medal of Honor, which he earned defending America during the attack on Pearl Harbor. While ABC’s George Stephanopoulos read a short item on Lieutenant Finn, NBC’s Brian Williams devoted an full report to his heroism.
On the May 27 World News, substitute anchor Stephanopoulos informed viewers: "You might not know his name, but an American hero died today. Retired Navy Lieutenant John Finn was the oldest living Medal of Honor recipient from World War II, and the first from that war to receive it. On December 7, 1941, as kamikazes zeroed in on Pearl Harbor, Finn manned a machine gun, firing on Japanese planes even after he was gravely wounded. Lieutenant Finn was 100."
On the NBC Nightly News, Williams recounted the story of Finn’s persistence in fighting the enemy even while seriously wounded: "Chief Petty Officer John Finn ran through smoke and fire and commandeered a .50 caliber machine gun. He took aim at the planes overhead and started firing. ... Waves of Japanese planes were flying overhead, and yet he stood there and kept firing for two hours. ... John was hit by shrapnel 21 times. He was shot through one foot. His left arm was numb, and yet he stayed in the fight."
Tavis Smiley has apparently been asleep for the last ten years. That, at least, is the only logical explanation for his claim that Christains engage in terrorism far more often than Muslims. He also thinks the Tea Party is a comparably dangerous force to radical Islam.
"There are so many more examples of Christians who do that," Smiley claimed, referring to terrorism, "than you could ever give me examples of Muslims who have done that inside this country where you live and work." He was discussing terrorism with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born writer and former member of the Dutch Parliament.
Ali claims it is her mission to "inform the West about the danger of Islam," but Smiley was more concerned with the danger posed by Tea Party protesters, who "are being recently arrested for making threats against elected officials, for calling people 'nigger' as they walk into Capitol Hill, for spitting on people." None of those claims are true, but then again the segment was replete with falsehoods (Full video and transcript below the fold - h/t Greg Hengler).
CNN.com's opinion page has clearly sided with those supporting President Obama's proposed repeal of the U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy barring open homosexuals from the ranks. During the first five months of 2010, the website has published four columns pushing for the repeal and none from supporters of the policy. Two came from the executive director of a homosexual activist group.
The first of the editorials on CNN's website came on January 28, the day after the President's State of the Union address. Alexander Nicholson, the executive director and founder of Servicemembers United, a "national organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans and their allies," praised Mr. Obama for doing "exactly what he should have done...in this venue" in making the repeal of the policy "a priority for his administration in 2010." He also labeled this call during the speech a "watershed moment." Later in the column, Nicholson disclosed that in 2002, "just six months after the September 11 attacks, I was honorably but involuntarily discharged" due to don't ask, don't tell.
The United States is fighting two wars - in Iraq and Afghanistan - so it's natural that the nation's leaders have a solid understanding of what war is about. But President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court has no wartime experience and if she is confirmed, that would mean no member of the highest court would have served in the military in or near combat.
This is a major shift for a nation with a proud military tradition. In the past 100 years, the United States has fought two World Wars, the Korean and Vietnam Wars and the Gulf War. American servicemen and women fought in the Philippines, Grenada, Panama, Somalia and Bosnia and many more. Given the nature of the terror threat America faces, more countries probably will likely join that list.
The three major broadcast networks have ignored this issue since Obama's May 10 nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court. Kagan does not have any military experience and is considered by some as anti-military. Yet, out of 17 stories on ABC, CBS and NBC since Kagan was named, not one has even mentioned the issue of wartime experience.
This, despite liberal arguments that a judge's experience is key to his or her decisions, and that the most lionized of progressive Supreme Court justices was an emphatically proud veteran of the Civil War, whose tombstone lists his war service before his court tenure.
"Psycho Talk" is a regular segment on Ed Schultz's regular MSNBC show. But after his bizarre outburst this evening, you really have to wonder whether Ed's the one ready for the rubber room . . .
Interviewing a liberal Dem congressman, Schultz expressed concern that the 1,200 National Guard troops that Pres. Obama has ordered to the Mexican border may have been issued "shoot to kill" orders.
Ed, have you forgotten who's Commander-in-Chief? If you're truly worried that the president has issued shoot-to-kill orders on illegal immigrants, then PBO is certainly in much worse political shape than even the most pessimistic observers have imagined.
Schultz indulged his paranoid fantasy while chatting with far-left Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois).
NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell appeared on the May 25 "Fox & Friends" to discuss the media's double standard when it comes to politicians lying about their military records.
The Media Research Center president noted the most apt parallel to Richard Blumenthal was Bruce Caputo, a Republican who ran for U.S. Senate in the 1980s, only to drop out after Tim Russert -- then a staffer for Daniel Patrick Moynihan -- found that Caputo had falsely claimed to have been drafted during the Vietnam War.
At that time, "the media were relentless" against Caputo after the revelation and "it was the end of his career," Bozell noted, contrasting that with last week's Blumenthal story which to the mainstream media came and went as a "one-night story."
For the full interview, click play on the embed above at right.
Joe Scarborough was on fire this morning, his ire trained on twin targets: Dick Blumenthal, and the New York Times' John Harwood, who casually dismissed the candidate's lies about having served in Vietnam as just a case of getting "a little carried away." At one point, Scarborough claimed he wasn't calling Blumenthal a "scumbag"—but it sure sounded like it.
Harwood began his Blumenthal defense with a barroom analogy: "the occasions where he was loose is more akin to a guy who had a few too many at the bar and hit on somebody rather than somebody actually trying to slip a mickey into the girls drink." He later added this lame defense: that even if Blumenthal lied to the veterans groups about his record, they weren't deceived by it. "Were all those veterans groups fooled by it?", asked Harwood, implying they weren't. "You're a reporter, you go ask them," snapped Scarborough.
Scarborough later pointed out that Blumenthal lied and trafficked on the valor of others on precisely those occasions when, appearing before veterans groups, it would benefit him politically. Harwood miscast Joe's criticism of Blumenthal as a demand that all candidates explain why they didn't serve. A peeved Scarborough called Harwood out: "John, I don't know show, what feed you're listening to."
Editor's Note: This post originally appeared at Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood.
The political thriller Fair Game premiered at Cannes today. (Pause for giant, collective yawn from Big Hollywood readers…)
The Sean Penn-Naomi Watts “starrer” (hey, it’s fun using unnecessarily awkward Variety-speak!) revisits the Valerie Plame Wilson scandal, an episode I’m not even going to bother recapping, because to do so would simply be coma-inducing for all of us. Besides, I already summed up the affair and dissected the screenplay’s political slant for Big Hollywood here. Suffice it to say, it’s a tale the Hollywood Left is hell-bent on getting Americans to care about.
As are its water-carriers in the media. In a deceptive puff piece an article last week for the Los Angeles Times, Rachel Abramowitz discusses the film and interviews its director Doug Liman. The first clue that we’re about to be sold a crockpot of hooey comes when she describes Valerie Plame as “the undercover CIA operative whose name was leaked to the media by the Bush White House in an effort to discredit her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson.”
Earlier this morning, I was minding my own business, reading this unbylined Associated Press roundup of yesterday's elections, when I got to the report's final few paragraphs. They involved "other concerns" the two major parties have. After noting yesterday's resignation by Republican congressman Mark Souder, the report's final paragraph read as follows:
Well, that's rich. I wonder how the folks at the New York Times, which prepared the 2,100-word article ("Candidate’s Words on Vietnam Service Differ From History") to which the AP refers, feel about their august publication being called merely "a newspaper"? Or about the Blumenthal campaign press release disguised as a news report the wire service's Susan Haigh put forth yesterday? Or is there more going on?
As to Blumenthal's "dispute," here's a clue for both the AP and the Nutmeg State's AG: There is no "dispute." There are only these facts and direct quotes:
While viewers might have expected to see the latest on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico or Tuesday's electoral primaries, CNN's Campbell Brown devoted the first two segments on her program on Monday to highlighting the apparent religious bigotry inside the U.S. Army - specifically, the upcoming lawsuit of a Muslim who alleges he was harassed and ridiculed due to his religion.
Brown played the interview of the soldier, Specialist Zachari Klawonn, during the first full segment, which began 2 minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour. Klawonn was joined by his lawyer, Randal Mathis, as well as the commanding officer of his battalion, Colonel Jimmy Jenkins. As she introduced the segment, the anchor emphasized how the specialist is "a model soldier," "exactly what the Army says it is looking for," and how he "has an exemplary service record, and has earned the praise of both his commanders and his Army buddies."
On Monday's GMA, ABC's George Stephanopoulos dealt with the Elena Kagan Supreme Court nomination by interviewing former Obama official Greg Craig, but no one from the conservative/Republican side as a guest. The anchor did raise potential threats to Kagan's nomination, but failed to follow through when Craig omitted a key detail about the nominee's anti-military record as dean of Harvard Law School.
Stephanopoulos led off the interview, which began 8 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour, with a softball question: "What's the single thing that impresses President Obama most about Kagan?" After the former White House counsel and former Clinton administration official played up Kagan's allegedly "extraordinary" amount of experience, the ABC anchor then asked, "What do you think is the single greatest threat to her nomination- to confirmation?"
CNN and CNN.com highlighted opposition to Arizona's new anti-illegal immigration law on Monday and Wednesday by focusing on sob stories from a soldier of Latino decent whose family entered the U.S. illegally when he was two, and from Latino businesses apparently "already feeling the effects" of the law.
Correspondent Thelma Gutierrez's interview of Private First Class Jose Medina first aired during the 6 am Eastern hour of Monday's American Morning program. Anchor Kiran Chetry noted that "Thousands of people staged a peaceful protest outside the state capitol in Phoenix....An immigrant soldier [Medina] about to ship out to the war zone was among yesterday's [April 25] protesters." Gutierrez continued that the soldier "sat down with us to talk about his feelings and fears over this new immigration law in Arizona that could affect his family."
During the interview, PFC Medina recounted that when he first entered the military, people who ask him where he was from: "I was proud to say I'm from the great state of Arizona, because I was raised here, I grew up here. I don't know if I can say that so proudly. I don't know if I want to live here any more." The CNN correspondent highlighted how the passage of Arizona's SB1070 was "personal" for the soldier, and asked him slanted questions about the legislation.
With the release of the Department of Defense's report on the November Fort Hood massacre, two trends are becoming increasingly clear: the administration does not want to talk about Islam's violent elements, and the mainstream media is more than willing to play along.
The administration's position clear to anyone examining official documentation. The Fort Hood report, the FBI's counterterrorism lexicon, and the 2009 National Intelligence Strategy do not even use the words enemy, jihad, Muslim, or Islam. The original 9/11 Commission Report, in contrast, used those words a combined 632 times.
The media's attitude towards radical Islam's role in this particular attack is evident in its reluctance to attribute Maj. Nidal Hasan's motives to jihad. The members of the media who share this attitude obfuscate the threats facing the nation.
The Pentagon rescinded the invitation of evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at its May 6 National Day of Prayer event because of complaints about his previous comments about Islam.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation expressed its concern over Graham's involvement with the event in an April 19 letter sent to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. MRFF's complaint about Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, focused on remarks he made after 9/11 in which he called Islam "wicked" and "evil" and his lack of apology for those words.
Col. Tom Collins, an Army spokesman, told ABC News on April 22, "This Army honors all faiths and tries to inculcate our soldiers and work force with an appreciation of all faiths and his past comments just were not appropriate for this venue."
The Navy plans to allow women into the Submarine Force and ban smoking by submariners. How have those changes been greeted by the rank-and-file? File this under: Which way is it? Two headlines from Thursday, April 22:
While mainstream media reporters are generally pretty supportive of the Obama administration, they bristle, and rightly so, at incidents where the administration is less than transparent or actively seeks to impede journalists from working.
Police chased reporters away from the White House and closed Lafayette Park today in response to a gay rights protest in which several service members in full uniform handcuffed themselves to the White House gate to protest "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
People who have covered the White House for years tell me that's an extremely unusual thing to do in an area that regularly features protests.
A reporter can be seen in the YouTube video above calling the move "outrageous" and "ridiculous."
Marc Thiessen is perhaps the nation's most prominent advocate of enhanced interrogation. He routinely debunks the left's myths regarding detention and interrogation policy, and has done battle with some of the loudest Bush-bashers of the legacy media along the way.
Thiessen, a former Bush speechwriter and author of Courting Disaster, argues that the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques stopped terrorist attacks; saved American lives; and provided our military, intelligence services, and law enforcement officials with vital and actionable intelligence on the enemy.
That is heresy in liberal circles, Old Media chief among them. New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer penned a scathing review of Courting Disaster, in which she accused Thiessen of trying to "rewrite the history of the CIA’s interrogation program." Thiessen responded in National Review, and demonstrated just how desperate the liberal media is to paint Bush-era policies in a negative light.
It's a rare occurrence that the MRC and the typically left-leaning Dana Milbank agree, but this time he is spot on. Indeed, President Obama must have made world leaders feel as if they were transported back to a ‘Soviet-era Moscow' for the media restricted nuclear energy summit instead of arriving in the capitol of the free world."
But are we really surprised? After all, this is the same President who has won lavish praise from some of the world's most brutal dictators including Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Cuba's Fidel Castro."
Peace through strength - that was former President Ronald Reagan's method of achieving sound foreign policy as leader of the free world. Reagan was able to win the Cold War by showing the Soviet Union the United States could have both guns and butter.
However, President Barack Obama has recently declared he would take a different approach to foreign policy, particularly in the area of nuclear proliferation. The President announced earlier this week he has worked out a deal to significantly reduce nuclear weapon stockpiles in an agreement with Russia. This has drawn the ire of many conservatives, but that has MSNBC's Chris Matthews perplexed.
Matthews, the host of "Hardball," complained on his April 7 program about Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., being outspoken on Obama's decision to give into potential adversaries on the nuclear issue and claimed that contrary to what history would suggest about former President Ronald Reagan, Bachmann was going against the ideas of Reagan.
President Obama is staking out "middle ground" on the new Nuclear Posture Review, Newsweek's Liz White insists in a 3-paragraph-long April 6 The Gaggle blog post.
White concludes so because Obama is getting flak from allies on his left and critics on his right.
While it's true that in that sense, Obama is in the middle of criticism from both sides, in a broader historical sense, Obama is forsaking a post-Cold War bipartisan consensus on nuclear policy, hardly a "middle of the road" policy that tinkers around the edges.
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Keith Payne explains the "Disarmament Danger" in the April 22 print edition of National Review (emphases mine):
“The Cold War ended more than two decades ago, and today American nuclear strategy finally caught up with history,” as the Obama administration has recognized “the greatest threat is no longer all-out nuclear war, but the chance that just one weapon will fall into the hands of a terrorist or rogue state,” an effusive David Martin declared on Tuesday’s CBS Evening News.
His story, unlike those on ABC and NBC, assumed the new policy -- that ends the threat of using nuclear weapons against a nation that attacks the U.S. with chemical or biological weapons so long as they don’t develop nuclear weapons – reflects unchallenged wisdom and has no detractors.
“For the first time ever,” Martin trumpeted, “the new policy limits the circumstances under which the U.S. would resort to nuclear weapons, assuring nations which do not have them and do not try to get them they have nothing to worry about.” As if they now have a legitimate fear of the U.S. annihilating them with a nuclear attack.
ABC’s Jake Tapper, in contrast, recognized not all are thrilled with eliminating a threat which has kept America safe for decades as he also noted the new policy contradicts what Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said in 2008:
Ed Schultz rehashed an already-discredited smear of conservative talk show host Sean Hannity on the liberal talker's March 30 "Ed Show" program on MSNBC.
Blustered Schultz as he introduced Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW):
Finally tonight on "The Ed Show," it's been 12 days since Sean Hannity hasn't answered the questions about possible fraud and misuse of funds from his charity. He may have to answer to the IRS and Federal Trade Commission.