Military

By Paul Bremmer | April 2, 2014 | 3:52 PM EDT

MSNBC loves to find a racial controversy in the most unexpected of places and on Wednesday’s NewsNation, anchor Tamron Hall seized a golden opportunity to do just that. Hall brought on Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs, a soldier who started a White House petition asking the president to force the U.S. Army to reconsider its updated appearance and grooming regulations.

Hall explained the problem as she opened the story:

By Jeffrey Meyer | April 2, 2014 | 3:36 PM EDT

The Washington Post published an online piece in its “The Fix” blog on Wednesday highlighting its own polling which found that veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars prefer President Bush to Barack Obama as commander and chief. According to a recent Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation poll, sixty-five percent of post-9/11 veterans found Bush to be a good commander in chief whereas just 42 percent said the same about President Obama.

The piece, written by Scott Clement of Capital Insight, also pointed out that Democrats are more than twice as likely to say Bush was a good commander in chief as Republicans are to say Obama is (46 percent vs. 17 percent). As of now, this piece only exists on the Washington Post website, but given that the findings are a product of the Post itself, one wonders if the Post will include the article in its print newspaper despite it showing bad news for President Obama. [EDITOR'S UPDATE: The poll did not appear in Thursday's newspaper. A 3,100-word front page story on vets used four questions from the poll, but the story never even had the name "Bush" in it.]

By Chuck Norris | April 1, 2014 | 6:52 PM EDT

Fox News reported a few weeks ago about how the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., removed a Bible verse from a cadet's personal whiteboard. I am personally so disappointed that the branch of service that I served in to protect our freedoms is now trying to suppress them.

When one walks the dorm halls of the Air Force Academy, one immediately notices the hundreds of whiteboards hanging on students' doors. This past week, Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., cited Air Force officials who explained that cadets "often use these boards to display items, quotes or other things that reflect their personality or from which they draw inspiration." I guess the Bible is the wrong type of inspiration, at least according to some Air Force leaders.

By Tom Blumer | March 29, 2014 | 9:52 AM EDT

Brickbats to Phillip Rawls and his layers of editors at the Associated Press.

Vietnam war hero and former Alabama Senator Jeremiah Denton died on Friday. He was an incredibly courageous and inspiring man who after his return from 7-1/2 years as a POW in North Vietnam became deeply troubled at where this nation was (and still is) headed. Unsurprisingly, he became a strong pro-life and family values advocate. Apparently following an unwritten rule at AP which dictates that a writer must take at least one parting shot at a conservative upon his or her death (see: Tony Snow), Rawls took two, twice describing Denton as "rigid" (includes video of a portion of his 1966 "torture" interview; bolds are mine):

By Paul Bremmer | March 27, 2014 | 5:40 PM EDT

On Wednesday night, Tavis Smiley welcomed film director Errol Morris onto the set of his PBS program to talk about Morris’ new documentary on former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Unlike Bill Maher, who challenged Morris when he interviewed him last Friday, Smiley joined Morris in maligning Rumsfeld throughout the entire interview.

Smiley seemed appalled that Rumsfeld ever came to be in charge of the Defense Department, and by extension managing the prosecution of the Iraq War. He remarked to Morris:

By Paul Bremmer | March 19, 2014 | 12:05 PM EDT

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman went on PBS’s Charlie Rose show Monday night and defended President Obama’s soft foreign policy approach to the crisis in Ukraine.

Of that approach, which so far has consisted of sanctions against 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials, Friedman said:

By Matthew Balan | March 19, 2014 | 12:30 AM EDT

On Tuesday, all three broadcast network evening newscasts devoted full reports to President Obama honoring 24 members of the military – only three still living – with the Medal of Honor. CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley trumpeted how the President "righted a historic wrong. He presented the nation's highest military award to 24 Americans, after a review determined that they had been passed over because they were Hispanic or African-American or Jewish." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

However, during the fifth year of former President George W. Bush's presidency, the Big Three channels furiously covered the allegations against several U.S. Marines, who were accused of killing civilians in Iraq in November 2005. Between May 17 and June 7, 2006 – a three week period – ABC, CBS, and NBC devoted three and a half hours of air time to the accusations of misconduct. These same networks aired only 52 minutes of reporting on 20 military heroes from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq during a five-year period between September 2001 and June 2006.

By Matthew Balan | March 14, 2014 | 10:54 PM EDT

ABC's World News named Rico Roman, a member of Team U.S.A. in the Sochi Paralympics, its 'Person of the Week' on Friday. Roman, an Iraq War veteran who lost his left leg after his Humvee struck an IED, is now the "the star forward of the U.S. Paralympic hockey team." Amy Robach spotlighted how the Oregon native "discovered sled hockey – an outlet from the confines of a hospital room."

The correspondent also pointed out how a significant percentage of the American Paralympics team come from the military: [video below the jump]

By Mark Finkelstein | March 7, 2014 | 8:26 AM EST

Mika Brzezinski has a jaded view of why young Americans choose to join the military.  According to the Morning Joe host, they do so "if they need the money."

Brzezinski made her comment on today's show during a segment on a book comparing the values and beliefs of the various generations of Americans. When Joe Scarborough challenged her doing-it-for-the-money claim, saying that many serve "for all the best reasons," Brzezinski began to back down.  Mika also suggested that her fellow panelists didn't know many people serving in the military, which might say more about the MSM bubble in which they exist than it does about the millenial generation. View the video after the jump.

By Matthew Balan | February 28, 2014 | 9:12 PM EST

Steve Hartman had trouble holding back his own tears on Friday's CBS Evening News, as he profiled the beyond kind act of an eight-year-old boy in Ohio. Myles Eckert, whose father was killed in Iraq when he was just a baby, enclosed a $20 bill he found in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant in a note, and gave them to a member of the Ohio Air National Guard who was having lunch there.

Hartman interviewed both Eckert and Lieutenant Colonel Frank Dailey, who received the heartfelt message from the Gold Star son (text of Eckert's note, and CBSNews.com video of Hartman's report below the jump):

By Scott Whitlock | February 24, 2014 | 12:10 PM EST

 

The plan by Barack Obama's government to "dramatically" shrink the size of the Army to its lowest level since World War II warranted a scant one minute and 56 seconds of total coverage on Monday's morning shows. Yet, CBS, NBC and ABC devoted 19 and a half minutes to such topics as TV shows, makeup and viral videos. [See video of ABC's coverage below. MP3 audio here.] None of the networks mentioned the President, shifting the responsibility solely to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

The Today show allowed the least amount of coverage, a mere 21 seconds. This despite the program's four hour running time. Natalie Morales revealed, "Under the plan, the Army would shrink to its smallest force since the World War II build-up." She asserted that "the proposal is likely to face fierce opposition on Capitol Hill." If that's true, why devote less than 30 seconds and allow no debate? Instead, the Today anchors spent almost nine minutes on the subject of makeup and body image.

By Tim Graham | February 16, 2014 | 7:38 AM EST

The London Daily Mail reported this week that “CNN caused a firestorm when it included a war monument in Brest, a city in the former Soviet republic of Belarus, in an article on the 'world's ugliest monuments' published last month.” This isn’t Ted Turner’s CNN, where a reporter would be disciplined for saying the word “foreign” in a sentence. The online article from a travel-piece contributor was intended as humor.          

A Russian news commentator responded by suggesting the Marine Corps War Memorial – the Iwo Jima sculpture just north of Arlington National Cemetery – is “easy to mock” for its homoerotic look, and "you don't have to be very smart to get it." (video below):