Military

By Tom Blumer | September 17, 2014 | 9:58 AM EDT

Both Old Media and Old Medea were at it again yesterday.

Old Medea is Medea Benjamin, the head of Code Pink, who led the disruption of a Senate hearing on ISIS and was eventually hauled away. Old Media demonstrated its double standards by giving Ms. Benjamin's temper tantrum little attention. That treatment sharply contrasts with that seen in September 2002, when, with a Republican in the White House, a similar petulant Code Pink display received front-page photo coverage in three major U.S. newspapers.

By Curtis Houck | September 17, 2014 | 12:55 AM EDT

On Tuesday night, the major broadcast networks worked to quickly remind viewers that President Barack Obama has promised that no United States combat troops will be on the ground in the Middle East to fight the Islamic terrorist group ISIS despite congressional testimony by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, on Tuesday that U.S. troops returning to Iraq could still be a possibility.

ABC, CBS, and NBC each offered reports on Dempsey’s statements and included ABC World News Tonight anchor David Muir asking ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl to “keep us honest” on the question of “[b]oots on the ground in Iraq” and lamented: “That's not what the President said last week.”

By Mark Finkelstein | September 16, 2014 | 9:42 PM EDT

Paging the MSNBC PC police! On his All In show this evening, Chris Hayes used some indubitably un-PC language to dismiss concerns that ISIS or other terrorist groups might be infiltrating across our porous southern border.

Huffed Hayes: "in the years since September 11, there have been occasional stories of this type. Sort of, a kind of girl talk mash-up of the fear about the border and the fear about terrorism being fused together."  The fear of terrorists coming across the border is "girl talk?"  Off to the re-education camp with Chris!

By Mark Finkelstein | September 13, 2014 | 2:02 PM EDT

Phyllis Bennis is a defender of Iran and its nuclear ambitions, and wants Israel wiped off the map, to be replaced by a single Palestinian state. So naturally she's a Melissa Harris-Perry fave.

Appearing yet again today on Harris-Perry's MSNBC show, Bennis put her radical views on display, arguing that many US soliders aren't truly volunteers, but are "forced in by poverty and lack of other opportunities."  "That's absolutely ridiculous," responded Iraq war veteran Earl Catagnus Jr. 

By Curtis Houck | September 11, 2014 | 10:23 PM EDT

On Thursday’s NBC Nightly News, senior White House correspondent Chris Jansing provided not only spin favorable to President Obama a day after his prime time speech on ISIS, but also suggested that this could help the President in the midterm elections. At the conclusion of her report, Jansing told viewers that: "It's a war the President inherited with decisions made now shaping his legacy and his successor's as well. Something else to watch, while it's too soon to tell how voters will react to the President's plan from last night, if they rally around the Commander-in-Chief it could impact the midterm elections with control of the Senate at stake."

By Mark Finkelstein | September 11, 2014 | 9:41 PM EDT

On Hardball, Chris Matthews describes himself as a "skeptic" about President Obama's ISIS strategy.  Matthews argues that since the president has excluded American boots on the ground, we will be forced to rely on foreign partners to hold territory, yet there are no such viable forces available.

By Tom Blumer | September 11, 2014 | 7:28 PM EDT

A frequent tipster has informed me that on today's episode of "The Five" on Fox News, Bob Beckel actually said that he likes current White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest better than his predecessor James Carney because Earnest "looks better." Far be it from me to render a judgment on relative male handsomeness. But one thing I can say about Earnest is that, at certain times, when he gets a question he doesn't like, he acts like a snotty teenager caught not having his homework ready.

One such incident occurred today. Rather than answer a question about how the Obama administration specifically defined victory over ISIL and what the idea of "destroying" it really means, Earnest ... well. catch the transcript of the first 30 seconds of the video found at (HT Real Clear Politics):

By Tom Blumer | September 11, 2014 | 10:55 AM EDT

As the midnight oil-burning Curtis Houck at NewsBusters noted last night, John McCain ripped into Jay Carney's attempts to rewrite history Wednesday evening on CNN. Among other things, he reminded the former White House Press Secretary that "We had it (the Iraq War) won, thanks to the surge." In other words, our military and Iraqi government had achieved victory. Barack Obama and his administration, perhaps until last night, have seemed indifferent at best and dismissive at worst at what has happened in Iraq since then.

After McCain got in his rips, it was Newt Gingrich's turn. The former House Speaker, whose assertion, as will be seen later, is supported by contemporaneous reporting by Tim Arango at the New York Times, took apart Carney's hypocrisy in whining about how a status of forces agreement with Iraq with the number of American troops our generals believed would be necessary to maintain the peace would have meant our presence there "in perpetuity":

By Mark Finkelstein | September 11, 2014 | 8:38 AM EDT

President Obama is a great leader.  Really.  Just ask him. Seemingly ignored in the coverage of the president's ISIS speech last night was the moment when President Obama claimed that the ISIS threat was being met with "strength and resolve," then boasted that his strategy—and by extension he himself—represented "American leadership at its best."

Can anyone imagine truly great American leaders--from Washington to Lincoln to Reagan--feeling the need to claim that their plans represented "American leadership at its best?"

By Curtis Houck | September 11, 2014 | 7:07 AM EDT

After President Obama’s speech to the nation on Wednesday night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow asked NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel what he thought of President Obama’s analogy that the U.S. strategy in fighting terrorism in Yemen and Somalia would carry over to dealing with the Islamic terrorist group ISIS in both Iraq and Syria. Needless to say, Engel was not at all pleased with the comparison the President made, telling Maddow immediately that “I think it is wildly off base, frankly” and “[i]t's an oversimplification of the problem.”

By Curtis Houck | September 11, 2014 | 2:28 AM EDT

After President Obama’s speech to the nation on Wednesday night, CNN brought on its newly-minted senior political commenator and former Obama White House press secretary Jay Carney and Republican Senator John McCain (Ariz.) to comment on what the President’s speech regarding U.S policy in dealing withy the Islamic terrorist group ISIS. However, the next eight minutes instantly evolved into a heated debate between the two over the President’s actions of withdrawing troops from Iraq early in his administration and whether that allowed a threat like ISIS to proliferate.

By Curtis Houck | September 10, 2014 | 11:27 PM EDT

After President Obama’s speech on confronting the Islamic terrorist group ISIS on Wednesday night, each of the major broadcast networks offered some brief analysis before returning to regularly scheduled programming. Over on CBS, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer anchored that network’s coverage and had nothing but good things to say in the few minutes before CBS’s coverage concluded.

Schieffer told the audience that Obama’s speech “shows us a real evolution in where the President was just in the last week of August” when he told reporters at a press conference that “we don’t have a strategy yet” in how to deal with ISIS and particularly in Syria.