Tuesday mornings’s Democratic presidential candidates forum, aired live on MSNBC and moderated by Chris Matthews, had a few, to put it mildly, strange moments. Billed as a forum, the event was little more than a union-sponsored soapbox for the three leading Democratic candidates, Senators Clinton and Obama, and former Senator Edwards.
The left-leaning American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, which organized the soapbox, was quick to cheer for the most mundane of liberal catch phrases while descending into boos and hisses at the very mention of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.
After reporting on the compassionate U.S. soldier rescue of abused Iraqi orphans, CBS’s Lara Logan ran a follow up story on the June 21 edition of "The Early Show." To her credit, Logan continued to defend the soldiers. She noted that an Army captain went "back to check on the 24 boys he and his soldiers rescued" and "thanks to these soldiers...the boys’ lives were saved."
Upon reporting that the Iraqi labor and social affairs minister accused Lara Logan of reporting a "lie" and that the U.S. soldiers that rescued these emaciated boys "have no compassion," Logan played a gracious remark from an unidentified U.S. soldier.
I have been a huge fan of Michael Yon for years. He risks life and limb as an embedded reporter to report the news in Iraq from the soldiers' point of view and he is honest in his assessment. That honesty has often been met with scorn and resistance by some decision makers in the military who in my assessment have been their own worst enemy when it comes to getting the word out about progress as well as the hardships endured by our fine fighting men and women overseas.
But Michael knows the importance of giving a voice to the voiceless heroes that protect our shores so that we at home may tuck our children in to sleep peacefully at night. For this reason Michael provides us an alternative, more rounded message; a beacon in the darkness of the mainstream media's one sided narrative.
CBS’s Lara Logan performed a rare act: Reporting a story of heroism among U.S. soldiers. Both the June 18 edition of "The CBS Evening News" and the June 19 edition of "The Early Show" ran an extensive story some members of the 82nd Airborne rescuing neglected Iraqi orphans.
The soldiers discovered malnourished children living in extremely unsanitary conditions. Logan then gave played sound bites of several U.S. soldiers describing the horrific conditions and even gave a human face to those serving their country.
Captain Jim Cook noted he "got a little angry" and Logan reported the children are now being cared for at another facility. At the end of the report, the CBS even ran footage of soldiers playing with and nurturing the children. The entire transcript from "The Early Show" is below.
Back on May 20th, the NBC News Investigative Unit excitedly reported that US Armed forces and the Pentagon may be forcing our soldiers to use body armor that is not as effective as newer models being produced. In an alarming TV report called "Are U.S. soldiers wearing the best body armor?", NBC intimated that the Pentagon was sending our troops substandard bullet proof vests when they knew there was a better product out there suggesting that our government is putting our soldier's safety at risk. But, further Congressional investigations and military testing results are beginning to prove that NBC's breathless report about substandard armor is misleading. Will NBC do a follow up report admitting that their facts were wrong now that their original report has been revealed as hasty and ill informed?
John Cusack appeared on the June 15 edition of "The Early Show" to discuss his new movie "1408." At the very end, host Russ Mitchell brought up his upcoming film "Grace is Gone." Cusack claimed the film is about Iraq and "some of the issues the families have when the coffins come home because...the Bush administration banned photos of the dead," which Cusack believes is a "very egregious political act."
RUSS MITCHELL: You’ve got a movie coming out later this year, "Grace is Gone," that you're very proud about, very proud of.
JOHN CUSACK: I produced a film called "Grace is Gone" coming out about -- it's about the Iraq conflict and some of the issues that the families have when the coffins come home because, you know, the Bush administration banned photos of the dead. So I thought that was a very egregious political act –
Most of the media have spun the decision not to re-nominate Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace as being solely about the Iraq War. Only CNN and The Washington Post reported that Pace’s comment about homosexuality being immoral and his support for convicted White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby could be factors. David Niedrauer of the Culture and Media Institutelooks at the media spin.
In the past, Washington Post music reviewers have made no secret of their disdain of country music star Toby Keith's patriotic homegrown quasi-conservatism. But now that Keith is shying away, almost apologizing for his political scuffles with the Dixie Chicks and the late Peter Jennings, the Post seems to have a new-found respect for Keith as a musician and artist. Below the fold you'll see what I'm talking about, but let's start with two prime examples of the Post's past personal swipes at Keith.
Take this November 5, 2003, review by Bill Friskics-Warren, which front-loads a begrudgingly positive review with the obligatory "I can't stand this guy's politics, but he's a damn fine musician" lede:
THIS is CNN in 1998; the link is to a story debunking the network's Peter Arnett and April Oliver, who accused Vietnam soldiers of war crimes in Operation Tailwind.
This is from 2003. The network's Eason Jordan confessed that the network twisted the news out of Saddam Hussein's Iraq, thereby giving false impressions of the regime to the world so that it could maintain its access to the country (the article is posted at the author's web host for fair use and discussion purposes).
Then there's this from 2005. Eason Jordan accused the US military in Iraq of targeting journalists, and ultimately resigned in the wake of the outcry. "Somehow" the actual video footage of Jordan's accusations, made at the World Economic Forum in Davos, never surfaced.
What is it about some news outlets that they can't report a story without trying to flavor it with their own biases? That they can't give "just the facts m'am" but have to throw in their snide asides and negative phraseology? And, it's bad enough when they do it in their normal attempts at "reporting" the news, but when they do it in between an upbeat report by one of our soldiers who's opinion is that the surge is working and our presence in Iraq is a good thing, it's all the more grating. But, then, they just can't leave their hatred for American foreign policy aside long enough to report this soldier's enthusiasm, now can they?
In this case, Boise, Idaho TV 2 News, in a story by Scott Logan, just can't leave the snide comments out of their story of Army First Sergeant Noah Edney's enthusiastic point of view on our efforts in Iraq. Even the title seems to take a swipe at policy: Boise Infantryman In Baghdad Shares Views On "Surge" -- notice the quotation marks around the word surge? Even as surge is a commonly acceptable term and not one to be questioning with quotations they cast doubt onto it by using the grammatical device.
But, if you might think the parenthesis around the word surge might not be suspect, they quickly set the record straight on how they feel about the policy with their very first line of the story.
NewsBusters readers, meet our second fabulous fifteen-year-old, Miss Lizzie Palmer.
For those that missed it, Chris Wallace aired an absolutely astounding military tribute video (available here) at the end of today’s “Fox News Sunday” that should be required viewing for all Americans.
At its conclusion, Wallace stated the following:
Lizzie Palmer said she put the video on YouTube as her way of honoring the troops. And after graduating from high school, she plans to join the army herself.
All I can say is Rosie O’Donnell’s mask is slipping. Rosie was so motivated by an article in the Gay City News written by contributing writer Brendan Keane, that on June 4, she cross-posted it on her own site. By posting the article, Rosie at least tacitly approved of its content, and thus Keane’s anti-military stance gives some insight into who Rosie really believes are the terrorists as well as what she thinks about the military she claimed to love while on “The View.” She didn’t condemn or correct any of the negative comments about the US armed forces, like this one, which indicate that she was indeed questioning the military’s morality (emphasis mine throughout):
O’Donnell’s pacifism is ridiculed when it questions the morality of the American military and of the decision-makers that send young people to kill and die in America’s name.
Thanks for finally admitting it, Rosie. I’m sure if she disagreed with any of this article, she would have said so, instead of proudly posting it on her website and thanking the person who pointed it out to her. As for the “decision-makers that send young people to kill and die in America’s name,” Rosie and Keane must really hate Franklin D. Roosevelt, the OG of evil fascist warmongers.
The Secretary of Defense has decided to recommend a new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, rather than re-nominate General Peter Pace. Reporting this development, this CBS/AP story noted that the Pentagon personnel move by Secretary Robert Gates was done to avoid a contentious Senate circus, more so than with dissatisfaction with Pace's performance.
"It would be a backward looking and very contentious process," the AP quoted Gates, noting that Gates insisted the personnel move had "nothing to do" with Pace's performance.
So why this teaser photo illustration on the CBSNews.com front page, done in a grainy black-and-white and preparing the Web site reader for a negative take on the outgoing 40-year Marine veteran? (picture below jump)
There has been a certain amount of MSM coverage of the fact that Sunni tribal chiefs have begun encouraging men in their areas to volunteer for the Iraqi police force [file photo]. But I haven't seen MSM stories on the way that increased police presence may have translated into a more normal day-to-day life for the people of Anbar -- the large, Sunni-dominated province of western Iraq that contains such former hotspots as Fallujah and Ramadi.
So that was the question on my mind when I had the chance to participate yesterday in a blogger conference call with Brigadier General David D. Phillips [pictured below], the Deputy Commanding General of CPATT, the entity responsible for the training of the new Iraqi police force. Here's the general's response to my question as to the effect of the presence of Iraqi police on life in cities in Anbar.
In the spirit of Noel Sheppard's earlier D-Day remembrance post, I thought I'd share with you some kind words a Marine stationed in Iraq sent me via Facebook*:
I've really enjoyed NB over the last couple of months while stuck in
Iraq. I've gotten a couple of laughs at the idiots in the MSM and those
laughs go a long way to make the time behind this desk pass quickly.
Pass my thanks along to the rest of the NB crew? God bless and Semper
The media has a new anti-war hero - Adam Kokesh the Iraq war veteran who is facing a June 4th hearing for violations of the UCMJ regarding wearing the uniform while protesting and disrespect to an officer. The headlines scream out for sympathy for Kokesh and outrage for the Marine Corps. "Iraq Vet Faces Penalty for War Protest" was the headline on CBS News online. The Daily Breeze says "Discharged Veteran May be Punished for Protesting". The Socialist Worker calls it "Marines Eating Their Own". All are couching this hearing in terms of free speech and punishing an anti-war vet when it is nothing of the sort.
Every time there is an anti-war rally, march, die-in, puke-in etc. you can find several protesters dressed in official military uniforms. The ones in uniform usually claim to have served in Iraq or Afghanistan. While some are truly vets, others are obvious posers (i.e. Jesse Macbeth). The uniforms are typically defaced with IVAW slogans or logos done in black marker. The tops are unbuttoned to show off the latest protest t-shirt. Medals and ribbons are usually in plentiful supply as a sign of "real service".
Two of the members of IVAW (Iraq Veterans Against the War), Adam Kokesh and Liam Madden are facing hearings by the Marine Corps for their protest attire. But if you read David Montgomery’s article, Antiwar to the Corps, in the Washington Post, you would think that the Marines were attempting to silence an anti-war voice. Not only did Montgomery miss the entire reason for the hearings, but he overlooked a few facts in his reporting.
A website has sprung up called FireElisabethHasselbeck.com and has a petition for people to sign if they think token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck should be fired. So far over 18,880 people have signed in support of firing the woman the petition calls the “aggressor throughout the entire discussion.” The petition reads like a satire of what actually happened but with the two hosts' names reversed (all emphasis is mine):
Elisabeth began by interrupting Joy with sarcastic comments as Joy attempted to provide some facts about the George Bush presidency, and then continued as Elisabeth angrily defended her refusal to respond to the Republican pundits who incorrectly said that Rosie called the U.S. troops terrorists. As the discussion progressed, Rosie repeatedly tried to de-escalate the situation and not get into a disagreement. However, Elisabeth angrily continued in her blind defense of this administration and her criticisms of Rosie’s views. While many have portrayed this fight as one over politics, it was really a fight about friendship and Elisabeth’s refusal to support Rosie by denouncing what these pundits were attempting to say about her.
For the past 20 years, every Memorial Day weekend, tens of thousands of motorcyclists join together as Rolling Thunder to honor the military, particularly the dead and MIA. The coverage is usually positive and focuses on the patriotic bikers and their interesting-looking bikes. On May 27, ABC News went a different direction for this year’s ride. Instead of covering Rolling Thunder and their military and veteran-related issues, the way the Washington Post and the Washington Times did in their articles, ABC turned it into advocacy journalism to inform people about the importance of--wearing helmets while riding motorcycles. After four rather bland sentences about the the event, ABC slipped into lecture-mode (emphasis mine thoughout):
May 24, the Washington Post wrote an article describing a “theater-wide delay in food shortage," “especially for (f)resh fruits and salad bar items” which quoted a “memo” reportedly issued by an official Green-Zone organization. It is identical in wording to a “memo” posted on a blog belonging to harsh anti-war critic and former CIA and State Department employee Larry Johnson, who is known for claiming in July 2001 that “terrorism is not the biggest security challenge confronting the United States, and it should not be portrayed that way.”
The memo was posted in a PDF on Johnson’s blog, No Quarter, and according to Ace of Spades, used a Lenox china flag-cluthing eagle collectible figurine on tan emblem for the header's graphics. Little Green Footballs also questioned its veracity, stating it was “not a scan of a printed original,” but typed directly from Microsoft Word “two days after the date on the so-called ‘memo.’ ” I noticed a lack of any official identifiers like group affiliation, phone numbers, job titles or logos. Even Johnson now admits in an update that a “journalist buddy” said a US military Public Affairs Officer in Baghdad called it a fake (more after jump).
David Espo of the Associated Press appeared to be unhappy with the result of the House vote on Iraq war funding, and to be offering an excuse for the House Democratic leadership (bolds are mine throughout this post):
WASHINGTON - Bowing to President Bush, the Democratic-controlled House reluctantly approved fresh billions for the Iraq war on Thursday, minus the troop withdrawal timeline that drew his earlier veto.
The 280-142 vote sent the bill to the Senate for final passage, expected later in the evening.
..... Five months in power on Capitol Hill, Democrats coupled their concession to the president with pledges to challenge his policies anew. "This debate will go on," vowed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, announcing plans to hold votes by fall on four separate measures seeking a change in course.
A later unbylined AP report about President Bush's impending signature on the funding bill after Senate passage almost seems to have been written by the DNC, while providing cover for the party's two leading presidential candidates:
NewsBusters reader Bender messaged me earlier noting that, given an opportunity to explain her views on American troops and terrorism, Rosie O'Donnell made no effort to clear the air on her blog in a posting the evening of May 23 at Rosie.com.
Editor's Note (Ken Shepherd): The 9/11 conspiracy nuts behind "Loose Change" are supposed to be guests on the May 24 "The View." It's odd that Rosie wouldn't be on to share her thoughts about fire being unable to melt steel.
After Rosie O'Donnell's now infamous fight with Elisabeth Hasselbeck on the May 23 edition of "The View," Rosie hinted on her blog that she may not co-host the show tomorrow. The homepage of rosie.com starts with a rambling poem ending with, "tomorrow [Rosie's partner] Kelli turns 40. I will not be at work."
For the past five years, CBS’s “60 Minutes” has been a safe haven for any Republican to voice his or her displeasure with the Bush administration. In fact, the program has been a walking billboard for such sentiments.
With that in mind, given former Sen. Bob Kerrey’s rather eye-opening op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal (h/t Allah at Hot Air), it seems safe to assume the outspoken Democrat will be on an upcoming installment of “60 Minutes” to share his disagreements with the foreign policy positions of many members of his Party.
I for one am looking forward to seeing the look on the face of whichever “60 Minutes” host gets the assignment when Kerrey says the following (emphasis added throughout):
On the May 21 edition of "The View," co-host Rosie O’Donnell responded to the fall out from her moral equivalency rant on Thursday. Rosie claims some cable news outlets "twisted" her words, and then got personal with token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck, calling her critics the "crappy shows" that "Elisabeth watches."
"But I didn't say it. You know who said it? Those crappy cable shows said it. The ones Elisabeth watches. Those shows."
Hasselbeck harshly reacted to those comments and it prompted Rosie to personally attack her more.
HASSELBECK: I watch all cable news, number one. I watch all of the, because that's part of my job and as an American citizen I try to broaden as many concepts as possible by watching all those news programs, okay. I do, obviously, like, like certain shows. I'll throw them out if you want me to. Like "Hannity and Colmes," they're one of my favorites, because they hold debates [applause] They hold debates on that show and I think that is, that is like what we do here only, you know, we have four women. And I think it's special here. But to say that, you know, someone can't hold two thoughts at the same time just because I believe in terrorism when there are Democrats out there running for office who don’t want to believe in terrorism and they want to treat it like the boogeyman. How are they going to protect us from something--
A television program came out strongly against the war on terror and the war in Iraq Thursday evening, but Katie, Charlie, Brian, and Wolf weren’t involved.
Video (1:42): Real (1.23 MB) or Windows (1.04 MB), plus MP3 (1.12 MB).
In this instance, it was NBC’s hit series “ER,” and the show – about doctors, nurses, and patients in a hospital emergency room if you couldn’t guess – didn’t wait very long to take a jab at the White House (h/t NBer SpinyNorman).
In fact, the episode began with the staff being informed by desk clerk Frank Martin: “Homeland Security raised our threat level to orange this morning.”
Leading character Dr. Neela Rasgotra asked, “Well what does that mean exactly?”
HBO’s Bill Maher is quickly becoming a walking billboard for the concept that hate is blinding.
In a blog published at the Huffington Post Wednesday, Maher actually implied that he knows more -- from his residence in Southern California -- about what’s going on in Iraq than America’s troops that are risking their lives there (emphasis added throughout):
Since this war began the number of soldiers in Iraq who think Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11 has stunned us all. We continue to be surprised by the number of troops over there who still think we're winning, convinced we're doing good, and that if America pulls out they will follow us home.
Well, Bill, if this is what the troops on the ground are saying, shouldn’t we listen to them? Apparently not:
I want my MTV! Somewhere a soldier or sailor in Iraq or Afghanistan is probably thinking that today. According to the AP, on May 14, the Department of Defense blocked “worldwide” the US troops who use its networks and computers from accessing 12 popular websites that include, YouTube, MTV, MySpace, Blackplanet and Photobucket. The Defense Deparmene which the DoD said“take up a large amount of bandwidth, and others that can open up department computers to hackers and viruses.” (emphasis mine throughout)
US Forces Korea Commander (USFK) Gen. B.B. Bell explained in a memo sent out Friday that the new policy will not impact the military's ability to send and receive email, but the “Department of Defense has a growing concern regarding our unclassified DoD Internet, known as the NIPRNET. The Commander of DoD's Joint Task Force, Global Network Operations has noted a significant increase in the use of DoD network resources tied up by individuals visiting certain recreational Internet sites.”