A new reality TV show featuring C-list celebrities doing military training exercises to compete for charity was denounced as "empty jingoism" and a modern-day spin on "[a]dding a celebrity quotient to the military-industrial complex," kind of like when Bob Hope entertained the troops during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.
That's pretty much the reaction of Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever to the new "Stars Earn Stripes" program, which debuts tonight at 8 p.m. EDT on NBC. "It also feels about five years too late, in both its reality-TV tropes and its message of pride," Stuever huffs. "It harks back to the 'Mission Accomplished!' era of attacks and setbacks in the Middle East":
Minutes after Mitt Romney addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Tuesday, NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell appeared on MSNBC to downplay the GOP candidate's positive reception: "...this is a conservative group....This is a very conservative foreign policy group and there's no question that they would be predisposed, I think, more towards being in the Republican camp than the Democratic camp."
While it's nice that the 2000 election cycle made a fool out of Al Gore for his outrageous claim that "I took the initiative in creating the Internet" -- which was in due course shortened by critics to a claim that he invented the Internet -- it's more than a little annoying that an accompanying myth emerged and has long persisted that the Internet was created by the government.
President Obama repeated this supposedly established wisdom during his infamous "You didn't build that" speech" on July 13 in Roanoke, Virginia: "The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet." Geez, even I know that the original purpose of the Internet had nothing to do with companies making money. But at the Wall Street Journal on Sunday evening, L. Gordon Crovitz took a deep dive into the actual history, and -- Surprise! (not) -- the government wasn't the Internet's creator, or its enabler, but was instead a barrier:
The day after Barack Obama won a major victory for his signature health care overhaul legislation -- which he and his allies insist will ultimately LOWER health care costs for Americans -- the president is threatening to veto a defense authorization bill in part because Congress is not acting to RAISE health care costs for American servicemen.
The Washington Free Beacon has the story here, and I've also excerpted it below the page break. It remains to be seen to what extent the Obama-boosting liberal media will acknowledge the president's hypocrisy:
A caller to Thom Hartmann's radio show Friday offered what he described as an "absurd" suggestion. That it certainly was, though Hartmann didn't think so.
The caller complained that President Obama missed "a great opportunity" to rein in defense spending and asked Hartmann what he thought about "completely closing down the military." Here's a transcript of the conversation and Hartmann's response (audio) --
If an extraterrestrial had tuned into Good Morning America today and watched ABC News's report on national security leaks, he would have come away thinking the Obama administration was valiantly, aggressively pursuing the leakers. ET wouldn't have learned that there is good reason to suspect that the source of the leaks . . . is the Obama administration itself.
An attentive viewer might have noticed that the screen graphic referred to the White House and Congress being investigated. But the report by ABC's Pierre Thomas never hinted that the Obama administration was itself being accused of being the source of the leaks. To the contrary, Thomas framed the issue this way: "freedom of the press and the public's right to know is now on collision course with the government's desire to protect national security secrets." Translation: the Obama admin is, even at the risk of impinging on other values, leading the fight to protect national security. Gag us with a background briefing! View the video after the jump.
Uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, ABC's World News on Thursday ran a report which informed viewers that Democrats in Congress have joined Republicans in accusing the Obama administration of leaking classified information, jeopardizing the country's ability to recruit spies in other countries to help the U.S. in the future.
Host Diane Sawyer introduced the report by suggesting that administration officials have leaked sensitive information to benefit President Obama politically, noting that Democrats have weighed in against the White House as well:
On Sunday, Sept. 2, 1945, aboard the battleship USS Missouri at the end of ceremonies marking the unconditional surrender of Japan and the formal end of World War II, Gen. Douglas MacArthur spoke for a world weary of war and hoping for peace: "Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always."
That prayer was not answered as Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and a host of regional and tribal conflicts have preserved war, not peace, as the means by which too many attempt to settle their differences.
When Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, appeared as a guest on Monday's Today show on NBC for the Memorial Day occasion, substitute co-anchor Savannah Guthrie raised concerns from the right about whether announcing the timeline of a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan might benefit Taliban insurgents tactically. Guthrie:
This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend when we remember, reflect and pay homage to all the men and women who have paid the ultimate price for the freedom and prosperity we call the American way of life.
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. It came into being after the Civil War as a day set aside to honor the Union war dead, but actually Southern ladies organizations and school children had decorated the graves of the Confederate dead even as the civil war was going on.
Appearing as a guest on Sunday's Reliable Sources on CNN to plug his book, Exit Interview, former ABC News president David Westin recounted his decision to continue barring journalists from wearing American flag lapel pins on air even after the 9/11 attacks, and ended up defending his decision. Westin: (Video at bottom)
Effete: affected, overrefined, and ineffectual; see "Chris Hayes." OK, I appended the name of the MSNBC host to the dictionary definition. But if ever you wanted to see the human embodiment of the adjective in action, have a look at the video from his MSNBC show this morning of the too-refined-by-half Hayes explaining why he is "uncomfortable" in calling America's fallen military members "heroes."
Hayes is worried that doing so is "rhetorically proximate" to justifications for more war. Oh, the rhetorical proximity! View the video after the jump.
CBS This Morning stood out as the only Big Three network morning show on Thursday to cover a conservative group's allegation that the Obama administration gave a movie director and writer "special access to government officials involved in the commando operation that killed Osama bin Laden," as reported by Reuters on Wednesday. ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today ignored the story.
Correspondent Chip Reid outlined that "the documents...obtained by Judicial Watch, a conservative government watchdog group...reveal that director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal...met with top national security officials; gained access to Seal Team 6; and visited the CIA."
"A House committee chairman charged Wednesday that the CIA and Defense Department jeopardized national security by cooperating too closely with filmmakers producing a movie on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden," reported Larry Margasak of the Associated Press yesterday. "[Rep. Peter] King [R-N.Y.] referred to documents obtained by Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act request. He said the filmmakers received 'extremely close, unprecedented and potentially dangerous collaboration' from the Obama administration."
Margasak's story on Rep. Peter King's hearing investigating the matter was printed in today's Washington Post, but editors buried the item on page C4, deep in the heart of the Style section, which typically reports on fashion, music, and the entertainment industry. Noted Margasak:
Charlie Rose desperately tried to find confirmation from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday's CBS This Morning on whether President Obama is a good commander-in-chief: "You can answer this question as well as anyone I know....do you give President Obama high marks in the national security arena?" Gates exposed Rose's pro-Obama tactic when he laughingly replied, "If I don't, I'm sort of giving myself a flunking grade."
The veteran national security official did his best to nuance his eventual answer, but still ended up giving his former boss the grade that the anchor was looking for: "He [Obama] was as aggressive, if not more so, in going after terrorists and al Qaeda. I think that the relationship with China has been managed pretty well. So, yeah, I think they've done a pretty good job."
The print and online guardians in the establishment press may have to open a new case of ellipses and order extra pairs of paraphrases to deal with this one. Video and audio editing will be easier, if not ethical (NBC has taught us that during the past several weeks).
Declaring what everyone with a functioning brain has known all along -- namely that President Barack Obama supports same-sex marriage but hasn't had the political integrity to admit as much until now -- the commander-in-chief of the nation's armed forces told ABC News that "when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines (sic) or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married." Yes, he said that our military is out there fighting on his behalf (links are later in this post; HT to an emailer).
The target of MSNBC's demon deacon today was Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), whom Bashir was calling to account for his plans to vote for a bill that would spare the Pentagon of budget cuts by trimming social welfare spending elsewhere in the federal budget.
It has now been a year since Osama bin Laden became a ghost courtesy of the United States SEALs. I had long since come to the conclusion that Osama became crˆpes suzettes for the worms back in Tora Bora in December 2001, and I was somewhat stubborn in my belief. Yet he fooled me and the student of Araby Mark Steyn and a few other pundits. I shall be a big enough man to admit it. I was wrong.
Apparently, Osama took up residence in the wilds of Pakistan, where he believed he was safe. Doubtless like-minded pietists in the Pakistani army or intelligence community told him he would be safe there. They were doubtless proud of their world-famous tenant. Well, they were asleep on the night of May 2, 2011, or they had the good sense not to get involved. When the US helicopters swooped in, Osama was pitifully exposed. He had no guards that we know of, save a few women. Several doors collapsed before our tough troops, and pop, he was on his way to the 72 virgins in Heaven or the 42 cows or whatever the Muslim theologians estimate the Hereafter to be composed of. At any rate I am glad he is gone, and doubtless you are too.
"Russia's top military officer told a conference in Moscow attended by senior U.S. and NATO officials that Russia would mount a preemptive strike on U.S.-led NATO missile defense facilities in Eastern Europe if Washington goes ahead with its plan to build a missile shield," the Associated Press has reported.
The Washington Post carried the 5-paragraph story, but buried it on page A6 of the May 4 paper under the headline, "Military ups the ante on missile defense."
Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has now been formally exposed for lying about her knowledge of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding by a new book from a former CIA counterterrorism officer who actually gave her a briefing about them.
In other words, Pelosi and other congressional Democrats who later decried the use of "torture" when it became politically advantageous, knew about and did not object to them for years beforehand:
On Friday evening, it was Christopher Rugaber and Paul Wiseman. Today it's Martin Crutsinger. Together with Derek Kravitz (who isn't in on the latest offense -- yet), perhaps the just-named quartet of alleged journalists should be named "The Four Distortsmen."
Today, it was Crutsinger who, in the wake of a mediocre report on consumer spending, again invoked "government budget-cutting as the primary culprit explaining why the economy only grew by an estimated annualized 2.2% during the first quarter:
Classic MSM jujitsu. Chuck Todd has attempted to turn the issue of President Obama's unseemly spiking of the football on the anniversary of the killing of Osama Bin Laden, into an attack on Republicans for reacting to Obama's politicization of the event.
On his MSNBC show The Daily Rundown, Todd began his discussion of the matter this morning by asking the Washington Post's Dan Balz whether he was surprised by how "aggressive" the Romney campaign has been on the matter. A bit later Todd suggested to Clarence Page that Republicans were "overreacting" to Obama's boasts. Right. Romney should run a passive campaign, like, say John McCain did! Good-loser Republicans: yeah, that's the MSM ticket! Video after the jump.
A week ago, National Journal's Michael Hirsh quoted an unnamed State Department official who claimed that "The war on terror is over. Now that we have killed most of al Qaida, now that people have come to see legitimate means of expression, people who once might have gone into al Qaida see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism." If it's so over, then why were government officials referenced in Kimberly Dozier's Associated Press report this evening about the state of Al Qaida a year after Osama Bin Laden's death "on condition of anonymity because they say publicly identifying themselves could make them a target of the terrorist group"?
Dozier is a noteworthy exception to the usually dreadful reporting at the wire service, and has a personal reason for having her eyes open. While she was with CBS News in May 2006, she was critically injured by an IED in Iraq. After nine months, she returned to work. According to Wikipedia she joined the AP in the spring of 2010.
In the first quarter of 2012, the federal government spent $966 billion. That's 10% more than the $877 billion spent during the previous quarter, and 2% more than the $949 spent during the first quarter of 2011.
Yet the party line Friday evening from Christopher Rugaber and Paul Wiseman at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, is that economic growth in the first quarter, which the government preliminarily told us yesterday was an annualized 2.2% (trailing consensus estimates of 2.6%), was so mediocre because of "government budget-cutting." A closer look indicates that if anything, they should have tagged it as defense budget-cutting and never did; the rest of government spending continues to balloon out of control. The pair's opening six paragraphs follow the jump.
In his report on the February 2012 monthly federal deficit on March 12, Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press (aka the Administration's Press) told readers that the month's deficit was $232 billion, but "somehow" forgot to tell readers that it was an all-time record for a single month in U.S. government history.
Well, there's good news, much worse news, and an utterly predictable agenda-driven item in the AP's coverage of March's deficit, this time courtesy of the wire service's Martin Crutsinger. The good news is that Crutsinger recognized that March's deficit was the highest on record for any March. The much worse news is that, as I forecast AP and others would do at my home blog last last week when the Congressional Budget Office estimated March's results, he failed to tell readers that March's spending of $369.37 billion was the highest single-month amount ever recorded by $30.32 billion -- a whopping 8.9% above the previous record of 339.05 billion set in March 2011. The increase is largely due to the fact that checks for many April 1 items were written on March 30 because April 1 was a Sunday, but a record is a record, and failing to recognize one (and only then trying to explain it away if there is cause for it) is shoddy journalism. The utterly predictable agenda-driven item is after the jump.
ABC’s new drama set in Washington D.C. does nothing to encourage bi-partisanship. “Scandal” is another liberal product of the network, and is a blatant platform for lefty views and policies. The fledgling series is supposedly based on true events, and touts ruthless lawyer Olivia Pope, who was previously employed in the White House.
The debut episode centered on a murder case involving Medal of Honor recipient and Republican party poster boy Lt. Colonel Sullivan St. James. The veteran soldier was a staunch conservative, deacon in his church and vehemently anti-gay. Of course, the alibi proving him innocent of murder was a surveillance tape showing St. James kissing another man.
Some on the left have noted a disturbing trend – despite their best efforts, people keep seeing the U.S. military as admirable. When Seal Team 6 killed Osama Bin Laden on the orders of a liberal Democrat commander in chief, lefties had to endure the nation’s celebration of the special ops warriors. Then “Act of Valor” his theaters last month, and a variety of liberal outlets branded the heroic film as propaganda.
And now singer Katy Perry – who, as an entertainer, should know better – has made a video celebrating the training and commitment of U.S. Marines.
On Monday's NBC Today, Tom Brokaw reported on veteran Mike Wright returning from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan to continue work at New York's Indian Point nuclear power plant: "Entergy, Wright's employer, supported his deployments. Veteran hiring is a priority for the company, not out of sympathy, but as an investment in the bottom line....Mike Wright and Entergy, that's how it's supposed to work."
Now compare that praise for the plant's hiring practices, with NBC News fear-mongering almost exactly one year ago, shortly after the earthquake and nuclear crisis in Japan. On the March 20, 2011 Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt ominously warned: "A government report has found the plant with the highest risk of core damage from an earthquake here is just about 35 miles from our studios here in New York City at the Indian Point plant."