Military

By Tom Blumer | January 27, 2012 | 1:23 AM EST

Would someone please buy the Washington Post's Josh White a clue? He can't seem to get a handle on the "motive" for the actions of Yonathan Melaku (actually, I think White is pretending).

Melaku has just pleaded guilty and will be sentenced to 25 years in jail. Authorities say he vandalized military grave markers, shot at the Pentagon and military museums, and was working on an improvised explosive device. But the headline to White's story (HT Atlas Shrugs) and the reporter's content act as if no one has the foggiest idea what drop Melaku to do what he did (words which betray motivation are bolded):

By Mark Finkelstein | January 22, 2012 | 8:49 AM EST

There are few things the liberal media like more than a Republican renegade.  David Stockman has made a career out of strutting his independence from the GOP.  So little surprise that he was an honored guest on this morning's Up With Chris Hayes on MSNBC.

That Stockman repaid his hosts by attacking Republicans was utterly predictable.  Even so, the absurdity of Stockman's particular assertion was breathtaking.  The former Reagan budget director actually claimed that the notion of American exceptionalism, a focus of Newt Gingrich's campaign, is nothing less than . . . "neo-con code" for an aggressive foreign policy.  Video after the jump.

By Brad Wilmouth | January 15, 2012 | 9:55 PM EST

On the Monday, January 9, Imus in the Morning, as he was interviewed by phone, New York magazine's Frank Rich - formerly of the New York Times - argued that he believes President Obama should be reelected, and seemed befuddled when host Don Imus, who plans to vote for Mitt Romney, asserted that Obama's foreign policy has been "disastrous." The liberal columnist then tried to give President Obama credit for the death of Osama bin Laden.

After Imus asked, "So you like President Obama, don't you? I mean, you'll vote-"

Rich responded: (Video below)

By Tom Blumer | January 15, 2012 | 8:50 PM EST

On Friday, two Deputy Secretaries, one at the Department of Transportation and the other at Defense, in their capacities as co-chairs of the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Executive Committee, released a one page letter concluding that the modified broadband deployment plan of LightSquared could not coexist with current GPS devices and their spectrum. That's because: a) LightSquared's deployment "would cause harmful interference to many GPS receivers"; b) It would not be "compatible with several GPS-dependent aircraft safety-of-flight systems," and c) "there appear to be no practical solutions" to the problems.

Stories about the release, to the extent they exist, are largely avoiding the mention of "Falcone" (that's hedge fund operator and heavy Obama campaign contributor Philip Falcone, "SEC" (which is investigating Falcone and his hedge fund, and "Obama" (as in President Barack Obama, the beneficiary along with the "Democratic Party" -- another unmentioned term in any variation -- of said contributions). Coverage by Daniel Fisher at Forbes at least brings up Falcone, the SEC, and the Obama administration:

By Noel Sheppard | January 11, 2012 | 10:26 AM EST

Star Wars creator George Lucas said Monday that Hollywood studios refused to back his new film Red Tails - about World War II's Tuskegee Airmen - because the cast was all black.

This was told to a rather stunned Jon Stewart on Comedy Central's Daily Show (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

By Matthew Balan | January 3, 2012 | 4:41 PM EST

CBS's Bob Schieffer led his interview of Herman Cain on Tuesday's Early Show by asking, "Why did you accept the invitation?" Cain must have been wondering that himself by the end of the segment, as Schieffer and Norah O'Donnell conducted a hostile interrogation of the entrepreneur, pressing him about his qualifications to be secretary of defense, and even asked about the state of his marriage.

The Face the Nation host, filling in as CBS transitions to its new morning show lineup, noted how someone at his network "had the idea...why don't we ask Herman Cain to come on?...Well, of all things he said, yes." Schieffer then turned to the former GOP presidential candidate and asked his "why accept the invitation" question, adding, "Do you have something you want to tell us this morning? Are you going to endorse a candidate? What brings you to television this morning?"

By Tom Blumer | December 30, 2011 | 11:58 PM EST

There are press memes which won't go away no matter what, and no matter how often disproven. One, repeated in an Associated Press report a couple of weeks ago as our troops were about to leave Iraq, claimed that "No WMD were ever found" there. The truth: Yes they were — along with 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium found in Iraq after Saddam was overthrown, specifically “the stuff that can be refined into nuclear weapons or nuclear fuel.”

Another meme which won't die and fails to pass the truth test was in an AP item by Julie Pace about President Obama's decision to defer raising the debt ceiling by $1.2 billion today. In it, she repeated the leftist line about how the national debt has grown so large (HT to an NB emailer):

By Tom Blumer | December 28, 2011 | 8:17 AM EST

At the Associated Press on Friday, reporter Jim Kuhnhenn provided yet another reason why characterizing the wire service as The Administration's Press is perfectly appropriate.

In wake of President Obama's use of a "signing statement" objecting on constitutional grounds to congressionally-imposed "restrictions on his ability to transfer detainees from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the United States," Kuhnhenn wrote that presidential candidate Obama "promised to make his application (of) the (signing statement) tool more transparent." No he didn't, Jim; as will be shown, he promised not to use them. Kuhnhenn's first three paragraphs, plus two later ones describing another signing statement matter, ran thusly (also note how the term "signing statement" was kept out of the story's headline):

By Brad Wilmouth | December 22, 2011 | 8:31 AM EST

The day before the one-year anniversary of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, both ABC's World News and the NBC Nightly News on Wednesday took the time to celebrate the first time that a same-sex couple won the U.S. Navy's lottery that allows their welcome home kiss to be featured as the first photographed kiss. ABC substitute anchor George Stephanopoulos read a short item on the subject:

 

By Kyle Drennen | December 16, 2011 | 11:34 AM EST

At the top of Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams sadly declared: "At a ceremony in Baghdad today, the Americans lowered the flag and it was a quiet ending to a war that went bad not long after its spectacular start." While Williams stressed the "high cost" of the war, citing figures of dead and wounded, the report that followed ignored accomplishments in the conflict.

Chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel followed Williams sorrowful tone: "For a big war, it was a remarkably small closing ceremony. A few hundred troops, a five-piece band on a base by the airport on the edge of Baghdad." He later rhetorically wondered: "Did America prevail? Iraq's future remains uncertain....What was conspicuously absent today, Brian, there were no parades among Iraqis, no victory celebrations, no thank yous."

By Kyle Drennen | December 15, 2011 | 12:53 PM EST

Opening NBC's Nightly News on Wednesday, anchor Brian Williams touted the U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq as an Obama administration accomplishment while slamming the war effort itself: "The President promised they'd be out by New Year's Eve and here they come....The war started with the event somebody called 'shock and awe' and it became a tragic and prolonged slog."

In the report that followed, White House correspondent Kristen Welker announced: "Mr. Obama has opposed the war since his days as a state senator. And today he said it's harder to end a war than to begin one....The President, facing a tough re-election battle, did not declare victory in Iraq, but has called the withdrawal a campaign promise kept."

By Kyle Drennen | December 1, 2011 | 5:06 PM EST

In an interview with Vice President Joe Biden in Iraq aired on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry depicted the war effort there as a failure: "In a war that was started to protect the world from weapons of mass destruction that were never found, can the United States claim victory?" [Audio available here]

Biden agreed with Curry as he took a jab at the Bush administration: "We're not claiming victory. What we're claiming here is that we've done the job our administration set out to do, to end a war we did not start, to end it in a responsible way, to bring Americans home, to end the bleeding, both financially and physically that this war has caused..." [View video after the jump]