Military

By Tom Blumer | April 30, 2012 | 1:12 AM EDT

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.

By Tom Blumer | April 28, 2012 | 11:34 AM EDT

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.

By Tom Blumer | April 11, 2012 | 11:40 PM EDT

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.

By Lauren Thompson | April 6, 2012 | 3:02 PM EDT

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.

By Lauren Thompson | March 29, 2012 | 2:33 PM EDT

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.

By Kyle Drennen | March 26, 2012 | 4:51 PM EDT

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."

By Lauren Thompson | March 22, 2012 | 11:45 AM EDT

Pop star Katy Perry could teach the liberal media a thing or two about patriotism and appreciation for the U.S. military. For her new music video "Part of Me," the singer embraced her inner, gritty “GI Jane” and trained alongside female Marines to deliver an authentic performance in her new military-inspired video.

Perry’s pro-military video is a breath of fresh air in a lefty media culture that loves to condemn positive Hollywood portrayals of American soldiers as propaganda, recently shown by the liberal media's war against Navy-Seal flick "Act of Valor."

By Matt Hadro | February 27, 2012 | 4:12 PM EST

CNN's Don Lemon launched a heavy defense of President Obama's apology for the Koran burnings in Afghanistan, in lieu of criticism Obama has received from GOP presidential candidates. In his Sunday night segment entitled "No Talking Points," Lemon ironically threw Democratic talking points at the Republicans.

Lemon claimed neutrality over Obama's apology before offering all the reasons why it is not the scandal Republicans are claiming it to be. Lemon quoted Presidents Bush, Clinton, and Reagan apologizing for the slave trade, the Abu Gharib prison scandal, and the internment of Japanese-American citizens during World War II.

By Mark Finkelstein | February 26, 2012 | 9:30 AM EST

This could go down as some of the worst political advice ever.  Then again, consider the source.  Chris Hayes isn't exactly in the business of helping conservatives lead . . . or win elections.

On his MSNBC show this morning, Hayes advised conservatives to call the war that President Bush led against Iraq "criminal."  Yeah, that's the ticket. Video after the jump.

By Ken Shepherd | February 24, 2012 | 5:00 PM EST

As violent, deadly demonstrations have broken out in Afghanistan following the recent accidental burning of Korans, it's interesting to look back nearly three years ago when the U.S. military burned a shipment of Holy Bibles written in the Pashto and Dari languages. The military destroyed the Bibles rather than ship them back stateside apparently out of fear the American church that sent them would just try shipping them back through other channels to Afghanistan.

The al-Jazeera network was involved in the breaking of the story, but a search of Nexis found no stories from the time by the Washington Post or New York Times nor the ABC, CBS, or NBC networks about the disposal of the Christian holy texts.

By Mark Finkelstein | February 23, 2012 | 9:44 AM EST

In an MSNBC "Lean Forward" promo aired on today's Morning Joe, Tamron Hall says she's been upset and saddened by the use of patriotism and military families as political pawns.

So where did Hall station herself for purposes of the spot?  Why, in front of an A-4 Skyhawk military jet!  As she so often does during her on-air appearances, Hall also spoke of her background as member of a military family.  Speaking of using the military as a pawn, have you ever heard Hall or any of her MSNBC cohorts criticize President Obama for staging shots like the one seen [along with the Lean Forward video] after the jump?

By Tom Blumer | February 15, 2012 | 12:20 PM EST

On Monday, Calvin Woodward, with help from Martin Crutsinger and Pete Yost, produced a "Fact Check" on the budget proposal the White House released earlier that day.

After properly criticizing the administration's plan to use "about $850 billion in savings from ending the wars and steers some $230 billion of that to highways" (and actually quoting someone knowledgeable, who pointed out that "Drawing down spending on wars that were already set to wind down and that were deficit-financed in the first place should not be considered savings"), Woodward went off the rails: