Military

By Kyle Drennen | December 20, 2010 | 3:23 PM EST

At the top of a report on CBS's Sunday Morning, correspondent Whit Johnson proclaimed: "In San Francisco yesterday, they celebrated the end of an era. After nearly two decades, the policy of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' which bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, is all but history." The one-sided segment focused almost exclusively on supporters of repeal.

Of the ten sound bites featured throughout the story, only one, that of Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, was critical of the policy being overturned. Johnson described how "Opponents of repeal...pleaded that such a dramatic change during a time of two wars would put troops in harm's way." However, after the clip of McCain was played, Johnson dismissed critics of repeal: "Democrats got a boost from a recent Pentagon study in which two-thirds of U.S. troops said changing the controversial law would have little impact, a feeling shared by most of America."

December 17, 2010 | 4:25 PM EST

For all of the bluster and glory, for all of the pomp and circumstance and yes, for all of the anticipated hope and the promised change, the whirlwind of hype and expectation surrounding the President a mere two years earlier has virtually dissolved, and Barack Obama has set a course that will leave his legacy as no more than a footnote in American Presidential history.

December 16, 2010 | 2:28 PM EST

MSNBC's Contessa Brewer thinks the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell is a national "priority" that needs to be passed during the lame duck session.

While the Senate considers stand-alone repeal of the ban against openly gay service members today, the MSNBC daytime anchor pressed Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.): "What do you make of the people who say there might not be enough time to do this during the lame duck session? Why not? Shouldn't this be a priority?"

Lieberman, who supports repeal, insisted that repealing the controversial measure now "must be a priority," despite a recent poll showing that only 32 percent of Americans think that taking up the issue is "very important." In fact, 56 percent of the public believes that "passing legislation that would keep the estate tax from increasing significantly" is "very important," and 50 percent believe that extending at least "some form" of the Bush tax cuts is "very important."

Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) ranked second only to the DREAM Act, which would grant a pathway to citizenship for minors, as the least important issue to address during the closing days of the 111th Congress.

By Matthew Balan | December 15, 2010 | 7:36 PM EST

On Wednesday's Newsroom, CNN's Jessica Yellin bizarrely implied that Congress's low poll numbers was linked to their failure to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." After noting the public's support for repeal, Yellin stated that "Congress has its lowest approval rating in the history of polling...So it's clear that the American people are in one place, and one place where they're not so happy with Congress."

Anchor Brooke Baldwin raised the "don't ask, don't tell" issue and how the House of Representatives was taking up a stand-alone bill that would repeal the 17-year-old policy. She asked the liberal CNN correspondent whether the Senate would pass the legislation, given how a previous repeal proposal was rejected just last week (as part of the defense authorization bill): "Why might the Senate change its collective mind? I remember the vote last Thursday. It was 57 to 40. They didn't have those three extra. So, all right, who's going to change their mind or why?"

By Ken Shepherd | December 6, 2010 | 10:32 AM EST

In a brief entry at Newsweek.com entitled "What Repeal Will Mean," Eve Conant fleshes out some of the legal and cultural changes that allowing openly gay servicemen would entail.

For example, how would this impact conservative chaplains whose faith condemns as sinful homosexual practice?

But the last item Conant discussed seemed to me one that I've not heard in any of the coverage I've read or seen thus far:

By Matthew Balan | December 4, 2010 | 10:04 AM EST

CNN imported its Parker-Spitzer model of liberal versus slightly moderate to Friday's Situation Room, except reversing the sexes. Anchor Wolf Blitzer brought on Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen and Tea Party-hating columnist John Avlon to discuss the debate in Congress over tax rates and the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Avlon took the same position as his colleague Kathleen Parker, that taxes should be raised on some rich, and joined Rosen in calling for the repeal of the controversial policy.

The two CNN political contributors appeared during the regular "Strategy Session" segment 49 minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour. Blitzer read an excerpt from a recent blog item by Time's Mark Halperin where he wondered if the Democratic Party was "in the midst of a nervous breakdown." Rosen denied that this was the case and mouthed her party's talking points on the tax debate:

By Matt Hadro | December 3, 2010 | 5:34 PM EST

Liberal comedian Jon Stewart once again lampooned Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) over his continued opposition to repealing the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) policy, saying the senator is quite behind the times with his stand. "Well you're really going down with the ship, huh," he ripped navy veteran McCain's remarks.

"McCain's like one of them Japanese soldiers living on Okinawa in 1949, still fighting because he doesn't realize the war ended a long time ago," Stewart quipped. "And for some reason, even though he's been alone for years and years on this island, he doesn't like gay people."

Stewart opened his Thursday show with an eight-minute segment covering the DADT debate, in the wake of a published study by the military showing that the majority of servicemen polled don't mind serving with gay comrades. He trumpeted soundbites from multiple figures who support a repeal of DADT – including remarks from Sen. Joe Liebermann (I-Conn.), a usual target of Stewart's mockery.
 

By Kyle Drennen | December 1, 2010 | 4:56 PM EST

During Wednesday's 12PM ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Contessa Brewer attacked those who want to maintain the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy: "...the Marine Corps and Catholic chaplains, who say they support the policy on moral grounds. It doesn't make a lot of sense...if it's homosexuality that they have a problem with – they're basically saying, 'Yeah, just keep lying about it.'"

Later in the hour, Brewer interviewed Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman about his support for repealing the policy. She labeled Arizona Senator John McCain as the villain preventing repeal: "So John McCain has been one of the most formidable foes when it comes to repealing this policy....Both Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen support repealing this policy. Have you talked with Senator McCain? Is he willing to give?"

By Tom Blumer | November 23, 2010 | 12:52 PM EST

Imagine the (justifiable) media and other outcry that would result if a previous presidential administration and congressional leadership had convinced gullible House and Senate members to pass a law which they weren't given time to read specifying the following about a new Military Spending Board.

First, the Board appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate) sets a predetermined (by the Board) target for military spending growth. If the Board determines that the growth of military spending will not match this predetermined target, it has the power to enact a remedy through “fast track” legislation, which will work like this:

By Matthew Balan | November 20, 2010 | 1:25 PM EST

CNN host Larry King channeled the left's frustration with the Obama administration on Thursday's Larry King Live as he questioned Vice President Joe Biden about their approach on overturning the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy: "You were against it, as I understand? Certainly, the President is against it. Most of the administration is against it....So why is this our policy?"

King had Mr. Biden on as his sole guest during the first half hour of his program, and brought on Second Lady Jill Biden to join her husband for the remainder of the program. The host raised the controversial issue immediately before Mrs. Biden came on, and besides noting how "most of the administration" is against the policy, he stated that "apparently, they polled troops- they're against it, and you poll America- they're against it."

On October 29, 2010, The Washington Post cited unnamed "multiple people familiar with the findings" of a Defense Department survey of active-duty and reserve military, which apparently found that "a majority of active-duty and reserve service members...would not object to serving and living alongside openly gay troops," but the actual results would not be available until December 1, when a "Pentagon report...regarding how the military would end enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" law" is released. However, only two years ago, The Military Times, in their annual poll of active-duty service members, revealed that 58% were opposed to the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." Moreover, General James Conway, who stepped down as commandant of the Marine Corps on October 22 of this year, stated in an October 15 interview that "as many as 95% of Marines would be uncomfortable serving alongside openly gay troops."

November 18, 2010 | 5:26 PM EST

While most of the country took a collective gasp over the verdict in the trial of al-Qaeda terrorist Ahmed Ghailani, Cenk Uygur spun the disconcerting outcome as a success story for the Obama administration.

Anchoring the 3:00 P.M. EDT hour of MSNBC's live news coverage today, the liberal host of "The Young Turks" boldly and bizarrely proclaimed "our justice system worked."

After accusing congressional Republicans of being "scared of terrorists," implying that terrorists who want to kill us aren't worth fussing over, Uygur dismissed the notion that acquitting Ghailani on more than 280 charges exposed the shortcomings of trying suspected terrorists in civilian courts.

"So what?" bellowed an incredulous Uygur. "We just gave this guy, who we believe helped to kill 224 people, a fair trial."

By Brad Wilmouth | November 14, 2010 | 3:32 AM EST

 On Friday evening, ABC’s World News and the NBC Nightly News both informed viewers that Cindy McCain - wife of Senator John McCain - supports repealing the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy on gays in the military. NBC’s Chuck Todd merely mentioned her disagreement with her husband on the issue while noting that Senator McCain "is the guy holding up" any change in the law.

But ABC went further in showing a clip of Cindy McCain from a Web ad asserting that homosexuals in America are treated "like second-class citizens." Anchor Diane Sawyer introduced the clip: "And someone we haven’t heard from in a while, Cindy McCain, wife of Senator John McCain, speaking out, disagreeing with her husband who opposes a repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. She condemned the government policy that prevents gays from serving openly in the military."

Then came a clip of Cindy McCain: "Our government treats the LGBT community like second-class citizens."