Military

By Kyle Drennen | March 4, 2011 | 1:00 PM EST

At the top of Friday's CBS Early Show, co-host Erica Hill proclaimed: "Tough talk. As the violence continues to escalate between rebel forces, and Moammar Qadhafi's military, President Obama sends a clear message." A sound bite was played of Obama calling on Qadhafi to step down on Thursday. In a later report, correspondent Mandy Clark claimed Obama had "drawn his line in the sand."

On the February 24 Early Show, co-host Chris Wragge touted the "very strong words" in the President's first public statement on the crisis. On that same broadcast, Clark claimed that Libyans "...felt encouraged that the President had come out with such strong words. They now feel that the eyes of the international community is upon Qadhafi, and that will force him to hold back on any bombing campaigns or any war crimes that he might commit."

By Alex Fitzsimmons | March 4, 2011 | 11:38 AM EST

For the second consecutive day, the CBS and NBC evening newscasts failed to devote more than fleeting news briefs to the fatal terror attack against a bus full of US airmen in Germany. ABC, which covered the story in more detail on Wednesday, did not even mention the tragic attack on the Thursday "World News."

Arid Uka, described as a 21-year-old "radical Muslim," opened fire Wednesday on US airmen at Frankfurt Airport, killing two and injuring others, but CBS anchor Katie Couric and NBC anchor Brian Williams spent a scant 30 seconds each on the story during last night's newscasts.

The night of the shooting, neither the CBS "Evening News" nor the NBC "Nightly News" thought the slaying of American servicemen was worthy of more than terse news briefs, although ABC's Diane Sawyer covered the story more thoroughly on "World News."

By Ken Shepherd | March 2, 2011 | 4:42 PM EST

Given the sacrifices that U.S. sailors and Marines make to serve our country, it hardly seems right to me to force them to go for months on end aboard surface ships without the right to light up a smoke.

But I'm not Mark Thompson.

Today the Time magazine staffer dusted off a convenient but recently-ignored liberal media bogeyman, Big Tobacco:

By Ken Shepherd | March 1, 2011 | 6:08 PM EST

"President Obama has been taking a truckload of flak from the right for his measured response to the crises embroiling the Middle East," MSNBC's Martin Bashir harumphed as he opened his "Clear the Air" commentary on the March 1 program.

"Measured is my word because it's certainly not one that right-wing pundits have been using," Bashir complained.

Of course the term "measured" implies deliberate calculation and an overarching strategy, whereas the timeline of the Obama administration response to Libya suggests there has been, objectively speaking, some amount of "dithering" by team Obama.

Indeed, even liberal observers such as MSNBC's Chris Matthews and Washington Post's Eugene Robinson have been critical of Obama's approach to Libya.

By Tom Blumer | February 23, 2011 | 11:15 AM EST

USA Today's Wednesday cover story ("Killings Escalate Piracy Crisis"), has this reference to a quote obtained by the Associated Press:

Killing hostages "has now become part of our rules," said a pirate who identified himself as Muse Abdi in a statement to the Associated Press. "From now on, anyone who tries to rescue the hostages in our hands will only collect dead bodies," Abdi said. "It will never, ever happen that hostages are rescued and we are hauled to prison."

Pretty provocative, right? In fact, it resembles a declaration of war without the rules of war. You might even call it a declaration of t-t-t-t ... terrorism.

The problem is, Abdi's quote is no longer in any story at the Associated Press's home web site, and is rarely present in other Internet news reports.

By Ken Shepherd | February 14, 2011 | 12:02 PM EST

Update (12:08 p.m. EST): Brewer just made this her question of the day on her MSNBC Live program.

MSNBC's Contessa Brewer injected a bit of liberal commentary to a link she posted Monday morning on her Facebook page.

"You know it's overfunded when even the Pentagon pushes for spending cuts. Why is defense such a sacred cow?" lamented Brewer in a comment posted above a link to a Wall Street Journal article on Obama's fiscal year 2012 budget blueprint.

I don't know, Contessa, maybe because the primary mission of the federal government is defending the nation from foreign enemies?

By Matt Hadro | February 10, 2011 | 7:01 PM EST

Tuesday's "Morning Joe" featured guest Daisy Khan, wife of Imam Rauf who tried to establish a mosque two blocks away from the site of the 9/11 terror attacks. The panel praised Khan and her husband as peace-making moderates, and arrogantly questioned why more Americans couldn't accept the mosque at Ground Zero.

"America is the beacon of the world," co-host Mika Brzezinski said echoing Khan's earlier words affirming American freedom. "And yet, we had such a controversy about the community center that you and your husband were trying to start blocks away from Ground Zero," she added, questioning the American "understanding" of the center.

"One of the most depressing things to me was the fact that in 2010, Americans seemed to be less accepting of Muslim Americans than they were even in the months after 9/11," co-host Joe Scarborough lamented from his soapbox. "Why do you think we Americans had such a reaction – again, in New York, a place that's supposed to be the most open-minded and pluralistic?" he asked guest Lesley Jane Seymour, editor-in-chief of More magazine.
 

 

By Alex Fitzsimmons | January 25, 2011 | 6:16 PM EST

Every so often, MSNBC anchor Dylan Ratigan goes on a rhetorical bender that stupefies his guests and defies logic.

On his eponymous program today, Ratigan latched onto conflicting reports concerning the treatment of Pfc. Bradley Manning, who was arrested under suspicion of illegally downloading classified military documents and funneling them to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, to assert that the American justice system is akin to that of the Communist Chinese.

"Think about that in the context of 243 days in confinement, 23 hour-a-day lockdown, sleep deprivation," bemoaned Ratigan. "And you think China's bad?"

Ratigan also made repeated references to Guantanamo Bay, implying that Manning is being treated like an enemy combatant.

By Noel Sheppard | January 22, 2011 | 5:35 PM EST

Rachel Maddow had a very tough evening Friday.

Before telling a 100 percent falsehood about Reaganomics on HBO's "Real Time," the MSNBC commentator said the Strategic Defense Initiative would never work because you can't shoot a missile out of the sky with another missile (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Matthew Balan | January 21, 2011 | 4:16 PM EST

The Washington Post on Friday took on Seymour Hersh's outlandish conspiracy theory that "neo-conservative" members of Opus Dei and the Knights of Malta inside the military "overthrew the American government" and are waging a "crusade" against Muslims. The newspaper reported that, contrary to Hersh's claims, General Stanley McChrystal was not a member of either organization, and that there was "little evidence of a broad fundamentalist conspiracy within the military."

Writer Paul Farhi began his article, "Hersh rebuked on 'crusaders,'" by stating that the journalist for The New Yorker's "latest revelation is drawing some puzzled reactions and angry denunciations." After recounting Hersh's accusations from his recent speech, that he "advanced the notion that U.S. military forces are directed and dominated by Christian fundamentalist 'crusaders' bent on changing 'mosques into cathedrals'" and his accusations against McChrystal and other members of the special operations community, Farhi continued that there "seem to be a few problems with Hersh's assertions," and quoted from the former general's spokesman:

By Matthew Balan | January 18, 2011 | 5:20 PM EST

Liberal journalist Seymour Hersh unleashed on President Obama in a speech in Qatar on Monday, voicing his extreme disappointment with his foreign policy: "Just when we needed an angry black man, we didn't get one." Hersh also revealed his Dan Brown-style conspiracy theory about how "neo-conservative radicals" in the military's special operations community "overthrew the American government."

Blake Hounshell of Foreign Policy magazine reported on Tuesday that the writer for the New Yorker, whose last conspiracy theory from 2009 also involved bizarre allegations against the Joint Special Operations Command and the CIA, gave a speech at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service's branch campus in Doha that was "billed as a discussion of the Bush and Obama eras." Hounshell recounted how Hersh "delivered a rambling, conspiracy-laden diatribe...expressing his disappointment with President Barack Obama and his dissatisfaction with the direction of U.S. foreign policy."

By Tom Blumer | January 13, 2011 | 3:30 PM EST

Two paragraphs don't seem to belong together in Martin Crutsinger's Associated Press dispatch on the government's Monthly Treasury Statement for December. But there they are.

Here's the first paragraph of interest in Martin's missive ("Federal budget deficit narrows to $80B in December"):

Government spending during this period totaled $902.6 billion, an increase of 3.1 percent over the same period a year ago.

Now watch Crutsinger tell readers why spending should be down, perhaps without even realizing it (bold is mine):