Military

By Tom Blumer | March 26, 2011 | 10:46 AM EDT

The headline and sub-head:

Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links
Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

So how will the U.S. press deal with this hot potato?

Here are excerpts from the UK Telegraph story:

By NB Staff | March 25, 2011 | 10:47 AM EDT

In the lead-up to the Iraq War, the media "hammered Bush" about getting congressional approval, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted on last night's "Hannity" during the "Media Mash" segment. Yet such scrutiny has been missing in President Obama's actions on Libya, he noted.

What's more, the media have failed to press Obama on violating his own standards on presidential use of military force:

By R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. | March 24, 2011 | 10:55 AM EDT

Well, it is official. The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, has asked the Norwegian Nobel Committee to take back President Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize owing to Obama's missile strikes in Libya. The head of Russia's Liberal Democratic Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, also has weighed in, and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is really in a snit. This is the best news Col. Moammar Gadhafi has had in weeks.

President Obama, who ordered airstrikes against Libya and then took his wife and the girls on a sightseeing and official junket to South America, probably took little note of the Bolivian's and Russians' actions, but it does show how difficult it is to get "world opinion" behind the use of force, even against a fla fla dictator such as Gadhafi. There is more unease in the "world community." Amr Moussa, the head of the Arab League, at first was for enforcing a "no-fly zone" over Libya. Now he is not so sure. The next thing you know, he will be on Gadhafi's side. World opinion can be volatile.

By Kyle Drennen | March 23, 2011 | 12:45 PM EDT

While a report on ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday referenced 2007 comments from then-Senator Barack Obama against a president taking military action without congressional approval, CBS and NBC both failed to point out President Obama contradicting those earlier statements by failing to seek congressional approval before committing U.S. forces in Libya.

As NewsBusters' Scott Whitlock earlier reported, ABC correspondent Jake Tapper noted during the Tuesday GMA report: "There was a conference call over the weekend in which one Democrat, one liberal Democrat, read a quote from candidate Obama about the need to seek congressional approval before taking military action and the member of Congress said, 'I agree with candidate Obama.'"

By Matthew Balan | March 16, 2011 | 7:33 PM EDT

On Wednesday's Newsroom, CNN hyped the concerns of psychiatrist Terry Kupers over the imprisonment of Wikileaks suspect Bradley Manning. Kupers labeled Manning's months-long solitary confinement "cruel or inhumane treatment, and by international standards, they constitute torture." The guest also claimed that "nobody has been accused of crimes like Bradley Manning's."

Anchor Carol Costello noted in her introduction to her interview of Kupers (which aired 47 minutes into the 10 am Eastern hour) that "Manning, the man accused of giving Wikileaks classified documents, spent most of the last nine months in solitary confinement. One psychiatrist tells CNN that amounted to torture, and it could have done more harm than good." An on-screen graphic trumpeted this charge: "Wikileaks Suspect 'Tortured': Doc: Months of solitary does permanent damage."

By Tom Blumer | March 12, 2011 | 10:25 AM EST

The Associated Press's Jim Kuhnhenn's did some really heavy lifting this morning, carrying bucket after bucket of water for the White House and Barack Obama.

Wisconsin? Obama's letting his spokesman handle it while his national party "has played down its role." Death threats against Badger State GOP Senators? What death threats?

But Kuhnhenn's keister-covering for the administration goes into the red zone on Libya (note the adjective used to describe the country's murdering madman; bolds are mine throughout this post):

Some lawmakers in both parties want him to take a greater lead against Libya's idiosyncratic strongman, Moammar Gadhafi.

By Scott Whitlock | March 8, 2011 | 5:38 PM EST

ABC's undercover news show, What Would You Do, on Friday continued to search for examples of bigotry across America. Anchor John Quinones narrated a segment featuring two men pretending to be gay military veterans displaying affection in a New Jersey restaurant.

As cameras rolled, Quinones explained the set-up: "They're holding hands, stroking each other's hair and caressing each other's legs...So what will happen if we throw in our actor Vince, posing as an irritated diner, who's had enough of this PDA?"

An actor, "Vince," interrupted the faux soldiers and complained, "Excuse me. We appreciate your service to the country and everything, but you should respect the uniform a little bit more than that."

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.