Military

By Tom Blumer | October 4, 2014 | 12:13 AM EDT

On her Thursday Fox News show, Megyn Kelly interviewed the State Department's Jen Psaki.

Psaki's thankless and impossible task was to defend the administration against former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's assessment that U.S. troops completely left Iraq too early. Video and the damning portions of the transcript follow the jump:

By Kyle Drennen | October 2, 2014 | 2:52 PM EDT

Appearing on MSNBC's Jose Diaz-Balart on Thursday, former talk show host and retired Marine Montel Williams scolded the Obama administration for not taking action to free Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi, held in a Mexican prison for six months on a trumped up weapons charge: "...what I found out was extremely disturbing....Jill Tahmooressi has had a son in prison for six months who is ill. No one from the White House has reached out to her to say, 'We're going to do something.' The State Department hasn't even called her directly to say, 'We're going to do something.'"

Williams, who testified on behalf of Tahmooressi at a congressional hearing on Wednesday, pointed out the President's hypocrisy on the issue: "Remember, when [Sergeant Bowe] Bergdahl was let out, the President said he did so because he was in imminent risk of medical danger. Sergeant Tahmooressi's in the same position. The President should do the same thing. And not trade anybody, just make the call to the president of Mexico." [Listen to the audio]

By Curtis Houck | October 1, 2014 | 9:41 PM EDT

On Wednesday night, the major broadcast networks failed to report on news that an internal memo was sent to members of the intelligence community by Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper praising their efforts on identifying the rise of ISIS after President Barack Obama blamed them for not doing so in an interview on Sunday’s 60 Minutes.

The memo was able to be obtained by Fox News and its chief intelligence correspondent, Catherine Herridge and it detailed how government intelligence has, for two years, “monitored, assessed and called attention to the expansion of ISIS.” 

By Jeffrey Meyer | October 1, 2014 | 11:09 AM EDT

Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi has been jailed in a Mexican prison for the past nine months for accidentally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border with several firearms. Since his arrest, the “big three” (ABC, CBS, and NBC) networks have barely covered his story on their morning or evening newscasts despite the numerous efforts by the public to get him freed. On Wednesday, Sergeant Tahmooressi’s mother appeared before a House committee asking Congress to support a resolution calling for her son’s safe return to the United State and unsurprisingly all three network morning newscasts ignored her upcoming testimony on Capitol Hill. 

By Tom Blumer | September 30, 2014 | 2:37 PM EDT

Steve Kroft's interview of Barack Obama was the focus of this past Sunday's episode of "60 Minutes" on CBS. It has become noteworthy primarily because of Obama's statement that U.S. intelligence agencies "underestimated what had been taking place in Syria." As several previous NewsBusters posts have shown (examples here, here, here, and here), the press is working mightily to minimize how the intelligence community and the Pentagon are pushing back, hotly disputing the President's assertion.

Another noteworthy development is that the network's audience for the Obama interview was down 69 percent in the 18-49 demographic from the show's previous episode. The vast majority of press reports noting the ratings slide, as compiled by Kristinn Taylor over at Gateway Pundit, are not mentioning that it was Obama's show.

By Tom Blumer | September 29, 2014 | 11:45 PM EDT

ABC's Jonathan Karl is on a tear — and his editorial bosses at ABC seem determined to ignore him.

As Scott Whitlock at NewsBusters noted earlier today, Karl on Friday "grilled White House press secretary Josh Earnest ... about claims that al Qaeda had been 'decimated,'" mainly because it hasn't been. Instead, it seems like there are at least ten times as many versions. The network televised none of the exchange. Tonight, NB's Curtis Houck wrote that ABC was among the networks which ignored how "several sources in the intelligence community disputed President Obama’s comments" about how they had supposedly underestimated the ISIS/ISIL threat. It turns out that ABC was silent even though Karl wrote a scathing column this afternoon which named specific names (bolds are mine):

By Curtis Houck | September 29, 2014 | 9:44 PM EDT

Throughout the day on Monday, several sources in the intelligence community disputed President Obama’s comments in an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes that aired on Sunday night that the intelligence community and Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper are to blame for not recognizing the threat posed by ISIS.

On the Monday evening newscasts of the major broadcast networks, ABC World News Tonight with David Muir chose to ignore the story all together while the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley simply re-aired Obama’s comments from 60 Minutes the night prior without acknowledging the criticisms since the interview aired. NBC Nightly News offered a stark contrast as it aired a two-and-a-half-minute segment that included not only Obama’s comments, but congressional testimony from intelligence officials over the past year warning of ISIS and reports from NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel going back to January that both cited the falling apart of the Iraqi army in being able to hold territory and losses in territory to terrorists that U.S. troops had secured during the Iraq war.

By Mark Finkelstein | September 29, 2014 | 8:36 AM EDT

Score one for Joe Scarborough.  The Morning Joe host today unleashed a tirade against the FBI for treating as a case of "workplace violence" the beheading by a fanatical Muslim convert of a fellow worker in Oklahoma.  Scarborough lashed out at the FBI's political correctness in claiming that there was "no indication" that the suspect, Alton Nolen, was copying the recent ISIS beheadings.

Said Scarborough: "how stupid does the FBI really think we are? Who exactly are they afraid of offending?"  Political correctness, in its more innocuous manifestations, can be good fodder for humor.  But our government becomes so hobbled by PC that it cannot call Islamic fanaticism by its name, then political correctness becomes a grave threat to our national security.

By Tom Blumer | September 28, 2014 | 11:10 PM EDT

National Journal’s Ron Fournier was apparently among those who endured President Obama's appearance on "60 Minutes" this evening.

Fournier was able to succinctly summarize the contents of Obama's interview with Steve Kroft, the network's designated softball pitcher, in a tweet appearing shortly after its conclusion (HT Twitchy):

By Tom Blumer | September 26, 2014 | 1:22 PM EDT

USA Today, gave the equivalent of almost a full page to Eric Holder's resignation in Friday's print edition.

The paper's primary story by Gregory Korte, at the top right of the front page, described him as having "championed gay, civil, voting rights." The item's continuation on Page 8A included a quote from Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, which calls itself "America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality." Griffin called Hold "our Robert Kennedy." How odd, given that Michael Lind's 2000 book on RFK described him as "prudish and homophobic." That's what happens when you grow up learning airbrushed history, Chad. The paper's second story went into puffery by describing how "Holder Took Work as AG Personally." Excerpts from each follow the jump.

By Curtis Houck | September 24, 2014 | 8:59 PM EDT

During his speech to the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly on Wednesday, President Barack Obama made a striking, unusual and ridiculous comparison between the reign of terror taking place in the Middle East at the hands of the brutal Islamic terrorist group ISIS and the unrest that took place in Ferguson, Missouri last month after the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

As far as the any of the major broadcast networks bringing up this absurd comparison on their evening newcasts, neither ABC, CBS, or NBC gave that portion of the President’s speech any attention or allowed it to see the light of day.

By Mark Finkelstein | September 22, 2014 | 9:19 AM EDT

Could the "Islamic" in "Islamic State" be a clue?  Not for John Kerry.  Appearing on today's Morning Joe, our clueless Secretary of State insisted that what drives ISIS is a "radical, extremist, cultish" philosophy, but not—perish the thought!—a "religious attitude."

Kerry was of course echoing the analysis of that noted theologian, Barack Obama, who two weeks ago declared that ISIS is "not Islamic."  In fairness, Presidents George W. Bush and Clinton have expressed similar sentiments.  For a thorough debunking of the ISIS/Islam-deniers, see here.