Military

By Tom Blumer | December 30, 2014 | 4:03 PM EST

At the Associated Press on Christmas Day, reporter Josh Lederman carried out what might as well be his official administration stenographer duties with special aplomb.

Three paragraphs will illustrate how Lederman glossed over realities relating to the 13-year war in Afghanistan and went all gooey over Barack and Michelle Obama's vacation:

By Curtis Houck | December 29, 2014 | 5:24 PM EST

On Monday afternoon, CNN’s Wolf covered the controversy surrounding President Obama’s playing of golf on a Hawaii golf course that forced an Army couple about to be married there to move their wedding during which CNN’s Chris Moody called the optics of the move “hilariously bad.”

Following a panel discussion on the 2016 presidential campaign, substitute host Brianna Keilar introduced the topic and after some background on what happened, Keilar and Time’s Zeke Miller did their best to defend the President and the White House, pointing out that there was “no way that the President” or the White House knew of this decision beforehand by the golf course. 

By Tom Blumer | December 23, 2014 | 10:43 AM EST

Establishment press reporting has all too often been about perpetuating a narrative, even long after it has been proven false, than conveying facts and truth. Anyone arguing that 2014 has been one of the worst years ever for this growing trend won't get an argument here.

An Associated Press poll about the top stories of the year got responses from 85 editors at subscribing AP outlets. Although the top story named wasn't a surprise (disappointing, yes; surprise, no), the way the AP's David Crary wrote it up to support the proven-false "Hands up, don't shoot!" narrative on Monday was absolutely outrageous (bolds and numbered tags):

By Jeffrey Meyer | December 16, 2014 | 2:41 PM EST

On Monday night, Daily Show host Jon Stewart mercilessly attacked former Vice President Dick Cheney’s defense of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program after 9/11. During his opening segment, the Comedy Central host accused Cheney of loving “torture” and asked “what if, hypothetically, this treatment was perpetrated on someone who had been detained wrongly, surely that would soften Cheney’s Bronsonlike torture boner.”

By Tom Blumer | December 16, 2014 | 1:51 PM EST

Today, the world has learned that terrorists with the Taliban, the group of Islamic fundamentalist jihadists who have rained terror on Afghanistan and Pakistan for nearly two decades, "attacked a school in Peshawar, killing 141 people, 132 of them children." The death toll will almost certainly rise as some of the 114 children the BBC has reported are injured fail to survive.

But don't ask Muslims to condemn this cowardly attack on innocents. If you do, you'll upset Max Fisher at Vox, who just yesterday (HT Twitchy), in exquisite timing, insisted that it's "bigoted and Islamophobic" to expect anything of the sort:

By Mark Finkelstein | December 15, 2014 | 6:40 PM EST

With 2015 only a couple of weeks away, Ed Schultz just managed to sneak under the wire in the race for Most Inane Question of the Year by an MSNBC Host.  Speaking to Valerie Plame's husband Joe Wilson on the The Ed Show this evening, Schultz suggested: "Your wife was outed by the Vice-President and now he's saying he has no problem with torture. How do you feel about that? I mean isn't it torture what your family went through?"

Wilson wasn't wacky enough to bite on Ed's bait, but in other comments made clear that he would like to see Cheney prosecuted in international and/or domestic courts.

By Jeffrey Meyer | December 14, 2014 | 1:13 PM EST

On Sunday, NBC’s Meet the Press hosted former Vice President Dick Cheney to speak on the recent Democratic Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation tactics on suspected terrorists. While Cheney spoke out in defense of the program, moderator Chuck Todd asked his guest “when you say waterboarding is not torture, then why did we prosecute Japanese soldiers in World War II for waterboarding?”

By Jeffrey Meyer | December 11, 2014 | 2:15 PM EST

Kristen Welker, NBC News White House Correspondent, served as fill-in host on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports Thursday afternoon and took the opportunity to badger Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.) over the Democratic Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists. Speaking to her Republican guest, Welker asked “some of the enhanced techniques that the report found included extended waterboarding, sleep deprivation, rectal rehydration, slapping and stress positions. How is that not torture Congressman?”

By Jeffrey Meyer | December 11, 2014 | 12:25 PM EST

A day after Rosie O’Donnell proclaimed that the CIA engaged in “horrific” and “illegal” “torture,” on Thursday morning the cast of ABC’s The View decided to revisit the controversial Democratic Senate report on the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists.  Predictably, Rosie doubled-down on her claim that America “tortured” people but conservative co-host Nicolle Wallace eagerly slapped her down. The ABC host insisted that she has “never been more proud to defend the people who walk the line for this country and this city and the city in which I worked, the city where my mom and dad lived.” 

By Tom Blumer | December 10, 2014 | 6:42 PM EST

Nearly six years into Barack Obama's presidency, it's still George W. Bush's fault.

Early Wednesday morning, Julie Pace at the Associated Press proved yet again why it is more than appropriate to characterize the wire service where she works as the Administration's Press. The headline at Pace's story tells us that poor President Barack Obama still has to confront the "Bush legacy," and is still stuck with his wars and "big chunks of Bush's national security apparatus." Cry me a river, Julie. One of Pace's more important omissions is the fact that the enhanced interrogations program Senate Democrats are decrying was a creation of none other than Bill Clinton.

By Jeffrey Meyer | December 10, 2014 | 3:20 PM EST

On Wednesday, Michael Morrell, former Deputy Director of the CIA and current CBS News Senior Security Contributor, appeared on CBS This Morning to discuss the Democrat-led Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists. While the former CIA official vehemently rejected the contents of the report, co-host Norah O’Donnell did her best to discredit Morrell’s defense of the agency. O’Donnell proclaimed “to me the idea that someone could be waterboarded, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, 183 times and that's not torture, I just don't understand that definition.”

By Mark Finkelstein | December 10, 2014 | 8:23 AM EST

Who were those guys on Morning Joe today—two Feinstein staffers? Nope, they were Mark Halperin and Jeremy Peters, making like Dem aides in defending the report on the CIA that Dem Senator Diane Feinstein released yesterday.

Halperin, head of Bloomberg Politics, had the chutzpah to claim that the report was not "political."  Peters of the New York Times then chimed in to say that in releasing the report, the Senate conducted itself in a "very sober" way.