On the December 9 edition of his Hardball program, host Chris Matthews suggested that former Vice President Dick Cheney is a masochist who should not be trusted with the call about when to deploy potentially torturous enhanced interrogation techniques on terrorist detainees.
On Tuesday, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and the Democratically controlled Senate Intelligence Committee released a controversial report detailing the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program used against suspected terrorists in the years after 9/11.
The report has drawn criticism from Republicans and many in the intelligence community but on ABC’s The View, co-host Whoopi Goldberg offered up a bizarre reason for opposing it’s release. Goldberg argued “I don't mind that it comes out. I don’t think right now during the holidays when parents are not paying attention at the malls and kids are running around because they're out of school.”
On Monday night, ABC News continued to report on the impending release of a report on the CIA’s post-9/11 interrogation methods as though partisanship had no role when, in fact, Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee are the very reason it was compiled and will be released.
Following a morning in which ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today made no mention of the political reasoning, ABC kept the streak going on World News Tonight with David Muir with another report from ABC News chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz.
During an NBC News special report on President Obama nominating Pentagon official Ashton Carter be the next secretary of defense, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd advanced White House talking points that the President really wanted someone who would challenge the administration on foreign policy: "...they claim they want him to be more confrontational with the White House national security team....I have aides tell me they want Ashton Carter to be a bull in a china shop if necessary and be that person."
The Esquire pundit claims that “every militarized halftime show, every Concert for Valor, every local television anchor wearing a flag pin or a yellow ribbon, is testimony to how the Pentagon has transformed the country from a skeptical republic to a sentimental beer commercial.”
It looks like the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, is choosing to become an active participant in the covering for the failure by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to carry out his most basic duty as the state's chief executive in a timely fashion.
The AP's unbylined three-paragraph report published at 2:12 PM ET this afternoon acts as if the Guard had a meaningful presence in Ferguson last night. It didn't. It also describes the looters, thugs and miscreants who ran wild last night as "protesters" and "demonstrators."
The New York Times continued its annoying, Winston Smith-like habit of rewriting history in virtually real time yesterday.
Helene Cooper's original Monday afternoon report on Chuck Hagel's sacking as Secretary of Defense is no longer available at the Times. However, since I anticipated that the paper would conduct a comprehensive cleanup yesterday when I posted on the paper's original coverage, it is available here at my web host for fair use and discussion purposes. Cooper's Tuesday Page 1 print edition replacement is starkly different from her original effort. Side-by-side comparisons of certain sections follow the jump.
Jim Miklaszewski kept it relatively diplomatic, declaring "there's something amiss here." But Joe Scarborough was blunt: "boy, that's damning," said the Morning Joe host.
They were characterizing Miklaszewski's description of the Obama administration's "micromanagement" of the Department of Defense in which communication flows only in one direction: from the White House to the Pentagon. On today's Morning Joe, NBC's Pentagon correspondent reported that former SecDefs Robert Gates and Leon Panetta had recently "lambaste[d]" that micromanagement.
As is the case with so many executive changes in both the public and the private sector, there is vagueness in the circumstances surrounding the end of Chuck Hagel's stint as Obama administration Secretary of Defense.
While it's not unusual for an exec to be asked to resign to avoid being formally fired, which was apparently the case with Hagel, the higher-ups involved are usually smart enough to pay tribute to the departed official and move on without letting contrary information get out. Apparently not this White House, and not the New York Times — unless their joint mission is to subtly discredit Hagel. The contradictions in today's report by Helene Cooper (saved here for future reference and fair use purposes) seem too obvious to be accidental (bolds are mine):
On Monday's AC360 on CNN, retired Lt. General Russel Honore rebuked the media's coverage of the ongoing controversy surrounding the police shooting of Michael Brown. Anderson Cooper raised how a liberal legal analyst contended that Missouri Governor Jay Nixon's activation of the National Guard, in anticipation of a grand jury decision on the case, was an "escalation of this military-style approach that didn't work in the first place." He then asked, "Do you agree with that – that it could, in some ways, do more harm than – than good?"
On Thursday's Daily Rundown on MSNBC, Jim Miklaszewski misidentified the political ideology of the protesters that attacked three American sailors in Istanbul, Turkey. Miklaszewski reported that "these radicals – these right-wing radicals, who are pro-communist and anti-U.S. – were more intent on propaganda than causing these individual sailors harm." The perpetrators are members of the Turkish Youth Union, which hold left-wing views.
ABC, CBS, and NBC's evening newscasts on Wednesday glossed over the radical left-wing ideology of the Turkish protesters who assaulted three U.S. sailors in Istanbul earlier in the day. ABC's Martha Raddatz reported that the "the attackers [are] members of an ultra-nationalist group called the Turkish Youth Union, angry at what it calls 'American imperialism.'" NBC's Brian Williams underlined that "these were apparently the actions of a fringe group."