CNN is harping on the "partisan" connections of a group of military veterans criticizing President Obama, likening it to Swift Boat, yet it has helped further liberal partisan attacks in the past through its own biased coverage.
"A new group of veterans, including former Navy SEALs, accuses President Obama of taking too much credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden. The group says it's nonpartisan. But a CNN investigation finds it has close links to the Republican Party," reported Joe Johns on Thursday's The Situation Room.
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's The O'Reilly Factor to promote his book, Exit Interview, former ABC News president David Westin denied seeing a liberal bias among his colleagues when he was head of ABC News, and, when confronted by a recent study by the MRC's Business and Media Institute, rationalized the greater attention the media have paid to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's wealth this year as opposed to Democratic nominee John Kerry's wealth in 2004.
The Pentagon rescinded the invitation of evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at its May 6 National Day of Prayer event because of complaints about his previous comments about Islam.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation expressed its concern over Graham's involvement with the event in an April 19 letter sent to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. MRFF's complaint about Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, focused on remarks he made after 9/11 in which he called Islam "wicked" and "evil" and his lack of apology for those words.
Col. Tom Collins, an Army spokesman, told ABC News on April 22, "This Army honors all faiths and tries to inculcate our soldiers and work force with an appreciation of all faiths and his past comments just were not appropriate for this venue."
For years, the New York Times has praised misleading books from liberal authors attacking President Bush and the war in Iraq: Tomes by Michael Moore, Seymour Hersh, Kitty Kelley, Richard Clarke, Jane Mayer, and Ron Suskind (who has also reported for the paper) -- too many to mention. Yet when a wildly successful book appears that attacks the Times's favored candidate, Democrat nominee Barack Obama, the paper unloads a front-page pushback against the "unsubstantiated, misleading...inaccurate"book.
In the summer of 2004 the conservative gadfly Jerome R. Corsi shot to the top of the best-seller lists as co-author of "Unfit for Command," the book attacking Senator John Kerry's record on a Vietnam War Swift boat that began the larger damaging campaign against Mr. Kerry's war credentials as he sought the presidency.
Deborah Solomon, reporter for the New York Times Magazine, conducted her weekly Q&A this Sunday with Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens, ostensibly discussing his plan to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil by harnessing wind power.
But Solomon, who admitted voting for Al Gore in the 2000 election, also posed hostile questions about Pickens's involvement in the 2004 campaign against Democrat John Kerry:
Solomon: You helped re-elect Bush in '04 when you gave $3 million to the Swift Boat campaign to discredit John Kerry's Vietnam service. Do you regret your involvement?
Although the term isn't used, it's clear that the Obama campaign sees itself and their candidate as victims of a vast conspiracy of right-wingers.
Going all the way back to the 1988 presidential election, Obama's "Fight the Smears" chart (featuring the campaign's new sort-of "presidential seal," replacing the one that was "dropped," at the top left) purports to tell us "Who's Behind These Lies."
If the page's historical starting points are any indication, to paraphrase Jerry Lee Lewis, there may not be "a whole lotta smearin' goin' on" among the current "smearing" parties it identifies:
Sunday's New York Times featured a Vietnam flashback, not to 1969, but 2004, as reporter Kate Zernike once again reported for duty in defense of John Kerry, in the former presidential candidate's Ahab-like quest for revenge against the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, whose questioning of his Vietnam War citations wounded him in the 2004 campaign.
The background: Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens issued a challenge last November -- $1 million to anyone who could disprove a single charge the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth made against Sen. John Kerry. A group of Kerry's Vietnam crewmates have sent a package to Pickens (and apparently to certain media outlets as well), including a 12-page letter and a 42-page attachment of Kerry's Navy records.
With all of the videos of Barack Obama’s pastor problems and gaffes, it’s no wonder the liberal media are afraid of what conservative 527 groups will do with them.
A June 9 article entitled “Decency in D.C.” and featured in the “local news” section of the Boston Globe, columnist Kevin Cullen decried the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT) – the group which ran ads against Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004 – as liars and all that is wrong with Washington, D.C.
Perhaps still sore from the 2004 election, and taking a cue from Media Matters, Cullen claimed, “And, the best part is, if [the Swift Boat Vets] can't find any videotape in which [Rev.] Wright actually says anything remotely as outrageous, they'll just make it up.”
And conservative blogs and television commentators accuse Mr. Obama of all manner of unpatriotic derelictions....Mr. McCain, for his part, lobbed a few shots over the weekend into the Democratic Party ranks.
If either Democrat withdrew troops from Iraq as proposed, he said in a speech Saturday night before the Republican Governors Association in Washington, Al Qaeda would "celebrate to the world that they have defeated the United States of America."
Joy Behar warned of the imminent "Republican attack machine" and of course it’s "lethal." On the February 12 edition of "The View," the co-hosts discussed, surprisingly, that Obama has been getting excellent press. They must have gotten the permission from the Clinton campaign to say that. Sherri Shepherd then noted, if Obama wins the Democratic nomination "it’s going to be unleashed with force."
Joy Behar then jumped in on the "Republican attack machine" and alluded to some attacks against Vietnam veterans such as Max Cleland and John Kerry and promised Obama will get "swift boated." Behar maybe missed the point that John McCain is the Vietnam veteran in the race and Barack Obama has no military service. Who could literally get "swift boated?"
Lawrence O'Donnell, already infamous for his in-your-face rant at John O'Neill of the Swiftboat Veterans, is at it again. This time, the object of O'Donnell's obloquy is Mitt Romney, and in particular his Mormon religion. Appearing on last night's McLaughlin group, O'Donnell indulged in an angry, protracted condemnation of Mormonism.
This was the worst political speech of my lifetime. Because this man stood there and said to you "this is the faith of my fathers." And you, and none of these commentators who liked this speech realized that the faith of his fathers is a racist faith. As of 1978 it was an officially racist faith, and for political convenience in 1978 it switched. And it said "OK, black people can be in this church." He believes, if he believes the faith of his fathers, that black people are black because in heaven they turned away from God, in this demented, Scientology-like notion of what was going on in heaven before the creation of the earth.
A report on Tuesday’s "The Situation Room," which highlighted the anti-Giuliani campaign of some family members of firefighters killed on 9/11, also tried to throw some retrospective doubt on the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" who opposed John Kerry in 2004. CNN correspondent Deborah Feyerick proposed the following question about the campaign: "is this another 'Swift Boat' situation, in which unsubstantiated attacks against John Kerry's service in Vietnam, scuttled his presidential candidacy. These families say no."
In addition to this question, CNN played two sound bites, one from Sally Reganhard, a prominent member of this campaign, and the other from a Baruch College professor, which reenforced the "unsubstantiated" label used by CNN. Reganhard indirectly accused the "Swift Boat" veterans of using lies. "The difference between the 'Swift Boating' and this is that everything that we are saying is the truth." Also, a chyron during the report proclaimed that "9/11 Families Challenge Giuliani: Efforts Compared to ‘Swiftboating.’"
Did you hear about that challenge famed oilman T. Boone Pickens made on November 6 when he offered $1 million to anyone that could disprove even one charge made against Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth?
Like most people that weren't at the American Spectator dinner the evening Pickens made the offer, you probably didn't learn about this until Kerry accepted the challenge ten days later.
I guess that's when media outlets figured it was news, for at that point, they circled the wagons, and jumped all over a story that had gone totally ignored for nine days.
As reported by the Associated Press Friday (h/t Dan Gainor):
Facts apparently don’t matter when they get in the way of ideology on "The View." The same show that never corrected the record when they falsely claimed Vice President Cheney opposes gay marriage, made another false claim about the "Swift Boat" ads in the 2004 election.
Discussing former President Clinton’s charge that Democratic opponents were "swift boating" Senator Hillary Clinton, co-host Joy Behar made this false statement about the "Swift Boat" ads.
"But with John Kerry, and when they swift boated, here’s a man who was a hero in the Vietnam War. And they turned it around to make it that he was a coward and that he wasn’t- and the people who swift boated him, namely the Bush administration, and their cronies, are never even went into the war. They all got out of the war."
A preview of an interview of impeached former president Bill Clinton ran on Wednesday’s "The Situation Room," in which Clinton blasted "disingenuous" Republicans for their "feigned outrage" over MoveOn.org’s ad attacking General David Petraeus. Clinton put on his best "angry face" during the clip. "This was classic bait-and-switch.... These Republicans that are all upset about Petraeus - this is one newspaper ad. These are the people that ran a television ad in Georgia with Max Cleland, who lost half his body in Vietnam – in the same ad, with Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. That’s what the Republicans did."
On Thursday's Countdown, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann used his latest "Special Comment" to attack President Bush's "pissy juvenile blast" for the President's criticism of the MoveOn.org "General Betray Us" ad during the day's news conference, accusing him of "hypocrisy" for not criticizing what Olbermann called the Republican "hamstringing of Captain Max Cleland and the lying about Lieutenant John Kerry." Olbermann further accused Bush of "pimping" General David Petraeus and of making the general into a "political hack" at the risk of moving America's government toward a "military junta." Olbermann: "It is a line which history shows is always the first one crossed when a democratic government in some other country has started down the long, slippery, suicidal slope towards a military junta. Get back behind that line, Mr. Bush, before some of your supporters mistake your dangerous and stupid transgression as a call to further politicize our military." (Transcript follows)
The New York Times is determined to minimize any political traction Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani gets for his leadership after 9-11. Marc Santora's Monday "Political Memo," "In Campaign Year, Invoking 9/11 Raises New Debates," suggested Giuliani is misleading voters by breaking some kind of promise not to talk about his leadership as mayor of New York City after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
"During a Republican presidential debate on Wednesday, Rudolph W. Giuliani asserted, 'The reality is that I'm not running on what I did on Sept. 11.'
"Two days later, a crowd of nearly 1,000 filed into a ballroom here for a 9/11 Remembrance Luncheon. Graphic images of the exploding towers, dust-covered survivors and even a series of photos that showed someone leaping from a tower were flashed on two giant screens flanking the stage where Mr. Giuliani was about to speak.
"'America must never forget the lessons of Sept. 11,' Mr. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, later told the crowd.