It goes without saying that Fox News’s Sean Hannity is never one to mince words, especially when the subject matter is something he feels passionately about.
In such instances, one better strap oneself in tightly, for you're in for a bumpy, no holds barred ride.
Such was certainly the case Sunday evening when the outspoken conservative did a ten minute segment on “Hannity’s America” (h/t Tim Graham) about how the Democrat Party has been taken hostage by extreme left-wing forces on the Internet (video available here).
First, Hannity addressed the recent blog posting by Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) on the website that last year got itself into a bit of a brouhaha for publishing a blackfaced picture of Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Connecticut):
In 1995, Bill Clinton said this to a Houston fund-raising audience about the 1993 tax increase his administration is infamous for:
Probably there are people in this room who are still mad at me at that budget because you think I raised your taxes too much. It might surprise you to know that I think I raised them too much too.
John Edwards, on the other hand, must think that the Clinton Administration and the congress at the time raised taxes too little, because he said on Sunday that he wants to go beyond what was done in 1993 (link requires registration; HT Colorado Right):
There is another scandal in the making concerning a Democratic presidential candidate’s blog. Longshot candidate Mike Gravel has a BIG problem. On his website, he proudly quoted and linked to a site which posted some online support of Gravel, excitedly announcing, “Meet the next president of the United States of America.” The site is called “Wake Up from Your Slumber.” Sounds nice and netrooty—very energizing and MoveOn-ish. Well, not exactly. It appears to be an anti-Semitic, conspiracy hate site.
Anyway, why do I think this? Well, it declares the Iranian president, Mahmoud “Death to Israel” Ahmadinejad is “The Man, The Legend” in a post that linked to a video of him denying the Holocaust. The post was titled, “Ahmadinejad: Zionists are NOT Jews” and quoted the Iranian president's speech about “Zionists” and, of course, world domination:
For those that have forgotten, in September, Broder wrote about “vituperative, foul-mouthed bloggers on the left.”
Months later, as California Democrats gathered in San Diego at their annual convention – with their presidential candidates present and accounted for – an anonymous strategist had rather unflattering things to say about bloggers on the left side of the political aisle (h/t Hot Air, emphasis added):
I have heard of journalists thinking they're gods of objectivity but this is a new one. Apparently, when you become an elite journalist, you also become a prophet.
AP reporter Nedra Pickler (her real name) filed a story on the recent Democratic presidential debate 45 minutes before the event had even started. Mickey Kaus reports (h/t Small Dead Animals):
Why have a debate? AP has already written its lede: It's 3:15. The big South Carolina Democratic debate starts in 45 minutes. But you don't have to actually watch it. AP's Nedra Pickler has already filed her story, in the past tense.
presidential candidates largely stood together Thursday in support of a
U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq and then sought to separate themselves
on the details in the first primary debate of the 2008 race.
Just like David Broder's analysis in the Washington Post news section today, NBC Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert offered praise all around for the Democratic field after the Orangeburg debate. The Democratic field are not "pygmies," and everyone, including Mike Gravel, cheered on by Sam Seder on Air America radio this morning for "making Dennis Kucinich look moderate," earned stars on his forehead from NBC:
RUSSERT: Democrats overwhelmingly are very happy with the field. Almost 75 percent of the party members say we like this group. Only 50 percent of Republicans like their group. So I think that if you are stepping back and looking at the 2008 field, it’s not, in past years people say, well, it’s pygmies, they can't possibly step up. I think people can envision several of these people sitting in the Oval Office.
We expect our political pundits to be masters of campaign history, but that isn't always the case. On The Early Show on CBS this morning, newly arrived political correspondent/analyst Jeff Greenfield ended his story on the Democratic debate by telling co-host Harry Smith, "this was, by far, the earliest presidential debate in the history of our political system. You want to know how early? A child conceived last night would be a month old before the people of South Carolina got to vote in their primary."
You don't have to know ancient history to know Greenfield's wrong. In the last election cycle, Democrats held a very early debate in South Carolina just like this one -- on Saturday, May 3, about a week after this one on the calendar. Greenfield analyzed it for CNN on the May 5, 2003 American Morning:
Assume for a moment that you were the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination in 2008, and that one of your competitors had recently created a bit of a brouhaha for having hired a couple of liberal bloggers with "tainted" records.
Would you want to post an article at a website that got itself in some trouble of its own last year when it featured an offensive, Photoshopped picture of Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Connecticut) in blackface?
Well, on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton (D-NY) posted an article at Firedoglake, the very website guilty of publishing the offensive picture of Lieberman as reported by NewsBusters.
The Washington Post's Mary Ann Akers reported that some Democrats are quite concerned this decision could come back to haunt the junior senator from New York (h/t Glenn Reynolds and Beltway Blogroll):
I would never suggest that the presidential campaign isn't Page One material, but it's not exactly a compelling news story when the summary of a Democratic debate (in today's WashPost) is "Candidates Unite In Criticizing Bush." How is that notably different than any other day of the Bush presidency? Readers ought to see in this an undercurrent of It's-Our-Party politeness, as in "we wouldn't want any of our plausible contenders to be nicked up this early."
But the real puffery came in David Broder's "analysis" on page A6, headlined "Democratic Hopefuls Show Political Heft." These were no eight "dwarves," but a bevy of better-than-Bush giants: "the overall impression from the first formal debate from this early-starting campaign is that the Democrats have a field of contenders that, by any historical measure, matches in quality any the party has offered in decades."
Over at The Hillary Spot on NRO, a great spot for keeping up with the presidential campaign, Jim Geraghty found that Chris Matthews wasn't exactly playing "Hardball" before the Democratic debate. But he did imply that Bush was a little racist because he was faster to arrive on the scene at Virginia Tech than in New Orleans after Katrina. (Question to Chris: Do you think no blacks were gunned down at Virginia Tech?) Geraghty thought Matthews sounded like a DNC press aide:
Chris Matthews' first question to Elizabeth Edwards on Hardball: "What's the difference between having a Democratic President and a Republican President?"
Web use has become such a widespread phenomenon that for next year's presidential election, Yahoo is set to host the first-ever online presidential debate.
Unfortunately, all of the web media sources it's chosen to partner up with are liberal leaning. David All explains:
When mega-giant Yahoo! decides to play in the political sandbox, I’m going to pay attention. Yahoo! is currently ranked number one in Alexa.org’s Top 500.
So when it was reported this week that Yahoo! had partnered with Slate, Huffington Post, and PBS's Charlie Rose to host the first-ever online Presidential debate, as a conservative Republican, I immediately felt a curling in my stomach [...]
On Thursday’s "Good Morning America," Dr. Tim Johnson proved, yet again, that even ABC’s medical expert can spout liberal talking points. Johnson appeared on GMA to tout a universal health care plan by the "two old war horses," Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy and Democratic Congressman John Dingell. (ABC didn’t mention their party affiliation.)
Johnson described the plan as "bold" and "politically brilliant." Additionally, he rhapsodized about its liberal sponsors, saying that Dingell and Kennedy are "trying to do what I think is the right thing." GMA co-host Robin Roberts introduced Johnson by noting just how excited the medical expert was over the legislation:
Republican Senator and presidential candidate John McCain appeared with his wife on the April 26 edition of "The Early Show" to discuss the war in Iraq and his presidential campaign. Host Harry Smith wondered if the "‘straight talk express’ is going off the road." Why? McCain dared to cite some progress in Iraq.
Smith also asked McCain if he still would have started the war in Iraq, knowing the information that is now know.
"Let me ask you this. Knowing what we know now, that there were no WMD's, that there really were no connections between Iraq and Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, would you still --would you have still started this war with Iraq?"
To show the feeding frenzy that is the MSM -- as well as the constant inaccuracy -- reports abounded yesterday with rebukes to Rudy Giuliani from Democratic candidates for the 2008 Presidential election over something they all merely assumed he said at a campaign appearance.
Every single paper out there quoted the stern rebukes of each of the front running Dem. candidates and nearly every source of MSM news, from TV to the internet, repeated what it was that Rudy "said" to force the rebukes.
Unfortunately for all concerned, it appears that Rudy never said the phrase attributed to him.
Yet, not a soul in the MSM (except Fox's Brit Hume) took the time to do the research necessary to fact check and assure the story was correct.
In his latest "Special Comment" rant, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann used his Countdown show to target Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani for a speech the former mayor gave at a Lincoln Day Dinner in which Giuliani contended that America would be "playing defense" in the war on terrorism under a Democratic president, with Olbermann labeling Giuliani's comments as "terrorism," and accusing the former mayor of "threatening the American people with 'casualties' if they ... elect a Democrat president. The Countdown host further accused Giuliani of "doing Osama bin Laden's work for him." Olbermann: "Claim a difference between the parties on the voters' chances of survival, and you do Osama bin Laden's work for him. And we, Democrats and Republicans alike, and every variation in between, we Americans are sick to death of you and the other terror-mongers trying to frighten us into submission, into the surrender of our rights and our reason, into this betrayal of that for which this country has always stood!" (Transcript follows)
New York Times political reporter Adam Nagourney is typically hyper-sensitive to any hint of a Republican "attack" on a Democrat (not so much the other way around). So it was refreshing to read him actually having a little fun needling Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards on Friday as "The Breck Girl" for his preening over his hair and looks when he thinks he's off-camera (most notoriously in a widely seen YouTube video set to "I Feel Pretty")
Nagourney on Friday wrote about the mini-flap over Edwards' two $400 haircuts and brought up the YouTube video while suggesting a perception of hypocrisy.
"John Edwards, the North Carolina Democrat, announced on Thursday that he was reimbursing his campaign $800 to cover what his aides said was the cost of two haircuts -- yes, you read that correctly -- by a Beverly Hills barber, though, perhaps, the word stylist is more applicable….Mr. Edwards has presented himself in the Democratic field as an advocate of working-class Americans, lamenting the nation’s growing economic disparity."
One of CNN's favorite people during the month of April is leftist presidential candidate extraordinaire Dennis Kucinich. His appearance on Wednesday's "American Morning" was the culmination of three straight days of coverage of the Ohio congressman's impeachment proposal against Vice President Cheney. Despite the amount of coverage he has been given, not just in the past three days, but also earlier in April, "American Morning" co-host John Roberts was the first to specifically mention Kucinich's 1 percent standing in the last CNN poll. So why all the free CNN publicity?
Monday's "The Situation Room" was the first to report that Kucinich was seeking the impeachment of Dick Cheney. Host Wolf Blitzer reported that the Ohio congressman scheduled a news conference where he would announce his articles of impeachment against the Vice President.
Q. How can embrace of a given policy "stall" a candidate's campaign if it helps him with the voters?
A. If the policy in question is the Bush administration's Iraq war plan, and the MSM finds it difficult to admit that support for it can be an electoral plus.
As NewsBuster Geoffrey Dickens and I have noted here and here, NBC reporters, notably including Andrea Mitchell and David Gregory, have repeatedly explained McCain's weak standing in the GOP primary polls by his support of the Iraq war.
The truth, of course, is just the opposite. Republicans are less than enthusiastic about McCain because of his embrace of non-conservative positions on everything from campaign finance to taxes to immigration. It is only McCain's support of the Iraq war that is keeping him afloat in the GOP primaries. Ditch that, and McCain would soon find himself in Chuck Hagel territory -- out of the race altogether.
On this morning's "Today," NBC's Norah O'Donnell impossibly played things both ways, claiming:
McCain's candidacy has stalled with his embrace of President Bush's Iraq war strategy. But one plus for McCain's support of the increased troop surge is that it does play well among Republican voters.
Update at bottom of post: other bloggers reactions.
In a column this afternoon, Politico's Roger Simon took a swipe at Democratic presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) for giving a public prayer for the victims of the Virginia Tech gunman "in Christ's name.":
Does John Edwards include Jews in his prayers? Or Muslims? Or Hindus? Or any other non-Christians?
He didn’t the other day. The other day, in order to commemorate those killed at Virginia Tech, Edwards led a prayer “in Christ’s name” at Ryman Auditorium, which bills itself as “Nashville’s Premier Performance Hall.”
Edwards has a perfect right to pray publicly or privately any way he wants to. But people who are not Christians often feel left out of prayers like his.
It's hardly news that sportscasting, MSM-style, offers no respite from liberal politics. Particularly so when it comes to the ABC/Disney owned ESPN, the sports network that pressured Rush Limbaugh to resign from its Sunday NFL Countdown pregame show for saying what was on his mind about media treatment of Eagles QB Donovan McNabb.
Even so, it came as something of a shock to observe that one ESPN personality is turning his on-screen appearances into an opportunity to promote the candidacy of a Dem presidential contender. Many sportscasters have their signature calls. From Stuart Scott's "boo-yah!" to Chris Berman's "back-back-back gone!," several of the ESPN announcers utter idiosyncratic phrases to underline signal athletic accomplishments. Fair enough. But watching ESPN's Kenny Mayne over the course of the last few days, I was surprised to notice that he has coined a new call. Home run at a crucial moment? Three-pointer to take the lead in a basketball game? "Obama!", exclaims Mayne.
If in the wake of the Imus incident the Rutgers women's basketball players had spurned an invitation to meet with President Bush, do you think ABC might have told us about it? Natch. But when those same players blew off a chance to meet Hillary Clinton, ABC managed to put a positive spin on matters.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton finally dropped by Rutgers to meet with the school's women's basketball coach -- but the players themselves skipped the half-hour meeting, citing their studies and Imus fatigue.
"Many of the players were in study hall from eight to noon and some had finals," explained a Rutgers source who said the players were "tired" of all the attention. "These young women need to do their classes, and wrap their spring semester."
It's enough to give a guy flashbacks to co-eds shooting him down for a Saturday-night date because they had to study.
Washington Post fashion writer Robin Givhan, who's often slashed at the fractured fashions of Team Bush, and who in 2004 hailed the hair of John Edwards (it "cries out to be tousled"), surprised readers on Friday by finding Edwards guilty of "primping" with his $400 haircuts. She doesn't go the whole way and mock his rich vs. poor "Two Americas" talk, but it's bubbling under the surface. Early on, she notes a "Bush loyalist" called Edwards a "Breck Girl," (um, isn't "Rush Limbaugh" a better tag for who started that?) and then Judge Robin ruled:
Edwards considers triple-digit grooming expenses a part of campaigning. He listed his salon and spa bills under "consulting/events," after all...But there is a line between grooming and primping. Brushing your teeth is grooming. Giving yourself a big Chiclet smile with veneers is primping. Having an adept barber come around to the hotel to give a busy candidate a trim is grooming. Getting the owner of an expensive Beverly Hills salon to come over, knowing full well that the cost is going to be 10 times what the average Joe is likely to pay for a haircut . . . that's a Breck girl move.
Poll fixation by the media has been a frequent topic of discussion for conservatives as the press have focused ad nauseum on the falling approval numbers of President Bush the past couple of years.
With that in mind, will the press show equal interest in a study just released by the Gallup Organization identifying Hillary Clinton’s favorability rating plummeting an astounding thirteen percentage points in two months to one of its lowest levels since 1993?
Given the truly shocking results reported on Wednesday, one could easily envision this being the lead story for network evening news programs if the data was about one of the Republican presidential frontrunners, and if not for the massacre at Virginia Tech (emphasis added throughout):
After a demoralized Rosie O’Donnell stated the previous day that she gave up on gun control, Barbara Walters, on the April 18 edition of "The View," expressed disappointment in Rosie’s surrender. Rosie, again expressed her frustration with not accomplishing anything in the eight years since the Columbine massacre. Perhaps disarming her bodyguards would be a start.
BARBARA WALTERS: When I'm not on, I watch the program. And, I mean this tragedy that has happened is so terrible, but you Rosie are always so passionate. Right or wrong, you're passionate. You care. And you're one of the people who talked about gun control. And for me to hear you yesterday, because we haven't talked too much about it, numb, saying we're never going to get a gun control law, kind of giving up made me sad. I don't want to see you do that.
If Arnold Schwarzenegger, nominal Republican, wants to be allowed to run for president, why shouldn't Moktada al-Sadr be considered for a spot on the Dem ticket? After all, his views on U.S. withdrawal from Iraq put him firmly in the mainstream of the party of Pelosi The thought occurred to me while reading Moktada al-Sadr’s Gambit, an editorial in this morning's NY Times regarding the resignation of six members of al-Sadr's party as ministers in the cabinet of Prime Minister Maliki.
And what, according to the Times, was the gambit's goal?
"Mr. Sadr had his cabinet ministers resign in an attempt to bully the government into setting a timetable for the departure of American troops from Iraq."
Hmm. "An attempt to bully the government into setting a timetable for the departure of American troops from Iraq." Bullying the government? You mean like threatening to withhold funding for the military?
There’s another snide article about Rudy Giuliani in a dress. In the past, the media have gleefully reminded America that Rudy Giuliani has worn dresses during comedic performances such as the one on “Saturday Night Live,” but this April 14 AP article that appears on MSNBC took a different tone, one that leaves the reader with the impression that Giuliani is a transvestite. Along with a big picture of the former mayor “dressed in drag,” as the caption put it, the article elaborated in great giddy detail each time that Giuliani wore a dress or a costume like this:
It is difficult to shock New Yorkers, yet Rudy Giuliani teetered close to the line when he sauntered onto a stage wearing a platinum-blond wig, a face full of makeup, dainty white gloves and a frilly pink gown filled out in all the right places.
Liberal arrogance is parading around in the Sunday funnies again – in Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury strip – misplaced arrogance about how the major Democratic presidential contenders have no "infidelities." How, pray tell, do we know that? How IS the Hillary math done on that – no "infidelities" in the Clinton marriage?
The Sunday comic strip features gay radio host Mark Slackmeyer interviewing religious-right leader Dr. James Dobson: "On the GOP side, the three front-runners, Giuliani, McCain, and Gingrich have five divorces among them, four of them really messy, and all of them involving adultery. On the Democratic side, the three front-runners, Clinton, Obama, and Edwards, have no divorces or infidelities."
In 1992, Republican chairman Rich Bond oafishly suggested in public that he was arguing the media had a liberal bias because he was "working the refs," cynically complaining about harsh coverage to get better coverage. But many candidates try to work reporters this way, and on the slightly dated April 4 edition of the PBS talk show Charlie Rose, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter said Bill Clinton's trying that tactic against Barack Obama, who he feels hasn't been challenged or critiqued by reporters:
JONATHAN ALTER: He`s working the refs, as we say.
CHARLIE ROSE: He`s doing what?
ALTER: He`s working the refs....Basketball players understand that.