Is it just coincidence that a story has appeared touting the fact that Al Sharpton is the descendant of slaves, ones owned by relatives of Strom Thurmond to boot? Or could this be the unofficial kick-off of the Sharpton presidential campaign, with a major boost from the reverend's hometown newspaper?
Let's put these three stories together:
On January 17, a story appears reporting: "civil rights activist Al Sharpton said Monday he is seriously considering a run for president. " And why is Sharpton running? "If we're talking about the urban agenda, can you tell me anybody else in the field who's representing that right now?" Translation: Obama might be preparing to announce, but he's not addressing African-American issues.
Three weeks later, on the day Barack Obama announces his candidacy, a story appears in which Al Sharpton declares “just because you’re our color doesn’t make you our kind.” Translation: Barack Obama is not an authentic African-American.
And now, just two weeks after Obama's announcement, a story bursts out of the Daily News declaring that Sharpton's ancestors were slaves owned by relatives of Strom Thurmond.
If NBC wants to support the effort of Joe Biden and Carl Levin to adopt a new resolution undercutting the 2002 version that authorized President Bush to go to war against Iraq, let it put Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann out there to make the case. But please don't misrepresent to the public what that 2002 resolution [full text here] said.
On this morning's "Today," NBC reporter John Yang asserted the following:
"That 2002 measure allowed the president to go after weapons of mass destruction and topple Saddam Hussein. There were no weapons and Saddam's been executed."
Whether intentionally or not, Yang misrepresented the scope of what the 2002 resolution authorized the president to do. Here is the verbatim text of the section of the 2002 resolution setting for the the authorization:
The New York Times has published a story scolding Rudy Guiliani for arranging only friendly campaign stops, pointedly carping how he is "Seeing Only Softballs".
Stepping to the Plate, Giuliani Is Seeing Only Softballs
SPARTANBURG, S.C., Feb. 21 -- In a swing through South Carolina this week, Rudolph W. Giuliani chose to campaign at a fire house, which is a little like Derek Jeter meeting with Yankees fans -- a most unlikely forum for hostility, or even much skepticism.
It is curious to me why anyone would expect a candidate to open themselves up to any venues that would present "hostility" this many months away from the elections?
Are the "Clinton haters" mellowing? That’s the not-so-benign question NBC reporter David Gregory asked on the subject of whether conservative ire for Hillary Clinton has lessened. (Can you imagine a segment on "Bush haters?")
Fellow NBC alum Chris Matthews, perhaps offering an explanation for the media’s fawning over Barack Obama, explained that the Illinois Senator appeals to the "young at heart."
This week, CNN provided yet another example as to why "fair and balanced" wouldn’t be a good promotional phrase for them. Correspondent Bill Schneider asserted that African Americans don’t vote for the GOP because of a "perception of racism."
It's interesting how some network TV reporter blogs show more interest in examining liberals than the network news product does. In his Media Reality Check yesterday, Rich Noyes reported that the networks have yet to touch the controversy over the anti-religious bloggers John Edwards hired for his presidential campaign website, and yet ABC Nightline anchor Terry Moran really got the ball rolling in the blogosphere on the story when he asked if a Republican would be ignored with smash-mouth bloggers like that.
Moran's blog now features a post on the liberalism of Hollywood. Moran says what Jake Tapper didn't quite say in his report on the political importance of Tinseltown...as a Democratic power center: "Hollywood money is a crucial factor for any Democrat who seriously wants to be president. You simply cannot get the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party--and you cannot win the White House as a Democrat--without the money-raising muscle of Hollywood." Do the top producers snip lines like this, lines of simple common sense?
On Wednesday’s "Situation Room," reporter Bill Schneider, in a piece on minorities in America, very casually alleged that African Americans don’t vote for Republicans because of "the perception of racism."
He also claimed that blacks have no reason to distrust the federal government because, after all, that institution rescued them from slavery. (Apparently conservatives just don’t appreciate this point.) After noting the losses by several African American GOP candidates in 2006, Schneider made his point about racism:
Bill Schneider: "President Bush appointed two African-American secretaries of state. Republicans nominated three African-Americans for important statewide offices last year. None of them came close to carrying black voters, which suggests it's not just the perception of racism that drives most black voters away from the Republican Party. There's something else. Distrust of the federal government is a core issue for Republicans."
With Hillary and Barack flailing away at each other, third-man-out John Edwards turned up on this morning's "Today." But while claiming he wanted to stay above the fray, he certainly came close to calling Hillary dishonest, all the while laughing off the notion that he might be.
Norah O'Donnell played a clip of Edwards saying: "We need a leader who will be open and honest with you, and with the American people. Who will tell the truth. Who will tell the truth when they've made a mistake."
Wow. John pulls off a reverse "open and honest" with a double-twisting "tell the truth." Wonder whom he might have had in mind?
When Meredith Vieira interviewed the ex-senator from North Carolina a moment later, she wasted no time in putting the question to him: "in addition to the comments we heard from you criticizing Senator Clinton for not taking responsibility for her vote authorizing the war, you also said yesterday 'we need a leader who is honest, open and decent.' Are you suggesting at all that Senator Clinton is not honest, open or decent?"
As I discussed here, yesterday's clash between Hillary and Barack Obama was perhaps the most bitter and open infighting between Dem presidential candidates in many an election cycle. Particularly given that it was comments by David Geffen quoted in a column by the New York Times' own Maureen Dowd that touched off the fracas, you would have thought the Times would have gone out of it way to highlight the intra-Dem battle. So . . . how did the New York Times portray the matter in its headline this morning? In Both Parties,2008 Politeness Falls to Infighting.
That's right, this isn't a problem unique to Dems. "Both parties" have suffered a failure of "politeness." Now it's true that over the last couple days, John McCain has taken verbal shots at Vice-President Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, and also criticized the Bush administration on the environment. But those were substantive critiques of policy. In contrast, Geffen's comments, with which Obama pointedly chose not to disassociate himself, could not have been more personal, calling the Clinton couple liars and Bill "reckless."
The Times furthered the moral equivalency with this helpful chart, documenting the barbs aimed by the respective Dems and Republicans.
On the Wednesday edition of "Good Morning America," ABC correspondent Jake Tapper reported on the power of Hollywood in presidential politics and the pitfalls of accepting celebrity support. However, while GMA found the time to gush over Barack Obama’s celebrity status, going so far as to include a graphic of an Oscar statue with Obama’s head on it, Tapper didn’t mention that Hollywood’s fund-raising is almost exclusively for liberals and Democrats:
Chris Cuomo: "Now, to the power of Hollywood on presidential politics. Candidate Barack Obama raked in $1.3 million by going Hollywood. It's a deep pocket that more and more are trying to reach into. Here's senior national correspondent Jake Tapper."
Jake Tapper: "Last night, at the Beverly Hills Hilton, the stars came out for another million dollar affair, honoring a thin, statuesque idol of color. No, not Oscar, Obama. Barack Obama."
Actor George Clooney: "He's the most charismatic person I've been in a room with in a long time."
Having gotten myself and others into a spot of bother when I wondered awhile ago whether there might have been some "trickeration" involved in an image appearing on Hillary's campaign website, far be it from me to suggest that there's anything altered in the photo displayed here. It turned up today in a Clinton fundraising email I received. Yes, I'm a duly member-registered member at HillaryClinton.com.
But I do believe the photo raises another issue. Chris Matthews recently and repeatedly raised concerns that Bill's failure to "behave" could cause problems for Hillary's campaign. Hillary has now chosen an image making an implicit statement about the nature of her relationship with Bill. Since she has put the matter on the table, will the MSM do anything to verify -- or debunk -- the photo's unstated but unmistakable suggestion?
Are you a conservative? Someone who historically has harbored, shall we say, a decided aversion to the former First Lady turned senator and presidential candidate? Do you find that in recent times your feelings toward Hillary have undergone a change? Do you perhaps see her in a more kindly light?
'Today' ran an unusual segment this morning suggesting that, indeed, conservatives may be "softening on Hillary." With David Gregory narrating, we were first treated to the bad old days. Hillary, as shown here, making her infamous "vast right wing conspiracy" accusation to Matt Lauer back in 1998. A clip from The Clinton Chronicles, which spun the darkest theories about the Clintons.
Liberated by her firing-qua-resignation, ex-John Edwards blogger Amanda Marcotte has reverted to form: using vulgarity to insult her political opponents. On a whim I thought I'd check in at Marcotte's site, Pandagon, and wasn't surprised to find her slurring Michelle Malkin, with shots at Ann Coulter and the two leading conservative women's organizations thrown in for good measure.
Marcotte decided to respond to an inquiry from a poster she labelled a troll who had written: "does it bother you that one of the major architects of your demise was herself a strong woman, Michelle Malkin?"
That set Marcotte off on this tirade that included these gems of logic and literary flair [editing mine; unexpurgated vulgarity in the original]:
"I do want to address this false premise that someone like Malkin is a 'strong woman' Women who kow-tow to male dominance by aggressively attacking women who actually do rebel against oppression can expect to have sexist men blow this particular 'strong woman' smoke up their --- all the time. It means nothing. To the degree that these men mean it, they are mistaking a------ry for strength."
On the Friday edition of "The Situation Room," CNN political analyst Donna Brazile slammed 2008 presidential candidate John McCain as "cowardly" for his decision to skip the Senate’s non-binding vote on President Bush’s troop surge plan in Iraq. Brazile, who discussed the issue with host Wolf Blitzer and conservative commentator William Bennett, described the Arizona Senator’s decision as "an insult." She then proceeded to label the Vietnam veteran, who spent five and a half years in the "Hanoi Hilton" prison camp, as "cowardly" for not returning to Washington on Saturday for the vote:
Donna Brazile: "I think it's an insult not to come and show up for a vote. This is a very important debate. And, for Senator McCain, who has been a staunch supporter of the President's plan, he should come and put up or shut up. But to -- to run away from the debate, and to say that this is meaningless is -- is -- is, in my judgment, cowardly."
A very interesting piece by Louis Chude-Sokei is featured in the L.A.Times today, titled Redefining 'Black' and centered upon the question of Barack Obama's relative "blackness".
Some of you may have noticed that Barack is not getting the automatic support from African American leaders that many assumed he would get since throwing his hat into the ring for the Democratic nomination for the presidency and Mr. Chude-Sokei makes an effort to inform us as to why this might be true. Unfortunately, while it has a few good points it misses the mark in too many ways.
The main point, according to Chude-Sokei, is that Obama isn't "black enough" to get the support of the standing Black American leadership because of his White/Hawaiian/African (meaning NOT African American, but real African) heritage.
It might actually be worth the price of admission to Paul Krugman's column this morning to observe the amusing manner in which the New York Times columnist wriggles around in a trap of his own making regarding Hillary's vote to authorize the Iraq war. On the one hand, he wants her to apologize for it, and so must criticize her for not doing so. On the other, he hastens to make the limits of his criticism perfectly clear. He's not lumping her in with those awful, intransigent Republicans. Certainly not. Krugman wouldn't want to damage the presumptive Dem candidate . . . nor bring down The Wrath of the Clinton upon his hoary head.
And so Krugman spends most of his column, the ostensible purpose of which is to lament Hillary's inflexibility, lambasting Republicans for their unbending nature, all the while being careful to observe that Hillary is, well, perhaps a teeny bit like them -- but not too much, mind you!
President Bush and VP Cheney are "pathologically incapable of owning up to mistakes."
"Karl Rove turned refusal to admit error into a political principle."
"George Bush . . . suffer[s] from an infallibility complex."
"Dick Cheney is a 'megalomaniac.'"
"Senator John McCain . . . appears to share the Bush administration’s habit of rewriting history to preserve an appearance of infallibility."
"As for Rudy Giuliani, there are so many examples of his inability to accept criticism that it’s hard to choose."
Neal Gabler called Media Research Center "liars" on this evening's Fox News Watch. The accusation against NewsBusters' parent organization came in the course of a discussion of media coverage of Mitt Romney's announcement of his presidential candidacy.
Interviewing anti-war Senator Russ Feingold this morning, Good Morning America weekend co-host Bill Weir offered his interpretation of the mid-term election results and virtually taunted Democrats for being insufficiently aggressive in confronting President Bush:
"Do you hold your party responsible, not only for the authorization, but for the seeming inability to muster a unified front to fight the president on this, to get what you want, and apparently what the American people wanted with the mid-term elections, and end the war?"
On Friday’s "Good Morning America," Diane Sawyer, who has previously asked Senator Barack Obama if America is secretly ‘more racist or sexist,’ introduced a story on the issue of the 2008 presidential election and race. The ABC co-host prefaced the issue by mentioning that some African American leaders are not supporting the Illinois politician because they think the U.S. isn’t ready to vote for a black candidate.
According to Sawyer, this is creating a spotlight on questions about race and "what Americans really feel inside." Correspondent Jake Tapper continued this "Is America racist?" theme by citing a vague statistic, which was given no attribution, that 15 percent of white voters say they’d vote for a black person, but, in truth, "never, ever would":
Diane Sawyer: "Well, the 2008 presidential race turns out to be turning a spotlight on questions about race and what Americans really feel inside. Senator Barack Obama is watching black political leaders throw support to Hillary Clinton. And why? They have said publicly, they don't think America is ready to elect a black candidate. ABC's senior political correspondent Jake Tapper has more on this counter-intuitive event. Jake?"
Jake Tapper: "Good morning, Diane. Well, 84 percent of Americans say a candidate being black would not effect their vote one way or the other. But, the dirty little secret, what some experts call the 15 percent lie, the 15 percent of white voters who tell pollsters they'd be willing to vote for a black candidate, but in the privacy of the polling place, never, ever actually would."
This one is going to require all potables, combustibles, and sharp objects to be safely stowed – trust me!
Many computer users are familiar with an e-card company called Blue Mountain. If you haven’t received such an electronic show of affection from a friend or relative, well, you must not be a very nice person (/sarcasm).
Anyway, for Valentine’s Day, the company apparently offered customers a rather racy card that disparaged Democrats. As reported by the liberal website Raw Story (e-card video available here h/t NB reader HumanEvents):
What happens when a noted politician announces he’s running for President? Well, in the case of conservative Republican Mitt Romney, CBS’ "Early Show" gives the story a scant ten seconds. But what if that candidate is Democrat Barack Obama? Well, then the same program devotes over nine minutes of coverage! (For those keeping count: A 54: 1 advantage for the Democrat.)
Over on ABC, "Good Morning America’s" Diane Sawyer continued her Dictator ‘07 tour. She portrayed the authoritarian Syria as a pro family, welfare paradise.
Later in the week, Sawyer asked Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, noted Holocaust denier, how often he cries.
When word emerged yesterday that NBC had named Chuck Todd, currently the Editor-in-Chief of National Journal's "The Hotline," as its new political director, my curiosity as to his personal politics was naturally aroused. I found a MediaBistro article that included this intriguing sentence:
"Before coming to the world of political reporting and analysis, Todd earned practical political experience on initiative campaigns in Florida and various national campaigns based in Washington, D.C."
That in turn naturally raised the question: on just whose national campaigns and which Florida initiatives did Todd work? Deciding to go right to the source, I sent an email to Todd that resulted in an interesting exchange.
In every electoral cycle, the liberal media informs us that the Democratic Party will fight fiercely for the votes of religious Americans and refute the ugly, even slanderous caricature that the Democrats are the party that mocks God, prayer, and everything most Americans hold dear.
And then, suddenly the alleged caricature has a name. Meet Amanda Marcotte.
Marcotte is a hater – to be precise, a hater of the Christian religion and how it apparently warps society with its oppressive myths. For some mysterious reason, John Edwards, just a few years removed from being inaccurately hailed by coddling correspondents as a Southern centrist balancing the John Kerry ticket, hired Marcotte as one of his official bloggers.
The novelty of the 2008 presidential campaign is the apparent necessity for every campaign to have an official blogger or two. The problem, it seems, is that Edwards never seemed to read – let’s hope he never read – a thing his sneering new employee wrote over a period of months. It was all summed up in one outrageous alleged joke from last summer:
It's one thing for Chip Reid or David Gregory to give Mitt Romney a hard time over his abortion position change, as I documented here and here. But on this evening's Hardball, Chris Matthews took it to a fiery new level, and Pat Buchanan got into the act.
Matthews: "This is like the kind of conversions you had in Spain in the old bad days where if you were Jewish, you were Christian the next day or you were burned alive!"
The screencap shows Chris Matthews giving Pat an approving finger as the paleo-con posed and answered his own question:
"Do I believe these are sincere, honest conversions of Rudy or Romney? In my judgment, probably not. I think they're changing their positions for political reasons. And you either accept that or you take the alternative which may be Hillary Rodham Clinton."
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney formally announced today that he would seek the Republican nomination for President, but one would hardly know this from watching CBS’s "Early Show." Romney’s candidacy received exactly ten seconds worth of coverage, following stories on a Utah mall shooting, winter storms, and the ongoing soap opera of Anna Nicole Smith’s demise. However, on Saturday, when Illinois Senator Barack Obama announced his candidacy as a Democrat, CBS’s "Saturday Early Show" devoted 9 minutes and 9 seconds, (549 seconds) to this story, a greater than 54:1 bias.
On the "Saturday Early Show," CBS aired at least one story on Barack Obama in each of the first three half hours. Yet, the ten seconds they allotted to Governor Romney on Tuesday’s program, was buried in the 7:30 half hour at 7:37. Unlike CBS, both ABC and NBC on Tuesday devoted a full story to Governor Romney’s announcement, and NBC added an additional anchor brief, roughly comparable to the coverage they gave Obama on Saturday.
As we noted here, within minutes of Mitt Romney having announced his candidacy this morning, MSNBC, in the person of Chip Reid, branded him "far right."
David Gregory has now made it a one-two punch. A bit later on MSNBC, Gregory played clips from 1994 of Romney expressing pro-choice and pro-gay rights views. Noting Romney's subsequent change to a pro-life position, Gregory expressed this opinion, in the guise of a question, to his two MSM guests:
"With all respect to Governor Romney, is anybody really going to buy that, buy the timing of that, that that was some genuine change of heart?"
Words don't do justice to the contemptuousness of Gregory's tone. View the video here.
Everyone remembers how on the day Barack Obama announced his presidential candidacy, the MSM was awash with stories of how he is on the "far left" of social issues. Or not.
Not only does Obama support partial birth abortion, as an Illinois state senator he twice voted against the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. Read the disturbing details here. Though Obama's record clearly puts him to the extreme port side of the political spectrum on social issues, I challenge readers to cite any MSM description of Obama as "far left."
But it's a whole different MSM ball-game when it comes to labelling Republicans. Literally within minutes of his official announcement this morning, MNSBC applied the "far right" tag to Mitt Romney. MSNBC host Chip Reid's had as his guest to kibitz on the announcement former Wonkette Ana Marie Cox, who according to her Wikipedia entry was once an editor of an online Marxist magazine.
From the moment Tom Matzzie, the Washington director of Moveon.org, turned up on this afternoon's Tucker Carlson, something just didn't feel right. Matzzie just didn't fit the Moveon mold. There was no whiff of the angry zealot about him, no sense that Tucker was one misstep away from witnessing a meltdown. Mattzie came across as one more pleasant-enough fellow with a DC organizational gig. Someone who might even have fit in an outfit as conventional and boring, say, as the 2004 John Kerry campaign. Which is precisely where, as the record reveals, Matzzie did spend the last presidential season, working as the Kerry-Edwards director of online organizing.
Matzzie was on to discuss the issue of whether, from the perspective of the left, Hillary needs to do a full-frontal mea culpa for her 2002 vote authorizing the war in Iraq. Carlson began by playing the clip from this past weekend in New Hampshire of a man at a campaign event solemnly informing Hillary that until she admits to a "mistake" on the vote, he and other like-minded people aren't going to hear all the other "great things" she's saying. Hillary trotted out her shopworn line about having "taken responsibility" for her vote -- whatever that means -- while claiming that "the mistakes were made by this president." The specific issue at hand aside, I would encourage people to view the video of Hillary's remarks. Her tone, and her tendency to blame others, are unappealing, and underline her shortcomings as a candidate.
When Carlson asked "why can't Hillary Clinton just apologize?", I fully expected Matzzie to enthusiastically agree. But, au contraire,MoveOn's man responded "I don't think it's about apologies; I think what people really want to hear is how Senator Clinton is going to help get America out of Iraq."
Don't believe me? Ask the Boston Globe. Better put, have a gander at the paper's editorial cartoon of today. What does the Globe mean by saying that Mitt Romney "once worshipped at the church of moderation"? No doubt the Globe has in mind Mitt's glory days of 1994, campaigning against Ted Kennedy for his Senate seat.
As the Globe documented here, in 1994, Romney aligned himself with Kennedy on abortion, arguing that it should be safe and legal. He also voiced support for the controversial abortion pill RU-486. And when it came to gay rights, Romney portrayed himself as being an even more ardent advocate for the cause, promising "more effective leadership" than Kennedy on winning "full equality" for gays and lesbians, opposed a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, and advocated gays serving openly in the military.
Regular readers know I'm not in the habit of choosing unflattering screencaps, but sometimes devotion to accurately portraying the tenor of an event demands it. Which it does in spades in conveying the vituperation unleashed on MSNBC today in an exchange over the Edwards blogger brouhaha between Dem strategist Julie Roginsky and GOP strategist Brad Blakeman.
Words don't come close to doing justice to the Roginksy vitriol. I urge you to view the video here.
Roginsky began the conversation by asserting that Edwards did the right thing in retaining the two bloggers with a history of making outrageous anti-Catholic statements, as detailed here. She called it a "pragmatic political decision."
Ron Reagan put his ballet background to use this evening, bending over backwards to avoid admitting the obvious: that the Edwards bloggers are anti-Catholic bigots. Appearing on Hardball, Reagan was matched against one of my personal favorites among conservative commentators: Terence Jeffrey of Human Events.
Asked by host Chris Matthews whether John Edwards should retain the controversial bloggers, Reagan responded:
"Yes, absolutely. If John Edwards had folded, everybody on the right would have known that John Edwards can be put in a defensive crouch."
Jeffrey: "Ron, did you actually read what they wrote?"
Reagan: "Yes I did. I did read."
Jeffrey: "Is it not anti-Catholic bigotry, Ron?"
Reagan: "I don't know what was on their mind. I can't give you a yes or no because I can't read their mind."