In an excellent investigative report last Sunday (may require free registration) that is part of a series on how "how businesses and investors seek to profit from the soaring number of older Americans, in ways helpful and harmful," the New York Times' Charles Duhigg exposed the despicable tactics of elder-scam artists and the "information services" companies that supply them the "sucker lists" they need.
He may not have known that he was simultaneously exposing information that could, and arguably should, damage the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.
Duhigg led with the truly sad story of 92 year-old Richard Guthrie:
..... He ended up on scam artists’ lists because his name, like millions of others, was sold by large companies to telemarketing criminals, who then turned to major banks to steal his life’s savings.
Katie Couric may be many things (don’t call her perky), but she’s not subtle. The "CBS Evening News" anchor touted a new special on Walter Cronkite, a journalist who "stood up to the Commander in Chief" during an "unpopular war."
Former Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos, now the anchor of ABC’s "This Week," took time out of his interview with House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi to muse with the Democrat over what it would be like to stand at the House podium behind the first female President. Hmm, who might that be?
In case you somehow missed it elsewhere, NewsBusters has the complete transcript (and video) of the O’Donnell/Hasselbeck dust-up. Thrill as Rosie, who says the media portrays her as a "fat," "loud lesbian," faced off against the feisty token conservative. On Friday, the MRC's Justin McCarthy reported that O'Donnell will not be returning for her contract's final three weeks.
David Espo of the Associated Press appeared to be unhappy with the result of the House vote on Iraq war funding, and to be offering an excuse for the House Democratic leadership (bolds are mine throughout this post):
WASHINGTON - Bowing to President Bush, the Democratic-controlled House reluctantly approved fresh billions for the Iraq war on Thursday, minus the troop withdrawal timeline that drew his earlier veto.
The 280-142 vote sent the bill to the Senate for final passage, expected later in the evening.
..... Five months in power on Capitol Hill, Democrats coupled their concession to the president with pledges to challenge his policies anew. "This debate will go on," vowed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, announcing plans to hold votes by fall on four separate measures seeking a change in course.
A later unbylined AP report about President Bush's impending signature on the funding bill after Senate passage almost seems to have been written by the DNC, while providing cover for the party's two leading presidential candidates:
You're Hillary Clinton [work with me here] tuning into "Today" the morning after you've voted against funding the Iraq war . What's the one image you dread seeing pop up? But there it was.
This isn't shaping up as Hillary's favorite day. As the Washington Post reports here, two books about Clinton have hit the shelves, and neither paint a flattering portrait of the former First Lady. What's more, Hillary won't be able to blame this one on the VRWC. The authors are, respectively, the very lefty Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame, and a pair of New York Times reporters.
But while the Hillary camp is surely less than thrilled about those books, my sense is that in the long run, her candidacy has more to fear from being stuck with the dreaded Kerry flip-flop label. Imagine the paroxysms of pain for the Hillary camp while watching this morning's "Today." Discussing Hillary's 'no' vote on Iraq funding, the NBC show broke out the dreaded footage of Kerry's "I actually voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it."
The Associated Press ran a story Wednesday entitled “Edwards Calls ‘War on Terror’ an Ideological Doctrine” (h/t LGF).
Unfortunately, the author chose not to look into former Sen. John Edwards’ (D-North Carolina) past to see whether the presidential candidate had either referred to or supported this “ideological doctrine” himself.
Had the AP done some homework, it would have found that not only did the former senator tell Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly in October 2001, “I think that we will be united with the President throughout this war on terrorism,"(Allah has video here), but also that he and Sen. John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) both referred to this war in their respective acceptance speeches at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
To set this up, Wednesday’s AP piece began (emphasis added):
National Review contributor John Derbyshire has been a favorite whipping boy of snarky left-wing bloggers for a while, but perhaps most noticeably after some controversial postings he made on the heels of the Virginia Tech shooting.
But now a blogger at Wonkette is portraying Derb as a crotchety bigot on the basis of a blog post whereby Derbyshire notes Gov. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.) both insists on voters judging him on the basis of his leadership and agenda, not race, but then goes back to pandering to a crowd on the merits of his Hispanic heritage:
Outraged over Big Bill’s public admission of Mexican-ness during a time
when Americans are supposed to be united against the Mexican Menace,
Derbyshire bravely decides to use that very Mexican-ness against
It goes without saying that one of the great things about being a beloved liberal is that when you write a new book, no one in the media will challenge any of the obvious falsehoods you present as facts.
Such has certainly been the case as newspapers, magazines, and television programs have gushed over former Vice President Al Gore and his new book “Assault on Reason.”
Fortunately, feeling that it doesn’t owe anyone such unwarranted sycophancy, Fox News “Special Report” on Tuesday chose to look at some of the statements made in Gore’s book, and see whether they pass the smell test.
On Tuesday, "Good Morning America" continued it’s week-long promotion of prominent Democrats with a profile of Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle. Co-anchor Robin Roberts, who in teases for the interview on Monday, glowingly referred to Mrs. Obama as "amazing," "very confident" and "professional," today added "strong" and "warm" to the list of adjectives used to describe the Democrat’s wife.
She also asked almost no tough questions of Michelle Obama. Will the spouses of Republican candidates, such as Ann Romney, be awarded such adulation?
Back in November, GMA’s Diane Sawyer queried Barack Obama as to whether Americans were "secretly" more racist or sexist. Ms. Roberts seemed to be posing the slightly less inflammatory version of that question to Michelle Obama:
Robin Roberts: "With a landmark run of both Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Obama for the 2008 presidential bid, many wonder who has a better shot at making history. Do you think the American public is ready for a woman more so than an African American or vice versa?"
For the second time in two days, "Good Morning America" co-anchor Diane Sawyer interviewed Al Gore about his thesis that the media are obsessed with celebrity, while "politicians are heard in sound bites." That point may be undercut by the fact that, by Tuesday, the ex Vice President has received 15 and a half minutes of air time to complain about the subject.
After prompting Gore to compare Americans to chickens on a farm, the co-host allowed herself to be interrogated and challenged over how the media operates. But first, Sawyer and GMA helped Gore along with his analogy that Americans are like frightened chickens in the way they allow themselves to be manipulated:
Sawyer: "You even talk about chickens when, when you were young and on the farm, that you could hypnotize chickens this way."
Clip of 50s instructional video: "It's no trick to keep a chicken from straying through the fence if you know how."
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program extended its habit of offering copious amounts of time to Democratic political contenders. GMA devoted 10 and a half minutes of coverage to promote former Vice President Al Gore and his new book, "The Assault on Reason."
This is the same network that, in March, featured 30 minutes of softball questions with Senator Hillary Clinton in a "town hall" style meeting, a campaign gift that the network has yet to offer to a Republican presidential candidate.
The May 21 segment contained an odd disconnect as Gore proceeded to accuse the media of focusing on unserious, silly subjects and Diane Sawyer mostly accepted, or did not disagree with criticism of the medium. The ABC host prefaced a question about the former Vice President losing weight by saying, "But to dig not-very deep, once again, at my peril here-" Gore proceeded to interrupt and hector Ms. Sawyer over wondering about such things. "Well, listen to you. Listen to you," Gore began.He continued:
Trying to stir trouble for Rush Limbaugh this morning over his "Magic Negro" parody about Barack Obama, "Today" relied on misleading comments from a left-wing outfit without bothering to mention its highly-partisan orientation. NewsBuster Noel Sheppard had given readers a heads-up about the story on Saturday.
NBC's Michael Okwu narrated the segment, aired during the second half-hour of this morning's show. He began by harkening back to Don Imus's MSNBC career-ending comments about the Rutger's women's basketball team. Fretted Okwu: "which leads some to wonder: has Limbaugh been getting a free pass?" Okwu described the creator of the parody [Paul Shanklin] as a "white" political satirist.
I know. It’s only a cartoon. However, could these folks have been any more obvious about who they support for president?
NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” showed an animated short on May 19 depicting every possible 2008 presidential candidate, from both sides of the aisle, sitting down and having a tell-all chat with Oprah Winfrey.
As the frontrunners one by one told Oprah secrets that would surely cost them votes in the election, one thing became perfectly clear: Hillary Clinton was the only serious candidate that avoided saying anything even remotely embarrassing (video available here, h/t Allah at Hot Air).
By far the biggest target was Rudy Giuliani, Hillary’s main foe, who spoke up a total of ten times (the reader is warned that some of this stuff is pretty raw):
The New York Times explored Hillary Clinton’s service on the Wal-Mart Board of Directors in the Sunday newspaper. Reporter Michael Barbaro employed a typical focus on inoculating liberals against conservative attack: "Her years on the Wal-Mart board, from 1986 to 1992, gave her an unusual tutorial in the ways of American business — a credential that could serve as an antidote to Republican efforts to portray her as an enemy of free markets and an advocate for big government."
Citing a board of directors credential is hardly proof you’re not an advocate of big government. Just think of all the major corporations – including NBC-owning General Electric – that eagerly allied themselves with the Clinton tax and health plans in 1993. Major corporations and big government are often the coziest of allies. Barbaro sinks into the usual template about how this shows how Hillary the Trailblazing Idealist is an odd match for Hillary the Get-Along-to-Go-Along Pragmatist:
On the CBS News website Public Eye, newly minted CBS man Jeff Greenfield saw no danger that the 2008 campaign will be drenched with a liberal bias, even though he admits that "most members of the so-called mainstream media, undoubtedly, in the voting booth, vote Democratic." He pulls out a familiar argument: when liberal losers lose, it’s easy to argue that they weren’t beneficiaries of liberal media bias: "But in my view the danger of bias does not lie in political coverage. I mean, ask Al Gore and John Kerry if they were the beneficiary of a poodle press. They were treated very critically – appropriately."
Before we address Gore and Kerry coverage, let’s make an obvious point: the Public Eye site was developed to help undo the damage that CBS’s horrendous and sloppy anti-Bush bias on the "draft dodging" charge in the fall of 2004. Greenfield ought to at least tip his skeptic’s hat toward that example before serving up his pooh-pooh platter.
In Saturday's Washington Post, Style section writer Jose Antonio Vargas wrote light-hearted advice to Hillary Clinton on her request for ideas for a campaign song. (To those who would easily nominate the gospel song "I Ain't Noways Tired," which Hillary mangled in a spoken-word performance with a bad Southern accent in Selma back in March, just know the Post news staff never touched that with a ten-foot pen.*)
Vargas suggested "Upgrade U," where soul singer Beyonce sings about being an upgrade to her man, the rapper Jay-Z. "See, you and Bill can be the B and Jay of politics," Vargas oozed.
I really shouldn’t have eaten breakfast before reading a preview of the New York Times Magazine’s upcoming piece “Al Gore Has Big Plans” (h/t Dan Gainor).
After all, it’s one thing when sycophants like Sheryl Crow, Laurie David, and Leonardo DiCaprio gush over the former vice president in a manner akin to teenyboppers within earshot of Sean or David Cassidy.
But when such fawning superlatives like “prophetic status” and “intellectual mastery” are employed by a big-time journalist such as James Traub to describe a politician, uncoordinated peristalsis in one’s bowels could cause an embarrassing event without warning.
As such, the reader is cautioned to peruse the following quotes from this disgraceful article with as empty a stomach as humanly possible (emphasis added throughout):
After Rosie O’Donnell leaves "The View" next month, where will Americans go for bizarre 9/11 conspiracy theories? On Monday, the comedienne reiterated her theory that fire couldn’t possibly melt steel. The ABC host also agreed that she has a "cult personality." A few days later, O’Donnell was at it again, comparing the United States to terrorists. Liberal co-host Joy Behar also found a Republican presidential candidate she can finally embrace...Congressman Ron Paul.
"This Week" anchor George Stephanopoulos displayed his usual high level of objectivity when he assumed that the only racists who would have a problem with Obama are Republicans (and they wouldn’t vote for a Democrat anyway). Yes, it’s a good thing that liberals don’t use cheap generalizations.
This is the first step. We can and must complete this legislation sooner rather than later. We all know that
this issue can be caught up in extracurricular politics unless we move forward as quickly as possible. -- Sen. John McCain [R-AZ], May 17th.
Now is probably the last window for action on comprehensive reform before presidential politics thwart any rational debate. -- Boston Globe editorial, May 19th.
That the Boston Globe would want to ram through the amnesty-based immigration bill comes as no surprise. But what does it say about Republican presidential hopeful John McCain that the Globe's entreaty tracks McCain's so closely?
Hugh Hewtt has described the operative sentiment as "a repulsive attitude of contempt towards the voters who elected the senators."
Does L.A. Times columnist Rosa Brooks think 9-11 was "fictional and entirely implausible"? I ask, because in The GOP's Torture Enthusiasts today, that's how she describes a similar scenario that Brit Hume sketched during this past Tuesday's GOP presidential debate.
In inviting the candidates to discuss their views on interrogation during this past Tuesday's get together, debate moderator and Fox News DC Bureau managing editor Brit Hume said the following:
The questions in this round will be premised on a fictional, but we think plausible scenario involving terrorism and the response to it. Here is the premise: Three shopping centers near major U.S. cities have been hit by suicide bombers. Hundreds are dead, thousands injured. A fourth attack has been averted when the attackers were captured off the Florida coast and taken to Guantanamo Bay, where they are being questioned. U.S. intelligence believes that another larger attack is planned and could come at any time.
Brooks sniffed at the scenario, calling it "the kind that most intelligence experts consider fictional and entirely implausible."
Al Gore, "improbably charismatic"? That's the premise of this week's cover story in Time magazine, titled "The Last Temptation of Al Gore." He is, according to the ogling opening of Time writer Eric Pooley, everything the Democrats could want, "the perfect stealth candidate for 2008," with "the grass-roots appeal of Barack Obama," who "spoke out loud and clear and early" against the Iraq war, but also " candidate with the operational toughness of Hillary Clinton—someone with experience and credibility on the world stage." In short:
In other words, you would want someone like Al Gore—the improbably charismatic, Academy Award–winning, Nobel Prize–nominated environmental prophet with an army of followers and huge reserves of political and cultural capital at his command. There's only one problem. The former Vice President just doesn't seem interested.
On only his second day as a Don Imus-substitute, NBC reporter David Gregory proved that he can promote Democratic talking points in any medium. For the Thursday edition of "Gregory Live," which is simulcast on MSNBC and on radio, the veteran correspondent interviewed Illinois Senator and White House contender Barack Obama and asked him no tough questions.
He began by noting how the Democratic Senator has received "great media attention, great enthusiasm and crowds and people showering you with money." How absurd is it for Mr. Gregory to refer to Obama’s "great media attention" in the third person? After all, it was NBC’s "Today" show, where Gregory sometimes guest hosts, that labeled the Senator an "electrifying" "rock star."
After his fawning preface, Mr. Gregory did manage, finally, to segue into a question:
Can you imagine CNN providing live coverage to a Republican presidential candidates forum before a conference put on by the Family Research Council? Or would CNN worry that their coverage was promoting the FRC event and adding heft to the FRC’s national image? Flip that scenario to a group on the religious left, and you have the reality of CNN’s announcement that they will air a forum for the top three Democrat contenders at a conference organized by Sojourners, a group of "progressive Christians" who want more government aid to the poor and less money for the "disastrous" war in Iraq. CNN announced in a press release:
CNN will serve as the exclusive broadcaster of a presidential candidate forum on faith, values and politics during the Sojourners "Pentecost 2007" conference in Washington, D.C. The event will be held Monday, June 4, on the campus of The George Washington University, and CNN will broadcast the forum live during the 7 p.m. (ET) hour of The Situation Room.
The Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners and author of the best selling book God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It, has invited Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Hillary Clinton, former Sen. John Edwards and Sen. Barack Obama to share their ideas and proposals about pressing social issues with a special emphasis on poverty. Wallis also invited CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O'Brien to moderate the forum.
The May 17 edition of "The View" featured Rosie equating the United States with the terrorists, and Joy announcing her support for a Republican...but not what you may think. Token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck strongly made her case for how evil terrorists are and Rosie scuffed, "I don’t think you should use the word terrorist." Hasselbeck then noted a murderer is a murderer and asked what we should call terrorists "sweet peas?"
Rosie, in interrogating the non-liberal co-hosts, implied that the United States are the real terrorists.
O’DONNELL: I haven't -- I just want to say something. 655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?
In the unlikely event John Edwards is elected the next president of the United States, don't look for Dee Dee Myers twirling on the dance floor with him at the Inaugural Ball. Appearing on this morning's "Today," the former Clinton press secretary took some serious shots at the former senator from North Carolina.
At about 7:08 am EDT this morning, Meredith Vieira began a tour of the presidential horizon with Myers and conservative commentator and radio talk show host Laura Ingraham. Talk turned to Edwards, and Vieira framed the issue in a manner not particularly flattering to the ex-trial lawyer.
Proving that he's not a fan of Republicans, "Hardball" host Chris Matthews slammed 2008 GOP contenders on Wednesday for running a "mordant," "negative campaign." Sounding like a Democratic activist, he appeared throughout the day on MSNBC and, at one point, bitterly complained about former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s jibe that Congress spends money "like John Edwards at a beauty shop."
Mr. Matthews condemned the line, which was delivered during a May 15 presidential debate, as "stupid," "embarrassing" and "pandering." (Is it surprising that a Republican would play to his Republican audience?)
Video (1:22): Real (2.25 MB) or Windows (2.54 MB), plus MP3 (1.22 MB).
The "Hardball" host showed up in the 2pm hour of "MSNBC Live" to trash Governor Huckabee for daring to make fun of John Edwards. Responding to a question by host Contessa Brewer about whether Huckabee prepared the line in advance, Matthews could barely contain his contempt:
We've been hearing a lot about Bush's low approval ratings, but what about the new Democratic congress? Despite the fact that they won the 2006 elections, Democrats' poll numbers are actually lower than that of President Bush.
If the Democrats have had a few laughs looking at approval ratings for
George Bush, the laughter has probably stopped this morning after Gallup's latest survey.
It shows that Congress has even lower ratings than the President, and
the number has dropped consistently since the Democrats first took
How bad is it? Even Democrats mostly disapprove of Congress. Only
37% of the majority party's voters think that Congress has performed
well; Gallup doesn't mention the percentage that disapproves, but it
seems almost certain that it outstrips 37%, unless more than 26% are
clueless. Congress gets its worst ratings not from Republicans (25%),
but from independents (24%). That should get the attention of
leadership in both chambers, who owe their majorities to those
I've always had this sneaking suspicion that John Kerry asked the wrong
Republican to join his ticket in 2004, that Chuck Hagel would have said
yes, that a Kerry-Hagel ticket would have won. Now we have Hagel
hinting at a 3rd party run. So, with apologies to, uh, Hegel:
Chuck Hagel is a terrific national resource, a decorated veteran of
Vietnam who has taken a courageous path away from his party on
Iraq...and who really understands national security and foreign policy.
Third Party talk is futile, especially if you don't have a fortune like
Perot's or Bloomie's, which Hagel doesn't.
Synthesis--An Obama-Hagel ticket. (Or a pick-your-democrat -Hagel ticket)
The May 13 edition of "60 Minutes" ran a generally positive piece on former Massachusetts Governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Correspondent Mike Wallace’s toughest questions were on topics where conservatives expressed concern, such as Romney’s inconsistent stances on social issues. However, one aspect of the interview involved Wallace’s question of Mitt Romney’s five sons with a less than subtle implication.
The veteran CBS journalist asked if any of them decided to "put on a uniform and go to war." When they admitted to not serving, a shocked Wallace noted, "not one agreed or thought about serving in the military." Wallace then asked Mitt Romney if he ever served. After Romney admitted to not serving, Wallace emphasized that the former governor’s "very high lottery number" never came up.
As Ken Shepherd reported earlier, on the May 14 edition of "The View" co-host Rosie O’Donnell once again advanced her now famous September 11 conspiracy theory. After admitting to a "cult personality," Rosie engaged in a verbal spat with her colleague Elisabeth Hasselbeck on the merits of this crackpot theory.
Joy Behar accused former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani of incompetence in handling the lead up to and aftermath of the terrorist attacks of that horrific day. This prompted Rosie to note that Giuliani shipped some of the debris to China, implying the former mayor had evidence to hide. After Behar lashed out at Giuliani for not moving the Command/Control Center out of the World Trade Center after the 1993 bombing, Rosie advanced her conspiracy theory again.