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.
Writing at Salon, Michael Scherer discloses one of journalism's dirty secrets: many of the biggest and most sensational stories you hear about in the media were not dug up by the reporters themselves. Instead, they were handed to them by political operatives from an opposing campaign. Oftentimes, the provenance of that information is never disclosed to the audience.
While he frames his article around Matt Drudge and his supposed control of Republican politics, Scherer's point is equally true of the MSM which is regularly handed scoops by liberal bureaucrats and Democratic officials.
John McCain's "Bomb Iran" scandal almost never happened.
The reporters covering the Murrells Inlet, S.C., rally last month,
where McCain jokingly parodied the old Beach Boys song "Barbara Ann"
with the words "Bomb Iran," didn't think the joke was news. Only one
writer, Scott Harper, from the local Georgetown Times, mentioned it in
his story, and he relegated it to the 17th paragraph. "I didn't think
Jay Leno would be talking about it," he said.
Update (14:25): Justin McCarthy has more analysis and a full transcript available here.
Update (13:50 EDT): Video (2:07): Real (1.55 MB) or Windows (1.3 MB) plus MP3 (980 kB).
Update (12:42 EDT): We're still working on video and a transcript, but here's the audio (980 kB).
Moments ago "The View" co-host Rosie O'Donnell found a golden opportunity to resurrect her conspiracy theories on the collapse of World Trade Center Tower 7 (WTC 7) as her fellow co-hosts were discussing Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign. Co-host Joy Behar faulted Giuliani for keeping the NYC emergency command center in the World Trade Center complex. That's when O'Donnell noted that the command center was in WTC 7. This time around, however, token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck pushed back on Rosie's loopy conspiracy theories.
In a commencement address to New England College, Democrat Party presidential candidate John Edwards has issued a call to turn Memorial Day from a day to celebrate our troops to a day pushing a political message that attacks them. He has also created a new website to further that goal and the Washington Post is helping him advertise it breaking their more common practice of not posting links taking the reader outside their own website.
How often do you see MSM sources giving direct links to websites outside their own site? How many times have you seen a story mentioning a website, maybe even including the name of the website somewhere within the story, yet the story won't give the full address? Also, how many times do you see a web posting that actually includes a hypertext link to any website outside any paper's site? Not very often. But today the Washington Post has given John Edward's anti-war website a big boost by not only writing a story about it, but creating a direct link to it at the end of their story.
I wonder how many conservative or pro-war websites they have helped advertise in the past with a direct link?
Scott Johnson at Power Line reported Saturday that attorneys representing the Democratic National Committee have sent a cease and desist letter to Free Republic due to a post at its website concerning allegations made on the “Quinn & Rose” XM Satellite radio show Thursday (h/t Glenn Reynolds).
Howard Dean appears to be doing another “I Have a Scream” speech, only this time through his attorneys.
Discussing this week’s announcement that British Prime Minister Tony Blair will soon be resigning, all three morning shows managed to work in the insulting "Bush’s poodle" reference. "Good Morning America" was the most obnoxious, absurdly claiming that "Bill Clinton’s sidekick became Bush’s poodle."
Speaking of global warming, Diane Sawyer and "Good Morning America" have been promoting liberal environmentalism for quite some time. This week, however, GMA went even further and touted a New York liberal who wants to save the planet by not using toilet paper. Some things, you just can’t make up....
The May 11 edition of "The Early Show" ran a relatively fair piece on Rudy Giuliani and his stance on abortion. However, there were clear issues of a labeling double standards. In the set up story Jeff Greenfield noted Giuliani’s stance on social issues "moderate to liberal" despite the former mayor’s support of partial birth abortions.
During the course of Harry Smith’s interview with CBS News political analyst Nicolle Wallace, Smith used the term "religious conservatives" to describe the voters who express concern over Giuliani’s abortion rights support. Smith then described California, a state that Kerry defeated Bush by nine percent, as "more moderate" than Iowa and New Hampshire, two states that were decided by about one percent of the vote.
On Friday’s "Good Morning America," ABC anchors and reporters worried that the Pope may be "interfering in American politics." Correspondent Dan Harris discussed the Pope’s comments about pro-choice Catholic politicians and an ABC graphic offered this leading question, "Is Pope Pushing his Pulpit?"
Talking to conservative pollster Kellyanne Conway, Mr. Harris adopted a tone of surprise that the Pope, who lives way over in Europe, could have an impact on American politics:
Harris: "So even though he doesn't vote here, he doesn't live here, wasn't elected here, he can impact the race here?"
Nancy Pelosi, in the run up to the 2006 midterms, decried the Republican Congress' "culture of corruption" and triumphantly claimed she was going to bring back an "ethical" Congress upon the close of the elections. The Democrat Party delighted in the real ills of lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the fictional ills of the evil genius Karl Rove and spared no expense to tout their warnings to the electorate. Their efforts seemed to succeed in gaining them a majority. So, what are the reforms this new, glorious era has produced now that the Democrat Party has retaken Congress?
For one thing, instead of decreasing junkets by Congressmen such trips have not abated at all in this new "ethical" Congress. As Examiner correspondent, Charles Hurt, reports, "Congress is keeping Andrews Air Force base plenty busy this year ferrying lawmakers all over the globe at taxpayers’ expense."
Boycotts are falling everywhere. With the French having elected Sarkozy, American conservatives are feeling good about buying Beaujolais again. And with Imus gone from MSNBC, Hillary Clinton has ended her one-woman boycott of the network's morning-show slot. Hillary had famously shunned the shock-jock's show in the wake of his suggestive shtick at a Radio & TV Correspondents dinner with Pres. Clinton and the First Lady in attendance.
Hillary did a lengthy phone interview at 8:09 EDT today on "Morning Joe," the latest in MSNBC's revolving morning-chat shows in the old Imus slot, hosted by Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman who hosts a regular evening show in the MSNBC lineup. At one point during the interview, Joe told Hillary "I'm not kissing up to you at all. Those who know me know I certainly don't do that." But if there were any questions that put Hillary on the spot, I must have missed them. There were points of agreement on health care and other issues. Joe blamed himself for being part of the impeachment effort and closed with a bouquet for Hillary's "unifying" presence.
Yup -- according to Chris Matthews. The MSNBC host suggested that Mitt Romney had landed a "sucker punch" on Sharpton in reacting to the reverend's assertion that "true believers" will defeat the Mormon in the presidential race. Matthews laced his interview with Sharpton on this afternoon's "Hardball" with a number of comments painting Sharpton as the offended, not the offender.
After playing a tape of Sharpton's remark, and Romney's response in which he characterized Sharpton's comment as bigoted, Matthews went off on a riff.
Imagine for a moment that one of the leading Republican presidential candidates said that 10,000 people had been killed by the recent tornado that destroyed Greensburg, Kansas, Saturday.
Do you think this would have been easy fodder for the broadcast television news divisions that always seem fascinated with gaffes made by folks on the right?
If your answer is an unequivocal “Yes,” then why did ABC, CBS, and NBC completely ignore Sen. Barack Obama’s statement Tuesday wherein he accidentally exaggerated the death toll from the Greensburg tornado by 9,988?
Wedge issues, those subjects on which basically everyone has an opinion and those opinions are hard and fast, are generally something most politicians try to avoid if at all possible. Usually, it's because their party base takes a very strong stand on a subject that most Americans disagree with in part or in whole. If used properly, wedge issues can be used to separate a politician from the general public.
For Republicans the wedge issues tend to be abortion, creationism, and racial politics. Democrats have these issues too, however the left-dominated media almost never focus on them as Ace writes:
The media loves close questioning about abortion. And Bob
Jones University. And the Confederate flag. And etc., and etc., and
etc. -- every issue that cuts against Republicans, where the wedge
divides base from center, always gets an enormous amount of attention from the Washington press corps.
And what about Democrats' wedge issues? Not only does the media
refuse to ask such questions, except in the easiest softball way --
allowing candidates to give their carefully-vetted focus-group-tested
non-answers without having to survive the scrutiny of a follow-up --
the media is often insistent that even asking such questions is "divisive" and therefore unethical, if not unAmerican.
In going on Paula Zahn's CNN show this evening, was Al Sharpton's goal to quell the controversy surrounding his comments about Mormonism, or to inflame it? If the former, he failed miserably. If the latter, he succeeded admirably. Far from retracting his earlier allegation that Mormons aren't real believers, he repeated it, adding an allegation of racism for good measure.
Let's recall Sharpton's original statement, that in going on the Zahn show he presumably was seeking to explicate. Debating Christopher Hitchens recently, Sharpton said:
"And as for the one Mormon running for office, those that really believe in God will defeat him anyway. So don't worry about that. That's a temporary, that's a temporary situation."
This week’s Newsweek cover story on political courage ("Wanted: A New Truman") is truly baffling. Evan Thomas has a strange way of assessing what marks courage in our presidential contenders. He easily acknowledges that John McCain’s long tenure as a prisoner of war trumps everyone else. But he writes "All the candidates will use their life stories to show a sense of moral purpose." How did Hillary display her sense of moral purpose?
You may not believe it, but Thomas claimed: "Hillary Clinton had a stark moral choice: whether to stay with her husband when President Clinton's philandering with Monica Lewinsky was exposed. Her decision to stand by him could not have been easy." Inside the media-Democrat complex, moral courage is not displayed by condemning adultery. It is displayed by tolerating adultery and maintaining political viability for the party in power – not to mention nicely setting up your own senatorial and presidential campaigns down the line.
As you'll see from the screencap, the cast of "Today" was really yukking it up this morning at George Bush's expense, recycling his "1776" gaffe on the occasion of the Queen's visit and updating the story with the Queen's retort. Between a show-opening tease and the subsequent smirk-a-thon, the show devoted no less than 1 min, 43 seconds of its opening 21-minute 7:00 AM half-hour to the matter.
But, at least during that crucial first half-hour, "Today" somehow couldn't find a second to report on either of two stories with negative implications for Dem presidential candidates Barack Obama and John Edwards.
Speaking in Virginia yesterday, Obama claimed that "ten thousand people died" in the Kansas tornado. He was only off by a factor of 1,000. Since we all know that Obama is brilliant, a Harvard law grad, why bother to pass along a story which doesn't fit the template?
We’ve now finished the first two presidential debates, both on MSNBC. Pundits are debating whether they will make a difference in the race, but one thing is very clear: it’s business as usual for the media moderating these things. The Democrats were treated to an amiable chit-chat among friends. The Republicans took round after round of hostile fire from enemies. Nothing ever changes. The Democrats are spoiled like rotten kids, and the Republicans are invited to sleep on a bed of nails, and do so willingly.
But the dynamic now has been made even worse by the petulant petitions and protests of the censorious left, the ones who claim to be "democrats" but want to remove Fox News Channel from the news media. Leftists believe in a media strategy with all the sophistication of holding your breath and turning blue. Fox hatred is required. On the Huffington Post, author Carol Hoenig argued the Democrats should debate on Fox. Even so, her article was headlined "Fox News: A Cancer On Society."
The New York Times is still adjusting badly to conservative candidate Nicolas Sarkozy's big win in the French presidential election over Socialist candidate Segolene Royal, judging by reporter Craig Smith's report from Paris on the thuggish violence that occurred after Sarkozy's big win ("Hundreds Are Arrested in Post-Election Riots Across France").
Instead of blaming the rioters, Smith implied that furthur violence could be blamed on Sarkozy keeping his campaign promises.
"Violent protests against the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France ended early Monday after hundreds of people were arrested, hundreds of cars gutted, and hundreds of windows smashed in several cities across France.
Anti-conservative bias in the media is not unique to America. Agence France-Presse (AFP) practically portrayed French President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy as a modern day, Gallic incarnation of Nero, fiddling while France burns (emphasis mine).:
France's next president Nicolas Sarkozy holidayed Tuesday in Malta
ahead of launching a radical reform programme, while back home cities
across the country were hit by more violent "anti-Sarko" protests.
A few paragraphs later, the AFP article --bearing the loaded headline "Sarkozy rests as France braces for reform -- continued to hold Sarkozy in a sinister light.:
But when CBS and U.S. News & World Report’s Gloria Borger calls for a “moratorium on invoking the memory of Ronald Reagan” in a column about the recent Republican presidential debates held at a library named in his honor, this Gipper envy has clearly gotten way out of hand (emphasis added throughout):
If Democrats had accused former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Illinois) last year of earmarking funds that could help real estate investments owned by his wife, would the media have reported it?
Probably on the front pages of every newspaper, and as the lead story of all of the evening news programs, right?
Well, the Associated Press published a story Monday about current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) possibly earmarking funds that would benefit her husband's investments around the San Francisco Bay. Yet, the media showed virtually no interest (emphasis added):
It's Nitpicking Tuesday. In the Washington Post Style section, the weekday ad for the "Live Online" chats at washingtonpost.com caught my eye. Today's 1 pm session with a black Post columnist is promoted with this language:
Opinion: Columnist Eugene Robinson discusses the diversity of the Democratic presidential candidates -- and the Country Club look of the first GOP debate.
Is that their best way to say "all white, all male"? As if the Post found any "diversity" worth mentioning when the candidates were female (Elizabeth Dole) or minorities (Alan Keyes)?
Has the king of Bush Derangement Syndrome, Keith Olbermann, created a new liberal malady characterized by an almost incomprehensible inability to tolerate any criticism of the MSNBC host?
After reading Joan Walsh and Glenn Greenwald’s articles at Salon Monday, one could certainly come to the conclusion that such an affliction exists, and that the two are suffering from this little known psychological impairment “Olbermann Derangement Syndrome."
Paris-based New York Times reporter Elaine Sciolino continued to nurse her long-standing grudge against Nicolas Sarkozy, the tough-on-crime presidential candidate of France, in two stories, one before and one after Sarkozy routed Socialist candidate Segolene Royal to win the presidency.
"He has gambled -- apparently successfully -- during the campaign that by turning hard right he would win over supporters of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the head of the extreme right National Front who made it into the second round of the 2002 election but made it into only fourth place this time.
The weak female support is a bitter personal blow for Royal, who had
played up her feminist credentials throughout the campaign, frequently
defending policies she would want "as a mother" and accusing critics of
Yet Gehmlich noted that the Sarkozy-Royal split among women voters in general was 52-48, according to an Ipsos exit poll. That closely tracks the 53-47 split among voters generally and is not far afield from 54 percent of men who voted for Sarkozy.
Indeed, younger female voters were about evenly split while elderly female voters broke heavily against the Socialist Royal, suggesting that generation, not gender, may have been a stronger determinant in the election outcome.
Royal's support among older voters was particularly poor, with 64
percent of women above the age of 60 supporting Sarkozy, and only 36
percent voting for Royal, according to the Ipsos survey. Women under 35
were split between her and Sarkozy.
Those numbers come from an Ipsos exit poll. Meg Bortin of the New York Times gave more data in her May 7 article that points to age differences in voting for the candidates. (Emphasis mine):
The New York Times didn't even wait for the French election results to become general knowledge before they began their sniping of the new "Conservative" French president, Nicolas Sarkozy. In what is supposed to represent an analysis of his election, the Times spends more time in naked name calling than substance.
Let's review some of the harsh words, slights and names the Gray Lady hurls at the new president-elect.
Arrogant, brutal, an authoritarian demagogue...
...one of the most polarizing figures to move into Élysée Palace in the postwar era...
He has always been nakedly ambitious, pragmatic and calculating and not beyond betrayal to reach his goals.
Mr. Sarkozy is a tad shorter than Napoleon was. His profile is remarkably similar to that of Louis XIV.
Mr. Sarkozy’s brash manner and strong oratory style...
Many people regarded the anticrime campaign as a calculated effort to win support from France’s far right in anticipation of his presidential bid.
Mr. Sarkozy’s personal life has been less successful than his public one...
Man, it seems impossible that such an ogre could have anyone who would like him enough to vote for him... well, if you'd listen to the New York Times, anyway.
After recent editorials condemning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-California) trip to Syria, a good job covering the conviction of Harold Ford, Jr.’s (D-Tennessee) uncle, and a David Broder column harshly critical of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), the Post published a front-page story Saturday declaring the Democrats’ domestic agenda is languishing.
What must Jonathan Weisman and Lyndsey Layton have been thinking when they wrote the following lead paragraphs (emphasis added throughout):
Former Clinton adviser and current “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos mercilessly grilled Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards Sunday on a number of issues, including his numerous flip-flops when he was a U.S. senator.
At first glance, one would think that Stephanopoulos must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed, or, given that there was a Republican presidential debate Thursday, forgot that Edwards was actually a Democrat.
However, upon reflection, recognizing Stephanopoulos’ ties to the Clintons, maybe this was a calculated attack on a political rival.
If you think this might be a stretch, just take a gander at the following questions asked by ABC’s chief Washington correspondent, and consider the last time you saw him or any other liberal media member grill a Democrat like this (video available here):
Before you answer, consider what a John Edwards campaign representative said in April when it was announced that the Democrat presidential candidate from North Carolina wouldn’t attend the September 23 debate sponsored by Fox News as reported by the Associated Press (emphasis added):