The funny thing about "news" magazine blogs is that there's not much difference in editorializing quotient between the magazine and the blog posts. "Anonymous" Joe Klein is a Time columnist, officially, but he has all the partisan tics that the other MSM political gurus have. In looking at the latest Hillary polls showing her solid support among downscale women, Klein argued on Time's Swampland blog:
I suspect that Hillary's showing among women has the most significance. Something has happened here. You see it on the campaign trail. A lot of previously skeptical women have decided that Clinton's Methodist rectitude is needed to clean up the mess the frat boy made in Washington.
It's always entertaining to hear Klein -- who lied his face off for many best-selling weeks about authoring his millionaire-minting Clinton roman a clef Primary Colors, even to his Newsweek bosses -- pronounce on rectitude.
If conservatives win a primary, they can not go on to win a general election according to the Washington Post’s Tim Craig. In his post primary analysis, Craig cited two primary victories for conservative Republicans, and spun it as "troubling signs for the [Republican] party."
The two defeated incumbent moderates include Martin E. Williams of Newport News and J. Brandon Bell II of Roanoke. In fairness, it is defensible to suggest a moderate Republican would fare better in Newport News (John Kerry narrowly carried the city in 2004). However, George W. Bush carried Roanoke by 30 points that same year, and it would be ridiculous to suggest a conservative can not prevail there.
Updates below. (Close look at whiteboard in video calls Ann Coulter a "whore," etc.)
By now you may have heard about "Obama Girl," an attractive young woman dancing and singing a tune about having a "crush" on the Democratic presidential hopeful. It's all the rage on the cable news nets this afternoon. Doing some digging around the Internet, however, I was unable to find who exactly is behind the viral video phenomenon, but I did find it was registered through GoDaddy.com, the Web site registrar made a household name for its racy TV ads.
At any rate, "Obama Girl" Leah Kauffman (see update) doesn't appear to be a random young woman with a camcorder and Internet savvy. Her video "I Got a Crush on Obama" serves as the inaugural media stunt for BarelyPolitical.com, a Web site created on May 30 that has a skimpy "about us" section:
A quick hit this morning, as I'm on the road . . .
Question for our readers, astute observers of the political scene that they are. Scanning the news this morning, you see a report on the latest presidential poll. John McCain has lost over 1/3rd of his support. What's the first thing that pops into your mind? OK, the headline here is a hint, but isn't it obvious that McCain's pro-amnesty stance has hurt him badly among Republican voters? Well, apparently not so obvious to Tim Russert. Here's how it went on this morning's "Today."
TIM RUSSERT: John McCain's lost eight points since April, Matt.
MATT LAUER: What's wrong with his campaign?
RUSSERT: Well, he's having some fund-raising problems and I think Fred Thompson's presence is starting to draw folks away.
As the MRC’s Tim Graham noted earlier today, Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales provided conservatives with quite a laugh when he asserted in Wednesday’s edition of the paper that "even critics of Rather" would have to admit the man has firm "integrity." Appearing on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe," he went even further. According to Shales, Rather’s comments about Katie Couric "tart[ing]" up the news couldn’t have been sexist, because "liberals, so called, don't go around calling women names like that."
Does the name Don Imus ring any bells? "Morning Joe," with host Joe Scarborough, even airs in the exact same time slot, on the same network. How quickly people forget.
The cover of this week’s Newsweek touts a story inside on "Hillary’s Likability Gap." That’s not exactly how it’s pitched inside, where the magazine tries another attack on right-wing Clinton haters titled "The New War on Hillary." Reporters Jonathan Darman and Mark Hosenball ponder the "haters’ fury," and remember the bad old days of First Lady Hillary: "Installed in Washington, Hillary morphed into a comic-book villain for her detractors – a man-eating feminist, they claimed, who allegedly threw lamps at her husband, communed psychically with Eleanor Roosevelt and lit a White House Christmas tree adorned with sex toys. The narrative of depravity – a tissue of inventions by conservatives – was often hard to follow."
But wait, wait: who "invented" Hillary’s seances with Jean Houston conjuring up Eleanor Roosevelt in the White House? That story emerged from the keyboard of Bob Woodward – no conservative – in 1996. Newsweek wrote an article lamenting the story, hailing Hillary as a persecuted "Joan of Arc figure." And what about the lamp-throwing? Newsweek really launched those rumors nationwide (albeit with sympathy toward poor Hillary) in the April 5, 1993 edition:
Does "Good Morning America" have a masochistic streak? On Wednesday, GMA host Chris Cuomo allowed liberal filmmaker Michael Moore to claim that due to the failure of journalists in challenging President Bush’s claims about pre-war Iraq intelligence, ABC and other networks are "complicit" in the deaths of American soldiers:
Appearing on Tuesday’s edition of "Your World With Neil Cavuto," former "CBS Evening News" anchor Dan Rather talked to guest host David Asman and defended his "tarting it up" comment about successor, Katie Couric. He dismissed the "insulting" assertions by CBS President Les Moonves that his comments were sexist.
Additionally, Rather, who left CBS after famously trying to smear President Bush’s National Guard record, lamented how the network used to be "the champions of hard news." Now, he added, "They know about entertainment, but they don’t know about news." He also hoped for the continuance of "quality news with integrity."
Finally, Rather snuck in this little slam at the Bush administration. Minimizing the Couric controversy, he mentioned all the more important topics that should be discussed:
Dan Rather: "We’re talking about something infinitesimally small here. We’ve got the war. We’ve got a presidential election underway. We have the dismantling of the civil rights division of the Justice Department. These are important things."
CNN hosted three presidential debates last week, two for the Democrats and one for the Republicans. Democratic candidates were awarded twice as much airtime in a three-day period. CNN has its work cut out for it if it wants to be seen as impartial in the upcoming presidential election.
What tilted the schedule in the Democrats’ favor? Both Sunday’s and Tuesday’s two-hour traditional debates in New Hampshire with each party were hosted by Wolf Blitzer. But on Monday, CNN devoted an hour to the top three Democrat contenders, hosted by the religious-left group Sojourners. Each received 15 minutes of air time. When that hour was over, CNN awarded most of the "second tier" – four more Democratic contenders – more time to discuss their faith in individual interviews on "Paula Zahn Now." That’s almost another two hours for the Democrats.
Chicago Tribune “public editor” Timothy McNulty claimed on Friday that he has been sensitized to a gross indignity: stories referring to Hillary Rodham Clinton as merely “Hillary.” Prodded by feminists, he claimed that this indignity deserves exploring, even as he acknowledges that Hillary uses “Hillary!” as a first-person promotional tool in her own campaign. As Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post blew it off in his online chat today: “I used to have the same concern until HRC began running for office and promoting herself as "Hillary" on her Web site, in literature, etc. If it's good enough for her, it's good enough for me.”
The prodding feminist McNulty quotes in the piece is online Tribune editor Jane Fritsch, formerly of The New York Times, who wrote McNulty in an e-mail that "The simple fact is that Hillary Rodham Clinton is running in a field of men who are never referred to by their first names...The argument that we call her Hillary to avoid confusion is a weak one. There are easy alternatives. ... Certainly the problem created by the existence of two presidents named George Bush has been a difficult one, but we found ways to solve it without diminishing George W. Bush."
Time magazine's "Swampland" blog last week gave former Rep. Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Tex.) a platform as guest blogger and left-wing readers quickly pounced with all the juvenile invective they could muster. One commenter to Armey's valedictory post wished that Armey would eat sh*t and die, albeit saying so with more flowery language: "May you engage in coprophagy, then shuffle off this mortal coil."
Perhaps seeking to establish balance in the guest roster, this week "Swampland" invited John Edwards staffer David "Mudcat" Saunders into the electronic quagmire. Saunders is most notable for his role in guiding Mark Warner (D-Va.) to victory in the Old Dominion governor's race in 2001.
But the reception for Saunders is hardly any warmer than that of Armey, even though Saunders is far to the left of the former congressman's laissez faire economic preferences that were much-maligned by Joe Klein and company last week.
Although Saunders is an advocate of class warfare, the radically left-wing readers of "Swampland" aren't buying Saunders as a true liberal. In fact, crude and unfair stereotypes of Saunders and other white Southerners are frequently cropping up in the comments fields for today's posts:
On Sunday night’s “1/2 Hour News Hour,” comedian Dennis Miller gave Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) the on-air tongue-lashing that every conservative in America has longed for since Reid replaced Tom Daschle as the Democrats’ top guy in that chamber of Congress.
In a two and a half-minute evisceration, Miller referred to Reid as a “dim bulb” stating that he’s had it with the Senator’s “projectile naysaying” while deliciously presenting his views “with no due respect.”
The May 14 issue of Newsweek proclaimed that some descendants of famous Republicans--Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Barry Goldwater--are thinking about changing parties and voting Blue. In an article titled, “Generational Tensions: Thesons and daughters of some iconic Republicans (Ike! T.R.!) are contemplating crossing the aisle,” reporter Michael Hirsch set up the improbable idea that the logical move by unhappy "fiscally conservative" Republicans is to the Democratic Party. According to Ike's granddaughter Susan Eisenhower, “moderate ‘Eisenhower Republicans’ “ are not content, but Newsweek did not fully explore the illogic of this proposed alternative (emphasis mine throughout):
Increasingly, however, she says that the partisanship and free spending of the Bush presidency—and the takeover of the party by single-issue voters, especially pro-lifers—is driving these pragmatic, fiscally conservative voters out of the GOP.
Debatably, the dissatisfaction of moderate Republicans with the Iraq war and with what the article categorized as religiously influenced issues surrounding topics like Terri Schiavo, abortion and homosexuality can be answered by the Democratic Party, but not the problems of bloated bureaucracies and out of control spending. The article did not state the obvious; a Big Government GOP is still smaller than the modern Democratic Party.
National Public Radio boasted an "evangelical Christian" commentary on Wednesday night's All Things Considered newscast – and that voice is conveniently trashing conservatives. Fresh from his last NPR commentary dancing on Jerry Falwell’s grave, turncoat former Bush aide David Kuo went at it again. Exploiting CNN’s biased decision to air a special with the leftist magazine Sojourners giving the Democrats an hour to proclaim their faith, Kuo declared that partisan lines are blurring on religion, that Democrats are conducting a "Jesus fair" and Republicans have "no compassion for anyone."
Last night in New Hampshire, Republican presidential candidates were long on conservatism and short on compassion. On immigration, on Iraq, on virtually every issue, the consensus was that America hasn't been tough enough. No compassion for anyone — particularly those 12 million Americans who got here illegally.
On Wednesday’s "Situation Room," liberal anchor Jack Cafferty argued that, perhaps, it's President Bush, not Vladimir Putin, who is attempting to reignite the Cold War. However, Cafferty might want to consider the fact that fewer pesky journalists seem to mysteriously disappear in the United States than they do in Russia.
During this week’s Republican debate, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer had a suggestion for the national GOP: Be more like liberal Arnold Schwarzenegger. Now, this is an idea he’s peddled four times since the midterm elections. Isn’t it sweet when left-wing journalists offer advice to the Republican Party?
Speaking of liberal cable hosts, Keith Olbermann suggested this week that the unraveling of a terror plot at JFK airport was politically timed to help the Bush administration. Yes, Keith, and the Paris Hilton media soap opera is a cover by the White House to distract from the immigration debacle.
The new books by liberal-media stars investigating Hillary Clinton are already drawing the annoying accusation from the Clintonistas that they’re sexist, and then their media supporters are backing them up on the charge. The liberal media attacks their own. On last weekend’s chat shows, the trend was apparent. On The Chris Matthews Show, Chris adopted a confessional I-may-be-a-pig tone with Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, this year’s (liberal) winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary:
MATTHEWS: Cynthia, the question, I think, somewhere in the middle of this--and this may be sexist, I don't deny it--but is the charge that she's calculating, that they're calculating together, a little too much planning, this two presidency following two presidencies, this 20-year plan, so-called, does this hurt?
TUCKER: I don't think it hurts with those people who would support Senator Hillary Clinton for president. They're--she's a very divisive figure. There are already a lot of Americans who would never vote for Senator Clinton, with or without a book being written, or books being written which rehash all the old assumptions about her.
Having said that, let me also point out that it is sexist to charge a woman with being ambitious.
What are the odds Ben Affleck would refer to Muslims who believe literally in the Koran as "Neanderthals?" But when it comes to Christians . . .
As NewsBuster Geoffrey Dickens has noted, Affleck appeared on yesterday evening's edition of Hardball. And while it's true that the actor/director/Dem activist offered a generally innocuous analysis, he did manage to engage in a bit of religious bigotry.
Affleck's foul foray arose in the course of his discussion of the way the various Republican candidates have dealt with the issue of evolution and creationism. Talk turned to the former governor of Arkansas.
BEN AFFLECK: I think Huckabee actually framed his position in a much less dramatic way than had been made out. Which was he said it could be six days, or it could be six epochs, which I thought was much more along the kind of intelligent design lines than his position had been cast. In other words, he had been made out to a little bit of a kind of like a real sort of Neanderthal about it, a literalist.
Joshua Levy and Micah L. Sifry have a June 4 article at techPresident noting that among the major presidential candidates, only Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has taken advantage of new software on the Facebook social networking site to broaden his Web presence. (Portions in bold are my emphasis):
TechPresident’s Alan Rosenblatt took an early look at the new feature
and the Obama application, which allows Facebook members to see new
videos and messages from the campaign and share them with their
Facebook friends, on the day it went public, and he was impressed. As
Rick Klau of Feedburner pointed out in a contemporaneous post, the app
adds a significant amount of value to the Obama campaign. “If you’re
interested in exposing your network of friends to info about Barack,
the campaign is making it a one-click affair that greatly simplifies
the redistribution of campaign info,” he wrote.
Platform launched, Obama was the only candidate with an application.
Why didn’t John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Ron Paul, or
anyone else get in on the possibility of reaching 20 million or more
Facebook users and potential voters? [...]
During Tuesday night’s Republican debate, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer attempted to goad Representative Duncan Hunter into agreeing that the national GOP should be "following that Arnold Schwarzenegger example" in California. This is the fourth time since the 2006 midterms that Blitzer, host of CNN's "Situation Room," has lobbied for the GOP to adopt the liberal policies of the Republican governor.
During the preamble to his question, Blitzer noted how "popular" Schwarzenegger is with moderates and approved of how the former actor attempts to "forge a consensus."
CNN’s cheerleading for Schwarzenegger’s brand of Republicanism began shortly after the midterm election. On November 9, Bill Schneider, a reporter for Blitzer's "Situation Room," wondered about the GOP's future:
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough contacted NewsBusters a few moments ago with the relevant transcript from his June 1 "Morning Joe" program, lamenting in an e-mail that our "follow up blog on Newsbusters... actually omits fact that there was a long discussion started by female athlete re pole exercising. Transcript shows whole thing taken wildly out of context."
Here's the transcript, as forwarded by Scarborough to us after receiving same from Christopher Licht, executive producer of "Scarborough Country":
Carl Bernstein's new biography of Hillary Clinton has been attacked for being too "nasty" (according to Barbara Walters), but in an interview in the second half-hour of Tuesday's Early Show, he sounded more like a Hillary supporter, defending her "great love affair" with Bill and describing his book as the first whole portrait of "this epic life, this great American life," the story of "a huge persona." Early Show host Harry Smith had no interest in Hillary's role in policy-making, focusing Bernstein only on the messy Clinton marriage and why she stayed with the president.
Smith began: "The top three Democratic presidential candidates met last night at a forum on religion, a very familiar subject to Senator Hillary Clinton. Faith has always been a huge part of her life."
Not that there had been much doubt as to where MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski stands politically . . . . As we have noted before, today wasn't the first time that the daughter of Jimmy Carter's erstwhile National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski has expressed liberal views on air. Still, it was jarring to hear the ostensibly objective newsreader, appearing as a guest on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" [an occasional show hosted by Joe Scarborough in Imus's former time slot] at 6:24 am EDT today, spout criticism of President Bush with a passion worthy of an "out" Dem partisan.
The springboard was a discussion among Mika, Joe and NPR contributor John Ridley of the moment in last night's GOP presidential debate in which Rudy deftly dealt with a lightning strike just as he was explaining his pro-choice views. Ridley opined, to the agreement of the others, that Rudy handled the impromptu moment more smoothly than President Bush often does his scripted ones. Scarborough observed that "we do need elected leaders who can communicate effectively," noting that it was Tony Blair, not President Bush, who in a session with Congress had made the most effective case for the Iraq war.
That's when Mika pounced.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: We're looking for someone who is going to be able to communicate globally and sort of repair what some may believe is a huge problem in terms of our reputation and respect for ourselves around the world.
On Tuesday's edition of The View on ABC, comedienne Kathy Griffin really seemed to be auditioning for the Rosie O'Donnell Chair in Conservative-Bashing. ABC's Barbara Walters began by deploring how two new Hillary biographies are "both nasty," spurring Griffin to accuse the authors of "good, old-fashioned, garden variety sexism." She also accused men of "taking down" vice-presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, growled about "women eating their own" over an anti-Hillary letter in Newsweek, and said Condoleezza Rice is "not a pro-woman woman" because she "follows everything white men say....Any African American woman who is a Republican does not understand that she's not a part of their agenda. Wake up!" Walters told Griffin she was "so bigoted." Joy Behar cracked that Margaret Thatcher was a "woman with a penis." Only token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck insisted that Hillary ought to endure scrutiny like any other presidential candidate.
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program devoted two segments to promoting the religiosity of the 2008 Democratic contenders. At the same time, a graphic hopefully asked, "Are evangelicals embracing Democrats? New party of God?"
Recapping a CNN sponsored event on Monday night where '08 contenders talked about their faith, ABC featured two liberals who were making the Democratic case for Christian voters. GMA co-host Robin Roberts interviewed Jim Wallis, the left-wing editor of Sojourners magazine. Neither Roberts, nor the ABC graphic made any mention of his liberal slant. Additionally, a segment hosted by reporter Dan Harris featured this quote from one Mara Vanderslice:
Mara Vanderslice (Sr. Partner, Common Good Strategies): "This year, I think the Democrats are more comfortable talking about religion and values."
Vanderslice just happens to have strong ties to the Democratic Party, is the former Director of Religion for the 2004 John Kerry campaign and had past associations to extreme left wing groups. Perhaps GMA viewers should have been apprised of those facts in relation to Vanderslice’s contention that Democrats are "more comfortable" with religion.
No journalists in the last thirty years have built more of a legend than the old Washington Post pairing of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. As the Watergate wrecking crew that put Richard Nixon in the scrap yard, they are America’s most venerated “icons” of investigative reporting.
But since that event, the paths of Woodward and Bernstein have separated dramatically. Woodward is still considered the top-dog journalist in Washington, a titan no president can ignore if he cares about his historical legacy, or his short-term political standing. By contrast, Bernstein has bounced around to cushy media jobs, at ABC, and at Time magazine, rarely distinguishing himself, with a mere fraction of Woodward’s celebrity aura.
An update to my earlier post that I figured would do just as well as a fresh item.
USA Today's "On Politics" blog, "TV Newser," and The New Republic's "The Plank" contain explanations from Joe Scarborough's people of how they believe the Friday "Morning Joe" banter between the MSNBC host and guest Craig Crawford about potential GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson's wife was taken out of context.
Noted USA Today's Mark Memmott:
A spokesman for the news network said this afternoon, though, that the
comment has been taken out of context and that it is "irresponsible" to
suggest Scarborough was employing sexual innuendo. "Works the pole"
could have been a reference to poles that some strippers use in their
acts. MSNBC says it was a reference to an exercise routine that a
growing number of women are performing.
It's been eight weeks since Time magazine redesigned itself, and part of that refurbishment is handing over the "Ten Questions" interview inquiries to the readers instead of Time's reporters. In the June 11 edition, Time's interviewee was Rep. Tom Tancredo, a presidential contender and one of the nation's leading opponents of illegal immigration. Among the questions Time selected for Tancredo was a whopper from Ubaldo Padilla of Oroville, California: "Why do you hate Mexicans?" It wasn't the only snotty question Time picked. There was also James Smith of Phoenix, who asked: "I recently found out my family came from Holland without permission in the 1600s. Should we be sent back?"
Since Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel introduced the new format in the March 26 edition, there haven't been any Democrats interviewed. But in the March 12 edition, Time's Massimo Calabresi had ten (mostly softball) questions for Ted Kennedy, one of the nation's leading advocates of an amnesty for illegal immigrants. No one at Time asked him about immigration and why he supposedly hated Americans. Instead, Calabresi's list of questions included these soft touches:
Conservative blogs are abuzz with a controversial remark MSNBC's Joe Scarborough made on his Friday "Morning Joe" program about Jeri Thompson, the wife of former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), who is mulling over a White House bid.
Sen. Barack Obama's new Web site geared to his presidential bid, faith.barackobama.com, includes official endorsements from notorious clergymen known for making fantastic, racially inflammatory claims---yet the liberal media aren't saying much about these endorsements or the controversial clergymen who Sen. Obama has officially embraced. It is doubtful the liberal media would be as silent if such people were publicly endorsing a Republican or conservative political candidate.