At the end of his 2004 campaign, Howard Dean started Democracy for America, billed as a grassroots Democratic political action committee "dedicated to supporting fiscally responsible, socially progressive candidates at all levels of government."
Last week, DFA staged an online Dem presidential candidate preference poll. As a proud DFA member [meaning that I joined the email list], I just received the results of the poll. Hillary's advisers might want to dust off Hirohito's famous statement at the end of WWII to the effect that the situation "has not progressed entirely as we would have wished." Because Hillary finished in fifth place with 8.7%, behind Dennis Kucinich and barely one point ahead of Bill Richardson. Obama finished first with 28%, John Edwards a close second at 25%.
Now it's true that this is an unscientific poll, and that DFA surely attracts people from the liberal wing of the Dem party. But then again, isn't the conventional wisdom that Dem primary voters come from that same liberal wing?
Was DFA Executive Director Tom Hughes mortified by the results? He buried the mention of Hillary's embarrassingly bad performance in the eighth paragraph of his email!
Today's Edwards announcement is an object lesson in how easy it is for us in the blogosphere to run with something juicy without double-checking the facts and/or being very, very careful to precisely word our posts so that we don't tell readers to take something to the bank that hasn't been confirmed.
It's also a lesson in how to promptly and gracefully face the music and admit error.
Earlier today, Politico's Ben Smith ran with a single anonymous source today at shortly past 11:00 a.m. saying that former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) would suspend his presidential campaign so he could tend to his wife, Elizabeth, as she battles breast cancer.
That source turned out to be wrong. Edwards will continue his campaign and Smith promptly admitted and apologized for his error (his blog post was submited at 12:34 EDT, just after the Edwards announcement). [continued...]
Time's Joe Klein is pleased that Al Gore isn't squishing out on global warming in order to make a 2008 campaign run more palatable for the American people.
As if that wasn't a liberal-enough talking point, Klein's March 22 "Swampland" blog post describes Gore's willingness to resort to the usual tax and spend policies as "putting his [Gore's] money where his mouth is." Portion in bold is my emphasis.:
Yesterday, I wrote--based on incomplete reporting of ongoing testimony
(no criticism of live-blogger Brian Beutler; the hearing was in
midstream when I posted)--that Al Gore seemed to be backing away from
his carbon-payroll tax swap. I haven't seen the complete testimony, and
the press reports are not sufficiently wonky to give all the relevant
details, but it appears that Gore is still up for the tax swap (an idea
I supported in this column last year). In fact--no surprise--he's for a
very tough global warming regime, including a ban on new coal-fired
power plants and an intense cap-and-trade regime.
yesterday that if he stepped away from the tax swap, it might mean that
Gore has political plans--but that speculation obviously was idle and
kind of dumb. In 2000, Gore proposed spending $150 billion on global
warming over the next 10 years (essentially, he wanted to spend the
entire budget surplus on global warming...you remember the budget
surplus). So he isn't averse to putting his money where his mouth is on
this issue, even when running for office. Is he running? Dunno. But, as
Jake Barnes once said to Lady Brett Ashley (or vice versa), it would be
nice to think so.
Cox began her March 21 post by pointing to a post in The New Republic's blog "The Plank":
Michael Crowley makes a point over at TNR's blog about McCain's senior
moment regarding condoms (Do they prevent AIDS? “You’ve stumped me.”)
and how his "old fashioned" bus-tour-talkathon is a bad fit with this
whole "blogging" phenomenon:
As already noted on NewsBusters, Tuesday’s "Good Morning America" defensively investigated an anonymous new attack ad against presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Co-host Diane Sawyer even referred to the commercial as "drive-by ad-ing." The spot plugs fellow Democrat Barack Obama’s ‘08 bid at it’s conclusion, but ABC wasn’t buying the Illinois Senator as the culprit.
Reporter Claire Shipman helpfully observed that since the commercial puts both Clinton and Obama in a bad light, "some Democrats think a Republican operative" is responsible:
Claire Shipman: "Now, there still are no real clues about the author, but, Robin, the ultimate conspiracy theory? Some Democrats think a Republican operative could be responsible because it not only makes Hillary Clinton look bad, but Barack Obama look bad since it’s an attack ad."
It was Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards trying to revive his ‘70s disco moves and he danced around every tough question CNN’s Miles O’Brien threw at him. Most notably, how much does it cost to pay for energy in the new 28,000-square-foot mansion Edwards calls home?
“It’s actually not bad.” And followed that up with talk of how energy efficient the home was.
“I’m not telling you. It’s actually, it’s actually not bad. It’s about three or four hundred dollars, the last one I saw.”
Following that claim, Edwards backed off a bit and said “the power bill is several hundred dollars a month.”
Edwards also claimed he and his family operate the house in a “carbon neutral way,” though he wants to put caps on how much carbon dioxide businesses operate. “We have committed to operate this house in a carbon neutral way which means in addition to using energy saving devices in the house itself, to the extent that doesn’t cover it, we’re going to purchase carbon credits on the market,” said Edwards.
MSM-think: when you have no facts on a controversy, offer up the Democrats' anti-GOP conjecture. That was ABC's modus operandi this morning.
Being the astute observers of the political scene they are, most NewsBusters readers have surely watched the YouTube-based anti-Hillary campaign ad that has been making the rounds. It is a take-off on the famous Apple computer ad, which in turn was inspired by George Orwell's anti-authoritarian epic "1984." In the current version, an ominous Hillary, appearing on a wide screen to an audience of automatons, represents Big Brother in the same way IBM did in the Apple original. Barack Obama, represented by a woman athlete of a certain age, plays the hero, hurling a hammer into the screen to smash the state and free the prisoners.
The bold and brilliant Hugh Hewitt doesn't hesitate to ask journalists appearing as guests on his radio show to describe their personal political leanings. Most decline to do so in a self-righteous huff, the typical response being along the lines "that is irrelevant to my reporting, which I play down the middle." There are rare-but-welcome bursts of candor, as when former WaPo political reporter Tom Edsall famously acknowledged to Hugh that he, along with the overwhelmingly majority of his erstwhile WaPo confreres, were indeed Dems and liberals.
I mention this because a few weeks ago, Hugh had as a guest John Harris, one of the founding members of the Politico, the new web-based venture that draws many of its reporters from the ranks of some of the leading MSM institutions. Harris, for example, is the WaPo's former political editor. Hugh posed the who-did-you-vote-for question, and Harris demurred along the lines cited above. After the interview, Hewitt said he suspected that Harris and the rest of the Politco crew were indeed libs. Nevertheless, Hewitt seems to appreciate the Politico's lively and topical reporting. With that as an endorsement, I decided to sign up for the Politco's Daily Digest email, and have been reading and largely enjoying it ever since.
In Monday's Los Angeles Times, reporter James Rainey raised the issue of a conflict between political reporting and family ties: "Some of America's most prominent political journalists are, quite literally, wedded to the 2008 presidential race: Their spouses work for one of the candidates." Rainey made a short list of four of the conflicted:
As NB senior editor Tim Graham and Clay Waters of Times Watch have documented here and here, nothing gets under the skin of Democrats like using "Democrat" rather than "Democratic" as an adjective in referring to them. Thus, for example, the use of "Democrat party" apparently sends the blood pressure of the Pelosi crew skyrocketing.
But on today's Good Morning America, discussing proposals to move up the date of presidential primaries in a number of states, This Week host George Stephanopoulos [file photo] said:
“Just about every campaign strategist I spoke with, on both the Democrat as well as Republican side, said . . . “
What? George Stephanopolous referred to the "Democrat side"? Could the former Clinton aide have fallen prey to a devious GOP mind-control plot? Might he be a deep Roveian mole?
Why is it every time I see a newspulper headline about Barack Obama I envision the editors in near orgasmic delight over the "multiculturalism" they perceive in Obama, or the "connection" he has with all the peoples of the world? Or the near hero worship of his "clean and articulate" abilities they wallow in, for that matter? And how come I get a corresponding feeling that all I am getting is delightful puffs of air but no substance when I'm done reading the piece that goes with the sweetness and honey that is the headline?
If ABC was going to provide a platform for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to express her moral outrage over the firings of the eight US Attorneys and call for AG Gonzales' resignation, didn't the network have an obligation to let viewers know that her husband's administration had itself peremptorily fired more than ten times that many US attorneys -- and that a close personal associate of Hillary's was intimately involved?
Senior national correspondent Jake Tapper scored the exclusive with Hillary. In the excerpts aired, Hillary in high dudgeon declared that "the Attorney General, who still seems to confuse his prior role as the president's personal attorney with his duty to the system of justice and to the entire country, should resign."
There was somewhat interesting and awfully quiet news about the unpaid parking tickets of Barack Husseian Obambi Obama (who I call "BHOO" for short, with "Obambi" being the New York Times' Maureen Dowd's favorite nickname for the Illinois senator) in Cambridge, MA from the late 1980s.
..... Records from the Cambridge Traffic, Parking and Transportation office show that between Oct. 5, 1988 and Jan. 12, 1990 Obama was cited for 17 traffic violations, sometimes committing two in the same day. The abuses included parking in a resident permit area, parking in a bus stop and failing to pay the meter. Twelve of Obama’s 17 tickets were given to him on Massachusetts Avenue.
In one eight day stretch in 1988, Obama was cited seven times for parking violations and was fined $45. Thirteen of the 17 violations occurred within one month in 1988.
Obama’s disobedience of the rules of the road earned him $140 in fines from the City of Cambridge. The tickets went unpaid for over 17 years and $260 in late fees were added to the tab. On Jan. 26, the fines and late fees were paid in full. The final tally for Obama’s parking breaches was $400, according to Cambridge Traffic, Parking and Transportation.
Another left winger appeared on "The View." This time it was Roseanne Barr who felt she knew everything because she’s "old," claimed to stump for the middle and working class while admitting she’s rich, bashed the late Ronald Reagan, praised Rosie O’Donnell, and hinted at the left wing election "fixing" conspiracy theory.
Roseanne started with her explanation on why she thinks she knows everything, then demonstrated her love for her favorite "View" co-hosts, Rosie O’Donnell and Joy Behar. She even added that Rosie made this a "very intellectual hour." The multimillionaire comedienne proceeded to bring in her class warfare pitch by bashing the late President Ronald Reagan and then discussed with four rich women the horror that "most people like to hang out with rich people. They don’t give a damn about anyone else." The four rich co-hosts agreed.
Rosie, Roseanne, and Joy agreed on some commonly held left wing conspiracy theories. Roseanne called on "people who fix elections" to "let a Democrat in the next time." Then of course, much of the media feeds us is "the art of distraction." The transcript from key points of the discussion is below.
Unbelievably, disgraced newsreader, Dan Rather, claimed at a recent festival that American journalism "has in some ways lost its guts" and that the MSM has "adopted the go-along-to-get-along (attitude)."
As reported by CNETNews.com, Rather was a keynote speaker at the South by Southwest Interactive festival this past weekend where he gave a 2 hour talk on the shape of journalism and the Internet.
One has to wonder to which "gutless" American media he is referring? Is it the same media that was so weak-kneed as to leak damaging national security information, the same media that just "goes along" to undermine the war effort at every opportunity? Is it the same one that goes out of its way to malign the US and Israeli governments? It is that MSM Rather imagines has somehow gone soft?
Clarification (Ken Shepherd | 10:26 EDT): The story in question was written for The Hollywood Reporter and the photo was provided by Reuters.
Yahoo News picked up a Reuters article on Yahoo that reports actress Eliza Dushku of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Tru Calling” and “Bring It On” fame has a new show lined up called, “Nurses.”
The article is a tiny little story that isn’t worth much time, except for the accompanying picture. The pic is a file photo from a 2004 John Kerry benefit concert, and a two and a half year old photo with such a visibly identifying background should have sent this photo to the back of the pile.
Potential political bias aside, I think the photo editor should have done Dushku a favor and chosen a different picture because of that outfit alone.
Fred Thompson, who is exploring the possibilty of a presidential candidacy, went on Fox News Sunday yesterday, strongly criticized Roe v. Wade and said the answer to it was "good judges." But on this morning's "Today," Andrea Mitchell flatly stated that Thompson doesn't want to overturn Roe. So where does Thompson stand on Roe, and how can we explain Today's depiction of his views?
For answers, let's go to the videotape. The first portion of the clip is from this morning's "Today," the second portion from Thompson's Fox News Sunday appearance yesterday.
On "Today," laying out Thompson's positions on key issues, Andrea Mitchell stated Thompson is "anti-abortion but opposes overturning Roe v. Wade." Where did she get that from? A good clue comes from the fact that just previously she had just played a clip of Thompson's appearance on yesterday's Fox News Sunday. While the clip had nothing to do with abortion [Thompson merely described his rationale for a possible run], it does demonstrate that Mitchell had watched Thompson's appearance and was likely relying on it as the latest, best evidence of his views.
So what did the former Tennessee senator tell Chris Wallace about his views on Roe? Again, have a look at the video.
Chris Wallace: "Do you want to overturn Roe v. Wade?"
Thompson: "I think Roe v. Wade was bad law and bad medical science. And the way to address that is through good judges. I don't think the court ought to wake up one day and make new social policy for the country that's contrary to what it's been for the last 200 years. We have a process in this country to do that. Judges shouldn't be doing that. That's what happened in the that case. I think it was wrong."
As the Managing Editor of Fox News Channel's Washington, DC bureau, you might have thought Brit Hume would have taken great umbrage at John Edwards' high-profile decision to spurn a debate of Dem presidential contenders that Fox had organized for August in Nevada. The Edwards pull-out ultimately led to a cancellation of the debate by the Nevada state Democratic party. Edwards had come under pressure from liberal netroots and organizations such as Move.on, which had organized a petition drive calling for cancellation of the debate.
But in a fair-and-balanced comment reflecting an appreciation of real politik, Hume has praised Edwards' move as "shrewd" -- at least in the short run. During the panel discussion on this morning's Fox News Sunday, Hume observed:
Without a lot of breaking news out there this morning, why not pass some of today's 23 hours with an exhilirating session of one of our favorite games, WIARHSI, which as regular readers know stands for "What if a Republican Had Said It?"
Check out this paragraph from a Newsday article that reports on a Hillary campaign event in Nashua, New Hampsire:
"The former first lady, referring to New Hampshire's roster of female Democratic officials, quipped, 'I don't know about you, but I like seeing women in charge.'"
For purposes of WIARHSI, let's imagine that a Republican had made the mirror-image comment: "I don't know about you, but I like seeing men in charge." Fair to say that the feminist howls of outrage would soon be echoing from sea to shining sea? But what are the odds that Hillary's blatant appeal to sexist solidarity will cause even the smallest ripple in the MSM?
Note how Newsday tries to cover for Hillary, casting her comment as a mere "quip." Real side-splitter!
With the recent announcement by CBS that they have made ex-Clinton friend Rick Kaplan the new Executive Producer of the CBS Evening News, it was eyebrow raising that another fawning pal has suddenly been ensconced in a "new" position at an American news service.
Under pressure from radical-left activists at MoveOn.org and bloggers like the Daily Kos, the Nevada Democratic Party pulled the rug out from under the Fox News Channel on Friday, canceling a planned presidential debate that had been scheduled for August 14, Politico.com reported. MoveOn launched a petition drive that it said was signed by more than 260,000 people, arguing “Fox is a mouthpiece for the Republican Party, not a legitimate news channel. The Democratic Party of Nevada should drop Fox as its partner for the presidential primary debate.” The group's Eli Pariser also called FNC part of the "right-wing smear machine."
The decision represents a dramatic shift leftward from the presidential cycle four years ago. On September 9, 2003, all nine Democratic candidates went to Baltimore to participate in a debate sponsored by FNC and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. Dick Gephardt and Dennis Kucinich even missed a close school-voucher House vote for the event. Brit Hume was the moderator, and the panel had three black liberals: NPR's Juan Williams, Ed Gordon (formerly of NBC and BET), and former Newsweek writer (and current NPR host) Farai Chideya. As you can see from the transcript, Hume asked no questions to the candidates, aside from asking Howard Dean what his lapel pin said.
WASHINGTON - It turns out that Republicans were right: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did violate C-SPAN's copyright by using its televised footage on her blog promoting Democrats.
Officials for the cable TV network that provides daily gavel-to-gavel coverage of House and Senate proceedings at first said the blog was in violation, then announced it wasn't. On Wednesday, they said that it was but that they're changing their policy so that it won't be in the future.
While members of "mainstream media" have eagerly covered Ann Coulter’s use of an vulgar term at a conservative conference, HBO host Bill Maher’s obnoxious comment about the Vice President, that "more people would live" if Dick Cheney had been assassinated, drew only sparse attention from the press.
Commenting on the diversity of the 2008 Democratic contenders, MSNBC host Contessa Brewer remarked of Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, "It’s sort of like we’re rooting for everybody all at once."
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Booth Luce
So consumed is NBC with animosity toward President Bush and VP Cheney that there is virtually no good thing that it cannot spin into a negative. Take these bookend moments from this morning's "Today." In the course of a segment she narrated on the fallout from the Libby verdict for VP Cheney, Andrea Mitchell mentioned that "Cheney says his value to the president is that he has no political ambition for himself." She then ran a clip of the Veep saying "I'm not worried about what the folks in Iowa are going to say in the caucuses of January of next year. I'm here to do a job, and that is to call 'em as I see 'em."
You might think there's no way the offering of principled advice devoid of personal political ambition could be spun into a negative. Come on, you're not thinking creatively enough. Andrea found an angle: "But others say that is also a weakness, making Cheney . . . less sensitive to the political fallout from his own advice." On that theory, I suppose Mitchell will be counseling Hillary to ignore Bill's advice, since, like Cheney, he's not running either.
As has been well detailed here at Newsbusters, Mitt Romney has recently been the object of the MSMs attack dogs (see here, here, here... and many others.). But it seems that, with the recent polls showing it is Rudy Giuliani, rather than Mitt, who leads in the polls, the MSM attack dogs have turned their attention to the nation's Mayor.
Apparently it isn't enough to just go after Rudy, though. Now the Boston Herald is going after his bigoted and obviously stupid potential Conservative voters -- stupid at least as far as the Herald is concerned.
It had to be a little jarring for viewers of NBC's Today in the first half-hour on Wednesday morning to go from a drumbeat of stories about how the Bush administration was allegedly smearing Joe and Valerie Wilson out of raw war-mongering vengeance to a thinly disguised video news release for Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign. The only consistency was liberal advocacy. Reporter Norah O'Donnell obsequiously repeated how Clinton's advisers say she has "an unprecedented strategy" to mobilize support from Democratic women on the Internet with her "overtly feminist message." The only sour notes in the story are old abrasive clips of Hillary from 1992, but O'Donnell suggested she's revising her image from "hard-driving professional" to show the "softer, chattier Hillary."
Most liberal media outlets can't be bothered to visit, let alone cover the Conservative Political Action Conference every winter. But this year's event drew a large amount of publicity. CPAC hasn't been this notorious since reporter/fabricator Stephen Glass made up stories of wild sexual antics and drug use at CPAC hotel rooms and bathrooms ten years ago for The New Republic.
The furor surrounded author and columnist Ann Coulter, who cracked that she would like to comment on John Edwards, but "you have to go into rehab if you use the word `faggot.'" Coulter's joke was based on ABC's intense blitz recently to press "Grey's Anatomy" star Isaiah Washington into rehab after he used the new F-word at the Golden Globes. The word used to be coarse and insulting, but liberals are now elevating it into a profanity, which is odd, considering they're constantly desensitizing the culture to all the historic profanities.
As we prepare for a network TV onslaught on the Scooter Libby conviction today, remember that on March 2, 2000, an aide to the Vice President was convicted of illegal funneling foreign money to Democrats, crimes that benefited the 1996 Clinton-Gore re-election campaign. Her name was Maria Hsia (pronounced like Shaw). Vice President Gore at that time was the all-but-certain Democratic nominee for president. Coverage was minimal. ABC gave it 19 seconds and CBS gave it 23 seconds. On NBC, Tom Brokaw skipped it. A few days later on the "Imus in the Morning" show, Brokaw had this telling exchange on Gore.
Imus jumped in: "He acted like he barely knew that this Maria Hsia, didn’t he? Like he was ready to drag her up out of a park someplace." Brokaw agreed: "Oh, I know, yeah, it was: ‘Did I miss that?’ It was as if he were saying, ‘Did she get convicted?’ He said, ‘It's still in the courts.’ It's no longer in the courts! The jury has ruled! Guilty! Five counts! Imus shot back: "Well, if he's watching NBC News he missed it." Brokaw conceded: "Yeah, well that's true." Imus: "And he only saw 19 seconds of it with Dan [Rather]." Brokaw: "Yeah, I know."
On Monday, MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer discussed the recent meeting of 2008 Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in Selma, Alabama. Democratic strategist Julie Roginsky reeled off all the racial and cultural firsts that the upcoming primaries will have, including Hispanic candidate Bill Richardson. MSNBC News Live host Brewer responded with perhaps a revealing comment:
Julie Roginsky: "Well, I think Hillary Clinton started out with a set of name recognition that nobody else in the Democratic field has. And I think as Barack Obama becomes more known, obviously it makes sense that he would- his name recognition and his numbers would go up. But I think what's important to note here is that this is a set of firsts, not just for the African-American community, but for women, for Hispanics and Bill Richardson. There are so many firsts in this Democratic primary that I think it's really a good time to be a Democrat."
Contessa Brewer: "It's sort of like we're all rooting for everybody all at once."
We'll see how the electorate decides, but there's no doubt who won the "Today" show primaries this morning. For the Dems, it was Barack, and among Republicans, Rudy.
Narrating the segment on the political duel between Obama and Hillary in Selma, Alabama this weekend, Andrea Mitchell portrayed Obama as having authentic appeal, while picturing Hillary resorting to heavy-handed political tactics.
Consider Mitchell's opening line: "On the 42nd anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the historic clash over voting rights in Selma, Alabama, Barack Obama was supposed to be the main attraction, until Hillary Clinton, slipping in the polls to Obama among African-Americans, decided to come." Translation: a sinking Hillary tries to steal Barack's limelight. Not very flattering.
As Mitchell mentioned that Hillary had brought Bill because of his "enormous popularity with black voters," a clip rolled of a woman literally squealing in excitement and delight as Bill walked by in the parade. But doesn't that highlight Hillary's relative weakness as much as Bill's strength?
After stating that "Obama answered critics who say his mixed ancestry makes him not black enough," Mitchell rolled a clip of Obama speaking in a preacher's cadence as he told a church gathering: "don't tell me I'm not coming home when I come to Selma, Alabama. I'm here because somebody walked."
Compare and contrast Obama's strong -- versus Hillary's screeching -- pulpitperformances here.