The President's escalation strategy has failed. We need to stop refereeing this civil war, and start getting out now. -- Hillary Clinton, statement of August 23, 2007
As many had foreseen, the escalation has failed to produce the intended results. -- letter to Pres. Bush from Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, June 12, 2007
That's not a cement mixer you hear. It's the collective Dem gnashing of teeth. Things have gotten so bad -- meaning good -- in Iraq that now even the New York Times is reporting it. Have a look at Willie Geist -- sitting in for Joe Scarborough -- opening today's "Morning Joe" by holding up the paper's front page to display its headline: "Baghdad Starts to Exhale as Security Improves."
Is ‘The View’s’ token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck drifting leftwards? In a letter to Barbara Walters she hinted she may actually vote for Senator Hillary Clinton. On the November 19 edition of "The View," creator and co-host Barbara Walters read a letter from Elisabeth Hasselbeck updating the co-hosts on her new born baby Taylor Thomas and the congratulatory letter she received from Senator Clinton.
"Well, you know if you watch the show, you that Elisabeth is our resident Republican. Okay, alright? Fine. Taylor Thomas received an official letter from Senator Hillary Clinton today, wishing him well. She said ‘truly a most thoughtful and warm act. I may actually change my vote.’" [applause]
If you had any questions about how much Thursday's Democrat presidential debate, sponsored by the Clinton News Network, was staged so that Hillary, who had an abysmal two weeks heading into the event, could mount a comeback, they were answered on Sunday's "Late Edition."
During this installment of the CNN program hosted by Wolf Blitzer, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux actually proclaimed the audience attending the event one of the winners for playing such a significant role.
What did the audience do that was so key in Malveaux's view?
"They booed Senator Edwards, they booed Senator Obama, and really I think kind of framed and changed kind of the tone of the debate" (partial transcript follows, video available here):
David Shuster has hurled a hand grenade in the direction of one of Washington's most venerable political reporters. The MSNBC "correspondent" has alleged that many people don't believe Robert Novak has "any credibility as a journalist."
Shuster sat in as a "Morning Joe" panelist today. His comment came in the context of a discussion regarding the Novak column from over the weekend stating that "agents of Sen. Hillary Clinton are spreading the word in Democratic circles that she has scandalous information about her principal opponent for the party's presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama, but has decided not to use it."
"CNN's 'Reliable Sources' is one of television's only regular programs to examine how journalists do their jobs and how the media affect the stories they cover." -- from CNN's "Reliable Sources" website [emphasis added].
When it comes to "how journalists do their job," the story of the week was Wolf Blitzer's spectacular failure to do his. Going into Thursday's debate, the big question was how Hillary was going to deal with the inevitable grilling over her flip-flopping on the issue of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. But when Blitzer finally got around to the issue, well into the debate, he didn't bother to ask a single follow-up question to Hillary's terse "no" answer.
So surely Reliable Sources's host Howard Kurtz would put that question squarely on the table on today's show, right? Wrong.
In Markos Moulitsas's first column for Newsweek, the proprietor of the liberal website Daily Kos sadly personified exactly what's wrong with today's Democrat Party as well as the media: the inability to see things beyond the grips of Bush Derangement Syndrome.
In fact, you could diagnose the malady right in the headline, "Make the Bush Record the Issue." Maybe more surprising, Markos also pointed his pen at Ronald Reagan.
Someone ought to tell Moulitsas, who was hired to offer commentary concerning the 2008 elections, that neither of these former presidents is running for office next year.
Unfortunately, much as the Party members he supports, Kos seemed totally oblivious to this fact, and actually wrote a column about the current campaign that didn't mention a single candidate in it (emphasis added throughout):
Who'd you bet on in a Mixed Martial Arts match between Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd? You might get the chance. Earlier this week, Krugman called Barack Obama a "sucker" and a "fool," while praising Hillary. Maureen Dowd has now gone after Paul's girl, calling Clinton every name in the headline and a few more.
The theory of Dowd's column today is that while Hillary knows how to shake Barack Obama with her ice-cold demeanor, Rudy will revel in the combat with Clinton. Excerpts from "Shake, Rattle and Roll" [emphasis added]:
The Washington Post’s Book World section included a brief review of the MRC book Whitewash on Sunday. Reviewer Alan Cooperman, who before joining the book section recently was a Post reporter on the religion-and-politics beat, reviewed four books "full of honest venom and outright partisanship." The other three were all anti-Republican. Here’s Cooperman’s review, in its entirety:
This book is a two-fer, blasting away both at Hillary Clinton and at "liberal reporters -- and, truth be told, female liberal reporters especially" for their coverage of her. "It is truly shocking to see how blatantly the media have shilled for Hillary," write Bozell and Graham, who run the Media Research Center, a group dedicated to "documenting the news media's left-wing bias." Whitewash does not offer any new allegations, but it does challenge the reporting on all the old ones. The book groans, for example, that "the Big Three networks gave both Watergate and Iran-Contra more than three times the attention they gave Whitewater." And it says the allegation that Bill Clinton used Arkansas troopers to arrange sexual trysts attracted "only" 22 evening news stories in the first 12 days after the story broke. Readers can decide whether those figures are high, low or about right, though it's abundantly clear where Whitewash comes down.
As NewsBusters reported Thursday, Karl Rove, the famed former adviser to President Bush, is now writing for Newsweek.
If you thought Rove would be constrained in this assignment given the liberal leaning of his new employer, your concerns should quickly be laid to rest with this first article just published.
Entitled "How to Beat Hillary," the piece was practically a strategy memo for the eventual Republican presidential nominee to defeat the Democrat candidate Rove believes will successfully get through the primaries (emphasis added throughout):
It's certainly safe to say that conservatives rarely agree with anything written by liberal bloggers.
However, on Saturday, not only was there a prominent posting at Daily Kos entitled "Clinton News Network = CNN," which received 631 comments in only seven hours, but the website's proprietor, the esteemed Markos Moulitsas, wrote an article of his own that was highly critical of Clintonista James Carville's role at the cable network.
In the end, the hypocrisy was so thick you could cut it with a knife.
But before we get there, the first piece voiced displeasure with the recent shenanigans by CNN during Thursday's Democrat Presidential debate:
There's a great deal of controversy brewing concerning implications that CNN not only stocked the audience at Thursday's Democrat Presidential debate, but also controlled the questions attendees asked.
So much for Wolf Blitzer not caving into pressure from the Clinton campaign.
*****Update: It looks like all six "undecided voters" set up to ask questions at the debate were plants. More at end of post!
One of the most delicious incidents from the debate was reported Friday by Marc Ambinder at the Atlantic magazine blog (emphasis added (h/t Allah at Hot Air):
On Tuesday, "Good Morning America" reporter Bianna Golodryga hyperventilated about high gas prices and highlighted a man who alleged that the cost of fuel is keeping him from going to church and that it could ruin Christmas. Golodryga piled on, suggesting that some Americans would be forced to eat "cheaper foods" such as pasta and peanut butter instead of fruits and vegetables.
Only a few days later, Golodryga, who covers business and economic issues for GMA, proved her journalistic independence by gushing over liberal billionaire Warren Buffet, or "Robin Hood," as she called him. While Golodryga lobbied for holding on to the death tax (or, as she called it, the estate tax), co-host Diane Sawyer rhapsodized over how Buffet is battling "on behalf of fairness in taxes." (The leftist billionaire has claimed recently that he pays less taxes, percentage-wise, than his receptionist.)
A Google alert this morning brought an article about a speech in which NBC's Lester Holt claimed that he and his MSM colleagues "are perfectly capable of putting [their] personal bias aside." Holt went to state that "the level of organized attacks against news organizations from the blogosphere and even from competitors in recent years is unprecedented and disturbing."
Less than an hour later there was Holt on the Today show . . . which proceeded to run a segment typifying the very kind of bias he claims the MSM is "perfectly capable" of putting aside.
The lead story on Friday’s CBS "Early Show" focused on the Democratic debate and celebrated Hillary Clinton’s comeback as co-host Harry Smith exclaimed: "This morning, Hillary's camp declares a landslide as the Dems sling mud, exchange barbs, in the feistiest debate yet." The segment began with a report by CBS White House Correspondent, Jim Axelrod, who described how, "Hillary Clinton's two top rivals didn't waste any time attacking her...[she] looked confident, taking the attacks in stride." Axelrod later concluded his report by declaring that:
Her performance at this debate makes her prior stumble look like an isolated event. The story line now goes back to Hillary the sure-footed front-runner, where it will stay. At least for now.
Liberal journalists George Stephanopoulos and Kate Snow spun ABC's coverage of Thursday's Democratic debate as a roaring comeback for Hillary Clinton and charitably described the 2008 contender's shifting position on the issue of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. Reporting on Friday's "Good Morning America," Snow slyly claimed that Clinton has "simplified her opinion" on the matter and now opposes licenses.
"Simplified" is one way to describe the senator's change of heart. A less friendly variation, one that might be handed to a Republican, is that she flip-flopped. On November 1, the Boston Globe reported, "Hillary Clinton came out yesterday in support of a plan by Governor Eliot Spitzer of New York to offer limited driver's licenses to illegal immigrants..." So, on November 1, she was for the program. She's now against it and that's simplifying a position? "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos, a former Bill Clinton operative, appeared on GMA to gush that the headline from the debate is "Hillary's back." He enthused, "And the subhead, I guess, would be 'no more Madam Nice Guy.'"
Rush Limbaugh has often indicated that he has no beef with Wolf Blizter. And I must say that I've generally found Blitzer to be a straight shooter who has rarely-if-ever provided grist for my NewsBusting mill.
All of which makes that much more perplexing Blitzer's bail-out at arguably the key moment last night's debate. The CNN anchor's failure to follow up on Hillary's monosyllabic answer on driver's licenses for illegals, letting her slide with her terse "no," was in my opinion the greatest single act of journalistic malpractice thus far in this campaign season.
"The View’s" Joy Behar objects to personal attacks on presidential candidates, when they agree with her. On the November 15 edition of "The View" co-host Joy Behar ranted against John McCain because one audience member called Hillary Clinton a "bitch." But when confronted for her personal attacks on President Bush, as co-host Sherri Shepherd pointed out how "you do personal assaults on President Bush" and wondered "what’s the difference?", Behar passively responded: "I don’t like him."
The co-hosts were discussing the recent "controversy" of an enthusiastic McCain supporter calling Senator Clinton a "bitch." Whoopi Goldberg surprisingly defended McCain, because there is not much else he could do. Behar responded by placing all of the blame on McCain because he did not lecture the woman on the spot.
The discussion led to this exchange with Sherri Shepherd calling out Joy Behar on her many personal attacks against President Bush.
Former NBC "Nightly News" anchor Tom Brokaw appeared on the November 14 edition of Fox News’ "Hannity and Colmes" to discuss his new book "Boom!" Through the course of the interview, Brokaw rehashed the 1960's and its impact today. Brokaw admitted he dressed his daughters up as hippies, marched in some rallies, declined an offer for Nixon’s press secretary, and puffed Hillary Clinton.
Co-host Alan Colmes asked Brokaw if he was "tempted...to be sucked in" to the culture of the 1960's. Brokaw admitted that to a large degree he was.
"Now, as I say in the book was, you know, it was entertaining to be in Southern California, and so on weekends, sure, I'd put on bell bottom trousers and take my little girls dressed in their little hippy outfits, go out to the Renaissance Fair, we had a friend who was a hippy potter, and we’d hang out with him, and then Monday mornings I'd put back on my button down collared shirt, and my suit and tie."
Brokaw also admitted to participating in some demonstrations, but also denied buying into the more extremist rhetoric.
When Newsweek announced Tuesday that it was hiring Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos to be a contributor during the 2008 presidential campaign, Kos told his readers, "Newsweek is ‘balancing' me out with someone that should make heads on our side explode."
As reported by the Washington Post moments ago, Moulitsas was quite prescient:
Newsweek has signed the president's former deputy chief of staff [Karl Rove] as a commentator who will turn out several columns on the 2008 campaign through inauguration day.
The Post continued (emphasis added throughout, h/t NBer Right2thePoint):
ABC's "Good Morning America" devolved into outright advocacy on Thursday as the morning program openly lobbied for more taxes, misled viewers about how much the wealthy pay and passed off an economic advisor to Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign as an impartial observer. Correspondent Bianna Golodryga filed a report on liberal billionaire Warren Buffett and his assertion that he pays a lower percentage in taxes than his receptionist. GMA co-host Diane Sawyer turned the story into a class warfare campaign as she promised that the show would be battling "on behalf of fairnessin taxes." The host lauded Buffett for taking "your side over taxes and fairness." Additionally, Golodryga fawned over the billionaire for advocating that Congress should retain the estate tax, another leftist position.
At no point in the misleading report did any GMA host or reporter mention a fundamental fact: The wealthy already pay a disproportionately high amount of taxes. According to information just released by the IRS, the top one percent of earners paid 39.4 percent of all federal income taxes. The top five percent pay almost 60 percent of federal taxes. Golodryga did, however, make time to compare Buffett to Robin Hood, complete with an onscreen graphic, and harass other billionaires over the salaries of their receptionists. Sawyer claimed that most of these wealthy individuals were "hiding" and that GMA would call them on "[Buffett's] behalf."
L. Brent Bozell, founder of Media Research Center, NB's parent, made an appearance on today's "Morning Joe." Brent is the author, with MRC/NB's Tim Graham, of the recently-released "Whitewash: What the Media Won't Tell you About Hillary Clinton, But Conservatives Will."
Look for comprehensive coverage of Brent's appearance from my colleagues at MRC and NB during the day. But for present purposes, let's focus on one point Brent made that speaks volumes about the depth of the MSM's partisanship -- that for broadcast networks, promoting liberal ideology trumps even the bottom line.
When thinking of Hillary Clinton, do the adjectives "moderate" and "spontaneous" spring to mind? They do for Joe Klein, assigned by Time magazine to write its cover-story profile of her last week.
Joe Scarborough let Klein's characterization slide this morning. But when Klein played the "spontaneous" card on last night's "Hardball," Chris Matthews devastated him with a clip of Hillary at her wooden worst [second video link, at foot].
Klein offered his assessment during the 8:30 AM ET half-hour of today's "Morning Joe.
Q. Who could possibly be "surprised" that in choosing women to date, college-aged men tend to prefer beauty over brains?
A. An Ivy League professor.
What is truly surprising is that Maureen Dowd thinks this commonplace about men's preferences has implications for Hillary's campaign strategy. Dowd propounds her odd theory in her column of this morning, "Should Hillary Pretend to Be a Flight Attendant?"
It's hard to overstate the importance of the study released today by the Treasury Department ("Income Mobility in the U.S. from 1996 to 2005"; press release; full study PDF).
That's because it provides documented evidence of more, not less, economic mobility than in previous eras. Beyond that, taken in combination with an independent report I covered last week, it demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that the first four-plus years of the Bush economy were exceptional.
Tuesday's read-the-whole-thing feature editorial at OpinionJournal.com provides a great overview (bolds are mine), plus some tantalizing details: