On Sunday’s This Week on ABC, host George Stephanopoulos seemed to buy into the idea that Georgia provoked war with Russia as he asked guest Mitt Romney, "Didn’t President Saakashvili of Georgia bring some of this on himself by going into South Ossetia?" After Romney informed viewers that Georgian troops were deployed in response to violent attacks by South Ossetians, the ABC host followed up by asking Romney to respond to charges that the push, presumably by the United States, to expand NATO and build a missile defense system was perceived by Vladimir Putin as "belligerent and aggressive." Stephanopoulos: "How do you respond to the argument that by pushing for Georgia to be in NATO, by pushing for Ukraine to be in NATO, by putting a missile defense system in Czechoslovakia, this was seen as belligerent and aggressive by Putin and kind of brought him in?"
By early last week, journalists were in the awkward position of refusing to report on explosive allegations that were almost certain to knock the former North Carolina senator out of the Democratic convention. They were in a box of their own making, one that came to feel airtight and uncomfortable.
When critics, especially on the right, accused the media of protecting a Democrat because of liberal bias, journalists were unable to respond, because to do so would be to acknowledge the very thing they were declining to report.
So, why did the Old Media seem to miss the John Edwards Love Affair story? Well, maybe it was because the Old Media hadn't deigned to decide for us that it was "news" until after the New Media had chewed up and spit out the story for days and days? Apparently, that is what David Carr of The New York Times thinks, anyway. In an interview with CNN he alludes to the fact that he is used to the Old Media deciding when something is officially "news" and that maybe he and his contemporary journalists have lost that level of control they were used to enjoying. This fall from grace is being seen most readily in the Edwards story that the New Media had digested for a week before the Old Media got to it
The CNN piece cites many factors from the fact that the Old Media has a disdain for National Enquirer stories to a claim that the Old Media is reticent to exploit sex stories. The former is a sensible precaution and the later an outright laugher. After all, the Old Media had no problem whatsoever in exploiting the rumors of George H.W. Bush's affair, Newt Gingrich's affair, Newt's successor to be Bob Livingston’s affair, the John McCain affair story, Larry Craig's restroom stall story, or Mark Foley's Page Scandal... but then again, THOSE are Republican sex scandals. The same delicacy the Old Media handles sex stories with as claimed by CNN does not exist for those sorts of stories.
Self-censorship toward radical Muslims continues to be a problem in corporate America. The latest casualty: a book by author Sherry Jones about Aisha, the favored wife of Islam's founder Mohammed, whom he is said to have betrothed when she was less than ten years old.
Writing in today's Wall Street Journal, Asra Q. Nomani tells how the book, "The Jewel of Medina," got canceled by would-be publisher Random House thanks to a politically correct professor of Islamic studies named Denise Spellberg:
In an interview about Ms. Jones's novel, Thomas Perry, deputy publisher at Random House Publishing Group, said that it "disturbs us that we feel we cannot publish it right now." He said that after sending out advance copies of the novel, the company received "from credible and unrelated sources, cautionary advice not only that the publication of this book might be offensive to some in the Muslim community, but also that it could incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment."
After consulting security experts and Islam scholars, Mr. Perry said the company decided "to postpone publication for the safety of the author, employees of Random House, booksellers and anyone else who would be involved in distribution and sale of the novel."
Could the NBC honchos be a tad touchy about criticism of the Beijing Olympics—especially when it comes from its own talent pool? Was there a kernel of truth in Mika Brzezinski's light-hearted warning that MSNBC's Morning Joe crew would "get a call" if it persisted in its mocking of the games for whose broadcast rights the Peacock Network has over the years paid billions?
When the subject of the Olympics arose during the opening segment of today's show, the panel went into an extended coughing fit, coupled with cracks about tanks in Tiananmen Square. Mika joined in the joshing for a while, before finally putting her foot down . . .
Somebody call the Epidemiology Branch at the NIH. It's looking as if we're on the verge of a full-fledged epidemic of Obamania. As we noted here, NYT columnist Bob Herbert suffered an acute bout of the malady on live national TV yesterday, seeing visions of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Washington Monument where none existed in the McCain Obama/Spears/Hilton ad. By yesterday evening, Keith Olbermann had contracted the affliction in aggravated form, claiming, as NewsBuster Brad Wilmouth has noted, to see no fewer than three phallic symbols in the same commercial.
Now, yet another variant of the dread disease can be reported, affecting mental rather than visual acuity. In When "Skinny" Means "Black" at his "Chatterbox" column at Slate, Timothy Noah [file photo] claims to see, yes, racism, in mention of the fact that Barack Obama is thin.
Whoops. On the very day that the New York Times takes President Bush harshly to task for failing to promote human rights in China, the president meets at the White House . . . . with five Chinese human rights activists.
In yet another example of why the west might not beat the onslaught of radical Islamofascism, Minette Marrin of the Timesonline thinks she has found a solution to the clash of cultures. Marrin details the extremism evinced by too many Muslims in England and then posits a solution: ban all religion. Talk about an absurd idea. It's as foolish as throwing out the baby with the bath water. It also discounts thousands of years of worthy and enlightened western culture influenced, guided and based on Christian philosophy.
In To beat extremism we must dissolve religious groups, Marrin's wooly headed prescription also serves as a fine example of the most shallow of PC, postmodern "thinking." Famed French mathematician Jules Henri Poincaré once said that, "to doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection." It is a lesson in discernment and critical thinking that escapes most on the left, and specifically this prosaic, anti-intellectual Timesonline columnist.
I do believe that liberals in this country have their tin foils hats on way too tight these days. At least, it's easy to think that over the new national conspiracy theory that lefties are all balled up over lately. You see, it is being imagined in the dim, dark recesses of the left's collective consciousness that cable company Comcast is out to silence them.
Apparently, Comcast has come down from their circling black helicopters and decided to target the left by moving MSNBC from their basic cable package to their more expensive premium services. This will, you see, "marginalize outspoken liberal voices" like Keith Olbermann.
Do they represent the people in their districts, or Nancy Pelosi?
The Spin Starts Here, or Do As I Say, Not As I DoCongressional Democrats remain silent, acquiescing in Speaker Nancy Pelosi's determination to prevent legislation to block the reimposition of the so-called Fairness Doctrine. For all their prattling about protecting civil liberties, none of them - not a single one - has so far signed the discharge petition to allow the Broadcasters' Freedom Act to be wrested from Pelosi's grip to protect our freedom of speech.
Where do they stand on the federal regulation that served for four decades to remove issues of import from the radio airwaves and left us with 24-hours a day of liberal dominance of the radio airwaves? (Ronald Reagan removed the restriction in 1987, and the rest has been Rush Limbaugh-led broadcasting history.)
These Ds have been this quiet because they are not at liberty to discuss it. What we have been witnessing is a remarkable exhibition of partisan discipline. Last summer Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a diktat that no Donkey was to talk about the Fairness Doctrine, nor meet with anyone who wanted to talk about it. All the while she was repeatedly denying any Democratic interest in its revival.
French media loses big court case proving Palestinian propaganda false, New York Times ignores shocking story... Why?
France TV 2 has lost a major court case in France that makes the lie to a major piece of Palestinian propaganda. In 2000 an incident occurred in the Palestinian areas that has since been used as propaganda for the Palestinian cause all across the world and the New York Times has repeatedly been a willing host for this propaganda. Now, however, it has been proven that France 2 perpetrated a lie that has given succor to terrorism. And where is the New York Times with this momentous news that proves Israeli innocence? Nowhere to be seen.
In 2000 the Palestinians began what they called the second intifada against Israel, a kick in the teeth to the Israelis seeking only peace. During the early stages of this attack France 2 TV, a state run television station, aired what it claimed was a video of a child and his father being shot and killed by Israeli security forces.
It looks like Google has officially joined the Barack Obama campaign and decided that its contribution would be to shut down any blog on the Google owned Blogspot.com blogging system that has an anti-Obama message. Yes, it sure seems that Google has begun to go through its many thousands of blogs to lock out the owners of anti-Obama blogs so that the noObama message is effectively squelched. Thus far, Google has terminated the access by blog owners to 7 such sites and the list may be growing. Boy, it must be nice for Barack Obama to have an ally powerful enough to silence his opponents like that!
It isn't just conservative sites that Google's Blogger platform is eliminating. For instance, www.comealongway.blogspot.com has been frozen and this one is a Hillary supporting site. The operator of Come a Long Way has a mirror site off the Blogspot platform and has today posted this notice:
The Washington Post published a June 28th piece geared to protect Barack Obama from the nagging rumors that he is a secret Muslim, rumors that have been circulating since 2004. The Post's Matthew Mosk penned an attack on Free Republic, based on an Obama flak who claims she has somehow discovered that Freepers are to blame, if not initially responsible, for floating the Barack-is-a-Muslim chain email that so many millions of Americans have found in their email boxes over the last four years. But, the Washington Post's article is so filled with assumptions and a singular desire not to really investigate the matter that it boggles the mind. Naturally, all the journalistic missteps serve to shield Barack Obama from any controversy and make all opposition seem nefarious or unhinged.
The Obama flak in question is one Danielle Allen of the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton. Mosk wishes to assure us that she is one smart cookie, apparently. To settle any question to the contrary, we are treated to some earnest, if over-the-top, adulation for good Doctor Allen. Allen is called a "razor-sharp, 36-year-old political theorist," that she's "gained valuable insight into the way political information circulates," and that she works at the institute "most famous for having been the research home of Albert Einstein." Mosk tells us that Allen "boasts two doctorates, one in classics from Cambridge University and the other in government from Harvard University." The Post tells us that one winter morning Allen was "studying in her office at the Institute for Advanced Study, the renowned haven for some of the nation's most brilliant minds." Mosk also tells us that Allen "works alongside groundbreaking physicists, mathematicians and social scientists. They don't have to teach, and they face no quotas on what they publish. Their only mandate is to work in the tradition of Einstein, wrestling with the most vexing problems in the universe."
Jeeze, next Mosk will be telling us that Danielle Allen is the virtual reincarnation of Einstein himself!
Great news for free speech fans that likely won't get reported much of anywhere outside the rightosphere: the national Canadian "Human Rights" Commission has declined to prosecute a "hate speech" allegation against columnist and author Mark Steyn and the magazine Maclean's.
The allegation, brought against Steyn as part of an effort by the Canadian Islamic Congress (that country's resident apologists for radical Islam comparable to CAIR here) to use the government to censor critics of Islam. It was the second of three motions before three separate bodies to be dismissed; Steyn still awaits the decision of the British Columbia provincial commission.
The national commission did not announce the dismissal publicly so here's the Maclean's reaction:
Over at HumanEvents.com, John Gizzi has House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on the record saying that the Democratic caucus, far from being agnostic on the so-called Fairness Doctrine, is actually interested in resurrecting it. What's more, Pelosi herself wants to bring back the policy that could literally silence conservative talk radio. [Sign the MRCAction.org petition for broadcaster freedom.]
At a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor yesterday, I asked Pelosi if Pence failed to get the required signatures on a discharge petition to get his anti-Fairness Doctrine bill out of committee, would she permit the Pence measure to get a floor vote this year.
"No," the Speaker replied, without hesitation. She added that "the interest in my caucus is the reverse" and that New York Democratic Rep. "Louise Slaughter has been active behind this [revival of the Fairness Doctrine] for a while now."
Laura Ingraham, syndicated radio talk show host and now host of Just In on the Fox News Channel, filled in for Bill O'Reilly, syndicated radio talk show host, on his FNC Show The O'Reilly Factor on Friday, June 20.
And led off with her Talking Points Memo, in which she excoriated the left's call for the return of the Fairness Doctrine, dismantling and undermining every liberal (alleged) justification for its return.
Bloggers are being arrested more and more as the importance of the Internet is realized by governments across the world, at least so warns the BBC. It seems an alarming report where community activists and democracy advocates are finding themselves being oppressed by government, arrested, and maybe even tortured because of their blogging. But, one little fact of the story is never really focussed on in this alarming BBC report on the release of the WIA report from the University of Washington. The fact that bloggers aren't threatened much in democratic nations has been glossed over by this report.
Unfortunately, a cursory reading of this piece would leave the reader with the vague feeling that people all over the world are being arrested merely because they are blogging, but that isn't quite the case. The way this report is written serves as a perfect example of a PCism more concerned with upsetting the tender sensibilities of tyrannical, undemocratic governments, than in reporting the oppression of its citizens. It's a PCism gone so far that it makes the report uninformative at least to the most important aspect of the reason these bloggers are being arrested.
The Associated Press has issued a legal threat to left-leaning news and commentary site The Drudge Retort on Thursday, claiming copyright infringement in a series of articles. One example of infringement provided by site operator Rogers Cadenhead consisted of a 57-word citation, taken from a 442-word article—A small fraction of the entire article, and certainly not any more than is necessary to pique the reader's interest in clicking over to the main AP article. I ran into similar problems with the AP way back in March, so I can definitely empathize with Cadenhead's situation.
House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) sent a letter to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Wednesday urging him to drop recent proposals which amount to "a sweeping takeover by Washington bureaucrats of broadcast media."
In his correspondence, Boehner claimed the "proposals and recommendations for Commission action contained in the NPR amount to the stealth enactment of the Fairness Doctrine, a policy designed to squelch the free speech and free expression of specifically targeted audiences."
What follows is the complete text of this letter which should be of particular interest to all Americans in favor of free speech on the airwaves (emphasis added, file photo):
Yesterday we at NewsBusters noted how Media Research Center President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell is backing an effort to move an up-or-down vote on the Broadcasters Freedom Act (BFA), currently stalled in the House of Representatives. Later that evening on his June 11 radio program, conservative talk show host Mark Levin issued a warning- urge your congressman to support the Broadcasters Freedom Act, or you risk sitting idly by as liberals led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) annihilate free speech on America’s radio waves.
The BFA is a response to the expiration of last year’s one year moratorium of the Fairness Doctrine. That measure passed the House with a 309-vote majority. With so many members of Congress supporting free airwaves just one year ago, one might assume this year’s permanent defense of free speech would fly through the House. Yet the Democratic leadership is blocking the legislation from reaching the House floor for a fair vote because as Levin says "they know it will pass."
Below are Levin’s relevant remarks, audio available here:
Typically one does not associate the word inquisition with our neighbors up north in Canada, and yet that is pretty much what is going on there to conservative author and columnist Mark Steyn. Minus the violence, Steyn is being subjected to a twisted court system that always finds defendants guilty and conducts itself in an utterly capricious way.
Steyn's crime? Daring to criticize radical Islam, an offense that many in this country would would no doubt love to criminalize. For his temerity, Steyn and the Canadian magazine Maclean's (which printed Steyn's essay, an excerpt from his book) are being put on trial by the "human rights commission" of British Columbia, one of several such bodies both Steyn and Maclean's have been forced to deal with by the Canadian Islamic Congress. Incredibly, the group claims that its human rights were violated because Maclean's did not allow one of its members a chance to respond in the publication.
What to do about this outrage? The editors at National Review have a few suggestions:
It certainly wasn't surprising how press outlets desperately trying to depict the economy as depression-like in order to get Barack Obama in the White House were practically giddy following the dour jobs report released by the Labor Department last Friday.
What was shocking given the portion of May's unemployment rate rise attributed to high school and college students looking for summer jobs was that virtually no press outlets considered the impact last year's minimum wage hike might have had on young Americans finding temporary positions between school years.
Consider this op-ed published in Monday's Washington Examiner authored by Kristen Lopez Eastlick, the senior economic analyst at the Employment Policies Institute (emphasis added throughout):
Does the First Amendment guarantee a television host’s job security? Former Boston CN8 anchor Barry Nolan suggests just that.
Right of center Fox News host Bill O’Reilly recently received the Governors’ Award at the Boston/New England Chapter Emmy Awards. The local CN8 anchor objected to O’Reilly’s honor and passed out the public details of O’Reilly’s sexual harassment lawsuit. CN8 subsequently fired Mr. Nolan.
Nolan aired his protest on the left-wing website ThinkProgress.org claiming free speech has become a "myth" adding "in today’s America, speech is only ‘free’ when you are talking down to someone less powerful than you."
Unless Mr. Nolan is penning this letter from a prison cell, his free speech rights have not been violated. As an American, he certainly has the right to speak out against Bill O’Reilly. However, anchoring a news show is a privilege, not a right. CN8 had the right to fire Barry Nolan for his actions.
Nolan continued airing typical leftist talking points that journalists are intimidated from reporting the "truth" on Iraq and the War on Terror.
If a new poll identified an overwhelming majority of Americans favored increased energy costs associated with a global warming bill currently before Congress, do you think media would report it?
Probably 24 hours a day, seven days a week until every citizen had heard about it, correct?
Well, on Wednesday, the National Center for Public Policy Research, an admittedly conservative think tank, released a poll conducted by Wilson Research Strategies which found "65% of Americans reject spending even a penny more for gasoline in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions" (emphasis added throughout):
Today, I have two short United Press International stories that each have bias in them, but aren't worth a long, drawn out fisking of their own. So I'm combining them into one Newsbusters report. The first UPI report characterizes a Dutch anti-Islam cartoon as having been "found most offensive," as if it were universally accepted that it is, indeed, offensive and the second is a ridiculous report that is treated as "news" when it is really nothing but meaningless nonsense dressed up as news -- the second having the ulterior motive of stirring hatred against the eeevil "rich."
First up is "Cartoonist honored for Mohammed portrait" where UPI reports that the Danish artist who drew the "controversial cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed with a bomb in his turban" has been honored with the Sappho Award by the Danish Free Press Society. This is all good news but the UPI couldn't help but slip in some of their own bias against this brave artist in the last two paragraphs of the report. (my bold emphasis)
Brent Bozell's latest culture column starts from the standard Associated Press boilerplate celebrating how the American Library Association has allegedly kept the country safe from blue-haired censors of anything edgy. But AP and other reporters never dig below press-release level to discover that the ALA has censors of its own. Instead of merely noticing how children's books promoting gay parenting and gay marriage are controversial, the ALA's left-wing activists are pushing a social agenda that includes screening out "inappropriate" conservative titles:
Press accounts leave out that the ALA not only disdains the public "challenges," it lobbies on the books’ behalf. In 2006, the two-penguin-daddy "And Tango Makes Three" was honored as an ALA Notable Children's Book. The librarians’ group isn’t simply for "freedom." It’s for sexual liberation, promoting the "non-traditional," and it takes offense at the idea that parents might not want their children discussing homosexuality in kindergarten. Simon & Schuster, the publishers of "Tango," Simon & Schuster offer discussion questions about the book on their web site. One says: "Tango has two fathers instead of the traditional mother and father. Do you have a nontraditional family, or do you know someone who does?"
Already we can predict how the ALA next year will complain about any objection to a book called "Uncle Bobby’s Wedding," the story of a young guinea pig named Chloe who worries that her Uncle Bobby won’t play with her any more after he "marries" his boyfriend Jamie. The book ends at the "wedding," with Chloe as the enthusiastic flower girl.
Last October, Patrick Ruffini wrote a piece for Hugh Hewitt's blog titled Information Gaps on the Right wherein Ruffini reminded us that most news outlets unsurprisingly lean leftward. He pointed out that this is one of the serious disabilities for the conservative viewpoint getting a wider hearing. Ruffini also highlighted the vast sea of paid-for bloggers that lefties like George Soros and the like are floating out there. It all amounts to the left having far longer reach than we do to set the agenda for the national debate.
And it isn't getting any better.
The Left also seems to be developing a lead in powerful feeders mechanisms that do little more than tee up information for other blogs. ThinkProgress provides a valuable service to the left by leveraging a full-time research staff to be the first to report and frame up news stories. Their content is rarely witty and original and isn’t meant to be. It’s just meant to provide context and a prod for others to cover these stories. The research backing also means they do the legwork to connect the dots in ways that bloggers rarely do. If John McCain says something today, they’re all about telling you what he said about the same thing in March, what he said in 2003, what he said in 1999, and so on.
Of course, there are a few places we can go as conservatives to get a more conservative take on the News. There is Michelle Malkin, Powerline blog, and a host of others. Not to mention the great work we do here at Newsbusters and I should remind people to make Newsbusters a daily visit for news on the liberal slant in the media. If you want a site that drives the agenda on that subject (liberal bias in the news) then Newsbusters is the place.