At the Weekly Standard's blog today, Daniel Halper relayed a pool reporter's notes from the Easter service President Barack Obama and his family attended this morning. The highlights from the Rev. Dr. Luis Leon's sermon" included the following statement: "It drives me crazy when the captains of the religious right are always calling us back ... for blacks to be back in the back of the bus ... for women to be back in the kitchen ... for immigrants to be back on their side of the border."
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is at it again, telling us peons that we're not deserving of our full measure of yet another freedom, this time to express ourselves.
As reported by Dana Rubenstein at CapitalNewYork.com (HT The Blaze), "As it turns out, Bloomberg, the highest-profile cheerleader for New York City's burgeoning tech scene, doesn't really like the social media revolution upon which much of it is premised." Excerpts after the jump reveal that Bloomberg wants tech, but only on his terms:
Thousands of people gathered March 26 to “March for Marriage” on the National Mall to defend traditional marriage and families as the Supreme Court decided whether to upheld California’s prop 8. The diverse group carried signs that read “1 Man + 1 Woman= Marriage,” and “Every Child Deserves a Mom & Dad.”
The march ended in a rally in front of the Washington Monument, where religious leaders, political speakers and leaders gave impassioned speeches in defense of marriage.
The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism has released its 2013 pity party -- er, annual report -- on the State of the News Media (home page; full overview).
Two things struck me in my initial scan-through: First, the whining about newsroom cutbacks, which are largely related to pervasive bias and misplaced priorities; second, the characterization of newsmakers' improved ability to take their cases directly to the public "without any filter by the traditional media" as some kind of automatically negative trend.
Concerning a Wednesday incident which would surely have received much wider play if it had involved former Vice President Dick Cheney during the George W. Bush administration, Capital News Service reported that one of its reporters was forced by an aide to Vice President Joe Biden to delete photos he had taken at an event in Rockville, Maryland. Based on a Google News search on "Biden Maryland" (not in quotes, sorted by date with duplicates), the Politico's Dylan Byers was the only person in the national establishment press to run an item on the incident -- lending additional credence to the theory that stories the rest of the press won't touch get deliberately buried there with the excuse that "Oh, the Politico dealt with that already, so we don't have to."
Several paragraphs from the Capital News Service report follow the jump (internal link was in original; bolds are mine):
In a shocking announcement on March 13, Ed Schultz announced that his nightly show The Ed Show on MSNBC will be ending in April. Schultz will move from 8:00 p.m. Monday-Friday to a Saturday-Sunday show from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
In his reasoning for the switch, Schultz tried to spin his move as a "big opportunity:"
In a mild shock -- mild because it's mentioned before the elections, but probably won't be when it really matters after the polls close -- Frank Bajak and Jorge Rueda at the Associated Press, in a story about how the last opposition TV station in Venezuela is being sold to an insurance magnate who is reportedly "friendly with government," noted the extraordinary handicaps that Venezuela's opposition presidential candidate faces as he attempts to unseat the Chavista successor to the late dictator Hugo Chavez in April's upcoming elections.
Following her announcement that she will be departing the cast of ‘The View’, co-host Joy Behar has taken it upon herself to reach into the depths of absurdity in her final few months on the daytime talk show. On March 11, the five co-hosts were discussing Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s recent book Lean In, and the role women have in the workplace.
Following Whoopi Goldberg quoting Sandberg’s book, where she states that, “working women are not assertive enough. And this quote, they don't have leadership, there's a leadership ambition gap”, Behar claims that, “When Hillary Clinton becomes president, the glass ceiling will be broken.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
After intense media speculation over the weekend surrounding Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s future on ‘The View,’ on the March 11 edition of the talk show, host and creator Barbara Walters shot down any speculation that Hasselbeck had been fired. Speaking on Monday morning, Walters denied the rumors and stated that:
“The truth is we love Elisabeth. I like her personally, and she's just a wonderful person. But beyond that we value and appreciate her point of view, it's important to us, because Elisabeth helps give the show perspective and balance. And believe me she's tougher than she looks. She’s had to sit here for a decade and take the kind of guff we give her. So we have no plans for Elisabeth to leave this show.”
The short film “Innocence of the Muslims” may not have provoked attacks on American interests in Libya but it does continue to rankle Islamic extremists around the world. In the latest development, a cyberterrorist group is now threatening to attack U.S. banks unless YouTube forcibly deletes the clip from its servers.
I assume no one expected that Bob Woodward would be found to be the first and only ordinarily Democrat-friendly recipient of threats from White House officials over what he has written and said.
Another such person has come forward in the name of Lanny Davis, who among other things was a completely insufferable defender of the indefensible during the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky-impeachment saga in 1998 and 1999. The morning, on Washington radio station WMAL (audio is at the link), Davis said that his editor at the Washington Times received a threat as a result of what Davis was writing there:
How do you go from being a gutsy hero of the MSM to a wuss in one minute? Take on a Democrat president instead of a Republican. Using her most sarcastic scared-little-child voice, on today's Morning Joe Mika Brzezinski mocked Bob Woodward for saying the White House threatened him over his reporting on the sequester.
Mocked Mika: "is he really afraid of a little aide who said that to him? Really?" View the video after the jump.
The Morning Joe panel was tough today on the Obama White House for threatening Bob Woodward by telling him he would "regret" his reporting that it was the Obama administration that had devised the sequester, In the course of the opening segment, various panel members described the Obama White House response as "mickey mouse," "pathetic" and "childish."
But at the same time, a theme emerged that there was nothing unusual about a White House trying to intimidate reporters. Mark Halperin said "the Bush White House regularly would engage in the same kind of tactics." And Joe Scarborough and Andrea Mitchell shared stories of having been threatened by the Bush and Reagan White Houses, respectively. Andrea named names. Scarborough did not. H/t readers Ray R. and cobokat. View the video after the jump.
In yesterday's Washington Post, Bob Woodward repeated what the essence of what he wrote about sequestration in his book, “The Price of Politics.”
Why? Because leftist media stooges like MSNBC's Chuck Todd, who is upset that conservatives and Republicans are "begging the media to say it's Obama that started the sequester, not them" (well, in general, Chuck, we'd like to see you tell the truth, but we've long since given up expecting it, let alone begging for it) insist on claiming that it was a Republican idea. It wasn't. Woodward re-elaborates (internal links are in original; bolds are mine):
Mika Brzezinski immediately asked her producer if the seven-second delay had worked. It hadn't. On today's Morning Joe, praising the "authenticity" of the New Jersey governor, an unbleeped Mort Zuckerman said there's "no bull****" about Chris Christie.
Joe Scarborough sought to slough off the incident, saying no seven-second delay was necessary: "you got a lot of farmers saying that in western Pennsylvania. That's no big deal." Mika begrudgingly mouthed agreement but her tone and body language left no doubt that she was uncomfortable with Mort's excursion into the scatalogical. View the video after the jump. H/t NB reader Cobokat.
Editor’s Note: This story includes language some may deem offensive.
Dan Savage is at it again. The foul-mouthed, bigoted host of MTV’s sex advice show “Savage U” and internationally syndicated columnist of “Savage Love” wrote this headline last Monday concerning the pope’s retirement:
“That Motherfucking Power-Hungry, Self-Aggrandized Bigot In the Stupid Fucking Hat Announces His Retirement.” No major media outlet reported that comment, including MSNBC and CNN where Savage has often appeared.
In a column which went up this morning, Fox News Political Analyst Kirsten Powers, whose political positions certainly lean left and is a self-described liberal, ripped into President Obama and his administration for what she correctly characterizes as their "strategy to delegitimize a news organization" -- hers.
Her column is about far more than Obama's recent complaint to the New Republic's Chris Hughes (covered by Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters) that "If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you'll see more of them doing it." What Powers recounts is a strategy first employed in 2009 and apparently being revived, now that Obama no longer has to answer to America's voters, to marginalize the only U.S. network which still tries to be fair and balanced (bolds are mine):
Say what you will about David Arquette, best known for his acting in the Scream horror movie franchise, but the man is at least consistent. Unlike many celebrity gun control advocates, he is not hypocritical in thinking the First Amendment to the Constitution is sacrosanct but the Second Amendment’s freedoms should be limited.
As part of that belief, Arquette said he thought if the government could restrict the number of bullets that could be carried in a magazine, it could also restrict the depictions of high-capacity magazines in television and film.
During an appearance on the program of MSNBC’s race-baiter-in-chief Al Sharpton, entertainer Harry Belafonte lashed out at Republicans, saying that their continued presence in Washington, DC constituted an “infection” of sorts. He also told his host that the only thing left for Obama to do with opposition figures who continue to disagree with him was to “Work like a Third World dictator and just put all these guys in jail.”
Belafonte’s totalitarian prescription elicited a laugh rather than horror from Sharpton. View video below the jump.
Hollywood Reporter's Paul Bond is reporting that "Hating Breitbart," the Andrew Marcus film which was to hit theaters two days from now has been pushed back to October 19 in a dispute over the film's rating.
Marcus has pushed for PG-13, but the MPAA retained its R rating of the film even after the filmmaker deleted all F-bombs except a few delivered by Breitbart himself. So nine days from now, because time is running short, the film will be released with an R rating. Why MPAA is being so inconsistent? I think it would be useful to look at who is in charge of the organization and who runs the day-to-day ratings operation, and will do that after excerpting key paragraphs from Bond's report:
The headline writers for Bradley Klapper's story early Wednesday at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, about the September 11 attack which destroyed the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya and killed four Americans, including Libyan ambassador Christopher Stevens, had a real problem on their hands: How do we make our headline so boring that people who see it won't feel like clicking over to the story itself (or, if they're reading a newspaper, not moving on to it)? Their answer, which was pretty effective given their apparent goal: "State Dept reveals new details of Benghazi attack."
Zzz ... zzz ... Oh, excuse me, I needed a second cup of coffee to get past that snooze of a headline. Klapper's story wasn't any better, as he atrociously buried the lede -- that there never was a protest over the 14-minute anti-Mohammed video before the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya took place -- and was incredibly vague in his reference to this breathtaking story change when he finally did bring it forth (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Earlier today, when I wasn't in a position to save what I was viewing, I came across an Associated Press item about Venezuela's Sunday election results that I knew I would have to find again at the first opportunity. Readers will see why shortly.
Because the AP has a habit of quickly replacing items at its national site while failing to leave the original behind -- especially true when the originals contain embarrassing giveaway sentiments -- I had to look elsewhere for the original story by Frank Bajak and Ian James, and found it at the Lakeland, Florida Ledger. The pair's slavering, slavish coverage of a tyrant's continued consolidation of power, arguably an even worse example of statist-supporting bias than Kyle Drennen cited earlier today at NewsBusters originating from NBC, is almost too much to bear:
As shown on Times Watch this morning, New York Times media reporter David Carr may pooh-pooh the idea of liberal bias. But he's a stronger supporter of the First Amendment than some of his Times colleagues, like movie critic A.O. Scott, who ludicrously defended a left-wing journalist's vandalism of the subway poster as "free expression" and even "democracy."
In "The Sweet Spot," a weekly videocast featuring Carr and movie critic A.O. Scott discussed controversial advertisements put up in the New York City subway system by anti-Islamist activist Pamela Geller that read: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad."
Note: This post has been revised to reflect the Times's 2012 coverage. The original version erroneously linked to a 2010 article. I sincerely regret the error.
The New York Times's coverage of year's annual Muslim Day parade in Manhattan appears to have consisted of a photo at This Week in Pictures and another at the City Room blog.
At the end of the parade, in news not relayed by the Times, at least one speaker called for suppression and criminalization of free speech and another seemed to revel in violence-based rhetoric. One can hardly argue that these presentations weren't related to the parade, since invited political dignitaries were on hand, including one gentleman, Democrat New York State Senator Tony Avello, who walked out after hearing calls for punishment speech seen to commit "blasphemy" against Muslim prophet Muhammed.
New York Times technology correspondent Somini Sengupta wrote a depressing article for the Sunday Review suggesting free speech could be limited by corporations (at the behest of government) in the interest of not offending the sensibilities of violent radical Muslims -- "Free Speech in the Age of YouTube."
Sengupta also seemed to sign on to the false notion that the anti-American violence in Egypt and Libya was tied to the shoddy old anti-Muhammad clip posted on YouTube, when in fact the violence on the anniversary of 9-11 had been long planned and the clip a pretext at best. (Meanwhile, Times editorial board member Lincoln Caplan was also disturbingly ambivalent on "absolutist" free speech on the domestic front.)
Who knew that "a source familiar with Ambassador Steven's thinking" may have been Ambassador Stevens himself?
Citing an unnamed but mysteriously close source on Wednesday, CNN's Anderson Cooper reported that Christopher Stevens was concerned about security threats, Islamic extremism, and an al-Qaeda hit list in the months leading up to the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
Two days later, Cooper admitted that some of the information from that report secretly came from Stevens own handwriting, in a seven-page personal journal that the network had found at the scene of the attack.
The Innocence of Muslims trailer that has sparked deadly protests overseas is crass, intentionally offensive, and grossly inappropriate. That much is clear. As crude as the video may be, however, Google did the right thing in not removing it from YouTube because its content is not, in itself, what the law would call an “incitement to violence.” Its message did not urge others to participate in violent conduct, but was used by a violent and irresponsible faction as an excuse for more violence.
Furthermore, new media giants like Google, Facebook or Apple should not censor content on their platforms because of pressure from the government, or because of groups that might be offended by controversial yet lawful viewpoints.
One would hope that "free speech" would emerge the clear winner with a Times journalist covering the story. But Kirkpatrick played the "context" card, sidestepping the clear attacks on free expression demanded by Islamic extremists to the point of sounding apologetic for free expression.
Early Friday afternoon, the Washington Post's David Nakamura confirmed that on Tuesday, September 11 -- before the attack in Benghazi that killed Amb. Chris Stevens -- the Obama National Security Council asked YouTube to pull down a video "trailer" for "The Innocence of Muslims," saying it may violate the video-sharing service's "terms of service." Such a move would have removed the film from the site worldwide, something YouTube has refused to do, even though parent company Google "is honoring requests to block the video the site restricted access in Libya and Egypt because of the unrest."
But despite the troubling implications of U.S. government officials waging a specious "terms of service" complaint about a private citizen's video on a video-sharing site, a search of Nexis reveals that absent a very brief mention by ABC's Jake Tapper on the September 14 World News, the broadcast networks -- ABC, CBS, and NBC -- have ignored the story:
Acting on the premise that the trailer for the low-budget film "Innocence of Muslims" was one of the causes of rioting and anti-American protests across the Middle East this week, the Obama Administration has asked YouTube to "review" whether the two-minute preview "violates the Website's terms of service," a phrase that usually means the government wants the "offending" item deleted.
That move led the blogger at the conservative Ace of Spades Website to charge that the federal government is "now acting as the censorship arm of Islamists."