House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s liberal policies are not sufficient for "The View’s" Joy Behar. Why? Pelosi does not support impeaching the president and vice president. On the July 28 edition Behar hammered Speaker Pelosi on impeachment. [audio available here]
"You’ve ruled against impeaching George Bush and Dick Cheney. And now Kucinich is trying to pass that. Why do you, why do you insist on not impeaching these people so that the world and America can really see the crimes that they’ve committed?"
It seems Barack Obama had a "senior moment" on Wednesday during his trip to Israel regarding which Senate committees he is a member of. On the same day's Special Report with Brit Hume, during the "Fox All Stars" segment, the Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes called out Obama for his claim, which the Illinois Senator made while trying to impress Israeli reporters, that he is a member of the Senate Banking Committee, as he took credit for the passage of legislation regarding Iran. Barnes: "[Obama] was trying to brag about how tough he was on the Iranians, and he said his committee, the Senate Banking Committee, had passed a resolution ... that would have caused American firms to divest of Iranian interests. And the trouble is, he's not on that committee. ... And he didn't vote for it. That would be a senior moment if McCain did it."
Indeed, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs membership roster does not list Obama's name. But during a news conference, which aired live Wednesday morning during CNN Newsroom, Obama seemed to embellish his resume: "Now, in terms of knowing my commitments, you don't have to just look at my words, you can look at my deeds. Just this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran, as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon." (Transcripts follow)
The dilemma of high gas prices might be addressed if congressional leaders would all just get along.
From CNN correspondent Kate Bolduan's perspective, the political differences on energy policy are little more than a "partisan standoff" between Democrats and Republicans.
"Even before the votes were counted on the latest energy proposal, the partisan standoff was clear," Bolduan said on the July 25 "American Morning." "[T]hat bill, a Democratic plan to release oil from the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve. It failed - one more example of the deadlock over sky-high gas prices and one step closer to Congress going home for the summer without passing anything significant on energy."
According to the report, the primary conflict involved opening federal lands to offshore drilling.
I'm sure by now we are all aware of the Netroots Nation conference that happened in Austin, Texas last weekend. Well, did you know that without Al Gore it wouldn't have happened? That's right, since Al Gore invented the Internet... I know, I know, that is the old Al Gore joke where he famously claimed that he invented the World Wide Web. Everyone knows that Al Gore had little to do with the Internet, of course. But at least one person, obviously one rather easy to bamboozle, still thinks Al Gore did invent the Internet and one paper is happy to help her tell the world about it. In fact she thinks he invented all the technology inherent in that Internet. And she is currently the Speaker of the House of Representatives, sadly enough.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi attended the Nutrooters gathering and, as reported in the Houston Chronicle, let loose with this gem while introducing Al Gore to those assembled: "Without him, there would be no Netroots Nation. There wouldn't be the technology."
Huh? Without Al Gore "there wouldn't be the technology" to have an Internet based gathering like Netroots Nation?
Democrats think gas taxes are too low, and four-dollar-a-gallon gas is too cheap. Associated Press raised eyebrows with a story headlined: "No gas tax holiday: Congress considers raising pump tax to help repair crumbling highways." Reporter Jim Abrams found that "Now, lawmakers quietly are talking about raising fuel taxes by a dime from the current 18.4 cents a gallon on gasoline and 24.3 cents on diesel fuel." But the lawmakers he cited were Reps. James Oberstar and Peter DeFazio, both liberal Democrats.
John McCain is quoted briefly announcing that economists didn’t like his gas-tax-holiday proposal, and Sen. Jim DeMint is allowed to argue that Congress is wasting billions of highway dollars on earmarks. But almost the entire AP story is dedicated to the views of those Democrats and "nonpartisan" groups lobbying for a gas-tax hike.
Notice how reporter Abrams suggests that the objective truth is that highway spending is too low, but he makes no attempt to give the reader any idea what the budgetary trend is, whether spending has been increasing year after year. He merely suggests that current spending is below what Congress wants to spend:
[Update, 5:45 pm, by Matthew Balan: In the past year, Cafferty has called for the impeachment of Bush administration officials or criticized Democrats for failing to do so on 3 other occasions: August 21, 2007; January 7, 2008; and just over a month ago on June 12, 2008.]
You might call Jack Cafferty the Dennis Kucinich of the media. Actually, the CNN commentator would go the Dem congressman one better. Not content with mere impeachment, Cafferty has condemned Congress for not pursuing the possible prosecution of President Bush—to whom he sneeringly refers as "King George"—for war crimes.
The CNN commentator put war-crime prosecution on the table during his Cafferty File segment on this afternoon's CNN "Situation Room."
When is a Democrat a "conservative?" When he's featured in a scandal story about adultery and murder.
The Washington Post is downplaying the party affiliation of disgraced former Democratic Rep. Gary Condit (D-Calif.), identifying him as a generic "congressman" or as a "conservative." The coy treatment is in marked contrast to the paper's frequent references to the GOP affiliation of Sen. Larry Craig and other disgraced Republicans.
In the first four installments of a 12-part series on the unsolved 2001 murder of D.C. intern Chandra Levy, the Post mentions the party affiliation of her boyfriend Condit only once. In three of the four articles, Condit is merely a "congressman." In fact, in the third installment, "A Private Matter," which ran July 15, Condit is described only as "a conservative congressman from a right-leaning agricultural district." The series was written by Post staff writers Sara Horwitz, Scott Higham and Sylvia Moreno.
If Speaker Newt Gingrich's Republican majority had faced a 9 percent approval rating at any point in the 1996 presidential election year, the media would have not let anyone forget it.
So given that and the media's frequently reminding Americans of President Bush's low approval numbers, why are the broadcast media ignoring the latest Rasmussen poll on the approval rating for Congress under the leadership of Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.)?
Rasmussen's survey hit the wires yesterday, but none of the broadcast evening news programs covered the story, not even as a brief anchor mention. The July 9 "Today," ABC's "Good Morning America," and CBS's "Early Show," similarly paid no heed to the development.
The polling firm's official news release noted that the numbers are really bad even among Democrats -- who are only in the low-double digits in strongly approving of Congress -- and the harshest criticism comes from independents (emphasis mine):
Today's Chicago Tribune carries a front page story on the late Jesse Helms, "5-time senator 'great patriot' who held fast to his beliefs."
The piece's author, Los Angeles Times staff writer Johanna Neuman, states:
Often he was the lone voice of dissent in the Senate. He was the only senator to vote against confirming Henry Kissinger as secretary of state during the Nixon administration. And he was the only senator to vote against making Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a holiday.
Both assertions are wrong. MSNBC reported in a 2005 article on secretary of state Condoleezza Rice that Henry Kissinger was approved by the Senate in a 78-7 vote. And the King Center notes on its Web site that the King holiday bill, sponsored by Senator Edward Kennedy, passed in the Senate by a vote of 78-22.
In its eagerness to portray the late Senator as an isolated, extreme extremist, the mainstream media are making up their own "facts."
He may be dead, but Jesse Helms is still driving liberals to distraction. May he rest in peace.
On Independence Day, CNN anchor Don Lemon reported the death of former Senator Jesse Helms.
LEMON: Conservatives are mourning the death of an icon. Former Senator Jesse Helms has died at the age of 86. The North Carolina Republican was known for his unyielding stands on some controversial issues.
LEMON (voice-over): Ever since he came to the Senate in 1972, Jesse Helms had been the champion of the extreme right. His positions frequently infuriated virtually everyone else.
NewsBusters readers are likely aware that Congress has for months been debating an amendment to 1978's Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to bring it up to date with technological and geopolitical changes in the past three decades.
Folks on the left view this modernization as an onerous intrusion on privacy rights, and have been preventing this bill -- which was originally signed into law on August 5, 2007, but expired in February -- from being renewed and made permanent.
On Wednesday, with Congress scheduled to adjourn for the Fourth of July recess, Orrin Hatch (R-Ut.) told his fellow Senators that the scare tactics being used by the left concerning this matter "feed the delusions of those who wear tinfoil hats around their house and think that 9/11 was an inside job" (video embedded right):
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."
Mass murder in real concentration camps in the Soviet Union are ancient history to National Public Radio, but the cause of poor, blacklisted communists in Hollywood charging America was a concentration camp is still a fresh and poignant soundbite. On the June 17 edition of All Things Considered, anchor Melissa Block championed a forthcoming new documentary about communist screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, made by Peter Askin and Trumbo’s son Christopher and featuring big celebrities like Michael Douglas. Block made no mention of Trumbo’s actual Communist Party membership in the age of Stalin, and nowhere in the interview was there even a whisper of an alternative historical point of view, from Ronald Radosh to Kenneth Billingsley.
Block could only lament once again this alleged persecution of communists, once again utterly free of the irony that communists specialized in persecution everywhere they came to power:
The network news outlets - ABC, CBS and NBC - have missed a great opportunity to cover actual political news in the last week by failing to report on the loan scandal surrounding two Democratic senators, Business & Media Institute Managing Editor Amy Menefee told "Fox & Friends Weekend" June 21.
"This story has everything," Menefee said. "It has a former presidential candidate, Chris Dodd. It has two senators who are getting, like you said, sweetheart loans. It has Kent Conrad, another senator, who called the CEO of the lender to get his loan, which is not what we normally do, and then said, ‘Oh, I didn't get any preferential treatment and I didn't do anything wrong, but I'm going to give a charitable donation to remedy the fact that I didn't do anything wrong.'"
Menefee said it was "very sad" that the networks failed to report the scandal - not just because they refused to go after two Democrats, but because they missed an opportunity to expose the bailout plan Dodd has been defending.
As we've noted at NewsBusters, there's been scant coverage of a new scandal involving Sens. Chris Dodd (Conn.) and Kent Conrad (N.D.). Both senators chair committees with oversight of the financial industry and Dodd is behind a bailout package for mortgage lender Countrywide. Both senators got "VIP" treatment from Countrywide Financial for refinancing agreements on their respective mortgages.
So today I thought I'd check our internal records at the MRC and the transcripts at Nexis to see what sort of coverage the three broadcast networks have devoted to this story.
What I found was a big fat zero.
Countrywide did, however, pop up three times on NBC newscasts between the beginning of June and today. All three stories were about celebrity Ed McMahon's foreclosure woes.
Townhall.com's Amanda Carpenter rips into the Washington Post today over its editorial about Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad (N.D.) and Chris Dodd (Conn.) and their cozy arrangement for mortgage refinances with Countrywide.
James Kirchick, assistant editor of The New Republic, has come under NewsBusters scrutiny for his bias before, of course. Our job is, we all know, to document and analyze that bias. But while we naturally focus on when the media get it wrong, we should have the maturity to point out when those who we criticize get it right. Here is a case when a member of the media that we usually criticize did, indeed, get it right and this time it might get him in Dutch with his lefty pals in the nutroots. After all, the surest way to get the nutroots upset at you is to say Bush did not lie about the war. But that is exactly what Kirchick just did and he did an admirable job chronicling it, too.
In an editorial in the L.A. Times on the 16th, Kirchick said that "Bush never lied to us about Iraq" and then went on to substantiate his claim in a style that runs contrary to the Media and nutroots meme that "Bush lied and people died."
Media Research Center (MRC) President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell joined lawmakers and a conservative radio host today in calling for an up-or-down vote on the Broadcast Freedom Act, which would drive a stake through the so-called Fairness Doctrine, which, if resurrected, would threaten conservative talk radio.
ALEXANDRIA, VA - Media Research Center President L. Brent Bozell joined with House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO), Congressmen Mike Pence (R-IN), Greg Walden (R-OR) and Trent Franks (R-AZ), syndicated radio talk show host Laura Ingraham and President of Americans for Tax Reform Grover Norquist in declaring this July 4th to be Radio Independence Day, and called for Congress to allow a full up or down vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act (BFA).
The BFA will kill once and for all the Fairness Doctrine, the onerous governmental policy that served to stifle free speech on the radio airwaves for four decades. Twenty-one years since its repeal, conservatives have flourished on the air, and liberals have been seeking to again silence them with the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine.
The BFA is currently stuck in committee. A discharge petition has been started to allow it to the floor for a full vote, but it has only 194 of the needed 218 signatures.
Blame do-nothing Republicans for high gas prices. That was the impression visitors to ABCNews.com got this afternoon.
Among the "top headlines" lineup Web site editors included a story on "Fueling Anger" with the teaser headline: "Rejected! Big Oil Tax Gets Shelved." [see related post about CBSNews.com's bias here]
The accompanying caption to the ABC photo illustration read, "With prices soaring, GOP halts Democrats' wide-ranging energy plan."
The article itself, by writer Z. Byron Wolf, was front-loaded with bias, slamming Republicans for their filibuster of a new windfall profits tax measure while dismissing the GOP's energy plan as ineffective in the short term (emphases mine):
The Miami (FL) Herald let lose with another propagandistic broadside against the 2nd Amendment on Thursday featuring some more moaning and false statements about how horrible it is for America that the misnamed "assault weapons ban" has lapsed. There is much wringing of hands, waterworks, histrionics and over dramatics by the aptly named Fred Grimm here. In "What's a few dead cops to the gun lobby?" Grimm's final pronouncement is that the 2nd Amendment is a "mythical right" but in between there are many misstatements and out right lies.
Grimm starts out putting on some faux "shock" that a modern "semiautomatic assault rifle" he had the occasion to handle was so light. "The shock was in the weight of the thing. Less than six pounds," Grimm writes. And, what exactly does this mean? A butcher knife weighs less then a pound and can kill, too. What does weight have to do with anything?
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):
On Thursday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann seemed to mock John McCain's military service as he quipped that McCain was "awol" for not showing up for a Senate vote on providing college tuition to American troops, and further accused McCain, whom he called "Senator 'I Support the Troops,'" of "supporting himself instead of the troops." The MSNBC host also mocked McCain as being at the "front lines" of a fund-raiser in California. Notably, just a few weeks ago, Olbermann thought it was amusing to scold Ann Coulter for making a crack about Barack Obama being a "Manchurian candidate" because it might remind people of McCain, even though it was Olbermann, not Coulter, who drew a connection as he observed that the film The Manchurian Candidate was about a "presidential election and an American war hero POW who'd been brainwashed in Southeast Asia." (Video of Olbermann's "Manchurian Candidate" comments can be found here.) (Transcripts follow)
New York Times Congressional reporter Carl Hulse on Thursday paid tribute to Sen. Ted Kennedy, diagnosed earlier this week with an inoperable brain tumor, in "Kennedy: A Little Like Everyone, a Lot Like No One Else." But Hulse went beyond acknowledging Kennedy's influence as a legislator to push the famous Massachusetts' senator's big-government worldview: "And if some of his solutions cost the government some money, well, that is what the government is for." Doesn't he mean "that is what taxpayers are for"?
Congress is rife with types: the Serious Legislator, the Bomb Thrower, the Show Horse, the Workhorse, the Blowhard, the Orator, the Partisan, the Statesman, the Prima Donna, the Mentor, the Old-fashioned Pol and the Visionary.
Senator Edward M. Kennedy is the rare man who shows flashes of them all, making him a singular senator, one of the last towering figures on a stage where the players and the performances seem to be shrinking even as the problems expand.
On Monday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith interviewed Democratic Senator from Virginia, Jim Webb, about the Senator’s new book and began by declaring that: "...you seem to me the least political person I know who's ever run for political office." [Audio available here] Of course this is the same non-political Jim Webb that said he "wanted to slug" President Bush after a White House meeting in which the President asked how Webb’s son, a Marine serving in Iraq, was doing.
Smith went on to ask Webb: "What was that like? Talk about your experience of running for the Senate and were you really prepared for the rough and tumble of what it was really like?" Webb proceeded to give his resume, perhaps in preparation for a vice-presidential nomination: "I've been involved in political debate for my entire adult life. You know, I've got four years as a committee counsel in the Congress, five years in the Pentagon, was Secretary of the Navy, journalist, written a lot of – " Smith then interjected: "Phenomenal novels."Later in the interview, Smith also described Webb’s novels as "amazing."
On Monday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith talked to Democratic strategist Bob Shrum about Senator Ted Kennedy being hospitalized over the weekend and asked: "How important -- is there a way to measure this? Because everybody took a deep breath on Saturday and took a second to say, ‘oh, my gosh.’" Shrum responded: "I thought it was an incredible acknowledgment of the fact that this is probably the most effective and significant Senator in the last 50 years, one of the most significant in American history."
Shrum continued to lionize Kennedy: "...this is someone who literally has touched almost everybody's life in America. There isn't a bill for economic or social justice that doesn't bear his imprint. He's lived the Kennedy legacy, which we're all fascinated with, but he's vastly enlarged it." Smith followed up by describing how Kennedy even garnered respect from the Republican nominee:
We put a little bit of John McCain's statement up just a second ago. I want to put it up in full because this is really important. Here's a guy who should be his ideological opposite theoretically and this is what John McCain says: 'Senator Kennedy's role in the U.S. Senate cannot be overstated. He is a legendary lawmaker, and I have the highest respect for him.’
Dan Abrams, apparently still smarting from the castigation he received in April from Karl Rove, just cannot let go. Despite the fact that the "high level" Republican operative, Jill Simpson, who accused Rove of orchestrating the prosecution of convicted Democrat former Alabama governor, Dan Siegelman, never actually met nor talked to Karl Rove and whose "high level" operative activities in her own words never rose above typical volunteer work, Abrams continues to wander into the swamp created by this much less than credible source. On Thursday, Abrams and Catherine Crier were salivating with glee on MSNBC's Verdict over the prospect that the House Judiciary Committee might issue something called an 'inherent contempt' arrest for Karl Rove (emphasis mine):
CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, during a panel discussion on Monday’s "The Situation Room," reacted sarcastically to John McCain’s recent campaign speech on climate change. "Well, you know, this story illustrates just how low the bar is for Republicans on the environment.You know, the fact that he acknowledges global warming is seen as a big advantage for him, but it's like acknowledging gravity. It is a scientific fact." Toobin then compared McCain to President Bush on the issue, stating that "the real issue is not whether it [global warming] exists. The question is what to do about it, and, in that area, he's not as far as to the right as Bush is, but he's pretty close." [audio available here]
An historic hearing will be conducted on Tuesday to determine whether House Democrats in August 2007 violated parliamentary procedure in defeating a motion to deny illegal aliens welfare benefits.
Readers likely remember the brouhaha this disgraceful display created at the time (video embedded right).
With high-ranking Democrats such as Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Michael McNulty (D-N.Y.) scheduled to testify, one has to wonder whether this unprecedented event, especially in a critical election year, will get much coverage from media doing everything in their power to take back the White House.
As reported Monday by Jed Babbin of Human Events (emphasis added):