How many times have you read a quote from a major political figure that included words like “uh” or “um?”
Not often, right? Typically, journalists omit such disfluent pauses when citing America’s leaders in order to not make them look foolish.
After all, the vast majority of people commonly use such utterances to fill the silence as they assemble their thoughts. But, you rarely see them left in an article unless it’s part of a verbatim transcript.
Sadly, NBC’s Tracie Potts didn’t give Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-California) such respect Friday in her article about the immigration bill before Congress (emphasis added throughout, h/t NB reader Mike Hatmaker):
In a rather soft boiled story on West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd's dotage and his uselessness as an able bodied member of the Senate, at 89 he's currently the longest serving Senator in American history, the AP did the right thing in reminding the readers that Byrd was once a member of the Klan. Yet, they had to go and ruin the truth by claiming that Klan members are "certainly conservative."
In fact, this AP story amazingly tries to make it seem as if Byrd had only late in life become that member of Congress that has been "endeared" to "many liberals", hinting that it only just dawned on him after 53 years in the Senate to become a liberal. The AP imagines that Byrd somehow "remade" himself into a liberal over the Bush administration's Iraq policy, as if he never was one before that.
On June 12, all three morning shows parroted DNC talking points and declared President Bush a "lame duck." "Good Morning America" solemnly noted that the phrase would likely follow Bush throughout his trip to Capitol Hill. (Apparently this is the theory that if the networks say something enough, everyone will believe it.)
Speaking of "Good Morning America," co-anchor Chris Cuomo conducted a groveling interview with Michael Moore in which he backtracked from calling the liberal filmmaker’s new movie a stunt. "Look, I like the stunt," he corrected.
A CBS article claims that a new gun control proposal in Congress will “require safe gun use”. Rufus Williams, Chicago Public Schools President, stated: “We’ve lost 31 children, 31 CPS students have died or have been murdered this school year and it's not OK.”1 This theme kicks off HB 2666, sponsored by Congressman Bobby Rush, who represents Illinois’ CongressionalDistrict 1, which includes Chicago.2
What CBS doesn’t mention is that Illinois already has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. Brady Campaign considers Illinois to be among the best states in the country for gun control laws, giving the state an A- grade in their 2005 report card. A Firearm Owners Identification card (FOID) is required for all gun sales, and the state prohibits all concealed carry.3
Rush bases his justification for this new federal law in part on a recent tragedy where a criminal boarded a Chicago Transit Authority bus and began shooting students at a local high school. The shooter obtained the gun illegally from another person who knew the shooter’s murderous intentions. As noted above, concealed carry and private, unregistered transfers of firearms are already illegal in Illinois. Willfully being an accessory to murder is already a felony.4
Does Lindsey Graham truly believe that his highest calling as a senator is to work with the likes of Ted Kennedy? Apparently so, judging by the South Carolinian's statement on this morning's "Today." Meredith Vieira interviewed Graham, a staunch supporter of the president's immigration plan, during the show's first half-hour.
TODAY CO-HOST MEREDITH VIEIRA: When you went home recently you were at a GOP meeting and you got booed over immigration. There are a lot of people in a lot of states -- conservatives -- who think this bill is bad and they see this as a litmus test.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM [R-S.C.]: Well here's what I believe. This is a bill that's a million per cent better than the current system. I mentioned working with Ted Kennedy and I got booed. The lady in your piece earlier said no compromise. I'm a Republican conservative who believes my country is at risk by not solving immigration. I'm a member of the United States Senate who believes it's my job to work with Democrats to do hard things. This is no longer about immigration. Can your Congress, can your Senate, come together to do things that one party can't do itself? I think the answer is yes.
Bush is officially a lame duck, well at least that's what the Big Three network morning shows would have you believe. This morning White House spokesman Tony Snow appeared on NBC's Today, ABC's Good Morning America and CBS' The Early Show and was hit with one common question: is Bush a "lame duck?"
First up on NBC's Today show, co-host Matt Lauer threw the following questions at Snow:
Lauer: "Tony if he, if he can't convince the skeptics, if he can't accomplish this, if he can't get immigration reform passed, you know what they're saying, is it time for him to concentrate full-time on his presidential library?"
Looks like the MSM just can't wait to declare President Bush a lame duck. Matt Lauer tried to grease the skids on this morning's "Today." Interviewing White House press secretary Tony Snow at 7:05 am EDT, Lauer first suggested that it would be very difficult for the president to get an immigration bill through Congress. Then, this.
TODAY CO-HOST MATT LAUER: If he can't convince the skeptics, if he can't accomplish this, if he can't get immigration reform passed, you know what they're saying: is it time for him to concentrate full-time on his presidential library?
In Monday’s daily online Washingtonpost.com political chat, reporter Shailagh Murray grew readably irritated when a reader questioned her use of the label "ultraconservative" for Rep. Barbara Cubin in a June 7 story on who would succeed the late Sen. Craig Thomas. "I get irritated with people who assume knee-jerk bias in reporters, based on one story that they happen to read. I actually don't see such terms as inflammatory, but as descriptive, and I'll use them as a I see fit."
The reader also asked her if she ever puts the word "ultra" in front of "liberal" in her stories, and who would fit the "ultraliberal" label. The reporter skipped the first question (suggesting she doesn’t use "ultraliberal"), but offered a list of ultraliberals: Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, and Sen. Barbara Boxer. Not a bad list, but guess what? It’s easy to find Post stories where those ultraliberals are written up, and are only called "liberals" and more often, aren’t labeled at all.
"Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." - George Wallace, from his 1963 inaugural speech as Governor of Alabama.
"No amnesty today, no amnesty tomorrow, no amnesty ever." - New York Times editorial, June 9th, 2007, describing opponents of the proposed immigration law.
If you oppose the proposed immigration law that, "pathway to citizenship" aside, would immediately give legal status to millions of illegal immigrants, you're not merely wrong. In the eyes of the New York Times, you're a knuckle-dragging nativist, no better than hard-core segregationists of the Jim Crow era.
That is the message of A Failure of Leadership, the Times' editorial of today, lamenting the collapse Thursday in the Senate of the immigration bill.
On Friday's The Situation Room, CNN's Jack Cafferty used his regular "Cafferty File" segment to attack President Bush for not reappointing Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace out of fear of a tough confirmation hearing, tagging it a "gutless" decision. At about 5:08 p.m., as Cafferty set up his regular question of the hour about what it would take to end the war in Iraq, he lashed out at the absence of greater outrage from the American people, and suggested that American troops have "died for nothing" as he seemed to wish for the kind of protests of the Vietnam War era, which included "students tearing up college campuses," to happen again. Cafferty: "When it was going this poorly in Vietnam, Americans were in the streets demanding to be heard. Students were tearing up college campuses in an effort to head off being sent away to die for nothing. But not this time -- 3,503 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq, and nobody does anything. ... It's no wonder the Bush White House gets away with this stuff." (Transcript follows)
Friday's New York Times predictably led with the dramatic stalling in the Senate of the immigration bill endorsed by President Bush (a story by Carl Hulse and Robert Pear that offers the pleasant surprise of the term "liberal Democrats" to characterize some opponents of the bill). As a counterweight, the Metro section fronted a sob-story by Jennifer Medina, "Arrests of 31 In U.S. Sweep Bring Fear In New Haven."
Some of those in federal custody are suspected of being illegal immigrants, and Medina described in sympathetic terms the liberal attitude toward illegal immigrants by New Haven, Conn. officials who "wanted to bring them out of the shadows."
"Within hours, any sense of sanctuary that the city and advocates for immigrants advocates [sic] had developed over the years was turned upside down, replaced with fear."
In an interesting slam against the Left-Wing Blogosphere, one time Clinton man, now Time Magazine writer, Joe Klein, hits 'em hard. Left-Wing Bloggers are vile. Left-Wing Bloggers are mean. Left-Wing Bloggers are disloyal. Left-Wing Bloggers jump to wild, unsupported conclusions... So says Klein in a June 6th piece titled "Beware the Bloggers' Bile." But, don't get your hopes up because, while everything he says about the nut-roots is dead on, it all ends up being Bush's and Radio icon Rush Limbaugh's fault, instead of the left's fault -- it's not as if the left could ever imagine anything is ever their fault, I suppose.
Still, for most of the piece, Klein slams his nut-roots followers in just about every which way you can imagine but calling them ugly and having bad B.O. and it's fun to read.
In this June 4 article, the AP worked hard to leave out something very important but very basic in an article about Democratic US Representative William Jefferson’s 16-count bribery indictment. What the AP left out was any identification of Jefferson’s party affiliation. In almost 30 paragraphs, no where is there any hint of what party Jefferson belongs to, not even a “(D-LA).”
When a politician is in trouble and the party is not identified, it a safe bet to assume that the missing letter is a Big “D,” as in this AP piece.
How were other politicians identified? Nancy Pelosi is identified as “Pelosi, D-Calif.” John Boehner is identified as “House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio.” But Jefferson is not a Democrat, just “Louisiana congressman William Jefferson.” Strange how that works, huh?
Since party is usually identified in the first paragraphs, the AP had many opportunities to note that Jefferson is a Democrat and simply did not (emphasis mine):
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," ABC co-anchor Chris Cuomo acted as lawyer for the defense when he interviewed the co-authors of a new book that contains critical revelations about 2008 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Cuomo grilled Don Van Natta and Jeff Gerth, the New York Times investigative journalists behind "Her Way," asking if their book was a "sleeper" and an "Ambien substitute."
The ABC host, who didn’t appear comfortable even discussing a book critical of Senator Clinton, began the interview by derisively wondering, "...Do you think you have the silver bullet in this book? Is this is this the book that derails the campaign?" Then, Cuomo, the son of a Democratic governor and the brother of New York’s Democratic Attorney General, questioned the standards of the two authors with this loaded query:
Chris Cuomo: "The [Clinton] campaign said it is an Ambien substitute. They say the book is just a rehash. How do you respond to that, that your book is a sleeper? It’s all been done before. You only needed a library card to report this out. Your response?"
Jeff Gerth: "Well, The New York Times chose to put 8,000 words of our book on the cover of the Sunday magazine and we feel that their news judgement is better than that of Senator Clinton’s."
The mainstream media has a tendency to turn to prominent conservatives whenever a significant portion of the conservative movement and President Bush have a policy disagreement. On Friday, it was Laura Ingraham's turn, when she was interviewed by John Roberts on CNN's "American Morning." When Roberts asked her about President Bush's recent slam of opponents of the immigration "reform bill," Ingraham turned the tables and took a shot at CNN itself.
If you knew an institution was incapable of keeping tabs on one, crucially-important, person, why would you believe it could track 12 million? And yet . . .
The government knew that one man in Atlanta had a highly-infectious, potentially fatal, disease that puts the lives of untold numbers of people at risk. The MSM is quick to point its finger at the government for its failure to keep track of him. But the same MSM is largely supportive of an amnesty-based immigration bill that would require that same government to keep tabs on untold millions of immigrants and administer a highly-complex "pathway to citizenship."
The MSM is turning the tale of the Georgia man with TB who roamed over Europe and flew back to the US, endangering his fellow passengers, into a story of government misfeasance. Typical of the MSM take was that of Chris Cuomo on today's "Good Morning America." Cuomo spoke to ABC medical consultant Dr. Tim Johnson at 7:04 am EDT this morning.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may have said she saw evidence of climate change in a recent trip to Greenland, but leave it to CNN to press her and other Democrats from the left for not doing enough to stop greenhouse gas emissions "in their own backyard." Both "American Morning" and "The Situation Room" on Tuesday featured CNN congressional correspondent Andrea Koppel's segment on how the heating and cooling power supplied to the U.S. Capitol building comes from the Capitol Power Plant, which is half-fueled by coal, and emits "tens of thousands of tons of greenhouse gases into the air." The blame for these emissions is placed on the politics of Senators Robert Byrd and Mitch McConnell, both of whom come from "two of the biggest coal-producing states."
Koppel interviewed two people for her segment, both of whom have left-wing affiliations. The first was Pelosi's chief administrative officer for the House, Dan Beard, who talked about the massive environmental advantage of switching to compact fluorescent bulbs. The second, Frank O'Donnell of the group Clean Air Watch, was given two sound bites in the segment. O'Donnell compared Senators Byrd and McConnell to a famous television mobster. "It's as if Tony Soprano had a seat in the Senate. They're saying this plant must stay alive. It must keep burning coal, even though it is causing pollution and global warming."
Politicians like Nancy Pelosi who carp about high gas prices and brood about gouging while simultaneously bemoaning global warming are hypocrites. That's the gist of Robert J. Samuelson's column in today's Washington Post. The actual title is A Full Tank of Hypocrisy, but the teaser headline for it on the online op-ed home page is "The Case for Gouging."
Samuelson in fact disputes that gouging, in the sense of collusion among oil producers/refiners, is taking place. He points out, for example, that concentration of ownership in the oil industry has been deemed low-to-moderate, "less concentrated than the auto industry, which is considered intensely competitive." But the long-time WaPo columnist does make the case than many politicians in the global-warming crowd are engaging in some have-it-both-ways hypocrisy on the issue of higher gasoline prices.
David Espo of the Associated Press appeared to be unhappy with the result of the House vote on Iraq war funding, and to be offering an excuse for the House Democratic leadership (bolds are mine throughout this post):
WASHINGTON - Bowing to President Bush, the Democratic-controlled House reluctantly approved fresh billions for the Iraq war on Thursday, minus the troop withdrawal timeline that drew his earlier veto.
The 280-142 vote sent the bill to the Senate for final passage, expected later in the evening.
..... Five months in power on Capitol Hill, Democrats coupled their concession to the president with pledges to challenge his policies anew. "This debate will go on," vowed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, announcing plans to hold votes by fall on four separate measures seeking a change in course.
A later unbylined AP report about President Bush's impending signature on the funding bill after Senate passage almost seems to have been written by the DNC, while providing cover for the party's two leading presidential candidates:
You're Hillary Clinton [work with me here] tuning into "Today" the morning after you've voted against funding the Iraq war . What's the one image you dread seeing pop up? But there it was.
This isn't shaping up as Hillary's favorite day. As the Washington Post reports here, two books about Clinton have hit the shelves, and neither paint a flattering portrait of the former First Lady. What's more, Hillary won't be able to blame this one on the VRWC. The authors are, respectively, the very lefty Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame, and a pair of New York Times reporters.
But while the Hillary camp is surely less than thrilled about those books, my sense is that in the long run, her candidacy has more to fear from being stuck with the dreaded Kerry flip-flop label. Imagine the paroxysms of pain for the Hillary camp while watching this morning's "Today." Discussing Hillary's 'no' vote on Iraq funding, the NBC show broke out the dreaded footage of Kerry's "I actually voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it."
During Monica Goodling's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee testimony Dem congressman Steven Cohen of Tennessee quizzed the former Justice Department official regarding her Christian faith and the law school at Regent University, founded by Pat Robertson, that she attended.
An internet search reveals brief references to the interrogation in articles by Dana Milbank in the Washington Post and Maura Reynolds in the Los Angeles Times. But I saw no coverage of the grilling on any of the morning news shows, nor have CNN or MSNBC picked it up as far as I have noticed.
I'm setting forth the actual transcript below, taken from this article, with the following changes. In place of "Regent" university, I'm substituting the name of an apocryphal Islamic university, which I'm calling "Prophet." In place of Christian or Christianity, I'm substituting Muslim. And in place of God, Allah.
Now imagine what kind of MSM uproar there would have been if a Republican congressman had posed these questions to a person of Muslim faith.
Congressman: And it says you went -- chose Muslim universities in part because they -- value they placed on service. What was the other [reason] that you chose Muslim universities?
When it comes to anti-war politics, Rosie O'Donnell is one bedfellow Chris Matthews would gladly do without. The MSNBC host made that crystal clear on this afternoon's Hardball. Matthews played a clip of O'Donnell's recent slanging spate in which she unmistakably intimated to Elizabeth Hasselbeck that US troops are terrorists, responsible for 655,000 civilian deaths in Iraq [itself a grossly exaggerated figure in any case].
MSNBC HOST CHRIS MATTHEWS: While I generally sympathize with her point of view, her skepticism about this war, I do have a problem with her suggestion that we're the terrorists, which is clearly what the intent of that conversation was.
The American left loves to chant "no blood for oil." But those same liberals would eagerly sacrifice American interests in the name of . . . a cheaper Caesar salad.
Take this morning's report on CNN which came at about 7:35 am EDT. Entitled "Farm-Fresh Problems," the segment, narrated by CNN's Chris Lawrence, focused on the lack of illegal immigrant labor to harvest California's fruit and vegetable crops.
CNN REPORTER CHRIS LAWRENCE: California harvests about half the nation's fruits and vegetables and every summer, farmers need half-a-million workers to pick those crops. But the crackdown on illegal immigrants is keeping workers out of their fields, leaving unpicked fruit left to rot.
HENRY VEGA [California farmer]: They're definitely worried about being raided and deported.
Catching up with George Stephanopoulos' interview on Sunday's This Week with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Stephanopoulos took the opportunity to banter with Pelosi about the possibility of a woman President in front of her on the podium at the next State of the Union. Over video of Congressman John Boehner back in January handing the gavel to Pelosi, Stephanopoulos, one once toiled for the administration of the only woman candidate, marveled: “Seeing you up at the podium, first female Speaker of the House. Do you ever think what it would be like to be standing at that podium as the first female President of the United States comes up to give the State of the Union?” A giggling Pelosi exclaimed: “Wouldn't that be exciting to have the woman as the President and woman as the Speaker of the House? It'd be pretty exciting...” When Pelosi soon contended that “it's harder to become Speaker of the House than President of the United States for a woman,” Stephanopoulos empathized with how “you had to prove you were tough enough.”
If an illegal immigrant can openly show his face on national television and divulge many details about his life and circumstances, apparently without fear of detention or deportation, how can Americans have any confidence that the government will enforce the proposed new immigration law?
At 6:43 am EDT this morning, CNN ran a segment sympathetic to illegal aliens, suggesting that the proposed immigration law created too many hurdles for them. "American Morning" host Alina Cho narrated the piece, which focused on an illegal Mexican immigrant in New York City. Among the details about him that were, with his obvious cooperation, revealed:
His name, apparently not an alias, is Juan. He is from Mexico. We saw and heard him in a completely open and undisguised manner throughout the segment.
He is a cashier in a wine store in New York City, where he earns $400/week. Considerable footage of the interior of the store and the street on which it is located were aired.
Juan has a "long-time partner," Reina, and two children. Footage of Reina and the interior of his apartment were shown.
As Al Gore and his band of not so merry global warming alarmists in buses and in the press try to convince Americans that they need to alter behaviors in order to save the planet, an inconvenient truth is being cynically withheld: this is going to cost a lot of money.
Of course, one of the delicious hypocrisies is that these are the same people who decry the current economic boom as only helping the rich, and state regularly and fervently that the poor and middle-class are being left behind.
At the same time, such mid- to lower-level wage earners should be saddled with exorbitant additional expenses to shelter them from a wolf that might never come knocking at their doors.
Makes sense, right?
With that in mind, the Chicago Tribune’s Laurie Goering wrote a fabulous piece recently exposing some of the potential costs of this exercise that most media don’t want you to know (emphasis added throughout, h/t Benny Peiser):
"Early Show’s" cheery weatherman Dave Price used his forum to feature Dan Lewis, Starbucks regional marketing manager, and Matt Petersen, the CEO of, Global Green USA, a left wing environmental group.
While much of the story focused on what individuals can do to save the planet, Petersen noted that "global warming is a serious issue, and we need our leaders in Washington to act, our corporate leaders to act." Petersen also encouraged the viewers to "send a message to Washington" about what viewers "think they should be doing about global warming."