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 . . .
New York Times reporter Sean Hamill filed "Mexican's Death Bares a Town's Ethnic Tension," about a killing in the town of Shenandoah, Pa. Four teenagers on the town's high school football team have been charged in the death of Luis Ramirez, an illegal immigrant, after he suffered a beating July 12. The boys have been charged, among other counts, with "ethnic intimidation." Motive? Hamill had the audacity to suggest an overturned policy from the town of Hazleton, 20 miles away from Shenandoah, was somewhat responsible for the hostile atmosphere that led to the killing.
Mr. Ramirez's death has also reignited a regional debate over immigration that began two years ago when the town of Hazleton, about 20 miles from Shenandoah, enacted an ordinance that sought to discourage people from hiring or renting to illegal immigrants.
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.
Have you noticed that the old media standby story of the homeless has not been pursued much in the last four or five years? Some may remember how the media constantly bemoaned the state of the homeless during the Reagan and H.W. Bush years in office, and how the media constantly used this tale as a club with which to beat those two Republican presidents over the head. Folks like Rush Limbaugh, I recall, noticed how this standard media go-to story disappeared once Clinton became president and postulated that it would fast return once G.W.Bush took the Oval Office. But, the homeless has not made much of a media come back. In fact, that meme has virtually evaporated as a major media focal point. And there is a reason for that. Under the Bush administration, homelessness has actually decreased by 12% per year between 2005 and 2007.
David Frum of NRO found the lack of media attention of interest as it does us. He notes that this report of the amazing improvement of homelessness, due to the hard work of Bush appointee Phil Mangano, has generally been absent from the media. Saying, "I'll be very curious tomorrow morning to see where and how this story gets placed," Frum wonders if the story will make much ehadway in the old media. He notes that the story didn't make the Washington Post, but that The New York Times did pick it up (and I'll note the AP story as linked above, too).
Barack Obama is again unfairly throwing out the race card at an opponent. This week Obama was warning that his Republican opponents will assault him with racist attacks, but is dropping this warning even though no one has yet done so. On July 30th, Obama said at three different campaign stops in Missouri that McCain and his backers will attack him because he "doesn't look like all those other Presidents on those dollar bills." This isn't the first time that Obama has thrown out the race card at opponents that clearly did not play it first themselves.
For all his own sly use of the race card and his warnings that opponents will use his race against him, Obama claims to stand against racism in this campaign. This is a noble stance to take, naturally. Like Obama, any upstanding American should oppose using race charged attacks in political campaigns. Yet, for all his moralizing on the subject, why is it that Obama is staying silent as members of his own party -- not to mention his own race -- in Tennessee use racial slurs to attack another member of his own party? And why is it that the national media has ignored this story? Perhaps its because the candidate being attacked, Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen, is not black but is Jewish? And perhaps its because his attackers are members of Tennessee's black religious community? And perhaps it is because the Congressional Black Caucus is funding Cohen's Democratic opponent, Nikki Tinker? And perhaps it is because Tinker is benefiting from this anti-Semitic attack against Cohen? Perhaps the media is hoping to hold out long enough for the issue to go away? And what of Obama?
Yes, there are two Americas. The one where John Edwards used to have a scholarship program that he intended to set up as an example for all of America to follow... and the one where he cancels that scholarship program. Is it because he isn't running for president any more? Since Edwards has other things to do now -- like hiding from the media in his mistresses' house and maybe getting a few $400 haircuts -- Edwards has pulled the plug on his pilot scholarship program in North Carolina. It was for the kids... now it isn't. As the media ignores Edwards' love child story, any takers if they will ignore this one, too?
In May of 2007, to great fanfare, Edwards rolled out his "College for Everyone" plan saying that this was a college plan for "any student wishing to work hard." At that time, the well coiffed, two-time presidential candidate said that he wanted "every young person" to go to college and touted his new program then beginning at Greene Central High School in Snow Hill, NC.
Starting off with the often ridiculed 1998 hyperbole from writer Toni Morrison who decided that Bill Clinton was the nation's first black president, "Asian Pop" writer,Jeff Yang of the San Francisco Chronicle, has decided that Barack Obama could be the first "Asian American president" if elected in November. Apparently Yang is unaware of how much ridicule has been heaped upon Morrison, and deservingly so, and he is lining up for some smacking around himself with this outlandish Chronicle piece.
We all remember that Morrison claimed that Clinton was some sort of honorary black man in the 90s. Apparently, because Clinton payed attention to -- and incessantly pandered to -- the black power establishment in the 90s, that was all that was required for a race-graft. At least that almost makes some sense, if only metaphorically. Now Yang takes Morrison's loose connections one better, though. Apparently, all Obama has to have done to become an "Asian" is to have known some during his lifetime. After all, Obama is not known for being a politician constantly pandering to the Asian community like Clinton pandered to the black power structure. Does anyone recall Barack Obama sitting in a church as an Asian minister "God D_mns" America? But, why heck, he did grow up with a few Asian-like folks. So maybe there's a little sumpthin' in this!
How many Germans would vote for Barack Obama for our president? CNN claims to know. During the last weekend that Barack Obama was in Germany, CNN used a graphic on the Wolf Blitzer show that claimed that 72% of Germans preferred Obama with only a mere 11% who favored John McCain. Of course, CNN didn't think it relevant to mention that only 501 Germans were even polled, nor that the poll was conducted by German pollster Emnid for a notorious tabloid newspaper named Bild -- not the most trustworthy of sources. This is the same newspaper that published with "gushing immaturity" an Obamtastic "report" by one of their giddy female reporters who supposedly worked out with Obama in his hotel gym after which Obama claimed to have been "hustled."
So where did this lopsided, 72% approval rating come from? How was the poll conducted? What questions were asked? How do we know what level of knowledge the respondents had about our candidates? Why should we just assume that this is even a relevant result to our elections? I guess all that CNN needed was to show that Obama is loved by Germany, no other investigation needed.
To give you a flavor of the sort of stories that comprises "news" with Bild tabloid, a perusal of some recent stories are in order. With such "news" as an interview with one Tatjana Gsell headlined "I Love Sex and Eroticism," and another touting that "Sexy Claudia is Lahm's New Neighbor" (Philipp Lahm is a German Sports figure), various Amy Winehouse stories and at least one story with a photo of actress Bai Ling bending over showing her breast popping out of her dress, you can see the caliber of stories that fills Bild Newspaper. They are also chock-a-block with sports stories galore. So, not much for hard news, to be sure.
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.
The Associated Press injected an editorial comment into the news... again. A few days ago, the AP issued a piece headlined Senate Republicans block heating aid bill, in which the AP made it seem as if Republicans don't care about "the poor" and are only interested in mere political partisanship. This report featured quotes showing how wonderful and caring the Democrats are but not a single quote from any Republican to explain their stance. It also clearly discounted the GOP position while positively spinning the Democratic position.
The story concerns the GOP's blocking of a Senate Democrat bill to double the Federal aid to "the poor" to subsidize their heating and air-conditioning bills. First of all, I wasn't aware that it was Constitutionally mandated that "the poor" get free air-conditioning, but that is another story. The editorializing comes in with the second paragraph.
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.
Obama's speech today in Berlin, hailed as a "major" address, has at least one major, glaring error that shows that nether Obama nor his handlers and speech writers were thoroughly familiar with the facts. Obama's main theme was about the "walls" that separate all of us one from another. He claims that many of these "walls" have been taken down and hails that as progress. But in at least one instance he is wrong. In fact more walls have been built where Obama claimed they were taken down.
First the relevant section of Obama's misconception (my bold for emphasis):
The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.
We know they have fallen before. After centuries of strife, the people of Europe have formed a Union of promise and prosperity. Here, at the base of a column built to mark victory in war, we meet in the center of a Europe at peace. Not only have walls come down in Berlin, but they have come down in Belfast, where Protestant and Catholic found a way to live together; in the Balkans, where our Atlantic alliance ended wars and brought savage war criminals to justice; and in South Africa, where the struggle of a courageous people defeated apartheid.
Bloomberg News is acting as if they know how "many Muslims around the world" feel about Barack Obama. In Bloomberg's considered opinion, Obama is "just an American with a Muslim middle name" and won't "advance" the "interests" of Muslims. The main point that Bloomberg seems to be trying to sell is that Barack Obama's Muslim past will not make him tend to bow to world-wide Muslim sentiment. Bloomberg is obviously doing their best to prop up the Obama campaign by trying to allay fears that Obama will be a disaster on foreign policy. This is a perfect example of agenda journalism disguised as news.
So, how do the folks at Bloomberg know what the world's Muslims think about Barack Obama? Is it polls? Did they conduct extensive interviews or research on how Muslims feel about Obama? No, it seems more like Bloomberg's opinion is loosely based on the opinions of the three Muslims they quote and a broad interpretation of one poll on Obama and one on Muslim opinion of the US in general. It seems a rather wild leap in logic from the "evidence" they present to assume that they have a firm grasp on the opinion about Obama of all the world's Muslims.
Now here is an interesting little story that doesn't seem to be getting any media coverage. In South Dakota after being held up in courts since 2005, a new law finally took effect on July 21 requiring any abortion doctor to read a statement covering the possible ill effects that abortions have on women -- both mental and physical -- at least two hours before the procedure occurs. The one Planned Parenthood office in South Dakota had taken the state to court to stop this law being implemented, but lost their case on the 18th. On the day the law was to take effect, though, the Planned Parenthood office did not open its doors for "business," refusing to abide by the new laws. Doesn't this refusal to operate tend to confirm that Planned Parenthood is in the game for ideological reasons as opposed to being only interested in women's health?
This is a big defeat for Planned Parenthood, and a great victory for anti-abortion supporters yet the media is silent on the issue. That seems rather curious.
Just as I finish a piece laughing at DailyKos for claiming that it is conservatives that feel they have to "create their own alternate reality" because of their "rigid ideology," I find a story out of The Austin American-Statesman where the DailyKos forced that paper to pull a story that had a mildly satirical take on last weekend's Netroots Nation conference in Texas. Apparently, the DailyKos folks didn't like The Austin American-Statesman's "reality" so the Kossacks flooded the paper with their insistence on creating a new one.
The original article by the Statesman's Patrick Beach knocked the nutrooters for the so-called "surprise" Gore visit, said it turned into a "faint-in," and that their general feeling was "terribly self-confirming," among other snippy comments... fun, but snippy. The general tone of the piece was that of amusement at how seriously the nutrooters took themselves. And, even more galling to said nutrooters, this story was the front page editorial of Sunday's edition. (Original, Google cached version of Beach's piece.)
This did not sit well with the nutrooters in question.
Many of us have taken to calling the media establishment the "MSM," or "Mainstream Media." But is that a fair and properly descriptive monicker to bestow upon them? A New York Times Blogger pondered that very question on July 21 in a "The Caucus" blog entry -- one that was a barely disguised effort to highlight and advertise the opinion of one Markos Moulitsas of the DailyKos.
Still, regardless of the origin of the question, it is an interesting point to ponder. With the failing of newspapers country wide, with the ever falling audience that the big three TV networks are seeing for their news product, and with the corresponding rise of the Internet as a news source, is the old media still properly to be called "mainstream"? Does it still represent the most common way that America gets its news, thereby deserving of the term "mainstream"?
The Washington Examiner’s Jeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin reported Monday in their regular "Yeas & Nays" feature that Katie Couric had announced with pride, "I am a feminist." The ultra-liberal National Organization for Women honored Couric at their annual Intrepid Awards Gala last week in Washington, DC, and the CBS Evening News anchor received a warm welcome from her feminist compatriots.
During her speech before the NOW Gang, Couric "opened up," as Dufour and Gavin put it. She quipped to her hosts that "[i]f everyone in the country was like you, CBS News would be number one." Yes, perhaps if everyone were liberal feminist Democrats, then maybe Couric’s program wouldn’t be dead last in the ratings.
Now, this isn’t exactly a surprising "full disclosure" by Couric. When she was still on the Today Show in 1997, guest Whoopi Goldberg outed Couric’s "pro-choice" position on abortion when the comedienne revealed the two had attended a "pro-choice" march together. In October 2006, after the father of a victim of the Columbine shootings declared his pro-life position in a "freeSpeech" segment on CBS Evening News, Couric wrote on her blog that his view might be seen as "repugnant."
That's it. NPR has declared Ohio a disaster area. Things are so bad. NPR gravely warns, that folks in the Buckeye state can't even afford to buy meat for their dinner tables anymore. It's the end of civilization as we know it. Doom and gloom. Oh the humanity. It's the end of the world as we know it... at least for one Ohio family that NPR found to act as stand in for the rest of the state. To NPR all of Ohio is the Nunez family. And what is NPR' solution? Government aid, of course.
In a segment of All Things Considered (well, all things but common sense, anyway), NPR gives us Gloria Nunez whose family, we are told, was "built on cars." NPR gives us all sorts of sobbing, rending of clothes, wearing of sackcloth and gnashing of teeth for the Nunez', of course. But even NPR can't hide some of the glaring problems that Gloria and her family have surely brought upon themselves.
Apparently the newest big-deal-ad that everyone is supposed to get all upset over is an advertisement by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) that came out this week. Unfortunately for them, I can't see how anyone would get too exercised over it. In fact, to my mind the message and its treatment are perfectly well handled. So, it all is a humbug instead of a controversy.Yes, this is quite a first for PETA. An ad we DON'T have to get upset over.
I guess some people are wondering if the ad is based on a moral equivalence of spaying and neutering animals and teen pregnancy. Apparently, we are supposed to get all up in arms that the ad features parents telling their young teenaged daughter to go have all the sex and pump out all the kids she wants because they can just abandon the unwanted kids in the streets or in shelters. This, of course, is a satiric way to comment on the fact that pet owners don't spay and neuter their pets and, therefore, their pets have unwanted pregnancies that get dumped in the street or left at shelters.
After the firestorm that erupted Saturday over the Associated Press's classless story on the death of former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, I was hoping that the possibly-chastened wire service could get through its coverage of his funeral without getting in any gratuitous digs.
In that horrid Saturday story (blogged at NewsBusters and BizzyBlog), the AP's Douglass K. Daniel, with the assistance of longtime Bush basher Jennifer Loven, felt it necessary, within hours of Snow's passing, to characterize him as "not always (having) a command of the facts," questioning reporters' motives "as if he were starring in a TV show broadcast live from the West Wing," and turning his briefings into "personality-driven media event(s) short on facts and long on confrontation." In a further descent into tastelessness, they felt it necessary to tell us what Snow's salary at the White House was -- something I don't believe I have ever seen written in a story on anyone else's death. (11:00 a.m. update: See this comment below for an exception.)
Covering Snow's funeral Thursday, AP reporter Ben Feller stayed classy almost to the end. But then he apparently couldn't help himself, and followed the execrable example of his Saturday predecessors in his story's third-last paragraph.
How insulated is the MSM? In how much of a liberal cocoon does it exist? For an answer, consider the vile cartoon displayed here. My guess is that the great majority of NewsBusters readers are familiar with it. But John Harwood—of the New York Times and CNBC—has never seen it.
That became clear on today's Morning Joe. The topic was the TV comedy world's double-standard, in which Republicans are regularly skewered but the laff factory suddenly shuts down when it comes to mocking Barack. A New York Times article on the matter was the jumping off point, and Joe Scarborough had a field day ridiculing lefty comedians' hypocrisy in piously claiming to "speak truth to power." The truth, said Scarborough, is that the comedians lay off Obama not because there's nothing funny about him, but because they're "in the tank" for the Dem candidate.
Towards the end of the segment came this stunning exchange:
Friend and fellow blogger Dawn Eden, touring Australia for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the country for World Youth Day, reported on her site on Tuesday that she fell prey to the Down Under version of liberal media bias. "A Current Affair," a program on Sky Television that shares the same name and ilk with the Maury Povich program, interviewed Eden, an author and convert to Catholicism, for a segment they labeled "No Sex Pilgrims" (video available here). The Aussie tabloid television reporters who featured her seemed incredulous that anyone in this day and age would live chastely.
"A Current Affair" correspondent Ben McCormack interviewed Eden and Ruth Russell, a 20-year-old native Australian who is a "committed Catholic and a virgin." Near the beginning of the segment, McCormack reminded viewers that "[w]e live in a sex-filled world -- movies, television, advertising, and film clips..." He continued, "...[W]hile many teenagers are doing it younger and more often, Ruth Russell has chosen to just say no." He later described Russell as "an out and proud Catholic, and an out and proud virgin, choosing to save sex until she's married."
Andrew Breitbart, CEO of Breitbart.com, had a great op ed in the Washington Times yesterday about how Hollywood oppresses Republicans and conservatives in La La Land. Detailing the travails of Republicans in Hollywood -- including destruction by Hollywood's liberals of personal property owned by identified Republicans -- Breitbart laments the "bullying" the self-proclaimed tolerant lefties mete out to those who walk the Republican side of the street.
For those unfamiliar, since May of this year the Associated Press has had a new Washington Bureau Chief, a past AP reporter named Ron Fournier. According to Politico, the previous chief was pushed out to make room for Fournier in a "hard-feelings shake-up" with the old chief left worried that Fournier might "destroy" the AP. A pretty stark assessment, of course, but not necessarily all sour grapes from the passing chief because there is a legitimate reason for her to worry about Fournier. You see, Fournier has decided that a more hard-charging, opinion oriented style of writing is the new direction the AP should take in this new Internet age and it's a direction that makes the AP's past bias even more pronounced.
Former chief, Sandy Johnson, is a bit worried about Fournier's new direction. “I loved the Washington bureau. I just hope he doesn’t destroy it,” she is quoted as telling the Politico. It seems she has reason to worry.
07/17/2008 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM Alexandria, VA Christ Episcopal Church (Lepor Colony) 118 N. Washington St. Tony Snow (Press Secretary for 6 "B" George W. Bush) is dead, YES! He had a platform, he was given some small talent by his creator. He was an unfaithful steward, and is now residing in hell. Each opportunity he had to faithfully REport what the servants at WBC had to tell this country/world, Tony Snow besmerched and vilified the words of God and the people of God.
Please read the rest at MsUnderestimated's site here.
The Armed Forces Press Service issued a press release on Thursday morning, July 10, in celebration of the fact that the U.S. military has had 13 consecutive months of meeting and/or exceeding recruitment goals. Sadly, the media stayed sullenly quite all day, taking no notice of the success of our military on OR off the field.
Regardless of the fact that the media ignored the good news, there is good news, indeed.
Along with a few of his police bodyguards Mayor Frank Melton of Jackson, Mississippi has been indicted on Federal civil rights violations. It seems that in his zeal to curb drug crime, Melton forced some local youngsters at gunpoint to take a sledgehammer to a private residence that Melton claimed was a drug house.
One little problem, Melton had no court order and no right to destroy a private residence. Yet he and his rogue police bodyguards illegally entered this private residence and wrecked the place anyway.
If there's one person in the NBC news stable who combines solid analytical skills with a commitment to fairness, it could be political director Chuck Todd. Evidence thereof comes from no less a certified conservative source than Tom DeLay. Appearing on this evening's Hardball just after Todd had offered his breakdown of the electoral map, DeLay allowed that he "can't dispute" any of Todd's analysis, prompting Chris Matthews to exclaim "that's a development for us here: objective truth for you!"
So what was that Todd analysis that DeLay didn't dispute? There was much to it, but for present purposes let's focus on this: Todd can't see how Obama wins without Pennsylvania, and that having former governor Tom Ridge on the McCain ticket would help deliver the Keystone State. The catch is that Ridge is pro-choice, which in turn poses the question of whether pro-life Republicans would revolt if McCain chose him for the veep slot.
You can’t make this stuff up. The online version of the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Press reported on Wednesday that a homosexual man has filed lawsuits filed against two Christian publishers, since their editions of the Bible call homosexuality a sin.
A Canton [Michigan] man is suing Zondervan Publishing and a Tennessee-based publisher, claiming their versions of the Bible that refer to homosexuality as a sin violate his constitutional rights and have caused him emotional pain and mental instability.
Bradley LaShawn Fowler, 39, is seeking $60 million from Zondervan, based in Cascade Township, and $10 million from Thomas Nelson Publishing in the lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
In the unsigned report, the newspaper gave only the liberal viewpoint of the plaintiff and failed to include any reaction or response from the companies or from conservative sources.