In the New York Times' version of the gossip pages (the Sunday Styles section), reporter Susan Saulny injects a novel Democratic talking point into the potential candidacy of Republican Fred Thompson -- one involving his wife, in "Will Her Face Determine His Fortune?"
"As the election of 2008 approaches with its cast of contenders who bring unprecedented diversity to the quest for the White House, the voting public has been called on to ponder several questions: Is America ready for a woman to be president? What about a black man? A Mormon?
"Now, with the possible candidacy of Fred D. Thompson, the grandfatherly actor and former Republican senator from Tennessee, whose second wife is almost a quarter-century his junior, comes a less palatable inquiry that is spurring debate in Internet chat rooms, on cable television and on talk radio: Is America ready for a president with a trophy wife?
There's surely some deeper lesson to be drawn from the tantrum liberal activist Michael Rectenwald threw on yesterday's "Tucker." But in the meantime, for sheer entertainment value it's hard to beat Rectenwald's display of purple-faced apoplexy.
Rectenwald is the man behind the left-wing "Citizens for Legitimate Government," whose mission, according to its website, is "Exposing the Coup" and "Ending the Occupation." Its current pastime is exposing the names of people, including Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), on the DC Madam's client list.
Tucker brought him onto his MSNBC show to discuss "whether the sex lives of elected officials should be dissected, judged and discussed in the first place."
Here's the video, from the MSNBC site. The fireworks begin about 2:30 in, after the libertarian-leaning Carlson tells Rectenwald he ought to be ashamed of himself. Excerpts from Rectenwald's rant:
You are despicable . . . you're an unapologetic Republican partisan . . . you only turned against Bush when everything went down the toilet . . . you're a preppy punk, parading your bow-tie [NB: Tucker wasn't wearing one] . . . once you got done destroying our candidates, you wanted [politicians' sex lives] to be off limits . . . you are nothing . . . you worked for the National Review!
Here's another sign that Al Gore's Live Earth was probably a bust. CNN entertainment correspondent Lola Ogunnaike (pictured at right) gave a great one-liner with regards to the celebrity component of Live Earth: "Frankly, I don't want to hear about environmental causes from the Pussycat Dolls."
Co-host John Roberts and Ogunnaike discussed the concert's lackluster ratings in the first hour of Monday's "American Morning." Ogunnaike blamed the ratings situation on "benefit fatigue" and people actually wanting to be out in the environment instead of sitting at home watching celebrities rant about saving it.
As noted here, MSNBC's John Ridley went off on Al Gore this morning, suggesting he should hug his kid rather than the planet, save his son, not ice caps. But NBC's "Today" offered up a more predictable MSM response, as the show sought to downplay the Gore incident by pointing to Republican politicians whose kids have caused trouble, while praising Chelsea Clinton as unusually mature.
Introducing the segment, Meredith Vieira shifted the spotlight from Gore's situation to the broader issues.
'TODAY' CO-HOST MEREDITH VIEIRA: And now to politicians and their children. It's tough being a parent, and as former Vice-Pesident Al Gore learned this week, it's even tougher when you're in the public eye and your child makes a big mistake.
NBC reporter John Yang, who narrated the segment, was also in an understanding mood.
YANG: The arrest of his son and namesake on drug charges is giving former Vice-President Al Gore a lesson that millions of parents have learned before.
Cut to a clip of presidential historian Allan Lichtman, happy to let Al off the hook: "There are things you can control, and things you can't control in your own children's conduct." Roll footage of the Bush daughters, including the shot shown here of Jenna.
YANG: The saga of Al Gore III is just the latest example of politicians being embarrassed by their children, something that seems to be part of the political landscape. President Bush's twin daughters gained notoriety with citations for underage drinking.
John Ridley might be an NPR regular, someone who says he likes the "center-left" and even professes admiration for Al Gore's work. But that didn't stop the "Morning Joe" panel member from ripping Gore on the MSNBC show this morning at 7:20 a.m. EDT for his choice of continuing his Live Earth concert tour rather than being at the side of his troubled son.
A clip was aired of Gore telling MSNBC's Chris Jansing that despite his son's latest run-in, his plans hadn't changed to attend the series of Live Earth concerts around the world. In a mantra reminiscent of his "no controlling legal authority" line from years ago regarding questionable fund-raising, Gore informed Jansing and other media that he was treating his son's situation as "a private family matter." Ridley went off on an extended tirade. Excerpts:
MORNING JOE PANEL MEMBER JOHN RIDLEY: Why isn't he with his son? He's in New York yesterday doing all these media hits. His son is in California. If my son were in crisis, I would be home with my son.
Politics has once again managed to work its way onto the pages of ESPN. I recently wrote about Kenny Mayne adopting "Obama!" as a new signature call. For the record, Mayne wrote me to say that he was an independent, didn't intend any political overtones by "Obama!" and didn't realize, when agreeing to endorse Progressive Insurance, that head honcho Peter Lewis is a huge donor to a variety of left-wing causes including MoveOn.org.
This morning's online ESPN edition brings an article by Jason Sobel discussing, among other things, Tiger Woods' political potential. The item is prompted by Woods' appearance this week as host of a new tournament at the famed Congressional Country Club, just outside D.C. Observes author Sobel: "Hey, he's already among the world's most recognizable figures. Now he practically holds the key to the nation's capital by bringing professional golf to an area that was devoid of any tournaments when the tour's schedule was first announced. It's no secret that Congressional's first club president also happened to be a U.S. president, as Herbert Hoover resided in that capacity and fellow commanders in chief William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Woodrow Wilson acted as founding life members."
That's when things get sticky. In lauding Woods, Sobel says "Tiger is as as distinguished as Barack Obama, as eloquent as Hillary Clinton, as esteemed as Rudy Giuliani."
I was confident the New York Times would find a way to pour cold water on the Fourth of July. Still, turning to it this morning, I was curious to see just what kind of wet [with that cold water]blanket the Times would throw on our national holiday. And the Grey Lady didn't disappoint, with a sour, melancholy editorial viewing America through the eyes of other countries -- and naturally finding us wanting.
Looking Outward on the Fourth begins with a lament over "these very difficult times, four years deep into a war that has turned much of the world against this country." Got that? It's America's fault that times are tough, not that the world seethes with madmen who want to destroy the West. The editors then take a shot at unnamed "political leaders" [who could they be?] who "seek to arrogate the idea of freedom as their own political preserve."
August 17, 1999, Los Angeles Times: Although Newt Gingrich no longer serves in Congress, Times opinion writer Robert Scheer rips into the national media for not digging the knife deep enough into Newt over his two messy divorces. "Now it's his turn to be judged bad fruit," wrote Scheer. Scheer's tone is certainly angry and vindictive. (Note: Scheer no longer works for the Times as of November 2005.)
July 3, 2007: The Los Angeles Daily News, L.A.'s #2 paper behind the bigger Times, becomes the first major news outlet to report that Democratic Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has admitted to currently having a "relationship" with "Telemundo 52" anchor Mirthala Salinas. About a month ago, the mayor announced that he and his wife of 20 years, Corina, were separating (LA Times article). (As an anchor, Salinas herself reported the news of the mayor's separation on Telemundo. (Video at latimes.com) Yikes.) A few days later, Corina announced she was filing for divorce (LA Times article). (On June 20, the Times published a letter from Calif. State Senator Sheila Kuehl, a far-left Democrat, telling everyone to "leave the guy alone.")
There are two Americas. One fans the flames of class warfare while running for office and the other knows that there is something disingenuous about a class-warfare spokesman posing on the cover of high-end fashion magazine. Yes, that's John Edwards on the cover of “Men's Vogue.” The same John Edwards who decried the "Two Americas" in 2004 (emphasis mine throughout):
Today, under George W. Bush, there are two Americas, not one: One America that does the work, another that reaps the reward...One America that is struggling to get by, another America that can buy anything it wants, even a Congress and a president.
For a magazine that seemed determined to pump up the Edwards campaign, describing Edwards as “the person who may shape our immediate future more than anyone in these pages is North Carolina's John Edwards...who just might be the boldest—and most refreshing—choice for 2008” and “a passionate advocate for rural America,” it strangely kicked off with a description that only reinforced Edwards' preening, very non-rural, metrosexual, hair-obsessed “Breck Girl” image:
Over the weekend, the New York Times covered the fallout from Bush's failed amnesty-for-illegal immigration bill, finding that the GOP has doomed itself among Hispanics by its harsh talk radio rhetoric, while devoting space to the disappointment of illegal immigrants and Mexicans who want to be, and interviewing two of the few conservative activists that actually supported the bill, apparently without interviewing the myriad conservative activists aligned against it.
"But the bill's demise may have greatly damaged the party's ability to meet its enduring goal of attracting a large percentage of the growing number of Hispanic voters -- thousands of whom are ostensibly in line with the party on a host of other issues, said many Republican lawmakers, consultants and Hispanic voters."
In the eyes of most political observers, the Democratic takeover of Congress signaled tougher federal scrutiny of business interests, but those same pundits might make an exception for the entertainment industry given that Hollywood is a major financial base for Democrats. But when the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on children and TV violence on June 26, the roles seemed to be reversed: it was the Democrats taking the entertainment industry to task as socially irresponsible, while Republicans in general favored the do-nothing approach.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) began with a strong call for the television barons to stop pouring sewage into America’s living rooms, promising to introduce a tough bill next month to allow federal regulation of indecent, violent, and profane content on TV. He slammed Hollywood for putting its short-term profits ahead of the long-term interests of children by conducting "a never-ending race to the bottom," and insisted the industry was “unable and unwilling to police itself."
Right on cue, as the illegal immigrant amnesty bill failed to get the required support for passage in the Senate, the MSM is here to tell us mean spirited LEGAL Americans how "hard" it is on all those poor, innocent ILLEGAL migrants who break the law to come here by the millions. Yes, folks, women and children hardest hit, as the old saw goes. Of course, it is nearly ignored by the MSM that these people are not just "innocents" but are here knowingly breaking our laws and then blaming us when they find life a bit uncomfortable -- and a bit uncomfortable is all they are facing it should be remembered.
Three quick reports are indicative of how the MSM is making the average, legal American out to be an evil, racist, selfish creep by urging their elected officials to think of their own constituents before they think of undeserving foreign invaders.
Maybe this afternoon's oppressive heat and humidity on the Hardball Plaza in DC were getting to Chris Matthews. I'm not sure how else to explain his complaint, to the effect that it is wrong of the Roman Catholic Church to apply its rules to politicians as it does to other adherents.
His remark came in the course of a debate on religion on this afternoon's edition of "Hardball" between Christopher Hitchens, author of the atheist polemic "God Is Not Great", and the Reverend Al Sharpton.
HARDBALL HOST CHRIS MATTHEWS: Today you have the Roman Catholic church through its bishops challenging the rights of Catholic office-holders to take positions for abortion rights. They basically say you have to be for imprisonment of people involved with abortion or else you're not a Catholic and you'll be excommunicated. It seems to be an era, not just because of Islam, to keep religion out of politics . . . Why are they foisting themselves, why are the religious leaders jumping into the political marketplace and saying to politically-elected people, who are duly elected, "you cannot take that position and be in our church, or we will excommunicate you"? That seems to be what's going on.
ABC's "World News Now," a news program that airs at 3:30 am Eastern, when most people in the U.S. are fast asleep, replayed Jake Tapper's earlier "World News" report on the war of words between Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards, and Ann Coulter during its broadcast on Thursday.
At the conclusion of the report, hosts Taina Hernandez and Ryan Owens (pictured at right) had a brief exchange, in which Owens proposed an "Ann Coulter blackout," similar to a "Paris Hilton blackout" that the program apparently has, and Hernandez, as a counterproposal, joked, "Or we can pit them together in some kind of skinny death match." At the end of Owens and Hernandez's exchange, and as the weather report began, someone in the control room at ABC queued-up Elton John's "The B**ch is Back."
The search for missing pregnant Ohio woman Jessie Davis and the ongoing investigation into her murder has been all the rage recently on the twenty-four hour news networks, only surpassed by a few "choice" stories such as the coverage of the imprisonment of Paris Hilton. Not surprisingly, one network, CNN, used the murder of this young woman to forward a left-wing agenda. Two guests on Monday's "Paula Zahn Now" program warned that a"big risk factor" or a "big red flag" in cases of domestic violence and/or homicide against pregnant woman are "men who are gun owners."
Host Paula Zahn had three women guests on to discuss the question, "What is it about pregnancy that seems to increase a woman's risk of being killed by her partner?" The first guest to speak, Dr. Gail Saltz of New York Presbyterian Hospital, focused on the increased stresses on a woman and her "partner" during a pregnancy. The second guest, Jacquelyn Campbell, a nursing professor at John Hopkins University, was asked by Zahn if many of the murders of pregnant woman take place very late in the pregnancy. While answering, Campbell included in her list of risk factors "men who are gun owners as particularly dangerous in these cases."
Update (Ken Shepherd | 09:16 EDT): Matthews appeared with Joe Scarborough a few minutes ago on MSNBC to discuss the matter. Expect more coverage in a followup post on NewsBusters shortly.
Chris Matthews should keep his evening job. Appearing on this morning's "Today," the Hardball host was manifestly bleary and off his game.
Matthews was in, at 7:12 am EDT, to discuss with "Today" co-host Meredith Vieira the dust-up on last night's "Hardball," reported here by NewsBuster Geoffrey Dickens, between Ann Coulter and Elizabeth Edwards. Matthews couldn't keep his names straight. He first referred to Coulter as "Ann Edwards," then recycled the "Ann Edwards" moniker in referring to Elizabeth Edwards.
HARDBALL HOST CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well that was a pretty tough [translation: pro-Coulter] crowd, and if you think Ann Edwards is over the top, she had a lot of people behind her last night who agreed with her.
And later . . .
MATTHEWS: Unfortunately, you're dealing with a real-life situation with Ann Edwards' medical challenges, which we all know about, and the fact that they did lose their son Wade, and you don't make jokes about that.
Just over 12 hours after Monday's NBC Nightly News reported that 50 out of 141 high school seniors visiting the White House presented President Bush with a handwritten letter asking him to "stop the violations of the human rights of... all detainees, including those designated enemy combatants," CNN's "American Morning" had 3 of the 50 students on for an interview. Co-host John Roberts asked the students to recount their experiences writing the letter, obtaining signatures, and handing it to the president, and asked one student, "[I]n response, the president said, ‘we respect human rights,' do you buy that?"
The three students who were interviewed - Mari Oye, Leah Anthony Libresco, and Colin McSwiggen, all recently-graduated high school students, were among the one-third of the Presidential Scholars who signed a letter asking President Bush, among other things, "to do all in your power to stop violations of the human rights of detainees, to cease illegal renditions, and to apply the Geneva Convention to all detainees, including those designated enemy combatants." Roberts emphasized the apparent intelligence of the three. "And you want to talk about brain power, the collective group that you're seeing there. Mari and Leah going to Yale next year, Colin accepted to MIT." None from the remaining two-thirds who didn't sign the letter made an appearance on "American Morning."
Western-based New York Times correspondent Kirk Johnson wondered why Colorado residents are getting so worked up over illegal immigration, given they don't even know any illegals, in Sunday's "Anxiety in the Land of the Anti-Immigration Crusader." Even the photo caption was slanted: "The skyline of Highlands Ranch, a booming suburb of Denver that is largely white."
(Back in February 2005, Johnson defended University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, who called the victims of 9-11 "little Eichmanns," from those trying to suppress his free speech: "Many students interviewed on campus in recent days said they feared that the lines being drawn around Professor Churchill were also creating boundaries about what could be freely and safely talked about in the United States.")
During CNN Newsroom on Saturday, correspondent Veronica de la Cruz showed portions of three recorded questions (out of a total of 197 that were posted so far on Youtube.com) that were submitted for the upcoming CNN/Youtube debates. Two of the clips featured questions that were asked from a liberal point-of-view, while one was asked from a conservative point-of-view, in which a woman cited the plummeting crime rate in Kennesaw, Georgia, after the town enacted mandatory gun ownership. But while both liberal questions were played in their entirety, only the first eight seconds out of one minute of the gun control question were played: "An armed society is a polite society. And indeed, Kennesaw, Georgia got a whole lot more polite after passing a law that every household had to have a gun." (Clip of entire question can be viewed here.) (Transcript follows)
Webster’s defines “conservatism” as meaning “marked by or relating to traditional norms of taste, elegance, style, or manners.” Sadly, today there are those who call themselves “conservative” who have no interest in preserving tradition, who uphold no standards on the question of taste, and who have no appetite for appearing the slightest bit fuddy-duddy on the question of manners.
This kind of conservative has embraced the anarchical libertarian worldview which on matters of traditional manners and tastes throws caution to the winds, embracing the notion that the “market” – society’s lowest common denominator on cultural issues -- should decide. And if this erosion of traditional values leads to the disintegration of the culture, so be it.
This might explain why a managing editor of National Review Online, a brand name synonymous with conservatism, would be arguing that the F-word is not indecent on national broadcast television in prime time; insists that the idea of “community standards” in matters of public morality is out of touch; and perhaps most surprisingly, mocks the idea that “the sanctity of children’s ears” is a defensible moral cause, as if innocent kindergarteners can’t handle full-fledged cussing binges.
The MSM delights in highlighting President Bush's anemic poll numbers. Congress's approval rating in the latest Gallup poll was so shockingly, historically, low at 14% that the MSM could hardly ignore it.
But there was another finding emerging from that same Gallup poll that has received very little media attention: the societal institution that enjoys, by far, the highest confidence among Americans is, at 69%, the military.
Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Bill Carr discussed the Gallup findings on last night's "Right Angle," the Ithaca-based TV show that this NewsBuster hosts. While clearly pleased by the military's achievement in that regard, Sec. Carr was also duly diplomatic about it, as this exchange reflects.
RIGHT ANGLE HOST MARK FINKELSTEIN: So 70% for the military, 14% for Congress, which if my mathematics are correct, that's five times more confidence in the military than in the Congress. So perhaps some of the Pentagon officials should keep that in their back pocket the next time they're being grilled up on the Hill.
DEPUTY UNDERSECRETARY OF DEFENSE BILL CARR: We would never raise that.
On this morning's GMA, a classic bit of MSM advocacy for more government regulation of business that will drive up costs and drive out jobs. The occasion is the hearings today before the House Workforce Protections Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), on a proposal to expand family and medical leave and impose mandatory sick leave.
Introducing the segment, ABC's David Wright lamented that "it's something that every parent struggles with: how to balance work and family. And the U.S. lags far behind other countries in helping parents to cope. Here on Capitol Hill today, Congress will take the first baby steps to try to address that situation."
It was bound to happen. A Sci Fi film is being produced presenting humans as the evil, alien aggressors invading a peace loving alien planet, the allegory, according to the producers, being a comment upon the "imperialism" of the United States. Innocent aliens being killed by evil, imperialist space faring humans and it appears to be all George Bush's fault... again.
Science Fiction has used the alien invasion over and over for decades supposedly as an allegorical statement about the human condition contemporary to the production of a given film. In "Independence Day" the aliens are here to destroy us. This film was ridiculously criticized as nothing but "American jingoism" with Americans imagining themselves the saviors of the world because, with the USSR fallen, Americans were the only remaining superpower. Conversely, in the classic 1951 film "The Day The Earth Stood Still", a friendly alien visitor to Earth is shot down by the evil military and it is we, rather than the aliens, who are the bad guys. This film was supposedly about the Cold War but at least we humans were characterized as simply fearful in the 50s classic. Perhaps that benefit of the doubt for humanity is now gone as far as this new cartoon is concerned?
USA Today reports on "Terra", a new cartoon with voice work from the likes of Danny Glover (no selling point for the film there!), Dennis Quaid, Ron Perlman, Luke Wilson, Amanda Peet, Rosanna Arquette and James Garner.
A new Hollywood comedy by Judd Apatow called "Knocked Up" is taking heat for its perceived stance on abortion from an unlikely source; the left. The movie is a comedy bordering on raunchiness that is proving a popular diversion this Summer with strong box office takes. It's about a slobish sort of slacker (actor Seth Rogen) who has a one night stand with an incredibly beautiful and together woman (the delightful Katherine Heigl) who's life is on the rise. Unfortunately for her, she gets pregnant. The rest of the movie centers on how these two very different people attempt to get together to have and raise their child... and therein lies the left's displeasure.
You see, the couple decides to keep the baby instead of aborting it. How revolting, eh?
A snippy little review by Anthony Lane in The New Yorker snidely comments upon how Apatow's film is geared towards the great unwashed "conservative" audiences, as if that in and of itself is a disgusting proposition.
UPDATE 6-20; Joe cites NewsBusters: At 6:07 am EDT on June 20, Joe Scarborough cited NewsBusters as the blog that had criticized Mika Brzezinski as a snob for her comments about Rosie. He added that yesterday the blog had called Mika on her "half-a--ed" apology.
View video here of Joe discussing NB's criticism of Mika.
Yesterday, in Mika's Snobby Sneer, we reported on the elitist swipe that Mika Brzezinski took at Rosie O'Donnell. The MSNBC newsreader had poo-poohed the idea of the erstwhile "View" co-host taking over "The Price is Right" from the retiring Bob Barker. Said Brzezinski: "The problem is she's going to look like the people who run down the aisle all excited."
We had also observed that a running theme of the banter between Mika and "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough is the latter's teasing of the former over her privileged upbringing as the daughter of Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter's former National Security Advisor.
So how did Joe open this morning's show at 6 am EDT?
MSNBC HOST JOE SCARBOROUGH: You know, you hang out with the elites, day in and . . . Your mother raised you right yet you go around making fun. I looked at the blogs yesterday, I read the blogs all the time.
MSNBC'S MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I can't.
SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, you should. They kind of went after you yesterday.
According to Coalition for Urban Renewal and Education's (CURE) website, community activist and conservative columnist Star Parker will guest co-host "The View" Tuesday, June 19. Parker will appear with the show's long time token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Parker's name is not on "The View's" website, but confirms Michael Moore and Toby Keith are two of the show's guests.
Star Parker is the current president of CURE and a former welfare mother. Parker converted to Christianity and began her life as an activist. Her recent columns included attacking Senator Clinton over her changing stances on Iraq and hailing the Supreme Court for upholding the federal partial birth abortion ban.
A staple of "Morning Joe" banter is the eponymous Joe Scarborough's teasing of newsreader-cum-co-host Mika Brzezinski over her fancy upbringing as the daughter of former Carter NSA Zbigniew Brzezinski. Defending herself against the elitist charge on the MSNBC show this morning, Mika twice referred to herself as having grown up among "Polish hillbillies."
But when it came to commenting on popular culture, Brzezinski condescended to both Rosie O'Donnell and average Americans in a way worthy of the high-browest [neologism] of snobs.
At 6:57 am EDT, Scarborough made reference to retiring game show host Bob Barker's recommendation for his replacement.
MSNBC HOST JOE SCARBOROUGH: Bob Barker [said] Rosie O'Donnell would be a great replacement for him on "The Price is Right."
MSNBC'S MIKA BRZEZINSKI: The problem is she's going to look like the people who run down the aisle all excited.
This may come as a surprise to many religious Americans in the country: PBS this month is broadcasting a documentary presenting both sides of the controversial issue of the “separation of church and state.”
As many of you know, this has been an ongoing debate for decades as to when this term first appeared, and what the Founding Fathers’ intent truly was concerning government involvement in organized religion.
The documentary’s goals are described thusly at the PBS website (emphasis added throughout):