Bill Maher made a truly disgusting comment on NBC's Tonight Show Wednesday.
After host Jay Leno asked who he thought the mystery guest speaker would be at the Republican National Convention in Tampa Thursday night, Maher quickly replied without any hesitation, “George Zimmerman” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Ezra Klein, the "former" head of the Journolist news coordination conspiracy (given the evidence of coordination seen during the Republican convention, it's hard to believe it hasn't continued in some form), rolled out a graphic yesterday at the Washington Post which he touted as "the one graph you need to see before watching" the Republican convention.
To show would be to give it more attention than it deserves. Its core contention, delivered via the lefty-driven Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, is that "Tax Cuts, Wars Account For Nearly Half of Public Debt by 2019." They could have changed the title to "we're going to blame Bush for eight more years." Some of Klein's clanking follows the jump; I'll deal with the "Blame Bush's tax cuts" mantra after that (the "wars" claim has been addressed several times before, and is just as dumb):
CNN contributor Roland Martin quipped on Wednesday that "I'm a black man at a Republican convention. Of course I stand out." Martin then went after black RNC speaker Artur Davis as a "political fraud."
"[Y]ou can have Artur Davis, former Democrat, we don't know what he is now, with that ridiculous speech he gave last night, I call him a political fraud, he is," sounded Martin. [Video below the break.]
As you may be well aware, MSNBC did not air Democrat-turned-Republican Artur Davis's speech last night. Shortly before 10 p.m. Eastern, anchor Rachel Maddow seemed to offer the network's rationale: Davis was a low-profile Democrat who is just bitter because he was "absolutely destroyed" in his primary race for Alabama governor in 2010.
Yet in the very next breath, Maddow seemed positively giddy that the Democrats had landed former Gov. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) to speak at their convention next week. There was no mention that he too was being so thoroughly and "absolutely destroyed" by Marco Rubio in the primary election polls in 2010 that he dropped out of the GOP primary in order to run as an independent. He of course, subsequently lost to Rubio in the general election by 19 percentage points. [MP3 audio here; video embedded below page break]
TAMPA, Fla. -- This week when Mitt Romney strides to center stage to deliver his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, he might draw inspiration from an unlikely source: the song "I Am What I Am" from the musical "La Cage Aux Folles."
One of the chief complaints from voters about politicians is that they too often package themselves disingenuously to get elected, only to reveal their real agenda after they've won. That is what President Obama did in the 2008 campaign when he styled himself as a unifier who wanted to bridge the partisan divide by saying, "...we are not a collection of red states and blue states. We are the United States of America." He then governed more like he was in Soviet America with redistribution of income and more centralized power in Washington.
Noting that President Obama is not taking a break from campaigning, despite Hurricane Isaac's imminent landfall, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace noted this morning that the media should "stop all this nonsense about whether or not the Republicans should hold their convention tonight."
President Obama "isn't canceling his campaign. He's continuing to politick, because, guess what, what he's doing has no effect, good or bad, on what's going to happen to those folks along the Gulf Coast," Wallace told America's Newsroom host Martha McCallum. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
On Monday night, Politico posted two stories with the same theme: Tropical Storm Isaac seriously threatens to ruin the Republican convention and remind voters of Republican incompetence during hurricanes. Does anyone think this outfit is fair and balanced?
In the story “GOP fears ghost of Hurricane Katrina at RNC 2012,” Politico's Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman just keep skipping over the Democratic mayor of New Orleans and the Democratic governor of Louisiana as they predict the most damaging political scenario they can hope for, er, imagine as the storm spared the GOP convention site in Tampa:
Jonathan Karl would clearly rather ask others about their politics than answer questions about his own. In an impromptu interview at the RNC this morning, asked by NewsBuster Noel Sheppard what his politics are, an apparently uncomfortable Karl answered: "I would say fair and balanced: how about that?" When asked in a follow up whether he thinks he is indeed fair and balanced, Karl sarcastically replied: "No. What do you think?"
Karl and his producer also seemed none too thrilled to be caught on camera by NewsBusters. View the video after the clip.
The Associated Press, in a Sunday evening dispatch, reported that the refinery explosion in Venezuela, which has thus far killed "at least 39 people" and injured "more than 80" (as of 10 a.m.; now it's at 41) is "Venezuela's deadliest refinery blast ever." I'm sure that I join all readers here in expressing deep condolences and prayers for the victims and all who have been affected.
Obviously reporting the details as they emerge will for a time be more important, but it appears that the Amuay refinery explosion is the deadliest such refinery incident in world history, and by a wide margin. If so, the press, after determining that this is indeed the case it, should get around to reporting it as such.
When this NewsBuster entered a Spanish-language press conference at the Republican National Convention this morning, he was surprised to find former New Hampshire Governor and Romney surrogate John Sununu at the podium . . . holding forth in fluent Spanish.
Interviewed after his remarks, Sununu told NewsBusters that he was born in Havana and that his mother was originally from El Salvador. "As a boy, when I was bad, my mother would chew me out in Spanish. And since I was bad a lot, I learned a lot of Spanish!" Before saying goodbye, Sununu added "I love Brent Bozell!", President of NewsBusters's parent organization, Media Research Center. View a brief clip of Sununu speaking Spanish after the jump.
To get an idea of the Politico's priorities, first do a search on "Corzine." You'll find nothing from last week other than a reference to him as the defeated former Governor of New Jersey in an item about current Governor Chris Christie speaking at the upcoming Republican National Convention. So apparently no one cared to take notice of a New York Times story about how Corzine and apparently all other major players at bankrupt MF Global, which raided customers' accounts to the tune of $1.6 billion as it attempted to avoid its visit to death's door, will not face criminal prosecution.
Then go to something really, really important -- so important that it merited its own special breathless breaking news email a few hours ago. The nearly 1,400-word story from Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan that couldn't wait (actually, I believe it did, but more on that in a bit) is that a U.S. Congressman swam in the nude in Israel. Seriously -- I mean, unseriously (bolds are mine):
Let's see if this story gets any meaningful attention in the U.S., or if the Associated Press expands the brief unbylined item currently seen at its national site. I wouldn't bet on it -- and even if that occurs, I don't expect the U.S. establishment press to give what is contained therein much notice.
The AP's four-paragraph blurb tells us that independent columnists in Egypt are alarmed at what they see as the newly empowered Muslim Brotherhood's "attempt to control the state-owned press":
"Even at the Olympics, athletes in the sport of shooting face questions about gun violence." That's the digital edition headline for Washington Post reporter Katherine Boyle's August 1 story about the "stigma" that American Olympic shooters face for participating in a sport that "requires a machine that, when used maliciously, can kill people."
But as Boyle herself makes clear in her story, American Olympians who compete in shooting don't "face questions about gun violence" from fellow Olympians. From the last two paragraphs of her Style section front-pager [entitled in the print edition, "Shooting: Athletes battle for titles -- and to dispel the stigma of gun violence":
Imagine that Fox News had run a spoof video of someone seeming to line up a leading Democrat for a high-powered rifle shot. Need we state the obvious? MSNBC and the rest of the MSM would have interrupted all normal broadcasting for at least the rest of the day to condemn the outrage.
But if a liberal late-night TV show runs a clip of Sarah Palin seeming to take such a shot at Dick Cheney? Well, that's all in good fun. Conan O'Brien last night ran a spoof video of Palin, reacting to Cheney's recent comment that McCain's pick of her as his running mate was a mistake, seeming to line up Dick Cheney for a shot with a high-powered rifle. Morning Joe replayed the clip this morning and guest host Mike Barnicle pronounced it "pretty good!" as a guest smiled on. View the video after the jump.
I feel awful about what happened in Colorado, but can we stop the hugging and the teddy bears? Just as society can become inured to violence, it can also become inured to sentiment. There is nothing so hackneyed in the world of photojournalism as pictures of the hugging and the shrines with candles and teddy bears after a tragedy, with a piano softly trilling in the background.
This accomplishes nothing. If you want to do something, please write a check to a good charity, a family financially harmed by the shooting, or send flowers to a specific person.
During Tuesday night's edition of “The O'Reilly Factor,” the Fox News host got into a heated exchange with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) over the concept of Congress passing legislation that the FBI would be notified whenever anyone purchases “heavy weapons.”
Bill O’Reilly said it makes sense for Congress “to pass a new law that requires the sale of all heavy weapons to be reported to the FBI. In this age of terrorism, that law is badly needed.”
On May 2, Matt Sheffield at NewsBusters ran down a list of national media outlets which failed to report the Occupy movement connections of the five men arrested by the FBI for plotting to blow up a suburban Cleveland bridge, despite the fact that the Cleveland Plain Dealer began noting those relationships from the get-go.
Matt wrote that the Associated Press recognized the connections, but watered it all down by "letting an Occupy Cleveland spokesman's claim the men 'weren't affiliated with or representing the group' go unchallenged." Yesterday, after one of the five arrested entered a guilty plea to avoid a probable life sentence, an unbylined AP report waited until the final of 13 paragraphs to even mention Occupy, and then proceeded to engage in the same dishonest downplaying -- even though evidence revealed a few days after Matt's post proved an undeniable, high-level relationship (bolds are mine; HT Instapundit):
*Corrected from earlier | WRAL, the CBS affiliate in Raleigh, N.C., recently published a searchable database of concealed carry licensees within the "WRAL viewing area, including Chatham, Cumberland, Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Halifax, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Orange, Nash, Northampton, Person, Sampson, Vance, Warren, Wayne, Wilson and Wake counties." Searches do not turn up names or street numbers, but they do give a number of permits issued to residents on that street.
By now the script should be familiar. A bombing or a mass shooting occurs and the media immediately look for a simple cause. Invariably, they turn to talk radio or some other conservative pit of "intolerance."
Within recent memory are tragedies like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the 1999 massacre at Columbine, the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings and the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others in Tucson. Some politicians and liberal interest groups have sought to link these and other violent incidents to the far right. There have also been incidents when some conservatives have tried to blame other tragedies on "liberals" "secularists" and abortion.
Washington Post Metro columnist John Kelly usually avoids controversial political subjects and often does "answer man" features about local D.C.-area history, making his feature overall an enjoyable read. But from time to time Kelly works in his liberal bias, just as when he bashed conservative talk show hosts as "right-wing nutjobs" and when he weighed in against the so-called Tebow bill that would allow homeschoolers to join local high school sports teams.
Today, Kelly offered an idea of his for a gun control measure but concluded by grousing that it probably would never get passed into law because those pesky "Second Amendment absolutists" would get in the way and so, "we'll just continue to accept that the price for having a well-regulated militia is that homicidal maniacs will be able to buy guns as easily as buying tickets to a movie."
As NewsBusters previously reported, in the wake of the tragic shootings in Aurora, Colorado, last week, PBS's Bill Moyers posted an online video essay excoriating the National Rifle Association as "enabler of death -- paranoid, delusional, and as venomous as a scorpion."
Fox News's Bill O'Reilly began his program Monday blasting Moyers for his remarks calling them "so dumb it hurts" and saying, "You're a genius, Bill. PBS is very lucky to have you" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
NewsBusters has been for years exposing the breathtaking ignorance, incompetence, and unprofessionalism of the on air personalities associated with the so-called cable "news network" MSNBC.
On Monday, Michael Eric Dyson, filling in for Ed Schultz, actually asked the brother of one of the victims of Friday's shootings in Aurora, Colorado, how his dead sister is doing (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Of all the political angles that might be played in connection with the Aurora theater shooting, surely racism would be a card too far, right?
Wrong. Subbing for Ed Schultz on MSNBC tonight, Michael Eric Dyson managed to suggest that James Holmes would have attracted the attention of the authorities earlier had he been, yup, "a Muslim or another minority." Until he twisted her arm, it was too much even for Dyson's super-lib guest, Illinois congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. View the video after the jump.
Americans trust guns more than they do, God, Washington Post "On Faith" contributor Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite insists in her July 22 post. The liberal theologian preaches for the need to correct the idolatry by, you guessed it, more gun control, just as she did back during Holy Week.
As NewsBusters previously reported, ABC's Brian Ross, during a Good Morning America segment with co-host George Stephanopoulos, wrongly accused a Tea Party member of being Friday's Aurora, Colorado, mass murderer.
Later that day, conservative talk radio host Mark Levin said, "If ABC News corporate had an ounce of integrity it would fire both of them right now" (video follows courtesy Right Scoop with transcript and commentary):
Poor David Espo and Nancy Benac. A six-paragraph squib this morning headlined "Calls for gun control stir little support" at the wire service's national site and "Despite a string of high-profile shootings, calls for gun control stir little support" at Newser.com really should have been titled "Why Aren't You Guys Politicizing This, D**nit?"
The two AP "reporters" bitterly wail and gnash their teeth over how little outcry there has been for stricter gun laws after the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre (shown in full because of its brevity and subsequent later expansion, to be discussed later in this post, and for fair use and discussion purposes).
Brian Ross is not the only blameworthy party in the irresponsible smear of a 52 year-old Tea Party activist as the possible perpetrator of the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre early Friday. Everyone on the set of ABC's Good Morning America could have said "wait, this is premature and irresponsible" -- and didn't.
GMA co-host and former Bill Clinton advisor George Stephanopoulos's response to Ross's identification of 52 year-old "Jim Holmes" as perhaps the same "James Holmes" who had been arrested earlier that morning arguably added legitimacy to Ross's speculation: "OK, we'll keep looking at that. Brian Ross, thanks very much." As if they would actually find more of a tie-in, which of course they didnt. In his column yesterday, the underappreciated John Kass at the Chicago Tribune succinctly described Stephanopoulos's likely mindset, as well as how ABC was originally hoping to blame "social media" for Ross's GMA team-assisted smear (bolds are mine):
This morning, in the aftermath of the unspeakable Colorado massacre that claimed at least 12 innocent American lives and injured dozens more, ABC "news" investigative reporter Brian Ross appeared on ABC's Good Morning America and made the outrageous, irresponsible, and completely unfounded claim that the alleged gunman, 24-year-old Jim Holmes, is a member of the Tea Party. Apparently Ross has learned absolutely nothing from the media's disgraceful rush to judgment and dissemination of misinformation following the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in January 2011.
That's twice now that the "news" media have falsely implicated the Tea Party in murder.