ABC correspondent Nick Watt conducted a softball interview with the son of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden on Tuesday's "Good Morning America" and he credulously repeated Omar bin Laden's goals of being an "ambassador for peace." Host Diane Sawyer called the idea a "very curious proposal," while Watt announced that the younger bin Laden "wants to meet with President George W. Bush" and labeled the idea "astounding."
Watt expressed no skepticism over the proposed meeting. This, despite the fact that bin Laden lauded his father, responsible for countless thousands of deaths, as a "very kind man" and stated that he would not turn his dad over to American authorities, were he to know the location. Apparently, it didn't occur to Watt that this might not be the kind of person who would be best qualified to be an ambassador for peace or someone that President Bush would meet with. However, the GMA correspondent did find time to notice bin Laden's "glamorous, English wife."
On Friday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Jim Maceda reported that Europeans have an unusually high interest in this year's presidential election as "they say they'd be very happy with anyone who makes a clean break with the past eight years. In a word, change." Maceda also suggested that Hillary Clinton reminds some of President Bush because of her "talking tough on Iran and terrorism." Notably, while liberals have long criticized Bush for his "You're either with us or against us" line after the September 11th attacks, according to USA Today, Senator Clinton, a week before Bush's speech, used similar words as she argued that Bush should articulate "to every nation in this world, you're either with us or you're not, and there will be consequences." And, appearing on the CBS Evening News the same day, she spoke approvingly of Bush's plan to "make it clear that every nation has to either be with us or against us." (Partial audio available here.)
Rosie O'Donnell may have been one of Time's 100 Most Influential People, but now she is 2007's Most Annoying Celebrity. The woman who surprised blacksmiths everywhere when she claimed that fire can't melt steel trounced her competition in the Parade.com poll, getting 44% of the vote, nearly double the amount of second place winner Paris Hilton. Ann Coulter was third.
The woman who admitted that she's so gullible, she's “five seconds away” from joining a cult, also outed herself as a 9/11 Truther and floated several conspiracies. She doesn't think Al Qaeda is a threat--hey, they're mommies and daddies, too!
But she knows who the real bad guys are. She called the US a state sponsor of terror and equated the military with terrorists. She claimed the captured British sailors were really part of a “false flag” operation (“Google it!”), and Ahmadinejad isn't all that bad. Don't worry, she is concerned about terrorists. She thinks the US is robbing 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed of his humanity by labeling him a “terrorist.” (Her sneer quotes, not mine.)
Here are some of the quotes that helped Rosie win her new title (bold mine):
Don't fear the terrorists. They’re mothers and fathers-11-09-07
On Friday's "Countdown," viewers were treated to a retrospective of MSNBC host Keith Olbermann's series of "Special Comment" attacks on conservatives, featuring four of his favorites from the year 2007. An announcer teased the show glorifying Olbermann while intermixing complimentary quotes from various media with clips of Olbermann reading his "Special Comments." The announcer read a quote from "Playboy" calling the MSNBC host the "truth teller in chief," and a quote from the "Akron Beacon Journal" claiming that he is "the one journalist actually working to save the democracy." Among the quotes from Olbermann featured in the teaser was the MSNBC host's charge that "the presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush." (Transcript follows)
Despite what former President Bill Clinton and most Democrats think, Fox News's Chris Wallace really is the epitome of fair and balanced.
In case you had any doubt, his interview Thursday with WOR radio's Steve Malzberg was a perfect example of why Wallace is the most impartial of all the Sunday talk show hosts.
To give you an idea of just how unbiased he is, during this extraordinary segment, Wallace strongly disagreed with Rush Limbaugh's recent remarks concerning Hillary Clinton's aging appearance, and actually came to her defense.
Later, Wallace supported media's questions concerning Mitt Romney being a Mormon even though Sen. Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) belief in this faith is totally ignored.
On the flipside, Wallace ridiculed MSNBC's David Shuster for some of his recent comments about Fox News, and mocked those that find water-boarding so deplorable.
Here are some of the highlights of this absolutely spectacular interview (15-minute audio available here, readers are cautioned to prepare themselves for an almost astounding level of candor from someone regularly depicted as a GOP mouthpiece):
A report on Tuesday’s "The Situation Room," which highlighted the anti-Giuliani campaign of some family members of firefighters killed on 9/11, also tried to throw some retrospective doubt on the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" who opposed John Kerry in 2004. CNN correspondent Deborah Feyerick proposed the following question about the campaign: "is this another 'Swift Boat' situation, in which unsubstantiated attacks against John Kerry's service in Vietnam, scuttled his presidential candidacy. These families say no."
In addition to this question, CNN played two sound bites, one from Sally Reganhard, a prominent member of this campaign, and the other from a Baruch College professor, which reenforced the "unsubstantiated" label used by CNN. Reganhard indirectly accused the "Swift Boat" veterans of using lies. "The difference between the 'Swift Boating' and this is that everything that we are saying is the truth." Also, a chyron during the report proclaimed that "9/11 Families Challenge Giuliani: Efforts Compared to ‘Swiftboating.’"
On CBS’s "Sunday Morning" this past weekend, reporter Martha Teichner did a profile of recently deceased ultra left-wing author, Norman Mailer, who she described as "... a hell of a big man for a short guy, scrappy, brilliant, controversial. Slugging away at life and letters until the very end." Of course, this was the same Norman Mailer that said of the World Trade Center in October 2001: "Everything wrong with America led to the point where the country built that tower of Babel, which consequently had to be destroyed."
Later Teichner remarked that "Mailer was unapologetically liberal, anti-war, anti-Nixon, anti-establishment." Well, he certainly was "anti-establishment" when he said to a "London Telegraph" reporter in February 2002, "America has an almost obscene infatuation with itself...The right wing benefitted so much from September 11 that, if I were still a conspiratorialist, I would believe they'd done it."
At another point, Teichner observed that "Norman Mailer loved playing the political provocateur." That proved true when in 2003, Mailer asserted to the "London Times" that, "Bush thought white American men needed to know they were still good at something. That's where Iraq came in...."
How overmatched were the two lukewarm-at-best Republicans that "Today" tossed in against two partisan Dems this morning? If NBC scheduled this unfair a fight for Sunday Night Football, Al Michaels would be calling the play-by-play between the New England Patriots and the proverbial Little Sisters of Mercy.
The Today show's farce of a "voter panel" was invited to discuss politics and the state of the country this morning. With tens of millions of voters to choose from, NBC can of course contrive any cross-section it wants. So the views expressed by the participants say relatively little about the mood of the country -- but a lot about the network's own political bias.
O’Reilly also dispelled the false "New York Times" story that "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" (O’Reilly only said "MSNBC" without mentioning Olbermann by name) is competitive with "The O’Reilly Factor." In fact, "The Factor" dominates the 8:00 PM slot dwarfing "Countdown."
Bill O’Reilly also poked fun at NBC’s hard left turn noting "it is not true that Sean Penn will be co-anchoring the NBC ‘Nightly News’...that Hugo Chavez will become their chief foreign correspondent."
The press loves to headline celebrities who speak out against President Bush, the war against Islamic fundamentalism and anything else that falls in with the media's favorite storylines. How will they report it when a celebrity does not hew to the accepted partyline? Bono, frontman of the music group U2, is about to find out. Bono is one of the few celebrities for whom I confess to some admiration. His efforts for Africa, unlike many other celebrities, appear to be honest and he has shown himself to be unconcerned with who helps him, as shown by his workings together with President Bush- a state of affairs that would be anathema to most of his fellow celebrities. Now comes evidence that Bono also understands the threat posed by Islamic fundamentalists such as al-Qaeda, and his courage to call evil by it's name. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Bono said of the Islamic fundamentalists:
On Firday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith began a segment on the controversy over Attorney General nominee, Michael Mukasey’s stance on water boarding with a report from Capitol Hill Correspondent Chip Reid, who exclaimed that:
Water boarding is a highly controversial interrogation technique that simulates drowning...It's been used by interrogators since the Spanish Inquisition. Reportedly, it's been used by the CIA in real life, too, on a small number of Al Qaeda suspects.
In addition to this exaggerated characterization, Reid also made it seem as though the issue of water boarding was a sudden, shocking controversy, rather than an instance of a consensus nominee, well-liked by Democrats and Republicans, being attacked by those who once welcomed him:
Michael Mukasey looked like he was sailing along to easy confirmation as attorney general, until he ran aground on the issue of water boarding...If he is defeated, water boarding will be the issue that made the difference, something no one could have predicted when the hearings began.
The fact has been out there for some time, but never garnered much media attention. Now, in the context of the current debate over the granting of driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, will there be renewed focus on this chilling reality? Could this be the factoid that changes a presidential election? As John Fund wrote in his Wall Street Journal column today and discussed during his "Morning Joe" appearance:
After 9/11, the Justice Department found that eight of the 19 hijackers were registered to vote.
View video of Fund's "Morning Joe" appearance here.
And what made it so simple for them to register? As Fund explains:
Sure, Rosie O'Donnell's a 9-11 conspiracy nut. But she's also a big-time liberal and ardent Republican critic. That makes her our 9-11 conspiracy nut. So let's literally [see screencap] turn the page on her lunacy.
That seemed to be Mika Brzezinski's operative logic on today's "Morning Joe." During the opening 6 AM schmoozefest, talk turned to the confrontation between Rosie and an "O'Reilly Factor" staffer [identified by NewsBuster Ian Schwartz as likely being producer Jesse Watters] that recently occured at an O'Donnell book-signing. Rosie had apparently declined to return phone calls from the "Factor" inviting her on, so Bill dispatched a producer to offer the invitation in person. "Morning Joe" rolled a clip of the incident in which the "Factor" producer invited Rosie to recant her 9-11 conspiracy theory.
One of O'Reilly's staffers confronted Rosie O'Donnell during a book signing last Friday night. The person appeared to be Jesse Watters, longtime "Factor" producer who is known to track down celebrities and news makers who refuse to appear on O'Reilly's show. Watters wanted to know why Rosie would not respond to numerous requests for her to come on the "Factor." Rosie told Watters that if O'Reilly wants her on his show, he should personally call her.
When asked about her controversial views of 9/11, Rosie denied saying the terror attack was an "inside job." Rosie decided it was time to throw out Mr. Watters when he wanted to know her thoughts on WTC Building 7. Watters was removed from the book store at that point. Click here to view the video.
Following in Bill Maher's footsteps, former President Bill Clinton told off some 9/11 truthers that were heckling him during a 50-minute speech he was giving at a fundraiser for his wife in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Tuesday.
Sadly, he didn't say anything about Rosie O'Donnell.
However, as reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, what the former President did say -- as shouts came from the crowd about 9/11 being an inside job -- was rather delicious (video available here, emphasis added, h/t NB reader Don Deskins):
A few days after 9-11, President Bush, in an impromptu moment on the White House lawn, referred to the war on terrorism as a crusade. What does that have to do with the vile claim Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) made this week that Pres. Bush sends our soldiers to Iraq to have their heads blown off for his "amusement"?
Nothing that I can see. But on this afternoon's "Hardball," Chris Matthews dredged up that and a couple other statements from the president's past and staged a segment asking whether they were worse than Stark's line. Note the graphic in the screencap, in which MSNBC absurdly asks "who should apologize, Rep. Stark or Pres. Bush?"
If you thought the proper way to refer to terrorists who commit violence in the name of Islam was by using such terms as "Islamic terrorists," "Islamic militants," or even "Islamic extremists," be on notice that you may be offending Alan Colmes. In fact, even if you refer to the terrorist group "Islamic Jihad" by that name, which is the name the group uses to refer to itself, you're still not in the clear.
Yet another "Political Notebook" piece by New York Times reporter Marc Santora takes aim at Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign, especially when he discusses his leadership after the terror attacks of September 11. Santora's latest update from the trail, "Campaign Swing Reveals Trouble Spots for Giuliani," begins:
"An odd cellphone call from his wife, two rogue volunteers exploiting the memory of 9/11 to raise money, renewed questions about shifting stances on crucial domestic issues, upheaval within the campaign’s upper ranks and more focus on an unconventional family life.
"It has been a rough time on the campaign trail for Rudolph W. Giuliani."
"In a three-day swing through California, including a speech here on Saturday before 1,500 members of the National Federation of Republican Women, the many roadblocks that could trip up Mr. Giuliani’s quest for the Republican nomination were very much evident.
ABC may have set a loathsome new MSM low in insulting traditional Christians. On today's "Good Morning America," the network lumped the "Christan right" with the 9-11 Islamic terrorists as driving people to atheism.
Keying off an atheists convention being held this weekend, GMA ran a segment on the "Rise in Atheism." Seeking to explain the phenomenon, as images rolled first of the WTC in flames and then of a man placidly holding a sign that simply read "One Nation Under God" and of a display at a demonstration of the Ten Commandments, ABC's Liz Marlantes stated:
Thomas Friedman thinks you are "stupid" if you still care about the atrocity committed against this country by Islamofascists in New York on 9/11/2001. He thinks "9/11 is over" and we all should just move on. Even worse, he has decided that we are no longer a great country, but are filled with seemingly meaningless "fear," that we have a dilapidated infrastructure, and that while America used to be "the gold standard," he believes "We aren’t anymore." Friedman is falling for the typical, leftist doom-and-gloom scenario and imagines that China is better than we are, Europe is more inviting, and we have become the new Rome after the fall. His closing line is "We can’t afford to keep being this stupid!" By contrast to Friedman, my opening line to him is "We can't afford to be this self-loathing!" Friedman starts his piece off comparing the current state of the U.S. to a satirical piece in the Onion, which is fitting because Frideman's own piece might be mistaken for a satire on the frivolousness and unserious nature of the left today. Unfortunately, he is serious about his self-inflicted amnesia and seems utterly unconcerned about the threats we face as a nation and a people. Like most truthers he seems to imagine that it has all been hype, a conspiracy theory made up by eeeevil Republicans who merely want to fool enough people to stay in power.
Remember that BBC-produced children's guide to 9/11 that blamed it on America's foreign policy?
It's now facing some real public pressure in the form of Pauline Neville Jones, a former British spy and now powerful member of that country's Conservative party. She's also a former governor (aka board member) of the BBC. And she wants some changes to the program:
Britain’s former spy chief accused the BBC of “parroting” Al Qaeda propaganda to children as young as six.
This morning's column by James Carroll, the Boston Globe's resident gushy liberal, is so predictable you wonder whether it might have been produced by a liberal-column-generator software program. You know the kind: insert issue, names of political players, a few factoids, and let the program spit out the boilerplate of a standard leftist diatribe.
I mean, as soon as you knew that Carroll was writing a column about Ahmadinejad's visit to the U.S., could there be any doubt as to where he'd come down on the controversy surrounding the Iranian president's desire to visit Ground Zero? And Carroll doesn't disappoint. Naturally, this was just one big Kumbaya moment squandered:
Even more curiously, having retrieved the original guide on 11SEP2007, watched it disappear on 12SEP2007 (page not found) to reappear as a sanitised single page version, it now seems today that the 11SEP2007 guide version is back online (compare with versions retrieved from Google's cache at Biased BBC) - or is it still not fully purged from your systems (even though the timestamps have been updated to say 12SEP2007)? What gives?
Six years after the fact, the attacks of September 11th seem to have lost their cultural relevancy for much of America. In a thought-provoking essay Jonah Goldberg wonders how we got to this point. In his view, it is largely a communication issue, something for which the media shares a significant amount of blame (h/t Ace):
[I]t’s important to remember that from the outset, the media took it as their sworn duty to keep Americans from getting too riled up about 9/11. I wrote a column about it back in March of 2002. Back then the news networks especially saw it as imperative that we not let our outrage get out of hand. I can understand the sentiment, but it’s worth noting that such sentiments vanished entirely during hurricane Katrina. After 9/11, the press withheld objectively accurate and factual images from the public, lest the rubes get too riled up. After Katrina, the press endlessly recycled inaccurate and exaggerated information in order to keep everyone upset. The difference speaks volumes.