As NewsBusters has been reporting for the past couple of weeks, a battle is being waged between liberal bloggers and a conservative radio station in San Francisco. Those that are unfamiliar with this issue should read articles covering both sides of the matter here and here.
NewsBusters readers are certainly aware of the controversy created by ABC’s docudrama “The Path to 9/11.” In fact, we reported extensively on this issue here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
To bring people back up to speed, the left and former President Bill Clinton went absolutely berserk the week before this program aired due to some of the content. In fact, it culminated in ABC finally giving into all the pressure, and cutting some scenes from the final version aired.
Vice President Dick Cheney squared off with CNN host Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday in a contentious, multi-part "Situation Room" interview. Blitzer seemed to openly adopt the mantra and talking points of the Democratic Party. In fact, in a tease for the interview, Blitzer promised, "The Vice President takes on his critics, including me." Cheney, whose wife Lynne aggressively sparred the cable anchor back in November, told Blitzer that a question about administration blunders was "hogwash." Elaborating on a clip of Democratic Senator Jim Webb, the "Situation Room" host asked Cheney about Bush failures:
Wolf Blitzer: "And it’s not just Jim Webb. It’s some of your good Republican friends in the Senate and in the House are now seriously questioning your credibility because of the blunders, of the failures. Gordon Smith– Gordon Smith--"
Dick Cheney: "Wolf. Wolf. I simply don’t accept the premise of your question. I just think it’s hogwash."
Blitzer: "That what? That there were no blunders? The President himself says there were blunders."
Here’s something you don’t see every day: a columnist at a liberal newspaper saying bad things about Democrats. In this case, it’s especially odd given that the targets of the disaffection were primarily media darlings Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
One of the common themes emanating from the media in recent years is that the world and the Middle East were much safer places before America invaded Iraq in March 2003. In their view, all of the geopolitical problems began that very month, and prior to that point, the earth was a happy place whose citizens all got along like two-year-olds in a sandbox.
Unfortunately, this position hypocritically and absurdly ignores what happened eighteen months earlier in Manhattan and Washington, D.C., as well as the hatred for America and its allies as depicted in the cartoon to the right published in a Bahrainian newspaper on June 10, 2002, fully nine months before America invaded Iraq.
For those interested, the Jewish caricature in the cartoon is demanding that the Bush caricature say “I Hate the Arabs!” In response, Bush is replying, “I hate the Arabs, I hate the Arabs!”
With that in mind, CAIR’s legal director, Arsalan Iftikhar, went on the “O’Reilly Factor” Friday to discuss his organization’s views on this subject (video available here). O’Reilly marvelously set the discussion up:
Isn't this political correctness gone crazy? I mean, let's face it, come on, you have a program that's a fictional program. Everybody knows it. You have in this world Muslim villains. They are on the other side of the war on terror from us. There are Muslims who want to kill Americans, you know that. So you combine fiction with reality in this program. And now you guys are complaining about it? And the far left nuts are complaining about it? What's going on?
With all the negative focus on an Emmy Award-winning television drama, one has to start wondering if the media are more afraid of “24” and any reference to terrorism than terrorism itself.
As NewsBusters has reported here, here, here, here, and here, the media have been in quite a lather about the first four episodes of the hit series' sixth season aired on Fox Sunday and Monday. Thanks to a report CNN did Tuesday (video available here, hat tip to Hot Air), we can now add Newsweek to the growing list of concerned media outlets. (Please be advised that it’s been difficult to identify whether this was just a web-broadcast on CNN.com, or something aired on television).
In his January 12 review, Newsweek’s Devin Gordon wrote: “Depending on your perspective, '24' is either a neocon sex fantasy or the collective id of our nation unleashed.” Much like other recent media carps and whines concerning this show, Gordon used his review as an opportunity to swipe at the current president:
It appears impossible for Time magazine to do anything without bringing its liberal bias into the equation, for in his January 14 review of the return of television hero Jack Bauer, writer James Poniewozik asked, “So, is 24 a conservative show?”
Checking that link about now to measure my veracity? Go ahead. I dare you.
Sadly, the answer seemed just as foolish as the question: “Yes, in the sense that the thriller is a conservative genre.”
He wrote that. I swear. Check if for yourself. But there’s more:
In this age of continual polling 24/7 about issues that largely support liberal positions advanced by a complicit media, I’d love to see someone ask the American people if they’re sick and tired of the constant carping and whining by the press concerning the absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and the inability to capture Osama bin Laden.
Well, it seems that Fox News contributor Dennis Miller is similarly fed up with this amazing hypocrisy, and he let viewers know this in his hysterical “Real Free Speech” comment on Friday’s “Hannity & Colmes.” So, strap yourself into your favorite comfy chair, secure all beverages, flammables, and sharp objects, and join Dennis on a wild ride into post-9/11 sanity (video available here courtesy of our friend at Ms Underestimated):
There’s really no other way of putting this: Keith Olbermann is a disgrace, and the idea that any major media outlet would give him a daily platform to spew his vitriol from is similarly so.
Such an observation certainly comes as no great surprise to NewsBusters readers who have been regularly subjected to videos and transcripts of this man’s vapid and insipid rantings since this blog was first started. Though Thursday night’s “Special Comment” on MSNBC’s “Countdown” was not necessarily out of the ordinary for Olbermann, coming a day after President Bush’s speech to the nation concerning Iraq, its contents were all the more offensive (video available here).
UPI is wagging its finger at U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez via a group of "Arab leaders" who are warning the government "to fight anti-Arab bigotry." The whole UPI "report" is nothing but the warnings of these so-called leaders about how filled with bigotry the USA is and how the government must fight it.
With all this hooplah, one would imagine that Arabs are being attacked, mistreated and discriminated against all across the country at an alarming rate. Arab "leader" James Zogby even makes the claim that the government must "reverse this disturbing and increasingly accepted trend of anti-Arab and Muslim bias".
In 2006, one of the most shameless Democrat pols in the media was certainly MSNBC correspondent David Shuster who repeatedly and consistently behaved more like a left-leaning political operative than a television journalist. On Wednesday’s “Hardball,” Shuster made it clear that objectivity and impartiality were not on his New Year’s resolutions list.
As NewsBuster Mark Finkelstein has been reporting, Chris Matthews has been virtually foaming at the mouth lately concerning his desire for American troops to be immediately withdrawn from Iraq. On Wednesday, his partner in crime nicely set up the 7PM EST installment with an antiwar rant that could have been performed by Cindy Sheehan (video available here).
After showing a brief clip of President Bush asking the new Congress to “set aside politics and focus on the future,” Shuster complained, “But the president made no mention of the Iraq War.” Then, the rant really began. The reader is hereby warned to put a lobster bib on to protect clothing from the foam spewing out of Shuster's mouth:
The Times may have taken it too far this time. I would think more than a few in the Manhattan wine-and-cheese set, even those who oppose the war, will be astute enough to substitute the name "Osama bin Laden" and his "orchestration of the 9/11 attacks" for "Saddam Hussein" and his "vile and unforgivable atrocities" in the Times' Friday editorial. Here are a couple of easy examples:
I tell you what happened was I think I was eating dinner -- or lunch, rather, at an outdoor cafe. And I think this guy who -- I don't know if he believes in what he's doing or thinks he's helping, but I think, my belief was what he was saying was blatantly anti-American.
If you make the sitting president a murderer, you make my little brother-in-law who I've known since he was 6 a murderer, because he's on the ground in Iraq for his second tour and he's been shot.
As the AP reports (Strip-Searched Muslim Woman Gets Apology), the Dept. of Homeland Security sent an apology letter to a Muslim woman who was strip searched on April 11th, 2006. Naturally, the AP uses the report as an excuse to bash the US government.
The Department of Homeland Security has sent a letter apologizing to a Muslim woman who was detained at the Tampa airport and strip-searched at a county jail.
Safana Jawad, 45, a Spanish citizen who was born in Iraq, was detained on April 11 because of a suspected tie to a suspicious person, authorities said. She was held for two days before being deported to England.
The Christmas break replay season offered a chance to catch up on shocking episodes of "The View" on ABC. On December 26, a replay of the December 6 program gave viewers in the Eastern and Central time zones the chance to see James Brolin pitch a government-set-up-9/11 website: "Can I tell you to have a look at www.911weknow.com? And then wait until I see you next time." The first broadcast was blocked in the East due to doting live coverage of the Iraq Study Group report release. (The eagle eyes at Hot Air lamented the dropout at the time. Hey, maybe that event was a government conspiracy to silence Brolin....) Video: Real (1.7MB) or Windows (1.9 MB)Plus: MP3 (292KB) The transcript is below.
An absolutely extraordinary discussion occurred on Thursday’s “Special Report” concerning the role of the media in wartime, and what the change in press coverage in the past sixty years has meant for the nation. Tastefully setting the table, host Brit Hume showed a clip of Clear Glass Productions' satirical film depicting how today’s liberal media would have covered World War II had this current iteration been around in the '40s (hysterical trailer of the film available here, video of Special Report segment here, hat tip to NB member Blonde):
ANNOUNCER: According to Pentagon sources, this now brings the official total of Americans killed overseas to 250,000. Congresswoman and House leader Ancy Lagosi took time out from her reelection campaign to mark the occasion.
REP ANCY LAGOSI: 250,000 of our finest coming home in wooden boxes, for what? To support a lie. What has Germany and Italy got to do with Pearl Harbor?
LAGOSI: That's right, nothing.
CROWD: Roosevelt lied, millions died. Roosevelt lied, millions died.
As NewsBusters has reported here and here, there has been a shockingly deafening silence from the American media concerning revelations of former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger’s actions at the National Archives in 2003. In fact, it appears that only Fox News has much interest in a story about a top-level political official stealing and destroying top secret documents from the facility responsible for storing them.
With that in mind, “Your World” invited Ann Coulter on to discuss this issue on Thursday, and the conservative author was not shy (video available here courtesy of our friend at Ms Underestimated). After guest host David Asman gave some background, he asked his guest: “Ann Coulter, where is the outrage? Are you surprised that there is no outrage about this?”
The AP obtained the November 4, 2005 report from the Inspector General of the National Archives and in a dispatch late Wednesday led with how “President Clinton's national security adviser removed classified documents from the National Archives, hid them under a construction trailer and later tried to find the trash collector to retrieve them, the agency's internal watchdog said Wednesday.” But despite the colorful details about how Sandy Berger cut the documents, about the Clinton administration's reaction to terrorist threats in 1999, into small pieces, the broadcast networks weren't interested Thursday morning or evening even though the report discredits Berger's claims he simply accidentally mishandled the documents.
The evening newscasts, which all began with the bad weather in the Rocky Mountain states and how four Marines were charged with murder for the alleged massacre in Haditha, didn't utter a syllable about Berger's apparent efforts to cover up an aspect of how the Clinton White House responded to a terrorist threat. Yet they made room for more frivolous topics even before the usual end of the newscast human interest piece. ABC's Charles Gibson allocated a full story to the recovery of race horse “Barbaro” and 30 seconds to how "a public health advocate" reported how much exercise it takes to work off holiday calories, such as 37 minutes of walking to "burn off" a gingerbread cookie. CBS devoted to a two-part Katie Couric interview, consuming nine minutes of air time, to the widow of the mountain climber found dead on Mt. Hood. NBC's Brian Williams had time to highlight how the Governor of New Jersey signed a civil unions law and NBC ran a full story on how “the first Muslim elected to Congress comes under attack by a colleague over religion.”
Actor Sean Penn received an award Monday evening from the Creative Coalition, and took the opportunity to slam virtually every Republican whose name he's familiar with while calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Here are some of the more vitriolic segments of the prepared text as he accepted the first annual Christopher Reeve First Amendment Award (emphasis mine throughout):
Which is to say that, globally, the United States is number one at demanding accountability and backing up that demand with imprisonment. But, when it comes to our president, vice president, secretary of state, former secretary of defense...this insistence on accountability vanishes. All of a sudden, what's past is prologue. And we're just "forward-looking." But some people can't just look forward. Men and women stationed in Iraq at this moment, under orders of a Commander-in-Chief so sufficiently practiced in the art of deception, that he got vast numbers of American journalists and the most esteemed media outlets of this country, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, and PBS to eagerly serve his agenda-building for war. And the process also induced vast numbers of artists and performers (probably even some in this room tonight) to keep quiet and facilitate the push for an invasion in Iraq.
He's certainly come a long way from "Hey bud...let's party" hasn't he? Of course, on the flipside, someone should have cautioned the seemingly stoned recipient that people on drugs should not give speeches. Alas, Spicoli...er, I mean Penn was just getting warmed up:
For those who enjoy watching a well-known racist and unapologetic anti-Semite get beat up by a television anchorman, CNN’s “The Situation Room” was the place to be Wednesday. Host Wolf Blitzer invited former Ku Klux Klan member David Duke on to discuss the Holocaust conference in Tehran, and the fireworks started immediately. After being introduced, Duke came right out of his corner, and attacked Wolf (must-see video available here):
Well, first off, Mr. Blitzer, I resent the introduction you made of me. You mentioned the Ku Klux Klan 11 times. That was over 30 -- well, 30 years ago in my life, and since that time I got elected to the House of Representatives, I became -- and I received a full doctorate, I have been a teacher, I have one of the best selling books in the world.
And you interview many former communists in governments all over the world and you don't introduce them by saying former communist and certainly not 11 times. I think you're biased because you're a former lobbyist for AIPAC. You're a Jewish extremist, supporter of Israel, so you want to bias anyone who criticizes Zionism.
Nice way to start an interview, wouldn't you say? Blitzer then asked, “Well, do you hate Jews?” Duke responded:
Is Keith Olbermann just a modern-day reincarnation of the crazed anchorman depicted in the 1976 Academy Award-winning film “Network?” In a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article published Tuesday, KO said no (emphasis mine throughout): “‘I am not Peter Finch walking around the streets of New York in my pajamas as Howard Beale muttering to myself and saying, 'I must bear my witness.' It's not like that.’"
One NewsBusters’ contributing editor didn’t agree with Olby’s position:
“My concern is that people are mistaking his show for real news," said Noel Sheppard, a blogger with NewsBusters.Org, a Web site founded by conservative media watchdog Brent Bozell. "But there's no question he is indeed Howard Beale. The whole Paddy Chayevsky [sic] concept in 'Network' was that news had to be entertaining. You had the anchorman flip out one day, and the ratings exploded. The same is going on with Keith Olbermann, who really does get into a snit like Beale did."
As a little background, the film “Network” was based on a fictitious media outlet whose ratings were doing very poorly, in particular, its news division.
Fox News correspondent and comedian Dennis Miller was at it again Friday night. In his “Real Free Speech” segment, Miller took on Iraq War defeatism, and wisely explained why winning over there is important for America’s future (video available here courtesy of our friend at Ms Underestimated). As always, this works best if you read along while watching or you will miss the marvelous sight gags:
Hey there, folks. Tonight I'm going to talk about defeatism about the war here on the home front. Ah, but what good would it do me to talk about defeatism? It's not like it's going to change anything. You see how whiney that tone sounds? You think our enemy loves hearing that? Of course they do.
Although this is a week old, it seems fitting for a Friday. Fox News Contributor Dennis Miller did a funny segment of “Real Free Speech” last week concerning flying Imams being detained at airports (hat tip and video provided by our friend at Ms Underestimated). Please be sure to watch while you read or you’ll miss some of the sight gags:
Hey, folks. I want to talk about the six imams who were kicked off the U.S. Air flight in Minneapolis.
For a man that is averaging a paltry 600,000 viewers an evening, he sure is full of…himself. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann sat down with the folks from Radar Online for an interview published Monday (hat tip TVNewser), and it must have been hard to get his head through the entranceway.
First, he did what most employees learn at an early age is a no-no – he took on his boss. His interviewers asked: “Dan Abrams said recently that your program ‘could become a model for the newscast of the future.’ Are you a role model?” Olby obnoxiously responded (emphasis mine throughout):
I don't know what Dan has to do with it frankly. We've never had a conversation about the direction of the show. He's actually the—The general manager [of MSNBC], right, but we rarely interact. As far as I know he works on dayside programming. Phil Griffin runs the network. He is the vice president of NBC [News] and my original producer in television.
Then, he went after CNN’s Lou Dobbs (emphasis mine throughout):
National Public Radio oozes liberalism in nearly everything it does, especially when it starts tickling itself, like insisting Cheney lives in Rove's butt on its game shows. NPR's website advertises its "First Ever Holiday Craft Contest." Listeners are invited to design either a handmade menorah or a Christmas tree ornament. "We are looking for designs that reflect the news of 2006. We also welcome quirky, funny and/or offbeat designs. (See examples to the left.)" That would include a Christmas ornament with Scientology baby Suri Cruise, and some Mel Gibson mockery:
Sample Entry: Mel Gibson Mel-norah. This menorah works on two levels: It symbolizes a willingness to accept Gibson's apology for his anti-Semitic rant but also, for skeptics, offers the chance to watch hot wax drip down his punim (the Yiddish word for face). Materials: Mel Gibson cutouts and menorah.
Did you know that Americans don't want to "live next door to a Muslim", or that Americans want all Muslims to "carry special identification", or that it is but "Ignorance" that is seen as a "Key Problem" to these foolish American's "hatred" and misperceptions?
Reuters knew, if you didn't. And they are happy to let us all know about it, too.
It all stems from a Radio host misusing his audience to make a point that Americans are no different than the Germans who turned a blind eye to Hitler's "Final Solution" against Jews during WWII.
How do you know when you've gone overboard with political correctness? When even the liberal panelists of Fox News Watch chide you for it. Host Eric Burns normally stays above the fray. But for some reason, on this evening's show he chose to criticize US Airways for removing from one of its flights six imams whose actions had made other passengers uneasy.
Said Burns, introducing the segment: "There were two stories in the news this week about religion. First, Pope Benedict in Turkey tried to encourage tolerance between Catholics and Muslims. Second, a story of tolerance of U.S. Airways and Muslims - there wasn't any - as six Muslim religious leaders, or imams, were recently yanked off a US Airways flight for no apparent reason other than that a passenger thought they were behaving strangely. Jane, I wonder if the moral of these two stories is first that the media are not at all captivated by this Pope . . but they are captivated by stories that seem to show that anti-terrorist policies sometimes go too far."
With each passing day, the media are debunking all the myths they helped foster about what the Democrats would do if they regained control of Congress. This one is beautiful, for it has to do with issues of national security, which was considered very important by voters just three weeks ago. As reported by the Washington Post’s Jonathan Weisman, but buried on page A7 (grateful hat tip to NB member “dscott,” emphasis mine throughout):
It was a solemn pledge, repeated by Democratic leaders and candidates over and over: If elected to the majority in Congress, Democrats would implement all of the recommendations of the bipartisan commission that examined the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
But with control of Congress now secured, Democratic leaders have decided for now against implementing the one measure that would affect them most directly: a wholesale reorganization of Congress to improve oversight and funding of the nation's intelligence agencies. Instead, Democratic leaders may create a panel to look at the issue and produce recommendations, according to congressional aides and lawmakers.
Isn’t that wonderful? Sound like a classic bait and switch? Regardless, the piece continued:
It seems safe to say that Keith Olbermann has found his audience, and hit his stride. At this point, all he has to do is find a well-known conservative to bash and belittle each night, and his viewers comprised of Netroots denizens and Michael Moore devotees across the country will gush over and applaud each vitriolic statement.
With that in mind, the Tuesday installment of “Countdown” certainly didn’t disappoint such folks, as the conservative in the crosshairs du jour was former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (video available here). At issue was a speech Gingrich gave Monday night at the Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment Award dinner in New Hampshire wherein he suggested that due to the ongoing war on terror, new rules might need to be applied to our Constitution to protect the citizens. Olbermann didn’t like this idea very much, and badly misquoted a famous German theologian to evoke images of Hitler and Nazis: