Last week, the media rightfully crowed over U.S. success in killing Osama Bin Laden, an unquestioned bad guy in the war on terror. They noted that intelligence gathered from that raid may have led to an unsuccessful U.S. Predator drone attack on Anwar Al Awlaki, leader of Al Qaeda in Yemen. Unfortunately, while Al Awlaki is very much as bad as Bin Laden, the media haven’t always known it.
The mainstream media have recently described this America-born terrorist as a “central figure” of Al Qaeda and the New York Times, ABC News, and MSNBC have all called him “radical” when reporting on the recent attempted drone attack. Al Awlaki has been linked to the 2009 Christmas Day Underwear bombing attempt in Detroit, the Fort Hood Shooting and the failed Times Square bombing.
But just 10 years ago they claimed he was a “moderate” a bridge-builder, and a “prayer leader.”
There certainly has been a lot of interesting comments made by the Obama-loving media this week following last Sunday's successful raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.
One of the most surprising came from the Washington Post's Bob Woodward who told "Meet the Press" host David Gregory, "Being holed up in that compound was smug. It was raising a middle finger to the United States and saying, 'Hey, look, we're hiding right under your nose'" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Michael Moore and others on the far left have taken to moral preening over the killing of Osama bin Laden, finding it unseemly to celebrate the death of a man that killed 3,000 American citizens. (Of course, people would have cheered if Osama had been merely captured and not killed.) Friday's New York Times story by Benedict Carey validated that left-wing trend under the headline "Celebrating a Death: Ugly, Maybe, but Only Human."
Some Americans celebrated the killing of Osama bin Laden loudly, with chanting and frat-party revelry in the streets. Others were appalled -- not by the killing, but by the celebrations.
“It was appropriate to go after Bin Laden, just to try to cut the head off that serpent, but I don’t think it’s decent to celebrate a killing like that,” said George Horwitz, a retired meat cutter and Army veteran in Bynum, N.C.
Others were much more critical. “The worst kind of jingoistic hubris,” a University of Virginia student wrote in the college newspaper, The Cavalier Daily. In blogs and online forums, some people asked: Doesn’t taking revenge and glorying in it make us look just like the terrorists?
President Barack Obama's Ground Zero visit yesterday was "pitch perfect," according to former Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, despite reports that the commander-in-chief was rude and dismissive toward at least one American who lost a family member on Sept. 11, 2001.
On the May 6 edition of "Morning Joe," MSNBC anchor Willie Geist asked Meacham to characterize the significance of Obama's visit to the site where more than 3,000 people were slaughtered in an attack planned by deceased al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
"I thought it was pitch perfect in the sense of it was not about him," intoned Meacham, who now occasionally writes for Time magazine. "It was not the grand speech; it was him doing a kind of human interaction with the folks."
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday had a highly-contentious interview with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
"The Last Word" host repeatedly interrupted his guest leading her to say after one such incident, "Lawrence, you have a bad habit with your guests. You never let them answer a question" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
According to the man ABC News relies on for religious analysis, it's impossible to say whether Osama bin Laden was "evil." Father Edward Beck, the network's religion correspondent, appeared with Bill O'Reilly on Tuesday and offered moral equivalence on the subject of the terrorist's death.
When the O'Reilly Factor anchor pressed Beck on whether bin Laden truly represented malevolence, Beck replied, "That's not for me to judge. His actions were certainly were evil."
O'Reilly pressed Beck on this point, prompting the ABC News analyst to assert, "No, I think that's up to God to ultimately decide who's evil."
For many years media members spearheaded by schlockumentary filmmaker Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" have mocked former President George W. Bush for continuing to read "The Pet Goat" to second-graders after hearing about the attacks on the World Trade Center.
On Tuesday, Time magazine reported that some of the kids in that classroom are speaking out about what happened that morning, and they don't agree with Moore's depiction of events:
It defies explanation for a major network to avoid performing a background check on the individuals they interview for their segments. MSNBC however, has done it not once, but twice, in a single article.
In a piece published earlier today by reporter, Kari Huus, two individuals with questionable ties are interviewed in an attempt to show that Muslim-Americans are indeed celebrating bin Laden’s death. While there are plenty of spotlights placed on the backlash against Muslims, requisite accusations of Islamophobia, and even a mention of a ‘war on ignorance’, the report mentions nothing of the questionable backgrounds of Mohamed Magid and Yasir Qadhi.
Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), states that “Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims.” And speaking of mass murderers, the ISNA in 2008 admitted in a federal district court in Dallas to holding ties with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Magid goes on to say that, “(Bin Laden’s) demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.” This has to create quite the contradiction for Magid, considering the Muslim Brotherhood has recently taken the opposite route, condemning the killing of bin Laden.
The New York Times's supposedly momentous decision to omit "Mr." from references to Osama bin Laden in its Monday obituary is apparently working to distract critics from the item's other problems.
Along with Michael T. Kaufman, Kate Zernike, whose primary vocation seems to be finding racism in the Tea Party movement where none exists and otherwise smearing its participants, comes off as almost critical of how bin Laden was "elevated to the realm of evil in the American imagination once reserved for dictators like Hitler and Stalin."
Imagination ("the faculty ... of forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses")? Babe, I don't know about you, but we didn't imagine September 11. We saw it. Others directly experienced it. Many died. Do you remember?
The obit's topper for me is the (in my opinion) deliberate historical revisionism in the following passage (bolds are mine throughout this post):
In the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden, ABC has shown very little interest in whether enhanced interrogation, such as waterboarding, led to the terrorist's ultimate demise. NBC, however, dealt with the subject in an in-depth manner and CBS at least mentioned it.
While interviewing former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday never broached waterboarding. In contrast, Matt Lauer on NBC's Today talked to Rice and wondered, "These enhanced interrogation techniques. Some former administration officials are now connecting the dots between those techniques and the information that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden. Do you feel the dots can be connected?"
On the same program, reporter Jim Miklaszewski asserted, "U.S. officials tell NBC News that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed while in CIA custody provided key information regarding a courier close to bin Laden, intelligence sometimes obtained through aggressive interrogation techniques like water boarding."
Sunday was an historic day for America, an historic victory in the War on Terror - Usama Bin Laden, the man who had ordered the death of over 3,000 Americans on 9/11, had finally been killed. It was also an historic revelation that, conducting the war according to far-left liberal policies would have prevented this day from ever happening.
Update (17:38 EDT on May 4): Rush Limbaugh mentioned this post on his May 3 program. You can listen to that by clicking here.
Well, this should be interesting.
The AP is reporting (preserved here in case the report devolves, as such things very often do) that "secret prisons" and "harsh interrogation techniques" were involved in getting the "first strands of information" that ultimately led to Sunday operation which killed 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden.
It's only a three-paragrapher, so it follows in full (for fair use and discussion purposes). Get a load of the final paragraph:
The day after terrorist Osama bin Laden was killed in a U.S. military action, Good Morning America brought on consultant Richard Clarke to downplay the death as a "propaganda victory" that will "make us feel good," but won't "mean much" for U.S. security."
GMA co-anchor George Stephanopoulos on Monday interviewed Clarke, who worked for both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. After Stephanopoulos prompted him to talk about how "personally gratifying" the terrorist's death must be, Clarke cautioned, "But, I think we have to put the emotion aside and think about what it actually means for American security. And it doesn't mean that much for American security. "
He continued, "And it doesn't mean that much for American security. It makes us feel good...There's a propaganda victory. But the organization, the network of organizations that he spawned is out there. And many of them are still quite healthy."
Not waiting for history to play out, a New Times caption writer, below a picture of celebrants of Obama Bin Laden's demise outside the White House, has written: "As crowds gathered outside the White House, there was little question that Mr. Obama's presidency had forever been changed."
Classified dossiers of detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison released by Wikileaks were naturally splashed on the front of Monday’s New York Times, which had editorialized in strong terms for the closing of the Cuba prison. Reporters Charlie Savage, William Glaberson, and Andrew Lehren filed “Details of Lives in an American Limbo.”
(In February 2009, Glaberson let two hard-left groups he called "human rights groups" ridicule a Pentagon report saying there was no mistreatment at Guantanamo Bay.)
From Monday's lead story:
A trove of more than 700 classified military documents provides new and detailed accounts of the men who have done time at the Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba, and offers new insight into the evidence against the 172 men still locked up there.
Military intelligence officials, in assessments of detainees written between February 2002 and January 2009, evaluated their histories and provided glimpses of the tensions between captors and captives. What began as a jury-rigged experiment after the 2001 terrorist attacks now seems like an enduring American institution, and the leaked files show why, by laying bare the patchwork and contradictory evidence that in many cases would never have stood up in criminal court or a military tribunal.
Real estate mogul Donald Trump, acting like a presidential candidate, is garnering attention by latching on to the “birther” issue -- the discredited notion that President Obama was not born in Hawaii but in another country, thus making him ineligible for the presidency. The New York Times ran a poll April 22 that asked: “Do you think Barack Obama was born in the United States, or was he born in another country?” The Times then broke down the results out for Republicans (but not for independents or Democrats): 45% of Republicans answered Obama was born elsewhere, 33% said he was born in the United States.
Meanwhile, the Times has yet to bring up a 2006 poll showing more than half of Democrats believed Bush was complicit in the 9-11 attacks.
Times liberal columnist Charles Blow pounced on Saturday: “It further exacerbates a corrosive culture on the right that now celebrates the Cult of Idiocy -- from Glenn Beck to Michele Bachmann -- where riling liberals is more valuable than reason and logic, and where intellectualism and even basic learnedness are viewed with suspicion and contempt.”
In an interview with liberal actress Shirley MacLaine, HLN's Joy Behar admitted that Bill O'Reilly "bullies you around a little bit" and suggested he needs to a figure to "smack him around" as the two women teed off on the popular Fox News host.
"Well, he is little bit intimidating as you say," Behar remarked to MacLaine confirming her . He bullies you a little bit, I think. I felt that." At the end of the segment MacLaine insisted that O'Reilly needs a motherly figure like Joy Behar to control him. "To smack him around," Behar added, and MacLaine agreed.
On Tuesday's Good Morning America, reporter Jake Tapper attacked the "bizarre," "non-reality-based" conspiracy theory about President Obama's birth certificate. Yet, the ABC program has not done a similar expose on the belief that the government was involved with, or knew of, the 9/11 terror plot.
Speaking of the false idea that the President was born somewhere other than Honolulu, Tapper described it as the "bizarre conspiracy theory that is as seemingly persistent as it is erroneous. It is the lie that will not die." In contrast, GMA lacked such outrage for truthers and repeatedly promoted Rosie O'Donnell, ignoring her own weird and baseless agenda.
(Although host George Stephanopoulos did grill conspiracy theorist Jessie Ventura on April 04, 2011 about his truther ideas, the show hasn't devoted a full segment to the topic.)
When O'Donnell, who believes the Twin Towers were taken down by a controlled demolition, appeared on the April 08, 2008 GMA, then-host Diane Sawyer praised the comedienne's "singular" vision. She never mentioned trutherism.
NPR's Dina Temple-Raston touted Attorney General Eric Holder's reluctance to give detainees at Guantanamo Bay military trials during a segment on Monday's All Things Considered. Temple-Raston and host Michele Norris only featured sound bites from the Justice Department head, omitting clips from supporters of the military tribunals.
Norris began by noting the Obama administration's "major reversal" in their decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other 9/11 suspects in military court. After playing a clip from Attorney General Holder's recent press conference, where he announced the move, the host turned to the correspondent and recounted how " in late 2009...Holder announced that these five conspirators will be tried in New York City in a civilian trial. So today's decision officially reverses that."
Temple-Raston, who conducted a sting operation against U.S. border agents earlier in 2011 by wearing a headscarf and posing as Muslim woman, mainly acted as stenographer for the attorney general, though she did acknowledge the mismanagement of the rollout for the civilian trials plan:
Over two programs totaling two and half hours of air time, ABC allowed only 65 seconds of coverage for Barack Obama's decision to break a campaign promise and try 9/11 terror suspects at Guantanamo and not in a civilian court. In contrast, all the other network evening shows on Monday and morning shows on Tuesday provided full reports.
On Tuesday's Good Morning America on ABC, Juju Chang mildly explained in a news read, "Well, we begin with a legal turnaround for the Obama administration." On Monday's World News, Diane Sawyer delicately described it as a "switch in positions." Reporter Jake Tapper noted the President has "blinked" in the face of criticism and pointed out this was a breaking of a campaign promise. (This brief mention came during a larger story about the 2012 campaign.)
In contrast, CBS's Katie Couric actually provided much stronger language. She began by asserting, "In other news, a lot of people thought it was a terrible idea to put Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men on trial here in New York City for the 9/11 attacks." Reporter Bob Orr, unlike Chang, labeled it a "stunning reversal" to try suspects at Guantanamo.
For the second time in less than six months, Good Morning America offered 9/11 truther Jesse Ventura a platform to hype his conspiracy theories and smear the U.S. government as "Nazi." This occurred on the same day that GMA reporter Bianna Golodryga hit Republicans for having connections to birthers and wondered when the President will "fight back" against such charges.
In contrast, although co-host George Stephanopoulos did press Ventura on his conspiratorial beliefs, he also joked around with the former Minnesota governor. At one point, he fawned, "You've had such a varied career. You were even once on a soap opera. Young and the Restless." Stephanopoulos then played a clip of the former politician on that show.
Ventura appeared on GMA to promote his book 63 Documents the Government Doesn't Want You to Read. He slammed the U.S. government by attacking, "There are dedicated, patriotic people in government, but when you read this book, the scary part of this book for me, you could substitute the word Nazi and it would work." Stephanopoulos just moved on to his next question.
CNN's Deborah Feyerick performed a cut-and-paste job on Thursday's Newsroom by partially re-running a biased report from September 2010 on the apparent rise of "Islamophobia" in the United States. Just as before, all but one of Feyerick's sound bites during her report came from those who were worried about the supposed "intensifying hostility and rise in hate speech" against Muslims.
Anchor Suzanne Malveaux introduced the correspondent's report, which ran 40 minutes into the 12 pm Eastern hour, by putting it in the context of Rep. Peter King's hearings into the radicalization of American Muslims: "King says his radicalization of Islam hearing is going to help protect America from a terrorist attack. Well, critics, they call it a witch hunt. One of the concerns is that it is going to cause more Americans to fear and hate Muslims. Our Deborah Feyerick reports Islamophobia is on the rise." A chyron echoed Malveaux's last sentence: "Islamophobia on the Rise."
ABC, NBC and CBS news programs have mentioned the Muslim Brotherhood 135 times in 17 years, but only linked them to fundamentalist Islam 37 percent of the time. Just since the unrest in Egypt began in January, they've mentioned the Brotherhood 85 times, and decreased how often they report the nature of the group - just 32 percent of those stories mentioned the group's extremism.
Declaring "jihad" against the United States. Taking credit for deadly bombings in Cairo. Sponsoring Hamas. Assassinating Egyptian leaders. Making common cause with Nazi Germany. Openly calling for shariah law. Spawning prominent al-Qaida leaders.
Only the liberal network news media could paint a group with a resume like that as "peaceful" and "moderate." But that's precisely how the broadcast networks have often portrayed the Muslim Brotherhood.
Alex Jones, a 9/11 truther and promoter of other conspiracy theories, appeared on ABC's The View Monday to defend his friend Charlie Sheen, but diverted the interview into slamming George W. Bush for turning American into "a police state." Veteran journalist Barbara Walters did not denounce the radio host when he referenced the theory that the government was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg, who walked out when they objected to a comment Bill O'Reilly made about Muslims, did not leave when Jones attacked, "[Charlie Sheen] didn't kill a million people in Iraq. He wasn't involved with the takedown of Building Seven here in New York."
(Building Seven, across the street from the World Trade Center, is a key component to those who believe that the Twin Towers were taken down by a controlled demolition, not as a result of international terrorism.) Later, Jones shifted the subject to politics again and ranted, "Let's compare George Bush, a million dead in Iraq!"
MSNBC anchors, such as Chris Matthews, often rail about a supposed failure by conservatives and Republicans to denounce birthers from their ranks. Yet, host Contessa Brewer interviewed 9/11 truther (and seller of birther merchandise) Alex Jones on Friday, allowing him to hype his conspiracy website three times.
Jones appeared on MSNBC's News Live to recount his gossip-filled interview with actor and friend Charlie Sheen. So desperate for the latest news on the unpredictable celebrity, Brewer blandly introduced, "Sheen was speaking with Alex Jones. He's the host of his own nationally syndicated radio show."
At no time did she hint that Jones promotes fringe theories blaming the U.S. government for 9/11 and distributes a documentary about "the chemtrail/geo-engineering" coverup. Jones also sells "Barry Soetoro" T-shirts (implying that the President is using an alias and is a secret Indonesian citizen).
One of the largest Muslim organizations in North America is considering plans to build a summer camp on 114 acres of land in the Adirondacks. Via the Albany Times Union:
“The Islamic Circle of North America, a Muslim advocacy group based in New York City, hopes to raise money to develop a camp for children and families of all religions on land donated to it last year.”
The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), based in Queens, New York, is not devoid of controversy in a history that spans over 40 years, yet there is scant mention of these controversies by the media. The Times Union article states that, “U.S. law enforcement agencies have investigated, but never prosecuted, ICNA for terrorist connections.” And there is coverage of a fundraiser involving speakers having made anti-American statements in the past, which is quickly justified by saying, “the meeting raised money for homeless women.”
But the ICNA has so much more to offer in the way of newsworthiness, including an event involving radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, as well as a link to the presently relevant Muslim Brotherhood.
One would expect an editor of Time Magazine to argue with more logical force than a college freshman. But alas, in his effort to dismiss a looming congressional investigation into homegrown Jihadist terrorism, Romesh Ratnesar, Time's contributing editor-at-large, demonstrated a profound inability to lay out a coherent argument.
Among the article's highlights: the Fort Hood massacre wasn't actually terrorism and is therefore irrelevant to any discussion of Jihadist violence; most American Muslims are opposed to Jihadism and therefore the few who do endorse the ideology are not really a threat; and because recent terrorist attacks have failed, there is not a serious threat of future attacks.
As media outlet after media outlet advances the bogus theory that Jared Lee Loughner was incited to kill innocent people by the rhetoric of prominent conservatives, details emerging about the life of the Tucson gunman completely refute such assertions.
Adding to the growing list of evidence countering these claims is the following juicy tidbit buried in an Associated Press piece published Sunday (h/t Hot Air):
When conservative radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck take stands against Obama-care or amnesty for illegal immigrants, the New York Times is quick to raise concerns. But certain correct causes and personalities not only get a pass but receive heroic treatment. A prime example is comedian-activist Jon Stewart, host of “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central and main news source for many young liberal hipsters.
Stewart is celebrated once again by the Times, this time on the front of the Monday Business section by media reporters David Carr and Brian Stelter, for his latest crusade, a push to fund the health care of 9-11 responders who became ill. The online headline “In ‘Daily Show’ Role on 9/11 Bill, Echoes of Murrow.” A comparison to Murrow, the vaunted journalist slayer of Sen. Joe McCarthy, is a deep compliment in liberal media circles.
Did the bill pledging federal funds for the health care of 9/11 responders become law in the waning hours of the 111th Congress only because a comedian took it up as a personal cause?
And does that make that comedian, Jon Stewart -- despite all his protestations that what he does has nothing to do with journalism -- the modern-day equivalent of Edward R. Murrow?
Appearing as a guest on Sunday’s Reliable Sources on CNN, Steve Roberts - who has worked for both the New York Times and U.S. News and World Report - after conceding that the Tea Party movement is important, dismissively asserted that the movement "didn’t win. You only won a couple of seats." Roberts:
I think that they are an important part of the American landscape. Now I don't think they're as important as they think they are. I mean, you had people coming into Washington this week and saying, wait, we won. No, you didn't win. You won a couple of seats, and you got to deal with everybody else.
After host Howard Kurtz wondered "did the media kind of turn on" President Obama and claimed that the media had not spent enough time giving credit to Obama for his recent legislative successes, leading to guest Thomas Frank of Harper’s to bring up complaints against Obama by disaffected liberals, Roberts asserted that there is no liberal media bias: