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:
Searching for an upside to the WikiLeaks release of secret documents, Late Show host David Letterman on Wednesday night pointed to how such disclosures could have possibly prevented the 9/11 attacks since former President George Bush had disregarded “for months and months and months” the warning “that bin Laden and al-Qaeda were interested in hijacking planes and flying them into buildings,” but not even Rachel Maddow, his far-left guest from MSNBC, bought his spin. Letterman contended:
There is the viewpoint if WikiLeaks had been in business prior to the attack of 9/11 and we knew that George Bush had looked at a document suggesting that bin Laden and al-Qaeda were interested in hijacking planes and flying them into buildings – which largely went disregarded for months and months and months until long after the attack. If we had known that, via something like WikiLeaks, we perhaps could have acted a little more alertly.
In fact, the Presidential Daily Brief to which Letterman referred, the one titled “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US,” was presented to Bush on August 6, barely five weeks before 9/11, not “months and months and months” in advance.
Fox News apparently employs a pair of 9/11 "Truthers": Geraldo Rivera, host of FNC's "Geraldo at Large", and, we've recently discovered, Judge Andrew Napolitano, who hosts "Freedom Watch" on the Fox Business Network.
Both Napolitano and Rivera have, er, raised questions about the "official" (read: commonsensical) explanation for the collapse of the WTC7 building on September 11, 2001. This conspiracy theory has been thoroughlydebunked a number of times. Apparently Geraldo and the Judge are not convinced.
"Early Show" co-host Maggie Rodriguez today glossed over the TSA's use of intrusive pat-downs while drilling down on the potential for "gridlock" if distressed passengers cause "chaos" this weekend over the enhanced security measures.
"There is, as I'm sure you know, this online movement that's gaining more and more momentum calling for people tomorrow to opt-out of those full-body scanners and get pat-downs instead to create chaos at the airport," noted Rodriguez, interviewing aviation expert Peter Goelz. "The head of the TSA told me yesterday that will only serve to further delay and further irritate passengers. How bad do you think it could get?"
Parroting the TSA chief's talking points, the CBS anchor failed to question Goelz, former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board, about the potential for civil liberties abuses. Instead, CBS displayed graphics hyperbolizing "TSA Turbulence" and fretting "Will Passenger Gridlock Hamper Holiday Travel?"
Rodriguez even shifted the burden of responsibility from the government to the passengers: "Is there anything, Peter, that you suggest that people do as they travel in the next couple of days to make things go smoothly?"
Appearing as a guest on Saturday’s Huckabee show on FNC, Whoopi Goldberg - co-host of ABC’s The View - complained that bloggers disseminate inaccurate information about her without the need to "fact check," and that "they poop on you and they walk away." Goldberg: "But a blogger can say endless stuff. They don't have to fact check. ... And then that is picked up and made into some other story on another station, and it becomes the truth. See, I think fact outweighs assumption. So if you have facts in your hands, then you can talk, then you can have a conversation... People just, they poop on you and they walk away."
After asserting that she has said "not one thing" on ABC’s The View that she regrets saying, Goldberg soon added, "And I've gotten flack for what I felt was fact as opposed to someone's speculation."
But Goldberg has her own history of helping spread misinformation on The View. Last May, she and other co-hosts repeated the distorted claims of a left-wing organization in Texas which alleged that conservatives on the Texas State Board of Education were trying to downplay or eliminate references to slavery in its grade school history curriculum. On the Monday, May 17 show, Behar misinformed viewers with sarcasm: "Remember that thing called the 'slave trade'? Remember that? Okay, it turns out, what you learned was all wrong. Because it wasn't some evil buying and selling of human beings. It was simply called 'Atlantic triangular trade.' That's what they want to call it now. It's called revisionism. People do it about the Holocaust, and now Texas wants to do it about our country."
Moments later, Goldberg chimed in, "I’m sorry. Slavery was slavery. You can’t recall it." Instead of reading out the actual wording from the curriculum plan, panel members seemed only to refer to third-party accounts of the proposed changes.
And in April, the panel on the View helped feed the misinformed hysteria over Arizona’s effort to enforce federal immigration laws as some of her co-hosts assumed the new state law would require racial profiling and targeting of Hispanics, failing to convey that Arizona law enforcement would only check immigration documents of suspects who have been detained for some other reason. Goldberg acted more as moderator on this occasion and was not as outspoken as other co-hosts in making assertions about the new law, but she did not challenge the claims of her co-hosts and seemed to assume they were accurate. Goldberg, from the April 26 The View:
Correction: This post initially claimed that McGowan was a former reporter for the New York Times. In fact, McGowan was never actually employed by the paper, though he did do some freelance work for it. NewsBusters regrets the error.
The New York Times is fascinating in how closely it mirrors American liberalism - both in its politics and in its intellectual evolution. Like the American left, the Times has moved from the intellectual and patriotic liberalism of Jack Kennedy and Daniel Patrick Moynihan to the politically correct, post-American leftism that dominates what today we call "liberalism" - a term now completely unmoored from its etymology.
Veteran journalist Bill McGowan, an occasional Times contributor, a long-time reader, and author of the new book "Gray Lady Down", elaborated on the Times's political evolution in a recent interview with PJM's Ed Driscoll.
"At a certain point," McGowan told Driscoll in discussing the Times's 1960s-style, counter-cultural skew, "you just have to say, this is not reporting. This is propagandizing."
Keith Olbermann on Monday attacked Ted Koppel for not speaking out against the Iraq War as vehemently as he did.
During his Special Comment, the "Countdown" host arrogantly claimed "Koppel and everybody else in the dead, objective television news business" failed the previous decade for not reporting "the utter falsehood and dishonesty of the process by which this country was committed to the wrong war" (video follows with commentary and transcript at end of post):
A former advisor to George W. Bush smacked down Salon's Joan Walsh Monday for questioning the 43rd President's psychological compass.
Appearing on MSNBC's "Hardball," GOP strategist Ron Christie also gave Chris Matthews a much-needed education on why going into Iraq was a successful part of Bush's strategy to prevent America from a follow-up attack after 9/11 (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Sunday’s syndicated Chris Matthews Show, panel member Katty Kay of the BBC claimed that Vice President Dick Cheney had convinced 70 percent of Americans to believe that Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attacks, and that he "hoodwinked the American public." Kay’s accusation came as host Matthews had turned the discussion to the topic of how President Obama might have handled the response to the 9/11 attacks differently than President Bush.
Bob Woodward of the Washington Post asserted that "there was no al-Qaeda in Iraq until we invaded, and then they came." But, as previously documented by NewsBusters, before the 2003 invasion, varous news sources - some American, some from other countries - were already citing the governments of several countries as they reported that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of al-Qaeda in Iraq, not only was already in Iraq plotting attacks against targets in Europe, but that he already had an association with Osama bin Laden and had spent time in Afghanistan.
Kay then chimed in, as she suggested that Cheney had convinced most Americans that Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attacks, although she seemed to mistakenly use the word "Iraq" instead of "9/11." Kay: "But the, sort of, political ‘extraordinaryness’ of the Bush administration was that Cheney managed to convince 70 percent of American people that Iraq was, that Saddam Hussein was directly behind Iraq and hoodwinked the American public."
Matthews responded: "In the polling, you’re right, it’s in the polling."
Former president George W. Bush can’t even put exhibits in his own presidential center without offending some easily frightened leftists. New York Times reporter Michael Brick handed some at Southern Methodist University in Dallas a megaphone to complain about the megaphone Bush used to address rescue workers from the rubble of the World Trade Center in moving fashion three days after the attacks in “Opening of Exhibit on Bush Reopens a Campus Rift.” Let's pick things up at paragraph three:
But now Mr. Bush is bringing out the bullhorn.
“Breaking New Ground: Presenting the George W. Bush Presidential Center,” an exhibit set to open this weekend on the campus of Southern Methodist University, prominently features the handgun taken from Saddam Hussein and the loudspeaker used to address rescue workers at the World Trade Center in September 2001.
The choice of mementos, emphasizing some of the more controversial foreign policy aspects of the Bush presidency, has reinvigorated opposition to the center’s presence at the university.
“It’s the approach they’ve taken all along; it fits their worldview,” said the Rev. William K. McElvaney, a professor emeritus of preaching and worship at the university. “It’s a tragedy for S.M.U. to hitch its star to this.”
The new opening exhibit, some Methodist leaders said, provides a disturbing first glimpse into the presidential center’s priorities.
On Friday's CBS Early Show, after news reader Erica Hill reported on Fox News host Bill O'Reilly's heated Thursday appearance on ABC's 'The View,' co-host Harry Smith proclaimed O'Reilly to be "the bloviater-in-chief" and that "he was in full bloviation mode yesterday."
Hill began her report by declaring: "When Barbara Walters introduced the conservative talk show host on 'The View' Thursday, she ignited a major fuse, turning daytime TV into dynamite." Hill described how O'Reilly's statement that "Muslims killed us on 9/11" caused left-wing hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg to walk off the set. Once she concluded her piece, Smith said of O'Reilly: "He loves all this attention." Hill replied "he thrives on it." Smith added: "He was so happy to see their reactions to him."
For Joy Behar, saying Muslims killed Americans on September 11, 2001 is "hate speech," but saying the American government did it is perfectly acceptable and well within the bounds of civil discourse.
That, at least, is the standard she set forth yesterday, first throwing a temper tantrum on "The View" when Bill O'Reilly noted the religious identities of the 9/11 terrorists, and then calmly sitting down to discuss the incident with 9/11 truther Jesse Ventura.
"I question 9/11, I got a conspiracy theory." Ventura made sure to note at the outset. "So who's to say [Muslims] actually did [perpetrate the attacks] or not."
Behar's response: "Well that's another thing, yeah" (video and transcript below the fold - h/t Allahpundit).
Imagine the furor if a televangelist went on a major TV network and told viewers Christianity would conquer the world and that the flag of Christianity would fly over the White House.
Network reporters, Hollywood celebrities and the pundit class likely would seize the moment as an example of the evils of America's supposed Christian theocracy. The story might be tied to the dangers of evangelical religion and likely even to the Tea Parties. Across the oceans, radical Islamists would likely do as they did during the Koran burning episode or after the Danish cartoons were published. They would riot. Cars, businesses and maybe even embassies might burn. People might die.
Thankfully, that didn't happen. What did happen is far scarier.
ABC News held a townhall meeting, bringing on experts from left and right to ask the question: "Should Americans fear Islam?"
Thanks to ABC, we know the answer. Americans absolutely should. One of the network's "experts" was Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary, who Britain's Sunday Times called "the leader of the now-outlawed extremist group Islam4UK." His comments on "This Week" bore out everything conservatives criticize about radical Islam. "We do believe as Muslims the East and the West will be governed by the Sharia," Choudray said. "Indeed we believe that one day the flag of Islam will fly over the White House."
UPDATE: Do New York Times reporters read NewsBusters? NYT stealthily inserts a reference to 9/11 without informing readers of an update. The updated version appeared in Friday's print edition.
In the latest installment of its pro-bono PR campaign for the Ground Zero mosque, the New York Times attempted to draw parallels between opposition to the mosque and opposition to the construction of St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church, built in lower Manhattan in 1785.
But somehow in his discussion of the mosque opponents, Times reporter Paul Vitello neglected to explicitly mention the September 11 terrorist attacks - you know, the events that form the entire basis for that opposition. The omission allowed the Times to continue drawing false parallels, and to implicitly perpetuate the notion that objections to the mosque are unfounded, dishonest, or bigoted.
More fundamentally, the article avoided mentioning 9/11 since doing so would have required the reporter to address the one monumental disconnect between the two cases: Catholics did not slaughter 2,852 innocent civilians in God's name two blocks from St. Peter's Church.
Standup comic and New York Times-bestselling author Sarah Silverman joked on Twitter that widows of the Sept. 11 attacks "give the best handjobs" on Oct. 6, attributing the quote to pseudonymous 19th century author and satirist Mark Twain.
"‘9/11 widows give the best hand jobs.' -Mark Twain," wrote Silverman, adding the hashtag, "#notcooltwain."
Later that day, the star of Comedy Central's "Sarah Silverman Program," appeared to amend her outlandish comment.
"Have remorse about last tweet," Silverman wrote on Twitter. "I'm sorry. Meant to be silly not mean. Should've quoted [Civil Rights activist and poet Maya] Angelou."
Eric Bolling's new show on the Fox Business Channel, Money Rocks, saw a significant display of fireworks this evening. During a discussion of some already controversial statements made by Democratic strategist, Bob Beckel, a very heated exchange developed involving Beckel and Atlas Shrugs publisher, Pamela Geller.
The controversy started when Bolling played a clip of Beckel's previous appearance on the show in which he stated:
"Look, at some point, I know it's sensitive here in New York and probably New Jersey, but we have to get over 9/11."
What did he mean by ‘we have to get over 9/11'? According to Beckel, this was simply an expression of frustration for a variety of things, such as extra security at airports and a few other minor inconveniences designed to catch "a bunch of non-existent terrorists."
The short list of ‘non-existent terrorists' since 9/11 that Mr. Beckel must be referring to, include the Madrid train bombers, Russian train bombers, Shoe Bomber, the Lackawanna Six, Fort Hood assassin, the Virginia ‘Jihad' Network, Christmas Day bomber, Fort Dix plotters, and the Times Square bomber.
Beckel might have been feeling the stress of trying to defend such a blatantly insensitive statement, by providing a blatantly inaccurate defense, as he experienced a misogynistic meltdown directed at Geller in the middle of the segment in which he said:
"You're a woman, you better be careful about saying who I carry water for."
Catching up on an item from the Thursday, September 9, The View on ABC, Barbara Walters was at odds with her co-hosts over the issue of whether racism was the primary motivation of the Arizona illegal immigration law as well as opposition to the Ground Zero mosque. Whoopi Goldberg raised the question of whether "there may be an undercurrent of racism in the USA that’s building up," leading co-host Sherri Shepherd to assert that "you certainly hear racism a lot more, I think, than you ever heard it." Walters soon jumped in to voice dissent:
I think that we're kind of mixing things up. When you say there's more racism now, oh, there's so much less racism than 20 years ago or 50 years ago. ... There is racism in this country. That's not new. There is racism against the President. That's not new. But I disagree with putting the mosque and the Arizona laws. I think the Arizona laws have to do with losing jobs and people coming across the border to get those jobs.
After Goldberg responded, "Then why don't they say that?" Walters continued:
Here's a fact you're not likely to see on tonight's evening news broadcasts: According to a recent poll, Arabs living abroad are more likely to be opposed to the "Ground Zero Mosque" than the American media are.
According to a recent survey by the Arabic online news service Elaph (Arabic version here), 58 percent of Arabs think the construction should be moved elsewhere. And according to a Media Research Center study released last week, 55 percent of network news coverage of the debate has come down on the pro-Mosque side.
The MRC study also found that on the question of whether opposition to the mosque demonstrated a widely held "Islamophobia" among Americans, 93 percent of network news soundbites answered ion the affirmative. In contrast, when asked whether the United States is a "tolerant" or "bigoted" society, 63 percent of Elaph respondents chose the former.
On Saturday’s Fox News Watch, host Jon Scott picked up on a recent "Media Reality Check" report by the Media Research Center – parent organization to NewsBusters – titled "Smearing America as Islamophobic," which documented that the mainstream media have portrayed America as Islamophobic because of public opposition to the Ground Zero mosque. Scott: "The Media Research Center, Jim, released a study this week titled 'Smearing America as Islamophobic.' The overall thrust is that networks like NBC, CBS, ABC are calling these protests at Ground Zero, protests over the mosque, Islamophobia. Do they have a point?’"
After panel member Jim Pinkerton of the New America Foundation voiced his agreement with the MRC’s findings, Scott seemed to pick up on another MRC/NewsBusters item as he quoted ABC’s Christiane Amanpour from last week’s This Week show when she portrayed America as Islamophobic. Scott: "Let me read you a quote from Christiane Amanpour... At the top of her show on Sunday, she noted the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that had just passed, and she said, ‘She said nine years later, the growing hostility toward Muslim-Americans. Not since 9/11 has the country seen such anti-Muslim fervor,’ and said, ‘Muslim-Americans are feeling vulnerable.’ Where’s her proof?"
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday’s Larry King Live on CNN, comedian Bill Maher picked up on a recent contention by Newt Gingrich that President Obama is motivated by anti-colonialism which his Kenyan father felt as the Real Time with Bill Maher host smeared the potential 2012 Republican presidential field as racist:
How are they going to out-firebreathe each other? I mean, where this rhetoric has gone to at this point. It’s only 2010, and we’re having Newt Gingrich, as we were talking about before, calling him an anti-colonial Luo tribesman. ... That’s the new Kenyan, Larry. And Kenyan, of course, was code for n*****. But that’s where they are. They can’t say it out loud. But that’s where this whole campaign is going to be. You asked about racism. It’s all about racism. They cannot fathom this idea that there is a black President. And that’s what they are going to fight about.
Maher also declared that, while he personally likes Delaware GOP senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell because she is a "nice person" who used to be a frequent guest on his Politically Incorrect show in the 1990s, that he was also cheering for her and other "tea baggers" to win GOP primaries, declaring that "she's going to get her Christian ass kicked in the general election."
And, as the topic turned to the Ground Zero mosque, while Maher acknowledged that there is a substantial amount of Islamic extremism in the world, he believed using the military against it makes it worse, and suggested that, because 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has already been captured, America should declare victory and New Yorkers should "forget about it." Referring to the 9/11 mastermind, Maher declared:
On the September 11th Saturday Early Show, CBS News Middle East analyst Reza Aslan slammed opponents of the Ground Zero mosque as having "unapologetically politicized" 9/11 and being part of a "whole wave of anti-Muslim sentiment."
While he denounced others for trying to "take advantage of this symbol for their own political purposes," Aslan made his comments only seconds after live coverage of the first moment of silence for victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Co-host Chris Wragge accepted Aslan's characterization of the controversy and responded: "...this is not an opportunity to add controversy into the mix. If there's one day, you know what, to keep our mouths quiet and let's just reflect on the lives lost, today is it, you don't mess with that."
Aslan followed up by admitting: "I'll be honest with you, I hope that there is kind of a backlash against what's going on right now. As you know, at 1pm today there'll be a rally in support of the so-called Park 51 project, at 3pm there'll be this international rally against it. So, I'm hoping that Americans all over the country see these images and think we've gone too far."
He later specifically condemned mosque opponents: "...particularly in the case of this sort of international anti-Islam rally that's being brought by this group called Stop Islamization of America. And they're inviting all these European anti-Muslim politicians in to speak. I mean, that's really now taking this to a whole other level."
New York Times columnist Charles Blow wrote a short piece on the ninth anniversary of 9/11 that should be must-reading for all Americans on both sides of the aisle.
In fact, I'm sure liberal Times devotees will be just as shocked by "A Lesson From 9/11" as conservatives that take the three minutes necessary to get through it.
After sharing his experience as a New Yorker who was in Manhattan that awful day, Blow marvelously tied it all together with what Americans have fought and died for since our forefathers were colonists:
Those are the two most prevalent words uttered or typed on this tragically historic day.
For many, September 11, 2001, was a day that will forever be seared into the minds of those who were witness. On that day, the nation was awoken by a harsh reality that some people want nothing more than to destroy our freedom, our way of life. It was a day that 19 hijackers, four airplanes, two towers, and one deranged ideology brought the threat of terrorism to the forefront in our country.
But a mere nine years after 9/11, has the leadership of this nation, both administrative and media related, already forgotten?
Yesterday, on the eve of the anniversary of 9/11, the President of the United States of America had the tone deaf audacity to ignore the concept of time and place, choosing to defend the building of the Ground Zero victory mosque. In his news conference, President Obama said that the proposed New York City mosque has run up against the "extraordinary sensitivities around 9/11." In other words, he hears the sensitivities, he simply does not care.
Alan Colmes on the ninth anniversary of 9/11 said America shouldn't commemorate these attacks every year, and was nicely smacked down by Judith Miller for his smarmy efforts.
Discussing the anniversary coverage on "Fox News Watch," Colmes said, "Every 9/11 it's become like a national day of remembrance, which I understand from an emotional standpoint, but I wonder if it's such a good idea that every year we make such a big deal on the media of it being 9/11."
Miller shot back, "The reason you do it is to remember why we have the counter-terrorism policies we have...We need to be reminded why we're doing this."
Colmes pathetically replied, "9/11 should not be revered as some kind of national almost holiday."
"It's not revered. It's commemorated," said Miller (video follows with transcript and commentary):