By Friday, after White House Secretary Robert Gibbs would only say that he still was a part of the administration, it was obvious that Jones's resignation was only a matter of time. The 9/11 truther and other evidence accumulated by Glenn Beck, Gateway Pundit, WorldNetDaily, and others was simply overwhelming.
But it seems to me that it would have been more convenient had the White House waited until early Sunday afternoon to announce Jones's resignation. Given the establishment media's near blackout of his past statements and actions, it's likely that the Sunday morning network talk shows would have avoided Jones completely, or would have given the topic very short shrift. A Sunday afternoon resignation would have been much more invisible -- except for something that came out on Saturday evening.
I believe that Jones's resignation may have been moved up by 12 hours or so. That's because on Saturday evening, Scott Johnson at Powerline presented proof that roughly 40 hours after the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred, avowed Communist Jones publicly declared that the U.S. deserved what happened. I'm not kidding.
All three morning shows on Friday skipped any reference to the developing controversy over Obama administration Green Jobs Czar Van Jones and his connection to the 9/11 Truther movement. CBS’s Early Show, NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America totally ignored the story, although ABC’s Jake Tapper did file an online report over the subject.
And although Fox News on Thursday covered the revelation that Jones signed a 911truth.org statement in 2004 urging an investigation into whether or not George W. Bush had prior knowledge about 9/11 ("people within the current administration may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war"), none of nightly news programs highlighted this potential problem for the Obama administration.
So, while Good Morning America found no time for this incendiary topic, co-anchor Robin Roberts did host a segment on testing name brand versus store brand pizza. Early Show’s Harry Smith explained to viewers how to keep your lawn in top condition this autumn. And Today’s co-hosts thrilled over the must-have fashions for the fall season.
Don't like ObamaCare? Well, more than likely - you're suffering from some sort of psychological delusion according to Newsweek Senior Editor and self-declared psychiatrist Sharon Begley.
Begley, in a piece posted on Newsweek's Web site on Aug. 25, theorized that the widespread opposition to President Barack Obama's health care reform is from any legitimate reason, but instead it exists mostly because people are not willing to go against their own beliefs, but have a desire to satisfy their need to think they're beliefs are right.
Begley used the analogy that some people refused to dismiss a connection between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 terrorist as why people won't dismiss some of the "myths" about ObamaCare.
"Some people form and cling to false beliefs about health-care reform (or Obama's citizenship) despite overwhelming evidence thanks to a mental phenomenon called motivated reasoning, says sociologist says sociologist Steven Hoffman, visiting assistant professor at the University at Buffalo," Begley wrote.
Anti-Bush 9-11 "Truthers" get a fair hearing from the New York Times, but anti-Obama "Birthers" are harshly criticized, and Rush Limbaugh is of course to blame.
Media reporter Brian Stelter's Saturday Business story, "A Dispute Over Obama's Birth Lives On in the Media," questioned those questioning Obama's birth certificate, his citizenship, and his resulting eligibility for the presidency. Good for the Times. But where is the Times's critcism when liberals gin up wackier conspiracy theories?
Back in June 2006, Times reporter Alan Feuer showed far more respect to a conspiracy theory many times more incendiary and implausible: That the 9-11 attacks were an inside job, that the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon were engineered by President Bush. Yet not once did Feuer dismiss the 9-11 Truthers bizarre charge as a "conspiracy theory," as Stelter did in the first line of his Sunday piece on the Birthers:
The New York Times's lead story Sunday was on a C.I.A. program allegedly concealed from Congress by Dick Cheney, and abruptly ended by new C.I.A. director Leon Panetta when he learned of it. The headline to intelligence reporter Scott Shane's story huffed: "Cheney Is Linked To Concealment Of C.I.A. Project." Democrats are of course calling for an investigation.
The Central Intelligence Agency withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the agency's director, Leon E. Panetta, has told the Senate and House intelligence committees, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Saturday.
Sounds serious, yes? But the program that the conniving Cheney hid from Congress turns out to have been not much of a secret after all, as demonstrated but not acknowledged in Tuesday's follow-up story by Shane and Mark Mazzetti: "After 9-11, C.I.A. Had Plan To Kill Al Qaeda's Leaders." (Well, one would hope so!)
Sooner or later, liberals will learn to not provoke Liz Cheney on issues of national security.
Those who watch the news for information other than the tragic death (and subsequent funeral circus) of Michael Jackson have most likely heard of the most recent round of accusations made by congressional liberals against the Central Intelligence Agency. On the July 14 “Morning Joe,” the former vice president's daughter issued a thrashing of Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, who (one would guess) did not adequately prepare to argue about the laws concerning when the CIA is required to brief Congress.
Robinson first submits the following:
EUGENE ROBINSON, Washington Post columnist: Hi, Liz, how are you? I have a question. I actually have a question for Liz in a minute, but you know, look, it's inconvenient that there is a law, there is a 1947 law that requires that Congress be briefed on significant intelligence operations or activities or anticipated significant intelligent activity, so it seems to be clear that they should have been briefed. And if the Vice President told the CIA not to brief Congress then that was wrong.
That certainly sounds correct, at least on the surface – if that’s the law, that’s the law.
Noted free-speech champion Keith Olbermann has declared that we have to "legally stop" Glenn Beck. The Fox News host's crime? Not reacting strongly enough for Olbermann's taste when a guest made an over-the-top remark. [H/t reader JKF.]
On the June 30 editon of Beck's show, former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer said: "the only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to detonate a major weapon in the United States." Apparently Scheuer thinks that's what it would take to shock the country and its leaders back to their senses. Olbermann was infuriated that Beck didn't "scream at him" or otherwise jump down Scheuer's throat, choosing instead to nod gravely while suggesting that would be the last thing OBL would do.
On the Wednesday, June 10, Beck show on FNC, during an interview with host Glenn Beck, actor John Voight informed viewers that he decided to abandon his left-wing past partly because he blamed the "Marxist" anti-war movement of the Vietnam War era for causing the "slaughter" in South Vietnam and Cambodia after America pulled out of the region. After recounting that "I was surrounded by people who were very heavily programmed Marxist, and I didn't even realize it at the time that this was communist-based stuff, you know, that the communists were behind organizing all of these rallies and things," Voight continued:
And then I saw the end of the war. I saw us pull out, and then I saw the communists move in and slaughter 2 1/2 million people in South Vietnam and Cambodia. And I saw the left that had precipitated this turn away, just walk away from it. ... They didn't take seriously the blood that they had been directly causing. And it didn't – but I must say programming is very, very deep. And I didn't really pull out of it for quite a while afterward. But that's where the dime dropped and things started to happen. And then I , you know, then 9/11, of course.
Below is a complete transcript of the interview from the Wednesday, June 10, Beck show on FNC:
There was a tell-tale moment during Ed Schultz's repugnant rant on today's Morning Joe. In the course of alleging that Dick Cheney wants Americans to die in a terrorist attack, Schultz boasted: "I got a lot of support when I said that on the Ed program, I got a lot of support overnight when I said it again." [H/t reader Melody and Mitchell Blatt.]
Translation: the ratings-starved Schultz will say pretty much anything if it garners him a few more eyeballs on the paranoid-lefty fringe.
On World News Sunday, ABC News anchor David Muir read a brief story relaying to viewers an attack on former Vice President Cheney by CIA Director Leon Panetta which appeared in the New Yorker magazine. In the interview, Panetta suggested that Cheney may desire to see terrorists hit America again for his own benefit. Muir recounted:
In an interview excerpt aired on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, from the NBC News special, 'Inside the Obama White House,' set to air at 9 PM EDT/PDT tonight (Tuesday) and Wednesday, Brian Williams used President Barack Obama's upcoming speech to Muslims in Cairo to take a dig at former President George Bush, as he contended: “It's a speech that your predecessor perhaps could not have given constitutionally, given who he is, and could not have given because the attack came on his watch.” Obama rejected Williams' premise: “I'm not sure that it's true that President Bush couldn't have given a speech in the Muslim world.”
NBC provided a platform Friday for President Obama to fire back at conservative critics of his Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, as Brian Williams cued him up to agree her comment that a Latina judge would make better decisions than a white male one, is “one of those she'd rather have back.” Obama naturally agreed as NBC Nightly News aired his response for an uninterrupted two-plus minutes -- an eternity on TV news.
Kate Phillips blogged the Obama-Cheney dueling national security speeches Thursday morning at nytimes.com. Phillips got her Cheney feedback from New York Times reporter Jim Rutenberg, who was listening to Cheney live at the American Enterprise Institute. Cheney began his speech right after President Obama had finished addressing an audience at the National Archives.
A double standard was soon evident. While the reporters reacted passively to Obama's speech, simply relaying great chunks of it which went unchallenged, Phillips and Rutenberg peppered Cheney's speech with questions on several occasions or otherwise sniped at him. Some excerpts from the Times's live coverage of Cheney's speech:
Mr. Cheney Begins | 11:22 a.m. The former vice president steps up -- and you know he's ad-libbing a little when he begins by saying that you can tell that President Obama was in the Senate, not the House, (where Mr. Cheney once served), because representatives have a five-minute rule on the floor for speeches.
Four weeks after FX's Rescue Me featured a New York City firefighter telling a French journalist how the 9/11 terrorist attacks were part of “a massive neo-conservative government effort” to enable “American global domination,” Tuesday night's episode gave the French character “Genevieve,” interviewing firefighters for a book on 9/11 first-responders, a platform to rail against how the U.S. failed to heed France's advice in starting “two new wars” in the name of “revenge.”
Discussing 9/11 with firefighter “Tommy Gavin,” played by show creator Denis Leary, “Genevieve” agreed “9/11 was a tragedy. To most of the world it was a tragedy,” but she fretted, “to Americans, it was the beginning of the end of the world.” As the two walked along a Manhattan street following a visit to Ground Zero, she lectured, presumably alluding to Iraq: “France warned the U.S. government because of their experience with Algeria. And then told them that maybe this was not a good idea and they didn't want to send their people to die.” As to why she wants to write about 9/11:
It's an amazing story, it's a story about how so many people in the world came to support America and its people, to say, “hey, you know what? You've done so much to help us and to support us, we want to give back to you.” But what did your government do with all that good will? Hell, you went right back to war. You started two new wars. In the name of what? Revenge?...Every goddamn war is about revenge -- and the French don't believe in guns.
As media members pressure Congress and the White House to prosecute Bush administration officials for enhanced interrogation techniques employed at the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay, they present their case as if such practices began quite recently.
This is by no means surprising as the full grips of Bush Derangement Syndrome cannot be felt without either a complete revision of history or one totally ignoring everything that happened prior to January 20, 2001.
With this in mind, an op-ed published in Sunday's Los Angeles Times, which accused one of the left's most-sacred golden idols, Robert F. Kennedy, of being involved in teaching torture techniques to Brazilian police officers, is sure to raise a few eyebrows (h/t Gary Hall):
CBS's "Early Show" on Wednesday completely skipped any follow-up on the gaffe of having Air Force One fly over New York City on Monday, terrifying residents. Instead, the program highlighted stories on Barack Obama's first 100 days and still found time for a piece on male celebrities and whether or not they are gaining too much weight. ABC's "Good Morning America" and NBC's "Today" both had segments on the developing story and the revelation that the exercise, designed as a photo op for the White House website, cost $328,000. ABC reporter Jake Tapper intoned, "Asked if the President thinks the costs in both money and stress were worth it, the White House said no."
He also explained to viewers that Senator John McCain had written a letter to the Defense Department, charging, that the flight "represents a fundamentally unsound exercise in military judgment and may have constituted an inappropriate use of the Department of Defense resources." Tapper labeled the debacle a "terrifying photo op." "Today" correspondent Lisa Myers covered similar ground and speculated, "And what about the cost to taxpayers during a financial crisis?" She featured a clip from Steve Ellis of the organization Taxpayers for Common Sense. He charged that the "government wasting money on a photo shoot really flies in the face of fiscal responsibility."
The 9/11 terrorist attacks were part of “a massive neo-conservative government effort” to enable “American global domination,” a character on FX's "Rescue Me" argued on Tuesday night's episode. In the drama about firefighters in New York City, firefighter “Franco Rivera,” played by actor Daniel Sunjata, a real-life 9/11 “truther,” laid out his theory for a French journalist interviewing firefighters for a book on 9/11 first-responders. As noted in a February NewsBusters post, in a New York Times story about the then-upcoming storyline, Brian Stelter reported the ludicrous theory “may represent the first fictional presentation of 9/11 conspiracy theories by a mainstream media company (FX is operated by the News Corporation).”
During the episode, “Franco” outlined the four-point plan by the Project for a New American Century, starting with how Bush-Cheney “came to power with plans already made to attack Afghanistan and Iraq.” Second, “we have to make huge technological advances with our armed forces, that for some reason include the capability to fight wars from outer space.” Third, “huge increases in military spending” to the neglect of “sick and dying first-responders, 9/11's heroes, who can't even pay their light bill let alone their medical bills.” Fourth, “we changed the definition of pre-emptive attack so we can unilaterally bomb the shit out of, invade and occupy countries even if they pose no credible threat or had nothing to do with 9/11.” Finally:
How you going to put it into action? I mean, the American people are never going to go for shit like that, right? You're damn straight. No, what you need is an event, an event that gets everyone's heads turned around the right way. What you need is a new Pearl Harbor.
Former professor Ward Churchill, who infamously likened some 9-11 victims to Nazis in an essay written on September 12, 2001, won a civil trial on a technicality yesterday, winning $1 in damages for having been unjustly dismissed from his teaching position at the University of Colorado.
In a Friday New York Times story from Denver, Kirk Johnson and Katharine Seelye team up to cover the trial of Churchill, who was fired for plagiarism in his scholarly work as a consequence of scrutiny after public attention was focused on his essay calling the "technocratic corps" murdered in the World Trade Center "little Eichmanns" who had it coming.
The verdict by the panel of four women and two men -- none of whom wished to be interviewed by reporters, court officials said -- seemed unlikely to resolve the larger debate surrounding Mr. Churchill that was engendered by the case. Is Mr. Churchill, as his supporters contend, a torchbearer for the right to hold unpopular political views? Or is he unpatriotic or -- as his harshest critics contend -- an outright collaborator with the nation's enemies at a time of war?
The jury seemed at least partly undecided on what to think about the man at the center of the fight, whose essay made him a polarizing national figure.
The Times is far too kind. We can safely assume that someone who applauds the death of American citizens for the crime of being American citizens is by definition "unpatriotic." Churchill's statements were only "polarizing" in the sense that he and a few fellow left-wing extremists believed them, while the rest of the country was suitably disgusted.
It's enlightening to see what topics New York Times editors find disturbing and newsworthy and which ones they shrug off or ignore.
New York's new senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, is a Democrat who is nonetheless under strong suspicions at the liberal Times for her support of gun rights and her previous representation of a white conservative district. On Friday's front page, she came under fire via a stash of old ammo in a story by Raymond Hernandez and David Kocieniewski. "As New Lawyer, Senator Defended Big Tobacco." Gillibrand is in trouble for defending Big Tobacco as a lawyer representing Philip Morris back in 1996.
The Philip Morris Company did not like to talk about what went on inside its lab in Cologne, Germany, where researchers secretly conducted experiments exploring the effects of cigarette smoking.
So when the Justice Department tried to get its hands on that research in 1996 to prove that tobacco industry executives had lied about the dangers of smoking, the company moved to fend off the effort with the help of a highly regarded young lawyer named Kirsten Rutnik.
Ms. Rutnik, who now goes by her married name, Gillibrand, threw herself into the work. She traveled to Germany at least twice, interviewing the lab's top scientists, whose research showed a connection between smoking and cancer but was kept far from public view.
Actor Ron Silver died Sunday after a bout with cancer. His work aside, his politics were a fairly routine case of Hollywood liberalism, but the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 moved him to embrace a more vigorous defense of America. From the February 11, 2003 Cyber Alert, Brent Baker wrote of Silver's interview on FNC's Beltway Boys program:
[Fred] Barnes segued into a discussion with Silver about anti-Americanism by recalling how last month in "Switzerland, for the International Economic Conference there, you had a run in with the head of the European parliament who accused or at least suggested that the U.S. has become an imperialist power in the world, and you responded rather aggressively to him. Tell us about that incident, and also about the level of anti-Americanism that you discovered there."
After the attacks were known to all, James Carville told assembled Washington reporters at a hotel conference room breakfast where he and Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg spoke (photo is from the May 20, 2004 Christian Science Monitor) to "Disregard everything we just said! This changes everything!"
The assembled press apparently understood that as something each and every one of them should take to the grave.
“A coming episode of the acclaimed FX drama Rescue Me will tackle what may sound like a far-fetched plot line: that the attacks of Sept. 11 were an 'inside job,'” Brian Stelter reported in the New York Times, noting the ludicrous plot “may represent the first fictional presentation of 9/11 conspiracy theories by a mainstream media company (FX is operated by the News Corporation).” Actor Daniel Sunjata (IMDB page), who plays New York City firefighter “Franco Rivera” -- and who in a photo with the Times story sported a shirt emblazoned “INVESTIGATE 9/11” -- “predicted that the episode would be 'socio-politically provocative.'”
In the episode, the second in the new season starting in April, “Mr. Sunjata’s character delivers a two-minute monologue for a French journalist describing a 'neoconservative government effort' to control the world’s oil, drastically increase military spending and 'change the definition of pre-emptive attack.' To put it into action, he continues, 'what you need is a new Pearl Harbor. That’s what they said they needed.'” Now that's some crazy paranoia.
On Wednesday’s The O’Reilly Factor, during the show’s regular "Miller Time" segment, Dennis Miller defended the practice of waterboarding terrorists to save the lives of Americans, calling the technique "heaven-sent." Miller: "Something that takes somebody who's willing to strap a bomb on and yet freaks them out to the point where they'll tell you where the next bomb is by pouring water down their nose and they don't even die, I think, wow, this is heaven-sent." He also heaped praise on President Bush for "keeping this country safe in the interim seven years" since the 9/11 attacks. Miller: "That's what I admire about him. He's willing to be hated for the rest of his life to do the right thing. And I just want to look in the camera. This is the last time I’ll be on this show when he's my President and my Commander-in-Chief and say, ‘Thank you, sir. I feel privileged that you were the President during this time in American history.’"
On Wednesday’s The O’Reilly Factor, during the show’s "Talking Points Memo," FNC host Bill O’Reilly slammed the New York Times and NBC News, presumably referring to MSNBC hosts like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, accusing them of having "damaged their own country in a disgusting display of propaganda and outright lies" by "convincing the world that the USA is a nation of torture, a country that sadistically inflicts pain on both the innocent and the guilty." O’Reilly further attacked the "insane call for fishing expeditions to find something that will lead to prosecuting the President and Vice President," and added that he "despises, despises those who, in the name of ideology, want to weaken the country, putting us all in danger," and charged that doing so would be "un-American."
O’Reilly then hosted a discussion with FNC military analyst retired Colonel David Hunt and, to argue the liberal point-of-view, FNC analyst Bob Beckel, and Hunt contended that he had used "coerced interrogation" in the past that had "saved guys' lives."
Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales trashed President Bush’s farewell address in the Thursday newspaper. Shales was so harsh in his review – headlined "A President’s Parting Words – Convincing, at Least to Himself" – that he thought it was "delusion and denial" that Bush could claim credit for keeping America safe from terrorist attacks after 9/11. Who’s having trouble with reality in this evaluation? Shales began:
Only his remaining ardent supporters would probably classify last night's TV appearance by President Bush as reality television. On the other hand, detractors -- a sizable group, judging by popularity polls -- would likely say George W. Bush's farewell to the nation, delivered from the East Room of the White House, had the aura of delusion and denial.
America is suffering what is commonly being called the most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression, for example. Yet in Bush's speech, that crisis was euphemized into "challenges to our prosperity," as Bush took credit for bold steps to remedy the situation.
Then there's Bush's view of Afghanistan. He included the implication that America's presence there helped it go from a sexist to a feminist state.
Susan Crawford's recent assertions of torture simply do not add up, and your main stream media isn't going to investigate anytime soon. Had Crawford made an assertion that there was unequivocally no torture to speak of at Guantanamo, the media would be sifting meticulously through her statements with a fine-toothed comb, smearing her reputation at every turn. Instead, her arguments seemingly confirm what the leftist media has long assumed - that our government has condoned torture tactics - and because of that, everything is taken at face value.
Crawford recently told Bob Woodward of the Washington Post that:
"We tortured (Mohammed al-) Qahtani. His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that's why I did not refer the case" for prosecution.
The basic premise of this story however, had apparently been completely refuted in retrospect, back in February of 2008. By whom? Why, the Washington Post.
On February 12th, 2008, the Post printed an article titled:
U.S. to Try 6 on Capital Charges Over 9/11 Attacks
New Evidence Gained Without Coercive Tactics
You read that correctly, the staff writers went out of their way to inform the public that the evidence against the 9/11 conspirators was ‘gained without coercive tactics.'
Far be it from me to sow discord in MSNBC ranks, to stir up old animosities between colleagues there. But if Joe Scarborough is going to do a mocking imitation of Keith Olbermann in full Special Comment rant, well then, blogging ethics compel me to report it.
The jumping-off point on Morning Joe today was Eugene Robinson's current WaPo column. After claiming that he didn't want to kick the president on his way out the door, Robinson proceeded to do just that. The columnist described a variety of measures adopted by the president in prosecution of the war against terror as "departures from American values and traditions." Robinson recommended an investigation if not a criminal prosecution. That led Pat Buchanan and Scarborough to cite, chapter and verse, the ways in which Bush's supposed abrogation of "American values and traditions" were small potatoes compared to the actions of predecessors including Lincoln, Wilson and FDR.
Without mentioning the Countdown host by name, Scarborough closed with an unmistakable impression of Keith Olbermann in pompous Special Comment peroration of the sort that can be seen here.
On CBS’s Sunday Morning, correspondent Thalia Assuras examined President Bush’s historical legacy: "On January 20th, 2001, George Walker Bush took the oath of office as the 43rd president of the United States. His presidency and the future, a blank slate...Before the Iraq war. Before Katrina swept ashore. Before the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression."
Assuras cited two historians in her report, both of whom labeled Bush one of the nation’s worst presidents. She first turned to historian Douglas Brinkley, who declared: "I think it's safe to say that President Bush is going to be seen as the very bottom-rung of American presidents...As a judicial historian looking at what's occurred on his watch, it is almost void of genuine accomplishment." The other historian Assuras included in her report was Joseph Ellis, who said of Bush: "I think that George Bush might very well be the worst president in American history...He's unusual. Most two-term presidents have a mixed record...Bush has nothing on the positive side, virtually nothing."
Following these Bush-bashing historical assessments, Assuras exclaimed: "And that's not a minority opinion. In a 2006 Siena College survey of 744 history professors, 82 percent rated President Bush below average or a failure. Last April, in an informal poll by George Mason University of 109 historians, Mr. Bush fared even worse; 98 percent considered him a failed president. Sixty-one percent judged him, as Ellis does, one of the worst in American history."
Well, it seems that the folks at Vanity Fair realized that they won't have George W. Bush to kick around any more. So they decided to launch the journalistic equivalent of thermonuclear war against him in an attempt to get its shot at a "draft of history."
In a 14 web-page tome (the photo at the top right is at its beginning) that fancies itself an "oral history," the magazine hauls out every criticism, real or imagined, hurled at the president during the past eight years. It reminds everyone that the media's favorite stereotype of conservatives and Republicans is that they're dumb (I guess Ike's orchestration of D-Day was some kind of accident, and George W. Bush's MBA -- he is the first president to hold one -- was some kind of gift from Poppy).
Sadly, the magazine finds a few former administration officials to pile on. One of them likens Bush to Sarah Palin (that's supposed to be an insult). We're left with the long-discredited meme of Dick Cheney as puppet master and Bush as impotent since Katrina (then how did Bush get that Iraq Surge past everyone and make it stick anyway?).
All you really need to know to spare yourself a truly painful read is what is in the tease paragraph after the headline. Brace yourself: