Talking to NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams about President Obama's surprise trip to Afghanistan on Wednesday's Today, co-host Ann Curry hoped the move would quiet Republicans: "Meantime, by using the commander-in-chief mantel to make this visit, to extend an arm and hand to our troops, does he blunt any of the Republican criticism that he is...politicizing, essentially, a military victory?"
Curry was of course referring to the Obama campaign team using the anniversary of the killing of Osama Bin Laden to attack Mitt Romney. In response to Curry's DNC-approved framing of the trip, Williams proclaimed: "Presidents do get to use the machinery of the presidency to make their points. Nine years ago last night we saw the carrier landing and 'Mission Accomplished'...that's something George W. Bush got to do. And the White House is framing this...the way they want it framed."
NBC's Chuck Todd on Tuesday, moments before President Obama addressed the nation from Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, compared the assassination of Osama bin Laden one year ago to VE and VJ Days marking the end of World War II.
The following was actually said by NBC's Chief White House correspondent on MSNBC's Hardball (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A week ago, National Journal's Michael Hirsh quoted an unnamed State Department official who claimed that "The war on terror is over. Now that we have killed most of al Qaida, now that people have come to see legitimate means of expression, people who once might have gone into al Qaida see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism." If it's so over, then why were government officials referenced in Kimberly Dozier's Associated Press report this evening about the state of Al Qaida a year after Osama Bin Laden's death "on condition of anonymity because they say publicly identifying themselves could make them a target of the terrorist group"?
Dozier is a noteworthy exception to the usually dreadful reporting at the wire service, and has a personal reason for having her eyes open. While she was with CBS News in May 2006, she was critically injured by an IED in Iraq. After nine months, she returned to work. According to Wikipedia she joined the AP in the spring of 2010.
Peter Bergen, CNN's national security analyst, said Sunday that President Obama was informed by CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell in December 2010 "that the circumstantial case that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was better than the circumstantial case that bin Laden was in Abbottabad."
This astonishing revelation was made on CBS's Face the Nation (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Hillary Clinton says the expression on her face in that now iconic picture of the White House Situation Room taken the day Osama bin Laden was killed is "the way I usually look when my husband drags me to an action movie."
Such was told to NBC's Brian Williams for a Rock Center special to be aired Wednesday which was previewed on Sunday's Meet the Press (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
The media were predictably orgasmic over a new Obama campaign ad out Friday featuring former President Bill Clinton in a strong message implying Mitt Romney wouldn't have made the decision last year to kill Osama bin Laden.
The problem with their glee is that Clinton himself passed up numerous opportunities to kill or capture bin Laden prior to leaving the White House in January 2001 thereby making this entire ad totally hypocritical as is the press's joy for it (video follows with commentary).
CBS's Bill Plante on Friday downplayed graphic photos of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan posing with severed body parts of suicide bombers as a GOP "distraction," insisting that Republicans were "somehow" trying to portray this (and other issues) as a failure of leadership. None of the networks wondered if this reflected poorly on Barack Obama.
Since the Los Angeles Times first reported the 2010 pictures, ABC has only offered one report, airing on World News. CBS allowed a lone segment on the April 18 Evening News and a brief mention by Plante on Friday's This Morning. He spun, "...Republicans keep pointing out several recent distractions: this incident, the troops posing with body parts in Afghanistan, and the big party that the General Services Administration threw itself in Las Vegas." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Let's stipulate up front that it might well have been an innocent mistake. Even so, until explained, it was shocking to say the least. On today's Morning Joe, as Mika Brzezinski read a David Brooks op-ed about the shooting of civilians in Afghanistan in which he wrote of "monstrous acts that shock the soul and sear the brain," suddenly the screen cut--for an extended period--to three different photos of . . . Republican Paul Ryan.
Even Joe Scarborough couldn't resist joking about the incident revealing the show's liberal bias. As it turns out, an op-ed by Ryan was up next, and the control room guys might simply have transitioned a bit too quickly--though some readers might not be willing to give Morning Joe the benefit of the doubt. View the video after the jump.
Just how far is MSNBC's Chris Matthews willing to go to shield President Obama from criticism this election year?
On Monday's Hardball, the host defended Koran burnings saying, "In Western religions when you have a religious article, the proper way of disposing it is burning it. So it's not a desecration...An American would never burn something to desecrate it. That would be a way of treating a holy object" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Reporting on violent protests in Afghanistan following accidental Quran burnings for Monday's NBC Today, correspondent Atia Abawi declared the incident "...follows a long line of insults that has intensified the public outrage towards the U.S., including last year's intentional burning of a Koran by a pastor in Florida and the video of U.S. Marines urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, in an attempt to defend President Obama’s recent apology for the accidental Koran burnings that set off riots in Afghanistan, equated his response to what a foreign leader would be required to do if his military inadvertently burned an American flag.
Morning Joe co-host Willie Geist correctly replied, “No because Americans wouldn’t go in the streets and start killing people” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As violent, deadly demonstrations have broken out in Afghanistan following the recent accidental burning of Korans, it's interesting to look back nearly three years ago when the U.S. military burned a shipment of Holy Bibles written in the Pashto and Dari languages. The military destroyed the Bibles rather than ship them back stateside apparently out of fear the American church that sent them would just try shipping them back through other channels to Afghanistan.
The al-Jazeera network was involved in the breaking of the story, but a search of Nexis found no stories from the time by the Washington Post or New York Times nor the ABC, CBS, or NBC networks about the disposal of the Christian holy texts.
On Monday, Calvin Woodward, with help from Martin Crutsinger and Pete Yost, produced a "Fact Check" on the budget proposal the White House released earlier that day.
After properly criticizing the administration's plan to use "about $850 billion in savings from ending the wars and steers some $230 billion of that to highways" (and actually quoting someone knowledgeable, who pointed out that "Drawing down spending on wars that were already set to wind down and that were deficit-financed in the first place should not be considered savings"), Woodward went off the rails:
It really is amazing how far liberal media members are willing to go to deflect any criticism from Barack Obama.
On HBO's Real Time Friday, host Bill Maher and guest Rob Reiner said this week's revelation of United States Marines urinating on dead Taliban wasn't really that big of a deal; Reiner even said, "It's expected" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
In 1984, an Associated Press writer covering the Democratic primaries wrote that "In a presidential contest dominated by concerns over the economy, inflation, and unemployment, the Democratic candidates have been loath to acknowledge the extent to which Carter administration policies contributed to those problems. Democrats have also controlled Congress for most of the past three decades, which made it relatively easy to enact the policies Carter pursued."
Of course, that AP report really never happened. The establishment press never razzed Walter Mondale, Gary Hart, and the other 1984 Democratic presidential candidates about the ruinous Carter-Era inflation, 20%-plus interest rates, and high unemployment against which the Reagan administration was making significant progress in the early 1980s. But on Tuesday morning, Beth Fouhy at the Associated Press felt it necessary to wonder why this year's GOP primary candidates are rarely mentioning George W. Bush, even though the economy under Barack Obama is making relatively scant progress towards a genuine recovery and makes a much more appropriate target for criticism. Here was her comparable paragraph, plus the two which followed:
There are press memes which won't go away no matter what, and no matter how often disproven. One, repeated in an Associated Press report a couple of weeks ago as our troops were about to leave Iraq, claimed that "No WMD were ever found" there. The truth: Yes they were — along with 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium found in Iraq after Saddam was overthrown, specifically “the stuff that can be refined into nuclear weapons or nuclear fuel.”
Another meme which won't die and fails to pass the truth test was in an AP item by Julie Pace about President Obama's decision to defer raising the debt ceiling by $1.2 billion today. In it, she repeated the leftist line about how the national debt has grown so large (HT to an NB emailer):
Uncle Sam's Monthly Treasury Statement for November came out yesterday. The results: Tax collections through two months of the fiscal year are up 4.4% over fiscal 2010; spending is down 5.5%, but only because about $31 billion in checks which would ordinarily have gone out on October 1 (a Saturday) were sent on September 30; and the deficit of $235 billion is $55 billion less than last year.
The headline in the report by Martin Crutsinger of the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press ("Gov't on pace to run budget deficit below $1T"), celebrated the totally untenable claim, only two months into the year, that the deficit might come in below $1 trillion for the first time in four years. Crutsinger's coverage was otherwise adequate, except near the end, when he threw in the following obviously gratuitous and recklessly false and misleading statement: "A decade ago, the government was running surpluses and trillion-dollar deficits seemed unimaginable."
As NewsBusters has been reporting for days, the Obama-loving media have been doing a collective victory lap concerning the President's appeasement retort "Go ask Osama bin Laden."
When CNN's Candy Crowley tried this during her interview with Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Sunday's State of the Union, she got a much-needed education that would help all her foreign policy-challenged colleagues in the press (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
During Saturday's Republican presidential debate in South Carolina, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley arrogantly argued with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich about the "rule of law" concerning killing American born terrorists overseas.
By the end of the exchange, Pelley, with a smug, condescending expression on his face, looked quite foolish as the audience applauded and one of Gingrich's opponents on stage actually commented, "Well said. Well said" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Have you noticed how the Abu Ghraib-obsessed media are no longer really interested in tales of savagery from American soldiers...even when court martials find them guilty? Wouldn’t that make it seem that their concern for human rights is only tender when there’s a political usefulness to the story? Only CBS offered anchor briefs, on both Evening News and The Early Show.
Associated Press reported on the “kill squad” conviction of soldier Calvin Gibbs for civilian murders in Afghanistan -- which would top your naked pyramid-building -- the latest of ten soldiers convicted in the 5th Stryker Brigade, and the word “Obama” was nowhere in the piece:
Saturday, November 5: News this morning that Rooney passed away last night. Below is post put up just before his final 60 Minutes appearance on October 2:
Andy Rooney delivered his final commentary Sunday night at the end of 60 Minutes and while the now 92-year old curmudgeon’s pieces usually dealt with non-serious topics, he should be credited for being able to recognize, unlike many of his prominent peers, that the media are liberal – even conceding his own “liberal bias.” He declared Dan Rather “transparently liberal” and quipped people in the news business “were almost evenly divided” in 2004 – “half of them liked Senator Kerry; the other half hated President Bush.”
Shortly after 9/11 in 2001, he embarrassed himself when he mocked President Bush over a common metaphor. “This is an enemy that thinks its harbors are safe, but they won’t be safe forever,” Bush asserted in a clip Rooney played and then ridiculed: “Well, not too smart either. Afghanistan is landlocked. It doesn’t have a harbor.” (video below)
There really is no limit to the hypocrisy of Bill Maher.
Despite having gotten fired by ABC shortly after the 9/11 attacks for calling America cowards due to our use of long-range cruise missiles, the host of HBO's Real Time on Friday raved about President Obama's deployment of unmanned predator drones to kill people from thousands of miles away (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Sunday's Meet the Press, host David Gregory teed one up for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that was specifically designed to mock the Republican presidential candidates while allowing her to brag uninterrupted about the foreign policy successes of Barack Obama (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Bill Maher on his HBO program Friday said, "If you just presented the Republicans with Obama's resume and didn't say who it was, they would erect statues to this guy."
After mentioning the deaths of Osama bin Laden and MoammarGaddafi, Maher continued, "Just the killing alone, Michelle Malkin would name her vibrator 'Obama'” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Appearing as a guest on Monday's Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN, singer Tony Bennett declared that President Obama is the "greatest accomplishment that the United States ever came up with," and expressed admiration for the President whom he labeled as "more than intelligent."
A bit later, when asked by host Piers Morgan whether he believed war was ever "justified," with Morgan specifically asking if it was "imperative" to "defend yourselves" against Adolf Hitler in spite of the "collateral damage," Bennett, a World War II veteran, was not so sure:
On PBS's Inside Washington on Friday, the Politico's Evan Thomas - formerly of Newsweek - characterized the United States as a "great giant" that would go on to "stomp on" other countries after the 9/11 attacks.
After substitute host Mark Shields introduced a segment on the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan by asking how history would "judge" the military operation, he turned to regular panel member Thomas who responded with a questionable choice of words:
Both ABC and NBC on Wednesday used a new Pew Research Center poll of military veterans to claim that, as ABC news reader Josh Elliot put it, “one-third of those who’ve served in Afghanistan and Iraq now say the wars were not worth fighting,” while NBC’s Tamron Hall told viewers “one-third of U.S. veterans believe the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth fighting.”
But that’s not really what the poll found. Pew surveyed 1,853 veterans, including 712 whose service took place after September 11, 2001. They found 50% of the post 9/11 veterans thought the war in Afghanistan was worth it, and 44% who supported the war in Iraq — percentages significantly higher than both the general public and veterans who served in earlier conflicts or pre-9/11.
It really has been amazing watching dovish media members who were perpetually complaining about the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay and the enhanced interrogation of its residents when George W. Bush was president now cheering the assassination of United States citizen turned terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki.
A fine example of this hypocrisy occurred on HBO's "Real Time" Friday when the host who just last year supported a civilian trial for 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed applauded Awlaki's murder while encouraging his audience to join in the merriment (video follows with transcript and commentary, vulgarity warning):