Clay Waters at NewsBusters has already exposed the passive-aggressive anti-Semitism in Maureen Dowd's Sunday rant ("Neocons Slither Back") at the New York Times. So did Politico's Dylan Byers, who nonetheless thought that the Obama campaign's tweet supporting Dowd's column via its "Truth Team" (and, by inference,their endorsement of her "neocon puppet master" premise) was so unimportant that he didn't mention it until his final paragraph. Excerpts from Byers weakly headlined item follow (HT Twitchy):
CNN's Soledad O'Brien on Monday felt the need to defend Barack Obama from criticism that his policies are at least partially responsible for the recent anti-American hostilities transpiring in the Middle East and other parts of the globe.
During a heated debate with Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.) on Starting Point, O'Brien got a much-needed education on the President's "apology tour" (video follows with CNN transcript and commentary):
On September 10, in a writeup which should qualify them for immediate entry into the Journalistm Hall of Shame, the Associated Press's Julie Pace and three other assisting reporters, acting as virtual stenographers for the Obama administration and water-carriers for his reelection campaign, declared that "It will be a rare day on the campaign when terrorism, or national security for that matter, will be a center of attention," while insisting that Obama has the presumptive upper hand in such matters.
Oops. Excerpts from their write-up follow the jump. It would be funny if it weren't so tragically sad (bolds are mine):
Facing criticism for failing to mention American troops or the Afghan war effort in his convention speech, Mitt Romney spoke before National Guard members on Tuesday and called for robust support of the nation’s armed forces, saying that “the return of our troops cannot and must not be used as an excuse to hollow out our military through devastating defense budget cuts.”
ABC reporter Arlette Saenz reported for The Note on Joe Biden’s speech Sunday in the Green Bay area, including this statement: "In Afghanistan, we have lost 1,980 fallen angels as of yesterday, and I’m precise because every single one of those lives deserves to be recognized. Wrong: The U.S. death toll in Afghanistan at the end of August was 2,101.
Biden somehow subtracted from the Defense Department count, ignoring three civilian casualties and 118 soldiers who died in other countries after medical evacuation. Did they not deserve to be recognized?
Three hours after reporter Brian Ross attempted to connect a mass killing in Colorado to the Tea Party, ABC News admitted that the story on Good Morning America was "incorrect." The retraction was added to the top of an existing online article about the murders.
The story conceded, "An earlier ABC News broadcast report suggested that a Jim Holmes of a Colorado Tea Party organization might be the suspect, but that report was incorrect." [Update: Ross has now admitted his error on live ABC coverage. See video and more updates below.]
If you were producing a pilot for a new series hoping your show would get picked up for an entire season and beyond, wouldn’t you try not offending half your potential viewers?
On Monday, TNT premiered a new show called Perception that for some stupid reason - in the very first episode! - completely trashed former President George W. Bush as a liar (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
On June 13, the CBS Evening News devoted a story by David Martin to the Afghanistan death count reaching 2,000, as Martin interviewed a mother of a fallen Marine. CBS was alone. There was no story last week on the Afghanistan death “milestone” on ABC, NBC, the PBS NewsHour – or even on the MSNBC programs found in Nexis, including Rachel “Our Military’s In a Perilous Drift” Maddow.
But the networks were all more aggressive when the 2,000 mark arrived in Iraq on October 25, 2005. The Big Three networks devoted 14 morning and evening news stories to the death toll from October 24 through the end of October, and another 24 anchor briefs or mentions. They used the number to spell “disaster for this White House.”
Conservative author Ann Coulter made an outstanding observation on Fox News's Hannity Monday about the ongoing national security leaks controversy.
"When the New York Times is printing classified intelligence under a Republican administration, it's to make the Republican administration look bad. When they’re doing it under a Democrat administration, they’re doing it to make the Democrat look good" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
When Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, appeared as a guest on Monday's Today show on NBC for the Memorial Day occasion, substitute co-anchor Savannah Guthrie raised concerns from the right about whether announcing the timeline of a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan might benefit Taliban insurgents tactically. Guthrie:
Appearing as a guest on Sunday's Reliable Sources on CNN to plug his book, Exit Interview, former ABC News president David Westin recounted his decision to continue barring journalists from wearing American flag lapel pins on air even after the 9/11 attacks, and ended up defending his decision. Westin: (Video at bottom)
"A House committee chairman charged Wednesday that the CIA and Defense Department jeopardized national security by cooperating too closely with filmmakers producing a movie on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden," reported Larry Margasak of the Associated Press yesterday. "[Rep. Peter] King [R-N.Y.] referred to documents obtained by Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act request. He said the filmmakers received 'extremely close, unprecedented and potentially dangerous collaboration' from the Obama administration."
Margasak's story on Rep. Peter King's hearing investigating the matter was printed in today's Washington Post, but editors buried the item on page C4, deep in the heart of the Style section, which typically reports on fashion, music, and the entertainment industry. Noted Margasak:
The Obama-loving media had quite a hissy fit this week when the President's America-hating Reverend Jeremiah Wright suddenly became a campaign issue despite all their efforts.
So opposed to the mere mention of Wright's name is NPR's Nina Totenberg that on PBS's Inside Washington Friday, she said he's irrelevant because the current White House resident - wait for it! - killed Osama bin Laden (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Charlie Rose desperately tried to find confirmation from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday's CBS This Morning on whether President Obama is a good commander-in-chief: "You can answer this question as well as anyone I know....do you give President Obama high marks in the national security arena?" Gates exposed Rose's pro-Obama tactic when he laughingly replied, "If I don't, I'm sort of giving myself a flunking grade."
The veteran national security official did his best to nuance his eventual answer, but still ended up giving his former boss the grade that the anchor was looking for: "He [Obama] was as aggressive, if not more so, in going after terrorists and al Qaeda. I think that the relationship with China has been managed pretty well. So, yeah, I think they've done a pretty good job."
It's becoming crystal clear that President Obama stepped on his foot while taking a victory lap for the assassination of Osama bin Laden one year ago.
Joining the growing list of even liberal media members offended by this shameless act of self-promotion was PBS's Tavis Smiley who on ABC's This Week Sunday actually said, "I just hate seeing the president play into the hands of the right by running around bragging about having to off Osama bin Laden...I don't think it's presidential" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
While President Obama and his adoring media did a victory lap on the one year anniversary of Osama bin Laden's assassination, Fareed Zakaria had a completely different take about how the War on Terror is going.
On CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS Sunday, the host said, "We don't look like people who have won a war. We look like scared, fearful losers" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NBC's special presentation of Rock Center on the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden's assassination wasn't just a victory lap for Barack Obama.
It was also a chance for host Brian Williams to praise Bill Clinton for going after the former al Qaeda leader without mentioning all the times his administration passed on chances to get him (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
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.