As an embarrassed Joe Scarborough said, Mika Brzezinski didn't have her "filter on" this morning. On today's Morning Joe, Brzezinski broke out a lurid tale of how as a young woman she had been held "hostage" by the son of the President of Lebanon, who apparently had hijinks on his mind.
Scarborough had just teased Mika with a variation on his running joke of how she vacations in the south of France. Joe jibed that in retaliation for France's sale of warships to Russia, Ukraine notwithstanding, Mika would be imposing personal sanctions on France by cutting back her weekend trips there from 26 to 23 yearly. In response, Brzezinski described how 25 years ago, the son of the President of Lebanon held her "hostage" in the south of France, took her to porn flicks, and bought her bikinis "with only one piece." View the video after the jump.
Bryan Preston of the PJ Media blog spotlighted in a Wednesday post how Russia Today anchor Liz Wahl resigned from her position at the network's Washington, DC division during a live broadcast because, in her words, she "cannot be part of a network, funded by the Russian government, that whitewashes the actions of Putin."
During her impromptu commentary, Wahl referenced how fellow RT on-air personality Abby Martin condemned Russia's invasion of the Crimea peninsula inside the borders Ukraine (video of Wahl's statement, via Washington Free Beacon's YouTube account, below the jump):
On Wednesday, CNN's Daniel Burke gave liberal-tinged spin/extrapolation about Pope Francis's answer to an Italian newspaper's question about secular civil unions. Burke asserted in a CNN.com article that the pontiff "reaffirmed the Catholic Church's opposition to gay marriage...but suggested in a newspaper interview that it could support some types of civil unions."
However, the journalist left out that despite the Bishop of Rome's generalized answer, he concretely opposed a proposed civil unions bill in Malta near the end of 2013. More recently, the Pope's spokesman lashed out at the Italian media in January 2014 for spinning a separate remark from the native of Argentina as "an opening to legal provision for civil unions for gay couples, a subject of debate in Italy."
CNN's Chris Cuomo ran to President Obama's defense on Tuesday's New Day, after former Senator Jim DeMint criticized the White House's handling of Russia's invasion of Ukraine: "Isn't the notion that only might can make right tired? The American people do not have appetite for more military action, and everyone is condemning Putin...Isn't this proof that President Obama's tactic of let's try to talk; let's try to be flexible – not everything is about having the biggest muscles – may be the way the world wants to proceed?"
Cuomo also ripped the GOP for standing in the way of passing the President's agenda through Congress: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
NPR's Lauren Frayer repeatedly emphasized the conservative ideology of the ruling party of Spain on Thursday's Morning Edition, as she reported on proposed legislation there that would be, in her words, "one of the toughest abortion laws in Europe – a near-total ban, except in cases of rape or threats to the mother's health." However, she didn't point out the left-of-center political affiliation of opponents of the proposal.
Frayer noted how "topless women" shouted "abortion is sacred...surrounding a Catholic cardinal on his way into church a couple weeks ago," but failed identify that these protesters were from Femen, the radical feminist group that got its start in Ukraine by cutting down a memorial cross to victims of Soviet communism. The correspondent also played up how the party that proposed the pro-life law is "moving to the right – trying to keep members from defecting to a new far-right political party, similar to the Tea Party in the U.S."
On Sunday, The Daily Beast's Lizzie Crocker touted Femen's "gangs of attractive, topless women condemning religion, agitating against misogyny, and fighting dictatorship," as she introduced her interview of Inna Shevchenko, a prominent member of the radical feminist group from Europe. Crocker prominently featured a picture of Shevchenko wearing nothing but jean shorts at a protest in an attempt to emphasize this characterization.
The reporter noted how the members of the anti-Christian group refer to themselves as "sextremists," and pointed out some of their beyond crude tactics (which has not only included topless protesting, but also public urination). While Crocker also highlighted Femen's general hostility to religion as a possible "totalitarian instinct," she failed to mention that they have specifically targeted and disrupted Catholic Masses and events.
CNN's Anderson Cooper did little to hide his outrage on his Tuesday program over a zoo in Copenhagen, Denmark killing a giraffe. Cooper confronted the zoo's scientific director and asked, "Doesn't the life of the animal itself have some value, rather than just it being part of your breeding program?" The host later expressed his dismay to Jack Hanna: "What he seems to be saying is that the animal itself doesn't really have any right to live."
Cooper later used language familiar to pro-life activists in defense of the giraffe: "At a certain point, the animals themselves should have some right to actually having a life." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump] The anchor's pro-animal rights segments came just twenty days after CNN senior legal analyst Jeff Toobin ripped pro-lifers on his now-cancelled 10 pm Eastern program:
NBC whitewashed Russia's communist legacy in the lead segment of its Friday broadcast of the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage narrated the network's lionization of the largest country by land mass: "Russia overwhelms. Russia mystifies. Russia transcends. Through every stage of its story, it's resisted any notion of limitation. Through every re-invention, only redoubling its desire to cast a towering presence."
However, Dinklage continued with a glorification of the Marxist-Leninist totalitarian state that slaughtered tens of millions of people between 1917 and 1991: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The spokeswoman who helped circle the wagons for then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the aftermath of Benghazi recently found herself in a fresh controversy over a leaked phone conversation in which she exclaimed "F**k the EU!" in reference to the European Union's stake in negotiations regarding internal strife in Ukraine.
Wednesday's Good Morning America on ABC ballyhooed the "breaking news" that Pope Francis shook hands with the real-life inspiration for the anti-Catholic movie "Philiomena" at the Vatican. George Stephanopoulos trumpeted the "moving journey for the woman portrayed by Judi Dench in the Oscar-nominated film" and her "remarkable story."
Cynthia McFadden slantingly gushed that "a woman, once shamed by the Catholic Church for having a baby out of wedlock, was invited today to meet Pope Francis," and mouthed the caption of Rolling Stone's recent cover featuring the pontiff: "The times – they are a-changin'." McFadden did her best to boost the movie and failed to mention conservative objections to the production. She also went out of her way to spotlight the United Nations' ideologically-tinged attack on the Church: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Tuesday, ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning newscasts all hyped the White House's announcement that President Obama's would meet with Pope Francis in March, and emphasized their apparent agreement on economic issues. On CBS This Morning, Bill Plante touted the "chance for him [Obama] to align himself with the agenda of the very popular new pope, at a time when the President's own popularity here at home is at a low point."
ABC's Robin Roberts even asserted on Good Morning America that the two world leaders are "very similar." However, none of these morning shows reported that just a week earlier, the Pope's secretary of state "expressed [his] concern...for the healthcare reforms in relation to the guarantee of religious freedom and conscientious objection" during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. [MP3 audio available here; video clips below the jump]
BELFAST, Northern Ireland -- While the Obama administration offers life support to its Affordable Care Act, in the UK a growing number of people are asking whether it's time to pull the plug on the National Health Service (NHS), which is in critical condition.
For many years the UK media have carried stories that not only bode ill for the future of government-run health care, but also continue to serve as a "code blue" warning to the U.S. as to what might be in our future if we decide to go down that road.
Showing more concern for President Obama's popularity than the national security implications of the latest leaks in the NSA spying scandal, on Monday's NBC Today, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell lamented: "When he was a candidate, Barack Obama was a rock star in Europe. That was then, this is now. As Europe reacts angrily to news that the U.S. spied on 35 leaders..." [Listen to the audioor watch the video after the jump]
Moments later, Mitchell continued to worry: "How did the man who won the Nobel Peace Prize just months into his presidency become the subject of Europe's scorn?" She denounced the leaks, but not the spying itself: "The White House can thank NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who's latest revelations have forced President Obama to apologize to France's President Hollande, Germany's Chancellor Merkel, as well as current and former leaders in Mexico, and Brazil's President Rousseff, who even cancelled a state visit to Washington she was so angry."
John Fund at National Review has written about three recent elections that show “Liberals In Retreat,” but only one is domestic: the Colorado gun-rights recall. The other two liberal defeats were in Norway and Australia.
A quick Nexis search demonstrated that ABC, CBS, and NBC all skipped the conservative victories in Norway and Australia -- but all three found time for news briefs in 2007 when Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd was elected in Australia on an anti-Iraq war platform. Meanwhile, lighter-than-air "Good Morning America" on ABC did find "news" Down Under when it came to trickle-down celebrity updates on Michael Jackson's daughter:
On Friday's CBS This Morning, Mark Phillips all but hinted that Pope Francis had "taken sides" with Russia's Vladimir Putin and against President Obama in the international debate over military strikes in Syria. Phillips proposed that the Pope's letter to Putin "must have been music to the Russian president's ears."
The journalist also turned to a "Vatican historian" who once publicly attacked Francis' predecessor, Benedict XVI, as a "dictator", and likened him to Islamists. He also labeled the Pope's upcoming prayer and fasting vigil for peace in Syria a "religious street protest." [audio available here; video below the jump]
Well, if you can't say anything good about how your guy's foreign policy is going, you can at least try to trash one of his predecessors so your guy doesn't look so bad.
That would appear to be the idea behind David E. Sanger's attempt at the New York Times today to falsely inform readers that the two towering leaders of the 1980s, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, angrily disagreed over the UK's choice to retake the Falkland Islands after Argentina had seized them. Sanger linked back to a previous Times story which clearly pointed to the real disagreement, but never described anything resembling anger. Additionally, a cable from Secretary of State Alexander Haig during that era directly refutes Sanger's contention.
Maybe, in sync with the predictable press reactions to oft-seen bad economic numbers, the headline at Julie Pace's late-morning story at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, should have been: "Obama Foreign Policy Falls Apart ... Unexpectedly."
Pace's pathetic attempt at pathos in assessing the status of the Obama administration's foreign policy tells AP readers that some of it is due to "factors outside the White House's control" (as if previous administrations haven't had to deal with unanticipated developments), that Obama "misjudged" what would come in the Arab Spring's aftermath (we're supposed to ignore all of those contacts he's had with Muslim Brotherhood officials and their sympathizers), and that the NSA revelations have hurt our standing in Europe (without noting that the root cause is NSA's spying on U.S. citizens). Excerpts follow the jump.
It wasn’t labeled “news analysis” or “commentary,” but AP reporters Gregory Katz and Angela Charlton began a story on England approving gay marriage by mocking the French.
“The French like to make fun of the British, joking about their repressed ways in matters of the heart,” wrote the AP duo. “But when it came time to debate same-sex marriage, it was France that betrayed a deeply conservative streak in sometimes violent protests — while the British showed themselves to be modern and tolerant.”
Appearing on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports on Wednesday, NBC's chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd came up with a long list of excuses for President Obama's poor speech performance in Berlin: "I want to give you a little context here....there was an attempt to shrink the crowd size....Maybe they would have gotten 25, 30, 40,000 people....President Obama feeds off a crowd very well." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd then grasped at other reasons for the lackluster event: "...you had that very distracting glass and you could just see that the President himself wasn't feeding off of the crowd. And I think look, part of it, it was hot. Those folks were out there for two and a half hours...it can sap your energy a little bit. And I just wonder if that added a little bit to this."
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, reporting on President Obama's trip to Europe, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd fretted over the commander-in-chief's declining popularity overseas: "Obama comes to this [G-8] summit...to a much more muted reception than in the past. Once heralded as the anti-George Bush...now he's on the defensive over U.S. policies, including some he's kept in place from the Bush era." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd listed some of the ways in which Obama hasn't been liberal enough for European sensibilities: "The NSA surveillance programs, widely panned on this privacy-conscious continent. The failure to shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay, his hesitancy to engage in Syria, and a perceived lack of focus on climate change."
An unhinged Chris Matthews on Thursday launched into a bewildering rant, lamenting the scandals swirling around the President and suggesting that Germany may have actually won World War II because the country has high speed rail. The Hardball anchor fumed, "You look at Germany, where I just was, and see state-of-the-art bridges and super modern rail system." Mentioning Germany's subway system, Matthews insisted, "You wonder, who won that war anyway? Looks like they did." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The MSNBC anchor doesn't appear to listen to himself speak. He asserted, "We've got a 7.5 percent unemployment rate right now. And let's be realistic, it's not going to go down a lot more over the next three years." Seconds later, Matthews praised, "The French have trains that go 300 miles an hour-plus and you think you're sitting still. And we've got the buckboard called Amtrak." So, France is the solution? Their unemployment rate in March of 2013 was 11 percent. That's higher than 7.5 percent. France's under age 25 unemployment rate is 26.5 percent. (Also higher than 7.5 percent)
While the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal this morning gave front-page coverage to yesterday's grisly beheading of a British serviceman on a London street in broad daylight, the New York Times placed their 20-paragraph story by London correspondent John F. Burns on page A7. Editors slapped on the headline, "'Barbaric' Attack in London Renews Fears of Terror Threat," with "barbaric" in scare quotes.
While the Post, Journal, and Times all ran quotes from one of the attackers as transcribed from a cell phone video filmed by a bystander, the Times curiously left out a portion of the rant where the attacker boasted, "We swear by the almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone."
As the world mourns the loss of one of the greatest stateswomen of the 20th century, Washington Post London bureau chief Anthony Faiola wrote yesterday that Margaret Thatcher’s death “appears to be opening old wounds.” To do so, however, Faiola selectively picked up anecdotes of left-wing hate-mongering, such as how the UK's leading conservative paper Faiola noted how the UK's Tory-leaning Telegraph newspaper had to close down the comments section about Lady Thatcher’s death due to the depraved vitriol of the nation’s left wing Internet trolls.
Faiola's prime example of how Lady Thatcher's death was dividing Great Britain was the occasional outbreak of leftists punks dancing in the streets in celebration of the former prime minister's death. Included in the story was a photograph from St. George's Square in Glasgow, where it seems only about 15-20 people showed up to figuratively dance on the Iron Lady's grave.
Monday's CBS This Morning played up the domestic critics of Margaret Thatcher as they covered the breaking news of her death. Mark Phillips, reporting from London, spotlighted how Thatcher was once called "Plunder-woman" by a British union leader, and how she was "contentious here, famous for breaking the back of the very strong labor movement in Britain." Phillips also noted how the former prime minister was "a figure both reviled and revered."
During a retrospective on the "Iron Lady", correspondent Elizabeth Palmer ballyhooed how Thatcher's "trademark helmet hair, cut-glass accent, and bullying style became a staple of British satire".
Your daily dose of inadvertent humor comes from an article by Annie Lowrey at the New York Times on Sunday evening ("Lew to Press for European Policy Changes"; also in today's print edition).
In "covering" (from Washington?) Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's four-day European trip for meetings with EU leaders encouraging them to pursue "growth" policies -- which in Keynesians' fevered minds always really means "stimulus" and not genuine growth-driven initiatives -- Lowrey wrote the following (bold is mine):
Just how superficial is ABC? On Monday and Tuesday, the network allowed a mere 20 seconds to "outrage" over a plan by the European Union that would have seized ten percent of the money Cyprus residents had in their bank accounts. ABC's World News skipped the story entirely, as did Monday's Nightline. Good Morning America on Tuesday offered 20 seconds. In contrast, the program devoted over five minutes to important topics, such as the newest season of Dancing With the Stars.
NBC and CBS both showcased more coverage. On Monday, Nightly News's Brian Williams featured the story in a full report. Describing the potential default of Cyprus as a "banking crisis," he explained, "European leaders decided to take a chunk of that bailout money directly out of the bank accounts of everyone in the country." Displaying interest not seen on ABC, Williams added, "It was a shocking move heard around the globe today and the fear on the Mediterranean island rippled through world financial markets today."
Remember when Washington Post In The Loop columnist Al Kamen launched another frivolous, liberal pandering contest for participants to name Hillary Clinton’s memoir to make things “a little easier” for her? Kamen is known for his inside the Beltway commentary on politics within Washington, which probably explains why bureaucrats love him. Well, after a strenuous vetting process, the winners are in, and it’s full of liberal boot-lickers, pro-Obama journalists, and former staffers of Joe Biden.
The top three that were the most interesting were from Alfred Friendly, Jr., a former reporter for Newsweek and the New York Times, who suggested Hard Times, Soft Power as his title for Hillary’s memoir. Does anyone else feel that the name sounds like a title suitable for the Adults Only section of the Clinton Presidential Library bookstore?
So the Lefty, better known as Phil Mickelson publicly aired his political grievances in an interview with CBS Sports the other day, noting that federal and state tax policies in California have him strongly weighing whether now might be the time to retire.
The three-time Masters champion said he would have to make some "drastic changes" when more than 60 percent of his future earnings are taken away by the government, due to the passage of California's Proposition 30 and the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts for top income earners:
New York Times Paris correspondent Scott Sayare reported from a predominantly Muslim slum in Toulouse, France on Thursday, following up on the massacre earlier this year by Mohammad Merah, a resident of the projects, of three soldiers, a rabbi, and three Jewish children. Sayare suggested that societal "forces of rejection and discrimination" against young Muslims wre at least partially to blame for the rampage, and sought out "understanding" for the massacre among Merah's former neighbors in "Neighborhood Is Torn Over a Killer’s Legacy."
CBS correspondent Mark Phillips took journalistic hype to a new low on Wednesday's CBS This Morning when he compared Princess Kate's pregnancy to that of Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago: "This is day three of what's becoming, perhaps, the most talked about pregnancy since Bethlehem." [audio available here; video below the jump]
Phillips delivered this beyond bizarre throwaway line as he began his report outside the hospital in London where the Duchess of Cambridge is being treated for hyperemesis gravidarum - a severe form of morning sickness. He added, "The news today seems to be better."