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.
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.
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer had some harsh words for the White House Thursday.
Commenting on Fox News’s Special Report about the British government’s decision to not take part in a military action against Syria, Krauthammer said, “It is a complete humiliation for the Obama administration.”
Everyone’s happy about the arrival of the future king of Britain – that is, everyone at leisure to take note. Presumably, Middle Eastern Christians have been too busy trying to survive to worry over whether the Duchess of Cambridge was in false labor.
And while the hard-nosed journalists at ABC, CBS and NBC have been knitting booties and speculating on names, Middle Eastern Christians have been attacked by Islamists, prevented from worshipping, driven from homes and villages, beaten and executed.
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.”
After initially ignoring reports that two Muslim extremists in London savagely murdered a British soldier in broad daylight, MSNBC host Chris Hayes on Friday finally included the story on his All In show as he began the segment with the news of retaliatory anti-Muslim attacks on London mosques.
As he reached the end of the segment, in which he seemed to fret that terrorist attacks make societies "more conservative" and provoke "overreaction," he recounted a British woman, Ingrid Loyau-Kennet, who calmly spoke with one of the terrorists before police arrived, with the MSNBC host concluding:
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."
Phillips spent 20 years working at Britain’s left-wing The Guardian where she finally realized that many journalists were out of touch. She explained how journalists see the conclusion first, and then distort evidence and facts to prove their point. “There are quite a number of people who … start with the conclusion and say let’s make the facts fit the conclusion.”
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.
On Monday's All In show on MSNBC, host Chris Hayes praised Britain's "beloved" national health care program as possibly "one of the great hallmarks of western social democracy," as he admitted to delivering criticism from a liberal point of view of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's administration.
During a report on Tuesday's NBC Today, correspondent Michelle Kosinski took gratuitous shots at Margaret Thatcher while detailing funeral plans for the former British prime minister who died Monday: "...many feel this is appropriate that it will not be a state funeral because she remains so controversial....How controversial is Thatcher still today?...in Glasgow, jubilant dancing in the streets." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Kosinski did explain that a friend of Thatcher's "was quoted as saying that [Thatcher] herself did not want [a state funeral], thinking it would be a waste of money." However, during a news brief in the 9 a.m. ET hour, anchor Natalie Morales stated Kosinski's initial remark about the funeral plans as fact: "Although Thatcher will receive a large ceremonial funeral with full military honors, it will not be state funeral. Thatcher, known as the Iron Lady, was apparently too controversial for that honor."
Coverage of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's death and life was relegated to below the fold at USA Today this morning (pictured here; the paper stopped posting front-page pics two years ago).
Three items above the fold (excluding left-side teases to coverage of other stories) were considered more important that the Iron Lady's passing: "Remembering Annette Funicello"; a "Duplicate programs waste billions" item about wasteful government spending (useful, but it's not as if we didn't know this already); and to top it off, a 6x6 photo from the first half of the NCAA men's basketball finals, the result of which the paper was unable to report because the game ended after its publication deadline.
MSNBC continued the bashing of Margaret Thatcher on Monday. Richard Wolffe, a British journalist and editor of the network's website, smeared the late prime minister as "the antithesis of freedom" when it came to how she dealt with her domestic enemies. The liberal reporter sneered that the Conservative politician "hurt working families and working people." Now host Alex Wagner even went so far as to quote arch-socialist Ken Livingstone while attacking Thatcher.
Speaking of the woman who was instrumental in bringing about the end of the totalitarian threat of Soviet Communism, Wolffe, a former correspondent for Newsweek, excoriated, "She had an attitude to her domestic enemies that frankly was the antithesis of freedom." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The journalist summarized Thatcher as "someone who was a pioneer for women, who actually also hurt working families and working people and that includes teachers and women across the board."
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".
ABC's Good Morning America on Monday broke into live coverage to report that the "controversial" "titan" Margaret Thatcher had died. The morning show's reporters highlighted both her conservative beliefs, for which she was "vilified," and compared her to Winston Churchill.
Guest co-host Elizabeth Vargas announced that the late Prime Minister's "belief in herself and her policies" led to her being "both adored and vilified even to this day in Great Britain. A very controversial, but very, very important figure, undoubtedly." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Later in the show, George Stephanopoulos returned to announce: "A titan has fallen."
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."
At the top of Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie cheered the news that President Obama may make one of his major campaign donors, Anna Wintour, an ambassador: "Going Vogue? A report this morning that the President could appoint Vogue's famed editor-in-chief Anna Wintour to be his next ambassador to England or France. More on what could be a very fashionable decision." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
During a panel discussion later in the show, fellow co-host Willie Geist excused the obvious patronage job: "This is not unusual...I think something like 30% of appointees to ambassadorships are political, as a reward for people who raise a lot of money." That prompted a round of jokes about giving money to Obama to get an appointment. Fill-in news reader Tamron remarked: "[Wintour] raised more than $500,000 for his campaign, so we need to get on the ball....We need to get it going..."
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell helped British author Frances Osborne advance discriminatory policy prescriptions from the left to get more women in high positions of political and economic power. Osborne stated that so-called "positive discrimination" is "necessary...to equal out the opportunity" for women. O'Donnell also reacted enthusiastically to a draft E.U. quota that would require businesses to set aside 40 percent of their boards for women.
The best-selling writer also hyped the continuing political fight over federal funding for abortion giant Planned Parenthood as "women...beginning to lose their rights." [audio clips available here; video below the jump]
With President Obama's election win, the worldwide celebrations have commenced again. NBC's Today show documented as much as they possibly could on Wednesday morning.
Reporting from London, foreign correspondent Michelle Kosinski was tasked with narrating the story of how the election has been perceived and reported overseas. Eerily similar to four long years ago, jubilant residents from other sovereign nations were shown in a high spirits after a second term was guaranteed to Obama. [ video below, MP3 audio here ]
In a pre-recorded interview with former President Bill Clinton aired on Tuesday's Piers Morgan Tonight, CNN host Morgan fawned over the former Democratic President and complained about the "God damned Twenty-Second Amendment" as he suggested that Clinton should be President "for the next 30 years."
As NewsBusters has been reporting, the Obama-loving media spent many days in recent weeks trashing presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for alleged gaffes he made during his overseas trip to Europe and Israel.
Rather surprisingly, in an interview to be aired on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS Sunday, Obama-supporter and former Secretary of State Colin Powell gave Romney good grades for his trip saying, "He demonstrated that he can participate in foreign relations in a way that is constructive...I think he did himself good by going to these countries" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
During a report about "why we love the British" on Thursday's NBC Today, special correspondent Tom Brokaw declared: "In one of our election years, the British watch America with a sense of bewilderment." Left-wing BBC anchor Katty Kay sniffed: "When we talk about God, guns, and government, those are the three big things we don't understand." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
She then lamented: "The role of government here [in the United States] is much more complicated, people don't want it in America. In Britain, we expect government to provide things for us."
In an unaired portion of an interview with British Prime Minister David Cameron meant to be featured on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer pressed Cameron to compare the London Olympics with the winter games run by Mitt Romney: "Do you think that Mitt Romney, the challenges he faced in 2002 in Salt Lake City, compared at all to what you faced here in London?" [View video after the jump]
After pushing Cameron to criticize Romney, moments later, Lauer went after Britain's head of Parliament for daring to modestly cut back on the nation's massive government spending: "You put in place some very difficult austerity measures that were controversial, hard for a lot of people to swallow. And yet, in the last quarter, your economy shrunk. So, was austerity the right path to take at that particular time, facing this very stubborn recession?"
Managing to squeeze politics into the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Friday, NBC hosts Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira cheered a tribute to Britain's government-run National Health Service, with Lauer declaring: "Back in the states...we're locked in this kind of partisan debate over the future of health care in our own country. Here, they feel so strongly about their health care system, they're actually celebrating it as part of the Olympic opening ceremony." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
"Someone should have told Mitt Romney that they still speak English in England," snarked Washington Post political reporter Chris Cillizza as he awarded Romney the "Worst Week In Washington" on Sunday for calmly laying out security concerns to NBC before the London Olympics -- concerns the networks themselves reported beforehand.
That matches the attitude that political reporter Philip Rucker brought to his Romney story's lede on Saturday: "Mitt Romney’s Friday was better than his Thursday. He did very little." Cillizza said Romney "seemed to be talking in a foreign language, politically speaking," and once again, the Post cited the "Mitt the Twit" headline:
Not only is the Associated Press aptly currently described as the Administration's Press -- as least as long as the White House's current occupant remains there -- it also seems to be serving as the Administration's Protection.
In a story about the "Lie-bor" scandal, wherein British banks have admitted to colluding to set the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) -- arguably the world’s most important benchmark for interest rates -- artificially low, AP reporter Martin Crutsinger "somehow" forgot that current Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was President of the New York Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank during much of the time period in which Congressional investigators are interested. Clearly, they want to know what Geithner knew, and when he knew it. The first three paragraphs of Crutsinger's writeup, followed by his sole context-free mention of Geithner, follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
As part of NBC's wall-to-wall Today show coverage of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II celebrating her Diamond Jubilee on Tuesday, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell listed ways in which the United States has supposedly slighted the monarch over the years: "...she's put up with a lot from her former subjects. The indignity of going to where the revolution started, to celebrate the bicentennial of our independence from the monarchy."
There ought to be a law against newscasters blatantly lying to the public.
On Monday, MSNBC's Martin Bashir falsely claimed the economic plans put forth by Great Britain and Spain are "the Romney-Ryan budget in action...almost exactly, word for word" without informing his viewers that those countries raised taxes to fight their deficits (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In an interview with British Prime Minister David Cameron aired on Wednesday's NBC Rock Center, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams cautioned Cameron about one of his predecessors: "You'll concede, Prime Minister Blair may never recover from that label that was attached to him. Someone used the word 'poodle' to describe his relationship with President Bush as the march to war [in Iraq] continued."
Moments earlier, Williams touted Cameron's criticism of the Iraq war: "Cameron, whose wife was in New York on 9/11, gave a speech in '06 criticizing the Iraq war, in which he said, 'Democracy cannot quickly be imposed from the outside. Liberty grows from the ground. It cannot be dropped from the air by an unmanned drone.'"