A minor item for a Friday night. File under: Which way is it?
ABC anchor Charles Gibson contended that French President Nicolas Sarkozy's “effusively kind words” about Barack Obama, who joined Sarkozy at a press conference in Paris, “bordered on an endorsement.” On CBS, however, anchor Katie Couric reported that Sarkozy said the French people have been following Obama “with passion” but, she noted, he “quickly pointed out that was not an endorsement.”
During a joint press conference between Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris, CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour bizarrely connected the Illinois senator with a 2005 comment by then-Interior Minister Sarkozy that French rioters were "scum." She asked the now-president of France, "And I'm wondering whether you feel, today, when you stand next to someone you clearly admire so much, and who has broken so many barriers, that you regret that term or that you wish you hadn't said it?"
Amanpour never made clear the odd link she seemed to be making between Obama and the "scum" rioters, other than to begin by stating, "Mr. President Sarkozy, you know that in France, the presence of Barack Obama and what he's done in terms of breaking the barriers in the United States has, sort of, made a resurgent black consciousness movement here." President Sarkozy deftly handled the CNN reporter's question. He began with this jibe: "Thank you, madam, for your exceptional knowledge of French political life and your contribution to friendship among peoples." Maintaining a smile, the president added, "...And I'm so glad that you should mention in front of Barack, a situation that prevailed before I became president in France."
A report by correspondent Mark Phillips on Friday’s CBS "Early Show" gave a glowing review of Barack Obama’s speech in Berlin on Thursday: "...there is a bit of a morning after feeling here in Berlin after what they're calling the 'Obama show.' But if the intent of this trip was to raise Barack Obama's foreign profile, it could hardly have been raised any higher...The stage could not have been bigger. The 200,000-plus crowd confirmed his rock star status, and his more cooperative sounding rhetoric was what the crowd wanted to hear."
On Thursday’s "Early Show" Phillips previewed the upcoming speech with the same fawning: "...preparations have been underway for a crowd that may number in the tens of thousands. Such is the anticipation of this Obama visit...Barack Obama of course isn't running for office here, but he may wish he were. Opinion polls across Europe, unofficial ones in newspapers, show that he would have a lead somewhere in the range of 80%. He has extremely high popularity in Europe and extremely high expectations." During that same report, Phillips quoted one German citizen who explained: "I have the feeling that with Obama there's something new. And we need it. Especially in Europe." Phillips then added: "Something new meaning he's not George W. Bush, whose war in Iraq drove a wedge between U.S. and European public opinion."
On Friday’s show, Phillips observed: "This was a speech about tone, not specifics. But mostly it was about showing up and being seen." He then went on to describe John McCain’s "bitterness" toward Obama’s media coverage: "Being seen too much, according to John McCain, who has complained bitterly about the coverage his opponent has received. McCain's response to Obama's Berlin mega-event was to go to a German restaurant in Columbus, Ohio."
"[Europe] wants to see an [American] president committed to free trade," cautioned CNN Chief International Correspondent from Berlin, Germany, the site of a speech by presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama.
Amanpour pointed to Obama's wanting to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement as a problem for the Illinois senator. She explained why on the July 24 broadcast during Obama's visit to Europe.
"But let me tell you a word of caution. The European top trade official for instance has said, ‘Listen Barack Obama quit that crowd pleasing rhetoric and get serious for instance on the issue of trade.' You know Barack Obama as a candidate has talked about renegotiating NAFTA. Well, that does not go down well in Europe, which believes in internationalism and globalism, in globalization," said Amanpour on the morning broadcast.
Are reporters in the business of reporting fact or rumor? Andrea Mitchell, for one, doesn't scruple to circulate "scuttlebutt" that if true would be deeply damaging to John McCain.
Barack Obama's cancellation of plans to visit injured military members at bases in Germany has drawn considerable attention and criticism. On today's Morning Joe, Mitchell passed along an Obama-campaign inspired rumor that McCain used his Pentagon connections to sabotage the Obama visit.
Obama's speech today in Berlin, hailed as a "major" address, has at least one major, glaring error that shows that nether Obama nor his handlers and speech writers were thoroughly familiar with the facts. Obama's main theme was about the "walls" that separate all of us one from another. He claims that many of these "walls" have been taken down and hails that as progress. But in at least one instance he is wrong. In fact more walls have been built where Obama claimed they were taken down.
First the relevant section of Obama's misconception (my bold for emphasis):
The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.
We know they have fallen before. After centuries of strife, the people of Europe have formed a Union of promise and prosperity. Here, at the base of a column built to mark victory in war, we meet in the center of a Europe at peace. Not only have walls come down in Berlin, but they have come down in Belfast, where Protestant and Catholic found a way to live together; in the Balkans, where our Atlantic alliance ended wars and brought savage war criminals to justice; and in South Africa, where the struggle of a courageous people defeated apartheid.
The screencap captures it nicely: Heather Wilson, smiling. Robert Wexler, mouth agape. On this afternoon's Hardball, the feisty, brilliant [bio: high honors Air Force Academy grad, Rhodes Scholar] GOP representative from New Mexico took on the duo of the combative congressman from Florida and host Chris Matthews, and walked away a winner. The subject was Obama's Berlin speech, and by extension his presidential qualifications.
You'll find excerpts below, but they don't do begin to do justice to Wilson's brio and the coolness under verbal fire she displayed. That's why I'd strongly encourage readers to view the video. Wilson kicked off her tour de force in commenting on a clip of Obama in his Berlin speech proclaiming that various walls, including one between American and Europe, "cannot stand" and must be torn down.
CNN’s chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour, reporting on Barack Obama’s speech in Berlin on Thursday’s “The Situation Room,” expressed her shock that the European crowd didn’t seem to have the same mania for the Democrat that the media has: “I did ask some people as they were leaving what they thought. Everybody said good, good. But I was surprised that there wasn't this sort of euphoria afterwards, given how many people had come to listen and how much it had been anticipated.” She later stated in the segment that one unnamed political analyst talked about how “people [in Europe] want a political redeemer -- I mean, that's very specific language, and he said it's not really based on facts, the -- what they think about Obama, because they don't really know. It's based on expectations.”
During the segment, which began just after the top of the 5 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program, host Wolf Blitzer asked Amanpour, “why do they apparently like him so much, not only in Germany, but throughout Western Europe?” She gave the standard media talking point about Obama in general: “They like him, some people say, because he is something new, he is a new generation, he's promising change, and people here are desperate for change.” Amanpour then reported on how Europeans apparently like Obama because “he is not President Bush, and they're slightly traumatized still from the last seven years of this ‘go-it-alone’ policy, which has seen so much war and has created so much division.”
Many McCain fans are no doubt bracing for the waves of European adulation that are about to break over Barack Obama, the MSM avidly reporting the scenes. With polls showing Obama with a 50+ percentage-point lead across the Old Continent [the French leading the Obamaphile way at 64-4%], the Dem candidate is assured of ecstatic crowds wherever he goes. Euro-Obamamania begins in Berlin today, with a speech by the candidate at the "Victory Column" in Tiergarten park.
But could all the adoration backfire? That emerging theme has found expression in two very different ways this morning. On the one hand, a scholarly exposition by Prof. Thomas Madden, writing at NRO—who draws parallels to the world of ancient Greco-Roman politics—and in more colloquial fashion by Joe Scarborough.
Here's how the Morning Joe host put it today at 6:34 AM EDT, in an exchange with Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist. Republican strategist Mike Murphy got in a good line at the very end.
On Friday’s CBS "Early Show," correspondent Sheila MacVicar reported on Barack Obama’s upcoming international tour and declared: "...Senator Obama is taking to the skies to stride on the world stage. It's a chance for Americans to take a look at how he measures up as a statesman...it's an attempt to demonstrate he has the necessary gravitas to maneuver through diplomatic minefields, especially in the Middle East."
MacVicar then explained how well-received Obama’s troop withdrawal plan would be to the Iraqi people:
...people know he has proposed to withdraw all U.S. combat troops within 16 months. American presidents have not been popular here for nearly 20 years. But Iraqis say they do want U.S. troops to go home. 'I'm for withdraw now,' says this shopper. 'The Americans have caused all our problems.' 'If Obama's plan is true,' he says, 'we bless it. We need withdraw today.'
MacVicar then looked at the rest of Obama’s planned trip: "On to Europe where many are enthusiastic." She quoted one British citizen who claimed: "If there were a vote here in the UK he'd probably win something like 5-1." MacVicar concluded her report by observing: "There's no question...that even this far away Mister -- Senator Obama, more than any other recent presidential candidate, excites great interest."
Happy Birthday to the greatest nation on this earth. After seeing the Capitol's 4th Celebration on PBS, NASCAR on ESPN2, and watching fireworks off of my patio, I was so truly proud to be an American on this day. It also reminded me of a stunning exchange I recently had with a former co-worker of mine, which left me wondering "aren't all other people proud of their own countries?"
For the rest of the article, please check it out here.
Expensive gas isn't so bad to the "CBS Evening News," as long as it promotes an agenda that caters to left-of-center sensibilities and makes Americans behave more like Europeans.
Economists from Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) (NYSE:CM) forecasted $7-a-gallon gas prices by 2010, which according to some analysts would force 10 million vehicles off U.S. roads over four years. CIBC based its prediction on $200-per-barrel oil by 2010.
"In fact, by 2012, higher prices could send an additional 10 million vehicles off the road," CBS correspondent Priya David said June 26. Although $7 gas would do the most harm to low-income Americans, David praised the effects it would have in easing congestion.
I guess this is what strikes the English as amusing, but the Guardian Newspaper has decided it would be super neat to place their logo on Mt. Rushmore to advertise their coverage of the United States. This sort of disrespect for one of our most recognizable national monuments is a great idea to get Americans interested in the Guardian's American version, isn't it?
Yes, there's nothing like defacing a national monument in order to sell newspapers!
It looks like Reuters is trying to say that the United States stands against the rule of law with their latest piece on a recent ruling from the so-called World Court -- the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ wants the U.S. to vacate the death penalty sentences of several Mexican nationals that sit on death row in prisons in several states and Reuters is shaking its finger at the nasty Americans that deny the jurisdiction of the self-styled World Court.
Mexico has been agitating with the World Court to force the United States to vacate (or at least revisit) the convictions of 51 Mexican nationals now on death row because they claim that these murderers were not alerted to their right to seek consular assistance before they went into the American court systems.
Naturally, the ICJ happily complied with Mexico's request and demanded that the U.S. comply with the World Court decision. Bush made an unfortunate decision in 2005 to ask the various states to comply with the ICJ, but the issue has since been settled by the Supreme Court of the United States. Fortunately, just this month the SCOTUS said that our courts are not bound by the ICJ rulings.
Bloggers are being arrested more and more as the importance of the Internet is realized by governments across the world, at least so warns the BBC. It seems an alarming report where community activists and democracy advocates are finding themselves being oppressed by government, arrested, and maybe even tortured because of their blogging. But, one little fact of the story is never really focussed on in this alarming BBC report on the release of the WIA report from the University of Washington. The fact that bloggers aren't threatened much in democratic nations has been glossed over by this report.
Unfortunately, a cursory reading of this piece would leave the reader with the vague feeling that people all over the world are being arrested merely because they are blogging, but that isn't quite the case. The way this report is written serves as a perfect example of a PCism more concerned with upsetting the tender sensibilities of tyrannical, undemocratic governments, than in reporting the oppression of its citizens. It's a PCism gone so far that it makes the report uninformative at least to the most important aspect of the reason these bloggers are being arrested.
Getting in some last shots at President Bush as his trip to Europe came to an end in London, CBS and ABC on Sunday night focused stories on Bush's unpopularity on the continent where “they're glad he's on his way out” and it's “an understatement to say that Mr. Bush is unpopular.” CBS correspondent Bill Plante asserted “much of Europe thinks of Mr. Bush as a cowboy who has ridden roughshod over the wishes of his allies and they're glad he's on his way out,” before the CBS Evening News featured a woman on the street who declared: “Good-bye. It was not fun. And I am looking forward to the change.” Then viewers heard from protesters: “George Bush? Terrorist! George Bush? Terrorist!” Plante proceeded to highlight:
According to a Pew Research Center poll out last week, Europeans -- a majority of Britons, French and Germans -- believe a new President means a better U.S. foreign policy, and for most Britons, French and Germans, Barack Obama's personal story and opposition to the war make him a heavy favorite over John McCain when it comes to their confidence in his handling of foreign policy.
CNN calls this serious news, apparently, but a recent report about a Pew Research poll of "more than 24,000 people in 24 countries" shows that foreigners favor Barack Obama over John McCain for president. Aside from the general "who cares" of it all, why is it news that people who wish the United States ill will would pick the candidate most friendly to their interests to become our president? Shouldn't it be obvious that foreigners would want someone that would favor their views to become the next president of the U.S.? Who would expect a Frenchman or a Swede to pick someone that would least favor a foreigner's point of view on international politics? After all, why would a foreigner want an American president that would strongly advocate for the United States when they themselves are not Americans? Naturally, they'd gravitate to the candidate that seems to represent what Europe wants and not the candidate that would strongly advocate for the U.S.A.
And on top of that, why the heck would an American care what a foreigner thinks about U.S. elections? Yet, in theirs headlined "Poll: Image of US will 'change for the better' with Obama," here is CNN acting as if this is important and perhaps shocking news that Obama has an "enormous" polling advantage among foreigners.
This is the sort of report that immediately gets my BS detector up. A recent Palm Beach [Fla.] Post story is trying to claim that Americans are running to Europe to claim dual citizenship because the U.S. is so horrible for everyone here. Yet, even as the story is making the claim that more Americans are fleeing this country for Europe, it offers no statistics to prove it. And the Post even admits that there are none to be got. So, in essence, all we end up with is a claim and nothing but circumstantial and anecdotal evidence with no real facts to prove anything. But this piece does, however, succeed in bashing the USA at every turn.
The first sentence sets the tone of lament that the rest of the piece carries by giving the reader a sense of something lost, a foreboding that foreshadows the end of the prominence of the United States of America.
What happens when a society bans guns, and then the crime wave comes with knives? Is knife control next? Friday’s Washington Post suggests the answer is yes in Great Britain.
We at MRC saw knife-control writing on the wall many years ago. In 1990, a Utah man was stabbed in New York, and we saw this quote in the Post, from then-reporter Michael Specter: "The slaying, and those that preceded it and will follow it, certainly will intensify cries for more police and harsher penalties for criminals. But as long as the type of knife used to kill Watkins is sold in half of the variety stores in Times Square, it will be difficult to recruit enough police to erase this crime wave."
Post reporters Kevin Jordan and Jill Colvin suggested Britain’s crime wave is showing that mentality is breaking out again:
Knife crime among young people has sparked a widespread debate in recent weeks in Britain, where police say they have seen "a worrying trend" toward more severe knife attacks involving younger attackers and victims.
When France 2 TV helped stoke a new wave of anti-Semitism and anti-Western sentiment and violence by presenting the world footage it claimed to show the Israeli military targeting and killing a Palestinian boy, Mohammed al-Dura, a scene that has been invoked by Osama bin Laden and many other terrorists and suicide bombers, the American news media also ran the story, showing the footage numerous times on major television news shows. But evidence has mounted over the years that Israeli troops likely were not the ones producing the gunfire seen in the video. And the sources of the footage at France 2 TV are under increasing fire for their role in the matter, last week losing a court battle to media critic Philippe Karsenty, who goes so far as to charge that the al-Dura footage was actually a staged scene, and that the boy may still be alive, part of what has become a reportedly common practice of Palestinian film makers as they record scenes of fake violence to be used as propaganda. A look at such filmmaking and acting has been examined in the documentary Pallywood, complete with a corpse in a fake funeral procession that gets up on its own after falling off the stretcher after the "Jenin massacre" hoax, and an ambulance that arrives immediately next to the body of a man literally two seconds after he is supposedly shot. CBS's 60 Minutes was among those accused of being duped into using scenes of staged violence as if they were real. (Transcripts follow)
You pathetic little people of the blogosphere. You're nothing more than "nitwits at home with [your] computers" who've deluded yourselves into imagining you're "part of the news media." Just ask Mike Barnicle. The former Boston Globe columnist broke the tough truth to us on today's Morning Joe. WaPo editorial writer Jonathan Capehart was "so glad" to agree.
Capehart was in full courtier mode to Mika Brzezinski, anchoring the show during Joe Scarborough's extended absence awaiting the birth of a child home in Florida. When executive producer Chris Licht read a viewer email critical of Mika, Capehart leapt to her defense, and it was then that Barnicle and he sniffed at the pretenders of the pajamahadeen.
Two years ago, after FNC's Bill O'Reilly erroneously stated that American troops had massacred Nazi German troops at Malmedy, Belgium during World War II, even after the FNC host corrected the error, which apparently should have referred to American troops who retaliated against German troops after Malmedy because of that massacre, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, on his Countdown show, demanded that O'Reilly apologize to American troops, relaying anger expressed by some Iraq war veterans who heard about O'Reilly's mistake, and in one of his most egregious smears against the FNC host, painted O'Reilly as a defender of Nazis. The Countdown show even played an audio clip of voice actor Seth MacFarlane derogatorily calling the FNC host "that b*****d Bill O'Reilly," and telling the FNC host to "allow me to soil myself on you." (Transcripts follow)
When Mika Brzezinski gushed over Pat Buchanan's knowledge of WWII history today, was she aware that her hero has criticized Britain for coming to the defense of her father's native Poland when Nazi Germany invaded it?
Buchanan has been a member of the Morning Joe panel this week. Much of today's talk has focused, with a Bush-bashing panel of guests, on President Bush's condemnation of appeasement in remarks to the Israeli Knesset. At 8:12 AM ET, the show rolled video from last night's Hardball of Chris Matthews's hectoring of radio talk show host Kevin James over the latter's inability to state precisely what it was that Neville Chamberlain did in attempting to appease Adolf Hitler. As I noted here, Chris managed to stumble on some history of his own during that segment, but MJ didn't deign to discuss that embarrassing fact.
Willie Geist turned to Buchanan to answer the question that James couldn't.
The Democrats and the mainstream media have long been pushing the meme that George W. Bush is a 'unilateral cowboy' who alienates our supposed allies. Funny thing about that, in the past six years, the governments who actively oppose American goals and who expressed their disdain for the current President have one by one been pushed out of office and replaced by governments who are much closer to the Bush Administration. This has happened so far in Germany (Angela Merkel), France (Nicolas Sarkozy), Canada (Stephen Harper) and now in one of Russia's closest allies, the Republic of Serbia.
As reported by the Washington Post, Serbia's pro-Western president declared victory in Sunday's parliamentary elections _ a stunning upset over ultranationalists who tried to exploit anger over Kosovo's independence. But his rivals vowed to fight on, and it was unclear if he could stave off their challenge. "This is a great day for Serbia," Boris Tadic proclaimed after an independent monitoring group that carried out a parallel vote count nationwide said his bloc won 39 percent _ about 10 percent more than the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party. Of course the Post managed to miss the fact that this is one more supposed ally of Russia's neo-Communist and imperialist president Vladimir Putin that has instead chosen closer ties with the free states of Europe and the United States. Michelle Malkin pointed out the fact that the Post managed to completely miss, writing:
"Of course, real life never matches up exactly with the theory's assumptions. But they represent, economists say, a useful way of making sense of a complex world," Lynch wrote.
"To Soros, the conventional approach is rubbish. Instead of a world of near-identical actors, coolly assessing their economic interests and acting with clear-eyed precision, he sees a world (and markets) governed by passion, bias and self-reinforcing errors," Lynch wrote. "Because fallible human beings are both involved in, and trying to make sense of, this world, they inevitably make mistakes. Those mistakes then feed on themselves in ‘reflexive' ways that, when taken to extremes, result in situations such as the now-deflating U.S. housing bubble."
As noted earlier today on Newsbusters by Matthew Balan, Michael Moore appeared on CNN's "Larry King Live" last evening. I caught a good portion of the "interview" (if King's constant agreement and sucking up qualify as an interview) and one little segment in particular got my attention. The subject was taxes:
MOORE: You were asking me a serious question. I'm sorry. Actually, you know what I would do is I would get -- I would try to lower Americans' taxes to the rate that the French pay. The French pay less taxes than we do, less.
Michael Ledeen over at the National Review's Corner reminded me today that the recent elections in Italy resulted in a historic event- for the first time since World War II, no Communist was elected to the Italian Parliament. And in an equally positive corollary, no member of the fellow-traveling Green party won either. Mr. Ledeen also noticed something that the Big Media around the world managed to miss- the incoming government will be decidedly pro-American and pro-George W. Bush. Ledeen writes,
Tomorrow's papers will pretend that this didn't happen, and warn that Berlusconi's allies in the Northern League are mercurial and dangerous, and that his majority isn't as stable as it looks. But it is. And there's an even more annoying feature to these elections, as seen by the chattering classes: Berlusconi is an outspoken, even passionate admirer of George W. Bush and the United States of America. Reminds one of the elections that brought Sarkozy to the Elysee, doesn't it? Best to keep that quiet, or somebody might notice that hatred of America doesn't seem to affect the voters in Italy, France or Germany.
Should Hillary make it to the White House, don't look for Bill to be taking an early twirl on the Inauguration Ball dance floor with Nancy Pelosi. Appearing on today's Face the Nation, Madame Speaker made a nasty joke at the former president's expense.
Host Bob Schieffer [who might have experienced some schadenfreude this week with all the talk of Katie Couric being pushed out of the Evening News anchor chair he kept warm for her], asked Pelosi what might have prompted Bill Clinton to resurrect the issue of Hillary's tussle with the Tuzla truth. He had famously chalked it up to the tribulations of a tired 60-year old late at night. In answer, Pelosi sardonically suggested Bill might have had a senior moment of his own.
Must be something about midnight. Sometime between 11 PM and 3 AM, Hillary Clinton is transformed from a sleepy sexagenarian who can't keep her facts straight into a bold Commander-in-Chief dealing decisively with the crisis of the moment.
We all know about Hillary's 3 AM mastery. As for 11 PM, Bill Clinton went on the campaign trail in Indiana yesterday and chalked up his wife's problems with the truth of Tuzla to the senior moments that afflict people of her age at that time of night.