Discussing the G-8 summit with CBS's Jim Axelrod, Katie Couric on Wednesday night portrayed an “adamant” President George Bush as the antagonist causing Russian President Vladimir Putin to be “annoyed” about NATO plans to install a missile shield in Poland, a controversy, she fretted, that is distracting attention from global warming. “Economic issues and climate change were supposed to be the main topics,” Couric asserted on the CBS Evening News, “but they're being overshadowed by the dispute between President Bush and Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, over NATO plans to install a defensive missile shield in Eastern Europe,” a shield designed to protect Europe from missiles launched by rogue states.
Referring to Putin's threat to aim missiles at Europe, Couric pressed Axelrod, who was on scene in Rostock, Germany: “Putin is annoyed about this missile defense system. Why is President Bush so adamant about this?” Couric's next question displayed concern about the impact on an agreement on global warming: “I know that global warming was at the top of the agenda. Has that fallen off the radar screen, given all this chatter?”
As people who are following the G-8 summit in Germany are well aware, it is highly doubtful that any meaningful accord will be reached at this meeting concerning CO2 emissions. In fact, reports out of Europe and Asia for many weeks leading up to this event have made this eventuality quite clear.
Yet, this didn’t prevent the Los Angeles Times’ Ron Brownstein for blaming the lack of such an agreement on President George W. Bush.
In an op-ed published Wednesday entitled “Don't Sugarcoat Climate Change; Calling out Bush's intransigence on emissions caps may be the best way for other G-8 countries to get the U.S. to budge on global warming,” Brownstein chose to ignore all of the facts surrounding this issue, and instead pointed an accusatory finger at the media’s favorite target (emphasis added throughout):
The media was fascinated with the story of the Americans in Michael Moore's "Sicko," who left the US for medical treatment in Cuba, a country with socialized medicine, and it was used to highlight the failings of the US health care system. When the exact opposite occurred, and an American fled Italy's socialized medicine for medical treatment in the privatized care of the US, the media decded that angle was no longer significant.
In the coverage of Andrew Speaker’s TB quarantine, very little was mentioned about why he was so determined to return to the US that he ignored the CDC’s command to remain in Italy to treat his life-threatening illness, which is the most serious form of TB and is resistant to most drugs.
Speaker was so adamant about getting out of Italy and returning to the US health care system because Italy's was inadequate for his needs. The AP recounted the Diane Sawyer interview on ABC where Andrew Speaker said the doctors at a Denver research hospital said the US was his only hope (emphasis mine throughout):
"Before I left, I knew that it was made clear to me, that in order to fight this, I had one shot, and tha was going to be in Denver," he said. If doctors in Europe tried to treat him and it went wrong, he said, "it's very real that I could have died there."
Maybe Michael Moore should listen to people who actually have socialized medicine—at least those who are allowed to disagree with their government’s policies. Singer Elton John’s partner David Furnish slammed Michael Moore and his latest docuganda “Sicko” for misrepresenting the quality of the US health care system. On June 02, Furnish stated, ”[America] was the only place to get good treatment”(emphasis mine):
There was a summit between Russia’s Vladimir Putin and the leaders of the European Union on Friday that yielded as little results as it did attention from America’s media.
One of the issues on the table was whether Russia is going to provide more energy resources to EU nations starved for such.
Didn’t hear about this?
Well, that’s not surprising, for in the midst of the media’s ongoing attempts to create global warming hysteria while pushing the U.S. to participate in the Kyoto Protocol, our press have little interest in reporting how energy politics across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans are threatening economies around the globe.
Contrary to most American media that ignored this dicey subject, the BBC covered the following Associated Press article Friday (emphasis added):
It's quite rare for President Bush to lecture reporters, but he did it Thursday morning to British reporters in a Rose Garden press conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. When reporters for Sky News and BBC tried to suggest strongly that Blair was the lamest of ducks, President Bush upbraided them for "trying to do a tap dance on this political grave" and said Blair is a solid, respected leader, unlike some political players (in the press?): "There's a lot of blowhards in the political process, a lot of hot air artists, people who've got something fancy to say."
After reporter Adam Boulton of Sky News pressed Bush if he's "partly to blame" for Blair retiring, a reporter for the program BBC Newsnight really stirred up the president:
QUESTION: Mr. Blair, you outlined some very big policy areas there in your discussions with the president. Is it really possible, do you think, to make significant progress on them in the time that you have left? And, Mr. President, if I could ask you: Is this really still the right man to be talking to?
In another sad example of self flagellation by western elitists, the Guardian Newspaper in England published a column on how we Americans (and our English cousins) should not celebrate the founding of Jamestown, the first Virginia colony, 400 years ago because of... you guessed it... slavery.
Here we have another elitist congratulating himself that he is "informed" enough to know that slavery makes the founding of the USA a blight on humanity instead of the great event it truly is. Another leftist who cannot bring himself to be proud of anything the west has been responsible for because there were some bad things mixed in with the good. In fact, the bad things make us such hypocrites, goes this type of thinking, that all the good should be discounted over it. (It is always in fashion for Europeans to look down on the US, isn't it?)
The three major networks covered news of British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s resignation with the left-wing "Bush’s poodle" line. On "Good Morning America," ABC’s David Wright demonstrated the most bias stating, "Bill Clinton’s sidekick became George Bush’s poodle, or so they see it here." On "Today" NBC’s Dawna Freisen noted, "he became, of course, America’s closest ally but that came at a price here at home. He was eventually derided here as America’s poodle."
The May 10 edition of "The Early Show" was no exception as CBS’s Sheila MacVicar stated: "But at home, Blair has been labeled Bush's poodle, at too willing ally who led his country into Iraq." In their generally negative story "The Early Show" relied on the expertise of Simon Hoggart of The Guardian, a left wing British publication and hardly an objective source.
It's so easy, the cave men did it? LiveScience.com staff writer, Dave Mosher, wrote an article on Yahoo.com titled "Climate Change, Not Humans, Trounced Neanderthals" about Francisco Jimenez-Espejo, a University of Granada paleoclimatologist who “says a lack of evidence has left climate change weakly supported—until now. 'We put data behind the theory,' he said, filling in a large gap in European climate records when Neanderthals faded out of existence.”
He concluded from a detailed examination of evidence that Neanderthals disappeared from Earth more than 20,000 years ago at least partially because of climate change. As in global cooling.
The New York Times is still adjusting badly to conservative candidate Nicolas Sarkozy's big win in the French presidential election over Socialist candidate Segolene Royal, judging by reporter Craig Smith's report from Paris on the thuggish violence that occurred after Sarkozy's big win ("Hundreds Are Arrested in Post-Election Riots Across France").
Instead of blaming the rioters, Smith implied that furthur violence could be blamed on Sarkozy keeping his campaign promises.
"Violent protests against the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France ended early Monday after hundreds of people were arrested, hundreds of cars gutted, and hundreds of windows smashed in several cities across France.
Anti-conservative bias in the media is not unique to America. Agence France-Presse (AFP) practically portrayed French President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy as a modern day, Gallic incarnation of Nero, fiddling while France burns (emphasis mine).:
France's next president Nicolas Sarkozy holidayed Tuesday in Malta
ahead of launching a radical reform programme, while back home cities
across the country were hit by more violent "anti-Sarko" protests.
A few paragraphs later, the AFP article --bearing the loaded headline "Sarkozy rests as France braces for reform -- continued to hold Sarkozy in a sinister light.:
Paris-based New York Times reporter Elaine Sciolino continued to nurse her long-standing grudge against Nicolas Sarkozy, the tough-on-crime presidential candidate of France, in two stories, one before and one after Sarkozy routed Socialist candidate Segolene Royal to win the presidency.
"He has gambled -- apparently successfully -- during the campaign that by turning hard right he would win over supporters of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the head of the extreme right National Front who made it into the second round of the 2002 election but made it into only fourth place this time.
The weak female support is a bitter personal blow for Royal, who had
played up her feminist credentials throughout the campaign, frequently
defending policies she would want "as a mother" and accusing critics of
Yet Gehmlich noted that the Sarkozy-Royal split among women voters in general was 52-48, according to an Ipsos exit poll. That closely tracks the 53-47 split among voters generally and is not far afield from 54 percent of men who voted for Sarkozy.
Indeed, younger female voters were about evenly split while elderly female voters broke heavily against the Socialist Royal, suggesting that generation, not gender, may have been a stronger determinant in the election outcome.
Royal's support among older voters was particularly poor, with 64
percent of women above the age of 60 supporting Sarkozy, and only 36
percent voting for Royal, according to the Ipsos survey. Women under 35
were split between her and Sarkozy.
Those numbers come from an Ipsos exit poll. Meg Bortin of the New York Times gave more data in her May 7 article that points to age differences in voting for the candidates. (Emphasis mine):
Over the past few days, Gates of Vienna discussed a very troubling story about Finnish blogger Mikko Ellila, “who has been summoned by the police for a hearing next week, all because of the content of his blog posts.” Mikko posts in Finnish but contacted several people in English about this, such as the Australian blogger Prodos, who owns the site that hosts the potentially criminal blog. Mikko explained to Prodos why he is going to be questioned by Finnish police:
According to the letter, I am suspected of “hate speech” merely because I have pointed out that Islam is a fascist ideology that advocates killing Jews, atheists, homosexuals etc.
Fellow Finnish blogger Vasarahammer explained more about Mikko's problem:
Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali immigrated to the US from Holland in 2006 after her controversial views of Islam (she called it “backwards”) resulted in serious death threats and the eventual murder of a friend. An April 24 Reuters article by Alexandra Hudson (picked up by the Washington Post website) stressed the theme that the Muslim women of Holland were relieved that she left for America. It also engaged in a slick game of “blame-the-victim” and minimized the agonizing childhood violence she experienced by describing her flight from “an arranged marriage and abusive family who had her circumcised as a child.”
“Circumcised.” It may sound similar to male circumcision, but it is not. A more appropriate term is “female genital mutilation” or FGM. “Female circumcision” is what the practitioners call it. Reuters didn’t go into the details of this “circumcision,” but Hirsi Ali did in her most recent book, “Infidel.” Aussie newspaper, the Australian, excerpts the portion that describes what the local “expert,” who was likely a blacksmith, did to her with no anesthetic or disinfectant at the request of her own grandmother (emphasis mine throughout)[editor's note: graphic descriptions ahead]:
On Thursday’s "Good Morning America," ABC reporter Lama Hasan asserted that, according to a new study, generous welfare and low expectations make the people of Denmark the happiest in the world.
In addition to paying "astronomical taxes," Hasan noted that "psychologists say Denmark’s secret lies in a culture of low expectations." Hasan also compared the Danes to status seeking Americans:
Hasan: "So, any pleasure on any day seems like a kind of gift, a sweet surprise. Unlike Americans, Danes are not always comparing themselves to others and asking for more. It seems that everywhere you go in Copenhagen, you stumble on the satisfied. Having a generous welfare system that provides security and comfort doesn’t hurt."
In a typical move, Europeans want to ban something they don’t like. In an English-language article, the Danish Heise Online reported several members of the European Parliament, which is the elected body of the European Union, will submit a draft of a declaration next week that “calls on providers in somewhat vague language to make provisions against "hate pages" part of their standard terms and conditions” with the ultimate goal to “banish racism and hate propaganda from the Internet altogether. This is the same environment in which publishing the satirical Jyllands-Posten Mohammad cartoons (images here)was considered an act of Islamophobia, and therefore hate speech. The draft specifically mentions Islamophobia in the preamble, which would likely mean that anti-terrorism sites like Little Green Footballs,the Brussels Journal and Melanie Phillips, publisher of the book, Londonistan could be labeled "hate speech" (emphasis mine throughout):
The ultimate object of the push by five EU Members of Parliament, Glyn Ford and Claude Moraes of the UK's Labour Party, the Hungarian Liberal Party member Viktoria Mohacsi and the two German European Members of Parliament Bern Posselt (Christian Social Union; CSU) and Feleknas Uca (The Left Party), is to banish racism and hate propaganda from the Internet altogether. The preamble to the declaration mentions anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and anti-Romany campaigns. Should the providers refuse to act more forcefully the five initiators of the declaration have vowed to pressure the European Commission into drafting appropriate legislation (the article includes links to the politicians' websites).
The easiest place to find liberal disgust at American gun laws in Tuesday's Washington Post was in Kevin Sullivan's roundup of international reaction from London. The headline was "Shock, Sympathy, And Denunciation Of U.S. Gun Laws: British Newspaper Asks, 'What Price the Right to Bear Arms?'"
One British expert even claimed you could easily buy automatic weapons along with your yogurt and bologna at the supermarket:
"I think the reason it happens in America is there's access to weapons -- you can go into a supermarket and get powerful automatic weapons," Keith Ashcroft, a psychologist, told the Press Association. Ashcroft said he believed such access, along with a culture that makes gun ownership seem normal, increases the likelihood of such attacks in the United States.
The mainstream media unabashedly continues its soft-touch approach with Iran and its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
On Thursday's "American Morning," CNN foreign correspondent Aneesh Raman gave a report from Amman, Jordan on the release of the 15 British sailors and marines by Iran. He began with the describing the P.R. conducted by Iran and Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as one of "precision." Later in his report, Raman then described the P.R. campaign as "sophisticated." These are hardly adjectives CNN employs for American officials.
Though Raman does state that Iran "used the media to its advantage" and that its broadcasts of the British sailors and marines making statements were "staged confessions," it's unsurprising, to say the least, that the CNN correspondent would use such glowing terms for the Iranian regime's propaganda coup. It was only a few months ago that Raman's colleague at CNN, Suzanne Malveaux, asked President Bush for a show of respect for Ahmadinejad.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) continues to refute claims that they are heavily biased to the left and the State run entertainers deny any claims that they pander to the elites of British society. But a new internal study seems to be saying that the programing "remains too middle class and highbrow and needs to be driven downmarket". Leave it to the BEEB to imagine that they are somehow too smart for their audience.
Executives at the corporation have always denied that it is a bastion of the liberal elite, pandering to the young, upmarket and metropolitan.
But now they are secretly conceding there may be some truth in the accusations and are drawing up plans to make programmes more populist.
Some "truth in the accusations"? As laughable it is for the BEEB to continue to deny their leftward leaning editorial underpinnings -- they "embedded" a reporter with the Taliban to give them positive coverage, for Heaven's sake --it's even more outrageous that they imagine themselves the smartest one in the room.
Monika Scislowska of the Associated Press reported on Warsaw rallies in support of a complete ban on abortion in Poland. It's restricted now to the first 12 weeks and only in the cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother. But look at the labeling contrast AP employed, the usual stereotype of the epic political battle between the ultraconservatives and the nonpartisans:
The two marches were organized by an ultraconservative Roman Catholic radio station and a right-wing political party. Mostly elderly demonstrators attended a Mass and marched through central Warsaw carrying Polish and Vatican flags. One banner had an image of a baby and the words, "Can you really kill me?"
Elsewhere in the capital, about 700 mostly young people held a rally with music and balloons in support of abortion rights.
In a warning to the sanctity of free speech in a democratic nation, France is about to show us what happens when the state is allowed to legally determine who is allowed to be a "journalist", or who is a "legitimate" source of news: You get the criminalization of speech.
The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.
This would, in fact, place the power to silence whistleblowers from being able to expose abuse by government officials into the hands of those very officials in the case of police abuse, for instance.
How far will reporters go to get a juicy story: How low will they go? How many rules will they break? How many sacred cows will they make into hamburger? Reporter Riccardo Bocca of L'Espresso is attracting worldwide attention from Catholic media outlets and bloggers. Bocca stealthily visited confessionals at 24 Catholic churches in Rome, Turin, Naples, Milan and Palermo, and lied to each priest he visited, manufacturing false confessions for various sins. He said he wanted to show the disparity between what the church teaches and what priests do. Would they conform to Catholic teaching or slip out of orthodoxy to show sympathy? Bocca found priests who would step away from orthodoxy, although not on abortion.
Fox News explained that the official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, was furious: "Shame! There is no other word to express our distress toward an operation that was disgusting, worthless, disrespectful and particularly offensive," the Vatican's paper said in an editorial headlined "Fake confessions in search of a shameful scoop." (Philip Pullella at Reuters also had a story.) I can't imagine even many "secular progressive" reporters finding it ethical to lie your face off in a supposedly sacred ritual.
There’s so much to find offensive about Fareed Zakaria’s article in this week’s Newsweek that it’s tough to know where to begin. Put simply, the piece stated rather strongly that President Bush is responsible for a declining rate of democracy around the world.
Of course, one study that Zakaria cited to prove this premise “points out that 2006 was a bad year for liberty, under attack from creeping authoritarianism in Venezuela and Russia, a coup in Thailand, massive corruption in Africa and a host of more subtle reversals.”
Zakaria never addressed what President Bush did to advance creeping authoritarianism in Venezuela and Russia, the coup in Thailand, and the massive corruption in Africa. Instead, he reported the following (emphasis mine throughout):
More than a decade after publisher Steve Forbes’s flat-tax platform temporarily vaulted him to the top of the pack of GOP presidential candidates, another prospective Republican presidential candidate is making tax simplification a centerpiece of his 2008 campaign. In announcing his exploratory committee, Kansas Senator Sam Brownback argued “We need a flat tax instead of the dreadful, incomprehensible tax code we now have,” today’s Wichita Eagle reported.
But unlike back in 1996, the media are now confronted with the evidence that the flat tax help boost wealth-producing economic growth. This week’s "Time" reports on the economic boom in the former Soviet republic of Estonia, which like many Eastern European countries has seen its fortunes rise since dumping socialism and instituting a flat tax. “The economy is now one of Europe’s most dynamic, racing along at an 11.3% growth clip,” Peter Gumbel writes this week in his “Letter from Estonia.”
Nearly eleven years ago, "Time" took dead aim at Forbes’s flat tax in a January 29, 1996 cover package, “Does the Flat Tax Make Any Sense,” an issue which hit mailboxes right before the New Hampshire primary.
"Warsaw's new archbishop, Stanislaw W. Wielgus, caught in Eastern Europe's widening witch hunt for former Communist secret police informers, admitted Friday that he had collaborated with the Sluzba Bezpieczenstwa, or Security Service, known as the S.B."
Saturday's CBS Evening News featured a story, filed by correspondent Sheila MacVicar, which highlighted the French government's policy of entitling all mothers to three years of paid maternity leave and subsidized child care as a way to increase the birth rate and thus provide more young taxpayers to pay for the pensions of the elderly. MacVicar pointed out that in America, "federal law entitles some working mothers to twelve weeks unpaid leave," before cautioning that "the rest get nothing."
MacVicar relayed that French women enjoy more benefits than their American counterparts: "Take a look at what all French families, regardless of income, are entitled to: Up to three years paid maternity leave with a guarantee that mom's job will be there for her when she returns. There's subsidized child care, a whole host of tax credits, and for baby number three brings twice the government allowance of baby number two." (Transcript follows)
Unsatisfied with American domination of the international news market, a French company is getting ready to launch a cable/satellite news channel.
The staff of France 24 insists they'll be different than CNNi, BBC, and others, but in one respect they're perfectly similar. Just like their American counterparts, they pretend they're objective. They also appear to have trouble perceiving reality. Regarding the Iraq war, managing director Gerard Saint-Paul says:
"Our image will be more panoramic as compared to other channels – but
that doesn’t mean that the other channels are bad at all. Let me give
you an example to better illustrate: Concerning coverage in Iraq, which
constitutes a cornerstone in media coverage, I find that CNN conveys an
American-directed message to a large extent, and more precisely one
that is in favor of President George Bush. What we will offer is a
wider vision that is different from what others present, and this of
course, will be affected by the historical and emotional relationship
between France and Lebanon, as well as the closeness of the relations
between France and the Arab world."
This is, of course, the news channel that actually is more anti-conservative and critical of the United States than its American counterpart. I guess Saint-Paul prefers a more Pravdaesque approach to covering international news.
I also can't help but note the hypocrisy in that France 24 has its country of origin in its name (and likely is benefiting from French subsidies as well) and talks about how its mission is to bring the French approach to news and culture to the world. Somehow this is OK but bringing an American approach is bad.
During the Friday edition of "The Situation Room," CNN’s Jack Cafferty summarized an international poll that showed many Europeans think President Bush is a greater threat to world peace than North Korea. He solemnly intoned that the results show "just how low the United States image has sunk." After reading the survey, Cafferty asked his audience this question:
Jack Cafferty: "...What does it mean when our closest allies think that President Bush is a greater threat to world peace than either North Korea or Iran?"
"Situation Room" host Wolf Blitzer had an answer:
Blitzer: "It means we got a serious problem internationally."
Would Republicans be popular again if they’d only dump their conservative principles? That’s the advice in this week’s U.S. News & World Report, contained in Thomas K. Grose’s “Letter from Bournemouth, England.” Grose salutes Britain’s Conservative Party leader David Cameron for his thoroughly un-conservative approach of eschewing tax cuts, supporting gay marriage and the minimum wage, and calling Britain’s National Health Service a “great achievement.”
Grose thinks American Republicans should also morph into liberals: “Cameron’s centerward drive contrasts sharply with American conservatism, where the Republican Party is fighting the midterm congressional elections by lurching even further to the right to appease its base voters. While Cameron chirps about sunshine, Vice President Dick Cheney stumps for GOP candidates by depicting the world in gloomy terms and playing to voters' fears of terrorism.”