On Monday's NBC Today, correspondent Ann Curry reported from Tehran on the installation of new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, touting how the cleric "promises to change virtually everything Mahmoud Ahmandinejad has done." Moments later, she announced: "...today Iran has a moderate president promising sweeping change." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In a similar report for Sunday's Nightly News, Curry declared that the transfer of power "appears full of goodwill" while teeing up Rouhani addressing the Iranian parliament. Wrapping up the segment, she proclaimed: "After his remarks, President Rouhani immediately named his entire cabinet, most fellow moderates. He was clearly signaling the direction he wants Iran to go and how fast."
Saturday evening, a friend suggested that I watch the midnight rerun of Judge Jeanine Pirro's Fox News program for her interview segment with a Democrat and a Republican about this weekend's closing of 22 embassies overseas in response to terrorist threats.
Ryan Clayton was the Democrat whose arguments blaming George W. Bush's administration for the current level of threats in the Middle East were so weak that he was reduced to childishly reminding viewers that 9/11 happened on George W. Bush's watch (as if we didn't know, and as if eight years of previous Clinton administration weakness were irrelevant). Clayton has an interesting history, which I will note at the end of this post. The Judge Jeanine segment follows the jump.
Remember all that talk from President Obama during last year’s campaign about al Qaeda being decimated?
Apparently not, for on ABC’s This Week Sunday, Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.) said, “Al Qaeda is in many ways stronger than it was before 9/11 because it's mutated and it spread and it can come at us from different directions” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer and the Washington Post’s Colby King got into a heated debate on PBS’s Inside Washington Friday over who’s to blame for Iraq spinning out of control now that the United States is no longer there.
Not surprisingly, King was opposed to laying any of the blame on President Obama for failing to negotiate a troop withdrawal that left some of our forces there (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Jay Leno continued his humorous attacks on President Obama Wednesday.
During his opening monologue on the NBC Tonight Show, the host said newly-elected Hassan Rowhani "has promised to improve Iran's economy and fix the unemployment problem. If that doesn't work, he's going to blame the whole thing on President Bush.”
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is none too pleased about President Obama’s decision to send arms to Syrian rebels.
On Tuesday’s Hardball, the host asked, “Why don't we just change the name of the Department of Defense to the Department of Killing Islamic People on Global Television Department, because that's what we've been doing for a dozen years?” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CBS’s David Letterman made a disgraceful joke Monday evening comparing Iran’s crazed despot Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to former President George W. Bush.
During the opening monologue of the Late Show, the host said, “Ahmadinejad is retiring. He's going to spend all of his time on his ranch in Crawford, Texas” (video follows with transcribed lowlights and commentary):
For many years, the networks have done a sloppy job of comparing "conservatives" around the globe. As the Berlin Wall fell, the "conservatives" became the communists who wanted to keep their grip on power and not give way to democracy. That's hardly comparable to American conservatives.
On Saturday night, CBS News was doing this sloppy dance on the elections in Iran. From London, reporter Elizabeth Palmer declared all the candidates to succeed Ahmadinejad were the Islamist equivalent of the American Tea Party movement:
Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan made a statement about Friday's announcement concerning Syria definitively having used chemical weapons on its people that is guaranteed to raise eyebrows on both sides of the aisle.
Appearing on PBS's McLaughlin Group, Buchanan said, "This has Tonkin Gulf written all over it...false flag."
Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was Jay Leno’s guest on the Tonight Show Friday, and he didn’t have kind things to say about the current White House resident or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
At one point in their discussion, Romney said, "I'm not a fan of the president - in case you didn't know that."
As NewsBustersreported earlier, unabashedly liberal commentator David Sirota published an article at Salon Tuesday with the disgusting title, "Let’s Hope the Boston Marathon Bomber Is a White American."
As a result of all the negative attention he's gotten due to this piece, rather than doing the right thing by apologizing, Sirota on Wednesday actually doubled down with a new article titled "I Still Hope the Bomber Is a White American."
As the media predictably gush and fawn over the thought of Hillary Clinton as president, there's something extremely obvious they've been missing.
Rather surprisingly, Roger Simon, the perilously liberal chief political columnist at Politico, asked the $64 million question on CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday, "How good a job did she really do as Secretary of State?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Warning: Please remove all flammables, fluids, and food from proximity to your computer as the following statement by Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on PBS's McLaughlin Group Friday could result in a potentially hazardous fit of laughter.
"The concern within the [Obama] administration [regarding cyber warfare] is intense, and it reminds me of the way the Clinton administration was focused on al Qaeda in the ’90s" (video follows with lengthy commentary to really expose the absurdity of this statement):
Zurprise, zurprise: Zbig wouldn't go to war to stop Iran getting nukes. On Morning Joe today, Jimmy Carter's former national security adviser had some advice for President Obama: tell Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that America will not go to war against Iran.
Attacking Iran's nuclear facilities would surely be an act of war. Yet doing so might well be the only way to prevent the ayatollahs from getting the A-bomb. Unfortunately, neither Joe Scarborough nor anyone else on the panel including daughter Mika asked Brzezinski flat out whether he would encourage America to stand by while Iran got nukes. But it's hard to intepret his words otherwise. And of course, Zbig is the man who called for the U.S. to shoot down Israeli warplanes on the way to Iran. View the video after the jump.
The Telegraph, a newspaper in the United Kingdom, noted how Catholicism has spread its wings by appointing Pope Francis as its first non-European pope since A.D. 741. Yet countries such as Iran are still clamping down on religion by incarcerating Christians and putting them on trial for their faith.
According to Fox News, "five men were among seven arrested in October when security forces raided an underground house church in the city of Shiraz during a prayer session." And Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a religious persecution watchdog organization, elaborated that they are being tried in Islamic Revolutionary Court on charges of "disturbing public order, evangelizing, action against national security and ... (Internet) activity against the system."
Iran's ambassador to the United Nations had some harsh words for George Clooney and Ben Affleck this weekend.
In a taped interview that aired on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS Sunday, Mohammad Khazaee called "Argo" weak saying, "The producer of the film that is known as ambassador of peace, as I heard, should be ashamed...I would like to invite the producer and the director of the film to travel to Iran, and when they travel to Iran, the day after they will apologize from the big nation of Iran for producing such a weak film" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Morning Joe panel was tough today on the Obama White House for threatening Bob Woodward by telling him he would "regret" his reporting that it was the Obama administration that had devised the sequester, In the course of the opening segment, various panel members described the Obama White House response as "mickey mouse," "pathetic" and "childish."
But at the same time, a theme emerged that there was nothing unusual about a White House trying to intimidate reporters. Mark Halperin said "the Bush White House regularly would engage in the same kind of tactics." And Joe Scarborough and Andrea Mitchell shared stories of having been threatened by the Bush and Reagan White Houses, respectively. Andrea named names. Scarborough did not. H/t readers Ray R. and cobokat. View the video after the jump.
The media complicity in President Obama's drone strategy gets more and more astonishing with each passing day.
On Wednesday, Britain's Guardian published a piece with the incredible sub-headline "New York Times and Washington Post knew about secret drone base in Saudi Arabia but agreed not to disclose it to the public."
On PBS's Charlie Rose show on Monday, as the group discussed the night's presidential debate, New York magazine's John Heilemann described Mitt Romney's past statements on foreign policy as "relatively harsh and relatively bellicose," as he argued that Romney had faced political "dangers" in his foreign policy positions "because he's been surrounded by some number of neo-conservative foreign policy advisors."
Seventeen days before Election Day and 45 months after Barack Obama's inauguration following a presidential campaign during which he expressed his eagerness to meet enemy leaders "without preconditions" (Obama responded "yes" to a 2008 presidential debate question containing those words), the New York Times is reporting that the U.S. and Iran "have agreed in principle for the first time to one-on-one negotiations," despite the fact that the White House has "denied that a final agreement (to negotiate) had been reached," and despite a reactive AP report (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) claiming that while "The White House says it is prepared to talk one-on-one ... there's no agreement now to meet."
Despite the supposed certainty of the Times's headline ("U.S. Officials Say Iran Has Agreed to Nuclear Talks"), the paper's Helene Cooper and Mark Landler report that "American officials said they were uncertain whether Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had signed off on the effort." If Khamenei isn't on board, it doesn't matter what anybody else, including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, says or does. Three years ago, two AP reporters covering the government's crackdown on dissidents noted Khamenei's "virtually limitless authority," i.e., he's the country's behind-the-scenes dictator. In a piece that's supposed to be about a supposedly important international development, Cooper and Landler predictably blow through quite a bit of ink and bandwidth trying to paint this development as a problem for Obama's GOP opponent Mitt Romney (bolds are mine):
NBC's Tom Brokaw blasted Joe Biden's debate antics on Friday's Morning Joe. "I mean he just can't contain himself," note Brokaw. "And he's become a caricature on the talk shows."
"I just don't think you should be laughing during a discussion about thermonuclear war with Iran," Brokaw called out Biden, who repeatedly shook his head at opponent Paul Ryan while smiling and laughing. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Piers Morgan just couldn't let his Republican guest denounce President Obama's foreign policy. He spouted the White House spin on all the President's accomplishments while not holding him accountable for the Libya fiasco, on his Monday night show.
"I would say one of the things that Barack Obama has done incredibly successfully is restore a lot of America's very damaged reputation around the world since the eight years of George Bush and all the warfare that came with it," claimed Morgan. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
What is Piers Morgan thinking? On Monday, he said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "makes perfect rational sense" when talking about broadly about "Afghanistan and Iraq and America's response to 9/11." On Wednesday night, he cast Ahmadinejad's UN speech as "for him, relatively low key, dare I say almost reasonable."
New York Times columnist Nick Kristof was quick to provide some context. "It was reasonable by Ahmadinejad standards," he noted. "Not by sort of normal conventional standards." [Video below the break. Audio here.]