In a recent Web interview with "Foreign Policy" magazine, dated October 2007, which focused on environmental issues, CNN founder Ted Turner claimed that global warming presents a greater danger to the world than Iran. Turner: "Iran does not put us in peril like global warming does." In a September interview with "GQ" magazine, Turner had similarly downplayed the nuclear threat from Iran as he argued that America's nuclear arsenal poses a greater threat to the world: "I'm much more worried about our nuclear arsenal than theirs. Iran, at best, can get a few nuclear weapons. We have tens of thousands." The CNN founder further suggested that global warming is to blame for the drought in the Southeast, and contended that the same Al Gore who refuses to debate scientists on global warming is as "smart as a whip." (Transcript follows)
File this one under "Mental Images We Could Do Without."
Discussing her attempt to straddle the Iran issue, Chris Matthews has accused Hillary Clinton of a "wide stance." For some time, the "Hardball" host has been making the point that while Hillary now claims she voted for the 2002 Iraq resolution only for purposes of authorizing more diplomacy, at the time everyone and his uncle knew that it was a war authorization.
For example, interviewing Hillary advisor Howard Wolfson on "Hardball" back in July, Matthews stated: "Anybody who didn't think we were going to war in the months leading up to the war in Iraq wasn't paying attention."
Today, Matthews employed the infelicitous metaphor for purposes of accusing Hillary of pulling a similar stunt on Iran.
During an interview by "GQ" magazine's Wil Hylton posted on the magazine's blog on September 20, CNN founder Ted Turner blamed Fox News for pushing America into the Iraq war, tagging the conflict as "Rupert's war," and contended that he is more afraid of America's possession of nuclear weapons than he is of rogue states like Iran obtaining such weapons. Turner: "I'm much more worried about our nuclear arsenal than theirs. Iran, at best, can get a few nuclear weapons. We have tens of thousands. We have to get rid of them." The CNN founder, who has a history of defending North Korea, ignoring the country's problem of starvation, complimented its "thin" citizens as "healthy," and suggested the despotic regime is of no more danger to America than Cleveland, Ohio. Turner: "They were nice to me. There weren't a lot of fat people walking around. They were all thin. And being thin is healthier than being fat. ...
If you thought the proper way to refer to terrorists who commit violence in the name of Islam was by using such terms as "Islamic terrorists," "Islamic militants," or even "Islamic extremists," be on notice that you may be offending Alan Colmes. In fact, even if you refer to the terrorist group "Islamic Jihad" by that name, which is the name the group uses to refer to itself, you're still not in the clear.
Wolf Blitzer’s interview of former president Jimmy Carter on Wednesday’s "The Situation Room" demonstrated the CNN host’s catering to prominent liberals. In one question to the former president, Blitzer asked about the ongoing presidential campaigns. "Do any of these candidates, presidential candidates, scare you?" After Carter answered that none of the Democrat candidates scared him, Blitzer asked as follow-up questions, "What about the Republican side?" and "Who scares you the most?"
Later in the interview, Blitzer asked Carter, "By your definition, you believe the United States, under this administration, has used torture?" Carter’s unequivocal answer: "I don't think it. I know it, certainly." This led to a follow-up question from Blitzer on the question of whether President Bush should be impeached. "But you don't want to see any formal charges or a trial?"
Update, 6:10 PM - Video (4:45): Real (3.50 MB) or Windows (2.91 MB), plus MP3 (2.17 MB)
On Tuesday’s CBS "Early Show," host Harry Smith interviewed former president Jimmy Carter, who he introduced as "Nobel Peace Prize Laureate President Jimmy Carter." Smith then proceeded to launch into a discussion about Iran citing an "an exhaustive investigative piece in the New Yorker...by Sy [Seymour] Hersh." Apparently Harry and ‘Sy’ are good buddies. Smith described how Hersh’s article "chronicles the building up, the drum beats of the potential of war with Iran" and asked Carter: "Is there a best way to find peace with Iran?"
Asking the president who oversaw the disastrous Iranian hostage crisis how to deal with Iran is like asking the dictator of Sudan how to bring about an end to the genocide in Darfur. Oh wait, Carter has talked to the Sudanese tyrant about that very issue:
Citing how “members of the anti-war group MoveOn.Org named Iran, not Iraq, as their top issue,” and without once applying a liberal or left wing label, ABC's Word News on Monday night skewered Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton from the left for voting for a resolution other candidates claim could allow President Bush to launch a war against Iran. Anchor Charles Gibson explained how “Clinton recently voted for an amendment in the Senate that would designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. Other Senators running for President...are criticizing her vote, saying the amendment she supported could give the President authority to start a war against Iran.”
Reporter Kate Snow centered her story around how “Senator Clinton has been taking a lot of heat for that Iran vote, starting at the last debate.” Viewers heard saw video of Clinton being confronted at an Iowa event, and Mike Gravel charge “I'm ashamed of you,” before Snow maintained “it's the kind of vote that angers the Democratic faithful.” Snow concluded by benignly describing MoveOn as simply an “anti-war” group: “Tough talk on Iran is perceived by some Iowans as all too similar to the tough talk from Democrats in the run-up to the Iraq War. And, Charlie, last week, members of the anti-war group MoveOn.Org named Iran, not Iraq, as their top issue.” So, MoveOn speaks and ABC News jumps?
On Monday's "Good Morning America," co-host Chris Cuomo conducted a sycophantic interview with former President Jimmy Carter. In the introduction alone, the ABC anchor glowingly described Carter as someone who is " waging peace, fighting disease and building hope." A few seconds later, he again cheerfully enthused that Carter is a "a man who is all about peace."
Cuomo even went so far as to tell the one-term president that, given some hindsight, America would now appreciate Carter's leadership during the hostage crisis. He described Carter's handling of the 444 day long spectacle of American hostages being held in Iran as the philosophy of saying, "'We will negotiate. We will not just go in and bomb and see what happens.'" To make it perfectly clear that Cuomo was praising Carter and simultaneously slamming President Bush, the ABC host elaborated, "It just seems that today in our political climate, restraint is seen as strength, because we've seen what happens when we use force." After a brief discussion of the 2008 campaign, Cuomo, the son of the former liberal governor Mario Cuomo, gushed that he hoped the Democrats pay "attention to your message. It certainly serves well with the current political situation."
The Los Angeles Times ran a bizarrely biased October 5 article about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Qods Day speech. The Times omitted and downplayed important remarks and outright threats in the much-sanitized speech, such as twisting Holocaust denial into just asking questions.
True to form, the Iranian president railed against the ever-oppressive and all-powerful “Zionists,” but the LAT presented his speech with a tone better suited for an Iranian audience.
The reporters, special correspondent Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran and staff writer Borzou Daragahi in Beirut, jumped right into the anti-Semitic propaganda that could just as easily have come from the Aryan Nation (bold mine throughout):
The MRC's Culture and Media Institue, a defender of traditional values, says it is an attempt to influence this fall’s congressional debate on abstinence education programs. The show also depicts abstinence-only education as "useless, if not actively harmful."
On Friday, the host of HBO's "Real Time" once again proved he has, for in coming to the defense of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Maher rationalized the Iranian president sending munitions to kill American soldiers in Iraq by asking, "Doesn't Bush have American blood on his hands?"
Maybe worse, Maher said that Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust, and statements that "Israel should be wiped off the map," are just "things he says to get elected," and "are the equivalent of when the Republicans in this country say, ‘Gay marriage will lead to death.'"
After introducing his panel, Maher began the discussion with Ahmadinejad's visit to New York City stating (video available here, relevant sections at 1:28 and 5:00):
Joe Scarborough is still trying to wring mileage out of bashing Bill O'Reilly over his Sylvia's comments. After calling the "Factor" host a "moron" yesterday, the "Morning Joe" host was back at it today.
Did Chris Matthews, on his September 24th edition of "Hardball," really hear Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "allow" that there was a Holocaust? This is what he insisted to New York City Councilman David Weprin:
MATTHEWS: OK, let‘s talk about that very point. The hottest issue of the last century, of course, and the worst case of inhumanity to man, of course, is the Holocaust. I listened carefully to him. And I know you did, sir. Didn‘t you hear him allow the fact that there was, in fact, a Holocaust?
WEPRIN: Well, he—his statement today was different than his statement in the past.
WEPRIN: In the past, he‘s clearly said that the Holocaust was a hoax, it never existed. Now he‘s talking about doing more research. There‘s no question...
Does the media have any understanding at all of how important they are to terrorists and other enemies of the United States with their determined moral equivalency? When it comes to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the answer appears to be a resounding no. Time Magazine's Richard Stengel provides a glowing puff piece on the Iranian leader, entirely abrogating his responsibility as a reporter to provide any context whatsoever. Stengel writes of Ahmadinejad,
The invitation was on creamy stationery with fancy calligraphy: The Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran "requests the pleasure" of my company to dine with H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The dinner is at the Intercontinental Hotel — with names carefully written out at all the place settings around a rectangular table. There are about 50 of us, academics and journalists mostly. There's Brian Williams across the room, and Christiane Amanpour a few seats down. And at a little after 8pm, on a day when he has already addressed the U.N., the evening after his confrontation at Columbia, a bowing and smiling Mahmoud Admadinejad glides into the room.
This is now an annual ritual for the President of Iran. Every year, during the U.N. General Assembly in New York, he plots out a media campaign that — in its shrewdness, relentlessness, and quest for attention — would rival Angelina Jolie on a movie junket. And like any international figure, Mr. Ahmadinejad hones his performance for multiple audiences: in this case, the journalists and academics who can filter his speech and ideas for a wider American audience.
Figures. Who else would Mika Brzezinski's ink-stained doppelganger be but Maureen Dowd?
"Morning Joe" has apparently introduced a new feature, "Three Things to Read Today," in which each of the panelists recommends an item from that morning's newspaper crop. Willie Geist went first today, and being the pop-culture maven he is, suggested the New York Post's coverage of the sexual harrassment lawsuit that a former female New York Knicks employee has brought against coach Isiah Thomas.
According to Alan Colmes, since evil dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not a liberal, but instead a "conservative," then conservatives in America should not be offended because the Iranian leader received better treatment on a college campus than some of America's conservative political figures, some of whom have been met with attacks with pies or other violence.
Such was the absurd argument suggested by the liberal FNC host during a discussion on Monday's "Hannity and Colmes." Colmes commented to conservative guest/author David Horowitz: "Ahmadinejad's not a liberal. He's a conservative. He's very right wing. He was welcome at Columbia University. You shouldn't be complaining. Phil Donohue, Hillary Clinton, they've been all booed off stages. You don't talk about that." (Transcript follows)
Scott Pelley conducted a very tough interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad which aired on Sunday's 60 Minutes, but on Monday’s Early Show Pelley was very generous in his personal assessment of the man. Host Harry Smith and Pelley agreed that Ahmadinejad is "crazy like a fox" while Pelley also hailed Ahmadinejad as "incorruptible" and "modest." Pelley contended the dictator, who denies the Holocaust, wants Israel destroyed and is causing the deaths of U.S. soldiers in Iraq, is a lot smarter than Westerners believe and is even a "friendly" guy:
The important thing, I think, Harry, to understand, he's described in the West as a madman, crazy, that's not the case. I found him to be as many politicians are, very engaging, very friendly, he's clearly not mad, he's sane. In fact, he's very wily I would tell you.
Maybe Ahmadinejad should announce his candidacy for 2008?
While ABC’s Chris Cuomo played softball with Columbia University president Lee Bollinger on the upcoming speech of Iranian president Ahmadinejad, CNN’s John Roberts directed tough questions to John Coatsworth, dean for Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. Roberts opened the interview with a question which summarized Ahmadinejad’s record. "Here's a leader who's advocated the destruction of Israel, denied the Holocaust, and is accused by our government, the United States government, of supplying both fighters and equipment to insurgents in Iraq, to kill U.S. troops. Why would you ever want him on your campus?"
Besides omitting Iran’s terror ties in their coverage Iranian president Ahmadinejad’s planned visit to Ground Zero in New York City, as Scott Whitlock noted in his earlier post, ABC and CBS, as well as NBC, failed to mentioned that Ahmadinejad is also giving a lecture at Columbia University. The lecture, sponsored by the University, is planned on September 24, the same day Ahmadinejad will be addressing the United Nations.
As a service to you the reader I'm watching the presidential news conference as covered on Fox News Channel. My goal here is to give you the questions the various reporters ask and if feasible, go back and clip video of the most biased questions.
Wrap-up, 11:27: There were no questions on the Hsu scandal and Hillary Clinton nor about Dan Rather's lawsuit, even though Memogate promulgated a bogus storyline intended to negatively impact Bush's 2004 reelection. The Jena Six controversy was raised by two reporters although it's had very little national media coverage. And unsurprisingly, no one asked about the Petreaus smear by MoveOn.org except Bill Sammon of the Washington Examiner (and also a Fox News contributor).
* * * * * * ** * * *
Bush turns over press conf to Michael Leavitt for q's on SCHIP, 11:20, Fox News fades out of press conference, as do other cable networks.
Bill Sammon, Washington Examiner, 11:19: What is your reaction to the MoveOn.org ad that mocked Petraeus. Would you like to see Democrats including presidential candidates repudiate the ad?
James Joyner of Outside the Beltway complains that the New York Times buried the lede with an article about an Israeli airstrike in Syria. Turns out there's reason to believe that North Korea may be smuggling "nuclear material" to terror-sponsoring states Iran and Syria:
Talk about burying your lede. This is seven “paragraphs” down in the story (I use scarce quotes because newspaper style favors incredibly short paragraphs and breaks even when the subject has not changed for ease of editing). It’s wise to be wary of assertions from unnamed officials about this sort of thing, especially when the target is those perennial bogeymen Iran and Syria but it’s hardly inconceivable that the DPRK would sell nuclear materials to our adversaries.
Fox News is using its mighty power to bully the mainstream media into promoting yet another war, left-wing activist/filmmaker Robert Greenwald and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are warning. Claiming that "Fox wants war with Iran," Greenwald is urging other news networks -- ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and CNN -- "not to follow Fox down the road to war again."
Greenwald and Sen. Sanders (I-Vt.) are touting a new viral ad campaign for the filmmaker's anti-Fox video "exposing" what Fox News supposedly is doing. According to Greenwald, Fox News engaged in "daily fear-mongering" in the days leading up to the war with Iraq, serving as a media cheerleader for the U.S.-led war.
Not surprising, but the Time magazine contributor and "Swampland" blogger slapped around President Bush for moving to empower the federal government to freeze assets held by the terrorist-sponsoring Revolutionary Guard Corps of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Yet two weeks ago, Joe Klein slammed President Bush for not confronting U.S. ally Pervez Musharraf about terrorist sympathizers that work covertly against U.S. interests from within the Pakistani military.
Here's Klein's August 15 post, after which I add more commentary:
If “significant changes” were not made, the NIAC threatened that the film would “generate serious backlash against the Iranian American community.”
After the complaint, the producer “immediately contacted” the NIAC and “agreed to take its concerns into consideration.” Even more surprising was how much access and influence the NIAC had over the Weinstein film starring Sean Penn and Harrison Ford (my emphasis throughout):
NIAC later submitted its analysis and suggestions to the production team, which changed elements of the script and even re-shot certain scenes. The final product, the director says, does not include any reference to "family honor" and does not depict an honor killing.
On August 3, NewsBusters contributor Scott Whitlock noticed the network morning shows largely ignored Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) dovish blanket assertion that he would rule out the use of nuclear weapons in "any circumstances" in dealing with terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. At the time, Sen. Hillary Clinton called the pronouncement unwise. But according to the Associated Press, it appears Clinton is contradicting a statement she made in April 2006 that aligns with Obama's stance.
On August 2, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) took the opportunity to disagree with Obama's dovish stance. As the Washington Post reported in the August 3 paper:
Overall all the tax questions pushed Bush towards hiking taxes. Notice the first question out of the gate was on raising the gasoline tax, not about oh, how the gas tax funds are perpetually raided by Congress for non-infrastructure spending. The question on corporate tax rates and carried interest also come from the left, pushing Bush on the matter of tax "fairness." I particulary find the questions in bold obnoxious vis-a-vis fiscal policy.
11:18: president concludes news conference.
11:14, unid'd reporter: Given the decision to commute Libby, is it fair for people to ask about your commitment to accountability?
11:13, unid'd reporter, citing Libby pardon, Al Gonzales hearings: Can you give clear examples of how you've held people accountable during your presidency?
11:12, Ann, followup: So you're confident you can continue to sustain the level of spending in Iraq?
How easy it is to forget that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad almost was Time's Man of the Year. The Holocaust-denying Iranian despot was even, for a brief while, described as "Champion of the Dispossessed" and "Global Everyman" on its web site:
In the lead-up to Monday night’s YouTube debate with the Democrat presidential candidates, CNN ran prime-time specials previewing videos that might be featured during the debate, and most of those featured came from the liberal side. It should be no surprise then that video clips featured left-wing clips by almost a 3 to 1 margin versus the conservative clips - 17 liberal clips to 6 conservative clips, out of a total of 38 video question clips.
Video of 10 of the liberal questions (6:20): Real (4.53 MB) or Windows (3.79 MB), plus MP3 audio (2.15 MB).
Tuesday mornings’s Democratic presidential candidates forum, aired live on MSNBC and moderated by Chris Matthews, had a few, to put it mildly, strange moments. Billed as a forum, the event was little more than a union-sponsored soapbox for the three leading Democratic candidates, Senators Clinton and Obama, and former Senator Edwards.
The left-leaning American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, which organized the soapbox, was quick to cheer for the most mundane of liberal catch phrases while descending into boos and hisses at the very mention of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.