The Middle East Media Research Institute published a rather concerning announcement Thursday regarding the Global Islamic Media Front’s new campaign to bombard non-Islamic websites with pro-Islamic propaganda (h/t Charles at LGF, emphasis added throughout):
"What we expect from you brothers and sisters is for the [Islamist] forum to be like beehives during the raid... [whereby] one person takes part in distributing [material]... another generates links... one person writes an article... while another writes a poem... People must feel and notice that the forums have changed radically during this blessed raid..."
How pleasant. The announcement continued to quote from this GIMF directive:
The article, published June 5, 2007, suggests that American efforts at supporting dissidents within Iran make the U.S. morally culpable for their harsh treatment:
...sources tell TIME that several key Iranian reformers had repeatedly warned U.S. officials through back channels that the pro-democracy program was bound to expose them as vulnerable targets for a government crackdown whether they took Washington's funds or not.
Iranian civil rights activists contacted by TIME say that the cases against the Iranian
On Wednesday's The Situation Room on CNN, during his regular "Cafferty File" segment, Jack Cafferty quoted Mikhail Gorbachev's recent attack on the Bush Administration in which the former Soviet leader accused the U.S. of "arrogance" and of having "lost credibility" in response to President Bush's plans to deploy a missile defense system in Europe. Cafferty asked viewers to email him with a response to the question of whether Bush was "reigniting the Cold War with Russia." Cafferty: "This is just swell, don't you think? We've got trouble with Russia now, which we haven't had for a number of years. The question is this: Is President Bush reigniting the Cold War with Russia?" (Transcript follows)
ABC has just announced co-host Rosie O'Donnell will not return to "The View." Brian Frons, president of Disney ABC's Daytime Television made the announcement.
"We had hoped that Rosie would be with us until the end of her contract three weeks from now, but Rosie has informed us that she would like an early leave. Therefore, we part ways, thank her for her tremendous contribution to 'The View' and wish her well."
"View" creator Barbara Walters also made her statement.
"I brought Rosie to the show. Rosie contributed to one of our most exciting and successful years at 'The View.' I am most appreciative. Our close and affectionate relationship will not change."
On Tuesday’s "World News," reporter Brian Ross exposed a CIA sponsored plan to enact covert action against Iran’s economic structure. On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program attempted to portray the plan in as hyperbolic a manner as possible. This is the graphic that accompanied Mr. Ross’ report for the May 23 GMA: "America’s Hidden War With Iran? CIA’s Secret Operation"
Include an introduction by co-host Chris Cuomo that described the operation as "covert actions aimed at destabilizing the regime," and one might think that some sort of military action was imminent. Finally, Ross described the specifics of the operation, some 30 seconds into the report:
The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABC News.com.
Why should a country go to the effort of spying on America when all they have to do is follow the US media? USA Today reported a database of phone calls and the New York Times publically exposed the SWIFT banking transaction database; both were used to combat terrorism. Now on the May 22 edition of ABC News’ the Blotter, Brian Ross and Richard Esposito revealed another national security-related secret (my emphasis throughout):
The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com.
If you believe what you see from our news media, everybody in the Middle East with the exception of Israelis wants American military forces out of Iraq as soon as possible, and thinks suicide bombers are martyrs to be revered.
Well, meet Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, the former dean of Islamic Law at Qatar University. He was interviewed by Al-Arabiya TV on May 11 during which he made some statements that folks in our media wouldn’t want you to hear (video available here courtesy of MemriTV).
First, Al-Ansari came out strongly against suicide bombers:
An investigation by Telemundo and NBC News has uncovered details of an
extensive smuggling network run by Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim group
founded in Lebanon in 1982 that the United States has labeled an
international terrorist organization. The operation funnels large sums
of money to militia leaders in the Middle East and finances training
camps, propaganda operations and bomb attacks in South America,
according to U.S. and South American officials.
U.S. officials fear that poorly patrolled borders and rampant
corruption in the Tri-border region could make it easy for Hezbollah
terrorists to infiltrate the southern U.S. border. From the largely
lawless region, it is easy for potential terrorists, without detection,
to book passage to the United States through Brazil and then Mexico
simply by posing as tourists.
"Did a violinist in a red dress quash detente between Iran, USA?"
Iranian Foreign Minister Manucher Mottaki exchanged pleasantries with
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during regional talks in Egypt this
week, but reports suggest that he didn't stay for dinner Thursday night
because of concerns about the way a female violinist was dressed.
have been told by one of the U.S. State Department officials, who did
not want to be named, that as soon as Secretary Rice walked in,
Manuchehr Mottaki, the Iranian foreign minister, left. But then
[Mottaki's] excuse was that there was a lady violinist who was wearing
a sexy red dress -- she was wearing a shawl on it -- but he was
objecting to the fact the lady was wearing a revealing red dress," says
Mahtab Farid, a reporter with Radio Farda, a U.S. government-funded
radio station that broadcasts in Farsi.
Frank Rich is from Venus; NewsBusters is from Mars.
NewsBusters documents the way that, day-in and day-out, the MSM slants its coverage against conservative principles in general and the Bush administration in particular. Frank Rich looks at the same coverage and complains that the press is too Bush-friendly.
In his p.p.v. New York Times column of today, All the President’s Press, Rich takes the occasion of the recent White House correspondents dinner to complain "how easily a propaganda-driven White House can enlist the Washington news media."
The press has enabled stunts from the manufactured threat of imminent “mushroom clouds” to “Saving Private Lynch” to “Mission Accomplished,” whose fourth anniversary arrives on Tuesday.
No one in the Bush administration ever spoke of "imminent mushroom clouds." Rich flatly misstates the truth. Lynch's criticism of the way the military presented her story was all over the MSM this week. And how incalculably many times over the last few years has the MSM run mocking coverage of President Bush's "Mission Accomlished" moment?
“Exclusive” hype. Three weeks and three days after ABC's World News led with an "exclusive" about how Iran could have a nuclear weapon in two years, the CBS Evening News on Thursday led with an “exclusive” about how Iran could have a nuclear weapon in three years. Will NBC soon tout an “exclusive” about Iran getting a nuclear weapon in four years?
Katie Couric announced at the top of Thursday's newscast, “Tonight, a CBS News exclusive: U.S. intelligence now believes the Iranians may be within just three years of building their first nuclear weapon.” David Martin reported the subsequent story. Back on April 2, ABC anchor Charles Gibson trumpeted “an alarming acceleration of Iran's nuclear program. Iran could have material for a bomb in two years. A Brian Ross exclusive.” Ross soon explained how “in the last three months Iran has more than tripled its ability to produce enriched uranium -- meaning, according to weapons experts, that it could have enough material for a nuclear bomb within two years...” (April 3 NewsBusters item)
The April 26 edition of "The Early Show" reported on Rosie O’Donnell’s departure announcement with a very positive portrayal of "The View" co-host. Although reporter Jeff Glor briefly noted, with a sound bite, that Rosie has "gone after President Bush," they completely ignored her many controversies including September 11 conspiracy theories, Iran’s British hostage conspiracy theory, anti-Asian remarks, anti-Catholic remarks, and downplaying the terrorist threatseveraltimes.
The story included her famous feud with Donald Trump and the rest a puffy piece on the far-left personality. Glor interviewed two Rosie fans who said "she makes the show" and that Rosie is "talented" and "honest." Paraphrasing television critic Michael Schneider, Glor added that added that "O’Donnell turned ‘The View’ into the hottest show on daytimes TV." The entire transcript is below.
An American tax-funded documentary, titled Islam vs. Islamists, a film on how moderate Muslims feel about the corruption of their religion by Wahhabi extremists and their experiences in facing those extremists, was axed by PBS for the very reason that it puts some Muslims in a bad light, says the film's producer in Tuesday's edition of the Arizona Republic. Rampant PCism is the charge, and it is hard to deny the claim once the whole story is put out there.
The producer of a tax-financed documentary on Islamic extremism claims his film has been dropped for political reasons from a television series that airs next week on more than 300 PBS stations nationwide.
Producer Martyn Burke claims that PBS, in order to be allowed to continue with the project, tried to make him fire some of his associates on the film because they belong to a Conservative Think Tank and that they still axed his film anyway when all was said and done.
Members of the media are working environmental bias into the oddest segments. "Good Morning America" weatherman Sam Champion reported this week on the trendy new concept of "green weddings." According to Mr. Champion, "more and more Americans" are embracing ideas such as not using electricity during their wedding and holding the reception in a barn. Sounds great, right ladies?
On the same topic, the "Today" show’s Martin Savidge worried that climate change could have a negative effect on the nation’s pets. (Presumably, this includes Savidge’s dog "Girlfriend.") On Friday, the aforementioned Mr. Champion plugged a global warming study that predicted overly warm spring temperatures. This was right after his early April forecast of brutal cold for the Northeast.
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.
Over at the liberal website Slate.com, Jack Shafer mocks former ABC personage Ted Koppel his latest commentary for National Public Radio on Iran's British hostages, claiming "If history is any guide, Iran may wait until Tony Blair's tenure as prime minister comes to an end in a few months." Oops. Shafer also finds the subject of Iran is too close for Koppel to ignore himself:
Is there a more pompous egomaniac purring on the airwaves today than Ted Koppel?
Two days ago, the bouffanted one filed a commentary piece on NPR pegged to the seizure of 15 British sailors and marines by the Iranians. For self-obsessives like Koppel, all journalism is autobiography, so the story doesn't seem new to him. Instead, it echoes the hostage-taking of American diplomats 28 years ago in Tehran because, as Koppel doesn't have to remind listeners, it was the news event that started the show America Held Hostage that became Nightline and made his career!
In some ways, Army Colonel Jack Jacobs [ret.] is the perfect military analyst for an MSM outlet like MSNBC. His Medal of Honor, awarded to him for exceptional heroism in Vietnam [read account here], puts him above reproach. Yet his take on Iraq and other military affairs is anything but a parroting of the Bush administration line.
But while MSNBC might see him as one of their own, there come moments, as today, when Jacob leaves no doubt that he remains altogether a military man, upholding the highest traditions of valor and sacrifice. At about 10:30 AM EDT this morning, he was brought in to comment after the just-concluded press conference by a number of the British sailors and marines who had been held captive by the Iranians. A clearly outraged Jacobs made no effort to hide his contempt for them.
Imagine if you will that in September 1996, just days after America launched a missile strike on Baghdad to expand the “no fly zone,” Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich met with Saddam Hussein to discuss foreign policy matters without the permission of President Clinton.
Would the media have vociferously discussed the possibility that Gingrich had violated federal law in doing so?
If the answer is a resounding “Yes,” then why have extremely few press outlets broached this issue as it pertains to current Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-California) recent potentially law-breaking trip to Syria?
To best understand the issue, a little history is necessary. The Logan Act was created in 1799, and reads as follows:
Better strap yourself in for this one, sports fans, for the Washington Post ran an editorial Thursday harshly criticizing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and the “foolish shuttle diplomacy” she exhibited on her controversial trip to Syria this week.
(UPDATE: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert issued a press release denying giving Pelosi a "peace message" for Syria.)
Entitled “Pratfall in Damascus,” the piece pounded Pelosi early and often (emphasis added throughout):
HOUSE SPEAKER Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) offered an excellent demonstration yesterday of why members of Congress should not attempt to supplant the secretary of state when traveling abroad.
Shocked? Well, the Post's editorial staff was just getting warmed up. Check those seatbelts again:
A night after leading with an “exclusive” about the more imminent than thought horrific threat posed by Iran's nuclear weapons capability, ABC's World News began Tuesday with another Brian Ross “exclusive” in which he exposed a clandestine “secret war” inside Iran, a revelation that seemingly could undermine U.S. efforts to prevent Iran's extremist leaders from using those weapons of mass destruction. “Tonight,” anchor Charles Gibson announced at the top of Monday's World News, “an alarming acceleration of Iran's nuclear program. Iran could have material for a bomb in two years. A Brian Ross exclusive.” Ross soon explained how “in the last three months Iran has more than tripled its ability to produce enriched uranium -- meaning, according to weapons experts, that it could have enough material for a nuclear bomb within two years...”
Jump ahead 24 hours, and Gibson teased Tuesday's World News: “Tonight, a secret war going on inside Iran. Deadly stealth attacks in Iran, being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. government. Brian Ross investigates.” Ross outlined how “U.S. and Pakistani sources tell ABC News that the U.S. has been secretly advising and encouraging a militant group that has carried out a series of guerrilla raids inside Iran, raids that have led to the deaths or capture of Iranian soldiers and officials. The group operates out of the Baluchistan province of Pakistan, just across the border from Iran.” Naturally, ABC managed to make a connection to Dick Cheney as Ross relayed: “Pakistani sources say the secret campaign against Iran was on the agenda when Vice President Cheney met with Pakistani President Musharaff in February.”
Lt. Col. Rick Francona (USAF Retired) is an MSNBC military analyst who also writes for the network's "Hardblogger" blog. But while Francona has plenty of thoughts on how to deal with Iran's hostage-taking and on the notion of setting a withdrawal deadline for U.S. troops in Iraq, a review of Nexis showed zero hits for Francona on MSNBC recently, and only one appearance on NBC's "Nightly News" the day after the British servicement were taken hostage. And even then, he was featured with a sound bite about the Pat Tillman investigation.
WITHDRAWAL DATE FOR IRAQ AIDS THE ENEMY (March 23)
GULF ARABS DRAW A RED LINE AGAINST IRAN (March 19)
The 15 British sailors and Royal Marines were captured on March 23. Francona has written more on Iran specifically and the Middle East in general, it's just not all been posted to MSNBC's Web site. Francona runs his own Web log, Middle East Perspectives, and has a few additional posts in the same time period, including one dated March 25 explaining the long-disputed Shatt al-Arab waterway in which Iran captured its British hostages.
So given Francona's expertise and his being on the MSNBC payroll, he's been pretty busy appearing on air, right?
Well, a Nexis search for "Rick Francona" among MSNBC documents from March 19-April 3 turned up no hits.
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program featured a segment on the growing feud between "View" host Rosie O’Donnell and FNC anchor Bill O’Reilly. Although reporter Taina Hernandez did highlight some of Ms. O’Donnell’s more extreme statements, the segment mostly portayed the back-and-forth as simply a celebrity squabble.
And one topic that GMA left out? Any reference to Rosie’s recent on-air touting of 9/11 conspiracy theories. Co-host Robin Roberts previewed the segment with a tease that offered moral equivalence between the FNC host and the woman who recently suggested that the kidnapping of British Marines was a modern day Gulf of Tonkin incident. Roberts wondered, "Has Rosie gone too far this time?" But she quickly covered herself by asking, "Maybe O’Reilly’s crossed the line? We’ll let you be the judge and weigh in on that."
While conservatives in the nation’s capital gathered on March 29 to recognize some of the most disgraceful media performances of 2006 at the MRC’s 20th Anniversary Gala, one of the evening’s “winners” was being unceremoniously torn to shreds by Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly (two-part videos available here and here).
In fact, the host went so far as to ask his guests, Bernie Goldberg and Jane Hall, if the time had come for ABC to cut its ties with the outspoken and controversial comedienne.
On Saturday's World News, ABC's David Kerley characterized President Bush's statement regarding the standoff between Britain and Iran as "lashing out," presumably because the President referred to the captured British soldiers as "hostages," as the ABC anchor suggested that Bush risked "inflaming" the situation. After relaying that the "outspoken" Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, today called Britain "arrogant" while still demanding an apology, Kerley also suggested that Bush's statement was not "cool-headed" as he introduced a story by correspondent Mike Lee playing up the possibility of a diplomatic solution. Kerley: "In spite of that rhetoric [from Ahmadinejad] and those remarks from President Bush today, there were some new signs that cooler heads may be prevailing." (Transcripts follow)
Rosie O’Donnell has graduated from outspoken and controversial, to corporate liability and national embarrassment…except in Hollywood, of course. As Bill O’Reilly pointed out (pt. one and two) on his March 29 show, on her blog, Rosie now claims that the Britain is running "(f)alse flag operations," that "the british did it on purpose" (sic) and that the US is building a military presence on the Iranian border, readying for a summer invasion of Iran. This is a continuation of this morning’s "The View," in which Rosie discussed 9/11 and the British hostages held by Iran.