ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the dire situation of Christians in Iraq, particularly after ISIS's takeover of the key city of Mosul. The Islamic extremist group drove most of the Christians out of the city, and issued an ultimatum to those who remained: covert to Islam, pay a hefty tax, or face death. Refreshingly, the New York Times spotlighted the crisis in a Thursday op-ed, and noted that the Christian community in Mosul has lived there for nearly 2,000 years.
The patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church, Ignatius Yousef Younan III, along with Fox News Channel's Father Jonathan Morris, detailed ISIS's anti-Christian pogrom on Wednesday's Fox and Friends: [video below the jump]
CNN: the home for hate-filled rants against conservatives. On the July 16 edition of New Day, a panel reacted to Jake Tapper’s testy interview with former Vice President Dick Cheney. Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Paul Begala became unhinged, resorting to personal attacks on Cheney in response to his explanations of the Iraq war.
Asked by host Kate Bolduan as to why Cheney is speaking out right now – as if the chaos in Iraq didn’t make that self-evident – Begala snapped: “Well, either he's a secret plant from my party, reminding people of an administration that they hated. When he left office Dick Cheney's favorable was 13 percent. There are forms of venereal disease that are higher in the polls than 13%.” [MP3 audio here; video below]
Although more subdued compared to his June 18 anti-Dick Cheney diatribe, MSNBC's Chris Matthews returned on his Monday, July 14 program once again to his unhealthy, creepy obsession with the former vice president. The relevant news hook was what Matthews derided as a "Cheney family offensive," referring to a Politico Playbook lunch event held earlier in the day in Washington, D.C., featuring Cheney, wife Lynne, and daughter Liz.
"Cheney, who was the number one force pushing was on the American people, said he's sticking to his tragic position of 2003," Matthews groused before playing a clip of Cheney saying he "believed it in then" and "looking back on it now, it was the right thing to do." "What did anyone expect, is what I have to say," Matthews huffed, adding, "Is it news that Dick Cheney [chay-nee] is Dick Cheney [chee-nee]?"
But hey, give the man credit -- how often do left-wingers ever admit that Saddam Hussein was a socialist?
In the last two decades, the number of times I've heard them acknowledge this comes in somewhere around less than hardly ever. If Saddam had been a right-winger, we'd all have heard that repeated ad infinitum and then some. But because he wasn't -- just the opposite, in fact -- Saddam's big-government political ethos has somehow remained under the radar in so much media discourse about him. (Audio after the jump)
Washington Monthly blogger Ed Kilgore has found some people he thinks conservatives hate even more than they hate President Obama: the thousands of Central American children trying to enter the U.S. at its border with Mexico. After all, righties are merely obsessed with making Obama at least as unpopular in his second term as George W. Bush was in his, but they want to “immediately ship [the] children back across the border in cattle cars,” or maybe just shoot them. But Obama's apparently so much more compassionate than Bush.
Something tells me Zach Carter won't be making many media appearances in the months to come, at least not while still employed by Huffington Post.
HuffPo's "senior political economy reporter" -- quite possibly the only time you'll see that job title -- made a mess of things during a recent appearance on Hugh Hewitt's radio show by demonstrating that his opposition to the Iraq war is a mile wide and knowledge of events leading to it an inch deep. (Audio clips after the jump)
A prominent exhibit explaining why the nation's trust in its media establishment has dropped to precipitous lows would likely include Tom Cohen's Thursday afternoon column at CNN expressing befuddlement over President Barack Obama's unpopularity.
After all, Cohen's headline crows that under Obama we have "more jobs" and "less war" (!), so there's a "disconnect" which must be explained. To give you an idea of how pathetic his attempt is, he managed not to mention any form of the words "immigration," "scandal," or "contraction" (as in, the first-quarter decline in GDP) while pretending to present a complete analysis. Meanwhile, one of CNN's embedded headline links to another story ("Obama to Republicans: 'So sue me'") openly mocks Cohen, doing a better job of explaining the "disconnect" in six words than anything he wrote in his first 37 paragraphs. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post; numbered tags are mine):
Fortunately, there might still be time for the show trial that Thom Hartmann craves.
Hartmann, long atop the decidedly short list of popular liberal radio hosts, has again lapsed into the language of fringe leftist, this time while talking about the horrific situation in Iraq, al Qaeda's rationale for attacking the US on 9/11, and the Persian Gulf war. (Audio after the jump)
Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the far-left The Nation magazine, did her best to attack Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard magazine, over his continued support for the Iraq war and the need to take action to stop the increasing violence in the region.
Appearing on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, June 29, vanden Heuvel tried to verbally assault Kristol by asserting “We don't need armchair warriors. And if you feel so strongly, you should, with all due respect, enlist in the Iraqi army.”
In an exclusive interview with Barack Obama, George Stephanopoulos on Friday hinted that the President is disappointed in the American people. The overall interview actually included some tough questions on subjects such as Iraq and the crisis of illegal immigration. But the Good Morning America co-host sympathized with Obama when discussing his crumbling poll numbers and noted that "the public is blaming" the President.
Stephanopoulos then worried, "More than half of the Americans have lost confidence in your ability to lead the country and get the job done. That must have been stunning to you. Disappointing?" The journalist optimistically wondered, "How do you turn it around?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Tuesday night’s edition of his PBS show, Charlie Rose interviewed former Vice President Dick Cheney and pushed him to “give the president some credit for trying” to negotiate for a contingent of American troops to stay in Iraq after the status of forces agreement expired in 2011.
Cheney reminded Rose that, in his mind, Iraq “was in pretty good shape” when he and then-President George W. Bush left office. From there, he said that there “was no follow-up” on the part of the Obama administration for a residual presence to give the Iraqi military “intelligence capabilities, some air assets, training and so forth that would allow them to maintain control over their own sovereign territory.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Tuesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC, during a segment about foreign policy challenges involving Russia and the turmoil in the Middle East, MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe oddly suggested that President Obama finds it to be a "satisfying challenge" because it is "intellectually rigorous" to deal with such substantial foreign policy problems.
He also not surprisingly took a jab at former President Bush, blaming him for the chaos in the Middle East, and asserted that "there's a lot of cleanup there."
Host O'Donnell wondered about what things are like inside the White House as he posed:
Just prior to President Obama's Thursday press conference on Iraq, NBC's chief White House correspondent and political director Chuck Todd was caught on an open mic joking that Republican Senator John McCain "must have had heart palpitations" after former general and CIA director David Petraeus seemed to back up President Obama's inaction during the crisis. Todd quipped: "Did anybody check John McCain? Is he okay now that David Petraeus came out against doing anything?"
In a statement to Business Insider on Friday, McCain communications director Brian Rodgers hit back at Todd: "It's not like further evidence was needed to prove the liberal bias at MSNBC and in the mainstream media, but Chuck Todd's 'hot mic' comments...show just how quickly the media will try and discredit Senator McCain and anyone who questions President Obama."
Someday, Barack Obama might make a fine professor somewhere. In the meantime, someone should remind him that he's still President of the United States . . . If President Obama thought he was going to score some easy media points by sitting down for an interview with Mika Brzezinski last Friday, he was badly mistaken. Morning Joe aired the interview today, to bad reviews by its guests.
Dem Donny Deutsch didn't want to say--but said--that Obama looked "checked out," and seemed like he "wants to go home." Mark Halperin observed that Republicans resonate when they say that Obama is not "taking control." Commenting on Obama's long disquisition on the complications of the Syrian situation, Halperin observed: "it's up to the President of the United States to take some bold action to try to address [problems] and not just sit and say here's why this is hard, here's why this is hard."It's as if Barack Obama sees himself in the faculty lounge, offering exquisite insights on the problems of the day, rather than in the Oval Office, with the obligation to address them. View the video after the jump.
Hillary Clinton is not as complex as the universe, but she's Big and Important enough for Peter Beinart to call his 4,600-word National Journal piece on her hypothetical presidency "A Unified Theory of Hillary" and appear to mean it (mostly) seriously.
The article deals more with Hillary's personality than with her ideology (for what it's worth, Beinart classifies Hillary, along with Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, as moderate liberals). Beinart lauds her "passion for public policy," her "formidable analytical ability," and her "[s]ingle-mindedness," but contends that last quality also is her "greatest flaw," pointing to how she suffered major setbacks on health-care reform and, eventually, the Iraq war because she did not, and perhaps could not, adjust to political realities.
Anti-American commandos from Iran are already helping the Iraqi military by doing the sort of logistical coordination that President Obama promised from the U.S. Army today, NBC's Richard Engel noted in a June 19 Nightly News report from Baghdad. "The image I've had in my head all day, Brian, is of this driver's ed car with two steering wheels, with one with the U.S. Army now about 300 people on one steering wheel and the Iranian Quds Force-- which is often hostile to the United States at the other wheel -- and I'm not sure that Iran and the U.S. have any intention of driving this car in the same direction," the network's chief foreign affairs correspondent told viewers at home.
On the June 19 edition of NewsNation With Tamron Hall, the MSNBCer and Today news desk anchor interviewed Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) on American intervention in Iraq. When Hall asked the congressman what he believed would be the consequences if Maliki refused to meet American demands for reform, Meeks’s answer morphed into a rant against former Vice President Dick Cheney. Meeks snarled, “how dare he come and even raise his ugly head at this time.”
Violent rhetoric is not new for the Democrat facing multiple allegations of fraud and corruption. Just this past March, Meeks displayed a similar lack of tact towards the former veep, stating “Dick Cheney should just keep his mouth shut and stay at home.” These sentiments were mirrored later in Hall’s interview when he snapped “the guy should just go stay retired, take care of his health and just keep his mouth shut.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
In a remarkably tough interview with Secretary of State John Kerry aired on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie interrogated the nation's top diplomat on the Obama administration's failure to prevent terrorists from invading Iraq: "It seems like the U.S. was totally caught off guard by this....did you act too slowly? I mean, [Iraqi Prime Minister] Maliki was asking for help with air strikes in the last few weeks as this was coming, as ISIS was coming toward this part of Iraq. Why didn't we act then?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Later in the exchange, Guthrie pressed: "What's happening now in Iraq is directly related to the situation in Syria. Did the U.S. – did the President miss the moment, make a huge mistake by not trying to turn the tide in Syria then and what's happening in Iraq now is just the chickens coming home to roost?"
As Iraq descends once more into chaos in the wake of Obama's withdrawal of U.S. troops, New York Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer took a lazy, snarky tone in a Thursday news profile of "neoconservative" John Bolton, he of the "sea-otter mustache" (and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations) who has been outspoken against Obama's foreign policy: "Former Envoy Pipes Up in Conservative Chorus of ‘Told You So’ on Iraq."
Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC.com executive editor Richard Wolffe mocked former Vice President Dick Cheney for his recent criticism of President Obama, and inaccurately claimed that "there was no Al-Qaeda in Iraq" before Cheney "led the decision to invade Iraq."
After dismissing Cheney as being in his "last throes," Wolffe recalled: "Let's just revisit a little bit of history. Before Dick Cheney led the decision to invade Iraq, and led the disastrous occupation of Iraq, there was no Al-Qaeda in Iraq. He allowed Al-Qaeda to get a foothold in Iraq."
Looks like it's not just in Iraq where civil war is breaking out. Seems that it could also be happening at MSNBC, with Iraq ironically being the flashpoint.
Two nights ago, Rachel Maddow condemned TV shows that book original Iraq war hawks like Paul Bremer. Maddow specifically called out her very own MSNBC for having given Bremer air time. And just where had Bremer appeared on the Lean Forward network? Morning Joe. So you have to imagine that Joe Scarborough might well have had Maddow in mind when on today's show he said "I don't know why some people are so intellectually weak that they're afraid to actually listen." Sniped Scarborough: if people "wanted to watch people just saying what they--what everybody else in a little circle believe, they could watch certain shows on prime time cable." Wonder which show Joe had in mind? View the video after the jump.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews put his pro-Hillary puffery on the back-burner this evening to lead off Hardball with a screed against his favorite archnemesis Dick "it's pronounced CHEE-knee, by the way" Cheney.
Chris failed to disappoint with his loopy, nonsensical rant against the former vice president, at one point comparing him to a pitch man for the website Diedinhouse.com. Matthews even inspired a little nuttiness in the Huffington Post Media Group editorial director Howard Fineman, who insisted Cheney's hat-wearing was devised by the former vice president as a subtle sartorial dig at Obama's manliness or lack thereof. You cannot make this stuff up (LISTEN to the MP3 audio here; WATCH the video clip below the page break):
Former Vice President Dick Cheney co-authored a blistering op-ed, deriding Barack Obama's handling of Iraq. But you wouldn't know it from the network coverage. ABC's Good Morning America completely ignored Cheney speaking out. Yet, the program devoted three minutes to the deeply irrelevant story of jump suits and fanny packs making a comeback.
On NBC's Today, Savannah Guthrie managed a scant 13 seconds as she introduced a separate story. The co-host chided, "Well, as President Obama weighs his decision here, Dick and Liz Cheney are out with a new op-ed this morning blasting the Obama administration's positions during wartime." She noted that Cheney and daughter Liz slammed, "Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many." CBS This Morning offered the most coverage fo the op-ed, 48 seconds. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
At roughly 8 a.m. Eastern Time Tuesday morning, the wire service AFP (Agence France-Presse) had a story entitled "Fighting nears Baghdad as UN warns crisis 'life-threatening.'" AFP reported that "Militants pushed a weeklong offensive that has overrun swathes of Iraq to within 60 kilometres (37 miles) of Baghdad Tuesday." A Skynet video found at Gateway Pundit tells us that "ISIS Terrorists Surround Baghdad From Three Sides."
Meanwhile, as of 12:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday only one of the three Iraq-related stores (here, here and here) at the Associated Press refers — and even then only in a very late paragraph — to how ISIS (or ISIL, using AP's preferred acronym) "overran Mosul then stormed toward Baghdad."
Remember that scene in "Spinal Tap" when lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel showed documentary filmmaker Rob Reiner how he could turn up the volume on his amplifier all the way to 11, for that "extra push over the cliff" which he couldn't get with ordinary amps that would only go to 10?
Left wing radio host Thom Hartmann just cranked Iraq war revisionism all the way to 11. (Audio after the jump)
Though he has dispatched 275 military advisors to that country, his virtual ultimatum to that Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki — no angel by any stretch, but still a better alternative to a civil war or an ISIS-run terrorist state — that he must negotiate with all parties involve before the U.S. will even think about making a meaningful military commitment seems destined to allow matters to deteriorate further, perhaps to the point of no return. Despite all of this, Donna Cassata and Bradley Klapper at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, implied in a Tuesday afternoon dispatch that anyone who doesn't support plan-free military action now is some kind of hypocrite — except for Democrats who say that their support of going to war in 2002 was a mistake. The AP pair also falsely asserted that weapons of mass destruction "were never found" in Iraq.
On Tuesday's New Day show, during an interview with Paul Wolfowitz, CNN's Chris Cuomo was confrontational toward the former Bush administration Deputy Defense Secretary as the New Day co-host complained about Republicans blaming President Obama's troop withdrawal for the chaos in Iraq, arguing that such talk undermines the President from dealing with the situation because there is not a "united front."
At one point, after Wolfowitz rhetorically asked if he and Cuomo should "sit here and tell Speaker Boehner to shut up," Cuomo shot back, "Yes," and soon complained, "It's hard for" President Obama "to be strong when he's getting attacked by his own."
And, while complaining that Republicans are undermining President Obama's handling of the crisis by blaming him, Cuomo himself tried to push blame onto President Bush, suggesting Bush administration members should express "contrition." Cuomo:
Ed Schultz, never one to be left behind in radical left wing rhetoric, followed suit with the rest of MSNBC in condemning an intervention in Iraq on the June 16 edition of The Ed Show. Within the first 10 minutes, he had already blamed Republicans for using “dirty scare tactics,” claimed that they were calling for “troops on the ground,” and asked viewers to text in their answers to the utterly ridiculous poll, “are you prepared to send your kid to Iraq?”
Speaking of fear mongering. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
While all three network morning shows covered the ongoing terrorist invasion of Iraq on Tuesday, only CBS This Morning made the connection between President Obama's foreign policy and the chaos in the country. In an interview with former U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, This Morning co-host Charlie Rose wondered: "Has the United States and the Obama administration failed to pay sufficient attention to Iraq since American troops left?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Later on the broadcast, correspondent Jan Crawford talked to Iraq war veterans upset by seeing their hard-fought accomplishments being lost. Crawford explained: "When he campaigned for president in 2008, then-Senator Obama made bringing the troops home a priority.... But the U.S. withdrawal came at a cost, leaving an opening for radical terror groups."
Following the insulting trend of tagging every objection or concern raised about Obama administration policy and conduct as exclusively the province of Republicans and conservatives to an outrageous extreme, Rebecca Kaplan at CBS News opened her Monday story about whether the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) might plan terrorist acts in the U.S. as follows: "Republicans are sounding the warning that the next 9/11-like terror plot could emerge from the regions of Iraq and Syria that are currently dominated by an extremist group bearing down on Baghdad." Really, Rebecca? No one else is worried about that? Wanna bet?
Kaplan also seemed to believe that it would calm readers' nerves if they learned that it will be "at least a year before ISIS might pose more of a serious threat to the U.S." If that was meant to make me feel better, it didn't work. Excerpts follow the jump (links are in original; bolds are mine):