Though the 40-page section was mostly respectful, focusing on the victims and personal remembrances of that horrible day, there was some scattered politicized reporting within the section, and some objectionable editorializing elsewhere in the Times September 11 edition.
Salon columnist Joe Conason appeared on Monday's Hardball to excoriate former Vice President Dick Cheney: "...You would almost think that Cheney was actually an agent of the nation's enemies..." Host Chris Matthews did not disagree or contest this charge.
Conason and Matthews were discussing the war in Iraq and Cheney's continual defense of it. Playing off the Salon.com's columnist's comments, Matthews compared the ex-VP: "That's what they said, by the way, of Joe McCarthy. You couldn't be a better friend to the communist, in effect, than Joe McCarthy."
There have been some idiotic things said by liberal media members surrounding the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams added to the list Monday.
Appearing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Williams said, "People forget the crazy pressure to put a flag on your lapel and without it you couldn’t be a patriot. You certainly couldn’t love your country" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A skirmish broke out on Morning Joe today as PBS host Tavis Smiley claimed President George W. Bush "lied" the USA into the war in Iraq. Joe Scarborough and--surprisingly--Jon Meacham forcefully refuted Smiley's slur.
Scarborough unwittingly provoked the incident when, commenting on yesterday's 9-11 observances, he called for a Kumbaya moment in which Americans would put aside politics and thank presidents Bush and Obama for keeping the country safe. That set Smiley off: "the reality is that one of those guys lied to the American people"--and the fight was on. View video after the jump.
CNN's Fareed Zakaria got more than he bargained for in his Sunday interview with guest Donald Rumsfeld.
As he pushed the former Secretary of Defense on America's need to cut military spending, the "GPS" host blushed when Rumsfeld smartly said, "There are people who think we're living in the post-American world, to coin a phrase. There are people who believe that we should step back and lead from behind" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It certainly wasn't a Paul Krugman moment, but is the tenth anniversary of the biggest attack on our mainland a good time to say, "Fifty years from now, we might even look at 9/11 as simply the beginning of the decline of America?"
That's what Fareed Zakaria said Sunday on the CNN program bearing his name (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, New York Times reporters overcame enormous danger and duress to perform often-heroic feats of journalism, as proven by the Pulitzer Prize winning “Portraits of Grief” series, which commemorated the lives of every single victim of the terrorist attacks. But in the months and years that followed the paper reverted to partisan and liberal ways, even when the subject was the deadly attack on their hometown.
On Sunday the Times will print a special section marking the 10th anniversary of 9-11 (you can read it online now). In anticipation of the paper's commemoration, here’s a sampling of the paper’s years of slanted coverage related to the attacks.
By all accounts, President Obama has been far more hawkish than anyone anywhere in the world could have possibly imagined.
Despite this, "New Yorker" magazine editor David Remnick told the crew at MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Friday that the current Administration is responsible for the lack of anti-American displays in Arab Spring uprisings (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Days before the tenth anniversary of 9/11, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough released an antiwar song featuring powerful images of that horrible attack on our nation along with a message to bring our soldiers home from our current incursions.
The music video "Reason To Believe" was aired on Thursday's "Morning Joe," and I caught up with the host by phone shortly after the show's conclusion (video follows with highlights along with commentary from Scarborough and me):
Donald Trump on Wednesday upped the ante to his April call for America to stay in Iraq and take the oil as compensation for our efforts.
Speaking with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News's "On the Record," the real estate tycoon said, "We’ve lost tremendous numbers of great, young, beautiful soldiers. Those families should be given a couple of million dollars apiece from the Iraqi oil" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Tina Brown seems to be very conflicted about her opinion of Dick Cheney.
After telling the "Morning Joe" panel the former Vice President is a "wrecking ball" who "seems to be totally in denial still about Iraq," the Daily Beast-Newsweek editor said moments later, "He's been validated by Obama" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Pat Buchanan regularly serves as Morning Joe's lone conservative in the show's self-described 10:1 ratio sea of lib to conservative guests. But Buchanan this morning demonstrated that he is anything but a Republican partisan.
Sounding more like Barney Frank after a bad night's sleep, Buchanan blasted President George W. Bush, claiming 43 "broke the Republican party and frankly he broke the United States as a superpower." View the video after the jump.
While Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was calling for troop withdrawal in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for that military spending to go to deficit reduction, CNN's Piers Morgan would not press him about U.S. military action in Libya – a decision authorized by Democrat President Obama.
Frank has been a champion of cutting the defense budget and continued his screed Tuesday night, calling for a $200 billion-a-year cut on military spending. He even criticized Obama's decision to leave troops in Iraq. However, he was not asked about Libya, and did not comment on it.
In an otherwise typically dismal column about President Barack Obama which is one part pity party and another part an attempt at building him a he-man reputation (not kidding), New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd describes an upcoming movie featuring the exploits of Navy SEAL Team 6 in the operation which killed Osama Bin Laden on May 1.
Dowd celebrates the fact that the movie's currently anticipated opening is October 12, 2012, describing it as "perfectly timed" and "just as Obamaland was hoping." She expects that it will "give a home-stretch boost to a campaign that has grown tougher," and "counter Obama’s growing reputation as ineffectual."
Here are the relevant paragraphs from Dowd's column, including reference to a New Yorker column about the operation which has become the subject of considerable controversy (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
But while the Times showed no reluctance to identify Anders Behring Breivik, the lone gunman in the Norway attacks, as a “Christian extremist” in a front-page headline and hinted at more danger from "right-wing extremists" in Europe (photo credit Jon-Are Berg-Jacobsen/Agence France-Presse) the paper previously showed a clear reluctance to identify Islam after the last major terrorist attack on Europe, the deadly July 7, 2005 attacks by Muslim terrorists on subways and buses in London that killed 52. Instead the Times treated the attacks as British Prime Minister Tony Blair's "bitter harvest" for following President George W. Bush into Iraq.
At the Associated Press, the task of reporting on the official results of Uncle Sam's June Monthly Treasury Statement fell to Christopher Rugaber instead Marty Crutsinger.
Next time, Chris, tell us what happened in the month you're covering instead of going almost exclusively with the federal government's year-to-date results.
If Rugaber had looked more closely at June, he would have had to relay not particularly pleasant news -- or maybe he did look at June, and decided that we didn't need to know anything more than what the deficit was (possible motivation will be identified later). Although the deficit came in lower ($43 billion vs. $68 billion), the AP reporter "somehow" forgot to tell readers that receipts trailed June of 2010, indicating that whatever economic recovery has occurred is well on its way towards fizzling.
He said it, he meant it, and there's no denying it.
On Monday, in a statement carried at the Washington Post, the Associated Press, the New York Times (Page A8 of Tuesday's print edition), and elsewhere, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told U.S. troops at Camp Victory in Baghdad: "The reason you guys are here is because on 9/11 the United States got attacked. And 3,000 Americans — 3,000 not just Americans, 3,000 human beings, innocent human beings — got killed because of al-Qaeda. And we’ve been fighting as a result of that."
That sound you hear is a Democratic Party meme shattering into teeny tiny pieces. The attempts to put Humpty Dumpty together again, both by Panetta himself and the establishment press contingent following him, have been pathetic and ineffectual, which is what happens when one is up against succinctly stated truths.
CNN foreign affairs analyst Fareed Zakaria – who has recently had off-the-record conversations with President Obama on foreign issues – noted the president's "restraint" in his dealing with the "Arab Spring" and the conflict in Libya Wednesday. Zakaria previously gave a thumbs-up for Obama's Mideast speech in May and later defended the president's plan for removing American troops from Afghanistan.
The point-of-note is that this is the same analyst whom, according to the New York Times, President Obama "sounded out" while shaping his foreign policy. The two simply had "off-the-record" conversations on foreign issues, according to Zakaria, and the CNN host claimed he was not an advisor to the President.
On ABC’s World News on Sunday, a report by correspondent Jim Avila highlighted the complaints of left-wing mayors who expressed wishes that more defense spending would be redirected at projects in their cities.
The NBC correspondent speculated about what other items could be paid for using the money used by the Pentagon in Afghanistan and Iraq, and concluded the report seeming to suggest that spending on the wars had played a role in causing "damage" to the economy of the U.S. Avila: "It's a growing part of this country's war fatigue - a decade of human cost and damage to a struggling economy."
As she steps into her new role as CBS News Chief White House correspondent, Norah O'Donnell may have made a good impression on the man she'll now be covering with comments she made this weekend.
While chatting with the panel of "The Chris Matthews Show," O'Donnell told the host that President Obama has more aggressively prosecuted the War on Terror than George W. Bush (video follows with transcript and commentary):
At Big Government yesterday, Kristinn Taylor and Andrea Shea King compiled overwhelming evidence refuting one key element of a cease-and-desist letter sent to Fox News by lawyers for former Obama administration "green jobs" czar Van Jones. In doing so, they referenced and credited a video I posted in September 2009 of an anti-American rally in Oakland, California on September 12, 2001 where Jones spoke. They pair did a great job, and I appreciate the credit.
I would like to give Taylor's and King's work greater visibility, and extend it just a bit, especially because you can virtually bank on the fact that the establishment press won't touch it -- or if they do, they won't accurately report it.
In the wake of the largest security breach in U.S. military history, the mainstream media have struggled to report all the facts about Bradley Manning, the Iraq war soldier in the middle of the Wikileaks scandal. In an effort to pursue political correctness over truthful journalism, ABC, CBS and NBC ignored uncomfortable facts about Manning's sexual orientation and history of "emotional fragility," choosing instead to describe him as an "outcast who tried desperately to fit in."
Time magazine's Joe Klein this weekend claimed President Obama has a better relationship with the military than George W. Bush did when he was Commander-in-Chief.
Such hypocritically was said on "The Chris Matthews Show" just moments before Klein noted that the military were "very much opposed" to attacking Libya (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the downfall of the Soviet Union, the New York Times and other liberal media outlets often produced stories suggesting a bright side to the fallen dictatorships. The trend was notoriously encapsulated in a February 12, 1992 Times headline marking the release of the last political prisons of the Soviet era: "A Gulag Breeds Rage, Yes, but Also Serenity."
Similarly, the Times often latched on to the chaos of the Iraq war to suggest things had in at least some ways been better under the rulership of bloody dictator Saddam Hussein, responsible for the torture and killing of hundreds of thousands of people, Kurds, Iranians, and Iraqis.
A late and particularly insensitive entry in the field came on Sunday, Michael Schmidt and Yasir Ghazi, "As Baghdad Erupts in Riot of Color, Calls to Tone It Down," suggesting that "Baghdad has weathered invasion, occupation, sectarian warfare and suicide bombers. But now it faces a new scourge: tastelessness."
"Let's Clear the Fog of War," suggested Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Timothy Egan in a recent blog post for the New York Times. Egan criticized the White House's decision to simply stop talking about what happened at the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed on Sunday night. "They owe us a complete story, an honesty story, one for the record," Egan wrote.
But in calling for truth, Egan, whether he realized it or not, perpetuated a falsehood concerning the Iraq war that those who opposed that war continue to invoke in support of the narrative that the war effort itself was premised on a falsehood.
Egan made his opposition to the effort in Iraq clear in labeling it "a disastrous and bankrupting war against a country that had nothing to do with the mass homicide on American soil." He went on to offer the tale of Pfc. Jessica Lynch as "emblematic of the whole phony campaign at the top. If the White House was willing to go to war on false pretenses, why shouldn’t low-level commanders follow suit on the ground?"
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday had a highly-contentious interview with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
"The Last Word" host repeatedly interrupted his guest leading her to say after one such incident, "Lawrence, you have a bad habit with your guests. You never let them answer a question" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On NBC's Nightly News on Monday, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel used a report on the history of the war on terror to attack the Bush administration for going to war in Iraq: "...when civil war in Iraq broke out, American troops were stuck....it was a distraction from the United States' original mission to find Bin Laden, stop Al Qaeda, and prevent another 9/11."[Audio available here]
Engel began his report by describing the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan following the September 11th attacks, but soon shifted into commentary as he mockingly proclaimed: "...regime change in Afghanistan, done with few troops and high technology, seemed so easy. The Bush White House tried it again in Iraq." He further ranted: "Afghanistan and Iraq were lumped together in what was called a 'global war on terrorism.' The truth was, there was never a connection between Iraq and Osama Bin Laden. There were no weapons of mass destruction, either."