Remember Chris Hedges, the former Times reporter and Middle East bureau chief for the paper who got unplugged for his anti-war ranting at a Rockford College graduation ceremony in 2003?
Here was his stirring opener to the assembled graduates:
“Thank you very much. I want to speak to you today about war and empire. The killing, or at least the worst of it, is over in Iraq, although blood will continue to spill, theirs and ours; be prepared for this. For we are embarking on an occupation that if history is any guide will be as damaging to our souls as it will be to our prestige and power and security. But this will come later, our empire expands and in all this we become pariahs, tyrants to others weaker than ourselves."
You remember Rosa Brooks. She's the LA Times columnist who vehemently denies hating George Bush. To judge by her column of today, she has an odd way of proving it. In A Good Week for the Axis of Evil, Brooks lumps Pres. Bush in with the most evil dictators from around the globe, past and present.
After arguing that it's been a good week for "Dear Leader Kim Jong Il," Saddam Hussein and the leaders of Iran and Al-Qaeda, Brooks claims "this week's news was a humiliating setback for the United States' homegrown authoritarians — a.k.a. the Bush administration."
There's a saying along the lines that liberals will always oppose the use of US force - except where US security interests are not at stake. The New York Times editorial of this morning, The Age of Impunity, provides a perfect case in point.
The central thesis is this:
"Bush has squandered so much of America’s moral authority — not to mention our military resources — that efforts to shame or bully the right behavior from adversaries (and allies) sound hollow."
Along the way, the Times recommends that Pres. Bush pander to the rogue regimes in Pyongyang and Tehran by making "a clear pledge — no caveats and no fingers crossed behind his back - that he would not try to overthrow" their governments.
Not the smallest bird doesn't fall but liberal pundits blame it on George W. Bush. A refreshing change of pace this morning, then, in the person of Thomas Friedman, who writes that the major responsibility for avoiding future international catastrophe lays not at the feet of the current occupant of the White House, but in Moscow and Beijing.
In the subscription-required The Bus Is Waiting, Friedman propounds the theory that a nuclearized N. North Korea and Iran will inevitably induce a string of countries across Asia and the Middle East developing atomic weapons of their own.
To prevent this, Friedman asserts that it is necessary for:
Just in time for the November elections, a new MSM theme is emerging: Iraq's not the only mess - Afghanistan's in trouble too. Just a couple days I described here the Pentagon's systematic rebuttal of Newsweek's hyper-negative portrayal of the situation in Afghanistan in its article "The Rise of Jihadistan."
One of Newsweek's "news partners" just happens to be NBC, and sure enough, NBC's 'Today' show ran a segment this morning recycling many of the charges contained in the Newsweek piece. The Taliban and Al-Qaeda were depicted as resurgent, with violence up, the opium trade flourishing, and President Karzai's influence largely limited to Kabul.
This past week, the media hyperventilated over two developing scandals: Congressman Mark Foley, and Bob Woodward's "State of Denial." ABC, CBS and NBC produced 103 stories on the Foley scandal, quite a bit more time then was devoted to Democratic sex scandals. The "Today" show’s Matt Lauer joined with Tim Russert to slam Speaker Hastert and the GOP. Lauer also contributed to the fawning over Bob Woodward and his new book. The MRC’s Brent Baker noted that Woodward has mocked the President’s intellect in the past.
Speaking of journalists with huge egos, Chris Matthews, yet again, displayed his partisan leanings by defending Robert ‘KKK’ Byrd, claiming that Bush "won’t tell the truth" about Iraq, and praising Clinton for his anti-Fox News rant. Perhaps he should rename his show, "Hardball...For Republicans."
And to think, it was just a few days ago that the former president of MSNBC stated, prior to Fox News, "many in the media scoffed at the notion of a liberal bias." Would this not be the best time to mention that leftist MSNBC host Keith Olbermann recently called Roger Ailes a "fat ass?"
Mike Luckovich, the liberal cartoonist for "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," earned a chuckle from CNN anchor Miles O’Brien by claiming that "80 percent of the priesthood" is gay. Luckovich, who appeared on the October 6 edition of "American Morning," was promoting his new collection of comic strips, "Four More Wars." O’Brien began by asking the cartoonist about the Foley scandal and then attempted to link it with a plan by the pope to ban homosexuals from serving as priests:
O’Brien: "And why don't you explain this one?"
[Cartoon appears onscreen. One priest is looking at the other and says, "Does this make me look gay?"]
Luckovich: "Well, OK. The new pope wanted to -- wants to ban homosexual priests, so you are going to have to lose 80 percent of the priesthood if that happens. But -- so I've got a bishop here saying -- he's looking down at his vestments, and he's saying, ‘Does this make me look gay?"
O’Brien: [Laughs]: "It's -- well, you know, it is a fashion statement, isn't it? All right. And, of course-"
Luckovich: "Yes. You know, I was thinking -- Miles, I was thinking about maybe making Denny Hastert maybe like an archbishop and somehow, you know, making the comparison that way. I'll let you know if that -- if that works out."
O’Brien: "Oh, okay. That sounds like dangerous turf, but I would like to see that one for sure."
While Democrats and the MSM have revelled in stressing the tough sledding in Iraq, they had been constrained to acknowledge that the mission in Afghanistan - from the overthrow of the Taliban to the fostering of democracy leading to the election of President Karzai to efforts aimed at rebuilding a country mired in medieval poverty - has been largely successful.
But in recent weeks, Democrats and the MSM have sought to paint a more negative portrait of the situation in Afghanistan, culminating in an article in the October 2nd edition of Newsweek "The Rise of Jihadistan."
The article's sub-title states its thesis in these terms: "Five years after the Afghan invasion, the Taliban are fighting back hard, carving out a sanctuary where they—and Al Qaeda's leaders—can operate freely." And in his famously finger-pointing interview with Fox's Chris Wallace, Bill Clinton claimed that "if I were still president, we'd have more than 20,000 troops there trying to kill [Bin Laden]."
During an interview aired Friday on CNBC's The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, when asked by host Deutsch how he would go about fighting terrorism, CNN founder Ted Turner argued that "you don't win people over by bombing them, you win them over by being friends with them," and soon recommended giving Muslim extremists what they want as a solution to terrorism. Turner, who in 2002 claimed that Israelis were guilty of "terrorism" against the Palestinians, on Friday's show advocated "being more even-handed in our dealing with the Palestinians and the Israelis," negotiating peace in the Middle East "so we can stop at some point furnishing military aid to Israel," and "pulling our military forces out of the Middle East." Turner labelled these moves as "things that they've asked of us" and "things that the Muslim extremists and a lot of other Muslims, too, would like to see us do." (Transcript follows)
With one of his inimitable montages, Rush Limbaugh documented today the way in which the MSM got hung up on a handshake - one the media reported didn't come off between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Pakistani counterpart Pervez Musharraf during their recent White House visit.
Though WH spokesman Tony Snow has reportedly indicated that the pair did shake hands off-camera, the media tea-leaf readers seemingly imbue The Handshake That Didn't Happen with dire implications for the achievement of US goals in the region. Ironically, on the very same day, the MSM has yet to report on a major, positive development in the region - one that would bring a smile to the lips of even a Nancy Pelosi or a New York Times editorialist - were they not solemnly sworn to ac-cen-tu-ate the negative from now till Election Day.
During the September 27 edition of "Situation Room," CNN host Jack Cafferty went on a rant over the Bush administration’s handling of the war on terror. After noting that Presidents Musharraf and Karzai, of Pakistan and Afghanistan respectively, are publically feuding over dealing with the terror issue, Cafferty "spoke" the words he believed the two men wish to say, but can’t:
Cafferty: "...I think both of these guys are probably reluctant to say, ‘You know President Bush, you’re part of the problem. You decided to invade Iraq. You had the Taliban on the run. You had killed a lot of the people in Al Qaeda. You had, uh, uh, what’s his name, Osama bin Laden cornered in Tora Bora. You had all these people in your gun sights when all of a sudden, Afghanistan became number two on your priority list because you wanted to run off and wage war against Saddam Hussein.’ But nobody’s going to say that, ‘cept maybe me."
Jon Stewart, during a September 26 interview with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, discussed Middle East policy and used the opportunity to trot out his standard, "Bush-the-Moron" material. Sitting across from a valuable American ally, the "Daily Show" host couldn’t resist making this unflattering comparison:
Stewart: "Let’s say, if there were an election held in Pakistan today...And we put up two candidates, George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden, be truthful, who would win a popular vote in Pakistan?"
It’s one thing to acknowledge that, in some extremist areas, bin Laden may have greater popularity, but Stewart appeared to state this concept with glee. He also attempted to goad Musharraf into criticizing the effort in Iraq:
Jon Stewart: "Welcome back, we’re here with President Pervez Musharraf. In your book, it's an incredible autobiography of a life, a very interesting life. There's no mention of Iraq. Is that because you felt like it was such a smart move and has gone so well that to mention it would be gloating?"
The declassification of parts of the National Intelligence Estimate spells out the ramifications of a major triumph in the War on Terror: the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (the report was finalized in April, before Zarqawi's death). The NIE states:
Al-Qa’ida, now merged with Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi’s network, is exploiting the situation in Iraq to attract new recruits and donors and to maintain its leadership role. • The loss of key leaders, particularly Usama Bin Ladin, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and al-Zarqawi, in rapid succession, probably would cause the group to fracture into smaller groups. Although like-minded individuals would endeavor to carry on the mission, the loss of these key leaders would exacerbate strains and disagreements.
The Ohio chapter of CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, put out a press release on NewsWire about its success in getting a local car dealership not to run radio ads declaring a "jihad" on the car competition and "Fatwa Fridays."
Instead, will the dealership now run "Religion of Peace" Wednesdays?
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 25 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) said today that proposed "jihad-themed" radio advertisements for a car dealer in that state will not be aired.
The ads reportedly would have proclaimed a "jihad" on the U.S. auto market and offered "Fatwa Fridays" with sales representatives in "burqas" giving free swords to children.
In his rant against Chris Wallace of Fox News on Friday, former president Bill Clinton claimed that (bold is mine):
I tried. So I tried and failed. When I failed I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke.
You would wait forever for someone in The 527 Media to do what blogger Patterico did earlier today. In the course of a longer entry dispelling other myths and falsehoods in the Clinton-Wallace interview, Patterico busted the Clinton claim about the anti-terror transition from his administration to the incoming Bush Adminstration. He located this interview of Richard Clarke in early 2002 that was cleared for distribution by the White House in 2004 and published at Fox News' web site in March of that year.
A soldierasked the Secretary to define just who is the enemy. In professorial, avuncular fashion, Rumsfeld carefully described how a limited number of Muslim extremists have hijacked their faith and sought to impose their warped vision on their co-religionists. That others were seeking to regain power lost when the United States deposed dictatorial regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. And that still others are simply criminal elements.
Remember the Reuters news vehicle that was fired upon, but not directly hit by an Israeli helicopter gunship while acting suspiciously near Israeli positions in Gaza?
The Israeli Government Press Office is now stating that they believe
armored vehicles licensed to news agencies, such as the Reuters vehicle
attacked, might be being used by terrorist groups to launch attacks against Israel:
Armored vehicles that were given to foreign news agencies operating in
the country with the authorization of the State of Israel, may be used
by hostile groups to carry out terror attacks against Israel, Director
of the Government Press Office Danny Seaman warned in a letter
addressed to Shin Bet Head Yuval Diskin.
On August 27 an Israel Defense Forces helicopter hit an armored
vehicle that belonged to the Reuters news agency in Gaza. According to
Seaman, the incident illustrated the failures in overseeing the use of
armored vehicles granted to the foreign media agencies with the
permission of the State.
The vehicle's presence in Gaza in itself constituted a violation of its
license terms, and moreover, the jeep was carrying only Palestinians –
one with links to Hamas who was not a Reuters employee.
The BBC has obtained evidence that Israelis have been giving military training to Kurds in northern Iraq.
A report on the BBC TV programme Newsnight showed Israeli experts in northern Iraq, drilling Kurdish militias in shooting techniques.
Kurdish officials have refused to comment on the report and Israel has denied it knows of any involvement.
From that point forward the story is literally riddled with assumptions about how other countries and the rest of Iraq will react, without a single quote or attribution from anyone who supposedly will object. Examples throughout the article's text (scare words in bold):
Our Favorite Imam is at it again, this time with the enabling help of the Denver Post. Asked about the Pope's comments and the worldwide Islamic justification thereof, Kazerooni replied:
Said [Denver Archdiocese Chancellor Fran] Maier: "Holy war is becoming a cult in parts of the Islamic world, and naming that for what it is needs to be done. The pope spoke reasonably and truthfully. The criticism so far is neither."
Kazerooni said Benedict's comments inflamed tensions as the Middle East simmers over Danish cartoons portraying the prophet Muhammad and President Bush's comments about "Islamo-fascism." Kazerooni leads an interfaith program based at St. John's Episcopal Cathedral.
What do you get when you ask the Syrian puppet-President of Lebanon what the cause of the recent "conflict" between Hezbullah and Israel was? Well, apparently, it was "da joos!" I should've known!
Notice that Emile choses to use one of the the disputed Qana photographs (possibly even one by disgraced photographer Adnan Hajj) to illustrate his point. I'm sure he won't be getting many questions from the world's laughingstock for bringing that up!
From Emile's speech, which you can read here, we learn that Hezbullah is blameless in the recent conflict, as Zionist oppression is the sole cause of every conflict in the world.
Thanks for the wisdom there, Emile.
A striking bit of journalistic malpractice seems to have affected
the mainstream media web sites this morning, as news site after news
site failed to provide their readers with the transcript of Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speech last night to the United Nations.
As of noon at ABC News, it is as if Ahmadinejad never spoke, as
their was no reference to his address in front of the United Nations on
their Web site’s front page, and is notably absent from the headlines
of their political section as well. I had to search Google News to find
this report on their site, which did not link to the transcript, nor provide Ahmadinejad's closing remarks.
Likewise, Ahmadinejad’s speech was not easily found on the CBS News
site, and when an article was found buried below the fold of their
International news section, their story, as well, did not provide a transcript nor a summation of his closing remarks.
On Monday night, CNN’s John Roberts previewed the United Nations appearances of President Bush and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a manner that seemed to offer moral equivalence between Bush and the avowed Holocaust denier. Roberts, who filed the September 18 report for "Anderson Cooper 360," was introduced by an announcer tease that set a tone of comparative moral ambiguity:
ANNOUNCER: "He's a president on the ropes. He's a radical on the rise. The leaders of Iran and the United States on a nuclear collision course -- and now the whole world is watching."
First off, "on the ropes" is an odd description for a President with rising poll numbers. Secondly, the language here seems to indicate two leaders, both of whom refuse to back down, rather then one who has threatened to destroy Israel and one who wishes the other would desist in such behavior.
Roberts reported the conflict, in a segment that aired at 10PM EDT, as though he was discussing a political contest between two candidates. Summarizing the problem, he stated:
ROBERTS: "But how did the mudslinging between Tehran and the White House get so bad? Certainly, Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust and insistence that Israel be wiped off the map were part of it. Some people also fault President Bush for what they call increasingly Islamophobic language that alienates Muslims."
Failing to call Islam a "religion of peace" can get you in a lot of trouble these days. Agence France Presse, a syndicated news service like the AP, says Pope Benedict XVI committed a "blunder" by saying, among other things, that Islam was a religion "spread by the sword."
By unwittingly angering Muslims with his comments on Islam, Pope Benedict XVI has shown that he has yet to shake off his academic theological roots and master the global media machine with the same deftness as his predecessor.
In clinging to theology and orthodoxy, the bookish Benedict has shown little regard for media management in getting his message across, unlike the communications-savvy John Paul II.
Rich Muslims of the world need to unite and buy up various parts of the global media in order to force them to become more friendly to Islam. That's the message coming out of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference being held in Saudi Arabia.
As you might expect, Reuters has a reporter there who couldn't help but insert an anti-Fox News remark into the story:
Muslim tycoons should buy stakes in global media outlets to help
change anti-Muslim attitudes around the world, ministers from Islamic
countries heard at a conference in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.
ministers and officials meeting under the auspices of the 57-nation
Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the world's largest
Islamic body, said Islam faced vilification after the September 11
attacks, when 19 Arabs killed nearly 3,000 people in U.S. cities in
Some ultra-PC alarmists inside the BBC are fretting about a video made to spoof assistant editor Simon Torkington's new gig at Al-Jazeera. The video features his colleagues dressed up in Middle Eastern garb, singing a parody song.
A company statement called the video "illjudged, and we will be speaking with those involved." This means that censorship now extends to private parties for the self-flagellating BBC. In forty years, hopefully Al-BBC executives will be just as abhorrent of anti-European jokes.
Members of the BBC London news team today face a grilling from senior bosses after they filmed a spoof video making light of the conflict in the Middle East.
The film, a skit on Peter Kay's (Is This The Way To) Amarillo? was made to mark the departure of assistant editor Simon Torkington who is going to the news channel Al-Jazeera International in Qatar with his wife, former ITV news anchor Shiulie Ghosh.
Last month, bloggers
(including NB's Bob
Owens), caught the BBC flat-out admitting its complicity in a
staged photo shoot with a Lebanese boy posing next to what the
broadcast said was an "Israeli bomb lying unexploded" in someone's
Admitting to participating in news manipulation was bad enough and
doing it while endangering a child was even worse. Further compounding
things, though, was that in an accompanying photo essay, the Beeb
breathlessly identified another Israeli munition left behind in a
Lebanese house as an anti-personnel mine. Trouble is, it wasn't:
SUSANNA BRANDON, copy editor, USA Today: BBC correspondent Martin
Asser, reporting Aug. 21 from Southern Lebanon, caused something of a
photo-staging and child-endangerment stir when he informed readers:
"The shell is huge, bigger than the young boy pushed forward to stand
reluctantly next to it while we get our cameras out and record the
scene for posterity."
But deeper into the accompanying photo
essay, titled Lebanese Villagers Return Home, was something equally
amiss: a device breathlessly identified in photo No. 9 as an
anti-personnel mine. One is led to assume that the mine was left behind
by the Israelis to maim these innocent civilians returning home.
Columnist Mark Steyn writes that although two Fox News journalists were forced to "convert" to Islam, the rest of the media have already pledged a loyalty to Allah.
Did you see that video of the two Fox journalists announcing they had converted to Islam? The larger problem, it seems to me, is that much of the rest of the Western media have also converted to Islam and there seems to be no way to get them to convert back to journalism.
Consider, for example, the bizarre behavior of Reuters, the once globally respected news agency now reduced to putting out laughably inept terrorist propaganda. A few days ago, it made a big hoo-ha about the Israelis intentionally firing a missile at its press vehicle and wounding its cameraman Fadel Shana. Mr. Shana was posed in an artful sprawl in a blood-spattered shirt. But it had ridden up revealing his spotlessly white undershirt, like a summer-stock Julius Caesar revealing the boxers under his toga.