An unsigned Wednesday article in the Military Times spotlighted how veteran groups have rebuked the New York Times for an opinion piece that played up the recent shootings at two Jewish community centers as apparent proof that white veterans are susceptible to joining hate groups. Paul Rieckhoff of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America hammered the liberal newspaper for its "sensational, slanderous and incredibly offensive" attack on his peers.
In the Wednesday op-ed, author Kathleen Belew cited a controversial 2009 Department of Homeland Security report that hyped the potential for "right-wing extremists...to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities," and targeted conservatives for their criticism of its findings. Belew even threw the race card into the mix:
Q. How do you know when Barack Obama has set a dubious new record for presidential weakness? A. When Jimmy Carter's former top adviser mocks his anemic response to an international crisis.
On today's Morning Joe, Zbigniew Brzezinski argued that the US needs to discuss with Ukraine the provision of defensive weapons in the face of the Russian threat. He then mockingly observed: "the Ukrainians did ask us for help in that regard. Do you know what our answer has been? We offered them prepackaged food for their soldiers. Well, you can't win a military conflict by throwing pancakes at somebody." The laughter on the normally Obama-friendly set should still be ringing in the President's ears. View the video after the jump.
Based on searches at their respective sites at 9:40 a.m. ET this morning, the Associated Press, the New York Times and the Politico do not have stories on the fever-swamp left's two-days-old attempts to force storage company DropBox to reverse its appointment of Condoleezza Rice to its board of directors.
The three outlets just cited, and the rest of the national establishment press, with the as usual notable exception of Fox News (in an opinion piece by Richard Grenell) and the unusual exception of UPI.com, appears to be following what I'll call the "hand-wringing template": Ignore the story until the left gets its dirty work done, and then file a timid story noting how the now-settled matter "raises free-speech issues." This is how a passive-aggressive mission is accomplished.
MSNBC loves to find a racial controversy in the most unexpected of places and on Wednesday’s NewsNation, anchor Tamron Hall seized a golden opportunity to do just that. Hall brought on Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs, a soldier who started a White House petition asking the president to force the U.S. Army to reconsider its updated appearance and grooming regulations. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Hall explained the problem as she opened the story:
The Washington Post published an online piece in its “The Fix” blog on Wednesday highlighting its own polling which found that veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars prefer President Bush to Barack Obama as commander and chief. According to a recent Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation poll, sixty-five percent of post-9/11 veterans found Bush to be a good commander in chief whereas just 42 percent said the same about President Obama.
The piece, written by Scott Clement of Capital Insight, also pointed out that Democrats are more than twice as likely to say Bush was a good commander in chief as Republicans are to say Obama is (46 percent vs. 17 percent). As of now, this piece only exists on the Washington Post website, but given that the findings are a product of the Post itself, one wonders if the Post will include the article in its print newspaper despite it showing bad news for President Obama. [EDITOR'S UPDATE: The poll did not appear in Thursday's newspaper. A 3,100-word front page story on vets used four questions from the poll, but the story never even had the name "Bush" in it.]
Fox News reported a few weeks ago about how the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., removed a Bible verse from a cadet's personal whiteboard. I am personally so disappointed that the branch of service that I served in to protect our freedoms is now trying to suppress them.
When one walks the dorm halls of the Air Force Academy, one immediately notices the hundreds of whiteboards hanging on students' doors. This past week, Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., cited Air Force officials who explained that cadets "often use these boards to display items, quotes or other things that reflect their personality or from which they draw inspiration." I guess the Bible is the wrong type of inspiration, at least according to some Air Force leaders.
Brickbats to Phillip Rawls and his layers of editors at the Associated Press.
Vietnam war hero and former Alabama Senator Jeremiah Denton died on Friday. He was an incredibly courageous and inspiring man who after his return from 7-1/2 years as a POW in North Vietnam became deeply troubled at where this nation was (and still is) headed. Unsurprisingly, he became a strong pro-life and family values advocate. Apparently following an unwritten rule at AP which dictates that a writer must take at least one parting shot at a conservative upon his or her death (see: Tony Snow), Rawls took two, twice describing Denton as "rigid" (includes video of a portion of his 1966 "torture" interview; bolds are mine):
On Wednesday night, Tavis Smiley welcomed film director Errol Morris onto the set of his PBS program to talk about Morris’ new documentary on former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Unlike Bill Maher, who challenged Morris when he interviewed him last Friday, Smiley joined Morris in maligning Rumsfeld throughout the entire interview. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Smiley seemed appalled that Rumsfeld ever came to be in charge of the Defense Department, and by extension managing the prosecution of the Iraq War. He remarked to Morris:
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman went on PBS’s Charlie Rose show Monday night and defended President Obama’s soft foreign policy approach to the crisis in Ukraine. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Of that approach, which so far has consisted of sanctions against 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials, Friedman said:
On Tuesday, all three broadcast network evening newscasts devoted full reports to President Obama honoring 24 members of the military – only three still living – with the Medal of Honor. CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley trumpeted how the President "righted a historic wrong. He presented the nation's highest military award to 24 Americans, after a review determined that they had been passed over because they were Hispanic or African-American or Jewish." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
However, during the fifth year of former President George W. Bush's presidency, the Big Three channels furiously covered the allegations against several U.S. Marines, who were accused of killing civilians in Iraq in November 2005. Between May 17 and June 7, 2006 – a three week period – ABC, CBS, and NBC devoted three and a half hours of air time to the accusations of misconduct. These same networks aired only 52 minutes of reporting on 20 military heroes from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq during a five-year period between September 2001 and June 2006.
ABC's World News named Rico Roman, a member of Team U.S.A. in the Sochi Paralympics, its 'Person of the Week' on Friday. Roman, an Iraq War veteran who lost his left leg after his Humvee struck an IED, is now the "the star forward of the U.S. Paralympic hockey team." Amy Robach spotlighted how the Oregon native "discovered sled hockey – an outlet from the confines of a hospital room."
The correspondent also pointed out how a significant percentage of the American Paralympics team come from the military: [video below the jump]
Mika Brzezinski has a jaded view of why young Americans choose to join the military. According to the Morning Joe host, they do so "if they need the money."
Brzezinski made her comment on today's show during a segment on a book comparing the values and beliefs of the various generations of Americans. When Joe Scarborough challenged her doing-it-for-the-money claim, saying that many serve "for all the best reasons," Brzezinski began to back down. Mika also suggested that her fellow panelists didn't know many people serving in the military, which might say more about the MSM bubble in which they exist than it does about the millenial generation. View the video after the jump.
Steve Hartman had trouble holding back his own tears on Friday's CBS Evening News, as he profiled the beyond kind act of an eight-year-old boy in Ohio. Myles Eckert, whose father was killed in Iraq when he was just a baby, enclosed a $20 bill he found in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant in a note, and gave them to a member of the Ohio Air National Guard who was having lunch there.
Hartman interviewed both Eckert and Lieutenant Colonel Frank Dailey, who received the heartfelt message from the Gold Star son (text of Eckert's note, and video of Hartman's report below the jump):
The plan by Barack Obama's government to "dramatically" shrink the size of the Army to its lowest level since World War II warranted a scant one minute and 56 seconds of total coverage on Monday's morning shows. Yet, CBS, NBC and ABC devoted 19 and a half minutes to such topics as TV shows, makeup and viral videos. [See video of ABC's coverage below. MP3 audio here.] None of the networks mentioned the President, shifting the responsibility solely to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
The Today show allowed the least amount of coverage, a mere 21 seconds. This despite the program's four hour running time. Natalie Morales revealed, "Under the plan, the Army would shrink to its smallest force since the World War II build-up." She asserted that "the proposal is likely to face fierce opposition on Capitol Hill." If that's true, why devote less than 30 seconds and allow no debate? Instead, the Today anchors spent almost nine minutes on the subject of makeup and body image.
The London Daily Mail reported this week that “CNN caused a firestorm when it included a war monument in Brest, a city in the former Soviet republic of Belarus, in an article on the 'world's ugliest monuments' published last month.” This isn’t Ted Turner’s CNN, where a reporter would be disciplined for saying the word “foreign” in a sentence. The online article from a travel-piece contributor was intended as humor.
A Russian news commentator responded by suggesting the Marine Corps War Memorial – the Iwo Jima sculpture just north of Arlington National Cemetery – is “easy to mock” for its homoerotic look, and "you don't have to be very smart to get it." (video below):
How do MSNBC hosts feel about the war in Afghanistan? Well, it may depend on who’s in the White House at the moment.
On Saturday morning’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Ms. Witt talked to fellow MSNBC host Rachel Maddow about President Obama’s tribute to Army Ranger Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg at last Tuesday’s State of the Union address. [Video below the break. MP3 audio here.] Maddow, who is certainly no fan of our wars in Afghanistan or Iraq, nonetheless reflected on the moment in a mostly positive way. Referring to the extended applause for Sgt. Remsburg, Maddow said:
Tavis Smiley is known for making extreme statements that make even his fellow liberals cringe in fear. Whether he is comparing the Tea Party to Jihad or saying Republicans only oppose ObamaCare because they hate the president, the PBS host never stops making inflammatory comments.
Appearing on This Week w/ George Stephanopoulos on January 19, Smiley asserted that, “I think very quickly that in the long run, Edward Snowden, we were joking earlier, Edward Snowden might be on a postage stamp somewhere down the road. How history is going to regard what Mr. Obama has done in this moment is an open question.” [See video after jump.]
CBS’s Bob Scheiffer had some harsh words for former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on his Sunday show Face the Nation surrounding the release of Gates’ new memoir “Duty.”
Schieffer fretted over whether or not Gates should have released his memoir before President Obama left office. He had "problems" with it. The CBS host complained that, "Making the criticism at this point while the president is still a sitting president, I was very surprised that Bob Gates did that." [See video after jump.]
Call it Melissa Harris-Perry's "corpse-man" moment . . .
In a segment on the role of the US military during her MSNBC show this morning, Harris-Perry, quoting the Marine Corps motto, pronounced it Semper "Fee." Marines of course pronounce it "fye" [scroll over phrase at link to hear pronunciation.] Harris-Perry surely meant no disrespect. But it is a mark of just how detached she and so much of the liberal media is from military culture that she could make such a mistake. Video after the jump.
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been facing criticism and scorn from some media members for having the audacity to mildly criticize President Obama and some administration officials while Obama is still in office. On Tuesday, Gates appeared on the PBS NewsHour to face another round of questioning about his newly released memoir.
Midway through the interview, anchor Judy Woodruff suggested that the former defense secretary could lower morale among troops on the ground overseas: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
In an interview with former Defense Secretary Robert Gates for Yahoo News on Monday, newly-named global anchor Katie Couric urged him to express regret for criticism of President Obama in his new memoir: "Do you think in any way, shape or form that this was the wrong thing to do? It was just bad form?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gates replied: "No, I don't. The reality is there are a lot of contemporary issues that are at the heart of this book....And to write about them in 2017, it would be completely irrelevant." Couric followed up: "You have been known in Washington as the consummate team player, a real stand-up guy, a true patriot. Are worried this might tarnish your reputation?"
CNN’s Jake Tapper would have done well to read “Lone Survivor,” rather than just seeing the new movie, before interviewing former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell last week. If he had, Tapper might have been more careful than to describe the deaths of Luttrell’s SEAL comrades in Afghanistan as “senseless.” And he would have been wary of Luttrell’s contempt for the liberal media.
The film “Lone Survivor, which ” took in $38.5 million at the box office its opening weekend is based on a 2010 book by Luttrell that tells the tragic story of a 2005 operation in which the three other members of Luttrell’s SEAL team, along with 17 other special ops warriors, were killed. The story turned on the team’s agonized decision to turn lose some Afghan goat herders who had stumbled onto its concealed position. As the SEALs had feared, the freed civilians went straight to the Taliban, precipitating the battle.
Rita Braver badgered former Defense Secretary Robert Gates on the January 12, 2013 edition of CBS's Sunday Morning over his new memoir which, in her words, "has created such turmoil in Washington." Braver even used Gates's own words against him: "In your book, you say that one of your favorite adages is, never miss a good chance to shut up. And I wonder if you think, maybe, you violated your own advice here."
The correspondent's hardball treatment of the former Obama cabinet official contrasts with her kid glove treatment of Attorney General Eric Holder during a September 12, 2010 interview for the morning show: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
In a panel packed with Obama sycophants on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, lone conservative Rick Santorum was shouted down the moment he observed that Robert Gates's new memoir showed "that the President puts domestic politics before international concerns." Amid the wailing and gnashing of teeth, MSNBC host Chris Matthews declared: "But that's not what the book says. Rick, it didn't say that." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Santorum was only allowed to speak for a total of forty-six seconds during the nearly ten-minute panel discussion of Gates's book. During Santorum's first twenty-second spot on camera, Gregory pressed him to respond to left-wing activist Michael Moore: "Here's something that he tweeted this week, 'Bob Gates in his new book says Obama appointees in the White House were, quote, suspicious of and didn't trust the military honchos. Thank God.'"
While Matt Lauer worried that Robert Gates's criticism of President Obama was "dangerous or dishonorable" on Monday's NBC Today, when disgruntled ex-Bush administration officials wrote memoirs bashing the former president in 2004 and 2008, the network morning show happily cheered them on.
On January 13, 2004 – exactly ten years prior to Lauer's Monday interview with Gates – then-Today co-host Katie Couric hyped former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's attacks on President George W. Bush in a new tell-all: "I think if I can sort of try to assess your description, as policy having no process, kind of being put together willy-nilly. You do describe him as 'a blind man in a room full of deaf people.'"
During a live interview with former Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer suggested that criticism of President Obama in Gates's new memoir was endangering American troops overseas: "As this criticism is leveled by you in the book of the commander-in-chief, the acting commander-in-chief, at a time when some 40,000 U.S. troops are in harm's way, do you think that by calling him into question at this stage it is either dangerous or dishonorable?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After Gates rejected the notion, Lauer insisted: "But you don't think it undermines his credibility with the troops he is commander-in-chief of right now?" At the top of the show, Lauer teased the interview: "Robert Gates on his new memoir and his criticism of President Obama. Is it fair with U.S. troops still in harm's way?"
ABC, CBS, and NBC ballyhooed former Defense Secretary Robert Gates's attacks on President Obama and other high government officials on their Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning newscasts. NBC's Brian Williams and CBS's Norah O'Donnell also trumpeted the former Cabinet official's "devastating critique" of the President in his upcoming memoir. All three networks also played up Gates's self-identification as a Republican.
NBC's Today and CBS This Morning brought on former Obama administration officials on Wednesday morning. Both guests did their best to counter their former colleague. Matt Lauer touted David Axelrod's "important perspective" on the issue, and asked, "Did you get a sense that he was a guy who...was disgruntled in any way?" The CBS morning show turned to former chief of staff Bill Daley, who slammed Gates for going public: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
At the top of Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer portrayed former Defense Secretary Robert Gates as an ungrateful and disgruntled ex-employee: "Blindsided. President Obama's former Defense Secretary Robert Gates takes on his old boss – the man who awarded him the Medal of Freedom – in a blistering new memoir. This morning, what may have made him turn?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed later, correspondent Andrea Mitchell fretted: "President Obama's decision to keep George Bush's defense secretary, a Republican, has now blown back on the White House." Like Lauer, she made sure to note how Obama had honored Gates: "Gates gave no hint of his resentment when he left the cabinet two years ago and President Obama awarded him the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor."
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently wrote a tell-all book that slams Congress, President Obama, and several members of the Obama administration. Over at msnbc.com, Sarah Muller highlighted some of Gates’ criticisms in a Tuesday article. However, Muller did not mention Gates’ major criticism of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In fact, Muller outright lied when she wrote this: “Gates has nothing but nice things to say about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. ‘I found her smart, idealistic but pragmatic, tough-minded, indefatigable, funny, a very valuable colleague, and a superb representative of the United States all over the world.’”