Over the weekend, Time Magazine published a long, glowing profile of Tom Hanks to help promote his upcoming HBO miniseries “The Pacific.” And as with all things entertainment media, the subject is never challenged or even made to shift uncomfortably in his seat. The push to ascend Hanks to “national treasure” status is clearly on.
Hanks does seem to be a genuinely nice man and the work he’s done to bring American history to life on film is impressive, especially during a time when the singling out of America’s exceptionalism is more and more frowned upon in artistic and academic circles. ”From the Earth to the Moon,” “Band of Brothers,” and “John Adams” are not only artistic achievements, but in this MTV-addled culture, might be the best hope of teaching America’s youth about the unique history and greatness of this nation. And I suspect ”The Pacific,” the 10-part miniseries premiering this Sunday on HBO (which Big Hollywood’s Michael Broderick will cover extensively) will be a worthy addition to what came before.
But when it comes to leftist Hollywood, whenever Tinseltown and America meet, you have to brace yourself for it — and by “it” I mean the leftist sucker punch. Throughout, Hanks sounds perfectly reasonable, intelligent and even patriotic for a couple of thousand words. But of course that’s just the lure to get us on his side before we’re walloped with this left cross: [emphasis mine]
“Despite persistent violence and a critical election coming up, President Obama hardly ever mentions the war in Iraq,” Joseph Curl reports in today’s Washington Times, and the news media are largely aiding in this neglect. Curl discloses that “the last time a White House reporter asked about the Iraq war was June 26,” while ABC, CBS and NBC aired just 80 minutes of coverage in all of 2009.
The near-media blackout means that the success of President Bush’s “surge” policy in 2007 — a policy opposed by President Obama and Vice President Biden when both were presidential candidates and ridiculed by the networks as a "Lost Cause" — has gone virtually unreported in the past year. This week’s Newsweek is an exception, with a big Iraq War cover story declaring “Victory at Last.”
Earlier this afternoon, NB's Tim Graham noted how NPR's Robert Siegel and Pew Research pollster Andrew Kohut spoke approvingly of "Millennials" as being "less 'militaristic' and less religious" than their elders.
At end of his post, Graham noted that Siegel and Kohut "somehow" forgot to discuss the key political finding in the poll, namely that the demographic's 32-point favoritism towards Democrats (62% to 30%) has declined by more than half (to 54% to 40%) in just one year of living in Obamaland. Shoot, if that trend continues for another nine months, it will be almost all even by Election Day in November.
It’s one thing to advocate for the repeal of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" (DADT). It’s altogether another to maintain that you find the other side of the argument “incomprehensible.” But that’s what Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus did in her Feb. 24 column, “The Inevitable Backlash on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’”
While stating that DADT should be repealed, Marcus professed to be perplexed at why some are hesitant to repeal the military’s policy and frustrated that the top brass chose not to precipitate the change all at once.
On Monday’s NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams updated viewers on possibly the most decorated American war hero of the modern era, Colonel Robert Howard, as the Vietnam War veteran was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetary. Williams had taken a moment on his show in December to commemorate his passing. On Monday, Williams recounted:
Between its January 31 and February 20 reports on developments in the "interrogation memos" saga, the Associated Press may have learned a lesson in basic journalism from a NewsBusters commenter. I'll describe; readers can decide.
The wire service's unbylined report three weeks ago opened with this paragraph:
“I have nightmares sometimes you know. I’m gonna wake up and everyone’s gonna be driving Priuses…living in a condo…we’re all getting health insurance,” musician Kid Rock lamented during an interview with Fox News.
Kid Rock has been a constant presence overseas, offering his talent and support to lift U.S. troops in war.Always loath to discuss or pontificate upon politics publicly, the rock star sat down with Megyn Kelly Wednesday for a short segment on “America Live.”
Citing the recent CBS/New York Times Poll which shows that Americans want a smaller government with fewer services by a wide margin over big government, Kelly asked her guest: “When you’re out there, you’re talking to people, what are they saying to you? What is your reaction to all this government spending?”
The New York Times has apparently discovered its inner patriot. The paper decided after a request from the White House to hold off publishing key information about the war effort in Afghanistan for fear of alerting the enemy to key U.S. intelligence.
The Times and its executive editor Bill Keller, who defended the decision, have left the nation collectively uttering, "It's about time." Now that's change we can believe in.
Keller told WNYC radio today that two Times reporters had a story ready to go on Thursday about the capture of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban's top military commander in Pakistan. The paper decided to hold off on running the story until today, the date the White House requested.
The National Security Council, Keller recalled, "thought it had been a clean snatch and they were afraid once the word got out, other Taliban officials would go deeper underground or take measures to cover their tracks. So they asked us to hold off for a while."
Rather than lie low, Murtha further made himself a target with public comments in the spring of 2006 pressuring the Marine command to investigate allegations of civilian casualties at Haditha, Iraq. This infuriated many Marines, and critics argued that the congressman had become more partisan himself out of loyalty to Pelosi.
But Murtha went beyond pressing for a formal military investigation, which is a legitimate call any congressman could and should make after an incident like Haditha. The former Marine practically declared the Marines at Haditha guilty by saying they have killed "in cold blood."
Dana Milbank of The Washington Post couldn't contain his glee over Joint Chief of Staffs chairman Admiral Mike Mullen's Feb. 2 testimony in favor of overturning "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
"Mike Mullen's 42 years in the military earned him a chest full of ribbons, but never did he do something braver that what he did on Capitol Hill on Tuesday," began Milbank's Feb. 3 ode to the admiral. "In a packed committee room, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff looked hostile Republican senators in the eye and told them unwelcome news: He thinks gays should be allowed to serve openly in the armed forces he commands."
"If they awarded decorations for congressional testimony, Mullen would have himself a Medal of Honor," concluded the columnist.
Mullen explained his "personal belief" to the Senate Armed Services "that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do."
"No matter how I look at the issues, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens," he elaborated. "For me personally, it comes down to integrity - theirs as individuals and ours as an institution."
Milbank's praise of Mullen's testimony is a complete 180 from how he characterized the testimony of Elaine Donnelly at a House Armed Services personnel subcommittee hearing about the same topic in 2008.
There are at least two sides to every argument, unless the issue is homosexuality. Then, according to CNN, there's only one side and it's the homosexual activists who get to tell it.
CNN advocated a repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy in 12 different reports between Jan. 28, the day after President Barack Obama reiterated his pledge to end the current military policy of banning openly gay citizens from the United States military in his State of the Union address and Feb. 2.
CNN allowed spokespeople from gay advocacy organizations such as Servicemembers United, the Log Cabin Republicans and the Palm Center, as well as several former and active gay military personnel, to plead their case without challenge
Of the 12 people CNN chose to appear on air (nine were military personnel) to discuss "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," only one expressed support of the current policy. Despite a Military Times poll that indicated 58 percent of military personnel are opposed to allowing openly gay people in the military, 78 percent (7 out of 9) of the military personnel featured in CNN's recent reports expressed their desire to allow homosexuals in the armed forces. One person remained neutral.
"Our deployed soldiers deserve to have their full rights," an anonymous female soldier told CNN's Ted Rowlands.
ABC, CBS and NBC all aired full stories Tuesday night on Admiral Mike Mullen’s testimony against “don’t ask/don’t tell” before the Senate Armed Services Committee, but only ABC led with the comments from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) as anchor Diane Sawyer called it “a dramatic day on Capitol Hill” and reporter Martha Raddatz trumpeted: “This will be dramatically-debated for days to come, but what we heard today from the military on Capitol Hill was truly historic.”
Katie Couric set up the CBS Evening News story: “It's been U.S. policy for nearly 17 years now, gays and lesbians may serve in the military but only if they keep quiet about their sexual orientation. Today, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff made an impassioned plea to Congress to change the law.”
On NBC, Brian Williams drew historic parallels: “62 years ago today, President Truman ordered the Defense Secretary to take the needed steps to remove discrimination in the military. He was talking about race. Today the topic was sexual orientation, specifically the Clinton-era policy known as 'don't ask/don't tell,' a policy that is now on borrowed time.”
Quoting from the film A Few Good Men, on Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith asked openly gay Army Lieutenant Dan Choi if the U.S. military was prepared for the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy to be overturned by the Obama administration: “Older members of the military are not very interested in seeing this policy changed at all....Do you think the military can handle the truth?”
The policy, created by Bill Clinton’s administration in 1993, allows homosexuals to serve in the military as long as they do not publically come out. Choi, who is facing discharge from the Army for doing just that, replied to Smith’s movie reference: “Well, I think that there are some people in the military that might have grown up in a different era, and they have fear, obviously, with the change they might think that it’s too difficult for them....Don’t assume that because you might be uncomfortable or certain people might be uncomfortable that that translates to unprofessional or lack of discipline.”
Smith began the segment by proclaiming “the beginning of the end” of the policy as Defense Secretary Robert Gates began to reexamine it. A headline on-screen read: “Do Ask, Do Tell? Pentagon Plan To Be Unveiled Today.”
On his January 29 program, MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan introduced Rall as "an award-winning cartoonist who caught our eye with cartoons like this one showing some Wall Street types chatting about President Obama's bank tax."
But Ratigan must be ignorant of or apathetic regarding Rall's penchant for soldier-smearing left-wing screeds. After all, he all but personally endorsed Rall's fundraising pitch (audio available here):
If Christians in the military were emblematic of George W. Bush, would the media suggest that this great Pagan Opening is symbolic of the Obama era?
From an offical Academy press release:
The Air Force Academy chapel will add a worship area for followers of Earth-centered religions during a dedication ceremony, which is tentatively scheduled to be held at the circle March 10....
Tech. Sgt. Brandon Longcrier, NCO in charge of the Academy's Astronautics laboratories, worked with the chapel to create the official worship area for both cadets and other servicemembers in the Colorado Springs area who practice Earth-centered spirituality...
Well if you can't win the propaganda war by twisting the content of something you don't like, you can at least plant a presumptive seed in the heads of those who will only see a story's headline.
That seems to be the logic behind an unbylined Associated Press report this morning. Its headline ("Report: No sanctions for lawyers who OK'd torture") would tend cause anyone not reading further to believe that what was under review is indisputably considered "torture." But that is not the case, and the underlying article itself proves it.
What follows is a graphic capture of the first few paragraphs of the AP report:
Based on the two pictures seen at the right, it doesn't exactly take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that the people at the Associated Press who decide on what pictures to use to tease the wire service's assorted video clips are not all favorably inclined towards Tony Blair.
Rather than show a picture of the former UK Prime Minister, the AP chose pics of a demonstrator outside where the inquiry was held.
As of about 8 PM ET, the "Raw Video" feed was still in the rotation and easily accessible at many hosted.ap.org pages carrying an international story. An accessible link to that vid is here at YouTube.
Maybe it’s just happy coincidence. Maybe Hollywood really is taking White House suggestions for its scripts. Or maybe liberal group think has evolved to the point where they don’t just think the same things, they think them at the same time.
Whatever the case, just a day after President Obama’s “surprise announcement” in his State of the Union speech that he intends to overturn the military’s “Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell” policy, the issue surfaced again in prime time. And the inclusion of propaganda in a TV drama was even more incongruous and gratuitous than Obama’s sop to his left wing.
The Jan. 28 episode of Fox’s forensics-based crime drama, “Bones,” centered on the murder of a gay man, and the writers took the opportunity to inject some standard talking points about the inequity of gays being unable to marry and the threat of physical violence from straight men.
The "Hardball" host today described the California Democratic senator as a "level-headed" "centrist," indeed the "true north of American politics" in a segment in which he showed Feinstein saying that President Obama reconsider the arrangements for the federal criminal trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in lower Manhattan:
Managing Editor's Note: The following was originally published at Greyhawk's Mudville Gazette blog on January 25, 2010.
Wow - growing evidence that multiple identical letters appearing in multiple different newspapers under multiple names implies some sort of astroturf campaign. I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, at this development.
Just wait 'til the even bigger news sites discover this story. I don't have to wonder what will happen - I know - and whoever launched these various letter-writing campaigns should be well aware of what's coming, too. After all, it's happened before, and not long ago... (screen wavers, fades out... and...)
CNN’s Jack Cafferty blasted the Defense Department’s report on the Fort Hood massacre as a “joke” on Thursday’s Situation Room, singling out how there was “no mention in the report of the suspect’s [Major Nidal Hasan] views of Islam.” Cafferty also highlighted a recent Gallup poll that found that “43 percent of Americans admit to feeling at least a little prejudice toward Muslims.”
The CNN commentator wasted no time in criticizing the 86-page report released by the Pentagon on the Fort Hood shootings: “The Pentagon report into the massacre at Fort Hood, Texas that left 13 people dead- it’s a joke. No mention in the report of the suspect’s views of Islam- none- in fact, the 86-page report doesn’t even once mention Major Nidal Hasan by name. It lumps in radical Islam with other fundamentalist religious beliefs, and instead, focuses on things like military personnel policies and the emergency response to the November shootings.”
Cafferty later read a quote from 9/11 Commission member John Lehman, and continued his attack on the report: “Lehman...told Time magazine the Pentagon’s silence on Islamic extremism- quote, ‘shows you how deeply entrenched the values of political correctness have become,’ unquote. What a shame....The Pentagon acknowledges it did not focus so much on Hasan’s motives, as on what it called ‘actions and effects.’ The report says they didn’t want to interfere with the criminal probe into Major Hasan. Garbage.”
President Obama's handpicked intelligence czar blames officials at the FBI and the Department of Justice for failing to permit the gathering critical intelligence from Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called Underwear Bomber who attempted to down a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas Day 2009.
What's more, neither Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair nor FBI director Mueller or Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano were "consulted about the charging decision" for Abdulmutallab, a decision which may have resulted in the loss of a golden opportunity to collect intelligence from the would-be bomber before he was able to lawyer up.
Oh, and did I mention that the special task force that President Obama commissioned precisely for these situations isn't fully operational yet?
Minimizing to nearly zero the possible relevance of the suspect's home country of residence and of the possibility that he might be affiliated with what one publication refers to as the "Nigerian Taliban."
The wire service's 11:04 p.m. report (not linked, as original was revised by AP), had this to say about the relevance of Nigeria in its 23rd paragraph of 26:
On Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams took a moment to remember Vietnam War veteran, retired Colonel Robert Howard, who was awarded many honors for his heroic service, including the Medal of Honor, eight Purple Hearts, four Bronze Stars, and two Dinstinguished Service Crosses. Williams began his tribute: "We have a brief special word tonight about a very special man whose story you should know about, in part because his story will be told for generations to come. Robert Howard might have been the toughest American alive while he was among us. Bob was the only man ever to be nominated for the Medal of Honor three times for three separate acts of staggering heroism in combat."
After recounting some of the honors bestowed upon Colonel Howard, Williams related: "It's believed Bob Howard was the most heavily-decorated American veteran of the modern era, period."
The NBC anchor further recounted: "In one 54-month period he was wounded 14 times. He served five tours of duty in Vietnam. And in recent years, he loved his trips to Iraq and Afghanistan to visit the men and women in uniform and in the fight there."
It looks like the PC Police will have to put out an APB for Time Magazine's Bobby Ghosh, his layers of editors, and his managers.
First, Ghosh had the unmitigated gall to write an item called "Domestic Terror Incidents Hit a Peak in 2009." In it, he notes that the "2009 saw an unprecedented surge in terror 'events' on U.S. soil." Clearly Ghosh doesn't understand that we're in a new era where the rest of the world reflexively loves us, thanks to our ever-apologetic president.
Ghosh compounded his error by saying that the November killings at a U.S. military base were t-t-t- .... terror-related:
In his swan song interview with President Barack Obama, which consumed more than ten minutes of World News, ABC's Charles Gibson couldn't have provided a friendlier or more empathetic platform to Obama on the “weight” of sending troops to war and how “devilishly difficult” it's become to pass a health care plan because of a few rogue Senators. Gibson, set to retire Friday, teased his last Wednesday newscast:
Welcome to World News. Tonight, we broadcast from the White House. And in the headlines, one on one. Our conversation with the President in which he says he lost sleep over his decision to send more troops to Afghanistan, and makes a dire warning about health care.
That “dire warning,” which Gibson did not challenge in the interview: “If we don't pass it, here's the guarantee: the federal government will go bankrupt.”
Gibson began with Afghanistan, recalling how commanders don't “commit kids to war,” they just follow the President's orders, “and I thought, 'Holy God, what a weight that is on your shoulders.'” After Obama ruminated at length on the “gravity” of the “tough” analysis process he went through, Gibson wondered about the inner Obama: “How did you change from the beginning of that analysis and process that you went through to the end, inside you?”
It is with heavy heart that I report the following: Two great CBS television dramas, NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles, went the way of Law and Order last night (hat tip to NewsBusters reader Chris Reising). If you’re a fan and have not seen last night’s episode, be warned that this blog contains plot spoilers. [audio clip available here]
Now is the time of year when the network dramas are running the “Happy Holidays” message episodes. The NCIS franchise, a sort of military CSI show, ran with this message in each of last night’s episodes – with a twist. On NCIS, a young Marine is found murdered. He is found to be a recent convert to Islam (formerly a Christian), and the son of a retired Christian Marine chaplain. As the plot progresses, we find that the widow (also a Christian) has been, shall we say, unfaithful during her husband’s deployment. The father (the chaplain) has been paying his son’s unit members to harass him into quitting the Marines. And the murderer, we find, is the brother of the deceased.