Here's something you don't see that often: The major movie studios are engaged in a bidding war over a book written by someone who served in the military and is...an outspokenly conservative Republican.
[T]here's a frenzied Hollywood bidding war going on today over the No. 1 book on The New York Times non-fiction bestseller list: Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes Of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell. Studio toppers are interrupting their vacations to try to get this book which was sold to Little Brown by superagent Ed Victor for a seven figure advance.
Bryan at Hot Air lets loose on the New Republic's Peter Beinart for his magazine's silence on the Scott Thomas Beauchamp scandal, even as Beinart appeared on an National Review Online vlog to defend the leftist fabulist.
I’ve tried to keep all emotion out of the TNR’s Scott Thomas Beauchamp scandal, but frankly, Peter Beinart’s defense of TNR in today’s What’s Your Problem (on NRO) made my blood boil a bit.
He professes shock, shock that anyone on the right would seek ideological causes for the scandal in an ideological magazine such as The New Republic.
He calls Beauchamp a “good writer,” which is obviously untrue. The man writes with more purple than Prince.
The Associated Press (via America Online) highlights how U.S. Army suicides are the highest in a quarter century, but we have to wait until the fifth paragraph to read an interesting detail:
The 99 suicides included 28 soldiers deployed to the two wars and 71 who weren't. About twice as many women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan committed suicide as did women not sent to war, the report said.
Earlier, in the second paragraph, the report states that all 99 soldiers were on "active duty." Yet, 71 of these suicides were not deployed in either Afghanistan or Iraq? Perhaps the 71 had been deployed but were not at the time of their deaths, but this is something that the AP makes the reader conjecture on his own. One is left wondering why over 70% of the suicides took place among soldiers not serving where the actual fighting is taking place.
Hot on the heels of Barack Hussein Obama claiming U.S. troops are "killing civilians", Yahoo! News runs a AFP picture (right) taken by Wissam al-Okaili showing a woman with two bullets that purportedly "hit her house" during a coalition forces raid.
I won't even insult you by pointing out what's wrong with this picture. One photographer on a forum asks "How would any photo editor ever allow such a photo to be published?" I offer two answers; 1. Because they want to believe. 2. Because they don't know the first thing about guns or bullets.
In a completely Clintonesque defense (depends what the meaning of 'is' is), some are claiming that the bullets could have "hit her house" -- had they been thrown at it. '
Today's New York Times "Political Memo" by reporter Michael Luo, "Question of Sons' Choices Dogs Romney Campaign," reached into Michael Moore territory in relaying criticism of Republican candidate Mitt Romney for his sons' failure to serve in the military during the Iraq War.
"Mitt Romney has been asked before on the campaign trail if his sons have served in the military, and he usually has dispatched the question easily enough.
"But an awkward response last week in Iowa, in which Mr. Romney said in part that 'one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected,' forced him several days later to say he misspoke and injected a discordant note into his otherwise triumphant few days after he won the state’s Republican straw poll.
I'm no expert on firearms or anything, but I'm pretty sure spent ammunition doesn't look shiny and pristine. So why did the AFP (and Yahoo!, which syndicated the photo) swallow that notion hook, line, and sinker?
For a month, the veracity of The New Republic’s Scott Thomas Beauchamp, the Army private who has been sending dispatches from the front in Iraq, has been in dispute. His latest “Baghdad Diarist” (July 13) recounted three incidents of American soldiers engaged in acts of unusual callousness. The stories were meant to shock. And they did.
In one, the driver of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle amused himself by running over dogs, crippling and killing them. In another, a fellow soldier wore on his head and under his helmet a part of a child’s skull dug from a grave. The most ghastly tale, however, was about the author himself mocking a woman that he said he saw “nearly every time I went to dinner in the chow hall at my base in Iraq.” She was horribly disfigured, half her face melted by a roadside bomb. As she sat nearby, Beauchamp said loudly, “I love chicks that have been intimate — with IEDs. It really turns me on — melted skin, missing limbs, plastic noses.”
On August 3, NewsBusters contributor Scott Whitlock noticed the network morning shows largely ignored Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) dovish blanket assertion that he would rule out the use of nuclear weapons in "any circumstances" in dealing with terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. At the time, Sen. Hillary Clinton called the pronouncement unwise. But according to the Associated Press, it appears Clinton is contradicting a statement she made in April 2006 that aligns with Obama's stance.
On August 2, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) took the opportunity to disagree with Obama's dovish stance. As the Washington Post reported in the August 3 paper:
One needs to look no further than the Associated Press's story on the Scott Beauchamp saga to understand why the general public not following the news closely doesn't "get" just how biased and antagonistic towards the war, the military, and American soldiers Old Media outlets are.
In the case of Scott Beauchamp, now that their brethren at The New Republic (TNR) have been caught red-handed publishing made-up stories, John Milburn and Ellen Simon of the Associated Press appear to be doing everything they can to cover for them -- first, with a headline (probably determined elsewhere within AP) that fails to communicate anything resembling the essence of the story, and second, by struggling mightily in their reporting to make it appear that this is a "he said, she said" dispute, instead of a situation where Beauchamp and TNR have been thoroughly discredited.
Here's the headline:
Army denounces articles written by GI
Trouble is, Paragraphs 4 through 7 of the story make it clear that this is no mere denunciation -- it's a complete repudiation that the person the Army is supposedly only "denouncing" agrees with:
Awaiting the presidential press conference shortly before 10:30 this morning, CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric tossed a question to Pentagon correspondent David Martin. But Couric apparently wasn't informed that Martin has lost his voice and was ill-equipped to go live on national television as he could barely whisper the answer to Couric's question.
Overall all the tax questions pushed Bush towards hiking taxes. Notice the first question out of the gate was on raising the gasoline tax, not about oh, how the gas tax funds are perpetually raided by Congress for non-infrastructure spending. The question on corporate tax rates and carried interest also come from the left, pushing Bush on the matter of tax "fairness." I particulary find the questions in bold obnoxious vis-a-vis fiscal policy.
11:18: president concludes news conference.
11:14, unid'd reporter: Given the decision to commute Libby, is it fair for people to ask about your commitment to accountability?
11:13, unid'd reporter, citing Libby pardon, Al Gonzales hearings: Can you give clear examples of how you've held people accountable during your presidency?
11:12, Ann, followup: So you're confident you can continue to sustain the level of spending in Iraq?
Two military veterans almost came to blows on MSNBC's "Hardball" Wednesday evening as they debated the war in Iraq, and what presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (D-New York) would do if she wins the White House.
On the left was anti-war activist Jon Soltz of VoteVets.org, who became known to most conservatives when he prevented a uniformed soldier from speaking at a YearlyKos breakout session last Friday.
On the right was Move America Forward Vice Chairman, and two-time New York Times bestselling author Buzz Patterson.
As the sparks began to fly early, I'm going to just role the tape (video available here), and allow you to read along with the transcript that follows (h/t Melanie Morgan):
The day after Barry Bonds set a dubious record, CNN's Kyra Phillips [file photo] might have set one of her own. Rather than "Career Home Runs," file this one under "Tasteless and Inappropriate Questions Posed to a Soldier in a War Zone."
At about 3:40 P.M. EDT on this afternoon's CNN Newsroom, co-anchor Phillips was interviewing Lt. General Raymond Odierno, the MNF second-in-command in Iraq.
CNN Anchor Kyra Phillips: You know there's been a lot of shifting around in positions, a lot of positions lost, key positions. Do you think that this job that you've taken on could be career suicide?
In an e-mail message, Mr. Foer said, "Thus far, we've been provided no evidence that contradicts our original statement, despite directly asking the military for any such evidence it might have," adding, "We hope the military will share what it has learned so that we can resolve this discrepancy."
Recently Oklahoma officials announced a deadline extension to order special license plates dedicated to the global war on terrorism. Oklahoma is not the only state that has one. Virginia has had one for years that reads "Fight Terrorism" and features a Pentagon, the Twin Towers, and an American flag.
In other words, this is nothing new and its an unremarkable story. Except for MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, whose staff ran the item in his blog "The NewsHole" with no comment, letting his left-wing loyalists provide the yuks. The August 2 headline, however, was a snarky, dismissive phrase: "Ridin' In Style."
While some commenters found the new plate non-controversial and wondered what the big deal was, others took the chance to mock the design.
One "T. Brooks" from Oklahoma even pulled a Natalie Maines, all while referencing a classic country hit:
As NewsBusters reported Monday, two analysts for the liberal think tank the Brookings Institution published a rather shocking op-ed at the New York Times expressing extraordinary optimism about how the surge is working in Iraq.
The pair, Kenneth Pollack and Michael O'Hanlon, were Chris Wallace's guests on "Fox News Sunday" yesterday, and continued to share positive sentiments about what's currently happening in the embattled nation.
I found a rarity in Iraq media coverage in the August 2 Washington Post: a positive story on U.S. troops in Iraq. And it was on page 11. Not A-11 or B-11 but T-11, or the 11th page of my "Prince George's Extra," a special tabloid section that comes with Thursday editions of the Washington Post.
Assume for a moment you were writing an article about how the United States had fewer troop mortalities in Iraq this July than in the last eight months. Would you do your best to present this as good news?
Well, the Associated Press' Sinan Salaheddin either woke up on the wrong side of the bed Tuesday morning, or didn't fully comprehend that when it comes to military casualties, on your team less is better.
Maybe Salaheddin thinks AP stands for "absurdly pessimistic," as despite the uplifting headline "U.S. Toll in Iraq Lowest in 8 Months," after mentioning it again in the opening paragraph, the article quickly rained on any optimism the reader might have been briefly feeling (emphasis added throughout):
Not only did segment reporter Josh Levs fail to identify many of Blumenthal’s left-wing associations (other than the fact that posted his video on the Huffington Post, which is not identified as a liberal website), he tried to cover for Blumenthal by stating that the left-wing writer "really rejects that radical left-wing label" after the co-chair of the College Republicans called Blumenthal part of "a bunch of radical left-wing people." "Newsroom" anchor Rick Sanchez closed the segment with a clip of an earlier interview where he posed Blumenthal’s question to three Republican college students earlier this month.
On Sunday, NewsBusters reported a shocking discussion that ensued on "The Chris Matthews Show" wherein five liberal media members actually debated why America shouldn't withdraw its troops from Iraq.
Maybe more shocking, the following day, an op-ed was published in the New York Times claiming that "We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, "morale is high," and, as a result, this is "a war we just might win."
Adding to the shock is that this piece was written by two members of the Brookings Institution, which even Wikipedia acknowledges is "widely regarded as being politically liberal." The authors - Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth M. Pollack - described themselves as "two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration's miserable handling of Iraq."
Not anymore. Better prepare yourself for an alternate reality (emphasis added throughout):
Something happened on Sunday's "Chris Matthews Show" that likely shocked virtually all viewers on both sides of the aisle: the panel, stocked with liberal media members as usual, actually discussed reasons why America shouldn't pull troops out of Iraq.
In fact, not only was this issue seriously debated, but some of the statements made could have come from well-known conservative columnists like Fred Barnes, Bill Kristol, and Charles Krauthammer.
One of the chief reasons that Republicans in general and Conservatives in particular were always wary of John "the maverick" McCain is the slobbering love that the MSM so constantly lavished upon him. The MSM is so distrusted that their love for McCain relayed to the country that there must be something wrong with him. As his campaign descends into ever lower depths of disarray, we may begin to see the MSM fall to the floor in abject lamentations over his demise. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth now that their favorite Republican looks to be a goner, at least if Michael Hirsh of Newsweek is any indication. In "Why McCain’s Collapse Matters", Hirsh not only laments McCain's diminishment of influence, but blames the American people for not listening to military "heroes" on how evil this war is. Hirsh also uses his piece as an excuse to repeatedly bash Fred Thompson using the media's "He's just an actor" mantra. Naturally, Hirsh learns all the wrong lessons from his review of history and displays it in this little tsk tsking tirade aimed at the American people for their gall in not fawning over McCain like the MSM does.
Thursday's NBC Nightly News combined the usual with the unusual for an evening newscast story: A breast cancer survivor story which would appeal to woman and a look at an Army Sergeant who has now fulfilled her 'dream' of getting to serve in Iraq, hardly a view expressed very often on network news. Anchor Brian Williams introduced the profile: “Tonight we have a story of a woman who is serving her country and serving as an example, in her bravery, to the rest of us.” Checking in on the state-side training being undergone by Army Sergeant Elizabeth Cowie, reporter Jennifer London explained how “it's been her dream to serve in Iraq.” Cowie, however, was sidelined by breast cancer. But now that she successfully treated it, her dream has been “realized,” London related, as “this was Sergeant Cowie's final training mission before deployment.” Cowie expressed her idealism and commitment: “We have a lot of liberties, we have a lot of freedoms that other people around the world don't have, and so for me that's important, so I'm willing to do what I have to do and put my own life at risk.”
After London's piece, Williams followed up with how Cowie arrived in Iraq and sent an e-mail to NBC News “with the following request, quote: 'Keep our soldiers in your prayers. They are the best of America.'”
Earlier today Matthew Sheffield noted that Hollywood was "gearing up to release a bunch of anti-military movies that portray veterans of the Iraq war as deranged psychopaths, screwed up by an "unjust" war."
Unfortunately we don't have to wait to whet our whistle on the entertainment industry's full court press to gin up anti-war sentiment in preparation for next year's elections. It seems that they are delivering on that promise already as hinted by last night's 10 separate "anti-war" solos that were performed on the Fox TV reality show, So You Think You Can Dance. (see Video here)
First it was the traumatized Vietnam veteran, now are Iraq vets set to become the next "progressive" cliché?
Being the strapping patriot sort of folks that they are, the Hollywood left is gearing up to release a bunch of anti-military movies that portray veterans of the Iraq war as deranged psychopaths, screwed up by an "unjust" war. The New York Times's Michael Cieply reports (h/t Instapundit):
Now some in Hollywood want moviegoers to decide if the killing is emblematic of a war gone bad, part of a new and perhaps risky willingness in the entertainment business to push even the touchiest debates about post-9/11 security, Iraq and the troops’ status from the confines of documentaries into the realm of mainstream political drama.
Korey Rowe, 24, a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq, was picked up by deputies at about 10:45 p.m. Monday, Otsego County Sheriff Richard Devlin Jr. said.
Rowe, along with Dylan Avery and Jason Bermas, are members of Louder Than Words, a production company that is working on a third edition of the movie "Loose Change," which contends the U.S. government was involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In his bio at the film's website, Rowe referenced his military service, but not that he was allegedly never officially discharged (emphasis added):
As NewsBusters reported Monday, a writer named Corey Mitchell posted an amazingly disgraceful blog at the liberal website Daily Kos Thursday stating that the United States armed forces were creating serial killers and mass murderers.
In the comment thread, Brown confirmed this wasn't satire, stating it was “all about anger, not humour” and offered a sarcastic (non) apology to an offended Koz Kid, “It was not my intent to defame or offend anyone who might sign a piece of paper saying they are available to kill whoever their marginally superior officer tells them to, wherever they are sent, for 1200 dollars a month.” That's nice. Enjoy (bold mine):
Hello, I’m A. Whitney Brown, and I support our brave troops overseas. We all do and we all should. But what about those troops who are not so brave? Perhaps they just signed up hoping for some extra money for college, for the medical insurance, or even some hot gay military sex. (...) But do I still support the individual men and women who have given so much to serve their country? (...) I think they’re a bunch of idiots. I also think they’re morally retarded. Because they sign a contract that says they will kill whoever you tell me to kill. And that is morally retarded. (...) To to sum up, I don’t like our troops, I don’t like what they’re doing, I don’t like their fat, whining families...
Doubts about the veracity of highly sensationalized accounts from Iraq written by a pseudonymous person claiming to be an American soldier have finally compelled the liberal New Republic magazine to launch an investigation, the New York Times reports:
The author, who used the pen name Scott Thomas, has written three articles for the magazine since February, describing gruesome incidents in Iraq. Last week, The Weekly Standard questioned the veracity of the New Republic articles and invited readers with knowledge about the military or Baghdad to comment.