Red Alert at the White House! How bad is the VA scandal? Bad enough to make even such as Sam Stein question liberalism. The VA scandal is getting so grievous for the Obama admin and for the liberal project at large that it has led even liberals to reconsider their most cherished ideological beliefs.
On today's Morning Joe, Sam Stein of the Huffington Post wondered "is liberalism, is progressivism, in this instance the right thing" given that the additional money the Obama admin spent on the VA has not yielded results? View the video after the jump.
ABC has failed to cover exclusive reporting from its own Jonathan Karl, ABC News’ Chief White House Correspondent, when he caught White House Press Secretary Jay Carney distorting the American Legion’s position on the VA controversy.
For the second night in a row, ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer ignored the latest in the scandal engulfing the Veterans Administration. On Monday, May 19, the Washington Times released documents that showed the Obama Administration was warned about the problems surrounding the VA as early as 2009, yet ABC has yet to cover these revelations.
The idea that Good Morning America is a superficial show is not in doubt. On Tuesday, the show's hosts devoted 12 minutes and 22 seconds to full reports on a college student stripper, a super model trying to lose weight and Dancing With the Stars. But the frivolous nature of the program often masks its liberal bias. GMA on May 20 completely ignored the revelation that Barack Obama was warned five years ago of the substandard conditions at Veterans Affairs medical facilities and that soldiers were struggling to obtain decent treatment.
That development was also avoided on ABC's World News, Monday night. What did the hosts of GMA cover instead? Juju Chang played footage of an exotic dancer and breathlessly informed: "This is how she pays her tuition. Essentially, you're a student by day and stripper by night?" Robin Roberts highlighted the efforts by super model Molly Sims to lose weight. [See below for a video montage of the morning show's most insipid news stories. MP3 audio here.]
Friday's World News on ABC mentioned the ongoing scandal surrounding the Veterans Administration only in passing, despite the fact their own chief White House correspondent, Jonathan Karl, hounded Press Secretary Jay Carney at the regular White House press briefing on the issue. Meanwhile, they set aside two full segments totaling seven minutes and 54 seconds of air time to Barbara Walters' departure from The View.
Diane Sawyer gave a 30-second news brief to a new development in the scandal – about one-sixteenth the amount of time that she and her newscast spent on Walters: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently portrayed Republican U.S. House candidate Lee Zeldin as a "coward" on its website for refusing to oppose Paul Ryan’s budget. To illustrate this they posted a picture of Zeldin’s face on the body of the cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
But it just so happens that Zeldin is an Iraq War veteran, hardly the profile of a coward. So on Friday morning, he appeared on Fox and Friends and hit back hard at his Democratic opponents. When asked his reaction to being called a coward, Zeldin responded:
Since a massive scandal involving the Veterans Affairs department became public, the three networks have devoted a combined 71 minutes and 55 seconds (or 38 stories) to investigating a secret list delaying treatment to military personnel. That total time included a scant five seconds of criticism for Barack Obama. Instead, ABC, CBS and NBC focused their stories on Secretary Eric Shinseki and to assuring Americans that the President was on top of the situation.
NBC dedicated 32 minutes and 25 seconds to the revelation that up to 40 patients in Arizona died due to lack of care. CBS managed 28 minutes and two seconds and ABC allowed 11 minutes and 28 seconds. In addition to avoiding culpability for the White House, the networks got to the story late. The story broke on April 23, but NBC didn't get around to it until the May 6 Nightly News. CBS and ABC discovered the controversy for that day's morning programs.
Chris Cuomo sparred with Senator Bernie Sanders on Thursday's New Day on CNN over the left-wing politician's scheduled hearing with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki regarding the V.A. hospitals scandal, where scores of veterans died as they waited for care. Cuomo pointed out that "the mandate for Shinseki when he was put in...was that we knew there were big lapses at the V.A. that had to be addressed, and you could argue they have not been. Isn't it time for accountability?"
When Sanders tried to shift the issue to a critique of CNN's coverage of the scandal, the anchor shot back at the Vermont senator for sounding like an apologist for the government-run health care system: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Once again, as it did a month ago in two separate stories, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, left the name of Lois Lerner, the former IRS official who ran its section on tax-exempt organizations, out of its headline and opening paragraph. This time, for good measure, AP reporter Stephen Ohlemacher didn't reveal Lerner's name until Paragraph 3.
Before getting to Ohlemacher's journalistic malpractice, let's take a look at the how the Politico handled the same story of Congress holding Ms. Lerner in contempt yesterday, and at one example of how the AP itself covered the story of another controversial figure's anticipated congressional appearance in the 1980s.
Michael Hirsh is the recently named National Editor at Politico Magazine, an effort which turning is out to be to the left of the crumbling Time Magazine and the for-now defunct Newsweek. One of Hirsh's career lowlights — he probably thinks it's a highlight — is his December 2008 contention that President George W. Bush having a shoe thrown at him in Iraq "was somehow appropriate."
Lest there be any doubt as to the possibility that there will be fair and balanced reporting on Benghazi on Hirsh's watch, I give you excerpts from "The Benghazi-Industrial Complex; Will the pseudo-scandal be enough to stop Hillary from running?" — wherein Hirsh plows new groveling ground (bolds are mine):
Reacting to the contents of Benghazi-related emails finally obtained and published by Judicial Watch, Hounshell asked, "Can you point me to a credible, authoritative story saying the WH knowingly pushed a false narrative?" Well Blake, on the off-chance that you're really interested in the truth instead of serving as one of your organization's lead Obama administration lapdogs, I give you the Tuesday night writeup from an investigative journalist who, per her "about" page, has won four national Emmy Awards and has been nominated for eight others.
This afternoon (late morning Pacific Time), Roger Simon at PJ Media had several reactions to the latest developments in the Benghazi saga, as new evidence surfaced of a White House "effort to insulate President Barack Obama from the attacks that killed four Americans." Simon's press-related assertion: "We will now see if there is even a figment of honesty in our mainstream media ..."
Though it's still early (but just barely), it's not looking good, my friend. Matt Hadro at NewsBusters indicated as much earlier tonight in noting that the TV networks have thus far ignored the news. Later, I'll show that other key online establishment press sources are also ignoring this bombshell story.
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 CBSNews.com 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.