This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend when we remember, reflect and pay homage to all the men and women who have paid the ultimate price for the freedom and prosperity we call the American way of life.
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. It came into being after the Civil War as a day set aside to honor the Union war dead, but actually Southern ladies organizations and school children had decorated the graves of the Confederate dead even as the civil war was going on.
Appearing as a guest on Sunday's Reliable Sources on CNN to plug his book, Exit Interview, former ABC News president David Westin recounted his decision to continue barring journalists from wearing American flag lapel pins on air even after the 9/11 attacks, and ended up defending his decision. Westin: (Video at bottom)
Effete: affected, overrefined, and ineffectual; see "Chris Hayes." OK, I appended the name of the MSNBC host to the dictionary definition. But if ever you wanted to see the human embodiment of the adjective in action, have a look at the video from his MSNBC show this morning of the too-refined-by-half Hayes explaining why he is "uncomfortable" in calling America's fallen military members "heroes."
Hayes is worried that doing so is "rhetorically proximate" to justifications for more war. Oh, the rhetorical proximity! View the video after the jump.
CBS This Morning stood out as the only Big Three network morning show on Thursday to cover a conservative group's allegation that the Obama administration gave a movie director and writer "special access to government officials involved in the commando operation that killed Osama bin Laden," as reported by Reuters on Wednesday. ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today ignored the story.
Correspondent Chip Reid outlined that "the documents...obtained by Judicial Watch, a conservative government watchdog group...reveal that director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal...met with top national security officials; gained access to Seal Team 6; and visited the CIA."
"A House committee chairman charged Wednesday that the CIA and Defense Department jeopardized national security by cooperating too closely with filmmakers producing a movie on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden," reported Larry Margasak of the Associated Press yesterday. "[Rep. Peter] King [R-N.Y.] referred to documents obtained by Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act request. He said the filmmakers received 'extremely close, unprecedented and potentially dangerous collaboration' from the Obama administration."
Margasak's story on Rep. Peter King's hearing investigating the matter was printed in today's Washington Post, but editors buried the item on page C4, deep in the heart of the Style section, which typically reports on fashion, music, and the entertainment industry. Noted Margasak:
Charlie Rose desperately tried to find confirmation from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday's CBS This Morning on whether President Obama is a good commander-in-chief: "You can answer this question as well as anyone I know....do you give President Obama high marks in the national security arena?" Gates exposed Rose's pro-Obama tactic when he laughingly replied, "If I don't, I'm sort of giving myself a flunking grade."
The veteran national security official did his best to nuance his eventual answer, but still ended up giving his former boss the grade that the anchor was looking for: "He [Obama] was as aggressive, if not more so, in going after terrorists and al Qaeda. I think that the relationship with China has been managed pretty well. So, yeah, I think they've done a pretty good job."
The print and online guardians in the establishment press may have to open a new case of ellipses and order extra pairs of paraphrases to deal with this one. Video and audio editing will be easier, if not ethical (NBC has taught us that during the past several weeks).
Declaring what everyone with a functioning brain has known all along -- namely that President Barack Obama supports same-sex marriage but hasn't had the political integrity to admit as much until now -- the commander-in-chief of the nation's armed forces told ABC News that "when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines (sic) or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married." Yes, he said that our military is out there fighting on his behalf (links are later in this post; HT to an emailer).
The target of MSNBC's demon deacon today was Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), whom Bashir was calling to account for his plans to vote for a bill that would spare the Pentagon of budget cuts by trimming social welfare spending elsewhere in the federal budget.
It has now been a year since Osama bin Laden became a ghost courtesy of the United States SEALs. I had long since come to the conclusion that Osama became crˆpes suzettes for the worms back in Tora Bora in December 2001, and I was somewhat stubborn in my belief. Yet he fooled me and the student of Araby Mark Steyn and a few other pundits. I shall be a big enough man to admit it. I was wrong.
Apparently, Osama took up residence in the wilds of Pakistan, where he believed he was safe. Doubtless like-minded pietists in the Pakistani army or intelligence community told him he would be safe there. They were doubtless proud of their world-famous tenant. Well, they were asleep on the night of May 2, 2011, or they had the good sense not to get involved. When the US helicopters swooped in, Osama was pitifully exposed. He had no guards that we know of, save a few women. Several doors collapsed before our tough troops, and pop, he was on his way to the 72 virgins in Heaven or the 42 cows or whatever the Muslim theologians estimate the Hereafter to be composed of. At any rate I am glad he is gone, and doubtless you are too.
"Russia's top military officer told a conference in Moscow attended by senior U.S. and NATO officials that Russia would mount a preemptive strike on U.S.-led NATO missile defense facilities in Eastern Europe if Washington goes ahead with its plan to build a missile shield," the Associated Press has reported.
The Washington Post carried the 5-paragraph story, but buried it on page A6 of the May 4 paper under the headline, "Military ups the ante on missile defense."
Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has now been formally exposed for lying about her knowledge of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding by a new book from a former CIA counterterrorism officer who actually gave her a briefing about them.
In other words, Pelosi and other congressional Democrats who later decried the use of "torture" when it became politically advantageous, knew about and did not object to them for years beforehand:
On Friday evening, it was Christopher Rugaber and Paul Wiseman. Today it's Martin Crutsinger. Together with Derek Kravitz (who isn't in on the latest offense -- yet), perhaps the just-named quartet of alleged journalists should be named "The Four Distortsmen."
Today, it was Crutsinger who, in the wake of a mediocre report on consumer spending, again invoked "government budget-cutting as the primary culprit explaining why the economy only grew by an estimated annualized 2.2% during the first quarter:
Classic MSM jujitsu. Chuck Todd has attempted to turn the issue of President Obama's unseemly spiking of the football on the anniversary of the killing of Osama Bin Laden, into an attack on Republicans for reacting to Obama's politicization of the event.
On his MSNBC show The Daily Rundown, Todd began his discussion of the matter this morning by asking the Washington Post's Dan Balz whether he was surprised by how "aggressive" the Romney campaign has been on the matter. A bit later Todd suggested to Clarence Page that Republicans were "overreacting" to Obama's boasts. Right. Romney should run a passive campaign, like, say John McCain did! Good-loser Republicans: yeah, that's the MSM ticket! Video after the jump.
A week ago, National Journal's Michael Hirsh quoted an unnamed State Department official who claimed that "The war on terror is over. Now that we have killed most of al Qaida, now that people have come to see legitimate means of expression, people who once might have gone into al Qaida see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism." If it's so over, then why were government officials referenced in Kimberly Dozier's Associated Press report this evening about the state of Al Qaida a year after Osama Bin Laden's death "on condition of anonymity because they say publicly identifying themselves could make them a target of the terrorist group"?
Dozier is a noteworthy exception to the usually dreadful reporting at the wire service, and has a personal reason for having her eyes open. While she was with CBS News in May 2006, she was critically injured by an IED in Iraq. After nine months, she returned to work. According to Wikipedia she joined the AP in the spring of 2010.
In the first quarter of 2012, the federal government spent $966 billion. That's 10% more than the $877 billion spent during the previous quarter, and 2% more than the $949 spent during the first quarter of 2011.
Yet the party line Friday evening from Christopher Rugaber and Paul Wiseman at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, is that economic growth in the first quarter, which the government preliminarily told us yesterday was an annualized 2.2% (trailing consensus estimates of 2.6%), was so mediocre because of "government budget-cutting." A closer look indicates that if anything, they should have tagged it as defense budget-cutting and never did; the rest of government spending continues to balloon out of control. The pair's opening six paragraphs follow the jump.
In his report on the February 2012 monthly federal deficit on March 12, Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press (aka the Administration's Press) told readers that the month's deficit was $232 billion, but "somehow" forgot to tell readers that it was an all-time record for a single month in U.S. government history.
Well, there's good news, much worse news, and an utterly predictable agenda-driven item in the AP's coverage of March's deficit, this time courtesy of the wire service's Martin Crutsinger. The good news is that Crutsinger recognized that March's deficit was the highest on record for any March. The much worse news is that, as I forecast AP and others would do at my home blog last last week when the Congressional Budget Office estimated March's results, he failed to tell readers that March's spending of $369.37 billion was the highest single-month amount ever recorded by $30.32 billion -- a whopping 8.9% above the previous record of 339.05 billion set in March 2011. The increase is largely due to the fact that checks for many April 1 items were written on March 30 because April 1 was a Sunday, but a record is a record, and failing to recognize one (and only then trying to explain it away if there is cause for it) is shoddy journalism. The utterly predictable agenda-driven item is after the jump.
ABC’s new drama set in Washington D.C. does nothing to encourage bi-partisanship. “Scandal” is another liberal product of the network, and is a blatant platform for lefty views and policies. The fledgling series is supposedly based on true events, and touts ruthless lawyer Olivia Pope, who was previously employed in the White House.
The debut episode centered on a murder case involving Medal of Honor recipient and Republican party poster boy Lt. Colonel Sullivan St. James. The veteran soldier was a staunch conservative, deacon in his church and vehemently anti-gay. Of course, the alibi proving him innocent of murder was a surveillance tape showing St. James kissing another man.
Some on the left have noted a disturbing trend – despite their best efforts, people keep seeing the U.S. military as admirable. When Seal Team 6 killed Osama Bin Laden on the orders of a liberal Democrat commander in chief, lefties had to endure the nation’s celebration of the special ops warriors. Then “Act of Valor” his theaters last month, and a variety of liberal outlets branded the heroic film as propaganda.
And now singer Katy Perry – who, as an entertainer, should know better – has made a video celebrating the training and commitment of U.S. Marines.
On Monday's NBC Today, Tom Brokaw reported on veteran Mike Wright returning from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan to continue work at New York's Indian Point nuclear power plant: "Entergy, Wright's employer, supported his deployments. Veteran hiring is a priority for the company, not out of sympathy, but as an investment in the bottom line....Mike Wright and Entergy, that's how it's supposed to work."
Now compare that praise for the plant's hiring practices, with NBC News fear-mongering almost exactly one year ago, shortly after the earthquake and nuclear crisis in Japan. On the March 20, 2011 Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt ominously warned: "A government report has found the plant with the highest risk of core damage from an earthquake here is just about 35 miles from our studios here in New York City at the Indian Point plant."
Pop star Katy Perry could teach the liberal media a thing or two about patriotism and appreciation for the U.S. military. For her new music video "Part of Me," the singer embraced her inner, gritty “GI Jane” and trained alongside female Marines to deliver an authentic performance in her new military-inspired video.
CNN's Don Lemon launched a heavy defense of President Obama's apology for the Koran burnings in Afghanistan, in lieu of criticism Obama has received from GOP presidential candidates. In his Sunday night segment entitled "No Talking Points," Lemon ironically threw Democratic talking points at the Republicans.
Lemon claimed neutrality over Obama's apology before offering all the reasons why it is not the scandal Republicans are claiming it to be. Lemon quoted Presidents Bush, Clinton, and Reagan apologizing for the slave trade, the Abu Gharib prison scandal, and the internment of Japanese-American citizens during World War II. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
As violent, deadly demonstrations have broken out in Afghanistan following the recent accidental burning of Korans, it's interesting to look back nearly three years ago when the U.S. military burned a shipment of Holy Bibles written in the Pashto and Dari languages. The military destroyed the Bibles rather than ship them back stateside apparently out of fear the American church that sent them would just try shipping them back through other channels to Afghanistan.
The al-Jazeera network was involved in the breaking of the story, but a search of Nexis found no stories from the time by the Washington Post or New York Times nor the ABC, CBS, or NBC networks about the disposal of the Christian holy texts.
In an MSNBC "Lean Forward" promo aired on today's Morning Joe, Tamron Hall says she's been upset and saddened by the use of patriotism and military families as political pawns.
So where did Hall station herself for purposes of the spot? Why, in front of an A-4 Skyhawk military jet! As she so often does during her on-air appearances, Hall also spoke of her background as member of a military family. Speaking of using the military as a pawn, have you ever heard Hall or any of her MSNBC cohorts criticize President Obama for staging shots like the one seen [along with the Lean Forward video] after the jump?
On Monday, Calvin Woodward, with help from Martin Crutsinger and Pete Yost, produced a "Fact Check" on the budget proposal the White House released earlier that day.
After properly criticizing the administration's plan to use "about $850 billion in savings from ending the wars and steers some $230 billion of that to highways" (and actually quoting someone knowledgeable, who pointed out that "Drawing down spending on wars that were already set to wind down and that were deficit-financed in the first place should not be considered savings"), Woodward went off the rails:
Pressing Rick Santorum on his opposition to women serving in combat, CNN's Wolf Blitzer quoted a liberal veteran who harshly criticized Santorum's policy. Blitzer did not identify the veteran or his group as "liberal," thus failing to address the critic's possible political motives against the conservative candidate.
"A very angry response from one veteran," Blitzer noted, before quoting the co-founder of VoteVets.org. The group identifies itself as the "largest progressive organization of veterans in America." [Video below the break.]
In the only network morning show interview with Rick Santorum in the wake of his three-state victory on Tuesday, NBC Today co-host Ann Curry on Friday pestered the former Pennsylvania senator on whether he would "commit" not to do any negative campaigning and attempted to portray his recent comments on women serving in military combat roles as a gaffe.
Curry put this question to Santorum early in the interview: "...it is clear that negative campaigning generates votes....aren't you going to now have to go negative? Will you commit that your – you and your PACs will not? Or are you going to have to now?"
A new Washington Post/ABC News poll with a striking finding has New York Times Editorial Page editor Andrew Rosenthal in dismay: 53 percent of self-described liberal Democrats support keeping Guantanamo Bay open. Does this mean their previous virulent opposition was not based on concern for civil liberties, but was just partisan Bush-hatred? Of course not.
Rosenthal’s Thursday morning post “Hurray for Guantanamo Bay” ignored that clear Democratic hypocrisy while making excuses for President Obama. Apparently it’s all the fault of Republicans in Congress. (Left-wing civil liberties advocate Glenn Greenwald strongly disagreed in a March 2011 op-ed for Salon.) Rosenthal wrote:
In his pre-Super Bowl interview with Matt Lauer on Sunday, President Obama was asked the following question about Iran in light of the heightening tensions over its nuclear program and the possibility of an Israeli air strike: "(In repsonse) Do you fear that they will wage attacks within the United States on American soil?" Obama responded as follows: "We don't see any evidence that they have those intentions or capabilities right now."
Really? The President's statement directly goes against statements made recently by other government officials, up to and including Attorney General Eric Holder. Lauer, who is paid to look good while delivering the news and conducting interviews but not necessarily to deliver on substance, especially if it might disturb the American people before the Big Game, totally missed the contradiction. Fortunately, Ed Lasky at American Thinker didn't (internal links added by me):
In two items about today's report on economic growth from the federal government's Bureau of Economic Analysis today, Martin Crutsinger claimed that today's lower-than-expected annualized growth of 2.8% during the fourth quarter of 2011 (vs. expectations of 3% or higher) was hurt because of big "cuts" in government spending, especially federal spending -- supposedly the biggest cuts in 40 years. I guess the underlying message is supposed to be that Congress shouldn't try to reduce federal programs any more, because already they're allegedly being cut at historic rates.
Baloney. Crutsinger was either being incredibly ignorant by assuming that all government spending is part of GDP (it's not; only government purchases of goods and services are components of GDP), or he deliberately deceived his readers. At the federal level, purchases of goods and services and "investment" are only about 30% of all government spending. Total spending has hardly gone down at all. Here are the relevant paragraphs from his two reports: