Reacting to allegations that the White House leaked several pieces of highly classified national security information to the press for political gain, on Monday's NBC Today, left-wing MSNBC host Chris Hayes demanded: "I think we need more leaks and not less...we should know how the war is operating and what's going on with a kill list that's operating out of the White House or what covert activities we're engaged in." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Only seconds earlier, fellow guest Meghan McCain, daughter of Arizona Senator John McCain, explained that her father called the leaks "the worst security breach he's ever seen in his entire career." She added: "...whomever is doing this is not putting their country first and thinking about America and the safety of our troops, and that's scary."
Appearing as a panel member during the "Roundtable" segment of Sunday's This Week on ABC, conservative commentator Ann Coulter reminded panel members that President Obama had received criticism that he divulged too much information about the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan when it was announced a year ago, as the group discussed accusations that White House members have divulged classified information to benefit President Obama politically.
The conservative commentator also called out liberals for criticizing President Bush as being too harsh in his detention of terror suspects while being more restrained in criticizing President Obama's methods in conducting the war on terrorism:
If an extraterrestrial had tuned into Good Morning America today and watched ABC News's report on national security leaks, he would have come away thinking the Obama administration was valiantly, aggressively pursuing the leakers. ET wouldn't have learned that there is good reason to suspect that the source of the leaks . . . is the Obama administration itself.
An attentive viewer might have noticed that the screen graphic referred to the White House and Congress being investigated. But the report by ABC's Pierre Thomas never hinted that the Obama administration was itself being accused of being the source of the leaks. To the contrary, Thomas framed the issue this way: "freedom of the press and the public's right to know is now on collision course with the government's desire to protect national security secrets." Translation: the Obama admin is, even at the risk of impinging on other values, leading the fight to protect national security. Gag us with a background briefing! View the video after the jump.
Uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, ABC's World News on Thursday ran a report which informed viewers that Democrats in Congress have joined Republicans in accusing the Obama administration of leaking classified information, jeopardizing the country's ability to recruit spies in other countries to help the U.S. in the future.
Host Diane Sawyer introduced the report by suggesting that administration officials have leaked sensitive information to benefit President Obama politically, noting that Democrats have weighed in against the White House as well:
When Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, appeared as a guest on Monday's Today show on NBC for the Memorial Day occasion, substitute co-anchor Savannah Guthrie raised concerns from the right about whether announcing the timeline of a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan might benefit Taliban insurgents tactically. Guthrie:
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)
On Thursday's Piers Morgan Tonight, during an interview with Obama supporter and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, host Piers Morgan declared that he was "absolutely thrilled" when President Obama promised to close Guantanamo Bay, and showed disappointment that Obama "broke that promise."
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."
Hours after New York blogger Christian Browne wrote on his blog, “The New York Conservative,” that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed should be quickly executed, Google shut down his blog, which was hosted on Google's free Blogger service.
While the blog – including the post that appears to have triggered its deletion – have since been restored, the circumstances of its deletion by Google remain murky – and raise a serious issue both for Google and for conservatives who use the web to spread conservative ideas and messages.
Appearing as a guest on Friday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, comedian Adam Carolla took exception with a recent interview on CBS's 60 Minutes with former CIA interrogator Jose Rodriguez, who is promoting a book about his experiences in counterterrorism, in which correspondent Lesley Stahl questioned whether the interrogation techniques used against a prisoner involved in the al-Qaeda terrorism group were too harsh.
Carolla went on to quip that if Michael Moore and Tim Robbins produced a child together, such liberals would support torture to save their child's life in spite of any political complaints they might publicly have. Carolla:
Over at Daily Kos, "Zenox" wants the online world to know that President Obama is much, much scarier to Islamic terrorists than President Bush ever was. The worry is that al-Qaeda has "decided to make a showcase of a U.S. aid worker (Warren Weinstein) kidnapped in Pakistan in 2011" and this "hostage who happens to be a Jewish American (I am guessing from his name)" is a trap to sabotage Obama's re-election.
We're assured "The Taliban, al-Qaeda, Islamists do not want Barack Obama to get re-elected. Period. And frankly who could blame them? They had it pretty good during the Bush years." (Italics theirs.)
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.
It's becoming crystal clear that President Obama stepped on his foot while taking a victory lap for the assassination of Osama bin Laden one year ago.
Joining the growing list of even liberal media members offended by this shameless act of self-promotion was PBS's Tavis Smiley who on ABC's This Week Sunday actually said, "I just hate seeing the president play into the hands of the right by running around bragging about having to off Osama bin Laden...I don't think it's presidential" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It's become a huge source of contention that in the Obama campaign ad featuring the current White House resident shamelessly congratulating himself for killing Osama bin Laden, former President Clinton says that if SEALs had been captured or killed during the raid, "The downside would have been horrible for him."
Time magazine published an article last week by former Newsweek editor Jon Meacham wherein the words "for him" were mysteriously edited out (video of ad in question also follows with transcript and commentary):
While President Obama and his adoring media did a victory lap on the one year anniversary of Osama bin Laden's assassination, Fareed Zakaria had a completely different take about how the War on Terror is going.
On CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS Sunday, the host said, "We don't look like people who have won a war. We look like scared, fearful losers" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Ann Coulter is fond of pointing out how, attitudinally, Fox News is different from the rest of the American media. Sure, the non-Fox media are dominated by people who lean leftward, but beyond that, how they approach the news that is beyond the daily partisan talking points is also fundamentally different from what moderates or conservatives would do.
This aspect of liberal bias is probably hardest for liberal journalists to detect because it requires a degree of perspective that most lack. Outside observers can see it and have no problem pointing it out. What's interesting is that even members of Al Qaeda can see that Fox is different from the rest of the American press. That is not a good thing for the Non-Fox Media, however.
NBC's special presentation of Rock Center on the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden's assassination wasn't just a victory lap for Barack Obama.
It was also a chance for host Brian Williams to praise Bill Clinton for going after the former al Qaeda leader without mentioning all the times his administration passed on chances to get him (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Three years ago, then-CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric fawned over Barack Obama: “You’re so confident, Mr. President, and so focused. Is your confidence ever shaken?” On ABC’s World News, Diane Sawyer often softens her interviews with the President by tossing in questions about college basketball, asking, at the start of the U.S. military operation against Libya last year, “How much do you think Kentucky will win by?”
But of the three evening news anchors, by far the most admiring of Obama is NBC’s Brian Williams who has — no big surprise — been rewarded with exclusive access to the White House Situation Room for what promises to be a prime time Obama campaign infomercial (on Wednesday’s Rock Center) on how the brave President monitored the mission as Navy SEALs raided Osama bin Laden’s compound and killed the terrorist mastermind exactly one year ago. (Round-up of Williams' most fawning Obama moments, with video, below the jump).
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.
Tuesday's CBS This Morning rolled over and gave movie star John Cusack a platform to spout his leftist political views. Cusack slammed the Obama administration: "The excesses of the Bush administration...[Obama] had a constitutional obligation to correct that, and I don't think they have, and I think that's deeply troubling....They've...continued that imperial presidency of the Bush administration."
Cusack also played up "some of the issues that the Obama administration has with due process and with the assassination of American citizens- this speech by Eric Holder- I think, are deeply troubling," an apparent reference to the use of Hellfire missiles against American-born al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki. Instead of bringing up al-Awlaki's connections to the Fort Hood shooter and plotting attacks against U.S. airliners, anchor Charlie Rose simply replied, "Meaning you expected more from the President and attorney general?" [audio available here; video below the jump]
Bush Derangement Syndrome is back, coinciding -- go figure -- with another national election.
Who better to revive this pathology than Rachel Maddow, once again showing herself willing to elevate a minor story to seismic importance if doing so puts Dear Leader in a more glorious light. (video clip after page break)
Happen to notice if a state senator named Obama was there too ...?
Freshly-minted MSNBC weekend host and purported Tulane academic Melissa Harris-Perry revealed on Al Sharpton's radio show Tuesday that she was in the audience at Trinity United Church of Christ for Rev. Jeremiah Wright's incendiary sermon on the Sunday after the 9/11 attacks. (audio clip after page break)
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.
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.]