In a TV-journalism age in which a good haircut and a sharp suit often seem to count for more than substance, there's something admirably old-school about Barry Schweid. Old, and unapologetically schlumpy, Schweid is the antithesis of TV's Sharp-Dressed Man.
Even so, on Fox & Friends Weekend this morning, Schweid let his liberal leanings show.
Schweid has been covering diplomacy for the Associated Press for over 30 years, and is currently its senior diplomatic correspondent. He joined FOX News Channel as a contributor for foreign affairs in 1997.
Schweid came on to discuss the issue of torture, and specifically Condi Rice's recent European tour, intended to pallliate delicate continental sensibilities on the issue.
With a hat tip to the Drudge Report, in what could be an advancement of media protestations that air marshals on American Airlines flight 924 overreacted when they shot and killed distraught passenger Rigoberto Alpizar, TIME magazine reported last night that another passenger on the plane is claiming he never heard the word “bomb”:
“‘I don't think they needed to use deadly force with the guy,’ says John McAlhany, a 44-year-old construction worker from Sebastian, Fla. "He was getting off the plane." McAlhany also maintains that Alpizar never mentioned having a bomb.
Ted Rall has struck again - this time with words instead of his little cartoons. In his Dec. 6, 2005 editorial, "We're Looking for a Few Good Refuseniks", Rall attacks the US military and veterans again. Rall credits the "unelected" President Bush for the military turning its back on its once "honorable calling". Rall then blames the US soldiers for "torturing, maiming and murdering POWs, robbing and subjecting civilians to collective punishment, dropping white phosphorus and depleted uranium bombs on civilian targets."
Pooh-poohing the "they are just following orders" excuse, Rall reminds his readers that the illegal, immoral and unjust war could not have been waged without a "compliant and complicit US military". He calls for the "men and women of our armed forces" to be "held individually accountable for the carnage". Rall continues that our "government's poorly paid contract killers" do not deserve our support for blindly following orders. So much for "we support the troops but not their mission".
Has Katie Couric watched too many westerns? You know, the kind where the sheriff shoots the gun out of the bad guy's hand?
You'd think so, given the repeated questions she posed to a former air marshal in the wake of yesterday's shooting of a frantic passenger claiming to have a bomb aboard an American Airlines flight .
Katie's guest was former air marshal Tony Kuklinski, who stated that "by all accounts I've seen, what [the air marshals] did was necessary."
Katie wasn't so sure:
"Do they always shoot to kill, Tony? In other words, I guess the average person hearing this [on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Katie?] might think: isn't there a way where they could have shot this person and not killed him? Wounded him or incapacitated him in some way without killing him?"
Vaughn Ververs of the CBS News blog “Public Eye” critiqued a NewsBusters post today concerning a report made by the “CBS Evening News” last night about the former 9/11 commission’s newly released report card on the government’s response to homeland security issues. Ververs apparently asked correspondent Robert Orr and producer Ward Sloane for their opinions on the NewsBusters analysis: “The ‘news’ in the former 9/11 Commission's briefing was not that the U.S. is doing a very few things right, but rather that four years after the attacks, the U.S. government is largely failing in its very expensive $100 billion attempt to prevent another one.”
Although this might indeed be what the mainstream media perceived as the “news” in this briefing, the reality is that there were a total of 41 categories that the former commission graded the government on, and this CBS News report only shared some of the the “D’s” and the “F’s,” while totally ignoring all of the “C’s,” “B’s,” and “A’s” that the government received. Aren’t these grades “news” as well? Shouldn’t the public be informed as to what the government is doing properly to protect them from terrorist attacks, or are only the failures “news?”
On Friday, NewsBusters reported the results of a new Rasmussen poll indicating that the public’s view of the War on Terrorism has dramatically improved in the past couple of months, but none of the mainstream media were opting to share this information with the citizenry. Well, another polling agency has just done a survey confirming this increase in American optimism concerning this subject. Yet, in this case, the very media outlet that paid for the survey is the one not including the results in its own published report.
On Sunday, TIME magazine posted an article at its website concerning a recent poll done for it by Schulman, Ronca & Bucuvalas (SRBI). This survey covered the typical analysis found in most polls these days including the president's job approval rating, how the public feels things are going in Iraq, etc. Yet, TIME curiously chose not to share with its readers an entire section from this SRBI survey concerning how the public feels the War on Terrorism is going.
The folks at PollingReport.com have the results that TIME didn’t share with its readers. For instance, 49 percent of those surveyed felt that the president is doing a good job handling the War on Terrorism. This is up from 46 percent in their poll taken after Katrina hit.
Quick! Someone buy the man a Valium. Make it a double.
I'm sure most here remember the histrionics in which Shep Smith engaged while reporting from New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina.
Smith was back in high emotional pitch today, shouting, screaming and accusing the government for its shortcomings as detailed in the just-released 9/11 Commission 'report card' on implementation of its national security recommendations.
Thankfully, Shep had James Carafano, across the video lines, to hold his hand and soothingly assure him that the sky wasn't falling.
Carafano, a cool customer, is a top scholar on security issues at the Heritage Foundation. A West Point grad and retired Army colonel, he also has a doctorate from Georgetown University and a master's degree in strategy from the U.S. Army War College.
In an interview with Greg Jarrett on Fox News Live today, Bob Beckel said “I don't know any democrat that called George Bush a liar.” Obviously Beckel needs a refresher:
June 2, 2005 interview with Rolling Stone – Harry Reid – Q: “You’ve called Bush a loser.” Reid: “And a liar.” Q: “You’ve apologized for the loser comment.” Reid: “But never for the liar, have I.”
November 18, 2005: Sen. Edward M. Kennedy: Bush and Cheney “have begun a new campaign of distortion and manipulation.” The two men could not find weapons of mass destruction and “they can’t find the truth either.”
On today's edition of The Chris Matthews Show, liberal panelist and blogger Andrew Sullivan made the argument that "insurgents are legitimate" and the Bush administration wants to make a "deal with them and he wants to bring them into the process". Ironically, the process is liberating the Iraqi citizens from insurgents and various other types of terrorists. Full transcript follows.
The San Francisco Chronicle created a comic today to suggest what it would look like if al Qaeda planted propaganda stories in US newspapers. This is evidently a take on the recent story of the US using the means necessary to do what needs to be done in Iraq.
Let me be the first to suggest al Qaeda doesn't need to; MSM is doing just fine on their own. But seriously, if they were to plant stories the headlines might read like this:
As has been reported by NewsBusters before, the mainstream media largely ignore the polling work of Scott Rasmussen. Certainly, it is quite unlikely they will report polling data that he just released concerning how Americans feel the War on Terror is going:
“December 2, 2005--Confidence in the War on Terror is up sharply compared to a month ago. Forty-eight percent (48%) Americans now believe the U.S. and its Allies are winning. That's up nine points from 39% a month ago and represents the highest level of confidence measured in 2005.
“Just 28% now believe the terrorists are winning, down six points from 34% a month ago. The survey was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday night following the President's speech outlining his strategy in Iraq.”
As is typical, these sentiments are much different depending on party affiliation:
WASHINGTON - A spy-agency analysis released Thursday contends a second attack on U.S. ships in the Gulf of Tonkin never happened, casting further doubt on the leading rationale for escalation of the Vietnam War.
Much as faulty U.S. intelligence preceded the invasion of Iraq, the mishandling of intercepted communications 40 years earlier is blamed in the National Security Agency paper for giving President Johnson carte blanche in the conflict.
There's more than one parallel here, and it goes to the blinders the AP is wearing when it reports on either war. The idea that America was going to go to war over the Gulf of Tonkin alone is absurd. Unless there was a much more serious threat, like the notion that Communists were going to overrun southeast Asia (which they did), a couple of bullet holes in the side of a ship weren't going to goad this country into a 10-year, 500,000-man commitment half a world away.
If the question posed by the title of this post seems a little macabre, it nevertheless must be asked, thanks to either the FBI or Joel Hinrichs, Sr., father of the University of Oklahoma student who blew himself up just outside the school's football stadium during the OU-Kansas State game Oct. 1.
Hinrichs Sr. told The Sunday Oklahoman that, when he was informed by investigators Oct. 15 of an alleged suicide note left by his son, the FBI also showed him "photos of his son's headless body." (I can't provide a link to the Oct. 16 article because it is only available via a paid search of the paper's digital archives.) Hinrichs Sr. said he plans to cremate his sons remains when they are finally turned over to him by federal authorities.
But in the FBI's search warrant documents unsealed last week by a federal judge, we find a completely different description of the condition of Hinrichs' body following the explosion that killed him while sitting on a bench during the second quarter of the game.
Sometimes even Marxists get it right, and no, I'm not speaking of John Kerry. It was Karl Marx himself who famously said "history repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”
To judge by his treatment at the hands of Matt Lauer this morning, John Kerry: Part Deux teeters on the brink of being dismissed as farce even by his quondam comrades in the MSM.
Kerry was in to offer his critique of Pres. Bush's speech of yesterday in which he laid out his plan for victory in Iraq.
When Kerry argued that "the insurgency has to be dealt with through a political reconciliation," Lauer cut him off peremptorily. "With all due respect," interrupted Lauer, not-so-subtle code for "not much respect is due." Lauer pointed out that "the President talked about the political process as well and laid that out in his plan for victory."
The Chicago-based organization - supported by several Protestant denominations that believe Christianity forbids all war-making and violence - has sent activists into war zones, including Bosnia and Haiti, since the late 1980s. It has about 160 members around the world and about a dozen in Iraq.
The Justice Department has criticized as misleading and inaccurate a Washington Post report about the FBI's expanded power to collect the private records of ordinary Americans while conducting terrorism and espionage investigations.
The Nov. 6 article detailed the dramatic increase in the use of "national security letters," a three-decade-old investigative tool that was given new life with the passage of the USA Patriot Act in 2001. The FBI now issues more than 30,000 national security letters a year, a hundredfold increase over historic norms, the article said....
The media is buzzing about Ramsey Clark going to Iraq to serve on the defense team of Saddam Hussein. Every article called Clark “the former US Attorney General” and played up his role in the administration of an American President. Reuters called Clark a “U.S. civil rights lawyer”. The BBC called Clark “an outspoken critic of the trial” and a “left wing activist”. The New York Times did make mention of Ramsey Clark’s penchant for “offering legal advice to toppled foreign leaders”. According to the AP, Clark was just a “consultant” on Milosevic’s trial.
Ramsey Clark is so much more than a “left wing activist” and “anti-war advocate”. Clark is a Saddam apologist who is responsible for an anti-American group masquerading as an anti-war protest organizer.
After Lyndon Johnson left office, Ramsey Clark became the poster boy for the far left. He began supporting anyone that was against America. Clark visited with Qaddafi after the US bombed Libya. He even represented the PLO in a lawsuit filed by the family of murdered American, Leon Klinghoffer.
It appears the Sudanese government doesn't much like being considered a state that sponsors terrorism. In fact, the Minister of Information and Communication, Alzahwi Ibrahim Malik, is blaming the international media for being biased against them:
He said a good example of this distortion was the inclusion of Sudan in the infamous list of countries supporting terrorism, or countries which discriminate against other religions and minorities.
"These allegations are far from the truth. We in Sudan live as equal citizens and we do not discriminate between people because of their religion, colour or ethnic origin.
"We are a multi-colour, multi-cultural and multi-religious society, but we are equal citizens who have the same rights and obligations," he said.... "
Fox News gives its audience what it wants, too. That's why, in 2003, a survey from the Program on International Policy Attitudes found that 67 percent of its loyal viewers believed the fallacy that Saddam Hussein was connected to al-Qaida, whereas only 40 percent of those who relied on print media were confused on that point. Welcome to the "informed" electorate of a newspaper-free world. It's already starting to give us the government we deserve.
(Notice that people who watch Fox are fallacious believers, while the people who consume her product and don't agree with her are simply "confused".)
Saddam connected to al-Qaida? That's a weird wild thought. Where on Earth would Fox News and this "informed electorate" get that "fallacious" idea? Let's see, maybe...
State of the Union Address January 28, 2003: "Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody, reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al-Qaida."
BBC Profile: "It is during this period that Zarqawi is thought to have renewed his acquaintance with al-Qaeda. He is believed to have fled to Iraq in 2001 after a US missile strike on his Afghan base, though the report that he lost a leg in the attack has not been verified. US officials argue that it was at al-Qaeda's behest that he moved to Iraq and established links with Ansar al-Islam - a group of Kurdish Islamists from the north of the country. He is thought to have remained with them for a while - feeling at home in mountainous northern Iraq."
Anti-American left wing lunatic Ted Rall was not content with depicting the US military as rapists, pedophiles and idiots. In his latest piece of artwork, Rall portrays Iraq War Veterans as torturers and domestic abusers. The cartoon, Sex Lives of Iraq War Vets, published on November 26, 2005, shows the veterans torturing their girlfriends and the girlfriend's parents Abu-Ghraib style. The final frame shows a vet dropping bombs on his girlfriend's home in response to a break-up.
This latest attempt to undermine our military comes on the heels of Rall's cartoon depicting US soliders in Iraq as rapists and pedophiles.Ted Rall's drawings and his hate Bush rants are distributed by Universal Press Syndicates. Rall's work is distributed to over 140 media outlets including the New York Times, the LA Times and the San Jose Mercury News. Yahoo.com also publishes Rall's editorials as part of its opinion section. There is no mention of Al-Jazeerah being a subscriber to Rall's far left editorials.
Tired of public opinion polls? Well, an article in today’s New York Times might be an indication that Americans have seen enough polls in the past three months, and that a new strategy is necessary to inform them how to think. How does it work? Well, instead of releasing data that supposedly represents a statistical picture of the nation’s views on a subject, make the data significantly more real by putting names and faces to the numbers.
The article in question, entitled “Even Supporters Doubt President as Issues Pile Up,” effectively introduced this strategy in its first four paragraphs:
The Associated Press and United Press International are reporting that another Democratic hawk, Norm Dicks (D-Washington), has changed his position on the Iraq war. They are both quoting from and referencing a Seattle Times article first published about 16 hours ago entitled “Defense hawk Dicks says he now sees war as a mistake.” Yet, they are conveniently ignoring previous statements made by Dicks concerning the war that were also reported by the Seattle Times.
We have a contingency of liberal hold outs who believe that surrender and the subsequent slavery to totalitarians is preferable to fighting for freedom. I wouldn't worry, except that in this case, they are in positions of power called Congress, and backed by another position of power called Main Stream Media.
It is very hard to overcome these groups when you have no power other than logic, reason, and truth. After all, they can’t be expected to waste their time with such nonsense.
We have Bill Clinton who has stated that "the war was the right thing to do" but also claims it "was a mistake." To those of us who think first and feel second, this makes no sense. How can something be right and a mistake? And why the 180 degree change in direction?
Ted Rall, the far left editorial cartoonist and anti-American pundit, has used his cartoons to slander our soldiers again. Remember - Ted was the one that mocked the death of Pat Tillman in one of his little drawings. This time he has really gone too far and I am shocked that no one has called him out on it.
In his little piece of so-called artwork from 11.10.05, Ted claims that the US Military is raping young boys in US custody. He cites McCain's anti-torture proposal as protecting detainees from "sodomy, anal rape and touching in the dirty place". In the last frame of his cartoon, Ted shows a blind-folded detainee bent over with one soldier telling another "Only rape the cute ones for now".
The BBC has a funny view of international law - make sure the obligations fall on Israel.
Yesterday, Israel responded to a broad Hezbollah attack - including artillery-supported cross-border raids - by, well, responding:
Hizbullah launched a failed attempt to kidnap soldiers Monday in an assault on Mount Dov and the northern town of Rajar and a coordinated mortar and rocket barrage on northern Galilee towns and kibbutzim.
A fierce Israeli response killed four infiltrators and struck at Hizbullah targets in south Lebanon, but at least 12 soldiers were wounded and a house severely damaged in Metulla by Hizbullah mortar fire.
Around twelve hours ago, NewsMax broke a story about Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania) having urged former President Clinton to remove U.S. troops from Somalia in 1993:
“Clinton took the advice and ordered the withdrawal - a decision that Osama bin Laden would later credit with emboldening his terrorist fighters and encouraging him to mount further attacks against the U.S.”
At this point, a Google news search identified only a handful of media sources – including Rush Limbaugh, The American Thinker, and Village Soup – as having picked up this story. Yet, there are a number of articles from September 1993 that appear to confirm the NewsMax story, so many so that one has to wonder if and when any mainstream press outlets are going to report this.
For instance, Rowan Scarborough with the Washington Times at that point reported on September 6, 1993:
In case someone would actually buy the Chris Matthews fairy tale that America was a land of silence against those thuggish neoconservatives after 9-11, see the 2002 Best of Notable Quotables. The General Phil "Cheap Shot" Donahue Award chronicles media people suggesting George Bush knew and allowed 9-11. The Fourth Reich Award for Portraying John Ashcroft As A Fascist is rather self-explanatory. And so it continues, through the Give Appeasement A Chance Award and the Begala and Carville War Room Award for Bush Bashing, the Blame America First Award and the Bill Moyers (Subsidized) Sanctimony Award. You can't miss Helen Thomas.
On the other hand, Chris Matthews does not acknowledge how wonderful Iraq looked to the media then. The Good Morning Morons Award winner, for example: “Iraqi citizens are preparing to go to the polls to decide whether Hussein stays in office.” – Preview of an October 14 segment on CNN’s American Morning with Paula Zahn posted on CNN’s Web site. And ABC's David Wright won for silliest analysis for his evening echo the next night: “Seven years ago, when the last referendum took place, Saddam Hussein won 99.96 percent of the vote. Of course, it is impossible to say whether that’s a true measure of the Iraqi people’s feelings.” As for Matthews himself, see his conversation with liberal Newsweek reporters on February 11, 2002, just five months after the so-called Big Shutup began:
CNN reporter Dana Bash did some ‘bashing’ of the President’s actions during his trip to Asia.
She begins the segment with the President attempting to open a locked door at the end of a press conference. She said reporters on the scene immediately dubbed this "the no exit strategy press conference". Even the sheepish President couldn't ignore the obvious metaphor.
Bash continued her segment by concluding President Bush's trip to Asia was a failure because of the failures at home in the US.
When Bush was asked “Is that evidence that your party is increasing splitting with you on Iraq?”, Bash dubbed his answer as "talking points".
Bash called Vice President Cheney’s speech as "red hot Iraq rhetoric" and then said his speech was to "discredit Democrats criticizing the war". She referred to the statement released by the White House that compared Murtha to Michael Moore as a "blistering statement".
She concluded the segment by noting a reporter that asked a “question on many minds”, "Mr. President you seem to be a little bit of your game". Bush responded with "have you ever heard of jet lag". Bash gave the reaction of "how dare he say that".
So, Vice President Cheney is addressing the American Enterprise Institute about why the war in Iraq is fundamental to the War on Terror. He explains that a retreat would leave Bin Laden, Zarqawi, and Zarwahiri in control. He explains why the terrorists want Iraq, and what they plan to do with it. CNN's real-time summary at the bottom of the screen?
CHENEY: Terrorism has nothing to do with Iraq war.
I suppose they would argue that that's a capsule of Cheney's comments that 9/11 happened before we invaded, but aren't those capsules there specifically for people who are just finding their seats? Perhaps they might try something that actually reflects what he said, something like: