Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer had some harsh words for the apparent peace proposal offered by Russian President Vladimir Putin involving Syria turning over its chemical weapons.
Appearing on Fox News's Special Report Monday, Krauthammer said, “The chances of these weapons being eliminated from Syria are less than of the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series this year, and they are now mathematically eliminated.”
Maybe, in sync with the predictable press reactions to oft-seen bad economic numbers, the headline at Julie Pace's late-morning story at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, should have been: "Obama Foreign Policy Falls Apart ... Unexpectedly."
Pace's pathetic attempt at pathos in assessing the status of the Obama administration's foreign policy tells AP readers that some of it is due to "factors outside the White House's control" (as if previous administrations haven't had to deal with unanticipated developments), that Obama "misjudged" what would come in the Arab Spring's aftermath (we're supposed to ignore all of those contacts he's had with Muslim Brotherhood officials and their sympathizers), and that the NSA revelations have hurt our standing in Europe (without noting that the root cause is NSA's spying on U.S. citizens). Excerpts follow the jump.
President Obama held a press conference Friday in which he called for stricter controls over the government’s domestic surveillance system and commented on his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But to ABC’s Good Morning America, those developments were not the primary news. Their main takeaway was that the president showed personality.
Seriously, that was the angle that Saturday's GMA took on this story. Anchor Dan Harris set ABC's premise right at the top: “Switching gears now to all the chatter this morning about President Obama showing a different and very interesting side of his personality in a high-profile moment in front of the assembled White House press corps on Friday afternoon.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Leftist bloggers like Alyssa Rosenberg at Think Progress are agitating for NBC Sports to make the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia yet another moment for gay-Left activism, in protest of Russia’s crackdown against freedom of speech for the gay agenda. At the Television Critics Association in Los Angeles, NBC executives were pushed to promise assertively hostile coverage of current Russian sexual politics.
The leftist group calling themselves “Truth Wins Out” (appointed in 2011 as honorary camera operators for ABC News in trashing Michelle Bachmann) has started a petition drive proposing that Comcast and NBC-Universal should demonstrate their strong support for diversity by making MSNBC host Rachel Maddow a “human rights correspondent” for Olympic coverage:
In Part 1 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I covered how the Bill Barrow at the Associated Press covered the religion-based aspects of former President Jimmy Carter's speech at Carter's Mobilizing Faith for Women conference yesterday in Atlanta. Carter characterized certain religions' failure to allow women to be priests as examples of "oppression," and seemed to consider them as worthy of mention as far more serious and oppressive problems, among them female mutilation, child slavery, forced marriages of young women, and gender-selection abortion.
In this part, I will cover what Bill Barrow had to have heard but did not report. Specifically, he did not mention Carter's series of apologies for U.S. actions over the past 60 years and other supposedly oppressive conditions which still are present in America. The text which follows the jump is transcribed from the video of Carter's speech at the conference's web site.
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer had some harsh words for President Obama Monday in the wake of Russia and China's handling of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.
Appearing on Fox News's Special Report, Krauthammer said, "If there's no element of respect or fear - and you saw it in the summit with the head of the United States and head of Russia and China within the last two weeks - they care nothing for what Obama says, and they know that when he makes a threat, it carries no weight behind it."
A Google News search on ["Susan Rice" "executive privilege"] (typed exactly as indicated between brackets) returns two stories. The main one is at Fox News, where K.T. McFarland pointed out that President Obama, now that he has appointed Susan Rice to be his National Security Adviser, can invoke executive privilege to keep her from testifying before Congress. The second is at Mediate, and notes that McFarland said the same thing to Fox News Channel anchor Martha MacCallum earlier today.
Among those who conveniently didn't catch this: Frank James at NPR, who didn't identify the executive privilege dodge in his "5 Takeaways From Obama's Susan Rice Appointment"; the Associated Press, whose three Wednesday items on Rice (here, here, and here) don't mention it, and where a search on "executive privilege" (not in quotes) returned nothing relevant; and the Politico, where a search on "Rice executive privilege" (not in quotes) also returned nothing relevant. Excerpts from McFarland's column, with harsh words about Rice's lack of qualifications, follow the jump (bold and italics are hers except final paragraph):
The New York Times has been mostly steady and factual in its coverage of the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. But the paper is taking criticism Friday for its benign headline over its online story on two terrorist suspects from Chechnya, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, killed in a shootout early Friday morning, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, still on the loose Friday afternoon.
Nearly forgotten article from GQ, late '80s, its subject lost to memory but one detail that stuck -- the writer mentioned that he took part in a weekly touch football game in Central Park and Geraldo Rivera was another player.
Rivera, he claimed, was the type of competitor who jumped to catch a pass when it wasn't necessary. You know that guy, right? Anthony Weiner, to cite an obvious example. Decades later, Rivera is still engaging in this type of thing, most often over the airwaves. (Audio clip after page break)
Another episode airs tonight of FX’s The Americans. Last week, the historic drama set in 1981, portrayed a successful KGB effort to discredit a Polish priest, who is leading an anti-Soviet liberation movement, by smearing him as a rapist during his visit to New York City. (“The Reagan administration doesn’t want a rapist leading the movement to push the Soviets out of Poland.”)
The March 13 installment of the series also featured an actual real-life clip of President Ronald Reagan hailing the people of Poland: “We, the people of the free world, stand as one with our Polish brothers and sisters.”
KGB operatives infiltrated conservative media? Wednesday night’s episode of FX’s The Americans imagines that in 1981 a conservative magazine employed a journalist who was really a mole for the KGB. On the day of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, “Charles Duluth” of the “Conservative Statesman” magazine, proclaims to a KGB operative who he is helping: “Frankly, I hope the bastard bleeds to death on the operating table.”
The Americans is centered around husband and wife KGB sleeper agents (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell as “Philip and Elizabeth Jennings”) who live with their kids as ordinary Americans in suburban Washington, DC when Reagan becomes President.
Last week’s second episode of The Americans (the third episode will run tonight, February 13, on FX), dramatically ended with a scene showing the horror realized by KGB operatives at the Soviet embassy in Washington, DC when they learn President Ronald Reagan intends to build “a ballistic missile shield” – aka the Strategic Defense Initiative. (video below)
The Americans is centered around husband and wife KGB sleeper agents (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell as “Philip and Elizabeth Jennings”) who live with their kids as ordinary Americans in suburban Washington, DC when Ronald Reagan becomes President.
After the anti-American hostilities in the Middle East this week, one would think it's pretty obvious why it's in our interest to prevent Muslim extremists from getting nuclear weapons.
Apparently not, for CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer actually asked Sunday, "What is the difference in Iran having a nuclear weapon and Russia having a nuclear weapon or China or Pakistan?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams noted that today is the 25th anniversary of President Reagan calling on Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev to demolish the Berlin Wall, as Reagan stood in Berlin on June 12, 1987, and delivered his famous "Tear down this wall" speech. Williams read the brief item:
To many Russian and Ukrainian immigrants, the cornucopia in the shops along Brighton Beach Avenue -- pyramids of oranges, heaps of Kirby cucumbers, bushels of tomatoes with their vines still attached and a variety of fish, sausages and pastries -- seems like an exuberant rebuke of the meager produce that was available to them when they lived in the Soviet Union.
"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."
The Obama-loving media clearly weren't concerned by the President's open mic incident Monday when he told Russia's Dmitry Medvedev that he'll have "more flexibility" regarding a missile defense agreement after the elections.
Count NBC's Jay Leno in that camp as he told Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on the Tonight Show Tuesday, "That doesn’t seem that weird to me" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Erin Burnett on Monday made a stunning observation about President Obama's open mic gaffe with Russia's Dmitry Medvedev.
Without specifically mentioning fellow CNNer Kyra Phillips by name, Burnett hysterically said, "I guess it's better than being in the bathroom with your open microphone" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In an interview on NBC's Rock Center on Wednesday, Russian opposition leader Alexi Navalny demonstrated how pervasive media distortion of Sarah Palin and American conservatism has become: "Conservative groups, some of which support me, are far more liberal than their counterparts in the USA. Rallies in support of Sarah Palin have much more nationalistic slogans than in Russia."
One can hardly imagine a newspaper running a headline that suggested a fascist society like Nazi Germany had its good points. Yet the New York Times has carved out a side industry in headlines that suggest a bright side to Communist tyranny in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.
The latest came attached to art critic Holland Cotter’s 1,700-word review of “Ostalgia,” an exhibit of Soviet and post-Soviet art at the New Museum in Manhattan, splashed along the top fold of Friday’s Weekend Arts section: “When Repression Was a Muse.” “Ostalgia” is a coinage for the strange cultural nostalgia for Communism (i.e., inferior but somehow endearing cars like the East German Trabant) felt by some East Germans who found it hard to cope with the freedoms, opportunities, and responsibilities of a more capitalist society.
It was 16 degrees warmer in my upstate New York town this morning than it was in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. If any further portent of the apocalypse is necessary, consider that on his MSNBC show this evening, Cenk Uygur compared Barack Obama to Ronald Reagan . . . and clearly came down on the side of Ronaldus Maximus.
The subject was Egypt. Uygur played the clip of Reagan's immortal "tear down this wall," and contrasted it with Obama's wan words on the need for "orderly transition" in Egypt.
Uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, ABC’s World News on Wednesday informed viewers of display items for the National Archives planned for next month’s commemoration of President Reagan’s 100 th birthday. Anchor Diane Sawyer recounted that Reagan had made "handwritten changes" to his 1983 speech in which he called the Soviet Union an "Evil Empire." Sawyer:
On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, substitute co-host Russ Mitchell announced that "the lame duck session of Congress could hand President Obama yet another victory" with possible passage of the START nuclear arms treaty. Moments later, Mitchell declared that "The President seems to be on a hot streak."
Mitchell got analysis from Republican strategist Dan Bartlett and Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons. Bartlett hardly offered an opposing viewpoint, as he completely agreed with Mitchell's assessment of Obama: "It's a great streak he's on. He's on a hot streak....this is a narrative now that the President can stitch together going in to the new year....they've got a lot to crow about going into the new year." The headline on-screen throughout the segment read: "Obama's Rebound?; President Scores Political Victories During Lame Duck Session."
It seems that Eliot Spitzer's mind is still in the 1980s, as he twice stated on Thursday's Parker-Sptizer on CNN that the new START Treaty was with the Soviet Union. Spitzer trumpeted "the all-important START Treaty, that will finally cement a nuclear disarmament agreement with the Soviet Union," and then noted that the treaty would deal with the "nuclear warheads that are pointed by the Soviet Union at us" [audio available here].
The former New York governor and co-host Kathleen Parker led their 8 pm Eastern hour program with the current affairs of the lame-duck Congress. Spitzer highlighted the recent Gallup poll that found that only 13 percent of American approve of the job the legislative body is doing, and bemoaned how "for the past couple of hours, they have been spending your tax dollars in a debate about- and I don't know how else to say this- how they're going to debate."
After Parker replied that the House debate was specifically about extending the current tax rates, her CNN co-host focused his attention on the Senate and made his first gaffe about the START Treaty. Parker must not have caught his error, as she didn't correct him:
A useful guideline in evaluating the significance of a national security-related news story first revealed by someone in the establishment press is whether other media outlets pick it up. If they don't, it's probably significant.
Hey, it's the Friday after Thanksgiving, a classically slow news day. So let's have some fun. For months I've been fascinated by the TV commercial for DirectTV. The focus is a man we instantly understand to be a Russian billionaire businessman/mobster. "Opulence: I has it. I like the best" he explains, as the commercial opens. And sure enough, he's surrounded by the flashiest things—and women—that money can buy.
With no Morning Joe to bust today, I was catching up on some House episodes I'd DVR'ed, and during an October number, up popped the commercial. Just for fun, I decided to play it in slow motion, to see if there were interesting details I might have missed. Right away, I noticed for the first time that in the background of the opening shot, you see live dogs playing poker, in a re-creation of the famous poster.
But it was an image toward the end that really caught my attention. One of the two women seated on the sofa with our mobster passes him a jewel-encrusted TV remote on a tray. But the remote is sitting on a pyramid of . . . six gold bars. Wait a second, I thought. Aren't gold bars very heavy? View video and stills after the jump.
David Gregory is clearly concerned that if Republicans don't vote in favor of the START treaty with Russia, President Obama's international image, as well as American prestige abroad, will be damaged.
On Sunday's "Meet the Press," Gregory asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, "Is this going to potentially be a problem with the president not being able to get what he wants on the world stage because of Republicans?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ABC’s Christiane Amanpour on Sunday again gave national U.S. television exposure to a liberal reporter with the London-based Financial Times as she brought Ed Luce, the newspaper’s Washington Bureau Chief and former Clinton administration operative, aboard her This Week roundtable. Luce declared the world would react “with deep horror, I think, but also some amusement,” to a presidential bid by Sarah Palin and charged Republican opposition to START shows “there's a greater hatred of Obama than there is a love of American national security.”
Echoing the standard liberal spin about how President Barack Obama just failed to effectively communicate his great achievements, Luce argued that “if GM had gone bankrupt and large portions of it had been closed down, we could have lost several hundred thousand jobs.” He then despaired: “The administration's communications effort on this has been absolutely abysmal. It's quite extraordinary to me how they haven't put this forward more forcefully and how the public still doesn't see just how different a kind of bailout this was than the Wall Street bailouts which remain deservedly unpopular.”
While we focus our scrutiny on President Obama's domestic agenda nightmare, we'd best not take our eyes off another big ball: Obama's frantic effort to get the New START ratified during the Senate's lame-duck session.
As usual, Obama is engaged in a full-court press, pretending that there is some urgency to formalizing this ill-conceived nuclear arms treaty with Russia, when the sole urgency is the upcoming change in the Senate's partisan composition.
To his credit, Republican Sen. Jon Kyl announced his opposition to a vote on the treaty this year, which sent Obama into overdrive. He dispatched Defense Secretary Robert Gates to buy off Kyl's opposition with an illusory promise to spend an extra $4 billion on nuclear programs.