Christiane Amanpour interviewed former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, famous for her October 2000 meeting with North Korean dictator Kim "He’s Not a Nut" Jong Il, as part of her "Notes from North Korea" program, which aired on Saturday and Sunday evenings. During the segment, the CNN senior international correspondent failed to note how her husband, James Rubin, worked as spokesman and Assistant Secretary for State for Albright from 1997 until May 2000. Albright emphasized how "it's possible to have verifiable agreements" with the North Korean regime and how "negotiations need to be pursued actively." The Clinton administration that she worked for conducted negotiations with the communist dictatorship during the 1990s and signed a nuclear agreement with them, which the North Korean government violated by conducting a secret uranium enrichment program. So much for "verifiable agreements."
Amanpour did call the North Korean regime "a police state" and a "dictatorship" during her special, but she downplayed the communist government’s responsibility for the deaths of millions of North Koreans during a famine in the 1990s. [audio available here]
On Sunday’s CBS "60 Minutes," Steve Kroft suggested that the American-based Chiquita Banana company was in league with Colombian terrorist groups after paying extortion money to such groups to protect its employees: "It made millions growing bananas there, only to emerge with its reputation splattered in blood, after acknowledging that it had paid nearly $2 million in protection money to a murderous paramilitary group that's killed or massacred thousands of people."
Kroft went on to portray the situation with Chiquita as only one example of a larger pattern of U.S. companies funding terrorism: "Now the Colombian government is talking about extraditing Chiquita executives to Colombia, and investigators in Bogota and on Capitol Hill are looking at other US companies that may have done the same thing."
Kroft later highlighted the murder of a 12-year-old boy by the paramilitary group that Chiquita made payments to: "...the paramilitaries arrived and murdered a 12-year-old boy whose only crime had been to announce their presence." Kroft also explained: "As the atrocities piled up all across the country, Chiquita continued to make the payments to the paramilitaries, viewing itself as a victim of the violence, not a facilitator."
Poor teaser headline selection by MSNBC.com? I report, you decide.
At right is a screencap of a teaser headline from the Web site about U.S. humanitarian aid reaching Myanmar Burma. As the AP story linked makes clear, the fault for the delay in the aid's arrival is that of the military dictatorship, not any incompetence or lack of concern by Washington.
Yet the teaser headline reads: "First U.S. aid plane lands in Myanmar; UPDATED: Relief comes more than week after cyclone."
The same headline and subhead are found on the AP article as found when readers follow the link. The AP story itself makes clear the Burmese government has and continues to be an obstacle to reaching devastated Burmese civilians with much needed food and medical relief:
Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer is a college professor with a long history of political activism and fearless liberalism.—AP, 5-11-08, profile of candidate for Minn. Dem primary nomination [emphasis added].
Fearless liberalism? Fearless? It's fearless for an American college professor to be a big-time liberal? Give me a fearless break!
Yet that's how the AP described the predictably left-wing politics of the man challenging Al Franken for the right to challenge Republican Norm Coleman for his seat in the US Senate. Among Nelson-Pallmeyer's positions:
Friday, at Real Clear Politics, Jack Kelly recounted the Illinois Senator's egregious error, and its frightening implications (bolds are mine throughout):
Obama Needs a History Lesson
In his victory speech after the North Carolina primary, Sen. Barack Obama said something that is all the more remarkable for how little it has been remarked upon.
In defending his stated intent to meet with America's enemies without preconditions, Sen. Obama said: "I trust the American people to understand that it is not weakness, but wisdom to talk not just to our friends, but to our enemies, like Roosevelt did, and Kennedy did, and Truman did."
McClatchy News -- the paper chain that likes to claim they speak "truth to power" -- is pleased to show us "another side" to the Iran backed Iraqi militia leader Muqtada al Sadr and that other side is his supposed "charity work." It has been a common tactic of Muslim warlords and other terrorists to pretend at "charity" as they plan suicide bombings and targeted terror attacks among the very people they pretend to be helping with their "charity." The so-called charity is but a screen to hide their terror activities behind, a salve to keep the locals from getting too uppity. But, McClatchy had their hearts go aflutter over Sadr's "humanitarian aid" imagining it to be the "other" softer side of the terror chieftain giving Sadr a nice little bit of free positive publicity quite despite the truth of his murderous actions.
The McClatchy piece written by Shashank Bengali with the assistance of Leila Fadel and special correspondent Hussein Kadhim, detail all the wonderful works of Sadr as he helps people so brutally harmed by... you guessed it... the United States military.
I noted a few weeks ago (at BizzyBlog; at NewsBusters) that Mike Celizic at MSNBC couldn't get though his article about Jenna Bush's upcoming wedding without bringing up her misdemeanor arrests from seven years ago.
Julie Mason of the Houston Chronicle also went there in a late Thursday report. She also threw in a number of shots at Jenna's father, his administration, and his hometown:
Saturday, in an Oscar de la Renta gown with twin sister Barbara at her side, Jenna Bush, 26, will marry 29-year-old business school student Henry Hager at her parents' Central Texas ranch.
It's probably as close as Oscar de la Renta will ever get to Crawford.
How many times will The New York Times publish a disreputable reporter's work before it learns its lesson?
Perhaps the third time will be the charm. Alexei Barrionuevo has under come under fire for plagiarism on two separate occasions, but the Times printed a story March 27 ("Salmon Virus Indicts Chile's Fishing Methods") by Barrionuevo anyway, prompting a response from the salmon industry.
Barrionuevo quotes Adolfo Flores in his article, identifying him as Port Director of Castro, Chiloe Island. But in a letter to the Times May 2, Eric McErlain, writing on behalf of Salmon of the Americas Inc (an industry group), pointed out major problems with the report.
"In actuality, Mr. Flores is simply a security guard who works for a third party contractor," McErlain wrote. "I've enclosed an English translation of a letter from Patricio Cuello, the general manager of the Port of Puerto Montt, which administers Castro, confirming this."
CNN has an article posted this AM about the on-going misery in Myanmar resulting from the recent cyclone that devastated the Irrawaddy delta and has left as many as 100,000 dead. The country's paranoid military dictatorship is hampering aid efforts, and as a result, is no doubt adding to the number of dead and injured.
In writing about the U.S. forces in the area poised to help if the dictatorship will only allow international aid, CNN makes the following curious claim (in bold):
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, introducing a panel discussion on Monday’s "The Situation Room," asked concerning Hillary Clinton’s "obliterate Iran" comments, "[I]s Senator Clinton's tough talk against Iran part of a larger move to the right?" The chyron or graphic on the screen that accompanied the discussion seemed to give Blitzer's question an air of certainty: "Inside Her Move to the Right: How Clinton's Redefining Herself."
Each member of the panel, all contributors to CNN, had a slightly different answer to the question. Jack Cafferty quipped "it's another attempt to pander to voters, to, you know, to sound tough on national security." CNN senior political analyst Gloria Borger thought "she's really running a classic Republican campaign against Barack Obama" and that Hillary "feels she has a real opportunity here, if she turns Obama into a liberal." And CNN senior legal analyst Jeff Toobin labeled her comments "more populist than right-wing." Blitzer also made an uncharacteristic move by quoting from the conservative publication, The Weekly Standard.
It seems to matter little whether the location is Gaza or Baghdad. If there is a way to spin a story, Associated Press reporters will find it.
Today, American forces called in an AC-130 for support when they came under fire in the Kazimiyah district of Baghdad.
The Associated Press editorializes:
The AC-130, a lethal tool used by the military since the Vietnam War, can slowly circle over a target for long periods.
Human rights groups have criticized their use in urban settings where militants may be among crowded populations of noncombatants. The four-engine gunships were also used to support the U.S. attack that took the western city of Fallujah from insurgents in November 2004.
What the Associated Press does not mention is that the modern AC-130U is the most complex aircraft weapons system on the planet, and the reason for its complexity is that the aircraft's sensors, navigation, and fire control systems are calibrated to conduct exceedingly accurate surgical strikes. It is likely because of their precision strike capabilities that the AC-130U was chosen for this mission over other available means of attack.
CBS's "Early Show" gave a fairly glowing report from the May Day celebration in Havana, Cuba, May 1, on changes Cuban President Raúl Castro has made in the country. Reporter Elizabeth Palmer called the leader's brother, Fidel Castro, a "revolutionary hero."
Fidel Castro handed provisional power to Raúl Castro, his younger brother, in July 2006. Raúl Castro officially took over the presidency in February 2008 after Fidel Castro fell ill.
Anchor Russ Mitchell said the May Day celebrations in Cuba signaled a "new era" for the country, and Palmer touted reforms like "cell phones," "text-messaging," opening of "resort hotels" to Cuban citizens and "shiny new Chinese buses."
The obsession continues. Yet another Hollywood leftist is coming out with an anti-Iraq war movie. This time, it's "Sixteen Candles" star John Cusack who is begging us to take his political views seriously with his new film, "War, Inc," styled as a "dark, political satire," which seems basically to mean ham-fisted film à clef set around the fictional country of Turaqistan.
Making her debut in liberal wrist-slitting films is Hillary Duff, one of the many teen princesses manufactured by the Disney empire, who seems to be trying to earn some sort of credibility by screeching about politics.
"We're trying to raise awareness with it. It is funny and it is bizarre and a little disturbing," the former Lizzie McGuire told Reuters. "But really at the end of the day it's looking at what (our country is) doing, and it's not right."
On Thursday’s CBS "Early Show" co-host Russ Mitchell thought it was news-worthy to remember the five year anniversary of when President Bush announced the end of "major combat operations in Iraq" under a banner reading "Mission Accomplished": "The Bush Administration is trying to explain its use exactly five years ago of the phrase ‘Mission Accomplished.’" However, no mention was made on April 9 of the anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime.
Correspondent Bill Plante reported that: "As the war progressed and casualties mounted, the phrase became a symbol of all that had gone wrong." Plante then played a clip of David Mark of the Politico, who explained: "‘Mission Accomplished’ stands for what seems like endless occupation, five years plus, after the initial invasion. It means ongoing war with no end in sight."
Earlier in the report Plante remarked: "And Press Secretary Dana Perino says the Administration has certainly paid the price." He concluded the segment by declaring: "And no one around here ever uses the phrase. Instead, they say, as the president says, that we have to ‘continue doing the job.’"
A lot of bias can be packed into six little words. Take, for example, this April 30 headline on CBSNews.com: "'Hostile' Iran Sparks U.S. Attack Plan." Hostile with the quote marks coupled with "U.S. attack plan" without them suggests belligerence on the part of American military authorities who might be overly suspicious of a "hostile" Iran.
The term "attack plan" might even evoke in readers the notions that an imminent, perhaps large scale offensive military action or war with Iran, a favored bogeyman of left-wing anti-war activists.
But the term "hostile," as we see in the story's lede, is taken from one unnamed military officer's description of Iran's "increasingly hostile role" in backing insurgents in Iraq who are the primary threat to the safety of American GIs.:
(CBS) A second American aircraft carrier steamed into the Persian Gulf on Tuesday as the Pentagon ordered military commanders to develop new options for attacking Iran. CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports that the planning is being driven by what one officer called the "increasingly hostile role" Iran is playing in Iraq - smuggling weapons into Iraq for use against American troops.
What's more, the article itself lays out that the "attack plan" is more or less an upgrade and revision of plans to address an existing Iranian threat, more than a master plan for another war.:
Q. Is there any level to which Helen Thomas won't stoop?
A. Apparently not.
That's my conclusion, based on Thomas's exchange during today's press gaggle with White House Press Secretary Dana Perino. Here is the front page of today's Washington Post to which Thomas refers [warning: graphic image]. A slide-show from WaPo's web edition contains another photo of what appears to be the same child, with this legend:
Two-year-old Ali Hussein is pulled from the rubble of his family's home in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq on Tuesday, April 29, 2008. The child, who later died in hospital, was in one of four homes allegedly destroyed by U.S. missiles. More than two dozen people were killed when Shiite militants ambushed a U.S. patrol in Baghdad's embattled Sadr City district, bringing the death toll in area on Tuesday to more than 30, a U.S. military spokesman and Iraqi officials said. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
Here's the exchange between Thomas and Perino.
HELEN THOMAS: Do you think it's worth a million Iraqi deaths, to continue to bomb the Iraqis who did nothing to us?
The Taliban suffered a big loss in Pakistan/Afghanistan this month and so did al Qaeda in Iraq, but the MSM has been practically silent on these great successes. It only goes to show that the media is so completely sold on the claim that the war is lost that they aren't interested in doing any real reporting on the war.
Not only has Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki headed up a brilliantly successful attack on rebel leader and Iranian backed Moqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi army in Basra, but it seems that Maliki's hard-line against Sadr has convinced Iraq's main Sunni block to return to their places in the Iraqi government. Sadr has called for a ceasefire between forces loyal to him and the Iraqi government. At this point, al-Maliki seems poised on a breakthrough in Iraqi affairs that could lead to more involvement and less bloodshed. This is all something that few expect possible only a few months ago.
Appearing on the April 29 edition of "The View," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich proved his intellectual superiority to Joy Behar punching holes in her very shallow debate points. Also, in discussing the ongoing Reverend Wright controversy, Whoopi Goldberg placed Billy Graham in league with Wright and Louis Farrakhan. [audio version of embedded video available here]
In challenging Newt Gingrich’s assertion that there’s a sympathy on the far left for America haters such as William Ayers, Behar inquired, "there’s no romance going on between the hard right of this country and Saudi Arabia let’s say?" Gingrich swiftly answered "the hard right in this country deeply dislikes Saudi Arabia as the source of Wahabbist funding."
My bottom line analysis (11:25): The two R's of bias from this Rose Garden presser: Martha Raddatz on Syria and numerous reporters on the dreaded R-word, recession. Of course a recession is two consecutive quarters of NEGATIVE economic growth, and we've yet to see one quarter of negative growth, much less two. But all the same, NY Times's Stolberg made it sound like Q1 numbers on GDP tomorrow will show a recession.
The questions below will be posted in reverse chronological order:
One small step for David Axelrod, one giant leap for Barack Obama away from Jeremiah Wright . . .
When chief Obama strategist Axelrod appeared at the end of this evening's Hardball, I expected him to dodge the current Rev. Wright controversy with some bromide about the reverend's right to express his opinions. But—in evidence of just how badly Wright's current comments are hurting Obama—Axelrod surprised me by acknowledging that he wished Wright hadn't piped up and suggesting that the good reverend's out for Numero Uno. Axelrod did manage to work in a blame-the-media angle.
View video here. [Note: Axelrod comments come after Matthews takes shot at Bill Kristol.]
On Sunday’s CBS "60 Minutes," anchor Bob Simon talked to members of the Israeli Air Force and asked one pilot, Captain Omri, about air strikes in the Gaza strip in which civilians occasionally are killed:
It's a classic guerilla war. Fifty dollar rockets made in the back alleys of Gaza against Israel's $50,000 missiles. The Israelis will tell you that kind of expense buys precise weapons which limit collateral damage. But it also gives the air force the capability of assassinating their enemy's leadership. The Israelis call this "targeted killings"; the Palestinians call it murder. Have you hit any targets?
Simon then went on to say to Omri: "But I must tell you, your face, your manners, your demeanor, you don't look like a killer. And yet what you do a lot of the time when you're over Gaza, you're killing." The pilot responded: "I agree. I don't think I'm a killer. When I look at my face in the mirror, I don't see a killer."
Last February, NewsBusters reported the resignation of retired Col. Ken Allard from NBC News as a result of the military analyst's view the network was undergoing a "precipitous retreat from journalistic and ethical standards."
On Sunday, Allard was more specific, claiming, "I thought they really had moved very slowly to the left, and I also thought that when they had the chance to clarify to the fact that they were not moving to the left, they didn't do so."
CNN's Howard Kurtz set this up on "Reliable Sources":
If they had a reality show for international politicians called "Biggest Loser" the most popular nominee for the title would be Mikhail Gorbachev, the man that lost his whole country, not merely an election. Yet, every once in a while and for some untenable reason, this communist loser is trotted out by the US media as some sort of expert on international politics. Unsurprisingly, his opinion is always sought to act as an attack on a Republican politician or policy. This time it is the All Headline News service trotting out old spotty in order to wag a finger at GOP presidential candidate John McCain.
Back on March 18th, McCain reiterated his idea of creating a new international organization styled as a "League of Democracies." McCain imagines this organization as a chance to renew the commitment of the world's democratic nations to the concept of helping others grow as well as lending more support to those already so formed.
Sandwiched neatly between the U.S. papal visit and the Keystone Primary, former President Jimmy Carter picked an excellent time to visit U.S. State Department-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) Hamas and yet receive scant press coverage.
Yet Carter's embrace of Hamas, his newfound respect in the state-run Iranian media, and his all-but-explicitly leveled allegations of a Zionist conspiracy behind U.S. foreign policy present a strong case for media scrutiny, as well as the media's role in presenting the comments for denunciation by presidential contenders Sens. Clinton, McCain, and Obama.
For its part the Los Angeles Times appears to be taking notice, judging from the coverage from its Middle East affairs blog Babylon & Beyond. From an April 21 posting by Borzou Daragahi in Beirut and Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran (emphasis mine):
The day after Pope Benedict XVI departed the U.S. after a six-day visit, Blaine Harden of the Washington Post lamented the Catholic Church’s influence in the Philippines, specifically, the government of Philippines "acceding to Catholic doctrine" by "supporting only what it calls ‘natural’ family planning," rejecting "modern contraception" as part of family planning." Throughout his article, titled "Birthrates Help Keep Filipinos in Poverty," Harden painted a bleak picture of "the fastest-growing segment of the Philippine population," which is "very poor people with large families," and sought to blame their poverty and backwardness on their following Catholic teaching, brushing aside corruption and other factors that contribute to poverty. A photo accompanying the article in the print-edition of the Post showed a poor Filipino mother in her shack with her four children, two of whom are naked.
Harden described the Church’s influence throughout the article, hinting that it had created a climate of fear in the country "An organization that is helping Espinoza [a poor Filipino woman who plans to get a contraceptive intrauterine device] agreed to introduce this reporter to her on condition that it not be named. The group’s health workers said they fear retaliation and harassment from officials in the national and city government, as well as from the Catholic Church." He immediately mentioned after this that in 2005, the "Catholic bishops in the southern Philippines announced that they would refuse Communion to government health workers who distributed birth control devices."
In the past several years, on any given day -- including holidays, mind you! -- you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting a media member complaining about how America's respect within the international community had declined under George W. Bush.
This makes Friday evening's editorial in Investor's Business Daily all the more astounding.
Readers are strongly advised to prepare themselves for an alternate state of reality before proceeding any further (emphasis added, h/t NB reader Andrew Gill):
Weather Underground leader turned-academic William Ayers is now so docile that it never really "bothered anyone in Chicago," that Sen. Barack Obama had any connection to him, wrote Chicago Sun-Times reporter Lynn Sweet in the April 18 paper. Along those same lines the Washington Post's Peter Slevin argued that the '60s radical was now "considered so mainstream" in Chicago "that [Mayor Richard] Daley issued a statement on Thursday praising him as a 'distinguished professor of education' and a 'valued member of the Chicago community.'"
But while he may have forsaken violence long ago, as his blog attests, Ayers's politics are far from mainstream, and go far beyond the standard Democratic arguments to withdraw from Iraq. For example, Ayers wants to pay reparations in Iraq AND Afghanistan and practically withdraw the U.S. military from the entirety of the Middle East, even in countries that have longstanding security arrangements with the U.S.
Taken from an April 13 blog post titled originally enough, "End the War" (emphasis mine):
In an interview with Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George about the upcoming visit of Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith was concerned about the reaction of the American people to the new pontiff: "Explain the difference between the private man and the public Pope that some Americans are maybe even a little unsure or fearful of."Monday’s "Early Show" identified the Pope as a "hard liner" numerous times. [Audio available here]
Smith went on to ask about the priest pedophilia scandals and if the Pope’s mission was meant to "heal" those scandals: "The Pope was talking to reporters about priest abuse in the Catholic Church in the United States, and he said, quote, "we are deeply ashamed and we'll do whatever is possible so that this does not happen in the future." Is this -- this trip to the United States, would you say that this -- part of the mission of this church is some healing?"
Finally, Smith concluded the interview by asking Cardinal George about the Pope’s opposition to the Iraq war: "He is going to be addressing the United Nations, he's going to be speaking to the President of the United States in private chambers. Among the messages of the Catholic Church is an anti-war message. Will he deliver that to President Bush?" The Cardinal responded by explaining: "He is eager, however, that whatever happens next is good for the Iraqi people, that they can live in peace and that we don't leave a very violent Iraq behind. So I'm sure the conversation won't just be anti-war or pro war, it'll be what do we do next?"
At the beginning of Monday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith exclaimed: "Coming to America. Pope Benedict XVI arrives on American soil tomorrow. How will Americans receive his hard line and soft style?" In the later segement, correspondent Allen Pizzey continued the "hard line" theme: "Since becoming Pope Benedict XVI three years ago, the man who used to be the Vatican's chief hard-liner has undergone an image makeover...when Americans see him next week, they may get a pleasant surprise."
Pizzey went on to describe the Pope’s "makeover":
Benedict has made what one ambassador to the Holy See called a smooth transition from scholar to universal pastor. It may not quite fit the miracle category, but it is nonetheless an extraordinary transition for a man who was once known as God's Rottweiler. As Pope he has not gone out of his way to appease the more liberal wings of the Catholic Church in the U.S., but Benedict's chief image maker is unfazed.
Following Pizzey’s report, co-host Julie Chen interviewed left-wing priest, Father Thomas Reese, who was editor of the Catholic magazine "America," until the Vatican pressured him to resign for allowing numerous liberal opinion pieces critcizing the Church to be published.