Can you remember the last time you heard "Today" or other MSM outlets describe, in terms such as "over the top," rabid anti-Bush protests by the likes of the Cindy Sheehan crowd, the Code Pink girls, or the folks pictured below ? Neither can I. Conversely, when Bill Clinton receives enthusiastic receptions overseas, the MSM breaks out the "rock-star" analogies, with no sarcasm in sight.
But let President Bush receive a warm welcome from Eastern European crowds who appreciate his leadership on behalf of their freedom, and "Today" just can't take it.
On this morning's "Today" at 7:04 am EDT, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell reported from Bulgaria on the president's European trip, in which crowds in Bulgaria and notably in Albania greeted him very enthusiastically.
NBC CORRESPONDENT KELLY O'DONNELL: We've seen the president get a warm, sometimes over-the-top reaction here in Eastern Europewhere countries send troops to Iraq and also generally back the president. So he may not be all that anxious to get back to Washington."
On Wednesday’s "Situation Room," liberal anchor Jack Cafferty argued that, perhaps, it's President Bush, not Vladimir Putin, who is attempting to reignite the Cold War. However, Cafferty might want to consider the fact that fewer pesky journalists seem to mysteriously disappear in the United States than they do in Russia.
During this week’s Republican debate, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer had a suggestion for the national GOP: Be more like liberal Arnold Schwarzenegger. Now, this is an idea he’s peddled four times since the midterm elections. Isn’t it sweet when left-wing journalists offer advice to the Republican Party?
Speaking of liberal cable hosts, Keith Olbermann suggested this week that the unraveling of a terror plot at JFK airport was politically timed to help the Bush administration. Yes, Keith, and the Paris Hilton media soap opera is a cover by the White House to distract from the immigration debacle.
On Thursday’s “Good Morning America,” reporter Claire Shipman portrayed the simmering tensions between Russia and the United States as a replay of the Cold War and also took President Bush, who is meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at this week’s G8 summit, to task for missing a “critical diplomatic opportunity” to cooperate with the Russians over the placing of a proposed missile defense system in Poland.
Additionally, Shipman, while noting Putin’s rollback of democracy, contended that Russia’s president is “wildly popular at home” and hyperbolically claimed that “everybody is very happy with Vladimir Putin there.” While it’s true that Putin’s autocratic nature appears to have done him no harm in the polls, it’s quite silly to say that “everybody” is happy in a country where journalists and spies continue to die mysteriously.
There has been a certain amount of MSM coverage of the fact that Sunni tribal chiefs have begun encouraging men in their areas to volunteer for the Iraqi police force [file photo]. But I haven't seen MSM stories on the way that increased police presence may have translated into a more normal day-to-day life for the people of Anbar -- the large, Sunni-dominated province of western Iraq that contains such former hotspots as Fallujah and Ramadi.
So that was the question on my mind when I had the chance to participate yesterday in a blogger conference call with Brigadier General David D. Phillips [pictured below], the Deputy Commanding General of CPATT, the entity responsible for the training of the new Iraqi police force. Here's the general's response to my question as to the effect of the presence of Iraqi police on life in cities in Anbar.
Not that there had been much doubt as to where MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski stands politically . . . . As we have noted before, today wasn't the first time that the daughter of Jimmy Carter's erstwhile National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski has expressed liberal views on air. Still, it was jarring to hear the ostensibly objective newsreader, appearing as a guest on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" [an occasional show hosted by Joe Scarborough in Imus's former time slot] at 6:24 am EDT today, spout criticism of President Bush with a passion worthy of an "out" Dem partisan.
The springboard was a discussion among Mika, Joe and NPR contributor John Ridley of the moment in last night's GOP presidential debate in which Rudy deftly dealt with a lightning strike just as he was explaining his pro-choice views. Ridley opined, to the agreement of the others, that Rudy handled the impromptu moment more smoothly than President Bush often does his scripted ones. Scarborough observed that "we do need elected leaders who can communicate effectively," noting that it was Tony Blair, not President Bush, who in a session with Congress had made the most effective case for the Iraq war.
That's when Mika pounced.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: We're looking for someone who is going to be able to communicate globally and sort of repair what some may believe is a huge problem in terms of our reputation and respect for ourselves around the world.
For CNN, any opportunity is a good one to take potshots at U.S. policy in Iraq, even a solemn ceremony dedicated to honoring America's brave soldiers. This afternoon at 12:37 pm EDT, CNN International used the cover of a report on soldiers being honored for their valor to challenge MNF-I commander General David Petraeus on the success of the surge. CNN host Michael Holmes, an Australian, introduced the segment with a skeptical spin.
MICHAEL HOLMES: The U.S. troop surge. Is it working? Well, the top U.S. commander there says it’s too early to know for sure. David Petraeus is also urging patience, as the administration has for some time, despite the increasing number of U.S. casualties.
Publicly, American media elites often deny that they attempt to influence the national agenda. They're professionals, so the story goes, and completely capable of not letting their personal viewpoints intrude accidentally into their stories. It's laughable given the mountain of evidence to the contrary and the fact that journalists support affirmative action on the grounds that white reporters can't cover minority issues as fairly.
Every so often, however, you hear journalists privately say the complete opposite--that not only do they have the ability to influence news, they also choose to influence it. Such statements are usually more common among the non-American press where the sham of "objectivity" is not perpetrated on the public.
With that in mind, I was still quite surprised to see the following statements said at a panel discussion in Israel on the influence that country's media has had on its foreign policy:
What's the matter with Cuba? Why is its economy a disaster, its people mired in poverty? Could it be . . . communism? Of course not. Cuba's dire straits are the fault of that hegemonistic entity just to the north of the Florida Straits. Oh, and Cuban youth could care less about being enslaved. Don't believe it? Ask Andrea Mitchell.
The NBC correspondent appeared this morning at 7:10 am EDT on a special live-from-Havana edition of "Today," anchored by Matt Lauer.
NBC CORRESPONDENT ANDREA MITCHELL: The island's infrastructure is crumbling, crippled by a U.S. trade embargo that has lasted nearly half a century.
That was the sum total of Mitchell's explanation of Cuba's economic woes. Although Cuba is free to trade with all the 180-or-so other countries in the world, she offered not a word suggesting the brutal communist dictatorship could be to blame for what Matt Lauer had earlier acknowledged is the 50-cents per day average wage. True, Mitchell was seen boldly inveighing for change to a government official . A U.S. official, that is. Interviewing Cuban-born U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, Mitchell made her case for lifting the embargo.
Away visiting friends the last few days, I've been using GoToMyPC.com to access the video-capture capabilities of my home desktop. While it works well [unpaid testimonial] and lets me view the video once I've moved it to an editing board, for some reason while tuning in live to a show, the screen-within-a-screen is black. Thus, in "watching" Today this morning live, I could only hear, but not see, the segment on last night's Dem debate in New Hampshire.
But the ears-only experience was actually edifying. It permitted me to focus entirely on Hillary's voice, undistracted by her image. It's no revelation to say that Clinton's tone is anything but mellifluous. And though this was not Hillary at her nails-on-chalkboard worst, even so one can imagine Americans sitting at home asking themselves "do I want to listen to this for the next four years?" The clip I've provided includes three instances of Hillary speaking seriously on various issues. What's worse in some ways, is that it is followed by two instances of Clinton laughter. There is something about her forced giggle that is every bit as grating as Hillary in hectoring mode. Judge for yourself.
If George W. Bush had gone to law school and later flunked the bar exam, you can imagine that fact would have become a virtual part of his name in the MSM, as in "George Bush, who failed the bar exam, today criticized a law that . . ."
But it came as news to me when Carl Bernstein mentioned on this morning's "Today" that Hillary flunked the Washington, DC bar exam back in the '70s. OK, I'm not the most knowledegable guy, and the fact of Hillary's failure is not news -- after years of hiding the embarrassment, she revealed it, en passant, in her ghostwritten 2003 "autobiography." Note: according to that book, during the same period Hillary took and passed the Arkansas bar exam. The pass rate in Arkansas was considerably higher than in DC.
Politics has become so divisive that liberals in America really and truly believe that President Bush is utterly delusional. The rest of the country disagrees in varying degrees. It's clear, however, which side AP reporter Jennifer Loven is on. Hat tip: Power Line:
Confronted with strong opposition to his Iraq policies, President
Bush decides to interpret public opinion his own way. Actually, he
says, people agree with him.
Democrats view the November elections that gave them control of
Congress as a mandate to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq. They're
backed by evidence; election exit poll surveys by The Associated Press
and television networks found 55 percent saying the U.S. should
withdraw some or all of its troops from Iraq.
Is "Early Show" anchor Harry Smith stumping for an Al Gore presidency? On the May 30 edition of the show, it appeared like he did as he tried to place a "Gore 2008" pin on the former vice president’s suit. Before a tee ball interview, Smith demonstrated his desire for a Gore presidency to co-anchor Hannah Storm.
Yes he leans left. But MSNBC host Chris Matthews was manifestly offended by the Mexican audience at the Miss Universe pageant that booed Miss USA. The Mexicans were adding insult to injury, since the lovely and gracious Rachel Smith of Tennessee had earlier slipped onto her derrière during the evening gown segment of the competititon.
Discussing the matter on this afternoon's Hardball with his panel of NBC political director Chuck Todd, Howard Fineman of Newsweek, and Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Tribune, Matthews unleashed on the Mexicans:
That's about the worst PR I can think of for this Mexican immigration bill which is mainly helping Mexicans become legal Americans. . . This young woman smiled right through it. That's class, but [the booing] wasn't very classy.
What is it about immigration though that bothers Mexicans? I mean there are 12 million here illegally. That's fairly benign, even if it is passive, policy. It's hardly predatory. What other country in the world let's 12 million come in there, live there illegally? How can you be mad at that?
Hugo Chavez is simultaneously acting as Bull Connor (fire hoses/water cannons) and Gustav Husak (deploying tanks against his own people), yet what little Old Media coverage there is seems to want to avoid those elements of the story.
At 11:00 a.m. Sunday, Gateway Pundit blogged on Venezuela's virtual dictator sending in tanks to intimidate opponents demonstrating against a government-planned closure of one of the country's last independent TV outlets. An underlying post at Publius Pundit that GP linked to shows the tanks in place, and has a time stamp of 2:09 a.m.
May 24, the Washington Post wrote an article describing a “theater-wide delay in food shortage," “especially for (f)resh fruits and salad bar items” which quoted a “memo” reportedly issued by an official Green-Zone organization. It is identical in wording to a “memo” posted on a blog belonging to harsh anti-war critic and former CIA and State Department employee Larry Johnson, who is known for claiming in July 2001 that “terrorism is not the biggest security challenge confronting the United States, and it should not be portrayed that way.”
The memo was posted in a PDF on Johnson’s blog, No Quarter, and according to Ace of Spades, used a Lenox china flag-cluthing eagle collectible figurine on tan emblem for the header's graphics. Little Green Footballs also questioned its veracity, stating it was “not a scan of a printed original,” but typed directly from Microsoft Word “two days after the date on the so-called ‘memo.’ ” I noticed a lack of any official identifiers like group affiliation, phone numbers, job titles or logos. Even Johnson now admits in an update that a “journalist buddy” said a US military Public Affairs Officer in Baghdad called it a fake (more after jump).
Katie Couric may be many things (don’t call her perky), but she’s not subtle. The "CBS Evening News" anchor touted a new special on Walter Cronkite, a journalist who "stood up to the Commander in Chief" during an "unpopular war."
Former Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos, now the anchor of ABC’s "This Week," took time out of his interview with House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi to muse with the Democrat over what it would be like to stand at the House podium behind the first female President. Hmm, who might that be?
In case you somehow missed it elsewhere, NewsBusters has the complete transcript (and video) of the O’Donnell/Hasselbeck dust-up. Thrill as Rosie, who says the media portrays her as a "fat," "loud lesbian," faced off against the feisty token conservative. On Friday, the MRC's Justin McCarthy reported that O'Donnell will not be returning for her contract's final three weeks.
David Espo of the Associated Press appeared to be unhappy with the result of the House vote on Iraq war funding, and to be offering an excuse for the House Democratic leadership (bolds are mine throughout this post):
WASHINGTON - Bowing to President Bush, the Democratic-controlled House reluctantly approved fresh billions for the Iraq war on Thursday, minus the troop withdrawal timeline that drew his earlier veto.
The 280-142 vote sent the bill to the Senate for final passage, expected later in the evening.
..... Five months in power on Capitol Hill, Democrats coupled their concession to the president with pledges to challenge his policies anew. "This debate will go on," vowed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, announcing plans to hold votes by fall on four separate measures seeking a change in course.
A later unbylined AP report about President Bush's impending signature on the funding bill after Senate passage almost seems to have been written by the DNC, while providing cover for the party's two leading presidential candidates:
“Entertainment Weekly's” online site, EW.com, is usually politics-free, but not this week. Who would have thought that EW's “Lost” blogger could inject a little Bush Derangement Syndrome into a review of the show's May 23 season finale? Somehow, writer Jeff Jensen managed to find a way (spoilers ahead).
In case you aren’t a “Lost” viewer, here’s what you need to know to help explain this article about the show's season closer entitled “Through The Looking Glass.” Ben, the leader of the Others, intercepted the retreating Losties to negotiate with their leader Jack. Three Losties stayed behind to attack the Others’ but were taken hostage in the process. Ben threatened to have them killed by their captors if Jack didn’t follow his demands. So, now that the scene is set up, here is the BDS in full glory (emphasis mine):
You're Hillary Clinton [work with me here] tuning into "Today" the morning after you've voted against funding the Iraq war . What's the one image you dread seeing pop up? But there it was.
This isn't shaping up as Hillary's favorite day. As the Washington Post reports here, two books about Clinton have hit the shelves, and neither paint a flattering portrait of the former First Lady. What's more, Hillary won't be able to blame this one on the VRWC. The authors are, respectively, the very lefty Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame, and a pair of New York Times reporters.
But while the Hillary camp is surely less than thrilled about those books, my sense is that in the long run, her candidacy has more to fear from being stuck with the dreaded Kerry flip-flop label. Imagine the paroxysms of pain for the Hillary camp while watching this morning's "Today." Discussing Hillary's 'no' vote on Iraq funding, the NBC show broke out the dreaded footage of Kerry's "I actually voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it."
When it comes to anti-war politics, Rosie O'Donnell is one bedfellow Chris Matthews would gladly do without. The MSNBC host made that crystal clear on this afternoon's Hardball. Matthews played a clip of O'Donnell's recent slanging spate in which she unmistakably intimated to Elizabeth Hasselbeck that US troops are terrorists, responsible for 655,000 civilian deaths in Iraq [itself a grossly exaggerated figure in any case].
MSNBC HOST CHRIS MATTHEWS: While I generally sympathize with her point of view, her skepticism about this war, I do have a problem with her suggestion that we're the terrorists, which is clearly what the intent of that conversation was.
Editor's Note (Ken Shepherd): The 9/11 conspiracy nuts behind "Loose Change" are supposed to be guests on the May 24 "The View." It's odd that Rosie wouldn't be on to share her thoughts about fire being unable to melt steel.
After Rosie O'Donnell's now infamous fight with Elisabeth Hasselbeck on the May 23 edition of "The View," Rosie hinted on her blog that she may not co-host the show tomorrow. The homepage of rosie.com starts with a rambling poem ending with, "tomorrow [Rosie's partner] Kelli turns 40. I will not be at work."
Why should a country go to the effort of spying on America when all they have to do is follow the US media? USA Today reported a database of phone calls and the New York Times publically exposed the SWIFT banking transaction database; both were used to combat terrorism. Now on the May 22 edition of ABC News’ the Blotter, Brian Ross and Richard Esposito revealed another national security-related secret (my emphasis throughout):
The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com.
As America’s media largely gushed over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-California) visit to Syria last month, it would only be fair of them to gauge reaction of the citizens most-largely impacted – the Syrians themselves.
In a rather stunning article published May 15, The New York Observer has gone where few press outlets dare (h/t LGF, emphasis added throughout):
Many Syrian dissidents and pro-democracy activists have privately expressed dismay at Ms. Pelosi’s message of friendship to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. They say that Ms. Pelosi’s visit, no matter how well-intentioned, has effectively pulled the rug out from under them, critically damaging their efforts to create momentum for reform from within.
Think you’ll be hearing Charlie, Katie, or Brian utter such words any time soon? Regardless, that was only the beginning of this marvelous exposé:
The May 17 edition of "The View" featured Rosie equating the United States with the terrorists, and Joy announcing her support for a Republican...but not what you may think. Token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck strongly made her case for how evil terrorists are and Rosie scuffed, "I don’t think you should use the word terrorist." Hasselbeck then noted a murderer is a murderer and asked what we should call terrorists "sweet peas?"
Rosie, in interrogating the non-liberal co-hosts, implied that the United States are the real terrorists.
O’DONNELL: I haven't -- I just want to say something. 655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?
Chris Matthews is not a liberal. Andrea Mitchell has told us so. Yet there are times when our fervent belief in that tenet is strained. Such as on this afternoon's "Hardball," when the only two moments from last night's GOP debate that Matthews singled out for praise were when candidates adopted liberal positions: McCain opposing torture and Rudy sticking up for abortion.
MSNBC HOST CHRIS MATTHEWS: Last night in Columbia, South Carolina, the two GOP frontrunners showed profiles in courage: McCain opposing torture, Giuliani defending abortion rights. . . Here's Senator McCain on the issue of torture last night; I was very taken with these words . . . You know, I don't offer strong opinions all the time on this show [of course not], I usually bow to the guests. But I am so taken with that . . . I know he scored, Chuck [NBC political director Todd] no points last night but he scored one with me . . . Anybody's who's ever been in uniform is against torture, and it's the pencil necks, if you will, the armchair generals who always like wars a lot except when they or their family members might be in those wars.
In another sad example of self flagellation by western elitists, the Guardian Newspaper in England published a column on how we Americans (and our English cousins) should not celebrate the founding of Jamestown, the first Virginia colony, 400 years ago because of... you guessed it... slavery.
Here we have another elitist congratulating himself that he is "informed" enough to know that slavery makes the founding of the USA a blight on humanity instead of the great event it truly is. Another leftist who cannot bring himself to be proud of anything the west has been responsible for because there were some bad things mixed in with the good. In fact, the bad things make us such hypocrites, goes this type of thinking, that all the good should be discounted over it. (It is always in fashion for Europeans to look down on the US, isn't it?)
Discussing this week’s announcement that British Prime Minister Tony Blair will soon be resigning, all three morning shows managed to work in the insulting "Bush’s poodle" reference. "Good Morning America" was the most obnoxious, absurdly claiming that "Bill Clinton’s sidekick became Bush’s poodle."
Speaking of global warming, Diane Sawyer and "Good Morning America" have been promoting liberal environmentalism for quite some time. This week, however, GMA went even further and touted a New York liberal who wants to save the planet by not using toilet paper. Some things, you just can’t make up....
Boycotts are falling everywhere. With the French having elected Sarkozy, American conservatives are feeling good about buying Beaujolais again. And with Imus gone from MSNBC, Hillary Clinton has ended her one-woman boycott of the network's morning-show slot. Hillary had famously shunned the shock-jock's show in the wake of his suggestive shtick at a Radio & TV Correspondents dinner with Pres. Clinton and the First Lady in attendance.
Hillary did a lengthy phone interview at 8:09 EDT today on "Morning Joe," the latest in MSNBC's revolving morning-chat shows in the old Imus slot, hosted by Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman who hosts a regular evening show in the MSNBC lineup. At one point during the interview, Joe told Hillary "I'm not kissing up to you at all. Those who know me know I certainly don't do that." But if there were any questions that put Hillary on the spot, I must have missed them. There were points of agreement on health care and other issues. Joe blamed himself for being part of the impeachment effort and closed with a bouquet for Hillary's "unifying" presence.
It is no wonder that jihadists everywhere imagine we can so easily be beaten when western MSM outlets are often filled with capitulators and defeatists. The Wisconsin State Journal has just such a foolish, western dupe in it's May 10th issue in a column by Kevin J. Mack who is scolding us all that these "so-called terrorists" just need a little understanding... as if they are merely errant teenagers who need a stern talking to and a little parental lovin'. And, Mack's sentiment that it is really all our fault is all too common in the media today.
An investigation by Telemundo and NBC News has uncovered details of an
extensive smuggling network run by Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim group
founded in Lebanon in 1982 that the United States has labeled an
international terrorist organization. The operation funnels large sums
of money to militia leaders in the Middle East and finances training
camps, propaganda operations and bomb attacks in South America,
according to U.S. and South American officials.
U.S. officials fear that poorly patrolled borders and rampant
corruption in the Tri-border region could make it easy for Hezbollah
terrorists to infiltrate the southern U.S. border. From the largely
lawless region, it is easy for potential terrorists, without detection,
to book passage to the United States through Brazil and then Mexico
simply by posing as tourists.