CNN correspondent Michael Ware appeared on Monday's "American Morning" and gave a live report from Baghdad on Sen. John McCain's visit to the Iraqi capital. Host Soledad O'Brien asked him during the segment if he had, as suggested in Internet accounts, heckled the presidential hopeful:
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: Let me ask you a question. There was a report that said you were heckling and you were laughing during the senator's press conference. Is that true?
WARE: "Well, let's bear in mind that this is a report that was leaked by an unnamed official, of some kind, to a blog, to somewhere on the Internet. No one is going to put their name forward. We certainly haven't heard Senator McCain say anything about it, or any of his staff have come forward to say anything about it.
CNN Baghdad reporter Michael Ware has had quite a week getting his rips in, and more, about how ineffective (in his view) current military efforts in Baghdad have been -- to the point of obviously crossing the line into blatant unprofessionalism earlier today.
Ware's "the war is failing" stridency flared up last Tuesday, and can be seen at this YouTube video (HT Hot Air) -- Ware starts getting his rips in at about the 1:30 mark after McCain states that some neighborhoods of Baghdad are safe. It appears that Blitzer made sure that McCain didn't get any words to rebut Ware after Ware's rant. Ware's strongest riposte:
“I don't know what part of Neverland Senator McCain is talking about when he says we can go strolling in Baghdad.”
Next, on Thursday, Ware took issue with Joe Lieberman when the Connecticut senator said that "American soldiers are more confident walking the streets of Baghdad." Ware's response is that the insurgents are simply "laying low."
Finally, Drudge is reporting the following exclusive about Ware's conduct at a press conference that apparently took place earlier today:
Well, you might say, like child like parent. The New York Times, parent corporation of the Globe, is out with an editorial this morning, Talking Darfur to Death, very much along the same lines.
The Times politely writes off UN expressions of concern and Arab League diplomacy. Instead, it demands "concerted international action, including a strong protective force." Note that word: "force." Call it protective, but "force" inevitably implies guys with guns. And to what end? To stop the killing of innocent civilians in the ethnic, largely intra-Muslim, strife that grips Darfur. The parallel with the situation in Iraq is striking. Yet in the Darfur case the Times demands an international force, whereas in Iraq it of course is demanding that the international force in place withdraw post haste.
The co-hosts of "The View" again discussed the Iranian British hostage situation on the March 29 edition. Rosie O’Donnell trusted the Iranians more than the British and Americans, and the discussion evolved into more Rosie rants against alleged Bush administration tyranny and for the first time on "The View," Rosie ranted on her September 11 conspiracy theories. Rosie’s rants were too much even for fringe liberal Joy Behar. Token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck was far more assertive than the previous day. In the teaser at the end of the first segment, Rosie and Joy made light of the upcoming discussion.
ROSIE O’DONNELL: Alright we’re going to take a break and come back and talk about the situation in Iran with the soldiers, the British soldiers who were in international waters. The British say they were in the right waters and the Iranians say no they were in our waters, and so it begins.
JOY BEHAR: Do you think people are now clicking us off because you promoed that?
O’DONNELL: Well, I don’t know, but we're going to talk about it and I'm sure it will make the news.
Far be it from me to put in a plug for "Today," but I do hope Nancy Pelosi & Friends were watching this morning. Congressional Dems might be quick to dismiss what President Bush predicts would be the upshot of a date-certain pull-out from Iraq. But perhaps they would not so blithely disregard the observations of one of the most experienced and respected reporters on Iraqi matters . . . a New York Times staffer, no less.
During this morning's first half-hour, "Today" aired a segment devoted to answering the question "What if US Troops Withdraw?" In the first part, narrated by David Gregory, dueling experts painted alternatively gloomy and not-so-glum pictures of what things would be like if the US withdrew. Those on the "things wouldn't-be-so-bad" side seemed to receive more than their fair share of air time.
But then, Matt Lauer interviewed John Burns. As Matt observed, "few Western journalists have as a good a perspective on this war in Iraq as New York Times Baghdad bureau chief John Burns."
Failed radio mouth and Senatorial candidate from Minnesota , Al Franken, told David Letterman on the set of the "Late Show" that the USA should reconsider approving the Kyoto Protocols because the treaty is good for the economy -- Despite that the ruinous treaty was voted down by a unanimous Senate vote in 1997 for the very reason that it would harm the economy.
To a fawning audience and a rapt host, Franken attacked Bush over the treaty that was voted down before he ever got to office, saying "One of the dumbest things that this president has said -- and that is a high bar -- is that if we abided by the Kyoto agreement, it would be ruinous to our economy. The opposite is true."
As an NBC military affairs analyst, retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey is a familar face to many Americans. McCaffrey also serves as an adjunct professor at West Point, and in that capacity recently wrote an eight-page paper on the situation in Iraq based on a recent visit there.
In today's Washington Post, there appears an article by Thomas Ricks, WaPo's Pentagon correspondent, reporting on the McCaffrey paper. While Ricks does discuss some of McCaffrey's more optimistic findings, he emphasizes the negative while ignoring a number of the general's positive observations. Ricks' headline sets the tone: McCaffrey Paints Gloomy Picture Of Iraq, a tone reinforced by the article's opening line: "An influential retired Army general released a dire assessment of the situation in Iraq, based on a recent round of meetings there with Gen. David H. Petraeus and 16 other senior U.S. commanders."
Ricks does state that McCaffey's report "also lists several reasons for some new optimism, noting that since the arrival of Petraeus last month, 'the situation on the ground has clearly and measurably improved.'" And later: "Among McCaffrey's reasons for new optimism were that the Maliki government is permitting the United States to attack rogue leaders in the Mahdi Army of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Also, he noted that U.S. and Iraqi forces have changed their basic approach to operations, with soldiers now living on small outposts across Baghdad. Iraqi forces also are better equipped than before. In Anbar province, he noted, 'There is a real and growing groundswell of Sunni tribal opposition to the al-Qaeda-in-Iraq terror formations.' So, he concluded, it is still possible to develop a stable Iraq."
But Ricks omits mention of a number of other significant, positive findings that McCaffrey made, including the following:
From the moment she participated in an anti-war march in NYC at the time of the 2004 GOP convention, there's been little doubt as to where Meredith Vieira stands on Iraq. Even so, it was something of a shock to hear the "Today" co-host express her opposition in the first person plural this morning.
Discussing the war with Sen. John McCain [R-AZ] at about 7:05 AM ET this morning, she said:
"Six out of ten Americans don't agree [with you]. They want a pull-out from Iraq. So what are we missing? When you say we are succeeding, based on what?"
"We?" Give Meredith credit for candor; but one more reason for NBC to stop pretending it doesn't lean left.
Seymour Hersh of “The New Yorker” has been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration and the war in Iraq for many years. This certainly should come as no surprise to folks familiar with his name, his work, and his style of dangerously activist journalism.
On March 11, Hersh added a new wrinkle to his résumé by not only doing a radio interview with the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, but also actually discussing what he believes is the American military strategy towards Iran including what he called "an intensive planning for an air strike" and "some sort of on the ground operation."
Town hall or pep rally? Hard to tell, judging from the first half-hour of Hillary's appearance on Good Morning America today. Host Robin Roberts lavished praise on Hillary, suggested there's unanimous support for the Dem Iraq policy, and fielded only one audience question -- which came from someone who worked on Hillarycare in 1993 and beseeched Clinton to try it again as president.
GMA today kicked off its series of Town Hall meetings with the presidential candidates. This one, featuring Hillary, was located in Des Moines, Iowa. During the opening schmooze, Hillary, speaking of Iraq, stated: "I'm very proud that all the Democrats are saying the same thing and that's what we should all be working toward, and that's to begin to change this policy and get us on the right track."
ROBERTS: That is something that I think the country completely agrees on, on both sides about that.
It is always interesting to me how a story can be published as if it is serious work, a story that almost seems plausible until you step back from it to realize that not a shred of proof to support the supposition was ever offered. After you're done reading it you realize that all you ended up with were empty phrases like "some say" or "many are" instead of any statistics, studies or other proof. Such is the case with the Washington Post's story titled, "War Causing Split Among Evangelicals". In fact, writer Julie Sullivan flat out admits that there is no proof for her supposition that “many” evangelical Christians are turning away from the war... but she postulates the premise any way.
No polling data show conclusively that opinion has shifted among conservative evangelicals.
This is only the fourth paragraph (the previous three being one sentence affairs) so you'd think she could just retire the piece right there. But, no we have to start right up with the "some say" routine.
Lately it seems that HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” has become the place for left-wing politicians and media members to go on Friday evenings to say whatever disgraceful thing they want about the Bush administration without regard for accuracy or prudence.
Does that make it HBO’s answer to ABC’s farcical morning coffee klatch “The View,” and Bill Maher is suddenly just an intelligent version of Rosie O’Donnell with a Y-chromosome and better clothing?
The March 23 installment certainly suggested so, with the unabashed and unashamed host leading a herd of disgruntled liberals to slaughter conservatives much as Rosie now despicably does on almost a daily basis. In fact, Maher began this most recent episode with a monologue featuring ten out of eleven jokes about Bush, his family, the Administration, and seemingly any politician with an “R” next to his name.
Most disgracefully, the first josh of the evening actually mocked the First Lady (video available here):
It must have been very chilly in hell on Friday, for the editorial division of a major newspaper actually came down on Democrats.
I kid you not.
For those that missed it, the Washington Post ran an editorial Friday entitled “Retreat and Butter,” with a sub-headline “Are Democrats in the House voting for farm subsidies or withdrawal from Iraq?”
Having asked a tremendously valid question that most in the antiwar media have ignored as the Iraq debate heated up on Capitol Hill this week, the Post surprisingly and accurately answered its own question (better strap yourself in your seat):
The more things change, the more they stay the same. That was the focus of Bob Franken's report on CNN's "American Morning," which focused attention on the pork barrel spending proposals in the emergency funding bill for the military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The key excerpt:
REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) HOUSE SPEAKER: "With today's convening of the 110th Congress, we begin anew."
FRANKEN (voice over): "That was the rallying cry from the newly in-charge Democrats, the wheeling and dealing and hidden pork barrel spending would be no more. Fast forward just 10 weeks. Democratic leaders face their biggest challenge so far. The legislation providing $124 billion in war funding, combined with a troop pullout from Iraq next year. And they're using every tool at their command. The same tools they criticized the Republicans for using -- good, old fashioned pork."
Matt Lauer said the right thing. Was it for the wrong reason?
Discussing on this morning's "Today" with Tim Russert the current wrangling between the Bush administration and the Dem congress over a bill to fund the Iraq war and the Dems' attempt to include a "date certain" for troop withdrawal, Matt Lauer said:
"Robert Gates, the Defense Secretary, has said that sometime next month that the funding for troops on the ground will run out. So now we've got a very high stakes game of political chicken. And can you imagine the Democrats getting to a point where they actually stop the funding for troops on the ground? That would be a disaster, wouldn't it?"
Is it the media’s job to keep American citizens aware of statements made by foreign officials that could shed light on what we’re up against in winning the wars in Iraq and on terrorism? Or, should the press keep the caustic comments of such political officials from the public in order to maximize the impression that all the problems in the world are caused by the Bush administration?
While you formulate an answer, consider the following statements made by the Syrian Minister of Culture during a speech aired on Iranian television (video available here courtesy of Memri TV):
The so-called Al-Qaeda is in my opinion, an illusion. It is a bunch of organizations which used to be supervised by the CIA, and used to commit crimes in some Arab and Islamic countries.
Nice, huh? Alas, he was just getting warmed up blaming terrorism on America:
Judging by the excerpt Tucker Carlson played on his MSNBC show this afternoon at about 4:15 PM ET, Richard Engel's War Zone Diary is a powerful and moving documentary of the NBC reporter's experiences in Iraq. To his credit, Engel has accompanied troops on many combat patrols. Among other clips, we saw particularly compelling footage of Marines on a night mission in the mean streets of Ramadi, in Anbar province, searching for - and finding unharmed - one of their comrades who had gotten separated during an earlier patrol there.
Speaking of combat, Engel did at at one point state that "it is very brutal but after some time you do start to see things from their [U.S. soldiers' and Marines'] perspective."
There was quite a kangaroo court put together on CNN Tuesday evening largely designed to discredit recent confessions by al Qaeda terrorists Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Waleed Bin Attash while pointing accusatory fingers of blame at American interrogation methods (video available here).
Joining the host on “Paula Zahn Now” was Air America Radio’s Rachel Maddow, Republican strategist Amy Holmes, and CNN contributor Roland Martin.
As the panel was nicely stocked with only one view from the right, the views expressed were clearly sympathetic to our enemy, and suggestive that not only is America using inappropriate interrogation techniques, but also that any information we obtain “almost gets comical.”
After introducing some of the pertinent facts about the recent confessions, Zahn skeptically asked:
Oy, did Google's algorithims ever misfire. There at the top of my Gmail inbox this morning was an ad, which the Google wizards presumably determined to be geared to my predilections, for a book called . . . "Why Mommy Is a Democrat."
I suppose Google was right, in the sense that the ad piqued my interest, though the odds of my buying a copy of the book are as remote as Outer Mongolia. But let's have a look. According to the About page:
Why Mommy is a Democrat brings to life the core values of the Democratic party in ways that young children will easily understand and thoroughly enjoy. . . this colorful 28-page paperback illustrates the Democratic principles of fairness, tolerance and peace, and concern for the well-being of others. It's a great way for parents to gently communicate their committment to these principles and explain their support for the party.
Why Mommy is a Democrat may look like a traditional children's book, but it definitely isn't just for children. With numerous subtle (and not-so-subtle) swipes at the Bush administration and the Republican party, Why Mommy is a Democrat will appeal to Democrats of all ages.
READ UPDATE AT FOOT: Bill O'Reilly and guests discuss how "conservative bloggers" impacted the story.
To mark yesterday's fourth-anniversary of the war in Iraq, CBS News requested an interview with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad. The ambassador took time from a hectic war-time schedule to speak from Baghdad with Katie Couric, and in the course of the interview provided a first-hand view of how the new surge strategy is working.
But when last night's Evening News aired, lo and behold, the interview never ran. It was instead relegated to an obscure corner of Katie's online blog. CBS apparently determined that Ambassador Khalilzad's comments weren't "newsworthy."
Katie & Co. did find time for Bob Woodward [who to my knowledge has never been to Iraq], to opine that the violence in Iraq wouldn't persuade President Bush to change course.
It has been argued for years that the media typically focus on images from Iraq and the war on terror which paint American and Israeli military in a bad light while always presenting the enemy as victims.
In fact, this effort often includes the doctoring of photographs as well as the staging of events in front of rolling cameras which will be broadcast or published by an antiwar press without the slightest investigation into authenticity.
With that in mind, the picture at the right represents a rather startling image of terrorism that media would never dare share with the American people. As the MEMRI Blog shockingly reported (h/t Charles at LGF, emphasis added):
On the Friday edition of "Nightline," "20/20" anchor Barbara Walters appeared again to plug her sycophantic interview with Hugo Chavez, the virulently anti-American leader of Venezuela.
According to the ABC host, Chavez, who has called President Bush a murderer and a killer, simply likes to "poke fun at American leaders." During a discussion with "Nightline" host Martin Bashir, she also described the Venezuelan President in glowing, even flowery terms:
MARTIN BASHIR : "You've met him in person, you interviewed him, you spent time for him, for all the kind of brash things that he's actually said, how did you find him as an individual, as a man?"
BARBARA WALTERS: "Well, he was not what I expected. He was very dignified. He was warm, friendly. He likes the U.S. It's George Bush that he doesn't like. He also was very personal. He talked about how hard his life was, that he wished he could be in love but you can't be when you are heading a country."
On the March 19 edition of "The View," Barbara Walters returned from Venezuela where she conducted a puffy interview with President Hugo Chavez.
Walters insisted that "he is not crazy" and "he does not hate the United States" but "hates George Bush." The veteran ABC journalist, however, felt the discount oil Chavez provided to Hurricane Katrina victims is "a good thing to do."
Yet in 2001, ABC described American aid to the Afghan poor as merely "propaganda."
Although Barbara said he is a socialist and mentioned in passing that "he’s got a lot of things that are not so wonderful," there was not even a murmur about Chavez’s assault on the free press. Rosie O’Donnell, who rants against the PATRIOT Act’s alleged assault on civil liberties, did not bother to raise that concern. They even displayed some love for the Venezuelan dictator when Rosie coddled a talking Hugo Chavez doll. Ironically, on the next subject on patriotism, Rosie and Joy exclaimed that dissent is patriotic. The transcript is below.
As NewsBusters reported about the March 11 installment of “Meet the Press,” former “Nightline” anchor Ted Koppel made some almost verboten observations concerning the dangers of a premature withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. Amongst other things, Koppel claimed the battle between Sunnis and Shia currently taking place there would become a much larger religious conflict throughout the entire Persian Gulf region.
With that as pretext, another side of this issue ignored by the media is how Hizbullah and Iran are licking their respective chops at the thought of such a troop withdrawal and the opportunity it would present for the total annihilation of Israel.
Consider for example some recent comments made by Abdallah Safialdeen, Hizbullah’s representative in Iran. A few weeks ago, he gave an interview on Irani television, and made statements that if ever broadcast in America would radically change how U.S. citizens viewed the war (video available here courtesy of Memri TV):
Darfur today is not Iraq under Saddam. But there are sufficient parallels to render this morning's Boston Globe editorial deeply ironic. While the Globe has condemned the coalition intervention in Iraq, it clamors for aggressive international action in Darfur.
So how many Gathering of Eagles (GoE) counterprotesters were in Washington yesterday, and how did their numbers compare to the Answer Coalition's protest count?
The New York Times (may require registration) reported "several hundred counterdemonstrators" (HT Michelle Malkin, who has the priceless quote of the day -- ".... the NYTimes relied on 'several veterans of the antiwar movement' to give them crowd estimates of the Gathering of Eagles. It's the domestic equivalent of MSMers relying on dubious Iraqi stringers to provide them with war coverage...." -- THWAP!)
The Washington Post, in its article about the protest, wrote of "thousands of counter-demonstrators."
Keying off the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war this Tuesday, the networks will be running overviews of the situation there all week. Judging by the opening salvos this morning on ABC and NBC, you might when tuning in want to hide the sharp objects and keep the Zoloft handy. The picture painted is ceaselessly dismal, with any bright spots ignored or explained away.
Take the report by ABC's Terry McCarthy on today's Good Morning America. After citing weekend casualty statistics, he began by claiming that "now more than ever" Iraqis are nervous about the future of their country. According to McCarthy, "the sound of bombings and gunfire are constant backdrops to everyday life." Constant? Really? I daresay that in the great majority of the country, people rarely hear either. Even in hotspots like Baghdad, while such sounds are not unusual, neither are they "constant" by any means.
One challenge for the MSM is explaining away the largely peaceful and prosperous Kurdish north. McCarthy did his unlevel best: "even in northern Iraq's Kurdish region, which is relatively peaceful, the fight to keep terrorists out takes up a lot of time and energy. The Kurds dug a six-foot ditch all around the largest city, Irbil, to stop car bombs from entering."
The big three networks seem to have found religion. Bush-bashing religion, but faith nonetheless. ABC’s "Good Morning America" and "Nightline" highlighted Mayan "spiritual leaders" who protested a visit by President Bush to Guatemala.
The two shows focused on the "evil spirits" that the President supposedly brought and worried that the Commander in Chief has "angered the gods." NBC’s "Today" noted the protesters plans to "purify" the site and featured a demonstrator who chanted "Gringo go home."
This week, NewsBusters told you what the rest of the media won’t: While the Bush White House played a roll in the dismissal of eight U.S. Attorneys, Bill Clinton fired all 93 attorneys at the beginning of his first term.
On "Good Morning America," host George Stephanopoulos, who was a Clinton spokesman in 1993 and defended the then-President’s firing, hypocritically grilled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for firing 85 fewer attorneys.
For his level-headed professionalism, Lester Holt is on my [admittedly short] list of MSM faves. But while Holt did hit former Ambassador [to Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe] Joseph Wilson with one tough question on this morning's "Today," he let Valerie Plame's husband hijack the beginning of the interview, lobbed him numerous softballs, and failed to challenge Wilson on his blatant misrepresentation of Plame's role in sending him to Niger.
In the set-up piece preceding the interview, "Today" aired a clip of Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) asking Plame, during yesterday's congressional hearing, whether she was a Republican or a Democrat. For the record, Plame sardonically acknowledged that she was indeed a Dem.