Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder was grilled by Republicans on Capitol Hill Tuesday about the Justice Department’s botched sting Operation Fast and Furious, which allowed guns to flow untracked into the U.S. and Mexico, putting thousands of illegally purchased firearms on the street, one of which led to the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in the Arizona desert.
Republican questioners even forced Holder to admit his initial statements to Congress about his knowledge of the gun-walking were "inaccurate.” But the New York Times's print edition completely skipped it.
If you are familiar with that name, the first thing to pop into your mind would probably be Watergate. And, indeed, the very first sentence of Haldeman's Wikipedia entry mentions that scandal.
For the folks who now know the name of the Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ Criminal Division, Operation Fast & Furious would come to mind right away. However, this scandal that Breuer is best known for is absent from his Wikipedia page.
For today's "Gut Check" segment on MSNBC's 2 p.m. Eastern NewsNation program, substitute host Craig Melvin interviewed a South Carolina sheriff who is urging women in his county to carry a concealed handgun for protection against would-be rapists.
During his Skype interview with Chuck Wright, Melvin worried about the poor dead would-be rapists being checked into the Spartanburg County morgue without the benefit of a trial (emphasis mine, video follows page break):
The Fox News host pressed the journalist on her revelation from Tuesday's Laura Ingraham Show, that associate White House communications director Eric Schultz "screamed and cussed" at her for her reporting on the controversy. Attkisson would only state that "the conversation, as you reported it, was accurate," and later added that "the point is really not the content of that. The point is, story-wise, it seems significant and important how people handle questions, and how they react when you ask questions" [video clips available below the jump]
Mark Hemingway of The Weekly Standardreported on Wednesday afternoon that he had attempted to interview CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson about her dogged coverage of the ongoing "Fast and Furious" controversy, but was told that she was "unavailable." Attkisson has been the sole journalist on the Big Three networks regularly covering the story, particular during the past several weeks.
Hemingway described in his blog entry that he called CBS News to interview the correspondent, but was "told by CBS News senior vice president of communications Sonya McNair that Attkisson would be unavailable for interviews all week. When I asked why Attkisson would be unavailable, McNair would not say." On Tuesday, the reporter revealed on Laura Ingraham's radio show that Obama administration officials had "screamed and cussed" at her over her coverage of the story.
CBS's Sharyl Attkisson revealed on Tuesday's "Laura Ingraham Show" the extent of the rage directed at her from the Obama administration for her reporting on the "Fast and Furious" controversy: "The DOJ woman was just yelling at me. A guy from the White House on Friday night literally screamed at me and cussed at me." Attkisson also stated that "they think I'm unfair and biased by pursuing it."
The journalist appeared on the conservative talk show host's program at the bottom of the 9 am Eastern hour to talk about her latest reporting on the growing Justice Department scandal. She highlighted on Monday's "CBS Evening News" that "new documents...show Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial 'Fast and Furious' operation as far back as July 2010. That directly contradicts his [May 3, 2011] statement to Congress."]
"CBS Evening News" distinguished itself among the Big Three networks on Monday by devoting an entire segment to the ongoing controversy over the "Fast and Furious" program, where the federal government smuggled guns to Mexican drug cartels. NBC hasn't mentioned the story on its news programs since April 17, while the last time ABC covered it was a news brief on June 15.
Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reported that "new documents obtained by CBS News show Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial 'Fast and Furious' operation as far back as July 2010. That directly contradicts his [May 3, 2011] statement to Congress." After playing a sound bite from Holder's testimony, Attkisson continued that "at least ten months before that hearing, Holder began receiving frequent memos discussing 'Fast and Furious.' They came from...Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer."
In early May of this year, Attorney General Eric Holder told Rep. Darrell Issa's House committee that he was "not sure of the exact date" he learned of Fast and Furious, but that he "probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.
Now, CBS News has obtained documents showing that Holder was sent briefings on the controversial operation as early as July 2010, nearly a year before he claimed to Congress to have known about the gunwalking program. While the Justice Department claims that "Holder misunderstood that question from the committee – he did know about Fast and Furious – just not the details," the video of the May 4 committee meeting suggests otherwise.
Do you think the media coverage of Holder's lie to Congress will be as minimal as their coverage of the Solyndra scandal? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
It would appear that there is a reason beyond alleged "journalistic integrity" why the New York Times hasn't pulled its error-riddled, only partially corrected mid-August story by Eric Lichtblau ("A Businessman in Congress Helps His District and Himself") about California Republican Congressman Darrell Issa.
Issa has identified 13 serious errors in the Times story, the cumulative effect of which, in the words of Powerline's John Hinderaker several weeks ago, show the story to be "nothing but lies and fabrications ... (which) never should have been published." The Times has corrected three. Though it appears to be dead wrong on the other ten, it hasn't given any further quarter and won't pull the story. Its Public Editor, as Clay Waters at NewsBusters noted, has found Issa's request for a retraction "troubling."
On Tuesday's Early Show, CBS targeted Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry by using their 'Fast Draw' animators to depict the Texas governor as gun-slinging, right-wing extremist. Cartoonists Josh Landis and Mitch Butler turned to a Texas journalist who claimed that Perry "would turn back the clock. He would take America back to where there was basically no safety net" [audio clips available here].
The largely animated segment focused on Perry as part of "a contest to find out who will be 'America's Next Top Republican,'" a parody of the TV show "America's Next Top Model." After labeling the governor a "true believer," Landis noted the Texas politician's beginnings in "the dusty little town of Paint Creek," highlighting how "he bathed on the back porch," even depicting this with feet hanging out of a bathtub.
[Video clips from the segment available below the jump.]
Reuters appears to have taken the side of the Obama Administration in the Operation Fast & Furious scandal in which guns were permitted by the Bureau of Alcohol Firearms Tobacco and Explosives to be "walked" across the Mexican border via the sale to straw buyers. The Department of Justice has portrayed this as a mere "botched" operation in which "mistakes" were made rather than the result of malignant intent. And if you read this Reuters article about Attorney General Eric Holder's attempt to distance himself from what has been dubbed "Operation Gunwalker" they go out of their way to emphasize the "botched" nature of the operation which has been the administration line on this matter:
(Reuters) - Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday sought to distance himself and other senior Justice Department officials from a botched operation to track guns smuggled to Mexican drug cartels, saying they were not involved.
British-born MSNBC Martin Bashir took the time in his September 7 program to lament the absence of gun control as a major issue in the 2012 presidential contest and to take aim in particular at Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), painting him as cavalier at best and heartless at worst when it comes to the victims of crimes committed with guns.
President Barack Obama wants you to believe that America's Founding Fathers were in error when they gave citizens the right to bear arms.
The Obama administration and even its Mexican counterpart have manipulated public opinion to believe that the cartel drug wars are being fueled largely by American guns. In support of that spin, they are trying to impose a new regulation that requires licensed firearms dealers in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California to report to the federal government whenever someone buys from them more than one semiautomatic rifle with certain characteristics.
Here's a story I don't expect the media to trumpet, partly because it cuts against the MSM's preferred narrative on gun laws.
"Virginia's bars and restaurants did not turn into shooting galleries as some had feared during the first year of a new state law that allows patrons with permits to carry concealed guns into alcohol-serving businesses," Mark Bowes of the Richmond Times-Dispatch noted in an August 14 story:
At least one person in the White House knew about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives gun-running operation three months before weapons from the botched sting were found at the murder scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
That’s what a high-ranking ATF official told Congress on Tuesday.
The NBC News Investigative Unit has devoted considerable resources to uncovering "scandals" ranging from Marcus Bachmann's health clinic to Newt Gingrich's credit line at Tiffany to the Sarah Palin document dump, but continues to ignore a botched Justice Department operation that contributed to the death of a U.S. border agent.
Examining the trove of reports filed by NBC News national investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff over the last few months reveals a fixation on investigations involving Republican politicians and an aversion to probes concerning the Obama administration, even as other media outlets expose the controversial ATF practice of letting guns purchased in America slip across the U.S.-Mexico border in hopes the trail would lead federal agents to drug kingpins.
In a late Monday morning report, the Associated Press's Erica Werner wondered why "the White House has yet to take any new steps on gun violence" he supposedly promised in the wake of the January shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Either Werner or the headline writers at AP are getting extraordinarily impatient, as seen in the headline which follows the jump:
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) conducted hearings on Wednesday to investigate a highly controversial ATF operation that led to the death of a U.S. border agent, but neither NBC nor ABC covered the story on their nightly newscasts.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman lambasted a Justice Department official who claimed to be cooperating with the investigation but offered not much more than severely redacted documents. "You should be ashamed of yourself," scolded Issa. "How dare you offer an opening statement of cooperation."
"Shouldn't presidential candidates and prospective candidates have a firm grasp of American history?" Chris Matthews rhetorically asked on the June 9 "Hardball" before lamenting that Sarah Palin had a penchant for being "painfully wrong" on the subject, citing her recent inartful explanation of the famed midnight ride of Paul Revere.
Yet it seems Matthews may have no idea why the British regulars were marching on Lexington and Concord in the first place, as the "Hardball" host scoffed yesterday at Palin making an "NRA ad" out of the historical ride.
CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight has been such a parade of celebrity interviews it’s almost made Larry King Live look like a hard-news show. But on Wednesday night, Morgan interviewed Ted Nugent and pounded him repeatedly and personally, especially insulting him as a “draft dodger.” He also suggested he was homophobic and not compassionate toward the poor.
Morgan naturally picked a big fight on the Second Amendment, which he declared “the reality is you end up with what happened to Gabby Giffords in Tucson.” Morgan insisted to Nugent, “Eighty people a day die in America from gunshots.” Nugent replied, “Kiss my ass...You are playing the idiot’s advocate.” The gun talk began when Morgan ran video of Nugent suggesting Obama should suck on his machine gun:
The April 29 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton has the media world abuzz as the couple prepares to walk down the aisle this week. Although the affair is more than 3,000 miles away and focuses on the royalty of a foreign nation, the U.S. media is giving the wedding overwhelming coverage.
New York Times critic Mike Hale’s review of an HBO documentary on the evils of guns, “Gun Fight,” is colored with his liberal perspective. Hale is never hesitant to work in his liberal political opinions into his reviews. He clearly favors left-wing public affairs series like Frontline, and has embraced European-style nationalized health care as clearly superior to the U.S. version (until Obama-care, anyway).
Barbara Kopple’s engrossing, frustrating documentary “Gun Fight” -- it’s not liable to inspire happy thoughts in people on either side of the gun-control debate -- begins with eerie cellphone video footage taken during the Virginia Tech shootings in April 2007, and the aftermath of that rampage provides the film’s emotional ballast.
Ms. Kopple, who in the past has demonstrated her sympathies for labor unions (“Harlan County U.S.A.” and “American Dream,” both Oscar winners) and the Dixie Chicks (“Shut Up and Sing”), gives plenty of time in “Gun Fight” to people who believe that the limits on an American’s right to own and carry a gun should be few or none. ....
This week, the picture is finally complete. First, the Obama White House decided to leap headfirst into the gun control debate. Then came the response from Congress, which is far more interested in investigating the "Fast and Furious" scandal, in which federal agents allowed thousands of guns to be "walked" into Mexico and furnished to drug cartels. And now the final piece: President Barack Obama has filed his papers to run for re-election.
That in a nutshell is all gun owners need to know about the 2012 presidential election. After two years of avoiding the gun control debate (and violating his own campaign promises to push for additional restrictions), Obama finally is showing his true colors on this important issue. Let's not forget that this is the same candidate who once espoused a total ban on handguns and more recently supported a nationwide ban on right-to-carry laws. And if he couldn't get that done, he said he would support increasing the taxes on guns and ammunition by 500 percent. Now he is trying to be measured about his gun control objectives, using vague and gauzy rhetoric that his handlers hope will be difficult to hang around his neck.
Since the very first days of this president's administration, the drug-fueled cartel violence in Mexico has provided a stalking horse for the gun control agenda. Early on, both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder cited Mexican violence as a reason to renew the Bill Clinton gun ban of 1994. After those trial balloons were shot down, the ball was passed to Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who repeatedly has blamed American gun rights for Mexican violence. And more recently, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives cited cartel mayhem as justification for an attempt to mandate the reporting of all multiple long gun sales in border states. This regulation would force dealers to report all purchases of more than one long gun if the guns are magazine-fed and larger than .22 caliber — effectively creating a registry.
But now, shocking revelations that grow bigger every day completely undercut the argument for additional restrictions. In fact, they illuminate bureaucratic arrogance, recklessness and hypocrisy of the highest order in the hallways of the Obama administration — including the spreading stench of a massive cover-up.
"Word is that curios George Gillett the Phoenix ASAC stepped on it again. Allegedly he has approved more than 500 AR-15 type rifles from Tucson and Phoenix cases to be �walked� to Mexico. Appears that ATF may be one of the largest suppliers of assault rifles to the Mexican cartels! One of these rifles is rumored to have been linked to the recent killing of a Border Patrol Officer in Nogales, AZ. Can anyone confirm this information?"
Thus began the first post last December on an historic thread at the CleanUp ATF forum website on the subject of the Project Gunrunner scandal. This website, which features postings by former and current whistleblowing members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is currently leading the way in reportage of this scandal, leaving most of the MSM in the dust. Anybody interested in getting up to speed on this scandal should check out CleanUp ATF for the very latest developments as seen from whistleblowers from inside the ATF.
Only a few other sources are reporting on this, particularly the blog of Gun Rights Examiner, David Codrea, who ironically named this scandal "Operation Gunwalker" plus some reporting from FOX news as well as CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson whose fascinating report can be seen in this video. Unfortunately, except for the sources cited, there has been very little reporting in the mainstream media on this rapidly developing scandal. For those of you interested in following this, including MSM reporters whose organizations have so far ignored this scandal, the best place to get the latest breaking information continues to be from the whistleblowing AFT personnel (former and current) at CleanUp ATF.
If the New York Times isn’t a liberal newspaper, then why do so many humorless liberals complain when it makes a lighthearted detour off the P.C. reservation?
The retooled letters-to-the-editor page contains an amusing revelation of the delicate liberal sensitivities of the paper’s readership.
The Times flagged a variety of complaints about a feature in the previous issue, showing nine handguns for women, “purse pistols” that writer Chee Pearlman described as “flashier, more feminine and easier to pop into a handbag.” The outcry, according to the Times:
Buried in Barack Obama's failed trillion-dollar stimulus program was a $10 million bloody border racket that has now cost American lives. This goes far beyond the usual waste, fraud and abuse underwritten by progressive profligacy. It's bloodstained government malfeasance overseen by anti-gun ideologues — and now anti-gun ideologue Attorney General Eric Holder will "investigate."
Welcome to Project Gunrunner. Prepare for another Justice Department whitewash.
Tim McCarthy, a former Secret Service agent who took a bullet intended for President Ronald Reagan, will observe the 30th anniversary of the attempted assassination on Wednesday by going to Springfield to oppose legislation that would repeal Illinois's ban on concealed carrying of firearms.
McCarthy said he's alarmed that an Illinois House Committee approved a concealed carry proposal. The full House could vote soon.
As happens so often, the fact McCarthy, now the police chief of Chicago suburb Orland Park, is a Democrat isn't reported. In 1998, he sought his party's endorsement for Illinois Secretary of State.