Last night on his PBS talk show, Tavis Smiley sat down for a cozy conversation with Jeremy Scahill, national security correspondent for left-wing magazine The Nation. Scahill was critical of the Obama administration, as well as the journalists who fail to hold him accountable, throughout much of the interview. However, he did let his mask of objectivity slip at a few points, revealing the liberal face underneath.
Scahill was outraged over the administration’s secrecy surrounding its national security operations, particularly drone strikes. Smiley asked him why the administration has not been more forthcoming about its use of drones, and Scahill partially blamed congressional Republicans: [Video below the break. MP3 audio here.]
This morning at the Christian Science Monitor, Staff Writer Peter Grier demonstrated a stunning level of ignorance about the Boston Marathon's significance. He then built on that ignorance to posit that yesterday's bombing at the Marathon's finish line "could indicate that the bomber was a local or at least a native of the United States."
Among other things, Grier seems completely ignorant of the fact that Boston is one of six "World Marathon Majors" (the other five are New York, London, Tokyo, Berlin, and Chicago). The related paragraph from Grier's report, followed by other indicators of the Marathon's worldwide significance, follow the jump:
In what would appear to be a sure sign that the Obama administration's leftist allies, perhaps with the President's go-ahead, are preparing to throw current U.N. ambassador Susan Rice under the bus, Alex Guillen at the Politico reported at 6:14 p.m. on information that has from all appearances been public for at least three months, but which the National Resources Defense Council's On Earth blog noted about an hour earlier.
Rice's offenses? She "holds significant investments in more than a dozen Canadian oil companies and banks that would stand to benefit from expansion of the North American tar sands industry and construction of the proposed $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline." That's indeed troubling, but it was just as troubling when leftists up to and including the editorialists at the Washington Post were accusing anyone objecting to Rice's potential nomination of being presumptively racist. Excerpts from Guillen's report follow the jump (bolds are mine):
As part of a program run by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, representatives of over 60 emerging democracies from around the world were sent to the observe and report on how the election works in this country.
What they saw left them concerned at worst and puzzled at best at the way American elections are run, leaving gaping-wide holes through which voter fraud can be committed. The Foreign Policy Cable's Josh Rogin conducted interviews with some of them for his report.
In the middle of a light-hearted discussion on Monday afternoon about the 'lame duck' session of Congress, MSNBC's The Cycle co-host Touré got a little heated.
Taking out his pent-up frustration on the Republicans who have prevented the Obama Administration from fixing what ails the country, and blaming the congressional gridlock and prolonged economic instability on them alone. [ video below the page break, MP3 audio available here ]
The ridiculous media narrative continues, in spite of the mounting evidence that has proven otherwise. A movie clip posted on YouTube months ago is still being blamed for the unspeakable acts of violence that occurred over two weeks ago. The media has effectively demonized an amateur filmmaker for allegedly inciting more rage and violence in the Middle East. It's almost as if they are equating hate speech with murder, and absolving the angry mobs for what they did. They just couldn't help themselves.
One of the actresses from The Innocence of Muslims was invited on The View on Wednesday morning to share her side of the story. What ensued was a peculiar interview that dragged on for over 7 minutes. While the rest of the cast was said to be in hiding, Cindy Lee Garcia 'bravely' made an appearance on national television to set the record straight. (see video below, MP3 audio available here)
You'd think an image of a man violently covering a frightened woman's mouth, accompanied with the words, "He’s decided to become a father…right-wing Republicans want to make sure he does", would be considered mildly extreme, right?
Not extreme enough for Huffington Post contributor and pro-Obama blogger, Erin Kotecki Vest, who posted the image to her Facebook page.
An e-mail from Daily Kos Campaign Manager, Chris Bowers announces 'big news' regarding voter ID laws in Pennsylvania. Bowers explains:
A huge coalition of 100+ labor and civil rights groups has come together to do the door knocking, phone banking and voter education necessary to make sure everyone in this must-win swing state can still cast a ballot.
At Daily Kos, we're helping out by running online ads in Pennsylvania to sign up more than 1,000 volunteers so that this coalition has the people power it needs. Please, click here to contribute $3 to Daily Kos so that we can sign up the thousands of volunteers needed to overcome Pennsylvania's voter ID law.
Matthew Yglesias has been posting at Slate.com, supposedly a paragon of online establishment press journalism, as a business and economics correspondent since November of last year. His background is unmistakably leftist: ThinkProgress, the Atlantic, TPM Media, and the American Prospect.
On Saturday, a Yglesias found a blog post which was apparently too good to check at The Richmonder, a lefty enterprise run by Jerel Wilmore. The Richmonder's post claimed that "Paul Ryan traded on insider information to avoid 2008 crash" (post has been retracted; excerpt was obtained at democraticunderground.com; some of what follows is also here):
Politifact has set Harry Reid's pants on fire with the lie that Romney hasn't paid taxes in ten years. Even the Washington Post called out Reid's paranoid rants about Romney, labeling his statements as baseless drivel. However, the L.A. Times seems to think this whole sordid episode is scoring points for Obama.
In an obnoxious piece by James Rainey published today, the columnist wrote that "while Reid’s tax claim strained credulity, it did not seem to strain the Nevada senator. Accustomed to pitched partisan battles, he showed little inclination to back down. One of the journalists who follows Reid most closely, columnist Jon Ralston, told the Washington Post that the old pol was 'fearless and shameless.”
Jeff Schweitzer wants to help us “rediscover our inherent good, and act accordingly, individually and collectively,” according to a summary of his book, “A New Moral Code.” Unfortunately, that’s going to be difficult in this “new age of McCarthyism” in which the “Fox hydra” is “tearing apart the fabric of our society with vitriol and venom, lies and half-truths.”
Yes, a news network that doesn’t report as he thinks it should is ruining our nation, and presumably interfering with important consideration of our “own biological destiny” that another of Schweitzer’s encourages.
There's a clear Rupert Murdoch obsession within the headquarters of the New York Times. In anticipation of a report from the British government, the Times in the last week has gone into overdrive with front-page stories attacking the international media mogul and chief executive of News Corporation, which oversees conservative-leaning media organs and is a direct Times competitor in New York with the Wall Street Journal and New York Post.
The "damning report" was featured on Wednesday's front page: "Panel in Hacking Case Finds Murdoch Unfit as News Titan." It marks the fourth time in eight days that the Times has played the unfolding media and political scandal on the front page. In contrast, the Washington Post played today's news in the Style section.
After reading Derek Kravitz's final report of the day at 4:45 p.m. on the housing market at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, I just had to check the other wires to see if they were sipping from the same housing-market-in-recovery koolaid.
The answer is no. At Reuters, Jason Lange's 3:22 p.m. dispatch reported that "Output at U.S. factories slipped in March and builders started construction on fewer homes, offering cautionary signals for an economy that appeared to be gaining traction." At Bloomberg, Timothy R. Homan wrote: "While warmer weather may have spurred home construction at the beginning of 2012, a competing supply of cheap existing properties may be steering potential buyers away from purchasing a new home. That means home construction may not help boost the economy in 2012." Both of these assessments make Kravitz's take on housing, which included omitting very negative data on housing starts, seem that much more bizarre (my comments in italics follow each paragraph):
Van Jones, "Lefty Dreamboat"? The New York Times assures us that yes, he is. Jones was the Obama administration's Advisor for Green Jobs until he was booted in September 2009 when his name showed up on a list of people who had signed a 9-11 Truther petition, suggesting he thought there was a Bush administration coverup of what really happened on September 11. In his new book "Rebuild the Dream," Van Jones denies ever having signed it, and Andrew Goldman's weekly Q&A for the Times Sunday magazine takes his word as law, under the sick-making headline "Meet the New Lefty Dreamboat – Can Van Jones Take on the Tea Party?"
Imagine if it were discovered that free-market think tanks were caught vetting scripts of Fox News programs, intervening to prevent free-market sceptics from receiving air time, and consulted with the network about how it should alter its programing in a free-market direction. The howls of outrage would be loud, long and unrelenting from other news networks, the wire services, and leading U.S. newspapers.
What I have just described, and more, characterizes a decade-long relationship between the British Broadcasting Corporation and UK-based climate scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) -- except that the BBC is government-funded and disproportionately controls the flow of broadcast news in the UK. What the UK Daily Mail has revealed today as part of its ongoing review of the second set of Climategate emails released before Thanksgiving has caused Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation to write that the BBC is "in cahoots with Climategate scientists." What follows are excerpts from the David Rose's Daily Mail story (bolds are mine):
(Although the paper didn't get to the public defecation and rapes until A4.) On Tuesday's World News, reporter Dan Harris interrogated protesters, pointing out that Occupy Oakland has cost the cash-strapped city $2.4 million. He grilled the crowd, wondering, "These protests cost taxpayers a lot of money for police, sanitation. How is that good for the 99 percent?"
Well, I guess it's getting serious now in the melodrama known as the Minnesota state government shutdown.
If the Gopher State shutdown goes on much longer, hundreds of bars and restaurants will lose their ability to serve alcohol because they can't renew their liquor licenses. Worse, as reported by Eric Roper at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, MillerCoors, whose "brand license" somehow expired, will, be forced to "pull its beer from Minnesota liquor stores, bars and restaurants." The economic ripple effect will have a lot of Minnesotans crying in their beer, if they can find any.
If there's a less curious reporter than Eric Roper, I don't want to meet him. I've seen pet rocks with more curiosity than the Strib reporter demonstrated in the linked report. Consider the following paragraphs which Roper relayed without any hint of an attempt at follow-up:
In The Big Lie, the heroine is a woman named Sandra, who lost her husband, Carl, during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. A particle physicist working at the Large Hadron Collider, she figures out a practical way to travel back in time, so she ventures from present day to Manhattan an hour before the first plane hits the towers on Sept. 11, 2001. She rushes to his office at a risk-management consulting agency, but since she has aged 10 years, Carl can't quite accept that it's her. And even though she brings evidence on her iPad, neither her spouse nor his co-workers believe her warnings. "The meat of the story is her trying to convince these 'experts' that the terrorist attack is about to happen," Veitch says. "So it's essentially a taut emotional drama with the facts and questions surrounding 9/11 sewed into it."
But Keller equating "global warming is a hoax" to genuinely crackpot theories reaffirms the paper's preconceived opinion on the matter: Global warming is real and dangerous, and anyone who believes otherwise is a shill or dupe. And since when does rational, non-conspiratorial thinking require believing everything the Times has to say, as Keller also implied?
Hollywood liberals consistently deny that they "blacklist" conservatives, or that center-right political views are routinely and overtly excluded from the entertainment industry's collective voice. But in a strong riposte, Ben Shapiro's new book, "Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV", provides extensive documentation on Hollywood's political clout, demonstrating the crippling hand the entertainment industry has in pushing Americans to readily accept its left-wing agenda as a truthful reality.
It's no secret that Hollywood discriminates against conservative actors, but Shapiro works to expose a different problem: the concerted efforts by entertainment industry executives to shape Americans into Hollywood's liberal mold. After interviewing over one hundred Hollywood kingpins, Shapiro found that not only will they readily admit that Hollywood has a strict anti-conservative agenda, but further, that many of their TV shows have underlying political messages meant to influence the way their audiences think.
Is the right to blame for everything, even 9-11 Truthers?
New York Times Metro reporter Colin Moynihan botched some basic politics in his Friday metro section tribute to a leftist journalist and radio host, "At an On-Air Haven for Dissent, a Voice Is Silenced." Text box: "Taking a stand against 9/11 conspiracy theories."
Moynihan, who has made a cottage industry of issuing flattering coverage of prominent radical leftists, from domestic terrorist William Ayers to convicted terrorist-aiding lawyer Lynne Stewart, was covering the case of Bill Weinberg, a local radio host. Weinberg was fired from left-wing WBAI for accusing his hosts of "promoting fringe right-wing commentators and conspiracy theories claiming that the United States government was behind the destruction of the World Trade Center."
One problem: The so-called Truther movement is identified with the hard left, not the right. That may help explain why the Times has dealt with it in almost flattering fashion the few times that it has covered the subject at all. Most notorious was reporter Alan Feuer’s June 5, 2006 piece from a Truther convention in Chicago.
A controversial article from Harper's Magazine, which won the National Magazine Awards' prize for reporting, what many consider the Pulitzer Prize for magazines, continues to be plagued by accusations of factual inaccuracy. A Monday article from AdWeek further suggested that the award had more to do with the issue's politics than the article's merits.
The piece, which suggests a possible conspiracy in covering up murders of inmates at Guantanamo Bay, was supplied wholesale to the folks at Harper's, who went to press despite a lack of hard sourcing for the story. In fact, the evidence undergirding it was apparently so thin that even the hard-left New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh, who has crusaded against a number of prominent elements of the war on terrorism, including Guantanamo, would not touch it.
While reporting on the sexual assault case against International Monetary Fund Chairman Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Tuesday's Today, NBC correspondent Jeff Rossen noted how the would-be Socialist Party candidate for the French presidency had "worried his political opponent, current French President Nicolas Sarkozy, would try to frame him with a fake rape..."
Rossen further added that Strauss-Kahn once told a French newspaper that the rape victim would be "promised 500,000 or a million euros to invent this story" by Sarkozy. Following Rossen's report, correspondent Michelle Kosinski highlighted French outrage over Strauss-Kahn's arrest: "I would say that the reaction ranges from disbelief to outright disgust. To see their VIP paraded before cameras, the socialists are calling it 'inhumane'....they're saying that this looks like a humiliating public exhibition like something from ancient times."
The headline on screen during the segment read: "French Conspiracy Theories; Was Banker Set Up as Part of Political Plot?"
While Times stories involving conservative complaints are invariably overloaded with "conservative" labels, Goodnough included only one mention of the obvious ideological tilt of the opponents of Lockheed Martin, the military contractor proposing a clean energy project with the town. The leftists were balanced only by wishy-washy local officials and corporate boilerplate from a Lockheed spokesman.
The top half of the page was dominated by a picture of someone strumming a protest song on an acoustic guitar, and the Times also reprinted what looks like a pair of old-style woodcuts ("eye-catching") from a local artist comparing Lockheed Martin to both the Devil and the Trojan Horse.
Most of the conspiracy theories about libertarian philanthropists Charles and David Koch have originated in the left-wing blogosphere. But a few media outlets, most notably MSNBC and the New York Times, have served to filter the anti-Koch campaigns into the mainstream political conversation.
The Times, which has printed numerousfactualinaccuracies relating to the Koch brothers of late, recently published a piece on its website that focused on a relatively obscure left-wing non-profit's attack campaign against them.
The article spurred Koch Indutries, the massive conglomerate owned by the billionaire brothers, to hit back at the paper. In a letter to its public editor, the company's general council asked whether the Times was "reporting on events or participating in them?" See the text of that letter below the break.
Thursday’s New York Times lead editorial, “A Certificate of Embarrassment,” dealt with President Obama authorizing the State of Hawaii to release his long-form birth certificate. The editorial writers commit the same error its media reporter Brian Stelter did, falsely stating the rumor “was originally promulgated by fringe figures of the radical right,” when in fact it was initially circulated via email by Hillary Clinton supporters in April 2008, as noted by Politico on April 22.
With sardonic resignation, President Obama, an eminently rational man, stared directly into political irrationality on Wednesday and released his birth certificate to history. More than halfway through his term, the president felt obliged to prove that he was a legitimate occupant of the Oval Office. It was a profoundly low and debasing moment in American political life.
The disbelief fairly dripped from Mr. Obama as he stood at the West Wing lectern. People are out of work, American soldiers are dying overseas and here were cameras to record him stating that he was born in a Hawaii hospital. It was particularly galling to us that it was in answer to a baseless attack with heavy racial undertones.
President Obama chided the news media Wednesday for continuing to focus national attention on the non-issue of his American citizenship. "Fascinating how many of Obama's birther remarks…were aimed at the media for stoking this," tweeted Howard Kurtz shortly after the speech.
The birth certificate issue was a distraction, Obama stated, and the White House decision to release his long-form birth certificate was an attempt to re-focus national attention on the important issues, specifically his budget proposal. But which media outlets were most guilty of sustaining attention on the issue? On cable news, at least, the answer runs contrary to the usual media narrative.
As it turns out, one was 35 times more likely to hear about the birther issue on CNN or MSNBC than on Fox News during the week of April 11 through 17, when Obama was touting his budget. The cable network most often railed against as the birther-enabler was least likely - by far - to even mention the issue.
Paul Krugman, economist turned left-wing folk hero. New York magazine’s Benjamin Wallace-Wells talked with the once respected-economist turned hack New York Times columnist about “What’s Left of the Left,” a title which at least positions Krugman accurately as a left-wing opinion leader who draws cool economics graphs that prove the perfidy of Republican policy (whether or not he once agreed with those same policies). Krugman continued to bash Rep. Paul Ryan as setting American "on a glide path to a much harsher society."
For the first two years of the Obama administration, Krugman has been building, in his columns and on his blog, not just a critique of this presidency but something grander and more expansively detailed, something closer to an alternate architecture for what Obamaism might be. The project has remade Krugman’s public image, as if he had spent years becoming a chemically isolate form of himself – first a moderate, then an anti-Bush partisan, and now the leading exponent of a kind of liberal purism against which the compromises of the White House might be judged. Krugman’s counterfactual Obama would have provided far more stimulus money and would have nationalized Citigroup and Bank of America. He would have written off Republicans and worked only with Democrats to fashion a health-care reform bill that included a so-called public option. The president of Krugman’s dreams would have made his singular long-term goal the preservation of the welfare state and the middle-class society it was designed to create.
Real estate mogul Donald Trump, acting like a presidential candidate, is garnering attention by latching on to the “birther” issue -- the discredited notion that President Obama was not born in Hawaii but in another country, thus making him ineligible for the presidency. The New York Times ran a poll April 22 that asked: “Do you think Barack Obama was born in the United States, or was he born in another country?” The Times then broke down the results out for Republicans (but not for independents or Democrats): 45% of Republicans answered Obama was born elsewhere, 33% said he was born in the United States.
Meanwhile, the Times has yet to bring up a 2006 poll showing more than half of Democrats believed Bush was complicit in the 9-11 attacks.
Times liberal columnist Charles Blow pounced on Saturday: “It further exacerbates a corrosive culture on the right that now celebrates the Cult of Idiocy -- from Glenn Beck to Michele Bachmann -- where riling liberals is more valuable than reason and logic, and where intellectualism and even basic learnedness are viewed with suspicion and contempt.”