At this point, there should be little doubt that there is a concerted attempt underway to use the war in Afghanistan as a justification for punitively taxing high earners.
Last weekend (noted at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the New York Times discovered that wars cost money. It cited Wisconsin Democratic Congressman David Obey's concern that funding the Afghanistan effort at the level requested months ago by General Stanley A. McChrystal would "devour virtually any other priorities that the president or anyone in Congress had."
Thursday, as reported by AFP (noted last night at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), House Democratic heavy-hitters Barney Frank, John Murtha, and (no surprise) Obey announced the "Share The Sacrifice Act of 2010," an income-tax surcharge that overwhelmingly targets high-income earners.
Now Michigan Democratic Senator Carl Levin has weighed in. Bloomberg dutifully carried his water, as seen in this graphic containing the first four paragraphs of the report:
You've got to hand it to the propagandists at the AFP. When heavy-hitting members of the party they favor announce an idea whose main purpose is, as the New York Times suddenly "discovered" last weekend, to remind people that wars cost money and distract from supposedly more important priorities, the wire service leaps into action.
Even AFP acknowledges that the tax proposal by several top-tier Democrats has no chance of becoming law. But again, that's not the point. Their proposal's purpose is to remind people that spending money on wars supposedly takes money out of the mouths of children and other living things, even those in non-existent congressional districts, and to attempt to make the climate for increasing taxes in the near future more favorable.
In what appears to be the opening round of a rearguard action against what leftists used to call "the good war" (only because they felt they needed to pretend they had pro-war bona fides to make their anti-Iraq War arguments look stronger to the general populace), the New York Times's Christopher Drew reported last Saturday for the Sunday print edition that sending more troops to Afghanistan as General Stanley A. McChrystal has requested might cost tens of billions of dollars.
While President Obama’s decision about sending more troops to Afghanistan is primarily a military one, it also has substantial budget implications that are adding pressure to limit the commitment, senior administration officials say.
CNN's Rick Sanchez hosted a forum of 'average joes' yesterday in a sort of focus group on Sarah Palin. CNN did not feel, however, that it needed to invite any Palin supporters. Despite claims that the group accurately represented American opinion, its responses demonstrated a total disconnect from actual public sentiment.
Sanchez, shown right in a file photo, asked the group to inform viewers of their political and party affiliations, concluding that there was "a pretty good cross-section" of Americans participating. He then asked about Palin. None of the viewers said they would vote for her in a presidential run, and none said they plan on purchasing her new book (video and transcript below the fold - h/t Townhall).
A screening of the show's guests would hardly be a surprise given Sanchez's history of playing fast and loose with the facts when conservatives are involved. He touted one of the quotes falsely attributed to Rush Limbaugh, and later apologized for his mistake, adding to his long list of retractions. He has blamed the murder of a police officer on "right wing radio" and berated Fox News for alleged bias while ignoring CNN's.
Sanchez's coverage of Palin herself has not exactly been stellar. He suggested after she stepped down as governor that she might be pregnant.
Too often "objectivity in journalism" is code for agreeing with the left. The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz demonstrated this sentiment in his profile of Fox News Channel's Shep Smith.
Kurtz lauded Smith as an "outspoken newsman at the network defined by high-decibel conservatives, a stance that has earned him respect even from some Fox-hating liberals."
But was it really his "newsman" status that has earned him this respect, or is it the numerous instances in which Smith has agreed with the left? Kurtz documents a number of such instances, intended to demonstrate Smith's purported objectivity.
The Associated Press recently assigned eleven of its writers to fact-check Sarah Palin's new book "Going Rogue." AP's team of truth-seekers only found six errors the former Alaska Governor's book, most of which were trivial and presumably not worth the time of a team of reporters.
"AP writers Matt Apuzzo, Sharon Theimer, Tom Raum, Rita Beamish, Beth Fouhy, H. Josef Hebert, Justin D. Pritchard, Garance Burke, Dan Joling and Lewis Shaine contributed to this report", reads the sign-off of Calvin Woodward's fact-check. Even with this impressively large crew, the AP seemed to stretch to find objectionable statements in "Going Rogue".
Here's a fact-check that supposedly required a squad of reporters to unearth:
Lou Dobbs left CNN after years of tensions between him and the network's brass, who consistently objected to his outspoken, often controversial reports. But the issues that seem to have annoyed CNN execs most were ones on which Dobbs took a conservative stance.
The New York Times reported Wednesday that CNN President Jonathan Klein offered Dobbs an ultimatum a few months ago: "Mr. Dobbs could vent his opinions on radio and anchor an objective newscast on television, or he could leave CNN." Klein reportedly complained about Dobbs's reporting on the Birther movement over the summer, and his outspoken opposition to illegal immigration.
According to the New York Post, one "TV insider" said Dobbs was "polluting the CNN brand" of purported political objectivity. Klein issued a statement saying Dobbs had decided to "carry the banner of advocacy journalism elsewhere."
John Allen Muhammad, the infamous Beltway Sniper, is set to die by lethal injection tonight. After being found guilty of capital murder by a jury of his peers, Muhammad was sentenced to death. The Washington Post, however, sees the “humanity in [the] D.C. sniper.”
The Post quotes defense attorney Jon Sheldon as saying:
Tom Brokaw made an appearance on this morning's edition of Morning Joe this morning, plugging his interview with the former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. Brokaw was, of course, reporting from the historic Brandenburg Gate this morning to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The Brew Crew were gathered in their studio with national security expert Dr. Richard Haas, discussing such weighty subjects as the American response to the fall of communism, the geopolitical advantages and disadvantages of that event, and so on. And which of these subjects did Brokaw use to segue into the subject of his interview?
The Wall Street Journal's editorial today on the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall is excellent, as would be expected, and gives credit where credit is due:
In the debate over who deserves credit for causing the Berlin Wall to collapse on the night of November 9, 1989, many names come to mind, both great and small.
There was Günter Schabowski, the muddled East German politburo spokesman, who in a live press conference that evening accidentally announced that the country's travel restrictions were to be lifted "immediately." There was Mikhail Gorbachev, who made it clear that the Soviet Union would not violently suppress people power in its satellite states, as it had decades earlier in Czechoslovakia and Hungary. There were the heroes of Poland's Solidarity movement, not least Pope John Paul II, who did so much to expose the moral bankruptcy of communism.
And there was Ronald Reagan, who believed the job of Western statesmanship was to muster the moral, political, economic and military wherewithal not simply to contain the Soviet bloc, but to bury it.
[Editor's note: For more on the media's pro-Communist bias in the waning days of the Cold War, read "Better Off Red?", MRC's new study looking back 20 years ago to the fall of the Berlin Wall]
In the editorial's second-last paragraph, the Journal reminds us of an alleged journalist who was so blinded by his partisan disdain for any Republican in power that he refused to acknowledge what had become clear years earlier, and of the risk-averse weenies who tried to talk him out of delivering the signature line of what is probably his most famous speech (bold is mine):
Very often criticism of journalists is actually criticism of journalism. Effective investigative reporting entails asking the tough questions and demanding answers. Powerful Democrats, including White House officials, have derided Fox News for this reason. But even conservative bloggers are not immune to the "extension of the opposition" charge for simply asking the tough questions.
Late last month Congressman Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., held a conference call on the administration's reform efforts. Pomeroy reiterated his support for the House health care bill. Rob Port, of the center-right blog SayAnythingBlog.com, asked a question during the Q and A period, in which he displayed open skepticism that the "public option" would increase consumer choice in the health care market (audio and transcript below the fold).
Far be it from NewsBusters to support more government social-program spending. Still, my antennae went up when I heard AARP's Nancy LeaMond dismiss a half-trillion in Medicare cuts as mere "scalpel" wielding. LeaMond, AARP Exec. VP, made her blithe statement while defending her organization's endorsement of ObamaCare to Joe Scarborough on Morning Joe today.
Which made me wonder: just who is Nancy LeaMond? Click, Wikipedia, click: whaddayaknow? Turns out that before coming to AARP, LeaMond was a senior Clinton administration appointee and a top Dem congressional staffer. Surprise, surprise!
Laurie Kellman, call your office, check your e-mail, and tap in to your Twitter.
The Associated Press reporter didn't get the memo that recession is supposedly over, and that at a minimum you shouldn't be writing as if it will be with us for a while. She also erred in citing the weak economy as a bad thing for Democrats. The New York Times told us about a week ago that a bad economy is a good thing for Democrats who want to pass state-controlled health care and other freedom-restricting agenda items, because a bad economy increases personal insecurity. They're such pals of the little guy, you see.
Both busts against the conventional media wisdom are in Kellman's brief item from late this morning (bolds are mine):
Health care issues: Hold off for a better economy?
The technical term for the following video is “busting his chops.”
Joe Scarborough provided a wonderful satire of Keith Olbermann’s 2008 election-night bias on this morning’s edition of Morning Joe. A partial transcript follows the video, which really must be watched for the full effect.
This sort of thing makes up for your left-of-center moments.
The paper's headline at its report on Thursday's government announcement that the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) came in at an annualized 3.5% after four consecutive quarters of decline was not only over the top. Its message went directly against an admonishment by an economist quoted in Paul Davidson's underlying report, which was to not "get carried away by the really strong number."
Many commentators, while gratified that GDP growth occurred, have cautioned that the growth was influenced heavily by government programs that either have already run their course with debatable long-term impact (e.g., Cash for Clunkers), or are probably not going to last much longer even if extended (e.g., the first-time homebuyers' credit), simply because the government is running trillion-dollar annual deficits and can't afford them.
I rise today in defense of bacon, as well as consuming hamburgers on Independence Day. And, most importantly, in defense of my mother's awe-inspiring pot roast.
Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, wants the government to make these classic American foodstuffs, as well as soda, alcohol, and being overweight, cost more. I apologize in advance for the long length of the transcript snippets – while Brzezinski is pontificating by reading the ‘New York Daily News’ editorial, the rest of the Brew Crew is making fun of her.
No, really [emphasis mine]:
BRZEZINSKI: Some people actually cares about their health, so I'm going to read that for those people. [reading] "A tax on sodas containing sugar has also been under consideration by Governor Paterson, among others."
The White House has berated Fox News for days now for purportedly pushing an agenda and calling it news. So Americans may have been surprised when, as reported by Noel Sheppard, Obama invited two of MSNBC's most divisive liberal pundits--Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow--to the White House for an off-the-record briefing.
As it turns out, Maddow and Olbermann were only two of the left's heavyweights at the briefing. Yesterday, TVNewser received from the White House a complete list of names. Virtually all of them have their histories of shilling for the administration or Democrats generally, and of bashing conservatives.
Let us review the colorful histories of these pundits, and the reader can decide whether they "have a perspective," in the words of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (in the context of a Fox News attack).
That video totally nuked claims by ACORN National and ACORN Philly that O'Keefe and Giles had been "shown the door" and "kicked out" after a "few minutes" in their Philly Office visit -- claims that establishment media outlets continued to repeat even, as shown in the excerpt that follows, after ACORN was proven to have lied about what happened in New York City and San Diego.
Billy Hallowell at BigGovernment.com has a great recap of the not well-known ACORN and media goofs that have occurred since James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles released their first two sting videos (links are in original):
The mainstream media were complicit in their coverage of the ACORN scandal. Their behavior was and continues to be an insult to democracy and journalistic responsibility as the Fourth Estate has ignored facts, engaged in one-sided sourcing, and avoided basic and inherently important journalistic questioning.
Is Barack Obama turning into Spiro Agnew? The White House's attacks on the Fox News smack of the distaste for media opposition espoused by Nixon's vice president almost 40 years ago but are being met with a decidedly different reaction today by the elite media.
Pundits have wondered aloud since last week why the White House would pursue a strategy that seems to be boosting the ratings of a purported 'opposition' news network. MSNBC's Joe Scarborough posited today that the White House's attacks on Fox News are designed to prevent the mainstream media from picking up on stories damaging to the administration (video embedded below the fold, h/t to NB reader Kirk W.).
Every time Fox breaks a story on the radical connections of a White House advisor or appointee, the news is potentially damaging to the administration. But damage is only really done if the rest of the media picks up on the story, reports it, and turns it into a national news sensation, a la Van Jones.
Paul Krugman attacked the authors of the soon-to-be-released book SuperFreakonomics today for their audacious attempts to question the left's conventional wisdom on global climate change. He then touted the danger of attacking conservatives, and contended that liberal-bashing has always been the safer political and professional move.
I have a theory here, although it may not be the whole story: it’s about careerism. Annoying conservatives is dangerous [his emphasis]: they take names, hold grudges, and all too often find ways to take people who annoy them down... [Conservatives] snub anyone who breaks the unwritten rule and mocks those who must not be offended.
Annoying liberals, on the other hand, feels transgressive but has historically been safe. The rules may be changing (as [SuperFreakonomics authors Stephen] Dubner and [Steven] Levitt are in the process of finding out), but it’s been that way for a long time.
So Whoopi Goldberg is a fan of the "We Report, You Decide" school of TV journalism. Who knew? Unfortunately, her choice of "fair and balanced" news icons leaves much to be desired.
On ABC's "The View" Oct. 19, Goldberg said, "I don't get my news often times from any of the networks because, ya know, I'm from the Walter Cronkite generation, where they told you what was going on and you were left to make your decision. You were left to figure it out."
But was Cronkite really the gold standard for impartial reporting?
Back in 2006, the Media Research Center compiled quotes from Cronkite dating from the years after his 1981 retirement. These words clearly exposed not only his liberal views but also his belief that being a good journalist means being liberal.
The Magazine Publishers of America's American Society of Magazine Editors has added a category to its annual magazine cover awards: Obama. This new category is the only ASME category focused on a single person, and highlights the reverential attitude for the President widely held in the magazine publishing community.
ASME represents about 850 magazine editors nationwide. According to its website, the organization "works to preserve editorial independence." How they manage to maintain this air of objectivity while devoting an entire awards section to such a polarizing figure is a mystery.
This year's best Obama magazine cover, and recipient of ASME's Cover of the Year award, was published by Rolling Stone. Fawning coverage of president and candidate Barack Obama from the music (and wannabe left-wing politics) magazine appeared on the cover on numerous occasions. The winning cover is at right.
Rachel Campos-Duffy, former reality-TV star and current blogger for Anderson Cooper's AC360 blog, was Elizabeth Hasselbeck's fill-in on today's edition of The View. As a conservative fill-in, she did not disappoint.
Before diving into the meat of the blog, however, we at NewsBusters would like to congratulate her on this bit of news [emphasis mine]:
RACHEL CAMPOS-DUFFY: Thank you. And, yes, I found happiness after all. And the news is, because I've never come on "The View," as Joy knows, without announcing a pregnancy. And I am having a sixth child and I'm three months pregnant.
That is wonderful news - congratulations to her and her husband Sean.
Now, containing our pro-life glee for a moment, the Viewettes transitioned from a conversation about Campos-Duffy’s happy home life to a discussion of President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize win:
Thus began El Rushbo’s interview with NBC national correspondent Jamie Gangel. It is remarkable that, even when the media sit down with Limbaugh, they still find a way to be biased. To be fair, Gangel did not conduct the interview like Keith Olbermann might have. But there were a few points of interest which must be noted – and some even pointed out by Rush during the interview.
First up, Gangel asks Rush if he’s a racist or a homophobe:
JAMIE GANGEL [voice over B-roll]: Rush’s brand of satire also keeps everyone talking. Parodies like this one, of Congressman Barney Frank, who also happens to be gay:
BARNEY FRANK IMPERSONATOR, singing: “I am the banking queen!”
GANGEL: And this one about race, and candidate Barack Obama:
Thanks to Drudge, the Internet will likely be abuzz with the news and video about Irish filmmaker Phelim McAleer's challenge to former Vice President Al Gore over correcting the nine errors found by a British judge in Gore's Oscar-winning "An Inconvenient Truth" documentary.
McAleer is co-producer of Not Evil, Just Wrong, a film challenging the content of Gore's film, that according to Wiki will be premiering on October 18.
When organizers of the Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference tired of McAleer's refusal to back down and acquiesce to Gore's conveniently incomplete answers, they cut off his microphone. The video also shows a meeting official scolding McAleer afterwards for attempting to "monopolize" the floor, telling him that "you got as much as you're going to get."
Gore's answers to McAleer's challenges are so disingenuous that they deserve their own Oscar for dissembling.
Here is a transcript of the exchange, which begins at about the 0:40 mark of the video:
But it was just a matter of time before the usual culprits on the left would attempt to make an issue of it, in what seems to be an effort to gin up some reason for the talk show host not to have an ownership stake in an NFL team. And, MSNBC's Ed Schultz isn't waiting for pointers from the left-wing blogosphere to set the "Stop Rush's Bid for the Rams" agenda. He took it to Limbaugh on his Oct. 6 program immediately.
"There's also some comical football news out there," Schultz said. "The drugster's talking about buying the St. Louis Rams. That's right, the leader of the Republican Party is bidding for ownership of a team that's been giving more money to Democrats than any other team has over the last 10 years, at least that's what the survey says. He'll have to do something about that I'm sure."
An interesting, yet little known fact about goldfish: The average goldfish has a memory of approximately one to three months, depending on the stimuli used to train it.
Dylan Ratigan, former CNBC co-host and current MSNBC desk jockey, has a shorter memory than a goldfish.
As the MRC’s Tim Graham noted just yesterday, it is an odd thing when MSNBC hosts wish for more civility in political dialogue. A mere 24 hours later, Ratigan provided another example of his insincerity during a live segment on health care.
Former New York Lt. Governor Betsy McCaughey (R) took the conservative viewpoint, and Ratigan tag-teamed with Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner (N.Y.) in belittling her every statement.