CBS News journalist Richard Butler doesn't know who kidnapped him (for some two months), but he thinks it was some Iraqi policemen who are sympathetic to, of all folks, Hezbollah:
Butler, a British journalist kidnapped with his interpreter on Feb. 10, was rescued by Iraqi troops on April 14 when he was found with a sack over his head in a house in Basra.
He was taken from a hotel room in Basra, where he was on a trip to meet the chief of staff for anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
Men wearing police fatigue uniforms and armed with AK-47's hustled him out of the room and into a car. He was first taken to a police station in Basra and then was held in different places — including three nights where he was sealed into a small room between two walls, he said.
While he was held, he heard a lot of Hezbollah propaganda video and Hezbollah ringtones on mobile phones, but he can't be sure his captors were affiliated with the organization.
The McCain campaign, once known as the most media-pandering perpetual Republican campaign in modern history, is passionately protesting the Washington Post’s Sunday story suggesting John McCain’s "volcanic" outbursts of anger could be disqualifying. (I blogged it here.) McCain aide Mark Salter was quoted by Ramesh Ponnuru on The Corner, saying the story in 99 percent fictional: "The story about the Young Republican in 1982 is entirely fictional. The Bob Smith incident is entirely fictional. The Karen Johnson story is entirely fictional. Most of the others are exaggerated beyond recognition." This severe a charge will need to be answered by the Post.
At NRO’s Media Blog, Greg Pollowitz has more detail. The Karen Johnson featured in the McCain story is a less-than-respectable source, since she’s a 9/11 "truther," someone who suspects a grand American conspiracy to kill our own people. Greg quoted one newspaper account:
Just in time for Tax Day, the April 13 issue of Parade magazine gave readers left-wing talking points on corporate taxation dressed up as objective reporting.
Contributor Gary Weiss cited two left-wing interest groups and liberal Democratic congressman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) in "Are You Paying For Corporate Fat Cats?" By the end of the article, readers are all but left to seethe an angry "yes!" to that question.
Yet at no point were any economists consulted to point out that corporate tax levies are always ultimately paid by the consumer, who bears the final cost of goods and services produced by the taxed corporations. Taxes are yet one more input cost into final goods and services. So simply put, corporations don't pay taxes, individuals do.
Weiss failed to tackle the political slant of the groups he consulted, which were merely tagged as nonprofits. A quick Google search of the groups makes clear the liberal slant of the organizations.
The bashing began in a March 20 post that explained Baldwin had been part of a Navy dive team assigned to recover the remains of WWII servicemen from a B-24 crash site in the South Pacific. The staff writers criticized the waste of their tax dollars on “ancient history,” musing “let's talk about why we the taxpayers are footing the bill on such BS” and asking readers if they thought it was a “[r]idiculous waste.” TMZ's staff expressed their disbelief that anyone would bother searching for such an old wreck and then dismissed the importance of recovering the remains, snarking, “At least [Baldwin] got a really good tan" (all bold mine):
What, you ask, were they looking for? A B-24J bomber that went down during the war. Not Iraq. Not Vietnam. No, not Korea. We're talking WWII, as in more than 60 years ago.
Turns out, the military spends $52 million each year to find the remains of missing soldiers -- it's part of the POW/MIA program. That's all well and good depending on the circumstances. But a crash that is ancient history, at a time when the economy sucks and the Federal government is sucking the life out of everyone with taxes??
At their 2001 convention, the SPJ urged “tak[ing] steps against racial profiling in [the]coverage of the war on terrorism." It reminded journalists to stopusing "inflammatory" language and condescendingly said to “help audiences understand the complexities of the events in Pennsylvania, New York City and Washington, D.C.” Story guidelines are (all bold mine):
— Cover the victims of harassment, murder and other hate crimes as thoroughly as you cover the victims of overt terrorist attacks.
— When writing about terrorism, remember to include white supremacist, radical anti-abortionists and other groups with a history of such activity.
Standard-free journalism on parade all day on NBC's Sunday
Forgotten But Not GoneIt was another do-as-we-say, not-as-we-do day for the National Broadcast Company this past Sabbath.
Over the weekend NBC offered up their latest versions of Tim Russert's Meet the Press and the Chris Matthews Show -- the latter being political television's answer to Jerry Springer. In them we were treated to two more glittering examples of all that is wrong with the Jurassic Press.
That being the woeful lack of journalistic ethics demonstrated by those at the heights of the media mountain, and the utter shamelessness they and their colleagues exhibit upon their being outed as amoral hacks.
The email recommended against using wording that implies Castro didn't write his letter of resignation and to rely on reporting by Communist Party daily Granma. It then reminded “Fidel did bring social reforms to Cuba” and “'[w]hile despised by some, he is seen as a revolutionary hero...for standing up to the United States.”
Here is the email posted by Babalu (bold mine after email's heading):
The quickest way to get the liberal media to pay attention to you is to claim to be a Republican who hates Republicans. It's an almost infallible public relations strategy that of late has worked well for "Republican" Monica Green.
It's also done wonders for "lifelong Republican" Henry A. Lowenstein, who has managed to get 20 different letters published in the New York Times since 2003, a remarkable feat when you consider that the Times (by its own admission) receives around 1,000 letters a day and prints only 15 on its letters page. That means the odds of the average liberal person (the paper freely admits it favors left-wing letter writers) getting his or her letter printed are about 1.5 percent.
It's worse when you think of the numbers on a yearly scale. In the past five years, the Times has received approximately 1.8 million letters. It's printed 20 of Lowenstein's.
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, Andrea Mitchell showcased “a lifelong Republican, who twice voted for George Bush, now canvassing for Obama” as a “precinct captain” in Iowa. In an interview two months ago, however, Monica Green listed Ronald Reagan as the last Republican President with whom she “identified” and, asked whether she'd vote for Reagan if he were running against Barack Obama today, she equivocated as she implied Reagan was too anti-communist: “You mean if he was running against Obama today? Oh my goodness. That's a good question...His views on communism were probably not the view I would appreciate today. I've got a much more global perspective today, and Obama touches that.”
Mitchell and NBC producers hardly stumbled upon Green by accident since the official Barack Obama campaign site features a video of Green as one of its “Republicans for Barack.” In the NBC story, Mitchell cued up Green to explain how she rationalizes to her kids her party change: “In the beginning, they would call me and say, 'Who are you? You raised us to be Republicans. I don't understand.' And I just keep saying, 'Look at the problems in the world, and look at who you think is going to be able to solve these problems?'”
Between doctoring quotes, misrepresenting TV ratings, obsessing over Michelle Malkin's ethnicity and crushing on Bill O'Reilly, the TV host who self-anointed himself as Edward R. Murrow's heir let loose with some tall tales.
While lie number one is my favorite (go read it), some of 2007's lying lowlights include Keith claiming Rosie O'Donnell never compared US troops to terrorists, stating Fox News' Roger Ailes is running Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign or just lying about O'Reilly and News. Here's a little sample (bold mine):
#5 - ... But our #5 entry shows Keith "Man on Fan" Olbermann at his most desperate. So eager was he to protect a possible NBC hire (Rosie O'Donnell) he doctored her words (sound familiar?) to claim she never compared US troops to terrorists.
Past articles document the media’s bias against Castle Doctrine, insinuating that this enhanced self-defense law impedes investigators and handcuffs prosecutors,1 or that the right of self-defense originated with Castle Doctrine.2
Laura Whitley of ABC Houston affiliate KTRK covering a recent self-defense story where Rodney Shamlin was shot by homeowner Gary Southworth, wrote:
From CNN's perspective, what would be the perfect addition to its YouTube Republican debate? Why, someone who is on a steering committee for the Hillary Clinton campaign! Keith Kerr, a retired, gay general was in the audience for the November 28 debate and grilled the Republican candidates over the issue of homosexuals in the military. Somehow, CNN forgot to mention his connection to "LGBT Americans For Hillary Steering Committee." The next day, network anchors even tried to cover up their knowledge that the general was an "activist."
CNN's audience, however, probably shouldn't be surprised at the network's actions. Prior to the debate, anchor Anderson Cooper defended the usage of such plants by asserting, "Well, campaign operatives are people, too. We don’t investigate the background of people asking questions…that’s not our job..." The cable channel's tricky tactics marred an otherwise commendable debate. As noted on NewsBusters, a majority of the YouTube questions aired by CNN were from a conservative perspective.
Retired Brig. Gen. Keith Kerr, a member of Hillary Clinton's campaign, in the audience at CNN's Republican debate of November 28th, making comments after the airing of his YouTube question on gays in the military.
Who's Hollywood's latest Big Bad Villain? Private military contractors--giving rise to a new version of Derangement Syndrome: Blackwater Derangement Syndrome or BwDS.
Echoing lefty rage at Blackwater, TV shows from “Boston Legal” to “Jericho” have turned contractors into the bad guys.
NBC's upcoming two-hour movie/backdoor pilot “Knight Rider” is no different, but this time Michael Knight and KITT the talking car are "counteracting and preventing the damage done by private, covert military contractors.”
According to the November 29 Hollywood Reporter, television's latest venture into contractor bashing is this sequel to the campy '80s David Hasselhoff show. In the new movie, Michael Knight's son Mike Tracer (what, was Mike Gunn or Mike Bullitt too obvious? Was Mike Stone not manly enough?) is now driving KITT and fighting the real threat to the world—private military contractors (bold mine):
In the greatest of ironies, after Democrats refused to participate in debates sponsored by Fox News due to its supposed partiality, CNN has now shown itself in back-to-back debates to be as biased as biased can be.
After either participating in or allowing the planting of campaign operatives at November 15's Democrat presidential debate in Las Vegas, it has now become apparent that similar stocking of audience questioners occurred in Wednesday's Republican debate.
On Thursday morning, Michelle Malkin identified two plants from the Obama and Edwards campaigns. As her website is having some problems at the moment, Inside Cable News reported that according to Malkin, one plant was David Cercone, a declared Obama supporter, who asked the following question:
Wash, spin, rinse, spin. Phone, spin, report, spin, poll, spin. The similarities between the work of the mainstream media and a laundry machine are striking. Yet there is nothing about the cycle -- the spin-report-poll-spin cycle -- that does for political events what detergent does for your boxers or briefs.
The media, as One, spend days or weeks bashing someone or something they do not like. They then conduct a poll to prove to you that they were right all along. In a campaign season, their one-sided coverage is calculated, then executed to produce a result. It’s not about reporting the events, it’s about changing the prevailing view.
And the polls -- such as the ones by the media, which are not independent surveys like those undertaken by the likes of Rasmussen or Gallup -- aren’t intended as much to gauge the public view of a candidate or events as they are to reinforce that which they have “reported”, or provide the media guidance on how effective their spinning of the news has been.
The New York Times newspaper headlined its article about the recently concluded United Nations-sponsored Internet conference in Brazil as US Control of Internet Remains Issue. However, as is usual with the Times, while the tone of the article was complaining about the fact that the United States maintains control over the core Internet, they offered no evidence that handing over control to a foreign or even worse, a UN-controlled entity would be better. As the Associated Press article used by the Times reports,
A U.N.-sponsored Internet conference ended Thursday with little to show in closing the issue of U.S. control over how people around the world access e-mail and Web sites. With no concrete recommendations for action, the only certainty going forward is that any resentment about the American influence will only grow as more users from the developing world come online, changing the face of the global network.
Yesterday we were griping about the way NBC's "Green Week" crusade had infiltrated a perfectly good NFL football game. Today brings news that not even the presumably politics-free "Dancing With the Stars" is immune from BDS.
"Morning Joe" today twice rolled tape from last night's "Dancing with the Stars" in which Len Goodman, a Brit who is the head judge, managed to sneak in a shot at President Bush. He was speaking to a dancing pair, apparently after their performance.
The U.S. economy by most markers is performing admirably. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, we have had 49 consecutive months of job growth. Unemployment is at a historic low of 4.7 percent, the average number of jobs created is holding steady at around 100,000 per month and real after-tax personal income has increased by 12.5 percent. Yet, according to a CNN poll, half of Americans think the country is in a recession. As Larry Elder writes today at TownHall.com, the reason can be found in the way that the media portray the economy. And that portrayal differs dramatically when a Republican is in office as opposed to a Democrat. Elder writes,
It is no secret that Air America is a favorite of most if not all the liberal denizens of many newsrooms. In Austin today, Austin Statesman reporter W. Gardner Selby cemented that reputation in his/her publicity piece on Air America's demise in Austin, Texas. Wrote Selby,
Air America seeks another home in Central Texas, but nothing is imminent, Kaufman said. He'd welcome tips at firstname.lastname@example.org. "If someone can point me in the direction of someone more amenable to picking up our format, I'll take all the help I can get," Kaufman said.
I am aware that the liberal media will do virtually anything to try to counteract the conservative dominance of talk radio, but for a supposedly neutral reporter to publish the liberal talk radio's contact information along with a barely-disguised plea for someone to add Air America to their radio lineup strikes me as somehow beyond the pale.
Every time the media feature an ostensibly Average Joe to further a liberal Democratic talking point, my curiosity is piqued as to how that person was singled out by a news agency to flesh out the human dimension of a policy argument. Many times it turns out the poster child/family in question is delivered to the media on a silver platter courtesy of a professional liberal activist.
The Frost family of Baltimore seems to be no exception, as Lisa Rein of the Washington Post noted in passing deep in her October 23 article on Bonnie Frost's pro-socialized health care activism.:
"Bonnie's a symbol of the true depth of the health-care crisis in Maryland," said Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative, which is sponsoring the new radio ad. "Luckily, CHIP is there for their kids, but there's nothing for them."
"Good Morning America" anchors and reporters effusively lauded Al Gore on Friday after he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming. Diane Sawyer opened the program by breathlessly declaring, "Former Vice President Al Gore wins the Nobel Peace Prize for helping awaken the world to global warming. Now is it time to run for president again?" In her introduction to a piece on the subject, Sawyer gushed that the ex-VP is receiving the award for "for educating the world."
Reporter Kate Snow was no less laudatory. She asserted, "For Al Gore, winning the Nobel Peace Prize is a personal milestone, vindication of a sort." The ABC contributor also claimed that the victory is "a new entry for the history books." To be fair, Snow did inform her viewers that the American politician beat out some very worthy individuals, such asa 97-year-old woman who saved Jewish children from the Holocaust. However, the GMA correspondent never questioned whether there was a political element to Gore receiving the Peace Prize or about the film's factual inaccuracies. She simply labeled the win not just a personal victory for the former vice president, but also "a symbolic victory for his cause."
On September 29, 2007, Baltimore 12-year old Graeme Frost became the Democratic poster child, literally, for SCHIP. Frost read the Democratic Party's official response to the president's weekly radio address, attacking President Bush for his veto of a Democratic-sponsored bill to balloon federal spending on the 10-year old program.
The Baltimore Sun ran a story that morning noting young Graeme Frost's brush with political football history, and two days earlier ran a gauzy profile on Graeme's mom and dad and their push for the Democratic SCHIP expansion here. But now that conservative bloggers have been raising questions about the portrayal by Democrats and the Baltimore Sun of the family's financial plight, the Sun is hitting back by attacking conservatives bloggers as heartless and obsessive, Michelle Malkin noted on her blog.
Those pesky conservative suburbanites and their market forces! They'll be the ruin of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, bellows Anonymous.
Hugh Hewitt and Ed Morrissey have taken on the unattributed complaints of a self-described Star-Tribune ("Strib") veteran, who laments that his beloved paper is becoming a right-wing shill for, gasp, hiring a token conservative opinion columnist.:
The Rake, a local alternative newspaper here in the Twin Cities, published an interesting cri de coeur from "one Strib veteran" about the direction of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The anonymous attribution wears thin in the first line of the quote:
Last Sunday, NewsBusters introduced readers to Media Matters for America, the left-wing organization behind the recent smear campaigns against conservative personalities Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly.
In the days that followed, although news outlets and leading Democrats continued to reference articles written by this shadowy group, few details were offered about the organization behind them, and virtually nothing was shared concerning its founder, David Brock, who in a short period of time a decade ago remarkably went from a staunch enemy of the Clintons to one of their strongest supporters.
As National Review's Jonah Goldberg wrote in Sunday's New York Post, "Brock was once a right-wing hatchet man, penning a book, ‘The Real Anita Hill,' and some articles in the American Spectator on the Clintons that for a time earned him considerable notoriety on the right and hatred on the left."
Despite the influence Media Matters currently has with the mainstream media, Brock's extraordinary political metamorphosis ten years ago, though obviously a journalist's dream, has received little recent attention from press representatives typically clamoring for such juicy dish (emphasis added throughout):
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) took to a popular conservative blog today to issue a defense of radio host Rush Limbaugh against left-wing smear attacks. As NewsBusters has reported, Blackburn herself was the target of a "gotcha" game by MSNBC's David Shuster.
In "Why let the truth get in the way of a good story," Blackburn expressed to Red State readers her support for Limbaugh and noted her resolution before the House of Representatives to commend Rush for this dedication to America's men and women in uniform:
It doesn't take you a comprehensive Media Research Center study to know that the Huffington Post is a leftist site. Of course, MRC/NewsBusters' Tim Graham did such a study, but it's common knowledge in the media that HuffPo skews leftward. Yet New York Times staffer Bill Carter downplayed the liberal nature of the site in his October 2 story "CBSNews.com Chief to Lead a News and Blogs Site."
Carter kicked off his article by taking pains to avoid the ideological bent of HuffPo, instead painting HuffPo's new hire of a CBSNews.com staffer for chief executive as a sign that "new-media" outlets no longer have to sit at the MSM's version of the kids table:
The Huffington Post, a news Web site, plans to announce today the appointment of a new chief executive, Betsy Morgan, who will leave her job as the general manager of CBSNews.com.
Last week, two of the leading conservatives in the media, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly, were dishonestly and unprofessionally attacked by press outlets that cherry-picked out of context remarks from lengthy radio broadcasts in order to vilify outspoken personalities whose opinions they don’t agree with.
Unfortunately, as folks around the country saw this play out on their television sets and newspapers, few were at all familiar with the organization behind the smear campaigns, or that this same group started the firestorm which ended with radio host Don Imus being terminated by NBC and CBS in April.
Maybe more importantly, even fewer citizens are aware that this organization is linked directly to Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as billionaire leftist George Soros.
For some background, John Perazzo wrote a column for FrontPage Magazine in July entitled “Media Matters: Hillary’s Lap Dogs,” that should be must-reading for all citizens interested in who's targeting America’s leading conservative personalities (emphasis added throughout):
A government watchdog group filed an ethics complaint against Idaho Sen. Larry Craig Tuesday after Craig said he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from complaints of lewd conduct in a men's room. . .
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint with the Senate ethics committee seeking an investigation into whether Craig violated Senate rules by engaging in disorderly conduct.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) may qualify to be described as a government watchdog group. What the Associated Press should have told its readers is that CREW is an extraordinarily partisan watchdog group.
According to its Web site, CREW has initiated lawsuits or lodged complaints against Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA), Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL), Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA), and House minority leader John Boehner (R-OH).