Not surprising, but the Time magazine contributor and "Swampland" blogger slapped around President Bush for moving to empower the federal government to freeze assets held by the terrorist-sponsoring Revolutionary Guard Corps of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Yet two weeks ago, Joe Klein slammed President Bush for not confronting U.S. ally Pervez Musharraf about terrorist sympathizers that work covertly against U.S. interests from within the Pakistani military.
Here's Klein's August 15 post, after which I add more commentary:
I saw this yesterday but didn't work up anything on it. Basically it's a lame Style section front-pager from Sunday that fixates on how dull/boring/lame/stupid-sounding the name "Fred" is, and what that means for presumptive GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson.
Fortunately Myra Langerhas of "Snarking Dawg" worked up a snarky blog post and so I thought I'd share that with you. Below is the relevant excerpt from Myra's August 12 entry "What's in a name?"
Myra began by quoting the first seven grafs of staff writer Monica Hesse's August 12 article and then laid out swipe at the author's biases and decidedly liberal cosmopolitan tastes, like joining a bunch of lesbians in "crashing" a "straight bar.":
If “significant changes” were not made, the NIAC threatened that the film would “generate serious backlash against the Iranian American community.”
After the complaint, the producer “immediately contacted” the NIAC and “agreed to take its concerns into consideration.” Even more surprising was how much access and influence the NIAC had over the Weinstein film starring Sean Penn and Harrison Ford (my emphasis throughout):
NIAC later submitted its analysis and suggestions to the production team, which changed elements of the script and even re-shot certain scenes. The final product, the director says, does not include any reference to "family honor" and does not depict an honor killing.
On this morning's "Today" show it was a tale of two candidates who have fallen behind in the polls. One was eulogized and left for dead, the other one was glowingly profiled. Can you guess which one was a Democrat and which one was the Republican?
First, Sen. John McCain sat down on the "Today" set and had to endure NBC's David Gregory burying his campaign in a set-up piece that was so tough "Today" co-host Matt Lauer awkwardly apologized: "It's always strange for me to be sitting here with a guy and we're running a tape that's a little bit like a political obituary there."
Yesterday I wrote a piece about reporter Mika Brzezinski's handling of a story that reflected a political double standard on her part. While hosting MSNBC's "Morning Joe" for the vacationing Joe Scarborough, Brzezinski aired a video of a female reporter chasing after Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Before she could catch up with the mayor however, the reporter was intercepted by a very large security guard and sent barreling into the side of what appeared to be a nearby dumpster. At the time Brzezinski brushed off the incident as "not that pressing," in stark contrast to the seemingly endless attention the David Vitter scandal received on "Morning Joe" throughout July. This morning however, Brzezinski seems to have changed her mind and now believes "That story's important."
For a little context, Villaraigosa, a Democrat, has been under scrutiny since he confessed to an affair with Spanish language reporter, Mirthala Salinas. Not surprisingly, Salinas received special access to the mayor during their affair.
Yesterday, after airing the video, Brzezinski gave her opinion as to the newsworthiness of the story. Here is her quote from the August 7 show:
George Ou reports that Dateline NBC investigative "journalist" Michelle Madigan was run out on a rail when she tried to infiltrate DEFCON in Las Vegas, the convention for hackers and security specialists, hoping to catch someone admitting to a crime. This is the same group of people who play "spot the spook" at their yearly conventions, so Michelle never had a chance. This all came after DEFCON organizers gave her four chances to register as press. Instead, Madigan made reference to how "people in Kansas" would be interested in what the hackers were up to (Kansas being the reference to the fly-over area between LA and NY) and then made a trip to the restroom to get her pinhole camera running.
Liberals can rest easier knowing that despite her outspoken views on newsworthiness and ethics, MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski can still be counted on to go to bat for the Democrats. The reporter and "Morning Joe" regular showed off her famous sense of journalistic integrity while filling in for host Joe Scarborough on Monday morning. In the first half hour, Brzezinski played a video of a journalist trying desperately to get an interview with Antonio Villaraigosa, the Democratic mayor of Los Angeles. Villaraigosa has been surrounded by controversy since revelations that he had engaged in an extramarital affair with Spanish language reporter Mirthala Salinas.
The video clip showed one female reporter and at least two cameramen chasing the embattled mayor hoping for an interview. Before she could reach the mayor however, one of Villaraigosa’s hired thugs intercepted the reporter, sending the much smaller woman barreling into what appears to be a dumpster.
Republicans held a debate on Sunday, but CBS’s Hannah Storm seemed more interested in Rudy Giuliani’s personal life and then Mitt Romney’s crankiness. On the August 6 edition of "The Early Show," at 7:19 AM, Storm kicked off the segment noting there was a Republican debate the previous day but, "they did not talk about an issue hanging over front-runner Rudy Giuliani and that is his wife, Judith, who has become a controversial topic in his campaign."
This is interesting. In an article that describes frustration by the State Department over recent hawk-like commentary coming from presidential candidates, only the Republican is labeled a "radical."
First it was Barack Obama's talk of dialogue with dictators and invading Pakistan to kill Islamist militants, then it was Hillary Rodham Clinton refusing to rule out the use of nuclear weapons to that end. Now, the Democratic front-runners have been joined by radical Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo, who threatened to bomb Muslim holy sites to stop terror attacks.
The Los Angeles Times reports in the August 3 paper that "Los Angeles television newscaster Mirthala Salinas was suspended without pay for two months — but not dismissed — Thursday from KVEA-TV Channel 52 for covering Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa while they were romantically involved, a relationship that journalism experts said damaged the station's credibility."
But wait, there's more. The Telemundo reporter (pictured at right with Villaraigosa*) apparently has a history of dating Southern California Democratic politicians:
Her affair with Villaraigosa was an open secret in KVEA's Burbank newsroom and in the mayor's office at City Hall. Salinas also had dated Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez (D-Los Angeles) when he was divorced — and before he remarried his wife — as well as former Los Angeles City Council President Alex Padilla, now a state senator.
On this morning's Today show, NBC's Meredith Vieira and Dr. Nancy Snyderman became born-again libertarians in their opposition to New York City's ban on bottle feeding babies. Vieira called the measure "drastic" and Snyderman urged, "not so fast." The ban even inspired "Today" to coin a new series segment called "Nanny State." However, back in 2006, when New York City infringed on another right - the right to eat fatty foods, Snyderman struck a different tone, as she gravely warned about the dangers of trans fats.
First up Vieira opened the bottle feeding ban segment on the August 2, "Today" this way:
The media love comparing Iraq to the Vietnam War. So why didn't Reuters relate Iraq to this July 31 story about a joint Cambodian-UN tribunal that charged one of Pol Pot's top henchmen with crimes against humanity related to the deaths of 1.7 million people in that country's “Killing Fields?”
They also like to link America's actions to unpleasant world events. So why not even mention how the US pulling out of Vietnam and Congress halting aid to Vietnam and Cambodia, allowed the rise of Pol Pot's brutal and deadly communist Khmer Rouge regime that killed, tortured and displaced millions? Maybe take it a step further and connect it to what might happen if the US follows the wishes of many Democrats and withdraws from Iraq too soon?
The tribunal charged Duch with the deaths of 1.7 million people after confessing to “committing multiple atrocities during this (sic) time as head of the capital's notorious Tuol Sleng or S-21 interrogation center.” (emphasis mine throughout):
During the month of July, CNN's "Larry King Live" both began and ended with interviews of vice presidents. On July 5, host Larry King interviewed former vice president Al Gore. On July 31, King interviewed sitting vice president Dick Cheney. The difference between the two interviews is like night and day. King, for the most part, did not press Gore for an answer to his questions, and asked a few light questions (such as, "How did you get Madonna?" for "Live Earth"). On the other hand, King's questions to Cheney pressed the vice president on a number of hot political topics (for example, "General Powell says he would close Guantanamo yesterday. Would you?" and the oh-so-typical follow-up, "You have to torture them when they're there?") and the interview was almost completely serious.
Update/retraction (13:11): Missed the update on LGF. It is in fact an image of a mosque in Brunei. My apologies to CAIR and to NewsBusters readers.
"Little Green Footballs" noticed yesterday that the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which is cheering the impending crimes prosecution of a Pace University student for putting a Koran in a toilet, depicted the US Capitol dome as though it were the dome of a mosque. Gone was the Statue of Freedom that graces a pedestal atop the cast-iron dome (see picture at right)
Now imagine if the Catholic League photoshopped the cross-topped dome of St. Peter's Basilica or if the Christian Coalition replaced Freedom with country church bell tower in an image endorsing its "American-Christian Voter Survey." Something tells me the media would not find some cynical way to round up liberal critics who would allege those conservative Christian groups want to turn the federal government into a theocracy.
In a sympathetic story, reporter Russ Buettner relayed the plight of local property owners fighting abuse of eminent domain -- the taking of private property for public use -- by local governments. Such "takings" were made infamous by Kelo vs. New London, the controversial 2005 Supreme Court decision which found that the city of New London, Conn., was within its rights to condemn private property and hand it to a development corporation under the control of the city government, a decision that enraged left and right alike.
Based on his explanation, it appears he said he wasn't calling milbloggers chickenhawks, he was calling bloggers like Hugh Hewitt chickenhawks and “didn't take the time to clearly define what (he) was talking about.”
He also fell back on popular lefty tactics that are designed to eliminate opposing opinions. In addition to the chickenhawk gambit, McLeary insisted that writers should physically set foot in Iraq and Afghanistan, limiting discussion to only those reporters and bloggers who have been to those countries, unless, of course, the writer has an anti-military or anti-war position. Good thing that NewsBusters' Mark Finklestein has been to Iraq!
Here is the portion of McLeary's email that Q and O posted (bold mine):
In a time where we have movies and television shows which routinely ridicule Christianity, atheism, Judaism, and more, why is it that we don't see similar attempts at parodying or debunking Islam? Christopher Hitchens:
Before me is a recent report that a student at Pace University in New York City has been arrested for a hate crime in consequence of an alleged dumping of the Quran. Nothing repels me more than the burning or desecration of books, and if, for example, this was a volume from a public or university library, I would hope that its mistreatment would constitute a misdemeanor at the very least. But if I choose to spit on a copy of the writings of Ayn Rand or Karl Marx or James Joyce, that is entirely my business. When I check into a hotel room and send my free and unsolicited copy of the Gideon Bible or the Book of Mormon spinning out of the window, I infringe no law, except perhaps the one concerning litter. Why do we not make this distinction in the case of the Quran? We do so simply out of fear, and because the fanatical believers in that particular holy book have proved time and again that they mean business when it comes to intimidation.
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," anchors Robin Roberts and Diane Sawyer touted the marital relationship between Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards and his wife. Co-host Robin Roberts recounted the often repeated story of how the Edwards couple spend their wedding anniversary, including their recent 30th, at the restaurant Wendy’s.
Roberts, perhaps in a Freudian slip, even referred to the former North Carolina Senator as "presidential nominee John Edwards." Sawyer gushed that the candidate and his wife "are going to renew their vows." "Happy anniversary," she added.
Yet, this is the same morning show that has vastly underplayed stories that aren’t quite so cute and endearing for the '08 contender. For instance, during a recent GMA town hall with John Edwards on the subject of poverty, Ms. Sawyer only managed to mention the trial lawyer’s 28,000 square-foot mansion once.
Sunday's New York Times led with Scott Shane and David Johnston's "Mining of Data Prompted Fight Over U.S. Spying," on what the intelligence reporters characterized as a fierce Justice Department debate over the use of "data mining" in the war on terror.
"A 2004 dispute over the National Security Agency's secret surveillance program that led top Justice Department officials to threaten resignation involved computer searches through massive electronic databases, according to current and former officials briefed on the program.
Last week's economic report couldn't have been much rosier. The economy grew at a faster-than-expected rate, faster than any time in over a year. But far from sparking runaway prices, inflation actually moderated.
But that didn't stop the Axis of Gloom, AKA the New York Times and its Beantown subsidiary the Boston Globe from publishing op-ed items this morning finding the cloud on the silver lining. A lugubrious Times editorial laments:
By the end of last week, any lingering hope that the housing downturn would be contained had vanished. As this week begins, signs of contagion seem to be everywhere . . . The fallout of housing-related turmoil is also likely to extend beyond financial markets.
The editorial ends with a call for closer monitoring of hedge funds.
Over at the Globe, liberal economist Robert Kuttner [pictured here] emits a sky-is-falling column "The crash that could come."
Does the New York Times have a favorite Democratic candidate?
Reporter Leslie Wayne, in Iowa with the John Edwards campaign, filed the Times's latest strongly positive story Tuesday on the "populist" (not liberal!) Edwards, who the Times seems determined to make into the next John F. Kennedy or Bobby Kennedy. Wayne's latest is a glowing profile of an Edwards Iowa campaign event, which Wayne saw as pure Americana. The headline: "A Candidate Tends His Field of Dreams."
"Surrounding him were about 100 voters, all seated on outdoor chairs provided by the local Congregational church, in a scene that could not have been more picturesquely American -- democracy in action at its most intimate level. Even the music of John Mellencamp -- 'Our Country' -- helped make that point.
Filling in on July 17 for Keith Olbermann, MSNBC's Alison Stewart devoted a "Countdown" segment to criticizing the dress Wendy Vitter wore during a July 16 news conference in which her husband, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), admitted to an affair with a prostitute.
With "Fashion Ho-Pas?" emblazoned on-screen (pictured at right), Stewart interviewed Radar Online's Jeff Bercovici, who snarked that Vitter's sartorial choice could mark "a complete reversal of the laws of skankery." [Video (1:37):Real (2.54 MB) and Windows (2.90MB), plus MP3 audio (753 kB)]
Olbermann returned to his program's hosting duties the next day and also hosted the July 19 program before turning over the helm yet again to Stewart for his July 20 show*, despite having had three days to become aware of the "ho-pas" segment, take disciplinary action against Stewart, and make her issue an apology. Olbermann either saw the light or felt the heat over the weekend, apparently, as he issued an apology about one-third of the way through his July 23 program (h/t Ian Schwartz):
In the comment thread, Brown confirmed this wasn't satire, stating it was “all about anger, not humour” and offered a sarcastic (non) apology to an offended Koz Kid, “It was not my intent to defame or offend anyone who might sign a piece of paper saying they are available to kill whoever their marginally superior officer tells them to, wherever they are sent, for 1200 dollars a month.” That's nice. Enjoy (bold mine):
Hello, I’m A. Whitney Brown, and I support our brave troops overseas. We all do and we all should. But what about those troops who are not so brave? Perhaps they just signed up hoping for some extra money for college, for the medical insurance, or even some hot gay military sex. (...) But do I still support the individual men and women who have given so much to serve their country? (...) I think they’re a bunch of idiots. I also think they’re morally retarded. Because they sign a contract that says they will kill whoever you tell me to kill. And that is morally retarded. (...) To to sum up, I don’t like our troops, I don’t like what they’re doing, I don’t like their fat, whining families...
CNN's Pressroom announced that its upcoming six-hour special “God's Warriors,” reported by Christiane Amanpour, will discuss “the impact of religious fundamentalism as a powerful political force.” In the process, CNN revealed what it thinks about the various “fundamentalists” around the world by pushing the typical multi-culti PC media position that no one religion is more problematic or violent than another, with all types of fundamentalism being equally dangerous.
On Friday’s Good Morning America, reporter David Wright (pictured at right) turned a story about Senator Barack Obama’s far-left views on sex education for kindergartners into an attack piece on Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Rather than focus on the Democrat’s controversial stance, ABC cast Romney as the villain, painting the Republican as an opportunist and a flip-flopper for daring to criticize Obama’s comments.
As Wright pointed out, "Massachusetts has one of the most progressive sex education curriculums in the country. It starts during pre-school and not only requires that elementary schools teach kids the basics about sex but encourages them to teach about sexual orientation too." In a glib tone of voice Wright explained, "Of course you’d never know that from hearing Romney on the campaign trail now."
This story seems nothing more that another person's exercising his right to defend life and property, something that most people in Texas heartily support. But the lead paragraph from a Houston Chronicle article raises a warning flag:State Rep. Borris Miles, who voted earlier this year against a bill broadening Texans’ rights to defend themselves with deadly force, shot and wounded a man he said was trying to steal copper from a palatial house he is building in the Third Ward.1
The article notes that this is a success story for concealed carry, but also emits more warning signals about proper self-defense protocols:
Say you write for or edit the metro section of a major metropolitan newspaper and you have a juicy story of a local ex-mayor who was arrested for running a brothel. It's right on the heels of the Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) prostitution scandal and the politician in the local story in question was once a sheriff's deputy, clearly no stranger to anti-prostitution laws.
Party affiliation is just one more tidbit of information that couldn't hurt your readers, right?
Apparently, the grandstanding by Edward R. Murrow-wannabe Keith Olbermann during his performance as co-moderator of the May Republican debate won the support of the AFL-CIO. On its blog, the union announced the big news that Olbermann will also moderate the August 7 Democratic debate, which the powerful union is sponsoring.
July 17, the AFL-CIO Now blog promoted Olbermann's new moderator gig, and since the site didn't mention Matthews' name or anyone else's, it looks as if Olbermann will fly solo (via Inside Cable News, emphasis mine throughout):
And haunt it does in this piece designed to scare the bejeebers out of women who are considering leaving the workforce in order to stay at home with their children. MSNBC contributor Eve Tahmincioglu warns us that women who leave lucrative careers in order to change diapers and arrange playdates may receive a nasty surprise if and when they need to go back to work.
She includes anecdotes from women whose circumstances demanded that they go back to work, but were unable to simply pick up from where they left off, taking jobs they had to in order to make ends meet.
For professional backup, Tahmincioglu turns to Leslie Bennetts, author of the recent tome "The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much?"
The indicted former Newark Mayor and current NJ state Senator Sharpe James sure is mysterious. According to the New York Times, WNBC and via the AP, the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo, Philadelphia Inquirer and the UK's Guardian, among others, James seemingly does not belong to a political party. Maybe he belongs to the same non-party as Rep. William Jefferson who was indicted on corruption and bribery charges earlier this year (hat tip to a NewsBusters reader):
Strangely, after a little digging, I discovered that James is a Democrat and that according to the prosecution, some of his alleged expenses included costly trips to Jamaica, Rio de Janeiro and Puerto Rico on the taxpayer's dime, as well as letting a girlfriend buy city property at bargain-basement prices.