LOS ANGELES – He's still got a little work to do on the economy, but already President Barack Obama has accomplished at least one task that had appeared all but impossible just a year ago: He's put The Dead back on the road.
On Wednesday’s Anderson Cooper 360 program, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and Jeffrey Toobin voiced their skepticism about the hundreds of Tea Party protests across the U.S., with Toobin stating how it was “disturbing” that there was a “edge of anger at the government” at the rallies. He continued, “There is a real -- a real hostility that is not just politics as usual among some of these people....I think it’s indicative of trying to tap into an anger that’s beyond rationality on a part of a small group of these people.” Amanpour also asked if the protesters were “really out of step with the majority of Americans.”
Amanpour, filing in for host Anderson Cooper, began the segment just after the beginning of the 10 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program. Before turning to Toobin, she brought on the network’s senior political analyst David Gergen and asked him a cynical question about the Tea Parties: “David -- is this, David, a grassroots movement, or is it something just whipped up for this moment?” Gergen began with an admission: “Well, Christiane, at first, I must confess, I did not take these very seriously. But they do seem to have gained traction in the last couple of weeks. And they have -- I think they are giving expression to what is a groundswell of a vocal minority, who are increasingly alienated and opposed to what the president is proposing -- is putting forward, the agenda he’s advancing.”
He's the director of the National Security Project of the Progressive Policy Institute.
You guys check on these things...
JIM ARKEDIS, PROGRESSIVE POLICY INSTITUTE: We do.
SANCHEZ: ...to make sure the figures are right. So because you're down now in the middle, I'm going to ask you the question -- is Senator James Inhofe correct to say that President Obama is "gutting the U.S. military budget?"
In a promo on Thursday’s Early Show, CBS asked if same-sex “marriage” is “inevitable in all 50 states,” and during their segment on the issue, seemed to answer this rhetorical question affirmatively. The network also lined up four sound bites from three individuals who supported the legalization of such unions against one from a leader of a conservative organization. Additionally, correspondent Priya David made one factual error about California’s Proposition 8 during the report.
David began the segment by outlining which states had passed same-sex civil unions, which states permit domestic partnerships, and which states “offer full marriage rights for same-sex couples.” She continued by actually using a political label for the “marriage” states: “In allowing same-sex marriage, Vermont has joined its neighbors in the north, Massachusetts and Connecticut, which are traditionally liberal states. But now there’s support in a place you might not expect.”
CNN’s Rick Sanchez returned to blasting conservatives on Wednesday’s Newsroom program, blaming the recent murder of three Pittsburgh police officers on the Fox News Channel and other media on the right: “That weekend tragedy involves a man who allegedly shot and killed three police officers in cold blood. Why? Because he was convinced, after no doubt watching Fox News and listening to right-wing radio, that quote, ‘Our rights were being infringed upon.’” He tag-teamed with Media Matters fellow Eric Boehlert to argue that conservative media personalities like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity were offering “garden-variety fear and hate mongering...night in and night out.”
One could be sure that Sanchez would be pointing his finger squarely at his competitors on the right from the first moment he mentioned the gun issue, which was 13 minutes into the CNN program. After playing audio of gunshots from the Pittsburgh murders, he gave the following promo: “What you’re hearing there is three police officers killed by a man who thought President Obama would take away his guns. Who put that thought in his head? And how many more Americans believe that? Could it be 1.2 million Americans? You’re going to see why I’m asking that question.” Sanchez gave a further hint that his target was Fox News during another promo ten minutes later: “Are Americans being fed a pack of lies about President Obama and guns laws? And is it creating a gun buying panic? ‘We’ll report, you decide.’ That’s not too obvious is it?”
For over two and a half months, MSNBC host David Shuster featured a segment called "Hypocrisy Watch" on his program "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" that overwhelmingly singled out conservatives and Republicans as hypocrites, while ignoring Democratic offenders. An analysis by the Media Research Center finds that of the 48 "Hypocrisy Watch" segments, 34 went after conservatives or Republicans. Only four (or just under nine percent) attacked liberals or Democrats. (Only two editions could be described as bipartisan. Another wasn't political. The remaining seven segments all hit business and corporate-related targets.)
Amazingly, despite the fact that Republicans are completely out of power in Washington, 20 (or 40 percent) of the "Hypocrisy Watch" designations were given to congressional Republicans, either individually or to the GOP minority in general. The daily feature began on January 14 and Shuster asserted on that day, "...We will focus on an organization or person who clearly seems to be doing something that makes the term appropriate." Liberal hypocrisies, such as President Barack Obama signing a $410 billion spending bill loaded with thousands of earmarks despite decrying them during the campaign, have gone unnoticed. More often, the targets are conservatives such as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Karl Rove or Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.
Don't you love it when the Old Media dredges up some partisan hack Democrat supporter and presents them as an "expect" that is never identified as a partisan political hack? Well, you may not love it, but it sure seems to happen an awful lot. And here we see another example of that lame bias by our old friend Anne Sutton, an AP writer that is renown for her hit pieces on Governor Palin and her family.
This AP piece is supposedly describing "Sarah Palin's Bad Week," in which mountains are made of molehills over and over again. Little of this "report" is of note but one thing does stand out. That would be the quoting by writer Sutton of Ross Baker. Baker is described as a "political science professor " from Rutgers University (New Jersey) and is featured saying how bad things are for Palin these days.
Two journalists appearing as guests on CNN on Wednesday and Thursday praised “mighty Michelle” Obama for being “stylish,” “successful,” and for showing “an interest in wanting to reach out to people who may feel they’ve been disenfranchised or held at a distance from the power structure.”
Eighteen hours later on Thursday’s American Morning, the Washington Post’s Robin Givhan tried to sell how Mrs. Obama could aid her husband on the international stage: “[She] helps people to get more of a human sense of the administration. And also, I think that for many people, there was, to some degree, a sense of being closed off to the rest of the world or closed off to those who are kind of outside of the mainstream by other administrations. And I think this is a way of trying to build those bridges in a way that is very non-confrontational.”
CNN correspondent Alina Cho loaded the regal language into her report on Wednesday’s American Morning about Europe’s “apparent love affair” with Michelle Obama. Besides the obligatory Jackie Kennedy references, Cho gave a preview of the first lady’s tea with Queen Elizabeth II: “On today’s schedule: tea with the queen, and insiders say the queen and America’s queen bee will be fast friends.” The correspondent even compared Mrs. Obama to Princess Diana. She also referred to the Obamas as the “royal family of the United States.”
Cho began her report by hyping the first lady’s popularity, how it apparently isn’t exclusive to the States, and how it could overshadow her husband the president: “Tina Brown, as you know, joked about an hour ago that Sara Brown is a beautiful girl but, you know, everybody sort of knows that right now, at least, she pales in comparison to Michelle Obama. Of course, the big question is, could she overshadow the president?...So, you know, there’s no denying that Michelle Obama is a rock star in America, but how is her style and personality playing abroad? Well, the early reviews are very good. The apparent love affair with the U.S. first lady is flourishing in Europe.”
As you might expect, Jon Stewart and CNN commentator Jack Cafferty’s combined act on Monday’s Daily Show consisted of some serious discussion of the economy intermixed with unoriginal jabs at former President George W. Bush’s speech pattern and high praise for the Obamas. Stewart even half-jokingly suggested that if Obama “doesn’t do well,” (perish the thought!), “we can still blame it on Bush” [audio available here].
Cafferty was on the Comedy Central program to promote his new book, “Now or Never.” After the two initially joked about this title and the title of his last book (“It’s Getting Ugly Out There”), the commentator made his first joke about Bush. Stewart asked, “Are you feeling less confident in our ability to pull this out? Is your perspective that we truly are in a nosedive?” Cafferty replied, “I don’t know. You know, I’ve got -- I’ve got some faith, I think, in the new president. He’s capable of making a declarative sentence, a cohesive thought.” When the audience applauded, Stewart quipped, “Big grammar fans.”
The CNN commentator then continued to gush over Obama: “I like Obama. I think he’s a bright guy. He’s a former editor of the Harvard Law Review, former senator, president of the United States, and he goes on The Tonight Show and says, arguably, the stupidest thing he’s ever said in his entire adult life.” Oh, it’s definitely arguable, Jack
During a segment on Friday’s Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull program, CNN tried to perpetuate left-wing stereotypes about gun owners, and sent mixed messages about whether or not President Obama and his administration is pushing for gun control. Correspondent Sean Callebs interviewed two Texas professionals who owned guns and concluded, “A nurse, an attorney -- not the usual portrait of Second Amendment diehards.” After asking a gun store owner if he was “profiting on this fear” of new gun control measures, Callebs expounded on the concerns of gun owners: “In fact, it may not be rational at all. It might even be paranoid. But one thing is certain. Many gun owners believe this president is somehow out to curb their rights and they’re stocking up just in case.” [audio available here]
Both Callebs and CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin tried to assure their viewers that gun control was “way off the agenda right now” of the Obama administration, despite the fact that a graphic on the news crawl stated plainly that President Obama “wants to make expired Assault Weapons Ban permanent.”
It takes courage to be a Catholic educator. In America's culture wars, abortion is the trump card of every moral discussion. Or so the righteous right requires us to believe.
At Notre Dame, the most Catholic of Catholic universities, a national protest is building over the decision by the school's president, the Rev. John I. Jenkins, to invite President Obama to give the commencement address on May 17.
Marin then goes on to write that Obama's done much more than advancing abortion and embryonic stem cell research. For example, he's "trying to stop the economy from going over a cliff." She approvingly quotes a former Catholic university administrator saying the role of those institutions is to "espouse academic freedom where people are allowed to research, teach and hear many voices on campus . . ." And what would an article mentioning the Catholic Church be without at least one reference to pedophilia? Marin doesn't disappoint in that regard.
You'd think Marin, who prides herself on journalistic professionalism, would at least have started the column with the facts. Obama was not merely invited to give a commencement address. Notre Dame's own Web site acknowledges he will also be "the recipient of an honorary doctor of laws degree."
Just hours after MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews calls Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., the "Mata Hari of Minnesota" and Rolling Stone editor Matt Taibbi says "a guy huffing glue out of a paper bag" was making more sense the Bachmann, MSNBC "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann comes in for clean-up duties.
On the March 27 broadcast "Countdown," Olbermann confirms that Michele Bachmann Derangement Syndrome is alive and well at MSNBC. Dedicating the top of his show to Bachmann, Olbermann accuses the Minnesota congresswoman of breaking "several serious laws," for suggesting the American people should rise up against some of the liberal nonsense going on in Washington, D.C.
"The identity of the speaker is unmistakable, but this is not your standard red meat from Michele Bachmann, she may have broken several serious laws," Olbermann said.
When a former Alabama judge is indicted on 57 felony counts, including sodomy, kidnapping and paddling jail inmates, that's news. If the judge is a Democrat once under consideration for the Federal bench by Bill Clinton, that part isn't news.
Former Mobile County Circuit Judge Herman Thomas has bonded out of the Mobile County Metro Jail after he was arrested Friday afternoon. Before his arrest, Thomas was indicted by a grand jury on 57 felony counts, accusing him of, among other things, sexually abusing Mobile County inmates in exchange for favors in his courtroom. Thomas is charged with ethics violations, kidnapping, extortion, sexual abuse and sodomy. The indictment against him includes graphic details of alleged paddling and other sexual favors. Eight victims are named in the indictment. All of the alleged victims are men.
CNN anchor Rick Sanchez characterized those making light of President Barack Obama’s frequent use of a Teleprompter as being on the “far right” during a segment on Friday’s Newsroom program (audio available here). He also used a skit from liberal comedian David Letterman’s show on CBS which made fun of former President George W. Bush’s consistent verbal stumbles to underline his point.
Sanchez made the comment during a segment with comedian Carlos Mencia. He asked Mencia if he had heard of the Obama/Teleprompter humor coming from conservatives: “Hey, have you heard what’s going -- you know, the far right this week has been saying that President Obama is too stupid to talk without a script.” He then played Letterman’s skit, titled “Teleprompter Versus No Teleprompter,” which pitted an excerpt from President Obama’s first address to Congress against a clip from a town hall meeting given by former President Bush, with predictable results.
Erbe began by expressing her glee at the opportunity to write about this: “The controversy over Notre Dame University’s invitation to President Obama to deliver this year’s commencement address is too tempting for me not to join, so here goes.” Not to nitpick Bonnie, but you got the name of the institution wrong. Notre Dame University is in Lebanon. The Catholic school in South Bend, Indiana is the University of Notre Dame. The difference does matter.
When he’s not gushing over the Obamas, you can make a fair bet that CNN commentator Jack Cafferty is bashing conservatives, and he returned to one of his favorite subjects of scorn during his regular “Cafferty File” segment on Thursday’s Situation Room -- Sarah Palin. He labeled three quotes from a recent speech the Alaska governor gave as “painful.” He concluded his commentary by remarking that “whoever said truth is stranger than fiction must have met this woman.”
The CNN commentator also hinted twice during the segment that the Alaska governor was unintelligible. During the commentary, the commentator remarked that Palin “talked about why the Republicans lost in November, and seemed mostly to blame the press, at least I think that’s what she said.” Later, after Blitzer stated that the governor would be visiting Washington and that they were going to try to have her on the program, Cafferty laughed and replied, “Well, let’s hope so. Maybe you can understand her.”
Both MSNBC’s David Shuster and CNN’s Rick Sanchez pulled their scoop straight from Media Matters’ blog, and focused on Newt Gingrich’s Twitter comments criticizing President Obama’s upcoming commencement address at the University of Notre Dame, instead of the controversy over the speech itself. Shuster targeted the former Speaker of the House during the “Hypocrisy Watch” segment on Tuesday’s 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue program, saying that Gingrich was “already telling Notre Dame what to do,” even though he wasn’t Catholic yet and had gone through two divorces.
Almost a day later on Wednesday’s Newsroom program on CNN, Sanchez devoted a whole segment to Gingrich’s Tweet, and also brought up the divorce issue: “Newt Gingrich couldn’t resist taking a shot at President Obama. He seems to infer that the president shouldn’t talk to a Catholic university because of quote, ‘values.’ Should Newt Gingrich, thrice married, go there? Really?”
Here’s another dispatch where one-sided ideological labeling helps underline the liberal argument that they are merely for "science," while the conservatives are all about ideology. Associated Press reporter Larry Neumeister announced: "The Food and Drug Administration let politics cloud its judgment when it denied teenage girls over-the-counter access to the Plan B morning-after pill, a federal judge said Monday as he ordered the FDA to let 17-year-olds obtain the medication."
Neumeister did not seem to consider that making high doses of contraceptive medicines available to high-school juniors is in part a social decision about child sexual activity without parental consent. The liberals in the case were not labeled. While the AP writer made room in his story for conservatives, they were labeled repeatedly:
– "The morning-after pill is a source of tension for social conservatives who held great sway in the Bush administration and who believe the pill is tantamount to abortion."
– "The FDA said it is reviewing the judge's decision. Women's groups said it's unlikely that the Obama administration would appeal. Social conservatives decried the ruling."
– "The conservative Family Research Council said the judge's decision bowed to ideological pressure from the left."
A left-wing "bus tour" protest prowled the affluent neighborhoods of Fairfield, Conn. on Saturday afternoon, looking for AIG execs to harass. The protest, run by a group sponsored by unlabeled leftists ACORN, were railing against the bonuses paid out to employees of the struggling insurance giant. The New York Times found the stunt worthy of a full story in the national section of Sunday's paper: "Carrying a Populist Message Into A.I.G. Territory." (The online headline differs from the print version.)
Reporter Manny Fernandez, while sounding supportive, remarked drily that more media than passengers were in attendance:
The bus pulled to a stop, and a pastor whose sister-in-law was facing foreclosure, a laid-off steelworker with a wife and five children, and a few of their colleagues nervously stepped out, like sightseers in some exotic land.
Don't tell them the race is over. Once volunteers for the Obama campaign...a vast grassroots network of supporters is back on the trail. Reactivated. This time, to sell the president's agenda. Michael Lafemina was one of hundreds of volunteers who went door-to-door from New York...to California on behalf of something called Organizing for America, a project of the Democratic Party run by remnants of the Obama campaign.
So in a matter of seconds, Acosta's supposed vast grassroots network was reduced to only hundreds of people. Initial reports in other media suggest the response to Obama's personal call to arms was less than overwhelming.
The three largest mainstream media wire services all agreed that supporters of Pope Benedict XVI who dared to stand up to anti-Catholic leftists in front of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Sunday were extremists of the right of some sort. The Associated Press used the “right-wing” label to describe the faithful Catholics. Both Reuters and the French Agence France-Presse both used the term “far-right youths,” with the AFP going so far as describing the pro-Benedict protesters as “far-right militants” in another report.
ACT-UP Paris, joined by communists and “green” activists, protested in front of the famed Gothic cathedral to voice opposition to the pontiff’s recent remarks against condom use during his visit to Africa. In addition to holding signs which labeled Benedict XVI an “assassin,” they threw condoms on the ground while giving others to passers-by as people were leaving Mass. The radical left-wing activists skirmished with the supporters of the Pope, leading to the arrest of eleven people by police.
WHITFIELD: Well, that's interesting, because perhaps one other Republican whose name has been tossed into the whole could he run for president, but he can't, he did accept money for his state, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
STEINHAUSER: Exactly. That is very -- a very different case there, too, because Arnold Schwarzenegger is very much of a moderate Republican. He's kind of on the different end of the spectrum from Sarah Palin and Mark Sanford and Bobby Jindal.
Inflation in Zimbabwe is so bad that in January the government released a $50 billion note — enough to buy two loaves of bread. The unemployment rate has risen to more than 85%. In 2008, Mugabe agreed to hold an election, but it became clear that he would accept the result only if he won. His supporters launched attacks on the opposition, killing 163 and torturing or beating 5000. He ultimately signed a power-sharing agreement with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, but since then Mugabe has broken its terms and installed his own people at the head of every ministry. Meanwhile, health conditions have reached crisis levels. More than 3800 Zimbabweans have died from cholera since August.
U.S. link: Although U.S. leaders have called for Mugabe’s resignation, imports from Zimbabwe (primarily nickel and ferrochromium, both used in stainless steel) rose in 2008.
There's actually much more of a U.S. link than that. Unmentioned is the role played by former president Jimmy Carter and other liberals. The Boston Globe reported in December, 1979 that "Carter Administration officials feel they have scored a major foreign policy success in Rhodesia." (Zimbabwe was formerly known as Rhodesia). The purported success was a settlement that set the stage for Mugabe's rise to power. This was months after the Washington Post described him as a "scholarly, avowed Marxist."
California congresswoman Ellen Tauscher is vacating her Bay Area seat to serve under Hillary Clinton at the State Department.
Tauscher, a moderate Democrat and a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a message to her constituents that Clinton had asked her to serve as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security.
Let's briefly examine the congressional voting record of the "moderate Democrat" Ellen Tauscher. According to interest group evaluations compiled by Project Vote Smart, for 2007 the congresswoman received a zero from the American Conservative Union and the National Right to Life Committee, an F from the National Taxpayers Union, an F- from Gun Owners of America, and a 4 from Citizens Against Government Waste.
Seemingly not satisfied with bashing the likes of former President Bush or Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, CNN commentator Jack Cafferty took aim at a more international target on Wednesday’s Situation Room -- Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church. He joined PBS’s Bonnie Erbe and the Washington Post’s On Faith webpage in attacking the pontiff’s recent comment against the effectiveness of condoms in reducing the spread of HIV in Africa. Cafferty used the standard left-wing talking point that the Church is stuck in the Middle Ages: “It’s time -- it is past time for the Catholic Church to enter the 21st century, or at least try to drag itself out of the 13th century.”
After quoting the pope’s remark, Cafferty summarized the Church’s overall message of “encouraging sexual abstinence as the way to stop the disease from spreading.” He then actually blamed this message indirectly for the spread of the virus: “Obviously, the message has not delivered the desired results in Africa -- 22 million people in Africa infected with HIV. Not to mention right here in our nation’s capital -- a new report shows that three percent of Washington, DC’s residents have HIV or AIDS....One official says Washington rates are higher than parts of West Africa, and on par with Uganda and some parts of Kenya.”
As veteran readers of NewsBusters know, a good deal of liberal media bias comes in subtle labeling and phrasing. Today's Washington Post provides an excellent example of just that in a Metro section article pitting "victims' advocates" against "gun rights advocates" in a story about new gun restrictions lobbied for by Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) and approved by the Maryland House of Delegates.
The House yesterday approved two measures that make it easier for judges to confiscate the guns of people accused -- but not yet convicted -- of domestic violence. Brown had "campaigned for the proposals in the name of his cousin, who was killed last year by an estranged boyfriend," staffer Rosalind Helderman noted.
Meanwhile a separate bill by a Republican legislator that would make it easier for persons filing restraining orders to be granted concealed carry permits was defeated "along heavily partisan lines. Maryland is a "may-issue" state where the state police have wide latitude in denying concealed carry requests:
Deciding that he hadn’t gotten enough of lauding President Obama, CNN’s Jack Cafferty used another of his CNN.com commentaries on Tuesday to sing the Democrat’s praises: “Whether it’s creating commissions for women and girls, ordering the investigation of President Bush’s use of signing statements, or jamming a huge stimulus package through Congress, the man is working his tail off. And he seems to be loving every minute of it. It’s almost as though our president was born to do exactly what he’s doing. He’s leading, and boy, is that refreshing.” He also returned to another one of his favorite subjects -- bashing former President Bush: “What a welcome change to feel like someone is running the country instead of running it into the ground.”
Josh Brahm of Right to Life of Central California has done the definitive dissection of the comprehensive media failure in reporting on President Obama's recent Executive Order (EO) allowing federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
Brahm's "9 Things the Media Messed Up About the Obama Stem Cell Story" (HT to an e-mail from LifeNews.com) is an exceptional magnum opus that must be read in its entirety to be fully appreciated. It identifies each of the nine errors, links to well over 40 specific instances of media bias and/or ignorance, and tell us why those errors are significant. I thought I was reasonably knowledgeable in this subject area until I read Brahm's work.
(CNS News has reported that the EO will apparently not going into effect until October 1 or later, because the supplemental appropriations bill he just signed [but apparently didn't read] "explicilty bans federal funding of any 'research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death.'" That fact doesn't change the correctness of Brahm's "9 Things.")
Here are the nine items (absolutely no substitute for reading the whole thing), accompanied by brief quotes from Brahm's article: