Wow...Enrique Iglesias is the first Western pop singer to perform in Syria in over 30 years. Notwithstanding the obvious danger Igliesias faced by traveling to the region, this article (written by the AP's Samar Kassabli) is laugh-worthy in that it sidesteps reasons why Western entertainers might be avoiding it:
Although Syria is rich with culture, historic and tourist sites, Western celebrities have largely stayed away from the autocratic country for years.
However, Syria has been taking small steps to open up the Socialist-style economy and allow greater opportunities and access to information for young people
In an interview published today in the Tampa Tribune, Meredith Vieira talks about how wonderful her two jobs are, co-hosting NBC's "Today" and hosting the game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." In particular, she loves the "switching gears" aspect of the stories she covers on "Today":
She says 'Today' is a great challenge 'because you can go from reporting on the presidential pardon of Scooter Libby to grilling hamburgers outside on the patio - from one kind of grilling to another - and I love that. Switching gears makes it so much fun.'
Presidential pardon? Pardon me? President Bush did not pardon Libby, he commuted his sentence. There is a huge difference between a pardon and a commutation. The felony conviction is still on his record, along with the huge fine he was ordered to pay, and he still faces the possibility of having his law license revoked. The only difference is that Libby won't have to serve jail time. And while the White House says a full pardon has not been ruled out, it hasn't happened yet.
Is it just me, or did the Bloomberg "news" service just release a hit piece on Senator Fred Thompson disguised as a bio on the Senator just in time for a Michael Bloomberg entrance into the race as an independent presidential candidate? On June 28th Bloomberg writers Kim Chapman and Julianna Goldman brought us "Thompson's Backers Check His 'Fire in the Belly' for 2008 Race", a piece that reads more like a long series of snide undercuts of Thompson than any serious report on his status as a candidate. The duo exploits every single detraction thrown at the Senator since his days in the Senate leaving the speculation that he is left wanting standing like the elephant in the room.
They begin by making Thompson's whole life seem like one undeserved, happy accident after another saying that the man has "ascended without much apparent effort" to his place in life. It doesn't seem to occur to our two intrepid reporterettes that making something seem effortless doesn't necessarily mean it was so. After all, Fred Thompson did at the very least pass the bar exam, not something so easily done by just anyone. (Chicago's Mayor Richard M. Daley, for instance, took the bar exam 5 times before he passed and his daddy, Richard J. Daley, was the most corrupt and powerful man since Huey Long and could easily have fenagled his son's sudden passing grades if he'd have wanted to, fer gosh sakes!) Someone should inform our feminine cynics that it is usually a mark of excellence when someone makes something look easy, not one of accidental "ascendance."
Michael Yon doesn't have an answer (HT to NewsBuster reader "acumen") as to why Old Media won't cover the Al Qaeda massacre of a small village near Baqubah, Iraq that he reported earlier this week (related NewsBusters posts are here and here):
Coordinates to the area of the gravesites are MC 679 381.
In my dispatch, I reported that six people were killed, but mentioned that Iraqi soldiers were still digging out bodies when I left. A few hours ago, Colonel Hiduit put the number at 10-14, and said the search for bodies had ended. I made video of the graves, bodies and of interviews with Iraqi and American soldiers while we still were at the scene and have been working to make material from this available on this website.
..... But for those publications who actually had people embedded in Baqubah when the story first broke and still failed to cover it, their malaise is inexplicable. I do not know why all failed to report the murders and booby-trapped village: apparently no reporters bothered to go out there, even though it’s only about 3.5 miles from this base. Any one of the reporters currently in Baqubah could still go to these coordinates and follow his or her nose and find the gravesites.
So there was Elizabeth Edwards, wife of the Blow-Dried One, berating
Ann Coulter on the art of civil discourse last week. After her phone-in
appearance on the Chris Matthews show, St. Elizabeth was the toast of
the media town, making the rounds from one network to the next, with
rose pedals strewn in her path to guide her to her seat, denouncing the
“hatefulness” and “ugliness” of conservative commentators. “We can't
have a debate about issues if you're using this kind of language,” she
It’s a good thing none of her interviewers pretended
to be objective. It’s a good thing she wasn’t asked about hatefulness
and ugliness on the left. It would have been painful.
instance, what if she’d been asked to denounce a quote from a leading
liberal who favors rage as a necessary ingredient in fighting for a
rapid timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, and who attacked
congressional Democrats as weaklings: “We needed uncompromising rage,
and we got silence. We needed courage, and we got silence. And that
silence was, have no doubt about it, a betrayal: of the soldiers, of
the voters in 2006, of humanity and morality.”
The following was submitted by Jason Aslinger, a private practice attorney in Greenville, Ohio. Portions in bold below are the added emphasized of NB managing editor Ken Shepherd. It's a long post but it's worth the read:
In the wake of last week’s Supreme Court decision regarding racial
integration in public schools, the media have gone out of their way to
obscure the facts for the purpose of advancing its familiar political
agenda, not to mention skipped over giving readers a glimpse of the concurring opinions of Justices Thomas and Kennedy, both of which shed light on the case's significance to the average American.
In a prior NewsBusters post, I called out MSNBC's Keith
Olbermann for his false and race-baiting claim that the Supreme Court
had “overturned” the landmark decision of Brown v. Board of Education.
The subsequent commentary by the media has at least been more clever,
but no less false. Undoubtedly, the press and “expert commentators”
have calculated that the general public would not check their factual
(and political) conclusions by reading the Court’s 185-page opinion.
Without knowing the specific facts, the media distortions can not be
fully appreciated. Below we'll take a look at the facts of the case as well as the reasoning from the justices, reasoning that all too often is glossed over if not outright ignored in the media.
If American media fails to cover this with the same amount of gusto that they have pursued Haditha and Abu Ghraib, they will be demonstrating their preference for whom they wish to win this conflict. The press has to tell the story that evil really does exist in this world. Imagine if the story of the Holocaust was never told because the media was only interested in reporting Allied atrocities. Yes, by failing to treat this war objectively, the media does indeed enable massacres such as this one and history will judge the coverage of this war very harshly.
I keep seeing this talking point phrase in multiple MSM stories about the Libby conviction; "Libby was convicted in March, the highest-ranking White House official ordered to prison since the Iran-Contra affair roiled the Reagan administration in the 1980s."(emphasis, mine) This is a misleading statement that makes the reader imagine that no high-ranking Presidential appointee, adviser, or member of the White House has been convicted of anything or sentenced to anything since Reagan's era. But, at least one past official's name should be placed above that of Libby's. Henry Cisneros was the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, appointed to that position by President Bill Clinton. Cisneros, it should be remembered, was indicted in 1995 on 18 counts of conspiracy, false statements and obstruction of justice. Cisneros pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of lying to the FBI. Now, I'd dare say that Libby, who only worked in the office of the Vice President, was a minnow in the pond in which Cisneros swam. Cisneros was the Secretary of HUD, a presidential cabinet member, after all!
Naturally, on his way out of the White House in 2001, Clinton pardoned Cisneros.
Matt Sheffield's post over at Ace's place ("The Attempted Crucifixion of Frank Luntz") noted the heat PBS had received for having GOP pollster Frank Luntz participate as an analyst at last Thursday's Democrat debate:
The blog left's puppet master, David Brock, sends out an "alert" informing them that someone who might possibly be conservative is going to be allowed to report as a "mainstream" journalist.
..... Thankfully, PBS has not backed down. Luntz, who is a respected pollster and is often quoted in liberal publications is not getting the shaft, making him one of the very few Republicans that has (so far) managed to escape the assault of the conservaphobic left.
Mr. Brock and his Media Matters (MM) organization are being quite selective.
In August 2006, longtime "Friend of Bill" Clinton Vinod Gupta's Info USA, which had spent its entire corporate history in "data collection and distribution," made what should have been seen as an eyebrow-raising acquisition:
As I mentioned earlier, I was covering the Democrats' presidential debate this week. After it ended, I took off to "spin
alley" where the various candidates had little areas
underneath those vertical political convention signs, intent on seeing if I could find (or make) something interesting.
The three top
candidates did not show, although Clinton and Obama managed to get
pretty good crowds with the b-team. John Edwards, meanwhile, got
little attention. More than a few times, I saw other candidates'
staffers slip over into his area. Edwards really owes Ann Coulter for
saving him from being a silky version of Mike Gravel.
Speaking of slipping, Maureen Dowd was off
the wagon at home instead of doing her job showing up to report on
something. [Yes, lawyers, that was satire. She never did show incidentally.]
While Obama, Clinton and Edwards were off
enjoying whatever it is that rich liberal Democrats enjoy, their
less-popular rivals were out spinning the press. Chris Dodd was there. I didn't feel like
talking to the guy. He just wasn't worth the time. I mean if you're
going to run a snowball's-chance-in-hell campaign, you should at
least have the common decency to be a little "off" for
Remember when you were a kid and got caught telling a lie, but your excuse was that a pal "made you do it" and it was so hard to tell the truth anyway because of this reason or that? It didn't matter to your parents then, did it? Well, here we have Reuters revealing that they fell for a false story about 20 beheaded Iraqis that was planted by insurgents, but do they just admit it and take responsibility? No, they whine that it is "very hard" to get stories in Iraq because it is so dangerous for journalists there.
I can tell we are all rolling our eyes, aren't we?
On the 28th Reuters and the AP along with most major news sources recklessly reported that 20 beheaded bodies were found by "Iraqi Policemen" on the banks of the Tigris River near Salman Pak, 19 miles south of Baghdad.
I say recklessly because not one of these supposed professional news sources substantiated the story but merely accepted the "news" as fact with no corroboration. This is something we have seen dozens of times since we entered Iraq with these news services explaining away this breach of professional standards by saying that it is just too dangerous for journalists to be in those areas to do the leg work to make sure their stories are true before they publish them.
The following was written for NewsBusters by Jason Aslinger, a private practice attorney from Greenville, Ohio. Portions in bold below reflect the editor's emphasis.
The media’s contempt for the conservative U.S. Supreme Court reached new lows this week when it used a dishonest play on words to imply that the Court was against racial diversity in public schools.
That distortion, however, paled in comparison to MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who announced on his blog (appropriately named “The News Hole”) that the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education had been overturned!
Olbermann would have you believe that the U.S. Supreme Court had returned us to the days of segregated public schools.
Under the intentionally inflammatory heading “TURNING BACK HISTORY,” Olbermann's "Countdown" staff wrote:
Right on cue, as the illegal immigrant amnesty bill failed to get the required support for passage in the Senate, the MSM is here to tell us mean spirited LEGAL Americans how "hard" it is on all those poor, innocent ILLEGAL migrants who break the law to come here by the millions. Yes, folks, women and children hardest hit, as the old saw goes. Of course, it is nearly ignored by the MSM that these people are not just "innocents" but are here knowingly breaking our laws and then blaming us when they find life a bit uncomfortable -- and a bit uncomfortable is all they are facing it should be remembered.
Three quick reports are indicative of how the MSM is making the average, legal American out to be an evil, racist, selfish creep by urging their elected officials to think of their own constituents before they think of undeserving foreign invaders.
The feelings of illegal aliens who were disheartened by yesterday's failed cloture vote on the "comprehensive immigration reform" bill in the Senate are the focus of this Reuters piece by Tim Gaynor. Get your handkerchiefs ready...the Tearjerker Express is ready to leave the station.
PHOENIX (Reuters) - For day laborers seeking work in a sun-baked parking lot on Thursday, defeat of U.S. President George W. Bush's plans for an immigration overhaul has set back their dreams of a normal life.
One doesn't have to look very far to see opinionated assertions in the supposedly objective Old Media coverage of yesterday's immigration-bill failure in the Senate.
Here's part of what an unbylined AP report said almost immediately after it was clear that the bill would not get the 60 votes needed for cloture: "The carefully crafted compromise was left for dead after a similar vote three weeks ago but was revived by Bush and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who gave opponents more chances to change it."
To say that there is disagreement over whether the bill was "carefully crafted" is quite an understatement.
A report in the Seattle Times "compiled from The Washington Post, Gannett News Service, The Associated Press and McClatchy Newspapers" made this claim about yesterday's vote: "In a mark of lawmakers' ambivalence, however, the outcome was substantially different from a test vote Tuesday, when a 64-35 vote revived the bill."
Was it lawmaker "ambivalence," or constituent persuasiveness? And how do they know?
But the biggest error, as often is the case, was one of omission. Senator Ted Kennedy from Massachusetts lit into opponents on the Senate floor yesterday with this over-the-top riff (video is at Hot Air; bold is mine):
In a report on a recent release of decades old documents detailing CIA operations in the 1960's and 70's, Reuters seems to find it necessary to interject "criticism" of president Bush "being too secretive now" even though not one part of the story has anything to do with president Bush or any modern CIA operations. It would be like talking about the Civil War and interjecting a Bush comment, or talking of Roman times and suddenly sticking in a "US imperialism" comment into the mix where it doesn't legitimately belong.
The MSM's Bush Derangement Syndrome is so pervasive that they cannot even discuss historical information without trying to embarrass or attack this president in the midst of it all.
At issue is the CIA's recent release of decades old clandestine operations documents.
On the Thursday edition of MSNBC’s "Morning Joe," host Joe Scarborough slammed media outlets, such as AP and The Hill for misrepresenting what Ann Coulter said in her now famous on-air debate with Elizabeth Edwards. He also attempted to set the record straight by playing an extended clip of her appearance on the June 25 "Good Morning America," which started the whole controversy.
But first, Scarborough and contributor Willie Geist derided the misrepresentations of Coulter’s statements from various media outlets:
Joe Scarborough: "I want you to read, Willie, from The Hill, really quickly. Just read this line from The Hill. This is what The Hill and the Associated Press and what other wires are saying about what Ann Coulter said on GMA. Read it, Willie."
Willie Geist: "This week Coulter proclaimed, quote, ‘If I’m going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I’ll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot,’ end quote."
As a follow-up to my previous post, I thought I'd take a look at the inane headlines for coverage of the 5-4 ruling today that restricts school districts from using race to manage school populations. Time and the Los Angeles Times are real howlers:
ABC's "World News Now," a news program that airs at 3:30 am Eastern, when most people in the U.S. are fast asleep, replayed Jake Tapper's earlier "World News" report on the war of words between Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards, and Ann Coulter during its broadcast on Thursday.
At the conclusion of the report, hosts Taina Hernandez and Ryan Owens (pictured at right) had a brief exchange, in which Owens proposed an "Ann Coulter blackout," similar to a "Paris Hilton blackout" that the program apparently has, and Hernandez, as a counterproposal, joked, "Or we can pit them together in some kind of skinny death match." At the end of Owens and Hernandez's exchange, and as the weather report began, someone in the control room at ABC queued-up Elton John's "The B**ch is Back."
As the media continue to pile on Ann Coulter in the wake of her being ambushed by Elizabeth Edwards and Chris Matthews on Tuesday’s “Hardball,” a disturbing yet predictable double standard is emerging.
On the one hand, Coulter is being pounded for using “hate words,” so much so that Matthews advocated Wednesday that people not buy her books.
Yet, Edwards and her Democrat presidential candidate husband John appear to be getting a pass regarding the hiring of two anti-Christian bigots back in February as official bloggers for his campaign.
In fact, Mrs. Edwards was interviewed this morning by ABC, CBS, and NBC to get another chance to speak about Coulter's "hate words." Yet, not one host asked her any questions concerning these bloggers.
With that in mind, MRC President Brent Bozell issued the following statement Thursday:
Did you know that a monument to the many millions of victims who died during the Cold War as a result of communist oppression was dedicated in Washington DC on June 12th? You would be excused if you didn't know anything about it if the coverage of the event by the MSM is any measure because they all but ignored the unveiling of this moving monument.
The dedication was attended by many notables with President Bush saying a few appropriate words during the ceremony and the monument seems an appropriate design for a change, unlike so many of our other so-called monuments of late. As described by Helle Dale on FOX News:
The June 27 edition of "MSNBC Live" was sponsored by liberal filmmaker Michael Moore.
"'MSNBC Live' is brought to you by 'SiCKO', a Michael Moore film in theatres everywhere Friday," read the announcer dipping into a commercial break about 14 minutes into the 10 a.m. block of MSNBC programming.
“Elizabeth Edwards should look close to home when it comes to ‘hatefulness and ugliness’ for it was her husband’s Democratic presidential campaign that hired two official bloggers who attacked ‘Christofascists’ and insulted Christians and their faith in the most repulsive words imaginable, which I won’t repeat here. Go Google Amanda Marcotte and Holy Spirit.
As Democrats complain about conservative dominance on the radio, the hypocrisy is made crystal clear when America's leading wire service copies talking points directly from one of Howard Dean’s e-mail messages for a hit piece on looming Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson.
Such was identified by Steve Hill of Target Rich Environment who brilliantly outlined the similarities between an e-mail message he received Friday from the Democratic National Committee chairman (complete text with timestamp and e-mail address to follow) with an Associated Press article published Tuesday at CNN.com (emphasis added throughout):
Why would Rosie O'Donnell, a woman known for her wild-eyed rants against firearms, the war on terror, and the military, dress her child in a camo shirt, camo bandana and a bandolier of bullets and then post that picture on her own website? I certainly can't answer that stunner and neither can the denizens of her nutroots website who seem shocked and utterly unable to assist me in finding out what is going on with this business.
Yet, there it is, for all to see on her Web site; exactly the photo described above.
Bill Dedman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for MSNBC, recently filed a report on the MSNBC website that won’t win him any Pulitzers. He investigated political donations made by journalists, and found a resounding liberal tilt: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes, and only 16 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties.
Does this prove cause and effect, a subsequent tilt in the liberal media’s coverage of the news? No, but to believe there is no causation at play here is ludicrous: if a survey of journalists found that 86 percent were donors to the National Right to Life Committee, would anyone dispute labeling the media "pro-life"?
The talk radio lines were ablaze with commentary. Predictably the news media reacted with near silence. Fox News, of course, was on it. MSNBC television lightly covered the result on TV – but refused to discuss the media bias angle. Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post filed a good story, as did a few other "mainstream" newspapers, but that was it.
The MSNBC report about 144 journalists donating to leftwing causes 9 to 1 over conservative causes has resulted in news staffers being let go, including a reporter and a cartoonist.
KTPM Omaha fired reporter Calvert Collins, who had posted her photo with a congressional candidate on her Facebook page with the caption, "Vote for him Tuesday, November 7!"
"In a way, I'm glad this happened to me at age 23, and not 33," Collins said, "and I will learn from it."
Being fired is probably not the lesson she expected to learn.
Freelance editorial cartoonist Paul Fell will no longer be drawing cartoons for the Lincoln, Nebraska "Journal Star" due in large part to snide comments he made when it was disclosed that he had donated $450 to Maxine Moul, a Democrat candidate for Congress. Editor Kathleen Rutledge wrote,
CBS legal analyst Andrew Cohen found the rulings from the Supreme Court today to be a boon for conservatives, but he couldn't resist hinting about his personal opinions about those cases. He didn't seem to agree with any of them. (emphasis mine):
Conservatives go 4-4 today at the Supreme Court
Let's stay with our baseball theme today.
and political conservatives hit for the cycle Monday morning when they
"won" four long-awaited rulings from the United States Supreme Court.
The Justices further chipped away at the wall that separates church and
state, took some of the steam out of the McCain-Feingold campaign
finance law, neutered federal regulators in environmental cases to the
benefit of developers and slammed a high school kid who had the
temerity to put up a silly sign near his high school.
The big New York Times expose hyped on Drudge over the weekend on Rupert Murdoch, media mogul (and worst from the Times' perspective, the creator of Fox News) appeared on Monday's front-page in the off-lead position. The Times put four bylines on the beat for its attempted hit piece: Jo Becker was the lead writer, with help from media reporter Richard Siklos, Jane Perlez and Raymond Bonner, for "An Empire Builder, Still Playing Tough."
What's they find? Not much new, but at least presented with that special, hostile Times' spin.
"His vast media holdings give him a gamut of tools -- not just campaign contributions, but also jobs for former government officials and media exposure that promotes allies while attacking adversaries, sometimes viciously -- all of which he has used to further his financial interests and establish his legitimacy in the United States, interviews and government records show.
On June 3, NBC’s “Meet the Press” marvelously demonstrated how wonderful a panel discussion can be when there are an equal number of liberal and conservative pundits present as reported by NewsBusters here.
Three weeks later, host Tim Russert stocked his panel exclusively with liberals: David Broder of The Washington Post, John Harwood of The Wall Street Journal and CNBC, Gwen Ifill of PBS’ Washington Week, and syndicated columnist Roger Simon.
As a result of there not being one conservative present, the discussion was the usual twenty minutes of Bush-bashing, Hillary sycophancy, and attacks on all politicians with an “R” next to their names.
In fact, the liberal bias this Sunday morning came early and often immediately after Russert’s first question: (video available here with relevant segment beginning at minute 22:45):