Editor's Note: Alex will be appearing on "The Early Show" on CBS tomorrow to discuss his story and situation.
Even before Monday morning, I had already acquired a reputation as American University's resident anti-feminist bomb-thrower. The campus community -- which, as is typical for expensive, East Coast universities, tilts strongly progressive -- had already seen me criticize the idea of a Women's Resource Center and bash the identity-based victim politics of the cultural-Marxist left. I never hid the fact that I enjoy acting as a provocateur. So when I penned my most recent piece, "Dealing with AU's anti-sex brigade" for the campus paper the Eagle, I figured that, like with my other columns, there would be some heated arguments, but that the piece would come and go. Early Monday morning, the piece was published online.
Still asleep early Monday afternoon, I received a wake-up call from the Washington City Paper's Amanda Hess, asking me for my response to the fact that the hard copies of the Eagle had been rounded up, thrown back at the main office, and replaced with signs stating "NO ROOM FOR RAPE APOLOGISTS." Still woozy from sleep during the phone call, I was at once confused and amused. I told her I'd call her back once I'd truly woken up.
What compelled these "womyn" to round up the papers? Behold, the offending passages:
On Wednesday's American Morning, CNN's Ed Lavandera focused on the "overwhelmingly white" turnout at the rallies sponsored by the Tea Party Express organization and played up the criticisms that there is an "anti-minority undertone" at the demonstrations.
Lavandera, who is covering the Tea Party Express' cross-country tour, highlighted the race issue from the beginning of his report, which first aired 13 minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour: "The crowds turning out for the Tea Party Express rallies are overwhelmingly white. Is this lack of diversity a problem for the Tea Party movement? We're taking a closer look."
The correspondent noted some of the apparently "subtle efforts to make the tea party appear diverse," such as a hip hop performance and speeches by black tea party activist Lloyd Marcus. Marcus stated that "there's not a lot of black folks here, basically, because they haven't seen the light yet. They are still hypnotized by the first black or African-American president. But they haven't really looked at the man and what he's doing." This assertion is supported by a Gallup poll from earlier in March that found that President Obama's approval rating among blacks is at 89%, down slightly from 96% in August 2009.
According to MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan, Barack Obama is nothing more than a shill for the Republican Party. The liberal anchor on Wednesday railed against the President's plan to allow limited offshore oil drilling: "This is a fraud...Is a pattern emerging? Is President Obama nothing more than a Democrat in name only? Dare we say it? A DINO?" [Audio available here.]
According to Ratigan, Obama, the same man who created a massive new entitlement with his health care bill, who ushered in the stimulus bill, is actually an operative for the GOP. He complained, "Look at the subsidization of the banking industry that goes on to this day or reports of the impending deal with the Republicans to forego civilian trials for Gitmo terror suspects in favor of military trials. Wasn't Gitmo supposed to be closed by now, anyway?"
CNN's Larry King, moderating a panel discussing the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal on his program on Tuesday, tossed softballs at noted anti-Catholic Sinead O'Connor, who recently pushed for Catholics to stop attending Mass. By contrast, King hostilely interrogated former Miss California USA Carrie Prejean in November 2009, to the point where she almost walked out of the interview.
The CNN host spent the second half of his 9 pm Eastern program to the Church scandal, bringing on Sinead O'Connor, two Catholic priests, the Catholic League's Bill Donahue, and former CNN anchor Thomas Roberts, a victim of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest when he was a teenager. After introducing his guests, King first turned to O'Connor and asked her about the previous segment, where he had interviewed two alleged victims of Father Lawrence Murphy, who was accused of molesting up to 200 deaf boys: "Did you hear the earlier guests talk about this, and what did you think about what they said?" Later, the anchor asked the Irish musician, "What do you think His Holiness [Pope Benedict XVI] should do?"
Ed Schultz rehashed an already-discredited smear of conservative talk show host Sean Hannity on the liberal talker's March 30 "Ed Show" program on MSNBC.
Blustered Schultz as he introduced Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW):
Finally tonight on "The Ed Show," it's been 12 days since Sean Hannity hasn't answered the questions about possible fraud and misuse of funds from his charity. He may have to answer to the IRS and Federal Trade Commission.
Host Bob Schieffer led Sunday's Face the Nation by fretting over opposition to the passage of ObamaCare: "What about the violence in the wake of the congressional action? Isolated incidents or signs of a dangerous anger?" He told viewers that he would talk to "Republican firebrands, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint and Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann" about the issue.
Schieffer pressed DeMint on some of the threats against members of Congress: "Senator, we saw some pretty scary stuff last week....We saw members' offices that were trashed. We saw death threats....Do you think the parties have an obligation to try to tone down some of this runaway rhetoric? Is it, in fact, dangerous?" The Senator defended tea party protestors: "I've been with hundreds of thousands of tea party patriots...and I've never seen any violence or heard any bad language....it's unfair and untrue to try to paint this whole American awakening with some of the bad comments that we heard last week in Washington."
Later turning to Bachmann, Schieffer tried to portray the Congresswoman as extreme: "You said last week that health care reform was dangerous and you equated it with tyranny. Do you really mean that?...You said that you thought Barack Obama had anti-American views....what do you mean the President is anti-American?" He continued his interrogation by pointing to comments made by Sarah Palin: "[She] famously said last week that it is not time for Republicans to retreat. It is time to reload....said she wasn't talking about guns. She was talking about getting out there and using the vote. Do you think Sarah Palin has overstated it here?"
Good Morning America on Wednesday continued to tout the Republican National Committee's strip club controversy, even highlighting the glee of other journalists over the plight of Chairman Michael Steele. At the same time, the morning show displayed no further interest in the arrest of a man who plotted to kill prominent Republican Eric Cantor.
For the second day in a row, reporter Claire Shipman touted the story of an RNC staffer who submitted expense accounts after taking a donor to a strip club in Hollywood. Shipman's piece featured a clip of CNN anchor John Roberts gloating, "It's a story of dirty, sexy money" and of fellow cable host Rick Sanchez imploring, "Someone need to tell me how to spend $2000 at a topless club."
Other journalist snippets included Chris Matthews chiding, "The latest embarrassment for the RNC during the reign of Michael Steele." On Monday, after Shipman detailed expenses Steele reported including limo usage and private jet travel, she opined, "It's the sort of spending controversy that sounds so, well, pre-recession."
Are young people completely in the tank for Barack Obama and the left? They voted for Obama over John McCain by a greater than 2-1 margin. Obama was young, cool, good looking, and well-spoken -- all the characteristics for a winning candidate in the eyes of the nation's youth.
But it was more than just Obama's charisma that handed him the youth vote in 2008. He was abetted by lapdogs in the press, reliably liberal pop-culture icons, and ultra-leftists in academia. Combined, they created a bloc of "Obama Zombies," writes Jason Mattera, author of a new book by that name.
Mattera was kind enough to give NewsBusters an interview. He described some of the themes of his book, including the incessantly liberal mainstream press -- "pre-pubescent little girls at a Jonas Brothers concert" is how he described the Obamaniacs in the press corps. NB's Steve Gutowski noted the book's tremendous assessment of media bias in his review yesterday.
"Obama Zombies" is the perfect primer for all conservatives worried about the movement's past troubles and hopefully brighter future with newly minted voters. Read the transcript of the interview below, or listen to the audio file here.
The latest edition of CBS’s “Sunday Morning” featured a glowing profile of “The View” co-host Joy Behar in which the stand-up comic implied that conservatives are not intelligent and insisted that liberals are more open-minded.
Interviewer Russ Mitchell asked Behar how she developed a liberal worldview, to which Behar responded: “It comes from, uh, being smart.”
Mitchell then pressed Behar on how her conservative co-host on “The View,” Elisabeth Hasselbeck, would respond to that statement.
CBS's Early Show and NBC's Today on Tuesday ignored the arrest of a man who was plotting to kill Republican Congressman Eric Cantor. ABC's Good Morning America mentioned the story only in a news brief in the 8am hour. Last week, however, GMA highlighted threats against Democrats and worried about "angry talk" from Sarah Palin.
The Early Show may have ignored the story of Norman Leboon and the violent, profanity-laced rants he posted online about the "evil" Cantor, but the same show on Tuesday did note the guilty plea of a man who threatened Barack Obama.
Substitute news anchor Betty Nguyen explained, "In Tennessee, a white supremacist has pleaded guilty to plotting a 2008 killing spree against blacks, including then presidential candidate Barack Obama."
Since the passage of ObamaCare on March 21, the liberal media have been working hard to crack down on dissidents, painting the tea party movement, talk radio, and Republicans as dangerous radicals inciting violence against Democrats.
The three broadcast networks and the cable channels all jumped on board the bandwagon of smearing conservatives as angry hate-mongers, in order to discredit broad-based legitimate opposition to the unpopular legislation.
Williams made this preposterous claim during a panel discussion with the Weekly Standard's Mary Katharine Ham 25 minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour. O'Reilly asked the NPR analyst about a point made by Fox News's Brit Hume in an earlier segment, that there's double-standard in the mainstream media in the amount of coverage of extremist imagery and language found at tea party rallies has been given versus equivalent imagery and language used at left-wing protests (a point raised by the MRC's Rich Noyes in an August 2009 Media Reality Check): "There's no doubt that the media will seize upon any kind of misbehavior on the right...Whereas if it happens on the left, it will, as Mary Katharine [Ham] said, be de-emphasized or ignored entirely. So that's a corrupt media system, isn't it?"
The guest raised the militia issue at the end of his answer:
WILLIAMS: I think we're out of context here. If we're talking about- you know, somebody going after Ronald Reagan- you know, one guy who's in love with Jodie Foster, okay- if we're talking about that. You know, people who have a lot of hatred- hateful attitudes towards President Bush, and then somebody who is extremist on the fringe, yes. And if that was also to be then the case with the tea party, yes, that's too much and unfair. But, when you start to see militia groups start to associate with the tea party, when you see the flag-
In the 10AM ET hour on MSNBC on Tuesday, anchor David Shuster talked with Democratic strategist Craig Varoga, founder of the Patriot Majority political action committee, about efforts to "fight against tea-party-backed candidates." Moments later, a headline on screen read: "Tea Party Targets; PAC Launching Counter-Attack of Tea Party."
During the same hour on Monday, Shuster described how in a speech on Sunday, "[Sarah] Palin also took aim at Democrats in the media after she was criticized for posting a map of targeted House Democrats with using rifle cross-hairs." An on-screen graphic showed a picture of the map featured on Palin's website with the headline,"Sarah Palin's Dem Hit List," suggesting Palin was inciting violence against members of Congress.
Meanwhile, during the Tuesday segment with Varoga, the word "target" was used frequently. The headline "Tea Party Targets" remained on screen throughout the segment, as several secondary headlines appeared next to it, including: "Group Targeting Tea Party-Backed Candidates," "PAC Targeting 12 to 15 Conservative Races," "PAC's Mission: To Ensure Congress Tea Party-Free," and "PAC: Americans Need to Confront Tea Party." At one point, Shuster himself used the word: "What are the specific races, specific campaigns that you're going to be targeting?"
Ratigan promoted CREW's assertions that the Freedom Concerts, which the Fox News host promotes, aren't giving all the money they take in to scholarships for the families of fallen soldiers. He sneered, "Hey, what the heck? You come up with a good cause. Give ten or 15 percent away and keep the rest for yourself. What do I know?" Not much, apparently. The MSNBC anchor made almost no effort to offer Hannity's side of the story or that of the Freedom Alliance.
David Frum's website analyzed this controversy and found the charges to be bogus. But, Ratigan wasn't interested in this. Instead, he mocked, "Who knows what happens to the rest of [the money]? But, not going to the kids, apparently."
[The following message was originally posted on my Facebook page.]
I have said many times that the greatest opposition to the Left can be found in conservative talk radio and every major conservative talk show host should concern himself, or herself, with what inevitably will be ferocious personal attacks. Just ask Rush Limbaugh.
It was only a matter of time before Sean Hannity would find himself with a big, fat target on his forehead, too. Now that he is set to launch his new book, Conservative Victory, the left is going out of its way to smear him.
I have looked at the charges being brought against him. David Frum published an excellent analysis of these charges and concluded, as did I, that they were utterly bogus. That, of course, won't stop the Left. They are now taking these bogus charges and calling for IRS investigations.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews today jumped on a statistic regarding Census participation in Texas to argue that anti-government sentiment from TEA Parties is hurting the Lone Star State in the decennial head count and hence could shortchange the state in congressional reapportionment and redistricting:
CHRIS MATTHEWS, "Hardball" host: Time for the "Big Number" tonight. It speaks to the unintended effects of sowing distrust about the federal government. Thirty-four percent of Americans nationwide have filled out and returned their U.S. Census forms. But what's the number like in Texas, one of the more conservative states out there? According to the Houston Chronicle, just 27 percent. Well below the national average...
On Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez asked political analyst and writer for the left-leaning blog Slate.com, John Dickerson, if Democrats were "worried" about the "ton of momentum" behind the tea party movement. Dickerson replied: "What Democrats can only hope for is that tea party activists somehow overreach and that that ends up becoming a stain on the Republican Party."
Rodriguez agreed and touted Democratic Party talking points on ObamaCare: "Right. And also, if you ask the Obama administration, they'll tell you maybe people will see the few health care changes that are taking effect immediately and actually like them and it'll turn the tide of public opinion."
"That certainly is the hope," Dickerson replied, but then lamented: "The polling right now does not give the Obama administration a lot of encouragement on that front." He explained that the American public was simply afraid of change: "The problem is that people are nervous about change and this is an enormous change in their lives....people really just don't believe it yet."
MSNBC's David Shuster on Monday continued to hit Sarah Palin for supposedly inciting hate against liberals and Democrats on her Facebook page. The cable channel's graphic hyperbolically complained, "Sarah Palin's Dem Hit-list." With no sense of irony, Shuster then brought on the vitriolic Mike Malloy to trash Palin.
Malloy is the liberal radio host who said in 2009 that Dick Cheney has "been eating the blood of a Jewish or a Muslim baby," to cite but one example. And yet the MSNBC anchor queried this purveyor of hate speech about whether Sarah Palin is bad for the Republican Party.
Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt also appeared and clearly annoyed Shuster by touting Palin's intelligence and by deriding MSNBC. At one point, the incredulous Shuster focused on a comment Hewitt made about Democrat Senator Barabara Boxer. He wondered, "Hugh, did you just say [Palin will] make the contrast in terms of intelligence with Barbara Boxer?" [Audio available here.]
In the midst of liberals condemning the tone of anti-Obama conservatives, Bill Maher on Friday pointed to a vulgar and sexually-explicit text message Tiger Woods reportedly sent, which promised aggressive sexual behavior, as representing the attitude Democrats should adopt from the “lying bullies of the right.”
Maher quoted from Woods: “I want to treat you rough, throw you around, spank and slap you and make you sore....I'm going to tell you to shut the f**k up while I slap your face and pull your hair for making noise.” Maher declared that “perfectly represents the attitude the Democrats should now have in their dealings with the Republican Party.” He prefaced his “New Rules” tirade:
Here's a word President Obama should take out of his Teleprompter: Bipartisanship. People only care about that in theory, not in practice. The best thing that happened this year is when Obama finally realized that and said: “Kiss my black ass, we're going it alone George W. Bush style.”
Maher descriptively contended “Democrats need to push the rest of their agenda while their boot is on the neck of the greedy, poisonous old reptile,” arguing: “We need to regulate the banks, we need to overhaul immigration, we need to end corporate welfare including at the Pentagon, we need to bring troops home from everywhere, we need to end the drug war...”
CNN commentator Jack Cafferty predictably revisited his Palin Derangement Syndrome on Friday's Situation Room, hours after the former Alaska governor made a campaign appearance for Senator John McCain for his re-election bid. Cafferty used the "Caribou Barbie" label often used by the left, and blamed Palin for polarizing the American people.
The CNN personality, who devoted 35% of his "Cafferty File" segments over a month period in 2008 to bashing the former Republican vice presidential candidate, couldn't resist devoting his 5 pm Eastern commentary to Palin's Friday appearance with McCain in Arizona. After getting out of the way the obligatory references to her Fox News gig and her upcoming television series on TLC, Cafferty unleashed hell upon his nemesis on the right, pointing to her as the sole cause for the senator's failed presidential bid, and even omitted that she is the former governor of the 49th state:
In another predictable column condemning the Tea Party movement, Paul Krugman called Ronald Reagan an “anti-government fanatic” and disdained “the eliminationist rhetoric of the G.O.P" in Friday's "Going to Extreme," using the same silly examples of alleged violent imagery the rest of the press has been wringing their hands over. So why was Krugman happy with the idea of angry lefties hanging Sen. Joe Lieberman in effigy over his opposition to health care?
What has been really striking has been the eliminationist rhetoric of the G.O.P., coming not from some radical fringe but from the party’s leaders. John Boehner, the House minority leader, declared that the passage of health reform was “Armageddon.” The Republican National Committee put out a fund-raising appeal that included a picture of Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, surrounded by flames, while the committee’s chairman declared that it was time to put Ms. Pelosi on “the firing line.” And Sarah Palin put out a map literally putting Democratic lawmakers in the cross hairs of a rifle sight.
In doing so, Klein [pictured in file photo at right] contrasted Frum with "extreme" conservatives who were "pretty close to Jonestown" by "drinking their own kool-aid." Not only is the former Bush speechwriter a friend whose thinking he respects "even when we disagree," Klein argued that Frum is the Right's Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a genteel intellectual who bucked his party on some tenets of its orthodoxy but ultimately was vindicated by history:
I have some experience with a party intent on committing suicide. The Democrats were profoundly self-destructive when it came to race and crime in the 1970s and 1980s. They nearly excommunicated Daniel Patrick Moynihan--one of my mentors--because he told the truth about the impact of out-of-wedlock births on the black family. Over time, Moynihan's thesis was proved by sociology--and supported by prominent AFrican-American [sic] progressive scholars like William Julius Wilson--but he was never really welcomed back into the fold. And he didn't really care. Because he knew he was right.
Introducing a report on passage of the ObamaCare reconciliation bill on Friday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez referred to a couple upcoming rescue stories on the show and cheerfully remarked: "And speaking of rescues, the Democrats have rescued health care reform, once on death's door, after putting the final touches, finally, on the sweeping legislation yesterday."
At the top of the show, co-host Harry Smith proclaimed: "Health care reform is a done deal after Democrats in Congress make final changes to the historic legislation." In the later report by correspondent Nancy Cordes, an on-screen headline read: "Done Deal; Obama Health Care Plan Gets Final Approval From Congress."
Cordes played a clip of Democratic Congressman Robert Andrews giving a glowing description of the bill: "Tonight the underdogs won. The people who have been abused by their insurance companies, turned down because they had asthma, or had their policies canceled because they got cancer, they won." She framed the GOP as against helping such people: "Republican opposition in the House and Senate was unanimous."
Good Morning America's David Wright on Friday ominously warned that Sarah Palin's "tactics," which include encouraging conservatives to politically "reload" and putting cross-hairs over Democrats she wishes to see defeated, "may backfire." Wright vaguely explained that this was "after several congressmen received death threats this week."
However, Wright didn't specifically mention that Republican Congressman Eric Cantor had a bullet shot through his office this week. He also ignored the threats received by GOP Representative Jean Schmidt. In fact, Good Morning America didn't cover these developments at all.
On Thursday, GMA eagerly played up violent warnings against Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak and reporter Pierre Thomas touted the party's fears that "all this angry talk could push a deranged person over the edge."
An evening after all three broadcast network newscasts led by advancing the Democratic narrative of violent ObamaCare critics, a storyline intended to discredit conservatives as all gratuitously named Sarah Palin as a culprit, on Thursday night the same programs weren't so interested and only stumbled into the suddenly “bipartisan” victims – despite fresh revelations of threats and violence aimed at Republicans who voted no.
“It's getting ugly as anger over health care reform erupts into some over-the-top rhetoric,” Brian Williams announced at the top of Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, arguing “the debate over health care reform has gone too far. It's now veered into threats of violence,” citing “ten Democrats who have been threatened.” Incredibly, on Thursday night, Williams still portrayed opponents as the only ones with miscreants amongst their ranks:
While the White House continues to celebrate its largest-ever legislative victory, opponents of health care reform have reacted to the final vote with anger, a few of them with threats of violence.
Two stories later, only after reporter Kelly O'Donnell had noted that “just before the Senators cast their votes, they paused to honor the late Ted Kennedy,” did Williams arrive at the threats “reported by Democrats and Republicans.” Williams:
Republicans are escalating political violence against Democrats by not shutting up with their insipid anti-ObamaCare talking points. That seems to be the argument of Time magazine writer Alex Altman, at least.
Of course, that headline presupposes that the isolated incidents of violence on record are part of an actual campaign of intimidation, a charge that Altman failed to substantiate with any evidence of conspiracy or collusion on the part of elected Republican officials and/or TEA Party leaders.
But that aside, Altman’s complaint seems to be with Republican legislators continuing to voice their dissent regarding the newly enacted health care legislation:
Good Morning America's Pierre Thomas on Thursday played up the threats and intimidation that Bart Stupak has suffered since he voted for the health care bill. However, last week, the same program ignored the "living hell" the Congressman dealt with as he claimed to oppose the legislation.
Thomas played a voice mail released by Stupak where an anonymous caller attacked, "Congressman Stupak, you baby-killing mother [bleeped]. I hope you die." However, when George Stephanopoulos talked to Stupak on March 19, he skipped the Representative's complaints to The Hill that "All the phones are unplugged at our house — tired of the obscene calls and threats."
Are threats only notable when they can potentially be linked to those on the right? Before the vote, Stupak repeatedly stated he was leaning towards voting against the legislation. But, Stephanopoulos' questions all revolved around what it would take to get the Representative to vote yes. There were no questions about possible violence.
Not content with simply reporting on threats against lawmakers who voted for ObamaCare, the liberal media has taken it upon itself (with a bit of direction from the Democratic Party) to blame the Tea Party and the GOP.
The coverage stands in stark contrast to the litany of similar instances involving conservatives and Republicans. They were treated as isolated incidents, if discussed at all.
CNN's Rick Sanchez certainly got the memo. On his show yesterday, he accused "crazy talk show hosts" and the Republican Party of inciting violence against lawmakers who voted for ObamaCare. He took to Twitter later that night to ask, "are our fundamentalist zealots different than the ones we fight in afghan and iraq?"
On Thursday's American Morning, CNN's John Roberts repeatedly decried the "troubling language" against pro-ObamaCare congressman which "violate any sense of common decency." But his own program over three years earlier helped promote a controversial 2006 movie which forwarded an imaginary assassination attempt against then-President George W. Bush.
Just after the top of the 6 am Eastern hour, Roberts responded to a report by correspondent Carol Costello on ten Democratic representatives' request for extra security after their reportedly received threatening messages: "Wow. It really is, as you said, at the top, it is troubling, some of the language out there."
An hour later, at the top of 7 am Eastern hour, the anchor expanded on his earlier thought as he introduced a report from correspondent Brianna Keilar: "The message from emotional voters to Capitol Hill this morning could not be clearer: 'Go to hell.' From profanity-laden voicemails to faxes with Nazi insignias on them, thousands of Americans are venting their anger, in some cases, extremely inappropriately. The shouting is not bound to the Beltway. At least ten members of Congress with home districts stretching all the way from New York to Arizona have reported either harassment, vandalism, or outright death threats."