According to Alan Colmes, since evil dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not a liberal, but instead a "conservative," then conservatives in America should not be offended because the Iranian leader received better treatment on a college campus than some of America's conservative political figures, some of whom have been met with attacks with pies or other violence.
Such was the absurd argument suggested by the liberal FNC host during a discussion on Monday's "Hannity and Colmes." Colmes commented to conservative guest/author David Horowitz: "Ahmadinejad's not a liberal. He's a conservative. He's very right wing. He was welcome at Columbia University. You shouldn't be complaining. Phil Donohue, Hillary Clinton, they've been all booed off stages. You don't talk about that." (Transcript follows)
When liberal journalists put on their political pundit hats to ostensibly handicap the policy stances of Republican politicians, you can rest assured that conservative or center-right stances will almost always be panned as political/electoral suicide.
Time magazine's Karen Tumulty is no exception in her recent Swampland blog post, "SCHIP: A Really Dumb Fight for Bush to Pick." in which the veteran reporter took President Bush to task for his veto threat for Democratic legislation that seeks to expand the size and mandate of the federally-backed State Children's Health Insurance Plans (SCHIP).
On Thursday's Countdown, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann used his latest "Special Comment" to attack President Bush's "pissy juvenile blast" for the President's criticism of the MoveOn.org "General Betray Us" ad during the day's news conference, accusing him of "hypocrisy" for not criticizing what Olbermann called the Republican "hamstringing of Captain Max Cleland and the lying about Lieutenant John Kerry." Olbermann further accused Bush of "pimping" General David Petraeus and of making the general into a "political hack" at the risk of moving America's government toward a "military junta." Olbermann: "It is a line which history shows is always the first one crossed when a democratic government in some other country has started down the long, slippery, suicidal slope towards a military junta. Get back behind that line, Mr. Bush, before some of your supporters mistake your dangerous and stupid transgression as a call to further politicize our military." (Transcript follows)
In the September 20 presidential press conference, CNN correspondent Suzanne Malveaux sought to blame President Bush and the GOP for a perceived nationwide deterioration in race relations. In doing so, Malveaux raised the plight of the so-called Jena Six, a group of black Louisiana teenagers charged in the beating of a white student.
Media outlets covering the controversy have generally skirted around reporting on the victim of the "Jena Six" assault, focusing more on the political dimensions of the controversy, particularly Thursday's Al Sharpton-led protests in the small Louisiana town. For example, in a separate post, NewsBusters contributor Matthew Balan notes how news outlets like CNN.com and USAToday are burying or ignoring details about victim of the Dec. 4, 2006 beating, Justin Barker.
Below are the questions Malveaux asked, as well as a separate "Jena Six" question posed by Michael Fletcher of The Washington Post, who the president referred to as "Fletch":
In a September 18 entry on the Washington Post's Maryland Moment blog, two of the paper's writers spend most of their digital ink criticizing Tuesday's Maryland Court of Appeals ruling upholding the state’s marriage law.
Even the opening sentence reflects the Post’s bias, describing Maryland’s marriage law as “the state’s ban on gay marriage” and “the controversial law.”
For starters, the marriage law is not controversial, at least outside homosexual activist circles. All 50 states have laws defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman (even Massachusetts, which has no business issuing same-sex marriage licenses without a change in the law). What is controversial is the lower court ruling in January by Baltimore Circuit Court Judge M. Brooke Murdock striking the law down.And what about the Post describing Maryland’s marriage law as “the state’s ban on gay marriage?”
The mainstream media’s coverage of the antiwar march in Washington, DC did its best to ignore the extreme Left views that were on display at the protest. A split-second image at the very beginning of Saturday evening’s NBC Nightly News showed some of the extreme views that were on display on signs, which included a call for the impeachment of President Bush for "war crimes," and a sign that cried "9/11 Truth Now!" The full NBC Nightly News report on the march devoted almost a minute to footage of the antiwar marchers, and only 15 seconds to comments from one of the pro-Iraq war counter-protesters who lined the march route. Anyone who tuned in would have to look carefully for any sign of radical views.
Both the New York Times and the Washington Post covered the march in their Sunday editions. However, they ignored some of the radical statements that were made from the stage at the antiwar rally before the march. The photos that accompanied both the print edition and online versions of the articles also glossed over the extreme views that were expressed on signs and banners at the march.
During a heated interview over the Iraq war on Thursday’s "The Situation Room" with substitute host Suzanne Malveaux, White House press secretary Tony Snow went on the offensive against the mainstream media. In response to a question from Malveaux about how President Bush could "regain credibility" with the American people about the success of the troop surge in Iraq, Snow replied, "Well, you know what Suzanne, your credibility rating -- journalists’ credibility ratings are lower than the President’s."
The most heated exchange came in the last three minutes of the 5pm EDT hour interview. Malveaux brought up the results of a recent New York Times/CBS News poll that found that 71% of those polled disapproved of the way President Bush is handling the situation with Iraq.
So, 10 of the 11 New Jersey officials arrested last week on bribery and corruption charges were Democrats? Where's the establishment media outcry about a Democratic "culture of corruption" in the state?
A criminal probe targeting elected officials operating at most levels of government in New Jersey resulted in the arrest of 11 public officials and one private citizen last week. All 12 suspects have been charged with taking cash payments in exchange for influencing the distribution of public contracts, according to the criminal complaints. As part of the investigation, the FBI created an undercover insurance brokerage firm to offer bribes through undercover agents. The suspects are accused of accepting payments ranging from $3,500 to $32,000.
Persistent Bush critic and recurring Sunday morning talk show fixture Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) is announcing his retirement from the U.S. Senate. Reporting the story in the Sunday paper, the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman and Chris Cillizza described the Iraq war critic as a "mainstream conservative who raised his profile nationally through his fierce opposition to President Bush's Iraq policies."
While it is true that Hagel has a respectable 85.2 (out of a possible 100) lifetime score from the American Conservative Union, the Associated Press's Anna Jo Bratton more colorfully described the senator as "a thorn in his party's side when it comes to Iraq." The characterization is apt but perhaps a bit charitable given the retiring politician's suggestion that President Bush could be impeached over the war.
While both the Bratton and Post accounts focused on Hagel's retirement as another obstacle in the uphill battle for control of the Senate in 2008, neither article mentioned that Hagel made an oblique reference in March to the potential to impeach President George W. Bush over the Iraq war:
CBS Public Eye blogger Matthew Felling has a message for those of us who complain about media bias. Don't expect the media to pursue balance. In fact, it's YOU who should balance your news diet, with slanted reporting from the opposing side of the political spectrum. Insisted Felling, "It’s one thing for an ideologue to cry bias over this story or another, but it’s far more productive to offer a solution or an alternative."
If you're a Rush listener, try Ed Schultz. If you like Keith Olbermann’s take, change channels afterwards and see what Sean Hannity has to say. Likewise, if you see something coming down the pipe that looks like the "Censored" list or Goldberg's liberal media smoking gun -- and you initially resist it -- don't dismiss it offhand.
Until we push ourselves out of our media comfort zone, we risk continuing to argue past each other -- us of the by-now-trite 'red' and 'blue' Americas --wearing blinders and not connecting at all. So even if you like your blinders and feel intellectually justified in wearing them, don’t be afraid to swivel your head once in awhile to get a fuller view.
The CBS ombudsblogger --Public Eye purports "to bring transparency to the editorial operations of CBS News"-- offered this advice after he tossed up a liberal and a conservative complaint about media bias, hoping to show that left and right-wing complaints have equal merit and/or that media bias is subjective according to the ideological lens of the beholder.
Bill Clinton’s appearance on Wednesday’s "Larry King Live" gave new life to the old nickname for CNN as the "Clinton News Network." Host Larry King fawned over Clinton during the 40-minute interview, asking the impeached former president questions on wide range of topics. King asked Clinton if Osama bin Laden was ever going to caught. After Clinton gave the standard Democrat line that not enough resources are being sent to Afghanistan in the hunt for the al Qaeda leader, King added, "You almost got him." Clinton answered affirmatively, and added that he "never had a chance to deploy large numbers of troops to Afghanistan."
For the third time in less than a week, ABC anchor and former Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos appeared on "Good Morning America" to dourly assess Republican Fred Thompson’s 2008 chances. On the Thursday edition of GMA, the host of "This Week" attempted to set an impossible bar for the former senator. "...He can't make a mistake,"Stephanopoulos breathlessly claimed.
Earlier in the segment, the ABC host negatively spun Thompson’s standings in the polls. Some might compliment the performance of a candidate who, upon entering the 2008 race, is only narrowly trailing the front-runner. Not Stephanopoulos. After claiming that many thought the former actor would surge into first place early in the summer, he critiqued, "That hasn't happened. Most of the latest polls show that he's in second place behind Rudy Giuliani....He hasn't quite rocketed out the way he expected."
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," George Stephanopoulos showcased a "quirky" poll indicating that Americans would like Hillary Clinton next to them for a multi-hour, cross country drive. Additionally, according to anchor Diane Sawyer, the poll also found a majority of citizens would choose the New York senator to run the company that employs them. Stephanopoulos, host of "This Week" and former top aide to Bill Clinton, spun the good news for Hillary as getting "at what people are looking for in a president."
The two ABC anchors also discussed Senator Clinton’s attempts to increase her likability ratings. Stephanopoulos repeated a talking point by parroting the former First Lady’s claim to be "the most famous person in the world that people don't know." Then, he helpfully played clips of Mrs. Clinton demonstrating warmth and humor on such venues as "The Late Show" and Ellen Degeneres’s program." Finally, what little time was left for the Republicans was spent bashing former Senator Fred Thompson for "fritter[ing]" the summer away and not exciting crowds.
Anna Quindlen has advice for the Republican Party: Throw religious conservatives overboard. In her Sept. 3 Newsweek column. "Disinvited to the Party," she lauds the heartland's apparent embrace of Rudy Giuliani despite his serial marriages and "quasi-liberal positions on abortion, gay rights and gun control." To Quindlen, "quasi" means not adopting the actual platform language of the Democratic Party.
Quindlen's rant is a typical leftist smear, lamenting the rise of the Religious Right and blaming it on ... sheer malice. She fails to acknowledge the political and cultural forces that have assailed every traditional institution from church to the Boy Scouts. She fails to recognize that social conservatives could possibly be human beings with real interests who don't want to turn all personal responsibility for their lives over to government bureaucrats.
Here's her nostalgic look at the Republican Party she used to love:
As NewsBusters has recorded, Snow has tangled with biased journalists in his role as the White House's chief spokesman. Perhaps one of the most memorable was an episode in June 2007 reported by NewsBusters contributor Justin McCarthy:
Tuesday’s "Good Morning America" used the arrest of Senator Larry Craig in a men’s bathroom as an excuse to again herald the end of the Republican Party. Guest co-host Bill Weir teased a story on the Idaho legislator by wondering, "Is the GOP losing its grip?" Reporter David Kerley saw this as a case of Republican hypocrisy. He pointedly observed that "Craig is a conservative who lists among his goals to defend and strengthen the traditional values of the American family."
In early summer, the ABC morning show found another reason to predict doom for the GOP. Co-host Chris Cuomo, introduced a June 25 story on new polling data by claiming that the Republican candidates were "hitting some serious bumps in the road." He then ominously added, "So now the question is, can any of them beat the eventual Democratic nominee?"
FNC's Brit Hume on Monday night picked up on a column by the San Francisco Chronicle's Debra Saunders which discredited the media spin on an AP/Ipsos poll that found liberals read one more book a year than conservatives, a finding Pat Schroeder, President of the Association of American Publishers claimed illustrated how conservatives can't think beyond slogans. The AP and CNN's Jack Cafferty both jumped on Schroeder's slam. Hume noted that Saunders “says Ipsos told her the one book difference between liberals and conservatives is within the poll's margin of error and not statistically significant. The company also said that since the poll did not ask respondents if they read newspapers or magazines, it does not, therefore, say anything about their general level of knowledge or information.”
NBC’s "Today" show continued its global warming alarmism this week. Reporter Bob Dotson profiled a polar explorer who is teaching, or indoctrinating, today’s youths about global warming. The "Today" crew couldn’t refrain from gushing over this "sobering," "beautiful" message from an "impressive guy." However, NBC doesn’t want viewers to get excited over every issue. Correspondent Andrea Mitchell recently told viewers that "internet writers" need to take "a breath" over reports that Michelle Obama was attacking Hillary Clinton during a campaign speech.
"Situation Room" reporter Jack Cafferty, CNN’s answer to Andy Rooney, this week concluded that conservatives are dumb and George Bush should be impeached. Discussing a new poll on American reading habits, Cafferty claimed, "Liberals read more books than conservatives. Why?" Earlier in the week, he railed against Democratic Senator Chris Dodd’s statement that impeaching President Bush would be counterproductive.
CNN used an old tactic in the mainstream media’s play book - a person overcome by emotion - to drive home the point they wanted to make - that the only state that hasn’t been visited by President Bush is Vermont. In a segment during the 4 pm hour of "The Situation Room" detailing this apparent "snub," CNN chief national correspondent John King played a clip from an interview of Regina Gilbert, the mother of Kyle Gilbert, who was killed serving in Iraq four years ago. Gilbert fought back tears as she made her plea for a visit from the President.
NonPartyPolitics has picked up on how the liberal ThinkProgress blog smells something fishy in presidential daughter Jenna Bush's engagement to beau Henry Hager. Basically the lefty blog suggests that first lady Laura Bush lied to the press -- in 2005.
That's right, there's got to be something sinister and mendacious in Laura Bush's 2005 prediction that Jenna and Henry were "not serious." I mean, it's not like true love can blossom in a courtship in two years. Not for someone that close to President Bush!
CNN’s "from the Left" commentator Paul Begala apparently doesn’t want people to forget that Rush Limbaugh dealt with OxyContin addiction. During a panel discussion of Rudy Giuliani and the possible factor of his family life in his presidential bid, Begala attacked the GOP, accusing that the party "has made a practice of going after people’s families," and then singled out Limbaugh for doing this (though Limbaugh has never officially worked for the Republicans). "Not just attacking Bill Clinton, we remember Rush Limbaugh attacking Chelsea Clinton. Maybe it was just the OxyContin talking."
It seems that some folks at the Seattle Times got a bit giddy when they heard news of Karl Rove's resignation.
The paper's David Postman clarified in an August 14 "Postman on Politics" blog post that while it "sounds like a conservative's parody of how a news meeting would be run... It was only a couple of people who cheered [Rove's resignation] and they, thankfully, are not among the people who get a say in news play."
Nevertheless, Postman noted that executive editor David Boardman has issued a warning to Seattle Times staff:
As we head into a major political year, now's a good time to remember: Please keep your personal politics to yourself.
Kudos to Boardman for reminding his staffers to check their politics at the door.
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:
It often seems to be the attitude of the MSM to marginalize Republicans as some sort of square alien creatures who are not really hip like the rest of us...meaning Democrats. Such was the assumption of Miami Herald columnist, Beth Reinhard, when she began "My search for cool among Republicans." Her search was inspired by a Sunglass Hut billboard in South Florida that suggests that even Republicans could look hip with the right shades:
The good-looking hipster with the slicked back, slightly mussed hair looks out from his dark shades.
''He's a Republican,'' reads the billboard spotted around South Florida in recent weeks. ``But you don't see that.''
On Monday's MSNBC Live with Dan Abrams, host and MSNBC general manager Abrams opened his show lambasting Karl Rove, tagging him the "Constitutional Crippler" for accusing judges of "bending the law" while Rove, Abrams contended, was doing much the same. Abrams: "If Karl Rove had been a professional wrestler, they might have called him 'the Constitutional Crippler.' Abrams further accused Rove of "hypocrisy" and of "shifting rules to accommodate his political objectives" as the MSNBC general manager declared that he would "not shed a tear" at Rove's departure.
According to ABC’s Terry Moran, Karl Rove’s brand of politics can be defined by a mixture of "divisiveness, anger" and "ruthlessness." During a segment on Monday's edition of "Nightline," the co-anchor derided the "era of Karl Rove" as one that exhibited "bitterly polarizing politics."
Moran also left the impression that it was Rove, the Deputy Chief of Staff to President Bush, who was behind the 2004 Swift Boat Veterans For Truth ads against John Kerry:
[File footage from 2004] George W. Bush: "The architect, Karl Rove."
Terry Moran: "That was back in 2004 and President Bush was thanking Rove for planning and executing his reelection strategy. But look around at American politics today and you see that there is much, much more that Karl Rove built."
Clip from Swift Boat Veterans ad: "John Kerry cannot be trusted."
The headline to today's lead story in the New York Times by Jim Rutenberg and Steven Lee Myers on the impending resignation of Karl Rove, Bush's chief political advisor, included the subhead "A Bare-Knuckle Style of Politics."
Rove as ruthless partisan brawler was indeed a theme that permeated both Tuesday's lead story and chief political reporter Adam Nagourney's accompanying analysis.
From Rutenberg and Rove's lead:
"With his voice breaking at times, and with President Bush at his side on the South Lawn of the White House, Karl Rove said Monday that he would resign as a deputy White House chief of staff at the end of the month. The decision ends Mr. Rove's role as the president's longest-serving and closest aide, and the one who most personified the bare-knuckle brand of politics Mr. Bush favors."