Times music critic Jon Pareles thinks the anti-Bush country group The Dixie Chicks were right all along in Sunday’s front page Arts & Leisure feature, "The Dixie Chicks: America Catches Up With Them"
"The Dixie Chicks call it 'the Incident': the anti-Bush remark that Natalie Maines, their lead singer, made onstage in London in 2003. 'Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas,' said Ms. Maines, a Texan herself.
"It led to a partisan firestorm, a radio boycott, death threats and, now, to an album that's anything but repentant."
What Pareles doesn’t mention: It also got them cover stories on several news magazines and newspapers back then, and they’re still milking their profile in courage -- Time Magazine this week has them on the cover in a typically favorable article (they apparently have "The Biggest Balls In American Music," apparently because it's just so courageous to stand up in front of an anti-war audience and bash Bush).
You'd think that any reasonable person would be glad that we are not suffering the kind of turbulent times on American campuses experienced during the '60s and early '70s. Campus buildings sacked and put to the torch, student union buildings occupied by armed militants, academic careers and lives disrupted, and the ultimate tragedy of four young people killed at Kent State.
Could it be that Chris Matthews isn't reasonable? On this evening's Hardball, Matthews wasn't glad - he was galled, seeming to express nostalgia for that riotous past.
His guest was author Tom Wolfe, who back in the day had written of radical chic, and most recently wrote the disturbing tale of amoral campus life "I Am Charlotte Simmons". Wolfe spoke of having recently attended a reunion of 1969 Stanford campus radicals, recalling "that's when they blew up buildings and everything else."
America’s musicians sure are active lately putting their political opinions to song. Another is the alternative rock band Pearl Jam. In their song “World Wide Suicide,” lead singer Eddie Vedder speaks of a world where “war has taken over.” He suggests that the president takes for granted that soldiers will serve in our armed forces all financed by “checks that others pay.”
Vedder also mocks the president’s religious beliefs: “Tell you to pray, while the devil’s on their shoulder.”
What follows are the lyrics to this piece and a video link to a live performance on “Saturday Night Live.”
Yesterday's May Day protests for amnesty for illegal aliens received broad, prominent, and positive coverage in the Washington Post Tuesday morning -- a fraction, certainly, of the enormous coverage of April 11, but still signaling the issue's importance in the diversity-conscious Post newsroom. Once again, the liberal bias came through: there were no liberal labels for any activist at the protest, no use of the word "amnesty" in the coverage, and no mention of what speakers said at the protest rallies. One story noted protesters chanted in Spanish "Bush, listen, we are committed to the struggle!" And, perhaps, most importantly: critics of illegal immigration appeared almost nowhere in any of this coverage. (Correction: I originally claimed critics were nowhere, but Clay Waters noted Rep. Tom Tancredo is quoted via Reuters in paragraph 12 of the Fears-Williams overview. My apologies for the error.)
Amazing. The day after Anemona Hartocollis's puff piece on the court appearance of 18 anti-war 'grannies' accused of blocking an entrance to a military recruitment center in Times Square, the Times follows up with front-page coverage of their aquittal("New York Judge Tells Grannies To Go in Peace").
"They came, they shuffled, they conquered. "Eighteen 'grannies' who were swept up by the New York City police, handcuffed, loaded into police vans and jailed for four and a half hours were acquitted yesterday of charges that they blocked the entrance to the military recruitment center in Times Square when they tried to enlist.
The front of Thursday’s Metro section features Anemona Hartocollis’ soggy profile of a group of left-wing elderly protesters arrested last October for blocking a military recruiting center in Times Square.
The headline is sweet: "With ‘Grannies’ in the Dock, A Sitting Judge Will Squirm."
The text box is sickeningly sweet: "Who wants to rule against grandmotherhood, or apple pie, or Santa?"
Alongside the piece is a photo of the "Granny Peace Brigade" on the way back to court, complete with red vests, protest buttons, and walking sticks. It’s enough to send a diabetic into sugar shock.
Ironically, the avowedly left-wing Village Voice provides a more substantive and probing article on the group, led by activist Joan Wile, which is officially named "Grandmothers Against the War."
On Thursday's edition of CNN's The Situation Room, pundit commentator, Jack Cafferty called President Bush a hypocrite for "lecturing" Chinese President Hu about human rights. Cafferty blames President Bush for several human rights violations he has deemed, including the Patriot Act.
For those that haven’t heard, the female singer Pink (Alecia Moore) – who quite recently joined PETA in a protest against Kentucky Fried Chicken’s alleged cruelty to animals – has joined the ranks of musicians voicing their opinions against George W. Bush. In her song “Dear Mr. President,” Pink attacks, amongst other things, “No Child Left Behind,” his positions on abortion as well as same-sex marriage, his former drug and alcohol abuse, and, of course, the war in Iraq. Some of her more poignant lyrics include:
How do you sleep while the rest of us cry
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye
What kind of father would take his own daughter's rights away
And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay
You've come a long way from whiskey and cocaine
What follows are the complete lyrics of this piece along with a video link to a recent performance of the number courtesy of YouTube.
On Friday's Countdown show, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann plugged the Rolling Stone cover story by historian Sean Wilentz which argued that George W. Bush may be the worst President ever, citing the opinions of over 400 historians. As he introduced his interview with Wilentz, Olbermann sympathetically referred to the recently fired CIA employee who leaked classified information on the agency's use of secret prisons in Europe in the War on Terrorism, calling her a "whistleblower," and asked the question: "President Bush, whose administration is now firing, perhaps prosecuting whistleblowers, is he simply the worst?"
While introducing the segment, Olbermann listed several of Wilentz's attacks against Bush without challenging their validity, including accusations of "fabricated evidence" of WMD, a "retro fiscal policy" of "massive tax cuts" for the wealthy that "racked up monstrous deficits," and a criticism citing an unnamed Republican strategist who claimed that the Republican Party is "the first religious party in U.S. history." Olbermann, who perennially makes comparisons between George Orwell's novel 1984 and the Bush administration, managed to work in yet another reference to Orwell as he ended the interview mocking the administration's use of the term "pre-9/11 thinking," charging that Bush would accuse Wilentz and the other historians of being "guilty of pre-9/11 thinking, as George Orwell might have said." (Transcript follows)
On Monday’s “Countdown,” host Keith Olbermann demonstrated, as he regularly does, why he should have stuck to being a sportscaster on ESPN (hat tip to Michelle Malkin with video link to follow). In his “Worst Person in the World” segment, Olbermann chose Michelle Malkin for posting the names and phone numbers of UC Santa Cruz students that recently forced military recruiters off the campus. In Olbermann’s words, the students, “as a result, have been inundated with death threats.”
What Keith conveniently failed to inform his viewers was that these phone numbers were actually part of a press release by the organization responsible for the protest, Students Against War. In addition, these names and phone numbers are still available at a number of left-wing websites including this one. I guess Olbermann didn’t think it was important to inform his viewers of this.
The Washington Post coverage of Monday's pro-illegal-immigration rally was so massive and positive, it took time to study it all. To get a sense of how massive, let’s begin by paying attention to the resources deployed for the Tuesday paper:
Number of Post reporters with immigration-rally by-lines: 19.
Number of other Post staff writers credited for contributions from across America: 20.
Number of Post staff photographers listed in photo credits: 7.
Number of stories (including the "Rally Voices" feature): 13.
Number of Post pages devoted to the rally, added together, visual estimate: 8.
Of those, number of full advertising-free Post pages devoted to the rally: 4 (3 in A section, one in Metro).
Yesterday, many people from around the country gathered in cities and demanded rights for illegal immigrants, and these protests were the primary focus of this morning’s "The Early Show" on CBS. In one segment, co-host Harry Smith interviewed Lou Dobbs, host of CNN’s "Lou Dobbs Tonight" and Bill Richardson, governor of New Mexico. Through his questions, Smith made it pretty clear where he stood on the immigration issue.
In his first question to Lou Dobbs, Harry Smith was awe struck at the outpouring of patriotism demonstrated by the protestors:
"When you saw these pictures yesterday from these demonstrations in all these cities across the country, hundreds of thousands of people, American flags unfurled, people draping themselves in the American dream, what did you think?"
CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider was eager to tout yesterday’s illegal immigration rallies as a "consciousness-raising moment" for Hispanics who harbor "resentment" against those who feel illegal immigration is a serious problem facing the United States. Schneider was discussing the effect of the protests on the 2006 mid-term elections with American Morning co-host Miles O’Brien:
Miles O’Brien: "According to the numbers I’ve seen, Jon Kyl [Republican Senator from Arizona who is up for re-election in 2006] is–has a comfortable margin of lead right now, has taken a pretty conservative stand on immigration. Think those numbers will narrow over this issue?"
Bill Schneider: "Well, that’s what he and probably a lot of people are worried about, namely, what–to what extent are those demonstrators going to become, become is the key word, a political force? They have not been in the past. But this looks like a consciousness-raising moment, because so much of these demonstrations were really spontaneous..."
Dan Gainor reports to me that the Norwegian paper Aftenposten noted that a "comedian" named Otto Jespersen took to his TV show to burn pages of the Old Testament, and riots did not ensue:
The burly, middle-aged Norwegian seems to have a thing for fires: He's perhaps best known for an American flag-burning stunt on national TV three years ago, to protest the US-led invasion of Iraq.
This week, with the help of the local fire brigade, Jespersen lit a bonfire in front of Ålesund's city hall. With cameras rolling for his TV show "Rikets Røst," Jespersen first started burning some Norwegian books. Then, with the willing cooperation of Ålesund Mayor Arve Tonning, he threw paper money on the flames.
Investor's Business Daily reprints (this is at least the second time) British Prime Minister Tony Blair's March 21 speech at the Foreign Policy Center in London. See the whole thing at Real Clear Politics. This part about the media's characterization of insurgent attacks as coalition setbacks and not contemptible violence against innocents jumped out at me:
They have so much clearer a sense of what is at stake. They play our own media with a shrewdness that would be the envy of many a political party. Every act of carnage adds to the death toll. But somehow it serves to indicate our responsibility for disorder, rather than the act of wickedness that causes it. For us, so much of our opinion believes that what was done in Iraq in 2003 was so wrong, that it is reluctant to accept what is plainly right now.
If you were surprised by the size of the recent pro-illegal immigration
demonstrations, don't be. Turns out, many demonstrators were there
after being instructed by Spanish-language media on where and how to protest:
The marching orders
were clear: Carry American flags and pack the kids, pick up your trash
and wear white for peace and for effect.
Many of the 500,000
people who crammed downtown Los Angeles on Saturday to protest
immigration legislation learned where, when and even how to demonstrate
from the Spanish-language media.
America, the mass protests in Los Angeles and other U.S. cities have
been surprising for their size and seeming spontaneity. But they were
organized, promoted or publicized for weeks by Spanish-language radio
The Senate began a debate on immigration reform today, and that seemed to be the focus on "The Early Show" on CBS this morning. Co-host Harry Smith interviewed New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Republican strategist Bay Buchanan. Smith chose to frame the debate as a "crackdown on undocumented workers" and ignored the fact that these "undocumented workers" are in fact in America illegally.
This morning’s program opened with a tease from Harry Smith:
Harry Smith: "A huge battle is brewing in Washington after a weekend of massive rallies over immigration. Hundreds of thousands protested a proposed crackdown on undocumented workers."
Smith then proceeded to open his interview segment in a similar fashion:
It was only a small item carried on the headline banner of Fox News Channel March 25. The report told newsreaders that in Cheshire, Massachusetts, and unknown anti-war protesters had sprayed painted graffiti across a memorial honoring a soldier who died in the first days of the war in Iraq. This incident was not even worthy of a mention in any major media print publication or on other television outlets.
Any report showing the gross inappropriateness of the anti war movement is generally ignored by the mainstream press today. One would be required to search long and hard to find any coverage reflecting either a distortion of facts or distain for anti war actions. In reality, the traditional media outlets of this country are more than supportive, if not encouraging of the movement.
It's not surprising Andrea Mitchell found the best angle on the Abdul Rahman case was the another-problem-for-Bush angle. (Isn't that always their favorite angle?) My friend Cam Edwards trekked to the Afghan embassy protest, and reports the NBC producer on the scene was there, and intensely interested in getting anti-Bush soundbites:
Media turnout was good. There were, by my count, four television cameras there, including one from NBC Nightly News. The producer for Andrea Mitchell, a guy named Carl, kept asking question after question designed to elicit a critical response towards President Bush. Finally I had to say something.
So I said this isn’t a conservative vs. liberal issue, or even a Christian vs. Muslim issue. It’s a human rights issue. And I said if the media ignores the reality of Abdul Rahman being put to death because of his religious beliefs because they’d rather portray this as “Conservatives angry at the President”, then they’re falling down on the job.
Where is the liberal moral outrage? Oh, to be sure, the left is making its political points in the wake of the case in which a man is facing the death penalty in Aghanistan for having converted from Islam to Christianity. Story here. Administration critics have been quick to question the value of Pres. Bush's efforts in bringing democracy to the Muslim world if situations such as this one are the outcome.
But in reporting the matter on this morning's Today, NBC's Andrea Mitchell cast domestic protest of the matter strictly in terms of moral outrage on the part of the "Christian right".
Tom Fox, a member of the anti-American Christian Peacekeeper Teams, has been
murdered by terrorists in Iraq who held him hostage for more than three months,
the New York Times reported on Saturday.
the paper carried a follow-up report that Fox "had apparently been tortured
by his captors before being shot multiple times in the head and dumped on a
trash heap next to a railway line in western Baghdad."
CBS reporter Jim Axelrod on Wednesday night described how “this is what awaited Mr. Bush upon his highly-publicized arrival in India: Tens of thousands turned out to protest America's presence in the Islamic world.” Also from New Delhi, NBC's David Gregory relayed how, over video of crowds and a few men around a burning effigy of Bush, “Mr. Bush has already been met by large anti-U.S., anti-war protests.” But while ABC's Martha Raddatz noted how Bush's “warm reception in Afghanistan stood in stark contrast to the scene when the President arrived later in India,” where “tens of thousands of demonstrators, mostly Muslim, lined the streets,” she pointed out what Axelrod and Gregory skipped: “Despite the demonstrations, the President has a strong approval rating here in India, roughly 70 percent."
Actually, the “2005 Pew Global Attitudes survey,” posted again Tuesday, “found that about seven-in-ten Indians (71%) have a favorable view of the United States,” not Bush, and that “while U.S. favorability ratings have plunged in many countries, Indians are significantly more positive about the United States now than they were in the summer of 2002.” As for Bush personally, the Pew poll discovered that he's “widely admired” in India where “just over half (54%)...say they have a lot or some confidence that Bush will generally do the right thing in world affairs, a significantly higher percentage than in any other country except his own.” (Transcripts, and more on the Pew poll, follow.)
The hard-left Pacifica Radio network is a network of five public radio stations in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Berkeley, and Houston. Together, these stations have regularly drawn about a combined $1 million a year in federal money from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. (For a while, conservative Rep. Joel Hefley would push an amendment every year to reduce the federal CPB budget by $1 million in protest.) Perhaps their signature program is "Democracy Now!" with Amy Goodman, which boasts of public TV and radio stations far beyond the Pacifica-owned affiliates. On Monday, they went on one of their pledge drives with a new premium: a DVD of celebrities reading from leftist historian Howard Zinn's "Voices of a People's History of the United States."
Celebrities included Danny Glover, Sandra Oh (of "Grey's Anatomy"), Viggo "Aragorn" Mortensen, and the one reader that really surprised me: Marisa Tomei doing a dramatic reading of Cindy Sheehan.
But the Mohammad cartoons are “gratuitous assaults on religious symbols” and won’t be run by the paper.
Just yesterday, the Times wrote, in an editorial on the Danish cartoons of Mohammad, that “The New York Times and much of the rest of the nation's news media have reported on the cartoons but refrained from showing them. That seems a reasonable choice for news organizations that usually refrain from gratuitous assaults on religious symbols, especially since the cartoons are so easy to describe in words.”
Apparently the Arts pages didn’t get the memo, because it runs a photo of Chris Ofili’s dung-clotted “Holy Virgin Mary” painting in Wednesday’s Arts section story by Michael Kimmelman, who also calls the Danish cartoons “callous and feeble.”
Today's (Tuesday February 7, 2006) tasteless anti-Bush digs at Coretta Scott King's memorial service by Rev. Joseph Lowery and Jimmy Carter, a former President (!), are certainly newsworthy, but one place you didn't hear about them was during the 5 pm PST (8 pm EST) top-of-the-hour headlines on ABC News Radio. Instead, the announcers highlighted the fact that several Atlanta schools had the day off to make the day "educational."
It looks like additional education was delivered today through a lesson in classic media bias-by-omission.
The Communist Backed group, The World Can't Wait, held an anti-Bush rally in DC yesterday. Stories carried by the Washington Post and the AP included a picture or two from the rally. Interestingly neither media organization bothered to include the photo of the protest sign depicting a beheaded President Bush. In light of the signs of protest against the Danish cartoons, it is a shame that the media refuses to cover the level of hatred against the President of the United States here in America.
Hey, I'm a multi-culturalist. I'm happy to see people observing their various religious holidays, from Christmas to Chanukah to Ramadan. But somehow, my multicultural enthusiasms run out of steam when it comes to . . . condoning the sacking of foreign embassies.
Not Julian Phillips. The co-host of Fox & Friends Weekend blithely condoned the current rioting and burning of foreign embassies around the world by Muslims angered by depictions of the Prophet Mohammed. His explanation-by-way-of-excuse: "different religion, different culture."
In the course of the show's opening segment, Fox's Yasmina Ykelenstam reported live from Beirut, where rioters had set fire to the Danish embassy. She reported that there has been violence across the city, including at the Norwegian embassy, and cars smashed and burned. Back in the studio, Kiran Chetry reported that in Damascus, Syria, rioters had also set fire to the Danish embassy.
Campbell Brown substituted for anchor Brian Williams last night, and she also subbed on the NBC Nightly News blog, the Daily Nightly. Here's how she summarized the decision to censor out anti-Islam cartoons:
An interesting story in our broadcast tonight... and some debate internally over how to cover it. Dawna Friesen is going to update us on a controversy that started in Denmark. It involves published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. The cartoons, which first appeared back in September, have been reprinted this week in other European newspapers, prompting new outrage from the Muslim world. One of the images shows a depiction of the prophet wearing a hat in the shape of a bomb. The newspapers cite their right to freedom of expression, but the protests are growing and becoming violent....After some discussion in our editorial meeting, we have decided not to show the cartoons explicitly. We are trying to treat this issue with care and sensitivity while still bringing you the story. I am sure we will get some feedback on this. Looking forward to it.
“To spotlight his priorities, President Bush invited ordinary people -- a teacher, a physicist, an Afghan politician, the family of a fallen soldier -- to the State of the Union address on Tuesday. But a Democratic congresswoman turned the tables on Mr. Bush by inviting a guest of her own: Cindy Sheehan, the antiwar protester who has dogged Mr. Bush from his Texas ranch to the White House. Ms. Sheehan's presence loomed large in the House chamber, though she was not there. Capitol Police arrested her before the speech began, ejecting her from the gallery after they discovered her wearing an antiwar T-shirt. A police spokeswoman said Ms. Sheehan was charged with unlawful conduct, a misdemeanor.”
In the article, "Sheehan Arrested in House Gallery", CNN.com completely ignored the facts of Cindy Sheehan's meeting with President Bush in June 2004. Instead of reporting Cindy's own words to David Henson, staff writer for the Vacaville Reporter, CNN relied on talking points from Cindy's public relations team.
According to CNN:
"Sheehan and other relatives of troops killed in Iraq met with Bush during a visit to Fort Lewis, Washington, in April 2004, shortly after Sheehan's son was killed. During that meeting with Bush, the President refused to look at pictures of Sheehan's son, didn't want to hear about him and 'didn't even know Casey's name'."
That is completely different from Cindy's personal account of her meeting with President Bush back in June 2004. Cindy was interviewed by David Henson and the archived article is posted online here. According to the Henson article, Cindy said "I now know he's sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis." She went on to say, "I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith."