On the September 11th Saturday Early Show, CBS News Middle East analyst Reza Aslan slammed opponents of the Ground Zero mosque as having "unapologetically politicized" 9/11 and being part of a "whole wave of anti-Muslim sentiment."
While he denounced others for trying to "take advantage of this symbol for their own political purposes," Aslan made his comments only seconds after live coverage of the first moment of silence for victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Co-host Chris Wragge accepted Aslan's characterization of the controversy and responded: "...this is not an opportunity to add controversy into the mix. If there's one day, you know what, to keep our mouths quiet and let's just reflect on the lives lost, today is it, you don't mess with that."
Aslan followed up by admitting: "I'll be honest with you, I hope that there is kind of a backlash against what's going on right now. As you know, at 1pm today there'll be a rally in support of the so-called Park 51 project, at 3pm there'll be this international rally against it. So, I'm hoping that Americans all over the country see these images and think we've gone too far."
He later specifically condemned mosque opponents: "...particularly in the case of this sort of international anti-Islam rally that's being brought by this group called Stop Islamization of America. And they're inviting all these European anti-Muslim politicians in to speak. I mean, that's really now taking this to a whole other level."
On Wednesday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez tried to connect the overwhelming opposition to the planned Ground Zero mosque to a Florida pastor's "Burn a Koran Day" event. Sanchez asked former New York Governor George Pataki, "Do you feel in any way that some of this backlash...led by some fine gentlemen like yourself...has kind of paved the way for that controversy, and if so, do you feel guilty at all?" [audio clip available here]
Sanchez interviewed Pataki during the prime time edition of his program. Just before the bottom of the 8 pm Eastern hour, the anchor raised Pastor Terry Jones's planned inflammatory protest: "Let me ask you one final question, if I possibly can. There's this new hullabaloo going on in Gainesville, Florida, with this pastor who wants to literally burn Korans. And now, we're getting protests in Afghanistan- our generals are saying this guy's going to get our troops killed."
UK Telegraph columnist Janet Daley blasted the BBC on Tuesday for treating the tea party movement "as if it were a cross between the Klu [sic] Klux Klan and the German neo-fascist brigade."
While Daley's piece is a stirring and hard-hitting indictment of the BBC's coverage, she seems to believe that its disdainful approach to the tea party movement stems from a failure to understand the American political tradition. But by that logic, American reporters, who presumably do understand that tradition, would refrain from such coverage.
Let's see: Nazi comparisons? Check. KKK comparisons? Check. The fact is the American media elite are more akin to their British counterparts than to the tea party protesters they all cover. Liberal elitism knows no borders.
The breaking news about James Lee's standoff at the educational channel's Silver Spring, Maryland office building dominated Sanchez's broadcast. Twenty-five minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour, during an interview of former hostage negotiator Tom Fuentes, the anchor summarized Lee's manifesto: "He apparently wants the Discovery Channel...[to] broadcast certain commitments to save the planet...He's apparently anti-war....He's concerned about global warming, talks about Malthusian sciences, continues to come back to saving the planet." He then asked Fuentes, "So...if you get my drift, Tom, he's very concerned. He's an activist, may be very well-meaning, but he's now put himself in a situation where he, the police officers and his hostages' lives are endangered. What do you do?"
On Tuesday's Situation Room, CNN's Jack Cafferty revisited one of his favorite subjects of ire, the Catholic Church, and this time called for the ordination of women. Cafferty highlighted the advertising campaign of a British organization which demands that Pope Benedict XVI allow for such simulations of ordination, and mocked a Catholic priest's defense of the all-male priesthood.
The commentator devoted his 6 pm Eastern hour Cafferty File segment to the issue of women's ordination: "'Pope Benedict: ordain women now'- that's the message that will be plastered on London buses when the pontiff heads to England's capital in a couple of weeks. A group called Catholic Women's Ordination is spending $15,000 for 15 buses to carry posters with that message around London for a month."
Cafferty then moved to the opposing viewpoint, and wasted little time before bashing it and one of its defenders: "Father Stephen Wang says women are not barred from the priesthood because of sexism....Wang says that Jesus chose 12 men, and no women, to be his apostles, and he adds that men and women are equal in Christianity, but that gender still matters. Wang compares the role of a priest to an actor, saying no one would be surprised if he wanted a male actor to play King Arthur. He then admits the analogy is weak. That's the most startling and profound thing he said in the message so far- terrible!"
New York Times reporter Kate Zernike, whose book on the Tea Party movement,"Boiling Mad," is due out next month, led off Saturday's National section by suggesting racism on the part of Fox News host Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally at the Lincoln Memorial later that day.
Beck has outraged the left with the timing of the rally, the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King's March on Washington and the "I Have a Dream" speech.
Although Zernike and others in the media use "Tea Party faithful" as shorthand to mark the rally, the actual gathering on Saturday turned out to be far more religious than political, with Zernike herself likening it to a "large church picnic" in her Sunday coverage.
It seems the ultimate thumb in the eye: that Glenn Beck would summon the Tea Party faithful to a rally on the anniversary of the March on Washington, and address them from the very place where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I have a dream" speech 47 years ago. After all, the Tea Party and its critics have been facing off for months over accusations of racism.
There is something about CNN and the people writing chyrons for the alleged "most trusted name in news" with the "best political team on television." Last week, these geniuses clarified the White House's position on President Barack Obama's religion.
However on CNN Aug. 28 coverage of Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally, which CNN reporters and anchors seemingly held their collective noses up and reported on throughout the event, the chyron on the screen was something likened to one of those parlor games where you circle the numerous errors involved. (h/t Inside Cable News)
First off, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's name was misspelled. Second, she was identified as a former presidential candidate, when she was actually the Republican vice-presidential nominee in 2008. And finally, it's labeling Beck as Palin. Just not a good day for CNN.
A reporter for the St. Louis paper the Riverfront Times has a message for all the members of the Tea Party movement he smeared with false accusations of political violence: "I have no regrets."
Chad Garrison penned a blog post last week speculating that a member of the Tea Party had firebombed the office of Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-Mo. "Given what we know of [the perpatrator] - 50, white, angry - he certainly fits the demographics of a Tea Party member," Garrison wrote. " "On second thought," he added, "maybe he's not a Tea Party member. Firebombing your opponent's office seems a little too, um, sane for that group."
But it turns out the man was actually a disgruntled former Carnahan staffer and blogger for the left-wing site Talking Points Memo, not a member of the Tea Party. Members of the movement asked Garrison to retract. His response: lighten up, wingnuts.
Just like NBC and ABC this morning, CBS’s The Early Show had a hostile take on Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally scheduled for Saturday on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Correspondent Whit Johnson labeled Beck a “controversial conservative,” event speaker Alveda King (a niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.) a “longtime advocate for conservative causes,” and suggested that the fact that some attendees “will get there on Tea Party-sponsored buses” contradicted the idea that this would be a non-political event.
Yet talking about liberal rabble rouser and onetime Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton, Johnson offered no ideological labels or even a tag that Sharpton might be “controversial.” Instead, Sharpton’s event was described as a rally “hosted by civil rights leaders,” and showcased his slam: “The things that Beck stands for are antithetical to the civil rights movement."
For good measure, Johnson brought in a second Beck critic, Daily Beast writer and frequent CNN talking head John Avlon. “Where Martin Luther King was a uniter,” Avlon slammed, “Glenn Beck is a professional divider.”
UPDATE (7:05 PM): Color of Change's executive director responds. See his response, and my response to his response, below the fold.
Reading through material from the "Turn Off Fox" campaign, one gets the very clear impression that the folks at the Fox News Channel are bald-faced liars. They have "no regard for the truth," and use "half-truths" to push a "stream of misinformation" and "distortions of the truth."
Turn Off Fox is a project started by Color of Change, the far-left political organization founded by neo-Marxist and black liberation theologist Van Jones.
Despite Turn Off Fox's righteous indignation, the same document making the above accusations pushes blatant misinformation about both Fox and the Tea Party movement. Got that? The Turn Off Fox campaign wants FNC to tell the truth, and uses demonstrable falsehoods to bolster its case.
The document accusing Fox of pushing misinformation claims that Bill O'Reilly got former USDA official Shirley Sherrod fired, and claims that Tea Party protesters shouted racial slurs and spit on black congressmen outside the Capitol. Both claims have been thoroughly debunked.
Wasn't comparing your political opponents to Nazis once a no-no? I mean, just remember how upset the liberal concern police would get if some wayward individual at a Tea Party event in some random place in the United States had a homemade sign protesting President Barack Obama and invoked Nazi Germany symbolism?
Well, you would think - or at least expect a national TV host (even with considerably lower ratings than his competition) would certainly avoid using Nazis symbolism to attack those with which they disagree, right? No, apparently it's just a double standard. On MSNBC's Aug. 25 "The Ed Show," a seemingly angry host Ed Schultz said he was "fired up" about the Aug. 28 Glenn Beck event at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
"This is the story that has me fired up tonight - Glenn Beck is distorting Martin Luther King's dream and his Tea Party followers are on edge," Schultz sais. "You know, I just sense that we are going down a very dangerous road right now when a political organization like the Tea Party has members trying to intimidate elected public officials."
Actor Jon Voight appeared on the August 22 "Huckabee" to discuss, among other things, his conservative activism and the media's misrepresentation of the Tea Party movement.
Here's a sample:
MIKE HUCKABEE: We heard that there were people yelling racial epithets at some of the members of Congress. Did you hear anything like that?
JON VOIGHT: You know, when you saw this, folks, and you all read these things or you saw them on television, these rumors... are being distributed as truth. And I'm going to tell you the quality of people that are in the Tea Parties are of such high moral character that if anybody in a group of those people came forth with a racial slur they would be called on the carpet... and they wouldn't stand for it, and we would know their names today. But there's no evidence of any of this, there's no evidence that these things really happened that were portrayed as news.
For interview highlights, check out the video montage we've assembled by clicking the play button in the embed above. Alternately, you can download the MP3 audio here or the WMV video here.
How does the Wisconsin State Journal remember the 40 year anniversary of a radical Ayers-like bombing on the UW-Madison campus? By posting a little puff piece on one of the killers, of course.
On August 24, 1970, Karleton Armstrong and three other men perpetrated the worst act of domestic terrorism prior to the Oklahoma City bombing, detonating a bomb-laden vehicle outside of Sterling Hall, causing extensive damage to 26 buildings, costing $2.1 million in property damage, injuring three, and killing graduate student Robert Fassnacht, a 33-year-old husband and father of three children.
The contrast between an editorial published in the Journal 40 years ago, and the profile of the bombers published this past week, may serve as a case study in how the liberal media has transformed their coverage of domestic terrorists.
Shortly after the attack, a Journal editorial ran hammering down their take on the matter. According to the book, 50 Wisconsin Crimes of the Century, the Wisconsin State Journal called for officials to stop taking a neutral stance on student unrest:
"They've been playing with murder for years. Now they've achieved it... The blood is on the hands of anyone who has encouraged them, anyone who has talked recklessly of ‘revolution', anyone who has chided with mild disparagement the violence of extremists while hinting that the cause is right all the same."
Last week however, that same Wisconsin State Journal did a retrospective piece (h/t Michelle Malkin), profiling each of the bombers and how they were linked to such a tragic moment in history. The profile on Karleton Armstrong strikes a surprisingly pacifist tone:
CNN's American Morning and Newsroom programs on Thursday brought on Time magazine's Bobby Ghosh to highlight his "Is America Islamophobic?" article and help promote his accusation that "hate speech" and "bigotry" have "come out into the mainstream" during the course of the debate over the proposed New York City mosque near Ground Zero.
During his American Morning appearance, anchor Kiran Chetry hailed Ghosh's article, which is the cover story of the upcoming August 30th issue of Time, as "a very thoughtful piece." Anchor Ali Velshi, who conducted the second interview of the Time deputy international editor, went further than his colleague: "Okay, you're American- Time magazine is required reading....Bobby Ghosh...wrote the Islamophobia piece that I think everybody is going to have to read because if you are in this country, it's part of the dialogue that we are involved in at this point."
But only days earlier, in an August 3 Time.com article about the imam behind the mosque, Ghosh stated that the "last legal hurdle to the proposed Islamic center near the site of the World Trade Center has been removed, but ignorance, bigotry and politics are more formidable obstacles....Criticism [of the mosque] spans the gamut, from the ill-informed anguish of those who mistakenly view Islam as the malevolent force that brought down the towers to the ill-considered opportunism of right-wing politicians who see Islam as an easy target." So the "thoughtful" Time editor whose latest is "required reading" even had the gall to criticize the families and the friends of those who died on 9/11, or who are generally emotionally-touched by the carnage of the attack.
Now that both liberals and conservatives have coordinated protest movements it is fair to compare the two. Luckily sECULAR sTUPIDEST has put together a great video which shows the March 20th, 2010 Anti-War protest in D.C. and the March 20th, 2010 Tea Party in D.C. (Language Warning)
Monday's New York Times front page contains a "Congressional Memo" by David Herszenhorn and Carl Hulse, "In Personal Ethics Battles, a Partywide Threat." The party is the Democrat Party, the threat possible ethics trials for prominent Democratic representatives Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters.
After summarizing the danger that the trials pose for Democrats in an election year, the Times checked in on an unreliable source, Rep. James Clyburn, Democrat of South Carolina, to raise a defense of Rangel and Waters, both of whom are black, as is Clyburn.
What a fine group of happy warriors! Right Online 2010 turned out over 1,000 like-minded activists from over 30 states. These passionate folks walked the over-100 degree streets of Las Vegas to educate voters that November Is Coming.
Should the Democrats be worried? No. They should be resigned. The real worry-warts should be Republicans consistently intent on selling out their principles. Be worried. People are mission-focused.
A couple highlights from the conference: Here's my favorite speaker from the group, Emery McClendon:
What will it take for the media to acknowledge that the Tea Party is not a racist movement, and that liberals have smeared it as such in a naked politicization of race relations? How about a lefty activist admitting just that.
UPenn professor Mary Frances Berry, a leader of the "far-left black political scene," as NB Executive Editor Matt Sheffield wrote, penned this astonishing email to Politico, published on July 20:
Tainting the tea party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. There is no evidence that tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging their ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats win in November. Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness.
Perhaps it's the proximity of North Dakota, Ed Schultz's home state, to Minnesota but the MSNBC host has an identifiable fixation on a certain conservative Republican congresswoman from Minnesota.
On his July 29 program "The ED Show," Schultz once again attacked Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. This time this wizard of smart attacked her for loving to get "her mug out there." But if that's a crime then Schultz is an accomplice.
"Well, that's Michele Bachmann said, she wanted to create a ‘receptacle' for the Tea Party and so, this might be the first thing in the ‘receptacle,'" Schultz said. "I think she is doing it to stay visible. She loves getting her mug out there, she loves the visibility. She was rather an obscure congresswoman until she made an asinine comment on ‘Hardball with Chris Matthews' about investigating members of Congress. That pretty much put her on the map, Roy."
In nine short paragraphs, Los Angeles Times staffer Nicholas Riccardi offered readers a slanted look at how "Immigration demonstrations kick[ed] off in Arizona" yesterday, when the state's new anti-illegal immigration law went into effect [except for the portions ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge].
Reporting from Phoenix, Riccardi jumped straight away into loaded language (emphasis mine):
Opponents of Arizona's hard-line stance on illegal immigration launched a small religious procession from the state Capitol before dawn Thursday, the first of a series of demonstrations for the day the nation's strictest immigration law was due to take effect.
So who organized the religious procession? Is it purely a protest by otherwise apolitical religious folks, or were secular political interest groups involved? Riccardi didn't elaborate.
On Thursday's Early Show, correspondent John Blackstone reported on a federal judge blocking several provisions in Arizona's new immigration law: "The judge's ruling seemed to answer the prayers of many in Arizona's immigrant communities." Footage of two women crying and praying at a protest against the law followed his declaration.
Blackstone began his report by noting that protestors "are already beginning to gather for more protests today against Arizona's new law. They know that even with the court ruling yesterday...there will be an appeal, that their battle is not over." During the segment, the headline on screen read: "Border Battle; Judge Blocks Part of Controversial Immigration Law."
Continuing to highlight opposition to the law, Blackstone focused one woman: "Waitress Yessica Perez is a U.S. citizen, but she feared the law would make her a target for police." He then inaccurately claimed that the law "would have required police to check the immigration status of virtually anyone they suspected of being here illegally." Blackstone never explained that police could only question someone's status after stopping them for a legal violation. Meanwhile, a clip was played of Perez fretting: "I heard of people that they didn't want to go out, just grocery shopping. They were worried they were going to be pulled over just because – because of this law."
Like a dog chasing its tail, the left has spent a great amount of time trying to determine who the leader of the Tea Party movement is. And often, there are accusations of prevalent racism among its members. But according to CNBC's Rick Santelli, the Tea Party is more of a philosophy than a group, which has nothing to do with racism.
"First of all, we should have zero tolerance for racial discrimination, period," Santelli said. "Beyond that, if the indirect question is, ‘Is the Tea Party racist?' I think the real question is, ‘Are there racists in the Tea Party?' And I would contend that statistically there's going to be racists in any group."
(Update: Reuters quietly improves statement by eliminating the word 'often'. Thank you Reuters, for being forthright in the error, er, slipping this in, in the hopes that your readers won't notice. We're certain that all of the Tea Party Patriots being wrongfully portrayed as racist appreciate the effort.)
Reuters recently ran a piece that analyzed persistent race issues amidst the Obama presidency, and managed to take a racial swipe at the Tea Party in the process.
As always, the piece diverts attention away from the President and toward conservatives. Any controversy involving the administration is portrayed as a mere distraction for the President in his alleged post-racial presidency. The analysis draws a conclusion that the ‘right-wing noise machine', conservative groups, conservative media, and the Tea Party/NAACP debate are all implicit in creating this racial distraction - and ultimately taking the spotlight off of Obama and his ‘biggest achievements'. (Is consistently usurping the will of the American people an achievement?)
But what stands out in the article (h/t NewsBuster reader Texndoc) is an obvious misstatement of facts. An implication that racist imagery at Tea Party rallies is prevalent, has been presented as truth. Patricia Zengerle, the White House correspondent at Reuters, writes (emphasis mine), "Images such as Obama with a bone through his nose and the White House with a lawn full of watermelons are often displayed at Tea Party rallies."
Reuters and Zengerle were contacted via e-mail several times for clarification on the statement, but the only response thus far has been ...
Senators Wanted: Non-believers in big government need not apply.
That would apparently be the classified ad Mark Whitaker would run. Criticizing Sharron Angle this morning, MSNBC's DC bureau chief sniffed that people like her "are running to be part of a government they don't believe in."
Whitaker made his remark in the course of commenting on a Politico story about Angle walking away from an event without speaking with reporters. But the bigger story is the MSM mindset that Whitaker exposed: the only people who are worthy of office are those who look at the government in DC and believe in what they see. Candidates with strong objections to the size and scope of our government, who want to cut it down to size, are unworthy, indeed, illegitimate.
Rick Sanchez, who hosts his Rick's List program for two hours during the afternoon on CNN, will be taking on the network's 8 pm Eastern hour slot for several weeks between Campbell Brown's departure on Wednesday and the start of the ex-Democratic Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer (the infamous Client #9) and sometime-conservative Kathleen Parker's new program.
Sanchez will likely bring his two-year record of liberal bias to his temporary gig. Some of the worst examples from the Media Research Center's archives:
Targeting Fox News and Conservative Talk Radio
In late 2008, the CNN anchor gained the 3 pm Eastern time slot of CNN's Newsroom, which would evolve into his Rick's List program. Over the past year and a half, he has consistently targeted conservative media outlets.
"That weekend tragedy involves a man who allegedly shot and killed three police officers in cold blood. Why? Because he was convinced, after no doubt watching Fox News and listening to right-wing radio, that quote, 'Our rights were being infringed upon.'" -From CNN Newsroom, April 8, 2009. Sanchez blamed conservative news outlets for the murder of three police officers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Memo to media members wishing to invite the Tea Party Founder on your show, or use him as a source for your biased reports: He isn't exactly who you think he is.
Since the NAACP voted to condemn extremist elements in the Tea Party, news networks, sites, and liberal blogs have rushed to include ‘Tea Party Founder', Dale Robertson, in their reports. Problem being, Dale Robertson as Tea Party anything has frequently and thoroughly been, um ... ‘refudiated'.
Despite this, the media has a history of holding Robertson up as a shining example of Tea Party racism. Why? Robertson once demonstrated a level of ignorance that boggles the mind by holding a sign reading "Congress = Slaveowner, Taxpayer = (N-Word)", at a Houston Tea Party Society (TPS) event.
The reality however, is that Robertson has predominantly self-described, if any, links to the Tea Party movement, while legitimate factions of the movement have had to repeatedly distance themselves from the man. Robertson was expelled from the event at which he was holding the aforementioned sign on the very same day. He was formally denounced in a statement released by the Houston TPS. He was called ‘no friend' of the Tea Party at Pajamas Media, and mocked at RedState. He was shown to be for his infamous sign, before he was against it.
So logically, the media has decided to help further the cause of the NAACP by bringing Robertson back out of the shadows. Since word of the the NAACP resolution got out, Robertson's name has appeared at...
On Wednesday's Newsroom, CNN correspondent Deborah Feyerick refreshingly asked the developer behind the planned mosque near Ground Zero many hard questions. Feyerick bluntly asked Sharif el-Gamel, "Why not have a prayer space for Buddhists or Jews or Christians...why must it be Muslim?" The correspondent even brought up how one of the landing gear of one of the planes ended up on the site of the planned mosque [audio clips available here].
Feyrick conducted her hardball interview of el-Gamel at his New York City office. The CNN correspondent almost immediately launched into her prayer space question. When the real estate developer initially replied, "There are Jewish community centers all over the country," Feyerick interrupted with a sharp retort: "But the Jews didn't take down two towers." El-Gamel continued that "there are YMCA's all over the country," but she gave a similar reply: "But the Christians didn't take down two towers."
The journalist followed up with the issue of the planned mosque's proximity to the Ground Zero and mentioned the plane wreckage that ended up on the site: "For those who are so- still sensitive and so raw to this, their question- their overriding question is, why here? Why so close? It's two blocks, but it was close enough that landing gear ended up on the roof. Why?"
What's the key to pulling your political organization out of "irrelevancy"? Well if you're the NAACP, you can start by hammering on allegations of Tea Party "racism."
News coverage of the NAACP has exploded since the "nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization" passed a resolution last week attacking the Tea Party for including "racist" elements in its organization.
Not only has the story spawned hundreds of news articles, but the network news stations have also taken notice. In just six days - from July 13 to July 18 - the NAACP's feud with the Tea Party was discussed on eight network news shows on ABC, CBS and NBC.
"And what about the NAACP`s new charges of racism against elements of the Tea Party? We`ll bring in the head of the NAACP, Ben Jealous, and one of the leaders of the Tea Party, David Webb," Bob Schieffer said on "CBS Evening News" on July 18.
George W. Bush’s linguistic difficulties, such as “Is our children learning,” “If the terriers and barrifs are torn down, this economy will grow” and “They misunderestimated me” made him the butt of many a joke back in the day, especially since they used to be played on cable news channels. Yet the current occupant of the White House—not to mention his vice president—does not seem to have found the media’s funnybone. Even Barack Obama’s teleprompter problems never got that kind of coverage, neither did that fact that his speeches are written at two grade levels below Bush.
Then there was the time in Februrary, when Obama mispronuncicated “corpsman” as “corpse-man” and the media ignored it, or when he said he had been to 57 states and they excused it, the mediahasjumped all over Sarah Palin’s invention of the word “refudiate.”
The word was coined on Fox News July 14, in response to the proposed Cordoba Center in New York City, a $100 million community center and Mosque three blocks from the World Trade Center site, but developed into a full-blown meme Sunday when she posted to Twitter: