In a Newsweek Web exclusive, Lisa Miller and Amanda Coyne set out to find something juicy about Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's house of worship, Wasilla Bible Church. But finding a "staid" worship environment that "steer[s] clear of politics" and whose main attraction is Biblical preaching, they opted to focus on where the governor used to worship regularly years ago, an Assemblies of God church:
Pentecostalism is one of the fastest growing branches of Christianity in the world, and the Assemblies of God is one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in the country, claiming 1.6 million members. Pentecostals are generally characterized by a strict adherence to moral codes--no tobacco, no alcohol, no social dancing, no sex outside of marriage--and by their belief that the Holy Spirit bestows upon some the gift of "speaking in tongues," a reference to Acts 2: "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues." A spokeswoman for the McCain-Palin campaign has said that Palin attends many churches and does not consider herself to be Pentecostal.
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Yesterday NewsBusters caught up with GOPAC chairman and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele at the Xcel Center, site of the Republican National Convention.
Steele told us the coverage of the campaign so far has "been a joke," and that "if the shoe were on the other foot, [media] would be scrutinizing the heck out of a black Republican or a Hispanic Republican" running for president.
Some excerpts of that interview are below, starting with Steele's reaction to the disparity in scrutiny of Sens. McCain and Obama (video available here):
Tuesday’s CBS Early Show devoted four separate segments to news that the teenage daughter of McCain running mate Sarah Palin is pregnant, with co-host Maggie Rodriguez declaring: "Private lives, pregnancy, and politics. A stunning start to the Republican convention, as delegates grapple with Sarah Palin's family life. I'm Maggie Rodriguez in St. Paul. The bombshell pregnancy announcement that's stolen John McCain's limelight and why some insiders say it may help him." Later, Rodriguez explained: "We've got a couple of storms brewing here in St. Paul, as well. The headline in the local paper calls day one of the Republican National Convention 'A Day of Distractions' for the GOP. The focus not on John McCain, but on Hurricane Gustav and on the political storm involving the presumptive vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, and the revelation that her teen daughter is pregnant."
In the first segment on the issue, in the 7am half hour, correspondent Jeff Glor announced: "Four days ago, hardly anybody knew anything about Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Now they know a lot, including that news that her teenage daughter is indeed pregnant." Glor concluded his report by seeming to suggest that a planned address by Palin to the Republican convention was cancelled in the wake of the controversy: "Interesting to note that on the original schedule, Sarah Palin was scheduled to speak tonight. That will not happen." However, Glor never explained that while Palin was originally scheduled to give a prime time speech on Tuesday night of the convention, that speech was scheduled before she was named the vice presidential nominee, who traditionally accepts the party nomination on Wednesday, with McCain accepting the presidential nomination on Thursday.
NewsBusters editors Noel Sheppard and Matthew Sheffield caught up to director David Zucker, whose latest film "An American Carol" lampoons the radical left's anti-Americanism and cluelessness on the war on terror.
Zucker talked a bit about his political evolution, noting how the Democratic Party has drifted farther left than his Kennedy Democrat stances on taxes and defense. He also insisted he's no "crusader," aiming first and foremost to make moviegoers laugh, not letting the message muddle the art of the medium.
The interview is fairly lengthy for an EyeBlast video, but it's all worth it. Enjoy.
Alan Colmes has been on a downward spiral for the ages since John McCain introduced Sarah Palin as his presumptive Vice-Presidential nominee.
Fellow NewsBuster Warner Todd Huston caught Colmes scraping bottom at his Liberaland web site last night, as the lefty talker and Sean Hannity piñata asked "Did Palin Take Proper Pre-Natal Care?" in connection with Palin's pregnancy and childbirth earlier this year. Trig Palin was born with Down's Syndrome on April 18.
On Friday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez talked to former FBI agent and body language expert, Joe Navarro about some of the controversial scenery at the Obama speech: "What did you think about the open stadium? Was it too much? Too over the top? Or was it effective?" Navarro responded: "Absolutely not. You know, months ago they were talking about decisions were going to be made behind closed doors. This was democracy at its best." Rodriguez added: "Because so many people were involved." That prompted Navarro to declare: "Involved. You know, you look at the -- everything, the people, the surroundings, the colors, the imagery. It reminds you of Athenian democracy."
On Wednesday, Navarro was on the show to analyze Michelle Obama’s body language during her convention speech: "I think it was a home run. She's a beautiful woman. You know, her hugs are genuine. She has those beautiful high cheek bones that we see in models. The broad shoulders. Look how wide her stance is. Her gestures are huge. They're very encompassing. These things draw us in."
Rodriguez did raise the controversy surrounding Obama’s backdrop during his nomination acceptance speech: "That was one of the criticisms, though. You said Athenian, that the temples made it look -- I mean, the columns made it look a little bit too much like a temple, like this was meant to worship Barack Obama as a god." Navarro completely dismissed such criticism: "Not at all. This was about that, you know, we use the images of these columns from Athens to tell us about our history of democracy, about openness, about the people. And we have a great example of this where this has been opened up, I think, for the first time and may set a precedent for future conventions. Very powerful."
While speculating on John McCain’s upcoming vice presidential running mate, who we now know will be Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, on Friday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez explained: "I found myself at one point last night thinking how difficult it must be for John McCain to watch such a huge celebration in honor of his opponent, especially on the eve of his 72nd birthday, which is today, and which he will be celebrating in Dayton, Ohio, where he will formally announce his vice president." In a later segment, Rodriguez declared: "John McCain didn't waste anytime trying to steal Barack Obama's thunder. He's decided on a running mate, and he will announce it today."
Later in that segment, Rodriguez talked to McCain communications director Jill Hazelbaker and asked: "But he needs to make a splash somehow, especially after last night. 85,000 screaming supporters witnessing an historic nomination. That's significant. How do you top that?" When Hazelbaker responded by pointing out that "what is holding him [Obama] back in this election, is the idea that he does not have the experience or the judgment to lead." Rodriguez interrupted: "But Jill, he answered...I disagree because he [Obama] answered, very directly, every criticism that John McCain has made about him from his readiness to be president, to his celebrity status, and everything in between, he gave very direct answers." Despite such strong defense for Obama, Rodriguez will be anchoring Early Show coverage at the Republican convention next week.
At the top of Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith set the tone for the show’s coverage of Barack Obama’s upcoming nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic convention: "First, history being made in Denver today." While Obama being the first African-American presidential nominee of a major party is historic, the Early Show went far beyond the other network morning shows, doing three stories on Obama being the first black Democratic nominee, with numerous comparisons to Martin Luther King and the 45th anniversary of King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech.
Meanwhile, NBC’s Today made no comparisons between Obama and King. On ABC’s Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts made only one brief reference to King’s 1963 speech at the end of a segment on preparations for Obama’s speech at Invesco Field. Speaking to editor-at-large for ‘O’ Magazine, Gayle King, Roberts asked: "And as we stood in the enormous empty stadium I couldn't help but feel the sweeping hand of history. I know my mother said she never thought she'd see this day. How do you feel about being here? We have seen grainy photos of the '60s of historic moments but to now know that we are also going to witness something like this."
In contrast, Thursday’s Early Show included four comparisons of Obama and King. The first reference was in a report by correspondent Bill Plante, the other three references were all by Smith. During a segment in the 7am half hour featuring poet Maya Angelou, he remarked: "Barack Obama was 2 years old when Dr. King shared his dream...Tonight Barack Obama will deliver another speech, loaded with history and promise."
In a "Leading the News" story primarily about Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Joe Biden's prior praise of John McCain, Susan Crabtree at The Hill noted previous posts made by yours truly about the alterations made to Biden's Wikipedia entries shortly before and after he was named by Barack Obama.
Those posts showed that at least these changes were made since I downloaded -- and kept -- Biden's main Wiki entry on Friday:
(at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) The details of Biden's undergraduate grades went away, and other text in the related paragraph was worked over.
(at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) The section relating to 2004 under "Presidential Campaigns" was deleted, and most of the text that had been contained there moved to a section before the 1988 campaign. It was if the idea that Biden campaigned for the presidency was true before Obama selected him, and not true after that.
(at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) The footnote relating to the original entry's claim that Biden had only plagiarized British politican Neil Kinnock one time, which never related to that claim anyway, was removed. Further, no Wiki entries relating to Biden -- before or after -- adequately described the full extent of his 1987 plagiarism, which included Kinnock at least one and probably several other times, and other plagiarizing of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Hubert Humphrey.
What Ms. Crabtree wrote follows. It includes some follow-up she did, which is in bold:
In the wake of Barack Obama officially becoming the first African-American presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, on Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith declared: "This day, August 28, is steeped in history. Barack Obama delivers his historic acceptance speech and 45 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his 'I Have A Dream" speech. August 28, 1963, hundreds of thousands of people came to Washington, D.C. They came to march for jobs, and for freedom, and for equality."
Smith went on to describe Obama as the culmination of all of King’s efforts: "Barack Obama was 2 years old when Dr. King shared his dream. In 2004, Obama burst on to the national scene with a speech that paid homage to King and those who came before him...Tonight Barack Obama will deliver another speech, loaded with history and promise. And expectations are high." Smith also got reaction from poet Maya Angelou: "I mean, we all know he's going to, in front of our very eyes, metamorphose into Martin Luther King -- not really, no. He has a different background. He has, I think, pretty much the same dream. I think he had the same dream that any leader has for her people, for his people." Smith responded by adding: "A dream that would become the American dream."
Smith then wondered: "And if Dr. King were alive today?" Angelou speculated: "It'd be a lot of 'I told you so, we could do this.' To America, not to blacks, not to whites, and not to Asians. But to Americans, 'I knew we could do this.' Amazing, these are really historic moments we're in."
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is "prickly" with the press, particularly Time magazine, reporters for the publication insist on the heels of a recent interview. Yet reporters for the same publication had a decidedly less confrontational chat last week with Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), although they did question if he was tough enough to topple McCain in November.
In the August 28 item, "McCain's Prickly TIME Interview," Time editors prefaced the transcript of James Carney and Michael Scherer's interview by lamenting McCain's less frequent engagement of the press as compared to his 2000 Republican primary run. They then insisted that McCain "quickly soured" and refused to "stray off message" during a Time interview:
McCain at first seemed happy enough to do the interview. But his mood quickly soured. The McCain on display in the 24-minute interview was prickly, at times abrasive, and determined not to stray off message.
By contrast, Time editors didn't add prefatory commentary to a relative soft August 20 interview, "Obama on His Veep Thinking" by Karen Tumulty and David von Drehle. That interview began with two questions on Obama's toughness, particularly from the perspective of nervous partisan Democrats:
At the top of the 8am half hour of Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith talked to former Hillary Clinton Press Secretary Lisa Caputo about Clinton’s convention speech: "Everybody in the Pepsi Center buzzing last night about Hillary Clinton's prime time speech...So did she accomplish what she set out to do?" Caputo responded: "She knew what she had to do. And I think in many respects she delivered beyond expectations. Certainly the news media had ramped up this so-called rift between the two camps, which was just not the case. And I think she really hit it out of the park last night."
Smith took exception to Caputo’s criticism of the media: "Although, we didn't make this up. I mean there was a sort of a sense from her, a little holding back, and she certainly was reluctant to get out of the race when it was clear that she was -- really wasn't going to get the nomination. So that was real." However, Caputo and Smith were back on the same page after she observed: "...you saw her really kind of take the gloves off last night, diplomatically, with Senator McCain. You know, 'no way, no how, no McCain' seems to be a great line-" Smith added: "There were some great lines. There were some great lines. And the Harriet Tubman – quoting Harriet Tubman was really the crescendo that just drove this place off the edge."
Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly cited the Media Research Center's latest special report, "Obama's Margin of Victory: The Media," in the midst of the "Unresolved Problems" segment for his August 26 program.:
There is no doubt that NBC News continues to be in the tank for Barack Obama. According to a Media Research Center study, NBC is the most lopsided network in favor of Barack. Pro-Obama reports outnumber negative Obama reports by 10-to-1 on NBC News, according to the study. Even some NBC News commentators recognize the corruption.
At that point O'Reilly's producers cut to video of MSNBC's Joe Scarborough scoffing at the notion that colleague David Shuster and others at MSNBC are strictly independent and non-partisan in their reporting. [See Mark Finkelstein's related post on that here.]
O'Reilly also cued video of CNN's Lou Dobbs complaining that his colleagues in the media are "in the tank" for the junior senator from Illinois. [See Noel Sheppard's August 25 blog post on that here.]
Speaking to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith asked: "But standing in this building...feeling the enthusiasm, don't you think Republicans have something to worry about?" Giuliani, who has been attending the Democratic convention and will give the keynote address at the Republican convention next week, replied: "No, I think Republicans are very heartened by this convention. Everything seems to have not gone the way they have planned it."
Giuliani went to describe Bill Clinton’s recent anonymous comparison of Hillary and Obama, suggesting Obama was not ready to be president: "...the fact is yesterday, Bill Clinton set up this equation that only Bill Clinton could do, about candidate 'Y' and candidate 'X.' I don't know if you heard that. He said candidate 'Y' is somebody you agree with completely, but don't think is prepared to be president. And candidate 'X' is somebody you agree with half the time but is prepared. Who would you vote for?" Apparently, Smith had not heard about the comment as he reacted with a surprised: "Wow."
Later, Smith asked about Giuliani’s upcoming speech at the Republican convention and managed to remark on how much he liked one of Hillary Clinton’s one-liners from her Tuesday night speech: "Let me ask you this question because, as your convention comes up next week in the twin cities, and I have to say, Hillary Clinton had a very funny line about that. You can't tell them apart, George Bush and John McCain, twins just like the twin cities. What do you think your most important job is next week? Because this election is as close as can be in terms of the polls."
"Obama art is not for mere mortals" reads the headline to Financial Times reporter Edward Luce's August 26 Denver Diary item. Luce described a shrine fit for pilgrimage by the likes of Chris Matthews or Lee Cowan, the so-called Manifest Hope gallery in Denver.:
The gallery, a few blocks from the convention centre, asked artists for their take on "unity, hope, patriotism, change and progress" and within two weeks it had received 1,500 submissions.
Among the icons of the Obamessiah one depicts the Illinois senator "bare-chested as he strides out of a rose-strewn ocean."
Luce concluded his squib by offering "[t]wo bits of advice for curators":
admit only the converted and conceal it from the candidate until the end of his second term. No mortal can survive this adulation.
Tuesday’s CBS Early Show praised Michelle Obama for meeting and surpassing high expectations with her Monday night speech at the Democratic convention, as co-host Julie Chen asked co-host Harry Smith: “...do you get the feeling that Michelle Obama accomplished what she set out to do? Because I definitely -- I definitely do, after watching from television -- you know, on television last night.” Smith replied: “Yeah, I think the bar was set pretty high and I think she went over that bar and probably then some.”
At the top of the show, Chen and co-host Maggie Rodriguez fawned over the speech, using the terms “compelling,” “impressive,” and “inspiring.” After Smith established that Obama had exceeded a “high bar,” Rodriguez mentioned Ted Kennedy’s speech as well and concluded that overall, “It was a special night for them. I think the Democrats should be very happy.”
Later, Smith discussed Obama’s speech with political analyst Jeff Greenfield and asked: “Talk about a bar set high for her to get over in terms of reintroducing herself to the American public.” Greenfield gave a glowing review of the speech: “So all of those stories -- this was a speech, that, if it were a painting, Norman Rockwell would have painted it. This is the American dream. This is what the American spirit is all about.”
"A forceful advocate for families and women" is often left-wing code for a politician who strongly supports abortion rights and opposes any restriction on abortion.
It's also how Fox News Channel's Chris Wallace characterized Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) as she sat down shortly after 12:30 p.m. EDT today to discuss Sen. Hillary Clinton's speech this evening and the role of Clinton supporters, particularly women, in making or breaking Democratic Party unity heading into the general election.
Boxer has a solid 100% approval rating from NARAL Pro Choice America and voted in recent years 30 out of 31 times with liberal feminist group NOW.
To be fair to Wallace, his designation of Boxer as an advocate for women and families followed immediately after colleague Jon Scott noted that August 26 marks the 88th anniversary of ratification of the 19th Amendment which secured in the U.S. Constitution a woman's right to vote.
All the same, Wallace could just as warmly welcomed and thanked Boxer for sitting down for a chat without parroting a left-wing euphemisms for the liberal feminist agenda.
In preparation for Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic convention, Monday’s CBS Early Show continued it’s fawning over the wife of the presidential candidate as co-host Harry Smith declared: "Michelle Obama steps out tonight to address the nation. Is she Barack's best asset?" The show featured three segments on Michelle Obama, two of which were complete fluff.
In the first segment, Bianca Solorzano looked at five things that people might not know about Michelle Obama: "Michelle Obama is known for her fashion-forward style, but when it comes to her style of eating, she likes good old-fashioned comfort food. We asked close friend and family confidant Valerie Jarrett to give us the inside scoop, beginning with Michelle's favorite food." Jarrett replied: "Oh, that's easy, French fries." Jarrett is of course an Obama campaign worker, in addition to being a "family confidant." It was also revealed that Michelle Obama exercises daily, her favorite singer is Stevie Wonder, and she watched the ‘Dick Van Dyke Show’ as a child. In June, the Early Show did a similar segment on Barack Obama and informed viewers that he "loves to play scrabble" but "does not like ice cream."
Solorzano went on to highlight how outspoken Michelle Obama is: "Another thing close to Michelle's heart -- honest views." A clip was played of Obama appearing on ABC’s The View claiming that: "People aren't used to strong women."
On Thursday’s CBS Early Show, correspondent Dean Reynolds reported on Barack Obama’s upcoming announcement of a running mate and also highlighted John McCain’s criticism of Obama’s foreign policy: "But McCain is seen by most voters as better on foreign policy and much more likely to be an effective commander-in-chief. That may explain why he's been hammering Obama on the Iraq war, all the while denying that he's calling Obama's patriotism into question."
On Tuesday’s CBS Evening News, Reynolds declared: "Obama is pivoting toward a more combative style, rebuking the Republicans for habitually turning differences over policy into questions about patriotism, a habit he said John McCain has readily embraced." Similar to Thursday’s Early Show comment, on Wednesday’s Evening News, Reynolds was skeptical of McCain denying to question Obama’s patriotism: "Yet the McCain campaign continues to run ads attacking Obama on a personal level, belittling him as a shallow celebrity and describing him as fussy, hysterical, or testy."
On Thursday’s Early Show, in addition to reporting on Obama being "on the verge of making his running mate announcement," Reynolds also described how McCain "keeps getting worried questions about his selection...fielding persistent questions about whether he or his running mate will be conservative enough." Reynolds went on to tout new poll numbers: "...according to our poll, McCain's supporters are less fervent than those who support Obama, who is also seen as better able to deal with domestic issues like the economy."
On Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith talked with former vice presidential candidate, and Hillary Clinton supporter, Geraldine Ferraro about Barack Obama’s VP pick: "And we have a special guest in the studio with us this morning. Geraldine Ferraro was the vice presidential running mate...for Walter Mondale just a couple of years ago...We'll see if Geraldine has some insight for us this morning." While Smith referred to Ferraro as a "special guest," on March 13 he described her "dark side," her "Archie Bunker side," after she suggested part of Obama’s popularity was due to him being black.
Despite those past insinuations of Ferraro being racist, Smith went on to get her predictions of possible VP picks for Obama, mentioning Joe Biden, Evan Bayh, and Kathleen Sebelius as contenders. Toward the end of the segment, Smith brought up Clinton, holding up a picture of the New York Senator: "Here's the one. Here's your pal." Ferraro confessed: "I love Hillary." Smith added: "Right. And here's the thing, among registered Democrats and among people going to the convention, she polls higher than anybody by a ton." Ferraro replied: "She does. You do recall that she got 18 million votes in the primary...I mean, there's a real reason. Because people feel very strongly that she would be an incredible leader. Now whether or not she would want something like that. I think she'd do whatever he wanted her to do."
"Daley scoffs at worries of political purge," reads a August 20 Chicago Sun-Times headline recording the dismissive reaction of the city's Democratic mayor about how his city worker firing spree could turn into a political purge. Only Daley's Democratic Party affiliation was nowhere mentioned in Fran Spielman's nine paragraph story:
Mayor Daley on Tuesday scoffed at a federal hiring monitor's demand for guarantees to prevent the threatened layoff of well over 1,000 city employees from turning into a political purge.
"A layoff is done because of union rules. I don't know where you get that" concern about firings based on politics, Daley told reporters after a firefighters graduation ceremony at Navy Pier.
For the second time in a month the CBS Early Show featured Mike Crowley, the editor of the liberal magazine New Republic, as a political analyst to speculate on vice presidential nominees for John McCain and Barack Obama. On Monday’s CBS Early Show, the focus was on Obama as co-host Harry Smith declared: "There's speculation that Barack Obama might choose his running mate sometime this week, before the Democratic Convention begins." On July 24, Smith and Crowley looked at McCain’s potential choices. One wonders when pundits from the Weekly Standard or National Review will be on to analyze the race.
Smith began Monday’s segment by wondering if Obama would pick Senator Joe Biden: "Joe Biden ascending." Crowley argued: "Joe Biden making a very interesting trip abroad to the country of Georgia, in the middle of this conflict with Russia right now. Really showing off his strong suit with his credentials, foreign policy, diplomacy. Knows a lot of foreign leaders." Smith also mentioned Senator Evan Bayh, to which Crowley added: "Straight out of central casting, Evan Bayh looks like, you know, if you could made a Hollywood movie about the guy who was going to be the vice president...he's a good politician." Both ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today also highlighted Biden and Bayh as leading VP contenders.
To his credit, Smith pointed out flaws in each as well. On Biden, he worried: "Too volatile? Too much of a wild card? He can stick his foot in his mouth." On Bayh, Smith asked: "Does anybody outside of Indiana know who he is?"
On Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez talked to People magazine correspondent Sandra Westfall, who recently interviewed friends and family of Elizabeth Edwards who: "...wanted to put out there that she wasn't this wind-up doll that went on stage and let the campaign continue out of some sort of craven ambition, but that she really was going through a lot of anguish." That despite the fact that Elizabeth Edwards went along with the cover up of her husband’s affair throughout his presidential campaign.
Rodriguez described Westfall as someone "who has a close relationship with the Edwards’" and asked: "What was the most important thing they wanted to convey on her behalf?" Westfall explained: "I think that she had hoped that her statement on Friday night would be the end of it for her and was surprised and a little taken aback by how many questions already came up." Later, Westfall elaborated: "...she thought her forgiving him should be enough for everybody else and she was unprepared for the amount of disgust and how swiftly everything else he had done in his career would be wiped away. And that she's really reeling from that and afraid for what it will do to their legacy as a couple and what their children will inherit."
In response to Rodriguez asking: "when did she [Elizabeth Edwards] really find out?," Westfall explained: "The campaign had already gone through its official launch. They were in the middle of this tour. And she felt sort of trapped...He was a candidate. And then he drops this bombshell on her. And only in pieces. He told the truth slowly. So she, you know, didn't have all the information to make the decision right away and she was in shock."
Near the end of Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith talked to film maker Rory Kennedy about her latest documentary on the career of left-wing White House reporter Helen Thomas: "We're going to talk to Rory Kennedy, director of a new documentary about the legendary journalist." Smith began the segment by declaring: "Veteran print journalist Helen Thomas has been covering the White House since 1961, when John F. Kennedy was president. And now there's a new documentary honoring her decades of extraordinary work, called, ‘Thank You, Mr. President.’"
Smith asked Kennedy, the daughter of Robert Kennedy, about her decision to do the documentary: "Why pick Helen Thomas?" Kennedy replied: "She's been covering nine administrations, she's been at the front row of the White House. And she has extraordinary insight into these presidents. And she's also an extraordinary journalist." Smith later commented: "Where she sits and what she does day after day after day, I'm not sure we value enough."
Some of Thomas’s "value" and "extraordinary work" can be seen by her comments in 2002 while speaking at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: "I censored myself for 50 years....Now I wake up and ask myself, ‘Who do I hate today?’...I have never covered a President who actually wanted to go to war. Bush’s policy of pre-emptive war is immoral – such a policy would legitimize Pearl Harbor. It’s as if they learned none of the lessons from Vietnam....Where is the outrage?" In 2003, Thomas remarked at a Society for Professional Journalism banquet that: "This is the worst President ever. He [George W. Bush] is the worst President in all of American history."
Detroit's embattled mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, a superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention, is holding out the possibility that he'll actually be able to go to Denver this month. In other words, the "hip-hop mayor" could get a new nickname: the Most Unwanted Man at the convention. (Besides maybe John Edwards.)
So you can imagine the ire of union leaders when politically connected bureaucrats are getting bonuses despite a whopping $425 million shortfall. Surely the Tribune would dutifully note the Democratic party affiliation of the city's chief executive.
Of course not.
Now, I've heard it all before: "Ken, this is Chicago, it goes without saying the city is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the Democratic Party."
But be that as it may, doesn't it behoove the city's newspapers to report the party affiliation of elected officials, particularly in stories that involve the compensation of politically-connected bureaucrats? Do major metropolitan city newspapers owe it to their readers to report, rather than assume readers know, the political affiliations of elected officials reported on in a negative light?
Following a segment on John Edwards possibly paying hush money to mistress Rielle Hunter, a later segment on Wednesday’s CBS Early Show previewed an interview with Hunter’s sister by Entertainment Tonight’s Thea Andrews: "I sat down with Rielle Hunter's sister, Roxanne Druck Marshall. Roxanne is older by 18 months and she says the two sisters were very close, practically raised as twins. But now Roxanne is hurt and embarrassed by her sister's behavior." Andrews went on to ask Marshall: "Having an affair with someone whose wife has cancer-" Marshall interjected: "-and knowing it, and know -- I mean. And not just knowing it, the whole world knows it. There's no way. I don't know what they were thinking."
Andrews followed up by asking: "Do you think your sister thought about his wife Elizabeth?" Marshall replied: "Apparently not. She obviously didn't think or care enough to stop the relationship." Marshall later commented on the speculation of Edwards making payments to Hunter: "He's, you know, saying, 'oh, I'll take a paternity test.' And then the next day Rielle issues a statement, 'I'm never going to take a paternity test.' Well, isn't that a coincidence? That's very ironic, great coincidence. I just want John Edwards to come clean, tell the truth, and let's get it over with."
While ABC’s Good Morning America suspended its coverage of the John Edwards scandal following reporting on Monday, the CBS Early Show continued to cover the affair for a third consecutive day on Wednesday. Even NBC’s Today, covering the Olympics in Beijing, managed stories on Edwards on both Monday and Wednesday. Considering it was during an interview on ABC’s Nigthline on Friday that Edwards confessed to cheating on his wife, it is interesting that GMA was outdone in covering the story.
On Wednesday, the Early Show looked at the money trail leading from Edwards to his mistress, Rielle Hunter, as co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared: "We will also talk about new bombshell revelations in the John Edwards affair, including claims that he did know his mistress was being paid and that he rekindled the affair after confessing to his wife." The segment began with a report by correspondent Bianca Solorzano: "According to the National Enquirer, the publication that first broke the story of John Edwards' extramarital affair, Edwards was aware of payments being made to his former mistress Rielle Hunter, something he denied on Friday...The allegations could not only have legal ramifications, it would shed considerable doubt on Edwards' other denial, that he fathered Miss Hunter's child."
On Sunday’s Face the Nation on CBS, host Bob Schieffer talked about John McCain’s latest campaign ads with Republican strategist Karl Rove and quoted previous guest Tim Kaine, the Democratic Governor of Virginia: "But what about John McCain? At this point, as Governor Kaine said, Obama's running positive ads and John McCain is running ads about...Paris Hilton and that sort of thing...What he called the same old Karl Rove ads...Can you get elected president that way?"
In response, Rove argued that Obama started the negative trend: "I would make the argument that part of the reason why Senator Obama is in the shape he is in today is because he's failed to run a positive campaign. He's run a negative campaign." Schieffer immediately brushed that charge aside: "What do you think John McCain ought to do -- I want to get back to my question, can you get elected when the thrust of your campaign seems to be comparing the other guy to sort of an empty suit, Paris Hilton-type celebrity? Doesn't it have to go beyond that?"
Surprisingly, the CBS Early Show continued to report on the John Edwards scandal on Tuesday, as co-host Maggie Rodriguez talked to a friend of Edwards’s mistress: "Edwards claims it was a brief liaison, but that's not how a friend of [Rielle] Hunter's remembers it." At one point in the interview, Rodriguez asked that friend, Pigeon O’Brien, about media characterizations of Hunter: "She's been portrayed as this Fatal Attraction-like woman who was semi-stalking him, madly in love, delusional, talking bad about his wife. The woman that you claim to know for 20 years, does that ring true?" Of course "semi-stalking" seemed to be how co-host Harry Smith described Hunter on Monday’s show: "This woman in question has a very interesting history...knowing her as this kind of bar fly who had this kind of crazy past... From reading everything I read it seemed to me that she targeted Edwards."
In response to Rodriguez’s question, O’Brien criticized those portraying Hunter in such a manner:
Not at all. It couldn't be further from the truth. It -- and that's one reason why I'm speaking to people like you. It really bothers me, what they're saying about her. It could not be further from the truth...It does not ring true that she would ever stalk somebody. They were very mutually engaged in this affair. I can't stress that enough. It was a mutual committed relationship and he persuaded her to believe so.