Didn't someone get the word to Ray Nagin? Didn't His Honor know he was supposed to use his Mardi Gras appearance on the Today show to bemoan slow progress in the rebuilding of New Orleans and take some helpful shots at the Bush administration for its stinginess in allocating only $91 billion?
If Nagin wasn't playing by the Bush-bashing script, Katie Couric was there to fill the gaps and use the opportunity to plump for more government programs including an expansion of perhaps the worst idea ever in welfare - 'public housing.'
Katie opened her interview with this negative assessment: "Only 50% of the debris has been removed. Basic services are still not up and running in some areas. That may lead some people to ask: what is taking so long?"
Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise took apart Bryant Gumbel's racial trash-talking about the Winter Olympics in Friday's paper as I hoped a sports writer would. (Although you could grumble that it would have more punch on the front page of Sports instead of the top of the Olympics section on E-11, But let's face it, on the test of its newness, we're all writing about "earlier this month" instead of "last night.") Wise began by noting that in sports TV, Gumbel was a racial pioneer in a pretty white sportscasting bastion, much like speed skater Shani Davis or bobsledder Vonetta Flowers, and then followed up:
Gumbel has a right not to like the Winter Olympics. He can trash curlers, lugers and snowboard-crossers all he wants. But who made him arbiter of all things culturally diverse? Superimposing your own idea of diversity upon athletes from 80 different nations, essentially equating diversity with only race, is just inane.
On Monday night's Countdown, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann devoted a segment to Bryant Gumbel's race-baiting admonition on HBO, about the Winter Olympics, to “try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention." Olbermann aired a video clip of Gumbel playing "an unusual race card," and given its blurry nature and tinny sound, as well as how it exactly matched what was posted last week on NewsBusters, I'd bet the MSNBC producers lifted it from that Web-quality posting.
When the video ended, Olbermann reported that “as the transcript of that inched its way around the Internet, Gumbel was attacked by far-right bloggers.” Though the NewsBusters posting was quite critical of Gumbel, Olbermann cited how “a writer at the right-wing Web site NewsBusters noted Gumbel's remarks 'perfectly sums up my feelings regarding the Olympics.'” Olbermann also suggested Gumbel was either vindicated or somewhat undermined over the weekend when Shani Davis won “the gold in the men's thousand meter speed skating, the first African-American ever to win a gold in an individual Winter Olympic event.” (Transcript follows.)
Mainstream media coverage of Bryant Gumbel's denigrating remark on the racial makeup of the Winter Olympcs has been scant. The host of HBO's "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel" said:
"Try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention."
Gumbel's statement on white athletes is more direct than Rush Limbaugh's statement about black quarterbacks in 2003, when discussing black Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. Said Limbaugh on ESPN:
"The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."
"Finally, tonight, the Winter Games. Count me among those who don’t like them and won’t watch them ... Because they’re so trying, maybe over the next three weeks we should all try too. Like, try not to be incredulous when someone attempts to link these games to those of the ancient Greeks who never heard of skating or skiing. So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention. Try not to point out that something’s not really a sport if a pseudo-athlete waits in what’s called a kiss-and-cry area, while some panel of subjective judges decides who won ... So if only to hasten the arrival of the day they’re done, when we can move on to March Madness — for God’s sake, let the games begin."
Is George Bush a slave owner? Viewers of this past Friday’s Inside Washington on PBS, may think so. Washington Post Columnist Colby King inferred as much saying:
Colby King: "They were supposed to behave because Masta [sic] was in the house? I mean come on."
The discussion pertained to the politicization of the funeral of Coretta Scott King, and Colby King and Dana Priest, a reporter for the Washington Post, were determined to defend the gratuitous rudeness of some of the speakers who thought it was appropriate to take political shots at President Bush. Their arguments were weak, ranging from politics at the funeral was expected:
On the Washington Post op-ed page today, Colbert King snidely protests the conservative feeling that liberals turned the Coretta Scott King funeral into a bit of whooping political theater. "The fuss over the funeral is probably the silliest snit of all."
King raised several straw men. First, how could you expect a funeral for a political icon like Coretta not to raise issues of racism, poverty, and war? (But we didn't expect it to be free of political themes. We did expect it to be free of whooping ovations of sentences that seemed designed to embarrass the President as he sat there.) Second, he claims this is the way black Baptist funerals are. (But the "mourners" were not worshiping Jesus, saying Amen to their Lord in loud voices. They were whooping at liberal anti-Bush sentiments. If that's a black Baptist funeral, then it IS as much a campaign event as a religious event.) King concludes:
MediaBistro's FishBowl DC bloggers, Garrett Graff and Patrick Gavin, posted an internal Washington Post report on racial diversity at the newspaper. The January 26 cover letter to newsroom staff from top editors -- Executive Editor Len Downie, Managing Editor Phil Bennett, and Deputy Managing Editor Milton Coleman -- boasted of increased diversity in hiring: "Through determined recruiting, we have increased the number of minority journalists working in our newsroom to an all-time high of 152, which is 23.5 percent of our professional staff. The two percent increase from 21.4 percent at the end of 2004 is the largest ever."
But the real dirt in the 30-plus page report is the testimony of anonymous Post reporters. This one sticks out for me, on page 5: "One person noted an anti-religion bias in the newsroom. When referring to the faithful, 'the word of choice around here is "kooks".'This same person felt offended during the recent coverage of the Pope’s death, when some of her colleagues, she said, were mocking the Pope. 'I was [too] intimidated to complain, even since my editor was part of it, so I got up and left. Faith is derided.'" Other reporters complained:
Ken Shepherd forwarded to me another piece of evidence that the NAACP has thrown its old attempted bipartisan stance, last seen in the Benjamin Hooks era, out the window. Reporter Hazel Trice Edney, a Washington correspondent for the National Newspaper Publishers Association ("The Black Press of America"), has this report in the Baltimore Times and other papers:
Although the head of the Republican National Committee and President George W. Bush have pledged to make a more concentrated effort to win over Black voters, 98 percent of Republicans in the House and Senate earned an F on the latest NAACP Civil Rights Report Card, compared to only 2 percent of Democrats receiving failing grades...
Lizette Alvarez reports from Denver Thursday on the Army’s drive to recruit more Hispanics in “With Charm and Enticements, Army Is Drawing Hispanic Recruits, and Criticism.”
She paints the drive in a negative light:
“In Denver and other cities where the Hispanic population is growing, recruiting Latinos has become one of the Army's top priorities. From 2001 to 2005, the number of Latino enlistments in the Army rose 26 percent, and in the military as a whole, the increase was 18 percent. The increase comes at a time when the Army is struggling to recruit new soldiers and when the enlistment of African-Americans, a group particularly disillusioned with the war in Iraq, has dropped off sharply, to 14.5 percent from 22.3 percent over the past four years.
Some speakers at Tuesday's memorial service near Atlanta for Coretta King used the opportunity to blast from the left the racial, budget and foreign policies of President George W. Bush, who was himself amongst the speakers. Yet Wednesday's NBC Nightly News managed to turn the event into an indictment of Bush and imaginary “deep cuts” in social programs, without mentioning the vitriolic hatred directed toward him by the very black organizations and leaders NBC's Andrea Mitchell suggested he has snubbed. Anchor Brian Williams noted how the service included “criticisms of President Bush's domestic and foreign policies.” But then he framed the story around how it supposedly “raised fresh questions about the Bush administration's record on race.”
Mitchell began with a back-handed slap at Bush: "It was an in-your-face rebuke rare for any President, especially one who doesn't often surround himself with critics." Mitchell at least pointed out how Andrew Young considered it an inappropriate forum for attacking a President, before she recited Bush's mistakes: “After five years in office, deep cuts in social programs, and searing criticism of the response to Hurricane Katrina, George W. Bush is still struggling to explain himself to African-Americans.” Of course, there haven't even been mild cuts in social programs, never mind Mitchell's ludicrous claim about “deep cuts.” Mitchell also relayed how “critics, often Democrats, remember that he has not attended an NAACP convention since taking office.” Maybe that's because a few months after he attended one in 2000, the NAACP produced a TV ad narrated by the daughter of James Byrd, the black man murdered by being dragged behind a pick-up truck, which charged that since “Governor George W. Bush refused to support hate crimes legislation, it was like my father was killed all over again.” And Mitchell also skipped how just last week NAACP Chairman Julian Bond alleged that the Republicans' “idea of equal rights is the American flag and the Confederate swastika flying side-by-side" and he asserted that “Republicans draw their most rabid supporters from the Taliban wing of American politics." (Transcript follows, as well as video of the 2000 NAACP ad)
In part of their coverage of the Coretta Scott King funeral this morning, ABC focused on the attention paid to Hillary Clinton and her 2008 presidential prospects and how "Republicans are scared." ABC's Jake Tapper was able to bring in RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman suggesting on "This Week" that she wouldn't do well because she's an "angry candidate" and then former NPR reporter Mary Ann Akers (now of the Capitol Hill paper Roll Call) fussed that dredges up old Hillary stereotypes. His most colorful language is that everything Hillary does is "dissected like a cadaver on CSI." His evidence was a New York Daily News story focusing on a new ring her husband gave her.
But Tapper did not focus on another New York paper whose coverage of Hillary has been ignored by most. Even I missed the chance to harp on her appearance in San Francisco at the end of January in that "interview with Jane Pauley" fundraiser for the local bar association. The New York Sun reported she had some nasty things to imply about Republicans and black voters (which might have been MORE topical after the King funeral yesterday). Apparently, Team Bush is delaying hurricane aid for political gain, a "deliberate policy of neglect," she claimed:
The Washington Post downplayed the Wellstone-funeral elements of yesterday's funeral for Coretta Scott King. The front-page article by Darryl Fears had a bland celebratory headline, and as the article jumped off the front page, Fears claimed "The six-hour service, held in a lavish black church in the wealthy, majority-black Atlanta suburb of DeKalb County, seemed to strive mightily to project a theme of inclusion and the setting aside of political differences."
Riiiiiight. His evidence? "Politically charged" speakers like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton did not speak. But he soon noted Joseph Lowery's crack about weapons of mass destruction. "Still, political tensions occasionally burst through the veneer of reconciliation." But a few paragraphs later, Fears included Sharpton among the "civil rights legends" in attendance:
James Taranto at Opinion Journal reports today that Fayetteville (N.C.) State University officials have reviewed a tape of Julian Bond's wild remarks there last week, as reported by World Net Daily, and determined it was not completely accurate: "Based on the review, it was determined that nowhere during Bond's speech was reference made to the Nazi Party, nor was the word 'token' used." Taranto elaborates on a conversation with FSU public relations director Jeffery Womble:
We phoned Mr. Womble this morning, and he told us that FSU disputes the WND account only on these two points. That means the following elements are undisputed:
-- "Calling President Bush a liar, Bond told the audience at the historically black institution that this White House's lies are more serious than the lies of his predecessor's because Clinton's lies didn't kill people."
On the heels of CNN pledging $100,000 to the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association, CNN has now pledged $50,000 to the Native American Journalists Association. Are they liberal "diversity" czars? Yep. Redskins fans in particular can read their "Reading Red Report 2003: A Call for the News Media to Recognize Racism in Sports Team Nicknames and Mascots." (Enjoy the comparison of using the Redskins name to the description of grotesque fatal "splattering" head injuries.)
This is good news," NAJA President Mike Kellogg (Navajo) said. "NAJA awarded more than $25,000 in scholarships last year and each year we see more requests from students. We're delighted that in the coming years we'll be able to help more of our future broadcasters."
Tonight President Bush will deliver his annual State of the Union Address, and Harry Smith of the "Early Show" previewed the speech this morning. Smith interviewed Dan Bartlett, Counselor to the President in the 7:00 half hour and Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) in the 7:30 half hour. There were stark differences in the tone Smith took with each of his guests, and in the amount of time allotted to each. Bartlett was on the program for only 3 minutes, and fielded 3 questions, while Senator Kennedy was given 7 minutes to answer four, two of which related to the passing of Coretta Scott King, the widow of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Following a routine introduction of Dan Bartlett, Harry Smith asked some tough questions which in itself is not bias, but when that is combined with the negative tone that was taken and compared to the way Senator Kennedy was treated, it raises questions about fairness. The following are Smith’s questions for Bartlett.
Following up on Tim Graham's NewsBusters report on a Washington Post article about a study claiming "that supporters of President Bush and other conservatives had stronger self-admitted and implicit biases against blacks than liberals did," I have a few questions I wish the Post story had answered.
Here's three paragraphs from the article, explaining that study. As you read them, ask yourself: Does the conclusion of paragraph three follow from what is said in paragraphs one and two?
For their study, Nosek, Banaji and social psychologist Erik Thompson culled self-acknowledged views about blacks from nearly 130,000 whites, who volunteered online to participate in a widely used test of racial bias that measures the speed of people's associations between black or white faces and positive or negative words. The researchers examined correlations between explicit and implicit attitudes and voting behavior in all 435 congressional districts.
On the Monday "Science" page of the Washington Post, reporter Shankar Vedantam offers the liberal Post readership some comforting news: studies show conservative voters are motivated by racism. That's not in the first paragraph. It sneaks in about halfway through the article, and explains the headline "Study Ties Political Leanings to Hidden Biases."
[T]hat study found that supporters of President Bush and other conservatives had stronger self-admitted and implicit biases against blacks than liberals did.
"What automatic biases reveal is that while we have the feeling we are living up to our values, that feeling may not be right," said University of Virginia psychologist Brian Nosek, who helped conduct the race analysis. "We are not aware of everything that causes our behavior, even things in our own lives."
Gawker.com reports Rolling Stone is printing a magazine with Kanye West as a black Jesus on the cover: "The Passion of Kanye West." First impression: typical counter-cultural aging-hippie mag. Second impression: hey, so why are they also plugging a mock-the-religious-right story on "God's Senator?" Will they get a clue about the cognitive dissonance?
Here's your media bias test: will "Today" give outraged Christians a chance to fuss at the idea that a rapper whose "persecution" has only led to gold er, "records" should feel crucified like Christ? On March 21, 1997, Matt Lauer devoted a segment to outrage at National Review. As we reported at the time:
This year’s Martin Luther King Day celebration was a wild and woolly collection of left-wing blather.
In Washington, showing remarkable feats of amnesia that he was ever vice president in a corrupt administration, Al Gore gave a speech claiming President Bush was a law-breaking president and his illegal actions a threat to the survival of our democracy, an extraordinary accusation for even this man to make, given the same policies were executed by the Clinton-Gore administration.
In New Orleans, Mayor Ray Nagin announced that God wanted New Orleans to be a “chocolate” city again. When challenged that this might make him sound like a little racist, he dug a deeper hole by claiming whites were the milk in his milk-chocolate shake.
Even in this stew of silliness, Hillary Rodham Clinton still managed to draw headlines for herself by marching into a Baptist church with Al Sharpton in Harlem and giving a fiery speech. First, Hillary sounded the same Clinton-amnesia notes as Gore, charging that President Bush’s team was historically filled with corrupt cronies, that his presidency "will go down in history as one of the worst.” But with Sharpton proudly looking on, she threw the race card on the table with a big, noisy thwack. “When you look at the way the House of Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation, and you know what I'm talking about.” Bush is not only incompetent. Dennis Hastert is a slave master. Laura Bush was right. It was “ridiculous.”
Q: How does a lefty media maven know he's gone off the deep end?
A. When even fellow liberal Jane Hall laughs at him.
Neal Gabler should take the lesson to heart, because that's exactly what befell him on tonight's Fox Media Watch. The subject matter was the media's handling of Hillary's 'Plantation Declaration'. Jane began with a surprisingly candid assessment of Clinton and her presidential ambitions:
"She's clearly running for President and I think the media should quit going around that fact. She's tiptoeing around that fact. The question I have was whether [her plantation remark] was spontaneous or planned. She's been so planned - that's what she's been known for. [She might have given an impromptu answer to a question] but if she reached for the race card, then that's a different context."
Via Gateway Pundit, I learned WCBS political reporter Marcia Kramer added some local color to the Canaan Baptist Church event where Hillary Clinton pandered to Al Sharpton's crowd on MLK Day. The national media obviously didn't give their audience the radical flavor of this gathering. Pat Robertson isn't half the GOP power broker he was 15 years ago, but Sharpton's standing right next to Hillary and no one's noting the agenda of his camp and wondering how it will affect Hillary's supposed "centrist" image:
But Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who like Suozzi, wants to be governor, didn't get off any easier. He was asked to support the reinstatement of Tawana Brawley lawyer Alton Maddox's law license. And there was this question: “There are at least 12 political prisoners in New York State who were members of the black liberation army and the black party for 30 years...Are you open to reviewing their cases?"
There were tough questions to politicians who feel they must attend the event as much to pay homage to Sharpton as to celebrate Dr. King's legacy. Sen. Hillary Clinton, who had launched into an impassioned attack on the Bush administration...actually got an easy question. “I need you to tell us what distinguishes Democrats from Republicans right now,” she was asked.
Trying to put out the fire that Hillary's "plantation" remark started, Dem strategist and Harvard Kennedy School lecturer Elaine Kamarck might unintentionally have added fuel to it in a just-completed Fox News interview with host Bob Sellers.
In fairness, Kamarck, pictured here, an advisor on the Gore 2000 campaign, did not unequivocally defend Hillary's comments, even saying that she personally would not have used the 'p' word.
But in defending the thrust of Clinton's remarks, Kamarck stuck her foot in it. She said:
"Plantations were terrible places where people were forced into doing certain jobs. But at least they were doing jobs."
When Republican leader Trent Lott made racially insensitive remarks, the MSM was immediately flooded with speculation as to whether he could survive in his political leadership post.
But when Hillary Clinton did the same, the Today show portrayed her as going on the offense, not being on the defense.
You might have imagined Today's graphic for this morning's segment would have read along the lines "Hillary Feeling the Heat". Imagine again. In fact it read "Off and Running? Hillary Attacks GOP." Offense, not defense.
Today also conveniently failed to mention that her 'plantation' comment was made in church. Even the New York Times was constrained to acknowledge that her remarks came at "the Canaan Baptist Church of Christ in Harlem."
Leave it to Keith Olbermann to rationalize Hillary Clinton's comparison of the Republican-controlled Congress to a plantation, a comparison she made during what should have been a celebration of the civil rights movement. On his January 17 Countdown show, the MSNBC host argued that because former House Speaker Newt Gingrich once compared the Democratic-controlled Congress to a plantation, a comment that had nothing to do with any racial issue, that reaction from the GOP in criticizing Clinton was perhaps "too swift," as he implied that the Republicans live in a "glass house." Olbermann asked Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne if there was "a rush to be holier-than-thou" by Republicans.
Apparently even Chris Matthews has his limits when it comes to swallowing Dem BS. The proof came on tonight's Hardball, when Matthews clearly wasn't buying Al Sharpton's transparently lame defense of Hillary Clinton's allegation, at an MLK Day event, that "the House of Representatives has been run like a plantation, and you know what I'm talking about."
Sharpton's theater of the absurd reached its apotheosis when he claimed that Hillary "did not make the comments at a Harlem church". Even the New York Times had to admit that she had spoken in "at the Canaan Baptist Church of Christ in Harlem," and Hardball rolled footage of her speaking at a lectern in the church draped with fabric decorated with a cross.
The Times commemorates Martin Luther King day in its usual way, making it a Bush-bashing holiday.
Back in 2004, reporter Jeffrey Gettleman lit into Bush for going to Atlanta to mark the day. Here are some excerpts from his January 15, 2004 report:
"Many of Atlanta's civil-rights leaders are outraged about Mr. Bush's planned visit to commemorate Dr. King's 75th birthday and are using the occasion for protests. Already, they have marched with bullhorns, signs and thumping drums, shouting for the president to stay away....Many demonstrators asked how Mr. Bush, who pushed for war in Iraq, could champion Dr. King, who stood for nonviolent resistance....When President Clinton came in 1996, he received a standing ovation. But this presidential visit will be different. It seems to have lifted the lid on long-simmering anger many blacks feel toward Mr. Bush. Some Bush policies, including tax cuts mainly benefiting those with higher incomes and cutting back on welfare-type programs, have alienated black voters, analysts say."
Wishy washy mayor Ray Nagin said hurricanes are messages that God is mad at us for being in Iraq, and that New Orleans will be "chocolate" again (is that what you call it?) Don't worry, the media will only portray Pat Robertson as crazy for purporting to know what God is thinking.
Al Gore is on a rampage claiming that George Bush is a criminal for
Judging by her comments on this morning's Fox & Friends, a five-week hiatus to attend to a detached retina has done nothing to mollify Ellen Ratner's malice. Only the bitterest of partisans would have said this, as did Ratner, of Mrs. Alito's very public distress at her husband's treatment at the hands of Senate Dems:
"Washington is a tough game. If you cannot play it, you shouldn't be in it."
Perhaps realizing that she had pushed the acrimony meter too far, Ratner added some boiler plate about "feeling sorry" for Mrs. Alito. But the cat was already out of the bag as to what was truly in Ratner's heart.
Readers will no doubt recall the hysteria from the mainstream media and anti-death penalty forces on the left over the execution of Stanley’s "Tookie" Williams last month.
Countless articles were written bemoaning Tookie’s loss and news anchors spoke glowingly of his supposed contributions to ending gang violence. That Tookie himself was the founder of the notorious "Crips" gang, responsible for so much murder and mayhem over the years, didn’t seem to enter into the equation. Neither did the four people he murdered in cold blood.
Now California’s next execution is scheduled for Tuesday, January 17, with multiple murderer Clarence Ray Allen doing the honors. As Allen’s execution approaches, one has to wonder when all the hoopla will commence? We're all waiting for the liberal glitterati to come out and show their support.