It never ceases to amaze that Oliver Stone thinks Ronald Reagan was a dunce. When it comes to judging iron-fisted dictators and anti-American despots, Oliver Stone is the intellectually incurious simpleton. He thinks Reagan was stupid because he clung to an all-encompassing ideology. But so does Stone. He thinks every evil in the world came from corporations, especially American corporations, including those he uses to make himself millions.
How else would you explain the (new) mess Stone (again) has made as he prepares a 10-part documentary for Showtime on "The Secret History of America," including evaluations of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. In an interview with the Sunday Times of London, Stone declared Hitler was a monster, but he was apparently still America's fault: "Hitler was a Frankenstein but there was also a Doctor Frankenstein," Stone said. "German industrialists, the Americans and the British. He had a lot of support."
"Hollywood may shun Mel Gibson for his anti-Semitic ravings, but the right wing in George Bush's increasingly hate-filled America won't," wrote Salon.com's Neal Gabler on August 1, 2006, four days after Mel Gibson was arrested for drunkenly spewing anti-Semitic hatred to a police officer.
Fast-forward to 2010. It's been three days since director Oliver Stone churned out similarly disturbing anti-Jewish rhetoric to the Sunday Times, and many of Gibson's most prominent critics on the left - including Salon.com - still haven't issued a word of condemnation about Stone's comments.
Similarly, the network news shows have ignored Stone's remarks, despite their wall-to-wall coverage of Gibson's reprehensible diatribe in 2006. The media blitz over Gibson's comments began the day after his arrest with ABC's World News Saturday, and continued non-stop on ABC, NBC and CBS until Aug. 4, 2006.
With recent controversial race topics entering the spotlight, such as the voter intimidation incident and Shirley Sherrod story, the media has been more than willing to open their arms and turn on their cameras to hear the opining of the National Chairman of the New Black Panther Party, Malik Zulu Shabazz. Shabazz has appeared on Fox News, issued a statement through CNN, and done exclusive interviews for various media outlets.
The Anti-Defamation League has described Shabazz as anti-Semitic and racist, trying "to recast himself as a serious civil rights leader in recent years by cloaking his bigotry and intolerance in religious and civil rights principles and inserting himself in high profile, racially charged issues around the country." This certainly seems to be the case as he has made an increasing number of appearances in the media, in which the audience is to suspend belief and assume this man is an evenhanded voice on race relations in America.
In fact, Shabazz used his statement at CNN to accuse the ‘Republican or right wing tea party strategists' of ‘stir(ing) up racial fears'.
Director Oliver Stone belittled the Holocaust during a shocking interview with the Sunday Times today, claiming that America's focus on the Jewish massacre was a product of the "Jewish domination of the media."
The director also defended Hitler and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and railed against the "powerful lobby" of Jews in America.
Stone said that his upcoming Showtime documentary series "Secret History of America," seeks to put Hitler and Communist dictator Joseph Stalin "in context."
"Hitler was a Frankenstein but there was also a Dr Frankenstein. German industrialists, the Americans and the British. He had a lot of support," Stone told reporter Camilla Long during the interview, which can be found behind the paywall on the Sunday Times' website.
Author Frank Schaeffer, son of the late prominent theologian Francis Schaeffer, can't seem to find anything good about evangelical Christians.
In his latest blog on the Huffington Post, Schaeffer criticized evangelicals' support of Israel. "Some of the nuttiest American religious leaders today (and in the past) have latched on to one form or another of Christian Zionism," he said.
"To put it mildly, the evangelical theological/biblical ‘reasons' have deformed US policy and made America act against self interest," Schaeffer wrote. "This has also harmed the state of Israel."
Schaeffer suggested that so-called Christian Zionists "would rather see an innocent Jewish or Palestinian child blown up in a rocket attack as long as the ‘Promised Land' is ‘fully reclaimed' to fulfill their harebrained ideas of biblical prophecy."
During an interview on CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday, Rabbi David Nesenoff, known for exposing Helen Thomas’s anti-Semitic views, informed viewers that, up until now, he has considered himself to be a liberal Democrat – who even opposed the Iraq War and supported Barack Obama – but now asserts that "I have to really reevaluate liberal and conservative and really find out where I stand because I think I've been a little blind."
As Nesenoff recounted that he had previously agreed with Thomas in her opposition to the war in Iraq, and her challenging of President Bush on the matter, he now sees himself as unknowingly being allied with people who think that "Israel and the Jewish people don't have a connection." Before being interrupted by host Howard Kurtz, Nesenoff began to explain his evolution of thought:
They’re accusing me of being some right-wing ambusher, and it really rocked my world because I have to reevaluate my life and my standing in the agendas because, yeah, I’m a New York Democrat Jewish liberal supporter of Obama, donated to his candidacy for a year, said give him a chance ... watched all these liberal media, and now I have to reevaluate ... I have to now speak to people with all different agendas because if I was part of a team where their agenda was that Israel and the Jewish people don’t have a connection – which is exactly what Helen Thomas said – there’s no connection, why are they even there-
On Friday’s Countdown show, after having decided not to include Helen Thomas as a nominee in his "Worst Person" segment for her anti-Semitic declaration that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go home" to Germany and Poland, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann included Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace in his "Worst Person" segment for suggesting that it would be "poetic justice" if Fox News were to be given her seat in the White House briefing room.
Olbermann went on to claim that FNC personalities are guilty of making comments that are similarly racist as compared to Thomas’s attack on Israeli Jews: "Wallace thus implying that a far right entity that occasionally says indefensible and even racist things should replace a far left entity that occasionally said indefensible and even racist things."
On Wednesday’s Countdown show, Olbermann had similarly found a reason to include as a nominee in his "Worst Person" segment the rabbi who exposed Thomas’s anti-Semitism, even though Thomas herself was never featured in the segment.
It's not just members of the media standing up to support disgraced journalist Helen Thomas after her unscheduled retirement caused by anti-Semitic remarks she made on camera last week.
The rabbi that caught her disgusting comments on videotape and put them on the Internet has received 25,000 hate-email messages - and counting.
Hours after MSNBC's Keith Olbermann actually called Rabbi David Nesenoff one of his "Worst Persons in the World," CBS-TV in New York reported the vicious electronic attacks streaming into the rabbi's inbox like a "ticker tape" (video follows with partial transcript, h/t HotAirPundit):
On Wednesday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann included Rabbi David Nesenoff – famous for exposing Helen Thomas’s anti-Semitic beliefs in a video of her posted on his Web site – for inclusion in his "Worst Person in the World" segment because Rabbi Nesenoff’s site also includes a video which the MSNBC host viewed as being racist toward Mexicans.
As he explained who Nesenoff is, Olbermann also misstated the severity of Thomas’s declaration that Israeli Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine," as many in the pro-Palestinian movement consider all of Israel to be part of "Palestine." But Olbermann suggested that she was only referring to Israeli Jews who live in settlements in the Palestinian territories: "Runner up, Rabbi David Nesenoff. He is the man who precipitated the end of Helen Thomas’s career, got the video of her saying Israelis in settlements in Palestine should go home to Poland and Germany and the U.S. It was sad. It was narrow minded. I can`t defend it. On the other hand, Rabbi Nesenoff doesn`t exactly have clean hands."
Notably, the Countdown host had passed on featuring Helen Thomas in his "Worst Person" segment for her anti-Semitic remarks, explaining on Monday that he was thinking of "reluctantly" including her in that night’s "Worst Person" list but chose not to because she had resigned from her position at Hearst. Olbermann, on Monday, introducing the "Worst Person" segment: "But first, with a thank you to Helen Thomas for doing the right thing and bowing out before I had to reluctantly put her out this list, get out your pitchforks and torches, time for tonight`s 'Worst Persons in the World.'"
As other media outlets have given Helen Thomas the kid glove treatment in light of her "trailblazing" career, media consumers may be forgiven for assuming that Helen Thomas's anti-Israel, arguably anti-Semitic comments were an aberration in an otherwise unblemished career of assertive but fair journalism.
To his credit, Washington Post's media reporter Howard Kurtz made note of other incidents, such as the time Thomas blamed Israel for inspiring "99 percent" of terrorism and the time in 2002 when she exclaimed "Thank God for Hezbollah," the Iran-backed terror group that murdered 241 U.S. servicement in 1983 and has plagued Israel for decades.
As the excerpt below shows, it's not just conservatives who have had complaints about Thomas (emphases mine):
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Chuck Todd, and Savannah Guthrie on Tuesday’s “The Daily Rundown” were in “anguish” over the forced retirement of Helen Thomas, but showed little sympathy for the Israelis that the Hearst columnist so odiously disrespected.
“I think a lot of people feel some anguish about this because the comments were beyond the pale,” lamented Guthrie. “And yet it tarnishes a career that otherwise people would be celebrating because she was indeed a trailblazer.”
Glossing over the longtime reporter’s comments that Israelis should “get the hell out of Palestine” and go back to Germany or Poland, Mitchell lauded Thomas’s career as “storied” and proceeded to hearken back to a time when Washington was an “all-male town” and Thomas was blazing the trail for women.
“When I first arrived here, after dinner, at political dinners, women went to one room, men went to another to smoke cigars and have brandy,” recalled Mitchell. “This was a very traditional place–not like New York or other East Coast cities.”
In an attempt to make excuses for Thomas while appearing to condemn her remarks, contradictions ran rampant. First up, Mitchell:
On Monday’s Joy Behar Show on HLN, as host Behar led a discussion of long-time journalist Helen Thomas’s recent anti-Israel remarks with guest Jonathan Alter – of Newsweek and MSNBC – and comedian Robert Klein, Alter admitted that, as a Jew, he was offended by her words, but, although he claimed that "I`m not rationalizing it, Joy, I'm not trying to excuse her," he pinned some of the blame on "senility" and suggested that, because of her Lebanese background, her remarks are not necessarily anti-Semitic: "But she`s Lebanese. She`s a Lebanese American. And you do have to understand, you know, some of the history of the region and the feelings in the region, and not necessarily judge somebody who thinks of Israel as an occupying power as by definition an anti-Semite because they think Israel is occup-"
He also expressed his hope that Thomas’s rant would not tarnish the memory of her journalistic career, as he credited her with "asking the tough questions" to President Bush after 9/11, which he asserted other journalists were not willing to do: "I just wish that her whole career is not judged by this. ... I have known her for a long time, and she held many Presidents` feet to the fire at a time when nobody in the Bush press room would say boo about George W. Bush after 9/11, she was already asking the tough questions. And I just, you know, I like to see people be judged in the largest context of their career, not in their senility."
On the bright side, Behar complained that Israel "gets a bum rap a lot," sparking agreement from both Alter and Klein, with Alter observing that there is a "double standard":
Well that didn't take long. The folks at the left-wing MoveOn.org are practically in mourning over Helen Thomas's "retirement."
Just a few hours after news broke that Hearst columnist Helen Thomas is calling it quits after a viral video of her anti-Semitic comments led to widespead condemnation of the White House press corps dean.
The abrupt retirement of Helen Thomas from her perch as the ranking member of the White House press corps was essentially accepted as a fait accompli by supporters and detractors alike after her controversial remarks urging Jews to leave Israel surfaced.
Indeed, if there was any defense made of Thomas's comments, it wasn't done persuasively or at an influential level. But that didn't stop the progressive community -- many hearing about her retirement while at the Campaign for America's Future conference in D.C. -- from collectively fretting on Monday about what the loss of her voice bodes for the day-to-day interaction between the White House and the Fourth Estate.
Her absence will be felt "significantly," said Ilyse Hogue, Communications Director of Moveon.org. "The burden will fall on the rest of the press corps to make sure the administration feels the need to be transparent about its plans to get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan."
CNN anchor Don Lemon repeatedly defended rabidly anti-Israel columnist Helen Thomas as he interviewed Ari Fleischer late in the 7 pm Eastern hour of Sunday's Newsroom. After playing Thomas's remarks, Lemon lauded her in his first question to Fleischer: "Helen Thomas has broken down many barriers for women....She has a lifelong achievement...in journalism. Should that count for anything?" [audio clips available here]
The former press secretary strongly condemned Thomas's comments and proposed that "if somebody said that all blacks need to leave America and go home to Africa, they would have already lost their jobs," while stating that two of them "always ideologically disagreed, but I liked her." Lemon followed through on this point: "Yeah, that was my next point. It's- I know that people disagree ideologically- but you can still be friends or still be co-workers. Have you reached out to her at all? Have you tried to talk to her about why she said this?"
Via Politico, Hearst Newspapers columnist Thomas issued a statement today: "I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon."
Michael Calderone at Yahoo! News reports that a second half of the Thomas interview is yet to come from Rabbi David Nesenoff and his site RabbiLive.com, and the first half was delayed while the rabbi's 17-year-old webmaster son finished his finals:
Although she's apologized, Nesenoff said Thomas should do more, and "the only way to fix it is to become a poster child for tolerance and non-hatred."
Next, Nesenoff said that in a day or so, he'll release part two of the interview, but was tight-lipped about what else Thomas said that day.
"Part two will be very interesting to watch," he said, adding that Thomas is in it "100 percent" of the time.
Time's Joe Klein, no fan of the present Israeli government he, has weighed in on Helen Thomas's now infamous "get the hell out of Palestine" comments.
Writing for his magazine's Swampland blog yesterday, Klein denounced the Hearst columnist's comments as "odious," but stopped short of demanding her ouster from the White House press briefing room. Instead, Klein urged in his June 6 post that Thomas should forego her front row seat and get pushed towards the back of the room:
[I]t's not unprecedented for journalists with odious views to have access to the press room. What is unprecedented is for such a journalist to have a front-row center seat. Thomas should no longer have that privilege. The front row should be occupied by working reporters, not columnists. The WHCA should sanction Thomas by sending her back to the cheap seats. This would accurately reflect her current status as a journalist while preserving her First Amendment right to be as obnoxious as she wants.
Of course Thomas has a First Amendment right to be obnoxious, but that doesn't mean she has a constitutional right to a slot in the press briefing room. Perhaps Klein thinks his is a reasonable middle ground for the WHCA to stake out, but there were plenty of reasons to boot Thomas from the front row long before her anti-Semitic ranting made for viral video.
Jane Furse of the New York Daily News reports "Iconic White House reporter Helen Thomas was dropped by her speaking agency and booted as a high school commencement speaker Sunday following inflammatory remarks she made about Jews and Israel." The tone was daintier at The Washington Post, where she wasn't "booted," the agreement was mutual:
Alan Goodwin, principal of [Walt] Whitman [High School], where objections to the appearance had been raised, said he reached a niece of Thomas's earlier in the day. "We had a mutual understanding about her not coming," he said....
In an interview, Whitman parent Raisa Slepoy said, "I don't know why anybody would ask a person like that to speak at a commencement ceremony...especially where there's a pretty large Jewish population."
If Thomas had appeared, Slepoy said, there would "be a lot of people booing her off the stage....It would be an embarrassment."
White House press corps dean Helen Thomas -- on the day that the White House hosted a Jewish Heritage Celebration, no less -- said that Jews who live in Israel should "get the hell out of Palestine" and go "home."
When asked where home was for Israeli Jews, Thomas offered "Poland, Germany... and America and everywhere else" from which the founding generation of the State of Israel originally hailed.
It's been centuries decades since anyone believed Helen Thomas was anywhere near an objective journalist, but this makes it clear that she's at best tactless and unreasonable and at worst an anti-Semite.
Question to mull over in the comments section: Should Thomas lose her coveted seat in the White House press briefing room over this?
It isn't just the pro-Palestinian press that is attempting to distort the reality behind the recent flotilla incident off the coast of Gaza.
Former Democratic Congresswoman, and 2008 Green Party candidate for President of the United States, Cynthia McKinney, has voiced her own version of reality through an anti-Israeli rant in Arab News. McKinney is of course, a reliable source on the topic, having been involved in her own little attempts at defying and breaking an Israeli blockade of Gaza (translation - aiding and abetting a terrorist regime).
In her column for Arab News, McKinney expresses outrage over ‘Israel's needless, senseless act against unarmed humanitarian activists.' Having been involved in previous attempts to defy the authority of the Israeli Navy, McKinney knows full well that the Free Gaza Movement, organizers of this flotilla, consists of anything but unarmed humanitarian activists. In case memory has failed her, here is a handy reminder:
A report from the Intelligence & Terrorism Information Center highlights the link between flotilla organizers and radical human rights violators.
The Jerusalem Post points out that ‘soldiers encountered fierce resistance from the passengers who were armed with knives, bats and metal pipes.' The article then goes on to say that the already armed protestors upgraded their arsenal by ‘stealing two handguns from soldiers', opening fire, and ultimately escalating the violence that they themselves had already started.
It shouldn't surprise anyone that Viacom's Comedy Central is developing an animated show practically designed to offend Christians. But the network's handling of recent controversy over depictions of the Muslim prophet Muhammad illustrates a stark double standard in how the entertainment media deal with issues of religion.
Comedy Central announced it is developing the script for an animated show tentatively titled "JC." According to the network's release, the show is about Jesus Christ "wanting to escape his father's enormous shadow to live life in [New York City] as a regular guy." The announcement described God as "all-powerful yet apathetic" and said the show would be a "playful take on religion and society with a sprinkle of dumb."
The show promises to stand in sharp contrast to the network's treatment of another religious figure: Muhammad. In 2006, Comedy Central censored a segment of "South Park" that depicted Muhammad. In April of this year, the network added audio bleeps to the second of a two-part episode to cover any mention of the prophet, as well as an end-of-show speech about freedom of expression and giving in to intimidation. The first episode of the story arc featured Mohammad hidden inside a moving truck and a bear costume.
This censorship came in response to a threat from a radical Islamic website, based in the United States, which warned that "South Park" creators would face violent retribution for "insulting" Muhammad by featuring (although not showing him) on the episode.
Around the same time they were caving in to pressure to delete all Mohammed references from an episode of "South Park," the geniuses at Comedy Central posted an online video game containing truly staggering anti-Semitic images.
This abomination was originally called "I.S.R.A.E.L. Attack!" due to the lead character being a murderous robot named "I.S.R.A.E.L." -- "Intelligent Smart Robot Animation Eraser."
As the game opens, the villain says, "You lied to me, Jew Producer" (video follows with lots of commentary, h/t Weasel Zippers):
The Pentagon rescinded the invitation of evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at its May 6 National Day of Prayer event because of complaints about his previous comments about Islam.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation expressed its concern over Graham's involvement with the event in an April 19 letter sent to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. MRFF's complaint about Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, focused on remarks he made after 9/11 in which he called Islam "wicked" and "evil" and his lack of apology for those words.
Col. Tom Collins, an Army spokesman, told ABC News on April 22, "This Army honors all faiths and tries to inculcate our soldiers and work force with an appreciation of all faiths and his past comments just were not appropriate for this venue."
In a CNN video posted at Story Balloon, left-wing comedian Sarah Silverman expressed her disgust at the nation’s rejection of same-sex marriage as she declared that she is "starting to get appalled by anybody who would get married in this day and age." She went on to compare getting married to joining a racially exclusive country club in the 1960s. Silverman: "I mean, it’s like, if you say, if you joined a club, a country club, you know, in the 60s that, where no blacks or Jews were allowed. Why would you want to join that country club? ... I find marriage has a very ugly mark on it right now, and I would not want to be a part of it."
And, as she made a distinction between her Jewish ethnic heritage and her religious beliefs, she described herself as agnostic, and related that she is only religious when "I’m very, very sick, and, like, on the bathroom floor." Silverman: "I’m not religious. I mean, the only times I’m religious are when I’m very, very sick, and, like, on the bathroom floor, like in sweat, I will definitely find God, or in incredible amounts of turbulence."
Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the video, which can be seen at Story Balloon:
Rush Limbaugh is so reviled by the left, that even when he agrees with liberals and issues facts supporting their arguments, they criticize him and demand an apology.
The latest such group to deride Limbaugh for supposedly offensive comments that they themselves have supported is the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL has called on Limbaugh to apologize for suggesting that the Obama Administration's anti-banker populism has troubling anti-Semitic undertones. He did not suggest that Obama is an anti-Semite, nor that is policies specifically single out or target Jews. He did suggest that Jews who voted for Obama may be feeling "buyer's remorse" now that the administration is using language that has so often--historically--been used to demean and discriminate against the Jewish community.
Here is the quote in question: "To some people, banker is a code word for Jewish; and guess who Obama is assaulting? He's assaulting bankers. He's assaulting money people. And a lot of those people on Wall Street are Jewish. So I wonder if there's - if there's starting to be some buyer's remorse there."
On the December 30, 2008, The Early Show, anchor Jeff Glor reported on former Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney’s presence on a ship attempting to violate the Israeli blockade by delivering supplies to Gaza as the ship was "rammed" by the Israeli military. Glor notably misidentified McKinney as if she were a current member of Congress – which could make her appear to have more credibility – and did not inform viewers of Israel’s account of the incident or of McKinney’s controversial history, which includes links to anti-Semitic figures. Glor: "A relief ship carrying a Georgia Congressman, Cynthia McKinney, clashed with the Israeli navy this morning. The aid boat carrying activists and medical supplies destined for Gaza was reportedly rammed by an Israeli gunship. There were no casualties."
On the same day’s Special Report with Brit Hume on FNC, anchor Jim Angle reported on the boat collision during the show’s regular "Political Grapevine" segment, and passed on the Israeli response: "But an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman says the naval vessel made physical contact only after the supply ship failed to respond to repeated radio transmissions."
"For the record, our third story is neither ridiculing nor disputing [Sarah Palin's] religious beliefs. It is purely an attempt to discern exactly what those beliefs constitute, so that the voters of 2012 know exactly what they`re getting."
Such was amazingly uttered by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann Tuesday night.
Bear in mind that we are almost three years away from Election Day 2012, and most political analysts on both sides of the aisle don't believe former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is going to run for President then.
Regardless, the "Countdown" host actually spent over five minutes examining -- and, contrary to his assertion -- ridiculing her religious beliefs.
In fact, the disparagement began right from the get-go with how Olbermann described the object of his disaffection (video embedded below the fold with full transcript, h/t Story Balloon):
With the holiday season approaching, the latest liberal fashion in media bias by omission will be papering over any hard feelings about White House holiday celebrations. Already (as Patrick Gavin of Politico has pointed out), the Jerusalem Post reported that the guest list of the annual White House Hanukkah party is being shrunk in half, from 800 to 400.
Hillary Leila Krieger wrote "Though several Jewish leaders expressed understanding for the economic and other reasons behind the cut, they acknowledged that it would likely help feed feelings in some quarters of the American Jewish community that the White House is giving them the cold shoulder."
It comes as a different attempt at outreach to Jews -- an Obama appearance before the General Assembly of North American Jewish Federations last week -- was cancelled so Obama could attend the Fort Hood memorial service. Krieger added:
Two Republican chairmen in South Carolina have apologized for an op-ed article that made a clumsy comment about wealthy Jews being fiscally prudent. Reporter Robbie Brown and The New York Times's headline writers quickly let us know the two offenders were Republican: "2 South Carolina Republicans Apologize for Reference to Jews."
It made quite a contrast from how the Times treated a Democratic candidate for Congress who circulated truly scurrilous claims against her Jewish opponent in a 2008 primary election.
In Wednesday's story, both the online headline (the print edition headline is different) and a photo caption readily identified the offenders as members of the GOP, as did Brown in his first sentence:
Two Republican county chairmen in South Carolina have apologized for a newspaper op-ed article that stereotyped Jews as financial penny pinchers.