Last night on his PBS talk show, Tavis Smiley sat down for a cozy conversation with Jeremy Scahill, national security correspondent for left-wing magazine The Nation. Scahill was critical of the Obama administration, as well as the journalists who fail to hold him accountable, throughout much of the interview. However, he did let his mask of objectivity slip at a few points, revealing the liberal face underneath.
Scahill was outraged over the administration’s secrecy surrounding its national security operations, particularly drone strikes. Smiley asked him why the administration has not been more forthcoming about its use of drones, and Scahill partially blamed congressional Republicans: [Video below the break. MP3 audio here.]
When liberals and their media allies have an agenda to push, they’ll use any tool at hand. The left often rails against the presence of religion in civic life, mocking conservative Christians as “Taliban” agitating for theocracy. But other times, they find faith to be a handy weapon to bludgeon conservatives. And they’ll go so far as to reinterpret and rewrite the Bible to justify any liberal cause, no matter how outrageous.
In 2010, MSNBC anchor Melissa Harris-Perry summed up this strategy in her call for “re-imagining the Bible as a tool of progressive social change.” Huffington Post contributor Mike Lux embraced Harris-Perry’s advice, writing that the Bible embodies “all kinds” of “liberal, lefty, progressive values.”
While the reliable and original formula for the government to calculate who lives in “absolute poverty” is still in place, another measure has been introduced that enables the government to determine how many people live in “relative poverty,” a term often used to describe the concept of “income inequality.”
According to Mickey Kaus of the Daily Caller website, this new “supplemental” concept is “an audacious, slimy bait-and-switch by liberal activists inside the government anti-poverty bureaucracy.” And, as would be expected, it's gone almost totally unnoticed in the establishment left-wing press.
Greta Van Susteren on ABC's This Week Sunday took exception with a cheap shot at Fox News from Nation magazine's Katrina vanden Heuvel.
This came after vanden Heuvel said of former CIA director David Petraeus, "Don't forget that over at your network at Fox, he was your candidate for a while" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy stated that he was “guilty as charged” when it came to supporting the traditional family, and commented on a radio show that “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say: You know, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’”
That’s tantamount to heresy in Hollywood and in New York and D.C. newsrooms. The media have proven themselves in the tank for same sex marriage, and Chick-Fil-A is learning what it means to cross them.
It has been announced that Alexander Cockburn, a columnist for The Nation and co-editor of CounterPunch, died yesterday. Although Cockburn reflected a leftist viewpoint (mandatory if you write for The Nation) he displayed a refreshing iconoclasm on one topic sacred to the left: global warming. Cockburn didn't merely lightly criticize the global warming dogma worshipped by the left, he absolutely savaged it.
Cockburn's "heresy" has been noted in the past here at NewsBusters by both Matthew Sheffield and Noel Sheppard. As a tribute to Cockburn's willingness to smash certain idols of the left, here are some of his selected quotes on the topic of global warming. First up, Cockburn's charge of fraud and dogmatism by the global warming alarmists:
There was a truly delicious moment on ABC's This Week Sunday that should be mandatory viewing for all liberal media members.
After the perilously liberal editor of The Nation magazine, along with Obama's former domestic policy adviser, blamed all the nation's problems on Republican obstruction in Congress, the Wall Street Journal's Paul Gigot struck back saying, "The first two years [Obama] had open field, Democratic, vast Democratic majorities. You got what you wanted. You got a huge expansion of federal government. How is that working out?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
National Review's Reihan Salam on Sunday proved once again that liberal media members no matter what their number are no match for one well-informed conservative.
On CNN's FareedZakaria GPS, Salam took on the host, Time magazine's Joe Klein, and the Nation's Katrina VandenHeuvel on a far-ranging discussion about how both sides of the aisle view taxes, the Tea Party, and social change with the conservative ending up looking like the only knowledgeable person in the room (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Doubling down on its commitment to left-wing programming, MSNBC announced today that Nation magazine columnist and Tulane professor Melissa Harris-Perry will anchor a new weekend program starting on February 4.
On October 2, NewsBusters reported the arrest of a New York Times freelancer at the Occupy Wall Street rally that shut down the Brooklyn Bridge.
Big Government's Lee Stranahan on Sunday uncovered a video of Natasha Lennard speaking at an OWS strategy meeting on October 14 (video follows with transcript and commentary, vulgarity warning, relevant section at 1:30):
Once again the media is completely ignoring the fact that an initiative it’s covering was funded by left-wing financier George Soros. The Soros-funded Brennan Center for Justice released a report opposed to new laws needed to combat voter fraud. This story was in turn promoted by Soros-funded progressive news sites that brought it to the national stage.
The Brennan Center for Justice, part of New York University’s Law School, reported that voting law changes “could make it significantly harder for more than five million eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012.” This 64 page report went on to explain that the effects “fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities” and that the “wave of changes may sharply tilt the political terrain for the 2012 election.”
Yesterday, at organized labor's traditional Labor Day picnic at Cincinnati's Coney Island amusement park, Vice President Joe Biden gave the keynote address. His key lines, as reported by Carl Weiser at the Cincinnati Enquirer's Politics Extra blog (video is here at MRC-TV): "... this is a different kind of fight. This is a fight for the heart and soul of the labor movement. This is a fight for the existence of organized labor. You are the only ones who can stop the barbarians at the gate! That’s why they want you so bad.”
Biden's statement is in an important aspect more problematic than the more widely (but not sufficiently widely) noted "son of a b*tches" comment made by Teamsters President James Hoffa Jr. in Detroit yesterday at a Labor Day event President Obama keynoted. While Hoffa was threatening and hateful, he was at least in theory speaking only for Big Labor (though Obama has essentially adopted it by not condemning it). In Cincinnati, Biden, who was elected to serve all citizens of the country, personally characterized a large plurality of those he is supposed to be serving with a word which means "savage, primitive, uncivilized persons." Biden's "barbarians"comment has received very light establishment press coverage, as did what appears to have been a singularly unimpressive number of people who actually heard his speech:
Chris Hayes told New York magazine recently he doesn't intend to have any "hacky partisans" on his weekend MSNBC show that debuts September 17.
But the NewsBusters archive reveals a trove of evidence demonstrating that the Washington editor of the left-wing Nation magazine could only live up to that standard if he banned himself from his own show:
I've said for years that some of the worst reporting by the media deals with issues of finance and the economy.
"Real Time" watchers were given a perfect example of this Friday evening when a college professor that contributes to MSNBC as well as Nation magazine actually said, "I’ll put my Obama deficit next to your Reagan deficit any day of the week" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Appearing on the May 06 edition of Hannity, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell indicted the media's coverage of Osama bin Laden's death, including comments made by "idiot" Joy Behar, co-host of The View.
The NewsBusters publisher derided journalists who have ignored George W. Bush's role in killing the terrorist: "But my God where were they when George Bush won us the war in Iraq? Why wouldn't they praise in him? And why can't they give him the most minimal praise? It is because of this man's techniques that they condemned all these years, because of those techniques that that man is dead today."
According to Behar, instead of inhanced interrogations on terrorists, it's possible "a six million dollar book deal would have worked just as well."
MSNBC's Ed Schultz on Thursday expressed a great deal of skepticism concerning Thursday's revelation that a significant number of ballots had not been included in the Wisconsin Supreme Court election held two days prior.
While he pointed fingers at the Waukesha County Clerk as being a Republican operative, he completely ignored the fact that a the very press conference he aired a clip from, the Vice Chair of that county's Democratic Party spoke and confirmed the results (videos follow with partial transcripts and commentary):
It was revealed Wednesday evening that the Obama administration sent clandestine CIA operatives to Libya weeks ago to assist rebels in their civil war against Moammar Gaddafi.
Not only did MSNBC's Ed Schultz express his support for this action as well as arming these rebels, he also got into a heated argument with a Nation magazine reporter that compared this operation to the "disastrous dirty wars of the 1980s" bringing up images of Ollie North and the Iran-Contra scandal (video follows with transcript and commentary):
When conservatives gather behind closed doors, the left plans protests and counter events. When the left plans a closed-door meeting, it gets almost no attention at all.
Politico reported briefly on Feb. 16, that Democratic operatives will gather in early March for a private strategy conference. That has gotten little attention or criticism, yet when conservatives gather at the semiannual Koch conference the left mounts elaborate protests.
“Participants include Obama campaign pollsters Joel Benenson and Paul Harstad, the 2010 executive directors of the DSCC, DCCC, and DGA, Organizing for America deputy director Jeremy Bird, SEIU political director Jon Youngdahl, and current DSCC executive director Guy Cecil,” Politico’s Ben Smith said.
When the latest “semiannual confab of conservative activists” hosted by Charles and David Koch took place, people on the left from environmentalists to unions held a counter-meeting called “Uncloaking the Kochs.” The Los Angeles Times covered the protests and even linked to streaming video of the lefties’ event, but didn’t quote a single conservative in that story.
For the past year, the left has cried foul at the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United vs. FEC, which overturned laws prohibiting corporations and unions from broadcast election-related communications within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary. More than a year after the court handed down its decision, misinformation still pervades liberal condemnations of the ruling.
Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the far-left magazine The Nation, pushed a near-comical distortion of the truth in a recent column in the Washington Post. She brazenly declared former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold a "victim of Citizens United spending," and linked to an interview with Feingold at The Nation.
Just one problem: in that interview, Feingold explicitly denied that campaign spending played any role in his defeat. Does vanden Heuvel even read the items she offers as evidence - or her own magazine?
Appearing as a guest on Monday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman - also a political analyst with MSNBC - spoke favorably of the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law, asserting that "this historic vote will be remembered as a very important one in the social history of the United States," and, as he admitted that independent Senator Joseph Lieberman "takes a lot of guff on this network," gave the former Democrat-turned independent Senator "credit where credit is due" for supporting the measure.
Fineman went on to predict that, because the Republican House next year will seek to undermine various pieces of legislation passed by Democrats - which he referred to as "historic" - that President Obama will be running against a "‘tear down’ Congress." Fineman:
The dynamic of the next two years is going to be to re-litigate and reargue all the legislation that Obama and the Democrats for the most part passed in the first two years. That means efforts to defund, to delegitimize, to get rid of, you know, all the historic legislation that was passed these first two years, and spending is going to be the way to do it. ... So it's not that Obama's going to be running against the "do nothing Congress." The President is going to be running against the sort of "tear down Congress"because that's going to be the mode of the next two years.
Fineman also notably used the term "progressive" - the preferred term of liberals - instead of the word "liberal" as he referred to the left wing of the Democratic party, and contended that Republicans "went pedal to the metal on the fear strategy on immigration" as he explained why the Dream Act failed to pass the Senate.
MSNBC suspended Keith Olbermann indefinitely … after news broke that he had given the maximum allowable contribution to three Democrats without disclosing it to his employers.
With Olbermann out, MSNBC needed a fill-in, so in steps Chris Hayes, editor of the liberal magazine, The Nation. MSNBC pegged Hayes to fill in for the suspended Countdown host on Friday. His gig was short-lived however.
Several hours after the announcement, Hayes had been dropped. (h/t Weasel Zippers)
For a series of donations to Democratic campaigns in recent years.
We won't try to weave too much political-cultural significance into the spat that erupted on Morning Joe today. Just sit back and enjoy the spectacle as Joe Scarborough struggled to get in a word edgewise with Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation.
Scarborough was seeking to cite statistics showing that by a ratio of about 40:20, more Americans identify as conservatives than as liberals. That, he argued, makes it hard for Dems like Obama to govern from the left, and suggests that lefties like vanden Heuvel should cut the prez some slack.