Though there was never any announcement on this side of the Atlantic that there would be a full-blown joint news conference today when British Prime Minister Gordon Brown stops by to meet with President Obama, some British journalists are rather cranky this morning about the fact that there won't be one. Some who flew over with Brown last night thought there would be an Obama-Brown newser, and were surprised to hear when they arrived that there wouldn't. They see it as a snub.
"Mr Brown might lament," writes Toby Harnden of The Telegraph, "that despite the so-called 'special relationship' Britain is now getting the same treatment as the president of Uruguay but he need not despair. I'm told there's a chance he might get drinks with Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday evening."
Blogger and former Washington Times staffer Robert Stacy McCain has an article over at The American Spectator's Web site that blows away the stereotype many in the MSM seem to have about Rush Limbaugh's audience being nothing more than "angry white men."
In "Taxi Driver Dittos, Rush", McCain relays a brief story of his interaction with a D.C. cabbie originally from Nigeria who loves Limbaugh.
Here's an excerpt:
Cabs lined up with engines idling outside Washington's historic Omni Shoreham Hotel about 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Drivers were waiting to sweep away thousands of guests who soon would depart the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), but nobody was leaving yet, and so the drivers waited.
"When does Rush speak?" asked a stocky driver in a blue hooded sweatshirt.
"He just started speaking," I answered.
"Oh, man, I wish I could be there," the driver said. "He is great."
The death of Paul Harvey has resulted in some very respectful notices in the media, like Richard Corliss of Time magazine. (Except for this sentence: "The rosy sentimentalist was also a fretful conservative; he backed Joe McCarthy's search for imaginary Communists in the State Department." ) Brian Maloney at Radio Equalizer is highlighting Internet scribblings offering a more impolite reflection, of the rot-in-Hell variety. Ken Layne, the operator of the liberal blog Wonkette, trashed Harvey, and Rush Limbaugh:
The best thing about Paul Harvey -- humble old Paul Harvey with his solid family life and one (just one!) wife who was with him until her death in 2007 -- is that his peak audience was millions bigger than Rush Limbaugh's largest audience.’
Fat sex-creep Rush peaked with 20 million listeners in 2003 (all downhill since then!), while Paul Harvey peaked with 22 million. And while Paul Harvey was long mocked by hipsters and comedians, he sure wasn't hated. In fact, Paul Harvey was one of the most admired people in America for half a century. Rush Limbaugh is despised by most Americans, while his only fans are mouth-breathing angry losers.
"Disparate Gay Bloggers Create a Virtual Village of Many Voices," the headline on the jump page noted:
On the Internet, no group -- however controversial or on the fringe -- is invisible. Everyone is but a Google search away. And the sheer diversity of blogs written by gays, lesbians and transgenders proves that, like all minority groups, the gay community is not monolithic. Though they may blog about the same topic -- say, Prop. 8 -- it doesn't mean they'll arrive at the same conclusion.
Yet nowhere in his 20-paragraph profile does Vargas look into the generally conservative bloggers who maintain GayPatriot.net, a site that describes itself as "the Internet home for the American gay conservative." Indeed, Vargas spent the lion's share of his article focused on Pam Spaulding, a liberal black lesbian blogger from North Carolina. Vargas sums up Spaulding's insights on Prop 8: "religious anti-gay whites" are equally responsible for the passage of the ballot referendum as socially conservative African-American voters.
Wow. Truly insightful.
By contrast, GayPatriot bloggers also opposed Proposition 8 yet take liberal gay activists to task for their shrill invective against proponents of the ballot initiative. Here's one such excerpt from a February 8 post by Daniel Blatt, who blogs as "GayPatriotWest" entitled, "Will Gay Groups Criticize Mean-Spirited Tactics of Angry Prop 8 Opponents?":
Whether it's a shot at competitor Newsweek for putting Markos Moulitsas on the payroll, or a brief moment of clarity, Time magazine has named the disgustingly liberal website Daily Kos as one of the most overrated blogs on the Internet.
I kid you not.
Such a revelation seems even more odd given the absence of any conservative websites in Time's "25 Best Blogs of 2009."
But before we get there, here's what the magazine had to say about DK:
Are you a conservative? Then you're a d***, and there's something wrong with your brain. At least that's what "24" actress and comedienne Janeane Garofalo believes.
According to the former Air America radio host, a conservative starts out an “a**hole,” and the politics come later. She asserted, “The reason a person is a conservative republican (sic) is because something is wrong with them...It really is neuroscience.”
The reason a person is a conservative republican is because something is wrong with them. Again, that’s science – that’s neuroscience. You cannot be well adjusted, open-minded, pluralistic, enlightened and be a republican. It’s counter-intuitive. And they revel in their anti-intellectualism. They revel in their cruelty.
That's how Chicago Tribune religion blogger Manya Brachear began her Feb. 11 The Seeker blog post, practically considering the Pope to be another politician who must watch out for how his PR blunders affect his poll numbers (emphasis mine):
Shortly after Pope Benedict XVI quelled concerns last week regarding the excommunication of a Holocaust denier, he caused another stir closer to home. He reportedly tapped a bishop who once described Hurricane Katrina as God’s punishment for sin and debauchery in New Orleans.
According to the Times of London, Father Gerhard Maria Wagner, an ultraconservative parish priest at Windischgarsten in Austria, published his theory of divine retribution in his parish newsletter four years ago.
Hat-tipping gay blogger Andrew Sullivan, Time's Amy Sullivan (no relation) expressed impatience at the Obama administration for not moving yet on ending the ban on openly gay personnel serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Sullivan is chagrined that a Kansas National Guardsman was reportedly discharged after Army brass discovered her MySpace page in which she declared she is a lesbian.
Liberal blogger Steve Gilliard passed away in 2007, but his most infamous contribution to the blogosphere lives on as leftist bloggers continue to lodge racists attacks at Michael Steele, the first African-American chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Gilliard's 2005 photoshop depicting then-Lt. Gov. Steele as a minstrel was re-syndicated by the leftist blog perceptionmanagers.org on January 31 (see screencap taken Feb. 10 at right).
The text of the blog post reads:
Apparently the Black community in Maryland (and the rest of Black America) doesn't like Michael "Oreo's fell like Locusts" Steele very much.
So the RNC would prefer to be known as the party of "Uncle Tom" instead of the Party of Racists. Way to broaden the base guys! Good luck with that in 2012.
It would be funny if the subject matter wasn't the destruction of unborn children in the womb. Time magazine's Amy Sullivan asked in a Swampland blog post headline from February 4: "Barack Obama, Pro-Life President?"
Sullivan's evidence? Well, the president has picked a Pentecostal preacher -- who once worked for a New Jersey Congressman with a 100% score by NARAL Pro-Choice America -- to head his faith-based initiatives office and "abortion reduction" is one of the major stated goals of one of the president's advisory boards:
NewsBusters and the Weekly Standard's Mary Katharine Ham are not the only critics of the Obama administration for its failure to transcribe, publish and archive the daily press briefings held by press secretary Robert Gibbs.
A Web site called WhiteHousePressCorps.org is running a graphic at the top of its main page which reads, "Waiting on the official release of the 1/22/2009 Press Briefing transcript for" followed by a ticker counting up from January 22. You can also track them on Twiter @whpresscorps.
The site, which features archives of White House press gaggle and briefing transcripts dating back to February 2006, describes itself as "an independent media watchdog source providing information and commentary on the relationship between the press and the White House" that is not affiliated with the White House Correspondents' Association.
Here's how the guys at WHPC reacted to a carefully excerpted press briefing posted to the WhiteHouse.gov site on Monday:
A Minnesotan who voted in November for Barack Obama recently wrote NewsBusters thanking us for our reporting on how the Obama administration has thus far failed to transcribe, publish, and archive on whitehouse.gov its daily press briefings.
Writes Andrea Dvorak of St. Paul:
My politics are certainly left of center; I voted for Obama and couldn't be happier that he's our president now. (Part of why I started reading the press briefings back in 2002 was to keep tabs on some of the less well publicized actions of former president Bush.) But just because I think I'll like most of Obama's policies doesn't mean I'm comfortable letting his Press office decide what I find out about what the US press is asking his administration. I count on the press to investigate ANY administration and ask tough questions. If I don't know what they're asking, I'm significantly less informed about my government.
Checking out the official Web page for the Obama administration today, I noticed that the White House has removed the "pool reports" entry from the "Briefing Room" lineup roughly six days after the White House press corps made clear it would not fork over the pool reports to the White House. The page itself, which of course lacks any pool reports, is still accessible here.
As of noon this 27th day of January -- the 7th of the brilliant glory of the Obama era -- the daily press briefings are still lacking on whitehouse.gov. See my January 23 blog post about that here.
Weekly Standard's Mary Katharine Ham added her thoughts in a post to her magazine's blog yesterday, noting that the absence of press briefings is a continuation of the Obama's online communication strategy which was "built for message control, not openness" (emphasis mine):
A liberal Catholic blogger who last November inveighed against "extremist" and "Pharasaic" bishops who have said they will deny Communion to pro-choice politicians is cited today by Dallas Morning News religion blogger Bruce Tomaso as an "abortion foe" who, surprise, surprise, has unkind words for the March for Life:
Writing for a blog of America, the Jesuit magazine, Catholic author and "pro-life American" Sean Michael Winters says the annual March for Life -- held last Thursday, on the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade -- "has failed utterly to make a difference in this nation's abortion policy."
The mass protest, he says, "probably alienates the very people we should be trying to reach: women facing crisis pregnancies." The marchers' rhetoric tends "to equate abortion with murder which may be objectively true but also lacks the empathy with the desperate circumstance of many women that is the necessary precursor to an effective evangelization of the Gospel of Life."
As for his part as an "abortion foe," the liberal Winters certainly has shown a penchant for criticizing more strident foes of the slaughter of the unborn, such as bishops in his own church. From a November 19 blog post at America magazine's Web site (emphasis mine):
As Barack Obama's tax-delinquent Treasury pick Tim Geithner appears to be sailing smoothly towards nomination, it seems Caroline Kennedy's once all-but-apparent ascension to the vacant Senate seat for New York seems to be dead in the water and sinking fast.
ALBANY - Problems involving taxes and a household employee surfaced during the vetting of Caroline Kennedy and derailed her candidacy for the Senate, a person close to Gov. David A. Paterson said on Thursday, in an account at odds with Ms. Kennedy’s own description of her reasons for withdrawing.
The blog post by Havana-based Portia Siegelbaum began by insisting that:
Expectations are almost as high among Cubans as they are among Americans as the countdown to the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama speeds up.
Of course, far-left rhetoric notwithstanding, the United States is a republic with two major parties and a healthy tradition of freedom of speech and press, whereas Cuba is a totalitarian throwback to the Soviet era.
Yet Siegelbaum failed to note that President Raul Castro is a dictator unanswerable to the call of change from his people.
What's more, the CBS reporter practically laid the entire blame for Cuba's poor economy not on the failures of Communism and dictatorship but the long-standing U.S. embargo:
"Lying" about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, holding detainees at Gitmo, and prosecuting the saintly matron of all things domestic, Martha Stewart. Those are just three reasons taxpayer-financed journalist Bonnie Erbe finds for filing criminal charges on outgoing President George W. Bush and his dastardly underlings.
I understand the politics of letting bygones be bygones. But Bush has so thoroughly destroyed this country and encouraged such heretofore unimaginable abuses of office (lying about weapons of mass destruction to lead the country into an unnecessary war; the firings and politicization of the attorneys general; the prosecution of active Democrat Martha Stewart for relatively minor stock abuses while permitting subprime lenders and GOP donors to swindle billions from the economy; the abuses at Guantánamo; and the list goes on and on and on) that to act as if this never happened is to encourage future abuse.
Bush's behavior, and that of his subordinates, should be punished so future presidents and their appointees will not feel free to mimic it with impunity.
My therapist told me to take two shots at Chris Matthews and call him in the morning . . .
Mike Barnicle is back to looking down his nose at bloggers. After Mika Brzezinski claimed on today's Morning Joe that "blogging isn't journalism," the former Boston Globe columnist declared that "95%, 99% of blogging isn't journalism. It's therapy for the blogger."
The predicate was a provocative one. Willie Geist read from an Esquire interview of Sarah Palin in which she said that—long after the issue had been put to rest—the Anchorage Daily News called her—based on allegations in blogs—to ask whether she was indeed the mother of Trig, her youngest child. Palin took that as evidence of continuing problems in the world of "journalism," prompting Mika and Mike to go off on us members of the pajamahadeen.
A group that "celebrate[s] the inherent goodness of adolescent sexuality" and calls for clergy to "speak out against... coercive parental notification and consent for reproductive health services" has just released a study that concludes by calling on American theological seminaries to go over the birds and bees with their students.
Yet in reporting on the study by the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice and Healing, Chicago Tribune's Manya Brachear failed to label the group as liberal or to find conservative theologians to dispute its arguments. [Click here for our archive on Brachear]
Virtually all the predictions about the death of old media have assumed a comfortingly long time frame for the end of print . . . But what if the old media dies much more quickly? What if a hurricane comes along and obliterates the dunes entirely? Specifically, what if The New York Times goes out of business—like, this May? It’s certainly plausible. -- End Times, by Michael Hirschorn, The Atlantic, January/February 2009 [emphasis added]
The prospect of the disappearance of the New York Times within a matter of months will bring wildly varying reactions in different quarters. Those gleefully anticipating its demise should know that Hirschorn goes on to conclude that the odds of the paper going away in May are "relatively slim." He anticipates a number of scenarios that would permit the paper to survive, including:
sale of its share of its $600 million HQ, designed by the prestigious Renzo Piano
sale of its ownership interest in the Boston Globe and/or other subsidiaries including About.com and the Boston Red Sox.
sale of the paper outright to potential buyers such as David Geffen, Michael Bloomberg, Carlos Slim or even . . . Rupert Murdoch.
Still, Hirschorn doesn't entirely discount the possibility that the Times could actually go bye-bye. As he observes [emphasis added]:
Just how badly do many liberal bloggers want to depict Israelis as heartless killers and Hamas as poor defenseless victims?
On Sunday, a more than three year old video of an accidental munitions truck explosion at a Palestinian rally in September 2005 was spread around the liberal blogosphere as footage of an Israeli attack on Gaza on January 3, 2009.
Two prominent leftwing websites -- Raw Story and Democratic Underground -- displayed this video for hours before a poster at Reddit exposed the hoax (h/t NBer Blazer).
Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs reported early Sunday:
All in all, I like Politico's list of the Top Ten Media Blunders of 2008, by staff writer Michael Calderone, appearing on the website this evening. How can you be too tough on a list that includes, among other faux pas:
MSNBC's use of Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews as election night and convention co-anchors;
The New York Times's suggestive but unsubstantiated story about John McCain and lobbyist Vikki Iseman; and
The MSM's lack of curiosity despite the National Enquirer's solid reporting on the John Edwards affair?
But no story about a list would be complete without some beefing and second-guessing, and I have some. Here's blunder #6 on the Politico list [emphasis added]:
Tomaso noted that Fr. Ron Elliott describes himself as "very pro-life" but that after reviewing the books in question "he didn't find anything objectionable" and will hence return the books to the shelves "in February or March" as Elliott noted, "after the dust kind of settles."
At that point Tomaso couldn't refuse the impulse to add an editorial quip:
The MSM has been too reverential towards George W. Bush. Yeah, that's the ticket. The only thing more absurd than that assertion was Arianna Huffington's willingness to accept it as a fact in answering a question. Here was the exchange between Huffington and Choire Sicha, writing for the LA Times, in today's "Sunday Conversation" feature [emphasis added]:
CHOIRE SICHA: It was only recently that this spell of reverence for Bush lifted. Why'd it take so long?
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON: I think it took so long because there is something about the conventional wisdom that is very addictive to members of the press. They don't want to diverge from it too far.
The conversation later provided another rib-tickler from the HuffPo hostess [emphasis added]:
The idea of “Rest In Peace” is something that will never be extended to a conservative on a liberal web forum like DemocraticUnderground.com. The day it was announced Paul Weyrich had passed away, the vitriol was let loose on DU. This is not the first time this site has pulled this kind of nonsense. William F. Buckley received his share of cheap shots from DU after his passing.
While a poster tries to remind the DU mob that “pi*sing on the guy’s grave is unseemly. Remember Paul Wellstone,” The pleading poster is promptly shut down with the reply, “Not if the only thing he did right was to die.”
Other than a few gracious token statements, the rest of the thread is chock full of hate. These DU posters said the following about Weyrich's passing:
WinkyDink: There IS a God.
UpInArms: I'm putting on my dancing shoes. Weyrich's prolly sitting next to RayGun by the fire right now
While the media are fixated on the ire gay activists are directing at the president-elect for selecting Prop 8 proponent Rick Warren to give the invocation at the Obama inaugural, I've noticed little attention given to the fact that the man selected to give the benediction is pretty much the polar opposite of Warren on some key doctrinal matters related to homosexuality.
Rev. Joseph Lowery, a liberal United Methodist minister, has mostly been referred to in the media in connection to his work in co-founding the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, one of the key organizations in the civil rights movement. Yet freezing Lowery in time as an icon of the 1960s civil rights era doesn't do justice to his status as a vocal clerical advocate of same-sex marriage and openly gay clergy.
Barack Obama doesn't mind a fight with gay activists over selecting Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration because the President-elect is bound and determined to govern as a centrist.
President-elect Barack Obama’s selection of Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration has ignited a firestorm of criticism from the gay-rights community, where Warren is considered something of a sworn enemy.
Yet Obama’s response to a question about his selection of Warren seems to confirm one perception: that this is a fight that the president-elect isn’t necessarily sorry to be having.
It's hardly a secret that Chicago public schools chief executive Arne Duncan was the architect behind a failed plan to open a "gay-friendly" high school in the Windy City. But for some reason Washington Post staffer Maria Glod decided to keep that skeleton in the closet, leaving the fact out completely from her page A3 December 17 story, "Education Pick Is Called 'Down-to-Earth' Leader."
Glod set out in her 22-paragraph article to portray Duncan as an education reformed well-respected by both Democrats and Republicans and even garnering begrudging respect and even some allies among teachers unions and school bureaucrats who were at first wary of him.
The controvery over the proposed Social Justice Solidarity High School -- which was scrapped in a November 18 school board vote -- was completely left unmentioned although as Brad Haynes of the Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire blog reported yesterday:
"I will say that when I started [at MSNBC] in 2003, nobody spoke to me for six months. I was a strange man in a strange land," Joe Scarborough is reported to have told Time magazine.
TVNewser's Steve Krakauer noted today that in an upcoming 10 Questions feature the "Morning Joe" host will share his thoughts about his network, which he sees, "right now" to be "a free marketplace of ideas where everybody's invited and opinions clash."
Scarborough added that "as long as I'm fair, I don't think there's a problem at all." There's no word, however, on if Scarborough thinks fairness is strived at by his colleagues Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann.