Blogs

By Tom Blumer | February 9, 2015 | 3:33 PM EST

At about 2:40 this afternoon, Stars and Stripes published a "full transcript of the Feb. 4 (Wednesday) interview in which the anchor admits he was never on the attacked helicopter and claims he was unaware his flight was not directly behind but actually far from the company that was hit."

Williams, in admitting that his flight was far from the company that was hit, is acknowledging that the statement he made that very evening on his Nightly News broadcast — that "I was instead in a following aircraft" — was false, and misled his viewers into believing he was near the dangers involved. Also unaddressed are the following items among many which have arisen since that interview: whether even the original 2003 broadcasts from the anchor's time in Iraq were misleading from the start; how, in the circumstances supposedly just clarified, Williams could have told a college journalist in 2007 that he "looked down the tube of an RPG that had been fired at us"; and other questionable items relating to other stories which have since surfaced. Excerpts from the interview with Travis J. Tritten of Stars and Stripes follow the jump (bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | February 9, 2015 | 1:31 PM EST

In an entry at the Washington Post's Volokh Conspiracy blog yesterday, George Mason University School of Law Professor David Bernstein asked, "Did the Obama Administration lie about Netanyahu?"

The issue is whether, when and how the Obama White House learned of the Israeli Prime Minister's plans to deliver a speech to the U.S. Congress. The New York Times got dragged into the discussion, and deservedly so. Additionally, Bernstein went back to 2011 to note that Netanyahu had appeared before Congress before without Team Obama howling about it. But Bernstein, and apparently others, haven't focused on what Netanyahu said in that 2011 address, and how its content almost certainly infuriated President Barack Obama, who just days earlier had declared that Israel's 1967 borders should be the starting point for any territorial negotiations in a two-state solution with a Palestinian state.

By Tom Blumer | February 8, 2015 | 10:15 PM EST

Friday morning on Fox and Friends, Geraldo Rivera, echoing Rathergate, the 2004 scandal which put the blogosphere and New Media on the map to stay and accelerated its growth, reacted to the Brian Williams debacle by denouncing those criticizing the NBC Nightly News anchor "from the safety of their mother's basement," telling them that they should just "shut up."

Saturday, in a pair of tweets reacting to Williams' decision, quoting from the anchor's internal memo, "to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days," Rivera expressed sharp disappointment, saying that Williams should "stand & fight." But in an epic fail, the Twitter account to which he linked in one of his rants belongs to a different Brian Williams.

By Tom Blumer | February 7, 2015 | 6:36 PM EST

This is for the "false memories" and "he's an untouchable 'brand' crowds defending Brian Williams, who this afternoon announced that he has "decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days."

At the 2-minute mark of the 2007 interview with a collegiate reporter following the jump, watch Williams speak of his alleged brushes with danger, including how he "looked down the tube of an RPG" during what has now been described by the Associated Press as his "fake Iraq story" (HT Ace and several others):

By Tom Blumer | February 7, 2015 | 10:48 AM EST

At USA Today Friday afternoon, two of its reporters came down on the side of Brian Williams in the controversy over what even the often media-enabling Associated Press has called his "fake Iraq story."

Roger Yu tried to portray Williams as a victim of a "synergistic stretch" who is now having to defend himself against the "firestorm on the Internet and social media," while Marisol Bello, who covers "breaking news, poverty and urban affairs," wrote that "there are reasons that it's plausible" that "Williams would remember riding in a helicopter that was shot down if he was nowhere near it."

By Tom Blumer | February 6, 2015 | 1:24 AM EST

If Brian Williams or any of the executives at NBC thought that the controversy over his "fake Iraq story" might start to die down, developments this evening have proven that they were sadly mistaken.

The quoted words in the previous sentence are from a headline at an Associated Press story by David Bauder, the wire service's TV writer. The fact that the nation's self-described "essential global news network" felt comfortable using those words to describe the 12 year-old saga of Williams's fabricated adventure in Iraq is actually among the least of his and his network's troubles tonight. Two major stories at the New York Post's Page Six appear to have made their continuing with the status quo very difficult to imagine.

By Tom Blumer | February 5, 2015 | 11:03 AM EST

As Curtis Houck at NewsBusters reported last night, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams is in serious trouble after he, in Houck's words, "admitted to not being aboard a helicopter that was shot and had to be rescued following RPG fire during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003." Williams's apology, also carried at Houck's post, only refers to the "mistake" he made "on this broadcast last week" — as if it was the only time in 12 years he has recounted the incident. It's not; his "war story" was relayed several other times, including in 2013 on David Letterman's show (video here; note the level of detail now effectively admitted as having been fabricated).

In his apology attempt, Williams also told America that he was in "a following aircraft." That's very misleading. Larry O'Connor at Truth Revolt noted, that Williams "neglected to explain that he was in an aircraft that followed the one hit by RPG fire by an entire hour," which "makes it sound like he was right behind the copter in question." It seems more than fair to compare what we've learned in recent days to how NBC promoted Williams on the tenth anniversary of his presence in NBC's anchor chair last year.

By Tom Blumer | February 4, 2015 | 11:45 PM EST

Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh believes that because the center-right media and blogosphere pushed back against the vaccine vendetta campaign against Republicans and conservatives, the establishment press is sharply backing away from trying to capitalize on it, especially because both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have been shown to have played to the anti-vaxxer crowd during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary campaign.

Additionally, the New York Times, which smelled blood and ran a hit piece ("Measles Outbreak Proves Delicate Issue to G.O.P. Field") on Page A1 in its Tuesday print edition, had to issue a major three-point correction to it the very next day. That correction to the story by reporters Jeremy Peters and Richard Pérez-Peña, and Rush's reaction to it, follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post; paragraph breaks added by me):

By Tom Blumer | February 4, 2015 | 3:31 PM EST

Yesterday, in a column at his organization's web site, the head of the nation's leading polling organization called the government's official unemployment rate, currently at 5.6 percent, a "big lie."

Rest assured that if Gallup Inc. Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton had written this column during a Republican or conservative administration, his words would have been picked up by the Associated Press and the New York Times, and would have echoed across the Big Three networks' nightly newscasts. Instead, because relatively good-looking government data is sacrosanct during a Democratic administration, an expansive Google News search at 1:15 p.m. ET on "Gallup unemployment lie" (not in quotes, showing similar items and duplicates) returned only 26 items. Almost all of them are from center-right blogs and outlets. One exception is an item at Fortune.com which accuses Clifton of indulging in a "vast" "conspiracy theory."

By Tom Blumer | February 2, 2015 | 5:43 PM EST

According to the Israeli publication Haaretz and many other news outlets, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry won't meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu because it's "inappropriate."

Specifically, "The White House cited the proximity of the Israeli election to Netanyahu's visit, and the desire to refrain from interfering in the election." Certain blatant falsehoods are too much to take, and at Investor's Business Daily, this was one of them. An IBD editorial also tied the actions of those who are clearly acting as Team Obama agents trying to oust Netanyahu in those upcoming Israeli elections to a more comprehensive indictment of the administration's foreign policy (HT to a frequent tipster; bolds are mine throughout this post):

By Tom Blumer | January 31, 2015 | 11:51 PM EST

At the recent meeting of the world's elites in Davos, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and former Mexican President Felipe Calderon circulated a proposal to ban cars in all major cities in the world by dense-packing their layouts. The cost, as I noted on Monday: a mere $90 trillion (that's right, trillion). It's telling in a foreboding sense that the pair's idea wasn't laughed off the continent.

Enviro-nutty ideas such as these trace their origin to Gore's 1992 book, "Earth in the Balance," in which Gore called the internal combustion engine "the mankind's greatest enemy." In reality, it is arguably the greatest enabler of human progress in the world's history. So readers should take some delight in articles appearing two years apart — one at Time.com, and another at the Wall Street Journal, where the authors predict that the odds seem to be in favor of the evil internal combustion engine continuing to outshine the enviros' favored alternatives for at least the next couple of decades. Gore and his media enablers surely wail and gnash their teeth when such inconvenient items rear their scientific heads.

By Tom Blumer | January 31, 2015 | 9:23 PM EST

Over at American Thinker, Thomas Lifson caught a damning admission the New York Times made in a correction to a Thursday piece by Carl Hulse and Jeremy W. Peters. The correction blew apart their write-up's entire premise, namely that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was trying to make amends with congressional Democrats and having to explain why "the White House had been circumvented before he was invited to speak before Congress."

Trouble is, the White House hadn't been circumvented at all, as the correction clearly indicated (bold is mine):