Two-and-a-half years before Army Major Nidal Hasan, a Muslim medical doctor, murdered 13 at Fort Hood in Texas in what more-and-more looks like a jihadist terrorist attack given his anti-American rants and ties to Islamic extremists, ABC's since-canceled Boston Legal drama ridiculed the idea a doctor could be a terrorist.
A scene in the episode first aired on Tuesday, May 8, 2007 -- meant to show the silliness and incompetence of the military for detaining obviously innocent men -- concluded with a released terror suspect being asked in courtroom about a colleague who had committed suicide to avoid the mistreatment: “Was your friend a terrorist?” The man replied with these words, dripping with disgust, which dramatically ended the scene: “No, he was a doctor.”
"MSNBC News Live" anchor Contessa Brewer on Tuesday speculated as to whether supposed obstructionism by congressional Republicans may end up hampering the response to the swine flu outbreak. Talking to Republican strategist Tucker Bounds and Democratic strategist Peter Mirijanian, she asserted, "Let me ask you, Health and Human Services secretary has not been confirmed. You have a missing director of the CDC. The surgeon general is not there."
Specifically addressing Bounds, Brewer quizzed, "Do you, Tucker, think that Republicans are in any way to blame for standing in the way of those important positions- when you're facing swine flu- from being filled?" Bounds, of course pointed out that Democrats control both the Senate and the House. As for the CDC, Obama has not even nominated a candidate. Regarding the position of surgeon general, Dr. Sanjay Gupta was considered, but took his name out of contention. No one has picked to fill the spot. So, how, exactly, would Republicans be to blame? Brewer didn't say.
McCain/Palin supporters are idiots. So said the scribes of ABC's Boston Legal who scripted a show that went out of its way to trash Sarah Palin and elevate the election of Barack Obama to mythical status.
Oh. And bloggers are "entry level life forms that intellectually have yet to emerge from the primordial ooze."
The thrust of the storyline was a lawsuit brought by a woman who claimed she was fired from her job because she voted for McCain. As it turns out her Republican boss fired her because he thought she was stupid and based his conclusion on the fact that the woman was an ardent Hillary supporter who voted for McCain because of Sarah Palin. A double slam from the left-loving writers of Boston Legal.
The Obama-supporting characters "Alan Shore" and "Shirley Schmidt" played by James Spader and Candice Bergen represented the Hillary/Palin-supporting woman even though they did think she was stupid...for supporting the McCain ticket. "Schmidt" tells the character "Martha" as much in a conference.
"SHIRLEY SCHMIDT:" Honey, the sexist in all this is you. ... You claim to be a staunch Hillary Clinton supporter. You--you walked into that booth and voted against everything Hillary stands for, and why? Because the republicans added to their ticket someone they referred to at the convention as "the hot chick."
For more Saturday night entertainment pleasure, here's the video Neal Boortz talked about this week featuring William Shatner's Denny Crane character ("Boston Legal") "helping" Barack Obama as he defends the Second Amendment:
On The Situation Room today, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer made a surprising admission to, of all people, real estate entrepreneur Donald Trump:
BLITZER: What do you think of his (Obama's) decision to pick Joe Biden as his running mate?
TRUMP: I really don't know Senator Biden but I know one thing. He's run a number of times for president. He's gotten less than 1 percent of the vote each time. And that's a pretty tough thing. You know, he's also been involved in pretty big controversy like plagiarism in college and various other things. That's a pretty big statement. So perhaps you change over a period of time. But when you plagiarize, that's a very bad statement. That hasn't been brought up yet, but I'm sure at some point it will. I'm sure that Sarah Palin will bring it up in a debate or somebody's going to bring it up.
BLITZER: Are you talking about plagiarism when he was running for president?
TRUMP: No, I'm talking about when he was a college student as I understand it, and this was a big issue originally but he supposedly plagiarized as a college student. That's a pretty serious charge.
BLITZER: I don't remember that. We'll check it out. But maybe you obviously have a better memory about that.
On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia. Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:
CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.
Is there a pro-Obama bias in the media? Only if you at it from a certain point-of-view according to "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams.
Despite allegations of just the opposite, the wall-to-wall coverage of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama's trip to the Middle East then to Europe wasn't a sign of bias - it was just the media attempting to "educate" according to Williams.
Williams appeared on CNBC's "Closing Bell" on July 28 to promote the broadcast of his interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be aired on the July 28 "NBC Nightly News." "Closing Bell" host Maria Bartiromo asked Williams if the media were treating Democratic presidential hopeful as a "darling." Williams dismissed the allegation.
"I think it is in the eye of the beholder," Williams said. "As I always say, there was that great New York clothier Sy Syms. We all grew up listening to those radio ads in the New York area and what did he used to say? ‘An educated consumer is our best customer.' The journalism needs to be judged on what we covered of that trip, how we covered it, what we said. It was a big story last week. The crowd I covered in Berlin was a big story, as was the visit to Paris and London and the Middle East before it."
A practical joke on last night's "Boston Legal" had mad cow disease-afflicted lawyer Denny Crane (played by William Shatner) believing the RNC wanted him as the presidential nominee.
And it left "Boston Legal" writers with plenty of opportunities to slam Republicans, like this exchange that suggests former Republican President Ronald Reagan had mad cow disease instead of Alzheimer's:
ALAN SHORE: Do they know you have mad cow?
DENNY CRANE: They're looking for the next Ronald Reagan, and he had it at the very end.
Tuesday night on ABC's farcical drama, Boston Legal, the firm represented a client suing the National Guard for failing to protect his pizza shop from a flood because the soldiers were deployed in Iraq, providing a chance for lawyer “Alan Shore,” played by James Spader, to launch into a courtroom rant about “what the $450 billion dollars we spent on Iraq could buy us.” He offered a litany of left-wing talking points, from “free health care” to ending hunger to -- seriously -- converting every car to run on ethanol:
How about free health insurance for every uninsured family, $124 billion. Convert every single car to run on ethanol, $68 billion. Primary education for every child on the planet -- all of them -- $30 billion. Hey, end hunger in America, $7 billion....We have to talk about the cost of this war in terms of human lives.
Nearly eight weeks before six medical doctors were arrested for their involvement in the late June terrorist attempted car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow, ABC's "Boston Legal" drama -- which has its 90-minute season premiere tonight (Tuesday) -- aired an episode which ridiculed the idea a doctor could be a terrorist.
In the May 8 episode, titled "Guantanamo by the Bay," attorney "Alan Shore," played by James Spader, takes up the case of British citizen "Benyam Kallah" suing the government, oddly in state court, over Kallah's torture at the Guantanamo Bay facility after he was picked up in Afghanistan where he claims he was doing "humanitarian" work. On the witness stand, Kallah describes the torture and how a friend detained with him couldn't take the torture any longer and so committed suicide. Concluding the scene meant to show the silliness and incompetence of the military for detaining such obviously innocent men, Shore asked: "Was your friend a terrorist?" Kallah replied: "No, he was a doctor."
Tonight's (May 8) episode of ABC's “Boston Legal,” the 10pm EDT/PDT drama set in an unorthodox Boston law firm, will seemingly take up the topic of a man “tortured” by the U.S. at Guantanamo Bay. The ABC.com summary of the plot relays that attorney “Alan Shore,” played by James Spader, “sues the United States on behalf of a client who was tortured for two years at a detention camp.” The title of the episode: “Guantanamo by the Bay.”
This will hardly be the first time the ABC show, starring William Shatner and Candice Bergen, has centered episodes around advancing liberal causes. See the January 17 NewsBusters posting: “ABC's 'Boston Legal' Takes Cheap Shots to the Right.” Also check a NewsBusters posting from March of 2006, “ABC's 'Boston Legal' Airs Anti-Bush Tirade, Takes Shot at FNC & Raises McCarthy Era,” which features two video clips.
Last night ABC’s Boston Legal was packed full of political jabs. Lawyer Denny Crane (played by William Shatner) was placed on the "No Fly List" and when Alan Shore (played by James Spader) asked if Crane has called for help, his response was, "Well, I can’t get anybody. I called Tom Delay, his number’s disconnected. Foley has got his hands full, Frist said, "Don’t take it personally." I called Clarence Thomas; his office said he was indisposed." Shore then asked, "How you tried going right to the top?" Crane’s response was, "Cheney?"
Soon after, Shore described Crane to a Homeland Security official saying, "Mr. Murch... there is nobody more red, white and blue than this man here. He's for the death penalty. He's pro-life. He doesn't read newspapers. He's exercised every loophole to avoid paying taxes. He's even donated to. The Jack Abramoff ball."
Another episode of ABC's prime time drama Boston Legal will air tonight (Tuesday). Last week's episode featured a plot line with over-the-top lawyer "Alan Shore," played by James Spader, delivering a five-minute-long closing argument, in defense of a woman who wouldn't pay income taxes, railing against the war on terrorism. Earlier, explaining to Shore her reasoning, the woman, "Melissa Hughes," cited how her grandfather, who fought in World War I, would be "embarrassed" by "what's happening today." She listed "us torturing people, spying on our own people, squashing everybody's civil liberties. My grandfather would weep." To which Shore got in an obvious slap at FNC: "You need to change the channel. The awful things you speak of never happen on the 'fair and balanced' newscasts."
In his closing, Shore cited a litany of misdeeds, including: "When the weapons of mass destruction thing turned out not to be true, I expected the American people to rise up....And, now it's been discovered the executive branch has been conducting massive, illegal, domestic surveillance on its own citizens -- you and me. And I at least consoled myself that finally, FINALLY, the American people will have had enough. Evidently, we haven't." Shore soon compared the current climate to that of the McCarthy era, recalling what he read in a book by Adlai Stevenson: "Too often, sinister threats to the bill of rights, to freedom of the mind, 'are concealed under the patriotic cloak of anti-communism.' Today, it's the cloak of anti-terrorism."
Video excerpt #1, “Shore” listing misdeeds (1:25): Real (2.5 MB) or Windows Media (2.9 MB)
Video excerpt #2, “Shore” making McCarthy era comparison (1:15): Real (2.2 MB) or Windows Media (2.5 MB)
Recently I wrote about Law & Order's not-so-subtle agenda on the immigration issue. Now cometh ABC's Boston Legal, a show known for both entertaining and pushing the envelope. Let's start with a portion of the show synopsis on the ABC website:
While [Crane, Poole & Schmidt law firm lawyer] Denise Bauer shops with her housekeeper and the woman's four-year-old son, the unthinkable happens when the boy is kidnapped by a known pedophile. An FBI special agent tells them that technicalities prevent the Bureau from getting involved, but he strongly suggests that, as private citizens, [law firm lawyers] Denise and Brad Chase conduct their own investigation. Their frantic search eventually takes them to Father Ryan, a priest who refuses to help since he can't break his confessional seal.
After this, things get pretty crazy. The firm lawyers present a phony warrant, which they are not authorized to administer even if it was valid. When the priest locks his office door in defiance of the warrant and to protect the confessional seal, Denise "breaks the glass" and convinces Brad to threaten to break down the exceedingly expensive Italian office door with a fire axe. Brad accidentally chops off three of the priest's fingers in the process.