MSNBC.com reported Thursday that Julian Assange was hiding out in the Frontline Club, a club for journalists in London, where reporters "closed ranks and kept his whereabouts to themselves." That Assange "knew…he would be well-fed and, more importantly, safe" at the Frontline club demonstrates the bizarre affinity that journalists have for the Wikileaks founder.
Assange's mission is not journalism's mission. He sees no inherent value in truth; information is simply a means to his (very political) end. He doesn't want transparency; by his own admission, Wikileaks's endgame is opacity. He is not a reformer, he is a destroyer.
Nearly a year after leaked emails from the University of East Anglia revealed scientists manipulating data to embellish the case for anthropogenic global warming, journalists are finally starting to learn a few lessons. Unfortunately, few, if any, of those journalists are Americans.
Margot O'Neill of the Australian Broadcasting Company reported last week:
[A] key BBC news manager has declared that climate science "isn't quite a settled question"; and the BBC Trust is investigating the impartiality of science reporting including on climate change and including whether sceptical views are given due airing.
CNN has been airing a video clip today of the President and First Lady trying out some folk dance moves on their trip to India. The scene isn’t necessarily newsworthy, nor does it stand out. The President should be commended for at least trying to entertain the children and performers at a Mumbai high school. It was a fun moment. But McClatchy reporters went a little over the top with their personal dance review (clip below the jump).
They have dubbed it "the Obama Indian Tango."
It might be better known as "How Barack's Wife Got the President's Groove Back."
One of the biggest questions facing President Barack Obama in the wake of the Democrats' Election Day "shellacking" was whether he'd still have that "Yes We Can" charisma that energized people around the world. Apparently, in India, the answer is yes.
If only he had pulled out these dance moves prior to the election, perhaps the Democratic base would have been equally as energized.
Forced movie references aside, the gushing review doesn’t end there…
Last year when Michael Jackson died, average people all over the world knew it within minutes, thanks in part to advances in social media technology such as Facebook and Twitter that make information sharing instantaneous. But maybe these new media have a role in getting out actually important, yet under-reported stories. That may be the case with the horror of violent forced abortions in China.
The enforcement of China’s infamous one-child policy has led family planning authorities to fine women with an illegal second pregnancy for as little as $1 for the poorest citizens, up to $40,000. But in some cases, government actions are far more extreme. Thanks to an Al Jazeera video posted on China’s version of Twitter, the truth of a gruesome, late-term abortion forced upon a mother in the modern city of Xiamen is now receiving more mainstream attention than it might have in a pre-Twitter era.
When seeking political neutrality in a discussion of the Tea Party movement, it's probably best to avoid including - let alone promoting - a reporter who consistently suggests that racism undergirds the movement.
But that is exactly what the State Department did in selecting New York Times reporter Kate Zernike to brief foreign journalists on the Tea Party last Friday.
Not that it justifies the horrible consequences of leaking classifed information, thereby endangering our troops, our allies, our friends, and their families (of course it doesn't), but the WikiLeaked documents being carried at outlets like the New York Times are revealing some truths that are proving quite inconvenient for Iraq war opponents.
Earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that a post at one of Wired.com's blogs ("WikiLeaks Show WMD Hunt Continued in Iraq – With Surprising Results") rnoted that "for years afterward, WikiLeaks’ newly-released Iraq war documents reveal, U.S. troops continued to find chemical weapons labs, encounter insurgent specialists in toxins, and uncover weapons of mass destruction." Add that to the already large pile of evidence that totally debunks the leftist folklore that "there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."
Now Andrew Bolt at Melbourne, Australia's Herald-Sun (HT Instapundit) tells us that another leftist myth about the war's impact on Iraq's general populace is getting retired to the ash heap of false history (links are in original):
It's the tale of two attempts at "digital astroturf" or "online grassroots activism" or whatever you want to call it. Regardless of the label, there's an apparent media double standard at work: attempts to rig prominent online information sources for political gain is only worth reporting if the perpetrators are conservatives.
The blogosphere - though not the mainstream media - has been buzzing about a proposed campaign by a Daily Kos blogger to game Google's search algorithm to promote stories unfriendly to the Tea Party and the GOP.
Contrast the media's silence with the buzz over an alleged attempt by a conservative group on the aggregator Digg to "bury" stories on that site. That plot got coverage from ABC News, the Atlantic, the San Francisco Chronicle, even across the pond at the UK Guardian - not to mention from scores of liberal blogs.
You would think someone in the U.S. establishment press would be following Uncle Sam's progress or lack thereof in getting out from under its investment in Citigroup, especially since the government promised that it would be fully divested from the bank holding company by the end of this year. From all appearances, you would be wrong.
It looks like the government may not be able to keep that year-end divestiture promise. For a fair number of news followers to learn that, the UK's Financial Times had to take an interest (link may require registration), and Drudge had to link to it:
US Treasury stumbles selling Citi shares
The US government is in danger of missing its deadline of divesting all of its Citigroup shares by the year-end after a fall in stock market trading volumes prompted authorities to slow down sales in July and August.
The lull could prompt the US Treasury, which has a stake of about 17 per cent in Citi, to consider a share offering instead of selling the stock in small quantities in the market, according to bankers and analysts.
A UK Independent item about an unreleased book by historian Frank Dikötter made me think about New York Times columnist NIcholas Kristof. Readers will see why shortly.
Amazon says that Dikötter's "Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-1962" will be released on September 28. The Independent's Arifa Akbar relays Dikötter's core conclusion that "At least 45 million people were worked, starved or beaten to death in China over these four years." This is a significantly higher number than the highest previous estimate of Jung Chang, who asserted in her 2005 book, "Mao: The Unknown Story," that "38 million people were starved and slave-driven to death in 1958-61." The seven million extra deaths would move Chang's 2005 total of "more than 70 million" into the neighborhood of 80 million, padding Mao's lead over Stalin and Hitler as the worst mass murderer in human history.
The Independent's Akbar also writes that "Mr. Dikötter is the only author to have delved into the Chinese archives since they were reopened four years ago." If true, this reflects a startling lack of curiosity.
I hope Nick Kristof is just a little curious, and will peruse what Mr. Dikötter has documented when it becomes available. Perhaps it will move him to reach conclusions a bit different from those he reached when he reviewed Chang's book in October 2005 (bolds are mine):
UK Telegraph columnist Janet Daley blasted the BBC on Tuesday for treating the tea party movement "as if it were a cross between the Klu [sic] Klux Klan and the German neo-fascist brigade."
While Daley's piece is a stirring and hard-hitting indictment of the BBC's coverage, she seems to believe that its disdainful approach to the tea party movement stems from a failure to understand the American political tradition. But by that logic, American reporters, who presumably do understand that tradition, would refrain from such coverage.
Let's see: Nazi comparisons? Check. KKK comparisons? Check. The fact is the American media elite are more akin to their British counterparts than to the tea party protesters they all cover. Liberal elitism knows no borders.
BBC Director General Mark Thompson admitted to the UK Daily Mail in an article today that Britain's state-run news outlet has had a "massive" left-wing bias. He insisted, though, that the network is taking steps to remedy the ideological slant.
BBC has a history of promoting the ultra-leftist agenda on most issues. But to see the channel's top dog admit it in an interview with the Daily Mail was quite a sight.
Now if only some television outlets on this side of the pond would do the same.
While Thompson pleaded guilty to a liberal slant, he insisted that a new crop of journalists is changing the political face of the BBC.
Missed? Perhaps, but this story of complacency by President Barack Obama's administration has certainly been under-reported thus far.
On Fox News Channel's July 28 broadcast of "Studio B," the network's judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano discovered a potential lapse in responsibility by the Obama White House. For the broadcast of his July 31 Fox Business Network show "FreedomWatch," Napolitano interviewed Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.org, the so-called "whistleblower site" which released tens of thousands of classified files about the Afghanistan war. During the interview, Napolitano reported Assange revealed he offered the Obama White House the documents, but they were unresponsive. (h/t @CrabbyCon)
"STUDIO B" HOST SHEPARD SMITH: You just interviewed Julian Assange. Now Julian Assange is the man who is the founder of WikiLeaks - released these, or on his site was released the 92,000 pages of documents that lead to all this discussion about our complete failures in Afghanistan and thoughts that we need to get out of Afghanistan. He told you something that I considered to be a blockbuster bit of news. NAPOLITANO: And that is that WikiLeaks presented the documents - there were over 100,000 pages of them, to the White House. SMITH: When? NAPOLITANO: Weeks before they were released. He wouldn't give me an exact date.
In a June 30 interview with "Talk to Al Jazeera," NASA administrator Charles Bolden revealed that President Obama had tasked him with "find[ing] a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering."
Among the media outlets that blacked out the controversy was the Washington Post, which didn't cover the Bolden controversy until today. Even then, the paper printed on page A13 a brief 8-paragraph item by the Reuters news wire:
Antonia Senior of The Times of London revealed her extremist position in favor of abortion in a June 30 column. Senior bluntly admitted that the intentional killing of the unborn was a cause she would be willing to die for, and while acknowledging it was "taking a life," she labeled it was a "lesser evil," for, in her view, "you cannot separate women's rights from their right to fertility control."
The British journalist, is the personal finance editor for The Times, began her column with outlining the extent to which abortion is a core issue for her. Senior noted that in the Tower of London, there's an "interactive display that ask visitors to vote on whether they would die for a cause." After eliminating dolphins and even her own country of England as potential choices, she continued that she "could think of one cause I would stake my life on: a woman's right to be educated, to have a life beyond the home and to be allowed by law and custom to order her own life as she chooses. And that includes complete control over her own fertility."
Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds employed sarcastic irony this morning when he wrote that "Obama’s hate speech is promoting violence against BP." Well, it's at least clear that the blame game out of Washington isn't helping the situation.
Reynolds is referring to a report from TV station WREG in Memphis about an incident involving property damage at a local BP station, and other instances that have occurred in other parts of the country (video is at the link):
Bullets Shatter Glass at BP Gas Station
(Southaven, MS) -- Windows at the BP Gas Station on Highway 51 at Custer Drive were shot out overnight. Folks who work at the store believe the suspects were expressing anger over BP and how it's handling the oil spill.
"I believe that would be the reason," said Alex Saleh. "We don't have any enemies." He said nothing was taken from the store after the windows were destroyed.
The Associated Press was the only American major media organization (as of 4 pm Eastern on Friday) that picked up on a March 31 altercation in the world-famous Catholic cathedral in Cordoba, Spain (at right, taken from The Builder blog), where over 100 Muslims responded with violence after security guards ordered them to stop praying inside the building, which once served as a mosque. Two of the guards were seriously injured.
The UK's Guardian reported about the incident in an April 1 article. Correspondent Giles Tremlett noted that "half a dozen members of a group of more than 100 Muslims from Austria had started praying...when security guards ordered them to stop....Cathedral authorities said the guards had invited the visitors to continue viewing the inside of a 24,000 sq metre building...but without praying. 'They replied by attacking the security guards, two of whom suffered serious injuries," the bishop's office said.'" The statement from Bishop Demetrio Fernández's office stated the Muslims "provoked in a pre-planned fashion what was a deplorable episode of violence."
With the recently announced end of Fox's hit series "24," many liberal pundits are parading the show as a false depiction of the notion that "torture works." Contrary to their accusations, the Jack Bauer interrogation methods bear exactly zero resemblance to any actual interrogation techniques used by American military, law enforcement, or intelligence agents.
"On '24,' torture saves lives," the New York Times's Brian Stelter writes, disapprovingly. James Poniewozik, writing on a Time Magazine blog, attributes the show's supposed approval of harsh interrogations to the "conservative politics of co-creator Joel Surnow."
Any American who has serious doubts that our military and intelligence officials would allow interrogators to, say, directly threaten the lives of a terrorist's family (let alone inflict tremendous physical pain) to elicit information has a better grasp of interrogation techniques -- and the integrity of our men and women in uniform -- than most of the liberal media.
Vice President Joseph Biden's very public wearing of ashes, a Lenten practice for Catholics, on Wednesday led to several befuddled reactions from the mainstream media. Sky News's Kay Burley had to apologize after confusing the ashen mark for an injury. More egregiously, ABC News's Karen Travers omitted the past controversy over his support for legalized abortion, and portrayed him as a devout Catholic.
The Vice President bore the ashes on his forehead as he introduced President Obama at a White House event celebrating the one-year anniversary of the so-called Recovery Act. Burley asked Greg Milam, Sky News's US correspondent, about the mark as they monitored Biden's remarks: "What's happened to his head? I'm sure that's what everybody's asking at home." After a short pause, Milam replied, "Yes, I don't know. It's a simple answer. Maybe we'll get a chance to find out a little later." Burley then remarked, "It looks like he walked into a door, doesn't it? I'm sure that's one of the questions that the networks will be asking him." (video clip above is from Thursday's Morning Joe on MSNBC; audio available here).
CNN on Tuesday highlighted the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change use of a unsubstantiated claim about the Himalayan glaciers melting by 2035 to put pressure on politicians across the globe. Meteorologist Rob Marciano thought the “snafu” on the part of the IPCC was “inexcusable,” while anchor Rick Sanchez put the panel and its head on his “List You Don’t Want to Be On.”
Marciano brought up the week-old story during a segment 49 minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour. He played a sound bite from climatologist Jim White, who was attending the annual Steamboat Springs Weather Summit in Colorado (Marciano was on-location in Steamboat Springs). The CNN meteorologist voiced his agreement with White, who blasted the IPCC’s exaggeration:
At NewsBusters last night, Noel Sheppard posted about a UK Daily Mail report that "A scientist responsible for a key 2007 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report warning Himalayan glaciers would be completely melted by 2035 has admitted that the claim was made to put political pressure on world leaders." Noel also noted that U.S. media coverage of this damning admission has been sparse.
The basis for the now-discredited claim was "a 2005 report by the environmental campaign group WWF (World Wildlife Fund)." Further, the WWF report contained a basic math error causing it to assert that "one glacier was retreating at the alarming rate of 134 metres a year should in fact have said 23 metres."
The Daily Mail reported that "Friday, the WWF website posted a humiliating statement recognising the claim as ‘unsound’, and saying it ‘regrets any confusion caused’."
The statement must be humiliating, because if its text is anywhere on a WWF web site, it seems to be well-hidden, and perhaps deliberately so (see Update at the end of this post).
Minimizing to nearly zero the possible relevance of the suspect's home country of residence and of the possibility that he might be affiliated with what one publication refers to as the "Nigerian Taliban."
The wire service's 11:04 p.m. report (not linked, as original was revised by AP), had this to say about the relevance of Nigeria in its 23rd paragraph of 26:
A segment on the Dec. 3 broadcast of BBC's "Newsnight," showed the implications of the story behind the so-called "ClimateGate" scandal are more than just e-mails concealing data, but an incompetence analyzing the data by way of faulty computer code.
John Graham-Cumming, a British programmer known for the open source "POPFile email filtering program" explained how the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) had wholesale problems with its computer programming analyzing climate change data, with billion, if not even trillions of dollars, on the line.
Two months ago, there was the "Dog Ate My Global Warming Data" episode. As noted at NewsBusters and at BizzyBlog (original source: National Review Online), we learned that important original information forming the underpinning of global warming alarmists' claims about the earth heating up has vanished. It is longer available and apparently can't be reverse engineered.
Today, e-mails hacked from a UK climate research facility appear at a minimum to indicate a willingness by scientists to fudge the data to make alleged warming trends more clear and convincing. At worst, the whole enterprise could be totally discredited.
Important and damming passages from certain of the e-mails have been acknowledged as authentic.
Defending the decision of the United States to drop nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII is not a comfortable thing to do when you're in Japan. But if you're President of the United States, you must do it. Diplomatically, yes. With sympathy for the civilian victims, yes. But you must do it.
But when it came time today for Barack Obama to fulfill that fundamental duty, he failed. The very first reporter [from Fuji TV] called on at the joint press conference with PBO and Japanese PM Hatoyama in Tokyo today put the question to Pres. Obama in blunt and explicit terms:
JAPANESE REPORTER: What is your understanding of the historical meaning of the A-bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Do you think it was the right decision?
Obama took a deep breath, paused . . . and punted.
Wanda Sykes debuted her new comedy show Saturday on Fox. That critics met the show with reviews of varying degrees of mediocrity is hardly surprising, as Sykes simply recycled years of Bush-bashing and Obamamania into her monologue, which set the mood for the show.
Sykes is well known in political circles for proclaiming "I hope his kidneys fail" in reference to Rush Limbaugh at this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner. She went on to make fun of Limbaugh's former drug addiction, liken him to terrorists, and call for him to be waterboarded.
So it came as little surprise that Sykes kicked off her new show with attacks on Ann Coulter, discussions of environmentally-friendly sex toys, accusations of racism leveled against Rush Limbuagh, and an anti-Bush, Obama-crazed diatribe (video and partial transcript below the fold).
Here's news you can virtually guarantee won't get noticed by what remains of the establishment media.
Whole Foods (WFMI) announced its financial results for the quarter ended September 30 yesterday. The quarter closed about 50 days after outraged leftists called for a boycott of the grocery chain to retaliate for a Wall Street Journal op-ed written by CEO John Mackey. In that column, Mackey identified "Eight things we can do to improve health care without adding to the deficit," asserting that:
The last thing our country needs is a massive new health care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and move us much closer to a government takeover of our health care system. Instead, we should be trying to achieve reforms by moving in the opposite direction — toward less government control and more individual empowerment.
Well, if there's so much support out there for statist health care, you would think that the Whole Foods boycott dedicated to punishing an opponent would have had a significant impact on the company's most recent quarterly results.
A new report on the state of the newspaper industry in Argentina has found that federal appropriations for newspapers have resulted in less coverage of government corruption. This study goes to the heart of the 'newspaper bailout' debate in this country, and demonstrates the danger of supporting the news media with government funds (h/t Mark Tapscott).
Many liberal media commentators have called for direct federal subsidies for ailing newspapers, arguing that federally-supported news media are essential to democracy. The most prominent group in this camp is Free Press, founded by liberal media guru--and avowed socialist--Robert McChesney (incidentally, McChesney has avidly defended Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's crackdown on opposition media outlets in the country).
A columnist for the UK Guardian wants to save the Earth by thinning the ranks of humans that are a cruel blight upon it. By his account, population control is the only viable solution to the destruction of the planet.
"The worst thing you or I can so for the planet is to have children" writes the Guardian's Alex Renton, who advocated in a Sunday column an ambiguous system of system of carrots and sticks to get the developed world to stop reproducing.
Renton cannot contain his loathing of the developed world. "One less British child would permit some 30 women in sub-Saharan Africa to have a baby and still leave the planet a cleaner place," he writes. Renton adds that "a cull of Australians or Americans would be at least 60 times as productive as one of Bangladeshis."