On Tuesday morning, CNN's Kyra Phillips asked why the Republican presidential candidates have not been speaking out on foreign policy in Libya during the climactic battle in the country's capital between rebel and imperial forces. CNN had interviewed Republican candidate Jon Huntsman the night before, but had not yet asked him about the conflict in Libya, in the first of a two-part interview set to conclude Tuesday night.
"This week's battle in Libya, the first big chance for the GOP presidential hopefuls to show their foreign policy savvy," Phillips noted during the 10 a.m. hour of Newsroom. "Why haven't we heard from them?" she asked. Liberal CNN analyst Roland Martin subsequently hammered the Republicans as "wimps" for their silence.
ESPN's LZ Granderson labeled Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) as "crazy" Monday, and CNN anchor Kyra Phillips seemed to credit his judgment.
Granderson, a CNN contributor, said of a Bachmann candidacy that "the people aren't going to vote for crazy. And she [Bachmann] still registers as crazy with a lot of independents." Phillips immediately responded that "If you could go back decades, there's a lot of people who vote for crazy, guys."
National Review's Jim Geraghty notes today that House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer hasn't gotten the memo on the new tone in Washington. “I think we’re playing Russian roulette with the nation’s credit-worthiness, and unfortunately, all the chambers seem to be loaded on the House side. They want to shoot every bullet they have at the President” said Hoyer on Wednesday's "Morning Joe."
When National Review's Jim Geraghty noted on CNN Thursday that the national unemployment rate has been higher through Obama's two years in office than at any time during Bush's two terms, and that the news could hurt Obama in the upcoming election, CNN's Ali Velshi would have none of it.
Velshi interrupted Geraghty and sternly rebuked his premise, decreeing that "with all due respect, that's just a silly thing to say." Velshi, however, could not offer anything other than ridicule to oppose Geraghty's statement which is factually correct.
For the second week in a row, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift and National Review's Rich Lowry had quite a battle on PBS's "McLaughlin Group."
This time the fireworks started when Lowry called President Obama classless for the way he treated Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) at Wednesday's speech on deficit reduction which led Clift to ask, "What else would you expect from a socialist born in Kenya who’s hiding his birth certificate?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
There was a moment on this weekend's "McLaughlin Group" that is guaranteed to make conservatives all around the country smile from ear to ear.
After Newsweek's Eleanor Clift predictably attacked Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and his just-released budget proposal, National Review's Rich Lowry caught her in a serious contradiction and said, "With all due respect, Eleanor, you're talking out of both sides of your mouth" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters reported Saturday, George Will this weekend lambasted Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee about separate comments the two have made regarding Barack Obama's background and upbringing.
On Monday, during his fifth day in a row on this subject, MSNBC's Chris Matthews actually compared Will's column to William F. Buckley Jr. banning anti-Semitic writers from the National Review in the '50s (video follows with transcript and commentary):
National Review's Reihan Salam this weekend demonstrated exactly why it should be required that there be at least one conservative present during televised political discussions.
Appearing on the syndicated "Chris Matthews Show," Salam had a spirited and at times contentious debate with the Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan about conservatism, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In their "Pledge to America," House Republicans have promised to "require each bill moving through Congress to include a clause citing the specific constitutional authority upon which the bill is justified."
On September 22, Newsweek's Ben Adler denounced that simple pledge as "dangerous even as a mere suggestion," complaining that it intrudes on the constitutional prerogative of the courts to decide the constitutionality of federal law.
On this the 24th and final day of his Election Road Trip, Time's Joe Klein availed himself of the opportunity to attack center-left blogger Mickey Kaus and conservative writer Jonah Goldberg for "distort[ing] a striking point" made by a liberal Democrat vineyard owner from California that Klein quoted in a September 27 Swampland blog post.
Klein vented most of his spleen at Kaus, a blogger for rival magazine Newsweek.
Wealthy attorney and Iron Horse Vineyards founding partner Barry Sterling had simply argued that "the current, post-Reagan tax fetishism of the Republican party is foolish," Klein insisted. "He made the point with a creative overstatement of the case--that he'd survived 70% marginal tax rates; indeed, the high rates caused him to work harder to make more money. I am absolutely certain that Sterling was not advocating a return to 70% rates, as Mickey well knows," Klein protested. The Time reporter went on a few sentences later to label Kaus as a "feckless, puerile jerk at times."
National Review's Rich Lowry on Sunday had a classic debate with Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne about whether or not the tax cuts implemented by former President George W. Bush should be allowed to expire.
Dionne agrees with President Obama that they should only be extended for folks making less than $250,000 a year; Lowry thinks that raising anyone's taxes right now could send the country back into recession.
With this in mind, NBC's David Gregory opened the panel segment of "Meet the Press" with a discussion about the current state of the economy and how this issue might impact the upcoming midterm elections.
As he tossed the baton to Lowry and Dionne, one got the feeling Gregory was intentionally lighting a fuse he knew would result in some entertaining fireworks (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):
Chris Matthews this weekend actually invited a real conservative on to the syndicated program bearing his name, and what transpired was a thing of beauty.
National Review's Reihan Salam did such a fabulous job of educating Matthews and his guests - especially Time's Joe Klein - that I imagine him quickly becoming a NewsBusters favorite.
The initial topic of discussion was Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally scheduled to occur after this was taped.
Between Matthews' disrespectful introduction, and Klein calling the conservative talk show host "a paranoid lunatic," one had the feeling this would have devolved into a full on hate-fest if not for Salam's presence.
Fortunately, the National Reviewer was there to set the record straight (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):
Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has responded to reports that an NPR producer wrote gleefully about his death in an e-mail message to the now infamous JournoList.
As NewsBusters reported Wednesday, the Daily Caller's Jonathan Strong published some more of the liberal group's e-mail messages which included Sarah Spitz claiming that she would "Laugh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out" as Limbaugh writhed in torment.
With this in mind, both the Washington Examiner's Byron York and myself asked Limbaugh for a response to this nonsense.
Something about the soccer World Cup brings out the missionary in the mainstream media, and every four years they strive to bring the good news of "the beautiful game" to the ignorant American masses.
This year is no different. The 2010 World Cup is set to begin in South Africa on June 11. More than just covering the month-long event, the media are already doing their best to hype it, overstating its popularity in the United States and its potential appeal to U.S. sports fans. From Time magazine dedicating an entire issue to "The Global Game," to CBS's helpful "The World Cup Guide for Americans," the public is being brow-beaten to catch "World Cup Fever."
And while soccer partisans may try (mostly unsuccessfully) to score on point-by-point comparisons to baseball or football, the most compelling argument many media outlets can muster is, "The rest of the world loves it. We should too."
The liberal media have always been uncomfortable with "American exceptionalism" - the belief that the United States is unique among nations, a leader and a force for good. And they are no happier with America's rejection of soccer than with its rejection of socialism.
Hence Americans are "xenophobic," "isolated" and lacking in understanding for other nations and their passion for "the planetary pastime," as Time magazine put it. But, they are confident, as America becomes more Hispanic, the nation will have to give in and adopt the immigrants' game. On the other hand, the media assure the public that soccer is already "America's Game," and Americans are enthusiastically anticipating the World Cup, even though the numbers don't bear that contention out.
So, every four years they return with renewed determination to force soccer's square peg in the round hole of American culture.
Update - 5/27, 3:08 PM | Lachlan Markay: A new Harvard study finds that increased government spending actually reduces economic activity, contradicting the basic premise behind CBO's assumptions. Details below.
Good economic news is so rare for the current administration, that when some does emerge, many in the media parrot it as fact without really examining the claims that undergird it. New CBO numbers on the stimulus, for instance, have been trumpeted as proof the legislation at least helped, despite the fact that the numbers have little to no basis in reality.
Congressional Budget Office models are based on the assumption that stimulus spending will create jobs. They assume the conclusion they purport to demonstrate, and then claim they've demonstrated it. But if the model is inaccurate or simply based on false premises, it simply goes on tallying jobs "created or saved" without regard to the actual employment rate.
In March, a reporter asked CBO director Doug Elmendorf: "If the stimulus bill did not do what it was originally forecast to do, then that would not have been detected by the subsequent analysis, right?" His response: "That's right. That's right." Yet despite those numbers' disconnect from reality, the media continue to report them as fact, and proof that the stimulus is working.
The far-left Nation magazine is facing a $1,000,000 budget shortfall. Though it attributes it to a weak market for print journalism, conservative periodicals are doing quite well. In fact, the president the Nation worked so hard to elect could spell the magazine's downfall. The irony is delicious.
The magazine's Washington Editor Chris Hayes wrote a fundraising email saying that "newspapers and magazines are having a rough time." Well, not all magazines. National Review's circulation has increased by roughly 25,000 since 2008. It would have been more accurate to say that liberal magazines are having a rough time.
It's generally accepted that magazines do well when someone of the opposite ideological makeup is in the White House. During the Bush administration, liberal magazines thrived. Since Obama was elected, they've declined while conservative ones have flourished.
The president is repeating a blatant falsehood about the Arizona law that has gained instant currency in the establishment press and leftist circles. It has no basis in fact, or in the legislation Grand Canyon State Governor Jan Brewer recently signed.
President Obama is staking out "middle ground" on the new Nuclear Posture Review, Newsweek's Liz White insists in a 3-paragraph-long April 6 The Gaggle blog post.
White concludes so because Obama is getting flak from allies on his left and critics on his right.
While it's true that in that sense, Obama is in the middle of criticism from both sides, in a broader historical sense, Obama is forsaking a post-Cold War bipartisan consensus on nuclear policy, hardly a "middle of the road" policy that tinkers around the edges.
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Keith Payne explains the "Disarmament Danger" in the April 22 print edition of National Review (emphases mine):
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.
The ClimateGate email leak has demonstrated in full force a glaring double standard in the mainstream media's coverage of leaked information. Too often, liberal media outlets jump at the chance to damage conservative figures by publishing sensitive information, but refuse to publish such information if it discredits or hinders the left's efforts.
As Clay Waters reported yesterday, Andew Revkin, who writes for the New York Times's Dot Earth blog, refused to publish emails from Britain's East Anglia Climate Research Unit showing efforts to manipulate climate data and marginalize global warming skeptics.
Said Revkin, "The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here."
Revkin is correct that the emails were never intended for the public eye, contained private communications, and were released by hackers who violated the law in obtaining them. But apparently this standard for publication of such documents does not apply to information about Sarah Palin.
Here's something most likely to go unnoticed as the mainstream media continues reporting on the fallout of the New Haven firefighter case.
In his "Bench Memos" blog, National Review's Ed Whelan explains in "9-0 Against Sotomayor" how even the four liberal justices in today's Ricci v. DeStefano ruling thought Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor goofed in issuing summary judgment for New Haven when the case was before her (italics Whelan's, bold mine):
In footnote 10 of her dissent, Justice Ginsburg states: "Ordinarily, a remand for fresh consideration [whether the City of New Haven in fact had good cause to act] would be in order." But because the majority saw no need to remand, Ginsburg explains "why, if final disposition by this Court is indeed appropriate, New Haven should be the prevailing party." (Emphasis added.)
In other words, Ginsburg doesn't believe that final disposition of the case is appropriate. She and her fellow dissenters therefore believe that Sotomayor and her Second Circuit colleagues and the district court were wrong to grant summary judgment to the City of New Haven.
The establishment media is saying almost nothing about the man who co-founded Earth Day, and who also happens to be in jail for life for murder. Arlen Specter's involvement with the Ira Einhorn case is an important event in the party-switching Senator's career that curious readers would want to know about -- if the establishment media cared to note it.
You know they would be bringing out similar stories quite prominently if they existed about a Democratic senator switching parties. Look at what the Associated Press and the Democratic Party (but I repeat myself) laid on Joe Lieberman in 2006 ("AP Labels Joe Lieberman 'Democrats' Public Enemy No. 1'") -- and he's still considered a reliable Democratic vote.
But before excerpting Time, let's look at two of the earlier paragraphs at John J. Miller's related National Review piece in April 2004, written days before Specter barely withstood an aggressive GOP primary challenge from then-Congressman Pat Toomey:
Though there have long been concerns about liberal bias in the media, 2008 was the year the referees took off their striped shirts and donned a team’s jersey.
So wrote former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie in his National Review piece castigating what has become of journalism in our country.
To be sure, the former counselor to George W. Bush, having watched his boss for years get torn to shreds by a media Gillespie claimed "loathed the president," has a lot of opinions concerning liberal bias.
In what can only be interpreted as another blow to media balance & fairness, the New York Times has refused to guarantee that another conservative would replace fired columnist Bill Kristol.
On Monday, it was announced that Kristol's gig with the New York Times had come to an abrupt end. My colleague, Noel Sheppard, quoting a report in the Daily Beast, noted the conflicting and contradictory reports about the supposed reason for Kristol's firing. He quoted one source as saying “His conservative ideas were cutting edge and influential,” I was told. “But his sloppy writing and failure to fact check what he wrote made us queasy.”
But, as Noel also pointed out in his column, the Times sure doesn't seem to have a problem with the sloppy writing and fact checking of other columnists, like Paul Krugman.
As my colleague Tim Graham reported earlier, President Barack Obama, according to the New York Post, told Congressional Republicans on Friday to stop listening to conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
National Review's Byron York got in touch with Limbaugh Saturday, and published his response to the President at NRO's Corner blog:
In addition to his regular pundit responsibilities at Fox News and sometime column in the Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove has taken it upon himself to do the job of the MSM--reporting the news.
Yesterday, my colleague, Noel Sheppard, noted the lack of coverage of President George W. Bush's homecoming in Texas. Only Fox News was present to cover what was, in Sheppard's words (and I agree), "one of his finest speeches ever." Thanks to Fox News, we have documentary evidence of this speech.
Were it not for Karl Rove, we might not have any similar evidence of President Bush's hearty farewell at Andrews Air Force Base. From Greg Pallowitz at NRO's Media Blog, video after the jump.
ABC can't be so naive as to believe it wasn't a carefully calculated publicity stunt. Surely the good folks at Good Morning America know it was anything but an invasion of privacy--that the Clintons wanted the world to see the image of a blissfully happy married couple tripping the sand fantastic. And yet . . .
GMA devoted a segment this morning to a collective tongue clicking in concern that the Obamas' privacy is being invaded by photographs taken during their current vacation in Hawaii. To lend historicial perspective, other instances of photograhic invasions of presidential privacy were aired, including the image displayed here. According to ABC's Yungi de Nies, who narrated the segment, the photographic invasion of vacation time was "something the Clintons had to get used to. They were spotted dancing in the sand on one vacation." "Spotted"? I suppose. In the same sense streakers are "spotted" running across football fields.
The media's abysmal coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign has been the equivalent of a mass press suicide that has signaled the end of journalism.
So wrote National Review contributor and Hoover Institution senior fellow Victor Davis Hanson Friday in a scathing rebuke of all those so-called impartial journalists who sacrificed their souls and whatever was left of their integrity this year to assist Barack Obama win the White House.
Here are some of Hanson's key points (emphasis added):
But he also has some insight into the source of the audio and some choice words for a media elite that has spent nearly two years failing to do even the most basic digging into the Democratic candidate's background and associations.
Here's what Whittle reveals, and most of his related comments: