1/18 Infantry, Second Brigade Combat Team, First Infantry Division, rotated out of Iraqi several weeks ago to their home base in Schweinfurt, Germany. This included noted fabulist Scott Thomas Beauchamp. Whether Beauchamp is still in Germany or has been allowed home on leave is rather irrelevant; he matters quite little now that he has established that he will not support his dark fantasies on the record.
What does matter is that Franklin Foer and The New Republic have lost yet another excuse in their continued failure to account for the actions of the magazine's editors since "Shock Troops" was first questioned July 18, over four months ago. Now that Beauchamp is out of the war zone and back in western civilization, Foer is unable to claim that he military is muzzling his communication or that of his fellow soldiers.
Rumor has it that Franklin Foer is presently attempting to pen his final justification of the story, and that it will be published in a December editor of the magazine.
Wash, spin, rinse, spin. Phone, spin, report, spin, poll, spin. The similarities between the work of the mainstream media and a laundry machine are striking. Yet there is nothing about the cycle -- the spin-report-poll-spin cycle -- that does for political events what detergent does for your boxers or briefs.
The media, as One, spend days or weeks bashing someone or something they do not like. They then conduct a poll to prove to you that they were right all along. In a campaign season, their one-sided coverage is calculated, then executed to produce a result. It’s not about reporting the events, it’s about changing the prevailing view.
And the polls -- such as the ones by the media, which are not independent surveys like those undertaken by the likes of Rasmussen or Gallup -- aren’t intended as much to gauge the public view of a candidate or events as they are to reinforce that which they have “reported”, or provide the media guidance on how effective their spinning of the news has been.
Team Edwards, both eminently coiffed candidate John and his designated political hitter bride Elizabeth, on Wednesday, Novemeber 21st cancelled their scheduled appearance on The View, doing so, according to the UnDynamic Duo, to “honor the members of the Writers Guild of America”, who are currently on strike.
Not to be outpandered, Michelle Obama, wife of the incredibly audacious Barack, later that same day pulled out of her December 5th guest co-hosting duties.
Obviously, sucking up is more important than being sucked up to in Democratic presidential politics.
This is related to nearly every Donkey candidate promising to not participate in a scheduled December 10th CBS debate (moderated by the ratings Juggernaut Katie Couric) should their news writers decide to join their union brethren and sistren (one must be, in this age of PC, all-inclusive) and abandon that foundering network vessel to the waves unscribed.
On Monday, NewsBusters reported the ironic occurrence of a Missouri newspaper firing a former journalism professor for plagiarism.
At the time, I wrote, "I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry."
Well, new information suggests the latter, as the piece which started the brouhaha, a November 3 column by professor emeritus John Merrill, was critical of a new department for women's and gender studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia (emphasis added):
The famous picture of a terrified Mohammed al-Dura hiding behind his father enraged millions of Muslims and became such an iconic image of Palestinian martyrdom and Israeli occupation that it caused violent rioting, inspired some UK Muslims to commit to radical Islam and was even used in suicide bomber propaganda.
It took a defamation case to get France2 to fork over the raw footage, but Media Backspin reported portions are missing (bold mine throughout):
If you think media bias is only a problem at the Katie Couric level, a recent trial in Worcester, Massachusetts shows that journalism can be slanted at the local level, too. A reporter for the Worcester [Mass.] Telegram & Gazette reported and testified that a pro-family activist had viciously assaulted a leftwing demonstrator at a rally. But no credible witnesses agreed, and a jury dismissed the charges.
The paper has refused to issue a clarification, apology or retraction, despite the extreme variance of the reporter’s account with that of people directly on the scene. The Telegram reported last December that a pro-family, Catholic activist, Larry Cirignano, had assaulted protester Sarah Loy at a pro-marriage rally at city hall. Reporter Richard Nangle not only reported the “assault,” but became a star witness for the prosecution. Witnesses who actually saw the incident up close refuted Nangle’s account, and a jury on Oct. 22 unanimously threw out the charges.
Cirignano had, with one arm on her back, escorted a sign-waving ACLU officer, Sarah Loy, from near the podium and into the crowd. After he turned and left, she tripped over a girl’s foot, eyewitnesses testified. But check out this lead in the original story on Dec. 17, the day after the rally:
Do you find it amazing that the same media doing everything possible to ignore global warming skeptics whilst almost exclusively focusing attention on entities advancing climate change hysteria (i.e. Al Gore) are constantly accusing the Bush administration of censorship regarding this issue?
The most recent example of such absurdity transpired when assertions were made about nefariously edited Senate testimony given last Tuesday by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Julie Gerberding.
Though many in the media credited the Associated Press for breaking the story, it appears this conspiracy theory might first have been hatched by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Cal.), as according to LexisNexis, the following announcement posted at the website of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works was published by US Fed News at 2:46AM EST Tuesday:
He's a twice-AWOL serial liar with a pending mental health evaluation who can't write believable military fiction EVEN WHILE IN THE MILITARY. He's powerless, has been tried, found guilty and punished, and at this point, a distraction. We've been focusing on the wrong things.
What matters is the New Republic's advertisers. No, not their editors, their advertisers. [see below the fold for a list of same]
After weeks of saying nothing, the editors of the New Republic magazine have stepped out of their batcave to inform the world that they still believe in Scott Beauchamp's "reports" from Iraq.
For his part, Beauchamp is starting to look more and more like Memogate's Bill Burkett, the Texas moonbat who repeatedly told different versions of his story to Dan Rather and Mary Mapes:
Beauchamp’s refusal to defend himself certainly raised serious doubts. That said, Beauchamp’s words were being monitored: His squad leader was in the room as he spoke to us, as was a public affairs specialist, and it is now clear that the Army was recording the conversation for its files.
As NewsBusters reported a few weeks ago, Internet behemoth Google banned anti-MoveOn.org advertisements placed by a marketing firm working for Sen. Susan Collins's (R-Me.) reelection campaign.
On Thursday, the Washington Examiner revealed information that raises a lot of questions concerning the influence of this far-left organization and its relationship to one of America's most powerful media companies.
The article ominously began (emphasis added throughout):
It's one thing for an editor to stubbornly defend a reporter whose story has come under fire when the reporter in question vehemently insists he is telling the truth. It's quite another when an editor stands by a discredited story that even the writer responsible for refuses to vigorously defend.
Such appears to be the case with The New Republic's Franklin Foer.
In a recorded Sept. 6 conversation, the writer, Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp, said from Iraq that the controversy had "spun out of control" and had become "insane" and "ridiculous" and concluded: "I'm not going to talk to anyone about anything."
Drudge scooped me (arrgghhh!) with two documents related to the Beauchamp/TNR story. I had asked for in a FOIA request submitted more than a month ago to the U.S. Army. Those documents including a transcript of the call between Scott Beauchamp, TNR editor Franklin Foer, and TNR executive editor Peter Scoblic on September 7. I first wrote about the conversation itself previously.
The other document was the Army's official report, which I first discussed with the investigating officer, Major John Cross, on September 10.
Knowing the documents exist is one thing; having them is quite another. Now that they have been posted on the public record, these disclosures should end careers at The New Republic.
Valerie Plame (wife of serial anti-war misleader Joe Wilson) has just published "Fair Game," the biography of her life before and after columnist Robert Novak "outed" her as a "CIA operative" in a column in 2003, starting a domino effect that made her and her husband heroes of the antiwar movement and the media, including the New York Times.
Times critic Janet Maslin's review Monday neither questioned Plame's story nor raised a single inconvenient truth.
"Needless to say, the story of how her career was derailed and her C.I.A. cover blown also has its combative side. But the real proof of Ms. Wilson's fighting spirit is the form in which her version of events has been brought into the light of day. 'Anyone not living in a cave for the last few years knew I had a career at the C.I.A.,' writes Ms. Wilson (who has gone by that name since she married former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV in 1998). Once that career was destroyed, she wrote this account of her experiences as a means of both supporting herself and settling scores. She was contractually obligated to submit a draft of the book to the Central Intelligence Agency's Publications Review Board. That draft came back heavily expurgated. She was then expected to rewrite her book so that it made sense despite many deletions."
Nine years have passed since The New Republic came to grips with the fact that it had a serial fabulist on its hands in writer Stephen Glass. Now the liberal magazine is facing more scrutiny for more faulty reporting at the hands of Scott Thomas Beauchamp.
"I couldn't help but be struck by the similarities and differences at The New Republic, then and now," blogger Ed Morrissey wrote after viewing the 2003 film "Shattered Glass," based on the rise and fall of New Republic writer Stephen Glass. What's most damning, Morrissey argues, is that the Beauchamp scandal is much worse in terms of the gravity of the news material that was faked and the disparity in how the TNR editors have responded:
The New York Sun's Eli Lake is reporting this morning that "Al Qaeda's Internet communications system has suddenly gone dark to American intelligence" following "the leak of Osama bin Laden's September 11 speech inadvertently disclosed the fact that" American intelligence agencies "had penetrated the enemy's system."
You can thank ABC News for that. According to Lake:
...the disclosure from ABC and later other news organizations tipped off Qaeda's internal security division that the organization's Internet communications system, known among American intelligence analysts as Obelisk, was compromised. This network of Web sites serves not only as the distribution system for the videos produced by Al Qaeda's production company, As-Sahab, but also as the equivalent of a corporate intranet, dealing with such mundane matters as expense reporting and clerical memos to mid- and lower-level Qaeda operatives throughout the world.
Last Sunday, NewsBusters introduced readers to Media Matters for America, the left-wing organization behind the recent smear campaigns against conservative personalities Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly.
In the days that followed, although news outlets and leading Democrats continued to reference articles written by this shadowy group, few details were offered about the organization behind them, and virtually nothing was shared concerning its founder, David Brock, who in a short period of time a decade ago remarkably went from a staunch enemy of the Clintons to one of their strongest supporters.
As National Review's Jonah Goldberg wrote in Sunday's New York Post, "Brock was once a right-wing hatchet man, penning a book, ‘The Real Anita Hill,' and some articles in the American Spectator on the Clintons that for a time earned him considerable notoriety on the right and hatred on the left."
Despite the influence Media Matters currently has with the mainstream media, Brock's extraordinary political metamorphosis ten years ago, though obviously a journalist's dream, has received little recent attention from press representatives typically clamoring for such juicy dish (emphasis added throughout):
If this exclusive is completely accurate then it is a bombshell story that the media completely ignored or overlooked. It probably didn’t line up with their narrative for the war. According to the report, the Time reporter that broke this story played the fool to an al Qaeda operative and the actual attacks were done by militant operatives led by Al Qaeda. Others were quick to echo the propaganda , overlooking key facts and evidence as the MSM does so well, from the New York Times to Congressman John Murtha.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) took to a popular conservative blog today to issue a defense of radio host Rush Limbaugh against left-wing smear attacks. As NewsBusters has reported, Blackburn herself was the target of a "gotcha" game by MSNBC's David Shuster.
In "Why let the truth get in the way of a good story," Blackburn expressed to Red State readers her support for Limbaugh and noted her resolution before the House of Representatives to commend Rush for this dedication to America's men and women in uniform:
Oh sure, sometimes they love to hate us, but one thing is clear: NewsBusters is must reading for MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.
As I noted here, Scarborough and panelist Willie Geist blasted Media Matters on today's "Morning Joe" for using a "phony story" to go after Rush for his "phony soldiers" comment. Joe and Willie recognized the truth of the matter: that Rush had been speaking of one phony soldier indeed, Jesse Macbeth, and not of anti-war soldiers in general.
Later, at 8:03 A.M. EDT, in the context of the Media Matters-inspired attack on Rush, Joe and Mika made clear that they have NewsBusters on the noggin.
On August 26 and September 2, the Washington Post refused to run the weekly "Opus" comic strip by cartoonist Berkeley Breathed out of concerns of insensitivity to Muslims. NewsBusters associate editor wrote about the controversy here and here, and MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell discussed the Post's double standard on religious sensibilities on Glenn Beck's CNN Headline News program.
Weeks after the controversy has subsided, NewsBusters reader Rusty Weiss shot me a message informing me that a classic "Bloom County" strip from Breathed in the September 28 edition of Yahoo Comics is quite appropriate coming on the heels of the controversy (see below fold for the comic strip). Writes Weiss:
MRC director of research and NewsBusters senior editor Rich Noyes appeared on Friday's "Fox & Friends" to discuss the MRC's statement calling on CBS and CNN to apologize to Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly.
Appearing in the 7:00 a.m. half-hour of Thursday's "Fox & Friends," Media Research Center president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted that former "CBS Evening News" anchor Dan Rather is in utter "meltdown" over the National Guard hoax "although it's been proven documentably, no pun intended, to be false."
In the wake of the recent media-created scandal concerning statements made by Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on his radio show, a rather enlightening discussion has ensued regarding the existence of a well-organized campaign to demonize every television and radio personality whose political opinions don't march in lock-step with the left.
A rather frank and candid conversation concerning this matter occurred on Wednesday's "The O'Reilly Factor" between the host and outspoken radio talk show personality Tammy Bruce.
The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that Telemundo reporter and mayoral mistress Mirthala Salinas is heading back at work after a two-month suspension, albeit demoted to a less prominent job within the network:
Television newscaster Mirthala Salinas, who was suspended without pay for two months in August after her affair with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa became public, is scheduled to return to work Monday. But she won't be taking up her old job as a fill-in anchor on evening newscasts for KVEA-TV Channel 52.
Instead, executives with the Spanish-language Telemundo network confirmed Monday that Salinas would be sent to the station's Inland Empire bureau in Riverside as a general assignment reporter, a notable fall for a one-time rising star who has become one of the most recognizable faces in local Spanish-language television.
Is the media hypocritical on censorship when conducted by Democrats versus Republicans? It would seem that this may indeed be the case. The media likes to claim that President George Bush's Administration is clamping down on civil rights, although they have a difficult time citing any actual examples of such. However, when the Clinton campaign really does exercise press censorship, the media is largely silent. According to the Politico online magazine, GQ magazine was poised to run a story that would have been critical of the Hillary Clinton campaign. This in itself is a relative rarity in the current media. However, by threatening to withold access to former President Bill Clinton, the campaign managed to force GQ to pull the planned story. Editor Jim Nelson then tried to claim that this was normal procedure,
“I don’t really get into the inner workings of the magazine, but I can tell you that yes, we did kill a Hillary piece. We kill pieces all the time for a variety of reasons,” Nelson said in an e-mail to Politico. He did not respond to follow-up questions. A Clinton campaign spokesman declined to comment.
Over at Times Watch, I've been pretty hard on New York Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt -- finding most of the biweekly columns from the paper's inside watchdog to suffer from either an excess of corporate loyalty or to be simply pointless (when he's not sniping at the paper from the left).
So it was particularly surprising when Hoyt actually unbuckled his company badge to tackle an issue raised by conservatives -- the inflammatory MoveOn.org ad -- in his Sunday Week in Review column. Hoyt did some actual reporting and got a belated admission of error that the paper's actual news reporters were unable to uncover: It was a mistake to grant MoveOn.org a deep discount for its infantile attack ad against Gen. David Petraeus that appeared the very day he testified before Congress.
"For nearly two weeks, The New York Times has been defending a political advertisement that critics say was an unfair shot at the American commander in Iraq.
On Yom Kippur, which ended just last evening, Jews quite literally beat their breasts while asking forgiveness for all the sins committed during the previous year. The confessional prayer enumerates literally dozens of different transgressions. But while the syllabus of sin is seemingly comprehensive, there would appear to be one lacuna. Nowhere in the menu of misdeeds does "schadenfreude" appear.
We might just have to petition to have it added in time for next year. Because Jonah Goldberg's I’m Rather Grateful is such a delightful dose of schadenfreude-on-steroids as to be as irresistible. Go ahead: read it and enjoy. There should be plenty of time to repent.
As characteristically strange and bizarre as Dan Rather's lawsuit against CBS is, chances are high that CBS is going to give him some kind of concession, monetary and otherwise.
Neil Cavuto, host of FNC's "Your World" made this point earlier this week stating that CBS has no real alternative other than a long, dragged out court case that will rehash its worst corporate moment. He's right:
Dan Rather is going to win.
I don't know if he's going to get the 70 million bucks he's demanding from CBS.