Indeed, the only thing to justify the "no end" language was citing gasoline analyst Trilby Lundberg as saying "she does not expect the prices to go down anytime soon," hardly a dire "no end in sight" forecast that conjures up notions of never-ending price increases rather than an eventual price plateau.
Sandwiched neatly between the U.S. papal visit and the Keystone Primary, former President Jimmy Carter picked an excellent time to visit U.S. State Department-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) Hamas and yet receive scant press coverage.
Yet Carter's embrace of Hamas, his newfound respect in the state-run Iranian media, and his all-but-explicitly leveled allegations of a Zionist conspiracy behind U.S. foreign policy present a strong case for media scrutiny, as well as the media's role in presenting the comments for denunciation by presidential contenders Sens. Clinton, McCain, and Obama.
For its part the Los Angeles Times appears to be taking notice, judging from the coverage from its Middle East affairs blog Babylon & Beyond. From an April 21 posting by Borzou Daragahi in Beirut and Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran (emphasis mine):
With Pope Benedict back in Rome, the media are rendering their verdict of the pontiff's U.S. visit. The pontiff did "better than expected" seems to be the verdict coming from secular journalists, who, of course, found that the pontiff bested the low expectations of unnamed "experts."
NEW YORK, April 20 -- After thanking the United States for his "many memorable experiences of American hospitality," Pope Benedict XVI headed back to Rome on Sunday night, ending a six-day visit in which he directly confronted the clergy sex-abuse crisis and surprised many by drawing large, enthusiastic crowds.
In today's episode of "As The Left Eat Their Own," a tape of Hillary Clinton complaining after Super Tuesday that activists from MoveOn.org "flood into these caucuses and dominate them and really intimidate people who actually show up to support [her]" was published at The Huffington Post Friday.
This has set off a predictably hostile reaction from the liberal blogosphere, and was considered such a bombshell that Barack Obama-loving MSNBC actually began Friday's installment of "Verdict" with this revelation.
But, before we get there, here's the text of Hillary's remarks (audio embedded upper-right):
The graphic (pictured at right) features a young woman holding the traditional Wii controller against a silhouette of a woman grasping a stripper pole. The link takes readers to an ABCNews.com story by Ashley Phillips.
When John Paul II traveled to Syria in 2000, he became the first pope ever to visit a mosque. He stood in Damascus's Umayyad Masjid, kissed the Qur'an and stated, "For all the times that Muslims and Christians have offended one another, we need to seek forgiveness from the Almighty and to offer each other forgiveness." It's no wonder many Muslims look back on John Paul's reign as the golden days of interfaith relations--and as Pope Benedict XVI's first few years as anything but.
A woman in the throes of passion, a crucifix, and a book, presumably a Bible with a cross emblazoned on the cover. Those are the elements of a photo illustration (via PhotoDisc) gracing ABCNews.com's front page and teasing an article entitled "Christian Sex: Holy and Hot!"
Published the same day Pope Benedict XVI is set to arrive in Washington, D.C., the article's timing in and of itself might turn heads. Of course the subject matter -- how Christian ministers approach preaching and teaching on sex and romance in the context of marriage -- is in and of itself perfectly fine for a general news publication. But the illustration in question is, to say the least, uncalled for.
Update (16:54): Schroeder Mullins added links to our videos on EyeBlast.tv. The old Politico had a dead link to our livecast from last evening. She also corrected the error about last night's function being the 20th anniversary. MRC is in its 21st year.
Politico gossip columnist Anne Schroeder Mullins picked up on the 2008 MRC Annual Gala in her April 11 "Shenanigans" feature. The column is devoted to "[s]hifting the spotlight from the buttoned-up, straight-laced world of politics to the fun, tawdry side of Washington."
We're pleased to make the cut, particularly since she mentioned the portion of the program that honored posthumous Medal of Honor recipient Michael Murphy.
E-mail tipster Mike Huggins pointed out to NewsBusters that as of 4:30 p.m. EDT today, he found but one media mention of Obama backer Sen. Jay Rockefeller's (D-W.V.) smear of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) among the seven major online news sources he checked. Rockefeller's comment, which he now regrets, is also arguably a smear of U.S. military fighter pilots past and present.
"McCain was a fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit. What happened when they (the missiles) get to the ground? He doesn't know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues," Rockefeller said.
Huggins noted that while he searched the Web sites for the Washington Post, L.A. Times, New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, ABCNews.com, and CBSNews.com, he found but one story on the incident and that on ABC's Web site.
Elizabeth Edwards, I'm sure, is a smart, capable woman. A well-educated lawyer, seasoned politician's wife, and mother of three, her battle against cancer is laudable no matter what your politics are. But in all honestly, is she really that much of a scholarly health care policy or health care finance expert?
Not sure if this was expected or known in advance, but the announcement today that Elizabeth Edwards is joining the Center for American Progress as a senior fellow is striking in two ways. First, it's great for CAP. Think tanks don't often get the benefit of having famous and well-liked authors or thinkers on their staffs. Hers will be a prominent voice on the health care debate going forward, and CAP will bask in her reflected fame...
ABC White House reporter Martha Raddatz (file photo at right), formerly that network's Pentagon correspondent, is clueless when it comes to federal law regarding U.S. military personnel and what they can and cannot say publicly about their politics, bloggers Richard Gardner and James Joyner argue in an April 8 post at Outside the Beltway.
Why not “Government Employees Cannot Participate in Partisan Political Activity”? Or how about government employees are not allowed to state who they support politically? How about government employees are NOT allowed to vote? How about UNION government employees are not allowed to vote?
Gardner went on to quote an excerpt in which Raddatz equated servicemen expressing "their personal endorsements" -- that is telling people for whom they plan to vote -- to engaging "in partisan political activity" which "the military is not supposed" to do.
Gardner called Raddatz on the absurdity of her statement:
Some time after this was posted, the third paragraph of the original piece was changed in a fashion that radically altered the meaning of the entire article (picture courtesy AP).
In fact, what was once a realistic portrayal of new data released by the World Meteorological Organization suddenly became another hysterical report espousing doom and gloom at the hands of manmade global warming.
Here was how the piece began before Saturday's edits (emphasis added):
In yet another in a disgraceful series of indecent journalistic collaborations, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Hillary Clinton's Think Progress actually quoted al Qaeda's second in command Ayman al-Zawahiri to discredit Republican presidential candidate John McCain (video embedded right, use scrollbars to properly center).
The bashing began in a March 20 post that explained Baldwin had been part of a Navy dive team assigned to recover the remains of WWII servicemen from a B-24 crash site in the South Pacific. The staff writers criticized the waste of their tax dollars on “ancient history,” musing “let's talk about why we the taxpayers are footing the bill on such BS” and asking readers if they thought it was a “[r]idiculous waste.” TMZ's staff expressed their disbelief that anyone would bother searching for such an old wreck and then dismissed the importance of recovering the remains, snarking, “At least [Baldwin] got a really good tan" (all bold mine):
What, you ask, were they looking for? A B-24J bomber that went down during the war. Not Iraq. Not Vietnam. No, not Korea. We're talking WWII, as in more than 60 years ago.
Turns out, the military spends $52 million each year to find the remains of missing soldiers -- it's part of the POW/MIA program. That's all well and good depending on the circumstances. But a crash that is ancient history, at a time when the economy sucks and the Federal government is sucking the life out of everyone with taxes??
Over at Media Bistro's fishbowlDC blog Patrick W. Gavin was on hand to live-blog an appearance by News Corp's Rupert Murdoch who visited Georgetown University's Gaston Hall to talk about the shape of today's media landscape. As reported by Gavin, Murdoch had some interesting things to say. Among his comments was that we shouldn't have any fear that the media is becoming less free and.... oh, yeah... he claimed that CNN has "always been extremely liberal." (Gosh, who knew?)
Murdoch also commented on the state of TV and how it can no longer assume it can reach such a "mass audience."
Wall Street saw a 391-point rally on the Dow today, the first day of the second quarter. ABCNews.com saw the development worthy of a "Breaking News" tag towards the top of its Web page and put the story in the top headlines rotation.
But it appears that ABCNews.com was alone among its competitors in trumpeting the news. I checked numerous Web sites shortly after 5:30 and found ABC's to be the only one to give the rally top billing. [see the screencaps below the page break]
Update: Reaction from document examiner Emily Will added at bottom of post (April 3 | 13:02 EDT)
Mary Mapes (file photo at right), the former CBS producer behind the Bush National Guard memo scandal that eventually felled Dan Rather's career has a post up at the liberal Nation magazine's Web site insisting that comparisons between Memogate and the L.A. Times falling for fake documents about Tupac Shakur's murder are "simplistic, unfounded and unfair." (h/t Patterico)
Apparently, there's a profound difference between trying to sway a presidential election with questionable documentary evidence and messing with Tupac.
Mapes defended her work in Memogate before turning, predictably, to fire on the Bush administration. Of course in doing so, Mapes, who had just finished defending her reliability as a journalist, laid out at least two commonly-repeated falsehoods propagated by the Left about the Iraq war. First, Mapes insisted that:
The greatest fraud perpetrated in modern journalistic history was the Bush Administration's linking of Iraq to September 11.
But the Bush administration never argued such a thing in the lead-up to the war. As the BBC, hardly a Bush cheerleader, rightly noted in September 2003:
Chicago Tribune columnist/ blogger Eric Zorn is a liberal, but from what I'm familiar of his writing, he's not a cartoonishly goofy one. So at first I thought his post today -- Coming out of the dark on Earth Hour -- was a bit of an April Fool's joke. But reading and re-reading it, it became clear to me Zorn was being serious, even as he invoked quasi-religious language to describe his joy in observing the sanctimonious green gimmick (emphasis mine):
Earth Hour was so cool.
I was surprised.
During the buildup, it all sounded a bit earnest to me — reproachful and grim.
Update at bottom of post: Williams responds (18:24 EDT)
I have to hand it to the AP this time. They actually noted the political party affiliation of another Democrat in legal hot water. So did CNN.com and Reuters.
But for some reason, MSNBC's Pete Williams left out the party affiliation of Louisiana's Rep. William Jefferson (D) in this March 31 item at the First Read blog:
In something of a surprise, the U.S. Supreme Court today declined to hear an appeal involving the FBI's unprecedented search of the Capitol Hill offices of Congressman William Jefferson.
A federal appeals court ruled that the FBI wrongly used its own agents look through the material seized to determine what might be covered by congressional privilege. This is a considerable victory for Jefferson, largely validating his objections to the search and giving him certain bragging rights. But prosecutors claim they have sufficient evidence independent of the search. The cash in his freezer, for example, was found well before Jefferson's offices were searched.
It is so easy to get sucked in by context-free negativity, isn't it?
If you looked at the home page of the New York Times a couple of hours ago, these items you would have among those seen in the (appropriately) far-left column:
In This Shiite Battle, a Marked Shift From the Past (article link)
Shiite Militias Cling to Swaths of Basra and Stage Raids (article link)
Top-of-hour network radio reports in the past few days, including Fox's, have also "successfully" left the impression that there has been serious decay in the Iraq situation. Who could blame the average person reader/listener for believing that?
As previously reported by NewsBusters, there's an international climate change awareness promotion going on today called Earth Hour, and websearch giant Google is not only participating in it, but advocating its goals.
It wants "to restore balance and reason to the carbon debate, and to explain and defend the key role of carbon in production of most of our energy for heat, light, and transportation, and all of our food."
With this in mind, Carbon Sense on Friday strongly advocated observance of Earth Hour with a slight twist destined to bring a smile to climate realists across the globe (emphasis added throughout, h/t Heartland):
Want some more proof of Google's political leanings.
Well, consider that the websearch giant is participating in Earth Hour, "a global event created to symbolize that each one of us, working together, can make a positive impact on climate change - no matter who we are or where we live."
Here's what Google displayed at its website moments ago (h/t NBer Wilbur747, emphasis added):
Leave it to liberals to pile on Sen. John McCain with cheap shots about his age, and we're not talking making jokes about him serving in the Civil War or what not. Mocking John McCain's age, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann imagined that the senator could easily segue from talking about foreign policy or the economy to talking about "buying more Depends or something like that." (h/t Conservative Punk)
"You can dissassociate yourself from that remark if you wish," Olbermann immediately added in his exchange with Rachel Maddow of the liberal Air America radio network.
Yesterday NewsBusters noted a liberal blogger who took a cheap shot at McCain's false teeth. McCain's teeth were bashed out by North Vietnamese tormentors during his time as a POW.
The Associated Press, reporting the indictment of Puerto Rico Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila (pictured at right via AFP/Getty Images file photo) failed to note Vila is a Democrat, let alone that he is an Obama superdelegate.
But Vila's party affiliation is hardly a state secret. Indeed, ABC's Jake Tapper noted the Obama connection on his Political Punch blog this morning:
Liberal blogger Molly Priesmeyer may have bitten off a bit more than she can chew with a blog mocking Republican presidential candidate John McCain for his false teeth. Of course, commenters on her blog have noted that McCain's teeth were smashed out by North Vietnamese tormentors, but Priesmeyer's entry at Minnesota Monitor remains online although it obviously is in poor taste:
If bloggers are saying one thing about John McCain this week it's that the 71-year-old has some serious grit. Of course, that grit comes in the form of McCain Mouth, a deformity that apparently causes teeth to look like a mess of yellowed and contorted Chiclets. Today, BuzzFeed.com has picked up on the mouth meme, turning McCain's piano-key chompers into an official phenomenon.
The consensus? "They're old." And, "He looks like Reverend Kane from Poltergeist II." And, "Dude has had a ton of plastic surgery, can't he afford a dentist?"
Hot Air's Ed Morrissey noted today that Minnesota Monitor is funded by left-wing megamillionaire George Soros:
Liberals get a bit wiggy when it comes to electoral shenanigans in Ohio. On The Huffington Post, Ari Melber accuses Rush Limbaugh of encouraging Republicans to commit a felony by crossover voting for Hillary Clinton. Those "lying voters" are under investigation, although prosecutions are "considered unlikely," he reports:
"Operation Chaos," Rush Limbaugh's campaign urging Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton in Democratic primaries, has been very effective. It doubled Republican turnout in Ohio and Texas, boosting Clinton and prolonging the Democratic race. But in Ohio, it was also almost certainly illegal.
Ohio law requires that citizens genuinely support a political party in order to vote in its primary. To change parties for a primary, a citizen must pledge, under the penalty of election falsification, that she is affiliated with the party and "supports" its principles. Lying on the pledge is a felony, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. The law also stipulates that poll workers have a "duty" to challenge voters who are "not a member of the political party whose ballot the person desires to vote."
YouTube watchers have often marvelled at the video website's floating enforcement of copyright laws.
Another such incident guaranteed to cause a lot of conservative heads to be scratched is this weekend's decision by YouTube to yank an advertisement created by the Competitive Enterprise Institute -- as reported by NewsBusters March 12 -- harshly critical of Nobel Laureate Al Gore's hypocritical views on global warming.
If you ask the average man on the street, regardless of his religion, he'd probably tell you that anyone who would disrupt an Easter Mass with a political protest -- complete with stage blood and attempted "die-in" -- is a jerk with little if any reverence for God or the sanctity of a church as a place of worship.
But according to the Chicago Tribune's Manya Brachear the so-called Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War are representative of a "frustrated faction" of Catholic faithful (emphasis mine):
Cardinal Francis George has long opposed politics at the communion rail. But Sunday’s anti-war protest at the start of his Easter homily spotlighted a frustrated faction in the Roman Catholic church who believe committed Catholics must do more than preach and pray for peace.