Appearing in the 3PM ET hour on MSNBC on Wednesday, Huffington Post writer Ryan Grim claimed that President Obama's latest version of health care reform was actually a conservative approach: "We actually already have a Republican bill, and it's the one that Obama has proposed....It's all about choice. Everything in it is a Republican kind of free market-based idea."
Speaking to anchor David Shuster, Grim continued his bizarre argument: "The idea that this is a Democratic bill, you know, that this is some left-wing plot, some government takeover that they're going to ram through the Senate, is the part that's the problem. This is a very centrist, leaning conservative health care reform bill."
The segment also featured Sally Pipes, author of "Top 10 Myths of American Health Care," who dismantled Grim's assertions: "I disagree with Ryan that this is a conservative blueprint that the President has put forward. It's very much not what the Republicans are talking about in terms of changing the tax code, portability, reducing mandates. What this is about is getting government more involved in our health care industry."
Really Barbra Streisand, you didn't think anyone would check?
Perhaps she is worried about having her influence diminished now that there are players on the block that can match her wealth and then some. But Streisand in a 682-word screed published on the Huffington Post on Feb. 23 railed against "entrenched special interests" that can now give money to political campaigns.
"Over the last year, however, frustration has given way to anger as voters have witnessed the inability of our lawmakers to make progress on issues like health care reform, financial regulation, and energy policy," Streisand wrote. "This inaction is due to a tidal wave of big money from the health insurance industry, Big Oil, and giant financial institutions who have mobilized to challenge the people's mandate for change. These entrenched special interests have slowed, compromised and blocked important legislation leaving many Americans demoralized and outraged. I'm one of those people."
Roman Polanski, the once-fugitive movie director that raped a 13-year-old American girl in 1977 and then fled to France, has won an award while still under house arrest in his luxury Swiss Chalet. Last week, Polanski received the Silver Bear award as best director at the Berlin International film for "The Ghost Writer." His producer Alain Sarde accepted, because, as Polanski said, "The last time I traveled to accept an award I landed in jail."
The award was met with a chorus of approval from Polanski's apologists, including Bernard-Henri Levy, a French writer and philosopher.Writing in a Feb. 21 Huffington Post article "Salut, Roman Polanski," Levy celebrated the smack at justice.
Levy argued that the award proves two things. First, that there are still "men and women of honor," such as the jury of the Berlin Festival, who refuse to "be intimidated by the mob." And second, that Roman Polanski deserves to be applauded for refusing to be "cornered and defeated" by the "pack that snaps at [his] heels." Polanski, Levy wrote, is "indestructible," "courageous" and has a "spirit of resistance" - and to those "bastards" that tried to bring him down, Polanski has now proven to them that "the artist, not the mob, always has the last word."
Appearing during the "Roundtable" segment on Sunday’s This Week on ABC, Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington continued her campaign to portray conservatives as promoters of violence as she recounted what she referred to as the "violent imagery" of Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s speech at CPAC in which he, alluding to Tiger Woods’ troubles, suggested that a golf club should be used to "smash a window out of big government."
Huffington connected the Republican governor's remarks to Joe Stack’s suicide attack on the IRS building in Austin, Texas, as she noted that Pawlenty’s speech came "the day after the pilot had flown a plane into a federal government building," and contended that "that kind of rhetoric is disturbing."
On Thursday’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC, Huffington had appeared as a guest, and asserted that there were "displays of violence" at the convention, even lumping in people stomping on the Media Research Center’s doormats that display the likenesses of MSNBC hosts Olbermann and Chris Matthews. Huffington:
After Barack Obama's election as the first black president of the United States, we were supposed to have entered a new, post-racial era. However, as many feel it has turned out, any dissent or criticism of the most powerful man in the free world or his agenda draws allegations of "racial tones," as happened on the New York Times Web site on Feb. 18.
Breitbart was accepting the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award for extensively covering one of the most "uncovered" stories of 2009 for corruption within the so-called community activist organization ACORN.
How does one prepare for an upcoming appearance by Seth MacFarlane of Family Guy fame? If you're Bill Maher, you follow up the Family Guy/Sarah Palin/Down Syndrome attack by doing an 'exclusive rant' for the Huffington Post which includes - you guessed it - a joke about Sarah Palin's son, Trig.
On Valentine’s Day, Reverend Billy Talen sponsored an “unMarriage event,” where he invited all couples to “unmarry” until everyone has the opportunity to marry whomever they want. As if that wasn’t enough, Talen wrote a charming article entitled, “Meditations Before the ‘UnMarriage Until Gay Marriage’” that was featured February 16 on The Huffington Post. His meditations included dividing people into categories such as “fear people,” “hate people,” and “the killer people.”
Talen attempted to equate opposition to gay marriage with violent behavior. He stated that, “Making marriage a gated community, is tantamount to violence. Marriage as a private club for heterosexuals – this is a kind of extortion. We should have long ago recognized the pain and suffering that comes from this social concoction. Reserving state-sanctioned love for certain approved citizens? This is the essential structure for racism, earth-death and war.”
Conservative talk radio and political blogs all jumped on Vice President Joe Biden’s claim on CNN’s Larry King Live Wednesday night that the successful resolution of the Iraq war “could be one of the great achievements of this administration.” Biden and President Obama, then both Senators, strongly opposed President Bush’s 2007 troop surge that marked the turning point in the war.
On his Thursday show, Rush Limbaugh scoffed that “I was all set to say that I think maybe Obama is dumber than Biden, until I heard that....This is worse than chutzpah, folks. This is insulting everybody’s intelligence.”
But during the 2pm of MSNBC Live on Thursday, anchor Tamron Hall -- noting that "the Right [is] really honing in on this comment" -- sought reassurance from the Huffington Post’s “senior congressional correspondent” Ryan Grim, who insisted that Biden was correct. “If you can have 90,000 troops leave there, and if it were still a stable country, then actually leaving the country would be a great achievement,” Grim declared, adding: “And it would also, it’s worth nothing, be an achievement for the anti-war movement.” [Video at right, audio link here.]
Grim also refused to see any connection between Bush’s troop surge and the resulting drop in violence: “It’s an open question exactly what led to the decrease in violence that coincided with the surge.” And he deplored how conservatives blame Obama for the poor state of the economy, but refuse to let Obama take credit for the success in Iraq: “This is just utter nonsense.”
The popular chain coffee shop, Starbucks, is known for a lot of things, but up until recently guns were not one of them. Some patrons of the Seattle-based coffee shop have recently started exercising their rights to carrying guns while they enjoy a cup of coffee. While the Starbucks customers have been expressing their right to bear arms, as allowed by the Second Amendment, there has been some resistant to Starbucks.
Liliana Segura, of AlterNet, painted a bleak picture and wrote, “So you're at your neighborhood Starbucks, maybe with your kids, and you notice a man sitting at the next table with a revolver strapped to his waist. The man next to him has a pistol. In fact, you realize as you look around, there's a table full of gun-toting customers just a few feet away, sipping coffee and doing nothing to conceal their deadly weapons. Aside from steering clear -- or else getting the hell out of there – what can an unarmed citizen do?”
Well, not much. (Except maybe relax and consider that the establishment you’re in is at the moment quite safe from armed robbery and other violent crime. Go ahead, buy Junior another triple mocha latte.) Thing is, Starbucks does “not have a corporate policy regarding customers and weapons,” according to a spokesman. Segura explained that some states, such as California, have an “open gun” policy and many people in California are gathering at Starbucks to openly exercise their rights.
Does Arianna Huffington consider Glenn Beck more radical and dangerous than an advocate of Islamic Sharia law? She's let off a lot of hot air lately criticizing Fox News president Roger Ailes for employing Beck, but it turns out that on the Huffington Post's payroll is an envoy to the United States from the Somali Unity government, led by the Islamic Courts Union.
The ICU is a strong proponent of Sharia law, and an organization dubbed by some the Taliban of Africa for its radical interpretation of Islam and its support for some violent elements of the Islamic community (like Osama Bin Laden).
Abukar Arman, the Somali Unity government's envoy to the United States, is open about his advocacy of Sharia as long as it is "adapted to address contemporary political, social, economic, and spiritual challenges in a just way." He lays out a number conditions that would have to be satisfied for sharia to be effectively implemented in Somalia. These include respect for life, assembly, conscience, thought, rule of law, political freedom, and international peace. Considering the violent history of the Somali Unity government and he ICU, that is not likely.
The February issue of the rich-folks magazine Town & Country promises a special issue on "Wonder Women" – not just "Super Cindy Crawford," but "Amazing Arianna Huffington." Liberal magazine writer Leslie Bennetts spread the praise on thick on Arianna’s savvy and appeal.
After a fourteen-hour flight from Tel Aviv, there’s this: "Although she slept only on the plane, she is alert and articulate, not to mention impeccably coiffed – an important attribute for someone with such a prominent public profile. A sought-after pundit, she will rise early in the morning to appear live on ABC’s [The] View, which is among the innumerable television and radio shows that clamor incessantly to book her."
She’s sold as a "formidable critic of the Republican conservatives she used to court so assiduously, Huffington was ranked by Forbes as number twelve on its first-ever ‘Most Influential Women in Media’ list...her latest act has confirmed her Hall of Fame status as the ultimate poster girl for change."
Glenn Beck on Tuesday addressed recent attacks by liberal publisher Arianna Huffington and in so doing thoroughly demolished the proprietor of the Huffington Post on national television.
Beck did such a good job that even the left-leaning website Mediaite took his side.
As NewsBusters reported Sunday, Huffington went on ABC's "This Week" and accused Beck of "inciting the American people" to commit violence against Obama by talking about "people being slaughtered."
The Fox News host, after calling her "Media Matters after a few drinks," walked viewers through specifically what he said on the "Glenn Beck" installment in question, and exactly how wrong Huffington was (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
If someone's going to play speech police, one might think it would be wise to make sure her own house was in order prior to hurling charges. But, for Arianna Huffington, editor of The Huffington Post, there are two sets of rules.
"Yes, well, first of all, there's a big distinction between who your anchors are, who are your employees and what they are saying and what your bloggers are saying," Huffington said. "And in our case, of course, what he said, what our blogger he was quoting said, was started by Roger, because he never called him a tumor. He said Fox was a tumor, on American society, which is a legitimate view that many people hold."
Fox News's Glenn Beck claimed Monday that liberal publisher Arianna Huffington asked him to write for her when they met at last year's Time 100 Most Influential People in the World dinner.
This revelation should come as quite a shock to readers of the Huffington Post who are regularly treated to the most vile depictions of Beck by Huffington and her contributors.
Potentially more shocking is this news surfacing roughly 24 hours after Huffington went on ABC's "This Week" to confront Fox News chairman Roger Ailes about why he allows Beck on his cable news channel.
Beck addressed the matter on his radio program Monday (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t The Right Scoop):
It was a metaphysical certitude the classic battle between Fox News's Roger Ailes and liberal publisher Arianna Huffington on Sunday's "This Week" would send many in the mainstream media over the top, and comedian Joy Behar didn't disappoint.
As "View" co-host Whoopi Goldberg gave the audience the background of the matter Monday -- "Fox News president Roger Ailes pointed out that on the Huffington Post he's been called quote a malignant tumor with a face like a fist" -- Behar interrupted, "It's not true."
Moments later, the opinionated comedian demonstrated her astounding lack of knowledge saying, "According to what I've read, first of all, the guy who wrote this tumor thing was not talking about him. He was talking about Fox."
She erroneously continued (video embedded below the fold, h/t NB reader Carla Brehm):
How can journalists possibly claim to be "objective" (in the Old Media, I-have-no-opinions sense of the term) when they get their news only from hyper-partisan sources on one side of the political spectrum? To do so should make any reporter blush.
But David Shuster, apparently, has no issue with undertaking such objective journalistic endeavors as "fact checking and analyzing", while gathering information from the left's most prominent online talking-point repositories.
Not content with simply relaying those talking points to his viewers, he makes sure to direct them (via Twitter) to websites where they can get their fills of the latest lefty banter. Johnny Dollar took the liberty of compiling a chart of the sites to which Shuster directed his Twitter followers throughout the month of January. The results are striking:
Told ya so. When reports first surfaced a few weeks ago that Focus on the Family was planning to run a pro-life ad during the Super Bowl broadcast featuring University of Florida quarter back Tim Tebow, the Culture & Media Institute predicted liberals would be upset.
Like clockwork, an article in the Huffington Post on Jan. 25 reported that "a national coalition of women's groups" that includes the National Organization for Women and the Feminist Majority is demanding that CBS reconsider its plans to run the ad.
Tebow, a Heisman Trophy winner who led the Gators to an NCAA championship, is a famously outspoken Christian noted for wearing Bible verses on his game day eye-black. He is also a walking pro-life story: the Super Bowl ad will relate how Tim's mother, against the advice of doctors, carried him to term in a dangerous pregnancy while on a church mission to the Philippines.
The guy has an hour-long television show that isn't the highest-rated program on cable television, but does fairly well considering the circumstances. Yet, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who has expressed his own "unhinged" anger about the Supreme Court ruling that corporations have a free speech right to participate in elections, says there is a deficiency of anger about the ruling.
Olbermann, on the Jan. 22 "Countdown," launched into another one of his abbreviated tirades, or what he calls is a "Quick Comment" and blasted his colleagues in the media for not being as "enlightened" as he thinks they should be.
"I worked full-time in sports for about 20 years and I've worked full- time in news for about 10 years," Olbermann said. "And after yesterday, I must finally say aloud what I have long thought but have been reluctant to voice. The average person in the American news industry appears to be about one-fifth as plugged into the world he or she covers, as does the average person in the American sports industry.
In what must be an effort to remind the public she has a show on a network most people don't know exists, HLN's Joy Behar (and guests) continue their hackneyed on-air hate fest against Sarah Palin, characterizing the former Alaska governor as a "dumb" woman who parades her disabled child "around more than a joint at a Grateful Dead concert." After all, continually bashing a popular public figure with cliché jokes will make an irrelevant show, a little more relevant, right?
On last night's "Joy Behar Show," Behar and her panel - liberal talk show host Stephanie Miller and Huffington Post editor Roy Sekoff - discussed Palin's debut as a Fox News contributor. It didn't take long before the trio started to participate in the latest liberal pastime: Palin-bashing.
Sekoff is quick to pull out the personal insults, saying Palin doesn't need to "dumb" herself down for the FOX News audience because she's dumb to begin with. Sekoff then claims Palin will do fine as a contributor, so long as her teleprompter behaves (emphasis mine; transcripts via CNN.com):
Yet that's exactly how Huffington Post religion editor and ordained American Baptist minister Paul Raushenbush went off on Pat Robertson for his controversial "pact with the devil" remarks about this week's devastating Haitian earthquake in a January 13 blog post:
Haiti is suffering, and the only response from Christians and other decent human beings is compassion, love, and all the concrete support we can supply. [...] Instead, Pat Robertson opined on his TV show, the 700 Club that this happened because, in order to gain liberty from the French, Haiti (read: black people) made a pact with the Devil. [...] Go to Hell, Pat Robertson -- and the sooner the better. Your 'theological' nonsense is revolting. Don't speak for Haiti, and don't speak for God...
In it, he clearly delineates the difference between "the news" as establishment media outlets want it dispensed and the "market for information" that technology has created. Its only shortcoming is that he gives Arianna Huffington a pass for "coming to the table as an honest broker." I'll point out glaring examples that will disprove that notion later.
First, though, behold the beauty of Breitbart's treatment of the issue of "objectivity" and his clear statement relating to the two types of information choices we have:
The launch of the Daily Caller is a necessary step toward creating ideological parity in the all-too-clearly biased mainstream media. It is a good thing that you, Tucker, are admitting that you come to the table with certain ideological baggage, and my new site Big Journalism will be there to watch your back when the well-funded, organized left’s knives come out to try to discredit and attempt to destroy you. Believe me, they will.
"Not in sync with the current program" is how former CNN host Tucker Carlson describes his new website, the Daily Caller, which is scheduled to launch Monday. Designed as a conservative answer to the Huffington Post, the Daily Caller will do what few center-right blogs have attempted: report hard news.
Carlson and his partner, former Dick Cheney aide Neil Patel, have raised $3 million in startup capital for the site, according to the Washington Independent. That impressive sum is enough to keep the Daily Caller operating for about a year. The site will employ a reporting staff or 21 in its Washington, D.C. office.
With Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism, which launched earlier this week, Carlson hopes to be on the cutting edge of a new effort on the right to circumvent major media outlets--and overcome the significant obstacles to conservative news of traditional media outlets.
Perhaps the most unpopular story your humble correspondent ever wrote for NewsBusters was probably the one about Zippy the Pinhead. Most readers found it impossible to interpret Zippy into any form of reasonable thought. The main complaint being that Zippy was indecipherably confusing. Here are a few of the complaints from the previous Zippy story:
Sorry, this one Zipped right by me, over my head
that strip makes no sense at all...
Aren’t comic strips supposed to stand alone in their message and humor? Or is it just so abstract that it’s rendered ineffectual? The official site of the strip gives credit to my charge, as it actually has a tutorial to help people understand the strip.
The only true way to understand Zippy is to become as severely impaired cognitively as Zippy. No way I'm trying that!
Okay, I think I understand the complaints. However, since today is Christmas I hope, Dear Reader, that in the spirit of the day you will cut me some slack as I once again present another Zippy the Pinhead comic strip (below the fold). I found this one to be quite interesting because not only does Zippy's family bemoan the rapid decline of newspapers but Zippy the Pinhead also mocks the Huffington Post as a news source.
Mary Jo wasn’t a right-wing talking point or a negative campaign slogan....We don’t know how much Kennedy was affected by her death, or what she’d have thought about arguably being a catalyst for the most successful Senate career in history....[One wonders what] Mary Jo Kopechne would have had to say about Ted's death, and what she'd have thought of the life and career that are being (rightfully) heralded. Who knows -- maybe she'd have thought it was worth it.
On Wednesday’s Situation Room, CNN correspondent Jeanne Moos exposed some of the left-wing rage being directed at Senator Joe Lieberman, especially on the Internet. Moos’s examples of “liberal hate” at the Connecticut politician ranged from fantasy Hanukkah gifts, such as a muzzle, to a YouTube video of a woman having her cats attack a string which stood in for the senator [Moos's full report is available here].
The correspondent’s latest light report for CNN highlighted Liberman’s “new low among liberals.” Along with the multiple examples of leftists mocking the senator on YouTube.com, Moos noted the strong reactions from “progressive radio hosts,” such as Mike Malloy, and attacks on liberal blogs like The Huffington Post and Daily Kos:
Former "Crossfire" host Bill Press apparently cannot distinguish between news and opinion. He is furious that his application for press credentials with the congressional press corps was denied due to content on his website urging readers to tell Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., to vote for health care legislation in the Senate. He cites numerous examples of CPC members that host opinion content, but neglects to differentiate between their commentary and their news coverage.
"Senator Joe Lieberman said he will vote against Harry Reid's proposed health reform bill that includes a public plan option. Call Senator Lieberman's office and tell him he's wrong to do so, and should vote FOR it," wrote Press on his site, billpressshow.com. The CPC forbids its correspondants from being "engaged in the prosecution of claims or the promotion of legislation pending before Congress."
Press was puzzled, however, that news outlets such as the Washington Times, the Huffington Post, Fox News, Al Jazeera, Venezuela TV, and Pacifica Radio were granted CPC membership, given the presence of opinion content in each of their outlets. "Irony? No, that's sheer hypocrisy," he wrote for the Huffington Post today.
Liberals are so incensed at Connecticut Senator Joe Liberman's refusal to vote for ObamaCare, that they have taken to attacking his wife, who works for a prominent breast cancer organization. Their ad hominem assaults and wild speculation about the Senator's supposedly evil motives reveal their hypocrisy when it comes to political centrists, and their desperation concerning health care legislation.
At Huffington Post, FireDogLake founder and breast cancer survivor Jane Hamsher revealed that her request to the Susan G. Komen foundation that money raised to find a cure not be used to pay Mrs. Lieberman's salary went unheeded. Hamsher went on to accuse the Lieberman couple of conspiring to sink health care reform in order to line their own pockets.
Hamsher accuses Mrs. Lieberman using "her association with her husband the Senator ... in order to secure these lucrative positions and advance the interests of her clients" at a lobbying firm for which she is a consultant. This contention, Hamsher claims, is "unquestionable," though she offers no evidence to support the accusation, other than speculation about the couple's income.
A number of the conservative movement's prominent online figures are battling to be the right's equivalent of Talking Points Memo or Huffington Post--political organizations that report hard news. Many believe that to truly harness the power of the Web, political organizations must report their own news, rather than comment on reporitng from traditional outlets.
"The left needs Daily Kos, but they also need the Huffington Post," Politics Daily columnist Matt Lewis told Politico. He praised the roles of activists and opinion commentators on the right such as Red State's Erick Erickson, but noted that the conservatives have not yet matched the left's capability for original reporting.
Though HuffPo, TPM, and other politcally stilted but journalism-oriented sites, liberals "have the ability to amplify stories into the mainstream media conversation," according to Politico. Conservatives have a large void to fill when it comes to producing original content, rather than solely commenting on what is already out there. There are conservative sites providing original reporting, but there are so far no center-right equivalents to the left's powerhouse online news operations.
With the demise of the Editor and Publisher this week, many media commentators are nostalgic for the hard-nosed trade journalism the newspaper industry publication often engaged in. E&P's strength was always in its core mission of reporting news industry trends. In its latter years, like a number of other outlets, it began to stray off-course into garden-variety, hypocritical leftist media criticism.
Greg Mitchell, E&P's editor since 2002, consistently called for newspapers to print more opinion in their coverage of major world events. Most notably during the Israel-Hamas conflict early this year, Mitchell lamented that media outlets were not taking sides.
"[A]fter more than eight days of Israeli bombing and Hamas rocket launching in Gaza, The New York Times had produced exactly one editorial, not a single commentary by any of its columnists, and two op-eds," he complained at the Huffington Post.
Sometimes libtalkers just make you shake your head in disbelief. Keith Olbermann trumpeted his most recent example of bias-denail on Daily Kos over the weekend, where he insisted that his show does not tout a partisan agenda, and simply serves as a watchdog against others' unchecked opinions (h/t Olbermann Watch's Johnny Dollar).
I'll wait for readers to stop laughing. Done? Okay. It truly is unbelievable that one of the most partisan and divisive commentators on cable television would even suggest that he pays lip service to those who don't share his views. Olbermann has a right to trumpet his liberal vitriol, but he should at least acknowledge it for what it is.
But Olbermann claimed in post on Daily Kos that he simply challenges the unchallenged, leaving some to wonder, to paraphrase Juvenal, who challenges the challengers?