It's not unusual for journalists to attempt to distance themselves from the appearance of political ties, especially when trying not to be perceived as biased. But saying you do and actually doing are two separate things.
U.S. News & World Report Editor-in-Chief and chairman of Boston Properties (NYSE:BXP) Mort Zuckerman was asked about donating money to Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton's fading campaign by Huffington Post blogger and MSNBC "Morning Joe" regular John Ridley on the May 9 "Morning Joe."
"I wish I could make a contribution, but I'm in the world of journalism and I can't, but thank you for the offer," Zuckerman said.
Wolf Blitzer, on Friday’s "The Situation Room," conducted a softball interview of Arianna Huffington, helping her to promote her new book, "Right is Wrong: How the Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded the Constitution, and Made Us All Less Safe," and asking her for her take on the three presidential candidates. He failed to identify her "Huffington Post" website, "one of the most popular websites," as he put it, as a liberal stomping ground, and basically sucked up to her during the entire segment. "I read ‘Huffington Post.’ I read your blog on Huffington Post all the time." Also, "You've really created an enormous success with HuffingtonPost.com, in part because everyone there seems to be blunt, honest. They don't hedge."
I'm no medical doctor or psychiatrist, but I believe there's a disturbing condition sweeping the left-wing blogosphere, closely related to the well-documented malady of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Call it Limbaugh Derangement Syndrome if you will, and I will.
What else do you call it when a lib blogger compares the radio talk show host to agitators of Rwandan genocide? From Jeffrey Feldman's May 7 blog over at Huffington Post (emphasis mine; h/t NRO's Kathryn Jean Lopez):
The right-wing pundit's 'orders' to his Republican listeners have been clear: vote in the Democratic primaries as a coordinated tactic for sewing [sic] division in the opposition party. The goal of such 'chaos,' Limbaugh has stated explicitly, is to foment hatred between different parts of the Democratic Party leading, ultimately, to street riots during the Denver convention.
"Actually, you know what I think - the more I think of it, John McCain should not be allowed to hold sharp scissors," Huffington said. "[Y]ou know he wants to make the tax cuts permanent. He wants bigger corporate tax cuts. You know, it's an endless process. You know it's basically, exactly what this country does not need. It's expanding and deepening the last eight years."
On the heels of accusations that the media exploited the death of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, now there are cries that NBC didn't spend enough time on Eight Belles' death. After her second-place finish in Saturday's Derby, the three-year-old filly snapped both ankles and was euthanized by a vet on the track.
Since Eight Belles' death was near the end of the “nearly three hours of coverage,” why is Hochberger penalizing NBC for not having a time machine and ignoring it earlier?
It didn't satisfy Hochberger that NBC refused to speculate and reported only when they knew the facts. She seemed to want the wall-to-wall guesswork reporting one finds with the “baby stuck in a well” crisis journalism where a network trains the camera on “breaking news” and continuously chatters about what might be happening, regardless of how much they know (all bold mine):
When you're a Clintonite, you're a Clintonite all the way. From your first Monicagate defense, To Hil's last primary day.—with apologies to Leonard Bernstein*
Look next to the definition of "Clinton loyalist" in the dictionary, and you're likely to find a photo of Lanny Davis. The man who would have put Baghdad Bob to shame for his unflinching flackery during Bill's Monica mess is back on the beat for Hillary. Yesterday, Davis wrote a HuffPo column purporting to set forth 10 Undisputed Facts showing Obama's weakness as a general election candidate against John Mccain. As Jake Tapper has observed, some of those "facts" are "both disputed and not facts," including the risible notion that Hillary didn't run any negative ads. Guess the commercial featuring Osama Bin Laden slipped Lanny's mind.
Davis was back at it on today's Morning Joe. After repeating his claim from the HuffPo column that Obama is in a dead heat with McCain in super-blue in Massachusetts while Hillary's up by 15%, Davis took his anti-Obama argument a giant step further. Davis claimed that Barack is on track to lose in a blow-out of epic, McGovernesque, proportions.
Rachel Sklar of The Huffington Post interviewed Dan Rather, which is not a real surprise, since she’s been supportive of his vengeful lawsuit against CBS News (and his partner in fraud Mary Mapes is a Huff-Poster). But why would she ask Rather to decry the dishonesty of the Bush administration, considering his own wallowing in falsehoods? Does the Huffington Post need to share Rather’s apparent delusion that the phony documents are real until he can be convinced otherwise? In Part II of her interview, after Rather denounced how bad economic news snuck up on us because "we were lied to and people dealt in sophistry at best and misled by big people in positions of power," the honesty question followed.
SKLAR: You mentioned people in positions of power not being forthright, or lying outright. There are so many echoes in that elsewhere, especially with respect to the Iraq war, obviously. Do you see this as a pattern of how this administration has operated?
Arianna Huffington started The Huffington Post with a read-my-lips-with-an-accent pledge: it would be an oasis of brainy progressivism, not a slash-and-burn hate site. That's a tough promise to live up to when you invite Hollywood mudslingers like Alec Baldwin and Bill Maher to the table. But even the women sling mud. Screenwriter Nora Ephron is starting out the week singling out white men as vile and ignorant boobs who shouldn't be allowed to pick the next president:
This is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women. And when I say people, I don't mean people, I mean white men. How ironic is this? After all this time, after all these stupid articles about how powerless white men are and how they can't even get into college because of overachieving women and affirmative action and mean lady teachers who expected them to sit still in the third grade even though they were all suffering from terminal attention deficit disorder -- after all this, they turn out (surprise!) to have all the power. (As they always did, by the way; I hope you didn't believe any of those articles.)
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):
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."
The Huffington Post has learned that Bill O'Reilly -- who claims to love America -- spent Sunday at a "church" run by a former Hitler Youth named Joseph Alois Ratzinger. Ratzinger has gone to elaborate ends to hide this connection, including taking on the absurd pseudonym "Pope Benedict XVI." Which, even if it doesn't prove anything, certainly makes you think.
This shocking revelation comes only a week after Barack Obama admitted he attends a church formerly run by Jeremiah Wright, who talks smack about America, although probably less than Goebbels did.
It's hard to top the absurdity of the media hyping global warming presented in the NewsBusters story posted yesterday by Noel Sheppard about how the classic science fiction movie, "The Day the Earth Stood Still," is being remade where Klaatu comes to earth to warn us about global warming. However, a global warming art show ranks pretty close to that movie remake in the silliness department. According to a Huffington Post blog, "The Art of Global Warming" posted by Kimberly Brooks, there is now a global warming "Things Fall Apart" art exhibit featuring the photography of Sasha Bezzubov:
Freshly squeezed into his Political Punch blog this morning, ABC's Jake Tapper (pictured in NB file photo at right) calls the Clinton camp for denying that they are milking the Obama/Wright controversy when, in fact, they are:
Seriously, how can the Clinton campaign with a straight face claim it in no way is pushing the Rev. Wright story?
Former Ambassador Joe Wilson, who appeared with Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, Tuesday in Philly writes in the Huffington Post of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, that "Claims of superior intuitive judgment by his campaign and by him are self-evidently disingenuous, especially in light of disclosures about his long associations with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Tony Rezko."
The left and the media love to hyperventilate about the right wing “hate speech” on the Internet, but the anger and vitriol of the left dwarfs that of the right, especially where female or minority bloggers are concerned. Hateful comments are not uncommon at lefty blogs like Daily Kos. That kind of hostility forces the Huffington Post to occassionally close comments on articles involving certain topics like Israel, the military or even Margaret Thatcher.
Pictures of them are photoshopped into violent or sexually explicit positions, and they are stalked, online and occasionally offline. Liberals track down their addresses and phone numbers and leave obscene messages, even threaten rape. Moderate blogger Ann Althouse nailed the root of the hostility, “...people on the Left think you are evil if you don't agree with them, that you're actually a bad person” (all bold mine).
Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama issued a statement on Friday regarding Rev. Jeremiah Wright's racist and anti-American comments, and amazingly published his response to the rising controversy at the far-left, Bush-hating -- and oftentimes vulgarity laden -- Huffington Post.
I kid you not.
As my colleague Mark Finkelstein reported Thursday, Obama's spiritual leader for the past 20 years has encouraged his congregation to sing "God Damn America," stated from the pulpit that our nation is the "U.S of KKK A," and declared that America deserved to be attacked on 9/11.
On Friday, Obama tried to distance himself from these abominations:
The title to this article is exactly how I'd write it if I were a political hack trying to drum up a faux controversy for use by other political hacks in the mainstream media. Which is exactly what Sam Stein of the Huffington Post did on February 12th as he broke out the yellowkid journalistic mold for a fantasy leftist hack attack on John McCain headlined in giant font, McCain Received $100,000 From Firm Of Abramoff Notoriety.
Before I comment further on the idiocy of Stein's assertions it is only fair that I mention that there is nothing in his article that isn't true just as there isn't anything untrue in mine here. Barack Obama did in fact receive over $80,000 from the same firm that Stein tries to hang John McCain with. In addition both John McCain and Barack Obama were eclipsed by the $162,450 amount received by Hillary Clinton from employees of the same jaded firm.
Someone should tell Chris Matthews to go pick on someone his own size . . .
Matthews enjoyed himself at the expense of a local legislator during last night's MSNBC coverage of the primaries. Kirk Watson [shown in a clip from today's Morning Joe] is a state senator from Texas and an Obama supporter. Matthews cornered Watson at length over his inability to name specific accomplishments by Barack. Credit Kirk for keeping a smile on his face, but there's no denying he was put badly on the spot [HuffPo speaks of Matthews having humiliated the guy].
I'm in the unusual position of defending uber-liberal Margaret Carlson. Carlson, formerly of Time and CNN's old Capital Gang, now with uber-liberal Al Hunt's Bloomberg News, was unfairly ripped by Taylor Marsh over at Huffington Post Saturday.
Carlson sent an e-mail to someone suggesting that, as far as Hillary Clinton's candidacy is concerned:
..... I covered the Clinton White House for 8 years and don't think it would be good for the country to go back there.
Relatively innocuous stuff.
Not according to Marsh, who launched into a major rant:
Speaking at a news conference in Oklahoma, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee floated the idea that the reason the vast majority of America's conservative talk radio hosts aren't endorsing him or John McCain is because Mitt Romney's investment firm owns a significant share of Clear Channel Communications, the nation's largest radio syndication company.
"Some suggest that the fact that Bain Capital owns a major stake in Clear Channel is on Sean's network, maybe there's a correlation. I don't know."
The Sean he was referring to had to be none other than Sean Hannity, America's number-two talk radio host behind Rush Limbaugh.
On Tuesday, in a report concerning MSNBC's Keith Olbermann publishing his first article at the liberal website Daily Kos, NewsBusters pointed out that the "Countdown" host certainly "knows exactly who his audience is, and exactly what they want."
This observation was demonstrably confirmed by Olbermann himself on Friday when in his second posting at DKos, he actually apologized to readers for having Lawrence O'Donnell on as a guest the night before.
I kid you not.
To set this up, as NewsBusters reported last Friday, O'Donnell had written an article at the Huffington Post harshly critical of Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards.
This didn't sit well with the Kos Kidz, nor, according to Olbermann, did O'Donnell's appearance on "Countdown" Thursday evening (emphasis added, h/t NB reader Thomas Stewart and Inside Cable News):
Rachel Sklar at The Huffington Post's Eat the Press page certainly flies a flag for feminism. She frowns at anyone discussing Hillary's cackle or cleavage. In any socio-political squabble between a Katie Couric and a Mike Huckabee, she would clearly be in the Katie Corner. She certainly believes a woman can carry the burden of an evening newscast -- which might explain why she's angry at the latest leaked Couric behind-the-scenes video. How can Katie seem so blithely uninformed? Doesn't she know she's supposed to be bathing in an aura of gravitas? Sklar found the video unremarkable, until Couric typically proclaimed she was still clueless about one of the leading Republican presidential contenders:
Columnist Ann Coulter should probably not sign up to be a guest on Bill Maher’s HBO show anytime soon. Maher writer Chris Kelly took her column on the death and funeral of her father, John Vincent Coulter, and mocked her and the dead man relentlessly on The Huffington Post. He even compared her dead father to Hitler. Remember, in our Special Report, we recalled Arianna Huffington proclaimed her site wouldn’t be known for "flame-throwing, name-calling, and simplistic attack dog rhetoric." (What a pile of souvlaki that boast was.)
Chris Kelly, who on this day qualified as the Least Compassionate Man in America, explained he had "taken the liberty of going through the eulogy -- cutting the Kennedy material -- and punching up the rest." Such as:
The longest baby ever born at the Albany, N.Y., hospital, at least as of May 5, 1926, who grew up to be my strapping father, passed away last Friday morning.
And by "strapping" I mean, "he beat me with a strap."
Dontcha love it when liberal media elites eat their own in public?
Assuming you do, the cat and dogfight that took place at the Huffington Post Friday is sure to brighten up your Sunday evening.
Our story began at 9:01 Friday morning when "McLaughlin Group" regular Lawrence O'Donnell published an article at HuffPo marvelously entitled "John Edwards Is A Loser."
About three hours later, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley posted a piece entitled "Shut Up, Larry," wherein she imagined that O'Donnell must be a Republican paid by Karl Rove to write the aforementioned article about Edwards (emphasis added):
Well, this strays from the usual silliness and less than credible work over at the Huffington Post and gets closer to a style of treasonous support for our espoused enemies than it does the normal fare. In a posting by one Hooman Majd, an Iranian born writer who dabbles in the music business, we are treated to the absurd conspiracy theory that the U.S. Military manufactured the incident last Tuesday in the Straits of Hormuz involving a few Iranian patrol boats and the the U.S. Navy. Majd seems to imagine that the Pentagon somehow faked the whole thing, and I'm not exaggerating. Catch the title of his posting: It's a Fake. No attempt at subtlety there!
On a Wednesday blog entry on The Daily Nightly, NBC anchor Brian Williams candidly admitted the media screwed up in expecting a massive Obama wave, but then said "virtually everyone got it wrong." He also said "Give us a few weeks – we will promptly forget the lessons of this debacle in polling, predictions and primary politics" and "live to screw up another day."
But then, Williams went back to swooning over the historic moments of Obama touching voters in Lebanon, New Hampshire, and his "beautiful, soaring concession speech." He even defended Obama for thinking he was going to win big: "A colleague of mine contends Obama got caught up in the history he was making. I don't think that's quite fair. The candidate didn't change his message as much as Iowa changed the way we heard it. That day, I saw people embrace Obama the way people embrace loved ones returning from foreign battlefields."
Doesn’t Williams see that once again, he’s only underlining his utter lack of objectivity and identifying himself as Swooner-in-Chief? (Another sign he doesn’t care about the appearance of objectivity: he allows this swoon to be cross-posted for the trendy Left at The Huffington Post). It seems more plausible that he wants fellow liberals to know that he is one of them and yes, he, too, is caught up in the magic.
Over at The Huffington Post, blogger Dana Kennedy -- a former entertainment reporter for ABC, Fox News, and MSNBC -- asks a common question: "What if Bill Secretly Wants Hillary to Lose?" She claims she's been rooting for Hillary to win, but sadly, Bill is the star and Hillary is the "brainy plain Jane" who's been wronged by Bill's lack of discipline:
People hate Hillary so much that it's easy to chalk up their marriage as a codependence-fest. Certainly nobody was a bigger enabler than Hillary. I always hoped it wasn't proof she wasn't a total chump, but because she saw the big picture: herself as president.
But I have a vivid memory of a 15-minute interview I had with Hillary when I was covering her for the AP during the 1992 Democratic Convention in New York.
We were alone together in the back of a van going to the next stop. My impression of her was tough, brittle, super-smart. At the very end of my interview, I asked her about Gennifer Flowers, since that was the Clinton scandal du jour in 1992.
Want some old fashioned black helicopter, conspiracy goofiness? Check out the frenzied work of HufPoster Joseph Palmero who imagines that if Obama becomes president members of Blackwater security services or Haliburton would somehow decide to assassinate him. After reading his wild-eyed musings, one wonders if the foam from his mouth short circuited his keyboard as he wrote?
In an effort to equate Obama's rather empty rhetoric and lack of a substantive record to what Palmero imagines his lefty pals will imagine is "greatness," Palmero tries to work in some equating of the junior Senator from Illinois with Robert F. Kennedy's campaign for the Dem nomination for president in 1968. Saying that Obama "struck similar chords" as Kennedy, Palmero waxes poetic about how it "took forty years" to see another Kennedyesque candidate.
But there was another, more sinister aspect of the Kennedy run that Palmero wanted to exploit with his piece. That aspect is the promise of a Kennedy panacea that was cut so short by an assassin's bullet. Absurdly, Palmero seems to expect the same to happen to Barack Hussein Obama.
TVNewser has learned the CBS News blog PublicEye, once described as a "de facto ombudsman" of CBS News, has ceased operations. CBS Interactive cut several staff members last month, including Matthew Felling who was editor of the site.
A spokesperson for CBS Interactive tells TVNewser, "We weren't able to find a sustainable business model for Public Eye. We are exploring ways to maintain a similar spirit of public discourse by engaging the CBSNews.com audience and building a community around multiple voices."
Launched July 12, 2005, PublicEye stated its "fundamental mission" was "to bring transparency to the editorial operations of CBS News."
The return to opacity is unfortunate just as election '08 heats up. After all, it was former anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes and their obsessive adherence to discredited phony National Guard memos in 2004 that set the wheels in motion to provide CBS News consumers an advocate and watchdog in the form of PublicEye.
That's not to say, however, that Public Eye has exactly lived up to its defined mission. A review of NewsBusters archives yields evidence of that:
Now With Updates, Kristol Responds to critics and Steve Benen responds to me!
Washington Monthly has a blog called Political Animal that is also picked up by the CBS News website. It is written by Kevin Drum, but recently has been guest penned by a former Clinton intern and Internet gadfly named Steve Benen who makes no bones about the fact that he is an extreme leftist. Looking over his Wash. Monthly blog posts shows that he also makes no bones about the fact that his chief mode of political analysis is to name call his opponents. None of his recent work, though, goes nearly as far as the hatred he displayed for conservative Bill Kristol, newly minted New York Times columnist and Editor of the Weekly Standard magazine. It looks like someone forgot to administer Stevie's distemper shots or something, but it does go to show that the left is pretty comfortable with wild-eyed name calling in place of real political discourse.