President Obama has extensive ties to Goldman Sachs. Yet even given record-breaking financial contributions and sketchy relationships between Goldman executives and Obama officials at the highest level, the mainstream media will not afford Obama the same scrutiny it gave to George W. Bush during the collapse of Enron.
Obama's inflation-adjusted $1,007,370.85 in contributions from Goldman employees is almost seven times as much as the $151,722.42 (also inflation-adjusted) that Bush received from Enron. Goldman was one of the chief beneficiaries of the TARP bailout package -- supported by then-Senator Obama -- and has been a force for -- not against -- Democratic financial "reform" proposals currently under Senate consideration.
Despite the extensive connections between President Obama and Goldman Sachs, the same media that vaguely alleged unseemly connections between the Bush administration and Enron after its 2001 collapse have barely noticed the Obama administration's prominent ties to Goldman (h/t J.P. Freire).
Near the end of Wednesday's Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC, host Dylan Ratigan led his 'Busted' segment by claiming that The Drudge Report did "not let facts get in the way of a good headline" on Tuesday, by featuring one which read: "CIA: Iran Moving Closer to Nuclear Weapon." Ratigan remarked: "That'll get the ratings up."
Despite the fact that most of the world has long operated under the assumption that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, including the Obama administration, Ratigan singled out Matt Drudge's website for scorn, arguing: "Sounds pretty scary, right? Until you find out what the CIA report actually said. The agency's intelligence actually shows that Iran is quote, 'keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons,' but that they quote 'do not know' whether Tehran will ultimately head down that road." The headline on screen read: "Misinformed; Wordplay On Iran's Nuke Plans."
Ratigan eventually revealed where he received his liberal taking points: "the truth, why would you let that get in the way of ratings? As our friend Glenn Greenwald from Salon.com points out on his blog, false reporting on Iran could be ultimately be far more dangerous than the perceived threat itself. Let's try to stick to the facts."
Salon columnist Max Blumenthal continues to get flak for his slanderous, factually-challenged hit piece on conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe last week. The column, premised on a host of omissions and baseless assumptions, contended that O'Keefe's is a racist.
Blumenthal's latest critic is Columbia Journalism Review, Old Media's paragon of journalistic elitism. CJR has requested that he correct but one of the many errors that comprise his column.
But CJR really has a problem, it seems, that Blumenthal has given ammunition to critics who claim Old Media is rife with liberal bias. CJR contributor Greg Marx lamented that Blumenthal and other quasi-journalists, in ignoring facts to support their agendas,give "ready-made ammunition for that broader campaign."
When the far-left finds a character to assassinate, it doesn't let facts get in the way. That, at least, is the lesson we can draw from the latest bout of liberal character assassination, this one aimed at James O'Keefe.
The slandering of his reputation has occurred mostly at Salon.com, the Village Voice, and an obscure hard-left organization called the One People's Project. Together, they have waged an all-out war on James O'Keefe's character by associating him with supposedly racist people and organizations. Just one problem: their claims are predicated on falsehoods, exaggerations, and assumptions (but mostly just falsehoods).
Max Blumenthal, who penned the Salon piece, and the stalwart non-journalists at OPP (the Village Voice, for its part, issued a mild retraction) alleged that O'Keefe had helped to organize a gathering of "anti-Semites, professional racists and proponents of Aryanism." They also claimed (and produced a cropped picture that could not possibly validate this claim) that O'Keefe had manned the literature table at the event.
Pro-life activists most likely cheered upon seeing this week's In Touch Weekly. The magazine, usually devoted to the latest celebrity shenanigans, featured Sarah and Bristol Palin on the cover holding their baby boys under the headline, "We're Glad We Chose Life."
But for the media, who find everything about Sarah Palin controversial, including, now, holding her own baby, it's one more attack opportunity that includes calling her daughter a "privileged" teen mother.
Sarah and Bristol were "schlepping those babies around like crazy," said Joy Behar. No friend of the Palins on any day, on the Jan. 13 edition of her show Behar predictably found fault with the magazine cover and complained of Palin's youngest son, Trig, "That baby, they passed that baby around more than a joint at a Grateful Dead concert." To her guests, liberal talk show host Stephanie Miller and Huffington Post editor Roy Sekoff, she asked, "Is she going to bring that baby on the set of Fox?"
Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon.com called the cover a "jaw dropper" and questioned the appropriateness of showing the Palins on it. "Hey, we're all for mothers loving their babies, but if it's not 1984 and you're not in a Wham! video, [in which George Michael wore a shirt that said "Choose Life"] you might want to reconsider whether that sentiment is appropriate in a pop culture context," she wrote in a Jan. 14 post.
Salon editor Joan Walsh, a frequent contributor on MSNBC, finds the network's "Countdown" host to be lacking in the diversity department when it comes to his guests. Of course, her complaint isn't with Olbermann's refusal to feature guests with whom he could have ideological clashes -- something his nemesis Bill O'Reilly has never been afraid to do -- but the fact that his guests are infrequently of the fairer sex.
Salon columnist Camille Paglia Wednesday called the recently passed healthcare bill a grotesquely expensive nightmare.
Better still, in her most recent piece, Paglia said the "passive acquiescence of liberal commentators" to ignore how Medicare is being vandalized in order to provide healthcare for the currently uninsured "simply demonstrates how partisan ideology ultimately desensitizes the mind."
Unlike most of the Obama-loving media, Paglia correctly asked, "[W]hy can't my fellow Democrats see that the creation of another huge, inefficient federal bureaucracy would slow and disrupt the delivery of basic healthcare and subject us all to a labyrinthine mass of incompetent, unaccountable petty dictators?"
Readers are strongly advised to prepare themselves for the kind of straight talk on this subject that has been desperately lacking from press members that have clearly allowed partisan ideology to desensitize their minds:
Michael Calderone at Politico reports that the White House press corps is evolving to the left in the Obama era. Even as Team Obama denigrates Fox News as not a "legitimate news organization," even demeans it as a mere receptacle for GOP "talking points," the White House Correspondents Association is broadening its reporter pool to partisan, anti-Bush, left-wing opinion websites like Salon and Talking Points Memo, and also to the Obama-favoring black magazine Ebony. The Huffington Post is also planning to apply.
The WHCA’s most high-profile decision this year was selecting comedian Wanda Sykes to suggest Rush Limbaugh was comparable to al-Qaeda and wished to have his kidneys fail. Widening the press pool – a group which circulates one or a few reporters to cover the president everywhere he goes for the group – offers a higher profile of professionalism to whoever joins it.
Calderone contacted MRC for our reaction, and I gave it:
And, on Fox News Channel's Oct. 5 "Glenn Beck" program, Beck addressed that and some of the gripes he had about the media for not doing their job.
"I tell you all the time, I'm not a journalist," Beck said "I'm not. I joked that I'm a rodeo clown, but you know what - I take that back. I no longer am a rodeo clown. I am a dad, and quite frankly, I'm a little pissed off right now. You can call me names. You can make fun of me, whatever. I'm doing what I believe is right. I am doing a job as a private citizen right now."
In a column today, Salon’s Joe Conason drastically downplays the history of illegality that characterizes the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. In his revisionist history of the organization, Conason tries to show that ACORN may commit voter registration fraud, intimidate its employees to prevent them from unionizing, and willingly assist in the trafficking of underage sex slaves, but by and large it is a force for good.
For many years the combined forces of the far right and the Republican Party have sought to ruin ACORN, the largest organization of poor and working families in America.
Ah yes, ACORN is supposedly battling for the rights of the working class. But in 1995, the organization sued the State of California for an exemption to the high minimum wage laws in that state on the grounds that higher wages would mean they would have to employ fewer people. Incidentally, this is the exact same argument that every opponent of minimum wage laws employs, and ACORN has always battled for a higher minimum wage.
"Why has the Democratic Party become so arrogantly detached from ordinary Americans? Though they claim to speak for the poor and dispossessed, Democrats have increasingly become the party of an upper-middle-class professional elite, top-heavy with journalists, academics and lawyers."
So wrote Camille Paglia in her most recent Salon piece.
After four weeks off, Paglia wasn't only swinging at Democrats, but also at "the fogginess or insipidity of articles and Op-Eds about the [healthcare] controversy emanating from liberal mainstream media and Web sources" (h/t John Bambenek):
The contrast between the virtual silence of major news outlets on Green Jobs Czar Van Jones’s belief in the Bush Administration’s complicity in the 9/11 attacks and the hubbub made about those who believe the President is not an American citizen casts light on the politicized attitudes of the mainstream media.
NewsBusters has noted how the story has been ignored by the television media. Byron York in the Washington Examiner Friday noted that a Nexis news search for the Van Jones ‘truther’ controversy turns up exactly zero results from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and transcripts from ABC World News, NBC Nightly News, and CBS Evening News (though that newscast aired a full story Friday night).
So, as York noted, anyone who gets his or her news from one of these sources, or all five, is unaware that the President’s Green Jobs Czar is not only a self-avowed communist but also a supporter of the truther movement, which means he believes that the Bush Administration was complicit in—even orchestrated—the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Terry Jeffrey walked away the winner on Hardball this afternoon. Despite being double-teamed by Chris Matthews and Salon's Joan Walsh, the editor-in-chief of our sister publication CNSNews.com had the others admitting that the Obama admin has gone too far with the cult-of-personality way it's pitched the president's speech to schoolchildren.
But that didn't prevent Matthews and Walsh from unsubtly accusing PBO's opponents of racism, archly claiming that the motive for the opposition to the president is his "background."
Salon.com has forged a reputation as a willing mudslinger for Democratic White House publicists. In the Clinton era, it famously ripped Clinton adversaries Dan Burton and Henry Hyde as adulterers. They also ran sex columnist Dan Savage's 2000 article about how he got sick and licked all of then-presidential candidate Gary Bauer's door knobs to infect him. Another attack is about to unfold against the group Conservatives for Patients’ Rights (CPR).
CPR’s public relations firm Creative Response Concepts had been dealing with a freelancer named Tristram Korten, who’s working for Salon to expose CPR chief Rick Scott and his latest health venture Solantic, which runs a chain of walk-in urgent care health centers in Florida, most recently in Super Wal-Mart locations. (CRC is also MRC’s publicist.)
Talk about telegraphing where your story will go: here are some of the questions Korten sent about a lawsuit recycling charges in a lawsuit settled out of court that suggest a personal line of attack:
QUESTIONS FOR SALON.COM ARTICLE ON RICK SCOTT/SOLANTIC:
From 2002 lawsuit against Solantic by Dr. David Yarian alleging unlawful termination:
Did Scott approve all hires during Solantic's start-up in May/June 2001?
Liberal bloggers this week have once again given credence to those who complain that bloggers lack credibility, attacking Michelle Bachmann over routine congressional floor actions.
Bachmann, who was holding the floor for the Republicans Monday afternoon, delayed a vote on a bill recognizing Hawaii’s 50th anniversary of statehood due to lack of quorum.
Apparently Bachmann’s delay for an evening vote proves she is an “Obama birther,” someone who believes that Obama was born in Kenya. After all, as Chris Steller of the Soros-funded Minnesota Independent said, “It’s hard to interpret Bachmann’s maneuver as anything other than her first foray into birtherism.”
Salon's Camille Paglia has regularly chided the press for their obvious Palin Derangement Syndrome, and on Wednesday tried to once again explain the malady:
As a Democrat, I detest the partisan machinations that have become standard in Northeastern news management and that are detectable in editorial decisions at major metropolitan newspapers nationwide. It's why I, like a host of others, have shifted my news gathering to the Web.
Responding to a reader's question about the Alaska governor, Paglia referred to the "Northeastern media" as "vultures and harpies" as well as "preening bullies, cackling witches, twisted cynics and pompous windbags" as she took on Vanity Fair's Todd Purdum for the "faux objectivity" throughout his recent Palin hit piece.
Paglia also attacked the "vicious double standard" concerning how Palin's family have been regular media targets compared to the respect accorded Chelsea Clinton:
Last Wednesday, Keith Olbermann falsely compared statements Samuel Alito made during his 2006 Supreme Court confirmation hearings to the now controversial and seemingly racist remark Sonia Sotomayor uttered during a 2001 speech.
In her lecture to the Boalt School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, Barack Obama's nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter said, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."
By contrast, Alito in 2006 talked about his background indeed impacting his decisions, but never said that would make him "more often than not reach a better conclusion than" women of a different race.
Olbermann, as he so often does with his agenda-driven drivel, missed this obvious distinction (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
When I first heard "Barack the Magic Negro" shortly after the March 2007 publication of the Ehrenstein article (which was partly inspired by a term used by director Spike Lee), I found it very daring and funny.
So wrote Camille Paglia in her weekly must-read column at Salon Wednesday.
Also on her plate was why talk radio is dominated by conservatives, and how "something very ugly has surfaced in contemporary American liberalism...[T]here are some real fruitcakes out there, and some of them are writing for major magazines."
Wow. Better strap yourself in tightly, for here are the truly delicious highlights (h/t Hot Air via Thomas Stewart):
For years now American TV audiences been constantly accosted with the overblown drama, feelings, and theatrics of people we don't care about. It is given the exalted genera title of "reality TV." Now Salon.com brings that drama queen sensationalism to journalism! Oh, joy.
Enter Julie Limbaugh whining and complaining in the pages of Salon.com that her life is just oh, so hard because her cousin is famed radio yacker Rush Limbaugh.
Commiserate as she wails about the many times her ultra rich cousin flew the whole family to a resort for Thanksgiving and bought her Chanel sunglasses. Life is so hard. Feel her pain as she is introduced to famous people like Ann Coulter. Gosh what a trial. Assume her sadness as she reveals mistreatment by ignoramuses on the left that call her names because of what Rush has said merely because she carries the same last name. Oh, the humanity.
Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz profiled ABC White House reporter Jake Tapper on Monday, who has stood out a bit for suggesting his colleagues are too soft:
Tapper, who has already clashed publicly with press secretary Robert Gibbs, has been outspoken in his view that many in the media have been too soft on Barack Obama.
"Certain networks, newspapers and magazines leaned on the scales a little bit," he says over a vanilla latte at Starbucks. Obama's attractive qualities, he says, have prompted some editors and producers "to root for him."
Some? Or most, or almost all? Hillary’s apparently not a Tapper fan:
Politicians enjoy poking him back. When Tapper recently bumped into Hillary Clinton and asked which of her titles over the years was her favorite, she said: "I prefer any of them to what we call you when you're not around."
Daniel Bergner isn’t the devil’s advocate, but he is a pervert’s apologist. This author and contributor to the New York Times Magazine has a new book titled "The Other Side of Desire" which argues it is unfair to judge bizarre, harmful, and disgusting sexual attractions as bizarre, harmful, and disgusting.
Bergner’s book focuses on four real-life fetishists: a husband with a secret foot fetish, a man with an attraction to amputees, a vicious female sadist, and a man who longs for sex with his 12-year-old stepdaughter. Book reviews and interviews suggest he hasn’t written a book to judge the fetishists, but rather to judge the society that would rush to condemn their drives and behaviors.
Bergner tries to define deviancy down by quoting one of his experts, a New York psychiatrist who quips, "perversion can be defined as the sex that you like and I don't."
Anne Applebaum said she was reaching for a metaphor to describe the dreamy Barack Obama when she started her Slate piece on January 19. Instead of reaching for a metaphor, however, she only got a handful of absurd hyperbole when she decided that Barack Obama was "just like" Captain C.B. "Sully" Sullenberger, the hero pilot that saved the lives of his entire planeload of people by landing it safely in the Hudson River last week. But, after she went wild with her "metaphor" about Obama, Applebaum ended her piece with some really solid warnings about government overreach.
Still, the first half of Applebaum's column was so silly that its hard to know where to start discussing its over-the-top nature. But, lets begin at the top with her ill-fitting conflation of Capt. Sullenberger's excellent job, an "anti-9/11" she absurdly claimed, and the terrorist attacks that brought down the World Trade Center in 2001. There is simply no logical way to relate the two incidents at all, but Applebaum makes a valiant and risible attempt to do so.
Salon's Camille Paglia believes that of all the print and television journalists that have ever interviewed her, CBS's Katie Couric was "definitively the stupidest."
According to Paglia, "There's many a moose in Alaska with greater charm and pizazz" than that possessed by Couric.
So wrote the outspoken columnist Wednesday in response to a reader's question about the media's treatment of Gov. Sarah Palin. In her most recent offering, Paglia answered queries on subjects ranging from religion, music, sexuality, freedom of speech, and, of course, politics.
Of particular note, Paglia once again went after the liberal elite view that Palin is a bumbling fool unqualified for high office (h/t HillbillyKing):
The first two paragraphs of a recent Salon Magazine piece by Michael Lind on Obama's plans for America's future are striking for the utter lack of any relationship whatsoever between them. The lack of cognitive dissonance between them is amazing but easily proves that liberals don't have the first idea what an economy is.
This Salon piece is proof once again of the stark difference between reality and the liberal mindset of slavish reliance on the concept of a Keynesian style of big government. If we could spend our way out of economic hard times, as Lind praises Obama for advocating, then why are we now having such hard times? The government already spends far, far more than it takes in, yet here we are talking about recession, even depression. If all we had to do was initiate wild spending projects to solve our problems, then we simply would not be in hard times. Yet, here is Salon and Lind praising Obama for announcing absurd, pork laden spending projects as if that will solve everything. It didn't work for the U.S.S.R. and it won't work for us (and, no, it didn't work for us in the past either. Look at FDR's utter failure to fix the Great Depression. We only came out of that when WWII came along).