Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Alayon recently released a video in which he defends Israel’s presence in the West Bank, and argues not only that Israeli settlements within the territory are legal, but that the West Bank technically should not be labeled as "occupied’, but rather, "disputed," because the West Bank was not recognized previously as being legally part of a sovereign state.
Staff writer Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic (formerly The Atlantic Monthly) was so incensed by the pro-Israel video that he was driven to use profanity on his blog as he mocked the Israeli government as trying to send the message that the world should "f— off." He further charged that the "cheesy and disturbing video" was an attempt by the Israeli government to hold onto the West Bank, even though Ayalon’s video clearly speaks of negotiating the boundaries for a Palestinian state. Goldberg began his blog posting:
Hailed for his engagement with the online world and being cutting edge for hosting a Twitter town hall, President Barack Obama made quite the gaffe at his town hall yesterday, calling the internet, "internets," the same mistake for which former President George W. Bush was widely mocked following a 2004 presidential debate.
The flub, which Obama quickly corrected, came while he was discussing the importance of bringing the internet to classrooms, but the president has received little media flack for his slip-up.
Friday afternoon, the White House quietly released its annual report to Congress on White House staff salaries. Among the employees is the infamous director of progressive media and online response, Jesse Lee, who is paid $72,500 a year to provide White House sanctioned responses to any negative press it receives.
The position, which was previously part of the privately-funded DNC's rapid response team, is now a taxpayer-funded spin machine to thwart bad press against President Barack Obama. In effect, the position is a pulpit for the White House, through Lee, to ridicule critics and promote a liberal agenda. Lee frequently retweets liberal bloggers and media organizations, but also picks fights with a number of conservative bloggers.
In another effort to engage the online community once bubbling with support for President Barack Obama, Obama will participate in a Twitter town hall today at 2 pm EDT to answer questions on jobs and the economy posed by Twitter users with the hashtag #askobama.
The questions Obama answers will be handpicked by Twitter staffers and pre-selected Twitter users, who will be tracking the popularity and geographical distribution of the questions to determine which questions to ask Obama. Don't expect any hardball questions, though. As Michelle Malkin points out, the moderator of the town hall, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, is a close friend of the administration as a State Department adviser.
Will you be participating? Let us know what you think of Obama's latest online engagement effort in the comments.
Both CNN's Anderson Cooper on Wednesday's AC360 and CBS's Nancy Cordes on Thursday's Early Show highlighted conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart's early part in spreading news of the lewd photo Tweeted from Rep. Andrew Weiner's Twitter account. Cooper played up Breitbart's supposedly "questionable credibility," while Cordes reported how "supporters of Weiner note that it was [the] right-wing blogger...who broke the story."
The CNN anchor raised Breitbart's involvement 15 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour as he introduced the second part of an interview of the New York Democrat conducted by his colleague Wolf Blitzer:
At the top of Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Meredith Vieira worried about the impact of the Twitter photo scandal on Congressman Anthony Weiner's career: "Will the scandal and his response to it derail his political ambitions?"
Talking to chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd later, Vieira pointed out how "the people who write the headlines in New York City are obviously having a heyday with this" but then soberly added, "beyond the laughs here, this guy is a rising star in this state, especially in the city of New York, considered a front-runner for the next mayoral campaign....What about the political toll?"
For several days, NewsBusters readers have been asking why we haven't commented on the growing controversy surrounding Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) and an indecent picture sent from his Twitter account to a 21-year-old girl in Seattle, Washington.
As there seem to have been far more questions concerning this sensitive matter than answers, we have been observing the press reaction trying to assess how a media that is typically protective of Democrats handled the scandal.
In late 2009, the Washington Post's response to a tweet from its managing editor that betrayed a clear left-leaning worldview was to censor all of its employees for fear that they might betray their (gasp) opinions. A more sensible policy might have been to acknowledge that the paper is staffed by people who are, for the most part, liberals.
The same managing editor, Raju Narisetti - who has since added a strongly-worded statement to his twitter bio disclaiming his employer from any views expressed there - shot out a similar tweet on Monday, once again conveying his left-of-center views on major policy priorities. “Thought encounter of the day: ‘Would be good if our schools are fully funded and DoD has to hold a bake sale to buy its next fighter jet,'" Narisetti wrote.
The wisdom of that (facetious?) policy prescription is a debate for another forum. It should, however, remove any remaining doubt about Narisetti's political views. And while his tweet does not represent the Post's official position, it ought to give readers pause that someone with such obviously left-of-center views is in such a position of power at an ostensibly "objective" publication.
In a set of tweets a few minutes ago decrying the shooting of bin Laden, leftist filmmaker Michael Moore attacked the Obama administration for not capturing bin Laden and bringing him back alive for trial.
After comparing Confederate general Robert E. Lee and Confederate president Jefferson Davis to bin Laden, Moore groused, "I'm just saying, I want my America back."
He then added, "I dunno, maybe it never was. We are a nation founded on genocide and built on the backs of slaves."
Twitter and other social networks have provided social scientists with unprecedented means of measuring human interaction. As it turns out, that fact has implications for the media bias debate.
In a study to be released next month, three Duke University researchers rank politicians and other public figures by political ideology as measured by a formula that incorporates whom they follow on Twitter, and who follows them. "The results dovetailed with ideological ranking systems based on the politicians’ voting records," the New York Times reported on Monday.
If the study is accurate, it demonstrates just how liberal some of America's most prominent journalists really are. Check below the break for some key findings concerning on the not-so-neutral news media.
On Wednesday's AC360 on CNN, ABC's Ashleigh Banfield punted on Nir Rosen's offensive Tweets against CBS's Lara Logan and tried to explain them away: "We're using a lot of electronics to get information out as fast as we can nowadays before we can really digest the ramifications of what we say...And so, I'm certainly not going to cast aspersions on Mr. Rosen. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
Anchor Anderson Cooper turned to Banfield and Salon.com's Joan Walsh immediately after playing his taped interview with Rosen during the 10 pm Eastern hour. Cooper first asked Walsh for her take on the controversy, and she promptly criticized the disgraced journalist: "I thought it was horrible, Anderson, and I assumed that he was making light of a sexual assault...So, I'm not going to call him a liar. Only he knows what he knew. But it was incredibly insensitive, and even...aside from the sexual assault aspect, to be mocking someone that you don't like who has been injured and mistreated, I would rather think that we don't have those responses...Maybe that's naive of me."
Disgraced journalist Nir Rosen claimed on Wednesday's Anderson Cooper 360 that he didn't know Lara Logan was sexually assaulted when she was attacked by protesters in Egypt. However, Rosen's own Tweets, which he subsequently deleted, revealed that he indeed know about the nature of the attack and tried to downplay it: "Look, she was probably groped like thousands of other women."
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper aired his taped interview with the anti-war journalist during the 10 pm Eastern hour of his program. Cooper raised how Rosen brought the CNN personality into his attacks on Logan:
A recently-released analysis by the Pew Research Center reveals some interesting facts about the online conversation regarding the Tucson massacre. Most notably, it lends statistical weight to the claim that the left accused its ideological opponents of fostering a "climate of hate" to a far greater degree than did the right.
Though that may not be altogether surprising, the Pew study also revealed that the three news networks - the self-styled objective and responsible journalistic gatekeepers - were far more likely to blame conservatives alone for the tone of the national debate than even liberals in the blogosphere and twitterverse.
Yesterday on Twitter, Salon's Glenn Greenwald promised followers a forthcoming story detailing allegations of torture against Private First Class Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of leaking to WikiLeaks. Manning, you may recall, is currently in the brig at Marine Corps Base Quantico.
"A major story brewing is the cruel, inhuman treatment - torture - to which Bradley Manning is being subjected: more to come shortly," Greenwald pledged on December 14. Greenwald's story was published early this morning.
Roland Martin brought his full-blown Palin Derangement Syndrome to Friday's Anderson Cooper 360, labeling the former Alaska governor "the Kim Kardashian of politics." Martin continued that Palin is "making a ton of money. We're trying to figure out why. It's the same as Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton....She quit her job because she wanted to go out and be a celebrity."
The CNN contributor actually first tried out his questionable label of the Tea Party favorite on his Twitter account. At 5:12 pm on November 9, Martin posted the following Tweet: "Palin slammed then-Sen. Obama as a celebrity in 2008 campaign, and she's more of a celebrity because she doesn't hold office." Mind you, at that time, Palin was Alaska's governor and the Republican vice presidential candidate, but the liberal continued by complaining in a second Tweet that "the media goes ga ga over whatever she says. Palin is often wrong. She's a former governor who quit her job rather than tough it out." During his third Tweet, Martin added, "She holds no position; wants no accountability; and wants to sling arrows and then gets angry when called on the carpet 4 her nonsense." The CNN personality completed his rant by comparing the Republican to the curvy celebrity most infamous for making a pornographic video: "At the end of the day, Sarah Palin is the Kim Kardashian of Politics. She's a celebrity with no real purpose other than picking up a check."
In the wake of a huge GOP midterm victory, pro-abortion women actively took to the social website Twitter to reject the incoming wave of pro-life candidates. Those who have had abortions spoke out on Twitter, proudly tweeting “#ihadanabortion.” From the Chicago Sun-Times, to The Washington Post, the media obliged these women and their left-wing social agenda by complaining conservatives wish to “scrub the ‘a-word’ of stigma and shame” and compare pro-abortion women to those fighting for civil rights.
When a “hashtag” (a pound sign) followed by a series of words is used on Twitter (for example - #ihadanabortion) an online community is created for those who are discussing a similar topic. According to the Post, on Nov. 5 the #ihadanabortion topic was among the top 10 most popular or “trending” topics on Twitter.
Last year when Michael Jackson died, average people all over the world knew it within minutes, thanks in part to advances in social media technology such as Facebook and Twitter that make information sharing instantaneous. But maybe these new media have a role in getting out actually important, yet under-reported stories. That may be the case with the horror of violent forced abortions in China.
The enforcement of China’s infamous one-child policy has led family planning authorities to fine women with an illegal second pregnancy for as little as $1 for the poorest citizens, up to $40,000. But in some cases, government actions are far more extreme. Thanks to an Al Jazeera video posted on China’s version of Twitter, the truth of a gruesome, late-term abortion forced upon a mother in the modern city of Xiamen is now receiving more mainstream attention than it might have in a pre-Twitter era.
Voting is encouraged, unless you don’t agree with me – then you can go pound sand. That’s essentially the message ABC TV producer Danny Zuker tweeted on October 26. “Next Tues. please vote,” the “Modern Family” writer tweeted. “Unless you're a racist/homophobic/evolution denier. U should probably just go to the dentist.”
Zuker, whose Twitter profile states he is a “TV writer/producer” who is “currently working on ABC's “Modern Family,” frequently tweets about the show, its characters, and the actors on the show. Odd, that a very politically intolerant tweet would appear from a writer of an extremely tolerant, progressive, sitcom.
[Update, Wednesday, 11:15 pm Eastern: The Tweet by O'Brien apparently "doesn't exist" any more. A screen cap of the Tweet in question can be seen after the jump.]
Former CNN anchor Miles O'Brien (no relation to current CNN special correspondent Soledad O'Brien) slammed Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell as a "Tea Party nutbag" in a Tweet on Wednesday evening. O'Brien continued that he "forget [sic] her ignorant nonsense," referring to her defense of the creationist viewpoint during a 1996 appearance on his former network.
O'Brien, who was let go by CNN in 2008 after they closed their science unit, linked to an article on the left-wing website Talking Points Memo after his attack on O'Donnell. The article, by Eric Kleefeld, highlighted an item by Dan Amira of New York magazine, who "dug up" the Republican's March 1996 appearance with O'Brien and Dr. Michael McKinney of the University of Tennessee-Chattanoga. During the panel discussion, O'Donnell defended the creationism. Kleefeld labeled it as just another part of the social conservative's "religious right work," citing her apparent "long career in anti-sex and anti-masturbation activism."
Want a tutorial in the hypocrisy, vitriol and deep unhappiness of the American left? You don't need to subject yourself to MSNBC, or wade through the muck of Daily Kos. Actor John Cusack's Twitter feed is a clearing house for liberal memes and nasty rhetoric.
Here's his peaceful entry from Aug. 29 [All spelling from original Tweets, but Cusack admits: "I type with I phone fast and loose with no spellcheck."]:
Johncusack: I AM FOR A SATANIC DEATH CULT CENTER AT FOX NEWS HQ AND OUTSIDE THE OFFICES ORDICK ARMEYAND NEWT GINGRICH-and all the GOP WELFARE FREAKS
Presumably, this is a reference to the controversy over the Ground Zero Mosque. And "all the GOP WELFARE FREAKS" seems to follow on this theme:
Johncusack: taht's the gop philospy.. gourge the stae while claiming to be rugged individuaist who live by the free market - biggest joke there is..
Johncusack: think of our the us treasury as the last frontier to be stripped mined if only pesky gov itelf wasn't in the way.
But elsewhere, Cusack said Glenn Beck (at his "Restoring Honor" rally) was "unifying whites -class war of blame and fear" and said Beck was starting a "class war to capitallize on economy they destroyed" - a strange accusation from a man that claims the GOP wants to gut the treasury. And what liberal rant would be complete without the leftist's two favorite pejorative? Beck's tactics, he wrote were "strraigjt fr tfriendly racist playbiook." A minute later, Cusack added, "Sorry frendly fascist playbook."
Lefty blogs have been having a field day with a tweet that showed up on Glenn Beck's "favorites" list - a list of tweets bookmarked, in a sense, by the user - directing followers to a white supremacist message board. Keith Olbermann picked up on the line of attack last night, crediting a website called "Stop Beck," which he says noticed the tweet. Stop Beck came as close to stating that Beck was endorsing white supremacy as it possibly could, without actually saying it ("Why is Glenn Beck associating himself with white nationalists and white supremacists?"). Since Olbermann is endorsing the notion that a Twitter "favorite" denotes a positive association, we at NewsBusters must thank him for extending that courtesy to our publisher, MRC President Brent Bozell. This tweet, from @themick1962, showed up at the top of @KeithOlbermann's favorites (click the preview at top right for a larger image): "Brent Bozell's Open Letter to WaPo Ed. Re: JournoList http://bit.ly/cnWvL0 Mandatory reading for ALL media types @KeithOlbermann #p2 #tcot" (h/t Tommy Christopher).
Tucker Carlson is now the proud owner of a slightly used Keith Olbermann.
With a large-print headline announcing "We own you" and a picture of ol' Keith looking bemused whilst he adjusts he glasses, The Daily Caller promoted their newest acquisition: http://keitholbermann.com/.
It's just the latest shot across the bow in the escalating feud between Olbermann and Carlson, which will one day be featured on a Cracked.com list of the top eight inconsequential personal feuds the media chose to cover instead of events that were actually newsworthy.
Here's Bauder's fourth paragraph wherein he described the Lebanese cleric that Nasr had praised as "[o]ne of Hezbollah's giants [she] respects a lot" (emphasis mine):
Lebanon's Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah died Sunday after a long illness. He was staunchly anti-American and linked to bombings that killed more than 260 Americans, a charge he denied.
Here's Bauder's lead paragraph:
NEW YORK -- Octavia Nasr has been fired. CNN fired the editor responsible for Middle Eastern coverage after she posted a note on Twitter expressing admiration for a late Lebanese cleric considered an inspiration for the Hezbollah militant movement.
Wouldn't a better lede incorporate elements of the fourth paragraph? Something like:
Editor's Note: What follows is a statement NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell released earlier this evening upon learning that CNN had fired its senior editor of Mideast affairs Octavia Nasr, who had expressed via her Twitter account sadness at the death of a Hezbollah terrorist leader whom she "respect[ed] a lot."
CNN has finally taken a step in the right direction in removing a terrorist sympathizer from their ranks. It’s a shame it took this amount of publicity and attention from organizations like the MRC to get the job done, as Octavia Nasr should never have been granted the position of authority to begin with. Unfortunately, CNN will have to deal with the consequences of how this affects their integrity and a growing public distrust of how they cover Islamic terrorism, but they took the right step in firing her.
The Twitter "Fail Whale": An irritating part of anyone's day that regularly uses social networking in their day-to-day activities. But could this endanger the viability of Twitter as long-term business?
A couple of analysts say think so. Both CNET.com senior editor Natali Del Conte and Herb Greenburg of CNBC Business News suggested Twitter's infrastructure problems could pose issues for Twitter's survival on CNBC's July 2 "Power Lunch."
"Twitter's down all the time," Greenburg said. "I love using Twitter. I will say it here and now - if Twitter were a business, it would be broke. Wait! Twitter is a business, but it's a private business. Maybe it's the type of business that should go public in this environment because those are the kind of companies that go public.