For years now, Valerie Plame has been the toast of the liberal glitterati, a celebrated combat specialist against the Vast Bush Conspiracy. Every move the former CIA employee has made has oozed political and commercial calculation. She struck a book deal with Simon & Schuster worth more than $2 million. She struck a movie deal based on the book deal with Warner Brothers for millions more, so she can be played as a patriotic heroine on the silver screen by Nicole Kidman or Naomi Watts. How many millions more? Two million? Five million? Don’t wait for the media to ask. They're too busy playing her as victimized.
In the Clinton years, any opponent in a Clinton scandal was assumed to be overwhelmed with greed, desperate to get an agent and make millions with lies about the president, to sell "trash for cash." Since she's been encouraged to wage political war by Hillary Clinton, none of these assumptions have been applied to Valerie Plame, or her husband, Joe Wilson. Here’s a rundown of the Plame interviews and the number of questions about the Wilsons making millions:
To commemorate the Media Research Center’s 20th anniversary this month, we’ve just published a special expanded edition of our ‘Notable Quotables’ newsletter with more than 100 of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes we’ve uncovered over the past 20 years. Earlier this week, I presented quotes showing the media’s hostility towards Ronald Reagan and other conservatives, and sycophantic coverage of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Today’s installment: America the Awful. On Monday, I recounted how many journalists offered sympathetic coverage of totalitarian communist regimes. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, too many journalists opted to take a harsher approach with their own country. In a commencement address at the State University of New York at New Paltz back on May 21, 2006, New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., exposed his extreme left-wing agenda as he railed against everything he saw as wrong with America:
Back in March, liberals tried to make a major controversy out of Rush Limbaugh’s parody of Al Sharpton singing "Barack the Magic Negro" (to the tune of "Puff the Magic Dragon") even though it borrowed the "magic negro" term from a black writer in the Los Angeles Times. Critics thought it was racist and made Sharpton sound like an idiot. One blogger called for station managers to drop Limbaugh and this "worst kind of vile, demeaning garbage." It even became a news story on NBC.
But what about when the left does a similar kind of satire against Clarence Thomas – and on National Public Radio, no less? On October 1, the first day of the Supreme Court’s new term, NPR’s All Things Considered aired a parody by Bruce Kluger and David Slavin, using ethnic and racial stereotyping for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia, and Thomas. Scalia is pitched as the Godfather (complete with notes from the "Godfather" soundtrack) and Thomas is mocked as Scalia’s goon, who repeats everything Scalia says and even calls him "Boss." Fake Thomas also seems well-versed in the signals of public-restroom sex. (You have to hear it to believe it. Audio here.)
Long-time NPR Morning Edition host Bob Edwards was dumped by NPR in 2004 after almost 25 years in the anchor chair. Later in that year, he found a new perch at XM satellite radio’s XMPR or XM Public Radio channel, where he hosts a daily hour-long show that re-airs several times. On Thursday’s show, he still sounded like a typical liberal NPR host as he interviewed ex-President Jimmy Carter, and his affection for Carter and his policies came tumbling out.
Late in the hour, the normally staid host got passionate, prodding Carter to explain how America’s global image was ruined by President Bush, and after Carter spun a long potential inauguration speech for the next president, stuffed with liberal platitudes, Edwards replied "That’s a great inauguration speech." He also complained that Carter was "hammered" for insisting on energy conservation and that Ronald Reagan ripped the solar panels off the White House roof, as if to say "Those wusses are gone" and now "we’re going to drill for oil." He also snorted that leaders like Bush weren’t really leaders, because they didn’t tell the "truth" like Carter did.
On NPR's Diane Rehm show Friday, Time political reporter Karen Tumulty touted Al Gore's latest prize as part of a "remarkable story" about his "remarkable career," and how he's won just about every award you can win. Tumulty says all the "moral authority" he has gained from denouncing the Iraq war before it began could make a difference if he decided to endorse one of the Democratic presidential contenders.
It’s a quite remarkable story that you know, the Vice President after coming out of this traumatic election has built just a remarkable career for himself and really made a difference. But I’m sitting here trying to figure out what award he hasn’t won at this point. We have the Academy Award, the Emmy award, the Grammy award, the Webby award, and now this one.
After the other guests had a turn -- Jim Angle of Fox News and Paul Glastris of the liberal Washington Monthly -- Tumulty underlined Gore's new clout:
Former ABC reporter Michel Martin has a history of one-sided bashing of Clarence Thomas. In 1994, the reporter then known as Michel McQueen helmed a 60-minute special on the ABC prime-time magazine Turning Point highlighting women who charged Anita Hill was right and Clarence Thomas was wrong. Pro-Thomas colleagues at the EEOC were not interviewed.
Outraged now at the new Clarence Thomas autobiography My Grandfather’s Son, Martin used her new forum, the National Public Radio talk show Tell Me More, to interview Angela Wright, a disgruntled employee that Thomas fired, who then denigrated him on NPR as "a mean-spirited, nasty, you know, fairly unstable person" who carried around "his self-loathing and his hatred for anything black or civil rights-oriented or affirmative action." She claimed that the Democrats never wanted her to testify. But the actual record from the hearing clearly shows that Sen. Joe Biden read a letter to Wright saying he would honor her request if she wished to testify, and then attached a statement from Wright saying "From Angela Wright, 'I agree the admission of the transcript of my interview and that of Miss Jourdain's in the record without rebuttal at the hearing represents my position and is completely satisfactory to me.'"
During his Monday smackdown on the Laura Ingraham radio show, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin declined to say yes or no when Laura asked him if he had ever met or interviewed Justice Clarence Thomas before he claimed the Justice was "furious all the time." Toobin suggested Laura should ask Thomas. In a soundbite Ingraham aired at the top of the 10 am hour on Thursday, after his hour-long interview was done, Thomas confirmed that he granted no interview to Toobin. Thomas said he "would have no clue" who Toobin was if he saw him on the street.
Deep into his Monday interview on NPR’s Diane Rehm show, Toobin explained the difference between Justice Thomas and Justice Antonin Scalia. Thomas was "a nut." He added at show’s end that Thomas’s legal views were "highly unusual and extreme." He also predicted that if elected president, Hillary Clinton would nominate Barack Obama to the Supreme Court, a "political masterstroke" for Hillary since Obama would be an "unassailable nominee."
Ah, those diversity-loving liberals. You know, the kind who would stifle free speech with their Orwellian "Fairness Doctrine," who threaten legal action against mom-and-pop T-shirt makers who criticize MoveOn.org. Wesley Clark would now take things one step further, whacking Rush Limbaugh off the Armed Forces Network radio airwaves.
"Today" co-anchor Meredith Vieira interviewed the retired general and former Dem presidential candidate on this morning's show.
Last Thursday, on her new show "Tell Me More," NPR talk show Michel Martin held another one of those non-debates on whether the Republican front-runners should have submitted to the debate organized by leftist PBS host Tavis Smiley. She invited both former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele and former Gingrich pollster Frank Luntz to come on and denounce the GOP no-shows for political stupidity and moral cowardice. Luntz insisted "Tavis Smiley is an incredible host, and he is completely fair." But while Martin pointed out that Smiley had prevailed on Steele to help cajole Republicans to attend for several months, she failed to tell listeners that Luntz was hired by Smiley to do polls after the PBS Democratic candidates debate in June. This is not a little-known fact. Liberal Democrat groups like Media Matters had a fit that Smiley hired a Republican pollster for a Democratic debate, and (unsuccessfully) demanded PBS fix it.
In refusing to interview anyone who felt that PBS and Tavis "George Bush is a serial killer" Smiley were offering a hostile forum for Republicans, Martin merely said the RNC failed to send a spokesman – as if there aren’t many conservatives outside the RNC building on Capitol Hill who would accept that opportunity. That's a lazy way to avoid having a contentious debate, instead of a double-beating.
National Public Radio is continuing its historical place as the scene of the original unproven allegations of Anita Hill. NPR's Nina Totenberg broke the story of Hill's unsubstantiated tales of sexual harassment back in 1991. On Monday, NPR talk show host Diane Rehm professed it was "a remarkable thing to say" that Virginia Thomas would dare ask for an apology from Hill. At NPR, they can't even imagine a possibility other than Thomas is a liar. Rehm also wondered if "this kind of fury" from Thomas has biased his court decisions against "the people he calls the liberals who were out to get him." (Audio here.)
Diane Rehm's Monday guests were CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and Jeffrey Rosen of The New Republic. (Rehm described them as "two authorities on the Supreme Court," with no troublesome ideological label.) Toobin spurred Rehm's commentary by spinning his wild theory that Thomas was both popular at the Court and simultaneously "furious all the time," and Rehm didn't respond by asking if he'd ever met Thomas:
Does National Public Radio have a nose for news? Or a nose that's offended by the scent of President Bush? NPR news boss Ellen Weiss has snubbed an exclusive interview opportunity with President Bush. Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz reported Wednesday that the White House offered NPR’s Juan Williams an interview on race relations, but NPR didn’t want it on its airwaves. So it aired instead on the Fox News Channel.
Williams told Kurtz he was "stunned" by NPR's decision. "It makes no sense to me. President Bush has never given an interview in which he focused on race. . . . I was stunned by the decision to turn their backs on him and to turn their backs on me." Fox was even sharper. "NPR's lack of news judgment is astonishing, and their treatment of a respected journalist like Juan Williams is appalling," said Fox spokeswoman Irena Briganti.
Anybody that has logged on to the Internet in the past couple of days is well aware that the far left in our nation are doing what the far left are best at: calling people racists, and hoping folks will be fired as a result.
The latest conspiracy fabricated by the left - albeit in a long line of conspiracies - deals with comments made by Fox News's Bill O'Reilly on his radio program.
Tuesday evening, O'Reilly invited liberal NPR correspondent Juan Williams on "The Factor" - who, coincidentally, was O'Reilly's radio guest when the supposedly offensive words were uttered - for his views on the subject.
Likely much to the chagrin of liberals throughout the nation, Williams came strongly to O'Reilly's defense, and pointed an accusatory finger at those that have intentionally mischaracterized what transpired for their own benefit (video available here, h/t Johnny Dollar):
As America headed into the weekend before the sixth anniversary of the horrific September 11 terrorist attacks, the latest purported video from Osama bin Laden reminded the country that the war on terrorism is still a real and persistent battle. But some people despise the whole war-on-terror concept. They believe that commemorating 9-11 is getting tired and dated and even psychologically harmful to the country.
As hard (or as easy) as it may be to believe, The New York Times, situated just miles from Ground Zero in Manhattan, published a typically portentous Sunday article asking: "As 9/11 Draws Near, a Debate Rises: How Much Tribute Is Enough?" Times reporter N.R. Kleinfeld suggested the whole rigamarole was tedious, and perhaps distasteful: "Again there will be the public tributes, the tightly scripted memorial events, the reflex news coverage, the souvenir peddlers. Is all of it necessary, at the same decibel level -- still?" Amassing the usual anonymous mass of radicals who are allergic to expressions of national unity or love of country, Kleinfeld insisted "many people feel that the collective commemorations, publicly staged, are excessive and vacant, even annoying."
"Excessive and vacant, even annoying." Come to think of it, that's a pretty good motto for the masthead of The New York Times.
The blogoshpere is full of opinions, but this one you're paying for. Your tax dollars are going to National Public Radio Blogger and Morning Edition commentator John Ridley to editorialize "I'm sorry, but chick fights are sexy" in his new blog on the NPR website called “Visible Man”, which will appear twice a week. Ridley chimes in on why he likes Elizabeth Edwards for his first post:
Ladies throwing down is just plain hot, and that's true whether they're drunk and tussling on the Vegas Strip or if they're doing some verbal mud wrestling in the media. And the woman least afraid to get her li'l dukes up, and therefore currently the sexiest in politics, is Elizabeth Edwards.
In his Monday "Media Notes" column in The Washington Post -- for some reason, the whole column was demoted to page C-7 -- Howard Kurtz reported (in his second item) that National Public Radio's FBI reporter, Dina Temple-Raston, recently did a report quoting the American Civil Liberties Union. That wouldn't be shocking, except that Temple-Raston is also co-author of a new book with the executive director of the ACLU on "the dangerous erosion of the Bill of Rights in the age of terror."
Temple-Raston claimed she's aware of the "perception issue," but will try to be "really, really balanced." (So is NPR, which includes the data in her online bio.) This hire is a complete insult to the idea of creating an impression of a fair, nonpartisan public-radio news network. It would be bad enough if an NPR reporter gave money to the ACLU, or attended their fundraising dinners. But this reporter has written a book, cheek and jowl, with the leader of the ACLU, endorsing their leftist worldview on a blooming Bush dictatorship. How on Earth can NPR think it doesn't look transparently partisan from the first broadcast word?
In the July 14, 2007, episode of NPR's humorous quiz show, "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!," host Peter Sagal claimed, "The Bush Administration reported this week that Iraq hadn't quite met any of the 18 benchmarks set out for them" (emphasis mine).
Not quite, Peter. The newly released report (pdf file, released 7/12/07) stated that Iraq has achieved satisfactory progress for eight of the 18 benchmarks. President Bush had been required by law to "submit an initial report to Congress, not later than July 15, 2007, assessing the status of each of the specific benchmarks ... and declaring, in his judgment, whether satisfactory progress toward meeting these benchmarks is, or is not, being achieved" (emphasis mine). A second report is due from Gen. David Petraeus in September.
If you’re the kind of liberal elitist who makes untold millions as a precious literary mind on National Public Radio (complete with relentless program-related merchandising), then you are the kind of person who finds the "War on Terror" to be nothing more than the comedic Gift That Keeps on Giving. I’m talking about Garrison Keillor of "A Prairie Home Companion," who takes up space on the left-wing site Salon.com on Thursday with a "comedy" piece headlined: "His stethoscope is loaded: The war on terror must be pursued wherever it leads and right now it points toward people in green scrubs." The recent finding that some terrorist suspects are doctors will no doubt lead to dramatic and tyrannical overreaching by "Secretary Shirtsoff" and the Department of Homeland Security, Keillor suggests:
On Tuesday, National Public Radio displayed two very different takes on the current situation in Iraq from reporters for The New York Times and the Washington Post.
John Burns of The New York Times was the cautious optimist on the Tuesday edition of NPR’s Day to Day (in partnership with the liberal site Slate.com):
As for Senator Lugar's assessment that they've overestimated what they can do, I think it's a little early to say that. In the last few days I've been at several places around Baghdad where the offensives are underway. I've been out in Ramadi, where as you know, Anbar province has been the most remarkable reduction in violence. And there's no doubt that this surge is having an effect, that al-Qaida for the time being at least appears to be on the back foot. Can that be sustained? Probably too early to tell.
I've been too busy with the Hillary book to blog, but I've been really wanting to agree with Radio Equalizer and others that the Center for American Progress/Free Press talk-radio study has huge holes in it. The biggest one is excluding public radio talk shows. It’s simply inaccurate to argue there’s little or no progressive talk in major markets with NPR affiliates broadcasting the Diane Rehm show, or Fresh Air with Terry Gross, or the new Michel Martin vehicle Tell Me More, or the Tavis Smiley radio show, or the other national and local left-leaning talk programs. A right-winger could even count Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion sometimes!
National Public Radio commentators can establish one reality very quickly: they won’t cross the feminists. "I am not dumb enough to castigate women en masse," said sports writer Frank Deford in a commentary on Wednesday’s Morning Edition as he blamed them for the popularity of celebrity gossip. But men? That’s easier. They’re diverted from serious news by the sports pages. Sure, Deford said, "there are an awful lot of feather-brained fans who could rattle off the entire roster of the Kansas City Royals before they could name their own congressman." But deny them their sports, and they won’t become C-SPAN fans. "Probably, in fact, their new devotion would be to something more base like pornography."
News people often hedge on the accuracy of the existence of God, but National Public Radio showed an ease in declaring they were in the presence of a "goddess" (no quote marks for her) on Thursday's All Things Considered newscast. The "feminine divine" in question was 9-year-old Sajani Shakya. Anchor Michele Norris proclaimed "she is a goddess, or Kumari, venerated as a deity in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal," who was visiting Washington as part of the Silverdocs film festival. NPR reporter Neda Ulaby began:
ULABY: The goddess is, frankly, a little jet-lagged. But adorned with golden saffron robes and a ceremonial third eye painted on her forehead, she's the most majestic 9-year-old this classroom of American kids has ever met.
National Public Radio folks read NewsBusters. The new show "Tell Me More" noticed that NB Senior Editor Tim Graham analyzed their sympathetic segment on anti-war mothers of fallen soldiers and how they felt about Cindy Sheehan's decision to abandon her activism for now because of mean conservatives.
On Friday's edition of "Tell Me More," NPR played host Michel Martin's Wednesday phone interview with Tim as he sat in his messy MRC office about his objections to the NPR piece, and he explained how the media didn't play up that Cindy Sheehan didn't merely suffer from derogatory names, but she also threw around a lot of derogatory names of her own. Tim also called out Martin for inaccurately suggesting on her blog that President Bush never met with Sheehan.
National Public Radio’s weekend show "On The Media" is often a liberal oasis inside of a liberal oasis. Last weekend, NPR host Brooke Gladstone invited on Paul Waldman of that Hillary Clinton-cloned media pressure group, who wrote a study claiming the religious left was underrepresented on TV. (It might be because you often can’t really tell the difference between the "religious" left and the secular left. Both want socialism, abortion on demand, forced gay acceptance, the banning of the SUV, and the restoration of the 90-percent top tax bracket. But just one half says Jesus wouldn't drive an SUV.)
Gladstone’s other guest was Jeff Sharlet, a leftist blogger at a media-and-religion site called The Revealer. (It's the counterpoint to Get Religion, in other words.) At the segment’s end, Gladstone uncorked a new motto jokingly: "We really span the spectrum here from sort of left to very left."
Story after story about Rupert Murdoch’s purchase offer for Dow Jones & Company, which owns The Wall Street Journal, has criticized the prospect as a threat to journalism, questioned the media mogul’s “editorial integrity” and attacked his character.
Journalists, media critics and the union representing the Journal were up in arms.
“[P]robably not quite as frightening as the day we learned Kim Jong Il has the bomb, but close … very close. It could be worse. We might have discovered, for example, that Saddam Hussein had stashed all those missing weapons of mass destruction in a Pasadena storage locker rented to Osama bin Laden,” said a Los Angeles Times column.
On NPR’s new talk show "Tell Me More," Michel Martin brought her sympathies to the cause of Cindy Sheehan and her "devastating conclusion" to withdraw from the public arena (Martin made no mention on the air of her disgust with the Democratic Party). She interviewed three other "anti-war" mothers of soldiers who died in Iraq, and asked if they were disappointed by Sheehan’s decision and how conservatives have made their lives difficult: "Cindy Sheehan reports that she's paid a very high price for her activism. She said her life has been threatened. She's been called, you know, many, many derogatory names, you know, some of which I can't really repeat here. I'd like to know have you felt that you've paid a price for your activism?" Martin made no mention of the many derogatory names Sheehan used for President Bush (an "evil maniac," the "biggest terrorist") or his cause ("the cancer of Pax Americana.")
The conversation even turned to American racism, with Martin asserting "we know that minorities are disproportionately represented in the military, particularly in the Army. And yet, many of the people we've seen be most publicly active in opposing the war have not generally included minorities, and you are among the few." Mother Elaine Johnson complained that the media might be racist for focusing on Sheehan and not on her.
Bill Clinton’s first Surgeon General, Joycelyn Elders, was an outspoken opponent of the religious right, and was pressed to resign in December 1994 for suggesting that masturbation should be taught in schools as part of sex education, as a "safe sex" option for teenagers. She resigned, but never felt she was wrong to say it. That’s obvious because National Public Radio put her on Wednesday still spreading the message that the best thing about autoeroticism is "you know you're having sex with somebody you love." On former ABC reporter Michel Martin’s new talk show "Tell Me More," Elders was brought on as part of a segment called "Wisdom Watch."
Martin explained: "Every so often, you want to talk over an issue with people who aren't just smart, but wise. So we came up with Wisdom Watch, where we ask some of our most-respected elders to guide us through some of today's most challenging and important issues. Today, we're joined by Doctor Joycelyn Elders."
NewsBusters draws attention on the Left, and some of it is very amusing to read. On today's Huffington Post, Al Gore devotees Dave Johnson and James Boyce are so angry with Brent Bozell's column on Gore that they claim the MRC can't find a single example the media are liberal. (Are they sure they've read this blog?) Their unfavorite line was Brent comparing Gore's censoriousness toward global-warming skeptics with a certain Venezuelan autocrat:
Al Gore and Hugo Chavez? That's a pathetic, stupid pairing right out of the high school playground. But look at their web site, we wouldn't expect more. One thing that is interesting is Conservatives love to claim that the media is liberal. But ask for a single example and it stuns them into silence.
It seems almost a metaphysical certitude that the following will not be raised in this evening’s nightly newscasts, or the headlines of tomorrow’s papers.
Regardless, Dr. Michael Griffin, the Administrator of NASA since April 2005, told NPR Thursday morning, “I am not sure that it is fair to say that [global warming] is a problem we must wrestle with” (audio available here).
As ABCNews.com reported Thursday, this has drawn “the ire of his agency's preeminent climate scientists,” in particular, global warming alarmist James Hansen (h/t NBer Sick-n-Tired).
More on that later. First, here are some of Griffin’s remarks as reported by NPR.com (emphasis added throughout):
It has been over three weeks since the fundamental claim of the "Food Stamp Challenge" was debunked, first by Mona Charen in her syndicated column, then in more detail by yours truly (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog). Yet the "Food Stamp Challenge" has spread.
As noted in this NPR report from April 23, it all started in Oregon. That state's governor, Ted Kulongoski, joined in and put on quite a show, getting plenty of Old Media attention (Associated Press; New York Times [may require free registration]) as he tried to buy a week's worth of groceries with $21, because that was said to be what "the state’s average food stamp recipient spends weekly on groceries."
The Challenge's claim that the average Food Stamp recipient's benefit of $21 per person per week is all that beneficiaries have available for purchasing food is incorrect, as anyone visiting the USDA's web site could have learned very easily.
As I noted in late April, the Food Stamp Program’s "Fact Sheet on Resources, Income and Benefits" provides a table of "Maximum Monthly Allotments" (i.e., benefits), and says the following about benefit levels (bold is mine; I converted the Monthly Allotments to weekly allotments per person by dividing by the average number of weeks in a month [4.345], and then by the number of people):
Yesterday, a friend from Los Angeles called. The person is successful, known, part of the entertainment industry. Jerry Falwell is, my friend said, the reason I can't call myself a Christian in Hollywood. He is what everyone thinks to that when they hear the word Christian. That may well be Jerry Falwell's most enduring and most troubling legacy. Jerry Falwell almost single-handedly blurred the line between Jesus and conservative politics to the detriment of both.