According to a new Vanity Fair exposé on the troubled NBC News, the Brian Williams scandal appears far from over as additional examples of fabrications by the suspended NBC Nightly News anchor have been uncovered and it’s unknown whether Williams will return to the network. Inside Bryan Burrough’s 8,400-word plus piece, he reported that the investigation into Williams’s numerous claims “is ongoing” and “people who have spoken to Esposito say his group has compiled a number of other incidents that, taken as a whole, paint a portrait of Williams as a man who has consistently burnished his stories.”
Correction: This post originally referred to Variety as the publication involved. It was Vanity Fair, and the text below has been corrected to reflect that.
At the Daily Beast on Tuesday, Vicky Ward, who profiled Jeffrey Epstein for Vanity Fair Magazine in early 2003, revealed that she and Graydon Carter, the publication's editor, were aware of and had specific details about the convicted ultrarich creep's sexual episodes with underage girls. They also apparently had proof that Epstein had forged denial documents from two of his victims. Epstein had recently become publicly visible as a result of his 2002 African travels with former President Bill Clinton.
At the last minute, Carter almost completely spiked the sexual elements of Ward's story, leaving only vague references to Victoria's Secret models, a party "filled ... with young Russian models" and to "beautiful women ... whisked off to Little St. James (in the Virgin Islands)." The published product focused almost entirely on the mystery of Epstein's career as a broker, including his admission to securities law violations, his subsequent business dealings, and his quirky but often lavish purchases and lifestyle.
Kurt Eichenwald says that for right-wingers, “ignoring expert opinion is a fatal flaw, one that has proven to do immense damage to this country -- financial catastrophes, arming enemies, bloody wars, and the like.”
Thursday's New Day on CNN hyped Monica Lewinsky's Vanity Fair article and acknowledged that former President Clinton's sex scandal with the now former White House intern casts doubt on Hillary Clinton's credibility in the realm of women's issues. Chris Cuomo noted that Lewinsky "makes a decent case that women, who are all gathering around Hillary as the obvious choice for them, may want to rethink it, based on how she characterizes her role in her husband's affair."
Panelists Amy Chozick of the New York Times and Republican strategist Margaret Hoover agreed with Cuomo's point, but all three, along with anchor Kate Bolduan, played up the "delicate position" for Republicans if they raised the Lewinsky scandal in a potential presidential race against Hillary Clinton. Hoover hyped that Mrs. Clinton would likely gain an advantage from the issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Corrected from earlier | Just when you thought the whole Wendy Davis obsession was dying down, Vogue has up and done a puffy profile of the Texas state senator and abortion rights absolutist for its September issue. Now, I know you're tempted to run out to the newsstand and snatch up a copy, but apparently the Daily Beast's Erin Cunningham did America a favor with a blog post today about the "13 Things You Didn't Know About Wendy Davis."
"From her love of Victoria Beckham to her teenage rebellious phase [here are]13 things we learned from Vogue’s September-issue profile of Wendy Davis," the subheader for Erin Cunningham's August 15 post gushed. Predictably full of pablum and puffery, Cunningham closed her short piece on a absurdly trite note:
You knew the warm fuzzies for Pope Francis couldn't last that long. While the media initially went gaga over Pope Francis, hoping beyond hope he was some liberal reformer who would open up the Catholic Church to all kinds of heterodoxy, the reality is slowly setting in. The first-ever Latin American pontiff is warm, genial, charismatic, and an excellent communicator with both the public and the press, but he's solidly conservative in doctrine, particularly the issue of biggest concern for the liberal media: sexual ethics.
The other day, it was TIME's Tim Padgett, blasting the pope over the Church's teaching on homosexuality. Today it's Vanity Fair contributing editor Janine di Giovanni, who penned an attack on Francis in a "world news" feature at the Daily Beast that was not tagged as commentary and headlined, "What About Women, Pope Francis?" Out of the gate, di Giovanni went after the bishop of Rome (emphasis mine):
[Excerpted from Collusion, by Brent Bozell and Tim Graham]
The media's sneakiest dirty trick in the book is bias by omission, because is is so hard to find, when journalists decide "what the people don't know won't hurt them," or more precisely, "what the people don't know won't hurt our candidate."
In Barack Obama's case this omission emerged in 2012 over his biographical narrative: his 1995 memoir Dreams From My Father, which became a huge bestseller as he prepared to run for president, and enriched him with an estimated $1.3 million in royalties (not to mention almost $4 million for his campaign book The Audacity of Hope), and that's just through 2007.
It appears Alec Baldwin wants to become America's next Dennis Rodman.
In an interview with Vanity Fair published Tuesday, Baldwin said, "I’m going to fly to Russia and try to interview Snowden" (vulgarity alert):
America's media are almost universally in love with the sexually-charged HBO series Girls.
Not feminist actress Lily Tomlin who told Vanity Fair Monday, "I think it’s too sexually focused. I think it should have a little more range."
CBS’s Bob Schieffer was clearly uncomfortable Sunday when two of his perilously liberal guests claimed there are many gay priests.
At the end of a Face the Nation discussion about the pending selection of a new Pope, Schieffer pushed back when the Washington Post’s Sally Quinn brought up homosexuality in the priesthood, and then he cut quickly to a commercial when Vanity Fair’s Carl Bernstein supported her contention (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On CNN this morning, in a quote captured by Rush Limbaugh on his program today (but predictably ignored by David Edwards covering the broadcast at Raw Story), Carol Costello told viewers that "no one is talking about overturning the Second Amendment or confiscating guns in America."
Wow. What hermetically sealed cave have you been living in during the past few weeks, Carol -- or for that matter, as Limbaugh effectively asked, where have you been during the past 4-1/2 decades? Here's some of what Rush had to say in response (bolds are mine):
Promoting his fawning profile of President Obama for the October issue of Vanity Fair on Tuesday's NBC Today, contributing editor Michael Lewis described a game of basketball he played with the commander in chief: "...it was actually very revealing...he doesn't let anybody treat him like the president. If you're watching the game, you'd have no idea who – which one is the president...he likes a really challenging environment...it's a relationship among equals." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The gushing from Lewis was prompted by co-host Matt Lauer wondering: "What did you see about the way he [Obama] handles himself on the court that sheds some light on his personality and how he might handle himself in the job?" Lewis observed: "...he's effective on the court, he's a good basketball player – but he plays a game that seems very risk averse....But then all of a sudden, when there's a risk to take, it's boom. He's got the personality of a sniper."