In America, people are innocent until proven guilty, unless of course they are Republican.
No finer example of such legal relativism has occurred in recent memory than the case of President Bush’s top advisor, Karl Rove. For months, virtually every mainstream media outlet proclaimed his guilt regarding the Valerie Plame Wilson affair, or what has been not so affectionately named the CIA-leak case.
Take for example the media’s excitement over pending indictments for Rove. This hit a fevered pitch last fall as Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, after almost two years of research, depositions, and grand jury testimonies, was about to announce his findings on October 28.
Sadly for the drive-by media, no indictments were handed down for Rove that day.
As a result, restaurateurs and bar owners around the country were likely forced to give back millions of dollars in deposits for all the “Rove is Going to Jail” parties that ended up being cancelled by disappointed Democrats coast to coast.
However, hope – which some ironically claim springs eternal – reemerged in late April when Rove appeared in front of a grand jury for the fifth time to answer more of Fitzgerald’s questions. This re-ignited a media firestorm of enthusiasm
Howard Kurtz this morning invited National Review’s Jonah Goldberg, The New Republic’s Michelle Cottle, and Time’s Karen Tumulty on to discuss Ann Coulter’s new book, and her recent appearance on NBC’s “Today” show (hat tip to Ian Schwartz of Expose the Left with his video link to follow). The quartet actually did a spectacular job of dissecting this event that is well worth the eight-minute view.
Conceivably one of the most salient points made was that the mainstream media know full well what is going to happen when they invite Ann on their programs, or put her on the covers of their magazines, and that they are doing it to sell their wares like any other corporate entity. Here’s what Jonah Goldberg said of this:
If Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and all of al Qaeda’s leaders in Iraq and throughout the world laid down their arms and surrendered to American forces, would the media report it as good news?
Judging from the initial press reaction to the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq by the American military on Wednesday, the answer appears to be no.
In fact, this tepid response to the death of the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq – a man who has at times in the past couple of years been depicted as more vital to this terrorist network than the currently in-hiding bin Laden – suggests quite disturbingly that America’s media are fighting a different war than America’s soldiers.
According to NewsBusters, CNN’s senior editor for Arab affairs Octavia Nasr said the following about Zarqawi’s death on “American Morning” Thursday:
"Some people say it will enrage the insurgency, others say it will hurt it pretty bad. But if you think about the different groups in Iraq, you have to think that Zarqawi's death is not going to be a big deal for them."
However, CNN didn’t always feel that Zarqawi’s death or capture would be so inconsequential. Just days after Saddam Hussein was found in his spider hole, Paula Zahn brought CNN national correspondent Mike Boettcher on to discuss a new threat in Iraq. Zahn began the December 15, 2003 segment:
As they do every weekday at noon, CNN’s American viewers were switched over to the CNN International network’s “Your World Today,” a show so far to the left that it makes the rest of CNN look like a Norman Rockwell tribute to the greatness of America. Today, during coverage of the U.S. military’s successful elimination of terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the CNNI caption referred to him as a “top Iraqi insurgent.”
Al-Zarqawi, as everyone (including CNN's foreign bureaus?) surely knows by now, was not an Iraqi, but a Jordanian who spent most of the past three years instigating the deaths of thousands of Iraqi soldiers, police and civilians. Was CNNI trying to falsely paint the self-appointed leader of “Al Qaeda in Iraq” as some sort of nationalist freedom fighter, or are they just sloppy with their choice of words? Either way, it seems like an insult to the people of Iraq to have their worst foreign enemy listed as one of their own.
In May of 2004, Abu Musab Al Zarqawi participated in the beheading of Nicholas Berg, a businessman working in Iraq. His father, Michael, emerged in the aftermath of that crime as an outspoken liberal activist and is now running for Congress in Delaware on the Green Party ticket. So who better to bring on for a discussion about Zarqawi’s death? Michael Berg appeared on all three cable channels this morning to spew hatred towards the United States Government and George W. Bush. Interestingly, only one network, MSNBC, found the time to mention that Mr. Berg is now a political candidate. Rather then cover the successful elimination of a significant terrorist threat, CNN, FNC, and MSNBC all gave time to someone who would make statements such as this one on CNN’s American Morning at 7:50AM EDT:
Michael Berg: "Well, you know, I'm not saying Saddam Hussein was a good man, but he's no worse than George Bush. Saddam Hussein didn't commit the rapes, neither did George Bush, but both men are responsible under their reigns of, of terror....I don't get it. Why is it better to have George Bush be the king of Iraq rather than Saddam Hussein?"
You just knew it. The MSM had to find a way to downplay the significance of the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Whereas he had been portrayed as the key to violence in the country, now that he's dead, he is described as just one among 'many thousands'.
And sure enough, on CNN this morning at about 6:20 AM, there was Octavia Nasr CNN's senior editor for Arab affairs, interviewed by host Soledad O'Brien, suggesting that Zarqawi's death might not really be such a 'big deal', after all. Nasr reported that beyond Al Qaeda, there are thousands of other, home-grown insurgent groups in Iraq, 'many' of which are more powerful that Al Qaeda.
"Experts we talk to all the time tell us to be very careful with the way we describe Al Qaeda in Iraq. They say they are the ones that get the most attention, especially from the U.S. media, the western media, but tell us there are many small insurgency groups in Iraq that are more powerful than Al Qaeda, the Zarqawi group. They tell us that there is a resistance in Iaq that is a bit different from the terror groups like Zarqawi's group. So percentage wise, I don't think anyone can put a number on that. But definitely the experts tell us that this is not a lone group in Iraq. There are many thousands more like it."
In a report on Wednesday's American Morning, CNN entertainment correspondent Brooke Anderson reported on the deal between People magazine and Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt over the exclusive rights to the photos of the couple’s daughter, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt. During her report, Anderson made this rather strange analogy between the birth of Jolie-Pitt and Jesus Christ:
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s newborn baby finally arrived on May 27th. Her name, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt. Some biblical references define Shiloh as, quote, ‘generally understood as denoting the Messiah.’ And perhaps not since Jesus has a baby’s arrival been so eagerly anticipated, at least in some circles.
Perhaps Anderson was attempting to be witty with her remark, having explained the biblical connection to the name Shiloh. Still, one wonders how the arrival of Pitt and Jolie’s child is different from any number of other high-profile births: Britney Spears’ son Sean Preston, Julia Roberts’ twins Hazel and Phinneaus, and of course, who can forget the earthshaking arrival of Suri Cruise?
On the 4pm hour of Friday's The Situation Room, CNN anchor Jack Cafferty lambasted the Bush administration's push for a national gay marriage ban. However, what Cafferty did not inform the audience of is his own bigoted past.
JACK CAFFERTY: Hi, Wolf. Guess what Monday is? Monday is the day President Bush will speak about an issue near and dear to his heart and the hearts of many conservatives. It's also the day before the Senate votes on the very same thing. Is it the war? Deficits? Health insurance? Immigration? Iran? North Korea? Not even close. No, the president is going to talk about amending the Constitution in order to ban gay marriage.
This is something that absolutely, positively has no chance of happening, nada, zippo, none. But that doesn't matter. Mr. Bush will take time to make a speech. The Senate will take time to talk and vote on it, because it's something that matters to the Republican base. This is pure politics. If has nothing to do with whether or not you believe in gay marriage. It's blatant posturing by Republicans, who are increasingly desperate as the midterm elections approach. There's not a lot else to get people interested in voting on them, based on their record of the last five years. But if you can appeal to the hatred, bigotry, or discrimination in some people, you might move them to the polls to vote against that big, bad gay married couple that one day might move in down the street. Here's the question: Is now the time for President Bush to be backing a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage? E-mail your thoughts to caffertyfile@CNN.com or go to CNN.com/caffertyfile -- Wolf.
CNN reporter Ben Wedeman got to spend some quality time with terrorists who get their kicks trying to kill Israeli children as he spent the day hanging out at a rocket factory. Nowhere in the story will you read a derogatory word about the terrorists, or even the word "terrorist" at all, and he closes the piece by calling it "a good story."
You might think, as an American or even as a decent human being, that if you knew people who knew bomb-making terrorists, or you had the means to get to where the bombs are being made, you would tell authorities. Not CNN reporters. They bend over backwards to protect these murderers:
I got to the rocket makers through an old acquaintance in Gaza. To protect his identity, I'll call him Majid. A journalist, Majid has the numbers of all Gaza's factions, parties, politicians, warlords, thugs, crooks and freelance gunmen... I didn't mention what I was trying to arrange to anyone -- not CNN's assignment editors, not our Jerusalem bureau, not even Adil, my cameraman who was hoping for a day off after two weeks in Gaza covering clashes and chaos. Gaza is crawling with informants, collaborators and spies, so the less anyone knows about your plans, the better.
CNN’s Bill Schneider sounded more like a spokesman for the Democratic Party than a seasoned political analyst during the 4pm EDT hour of today’s The Situation Room. In his report on the Bush administration’s handling of Hurricane Katrina and the impact it will have on the 2006 mid-term elections, Schneider opined over a picture of Bush looking out the window of Air Force One:
"The President’s image of compassion was shaky to begin with, even though he calls himself a compassionate conservative. Bill Clinton felt your pain. George Bush flew over it."
That zinger met with strong approval, not surprisingly, from Schneider’s colleague, Jack Cafferty during his Cafferty File segment minutes after Schneider’s report: "Great line from Bill Schneider. ‘Bill Clinton felt your pain. George Bush flew over it.’"
Continuing their endless media blitz to promote their latest album, the Dixie Chicks were Larry King’s guests May 31. When asked by King about her 2003 remarks at a London concert where she said she was ashamed that President Bush was a fellow Texan, lead singer Natalie Maines maintained that her "genius" comment was spontaneous and that she believed she was "defending" America.
Natalie Maines: They [the comments] were not planned. That genius comes to me off-the-cuff...I felt like I was defending America by saying that we don’t all think the same and you can’t just call us Americans like we have one voice and one opinion.
Whatever her intentions may have been, her swipe at the President was read by many fans of the group as an easy way to score some applause from a friendly audience overseas.
"The roadside blast in Baghdad on Monday that killed two CBS News crew members and seriously wounded a third has deepened concerns among television network executives about the risks their crews face trying to cover the Iraq war, some arguing that television reporters may be even more exposed than those in print journalism."
Near the end, Carter lets two news executives take some timely blasts at conservatives, and radio host Laura Ingraham in particular:
Newsbusters readers who had the misfortune of watching CNN May 30 were not experiencing deja vu. Democratic Congressman John Murtha was interviewed on not one, not two, but three separate network programs throughout the day. Murtha’s day of CNN appearances began with an interview conducted by American Morning's Soledad O'Brien, followed by a late afternoon exchange with Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room. Anderson Cooper 360 viewers, not to be left out, were treated to a pre-taped interview between Cooper and Murtha during the 10pm hour.
While O’Brien and Blitzer were eager to hear Murtha equate the alleged shooting of Iraqi civilians by U.S. Marines in Haditha to the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, only Cooper questioned whether Murtha might be rushing to condemn the Marines before the official investigation is complete.
Cooper: "Congressman Murtha, you believe the military investigation will ultimately show that the, the troops in Haditha, quote, ‘overreacted because of the pressure on them and killed innocent civilians in cold blood.’ That’s a quote from you. How are you so sure at this point? The investigation isn’t even complete."
CNN anchor Lou Dobbs has experienced huge growth with his focus on illegal immigration. Reports TVNewser:
Lou Dobbs "continues to exhibit explosive growth," according to CNN. In May 2006, Dobbs' 6pm program was up 85 percent in the demo and 94 percent among total viewers compared to May 2005.
This month, Dobbs averaged 207,000 demo viewers, compared to 112,000 a year ago. FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume averaged 229,000 demo viewers, down from 276,000 a year ago. In May 2005, there was a 146 percent gap between CNN and FNC at 6pm -- and now the gap stands at just 11 percent, CNN noted...
Over the weekend, Iraq's foreign minister, Hoshyar Zibari, and Iran's foreign affairs chief held a meeting to discuss, among other things, Iran's nuclear program. Afterward, the two held a press conference. CNN reported on the conference but instead of reporting that Iraq wanted Iran to guarantee its program was for peaceful purposes, the network implied that Iraq was backing its neighbor entirely.
Iran doesn't claim that they want to obtain a nuclear weapon or a nuclear bomb, so there is no need that we ask them for any guarantee now.
Here's what he actually said, as translated by Omar from the Arabic original:
We respect Iran's and every other nation's right to pursue nuclear technology for research purposes and peaceful use given they accept [giving] the internationally required guarantees that this will not lead to an armament race in the region.
Hannah Storm, co-host of CBS’s "The Early Show," interviewed CNN’s Anderson Cooper, anchor of "Anderson Cooper 360" about his new memoir. Storm was gushing over Cooper, referring to him as "one of the brightest stars in the news business" and as the "popular CNN anchorman," as she introduced him:
"Anderson Cooper is one of the brightest stars in the news business. The popular CNN anchorman became a household name after his reporting on Hurricane Katrina. But, this is certainly not the first time the seasoned journalist has come face to face with death and disaster. For years, Cooper's been covering war and poverty in countries that often get little attention here at home. And, he writes about both his personal and professional experiences in his new memoir, ‘Dispatches from the Edge.’"
Good Morning America and Today weren’t alone in expressing their enthusiasm over the return of Al Gore to the public eye. At 4:30PM EDT on CNN’s The Situation Room, political analyst Bill Schneider not only promoted Gore’s new global warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, but a potential Gore candidacy for president, as well. Schneider gushed:
Wolf, the new Al Gore movie opens today. Is it a star is born or could it be a political star is reborn? Could this be Al Gore’s moment?
Schneider applauded the timing of the documentary’s release and claimed Truth is "not overtly partisan," before using clips from the film to slam President Bush over one of his "greatest failures." Pointing to Richard Nixon’s comeback win for the White House in 1968, Schneider seemed to express glee that history could repeat itself in Gore’s favor:
In the aftermath of Memogate, Rather's relationship with his fellow CBSers completely disintegrated. Years of pent-up frustration at Rather's autocratic management style and personnel control of CBS News came to an abrupt end as remnants of the old Cronkite guard and new-school suits coalesced to throw Rather from the anchor's chair and cast him as an occasional reporter on "60 Minutes."
It seems now that Dan may have had enough of the demotion, and that CBS is just fine with cutting the cord. Rumors are starting to spread that Rather, whose contract with CBS expires in November, is not coming back to the network. And that it's a mutual decision. CBS head Les Moonves, having succeeded in revamping his entertainment division long wanted to turn his attentions to news, only to be stymied by the prickly pear Rather, who loudly and publicly declaimed any attempts to rein him in as "destroying hard news."
CNN aired live footage of President Bush rehearsing for his address to the nation. The following video shows CNN political contributor Jeff Greenfield commenting before the feed cuts into Bush in the Oval Office. Bush abruptly stops and seems embarassed as he looks for advice from his media advisors. After over 15 seconds of showing Bush, CNN cut back in pre-speech coverage with an apology from Wolf Blitzer. CNN was the only network that "accidentally" cut into the Oval Office.
Business Week reports that CNN founder Ted Turner is leaving the media world for good, and will spend more time promoting his restaurant chain, Ted's Montana Grill. He is leaving at the comparatively young age of 67, younger than his archrival and Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch, who is 75.
Turner will leave the board of Time Warner, and Business Week says he is "just tired of the game." The final straw was the board's "decision in February to sell his Turner South sports network to Murdoch."
"If I only had a little humility, I would be perfect." Ted Turner always managed to give us good quote. For that alone, we will miss the outrageous from Captain Courageous, as he became known for his yachting prowess. On May 19, Robert Edward Turner III bids adieu to the media world when he steps off the Time Warner Inc. (TWX ) board at the company's annual meeting in Atlanta. Except for his remaining 33 million Time Warner shares, Turner's resignation will sever his ties to the media industry, ending a prolific career that began in 1961 when the Brown University dropout joined his father's billboard business.
It’s not very often that a reporter for a major cable news network will openly express their desire to see political change, but viewers of CNN’s In The Money on May 13 heardjust that. CNN Headline News correspondent Jennifer Westhoven was interviewing the New America Foundation’s Len Nichols, along with Money host Jack Cafferty and CNN business contributor Andy Serwer, on the new Medicare prescription drug benefit. Following Nichols’ conclusion that the Bush administration was "far right of the edge" on health care policy, Westhoven wrapped up the interview by expressing her desire to see "different" political leaders [i.e. Democrats] in office.
Len Nichols: "...I would say it’s very important to keep a distinction between the Bush administration’s philosophy and Republican philosophy. In my opinion, the Bush administration is the far-right of the edge, and most Republicans are not there, which is why Chuck Grassley, the chair of Senate Finance, among others, have worked very hard to try to correct the mistakes of this implementation process and I think as we go forward we do have hope of bipartisan success."
Jennifer Westhoven: "Len Nichols, director of the health policy program at the New America Foundation. Thank you very much. And we will hope that there’ll be maybe some different political leaders at some point, maybe after the elections, who are looking out for people who are getting left out by some of these programs. Thank you."
During today's 4pm EDT hour of CNN's The Situation Room, Jack Cafferty expressed his "outrage" over the revelation that the National Security Agency has been compiling a national database of phone records from AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth. Referring to Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter’s demand that the phone companies testify before Congress regarding this issue, Cafferty angrily stated that Specter could be the one preventing the United States from becoming a "full-blown dictatorship."
Wolf Blitzer: "Let’s get some words of wisdom from Jack Cafferty. He’s in New York right now. Jack?"
Jack Cafferty: "I don’t know about wisdom, but you’ll get a little outrage. We better all hope nothing happens to Arlen Specter, the Republican head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, cause he might be all that’s standing between us and a full-blown dictatorship in this country. He’s vowed to question these phone company executives about volunteering to provide the government with my telephone records and yours and tens of millions of other Americans. Shortly after 9/11, AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth began providing the super-secret NSA with information on phone calls of millions of our citizens. All part of the war on terror, President Bush says. Why don’t you go find Osama bin Laden and seal the country’s borders and start inspecting the containers that come into our ports?"
The runaway success of Rupert Murdoch's Fox News Channel, founded on
the premise that other news outlets are biased, is the source
of much anger to lefty journalists. Most elite journalists I've encountered hate the network and the fact that it's broken through the liberal glass ceiling of news.
A great example of this was a Monday column
in the LA Times by Scott Collins which instead of leading with a 38
percent ratings drop at CNN (something that's causing turmoil and
repeated personnel shifts), focused on a 17 percent drop at FNC.
Inside the article, Collins allows CNN president Jonathan "Pajamas"
Klein to comment on why the rival network has fallen [by half the
amount his has]. Perennial ratings dropout Keith Olbermann is also
Has Anderson Cooper been a source of inspiration for you or someone you know? From staging demonstrations to adopting children, Oprah wants to hear about it! According to TVNewser, Oprah appears to be preparing a segment dedicated to the CNN anchor, and is asking viewers to write about how Cooper’s reporting has inspired them to "take action."
The Oprah Winfrey Show website lists a few examples of what they are seeking:
CNN Headline News is set to debut a new show tonight (7pm ET) featuring radio host Glenn Beck. Already, liberals are up in arms about their sacred turf of non-FNC television being invaded, Broadcasting and Cable reports.
New CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck is already asking his fans to
guess when his show will be canceled, and it doesn't even debut until
The subject of an e-mail campaign from the left, the conservative talker is launching one of his own.
Web site, glennbeck.com, has a link to an online form that lets surfers
guess when his talk show--weeknights, 7 and 9 p.m., starting May
8--will be off the air. His own staff gives it "three weeks," according
to some streamed behind-the-scenes video also linked to Beck's Web site.
It’s not unfair that CNN reported on difficult times for the Republican-led Congress. However, in Bill Schneider’s report for CNN’s The Situation Room this afternoon, there was virtually no mention of how the Democrats in the House and Senate may have contributed to the low approval ratings for the legislative branch.
Schneider’s report, which aired at 4:30pm EDT, blamed the low poll numbers on several factors, while barely implicating Democrats in Congress’ inaction. Instead, Schneider wondered "how low" can GOP lawmakers go?
"Approval of Congress has dropped from 35 to 25 percent. Why? Oh let’s see. Congress can’t pass immigration reform. They can’t pass a budget. They can’t even control their own spending. Ethics? Don’t get us started. Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham and now a Democrat, William Jefferson, under investigation."
In reality, the headline says it all, doesn’t it? I mean, there’s not much more to say…but I’ll try.
Remember when Aaron Brown was fired from his anchor position at CNN last November? As reported by NewsBusters, CNN/USA’s president Jon Klein announced in a memo: “We have made some programming decisions which will impact our prime time schedule as well as our colleague Aaron Brown. Aaron will be leaving CNN and is very much looking forward to some well-deserved time off with his family.”
At the time, the New York Daily News had said that the shakeup – giving Anderson Cooper two hours from 10PM to midnight – was designed to improve CNN’s ratings versus Fox News. Well, according to a New York Post article Thursday, the gamble failed:
Count CNN’s Bill Schneider among those in the media who are all too eager to stoke the public’s anger over rising gas prices. In a report this afternoon on The Situation Room, Schneider highlighted the President’s low approval ratings on gas prices, and predicted gloom and doom for the Republican party:
Schneider: "President Bush’s job approval is down to 33 percent in the latest CBS News poll. His approval rating on gas prices, 17 percent. Yikes!..The political impact is dramatic. In January, about equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats said they felt more enthusiastic than usual about voting this year. Now, Democrats have a clear edge. Republican voters seem to be demoralized."
Schneider then promoted Democratic conspiracy theories regarding Republicans and the business sector:
Hold on to your seats, but there’s a new CNN poll out analyzing Sen. Hillary Clinton’s chances of being elected president in 2008. What a shock, huh? During Thursday’s “The Situation Room,” host Wolf Blitzer and political analyst William Schneider were having a hard time hiding their glee concerning these poll results as well as a possible return to “the good times under the Bill Clinton era” (hat tip to Expose the Left with video link to follow). In fact, the viewer got a glimpse of how thrilled both of these supposedly impartial reporters were as soon as the segment began.
Blitzer introduced Schneider thusly: “Let's bring in our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider, who is already smiling. He hasn't even started to tell us about the results of this poll -- Bill.”
Isn’t that special? The results are so heartening to Schneider that, as you can see from the attached picture, he’s smiling ear to ear. Then, after discussing the plusses and minuses of Hillary using or not using her maiden name of Rodham – a question that clearly must be keeping most Americans up at night – Schneider took the opportunity to contrast President Bush’s current poll numbers to former President Clinton’s: