Correction (Feb. 10, 2009): Corrected from original reporting attributing AP and Getty with the photo editing. In fact it was ABCNews.com, not AP or Getty Images that overlaid the Bush photo on the Gaza rubble photo. AP and Getty Images supplied the respective photos. Thanks to the folks at StinkyJournalism.org for pointing out the error.
I guess, since flat-out fauxtography as practiced in 2006 in the Middle East has become so difficult, and has been shown as likely to be detected, that the press has decided to go with "creative" image placement to do the dirty work that must be done to create sympathy for Hamas and antipathy towards President Bush and the United States.
For "some reason," the editors at ABCNews.com placed President Bush's image at its bottom right. The photo compilation (shown above) accompanied a report by Miguel Marquez and Simon McGregor-Wood that appears to have also run on the network's "World News" program.
The wreckage in the photo purports to be "the destroyed house of Hamas leader of Nizar Rayan following an Israeli air strike the day before in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip" (given the state of reporting out of the region, one never knows for sure).
There is no good reason for Mr. Bush's picture to be included, since:
The video purports to show the death and hasty burial of a cameraman's 12 year-old younger brother, one of two children allegedly killed on the roof of their home in rocket fire from an Israeli drone.
A seemingly pretty knowledgeable LGF commenter spotted what many inexpert readers who see the video will also catch (bolds are mine):
I’m no military expert, but I am a doctor, and this video is bullsh-t. The chest compressions that were being performed at the beginning of this video were absolutely, positively fake. The large man in the white coat was NOT performing CPR on that child. He was just sort of tapping on the child’s sternum a little bit with his fingers. You can’t make blood flow like that. Furthermore, there’s no point in doing chest compressions if you’re not also ventilating the patient somehow.
Earlier today, Christopher Booker at the UK Telegraph noted a "surreal scientific blunder," followed by an attempted cover-up, that should cause everyone to question the source's past and future credibility.
The source of the shoddy work is NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the outfit run by world champion globalarmist James Hansen. Hansen has in the past stated that "heads of major fossil-fuel companies who spread disinformation about global warming should be 'tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.'"
What Booker reports causes one to wonder what the appropriate punishment should be for committing drop-dead obvious errors and integrity-lacking follow-up.
Part of the punishment is surely the Telegraph's delicious headline, followed by Booker's criticism (bolds are mine):
A Financial Times reporter who endorsed Obama but worried about his economic policies has taken a fresh look at the President-elect's post-election economic policy ideas, and doesn't like some of the big ticket items he sees. [See related blog entry by Jeff Poor here]
In his November 10 op-ed "The choices that confront America," British journalist Clive Crook reserved some of his harshest criticism for Obama's openness to bailing out Detroit's floundering automakers (emphasis mine):
The greatest danger of all is that the valid case for a strong stimulus takes under its wing spending proposals that create an ongoing obligation, have no true investment rationale, and represent a waste of public money now and in the future.
The bail-out currently being sought by the big US carmakers falls squarely into this category. Managers and unions have conspired for years to drive US-owned, US-based car manufacturing into the ground. Now they seek public subsidy to pay for investments they should have undertaken in any case, and to sustain wages and benefits that comparably qualified workers in other industries cannot hope to enjoy.
Why a worker in a US-owned car factory deserves more generous treatment than any other kind of US worker escapes me. Asking those other workers to pay for these privileges seems to add insult to injury. Perhaps President Obama will be able to explain.
In a move that would have thrilled Chris Matthews or Lee Cowan but has surely annoyed millions of heterosexual British blokes, the Sun tabloid this morning dropped its usual "Page 3 Girl" in favor of a picture of President-elect Barack Obama.
From the Associated Press.
LONDON — Readers of Britain's popular Sun tabloid got a surprise today: When they opened their paper, they found a photo of Barack Obama instead of the traditional topless "Page 3 girl."
The president-elect was fully clothed and looked dignified in an editorial space usually reserved for models wearing nothing but bikini bottoms.
The Page 3 feature has helped bring the Sun more than 3 million daily readers — and editors warned that naked beauties will vastly outnumber clothed candidates in the future.
Who would you think is more concerned with the best interest of the United States? Americans? Or those in other countries?
If you chose the latter, then you are likely a liberal. You are also, apparently, like many other countries in the world. Countries that will go from respecting the authority of this nation, to snickering behind our backs at the possibility of electing a President who thinks the world is his constituency, and not his native country.
The media is unconsciously making this obvious, by revealing what may be a major reason we should be concerned about the possibility of the phrase ‘President Barack Obama.’
The world is salivating at the prospect of appeasement, and that will be Obama’s number one foreign policy platform.
From Beirut, Chawki Freiha reports* on a provocative editorial that appeared in the Al Quds Al Arabi newspaper on November 3 written by Abdelbari Atwan, the first journalist to have met with Osama bin Laden. Titled “Obama’s Historic Intifada,” Atwan praises the probable election of Barack Obama to the White House and claims that with Obama installed in Washington, Islam will be able to “impose its point of view” on the world.
As to be expected, Atwan’s editorial decries the Bush administration because it is “controlled by Zionists… whose objective is to destroy the Arab world and Islam.” Displaying true Muslim conspiratorial thinking, Atwan further claims that all Middle Eastern countries have been under the control Israel, even though the Arabs have the “largest wealth” in the world in petrodollars.
Financial Times reporter Edward Luce has found another sign of trouble for the McCain campaign: he's turning up the noses of the "cocktail party circuit" inside Washington, D.C., which is "swelling with disaffected Republicans."
The more trouble John McCain's campaign encounters, the more it highlights the cultural divide between the "real America" the Republican candidate says he represents and the Washington "cocktail party circuit" that largely disdains it.
That circuit is swelling with disaffected Republicans. Some complain about Mr McCain's selection of Sarah Palin, whose appeal to "Joe Six-Pack" may have been dented by revelations this week that she has spent more than $150,000 (€117,000, £93,000) of other people's money on her wardrobe. Others are upset at the negative tone of the campaign.
Imagine the media maelstrom if a reporter found a swing-state Republican voter who had strong reservations about voting for John McCain, was flirting with the idea of voting for Barack Obama, but ultimately resigned him/herself to voting for McCain out of pressure from his/her evangelical church.
But make that a labor union Democrat from Pennsylvania and it's but a passing reference in a news story.
Reporting on how the presidential candidates were "jostl[ing] for the Scranton vote," Financial Times reporter Andrew Ward found a union worker who backed Hillary Clinton in the primaries and was reluctantly voting for Sen. Obama, in part because of union pressure. From the October 15 paper (emphasis mine):
Matt Drudge learned long ago that jumping across the pond in the late evening and perusing the British press is a way to get a head start on the news, and in some cases to get news that the American press is ignoring.
The situation with Hugo Chavez in Venezuela is an example of the latter.
If it happens, call it The Caracas Crackup -- The UK Telegraph is reporting that the inevitable inefficiences of a state-run enterprise and falling oil prices appear to have the potential to do serious damage to Venezuela's economy:
Venezuela's daily oil production has fallen by a quarter since President Hugo Chavez won power, depriving his "Bolivarian Revolution" of much of the benefit of the global boom in oil prices.
It was eight years ago this week that France 2 TV introduced the world to Mohammed al-Dura, the Palestinian boy who was allegedly shot and killed during a gunfight between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen, in a video whose authenticity has increasingly been called into question years after it inspired anti-Semitic violence around the world. The American news media not only highlighted the story -- as the ABC, CBS and NBC evening and morning newscasts collectively aired the video at least 28 times between September 30, 2000, and June 30, 2003 -- but the networks also showed other clips depicting Palestinians involved in fighting, supposedly with Israelis, that have been challenged by some media analysts, calling into question how many of the scenes shown by American media during times of Israeli-Palestinian conflict may be faked video that were passed off to international media as genuine. ABC's Good Morning American notably seems to have ignored the al-Dura story.
Boston University Professor Richard Landes has been a leader in delving into the practice by some Palestinian cameramen of staging scenes of violence to be used as propaganda against Israel. Landes notably took on CBS’s 60 Minutes in the film Pallywood, the first in a series of short documentaries produced by the Boston University professor. On his Web site, theaugeanstables.com, Landes recounts his unsuccessful attempts to convince the American news media to help expose the Pallywood hoax video phenomenon. While he recounts that American journalists he spoke with did generally agree with him that the deceptive practice likely exists, they were reluctant to be perceived as breaking neutrality by siding with Israel over the Palestinians, as he encountered a view that it would not be “even-handed” to relay such unflattering activities by one side without finding similar examples from the other side. Professor Landes also cited an unnamed journalist at ABC as contending that there would be little “appetite” for the subject at his network. On his Web site, theaugeanstables.com, Landes recalls these conversations:
Heather Mallick called McCain a "hateful little man," called Republicans and Palin "white trash," and also called Palin a "porn actress" in her two September 5 articles (one has been removed by the CBC the other is at The Guardian). That wasn't all as Mallick seemed to completely lose her mind with a litany of name calling and charges not based in any factual evidence.
On Monday's Countdown show, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann charged that the Republican Party, which he referred to as the "Grand Old Terrorism Party," is engaging in "terrorism" against Americans by distributing DVD copies of an anti-terrorism film, which Olbermann referred to as "neocon pornography." The film in question, "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West," analyzes the threat of radical Islam and shines a light on the antisemitic, anti-West propaganda that many children are subjected to in some schools in predominantly Muslim countries, and the media that are tolerant of this kind of radical message in these countries. Even though the film opens with an on-screen disclaimer emphasizing that "most Muslims are peaceful and do not support terror," and that "this is not a film about them," Olbermann portrayed the film as a "hate DVD." Olbermann: "[Republicans] are polluting the nation with more neocon pornography today. ... The disk is of a lunatic fringe, right-wing film ... In it, scenes of Muslim children are intercut with Nazi rallies. The organization behind the hate DVD has endorsed Senator McCain."
Notably, just a month ago, Olbermann accused "neocons" of engaging in a conspiracy to ignite a new Cold War with Russia, as he theorized that they "may think terrorism is dead, at least as far as its usefulness as a weapon to frighten Americans, and they've decided to foment the return of an oldie but a goodie, that threat from those godless commu-, I'm sorry, that threat from those czarist Russians."
On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia. Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:
CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.
On September 3, an Asian Times writer known only as "Spengler" described a radically different scene at Invesco Field during the final night of the Democratic Convention from that conveyed by the networks and pundits. If Spengler's take is accurate, it reveals a media elite more in the tank than even its harshest critics have imagined.
Rush Limbaugh mentioned Spengler's column during his show today (see Item 9 at the link; page will go behind Limbaugh's paid subscription wall in a week). As usual, Rush is right; it's a read-the-whole-thing item. Here's one important point Rush noted:
This guy thinks (Barack) Obama is going to lose because he has no character, he has no friends, all he has are people that he has used and stepped on as rungs of a ladder to get where he goes. He has no room for a real friendship because his angry wife, Michelle, crowds them all out.
If you think that's something, wait until you read some of Spengler's description of the atmosphere at Invesco Field on the night of Obama's Greco-Roman Oration. Rush says that what Spengler has written confirms what an unnamed friend of his relayed to him from another final-night attendee:
Barack Obama won the endorsement yesterday of three prominent Republicans, including Jim Leach and Lincoln Chafee, both of whom lost their congressional seats to Democratic opponents in the 2006 mid-term elections.
The three, who include Rita Hauser, a former White House intelligence adviser, stressed foreign policy as their principal motivation and alarm at what Ms Hauser described as the Republican nominee's "bellicose" stance on Russia's conflict with Georgia.
Jonathan Kay of the National Post (Canada) is sure that we'll miss the old media when its gone. So sure he wrote a paean to how great the media is... and he missed the target by a wide margin on every point he made. Unfortunately, he took a good point and made a mockery of the truth of the matter with his wrongheaded reasoning.
In "You'll miss us when we're gone" Kay asserts that the media exists for "a genuine, altruistic desire for an educated citizenry" and hopes that predictions of its "imminent extinction" are wrong. He also claims that there are "certain kinds of important stories that simply cannot be covered, except by deep-pocketed traditional media organizations employing professional journalists." Aside from imagining that the press is at all interested in "education" he isn't too far off the mark here.
We do need the media, at least a media with "deep pockets" that can afford to cover things in some depth and at distance, the distance of the whole globe. Not too many bloggers and new media folks can afford to go about the world interviewing folks and investigating stories. Sure its a small world these days, but boots on the ground is an important thing to investigative writing. So, the old media does serve an important role. It isn't a role that bloggers and new media people cannot do, of course. But it is an important role nonetheless.
How many Germans would vote for Barack Obama for our president? CNN claims to know. During the last weekend that Barack Obama was in Germany, CNN used a graphic on the Wolf Blitzer show that claimed that 72% of Germans preferred Obama with only a mere 11% who favored John McCain. Of course, CNN didn't think it relevant to mention that only 501 Germans were even polled, nor that the poll was conducted by German pollster Emnid for a notorious tabloid newspaper named Bild -- not the most trustworthy of sources. This is the same newspaper that published with "gushing immaturity" an Obamtastic "report" by one of their giddy female reporters who supposedly worked out with Obama in his hotel gym after which Obama claimed to have been "hustled."
So where did this lopsided, 72% approval rating come from? How was the poll conducted? What questions were asked? How do we know what level of knowledge the respondents had about our candidates? Why should we just assume that this is even a relevant result to our elections? I guess all that CNN needed was to show that Obama is loved by Germany, no other investigation needed.
To give you a flavor of the sort of stories that comprises "news" with Bild tabloid, a perusal of some recent stories are in order. With such "news" as an interview with one Tatjana Gsell headlined "I Love Sex and Eroticism," and another touting that "Sexy Claudia is Lahm's New Neighbor" (Philipp Lahm is a German Sports figure), various Amy Winehouse stories and at least one story with a photo of actress Bai Ling bending over showing her breast popping out of her dress, you can see the caliber of stories that fills Bild Newspaper. They are also chock-a-block with sports stories galore. So, not much for hard news, to be sure.
On Thursday's Special Report with Brit Hume, during the show's "From the Political Grapevine" segment, FNC host Hume gave viewers another glimpse at the admiration offered terrorists in the Middle East as he reported that the Al-Jazeera network threw a birthday party for Samir Kuntar, a notorious terrorist recently released by Israel, who had previously been greeted by thousands of adoring fans when he returned to Beirut. Hume: "The Arab news network Al-Jazeera celebrated the birthday of released Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar with a cake and fireworks. The Middle East Media Research Institute reports that Kuntar, who shot an Israeli child's father in front of her, and then beat her to death with his rifle back in 1979, was given a hero's welcome on the network. One interviewer said, quote, 'You deserve even more than this. I think that 11,000 prisoners, if they can see this program now, are celebrating your birthday with you. Happy birthday.'" (Transcript follows)
Steering the Democrats' response to the energy crisis without alienating environmentalists or the struggling middle class could prove to be one of the biggest tests Ms Pelosi will face this year. Her record suggests that the speaker will respond to the challenge with astute political manoeuvring, showing once again that, though she is labelled a "San Francisco liberal", the roots of her political education lie in the rough and tumble world of Baltimore, where her father was mayor.
Yes, congressional approval ratings are in the cellar, Kirchgaessner admitted later in her article, but you've got to admire how Pelosi can crack the whip and keep her caucus in line:
Apparently, Bild, a newspaper in Germany, hires 14-year-old, starry-eyed, fan-girls as reporters instead of serious grownups. Or, at least one would be excused in thinking this reporter was a rock-star struck teeny bopper upon reading her gushingly immature account of having an exercise work out with Barack Obama on the German leg of his trip. This report is so obsequious, so saccharine, that it is painful to read. The whole incident is really banal and uneventful in retrospect, but this reporter builds it into orgasmic proportions showing how the press, even in Europe, have allowed hero worship to overtake even the tiniest shred of journalistic integrity.
Judith Bonesky's breathless account so overplays reality that it is sickening. Even the title shows that the writer was acting like a goofy child unable to restrain her boundless enthusiasm. Like a teenaged, Hannah Montana fan, Bonesky blurts out excitedly, "I worked out with Obama!" -- yes, even with an exclamation point at the end. So much for objective, dispassionate reporting.
Friend and fellow blogger Dawn Eden, touring Australia for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the country for World Youth Day, reported on her site on Tuesday that she fell prey to the Down Under version of liberal media bias. "A Current Affair," a program on Sky Television that shares the same name and ilk with the Maury Povich program, interviewed Eden, an author and convert to Catholicism, for a segment they labeled "No Sex Pilgrims" (video available here). The Aussie tabloid television reporters who featured her seemed incredulous that anyone in this day and age would live chastely.
"A Current Affair" correspondent Ben McCormack interviewed Eden and Ruth Russell, a 20-year-old native Australian who is a "committed Catholic and a virgin." Near the beginning of the segment, McCormack reminded viewers that "[w]e live in a sex-filled world -- movies, television, advertising, and film clips..." He continued, "...[W]hile many teenagers are doing it younger and more often, Ruth Russell has chosen to just say no." He later described Russell as "an out and proud Catholic, and an out and proud virgin, choosing to save sex until she's married."
You have to wonder sometimes what the headline writers at the news network Web sites are thinking.
Take in this gem from FoxNews.com today:
Um, yeah, the "notion of [a] suffering" Messiah comes from Hebrew prophecy itself (see Isaiah 53), according to historic Christian teaching, which holds that Jesus Christ fulfilled the numerous prophecies about the Messiah from the Old Testament, starting from Genesis 3:15 (the protoevangelion) and extending all the way through the books of "the Law and the Prophets" (Acts 28:23).
It's hardly an earth-shattering notion that Jesus Christ was prophesied in the Old Testament, and even journalists who don't believe in Jesus as Messiah should surely have a functional knowledge of this basic, nay central, claim of orthodox Christianity.
London-based broadsheet the Financial Times spilled vials of poisonous ink in a July 5 obituary marking the death of former North Carolina senator Jesse Helms, going strong out the gate by charging that Helms was "little less than a monster" to "many around the world."
Writer Jurek Martin boiled down the political career of Helms, "The reviled Republican courted by his adversaries," as nothing more than that of "a man who never bothered to disguise his dislike for his enemies and his determination to frustrate them."
Martin listed the former Soviet Union, Fidel Castro's regime, and China among Helms's enemies, while failing to acknowledge the systemic human rights abuses from these regimes that a broad swath of liberals and conservatives alike shared (and share) a strong aversion for.
As for the United Nations, another target of the late senator's criticism, Martin glossed over Helms's bipartisan cooperation with the very liberal Democratic Sen. Joe Biden (Del.). Helms and Biden co-sponsored legislation in 1999 that held up U.S. dues to the international body in order to spur it to enact reforms. Martin chalked up the success of the dues-withholding policy to Clinton administration officials:
The American press is seemingly against reporting positive Iraq news so it is refreshing to see some new reporting out of the country from the German magazine Der Spiegel which notes the "astonishing" pace of things there:
There is an unexpected air of normalcy prevailing in Baghdad these days, with consumption flourishing and confidence in the government growing. The progress is astonishing, but can it last?
Pork is available in Baghdad once again. Not just in the Green Zone, where US diplomats can enjoy their spare ribs and Parma ham, but also across the Tigris River, in the real Baghdad, at "Al-Warda" on Karada Street. Bassim Dencha, 32, one of the few Christians remaining in Iraq and the co-owner of Baghdad's finest supermarket, has developed a supply line from Syria. As a result, he now has frozen pork chops and bratwurst arranged in his freezers, next to boxes of frozen French fries and German Black Forest Cakes. And the customers are buying.
Don't feel bad for Geraldine Ferraro. Looks like the Hillary supporter who got into hot water back in March for claiming Obama's race was an advantage has landed on her feet, scoring a gig with the English-language edition of the People's Daily, the official organ of the Chinese Communist Party.
For some reason, Geraldine apparently decided to adopt a pen name, writing as "Ding Gang." Perhaps a Chinese-language expert out there can explain the hidden meaning behind her choice of alias.
What's that? The author of Obama Phenomenon in U.S. appearing in today's People's Daily isn't Ferraro? It really is by a guy named Gang? Well, can you blame me for thinking I saw Gerry's hand at work in Gang's article? Compare and contrast the comments that put Ferraro in the MSM doghouse, provoking Olbermann into a scatching Special Comment, with Gang's take:
The New York Times is in the midst of publishing a series of articles called "American Exception." Its purpose is to "examine commonplace aspects of the American justice system that are virtually unique in the world."
The latest in the series is by Adam Liptak. It carries a June 12 date, and is called "Out of Step With Allies, U.S. Defends Freedom to Offend."
If you think this is yet another "we should be like 'the rest of the world'" piece (in reality, referring to countries overrun by political correctness that have lost their way), you've about got it right.
Here is how Liptak opens (bold is mine):
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — A couple of years ago, a Canadian magazine published an article arguing that the rise of Islam threatens Western values. The article’s tone was mocking and biting, but it said nothing that conservative magazines and blogs in the United States do not say every day without fear of legal reprisal.
Things are different here. The magazine is on trial.