Forget the popcorn: it could take a case of Cognac and a humidor of good cigars to fully savor the warfare that's breaking out in Dem ranks. Who could have predicted that Keith Olbermann would be accusing a prominent Clinton team member and former Dem VP candidate of making a "clearly racist" statement evoking the apartheid era in South Africa? And yet . . .
On this evening's Countdown, Olbermann and Newsweek's Howard Fineman were discussing Geraldine Ferraro's remarks about Obama and the way the Clinton campaign, far from denouncing them, sent out campaign manager Maggie Williams to try to turn the tables, accusing Obama of "false, personal and politically calculated attacks" for having the audacity to complain.
Newsweek magazine recently celebrated the latest trend in elite Northeastern colleges: sex magazines, complete with highbrow titles -- like "Boink." In applauding the shifting sexual mores of American youth, reporter Jennie Yabroff noted that these enterprising students "no longer see a distinction between their bedroom behavior and their publishing activities," and consider their sex-magazine careers in college to be building blocks for the business world.
"I continually tell my mom this is a great résumé builder," says Alecia Oleyourryk of her career publishing "Boink" magazine at Boston University. Newsweek now needs a sociologist to affirm the wisdom of these "young sexperts." Cue Pepper Schwartz, a sociologist at the University of Washington. "Maybe their generation will take this a lot less seriously than we do," she says.
Obama still has his fans in the MSM, or Hillary her detractors . . .
Appearing on this afternoon's Hardball, the seemingly mild-mannered Evan Thomas of Newsweek took a surprisingly tough shot at Clinton, disputing the very premise of her now-famous "it's 3 AM" ad. Discussing Hillary's comeback, Evans offered his blunt assessment with no real prompting.
EVAN THOMAS: What I don't get about this ad, the whole idea about 3 AM is you want coolness and detachment, right? She's not cool and detached. She's either really hot and angry, or she's icy cold and tough. But I don't think of her as cool. I think of Obama as being the cool, detached guy. Now maybe he doesn't have the experience, but I think if you peel this onion, there's something about it that just doesn't make sense to me. She doesn't strike me as the person who's the cool, detached, steady person at the other end of the phone.
Jury selection began Monday in Chicago in the trial of Syrian-born businessman Antoin "Tony" Rezko, a major supporter of Barack Obama. Two days before the 2006 elections in which Democrats won by running against a "culture of corruption," Chicago newspapers revealed that Obama purchased a home in the summer of 2005 for $1.6 million, but to complete the deal, he would need to buy an adjoining parcel for $625,000. Instead, Mrs. Rezko bought the parcel, and they closed on the properties on the same day. Rezko was already under federal investigation for kickback schemes.
To a political opponent, this might resemble a lobbyist’s sweetheart deal like the one that started Rep. Duke Cunningham’s political decline, where a lobbyist paid $700,000 more for Cunningham’s home than his own sale price months later. But the national media are anything but opponents of Obama’s. An MRC analysis shows that despite Obama’s high national profile as a Democratic symbol of hope, network TV news and the national news magazines have done a dreadful job of telling the Rezko story, and have struggled not to repeat it.
Yesterday I blogged about photo selection bias on Newsweek.com's front page. The subjects in comparison were Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and newly-minted Cuban dictator Raul Castro. McCain makes another unflattering photographic appearance on the Newsweek home page today, but it's Barack Obama who gets the comparatively better image. The Democratic nomination frontrunner is shown in a Getty Images photo holding a young child. The headline caption reads, "First Woman President? Obama's campaign bends gender conventions."
Below the page break I've included screen grabs taken around 3:50 p.m. today for top stories at Newsweek.com, one having to do with John McCain and how his denial of an affair with Vicki Iseman "invited a game of catch me if you can," the second about the rise of a Raul Castro, a dictator who "promises change."
The latter, flashing a peace sign, looks somewhat avuncular. McCain, however appears to bear a scowl on his face in a photo shot apparently aboard a campaign airplane.
You tell me that you need me Then you go and cut me down, but wait You tell me that you're sorry Didn't think I'd turn around, and say...
It's too late to apologize, it's too late I said it's too late to apologize, it's too late
I don't know about you, but the lyrics for "Apologize" by OneRepublic came to mind as I read this item from Newsweek.com about a new chill in the air separating the generally press-friendly Arizona senator and the Third Estate:
In the current Newsweek (the February 25 issue), columnist George Will wrote about George McGovern and the current delegate selection rules on the Democratic side. But what stuck out was Will's subhead on McGovern: "He thinks he could have won in 1972 with a running mate called 'the most trusted man in America' -- Walter Cronkite." Will reported:
McGovern thinks he could have won with a running mate then called "the most trusted man in America"—Walter Cronkite. Before choosing Eagleton, McGovern considered asking Cronkite, who recently indicated he would have accepted.
Some see the Democratic race as slipping away from Hillary Clinton, but others persist in seeing the race as "tick tight," to quote Dan Rather. On his Stumper blog, Newsweek cub political reporter Andrew Romano forwards the bundle of nervous energy that is Eleanor Clift, wondering if Al Gore will come to the rescue on the second ballot of the Democratic convention in Denver. Romano's take?
He foresaw global warming. He "took the initiative" on the Internet. And he knew exactly how Iraq would turn out. Who's to say that Al Gore hasn't known all along that the Democratic race would descend into some weird state of gridlock--and that only he, the Goreacle, could rescue the party from civil war?
The Times, in a report (link requires free registration) by Robert F. Worth and Nada Bakri, actually called the recently slain Hezbollah commander Imad Mugniyah a terrorist:
A top Hezbollah commander long sought by the United States for his role in terrorist attacks that killed hundreds of Americans in the 1980s, died Tuesday night in Damascus, Syria, when a bomb detonated under the vehicle he was in, Syrian officials said.
No one claimed responsibility for killing the commander, Imad Mugniyah, who had been in hiding for many years and was one of the most wanted and elusive terrorists in the world.
But, as James Taranto at Best of the Web noted, the Times's headline ("Bomb in Syria Kills Militant Sought as Terrorist") is nowhere near as clear as the first two paragraphs of the article's text, and a related Times online video by reporter John Kifner is much more blunt in its judgment of Mugniyah (Kifner received a reporting credit but not a byline in the print article).
At the end of 1990, Newsweek writer Jerry Adler penned a classic line that summed up the liberal environmentalist’s distaste with the ruinous human race: "It's a morbid observation, but if everyone on earth just stopped breathing for an hour, the greenhouse effect would no longer be a problem." In this week’s edition of the magazine, Adler reported on a new study showing our time in outdoors recreation is declining. He summarized: "So along with obesity and attention-deficit disorder, you can now, if you choose, blame videogames for the greenhouse effect." But then, he reconsidered the tawdry boorishness of nature-touring humanity, and concluded "maybe we’d all do better to give the World a break from us, so it can heal on its own."
Adler touted a study (which he dutifully disclosed was funded by the Nature Conservancy, which has an interest in promoting nature areas) by authors Oliver Pergams and Patricia Zaradic:
Jon Meacham is frustrated. After taking over Newsweek in 2006 as editor, he hasn't managed to get it out of its long-term rut as the second-best in the newsmagazine business. He also seems to have developed a severe case of Economist envy:
After about an hour, there seemed to be no more questions for him, so Newsweek editor Jon Meacham turned to his audience—about 100 graduate students at Columbia journalism school—and said he had a question for them: Did anyone in the room read Newsweek or Time? There was a small, awkward rumbling before finally, a man shouted, "No!"
Kudos to the guy for standing up and telling the obvious truth: Newsweek isn't read by anyone short of Grandma and dental office patrons.
In the age of Daniel Pearl, who does a leading MSMer refer to as a "throat cutter"?
The essence of Howard Fineman's Newsweek column about the demise of Mitt Romney's campaign is the glorification of authenticity, and Romney's perceived lack of it. Ironic, then, that Fineman would resort to one of the oldest, and least authentic, journalistic dodges: suggest the worst about someone, then slyly slink away. To wit [emphasis added]:
[M]aybe the campaign revealed what his closest friends never imagined him to be. They thought he was a decent classy guy. But maybe he really is a soulless throat-cutter who would do and say anything to win.
Gross's February 6 story was the third in a slideshow lineup on the magazine's front page today (see screencap at right). But far from merely offering a prognosis on the Bush tax cuts, Gross weaved in his own opinion about how a President McCain letting them sunset would be fiscally responsible:
As I mentioned earlier today, Newsweek's Richard Wolffe has an article on Republicans for Obama. This is a little like Vegetarians for McDonald's. The star of this piece is "dedicated" Republican Susan Eisenhower, a granddaughter to the distinctly non-ideological president of the Fifties. There are two problems. First, she's not much of a Republican. Second, this is the second time she's starred in an anti-GOP Newsweek piece in this election cycle. Wolffe began:
Susan Eisenhower is more than just another disappointed Republican. She is also Ike's granddaughter and a dedicated member of the party who has urged her fellow Republicans in the past to stick with the GOP. But now Eisenhower, who runs an international consulting firm, is endorsing Barack Obama. She has no plans to officially leave the Republican Party. But in Eisenhower's view, Obama is the only candidate who can build a national consensus on the issues most important to her—energy, global warming, an aging population and America's standing in the world.
In Tuesday’s Washington Post, reporter Howard Kurtz focused on how talk show hosts from Limbaugh to Laura (and ahem, Levin!), from Hannity to Hewitt, are opposing John McCain on air. One McCain adviser, a Democrat signed up by George W. Bush in the 2000 campaign, lectured Limbaugh on party loyalty:
Mark McKinnon, a top McCain adviser, called the criticism from Limbaugh and the other hosts "frustrating," saying: "Our question is, 'Isn't it better to get behind a Republican you may disagree with from time to time than work for an outcome that puts a Democrat in the White House with whom you will disagree all of the time?'
But in the latest edition of Newsweek, reporter Richard Wolffe reports that inside the McCain campaign, McKinnon was making pledges not to make any ads disparaging Barack Obama. And he’s lecturing Limbaugh? The article ends:
Weisberg linked it back to a pattern of dyslexia in the Bush family.
"I agree with that," Weisberg said when presented the possibility that Bush has a "learning disability." "The other thing I've done is collect ‘Bushisms' over the years and I sort of joke this book is my penance for doing that, because one of the things ‘Bushisms' do is I think they make Bush sound stupider than he is, or stupid in a way he isn't. And I do think he does have some sort of language processing impairment that is probably akin to dyslexia, and dyslexia does run in the family. But, I don't think it is dyslexia because if you watched the State of the Union, you could see he has no trouble reading a teleprompter."
"Uncivil Discourse: Bush pressures Dems to fall in line for his final year."
That's how Newsweek.com teases a Richard Wolffe Web Exclusive analysis of President George W. Bush's final State of the Union address. Wolffe lamented the bitter partisanship in Washington, noting that the Bush-Pelosi-Boehner agreement on an economic stimulus plan was "the rare exception" of "respect and cooperation" that "is hard to find in the halls of Congress at the end of the Bush era."
Too bad, Wolffe gripes, that President Bush used his final State of the Union to chide Congress for failing to make tax cuts permanent (emphasis mine):
Recession stories have a lot in common with global warming stories - there are a lot of them and you hear only one side. And like global warming, recession is the subject of a Newsweek cover story, appearing on the front of the magazine's February 4 issue.
"The Great Global Market Freak-Out of 2008 has everyone asking whether the United States - already on the road to recession - is entering into a protracted period of economic trouble where jobs will be slashed, prices will continue to rise and the dollar will keep falling; and if so, whether the declining U.S. economy will pull the rest of the world down with it," Gross wrote. "A recession is defined as a widespread contraction in economic activity lasting more than a few months, and because of the lag in financial data, recessions typically aren't officially declared until long after they start. In short, the United States could already be in one."
Why is it that the Stan Evans Rule of Washington seems to apply to the liberal media? That rule is "by the time we get a conservative in there, he’s no longer a conservative"? Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson is touted as the author of the January 28 Newsweek cover story on "How My Party Lost Its Way," but Gerson has to compare the GOP to the Communists. How distasteful. Here it is:
In this cycle, many Republicans seem led to support their candidate by process of elimination – "I guess I could live with X." At the same time, many Republicans seem led to oppose candidates passionately – "The nomination of X would end Western civilization." This is a factionalism of Bolshevik fervor, and it is a bad sign. Parties that prefer purity to victory – a la Goldwater and McGovern – usually lose. At this moment, Republicans look like the party that wants to lose the most.
"Whose side is Joe Lieberman On?" demands the subheading for "The Demublican," a January 24 Newsweek Web Exclusive centered on Sen. Joseph Lieberman's (I-Conn.) endorsement of John McCain for President. In the interview, reporter Jeffrey Bartholet presses Lieberman from the left on a host of policy issues and questions and on his loyalty to the Democratic Party. For his part Lieberman often points to issues where McCain has left the conservative fold, such as climate change and the Gang of Fourteen.
At no point, however, does Bartholet ask Lieberman if he feels the "party has left him" on national security/war on terror issues.
Below are the agenda of questions. I've bolded the ones that skew leftward or suggest Lieberman is disloyal or has no good reason to back a Republican over his party's standard bearers. For the full interview, click here.
Meacham appeared on Comedy Central's January 21 "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and told viewers the media gear reporting toward conflict.
"I absolutely believe that the media is not ideologically driven, but conflict driven," Meacham said. "If we have a bias it's not that people are socially liberal, fiscally conservative or vice versa. It is that we are engaged in the storytelling business. And if you tell the same story again and again and again - it's kind of boring."
It has become infinitely clear that America's media are deeply concerned former President Bill Clinton's recent antics on the campaign trail threaten Hillary's chances of winning the White House.
Not only was this subject addressed at length on the Sunday political talk shows, but also Newsweek's senior editor Jonathan Alter wrote an article Saturday amazingly titled "Leading Democrats To Bill Clinton: Pipe Down."
While you check that link to verify my veracity - believe me, I won't be offended! - Alter began (emphasis added throughout):
The headline "The Economy Sucks" might be something you'd expect to see in Rolling Stone or on Slate.com, but certainly not in a reputable news magazine, right?
Yet, the January 21 issue of Newsweek defied expectations by using that for part of a headline for a one-sided, pro-Bill Clinton view of the economy. The article recalled the 1992 "It's the economy, stupid!" campaign as it tore down the current economy.
So, why does the economy "suck" according to Newsweek? It isn't that there's a depression looming or that we're in recessionary times, we're just "perilously close to sliding into a recession."
"Today, the nation is perilously close to sliding into a recession; in '92, the economy had already started growing, though a jobless recovery doomed George H.W. Bush's re-election bid anyway," Gross wrote. "The lesson? Voters' perceptions matter more than whether the economy is technically expanding or contracting."
Newsweek's "Conventional Wisdom" column is a weekly window into the leftist soul of the editors at the weekly magazine. This week's CW is no different, as it insults the GOP conservative base as "nativist" while boosting Sen. John McCain, disses conservative Fred Thompson, lauds Hillary Clinton's "blood, sweat and tears" win in New Hampshire:
Blood, sweat and tears humanize her enough for N.H. win. But S.C. on 1/26 looks daunting.
In his new interview with Hillary Clinton, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham compared Hillary’s somewhat morose spiritual views with not only Reinhold Niebuhr, but Abraham Lincoln. In case this seems incidental, please be reminded that Meacham also compared Lincoln and John Kerry in 2004, actually bringing Abe down to Kerry's level as a flip-flopper. (Ronald Reagan would have joked, a la the late Lloyd Bentsen: "I knew Abe Lincoln. Abe Lincoln was a friend of mine. Hillary is no Abe Lincoln.")
NEWSWEEK:My sense of your theological world view, to oversimplify, is that it is more in line with Lincoln and Niebuhr than with, say, more feel-good kinds of evangelism. Life is tragic, and all that.