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.
Imagine if a longtime adviser for Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, or Fred Thompson had been arrested for drunk driving two nights before the New Hampshire primary. Do you think this would have gotten reported?
Probably as much as Hillary's crying game, or even more, correct?
Well, Newsweek's Stumper blog reported Friday evening that longtime Clinton adviser and confidante Sidney Blumenthal was so arrested in Nashua, New Hampshire, on Monday, astoundingly with no press coverage of the event (emphasis added, h/t NBer EvilCon555):
It's one of the great MSM rituals of presidential politics: the labeling of leading Dems as "moderates" or "centrists." Gail Collins honors the tradition in her New York Times column of today. Now it's true that Collins ostensibly speaks more of Obama's tone than of his politics. But, ultimately, as you'll see, she melds the two to portray a thoroughly moderate man. We'll do a reality check, but first let's look at the excerpt from Collins's column [emphasis added]:
Barack Obama turns out to have a positive genius for making moderation sound exciting and is perhaps the only politician in American history who can get a crowd all worked up with a call to politeness. “We can disagree without being disagreeable,” he said in his New Hampshire farewell, drawing a roar of approval.
In a country where the spoils go to the loudest shrieker, this is absolutely revolutionary and very important. Most Americans want a moderate government, but nobody has ever before been able to make moderate seem interesting, let alone sexy. (Remember Joseph Lieberman.)
Writing on Newsweek's Web site, Jonathan Alter offers up three "pop psych theories" as to why Hillary Clinton won in New Hampshire when the media establishment (Alter included) unanimously predicted an Obama victory. To Alter, the mystery is why women voters flocked to Hillary in such large numbers, and his theories range from the patronizing (discounting her First Lady "experience" as irrelevent supposedly "reminded many women of how their own contributions at home have been under-appreciated") to the absurd ("as in any high-school election, the studious girls who show up to vote might harbor a few resentments about the boys").
And Alter makes no effort to square his theories about superficial women voters being moved by esoteric personality issues with the never-ending media mantra about New Hampshire voters being the most sophisticated and probing in the nation (which is why we must take their judgements so seriously). Yet their choice for President supposedly came down to thousands of beleaguered Democratic women who projected their problems in life onto a crying Hillary?
Of course, as fellow NewsBuster and Business & Media Institute staff writer Jeff Poor notes, it's highly unprofessional and misleading for media outlets to gin up fears of recession this early (emphasis mine).:
Apparently, Gen. David Petraeus wasn’t Time magazine’s man of the year, and Newsweek is much less impressed. They proclaim "It’s far too early to declare Gen. David Petraeus, 55, the general who tamed Baghdad." Their new interview by Larry Kaplow and Bebak Dehghanpisheh (try saying that three times fast) began like this:
NEWSWEEK: How did the Anbar Awakening movement [of Sunni sheiks allying with U.S. troops] start? How much of that was planned, and how much was luck?
The fellows at Newsweek weren’t just being impertinent. They were reflecting some Petreaeus adviser who eagerly said "yes" to that question.
The presidential nominating contest keeps creeping earlier and earlier into the election year. The Iowa caucuses are 16 days earlier than in 2004. The New Hampshire primary is 19 days earlier than in 2004. Before the first results, the media were already pushing the contenders around, predicting that most presidential campaigns are toast if they don’t win in one of these states, and in so doing, are only advancing that perception.
All the talk of reforming the primary system – to make it more logical, more rational, more regional, more representative, less tilted to traditional first states like Iowa and New Hampshire – all of these do less for a rational nomination process than reforming the reporters and pundits who want to declare the whole race over from the first shot of the starting gun.
In 2004, John Kerry was estimated to have sealed the winning number of convention delegates by March 11, and the conventional media wisdom was talking him up as the nominee after the primaries on February 3. By the 6th, the Reuters wire service put out a story headlined "Kerry Presidency Seen [As] a Boon for U.S. Markets." Soon, CBS and other media outlets started investigating and attacking the National Guard record of President Bush, as if they were following the orders of Kerry advisers. The general election seemed already under way.
Some journalists are so confident that we're already cooked by global warming that they're scolding ignorant Americans in advance for all the now-unpreventable doom that's coming our way. Newsweek's Sharon Begley rings in the new year by shaking her head at the Stupid, Soon to Be Overheated Majority and how we'll have to adapt to being cooked:
As scientists and policy types figure out what changes will be necessary to cope with global warming, it's obvious that massive sea walls will be required to hold back rising oceans, that enormous new reservoirs will be needed to cope with the alternating droughts and deluges that many regions will suffer and that a crash program to develop heat- and drought-resistant crops would be a good idea if people are to keep eating....
On Saturday's Religion page in The Washington Post, they highlighted the typical secular liberal reporter in his natural habitat -- tremendously skeptical of letting religious people play a role in public policy. In a box highlighting the "On Faith" Internet feature of The Washington Post and Newsweek, the magazine's Christopher Dickey was visibly disturbed in answering the question "Do you think the world's biggest problems -- poverty, disease, homelessness -- can be cured by well-intentioned religious believers?" The Post featured this grab:
“Well-intentioned religious believers”? That phrase, I confess, makes me deeply uneasy. In practice the selflessness of such people can be awe inspiring. In horrible conditions, their powerful faith gives them the strength to endure, to comfort, to heal. But at a policy level when they see practical problems through the narrow prism of dogma the results can be shocking.
I wasn't aware that Michael Hirsh of Newsweek magazine was a writer of such biting satire but after reading his latest titled, "Why Isn't Al Gore Running?," I found myself marveling at his wit... or sad for his intellectual incuriosity should he be serious for an Al Gore candidacy for president in 2008. Unfortunately, my hope that he was displaying a Swiftian penchant for satire is easily overcome by the impression he is, indeed, seriously touting another Gore run for the White House. You Lilliputians be damned because Hirsh's Goreliver stands astride the country -- nay the world -- like a colossus of Brobdingnagian proportions. And that is really, really big you should know. Not bad on Goreliver's part for a drop out of divinity school, eh?
Always eager to promote another Hollywood film that casts a snarky eye on American foreign policy, Time magazine interviewed Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, and Philip Seymour Hoffman about Charlie Wilson’s War, a new movie about a conservative Texas Democratic Congressman who secured funding for the Afghan rebels, written by liberal West Wing scribe Aaron Sorkin. Hanks recalled that when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in December 1979, he just knew it was the beginning of the Soviets’ Vietnam, that "They have made a mistake equal to anything wrong America has done." Moral equivalence with the Soviets? Still in vogue in Hollywood in 2007.
Reasons to be skeptical? At the time, Hanks was 23 and had yet to get his big break as Kip-slash-Buffy in the ABC sitcom Bosom Buddies; and Hanks also suggested the Soviets freshly took over Hungary in 1956, instead of merely keeping the Soviet lid on the country. The interview began with Time’s Belinda Luscombe celebrating her own ignorance about American support for Afghan rebels:
Newsweek’s Devin Gordon is certainly not objective when it comes to Philip Pullman, the atheist children’s author behind the new movie The Golden Compass. He really appreciates it when the atheist denounces conservative Catholic leader William Donohue as a "nitwit."
In person, Pullman is tall and inviting, with ruddy features and thatchy gray hair, and when he gets going about the attacks on the film, it's a reminder of how enjoyable it is to observe a polite English gentleman properly outraged. Pullman does, in fact, describe himself as an atheist, but his vocation is storytelling, and his only agenda, he said during an interview with NEWSWEEK, is "to get you to turn the page." "To regard it as this Donohue man has said—that I'm a militant atheist, and my intention is to convert people – how the hell does he know that? Why don't we trust readers? Why don't we trust filmgoers?" Pullman sighed. "Oh, it causes me to shake my head with sorrow that such nitwits could be loose in the world."
Conservatives examining whom to support in the primary elections might do well to welcome an examination of both candidates and how they have departed from GOP orthodoxy on numerous social and fiscal issues. And while Rudy and Mitt aren't the only candidates being grilled by conservative activists for less-than-conservative positions, it's a good starting point, even if much of Romano's piece is snarky in tone (which it is).
Radar Online reported Tuesday that before being signed as a contributor by Newsweek magazine, Rove was first shopped to Time, but that didn’t happen because "They think Karl is essentially an unindicted coconspirator in a whole string of felonies."
Wow, what a liberal smell Time puts out. For older media-watchers, this recalls the Washington bureau of Time sitting around on C-SPAN on the verge of the first Iraq war in 1991 dismissing John McCain and his "superpatriots" who marched around in "brown shirts." Radar media critic Charles Kaiser reported:
For its part, Time magazine said nothing publicly about Rove's arrival at Newsweek, but a well-placed source told me that Bob Barnett (every Washington literati's favorite lawyer, including Bill Clinton) had traveled to the Time-Life building on Sixth Avenue to offer Rove's services before Newsweek snared them. Time's editors apparently felt the cost/benefit analysis wouldn't be in their favor if they embraced the man who has done more than anyone to keep the spirit of Joe McCarthy alive and well in American politics. (Read Joshua Green's definitive profile from the Atlantic in 2004.) "Time thought this wouldn't be like hiring George Stephanopoulos," my source explained. "They think Karl is essentially like an unindicted coconspirator in a whole string of felonies."
Besides the obvious shock value, there was another reason Rove's arrival in the fourth estate was inevitable. In public, Rove is one of dozens of conservatives who assiduously bash the press. Last summer, channeling Agnew, Rove told Rush Limbaugh that "the people I see criticizing [Bush] are sort of elite effete snobs." But at the same time, Rove was constantly massaging big-time Washington journalists over long lunches at the Hay Adams Hotel.
Perhaps nothing better illustrates the mental divide between left and right in this country than the starkly different reactions to the Newsweek blogs of new columnists, Markos Moulitsas and Karl Rove. The articles they wrote for Newsweek have already been covered in depth by Noel Sheppard which you can read here and here. It is the reactions to each of these columnists that are quite fascinating to read. In the case of Markos Moulitsas, the reactions from conservatives in the comments section were rather low key and primarily took the form of expressing policy differences.
In Markos Moulitsas's first column for Newsweek, the proprietor of the liberal website Daily Kos sadly personified exactly what's wrong with today's Democrat Party as well as the media: the inability to see things beyond the grips of Bush Derangement Syndrome.
In fact, you could diagnose the malady right in the headline, "Make the Bush Record the Issue." Maybe more surprising, Markos also pointed his pen at Ronald Reagan.
Someone ought to tell Moulitsas, who was hired to offer commentary concerning the 2008 elections, that neither of these former presidents is running for office next year.
Unfortunately, much as the Party members he supports, Kos seemed totally oblivious to this fact, and actually wrote a column about the current campaign that didn't mention a single candidate in it (emphasis added throughout):
As NewsBusters reported Thursday, Karl Rove, the famed former adviser to President Bush, is now writing for Newsweek.
If you thought Rove would be constrained in this assignment given the liberal leaning of his new employer, your concerns should quickly be laid to rest with this first article just published.
Entitled "How to Beat Hillary," the piece was practically a strategy memo for the eventual Republican presidential nominee to defeat the Democrat candidate Rove believes will successfully get through the primaries (emphasis added throughout):
When Newsweek announced Tuesday that it was hiring Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos to be a contributor during the 2008 presidential campaign, Kos told his readers, "Newsweek is ‘balancing' me out with someone that should make heads on our side explode."
As reported by the Washington Post moments ago, Moulitsas was quite prescient:
Newsweek has signed the president's former deputy chief of staff [Karl Rove] as a commentator who will turn out several columns on the 2008 campaign through inauguration day.
The Post continued (emphasis added throughout, h/t NBer Right2thePoint):