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):
Remember that big announcement I promised earlier? Well, it’s now official.
Newsweek press release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, November 13, 2007
MARKOS MOULITSAS, FOUNDER AND PUBLISHER OF DAILYKOS.COM, TO BECOME NEWSWEEK CONTRIBUTOR FOR 2008 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
New York — Markos Moulitsas, the founder and publisher of dailykos.com, will become a Newsweek contributor for the 2008 presidential campaign, offering occasional opinion pieces to the pages of the magazine and to Newsweek.com.
"We have always sought to represent a diversity of views in Newsweek, and we think Markos will be a great part of that tradition," said Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham. "He will give our readers in print and online a unique perspective. As always, our job is to create the most energetic and illuminating magazine possible, and Markos will help us do that as the campaign unfolds."
Let’s face it: the Clintons will say anything in their quests for the presidency. Just as Bill Clinton railed against Republican corruption in 1992, promising his would be “the most ethical administration in history,” Hillary Clinton now is presenting herself as the antidote of the Republican “culture of corruption,” and the antithesis of the Bush administration’s penchant for secrecy. What makes this argument all the more laughable is that secrecy has always been their modus operandi, and their key method of their scandal damage control.
It’s on display again. In the October 30 Democratic debate on MSNBC, Tim Russert asked if Senator Clinton would lift the 12-year ban on “confidential communications” between the president and his advisers that Bill Clinton requested from the National Archives. Russert was referencing a letter Clinton wrote to the Archives in 2002 loosening the restrictions on these documents – while suspiciously leaving in place his request to keep White House documents between Bill and Hillary Clinton secret.
Besides the illegal immigrant driver’s license controversy, Hillary Clinton’s biggest stumbling point during last week’s debate involved communications between her husband regarding health care. Senator Clinton’s defense is "that’s not my decision to make."
Documents uncovered by "Newsweek," however, revealed that in 1994, President Clinton named his wife along with his adviser Bruce Lindsey in charge of the former president’s papers. Senator Clinton’s spokesman said "we don’t control their process. We’re not holding anything up."
Senator Clinton also claimed that "all of the records, as far as I know, about what we did with health care, those are already available." However, "Newsweek" also reports that most records relating to the health care task force have not been released.
All of the networks, and CNN have thus far ignored the story. However, "Fox and Friends" discussed the story on the November 5 edition. The transcript of the discussion is below.
To commemorate the Media Research Center’s 20th anniversary this month, we’ve just published a special expanded edition of our ‘Notable Quotables’ newsletter with more than 100 of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes we’ve uncovered over the past 20 years. Earlier this week, I presented quotes showing the media’s sympathy towards totalitarian communism and hostility towards Ronald Reagan and other conservatives.
Today’s installment: The media’s love affair with Bill and Hillary Clinton. For 15 years, liberal reporters have made themselves looked like the sycophants they are, as they made excuse after excuse for the Clintons’ moral failings even as they applauded the couple’s supposed greatness. But perhaps no one looked sillier than Dan Rather on May 15, 2001, when the then-CBS News anchor was asked on Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor if he thought Bill Clinton was honest.
The Bush administration is starving for good news out of Iraq, and it may finally have some: new U.S. government statistics showing that violent attacks of all kinds are down to levels not seen since 2005. But until recently, the administration appears to have resisted acknowledging a key element of the new data, because it flies in the face of President George W. Bush's ongoing rhetorical confrontation with Iran's clerical regime. According to three senior U.S. officials, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, the decline in Iraq violence also includes a decrease in the number of attacks attributable to insurgents backed or armed by Iran. Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell confirmed to Newsweek that "there has indeed been a drop" in such attacks, but he added that "it's not entirely clear what the reason for that is."
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Bush administration has now been accused of trying to cover up good news from Iraq. The second paragraph just piles on the ignorance - with a shocking secret revealed:
National political reporters and pundits have often forwarded preposterous-sounding reports about one of the biggest political problems that Bill and Hillary Clinton have: their spectacle of a marriage. That's why it's so interesting that Newsweek (one of those shameless outlets that wrote of how the devoted Clintons "don't kiss, they devour each other") would feature a page on biographer Sally Bedell Smith's new book on the Clinton marriage, For Love and Politics. (And that Smith had a rough time getting Hillary nuggets out of the Clinton Presidential Library.) NBC's Ann Curry also interviewed her on Friday's Today. MRC's Justin McCarthy jotted down the good parts:
CURRY: You found something pretty interesting. Not only evidence of Hillary's early ambitions from very young to run for president. But also you say on one page here that Hillary had to sign off on all the big decisions that her husband made as president. Now, how do you know that?
As my colleague Tim Graham has noted before, Newsweek's "Conventional Wisdom Watch" is a reliable weekly rehash of liberal conventional wisdom. Indeed, as Tim noted in a March 25 blog entry:
It really would be more honest for Newsweek to call it "Newsweek Consensus Watch." Or "What We Say To Each Other Over Lunch."
It looks like not much has changed in the past six month, as the crew at CW tapped into left-wing blogger outrage over conservative bloggers who smelled something fishy with the Democratic poster family for SCHIP, the Frosts of Baltimore, Md.:
"...for Newsweek staff, all conservatives look alike."
Thus is the complaint of Rudy Giuliani adviser Daniel Pipes, reacting to Newsweek erroneously confusing him with fellow Giuliani backer Martin Kramer, and pretty much mixing and matching all but one of the Giuliani foreign policy adviser photos.
Newsweek has posted a Hillary Clinton question-and-answer session on their website, selecting eight questions out of "more than 1,000 queries from readers," but the "best questions" Newsweek plucked out of the pile often suggested a hostility to America’s current state under Team Bush, with "huge deficits," a "collapsing" middle class, and a teacher "appalled" at the underfunded No Child Left Behind education plan. One asked how she could convince the "Clinton haters" to leave divisiveness behind. Another wondered whether she would plow on with investigations of the actions of "Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, etc.?" But there were no questions about her Iraq vote, Clinton scandals, or Democrat corruption of any kind.
Newsweek began its Q&A with the explanation: "Last month NEWSWEEK invited readers to submit questions to Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton. We received more than 1,000 queries from readers—the bulk of them about Iraq, the economy, health care and education. We forwarded a selection of the best questions to Sen. Clinton. Here are her answers." Left unsaid: Was Hillary handed just these eight inquiries? Or was she allowed to narrow it down further?
The media are finding new and innovative ways to disparage those who question global warming hysteria.
You’ve probably heard that Scott Pelley from CBS likened global warming skeptics to Holocaust deniers back in March, but in an article dated October 1, Newsweek Senior Editor Sharon Begley (pictured at right) found a fresh analogy that vilifies skeptics.
When asked if journalists should be more interpretive or analytical in their climate change reporting Begley said, “It depends …When you cover the history of the space program, you don't quote the percentage of Americans who think the moon landings took place on a stage in Arizona.”
On September 30, a Sunday – the Lord’s Day in the Christian church – San Francisco will host the Folsom Street Fair, perhaps the most hedonistic event held in public in America. The fair is the San Francisco homosexual community’s annual celebration of promiscuity, sadomasochism and debauchery. The ad for this year’s fair mocks Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, with a half-naked beefcake Christ and disciples bedecked in all manner of leather and chains. The bread and wine of The Last Supper are replaced with sex toys. Many Christian groups have expressed outrage. (House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tells CNSNews.com "I do not believe Christianity has been harmed." Hear the audio there.)
The Smart car, a tiny two-seater produced by Mercedes-Benz, is being released in the United States, and Newsweek decided to celebrate by shilling for the supposedly socially-conscious vehicle. Newsweek allowed Smart's U.S. president David Schembri essentially free space to advertise in what is being represented as a news column.
Reporter Tara Weingarten served up softballs such as "With just two seats, it’s the perfect car for the friendless. And you don’t have to be nice and offer people rides." Weingarten also allowed Schembri to get away with such marketing-speak as,
You can help out other drivers by taking up a smaller parallel parking space, consume less fuel, thereby helping the environment, and feel great about it. Why is that bad?