Add Newsweek's Eleanor Clift to the list of journalists who ludicrously believe opposition to tax hikes has left the nation unable to repair infrastructure. On the McLaughlin Group over the weekend, she blamed crumbling infrastructure on how “now we have this tax-averse society, rallied by the Republicans, tax-averse where everything becomes sort of a right-wing, libertarian refusal to let government spend any money or raise any money.” Conservatives would wish.
In fact, as the Heritage Foundation's Brian Riedl outlined in a March report (PDF of it), “in 2006, inflation-adjusted federal spending topped $23,000 per household for the first time since World War II” as “federal spending has increased by 42% (23% after inflation) since 2001" and “defense and homeland security are responsible for just above one-third of all new spending since 2001.” So it's hardly as if the federal government, with an annual budget of $2.6 trillion, is starved for money. It's just being spent on adding a prescription entitlement to Medicare ($822 billion over ten years) instead of highways ($286 billion over six years).
In their September 3 editions, both Time and Newsweek magazines offered a Fall Preview to the new season in books, TV, music, and movies, but only Newsweek turned its art criticism into a crudely partisan exercise. In a "First to Worst" preview, the Newsweek gave its "Last & Least" stink-bomb to the new memoir by Lynne Cheney, "conservative icon (and VP spouse)," for being "Laura Ingalls Wilder meets Dr. Laura," while the magazine lauded Bill Clinton’s new book: "This book-length sermon is all heart." To add insult to injury, Newsweek even gave one of its best-of-autumn honors to a new CD organized by Clinton’s Attorney General Janet Reno. This is not a 'Saturday Night Live' joke.
On the books page, graced by a photo of Bill Clinton reflecting deeply on a sunny African vista with his hands in his pockets, Mrs. Cheney took a beating:
In a “Web-exclusive” commentary posted Thursday, Newsweek Senior Editor Michael Hirsh ridiculed President George W. Bush's warning that a precipitous pull-out from Iraq could lead to the humanitarian horrors that followed the American pull-out from Vietnam. Recalling a trip he made to Vietnam in 1991, Hirsh reported that he found a nation looking to the West and capitalism, adding that “today Vietnam remains” only “nominally communist.” He then snidely asserted: “This was the 'harsh' aftermath that George W. Bush attempted to describe this week when he warned against pulling out of Iraq as we did in Vietnam.” James Taranto, in his Friday “Best of the Web Today” posting for OpinionJournal.com, asked: “Could that last sentence be any more disingenuous? To Hirsh, the 'aftermath' of America's withdrawal from Vietnam didn't begin until 1991, more than 16 years after Saigon fell. About events between 1975 and 1991, he has only this to say: 'Yes, a lot of Vietnamese boat people died on the high seas; but many others have returned to visit in the ensuing years.'”
To that, Taranto astutely observed: “Never mind Vietnam's and Laos's 're-education' camps; never mind Cambodia's killing fields. It is as if one visited West Germany in 1960, found a prosperous democracy, and reached positive conclusions about the 'aftermath' of Nazi rule. It misses the point by a light-year.”
Looking to sample the political opinions of regular Americans? What better cross-section than the denizens of MSM newsrooms! That seems to be Mike Barnicle's attitude, at least. The former Boston Globe columnist-turned-MSNBC contributor is guest-hosting for Chris Matthews on this afternoon's "Hardball."
Chatting with guests Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post and Holly Bailey of Newsweek, talk turned to the topic of Americans' desire for political change. At one point Barnicle made this observation:
MIKE BARNICLE: The force for change that's out there, if you talk to regular people, people like me, people like you, the idea that they want a change is a very powerful force.
Steyn takes on the lunacy of sanctuary cities, media-report tiptoeing, and the apparently hopelessly-in-denial political elites:
..... there's been a succession of prominent stories with one common feature that the very same pundits, politicians and lobby groups have a curious reluctance to go anywhere near. In a New York Times report headlined "Sorrow And Anger As Newark Buries Slain Youth," the limpidly tasteful Times prose prioritized "sorrow" over "anger," and offered only the following reference to the perpetrators: "The authorities have said robbery appeared to be the motive. Three suspects – two 15-year-olds and a 28-year-old construction worker from Peru – have been arrested."
Only days after Newsweek was embarrassed when its own columnist, Robert Samuelson, excoriated the magazine for a “fundamentally misleading” and “highly contrived” cover story meant to defame the global warming “denial machine,” Wednesday's NBC Nightly News aired an equally distorted story which smeared “deniers,” a term no doubt meant to conjure a similarity to dishonorable Holocaust deniers. Reporter Anne Thompson began her crusading piece with “In Denial” on screen over video of the Cato Institute's Patrick Michaels. She fretted about “interest groups fueled by powerful companies, including oil giant ExxonMobil.” Citing the far-left Union of Concerned Scientists, she highlighted their claim that “ExxonMobil gave almost $16 million over seven years to denier groups, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute.” But as Marc Morano, of the minority staff of the Senate's Committee on Environment and Public Works, disclosed in a posting, “proponents of man-made global warming have been funded to the tune of $50 BILLION in the last decade or so,” not even counting the impact of one-sided media reporting, “while skeptics have received a paltry $19 MILLION.”
Nonetheless, touting Michael Oppenheimer as an expert, whom NBC identified only as an “atmospheric scientist” with Princeton University, Thompson asserted that “climate experts say whether hired guns or honest dissenters, deniers are confusing the issue and delaying solutions.” Oppenheimer, who NBC failed to note is “science adviser” to the left-wing Environmental Defense organization, ominously warned: “This is a problem that needs to be attended to very soon, immediately, or else it threatens to get out of control.” Thompson's conclusion echoed: “The scientific debate is no longer over society's role in global warming. It is now a matter of degrees.”
It appears hell hath frozen over, for a Newsweek contributing editor published an article Saturday extraordinarily critical of his magazine's cover story last week about "global-warming deniers" being funded by oil companies in an organized scam to thwart science.
In fact, Robert J. Samuelson accurately noted how "self-righteous indignation can undermine good journalism," and that this disgraceful article was "an object lesson of how viewing the world as ‘good guys vs. bad guys' can lead to a vast oversimplification of a messy story."
Fortunately, Samuelson was just getting warmed up (emphasis added throughout, h/t Marc Morano):
I received an e-mail message from a global warming skeptic yesterday suggesting that Newsweek's disgraceful article about climate change "deniers" could backfire given the facetious headline "Global Warming Is A Hoax*" on the cover.
The thinking was that since far more people would see the magazine at the newsstands than would actually buy it and read the article, a much larger number of people would think Newsweek was indeed claiming global warming was a hoax, and would never understand the sarcasm.
As NewsBusters reported Sunday, Newsweek's current issue featured a cover story blasting anthropogenic global warming skeptics as "deniers," and pointing fingers at companies like ExxonMobil as participating in a coordinated misinformation campaign akin to the tobacco industry misleading citizens about the dangers of cigarette smoking.
Shortly after this new issue hit the stands, Al Gore told a forum in Singapore, "the deniers offered a bounty of $10,000 for each article disputing the consensus that people could crank out and get published somewhere."
This raises an interesting question: Is this a coordinated attack designed to incite anger in citizens that polls show are not as upset about this issue as the left and their media minions?
As reported by the Associated Press Tuesday (emphasis added):
Don't get me wrong. I like that mainstream media do take some efforts to report more religion and faith news items these days, including blogs like "The Seeker" at Chicago Tribune's home on the Web and the ongoing "On Faith" feature hosted by the Washington Post and Newsweek.
As NewsBusters reported, Newsweek published an absolutely disgraceful cover-story Saturday calling manmade global warming skeptics "deniers" funded by oil companies and other special interests making them as bad as folks who misled people about the dangers of cigarette smoking.
In fact, the article was so thoroughly offensive that it has received an angry response from Sen. James Inhofe's (R-Okla.) communications director.
Writing at the Senate Environment & Public Works minority blog, Marc Morano made his objections to this article early and often (emphasis added throughout):
Kudos to Marc Morano of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Minority Staff (and former staffer for Rush Limbaugh) for surrendering several hours of his life in the cause of debunking an incredibly, almost jaw-droppingly bad article, "Global-Warming Deniers: A Well-Funded Machine" (by Sharon Begley with Eve Conant, Sam Stein, Eleanor Clift and Matthew Philips) in the August 13 Newsweek.
I read the Newsweek article after having been alerted to it by Marc, and my thoughts mirrored some of his:
Newsweek political reporter Jonathan Darman provided a preview of sorts to the August 9 Democratic debate on the gay Logo cable channel with an article on Democrats seeking votes on the gay left playfully titled "Show ‘Em Whatcha Got: Conscious of their community's financial clout, gay activists want action on equality issues, not just talk." Nowhere in Darman’s story is there a single ideological label that would place gay supporters of the Democrats on the left. But a June story on the state of the Republican presidential race after Jerry Falwell’s funeral was studded with 12 uses of "conservative" or shifting "rightward" or "religious right."
Darman’s story in the August 13 edition began by touting how progressive Hillary’s been on the gay issues and has been "eager to bask in the gay love," but how gay activists are demanding more of a revolution:
Manmade global warming alarmism took a disgraceful turn for the worse this weekend when Newsweek published a lengthy cover-story repeatedly calling skeptics "deniers" that are funded by oil companies and other industries with a vested interest in obfuscating the truth.
In fact, the piece several times suggested that publishing articles skeptical of man's role in climate change is akin to misleading Americans about the dangers of smoking.
Despicably titled "Global-Warming Deniers: A Well-Funded Machine," the article painted a picture of an evil cabal whose goal is to thwart science at the detriment of the environment and the benefit of their wallets.
Worse still, the piece's many authors painted every skeptical scientific report they referred to as being part of this cabal while including absolutely no historical temperature data to prove that today's global temperatures are in any way abnormal.
Maybe most disingenuous, there wasn't one word given to how much money corporations and entities with a vested interest in advancing the alarmism are spending, or who they are. Yet, in the very first paragraph, one of the main participants in this evil cabal was identified (emphasis added throughout):
We all had the opportunity for some real political fun this week when Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama contradicted each other in the CNN/YouTube debate. If you did not already see it, one of the YouTube questioners asked the candidates whether they would be willing to meet with the leaders of rogue nations, without preconditions, during their first year in office. Obama answered that he would. Clinton answered that she would not.
Those are differing positions, right? Diametrically opposed, actually? Well, maybe not, or at least not according to Jonathan Alter of Newsweek. In his July 27 article "Talking to Dictators," Alter wrote: "[o]n the substance, their views are almost indistinguishable." Indistinguishable?
Alter's surprising conclusion comes after his own summary of the post-debate fracas between Clinton and Obama:
Newsweek’s Jonathan Darman lamented this week that the John Edwards poverty tour/publicity tour didn’t passionately grip America, that it did not immediately become a mythic event, like filthy-rich Bobby Kennedy's poverty tour in 1968. In a dramatic flourish, the young Harvard-educated whipper-snapper blames this tragedy on not-very-compassionate America:
"There is something tragic about Edwards's failure to break through. Today, 37 million Americans live below the poverty line, 12 million more than at the time of Kennedy's death. And yet Edwards's call of conscience has not resonated. By all rights, Edwards, the son of a millworker, should have an easier time talking about poverty than did Kennedy, the son of a millionaire. His difficulty speaks to the candidate's inability to connect. It also speaks to the nation's inability to be moved."
Outrageously, Newsweek has published a so-called "special report" in which Muslim Americans are called "one of this country's greatest strengths," but, Newsweek worries, that they are now "vulnerable as never before." Yes, America, as far as Newsweek is concerned it is YOU, not Islam, that is the problem.
As to the first claim, Newsweek offers not a single reason in their report why Muslims might be one of our "greatest strengths," but of the claim of how "vulnerable" they are, Newsweek drones on and on. Naturally, Newsweek puts the onus on Americans to bend over backward for Muslims, but doesn't once take Muslims to task for their barbarities and radicalism.
The "BeliefWatch" column in the front section of Newsweek magazine is often better described as a "Non-BeliefWatch," offering the latest supportive coverage of atheists, humanists, Unitarians, free-thinking leftist dissidents, and "blasphemy challengers." In this week’s "BeliefWatch," Newsweek's Lisa Miller highlights leftist Rocky Anderson, the mayor of Salt Lake City, running down Utah as deluded and denouncing Mitt Romney as a sellout to right-wing handlers.
"There is a culture of obedience in this country, but it's probably no more evident than in most parts of Utah," Anderson told NEWSWEEK in an interview. "That's why we've seen the highest approval ratings here for this entirely corrupt, disastrous presidency." As for Romney, his "opposition to abortion and stem-cell research is a very different Mitt Romney than the one who ran for governor of Massachusetts. I felt that Mitt Romney was a man who could really bring people together in a nonpartisan fashion, who would always stand up for the highest ideals and not worry about the polls ... I can only think this is a man who's caving to what his handlers want him to say."
Newsweek writer Jerry Adler penned an environmental-extremist quote for the ages in the last issue of 1990, writing "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." More than 16 years later, Adler’s on the morbid anti-human bandwagon again in this week’s Newsweek with an entire page-long article reporting "If humans were evacuated, the Earth would flourish." The hatred for man’s apparent ruination of the Earth comes right through in his coldly casual discussion of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement:
Environmentalists have their own eschatology—a vision of a world not consumed by holy fire but returned to ecological balance by the removal of the most disruptive species in history. That, of course, would be us, the 6 billion furiously metabolizing and reproducing human beings polluting its surface.
The 2008 presidential campaign could be one of the most critical in recent history. As things now stand, it could also be one of the most tiresome. Nowhere is media snobbishness more evident than when the big picture begins with the snide liberal elitist take on America: is the country "ready" to elect a black like Barack Obama or a woman like Hillary Clinton?
If Americans reject the icons of liberalism and vote Republican, apparently they will be proving the country is stuffed with benighted bigots who refuse to "expand America's sense of possibility." Those gauzy words came from Newsweek in their Barack-and-Hillary cover at the end of 2006. Obama's back on the cover of Newsweek again for the July 16 edition, photographed in black and white, with another question from left field: Will Obama be black enough for blacks and yet conciliatory enough for whites?
On this afternoon's "Tucker Carlson" on MSNBC, the eponymous host mentioned that Barack Obama had travelled to NYC to seek the support of Charles Barron of Brooklyn. Carlson knows Barron well, the NYC Councilman being a frequent guest on Tucker's show. Carlson described Barron as a "pretty straightforward racist, pretty straightforward black nationalist, anti-white character, exactly the kind of person you would not expect Obama to be courting." He then asked guest Jonathan Alter: "What is Obama doing?
SENIOR NEWSWEEK EDITOR JONATHAN ALTER: "Well, I think Obama wants the support of everybody, and I think the question is whether he can have a tent that's actually as big as the United States . . . The whole point of his campaign Tucker is to say "don't judge me by any one of my supporters, I'm trying to get a super-big tent here" . . . I think it would be unfair to hold any of his supporter's politics, you know, hold him accountable for what Charles Barron thinks.
Tucker wasn't buying, and drew the logical analogy.
MSNBC HOST TUCKER CARLSON: If Rudy Giuliani went down and asked David Duke for his support, would you say, "you know, it's unfair to hold Rudy Giuliani accountable for what David Duke said?" No, of course not! You'd write a cover story attacking him. That's a ludicrous point.
June 19 edition had an interesting web-exclusive “Mind Matters”
column by Wray Herbert called “Toothless
which was about social psychologists Carol Tavris and Elliot
Aronson's new book, “Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me).” The
book and the column concerned the “psychological process known as
cognitive dissonance.” Sound like an unlikely candidate for bias?
Cognitive dissonance is “the extreme
emotional discomfort we feel when two important beliefs, attitudes or
perceptions collide. Humans cannot tolerate dissonance for long, so
they ease the tension by making a change in belief or attitude—and
justifying the change.”
Newsweek and Herbert, a fellow at the [Jimmy] Carter Center for
mental health journalism still managed to somehow throw in a little
liberal bias, with a vague reference that does not make clear whether
Newsweek or the study's authors named only Republicans (surprise!) as
examples of public figures with cognitive dissonance. After naming a
series of recognizable GOPers, Newsweek also got in dig at Bush and
those who still support the “misbegotten war”(emphasis mine):
Part of a regular web-only health-centric column, "Tip of the Week," Newsweek ran a June 14 piece written by Ruth Olsen, called “How to shop for organic foods without breaking your budget,” that hit many of the usual myths and wishful thinking about organic foods, such as, organic foods taste better than conventional foods (which are labeled “nonorganic” in the article, implying they deviate from the norm and are somehow lacking), organic produce lasts as long as conventional and organics can be comparable price-wise to regular produce in supermarkets (emphasis mine throughout):
If you do manage to get more organic into your diet, you won't regret the extra effort. Organic produce isn’t just healthy and better for the environment, it tastes better, too, according to Charles Benbrook, chief scientist for The Organic Center. And that flavor boost might just make it easier to convince your children to eat their veggies, or to introduce them to new foods.
Only a few days later, Newsweek's latest issue chose to print a quote from the Republican governor of Alabama in their "Perspectives: Quotes in the News" section.
"In Alabama we have had experience turning corn into alcohol for years."
-Gov. Bob Riley, joking about the state's history of moonshining as he filled up a Chevrolet Impala with ethanol-based fuel. About 2,000 state vehicles will start using alternative fuel to save money and help the environment.
With congressional Democrats' approval ratings in the basement (lower than President Bush's), some in the media are attributing this to the fact that the Dems have not succeeded in cutting off the war in Iraq. Trouble is, while that strategy may be beneficial in the short run, it makes Democrats play to their stereotype of being soft when it comes to foreign policy.
To help his fellow liberals out, Newsweek editor Jonathan Alter offers Democrats a way to surrender, "without looking like surrender monkeys:"
Iraq is President Bush's war, [something Alter would never have said about Kosovo] but the Democrats are quickly getting
tagged with some blame for it. One of the reasons Congress is in such
bad odor—less popular even than Bush in recent polls—is that Democrats
look feckless on how to proceed in Iraq, and not just because they lack
the votes to cut off funding. Are they neo-isolationists, determined to
exit the region as soon as possible? Democrats like Pennsylvania
freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy, who saw ground action as an Army captain,
insist not. They want to get out of Iraq and get tough on Al Qaeda at
the same time. But the idea isn't getting through. [...]
The cover of this week’s Newsweek touts a story inside on "Hillary’s Likability Gap." That’s not exactly how it’s pitched inside, where the magazine tries another attack on right-wing Clinton haters titled "The New War on Hillary." Reporters Jonathan Darman and Mark Hosenball ponder the "haters’ fury," and remember the bad old days of First Lady Hillary: "Installed in Washington, Hillary morphed into a comic-book villain for her detractors – a man-eating feminist, they claimed, who allegedly threw lamps at her husband, communed psychically with Eleanor Roosevelt and lit a White House Christmas tree adorned with sex toys. The narrative of depravity – a tissue of inventions by conservatives – was often hard to follow."
But wait, wait: who "invented" Hillary’s seances with Jean Houston conjuring up Eleanor Roosevelt in the White House? That story emerged from the keyboard of Bob Woodward – no conservative – in 1996. Newsweek wrote an article lamenting the story, hailing Hillary as a persecuted "Joan of Arc figure." And what about the lamp-throwing? Newsweek really launched those rumors nationwide (albeit with sympathy toward poor Hillary) in the April 5, 1993 edition:
Update: Regardless of your religious views, the point of my post here is to lampoon the silly false choice posed by the poorly-worded question. I think I know what Quinn and Meacham are getting at. Allow me to be their oracle as to what they meant to ask: "In obtaining salvation, in your faith perspective, which is more important, faith or good works?" That wasn't so hard, now was it?
The May 14 issue of Newsweek proclaimed that some descendants of famous Republicans--Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Barry Goldwater--are thinking about changing parties and voting Blue. In an article titled, “Generational Tensions: Thesons and daughters of some iconic Republicans (Ike! T.R.!) are contemplating crossing the aisle,” reporter Michael Hirsch set up the improbable idea that the logical move by unhappy "fiscally conservative" Republicans is to the Democratic Party. According to Ike's granddaughter Susan Eisenhower, “moderate ‘Eisenhower Republicans’ “ are not content, but Newsweek did not fully explore the illogic of this proposed alternative (emphasis mine throughout):
Increasingly, however, she says that the partisanship and free spending of the Bush presidency—and the takeover of the party by single-issue voters, especially pro-lifers—is driving these pragmatic, fiscally conservative voters out of the GOP.
Debatably, the dissatisfaction of moderate Republicans with the Iraq war and with what the article categorized as religiously influenced issues surrounding topics like Terri Schiavo, abortion and homosexuality can be answered by the Democratic Party, but not the problems of bloated bureaucracies and out of control spending. The article did not state the obvious; a Big Government GOP is still smaller than the modern Democratic Party.