What a difference a few weeks make. Three weeks after Newsweek writers, Howard Fineman and Eleanor Clift, gloatingly declared the End of GOP Dominance and just a week after that same magazine announced that the Republicans were losing its evangelical base, a sharp note of electoral caution has popped up in that periodical. Jonathan Alter is now cautioning Newsweek readers that the Democrats might not do so well in the upcoming congressional elections after all as indicated in the very title of his October 30 article, There Might Not Be a Tidal Wave:
...for all the talk of increased intensity this year, voters are still preoccupied with their own busy lives, not politics. They don't watch much cable news or follow issues closely. If they bother to vote, they'll often do so based on small, serendipitous shards of information.
I was a little stunned to hear one of leftist radio host Stephanie Miller's crew today hype that a new Newsweek poll shows 51 percent of Americans now favor impeaching George W. Bush. What? Perhaps they "learned" from the Daily Kos, which today tried this game of statistical wizardry: if 28 percent say impeaching Bush is a "top priority," 23 percent say it should be a lower priority, a stunning majority now "supports" impeachment. But the poll did not ask impeachment, yea or nay. Would an actual up-front question draw a lower number, since 23 percent chose an option that suggests "not so hot on that idea"?
This story is just rich. After the efforts of Oklahoma Republican senator James Inhofe have brought greater public scrutiny to the media's global warming hysteria, Newsweek has finally admitted that, yes, it had played a big role in hyping "global cooling" back in the 1970s.
Despite this, though, you should believe the magazine and all the rest of the media who previously tried to scare up circulation numbers by predicting a global ice age because, well, this time they're right:
1975, in an issue mostly taken up with stories about the collapse of
the American-backed government of South Vietnam, NEWSWEEK published a
small back-page article about a very different kind of disaster. Citing
"ominous signs that the earth's weather patterns have begun to change
dramatically," the magazine warned of an impending "drastic decline in
food production." Political disruptions stemming from food shortages
could affect "just about every nation on earth." Scientists urged
governments to consider emergency action to head off the terrible
threat of . . . well, if you had been following the climate-change
debates at the time, you'd have known that the threat was: global
It seems the closer we get to Election Day, the more polls we’re going to be subjected to that over-sample Democrats. The latest entrant comes from Newsweek (hat tip to Stop The ACLU). In this one, 24 percent more Democrats were surveyed than Republicans.
Frankly, I have no interest in sharing any of the results from this survey, for if a polling agency can’t create a sample that accurately reflects the electorate, why should anybody care about the data it produces?
Maybe more importantly, why would a news organization pay for such results? After all, there are now 300 million people in America. It shouldn’t be hard to find equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats to answer questions, especially when the total sample is only 1,000.
Anonymous: "There is no liberal equivalent of the Fox News Channel, or Rush Limbaugh, or the Drudge Report." My question to you is what do you think CNN, The New York Times, Washington Post, etc., are--conservative mouthpieces? What makes them any better than Fox?
Congressman Harold Ford, running for the Senate in Tennessee, just received free publicity that most candidates can only dream about. With only a couple of weeks to go until the election, he made the cover of Newsweek.
"Not Your Daddy's Democrats" it says next to Mr. Ford's flattering photo, and the accompanying article strongly suggests that Harold Ford is at least a moderate and possibly even a conservative. Yes, the party of Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi has opened a huge tent and today's Democratic candidates - like Mr. Ford - are far from liberal. Or are they?
Once you get past the article's points about Harold Ford appealing to Christians and opposing gay marriage and partial-birth abortion, you learn: "According to Congressional Quarterly, Ford supported his party upwards of 85 percent of the time in most years since Bush took office." Yes, it took more than 20 paragraphs into the lengthy article, but finally it's acknowledged that maybe Mr. Ford isn't all that far away from Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi after all.
The midterm elections are approaching and some members of the media are revving up their bias. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann recently suggested that President Bush might be as big a threat as the terrorists. This was only a day after referring to conservative talk show hosts who visited the White House as the "Legion of Doom." CNN’s Jack Cafferty wondered if Karl Rove is planning an "October surprise" to salvage the Republicans’ chances in the midterm elections.
The print media have also offered unrestrained attacks from the left. A "Washington Post" report described House Speaker Dennis Hastert appearance as "a cross between Wildford Brimley and Jabba the Hutt." Nothing quite like objectivity, huh? A former "New York Times" bureau chief recently characterized the Christian right as "fascist." Perhaps he’d been chatting with "Newsweek" columnist Jonathan Alter. Alter told Don Imus he hoped the country has seen the last of "values voters."
The "Today" show fawned over Barack Obama, describing him as "electrifying" and a "rock star." This was on the same day that they giddily predicted a "perfect storm" to wipe out the Republicans in the midterms. Another early AM program, CNN’s "American Morning"encouraged author David Kuo to call for Christians to boycott the upcoming election.
Imagine you're a leading news magazine. You've published a major story claiming that Afghanistan is a brewing disaster in which Al-Qaeda can once again roam with impunity. So bad is the situation, say you, that for purposes of your article you've dubbed the country "Jihadistan."
Now comes the Pentagon, and in painstaking, point-by-point fashion, refutes so many of your article's assertions as to call its overall validity into question. How do you respond?
A. In a rigorous, systematic manner, you contest the Pentagon's arguments and prove that you were correct in the first place.
"General Pelosi, I'm Matt Lauer, and I'm reporting for duty!"
OK, Matt didn't quite say that as 'Today' kicked off its 'The War at Home' three-part series this morning on the lives of American veterans once they return home from war. But judging from the opening episode and the tease for what's to come tomorrow, he might just as well. NBC is clearly doing its part to tend the Dems' Victory Garden.
Of all the reporters in the NBC News stable, 'Today' tapped for this segment Jonathan Alter, a regular guest on Al Franken's Air America show and a consistently liberal columnist at Newsweek. And of all the hundreds of thousands of veterans, Today just happened to choose Tammy Duckworth, who lost both legs while co-piloting a Black Hawk helicopter in Iraq, and who now just happens to be . . . running for Congress as a - give me a sec here, OK, got it - Democrat.
Monday's morning shows displayed the Democratic diplomacy that may take over the House and Senate next year. Newsweek's Jonathan Alter was openly dismayed that President Bush refers to North Korea's murderous communist tyrant, Kim Jong Il, as "'The Pygmy'...Not every helpful, actually." On NBC's Today, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman lamented that it's too late for Bush to salvage peace: "North Korea has concluded that this administration wants their, their head on a wall, basically, and therefore there's probably nothing the United States can do now, to really reassure the North to give up their nukes, which is really their life insurance policy." This came just a minute or so after Friedman described Kim as the "Tony Soprano of Pyongyang."
What does the "N-word" racial epithet and the pollster term "values voter" have in common? According to Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter, by some elastic calisthenics of the brain, the word "values" needs to be drained of its poison, deprived of its "sting" against liberals, deflated of any political advantage, so that liberals can be seen as just as morality-oriented as conservatives. In describing his column on MSNBC’s Imus in the Morning program on Monday, Alter said this "values voter" term is "driving me nuts," that certain people have a "monopoly" on "so-called traditional values." Alter also displayed an intense desire for the "demise" of "values voters" in the fall election. In his phone interview with Imus in the 6:30 am half hour, Alter told Imus:
Both Time and Newsweek are out with another set of “bad news for Republicans” covers this week, as Tim Graham pointed out earlier this morning. In her magazine’s cover story, Time’s Karen Tumulty suggests that Republican are about to lose control of Congress. “It took 40 years for the House Democrats to exhaust their goodwill. It may take only 12 years for the Republicans to get there.”
For millions who will only notice Time, Newsweek, or U.S. News & World Report as they’re waiting to check out at the grocery store, the picture and headline on the cover will convey the news magazine’s editorial summary of the week’s important news. This week, Time showcases a huge shot of an elephant’s rump, symbolizing the end of the GOP’s control of Congress. Newsweek has a huge close-up of the disgraced Mark Foley’s face, an image that dwarfs a picture of President Bush.
In case you thought the Foley story was wrapping up on Friday, be warned that both Time and Newsweek weren't buying that. They wanted a chance to build its place in history/Republican infamy. Both covers are quite transparently partisan for the politically sensitive time of the season. Time has a huge black and white picture of an elephant's butt, with the words: "What a mess...Why a tawdry Washington sex scandal may spell the end of the Republican revolution". Time has been rooting for the end of the Republican revolution since they suggested it was in danger of killing off the "human species" back in the first month of the new GOP-majority congress in 1995.
While Democrats and the MSM have revelled in stressing the tough sledding in Iraq, they had been constrained to acknowledge that the mission in Afghanistan - from the overthrow of the Taliban to the fostering of democracy leading to the election of President Karzai to efforts aimed at rebuilding a country mired in medieval poverty - has been largely successful.
But in recent weeks, Democrats and the MSM have sought to paint a more negative portrait of the situation in Afghanistan, culminating in an article in the October 2nd edition of Newsweek "The Rise of Jihadistan."
The article's sub-title states its thesis in these terms: "Five years after the Afghan invasion, the Taliban are fighting back hard, carving out a sanctuary where they—and Al Qaeda's leaders—can operate freely." And in his famously finger-pointing interview with Fox's Chris Wallace, Bill Clinton claimed that "if I were still president, we'd have more than 20,000 troops there trying to kill [Bin Laden]."
Newly minted Newsweek editor Jon Meacham is promoting liberal former Sen. John Danforth again in a Sunday book review in The Washington Post. He's also praising a new book called The Politics of Jesus by Obery Hendricks Jr. (The subtitle's all about Jesus as a political revolutionary.) Like many other liberal journalists, Meacham is desperately seeking someone to convince traditionally religious Americans that they shouldn't be giving their votes to conservatives. So they cheer a whole series of "intellectually stimulating" books that lamely attempt to recruit traditionalist Christians and Jews to vote for the loosey-goosey libertine party:
Hendricks's Christian manifesto for a politically liberal vision of America and of the world arrives at an especially rich moment in the long-running debate over the role of religion in the nation's public life. After roughly three decades of largely ceding the language of faith to political conservatives, liberals are mounting an aggressive and often intellectually stimulating counterattack.
The incoming top editor of "Newsweek" magazine, Jon Meacham, cast aspersions on the legitimacy of President Bush on the same "Imus in the Morning" broadcast I referenced earlier. Meacham conjured up memories of the 2000 election, asserting that "Al Gore was elected by the American people, but not allowed to serve." Additionally, Meacham gave credence to the left wing blogosphere and claimed that it has been since 1988 since a candidate for president has won a clear majority of the popular vote without "any questions about the count in a presidential election."
President Bush won almost 51% of the vote in 2004, a clear majority. However, this is dismissed by Meacham, most probably because of "questions" of the vote count in Ohio. President Bush won the state of Ohio by 118,601 votes. First of all, it is highly unlikely that any "questions" about the vote would be enough to overturn that type of margin. Secondly, where did these "questions" come from? From the left wing blogosphere, people who would not have accepted a Bush victory by any margin and would have tried to delegitimize the vote regardless.
On Monday, a senior "Newsweek" editor, Jon Meacham, defended Bill Clinton’s performance on "Fox News Sunday," calling the interview, fantastic. Meacham also asserted that Clinton was articulate; there was a lot of merit to what he said, and that he was making a good case.
On Monday’s "Imus in the Morning," Meacham gushed over Clinton’s performance noting:
"For anyone who believes that character doesn’t matter in politics, that (the Fox interview) should be exhibit A."
He continued, defending Clinton’s performance:
"At the same time, he was, you know, making a good case that he had, you know, made, moved in the right direction on bin Laden, but flip it round, as we all remember, and you all are talking about, he was handcuffed by his own faults and flaws."
When Newsweek likes a book, it can give it good play. Take former Republican Sen. John Danforth's brand-new book attacking the religious right, titled "Faith and Politics: How the 'Moral Values' Debate Divides America and How to Move Forward Together." Newsweek plugged it in the magazine's print edition (with the headline "'St. Jack' Examines His Conscience -- And His Party"); published an excerpt on its website; and even conducted a Live Talk with readers to give him more exposure. But newly minted Newsweek editor Jon Meacham went beyond that. He's the top celebrity plugging the book on the back cover.
Newsweek has wildly different takes on the two political parties this week. First, under a huge two-page picture of Rep. Rahm Emanuel, is "The Democratic Entourage: Can Rahm Emanuel deliver the House? His hotshot Hollywood brother is trying to help close the deal." The title refers to a fashionable HBO show about Hollywood titled "Entourage." Rahm's brother Ari Emanuel is pictured between the sultry sisters Paris and Nicky Hilton.
President Bush is pictured over a different headline: "The Politics of Torture." A smaller headline above it read: "Lost amid the legal wrangling over how to interrogate detainees are the techniques used in the war on terror."
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," anchor Diane Sawyer spoke with "Newsweek" managing editor Jon Meacham about the controversy over a centuries-old quote employed by Pope Benedict XVI in a speech on faith and reason.
Protests, violence and threats against the Vatican and representatives of the Catholic Church have erupted since the Pope’s speech, where he used a quote from a Byzantine emperor, Manuel II. The Pope has since clarified his remarks, saying that it is not his own view that the prophet Muhammad’s contribution to the world has been “things only evil and inhuman.”
Sawyer found the use the quote “baffling,” and wondered if the Pope’s decision to insert it into his speech was “an attempt at provocation” with Muslims. Meacham, for his part, found the Pope’s speech to be a “heavy-handed” and “clumsy” attempt at starting a dialogue with the Islamic community. Meacham then brought up Pope Benedict’s reputation among some as “God’s Rottweiler” as head of the Vatican office charged with enforcing of Catholic doctrine during the papacy of John Paul. (ABCNews.com carried a story with the headline "'God's Rottweiler's' First Crisis.")
First there was "Dowdification," named after the NYT columnist's deliberate truncation of a speech by President Bush to falsely imply he had said al Qaeda was "no longer a problem. Now, Patterico (aka Patrick Frey) suggests a new term, "Isikoffed" for the Newsweek reporter who similarly truncated a memo by Alberto Gonzales to make the Bush admin look like it considers all the Geneva Conventions to be "quaint" when it comes to the war on terrorism. Instead, Gonzales was making the sensible point that some of them, such as the requiring prison guards to provide inmates with scientific instruments and athletic clothes, are obsolete.
That the MSM has not sufficiently corrected the record on this point continues to be a problem since many liberals in and out of the blogosphere continue to believe this bit of misinformation.
Update 11:02. While you're over at Patterico's, be sure and read his post about how the LA Times is providing cover for a left-wing church leader who basically said voting for Republicans is a sin.
On the chat show "Inside Washington" on PBS station WETA last night, the spin was in: Plamegate was a massive zero. No one was more enthusiastic than Newsweek's Evan Thomas. I'm sure the reporting of his colleague Michael Isikoff has him completely persuaded. But here's what didn't come up: how much ink did Newsweek spill hyping this "zero" story up? (Hint: here's just one example.)
When the show's substitute host Kathleen Matthews (wife of Chris Matthews) asked what the bottom line was on Plamegate, Thomas declared: "Nothing! Nothing! This is a big zero of a story that most of the American public has ignored, Washington has been feverishly consumed by, and it means something for Scooter Libby, who may go to jail, so it has some personal consequences, but in the great sum of American body politic, it means nothing."
Remember Al Gore’s "Saturday Night Live" skit where he pretended to be president and the world was a glorious place? Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter played that game in his column this week, suggesting that if Bush had been more Gore-like, just imagine what a paradise we would all be living in. In addition to fantasizing that the Arab world sympathized with us, and that Syria and Iran were "forced to help" with the war on terror, Bush’s domestic agenda looked a lot like Jonathan Alter’s domestic agenda: stiff gas taxes, terminated tax cuts, SUV-bashing, firing Rumsfeld. A liberal can dream, can’t he?
Chris Matthews is as frustrated as an able-bodied seaman after six months without shore leave. While Matthews clearly senses this is the year for the Dems to snatch back the Speaker's gavel, hisfrustration is born of the fear that the Dems will squander the opportunity out of timidity - an unwillingness to attack President Bush on the war in Iraq.
Things boiled over during the 5 PM EDT edition of this evening's Hardball. With guests Howard Fineman of Newsweek and Chuck Todd of the Hotline as witnesses to the meltdown, Matthews first played a hard-hitting Moveon.org ad accusing Republicans of misleading the nation into Iraq and trying to "exploit 9/11" to win elections. Matthews complained that while the Republicans are willing to use the same kind of tactics against the Democrats, Dems "are afraid to run an ad like that."
Columnist David Broder says he wrote "almost nothing about the Wilson-Plame case, because it seemed overblown to me from the start." As for the rest of the media, Broder says Newsweek "and other publications owe Karl Rove an apology. And all of journalism needs to relearn the lesson: Can the conspiracy theories and stick to the facts."
The only time I commented on the case was to caution reporters who offered bold First Amendment defenses for keeping their sources' names secret that they had better examine the motivations of the people leaking the information to be sure they deserve protection.
But caution has been notably lacking in some of the press treatment of this subject -- especially when it comes to Karl Rove. And it behooves us in the media to examine that behavior, not just sweep it under the rug.
Now we know where Robert Novak learned about Valerie Plame. To the Left's dismay, it wasn't some mega-whopper conspiracy of historical proportions aimed at paying back a critic of the administration... instead, it was just a guy who liked Washington gossip, and actually once called Bush, Cheney, et al. a "bunch of jerks".
In the early morning of Oct. 1, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell received an urgent phone call from his No. 2 at the State Department. Richard Armitage was clearly agitated. As recounted in a new book, "Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War," Armitage had been at home reading the newspaper and had come across a column by journalist Robert Novak. Months earlier, Novak had caused a huge stir when he revealed that Valerie Plame, wife of Iraq-war critic Joseph Wilson, was a CIA officer. Ever since, Washington had been trying to find out who leaked the information to Novak. The columnist himself had kept quiet. But now, in a second column, Novak provided a tantalizing clue: his primary source, he wrote, was a "senior administration official" who was "not a partisan gunslinger." Armitage was shaken. After reading the column, he knew immediately who the leaker was. On the phone with Powell that morning, Armitage was "in deep distress," says a source directly familiar with the conversation who asked not to be identified because of legal sensitivities. "I'm sure he's talking about me."
According to Michael Isikoff, peddling his new book (written with liberal David Corn) in Newsweek:
Armitage's central role as the primary source on Plame is detailed for the first time in "Hubris," which recounts the leak case and the inside battles at the CIA and White House in the run-up to the war. The disclosures about Armitage, gleaned from interviews with colleagues, friends and lawyers directly involved in the case, underscore one of the ironies of the Plame investigation: that the initial leak, seized on by administration critics as evidence of how far the White House was willing to go to smear an opponent, came from a man who had no apparent intention of harming anyone.
Getreligion.org has a collection of postings analyzing Jon Meacham's cover story on Billy Graham in Newsweek -- by Terry Mattingly, Daniel Pulliam, Douglas LeBlanc, and Mollie Ziegler. Mattingly began by being direct, that Meacham is writing to thump the tub for religious laxity and liberalism:
Newsweek Managing Editor Jon Meacham really doesn’t do ordinary journalism anymore. Instead, he writes cover stories that are doctrinal essays that seek to guide Americans toward a more mature, nuanced, educated, intelligent approach to religious faith. This would bring us closer to Meacham’s approach, of course.
As the world watches events unfold in the Middle East from the comfort of their living rooms, evidence is mounting that Hezbollah is using the media in a fashion that would make Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels extremely proud. Such an assertion has far reaching implications to be sure, as it points an accusatory finger at the behavior of the American press as well.
Supporting this contention is a paper written in 1948 by Yale psychology professor Leonard W. Doob entitled “Goebbels’ Principles of Propaganda.” In it, Doob enunciated the famed Nazi’s nineteen-point plan for the effective use of the media to advance Germany’s goals.
Fifty-eight years later, a Haaretz article published Thursday outlined the power of the Hezbollah propaganda machine. So coordinated are these efforts that it is easy to imagine the terrorist organization using Goebbels’ principles as a virtual playbook while it molds events and news reports to impact international opinion. The article began:
As news organizations update their obituaries of ailing Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, it’s worth recalling how many liberal journalists have fallen under Castro’s spell over the years, sounding like paid Cuban government propagandists as they touted the “great success stories” of Castro’s decades of communist rule. A new report from the Media Research Center offers some of the most egregious pro-Castro quotes of the last couple of decades.
For example, back in 1988, then-NBC reporter Maria Shriver let Castro himself lead her on a tour of Havana. “The level of public services was remarkable: free education, medicine and heavily-subsidized housing,” Shriver marveled on Today. The following year, ABC’s Peter Jennings trumpeted how “health and education are the revolution’s great success stories.”