In light of all existing evidence, any attempt to blame "heated political rhetoric" for Saturday's shooting in Tucson is simply a lie. While most reporters are done peddling the lie that Sarah Palin caused the Tucson massacre, they've now moved on to this more nuanced lie.
At present it seems that Jared Lee Loughner's hatred for Gabrielle Giffords, apparently the intended target, stemmed from the congersswoman's inability to answer some incoherent question Loughner asked her in 2007. There is no evidence to suggest he was driven to violence by political rhetoric of any kind.
Liberal media types have been peddling the lie that conservatives and their "heated political rhetoric" are responsible for the recent Tucson shooting. But why such insistence on an obviously false story line? The answer seems to be, at least in the case of some, that Tucson could be to Barack Obama as Oklahoma City was to Bill Clinton.
Within hours of the mass shooting in Arizona, former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman on Saturday was offering Barack Obama tips on how to manipulate the outburst of violence for his political advantage.
Making comparisons to Bill Clinton's response to the Oklahoma City bombing, he lobbied, "...Obama may be able to remind voters of what they like best about him: his sensible demeanor. Amid the din and ferocity of our political culture, he respectfully keeps his voice down, his emotions in check and his mind open."
The piece, which appeared on the left-wing Huffington Post, featured this coldly calculating follow-up: "That is the pitch, at least. The trick is to make it without seeming to be trying to make it. He will, after all, be speaking at a funeral."
Appearing as a guest on Friday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, Washington Post staff writer and Newsweek columnist Ezra Klein defended Obamacare and warned Republicans against attempting to repeal the law as he contended that some provisions are popular with the public. After host Keith Olbermann asked if Democrats should "relish rejoining the fight over health care reform" because it could hurt Republicans, Klein urged Democrats to fight. Klein:
They should be going to war over it. It's an incredibly important achievement for them, and if Democrats cannot defend a deficit-reducing bill that brings health care insurance to 32 million people and allows folks with pre-existing conditions to get any insurance they want, if they can't defend that, frankly, they, on some level, don't really deserve to be a party. If you can't defend the best thing you've done in a generation, then you've got some political problems that are bigger than anything the Republicans are doing to you.
The Washington Post writer eventually predicted that Republicans would be embracing and defending Obamacare by the year 2050. Klein: "In 2050 Republicans will be saying, ‘How dare you cut Obamacare?’"
Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, who last year wrote a lengthy book on the first year of Barack Obama's presidency, looked very displeased on Dylan Ratigan's MSNBC program earlier this week when other guests concurred with accusations of corruption against the White House.
The Ratigan segment centered on a statement by Rep. Darrel Issa, R-Calif., incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Goernment Reform Committee, that Obama's is "one of the most corrupt administrations ever."
"There is zero evidence" of corruption, he insisted. When fellow guest Tim Carney, a Washington Examiner columnist, disagreed, Alter demanded Carney produce evidence. So he did (video below the fold).
"The Tea Party Patriots call Phoenix 'the great southwestern city, born from the ruins of a former civilization, now the rebirth place of American culture. It will also be our opportunity to support the citizens of Arizona in their current political battles that carry so many national implications,'" Adler noted, before setting out on his attack of the state, first as ecologically and economically "unsustainable"...:
In his January 4 article, "Why Journalists Aren't Standing Up for WikiLeaks," Newsweek's Ben Adler offers three reasons, the first of which is quite risible given the media's persistent advocacy for ObamaCare in the year past:
So why are American journalists hesitant to speak up for Assange? There are essentially three reasons.
1. Refusal to engage in advocacy: American journalists, unlike many of their foreign counterparts, have a strong commitment to objectivity and nonpartisanship...
On Friday’s Inside Washington on PBS, host Gordon Peterson used the term "free lunch" to mock Republicans who wish to avoid tax increases while trying to restrain the federal budget deficit. After panel member Jeanne Cummings of Politico predicted a tough fight in Congress over spending, Peterson turned the conversation to Washington Post columnist Colby King. Peterson: "Hold the line on taxes, attack the deficit. Can I offer you a free lunch, Colby?"
After King gave his predictions for the budget fight, Newsweek columnist Evan Thomas accused Republicans of "selling smoking and mirrors," and asserted that "they need to be held accountable by the press." He went on to dismiss the GOP desire to cut taxes. Thomas:
Republicans are going to be selling smoke and mirrors, and they need to be held accountable by the press. They’re gonna be talking about cutting spending, but not big entitlement programs, which is where all the money is. And cutting taxes, which you just cannot do and deal with our fiscal problems. I mean, I’m all for attacking big government, and the Tea Party’s not all wrong about that, but the way that they’re talking about doing it involves a lot of fiction.
On Friday’s Inside Washington on PBS, during a discussion of President Obama’s failure to secure passage of the Dream Act in the Senate, after panel member Evan Thomas of Newsweek asserted that "stupid politics" was behind the bill’s defeat, host Gordon Peterson brought up a quip by humorist Jimmy Tingle that "if they all looked like Norwegians, there’d be no problem."
After introducing the segment with a clip of President Obama speaking favorably of the proposed law that would allow the children of illegal immigrants to obtain legal status and eventual citizenship if they go to college or into the military, host Peterson asked, "Why would you vote against that, Evan?"
Thomas blamed "stupid politics" and complained that the proposal is being "held hostage" by those who want to secure the border first. Thomas: "Stupid politics. I mean, there’s got to be immigration reform. It just hangs over all the head of this. We’ve got to reform, this is a small attempt to cure a small but real problem. But what hangs over it is the need to do a larger reform of the immigration system. We got to find some way to get better control of our borders, we do-"
Peterson interrupted to note that South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham had voiced an unwillingness to vote for "anything until the borders are secure," prompting Thomas to add, "But it’s held hostage."
After the Newsweek columnist recounted the country’s need for more immigrants who are highly skilled, Peterson brought up the Jimmy Tingle comment about Norwegians as he turned to liberal columnist and panel member Mark Shields. Peterson: "Jimmy Tingle said if they all looked like Norwegians, there’d be no problem, Mark."
Even as the public grew increasingly disenchanted with Washington's full-throated liberal policies in 2010, the media elite's partisanship remained on full display. The Media Research Center's Best Notable Quotables of 2010 captured the highlights, as journalists continued to blame America's misfortunes on George W. Bush, even as they also insisted that Barack Obama deserved more credit for his amazing accomplishments.
In the MRC's "They Don't Miss Him Yet Award for Still Bashing Bush," Time's Joe Klein took the prize for insisting that the April 2010 Gulf oil spill was really Bush's fault: "This is more Bush’s second Katrina than Obama’s first,” Klein lamely insisted on The Chris Matthews Show. Klein made his crack on May 30, nearly 500 days after Bush left the Oval Office.
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on Friday said the newly-elected Tea Party members in the House are going to get their hearts broken when they get to the nation's capital.
In her view, expressed on PBS's "The McLaughlin Group," this will happen "as they come up against all the forces in Washington, the same forces that Barack Obama came up against" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Most of the news coverage I've seen of yesterday's violent demonstrations against a hike in tuition fees in London's Parliament Square portrayed it as a show of strength of student protesters.
Yet while there were doubtless numerous students protesting, left-wing and anarchist groups have easily glommed onto the occasion to hijack formerly peaceful demonstrations for their trouble-making purposes.
President Obama is a nice, moral family man. Too bad he has to deal with wild-eyed ideologues in the congressional GOP.
That's the sentiment of Eleanor Clift's December 10 Newsweek.com piece, "Filling In the Blanks," which examines where the president stands in the public's perception at the midway through his term in office.
As is standard operating procedure for Clift, Republicans and conservatives are cast in a negative light while Obama is humanized and dealt with very sympathetically. Here's how Clift opened her piece (emphases mine):
A few weeks ago, just before GM's initial public offering went to the market (at the Washington Examiner; at BizzyBlog), I noted that Multi-Government/General Motors had spent the past several months shipping more cars than its dealers were selling, to the point where dealer stocks represented an unusually high number of days of dealers' sales.
GM's December 1 press release made that trend even more obvious, as month-end dealer inventory rose to 536,000 units, about 30% higher than May's level.
As seen below, the trend was already pretty obvious in October, and a vigilant press should have been alert enough to notice it and attempt to gauge its financial impact:
Columnist Mike Barnicle had some pointed words on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Tuesday for travelers exasperated with the new TSA airport scanning procedures: "Take the train or take the bus."
"Here's a tip for travelers this Thanksgiving," the "Morning Joe" regular remarked Tuesday. "If you're upset about this at airports, take the train or take the bus." He added later in the show "Hop in your car and drive to Detroit," as another alternative for air travel.
Barnicle, continuing his rant from Monday, lamented that Americans are so upset with the controversial security procedures when the U.S. is involved in two wars and real unemployment stands at 15 percent. "This again, if we ever needed it, is proof-positive that we live in a time where we have such a limited attention-span as a nation, it is sickening," he preached. "We're now more afraid at airports, apparently, of being felt-up rather than blown-up in the air."
Apparently the sophomoric folks at Newsweek are getting a bit giddy during the short work week leading up to Thanksgiving.
To accompany David Graham's November 23 The Gaggle blog post, Newsweek editors included a photo manipulation featuring the face of Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) on the body of Adam in Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam"
The photoshop was inspired by a March 2009 comment Shimkus made that reflects his religious beliefs, a comment that Graham apparently finds suitable for mockery and as evidence that Shimkus would be a poor choice to chair a committee that might deal with climate change-related issues and legislation:
Eleanor Clint doesn't exactly say that President Barack Obama is completely clueless about politics but she comes pretty close to it in her latest Newsweek column. The lack of a basic ability to control the political agenda in Washington is a prospect that makes a committed liberal like Clift somewhat less than happy:
Obama’s storied political career took him from the relative obscurity of the Illinois State Legislature to the presidency in such a short time that he didn’t get much of a feel for the nitty-gritty politicking that consumes so much of today’s partisan bickering. He didn’t have the benefit of getting beaten badly at the state level, like Clinton was in Arkansas, and having to learn how to reinvent himself.
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift doesn't understand why Americans are uncomfortable with the new body scanners being used at some of the nation's airports.
Chatting about the subject on PBS's "McLaughlin Group," Clift sarcastically said, "Maybe we ought to worry about C-T x-rays and so forth - you never can tell when somebody might put that out" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In the November 22 issue of Newsweek magazine, Daniel Stone defended the Obama administration by blaming the institution of the presidency for failures rather than the chief executive himself: "The issue is not Obama, it’s the office....Can any single person fully meet the demands of the 21st-century presidency?" The same argument was used to excuse an overwhelmed Jimmy Carter 30 years earlier.
The sub-headline for the piece read: "The presidency has grown, and grown and grown, into the most powerful, most impossible job in the world." At one point, Stone explained: "Among a handful of presidential historians Newsweek contacted for this story, there was a general consensus that the modern presidency may have become too bloated." A January 13, 1980 Washington Post article made a similar conclusion about the beleaguered Carter administration: "Voters have lowered their expectations of what any president can accomplish; they have accepted the notion that this country may never again have heroic, larger-than-life leadership in the White House."
On her website, The Daily Beast, on Thursday, editor-in-chief Tina Brown joyously announced the "wedding" of the left-leaning blog with the equally liberal Newsweek magazine: "Some weddings take longer to plan than others. The union of The Daily Beast and Newsweek magazine finally took place with a coffee-mug toast between all parties."
Brown touted how she would now serve as editor-in-chief for both publications. She expressed her desire to oversee the "great magazine's revival" and praised it for being "lively" and "well-informed." Brown should fit in well as head of the liberal magazine given her own history of left-wing advocacy.
Appearing on the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" last night, comedian Dennis Miller blasted the beleaguered Newsweek magazine for ranking the United States the 11th "best country in the world," behind left-of-center nations like Finland, Switzerland, and Sweden.
Performing on Veterans Day for an audience comprised of American military personnel, Miller showed his patriotic stripes: "Hey, Newsweek, go fjord yourself okay. Finland is the s--- little plastic village you set up under the Christmas tree every year."
An impassioned Miller quipped: "The best thing about living in Finland is they don't get Newsweek magazine."
Samuels made her complaint in light of NBC's cancellation of it's ratings-plagued spy series, "Undercovers," which featured a black actor and actress in the lead roles as glamorous and deadly CIA agents:
In an interview with Gov. Rick Perry published today, Newsweek's Andrew Romano falsely claimed that "Many Tea Partiers want to repeal the 14th Amendment, which provides for birthright citizenship." Romano then asked the recently-reelected Texas Republican, "Do you agree with them?"
Perry answered that while he believed a constitutional prohibition on birthright citizenship was "probably not" needed, he didn't address the fundamental error in Romano's premise.
While there have been suggestions by some conservatives at looking at amending the Fourteenth Amendment to ensure that children of illegal immigrants do not automatically gain American citizenship, the notion that Tea Party activists favor a full repeal of the post-Civil War amendment is a faulty liberal media meme.
Campo-Flores answered in the affirmative, noting that Reid enjoyed anywhere from 68 to 90 percent support from Hispanic voters, depending on the exit polling model:
According to election-eve polling and analysis by Latino Decisions, a surveying firm, Hispanics chose Reid over Angle 90 percent to 8 percent—an astounding margin. CNN’s exit polls showed a significantly smaller spread, with Reid winning 68 percent to Angle’s 30 percent. But Latino Decisions argues that exit-polling methodology is typically inaccurate at measuring voting by Hispanics and other subgroups.
Campo-Flores took the argument even further, hinting that Republicans could see long-term decline and Democrats long-term gains thanks to "disenchantment" from Latino voters thanks to the party's conservative stance on immigration:
One day before Election Day, the MRC has a fresh new edition of Notable Quotables posted over at MRC.org. Topics this week include: the liberal media’s pre-election meltdown, with MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann frothing that the election of “unqualified, unstable” Tea Party Republicans “would destroy America from within,” and Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter engaging in open electioneering: “The GOP’s agenda has to be stopped.”
To read it online, posted with five videos with matching MP3 audio, plus a sixth quote with a matching audio clip, go to www.MRC.org.
For NewsBuster’s readers, here are some of the choicer quotes from the last couple of weeks, reflecting liberals’ increasing desperation as the election clock ticks down:
NPR's Nina Totenberg said Friday that she's very afraid of the upcoming elections.
Newsweek's Evan Thomas, her co-panelist on "Inside Washington," said historians might look upon November 2, 2010 "as kind of a joke...obviously the political system’s a mess" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
“We’re so eager to promote ourselves with the smartest take on how President Obama and the Democrats got themselves in this pickle that we haven’t done a good job explaining the stakes,” Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter despaired in a piece in the latest issue of the magazine in which he didn’t even pretend to be a journalist and delivered a political activist’s screed, “Why the Midterms Matter: The GOP's agenda has to be stopped.”
Alter, author of the sycophantic book earlier this year, The Promise: President Obama, Year One, feared a dire fate if Republicans gain more power: “The Tea Party will transform itself from an insurgency into the driving force within the GOP” and “extremist Senators like Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn will move from being irritants on the fringe to players at the center of our politics.” He concluded by scolding those who won’t come out to vote for Democrats:
A right-wing Republican takeover of Congress and state capitals isn’t something to accept with indifference. Midterms matter, and voters tempted to skip this election should have their heads examined.
Update (15:20 EDT): Fargo, N.D.-based radio host friend of NewsBusters Rob Port takes on this Newsweek item on his Say Anything blog today and eviscerates David Graham's article as error-laden and grossly misleading.
"Can one Blue Dog’s unorthodox ad strategy localize his election and head off the demise of another incumbent?" asked the subheadline.
Of course, both the moderate and Blue Dog tags bring to mind a Democrat that perhaps agrees with the liberal leadership of his party about half of the time, but is fairly independent and conservative-minded on a whole host of issues. Trouble is, this is precisely what Pomeroy is not, according to both the liberal Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) and the American Conservative Union (ACU).