Joe Scarborough was on fire this morning, his ire trained on twin targets: Dick Blumenthal, and the New York Times' John Harwood, who casually dismissed the candidate's lies about having served in Vietnam as just a case of getting "a little carried away." At one point, Scarborough claimed he wasn't calling Blumenthal a "scumbag"—but it sure sounded like it.
Harwood began his Blumenthal defense with a barroom analogy: "the occasions where he was loose is more akin to a guy who had a few too many at the bar and hit on somebody rather than somebody actually trying to slip a mickey into the girls drink." He later added this lame defense: that even if Blumenthal lied to the veterans groups about his record, they weren't deceived by it. "Were all those veterans groups fooled by it?", asked Harwood, implying they weren't. "You're a reporter, you go ask them," snapped Scarborough.
Scarborough later pointed out that Blumenthal lied and trafficked on the valor of others on precisely those occasions when, appearing before veterans groups, it would benefit him politically. Harwood miscast Joe's criticism of Blumenthal as a demand that all candidates explain why they didn't serve. A peeved Scarborough called Harwood out: "John, I don't know show, what feed you're listening to."
The general election campaign for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania between Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Joe Sestak has started "ugly," according to Jay Newton-Small. In her May 20 Swampland blog post, the Time magazine staffer offered as evidence the former's press conference yesterday in which:
[H]e spent much of the speech blasting Sestak. In his 7-minute opening remarks he said “I” or “me” 52 times – including the thank yous – and “Joe or “he” 43 times.
Newton-Small did go on to note that "the beginning of a general election is all about defining your opponent" and added that:
As a Sunday afternoon treat, here’s a sneak peek at the May 17 edition of MRC’s Notable Quotables newsletter, our bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media. The entire edition will be posted, with five video clips, at www.MRC.org on Monday morning.
Shortsighted Voters Fail to Grasp Obama’s Historic Greatness
“Big problems. Big achievements. Big costs. Historians say President Obama’s legislative record during a crisis-ridden presidency already puts him in a league with such consequential presidents as Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Roosevelt. But polls show voters aren’t totally on board with his achievements, at least not yet, and the White House acknowledges that his victories have carried huge financial and political costs. ‘There are always costs in doing big things,’ Obama told USA Today.” — Opening of May 12 USA Today cover story by Susan Page and Mimi Hall, “Will doing ‘big things’ wind up costing Obama?” The accompanying picture showed a portrait of Abraham Lincoln peering down at President Obama.
On HBO's Real Time Friday, Bill Maher fought with conservative atheist S.E. Cupp and claimed the news magazines weren't hostile to religion, but were overflowing with religion coverage. His exaggerations were wild, more than just for comic effect:
Are you kidding? Jesus or Mary is on the cover of Newsweek or Time like every other week. If Jesus had an office on Sunset Boulevard, and you walked down the corridor, he'd have his magazine covers on every wall. We did a mockup! There! This is the last few years.
If Maher or his underlings at HBO were really careful about facts about "the last few years," they'd know how far off this is: use the cover search on Time's website for "Jesus" and see how many Jesus covers since the 1900s ended: I count four. That's hardly "every other week."
There's "The Opus Dei Code" (April 24, 2006, not included on Maher's screen, since it might seem less than devout, slinging Da Vinci Code myths), "Secrets of the Nativity" (December 13, 2004), "Why Did Jesus Have to Die?" (April 12, 2004), and "What Jesus Saw" (April 16, 2001).
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air asks a good media question: why doesn't anyone care about the Soviet archives? He refers to a Claire Berlinski article in City Journal. But for media watchers, the strongest possible revision would come in the reputation of one Mikhail Gorbachev, Time's Man of the Decade, the one they called the "commissar liberator," the "communist pope and the Soviet Martin Luther," and on and on. Some files suggest he was ruthless and cavalier about human life. What a shock:
The narrative among popular academics and media is that the Soviet Union collapsed out of a too-generous sense of glasnost and perestroika, with Mikhail Gorbachev as the benevolent national leader whose love of freedom inadvertently ended the Soviet empire. The documentation of the Kremlin’s activities and transcripts of Gorbachev’s own conversations put an end to that mythology. For instance, Berlinski quotes this passage from Politburo minutes of a discussion of the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989:
Lukyanov reports that the real number of casualties on Tiananmen Square was 3,000.
Gorbachev: We must be realists. They, like us, have to defend themselves. Three thousands...So what?
"Any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane must, must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent health care is by definition redistributional. Britain, you chose well."
Was that a British socialist speaking in Parliament? Nope. It was Dr. Donald Berwick, a Harvard professor about to face Senate confirmation as President Obama's nominee to head Medicare and Medicaid.
Dr. Berwick has spent the last few years gushing over the awesomeness of the UK's government healthcare, including the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) which has become little more than a rationing panel for British patients.
This apparently made him a perfect fit for President Obama's healthcare agenda. With Medicare set to lose hundreds of billions in funding, someone with a knack for "cost control" needs to take the lead - and who better than a Harvard radical obsessed with Britain's socialized medicine program?
Just don't call him a radical. On Thursday, Time Magazine's Kate Pickert wrote a piece headlined "'Rationing' Is Back!" as a snarky rebuttal to Berwick's Republican critics. The fireworks took off in the very first paragraph:
One of the worst ways that the lack of ideological diversity in America's newsrooms shows forth is in the media's treatment of sensational accusations against the current president.
Oftentimes, explosive allegations against presidents are either untrue or drastically overstated: George W. Bush deliberately lying to get the U.S. to war so he can cash in or deliberately ignoring Hurricaine Katrina due to his hatred of black people (a la Kanye West), Bill Clinton's supposed involvment in the drug trade, truthers, birthers, so on and so forth.
Journalists do the public a service by rebutting absurd conspiracy theories and wacko charges. In recent memory, though, they have taken a much greater zeal toward stamping out allegations against Democrats, particularly President Obama, a stark contrast to the kidglove or even promotional attitude they took toward books by liberal authors alleging all sorts of anti-Bush absurdities.
World Net Daily-affiliated author Aaron Klein recently discovered this when he sent his new book, "The Manchurian President," to members of the media he hoped would review it. He got some very angry responses. Here are some of the more colorful ones:
On Wednesday, Newsweek's Andrew Romano celebrated news out of Indiana that "establishment" Republican Dan Coats fended off two conservative opponents in the Senate primary.
Romano's obvious delight came through loud and clear starting with the headline, "The Tea Party is Now Irrelevant in Indiana." You see, one loss in a Senate primary was enough to declare the movement DOA - and Romano was anxious for the rest of the media to play along.
The real headline in Indiana was that 52 percent of Republicans went in favor of Tea Party challengers, but two of them in the mix was enough to split the vote, and Coats squeaked by at 39 percent.
A few media sources, including Politico, reported that Coats limped out of the primary "bruised" by anti-incumbency. Romano, however, insisted that 39 percent was a clear victory. Why the stark difference in coverage? According to Romano, some in the media were glorifying Tea Parties to apparently advance some selfish narrative.
Try not to cough from the smell of irony as you watch a Newsweek writer complain about dishonest narratives being perpetrated by the media:
Time magazine's website on Thursday named me to their tongue-in-cheek "Least Influential People of 2010" list, ranking me with other notables such as Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, MSNBC anchor David Shuster, and Clarence Thomas. Contributor Joel Stein stated that he was "short on morons" to put on his list, so he picked me after CNN anchor Rick Sanchez told him about our recent dispute.
The Time writer got to me after listing three-pages-worth of notables. I was immediately preceded by actor Joaquin Phoenix, "political extremist" Lyndon LaRouche, and Justice Thomas. Stein detailed that "Rick Sanchez told me to put him on because they got in a fight about whether Sanchez was serious or kidding about being surprised volcanoes exist in cold places like Iceland. I forgot to ask Rick what category he thinks Balan should go in, but I was short on morons so I put him here."
As you might remember, I put up an item on NewsBusters on April 15 about the CNN anchor's remark about "when you think of a volcano, you think of Hawaii and long words like that. You don't think of Iceland. You think it's too cold to have a volcano there." Four days later, Sanchez named me to "the very top" of his "List U Don't Want 2 Be On," and devoted more than four minutes to how I did a "hot job" on him for his "joke."
Time's Nancy Gibbs celebrated the birth control pill's 50th anniversary in her May 3 cover story by hailing the greater employment opportunities for women that resulted from its wide-spread use. But she failed to explore the downsides of it.
The Pill became widely available in 1960, first to married women who wanted to control their fertility and later, to single women. And though the 1960s led to the sexual revolution, Gibbs claimed that it wasn't the Pill itself that caused the "liberalization of attitudes" regarding sexuality. However, the anecdotes she included in the article discredited that argument.
"Margaret" told Gibbs her thoughts about sex with her boyfriend (who refused to wear a condom) before and after going on the Pill.
"I was too scared of getting pregnant to risk using nothing though he tried to convince me," explained Margaret. According to Gibbs taking the Pill "was a revelation" for Margaret. "The second I went on the Pill," she continued, "all the mess and worry and holding my breath every month to see if I got my period was completely lifted off my shoulders. I wish I had used it from the get-go. You forget how that anxiety can rule your life."
For more than two decades, the so-called mainstream media have preached the dangers of manmade global warming, insisting American businesses and consumers must make massive economic sacrifices to ward off a global climate catastrophe. Not even last November’s exposure of e-mails from leading scientists on the alarmist side of the debate — showing them conniving to fudge or suppress data, discredit critics and distort the peer review process — has caused journalists to finally take a skeptical approach to radical environmentalists’ doomsaying.
A new study from the MRC’s Business & Media Institute documents how ABC, CBS and NBC have been just as strident in their advocacy in the months following “ClimateGate” as they were in the 20 years that preceded the scandal. At the same time, a review of the Media Research Center’s archives going back to the late 1980s shows just how strongly reporters have pushed the liberal line on global warming. Here are just some of the many examples:
One of the things taught in journalism schools, at least when it comes crime reporting, is that when someone charged with a crime, you carefully craft your rhetoric because in the United States, you're presumed innocent until proven guilty.
But what if you're journalist and you're making accusations of crime where there's not even a charge? On NBC's April 18 "The Chris Matthews Show," Time magazine's Joe Klein accused former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Fox News host Glenn Beck of rubbing "right up close to being seditious," which according to the U.S. Code is rubbing right up close to being a crime. And even after the fact, Klein has stuck to his guns and didn't back down from that accusation.
"On the Chris Matthews Show Sunday, I said that some of the right-wing infotainment gasbags--people like Glenn Beck etc.--were nudging up close to the edge of sedition," Klein wrote in an April 19 post on Time.com's Swampland blog. "This has caused a bit of a self-righteous ruckus on the right. Let me be clear: dissent isn't sedition. Questioning an Administration's policies isn't sedition. But questioning an Administration's legitimacy in a manner intended to undermine or overthrow it certainly is."
“In a nation that has entertained and appalled itself for years with hot talk on the radio and the campaign trail, the inflamed rhetoric of the '90s is suddenly an unindicted co-conspirator in the blast,” charged Time magazine Senior Writer Richard Lacayo in the May 8, 1995 edition of the news weekly, the first quote cited in a “Special Purveyors of Hate & Division Issue” published at the time of the MRC's Notable Quotables newsletter.
We also featured this gem from Bryant Gumbel on the April 25, 1995 Today show:
The bombing in Oklahoma City has focused renewed attention on the rhetoric that's been coming from the right and those who cater to angry white men. While no one's suggesting right-wing radio jocks approve of violence, the extent to which their approach fosters violence is being questioned by many observers, including the President....
Right-wing talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Bob Grant, Oliver North, G. Gordon Liddy, Michael Reagan, and others take to the air every day with basically the same format: detail a problem, blame the government or a group, and invite invective from like-minded people. Never do most of the radio hosts encourage outright violence, but the extent to which their attitudes may embolden and encourage some extremists has clearly become an issue.
Liberals are all too often eager to charge conservative personalities of using hyperbole to gain a political advantage, especially when it contradicts their world view - whether it's suggesting the Obama administration is taking the country down the path of socialism, fascism or any other -ism.
However, it could be argued there's a different set of standards for those same people when they want to make strong charges. On NBC's April 18 "The Chris Matthews Show," Time columnist Joe Klein all but accused former GOP vice-presidential nominee and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, along with Fox News host Glenn Beck of sedition.
"I did a little bit of research just before this show - it's on this little napkin here. I looked up the definition of sedition which is conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of the state. And a lot of these statements, especially the ones coming from people like Glenn Beck and to a certain extent Sarah Palin, rub right up close to being seditious."
In her April 13 Swampland blog post, "Bashing the Airlines -- Always a Safe Political Bet," Time's Kate Pickert pointed out the illogical and populist silliness of a new bill before Congress aimed at punishing airliners that would charge passengers for carry-on bags (emphasis mine):
With family on the West Coast, I fly a lot and can attest that there is something to carry on about regarding carry ons. To ensure you'll find a place to put your bag once on board, you now have to stalk the gate – standing closer and closer to the ticket taker waiting for your “zone” to be called. Board the plane even slightly late and there's a good chance the overhead compartments will already be stuffed by the time you arrive on board with your bulging “small” suitcase.
Spirit Airlines is the first carrier to react, recently announcing they will charge passengers for carry on bags. Blasphemy! Cue the politics.
The media often portrays evangelicals as brainwashed, simpleminded and angry. My book isn't the story of falling in love with everybody. There were some people who seemed to sit perfectly into the picture that I'd always had of evangelical Christians. For me what was missing from the media portrait was complexity.
The death of Jerry Falwell affected her, and again she felt the hostility [like this?] didn't capture the whole picture:
On the same day that Time magazine published a scare piece about the melting Arctic seas, a British paper reported recent findings that the amount of ice in northern waterways has dramatically increased to levels not seen in almost a decade.
Time magazine Managing Editor Richard Stengel, who will be part of the roundtable on today’s Meet the Press, wrote in a new book released on Tuesday: “It is impossible to write about Nelson Mandela these days and not compare him to another potentially transformational black leader, Barack Obama. The parallels are many.”
In the introduction to ‘Mandela’s Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage,’ Stengel, who in 1999 took a brief detour from liberal advocacy inside of journalism to more directly advancing a liberal cause as senior adviser and chief speechwriter for failed Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley, asserted:
While it took twenty-seven years in prison to mold the Nelson Mandela we know, the forty-eight-year-old American President seems to have achieved a Mandela-like temperament without the long years of sacrifice. Obama’s self-discipline, his willingness to listen and to share credit, his inclusion of his rivals in his administration, and his belief that people want things explained, all seem like a twenty-first century version of Mandela’s values and persona.
“Whatever Mandela may or may not think of the new American President,” Stengel forwarded, “Obama is in many ways his true successor on the world stage.”
Time.com unveiled 200 names for its Time 100 (most influential people in the world) issue Thursday. Obviously, liberals and leftists have great influence in today's political sphere, but the conservatives drew about one-fourth the names on the ballot.
This may be picky, but I count about ten conservatives on the list. I put a few "half" picks in brackets for people who aren't as political and/or conservative:
With the recently announced end of Fox's hit series "24," many liberal pundits are parading the show as a false depiction of the notion that "torture works." Contrary to their accusations, the Jack Bauer interrogation methods bear exactly zero resemblance to any actual interrogation techniques used by American military, law enforcement, or intelligence agents.
"On '24,' torture saves lives," the New York Times's Brian Stelter writes, disapprovingly. James Poniewozik, writing on a Time Magazine blog, attributes the show's supposed approval of harsh interrogations to the "conservative politics of co-creator Joel Surnow."
Any American who has serious doubts that our military and intelligence officials would allow interrogators to, say, directly threaten the lives of a terrorist's family (let alone inflict tremendous physical pain) to elicit information has a better grasp of interrogation techniques -- and the integrity of our men and women in uniform -- than most of the liberal media.
In doing so, Klein [pictured in file photo at right] contrasted Frum with "extreme" conservatives who were "pretty close to Jonestown" by "drinking their own kool-aid." Not only is the former Bush speechwriter a friend whose thinking he respects "even when we disagree," Klein argued that Frum is the Right's Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a genteel intellectual who bucked his party on some tenets of its orthodoxy but ultimately was vindicated by history:
I have some experience with a party intent on committing suicide. The Democrats were profoundly self-destructive when it came to race and crime in the 1970s and 1980s. They nearly excommunicated Daniel Patrick Moynihan--one of my mentors--because he told the truth about the impact of out-of-wedlock births on the black family. Over time, Moynihan's thesis was proved by sociology--and supported by prominent AFrican-American [sic] progressive scholars like William Julius Wilson--but he was never really welcomed back into the fold. And he didn't really care. Because he knew he was right.
Republicans are escalating political violence against Democrats by not shutting up with their insipid anti-ObamaCare talking points. That seems to be the argument of Time magazine writer Alex Altman, at least.
Of course, that headline presupposes that the isolated incidents of violence on record are part of an actual campaign of intimidation, a charge that Altman failed to substantiate with any evidence of conspiracy or collusion on the part of elected Republican officials and/or TEA Party leaders.
But that aside, Altman’s complaint seems to be with Republican legislators continuing to voice their dissent regarding the newly enacted health care legislation:
Time magazine’s Barbara Kiviat made a shocking discovery: long lasting jobs are created by the private sector and not the government. The cover story for next week, “The Workforce: Where Will Jobs Come From?” described how government funded stimulus only creates short term demand, but credits private sector innovation as the true long term solution to unemployment.
Kiviat got straight to the point and wrote, “The cold truth of the matter, though, is that there's not much Washington can do to gin up permanent jobs on such short notice.” She then described how, “The great American job-creation machine always has been and will continue to be private enterprise.”
"[H]ypocrisy is a well-established parliamentary procedure," Tumulty noted in her March 17 Swampland blog post before contrasting the Hoyer of 2010 to the in-the-minority-party Hoyer of 2003 who decried "deem and pass" as "demeaning of democracy" and cautioned that its prior use should not excuse the practice in the future (emphases mine):
2010: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on the idea of passing health care with a self-executing rule:
The House Democratic leader, Representative Steny H. Hoyer, also defended the maneuver on Tuesday. “It is consistent with the rules,” Mr. Hoyer said. “It is consistent with former practice.”
2003: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer complaining about the Republicans' use of self-executing rules:
Hours after I noted how Joe Klein suggested that Americans who support Israel might be unpatriotic for disagreeing with the Obama administration, the Time writer made his claim more explicitly in a Swampland blog post entitled "Israel First?" (emphasis mine):
The America-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has done a very unwise thing: It has issued a statement criticizing the Obama Administration, rather than Israel, for its reaction to the Netanyahu government's recent announcement of more illegal settlement blocks in East Jerusalem--an announcement that was made during Vice President Joe Biden's visit last week, an act of extreme rudeness on top of its unquestioned illegality.
This is quite remarkable. I may be wrong--and commenters are welcome to correct me--but I can't remember another ethnic or religious lobbying group publicly siding with a foreign country against the President of the United States...especially when the country in question is engaging in behavior that the international community believes is illegal.
When Glenn Beck told listeners of his radio show on March 2 that they should "run as fast as you can" from any church that preached "social or economic justice" because those were code words for Communism and Nazism, he probably thought he was tweaking a few crunchy religious liberals who didn't listen to the show anyway. Instead he managed to outrage Christians in most mainline Protestant denominations, African-American congregations, Hispanic churches, and Catholics--who first heard the term "social justice" in papal encyclicals and have a little something in their tradition called "Catholic social teaching. (Not to mention the teaching of a certain fellow from Nazareth who was always blathering on about justice...)
So to whom did Sullivan turn for complaints about Beck's characterization? Some theologically conservative Catholic theologian? A conservative Protestant theologian like Baptist seminary president Al Mohler or Presbyterian theologian R.C. Sproul?
Nope. She highlighted two stalwarts of social gospel-oriented liberal Christianity:
Last week the Obama administration worked itself up into high dudgeon over a decision by the Israeli government to green light a housing project in an east Jerusalem neighberhood. While its true the decision came down at an indelicate time -- right in the middle of Vice President Joe Biden's visit -- the actual substance of the decision was perfectly legal and in contravention of no prior agreement with the United States related to the peace process.
Klein -- who last March insisted that President Obama should take to the bully pulpit to lecture Israel on its 'moral standing' -- concluded his post by subtly questioning the patriotism of American members of the pro-Israel group AIPAC:
On Sunday’s syndicated Chris Matthews Show, as the panel discussed whether President Obama would move to the center for the 2010 elections, after the BBC’s Katty Kay argued that he may need to please the Democratic party base for this year's elections, Time magazine columnist Joe Klein referred to the conservative base of the Republican party as "maniacs" as he claimed that the GOP base is more dominated by conservatives than the Democratic base is by liberals. Klein:
Sullivan did some number crunching and found that, due to concerns about a lack of a restriction on abortion spending in the Senate bill, Pelosi may end up being a few votes shy of the threshold to pass the legislation.
Sullivan's advice to the Speaker? She just needs to moderate her testy tone to dupe enough pro-life Democrats to voting for a bill that lacks the Stupak amendment which was passed in the House version of the bill (emphasis mine):