In all the brouhaha last week over the incendiary comments made by Barack Obama's pastor the media seemed to forget to partake in their traditional Holy Week Christian-bashing excercise. There were a few entries in the "Easter Hit Parade," like the Comedy Central show "Root of All Evil" which my boss, Brent Bozell, wrote about in a column recently, and an episode of "Law and Order" which featured another Christian-stones-someone storyline.
I suppose it's good news that there was less faith flagellation courtesy of the liberal media, and yet at the same time it's sad that I was expecting to find it at Easter time. But the fact remains that Christmas and Easter are generally times when the media attacks on Christians are more pronounced.
As media continue to report current economic conditions as being almost Depression-like, they conveniently forget which political party has controlled both chambers of Congress since January 2007 as well as who was in the White House when key financial services deregulation was enacted.
Such a well-timed amnesia hit ABC's Claire Shipman Sunday when during the panel discussion segment of "This Week," she blamed the current financial crisis on Republicans.
Color me unsurprised.
After host George Stephanopoulos asked Shipman's husband, Time magazine's Jay Carney, "How does John McCain fix his problem on the economy," the following ensued:
Time editor Rick Stengel made his regular Thursday Morning Joe appearance today, revealing the magazine's cover to be published tomorrow. But while we learned that the Dalai Lama's photo will appear there, the bigger story is the "cover" Time is trying to provide for Barack Obama's Rev. Wright problem.
Here's the gist of Time's defense of Obama, a distillation of Stengel's statements and Time articles by Amy Sullivan and Joe Klein:
An important aspect of the problem is that white Americans are incredibly ignorant about black churches in America.
In fact, Rev. Wright's church isn't that radical as black churches go.
It was understandable for Obama to have joined Wright's church. At the time he was a 27-year old bi-racial man trying to figure out his identity as the son of an atheist father and skeptic mother and needed a church "he could learn from."
It's understandable that Obama didn't leave the church: it's like reading a book--you don't necessarily agree with the author.
Obama's speech was a "triumph," and Americans will be thinking "small" if they make the Wright thing a big issue in the campaign.
Applauding Barack Obama's March 18 speech, Time's Joe Klein (file photo at right) argued that most people will understand why the Illinois senator could not throw his pastor under the bus, even as Klein applauded the fact that Obama made his grandmother a speedbump on the bus ride to the Denver convention (emphasis mine):
The part about his grandmother is the real payoff, though: I'd say that most white people, over a certain age, have had grandmothers like that. (I had two such.) And I suspect most fair-minded white people who hear that section will understand: Obama can't toss aside the pastor--who, after all,was probably a powerful father figure for a man whose own father disappeared when he was two years old--any more than I could, or would want to, toss aside embarrassing old Grandma Rae, who almost always produced some dreadful jaw-dropper at Thanksgiving.
Now, perhaps Wright was a father figure in some ways to Obama. But doesn't that spiritual father-son relationship over decades require maturation with which the "son figure," Obama, would avail himself the opportunity to respectfully but sternly rebuke Wright and ultimately to leave the congregation if and when such concerns went resolved?
As Brent Bozell and Matthew Vadum have noted here, Time magazine was especially flowery in its salutes to disgraced New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. In 2005, he was "The Tireless Crusader" in their Time 100 issue honoring the 100 most powerful and influential people, placed lovingly in the "Heroes & Icons" section. These short tribute articles are often not written by staff but by prominent people. Spitzer's was written by John Bogle, founder of the Vanguard mutual funds. But wait, look at this cozy arrangement:
Jury selection began Monday in Chicago in the trial of Syrian-born businessman Antoin "Tony" Rezko, a major supporter of Barack Obama. Two days before the 2006 elections in which Democrats won by running against a "culture of corruption," Chicago newspapers revealed that Obama purchased a home in the summer of 2005 for $1.6 million, but to complete the deal, he would need to buy an adjoining parcel for $625,000. Instead, Mrs. Rezko bought the parcel, and they closed on the properties on the same day. Rezko was already under federal investigation for kickback schemes.
To a political opponent, this might resemble a lobbyist’s sweetheart deal like the one that started Rep. Duke Cunningham’s political decline, where a lobbyist paid $700,000 more for Cunningham’s home than his own sale price months later. But the national media are anything but opponents of Obama’s. An MRC analysis shows that despite Obama’s high national profile as a Democratic symbol of hope, network TV news and the national news magazines have done a dreadful job of telling the Rezko story, and have struggled not to repeat it.
On Friday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith interviewed the Managing Editor of Time Magazine, Richard Stengel, about the publication’s latest cover story on the presidential campaign entitled "How Much Does Experience Matter?," with a clear picture of Barack Obama’s silhouette surrounded by a holy aura of light (see picture). Smith previewed the segment earlier in the show by wondering: "Still ahead, the question of experience dominating the Democratic campaign, does it really matter?"
In the segment that followed, the answer to that question was a resounding ‘no.’ Stengel began by using the anecdotal evidence of Abraham Lincoln to prove that experience does not matter: "I mean, the most famous example, of course, is Abraham Lincoln, who is probably our least experienced president, who was sandwiched between our two most experienced presidents, Buchanan and Andrew Johnson, both of whom were failures."
Stengel went on to defend JFK, claiming the young president was not responsible for the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion, but rather that the more experienced, and Republican, Dwight Eisenhower was the reason for the invasion’s failure:
David's [Time writer, David Von Drehle] great piece starts out with John F. Kennedy who came in, the first 100 days, he's tested in the Bay of Pigs. He makes a terrible mistake. He says, man, 'if I'm going to learn something, at least I learned it early.' But then who got them into the Bay of Pigs originally? Dwight Eisenhower, the most experienced president.
It looks like Time magazine has dispensed with the quaint custom of showing at least a little respect for the recently deceased. This story by Richard Corliss begins a long sneer in the direction of William F. Buckley, Jr. starting with its very title, "William F. Buckley: Mandarin of Right-Wing TV." From that low point, Corliss continues his descent into his ill-mannered septic tank as he blames Buckley for inspiring what Corliss describes as "partisan political harangue as infotainment" following an appearance on the Jack Paar show in 1962:
Not that Time's in the tank for Obama or nuthin'. Not that its new cover merely depicts Barack with an other-worldly aura, asks the question whether experience matters and answers it largely in the negative.
No, it gets much better. The magazine's editor goes on Morning Joe and cites a study comparing a new nurse with a nurse who has 35 years of experience. And he lets us know that not only did the experienced nurse not perform any better than the rookie, she actually wound up . . . killing the patient faster!
Time editor Rick Stengel [a former Bill Bradley speechwriter] today made his regular Thursday-morning Morning Joe appearance to tout the mag's new cover story. This week's, as you'll see from the screencap, is "How Much Does Experience Matter?", with that ethereal glow surrounding Obama's noggin.
Time magazine’s cover story on George Clooney ("The Last Movie Star") is a flop-sweat valentine from Joel Stein about how excited he was to host the "giant celebrity" Clooney for a bumbling dinner at his house, and how Clooney is an "Olympic-level" guest with his charm and good humor. The Time website even has video from Stein showing how lovable George crawled all over his house looking for the source of a beep. But there is one small break in Clooney’s suavity. He really hates Bill O’Reilly:
"To help raise awareness of the damage climate change is wreaking on the polar regions, next month Steger will be leading a team of six young adventurers on a 1,400-mile, 60-day-long dogsled expedition across Ellesmere Island, in the far Canadian Arctic," wrote Walsh.
Back on August 28 we posted the sad story of the death of a motorcycle policeman who was killed while in service as a motorcade escort for president George W. Bush. What brought the story to our attention was the shocking way that Time Magazine reported the story. With a headline that blared "Bush Motorcade Kills Cop," Time made it appear that the officer died as a result of... well, President Bush.
Well, today, we have a similar story to report. A motorcycle policeman was killed today while in service as a motorcade escort for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The previous incident was headlined as if Bush was responsible for the unfortunate death, but today's Time headline was not so harsh in its tone when a Clinton was involved. "Officer Killed Escorting Clinton," is how Time magazine reported this incident.
How deep into the Dem mindset is Joe Klein? The Time columnist can't figure out why Hillary Clinton drives Republicans round the bend. Klein candidly admitted so today, chatting with Brian Williams on MSNBC.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: On the Republican side, does John McCain blunt back the attack, the insurgents on the right?
JOE KLEIN: I think to a certain extent he will. He'll have a lot more -- you know Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee would give him a great assist. Because the Republicans are completely berserk for reasons that kind of escape me about Hillary Clinton. She's not a wild lefty, she's a fairly moderate person. But she's the enemy, and if she materializes on the Democratic side, you're going to have a united and fierce Republican party.
Should liberal reporters bare all on their voting records? Time TV writer James Poniewozik not only declared that he voted for Obama, but that other reporters should do the same: "Writing about election coverage, I have disclosed, probably to the point of tediousness, that I voted for Obama. I think it's a good thing for you to know, but I really do it for me. It's important to me that I have enough perspective to critique campaign coverage whether it works for my candidate or against him. Having you know more about where I'm coming from helps you keep me honest and forces me to police myself."
Time reporter Lisa Takeuchi Cullen did the same: she voted for Hillary. "Last Tuesday, I voted in my state's primary. I'll even tell you who I voted for: Hillary Clinton. I'm a registered Democrat, and I've been voting for nearly 20 years, ever since I came to this country. In past presidential elections, I voted for Kerry, Gore, Clinton and Clinton."
Implying those on the right opposed to John McCain's Republican presidential bid are extremists beyond the politically acceptable, fill-in CBS Evening News anchor Harry Smith on Thursday night warned that McCain “still faces a tough battle to win the support of hard-line GOP conservatives.” Smith's characterization came a day after Time magazine's Web site headlined a Wednesday posting by Washington Bureau Chief Jay Carney, “McCain: Frail with the Far Right.” In the Thursday night CBS story in which Jeff Greenfield avoided pejorative labeling, Nicole Wallace, a CBS News political analyst who was Director of Communications for the Bush White House in 2005-2006, discounted those troubled by McCain -- whom she called “ABM Voters: Anybody But McCain” -- as “a smaller sliver of the party than we give them credit for being.”
That's the second time in eight days a former Bush operative turned network television analyst has dismissed or denigrated conservative concerns about McCain.
If you don't have immediate primary results, there is always resorting to cheap shots. On Time's Swampland blog, Ana Marie Cox dipped back into the Limbaugh-druggie jokes:
Conventional wisdom -- and, who knows, maybe it's the truth -- has it that a close night tonight for McCain will be due to talk radio. Fine. But does a not-as-good-as-it-should-be* result for McCain necessarily bode well for Mitt Romney? I couldn't help but notice the way the nets have been slugging the story: [Graphic from CNN on Limbaugh vs. McCain]
Because, you know, Limbaugh's not the one that's running. I'm sure he could beat McCain -- at least in ratings, and maybe in an election if R's opinions on drug use change dramatically -- but Romney is the one that needs to.
Time online editor Ana Marie Cox apparently believes a dated quip by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney should be considered a "macaca moment." During a Florida event on Monday, Romney, joking with a group of young people, quoted a rather lame song by the Baha Men. After asking who had a camera, he blurted, "Who let the dogs out? Who? Who?"
Now, most people would simply smile or appreciate Romney's friendly, if somewhat dorky, sense of humor. Cox, however, at Time's "Swampland" blog, wondered, "Shouldn't it be a 'macaca moment'? I suspect he's not being pilloried for it because the moment [sic] less offensive than it is cringe-inducing..." She also described the candidate's comments, which occurred at a Martin Luther King day event, as "jive talking." (Hat tip to Hot Air, who also remembered that Cox previously went after Romney for not taking proper care of the family dog.) Is Time's online editor simply looking for a scandal, any scandal, to hit Mitt Romney with?
On Sunday’s edition of the Chris Matthews Show (syndicated by NBC), Time managing editor Richard Stengel applied the usual superlatives to Bill Clinton, in describing how he will overshadow any mere Vice President if Hillary is elected: "But the other thing that’s going to be hard is, if you have Michael Jordan on your team, i.e., Bill Clinton when it's a troubled game, aren't you going to call him and say, ‘Let's play?’ If you're the Vice President, you're completely eclipsed by him."
This Michael Jordan encomium means more coming from Stengel, who played some college B-ball for Princeton.
Stengel also felt the 2008 race was shaping up like Bill’s win in 1992, on the heels of a "Bush recession." Chris Matthews previewed that chat: "When we come back, Republicans already have an unpopular war to run on. Now it looks like a recession. Are they bound to lose in November?"
In 2006, movie mogul James Cameron lent his name to a "documentary" detailing the "discovery" of the tomb of Jesus Christ and his family. The film was widely panned by archeologists, Christians, Jews and non-believers alike and the evidence of the find has been shown to be highly suspect. But, this doesn't seem to bother Time Magazine as the monthly is reviving the story once again in Jesus 'Tomb' Controversy Reopened, a story by Tim McGirk. Naturally, the entire article is written from the perspective of those who take the anti-Christian position on the story and Christians are presented as rejecting the "find" merely out of blind belief while those supporting the interpretation of the find as that of Jesus' final resting place are presented as serious scientists and academicians.
Time magazine’s package of campaign news this week comes with a commentary from liberal writer Dahlia Lithwick (usually read at the Slate website). The headline was “The Tracks of Her Tears: When Hillary (nearly) wept, women voters saw not just be femininity but also her humanity.” Dahlia saw Hillary mist over in New Hampshire, and what soon followed was resentment at anyone who saw calculation or manipulation when “she finally lowered her cast-iron shield” and grew emotional:
But the gender card resonated, mostly because it turned the men around Clinton into brutes. Whether it was Obama's sounding a rare sour note by assuring the candidate she was "likable enough" or John Edwards' implying that her Portsmouth tears rendered Clinton somehow unfit for the "tough business" of governance, every woman who's ever been asked whether it's that time of the month must have felt some kinship. (Italics hers.)
Hillary Clinton has no right to complain that her friends and flatterers in the media are rough on her. But when Clintons hit rough passages on the road to victory, this is what Clintons do: complain. That’s too meek. They whine.
But she obviously feels wronged by the news media when her polls begin to slip and she looks at her Barack Obama’s worshipful press clips. In fairy-tale terms, Obama is Snow White, and Hillary is the vain and wicked queen peering into the mirror and demanding to know "who is the fairest of them all?"
In a stunning announcement Wednesday, Time magazine has named Russian President Vladimir Putin its Person of the Year for 2007.
Obviously, this must have come as a great shock to Nobel Laureate Al Gore who was the odds on favorite to win another dubious honor for becoming a multi-millionaire selling the gullible on the manmade global warming myth.
With that in mind, Pat Sajak penned the following satirical piece depicting how Gore – ever the sore-loser – might respond to this announcement (emphasis added):
Time magazine has terminated its relationships with its two conservative columnists, Charles Krauthammer and William Kristol. The New York Observer has the details:
The exact reasons for the departures of Mr. Krauthammer and Mr. Kristol, both high-profile backers of the Iraq war, are not entirely clear.
“I was very happy to work with them,” said Mr. Krauthammer on the phone from his Washington office. “And I have a lot of things that occupy me.”
Asked if he would have preferred to stay with the magazine, Mr. Krauthammer, a Pulitzer Prize winner who writes a regular column for The Washington Post, suggested there wasn’t much of a choice. “It’s a hypothetical that didn’t arise,” he said.
Time magazine has named liberal icon Al Gore runner-up for 2007's Person of the Year, second only to the winner, Russian President Vladimir Putin. Richard Stengel, the publication's managing editor, appeared on Wednesday's edition of the "Today" show to announce the decision. Stengel, the man responsible for the final decision, also showed up on Monday's program and toyed with the possibility of choosing Gore, saying he'd be a "superb choice."
[Updated with transcript: December 19, 2007- 10:53 -0500]
Today co-host Meredith Vieira seemed shocked at the decision. Upon hearing the news that Gore had not won Time's prize, she stumbled, "Oh! He wasn't -- oh, interesting." In 2007, Stengel's news magazine repeatedly gushed over Gore. In May, Time writer Eric Pooley lamented the 2000 candidate's decision not to enter the current presidential race and lovingly labeled him a "improbably charismatic, Academy Award–winning, Nobel Prize–nominated environmental prophet."
Time Magazine will announce its 2007 "Person of the Year" in its December 31 issue and Jobs is listed as one of the candidates. According to Time.com, he has several things going for him, but one glaring thing working against him:
"Pro: The iPhone is a triumph while iTunes expanded its reach as the dominant source of online music. Oh, and Apple stock is up a mere 100% in 2007.
Con: Not exactly a figure of global change. He's a businessman, albeit a great one." (emphasis added)
Time magazine's managing editor hinted on Monday's "Today" show that Al Gore would be a "superb choice" for recipient of the publication's 2007 Person of the Year award. Richard Stengel agreed with co-host Meredith Vieira that the former vice president was on the "short list" and extolled, "He's had an extraordinary year. He's had an extraordinary influence. There was a real tipping point this year in terms of people being conscious of the environment. So, he would be a superb choice."
On Time's website, the magazine is currently ranking the potential of the seven "short list" candidates. Each person receives a pro and con as to why that individual might or might not win. And while General David Petraeus's "con" is that he can be seen as "excessively protective" of President Bush, Gore's negative is simply that much of his "green works" was completed in 2006. However, the "pro" touted impact: "The Nobel Prize ensures that a generation of children will envision his face while being scolded for leaving a room without turning off the lights." The winner of Time's "Person of the Year" will be announced live on Wednesday's "Today."
A supposedly sensational climate change pact was agreed upon in Bali on Saturday with the United States and the Bush administration finally capitulating to international demands to stave off the bogeyman known as global warming.
Yet, much as the media completely misinterpreted what came out of the G-8 summit in Germany six months ago, press outlets today are applauding an agreement that fell far short of what global warming alarmists were hoping to achieve, and much like what transpired in June, resulted in absolutely no specific international carbon dioxide emissions cuts.
Not surprisingly, this isn't how the news is being reported here as demonstrated at CNN.com in an article hysterically titled "U.S. Agrees to Bali Compromise" (emphasis added):