Much to his chagrin, Time’s Joe Klein has become a Democrat that liberal bloggers love to hate, thereby making him the Joe Lieberman of journalism.
Of course, rightwing bloggers don’t care for him much either, conceivably making Klein more like Rodney Dangerfield.
Fortunately for our entertainment pleasure, since Klein isn’t a politician – actually, his frequent disabuses of fact lead one to believe he’s more of a comedian! – he doesn’t feel the need to take the attacks lying down.
Maybe more fortunate for us on the right is how Klein seems to be more offended by what those in his own Party are saying about him, making this whole thing that much more delicious.
With that in mind, Klein published a piece Wednesday that is guaranteed to put smiles on the faces of right-thinking Americans across the fruited plain (emphasis added throughout):
In an interesting slam against the Left-Wing Blogosphere, one time Clinton man, now Time Magazine writer, Joe Klein, hits 'em hard. Left-Wing Bloggers are vile. Left-Wing Bloggers are mean. Left-Wing Bloggers are disloyal. Left-Wing Bloggers jump to wild, unsupported conclusions... So says Klein in a June 6th piece titled "Beware the Bloggers' Bile." But, don't get your hopes up because, while everything he says about the nut-roots is dead on, it all ends up being Bush's and Radio icon Rush Limbaugh's fault, instead of the left's fault -- it's not as if the left could ever imagine anything is ever their fault, I suppose.
Still, for most of the piece, Klein slams his nut-roots followers in just about every which way you can imagine but calling them ugly and having bad B.O. and it's fun to read.
The article, published June 5, 2007, suggests that American efforts at supporting dissidents within Iran make the U.S. morally culpable for their harsh treatment:
...sources tell TIME that several key Iranian reformers had repeatedly warned U.S. officials through back channels that the pro-democracy program was bound to expose them as vulnerable targets for a government crackdown whether they took Washington's funds or not.
Iranian civil rights activists contacted by TIME say that the cases against the Iranian
It's been eight weeks since Time magazine redesigned itself, and part of that refurbishment is handing over the "Ten Questions" interview inquiries to the readers instead of Time's reporters. In the June 11 edition, Time's interviewee was Rep. Tom Tancredo, a presidential contender and one of the nation's leading opponents of illegal immigration. Among the questions Time selected for Tancredo was a whopper from Ubaldo Padilla of Oroville, California: "Why do you hate Mexicans?" It wasn't the only snotty question Time picked. There was also James Smith of Phoenix, who asked: "I recently found out my family came from Holland without permission in the 1600s. Should we be sent back?"
Since Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel introduced the new format in the March 26 edition, there haven't been any Democrats interviewed. But in the March 12 edition, Time's Massimo Calabresi had ten (mostly softball) questions for Ted Kennedy, one of the nation's leading advocates of an amnesty for illegal immigrants. No one at Time asked him about immigration and why he supposedly hated Americans. Instead, Calabresi's list of questions included these soft touches:
Update (15:40 EDT): Ana Marie Cox helpfully corrects/excuses Klein's error re: Kucinich.
Well, that didn't take long. Just a few hours after former Rep. Dick Armey's (R-Tex.) first guest blog post to Time's "Swampland," liberal journalist and author Joe Klein slammed Armey for "red-baiting" the audience on the Democrats' stances on issues like health care.
Socialized medicine is a right-wing scare trope. None of the Democrats
is proposing that. None of them is even proposing a "single-payer"
plan, like Canada, where the government collects the premiums and
people get to choose private providers. And now that we're at a point
where much of corporate America is hoping for some relief from the
burden of providing health insurance, ain't this kind of red-baiting
getting a little old?
But Klein is dead wrong. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) is precisely pushing a single-payer universal coverage plan that the liberal Center for American Progress labels as "Medicare for All."
From Kucinich.us, the Ohio Democrat's campaign Web site (PDF file):
I've documented on NewsBusters numerous occasions where Time magazine's political news-oriented "Swampland" blog has skewed to the left, including when the blog allowed veteran liberal columnist/pundit Michael Kinsley to guest blog at the site in March.
In his first post, Armey tells readers that his primary concern is battling the growth of government under the watch of both Democrats and Republicans:
For those who read this column, you probably most know me as a an
architect of the Contract with America, House Majority Leader from
1994-2003, and more recently as Chairman grassroots powerhouse
In all of these endeavors I have been guided by my
highest political value: freedom. This is a good place for me to start.
While tyrannies work only for those at the top, the American tradition
demonstrates that all people are better off when their political and
economic freedoms are protected. Government can only expand its scope
of power and authority at the expense of the citizen. Barry Goldwater
and Ronald Reagan knew this.
Is Time’s presidential coverage biased? Check out these headlines from the new edition today: "Barack Obama’s Inconvenient Truths" and "Mitt Romney’s Disappointing Campaign." When you read the actual articles, the contrast is even starker. Reporter Karen Tumulty touted Obama: "Whereas other candidates like to throw red meat before their audiences, Obama is developing a penchant for hurling cold water at them." Columnist Joe Klein blistered Romney: "the brazen cynicism of his candidacy became almost embarrassing...there isn't the slightest hint of courage or conviction in his stump act."
Valerie Plame Wilson claims her life was ruined, her career ended, and national security possibly compromised because her CIA employ was made public, but of course she now wants to cash in with a memoir.
The CIA, for good reason, wants to make sure nothing that compromises national security gets published, and now Plame is literally making a federal case out of that, suing over CIA objections that her dates of employ are and should remain classified.
Al Gore’s new book "The Assault on Reason" has definitively established one fact: Al Gore is still the sorest loser in American politics. Even liberal book reviewers are wincing at the tone of his jeremiad against the Bush administration. The book should have been titled "They Should Have Elected Me Instead: How Much Better America Would Fare With President Gore."
Like many liberals with the itch to micromanage our lives, Gore clearly believes the American people are ignorant to the point of endangerment. So he’s become a media scholar, and unloaded his communications theories in a book excerpt hyped by his friends at Time magazine.
In Monday's Washington Post, media reporter Howard Kurtz relayed that Time columnist Joe Klein may have succumbed big time to the stickiest temptation of a national political writer – advising the liberal standard-bearer on how he should win the presidency. (When he doesn't, deny you were ever an adviser, even unofficially.) Klein, renowned back in 1992 as a Clinton toady, reportedly had Kerry eating out of his hand, playing the guru to Kerry at his own abode:
Were some pundits advising John Kerry's presidential campaign while critiquing it for the public? In his new memoir "No Excuses," veteran Democratic consultant Robert Shrum says Time columnist Joe Klein doubled as a "sometime adviser," and that the Massachusetts senator "craved his approval."
In a surprise in their Sunday Week in Review section, The New York Times assigned a correspondent to question leftist filmmaker Michael Moore’s math about Cuba having a better health care system than the United States: "How could a poor developing country — where annual health care spending averages just $230 a person compared with $6,096 in the United States — come anywhere near matching the richest country in the world?" Correspondent Anthony DePalma found experts who granted points to Cuba’s "universal" health care, but also pointed to the communist dictatorship’s high rates of abortion and emigration, and ironically, its shortages – poor transportation and a restricted food supply – as reasons why Cuban life expectancy may be high.
The DePalma piece was highlighted on the Times home page Sunday, complete with a picture of people sitting in a clinic under a painting of Che Guevara. DePalma noted that Moore’s new film "Sicko" gets poetic about the wonders of Cuban health care: It "savages the American health care system — and along the way extols Cuba’s system as the neatest thing since the white linen guayabera [shirt]." He began his analysis by quoting Moore promoting Cuba in Time:
Just how leftist is Michael Moore on health care as he promoted his new "Sicko" documentary? Time found out:
TIME: Of the declared presidential candidates, down to the Dennis Kucinich level, say, who do you think has the best health-care plan? Including Kucinich? We could include him.
Michael Moore: Then Kucinich, but he doesn’t go far enough. He supports what he’s calling a single- payer nonprofit plan, but from my read, it would still allow [private] entities to control things, as opposed to the government. What’s wrong with the government? The right wing and the G.O.P. have done a wonderful job brainwashing people that government doesn’t work, and then, as Al Franken says, they get elected and proceed to prove the point. [Laughs.]
In an article honoring Dallas as "The Lavender Heart of Texas," Time writer John Cloud began with an unusually personal story of his political transformation, "trading movement conservatism for gay libertarianism." When you consider how he stereotypes conservatism as all about J.R. Ewing and an "air of profligacy," you could understand why it was easy to leave:
When I was a kid in Arkansas in the 1980s, we viewed Dallas with something approaching reverence. Mine was a fairly conservative family, aspirational. We passionately golfed and occasionally visited Neiman Marcus, the Dallas clothier that taught the South how to wear Versace and an air of profligacy. I wanted to drive a Mercedes and order bourbon and branch the way J.R. Ewing did. I wanted to go out with a Cowboys cheerleader with marcelled blond hair. The summer I was 13, Ronald Reagan was renominated in Dallas, and I signed up to be a young volunteer.
All three news magazines devoted a page to remembering Jerry Falwell this week, but Time and Newsweek were each obnoxious in their own way. Time ended their article with a dismissive quote from leftist Jim Wallis: "the Evangelicals have left the Right. They now reside with Jesus." Newsweek displayed false generosity in saying sometimes he was a demagogue, and sometimes he was the ringmaster of a circus: "He could be a demagogue, but he was as much a P.T. Barnum as anything else."
Time magazine, in a back-page article titled "Jerry's Kids" -- which could be an insulting reference to Falwell followers, but is probably intended to bless his more palatable, "more moderate" successors -- Michael Duffy and Nancy Gibbs suggested that Falwell thought party labels were more important than the social issues:
Al Gore, "improbably charismatic"? That's the premise of this week's cover story in Time magazine, titled "The Last Temptation of Al Gore." He is, according to the ogling opening of Time writer Eric Pooley, everything the Democrats could want, "the perfect stealth candidate for 2008," with "the grass-roots appeal of Barack Obama," who "spoke out loud and clear and early" against the Iraq war, but also " candidate with the operational toughness of Hillary Clinton—someone with experience and credibility on the world stage." In short:
In other words, you would want someone like Al Gore—the improbably charismatic, Academy Award–winning, Nobel Prize–nominated environmental prophet with an army of followers and huge reserves of political and cultural capital at his command. There's only one problem. The former Vice President just doesn't seem interested.
Time magazine has interviewed Michael Moore in anticipation of his next film, Sicko, which reportedly takes aim at the U.S. health care system. (HT: Drudge.) The interview is a run-of-the-mill Q&A that's basically a yawner until Moore lets out some pure hilarity.
TIME: Do you think people will accuse the movie of inaccuracy?
MOORE: I offered $10,000 to anybody who could find a single fact in Fahrenheit 9/11 that was wrong.
TIME: Have you had to pay anything?
MOORE: No, of course not. Every fact in my films is true. And yet how often do I have to read over and over again about supposed falsehoods? The opinions in the film are mine. They may not be true, but I think they are.
Time.com Washington Editor Ana Marie Cox directed "Swampland" blog readers to a compendium of Mitt Romney gaffes in a post entitled "Gaffe-a-Minute Mitt," calling it "The missing sidebar to Karen's cover story on the Mittster." Cox was referring to Karen Tumulty's May 10 article, "What Romney Believes."
The link takes the reader to a Cox-compiled "top ten" list of the former Massachusetts governor's gaffes. "Mitt Romney may be leading the underwhelming Republican presidential
field in fundraising, but he also has a less dubious distinction —he
leads the pack in committing professional-grade gaffes," Cox opened her special report.
Of course, former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R-Wisc.) has also had his fair share of gaffes in the past few weeks, as has Democratic contender, Sen. Barack Obama. For instance, shortly after the Virginia Tech mass murder, Obama gave a rambling speech about violence that made little sense. More famously, on May 8, Obama said that 10,000 people perished in the Greensburg, Kansas, tornado when in fact that number was considerably smaller.
My review of the Time "Swampland" blog postings from on and around April 16 and May 8 revealed nothing by Cox snarking about either incident.
It's taken a while but I think it's safe to say that blogging has now become pretty universal within the MSM. Despite the howls of crusty old liberals like Bill Moyers, the web has fractured the political audience and the elite media are out for a piece of it. Big Media outlets like ABC, NBC, Time, CBS, and the New York Times are all blogging up a storm. Unfortunately for their claims of political objectivity, all the blogging has revealed what the center-right has said all along: the elite media in this country are skewed left in both demographics and content.
The best way to tell what side of the aisle a media outlet is coming from is what sources they cite. It's rare that you'll see conservatives quoting from Dissent, Commonweal or the Nation. Similarly a liberal is not going to be regularly quoting from National Review, Commentary, or the Weekly Standard. The idea is fairly basic: You rarely quote people whose opinions you find unworthy of discussion.
I've always had this sneaking suspicion that John Kerry asked the wrong
Republican to join his ticket in 2004, that Chuck Hagel would have said
yes, that a Kerry-Hagel ticket would have won. Now we have Hagel
hinting at a 3rd party run. So, with apologies to, uh, Hegel:
Chuck Hagel is a terrific national resource, a decorated veteran of
Vietnam who has taken a courageous path away from his party on
Iraq...and who really understands national security and foreign policy.
Third Party talk is futile, especially if you don't have a fortune like
Perot's or Bloomie's, which Hagel doesn't.
Synthesis--An Obama-Hagel ticket. (Or a pick-your-democrat -Hagel ticket)
Time magazine came out swinging last week against Rupert Murdoch for his offer to buy the Wall Street Journal. In an article titled "Murdoch vs. Family-Owned Newspapers", Time painted a picture of Murdoch as a "controversial genius" who used his company for power and profit, swooping in to take over a family business where the owners "have made use of dual-class stock structures that allow them to take Wall Street's money while attempting to resist its pressures".
How noble, they resisted the pressures of money while "Murdoch has treated News Corp. not as a trust but as a vehicle to get richer and more powerful."
Wait, so using dual-class stock options that allow more votes for select family members in an aristocratic fashion is somehow more noble then expanding one's coporation by traditional methods?
Business is business. Time shouldn't paint one method as better than another, the market will decide.
With the Pope endorsing excommunication for politicians who support abortion, journalists might do well to bone up on what excommunication really is all about.
Reported Time magazine's Jeff Israely on May 9:
During an unprecedented 25-minute on-flight press conference, Benedict
left little room for interpretation: pro-choice politicians not only
should be denied communion, but face outright excommunication from the
Church for supporting "the killing of a human child."
Wow, sounds grave. It is, but a proper understanding of excommunication is as a "medicinal" not "vindictive" measure in Church discipline, according to the online Catholic encyclopedia New Advent:
Time magazine's list of "The Most Influential People in the World," or the Time 100, has already earned controversy for implausibly leaving President Bush off the list. But in a magazine stuffed with valentines to important people written by their friends, admirers, and family members, Time's staff writers promoted Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as not only influential, but naturally moderate. Karen Tumulty claimed Hillary "has always been a more moderate and pragmatic politician than either her admirers or her detractors believed." Joe Klein praised Obama for "conservative boldness," but he really meant that Obama's tone was cautious and reserved, devoid of red meat, since Klein also noted Obama "swims contentedly in the Democratic Party's mainstream" -- which everyone knows is not conservative.
Klein's Obama tribute carried the headline: "A young yet audaciously thoughtful U.S. Senator makes his run at history." This gooey article led the "Leaders and Revolutionaries" section. Obama "has attached himself to the notion of audacity....The whoosh of his candidacy, in the polls and in the amount of money raised, has been audacious as well."
Former Vice President Al Gore was included in the "Scientists and Thinkers" category. Hmm...he's not a scientist so would that make him a thinker? Just call him Al-istotle.
Actor and green activist Leonardo DiCaprio, Virgin Airlines' Richard Branson (who has offered a $25 million prize for a solution to global warming), talk show host Oprah Winfrey, and media personality Brian Williams also made the list.
Celebrities were well represented: Cate Blanchett, who marched in protest of global warming in Sydney, Australia; George Clooney, who made the cover of Vanity Fair’s 2006 “Green Issue”; and “Light Green” musician John Mayer who advocates changing one thing each year. Others included Brad Pitt, who has worked with Global Green on “sustainable” building, and Oprah Winfrey, who recently handed out compact fluorescent light bulbs to her audience.
Weighing in on Time's "Swampland" blog, journalist Joe Klein opined that the best question of last night's GOP primary debate was the infamous "What do you dislike most about America" question. Klein slammed the candidates' performances, but particularly picked on Romney, whom he mocked as overly optimistic:
I could imagine him doing the Reagan nice-guy, slightly-boggled head
twitch, especially when he was asked the question of the night: What do
you dislike most about America?
Romney's answer: I love America. Great. Good. Great Great. Creative. People. The American People. Love. Great....
This is a basic DNA difference between the parties. Republicans
see the American people as perfect; the American government as an alien
import from France. You put America and Flawed in the same sentence,
and any Republican will go all (faux) De Toqueville--great good great
Is there any better indication of how biased a publication is than who it perceives to be the most influential people in the world?
If such is indeed the case, Time magazine has given us quite a glimpse into its predilections with its annual “100 People Who Shape Our World” list.
Most notably, although he is the most powerful man on the planet, and his nation is in the middle of a war on terror that could end up having profound international effects for decades nay centuries, President George W. Bush was conspicuously absent.
Isn't that special?
*****Update follows with a little history of this list.
Yet, the following “Leaders and Revolutionaries” were honored:
One great thing about liberal journalists blogging is that without the constraints of editorial oversight, they can let their hair down even more than usual, unleashing their biases as fast as their fingers fly over the keyboard.
Time magazine's Joe Klein is no exception. The journalist and formerly anonymous author of "Primary Colors" shared with readers of the "Swampland" blog today his complaints about a Bush administration that "trafficks" in publicity stunts such as the May 1, 2003, carrier landing. Klein went on to complain that Donald Rumsfeld was the worst Secretary of Defense in the history of the Republic who, along with "the spinners who gave us the Abraham Lincoln stunt" should be "emptying bed pans at Walter Reed."
Klein's ire draws from liberal talking points about the four-year old "major combat operations" speech. You know the meme "Mission Accomplished" and an end of "major combat operations" were impossibly rosy scenarios in light of the ongoing insurgency.
But for the record, Klein himself described the war as having been won shortly after President Bush's USS Abraham Lincoln speech.
From the May 19, 2003, Time magazine, emphasis mine:
Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali immigrated to the US from Holland in 2006 after her controversial views of Islam (she called it “backwards”) resulted in serious death threats and the eventual murder of a friend. An April 24 Reuters article by Alexandra Hudson (picked up by the Washington Post website) stressed the theme that the Muslim women of Holland were relieved that she left for America. It also engaged in a slick game of “blame-the-victim” and minimized the agonizing childhood violence she experienced by describing her flight from “an arranged marriage and abusive family who had her circumcised as a child.”
“Circumcised.” It may sound similar to male circumcision, but it is not. A more appropriate term is “female genital mutilation” or FGM. “Female circumcision” is what the practitioners call it. Reuters didn’t go into the details of this “circumcision,” but Hirsi Ali did in her most recent book, “Infidel.” Aussie newspaper, the Australian, excerpts the portion that describes what the local “expert,” who was likely a blacksmith, did to her with no anesthetic or disinfectant at the request of her own grandmother (emphasis mine throughout)[editor's note: graphic descriptions ahead]:
Soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore is training people to give his global warming slide presentation at places like “schools, Rotary clubs and nursing homes” around the country.
I kid you not.
As reported by USA Today (emphasis added throughout):
Meet, no, not Al Gore, but Gary Dunham, 71, a grandfather from Texas who was the first of 1,000 Americans Gore trained to deliver his Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth slide show to schools, Rotary clubs and nursing homes around the nation.
Scared yet? Well, brace yourselves, for it’s much worse than you can imagine:
Undoubtedly, Boris Yeltsin’s finest moment was the courageous defiance he showed in the face of an old guard communist coup in August 1991. Yeltsin was the focal point of those who rallied to defeat the coup, triggering the chain of events that led to dissolution of the Soviet Union just a few months later.
Yet the establishment media in this country tended to sniff at Yeltsin as an unpolished buffoon. U.S. journalists could not conceal their lack of regard for the man who helped bury Soviet communism, favoring Mikhail Gorbachev, the failed leader who futilely attempted to reform communism.
Here are just a few quotes from the Media Research Center’s Notable Quotable archive, illustrating the media’s preference of the communist Gorbachev over the rebel Yeltsin
A senior Pentagon official has refuted "Time" magazine's depiction of a "broken" Army. Accusing "Time" of using incendiary language and of hyping the facts, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy Bill Carr made his remarks in the course of his appearance yesterday on the TV show this NewsBuster hosts, and in subsequent written comments.
Sec. Carr was responding to claims made by "Time" in a story by Mark Thompson dated April 5, 2007 entitled America's Broken-Down Army, a headline Carr called "incendiary."
Sec. Carr offered the following refutation of a number of assertions contained in the "Time" article:
TIME: Recruits from the least-skilled category have climbed eightfold, to nearly 4%, over the past two years.
CARR: This refers to the percentage of recruits drawn from the bottom-third of math/verbal aptitude (we refer to them as "Category IV"). For the past 15 years, the Pentagon quality benchmarks have stipulated a ceiling of 4% for CAT IV and Army is within it. As recently as 1980, the Army was bringing in more than half (56%) from the bottom third and ten years later took that Army to war. A decrease from one-in-two, to one-in-twenty today, is hardly consistent with an explosive word like "broken" -- TIME is hyping the facts by hiding the historical context.