Writing in Time Magazine for the October 23, 2006 issue, Leslie H. Gelb lamented “To me the relentless mud slide of insurgency and civil war in Iraq is leading to unacceptable strategic disaster for the U.S. There appear to be no viable paths to avoid it.”
This is a common theme used throughout both the print and electronic media today. If the American press were commanding the war in Iraq, we would already have bowed our heads in defeat.
Since that attitude is so prevalent among news outlets and publications, it was refreshing to hear a relatively simple, but thought-provoking suggestion offered on Fox News Live, October 20, 2006. Ghazal Omid, a Muslim scholar was a member of a panel that fielded questions about the war. When asked about the impossible insurgency situation, she suggested we put resolution to that element of the conflict in the hands of Iraq’s religious leaders.
This week’s cover story on "Why Barack Obama Could Be The Next President" is really part of an enormous package offering hope to liberals about defeating the conservative movement, especially the religious right. There is a six-page article by Joe Klein about being dazzled by Obama the "political rocket," a six-page excerpt from Obama’s book The Audacity of Hope, explaining how "progressives" can neutralize religious conservatives, and, just to stay on point, a three-page excerpt from David Kuo’s book Tempting Faith titled "Why a Christian in the White House Felt Betrayed."
Klein's cover story, titled "The Fresh Face," tried to sound detached that Obama’s not "quite ready to answer the tough questions." (As you’ll see, Klein’s tough questions are pressing from the left, and he’s unhappy that Obama’s slow to commit.) Klein began in typical jaunty fashion about how Obama wows a Rockford audience with "sly hipster syncopation" and how his style is "quietly conversational, low in rhetoric-saturated fat; there is no harrumph to him."
Both Time and Newsweek are out with another set of “bad news for Republicans” covers this week, as Tim Graham pointed out earlier this morning. In her magazine’s cover story, Time’s Karen Tumulty suggests that Republican are about to lose control of Congress. “It took 40 years for the House Democrats to exhaust their goodwill. It may take only 12 years for the Republicans to get there.”
For millions who will only notice Time, Newsweek, or U.S. News & World Report as they’re waiting to check out at the grocery store, the picture and headline on the cover will convey the news magazine’s editorial summary of the week’s important news. This week, Time showcases a huge shot of an elephant’s rump, symbolizing the end of the GOP’s control of Congress. Newsweek has a huge close-up of the disgraced Mark Foley’s face, an image that dwarfs a picture of President Bush.
In case you thought the Foley story was wrapping up on Friday, be warned that both Time and Newsweek weren't buying that. They wanted a chance to build its place in history/Republican infamy. Both covers are quite transparently partisan for the politically sensitive time of the season. Time has a huge black and white picture of an elephant's butt, with the words: "What a mess...Why a tawdry Washington sex scandal may spell the end of the Republican revolution". Time has been rooting for the end of the Republican revolution since they suggested it was in danger of killing off the "human species" back in the first month of the new GOP-majority congress in 1995.
In an article posted Friday on Time.com, the magazine’s critic James Poniewozik suggests the Fox News Channel, which he sees as tilted to the right, is also responsible for the multi-minute rants that MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann has lately been emitting. Time also dismisses the idea that the rest of the mainstream media (presumably including itself) is tilted to the left, with Poniewozik parenthetically noting that “the MSM really slant toward the institutional, establishmentarian center, which is a bias as dangerous as any other.”
Poniewozik’s theory on Olbermann is that Fox’s climb to the top of the ratings has led to changes at other TV news outlets, including at MSNBC, although he paints Olbermann as the party most likely to be embarrassed by the link to Fox News: “Keith Olbermann ranting at George W. Bush and O'Reilly on MSNBC's Countdown: that's Fox through and through, whether Olbermann would like to admit it or not.”
This story about a Vietnamese man who was a spy for the communists during the war as well as a reporter for Reuters and Time magazine is nothing short of an outrage. It also makes you wonder how many agents for totalitarianism are working in the press today. An's assertions of impartiality are all too familar as well. (An old MRC MediaWatch item on him is here.)
HANOI, Vietnam - Pham Xuan An, who led a remarkable and perilous double life as a communist spy and a respected reporter for Western news organizations during the Vietnam War, died Wednesday at age 79. [...]
In the history of wartime espionage, few were as successful as An. He straddled two worlds for most of the 15-year war in Indochina as an undercover communist agent while also working as a journalist, first for Reuters news service and later for 10 years as Time magazine's chief Vietnamese reporter — a role that gave him access to military bases and background briefings.
He was so well-known for his sources and insight that many Americans who knew him suspected he worked for the CIA.
Before Saigon fell to the communists, An worked to help friends escape, including South Vietnam's former security chief who feared death if he was found by northern forces. An later revealed his true identity as a Viet Cong commander, but said he never reported any false information or communist propaganda while in his role as a journalist.
With the news of Air America's expected demise comes the contest for which media outlet has been the most aggressively clueless in ignoring this fact in Al Franken interviews. This week's winner has to be Time magazine, whose Jeffrey Ressner swaps gibes with Franken in their "Ten Questions" interview during Bankruptcy Week with toughies like this:
TIME: Who would you rather be stranded with on a desert island: Ann Coulter or Katherine Harris?
Franken: Hmmmm. I'd say Katherine Harris, because there's more meat on the bone.
Before that came the question: "You've locked horns with most of the top conservative pundits: Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly. Which one is your favorite feud?"
Among political consultants, the general rule of thumb is that a disapproval rating of 40% spells a candidate's near-certain defeat. After all, virtually no one who disapproves of a candidate will vote for him, while approving of someone is no guarantee of a vote.
Hillary Clinton's disapproval rating of 44% in a recent Time magazine poll thus bodes very ill for her presidential prospects. Yet the Sunday Times of London has managed to put a rosy gloss on what would have most politicians looking for another line of work. Pollyannas the Times of the poll results:
"Only 44% viewed her negatively, figures that President George W Bush can only dream of at the moment."
Hillary Rodham Clinton is featured in a flattering black-and-white photo on the cover of Time magazine this week -- the 10th cover story for Hillary Clinton since she appeared on the national scene hitched to Bill Clinton's wagon in 1992. That's got to be a record of sorts. But one thing was very different this time. The headline featured a poll question with two little boxes to check: "LOVE HER" or "HATE HER."
What? Someone might not love her? This must be the handiwork of Time's new Managing Editor, Richard Stengel. He’s made a public fuss about his desire to see Time be a major player in the shaping of America's opinions.
This newest cover story is a departure from the norm, the royal covers she's so often received, with titles like "Ascent of a Woman," "Turning Fifty," "Hillary In Her Own Words," and the late-Lewinsky-scandal classic, "'It's Nobody's Business But Ours.'" The normal Time magazine Hillary cover could be mistaken for the cover of Ladies' Home Journal. (There was one exception. One cover in 1996 carried the caption "The Truth About Whitewater" and featured a harshly spotlighted Hillary, but it wasn't advertising a Time article inside, but a book excerpt from James Stewart's "Blood Sport.")
Time's cover story on Hillary by Karen Tumulty is predictable, largely channeling anonymous Clinton aides and strategists about her forthcoming campaign for the White House. There are no conservatives quoted. It only gets unpredictable when Tumulty turns the corner to acknowledge (mean-spirited) conservatives. Typically, in her starry-eyed reflection on the "outsize status of both Clintons," and how her race will be "brutal," she exaggerates the number of anti-Clinton tomes by a factor of five or ten, but she surprises by actually naming the forthcoming Jonah Goldberg book, as well as the Brent Bozell-Tim Graham media-bias packet:
This week is shaping up as the MSM's kick-off of its Hillary for President campaign. Using Time Magazine's 10th cover of Hillary as a springboard, this morning's Today show convened a liberal coffee klatsch on Clinton's political future. Dem pollster Peter Hart summed up the segment's zeitgest nicely: "I think Americans are ready for a female president. I think they are definitely ready for Hillary Clinton."
Not a discouraging word was to be heard, as 'Today' found it unnecessary to invite to the party anyone who might have a negative view of Hillary
you’re a Republican in Tennessee and you are in a tough race, what do
you do? Hey, your party isn’t a political organization; it’s God’s Own Party:
A Christian prayer group is hoping to provide Republican
gubernatorial nominee Jim Bryson with some divine assistance during his
campaign. The “Bryson Prayer Force” is inviting Christians to join its
current 80 members in praying regularly for Bryson, his family and
campaign staff. An e-mail sent out by the group included some suggested
prayers. Weekly prayers are to be sent to those who have signed up to
be part of the group.
“Pray for an open heaven over Jim and his team in each Tennessee
county they visit, that the gates of each county would open to him and
his team, and that the Lord’s divine favor will be granted to him
everywhere he goes,” reads one example. Blair Morgan, an attorney and
vice treasurer of the Davidson County Republican party, is serving as
state coordinator of Bryson Prayer Force.
The subhead in this Time magazine article promises enlightenment, but fails to deliver: "Why do so many young British Muslims turn to violence against the land where they were raised?"
Unfortunately, Time's leftward slanted editorial policies don't allow an honest answer. Rather than exploring the root causes of Islamic radicalism, which is, after all, the root cause of British Muslim radicalism, Time offers a sterile hodgepodge of random observations and politically correct standbys; they actually cite "disaffection" with Britain's foreign policy, as if that were a cause rather than a symptom of the disease.
Buried within the article is the symptom that identifies the illness:
Putting aside more conspiratorially-minded critics of the mainstream
media, genuine practical concerns and mounting evidence suggest
Western media has been co-opted by Hezbollah in Lebanon to a
significant agree. So much so, in fact, that it may be unable to paint
an accurate picture of the current conflict.
The two year old image at right is from a Reuters video of
Palestinian terrorists escaping from an action in Israel with the aid
of a UN van. Video here.
The decision by America's MSM not to publish it at the time may
represent press bias, or that its concern for American's right to know
is somewhat selective. However, it also serves to make another
Service organizations like the UN and the Red Cross often rely on
local individuals to flesh out their staffs. Obviously, there are areas
of the world where it's difficult to tell the good guys from the bad
and sometimes the bad guys may represent the majority of the local
population. Such may be the case in Southern Lebanon and it invites the
kind of co-optation witnessed above.
With the MSM having decided to rely heavily on local stringers in
covering the Israeli Hezbollah conflict in Southern Lebanon, their
coverage appears to have fallen prey to manipulation by a terrorist
group, or at least its propaganda machine.
ABC News is taking seriously charges in the left-wing blogosphere that a YouTube video spoofing Al Gore's global warming movie is really financed by a big oil company.
The belief is that the movie was made to look homespun but is really "actually came from a slick Republican public relations firm called DCI, which just happens to have oil giant Exxon as a client."
Time.com online editor Ana Marie Cox, who used to run the Wonkette blog, says that today people are more likely to "believe something that comes straight from the horse's mouth," than the mainstream media. This is why the film was made to look amateurish, she says, because people are suspicious of anything that looks too slick.
Time magazine's online operation announced today that it has promoted former liberal blogger Ana Marie Cox to be its Washington editor. Previously, she was the founder of the airhead politics blog Wonkette. Before that, she worked for the liberal magazine Washington Monthly.
Thus far, Time's online stable includes not one conservative blogger. At present the self-described politically neutral magazine employs Joshua Marshall, Andrew Sullivan, Cox, and its White House correspondent Mike Allen, not one of whom is a conservative much less a Republican. So how is it that Time can get away with this?
UPDATE 07-28. Aww, how cute. The uberkewl Dave Weigel, one of the men who now run a site named after a woman, defends mommy:
Apparently the sight of George W. Bush surrounded by cute babies is enough to make Time's Joe Klein "want to throw up." On this weekend's syndicated Chris Matthews Show, the panel discussion turned to Bush's veto of expanded stem cell research and his appearance with "snowflake babies." For Time magazine's Joe Klein it was too much to take: "That photo-op, this week with all of those babies made me want to throw up.It is so transparently political and cynical."
Substituting for Chris Matthews, NBC's David Gregory teased the segment at the top of the show: "Most voters favor full-speed ahead on stem cells but the President hit the brakes. Could this be political disaster in November?" Gregory opened the panel discussion with a soundbite from Nancy Pelosi declaring: "In vetoing the legislation, the President will be saying no to 75 percent of the American people." NBC's Andrea Mitchell then noted that while the veto will energize some in Bush's base it also: "Doesn't track at all politically with people in his own party, with, you know, the soccer moms, with other constituencies that Republicans have been trying to court. It flies in the face of that." Gregory then threw it to Klein:
Do you want to know the real reason there is global warming now? It's because people in 1974 panicked about news that humans were actually causing "global cooling." To remedy the situation, countries upped their pollution and cut down more trees. But now it's gotten too hot again.
Entertainment Weekly said that Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth" had done the "inconceivable," it "made Al Gore cool." If Al Gore can save us from the next crisis, and make world temperatures be as "cool" as he is, maybe a future leader who is "hot" can save us from the next "global cooling" catastrophe.
From the Jun 24, 1974, Time Magazine, entitled: "Another Ice Age?"
Guess we folks at NewsBusters and at our parent organization, Media Research Center, can go home. Our work is done. Not only is the media not controlled by liberals, it's actually . . . dominated by the right wing. For that matter, it has been for decades! If only we had known, we could have saved ourselves all this trouble.
How did I learn this? From Arshad Hasan, of Democracy for America, the group Howard Dean founded at the end of his candidacy, and that has as its stated goal "to rebuild the Democratic Party." Dean's brother Jim serves at its chair.
Arshad was nice enough to send me an email this morning [OK, I signed up for their list], informing me of the exciting news that DFA is working "to take back our media" and that for such purposes will be conducting online 'DFA Night School' sessions to cover the following subjects:
The line between old-fashioned objective reporting and opinion writing is blurry enough on the big subjects like the war on terrorism and the economy, but in entertainment journalism, it’s becoming nearly impossible to differentiate between the two, especially since those who deliver this product don’t, and won’t.
Take it from me: This is a rough neighborhood to work in if you are lobbying for decency and family-friendly programming on television and regularly deal with the entertainment press. In the daytime, you’re working with reporters you assume are dedicated to telling the story in an objective and balanced manner. But when they go moonlighting on more opinionated Internet web logs, entertainment reporters often make it clear that the concept of upholding decency is a bad joke.
Time magazine has hired another liberal blogger in its ongoing effort to make the balance of its conservative vs. liberal bloggers as balanced as its news reporting. Not only that, their new blogger is a fan of Bush conspiracy theories.
This makes three bloggers writing for Time now: Marshall, Wonkette, and of course St. Andrew.
St. Andrew being the “conservative.”
Remember when WaPo hired Ben Domenech and the left wet its pants for days over the fact that they hadn’t hired a left-wing blogger to balance him out? When does Time sign Captain Ed or Josh Trevino to balance out Marshall?
Give the Ragin' Cajun credit: the man works fast. In a Today show appearance lasting only six minutes, and shared with former Bush administration official Dan Senor, Carville managed to work variations on the word 'failure' into his comments no fewer than six times.
At the same time, I defy anyone to read the transcript or watch a replay of Carville's comments on Pres. Bush''s foreign policy and find one solitary instance in which he proposes an alternative or even offers constructive criticism. His rap was utterly bereft of any notion of what the Democrats would do, and do better, if they regained power.
A Republican senator who makes a remark with insensitive racial connotations? Toast. Ask Trent Lott. A Democrat? Hey, no problem! Then again, woe betide the Republican senator who offers an awkward description of the workings of the internet. It will 'haunt' him.
That's the world according to Wonkette-turned-Time columnist Ana Marie Cox, who appeared on last evening's Scarborough Country. For those who might have missed the Biden flap, on a recent campaign swing to New Hampshire, Biden told an Indian political activist: “You cannot go into a Dunkin Donuts or a 7-Eleven unless you have a slight Indian accent.”
Here's a few tidbits from this week's news magazines.
1. Newsweek's predictably liberal "Conventional Wisdom Watch" box is clearly unhappy with the good-news-for-Bushies trend. Bush and Rove each get an up arrow. Each also get incredibly whiny blurbs. Bush: "Surprise Baghdad trip boosts troops' morale -- and his own. But he still had to sneak in, three years after invasion." Rove: "Being cleared in CIA leak probe clears his to go back to attacking Democrats as pansies. To the well once too often?"
Answer: No, not when you're pushing withdrawal from Iraq by the end of the year.
The blog Sweetness & Light has done excellent legwork exposing Time magazine's reporting on the Haditha incident. Sweetness & Light wants to know why it took so long for the incident to be reported by the media (four months) and who were the shadowy figures who gave the material to Time.
The Washington Times wrote an excellent summary of the work done by Sweetness & Light.
Time first broke the story on Haditha in March, four months after the incident -- a delay which too few of the Marines' more ardent accusers (such as Rep. John Murtha) failed to question. One of Time's key sources who had taken footage of the aftermath was represented only as a "journalism student." It has since been learned that this eyewitness was Taher Thabet al Hadithi.
Here's how Time reporter Aparisim Ghosh described Mr. Hadithi: "[H]e's a young local man ... He brought the tape to Hammurabi Human Rights... and they brought it to us once they found out that we were inquiring about this."
Stephen Spruiell at NRO's Media Blog rightly whacks Slate's John Dickerson -- formerly a White House reporter for Time magazine and the son of pioneering network TV reporter Nancy Dickerson -- for his assertion Monday that liberal bloggers merely want the press to improve, but conservatives can't stand that the press exists, that they want them.....dead?
One of the healthiest things about the left-wing blogosphere is its confrontational dislike of the mainstream media. There's a distinction here with the media's critics on the right. At some level, the right doesn't much like that the press exists. They don't want to fix it, they want to drive a stake through its heart. The left, on the other hand, just wishes the establishment press would do a better job.
Howard Kurtz this morning invited National Review’s Jonah Goldberg, The New Republic’s Michelle Cottle, and Time’s Karen Tumulty on to discuss Ann Coulter’s new book, and her recent appearance on NBC’s “Today” show (hat tip to Ian Schwartz of Expose the Left with his video link to follow). The quartet actually did a spectacular job of dissecting this event that is well worth the eight-minute view.
Conceivably one of the most salient points made was that the mainstream media know full well what is going to happen when they invite Ann on their programs, or put her on the covers of their magazines, and that they are doing it to sell their wares like any other corporate entity. Here’s what Jonah Goldberg said of this:
One hopes this Time mag profile of leftist blogger Markos "Kos" Moulitsas from ex-pseudo blogger Ana Marie Cox (occasionally formerly of wonkette.com), is not allowed into the magazine lest more innocent people will be exposed to its fatuousness.
Compact and wiry, Moulitsas, 34, exudes quivering intensity. He speaks
in staccato paragraphs, punctuated by intense stares and a raised
eyebrow. His eyes bulge slightly outward, as if reacting to the
pressure of all the ideas inside his head. Many of those ideas find a home on Daily Kos. A
clearinghouse for liberal screeds and progressive perspective on the
news, the site claims to get more than 500,000 unique visitors daily
and more than 10,000 members maintain their own sub-blogs (called
"diaries") within its reaches.
In other words, he's nuts but it's in a good way. The nonsense hardly stops there, though:
Moulitsas’s rhetoric and passion have made him a posterboy
bomb-thrower. He's the left's own Kurt Cobain and Che Guevera rolled
into one, dripping sex appeal for progressives for whom debate has
become synonymous with losing, who need a muscular liberal answer to
the cowboy swagger adopted by the Bush Administration and its fans.
The national media are completely allergic to associating the anti-war movement with communist groups, even as Trotskyites like International ANSWER organize the big rallies. But protest illegal immigration, and it becomes an occasion for the media to find every faction and fraction of the Klan and the Nazis. Time's Jeffrey Ressner became this week's publicity agent for liberal "anti-hate" groups. The headline was "Rousing the Zealots: Neo-Nazis, white supremacists and militiamen are revivified by the furor over illegal immigration."
Translation: shut up, border enforcers. You're bringing out the kooks. Ressner began associating the Minutemen to the hate groups:
With immigration perhaps America's most volatile issue, a troubling backlash has erupted among its most fervent foes. There are, of course, the Minutemen, the self-appointed border vigilantes who operate in several states. And now groups of militiamen, white supremacists and neo-Nazis are using resentment over the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. as a potent rallying cry. "The immigration furor has been critical to the growth we've seen" in hate groups, says Mark Potok, head of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Just as last week's Dixie Chicks (ahem, with balls) cover story in Time magazine was expanding on an earlier plug in their Time 100 issue, in this week's editions, reporter Karen Tumulty expands on her earlier "movie star" plug for Al Gore. The headline for this four-page package is "Lights, Camera, Al Gore!" (Yes, an exclamation point.) And: "The ex-president is enjoying an unlikely heyday as a movie star. All that buzz invites the question: Will he audition again for President?"
A "movie star"? May we remind Time's headline writers that the Gore movie debuted in just four theaters and grossed $281,330? (Nice pre-screen average, but c'mon, it's a political event.) May we remind Time that almost no one is going to say "hey, kids, get your popcorn, it's time to watch the Al Gore global warming slide show"? By this standard, we could look up the weekend box-office charts and claim Michael J. Pagan was a "movie star."