Opposition to building a mosque near Ground Zero really sent Time's Joe Klein into a tirade. In a Monday night post on the magazine's “Swampland” blog, Klein began: “Shame on all those Republicans salivating over President Obama's support for the Cordoba Islamic Center...”
Then he got personal, condemning “slimeball politics” has he slimed Newt Gingrich: “This is slimeball politics, pure and simple, except for when it descends into outright religious bigotry – which seems to be what happens every time Newt Gingrich opens his mouth.” Klein disparaged Gingrich as a “demented, anger-infused doofus” – all before proving, as if that weren't already established, he didn't care about offering any reason as he simply trashed Gingrich as “a jerk.”
And liberals say talk radio and the Fox News Channel are lowering the level of political discourse.
Michael Scherer of Time tried to explain the concept of "Why Barack Obama Doesn't Like to Chit-Chat with the Press Corps" -- despite their obvious affection for him. The president's first Ground Zero Mosque comments were "perfectly scripted," he wrote, and perfectly timed, on a Friday night at a Muslim dinner celebrating Ramadan. Scherer doesn't get that the venue could be controversial, considering Obama's allergies to traditional Christian prayer breakfasts. But this "perfect" scenario was ruined by the White House press pool (specifically, CNN's Ed Henry):
A reporter asked a stray question, and Obama blew all the careful planning of his staff. He varied from his initial remarks, creating a new narrative for a story the White House does not want to linger. Was he adding an asterisk to his remarks, as the Washington Post put it? Was it a recalibration, as the New York Times put it? In short, this is a communications disaster. The White House had to release a statement clarifying the new statement, or restatement, or whatever.
The president's opponents, who had been pushing the mosque issue for weeks as a way to get Democrats on the wrong side of the polls in an election year, came out celebrating. Liz Cheney, who can diminish just about any nuanced thought into a barbed cable news talking point, emailed Politico's Mike Allen from her iPhone. "I guess President Obama was for the mosque before he was against it. You can quote me," went the message.
The August 16 Weekly Standard highlighted a striking change in views from Time’s Joe Klein, whose take seems to have changed to fit what’s fashionable. On August 2, in a “Swampland” blog post looking at President Obama’s speech touting the end of combat operations in Iraq, Klein fretted it “will not be remembered as vividly as George Bush's juvenile march across the deck of an aircraft carrier, costumed as a combat aviator in a golden sunset, to announce—six years and tens of thousands of lives prematurely—the ‘end of combat operations.’”
But back when Bush’s USS Lincoln landing occurred, Klein was more enthralled with it, asserting on the May 4, 2003 Face the Nation: “Well, that was probably the coolest presidential image since Bill Pullman played the jet fighter pilot in the movie Independence Day.” (Video, from the MRC’s archive, is of the matching exchange between Bob Schieffer and Klein. Audio: MP3 clip.) The Weekly Standard’s “Scrapbook” page observed:
As Peter Wehner noted at the Commentary magazine blog Contentions, “Such bipolar shifts of opinion in a high-ranking public official would be alarming and dangerous; in a columnist and blogger, they are comical and discrediting.”
Even in that 2003 CBS appearance, however, Klein wasn’t happy about Bush’s successful PR maneuver, regretting how it illustrated the “major struggle the Democrats are going to have to try and beat a popular incumbent President.”
That excuse may not have gotten you out of hot water with your parents, but it seems to hold some sway with Time magazine, at least when it comes to ethically-challenged former House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.).
Staffer Michael Scherer apparently drew the short straw for the August 13 assignment, in which he focused on just one of the numerous allegations of impropriety against Rangel: that he misused his congressional office to solicit contributions to the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service.
Khadr was captured on a battlefield in Afghanistan in 2002, when he was just 15 years old. He's charged with the murder of a U.S. soldier, a crime he's already confessed to, although he now claims his confession was coerced.
Although 15-year-olds in the United States are frequently tried as adults for murder and although Khadr is in 23 years old now, McGirk presented the case as the potential first conviction of a "child" for war crimes since World War II. What's more, McGirk presented the case as a potential travesty of justice in an ill-conceived war on terror, a term he dismissively used in quote marks:
Univision anchor Jorge Ramos has been treated as a major pundit on TV roundtable shows (and even mocked as an “Obama stalker” and CNN debate questioner on Saturday Night Live during the primaries in 2008). Ramos sees zero distinction between journalist and liberal advocate, which comes across in Time’s 10 Questions interview in the August 9 issue. He scribbled in “immigration reform now!!!” under his picture for the magazine and tried to argue the Declaration of Independence also includes inalienable rights for illegal aliens:
As a Mexican-born, naturalized U.S. citizen, what is your take on the immigration debate? -- Ndukwe Kalu, Los Angeles
The Declaration of Independence says that all men are created equal, but right now millions of men and women in Arizona and in other parts of the U.S. are not being treated as equals, and I can't believe that. Countries are judged by the way they treat the most vulnerable, and the most vulnerable population in the U.S. right now is undocumented immigrants.
Time's questioner wasn't thinking about Ramos telling reporters that on some rare occasions he's been "torn between being a journalist and being a Mexican." Time didn’t find anyone to ask how the “most vulnerable” are treated by countries like Mexico, whose immigration policies are much harsher. Time found no one to ask if he thinks fairness and balance should completely bow to Latino-left advocacy.
Time magazine's Joe Klein has a penchant for self-righteous bluster in his writing, particularly, it seems, when he's smacking around adherents of his Jewish faith who happen to disagree with him politically. Klein can't seem to let his wrath take a respite, as witnessed by a sabbath-day posting on Time's Swampland blog.
Klein lit into Abraham Foxman of the ADL in a Saturday morning blog post for his opposition to a planned Islamic center just blocks from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan (emphases mine):
Time magazine reported Thursday that Rush Limbaugh might have been right about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico not being the environmental disaster that everyone warned.
In an article surprisingly titled, "The BP Spill: Has the Damage Been Exaggerated?", author Michael Grunwald first insulted the conservative talk radio host:
The obnoxious anti-environmentalist Rush Limbaugh has been a rare voice arguing that the spill - he calls it "the leak" - is anything less than an ecological calamity, scoffing at the avalanche of end-is-nigh eco-hype.
Yet, in the very next paragraph, Grunwald shockingly changed his tune:
Time magazine's Michael Scherer, who has been revealed by the Daily Caller as expressing a deep dislike of Fox News, has the power to really annoy them.
"Ailes understands," Scherer said in an email on the much-maligned JournoList, "that his job is to build a tribal identity, not a news organization. You can't hurt Fox by saying it gets it wrong . . ." Though Scherer clearly has a bone to pick with the channel, he and Time have vehemently denied claims that he would silence Fox News.
Ironically, according to Politics Daily's Matt Lewis, Scherer "may actually be in a position to hurt Fox" by denying the cable network the front-row seat in the White House briefing room left vacant by Helen Thomas. Scherer sits on the Board of Directors of the White House Correspondents' Association, which controls access to White House press conferences.
In the "secret" underworld of Republican fundraising, Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie use "cloaked" donor lists to "dig up dirt" on Democrats and funnel campaign contributions to Republican candidates. At least that's the impression left by Politico's Jim VandeHei.
On the July 21 "Morning Joe," Time magazine's Mark Halperin challenged VandeHei's characterization of American Crossroads GPS, a Republican political organization that finances issue ads designed to promote conservative positions on policy issues.
"With all due respect to Jim and the folks at Politico, you know, they make this these shadowy donors, this shadowy group, I mean, these are citizens who, under the law, are able to give anonymously to a group like this and to fund political activity to help them win races," complained Halperin.
Time magazine's Tim Padgett, who claims to be a Catholic, used the rose-colored glasses of his leftism to mercilessly bash his own church in an article on Monday where he compared Catholic bishops to "white Southern preachers [who] weren't ashamed to degrade African-Americans," labeled the Church "misogynous," and accused the institution of an "increasingly spiteful bigotry" against homosexuals.
Padgett, who wrote back in January 2009 that the communist Cuban revolution "deserves its due," launched a full-bore attack on the Church in the Time.com article, "The Vatican and Women: Casting the First Stone." Padgett wasted little time in unleashing his rage against the Church, labeling a recent Vatican document, which listed "grave crimes" according to canon law, "Rome's misogynous declaration," since, in his view, was an "avowal, as obtuse as it was malicious, that ordaining women into the priesthood was a sin on par with pedophilia."
The document in question, which revised the Catholic Church's concerning "exceptionally serious" crimes against faith and morals, does no such thing. Philip Pullella of Reuters reported on July 16 that "Monsignor Charles Scicluna, an official in the Vatican's doctrinal department, said there was no attempt to make women's ordination and pedophilia comparable crimes under canon...law....While sexual abuse was a 'crime against morality,' the attempt to ordain a woman was a 'crime against a sacrament,' he said, referring to Holy Orders (the priesthood)."
The Time writer used his mistaken premise to further attack the Church's hierarchy:
Still, the egg story included a survey of egg prices in a random city - Athens, Georgia - and predictably, the survey discovered factory eggs were only $1.69 a dozen whereas organic eggs ranged from $3.99 to $5.38 a dozen.
There's something very tortuous about watching some of the talking heads assembled on NBC's "The Chris Matthews Show," especially when they try to dissect former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin like she is some alien life form.
On the July 11 broadcast of his weekend show, Matthews and his panel analyzed Palin's "Mama Grizzlies" ad spot and attempted to determine what Palin's end goal was with the ad. And Time magazine's Joe Klein attributed credit to Palin's charismatic ability.
"The most important thing about Sarah Palin is that she's a great stand-up politician," Klein said. "I mean, when you hear her talk - this is not a woman who has sat in a room with a political consultant telling her how to pronounce words. It's just her voice."
"There's something in the inflection which is provocative," Matthews replied.
"'The modern collective is more about pragmatism than altruism,'" Tuttle wrote. "It's about networking and experiencing new things, it's about saving time, money, and space and it's about consuming less."
While the media have apparently given up -- if they ever seriously attempted -- on holding the Obama administration to account for its handling of the Gulf oil spill cleanup, Republican governors in the Gulf are a different story, particularly Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, a potential 2012 presidential hopeful.
In a short post at Time.com entitled "Battlefield General: Is Bobby Jindal Making Sense?", writer Alex Altman cast doubt on Jindal's handling of the oil spill cleanup while suggesting the conservative governor is hypocritical for his complaints about Obama's handling of the disaster at the federal level:
Covering the development, Time magazine's Adam Sorensen cast the appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick (pictured at right) as a blow to "hyperbolic" Republicans who hoped to make political hay out of the Harvard professor's confirmation hearings, yet Sorensen failed to carry any criticism of the Obama administration for the "unusual" maneuver or to examine how the move might bode poorly for Democrats given the public's concerns over the impact of ObamaCare on the health-care system.
Meanwhile, in Chicago, the source of the lawsuit decided today by the Supreme Court, ten people were killed by guns after 54 people were shot over the weekend. The victims included a baby girl, who suffered a neck graze wound at a midnight barbecue, early Monday morning.
Something tells me Scherer's observation isn't that the Chicago gun ban has been a horrendous failure, especially given his attribution of violence in the brief blog post on the guns themselves -- "ten people were killed by guns" -- not the criminals who used them.
That Donny Deutsch and Harold Ford, Jr. would jump to defend a Democrat who made a hideously impolitic remark, whereas they would have skewered a Republican saying the same thing, is altogether predictable. What's remarkable is that Mark Halperin called them out on it.
It happened on Morning Joe today in the context of Dem PA Rep. Paul Kanjorski's comment yesterday that a housing bill he was advocating helped "good, average Americans" and not "minorities" or "defective people." Time editor Halperin was first to comment, and actually launched a pre-emptive strike against the double-standard, observing "this is one of those instances where you'll hear a lot of Republicans say if this were a Republican congressman, the outcry would be a lot greater."
That didn't prevent Ford and Deutsch from whitewashing Kanjorski's comments. Ford dismissed them as "a complete slip of words." Despite admitting he doesn't know Kanjorski, Deutsch somehow divined that "there wasn't the malice behind those words."
No general should criticize his or her commander, and Gen. Stanley McChrystal is no exception. But the mainstream media is primarily concerned with the political fallout of McChrystal's apparent insubordination as revealed by a piece in Rolling Stone. They are not concerned with whether his critiques are accurate, in stark contrast to other military officers' critiques of war policy under the Bush administration.
During Bush's tenure, active duty generals that spoke out against administration policy were portrayed as courageous whistleblowers. Retired generals were treated as ever-wise sages of military policy. None were scrutinized as McChrystal, pictured right, has been in the hours since Rolling Stone released its article.
The most prominent active duty general to earn the media's affection was Gen. Eric Shinseki, current Secretary of Veterans Affairs (to the media's delight). He insisted in 2003 that, contrary to Defense Department policy as iterated by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the United States would need to send "hundreds of thousands" of troops to Iraq during the initial invasion. The media ate it up.
Appearing on Charlie Rose's PBS program, Time magazine's Mark Halperin dismissed the GOP responses to President Obama's Oval Office speech as "childish" and "churlish" adding that the GOP "mocked" the President on Tuesday night, instead of seeking common ground with him on new energy legislation.
The Time reporter thinks the present Gulf disaster constitutes a "national crisis," but also posited that another crisis exists -- "not having a national energy policy," as he framed it.
"I think everything they do must go towards trying to solve the generation's-long crisis of a lack of energy policy," Halperin said of the Obama administration. And of course in Halperin's view, "the biggest barrier to that now is there are no Republicans on board."
Last year, Time offered its "Ten Questions" feature to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, but the reader questions it selected were mostly hostile, panning his response to the State of the Union, asking if he looked like the geeky Kenneth the Page from "30 Rock," and underlining the shakiness of the GOP: "Voters rejected the GOP in November. What changes do you think it needs to make in order to become relevant again?"
This week, Time offered the same feature to Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, and the questions were not hostile, except for "Why don't you support same-sex marriage?" and maybe "Do you still consider your support for the stimulus to have been the right choice?" There were neutral oil-spill questions, and then there were these:
"How difficult was it to leave the Republican Party?" -- David Hutchinson, Kansas City, Kans.
"What are the pros and cons of running as an independent?" -- Kevin Waters, Harrisburg, Pa.
"Will people still remember the Tea Party in 20 years?" -- Justin Powlison, Raleigh, N.C.
The legacy media love to paint steadfast conservatives as "far right" "ideologues" who are destroying the GOP's "big tent" and "purging" moderates. The notion that the Republican Party has drifted too far to the right, however, is contradicted by a new Gallup poll showing that Americans are more concerned about Democrats' fringe elements.
About half (49%) of poll respondents told Gallup that they thought the Democratic Party is too far left. Forty-two percent said the GOP is too far right. The former number is the highest it has been since 1994, when Republicans picked up 54 seats in the House and eight in the Senate.
Of course most journalists probably don't share that sentiment--indeed, a number have bemoaned President Obama's supposed refusal to move even further to the left. Since those journalists are well outside of the nation's mainstream, center-right political outlook, they will inevitably see Republicans as too far right and Democrats as moderate and centrist.
On the eve of the one year anniversary of the most recent Iranian presidential election, the Web site for The New Republic gave space to Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) to lament the Obama administration's feckless response to the corrupt Iranian regime's crackdown on protesters and its continued quest for nuclear weapons and terrorist sponsorship under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
In response two days later, Time's Joe Klein resorted to his typical petulant bluster to berate the generally liberal magazine and divert attention from the real issue of Obama's leadership:
The New Republic perplexes me. It has some of the best and smartest writing around. And then it allows John McCain, whose lack of knowledge about Iran is encyclopedic, to hold forth in its pages.
Klein's June 13 Swampland blog post at Time.com focused on one brief excerpt of McCain's item, launching into how he felt McCain was not nuanced enough and hence lacks credibility to address the issue:
The June 21 Time cover article told the sad stories of those affected by the BP oil spill and explored mistakes, mishaps and unfortunate events that have combined to compound the disaster. But in “The Gulf Disaster: Who’s Asses Need Kicking?” author Bryan Walsh went ultimately to spoiled American consumers both for refusing to grant government unlimited power over business, and for demanding mobility facilitated by inexpensive fuel.
“We accept the business argument that regulation is an evil that isn’t necessary, rather than a necessary evil, and then we’re surprised when a rig blows and disaster ensues,” Walsh tutted.
He called the current regulations “toothless” and explained that a current problem is, “the tendency of too many government overseers to get too friendly with the industry they’re supposed to be monitoring.”
Something about the soccer World Cup brings out the missionary in the mainstream media, and every four years they strive to bring the good news of "the beautiful game" to the ignorant American masses.
This year is no different. The 2010 World Cup is set to begin in South Africa on June 11. More than just covering the month-long event, the media are already doing their best to hype it, overstating its popularity in the United States and its potential appeal to U.S. sports fans. From Time magazine dedicating an entire issue to "The Global Game," to CBS's helpful "The World Cup Guide for Americans," the public is being brow-beaten to catch "World Cup Fever."
And while soccer partisans may try (mostly unsuccessfully) to score on point-by-point comparisons to baseball or football, the most compelling argument many media outlets can muster is, "The rest of the world loves it. We should too."
The liberal media have always been uncomfortable with "American exceptionalism" - the belief that the United States is unique among nations, a leader and a force for good. And they are no happier with America's rejection of soccer than with its rejection of socialism.
Hence Americans are "xenophobic," "isolated" and lacking in understanding for other nations and their passion for "the planetary pastime," as Time magazine put it. But, they are confident, as America becomes more Hispanic, the nation will have to give in and adopt the immigrants' game. On the other hand, the media assure the public that soccer is already "America's Game," and Americans are enthusiastically anticipating the World Cup, even though the numbers don't bear that contention out.
So, every four years they return with renewed determination to force soccer's square peg in the round hole of American culture.
Young evangelicals seem to be cut from a different cloth than their forbearers, and that's got the secular media praising the Lord.
In "Young Evangelicals: Expanding Their Mission," Time contributor Amy Sullivan celebrated that the younger generation of evangelical Christians represent a "kinder and gentler" Christianity that defies the "fire-and-brimestone conservatism" associated with the older generation of evangelicals.
Sullivan reported that the applications to secular organizations like Teach for America have tripled among Christian universities, a much faster increase than from secular universities. "Internal surveys showed that more than half of incoming corps members said they were motivated by their faith to join Teach for America," Sullivan pointed out.
But Sullivan's piece on Teach for America turned into a critique of traditional evangelical leaders.
It's just my speculation: Time isn't about to share its inner workings with me, but FWIW . . .
He is, after all, the man who informed the world that his ascendancy would be seen as the moment that "the planet began to heal." So I suppose it's fitting that his logo appear on the World Cup soccer ball, the event that will be watched by more people than any other event in human history.
Could that be what Time magazine was thinking?
Check out the image of the ball on the cover of this week's Time, and compare it to the Obama logo, seen after the jump. Compare the Time ball, too, with an image of the actual ball, to which it bears absolutely no relation.
Time editor Rick Stengel revealed the cover during his regular Morning Joe appearance today.
The June 7 Time magazine cover blared, “Why Being Pope Means Never Having To Say You’re Sorry,” and the article explored the sexual abuse that has occurred in the Catholic Church and how the church might overcome the scandal. But the authors, Jeff Israely and Howard Chua-Eoan, left little doubt that they viewed Pope Benedict XVI as already guilty in the sexual abuse scandal.
The article tried to build that case. The pair wrote, “Over the past two months, the Pope has led the Holy See's shift from silence and denial to calls to face the enemies from within the church. What is still missing, however, is any mention of the Holy Father's alleged role in the scandal.” The story was very one-sided – filled with abuse victims and critics of the church, but included virtually no experts defending the pope or the Catholicism.
Israely and Chua-Eoan presumably based their article in part on a New York Times report alleging that as archbishop, Benedict protected the church over children by transferring priests when abuse occurred in the United States, Germany, and Ireland. Another Times article accused Pope Benedict XVI of allowing priests to remain in Wisconsin after they abused deaf boys, although this is report has been strongly questioned.