Time magazine asked a panel of 16 experts to answer the question "Are We Becoming An Uncivil Society?" While Time's selected Republicans and conservatives (including Glenn Beck) stayed civil and didn't point explicit fingers at liberals for trying to smear the Tucson shooting on conservatives, leftist Daily Kos blogger Markos Moulitsas rudely predicted (again) that one side of the aisle, inspired by people like Beck, Sarah Palin, and Sharron Angle were going to get Americans killed:
We have always been an uncivil society. Just ask John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. But being harsh and passionate in one's political discourse isn't the same as walking around with guns intimidating the opposition, or using apocalyptic and Armageddon-style rhetoric to paint your opponents as terrorists and enemies of democracy and freedom. Problem is, we now have a side that is gun-obsessed, whipping people up into a frenzy with lies about Obama taking their guns away and interning conservatives in FEMA concentration camps (to name just two conspiracy theories).
When Sarah Palin tells her followers not to retreat, but to "reload," when Sharron Angle says people should resort to "Second Amendment remedies" if they don't get their way at the ballot box, and when Glenn Beck spreads the latest insane conspiracy theory, well then, it's only a matter of time before people start getting killed.
Time magazine's Mark Halperin scolded "media voices on the Right" on MSNBC Wednesday, for hoping President Obama fails in his Wednesday night speech in Tucson, Arizona. He railed against conservative media pundits for wishing such a thing during a national tragedy.
"It should be about the victims, and...it shouldn't be about the media," said Halperin on "Morning Joe" Wednesday. "There are media voices on the Right who are cheering for the President to fail in his speech tonight. They're hoping he does a bad job. And that is the problem."
There's just one problem – who exactly has been saying that? Liberal media watchdog Media Matters has not yet documented an instance of such rhetoric. Internet searches reveal no stories of conservative media wishing for the President to fail in his speech.
As the House of Representatives read the Constitution aloud on the chamber floor Wednesday, the uproar from the left came as a bit of a surprise. Less surprising, perhaps, was that a number of the whiners don't actually understand the document they claim the GOP sullied with political stunts.
No, I'm not talking about Ezra "the text is confusing" Klein. The latest lefty to demonstrate his constitutional ignorance, Time Magazine's Washington correspondent Alex Altman, decried the "Cult of the Constitution" in a headline yesterday.
In today's "Everything Is Caused By Climate Change" segment, the folks at Time magazine offer a howler destined to start your morning off right with a chuckle: "Holiday Blizzard: More Signs of Global Warming."
Appearing as a panel member on Sunday’s syndicated Chris Matthews Show, Time columnist Joe Klein predicted that the Tea Party will be the "biggest losers" next year after he agreed with MSNBC’s Howard Fineman that the conservative movement represented the "biggest winners" this year. Klein: "I'm going to go with the Tea Party, with the caveat that even though they were the biggest winners of this year because they set the debate, they're going to be the biggest losers of next year because they're going to have to vote."
A bit earlier, after Fineman accused Nevada Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle of running a "frankly racist ad about immigration against Hispanics," and alluded to the Republican Party’s challenge of winning Hispanic voters in the future, Klein predicted that opponents of the Dream Act would "suffer" as he chimed in: "I'm going to go with the Tea Party, with the caveat that even though they were the biggest winners of this year because they set the debate, they're going to be the biggest losers of next year because they're going to have to vote."
On Sunday’s syndicated Chris Matthews Show, panel member and MSNBC analyst Howard Fineman - also of the Huffington Post - made the over the top assertion that "10 to 20 percent" of Americans will "continue to hate and fear" President and Mrs. Obama, but that the rest have "accepted" President Obama "as a member of the family." And when host Matthews asked who was the biggest winner of the year, Fineman gushed over former President Bill Clinton’s recent return to the podium in the White House press room, with Matthews referring to Clinton’s visit as the "second coming":
HOWARD FINEMAN: Unfortunately, I wasn't there when he came in.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: For the moment, the second coming.
FINEMAN: He, Bill Clinton walks in, and easy as pie for the next half hour explains what real life in Washington, in politics is all about.
After agreeing with Time’s Joe Klein that health care reform was the "worst move of [President Obama’s] first two years," and that the unpopular reforms keep dragging down his popularity, Fineman contended that Obama had, by contrast, been successful in getting Americans to like him personally, describing the President as being like "a member of the family," and surprisingly characterized Obama’s "background" as "strange." Fineman:
Even as the public grew increasingly disenchanted with Washington's full-throated liberal policies in 2010, the media elite's partisanship remained on full display. The Media Research Center's Best Notable Quotables of 2010 captured the highlights, as journalists continued to blame America's misfortunes on George W. Bush, even as they also insisted that Barack Obama deserved more credit for his amazing accomplishments.
In the MRC's "They Don't Miss Him Yet Award for Still Bashing Bush," Time's Joe Klein took the prize for insisting that the April 2010 Gulf oil spill was really Bush's fault: "This is more Bush’s second Katrina than Obama’s first,” Klein lamely insisted on The Chris Matthews Show. Klein made his crack on May 30, nearly 500 days after Bush left the Oval Office.
Seems to me Time used the most unflattering screen shot of Jackson it could find from her announcement video, and it also painted an unpleasant portrait of her overall. Read Time's blurb on Jackson after the jump....
Time's Joe Klein, ABC's Christiane Amanpour, and CBS's Lesley Stahl were just three journalists to see an outrageously biased quote of theirs land in the Best of Notable Quotables 2010.
A panel of 46 radio talk show hosts, magazine editors, columnists, editorial writers, and expert media observers chose the winners, and our news analysts introduce them and a few others in this highlight lowlight reel put together by Media Research Center video producer Bob Parks:
Update (17:23): Monkey see, monkey do: MSNBC's Chris Matthews quoted extensively from this post on today's "Hardball" in a segment entitled "Whatever Happened to John McCain?" Matthews and his guests lamented McCain's swing to the right in 2010.
Hell hath no fury like Joe Klein disillusioned.
The Time magazine writer apparently had a bit of a liberal journalist man-crush on Sen. John McCain back when the Arizona Republican was reaching across the aisle to work with Democrats for illegal-immigrant amnesty.
Now post 2008, not so much, particularly since McCain has tacked to the right on immigration and border security and stayed there even after his successful reelection to the Senate in November.
Klein unloaded both barrels on McCain in a Saturday evening Time.com Swampland blog post entitled "Two Dreams, One Dead" (emphasis mine), calling McCain every label that popped into his head from "troglodyte" to "trigger-happy gambler":
Chris Matthews on the syndicated program bearing his name devoted an entire segment this weekend to attacking Sarah Palin.
To assist him in the attacks, the host of "The Chris Matthews Show" brought on Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post, the BBC's Katty Kay, Joe Klein of Time magazine, and NBC's Norah O'Donnell (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Time's managing editor Richard Stengel appeared on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, on Thursday, to promote his magazine's Person of the Year issue and after he cited the reasons for selecting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, he explained the reason the Tea Party didn't was because they were a group. After host Andrea Mitchell asked him to explain his rationale for not picking the other runners-up, Stengel lamely told her he disqualified the Tea Party because he's "biased in favor of putting a single person on the cover."
However, devoting a Time Person of the Year cover to a group of people is not without precedent. In recent years Time acknowledged "The Good Samaritans" of Bono, Bill and Melinda Gates in 2005, "The American Soldier" in 2003, and in 2006, when Stengel took over as managing editor of Time he put a mirror on the cover of the magazine as he declared "You" the Person of the Year.
Appearing on Monday's Today show to reveal the finalists for his magazine's Person of the Year issue, Time's managing editor Richard Stengel hyped that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is "changing the way we look at" diplomacy, the "perception of secrecy" and hailed he had "an enormous year." Stengel didn't bother to attach a value judgment to Assange and the negative effect he's had on national security, but Today co-host Matt Lauer did remind Stengel that Assange was "embroiled in some personal scandal."
As for another finalist, the Tea Party, Stengel explained the rationale for putting them on the list is that they tapped into a generalized "feeling of frustration that people have of distrust for authority, of distrust for centralized leadership. That's almost a theme of the whole year." Neither Stengel nor Lauer pointed out the Tea Party also represented a backlash to Barack Obama's liberal policies.
On Saturday’s Fox News Watch, during a discussion of whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be prosecuted under the Espionage Act, panel member and conservative columnist Andrea Tantaros cited the Media Research Center - parent organization to NewsBusters - as she paraphrased the most recent Bozell Column and its reaction to Time magazine editor Richard Stengel’s defense of Assange. Tantaros:
The editor of Time magazine told Charlie Rose on PBS that he thought that Assange was an idealist, and he went on in this letter in Time magazine to say that it's not our job - the media's - to protect the interests in that way, meaning national security. And Brent Bozell, the Media Research Center wisely pointed out, it's very different, though, when journalists are captured. The government doesn't take that stance.
Moments later, Tantaros noted the double standard in the left’s treatment of the Valerie Plame CIA leak, and Jim Pinkerton of the New America Foundation brought up the Climategate leak of documents from East Anglia University:
On December 7, the notorious radical mastermind of “WikiLeaks,” turned himself in on a sexual assault charge in London. But in the liberal media, the condemnations are few. There are no real enemies to the media elite’s left, especially if they can be (very loosely) identified with journalism. Julian Assange may be highly motivated to cripple American “imperialism,” but his relentless efforts to disrupt American foreign policy is a good thing when the media are manipulating the government’s reaction by choosing which leaks they will publish and promote.
Time magazine editor Richard Stengel, for example, told Charlie Rose on PBS that Assange is an “idealist” that “sees the U.S. since 1945 as being a source of harm throughout the planet,” but he’s not really opposed to him. He put Assange on the cover of Time with an American flag gagging his mouth and feigned a position of balance. In his “To Our Readers” letter, Stengel conceded Assange is out to “harm American national security,” but there is a public good unfolding, in that “the right of news organizations to publish those documents has historically been protected by the First Amendment.” Our founding fathers, Stengel huffed, understood that “letting the government rather than the press choose what to publish was a very bad idea in a democracy.” He tapped the reader on the chest: “I trust you agree.”
Americans the world over could die because of these intelligence betrayals. But hip, hip, hooray for the freedom of speech that got them killed?
Time magazine's managing editor said Sunday with respect to the decision to publish intelligence information recently exposed by WikiLeaks, "Our job is not to protect the U.S."
Chatting with Howard Kurtz on CNN's "Reliable Sources," Richard Stengel claimed that irrespective of the harm these released documents did to America's national security, "Our job is to publish and be damned" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Correction [December 7; 15:05 EST]: Ms. Bachmann has informed me Tages-Anzeiger is based in Zurich, not Geneva.
The liberal media are generally fond of touting European countries for their liberal domestic policies, chastising America by comparison for being too conservative.
But when the electorate of such a country votes to institute a strong conservative policy over the objections of its political elite, the media's fascination with the European everyman evaporates.
Take Sunday's vote by Swiss citizens to institute a referendum law requiring foreigners convicted of serious crimes to be expelled from the country after serving out their sentences. Fifty-three percent of voters approved the bill, dismissing the objections of their professional political class who urged "no" votes.
Covering the story, the Christian Science Monitor decried the move as "the latest example of a sweeping set of popular antiforeigner measures around Europe":
With all but one of the House races now resolved, Republicans have picked up at least 63 seats, the most in a midterm election since 1938. So, it might be fun on this Thanksgiving Day to recall how, just 18 months ago, Time's Michael Grunwald was arguing in a big cover story that demography and its "extremely conservative" philosophy meant the Republican Party could be on the verge of extinction.
Back in May 2009, Newsbusters Brent Baker picked up on Grunwald's piece for the ridiculous way he painted the GOP as extremist:
They are extremely conservative ideas tarred by association with the extremely unpopular George W. Bush, who helped downsize the party to its extremely conservative base.
But re-reading the piece today, it's even more striking how Grunwald's "analysis" was based on liberal wishful thinking that small government conservative policies were like political arsenic, and how Republicans had to drop tax cuts and cultural conservatism if they ever hoped to come back from the wilderness.
In other words, move left. But the GOP instead moved right, and was rewarded by voters. Which is why conservatives should probably not take strategic advice from their ideological adversaries in the media.
In the November 22 issue of Newsweek magazine, Daniel Stone defended the Obama administration by blaming the institution of the presidency for failures rather than the chief executive himself: "The issue is not Obama, it’s the office....Can any single person fully meet the demands of the 21st-century presidency?" The same argument was used to excuse an overwhelmed Jimmy Carter 30 years earlier.
The sub-headline for the piece read: "The presidency has grown, and grown and grown, into the most powerful, most impossible job in the world." At one point, Stone explained: "Among a handful of presidential historians Newsweek contacted for this story, there was a general consensus that the modern presidency may have become too bloated." A January 13, 1980 Washington Post article made a similar conclusion about the beleaguered Carter administration: "Voters have lowered their expectations of what any president can accomplish; they have accepted the notion that this country may never again have heroic, larger-than-life leadership in the White House."
As a Monday morning treat for NewsBusters readers, here is a sampling of the quotes from the latest edition of MRC’s Notable Quotables newsletter, a compilation of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media. All of the quotes, plus past issues going back to 1988, can be found at www.MRC.org.
Forget What Voters Said, It’s Time for Higher Taxes
Host Christiane Amanpour: “There are many economists who simply say the math does not add up, if you’re not going to agree to raising taxes. Do you agree that taxes will have to be raised, as well?” Senator-elect Rand Paul: “Well, I think it’s not a revenue problem. It’s a spending problem.” Amanpour: “But it is a revenue problem according to so many economists.”
— ABC’s This Week, November 7.
Time Magazine is having some problems with very basic issues of logic. First, it doesn't seem to understand the difference between correlation and causation. The notion that debt is equal to income minus expenditures also eludes the folks at Time.
A blog post on the magazine's website on Wednesday alleged that the Tea Party will cause hyperinflation. If that seems counterintuitive, take comfort in knowing that the post had to ignore basic logic to reach that conclusion.
The article begins by trying to pass off correlation as causation:
In a November 4 Swampland blog post, Time magazine's Joe Klein laid a fair share of blame for Democrats losing the House of Representatives on "conservative" Blue Dogs and their alleged reticence to spend taxpayer dollars:
On Thursday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith saw Republican goals to limit government spending as antithetical to improving the economy: "How do you unleash the economy and not spend any money, oh, by the way, because that's the other mandate, is don't increase the deficit and don't – don't – 'I don't want one more cent of tax on me.'"
Smith put the question to Time magazine Washington deputy bureau chief Michael Crowley, who was equally skeptical: "I think it may be impossible, frankly. What Democrats would like to do is they would say you actually have to spend more money, have the government put money into the economy to get it moving again." He warned against conservative policies: "Republicans say we're spending too much, maybe cut taxes, but tax cuts aren't free, either, tax cuts increase the deficit. Maybe you could loosen regulations but you saw what happened on Wall Street when things were deregulated. It's really not as simple at this point as doing any of those things without taking a big risk that comes along with it."
Although the Rally to Restore Sanity definitely had a decidedly liberal tinge to it, Comedy Central's Jon Stewart did his level best to ensure his official message was that of "a pox on both your houses" to raised voices on the Right and Left in cable news media.
Of course the thin-skinned host of MSNBC's "Countdown" won't have any of it, leaving liberal fans of both Stewart and Olbermann torn between the two.
Karl Rove is a great American patriot, a genius, a statesman, even. And now he has proven his phenomenal, overflowing patriotism by setting up a secretive finance group, in conjunction with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce--that's right, our very own, United States Chamber of Commerce--to run sleazy political ads, funded by foreign investors. I can't imagine why all these foreign companies are just itching to hook up with Rove and influence American politics...can you?
I'm sure Klein's die-hard groupies found that wickedly witty. But even writers further to the left of Klein and the center-left mainstream media, like the folks at Mother Jones magazine, think the complaint is just plain lame.