I didn't know about what follows when I posted last night (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) on Atlantic politics editor and CBS Campaign 2010 "Chief Political Consultant" Marc Ambinder's September 15 prediction that "The media is going to help the Democratic Party's national messaging." Though drop-dead obvious, I still found it interesting that someone in Ambinder's position would admit it.
It turns out that only two days after Ambinder put forth his prediction, he proactively made it come true.
Despite the inquisitive title of his September 17 post ("Will the White House Play the Palin Card?"), Ambinder clearly believes that going after Sarah Palin should be part of the White House's and Democrats' strategy during the next seven weeks.
It's enough to make you wonder if he has already written his CBS election post-mortems. Behold Ambinder's cluelessness:
In a September 15 post-primary item at the Atlantic ("An Epic End to the Primaries: What It Means"), politics editor Marc Ambinder presented seven "different ways to look at the primaries of September 14, 2010."
His final item reads as follows (bold is mine):
7. The media is going to help the Democratic Party's national messaging, which is that the GOP is a party full of Christine O'Donnells, a party that wants to take away your Social Security and your right to masturbate. Well, maybe not that last part, but then again, the implicit message of the party is that the GOP is about to elect a slate of hard social rightists to Congress.
The bolded text is an obvious point to anyone with even the most rudimentary powers of observation, but it's a pretty interesting admission nonetheless. That's especially true because Ambinder is a bona fide member of the media. Indeed, he's a self-admitted Journolist member who despite (or perhaps because) of that involvement has a specific assignment involving covering this fall's elections.
On Friday, Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz wrote a "White House rips Forbes" article. Dinesh D'Souza has drawn a "torrent of criticism" for writing that President Obama is motivated by his African father's "anti-colonial" views, Kurtz wrote, but emphasized how the White House is training its fire on Forbes magazine for publishing it, suggesting it's un-factual. Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs asserted "It's a stunning thing, to see a publication you would see in a dentist's office, so lacking in truth and fact." (Has he read Newsweek?)
This isn't about "facts," it's about spins. D'Souza can be accused of putting the president on a psychoanalyst's couch about his father. (As if the media never did this for George W. Bush.) D'Souza shot back to Kurtz that it's simply a fact that the president had a Kenyan father. But Kurtz went into Gibbs-echoing rebuttal mode:
The facts are also these: Obama Sr. abandoned the family when his son was 2, and the future president saw his father only one more time, during a visit in Hawaii when he was 10. Obama Sr. died in 1982.
Gibbs says the Forbes attack comes at a time when there is "no limit to innuendo" against the president, including baseless charges that he is a Muslim and was not born in the United States. Forbes, he says, "left the facts on the cutting-room floor."
Appearing on MSNBC to present his magazine's feature piece critical of the "Baby Boomer" generation, James Bennet of The Atlantic named George W. Bush, Newt Gingrich, and Bill Clinton as the three worst "baby boomers" who did the most harm to the country's political culture and its economy.
"It'd be hard not to point to George W. Bush as having done a lot of damage," Bennet asserted. Bush, he added, "created a lot of programs that costed us a huge amount of money, without a lot of regard for what the effects are going to be on the folks that are going to have to pay for those for many years."
Bennet also blamed President Clinton and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich for failed policies. However, Bennet was quick to reference the "surpluses as far as the eye could see" at the end of the Clinton administration, as a counterweight to Clinton's damage while in office. He bafflingly lauded President George H.W. Bush's tax hike as "politically brave" and which helped create the prosperity of the Clinton years.
Mr. Slater (picture at right is from his Facebook page) is the JetBlue flight attendant who reportedly "grabbed the plane's intercom and made an expletive-laced speech, grabbed a beer from the galley, opened the door and slid down the emergency evacuation chute." Slater was charged with "criminal mischief and reckless endangerment."
Three weeks ago (covered at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Associated Press writer Samantha Gross rhapsodized over how Slater's actions had fulfilled "a working man's fantasy ... rekindled memories of workers' liberation ... (and) sparked wistful excitement among workers who have long fantasized of choosing pride over pay."
Before getting to the AP's latest sympathetic piece, let's take a look at something originally associated with a magazine report about Slater that is not currently present in that story.
Secular leftists in the media don't often have use for religion, particularly Christianity, except, it seems, when biblical passages can be isolated out of context to bash religious conservatives over the head as wicked for opposing big government or for standing up for traditional moral values.
Enter Joe Klein, Christian theologian extraordinaire, who suggested in Time.com Swampland blog post yesterday that Jesus would make Fox News host Glenn Beck sweat it out a bit at the pearly gates:
If Jesus were around today, he might say that it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a telecharlatan to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
In a follow-up blog post from today, Klein thanked a commenter for passing along a passage from the gospel according to St. Matthew wherein Jesus taught that "when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men."
"The noisy proclamation of religiosity is usually a sign of the exact opposite," Klein preached regarding the August 28 Beck rally.
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):
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.
Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has responded to reports that an NPR producer wrote gleefully about his death in an e-mail message to the now infamous JournoList.
As NewsBusters reported Wednesday, the Daily Caller's Jonathan Strong published some more of the liberal group's e-mail messages which included Sarah Spitz claiming that she would "Laugh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out" as Limbaugh writhed in torment.
With this in mind, both the Washington Examiner's Byron York and myself asked Limbaugh for a response to this nonsense.
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.
Fireworks, barbecue, parades on the Fourth of July ... but hold the flags.
Sounds ridiculous, right? Although Howard Zinn died earlier this year, that was his suggestion back in 2006. And what does The Progressive magazine do this July 4th? They trot Zinn's anti-American sentiments out for their left-of-center audience by republishing his piece, "Put away the flags."
"On this July 4, we would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blesse[d]," Zinn wrote. "Is not nationalism -- that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder -- one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred?"
And that disgusting sentiment comes in addition to Progressive magazine editor Matthew Rothchild's immature July 3 anti-patriotism piece saying that "between God, country, and apple pie, I'll take the apple pie" suggesting patriotism is "toxic."
Barack Obama is president. Oil is gushing in the gulf. America was eliminated from the World Cup. Looking for a laugh break? Try this: MSNBC has described DEMOS as "non-partisan." OK, I hadn't heard of them, either. But their web site just happens to mention that Barack Obama is "a founding Board member."
But that didn't stop Chris Hayes of the lefty Nation mag, on MSNBC this evening subbing for Ed Schultz, from, yes, describing DEMOS as "non-partisan" in introducing the group's Washington, DC director, Heather McGhee. And who is Heather? From the DEMOS site: "previously, she was the Deputy Policy Director, Domestic and Economic Policy, for the John Edwards for President 2008 campaign."
You would think that if there were one thing people could agree on, despite their politics, it would be cheering for the United States in a sporting event. But no, not for Jeremy Scahill.
Scahill, a regular contributor for left-wing The Nation magazine, has dedicated the past several years of his life to an obsession over the defense contractor Xe Services LLC, formerly known as Blackwater. But apparently Scahill can't overcome his politics and take pride in his country's World Cup soccer team. In a series of posts on his Twitter account, Scahill vented his frustrations over cheering for the United States in the World Cup:
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."
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:
Comedians often pride themselves on being irreverent, and in today's popular culture a favorite thing to ridicule is religion. The network Comedy Central has made laughing at religion its bread and butter. Their irreverence has limits, however, and it has nothing to do with taste. When radical Muslims wrote ominously online that the creators of "South Park" could end up like Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh - shot eight times on the street - mockery of Muhammed was formally and publicly censored.
Within weeks of that very public retreat, Comedy Central announced plans to work up a series laughing at Jesus Christ called "JC," a half-hour animated show about Jesus trying to live a normal life in New York City to escape the "enormous shadow" of his "powerful but apathetic father." God the Father is preoccupied with playing video games while Christ is the "ultimate fish out of water."
Beyond the glaring double standard there is this question: Where is the market demand for an entire television series dedicated to attacks on Jesus Christ? What did Jesus Christ do to Comedy Central that they must relentlessly mock Him by portraying him defecating and talking about his "yummy, yummy crap" on "South Park" and roast him on specials titled "Merry F--ing Christmas"? Why the visuals of Jesus Christ being stabbed to death? Of the Blessed Virgin Mary menstruating? To call these attacks "juvenile" is an insult to juveniles.
How's this for outside-the-box thinking - use nuclear explosives to stop the BP oil spill that is ravaging the Gulf Coast?
According to some of the panelist on Fox News Channel's "Forbes on Fox," using nuclear materials would be a more expeditious way to solve this calamity.
"That's right, nuke it." "Forbes on Fox" host David Asman said on the show's June 5 broadcast. "Some scientists do advocate this. The Soviets apparently succeeded in doing it. Here is the video they say actually shows it. And now some at ‘Forbes' agree, nuke it.
Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes magazine, was one of the strongest proponents of using nukes for fear that the relief well option could be thwarted by a hurricane.
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.
Parts of the U.S. establishment press have acknowledged "climate science" reality, six months late.
The fallout from ClimateGate (link is to the NewsBusters tag), the name eventually given to the scandal resulting from the unauthorized posting of over 1,000 emails and dozens of documents obtained from University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) in the UK, goes back a full six months to November of last year.
On November 20, Australia's Andrew Bolt crisply described the contents of the aforementioned items as providing substantial evidence of: "Conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organised resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more."
Newsweek's Lisa Miller again lashed out against the Catholic Church in her column on Thursday, defending an excommunicated Catholic nun in Arizona for her "compassionate and impossible decision" in supporting a hospital patient's abortion. Miller also condemned a Vatican cardinal's investigation into American nuns as a whole as "authoritarian meddling."
The religion editor for the dwindling magazine began her column, "Female Troubles," by sympathizing with Sister Margaret McBride, an administrator at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, who ruled with her hospital's ethics committee that a first-trimester abortion which took place in late 2009 was medically necessary:
Earlier this month, in something of a surprise, a nun at a Catholic hospital in Phoenix was excommunicated for approving a first-trimester abortion last year at that hospital to save the life of a critically ill patient....The irony here is thick: it has taken years, sometimes decades, to bring sex-abusing priests to justice, but this observant sister, Margaret McBride, was excommunicated in a matter of months for making a compassionate and impossible decision for one of her parishioners.
Time's Michael Crowley, late of the liberal publication The New Republic, took to his new magazine's Swampland blog with a salutatory post yesterday. After the obligatory kind words about how excited he was to be on board "another great [journalistic] institution," Crowley laid out his case about why author Joe McGinniss was foolish for renting a house right next door to the Palin family's Wasilla residence.
He did take a few swipes at Palin in the process -- arguing Palin is on a mission to discredit journalists and this just bolsters her argument -- but Crowley's case is the polar opposite of Slate's Jack Shafer, who defiantly praised McGinniss's journalistic "a**holery." Here's the relevant excerpt from Crowley's May 27 post (emphases mine):
Just how desperately does the MSM want to bury the Sestak job-bribe story? Yesterday we reported Time editor Rick Stengel's risibly feigned ignorance of the matter.
On Morning Joe today, Joe Scarborough broke off a colorful metaphor to describe the liberal media's see-no-evil approach to the subject, saying the MSM wouldn't cover the story "if Rahm Emanuel announced it in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue wearing nothing but a Speedo."
Mika Brzezinski broached the subject by mentioning that she had gotten "hammered" by her husband and friends for her criticism of the MSM's failure to ask the tough questions on the matter.
Imagine if, in 2004, Karl Rove had offered then-Rep. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) a cushy administration post if only he dropped his primary challenge of then-Republican Sen. Arlen Specter, whom the Bush White House was backing for reelection.
Surely the media would merely smell "stupid politics" rather then the stench of corruption and complain that Democrats making hay of the matter were cynically making a federal case out of something that happens in Washington all the time.
Of course both you and I know that's the exact opposite of what would happen. But when it comes to Joe Sestak's alleged job offer by the Obama White House, Time magazine's Michael Grunwald is peeved at Republicans, practically telling them in his May 27 "Viewpoint" post at Time.com to move along:
Joe Scarborough was on fire this morning, his ire trained on twin targets: Dick Blumenthal, and the New York Times' John Harwood, who casually dismissed the candidate's lies about having served in Vietnam as just a case of getting "a little carried away." At one point, Scarborough claimed he wasn't calling Blumenthal a "scumbag"—but it sure sounded like it.
Harwood began his Blumenthal defense with a barroom analogy: "the occasions where he was loose is more akin to a guy who had a few too many at the bar and hit on somebody rather than somebody actually trying to slip a mickey into the girls drink." He later added this lame defense: that even if Blumenthal lied to the veterans groups about his record, they weren't deceived by it. "Were all those veterans groups fooled by it?", asked Harwood, implying they weren't. "You're a reporter, you go ask them," snapped Scarborough.
Scarborough later pointed out that Blumenthal lied and trafficked on the valor of others on precisely those occasions when, appearing before veterans groups, it would benefit him politically. Harwood miscast Joe's criticism of Blumenthal as a demand that all candidates explain why they didn't serve. A peeved Scarborough called Harwood out: "John, I don't know show, what feed you're listening to."
The former Newsweek editor snarked on GQ.com's The Wire blog earlier this afternoon about Missouri Republican Roy Blunt's "follow Friday" (#ff) tweet urging his Twitter followers to check out and follow Best Buddies International and the Special Olympics.
In a post entitled, "Really? You're Using #FollowFriday To Score Cheap Political Points?", Devin Gordon snarked:
The far-left Nation magazine is facing a $1,000,000 budget shortfall. Though it attributes it to a weak market for print journalism, conservative periodicals are doing quite well. In fact, the president the Nation worked so hard to elect could spell the magazine's downfall. The irony is delicious.
The magazine's Washington Editor Chris Hayes wrote a fundraising email saying that "newspapers and magazines are having a rough time." Well, not all magazines. National Review's circulation has increased by roughly 25,000 since 2008. It would have been more accurate to say that liberal magazines are having a rough time.
It's generally accepted that magazines do well when someone of the opposite ideological makeup is in the White House. During the Bush administration, liberal magazines thrived. Since Obama was elected, they've declined while conservative ones have flourished.
On HBO's Real Time Friday, Bill Maher fought with conservative atheist S.E. Cupp and claimed the news magazines weren't hostile to religion, but were overflowing with religion coverage. His exaggerations were wild, more than just for comic effect:
Are you kidding? Jesus or Mary is on the cover of Newsweek or Time like every other week. If Jesus had an office on Sunset Boulevard, and you walked down the corridor, he'd have his magazine covers on every wall. We did a mockup! There! This is the last few years.
If Maher or his underlings at HBO were really careful about facts about "the last few years," they'd know how far off this is: use the cover search on Time's website for "Jesus" and see how many Jesus covers since the 1900s ended: I count four. That's hardly "every other week."
There's "The Opus Dei Code" (April 24, 2006, not included on Maher's screen, since it might seem less than devout, slinging Da Vinci Code myths), "Secrets of the Nativity" (December 13, 2004), "Why Did Jesus Have to Die?" (April 12, 2004), and "What Jesus Saw" (April 16, 2001).
One of the worst ways that the lack of ideological diversity in America's newsrooms shows forth is in the media's treatment of sensational accusations against the current president.
Oftentimes, explosive allegations against presidents are either untrue or drastically overstated: George W. Bush deliberately lying to get the U.S. to war so he can cash in or deliberately ignoring Hurricaine Katrina due to his hatred of black people (a la Kanye West), Bill Clinton's supposed involvment in the drug trade, truthers, birthers, so on and so forth.
Journalists do the public a service by rebutting absurd conspiracy theories and wacko charges. In recent memory, though, they have taken a much greater zeal toward stamping out allegations against Democrats, particularly President Obama, a stark contrast to the kidglove or even promotional attitude they took toward books by liberal authors alleging all sorts of anti-Bush absurdities.
World Net Daily-affiliated author Aaron Klein recently discovered this when he sent his new book, "The Manchurian President," to members of the media he hoped would review it. He got some very angry responses. Here are some of the more colorful ones: