A few days before Eliot Spitzer went down in flames, a highly-connected Barack Obama* [Update: Kilpatrick has not committed to Obama] superdelegate was mired in accusations of corruption, bid-rigging and a dead-stripper sex scandal. Usually the media love to report the downfall of party bigwigs, but not in the case of Detroit's youngest mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Much of the media downplayed the mayor's scandals and did not report his party, let alone his status as a Democratic power player who can influence the election.
Kwame, who is the son of Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI), is not just any mayor. He was a Democratic rising star, who spoke at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and is the superdelegate to the 2008 convention thanks to his position as Vice President of the Conference of Democratic Mayors.
But now “The First Hip Hop Mayor” is in serious trouble, with members of the city council calling for his resignation. Controversy has engulfed his two terms, and the latest bout involves a report that his wife assaulted a now-dead stripper whose shooting is still unsolved. At the same time, the mayor's longtime pal Bobby Ferguson won at least $45 million in city contracts while reportedly receiving inside information from Kilpatrick and his chief of staff.
"Bush allows Navy to use sonar in whale areas," blares the headline to an AP story on MSNBC.com about President Bush granting the Navy the right to continue to test mid-frequency active sonar in coastal waters despite a federal court judge's order for the Navy to stop.
"Judge had earlier ordered 12-mile no-sonar zone off California," reads the subhead.
Gee, I wasn't aware that whales had legal claims on U.S. coastal waters, let alone that they are considered "whale areas."
The issue at hand is whether environmental laws can and should be shelved from time to time for national security exemptions, and if the president can make that determination as commander-in-chief. So why not a headline that's more straightforward?
"Bush allows Navy to use sonar in coastal waters. Decision challenges court ruling aimed at protecting whales."
Once again, the news media is trying to create reality instead of merely reporting on it. In this case, we have MSNBC trying to create a McCain-Lieberman ticket out of whole cloth with wild speculation not born of any real life news. What we end up with here isn't any sort of journalism, but a wish list based only on the author's desires and not any reading of reality. This fantasy does, however, fit in quite well with the media's love of John McCain and his "gutsy" positions and their desires to override what Republicans want to instead have McCain anointed by the media as the GOP standard bearer.
I have an idea and I know that it's a novel idea in most "journalist's" circles. Let's let Republicans decide who they want. The media should just report the matter not try to influence it. But, that advice aside, MSNBC's Tom Curry floats his dream ticket anyway...
Quoth Wes Craven: NevermoreMessage for Chris Matthews: Hollywood 1984 called, and it wants its sweater back.
On location today in Hanover, New Hampshire, Matthews climbed out of the Wardrobe Wayback Machine - Slasher Flick Edition sporting a Halloween-shaded version of Freddy Krueger's trademark "A Nightmare on Elm Street" pull-over.
During a question and answer session with about 100 people in attendance (in a town of only 1,374 people), John Edwards handled quite well a very unusual question.
An elderly man told Edwards that “something has been sticking in my craw” and explained that “a certain fella committed two murders in California and the jury found him not guilty. And all they said was, ‘It’s payback time.’ How are you going to have that come out in this election to combat one of your competitors?”
Edwards seemed puzzled, as most people in the audience seemed to be.
“The black jury in Los Angeles, the reason they found O.J. not guilty was ‘payback,’” the older gent explained.
“Payback for what?” Edwards asked.
For mistreatment by white America, the man said.
“What do you want the president to do about that?” Edwards asked.
“How are you going to get that brought out in your campaign? Will the same thing happen? If he should become elected, you think Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Oprah Winfrey are going to let him forget about that and their obligation?” the man said, not identifying who he meant by “he” and “him.”
“I’m still not sure what it is that you’re asking,” Edwards said, a bit uneasily.
“Obama,” the man said, “has never said anything about payback for the problems the blacks have had getting their foothold in society.”
MSNBC's Tom Curry writes that it wasn't totally clear "but the man seemed to want Barack Obama to denounce the 'not guilty' verdict in Simpson’s 1995 trial." But the money quote, as they say, comes when Curry offers this:
Hillary Clinton fundraiser Norman Hsu was indicted earlier today in a $20 million Ponzi scheme. I received a text message e-mail alert to this effect shortly after 1:30 p.m. Eastern. Given the heated lead-up to Iowa and New Hampshire, it's major news. In a 24/7 media cycle, it's inconceivable that it major news organization Web sites could not or would not give it top billing shortly after the news broke.
Yet at 3 p.m. today, a review of some major media Web sites showed no prominence given to the story. MSNBC.com didn't have a teaser headline for it until its "local news" box for WNBC, the NBC network's East Coast flagship in New York City:
Fox News, by contrast, had this tease prominently displayed on it's front page:
In the past couple of days, you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting an hysterical press report concerning an excerpt of former White House press secretary Scott McClellan's soon to be released book seemingly implicating President George W. Bush in lying about the Valerie Plame Wilson affair.
Those guilty of premature emasculation will likely be distraught over statements by the book's publisher indicating the media overreacted to the 121 words posted at Public Affairs Books.com Monday which were part of a marketing campaign to rollout upcoming spring printings.
On its Tabloid Tidbits blog page, MSNBC is taking potshots at both one time pinup boy Fabio and current left-wing, heartthrob George Clooney in a Hollywood smack 'em up two fer. Now, I'm as unconcerned over the entertainment media beating up the denizens of Hollyweird as anyone else -- especially when one of them is the uncouth, surly, leftist Clooney -- but this one strikes me as interesting for the reason they are attacking Fabio; because of his act of chivalry. I guess entertainment reporters think it is odd, funny or execrable when a man sticks up for the virtue of a woman, now 'a days? Sadly, it appears that acts of chivalry opens one up for ridicule in today's Hollywood. They just can't stand any exhibition of traditional manhood out there on the left coast.
The Tabloid Tidbits section goes for Fabio's throat with its very first line
The first month of fiscal 2008 was a success for all active and reserve military components.
In a meeting with Pentagon reporters today, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said all components met or exceeded their recruiting goals for October.
On the active-duty side, the Army made 101 percent of its goal of 4,500, with 4,564 recruits. The Navy made 100 percent of its goal of 2,788 recruits. The Marine Corps made 102 percent of its goal of 2,720, with 2,788 enlisting. The Air Force made 100 percent of its goal of 2,656.
A major political figure calls for the torture and execution of homosexuals and the mainstream media ignores it. Why? Could it be because the individual is a high level Iranian official? The story "Gays Deserve Torture, Death Penalty, Iranian Minister Says" appeared on the front page of FoxNews.com, yet it was nowhere to be found on CNN’s, MSNBC’s, ABC News’, or CBS News’ websites.
The Fox News story, lifted from The Times of London, reports that in a "peace conference" with British MP’s in May, the leader of the Iranian delegation, Mohsen Yahyavi, stated according to the article that "homosexuals deserve to be executed, or tortured, and possibly both."
"The Times" story, appearing on the Fox News website, reports on the meeting as follows:
Here is a perfect example of why no one can trust the MSM. They can't even get a quote in context without spinning it to their own desired ends by leaving out parts of the quote, materially changing its meaning. MSNBC took a few choice words out of an Internet post written by Randy Thomas, vice president of Exodus International, a Christian based organization that promotes "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ." In MSNBC.com's "More evangelicals concluding God is green," they quote Mr. Thomas as to why he is supporting Mike Huckabee. But, the way they quote Thomas it seems that he endorses the "God is green" concept, when he doesn't at all in reality. Here is how they quoted Thomas:
Randy Thomas, vice president of Exodus International, an evangelical ministry, wrote last month that “I have decided to vote for Huckabee.
On this day in the year 2000, the guided missile destroyer USS Cole was attacked by Islamic terrorists associated with Osama bin Laden's al-Quaeda group. Today is the seventh anniversary of that attack. Seventeen American sailors were killed and thirty-eight injured in the attack which severely damaged the ship. Yet not a single major media organ has reported this so far.
Attacking a warship has been long viewed as an act of war. The most recent example occured in 1968 when North Korea attacked the USS Pueblo. To our national shame, the Pueblo is still in the hands of that country. A rather more forceful response occurred in 1941, when Japan attacked the US Pacific Fleet at anchor in Pearl Harbor.
MSNBC's Chuck Todd posted a blog post today on his First Read blog titled "George Allen, Liz Cheney to Spin for Thompson." So, any takers to wonder if Chuck Todd would have posted a blog post titled "Sandy Berger to Spin for Clinton," or "Oprah to Spin for Obama"? Does anyone think that Chuck Todd would have used such a negative word as "spin" to describe the assistance a high profile supporter would give a Democrat candidate?
After that misleading headline, Todd cynically starts his post with the following:
One of the fun parts of being the host network of the debate is finding out first who the campaigns are lining up to spin for them post-debate.
I see. So no candidate's supporter could ever come on to offer post debate commentary without it being "spin"? No one could possibly be honestly supporting their candidate? Is that how Chuck Todd sees the situation?
Were you aware that embattled Idaho Senator Larry Craig has been inducted into the Idaho Hall of Fame? If you journeyed over to MSNBC.com, you couldn't miss [this AP] story; their 8:30am EDT update highlights it not once, not twice, not three times, but four times in different sections of their main page. Here's one from the "Inside MSNBC.com" segment:
On Thursday, Alex Johnson wrote an article about beleaguered quarterback Michael Vick published at MSNBC.com.
In it, he quoted Rev. Al Sharpton as basically saying that the whole issue was being over-hyped due to racism stating, "If the police caught Brett Favre (a white quarterback for the Green Bay Packers) running a dolphin-fighting ring out of his pool, where dolphins with spears attached to their foreheads fought each other," Favre wouldn't get arrested.
As journalism giant Rupert Murdoch's bid to buy the Wall Street Journal's parent company gets closer and closer to reality, the number of hit pieces continues to grow. After all, the man behind FOX News, the New York Post, The Times of London and other conservative-leaning news outlets cannot be allowed to conduct business without an effort to bring him to his comeuppance. Finally, however, someone from the liberal-leaning media is sticking up for Murdoch, albeit in a somewhat backhanded way.
In a commentary published on MSNBC's website today, O. Casey Corr goes to bat for Murdoch by saying despite the fact that many of the media concerns he owns tend to favor conservative views, he's not to blame for the current news media atmosphere.
And haunt it does in this piece designed to scare the bejeebers out of women who are considering leaving the workforce in order to stay at home with their children. MSNBC contributor Eve Tahmincioglu warns us that women who leave lucrative careers in order to change diapers and arrange playdates may receive a nasty surprise if and when they need to go back to work.
She includes anecdotes from women whose circumstances demanded that they go back to work, but were unable to simply pick up from where they left off, taking jobs they had to in order to make ends meet.
For professional backup, Tahmincioglu turns to Leslie Bennetts, author of the recent tome "The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much?"
The indicted former Newark Mayor and current NJ state Senator Sharpe James sure is mysterious. According to the New York Times, WNBC and via the AP, the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo, Philadelphia Inquirer and the UK's Guardian, among others, James seemingly does not belong to a political party. Maybe he belongs to the same non-party as Rep. William Jefferson who was indicted on corruption and bribery charges earlier this year (hat tip to a NewsBusters reader):
Strangely, after a little digging, I discovered that James is a Democrat and that according to the prosecution, some of his alleged expenses included costly trips to Jamaica, Rio de Janeiro and Puerto Rico on the taxpayer's dime, as well as letting a girlfriend buy city property at bargain-basement prices.
Does Keith Olbermann even read the MSNBC website ?
On Thursday’s Countdown (as well as his blog “The News Hole”), MSNBC host Keith Olbermann continued his attack on Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff’s “gut feeling” about increased terrorist vulnerability.
In his expert analysis, Olbermann theorized that Chertoff’s comment was a mistake, and that the Bush administration hurriedly (actually in one day) “created” a counter-terrorism report, indicating increased Al Qeada strength, to cover Chertoff’s supposed mis-statement. Olbermann claims of Chertoff: “You shot off your bazoo, and then this National Counter-Terrorism Center report was rushed out -- even created -- to cover you, to give you credibility.” Olbermann later described the sequence of events as: “a gaffe backfilled by an ‘instant report.’"
There’s just one problem with this theory. Olbermann’s own network ran an AP story hours earlier in which it was pointed out that the couter-terrorism report is the collaborative effort of 16 separate spy agencies, and are “the most authoritative written judgments that reflect the consensus long-term thinking of senior intelligence analysts.” (emphasis added)
Not all news insiders believe Katie Couric's disastrous stint as anchor for the CBS Evening News has anything to do with sexism or people having a thing against Couric. Steve Adubato of MSNBC simply believes Couric was the wrong person for the job. He tries to sweeten the criticism by making sure he compliments Couric on her strengths:
While I respect Katie Couric tremendously as a broadcaster who has had an impressive career doing personal profiles and engaging interviews, this CBS experiment was a really long shot right from the beginning. Simply put, Katie Couric is not a great news anchor or an even particularly good news anchor, at least not a network evening news anchor. That's not a crime. A lot of great football players can't play baseball or basketball, but they are still great athletes. That's how different Katie Couric's job on "The Today Show” was from what she was expected to do for CBS News.
Earlier today, NewsBusters contributor Pam Meister picked up on the MSNBC investigation into journalists' political contributions. Nearly 87 percent of the journalists gave exclusively to Democratic candidates.
Now some journos are reacting, and it seems the ones at Time magazine don't see the big deal.
I haven't myself made any political donations since I've been with
Time, as far as I remember, owing mostly to being a cheap bastard.
(Time's policy allows political donations, although according to
MSNBC's list, only one staffer has taken advantage of that, so I'm
guessing most of my co-workers are as tightfisted as I am.) Scratch
that: I did attend a fundraiser for John Kerry in 2004, which I believe
Mrs. Tuned In paid for, that consisted of a $20-a-ticket concert in a
friend's backyard by children's folk-rock musician Dan Zanes. There is
probably no more yuppie-Brooklyn phenomenon than a Toddlers Against
MSNBC took a look at 144 journalists who donated political contributions from 2004 to the start of the 2008 campaign:
...according to the public records of the Federal Election Commission. Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes. Only 17 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties.
The donors include CNN's Guy Raz, now covering the Pentagon for NPR, who gave to Kerry the same month he was embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq; New Yorker war correspondent George Packer; a producer for Bill O'Reilly at Fox; MSNBC TV host Joe Scarborough; political writers at Vanity Fair; the editor of The Wall Street Journal's weekend edition; local TV anchors in Washington, Minneapolis, Memphis and Wichita; the ethics columnist at The New York Times; and even MTV's former presidential campaign correspondent.
Part of a regular web-only health-centric column, "Tip of the Week," Newsweek ran a June 14 piece written by Ruth Olsen, called “How to shop for organic foods without breaking your budget,” that hit many of the usual myths and wishful thinking about organic foods, such as, organic foods taste better than conventional foods (which are labeled “nonorganic” in the article, implying they deviate from the norm and are somehow lacking), organic produce lasts as long as conventional and organics can be comparable price-wise to regular produce in supermarkets (emphasis mine throughout):
If you do manage to get more organic into your diet, you won't regret the extra effort. Organic produce isn’t just healthy and better for the environment, it tastes better, too, according to Charles Benbrook, chief scientist for The Organic Center. And that flavor boost might just make it easier to convince your children to eat their veggies, or to introduce them to new foods.
Back on May 20th, the NBC News Investigative Unit excitedly reported that US Armed forces and the Pentagon may be forcing our soldiers to use body armor that is not as effective as newer models being produced. In an alarming TV report called "Are U.S. soldiers wearing the best body armor?", NBC intimated that the Pentagon was sending our troops substandard bullet proof vests when they knew there was a better product out there suggesting that our government is putting our soldier's safety at risk. But, further Congressional investigations and military testing results are beginning to prove that NBC's breathless report about substandard armor is misleading. Will NBC do a follow up report admitting that their facts were wrong now that their original report has been revealed as hasty and ill informed?
The May 14 issue of Newsweek proclaimed that some descendants of famous Republicans--Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Barry Goldwater--are thinking about changing parties and voting Blue. In an article titled, “Generational Tensions: Thesons and daughters of some iconic Republicans (Ike! T.R.!) are contemplating crossing the aisle,” reporter Michael Hirsch set up the improbable idea that the logical move by unhappy "fiscally conservative" Republicans is to the Democratic Party. According to Ike's granddaughter Susan Eisenhower, “moderate ‘Eisenhower Republicans’ “ are not content, but Newsweek did not fully explore the illogic of this proposed alternative (emphasis mine throughout):
Increasingly, however, she says that the partisanship and free spending of the Bush presidency—and the takeover of the party by single-issue voters, especially pro-lifers—is driving these pragmatic, fiscally conservative voters out of the GOP.
Debatably, the dissatisfaction of moderate Republicans with the Iraq war and with what the article categorized as religiously influenced issues surrounding topics like Terri Schiavo, abortion and homosexuality can be answered by the Democratic Party, but not the problems of bloated bureaucracies and out of control spending. The article did not state the obvious; a Big Government GOP is still smaller than the modern Democratic Party.
Diane Vadino, travel writer for MSN, seems to be just as disgusted by Americans who travel abroad as those foreigners whom she quotes in hers titled "How American Travelers Are Viewed Abroad: The U.K.". Vadino revels in the "ugly American" stereotype and seeks out all the Brits she can find to validate her point. She even "apologizes" to an Iraqi for the evil of U.S. foreign policy on her visit to England.
In what woefully promises to be the “first in a series”, Vadino wonders, “Which affects British perceptions more: Stereotypes of the ‘ugly American’ or our country’s foreign policy? Or is something else at play?”
I can only imagine how often Vadino will say how much we are hated because of our foreign policy in this series, but whatever is to come this first segment is chock full of hating Americans by Brits… even as they are happy to eat our fast food, watch our movies and listen to our music not to mention take our money.
An investigation by Telemundo and NBC News has uncovered details of an
extensive smuggling network run by Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim group
founded in Lebanon in 1982 that the United States has labeled an
international terrorist organization. The operation funnels large sums
of money to militia leaders in the Middle East and finances training
camps, propaganda operations and bomb attacks in South America,
according to U.S. and South American officials.
U.S. officials fear that poorly patrolled borders and rampant
corruption in the Tri-border region could make it easy for Hezbollah
terrorists to infiltrate the southern U.S. border. From the largely
lawless region, it is easy for potential terrorists, without detection,
to book passage to the United States through Brazil and then Mexico
simply by posing as tourists.