A Muslim religious leader with alleged ties to the terrorist group Hamas is scheduled to address President Barack Obama's inaugural prayer service on Wednesday.
Given the recent hostilities in Israel surrounding Hamas, irrespective of a just-announced ceasefire, one has to wonder how much attention this matter will get from Obama-loving media which are also largely pro-Palestinian.
Although Politico is getting credit for breaking this story, the American Thinker appears to have been the first to unveil the truth behind Ingrid Mattson Saturday (photo courtesy AP via Politico):
All in all, I like Politico's list of the Top Ten Media Blunders of 2008, by staff writer Michael Calderone, appearing on the website this evening. How can you be too tough on a list that includes, among other faux pas:
MSNBC's use of Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews as election night and convention co-anchors;
The New York Times's suggestive but unsubstantiated story about John McCain and lobbyist Vikki Iseman; and
The MSM's lack of curiosity despite the National Enquirer's solid reporting on the John Edwards affair?
But no story about a list would be complete without some beefing and second-guessing, and I have some. Here's blunder #6 on the Politico list [emphasis added]:
Politico announced a new partnership with Reuters on Monday that will provide political, government and business news from both organizations to newspapers across the United States.
In September, Politico launched the Politico Network, a partnership whereby member publications could run Politico content in print or online, while sharing in the profits from online advertisements.
Now, members of the Politico Network—which includes 60 newspapers and 40 broadcast outlets—will be able to run a broad selection of Reuters’ wire copy for free, while similarly sharing in the revenue from online advertising that’s sold by Politico.
And Reuters will distribute Politico stories worldwide through the news organization’s subscription-based wire service.
President-elect Barack Obama's transition website Change.gov is censoring questions offered by readers about disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.
Although the "Open for Questions" page was launched Wednesday stating "The Obama-Biden Transition wants to hear from you," readers have been quick to shelter the president-elect from inquiries relating to Blago.
When promises candidate Barack Obama made to voters during the campaign get tossed aside like so much rubbish, will media hold his feet to the fire?
Such is an important question given how many pledges Democrats and their leaders made to garner the public's support in 2006 which ended up being completely irrelevant once the 110th Congress was sworn in.
For the most part, as each campaign commitment was tossed on the trash heep, Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, and all their accomplices were given a pass by "journalists" from coast to coast.
With this in mind, Politico on Monday published a list of campaign promises the president-elect has already gone back on -- or appears to be in the process of doing so -- that an honest media, despite their complicity in getting him elected, should be aggressively reporting if getting the policies enacted were more important than getting the person they liked in the White House (h/t Hot Air, photo courtesy AP via Politico):
This particular Palin report is funny for it's cluelessness, but a spokesman for the Internet search engine company Lycos is astounded that people are still interested enough in Governor Sarah Palin to put her name in the search field of an Internet search engine like Lycos or Google. After all, we have Obama, now, the spokesman says. Why do we need Palin info still?
The quotes from Kathy O’Reilly, a spokeswoman for Lycos, were reported by Politico last week and goes to show that the appeal of Sarah Palin is still little understood in many quarters.
Sarah Palin has stayed in the list of the top 5 Internet searches since she was chosen as John McCain's running mate in October.
It may not be an automatic disqualifier for an Obama administration appointment, as Ed Morrissey at Hot Air suggested on Friday, but it's certainly an affront to the personal privacy rights of individuals and families.
The Politico reported Thursday evening about the fallout resulting from an intrusive question on the president-elect's 63-question personnel form:
President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team is asking potential appointees detailed questions about gun ownership, and firearms advocates aren’t happy about it.
The Politico reported on November 22 that Time Magazine's Mark Halperin scolded the media for it's sycophantic treatment of Barack Obama during this election cycle calling the favorable treatment "the most disgusting failure" of the press he's seen for years. "It was extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage," Halperin said at a Politico/USC conference held on Friday.
It's all pretty amusing, though, to see Mark Helprin complain that his fellow journalists didn't do a good job reporting on Obama's record because back in March, NewsBusters reported on how Halperin himself was claiming that Obama represented a "centrist" politician despite the fact that Obama has the most liberal voting record in the Senate! What happened to being tough on The One then?
Imagine if you will, President Bush or Gov. Sarah Palin saying the following in a sit down interview or a Sunday morning show appearance:
We had a crisis, we kicked it down the can.... These are – just taking those two examples, these are crises you can no longer afford to kick down the can.... The crisis we have here, the American people know we have one and they are ready and willing to start to tackle those problems. You cannot afford now to kick those down the can any longer.
Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann would have their share of guffaws at the gaffe. The Daily Show might use it as a "Moment of Zen" and other broadcast and print outlets would be sure to get their licks in.
Yet neither President George W. Bush nor the Alaska governor said those things. President-elect Barack Obama's chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel did, much to Politico's delight. Yet rather than heap scorn on Emanuel, reporter Carol Lee found the Illinois Democrat's "Rahmbonics" endearing, comparing them favorably to beloved baseball icon Yogi Berra's way with words:
The November 12 story by staffer Michael Shear began by noting that Obama "campaigned as an anti-Washington candidate" and that his transition team "made it clear" that the president-elect "would seek to build on that theme over the next two months."
As evidence of that, Shear explained the transition team's rules "that restrict how federal lobbyists can participate" in the Obama transition. Yet Shear failed to note how the standard has shifted over the course of Obama's campaign (emphasis mine):
Busybody Keith Olbermann couldn't wait to see how Saturday Night Live was going to portray him. So, says Politico.com's Michael Calderone, he apparently breached the show's (I thought) tight security to find out.
And of course, when contacted, the MSNBC host took yet another cheap shot at his personal obsession, Sarah Palin. It was just a few weeks ago on NBC's Sunday Night Football that Olbermann made a Palin Derangement Syndrome-betraying allusion when describing the mental condition of a just-injured NFL quarterback.
John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei were important players on The Washington Post’s political team when they left to start The Politico newspaper and website. But they don’t think that most "mainstream" reporters are liberals or partisans. Now they’ve written an article provocatively titled "Why McCain Is Getting Hosed by the Press," noting their own mothers think the media’s in the tank for Obama.
Harris and VandeHei declared: "OK, let’s just get this over with: Yes, in the closing weeks of this election, John McCain and Sarah Palin are getting hosed in the press, and at Politico." But to critics, they can only say: "our sincere answer is that of the factors driving coverage of this election -- and making it less enjoyable for McCain to read his daily clip file than for Obama -- ideological favoritism ranks virtually nil."
They proclaimed that reporters are far too professional to let their personality show:
Apparently the Washington Post thinks it has an ethics violation to hold against Cindy McCain, wife of GOP presidential candidate John McCain. The Post is trying to claim that Cindy McCain somehow illicitly got a portable cell tower delivered to her remote Arizona ranch so that their phones would work there. The truth is, however, the Secret Service ordered up the portable cell tower, not Cindy McCain.
Even the words the Post uses to report the story prove somewhat weasely because, as the Post can't find any actual wrong doing, the story relies on vague ways of implying wrongdoing without actually saying it. In the end, there doesn't seem to be much there, there, but I suppose the Post had to justify the money it spent by publishing this non-story anyway.
Politico's Roger Simon claimed Sunday that John McCain and Sarah Palin are responsible for the anger being expressed towards Barack Obama by their supporters.
Unfortunately, he had nothing to say about who's responsible for the hatred being expressed towards Sarah Palin on television, at rock concerts, and even at sporting events.
I wonder why.
Appearing on Sunday's "Reliable Sources," Simon gave the following response to host Howard Kurtz's question concerning whether or not it's fair of the press to blame McCain and Palin for some recent ugliness at campaign events (file photo):
At the top of Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Julie Chen declared: "Palin on the hot seat as she readies for her debate. Some conservatives want Sarah Palin off the Republican ticket." In the segment that followed, co-host Maggie Rodriguez similarly proclaimed: "...the question a lot of Americans are asking this morning, including some prominent Republicans, is whether Sarah Palin is ready." Correspondent Jeff Glor then explained: "Sarah Palin has mostly been kept away from reporters but the interviews she has done are raising eyebrows."
Glor went on to cite one conservative columnist calling for Palin to step down: "But even some conservatives are concerned, including syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker who said 'Palin is clearly out of her league' and called for the Alaska governor to leave the race." Based on that, Alex Burns from politico.com concluded: " I think there are a small number of people who will publically say that they're worried about her abilities as a candidate. I think there's a larger number of people who privately express kind of muted criticism and concern."
Even the crossword puzzles in The New York Times are biased in favor of Obama and Biden finds David Levinson Wilk in Politico. Wilk did a little research to see how many times McCain has been an answer in the NYT puzzle since 2005. He came up with zero entries. When he looked for Obama he found the name "regularly appeared" in the puzzle. Does this prove that the Times is "150 percent in the tank" for Obama as McCain adviser Steve Schmidt recently claimed?
I find it a bit amazing that neither McCain's name, nor Palin's name (unless it is referring to Monty Python alum Michael) appears in the Times puzzle. But, there you have it. Wilk gives us his findings but tries to make light of the whole thing.
In some of the strongest criticism of the media yet during this campaign, John McCain's senior adviser Steve Schmidt on Monday blasted the New York Times for being an advocate for Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama.
In a scathing attack, Schmidt said the Times had "cast aside its journalistic integrity and tradition to advocate for the defeat of one candidate, in this case John McCain, and advocate for the election of the other candidate, Barack Obama."
During a press conference call, after CNN's Dana Bash asked campaign manager Rick Davis about a Times article accusing him of getting paid for doing advocacy work that benefitted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Schmidt jumped in to absolutely lambaste the Gray Lady for its clearly biased reporting during this election cycle (audio available here, picture courtesy New York Times/AP):
NBC's "Saturday Night Live" opened its most recent installment with a John McCain-bashing skit believed to be the idea of Senate Democrat candidate Al Franken.
In the segment, McCain, played by Darrell Hammond, approved numerous campaign ads making absolutely absurd claims about Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama.
One accused the junior senator from Illinois of wanting to provide health insurance for everyone in the universe including Osama bin Laden, while another said Obama approved tax cuts for pedophiles (video embedded below the fold).
Yet, according to Politico, this was all the brainchild of Franken:
One or more people hack Sarah Palin's email account and publish her private correspondence on the web. So MSNBC and Politico naturally want to know if. . . Palin did anything wrong and whether there might be anything embarrassing to her in the purloined e-letters. Discussion of possible negative implications for Barack Obama? Zilch.
Talk about blaming the victim. Norah O'Donnell, subbing for Andrea Mitchell during MSNBC's 1PM EDT hour, interviewed Politico's Jim VandeHei.
On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia. Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:
CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.
Just how much are liberal bloggers driving the mainstream media attacks on Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin?
According to a report in Saturday's Politico, postings by the Netroots Friday concerning a friend and former business partner of the Palins trying to have his divorce records sealed created a media feeding frenzy in Alaska.
This was to be the smoking gun tying this individual to a National Enquirer piece last week that alleged Palin had an extramarital affair some years ago, which according to Politico's Kenneth P. Vogel, sent mainstream press members scurrying like rats to a small courthouse thousands of miles from their nests (emphasis added, photo courtesy AP):
Furthering the Obama campaign's complaints about McCain running mate Gov. Sarah Palin's (R-Alaska) inexperience, Politico's Fred Barbash and David Mark turned to presidential historians for comment, who panned the wisdom of McCain's pick.
Yet as an e-mail tipster to NewsBusters pointed out, two of the historians critical of Palin's "lack of experience" donated money to Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Our tipster was too generous.
Politico reported moments ago that campaign manager Rick Davis has sent a strongly-worded letter to Steve Capus, president of NBC News, sharply criticizing Mitchell's suggestion that the Arizona senator had somehow cheated at Saturday's Saddleback Civil Forum.
In it, Davis expressed concern that: "the level of objectivity at NBC News has fallen so low that reporters are now giving voice to unsubstantiated, partisan claims in order to undercut John McCain;" "Mitchell did what has become a pattern for her of simply repeating Obama campaign talking points," and; NBC News was "following MSNBC's lead in abandoning non-partisan coverage of the Presidential race."
In a stunning development, Republicans are currently staging a revolt against House Democrats who adjourned a few hours ago to head on a five week vacation instead of allowing a vote which would permit additional offshore oil drilling.
Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other GOP leaders opposed the motion to adjourn the House, arguing that Pelosi's refusal to schedule a vote allowing offshore drilling is hurting the American economy. They have refused to leave the floor after the adjournment motion passed at 11:23 a.m. and are busy bashing Pelosi and her fellow Democrats for leaving town for the August recess.
The protest came moments after the GOP presented Pelosi the following letter:
You might say nothing could be more unsurprising than a panel of political pundits admitting the obvious: that Barack Obama is playing the race card when he accuses John McCain of saying the Dem candidate "doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency."
But what makes the punditry panel's unanimity notable is that no one would accuse them of being McCain backers, and what's more, that they turned up on Hardball. Surely Chris Matthews, were he not on vacation, would have found one diehard to deny reality. But with Mike Barnicle guest-hosting, a consensus of truth-telling broke out.
Barnicle began by playing a clip of McCain, interviewed by CNN's John King, saying that it is legitimate to accuse Obama of having played the race card. The video is worth viewing if only to watch McCain end the interview by shaking a surprised King's hand and walking away. Then the panel commented. Perry Bacon of the Washington Post said he would decline to answer directly, but his answer left no real doubt as to his view.
Update: An NB reader contacted Mike Allen, author of the article, to complain about the photo choice. Allen indicated he was unaware of, and not involved in, the photo selection. The accompaning photo was subsequently changed to one of the condemned solider.
Of all the millions of photos of George W. Bush, that displayed here is the one Politico.com chose to accompany its story, Bush Approves Soldier's Execution, of the president's authorization of the execution of a soldier convicted of four murders and eight rapes in North Carolina.
Was this a photo taken of Pres. Bush as he announced his decision? Apparently not. The story indicates that the president did not announce his decision in person, but did so via a statement from White House Press Secretary Dana Perino.
Does Politico have evidence that the president made his decision in anger? If so, it didn't report that. To the contrary, Dana Perino's statement says the decision was "difficult" for the president.
Andrea Mitchell might be a doyenne of the liberal media, but she has her reporter's pride and principles, which have been trampled by the way the Obama campaign has managed the media during the candidate's current trip to Afghanistan and Iraq. Mitchell let loose on this evening's Hardball, speaking of "fake interviews," and decrying that she was unable to report on pertinent aspects of the trip because the media has been excluded and that the video released is unreliable because it's impossible to know what has been edited out.
Before Mitchell made her displeasure known, Roger Simon of Politico, Chris Matthews's other guest during the segment, depicted the images coming out of the war zone as all Obama could have dreamed of.
ROGER SIMON: The optics are all very good on this trip. I mean, the beginning of this trip is so good, Senator Obama might just want to call off the end and just keep running the videotape.