New York Times political reporter Adam Nagourney is typically hyper-sensitive to any hint of a Republican "attack" on a Democrat (not so much the other way around). So it was refreshing to read him actually having a little fun needling Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards on Friday as "The Breck Girl" for his preening over his hair and looks when he thinks he's off-camera (most notoriously in a widely seen YouTube video set to "I Feel Pretty")
Nagourney on Friday wrote about the mini-flap over Edwards' two $400 haircuts and brought up the YouTube video while suggesting a perception of hypocrisy.
"John Edwards, the North Carolina Democrat, announced on Thursday that he was reimbursing his campaign $800 to cover what his aides said was the cost of two haircuts -- yes, you read that correctly -- by a Beverly Hills barber, though, perhaps, the word stylist is more applicable….Mr. Edwards has presented himself in the Democratic field as an advocate of working-class Americans, lamenting the nation’s growing economic disparity."
No one forced you at gunpoint to use Google today, but you probably have. The trouble is you don't know how evil that tech company with a "gusher of profits" is.
Fortunately for you, Washington Post's Steven Pearlstein does, and he thinks Big Government -- awash in a gusher of tax revenues it collects from you involuntarily -- has just the remedy. More regulation.
Accompanying a cartoon in the print edition depicting Google as a many-tentacled sea monster, Pearlstein devotes four paragraphs to asking "How Much More Should It Be Allowed to Grab?"
Pearlstein started off by noting that "Google is the quintessential business success story" and that its meteoric rise is standing the company in good stead on Wall Street while its chief rival, Yahoo, is faltering.
Perhaps a sign of how blind the liberally-biased media are to arguments from gun rights advocates, CBS's Andrew Cohen wrote in his Washington Post "Bench Conference" blog that "There Is Irony in the Tragedy at Virginia Tech."
I learned from CBS News' Armen Keteyian that school administrators and
college officials at Virginia Tech had in fact implemented reasonable
security measures (against the wishes of state legislators) designed to
limit guns on campus. In other words, even though the university was
relatively proactive in confronting the problem of guns on campus, the
brutal slayings occurred anyway.
Actually, that's not so much irony as the law of unintended consequences, something that any pro-gun rights advocate could tell Cohen. I've not seen a worse definition of irony since Alanis Morissette wrote a song about it. (continued...)
In the wake of the Imus affair, MSNBC is airing an all-day discussion on the theme "What's OK to say?" Poet Maya Angelou appeared at 11:05 AM EDT, and in the course of her interview with MSNBC's Peter Alexander, had this exchange:
ALEXANDER: Dr. Angelou, you're an author and an artist. I guess the question is, is there a need for more censorship of our media and of our arts, are you comfortable with that? And if that happens, when does it end? What is OK to say?
ANGELOU: Exactly. I agree with that. I think the society decides upon the censorship. Each person censors himself or herself. Do you think, if any of these hip-hoppers, if they said about Mrs. Bush what they say about black women, do you think they would be given a microphone? Do you really think so? So we have to censor ourselves. And then, the society makes that decision.
TownHall blogger/vlogger Mary Katharine Ham and trusty sidekick Katie Favazza attended our 20th Anniversary Gala and DisHonors Awards ceremony last night. They produced a special MRC Gala edition of the HamNation vlog showing the highlights of the evening.
Something rather extraordinary occurred last December which had extremely ominous implications for stock investors around the world, but got totally ignored by the media.
In fact, if not for a recent video posting at YouTube, and a March 20 article in the New York Post, these spectacular revelations would still be well under the radar.
On December 22, CNBC’s James Cramer did a web interview for TheStreet.com TV. In it, he told TSC’s executive editor Aaron Task about how he used to manipulate stocks and the market when he was a hedge fund manager, and explained how such people today can’t “do anything remotely truthful” if they want to make money (video available here).
As TSC reported in a recap at its website the same day (emphasis added throughout):
The Huffington Post is featuring a post by the man who blasted Hillary Clinton with an edit of the Apple Computer spinoff of George Orwell's anti-authoritarian "1984." The creator of the video is the former Internet communications director for Sherrod Brown's 2006 Senate campaign and until today was employed by Blue State Digital; a company that provides internet technology services to many presidential campaigns, including that of Barack Obama.
The video creator is Philip de Vellis and he explains his reasoning as follows:
MSM-think: when you have no facts on a controversy, offer up the Democrats' anti-GOP conjecture. That was ABC's modus operandi this morning.
Being the astute observers of the political scene they are, most NewsBusters readers have surely watched the YouTube-based anti-Hillary campaign ad that has been making the rounds. It is a take-off on the famous Apple computer ad, which in turn was inspired by George Orwell's anti-authoritarian epic "1984." In the current version, an ominous Hillary, appearing on a wide screen to an audience of automatons, represents Big Brother in the same way IBM did in the Apple original. Barack Obama, represented by a woman athlete of a certain age, plays the hero, hurling a hammer into the screen to smash the state and free the prisoners.
[Note: Link to YouTube video showing Capitol spray-paint at bottom of post.]
In her March 18 article, the Washington Post's Brigid Schulte informed readers about why Gathering of Eagles counter-protesters set out to guard the Vietnam War Memorial on March 17 during the scheduled anti-war protests:
At a Jan. 27 antiwar rally, some protesters spray-painted the pavement on a Capitol terrace. Others crowned the Lone Sailor statue at the Navy Memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue with a pink tiara that had "Women for Peace" written across it.
Word of those incidents ricocheted around the Internet.
“That was the real catalyst, right there,” said Navy veteran Larry Bailey. “They showed they were willing to desecrate something that's sacred to the American soul.”
Yet a review of major newspapers in Nexis found few mentions of anarchist anti-war protesters who spray-painted the U.S. Capitol steps in late January. In fact, the New York Times yielded no reporting on the defacement, while the Washington Post only ran a brief item on page B2 three days after the fact.
Here's the 170-word squib from the Post’s Elissa Silverman in the January 30 paper:
Hillary has let her sticky fingers show again. Will the MSM pay attention?
We're all familiar with her statement from 2004: "the tax cuts may have helped you. We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
Speaking today at the DNC's winter meeting, she let that same Hillary-knows-best side show:
"The other day the oil companies recorded the highest profits in the history of the world. I want to take those profits. And I want to put them into a strategic energy fund that will begin to fund alternative smart energy, alternatives and technologies that will actually begin to move us in the direction of independence.
But Google's founders don't regret being evil because of moral principles. It's about the bottom line [emphasis added]:
Google's decision to censor its search engine in China was bad for the company, its founders admitted yesterday. Google, launched in 1998 by two Stanford University dropouts, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, was accused of selling out and reneging on its "Don't be evil" motto when it launched in China in 2005. The company modified the version of its search engine in China to exclude controversial topics such as the Tiananmen Square massacre or the Falun Gong movement, provoking a backlash in its core western markets.
Asked whether he regretted the decision, Mr Brin admitted yesterday: "On a business level, that decision to censor... was a net negative."
Those not fortunate enough to live in the San Francisco Bay Area might find it hard to believe that this liberal community sports an extremely conservative radio station. Conceivably less shocking is that in recent weeks, it has come under attack from liberal bloggers unhappy with its content.
For those unfamiliar, KSFO is a Northern California broadcaster of radio programs hosted by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Dr. Laura, and Mark Levin. In the Netroots’ crosshairs are local conservative personalities such as Melanie Morgan (who should be familiar to Fox News watchers), Lee Rodgers, and Tom Benner (AKA Officer Vic), all of the drive-time “Morning Show.” Also under attack is Brian Sussman, a former local weatherman turned radio host.
The troubles for KSFO began in 2006 when a fifth-tier liberal blogger from San Francisco, hiding behind the pseudonym “Spocko’s Brain,” started sending the station’s advertisers complaint letters. Such correspondence included cherry-picked audio clips and mini-transcripts from previous broadcasts. One such letter, as posted by Daily Kos contributor Mike Stark on January 3, began:
First Coast News in Jacksonville, Florida, did a fabulous piece Tuesday on how terrorists are using websites like YouTube and MySpace to recruit, train, and send messages to their cadre (hat tip to our friend Joe Myers). Some of the transcript was posted at FirstCoastNews.com, and the absolutely must-see video is here:
It's a video showing a room full of children sharing their dreams. They are not excited about being doctors, lawyers or teachers. Instead, the children shout, "We are the nation of Hezbollah. I shall sacrifice my life for Allah."
A group of children in training to be a mujahideen, or holy warrior.
Online there are videos of those warriors. One suicide bomber announces he is readying himself to blow up a group of American soldiers.
The AP appears to be star struck by Michael J. Fox with the debut of his campaign ad for Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill and several other Dems this week. So star struck that the AP has pronounced him a great success in a puff piece today. But how can they possibly know for sure if his ads are working?
In an example of a disturbing pattern previously reported by NewsBusters, another conservative blogger has been banned by the video portal YouTube. In this instance, the banished party is none other than our friend at Ms Underestimated, who posted the following screen capture at her website on Saturday:
This notice came within 48 hours of Ms U posting the following screen capture at her blog of a new “inappropriate content” flag concerning "hate speech" now in effect at YouTube as reported by NewsBusters Friday:
Just in time for the holidays, the gang over at YouTube has added a new flag to their videos to assist their “community” in determining “inappropriate” content. Our friend at Ms Underestimated has created the following capture of the new screen being put into effect:
Has another Internet giant gotten the Liberal Bias Virus? Well, the Associated Press is reporting that Yahoo is extending its relationship with CBS to offer more of its news clips beginning Tuesday:
Yahoo already shows national and international news from CBS' "60 Minutes" as well as Walt Disney Co.'s ABC and Time Warner Inc.'s CNN.
The latest deal will allow Yahoo to post 10 to 20 local news clips from each of the CBS-owned TV stations covered in the exclusive arrangement. The stations encompass the nation's largest metropolitan markets.
I bet you didn't know that Yahoo was already showing "60 Minutes" and CNN clips. Isn't that special? Of course, not everybody is happy about this:
Five months ago, the Internet’s top search engine Google was accused of banning conservative websites from its news crawl. Last week, the e-behemoth offered to purchase YouTube, the preeminent provider of videos over the Web that has recently been implicated in censorship of its own. With their pending merger, serious questions arise about the future of the most powerful telecommunications medium on the landscape, and who if anyone is trying to control its content.
As previously reported by NewsBusters editor Matt Sheffield and others, FNC’s Special Report with Brit Hume on Thursday evening noted how YouTube users had ganged up to flag as “inappropriate” a humorous 90-second video by director David Zucker that mocks the Democrats for their approach to international bad guys like Osama bin Laden and Kim Jong-Il.
Zucker’s video begins with a shot of an actress playing Secretary of State Madeleine Albright meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il. The announcer gravely intoned: “In the year 2000, in an effort to stop the North Koreans from building nuclear weapons, President Clinton's Secretary of State Madeleine Albright gave North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il a basketball signed by Michael Jordan.” After “Albright” hands “Kim” a basketball, the two share a champagne toast. An on-screen graphic informs: "We're Not Making This Up."
On the very day YouTube's disproportionate censorship of conservative videos was splashed over the pages of the Drudge Report, the web site deleted another conservative blogger's video, Gateway Pundit tells how a 17-second clip he made of an AP video was deleted from YouTube for supposed copyright infringement.
Update 9:06. Some commenters are wondering with whom, if anyone, lies the fault. I would place it primarily on the AP for a) lodging a copyright complaint against a 17-second clip, which if that were consistently followed would essentially destroy almost all non-original video on the internet, and b) excercising a double-standard going after Jim Hoft and not the thousands of others who have "stolen" its material on YouTube and elsewhere.
In today's DC Examiner, Olbermann Watch blogger Bob Cox sounds the alarm against what he (correctly) perceives as the conservative movement's failure to sufficiently become involved in creating the next generation of the internet. Now that the web has become a commodity, most conservatives have given up trying to be technology leaders, effectively allowing the left to create and control all of the major "web 2.0" resources like Technorati, Wikipedia, YouTube, and others.
The failure of the Dean campaign has led too many conservatives to dismiss technology leadership as an overhyped part of a political campaign. But that's only half the story. In truth, superb technology can never compensate for a bad candidate, but it can sure do wonders for one. And as part of a larger overall popular movement, technology is vital. For too long, conservatives have stood outside society's institutions clamoring for change. Isn't it about time that we went in?
In the waning days of Howard Dean’s abortive presidential campaign,
I met many of the talented folks who played a role in turning the Dean
Web site into a powerful fundraising tool that propelled an unknown
candidate into the national spotlight. At various blogging conferences
since, I have had the opportunity to observe many of these bright minds
strategizing on how to best leverage the emerging world of blogs and
other “social networking” services known as “Web 2.0” to advance their
liberal political agenda and win elections.
Their common refrain: “We need to own the Internet the way the right owns talk radio.”
got me wondering whether the online “conservative elite” was aware of
what the left had in mind and, if so, whether they were concerned.
The video sharing site YouTube, just recently purchased by Google, has once again allowed a band of determined users to censor something they don't like.
The latest casualty is a a controversial spoof political ad by a Republican filmmaker David Zucker (producer of such films as "Scary Movie 4," "Airplane," among others) which depicts former secretary of state Madeline Albright, a Democrat who served in the Clinton administration, acting as a maid, servant and cheerleader for Islamic terrorists and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. After the Republican party declined to run with it, the ad was sent to Matt Drudge who splashed it worldwide by embedding it in a page on his site.
The story doesn't end there, though. After Drudge picked it up, Democratic YouTube viewers used the site's software to "flag" the video as "inappropriate," a designation usually reserved for extremely violent or sexually explicit video clips. There is nothing even remotely sexual or violent in the clip. The closest thing to an explicit image in the ad is a scene in which "Albright" bends over and her skirt tears a bit in the seat, hardly the stuff that sets FCC commissioners' hearts aflutter.
While you can still view the video if you watch it embedded on another web site, if you try to watch it on YouTube, you'll be greeted with the message:
Monday's Business section story by Tom Zeller Jr., "A Slippery Slope of Censorship at YouTube," defends conservative columnist's Michelle Malkin right to free expression at the popular video website -- with palpable reluctance.
"Lastweek, as YouTube continued its recent campaign to spit-shine its image and, perhaps, to look a little less ragtag to potential buyers (including Google, which was said to be eyeing the upstart in the $1.6 billion range), the company took a scrub bucket to some questionable political graffiti on its servers, including a video entry from the doyenne of right-wing blogs, Michelle Malkin."
"Many of the videos, showing sniper attacks against Americans and roadside bombs exploding under American military vehicles, have been posted not by insurgents or their official supporters but apparently by Internet users in the United States and other countries, who have passed along videos found elsewhere."
The New York Times has finally taken note of the activities of those who support Islamist Jihad (including many right here in the US) and upload Islamist propaganda to the popular YouTube video hosting site:
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 5 — Videos showing insurgent attacks against American troops in Iraq, long available in Baghdad shops and on Jihadist Web sites, have steadily migrated in recent months to popular Internet video-sharing sites, including YouTube and Google Video.
Many of the videos, showing sniper attacks against Americans and roadside bombs exploding under American military vehicles, have been posted not by insurgents or their official supporters but apparently by Internet users in the United States and other countries, who have passed along videos found elsewhere.
I asked YouTube to inform me of the exact nature of the "inappropriateness" of the video. But no response. The banning of my innocuous video is not an isolated incident. Anti-jihad YouTube users have reported having their videos yanked and accounts suspended, including Crusader18.
Update 13:05 by Matthew Sheffield. By contrast, Islamic terrorist sympathizers and possibly the terrorists themselves have been using the free hosting service to post videos.
Another point: The
email YouTube sent to Malkin states that her video was pulled because
Thursday's CBS Evening News pondered the new technology used by political campaigns at YouTube, but national political correspondent Gloria Borger dwelled on the videos embarrassing to Republicans -- Sen. George Allen's "Macaca" remarks, a Florida House candidate's blacks-can't-swim comment, and Sen. Conrad Burns snoozing. (There was fleeting attention on the George W. Bush-Joe Lieberman "kiss" and its clearly Bush-loathing flavor.)
At least when CBS's The Early Show had Bill Plante study the phenomenon on Tuesday morning, he balanced Allen with a Democrat, Sen. Joe Biden joking about needing an Indian accent to walk into a 7-Eleven. Borger underlined Allen as an idiot: "Virginia Senator George Allen has become a poster child for what can go wrong when a candidate gets caught saying something stupid...the controversy paved the way for new charges this week that Allen has a racist past."
All the buzz generated by Chris Wallace's explosive "Fox News Sunday" interview with former president Bill Clinton surely came as great news to the Fox News publicity staff and management. "Sunday" has long lagged behind its competitors and this was just the kind of press it needed.
Part of the reason the interview got so much attention was the internet. But because Fox hasn't provided an easy way for its visitors to link to videos, all the web traffic for the interview went to sites which did make it easy to view, YouTube, Hot Air, and others. This must've upset someone in the legal department over at Fox Television because yesterday, YouTube users who used the keywords "fox news" in their descriptions of the Clinton-Wallace exchange received cease and desist letters from YouTube which said Fox News had lodged copyright claims against it. (h/t USS Neverdock)
A truly disturbing report was filed Wednesday by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin (hat tip to Drudge). It appears that terrorists or terrorist sympathizers are using the website YouTube to post graphic videos of American soldiers being killed in Iraq:
The wildly popular video-sharing Web site YouTube.com has dozens of videos purporting to show individual American soldiers being killed in Iraq, in what amounts to snuff films, overlaid with music and insurgent slogans.