It's bound to be mostly lost in the mainstream media thanks to swine flu and the Obama 100 days hype, but Richard Phillips testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today. In doing so, the captain of the MV Maersk Alabama called on lawmakers to open the way for at least some merchant sailors to be armed as part of a comprehensive anti-piracy policy that includes more military escorts.
The Chicago Tribune's Mark Silva has the story in an April 30 post in that paper's "The Swamp" blog. Silva reports that Phillips has a moderate stance on arming civilian crews -- he wants only the four most senior ranking officers aboard a given ship armed -- and that Phillips hopes for a greater U.S. Navy presence in escorting and protecting U.S. merchant vessels (emphases mine):
"First, I believe it is the responsibility of our government to protect the United States, including U.S.-flag vessels that are by definition an extension of the United States, their U.S. citizen crews, and our nation's worldwide commercial assets.
"So, it follows then that the most desirable and appropriate solution to piracy is for the United States government to provide protection, through military escorts and/or military detachments aboard U.S. vessels. That said, I am well aware that some will argue that there is a limit to any government's resources - even America's.
Yesterday Media Research Center President Brent Bozell sat down for a chat via Skype with Breitbart.tv "B-cast" anchors Scott Baker and Liz Stephans. You can watch the video here or in the embed below the page break.
The topic: preliminary findings in an MRC study on the media's treatment of President Obama's first 100 days.
The establishment media is saying almost nothing about the man who co-founded Earth Day, and who also happens to be in jail for life for murder. Arlen Specter's involvement with the Ira Einhorn case is an important event in the party-switching Senator's career that curious readers would want to know about -- if the establishment media cared to note it.
You know they would be bringing out similar stories quite prominently if they existed about a Democratic senator switching parties. Look at what the Associated Press and the Democratic Party (but I repeat myself) laid on Joe Lieberman in 2006 ("AP Labels Joe Lieberman 'Democrats' Public Enemy No. 1'") -- and he's still considered a reliable Democratic vote.
But before excerpting Time, let's look at two of the earlier paragraphs at John J. Miller's related National Review piece in April 2004, written days before Specter barely withstood an aggressive GOP primary challenge from then-Congressman Pat Toomey:
Say you're the editor of a major U.S. city's newspaper and that sources in the national security community have informed your reporters that waterboarding was a crucial tactic in making a terrorist detainee spill his guts with information that, when followed up by authorities, thwarted a planned terrorist attack on same major U.S. city.
You would probably run the story on the front page with a banner headline to that effect, but at the very least you'd make sure that fact was reported in your paper's coverage.
That is, of course, unless you're the ideologically leftward, politically correct editors at the Los Angeles Times. Patterico has details in an April 27 post at his blog:
"World News Saturday" anchor David Muir appeared on the Media Bistro's "Morning Media Menu" podcast on Friday and asserted that the fact that online journalists are now eligible to compete for a Pulitzer Prize might increase the professionalism of bloggers and could, in the future, "give [online reporting] more weight, more credence and people will know that what they're reading isn't simply one version of events or an opinion." One wonders if Muir is referring to such paragons of journalistic integrity as his ABC colleague Bill Weir, who on the January 20 "World News," marveled that "even the seagulls must have been awed" by the inauguration of Barack Obama.
Muir (see file photo above), who was talking to podcast hosts Steve Krakauer and Rebecca Fox, added that the possibility of being awarded such a prestigious journalistic prize could elevate online reporting to "be at the level of journalism that we know is being, you know, fact checked and, and, worthy, worthy of a Pulitzer in the end." On the April 4 "World News" Muir himself said of Obama's G-20 international summit, "...Other heads of state are seemingly trying to get close to the head of the class, or the cool kid in the class, if you will, President Obama." Would that be an example of simply stating "one version of events?"
No bias here, just some fun at White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs's expense.
"White House Press Secretary began his daily briefing, even though Pres. Obama was speaking at the U.Conn event. Considered a no-no," CBS News correspondent Mark Knoller noted via his Twitter account just shortly after 2:30 p.m. EDT.
Education journalist Dakarai I. Aarons asked Knoller:
@markknoller any precedent for holding a briefing while the president is speaking elsewhere?
To which the veteran journalist answered:
@d_aarons In 30 years of covering the White House - it's just not done. the press secretary waits till the Pres is done, before starting...
Remember how the media told us throughout 2008 that then-candidate Barack Obama had the most "tech-savvy" presidential campaign in U.S. history? And who can forget all the buzz during the transition period about how the president might have to part company with his Blackberry due to Secret Service security worries. To the media, Obama was light years ahead of any Republican when it came to the Web.
Well, with the 100-day mark right around the corner, it seems new media experts are only giving the 44th president a gentleman's C when it come to his communications shop's take on the WhiteHouse.gov Web site and the Obama administration's signature Recovery.gov Web site.
Reports the National Journal's David Herbert, the chief complaints seem to be that the Obama team sees the Web as a propaganda tool, not a way to genuinely engage citizens with their government and its elected chief executive (emphasis mine):
It's likely a tired story to many by now, nearly a week after the Miss USA pageant and the controversy that ensued over Miss USA runner-up, Miss California Carrie Prejean's answer to a question from same-sex marriage activist and gossip blogger Perez Hilton, who was judging the event. However, it took CNN host and Washington Post media columnist Howard Kurtz to ask Hilton some of the pertinent questions surrounding his curious rage over her answer.
Hilton appeared on CNN's April 26 "Reliable Sources" and justified some of his vitriolic insults hurled at Prejean by saying that was just part of the vernacular he uses on his Web site. He didn't address the point some have made that his use of misogynist language might have been as equally or more offensive than how he perceived Prejean's answer at the Miss USA pageant.
"I was very angry," Hilton said. "And it's almost insulting to me that people expect me not to be outraged, when I am told I am a second-class citizen and shouldn't deserve the same rights that heterosexuals get."
News editors need to retake Journalism 101 or move to features when stories about the White House dog take precedence over a controversial veto by the President's unconfirmed appointment to Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius vetoed a bill, House Substitute for SB 218, April 23 which would have placed additional restrictions on third trimester abortions and allowed more criminal charges over late-term procedures to occur.
With the exception of "Special Report with Bret Baier" that night and "Fox and Friends" the morning of April 24, the broadcast media avoided covering the controversial decision. But "Today," "The Early Show," and "Good Morning America" all had time to cover Michelle Obama talking about the first family's new dog Bo the morning of April 24.
Of all the things for CNN to pick as an e-mail alert topic, AutoNation's profitable first-quarter results seemed quite an odd selection. But there it was:
It appears that CNN wanted harried readers who wouldn't dig deeper to think that the "auto industry" as a whole is recovering, or at least stabilizing, and that maybe there's even a way out for General Motors and Chrysler that doesn't involve a real bankruptcy.
Memo to CNN: Nice try, no sale. A desktop review of AutoNation's situation indicates that it is holding its own precisely because is relatively less dependent on Detroit's output than dealers as a whole, and less dependent domestically on Government, er, General Motors and Chrysler than it is on Ford.
CNN's actual report on AutoNation's results by Peter Valdes-Dapena told us how much sales declined in each of the company's major segments, but failed to tell us how important each segment is:
President Barack Obama burned roughly 9,000 of jet fuel yesterday, Earth Day, and that only to deliver one speech in Iowa, reports CBS News's Mark Knoller in an April 22 Political Hotsheet blog post.
As if that weren't amusing enough, Knoller notes that the Air Force and the White House wouldn't disclose to Knoller how much fuel the president's plane burns on an average flight, so he had to consult with the manufacturer of the 747, Boeing:
In flying to and from Iowa today, President Obama took two flights on Air Force One and four on Marine One.
The press office at Andrews AFB wouldn’t give me the fuel consumption numbers for the 747 that serves as Air Force One without the approval of the White House Press Office, which as I write this has yet to be given.
But Boeing says its 747 burns about 5 gallons of fuel per mile. It’s 895 miles from Washington to Des Moines, so a round trip brings the fuel consumption for the fixed-wing portion of the President’s trip to 8,950 gallons.
Is there something in the tea over there, or do British movie critics imagine commentary on American politics is actually part of their job description?
Two years ago I noted how at least two British reviewers, James Christopher and Leo Lewis, panned "Spider-Man 3." Christopher lamented the "Sunday School morality" and "the inevitable flash of the American flag" while Lewis labeled as "disappointing... the inability of the director, Sam Raimi, to end the romp without a fleeting shot of the American flag."
Today, Times Online reviewer Debra Craine decided to timidly go where other hacks have gone before. From the penultimate paragraph from Craine's April 21 review of the upcoming "Star Trek" prequel (h/t separate e-mail tips from NB readers Jake Mathon and Charles Lovell):
"...i know i'm a journalist, and i should be objective...but she is an ignorant discrace and she makes me sick to my stomach," E! News anchor and managing editor Giuliana Rancic wrote on her Twitter page at 10:01 a.m. EDT today. Rancic of course was referring to Carrie Prejean, who in the interview portion of the Miss USA contest on Sunday evening gave a defense of traditional marriage that riled openly gay contest judge and gossip blogger Perez Hilton.
Rancic later clarified her earlier remarks in a Tweet a few minutes later:
sorry i wasn't clear...i was referring to miss california as a disgrace. life is short. everyone deserves to love & be loved.
Let's get this straight [pardon the pun]: A beauty contest contestant with a conservative view on same-sex marriage upsets an openly gay blogger with her answer to his question about her thoughts on the issue. Yet in reporting the story, ABCNews.com paints her as the bad guy for offending the celebrity judge, while failing to mention that a majority of said beauty queen's fellow Californians agree with her views.
Welcome to the saga of Carrie Prejean, Miss California, whom ABCNews.com describes as having "floored" gossip blogger Perez Hilton, who went on to "skewer" the Miss USA runner-up for her honest answer in an angry video blog entry.
What caused celebrity judge Hilton to seethe so? Only Prejean's honest, politely-delivered answer. Quotes ABCNews.com's Luchina Fisher:
Michael Lindenberger of Time.com, in a April 20 article titled “Ten Years After Columbine, It’s Easier to Bear Arms,” found it “odd” that “whatever momentum the Columbine killings gave to gun control has long since petered out,” despite the “massacres perpetrated by deranged gunmen” in the following decade. He also quoted extensively from a young gun control advocate in the online article, without including any arguments from the opposing viewpoint.
Lindenberger first gave his reflection on the anniversary: “Monday April 20 marks 10 years since Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold permanently etched the words Columbine High School into this nation’s collective memory. What happened that day in 1999 also seemed to wake America up to the reality that it had become a nation of gun owners — and too often a nation of shooters. The carnage in Littleton, Colorado...seemed to usher in a new era of, well if not gun control, then at least gun awareness.”
The Time.com writer continued with a seeming lamentation: “In the decade since, massacres perpetrated by deranged gunmen have continued — including the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre in which Cho Seung-Hui killed 32 people and wounded many others. But something odd has occurred. Whatever momentum the Columbine killings gave to gun control has long since petered out.”
One hundred forty-four years after his assassination, Chicago Tribune religion blogger Manya Brachear hacked out an 11-paragraph post on how "Lincoln's death had sacred significance," according to some historians and Lincoln biographers.
"Harold Holzer, co-chair of the U.S. Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, said the Good Friday assassination earned Lincoln a permanent place in American mythology," Brachear noted in her April 14 post, before quoting Holzer's argument at length.
But no Lincoln story in the mainstream media is complete without an Obama tie-in, and Brachear made sure to deliver, again quoting Holzer:
MacsMind's post is in response to an all-too-predictable gusher delivered by Democratic operative disguised as Associated Press reporter Jennifer Loven on April 7 (bold is mine):
Cheered wildly by U.S. troops, President Barack Obama flew unannounced into Iraq on Tuesday and promptly declared it was time for Iraqis to "take responsibility for their country" after America's commitment of six years and thousands of lives.
"You have given Iraq the opportunity to stand on its own as a democratic country," the president said as he made a brief inspection of a war he opposed as candidate and now vows to end as commander in chief. "That is an extraordinary achievement."
MacsMind contends that the troop contingent was contrived, based on an e-mail he says he received "from a sergeant that was there." The corresponding sergeant also dropped a telltale clue (in bold):
Former CBSer and current media critic Bernie Goldberg issued a strong warning to conservatives on Monday: don't behave like the left did when Bush was president -- avoid Obama Derangement Syndrome.
Following in David Horowitz's footsteps, Goldberg told Fox News's Sean Hannity:
You remember when liberals wouldn't give George Bush credit for anything? If he came up with a cure for cancer, they wouldn't have given him credit for that, and I'm sorry, Sean, I see that on the right now.
Such was the beginning of a fascinating discussion between Goldberg and Hannity Monday evening concerning whether or not it was wrong for the Obama administration to take credit for Captain Richard Phillips's rescue from Somali pirates Sunday (video embedded below the fold with full transcript, h/t Hot Air):
Sticking up against those ol' playground bullies on the Right, CBS's Katie Couric tells conservatives in a recent blog post to " give the new kids on the block" in the Obama administration "a chance to get their learner's permits first."
Not exactly the wisest choice of words from an Obama-friendly journalist, particularly when a heavy drumbeat of criticism against him in the presidential campaign was that it unwise to trust the presidency to a man who would need "on-the-job training."
President Barack Obama was "crisp and decisive" but also lucky in his handling of the Maersk Alabama hostage crisis, exults Time magazine's Joe Klein [depicted in NewsBusters screen cap/file photo at right] in an April 13 Swampland blog post.
Klein added that had the Navy SEAL snipers failed in hitting their targets, Republicans and second-guessing journalists would probably push the Obama administration to escalate matters to tackle a non-existent pirate "threat":
But it could easily have gone wrong, through no fault of the President and the SEALs--a gust of wind, whatever...and then the Administration would have had to waste all sorts of energy on damage control, fending off the second-guessers--Republicans and, all too often, people like me--and perhaps overreacting to the pirate "threat" as a result. Presidencies are, sadly, built or crippled on such quirks of fate.
In the wake of last Saturday's tragic cop killings in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, left-wing new and old media representatives claimed the assailant was incited by supposedly false assertions from conservative talkers that President Obama was going to tighten gun laws.
One such outlet, the George Soros-funded Clinton front group Think Progress, offered the following hysterical headline hours after the shootings:
The PBS "To the Contrary" host and contributing editor to U.S. News & World Report launched into a four-paragraph attack on the author and conservative radio host, and as usual, she not only breathed left-wing fire at a conservative target, she was factually inaccurate (paragraph breaks removed, emphasis mine):
That Joe Biden and the truth have been distant acquaintances from time to time was recently seen in March (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) when the Vice President claimed that Louisiana was losing 400 jobs a day. Louisiana at the time was actually gaining jobs.
The math-challenged Biden, who infamously said during the presidential campaign that the word “jobs” has three letters, is now making claims that he had face-to-face meetings with President Bush which aides and others don't recall or have a record of. Not surprisingly, Biden's narrative concerning these alleged meetings is meant to demonstrate what an influential truth-to-power guy he is.
Bill Sammon of Fox News has the story, which is a virtual lock not to make it into the established alphabet TV networks or into what's left of the establishment's newspapers:
George W. Bush has said nothing negative about his media-worshiped successor in the Oval Office. Yet that doesn't stop the liberal mainstream media for mocking the former president out of the blue -- while ignoring Obama gaffes -- for events that happened on his watch years ago.
The latest example, Time's Amy Sullivan, on the magazine's Swampland blog today entitled, "Quote of the Day":
Same-sex marriage proponents have finally won a victory yesterday the old-fashioned and constitutionally legitimate way: through legislative action. On April 7, state legislators overrided a veto by Gov. Jim Douglas (R), making Vermont the fourth state with legalized same-sex marriage and the first through the consent of the governed as expressed through their legislature.
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Moulitsas was less concerned about the four Oakland police officers killed just miles from his hometwo weeks ago.
Shortly before Markos Moulitsas blamed Glenn Beck for instigating the senseless shooting of three Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, police officers on Saturday, the proprietor of the far-left website Daily Kos said that conservatives would rather shoot cops than organize to win the next election.
He also wrote during the same Twitter discussion, "With no Veep to shoot people, folks are taking things into their own hands."
Such was revealed Sunday by a self-proclaimed Daily Kos diarist named Tommy Christopher who was so disgusted by these comments he has actually resigned his membership (h/t Hot Air via ConservaThink):
"Iowa Gives Gay Marriage a Thumbs Up," trumpets the front page teaser headline on ABCNews.com. But, the subhead explains, it was "Iowa's Supreme Court" not the people via their legislature or direct referendum that opened the door to same-sex marriage by finding the state's ban on the ceremony "violates [the state] Constitution."
The accompanying photo illustration (shown at right) depicts two (presumably) masculine, wedding-band-sporting left hands embracing. In the background is a long, unfurled rainbow flag, held aloft by marchers in a parade.
The story itself was filed by Amy Lorentzen of the Associated Press. Lorentzen jumped quickly into the jubilant reaction of gay marriage activists, but found no space for comment from traditional values advocates in her 18-paragraph story.