It is all too common these days to see former U.S. Presidents rush off overseas and proceed to overtly and negatively criticize the current administration in office.
In the latest test to the adage of "politics stopping at the water's edge," former U. S. President Bill Clinton went to Davos, Switzerland and the World Economic Forum and proceeded to blame the U.S.--via the current administration--for everything the ails mankind, and maybe a few things that don't.
At the conclusion of his interview with Senator George Allen, Hardball host Chris Matthews issued a preview for the upcoming segment after a commercial break. The next segment would cover the meaning of the alleged photographs of President Bush pictured with Jack Abramoff. Matthews said that President Bush is "horny for those pictures".
MATTHEWS: Up next, will we ever see those pictures of Jack Abramoff and The President. We're all looking for them, the President is horny for those pictures, you're watching Hardball on MSNBC.
There are now three possible conclusions on how James Frey's lies in "A Million Little Pieces" got past Oprah (the first two are from this post, the third is Oprah's creation yesterday):
Number 1 -- She runs an operation that's so intimidating that people within her company who knew better felt they couldn't speak out.
Number 2 -- She knew about Frey's Lies and has been an active though conceivably unwitting(words added today--Ed.) participant in a monumental literary hoax.
Number 3 -- (The one used by Oprah -- see Update 3 at this post and this New York Times article from earlier today) Despite the fact that her producers knew and informed her that counselors at Hazelden in Minnesota cast significant doubt on Frey's story of his time there a full month before his first Oprah TV appearance, Oprah went ahead because Frey's publisher "reassured" her that the book was accurate.
On 12 January, 2006, the New York Times ran an article entitled “Thrust into the Limelight, and for Some A Symbol of Washington’s Bite.” It was a mini-biography of Mrs. Martha-Ann Alito, and it purported to explain the reasons for Mrs. Alito’s tears during her husband Samuel’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It blamed them on a follow-up question by Senator Lindsay Graham, rather than on the verbal savaging of Judge Alito by the Democrats on the Committee, led by Senator Ted Kennedy.
The Times should have gotten the story right, because one of the three reporters on the story was in their New Jersey Bureau, and based in Caldwell. But they didn’t. Here are the operative paragraphs from that article on the cause of her tears:
"The National Tracing Center database is an essential resource for law enforcement. Beyond enabling law enforcement to trace the history of a gun linked to a crime, it helps identify patterns of gun theft and trafficking. And that information can help local law enforcement — like the NYPD — in stopping illegal guns before they're used to commit crimes.
Yet the NYPD — along with every other branch of law enforcement in the nation — is being denied the information needed to get illegal guns off our streets: There is no requirement that stolen guns or guns used to commit crimes be reported to the National Tracing Center database.
(This is an op-ed version of a previous NewsBusters post.)
There’s an old rule of thumb in marketing – stick to what sells. Lately, America’s media have been doing just that.
Since the significant rebound in the President’s poll numbers from their October lows, coincident with a lack of outrage by the public concerning the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal and domestic eavesdropping by the National Security Agency, the media have been downplaying current events, and, instead, focusing attention on last year’s big story that was largely responsible for Bush’s favorability decline in the first place.
More than 2 million new jobs were created in 2005 but that wasn’t the story presented by the evening news. The three broadcast networks downplayed strong growth and, instead, emphasized negatives such as corporate layoffs and outsourcing in more than half the stories about jobs or unemployment. As Trish Regan of “CBS Evening News” put it in the July 20 broadcast, “Twenty-five thousand layoffs and more on the way. I’m Trish Regan with why the jobs picture is looking very ‘pink’ these days.”
"Asked if he had regrets, [Stein] said: 'No, because I'm against the war. (I have no regrets) if this helps us get out of that war and bring our troops home safely'."
The Reuters interview is published a day after a grilling interview of Stein by conservative Los Angeles radio host Hugh Hewitt. A full transcript and audio is available at Radio Blogger. For a unique insight into a sheltered, out-of-touch, Hollywood-liberal mindset, the interview is a must-read/must-listen. Check it out.
Straight to the point: Oprah has a lot of explaining to do. After reading the article, you're almost forced to conclude one of two things:
She runs an operation that's so intimidating that people within her company who knew better felt they couldn't speak out.
Or, she knew about Frey's Lies and has been an active participant in a monumental literary hoax.
Are there any other choices?
Specifically, addiction counselors at the rehab center where Frey was treated, including a frequent guest on Oprah's show, are outraged at Frey's descriptions of what happened there; are concerned that Frey's Lies may keep others from getting needed treatment; and claim that Oprah's people, if not Oprah herself, knew well in advance that the parts of Frey's book relating to his rehab were largely false (free registration required; link within story added by me; bolds are mine):
Hugh Hewitt thinks highly of Nicholas Lemann, dean of Columbia University's graduate school of journalism and a staff writer for the New Yorker. Last year, Lemann wrote a New Yorker profile of Hewitt which the subject considered “complete and fair.” Hewitt also was “impressed with [Lemann’s New Yorker] profiles of Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. (The Cheney profile earned Lemann some animosity among colleagues, who thought him too gentle with the only man the left fears as much as Rove.)” Apparently, though, it’s possible to both write evenhandedly about right-of-center figures, and run one of the best journalism schools in the country, and still be clueless regarding basic conservative arguments on liberal media bias.
It really is amusing, on occasion, to watch the mainstream press go after non-stories that could make the President look bad. The latest example comes from Time Magazine, all worked up about the fact that there are allegedly pictures showing President Bush with Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist at the center of a congressional lobbying scandal. And the AP has decided that Time's non-story is news.
Bush himself has said that he doesn't recall meeting Abramoff.
Both Washingtonian and Time magazines have reported the existence of about a half-dozen photos showing the two together, however.
There was an interesting article in the Floridian Gainesville Sun over the weekend. Said the article,
"The statements sound like a refrain from a third-party independent like Ross Perot or Ralph Nader:
'I think we are living in a time where there is a remarkable abuse of power in Washington and Tallahassee,' the candidate told reporters earlier this month. 'People are so hungry for change because they don't feel a part of what happens up here.'"
John Kerry bloviates about how he sees the current Bush administration calling the Administration "incompetent" on This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
George Stephanopoulos: Let's talk about another issue you raised. Jack Abramoff. They say Democrats are implicated in this as well and point to the fact your 2004 campaign got about $100,000 from what they call Abramoff affiliated lobbying groups. How do you respond?
John Kerry: I respond that's another one of their swift boat tactics where they try to throw up the mud and stick it and I'm going to stick it right back at them. >I've never met Abramoff. I never had a dime from him come to me and I won't stand for them suggesting just because someone somewhere in the country gave my campaign some money because they thought we could move the country in a better direction without being held up the way Abramoff holds them up that we somehow are implicated. This is a republican scandal.
I have always been a news junkie, but lately I am finding it more and more difficult to keep my eyes on the tube when it is tuned in to any cable news network. The reason for my ire is simple...These news outlets have turned my television screen into a garbage can.
By that I mean that nowadays the entire viewing surface seems to be filled with assorted junk. Most of what we are being subjected to is just self-promotion for the show being aired or the station being telecast. The other distracting additions have very little to do with the news being presented at that moment and could wait for a less invasive time to flash onto the screen.
If I am recalling correctly, this all started a few years back when cable was presenting lengthy time blocks of hearings, trials, or congressional actions. To keep viewers abreast of the news, they started running streamers at the bottom of the screen that contained news headlines. From that point on, they added more and more, from logos to stock reports. The end result are the most junkyard looking news presentations found anywhere.
Last night I reported that Chris Matthews lied and misquoted Laura Bush in the Wednesday evening edition of Hardball. Matthews claimed -- and said it no less than three times -- that the First Lady said "God wants New Orleans to be rebuilt". On tonight's program, Matthews showed the correct quote in a visual, however did not say anything about the misquotation or issue an apology. The screen capture on the right reads "I think it's ridiculous. It's a ridiculous comment - That's what I think".
The folks at the Grey Lady again can't seem to wrap their noggins around the fact that the NSA program is tapping international calls made from this country, AND calls that come in from other countries.
What is so hard to grasp here? Terrorism is a clandestine business. Should we be calling the terrorists we're monitoring to let them know they are being monitored? Have there been any wrongful deaths, convictions or violations in connection with the NSA program? No. Do the American people support it? Yes.
Savor this morsel, from the NYT political pundit / terrorism analyst / foreign policy opinion leader / surveillance expert Eric Lichtblau :
Seemingly lost in the media controversy of the comments from both NOLA Mayor Ray Nagin and Senator Hilary Clinton is the issue of the religious nature and/or setting of their comments.
Cathy Young covers that ground on Nagin today and concludes:
When a conservative minister says this kind of thing about George W. Bush, it's widely taken as a sign that America is sinking into a Dark Age of religious fanaticism. Somehow, the rhetoric of the "religious left" -- aside from an over-the-top rant like Nagin's -- is not met with the same condemnation.
Ted Rall, the cartoonist that hates President Bush and the military, decries the January 13 “massacre” in Pakistan while claiming that the United States is committing “murder by mistake”. In his Jan 17 op-ed, “Death From Above: US Drone Planes Have a Nearly Perfect Record of Failure”, Rall states that the Hellfire Missiles “slammed into three local jewelers’ houses” and killed “at least 22 innocent civilians, including five women and five children.” He neglects to mention that the #2 Al Qaeda terrorist was supposed to be dining with the “jewelers”. He also neglects to mention that stories are now coming out that 3, possibly more, Al Qaeda terrorists are believed to have been killed in the air strike, including the bomb making mastermind, Abu Khabab al-Masri.
Earlier today on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, contributing correspondent Bruce Morton hosted a list of "political gaffes." Noticeably missing from the list was former President Clinton and VP Al Gore, as well as Al Sharpton and a long list of other Democrats.
While CNN set up the piece with the latest outlandish comments from Hillary Clinton and Mayor Nagin, I do find it telling that they picked on Pat Robertson while they had only a millisecond of the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Highlighted gaffes included: Republican Trent Lott on Thurmond, Bush Sr. - No New Taxes, Rev. Pat Robertson, Jesse Jackson calling Jews hymies, former VP Dan Quayle on Murphy Brown, and James Watt, former Secretary of Interior under Reagan.
Today (Tuesday) the San Francisco Chronicle ran an editorial entitled, “Why Alito is the wrong choice.” Instead of demonstrating what it says, it demonstrates why the Chronicle has failed to do its homework as reporters, in preparing its editorial. Here’s why:
The editorial begins with this statement:
In some ways, Alito's taciturn approach to questions about the great constitutional issues of our time was similar to that of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. But the distinction between the history of the two judges -- and the role of the justice they were nominated to replace -- are important.
First, this fails to note that the “taciturn approach” followed by Judge Alito was exactly the same as Justice Ginsberg’s. It is a gross violation of judicial ethics for any judge on any bench to comment publicly on any issue likely to come before him/her in a case.