Chris Matthews has never pretended that he's an unbiased journalist. He's a former aide to Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, Speaker of the House of Representatives during the 1980s. His show, Hardball, developed an audience during the late 1990s, as he was one of the few liberal pundits not to accept the Clinton spin, for the most part, during the scandal-ridden 2nd Clinton term. But he's still a liberal, and he's made some utterly outrageous comments over the border in Canada, as reported in the Toronto Sun.
"The period between 9/11 and Iraq was not a good time for America. There wasn't a robust discussion of what we were doing," Matthews said.
I don't know what he was watching during that 18 month period, but I remember quite a lot of what I'd consider a "robust discussion" of what was happening. The President made his "axis of evil" comments in January of 2002, and the next 14 months were spent clearly headed to a showdown with Iraq. There was discussion in the press. There was discussion in the House of Representatives. There was discussion in the US Senate. There was discussion at the United Nations. There was discussion in print and on the airwaves. I'd wager that there was "robust discussion" on Matthews' own television show.
"If we stop trying to figure out the other side, we've given up. The person on the other side is not evil -- they just have a different perspective."
Who, exactly, does Chris want to say is not evil? Bin Laden? Hussein? Zarqawi? The Taliban? The men who flew the planes into the twin towers? The bombers of the U.S. Cole? The bombers who blew up the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania? The bombers who first went after the twin towers in 1993? Are those not evil acts? Or are they just evidence of a "different perspective?" And if it is just a "different perspective," what difference does it make? Are we not entitled to look upon a perspective that targets the death of countless innocent civilians as "evil?" An embarassing performance from one of the guiding lights of the Washington punditocracy...
Last Friday on MSNBC’s “The Abrams Report,” Hoda Kotb made an appearance to plug that evening’s NBC “Dateline” program centering on John Lennon’s murderer, Mark Chapman. Ms. Kotb said that in listening to 100 hours of audiotape she was struck by Chapman’s being “so meticulous. He’s so calm. He’s so measured; all the while he is plotting out one of the most heinous crimes of the century.”
Lennon’s killing was tragic, as most killings are, but categorizing it as “one of the most heinous crimes of the century” is a gross overstatement.
This is, after all, the century in which we saw millions of people killed by Mao. Millions of people killed by Stalin. Millions of people killed by Hitler. And what of the more than 900 who died in 1978 at the hands of Leftist “Reverend” Jim Jones in Guyana? Then there were Leopold and Loeb, Susan Smith, Charles Manson, Andrew Cunanan, Timothy McVeigh, Dennis Rader, Charles Whitman, Richard Speck, John Wayne Gacy, and Charles Starkweather. Moreover, there were Columbine, Heaven’s Gate, the Zebra Killers, the Tylenol murders, the Birmingham church bombing and the Atlanta youth murders. The list could go on and on.
So, Vice President Cheney is addressing the American Enterprise Institute about why the war in Iraq is fundamental to the War on Terror. He explains that a retreat would leave Bin Laden, Zarqawi, and Zarwahiri in control. He explains why the terrorists want Iraq, and what they plan to do with it. CNN's real-time summary at the bottom of the screen?
CHENEY: Terrorism has nothing to do with Iraq war.
I suppose they would argue that that's a capsule of Cheney's comments that 9/11 happened before we invaded, but aren't those capsules there specifically for people who are just finding their seats? Perhaps they might try something that actually reflects what he said, something like:
Montgomery Gentry are too blue collar for blue America.
At least that's the impression you would get reading Bill Friskics-Warren's review of the country duo's latest album, a "greatest hits" entitled Something To Be Proud Of.
"Staunch blue-collar populists" like Montgomery Gentry, worries the reviewer, root themselves in nostalgia for a time before "among other cultural advances, the women's and the the civil rights movements."
As proof of sexism and misogyny, Friskics-Warren bemoans the subject of "She Couldn't Change Me" being "put in her place," and is chagrined by the "smugness of the song's macho protagonist."
MRC Free Market Project's Amy Menefee gives two thumbs down to Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Living over at freemarketproject.org.
Writes Menefee, "claims against the company in [producer Robert] Greenwald’s film were
undermined by his hyperbole and his staunch refusal to acknowledge the way
Wal-Mart really impacted communities – paying millions in taxes, employing
thousands, and saving countless shoppers millions of dollars."
The lead story today is Rep. John Murtha's call for US troops to be pulled out of Iraq. The media is trumpeting this as a huge blow to the Bush Administration since Murtha was one of the Democrat's "hawks". According to the AP:
"Murtha's shift from an early war backer to a critic advocating withdrawal reflects plummeting public support for a war that has cost more than $200 billion and led to the deaths of more than 2,000 U.S. troops."
According to an article in Roll Call from May 6, 2004, Murtha's bring them home now stance is nothing new.
There are two absolutely extraordinary aspects of this story. One is that Bill Clinton, a former President of the United States, offered the “good German” defense of the murderers, torturers, and rapists who worked for Saddam Hussein, and he did so on foreign soil. Equally extraordinary, however, is the fact that only Newsmax.com, and an on-line publication called Village Soup in Maine, bothered to report this comment. Here is the quote:
"When [the U.S.] kicked out Saddam, they decided to dismantle the whole authority structure," Clinton told an audience at American University in Dubai. "Most of the people who were part of that structure were good, decent people who were making the best out of a very bad situation," he added.
The latest edition of "The Balance Sheet," the MRC's Free Market Project (FMP) newsletter, is up and archived on freemarketproject.com. Balance Sheet, published every week on Wednesday afternoon, provides the best of FMP coverage from the previous week on the media's bias against the free market.
You can obtain a free subscription to "The Balance Sheet" by clicking here and signing up for e-mail delivery.
Highlights from this week include FMP director Dan Gainor's take on the Fox News's special from Sunday: "The Heat is On," editor Amy Menefee's analysis of the media's hyped predictions on natural gas prices for this coming winter, and as always, "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" in economic and business reporting from the past week, and yes, the New York Times makes the list, but perhaps in a way that will surprise you. All that, plus links to commentaries, analysis, research and upcoming events from experts at think tanks like American Enterprise Institute, Heritage, and Cato.
The headline, “US Has Detained 83,000 in War on Terror”, greeted me when I logged on the Internet on Wed. Nov. 16 after lunch. I was stunned. Where were all the prisoners being held? Was this another leak from the CIA? I clicked on the link without thinking twice.
Surprise, Surprise – another AP story extolling the negatives from Iraq. Another day, another negative story from the AP.
The article opens with the statement “The United States has detained more than 83,000 foreigners in the four years of the war on terror, enough to nearly fill the NFL’s largest stadium”. Since when do we equate the war on terror and terrorists with the size of football stadiums? I have yet to see an article where the writer compared the number of Coalition soldiers and Iraqi civilians killed by the terrorists in Iraq to the capacity of a sports arena. I was at a loss trying to understand why such a comparison was necessary or appropriate.
Salon is about to turn ten years old, and Gary Kamiya, who helped found the left-liberal online magazine and is now its "Vice President of Content/Executive Editor," has penned a look back. (Hat tip: Romenesko.)
Kamiya acknowledges that
[p]robably the most significant, certainly the most lurid, event in Salon's editorial history was the Henry Hyde story, in which we revealed that the esteemed and respected head of the House Judiciary Committee, who was standing in judgment on Bill Clinton, had had a longtime affair with a married woman. We thought long and hard about whether to run the story, but decided in the end that it was completely legitimate: We decided we had to reveal that the Clinton persecution was a hypocritical farce, driven by right-wing zealots and unopposed by a slack-jawed media.
Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne, Jr.’s op-ed yesterday did not mince words. In Dionne’s view, the president’s speech on Veterans Day was pure, “partisan politics” that “will only add to his troubles.” Dionne’s contention was that the president is just continuing a pattern of partisan attacks that he started in October 2002 as Congress was debating the Iraq war resolution:
“There is a great missing element in the argument over whether the administration manipulated the facts. Neither side wants to talk about the context in which Bush won a blank check from Congress to invade Iraq. He doesn't want us to remember that he injected the war debate into the 2002 midterm election campaign for partisan purposes, and he doesn't want to acknowledge that he used the post-Sept. 11 mood to do all he could to intimidate Democrats from raising questions more of them should have raised.”
Why would failing to report on an anti-war group's openly displayed 'Letter from God' be a case for media bias? Because every time President Bush makes reference to his belief in God the mainstream media is all over it, like fleas on a dog. And not only his faith, but that of his appointees, as in Maureen Dowd's article, on former Supreme Court nominee, Harriet Miers. You probably read how after calling into question the qualifications of Condoleeza Rice, Karen Hughes and other women on his staff, referring to them as office wives "who steadfastly devote their entire lives to doting on him", Dowd goes into some detail about Miers' faith: "Bushie and Harriet share the same born-again Christian faith, which they came to in midlife, deciding to adopt Jesus Christ as their saviors. The Washington Post reported that she tithes to the Valley View Christian Church in Dallas, "where antiabortion literature is sometimes distributed and tapes from the conservative group Focus on the Family are sometimes screened," and where, when she returns, Ms. Miers asks well-wishers to pray for her and the president....W. is asking for a triple leap of faith. He has faith in Ms. Miers as his lawyer and as a woman who shares his faith. And we're expected to have faith in his faith and her faith, and her opinions that derive from her faith that could change the balance of the court and affect women's rights for the next generation. That's a little bit too much faith, isn't it?" There are numerous other examples of media bias regarding the President's faith, such as during the 2004 election debates, as David Limbaugh pointed out, "President Bush gets so much flak for his faith and John Kerry is applauded for his professions of faith -- by the very same people? As I recall, while President Bush made no secret during the debates of his reliance on God, it was not him, but John Kerry who was citing Scripture -- or trying to. And it was Kerry who said, "My faith affects everything that I do, in truth."
This morning while some in the mainstream media continued their attacks on Pat Robertson and conservatives the Associated Press joined in by characterizing the death of Dr. Adrian Rogers, one of the most loved and influential pastors in America, as one who led the “conservative takeover of the faith.”
The Associated Press also focused on what they (the media and liberals) see as a negative influence from Dr. Adrian Roger's life.
Bill Bennett, in a new article at National Review Online, is questioning a possible "prewar intelligence giveaway" in light of remarks that Sen. Rockefeller made to Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday on November 13, 2005. In responding to a question that Sen. Rockefeller himself "hyped" intelligence, here's what the vice chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence told Wallace (emphasis mine):
ROCKEFELLER: ... I took a trip by myself in January of 2002 to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that George Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq — that that was a predetermined set course which had taken shape shortly after 9/11.
Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry threatened legal action on Monday against comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, who wins laughs by portraying the central Asian state as a country populated by drunks who enjoy cow-punching as a sport.
Baron Cohen, who portrays a spoof Kazakh television presenter Borat in his "Da Ali G Show", has won fame ridiculing Kazakhstan, the world's ninth largest country yet still little known to many in the West.
Baron Cohen appears to have drawn official Kazakh ire after he hosted the annual MTV Europe Music Awards show in Lisbon earlier this month as Borat, who arrived in an Air Kazakh propeller plane controlled by a one-eyed pilot clutching a vodka bottle.
There’s been a lot of suggestion by the media lately -- especially since the elections last Tuesday -- that the Republican Party is in dire trouble, and could lose control of the House and the Senate in 2006. For those interested in a side of this debate that the media are ignoring, you should watch today’s “Meet the Press,” in particular the second-half with DNC chairman Howard Dean.
Some of the pertinent exchanges of note:
DR. DEAN: I think Democrats always have to stand up and tell the truth and that's what we're doing. The truth is that the president misled America when he sent us to war. They did--he even didn't tell the truth in the speech he gave. First of all, think there were a lot of veterans were kind of upset that the president chose their day to make a partisan speech.
Last month, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad caused quite a stir by violating every international agreement in existence when calling - at a government-sponsored conference - to "wipe Israel off the face of the map." (The Indispensible MEMRI has the full text of the President-Kidnapper's remarks here.)
The MSM continues peddle several myths about Iran. Essentially, they argue that Iran isn't all that dangerous because it doesn't mean what it says, couldn't do what it says even if it meant it, and anyway, its problem is with Israel, not with Jews in general.
Turns out that apparently nobody in the MSM has bothered to check out the website for the conference, despite the URL's prominent place on a banner behind Ahmadinejad while he was speaking.
Every now and then, America wakes up to hear the nonsensical and pathetic whinings of what many believe to be America's worst president in the last 50 years. I refer to Jimmy Carter, who lately, cannot seem to appreciate the immortal words of Clintonista James Carville, who pondered over the wise and sagacious "glory of the unspoken thought."
In Carter's case, that would mean honoring the unwritten yet scrupulously-adhered to history of former presidents not attacking a sitting-president. Carter not only throws this maxim out the window, he even writes a book about it.
In the Friday edition of his MSNBC.com blog, left-liberal pundit Eric Alterman posted a comment from a friend of his who shares his, shall we say, skepticism toward the idea of an overall liberal media bias. (Alterman is, of course, the author of What Liberal Media? and several other books.)
The relevant portion of the comment follows. Judge for yourself the extent to which the friend is kidding.
...It is time to march virtually every high-priced reporter in Washington D.C. out across the Key Bridge and deep into the Virginia hills, where they will be incarcerated in a re-education camp until they begin making sense in their profession again. (I specifically exempt Jack Farrell from Denver and the entire Knight-Ridder D.C. bureau. They all can stay.) I was going to exempt Jonathan Alter until I heard him complaining that the Democrats were wrong in resisting the ballot initiatives sponsored in California by Governor Anabolic J. Goosestep. The ultimate "good government" initiative, Jon, you lovable doof, is to break the power of the Republican party everywhere until it comes to its senses and disenthralls itself from its Jesus On A Taco Shell element. Sorry, Jon. Pick up a shovel and start marching. There are swamps to be reclaimed.