Nancy Soderberg, a former Ambassador to the United Nations and Foreign Policy Advisor under the Clinton administration, repeated the often-heard myth that President Clinton prevented Millennium attacks on the United States. Soderberg made the debunked claim as a guest on tonight's episode of The O'Reilly Factor (Thursday, February 9, 2006).
Soderberg's claim would refer to the arrest of terrorist Ahmed Ressam at the U.S-Canada border on December 14, 1999. It was later learned that Ressam planned to bomb Los Angeles International Airport on or around New Year's Day 2000. Clinton defenders have often falsely cited this incident as evidence that Clinton proactively and successfully defended the United States against terrorism.
Today's (Tuesday February 7, 2006) tasteless anti-Bush digs at Coretta Scott King's memorial service by Rev. Joseph Lowery and Jimmy Carter, a former President (!), are certainly newsworthy, but one place you didn't hear about them was during the 5 pm PST (8 pm EST) top-of-the-hour headlines on ABC News Radio. Instead, the announcers highlighted the fact that several Atlanta schools had the day off to make the day "educational."
It looks like additional education was delivered today through a lesson in classic media bias-by-omission.
MSNBC isn’t the only network mentioning the I-word. Fox News Analyst and Cavuto on Business regular Gregg Hymowitz recently raised the specter of impeaching President Bush. On the February 4th edition of his show, Neil Cavuto opened a roundtable business discussion. At about 10:42AM EST, he asked whether Wall Street should support President Bush’s wiretapping program. Hymowitz quickly jumped in and responded:
"Stocks go up in free and open societies. Here we have an administration that has violated the law and the law, by the way, which allows-... A law which allowed for secret wiretaps and for warrants retroactively. This is a complete violation of the law and quite frankly, you may not like this, but the president should be impeached for this."
Granted, this doesn't necessarily mean that one of the most beloved actresses in the history of television is a conservative Republican. Nonetheless, check out this exchange from a brief interview with Mary Tyler Moore in the February 6 Newsweek:
What do you watch on TV these days?
A lot of Fox News. I also watch "Two and a Half Men" and "Lost."
Of course, there's at least a pretty good chance that Moore's plug for FNC will annoy her former co-star, the outspokenly left-wing Ed Asner.
In an especially contentious exchange on this evening's Hannity and Colmes (Friday February 3, 2006), cantankerous cartoonist Ted Rall, a guest on the program, unbelievably declared, "We do not owe our liberties to the military." The topic was the recent Washington Post cartoon by Tom Toles that has outraged many. The cartoon prompted a letter to the editor (linked at Michelle Malkin) from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who tagged the the work as "beyond tasteless." Needless to say, Rall (who himself has created bigoted trash in the past) defended Toles' cruel piece. Here's the relevant exchange (audiotape on file, emphasis mine):
SEAN HANNITY: Here's what you're missing. The reason that you have the right to be mean, and you were mean to this guy [killed in Afghanistan, former NFL star Pat] Tillman, who gave up a football contract to save his country. The reason you have the right to be mean in your cartoons, and Toles has a right to mean and insensitive in his cartoons, is because of people like this (Sean holds up the WaPo cartoon) that literally put their lives on the line so you have the right for free expression. And you insult them and use them as props so you can make your left-wing political points.
RALL: Sean, you could not possibly be more wrong about the nature of this country. We do not owe our liberties to the military. We owe them to the Constitution. We have civilian rule in the United States --
As soon as Rep. John Boehner was elected Majority Leader by his Republican colleagues in the House, CNN issued the following news release. Read it for yourself, and tell me if it sounds like the Democrats wrote it for them:
Boehner elected House majority leader
GOP representatives choose Ohio lawmaker to succeed DeLay
(CNN) -- House Republicans on Thursday elected U.S. Rep. John Boehner of Ohio as majority leader.
He upset Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri in a 122-109 vote on the second ballot. Rep. John Shadegg of Arizona dropped out of the running after the first ballot.
Party rules forced Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas to step down as majority leader in December after he was indicted on money laundering and conspiracy charges in his home state.
Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., who has been widely praised for his intellect and integrity but both admired and assailed for his conservative judicial philosophy, was confirmed today as the 110th justice in the history of the Supreme Court.
A few paragraphs down we read:
The vote is also a triumph for the conservative movement, whose adherents have longed to tilt the balance of the court to the right.
The Times continues to use the “conservative” label throughout the story. Examples:
Legal scholars have described (Alito’s) jurisprudence as … solidly conservative. …
What do you get when you cross a so-called editorial cartoonist with a person that hates the Military, Republicans, President Bush and America? If you answered “Ted Rall”, you hit the nail on the head.
In his latest attempt at cartooning, called "Relative Moralism", Rall depicts two members of the military preparing for a remote missile launch. One of the soldiers voices concern about the innocent people that will be killed by the missile attack. The soldier with his finger on the button offers excuses for killing innocents such as their proximity to the bad guys. The same soldier then remarks that “those people don’t like us anyway. The more we kill the better.” In the final frame, Rall depicts two men with an obvious Middle Eastern appearance and turbans. One has a cell phone to his ear while the other voices concern about killing innocent people.
According to MSNBC blogger Eric Alterman, the U.S. detaining Iraqi women who may have information about suspected terrorists is very similar to the kidnaping of journalist Jill Carroll. Alterman, best known for writing books such as "What Liberal Media," wrote the following in his MSNBC blog on January 31st:
"I’d like to congratulate the Bush administration for having the good taste to not make too big a deal about the kidnaping of U.S. journalist Jill Carroll by Iraqi insurgents. Since the Bush administration is in the business of politically kidnaping innocent people too, including the wives of people it wants to surrender. I hate to say it because of all the baggage it carries but it reminds me of the deliberate murder of the innocent Ethel Rosenberg, to try to get a confession out of her husband." (Emphasis added)
The Free Market Project has noticed of late how the media are warming back up to the notion of a "windfall profits" tax on oil companies. The windfall profits tax was a hotter topic in the months after Katrina, but the idea didn't stick then. But now with a new session of Congress, a State of the Union address on the way, and 2005 profit reports running over the wires, the push to soak "Big Oil" is on again. [see more below the fold]
From her USA Today's piece on the Alito confirmation, check out this gibberish (3rd paragraph as it appeared at 12:15 PM; obviously it could be corrected at any moment or taken down; NOTE--USAT updated and fixed in their 1:54 PM update; see related comment below):
Alito, 55., who has compiled a mostly conservative record during 15 years on the bench, becomes the 110th. justice to serve on the high court. He succeeds retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor,who has provided a deciding vote in favor of maintaining a woman's right to end her pregnancy and other controversies women's right to terminate their pregnancies, among other controversial matters.
So is Ms. Kiely obsessed, or is it just a glitch? Given that abortion is the first legal issue mentioned in her report, my money is on "obsessed."
The book might at first seem an odd choice for Mr. Bush, whose taste in biography, like that of other American presidents, runs to previous occupants of the Oval Office. But it is not so surprising given that "Mao: The Unknown Story" has been embraced by the right as a searing indictment of Communism.
As you can see from this October post that addressed Times columnist Nicholas Kristof's review of the book, it hasn't exactly been "embraced" by bitter-enders on the left. Despite the book's painstakingly thorough chronicle of Mao's horrible death toll, Kristof still holds that Mao was "not all bad" for China (most of this quote is also at this "TimesWatch Worst of 2005" NewsBusters post):
But Mao’s legacy is not all bad. Land reform in China, like the land reform in Japan and Taiwan, helped lay the groundwork for prosperity today. The emancipation of women and end of child marriages moved China from one of the worst places in the world to be a girl to one where women have more equality than in, say, Japan or Korea. Indeed, Mao’s entire assault on the old economic and social structure made it easier for China to emerge as the world’s new economic dragon.
Just like that, 60-70 million deaths become collateral damage in the (fictional) advancement of women's equality (see: "one-child policy") and supposed economic rebirth (which didn't begin until years after Mao's death, and never would have happened while he remained alive, even if he had lived to be 100).
What I'm getting from all this is that "Mao: The Unknown Story" is being "embraced by the right" because it is the unvarnished if uncomfortable truth, while far leftists, in the face of facts that can only be disputed at the margins, if at all, aren't happy with the book, because believing it would force them to let go of their 1960s romantic notions of Mao. Fortunately for those steeped in reality, you can be an open-minded person on either side of the political spectrum and accept the profoundly important work the authors, Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, have done to shine the light of truth on one of history's most evil people.
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.