Nina Totenberg of NPR logged a radio report this morning (audio link to follow) about a speech that former justice Sandra Day O’Connor gave at Georgetown University Thursday. Apparently, O’Connor refused to allow video cameras or recording equipment to the proceedings. As a result, Totenberg’s report only involved quotes of the former justice’s words as transcribed by Totenberg.
Unfortunately, many of the sections of O'Connor's speech that Totenberg shared with her listeners – which are so inflammatory that they are now making the rounds throughout the Internet at all the usual suspects – were quite negative towards Republicans. For example, O’Connor supposedly had bad things to say about Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas), even though she didn’t actually say his name. O’Connor had similar negative remarks that, according to Totenberg, were obviously directed at Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) even though O’Connor didn’t say his name either.
Keith Olbermann did another Bill O'Reilly hate segment on tonight's edition of Countdown. Like he did on Friday, Olbermann bashed O'Reilly because the FOX News host dropped a caller who mentioned Keith's name on his daily radio show. The caller claims that he did not say any profanity when he was on the radio show, however due to at least a 7-second delay, we do not know what happened. It is probable that the caller uttered some profane language because he was in the middle of the sentence when he was cut off. Many on the left side of the aisle say that the caller was kicked off because he said Olbermann's name, but if that was the case, why would O'Reilly air that part of the conversation? O’Reilly sent FOX News Security after the caller because of harassment, so one can only imagine that he did much more than Olbermann’s name.
On March 5, the morning of the Oscars, the Today show indicated that mainstream Hollywood might be too conservative. Yes, you read that correctly. NBC correspondent Jennifer London, in a segment airing at 8:51AM EST, discussed the gay themes of Capote, Brokeback Mountain and Transamerica. She then made the following comment:
London: "The message this year? It's good to be gay in Hollywood. Or is it?"
The piece pointed out that despite the nominations of heterosexual actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger for their roles as homosexuals, many gay actors don’t come out. Ms. London also asserted that the public endorses these films, it’s the studios who are squeamish:
Former FEMA Director Michael Brown offered Chris Wallace and Fox News Sunday an exclusive this morning, and in return Wallace gave Brown a platform from which to tee off on the Bush administration and in particular on DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff and Homeland Security Advisor Fran Townsend. Wallace probed Brown's arguments on occasion, but largely gave Brown free rein.
Highlights from the Brown hit parade:
"I think we had dropped the ball long before Katrina hit in not doing the kind of catastrophic disaster planning that the federal government should have been doing."
"Secretary Chertoff's order for me to stay [in the operations center] in Baton Rouge is one of the tipping points that made this disaster worse."
An OpinionJournal.com editorial (registration required) about yet another layer of intelligence bureaucracy, the DNI (Directorate of National Intelligence) raises important questions about why the public has learned so little about conditions and events in pre-war Afghanistan and Iraq:
(DNI is reluctant) to release what's contained in the millions of "exploitable" documents and other items captured in Iraq and Afghanistan.
These items--collected and examined in Qatar as part of what's known as the Harmony program--appear to contain information highly relevant to the ongoing debate over the war on terror. But nearly three years after Baghdad fell, we see no evidence that much of what deserves to be public will be anytime soon.
Ellen Goodman writes an advice column for the Democrats, as journalists sometimes are wont to do. I have to admit, I see this as a huge opportunity for the Democrats:
The good news for the Democrats was and is that unmarried women are the most progressive block in the demographic neighborhood.
In the words of Republican pollster and soundbitetress Kellyanne Conway, "Women who have what we call the four magic M's — marriage, munchkins, mortgages and mutual funds — are much more likely to vote." And vote Republican... Women who are unmarried because of three magic D's — delay, divorce and death — are more likely to vote Democratic. But less likely to vote at all... Many believe the best place for Democrats to go fishing for new voters is in the pond of 20 million single women who either aren't registered or don't vote.
[says Anna Greenberg] "Unmarried women are insecure about politics." They know less, are more likely to admit it, and a good half told her that people shouldn't vote unless they are informed... We know, alas, that women are less informed about objective facts such as, say, how many justices serve on the Supreme Court.
Ok, so the game plan for the Democrats is to drag out 20 million warm bodies activist candidates who are completely uninformed about how the world works, i.e. the perfect Democrat, and get them to vote by any means possible.
I find it facinating, this admission that the "most progressive block in the demographic neighborhood" is also the most uninformed. Maybe if they spent a little time learning about the world it might help them find a man, not to mention find a better political candidate.
So what do longshoremen, the unionized men and women who offload and onload cargo ships at our nation's ports, feel about the Dubai Ports World acquisition of port terminal operations in six U.S. ports? Depends whom you ask.
CNN's Lou Dobbs, long a crusader against the "exporting of America" on his Feb. 28 program presented longshoremen as monolithicly opposed.
DOBBS: The hard-working men and women at our nation's ports
know better than anyone about the dangerous gaps in our nation's port security.
And these workers say unquestionably that the Dubai Ports World deal will leave
our ports more vulnerable to terrorist attack.
While Jon Stewart and George Clooney have denied any disconnect between Hollywood and middle America, as reported by Tim Graham here, today’s American Morning aired a piece shortly before 8am that seems to disprove what these members of the liberal Hollywood elite were claiming. CNN entertainment reporter Brooke Anderson spoke to residents of small town Lebanon, Kansas, who expressed their view that Hollywood is not honoring or promoting the type of films that they enjoy.
Randy Maus, Lebanon resident: "Out here, at least in rural America, where it’s–you could say it’s the Bible belt, we’re still looking for movies that have creative substance and a storyline."
Unidentified Female: "We’re just not interested in all the sex and skin."
Brooke Anderson: "What kind of movies do you want Hollywood to make?"
Unidentified Female: "What about Sound of Music and some of those?"
This past Monday, CBS, otherwise known as See? BS!, Al-Jazeera West,
and the Corrupt Broadcasting System, proved once again that it is
nothing but a shameless propaganda tool of the Democrat party, by
releasing the results of a poll it rigged... uh... conducted recently
showing that President Bush's popularity rating has plummeted to an
all-time low of 34 percent. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/02/27/opinion/polls/main1350874.shtml
Of course, when one looks at the internals of the poll, one sees that,
of the 1018 people who responded to it, only 28 percent were
Republicans. 38 percent, however, were Democrats (big surprise there),
and the remaining 34 percent were described as Independents.
The Associated Press is running a piece of video on which they're claiming exclusivity, of some of the FEMA preparation meetings prior to the landfall of Hurrican Katrina. They've also got video of the President speaking to FEMA, and then, later, speaking to ABC in the aftermath. They've chosen to portray the President as oblivious to what happened in New Orleans.
But disagreement can easily transform into cheap, personal attacks when the issue involves the Catholic Church. Witness morning talk-show host Doug McIntyre on KABC in Los Angeles this morning. In an angry tirade against Mahony's public statements, McIntryre pulled out the priest molestation scandal and proceeded to call a Cardinal "a scumbag." In reading his name "Roger M. Mahony," McIntyre formulated that his middle name was not Michael, but that "the M stands for molester." (The Cardinal has never been charged by law enforcement for molestation.)
Does every discussion involving the Catholic Church have to resort to the cheap ploy of dragging in the molestation scandal? At what point does this ploy cross the line into simple anti-Catholic bigotry?
Rap and hip-hop make up a multi-billion-dollar industry and represent the most powerful pop-cultural influence in the nation.
The sound can be loud and boorish, but it can also be quite unique and interesting. What’s not debatable is that it has an ugly past and a present that – lyrically – continues to escape much mainstream scrutiny. And, with no discussion or debate, it’s being given a home in the Smithsonian Institution alongside the flag that inspired “The Star-Spangled Banner” and other national artifacts.
The announcement this week of the new exhibit received universally uncritical coverage by mainstream media outlets, such as The New York Times. The Washington Post’s David Segal came closest to straying from the PC line, opening his piece this way:
According to a poll commissioned by the McCormick Tribune Foundation (details here) reveals that Americans know more about the long-running Fox cartoon family the Simpsons than they do about the First Amendment.
Only one-tenth of one percent (1 in 1000 people) of those surveyed were able to name all five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment--speech, religion, press, assembly, and petition--while 22 percent could identify the five members of the Simpson family--Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie.
Awareness of freedom of speech was pretty high in the survey at least. Well over half of respondents (69 percent) named it as a freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment. Knowledge of the other four, however, was low with the next most-cited freedom being religion with just 24 percent. That's 1 percent less than those who were able to name all three of the "American Idol" judges, Randy, Paula, and Simon.
A charismatic anti-American dictator commands a South American country's large state-owned oil reserves and rails frequently against American capitalism, yet the media coverage of his human rights abuses and his threats to the United States ranges from little to none.
American media have covered the ports controversy with almost 24-7
dedication. But the networks have ignored a far bigger security
threat. As energy prices have spiked and world demand increased, the
United States’ reliance on oil controlled by Venezuela’s
anti-American despot Hugo Chavez has become a real danger. But it’s
a danger the networks barely even mention.
The Washington Post reports that the US is opposing the UN's feeble trotting-out of a new Human Rights Council, but doesn't bother to explain criticisms of the proposal. Almost 2/3 of the article is devoted to quoting the Council's supporters and describing the supposed "improvements," without any discussion of why these changes make things worse.
[Annan and other supporters] noted that provisions to subject all council members to scrutiny of their human rights record would discourage countries with poor records from joining. They also said that council members suspected of abusive behavior can be suspended by a vote of two-thirds of the U.N. membership present.
CBS is at it again. As Brent Baker noted, last night’s "Evening News" with Bob Schieffer harped on CBS’s latest poll showing "record low" approval ratings for President Bush, and this morning’s "The Early Show" followed his lead. Bill Plante took note of the bad news the White House has faced over the last few months and how that has contributed to these low numbers:
Bill Plante: "Well the bad news has been pretty much nonstop for the Bush White House over the past few months. Hurricane Katrina, the Medicare drug program, eavesdropping, the situation in Iraq, the ports deal; it's all combined to bring the President's rating to a new low."
CNN business contributor Andy Serwer
cast aspersions on investor Boone Pickens, a contributor to the MRC's
Free Market Project, for using perfectly legal tax deductions to lower his 2005 tax liability. He reminded viewers that it wasn't illegal, but that it "raised questions." But Serwer found nothing questionable in tax sheltering last December, reports the Free Market Project's Amy Menefee:
CNN’s Serwer advised his viewers to
get “cute” with the tax code on the Dec. 26, 2005, “American
Morning.” He wasn’t talking to billionaires, of course, but
ordinary individuals who apparently, in his estimation, deserve to
save money. Serwer encouraged his viewers to “Maximize those
charitable deductions, your 529 college plans for the kiddies. And
your gift exclusion, anyone in America can give anyone else $11,000
tax free.” He gave further advice on how to “lower your 2005 tax
Here in Annapolis, Maryland, local, state, and national media
remained silent while Democrats in the General Assembly quietly
overrode no less than three vetos by Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich,
making Maryland's voting laws the least transparent and most liberal in
the nation. From local and state news sources, not a word was breathed.
From the national media, including, even, Fox News... Nothing!
Only author and WSJ columnist John Fund seems to have noted Maryland's radical moves towards their new "vote early and often" elections policy. As Fund aptly notes:
It should normally be difficult to
pick the worst state legislature in America, but Maryland's is way out
in front. First it overrode GOP Gov. Bob Ehrlich's veto of a special
health-care tax on Wal-Mart. Democratic legislators then passed three
election-related bills and again mustered the necessary three-fifths
votes to overturn his vetoes. Together the election laws would so
weaken safeguards against voter fraud as to make Maryland the nation's
prime example of Election Day irresponsibility.
On the 7pm hour of CNN's The Situation Room, Jack Cafferty who anchors the segment "The Cafferty File" said that President Bush used the "fear" card to get elected to a second term in office. Cafferty also implied that the War in Iraq is not apart of the War on Terror when he compared the Iraq war as being "advertised" apart of the latter. Cafferty also mocked the "fight them [terrorists] over there so we don't have to fight them over here" line.
JACK CAFFERTY: Since 9/11, the priority number one has been to protect this country from another terrorist attack. President Bush rode our fear of that very thing to a second term in office. The War in Iraq is advertised as part of the War on Terror. A half a trillion dollars and 2300 dead Americans soldiers, so that we can quote "fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here". But what about over here?
In an attempt to keep the New York Times-imposed NSA kerfluffle on somebody's radar screen, a rehash of the situation ran today in the paper's Washington section. The lede is particularly interesting, since it gets it wrong right out of the gate:
After two months of insisting that President Bush did not need court approval to authorize the wiretapping of calls between the United States and suspected terrorists abroad, the administration is trying to resist pressure for judicial review while pushing for retroactive Congressional approval of the program.
Well, that certainly is news to everyone. The Presidency has never been required to obtain court orders to wiretap those communicating out of or into the country. I don't know what legal standard the New York Times thinks it is citing here (none is cited in the article), but the argument the paper was trying to make about two weeks ago was that he needed court orders to monitor domestic-to-domestic communications. Nobody, including the President, has disputed that. So exactly what premise is the lede attempting to set up? That the President has to get Congressional oversight (despite breifing the Senate Intel Committee dozens upon dozens of times since 9-11-01) to excercise the executive branch's Constitutionally granted authority to monitor international communications with terrorists?