The New York Sun's Eli Lake is reporting this morning that "Al Qaeda's Internet communications system has suddenly gone dark to American intelligence" following "the leak of Osama bin Laden's September 11 speech inadvertently disclosed the fact that" American intelligence agencies "had penetrated the enemy's system."
You can thank ABC News for that. According to Lake:
...the disclosure from ABC and later other news organizations tipped off Qaeda's internal security division that the organization's Internet communications system, known among American intelligence analysts as Obelisk, was compromised. This network of Web sites serves not only as the distribution system for the videos produced by Al Qaeda's production company, As-Sahab, but also as the equivalent of a corporate intranet, dealing with such mundane matters as expense reporting and clerical memos to mid- and lower-level Qaeda operatives throughout the world.
If this exclusive is completely accurate then it is a bombshell story that the media completely ignored or overlooked. It probably didn’t line up with their narrative for the war. According to the report, the Time reporter that broke this story played the fool to an al Qaeda operative and the actual attacks were done by militant operatives led by Al Qaeda. Others were quick to echo the propaganda , overlooking key facts and evidence as the MSM does so well, from the New York Times to Congressman John Murtha.
In a week when Democratic senators tried to intimidate executives at Clear Channel Communications based on a false interpretation of Rush Limbaugh’s “phony soldiers” comment, MSNBC host Chris Matthews on Thursday decried what he said were complaints from the Bush White House to MSNBC executives about the content of his show. “They will not silence me!” Matthews declared at a celebration of the 10th anniversary of his "Hardball" show, the (Washington, D.C.) Examiner reported.
Talking about the Democrats’ threats to silence Limbaugh on Tuesday, Matthews put all of the onus on Limbaugh’s speech, not liberals’ attacks on the First Amendement. “Do you think that Rush Limbaugh was right to call people who oppose the war who have served ‘phony soldiers?’” Matthews demanded of a panelist, distorting the facts. “So we’re agreed, so we all disagree with Rush Limbaugh,” he later claimed.
Associated Press reporter Jennifer Loven practically blew kisses to the Left with her biased coverage of President Bush's veto of the Democratic proposal to boost SCHIP by a whopping $35 billion over five years.:
WASHINGTON -- President Bush, in a sharp confrontation with Congress, on Wednesday vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have dramatically expanded children's health insurance.
It was only the fourth veto of Bush's presidency, and one that some Republicans feared could carry steep risks for their party in next year's elections. The Senate approved the bill with enough votes to override the veto, but the margin in the House fell short of the required number.
Ah yes, the old paint-the-conservatives-as-the-bad-guy trick. Bush's veto is [cue ominous music] a "sharp confrontation" that prevents kids from getting health care and is sure to doom the GOP to wander the electoral desert.
Those are all nice partisan talking points, but you'll notice no quote marks. It's all Loven's spin.
Earlier today President Bush vetoed a bill to expand the federal State Children's Health Insurance Plans (SCHIP) by $35 billion over five years. Reporting the story, CNN.com pulled out all the stops, showing a cutesy photo of kid protesters on Lafayette Square (pictured at right) and rounding up a negative quote from an otherwise conservative Republican:
Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah was among those Republicans who split from the president. "It's very difficult for me to be against a man I care so much for," he told his colleagues on the Senate floor before the vote. "It's unfortunate that the president has chosen to be on what, to me, is clearly the wrong side of this issue."
A Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted September 27-30 found 72 percent of those surveyed support an increase in spending on the program, with 25 percent opposed. The poll's margin of error was 3 percentage points.
In my twentysomething days, one of the most infuriating, even sickening cases of media bias was something they inflicted on Clarence Thomas called "the Hill-Thomas hearings." That’s a very bland and generic description for a woman named Anita Hill trying to sabotage the Thomas nomination to the Supreme Court – first anonymously, and then on the record -- by telling wild and unproven stories about the judge’s lewd talk around her.
When I was invited to dine with Clarence and Virginia Thomas and an impressive crew of columnists and bloggers at the Heritage Foundation Monday night, I wasn’t sure what I would ask Justice Thomas if given the chance. I wanted to ask about the media, but Justice Thomas was very clear at the outset of his remarks about the media that’s supposed to know him best. He said "we’re not talking to the Supreme Court reporters." He said that would be like trying to train a pig. It would have been nice to raise Jeffrey Toobin’s forever-furious theories, but I didn’t.
In September 2005, a half dozen different bloggers verifiedthatapersonfacingintowhatwas originally called the Crescent of Embrace memorial to Flight 93 would be facing almost exactly at Mecca. Some surrounding trees have been added to the design, but the giant central crescent remains completely intact in the Bowl of Embrace redesign.
CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric lined up with her hero Hillary Clinton in opposing the current war in Iraq, reports the Washington Examiner:
“Everyone in this room would agree that people in this country were misled in terms of the rationale of this war,” said Couric, adding that it is “pretty much accepted” that the war in Iraq was a mistake.
“I’ve never understood why [invading Iraq] was so high on the administration’s agenda when terrorism was going on in Afghanistan and Pakistan and that [Iraq] had no true connection with al Qaeda.”
Jeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin added the former Today co-host traced her discomfort with the administration’s march to war back to the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.
When the news broke that Dan Rather was suing CBS News for $70 million for somehow destroying his reputation, the most noticeable reaction came from the media establishment itself. From the first story in the New York Times, it carried a different tone between the lines of the breaking news. Rather’s former colleagues think he’s lost his marbles.
The Times story by Jacques Steinberg said Rather’s career came to an “inglorious end” and now he’s taking “vehement issue” with CBS’s soft-scrub internal investigation. Rather claimed “to be reduced to little more than a patsy” in the story, and now works for an “obscure cable channel.” The implication between the lines? Gunga Dan’s picked one battle too many.
Early this summer, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign for president learned that the men’s magazine GQ was working on a story the campaign was sure to hate: an account of infighting in Hillaryland. So Clinton’s aides pulled a page from the book of Hollywood publicists and offered GQ a stark choice: Kill the piece, or lose access to planned celebrity coverboy Bill Clinton.
Despite internal protests, GQ editor Jim Nelson met the Clinton campaign’s demands, which had been delivered by Bill Clinton’s spokesman, Jay Carson, several sources familiar with the conversations said. Source
There's a fabulous column by Ed Driscoll (HT to NixGuy in an e-mail) about the evolution of media and reporting from the invention of radio to our current circumstances.
It's the title of Driscoll's work, "Atlas Mugged: How a Gang of Scrappy, Individual Bloggers Broke the Stranglehold of the Mainstream Media," that misses the mark a bit.
Ed has the "stranglehold" part nailed:
By the early 1970s, mass media had reached its zenith (if you’ll pardon the pun). Most Americans were getting their news from one of three TV networks’ half-hour nightly broadcasts. With the exception of New York, most big cities had only one or two primary newspapers. And no matter what a modern newspaper’s lineage, by and large its articles, except for local issues, came from global wire services like the Associated Press or Reuters; it took its editorial lead from the New York Times; and it claimed to be impartial (while usually failing miserably).
"As a public relations effort, I mean, this is like the litigation equivalent of a suicide bombing. It just doesn't make any sense," noted MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham about former "CBS Evening News" anchor Dan Rather's lawsuit against CBS. The NewsBusters senior editor was interviewed shortly after 5:30 p.m. Eastern on Thursday's "Big Story" by Fox News reporter Heather Nauert.
Video (3:04):Real (2.24 MB) and Windows (1.87 MB), plus MP3 audio (1.39 MB). [related links listed below fold]
In the September 20 presidential press conference, CNN correspondent Suzanne Malveaux sought to blame President Bush and the GOP for a perceived nationwide deterioration in race relations. In doing so, Malveaux raised the plight of the so-called Jena Six, a group of black Louisiana teenagers charged in the beating of a white student.
Media outlets covering the controversy have generally skirted around reporting on the victim of the "Jena Six" assault, focusing more on the political dimensions of the controversy, particularly Thursday's Al Sharpton-led protests in the small Louisiana town. For example, in a separate post, NewsBusters contributor Matthew Balan notes how news outlets like CNN.com and USAToday are burying or ignoring details about victim of the Dec. 4, 2006 beating, Justin Barker.
Below are the questions Malveaux asked, as well as a separate "Jena Six" question posed by Michael Fletcher of The Washington Post, who the president referred to as "Fletch":
Every now and then you read something that is accepted in the MSM, or better yet, perpetrated upon its readers that literally leaves you speechless. The Gawker Jew bashing articles were my most recent examples. Until now.
The Washington Post has gone on a fact bashing mission over a stump speech that Presidential candidate Fred Thompson made in Iowa. The anonymous writer of 'the claim' zeros in on the following statement made by Thompson.
"You know, you look back over our history, and it doesn't take you long to realize that our people have shed more blood for other people's liberty than any other combination of nations in the history of the world.''
In a September 18 entry on the Washington Post's Maryland Moment blog, two of the paper's writers spend most of their digital ink criticizing Tuesday's Maryland Court of Appeals ruling upholding the state’s marriage law.
Even the opening sentence reflects the Post’s bias, describing Maryland’s marriage law as “the state’s ban on gay marriage” and “the controversial law.”
For starters, the marriage law is not controversial, at least outside homosexual activist circles. All 50 states have laws defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman (even Massachusetts, which has no business issuing same-sex marriage licenses without a change in the law). What is controversial is the lower court ruling in January by Baltimore Circuit Court Judge M. Brooke Murdock striking the law down.And what about the Post describing Maryland’s marriage law as “the state’s ban on gay marriage?”
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," ABC anchors and reporters spun the editing of Sally Field’s profanity laced anti-war rant at Sunday’s Emmys as an example of political censorship by Fox, a right-wing network. Reporter Dan Harris ominously observed, "Some saythe Fox network, owned by well known conservative Rupert Murdoch, was engaged in political censorship."
However, during the ceremony, "Sopranos" creator David Chase, extolled the values of gangsters. In a halting speech, he asserted, "And hell, let’s face it, if the world and this nation was run by gangsters-- [Pause] Maybe it is." Mr. Chase’s political statement was not censored, nor were any of the numerous anti-Bush and Republican-slamming jokes that aired on the awards show. But rather than accept the explanation that Field’s comments were cut because she used an expletive, Harris claimed, "...It’s the Sally Field case that is provoking the real cries of political censorship because Fox cut off not only her expletive but also her entire thought." The argument is somewhat self defeating because, as Harris noted, Fox also censored comedian Ray Romano’s off-color joke. In fact, the ACLU is attacking the edit on the grounds of vulgarity, not politics.
Is Cuba threatening ABC News? Why won't the media report that ABC's John Stossel stated the Cuban government's Central Committee “called members of the ABC Cuban bureau in for questioning?” (emphasis mine throughout)
After Stossel challenged “Sicko” director Michael Moore's claims that Cuba's health care system is superior to America's, which resulted in a stammering Moore reversing years of crowing about the island's excellent “free” universal health care, Cuba showed its true totalitarian colors.
In an entry entitled, "Protest du Jour," Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Candace Heckman let the paper's "The Big Blog" readers know that, "[c]oast to coast, Sept. 12 has been declared National Call-In Day to End the Iraq War by a conglomeration of advocacy groups."
Oh how nice.
Today's protest is expected to take place all day over the telephone. The idea is to call your congressman or congresswoman (or any congressman or congresswoman) to express displeasure in the United States' continuing involvement in Iraq.
Heckman proceeded to give out the phone numbers for the state of Washington's delegation to the 110th Congress. The P-I blogger noted that "as with all demonstrations, war and troop supporters are also expected to counter-protest, also by telephone."
A few days ago I wrote about how blogger Flip Pidot of Suitably Flip found that while the Hillary Clinton campaign vowed to give the Norman Hsu campaign contributions to charity, his name still appeared in a list of "HillRaisers," top-dollar fundraisers and bundlers for the Hillary Clinton 2008 presidential race.
Now reporter and blogger Robert Stacy McCain has an interview on the Washington Times Web site with Pidot. Below are some questions pertaining to Hsu and Pidot's research and blogging about the Clinton contributor:
Q: You actually went to the New York address listed on Norman Hsu's [Federal Election Commission] forms. ... Did you see anything?
I have been following the strange (and mostly unreported) case of fugitive criminal and major Democratic Party fundraiser Norman Hsu since September 5. Paul Mirengoff of the Power Line blog has a post today wherein he notes that the mainstream media, led by the Wall Street Jornal, are finally taking the time to look into Hsu's attempted flight from justice. However, as Mirengoff pointedly notes,
I think the pertinent questions are: Where did the money come from?
On September 7th we noticed that the scandal in the Democrat Party over illegal campaign donations was barely getting any coverage in the print media and the internet. Well, apparently, TV news isn't doing any better still. It's so obvious, even the juggernaut of the left, The New York Times, has taken note of how few network news reports have aired on the Hsu scandal... though not making a big deal of it, naturally. The news media is doing their level best to deep six the story to benefit Hillary, it seems. If the Hsu fits, anyway. (Do I have to explain that his name is pronounced "Shoe" in Chinese for that joke to work? I sure hope not.)
Also in a shocking move, in the Times' story revealing Hillary Clinton's decision to return an additional amount of Hsu's contributions, some strong words were used to describe the fugitive -- strong for the Times, anyway.
The “La Raza” organization of Hispanics could hardly be more racist. “La Raza” means “The Race” — the Mexican race. But are they ever criticized for that? Not that I have heard. In fact, we read below in the left-leaning Associated Press that “La Raza” is “a mainstream advocacy group”.
“Charlie Norwood, a congressman from Georgia who died earlier this year, appeared to accept the conspiracy at face value, accusing the National Council of La Raza, a mainstream Washington advocacy group, of acting as a front organization for the “radical racist group” MEChA, or Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan.
Persistent Bush critic and recurring Sunday morning talk show fixture Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) is announcing his retirement from the U.S. Senate. Reporting the story in the Sunday paper, the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman and Chris Cillizza described the Iraq war critic as a "mainstream conservative who raised his profile nationally through his fierce opposition to President Bush's Iraq policies."
While it is true that Hagel has a respectable 85.2 (out of a possible 100) lifetime score from the American Conservative Union, the Associated Press's Anna Jo Bratton more colorfully described the senator as "a thorn in his party's side when it comes to Iraq." The characterization is apt but perhaps a bit charitable given the retiring politician's suggestion that President Bush could be impeached over the war.
While both the Bratton and Post accounts focused on Hagel's retirement as another obstacle in the uphill battle for control of the Senate in 2008, neither article mentioned that Hagel made an oblique reference in March to the potential to impeach President George W. Bush over the Iraq war:
Hillary Clinton fundraiser and recently-captured fugitive from justice Norman Hsu is STILL listed as a major "HillRaiser" on Hillary Clinton's campaign Web site, reports blogger Flip Pidot:
While Clinton has pledged to turn over some of this money (only Hsu's direct contributions, representing roughly 13% of her total haul from Hsu's network) and has professed bewilderment at the man's colorful legal history and recent behavior, she hasn't yet taken the one very easy (and admittedly fairly meaningless, but nonetheless advisable) step of removing Hsu from her list of vaunted HillRaisers.
At least she hadn't as of 2:50 pm on September 6th. What gives? If Hsu turns himself in (again) and heads off to prison, is that sufficient contrition for Clinton to welcome him back into the fold? Is this failure to fully sever Mr. Hsu from the campaign deliberate or just careless (and mildly comical)?
On the eve of the August 29 second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina striking the Mississippi-Louisiana Gulf Coast, as the American news media prepared to do a slew of anniversary-update stories, the non-partisan Political and Economic Research Council released a hefty study of how the region's small-business sector is doing.
Fugitive Democratic Party donor Norman Hsu was arrested today in Colorado, according to the Associated Press. However, while discussing the fact that many of the politicians to whom Hsu gave money are returning it or giving it to charity, the AP seems strangely reluctant to discuss the mysterious sources of Hsu's contributions. The story talks about several Democrats who are returning Hsu's gifts, and states,
The growing flap over Hsu's contributions prompted Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd to release a statement Thursday vowing "to refuse to accept or possess campaign contributions raised, solicited, or delivered by fugitives from justice."
"Growing flap". That's nice. But it would be even nicer if one of the so-called professional media organizations would devote some time to digging into the actual source of Hsu's large contributions.
Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu, whose many large contributions to Democratic coffers, including Hillary Clinton came from an apparently non-existent source, has jumped bail yet again. As reported by the Associated Press,
Hsu, a Hong Kong native, was also supposed to turn over his passport Wednesday. Hsu's prominent Silicon Valley criminal defense attorney Jim Brosnahan said Hsu failed to give the passport to the legal team on Monday. "Mr. Hsu is not here and we do not know where Mr. Hsu is," Brosnahan said outside court. Brosnahan said that "there was some contact" with Hsu a few hours before the scheduled 9 a.m. court appearance, but he declined to say how and who talked to Hsu. Hsu pleaded no contest in 1991 to a felony count of grand theft, admitting he'd defrauded investors of $1 million after falsely claiming to have contracts to purchase and sell Latex gloves. He was facing up to three years in prison when he skipped town before his 1992 sentencing date.
Chicago, like Washington, D.C., has a stringent gun ban. So naturally the move by the District to defend the ban before the Supreme Court will be big news in the Windy City. Yet that doesn't excuse the Chicago Tribune's James Oliphant for breezing over gun rights advocates in his article, "D.C. gun case may hit Chicago."
Oliphant began by telling his readers that gun rights advocates would come gunning for Chicago's gun ban if they succeed before the high Court.:
The District of Columbia is going to the Supreme Court to protect its 1976 law that effectively disarmed its crime-plagued law-abiding civilian populace. In addition to an editorial cheering on the appeal, Washington's largest broadsheet is all to happy to skew its front-page coverage accordingly.
In their September 5 article "D.C. Case Could Shape Gun Laws," reporters Robert Barnes and David Nakamura quoted from gun ban proponents Mayor Adrian Fenty (D) and D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer as they laid out their arguments for the gun ban. Only one opponent of the gun ban was quoted, and even then his ink was wasted on explaining his next move: