Editor's Note: This was intended for publication on Wednesday. We apologize for the delay.
It's on. As the White House grapples with a growing backlash over its Libya lies and lapses, President Obama's apologists are gearing up for battle. Put on your hip-waders. Grab those tar buckets. Get ready for Operation Smear Benghazi Whistleblowers.
Capitol Hill hearings this Wednesday on the deadly 9/11 consulate attack by jihadists will feature three compelling witnesses, all State Department veterans: Gregory N. Hicks, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya and highest-ranking U.S. diplomat in the country at the time of the Benghazi jihad attacks; Mark I. Thompson, a former Marine who now serves as deputy coordinator for operations in the agency's Counterterrorism Bureau; and Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer who was the top security officer in Libya.
The Associated Press could not very well ignore today's hearing at which whistleblowers are testifying as to the events surrounding the Benghazi attack and the Obama administration's failed response thereto. So AP did the next best thing from its liberal perspective: it downplayed the hearing's significance, casting it as a purely partisan event in its headline as a "GOP hearing."
That is not mere MSM spin: it is blatant journalistic malpractice. This is not some unofficial hearing held under Republican auspices. It is an entirely official hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Yes, there has in recent times been a faux House "hearing" held by a political party for partisan purposes. That would be the "hearing" held by Democrats in February 2012, featuring Sandra Fluke. More after the jump.
Chuck Todd has defended the Obama admin's decision not to send more special ops to Benghazi.
Appearing on today's Morning Joe, NBC News political director Todd claimed that the decision to send only two special ops to Benghazi was "very rational." He also literally laughed off the notion that Benghazi could boil into a major scandal. View the video after the jump.
In 2005, USA Today uncovered the scandal that black columnist Armstrong Williams was paid to promote Bush’s Education Department initiatives. In 2013, it’s never a scandal when MSNBC anchors promote Obama’s Education Department initiatives. It’s another Great Leap Forward for government-media synchronicity.
Today at 4 pm, after her daily on-air hour is up, MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall is serving as moderator of a Google-Plus “hangout” at Howard University for the Education Department on “A Legacy of Excellence: Celebrating African American Teachers in our Classrooms.”
Appearing on the May 2 Hannity program for the weekly “Media Mash” segment, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted that while the broadcast networks devoted considerable airtime in their news programming to courtroom sagas such as the murder trials of Amanda Knox and Jodi Arias or civil court proceedings like the Michael Jackson wrongful death lawsuit, they virtually ignored the trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell.
Gosnell is “a man who butchered babies” and the “details [of the story] are beyond gruesome” such as “babies floating in toilets, trying to swim to come out, while he put scissors in the back of their skulls,” the Media Research Center founder noted. And yet, because the underlying story involves abortion, the networks have censored the story, Bozell argued. [watch the full “Media Mash” segment below the page break]
Last night, NBC Nightly News deliberately censored the grisly details of abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s alleged crimes. Claiming that they’re "too gruesome" to be discussed on television is absolute nonsense. NBC News covered the Casey Anthony child murder trial 12 times on Nightly News in 2011, including multiple graphic descriptions of that crime. If they can talk about Caylee Anthony’s body decomposing in the trunk of a car, they can talk about Gosnell "snipping" spinal cords to kill babies born alive.
The difference is that the details of this murder trial raise serious questions about abortion, the liberal media’s most sacred cow.
Addressing a meeting of Planned Parenthood last Friday, President Obama accused pro-lifers of wanting to "turn back the clock to policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century."
Like any decade, the '50s had its problems -- racism, discrimination, sexism -- but I'll defend the '50s on other grounds, if the president will defend the decade that followed. In the '50s, for much of mainstream America drugs were something you bought at a pharmacy with a prescription; living together meant getting married first, then having babies; abortion was not legal; our culture wasn't the enemy; metal detectors were instruments one took to the beach to find loose change and schools and the streets were mostly safe.
President Barack Obama will take to the podium in the White House press briefing room at 10:30 a.m. Eastern for a press conference. The occasion: today is the 100th day of his second term in office. We at NewsBusters will be watching and I'll be live-blogging the questions from reporters. Pardon my inaccuracies as I'll be transcribing on the fly.
In the comments section, leave some question that YOU would ask if you were in the room. Which questions should be asked but likely won't?
"Virginia's assault on abortion claims a victim," lamented the WashingtonPost.com headline for an April 28 editorial -- headlined "Virginia's assault on abortion" in the print edition -- savaging the new regulations on clinics in the Old Dominion.
It seems the Post, generally no opponent of government regulation, is staunchly pro-free enterprise when the business in question is killing unborn children for a fee. Here's how the liberal editorial board began its overwrought piece:
"After an extraordinarily productive two years in which Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley muscled through legislation on several top priorities — including same-sex marriage,gun control, transportation funding and repealing the death penalty — the question is: What, if anything, is there left for him to do before leaving office?"
That's how Washington Post staffer John Wagner opened his Metro section front-page April 22 story "O'Malley plans for rest of term -- and beyond." Nowhere in his 24-paragraph story did Wagner -- no stranger to NewsBusters criticism by the way -- cite any conservative or Republican critics of the liberal Democratic governor, a prospective 2016 presidential contender.
Imagine if you will that in last fall's presidential election -- in a crucial swing state no less -- that the widow of an evangelical pastor voted for her late husband via absentee ballot, committing voter fraud and arguably also violating federal mail offenses in the process. While the story of her prosecution would probably not be headline news, it's hard to imagine a complete or near-total media blackout on the story.
And yet that's exactly what happened in the case of Sister Marguerite Kloos, a Cincinnati nun who pleaded guilty on Tuesday in a Hamilton County, Ohio, court of voter fraud. While the charge carried a maximum 18-month prison term, Kloos was instead remanded to a "diversion program" and if she maintains good behavior, her record will be wiped clean, Cincinnati.com's Kimball Perry reported.
Yesterday 72 congressmen sent letters to the executives at the news divisions of ABC, CBS, and NBC expressing that they were "profoundly appalled" at the broadcast networks censoring the Kermit Gosnell murder trial and the official testimony by a Planned Parenthood representative in Florida opposing a law to stiffen criminal penalties on abortionists who fail to provide medical care to babies who survive abortion attempts.
The effort was organized by Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Steve Scalise (R-La.) and joined by 70 of their colleagues. You can read more at Blackburn's official House.gov website here. [Update: Only one Democratic congressman, Dan Lipinski of Illinois, joined in on the letter.]
Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that agents for the Internal Revenue Service are bypassing warrants and sifting through the email and other electronic communications of American citizens.
Those documents disclosed that "agents were told they didn't need a warrant to root through emails, texts or Facebook pages of people (the IRS) is investigating," according to Fox News.
The old adage "better late than never" might not apply in the case of President Obama's tardily filed budget.
It's one thing to habitually arrive late for scheduled appearances selfishly to build suspense and annoy those in attendance, but it's another to present this document two months late and after both the House and Senate have passed their own respective budgets.
The liberal media "are deliberately censoring news and information from the American people" on ObamaCare that would cast the Obama administration in a negative light, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell charged on the April 11 edition of Varney & Co.
The Media Research Center president rattled off a few such developments that the liberal media completely ignored (watch the full segment below):
As if it weren't enough for the Washington Post to cheerlead for Maryland's new stringent gun control law in the editorial pages and in biased news accounts, staff writers Aaron Davis and Paul Schwartzman today rewarded liberal governor and potential 2016 presidential contender Martin O'Malley with a 62-paragraph front-page victory lap headlined "Behind Md.'s tough gun law, a personal push."
"Md. governor driven by one fear: Could Newtown happen here?" insisted the headline on the the jump page. Left virtually unexamined, of course, would be how O'Malley's push for stringent gun control would help him campaign among liberal base voters in the 2016 primaries. No, Davis and Schwartzman painted O'Malley as driven by a purely altruistic desire to spare Maryland parents the pain of burying their children thanks to a mad gunman's rage:
President Obama will officially transmit his fiscal year 2014 budget proposal on Thursday, a full 66 days after the deadline set by law. The past two years, by contrast, the president has been merely a week late, although as this chart via budget.house.gov shows, the norm among presidents since Harding has been to submit the budget either shortly before or on the deadline date.
But in reporting on the matter, Politico's Ginger Gibson relegated mention of that delinquency to paragraph 13 in her 19-paragraph story, "GOP ready to bash President Obama's budget." To Gibson, even President Obama's inexcusable tardiness in presenting a federal budget must be presented in light of partisan Republicans, who:
On March 23, my colleague Mark Finkelstein noted how MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry considers the unborn child a "thing" which takes a "lot of money" to "turn into a human," costing thousands of dollars to care for each year of his/her life. Now it appears that Harris-Perry thinks that, after they're born, children fundamentally belong to the state.
Narrating a new MSNBC "Lean Forward" spot, the Tulane professor laments that we in America "haven't had a very collective notion that these are our children." "[W]e have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to their communities," Harris-Perry argued.
Update (April 5): Fisker has laid off three-quarters of its workforce at its headquaters in Anaheim, owes DOE approximately $193 million | With a substantial repayment of the $529 million loan guarantee it received almost four years ago -- courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer -- coming due at the end of the month, the electric car company Fisker is exploring the idea of filing for bankruptcy before then. Sources have confirmed that an influential law firm from Chicago has been hired to help with the proceedings.
The major networks have been reticent on the subject however, as if they have no intention of breaking the next Solyndra-like scandal. It should be noted that no cars have been built since last July, and 200 of Fisker's American employees were recently furloughed.
The saga all began in 2009 when the Obama administration handed out $1 billion worth of loans to two electric car manufacturers, Fisker and Tesla. The latter appears to be on the verge of becoming profitable, but that assumes there's going to be a substantial number of people willing to pay near $1200 per month in leasing charges.
Fisker promised to do the majority of its auto assembly in Delaware, home of Vice President Joe Biden. Private investment partner Al Gore predicted that tens of thousands would be rolling off the the assembly lines there someday. But alas, two years later, it was revealed that production had shifted to Finland, where 500 workers had been hired to build the $100,000 cars called Karma.
Another report exposed that only 40 cars had been built at the time, and just two had been delivered. One of which was to actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio. Adding insult to injury, over 230 were recalled in late 2011 because of a fire hazard risk in the battery compartment. Luckily, very few were in the hands of consumers anyway.
Asked for comment back in October of 2011, founder and executive chairman Henrik Fisker was defiant. "We're not in the business of failing; we're in the business of winning," he said. "So we make the right decision for the business. That's why we went to Finland." Nearly a year and a half later, he would resign from the company that bears his namesake - citing 'differences with company management' in a March 2013 statement.
Now that the Kirkland & Ellis law firm is getting involved, to presume that a bankruptcy filing is coming isn't far-fetched. We'll keep our eyes open for the media's attention to this, but we're not holding our breath.
Today twenty prominent leaders of the conservative movement have joined NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell in demanding the broadcast networks stop censoring coverage of the trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell and the testimony of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates in favor of murdering children who survive botched abortions. [see related video here]
Although abortion has re-entered the news cycle following the passage of pro-life measures in North Dakota and Arkansas, the MRC’s Culture and Media Institute finds that ABC, CBS, and NBC have completely censored both of these outrageous stories:
"It seems to me" that the Associated Press's newly announced plan to scrub "illegal immigrant" from its Stylebook is "an attempt to control the language... it's a form of political correctness," argued substitute host Stuart Varney on the April 3 Your World with Neil Cavuto. "You can subtly affect your coverage and your thinking about the issue" by "softening the language," noted Varney, who himself is a legal immigrant to the United States from the United Kingdom. [video follows page break; MP3 audio here]
Yes, agreed Varney's guest, NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham as, "it's a form of political correctness over factual correctness." Graham noted that the Associated Press and New York Times had long held the line on keeping "illegal immigrant" over the nonsensical "undocumented immigrant" alternative, that lobbying by pro-amnesty groups, as well as liberal minority journalism groups pushed the AP to make a politically calculated decision:
I find that the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza usually plays things pretty much down the middle, and subscribe to his Fix email blast.
So it came as an unpleasant surprise to find in my inbox a little while ago a Cillizza email, linking to his current Fix column, tthat referred to Mark Sanford as "the turd in the political punch bowl." Cillizza repeated the line in the column itself. View the screengrab after the jump.
Editor's Note: What follows is a speech delivered by Neal Freeman from March 23 in Amelia Island, Fla., entitled "Lessons for Today From the Immortals: Buckley and Reagan." Mr. Freeman is an award-winning TV producer credited with more than one thousand programs for national broadcast. He served as an executive with the Hearst Corporation before founding his own advisory firm, the Blackwell Corporation. Mr. Freeman also served in the Reagan administration as the director of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Looking over this audience, I sense that I may have been around the political track a few more laps than most of you. I can tell you that every lap is unique in its own way -- and that the lap we completed last November was uniquely disappointing. Rarely in my experience has a winning candidate appealed to meaner spirits. Never has a winning candidate seemed less interested in calling his countrymen to reconciliation and common purpose. When has an American President, even in the afterglow of victory, seemed so small?
As you all are painfully aware, it is the settling judgment of the commentariat that the light of the American day is beginning to fade. They say that we are on the downslope of history and headed for inconsequence. That’s highly unlikely, in my view, but it may help to remember that ours is not by a wide measure the darkest day in the American story. Heed the words of Abrhama Lincolm, speaking from the pitch-blackness of December 1862: “The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion . . . We must disenthrall ourselves and then we shall save our country.”
Maybe we should take to ironically nicknaming Sally Quinn as "Scoop" for this: On March 27, in a column headlined "Does Ben Carson Have a Prayer?" the Washington Post On Faith editor attacked Dr. Ben Carson for his National Prayer Breakfast speech delivered on February 7. That's 48 days between the speech and Quinn's holding forth on why Carson, in her view, improperly politicized a characteristically apolitical prayer breakfast.
Of course, this is rich coming from Quinn because On Faith is chock full of columns by liberal Christians who contort Scripture to make political cases for more gun control, tax hikes, and same-sex marriage.
We've come to expect this sort of thing from MSNBC, but the Associated Press should be ashamed of itself. In a story about Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) signing into law a new voter ID law requiring a photo ID to vote-- which may be provided free-of-charge to indigent Virginians, by the way -- the AP strongly suggested the bill is an attempt by Virginia Republicans to prevent a Democratic presidential candidate from winning the state in 2016.
"Republican majorities in the Virginia House and Senate pushed the bill to passage one year after a more modest GOP-sponsored voter identification law failed to prevent President Barack Obama from winning Virginia for the second presidential election in a row and a Democratic U.S. Senate victory," the AP noted in the fourth paragraph of their March 27 story. As you can see in the full story pasted below, this was in the context of hyping a liberal Democrat's charge that requiring voter ID is akin to Jim Crow-era disenfranchisement efforts (story accessed via FoxNews.com, emphases mine):
The liberal media's push for gun control has long included the tactic of attempting to shame the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other gun rights activists into silence. That tactic was once again deployed by MSNBC's Thomas Roberts this morning in his interview with liberal Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), who is calling on the nation's oldest civil rights organization to cease and desist robocalls to phone numbers in the Newtown, Connecticut, area.
While the liberal news media have been trumpeting Mayor Michael Bloomberg's new $12-million ad buy as an attempt to push federal gun control legislation, a glaring irony of one such ad is being ignored by the media: an actor in a Mayors Against Illegal Guns ad entitled "Responsible" is handling a shotgun in an irresponsible manner, violating three cardinal rules of gun safety.
Washington Times senior opinion editor and gun aficionada Emily Miller explains (emphases mine):
Political moderation rightly understood, Berkowitz explained, is not "compromise for the sake of compromise," but rather a "recognizing and reconciling [of] competing and worthy... political principles," such as individual liberty with traditional social customs and moral virtue. The Hoover senior fellow noted the concept has its origins in the great conservative British statesman Edmund Burke as can be seen in the political thinking of National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr. and conservative "fusionism" proponent Frank Meyer. [watch the full interview below the page break]
A Marine Corps official accuses the Senate majority leader of "pure political posturing on the backs of these dead Marines" and the networks whistle right by it. There is no question what Harry Reid is implying during his disgraceful remarks on the Senate floor. He links the sequester to the deaths of seven Marines, and ABC, CBS, and NBC censor the story by giving it ZERO seconds of coverage.
His conduct is disgusting, and so is theirs. [read more below page break]