Fired CIA leaker Mary McCarthy gave money to Joe Sestak, the Democrat in the race for a Pennsylvania U.S. House seat. The Republican incumbent, Congressman Curt Weldon, says Sestak should return the money.
U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon called yesterday for Democratic opponent Joe Sestak to return $350 in campaign contributions from Mary O. McCarthy, the CIA investigator fired last week for allegedly leaking classified information to the news media.
Sestak's spokeswoman noted, in reply, that the CIA employee had not been charged with any crime and said she saw no reason for the money to be returned "at this time."
McCarthy, who worked at the National Security Council when Sestak worked there in the 1990s, donated $100 to Sestak on March 1 and $250 on March 11, according to a campaign finance report the Seventh Congressional District candidate filed with the Federal Election Commission.
On Thursday's edition of CNN's The Situation Room, pundit commentator, Jack Cafferty called President Bush a hypocrite for "lecturing" Chinese President Hu about human rights. Cafferty blames President Bush for several human rights violations he has deemed, including the Patriot Act.
Anyone still intent on believing the nonsensical argument that because most media outlets are corporate-owned this makes them somehow conservative should head over to Michelle Malkin's new web video channel, Hot Air and watch her first episode which talks about the extent to which American companies are assisting the efforts of China's communist government to repress its citizens.
Time reports that Fox News commentator Tony Snow has been given the go-ahead by doctors to consider the job of White House press secretary.
Snow, a father of three and a sax player, is the bona fide outsider that Republican allies have long prescribed for Bushworld and would bring irreverence to a place that hasn't seen a lot of fun lately. "White Houses are weird places," he told a 2004 panel on White House speechwriting. Snow had his colon removed after he was found to have cancer last year, but his doctors have approved the possibility of his taking the grueling post.
BRIT HUME: That is not an exercise simply of First Amendment rights. This was a violation of her oath and her responsibility.
CHRIS WALLACE: All right. I'm going to...
JUAN WILLIAMS: Let me -- no, let me...
CHRIS WALLACE: No, no, no. No.
WILLIAMS: Let me just quickly respond.
Brit, she took a risk. She was very aware of what she had signed. She is now bearing the cost of having broken that pledge.
WALLACE: So this is an act of conscience?
WILLIAMS: And so in that sense, yes, I do believe it's an act of honor.
WALLACE: And if it's an act of conscience, then why did she do it surreptitiously?
Sunday's off-lead story by David Cloud is on Mary McCarthy, the CIA analyst fired for leaking classified information about suspected terrorists allegedly being held in secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe. It comes under the comforting headline "Colleagues Say C.I.A. Analyst Played by Rules."
"On Thursday, the C.I.A. fired Ms. McCarthy, 61, accusing her of leaking information to reporters about overseas prisons operated by the agency in the years since the Sept. 11 attacks. But despite Ms. McCarthy's independent streak, some colleagues who worked with her at the White House and other offices during her intelligence career say they cannot imagine her as a leaker of classified information."
On Meet the Press this morning, Senator Edward Kennedy (D - MA) did not suggest or imply, but straight-out said that the government should take away oil companies' profits and hand it out to middle income families. Hmm, redistribution of wealth, what does that sound like? Socialism.
MR. RUSSERT: What are we going to do about $3-dollars-a-gallon gasoline?
SEN. KENNEDY: The president, the president should have called the head of the oil companies into the White House and started jawboning. He should have done that a week ago. Why he doesn’t do that, I do not understand. He ought to be pointing out that hard-working Americans, middle-class people, who have their sons and daughters in Iraq and in Afghanistan, that this is not a time for greed. And he ought to activate and call the Federal Trade Commission—which is basically a sleepy organization that has given an interim report in terms of price-fixing and gouging—he ought to get them off and have them working seven days a week, 24/7, to make sure that we know exactly who is price-gouging. And third, we ought to have a bipartisan effort to recapture, recapture these excessive profits that are going to the oil industry and return them to working families and middle-income families.
The new idea in the Democratic Party is to play the "troops card" in any situation because it will win the hearts of people instead of invoking true thought. That is exactly what Kennedy did in this situation. Shame on him.
The Washington Post's Web site on Friday posted the Reuters' dispatch, "At 74, Ted Kennedy still roars." The piece was largely favorable, lauding the Massachusetts senator for "speaking out on such trademark issues as civil rights, education and health care." It's noted that Time magazine recently named Kennedy one of America's ten best senators and that he "has helped enact legislation to protect civil rights, expand health care, upgrade schools, increase student aid and crackdown on discrimination."
Naturally, no mention is made of the costs associated with Kennedy's initiatives or their impact on expansion of Federal power. There are two references to Chappaquiddick, identified as the "scandal that tarnished his reputation and prospects of becoming president." Later, the article states: "Kennedy was dogged by personal problems early in life, most notably a 1969 accident in Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts, that took the life of a young woman who drowned when his car plunged off a bridge after a night of partying."
Every year the White House Correspondents Dinner is protested by members of the conservative site FreeRepublic.com. Known as "FReepers," they gather each year to protest liberal media bias as they "freep" the event.
The protest, planned for next Saturday evening, was announced on FreeRepublic.
All FReepers and lurkers in good standing are invited to join the D.C. Chapter of Free Republic at our 8th annual freep of the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday, April 29, 2006 in Washington, D.C.
This is our most fun freep of the year. You never know who in the media and political world you'll meet there. Over the years, we've met and debated the likes of Al Franken, razzed Paul Begala and James Carville, been filmed by Drew Barrymore, cheered on Fox News reporters and freeped the liberal media with humor and serious barbs.
A new book about former FBI Agent Mark Felt, the alleged "Deep Throat" of "All the President's Men" (Watergate) fame, says Felt believes journalist Bob Woodward violated an agreement not to describe him in print.
A Washington Post story by Lynn Duke about the new book "A G-Man's Life: The FBI, 'Deep Throat' and the Struggle for Honor in Washington," by Mark Felt and John O'Connor, leads with the information that Felt's late wife, Audrey Robinson Felt, committed suicide in 1984.
By paragraph four, however, the article reveals something entirely different:
...And the book tells of Felt's deep anger at what he believed was Woodward's violation of their source-reporter relationship. Felt did not want to be described in any way in print, but Woodward both described him and called him "Deep Throat" in 1974 in "All the President's Men."
"Mark has never seen himself as a chatterbox who gave up secrets," writes O'Connor in a lengthy introduction.
"If this book does nothing else, let it destroy that caricature. Deep Throat was a journalistic joke; the name never described Mark Felt. After Woodward revealed that he had a senior source in the executive branch, thereby breaking his agreement with Mark Felt, and after the journalist identified his confidant as 'Deep Throat,' the retired FBI man was furious -- slamming down the phone when Woodward called for his reaction" to the 1974 book.
The New York Times says Fox News commentator Tony Snow is in negotiations to become the next press secretary. Snow is said to be valued for his connections in the Washington media. Anonymous sources told the Times that he had surgery for colon cancer last year and is waiting on a doctor's approval before taking such a high-pressure job.
Republicans said that Tony Snow, a commentator for Fox News and a former speechwriter for Mr. Bush's father, was in negotiations for the job of White House press secretary. Mr. Snow would replace Scott McClellan, who announced Wednesday that he was resigning....
Mr. Snow is the host of his own radio program and comes from the news operation that flashes from every television in the West Wing.
Rolling Stone magazine – that bastion of American political thought – has a cover story in its most recent edition entitled “The Worst President in History? One of America’s Leading Historians Assesses George W. Bush.” As the picture on the cover was a caricature of the president looking like a dunce, you didn’t have to be a genius to figure out what the answer was. In fact, the author, Princeton historian Sean Wilentz, cut to the chase in the opening paragraph:
“George W. Bush's presidency appears headed for colossal historical disgrace. Barring a cataclysmic event on the order of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, after which the public might rally around the White House once again, there seems to be little the administration can do to avoid being ranked on the lowest tier of U.S. presidents. And that may be the best-case scenario. Many historians are now wondering whether Bush, in fact, will be remembered as the very worst president in all of American history.”
Yet, as far as I can tell from the posting of this article and its contents, nowhere was it revealed that Wilentz has been a strong opponent of the president’s for quite some time, or that he organized a group of historians and Hollywoodans to protest the November 2000 presidential election results. As the National Review’s Peter Berkowitz wrote in July 2002:
Howard Kurtz's profile of departing White House press secretary Scott McClellan reflects the conventional wisdom: that he could be painful to watch. He often had that "60 Minutes" victim look of badly hidden panic in his eyes. (When he took the job, I worried "matching Ari's lullaby of dullness is not going to be easy.") But Kurtz's piece suggested one problem with media assessments of McClellan's job: whatever the opinion of his performance, it ought to be acknowledged that the White House press corps is liberal, Democratic, and tougher for Republican press secretaries than for Democratic ones. Kurtz's story gets odd when old Clinton spokesman Joe Lockhart gets going:
Jon Friedman in MarketWatch claims that the Pulitzer awards given to anti-Bush journalism reflects the nation's growing discontent with Bush. Therefore, he claims, the awards were not out of touch with the American public like so many other awards shows. But high approval ratings did not stop the press from attacking Bush and inventing scandals, and certainly neither do low ratings.
Many awards presentations are accused of being out of touch with the public or even appearing to be popularity contests. But I contend that many of the Pulitzer Prizes, handed out on Monday, accurately reflected the nation's growing discontent with President Bush....
The wiretapping story seems like the most compelling one of all. It has dominated the Washington talk shows for months and triggered a slew of fascinating sub-plots. The administration has contended that it needed to counter the threat of domestic terrorism while critics have said the program was a blow to civil liberties and reduced individuals' privacy.
Scott McClellan, the embattled White House press secretary, resigned his position earlier today.
Karl Rove, Bush's closest adviser, will also be giving up his policy positions, the AP reports.
Fox News host and Bush 41 speechwriter Tony Snow is said to be a possible candidate for the press secretary spot. The Hotline blog throws out some more names including Dan Senor, Dan Bartlett, Victoria Clark, and Ron Bonjean.
David Limbaugh has a good column about the liberal technique of finding former military officers to bash Rumsfeld and the war in Iraq. The reasoning is that when they find someone who is willing to speak against the war, "it's like finding a smoking gun."
These vultures have hovered over Rumsfeld's stubbornly vibrant carcass for way too long, and they just can't let him sprint out of yet another crisis: the call for his resignation by a half dozen retired generals.
Nothing inspires liberals in the press more than the opportunity to glorify liberals in uniform. Conservative military or ex-military types are just jingoistic hacks. But those critical of the military in general or of the Iraq War qualify for the Nobel Peace Prize or Time's Man of the Year.
On last night's Hardball, Newsweek's Evan Thomas stated that he believed the primary reason for the war in Iraq was to "teach Arabs a lesson" after 9/11. Again, what liberal media? Thomas was on with Christopher Hitchens but because it was the end of the segment, Hitchens didn't have time to respond to this ridiculous comment--although, at the end of the clip, you can hear Hitchens mentioning the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act (you know, the one that made regime change official U.S. policy).
W. Thomas Smith, a former Marine, writes about myths that are being perpetuated about American soldiers. The one most trumpeted by the media is that recruitment is down because of the war in Iraq.
Five of the biggest myths include:
1) The U.S. Defense Department is unable to recruit enough military personnel to defend the country and its interests abroad.
2) Critical combat arms units are not being filled.
3) The military will accept any warm body and any dull brain it can get its hands on.
4) American minorities (and those from lower income urban areas) are suffering disproportionately higher losses on the battlefield.
5) Female soldiers are fighting in offensive ground combat operations.
At today’s Pentagon press briefing, a reporter said Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld didn’t dispute or address a claim from a book about the run-up to the War in Iraq. Rumsfeld interrupted him and made him look like a fool:
RUMSFELD: You think I'm going to stand around reading your books and disputing things in them or validating or not validating? I have a real daytime job. You would do nothing else but that if you did that. The fact that I haven't disputed something -- I mean, if I disputed all of the mythology that comes out of this group and the books of the world, I wouldn't have any time to do anything else.
Gabriel Schoenfeld has an essay in Commentary where he says the New York Times broke the law when it reported on the NSA eavesdropping program.
Disclosing classified information, like that given to the New York Times about monitoring Al Qaeda phone calls, is illegal. But there is an avenue for whistleblowers to expose wrongdoing that involves classified info, although it has nothing to do with flashy headlines and self aggrandizing journalists.
As for whistleblowers unhappy with one or another government program, they have other avenues at their disposal than splashing secrets across the front page of the New York Times. The Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act of 1998 shields employees from retribution if they wish to set out evidence of wrongdoing. When classified information is at stake, the complaints must be leveled in camera, to authorized officials, like the inspectors general of the agencies in question, or to members of congressional intelligence committees, or both. Neither the New York Times nor any other newspaper or television station is listed as an authorized channel for airing such complaints.
The New York Times damaged American surveillance efforts.
Today's starters: Keeping with its tradition of political fairness and neutrality, Middle Tennessee State University is continuing its journalism conference (conference called: Self-Inflicted Wounds — Fact and Fiction in Journalism: Fabrication, Plagiarism and Confidential Sources)--kicked off earlier this week by an address from that paragon of objectivity Al Gore--with a panel discussion featuring Mary Mapes. The session is entitled "Rush to Judgment? The CBS Crisis." Any NB readers in the area?
The big media story of the day, as reported earlier by NB's Mark Finkelstein, is that Katie Couric is headed over to CBS. The NYT and LAT both have good good stories the deal and its implications. Why does Couric's leaving warrant attention, asks one blogger. Another says she won't watch "Today" if it hires "View" co-host Meredith Viera.
Foreign Affairs, the Economist, and certainly U.S.News & World Report are titles you'd expect to see at the two State Department newsstands visited by the public, employees, and their kids, but Playboy and Penthouse? Yikes! Or so thought Condoleezza Rice a while back when she began receiving briefings in Foggy Bottom before her confirmation hearings as secretary of state. Alerted by an aide that the skin magazines, partially clad in brown paper covers, were placed beside newsmagazines and close to candy, nuts, and stuffed animals, she said, "I want them out."
A few weeks later, when she took over from Colin Powell, the eviction began. "The secretary wanted them gone immediately," says senior adviser Jim Wilkinson." She didn't understand how a department that claimed to fight for the rights of women worldwide could sell pornography that degrades women." And, he adds, the magazines "could be seen as contributing to a hostile work environment." He teamed with State's internal manager and several State women who had been campaigning against the publications but had gotten nowhere. Now that they have succeeded, some of those women are eyeing other lad mags like Maxim and FHM. But State News's Richard Williams isn't listening. It was no problem banning the XXX fare: It didn't move very fast. "But Maxim," he says, "is a bestseller."
After the 2004 election, liberals in blue Northeastern states talked secession and the possibility of joining Canada. Now Harpers Magazine is delving into innuendo with an article about the possibility of a coup d'etat on American soil.
Entitled "American Coup d'Etat: Military Thinkers Discuss the Unthinkable," military experts are asked about the plausibility of a coup carried out by the military. They all said a coup would not work because the American people could not be controlled merely by occupying Washington buildings.
But one wonders why Harpers is bringing up the issue in the first place. Underneath it is an article called "The Spirit of Disobedience: An Invitation to Resistance," which discusses the debate over whether America is a Christian nation or an Enlightenment nation.
After NEWSWEEK ran a Periscope item claiming the U.S. military had flushed a Koran down a toilet, leading to rioting, Laura ordered: "I don't want NEWSWEEK around the house!"
Laura Bush became so disgusted with the media and their war against her husband that at one point, she told her public relations person Noelia Rodriguez she did not want to do any more media interviews. After about a month, she slowly resumed talking to the press.
A close friend of Laura's, Pamela Nelson, asks Laura how she's doing. Laura replies, "Well, it's the Kitty Kelly book and Dan Rather this week..."
Middle Tennessee State University, more unknown than Final Four college George Mason University was two weeks ago (if you don't follow March Madness, they're still unknown), is going to host some famous journalists and one famous former vice president.
Several of America's most prominent journalists will address media ethics at a Middle Tennessee State University conference next week.
The conference, "Self-Inflicted Wounds — Fact and Fiction in Journalism: Fabrication, Plagiarism and Confidential Sources," runs Tuesday through Thursday. It will be hosted by the College of Mass Communication's John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies.
A small-time member of Canada's parliament made headlines today by sending out and later retracting a column which called for jail time for reporters who "fabricate stories, or twist information and even falsely accuse citizens."
Colin Mayes, a Conservative from British Columbia, issued his remarks in a column sent out to newspapers in his district.
The Globe and Mail has a recap. Full text of the column is after the jump.
In a statement issued Friday, Mr. Mayes said he is retracting the comments "without reservation."
Mr. Mayes adds that he fully respects the freedom of the press and regrets making the earlier comments.
The column was e-mailed Thursday to nine small Okanagan papers, as well as the Vernon Daily Courier, by Wayne McGrath, Mr. Mayes's executive assistant.
"Maybe it is time that we hauled off in handcuffs reporters that fabricate stories, or twist information and even falsely accuse citizens," he writes.
The Courier recently decided not to publish the MP's regular columns.
On Wednesday, David Wylie, the paper's managing editor, published an editorial saying [Canada's new Conservative prime miniser J Harper's media policies were "mimicking the ploys of an authoritarian state ..."
Both Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank and religion reporter Alan Cooperman covered the "War on Christians" conference Tuesday, but neither touched on one trend in Canada that American evangelicals are warning against: "hate crime" laws that make speech condemning homosexuality illegal. In 2004, the Canadian parliament passed such a law, as U.S. News columnist John Leo explained:
"Canada is a pleasantly authoritarian country," Alan Borovoy, general counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said a few years ago. An example of what he means is Bill C-250, a repressive, anti-free-speech measure that is on the brink of becoming law in Canada. It would add "sexual orientation" to the Canadian hate propaganda law, thus making public criticism of homosexuality a crime. It is sometimes called the "Bible as Hate Literature" bill, or simply "the chill bill." It could ban publicly expressed opposition to gay marriage or any other political goal of gay groups. The bill has a loophole for religious opposition to homosexuality, but few scholars think it will offer protection, given the strength of the gay lobby and the trend toward censorship in Canada. Law Prof. David Bernstein, in his new book You Can't Say That! wrote that "it has apparently become illegal in Canada to advocate traditional Christian opposition to homosexual sex." Or traditional Jewish or Muslim opposition, too.
In a victory for the first amendment, a unanimous Federal Election Commission said Monday that it will not regulate political opinioneering on the internet. The ruling (official link) comes as a defeat for self-described "reform advocates" who see any speech that isn't subsidized by the government as evil.
The decision should give pause to those who would censor the most important form of speech and it ought to do the same to the mainstream media that beat the drums loudly for years for McCain-Feingold but was oddly silent as the commission considered whether to extend the bill to snuff out the new media.
On this issue, both liberal and conservative bloggers appear to be unanimous that, as one Daily Kos poster puts it, "To those who opposed us along the way, know that we have long memories and vigilant friends. Nevermore will we abandon this turf to the 'experts' who fear and criticize what they do not understand."
OLBERMANN: A note about Laura Ingraham's comments: I've known her for a long time. I'll in fact give you the caveat that I've known her socially. But that hotel balcony crack was unforgivable. It was unforgivable to the memory of David Bloom, it was unforgivable in the consideration of Bob Woodruff and Doug Voigt, it was unforgivable in the light of what happened to Michael Kelly and what happened to Michael Weiskopf. It was unforgivable with Jill Carroll still a hostage in Iraq. It's not only unforgivable, it was desperate and it was stupid.
Keith Olbermann would know a lot about being desperate and stupid. His ongoing War on FOX on the O'Reilly front is absolutely disgusting and shows how desperate he is for ratings
However, the larger point here is the hypocrisy of challenging others. Olbermann's motto is "challenge everything Bush says", yet when it happens to his liberal media friends, he gets mad. It's now the game of the liberal elite to cry "the right is blaming the media" when anyone dares to question their reporting.
If anything is unforgivable, it's Olbermann's attack on Laura Ingraham.