WASHINGTON - It turns out that Republicans were right: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did violate C-SPAN's copyright by using its televised footage on her blog promoting Democrats.
Officials for the cable TV network that provides daily gavel-to-gavel coverage of House and Senate proceedings at first said the blog was in violation, then announced it wasn't. On Wednesday, they said that it was but that they're changing their policy so that it won't be in the future.
In a warning to the sanctity of free speech in a democratic nation, France is about to show us what happens when the state is allowed to legally determine who is allowed to be a "journalist", or who is a "legitimate" source of news: You get the criminalization of speech.
The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.
This would, in fact, place the power to silence whistleblowers from being able to expose abuse by government officials into the hands of those very officials in the case of police abuse, for instance.
That's quite an ominous headline over Sheryl Gay Stolberg's story in today's New York Times about the conviction on perjury and obstruction of justice charges of Lewis Libby, former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney -- "A Judgment on Cheney Is Still to Come."
"In legal terms, the jury has spoken in the Libby case. In political terms, Dick Cheney is still awaiting a judgment. "For weeks, Washington watched, mesmerized, as the trial of I. Lewis Libby Jr. cast Vice President Cheney, his former boss, in the role of puppeteer, pulling the strings in a covert public relations campaign to defend the Bush administration’s case for war in Iraq and discredit a critic.
Commenting on the Scooter Libby trial yesterday, Rush Limbaugh made a very astute point about the whole nasty affair: Libby's conviction ought to tell Republican politicos they can't trust the liberal elite Washington press corps.
Don't try to convince them, don't try to be their friend, the number-one talker asserted. They come to any interview with you with their story already written out beforehand.
Their minds are already made up, because they have a prejudice about what Republicans and conservatives are. So the whole point of talking to members of the administration -- Republicans and otherwise -- is trip 'em up, and what happened here? Russert, Matt Cooper and Judith Miller? It's a bunch of journalists at the center of this and what Libby told 'em, and then the FBI and grand jury and so forth. This juror that came out and talked. He said they have "a lot of sympathy" for Judith Miller, the New York Times info babe that ended up in jail for not revealing her sources to Fitzgerald. The juror said, “I really feel sorry for her. The defense was just pounding her. They were just too hard on her.”
You don't hit the girl. It is one characteristic or aspect of that. But until people learn that you're not going to be able to bring a bunch of reporters in from Washington or New York, and explain conservatism or your policy and have a sympathetic ear (or even an ear that wants to understand what you're trying to do) is beyond me. Why they keep thinking they can do this is also beyond me. I know what you're saying. "What would you do? You have to talk to them."
Meredith Vieira was in a light-hearted mood at the top of this morning's "Today," joshing with substitute co-host Ann Curry about the estrogen on the set and kiddingly offering to leave her husband for the winner of the Mega Millions lottery. But we shouldn't have let the idle chatter fool us. When it came to discussing the repercussions of the Libby conviction, Meredith's leopard-skin blouse should have been a clue -- because she pounced.
Discussing the trial with NBC host-turned-star-prosecution-witness Tim Russert [file photo], Meredith displayed and read this quotation from Republican strategist [and former Dole campaign manager] Scott Reed that appeared in a New York Timesarticle this morning:
“The trial has been death by 1,000 cuts for Cheney. It’s hurt him inside the administration. It’s hurt him with the Congress, and it’s hurt his stature around the world because it has shown a lot of the inner workings of the White House. It peeled the bark right off the way they operate.”
Vieira then asked Russert: "Is this the beginning of the end, do you believe, for the Vice President?"
Ever since the new Defeatocrat party took control of our Congress less than two months ago, the snarling anklebiters who make up its support base have allowed their irrational hatred for the Bush administration to propel them to new heights of lunacy, and it doesn't look as if they're going to be piloting the starship moonbat toward planet reality anytime soon.
Of course, there has never been a time when the word rational could have been used to accurately describe this particular generation of leftists, however, with each passing day it's becoming more and more difficult to refer to them as anything but a gaggle of frothing nutjobs.
If the truth be known, I'd rather be locked in a room with a few dozen hysterical 5-year-olds for a week than spend half an minute listening to the sort of mindless gibberish that routinely flows from the mouth of Cindy Sheehan. Unfortunately, the Jurassic media feels the need to report every idiotic phrase uttered by that brainsick rube, while virtually ignoring the opinions of the most honorable people in America; the men and women of our armed services.
This morning's tragic incident in Afghanistan, when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the gate of the U.S. military base where Vice President Dick Cheney was staying, seems to answer any questions regarding "excessive secrecy" of Cheney's trip to Pakistan and then Afghanistan.
But as of this morning, New York Times reporter David Sanger had his doubts. In his Tuesday morning print story, "Cheney Warns Pakistan To Act Against Terrorists," Sanger devoted a great deal of space to the "unusual secrecy" surrounding Cheney's trip.
The Associated Press reports that three journalists are being kicked out of Cuba for writing stories critical of the Communist regime: one BBC reporter, a Chicago Tribune reporter, and a correspondent for El Universal, a Mexican newspaper.
When I read this I recalled a study by MRC's Rich Noyes a few years back about CNN's Cuba coverage, which, by contrast, never incensed the Castro regime. In fact, Noyes found that stories filed from that bureau's chief Lucia Newman amounted to a "Megaphone for a Dictator."
LOS ANGELES, January 17, 2007 - Two men arrested in connection with a stray shot that killed a 9-year-old girl in Angelino Heights were released without being charged after authorities determined the bullet that killed the girl was fired in self-defense, it was reported Wednesday.1
This case started out reasonably, though tragically. On December 22, 2006 the Los Angeles Police Department announced the arrest of “two key suspects [Cesar Zamora and Steven Castanon] connected with the shooting” of a 9-year-old girl, and their bail was set at $500,000 each. At the time, the girl was hospitalized in critical condition.2
The New York Times generally keeps conservative blogs at arms length, treating them with either how-dare-you criticism, pat-on-the-head condescension or, most notoriously, accusations of CIA stoogery. But
when it comes to liberal bloggers like the ones covering the Lewis
Libby trial, The Times embraces them as they struggle side by side with
the MSM, as shown in Scott Shane's front page story today, "For Liberal Bloggers, Libby Trial Is Fun and Fodder." (By contrast, Shane has written two condescendingpieces on conservative bloggers.)
is one group blog covering the trial of Libby, the former top aide to
Vice President Dick Cheney accused of lying to prosecutors during the
investigation of who leaked CIA worker Valerie Plame's name to the
a convoluted trial in which everyone, government officials and
journalists alike, seems to have a faulty memory -- no surprise, since
it involves who may or may not have said what to whom in the summer of
2003. Tom Maguire, a must-read on all matters Plame-related who knows
the ins and outs better than virtually any journalist, wonders if the
Times is watching the same trial he is.
Anne Schroeder at The Politico started a new rumor that when the newly renovated White House Briefing Room is ready, perhaps the new seating chart will move caterwauling Hearst columnist Helen Thomas (no longer a reporter, more like a Sheehan-style anti-war protester) out of her traditional seat on the front row. For those who do not recall, Helen left United Press International way back in 2000 rather than work for new owners when it was sold to conservatives at The Washington Times.
The new room will have an added seat in each row, but both CNN and Fox News want to move up, so moving Helen would be the logical move to acknowledge that cable-news networks perhaps have more importance 24-7 than once-a-week columnists for Hearst. (Back when I was in the room in '01 and '02, FNC was often sitting in row 3 or 4, not even the second row.)
Several national newspapers praised the four-hour PBS Frontline series beginning Tuesday night titled "News War," on how Team Bush (and Team Nixon before that) undemocratically waged war on the press. There's not much on whether the press was undemocratically waging war on the elected president in those cases. (Who, pray tell, voted for the New York Times to run the country?) The man setting the table for the first two hours is Arun Rath, who the South Asian Journalists Association website jokingly notes "acquired a semi-classical education at Reed College in Oregon ('Atheism, Communism and Free Love')." What a surprise for an NPR/PBS producer.
In a new interview on the SAJA website, Rath explained how he was somehow completely incapable of tracking down conservatives to comment on the show's arrogant liberal thesis, namely that the press is crucial to save democracy from freedom-crushing Republicans:
It is a common maxim that sometimes those who most loudly decry a sin are in fact the most guilty of it. The trial of Scooter Libby has become a troubling affirmation of that maxim, at least from my vantage point in the media room at the Prettyman Courthouse.
The Washington press has been giddy since the name Joe Wilson was first thrust into the limelight by the tag-team of the New York Times opinion page and NBC's Meet the Press. This week's court proceedings reminded us how invested Big Media has been in the prosecution of White House staff over Wilson's now-debunked claims. Consider this excerpt provided by Libby's defense from an appearance by NBC's Tim Russert on the Don Imus show:
"It was like Christmas here last night," describing the anticipation of indictments coming down over the leak case. "Santa Claus is coming. Surprises! What's going to be under the tree?"
Last Friday, I was shocked to see a series of photographs on the news wires, sent across by Reuters photographer Kevin Frayer, one of the photographers of Qana fame. The pictures illustrated a picture of a large crowd, grieving the death of a ten-year-old Palestinian girl, Abir Aramin, who was reported to have been injured by a stray rubber bullet fired by none other than the Israeli Defence Forces, and whose subsequent death has "enraged" the local Palestinian population.
There were some immediate problems with Mr. Frayer's depiction of these events, though. First and foremost, as someone who is constantly monitoring the news wires, I can comfortably say that there are no pictures on the wire of any anti-barrier protest at Anata during this time, and certainly no pictures of what would be a very injured girl. Furthermore, there are no photos of her in the hospital, a scenario that would obviously be very sympathetic, something which would attract every photographer in the area!
In other words, there is no photographic evidence that the Palestinian version of this story happened at all!
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at this below from Mike Stark, it probably isn't the first time he's issued a threat upon which he doesn't have a prayer of delivering.
I don’t mean to be a dick, but the truth is by the time the 6-7 minute segment is over, CNN will want to hire me as a sanitation engineer because I will have mopped the floor with Mr. Riehl… Mike Stark
Hopefully I'll have a few minutes tomorrow courtesy of CNN's Reliable Sources to point out that from throwing pies at conservative lecturers and guests, to physically assaulting Jim Gilchrist of Minuteman fame, see Hot Air and Michelle Malkin for more on that - to trying to shut down The Path to 9/11 and now the KSFO incident while Dennis Kucinich talks about bringing back the Fairness Doctrine, this is all in fact part of the Left's on going effort to shut down conservative rhetoric whenever and wherever they can.
This week the New York Times took every opportunity to mislead on the nature of the terrorist-surveillance program, triggered by Wednesday's announcement by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) would have jurisdiction over the program that eavesdrops on international calls of people in the U.S. suspected of terrorist ties.
"We see his well-defined pecs, his perfectly hairless torso, just a bit of padding around the abs and a drawstring dangling from his form-fitting surfer trunks. The aspiring presidential candidate splashes through the water and squints into the distance; he is transformed into Burt Lancaster in 'From Here to Eternity.'"
On a recent episode of rightANGLE, a current-affairs TV talk show I host, I had the opportunity to interview Charles "Cully" Stimson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs. While Stimson has responsibility for detainees world-wide, much of our discussion focused on those held at Guantanamo Bay -- Gitmo.
Observed Stimson: "We've had over 2,000 journalists visit Gitmo. People who go and see it for themselves realize it's almost Alice in Wonderland - down is up and up is down. The caricature of Guantanamo is exactly the opposite of the reality of Guantanamo. Detainees at Gitmo are treated humanely, in accordance with Common Article Three of the Geneva Convention."
He writes: "Everything was in place for Gerald R. Ford's state funeral last night -- everything, that is, but the statesmen."
The third paragraph continues:
"President Bush sent his regrets; he was cutting cedar and riding his bike on his ranch in Texas. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his deputy, Richard Durbin, couldn't make it, either; they were on a trip to visit Incan ruins. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took a pass, too -- as did nearly 500 of the 535 members of Congress."
Reading this, one might conclude that while the lack of interest in paying respects to the late President is bipartisan, the failure of the current President, a man of the same political party as Mr. Ford, is particularly egregious. How dare Mr. Bush opt to cut cedar and ride his bike rather than participate in a state funeral for another Chief Executive?
President Bush submitted to a 25-minute interview Tuesday with the three Washington Post White House correspondents: Peter Baker, Michael Fletcher, and Michael Abramowitz. The transcript in today's Post leaves the definite impression it was another game of asking "when will you submit to the will of the Democrats, er, the people?" The tone of questioning suggests Bush is denying the reality that America is now in the capable hands of a MoveOn.org majority, and demands that he "listen" to their wish list, since his wishes are no longer viable:
Given the election results, is increasing the troop level in Iraq even a viable possibility or option?
Steven Spruiell of NRO Media Blog offered a few thoughts on Tony Snow's apology to David Gregory for suggesting a question about how Bush is a failure was partisan in character. (To me, it had a bit of a "sorry I said the sky is blue" logic to it.) I'm more in line with Steve's POV than Noel Sheppard's praise for Snow's decency:
Snow's smart enough to realize that the White House simply doesn't enjoy the kind of popularity it would need to survive a war with the beltway media right now, and the last thing he needs is the Milbanks of the world attacking his credibility on the eve of a major policy change in Iraq.
O'Brien, during a more wakeful momentAs alreadynotedhere on NewsBusters, the Senate held a hearing today examining the role of the media in promoting climate alarmism. With others covering the newsmaking part of the discussion, I decided to drop by to observe things from a blogger's point of view.
I went into the hearing expecting it would be more interesting than your typical congressional hearing and wasn't disappointed. Dr. David Deming, a geophysicist from the University of Oklahoma recounted an experience he had with an NPR reporter who hung up on him after he declined to say that he thought global temperature increases were human-caused.
Apparently I was not joined in my assessment of things by CNN "American Morning" anchor Miles O'Brien who fell asleep during the discussion, according to several witnesses. Only a colleague's nudge prevented the slumbering former science correspondent from missing the entire discussion. One would think that O'Brien could have scared up some more interest considering his ongoingfeud with Sen. Inhofe. The two have tangled on O'Brien's CNN show and both have denounced each other from their respective platforms.
The BBC reports that John Bolton had to leave the UN due to a weakened Bush and Republican set backs in the November election. While those facts are true, a responsible reporting organization should know that Bolton failed to be confirmed prior to the election.
If the November 7 results had produced the exact same composition in the Senate, Bolton still wouldn't have been confirmed. In fact, he might have been confirmed in the last session were it not for weakness, not of Bush, but a Republican headed out of the Senate - Mr. Chafee, I presume.
Anything to keep the meme going, Democrats up, Republicans down. And of course it's all Bush's fault. The article also contains praise for Bolton from the Chinese Ambassador.
Brent Bozell's column on Al-Jazeera English demonstrated a real affinity for the network in the liberal media elite. One CNN story by Frank Sesno noted "The reviews so far are mostly kind. The New York Times says the new network 'points to where East and West actually meet.' USA Today writes, 'in a globalized world, the broader the conversation and greater the competition for credibility, the better.' But the edition of the talk show "Inside Washington" Brent used shows not merely a tolerance, but an outraged hunger for an Arab-propaganda channel. They want it like the old MTV ads with rock stars saying "I want my MTV!" Here's a look at the transcript from the November 19 program:
Gordon Peterson, host: "Al-Jazeera English is on the air, but is not on the air here."
Sue Phillips, Al-Jazeera English (taped): "We adhere to Western broadcast standards. However, we will be very bold in our reporting. We will, of course, be impartial and accurate and objective as we can, but sometimes we will be controversial where it is necessary."
Peterson: "That's Sue Phillips, the London Bureau Chief of Al-Jazeera English, which debuted this week all over the world, but not on American cable systems. Why not, Colby?"
Yesterday John Gibson, host of "The Big Story" on Fox News, wondered if a national TV network, NBC, should make the country's foreign policy.
Let me introduce you to somebody. His name is Robert Wright. He is the chairman of the NBC television network, which is actually a few networks including CNBC and MSNBC. In essence, he runs those networks.
Since I used to work over there and know Mr. Wright and know how things work somewhat, I am confident I am right when I say Bob Wright decided, or at least approved, NBC's policy to refer to whatever it is that is now going on in Iraq as a civil war.
The Pentagon doesn't think so. The White House doesn't think so. Even CBS Evening News Executive Producer Rome Hartman said he thought NBC's decision wasn't so much a news judgment as a political judgment.
“Those two campaigns have now come together to bring the strength of both communities, the disarmament community, and the women’s rights communities together in order to stop armed violence against women, recognizing that the disarmament conversation, too often does not involve women, and that the women’s rights movement has too often not realized the importance of taking away the weapons.”
The New York Times is trying once again to convince the public that tipping off alleged terrorist front groups about an upcoming government search somehow falls under the umbrella of “the public’s right to information”.
Lawyers for the newspaper tried unsuccessfully to prevent special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald from reviewing telephone records that could be used in helping the government determine who leaked the classified information to the newspaper in the government’s obstruction of justice investigation.
My antenna went up when Matt Lauer opened this morning's "Today" with these words: "Good morning. Civil war. A bloody weekend of sectarian clashes in Iraq and no sign it's letting up."
"Civil war"? I was certain I hadn't heard Today employ the term before. And sure enough, Lauer shortly thereafter declared: "For months the White House rejected claims that the situation in Iraq has deteriorated into civil war. For the most part news organizations like NBC hesitated to characterize it as such. After careful consideration, NBC News has decided the change in terminology is warranted and what is going on in Iraq can now be characterized as civil war."
Lauer later brought in retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey to make the case for the change in terminology.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Murders in the United States jumped 4.8 percent last year, and overall violent crime was up 2.5 percent for the year, marking the largest annual increase in crime in the United States since 1991, according to figures released Monday by the FBI.
Robberies nationally increased 4.5 percent, and aggravated assaults increased 1.9 percent, while the number of rapes last year fell 1.9 percent, the report said.