On Monday’s edition of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, fake conservative Stephen Colbert mocked the “fan-fiction foreign policy” of Reagan admirers. He ran clips of Bill O’Reilly telling James Carville that Reagan would have gone to war in Syria, and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen saying Reagan "would stand up to this...he would say chemical use was unacceptable."
Then Colbert claimed Reagan “looked the other way when Saddam gassed his own Kurdish citizens.” Wrong. Get out the Pinocchios. It's true Reagan didn’t go to war in Iraq -- if you want to call that "looking the other way" -- but Reagan did denounce the gassing of the Kurds in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly in 1988. Colbert doesn't care about accuracy. He just wants to mock his "fellow" conservatives:
AMSTERDAM -- On the day I visit the Anne Frank House, which is actually the family's hiding place atop Anne's father's business, the wait to get in is as long as three hours. Such is the attraction of this historic site, 53 years after it was opened to the public.
Anne and her family were among an estimated 107,000 Jews deported to concentration camps from The Netherlands during the German occupation in World War II.
Being about a week away from Independence Day, I was doing a little reflecting upon the history surrounding the Declaration of Independence. And I thought it would be of equal interest to many of my readers to look at some often-overlooked aspects of the declaration's production and legacy.
Several historical websites hold some fascinating facts about this national treasure — including the National Archives and Records Administration's site, at http://www.archives.gov. In addition, on History's website, the article "9 Things You May Not Know About the Declaration of Independence," by Elizabeth Harrison, has some intriguing notes. Let me elaborate on some of those and convey a few others I've discovered.
The overwhelming dominance that liberal statists have over the media today is one of the biggest obstacles faced by advocates of smaller government. Invariably whenever people try to make reforms to existing systems or eliminate waste, their intentions get distorted and lied about and the reformers’ motives get impugned.
Things were not always this way, however. It was not so long ago, in fact, that many large newspapers in this country were owned and operated by right-leaning individuals. Even many of the self-described “progressives” actually also believed in balanced budgets.
PBS has announced its new fall schedule, and it unfolds like a reinforced liberal stereotype. It includes a "landmark" six-hour series on Latino-American history narrated by Benjamin Bratt, and a six-hour series on African-American history narrated by Henry Louis “Beer Summit” Gates, from America's colonial period "up to the present day — when America has a black president yet remains a nation divided by race."
The liberal network will air a “Great Performances” special titled “Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn,” and, of course, to mark the 50th anniversary of the dark day in Dallas when President Kennedy was shot and killed, PBS is planning hours and hours of JFK specials:
The Arts section of Sunday’s Washington Post was dominated by articles analyzing the cultural importance of the Ballet Russes and its role in European modernism. For Post dance critic Sarah Kaufman, it represented “The ascent of men, the haven for gays.”
This ballet troupe was a “tremendous force in modern art and modern mores” all the way back in the 1920s, as the focus on male dancers and the ballet's sexual sensibility could represent “one big orgy” or “a living wet dream”:
In 1787, when delegates at the Constitutional Convention were divided and at an impasse regarding how to build our government and frame the U.S. Constitution, 81-year-old Benjamin Franklin appealed to the other delegates to pray for divine intervention to help them out of their darkness:
The legendary British prime minister Margaret Thatcher has died, and the national media tried to pay their respects, not only for breaking Britain’s “glass ceiling” with a “bruising” political style, but for transforming Britain and helping wind down the Cold War.
Still, Thatcher was a conservative and one of Ronald Reagan’s staunchest friends in the world, so you can be sure these journalists were Thatcher-bashers when she was in power. Some of them were American anchors and reporters.
As the world pauses to remember the legendary British Prime Minister Margeret Thatcher, it's also worth remembering how the liberal media -- both in Britain and in the United States -- were horrified at her conservative policies. Just as they do now, liberal journalists sneeringly portray any resistance to left-wing big government as "uncaring" or lacking compassion."
Of course, in spite of the media's condemnations, Thatcher persevered and successfully pushed back against some of the worst socialist policies Britain enacted in the 1950s through the 1970s.
The Media Research Center was founded in 1987, too late to pick up the nasty media insults hurled during Thatcher's first two terms, but these quotes from our archives give a flavor to how the media regarded her in the late 1980s and 1990s, using words like "shrill," "inflexible," "unsympathetic," and running "an elective dictatorship." Examples below the jump:
Mollie Hemingway at Get Religion is amazed that people would say the most notable, memorable thing evangelical preacher Rick Warren ever did was give the invocation at President Obama's first Inauguration. Warren's son Matthew committed suicide on Saturday.
"Not having heard of Warren prior to 2008 means that you had to have been in utero (or high school, or something similar) during 2002 or whenever [The] Purpose Driven Life came out and became one of the best selling books in history," Hemingway wrote. But Warren accomplished that massive success inside the Christian world, and the secular national media, especially TV network news, wasn't really paying attention. Check out this snippet of our 2005 Special Report on network TV religion coverage:
Pardon the age of this item, but it's on an issue of campaign history. On March 13, NPR Fresh Air host Terry Gross interviewed new CNN host Jake Tapper about politics and journalism, and whether there was blowback from presidents and candidates over tough questions. But Gross felt compelled to bring up the "lies" told about John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign -- without expressing anything specific.
Tapper said he was assigned as a Swift Boat Veteran fact checker by ABC. Gross said, "So you were fact-checking some of the Swift Boat attacks against presidential candidate John Kerry. There were so many lies in those attacks. What was the fact-checking like, and how effective do you think it was in trying to counteract the lies?"
Another episode airs tonight of FX’s The Americans. Last week, the historic drama set in 1981, portrayed a successful KGB effort to discredit a Polish priest, who is leading an anti-Soviet liberation movement, by smearing him as a rapist during his visit to New York City. (“The Reagan administration doesn’t want a rapist leading the movement to push the Soviets out of Poland.”)
The March 13 installment of the series also featured an actual real-life clip of President Ronald Reagan hailing the people of Poland: “We, the people of the free world, stand as one with our Polish brothers and sisters.”
Senior Editorial Writer of the Washington Examiner Sean Higgins published an informative column Tuesday night giving some background for a case that appeared before the Supreme Court on Wednesday morning. Shelby County, Ala. v. Eric Holder has liberals in a panic apparently, because of its challenge to a key portion of the Voting Rights Act that requires many states and some counties to get "pre-clearance" for voting law changes by a federal court. Curiously enough, major media outlets have neglected to mention the context and true history behind the law in question.
Ironically, the Voting Rights Act has completely changed the political landscape of the South ever since it was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965, and in ways that have poorly served African-American voters specifically and the Democratic Party generally. Higgins explained:
Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" has been a box-office hit and nominated for 12 Academy Awards, including best picture, best director and best actor for Daniel Day-Lewis, who portrayed our 16th president. I haven't seen the movie; therefore, this column is not about the movie but about a man deified by many. My colleague Thomas DiLorenzo, economics professor at Loyola University Maryland, exposed some of the Lincoln myth in his 2006 book, "Lincoln Unmasked." Now comes Joseph Fallon, cultural intelligence analyst and former U.S. Army Intelligence Center instructor, with his new e-book, "Lincoln Uncensored." Fallon's book examines 10 volumes of collected writings and speeches of Lincoln's, which include passages on slavery, secession, equality of blacks and emancipation. We don't have to rely upon anyone's interpretation. Just read his words to see what you make of them.
In an 1858 letter, Lincoln said, "I have declared a thousand times, and now repeat that, in my opinion neither the General Government, nor any other power outside of the slave states, can constitutionally or rightfully interfere with slaves or slavery where it already exists." In a Springfield, Ill., speech, he explained, "My declarations upon this subject of negro slavery may be misrepresented, but can not be misunderstood. I have said that I do not understand the Declaration (of Independence) to mean that all men were created equal in all respects." Debating with Sen. Stephen Douglas, Lincoln said, "I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of ... making voters or jurors of Negroes nor of qualifying them to hold office nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races, which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality."
So, I take it that Lisa De Moraes didn’t go through her paper’s archives before she penned today's TV column in which she re-wrote history regarding Conan O’Brien's turn as emcee for the White House Correspondents Association dinner in April 1995. Yesterday it was announced that the late-night comedian would return this year as the master of ceremonies.
De Moraes suggested the O'Brien bombed the last go-around and seemed to take offense for late President Clinton, who was the butt of many of O'Brien's jokes 18 years ago.
KGB operatives infiltrated conservative media? Wednesday night’s episode of FX’s The Americans imagines that in 1981 a conservative magazine employed a journalist who was really a mole for the KGB. On the day of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, “Charles Duluth” of the “Conservative Statesman” magazine, proclaims to a KGB operative who he is helping: “Frankly, I hope the bastard bleeds to death on the operating table.”
The Americans is centered around husband and wife KGB sleeper agents (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell as “Philip and Elizabeth Jennings”) who live with their kids as ordinary Americans in suburban Washington, DC when Reagan becomes President.
Many conservatives point to great modern men and leaders, such as Ronald Reagan, as models we can follow, and I concur with their sentiments. But I think the best leaders lived long ago, during the founding of our republic, away from the limelight and luster of today's politics and Washington drama.
With Feb. 18's being Presidents Day and Feb. 22's being the actual day George Washington was born, I thought there would no better time to honor the man I consider to be one of the greatest leaders ever born. And I'm going to take a few weeks (columns) to do it.
Last week’s second episode of The Americans (the third episode will run tonight, February 13, on FX), dramatically ended with a scene showing the horror realized by KGB operatives at the Soviet embassy in Washington, DC when they learn President Ronald Reagan intends to build “a ballistic missile shield” – aka the Strategic Defense Initiative. (video below)
The Americans is centered around husband and wife KGB sleeper agents (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell as “Philip and Elizabeth Jennings”) who live with their kids as ordinary Americans in suburban Washington, DC when Ronald Reagan becomes President.
FX’s new series which debuted Wednesday night, The Americans, is centered around husband and wife KGB sleeper agents who live with their kids as ordinary Americans in suburban Washington, DC when Ronald Reagan becomes President. Joe Weisberg, the creator and executive producer conceded to TV Guide that “this series, to a large extent, is told from the perspective of the KGB and the Soviets. We’re making them the sympathetic characters. I’d go so far as to say they’re the heroes.”
Yet, in the 95-minute pilot aired January 30, there were scenes which should hearten conservatives who believe in Reagan’s righteousness and the superiority of the United States.
It's a perilous proposition to insist that a long-dead historical figure would share your politics. It's doubly so when your documentary evidence is thin and you are twisting the proper meaning of the words in that supposed evidence. Take the case of MSNBC.com's Nick Ramsey, who insists that Abraham Lincoln would strongly disagreed with Justice Antonin Scalia that the U.S. Constitution is a dead document rather than a living constitution that can evolve outside the constitutionally-provided mechanism for such evolution: the amendment processes described in Article VII.
"This is an issue that constitutional experts have debated for years and years, but at least one president is firmly on the record on the issue. And this President is one often cited by conservatives, but he is not in agreement with Justice Scalia," Ramsey insisted, going on to quote Abraham Lincoln out of context and seemingly with a misunderstanding of a key word in the passage he cited. Here's how Ramsey dealt with that (emphases his):
According to Peter Drier on the far-left website Alternet, Martin Luther King, Jr., “was a radical. He believed that America needed a ‘radical redistribution of economic and political power’. He challenged America’s class system and its racial caste system. He was a strong ally of the nation's labor union movement. He opposed U.S. militarism and imperialism, especially the country's misadventure in Vietnam.”
Wow. So King was the perfect man of the left? Er, well, except for one thing: “Like most Americans in his day, King was homophobic, even though one of his closest advisors, Bayard Rustin, was gay.”
Tonight, viewers of CBS-owned Showtime will be treated to the ninth of ten installments of Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States, which has attacked U.S. leaders – from FDR to Ronald Reagan – from the far-left while hailing the virtues of communists.
Last Monday’s installment, on Carter and Reagan, offered a representative sampling of Stone’s worldview, an hour which included displaying a woman holding the Media Research Center’s “Don’t Believe the Liberal Media” placard as he fretted over how President Reagan “enabled the growth of a right-wing media empire” which has “dramatically lower the standards of American political discourse and, in general, doom prospects for progressive change.”
In August, Rupert Murdoch’s FX picked up a Cold War series set in the 1980s titled “The Americans.” Liberals might have braced themselves for the worst. It sounded like some kind of Chuck Norris-style “jingoistic” homage to freedom-loving intelligence agents. But this is Hollywood, so the show instead focuses on KGB spies who speak perfect English, working to destroy Reagan-era America, which is not altogether a bad thing to people in Hollywood.
Joe Weisberg, who worked for more than three years at the CIA, first wrote a script about two CIA case officers stationed in Bulgaria. Fox bought that script, too...but that project was deep-sixed. Boring. But exploring the daily joys and sorrows of undercover Soviet agents, that just thrills the Hollywood Left. Some things never change.
There has been no shortage of deceptive ads, factually-distorted statements, and outright fabrications from the political left over the campaign year to choose from, but leave it to the Tampa Bay Times's PolitiFact to give its "Lie of the Year" award to the Romney campaign. The now infamous "falsehood" in question was Romney's claim that Jeep was planning on moving production of some of its vehicles to China. This was in fact technically true, but PolitiFact trademarked it as its "Lie of the Year."
In a fit of glee, multiple left-leaning news outlets have promoted the proclamation, including of course, MSNBC. [video below, MP3 audio here ]:
It's hard to imagine a major newspaper according Style section coverage to a 10-part documentary that was the brainchild of a conservative filmmaker with a penchant for conspiracy theories. But a left-winger, that's a different story. The Washington Post's Ann Hornaday today gave readers of the paper a 12-paragraph puff piece about "Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States" which premieres tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern on Showtime and focuses considerable attention on FDR's vice president Henry Wallace, a socialist who, had he been re-nominated in 1944 instead of Harry Truman, would have succeeded to the presidency in 1945 upon Roosevelt's death.
"Untold History" is a 10-hour-long documentary grounded "in indisputable fact," Hornaday assures readers, noting that Stone's collaborator in the project is an American University professor, Peter Kuznick.
Tonight, CBS-owned Showtime will debut a ten-part series: Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States. Ronald Radosh, in last week’s Weekly Standard, determined it offers “not an untold story, but the all-too-familiar Communist and Soviet line on America’s past as it developed in the early years of the Cold War.”
Whether Mitt Romney becomes the 45th president or not, Politico's Jonathan Martin insists that the Republican Party is on the verge of a looming crisis. Sticking with the same overgeneralized racist narrative, it is basically a 'fact' at this point that the GOP's conservative ideology and a lack of diversity will ultimately lead to its downfall.
Conversely, the Democratic Party is poised to dominate in future elections. Nevermind that we heard this before in 2006 and 2008, with Clinton acolyte James Carville forecasted 40 years in the wilderness for the GOP. No, Martin insists that demography is destiny, and the GOP is bound to shrivel electorally as older white conservatives die off the voting rolls: