History

By Rich Noyes | July 4, 2012 | 9:38 AM EDT

For most Americans, the Fourth of July is an occasion to remember how remarkable America is, and to celebrate the wisdom of the Founding Fathers in establishing a nation where freedom is the order of the day. But over the years, the Media Research Center has caught journalists using Independence Day as an occasion for scorn and condemnation. Here are a few examples, drawn from MRC's Notable Quotables newsletter:

Hope You Had A Happy Fourth of July, Too

"Oh say, we've seen too much. The Star-Spangled Banner pushes like a cough through America's mouth and the twilight's last gleaming is just that, a sickly flash above our heads as we ride unsuspecting in the bellies of sleek trains, plop to our knees in churches, embracing truths that disgust us."
Boston Globe arts critic and "poet" Patricia Smith in The Nation's "Patriotism" issue, July 15/22, 1991.

By R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. | June 21, 2012 | 10:20 AM EDT

Warren Kozak, the author of "LeMay: The Life and Wars of General Curtis LeMay," wrote a memorable piece in "The Wall Street Journal" on June 6, 2012 that cries out for comment. On the 68th anniversary of the Allies' invasion of Europe over the bloody beaches of Normandy, he reminds us of an unthinkable act by President Franklin Roosevelt on that day. At least it is an unthinkable act today. The president did not call a press conference to notify Americans huddled before their radios of what our military was doing. They already knew from news reports, though they might have learned even more from their president. Nor did President Roosevelt boast of how he had marshaled our troops and given the order to action, as the present occupier of his office is prone to do.

Instead, Roosevelt offered a prayer, a prayer of unthinkable dimensions nowadays. I suspect if I were of voting age in 1944, I would have been a Republican. Yet, as President Roosevelt spoke, he would have spoken for me. Transported back to the battle of Normandy, I would have taken heart in his words. Would a Barack Obama, similarly transported back across the decades, have taken heart? Or would he and millions of other miraculously transported Americans from the present have squirmed? Would they have filed lawsuits through the American Civil Liberties Union? Is this not another of those church and state conundrums that we conjure up today?

By Tim Graham | June 19, 2012 | 8:22 PM EDT

On Tuesday’s Morning Edition, National Public Radio promoted an Atlanta rapper named “Killer Mike” and his “politically charged” song called “Reagan.”

Somehow, they left out that Atlanta-based "artist" Michael Render ends the song with “I’m glad Reagan dead” and regurgitates the old conspiracy theory that Reagan and Ollie North imported cocaine into the inner cities:

By R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. | June 14, 2012 | 6:19 PM EDT

One of my favorite controversialists is back, Bob Woodward, with his sidekick Carl Bernstein. Sunday in "The Washington Post," they wrote that Richard Nixon was more hideous than we have heretofore known. The 37th president conducted five wars while in office, according to the boys, and those do not even include his minor fracases, the Cold War against the Soviet Union and the Vietnam War.

I say Woodward is a controversialist. You might recall his controversial "interview" with CIA Director Bill Casey conducted on Bill's deathbed when no one was watching. It made it into Woodward's book "Veil," saving its author from the embarrassment of admitting that Bill had kept Woodward utterly in the dark about Iran-Contra and so much else during their more conventional interviews earlier. This time, Woodward somehow circumvented Bill's CIA guards, his doctors and nurses, his wife and daughter — one of whom was in the hospital room at all times — to get his incomparable interview. Moreover, Bill had completely lost the power of speech, his face being a mask of terrible deformity, as his friend Bert Jolis reported within days of the so-called interview. Woodward overcame every hurdle to extract from the dying man a confession of involvement in Iran-Contra about which Woodward knew nothing while writing the book. Possibly, he had disguised himself in Bill's hospital room as a cockroach.

By Randy Hall | June 12, 2012 | 4:44 PM EDT

The BuzzFeed Website carried an article on Monday based on an interview with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in which he said that his father, George H. W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan would have a difficult time getting nominated by today's “ultra-conservative” Republican Party in a “hyper-partisan moment.”

The only problem is that Bush never used the words “ultra-conservative” or “hyper-partisan”in the interview (at least not in any of the text provided).. Those words were added by the unidentified “BuzzFeed Staff” who wrote the article.

By Matthew Sheffield | June 12, 2012 | 9:59 AM EDT

More than likely, you've already heard about David Maraniss's new book Barack Obama: The Story and news reports that President Obama created a "composite" character of a girlfriend who actually never existed.

It turns out, the fake girlfriend is only one of several fake people with whom Obama pretended to have life-changing moments as Andrew Ferguson writes in a review of Maraniss's book for the Weekly Standard. As Ferguson discovers, Barack Obama was the first person to make up fake warm fuzzy stories about himself, something his subsequent presidential campaign would later make the primary justification to elect him:

By Matthew Sheffield | June 1, 2012 | 12:41 PM EDT

Sometimes it's the little things that reveal the persistent liberal Democratic bias in the elite media. Writing in the American Spectator, Jeffrey Lord notes that the recent media kerfuffle over the fact that Mitt Romney's wife, Ann, enjoys riding horses is actually demonstrative of how journalists seemingly cannot help themselves.

You see, the media were not always so averse to presidential spouses enjoying equestrian activities. Back when John F. Kennedy's wife, Jackie, enjoyed them, they were regarded in a much different light by the left-dominated media:

By Brent Baker | May 29, 2012 | 1:12 AM EDT

Accurate, but not true. It took 23 years, but on Sunday morning’s Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer contended “everything” in his 1989 book, which provided a derogatory look from the left at the Reagan presidency, was “accurate” – yet “not entirely true.”

The leading title of the book published in January of 1989, when Schieffer held the role of “Chief Washington correspondent” for CBS News, The Acting President: Ronald Reagan and the Supporting Players Who Helped Him Create the Illusion That Held America Spellbound.

By Matthew Sheffield | May 22, 2012 | 2:41 PM EDT

A new biography of legendary CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite reveals some amazing facts about Cronkite's liberal bias and various transgressions of journalistic ethics which expose the falsity of the establishment media's carefully-crafted image of neutrality.

As Jonathan S. Tobin wrote for Commentary, the revelations about Cronkite undermine “the mainstream media’s myth about its own impartiality” before the birth of Fox News. If you believe the self-described mainstream media, it is Fox News which is irredeemably biased and not themselves:

By Ken Shepherd | May 14, 2012 | 4:45 PM EDT

MSNBC's Chris Matthews is featured in a new "Lean Forward" promo spot [embedded below page break; MP3 audio here] quoting his "hero" Winston Churchill as having asked "Then what are we fighting for?" when his finance minister suggested that the government's budget for the arts would have to cut to aid Britain's war effort.  Matthews used that story as a warning to conservatives that the nation's dire financial straits are no excuse for cutting federal spending on the arts.

But alas, it seems the story is poppycock, as Churchill historian Richard Langworth noted in a March 2009 blog post.

By Paul Wilson | May 8, 2012 | 11:07 AM EDT

Perhaps it’s unrealistic to expect history textbooks to present and analyze events and epochs with complete objectivity. But it’s entirely reasonable to demand that they don’t actively reinforce the news media’s liberal bias when it comes to recent history and individuals who are still alive and active in shaping that history. 

Yet commonly used American history textbooks have eschewed historical analysis when discussing recent Supreme Court justices, and in its place substituted partisan political commentary.

By Cal Thomas | May 8, 2012 | 11:07 AM EDT

"Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr." is another of the Harvard professor's wonderful television series for PBS. This is "must-see TV" and a more than worthy sequel to three previous projects Gates has hosted about how some of us came to be what and who we are.

In this latest 10-part series, Gates explores the genealogical and genetic history of a diverse group of people, from entertainer Harry Connick Jr. and Pastor Rick Warren to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Brown University President Ruth Simmons. There are less famous people, but the famous get you hooked for the rest.