History

By Tim Graham | July 29, 2010 | 12:39 PM EDT

Actors love to display their "range," but it might be sad for fans of HBO's John Adams miniseries to see Paul Giamatti go from Founding Father to Soviet dictator. Tom Hanks and his PlayTone Productions, who made the Adams project, are now preparing a film on Nikita Khruschev's 1959 trip to America. Variety reports:

HBO and Playtone are looking to revisit one of the lighter chapters of the Cold War: Nikita Khrushchev's two-week tour of the U.S.

Paul Giamatti is attached to play Khrushchev in the telepic that is in the early stages of development. HBO and Playtone have acquired the rights to the book "K Blows Top," by Peter Carlson, which recounts Khrushchev's 13-day American sojourn in September 1959, a time when Cold War tensions between the world superpowers were running high.

Carlson is a former Washington Post writer, and long reviewed the magazine business for the paper's Style section. His 2009 book (cozily puffed by The Washington Post) contains some less than "light-hearted" moments about Soviet control: 

By Brent Baker | July 25, 2010 | 9:07 PM EDT
Daniel Schorr’s passing on Friday, at age 93, reminded me of the kind of assaults CBS News unleashed on conservatives before there were any countervailing forums available. A 2001 Weekly Standard article (nine years in my “pending” file!) detailed a particularly vicious left-wing hit piece he narrated in 1964 which linked Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater with neo-Nazis in Germany, a CBS Evening News story notorious enough to earn a mention – if without any censure – in the New York Times and Washington Post obituaries.

In a June of 2001 Weekly Standard review of a memoir by Schorr about his years with CBS, CNN and NPR, Andrew Ferguson recited the piece which aired during the GOP’s convention:
“It looks as though Senator Goldwater, if nominated, will be starting his campaign here in Bavaria, center of Germany's right wing” also known, Schorr added helpfully, as “Hitler's one-time stomping ground.” Goldwater, he went on, had given an interview to Der Spiegel, “appealing to right-wing elements in Germany,” and had agreed to speak to a conclave of, yes, “right-wing Germans.” “Thus," Schorr concluded, “there are signs that the American and German right wings are joining up.” Now back to you, Walter, and have a nice day!
Ferguson pointed out what eluded the Washington Post and New York Times: “Though easily checkable, it was false in all its particulars” and “was false in its obvious implication of an Anschluss between German neo-Nazis and U.S. Republicans.” Nonetheless, “if Schorr was embarrassed by the Goldwater episode, his memoir shows no signs of it.”
By Tim Graham | July 19, 2010 | 7:12 AM EDT
Both the New York Times and The Washington Post devoted obituaries to William Callahan, a Catholic “dissident” and founder of the radical-left Quixote Center. It was best remembered for its devotion to the communist dictatorship of Nicaragua. But that's not the kind of language these liberal newspapers would use.

Douglas Martin in the Times resolutely avoided “communist” and "dictatorship" and “Soviet-backed.” The center was founded “to press for reforms in the church and society.” And: “The Quixote Center achieved particular prominence in its support of the leftist government of Nicaragua in the 1980s, a stance directly at odds with that of the Reagan administration. It raised more than $100 million in humanitarian aid for the Nicaraguan government.”

Lauren Wiseman in the Washington Post highlighted Callahan's “iconoclastic” and “idealistic” ways, but at least suggested he was against “anti-Marxist” rebels: “During the 1980s, he was involved with Quest for Peace, a program run by the Quixote Center that sent aid to Nicaragua and opposed U.S. support to the anti-Marxist rebel group known as the contras.”

By Brent Baker | July 17, 2010 | 6:02 PM EDT

On Friday, Kendall and Gwendolyn Myers, who spied for Cuba, were sentenced to prison terms (life for him, six years for her) by the federal court in DC, an action which Washington Post reporter Spencer Hsu described as “a grim ending to the Myerses' idealistic embrace of the Cuban revolution.” Flashback to a June of 2009 NewsBusters post from when the couple was charged 13 months ago, illustrating how the New York Times and Washington Post painted the traitors as a lovable duo:

“She fell for his worldly sophistication” while he “admired her work helping ordinary people,” gushed a front page Friday [June 19] New York Times story on Gwendolyn and Kendall Myers, both charged with spying for communist Cuba for nearly 30 years. Deciding “to give the second half of their lives new meaning,” the couple found themselves “disillusioned with the pace of change in Washington” so they once moved to South Dakota, Times reporter Ginger Thompson charmingly related, where “they marched for legalized abortion, promoted solar energy, and repaired relations with six children from previous marriages.” How loveable. 

The Times story arrived 12 days after a front page Washington Post piece, “A Slow Burn Becomes a Raging Fire: Disdain for U.S. Policies May Have Led to Alleged Spying for Cuba,” in which reporters Mary Beth Sheridan and Del Quentin Wilber managed, though the couple's betrayal of their country (and the people of Cuba) started during the Carter administration, to include a shot at former President George W. Bush as the cap to a lead paragraph of, in the Weekly Standard's assessment, “Updikean brushstrokes.” To wit:

He was a courtly State Department intelligence analyst from a prominent family who loved to sail and peruse the London Review of Books. Occasionally, he would voice frustration with U.S. policies, but to his liberal neighbors in Northwest D.C. it was nothing out of the ordinary. “We were all appalled by the Bush years,” one said.

By Matt Hadro | July 7, 2010 | 5:25 PM EDT

So is President Obama more conservative than the late Ronald Reagan? MSNBC substitute anchor Cenk Uygur thinks so. Filling in yesterday for Dylan Ratigan on his 4 p.m. show, Uygur moderated a segment based on the preposition that President Obama's policies have actually been more conservative than those of President Reagan.

"That's the silliest thing I've ever heard," former Reagan White House political director Frank Donatelli said of the claims. "It's an incomplete and distorted picture of everything," he added. Uygur is a host of "The Young Turks," a left-wing internet political podcast.

In fact, both his guests disagreed with him, but the liberal radio show host wouldn't budge.

By Brent Baker | July 6, 2010 | 12:36 PM EDT
Less than an hour before CBS’s Craig Ferguson-hosted 10 PM EDT “Boston Pops Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular” national broadcast on Sunday night, local anchors Jack Williams and Lisa Hughes from Boston’s CBS-owned television station, along with a couple of local actors, took to the stage to narrate the music-accompanied “The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers.” (Video: downloadable from NB twenty second wmv clip of Williams and Hughes in action.)

Introducing the 20-minute production carried by WBZ-TV channel 4 in Boston in its 8-10 PM EDT coverage, Pops conductor Keith Lockhart ludicrously insisted it was “not political” -- even though it takes its name from Ted Kennedy’s very political 2008 Democratic convention speech aimed at motivating Democrats to push for left-wing policies, starting with nationalized health care, and culminates by quoting the call to arms in that address: “If we set our compass true, we will reach our destination. The work begins anew, the hope rises again and the dream lives on!”

That line was read by actor Morgan Freeman Jr. in the original May 18 production at Boston’s Symphony Hall (mov video excerpt) and coinciding with the concert at Boston’s Hatch Shell along the Charles River, the Pops trumpeted:
By Charlie Daniels | July 1, 2010 | 4:23 PM EDT

ObamaPolitics was once an honored profession of high calling by men of strong principles and courage whose interest in being elected to these positions of public trust was to serve the country and make sure their generation left a better world to the next one.

They were, for the most part, men of faith, men of integrity, commitment, practicality and common sense who viewed high political office as a term of service, not a lifetime vocation.

They fought and won wars against far superior odds, battled economic downturns, abolished slavery and left us a rich endowment of federal papers documenting their vision of what the United States of America is and was meant to remain.

By Jeff Poor | June 30, 2010 | 3:28 PM EDT

Can anyone think of an angrier group of writers in political punditry than the ones currently published at Salon.com?

Throughout the Elena Kagan hearings, both Joan Walsh and Joe Conason have written anti-Republican screeds accusing GOP lawmakers of all sorts of unsavory things to score political points despite what's likely be a certain confirmation.

However, this disposition goes beyond just the SCOTUS hearings.

On MSNBC's June 30 "Morning Joe," Conason went after Harvard Professor Jeffrey Miron, who appeared to promote his book "Libertarianism, from A to Z." Apparently what drew the indignation from Conason was the theory that government can actually make things worse in an economy: 

By Matt Robare | June 29, 2010 | 5:07 PM EDT
John DoughertyInvestigative journalist John Dougherty of Arizona deserves a hand from everyone concerned with liberal media bias, because he has given it up. Dougherty, pictured right in a photo from his website, has, shall we say, crossed the border from being biassed to seeking the Democratic nomination for US Senate.

In the late 80's he was involved with uncovering Charles Keating's use of campaign contributions to five senators-including John McCain, whom Dougherty would most likely face in an election-in exchange for putting pressure on banking regulators. He also investigated Governor Fife Symington, polygamist leader Warren Jeffs and Sherrif Joe Arpaio.

Whatever else he has done in the past, Dougherty has already succesfully morphed into a politician, writing a blog for the Huffington Post on illegal immigration and its relationship to crime that directly contradicts the conclusions he reached in an article he wrote for the High County News.

By Brent Bozell | June 19, 2010 | 9:54 AM EDT

“Who was Bob Hope?” To anyone over 35 that seems like such a strange question. Bob Hope, everyone knows, was one of the greatest American entertainers of the 20th century, and whose greatest public service was his decades-long commitment to U.S. troops all over the world for many decades, which earned him the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among other honors.

And yet it's quite possible that a senior graduating from high school this month would scrunch up his face with a puzzled look over the question. It is why it was refreshing to hear that the Library of Congress has a new exhibit called “Hope for America: Performance, Politics and Pop Culture,” drawn from the Bob Hope Collection, which was donated to the Library by the Hope family in 1998.

Unfortunately, as with so much that affects our popular culture, this man’s legacy is also an excuse to unveil a leftist political agenda, the likes of which Bob Hope would be the first to denounce.

By Rich Noyes | June 16, 2010 | 3:01 PM EDT
A tale of two disasters: On ABC’s Good Morning America this morning, weatherman Sam Champion’s piece included reaction from several residents of Florida, Alabama and Louisiana to President Obama’s oil spill speech, and found three outright critics and no defenders of the administration’s handling of the disaster. One woman exclaimed: “What I would have liked to heard from him – that he actually had a plan.”

The kindest review came from a man in Alabama who merely hoped the federal response would improve: “I think we're seeing a change in how he's handling the situation. And I hope it's for the better.”

Five years ago, after President Bush spoke in New Orleans a few weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf coast, ABC assembled a focus group of six people displaced by the storm, and taking refuge in Houston’s Astrodome. But to the evident astonishment of ABC’s correspondent, not one member of that group would denounce President Bush, but instead leveled their criticism at local officials who failed to prepare the city ahead of time.

As NewsBuster’s Brent Baker reported at the time:
By Jeff Poor | June 14, 2010 | 12:33 PM EDT

Can't get enough of a brutal dictator responsible for substantial human rights atrocities including millions of deaths, all in the name of a failed ideology? iTunes has just the thing for you.

Developer Eigthart, Ltd. presents the iStalin: FREE Communist Posters for the People iPhone/iPad application. The developer's Web site describes the app as a means to "spread the communist glory." (h/t @SetonMotley)

"Good news, comrades! Finally, after years of struggle the Industrialization of the Soviet Union paid off. From the creators of the Communist Manifesto, the October Revolution and the Perestroika comes the best Soviet Union product since Kalashnikov - iStalin! Finally the people will have the privilege to create Soviet posters themselves and spread the communist glory!"