History

By Kyle Drennen | September 16, 2014 | 3:56 PM EDT

During the first installment of PBS's The Roosevelts: An Intimate History on Sunday, historian Clay Jenkinson and former Newsweek editor turned historian Evan Thomas slammed Theodore Roosevelt as a bloodthirsty "imperialist" who promoted the "glorification of war" and built up a "cult" of personality. [Listen to the audio]

Speaking on Roosevelt's command of the Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War, Jenkinson proclaimed: "There's no question that Roosevelt is an imperialist. Apologists like to try to play this down. But the fact is he's probably the most significant imperialist in American history." Jenkinson seemed troubled by Roosevelt's call for the United States to "take our place in the world's arena."

By Kristine Marsh | September 12, 2014 | 10:37 AM EDT

This weekend marks the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Fort McHenry, the battle which inspired Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner.”

In honor of that historic day, we’ve compiled a list of some of the memorable moments the flag was lifted and shown reverence.

By Rich Noyes | September 8, 2014 | 4:50 PM EDT

As President Obama’s approval ratings have tumbled in 2014, polling news has practically vanished from the Big Three evening newscasts — in stunning contrast to how those same newscasts relentlessly emphasized polls showing bad news for George W. Bush during the same phase of his presidency.

By Jeffrey Lord | August 16, 2014 | 9:23 AM EDT

Within the space of a week, the Public Editor of The New York Times, Margaret Sullivan, and Sarah Durand, a senior editor of publisher Simon & Schuster subsidiary Atria Books, have vividly illustrated how the game of liberal media bias works.

Let’s start with the Times.

By Tim Graham | July 28, 2014 | 10:43 AM EDT

Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is picking up on the impending trend of Nixon-Watergate anniversaries in media coverage. On her Facebook page, Palin accused The Washington Post of being “a bunch of wusses” compared to their allegedly legendary Watergate days.

Palin threw around the “impeachment” word, which the Post loves in the present days as a sign of Republican extremism. They think the mere mention of the “I word” will lead the Democrats' reliable minority voters back to the polls in the midterms. Here’s the statement in full:

By Walter E. Williams | July 23, 2014 | 9:55 PM EDT

Earlier this month, the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act was celebrated. During the act's legislative debate, then-Sen. Hubert Humphrey, responding to predictions, promised, "I'll eat my hat if this leads to racial quotas." I don't know whether Humphrey got around to keeping his promise, but here's my question: Is it within the capacity of black Americans to make it in this society without the special favors variously called racial preferences, quotas, affirmative action and race-sensitive policies? What might a "yes" answer to that question assume and imply about blacks? Likewise, what would a "no" answer assume and imply? Let's look at it.

There are some areas of black life in which excellence can be found without the slightest hint of racial preferences. Young blacks dominate basketball, football and some track-and-field events despite the fact that there has been a history of gross racial discrimination in those activities. Blacks are also prominent in several areas of the entertainment industry. Those observations mean that racial discrimination alone is not an insurmountable barrier to success. By the way, I can't think of any two fields with more ruthless competition.

By Brent Baker | July 18, 2014 | 12:45 AM EDT

Amazingly, Chris Matthews concluded Thursday’s Hardball by playing clips of how President Ronald Reagan reacted the Soviet shootdown of a Korean Air Lines 747 passenger jet in 1983 – even conceding, after a clip of Reagan charging the Soviets with terrorism and a “flagrant lie,” that “he was speaking for the American people.”

Matthews – probably inadvertently – illustrated how Reagan, unlike the current occupant of the White House, understood his role as leader of the free world under threat from evil forces.

By Tim Graham | July 17, 2014 | 11:05 PM EDT

On Thursday night's PBS NewsHour, anchor Judy Woodruff interviewed Donna Zaccaro, who has made a new documentary about her mother, Geraldine Ferraro and her historic nomination for vice president in July of 1984. Like Nancy Pelosi's daughter Alexandra, Zaccaro was a longtime producer for NBC News before becoming a filmmaker.

In a film clip, NPR’s Cokie Roberts gushes about the moment at the convention with Ferraro, “Standing up there all in white, looking like this tiny little figure, but looking beautiful and looking female.” Woodruff added she was there, too, and “I remember. It was a special moment for women in — no matter who you were, what party you were in.” But Zaccaro thought Sarah Palin’s nomination in 2008 wasn't a bipartisan moment. It meant nothing:

By R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. | July 17, 2014 | 9:03 PM EDT

WASHINGTON — I have been vindicated! For years I have been comparing the Clinton family to the family of Warren Gamaliel Harding, our 29th president and a president of dark memory at least to most liberal historians. For me, Warren was sheer slapstick, as to some degree his modern-day equivalent was, Bill Clinton. And forget not their gruesome wives.

I began my historical comparisons in the 1996 bestselling book, "Boy Clinton: The Political Biography." For years, I punctuated my syndicated column with references to the two families. Then in my 2007 book, "The Clinton Crack-Up," I clinched the comparison in a reminder of how that Little Rock monstrosity, the Clinton Library, compared so favorably with the Harding Memorial in Warren's hometown, Marion, Ohio. But now, you ask, how am I vindicated? Well, America's historical memory is not very strong. Comparing Bill with a 1920s president to a modern American audience was not easy. Yet, by month's end it will be much easier. In fact, the comparison will be inescapable.

By Tim Graham | July 11, 2014 | 8:13 AM EDT

NPR got in the spirit of anniversaries on Thursday night’s All Things Considered by recalling the 1964 Republican convention in San Francisco. For analysis, they turned to.....New York Times Magazine contributor Sam Tanenhaus, whose lack of political insight was proven by his 2009 book The Death of Conservatism (broadened from a 2009 New Republic essay titled "Conservatism Is Dead.")  Oopsy.

Tanenhaus told NPR anchor Robert Siegel that when Nelson Rockefeller tried to argue against “extremism” at the convention, leftist author Norman Mailer wrote it was like “one of those early moments at the dawn of civilization when one caveman stood off the others and said no, we have to be a civilized society.”

By Ken Shepherd | July 7, 2014 | 10:25 PM EDT

According to MSNBC's Chris Matthews, "in July of 1971, President Richard Nixon signed the 26th Amendment into law, making 18 the [minimum] age to vote." The Hardball host made this pronouncement as he introduced a segment attacking new legislation in North Carolina which liberal activists charge violates that Amendment.

But of course, it's patently false that Nixon signed the amendment "into law." Indeed, no president signs any ratified amendment into law. Ratified amendments take effect immediately either "when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof," depending on which manner the Congress proposed when introducing the amendment. What Nixon did on July 5, 1971 was witness the certification by the administration of the General Services Administration that the requisite three-fourths of the nation's state legislatures had ratified the Amendment. From Nixon's remarks that day, via the American Presidency Project (emphasis mine; YouTube video below page break):

By NB Staff | July 4, 2014 | 11:08 AM EDT

Sad news today that Richard Mellon Scaife, a longtime supporter of conservative causes, died this Fourth of July at the age of 82. Scaife became a target for vicious media attacks, especially during the Clinton-era, because of his support for conservative journalism and institutions. 

And, as might have been expected, this morning's obituary on the New York Times Web site (a version of which will presumably be published in tomorrow's print edition) includes nasty personal swipes: