History

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:

By Brent Baker | July 4, 2014 | 10:25 AM EDT

Forty-one years ago, an angry Canadian radio newsman, Gordon Sinclair, inspired many when he took to the airwaves to defend the U.S. and denounce much of the world as ingrates who didn’t appreciate America’s greatness.

“Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don’t think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake. Our neighbors have faced it alone and I am one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them kicked around.”

By Jeffrey Lord | June 21, 2014 | 2:23 PM EDT

The other Sunday, Bob Schieffer, the longtime CBS journalist and anchor of the network’s Sunday morning show Face the Nation, had Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on his show.

Mysteriously, a seriously hard fact of the 1964 Barry Goldwater campaign -- a fact about the role of CBS News itself  -- disappeared from Mr. Schieffer’s recounting of that “historic landslide”  to Mr. Priebus and the CBS audience. Vaporized more thoroughly than Lois Lerner’s e-mails from the IRS. As noted here by Jeffrey Meyer, the two had the following exchange about the state of the Repubican Party: 

By Tim Graham | June 14, 2014 | 7:25 AM EDT

Jimmy Carter is not a saint. If you doubt that, read Steven Hayward’s The Real Jimmy Carter. But The New York Times never noticed that book. Last Sunday, they boosted Randall Balmer’s Carter book Redeemer, which pitches Carter metaphorically as...Christ-like.

It’s bad enough that Balmer uses his book to claim nastily that the Religious Right was organized by the late Paul Weyrich around segregationism. Reviewer Molly Worthen began by claiming “Jimmy Carter may be the most pious man ever to have occupied the White House. He was ‘born again’ at age 11 and has taught Sunday school for decades.”

By Rich Noyes | June 10, 2014 | 11:40 AM EDT

Not even Diane Sawyer could refrain from gently pushing back at former Secretary of State and prospective presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s claim that she and her husband were “dead broke” when they left the White House in January 2001. Talking about the huge fees both Clintons now rake in for speaking engagements, Sawyer wondered: “Do you think Americans are going to understand five times the median income in this country for one speech?”

But Sawyer could easily have gone to ABC’s own videotape library to show how preposterous Mrs. Clinton’s claim of poverty was. Back on December 15, 2000 — more than a month before the Clintons left the White House — ABC’s World News Tonight suggested the massive book advance for Hillary Clinton’s post-White House memoir was astonishing and perhaps corrupt for an incoming United States Senator. [Video and transcripts after the jump.]

By Ann Coulter | June 4, 2014 | 9:58 PM EDT

Death Penalty Month at anncoulter.com has already been interrupted by the psycho in Santa Barbara, and now it's being interrupted by the Buddhist in Bagram.

Keeping to the spirit of Death Penalty Month, let's review the execution of Pvt. Eddie Slovik. Slovik's offense: desertion in wartime. (See the tie-in?) Unlike Bowe Bergdahl, who deserted his unit, according to the accounts of his comrades, Slovik never actually deserted. He also didn't call America a "disgusting" country or say he was "ashamed to be an American." Slovik was just a chicken.

By Tim Graham | June 4, 2014 | 8:58 AM EDT

On June 4, 1989, the communist regime in China cracked down violently on democratic protesters in Tiananmen Square. American networks had provided weeks of coverage of the protests, and the crackdown was a global outrage.

But both then and later, some national reporters embarrassed themselves by making odd comparisons between the communist crackdown and allegedly similar outrages in America:

By Tim Graham | May 19, 2014 | 7:26 AM EDT

Chris Matthews gave the commencement address at Ohio State on May 4 (not without some pre-speech complaints). His Hardball page posted the transcript. Matthews tried to be bipartisan, praising both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton for his message of the day of persistence. It’s too bad he seemed a little deficient in modern political history, or he was too focused on boosting the mythology of the Clintons.

“Bill Clinton is another case study. At the age of 34, he got beaten for re-election as governor of Arkansas. Everyone figured he was through,” Matthews claimed. “The people had gotten a look at him and had rejected him, dumped him from office.How many governors get dumped from office and ever get the job back? I can’t think of one.” Seriously?

By Tim Graham | May 15, 2014 | 9:34 PM EDT

You can guess you’re on the NPR website – and the “Code Switch” race-matters blog – when an article on ice-cream trucks comes with an editor’s warning: “This article is about a virulently racist song. Read no further if you wish to avoid racist imagery and slurs.”

Some trucks apparently play the well-known melody “Turkey In the Straw,” and Theodore R. Johnson III blamed "a great many" ice cream trucks for playing a melody apparently popularized by a blackface song named “Zip Coon” and a horrid 1916 ditty titled “"Ni--er Love A Watermelon Ha! Ha! Ha!"

By Brent Baker | May 14, 2014 | 7:43 PM EDT

Another educational illustration, on FX’s The Americans, of the alliance of interests between Soviet communists and the Left in the West during the 1980s, when both worked to undermine the Reagan administration’s defense policies.

(The series, set in the early 1980s, revolves around “Philip and Elizabeth Jennings,” undercover KGB agents living as an ordinary American husband and wife in suburban, Washington, DC. A new episode debuts tonight.)

By Tim Graham | May 6, 2014 | 12:12 PM EDT

A new biopic about Ronald Reagan is in pre-production, and Paul Bond at The Hollywood Reporter relayed that Manifest Film Sales has picked up international sales rights and will introduce the project to buyers at the Cannes Film Festival.

The producers of the $25 million film, simply called Reagan, "inked a deal for a U.S. release on 3,000 screens and $35 million in prints and advertising." It doesn’t sound like a Oliver Stone hatchet job, but is based on his historic role in bringing down the Soviet empire.

By Brent Baker | April 23, 2014 | 7:10 PM EDT

Sounding remarkably like American liberals and journalists at the time – not to be redundant – last week’s episode of FX’s The Americans set in the early 1980s (a new episode runs tonight), included a scene in which a KGB operative, working in the United States, sputtered in disgust at President Ronald Reagan on her TV: “Look at him. He’ll do anything. He doesn’t care. Kids, nuns, journalists -- he doesn’t care.”

That came from “Elizabeth Jennings,” played by Keri Russell, as she watched Reagan speak on TV, a speech I figured out was delivered at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) dinner held at the Mayflower hotel on Friday, February 26, 1982.