History

By Tim Graham | December 7, 2013 | 7:07 PM EST

At the Daily Beast, Michael Moynihan attempted to overcome the tendency of journalists and celebrities to make Nelson Mandela a secular saint. Moynihan recalled that when Margaret Thatcher died, these same people denounced her for here "indulgence" of right-wing dictators like Agosto Pinochet in Chile, who allowed his country to become a democracy.

ABC called her reign an “elective dictatorship.” NBC reported several times that “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead” became a popular iTune after she passed away, and CBS predicted the funeral would be a "tense and controversial affair." It's safe to guess these networks wouldn't dream of recalling Mandela’s associations with despots like Fidel Castro and Muammar Qaddafi, as Moynihan insisted they should:

By Paul Bremmer | December 6, 2013 | 5:41 PM EST

With the passing of Nelson Mandela yesterday, it was a metaphysical certainty that the media would draw parallels between the legendary South African leader and Barack Obama. So it was not a surprise when it happened during a tribute package at the beginning of Friday’s Morning Joe.

As triumphant footage of Mandela rolled on the screen, co-host Mika Brzezinski read a scripted narrative:

By Paul Bremmer | November 22, 2013 | 5:35 PM EST

President John F. Kennedy was assassinated 50 years ago by a Communist sympathizer, yet Friday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC ran a package that emphasized right-wing hate in Dallas while failing to mention Lee Harvey Oswald or his ideological leanings. The package, narrated by Brian Shactman, focused on the “unspoken speech” that President Kennedy was planning to give on the day he was shot.

Shactman just couldn’t help but mention those hateful right-wingers:

By Tim Graham | November 19, 2013 | 8:57 AM EST

On the front of Tuesday's Style section of The Washington Post is an article titled "Hallowed ground, restored to its roots." The Post assigned gardening writer Adrian Higgins, who wrote of an "elaborate celebration of the 150th anniversary of the president's original remarks" at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in 1863. But nowhere in the 25-paragraph story about clearing the landscape is there any notion that Barack Obama, who has routinely compared himself to Lincoln, refused to attend.

George Condon of National Journal was the latest to report on the snub: "Instead of going to Gettysburg, he will go to the Four Seasons Hotel to address The Wall Street Journal CEO Council's annual meeting and talk about the economy. In his place, he has dispatched little-known Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to the ceremonies." Spokesman Jay Carney offered nothing to reporters:

By Matthew Philbin | November 18, 2013 | 9:25 AM EST

It’s good to see the left finally upset about treasonous threats to the United States. Never really able to get worked up about communist spies, domestic terrorists or radical mosques, lefties – at least the ones at MSNBC – are sounding the alarm over … The Confederacy.

Everywhere the hosts and guests of MSNBC look they see gray and butternut – secessionists and white supremacists, wild-eyed states’ rights absolutists and grim Confederate holdouts plotting to dissolve the Union. Driven by racism and distrust of Washington, they form a “confederacy of hate.”

By Brent Baker | November 18, 2013 | 8:32 AM EST

Lee Harvey Oswald was far-left defector to the Soviet Union, but you’d never know that from Sunday’s ABC This Week which focused on Dallas as a cauldron of segregationist hate for President Kennedy without any mention of the political orientation of the actual assassin.

Using Dan Rather as his expert, ex-CBS and current ABC reporter Byron Pitts perpetuated the myth that right-wing hate was somehow responsible for what occurred in Dallas: “Nowhere in Texas did the jagged edge of segregation cut deeper, anti-Kennedy sentiment spew any stronger. This flyer [“Wanted for Treason”] greeted the President when he arrived.”

By Cal Thomas | November 14, 2013 | 4:39 PM EST

Corrected from earlier (see below) | Three famous men died on Nov. 22, 1963. The one getting the most attention, understandably, is John F. Kennedy. Less so the other two: Aldous Huxley, author of the futuristic novel "Brave New World," and Clive Staples Lewis.

Of the three, it was Lewis who not only was the most influential of his time, but whose reach extends to these times and likely beyond. His many books continue to sell and the number of people whose lives have been changed by his writing expands each year.

By Tim Graham | November 8, 2013 | 9:53 PM EST

CBS wouldn’t invite Dan Rather to remember the JFK assassination for its 2013 anniversary coverage. “No loss,” said former CBS producer Michael Rosenblum in a guest column at The Hollywood Reporter. Rosenblum was Robert Pierpoint’s producer at “Sunday Morning.”

“As Rather was not invited to participate in the 50th anniversary, Bob Pierpoint was not invited to participate in the 25th anniversary,” despite being at the center of the story that dark day in Dallas for CBS. Someone sitting in the anchor chair in 1988 was an egotistical jerk, brushing his colleague out of CBS history's frame.

By Tim Graham | November 4, 2013 | 3:16 PM EST

Washington Post Magazine humorist Gene Weingarten is a fairly routine basher of conservatives, but when he brings in his feminist friend Gina Barreca, he can end up looking like some kind of Giuliani moderate. Last year, Weingarten brought in Barreca to trash Mitt Romney after the election as a woman-hater, a "terrible, terrible date."

At the start of his "Chatological Humor" webchat last week, Weingarten brought in Barreca to trash an article by Emily Yoffe on Slate.com that suggested women should avoid getting drunk at frat parties The jaw drops at how this somehow brought Barreca to declare that frat parties are somehow the segregationist drugstore lunch-counters of the modern age. What? Yes (Emphasis mine):

By Tim Graham | November 3, 2013 | 9:25 AM EST

Longtime Los Angeles Times political reporter Robert Shogan died this week at 83. The Times appreciated him with the GOP consultant Mike Murphy's  title "the Colombo of American political journalism."

The Washington Post obituary noted Shogan "leavened some of his books with accounts of newsroom irreverence that did not appear in the next day's paper." For example, this line about JFK:

By Tim Graham | October 30, 2013 | 8:57 AM EDT

Craig Shirley, author of several large tomes on Ronald Reagan's political history, is merciless on Real Clear Politics toward MSNBC star Chris Matthews and his new book on "Tip and the Gipper."

This isn't a book about Reagan or Tip O'Neill, he writes. "It is the history of Chris Matthews before he became the Chris Matthews we see on cable television today. It falls into the category of micro personal history, but is so elfin as to be inconsequential." You can't find Matthews even mentioned in the index of Tip O'Neill's memoir, he reports.

By Tim Graham | October 24, 2013 | 9:31 AM EDT

Chris Matthews was deeply satisfied by the New York Times publishing an op-ed Wednesday they titled "The Cry of the True Republican" by John G. Taft, a descendent of our fattest president, William Howard Taft. "The body blows to the Republican Party just keep on coming," Matthews announced on Wednesday night's "Hardball."

This "stalwart Republican" suddenly sounds like a Xerox copier of the half-witticisms of Chris Matthews, as if Matthews was quoting himself on the air: "There is more than a passing similarity between Joseph McCarthy and Ted Cruz, between McCarthyism and the Tea Party movement." This is not the same John G. Taft as the guy who wrote for Forbes just last December that our spending addiction needed fixing: