On Friday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith interviewed the Managing Editor of Time Magazine, Richard Stengel, about the publication’s latest cover story on the presidential campaign entitled "How Much Does Experience Matter?," with a clear picture of Barack Obama’s silhouette surrounded by a holy aura of light (see picture). Smith previewed the segment earlier in the show by wondering: "Still ahead, the question of experience dominating the Democratic campaign, does it really matter?"
In the segment that followed, the answer to that question was a resounding ‘no.’ Stengel began by using the anecdotal evidence of Abraham Lincoln to prove that experience does not matter: "I mean, the most famous example, of course, is Abraham Lincoln, who is probably our least experienced president, who was sandwiched between our two most experienced presidents, Buchanan and Andrew Johnson, both of whom were failures."
Stengel went on to defend JFK, claiming the young president was not responsible for the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion, but rather that the more experienced, and Republican, Dwight Eisenhower was the reason for the invasion’s failure:
David's [Time writer, David Von Drehle] great piece starts out with John F. Kennedy who came in, the first 100 days, he's tested in the Bay of Pigs. He makes a terrible mistake. He says, man, 'if I'm going to learn something, at least I learned it early.' But then who got them into the Bay of Pigs originally? Dwight Eisenhower, the most experienced president.
In one of what will surely be a long and tiring string of stories speculating about running mates, CBS’s The Early Show discussed which running mates helped or hurt their parties on Thursday. CBS political guru Jeff Greenfield asserted: "Now Richard Nixon once said, Harry, that a running mate can't help you but only hurt you and he should know, his choice of Spiro Agnew in 1968 proved to be a big embarrassment, thanks to Agnew's careless way with words." After Greenfield added who helped the ticket (LBJ, George H.W. Bush, Al Gore), Smith returned to mocking Agnew: "Alright, not to bring back up subjects like nattering nabobs of negativism."
It was the latest example of Greenfield opining on 1968 without mentioning to viewers he worked as a speechwriter for Bobby Kennedy in 1967 and 1968.
On Wednesday, New York Times congressional reporter Carl Hulse reported a flaky story on an apparent controversy over whether John McCain's birthplace (the Panama Canal Zone, where his Navy officer father was stationed in 1936) makes the Arizona senator ineligible for the presidency. Article II of the Constitution declares that only a "natural-born citizen" can serve as president.
In honor of William F. Buckley Jr. -- the man who quipped about standing athwart history yelling "Stop!" -- perhaps we might recall a few old Buckley snippets on the liberal media, long a persistent force on the national political scene. Here are a few samples from the 1971 paperback Quotations from Chairman Bill (compiled by David Franke), by the topic used in the book:
On Friday May 15 Walter Cronkite telephoned Gettysburg to see if couldn’t talk Mr. Eisenhower into denouncing the Horrible Extremism of Senator Goldwater. People had tried before, but Cronkite isn’t just people, he’s Cronkite, known to the General as "Walter," and to J. Walter Thompson as "The Anchor Man." By the time General Eisenhower was through with Walter, he was so perturbed that he can never again be described as imperturbable: more correctly, he is imperturbable except on those occasions when he sets out to do Goldwater political harm and has to sit there and take it when Goldwater instead reaps political gain. – NR, June 2. 1965, p. 435.
A story that mildly resembles today's McCain "scoop" came four years ago, the charge that young AP reporter Alexandra Polier may have had an affair with John Kerry. No proof emerged. How did the New York Times cover that charge?
On February 17, 2004, on page A-19, the Times ran a 434-word piece by reporter Jim Rutenberg, one of the four reporters on the McCain story today. The rumor had a "vibrant life on the Internet," but not in the New York Times. Here it is:
In the current Newsweek (the February 25 issue), columnist George Will wrote about George McGovern and the current delegate selection rules on the Democratic side. But what stuck out was Will's subhead on McGovern: "He thinks he could have won in 1972 with a running mate called 'the most trusted man in America' -- Walter Cronkite." Will reported:
McGovern thinks he could have won with a running mate then called "the most trusted man in America"—Walter Cronkite. Before choosing Eagleton, McGovern considered asking Cronkite, who recently indicated he would have accepted.
Jay Leno on Friday night reminisced about admiring Tom Brokaw for appearing on the cover of the far-left Mother Jones magazine back in 1983, an interview in which Brokaw denigrated then-President Reagan from the left for “pretty simplistic” values and over how he didn't understand “the enormous difficulty a lot of people have in just getting through life, because he’s lived in this fantasy land for so long.”
With Brokaw on to promote his book, 'Boom!: Voices of the Sixties Personal Reflections on the '60s and Today,' Leno recalled: “I was just starting out in comedy and you'd been on the cover of kind of a left-wing, really left-wing magazine called Mother Jones. Then I thought this is really, wow, Tom Brokaw, 'cause you would have been the establishment and you're on the cover -- and that seemed, and I always wondered if NBC was annoyed or upset that you had done that?”
Not surprisingly, NBC wasn't bothered at all, Brokaw explained, “but Mrs. Reagan was really unhappy with me” for the interview, in which he acknowledged Ronald Reagan was poor as a child, but expressed how “I always thought that connection to people who were struggling was a little artificial because he really began to make it big at an early age.” Brokaw proceeded to recount how he kissed and made up with Nancy Reagan.
Talk about a jaw-dropper. The favorite book of an American presidential candidate was written by a radical journalist described in a Soviet document as an “agent of influence.”
CBS Evening News last night ran its weekly special, “Primary Questions: Character, Leadership and the Candidates.” Katie Couric’s question to the presidential candidates was, “If you were elected president, what is the one book-- other than the Bible-- you would think is essential to have along?”
John Edwards chose I.F. Stone’s “The Trial of Socrates,” because “he talks in a very thoughtful way about the challenges that are faced by men about character, about integrity, and about belief systems. And, uh, and the book – I’ve read it several times. It’s had an impact on me.”
Exactly 20 years ago tonight, January 25, 1988, millions of Americans saw one newsman’s liberal agenda laid bare, as CBS anchor Dan Rather attempted to ambush then-Vice President George H.W. Bush, the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, in a live TV interview on his CBS Evening News. But Bush held his own during the on-air confrontation, and the lasting effect was to reveal how Rather was driven by his personal biases, at one point lecturing the Vice President: “You’ve made us hypocrites in the face of the world.”
It's quite a sight to behold when media "has-beens" start drinking the doom and gloom Kool-Aid offered up in the media.
Sam Donaldson, who covered the Reagan White House for ABC and who now is a contributor to the network's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," last night told a gathering in Georgetown that the U.S. economy is going "in the dumper" and criticized the Democratic presidential candidates for not capitalizing on it.
On a lazy December 30th Sunday afternoon, I flipped on the television, on which the previous evening I had left the History Channel (they were then doing a military analysis of the Bible, which was at once interesting and uninfuriating).
This time the tubes warmed to display a replay of Clear and Present Danger, the film based upon the Tom Clancy novel. Co-hosting the rerun were the Channel's in-house liberal historian, Steve Gillon, and guest liberal political commentator Neal Gabler (though of course neither was identified in any sort of ideological way).
The World Entertainment News Network seems to have an unusual notion as to what transpired during World War II. In a story about actor Will Smith's supposed positive remarks about Adolf Hitler, WENN offers the following:
Hitler's totalitarian leadership as Fuhrer during 1934 until his eventual suicide in 1945 resulted in the persecution of an estimated six million Jews in the Holocaust, and his invasion of Poland in 1939 led to the start of the Second World War.
Actually Hitler's totalitarian leadership as Fuhrer resulted in the murder of an estimated six million Jews in the Holocaust. But why get technical about accurate terminology, eh? Unbelievable.
Meanwhile, in case you're wondering about Smith's comments, Eugene Volokh says "give him a break":
Hollywood doesn't learn. Even though the latest round of America-hating movies flopped, Project Greenlight producer Chris Moore will turn "A People's History of the United States" by pop historian and Karl Marx fanboy Howard Zinn into a TV miniseries and a feature-length documentary.
Zinn's 1980 book influenced a generation of students with its negatively-framed distortions of American history which minimized successes like WWII. It exchanged traditional history for marginal topics such as Great Railroad Strike of 1877, Joan Baez and Angela Davis while omitting Washington's Farewell Address, the Wright Brothers and the Normandy Invasion.
The December 10 Variety stated production begins in Boston this January. Ironically, it will use wealthy celebrities like Matt Damon, Danny Glover and Josh Brolin to convey the book's Marxist theory (bold mine):
Miniseries will center on the actors and musicians as they read from the books or perform music related to their themes: the struggles of women, war, class and race. (...)
To be caged like an animal and deported to Siberia as a 14-year-old girl is to know a level of brutality that seemingly stands outside of reality, as one gulag survivor puts it in a new documentary on Estonia.
When the Soviet Union began its occupation of the country, prison quotas were set for Russian soldiers who grabbed any convenient person they could find, the narrator informs audience members during a film segment that reviews key historical moments.
As it turns out, one-third of those deported to Siberia beginning in 1940 were children, according to the film.
I enjoy reading long-time Washington Post book reviewer Jonathan Yardley, and one thing he does that’s interesting is write about reading a classic book a second time. This week, he revisited the 1931 book Only Yesterday, a very popular history of the 1920s by Frederick Lewis Allen.Yardley explained that his book had "a hint of Mencken in it, but Allen was his own man and resisted the mere apery to which so many tinhorn Menckenites of his day succumbed. Allen was a fair man, as it must be admitted Mencken really was not, and though he had his own sharp opinions, he sought balance and understanding rather than invective."
But the paragraph he quoted before that balanced-without-invective claim looks a lot more like invective against "a pestilence" of anti-communists of the time than it looks like "balance and understanding"on the subject of the "Red Scare." In fact, the words "Red Scare" betray a lack of balance. He wrote:
Did you know that the US is still at war with Korea, Germany, Japan, Bosnia and Kosovo? Based on “Hardball” host Chris Matthews' recent claims, we are still at war with those countries and will be until our troops leave their soil. (h/t Weasel Zippers)
On his November 28 show (transcript here), MSNBC's Matthews discussed Iraq with Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, wondering when “will we be able to come home.” In the process, the former Carter speechwriter said, “If we can't ever come home, we can't ever say we won.”
Silly me, I thought WWII, the Korean War, the Bosnian War and the Kosovo War were over. I guess the US troops still stationed in those countries prove otherwise (bold mine throughout):
The website The Black Commentator defined the loony left by calling for the end of the Thanksgiving holiday, since it's apparently an event for white supremacists. This is more about the Internet than the mainstream media, but remember that liberal blacks the news producers treat as sensible pundits -- like Julian Bond of the hallowed NAACP and Julianne Malveaux, the woman who hoped on PBS that Clarence Thomas would die young -- are on this website's board. Here's just a snippet of their anti-Thanksgiving rant:
PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers is once again making speeches with tears in his eyes about the wonders of liberalism, which is apparently not an ideology as much as it's about Kumbaya kinship. Moyers touted the socialist vision of Franklin Delano Roosevelt as he won a Freedom of Speech award from the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, and his remarks were excerpted by The Nation. He began by mentioning the blue-collar liberalism of his father:
Henry Moyers was an ordinary man who dropped out of the fourth grade because his family needed him to pick cotton to help make ends meet. The Depression knocked him off the farm and flat on his back. When I was born he was making two dollars a day working on the highway to Oklahoma City. He never made over $100 a week in the whole of his working life, and he made that only when he joined the union on the last job he held. He voted for Franklin Roosevelt in four straight elections, and he would have gone on voting for him until kingdom come if both had lived that long. I once asked him why, and he said, "Because the President's my friend."
NPR personage Garrison Keillor loans his public-radio voice – hailed by liberals at Slate as "a breathy baritone that seems precision-engineered to narrate a documentary about glaciers" – to a feature called "The Writer’s Almanac," which usually features a poem and and some literary and historical notes of the day. On Thursday, Keillor recounted how Democrats once regretted demands for an early withdrawal and ended up looking like the party of surrender:
It was on this day in 1864 that Abraham Lincoln was elected to his second term as president of the United States, one of the few elections in world history to be held in the middle of a civil war. Lincoln might have tried to cancel or postpone the election until the war was over, but he said, "If the rebellion could force us to forego, or postpone a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us."
There have been a number of stories in the press in recent months about Geographically Challenged America. None tops the report about Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder confessing he hadn't known that people spoke English in London.
"I couldn't find London on a map if they didn't have the names of the countries," he explained. "I swear to God. I don't know what nothing is. I know Italy looks like a boot."
I suppose we'd all have another chuckle if Crowder were asked to find Estonia on a map, but in truth how many can? And for those of us who can, how many of us know anything of significance about this seemingly insignificant little country?
How many of us know that Estonia, one of the smallest countries on the face of this earth, is responsible for one of the most extraordinary, and certainly the most unique, revolutions in modern history? How many of us know that this tiny Baltic nation defeated the Soviet Union -- with a song? This is not meant as hyperbole. It is literal truth.
The New York Times minimizes the role of the atomic bomb - and thus the heroism of Gen. Paul Tibbets - in his obituary today.
Brig. Gen. Paul W. Tibbets Jr., the commander and pilot of the Enola Gay, the B-29 Superfortress that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in the final days of World War II, died yesterday at his home in Columbus, Ohio. He was 92....
The crews who flew the atomic strikes were seen by Americans as saviors who had averted the huge casualties that were expected to result from an invasion of Japan. But questions were eventually raised concerning the morality of atomic warfare and the need for the Truman administration to drop the bomb in order to secure Japan’s surrender.
TheTimes says, "...in the final days of Work War II," as though one had nothing to do with the other. The reason they were the final days of the war is because Tibbets flew that plane.
Reading a brief item Thursday night about the death of retired Brigadier General Paul Tibbets, pilot of the Enola Gay, NBC's Brian Williams noted that “he requested there be no funeral, no headstone left behind, so there would be no place for his detractors to protest.” Interestingly, just over two years ago, Williams himself conveyed the very line of attack on the Enola Gay crew which so upset Tibbets: that they should be remorseful for dropping an atom bomb.
To mark the 60th anniversary of the Enola Gay dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, Brian Williams went to the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum annex near Dulles Airport -- where the plane is on display -- to talk to the plane's navigator, Dutch Van Kirk. Williams asked: “Do you have remorse for what happened? How do you deal with that in your mind?” Van Kirk indignantly replied: “No, I do not have remorse...”
Video clip of the Williams/Van Kirk exchange on the August 5, 2005 NBC Nightly News (27 secs): Real or Windows Media, plus MP3 audio (screen capture below)
To commemorate the Media Research Center’s 20th anniversary this month, we’ve just published a special expanded edition of our ‘Notable Quotables’ newsletter with more than 100 of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes we’ve uncovered over the past 20 years. To wrap up this week’s posts, I thought I’d list a few of the most outrageous or moronic quotes we’ve come across since 1987.
For sheer wackiness, it’s hard to top then-CNBC anchor Geraldo Rivera, who sang his disdain for independent prosecutor Kenneth Starr during the height of the Lewinsky scandal, July 21, 1998, on his Rivera Live program, to the tune of “Twinkle, twinkle, little star.”
To commemorate the Media Research Center’s 20th anniversary this month, we’ve just published a special expanded edition of our ‘Notable Quotables’ newsletter with more than 100 of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes we’ve uncovered over the past 20 years. Earlier this week, I presented quotes showing the media’s hostility towards Ronald Reagan and other conservatives, and sycophantic coverage of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Today’s installment: America the Awful. On Monday, I recounted how many journalists offered sympathetic coverage of totalitarian communist regimes. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, too many journalists opted to take a harsher approach with their own country. In a commencement address at the State University of New York at New Paltz back on May 21, 2006, New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., exposed his extreme left-wing agenda as he railed against everything he saw as wrong with America:
To commemorate the Media Research Center’s 20th anniversary this month, we’ve just published a special expanded edition of our ‘Notable Quotables’ newsletter with more than 100 of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes we’ve uncovered over the past 20 years. Earlier this week, I presented quotes showing the media’s sympathy towards totalitarian communism and hostility towards Ronald Reagan and other conservatives.
Today’s installment: The media’s love affair with Bill and Hillary Clinton. For 15 years, liberal reporters have made themselves looked like the sycophants they are, as they made excuse after excuse for the Clintons’ moral failings even as they applauded the couple’s supposed greatness. But perhaps no one looked sillier than Dan Rather on May 15, 2001, when the then-CBS News anchor was asked on Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor if he thought Bill Clinton was honest.
Monday’s Washington Post carried a long, splashy article on the divorce of Richard Mellon Scaife, major conservative philanthropist (and backer of the MRC, truth be told). The joy in Scaife’s misfortune was hardly hidden. The headline was “Low Road to Splitsville: Right-Wing Publisher's Breakup Is Super-Rich In Tawdry Details.” Reporter David Segal’s article began and ended with the gimmick that the divorce was so entertaining that you should literally pack a lunch and travel to Pittsburgh to watch it. Most of the details were personal, except for this bizarre paragraph about Scaife’s alleged philanthropic failures:
When he isn't tending to this modest publishing empire, he's underwriting what Hillary Clinton once called "a vast right-wing conspiracy." His highest-profile expenditure is the $2.3 million he gave the American Spectator magazine in the mid-'90s, to try to unearth prurient and embarrassing details about Bill Clinton's years as governor of Arkansas. (The magazine came up virtually empty-handed.)
On the 40th anniversary of Che Guevara's death, October 8 New York Times penned a peppy little story about how his well-to-do children feel about their father's legacy as a Communist “revolutionary icon” and the commercialization of his image.
Glaringly absent was any mention of his unpleasant history, especially the nickname he was given when he was Cuba's high executioner, The Butcher of la Cabana.
The NYT lamented that Che's image has fallen prey to the claws of capitalism and his “message” diluted. Too bad there was no description of the brutal way that “message” was delivered (emphasis mine throughout):
Just last fall, as the networks exploded with coverage of Mark Foley's creepy instant messaging, we noted the networks (like ABC) had a very different way of covering Republican sex scandals -- especially the gay-themed ones -- than they did for Democrats. The best example is Barney Frank.
Notice how the networks define hypocrisy, and how liberals never seem to qualify. Frank was a lawmaker with a male-prostitution ring in his house, not to mention a lawmaker who kept getting the pimp's parking tickets waved off. Notice how they all mention "the voters" will decide, instead of going searching for legislators and party activists to underline his need to resign.
The people who manufacture the news in America are very persistent at writing the narrative exactly as it helps liberalism emerge victorious. On ethical scandals, they're very good at making sure Republicans force theirs to resign, and they're also very good at keeping Democrats shamelessly in power.
As the networks dwell on the tenth anniversary of the death of a troubled British princess this week, it might be worth remembering that at the time, we noticed the tabloid tendencies toward celebrity deaths at the time were a much bigger media trend than investigations into the scandalous fundraising tactics the Clinton-Gore team used in 1996. Our MediaWatch study at the time noted:
MediaWatch analysts examined fundraising scandal stories in August and September on the Big Three morning shows and evening shows, plus CNN's The World Today. The networks broadcast 686 stories on Diana between August 31 and the end of September compared to just 113 stories about the fundraising scandal. That's a ratio of more than 6 to 1. Isolating the morning shows, collectively they aired 407 stories on Princess Diana's death, while devoting just 36 to the scandal. That's an astonishing ratio of 10 to 1.
Here we go again with another pointless Bush bashing presidential rating story filled with quotes from partisan, hack "historians." In this report, Bush doesn't have "many achievements" and will finish "mired in an unpopular war" unless, of course, that war mysteriously happens to "unexpectedly" turn out alright and he is "destined for the failed presidents' club." Forget the fact that what a president does in office will not be assessable for at least 10 years after he leaves office, forget that these historians change their ideas on who is a good president every decade, forget that these "historians" are part of the far left University system we are saddled with. These "ranking" stories are always full of partisan left nonsense and this one is no different.