In response to CNN anchor Rick Sanchez lunging onto the air to defend his quote-unquote "joke" when he suggested it was strange to discover a volcano in a cold place, NewsBusters has decided to spend a few days presenting other episodes of scientific genius we might see from CNN's Mr. Wizard in the months and years to come during Rick's List in the afternoon. Here's one:
"We have some new pictures of our planet from the space shuttle and well, look at that. It's actually round. You know, when I walk around outside, the world seems pretty flat. When you think of the Earth, you think of a flat disc, you don't think of a sphere. But no! There it is."
Britain's left-of-center daily - "The Guardian" - has reported that former international environmental lawyer Polly Higgins has launched a new campaign urging the United Nations and the International Criminal Court to deem environmental damage on par with genocide and crimes against humanity in international courts.
"Supporters of a new ecocide law also believe it could be used to prosecute ‘climate deniers' who distort science and facts to discourage voters and politicians from taking action to tackle global warming and climate change," Juliette Jowit, "Guardian's" environmental editor wrote April 9.
"Higgins makes her case for ecocide to join that list with a simple equation: extraction leads to ecocide, which leads to resource depletion, and resource depletion leads to conflict. ‘The link is if you keep over-extracting from your capital asset we'll have very little left and we will go to war over our capital asset, the last of it,' adds Higgins, who has support in the UN and European commission, and among climate scientists, environmental lawyers and international campaign groups."
Among the "10 reasons why we need ecocide as the 5th international Crime Against Peace" on Higgins' "Thisisecocide" website, number five states "action can be taken against any individual. As an international crime against peace, no-one escapes liability" (emphasis theirs).
Everyone knowsFox isn't "the most trusted name in news," so who is? You guessed it - and at least one media tycoon agrees. Speaking at the University of Missouri as a guest-lecture, Craig Newmark - Craigslist founder and informal Obama technology-advisor - argued that Comedy Central is the most trustworthy news source.
Invited to discuss the future of journalism - where individuals virtually have an endless amount of resources in today's era of new media - Newark stressed how trust and credibility was paramount, emphasizing the exemplary dedication Comedy Central shows have for investigative reporting and fact-checking.
"[R]ight now I think the most trusted news show in the U.S. is the one that does the best investigative reporting and the most trustworthy reporting - and that's ‘The Daily Show,'" Newark said - and he wasn't joking. "Sounds like a joke - isn't."
Rob Dibble asks Obama who one of his favorite White Sox players was while growing up in Chicago. Obama stumbles and avoids the question. Maybe he misheard the question or maybe he was acting like a typical politician and avoiding the question because he didn't have an answer.
Mark Levin picked up on the incident at the start of his April 5 program. You can hear audio of that here, courtesy of Levin's producer, Richard Semanta.
An April Fools prank designed to trick bloggers into running with a contrived story ended up snaring the Gray Lady.
New York attorney Eric Terkewitz told his blog's readers on April 1 that he had been hired as the White House's "official law blogger." Unlike the political bloggers at which the stunt was aimed, the New York Times apparently did not check the claim, and posted the story to its website.
The incident serves as a reminder that, as journos like to say, "if your mother says she loves you, check it out."
Just another sign that the media just don't get religion. Here's the ABCNews.com headline for an April 4 story on President Obama's attendance of Easter Sunday service at Allen Chapel AME Church in Southeast D.C.:
Of course, the term Easter Mass would connote a Catholic liturgical celebration, but the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) is a thoroughly Protestant denomination, as its articles of faith Web page makes clear.
Update: April Fools! Consider these "fake but accurate." Happy April Fools' Day.
The latest edition of the biweekly Notable Quotables is up at MRC.org, the Web site for NewsBusters's parent organization the Media Research Center.
Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, here's the media carving out a place on Mt. Rushmore for Obama and giving him two more Nobel prizes:
“You know, Keith, I really think Barack Obama could finish the year with not just one Nobel Prize, but three. This health care bill is bound to save literally millions of lives, and the legislative language itself is a masterpiece. Given the good sense of the Norwegians, I think the President could easily win the Nobels for medicine and literature this year.” — Newsweek’s Howard Fineman to MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann during live coverage of the health care bill signing, April 1.
It seems like it's been quite some time since our National Endowment for the Arts has shocked the public with an outrageous grant for a ridiculous "artist" whose art flourishes only when the taxpayer is forced against his will to subsidize it. Sadly, that means these "artists" must take their talents elsewhere in search of public funding.
Subsidizing sleaze apparently is not shocking to Australia. Siobhan Duck of Melbourne's Herald Sun reports, "A television comedy about a bong-smoking dog that has sex with a cat and a teddy bear has received $1.5 million of federal and state taxpayers' money."
Wouldn't you be so proud if you were a taxpayer Down Under? The federal agency Screen Australia contributed $400,000 to the first season and $580,000 to the second. The state agency Film Victoria contributed $210,000 for the first set of shows and $294,048 towards the second.
In the midst of liberals condemning the tone of anti-Obama conservatives, Bill Maher on Friday pointed to a vulgar and sexually-explicit text message Tiger Woods reportedly sent, which promised aggressive sexual behavior, as representing the attitude Democrats should adopt from the “lying bullies of the right.”
Maher quoted from Woods: “I want to treat you rough, throw you around, spank and slap you and make you sore....I'm going to tell you to shut the f**k up while I slap your face and pull your hair for making noise.” Maher declared that “perfectly represents the attitude the Democrats should now have in their dealings with the Republican Party.” He prefaced his “New Rules” tirade:
Here's a word President Obama should take out of his Teleprompter: Bipartisanship. People only care about that in theory, not in practice. The best thing that happened this year is when Obama finally realized that and said: “Kiss my black ass, we're going it alone George W. Bush style.”
Maher descriptively contended “Democrats need to push the rest of their agenda while their boot is on the neck of the greedy, poisonous old reptile,” arguing: “We need to regulate the banks, we need to overhaul immigration, we need to end corporate welfare including at the Pentagon, we need to bring troops home from everywhere, we need to end the drug war...”
Chris Matthews could have a future in comedy if only his funniest moments weren't unintentional.
Here's today's knee-slapper: The Washington Post is not ideologically liberal in its editorials [MP3 audio available here].
Matthews made that pronouncement today during live coverage shortly after the conclusion of the ObamaCare signing ceremony. The "Hardball" host's comment followed MSNBC correspondent Savannah Guthrie's observation that ObamaCare is a "Rorschach test" that Democrats and Republicans will respond to along ideological lines in the run-up to the midterm elections in November:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me go to Jonathan Capehart on that, because he has to write editorials for the Washington Post, which is kind of hard to read ideologically these days.
Sunday's Doonesbury comic strip mocks the tea-party movement -- as if the Obama era were defined by tax-cutting. Gay public-radio talk-show host Mark Slackmeyer is interviewing "Lamont Whirley," tea party activist:
Mr. Whirley, as you know, the original Boston Tea Party was a protest against taxation without representation...
But the modern Tea Party movement was formed last spring...
...in response to your duly elected representatives enacting tax cuts for almost all American workers.
Can you explain the tea party's philosophical incoherence?
Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau then draws "Whirley" as a wacko, wearing a Santa suit and beard, an Uncle Sam top hat, a powdered white wig, and a robber's mask, as he holds a pumpkin. Whirley replies: "Our what?" Slackmeyer responds: "Never mind -- elitist question."
Recycling a theme which President Barack Obama used last year at media dinners, that shows self-awareness of how journalists are allies, headlining Wednesday night’s Radio and Television Correspondents Association dinner carried live on C-SPAN2, Vice President Joe Biden quipped those in the audience are Obama’s “base.” One of Biden’s lines:
The truth is I can't believe I'm here with you guys tonight. Here I am, the first Irish Catholic Vice President in the history of the United States of America. Barack Obama, the first African-American in the history of the United States of America. He's hosting a St. Patrick's day dinner and I'm here with you all [audience laughter]. Go figure. He's with my base, I'm with his.
That elicited groans from the audience of journalists at the Washington Convention Center. Too close to the truth?
Well, yesterday the MSNBC host made some odd, labored metaphor that found the former vice president being compared to Jor-El, the biological father of Superman (audio here; transcript via NB's Geoffrey Dickens):
In the latest issue of Vanity Fair, Mark Seal took an inside look at David Letterman's sexual scandal and the love-triangle that rocked CBS's "Late Show" last October with Letterman's live confession on-air. Interested in juicy details and pop psychology, Seal effectively vindicated Letterman for the numerous affairs he had with various employees, assistants, and interns.
As the article notes, the scandal came to a head when Joe Halderman, a veteran but financially-troubled producer of "48 Hours Mystery," discovered his live-in girlfriend and "Late Show" intern Stephanie Birkett was having an affair with the host.Halderman attempted to blackmail Letterman with stories about multiple women whose careers progressed because they slept with the star. In September '09, New York's district attorney charged Halderman for attempted grand larceny by extortion.
Seal interviewed Rob Burnett, executive producer of the "Late Show" and one of Letterman's closest friends, for the story, allowing Burnett to inform the world of his "myth busting" account of the saga.
President Obama continuously tries to portray himself as a friend to the little-man, middle class and small business. Hence his attacks on "fat cats" who "just don't get it," while labeling the extravagant bonuses as "obscene," and "the height of irresponsibility."
Meanwhile, members of his administration, in defending a sweeping small-business aid program Obama announced in his State of the Union, give reason to wonder if they really understand how to help small business.
Among the administration's proposals for small businesses are a $5,000 tax credit to hire new workers, elimination of capital gains taxes, and new incentives to invest in plants and equipment. At the same time, however, the administration plans to raise taxes on "the wealthiest Americans."
Washington Post "investigative humorist" Gene Weingarten mocked conservatives again in Sunday’s Post Magazine, playing off the recent Daily Kos poll playing up the number of Republicans who believe Barack Obama wasn’t born in America, is a racist, and should be impeached. Weingarten makes no mention of the leftist source of his data. For all the reader knows, it’s a Gallup poll. Weingarten then makes up his own poll questions and answers for "humor,’ and the lowest blow is smearing conservatives with an anti-Semitic brush:
Do you trust any mainstream TV or print publications?
Eighty-one percent said, "Only Fox News."
Nineteen percent said, "Only The Protocols of the Elders of Zion."
Here’s more of his fake poll of the right-wing haters:
Sayet stopped the Media Research Center studio to join MRC news analysts in mocking some of the latest and most outrageous sound bites from the liberal media.
This week we have CBS's Chip Reid showing exasperation at Americans not appreciating the "success" of Obama's stimulus package, FNC host Geraldo Rivera suggesting Dick Cheney is aiding terrorism, and ABC's John Hendren dismissing the nation-wide anti-Democrat sentiment as merely "a tempest in a teapot." And that's just to name a few.
Special C-SPIN Coverage of the Toyota Recall Hearings [Satire]
House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
REP. WALDEN (R-OR.): Secretary LaHood, are Toyotas safe to drive?
SEC. LAHOOD: We believe that the Toyotas listed on our Web site are not safe to drive - unlike the sporty, affordable Chevy Cobalt.
REP. SUTTON (D-OH.): So, you're saying that a woman - a minority woman - driving a Toyota is putting her life at risk?
SEC. LAHOOD: Yes ma'am there is a significant risk of her Toyota accelerating, uh, unwantedly. Now had that woman checked out the surprisingly affordable Buick Enclave ...
REP. DINGELL, (D-Mich.): Mr. Secretary, I want to thank you for your forthright testimony here today, and I'd like to ask you if you think these problems in vehicles built at Southern plants might be the result of negligence of workers who are unhappy? I mean workers whose job security and retirement are in constant jeopardy, and who've been denied the opportunity to collectively bargain? Who lack representation?
SEC. LAHOOD: If you mean to imply, Congressman, that these safety issues wouldn't have occurred in cars built in UAW plants, uh, you're absolutely right. Now, for the union professionals who build the luxurious Cadillac Escalade, there's union quality behind every turn of the wrench.
REP. WALDEN: Now let me ...
SEC. LAHOOD: I'd also like to say that the quality doesn't end at the factory door...
REP. WALDEN: Thank you...
SEC. LAHOOD: ...and it extends to those famous Mr. GoodWrench Mechanics...