On today's episode of Meet the Press (Sunday, September 10, 2006), Tim Russert interviewed Vice President Cheney. In the interview, Russert took issue with the fact that the Vice President once stated on his show that it was "pretty well confirmed" that Mohammed Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers, met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague in April 2001.
Here's the craftiness by Russert: Mr. Cheney made the "pretty well confirmed" remark in a December 9, 2001, appearance, over four-and-a-half years ago. Russert failed to inform his audience this morning when the remark was originally made. In addition, in three following appearances on Meet the Press (3/02, 9/02, and 9/03), when the Vice President breached the topic of the Atta-Prague allegation, he essentially told Russert that he "[didn't] know" if the visit occurred, that it was "unconfirmed," and that intelligence had been unable "to nail down a close tie between the al-Qaida organization and Saddam Hussein." The Vice President's stance on the issue was certainly modified from the one he originally aired in 2001.
In fact, in the very last appearance that the Vice President made on Meet the Press (in September 2003), Mr. Cheney specifically told Russert that "we just don't know" if such a meeting ever happened. And in his September 2002 appearance, the Vice President said almost the opposite of it being "pretty well confirmed"; he said the meeting was "unconfirmed"! Yet this morning Russert harked back to the original 2001 appearance over four-and-a-half years ago to try and hammer the Vice President for the "pretty well confirmed" words. Fairness, anyone? Not at all.
While it remains unclear to what extent ABC may alter their upcoming 9/11 docu-drama based upon pressure from the Democrat Party, six clips said to include the controversial footage have made their way onto the Internet.
They can be viewed here via RedState. In the event of trouble with that link, they are also available via a website identified as The Traditional Values Coalition.
[After being called out by NewsBusters, Matthews ended his boycott late Friday. Be sure and read updates to this post below.]
Since the revelation that Richard Armitage, a former high-ranking official in the State Department, was the source of the much-ballyhooed Valerie Plame "leak," many in the media have refused to touch the story with a ten-foot pole. This was quite a turnaround since before the Armitage involvement was known, many journalists believed the CIA leak story was one worth pursuing on a daily basis. Some even believed it could bring down the Bush White House, or at least end the careers of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney.
One of the biggest media figures boycotting the Plame story has been MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who has yet to mention the scandal at all since the Armitage report broke, a dramatic contrast to the 27 times he mentioned the "scandal" in the five months leading up to it.
Like P.J. Gladnick, I couldn't help but notice Matthews's strange flip. So I decided to ask him about it. His answer revealed an animus toward Vice President Dick Cheney and a fear of being asked to answer tough questions himself.
Last night, I went to a press conference/party held by MSNBC and National Journal celebrating a new venture the two media outlets are launching together. Quite a few NBCers were there, including Chris Matthews. I struck up a conversation with the host about the topic of Plame and why he hadn't talked about the story at all. Here's a rough transcript of our discussion which I wrote down shortly thereafter:
Rush Limbaugh revealed that ABC has reported that the mini-series, Path to 9/11, is still being edited only two days before its air date. This likely means that the producers of the film are bowing to Democrat Party operatives' pressure to edit the film even at this late date.
As mentioned in my earlier Newsbusters posting, all of this flurry of edits are at the behest of Democrats who are "outraged" over the fact that the Clinton administration looks so bad in this film.
Top officials of the Clinton administration have launched a preemptive strike against an ABC-TV "docudrama," slated to air Sunday and Monday, that they say includes made-up scenes depicting them as undermining attempts to kill Osama bin Laden.
Former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright called one scene involving her "false and defamatory." Former national security adviser Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger said the film "flagrantly misrepresents my personal actions."
With the 'macaca' controversy growing painfully ancient by the day, Washington Post staff writer Tim Craig found a new liberal talking point to further against Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) in his September 6 Metro section article, "Entertainment Industry Donates to Allen's Bid."
My home-delivered Maryland Edition of the paper ran the story without any 'macaca' references on page B5, but Nexis shows the paper's Final Edition ran the story on B1 with two references to 'macaca' in the article.
According to Nexis, the headline for that run of the article was "Music, TV Industry Donates to Allen; Senator Has Faulted Webb's Ties to Field." I noticed it was the 11th story filed or co-written by Craig to mention the 'macaca' flap.
As regular readers of NewsBusters know, a fairly large number of
leftists in this country are convinced that George W. Bush is hell-bent
on destroying America and turning it into a dictatorship where
mandatory worship of "neocons" is required and media outlets are
censored. Liberal figures such as Al Gore, Keith Olbermann, and regulars at places like Democratic Underground and Daily Kos routinely make such statements.
exposing leftist paranoia for public ridicule is amusing, I think it's also
worth noting just how far from reality these claims really are. Last
month, we saw how real media repression occurs every day in Fidel Castro's Cuba. But Cuba is far from the only place where this happens. Over at PBS's MediaShift, Mark Glaser and Zimbabwean journalist Frank Chikowore talk about how that country's government imprisons and censors reporters who dare criticize it:
government shuts down independent newspapers. It jams radio signals
from outside the country. Internet access is sporadic. Inflation is out
of control. A bill is in Parliament that would allow the government to
censor private email communications.
Welcome to Zimbabwe,
the south African country born out of the former Rhodesia in 1980 and
led by strongman President Robert Mugabe every day since its
independence from British colonialism.
In a large color photo above the article is a man dressed in black, as a priest, surrounded by several relics and icons depicting Jesus and other Christian imagery. The caption of the photo reads, "Caretaker: Christ of the Hills Monastery in Blanco, Texas, is empty now. Father Thomas Flower of a San Antonio urban mission says he is looking after the place." Another color photo shows an icon of the Virgin Mary.
"Christ of the Hills," "Monastery," "Father," "urban mission," "monks," "Virgin Mary" ... Another example of abuse in the Catholic Church, right? At first glance, it would appear so. But it isn't.Buried more than halfway through the article is the fact that the monastery was affiliated with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and they cut ties with the monks seven years ago. Why are these facts practically hidden in the article? Deception, anyone?
As you may or may not know, this coming weekend, ABC is presenting a movie about the events that led up to the attacks on the WTC in 2001, called "The Path to 9/11".
It has leaked out by various critics and folks who have been offered an advanced screening of this flick that the Clinton administration does not come out looking too strong on National defense in the years prior to the attacks on that fateful day. In fact, it shows them as responsible for one misstep and failure after another in the face of plenty of forewarning that the situation was quickly escalating.
In light of that depiction, for the last week or so, there have been some pretty persistent rumors that, after these screenings, various members of the Clinton administration, including the ex-president himself, began a campaign of calls, meetings and efforts to cajole ABC into altering and editing the film to make the Clintons look better.
The victim, an 11-year-old boy whose name was not released because of his age, was struck in the left wrist by a .22 caliber bullet riding the Old No. 2 Logging Co. Log Flume at the park, police said.
[Police spokesman] Winton said it appeared that someone fired the shotgun from outside the theme park and the bullet hit the child as it was falling. Winton said the bullet came from a gun that was fired at an angle.
I am beginning a new, perhaps very temporary, column as a much-needed stress-reliever from my usually ponderous research papers. Lately, I began noticing that the Associated Press is posting many articles with broken or incomplete sentences and poor grammar. After noticing Time Magazine’s April cover entitled “Drop-Out Nation,” regarding the 30% national high school dropout rate, I wondered what happened to all those undereducated victims of our socialist education system. Did they all get hired by AP? So I decided to begin posting their bloopers a la Eats Shoots & Leaves. (Please feel free to join in with your own explanation of what AP meant to say.)
Last July a prankster in Maine rolled a severed, frozen pig's head through the doors of a storefront turned Muslim Mosque in the town of Lewiston. on Sept. 5th, The New York Times decided that this incident is an example of "simmering tensions in this overwhelmingly white, working-class city"-- they helpfully let us know that the census claims that "Maine is 96 percent white" -- over the changing ethnic flavor of the city.
Apparently, Lewiston is a hotbed of racism as far as the Times is concerned.
Naturally, there is not a single mention of just WHY people might be suspicious of Muslims in this day and age. The Times, though, feels it solely a racism without cause that forced Men to flee in fear and a child to feint. There was lots of fleeing and fainting. It was so bad that...
Looks like CBS got itself a two-fer. Katie's not just an anchor - she's a comedian, too!
The highlight of her extended interview with Harry Smith on this morning's Early Show, touting her debut on tonight's CBS Evening News, was her claim that what the "old media" has to offer in contrast with the new media is . . . "integrity and standards."
Couric is apparently a jokester of the deadpan school, managing to get off the line without dissolving into guffaws. This from the woman about to take over the illustrious Dan Rather Forged Document Chair, named in honor of the hoax perpetrated by the old media and peremptorily exposed by that lacking-in-integrity new media. Is the irony lost on Katie that the opening for her job occured because Dan Rather was sacked over the exposure of his lack of integrity and standards?
The arrest of the number 2 man in al-Qaeda in Iraq was certainly big news, but apparently not big enough to merit a front-page story in the Los Angeles Times. The story is surreptitiously tucked near the inside fold on page A6 of today's paper (Monday, September 4, 2006).
Meanwhile, the Washington Post, who apparently recognized the importance of the capture, placed the story prominently on the top of its front page (image).
I don't know about you, but by the end of the Bush-bashing festival that was the MSM's coverage of the one-year Katrina anniversary, I was about ready to climb up on my roof with a bedsheet message begging to be evacuated by helicopter.
Neal Gabler also has a complaint about the Katrina anniversary coverage: there wasn't enough of it.
On this evening's Fox News Watch, Gabler made his comment in the context of the panel's discussion of the John Mark Karr fiasco. Griped Gabler:
"The embarrassment isn't that he wasn't guilty, the embarrassment is the disproportionate amount of coverage he got even if he had been guilty. The problem is there [were] virtually no [TV news] minutes devoted to Katrina on the eve of the Katrina anniversary."
Apparently responsibility isn't a subject that the Philadelphia Daily News is interested in propagating. In an irreverent piece called Freshmen alert: Beer is more complex than you think, writer Don Russell who bills himself as "Joe Sixpack", is advising students to dispense with all the worrying over all the "Alcohol is Evil' speech" stuff.
I have to question this attempt at "common man" humor when directed at people who are a tad less than the "men" (read adult) that such a pointed satire of an adult point of view might be more properly aimed. Should we really be minimalizing alcoholism and binge drinking in articles pointed at our college students who are already too prone to taking chances with their health, not to mention their schooling, already?
As Brent Baker noted, Thursday marked the end of Bob Schieffer’s reign as anchor of the CBS "Evening News." And like the "Evening News," the Friday "Early Show"played Katie Couric’s tribute video to Mr. Schieffer. After morning viewers watched the video, "Early Show" co-host Harry Smith sat down with Mr. Schieffer to discuss the future. Smith began this morning’s Schieffer tribute by taking a shot at the "Evening News" former anchor, Dan Rather:
"When Bob Schieffer stepped down as anchor fo the CBS "Evening News" on Thursday, he left the place in a lot better shape than he found it..."
Some have speculated that the "a--holes" CNN anchor Kyra Phillips referred to in her ladies'-room chat might have been President Bush and other Republicans. The folks at the liberal group Media Matters for America, however, don't view Phillips as a GOP-basher. In fact, Media Matters has posted on its web site several items taking Phillips to task for supposed conservative bias. For example:
July 12, 2005: "...Philips [sic] responded to a call by Democratic senators for President Bush to fire White House senior adviser Karl Rove for his alleged role in the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame by saying [that there is] 'definitely a major smear campaign going on [against Rove].'"
Have you heard about the young Muslim man who was forced to change his shirt at JFK Airport because it said "We Will Not Be Silent" in English and Arabic? Here's a piece of the story from Newsday...
An Arab human rights activist says he was prevented from boarding a plane at Kennedy Airport while wearing a T-shirt that said "We will not be silent" in English and Arabic. The incident happened Aug. 12 when Raed Jarrar, 28, was preparing to board a JetBlue flight from Kennedy to Oakland, Calif. Four officials from JetBlue or from a government agency stopped him at the gate and told him he couldn't get on the plane wearing his shirt, Jarrar said in a telephone interview yesterday.
One might think that with an American media so attuned to listening to what our friends, allies and even enemies in the International community have to say, we'd see more than a handful of Google News references to a recent exchange between a radio show caller and the Australian Prime Minister John Howard.
"There is a section, a small section of the Islamic population, and I say a small section, which is very resistant to integration."
"Fully integrating means accepting Australian values, it means learning as rapidly as you can the English language if you don't already speak it," ...
"And it means understanding that in certain areas, such as the equality of men and women ... people who come from societies where women are treated in an inferior fashion have got to learn very quickly that that is not the case in Australia."
If 'Today' were ever to air the opinions of a think tank co-founded, say, by a former Reagan administration official and free-market economist Milton Friedman, and funded by large corporations, it's inconceivable that the show would fail to identify the organization's conservative leanings.
Yet Today didn't feel the need to do the obverse when relying extensively - for purposes of talking down the economy - on a liberal think tank founded by a former Clinton official and far-left economists and largely funded by Big Labor.
From a New York Times editorial to a Boston Globe political cartoon, the MSM has been beating the drum this week to talk down the economy in the face of more good economic news. The liberal theme du jour has been that wages haven't risen along with corporate profits.
"Last Days on Planet Earth" was the alarming title of ABC's 20/20 special tonight, a show that presented seven frightening scenarios that could lead to our extinction. But the bottom six in the countdown, things like supervolcanoes and asteroid strikes, nuclear annihilation and superbugs (natural and man-made) were only window dressing for the real point of the show; the number one threat to human existence...global warming.
Hostess Elizabeth Vargas trotted out carefully selected environmental scientists to explain the concept to anyone who has been comatose for the past decade or so, leading up to the star of this 20/20 special - Al Gore. Gore sonorously (and soporifically) intoned his orthodoxy, and declared a fatwah against any heretics who might disagree with his conclusions.
Writing at TCS Daily, Glenn Reynolds wonders about the net effect of the exposure of the fact that fake news is more common than previously supposed:
In a democratic polity -- or even one that's driven by things like "world opinion" -- faked news poses a real threat to decent decision-making. Worse yet, the likely outcome of widespread fakery will be a tendency on the part of people to simply dismiss news that they don't want to hear. (And we already see enough of that phenomenon as it is). [...]
Once again, as I've said in previous columns, it boils down to whom you can trust. And although it seems that Big Media outfits, which want to make money and be around for the long term, would have a sufficient investment in their credibility not to fake news themselves, or to pass along fake news except in extraordinary circumstances, the evidence of recent weeks is that journalism is rife with fakery, and that we're seeing more of it now mostly because it's easier to spot now that lots of people can examine the evidence and compare notes. [...]
Context is key. And one of the lessons of these various affairs is that neither the photo, nor the purveyor of the photo, should be given unquestioned authority. Instead, we have to think for ourselves, and make up our own minds. Because it turns out that we can't trust, well, much of anyone.
He's right, of course. But realizing the need to think critically is only
part of the solution. Despite the fact that a
great many interactive web participants (bloggers, blog readers, and forum
users) realize the value of not buying into everything you see, many do not.
A still larger group aren't even reading blogs or forums, which presents a
bit of a problem.
When headlines like this are chosen, one wonders what exactly is going through the mind of the headline writer (most should know that headline writers are often different people than the authors of the article). Regardless, though, the headlines reflect the policy and position of the paper, which may or may not be the same as that of the article's author.
This example of a headline that does not really fit the article comes to us from the August 29th edition of the New York Times topping what is billed as an "essay" about the efficacy or sense of giving dialysis to a patient with brain damage, paid for by the tax payer.
Will Thoretz is the company spokesman for VNU Media, the company that owns Editor & Publisher and employs Editor Greg Mitchell, a man that has something of a "truth problem" according to Michael Silence, and seems to be on the wrong side of an example of "journalistic malpractice" according to Stephen Spruiell.
Mary Katharine Ham of Townhall.com attempted to contact Mitchell at Editor & Publisher for comment several times yesterday, but Mitchell has thus far decline to respond. Ham also tried to contact Will Thoretz of Editor & Publisher's parent company, VNU Media, and while she was able to speak to his assistant, Thoretz has not responded to Ham to date.
Color me skeptical, but evidence indicating that one of your editors
has severe ethical issues should demand an immediate response of some
sort, unless, of course, the decision has been made to stonewall the
story and hope it goes away.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld finally articulated at least a portion of what conservative bloggers have been pointing out for some time - Islamist terror groups have had considerable success in planting and slanting stories within the Western mainstream media:
FALLON NAVAL AIR STATION, Nev. (AP) -- Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Monday he is deeply troubled by the success of terrorist groups in "manipulating the media" to influence Westerners. "What bothers me the most is how clever the enemy is," he continued, launching an extensive broadside at Islamic extremist groups which he said are trying to undermine Western support for the war on terror. "They are actively manipulating the media in this country" by, for example, falsely blaming U.S. troops for civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said. "They can lie with impunity."
Rumsfeld stopped short of pointing out what became obvious during the Israeli-Hizballah conflict in Lebanon; that the mainstream media's use of local reporters and photographers has virtually ensured its infiltration by terrorist sympathizers. Likewise, Rumsfeld did not mention that the tainted reporting serves the purposes of Democrats running on anti-war platforms.
It goes without saying that Los Angeles has its share of crime and crime problems. Then why would the Los Angeles Times devote a whopping 4,709 words, five photos (plus a small map), and valuable front-page space on its Sunday paper to the story of a murder more than halfway across the country in Tennessee?
Maybe the title of the article reveals the answer. The title is "What Drove the Preacher's Wife?" (by Times staffer Peter H. King). Ohhh. The murder was that of a Christian minister in the "Bible Belt" of Tennessee, and it was allegedly committed by the minister's wife. Maybe now we see why the Times has taken an interest. A murderous Christian?! Front page!
Based upon the facts and previous statements and articles, it appears as though Editor and Publisher Editor Greg Mitchell may have intentionally misled readers when he allegedly came clean regarding a lapse in journalistic ethics early in his career.
The facts seem to indicate he was a 21 year-old paid professional journalist, not the 19 year-old intern he allowed readers to believe. Mitchell has also previously acknowledged relevant facts he managed to get wrong in his mea culpa as highly memorable events.
Given the additional discovery that he has now gone back three years after the fact to alter the article's lede, thereby reinforcing errors that diminish the significance of his lapse, some may find it difficult to conclude Mitchell's misreporting was anything other than an intentional act.
Hallelujah! Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig are FREE AT LAST! I'm so overjoyed to report that Centanni & Wiig have been released, and are now confirmed to be safely in Jerusalem. For extensive reporting, see MsUnderestimated's post.
Thank you, God, for delivering these men from evil.