How far have we come from the era of "Dissent Is Patriotic" stickers on the bumpers of your local lefties during the Bush administration? A host on the second-highest rated cable news network has equated political dissent with . . . assassination.
On his MSNBC show this evening, Ed Schultz stated:
"Now I'm putting my cards on the table tonight as I do every night. The Republican party is on a mission to politically assassinate the president's agenda across the board. They want to shoot down everything."
Odd bit of role reversal on today's Morning Joe . . .
There was Mika Brzezinski, ripping Charlie Crist as unprincipled for his mid-campaign ditching of the Republican party. Joe Scarborough, the quondam GOP congressman from the Sunshine State, was in a much more forgiving mood, going so far as to predict that, following in Crist's footsteps, many others would successfully go the independent route.
Mika and Joe's exchange was triggered by the news that Crist's own Lieutenant Governor, Jeff Kottkamp, has endorsed Marco Rubio for Senate.
Did you think that, with the perspective that time tends to impart, Alan Grayson would have backed off his unhinged allegation that Republicans wanted sick people to die quickly? Trick question! I did say Alan Grayson. On the evening's Ed Show, the dippy Dem congressman from Florida emphatically stated that his ugly assertion, made on the floor of the House, was "the truth."
Grayson was responding to the suggestion by Kurt Kelly--one of the seven Republicans vying for the right to knock Grayson off--that by missing a vote on an allocation of funds for our overseas military, perhaps Grayson wanted the troops to die. Kelly was clearly riffing off Grayson's earlier allegation. That didn't stop Grayson from taking great umbrage, claiming that the difference between his assertion and Kelly's was that Kelly was lying whereas he Grayson was telling "the truth."
These are some of the outtakes that the Ecuadoran plaintiff lawyer Steve Donziger probably wished were left on the cutting room floor.
Back in May 2009, CBS's "60 Minutes" featured a story on the legal conflict between Chevron and an eco-group called the Amazon Defense Coalition for $27.4 billion in so-called environmental damage in Ecuador's rain forest from then-Texaco Petroleum's (Texpet) operation of oil well sites over a decade ago. However, in 1998, the government of Ecuador certified that Texpet, a minority partner in an exploration and production venture state-owned oil company PetroEcuador, had met Ecuadorian and international remediation standards and had released Texpet from future claims and obligations.
During that May 3 broadcast, Donziger was portrayed by CBS "60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley as a shining individual with a deeply rooted compassion for the indigenous people of the Ecuadorian Amazon.
Outtakes of CBS's "Evening News" show Couric taking a few petty shots at Palin in her coverage leading up to the 2008 Republican National Convention. This five-minute clip has several highlights, showing Couric favoring "moose burgers and beauty pageants," instead of her professional credentials as mayor of Wasilla, a town Couric has trouble announcing, and her tenure as governor of Alaska.
CNN's Rick Sanchez again hinted that Fox News wasn't a legitimate news organization during his Rick's List program on Monday. When colleague Ed Henry mentioned that several news outlets were petitioning for a front-row seat at White House press briefings, Sanchez replied, "I understand the Associated Press. I even understand Bloomberg, but don't have you to be a news organization to get that seat?" [audio clips available here]
The anchor discussed the fight over the front-row seat with Henry and correspondent Brooke Baldwin during a segment 42 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour. Baldwin brought on the CNN White House correspondent to comment, as he's on the board of the White House Correspondents Association, which voted on the matter. Henry explained that "Fox, Bloomberg, and National Public Radio were vying for it- all made strong cases. In the end, Fox [was] unanimously moved up to the front row, but did not get the seat Helen Thomas was in. We voted unanimously to move the Associated Press over to where Helen Thomas was."
Sanchez responded to the White House correspondent's explanation with his Fox-bashing remark, to which Henry replied, "Oh! Are you saying Fox is not a news organization?" The anchor retorted, "Yeah. I'm just wondering."
Now that both liberals and conservatives have coordinated protest movements it is fair to compare the two. Luckily sECULAR sTUPIDEST has put together a great video which shows the March 20th, 2010 Anti-War protest in D.C. and the March 20th, 2010 Tea Party in D.C. (Language Warning)
When the defining event of your life is shooting at U.S. Congressman from a House visitors gallery, you'd think the Washington Post obituary, if any, for such a person would have enough sense to treat that event with the appropriate condemnation.
But in Emma Brown's August 2 treatment of 90-year old Lolita Lebron -- "A fervor for Puerto Rico's freedom led her to violent act at U.S. Capitol"* -- the Post obit writer went beyond the usual faux-balance that many journalists try to evince and sounded downright sympathetic to the late Lebron's political cause (emphasis mine):
Lolita Lebron, a Puerto Rican nationalist known to some as a terrorist and to others as a near-mythic freedom fighter for her violent attack on the U.S. Capitol more than a half-century ago, died Aug. 1 at a hospital in San Juan of complications from respiratory disease. She was 90.
Ms. Lebron was called both fanatical and fearless for her efforts to draw attention to the cause of independence for her home island, claimed by the United States as spoils after the Spanish-American War and made an American commonwealth in 1952.
The woman shot at unarmed U.S. congressmen! That act was without a question an incident of terrorism. Yet Brown couldn't help but comment on a famous photograph of Lebron in police custody following the attack (emphasis mine):
"You're talking about brainwashing, when by a 10-to-1 margin, they [the broadcast media] attack Arizona," Media Research Center (MRC) founder Brent Bozell told Sean Hannity on the "Media Mash" segment on the July 30 "Hannity" program.
Of all networks to go on to accuse Fox News hosts of faux anger, Anthony Weiner chose MSNBC. You know, MSNBC--home to Ed Schultz, who into his mid-40s was a Republican, and who described himself as a "fresh conservative voice" in seeking a GOP congressional nomination. MSNBC. Keith Olbermann's hang-out, the man whose stagey histrionics have made him a laughingstock even at his sister network's Saturday Night Live.
Weiner made his allegation in the course of responding to Mika Brzezinski, who asked whether he regretted "losing it" on the House floor last week in a vein-popping diatribe that became an instant YouTube classic. Said Mika savvily: "Come on. You've been on television. You understand how it all works. You knew it would be all over the place. Do you regret losing it?"
An unrepentant Weiner, rather than apologizing for his televised tirade, chose to point the finger at Fox.
On this weekend's Fox News Watch, panelist Jim Pinkerton proposed a simple way to clear up much of the murk surrounding JournoList. Let the Washington Post respond to the 20 questions about the matter that MRC head Brent Bozell has posed to the Post's executive editor, Marcus Brauchli, in an open letter.
JournoList was created by lefty blogger Ezra Klein in 2007, who continued to run it after becoming a Post staffer in 2009.
Responding to Pinkerton's proposal, Newsday columnist Ellis Henican, a liberal member of the News Watch panel, swung and missed at Bozell . . .
Democratic New York Congressman Anthony Weiner’s theatrical temper tantrum rant on the House floor Thursday night, against supposed Republican obstructionism, animated cable news on Friday and Friday night ABC and NBC elevated it to legitimate news as they imputed great meaning to it as genuine frustration with congressional gridlock. ABC anchor Diane Sawyer announced:
Every now and then, someone seems to express the nation's frustration with the endless wrangling and delay in Congress. And we thought you might like to hear New York Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner. He wanted a vote last night on a $7.4 billion bill, aid for the sick police and firemen who raced to ground zero to rescue people.
Viewers were then treated to more than a minute of Weiner screaming “the gentleman will observe regular order!” and “the gentleman is wrong! The gentleman is providing cover for his colleagues, rather than doing the right thing. It's Republicans wrapping their arms around Republicans, rather than doing the right thing on behalf of the heroes! It is a shame! A shame!”
We continue on the lighter side of things with the Top Five Times NewsBusters Embarrassed the Media. (Also check out a short video-cast with NewsBusters bloggers talking about how they embarrased the journalists)
As part of the anniversary celebration, we have picked out a couple posts from each of the five categories and asked the authors to reflect back on writing them up. In this series of short videos, they share their thoughts on how they caught the particular media moment and describe the impact their post had.
On Wednesday night's "Anderson Cooper 360," CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin claimed that the federal judge in the Arizona immigration case doesn't possess "a strong political profile one way or another," which is a sign the decision is well-supported by the law.
Cooper asked Toobin if Judge Bolton, who decided the case, was a liberal, noting that she was appointed to the post by President Clinton."She's a Clinton appointee, but she was recommended by Jon Kyl," Toobin responded, "who is a very conservative senator from Arizona."
"She's clearly not a strong partisan, but we are a long way from the last word on the constitutionality of this law," Toobin added. "This is a hard case. You are going to see other judges come out other ways on this."
Toobin's points were also echoed by liberal blogs such as Media Matters and ThinkProgress, a liberal blog.
CNN's Joe Johns surprisingly highlighted Charles Sherrod's racially-charged comments about stopping "the white man and his Uncle Toms from stealing our elections" during a segment on Thursday's Anderson Cooper 360. Johns also reported on the questions being raised by conservatives about how his wife Shirley Sherrod received her former position at the U.S. Department of Agriculture [audio clip available here].
Anchor Anderson Cooper, after devoting some time to faulting himself for not pressing Mrs. Sherrod after she labeled conservative Andrew Breitbart a "vicious" racist during a July 22 interview, introduced the correspondent's report: "There's also a new aspect to the Shirley Sherrod story...Questions about her and her husband, Charles...keep bubbling up on some conservative blogs. The questions center around why and how Shirley Sherrod got appointed to her old job at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the first place, and whether her appointment was somehow connected to a settlement she received from the government in a race discrimination lawsuit."
What is it with this White House and publicly calling out conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh?
If you recall, back in January 2009 President Barack Obama told Republican congressional leaders to quit listening to Limbaugh if they wanted to get things done. It's happened once again. During the White House daily press briefing on July 29, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs took another couple of jabs Limbaugh - this time over the auto manufacturer bailout. In responding to a question concerning charges of "socialism," Gibbs went right after Limbaugh.
"Look, I'll say this - Rush Limbaugh and others wanted to walk away," Gibbs said. "Rush Limbaugh and others saw a million people that work at these factories that worked at these part suppliers that supported communities and thought that we should all just walk away. The president didn't think that walking away from a million jobs in these communities made a lot of economic sense."
As our readers know, to celebrate the 5th anniversary of NewsBusters, we have started a weekly Five for Five feature to countdown the blog's top twenty five posts. Last week we began with the top five media flubs caught by NewsBusters and on Friday we continue with the top five posts embarrassing the media.
As part of the anniversary celebration, we have picked out a couple posts from each of the five categories and asked the authors to reflect back on writing them up. They share their thoughts on how they caught the particular media moment and describe the impact their post had.
Perhaps it's the proximity of North Dakota, Ed Schultz's home state, to Minnesota but the MSNBC host has an identifiable fixation on a certain conservative Republican congresswoman from Minnesota.
On his July 29 program "The ED Show," Schultz once again attacked Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. This time this wizard of smart attacked her for loving to get "her mug out there." But if that's a crime then Schultz is an accomplice.
"Well, that's Michele Bachmann said, she wanted to create a ‘receptacle' for the Tea Party and so, this might be the first thing in the ‘receptacle,'" Schultz said. "I think she is doing it to stay visible. She loves getting her mug out there, she loves the visibility. She was rather an obscure congresswoman until she made an asinine comment on ‘Hardball with Chris Matthews' about investigating members of Congress. That pretty much put her on the map, Roy."
Appearing on The View, the president explained to Barbara Walters that he chose to come on the program because it's a show Michelle actually watches. According to PBO, the First Lady is "like eh" about news shows, grabbing the clicker [see screencap after jump] and turning away from them.
Was it really necessary for the President to dis his wife's interest in current events to explain his presence on the show? Somehow I sense that a Republican president saying something similar would come in for a heap of feminist criticism. Transcript after the jump.
Willie Geist introduced the segment on today's Morning Joe.
Missed? Perhaps, but this story of complacency by President Barack Obama's administration has certainly been under-reported thus far.
On Fox News Channel's July 28 broadcast of "Studio B," the network's judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano discovered a potential lapse in responsibility by the Obama White House. For the broadcast of his July 31 Fox Business Network show "FreedomWatch," Napolitano interviewed Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.org, the so-called "whistleblower site" which released tens of thousands of classified files about the Afghanistan war. During the interview, Napolitano reported Assange revealed he offered the Obama White House the documents, but they were unresponsive. (h/t @CrabbyCon)
"STUDIO B" HOST SHEPARD SMITH: You just interviewed Julian Assange. Now Julian Assange is the man who is the founder of WikiLeaks - released these, or on his site was released the 92,000 pages of documents that lead to all this discussion about our complete failures in Afghanistan and thoughts that we need to get out of Afghanistan. He told you something that I considered to be a blockbuster bit of news. NAPOLITANO: And that is that WikiLeaks presented the documents - there were over 100,000 pages of them, to the White House. SMITH: When? NAPOLITANO: Weeks before they were released. He wouldn't give me an exact date.
Gold has been a highly valued commodity going at least as far back as the ancient Egyptian culture in 2600 BC. But now, with economic instability and uncertainty over the health of major global currencies, the demand for gold has risen as a store of value and a hedge against inflation.
Over the past 12 months, the price of gold has gone up dramatically - up 25 percent from July 2009 (from $929 per ounce to $1,163 per ounce, after reaching a high of $1,250 per ounce). That has outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) on a percentage basis.
Pogrom: etymology--Yiddish, from Russian, literally, devastation. "An organized massacre of helpless people; specifically, such a massacre of Jews." -- Merriam-Webster
Chris Matthews has pulled off the rare unassisted triple-play of inanity. On this evening's Hardball, he:
argued that enforcing the Arizona immigration law would put police officers in danger because illegals caught in a stop would be under tremendous "moral pressure" to use violence to escape;
repeatedly abused a Republican guest. For the sin of disagreeing with him on immigration law, Matthews variously slimed Arizona state Sen. Rick Murphy as a "B.S. artist," a "hopeless right-winger," and "not serious;" and
most egregiously, claimed that deporting illegal immigrants from the US would constitute a "pogrom."
Striking a blow for her sex, Mika Brzezinski today claimed that the Wall Street meltdown "simply would not have happened" if more women had been in charge.
The Morning Joe co-host was reacting to news that the Dems managed to slip into the recently enacted financial regulation bill a provision--authored by Rep. Maxine Waters--that would create "at least 20 new Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion" with the power to kill government contracts with financial firms not meeting new "diversity standards."
Tina Brown seconded her sister's sentiment, blaming the financial industry's woes on "all this phallic obsession."
What's good for Wall Street is presumably good for Washington, too. Mika Brzezinski--founder of Feminists For Palin, perhaps?
UPDATE: HuffPo's Jason Linkins offers explanation (see bottom)
Maybe this is the way former Hearst Newspapers columnist and so-called dean of the White House Press Corps Helen Thomas would have wanted it.
Although Thomas' old seat in the White House press briefing room hasn't officially been designated for a particular outlet, and this might be wishful thinking on the part of the Huffington Post's Sam Stein, the White House correspondent for website, took the seat for the July 27 briefing with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
Stein's questions from the front row dealt with the possibility of President Barack Obama making recess appointment, in dealing with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and what he deemed the "lethargic pace" of judicial confirmations. Stein then followed up with four additional questions for his piece posted on the Huffington Post later that afternoon.
Chris Matthews on Monday got a much-needed lesson from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) on how tax hikes impact the budget as well as the economy.
"Congressman Ryan, is there any tax role for reducing our $1.4 trillion to $1.7 trillion debt this year -- deficit this year?" Matthews asked during the 5PM installment of MSNBC's "Hardball." "Is there any role in tax increasing to help do that job?"
When Ryan gave an answer Matthews didn't like, the host arrogantly responded, "So, you won`t cut -- you won`t raise taxes and you won`t cut spending...All this bitching about the deficit doesn`t mean squat, because you won`t do either, raise taxes or reduce spending."
With the ball nicely teed up, Ryan unleashed a drive down the middle of the fairway that would make Tiger Woods proud (video follows with transcript and commentary, h/t Twitter's @LFRGary):
Newsbusters reported earlier on the double standard of MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer on reporters appearing at fundraisers. During the same news hour, Brewer simply couldn't understand the Republican position on extending the Bush tax cuts for all taxpayers, and jokingly wondered if the Republicans are even human.
"What I don't get is a lot of the people who are shouting about letting these tax cuts expire...are the same people who are shouting about the deficit, and how troubling it is that the national debt is skyrocketing," Brewer pouted. "And you can't have it both ways."
Russert then pretty much confirmed where the news anchor stands on the issue, noting that it's "an argument that a lot of Democrats are saying."