Happy belated birthday, America, your presence in Afghanistan is "inherently corrupting." That's the message Rachel Maddow gave on her July 6 program.
During the Bush administration, the Left often argued that the president had distracted America by engaging in hostilities in Iraq, bleeding resources and attention away from the real war on terror in Afghanistan, which had harbored al Qaeda pre-9/11.
Now with Iraq all but won following the success of the Bush-approved, Petraeus-executed "surge," the Left is becoming vocal in its opposition to the war in Afghanistan and finding a platform on MSNBC.
Daytime network anchor Dylan Ratigan has been calling for withdrawal from Afghanistan for weeks, arguing that the war in Afghanistan has lasted longer than Vietnam and been a needless waste of money.
Now Ratigan's colleague has joined in the chorus. On the Tuesday, July 6 edition of her eponymous show, Maddow made this argument:
Surprise - a British panel ruled that the scandal known as ClimateGate that supposedly revealed the manipulation of certain data strengthen the case of manmade global warming was much ado about nothing. But, The New York Times in a July 7 story called these findings of an inquiry led by Muir Russell, a retired British civil servant and educator, "a sweeping exoneration" of the ClimateGate scientists in question.
"Well, it's important to people like me," Nye said. "It's important to all the scientists. I think people who don't believe in climate change, who deny climate change, I don't think it's going to affect them very much at all because they're already committed to their - to their beliefs and this will be just one more brick in the great ziggurat of conspiracy for those people."
Seriously: is Bill Richardson trying to wreck John McCain?
Ask yourself: what would be the one thing most likely to undermine McCain with Arizona Republican Senate primary voters? Surely it would be the possibility that if re-elected, born-again immigration hawk McCain would revert to the squishiness that led him to partner with Ted Kennedy on a "path to citizenship" for illegals. Yet on this evening's Ed Show, that's exactly what the New Mexico governor—twice—imagined McCain might do.
Schultz set the stage, describing McCain's recent adoption of a hard line on immigration as "the biggest flip-flop of the year."
Then came Richardson, imagining a McCain re-reversal . . .
Debating the fallout of the Obama administration's attempt to squelch Arizona's popular immigration law before it goes into effect later this month, CNN's Campbell Brown on July 6 challenged a chief advocate of the law with a multi-pronged assault, only to see her attacks thwarted and her "misinformation" corrected.
In a blatant contradiction, Brown dismissed State Senator Russell Pearce's (R-Ariz.) "anecdote" about ranchers who are under siege because of the federal government's failure to secure the porous border, but highlighted anecdotal evidence of opposition to the new law.
"Well, I want to stay away from the anecdotal and stick with the figures as much as we can here," instructed Brown when confronted with evidence of the Obama administration's inability to stem the tide of illegal immigration.
Later in the interview, Brown peddled the minority opinion among law enforcement groups to rebuke Pearce's assertion that courts have upheld the right of states to enforce federal law:
"And in San Francisco, a ban on sugary drinks in city vending machines is starting to take effect," Brzezinski said. "That's so great. It was issued by Mayor Gavin Newsom, my new hero, Mike Barnicle -- in an effort to combat obesity and improve citizen's health, and it will. In fact, if people would just not drink soda pop, they would be healthier and less fat."
If you haven't heard the report of the remarks recently made by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden over what the role of his agency, it's a little troubling. And it hasn't gone unnoticed, at least not by syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer
Recently, Bolden, in an interview with Al Jazeera English, said that the "foremost" mission of NASA is to improve relations with the Muslim world. This drew the ire of Krauthammer on the July 5 broadcast of Fox News Channel's "Special Report with Bret Baier." (h/t Gateway Pundit)
"This is a new height in fatuousness," Krauthammer said. "NASA was established to get America into space and to keep is there. This idea to feel good about their past and to make achievements is the worst combination of group therapy, psychobabble, imperial condescension and adolescent diplomacy."
There have been a lot of complaints from the left over the opposition Supreme Court Justice nominee Elena Kagan has faced from Senate Republicans in her battle to win confirmation. But Kagan proponents should have seen this day coming when Democrats in the Senate did the same things to try to slow the confirmations of Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito.
On CBS's July 4 "Face the Nation," CBS legal correspondent Jan Crawford explained why. Previously throughout these types of confirmation processes, the Senate would approve a President's nominee, assuming the candidate was qualified. But President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Judiciary Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. all set a new precedence when George W. Bush was president.
"Historically, [Kagan] would have been confirmed like Justice Ginsburg was, 96-3, or Justice Breyer, 87-9, but things changed. I mean, things changed 10 years ago, when Democrats started filibustering President Bush's qualified nominees," Crawford said. "I had a talk about all this -- I guess, what, five or six years ago with Mitch McConnell. You know, he said memories are long in the U.S. Senate. People remember what the Democrats -- including President Obama, Vice President Biden, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy -- did."
At this point, we all know the Dave Weigel saga, which is as a so-called blogger for The Washington Post, he made some disparaging remarks about the people he covered as a conservative beat blogger.
That eventually led to his resignation at the Post and he addressed it on CNN's July 4 "Reliable Sources." Weigel was asked by host Howard Kurtz if in this day and age it was "an uncomfortable fit" for someone to have a lot of opinions and still be a blogger. And according to Weigel, there was despite attacks from what he called "partisan anti-media groups."
"I think there's room for it. I mean, but I think it's going to be the source of a lot of attacks from, you know, partisan anti-media groups who just want to score points against mainstream media organizations," Weigel said. "So, people have to be ready for that. You have to be ready to defend your opinions."
The Twitter "Fail Whale": An irritating part of anyone's day that regularly uses social networking in their day-to-day activities. But could this endanger the viability of Twitter as long-term business?
A couple of analysts say think so. Both CNET.com senior editor Natali Del Conte and Herb Greenburg of CNBC Business News suggested Twitter's infrastructure problems could pose issues for Twitter's survival on CNBC's July 2 "Power Lunch."
"Twitter's down all the time," Greenburg said. "I love using Twitter. I will say it here and now - if Twitter were a business, it would be broke. Wait! Twitter is a business, but it's a private business. Maybe it's the type of business that should go public in this environment because those are the kind of companies that go public.
Appearing on FNC's "Hannity" on Thursday, Media Research Center President and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell discussed the media's left-wing slant on the latest issues during the weekly "Media Mash" segment.
The first topic was NBC's Matt Lauer fretting that Americans would not learn the "proper message" from the oil spill and curb their "appetite for oil." Mr. Bozell pointed out that the media had learned nothing from the ClimateGate scandal and noted their determination to bring an end to offshore oil drilling.
Another topic of discussion was the media's fawning coverage of Elena Kagan, particularly by ABC's Claire Shipman, who spoke of the Supreme Court nominee's "personal charm" Bozell observed that he had never seen such a one-sided profile of someone in his life.
The segment wrapped up with a look at NBC's Chris Matthews and a panel of liberal pundits all describing President Obama's left-wing policies as a "positive" in the November elections. Host Sean Hannity remarked "How about negative?" Bozell joked that the liberal panelists might be working for the RNC because of their encouragement for Obama to continue down such an unpopular road.
When it comes to Barack Obama, MSNBC is the network of thrills and chills . . .
Chris Matthews famously felt a thrill going up his leg listening to an Obama speech. Now, MSNBC anchor Alex Witt has been similarly moved by Obamian oratory, declaring this morning "I got a few chills" listening to PBO's "very powerful" speech on immigration.
Witt described her sensations to MSNBC DC bureau chief Mark Whitaker.
Which is the bigger story: a few power companies out West have started a pilot program to promote solar panels, or . . . police announce they will investigate allegations of sexual assault against a Nobel prize winner and former Vice-President of the United States? I'd guess most people would go with 'B.' But when it came time to highlight a story from the front page of today's Oregonian, Morning Joe went with the solar panels and ignored Gore.
I was all set to play this as a plain-vanilla case of the MSM burying unwelcome news for a Dem, when another theory occurred to me: could the Morning Joe folks actually have found a cleverly subversive way of getting the Gore story out there, perhaps against the wishes of their network overlords?
Have a look at the video of the Oregonian front page as Morning Joe displayed it during the "Morning Papers" segment [screencap after the jump].
Barack Obama is president. Oil is gushing in the gulf. America was eliminated from the World Cup. Looking for a laugh break? Try this: MSNBC has described DEMOS as "non-partisan." OK, I hadn't heard of them, either. But their web site just happens to mention that Barack Obama is "a founding Board member."
But that didn't stop Chris Hayes of the lefty Nation mag, on MSNBC this evening subbing for Ed Schultz, from, yes, describing DEMOS as "non-partisan" in introducing the group's Washington, DC director, Heather McGhee. And who is Heather? From the DEMOS site: "previously, she was the Deputy Policy Director, Domestic and Economic Policy, for the John Edwards for President 2008 campaign."
In covering Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings, CNN and MSNBC have repeatedly lauded the Supreme Court nominee for her "flashes of humor" and "disarming ease."
In tune with the reverberations of the network morning shows' echo chamber, correspondents like CNN's Dana Bash and anchors like MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Tuesday praised Kagan for her ability to inject humor into otherwise "hollow and vapid" hearings and charm hostile Republican senators into docility.
"But just on a color note, what struck me, Candy, has been the way Elena Kagan has tried to use a sense of humor to really disarm the senators, particularly Republicans," noted Bash.
Maddow's guest, Dahlia Lithwick of the liberal Slate magazine, gushed over Kagan's "gut-wrenching" sense of humor, her masterful ability to balance "seriousness and levity and humor," and her "disarming and charming and kind of likeable" personality.
"A likeable liberal. Dear me, I know," quipped Maddow.
Can anyone think of an angrier group of writers in political punditry than the ones currently published at Salon.com?
Throughout the Elena Kagan hearings, both Joan Walsh and Joe Conason have written anti-Republican screeds accusing GOP lawmakers of all sorts of unsavory things to score political points despite what's likely be a certain confirmation.
However, this disposition goes beyond just the SCOTUS hearings.
"Has the mainstream media -- which turns left -- have they abandoned the president on his economic policies?" Stuart Varney asked NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell in a brief interview held shortly after 10 a.m. today.
The Media Research Center founder answered in the affirmative, noting that staunch liberals in the mainstream media think Obama is too conservative on his spending plans:
BRENT BOZELL: It's the columnists, particularly for the New York Times. It's the four horsemen of the apocalypse from the Times. It's Paul Krugman, it's Frank Rich, it's Maureen Dowd, it's that crowd, they are out to get Obama now. Not from the right, from the left.
STUART VARNEY: Yeah. I mean Bob Herbert, I think it was just yesterday, talking about the failure of the president's policy. Missed opportunity. He wants another trillion dollar stimulus program. So does Paul Krugman.
To watch the full interview, click the play button on the embedded video above at right.
"Before I start the show tonight, I want to share some personal news with you," King said. "Twenty-five years ago, I sat across this table from New York Gov. Mario Cuomo for the first broadcast ever of ‘Larry King Live.' And now, decades later, I talked to the guys here at CNN and I told them I'd like to end ‘Larry King Live,' the nightly show that -- this fall and CNN has graciously accepted to agree to, giving me more time for my wife and I to get to the kids' little league games."
Chris Matthews keeps painting the Elena Kagan confirmation hearing as a "culture war" between the Obama nominee and the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. As Newsbusters reported yesterday, Chris Matthews seemed to spin Monday's standoff between Sessions and Kagan as a battle between the senator's rural, unsophisticated Alabama roots and Kagan's Northeastern liberal academic background.
Well, Matthews showed up in even finer form today. Describing Kagan as a liberal Obama prototype from the "high academia" of the Ivy League, Matthews proceeded to frame her opponent, Sen. Jeff Sessions, as the voice of the Confederacy.
Remarking that the hearing has become like a "red state-blue state" battle, Matthews claimed that "listening to Jeff Sessions is to listen to the, really, the Confederacy; to listen to, really the conservative view of the Deep South."
Matthews also oddly added that Republicans want to make Kagan into a "voodoo doll" (repeating himself from the night before), an image associated more readily with New Orleans, Louisiana, than Sessions' boyhood town of Hybart, Alabama.
On CNBC's June 29 broadcast "Power Lunch," Rep. Paul Kajorski, D-Pa. made a pretty prediction about the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) should Congress be unable to pass financial regulation legislation. [Video Available Here]
"You know, I wish every one of them would ask the question and also the industry and media, what happens in this country if this bill fails?" Kanjorski said. "Do you think 236 points down on the Dow is surprising? Check 1,000 or 2,000 points if we fail to change the ways that caused this problem."
That caught the attention of CNBC's Erin Burnett, who played the clip for "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer. Cramer blasted Kanjorski and the entire institution of the federal government for being a drag on the markets for a myriad of reasons on his June 29 "Stop Trading" segment of CNBC's "Street Signs."
Keith Olbermann proved once again that Sarah Palin is the media's favorite conservative to hate, mock and condemn when he called Palin an "idiot" who endorses "stupidity instead of intelligence."
Olbermann named "Sister Sarah" his "Worst Person in the World" on "Countdown" June 28 after Palin mistakenly said Ronald Reagan's alma mater was "California's Eureka College" during a speech at Cal State Stanislaus. Reagan attended Eureka College in his native state of Illinois.
In addition to labeling her speech a "gaffe fest," Olbermann called her mistake "symbolic of her imbecility, her corner-cutting," saying it was one of "perhaps, 100 things that brand her as a phony."
While MSNBC host Chris Matthews has routinely cited the American Revolution-era Gadsden flag as evidence of the extremism of the tea party movement, at the end of Monday's Harball, he expressed his love for the banner while remembering West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd. [Audio available here]
In his 'Let Me Finish' segment, Matthews shared his thoughts on Byrd and how he particularly admired how the Democrat shared his "deep American objection to the Iraq War." Matthews placed Byrd in an historic context and spoke of the nation's founding, including one particular symbol of defiance during the Revolution: "I love the symbol of the Gadsden flag that, coiled rattlesnake against a field of yellow. 'Don't Tread on Me' – it warned our enemies, and that included especially the British government and London." Matthews then noted: "This morning, a man died who treasured this country and that flag. For those reasons, Senator Robert Byrd opposed both wars – both wars with Iraq."
Over the weekend, Dave Weigel resigned as WaPo's house chronicler of conservatives after revelations of his antipathy toward the people he was covering. Tonight brings us the spectacle of Ross Douthat, an ostensibly conservative columnist at the New York Times. Appearing on MSNBC's Ed Schultz show, Douthat proffered precisely zero criticism of anyone or anything liberal. But he did manage to mock Mike Huckabee as "passive-aggressive." For good measure, Douthat suggested that "right-wing" people who question Barack Obama's place of birth are too dense to realize that Hawaii is a state of the union.
The Nation's Chris Hayes, subbing for Schultz tonight, didn't have to strain to elicit criticism of conservatives from Douthat. After playing a clip of Huckabee stating the apparent fact that he polls better than other Republicans against Obama, Douthat opined.
The HBO documentary For Neda, directed by Antony Thomas and narrated by famed Iranian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo, first aired on HBO in the United States on June 14 but went viral in Iran on June 1, well before the regime even knew about it. In an HBO interview, Mr. Thomas stated that the goal of the film was to look beyond Neda Agha-Soltan as the most prominent symbol of the Green Revolution and into the soul of whom Neda was as a human being. To that end, Mr. Thomas and crew succeeded brilliantly. The emotional rollercoaster ride one undergoes while traversing Neda Soltan’s short but eventful life in For Neda ranges from the tender and sublime to black despair and furious outrage.
At times, For Neda also induces in the viewer an unnerving sense of paranoia. Throughout much of the film, the regime is the evil villain unseen on the screen but whose ominous presence is most keenly felt. The rather ordinary but highly illicit home interview sessions in Iran with Neda’s family and others engender a dark foreboding to the point you almost expect regime jackboots to bust down the doors at any moment. The rest of For Neda is also fraught with many palpable dangers that make the fictional James Bond’s seem trite by comparison. In For Neda, we know that the consequences of regime discovery and reprisal are as perilous, real and horrifying as it gets.
If it were only that simple - that is the way CNBC's Rick Santelli would have it.
On CNBC's June 28 "Squawk Box," CNBC's senior economics reporter Steve Liesman vigorously defended the need for higher tax rates as a measure to cut federal deficits. Others argued that government revenues would increase if tax rates were lower because it would stimulate growth. (h/t Real Clear Politics Video)
"Let me get this straight - all you guys want to cut taxes en route to bringing down the deficit?" Liesman asked.
But according to Santelli, it has nothing to do with taxes, but the role of government in the economy.
The video of journalists mocking Sarah Palin after a speech she delivered Friday is just the latest in a long line of media bias against the former Alaska governor and conservative superstar.
An open mic caught reporters and photographers criticizing Palin following a speech at a fundraising dinner at California State University. "Oh my God," one voice is heard saying, "I feel like I just got off a roller coaster, going round and round, and up and down. S*** flying out ... everywhere."
While this video is among the clearest examples of media hatred for Palin, the trend goes back at least two years, according to MRC Vice President for Business and Culture Dan Gainor.
"Back around the vice presidential debate in 2008 there were 37 negative stories on the broadcast networks, just two positive," Gainor told "Fox & Friends" June 27. "It's been a feeding frenzy ever since. Some of these journalists hate her so bad if she cured cancer they'd complain how many doctors she put out of work."
Gainor credited advances in technology with giving the American public a clearer picture of media bias in cases like the Palin video, Helen Thomas' anti-Israel comments, and Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel's anti-conservative e-mails.
"What they're discovering, and the key point is, their lies, their leaks, their embarrassing moments are going be to be held out there just like they've been doing to everybody else for decades," Gainor said. "My parents would say, ‘What goes around comes around.'"
Robert Redford, one of the most popular and succesful actors of our age, has joined with other entertainers, including Sir Paul McCartney and Rosie O'Donnell in encouraging the Obama administration to actively politicize the Gulf crisis and use it to push through on energy policy.
In an interview with ExtraTV, Redford said that Obama should "Grab this moment in history and get a decent energy policy." He also said "Here's a moment in our history where he [Obama] should grab leadership and run with it."
He said that "We blew it in the late seventies," referring to laws like the National Energy Act, National Energy Conservation Policy Act and the Energy Policy and Conservation Act made in the wake of the OPEC embargo and the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster.
When President Bush nominated John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court in 2005, the media did not hesitate to describe both men as "very conservative," but when President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor in 2009 and Elena Kagan this year many in the press couldn't seem to identify any liberal ideology. The Media Research Center has produced a video compilation of examples to further demonstrate the obvious double standard. [Audio available here]
During ABC's live special coverage of Roberts's nomination on July 19, 2005, then This Week host and former Democratic operative George Stephanopoulos declared: "This is a very conservative man with a strong paper trail that proves it." NPR's Nina Totenberg could hardly contain her urge to label, using the word "conservative" several times during a July 23 appearance on Inside Washington: "John Roberts is a really conservative guy...he's a conservative Catholic....[President Bush] has given conservatives a hardline conservative."
The same labeling followed Alito's nomination months later. CBS's Bob Schieffer opened the October 31 Evening News by proclaiming: “Conservatives wanted a conservative on the Supreme Court, and said the President ought to risk a fight in the Senate to get one. Their wishes have been fulfilled.” Later that evening, on a special 7PM ET hour edition of CNN's The Situation Room, anchor Wolf Blitzer described: "...there is a new nomination and new controversy. A battle shapes up as the president picks a staunch conservative who could help reshape the U.S. Supreme Court."
When Republican Sen. Strom Thurmond died, the MSM was quick to stress his segregationist past. The New York Times ran the headline "Strom Thurmond, Foe of Integration, Dies at 100," leaving readers to imagine the South Carolinian had remained an advocate of segregation. The very first line of USA Today's story described Thurmond as "the nation's most prominent segregationist."
Strange how the MSM can suddenly become reticent about mentioning someone's segregationist past when the late politician in question is a Democrat. On Morning Joe today, Mark Halperin and Mike Barnicle used elliptical language worthy of a State Department dispatch to avoid mentioning that Byrd had been a member and leader of the Ku Klux Klan. H/t NB reader Ray R.
The inside-the-beltway media world was turned on its head with leaked e-mails that revealed Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel had some disparaging things to say about prominent conservative figures, including Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge and Byron York.
This ultimately resulted in Weigel's resignation. However, some of Weigel's antics have been previously raised by his critics, including Media Research Center Vice President Dan Gainor, who offered remarks to Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander.