Comedian Jon Stewart Wednesday pointed out an inconvenient truth about this week's General Stanley McChrystal incident: the media "kind of suck" for getting scooped by Rolling Stone magazine.
As "The Daily Show" host addressed the day's events involving the General and President Obama, he showed clips of various press members expressing disgust that Rolling Stone would get such access to McChrystal and staff.
These included CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper as well as MSNBC's Chris Matthews.
After the final clip of CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr asking, "What on earth was he thinking giving an interview to Rolling Stone," Stewart quipped, "At approximately 11:04 Eastern Standard Time, the American news media finally realized they kind of suck" (video follows with more highlights and commentary):
There are at least two sides to every argument, unless the issue is homosexuality. Then, according to CNN, there's only one side and it's the homosexual activists who get to tell it.
CNN advocated a repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy in 12 different reports between Jan. 28, the day after President Barack Obama reiterated his pledge to end the current military policy of banning openly gay citizens from the United States military in his State of the Union address and Feb. 2.
CNN allowed spokespeople from gay advocacy organizations such as Servicemembers United, the Log Cabin Republicans and the Palm Center, as well as several former and active gay military personnel, to plead their case without challenge
Of the 12 people CNN chose to appear on air (nine were military personnel) to discuss "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," only one expressed support of the current policy. Despite a Military Times poll that indicated 58 percent of military personnel are opposed to allowing openly gay people in the military, 78 percent (7 out of 9) of the military personnel featured in CNN's recent reports expressed their desire to allow homosexuals in the armed forces. One person remained neutral.
"Our deployed soldiers deserve to have their full rights," an anonymous female soldier told CNN's Ted Rowlands.
Instead of the progress that has been made in lowering violence in the country, CNN decided to focus on the "significant price" of the troop surge in Iraq. Tuesday’s "American Morning" reported that the Defense Department had decided to pull an entire brigade out of Iraq. Co-host John Roberts asked Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr "what’s this really mean for the war?" Starr only mentioned the decrease in violence in passing as she reported that the troop surge is "now officially in reverse gear." She did not include figures of this recent downturn in violence, something that only CBS Evening News did among the "Big Three" evening news broadcasts on Monday.
Starr’s report aired at the beginning of the 7 am Eastern hour of "American Morning." After she reported which units were sending troops home, Roberts asked her about the "price" of progress in Iraq. "Barbara, a lot of people are talking about progress here in Iraq, but progress comes at a price." In response, Starr highlighted the Bush administration’s lack of pressure on the Iraqi government to work on reconciliation, the shift to working with local groups that may become "armed militias" when the U.S. leaves Iraq, and how "ethnic cleansing" has divided Baghdad.
Here's a heart-rending story out of Iraq media will likely boycott or downplay: a group of Iraqi soldiers in a military camp east of Baghdad collected $1000 last week to send to folks in southern California affected by the recent wildfires.
Certainly not something an anti-war media will want to quickly share with the public, wouldn't you agree?
As CNN's Howard Kurtz accurately pointed out on Sunday's "Reliable Sources," few media outlets seemed at all interested in giving much attention to the great news out of Iraq last week regarding September's sharp decline in casualties.
To Kurtz's obvious frustration, his guests - Robin Wright of the Washington Post and Barbara Starr of CNN - both supported the press burying this extremely positive announcement.
I kid you not.
*****Update: Wright responds to reader e-mail message at end of post.
After introducing the subject, Kurtz asked, "Robin Wright, should that decline in Iraq casualties have gotten more media attention?"
"This is John Smith, reporting live from the beaches of Normandy, where Allied troops have launched a massive invasion aiming to defeat the Axis."
"John, this is Bob Brown back in the studio. When does General Eisenhower think the first Allied troops can start to come home?"
"What the . . . ?"
OK, the surge isn't D-Day. But surely an important part of what we are looking for in General Petraeus's report today is his assessment of the prospects for success in Iraq, right? Wrong -- if by "we" you include CNN. According to it's 9 A.M. EDT preview of the report, the only thing "everyone" cares about is the timing of withdrawal: