When asked on left-leaning MSNBC why President Barack Obama refrained from describing the Boston bombings as a "terrorist attack" David Axelrod, Obama's longtime political advisor, readily saw a political opportunity. The blood had not yet been washed away from the streets. We had yet to count up the casualties. Yet Axelrod saw a political opening, an opportunity to advance one or another of his pet political issues. So he said, "I'm sure what was going through the president's mind is — we really don't know who did this — it was tax day." Yes, tax day!
This is not the response of a normal mind. A normal mind would not, given the promiscuity of public bombings in the Middle East and now another bombing here in America, think it was provoked by "tax day." Conceivably the bombs in Boston were the work of small-government libertarians or of Tea Partiers. They could even be the work of vegetarians, but that was not the question. Axelrod was asked why the president was not describing the bombings as a terrorist attack. It certainly looked more like the work of terrorists — either left-wing lunatics or right-wing lunatics — than tax protesters.
CBS's Early Show on Wednesday boosted a claim by Democrats that a recent Mitt Romney ad takes a line from a 2008 speech by then-candidate Barack Obama out of context. However, CBS noted at that time that Obama was using that line to counter a McCain campaign ad which played up the Democrat's association with left-wing terrorist Bill Ayers.
Anchor Erica Hill raised the controversy over the Romney ad towards the end of a segment with political correspondent Jan Crawford about the most recent Republican presidential debate. After playing the relevant part of the commercial, which includes a clip of Obama stating that "if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose," Hill asked, "A lot of controversy over that ad, Jan. Why?"
On Saturday, NewsBusters reported that CNN in the six days after Politico's hit piece on Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain was published did more stories on that subject than it did on Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's connections to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, convicted real estate developer Tony Rezko, and America-hating Rev. Jeremiah Wright combined.
On Fox News Monday, Bill O'Reilly agreed with our analysis saying, "This is disturbing," as did guest Bernie Goldberg who explained, "The reason is fairly obvious and fairly simple. They like Barack Obama and his politics and they don't like Herman Cain and his politics" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters reported Monday, the broadcast network news outlets of ABC, CBS and NBC ran a total of 84 stories on the sexual harassment allegations against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain in the week following Politico publishing its hit piece.
That is more coverage than they gave to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's connections to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, convicted real estate developer Tony Rezko, or America-hating Rev. Jeremiah Wright throughout the entire campaign.
As of Monday, the so-called news network MSNBC has already run more stories about Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's alleged sexual harassment than it did Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's ties to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, convicted real estate developer Tony Rezko, and America-hating Rev. Jeremiah Wright combined.
If you needed any more evidence of the political leaning of CNN, consider that much like Politico, it has in the last six days done at least 94 reports on the sexual harassment allegations involving Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.
Substantially more shocking, according to LexisNexis, the supposedly most trusted name in news only did 77 total stories on Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's ties to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, convicted real estate developer Tony Rezko, and America-hating Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Ann Coulter on Monday explained to Larry King why so many Americans think Barack Obama is a Muslim.
Appearing on CNN's "Larry King Live" with Professor Marc Lamont Hill, Coulter pointed out how odd it is that this number has increased since Obama was elected, "Usually the truth moves in the opposite direction."
She continued, "The answer is because he seems foreign to them, that he's pushing this European health care system on America, that he doesn't listen to the American people, that he doesn't cite God when he mentions the Declaration of Independence. He seems alien, and I keep telling them, 'No, he's not a Muslim, he's an atheist.'"
This led King to ask, "Do you need to believe in God to govern?" And that's when the fun started (video follows with transcript and commentary):
How does the Wisconsin State Journal remember the 40 year anniversary of a radical Ayers-like bombing on the UW-Madison campus? By posting a little puff piece on one of the killers, of course.
On August 24, 1970, Karleton Armstrong and three other men perpetrated the worst act of domestic terrorism prior to the Oklahoma City bombing, detonating a bomb-laden vehicle outside of Sterling Hall, causing extensive damage to 26 buildings, costing $2.1 million in property damage, injuring three, and killing graduate student Robert Fassnacht, a 33-year-old husband and father of three children.
The contrast between an editorial published in the Journal 40 years ago, and the profile of the bombers published this past week, may serve as a case study in how the liberal media has transformed their coverage of domestic terrorists.
Shortly after the attack, a Journal editorial ran hammering down their take on the matter. According to the book, 50 Wisconsin Crimes of the Century, the Wisconsin State Journal called for officials to stop taking a neutral stance on student unrest:
"They've been playing with murder for years. Now they've achieved it... The blood is on the hands of anyone who has encouraged them, anyone who has talked recklessly of ‘revolution', anyone who has chided with mild disparagement the violence of extremists while hinting that the cause is right all the same."
Last week however, that same Wisconsin State Journal did a retrospective piece (h/t Michelle Malkin), profiling each of the bombers and how they were linked to such a tragic moment in history. The profile on Karleton Armstrong strikes a surprisingly pacifist tone:
The leftist Southern Poverty Law Center is a National Public Radio staple in analyzing right-wing militia groups -- and then connecting them to the Tea Party movement and conservative talk-show hosts.
Imagine a conservative group connecting liberal talk-show hosts and protesters to radical leftists like...Bill Ayers. Would they get a baldly promotional interview on NPR? No. But NPR Fresh Air hostess Terry Gross both aided the SPLC with a 37-minute promotional interview on March 25 -- and aided Bill Ayers in trashing Sarah Palin days after the 2008 election.
NPR promoted SPLC's Mark Potok and his narrative of "astounding" growth of militias in the Obama era thanks to "ostensibly mainstream" conservatives on All Things Considered on Tuesday night.
The Weather Underground and the Tea Party movement: Same thing?
In the wake of Obama-care's passage, New York Times reporter Benedict Carey took the country's political temperature, and found it running a right-wing fever, in a front-page Sunday Week in Review essay. It's ominous title was cribbed from the famous scene in the movie "Network," "RAGE's DNA: Mad As Hell. And..." The online headline is even blunter: "When Does Political Anger Turn to Violence?"
The story is accompanied by a photo illustration of an open book of matches, one of them lit.
There's also a really strange choice of photo caption on the jump page: an archive photo, courtesy of Getty Images, of the late-1960s left-wing domestic terrorist group The Weathermen, including Obama friend Bill Ayers, directly above a similar picture of marching Tea Party protesters from last Sunday. Here's the caption, which suggested that while the two movements are not the same they share some DNA:
VARYING DEGREES OF RAGE The Weathermen, including Bill Ayers, second from right, during the Days of Rage in 1969, and anti-health reform protesters in Washington on Sunday.
At age 50, Bill Ayers called himself a "radical" and a "communist." As recently as 2001, Ayers had himself photographed for a magazine story trampling an American flag. But that's not good enough for the Associated Press. In an article today, AP describes Ayers as a "former radical."
AP's de-radicalization of Ayers appeared in an article about a forthcoming biography of Barack Obama, entitled The Bridge, by New Yorker editor David Remnick. Here's the line [emphasis added]:
St. Petersburg Times media critic and Huffington Post contributor Eric Deggans offered a tribute to departing ABC World News anchor Charles Gibson, but it came with a very typical liberal slant on the 2008 campaign. Gibson had a "theatrical seriousness" in grilling Sarah Palin, but it was a "surprise" that he lowered himself in a Democratic debate to "gossipy questions like Obama’s supposed ties to William Ayers."
Since when is a man who blows up police stations and bathrooms in the Capitol qualify as a "gossipy" subject, like he’d be grist for TMZ? Deggans merely called him a onetime "radical" without any acknowledgment of his bombings. Here’s how he put it:
When he took apart vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin in a series of interviews, he could look a bit like a stern college professor -- John Houseman from Paper Chase, for anyone old enough to get the reference -- scowling over his reading glasses with a theatrical seriousness.
To the extent that it is being reported, actor Jon Voight's remarks to last night's Republican House-Senate fundraising dinner are being selectively chosen to fit the media's talking points about conservatives and the GOP.
Robert Dougherty of Associated Content News, for example, has latched onto some red meat lines to portray the actor as a thorn in the side of some Republicans who don't want to rock the proverbial boat:
Though the Republicans tried in vein [sic] to heal the recent divides in the party, Jon Voight had no such words of reconciliation in regards to the President. As host of the dinner, Voight spoke against the "Obama oppression" and called the President a "false prophet" among other things.
But that doesn't do justice to Voight's 10-minute speech -- which I've embedded above at right -- wherein the veteran actor noted how Democrats and the media were content to wear down public opinion of George W. Bush with a never-ending flood of negativity while building up Barack Obama as a near-messianic savior who dare not be questioned:
The school district reviewing the invite of Bill Ayers to a Napervile Illinois High School has canceled the appearance by the former terrorist and his wife Bernardine Dohrn. The community was up in arms after having learned of the invite. Also canceled was the post appearance book signing at Anderson's Book Shop in the same town.
School Superintendent Alan Leis released the following statement:
The appearance by Dr. Bill Ayers at Naperville North High School next week has been canceled.
On Friday, it was announced through a Talk203 email that we were reviewing the decision to invite him and that we were also exploring the possibility of moving the appearance to another venue. Initially, many people were upset about his appearance in a school building, even though it was to have been with a select group of students with required parental permission. Several people offered worthy suggestions about how to make the event more meaningful by concurrently inviting someone that would provide an equally strong opposing viewpoint.
Over the weekend, however, it became clear that this issue was not really about where Dr. Ayers was speaking, but that he was speaking at all. Each day, the level of emotion and outrage has seemed to increase, along with the number of emails and phone calls received. What was most unfortunate was that a few directed their anger toward an outstanding high school and at a well-regarded, award-winning teacher who encourages students to think for themselves.
This afternoon I learned that Bill Ayers has been invited to speak to high school students in the suburb of Naperville Illinois where he will discuss his days in the Weather Underground. (h/t Doug Ross Journal). The school district is defending the decision with the laughable claim that they would never invite anyone to the school that advocated violence. No kidding, this isn't a joke.
"While we firmly believe in exposing students to a wide variety of speakers and opinions, offering them the chance to experience different viewpoints and the opportunity to hone their critical thinking skills (one of the tenets of our mission), please know that we would never invite anyone who advocates violence," District 203 said through a news release issued Friday evening. "Our understanding is that Bill Ayers does not, although this point is being actively debated by several who have contacted us. In addition, administrators from other school districts who have heard his presentation to students, have indicated that Ayers focuses on students being involved in social justice."
Really, this claim is being actively debated? Bombings and dead people weren't enough to convince these educators that violent activism is what Bill Ayers is all about?
Presenting the latest edition of Times Watch Quotes of Note: Some of the most biased quotes from the New York Times.
Nicer to Bomb-Thrower Ayers Than Conservative Buckley
"In your new book, Race Course: Against White Supremacy, you and your wife, Bernardine Dohrn, describe your long struggle against racism and social injustice. Do you think Obama's victory has put America on a new course?"
"How did you feel when Obama publicly disowned you, describing you as a guy in his neighborhood who had committed ‘despicable acts' when he was eight years old?"
"How do you feel when you wake up?"
"You're weirdly cheerful for a former bomb-thrower." -- Some of New York Times Magazine "Q&A" interviewer Deborah Solomon's questions to former Weather Underground bomber Bill Ayers, February 15.
"You have made so many offensive comments over the years. Do you regret any of them?"
"You seem indifferent to suffering. Have you ever suffered yourself?" -- Some of Solomon's questions to the late founder of National Review, William F. Buckley, in a July 11, 2004 New York Times Magazine interview.
Have you heard about a graphic novel called "Joey the Seminarian?" It is about young Joseph Djugashvili and his adventures in a Tiflis seminary. Joey is quite an excellent student who writes poetry and is an excellent singer who performs in the choir and at weddings. Of course, this graphic novel conveniently leaves out the fact that young Joey Djugashvili grew up to become Joe Stalin the dictator who caused millions to lose their lives in brutal slave labor camps and via starvation as well as through mass liquidations. Yes, I'm just kidding about that graphic novel but it turns out that an equally whitewashed graphic novel is soon to be published about "Bill the Bomber" Ayers. Forget about his acts of cowardly terrorism via bombing. As reported by Calvin Reid in Publishers Weekly the graphic novel will be based on Ayer's whitewashed memoir To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher (emphasis mine):
Teachers College Press, a scholarly, professional and trade publisher focused on the theory and practice of teacher education, has reached agreement on a two-book deal with William Ayers, the University of Illinois at Chicago professor, lauded educational theorist and former leader of the radical 1960s Weather Underground. And, yes, Ayers is indeed the same figure dragooned into the 2008 presidential race in a controversial attempt to use his background in radical politics and a minor acquaintance with Barack Obama to undermine Obama’s presidential run.
The mainstreaming of a domestic terrorist continues apace. Of course, Huffington Post isn't "mainstream" in any real sense, but is considered as such by out-of-touch Old Media, which (post-election, of course) has frequently feted the 1970s Pentagon bomber.
Here's the Huffington Post URL in case you wish to visit (I'd rather not hyperlink it):
At the link, HuffPo describes Ayers as "Author and Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago." There is, of course, no mention of his violent Weather Underground history.
On Wednesday’s The O’Reilly Factor on FNC, during the show’s regular "Miller Time" segment, comedian Dennis Miller used humor to make a serious point about Barack Obama’s connections to corrupt and questionable characters in Illinois, and whether the President-elect was aware of the darker sides of his colleagues. Miller: "It’s just nice to know that my President-elect went through that entire system – all of these guys – Ayers, Blagojevich, Rezko, the Reverend Wright – and he didn’t notice any of them. At his worst, he is oblivious. At his absolute worst, he is disingenuous. He had to know something about some of these guys. ... We’re told that he’s the smartest guy on the planet on one hand. In the other hand, he never noticed any of this stuff. Come on, get the antenna up there, Barack. You got to wake up."
Chris Matthews invited Bill Ayers on Wednesday night's "Hardball," and actually confronted him about his bombing of Capitol Hill during his days as a member of the '60s terrorist group Weather Underground, as the former Capitol Hill police officer emotionally observed: "I was a Capitol policeman at the time, so I was one of the guys that could have been killed obviously at the time you put that, your guys put that bomb in there. So I have a little personal interest. It wasn't just vandalism. To me it was life-threatening to the guys I worked with. And there were some pretty good guys working there."
However Matthews, who paradoxically may not even be alive to conduct this interview today if the Weather Underground's bombs were more devastating, devoted most of the interview tossing softballs Ayers' way, as the two often agreed with each other on Barack Obama and Iraq policy as the "Hardball" host pointed out they only really differed on how to spread their points of view: "Well, Mr. Ayers, with all due respect, you agitate your way, I agitate my way."
Anyone who doesn't think Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn are currently radical should pay attention to the second half of their interview that aired on Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now! program on Monday. Listen to Dohrn wail about all the disasters the U.S. military is allegedly causing, and how we need to get "off the necks and the backs" of the world:
William Ayers spoke to a Washington, D.C. audience tonight about his views on the American education system. The Ayers speech included slams towards Fox News and Governor Sarah Palin.
The event was full of mostly supporters given the amount of loud applause he received. A true question and answer session never really occurred, as audience members were required to write their questions on note cards for pre-screening. Knowing organizers would only choose softball questions, I confronted Ayers with Radio Equalizer's Brian Maloney.
Evidence of how much softer the ABC interview with Bill Ayers could have gone on Friday was displayed by the radical-left (and yet taxpayer-funded) Pacifica Radio network, as Ayers and his wife and fellow Weather Underground bomber Bernadine Dohrn appeared on the talk show "Democracy Now!" Co-host Juan Gonzalez asked: "As you say, in 1968, you were expecting that the war would be ended, because a majority of the population opposed it.
Isn't this convenient? Finally, more than a week after Election Day, Chris Cuomo of ABC News' "Good Morning America" puts together a fairly hard-hitting look at terrorist William Ayers, the would-be mass murderer, who helped to launch the career of then-Illinois state senate candidate Barack Obama.
Now that it hardly matters anymore politically, now that Obama has secured at least 365 of the 538 votes in the Electoral College, Cuomo finally decides it's time to be a journalist and asks Bill Ayers hard questions over and over again. It's not a bad interview, but wouldn't it have had more news value a few weeks ago when Americans were weighing the content of now-President-elect Obama's character? (Article on GMA website here summarizes the interview.)
On Wednesday’s Newsroom program, a report by CNN correspondent Joe Johns, along with a subsequent interview by anchor Rick Sanchez, raised the implication that anti-illegal immigration rhetoric, particularly from conservatives, might be partially to blame for a spike in so-called hate crimes against Latinos. During a clip in Johns’ report, which was about the recent murder of an immigrant from Ecuador by teenagers, columnist Ruben Navarrette speculated that "[w]hen people go out on the airwaves or in print or at the stump as a politician, and they beat that drum, they shouldn’t be surprised. At the end of the day, many people out there, and particularly young people, who are very impressionable, think, ‘Hey, you know what? This is one group we can do this to.’" At the end of his report, Johns added that "[t]he question that’s already being raised by activist groups in the newspapers is whether anti-immigrant rhetoric has created a climate for this kind of thing."
After the report, Sanchez interviewed Mark Potok of the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center, who added that "really, racist conspiracy theories and false propaganda....have made their way out into the larger anti-immigration movement -- the Minutemen groups and so on. And before you know it, they are on talk radio, they are on some cable news talk shows." Strangely, the CNN anchor then went on a bit of a tangent by bringing how Newsweek recently reported that "the Secret Service has now confirmed that threats against Barack Obama spiked when Sarah Palin began impugning his patriotism."