Mere minutes after New Jersey governor Chris Christie said during a press conference on Thursday that he was firing deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly for lying about her role in closing lanes of the George Washington Bridge, many online posters compared the Republican official's swift action with the utter lack of movement by president Barack Obama, who has yet to terminate anyone in his administration, even if that person is embroiled in scandal.
Several comments included barbs aimed at the “mainstream media” for reporters' wall-to-wall coverage of the Christie scandal while allowing Obama officials to avoid any punishment. “To confused journalists, what @GovChristie is doing right now is called 'leadership,'” noted @derekahunter. “Google it, then look at the White House & feel shame.”
On Thursday, at the Washington Examiner, Byron York concentrated on Obama's clear antipathy towards business as described in David Maraniss's recent book about President Obama (Barack Obama: The Story) relating to Dear Leader's brief stint at a company called Business International.
Though that's obviously a critical point to make during the 2012 campaign, a more foundational one is that this mindset, as well as most of Obama's stream of "embellishments" (most people would call them "lies") about his time at BI, were known or knowable well before the Illinois senator decided to run for president in early 2007 -- even the one that has the folks at Michelle Malkin's Twitchy.com all atwitter, namely that Obama didn't, as he claimed, have a secretary.
A week from tonight (Saturday, March 11) HBO will debut Game Change, which promos
strongly suggest will present a disparaging portrait of Sarah Palin, but Thursday night on the Tonight Show, during a segment with actress Julianne Moore who plays Palin, Jay Leno contended the movie “humanizes” Palin and is not “some kind of slash and burn job.”
“Whether a Republican or a Democrat,” Leno urged, “don’t watch it for the politics. It’s just a human piece. I think it kind of humanizes Sarah Palin. I thought it was really, really good.” He soon added: “I highly recommend it. If you’re an ardent Republican and you think this is some kind of slash and burn job, it’s not. It’s really what a campaign does to a person.”
Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has responded to reports that an NPR producer wrote gleefully about his death in an e-mail message to the now infamous JournoList.
As NewsBusters reported Wednesday, the Daily Caller's Jonathan Strong published some more of the liberal group's e-mail messages which included Sarah Spitz claiming that she would "Laugh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out" as Limbaugh writhed in torment.
With this in mind, both the Washington Examiner's Byron York and myself asked Limbaugh for a response to this nonsense.
If you were in the presence of a man having a heart attack, how would you respond? As he clutched his chest in desperation and pain, would you call 911? Would you try to save him from dying? Of course you would.
But if that man was Rush Limbaugh, and you were Sarah Spitz, a producer for National Public Radio, that isn’t what you’d do at all.
In a post to the list-serv Journolist, an online meeting place for liberal journalists, Spitz wrote that she would “Laugh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out” as Limbaugh writhed in torment.
In boasting that she would gleefully watch a man die in front of her eyes, Spitz seemed to shock even herself. “I never knew I had this much hate in me,” she wrote. “But he deserves it.”
So much for the idea that NPR is an oasis of civil discourse in a desert of vituperation. Spitz is a producer for trendy-hot NPR station KCRW and its nationally distributed talk show Left Right & Center (which could be called Three Leftists and Tony Blankley). But Spitz has also done stories for NPR's evening newscast All Things Considered.
The Washington press corps “have only themselves to blame” for President Obama refusing to answer their questions at White House events, exemplified by how he hasn’t held a press conference in ten months, Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York contended in his Tuesday column, “Fawning press now gets cold shoulder from Obama.” After all, “Obama treats them with contempt because he knows that when big tests come, they've always been on his side. There's no reason for him to think they won't be there in the future.” York recalled:
“Most of you covered me,” he told the media elite at the 2009 White House Correspondents' Association dinner. “All of you voted for me.” That's the attitude coming out of the Oval Office every day. Why does Obama do it? Because he can.
York echoed what Rich Lowry, Editor of the National Review where York used to toil, observed on FNC’s Fox Newswatch over the weekend: Obama has “contempt” for the Washington press corps, so “it's always been an unrequited one-way love affair.”
The president is repeating a blatant falsehood about the Arizona law that has gained instant currency in the establishment press and leftist circles. It has no basis in fact, or in the legislation Grand Canyon State Governor Jan Brewer recently signed.
During the Bush administration, journalists and liberal politicians were up in arms against a Defense Department policy that forbade the photographing of caskets coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. Now that we have a Democrat as a commander in chief, however, the caskets are old news, and are getting little to no coverage.
Critics of the Bush Administration's policy of refusing to allow the photographing of caskets returning from the battlefield claimed that the Pentagon was attempting to hide the true cost of war from the American public to maintain support for the war efforts.
A lawsuit in April 2005 forced the release of hundreds of such photos. University of Delaware professor Ralph Begleiter, who brought the suit against the administration, citing the Freedom of Information Act, said of his victory that it was "an important victory for the American people, for the families of troops killed in the line of duty during wartime and for the honor of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country."
He added that the decision would "make it difficult, if not impossible, for any U.S. government in the future to hide the human cost of war from the American people."
As Byron York notes in today's Washington Examiner,
In April of this year, the Obama administration lifted the press ban, which had been in place since the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Media outlets rushed to cover the first arrival of a fallen U.S. serviceman, and many photographers came back for the second arrival, and then the third.
But after that, the impassioned advocates of showing the true human cost of war grew tired of the story. Fewer and fewer photographers showed up. "It's really fallen off," says Lt. Joe Winter, spokesman for the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Center at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where all war dead are received. "The flurry of interest has subsided."
On Sept. 2, when the casket bearing the body of Marine Lance Cpl. David Hall, of Elyria, Ohio, arrived at Dover, there was just one news outlet -- the Associated Press -- there to record it. The situation was pretty much the same when caskets arrived on Sept. 5, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 22, 23 and 26. There has been no television coverage at all in September.
The journalists that rushed to show the country what two wars really can cost, and the pols that ceaselessly defended them, are silent now the country has an agreeable (liberal) president. That Obama allows the photographing of caskets seems to have taken all of the spice out of it. Coverage at Dover Air Force Base was seemingly more about Bush's policy of forbidding coverage of the return of fallen warriors than it was about the warriors themselves, as so many claimed.
So far this month, 38 American troops have been killed in Afghanistan. For all of 2009, the number is 220 -- more than any other single year and more than died in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 combined.
With casualties mounting, the debate over U.S. policy in Afghanistan is sharp and heated. The number of arrivals at Dover is increasing. But the journalists who once clamored to show the true human cost of war are nowhere to be found.
NewsBusters under-covers media bias in the Butte, Montana media market, so when Best of the Web's James Taranto caught some in the Montana Standard, I decided to jump on it. On Tuesday, the newspaper, part of the Lee chain, announced it would carry Byron York's column each Tuesday and introduced York by explaining how he isn't the typical conservative ogre:
York, a staunch conservative, presents his arguments in a thoughtful, measured fashion, rather than resorting to cheap personal attacks on President Obama and others in the Democratic Party that seem to be the hallmark of the GOP these days, said Standard Editor Gerry O'Brien.
Taranto observed in his September 16 compilation: “We know and like Byron York and applaud the choice. O'Brien's editorializing, however, is odd for two reasons. First, does it not occur to him that he is doing exactly what he faults Republicans for, namely engaging in gratuitous insults? Second, isn't he worried about losing readers, some of whom likely are among the group he is insulting?”
The first words of the [New York] Times' story on Jones' resignation were, “In a victory for Republicans and the Obama administration's conservative critics....” One news anchor suggested Jones was “the Republican right's first scalp.” Other coverage called the Jones affair a victory for Glenn Beck, Fox News, right-wing blogs, and even Sarah Palin, who played no role in the matter. If you throw in Rush Limbaugh, you have all the bogey-people of the conservative world. To some on the left, including some journalists, denying them a victory was a top priority, no matter what Van Jones had said and done.
On the up side: “There was a day, not too long ago, when the Times and other influential news organizations could kill a story -- could deny the bad guys a win -- simply by ignoring it. Sometimes they still try. But it just won't work anymore.”
[W]hat really, you know, strikes me is the celebrity nature of the treatment, the coverage of him as a celebrity versus the policy-maker...So you know, the problem here is he's not being treated as a politician. The press is not being sufficiently adversarial, which is its role, to hold him accountable.
What follows is an embedded video of this entire extremely candid discusion of the press's abdication of journalistic integrity along with a transcript:
Did the NYT bury reporter Peter Baker's story on a memo written by Obama's own national intelligence director, suggesting that harsh interrogation methods had proved effective in understanding Al Qaeda? Washington Examiner journalist Byron York has his suspicions.
From Baker's 850-word online story, "Banned Techniques Yielded 'High Value Information,' Memo Says, " which has rocketed across the Drudge Report and the conservative web since it was posted at nytimes.com Tuesday:
President Obama's national intelligence director told colleagues in a private memo last week that the harsh interrogation techniques banned by the White House did produce significant information that helped the nation in its struggle with terrorists.
"High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa'ida organization that was attacking this country," Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the intelligence director, wrote in a memo to his staff last Thursday.
Baker caught an intriguing bit of redaction by the Obama administration:
As my colleague Tim Graham reported earlier, President Barack Obama, according to the New York Post, told Congressional Republicans on Friday to stop listening to conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
National Review's Byron York got in touch with Limbaugh Saturday, and published his response to the President at NRO's Corner blog:
Bozell acknowledges network taking responsibility for misleading viewers to believe conservatives at odds with Gov. Palin
Spreading the Word
As we reported on Tuesday, CNN's Drew Griffin completely mischaracterized the nature of a "quote" from National Review's Byron York during his interview with Alaskan Republican Governor and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
CNN has responded to the Media Research Center's call for CNN to retract the accusation that wrongly accused National Review's Byron York of calling Gov. Sarah Palin "incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt or all of the above," and have taken full responsibility for the mischaracterization.
Yesterday, the cable network addressed the mistake on both Newsroom and The Situation Room, explaining the circumstances of the badly-worded representation of the statement and clarifying reporter Drew Griffin's intention, which was not to deceive his audience that a well-respected conservative publication was putting itself at odds with Gov. Palin.
CNN investigative correspondent Drew Griffin appeared on Thursday’s Newsroom and Situation Room programs to explain how "in no way did I intend to misquote" from a recent article by National Review’s Byron York: "This exchange aired just once in the 6 pm hour, and as soon as the National Review brought it to our attention at 7:05, we immediately realized the context could be misconstrued. We cut that portion of the interview. It never aired again." Griffin also mentioned how he had "since called Byron York and his editor Rich Lowry, explained what happened, and told them both that I regret any harm this may have brought."
In an interview excerpt aired on Tuesday's Situation Room (NB post with video), Griffin had told Sarah Palin: “The National Review had a story saying that, you know, 'I can't tell if Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, or all of the above.'” In fact, York was mocking media coverage of Palin: “Watching press coverage of the Republican candidate for Vice President, it's sometimes hard to decide whether Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, backward or -- well, all of the above."
Griffin first appeared seven minutes into the 2 pm Eastern hour of Newsroom. Anchor Kyra Phillips asked the correspondent about the criticism he had received over the misquotation. He played a clip of the question, and explained the impression he had of the interview overall. He then played the initial exchange he had with Governor Palin over the "botched" quote, and most of her answer.
As NewsBusters reported, CNN, in a recent interview with Sarah Palin, misquoted "The National Review’s" Byron York. In response, York appeared on the October 22 edition of "The O’Reilly Factor." Host Bill O’Reilly began the interview in charging CNN told him (or his staff) that they will not issue a correction to their misleading question. In addressing Governor Palin's question over which "National Review" correspondent wrote such a scathing attack on her, Mr. York replied "the answer is nobody wrote that."
"The National Review" correspondent also added that "perhaps this CNN thing was a mistake, but it fits in a much larger pattern of that behavior," alluding to the media’s overwhelmingly pro-Obama bias. York exemplified such a corrupt pattern in quoting "The New York Times" editor Bill Keller claiming he puts the most anti-McCain article on the front page whenever the senator complains about bias. Bill O’Reilly concluded the segment opining "I think ideology has now over ridden any kind of journalistic ethics at all."
Spreading the WordOn yesterday's Situation Room, CNN's Drew Griffin completely mischaracterized the nature of a "quote" from National Review's Byron York during his interview with Alaskan Republican Governor and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
Griffin said to Gov. Palin: "Governor, you've been mocked in the press, the press has been pretty hard on you, the Democrats have been pretty hard on you, but also some conservatives have been pretty hard on you as well. The National Review had a story saying that, you know, ‘I can't tell if Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt or all of the above.'"
This is a complete distortion, a falsehood. The full quote from the National Review's Byron York shows he was in fact dressing down the media, NOT Gov. Palin. "Watching press coverage of the Republican candidate for vice president, it's sometimes hard to decide whether Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, backward, or - or, well, all of the above."
MRC President and Newsbusters.org Publisher L. Brent Bozell, III issued the following statement in response:
During an interview with Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Tuesday’s Situation Room, CNN’s Drew Griffin ripped a phrase out of a recent article by National Review’s Byron York which criticized the media’s coverage of Palin and characterized it as an attack on the Alaska governor. Griffin pointed out how "[t]he press has been pretty hard on you. The Democrats have been pretty hard on you, but also some conservatives have been pretty hard on you as well. The National Review had a story saying that, you know, ‘I can't tell if Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, or all of the above.’" In the original article, which was originally only in the print version of National Review, York used the "incompetent" phrase to attack the media: "Watching press coverage of the Republican candidate for vice president, it's sometimes hard to decide whether Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, backward or - well, all of the above."
CBS political correspondent Jeff Greenfield, who after last week's second presidential debate lashed out at John McCain for referring to Barack Obama as “that one” (“Was it demeaning? Was it an insult?”), just over two hours before the third and final debate suggested McCain should not bring up Williams Ayers or Jeremiah Wright -- and he used far-left/conservative-hating New York Times columnist Frank Rich, who he at least tagged a “liberal,” as one of his experts. Citing Ayers and Sarah Palin's attack on Obama for “palling around” with him, Greenfield asked: “Is all this fair game? Yes, says a conservative writer.” That would be National Review's Byron York, but Greenfield countered him with two others, asserting: “It's dangerous, argues a liberal columnist.” Frank Rich presumed Greenfield (who could be seen talking to Rich) shares his views (“You or I may not agree with it”) as he scolded McCain:
If he wants to say your association with Jeremiah Wright or with William Ayers because they're too left wing or anti-American, whatever. That's all fine. You or I may not agree with it, but it's different from calling someone an -- being involved with active terrorists, palling around with terrorists. That's the line.
Greenfield followed with how “a one-time Ronald Reagan speechwriter says the tone strikes a discordant note.” That would be Peggy Noonan.
As NewsBusters reported Sunday, the mainstream media in general have shied away from truly examining the racist campaign strategy recently being employed by the Clintons in their effort to defeat Barack Obama for the Democrat presidential nomination.
One huge exception is NBC's "Meet the Press," which on Sunday, with the assistance of guests Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, Chuck Todd of NBC News, and Byron York of the National Review, went a long way towards possibly ending this disgraceful race baiting by a man that used to fashion himself as being the first black president.
Regardless of what folks might think of the political leanings of Russert and Dowd in particular, all present and associated with this segment are to be enthusiastically applauded and thanked for going where few media outlets dare (partial transcript follows, video available here, relevant section begins at minute 27:25):
Byron York over at the National Review's Corner blog is reporting that the Senate has just voted 72 - 25 condemning MoveOn's "General Betray Us" advertisement published by the New York Times last Monday (h/t's to Charles Johnson and Glenn Reynolds).
This raises an interesting question: How will media report this vote?
After all, as York reported, every Republican Senator voted "Yea," while key Democrat leaders - including presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Majority Leader Harry Reid - voted "Nay."