Howard Kurtz on Sunday actually asked if right-wing pundits are hoping for another successful terrorist attack against our nation in order to harm President Obama politically?
Potentially even worse, this disgraceful question was posed to a far-left leaning blogger who certainly was going to say "Yes."
Discussing the media's coverage of the Times Square car bomb attempt with his guests on CNN's "Reliable Sources," Kurtz asked if conservative commentators risk "looking a little churlish if they complain about a bomb that didn't go off?"
What ensued will likely make a lot of those commentators as well as NewsBusters readers quite upset (video follows with transcript and commentary):
You have the makings of a New York Times hit piece on conservatism. In the April 27 issue of the Times, a story in its Style section of all places by Patricia Cohen, singled out and accused a number of conservatives of "closed-mindedness" or as the article claimed "epistemic closure."
"It is hard to believe that a phrase as dry as ‘epistemic closure' could get anyone excited, but the term has sparked a heated argument among conservatives in recent weeks about their movement's intellectual health," Cohen wrote. "The phrase is being used as shorthand by some prominent conservatives for a kind of closed-mindedness in the movement, a development they see as debasing modern conservatism's proud intellectual history."
Is it possible to be so wrapped up in a media culture that one could minimize a sacred religious holiday in a shoddy attempt to write a clever headline? Mediaite's Tommy Christopher and his editors seemed to have pulled this feat off.
Christopher, who has had a much-publicized run-in with Andrew Breitbart, has a new hero, former American Enterprise Institute scholar David Frum. Christopher elevated Frum to messianic status in a Good Friday April 2 post headlined "Did David Frum ‘Die' For GOP's Sins?" specifically praising the former AEI scholar for his appearance on Comedy Central's April 1 "The Colbert Report."
In doing so, Klein [pictured in file photo at right] contrasted Frum with "extreme" conservatives who were "pretty close to Jonestown" by "drinking their own kool-aid." Not only is the former Bush speechwriter a friend whose thinking he respects "even when we disagree," Klein argued that Frum is the Right's Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a genteel intellectual who bucked his party on some tenets of its orthodoxy but ultimately was vindicated by history:
I have some experience with a party intent on committing suicide. The Democrats were profoundly self-destructive when it came to race and crime in the 1970s and 1980s. They nearly excommunicated Daniel Patrick Moynihan--one of my mentors--because he told the truth about the impact of out-of-wedlock births on the black family. Over time, Moynihan's thesis was proved by sociology--and supported by prominent AFrican-American [sic] progressive scholars like William Julius Wilson--but he was never really welcomed back into the fold. And he didn't really care. Because he knew he was right.
In Tuesday's front-page "political memo" in the New York Times, "For G.O.P., United Stand Has Drawbacks, Too," chief political reporter Adam Nagourney, like much of the mainstream media, used Republican critic David Frum to represent the responsible "conservative" wing of the party to bash lack of Republican support for Obama-style health care reform. Frum has blamed talk radio and Fox News for Republican defeat on ABC News and other outlets, as noted by MRC's Brent Baker.
Nagourney's front-page editorializing began in the very first paragraph, accusing the G.O.P. of misleading the public about the health plan (as if anyone currently truly knows what the bill will do):
Passage of the health care legislation challenges the heart of the Republicans' strategy this year: To present a unified opposition to big Democratic ideas, in this case expressed in a stream of bristling anger and occasional mischaracterizations of what the bill would do.
After admitting that Republicans feel optimistic about their electoral chances in November, Nagourney quoted at length the media's newest favorite Republican, David Frum, a Republican writer who has devoted much of his time lately to railing against Fox News and talk radio conservatives.
And in a week when Democrats are celebrating the passage of a historic piece of legislation,Republicans find themselves again being portrayed as the party of no, associated with being on the losing side of an often acrid debate and failing to offer a persuasive alternative agenda.
Looking at the state of both parties after President Obama’s health bill win in the House, ABC’s Terry Moran elevated the view of “prominent conservative” David Frum, author a year ago of Newsweek’s “Why Rush is Wrong” cover story, who blamed Rush Limbaugh and Fox News for what he’s dubbed the GOP’s “Waterloo.” On Nightline, Moran contended “anger, stoking it, expressing it, riding it...was the Republican strategy to defeat health care. And over the weekend all that anger got ugly, as some Democratic Members of Congress were called vile, racial and anti-gay slurs.”
But, he warned, “in the wake of the Democrats’ victory, some Republicans are not sure all that anger makes good politics,” as if Limbaugh and other conservative leaders advocated yelling the “slurs.” Moran relayed how “Frum says the real leadership of the Republican Party during the course of the health care battle was not to be found in the halls of Congress, but on the air waves” since “it was talk radio and Fox News, Frum argues, that drove the GOP strategy.” Moran paraphrased Frum’s take:
It sounds like you're saying that the Glenn Becks, Rush Limbaughs, hijacked the Republican Party and drove it to a defeat?
It wasn't enough (as Brent Baker noted) for Time magazine to run down Sarah Palin's "anti-intellectual drivel" and twitterpate for the umpteenth time over Obama's "gloriously American mongrel ethnicity." They had to run down the tea-party movement by highlighting the media's favorite Republican strategist -- David Frum. Placed at the top of their "Must Reads" section at Time.com, Frum rounded out their trashing of the Tea Party convention by getting in the first Time digs at CPAC:
Ann Coulter made news at the 2007 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) by calling John Edwards a vulgar term for a homosexual. At CPAC 2009, Rush Limbaugh urged conservatives to "stamp out" those in their movement who thought the era of Ronald Reagan had ended.
Bottom scraped? Not quite. Next week, Glenn Beck will headline the 2010 CPAC.
Would it surprise Time editors that Frum is misquoting Limbaugh? He didn't say "stamp out" the moderates. He said "stamp out" the tendency to throw the Reagan voters overboard:
This isn't something you see every day: a member of the media scolding colleagues for criticizing conservative talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin.
Yet, that's exactly what Howard Kurtz did on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday as he took on all the recent carping and whining about the message being relayed over the airwaves by the Right's strongest voices.
Kurtz even went after the so-called conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks (video embedded below the fold, relevant section at 36:50):
As Americans flood to town hall meetings and Tea Parties to express their opposition to ObamaCare, media members find it somewhat hypocritical that these same people might have looked upon anti-Bush protests with contempt.
This seeming contradiction was addressed on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday when host Howard Kurtz asked his guests, "[H]asn't Fox, in fact, flipped -- some Fox hosts, I should say -- from slamming liberal protesters to defending these anti-Obama protesters?"
This question arose when Kurtz brought up last week's exchange between Fox News's Bill O'Reilly and Comedy Central's Jon Stewart (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 8:45):
Appearing on Monday’s CBS Early Show, former Bush speech writer David Frum remarked on Sarah Palin’s political future following her resignation as governor of Alaska: "She's a divisive force within the Republican Party...And many fear, as I do...that she represents a future that leads the party both to political defeat and then to ineffectiveness in government."
Co-host Harry Smith moderated a debate over Palin’s role in the party between Frum and author Ann Coulter. Even Smith acknowledged the now former Governor’s star power: "This woman is a rock star, there’s no denying it...I don't think it matters that she quit." Coulter agreed: "And she's just an amazing speaker. I mean, I think she may do something like the Ronald Reagan GE tours, where she goes around and speaks because she is heavily desired by various Republican, conservative groups, politicians. She has amazing star power and it will be interesting to see."
Coulter went on to criticize a media double standard when it comes to politicians leaving public life: "I mean, the reason the mainstream media, by and large, didn't cover the [former Senator John] Edwards affair was the argument, ‘well, he's a private citizen now. He’s an ex-presidential candidate, but just a private citizen.’ If the media will leave her [Sarah Palin] alone. And I don't think so."
She's been popping up in a lot of places lately to chime in on the economy.
This time Huffington Post editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington appeared on ABC's April 5 "This Week," where she voiced her disapproval of the March 30 decision by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) relaxing mark-to-market accounting rules.
"This week, we saw so many concessions to the banks," Huffington said. "We saw the suspension of mark-to-market, which is absolutely tragic. Japan, by not having mark-to-market, made it much harder for them to recover."
But as Brian Wesbury and Robert Stein of First Trust Portfolios recently wrote for Forbes magazine, mark-to-market accounting reinstitution was reinstated only in recent years. The last time it was in effect - during the Great Depression - it caused many bank failures.
Perhaps David Frum is jealous of all the media adoration Kathleen Parker now receives. Knowing he would be challenged on other media outlets, as he was previously on Mark Levin’s radio show, Frum appeared with MSNBC's Chris Matthews tonight. He talked about his recent column in Newsweek titled on the magazine's cover as "A Conservative's Case Against Rush Limbaugh."
Appearing on Hardball to plug his anti-Limbaugh Newsweek article denotes that Frum knew he would be addressing not only the Obama White House but also the mainly liberal fans of MSNBC.
If Frum was truly interested in endearing his article to a right of center audience, obviously, he would have been all over Fox News before he went to MSNBC. Just the fact that Frum wrote his piece in Newsweek and not a conservative publication will make conservatives wonder if Frum will do a political 180 a la Arianna Huffington.
Matthews jumped on the opportunity to prod Frum to say (or at least imply) that Limbaugh is a racist. (My emphasis added throughout) :
The media attack on Rush Limbaugh will take an interesting turn Monday when the March 16 issue of Newsweek hits newstands around the country for the cover story is an astoundingly negative article about the conservative talk radio host written by former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum.
With "Why Rush is Wrong" getting published at Newsweek's website Saturday evening, it is also sure to be fodder for discussion on all of the Sunday political talk shows, as well as Monday's morning programs thereby guaranteeing the article's contents maximum exposure.
To give you an idea of just how much the liberal media are going to devour Frum's words as if the finest champagne and caviar, here's a taste:
On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Julie Chen asked former Bush speech writer David Frum about recent attacks on Sarah Palin by McCain campaign staffers: "What do you make of Sarah Palin's response to those anonymous attacks?" Frum strongly defened her: "I think she's entirely within her rights on this one. You know, I was a critic of her nomination, but everybody is entitled to some basic fairness and the stories that have been released about her most recently are not only incredible on their face..." Frum was indeed a critic of Palin, calling her nomination a "huge mistake" during an October 13 Early Show appearance.
This time, Frum dismissed Palin’s opponents: "And you often get people seeking advantage by denigrating those above them. And then there's just the sheer human joy in mischief... there's sometimes just a human joy in cruelty." He also criticized the media coverage of the rumors: "And they are also, I think, a real problem in our rules in media. I mean, it should be a rule that if somebody is anonymous they shouldn't be allowed to criticize somebody else by name, because then we can't evaluate them, who they are, their motives, whether they're telling the truth."
The Democrat Party's decisive move to the left in recent years has created a "fierce new anger among many liberal[s]" similar to what is present in "the left-wing blogosphere and MSNBC's evening line-up."
Sadly, this angry, militant, intolerant style, depending upon what happens on November 4, could be "the culture of important political institutions in Washington."
So wrote former Bush speechwriter David Frum in a Washington Post article to be published Sunday (emphasis added, h/t Hot Air, photo courtesy Film Reference):
National Review's David Frum on Monday accused MSNBC's Rachel Maddow of intensifying the ugly tone that exists in politics today.
Appearing on "The Rachel Maddow Show," the former Bush speechwriter, after watching the first part of the program from the Green Room "in horror," was apparently "unprepared for the sarcasm and anger" that is the show's -- and the network's! -- trademark.
As a result, when he "was asked about how awful and hateful the John McCain campaign was" instead of his recent trip to Afghanistan as planned, Frum, feeling "a little grouchy," marvelously replied (video embedded right, h/t Hot Air):
On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith discussed the presidential campaign with former Bush speech writer David Frum and declared: "There is growing concern among some Republicans about McCain's campaign. They're calling on him to stabilize it." Later in the segment, Smith asked Frum point blank: "Was Sarah Palin a mistake?"Frum replied: "I think Sarah Palin was a huge mistake...Americans can be pretty jokey about their government when times are good, but when times are bad, they want to know do -- can you do the job? And when you have a candidate who so obviously has never thought about any of the issues that are going to be important to the next administration and whose knowledge is so shallow, it makes people -- it doesn't just make people offended, it makes them afraid."
Just prior to asking Frum about Palin, Smith asked: "We're talking about the Gallup numbers, the Post has Obama up by ten points. Three weeks to go. Is it too late for John McCain to make substantial changes and literally save his campaign?" Part of Frum’s response to that question included: "The McCain campaign right now is running a campaign aimed at getting excited the last -- the core 30% of the country that supports the Republican Party, our base, but you don't win elections on your base. You win elections, but with a broad strategy. And above all, when you run an election like this aimed at your base you risk demoralizing and offending a lot of people who are needed by a Norm Coleman or an Elizabeth Dole."
Update: Frum's appearance on the Early Show prompted a discussion between Kathryn Jean Lopez and Mark Levin on National Review Online.
For months, CNN's Howard Kurtz has been one of the loudest mainstream media voices accusing his fellow press members of being disgracefully in the tank for presumptive Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama.
On Sunday, Kurtz continued his finger-pointing by accurately stating, as it pertains to the focus on the junior senator's trip to the Middle East, "the media in general, not just the networks, are -- seem to me to be covering Obama as if he were already president."
In fact, this was basically the theme for the first segment of Sunday's "Reliable Sources" on CNN:
A truly extraordinary event occurred on CNN Sunday: Howard Kurtz actually supported President Bush sitting down with milbloggers to discuss what's going on in Iraq.
I kid you not.
When this issue was raised on the most recent installment of "Reliable Sources" - that Bush had a meeting Friday attended by ten military bloggers - it seemed almost a metaphysical certitude the President would be lambasted for catering to the extreme right.