The Obama ascendency, the president's acolytes have been keen on telling us, is the dawn of a new post-partisan era. But a development that undercuts that fiction -- the Obama Justice Department's recent move to scuttle non-partisan local elections in Kinston, North Carolina, on the basis of racial and partisan considerations -- has escaped the interest of the mainstream media.
Both the Washington Times (in a Tuesday front-pager) and NewsBusters sister site CNSNews.com have reported the story, but a Nexis search today yielded no stories from print outlets such as the Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today, or Los Angeles Times. Broadcast news programs on ABC, CBS, and NBC have also failed to touch the story. Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends" briefly discussed the story shortly before 7:00 a.m. EDT on the October 21 edition with Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund.
A search for news stories about the controversy on Google News this morning yielded only 14 hits, most of them from conservative organizations or blogs.
Below is an excerpt from CNSNews.com reporter Adam Brickley's October 21 story:
On Tuesday’s Situation Room, CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux questioned RNC Chairman Michael Steele about the debate over ObamaCare, and alleged that protesters “from your own party...have talked about and compared President Obama to Hitler” at the health care town halls. The anchor also bizarrely asked Steele if he gave Attorney General Holder “credit...for breaking away from President Obama.”
Midway through her interview with the GOP leader, Malveaux made the left-wing allegation that Republican activists were using Nazi imagery against the President at the town halls: “How honest do you think the debate has been- the discussion? In light of some of the town hall meetings, some of the rhetoric that we’ve seen from both sides, but specifically those who are from your own party who have talked about and compared President Obama to- to Hitler.”
CNN has raised the issue of the Nazi comparisons at the health care town halls in the past weeks, all the while making three significant omissions. First, they neglected to mention that early in August, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the anti-ObamaCare protesters of “carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town hall meeting on health care,” which led to Rush Limbaugh pointing out the similarities between the DNC health care logo and a Nazi symbol. They have also failed to mention that supporters of leftist Lyndon LaRouche bore posters of President Obama defaced with a Hitler mustache.
Liberals in the mainstream media may publicly pretend that the appointment of a prosecutor to investigate so-called torture in the CIA is non-political but to the members of the Daily Kos it is all about politics.
The politics of revenge.
On the heels of the Eric Holder Justice Department dropping a voter intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party for threatening voters with billy clubs in Philadelphia, it was announced yesterday that Holder will appoint a prosecutor to investigate the CIA over the loud protests of that agency's director, Leon Panetta.
Despite the public pretenses of many liberals that the investigation has nothing to do with politics, the crazed bloodlust comments at the Daily Kos shows it has everything to do with politics...and revenge:
In the L.A. Times on July 22, writer Catherine Lyons again revealed a bit of her Bush Derangement Syndrome by calling the war on terror a “so-called war on terror.” What is with these people that simply cannot accept terms of reality? It’s like this every time they use the word terrorism, or “terrorism” as the Old Media so often terms it, and the war on terror. The Old Media simply refuses to understand that terrorism exists, that it is a problem, and that we are at war with terrorists.
This usage of the “so-called” remark was doubly amusing because Lyons threw in her “so-called war on terror” comment into a story about U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s visit to a closed meeting of Muslims held in Los Angeles on July 18. Her scoffing at the war on terror seemed geared to let Muslim readers in on the fact that she didn’t believe there was terrorism or that Bush was really fighting a war on terror… wink, wink.
Newsweek falls back on conventional liberal narratives in a gooey profile of attorney general Eric Holder titled "Independent’s Day." The magazine is delighted that Holder wants to investigate and prosecute Bush officials for harsh interrogations. Holder is trying to strike a balance on the independence meter between so-close-it’s-crooked (Alberto Gonzales) and almost irrelevant (Janet Reno):
Alone among cabinet officers, attorneys general are partisan appointees expected to rise above partisanship. All struggle to find a happy medium between loyalty and independence. Few succeed. At one extreme looms Alberto Gonzales, who allowed the Justice Department to be run like Tammany Hall. At the other is Janet Reno, whose righteousness and folksy eccentricities marginalized her within the Clinton administration. Lean too far one way and you corrupt the office, too far the other way and you render yourself impotent. Mindful of history, Holder is trying to get the balance right.
Newsweek didn’t offer harsh judgment on Janet Reno when she started. One caption called her "Integrity Jane." Their Holder profile concentrated on the less-than-harsh judgment of Holder’s buddies:
On Friday’s The O’Reilly Factor on FNC, host Bill O’Reilly interviewed liberal civil rights attorney Bartle Bull about the Justice Department’s recent decision to drop charges against Black Panther members who engaged in voter intimidation in Philadelphia polling place last November. Bull – who worked for both Robert F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter – was an eyewitness to some of the intimidation, and charged that Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision not to pursue the case was "100 percent politically motivated."
Below is a complete transcript of the interview from the Friday, May 29, The O'Reilly Factor on FNC:
There has been very little attention paid in the MSM to a meeting on Wednesday between President Obama and various leftwing "human rights" groups except for a brief mention at the CBS News Political Hotsheet. However, according to a detailed report provided by Newsweek's Michael Isikoff on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show, Obama has revealed that there won't be any prosecutions of Bush administration for so-called torture. Perhaps this was the reason for so little MSM coverage on this meeting. They don't want to disappoint their audience, many of whom are still holding out hope for such prosecutions. However, the leftwing sites on the web are very vocal in their disappointment with Obama's decision including Talking Points Memo:
Yesterday morning President Obama met with representatives of several human rights and civil liberties groups in the White House's cabinet room. Joining him were his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, senior adviser David Axelrod, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder. They sat down with representatives of the ACLU, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Human Rights Watch, among others.
Last night on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow reported that one of the attendees warned the President he was letting George Bush's policies become his own--and that Obama was not pleased by that characterization.
...On at least one issue, though, Obama seems to have made up his mind. Isikoff reports that Obama announced his opposition to torture prosecutions--an unsurprising admission, perhaps, but one that must have disappointed many in attendance. Previously he had said that the question of investigation and prosecuting Bush administration officials was one for Holder to answer. But with Holder sitting right beside him, there's no doubt he's feeling pressure to, as they say, look forward, not backward.
Now that Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. has been named the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, some on the far-left are gunning for Alabama's junior senator. The battle is happening as President Barack Obama is on the verge of naming an appointee to the Supreme Court to fill void of Justice David Souter.Some of the left-wing points that suggest Sessions has racist tendencies were incorporated into a May 6 Politico story by John Bresnahan and Manu Raju.
"By elevating Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions to their top spot on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republicans have selected their chief inquisitor for President Barack Obama's first Supreme Court nominee: a Southern, white conservative man who has drawn fire for racially insensitive comments in the past," Bresnahan and Manu Raju wrote. "Democrats like how this is looking."
The story sets up Sessions to be on the defensive about race by spinning the senator's own history. According to the Politico story, Sessions had been accused of unfairly targeting black civil rights workers for election fraud charges as a federal prosecutor during a 1986 Senate hearing for a spot on the federal bench.
For almost a week, Americans have been told by liberal bloggers, Keith Olbermann, Rick Sanchez, and David Shuster that conservative talkers are lying about the Obama administration's plans to enact stricter gun laws, and that this is what caused Richard Poplawski to kill three police officers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, last Saturday.
You know who's been telling the American people Obama wants to take away guns? Members of his own administration, that's who.
Such was reported Wednesday evening by CNN's Bill Schneider in a piece addressing a new poll that found only 39 percent of Americans support stricter gun laws compared to 46 percent who want no change to current legislation (video and transcript below the fold, h/t Glenn Reynolds):
In her "Evening News" interview with Attorney General Eric Holder last night, Couric pushed Holder several times to commit to heightened restrictions on access to firearms. This comes in light of her recent biased blog post on Couric and Co., which NewsBusters noted yesterday.
First, Couric pressed Holder on reinstating the assault weapons ban, noting that he expressed support for that during his confirmation hearings. Holder dodged the question like a champ:
Of the three network evening newscasts, ABC's World News, substitute hosted by Diane Sawyer, uniquely seemed to lament the lack of political interest in enacting new gun laws to combat what correspondent Dan Harris earlier called "a signature American disaster, a shooting rampage," referring to the shooting spree in Binghamton, New York.
Sawyer introduced a discussion with correspondent Pierre Thomas by reading a statement from the Brady Campaign complaining about the government's lack of interest in more gun control compared to "salmonella poisoning in peanut butter crackers," and then the two fretted over the large number of guns in circulation in America and the unlikely prospects of more gun laws being passed by Congress. Sawyer: "We keep hearing there is a gun for every man, woman and child in this country, and now they have gone up by that much more. But what about Congress? Is there any move in Congress to try to take some kind of action?"
Thomas responded: "Well, one of the reasons why you heard that frustration from the Brady group today is that there's not a lot of sense of urgency on gun control." After mentioning Attorney General Eric Holder's recent expression of interest in a new assault weapon ban, Thomas continued: "But since that time, no real urgency from the White House or from Congress to take any meaningful gun control legislation to fruition."
On Friday’s Special Report with Bret Baier, FNC correspondent Shannon Bream informed viewers of a letter written to Attorney General Eric Holder from 65 House Democrats who oppose the Attorney General’s recently expressed wish to "reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons" to try to reduce violence by Mexican drug cartels. Bream further relayed the recommendations of Democratic Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester, both from Montana, that the Obama administration should focus on enforcing current gun laws.
Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Friday, March 27, Special Report with Bret Baier on FNC:
Is foreign drug violence a reason to reinstate the ban on assault weapons in America? U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder thinks so. And judging by its relentless and one-sided coverage in the last month, CNN agrees.
Let's connect some dots: Remember that whole Obama "clinging to religion and guns" flap? Now, remember White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel saying never let a crisis go to waste? Good. Finally, remember how the media carried ... sorry, is carrying water for Obama?
It looks like Holder has internalized Emanuel's philosophy, and is looking at the bloody drug wars raging along Mexico's northern border as the crisis he needs to ratchet up gun control.
Last month, during a press conference in which he announced that more than 50 members of Sinaloa Cartel, a Mexican drug cartel, were captured, Holder revealed his intentions. "Well, as President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons. I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum," he said.
"That's your attorney general talking about selling out the second amendment and your rights for the benefit of the benefit of Mexico," Lou Dobbs said on his Feb. 25 program. But Dobbs must be a lonely man at CNN. The rest of the network took Holder's statement as its cue, began hammering the point that American weapons are being used in Mexico's increasingly violent drug wars.
A Nexis search revealed that out of 57 reports on the Mexican drug violence that have aired since February 16, half (29) of them have mentioned at least once that Mexican drug cartels are using American weapons.
We’ve endured two years of endless journalistic jawboning about Barack Obama, the great racial healer who would bind us together, the man who would get everyone singing on a sun-soaked hilltop with a bottle of Coke and a smile. So now that he’s in, what have he got? We have Obama’s attorney general Eric Holder telling us how Americans remain "voluntarily socially segregated," and that while we have the foolish pride to think of the United States as an ethnic melting pot, we have always been and continue to be a "nation of cowards."
Whether you support him politically or not, Obama’s election could not help but cause Americans to grow more positive about the state of American race relations. ABC News polls showed the number of Americans saying racism is a "big problem" dropped by more than half, from 54 percent in 1996 to 26 percent now. It was down sharply among blacks and whites alike. Not only that, 58 percent guessed Obama’s presidency would improve race relations. How does the Obama administration react? We are a "nation of cowards."
Anchor Campbell Brown’s show on CNN is subtitled “No Bias, No Bull,” but the show displayed plenty of bias during a Wednesday night segment about Attorney General Eric Holder calling America “a nation of cowards” on race issues. Brown praised Holder for “cutting through the bull,” and a panel discussion was utterly unanimous: Gloria Borger, Soledad O’Brien, and Roland Martin all toed the liberal line and praised Holder for lambasting the nation. Martin wholeheartedly agreed with Holder’s characterization. Borger defended the first black attorney general, stating that he was “trying to be provocative on purpose,” while O’Brien thought the Obama appointee was trying to start a “honest conversation” on race.
As for ‘cutting through bull,’ Brown should have corrected O’Brien when she repeated the old radical line that somehow Black History Month is the shortest month on the calendar due to some racial slight, which completely mangles the facts. It began as “Negro History Week” and was founded by African-American historian Carter Woodson in mid-February to honor Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, whose birthdays are on the 12th and the 14th respectively.
Reportedly few Republicans see reason to ultimately vote against confirming Obama's attorney general designee and the GOP Senate minority has only put a one-week delay on his confirmation hearings, but the Washington Post was insistent in its January 22 headline that that Republican senators were set on "Obstruct[ing] Eric Holder's "Path to [the] Justice Dept."
This is markedly different from the Post's take in 2001 when Democratic senators objected to whom the Post called the "highly contentious" John Ashcroft. The January 16, 2001 edition of the Post described the Ashcroft hearings as the "first test of Bush's strength on [Capitol] Hill." (excerpt via Nexis, emphasis mine):
Supporters and opponents of John D. Ashcroft mobilized constituencies and honed strategies yesterday in last-minute preparations for the opening today of confirmation hearings over his highly contentious nomination as attorney general.
Last Thursday, Barack Obama's nominee for Attorney General, Eric Holder, admitted during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing that he supported renewing the part of the Patriot Act that allows for the FBI to seek records from businesses, libraries and bookstores as the policing agency investigates suspects in this country. For years we've seen news agencies and opinionists rail against the expanded power of the FBI to search such records. But, now with Obama's AG announcing in his confirmation hearing that he agrees that the FBI should have this power, all anti-Bush administration voices are silent on the matter that had them so exercised for 6 years.
Since 2002 the debate has raged about the efficacy and Constitutionality of the Patriot Act with the power of the FBI to search bookstore and library records coming in for special condemnation. Even as the Supreme Court of the United States has upheld the law, right to privacy groups, the media and anti-Bushies have pointed to this particular policy and cried Orwell or worse.
When the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Eric Holder, the media ignored his personal ideological activism. NewBusters Tim Graham recently wrote about how differently the media treated John Ashcroft’s confirmation as opposed to Holder's.
Silence and the media are going hand in hand with the Holder confirmation. The mainstream media is not going after Holder in regards to his involvement with the Marc Rich and FALN pardons, for example.
The mainstream media also claimed that Ashcroft would put ideology over his duties at the Department of Justice. Here are some clips from columnists at a PBS Online Newshour segment during Ashcroft’s 2001 confirmation hearing(emphasis mine throughout:)
Time magazine hasn’t devoted a single article to Attorney General nominee Eric Holder yet. (He’s drawn one short mention since being nominated.) This is a big change from eight years ago, when Time had a blazing cover story on George Bush nominee John Ashcroft. With a close-up of Ashcroft’s half-darkened face peering out with a one-eyed Cheneyesque glare, Time asked SHOULD THIS MAN BE ATTORNEY GENERAL?
So you fought a long and painful battle to become President of the U.S., and it will soon, at last, be Inauguration Day. The Bible your dad used is back for the swearing in, 16,000 yellow roses, 500 lbs. of peach cobbler, tons of fireworks and Ricky Martin are all being readied for the gala celebrations, and you have only yourself to blame if all people remember from this historic week is the historically ugly struggle you ignited in the halls of the U.S. Senate.
From the home page and the Most Popular list at NPR.org: National Public Radio took up the cause of social-realist art in government buildings on Monday's Morning Edition, and its ameliorative effects at the Justice Department. "This building is a sermon, a hymn to justice, a tour guide is quoted as saying. NPR Justice Department correspondent Ari Shapiro introduces the art as hymn: "That hymn includes verses that are progressive, controversial and even radical."
The main subject of praise is a mural from the 1930s depicting a lynching attempt thwarted by a courageous judge. Opposing lynching is hardly controversial today. But oddly, Shapiro finds a liberal expert who says this exposes "us" in modern America, even if our youngest voters were born in 1990:
"This is art really doing its work," says [Roger] Kennedy. "And it tells us what our country is really like. It's inescapably us: not somebody else, not the founders, not the 19th century. Because what illuminates the scene are two things: the flame of hate in the back, and the car headlights in the front."
Admission: Lawrence O'Donnell is emerging as one of my favorite media liberals. On the one hand, almost exactly one year ago, his anti-Mormon rant spurred me to action. But lately, watching him as a frequent MSNBC guest, I've been impressed by his acumen and willingness to call them as he sees them.
Take O'Donnell's intervention on tonight's "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," where he made the salient point that the scandal of the Marc Rich pardon is, ironically, being held against AG nominee Eric Holder . . . while Hillary Clinton skates.
President-Elect Obama’s choice for Attorney General, Eric Holder, had a 2002 interview with CNN’s Paula Zahn, (partial transcripts and stories have appeared on several sites recently including: National Review, Salon, Israpundit, and Democrats.com) where he cited a stance on terrorist detainees and their rights which was very different from not only Vice President-elect Joe Biden but also Obama himself(my emphasis throughout:)
Naked Emperor News has unearthed a 2007 KJFK radio interview Barack Obama gave to host Christiane Brown. He promised that one of his first acts as president would be to call on his new Attorney General to investigate the Bush administration(emphasis is mine:)
BROWN: And when you are... if you were to be elected president of the United States, Senator Obama, do you feel that we need to look back if the investigations have been done on this administration find out what happened, because there’s a fear there’s a dangerous precedent being set... the CIA interrogation tapes missing, warrant-less wire tapping, all of these are violations of the Constitution, and people can be forgiven for thinking that it seems like we only enforce the Constitution when its politically expedient.
OBAMA: Well one of things that I’ve said, and I’ve said this repeatedly publicly, since I taught constitutional law for ten years is that...one of my first acts as president is going to be call in my new attorney general to review every single executive order that’s been issued... to overturn those that are undermining the Constitution, undermining our civil liberties, that are promoting this cockamamie theory of Unitary government, that says that somehow the executive branch does not need to obey the Constitution…uhh
In April 1999, the Columbine High School massacre happened. The shooters, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, reportedly learned how to construct sophisticated bombs through their internet activity. This discovery caused then Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder to say the following(audio uploaded at Eyeblast.tv:)
The court has really struck down every government effort to try to regulate it. We tried with regard to pornography. It is gonna be a difficult thing, but it seems to me that if we can come up with reasonable restrictions, reasonable regulations in how people interact on the Internet, that is something that the Supreme Court and the courts ought to favorably look at. - May 28, 1999 NPR Morning Edition
Now that Eric Holder is in the process of trying to graduate from Barack Obama's vice-presidential search committee to President-elect Obama's apparent nominee for Attorney General, it's a good idea to remind people of Holder's role in the Elian Gonzalez case in 2000. This post largely reprises one I put up in June.
In between hosannas, someone should consider Barack Obama's "Judgment to Lead" in light of his selection of Eric Holder as his nominee for Attorney General.
Besides his already-known role as former Clinton Administration Deputy Attorney General in facilitating the Clinton pardons, including that of fugitive billionaire financier Marc Rich, there's the matter of Holder's involvement in the Elian Gonzalez case in 2000.
As the April 23, 2000 edition of the Media Research Center's CyberAlert noted at the time, Andrew Napolitano of Fox News charged that the early-Saturday seizure of the then 6 year-old Gonzalez from those who were taking care of him flagrantly disobeyed a ruling of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
In response to a question from Fox News anchor Jeff Asman, Napolitano said the following (bolds are mine throughout this post):
On Thursday’s CBS Early Show, fill-in co-host Jeff Glor discussed Barack Obama’s latest cabinet picks with New York Times editor Marcus Mabry: "We'll start with Tom Daschle, potentially, secretary of Health and Human Services." Mabry approved of the choice: "...he's going to be the czar for over -- for overhauling the American health care system. That is a huge job and incredibly important. He knows how to get it done. He knows the Senate. He's going to help President Obama actually get it through." Mabry made no mention of a Wednesday New York Times article that highlighted Daschle’s numerous potential conflicts-of-interest in the position. In addition, no liberal label was applied to Daschle or any of Obama’s picks.
Glor then briefly mentioned Obama’s attorney general pick, but did not ask Mabry to comment: "Eric Holder, we know about. We've been talking about him for a couple days. He seems to be Barack Obama's pick for Attorney General." Holder, who was deputy attorney general under Bill Clinton, helped approve the pardon for convicted tax evader Marc Rich. Glor then discussed the possibility of Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano being named Homeland Security secretary. Mabry provided little evidence of Napolitano’s qualifications: "Well, she's a real tough one when it comes to border security. Governor Napolitano, will be a woman in an incredibly important job."
Last night, Larry King had four guests on his show to discuss the nomination of Eric Holder to become Attorney General. Even though Holder's role in the pardon of fugitive Marc Rich by Bill Clinton was highly controversial, not one of the guests had any real problem with that. Somehow Larry King couldn't find a single guest who would offer arguments against the appointment of Eric Holder. To get you up to speed on Holder's role in the Marc Rich pardon, here is an Associated Press story on this subject from last June:
The last time Washington attorney Eric Holder participated in a high-profile vetting, it was for fugitive financier Marc Rich.
The episode in 2001 became the final scandal of the Clinton administration and landed Holder, at the time the No. 2 official at the Justice Department, in the middle of a congressional investigation.
Now Holder, a co-chairman of Barack Obama's campaign, is one of three big names who will lead the search for a potential running mate for the presumed Democratic presidential nominee.
...In the Clinton pardon scandal, Holder was deputy attorney general when his duties intersected with the efforts of Rich's lawyer, Jack Quinn, who had been White House counsel earlier in the Clinton administration.
The entire matter was handled in an unorthodox manner - on a straight line from Rich's lawyer to the White House, with a consulting role for Holder.
Eight years ago when incoming President George W. Bush named Senator John Ashcroft as his choice for Attorney General, the broadcast network evening newscasts applied ideological labels and highlighted opposition to him from liberals, but Tuesday night with President-elect Barack Obama's pick of Eric Holder for the same position, the anchors avoided any ideological tags or controversies and hailed him as an “historic” pick which fulfills Obama's promise of “diversity.”
ABC's Charles Gibson noted Obama's promise of “diversity of political party, of gender, of geography and of race” and reported “Eric Holder would be the first African-American” Attorney General. In December of 2000, the late Peter Jennings stressed how Ashcroft is “from the conservative wing of the Republican Party. And some of the positions he's taken as a politician have galvanized liberal opposition to his nomination today.”
Katie Couric, on CBS, trumpeted Holder as “another historic choice,” but eight years ago Dan Rather decided “anti-abortion groups and the self-described Religious Right could not be happier” with Ashcroft who is “known for his tough anti-abortion stand. Planned Parenthood immediately urged Congress not to confirm him.”
On NBC, Brian Williams simply summarized Holder's resume as “a veteran lawyer, former U.S. Attorney, number two person at the Justice Department during the Clinton administration. If confirmed, Eric Holder would be the first African-American to become the nation's top law enforcement officer.” Filling in for Tom Brokaw in 2000, Williams referred to Ashcroft as a “conservative Missouri Republican Senator” and asserted the selection “calms the far right politically.”