Monday afternoon, in an error which made it into the paper's Tuesday print edition, reporter Paul Richter at the Los Angeles Times, in a story on the Obama administration's inadvertent leak of a CIA director's name in Afghanistan, was apparently so bound and determined to include a "Bush did it too" comparison that he went with leftist folklore instead of actual history.
Specifically, Richter wrote that "In 2003, another CIA operative, Valerie Plame, was publicly identified by I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, a top aide to Vice President Cheney, in an apparent attempt to discredit her husband, who had publicly raised questions about the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq" (HTs to Patterico and longtime NB commenter Gary Hall). Apparently no one else in the layers of editors and fact-checkers at the Times was aware that this entire claim has been known to be false since 2006.
Chris Matthews blasted the GOP's apparent "bad manners [and] lack of dignity" minutes before Tuesday's State of the Union address. Matthews expressed his outrage moments after MSNBC's Chris Hayes spotlighted a Republican congressman's attack on President Obama on Twitter: "The very idea that they would do this, in what is a historic occasion, just tells you that there are no rules."
The Hardball host continued by targeting the "right wing – sort of, revolutionary thinking...We're throwing stones at the window of the American republic. That's fine, because somehow, we're so angry that anything goes." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The Big Three networks largely yawned at Majority Leader Harry Reid's wild charge on the Senate floor on Thursday that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney hasn't paid taxes in 10 years. ABC, CBS, and NBC failed to mention it on the evening newscasts on Thursday. On Friday morning, CBS This Morning was the lone broadcast morning show to report on Reid's "explosive accusation," as correspondent Nancy Cordes put it.
By contrast, all three networks covered Rep. Joe Wilson's 2009 "you lie" shout at President Obama at the State of the Union within 24 hours and were unanimously scandalized at the "stunning moment" in the House chamber, as then-anchor Charles Gibson labeled it on ABC's World News. Both ABC and CBS trumpeted Wilson's outburst as the "shout heard 'round the world."
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, liberal comedian D.L. Hughley claimed that Republicans acted as bullies when they impeached former President Bill Clinton in 1998, as well as Rep. Joe Wilson when he shouted "you lie" at President Obama in 2009. Hughley also indicated that Clinton would have handled Wilson's outburst better, as "he had, to a greater or lesser degree, been bullied and seen what kind of capacity he had." [audio available here; video below the jump]
Representative Andre Carson's inflammatory attack on the Tea Party has yet to have receive any attention from the Big Three networks. As reported by Politico on Wednesday, Rep. Carson accused Tea Party-friendly members of Congress of wanting to bring back Jim Crow and went so far to accuse his colleagues of wanting to bring back lynching: "Some of them...would love to see you and me...hanging on a tree."
Jake Sherman's report for Politico noted that the "explosive comments, caught on tape, were uploaded on the Internet Tuesday, and Carson's office stood by the remarks." The Blaze, a website run by Glenn Beck, uploaded a video compilation onto YouTube on Tuesday morning which included the Indiana Democrat's smear of the Tea Party. Carson attacked the Tea Party immediately after complimenting Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Emanuel Cleaver at a CBC town hall in Miami on August 22:
The director of the new film "Fair Game" - released Friday - is either blatantly dishonest, or astoundingly lazy. The movie, starring Sean Penn as former U.S. diplomat Joe Wilson and Naomi Watts as his embattled wife, CIA agent Valerie Plame, makes a number of claims on controversial issues that are demonstrably false.
The Daily Caller's Jamie Weinstein did the legwork in demonstrating just how far from the truth some of the film's central claims are. Chief among them, perhaps unsurprisingly, is that Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, and other White House officials exerted political pressure on intelligence officials to cherrypick intelligence favorable to claims that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.
Near the end of Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith interviewed actress Naomi Watts about her latest role as former CIA agent Valerie Plame in the movie 'Fair Game': "...a ripped from the headlines true story of espionage and betrayal. Naomi Watts plays former CIA officer Valerie Plame, whose life was torn apart when her cover was blown by the U.S. government."
After playing a clip from the new film, Smith briefly summarized the controversy this way: "Joe Wilson was sent by the CIA to Niger to determine whether or not yellow-cake uranium was being exported to Iraq....when [he] said no, the Bush administration said somebody's got to pay and that was Valerie Plame." Smith went on to proclaim: "...it is not only this very public story but it is also sort of the private anguish of this family....That is almost torn asunder by this."
On Monday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez and Jessica Yellin both tried to portray liberal Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh as a centrist. Yellin insisted, "Republicans should be sad to see Evan Bayh go because he is one of the centrists who worked very hard to work with Republicans." Sanchez replied, "Evan Bayh is no liberal!"
Before the CNN anchor raised Bayh's retirement with his colleague 18 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour, he brought up Congressman Joe Wilson's response on Twitter to his Democratic colleague's decision. Wilson wrote, "Great news of Senator Bayh's retirement, good prospects of change in Indiana has now become much brighter! I am happy for Hoosiers." Sanchez all but condemned the Republican's Tweet: "It's not like he's dancing on his grave because the guy's not dead. He's...just retiring. But wouldn't you think, just from the standpoint of being collegial, that, most of the time, somebody would say something like- 'boy, I hate to see Jessica Yellin leaving CNN. She really was good'- as opposed to- 'boy, am I glad Jessica Yellin's leaving. Now, we can get a competent reporter in there.'"
CRITICAL UPDATE AT END OF POST: Obama praised the 2009 budget when the Senate passed it!
After President Obama told the nation during Wednesday's State of the Union address that he inherited the huge budget deficits befronting the country, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) turned to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and said, "Blame it on Bush."
In reality, this was one of many Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) moments last night as the President once again played fast and loose with the facts in a nationally televised address.
Sadly, media are deeply at fault here, for if they wouldn't allow the White House to repeatedly blame the nation's current fiscal problems on the previous Administration, Obama would be forced to be more truthful. As NewsBusters has regularly shown, America's so-called journalists have been aiding and abetting these falsehoods for quite some time.
But before we get there, here's what Obama said last night (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript includes McCain saying "Blame it on Bush," file photo):
It would be "absurd" for Florida Rep. Alan Grayson (D) to apologize for insisting recently that Republicans stand behind a health care "holocaust," MSNBC's Chris Matthews argued on today's "Hardball" program.
While Matthews felt Grayson's Nazi comparison was over-the-top, Matthews cheered Grayson's display of "cojones," even chuckling at video of Grayson calling Republicans "knuckle-dragging Neanderthals."
Matthews made clear to guests James Warren of the Huffington Post and Politico's Roger Simon that he thought Grayson was just the shot in the arm liberals needed for their health care push (audio available here, video embedded at right):
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Friday said Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) -- he of "You lied" fame -- should be required to take a breathalyzer test before he goes into Congressional sessions where the President is speaking.
Such occurred as O'Donnell was filling in for Keith Olbermann on "Countdown," and discussing with the Nation's Chris Hayes how poorly Wilson represents a GOP that "used to be an image of country club Republicans, well-bred, WASPY, dignified people who just didn't like taxation."
According to O'Donnell, that's all changed, and for the worse (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t NBer Jon, file photo):
Those attempting to equate Congressman Joe Wilson’s "You lie!" outburst to the outrages of Serena Williams and Kanye West are missing the mark. He was rude, and no, he oughtn’t have done it – there. Let us understand clearly the distinction. Wilson may be rude, but Williams and West (especially) are pigs.
At the semifinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Serena Williams drew nearly universal condemnation for screaming profanities at a line judge who (wrongly) ruled her foot was over the line on a serve. It wasn’t just obscenities, it was threats of physical violence, with Williams suggesting she would shove a tennis ball down "your f—ing throat" to the referee. Her performance was so vile that even historic tennis bad boy John McEnroe called it beyond the pale.
Had Wilson yelled that he was going to shove something down President Obama’s blankety-blank throat, then we’d have a similarity. But why did Williams feel free to uncork a massive fit? Maybe because there are no consequences. She was assessed a $10,000 fine, less than a slap on the wrist. She won more than half a million dollars at that tournament alone.
NBC spotlighted radical black Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson to rail against President Bush as a "clueless patrician" in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and then Brian Williams threw those words in Bush's face. On Wednesday, they spotlighted Dyson’s vicious attack on Rep. Joe Wilson and other conservatives as comparable to terrorists, like the suicide attackers of 9/11. Matt Lauer didn’t find this an occasion to interrupt and interject. Instead, he then read Maureen Dowd’s New York Times column calling Wilson a racist. Here’s how Lauer brought Dyson in:
LAUER: Michael, I don't know which is worse. Is it worse if, in fact, some of this opposition to President Obama is fueled by outright racism? Or is it worse if some liberals, in an attempt to defend President Obama and his plans, invoke the charge of racism to discredit the critics?
DYSON: Well clearly the first would be the problem, Matt. The existence of an abuse is far worse than those who trump it up. But let me say this. You don't ask the person who's been, you know, the abuser what the status of the, the progress is. You ask the people or the person who's been abused. Or if we look at terror, there's only been one terrorist strike, 9/11, but since then we've had terror alerts, we've been proactive, we've been preemptive. So race is the same way. Race is not only a former of terror, it is terror.
Chris Matthews, on Tuesday’s "Hardball," insinuated racism may have been behind Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst against President Obama, at last week’s health care speech, as he repeatedly asked his guests if they thought Wilson's exclamation was "A race thing," that represented "the old black/white attitude of the South."
In the very first segment of the show Matthews pressed Democratic Congresswoman Donna Edwards, "Do you think this is a race thing...I mean was it a racial thing on the part of Wilson? Was he expressing contempt for Barack Obama because of his heritage?" For her part Edwards insisted, "I don’t think that at all." [audio available here]
However Matthews persisted and, later in the show, got the reply he desired from the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson, as seen in the following exchange:
Appearing on CBS’s Sunday Morning, commentator Nancy Giles shared her thoughts on Congressman Joe Wilson’s outburst: "Some sign waving and you probably heard about it, heckling. At a joint session of Congress....That’s the voice of Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina, not some drunk at open mic night, calling the President a liar."
Giles continued, denouncing all health care reform protestors: "He later apologized, but still, it was a frightening mix of disrespect and bad behavior, with a dash of this summer’s town hall meeting craziness. I guess we should be grateful that there weren’t any ‘show us your birth certificate’ signs and at least no one beat anyone with a cane, which actually happened in the old Senate chamber in 1856."
Giles would certainly know about "disrespect and bad behavior," on the October 5, 2003 broadcast of Sunday Morning, she compared conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh to Adolf Hitler: "So as Rush’s world has steadily crumbled, it’s no wonder he allegedly had to turn to prescription pain killers....Edgy, controversial, brilliant....Hitler would have killed in talk radio. He was edgy, too."
This is a notion that hasn't really gotten any traction anywhere yet, but could Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C. be a viable 2012 presidential election candidate?
The hosts of Fox Business Network's "Happy Hour," Eric Bolling, Rebecca Diamond and Cody Willard, contemplated that possibility on their Sept. 14 show, which comes on the eve of a vote on a "resolution of disapproval" on Wilson for calling out "You lie!" as President Barack Obama spoke to a joint-session of Congress Sept. 9.
"First off, House Dems appear set to censure South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson for shouting ‘you lie' at President Obama during last week's health care speech, but Wilson is not backing down," Diamond said. "He told Fox News Sunday he will not apologize to the House tomorrow. Instead, he is turning this - all of this into a fund-raising campaign, claiming he has raised $1 million since the outrage incident last Wednesday. So we are asking, ‘Hit or Miss' on whether Democrats risk turning Representative Wilson into a viable conservative candidate for 2012."
Video of Baltimore ACORN activists willing to help a pimp and prostitute work out a tax shelter for a brothel is a "devastating" indictment of the liberal activist group, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell pronounced on the September 11 "Hannity." [MP3 audio available here]
"It shows the power of the Internet. It doesn't matter anymore that [Big Three broadcast networks] ABC and NBC and CBS aren't covering it. The world now knows about it because people go in there and show them the truth," Bozell noted, adding that it proves what conservatives have been saying that ACORN "is a suspect organization [subsidized] with millions of taxpayer dollars."
Bozell also discussed the controversy involving Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), who yelled "You lie!" at President Obama during last Wednesday's speech before Congress:
The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), also known as the Black Press of America, which is a non-partisan 501(c) 3 tax-exempt organization, has decided to show its disapproval of South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson's "You Lie" remarks by canceling a convention in the state.
"Rep. Wilson's remarks were racist, disrespectful and a disingenuous violation - not only of President Obama - but to the institution of the presidency and only solidified our position and the importance in not spending Black dollars where Black people are not respected," NNPA Chairman Danny J. Bakewell Sr. said in a statement.
The conference was scheduled for January according to Fox News. Bakewell said the 69-year-old organization, which includes 200 black community newspapers across the country, would exercise its ability to harm the state economically.
At the end of Sunday’s Face the Nation on CBS, host Bob Schieffer denounced South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson: "The irony of a congressman trying to heckle a President in the midst of a speech that was, among other things, about the need for civility, is just one ugly sign of the mindless meanness that has settled over our politics."
Apparently Schieffer forgot this passage of President Obama’s speech last Wednesday: "Some of people’s concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim...that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Such a charge would be laughable if it weren’t so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple." Calling your critics liars hardly sounds like a call for "civility."
60 Minutes on Sunday night gave President Barack Obama at least his fourth interview platform since his election (not counting re-runs), and while Steve Kroft framed the segment around how Obama “seemed confident that he had succeeded” in his Wednesday night speech and asked him, in the context of how the health care debate “has brought out the worst in us,” how “you were heckled. Not at a town meeting. Not on the campaign trail, but in a joint session of Congress,” whether “Congressman Wilson should be rebuked?,” he also gently challenged Obama from the right. Unfortunately, Kroft did not follow up when Obama delivered his usual liberal platitudes.
After Obama touted how he had reached out to Republicans on tort reform, Kroft pressed: “Would you be willing to do more in the area of tort reform and malpractice insurance? Would you be willing to agree to caps, for example, on malpractice judgments?” Kroft raised how to pay for it all: “There is still a great deal of skepticism about how this plan is going to be paid for. What you promised is essentially you promised not to affect anybody who has coverage now at all. You have promised to add another 30 million people into the system and you're saying that you can do all of this or want to do all this without impacting or increasing the deficit by a dime. How do you do that?”
While the Obama-loving media jumped all over Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) for shouting "You lie" during the President's healthcare address Wednesday, few so-called journalists bothered to report what made the Congressman and others present so angry.
On Sunday's "Meet the Press," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich did.
After host David Gregory asked Gingrich whether Obama was acting like a president or a partisan Wednesday evening, the Speaker marvelously responded (video embedded below the fold, relevant section at 1:00):
One of the biggest concerns most conservatives had about a Barack Obama presidency was that any criticism of him or his policies would be reported by liberal media members as an act of racism.
Sadly, such fears ended up actually being understated, for since Inauguration Day, the left-wing punditry have routinely depicted anyone with the guts to question the new President -- from Tea Party goers to town hall meeting protesters -- as wearing white robes and burning crosses on folks' lawns.
The latest example is New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd who in her most recent screed attributed Rep. Joe Wilson's (R-S.C.) "You lie" outburst during Wednesday's healthcare speech to the ignorant notion that "Some people just can’t believe a black man is president and will never accept it":
According to MSNBC’s David Shuster on Friday, South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson shouting ‘you lie’ to President Obama was racism on display: “The fact that Joe Wilson is from South Carolina...it strikes a lot of people as awfully close to the idea that maybe there was some sort of racist or bigoted element there.”
Shuster went on to add: “And especially then when you look up at the picture and you see older white men, all Republicans, sitting there. Just it gives off a strange vibe.” On Thursday, Shuster claimed that Republicans were: “...all white males with short haircuts. They look sort of angry. No women, no minorities, and it looks like they’ve sort of become unhinged.”
During the segment late in the 3PM ET hour, Shuster spoke with Reverend Jesse Jackson, wondering: “What role, if any, do you believe that bigotry is playing in some of this venom toward President Obama?” Jackson seized on the opportunity to cry racism: “Well, substantial. There is a struggle between the hope of going forward and the fear of going backwards....the big C-word, conservative, for some that means fiscal, for some, it means religious ethics, for some it means a code word for race.”
New York Times congressional reporter Carl Hulse ignored his own reporting yesterday when condemning Republican Rep. Joe Wilson's "You lie!" outburst during President Obama's speech to Congress, with Hulse insisting it was a wholly unprecedented outburst. Yet in a 2005 story Hulse admitted Democrats had "hollered" at Bush during the State of the Union when Bush brought up Social Security reform.
Hulse took another bite out of Wilson today, in a story co-written with regional reporter Robbie Brown, datelined Swansea, S.C., "Heckler's District Mostly Supports the Outburst." At least today's story provided a single sentence pointing out that President George W. Bush "drew derisive hoots from Democrats" in his 2005 State of the Union address, while insisting that Wilson's outburst was worse.
UPDATE at end of post: song from Marx Brothers "Duck Soup" eerily validates the Journal's position.
While Obama-loving media gushed over the President's healthcare address Wednesday -- and, of course, chastised Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC.) for his untimely outburst -- an inconvenient truth went largely ignored: the current White House resident was indeed playing fast and loose with the facts.
On Friday, the Wall Street Journal's editorial board examined some of Obama's statements pertaining to Medicare, and found that his contradictions were so egregious they came across like an old Marx Brothers routine.
Although the Journal stopped short of calling the President a liar, they did conclude "his claims bear little relation to anything true":
Noting how the Palmetto State "has a history of rowdy politics" and that Rep. Joe Wilson (R) has made himself "the latest in a legendary line of South Carolina politicians who appeared to revel in renegade behavior," the Washington Post's Philip Rucker and Ann Gerhart turned to South Carolina Democratic operatives Don and Carol Fowler to smear Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) in their September 11 front-pager entitled "The Gentlemen From South Carolina."
Rucker and Gerhart turned to the husband-wife couple -- he was a Clinton era DNC chairman and she is the current South Carolina state Democratic chairwoman -- to practically tag-team in slamming Wilson. Rucker and Gerhart also acknowledged some Palmetto Democrats' brushes with political infamy before cuing up Don Fowler to quip that he thinks "it is something in the water."
Yet nowhere in their story did Rucker and Gerhart note Don Fowler's gaffe from August 2008, when, on a flight from the Democratic Convention, he made an inappropriate joke involving hurricane victims in New Orleans (video embedded above at right):
Jake Tapper has distinguished himself within the White House press corps as someone consistently willing to pose probing questions to the president and his aides. But on today's Good Morning America, ABC's chief White House correspondent used a particularly unflattering metaphor for Rep. Joe Wilson and his decision to go on Fox News to defend himself. As a clip of Rep. Wilson on last night's Sean Hannity show rolled . . .
JAKE TAPPER: Although Wilson apologized to the White House for his lack of civility, he quickly took to the limelight of conservative media like a moth to a flame.
Media minds think alike. ABC: “It was the shout heard 'round the world.” CBS: “It was the shout heard 'round the world.” NBC, slightly creative: “The outburst heard 'round the world” and the “heckle heard 'round the world.” Congressman Joe Wilson's “you lie” shout during President Obama's Wednesday address to Congress on health care animated the Thursday evening newscasts, though it at least prompted ABC and NBC, but not CBS, to grudgingly take up, briefly, Wilson's contention illegal immigrants would receive health benefits.
“As the President spoke last night, there was a stunning moment. As the President tried to refute criticisms of his health care reform, a Republican Congressman from South Carolina yelled out 'you lie,'” ABC anchor Charles Gibson announced. On CBS, Katie Couric maintained “Presidents appearing there as respected guests have been interrupted before by boos and hisses, but this was different. A Congressman last night calling a President an outright liar to his face. Just the latest indication of how ugly the debate over reforming health care has gotten.”
Brian Williams teased the NBC Nightly News: “On our broadcast tonight, the speech on health care and the outburst heard 'round the world.” In the subsequent story Kelly O'Donnell portrayed “a stunning outburst. South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson accused the President of lying in a fit of anger that reverberated today.”