Imagine for a moment you were the editor of a magazine owned by the Washington Post and Newsweek. Would you a day before the ninth anniversary of 9/11 publish an article with the following headline:
The Talibanization of America Viewed from Pakistan, the rise of U.S. Islamophobia looks depressingly familiar.
Seems rather inflammatory hours before such a solemn day in America, don't you think?
Yet, such was published Friday by Foreign Policy magazine, an affiliate of the Slate Group.
Sadly, the contents - which in paragraph three equated former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with prospective Koran burner Terry Jones - will likely be even more offensive to the vast majority of Americans especially on September 11:
Fire doesn't melt steel--and a Florida pastor apparently isn't capable of burning a Koran without a plot by Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich behind him . . .
On The Ed Show this evening, guest Karen Hunter, responding to a leading question from host Schultz, went deep conspiracy theory, saying she "wouldn't be surprised at all" if the "fingerprints" of Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich were "all over" Pastor Terry Jones' plan to fire up some Korans.
Chris Matthews and Howard Fineman on Friday had a mutual Obamagasm while cameras rolled on MSNBC's "Hardball."
As the adorable couple chatted about the Koran burning scandal, and of course blamed the entire controversy on Republicans such as House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Oh.), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, the Newsweek columnist unashamedly started the love-fest.
"Well, sitting there in the press conference today with President Obama, you could almost hear sort of the classical music in the background," cooed Fineman. "It was a stately thing, and a mature discussion."
"I get you," echoed Matthews. "This is an Oxford don, he's so well-turned, he comes in there elegantly, presenting himself elegantly, presenting himself on a very high-level tone."
One imagines both of these so-called journalists needed a cigarette and a shower during the break (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Thursday's The Ed Show on MSNBC, substitute host Cenk Uygur -- also of the Young Turks -- blamed conservative opposition to the Ground Zero mosque for acts of violence against Muslims, and charged that the Republican party is the "party of hate." He soon added: "Then there's the vitriolic fight against immigrants, undocumented ones and in Arizona just people who happen to look undocumented. And, of course, there's the grand daddy of all prejudice, fear and hatred stoked up against Muslims in this country. Now, it's gotten so bad that a young man stabbed a cabbie in the neck and face Tuesday after finding out that he was Muslim."
He eventually asked: "What black person, gay guy or girl, immigrant or Muslim-American in their right mind would vote for the Republican party? They might as well hang a sign around their neck saying I hate myself."
Uygur also recited a list of violent events from the past couple of years, while also running clips of conservatives like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Bill O’Reilly in an attempt to prove that they were responsible for inciting specific violent incidents. At one point, he even used edited clips of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann in such a way as to suggest that they had encouraged people to shoot Muslims or other minorities.
After recounting recent episodes of violence against Muslims, he tied in Palin and Bachmann:
The mainstream media are telling us that "it's the fringe that's upset" about the Ground Zero mosque, but polling data show "it's 70 percent of the American people," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted on Friday's "Hannity" program.
"That means every conservative, every moderate, and some liberals too" think the Ground Zero mosque is in extremely poor taste, leaving only "the far left and people still dropping acid," who fail to see why it's controversial, the Media Research Center founder quipped.
"If Barack Obama runs on this in 2012, he will make Jimmy Carter look good by comparison.... This is how bad this position is, and everybody understands it except for the press," Bozell argued later in the "Media Mash" segment.
For the segment's audio, click here to download the MP3. Click the play button on the embed above for video, or click here to download the WMV video file.
New York Times columnist Frank Rich on Sunday blamed America's opinion of the Ground Zero mosque on the "Islamophobia command center" of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.
As readers are likely aware, its properties include Fox News, the New York Post, and the Wall Street Journal, all witting accomplices to a devious plot to stoke anti-Muslim sentiment according to Rich.
Never mind that public opinion polls around the country and in New York state show vast majorities in opposition to the building of this Islamic center at the site of the 9/11 attacks.
CNN's T. J. Holmes brought back Time's Bobby Ghosh on Friday's Newsroom for more promotion of his "Islamophobia" cover story, and added two Muslim guests who largely agreed with his thesis that anti-Islamic sentiment was "coming into the mainstream," and how this was apparently a "reason for alarm." Holmes asked softball questions, and no one with an opposing viewpoint appeared during the segment.
The anchor had the three on for a panel discussion at the bottom of the 10 am Eastern hour about Ghosh's "Is America Islamophobic?" article, as well the controversy over the planned mosque near Ground Zero in New York City. Before introducing his guests, Holmes held up two examples of apparent "Islamophobia" in the country and seemed to sympathize with the apparent plight of Muslims in the U.S.:
HOLMES: Two-and-a-half million Muslims live, work and pray in America- not always easy. Case in point: protests in California- check that out- marching against a proposed mosque in their area, holding signs with slogans such as, 'Muslims danced for joy on 9/11'- or how about the planned Islamic center and mosque near New York's Ground Zero? More than 60 percent of Americans are opposed to that center being built. But the scope is bigger than that, according to a Time magazine poll. More than 3 in 10 Americans would say no to a mosque in their neighborhood. Then there are statements like this one from evangelical leader Franklin Graham.
[Update; Thursday, 7:10 pm Eastern: Simmons admitted his error about the '93 World Trade Center bombing on his Twitter account: "Made critical error on CNN last nite. Was thinking of last major terrorist attack on US soil in OKC by McVeigh & mispoke"]
Russell Simmons, founder of the hip-hop label Def Jam, bizarrely and inaccurately claimed during an interview on Wednesday's Larry King Live on CNN that the perpetrators behind the first World Trade Center attack in 1993 were Christians: "If you're blaming Muslims for the attack on 9/11, then you need to change your mind. We didn't- did we blame Christians at the first World Trade attack? We didn't" [audio clip available here].
Host Larry King brought on Simmons to discuss the controversy over the New York City mosque near Ground Zero. He appeared immediately after an interview of New York Governor David Paterson, who attempted to negotiate with the planners behind the mosque in order to get its site moved. King first asked the entrepreneur to respond to the governor's efforts. He unequivocally supported the proposed worship space: "We should make every effort not to move it. I think it's critical that we recognize that we built this country on religious tolerance and on religious freedom. And so, if we want to penalize the two billion Muslims because of the actions of a few, then we have to examine the way we look at each other and all religions. So I think it would be a terrible idea to move the mosque."
For two days running, MSNBC's "Morning Joe" seemed overwhelmingly in favor of allowing the Ground Zero mosque to be built, despite a poll showing Americans being opposed to the construction of the mosque.
The panels included co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, and liberal columnist Mike Barnicle as well as MSNBC contributors Mark Halperin, Norah O'Donnell, and Pat Buchanan. Their toughest rhetoric was reserved for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, due to his comments about the mosque being the equivalent of Nazis hanging a swastika next to a Holocaust memorial. But the talking heads also failed to give the American people's opposition to the mosque its just due.
Perhaps the biggest gem came from columnist Mike Barnicle, who described those Americans questioning the mosque as stuck in their own reality. "They're not really thinking about the idealistic trek, they're thinking about their own reality," Barnicle quipped. "And their own reality is that we were attacked on September 11. They're not making the connection to the Constitution, and that's where we are this morning."
Joe Scarborough called the whole debate a "wedge issue" that is distracting the country "from doing good things" such as "working on jobs." The co-host continued, saying the issue has become so much more complicated due to opposition to the mosque, and added that America giving in to "radicals" could worsen the whole debate.
Opposition to building a mosque near Ground Zero really sent Time's Joe Klein into a tirade. In a Monday night post on the magazine's “Swampland” blog, Klein began: “Shame on all those Republicans salivating over President Obama's support for the Cordoba Islamic Center...”
Then he got personal, condemning “slimeball politics” has he slimed Newt Gingrich: “This is slimeball politics, pure and simple, except for when it descends into outright religious bigotry – which seems to be what happens every time Newt Gingrich opens his mouth.” Klein disparaged Gingrich as a “demented, anger-infused doofus” – all before proving, as if that weren't already established, he didn't care about offering any reason as he simply trashed Gingrich as “a jerk.”
And liberals say talk radio and the Fox News Channel are lowering the level of political discourse.
On Monday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann delivered a "Special Comment" in which he invoked Nazi Germany and suggested that blocking construction of a mosque near Ground Zero could be the first of a "thousand steps" toward another holocaust. He also hinted at a moral equivalence between the Islamic Empire’s conquests and America’s expansion into the lands of Native Americans as he attempted to discredit former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s concerns about the choice of "Cordoba House" as the original name planned for the mosque as being intentionally symbolic of a Muslim victory at Ground Zero.
After starting his "Special Comment" by quoting Pastor Martin Niemoller’s famous words about the Holocaust of World War II, he at first tried to make his rant sound more moderate as he contended that, "I make no direct comparison between the attempts to suppress the building of a Muslim religious center in downtown Manhattan and the unimaginable nightmare of the Holocaust." He added: "Such a comparison is ludicrous – at least, it is now."
But the Countdown host was still alarmist enough to fear the mosque controversy could lead in that horrific direction. Olbermann: "Niemoller was not warning of the Holocaust. He was warning of the thousand steps before a holocaust became inevitable. If we are at merely the first of those steps again today, it is one step too close."
Harry Reid may have deserted Pres. Obama over the Ground Zero mosque, but PBO can count on at least one stalwart defender: Norah O'Donnell.
On today's Morning Joe, the MSNBC "correspondent" declared that the prez is deserving of praise for his position. Then, dancing a quantum leap further, O'Donnell accused mosque opponents of acting "like the people who attacked America and killed 3,000 people."
Ironically, just minutes earlier Mike Barnicle and Joe Scarborough were heaping scorn on Newt Gingrich for having said that the mosque has no more right to be built near Ground Zero than would a Nazi site near the Holocaust Museum or a Japanese one next to Pearl Harbor. The pair were horrified by Newt's analogy. But when Norah compared mosque opponents to the 9-11 murderers, Mike and Joe were peep-less.
On Monday's Morning Joe, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski went out of their way to defend President Obama's Friday statement defending the planned mosque near Ground Zero in New York City. Brzezinski cooed that the President "did the right thing by saying what he said." Scarborough labeled the remark "non-controversial," and later stated the controversy over the mosque was a "wedge issue" [audio clip available here].
As NewsBusters' Noel Shepard reported, the former Florida congressman turned MSNBC anchor blasted Newt Gingrich for his barrage against the President for his defense of the mosque. Earlier in the broadcast, just after the top of the 7 am Eastern hour, Brzezinski related her personal anecdote about discussing the issue over her recent vacation, and went right into her "right thing" defense of the President's stance.
Scarborough replied to this by berating Gingrich, in an early preview of his later attack:
Joe Scarborough on Monday bashed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for saying the building of the Ground Zero mosque would be like putting a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust Museum.
Scarborough was responding to the following from Sunday's New York Times:
Mr. Gingrich said the proposed mosque would be a symbol of Muslim "triumphalism" and that building the mosque near the site of the Sept. 11 attacks "would be like putting a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust Museum."
The next day on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Scarborough let Gingrich have it:
Keith Olbermann on Monday revised history to praise former President Bill Clinton and bash former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
In the opening segment of MSNBC's "Countdown," the host railed against a proposal by Republicans to once again reintroduce the balanced budget amendment.
Olbermann pointed out to his tiny audience that this was "also pushed by then Speaker Newt Gingrich as part of the 1994 Contract With America."
With total disregard for historical facts, the "Countdown" host continued, "Gingrich failed to pass it, President Clinton raised taxes, balanced the budget, created 22 million jobs" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC's Ed Schultz on Monday absolutely got his head handed to him in a debate with syndicated columnist Tony Blankley.
Clearly underestimating his opponent, Schultz rudely introduced the subject of a Republican proposal to not have the Congress come back for a lame duck session after November's elections by saying, "No one knows better about shutting down Congress than someone who was right there working for Newt Gingrich when it happened before."
Not letting this stand, Blankley gave the "Ed Show" host a much-needed history lesson (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In the midst of bad news for Democrats, Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Monday continued to search for a silver lining. Talking to ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, he quizzed, "But, I wonder what makes you nervous? Because some other polls show some warning signs at least for the Republican Party."
The former Democratic operative turned journalist added, "Going back to 1994 when you led the Republicans to victory. The favorability of the Republican Party was 63 percent. It's only 37 percent now." He didn't cite other polls, such as the new Rasmussen survey which finds Republicans with a ten point generic ballot advantage.
Former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean on Sunday accused the Fox News Channel of being racist.
With the opening subject of "Fox News Sunday" being last week's controversial termination of Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod, Dean said, "I think Fox News did something that was absolutely racist. They took a, they had an obligation to find out what was really within the clip."
Dean continued, "They have been pushing a theme of black racism with this phony Black Panther crap and this, this business, and Sotomayor and all this other stuff...The Tea Party called out their racist fringe, and I think the Republican Party's got to stop appealing to its racist fringe."
That apparently was all host Chris Wallace could stand, for he struck back and struck back hard beginning with, "I know facts are inconvenient things, but let's try to deal with the facts" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NBC's Matt Lauer, suddenly turned into a deficit hawk, when he invited on Newt Gingrich on Tuesday's Today show, to discuss the GOP's refusal to extend unemployment benefits without paying for them, as he complained to the House Speaker that those same Republicans didn't offer spending cuts to offset the Bush tax cut and pressed: "Is it funny math?" and "traditionally speaking when you cut taxes, don't deficits go up as well?" Gingrich initially agreed that the deficit in the "short run" goes up but explained to the Today show anchor that "we proved with Reagan, with the three-year tax cuts in the 1980s" and "again with the Contract With America" that "job creating principles of cutting taxes are far better than the job killing principles of big government and regulation."
The following is the full interview as it was aired on the July 20 Today show:
The Washington Post’s Colbert I. King is a regular TV commentator, a Pulitzer prize winner and the deputy editor of the paper’s influential editorial page. But the column he churned out for this morning’s paper is one of the laziest ad hominem attacks on conservatives I’ve ever seen.
Dressed up as a Father’s Day column, King argues that Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh should not criticize President Obama on policy matters because Obama is a good family man and they are not — and then churns out paragraph after paragraph reciting the personal laundry of these conservatives and, in the case of Palin, their non-relatives.
In other words: Shut up about Obama’s left-wing big government policies or I’ll embarrass you.
It’s a shameful column, hardly worthy of a college newspaper, let alone a Pulitzer prize winner. Here’s how it starts off:
NBC's Meredith Vieira, on Tuesday's Today show, in a segment breaking down today's primary races with Newt Gingrich, cited a possible Rand Paul win over Trey Grayson in the GOP Kentucky Senate primary fight as an example of the Tea Party's strength and actually wondered if that was a cause of concern for the GOP. Vieira pressed the former Speaker of the House: "If Rand Paul wins, that's good news for the Tea Party movement but is it good news for the Republicans come November?" For his part Gingrich responded it was good news for the GOP in that the Tea Party adds "drive" and a "toughness that the Republican Party needs."
Also during her interview with Gingrich, who was on to plug his new book To Save America, Vieira plucked out an admittedly over-the-top quote made by Gingrich as she questioned: "Can you honestly compare what's going on with the Democrats to Nazi Germany?" However this line of questioning revealed a double standard at NBC News, as Vieira's colleague Andrea Mitchell, back on the May 3 NBC Nightly News, wasn't bothered by Saturday Night Live's Seth Myers calling Arizonans Nazis, even going as far to highlight his exchange with Jon Stewart:
On Monday’s Joy Behar Show, HLN host Behar devoted a segment to chiding former Republican House Speaker New Gingrich’s over the top declaration in his latest book that the "secular-socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did," as she charged that Gingrich "throws the word (Nazi) around like its nothing," and asked, "What is he, losing his marbles?"
After playing a clip of Gingrich from Fox News Sunday, with host Chris Wallace taking him to task and reading the quote from his book, Behar asked of guest Susan Molinari, former moderate Republican Congresswoman from New York: "Susan, when Bush was called a Nazi, the right wing went berserk. And yet, Gingrich just throws the word around as if it`s nothing. What is up with him? What is he, losing his marbles?"
But Behar has her own recent history of comparing some conservatives to Nazis. On Monday’s The View on ABC, she invoked Nazi Germany and suggested that those who oppose Arizona’s new immigration law protest by taking a lesson from a legend – which she incorrectly cited as factual – from the days of the Nazi occupation of Denmark:
NBC host Norah O'Donnell is taking it from all angles for pulling the race card on Newt Gingrich last Friday.
Speaking at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, Gingrich said "shooting three-point shots may be clever, but it doesn’t put anybody to work,” referring to President Obama's basketball skills. Norah O'Donnell embarrassed herself Friday by claiming the comment had racial undertones.
Since then, commentators on the left and right have criticized O'Donnell's race-baiting. Bill O'Reilly and Juan Williams have both condemned her remark, and Gingrich himself has repudiated the accusation.
"The left is becoming a parody of itself," Gingrich said Tuesday morning. He added that "it's relatively hard to go from 'we need someone who is a good president more than we need three point shots' to" racism.
Chris Matthews is widely known for his hasty--and often erroneous--conclusions about the conservatives he criticizes on his show. He has wondered if Rush Limbaugh really believes what he says and supported claims that Joe Stack is somehow tied to the "radical right".
During last night's "Hardball", he did it again. Matthews quoted former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich completely out of context to make it seem as if he had called Obama a socialist without having any idea what the word means.
In fact, Gingrich knows exactly what the word means, and spent considerable time clarifying and qualifying his statement. These additional remarks, however, were left out of Matthews's report in his attempt to delegitimize Gingrich's argument without actually addressing it.
Howard Kurtz asked an interesting question on Sunday's "Reliable Sources": Is it appropriate for Fox News hosts and contributors to be making political speeches at events like this weekend's CPAC?
Given Saturday's extremely successful keynote address by Glenn Beck, as well as the controversial nature of the rising star, such a question seemed inevitable.
But there was still something peculiar about this segment, for although Kurtz mentioned other FNC contributors that spoke at the event including Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and John Bolton, he failed to notice George Will of ABC News (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich addressed a huge audience at CPAC Saturday offering his plan to save America.
"I think this is the most important CPAC meeting since Ronald Reagan came and said that we have to have no pale pastels but bold colors," the Speaker stated to thunderous applause.
"I believe we are now in a struggle over whether or not we are going to save America."
Of course, one of the threats is a liberal press.
"Part of why the Tea Parties so deeply threatened the elite media is the Tea Partiers suddenly looked around and realized there are more of us than there are of them" (video embedded below the fold with transcribed highlights):
The New York Times editorial page is a perfect weather vane for the way the liberal media's hot air is blowing. In an October 26 editorial called "Torching the Big Tent," they lamented: "The feeble pulse of moderation in the Republican Party is in danger of flat-lining in the Nov. 3 Congressional election in upstate New York."
The feeble "moderate" the Times was backing for Congress was Dede Scozzafava - pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-union power, pro-tax hike. The Times found these positions to be proof of "refreshing tinges of centrism." The Times lectured the conservative movement to embrace this candidacy, since "creative ideas and candidates, not right-wing zeal, are the obvious way to get back in the game of democracy."
Any New Yorker foolish enough to follow the political advice of The New York Times deserves what he gets.
What if the Times portrayed this battle for the 23rd District of New York the opposite way? What if the surging campaign of conservative Doug Hoffman was portrayed as "Revenge of the Irate Moderates?" Liberals would rub their eyes in utter disbelief. But just three years ago, the Times editorial page was using those exact words to describe the hard-left forces behind Ned Lamont, who upset moderate Democrat Sen. Joe Lieberman in the primary, only to lose to him in the general election.