Former Bill Clinton operative turned Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos on Friday spun for his ex-boss in the wake of newly released audio about Osama bin Laden. In the recording from September 10, 2001, Bill Clinton justified not ordering the killing of the terrorist mastermind: "I could have killed him, but I would have had to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and killed 300 innocent women and children and then I would have been no better than him." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Talking to Brian Ross, Stephanopoulos touted that the administration "could never be sure bin Laden was there." He highlighted, "And number two, as President Clinton talked about in that tape, the risk of killing innocent civilians." At no time in the segment did Stephanopoulos or Ross offer any criticism of Clinton's decision or question if the Democrat could have stopped 3000 deaths on September 11, 2001.
Fortunately, there might still be time for the show trial that Thom Hartmann craves.
Hartmann, long atop the decidedly short list of popular liberal radio hosts, has again lapsed into the language of fringe leftist, this time while talking about the horrific situation in Iraq, al Qaeda's rationale for attacking the US on 9/11, and the Persian Gulf war. (Audio after the jump)
Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC.com executive editor Richard Wolffe mocked former Vice President Dick Cheney for his recent criticism of President Obama, and inaccurately claimed that "there was no Al-Qaeda in Iraq" before Cheney "led the decision to invade Iraq."
After dismissing Cheney as being in his "last throes," Wolffe recalled: "Let's just revisit a little bit of history. Before Dick Cheney led the decision to invade Iraq, and led the disastrous occupation of Iraq, there was no Al-Qaeda in Iraq. He allowed Al-Qaeda to get a foothold in Iraq."
John Seigenthaler, the former NBC news anchor who now reads the news on Al Jazeera America, showed up on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report Tuesday night to undergo a faux-grilling from Stephen Colbert about his new employer. While explaining how he came to work at Al Jazeera, Seigenthaler remarked, “They offered me the chance to anchor a newscast that focused on serious news. In-depth journalism, unbiased reports.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Colbert, in character as usual, feigned skepticism, demanding:
On the CBS Late Show Friday, the host aired a video he called "This Day In Obamacare Enrollment" in which people from different parts of the country were shown destroying their computers (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
While NBC marked the one-year anniversary of the Bin Laden killing with a fawning Inside the Situation Room profile of President Obama, on Thursday, the cast of Today chided former White House aide Reggie Love for revealing that he and the President "must have played 15 games of spades" during the 2011 operation. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After playing the sound bite of Love, co-host Matt Lauer quickly added: "We should note, from what we understand, the President was in the Situation Room during all of the actual raid." He then remarked: "We wonder how they feel about Mr. Love writing about this." Fellow co-host Savannah Guthrie joked: "Bring, bring. Reggie it's the White House, line two." Weatherman Al Roker chimed in: "Remember that non-disclosure thing you signed?"
It has been almost 48 hours since the New York Post's Melissa Klein first reported that "This iconic picture of firefighters raising the stars and stripes in the rubble of Ground Zero was nearly excluded from the 9/11 Memorial Museum," because "the museum’s creative director ... considered the Tom Franklin photograph too kitschy and "rah-rah America."
A Google News search on "Ground Zero New York" (not in quotes, past seven days, showing duplicates) returns only 24 relevant items. None are from establishment press outlets. The same search at the Associated Press's national web site also returns nothing relevant. Excerpts from Klein's Post report, as well as Publishers Weekly's review of the upcoming book, are after the jump.
When I saw the recently released PPP poll concerning America's belief in "conspiracy theories," I knew someone in the media would cherry-pick it to trash conservatives.
Living down to my lowest expectations was MSNBC's Chris Matthews who on Wednesday's Hardball chose to use the poll to attack Republicans as well as "the peanut gallery for Glenn Beck and company" without ever mentioning any Democrat responses (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Warning: Please remove all flammables, fluids, and food from proximity to your computer as the following statement by Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on PBS's McLaughlin Group Friday could result in a potentially hazardous fit of laughter.
"The concern within the [Obama] administration [regarding cyber warfare] is intense, and it reminds me of the way the Clinton administration was focused on al Qaeda in the ’90s" (video follows with lengthy commentary to really expose the absurdity of this statement):
On the eve of Sunday's Academy Awards presentation, former George W. Bush CIA Director Michael Hayden has made a strong statement about the hunt for Osama bin Laden film "Zero Dark Thirty."
In an interview to be aired on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS Sunday, Hayden said, "If you look at the movie, it was artistically true, not factually true. Artistically, it portrayed the CIA interrogation program, but factually it was overwrought and inaccurate" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In a careless attempt to get a rise out of their readers, mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post and Esquire Magazine erroneously reported that the Navy SEAL credited with the assassination of Osama bin Laden had been unceremoniously stripped of health insurance following his retirement last September.
The story immediately went viral, thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of Ezra Klein and Sarah Kliff from the Post and their massive followings on Twitter. Former editor of the San Francisco Chronicle Phil Bronstein originally posted an 'exhaustively researched' article about it on Esquire's site. Upon its publication and online distribution however, some readers noticed just how rife with inaccuracies the story was. Former public affairs officer of the Department of Veteran Affairs Brandon Friedman was among them. (H/T - Twitchy)
In today's "Can Someone Help Me Get My Foot Out of My Mouth" segment, the astonishingly pompous and self-righteous MSNBC regular Julian Epstein made an absolutely delicious faux pas Monday while excoriating the character and accomplishments of former Vice President Dick Cheney.
In an appearance on the Martin Bashir Show, Epstein derisively described Cheney as "a guy who failed to get Osama bin Laden in Bora Bora" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made news last Sunday when he once again claimed that enhanced interrogation techniques aka torture led to the United States assassinating Osama bin Laden.
During his confirmation hearing Thursday, CIA Director nominee John Brennan appeared to dodge a question from Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) about this claiming he didn’t have enough information to comment on whether Panetta was right or wrong.
Liberals always think humor has a liberal bias. That wasn't certainly true when The Washington Post magazine published "Dave Barry's Year in Review" on Sunday. Barry mocks Obama for his victories: "President Obama, in the State of the Union address, boldly rebuts critics who charge that his economic policies have been a failure by displaying the scalp of Osama bin Laden, which a White House aide carries in a special briefcase."
Mitt Romney has all the "easygoing natural human warmth of a parking meter," and Newt Gingrich needs to be tranquilized with darts:
New York Times intelligence reporter Scott Shane made Thursday's front-page with a quasi-movie review of "Zero Dark Thirty," the critically acclaimed new release about the Bin Laden raid that suggests "enhanced interrogation" like waterboarding aided in finding him. The headline, "Portrayal of C.I.A. Torture in Bin Laden Film Reopens a Debate," shows the Times comfortable using the loaded word "torture" to describe interrogation methods like water-boarding that inflict temporary physical panic.
Previously Shane has fiercely resisted the idea that waterboarding contributed to finding Osama bin Laden, ignoring CIA director Leon Panetta's admission that it had. Shane wrote on May 4, 2011: "But a closer look at prisoner interrogations suggests that the harsh techniques played a small role at most in identifying Bin Laden's trusted courier and exposing his hide-out."
In other words, it may have helped, but don't make me write it.
National Geographic's cable television channel is defending its decision to air a new live-action movie entitled "Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden," which focuses on the May 2011 operation that led to the death of the world's most wanted terrorist right before the November election. And if you miss the first showing, you'll be able to catch it on Netflix starting on Monday, still with plenty of time to vote the following day.
"This is a story people have been waiting to witness for themselves, and we feel the combined force of the National Geographic Channel and Netflix will ensure that everyone has the chance at a glimpse inside the heroic efforts of that courageous team of SEALs," according to a press release from the network.
A book that's going to cause a lot of controversy is "No Easy Day," a first-hand account by one of the Navy SEALs who was part of the team that killed Osama bin Laden.
The Associated Press got an early copy of the book and reported that the author, Matt Bissonnette, says that the terrorist leader was killed when he looked out the window and was already dead when they entered the compound bin Laden was living in at the time. This is in direct contradiction to Obama Administration accounts of his death.
Barack Obama’s name barely came up as The New York Times summarized the hard-left Netroots Nation conference in Providence, Rhode Island. Sarah Wheaton reported “Last year’s conference was marked by the left’s frustration with the president. But this year, his name simply did not come up much — and when it did, it was invariably paired with a favorable comparison to Mr. Romney.”
But Obama did not appear, nor did any Obama surrogate. The president did send a video message vowing to “double down on green energy” (as if that’s been a winning gamble) and fight “gutting” education, blah blah blah. Strangely, he touted killing Osama bin Laden, which the Netroots surely saw as a massive human rights violation.
Since last Thursday, when Democratic members of Congress joined Republicans in denouncing the leaking of classified information which is suspected to have been divulged by members of the Obama administration, CBS has been dragging its feet compared to ABC and NBC in filling in viewers on the developments.
Appearing as a panel member during the "Roundtable" segment of Sunday's This Week on ABC, conservative commentator Ann Coulter reminded panel members that President Obama had received criticism that he divulged too much information about the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan when it was announced a year ago, as the group discussed accusations that White House members have divulged classified information to benefit President Obama politically.
The conservative commentator also called out liberals for criticizing President Bush as being too harsh in his detention of terror suspects while being more restrained in criticizing President Obama's methods in conducting the war on terrorism:
CBS This Morning stood out as the only Big Three network morning show on Thursday to cover a conservative group's allegation that the Obama administration gave a movie director and writer "special access to government officials involved in the commando operation that killed Osama bin Laden," as reported by Reuters on Wednesday. ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today ignored the story.
Correspondent Chip Reid outlined that "the documents...obtained by Judicial Watch, a conservative government watchdog group...reveal that director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal...met with top national security officials; gained access to Seal Team 6; and visited the CIA."
The Obama-loving media had quite a hissy fit this week when the President's America-hating Reverend Jeremiah Wright suddenly became a campaign issue despite all their efforts.
So opposed to the mere mention of Wright's name is NPR's Nina Totenberg that on PBS's Inside Washington Friday, she said he's irrelevant because the current White House resident - wait for it! - killed Osama bin Laden (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Charlie Rose desperately tried to find confirmation from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday's CBS This Morning on whether President Obama is a good commander-in-chief: "You can answer this question as well as anyone I know....do you give President Obama high marks in the national security arena?" Gates exposed Rose's pro-Obama tactic when he laughingly replied, "If I don't, I'm sort of giving myself a flunking grade."
The veteran national security official did his best to nuance his eventual answer, but still ended up giving his former boss the grade that the anchor was looking for: "He [Obama] was as aggressive, if not more so, in going after terrorists and al Qaeda. I think that the relationship with China has been managed pretty well. So, yeah, I think they've done a pretty good job."
In a particularly sleazy allegation, David Letterman on Tuesday night alleged former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney “went soft” on finding Osama bin Laden “because they were worried about upsetting their Saudi Arabian royalty buddies.” Talk about a lack of civility and respect for elected officials.
Letterman’s impugning of the former administration came during a sit-down with NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, just after Letterman charged “we invaded Iraq because Cheney wanted to help out his buddies at Brown and Root and Halliburton.”
As NewsBustersnoted while the media celebrated Bill Clinton's involvement in an Obama campaign ad spiking the bin Laden's dead football, the former President should never have appeared in such a video given his administration having passed on numerous opportunities to kill or capture the al Qaeda leader before 9/11.
On Sunday, CBS's 60 Minutes detailed such an occurrence in late summer 1999 (video follows with transcript and commentary):
... which proves one thing, namely that attorney and "Ring of Fire" radio show cohost Mike Papantonio doesn't read The Huffington Post.
How can you tell you're dealing with someone whose politics could not be more obviously, obliviously liberal? When he or she denies being liberal. Conservatives, on the other hand, don't scurry from their conservatism. (audio clips after page break)
It has now been a year since Osama bin Laden became a ghost courtesy of the United States SEALs. I had long since come to the conclusion that Osama became crˆpes suzettes for the worms back in Tora Bora in December 2001, and I was somewhat stubborn in my belief. Yet he fooled me and the student of Araby Mark Steyn and a few other pundits. I shall be a big enough man to admit it. I was wrong.
Apparently, Osama took up residence in the wilds of Pakistan, where he believed he was safe. Doubtless like-minded pietists in the Pakistani army or intelligence community told him he would be safe there. They were doubtless proud of their world-famous tenant. Well, they were asleep on the night of May 2, 2011, or they had the good sense not to get involved. When the US helicopters swooped in, Osama was pitifully exposed. He had no guards that we know of, save a few women. Several doors collapsed before our tough troops, and pop, he was on his way to the 72 virgins in Heaven or the 42 cows or whatever the Muslim theologians estimate the Hereafter to be composed of. At any rate I am glad he is gone, and doubtless you are too.