Media Archives

Cherry Picking at Its Finest

Certain portions of the National Intelligence Estimate were leaked by the liberal media less than two weeks before the mid-term election. The NIE report was written 5 months ago, but only now does it get leaked. Blame it on a media holding back until an opportune time, or blame it on politically motivated leakers timing a leak they knew the media would rush uncritically into, but either way it’s nothing but a smear campaign with the media playing a prominent role. It’s a role that they should not have been part of–as skeptical as they claim to be–but they jumped in with both feet.

Today, President Bush called their bluff and released other parts of the report for folks to read for themselves. It’s a shame that in order to get a fair hearing the Bush administration has to declassify material. It appears that those on the Left and their supporters in the media are more than willing to compromise national security and break the law in order to gain political points.

So you wanna’ cherry pick quotations? John Hawkins highlights another blogger, allegedly a former member of the U.S intelligence community, who does his own cherry picking that paints a completely different picture. Worth a read.

Of course, Democrats, reading what they want and ignoring the rest, hold on to the spin and proclaim this as some sort of indictment against the war in Iraq. They’re playing pure politics with national security. Again. They’re holding up this snippet of a report as the gospel truth. Wonder what their thoughts were on the NIE report that there may be WMDs in Iraq. Actually, when that report was discussed, those on the Left noted more cherries picked other quotes from it that expressed doubt about their presence. At the time, as noted on Redstate,

But the NIE, I recalled from the discussions following the “NO WMD!” declarations from the Dems and the MSM, had said that there were WMD. When the MSM found snippets which expressed doubt, it was explained that the NIE contained a diversity of opinions and outlook.

That was then; diversity of opinion. This is now; monolithic groupthink. Short-attention-span Democrat voters will fall for it. But no one should.

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Sanitizing the Veggies

It might be OK to show Madonna hanging on a mirrored cross, but don’t dare let Bob and Larry tell kids that God loves them.

The wildly popular VeggieTales kids videos about vegetables who talk and sing and act out Bible stories are being edited for their run on NBC’s Saturday morning educational program time, and the network says it’s because of time limits.

But the creator says that’s not exactly the case, and viewers will have to decide for themselves whether the result is good or bad.

“VeggieTales was originally created for home video and, in most cases, each episode is over 30 minutes long. As it appears …. VeggieTales has been edited down for broadcast without losing any of its core messages about positive values,” the network said.

Phil Vischer, the co-creator of the characters, said that comment was “interesting.”

“As a guy deeply involved with the project, I know that statement is false,” Vischer wrote on his own weblog. “We sent them our first episode for TV, which was already edited to EXACTLY the right length, and they rejected it because, at the end, Bob the Tomato said, ‘Remember kids, God made you special and he loves you very much.’ They demanded we remove that line. The show wasn’t too long, it was too religious.”

He said the second also was sent edited for perfect timing. The response from NBC was an e-mail with a list of lines that needed to be removed, “each of them containing either the word ‘God’ or ‘Bible,'” Vischer wrote.

My first reaction was to wonder why NBC felt it needed to lie to the public about what it was doing. Vischer himself had no problem with meeting the standards, as long as NBC was being honest about it. Apparently, now they are. Vischer wrote:

So they’re being clear now, which is good. Whether or not you agree with their standards or the other shows they air is really a separate issue. They obviously have the right to set their own standards and apply them however they choose. I just wanted to make sure everyone was being upfront about the situation, because, well, I like it when we’re all being upfront.

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The Clinton Meltdown

I watched most of the Fox News Sunday interview by Chris Wallace of Bill Clinton. A couple of observations.

1. Clinton could have easily parried any perceived attack on his administration with a calm, to the point defense of what he did and why he did it. Instead, he spent most of his time getting downright accusatory of Chris Wallace and Fox News and blowing the whole thing out of proportion. Methinks he doth protest too much. Not what you’d expect from the type of politician he’s been in the past.

2. When Clinton asserted that Wallace hadn’t asked these questions of Republicans, I just knew the blogosphere’s fact checking machine was going to kick in to high gear. Patterico’s got the goods. Does the “evil” Rumsfeld count? That should quell any argument about the interview being some sort of right-wing hit piece, but of course many on the left will not be deterred from that pre-conceived notion.

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Great Hewitt Interview

Hugh Hewitt has a transcript up of an interview he did with former Washington Post senior political reporter, Thomas Edsall. It’s a very enlightening view of, among other things, what goes on in the mind of mainstream journalists, and how there is, in fact, a liberal bias that gets out even through prominent editors.

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Think Progress has retracted its story on rumors that Air American Radio was going to file for bankruptcy. Now, TP is most definitely on the left side of the political spectrum, but check out their quote from Al Franken.

Despite reports the liberal talk network would file for bankruptcy protection by week’s end — that apparently isn’t happening. Franken tells listeners “we’re not in Chapter 11? and pokes at conservative talk hosts and websites for getting it wrong with quips like “who’s gloating now Bill O’Reilly?”

Um, ‘scuse me, but who got it wrong? The liberal website. But Al’s not going to let facts get in the way of a good gloat. If anything goes wrong in the liberal universe, it must be a conservative’s fault.

There’s that wonderful “reality-based community” at work again.

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Why I (Still) Hate Polls

Polls drive me nuts. A measure of emotion is trumpeted as hard news and the media suggest that such numbers should drive public policy. One poll says that over a third of American’s think 9/11 was an inside job. But this is as much a measure of emotion as it is consideration of the (well-debunked) theories. In another poll, it says that 54% of people are angrier than they used to be. And Bush’s poll numbers have really tanked.

But what does this mean, really?

With a hat tip to Ian Murray at The Corner, and speaking of “tanking”, check out this graph that charts the President’s poll numbers against the price of gas. It’s incredible how closely the ups and downs of both track. As gas prices go up (on the graph, a higher prices is shown as a lower point), Bush’s numbers go down. You can almost predict one from knowing the other.

Yet pundits and journalists say that Bush should change his policies because of poll numbers. Tell ya’ what; can he get a mandate for allowing the NSA wiretaps if he repeals the federal gas tax? I mean, if polls should really matter that much, it follows, right?

One more reason why we don’t have a direct democracy. Thank you, Founding Fathers.

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Air America’s Life Support Cut

Brian Maloney covers the Think Progress announcement of the bankruptcy of Air America. (We’re speaking of cash this time, in addition to that of ideas.)

Cash- starved Air America Radio is broke and up for sale, the Radio Equalizer has learned exclusively.

In addition, a liberal website is reporting that the so- called “progressive” radio network will announce a bankruptcy filing on Friday.

What our own sources are telling the Radio Equalizer is that two potential buyers have recently been looking to scoop up Air America’s assets. But internal board squabbling has created a disunited front, with some members looking to hand the network back to eccentric co- founder Sheldon Drobny, while the rest shop for buyers.

When Air America first started, I went on the record predicting that the Franken show wouldn’t last 2 years. This past April, after those 2 years had gone by, I noted that I was wrong, that indeed Franken had outlasted my prediction. I also pointed out at the time that sans the huge infusions of cash, the network would never have made it that far. It was not ratings that was keeping it alive. It was on life-support.

And now the insurance payments have stopped. Someone else might start taking care of the patient, but it looks to me like a lost cause.

And as Michelle Malkin notes, maybe, just maybe, the NY Times will get around to covering all the financial troubles and scandals that have plagued the network. Yeah, well hold not thy breath.

Update: Thanks to the trackback from, we find out that AAR is denying that it has filed for bankruptcy. They say that no decision of any kind has been made on such a move. This, of course, begs the question; are they considering it? Rumor-mongering being what it is, place no bets. But stay tuned.

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Tough Questions for the Associated Press

What did they know and when did they know it? Mark Tapscott would like to know.

Saddam Hussein had a very trusted source inside AP, according to the translation of another of the thousands of documents captured by U.S. forces that are only slowing being made public. In this particular document, the source inside AP tells Hussein about the formation of UNMOVIC, the UN weapons inspection team.

So if Hussein had a credible source working for him within AP, was it a stringer in a Middle Eastern nation, an Iraqi “dissident” who had become a full-time employee or consultant to AP or a regular AP employee whose decades of agreement with the “Blame America First” school of foreign policy led to a decision to aid one of America’s enemies?

Is this individual still employed by AP? Has this individual gone on to work for another U.S. media organization like The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, etc.?

And I would add my own questions. Is this a one-off, an isolated incident, or could there be more? Do the well-documented politics of journalists make this sort of thing easier for those who can blend in with those sympathies? This should become a top priority in media circles, to root out this sort of infiltration. Reuters may have a contribution to make in this area. Certainly they should have learned a little bit on how to discover a fauxtographer.

For a counter-point, check with the Captain. Given the timing of the memo, he doesn’t see this as being a big deal, and the memo doesn’t describe the nature of the source. This is all well and good, but effort should still go into finding out whether it was a reporter or just a desk clerk. It matters.
This, as well as other documents, have uncovered a lot of information about what was really going on in Iraq, including knowledge of weapons programs. Given what’s still untranslated, Mark notes:

And one more thought: There remain thousands of untranslated documents. We still do not know with any certainty whether in fact Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

Emphasis his, and rightly so. We do know that we’ve recovered approximately 700 shells that contained or were designed to contain chemical weapons. Before people consider our current level of knowledge settled, understand that the fat lady hasn’t sung just yet.

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Rush on CBS

Brian Maloney, who keeps up with the radio talk show biz, is rather upset that Rush Limbaugh is going to do a 90-second opinion piece on Katie Couric’s new CBS Evening News.

Sounding a bit defensive, Limbaugh explained his rationale, took two calls on the subject and then quickly moved on to another topic. In a lighthearted way, he lashed out a bit at friends and supporters for not giving him more credit after all these years in the public realm.

Well, I read the transcript and honestly I don’t hear it the way Brian does. I don’t hear “defensive”, and I certainly don’t hear “lashing out”. Some dittoheads do indeed worry too much when Rush gives any time at all to anyone who leans left. And I don’t see the big deal, especially since, as Rush points out, his viewpoint is hardly ever covered on the Big 3 newscasts, so this is an historic opportunity for folks to get an unfiltered look at Limbaugh and his ideas. Yeah it’s only 90 seconds, but that’s about 80 seconds more than usual on a typical CBS news night.

There will probably still be the same issues with CBS News later as there are now; most stories ignoring or minimizing the center-right views, assuming the center-left arguments are always mainstream, going to center-left experts and organizations for reaction, etc. etc. Depending on how they handle this, CBS may actually get a bit more balanced, which can only be a good thing.

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