January 27, 2006

Helen Thomas Peevish Over "Snub"

After forty years of Presidents suffering the stupid questions of this kook (which are usually framed as thinly-veiled slander), George W. Bush has decided he doesn't have to put up with her crap. Good for him. Ever since JFK first decided to humor this twit in a press conference by taking her ridiculous questions, Helen Thomas has been a fixture in the White House press corp.

And, there she was sitting in the center of the front row yesterday waiting to ask such moronic questions as "You said you didn't go in [to Iraq] for oil or for Israel or for WMDs. So why did you go in?" For crissakes, this has only been the most discussed policy issue of this Administration. We've only been over and over and over this ad nauseum for the last three years. That wasn't designed to be a serious questions, it was meant to be an insult - a way for this Left-wing loony-toon to show her contempt for the President of the United States. Well, she kept waiting and before she knew it, the press conference was over. Now she's sulking about it. Boo-freakin-Hoo.

Helen Thomas thinks she's somehow entitled to ask her questions in these press conferences because she's never understood that past Presidents would call on her simply for their own amusement. Finally, we have a President who's willing to acknowledge that she's a joke. And when a joke stops being funny, you ignore it.

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January 25, 2006

The Interview From Hell

Hugh Hewitt absolutely eviscerated LA Times columnist Joel Stein in an interview on his radio show yesterday. Stein, who penned an appalling essay published in the Times that starts off with the statement "I don't support our troops", seem to squirm while attempting to more fully articulate his moonbat positions on the military as the transcript shows Hewitt grilling him like a porterhouse steak.

Here's a portion:

Hugh Hewitt (HH): I want to make sure I quote it correctly. "I don't support our troops. This is a particularly difficult opinion to have, especially if you are the kind of person who likes to put bumper stickers on his car." Evidently, supporting the troops is a bumper sticker position?

Joel Stein (JS): It's not. Supporting the troops is. I think a lot of people have bumper stickers, and really don't do anything else, and are against the war, and have the bumper sticker anyway.

HH: "And at the end, I'm not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after Vietnam." That's big of you. "But we shouldn't be celebrating people for doing something we don't think was a good idea." What I'm trying to figure out is what do you think is a good idea for the military to do?

JS: Well, again, that's not what my column was about, and that's something that people talk about constantly, and people give opinions on. There's a lot of Americans who are against this war and still think we should have a military.

HH: Now wait. This is the last...well, let me give you the two last paragraphs of your column. "I'm not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after the Vietnam War. But we shouldn't be celebrating people for doing something we don't think was a good idea. All I'm asking is that we give our returning soldiers what they need: hospitals, pensions, mental health, and a safe and immediate return. But please no parades. Seriously, the traffic is insufferable." So you obviously do not honor their service?

JS: I don't honor their service? The people serving in Iraq right now?

HH: Yeah.

JS: I honor them as human beings, and I want them home safe.

HH: But you don't honor their service?

JS: And honestly, I think that all these...for people who don't believe in the war and are putting up these stickers saying they support the troops anyway, my fear is that it's prolonging the war and putting them in further danger they don't need to be in.

HH: But Joel, I'm talking about you. I'm talking about what you honor, and you obviously don't honor military service.

JS: I honor police service. I honor military service. Any...I just think that...

HH: You do honor military service?

JS: Yeah. No, I'm grateful for people that serve in the military.

HH: But you don't support our troops?

JS: I don't...I don't believe in supporting the troops in an action that you don't believe in.

HH: And so, that would be everything I've named thus far. So I guess...did you support and honor the troops in the Pentagon on 9/11?

JS: Sure, yeah.

HH: All right.

JS: All the troops that are here to defend our country, I'm very, very grateful for. I'm grateful for the police...

HH: Provided they don't leave the country?

JS: Yeah, provided they don't fight in wars that I think are endangering them for no reason.

HH: And the moment they do, you stop honoring them?

JS: The moment I do, I think it's a poor idea to show support for them and prolong that engagement.

So Stein is pretty adamant about how he feels about our military and their various deployments overseas when he sits down and craps out what he undoubtably believes is a masterpiece. But when asked for clarification, he doesn't have the sack to say what he really means - that deep-down he really would like to spit on returning Veterans they way people like him used to do back in the good old days. But the most he's comfortable advocating these days is "no parades please".

Reading through the transcript, I can't help but recall a quote from the movie "Goodfellas" when Joe Pesci's Tommy DeVito says "You know Spider, you're a f*****' mumbling stuttering little prick. You know that?"

UPDATE: From around the 'sphere:
Captain Ed:

Supporting the troops really just means that you appreciate that they stand ready to carry out the policies of the United States in defense of our freedom and liberty, as expressed in the policies of our elected government. That has no bearing on any particular mission or enterprise, but instead comes from the sacrifice offered by our fellow citizens in uniform to give their lives so that we may remain free -- free to select our own leaders, free to write blogs, free to disagree with each other ... and in Stein's case, free to make an ass of himself by writing one of the most ill-conceived pieces of tripe published in a major media outlet.

Let’s break this down. Patriotism means “love and devotion to one’s country.” Dissent means “to withhold assent or approval.” Showing love can include disagreeing, but most often is an expression of approval and acceptance. Unless you’re a bumper sticker lefty, in which case according to the one on who’s car I spotted the ratty sticker, the highest form of love of country that it’s possible to show is one that constantly withholds approval of that country. Period. Being a bumper sticker, there weren’t any qualifiers like “when it’s clearly, unambiguously wrong” or “when it’s run by totalitarians like Stalin and Hitler and freedom has to be won back.” Just any old time, the best thing you can do for your country is to disapprove of it.

Very nice. I guess that makes me a very patriotic Frenchman.

WhatÂ’s most disturbing is that the same person who thinks that bumper sticker is true enough to make it a part of their car is actually allowed to operate that car on the same roads as the rest of us.

In the final breakdown, the sticker really is an exercise in self-flattery. “I disagree with this country. And that makes me better than you and all those deluded fools sent off on that war and stuff.”

Dr. Rusty Shackleford:
The underlying assumption of [Stein's column] is that wars are fought by Administrations, not by nations. By joining the military a soldier is volunteering as an extension of the Bush Administration. Hence, the soldier is complicit in Bush's alleged crimes.

While Administrations may start wars, they do not fight them. Nations fight wars.

There was no war against the Nazis. We fought Germany. And the Roosevelt Administration did not fight in WWII, America did. America is at war. When did the Left stop being part of America?

This is why the antiwar position is unpatriotic. This is America's war, and to be against it is to be against America.

There is a time to be against a war, and that time is before the war begins. Strategies for victory are legitimate debate, but as long as troops are on the ground then that is where debate should end.

In past wars an article like this would have landed the author in jail. Encouraging troops in battle to disobey commands is worse than the kind of defeatism that FDR would have arrested you for--it is inciting to treason.

UPDATE II: Another article by the unfunny Stein that shows how he really feels about the military.

h/t: The Corner, via Michelle Malkin

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January 22, 2006

WaPo Gets A Taste Of The Left's Anger

I missed this story when it broke on Thursday (too busy trying to narrow down which Elisabeth Shue pictures to use, I guess). But when Deborah Howell wrote a column about Jack Abramoff linking Democrats to his money, the Left went absolutely nuts. She mistated only technically that Democrats in Congress received Abramoff money. No, they didn't receive it directly. It was actually laundered through various Indian Tribes first. But they got the money nonetheless.

Anyway, the Washington Post site was slammed with hateful, vulgar comments against Howell, the Post and the MSM in general. It got so bad that the Post had to shut down that portion of the website. As Howell writes:

But there is no doubt about the campaign contributions that were directed to lawmakers of both parties. Records from the Federal Election Commission and the Center for Public Integrity show that Abramoff's Indian clients contributed money to 195 Republicans and 88 Democrats between 1999 and 2004. The Post also has copies of lists sent to tribes by Abramoff with his personal directions on which members were to receive what amounts.

Michael Crowley of the New Republic said in his blog that "while for all practical purposes this is indisputably a Republican scandal, the narrow liberal-blogger definition of whether any Democrats took money 'from Abramoff' -- which neatly excludes contributions he directed his clients to make -- amounts to foolish semantics.''

These facts have been reported many times in The Post and elsewhere. So why would it cause me to be called a "right-wing whore" and much worse?

Witness three printable examples:

"Yes, the WAPO needs an enema, and Howell should be the first thing that gets medicinally removed."

"You Deborah Howell, stop lying about Democrats getting money from Abramoff. Democrats do not control anything in Washington, so why would he waste money bribing them. Think and do your research, and stop being an idiot."

"This rag must be something that I pulled off a barscreen at a sewage treatment plant. Howell is simply a paid liar. How this creature endures itself is something I don't understand. What a piece of flotsam."

There is no more fervent believer in the First Amendment than I am, and I will fight for those e-mailers' right to call me a liar and Republican shill with salt for brains. But I am none of those.

My career has been a public one in journalism. You can find my biography and much of what I stand for on the Internet. You can ask anyone who worked with me in Minnesota and at Newhouse News Service what kind of journalist I am. I have spent my life working for rational reporting and passionate and reasonable opinion.

So is it the relative anonymity of the Internet that emboldens e-mailers to conduct a public stoning? Is this the increasing political polarization of our country? I don't know.

So have reached this level political discourse in this country? It reminds me of the time that a bunch of people on the Right...wait a minute. That's right, I can't think of a single time that Conservatives engaged in a "public stoning". Can you?

What Howell fails to recognize is that this isn't a problem of American politics in general. It's a problem with the angry, unhinged Left and and is born out of the frustration that comes with their political impotence. They've been reduced to acting like petulant children who aren't getting their way. No real ideas to speak of, no vision and no strategy beyond attack, attack, attack. When you think about it, isn'tt this really just the political equivalent of "your momma" and "I know you are but what am I?"

And they wonder why they keep losing.

Oh, and despite the continued one-star ratings given to Kate O'Beirne's book by Lefty kooks who've never actually read it, it's still holding strong and an average three and a half stars.


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January 04, 2006

MSM Misreports News Of Dead Coal Miners

Early in the morning, a mistaken report spread like wildfire that twelve coal miners trapped in West Virginia were miraculously alive depite a previous report that the air quality found at their level contained three times the lethal level of carbon monoxide.

The NY Times ran with the story. So did the Washington Post. The folks at CNN fell all over themselves trying to find euphoric family members to interview.

The one thing they didn't do was verify the story. As a result, the reports in the media reinforced the erroneous report and gave it legitimacy in the minds of the people holding vigils for the lost miners. It gave them false hope because the families of these men believed that the MSM wouldn't be reporting something that they didn't confirm was true.

Now, despite printed headlines to the contrary in the Times, the Post and even the more electronically up-to-the-minute USAToday at news stands all over the country, the real story has come out - that tragically the men did not survive.

The MSM is circling the wagons and trying to dodge their own irresponsibility. Trying to deflect attention from their reporting, they are focusing on the amount of time it took the management of the coal company to squash these middle-of-the-night rumors. The questions certainly need to be asked. But the initial report was just that - a rumor. If the communications people for the coal company knew soon after the initial reports that the men were NOT alive, why didn't the reporters bother to confirm - or for that matter even qualify the reports as unconfirmed?

They didn't have the time, lest they be "scooped" by their competitors. And not one single apology has come from any of these "papers of record". Here's a clue, guys: Do Your Homework! Responsible journalists are supposed to take the time to find the truth before they report the information.

But then, why should they start now?

UPDATE: Despite CNN's carefully constructed timeline, the NY Post is now reporting that the amount of time it took to inform the families of the tragic news was not nearly as long (although the Post doesn't escape blame for its own bogus headline):

At first, relatives yelled, "They're alive!" after hearing the news just before midnight and ran to the local church to pray.

But less than an hour later, those celebrations turned to tears and bitterness as a mine official informed them that there had been a breakdown in communication — and that the men were, in fact, dead.

Looks like CNN picked the wrong families to interview.

UPDATE II: Just so no one gets the impression that I'm "picking" on poor old CNN, I'd like to point out the recklessness of all three major cable news outlets. As reported by Sisu:

"[Anderson] Cooper and his counterparts on MSNBC -- the overripe Rita Cosby -- and Fox News -- some wet-behind-the-ears Anderson Cooper wannabe -- opted for the "blame game."
Editor and Publisher calls this incident "one of the most disturbing and disgraceful media performances of this type in recent years".

Jeff Jarvis of Buzzmachine.com:

One terrible lesson of the West Virginia mine tragedy is that you canÂ’t trust the news. You never could; it has always taken time to see whether stories pan out, to get all the facts, to find out the truth. But now, in our age of instant news and ubiquitous communication, the public sees this process as it occurs. ItÂ’s not the news thatÂ’s live; itÂ’s the process of figuring out what to believe thatÂ’s live. Now, indeed, everyone is a reporter and an editor and the public is learning, as reporters learned, that they need to find their ways through the fog of news. The next time I hear someone being haughty about professional news vs. citizenÂ’s news, IÂ’ll remind them of the West Virginia tragedy, where news traveled ahead of the facts, where everyone was horribly wrong.
Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin

Anyone remember a popular bumper sticker in the 1970's that said simply "Question Authority"? I think we need an updated version that says "Question The MSM".

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