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Cracks Emerging in MSM Wall of Silence on Edwards Scandal

As chronicled by your humble correspondent  in his NewsBusters story yesterday, the UK Sunday Times took great delight in tweaking the American mainstream media for maintaining a hypocritical wall of silence on the alleged John Edwards love child scandal. However, dawn has broken over a new day and a few minor cracks in this MSM wall of silence has emerged in the form of opinion columns. One such crack was in today's Hartford Courant column by Kevin Rennie, a lawyer and former Republican state legislator,  speculating about Elizabeth Edwards making a dramatic speech at the Democrat convention. It didn't take long for Rennie to go from Elizabeth Edwards to John Edwards:

Open Thread

For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: is there no limit to Bush Derangement Syndrome?

Four peace activists were arrested on Friday as they attempted to make a "citizens arrest" of Karl Rove, who was one of President George W. Bush's top aides before leaving the administration last year. "It should be Karl Rove in that van. War Criminal!" one of a dozen protestors shouted as the four were put into a police van outside a Des Moines country club where Rove spoke at a private state Republican party fundraiser.

Is there no limit to this insanity, and will it ever end?

AP's 'US Now Winning Iraq War' Analysis Getting Light Exposure

Robert Burns and Robert H. Reid created quite a stir in the blogosphere yesterday with their dispatch from Baghdad, "Analysis: US now winning Iraq war that seemed lost." NewsBusters colleague Noel Sheppard accurately called it a "stop the presses" story, and ended his post with an important perspective that you really must read if you haven't already.

Now that the story has had one overnight news cycle since its appearance at about 9 AM yesterday, I looked around to see how much coverage Burns's and Reid's work received.

I looked at what the three "newspapers of record" did (if anything) with the AP item; searched Google News for other coverage; and reviewed headline revisions made by outlets that carried it.

Results are below the fold.

Liberals Spy Comcast 'Conspiracy' – Cable Giant is Out to get Them!

I do believe that liberals in this country have their tin foils hats on way too tight these days. At least, it's easy to think that over the new national conspiracy theory that lefties are all balled up over lately. You see, it is being imagined in the dim, dark recesses of the left's collective consciousness that cable company Comcast is out to silence them.

Apparently, Comcast has come down from their circling black helicopters and decided to target the left by moving MSNBC from their basic cable package to their more expensive premium services. This will, you see, "marginalize outspoken liberal voices" like Keith Olbermann.

PBS: Be More...Suspicious of the Bible

Liberals often insist on the separation of church and state, but they’d really like to go further to separating the church from everything. That principle oozes into PBS, where a forthcoming Nova documentary insists the Bible is full of fables, not history. Orlando Sentinel TV critic Hal Boedeker reported from a PBS publicity session for TV critics:

Abraham didn't exist? The Exodus didn't happen?

The Bible's Buried Secrets, a new PBS documentary, is likely to cause a furor.

"It challenges the Bible's stories if you want to read them literally, and that will disturb many people," says archaeologist William Dever, who specializes in Israel's history. "But it explains how and why these stories ever came to be told in the first place, and how and why they were written down."

Bloomberg's Fred Kempe: Obama 'Center-Right on Foreign Policy'

Barack Obama's overseas trip this past week proved “he's not a left-wing ideologue” or a “dove” and, “if anything, he's center, even center-right, on foreign policy issues,” Bloomberg News world affairs columnist Fred Kempe, a veteran of the Wall Street Journal, declared on this weekend's Political Capital show which airs several times Friday night and Saturday on Bloomberg TV.

Host Al Hunt, formerly Executive Washington Editor of the Wall Street Journal, opened the segment with Kempe by showing video of Obama shooting a basketball as he enthused, “You might call it the shot heard 'round the world: Barack Obama, at a military base in Kuwait, meeting with the troops and sinking a three-pointer.” Asked his assessment of Obama's trip, Kempe echoed: “If it weren't a three-point shot, I would have called it a slam dunk. In any case, wherever he went he had perfect pitch.” Hunt concluded the segment: “From a three-point shot to 200,000 people in Berlin, it was an extraordinarily memorable week.”

Follow the Money from Journalists to Democrats

No one should be surprised, but journalists -- you know, those fair, balanced and unbiased professionals -- give more of their political donations to Democrats than they do Republicans. Not by just a little, either. By a 15 to 1 margin.

Brit Hume has a small bit on his Political Grapevine about political donations and he mentions an IBD editorial on the money trail. The piece is by William Tate (a better version of Tate's piece is at and it shows a whopping bias towards the Democrats in donations from our fourth estate (or is that fifth column?).

Matthews Defends 'Thrill Going Up My Leg,' Insists He's Fair

Appearing on the Monday, July 21, Tonight Show, MSNBC host Chris Matthews defended his declaration from last February that a Barack Obama speech caused him to feel a "thrill going up my leg," and suggested he really is not biased in the presidential race as he contended that "I’m a freaking American" and "who I’m rooting for" is "us." Referring to Obama having "seen on both sides of that San Andreas Fault of race in this country," Matthews effused that Obama was "inspiring." Matthews: "I was inspired by it, and I said so at the time, and I took some heat for it, but I’d rather be honest and say what I feel ...You know, I mean, I'm a freaking American. I do have a reaction to things, and I do react emotionally to my country. I care about this country. I want to look out for it. It's my job. I'm not just some umpire. You know, I take a side: Us. That's who I'm rooting for." Video of Matthews' "thrill" comment from February 12 can be found here.

But after seeming to claim that he was not cheering for either candidate, as he discussed the expected closeness of the election, Matthews focused on his fear that many 70- and 80-year-olds will be "suspicious of change," which sounds like a reference to Obama, as he advised the elderly to "think like your kids for once." Matthews: "I hope one thing. When people go to vote, they look at the guy's background, they look at the age of the two candidates, they look at their abilities and really open up their hearts and say what's really good for my kids, who don't have any color awareness. Kids don't think about that, race. Think like your kids for once. Think the way they think. It would be great if the older people in the country, the 70-year-olds, the 80-year-olds who are suspicious of change, to say, ‘You know, why don't I think the way my kids are thinking and think about the future?’ Whatever they decide, just open up your heart to this prospect of something different. That's what I hope we do." (Transcript follows)

Sunday Times (UK) Tweaks American MSM for Remaining Mum on Edwards Scandal

The Sunday Times (UK) has just ratcheted up the pressure on the American media in their continuing effort to maintain their silence on the alleged John Edwards scandal. While becoming the largest English language newspaper so far to publish the juicy details, The Sunday Times, in tomorrow's edition, also took a bit of delight in tweaking the American newspapers for their desperate efforts to put a lid on this scandal such as the directive by the Los Angeles Times muzzling their staff from reporting on this as has been chronicled here in NewsBusters today. The Sunday Times story set the tone with this catchy headline, "Sleaze scuppers Democrat golden boy," followed by this subtitle, "Gotcha: Senator John Edwards, whose wife has cancer, has been caught in a sex scandal that ends his vice-presidential hopes." The Sunday Times story itself goes where the American MSM fears to tread (emphasis mine):

AP: US Now Winning Iraq War

Stop the presses: the world's leading wire service declared on July 26, 2008, that America is now winning the war in Iraq.

Think I'm kidding?

Well, prepare yourself for an alternate reality, for the "defeat" and "slipping into civil war" Iraq coverage the past three years took an interesting turn Saturday when the Associated Press published an article amazingly entitled, "Analysis: US Now Winning Iraq War That Seemed Lost" (emphasis added, h/t NBer DaBird):

Mainstream Media Overlook Death Row Obama Endorsement

Much of the mainstream media is gushing over French President Nicolas Sarkozy gushing over Barack Obama.  The Chicago Sun-Times's Lynn Sweet, for example, wrote that "The beaming looks Sarkozy showered on Obama needed no interpretation."  Unfortunately for the media, those looks of love didn't lead to an explicit Sarkozy endorsement, something they could have really gushed over.

While overseas, Obama did receive an outright endorsement.  John McCaslin yesterday reported in his "Inside the Beltway" Washington Times column:
Minutes after both Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and the U.S. Supreme Court denied appeals to spare his life and he was put to death by lethal injection Wednesday evening for his role in a 1998 claw hammer bludgeoning of a friend, 34-year-old Dale Leo Bishop urged Americans to vote for the Illinois senator for president.

According to the Natchez Democrat, after being strapped to a gurney Wednesday evening and apologizing for the crime, the goateed Bishop uttered these final words:

Penn & Teller Expose Socialist Roots To Environmental Hysteria

In 2003, Showtime's Penn & Teller program with a name not appropriate above the fold -- unless, of course, you're a member of the Netroots! -- marvelously exposed what's behind the global warming and environmental hysteria in America today.

The videos have just come available on YouTube.

In part one (embedded right), the comedy team accurately depicted environmentalists as political and social activists who use green rhetoric to "cloak agendas that actually have more to do with anti-corporatism, anti-globalization, anti-business, and very little to do with science and ecology."

Exactly. Parts two and three are embedded below the fold with a warning that these videos contain mild vulgarity. Actually, it's typically one word that most shouldn't find too offensive for it properly characterizes what's behind all this nonsense:

MSM Mostly Ignores Surge of Anti-Obama PUMA Democrat Activity

Imagine if a bunch of disgruntled Mitt Romney supporters were currently stalking John McCain or Republican events loudly demanding that their candidate be nominated. Think the national press would be featuring it bigtime as an example of Republican party disunity? Well, the same thing is happening except the people are disgruntled Democrats expressing their opposition of Barack Obama while loudly continuing to support Hillary Clinton. They are known as PUMA ("People United Means Action" or "Party Unity My Ass").  PUMA was formed last month in the aftermath of Hillary Clinton conceding the Democrat nomination to Obama. However, contrary to being just a desperate last gasp by Hillary's supporters, PUMA activities seem to be surging lately despite the overseas trip by Obama which was widely heralded by the mainstream media. In fact, the official PUMA PAC website has today announced, in a message directed towards Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod, their view that the Obama trip was a "flop":

WaPo's Hoagland Unimpressed with Obama's Berlin Speech

As NewsBusters has been reporting for a number of weeks, some key figures at the Washington Post have been breaking from the Obama-loving pack and actually pointing out the absence of substance behind all the junior senator from Illinois' flash.

Add Jim Hoagland to the list who clearly wasn't as impressed with the presumptive Democrat presidential nominee's speech in Berlin as most of his colleagues in the press.

Here's what he told PBS's Charlie Rose Thursday (video embedded right):

A Week with No US Troop Deaths In Iraq

On July 16, Andrew Malcolm at the Los Angeles Times's Top of the Ticket Blog wrote the following (bold is mine):

When President Bush ordered the surge in January 2007, (Barack) Obama said: "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse," a position he maintained throughout 2007. This year he acknowledged progress, but maintained his position that political progress was lacking.

This YouTube video (different from the compare/contrast video at the bottom of the LAT's link) shows Obama reciting the lines just quoted.

The LAT Blog notes earlier in its entry that "The parts (of Obama's web site) that stressed his opposition to the 2007 troop surge and his statement that more troops would make no difference in a civil war have somehow disappeared."

Something else disappeared this week. Team Obama, for all its posturing, probably saw something like this coming -- which explains their web site scrubbing.

Hopefully this event will repeat itself frequently. You have to get all the way to the end of an apparently weekly routine Associated Press report to see it, but there it is:

Weekend Sports Open Thread

We're talkin' sports here:

  • Duke ranked most prestigious college B-ball team...yippee!
  • Will Team USA take home B-ball gold in China?
  • Who's gonna win the Brett Favre sweepstakes?
  • Pre-season football approaches, any thoughts?
  • I just can't get excited about baseball this year, how 'bout you?
  • Anybody have ESPN Insider to tell us the 10 must-see college football games this year?
  • Is Kyle Busch a young version of Dale Earnhardt?
  • Anything else?

Open Thread

For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: oil speculation regulation.

Senate Republicans on Friday blocked a vote on legislation to rein in speculation in the energy markets, instead calling for energy votes that would expand domestic petroleum production and more nuclear power development...The Democrats' legislation would require the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to set limits on the amount of speculative trades that can be made by participants who aren't buying futures to offset their exposure to the actual commodity, including in over-the-counter markets and other exchanges exempt from the same oversight as the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Is there anything wrong with limiting this kind of speculation? Consider this NRO piece before you answer.

NY Times Ignores Its Own Story, Then Mocks McCain on Oil Drilling

The New York Times, while fawning all over Barack Obama's European sojourn, just couldn't resist taking potshots at John McCain who remained here in the United States -- you know, campaigning for the votes of people that can actually vote for him:

On Thursday evening in a glittering Berlin, cheered by as many as 200,000 people, Mr. Obama delivered a tone poem to American and European ideals and shared history. In contrast, just before he spoke, Mr. McCain, was sitting in Schmidt’s Sausage Haus und Restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, having a bratwurst, and saying grumpily that he would prefer to speak to Germans when he is president, not before.

And if that wasn't enough, on a back page story of the previous day's edition, the Times ignored their own story located elsewhere in the paper, and in the process impugned John McCain's call for more oil drilling (along with taking a few more cheap digs at the GOP presidential nominee):

NYT Complaint: Not Enough Photos Of Mutilated American Soldiers in This War

** Now With Update... A Soldier Speaks **

The New York Times is miffed. They aren't happy that there has been a dearth of news photos showing dead American soldiers in the war in Iraq. The Times is lamenting that there have been "4,000 U.S. Combat Deaths, and Just a Handful of Images," so more carnage and death is their druthers. Well, more American dead, anyway. They aren't interested in the dead of the enemy, to be sure.

Using the story of photog Zoriah Miller who had his embed status removed when he publicized photos of dead U.S. Marines after a suicide bombing, the Times reveals their pique over the fact that not enough dead Americans have been peddled to the American public. The Times denounces the military for protecting the troops and their families saying, "after five years and more than 4,000 American combat deaths, searches and interviews turned up fewer than a half-dozen graphic photographs of dead American soldiers."

Complaining for opponents of the war that the lack of casualty photos has created a a situation where the "public portrayal of the war is being sanitized," the Times wonders if the homefront is being badly served because we here are not seeing the "human cost of a war that polls consistently show is unpopular with Americans."

Gushing Immaturity: A German Reporter's Workout With Barack Obama

Apparently, Bild, a newspaper in Germany, hires 14-year-old, starry-eyed, fan-girls as reporters instead of serious grownups. Or, at least one would be excused in thinking this reporter was a rock-star struck teeny bopper upon reading her gushingly immature account of having an exercise work out with Barack Obama on the German leg of his trip. This report is so obsequious, so saccharine, that it is painful to read. The whole incident is really banal and uneventful in retrospect, but this reporter builds it into orgasmic proportions showing how the press, even in Europe, have allowed hero worship to overtake even the tiniest shred of journalistic integrity.

Judith Bonesky's breathless account so overplays reality that it is sickening. Even the title shows that the writer was acting like a goofy child unable to restrain her boundless enthusiasm. Like a teenaged, Hannah Montana fan, Bonesky blurts out excitedly, "I worked out with Obama!" -- yes, even with an exclamation point at the end. So much for objective, dispassionate reporting.

LAT Muzzles Staff On Edwards Story, Trumpets Obama (Again) with HUGE Photo

How bad is the pro-Democratic bias at the Los Angeles Times? Here are two more examples ... from just the past 24 hours.

1. Slate's Mickey Kaus published a jaw-dropping item earlier today that the Los Angeles Times has banned its bloggers from writing about the reported affair between Sen. John Edwards and a blonde named Rielle Hunter. Kaus obtained a copy of an e-mail written by Times editor Tony Pierce. Wrote Pierce, "Because the only source has been the National Enquirer we have decided not to cover the rumors or salacious speculations. So I am asking you all not to blog about this topic until further notified."

Kaus reminds everyone that while the L.A. Times and the MSM have been pretty silent on this Edwards story, the New York Times was unafraid in running a front-page article last February that strongly insinuated an adulterous affair between John McCain and a lobbyist. Double standard? Absolutely.

2. The Los Angeles Times really, really, really wanted you to know that Barack Obama gave a speech in Germany yesterday. Check out the humungous front-page, full-color photo (almost 50 square inches; I reduced the size for easier viewing) from today's paper (Fri. 7/25/08).

Ignored Economic News of the Week: YTD Surplus with Free-Trade Countries

Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, while waffling, has wanted to appear to many of his constituents as being opposed to free trade agreements, or at least wanting to renegotiate the terms of many of them.

On Wednesday, the Department of Commerce issued a press release, the kind of thing you would hope business journalists get in their e-mail boxes. But I found no coverage of this news in a Google News Search on [commerce "free trade'] (typed as indicated inside brackets).

Perhaps it's because the news would be inconvenient for Obama, who is in the midst of an Excellent Overseas Adventure, speaking to fawning crowds who fortunately will have no say at the ballot box in November.

Here is that news:

Hannity & Colmes Plays Satirical Gospel About Obama as Messiah

FNC's Hannity & Colmes on Friday night featured Times of London Assistant Editor/U.S. Editor Gerard Baker reading aloud his hilarious Friday column, “He ventured forth to bring light to the world,” in which he recounted Obama's life story and trip to the Middle East and Europe as if told through a gospel in the Bible. The lead to Baker's satire: “And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.”

Baker's narrative mocked the media's infatuation:

And so it was, in the fullness of time, before the harvest month of the appointed year, the Child ventured forth -- for the first time -- to bring the light unto all the world. He traveled fleet of foot and light of camel, with a small retinue that consisted only of his loyal disciples from the tribe of the Media....

From there the Child went up to the city of Jerusalem, and entered through the gate seated on an ass. The crowds of network anchors who had followed him from afar cheered "Hosanna" and waved great palm fronds and strewed them at his feet.
Video: The entire reading took Baker more than six minutes, enhanced with matching video and pictures added by a Fox News producer. The Flash video above provides about half (3:35) of it, cutting out the beginning and end. MP3 audio (1.3 MB)

ABC: Effusing 'Bordered on Endorsement,' CBS: No Endorsement

A minor item for a Friday night. File under: Which way is it?

ABC anchor Charles Gibson contended that French President Nicolas Sarkozy's “effusively kind words” about Barack Obama, who joined Sarkozy at a press conference in Paris, “bordered on an endorsement.” On CBS, however, anchor Katie Couric reported that Sarkozy said the French people have been following Obama “with passion” but, she noted, he “quickly pointed out that was not an endorsement.”

The very short items on the July 25 newscasts:

NBC's Brian Williams to Interview Iran's Ahmadinejad

In the lead up to the March 2003 Iraq invasion, CBS's Dan Rather interviewed Saddam Hussein.

Now, less than four months before America goes to the polls to elect a new president, NBC's Brian Williams is going to interview Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

I wonder if Williams will ask the lunatic despot who he's supporting in the coming elections?

Regardless of the answer, TVNewser reported about five hours ago (photo also courtesy Newser):

Detroit Mayor Allegedly Commits Assault; What Party?

DemOrGOPgraphic0708.jpgThe Associated Press's Ed White used almost 700 words in his story (link is dynamic; story in form found at 5:04 p.m. is also here) about the latest developments relating to Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick of Detroit, and failed to name his party affiliation even once.

Even beyond that, though he did tell readers that Kilpatrick faces a criminal trial for perjury, misconduct, and obstruction of justice, White failed to note that calls for Kilpatrick's resignation, which began in earnest with City Council's 7-1 vote in March, continue to mount.

According to White's report, Kilpatrick:

MSNBC's Mitchell Defends Obama; Gushes About 'Love Fest' in France

Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC News Live | NewsBusters.orgWhile many in the media rather enjoyed Obama’s speech in Berlin, particularly CBS which declared that it “confirmed his rock star status,” many conservatives felt that this speech, like others, lacked substance. But, Obama need not worry because NBC Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell, reporting from London, came to Obama’s defense during the 3 p.m. hour of the July 25 MSNBC “News Live”:

Well, [the Obama campaign] have rebutted that and I think when you look at this speech, this was a broad, overarching, thematic speech. It was never intended to be a checklist of legislative programs. So I think that they can fairly defend themselves and say this was the big picture of let’s have the United States and Europe re-engage.

Of course, it could be argued that with the rise of center-right leaders in Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s Nicolas Sarkozy, and Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi, that Europe has largely re-engaged President Bush’s administration in the past few years, but why bother with such minor details?

Earlier in the segment, Mitchell reported on Obama’s meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, describing the meeting as a “love fest” and gushing about their “full scale presidential news conference”:

CNN Admits Error in USC College Republicans Story

CNN has admitted to a serious error in a report filed Thursday concerning a Republican student organization at the University of Southern California.

A segment which originally aired at 6:00 AM on "American Morning," and twice after that, used a person not affiliated with the USC College Republicans to suggest the organization is having a hard time drawing support because of a lack of enthusiasm for John McCain.

According to the Los Angeles Times "Top of the Ticket" blog, CNN has apologized (h/t NBer Tom):

BMI’s Burchfiel on FBN: Media Sensationalizes Qantas Incident

The media were quick to jump on the story of an emergency airplane landing in Manila, Philippines due to a hole in the fuselage of a Qantas flight. And they were quick to sensationalize the story without mentioning Qantas' impressive safety record.

"Well, nobody's saying that we should be covering up a huge hole in the side of an airplane. But it's important for the media to not sensationalize cases like this, which they are already doing," Business & Media Institute Assistant Editor Nathan Burchfiel told Fox Business Network host Stuart Varney on the July 25 "Fox Business."

Burchfiel noted that British tabloids have already speculated that a bomb in the cargo hold may have blown a hole in the fuselage, even though there was no indication that's the case.

"This morning in the American media on ABC, David Muir said that the plane ‘instantly plummeted' 20,000 feet, which is not true," Burchfiel said. "The pilot descended 20,000 feet, rather sharply, but that was his decision, he did it under full control to normalize cabin pressure."

Weekend Captionfest

Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy after their meeting at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Friday, July 25, 2008. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)