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Posts Tagged ‘propaganda’

Objective journalism?

Posted by Richard on July 14, 2013’s Big Journalism reports that:

After George Zimmerman was found not guilty of all charges on Saturday evening, an Associated Press reporter, Cristina Silva, tweeted this out from her verified twitter account: “So we can all kill teenagers now? Just checking.”

And the Huffington Post reported the George Zimmerman verdict like this:


Yesterday, John Nolte posted a roundup of the “malicious fraud and lies” propagated by the media regarding George Zimmerman — certainly incomplete, but sufficiently extensive to prove the point — entitled “Guilty Until Proven Innocent: How the Press Prosecuted Zimmerman While Stoking Racial Tensions.” Regarding this item in Nolte’s roundup, I’d like to add a bit more information:

March 19, 2012 – CBS News Falsely Claims Zimmerman Is White

A small detail that the Obama administration and the media apparently missed was that the white versus black racial narrative they were preparing to invest so much into was missing just one thing: a white person.

Proof of this is that CBS News falsely claimed Zimmerman was white about a week before the story exploded.

In their venomous zeal, the media and Democrats likely assumed that someone with the last name Zimmerman had to be white. But they were wrong, as Zimmerman is Hispanic.

Never ones to back off a good narrative, rather than use this revelation to tamp down tensions or correct their reporting, the media simply made up out of whole cloth a new racial category: the “white Hispanic.”

It’s even more contemptible than that. Zimmerman isn’t just Hispanic, he’s part black. Did you ever see an MSM report identifying him as a “black and white Hispanic”? Of course not.

They aren’t journalists. They’re propagandists.

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Obama Justice Department organized and promoted anti-Zimmerman protests

Posted by Richard on July 10, 2013

Wow. Just wow. Venezuela ain’t got nothin’ on us. We’ve truly become a banana republic (emphasis in original):

Document: DOJ Community Relations Service was deployed to Sanford, FL, “to provide technical assistance for the preparation of possible marches and rallies related to the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old African American male.” 

Washington, D.C. – Judicial Watch announced today that has obtained documents in response to local, state, and federal records requests revealing that a little-known unit of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Community Relations Service (CRS), was deployed to Sanford, FL, following the Trayvon Martin shooting to help organize and manage rallies and protests against George Zimmerman.

JW filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requested with the DOJ on April 24, 2012; 125 pages were received on May 30, 2012. JW administratively appealed the request on June 5, 2012, and received 222 pages more on March 6, 2013. According to the documents:

  • March 25 – 27, 2012, CRS spent $674.14 upon being “deployed to Sanford, FL, to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain.”
  • March 25 – 28, 2012, CRS spent $1,142.84 “in Sanford, FL to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain.
  • March 30 – April 1, 2012, CRS spent $892.55 in Sanford, FL “to provide support for protest deployment in Florida.”
  • March 30 – April 1, 2012, CRS spent an additional $751.60 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance to the City of Sanford, event organizers, and law enforcement agencies for the march and rally on March 31.”
  • April 3 – 12, 2012, CRS spent $1,307.40 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance, conciliation, and onsite mediation during demonstrations planned in Sanford.”
  • April 11-12, 2012, CRS spent $552.35 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance for the preparation of possible marches and rallies related to the fatal shooting of a 17 year old African American male.” – expenses for employees to travel, eat, sleep?

No, the documents reveal that the employees were “Thomas Battles, Regional Director, and Mildred De Robles, Miami-Dade Coordinator and their co-workers at the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service,” so they were already stationed in the area, not “deployed” from Washington. The expenses (admittedly small potatoes as far as government expenditures go; but still …) were probably for things like meeting rooms, “working lunches,” and maybe sign printing.

Set up under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the DOJ’s CRS, the employees of which are required by law to “conduct their activities in confidence,” reportedly has greatly expanded its role under President Barack Obama. Though the agency claims to use “impartial mediation practices and conflict resolution procedures,” press reports along with the documents obtained by Judicial Watch suggest that the unit deployed to Sanford, FL, took an active role in working with those demanding the prosecution of Zimmerman.

On April 15, 2012, during the height of the protests, the Orlando Sentinel reported“They [the CRS] helped set up a meeting between the local NAACP and elected officials that led to the temporary resignation of police Chief Bill Lee according to Turner Clayton, Seminole County chapter president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.” The paper quoted the Rev. Valarie Houston, pastor of Allen Chapel AME Church, a focal point for protestors, as saying “They were there for us,” after a March 20 meeting with CRS agents.

Separately, in response to a Florida Sunshine Law request to the City of Sanford, Judicial Watch also obtained an audio recording of a “community meeting” held at Second Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Sanford on April 19, 2012. The meeting, which led to the ouster of Sanford’s Police Chief Bill Lee, was scheduled after a group of college students calling themselves the “Dream Defenders” barricaded the entrance to the police department demanding Lee be fired.  According to the Orlando Sentinel, DOJ employees with the CRS had arranged a 40-mile police escort for the students from Daytona Beach to Sanford.

“These documents detail the extraordinary intervention by the Justice Department in the pressure campaign leading to the prosecution of George Zimmerman,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “My guess is that most Americans would rightly object to taxpayers paying government employees to help organize racially-charged demonstrations.”

I wonder if Department of Justice Community Relations Service employees will be “providing support” for the riots that many in the media are expecting when George is Zimmerman is (quite properly) acquitted.

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More doctoring by NBC/MSNBC

Posted by Richard on June 19, 2012

The NBC “news” organization, which doctored the tape of the George Zimmerman 911 call to make him appear to be a racist, has done it again. This time, they doctored video of Mitt Romney to make him appear to be out of touch with the ordinary, day-to-day experiences of average Americans like ordering a sandwich at a sub shop.

It was a blatant attempt to reprise the Bush supermarket scanner story (which was declared false by Snopes, by the way), and MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell explicitly compared it to that incident.

In fact, Romney was simply comparing how private businesses, thanks to competition and innovation, make things easier and easier for their customers while the federal government makes things harder and harder. So he contrasted the ease of ordering a sub from a touch-screen with the difficulty an optometrist faced when trying to change his address (a 32-page form!) and get paid money the federal government owed him (a multi-month process). You can see the whole segment at NewsBusters (link above).

But you’d never know any of that context from seeing the carefully edited MSNBC clip. Or the slightly longer clip (still omitting all the context, and also at Newsbusters link above) that Mitchell showed in response to criticism.

Expect more of this between now and November. Much more. Especially from NBC/MSNBC, but from other MSM outlets also. They’re totally in the tank for Obama and willing to do virtually anything to manipulate public opinion on his behalf.

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NCIS Los Angeles: good show, but this bit sucks

Posted by Richard on May 15, 2012

I like NCIS Los Angeles. It’s not in the same league as the original NCIS, but then what is? NCIS Los Angeles has an interesting cast of characters, is well acted, and usually has a pretty good plot. But one bit near the beginning of the two-hour season finale really pissed me off.

Nell: “… Point Blank is an FFL.”
Callan: “Federal Firearms licensed facility.”
Heddy: “Many of which have been responsible for a large amount of illegal guns finding their way into the hands of criminals.”

“Many of which” — yeah, right. That’s a gratuitous bit of false anti-gun propaganda that makes my blood boil.

Especially considering that many of the “many” FFLs that have funneled guns to criminals in the past few years did so — sometimes under duress — at the direction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) as part of the notorious “Operation Fast and Furious,” which Eric Holder’s Justice Department has done its best to cover up.

Shame on you, NCIS Los Angeles.

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The “peace activists” fraud

Posted by Richard on June 3, 2010

Five of the six ships in the "humanitarian flotilla" that tried to break the Israeli sea blockade of Gaza were boarded peacefully by IDF soldiers. The blockade is necessary and justified under international law in order to prevent massive shipments of rockets and other munitions to Hamas for attacks on Israel. The ships were escorted to an Israeli port, where the passengers were allowed to disembark.

Their cargo, after inspection, will be forwarded into Gaza by land. Along with the hundred or so tractor-trailers that pass through Israeli checkpoints into Gaza every day — there is no "humanitarian crisis" or shortage of food, water, and other merchandise in Gaza; the store shelves are full. 

So what was different about the sixth ship, the Mavi Marmara, where all the violence occurred? This was the ship of a Turkish Islamofascist terrorist organization called IHH. It was full of self-described mujahideen eager to become shahid (martyrs) in the cause of annihilating the Jews. A number of them are reportedly al Qaeda members. They were armed, organized, and positioned for a battle before the Israelis boarded. The Israeli soldiers were set upon with knives, iron pipes, and concussion grenades the moment they set foot on deck. 

Most of the mainstream media — and shamefully, the U.S. and other Western governments — were too busy shedding tears for the poor "peace activists" and quickly rushing to condemn Israel to wait even a few hours for the true story to begin to come out. Most are still failing to report what really happened — that the Israelis were the victims, not the aggressors, and that this was a deliberate propaganda stunt. The jihadists know that they can always count on our media to abet them in such efforts. 

For more about these "peace activists," go here and here. And here, too. For tons of info, links, and videos, see Backspin's liveblogging parts one and two. And this HonestReporting alert. You can read about and watch video of Netanyahu's excellent response to this travesty here.

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Erasing history in North Carolina

Posted by Richard on February 10, 2010

I've mentioned the "critical pedagogy" educational theory before. Geoffrey Britain recently posted an excellent two-part discussion of critical pedagogy and cultural Marxism at Verum Serum (part 1; part 2). The application of these radical theories leads to outrageous attempts to indoctrinate children and crudely shape their world view. Case in point, the effort to erase most of American history from the curriculum in North Carolina, as reported by ALG's Bill Wilson (emphasis added):

In perhaps the most glaring example to date of our government’s descent into socialist madness, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction is attempting to remove all American history prior to 1877 from its textbooks, replacing it with a “global studies” curriculum.

Rather than learning about George Washington crossing the Delaware or Abraham Lincoln freeing the slaves (while studying from documents like the Declaration of Independence or the Emancipation Proclamation), high school students in North Carolina would instead be indoctrinated with more multicultural rhetoric and the fuzzy science of climate change (while studying form the Koran and the “Copenhagen Accord”).

By removing the entire first century of American history from our children’s textbooks, these radicals are doing more than just putting a “liberal spin” on things – they are trying to fundamentally alter the world view of future generations of U.S. citizens. They are trying to rip out American democracy by its roots and replace it with what Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer has dubbed the “New Socialism,” the exploitation of climate-based fear-mongering as a means to facilitate a massive wealth transfer from American taxpayers to third-world governments, many of which are hostile to the United States.

Joseph Goebbels would no doubt be proud of such a curriculum – and the objective behind it.

My first impulse was to say, "Unbelievable!" But then I realized the sad thing is that it's entirely believable. 

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Media fact-checking priorities

Posted by Richard on November 21, 2009

It's a tough time in the news business, with lots of layoffs and red ink. So it's especially important for an organization like the Associated Press, which is cutting 10% of its staff, to allocate its limited investigative and reporting resources carefully, based on well-chosen priorities. James Taranto provided an excellent example:

An Associated Press dispatch, written by Erica Werner and Richard Alonso-Zaldivar, compares the House and Senate ObamaCare bills. We'd like to compare this dispatch to the AP's dispatch earlier this week "fact checking" Sarah Palin's new book. Here goes:

Number of AP reporters assigned to story:
   • ObamaCare bills: 2
   • Palin book: 11

Number of pages in document being covered:
   • ObamaCare bills: 4,064
   • Palin book: 432

Number of pages per AP reporter:
   • ObamaCare bill: 2,032
   • Palin book: 39.3

On a per-page basis, that is, the AP devoted 52 times as much manpower to the memoir of a former Republican officeholder as to a piece of legislation that will cost trillions of dollars and an untold number of lives. That's what they call accountability journalism.

I suppose that kind of prioritization of journalistic resources is why the evening news, CNN, MSNBC, NYT, WaPo, etc., haven't dug into the many examples of bogus math and fiscal sleight-of-hand in the ObamaCare bills, like delaying most of the expenditures until 2013 (after the election) so that the CBO's 10-year projection includes only seven years' worth of costs. And they've been too busy with the Palin investigations to notice that both the House and Senate bills contain the regulatory framework that will eventually transform government panels' suggested standards of care, like those much-criticized mammogram and Pap smear recommendations, into the tools for rationing health care

I suppose it's also why you'll have a hard time finding any in-depth coverage of the bogus accounting and reporting of the "stimulus" bill's spending and job creation

This is nothing new. During the campaign last fall, the big media organizations sent scores of reporters to scour Alaska in search of dirt on Gov. Palin. But hardly anyone had time to investigate Obama's relationships with Tony Rezko, the Daley brothers, ACORN, Rod Blagojevich, Emil Jones, and other elements of the Chicago machine (well, to be fair, I think one reporter each from the Chicago Sun-Times and the Washington Times and a couple of semi-pros from Newsmax doggedly dug into these things). 

But some journalists still have the courage to hammer interviewees with challenging, aggressive, well-researched, adversarial questions — at least when the interviewee is a 17-year-old Sarah Palin fan. Speaking Truth to Teenager. (By all means, take Finkelstein's advice and read the blog entry by interviewee Jackie Seals. Fascinating.)

Maybe the courageous Norah O'Donnell's next assignment will be to confront supporters of ObamaCare with tough questions like, "Do you realize that if this passes, you could be sent to jail for not buying an approved health care plan?" And then she'll go to some "Save the Planet" rally and challenge a Gore supporter with, "Are you aware that the Earth's core is 4000°, not a million degrees as Mr. Gore has claimed, and that many of his other claims are equally outlandish and unsubstantiated?"

Somehow, I doubt it. And I'm not holding my breath waiting for 60 Minutes reporters to ambush the perpetrators of the latest climate fraud, either.

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Manufacturing consent in Denver

Posted by Richard on August 30, 2009

Since I still haven't posted a report on Friday's rally in support of government-controlled health care and I'm feeling lazy today, I'll refer you to El Marco's excellent report and photo essay.

Especially noteworthy: The line to enter the rally site moved slowly, as staff members with clipboards required attendees to put down their name and address to be allowed in. Those who asked were told it was a security thing. Later, Rep. Ed Perlmutter thanked everyone for signing and said the names would be sent to Washington to show support for Obamacare.

The Saturday Denver Post story lived down to their usual standard (I really miss the Rocky; their reporting certainly wasn't without its problems, but at least they didn't always err on the same side). For instance, reporter Mike McPhee said this: 

About 50 to 60 protesters stood off the school grounds, across West 32nd Avenue, waving banners. Their chants were drowned out by the much larger, noisier crowd. 

Fail. We weren't across West 32nd. We were on the same side of the street as the high school (the rally location). Our chants weren't drowned out because we weren't chanting.

Oh, people would shout things from time to time (usually in response to something shouted our way by the l'Obamatized attendees passing by us). And then there was the Paulian woman who kept shouting "arrest the banksters!" when she wasn't trying to tell people the "troof" about 9/11. (It disturbs me that for over a decade, I lent financial support to Ron Paul and thus helped in some way to make this insane movement possible.)

McPhee's story did provide a quote from Rep. Perlmutter that, if accurate, is quite revealing regarding his understanding of the Constitution and the difference between government and private businesses: 

"My daughter has epilepsy, and she's being discriminated against because of her prior condition," he told the cheering crowd. "We're not going to let her get pushed aside.

"Under the 14th Amendment, we are guaranteed equal protection. People with prior conditions are not being protected."

I shake my head in sadness and disbelief.


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All about that attack on the CO Democratic Party HQ

Posted by Richard on August 28, 2009

I've been meaning to post something about the vandalizing of state Democratic Party headquarters a couple of days ago. Around 3 AM, someone smashed a bunch of their windows with a hammer. The windows targeted were the ones with pro-Obamacare signs in them. There was immediate tsk-tsking about "right-wing extremists" and efforts to link this at least in spirit to the Tea Party movement, the "raucous" town hall attendees, and the Republican Party. Among those doing so was Democratic Party State Chair Pat Waak (emphasis added):

"We ought to be having a serious, conscientious debate about what's best for the country," Waak said. "Clearly there's been an effort on the other side to stir up hate. I think this is the consequence of it."

But this is the age of Google and online data. After one of the perps, Maurice Schwenkler, was arrested, it took about 15 minutes to discover that he is a radical leftist who last fall worked for the Colorado Citizens Coalition, an SEIU front organization that worked on behalf of Democratic candidates. Its major contributors included the AFL-CIO, NARAL, and two of the ultra-rich leftists who over the past few election cycles have bought the State of Colorado for the Democrats, Tim Gill and Pat Stryker. 

Schwenkler was also arrested at the Republican National Convention. So much for the "right-wing extremists" meme. Tell DHS they can go back to researching the "right-wing threat" on those wacko leftist websites from which they've been getting their best information.

The People Press Collective has been all over this from the beginning and has everything you'll ever want to know. Start at the bottom of the post and work your way up through the baker's dozen updates.

As an earlier PPC post put it, this was "More Reichstag Fire than Kristallnacht."

If you're as smart as I thing you are (you're reading this, aren't you?), you won't be surprised to learn that the Democrats aren't offering any apologies. 

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MSNBC takes media mendacity to a new level

Posted by Richard on August 21, 2009

It's been increasingly obvious for several years that the majority of the mainstream media are no longer attempting to report the news honestly and fairly, they're attempting to create news and manipulate public opinion.

No outlet has been a worse offender in the past year or so than MSNBC. But their August 18th story about demonstrators near the VFW convention in Phoenix marked a shameful new low even for them (emphasis in 1st pgf from original; later emphasis added): 

On Tuesday, MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer fretted over health care reform protesters legally carrying guns: "A man at a pro-health care reform rally…wore a semiautomatic assault rifle on his shoulder and a pistol on his hip….there are questions about whether this has racial overtones….white people showing up with guns." Brewer failed to mention the man she described was black.

Following Brewer’s report, which occurred on the Morning Meeting program, host Dylan Ratigan and MSNBC pop culture analyst Toure discussed the supposed racism involved in the protests. Toure argued: "…there is tremendous anger in this country about government, the way government seems to be taking over the country, anger about a black person being president….we see these hate groups rising up and this is definitely part of that." Ratigan agreed: "…then they get the variable of a black president on top of all these other things and that’s the move – the cherry on top, if you will, to the accumulated frustration for folks."

Not only did Brewer, Ratigan, and Toure fail to point out the fact that the gun-toting protester that sparked the discussion was black, but the video footage shown of that protester was so edited, that it was impossible to see that he was black. The man appeared at a health care rally outside of President Obama’s speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Phoenix, Arizona.

Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson has called for the firing of everyone responsible for this blatant piece of propaganda (emphasis added): 

According to the Wilson letter to Capus, in the MSNBC broadcast at 10:45AM on August 18th “your anchors hysterically raised the specter of impending racial violence — while carefully cropping the very video upon which they based their duplicitous charges. Leading audiences nationwide to believe that militant whites were mounting violence against a black President, they deliberately covered up the fact that the individual they were framing was himself African-American.”

The broadcast showed a video of a man with a machine gun [wrong; it was a semi-automatic rifle] at a protest against the government-run health care legislation in Arizona, a state where citizens are permitted to carry firearms openly.

“His face and hands were cropped out so that viewers could not see that the man was black as the broadcasters breathlessly reported that he was a rightwing white militant,” Wilson explained in a statement.

“This simply goes beyond the pale, and has never in my memory been seen in what is supposed to be a legitimate news broadcast,” Wilson said.

ALG has video of both the MSNBC broadcast and a local Phoenix news interview with the gun-toting black man.

The Second Amendment Foundation has also denounced this deliberate dissemination of lies (emphasis added):

“What MSNBC purposely did not reveal with the deliberately doctored video is that the man carrying that sport-utility rifle was an African-American,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. “MSNBC knows the man was black, yet all they showed in a brief film clip was a close-up of the rifle against the man’s neatly-pressed dress shirt. It was impossible to tell the man’s race.

“This is a detestable attempt to manipulate public sentiment,” he continued, “in MSNBC’s continuing effort to perpetuate a stereotype of gun owners as white racists. It was even suggested during the segment by MSNBC culture critic Toure that it would not be surprising ‘if we see somebody get a chance and take a chance and really try to hurt’ the president.

“By irresponsibly fomenting this kind of racial divisiveness through the use of carefully-edited video,” Gottlieb stated, “MSNBC is not simply reporting news, it is provoking a reaction. If any harm comes to the president, MSNBC’s hate-mongering should be blamed.

“I wonder,” Gottlieb conclude, “if Keith Olbermann is going to name MSNBC as the worst news network in the world.”

Note: I'm not defending the judgment of the unnamed black man with the rifle and pistol, or his armed friends. Just because you have the right to do something doesn't mean it's the right or wise thing to do. In the interview, he seemed quite reasonable and articulate, and his point about conditioning people not to freak out when they see an armed citizen is quite valid. But if that's his goal, he should openly carry that pistol on his hip when he goes grocery shopping, buys gas, and picnics in the park. In my opinion, from a tactical and public relations perspective, just outside a presidential appearance is not a good place to make that particular point.

But that's neither here nor there. The issue here is MSNBC's cynical manipulation of the video footage to convey an outrageous lie in furtherance of their vicious disinformation campaign against those who oppose the Obama agenda and its drive toward socialism. 

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Hopenchange or fooled again?

Posted by Richard on February 6, 2009

Steve Clemons, September 26, 2008:

Tonight, George Bush succeeded I think in scaring Americans that this crisis could be a systemic threat. Bush said “our entire economy is in danger.”

That’s the fear button. He pushed it. And he said the clock was ticking.

This seems like a bad episode of “24.”

President Obama, January 20, 2009:

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.

President Obama, February 4, 2009:

"A failure to act, and act now, will turn crisis into a catastrophe and guarantee a longer recession, a less robust recovery, and a more uncertain future," Obama said in his prepared remarks.

President Obama, February 5, 2009:

"This recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse," Obama wrote in the newspaper piece titled, "The Action Americans Need."

President Obama, February 6, 2009

The situation could not be more serious. These numbers demand action. It is inexcusable and irresponsible to get bogged down in distraction and delay while millions of Americans are being put out of work.

That didn't take long. "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss …" 

Maybe more senators are buying into this fearmongering, but fewer and fewer of us ordinary citizens are. 

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Networks to handle PR for Obama campaign trip

Posted by Richard on July 18, 2008

Barack Obama is getting ready for his "fact-finding" trip to the Middle East (his first trip to Iraq since a two-day visit in Jan. 2006, and his first visit ever to Afghanistan), combined with some European campaign stops. It's not clear what facts he wants to find or why, since he's already assured his far-left, anti-war core supporters that nothing he learns will change his plan to begin the U.S. retreat orderly withdrawal from Iraq immediately and on a fixed timetable.

Maybe Obama is channeling the Queen of Hearts: "Sentence first — verdict afterwards." 

But reportedly, Obama has agreed to meet with Gen. Petraeus, Lt. Gen. Odierno, and Prime Minister Maliki without preconditions. 

The big news, though, is that NBC, ABC, and CBS have all independently decided (based purely on their objective journalistic judgment of the news value, I'm sure) to make the trip — and fawning interviews with candidate they adore — the centerpiece of their respective evening propaganda news broadcasts next week:

The three network anchors will travel to Europe and the Middle East next week for Barack Obama's trip, adding their high-wattage spotlight to what is already shaping up as a major media extravaganza.

Lured by an offer of interviews with the Democratic presidential candidate, Brian Williams, Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric will make the overseas trek, meaning that the NBC, ABC and CBS evening newscasts will originate from stops along the route and undoubtedly give it big play.

John McCain has taken three foreign trips in the past four months, all unaccompanied by a single network anchor.

Gee, is Katie Couric still anchoring the CBS Evening News? I guess both her viewers will really be looking forward to her Obama interview. 

Regarding the coverage of McCain's trips, Investor's Business Daily noted:

Not only did the anchors pass on those tours, their respective networks "provided little if any coverage of any of them," according to an analysis by the Media Research Center. When McCain was in Europe and the Middle East for a week in March, the networks that will immortalize Obama's triumphant tour carried only four full stories on the trip.

"CBS did not even send a correspondent along" and offered "only one report consisting of only 31 words" over 10 seconds for "the entire week Sen. McCain was abroad," the MRC reports.

The media blackout of McCain's trips to Colombia and Canada was even worse, since those trips highlighted clear foreign policy differences between McCain and Obama and important campaign issues worthy of some serious coverage.

The media, which seem endlessly interested when Obama downs a hot dog or picks up a basketball, and which feel a collective tingle in their legs whenever he speaks, couldn't even limit their description of the junior senator's haircut to 31 words.

The liberal national media are free to put all their resources into Obama coverage, encourage Americans to vote for him and ignore McCain entirely. Our Constitution gives them the liberty to do just that. What rankles us is the facade of objectivity they put up. All we're asking for is some honesty.

I wonder if anyone will have the stones to complain to the Federal Election Commission that the networks' massive and costly public relations efforts in support of the Obama campaign constitute "in-kind" contributions in violation of the campaign finance laws (the ones that all right-thinking people like Obama and McCain support). 

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Another Haditha case dismissed

Posted by Richard on June 17, 2008

The government is now 0-for-7 on prosecuting the eight Haditha Marines:

In a move that prompted tears of joy from courtroom spectators, Military Judge Colonel Steven Folsom, USMC, this morning dismissed all charges against LtCol Jeffrey Chessani on the grounds of unlawful command influence. His opinion from the bench lasted an hour, and prosecutors were given 72 hours in which to notify him if they planned to appeal.

The charges were dismissed without prejudice.

Chessani was charged with dereliction of duty and orders violations for allegedly failing to investigate and report the "Haditha massacre" of November 19, 2005. He was the highest ranking officer to be charged in the well-publicized incident and would have faced dismissal from the service, loss of all retirement benefits and three years in prison had he been convicted.

LtCol Chessani's official 2006 Combat Fitness Report declared him "a superb leader, who knows his men, knows the enemy, knows his business," and recommended him for promotion.The reviewing Major General added, LtCol Chessani has "unlimited potential and value to the Marine Corps," and also recommended him for promotion.

The deaths of 24 Iraqis in the house-to-house, room-by-room battle created a firestorm of criticism both at home and abroad, including comments from Rep. John Murtha who claimed at the time that the Marines "killed innocent civilians in cold blood." Yet news that seven of eight original defendants have either been acquitted or have had the charges against them dropped has received scant attention.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center that was representing Chessani, said, "We are all grateful for the judge's ruling today. He truly was the "last sentinel" to guard against unlawful command influence." He added, "Tragically, our own government eliminated one of its most effective combat commanders. The insurgents are laughing in their caves."

Only one defendant, squad leader Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, remains. Wuterich, who faces voluntary manslaughter charges, has pled not guilty.

I'm betting that Wuterich will be acquitted or the charges will be dismissed. Maybe after that happens, John Murtha, Dennis Kucinich, Madeline Albright, Time, Newsweek, the New York Times, CBS, etc., will apologize to these men.

But I won't bet on those apologies. 

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Another Haditha Marine is exonerated

Posted by Richard on June 5, 2008

Charles Johnson aptly described the Haditha case as "The most ludicrous politically-motivated prosecution of US soldiers in the nation’s history…" I've blogged about the case before, most recently in March when Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum was cleared. Now, another defendant has been exonerated:

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – A military jury acquitted a Marine intelligence officer Wednesday of charges that he tried to help cover up the killings of 24 Iraqis.

Cheers erupted as the seven-officer panel cleared 1st Lt. Andrew Grayson, who was the first of three Marines to be tried in the biggest U.S. criminal case involving Iraqi deaths linked to the war. The verdict came just five hours after deliberations began.

Grayson's attorney, Joseph Casas, said he believed the verdict could influence pending prosecutions.

"I think it sets the tone for the overall whirlwind Haditha has been. It's been a botched investigation from the get-go," he said. "I believe in the end all of the so-called Haditha Marines who still have to face trial will be exonerated."

Prosecutors did not make themselves available for comment.

That means six of the eight men originally charged have now been vindicated. As I said in March, "This travesty has already gone on far too long." The fools who continue to pursue this bad joke of a case ought to finally take the hint and drop the charges against the only remaining defendants, Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich of Meriden, Conn., and Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, of Rangely, Colo.

And I'm still waiting for Rep. John Murtha to apologize for calling his fellow Marines "cold-blooded murderers."

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One question for McClellan

Posted by Richard on May 29, 2008

I can remember watching some of Scott McClellan's press briefings and literally shouting at the TV because he was so incompetent and did such a pi**-poor job of representing the administration. As he was being badgered by a hostile press more interested in argumentation than asking questions, McClellan looked about ready to wet his pants.

The first time I saw his replacement, Tony Snow, in the same role, my reaction was, "Now that's a press secretary! He should have replaced McClellan ages ago."

I remember when McClellan resigned (we now learn he was pushed), he and President Bush made a love-fest out of it, heaping praise on each other. McClellan talked about how proud he was to have served and how grateful for the opportunity.  

I haven't seen too many of the excerpts from McClellan's new book — the one the MSM is fawning over. In the ones I've seen, McClellan's "revelations" consist mainly of his speculations about what took place in meetings he didn't attend and his "conclusions" about Iraq and the Plame affair that simply aren't true. News flash, Scott: Richard Armitage is the man who leaked Plame's identity to Bob Novak.

There are a lot of valid questions about this book. How much was it shaped by PublicAffairs Books' leftist editor Peter Osnos? Why is it coming out now? Isn't it interesting that the publishing house is owned by Perseus Books Group — along with Nation Books (affiliated with the ultra-leftist magazine of the same name) and Vanguard Press (publisher of The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder) — which has lots of rich leftists on its board and has ties to George Soros

Blue Grass, Red State found six other "fun books" from Perseus, which should give you an idea of their focus. (HT: Suzy Rice)

The most appropriate reaction to McClellan's book that I've read is this one:

Well, why, all of a sudden, if he had all these grave concerns, did he not raise these sooner? This is one-and-a-half years after he left the administration. And now, all of a sudden, he’s raising these grave concerns that he claims he had. And I think you have to look at some of the facts. One, he is bringing this up in the heat of a presidential campaign. He has written a book and he certainly wants to go out there and promote that book.

But that wasn't really a reaction to McClellan's book. That was what Scott McClellan himself said about Richard Clarke's book criticizing the Bush administration.

So I'd like someone to ask McClellan one question — the classic cross-examination question: Were you lying then or are you lying now? 

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