Posted: March 11, 2014 Filed under: Asia, Global, Mediasphere | Tags: Andaman Sea, Beijing, China, Chinese government, Liu, Malaysia Airline, Monday, Washington Post
Malaysia Airlines flight vanishes over South China Sea: Vietnamese air force jets reportedly spot two large oil slicks thought to be the airliner that disappeared with 239 on board, including three Americans.
BEIJING — For The Washington Post, William Wan and Liu Liu report: For three days, relatives awaiting word on the vanished Malaysia Airlines jet have endured a cruel roller coaster of emotions.
“One of the most eerie rumors came after a few relatives said they were able to call the cellphones of their loved ones…”
First came the shock. Then, with each development that has emerged, they have careened between hope and despair. But by Monday, the predominant emotion was anger.
“…or find them on a Chinese instant messenger service called QQ that indicated that their phones were still somehow online.”
The Malaysian government announced that it has now expanded the search west into the Andaman Sea, far from the plane’s intended northeasterly flight path towards China
Gathered at a hotel in northeast Beijing, many still resented Malaysia Airlines for having sent no one to explain anything during the first 15 hours after the plane’s disappearance. They blamed the Chinese government for not even meeting with them until Monday, three days into the crisis.
More than 100 of them signed a petition demanding answers and government assistance. Representatives selected from the families brought their protests to the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing.
And Monday afternoon, when Malaysia Airlines officials returned for yet another briefing with little more to offer, some relatives threw water bottles at them in frustration. The question-and-answer session Monday eventually devolved into crying and shouted demands:
“All you have to say is empty talk!”
“Why have you waited until now to show up?”
A vice director from China’s civil aviation air safety center tried to assuage the crowd.
“I am the same as everyone in that I haven’t slept for two days,” the official said. “We are still searching. There is no evidence to show the plane has had an accident.”
Another official reassured the families that they had read their petition. “Your concern is our concern.”
Beginning Saturday night, the families were kept in a conference area of the Lido Hotel in Beijing, sectioned off from a media scrum outside, where officials could address them out of journalists’ earshot. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 11, 2014 Filed under: Art & Culture, Mediasphere, Politics, U.S. News, White House | Tags: 2016: Obama's America, America, Andrew Breitbart, Barack Obama, Christopher Hitchens, Dinesh D'Souza, Gerald R. Molen, media, Obama, The Kelly Files, United States
Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza said that after the success of 2016 Obama’s America, he didn’t want to just make a sequel, another film about politics, or another biography, he wanted a “bigger idea”. If you’ve seen the trailer America, it’s nothing if not ambitious. Watching his appearance on The Kelly File last night, I was struck by his artful command of the medium, using his time well to convey his message and promote the film. (though producer Gerald Molen didn’t get much air time) Dinesh D’Souza immigrated to the U.S. in 1978. He says,
“…[I] chose America because it’s a place where I can be the architect of my own life.”
Note: I see that 2016 Obama’s America is in the collection at Archive.org, available as a free download.
“Today we have kids who can’t find America on a map,” Molen said. “We have kids who probably can’t even spell America, and I think that we have, you know, left them out, we have done them a great disservice by not [… ] showing our patriotism a little more.”
D’Souza is natural successor to controversial media wizards like Andrew Breitbart, but with academic flair and debate skills reminiscent of the late Christopher Hitchens. As an ascending public intellectual, he’s a man to watch.
Here’s the introduction text from Fox News Insider:
The trailer for “America” made its television debut tonight on “The Kelly File.” Filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza and producer Gerald Molen joined Megyn to discuss the film.
D’Souza, who immigrated to the United States, says he “chose America because it’s a place where I can be the architect of my own life.” He said the film is about what makes America lovely.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 11, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, Think Tank, U.S. News, White House | Tags: Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Center for American Progress, Democratic Party, RT (TV network), ThinkProgress, War in Afghanistan (2001–present), White House
For The Volokh Conspiracy, Jonathan H. Alder writes: Blogger Zaid Jilani has a post claiming that when he worked for ThinkProgress at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, he was pressured to toe the White House line, even when that conflicted with the positions his organization was supposedly advancing.
One of the controversial topics that was very constrained in our writing at ThinkProgress in 2009 was Afghanistan. CAP had decided not to protest Obama’s surge, so most our writing on the topic was simply neutral — we weren’t supposed to take a strong stand. . . . Flash forward a couple years, and the Democratic Party’s lawmakers in Congress were in open revolt over the Afghanistan policy. Our writing at ThinkProgress had opened up a lot on the issue, and I was writing really critical stuff. . . . But then phone calls from the White House started pouring in, berating my bosses for being critical of Obama on this policy. . . .
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 11, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, U.S. News, White House | Tags: CBS, CBS Evening News, CBS News, James Rosen, John Sexton, media, Obama administration, Sharyl Attkisson, Washington Post
Breitbart.com‘s John Sexton reports: Earlier today Sharyl Attkisson announced on Twitter that she was leaving CBS News. Early reports suggest the split was “amicable” though Attkisson is said to have wanted to leave because she had grown frustrated with the network’s ”liberal bias.” Specifically, she felt it was a struggle to get her work on the CBS Evening News, the network’s flagship news program.
[Talk about media bias, Politico's idea of a headline, no joke: The right loses its hero at CBS. Hero? What Attkisson did is uncontroversial: apply equally tough standards to the Obama Administration and the Bush Administration. This is news? Isn't that what all reporters are supposed to do?]
The brother of a top Obama administration official is the president of CBS News
Sharyl Attkisson is currently at work on a book — tentatively titled “Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington” — that addresses the challenges of reporting critically on the administration.
Erik Wemple of the Washington Post reached out to Andrew Tyndall who was able to put some numbers to the frustration that apparently drove Attkisson out the door:
Attkisson was the 18th most used reporter in major network nightly news, with 160 minutes of exposure. In 2008, she held steady at 18th, with 145 minutes, and in 2009, she was 19th, with 152 minutes.
She hasn’t landed in the top 20 since.
In a quick chat with the Erik Wemple Blog, Tyndall said that Attkisson tallied a mere 54 minutes on “The CBS Evening News” in 2013, a third of her previous totals. That was good for a ranking of 78th among network news reporters. “She was obviously being sidelined,” says Tyndall.
So Attkisson did not imagine that her status at CBS had changed, it really did. And given that it changed after 2009 when she started to focus on the Obama administration it stretches credulity to suggest that this was not a primary reason for the sudden change.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 10, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere | Tags: Bottlenose dolphin, Diving instructor, Dolphin, Fishing line, Hawaii, Keller Laros, Manta ray, YouTube
Diving instructor Keller Laros noticed that the dolphin was hanging around them, and that it wasn’t able to move freely. Closer inspection revealed the ocean debris lodged in the fin.
Posted: March 10, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, U.S. News, White House | Tags: Conservatism, Conservative Political Action Conference, Crimea, Cruz, Huckabee, Marco Rubio, Republican Party (United States), Rubio, Venezuela
Ross, You lost me at hello.
“…But let me conclude with one that seems a little more likely: a rerun of Bush’s 2000 path, in which Marco Rubio wins by uniting religious and moderate conservatives.
Rubio had a tough 2013, thanks to his unsuccessful immigration push, and he lacks the ideologically committed support of a Paul or Cruz or Huckabee. But his domestic-policy forays (first on poverty, soon on taxes) have gotten smarter since the immigration debacle, and events in Venezuela and Crimea may be making his hawkish foreign policy vision more appealing to conservatives.
Moreover, as much as the party and the country have changed since the Bush era, the best way to unify the G.O.P. is still to build bridges between religious conservatives and moderate conservatives — in effect, to seem relatable to Santorum voters while reassuring Romney voters. And Rubio, in affect and background and positioning, may be the right politician for that task…”
Posted: March 10, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, Mediasphere, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Barack Obama, Benghazi, CBS, CBS News, Obama administration, Politico, Sharyl Attkisson, Twitter, White House
CBS: Report the Facts, Follow the Truth Wherever it Leads, Hold the Administration Accountable (Except when a Democrat is in the White House)
For Breitbart News, John Nolte reports: Via her verified Twitter account, CBS investigative news reporter Sharyl Attkisson announced Monday that she has resigned from CBS.
Although Politico received no comment from Attkisson other than the split was amicable, the left-wing outlet is reporting that Attkisson left due to the network’s “liberal bias.” This split is ahead of her contract. “She increasingly felt like her work was no longer supported and that it was a struggle to get her packages on television.”
Politico writes that Attkisson became “a polarizing figure at the network.” Some saw a political agenda in her work. Politico adds:
The bulk of Attkisson’s work since 2009 has focused on the failures or perceived failures of the Obama administration, including the administration’s failed green energy investments and the attack in Benghazi, though she has reported on several Republican failures as well.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 10, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere | Tags: District of Columbia v. Heller, McDonald v Chicago, Militia, Right to keep and bear arms, Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, SWAT, United States Constitution
No militia means more intrusive law enforcement
Glenn Harlan Reynolds writes: The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
For a while, some argued that the so-called “prefatory clause” — “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” — somehow limited the “right of the people” to something having to do with a militia. In its recent opinions of District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago, the Supreme Court has made clear that the Second Amendment does recognize a right of individuals to own guns, and that that right is in no way dependent upon membership in a militia. That seems to me to be entirely correct.
“A professional standing army could turn on the people, placing its loyalty with its paymasters rather than with those it was supposed to protect. The militia, on the other hand, couldn’t betray the people because it was the people.”
But there is still that language. If a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, then where is ours? Because if a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, it follows that a state lacking such a militia is either insecure, or unfree, or possibly both.
For law enforcement, the militia has been replaced by professional police, with SWAT teams, armored vehicles and Nomex coveralls; for military purposes, the militia has been replaced by the National Guard, which despite a thin patina of state control is fundamentally a federal military force.
In the time of the Framers, the militia was an armed body consisting of essentially the entire military-age male citizenry. Professional police not having been invented, the militia was the primary tool for enforcing the law in circumstances that went beyond the reach of the town constable, and it was also the primary source of defense against invasions and insurrection.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 10, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Cybercast News Service, Democratic, Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton, Obama, United States
On February 28, MRCTV’s Dan Joseph decided to stop by the DNC winter meeting to ask committee members just how much of the opposition to President Obama is racist.
Joseph asked, How much of the opposition is race-based? And how much is policy based?
One commiteewoman said about half of the president’s detractors are against him because of his race, while another said it was over 50%.
The lowest guesstimate we got from a committee person was between 30-40%, which is still a ridiculous figure. And as always, there was some Bush bashing from folks, like calling the 43rd President of the United States illiterate, which is patently false.
Posted: March 9, 2014 Filed under: Art & Culture, Entertainment, Mediasphere | Tags: Art, Books, Comics, Crime fiction, graphics, Illustration, Paperback, typography, vintage
This one’s for Robert
Pulp Covers | The Best Of The Worst
Posted: March 9, 2014 Filed under: Censorship, Mediasphere, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Center for American Progress, Daily Caller, RT (TV network), ThinkProgress, United States, War in Afghanistan (2001–present), White House
The Daily Caller‘s Brendan Bordelon reports: Zaid Jilani, a former blogger with the left-wing think tank Center for American Progress, explained this week how the Obama administration frequently tries to censor the progressive organization’s content when it departs from the White House’s agenda.
[Order Deadly Censorship: Murder, Honor, and Freedom of the Press from Amazon]
Jiliani was reacting to two on-air protests by journalists opposed to Russia’s invasion of southern Ukraine. The two worked for Russia Today (RT) — an English-speaking media outlet funded directly by Moscow — and felt their bosses were trying to censor their opinions
“Essentially, they were doing the same thing to us RT America is telling its American producers to do now — align with your boss, who is the president of the country.”
In a post titled, ”How Working in Washington Taught Me We’re All A Little Like RT America,” Jilani explained how the White House frequently played the part of the Kremlin — leaning on management to push their writers in a particular direction, and punishing them if they strayed from the party line.
“Phone calls from the White House started pouring in,” Jilani claimed, “berating my bosses for being critical of Obama on this policy…”
“I’m writing this post to explain how working in Washington taught me we’re all a little bit like the good folks who work at RT America,” Jilani explained, “struggling against editorial censors, doing our best to follow our conscience despite sometimes suffocating pressures from our publishers and sponsors.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 9, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Crimea, Face the Nation, John Kerry, Putin, RUSSIA, Russians, United States, Vladimir Putin
“I think there’s no question [Putin] believes he is weak . . . ,” the former vice president told Face the Nation. “We have created an image around the world, not just to the Russians, of weakness and indecisiveness.”
The Corner – NRO
Posted: March 9, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Barack Obama, Conservatism, Democratic Party, Fox News Sunday, Havoc, Politics, Republican Party (United States)
Not the most original insight, but a funny reminder about an unavoidable media reality: the conservative movement faces a lose-lose situation whether they’re getting along or not.
From this morning’s Fox News Sunday:
“If they’re harmonious, the media says, ’stultifying, monochrome, oppressive, no diversity. Then when they argue with each other, they say, ”Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war’ — it’s perfect nonsense.”
The Corner – NRO
Posted: March 9, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics, Think Tank | Tags: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Comedy Central, Daily Show, Ezra Klein, Fox News Channel, Jay Nordlinger, Jon Stewart, Kevin D. Williamson, Megyn Kelly, National Review
A dumbed-down Democratic party runs out of ideas.
The Stupid Party
Kevin D. Williamson‘s current NRO article is extra pithy this week (or “wonderfully bold’, as Jay Nordlinger says) it’s more like a long, funny, sarcastic email from a friend, or an energetic barstool rant — if the guy on the barstool is a National Review Online roving reporter — than a scholarly essay. It’s also the first I’ve seen to take on The Daily Show head-on, exposing it and mocking it without mercy. Because for many conservatives, the Daily Show is a guilty pleasure. Right? Conservatives watch The Daily Show, or watch clips that circulate…
[UPDATE: Don't miss Jay Nordlinger's response to Kevin D. Williamson's essay in the Corner. It begins: Kevin’s piece “The Stupid Party” — a typically and wonderfully bold piece — awakened many thoughts in me. I’m sure it has done that in others…]
…Just like liberals — though they pretend they don’t — watch Fox News shows like The Kelly File, The Factor, or Red Eye. The viewership for these shows is not as segregated as members of their loyal fan base would have us think. Video clips from The Daily Show are often linked (on those rare ‘friendly fire’ occasions when Stewart takes shots at Democrat targets) at right-wing watering holes like Hot Air, and hipster libertarians dig Stewart’s humor, think Jon Stewart is “one of us”. Make no mistake. He’s not.
“…for the Left the point of journalism is not to criticize politics or to analyze politics but to be a servant of politics, to “destroy” such political targets as may be found in one’s crosshairs.”
As Williamsons’ rant illustrates, The Daily Show‘s predictable, sanctimonious, echo-chamber humor is not brilliant satire. It doesn’t speak “truth to power”. For its low-information fan base, it’s what passes for “journalism” and “hard-hitting reporting”. And accurately represents the vacancy of the Left’s bankrupt world view.
Kevin D. Williamson writes:
Here is a selection of recent headlines: “Jon Stewart Destroys Megyn Kelly,” “Jon Stewart Destroys Fox News’ ‘Spite-Driven Anger Machine,’” “Jon Stewart Destroys What’s Left of Peggy Noonan’s Credibility,” “Jon Stewart Destroys Fox News Over Syria Coverage,” “Jon Stewart Destroys Glenn Beck’s Utopia,” “Jon Stewart Destroys Bill O’Reilly” — there are about 520,000 more — and, not to be missed, “Jon Stewart Destroys Chicago-Style Pizza.”
The sound of terrors is in his ears at 11 p.m. on Comedy Central, and in prosperity the destroyer cometh upon him.
Mr. Stewart is the host of a fake news show, the genesis of which probably was a conversation that went approximately like this: Brother-in-Law: “There’s nothing funny on Saturday Night Live except the ‘Weekend Update.’ They should really just do that for the whole show.” Jon Stewart: “Hey . . . !” Mr. Stewart is among the lowest forms of intellectual parasite in the political universe, with no particular insights or interesting ideas of his own, reliant upon the very broadest and least clever sort of humor, using ancient editing techniques to make clumsy or silly political statements sound worse than they are and then pantomiming outrage at the results, the lowbrow version of James Joyce giving the hero of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man the unlikely name of Stephen Dedalus and then having other characters in the novel muse upon the unlikelihood of that name.
“I do not much blame the Left for hesitating to talk about Big Ideas. The Left has been losing the Big Idea debate for a generation or more, in no small part because its last Big Idea killed 100 million people.”
His shtick is a fundamentally cowardly one, playing the sanctimonious vox populi when it suits him, and then beating retreat into “Hey, I’m just a comedian!” when he faces a serious challenge. It is the sort of thing that you can see appealing to bright, politically engaged 17-year-olds… Read the rest of this entry »