[VIDEO] President Trump Unloads on the Media; Special Report with Mollie Hemingway, James Rosen, Charles KrauthammerPosted: February 16, 2017
As we survey the toxic environment in which we are soon to elect the forty-fifth president of the United States, many of us wonder: Why? Why is it this way?
James Rosen writes: As we survey the toxic environment in which we are soon to elect the forty-fifth president of the United States, many of us wonder: Why? Why is it this way?
The partisan among us will cite one of the two major-party nominees and blame him, or her, for overtaxing the system with his, or her, singularly odious baggage.
Economists and political scientists, less interested in the specific than the general, will point, perhaps more accurately, to a confluence of developments over time – the corrosion of public trust after Vietnam and Watergate, Supreme Court rulings on election laws, the twin apocalypti of globalization and the digital revolution – as the decisive factors shaping our modern political culture, with its unbearably heavy traffic of nasty primary challenges, leadership upheavals, scandals, hacks, leaks, attacks, and – gridlock.
To these explanations, I propose adding another, imparted to me by an unlikely source: Secretary of State John Kerry.
“Making conversation at one point, I asked Kerry if he had ever met one of my literary heroes. ‘Mr. Secretary, did you know William F. Buckley?’ The answer – and its forcefulness – surprised me: ‘I loved Bill Buckley.'”
We were on his first foreign trip as America’s top diplomat, in February 2013, with the traveling press corps enjoying an off-the-record wine-and-cheese event with the secretary in Cairo (to disclose this story on-the-record, I later sought and received permission from the State Department). Making conversation at one point, I asked Kerry if he had ever met one of my literary heroes. “Mr. Secretary, did you know William F. Buckley?”
The answer – and its forcefulness – surprised me: “I loved Bill Buckley.” Who knew that for the founder of National Review, the godfather of the modern conservative movement, a legendary liberal from Massachusetts harbored “love”? Why was that? I asked. Kerry resorted to Socratic Method. “Do you know who his best friend was?”
Now for those well versed in the Buckley canon, in whose ranks Kerry seemed to count himself, this amounts to a trick question.
The Buckley family and some outside observers – including this one – would cite Evan (“Van”) Galbraith, Buckley’s Yale classmate, sailing crewmate, and longest-standing friend.
A graduate, also, of Harvard Law School, Galbraith would go on to serve as a Wall Street banker, chairman of the National Review board of trustees, President Reagan’s ambassador to France, and president of Moët & Chandon.
“Buckley’s maintenance of “trans-ideological friendships” in his life reflected what some have called a genius for friendship.”
The last eulogy ever published by WFB, a supremely talented eulogist, was for Van, his friend of sixty years. Indeed, when WFB marked his eighty-second, and final, birthday, Van was one of two friends on hand, having just completed his thirtieth radiation treatment for cancer, with only months left for both men to live.
In the public imagination, however, the distinction is usually reserved for John Kenneth Galbraith (no relation), the Keynesian Harvard economist who served as President Kennedy’s ambassador to India, and who coined some enduring terms in the American political lexicon (e.g., “the affluent society,” “conventional wisdom”).
“WFB and Galbraith had met on an elevator ride in New York’s Plaza Hotel, escorting their wives to Truman Capote’s famous masked ball, the ‘Party of the Century,’ in November 1966. Buckley confronted Galbraith, right there in the elevator, about why he had tried to discourage a Harvard colleague from writing for National Review. ‘I regret that’ said Galbraith.”
This Galbraith, a skiing buddy of Buckley’s during annual retreats with their wives to winter homes in Gstaad, Switzerland, conducted the more public friendship with the era’s leading conservative. With unmatched wit and erudition, and equal instinct for the rhetorical jugular, they debated on college campuses, on the set of NBC’s “Today Show,” and of course on Buckley’s own show “Firing Line,” where Galbraith made eleven lively appearances. Read the rest of this entry »
David Rutz reports: CNN host Jake Tapper used the “buried lead” of his show Thursday to blast the State Department for its deception surrounding an intentional video deletion from a December 2013 briefing, saying it should “outrage every American.”
“It’s literally someone at the State Department trying to bury something, hiding it from you. In this case, it was an acknowledgment by the Obama administration of having lied to reporters, a scrubbing of the public record, and it should outrage every American.”
State Department spokesman John Kirby admitted Wednesday that a staffer deliberately edited out video from the briefing of an unflattering exchange regarding Obama administration talks with Iran.
“It’s literally someone at the State Department trying to bury something, hiding it from you,” Tapper said. “In this case, it was an acknowledgment by the Obama administration of having lied to reporters, a scrubbing of the public record, and it should outrage every American.”
“We learned that there was a deliberate request, that this wasn’t a technical glitch. This was a deliberate request to excise video.”
— State Department spokesman John Kirby
In step-by-step fashion, Tapper laid out to viewers three different lies told by members of the agency. It started when former spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told Fox News reporter James Rosen in February 2013 that there had been no direct talks between Iran and the United States, when they in fact had been going on for months.
In December of 2013, Rosen pointed out to new spokeswoman Jen Psaki that the U.S. had engaged in bilateral talks with Iran earlier in the administration, as acknowledged by Psaki herself.
“The State Department had lied to him and to you,” Tapper said. Read the rest of this entry »
When it was revealed that the video had been edited to remove those comments, the State Department quickly restored the entire video, and blamed the missing video on a ‘glitch.’
Pete Kasperowicz reports: The State Department admitted Wednesday that a 2013 press briefing video was purposefully altered to remove a portion of a discussion about the Iran nuclear talks, after an unknown State Department official asked that it be edited out.
“James, I think there are times where diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress. This is a good example of that.”
— Psaki to Fox News reporter James Rosen
Spokesman John Kirby’s announcement contradicted the position held by the department for the last three weeks, during which officials said the video was missing because of a “glitch.”
“The missing video clip was revealed more than three weeks ago, and it involves then-spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who was asked in 2013 whether officials ever lie to the public to protect national security interests.”
But Kirby said officials didn’t know who asked for the video to be edited, and said the department is unlikely to investigate further into who wanted the video to be edited.
Kirby said he asked the Office of the Legal Adviser to look into the issue, and that officials “learned that a specific request was made to excise that portion of the briefing. We do not know who made the request to edit the video, or why it was made.”
Kirby insisted that the person who made the edit only remembers that he or she got a call from someone at the State Department, who was passing on a request from the departments’ Public Affairs Bureau. But he said the person who received the call didn’t remember who the caller was, and doesn’t know who in that bureau made the request. Read the rest of this entry »
At an awards ceremony, Obama praises journalists. Back in the White House, he blocks honest press queries with all his power.
Jack Shafer writes: The last person in the world who should be lecturing journalists on how to do journalism is President Barack Obama. Yet there Obama was Monday night at a journalism award ceremony, yodeling banalities about the role of a press in a free society, moaning over the dangers posed by “he said/she said” reporting, and—to the delight of the assembled audience—attacking Donald Trump in every way but name.
“The administration’s war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive I’ve seen since the Nixon administration.”
— Leonard Downie Jr. in a Committee to Protect Journalists report
The press-heavy crowd, convened by Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications to give the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting to Alec MacGillis, clapped at Obama’s 30-minute address, encouraging his best Trump-baiting lines about “free media” and the dangers of “false equivalence.”
At the awards dinner for Syracuse’s Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting, President Barack Obama lectured the media and their responsibilities toward an informed electorate.
What they should have done is bombard Obama with rotten fruit or ripped him with raspberries for his hypocrisy.
“Shame on Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications for allowing Obama—a documented opponent of the press—to pontificate on journalistic practice.”
How do we hate Obama’s treatment of the press? Let me count the ways. Under his administration, the U.S. government has set a new record for withholding Freedom of Information Act requests, according to a recent Associated Press investigation.
FOIA gives the public and press an irreplaceable view into the workings of the executive branch. Without timely release of government documents and data, vital questions can’t be answered and stories can’t be written.
“The only press award he has any business awarding is a special commendation to Trump, thanking him for making Obama look like a free-speech radical by comparison.”
Obama’s “Insider Threat Program” has turned employees across the government—from the Peace Corps to the Social Security Administration to the Department of Agriculture—into information-squelching snitches. If this isn’t Trumpian behavior, I don’t know what is.
“What makes Obama’s speech so unstomachable is the way he praises reporters at an award ceremony by calling their work ‘indispensable,’ ‘incredible,’ ‘worth honoring’ and essential to democracy while simultaneously blocking honest press queries with all the formidable energies of his office.”
“Obama hates the press,” New York Times national security reporter James Risen said not long ago, “and he hates leaks.” AP Washington Bureau Chief Sally Buzbee has decried the “day-to-day intimidation of sources” by the Obama administration, judging it worse than the Bush administration on that score. And in a 2013 piece, POLITICO’s Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen documented Obama’s mastery of “limiting, shaping and manipulating media coverage of himself and his White House.”
As ProPublica has reported, at the same time the Obama administration has been paying lip service to protecting whistleblowers, it has pursued national security leaks to the press with a vehemence unmatched by any previous administration, using the Espionage Act to prosecute whistleblowers who leak to journalists more times than all previous administrations combined. Read the rest of this entry »
Bob Fredricks writes: Hillary Clinton called President Obama “incompetent and feckless” and charged that he had “no hand on the tiller half the time” during a boozy reunion with college pals, a new book claims.
“Obama’s allowed his hatred for his enemies to screw him the way Nixon did.”
— Hillary Clinton
The scathing attacks came as the wine was flowing at a May 2013 dinner at Le Jardin Du Roi, a cozy French bistro near the Clinton family home in Westchester, according to “Blood Feud,” by best-selling author Edward Klein.
The former first lady, months removed from being Obama’s secretary of state, unleashed the verbal assault between sips of vino, sources told the author.
“The thing with Obama is that he can’t be bothered, and there is no hand on the tiller half the time. That’s the story of the Obama presidency. No hand on the f–king tiller.”
“When her friends asked Hillary to tell them what she thought — really thought — about the president she had served for four draining years, she lit into Obama with a passion that surprised them all,” Klein wrote.
“Obama has turned into a joke.”
Clinton ranted, “The thing with Obama is that he can’t be bothered, and there is no hand on the tiller half the time. That’s the story of the Obama presidency. No hand on the f–king tiller,” according to the book, which was excerpted exclusively in Sunday’s Post.
“Obama has turned into a joke,” she went on, according to Klein.
“The IRS targeting the Tea Party, the Justice Department’s seizure of AP phone records and [Fox reporter] James Rosen’s e-mails — all these scandals. Obama’s allowed his hatred for his enemies to screw him the way Nixon did,” she raged, the book says, adding that she called the president “incompetent and feckless.” Read the rest of this entry »
“Mr. O’Reilly became an enemy of State when he conducted an interview with Fox News reporter James Rosen, who had some mildly unflattering things to say about Ms. Harf’s superior, Jen Psaki, the witless off-brand Pippi Longstocking who is the current media face of the American diplomatic project.”
National Review‘s Kevin D. Williamson writes: Marie Harf, whose career has alternated between government jobs and campaign jobs, is the deputy spokesman for the State Department, and if her recent communications are any indication, the face of the most acute foreign-policy crisis facing these United States is Bill O’Reilly’s — an admittedly self-satisfied visage, to be sure, out of which pours a stream of apparently inexhaustible glibness. But he’s never beheaded anybody, so far as I know.
“Ms. Psaki was something less than convincing in trying to explain what exactly the administration has been up to between that group’s beheading.”
Mr. O’Reilly became an enemy of State when he conducted an interview with Fox News reporter James Rosen, who had some mildly unflattering things to say about Ms. Harf’s superior, Jen Psaki, the witless off-brand Pippi Longstocking who is the current media face of the American diplomatic project.
“Instead of a philosophy, the Left has an enemies list”
The Obama administration is, to be charitable, currently unsure of how to go about dealing with the Islamic State, and Ms. Psaki was something less than convincing in trying to explain what exactly the administration has been up to between that group’s beheadings.
This is not a new thing for the Obama administration, for Democrats, and for the Left. White House communications director Anita Dunn denounced Fox News in the early days of the Obama administration, and Megyn Kelly has recently been elevated to the status of sacred hate totem for Democrats.
[Also see – Failed Messenger: State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki’s Smirking Contempt punditfromanotherplanet.com]
Washington Free Beacon captures this:
…“At one time,” recounted Rosen, “he spoke about wanting to destroy and degrade ISIS. At another point he spoke about wanting to roll them back. And at still another point he talked about wanting to shrink its sphere of influence to the point where it would be a manageable problem.”
“Am I correct in identifying those three iterations as markedly different from each other?” Rosen asked.
“Well, I think it’s important for everybody, including people at home who watch Fox, to look at the context of the remarks that the — that the president made,” Psaki replied–smirking as she mentioned Fox…(read more)
For National Review Online, Jonah Goldberg writes: I think the Bergdahl story is really very serious and there are still lots of things we don’t know. My friend James Rosen’s story that Bergdahl turned mujahideen in captivity is very interesting, but it doesn’t mean — nor does Rosen say — that he was a jihadi when he left his base.
“…we know he had a habit of wandering off base. That may make him a flake or an idiot, but it doesn’t prove he was a deserter.”
And, while the case doesn’t look good for Bergdahl, we don’t know that he was a deserter yet. We only know that he was AWOL. Indeed, according to an earlier Pentagon report, we know he had a habit of wandering off base. That may make him a flake or an idiot, but it doesn’t prove he was a deserter.
“Of course, no president is immune to gaffes, but you try to keep them out of the prepared text.”
Save perhaps one: The White House is run by clowns. It’s like a Fellini movie over there. Actually, that’s not quite fair. Clowns are actually pretty professional. They go to school to do what they do. That reminds me of one of my favorite scenes from The Simpsons. Sideshow Bob is talking to his brother Cecil through the plate glass of a jail visiting room.
Sideshow Bob: You wanted to be Krusty’s sidekick since you were five. What about the buffoon lessons, the four years at clown college?
Cecil Terwilliger: I’ll thank you not to refer to Princeton that way.
Look, I’m not making an ideological point here. For years, the White House had certain procedures and mechanisms in place that helped to ensure the dignity of the office and protect the president from saying too many things he’d later regret (like screwing up Billie Jean King’s resume, or slandering Rutherford B. Hayes, or calling the Benghazi attack a “bump in the road”). Of course, no president is immune to gaffes, but you try to keep them out of the prepared text. And of course, as conservatives, we can appreciate what amounts to one of our core insights on how the world works: Sometimes things go badly (I think it sounds more impressive in Latin).
“In the old days, there was an unwritten rule of politics: Don’t put the president next to a guy who looks like he just emerged out of spider-hole with Mullah Omar.”
In the old days, there was an unwritten rule of politics: Don’t put the president next to a guy who looks like he just emerged out of spider-hole with Mullah Omar. But these are more relaxed and tolerant times. Still, in the Washington of yore, the president’s advance team would at least go over with the president’s guests what they might say when standing alongside the leader of the free world. You know just to make sure everyone is on the same page. But that’s hard to do when the page is written in . . . Pashto! Read the rest of this entry »
“…he became much more of an accepted fellow’ than is popularly understood. He even reportedly was allowed to carry a gun at times…”
For Fox News, James Rosen reports: U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl at one point during his captivity converted to Islam, fraternized openly with his captors and declared himself a “mujahid,” or warrior for Islam, according to secret documents prepared on the basis of a purported eyewitness account and obtained by Fox News.
“…a member of the Haqqani network, said to be close to Bergdahl’s captors, reported that the American prisoner had declared himself a ‘mujahid’…”
The reports indicate that Bergdahl’s relations with his Haqqani captors morphed over time, from periods of hostility, where he was treated very much like a hostage, to periods where, as one source told Fox News, “he became much more of an accepted fellow” than is popularly understood. He even reportedly was allowed to carry a gun at times.
The documents show that Bergdahl at one point escaped his captors for five days and was kept, upon his re-capture, in a metal cage, like an animal. In addition, the reports detail discussions of prisoner swaps and other attempts at a negotiated resolution to the case that appear to have commenced as early as the fall of 2009.
The reports are rich in on-the-ground detail — including the names and locations of the Haqqani commanders who ran the 200-man rotation used to guard the Idaho native — and present the most detailed view yet of what Bergdahl’s life over the past five years has been like. These real-time dispatches were generated by the Eclipse Group, a shadowy private firm of former intelligence officers and operatives that has subcontracted with the Defense Department and prominent corporations to deliver granular intelligence on terrorist activities and other security-related topics, often from challenging environments in far-flung corners of the globe. Read the rest of this entry »
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.
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.
Attorney General Eric Holder has missed the deadline set by Republicans to personally explain questionable testimony he gave on reporter surveillance, as lawmakers threaten to subpoena Holder if necessary.
The deadline set by House Judiciary Committee Republicans was close-of-business on Wednesday. An aide told FoxNews.com they have “not received a response.”
The Justice Department earlier this week penned a response to the Republican leaders of the committee. But it was authored by a lower-level official, and committee leaders complained it did not address their concerns.
“A letter from a subordinate that fails to answer many of our questions does not suffice,” Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., wrote in a letter sent Tuesday.
The committee wants Holder to explain his May 15 testimony.
At the time, the attorney general said under oath he knew nothing of the “potential prosecution” of the press. Days later, it emerged that Holder was involved in his department’s successful effort to obtain Fox News reporter James Rosen’s personal emails — the DOJ sought access to the documents by arguing Rosen was a likely criminal “co-conspirator” in a leak case.
The Justice Department explained Monday in a letter to GOP committee leaders that the investigation never escalated into any prosecution of the reporter.
“The Attorney General’s testimony before the Committee on May 15, 2013, with respect to the Department’s prosecutions of the unauthorized disclosure of classified information was accurate and consistent with these facts,” the letter said.
Yet the letter also acknowledged that Holder “was consulted and approved the application for the search warrant.” And, while Republican leaders of the House Judiciary Committee demanded an explanation from Holder himself, the letter was signed not by him but by a “principal deputy assistant attorney general.”
The Justice Department, though, was not expected to provide any other paperwork to the committee on Wednesday — which puts the question to GOP leaders whether they will aggressively pursue the issue.
Earlier in the week, Sensenbrenner said his committee is prepared to compel Holder to explain if he doesn’t make the Wednesday deadline.
“I think we ought to subpoena the attorney general to come back and answer those questions specifically,” he told Fox News on Sunday, when asked what happens if Holder misses the deadline.
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., agreed.
He told Fox News on Monday that Holder “absolutely” should return to the committee to explain his May
Via Fox News
- Eric Holder Ignores Lawmakers’ Deadline to Explain Inconsistent Testimony on Reporter Surveillance (theblaze.com)
- ‘SOMETHING TO HIDE’?: GOP Rejects DOJ Explanation of Holder Testimony (foxnews.com)
- Eric Holder Ignores Lawmakers’ Deadline To Explain Inconsistent Testimony on Reporter Surveillance (patdollard.com)
- House Judiciary Committee Investigating Whether Holder Lied To Congress (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- Republicans want direct response from Holder on leak probe (cnn.com)
- Republicans slam Dept. of Justice’s defense of Eric Holder as ‘insulting’ (washingtontimes.com)
- King: Holder in Precarious Position by Defying House Judiciary Committee Deadline (freebeacon.com)
Better than a tingly feeling, a thrill, up his leg? — The Butcher
At least, this is the story unnamed aides are telling the Daily Beast.
“[F]or Attorney General Eric Holder, the gravity of the situation didn’t fully sink in until Monday morning when he read the Post’s front-page story, sitting at his kitchen table. Quoting from the affidavit, the story detailed how agents had tracked Rosen’s movements in and out of the State Department, perused his private emails, and traced the timing of his calls to the State Department security adviser suspected of leaking to him. Then the story, quoting the stark, clinical language of the affidavit, described Rosen as ‘at the very least … an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator’ in the crime,” reports the Daily Beast.
“Holder knew that Justice would be besieged by the twin leak probes; but, according to aides, he was also beginning to feel a creeping sense of personal remorse.”
But while Holder could deny knowing about the Justice Department looking into the Associated Press’s records, he had signed off on the Rosen case. “In the Fox case, however, Holder knew he bore a direct measure of responsibility. He had approved a search-warrant application that equated a reporter’s newsgathering activities with criminal conduct. That put Holder at the center of the brewing controversy, all while the Obama administration was being buffeted over allegations that the IRS had targeted conservative groups and by the continuing Benghazi tempest.”
via Weekly Standard
by DEBRA HEINE
The House Judiciary Committee is looking into Attorney General Eric Holder’s May 15 testimony on the Justice Department’s surveillance of reporters, to see if he lied under oath.
“In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material — this is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy,” Holder said during the hearing.However, NBC News reported last week that Holder personally approved a search warrant that labeled Fox News chief Washington correspondent James Rosen a co-conspirator in a national security leaks case.
The panel is investigating whether NBC’s report contradicts Holder’s claim that he had not looked into or been involved with a possible prosecution of the press in a leaks case.
This Attorney General has already been held in Contempt of Congress. A perjury charge may finally be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
I kinda doubt today’s lame “crisis management” gambit is going to help him get out this one.