Posted: June 18, 2017 Filed under: Entertainment, Mediasphere, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Alex Jones (radio host), Connecticut, JPMorgan Chase, Megyn Kelly, NBC, NBC News, New York City, Newtown, Newtown Public Schools, Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Sunday Night (Australian TV program)
Kelly isn’t a pushover, and proves that Jones is newsworthy because of his connections to President Trump. But that’s it.
Sonia Saraiya writes: Megyn Kelly’s interview with Alex Jones was much less interesting than the conversation that led up to the broadcast.
The past week has been a tumultuous one for NBC News’ new star. Kelly is attempting to make an impression with NBC’s audience this summer in advance of the September debut of her 9 a.m. morning show. Jones, the founder and chief mouthpiece of the Infowars radio program and online channel, is an unstable right-wing provocateur who may be most notorious for his steadfast insistence that the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting was a hoax. His attention-getting assertion has convinced enough others that the bereaved parents have received death threats from angry Infowars viewers. This, in turn, has so horrified many Americans that Jones’ appearance on “Sunday Night” prompted outcry: In addition to a heated conversation about the role of journalism and freedom of speech, JP Morgan Chase withdrew its advertising, and the NBC-owned station in Connecticut opted not to broadcast the interview. Jones, in response, took matters into his own hands — distancing himself from the interview and leaking his recording of one of his conversations with Kelly.
Entirely on its own — aside from Jones’ prevarication, the chummy behind-the-scenes photos of Jones and Kelly that surfaced, the multiple third-party opinions on the topic, and the leaked audio — “Sunday Night’s” segment on Jones is mostly notable for how empty it is. The interview portion, where Kelly is actually sitting opposite Jones, is minimal — perhaps just a few minutes of footage when pieced all together. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 18, 2017 Filed under: Entertainment, Mediasphere | Tags: Alex Jones (radio host), Donald Trump, Donald Trump presidential campaign, media, Megyn Kelly, NBC, NBC News, news, RUSSIA, United States, video, Vladimir Putin
Megyn Kelly grilled Info Wars founder and host Alex Jones on his political leanings, connection to then-candidate and now President Donald Trump, conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook massacre and Chobani, and much more on this week’s broadcast of Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly.
Alex Jones held a live stream to respond to the Kelly interview as it was broadcasted on NBC News:
Transcript, via NBC News’ Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly:
MEGYN KELLY: First tonight, our report on the incendiary radio host, Alex Jones. For years, Jones has been spreading conspiracy theories, claiming, for instance, that elements of the U.S. government allowed the 9/11 attacks to happen and that the horrific Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax. Some thought we shouldn’t broadcast this interview because his baseless allegations aren’t just offensive, they’re dangerous. But here’s the thing: Alex Jones isn’t going away. Over the years, his YouTube channel has racked up 1.3 billion views. He has millions of listeners and the ear of our current president. We begin our report with his reaction to the recent terrorist attack in Manchester, England.
KELLY: ALEX JONES WAS NEARLY 5,000 MILES AWAY FROM MANCHESTER, ENGLAND WHEN A SUICIDE BOMBER KILLED 22 PEOPLE AT A CONCERT LESS THAN FOUR WEEKS AGO. DESPITE THE DISTANCE, AND WITH FEW FACTS KNOWN, JONES DID WHAT HE OFTEN DOES: JUMPED MOUTH-FIRST INTO CONTROVERSY.
ALEX JONES (May 22, 2017 YouTube video): A big bomb goes off at a pop star’s rock concert bombing a bunch of liberal trendies.
MEGYN KELLY: You said, “It was a bunch of liberal trendies who were killed, the same people who are promoting open borders, bringing Islamists in.
ALEX JONES: Yes.
MEGYN KELLY: In response to which, many people looked at the victims, many of whom were 15, 14. There was a little eight … Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 6, 2017 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption | Tags: -elect, 40Billion, Assault, Broward County, CNN, Donald Trump, Florida, Fort Lauderdale Airport, Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting, Internet, NBC News, Today (U.S. TV program), Twitter
There was an apparent shooting Friday at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport, according to various media reports and tweets from Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary.
“I’m at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport. Shots have been fired. Everyone is running,” Fleischer tweeted Friday afternoon. He later followed up, tweeting, “The police said there is one shooter and five victims.”
A public information officer confirmed to WPEC that there was “some type of shooting incident” at the airport.
Some 73,000 people travel through the airport every day, according to Broward County.
Other people claiming they were at the airport tweeted about a shooting as well….(read more)
Gunman Opens Fire at Fort Lauderdale Airport, Killing 1
A gunman opened fire Friday afternoon at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida, shooting at least nine people and killing one of them, Broward County officials said.
A gunman was in custody, local law enforcement sources told NBC News.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the shooting occurred inside an airport terminal. Passengers and workers were evacuated onto a tarmac. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 18, 2016 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: 2016 Presidential Election, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, media, Meet the Press, NBC News, news, video
Posted: October 14, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Global, Mediasphere, Politics, Russia, Science & Technology, U.S. News, War Room | Tags: Barack Obama, CIA, Cyber Attack, Cyber Crime, Cyberwarfare, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, NBC News, United States Congress, White House, White House Press Secretary
CIA Prepping for Possible Cyber Strike Against Russia
William M. Arkin, Ken Dilanian, and Robert Windrem report: The Obama administration is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election, U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.
Current and former officials with direct knowledge of the situation say the CIA has been asked to deliver options to the White House for a wide-ranging “clandestine” cyber operation designed to harass and “embarrass” the Kremlin leadership.
The sources did not elaborate on the exact measures the CIA was considering, but said the agency had already begun opening cyber doors, selecting targets and making other preparations for an operation. Former intelligence officers told NBC News that the agency had gathered reams of documents that could expose unsavory tactics by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Vice President Joe Biden told “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd on Friday that “we’re sending a message” to Putin and that “it will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact.”
When asked if the American public will know a message was sent, the vice president replied, “Hope not.”
Retired Admiral James Stavridis told NBC News’ Cynthia McFadden that the U.S. should attack Russia’s ability to censor its internal internet traffic and expose the financial dealings of Putin and his associates.
“It’s well known that there’s great deal of offshore money moved outside of Russia from oligarchs,” he said. “It would be very embarrassing if that was revealed, and that would be a proportional response to what we’ve seen” in Russia’s alleged hacks and leaks targeting U.S. public opinion.
Sean Kanuck, who was until this spring the senior U.S. intelligence official responsible for analyzing Russian cyber capabilities, said not mounting a response would carry a cost.
“If you publicly accuse someone,” he said, “and don’t follow it up with a responsive action, that may weaken the credible threat of your response capability.”
President Obama will ultimately have to decide whether he will authorize a CIA operation. Officials told NBC News that for now there are divisions at the top of the administration about whether to proceed.
Two former CIA officers who worked on Russia told NBC News that there is a long history of the White House asking the CIA to come up with options for covert action against Russia, including cyber options — only to abandon the idea.
“We’ve always hesitated to use a lot of stuff we’ve had, but that’s a political decision,” one former officer said. “If someone has decided, `We’ve had enough of the Russians,’ there is a lot we can do. Step one is to remind them that two can play at this game and we have a lot of stuff. Step two, if you are looking to mess with their networks, we can do that, but then the issue becomes, they can do worse things to us in other places.”
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 10, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Entertainment, Humor | Tags: Acid Washed, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, LSD, NBC News, Parody, satire
Posted: September 11, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Censorship, Mediasphere, Politics, White House | Tags: 2016, Campaign manager, Classified information, Craig Melvin, Donald Trump, Donald Trump presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton, Matt Lauer, MSNBC, NBC News, The Daily Caller
Posted: August 8, 2016 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Mediasphere, Terrorism | Tags: Benghazi, Central Intelligence Agency, Charles Woods, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hillary Clinton, James B. Comey, NBC News, Pantsuit Report, Patricia Smith, United States Navy SEALs
The parents of two Americans killed in the 2012 terrorist attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court Monday against Hillary Clinton.
“The Benghazi attack was directly and proximately caused, at a minimum by defendant Clinton’s ‘extreme carelessness’ in handling confidential and classified information.”
In the suit, Patricia Smith and Charles Woods, the parents of Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods, claim that Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server contributed to the attacks. They also accuse her of defaming them in public statements.
Smith was an information management officer and Woods was a security officer, both stationed in Benghazi.
“The Benghazi attack was directly and proximately caused, at a minimum by defendant Clinton’s ‘extreme carelessness’ in handling confidential and classified information,” such as the location of State Department employees in Libya, the lawsuit said.
While no such connection has ever been established, their lawsuit called it “highly probable” that Clinton sent and received information about the activities of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Such information, the lawsuit claimed, “easily found its way to foreign powers” and was then obtained by Islamic terrorists. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 5, 2016 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Diplomacy, Mediasphere, Terrorism, U.S. News, White House | Tags: Blackmail, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Iran, Jonah Goldberg, NBC News, New York Post, Obama administration, Ransom, Republican Party (United States), Swiss franc, The Wall Street Journal, United States Department of State
‘We would not, we have not, we will not pay ransom to secure the release of US citizens.’
Jonah Goldberg writes: One of my all-time favorite lines is from Henry Thoreau: “Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.”
It came to mind this week when the White House and State Department insisted that the charge the US paid a ransom to get back American hostages was purely circumstantial. Sometimes, a $400 million payoff in laundered money, delivered in the dead of night in an unmarked cargo plane, isn’t what it looks like.
“Sometimes you just have to marvel at the way smart people can talk themselves into stupidity.”
Jan. 16 was “Implementation Day” for the nuclear deal between the United States and Iran, in which the state sponsor of terror received sanctions relief possibly worth as much as $150 billion — which would be roughly equivalent to 40 percent of its GDP — in exchange for some guarantees against developing nuclear weapons … for a while. (The merits, and even the nature, of the Iran nuclear deal are hotly disputed, but that’s a topic for another time.)
That same day, the Obama administration announced a prisoner swap between the US and Iran, in which we traded seven Iranian criminals and removed another 14 from an Interpol “most wanted” list. In exchange, they returned four innocent Americans, illegally held by the Iranian regime.
[Read the full story here, at New York Post]
Back then, Secretary of State John Kerry boasted about what a masterful diplomatic breakthrough it was. Those Americans were freed thanks to “the relationships forged and the diplomatic channels unlocked over the course of the nuclear talks,” Kerry preened.
Yes, well, maybe. But few things really cement a solid working relationship like $400 million in cash. Kerry failed to mention that part in his press conferences or congressional testimony. In fact, the Obama administration kept the whole thing a secret.
“The whole point of not paying ransoms to terrorists isn’t to save money. The reason we don’t pay kidnappers is that we understand that it will only encourage more kidnapping.”
The White House concedes that it all looks very bad. But it insists this was in no way a ransom payment; the trout got in the milk for perfectly normal reasons. You see, the Iranians were suing for funds deposited with the Pentagon in 1979 for a weapons purchase that was later blocked when the ayatollahs deposed the Shah. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 4, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, Terrorism, U.S. News | Tags: Bomb Maker, CNN, Journalists, media, NBC News, news, San Bernardino Apartment, San Bernardino Massacre, Syed Farook, Tashfeen Malik, Videography
A swarm of reporters entered the apartment where Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik lived after the landlord pried open a plywood blockade that was over door…(see more)
Source: mashable.com – YouTube – Breitbart.com
Posted: November 1, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, Politics, Reading Room, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Book Cover, Books, CNN, Cover Art, David Axelrod, Democratic Party (United States), Hillary Clinton, Media Research Center, Melissa Harris-Perry (TV program), MSNBC, NBC News, Sarah Palin, The Pantsuit Report
Erica K. Landau reports: It’s not just Republicans who get riled by the thought of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton ascending to the presidency. Some people on the left lock horns over Clinton often enough to suggest that Team Hillary still has a long way to go before she has shored up the traditional base of progressive voters.
The forthcoming book, “My Turn,” by Nation Magazine Contributing Editor Doug Henwood, critiques the former secretary of state’s decades-long political career, calling out her foreign policy positions and purported connections to big-money interests, among other contentious points. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 19, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice | Tags: Arizona, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Doug Ducey, Drive-by shooting, NBC News, News conference, Operation Red Dawn, SWAT, Twitter, Walmart
“All I have to say is I’m the wrong guy. I tried telling the detectives that. My gun’s been in the pawnshop the last two months. I haven’t even had access to a weapon.”
PHOENIX, Sept. 19 (UPI) — Leslie Allen Merritt Jr., the man believed to be responsible for a series of drive-by shootings on Arizona’s Interstate 10, told a judge on Saturday that authorities arrested “the wrong guy.”
“The weapon and man we believe was responsible for starting this spree is in custody. Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Frank Milstead said. “Are there others out there? Are there copycats? That is possible.”
— Frank Milstead. Arizona Department of Public Safety Director
Judge Lisa Roberts was unmoved, setting the 21-year-old’s bail at $1 million.
“The suspect presents a dramatic and profound threat to the community,” the prosecutor said at Merritt’s arraignment, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“All I have to say is I’m the wrong guy,” Merritt said, after the judge granted him permission to address the court. “I tried telling the detectives that. My gun’s been in the pawnshop the last two months. I haven’t even had access to a weapon.”
“The father of the accused told reporters that anyone who thinks his son is guilty is a ‘moron.’”
A SWAT team swarmed Merritt in a Walmart on Friday. Authorities announced his arrest shortly afterwards, saying the young man was “forensically linked” to the 11 highway shootings along busy I-10. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 3, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Law & Justice, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Activism, Contempt of court, Kentucky, Marriage License, NBC News, Same-sex marriage, SCOTUS
Posted: August 10, 2015 Filed under: China, Global, Science & Technology, War Room | Tags: Barack Obama, Chief of Naval Operations, China, Cyber Spy, Edward Snowden, Hacking, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Michael Mullen, National Security Agency, NBC News, RUSSIA, Security Breach, Spy, The Pentagon
The email grab — first codenamed ‘Dancing Panda’ by U.S. officials, and then ‘Legion Amethyst’ — was detected in April 2010, according to a top secret NSA briefing from 2014. The intrusion into personal emails was still active at the time of the briefing and, according to the senior official, is still going on.
Robert Windrem reports: China’s cyber spies have accessed the private emails of “many” top Obama administration officials, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official and a top secret document obtained by NBC News, and have been doing so since at least April 2010.
The email grab — first codenamed “Dancing Panda” by U.S. officials, and then “Legion Amethyst” — was detected in April 2010, according to a top secret NSA briefing from 2014. The intrusion into personal emails was still active at the time of the briefing and, according to the senior official, is still going on.
In 2011, Google disclosed that the private gmail accounts of some U.S. officials had been compromised, but the briefing shows that private email accounts from other providers were compromised as well.
An NSA slide shows the organization of the Chinese government’s hacking units, with separate operations run by the Chinese military and by state security. NBC News
The government email accounts assigned to the officials, however, were not hacked because they are more secure, says the senior U.S. intelligence official.
The senior official says the private emails of “all top national security and trade officials” were targeted.
[Read the full text here, at NBC News]
The Chinese also harvested the email address books of targeted officials, according to the document, reconstructing and then “exploiting the(ir) social networks” by sending malware to their friends and colleagues.
The time period overlaps with Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account while Secretary of State from Jan. 21, 2009 to Feb. 1, 2013. The names and ranks of the officials whose emails were actually grabbed, however, were not disclosed in the NSA briefing nor by the intelligence official. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 5, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Mediasphere, Science & Technology, Space & Aviation | Tags: Boeing, Boeing 777, Fixed-wing aircraft, Indian Ocean, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Malaysia Airlines, NBC News, Reunion
The Malaysian prime minister confirmed Wednesday that the airplane fragment that washed up on an island last week came from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 — the first definitive clue to the greatest mystery in modern aviation.
The fragment, a 6-foot-long, barnacle-encrusted wing flap, was discovered July 29 by a crew cleaning the beach on Reunion Island, a French territory in the Indian Ocean off the southern tip of Africa.
Investigators had already determined that it came from a Boeing 777, and Flight 370 was the only plane of that model missing in the world.
But the confirmation on Wednesday provided the first concrete physical evidence of what became of the plane after it disappeared from radar on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 23, 2015 Filed under: Entertainment, Mediasphere, U.S. News | Tags: Al Sharpton, Ann Coulter, Bill Maher, Brian Williams, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, NBC News, NBC Nightly News, United States
Stephanie Smith reports: Brian Williams’ welcome to MSNBC might be frigid because staffers there haven’t forgotten a scathing report he arrogantly aired on his short-lived “Rock Center” about “corrosive” cable news blowhards at MSNBC, Fox News and CNN.
The two-part September 2012 report was so unpopular at MSNBC that, at a network holiday party shortly after, some over-served staffers even chanted “F - - k Brian Williams.”
“Rachel Maddow said on-air last week she was ‘really happy’ about Williams joining MSNBC and she believes in ‘second chances.’”
Williams is now a cable staffer after his demotion from NBC’s “Nightly News”anchor chair. But in 2012, as anchor and managing editor of his own show, “Rock Center,” he aired a two-parter on cable news’ “partisan ranting” from correspondent Ted Koppel. Williams introduced one segment by describing cable as, per Koppel, “corrosive and does nothing to help compromise in this country.”
“The rank and file at MSNBC were furious at Brian. They hated it so much, they were still mad about it months later at the office Christmas party…That’s where some cheered ‘F - - k Brian Williams’ — It was like a rallying cry.”
Williams stuffily wondered, “Has any of this splashed up against what we do?” Koppel responded: “What works about cable television is it’s cheap and it makes a ton of money. There is nothing cheaper than a bunch of talking heads. The people who hire those talking heads have discovered the more irascible, the more partisan, the nastier they are, the bigger an audience.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 8, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Law & Justice, Mediasphere | Tags: Baltimore, Baltimore Police Department, Brian Moore, media, NBC News, NBC Nightly News, news, North Charleston, NYPD, Police officer, South Carolina, Twitter, Walter Scott
Posted: March 27, 2015 Filed under: Diplomacy, Mediasphere, U.S. News, War Room, White House | Tags: Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Hillary Clinton, Israel, Josh Earnest, NBC, NBC News, Parody, Pope, TIME Satire, United States, White House
Time Magazine Parody cover by punditfromanotherplanet
From Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey:
Just how badly has Barack Obama and his administration damaged relations with our allies in the Middle East? NBC’s Richard Engel reports that the Sunni nations in the region have begun to fear that the Obama administration leaks intel to Iran as part of its efforts at rapprochement with the mullahs, which is why the US got blindsided by the Saudi-led coalition’s operations in Yemen. The White House’s “incoherence” in policy, Engel reports, has most of them losing confidence in American leadership, according to Engel’s contacts. (via Free Beacon):
Initially, this looked like material for an update on my earlier post regarding the Saudi-GCC coalition and its decision to work around Obama, but it deserves its own thread for a couple of reasons. First, Engel reported this for NBC, and on MSNBC, the “Lean Forward” cable channel that usually acts as a clearinghouse for Barack Obama apologists (and the occasional slam on Middle America). Engel’s not among the apologists; he’s a first-class foreign correspondent whose reports follow no partisan agenda, and whose sources have usually provided him with highly accurate reporting.
[Read more at Hot Air]
More importantly, Engel’s report advances this to an allegation of betrayal, not just incompetence. Clearly, Saudi Arabia has little confidence left in the Obama administration; that much is evident from their actions to cut the US out of the loop on this coalition. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 17, 2015 Filed under: Law & Justice, Space & Aviation, U.S. News, War Room | Tags: ABC News, al Qaeda, Associated Press, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Islam, Islamic state, NBC News, New York City, New York City Police Department, Providing material support for terrorism, Syria, United States Air Force, United States Attorney
NEW YORK — Federal prosecutors say a U.S. Air Force veteran has been arrested on terrorism charges in a plot to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group.
A grand jury indicted Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh, of Neptune, New Jersey, on charges of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group and obstruction of justice.
He will appear Wednesday in federal court in New York City and is now in custody….(read more)
For NBC News, Michael Kosnar and Daniel Arkin report: A former U.S. Air Force mechanic has been charged with attempting to go to Syria to join ISIS, authorities said Tuesday. Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh was indicted Monday by a grand jury in Brooklyn on two charges, including attempting to provide material support to a terror organization.
The indictment said that Pugh was fired from a job in Kuwait as an airplane mechanic in December 2014. It said that he flew from Egypt to Turkey on January 10, in an effort to cross the border into Syria to join ISIS and wage violent jihad.
Turkish authorities denied him entry into the country, however, and sent him on a return flight to Egypt. He was deported from Egypt to the U.S. in January 15, after he was found carrying suspicious items, including a photograph of a machine gun.
Pugh was arrested Jan. 16, but the case has been sealed since that date.
Searches of his laptop revealed online queries about borders and crossing points controlled by the Islamic State, and videos showing ISIS executions. Posting on social media show Pugh repeatedly professed a desire never to return to the U.S., even though he has family — including children — in the country….(read more)
This is a breaking news story. Please refresh for updates.
— Michael Kosnar and Daniel Arkin
Air Force Times – NBC News
Posted: March 5, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, Politics, U.S. News, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Christian, David Keith, Democratic Party (United States), Hillary Clinton, JOHN NOLTE, Los Angeles Times, Mainstream media, NBC News, Republican Party (United States), Sarah Palin, Scott Walker (politician), The New York Times, The Washington Post, TMZ
John Nolte writes: When it comes to the current scandal surrounding Democrat Hillary Clinton, the gossip/celebrity site TMZ is doing the job the mainstream media won’t. In the search for answers, TMZ was willing to send a staffer to the airport in the hopes that Ms. Clinton would answer questions about the scandal brewing around her decision to use only a private email hosted on her private server while serving as Secretary of State.
- Why wasn’t the mainstream media camped out with TMZ in the hopes of getting some answers?
- Why isn’t this video of Hillary refusing to answer running every fifteen minutes on cable news? I haven’t seen it once.
[Also see – How pathetic is THIS? Hey, MSM, ‘TMZ just ate your lunch’ on Hillary emails]
The answer of course is simple: Democrats sure got it good. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 4, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Entertainment, Humor, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Barack Obama, Bill O'Reilly (political commentator), CNN, Comedy Central, Democratic Party (United States), Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox News Channel, Jon Stewart, Megyn Kelly, NBC, NBC News, Red Eye, The Daily Show, The New York Times, The New Yorker
For more than eight years, Fox News has been broadcasting a 3 A.M. program called ‘Red Eye,’ an odd and often funny late-night show that is not exactly satire, and not exactly anything else, either. Its sensibility is snarky and surreal, thanks to its host, Greg Gutfeld, a former magazine editor who adopts a tone of half-sarcastic alarm, as if he can’t decide which is more annoying: the politician he is talking about, or the fact that he has to talk about politicians.
For The New Yorker, an unlikely source of praise for anything on Fox News, Kelefa Sanneh writes:
Last month, Jon Stewart declared that he would be leaving “The Daily Show,” after sixteen years. One of many writers who paid him tribute was Oliver Morrison, in The Atlantic, who used the opportunity to consider the relationship between comedy and ideology.
“From the beginning, ‘Red Eye’ was cheerfully repetitive, finding humor in a series of running gags. Gutfeld liked to introduce guests with absurd, sexually suggestive hypotheticals that were meant to be flattering. On Greg Proops, the comedian: ‘If hilarity were a telethon, I’d do him in front of a bunch of sick kids’.”
Stewart’s former colleague, Stephen Colbert, once joked that “reality has a well-known liberal bias.” Morrison wondered whether political satire, too, might have a liberal bias. He noted that liberal humor would live on, thanks to programs such as “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver,” on HBO. But he couldn’t identify an equivalent tradition on the other side of the political spectrum. “Why,” he asked, “hasn’t a conservative Daily Show found its own place on Fox?”
“Gutfeld probably regretted offending Canadian troops and their family members, but he was probably also pleased that his biggest scandal involved the phrase ‘gorgeous white Capri pants’.”
It wasn’t clear whether Morrison meant to refer to the Fox Broadcasting Company, which isn’t known for politics, or to Fox News, which isn’t known for comedy. (Why couldn’t a conservative comedy show air on Comedy Central, the ostensibly nonpartisan network that broadcasts “The Daily Show”?) But for more than eight years, Fox News has been broadcasting a 3 A.M. program called “Red Eye,” an odd and often funny late-night show that is not exactly satire, and not exactly anything else, either. Its sensibility is snarky and surreal, thanks to its host, Greg Gutfeld, a former magazine editor who adopts a tone of half-sarcastic alarm, as if he can’t decide which is more annoying: the politician he is talking about, or the fact that he has to talk about politicians. It sounds like faint praise to call “Red Eye” the funniest and most unpredictable program on cable news, but that’s what it is—or, rather, that’s what it was.
[read the full text here, at The New Yorker]
Last week, Gutfeld announced that he, like Stewart, would be leaving late night—in his case, to develop a new weekend program for Fox News. (“Red Eye” will continue, with a different host.) In his article, Morrison discussed Gutfeld in a dismissive paragraph, judging that his humor was often “hackneyed,” and “far . . . from working in prime time.” In fact, Gutfeld is a familiar presence on the network’s two highest-rated programs: he is a regular member of the panel on “The Five,” an afternoon talk show, and a guest and occasional guest host for Bill O’Reilly, at eight. Somehow, Gutfeld—the proprietor of a program whose continued existence once seemed like both a secret and a mystery—has become one of the most prominent faces on Fox News.
From the beginning, “Red Eye” was cheerfully repetitive, finding humor in a series of running gags. Gutfeld liked to introduce guests with absurd, sexually suggestive hypotheticals that were meant to be flattering. (On Greg Proops, the comedian: “If hilarity were a telethon, I’d do him in front of a bunch of sick kids.”) For a time, Andy Levy served as the show’s pesky “ombudsman,” delivering persnickety or off-topic corrections during a “halftime report” in the middle of the show. “You said we need to weaponize space,” Levy told Gutfeld, one night, deadpan. “Actually, the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 prohibits the U.S. or any other signatory nation from installing any kind of nukes or weapons of mass destruction in space, and limits the use of the moon and other celestial bodies to purely peaceful reasons.”
The New Yorker‘s descriptive phrase ‘half-sarcastic alarm’ reminds us that besides Andrew Breitbart, Greg Gutfeld has been perhaps the single most inadequately-credited influence on the tone of punditfromanotherplanet, as well as countless other news, and humor new media sites.
“…Red Eye” was often “nauseating”—not to mention inane, ramshackle, mindlessly sarcastic, sneakily smart, patently absurd, and generally refreshing. But he would be quick to point out that the show never had anything like twenty million viewers…”
Sometimes, Gutfeld tweaked cable-news conventions, as when he purported to address banking reform by convening a sixteen-person panel of experts, including familiar Fox News personalities such as John Bolton, and markedly unfamiliar ones, such as Rosie O’Donnell. As he introduced them, they appeared (or seemed to appear) live, forming a four-by-four matrix of pundit redundancy—by which point it was time, of course, for Gutfeld to thank them all, by name, and then end the segment. Other times, the show came joyfully unmoored from those conventions, as when Levy, throwing the broadcast back to Gutfeld, suddenly began quoting “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”:
GUTFELD: Thank you, Andy.
LEVY: Get you gone, you dwarf; you minimus, of hindering knot-grass made; you bead, you acorn. Greg.
GUTFELD: Why rebuke you him that loves you so?
LEVY: I apologize for nothing.
This last line was Levy’s catchphrase, and it also served as a constant reminder of the time, in 2009, when Gutfeld was obliged to apologize to the Canadian military, after a particularly irreverent discussion. The head of the Canadian land forces had said that the Army might need “a short operational break” lasting “at least one year” following its engagement in Afghanistan. Gutfeld had wondered whether this might not be “the perfect time to invade this ridiculous country,” adding, “The Canadian military wants to take a breather, to do some yoga, paint landscapes, run on the beach in gorgeous white Capri pants.” Gutfeld probably regretted offending Canadian troops and their family members, but he was probably also pleased that his biggest scandal involved the phrase “gorgeous white Capri pants.”
For all his seeming clumsiness, Gutfeld had a remarkable knack for saying ridiculous things without getting himself fired. (When one guest, a musician, set his electric guitar ablaze, Gutfeld was afraid that he might face punishment; he concluded, when no punishment came, that none of the executives stayed up late enough to watch his show.) On Friday night, during his final broadcast, he revisited some favorite old segments, including an excellent clip of Mick Foley, the former professional wrestler, mistaking Chris Barron, a co-founder of the gay conservative group GOProud, for Chris Barron, the lead singer of the Spin Doctors. (“I looked you up, man,” said Foley, sounding embarrassed but also disappointed—he had prepared a zinger about “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong.”) “I dare you to find one boring moment,” Gutfeld said, sounding uncharacteristically earnest. “Excluding this one.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 14, 2015 Filed under: Mediasphere, U.S. News | Tags: Brian Williams, Comedy Central, David Letterman, Fox News Channel, Iraq War, Jon Stewart, NBC, NBC News, NBC Nightly News, Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show, Tom Brokaw, Walter Cronkite
Admitting that the way we were getting news was desperately flawed—at least until a few years ago—is really admitting to a larger failure in ourselves. So, of course, we will never do it.
Ben Collins writes: It turns out the omniscient anchorman was always a lie, even before the most popular and trusted newsman in America got caught parading one around at an intermission of a hockey game, saying his helicopter was shot at when it wasn’t. Brian Williams will spend the next six months without pay decidedly not reading the news on NBC, and it’s a wonder if he’ll ever be back.The real wonder, of course, is why the Nightly News as an idea—a costume party for bravado and the status quo—is still around at all, and why it’s still mild heresy to say people like Jon Stewart replaced it a long time ago.
“What gets lost is a proverbial sense of communal experience. We’re not all getting it through Walter Cronkite. We’re not all going to experience him choke back a tear. The danger is that we become isolated in our own echo chambers—that we don’t get different points of view that open us up to thinking about other people. That’s the dystopian view. That’s the fear—that everyone’s essentially in their own bubble.”
— Jordan Levin
Admitting that the way we were getting news was desperately flawed—at least until a few years ago—is really admitting to a larger failure in ourselves. So, of course, we will never do it.We now simply have better ways of getting information, although nobody wants to admit that—because watching the news for a half-hour every night and receiving all of it was as convenient of an idea as it was a naïve one.
“Anchor chair? I don’t really see the value in it..”
Instead, we have couched very real advancements in the idea that sincerity, storytelling and vulnerability are simply functions of comedy. We have said that The Daily Show
or The Colbert Report
or even The Onion
—a publication with arguably more cultural expectation 24 hours after a big event than the New York Times
editorial board—are all fronted by comedians who have been able to co-opt the news for better, timelier punchlines.
The reality is the opposite: The protections that we now know need to be provided to TV journalists—the expectation that they could be human, that they could quickly admit to mistakes without being permanently reviled, that they could unveil their process while reporting on what they know and don’t know—are really only provided to comedians.
Comedy and news collided not because comedy needed the news, but because news needed the protections of comedy.
Here’s how we know it: The most prominent cases of clear government corruption that were brought to light—and eventually killed—by a TV show in the last year did not come from the Nightly News, a tepid-by-design, rote reconstruction of the day’s events told slowly and dispassionately, as not to ruffle the feathers of the powerful.
Those scoops—acts of journalism in the truest sense—happened, instead, on places like Last Week Tonight, hosted by Daily Show alumnus John Oliver.
His show, for example, highlighted an FCC Commissioner—one whose last job was the head of the telecom lobby—proposing rules that would have allowed that same cable lobby to rake consumers over the coals by artificially slowing down the speed of some websites while simultaneously raising prices. His show launched a protest that was so swift and immediate it crashed the FCC’s servers. That commissioner, Tom Wheeler, did a 180—and last week proposed different rules that would protect the Internet against that kind of throttling.
[Note: If Ben Collins actually thinks the Obama administration-pressured FCC’s 300+ page stack of regulations aimed at transforming the internet into a highly-regulated government-controlled public utility is as simple as consumer-advocacy “rules that would protect the Internet against that kind of throttling” one might conclude that guys like Ben are also among those Kool-Aid drinking journalists who shamelessly promoted the Affordable Care Act as a popular, successful “reform” package that made health care “more affordable”. If this sloppy comment about Tom Wheeler raises serious doubts about the credibility of everything else Ben’s article, so be it.]
[Also see — FCC COMMISH: OBAMA TAKING UNPRECEDENTED DIRECT CONTROL OVER INTERNET CHANGES]
[More — FCC Commissioner Blasts Net Neutrality Proposal as ‘Secret Plan to Regulate the Internet’]
[Congress investigating WH role in influencing FCC on net neutrality]
Then it happened again with payday loans, which prey only on the poor. (The Consumer Protection Agency, as of three days ago, is trying to put an end to them.)
And then again with civil forfeiture—a process that allowed police to seize assets from citizens who were never arrested or charged with a crime. (Attorney General Eric Holder laid out an edict effectively putting an end to it.)
These issues were on the fringe of public consciousness. Fifteen minutes, a lot of reporting and a little bit of comedy later, three pieces of legislation that would’ve negatively affected less fortunate Americans—or, in the first case, all Americans—were about to be killed.
The Nightly News couldn’t dream of doing this that efficiently. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 11, 2015 Filed under: Mediasphere, Think Tank | Tags: Brian Williams, French Quarter, Hezbollah, Hurricane Katrina, Iraq War, Israel, media, Mollie Hemingway, NBC, NBC News, NBC Nightly News, news, Television, The Federalist, The Washington Post
I could go on. The point is that he’s beginning to resemble Jen from the IT Crowd:
If Brian Williams were just a dude at the bar, he’d probably be your favorite dude at the bar. He has great stories and tells them well. The loquacious Williams is just an obscenely well-paid news reader. As Neil Postman put it in his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves To Death, “A news show, to put it plainly, is a format for entertainment, not for education, reflection or catharsis.” And that’s how we like it — here’s a promo for a new CNN game show featuring anchors competing against each other. (Show ‘em who’s boss, Tapper!)
A Far Worse Kind Of Exaggeration
Some journalists have responded to the Williams spectacle by running defenses they’d never imagine using on others — such as that Williams had ordinary false memory syndrome. Others are just waiting for him to be pushed out or quietly get back to work.
Williams lied. I’m not defending him. But in a world of serial exaggerators and distortion artists, he’s the least of mainstream media’s problems.
Exaggeration and distortion is de rigueur for many political journalists.
Exaggeration is kind of what our media do. Now, part of this is defensible. At one of my first newspaper jobs, I would write unbelievably spare copy that accurately described the event or situation I was reporting on. My editor used to take his big red pen and scrawl, “So what?” across my copy, double underlined. It was a great edit. I had to learn how to make a story interesting and how to pull out the parts a reader would actually care about.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 10, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Humor, Mediasphere, U.S. News | Tags: Brian Williams, Comcast Corporation, Deborah Turness, Iraq War, media, Media bias, NBC, NBC News, NBC Nightly News, NBC Universal, New York City, New York Post, news, satire, Steve Burke (businessman)
NBC Suspends Brian Williams for 6 Months Without Pay for Misleading Disinterested Public – ‘Brian Who?’
A Slap on the Wrist: NBC Goes Through the Motions
NEW YORK (AP) — NBC says it is suspending Brian Williams as “Nightly News” anchor and managing editor for six months without pay for misleading the public about his experiences covering the Iraq War.
NBC chief executive Steve Burke said Tuesday that Williams’ actions were inexcusable and jeopardized the trust he has built up with viewers during his decade as the network’s lead anchor. But he said Williams deserved a second chance.
Here is a memo distributed to NBC employees earlier Tuesday:
Williams apologized last week for saying he was in a helicopter that was hit by a grenade while covering the Iraq War in 2003. Instead, he was in a group of helicopters and another was hit, and some veterans involved in the mission called him out on it. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 9, 2015 Filed under: Mediasphere, U.S. News | Tags: Banda Aceh, Brian Williams, Cadaver, Flood, French Quarter, Hurricane Katrina, Iraq War, NBC News, New Orleans, The Times-Picayune
The former general manager of the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans, where Brian Williams has said he stayed while covering Hurricane Katrina, insists there’s no way bodies could’ve been floating past his hotel room during the storm, as the embattled anchor claimed.
“There is no physical way the water was deep enough for a body to float in,” Myra deGersdorff told The Times-Picayune on Sunday.
In a 2006 interview with Disney CEO Michael Eisner, Williams told a horrific tale of watching a dead body float past his hotel window after the levees broke.
“When you look out of your hotel room window in the French Quarter and watch a man float by face down, when you see bodies that you last saw in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and swore to yourself that you would never see in your country,” he said.
His story has been called into question after he admitted to falsely claiming that he traveled on an Army helicopter hit by enemy fire while reporting on the Iraq war in 2003. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 9, 2015 Filed under: Mediasphere, U.S. News | Tags: Brian Stelter, Brian Williams, CBS, CNN, David Letterman, Iraq War, Late Show with David Letterman, NBC, NBC News, NBC Nightly News
Some industry navel gazers say he’s missed a great opportunity by canceling. But Williams’ loss, and Letterman’s, is Stars and Stripes’ gain
Lisa de Moraes reports: Stars and Stripe says it has today published the transcript and audio of its full interview with Brian Williams from last week — because Williams canceled on David Letterman.
“The reason we decided to publish it now is because Williams backed out of this appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. We felt there was a lot of interest out there to hear him, in his own words, really address these questions and hear his response, unfiltered…”
Williams will not appear on the Late Show with David Letterman this Thursday, yesterday canceling a long-scheduled appearance in the wake of an investigation into his inflated claims about taking enemy fire while in a helicopter in Iraq. Some industry navel gazers say he’s missed a great opportunity by canceling. But Williams’ loss, and Letterman’s, is Stars and Stripes’ gain.
“…so everybody can listen for themselves and judge…Williams has not come forward and answered questions. He has made statements on his own but he hasn’t sat and answered questions about it.”
— Travis Tritten
“The reason we decided to publish it now is because Williams backed out of this appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman,” Travis Tritten, who did the interview, explained this afternoon to CNN. “We felt there was a lot of interest out there to hear him, in his own words, really address these questions and hear his response, unfiltered — so everybody can listen for themselves and judge,” Tritten added. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 7, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Mediasphere, U.S. News | Tags: Brian Williams, media, NBC, NBC News, New York City, news, Newspaper, Tabloid
Posted: February 7, 2015 Filed under: Global, Mediasphere, Politics, War Room | Tags: 2003 invasion of Iraq, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brian Williams, Hillary Clinton, Iraq, NBC, NBC News, NBC Nightly News, Rocket-propelled grenade
Posted: February 7, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Mediasphere, U.S. News | Tags: Brian Williams, Deborah Turness, Hurricane Katrina, Iraq War, Lester Holt, Managing editor, NBC, NBC News, NBC Nightly News
Anchor Zombie Joins Viewer Zombies
John Nolte reports: Per an email from NBC News, Brian Williams just passed a note along to the NBC News staff that says he will not be hosting the Nightly News for the next several days. Lester Holt will take his place:
“In the midst of a career spent covering and consuming news, it has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions.
As Managing Editor of NBC Nightly News, I have decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days, and Lester Holt has kindly agreed to sit in for me to allow us to adequately deal with this issue. Upon my return, I will continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us.”
Brian Williams is currently facing an internal NBC News investigation.
The hiatus comes just four days after Williams admitted that he had lied on the NBC Nightly News about being shot down in a helicopter over Iraq in 2003.
Since then, numerous questions arose about the truth of Williams’ apology, his Katrina reporting, and even a story about saving a puppy as a teenage volunteer firefighter.
Williams and NBC are obviously hoping that some time away will cool the scandal down enough to allow Williams to return. Time is unlikely to do either Williams or NBC News much good. The questions that have arisen in just a few days about other aspects of Williams’ reporting were low-hanging fruit. Williams has a decades-long career to investigate, and now a cloud hangs over all of it. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 6, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Entertainment, Mediasphere, U.S. News | Tags: Brian Williams, media, NBC, NBC News, New York, New York Post, news, NYC, Tabloid
Posted: February 6, 2015 Filed under: Mediasphere, U.S. News | Tags: 2003 invasion of Iraq, Boeing CH-47 Chinook, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brian Williams, Hurricane Katrina, Iraq War, Military helicopter, NBC, NBC News, NBC Nightly News, New York City
Brian Williams may have a hard time retaining his popularity with viewers considering the results of a survey commissioned by Variety regarding the news anchor’s false claims to have been on a helicopter shot down by enemy fire in Iraq.
An overwhelming 80% think that Williams should no longer continue as a news anchor for NBC, according to a survey conducted Thursday by celebrity brand expert Jeetendr Sehdev, who polled 1,000 people who either watched or read the anchor’s apology.
“It’s no surprise that super savvy audiences today didn’t believe Williams’ scripted ‘fog of memory’ explanation or his apology. Williams didn’t tell the story to thank a ‘special veteran’ but falsified the story to celebrate himself.”
— Celebrity brand expert Jeetendr Sehdev
If Williams keeps his seat in the anchor chair, he will have to face an uphill climb to regain viewers trust. Seventy percent of respondents surveyed by do not believe that Williams will overcome the mistake.
[Also see – Did Brian Williams lie about his Katrina experience, too? – hotair.com]
Eight out of 10 respondents reported that they will now struggle to believe what Williams says following his admission that he “made a mistake in recalling the events 12 years ago,” as he said during his Wednesday night newscast.
[See More: Blood in the Water: Media Critics Circle Brian Williams, Challenge NBC Anchor’s Job]
Seventy percent did not describe Williams’ apology as sincere, with 60% believing that the anchor attempted to minimize the significance of his fabricated story in his apology. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 5, 2015 Filed under: Mediasphere, War Room | Tags: 2003 invasion of Iraq, Boeing CH-47 Chinook, Brian Williams, Helicopter, media, NBC, NBC News, NBC Nightly News, New York Rangers, news, Stars and Stripes (newspaper)
“Unlike the Chinook helicopter he rode in, Brian Williams credibility is completely shot.”
— The Butcher, punditfromanotherplanet
WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — NBC “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams apologized Wednesday for incorrectly claiming as recently as last week that he rode on a helicopter that came under enemy fire when he was reporting in Iraq in 2003.
“If credibility means anything to NBC News, Brian Williams will no longer be managing editor and anchor of the evening newscast by the end of the day Friday.”
— Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik
Instead, Williams said, he was in another helicopter trailing a Chinook that actually was hit. He apologized on “Nightly News” for getting it wrong.
[Also see Michelle Malkin’s Lead Story, February 4, 2015]
The embarrassing admission came after a story in the Stars & Stripes newspaper pointing out the discrepancy. Williams had made the claim on the air last Friday during a story about Tim Terpak, an Army officer who he had befriended when Terpak was assigned to protect the NBC crew.
“Brian Williams has to go. NBC’s credibility is completely shot.”
— Brent Bozell, founder of Media Research Center
Williams reported on “Nightly News” that he had gone with Terpak to a New York Rangers hockey game. They were introduced to the audience by the public address announcer, who also repeated the claim that Williams’ helicopter had been hit.
“This was a bungled attempt by me to thank one special veteran and by extension our brave military men and women, veterans everywhere, those who have served while I did not,” Williams said on the air Wednesday. “I hope they know they have my greatest respect and also now my apology.”
“It’s hard to see how Williams gets past this, and how he survives as the face of NBC News…”
Stars & Stripes quoted Lance Reynolds, the flight engineer on the crew that rode with Williams, as saying that “it felt like a personal experience that someone else wanted to participate in and didn’t deserve to participate in.”
The newspaper said Williams’ helicopter traveled about an hour behind the aircraft that actually took fire.
“An anchor’s No. 1 requirement is that he or she has credibility. If we don’t believe what an anchor tells us, what’s the point?”
— USA Today media columnist Rem Rieder
In a Facebook response to service members who had pointed out the mistake, Williams said that “I spent much of the weekend thinking I’d gone crazy.”
Despite the apology, some media critics are wondering if NBC News should let Williams go. Read the rest of this entry »