From the Drudge Report accessed March 15, 2010:
From the AP article linked to by Drudge:
Ahead of visit, Obama reconsiders Indonesia military
The United States is looking to break a taboo and train an elite Indonesian force linked to past abuses, as President Barack Obama courts the world's largest Muslim-majority nation with a visit.
With its moderate form of Islam and democratization since the 1990s, Indonesia is increasingly seen in Washington as an ideal partner. Obama spent part of his childhood in Jakarta, giving him a propitious personal connection.
Ahead of Obama's trip next week, top officers from Kopassus -- a military unit that focuses on counter-insurgency and intelligence -- visited Washington to discuss a resumption of training, people with knowledge of the talks said.
The United States cut off support for Kopassus under the so-called Leahy Amendment in 1997, which prohibited training to foreign military units involved in human rights abuses.
On Friday, I posted an item about the comment section attached to a Politico news article about how Sen. Harry Reid's wife and daughter had been seriously injured in a car accident. I highlighted the posted comments at Politico because I thought they were so disturbed and so depraved in the unhinged way they mocked Reid's injured family and openly wished he's been among the mangled wreckage. To me, the indefensible comments offered a window into the increasingly dark and hateful soul of today's conservative movement, which tends to view its political opponents as non-human.
Writing up the item I tried to go out of my way not to cast blame. While I did note the GOP Noise Machine long ago crank up the hate rhetoric way past 11, I didn't suggest there was a direct connection between the incessant filth that often passes for discourse within the right-wing media, and the blood-lust comments posted at Politico.
Big mistake on my part.
Because the same day I highlighted the unconscionable comments posted about Reid's wife and daughter, what did online right-wing nut Dan Riehl post?
"isn't It Time to Euthanize Reid's Wife"?
Then what did a RedState contributor write?
Comments on euthanizing Sen. Harry Reid's wife "deserved to be said"
And then what did Riehl write in response to Media Matters?
"I'd have taken a coat hanger" to Media Matters
For the record, I do think there is an inescapable connection between the violent hate posts that we see online, like the ones made at Politico in connection to the sad Reid story, and the bile that passes for content on right-wing blogs, AM talk radio and portion of Fox News. If any right-wingers disagree, let them come forward and denounce Riehl and RedState for those deranged comments about Reid's wife.
If conservatives won't do that, then they have no argument to make.
It's true, because National Review's Andrew McCarthy's said so in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece this weekend.
Turns out, Democrats not only tell the former federal judge and GOP independent counsel Ken Starr what to do, they also have extraordinary sway over a whole stable of former Bush administration officials who, like Starr, came out last week and condemned as "shameful" the right-wing "Al Qaeda Seven" smear campaign, targeting DOJ attorneys who have defended terror suspects.
In a Journal face-off, McCarthy defended the "Al Qaeda Seven" attacks, and did his best to downplay the conservative backlash the smear campaign ignited [emphasis added]:
The Department of Justice folded, providing the names to the media. But the Obama administration also drummed up support from the legal profession's leading lights. Twenty-two of them, including Kenneth Starr and other well-respected Republican lawyers, fired off a letter denouncing the ad as "shameful."
Ignore those nearly two dozen attorneys, many of whom have deep ties with the conservative movement and the Bush White House, McCarthy argued in the Journal. They were simply doing whatever the Obama White House told them to do.
Whatever you say Andy.
UPDATED: The White House also dictates content to right-wing bloggers!
From Kurtz's March 15 Washington Post column:
In just over a year, Glenn Beck's blinding burst of stardom has often seemed to overshadow the rest of Fox News.
And that may not be a good thing for the top-rated cable news channel, as many of its staffers are acutely aware.
With his celebrity fueled by a Time cover story, best-selling books, cheerleading role at protest rallies and steady stream of divisive remarks, Beck is drawing big ratings. But there is a deep split within Fox between those -- led by Chairman Roger Ailes -- who are supportive, and many journalists who are worried about the prospect that Beck is becoming the face of the network.
By calling President Obama a racist and branding progressivism a "cancer," Beck has achieved a lightning-rod status that is unusual even for the network owned by Rupert Murdoch. And that, in turn, has complicated the channel's efforts to neutralize White House criticism that Fox is not really a news organization. Beck has become a constant topic of conversation among Fox journalists, some of whom say they believe he uses distorted or inflammatory rhetoric that undermines their credibility.
Fox staffers note that veteran producer Gresham Striegel left the network after clashing with Beck and say the host has surrounded himself with loyalists from Mercury, some of whom remain on that company's payroll. (Striegel did not respond to a request for comment.) When Fox covers breaking news during Beck's hour, some journalists say, they are flooded with angry e-mail from viewers about the preemption.
Friction between opinionated cable personalities and journalists has also flared occasionally at MSNBC. But Beck has caused such anguish at Fox that some of its journalists celebrated the failure of last week's interview with embattled ex-congressman Eric Massa, which Beck pronounced a waste of time.
One thing is beyond debate: Beck provides a strong lead-in for the network's evening lineup. "The significance of Beck to Fox's bottom line cannot be underestimated," says Tyndall, the industry analyst. "Getting an audience that size at 5 p.m. is absolutely unheard of."
But that growth has come at a price, at least for those at Fox who believe that Beck is beginning to define their brand. Glenn Beck is a media phenomenon married to a phenomenally successful network, but away from the cameras, theirs is a troubled relationship.
From a March 13 Big Government post:
Here's what else they know. History affords many examples of regimes whose motto was "Never let a crisis go to waste." In 1933, having campaigned for "hope" and "change," the National Socialist Worker's Party forced through the German parliament a Law to Remedy the Distress of the People and the Nation, also known as the Enabling Act.
This new law enabled the German chancellor and his appointees to bypass parliament in imposing sweeping regulations on the people:
"In addition to the procedure prescribed by the constitution, laws of the Reich may also be enacted by the government of the Reich [i.e., the Cabinet]."
The constitution of the Weimar Republic became so irrelevant that the new regime never saw a need to actually repeal it.
By this vote, the National Socialist Workers Party assumed absolute power and the Chancellor made history.
From Raines' March 14 Washington Post op-ed, titled, "Why don't honest journalists take on Roger Ailes and Fox News?":
One question has tugged at my professional conscience throughout the year-long congressional debate over health-care reform, and it has nothing to do with the public option, portability or medical malpractice. It is this: Why haven't America's old-school news organizations blown the whistle on Roger Ailes, chief of Fox News, for using the network to conduct a propaganda campaign against the Obama administration -- a campaign without precedent in our modern political history?
Through clever use of the Fox News Channel and its cadre of raucous commentators, Ailes has overturned standards of fairness and objectivity that have guided American print and broadcast journalists since World War II. Yet, many members of my profession seem to stand by in silence as Ailes tears up the rulebook that served this country well as we covered the major stories of the past three generations, from the civil rights revolution to Watergate to the Wall Street scandals. This is not a liberal-versus-conservative issue. It is a matter of Fox turning reality on its head with, among other tactics, its endless repetition of its uber-lie: "The American people do not want health-care reform."
Fox repeats this as gospel. But as a matter of historical context, usually in short supply on Fox News, this assertion ranks somewhere between debatable and untrue.
Why has our profession, through its general silence -- or only spasmodic protest -- helped Fox legitimize a style of journalism that is dishonest in its intellectual process, untrustworthy in its conclusions and biased in its gestalt? The standard answer is economics, as represented by the collapse of print newspapers and of audience share at CBS, NBC and ABC. Some prominent print journalists are now cheering Rupert Murdoch, the head of News Corp. (which owns the Fox network) for his alleged commitment to print, as evidenced by his willingness to lose money on the New York Post and gamble the overall profitability of his company on the survival of the Wall Street Journal. This is like congratulating museums for preserving antique masterpieces while ignoring their predatory methods of collecting.
Why can't American journalists steeped in the traditional values of their profession be loud and candid about the fact that Murdoch does not belong to our team? His importation of the loose rules of British tabloid journalism, including blatant political alliances, started our slide to quasi-news. His British papers famously promoted Margaret Thatcher's political career, with the expectation that she would open the nation's airwaves to Murdoch's cable channels. Ed Koch once told me he could not have been elected mayor of New York without the boosterism of the New York Post.
For the first time since the yellow journalism of a century ago, the United States has a major news organization devoted to the promotion of one political party. And let no one be misled by occasional spurts of criticism of the GOP on Fox. In a bygone era of fact-based commentary typified, left to right, by my late colleagues Scotty Reston and Bill Safire, these deceptions would have been given their proper label: disinformation.
Under the pretense of correcting a Democratic bias in news reporting, Fox has accomplished something that seemed impossible before Ailes imported to the news studio the tricks he learned in Richard Nixon's campaign think tank: He and his video ferrets have intimidated center-right and center-left journalists into suppressing conclusions -- whether on health-care reform or other issues -- they once would have stated as demonstrably proven by their reporting.
From a March 13 Atlas Shrugs post:
From a March 12 post on Dan Riehl's Riehl World View blog: