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  • Does the Washington Post think Barack Obama might nominate Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court?

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Today's Washington Post profiles Leah Ward Sears, chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, under the header "Supreme Court Prospect Has Unlikely Ally." The subhead explains a little further: "Friendship With Thomas May Complicate Chances for Left-Leaning Georgia Judge."

    Wait a second. Her chances may be complicated simply because of her friendship with Clarence Thomas? Who says?

    As it turns out, no one.

    Oh, sure, the Post tried, right up top, to make the case that her friendship could hurt Sears' chances:

    Many years after that phone call, the friendship that has endured makes for one of the more intriguing subplots of President Obama's upcoming decision. In naming Souter's replacement, Obama is likely to choose a liberal jurist. Some in the civil rights community are hoping that person will be an African American, such as Sears, to soothe the lingering bitterness over the appointment of Thomas, a conservative who is the court's only black justice.

    But if the choice does turn out to be Sears, the nation's first black president would be nominating someone whose closest friend on the court is the very person civil rights activists have accused of failing to represent African Americans' interests.

    But that's as close as the paper came. In 1,400 words, the paper gave no indication that anyone would oppose Sears because of her friendship with Thomas. In 1,400 words, the paper quoted or paraphrased nobody -- named or otherwise -- saying the friendship gave them concerns about Sears.

    And Sears and Thomas have vastly different records.

    So why was a 1,400 profile of Sears focused so heavily on Thomas?

    The first 8 paragraphs -- and 21 of 25 overall -- involved Thomas.

  • NY Daily News: "Shot at Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi lands CBS golf analyst in hot water"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    The New York Daily News reports:

    He said WHAT?!

    CBS golf analyst David Feherty sparked outrage after he asserted that U.S. soldiers, given the chance, would kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

    "If you gave any U.S. soldier a gun with two bullets in it, and he found himself in an elevator with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Osama Bin Laden, there's a good chance that Nancy Pelosi would get shot twice, and Harry Reid and Bin Laden would be strangled to death," Feherty wrote in a magazine piece.

    Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami ripped into Feherty for his eye-popping remarks in the April issue of D magazine, a Dallas publication.

    "Such comments are unacceptable and beyond the pale and an insult to our patriotic men and women in uniform," Elshami said.

    Jim Manley, a senior communications adviser for Reid, called Feherty's statements "irresponsible."

    "I understand that he thought that he was trying to be funny with the article," Manley said. "If that is the case, it was a pretty pathetic attempt at humor."

    Feherty's outrageous claim appeared in a first-person piece about how former President George W. Bush's return to Texas might affect Dallas residents.

    The comments drew the ire of Washington and media groups after Feherty's column was read on conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh's radio show Friday.

    Eric Burns, president of Media Matters, a liberal media watchdog group, called the statements "disgusting."

  • AP: CBS Sports' Feherty coming "under sharp criticism" for comments

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From a May 9 Associated Press report:

    Golf funnyman criticized over magazine article

    By DOUG FERGUSON

    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — CBS Sports golf analyst David Feherty came under sharp criticism Saturday for a joke he wrote in a Dallas magazine article that suggested American soldiers would be just as likely to knock off House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid as they would Osama bin Laden.

    Feherty was among five Dallas residents who wrote for "D Magazine" on former President George W. Bush moving to Dallas, where the former Ryder Cup player from Northern Ireland has been living the last dozen years.

    "From my own experience visiting the troops in the Middle East, I can tell you this though," Feherty wrote toward the end of his column. "Despite how the conflict has been portrayed by our glorious media, if you gave any U.S. soldier a gun with two bullets in it, and he found himself in an elevator with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Osama bin Laden, there's a good chance that Nancy Pelosi would get shot twice, and Harry Reid and bin Laden would be strangled to death."

    Feherty is among the most popular golf analysts on television for his glib humor. He writes a monthly column for Golf Magazine, and the last of the four books he has written was titled, "An Idiot for All Seasons."

    CBS Sports quickly distanced itself from Feherty's writing.

    "We want to be clear that this column for a Dallas magazine is an unacceptable attempt at humor and is not in any way condoned, endorsed or approved by CBS Sports," spokeswoman LeslieAnne Wade said.

    CBS Sports is not televising the PGA Tour this week at The Players Championship, and Feherty did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

    "David Feherty is an insightful and sometimes humorous commentator for CBS Sports' golf coverage," the PGA Tour said in a statement. "However, his attempt at humor in this instance went over the line, and his comments were clearly inappropriate. We hope he will use better judgment in the future."

    Media Matters for America demanded an apology.

    "Mr. Feherty's violent comments about Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid are disgusting," said Eric Burns, president of the watchdog group. "Suggesting that our troops would attack the leaders of the very democracy they've sworn to sacrifice their lives for is an insult to their integrity, honor, and professionalism. CBS Sports should demand it's golf analyst apologize to our soldiers."

    Previously:

    CBS Responds To The Growing Feherty Controversy

    CBS golf analyst Feherty: "[I]f you gave any U.S. soldier a gun with two bullets in it ... there's a good chance that Nancy Pelosi would get shot twice, and Harry Reid and bin Laden would be strangled to death."

  • CBS Responds To The Growing Feherty Controversy

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    LeslieAnne Wade, CBS Sports senior vice president, communications, issued the following statement in response to CBS golf analyst David Feherty's outrageous comments about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:

    While outside his work for CBS, David Feherty is a popular humorist, we want to be clear that this column for a Dallas magazine is an unacceptable attempt at humor and is not in any way condoned, endorsed or approved by CBS Sports.

    Previously:

    CBS Sports' Feherty Suggests "Any U.S. Soldier" Would Kill Reid and Pelosi

    CBS golf analyst Feherty: "[I]f you gave any U.S. soldier a gun with two bullets in it ... there's a good chance that Nancy Pelosi would get shot twice, and Harry Reid and bin Laden would be strangled to death."

    Limbaugh fill-in Davis reads Feherty's comments about "any U.S. soldier" killing Pelosi and Reid, says "his words speak enormous volumes"

  • TONIGHT: Nerd Prom, AKA White House Correspondents' Association Dinner

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    Tonight is the annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, otherwise known as "nerd prom." You can watch all the insidery beltway media festivities on CSPAN - check local listings for time and channel.

    For those of you on Twitter, folks will be tweeting all night under a few hashtags: #nerdprom, #whca and #whcd. I'll be at a few parties and you can follow me @KarlFrisch.

    It will be interesting to see what news comes out of tonight's dinner. You may recall in 2006 how Stephen Colbert, the night's comedic entertainment, was roundly criticized for being too "tough" on President Bush. Some even said he didn't bring much laughter to the room -- I was there and my perception was a bit different... everyone seemed to love Colbert at least until the following Monday when the media finger wagging began. Of course some in the media chose to ignore Colbert entirely.

    For those of you who missed it, I present to you Stephen Colbert's remarks via YouTube in three parts.

    Part 1 of 3

    Part 2 of 3

    Part 3 of 3

  • Fox News finally discovers FOIA

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    This week Glenn Beck was ranting about the unfolding government power grab, and how the Obama administration is so secretive. How bad was it? This bad, according to Beck:

    it seems every week this network is filing another Freedom of Information [Act] request.

    We had to laugh because Beck thinks it's a big deal when a news org files a FOIA request. It's not. It's an utterly ordinary occurrence, as journalist routinely petition the government to release all kinds of information.

    I just get the feeling that during the Bush years Fox News didn't bother with FOIA's because Fox News reporters didn't need--didn't want--any additional information from the GOP administration. They were completely satisfied accepting the handouts. But with Obama in the WH, suddenly the Fox News team gets all Woodward-and-Bernstein and files FOIA requests!

    I'm sure the news Emmy's are sure to follow.

  • The Hill, please define "considers holding hearings"

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    It's from the Friday headline:

    Hoekstra considers hearings on Pelosi, interrogations

    It's about how Republicans are attacking the Speaker of the House because they claim she knew that the CIA was waterboarding prisoners. (Greg Sargent and Marcy Wheeler explain why Republicans probably don't know what they claim to know.) The GOP is def. in high dudgeon mode, according to The Hill:

    Rep. Pete Hoekstra (Mich.), the top Republican on House Intelligence, in an interview Friday said the document proves that Pelosi knew waterboarding occurred but has denied is because of political pressure from the liberal base of her party.

    So, according to The Hill headline, Hoekstra, the ranking the top Republican on the House Intelligence committee, might call hearings. He's considering it at the very least. That's interesting, but last time we checked Republicans were in the minority and don't have the power to hold hearings.

    Within the article, the The Hill is more clear that the Republican is "considering calling for congressional hearings." But A) It's hard to see how that qualifies as news. Don't minority members of Congress consider "calling" for hearing pretty much everyday? I mean, what member in the House doesn't consider calling for hearings on any array of topics?

    And B) Even if Hoekstra pulls the trigger and actually calls for the hearings, we're still not sure even that qualifies as news, which sort of sums of life in the House when you're in the minority; you can consider and call all you want, but it's still probably never going to happen.

  • Will Bob Schieffer play dumb with Dick Cheney this Sunday?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Cheney's appearing on CBS's Face the Nation, apparently as part of his on-going anti-Obama smear campaign. (What else do you call Cheney's claim that Obama has made America less safe since taking the oath of office?) The question is, will Schieffer in his comments and questions to Cheney make this point perfectly clear to viewers: that what Cheney is doing with his high-profile attacks on the new administration is unprecedented. Period.

    We have simply never seen, in modern American politics, the losing VP belittle a new president, just weeks into his first term, the way Cheney now routinely does in the media. Why? Because those were the ground rules the press established: if you, or your side, lost the November election (and especially if your side lost in a rout), you went away for a long time and remained silent. (Think Michael Dukakis or Bob Dole.)

    Just ask Al Gore. The press used to consider it beneath contempt for the losing side to take partisan swipes at the White House winner during the early days of his presidency.

    That's how the game was played for decades. But Cheney mounts a sustained anti-Obama media campaign and the Beltway press doesn't flinch. The press corps acts like it's normal; like that's what all former VP's do right after they vacate the WH. It's not. It's unprecedented.

    Will Schieffer at least make a passing reference to that, or will he play dumb?

  • CBS golf analyst Feherty: "[I]f you gave any U.S. soldier a gun with two bullets in it ... there's a good chance that Nancy Pelosi would get shot twice, and Harry Reid and bin Laden would be strangled to death."

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From Feherty's column on D Magazine:

    An F-List Celeb Imagines What Preston Hollow Life Will Be Like For W

    I, too, am a huge celebrity who happens to live in Preston Hollow. I expect George W. to drop by soon.
    by David Feherty

    Given the events of the past eight years, once George the Second escaped from Washington, D.C., I think most of us here in Dallas would have understood if he and the former First Missus had moved someplace a little more secluded than Preston Hollow. Like Area 51, maybe, or some sandbar in the Galapagos Islands, just so they could catch their breath for a couple of years and take stock of their lives. I mean, what a nightmare of a time that was to be president of the United States! His two terms must have felt like the rest of the world had inserted the Washington Monument into him and it was his job to heave it out. Although there are those who insist that most of our problems were Dubya's fault, having spent considerable time in the Middle East myself, I think it's unlikely history will tell the same story.

    But that's another story. Right now, I have new neighbors about a par 5 away, just across the Tollway, which is far enough away from my place for me to act neighborly. I hate my neighbors because of their very proximity, or at least I hate the ones that want to talk to me who aren't doctors or gun dealers or who don't have their own airplanes. Doctors, gun dealers, and other people's airplanes can be useful, but people who want to "visit," whatever that peculiar Southern application of the verb entails, just get on my nerves. If I have to visit someone, he had better either be in jail or the hospital, and to be honest I'd prefer jail. I do golf commentary on CBS and sometimes star in television commercials wherein I jump on a trampoline while wearing a skirt. I'm an F-list celebrity at best. But for some reason an inordinate number of people want to talk to me, and always about blubbedy-blah-blah (imagine the sound of a single gunshot here) or Tiger Woods. No, when I make it home, I slam the door behind me and peek out the letterbox to see if I've been spotted by any of the bastards who live nearby.

    So I was thinking: if it's that bad for me, what is it going to be like for George and Laura? I mean, it's not like they can stroll around Tom Thumb stealing grapes like the rest of us, is it?

    Even with their Secret Service entourage, the Bushes are going to be besieged by herds of North Dallas McMansion-dwellers, more brown-nosed and full of BS than any longhorn. Nouveaux riche and face-lifted old-monied fossils alike will descend upon them like ants to the honeypot every time they set foot outside their door. The area that encompasses the Park Cities and Preston Hollow is home to roaming packs of these social climbers. I'm talking to you, the guy with the champagne flute, the stupid grin, and the trophy wife who, if she has one more facelift, will be wearing a triangular beard. You're just the type who will want to show that famous hospitality for which Texas is renowned, and your nasty little dog will try to hump poor Miss Beazley half to death. (Although that former First Scottish Terrier has shown some gnashers recently, so Fido beware.)

    After George and Laura spend a few days wringing the unwashed hands of North Dallas' finest, and, what, with Tom Hicks vaulting the fence and banging on their front door, looking for free advice on what to do with the Texas Rangers (who, incidentally, I believe will be useless until Chuck Norris is in charge), I suspect that Crawford will start to seem like a much better idea to G2, provided he can get planning permission for an alligator-infested moat around the ranch and a bigger wall than we have planned to keep everyone in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona from immigrating to Mexico when Iran takes control of the entire Persian Gulf and we're paying $15 a gallon. Dick Cheney had enough sense to bury himself under 12 feet of snow in Wyoming instead of the 12 feet of concrete everywhere else he's been stationed for the past eight years. And while I'm on the subject of vice, for my money, Sarah Palin came along too late. She's waaay better-looking than Dick Cheney, and when she shoots at something, you can bet that at least the damn thing will be dead.

    Sorry, where was I? Oh, yes. Here's the thing: all of this visiting will be perpetrated by people who actually like 43! What about those who consider him the root of all evil? We have a few of those, and I can't imagine what that bunch of self-righteous, indignant jerks might be like if they get the chance to visit. As for me, my politics are somewhere in the middle-and then way outside both wings. I believe in the death penalty, especially for pro-lifers, child molesters, those opposed to gay marriage, and for stupid dancing in the end zone. I believe in the abolition of estate taxes and the Pickens Plan. I'd lower the legal drinking age and raise the driving age to 18 nationwide, make Kinky Friedman governor of Texas, and make all schools, public and private, start earlier with one hour of physical exercise.

    I'd have to say, though, that if I were G2, I'd have to consider the wisdom of that 30-year rule that applies to classified government documents. I'd wait at least that long before I moved to Preston Hollow. Thirty years seems to be about the length of time it takes Americans to forget really bad things. Look at Donny and Marie Osmond. Does no one remember how badly they sucked the first time around? Yet both of them are back on television for no apparent reason, other than one is fat and can't dance, and the other is a Hollywood used-to-be who squeals mindless gossip on people who would rather dive into oncoming traffic than talk to him. If Dubya were to reappear at 92 years old, his first album would probably go platinum. And, anyway, it will be that long before any of us knows the truth about how and why he played some of the rotten cards he was dealt.

    From my own experience visiting the troops in the Middle East, I can tell you this, though: despite how the conflict has been portrayed by our glorious media, if you gave any U.S. soldier a gun with two bullets in it, and he found himself in an elevator with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Osama bin Laden, there's a good chance that Nancy Pelosi would get shot twice, and Harry Reid and bin Laden would be strangled to death. I've never met a soldier who didn't love this president and this country, and I've met a bunch of them, at home and abroad, in hospitals and in theater. At Walter Reed, Bethesda Naval Medical Center, and the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, I have visited dozens of patients, and I always ask of them before I leave: "What do you want to do when you get out?" No matter how broken or burned, or how many limbs they are missing, they give only one answer: "I want to go back. I want to rejoin my team, to finish our mission." They are rightfully proud of what they have done and want nothing more than to be with their brothers and sisters in arms, because they know the consequences if their job is left unfinished. Right here on American soil, we will end up with unqualified people having to do the job they have been doing over there so incredibly well, and with such extraordinary compassion. The fact is, Americans in America have been safe since 9/11, almost the whole length of G2's term as president, and for that we should be thankful.

    So I think I'm okay with my new neighbors. I've met George the First and the great Barbara a few times and have enjoyed their company immensely. I don't think the apple fell too far away from the tree. G2 loves to ride bikes, and so do I. Maybe I could get a job in the Secret Bike Service, as the official drafter to No. 43. I've already taken a couple of vehicular bullets from behind (experiences I've chronicled in this magazine), so the safest place to ride in Dallas is apparently in front of me.

    Call me, Mr. Prez. Your dad has Jim Nantz's number, and now that you can't surreptitiously listen in on my cell phone calls anymore, Nantz can get ahold of me for you. I'm just around the corner, and I promise not to do any dry-humping, although I can't speak for my much-loved mound of hound, Ziggy, who is the worst beagle in Texas. You might want to have Laura put Miss Beazley up if I do happen to drop by to, you know, visit.

    David Feherty is a golf analyst for CBS and the author of four books, including, most recently, An Idiot for All Seasons.

  • Democracy Now's EXCLUSIVE interview with NYT's Barstow on Pentagon Pundits Scandal

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    Democracy Now's Amy Goodman sat down for a fascinating interview with the New York Times' David Barstow to discuss his Pulitzer Prize wining explosive reports detailing the hidden relationship among numerous media military analysts, the Pentagon, and defense contractors. Specifically, Barstow uncovered last year that "the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform" media military analysts "into a kind of media Trojan horse -- an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks."

    He also wrote: "Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration's wartime performance."

    Following Barstow's story, Media Matters released an exhaustive report which found that since January 1, 2002, those named in the Barstow's report appeared or were quoted more than 4,500 times by news outlets.

    To put a finer point on it, Barstow's exposé came out more than a year ago and Goodman was still able to call her interview an "exclusive." As Barstow notes, he hasn't received "any invitations" to appear on "any of the main network and cable programs."

    Be sure to watch this entire interview, it is must see web tv:

    David Barstow

    Previously:

    Post ignores DOD inspector general's repudiation of report the Post covered in Jan.

    NBC report on NY Times' five Pulitzers ignores military analysts report

    Barstow wins Pulitzer for military analysts story; will networks notice?

    McCaffrey again discusses Afghan security forces without disclosing ties to company training them

    Military analysts named in Times exposé appeared or were quoted more than 4,500 times on broadcast nets, cables, NPR

    Networks continue to ignore NY Times' military analyst story, but all find time for Hannah Montana

    Networks reportedly refused to appear on PBS' NewsHour to respond to NY Times' military analysts story; several continue blackout

    Multiple choice: Of the following, which outlet covered two recent major national security stories -- NBC, CBS, NPR, PBS, or ... Comedy Central?