On Monday's show, Limbaugh picked up on a story hyped by Drudge about Guantánamo detainees being offered the H1N1 vaccine. Limbaugh claimed:
LIMBAUGH: The detainees at Guantánamo Bay are going to receive a swine flu vaccine? Kids in the Midwest, parts of North Carolina, can't have the swine flu vaccine, but detainees at Club Gitmo are going to get the vaccine. I don't know. We're just out of whack. Everything is just surreal.
Limbaugh is ignoring that military personnel will be vaccinated before detainees and that vaccinating detainees can help protect military personnel and their families.
But Limbaugh is obviously thinking of the children.
Apparently, Limbaugh is upset they're not getting a vaccine that may have been developed to kill them.
That's what Limbaugh said after all:
LIMBAUGH: Checked the email during the break: "Rush, sounded like you didn't think [Louis] Farrakhan's kind of loopy here for saying that the swine flu is developed to kill people." Folks, it's hard to disagree with him on this. I mean, after the stories we have discussed just this week on cancer testing now being no good, We've -- cash for no babies -- carbon credits for not having babies, that's the only way to save the planet.
We've got death panels in Florida. We have an administration in love with the teachings of Chairman Mao. So Farrakhan comes along and says that the swine flu is developed to kill people -- oh, no, the vaccine, I'm sorry -- swine flu vaccine developed to kill people, and he seems perfectly within the realm of reality to me with all the other news that's going on out there.
He said that the people who won't take the vaccine are wise, which includes me. Minister Farrakhan has unknowingly, probably, pronounced me as wise. Now, at any other point in my life I would think, well, this guy's lost his marbles. He's a true fruitcake, gone over the edge; and an order of fries short of a happy meal. But how can you, with everything else going on in the country today, how in the world can you just discard this?
Limbaugh has been fomenting hysteria over the H1N1 vaccines for weeks now. Not only that, he's also downplayed and even mocked reports of the number of children who have died from H1N1. And now he's suddenly concerned about those children getting the vaccine?
Mediaite's Steve Krakauer defends Howard Kurtz's glaring conflict of interest, arguing that Kurtz's (tepid) criticism of CNN for not paying more attention to a controversial comment by Rep. Alan Grayson shows that Kurtz "doesn't hold back when giving his take on the network airing his show." Here's Krakauer:
The segment is one small piece of evidence that the CNN host doesn't hold back when giving his take on the network airing his show - there are many more. In this media environment where so many networks have partnerships and sharing deals with other outlets, these types of questions are bound to come up. (For example - here's CNBC correspondent and MSNBC anchor John Harwood writing about Fox News in the New York Times.) The questions are likely to continue and increase, but Kurtz has done a good job serving as a model of someone put in a position to balance two separate jobs.
I think Krakauer has this whole question backwards.
When assessing how someone deals with a conflict of interest, the approach shouldn't be to say that everything is ok as long as they sometimes don't let that conflict affect their reporting.
If a politician casts 99 votes that don't seem to unjustifiably benefit her spouse's business, and only one that does, would Krakauer praise her for "model" behavior? Probably not. Nor would most people. Most people don't hand out credit for being ethical most of the time.
Likewise, the question with Kurtz isn't whether he ever criticizes CNN. It's whether he ever seems to let his role at CNN compromise his reporting at the Washington Post (and vice versa). If Krakauer -- or anyone else -- wants to assess whether Kurtz "has done a good job serving as a model of someone put in a position to balance two separate jobs," he shouldn't be looking for examples of Kurtz criticizing CNN; he should be looking to see if there are glaring examples of Kurtz giving CNN a pass. And there are, as I explain here.
A couple other quick points: First, the primary question with Kurtz has always been whether his employment by CNN compromises his ability to cover CNN for the Washington Post. But in defending Kurtz, Krakauer didn't point to anything Kurtz wrote for the Post; he pointed to something Kurtz said about CNN on CNN.
And second, Kurtz isn't "someone put in a position to balance two separate jobs." Nobody's forcing him to work for both CNN and the Washington Post. He chose to. He put himself in that position. And he did so after having lectured other print reporters about the perils of being "seduced by the affluence and adulation that comes with television success" and warning about the danger of "those who pontificate for a living" being "in financial cahoots with the industries and lobbies they analyze on the air."
From Anita Moncrief at Hot Air, with a breathless exclusive that I doubt would pass the smell test at a high school newspaper:
Multiple sources on the ground in New York's 23rd Congressional district confirm that ACORN is expected to be actively protesting the election results in Clinton County, New York tomorrow. This move comes on the heels of a legal win for the Hoffman camp today as it was ruled that all poll watchers would have to be registered voters of NY 23.
"Is expected"? Ugh, massive red flag since right-wing bloggers have zero credibility when it comes to straight reporting. The idea that this scoop "is expected" to unfold makes me highly dubious. But we'll soldier on.
"Actively protesting the election results"? What does that even mean? The item was typed up Monday, which means "tomorrow" refers to today. According to this blind item with no sourcing from a site that has zero sources within ACORN or progressive politics (although the site does dutifully type up whatever conservative politicians ask them to), the urban community organizing group, which is not exactly synonymous with rural, Adirondack districts like N.Y.-23, is going to be "actively protesting the elections results."
But again, what does that mean? A) How does anybody actively protest election results during Election Day? Results, of course, only come in at the end of the day, which means there are no results to protest during the day. B) How would ACORN "protest" results? Does Hot Air mean they're going to picket outside polling districts or something? Is ACORN going to legally challenge the results? Readers have no idea, because Hot Air has no idea.
And lastly, C) so what if ACORN is somehow is "actively protesting the election results"? There's a legal process for that and if ACORN has some sort of legitimate challenge, post-election, they'll take it to the courts, as has occurred in countless other elections around the country.
But keep in mind, Hot Air provides zero proof ACORN is going to be "actively protesting the election results" today, because it's not even clear Hot Air knows that that phrase means. I think Hot Air just likes the sound of it, which of course, is what passes today for right-wing "journalism."
UPDATED: In case, readers had any doubt, it appears Hot Air's "sources" were officials with the campaign of conservative Doug Hoffman; officials who held a conference with mostly right-wing bloggers yesterday to push the dubious ACORN line.
Again, so much for right-wing "journalism."
UPDATED: According to a New York Daily News report, it's right-wing supporters who are causing Election Day chaos in N.Y. 23.
UPDATED: More bogus Election Day "journalism." Funny, if it were't so sad.
Favorite reader comment:
i am a staunch conservative, but this is a little too convenient… worried about election fraud and then this shows up on election day?? NO sources? with holding cops name?? since when is a cop afraid to go on record? where is the smoking gun of a police report? this makes no sense and I am not buying it...You need more facts and it is ridiculous that a journalist like Breitbart would attach his name to something so tenuous. I could be completely wrong, but you need to back some of this up with something other than anonymous quotes. Democrats rely on deception, conservatives are supposed to be better than that.
Remember Marc Rudov? He's the frequent Fox News guest who thinks Hillary Clinton deserves to be called a "B-word," ridiculed a study on housework as the product of a "gyno-versit[y]," insists that "girls just love to expose themselves," among other things.
Maria Shriver, you have two sons and two daughters. Do your sons like hearing from you that they're growing up in a woman's nation? I doubt it. What will their friends say? Nothing flattering. What will your daughters think about their brothers - and all men? Isn't your TV program just as destructive as those that once prompted mothers to teach "life in a man's world" to their daughters?
Rudov is just getting warmed up. He then declares that all "laws and policies that confer upon women unilateral rights and protections in rape, reproduction, abortion, custody, child support, domestic violence, workplace practices, and immigration" are "unconstitutional" because "[o]ur legal system is designed to be blind to specific groups," yet such laws get passed anyway because "spineless men fear retribution from feminists and sexual retaliation from their wives for writing, passing, enforcing, and adjudicating gender-neutral laws."
Rudov then blames American women for the current state of American men:
Men are fast becoming slacker dudes and permanent blue-collar workers. This is because highschool programs favor girls; college-enrollment stats prove it. Not only are women dominating at the undergraduate level, they are receiving more than 50% of degrees in law, medicine, and business. At UC Davis 80% of veterinary grads are women. The trend of female domination is growing unabated.
Is this a problem? You betcha. A society of marginalized men is a weak society. Whom will these highly educated women marry? Slacker dudes? I don't think so. Given that 40% of American children are born out of wedlock, marriage isn't a big concern for many women. Too bad. Every study of teenage pregnancy, drug usage, alcoholism, gang membership, crime, and school dropouts points to the lack of fathers at home. Women file 70% of divorces and choose single motherhood as a lifestyle.
Then, it's back to bashing Shriver, claiming that she's "compounding the omnipresent wedge between men and women" and that "any men who rally your cause are pathetic eunuchs - proof of your thesis."
Yet Rudov did find one bright spot in his alleged emasculation:
In canonizing women as strong, smart, talented, and self-reliant - and they are - you have done men a big favor: terminated all justification for women to receive alimony and child support. You are the alimony terminator. We love you. This is fantastic, as Arnold would say.
And so, America is now a Woman's Nation, a matriarchy, a gynocracy. Women are in control. They no longer need, and therefore cannot require, men to support them financially - at any time, in any way, for any reason. Otherwise, they'd be hypocrites, wouldn't they?
Sounds like Rudov needs to decide whether he's upset that women are taking over or relieved because he's no longer expected to do anything for them.
CNBC's Darren Rovell has some funny ideas about what it means to be an American.
Over the weekend, Meb Keflezighi became the first American to win the New York City Marathon since 1982. But CNBC's Darren Rovell isn't impressed. Darren Rovell doesn't think Keflezighi is really an American.
On his Twitter account yesterday, Rovell wrote "NYC Marathon winner Keflezghi may be a citizen, but can't count as American."
Rovell explained his bizarre views in an article on CNBC's web site:
It's a stunning headline: American Wins Men's NYC Marathon For First Time Since '82.
Unfortunately, it's not as good as it sounds.
Meb Keflezighi, who won yesterday in New York, is technically American by virtue of him becoming a citizen in 1998, but the fact that he's not American-born takes away from the magnitude of the achievement the headline implies.
"Technically American"? No: Keflezighi is American. Not on some technicality or by virtue of a loophole. He is, simply, an American -- and he isn't any less American simply because he did not share Darren Rovell's great good fortune to have been born in the U.S.
Keflezighi's country of origin is Eritrea, a small country in Africa. He is an American citizen thanks to taking a test and living in our country.
Nothing against Keflezighi, but he's like a ringer who you hire to work a couple hours at your office so that you can win the executive softball league.
Well, actually, he isn't anything like that at all. Keflezighi is an American. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1987, when he was 12 years old, and became a citizen in 1998. He has lived in America for 22 years and been a citizen for 11.
You know many "ringers" who start at age 12? You know many people who consider 22 years of residence the equivalent of working "a couple hours at your office"? I didn't think so.
The positive sign was that some American-born runners did extremely well in yesterday's men's race.
If any of them stand on the top step of the podium in Central Park one day, that's when I'll break out my red, white and blue.
Now there's a guy who loves his country.
Here's an excerpt from a 2005 Sports Illustrated profile of Keflezighi:
Meb's story begins in Eritrea a quarter century ago. Russom Keflezighi was the father of five young children (Meb was number 4), husband to a pregnant wife, Awetash, and a hunted member of the Eritrean Liberation Front, a civilian organization seeking independence for Eritrea from Ethiopia. "By 1981 the enemy was very close," he says. He would often sleep in the woods outside his village to avoid detection.
His wife urged him to leave the country rather than be jailed or killed. In July 1981 Russom walked out of his village in tears and headed for the border with Sudan, nearly 100 miles and seven days away. Two years later he moved to Milan, Italy, with the aid of an Eritrean woman who had borne him a daughter, Ruth, before he married Awetash.
Russom worked as many as four jobs at once and sent money back to Eritrea. At home the Keflezighi boys dodged violence every day. "We saw body parts on the highway," says Meb. "But it was the only life we knew." In 1986 Russom brought his family to Milan and then--14 months later, sponsored by Ruth, who was 19 years old and living in the U.S.--to San Diego.
In California, Russom worked tirelessly. He did not let his children take jobs. "I told them, 'You will have a better life if you study,'" he says. The family grew to 11 kids. Today the six oldest have college degrees, and the seventh is a freshman at Stanford.
UPDATE: Rovell apologizes. Sort of:
I said that Keflezighi's win, the first by an American since 1982, wasn't as big as it was being made out to be because there was a difference between being an American-born product and being an American citizen. Frankly I didn't account for the fact that virtually all of Keflezighi's running experience came as a US citizen.
This is where, I must admit, my critics made their best point. It turns out, Keflezighi moved to the United States in time to develop at every level in America. So Meb is in fact an American trained athlete and an American citizen and he should be celebrated as the American winner of the NYC Marathon. That makes a difference and makes him different from the "ringer" I accused him of being. Meb didn't deserve that comparison and I apologize for that.
In other words, Rovell wrote a column smearing Keflezighi without bothering to do 20 seconds of research to find out if his central premise was correct. That's some good journalism!
Rovell also writes:
I never said he didn't deserve to be called American.
Oh, really? What about when Rovell wrote that Keflezighi "can't count as American"? How about when he wrote that Keflezighi is only "technically" American? Or when he analogized Keflezghi's American-ness to a "ringer" who works "a couple hours" in an office?
UPDATE 2: Keflezighi's fellow UCLA alums over at Bruins Nation are not amused:
The first point I'd like to make is that Meb did more than just "live" in the country. For the most part, he grew up here. Last time I checked, the University of California, Los Angeles contains three words that identify itself with the United States, so he was educated here. And being a citizen thanks to "taking a test" is no small feat, considering that there are reports circulating that a mere 3.5% of American High School students would be able to pass that same test. I'd like to know if Rovell could pass. I know I have my doubts.
What I'm really wondering what ... Revell would say to the parents and wives and children of dead American soldiers who died in battle defending this country after becoming naturalized citizens. I wonder if they would tell them "Thanks, but it's not as if they were real Americans who were actually born here."
I not only rejoice in Meb's win because we are both Americans. I rejoice that I live in a country that allows great men like Meb to become citizens and then proceeds to treat him no differently than those whose families came over on the Mayflower.
Last night if you went to this link, you would have seen this Wall Street Journal story headlined "GOP Health Bill Gives Insurers More Leeway":
This morning, however, if you attempted using the very same link, you'd find an entirely different story, by an entirely different reporter, under an entirely different headline.
Why did the Journal replace an article that simply pointed out that the yet to be released House GOP health care plan would benefit insurers with a piece about how House Democrats were working to deal with the issues of "abortion" and "illegal immigrants" in their reform plan?
If you run a search for the headline of the original Journal article, you'll get a bunch of links directing you to it, though none of them actually send you to the original story. The links are either broken, to different stories or direct you to the new Journal piece focusing on House Democrats.
For the better part of four years now, the crack bias sleuths at NewsBusters have had something of a monopoly on really awful media criticism. If you wanted to read some of worst, most puerile carping on the alleged transgressions of the mainstream media, all you had to do was head over to Tim Graham's place and read about MSNBC's biased promo announcers, Andrew Sullivan's unforgiveable foreignness, and the Washington Post's anti-"Wolverines!" slant. And let's never forget Matt Lauer's terrorist neckwear.
But it looks like Andrew Breitbart's BigHollywood.com is looking to dethrone NewsBusters as the premiere source for asinine right-wing media criticism, and they made a compelling case with one of their "featured stories" this morning which documented the absurd liberal bias in an episode of Sesame Street that aired two years ago.
Just let that sink in for a moment...
So, in the spirit of one of Sesame Street's many iconic characters, let's count the ways in which BigHollywood.com embarrassed themselves this morning:
Add one more soldier to the Left's war on Fox News: Oscar the Grouch.
Later in the episode, Anderson Cooper from 4th place CNN, guest stars as a reporter for GNN. He interacts with "Walter Cranky" and "Dan Rather-Not" - Muppets representing real-life liberal news personalities - and they talk about "Meredith Beware-a" and "Diane Spoiler." But no affectionate nicknames for Fox News personalities; no Spill O'Reilly or Brittle Hume - nope, and the only disparaging characterization of real-world news is reserved for Fox: Fox is a POX. It is trashy. They didn't even attempt to try "MessyNBC."
The message is clear, I can't even sit my kids in front of "Sesame Street" without having to worry about the Left attempting to undermine my authority.
The fact that this is a re-run from an episode written during the Bush Presidency only reinforces that this is nothing new. The Left has been doing this for years now. All of us have seen it and felt powerless to mention it, because if we do, we're ridiculed and dismissed (thank you, Mr. Alinsky).
"Sesame Street" can awkwardly slam FoxNews from the comfort of their stodgy old PBS studios... Meanwhile, we have the cool kids on our side: Dennis Miller, Greg Gutfeld, Andrew Breitbart and yes, even Glenn Beck. And our cool kids are pointing out just how boring, lame, predictable and lazy the other side has become.
And so forth...
I'd like to think that this is satire of some sort. I really would. But we've all seen how earnestly idiotic these folks can be.