Is '50s pop idol Pat Boone a NewsBuster now? It appears so -- he's got his own blog there and everything. Unfortunately, his first post doesn't reflect well on NewsBusters -- or perhaps it reflects all too well.
The Sept. 3 post is actually a column Boone wrote in June and was published on various conservative websites at that time. It's one of those Obama-is-a-suspicious-foreigner screeds portraying President Obama as a "man without a country"; Boone writes to Obama, "It seems increasingly and painfully obvious that you are more influenced by your upbringing and questionable education than most suspected." But in making his point, Boone takes Obama's words out of context and treats paraphrases of Obama as direct quotes (which are also taken out of context).
Boone quotes Obama as saying, "We're no longer a Christian nation," which he later responds to by writing, "America is emphatically a Christian nation, and has been from its inception!" But, Boone hides the full context of Obama's statement, which highlights the diversity of America:
Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation -- at least, not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.
Boone also quotes Obama as saying, "America has been arrogant," suggesting he got the idea "during the 20 years you were a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ under your pastor, Jeremiah Wright." But there's no evidence Obama said that exact quote. Boone appears to be referring to Obama's speech in Strasbourg, France, in which he said that "here have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive." But Boone ignores what Obama said immediately after that:
But in Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual but can also be insidious. Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what's bad.
On both sides of the Atlantic, these attitudes have become all too common. They are not wise. They do not represent the truth. They threaten to widen the divide across the Atlantic and leave us both more isolated. They fail to acknowledge the fundamental truth that America cannot confront the challenges of this century alone, but that Europe cannot confront them without America.
Boone served up another purported Obama quote: "After 9/11, America didn't always live up to her ideals." But like the previous statement, that's a paraphrase. It appears to be taken from Obama's speech in Cairo, and again, it's taken out of context:
And finally, just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists, we must never alter our principles. 9/11 was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our ideals. We are taking concrete actions to change course. I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States, and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.
So America will defend itself respectful of the sovereignty of nations and the rule of law. And we will do so in partnership with Muslim communities which are also threatened. The sooner the extremists are isolated and unwelcome in Muslim communities, the sooner we will all be safer.
Perhaps the NewsBusters folks are so intimidated by Boone's awesome star power that they feel no need to fact-check his work.
From MSNBC's website:
UPDATE: It appears that the column has been removed from the MSNBC website. MSNBC, however, has yet to offer any explanation on why it was posted in the first place.
UPDATE 2: An MSNBC spokesperson has responded.
From a September 3 TVNewser post:
Fox Business Network has announced, after weeks of speculation around the industry, that radio host Don Imus will be joining the network starting October 5th. Imus signed a multi-year deal with FBN to simulcast "Imus in the Morning" weekdays from 6-9amET along with his radio syndication. The announcement stated that Imus will be incorporating more business news into his format.
TVNewser had reported in early August that the host was in talks with FBN to bring the simulcast to the network. A few weeks later, Imus announced that he would be leaving RFD-TV much earlier than he had originally signed on for, furthering speculation.
Executive VP Kevin Magee made the announcement today saying, "We're excited to welcome a renowned broadcaster like Don Imus to the FOX Business team. His 40 years of on-air experience combined with his superb interviewing skills and capitalist sensibilities will be a great addition to our lineup."
Putting aside possible ulterior motives, the conservative freak-out over President Obama's planned speech to students urging them to stay in school and work hard is due to fears that Obama will use his platform as an opportunity to push his agenda on unsuspecting students. Ironically, that's exactly what President Reagan did two decades ago.
On November 14, 1988, Reagan addressed and took questions from students from four area middle schools in the Old Executive Office Building. According to press secretary Marlin Fitzwater, the speech was broadcast live and rebroadcast by C-Span, and Instructional Television Network fed the program "t o schools nationwide on three different days." Much of Reagan's speech that day covered the American "vision of self-government" and the need "to keep faith with the unfinished vision of the greatness and wonder of America" but in the middle of the speech, the president went off on a tangent about the importance of low taxes:
Today, to a degree never before seen in human history, one nation, the United States, has become the model to be followed and imitated by the rest of the world. But America's world leadership goes well beyond the tide toward democracy. We also find that more countries than ever before are following America's revolutionary economic message of free enterprise, low taxes, and open world trade. These days, whenever I see foreign leaders, they tell me about their plans for reducing taxes, and other economic reforms that they are using, copying what we have done here in our country.
I wonder if they realize that this vision of economic freedom, the freedom to work, to create and produce, to own and use property without the interference of the state, was central to the American Revolution, when the American colonists rebelled against a whole web of economic restrictions, taxes and barriers to free trade. The message at the Boston Tea Party -- have you studied yet in history about the Boston Tea Party, where because of a tax they went down and dumped the tea in the Harbor. Well, that was America's original tax revolt, and it was the fruits of our labor -- it belonged to us and not to the state. And that truth is fundamental to both liberty and prosperity.
During the question-and-answer portion of the event, Reagan returned to the topic, this time telling the students that lowering taxes increases revenue:
Q My name is Cam Fitzie and I'm from St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Virginia. I was wondering if you think that it is possible to decrease the national debt without raising the taxes of the public?
PRESIDENT REAGAN: I do. That's a big argument that's going on in government and I definitely believe it is because one of the principle reasons that we were able to get the economy back on track and create those new jobs and all was we cut the taxes, we reduced them. Because you see, the taxes can be such a penalty on people that there's no incentive for them to prosper and to earn more and so forth because they have to give so much to the government. And what we have found is that at the lower rates the government gets more revenue, there are more people paying taxes because there are more people with jobs and there are more people willing to earn more money because they get to keep a bigger share of it, so today, we're getting more revenue at the lower rates than we were at the higher. And do you know something? I studied economics in college when I was young and I learned there about a man named Ibn Khaldun, who lived 1200 years ago in Egypt. And 1200 years ago he said, in the beginning of the empire, the rates were low, the tax rates were low, but the revenue was great. He said in the end of empire, when the empire was collapsing, the rates were great and the revenue was low.
The students probably didn't know any better, but this is an idea that has been rejected by virtually every economist not named Larry Kudlow.
Do Sean Hannity and the folks at NewsBusters think President Reagan was engaging in Maoist indoctrination? Do Glenn Beck and WorldNetDaily think Reagan was pulling a Mussolini or attempting to assemble his own Hitler Youth? Or is it possible that the conservative media has decided that if Obama is for it – whether "it" means "universal health care" or "stay in school" – they're against it?
Even more evidence of right-wing violence.
From the Miami Herald:
A 65-year-old man rallying in favor of healthcare reform was knocked to the ground by a man who disagreed with the call for a government-run health plan outside of a Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce meeting headlined by Sen. Bill Nelson.
Luis Perrero of Coral Gables was standing among about 40 Democratic activists and union workers when a man in a Ford pick-up truck pulled up to the rally at Jungle Island and began arguing with the crowd. The man, who only gave his first name as Raul, said Perrero called him a Spanish curse word. He punched Perrero in the face. Perrero fell to the ground and lay motionless for a few minutes.
I'm sure right-wing bloggers will soon explain how the fact that an unprovoked mini-mob thug punched out an old man is just more proof of how nasty liberals are.
That, according to the Beltway press corps' whitewash of the Summer of Hate.
Now from KTLA [emphasis added]:
A 65-year-old man had his finger bitten off Wednesday evening at a health care rally in Thousand Oaks, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.
Sheriff's investigators were called to Hillcrest and Lynn Road at 7:26 p.m.
About 100 protesters sponsored by MoveOn.org were having a rally supporting health care reform. A group of anti-health care reform protesters formed across the street.
A witness from the scene says a man was walking through the anti-reform group to get to the pro-reform side when he got into an altercation with the 65-year-old, who opposes health care reform.
The 65-year-old was apparently aggressive and hit the other man, who then retaliated by biting off his attacker's pinky, according to Karoli from DrumsnWhistles.
The man took his finger and walked to Los Robles hospital for treatment.
From a blogger's eyewitness account:
However, there is no question that [65-year-old] Orange Shirt guy was aching to fight, was willing to pick a fight, and certainly didn't care who he fought with. He chose people who were shorter than he, and he used his voice, his body, his body language and his height to intimidate them.
But remember, the mini-mobs aren't looking for a fight this summer. They're just being "noisy."
UPDATED: Right-wing bloggers are all excited about this story and how it supposedly shows how violent liberal activists are. But wouldn't you know, they conveniently leave out the fact that it was the mini-mob member who, according to eyewitness accounts, initiated the assault.
Apparently when health care reform supporters are beaten by mini-mob members, they're just supposed to take it.
From The Fox Nation, accessed September 3:
From The Fox Nation, accessed September 3:
Fox has made it perfectly clear that it's not going to cover any of Obama's primetime press conferences. Ever. Fox TV (not Fox News) has walked away from that traditional obligation. And if you believe the Village chatter, lots of self-centered execs s at the other nets would love to follow Murdoch's lead.
Press conferences are so boring, the suits complain, as they huddle over their primetime entertainment lineups which have lost tens of millions of viewers in recent years.
But now, with Obama set to address the full session of Congress on Sept. 9, to discuss the hugely controversial topic of health care, how will Murdoch defend his (possible) choice to stiff the White House again? How will Murdoch's 'network' justify turning its back on a plainly newsworthy event?
Question for the historians: Has a U.S. television network ever refused to carry a presidential address to Congress?