The Daily Caller's Amanda Carey details the "Rise of conservative displeasure over Politico/NBC debate," quoting several conservative activists who worry (or pretend to worry) that Republican presidential candidates won't be treated fairly in a debate hosted by Politico and NBC.
Carey quotes conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt: "Can we be honest? They are all liberals. All of them. Not one of the questioners that could or would be proposed by Politico or NBC would be remotely in touch with the cares, concerns, and passions of the GOP's primary electorate." And Grover Norquist: "All the debates should be open to the media, but they should be held for the purpose of letting Republicans explain to Republicans why they should vote for them in the primary. … Instead, we'll get nitpicking from left-of-center journalists asking questions that will impress their fellow journalists." And Mark Levin: "There's no question that Politico and NBC are leftist and I'm not excited about their participation."
As usual, Media Research Center Brent Bozell out-shrilled them all: "When, oh when will Republicans learn? Every four years the presidential debate season takes place. Republicans dutifully line up for debates moderated by liberal 'moderators' except there's nothing moderate about these moderators who mercilessly attack them."
If this really takes place "every four years," there should be plenty of examples. And yet neither Carey nor anyone she quoted offered a single example of inappropriate questioning during debates moderated by Politico or NBC journalists. Certainly no "merciless attacks."
In fact, Carey never got around to mentioning that both Politico and NBC participated in GOP presidential debates during the 2008 campaign. This being the Daily Caller, it is of course possible that neither Carey nor her editors are aware of this basic fact, and that neither thought to check. And this being the Daily Caller, it's also possible Carey never mentioned those debates because they completely undermine the inane premise that Politico and NBC would attack Republican candidates during a debate.
Consider the May 3, 2007 Republican presidential debate moderated by Chris Matthews and Politico's John Harris and Jim VandeHei. Matthews kicked things off by asking Rudy Giuliani "Mayor Giuliani, how do we get back to Ronald Reagan's morning in America?" Then he moved on to John McCain: "Let me go to Senator McCain. We're in the house of Ronald Reagan. Every cab driver in America knew what Ronald Reagan stood for: defeat communism abroad; reduce big government at home. Can you, Senator McCain, restore that kind of unity of purpose?" That, apparently, is what Brent Bozell considers a merciless attack: Asking Republicans if they'll be like Reagan.
Later in the debate, Matthews invited the Republican candidates to "mention a tax you'd like to cut, in addition to the Bush tax cuts, keeping them in effect." He never asked how they'd pay for those tax cuts -- though during a Democratic debate a week earlier, NBC's Brian Williams demanded to know how the Democratic candidates would pay for their health care proposals (while never actually asking them to explain the proposals.)
That wasn't the only double-standard apparent in those two debates. During the Democratic debate, Brian Williams asked Barack Obama a loaded question about his personal finances -- a question that managed to smear the other Democrats on stage as well. A week later, Matthews, VandeHei and Harris failed to ask the Republicans a single question about their business dealings, personal finances, or ties to controversial figures. Those types of questions were reserved for Democrats only -- and this in spite of the fact that Giuliani's close relationship with the breathtakingly crooked Bernie Kerik was very much in the news.
The last time NBC and Politico participated in presidential debates, they lobbed softballs to the Republicans and held Democrats to a higher standard of fiscal responsibility. That's just a fact. It's what happened. And so, in whining about NBC and Politico participating in a 2011 Republican debate, the Daily Caller, Brent Bozell, and several other conservative media critics don't mention a single thing about those 2007 debates. Because conservative media criticism isn't about reality, it's about blind hatred of the media -- and about working the refs.
The slow-witted thirteen-year-olds Tucker Carlson has apparently hired to run The Daily Caller strike again:
Get it? Rosie O'Donnell, who is gay, is therefore half a man. Hahahahaha!
When The Daily Caller launched with $3 million in seed money from Republican financier Foster Freiss, the GOP donor said: "Tucker and Neil [Patel] present a huge opportunity to re-introduce civility to our political discourse. They are mature, sensible men who are very thoughtful and experienced with pleasant senses of humor and do not take themselves too seriously. They want to make a contribution to the dialogue that occurs in our country that has become too antagonistic, nasty and hostile."
I'll give Freiss this much: His quote is funnier than any of the Daily Caller's gay jokes.
Did you hear Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller site posted big readership numbers? It's true because I read the press release [emphasis added]:
The Daily Caller Shatters Traffic Predictions
WASHINGTON - (BUSINESS WIRE) - The Daily Caller has shattered all traffic estimates in its first 10 months since launch. By October, The Daily Caller, a 24-hour online news publication, reported that monthly unique visitors exceeded expectations by more than 100%. The Daily Caller also saw more than 7.5 million page views from visitors in October alone. Traffic for the third quarter, running from July through September, surpassed well over 1.5 million unique visitors per month.
I don't mean to rain on the Daily Caller parade, but I couldn't help chuckling reading all about how its online traffic is way ahead of "predictions" and "expectation" and "estimates." (Up more than 100%!) I'm chuckling because we never find out whose "predictions" and "expectations" the release was based on. Was it Carlson sitting around his kitchen table making "predictions" about what Daily Caller's traffic would be, and now the site's issuing proclamations because it exceeded those "predictions"?
Note to Daily Caller: If you're going to issue press releases based on unknown "predictions" and "expectations," why stop at 100% increases? Why not just say traffic is up 300% or even 1000% based on anonymous "estimates"? Sounds better that way, don't you think?
Right-wing media have been hyping reports from an Indian news agency that President Obama's upcoming trip to India will cost $200 million a day and will require 34 warships to be stationed off the Indian coast. In fact, the White House, the Secret Service and the Pentagon have called the claims false, and numerous U.S. media sources question the numbers.
According to a White House spokesman, the claim -- circulated by Rush Limbaugh and the Drudge Report -- that President Obama's November trip to India will cost the U.S. $200 million per day has "no basis in reality."
In a November 2 article headlined, "US to spend $200 mn a day on Obama's Mumbai visit," the Press Trust of India reported:
By noon, the Drudge Report featured a bright red link to the article that claimed: "REPORT: US to spend $200 million per day on Obama's Mumbai visit..."
Then, on the November 2 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh claimed, "$200 million a day this nation will spend on Obama's trip to India."
When Media Matters asked about the report, White House spokesman Matt Lehrich responded, "The numbers reported in this article have no basis in reality. Due to security concerns, we are unable to outline details associated with security procedures and costs, but it's safe to say these numbers are wildly inflated."
The Press Trust of India report was picked up by a number of conservative websites, including The Daily Caller, MichelleMalkin.com, and WorldNetDaily.
Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Fox Business' Eric Bolling repeated the claim after it was debunked by the White House:
The Daily Caller offers this morning a staggeringly lame gotcha attempt aimed at Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Jack Conway. Reporter Jonathan Strong intimates that Conway is a hypocrite for highlighting Republican opponent Rand Paul's bizarre "Aqua Buddha" college stunt because Conway's Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at Duke "had its own share of notable moments while Conway was studying public policy in the late 1980s and early 1990s." But Stong's article is all about the comparatively tame antics of other members of Conway's fraternity, including some scandals that happened long after Conway graduated.
Strong begins the article by strongly suggesting that Conway has some college-era skeletons in his own closet:
When Democratic Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway started attacking his opponent for the Kentucky Senate seat, Republican Rand Paul, for college-aged hijinks that involved smoking pot and "praying" to a god named Aqua Buddha, Conway's old classmates took notice.
"Can you believe he opened that door?" classmates wondered in e-mail chains, regarding why Conway would have invited scrutiny on his college days.
The reason? Conway, in his undergrad years at work hard, play hard Duke University, was a member of the school's then-most exclusive fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE), which had its own share of notable moments while Conway was studying public policy in the late 1980s and early 1990s, albeit of a very different sort than the NoZe Brotherhood, Paul's group.
But the "notable moments" Strong highlights either have nothing to do with Conway, or aren't even that "notable." He writes of a 37-year-old Texan who pledged Conway's frat by pretending to be a college-aged French aristocrat, the "garden variety" pledge "hazing" the frat engaged in, and the fact that SAE had a series of scandals between 1994 and 2002 (Conway graduated in 1991).
Just in case there was any doubt about whether The Daily Caller should ever be taken seriously, this paragraph from Caller political reporter Caroline May should put the matter to rest:
Even more politically liberal commentators have noted the liberal bias of NPR. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting notes that in 2004, when there was a debate over the launch of Air America, the sentiment of many pundits was, "wait, don't we already have a liberal station: NPR?"
Now, here's what the 2004 FAIR report actually said:
News of the April launch of Air America, a new liberal talk radio network, revived the old complaint, with several conservative pundits declaring that such a thing already existed. "I have three letters for you, NPR . . . . I mean, there is liberal radio," remarked conservative pundit Andrew Sullivan on NBC's Chris Matthews Show (4/4/04). A few days earlier (4/1/04), conservative columnist Cal Thomas told Nightline, "The liberals have many outlets," naming NPR prominently among them. [Emphasis added]
See the difference? FAIR said "several conservative pundits" declared that NPR is a liberal talk radio network. The Daily Caller portrayed that as FAIR noting that liberal pundits had made that claim.
And in the process, the Caller completely ignored this portion of the FAIR report:
Despite the commonness of such claims, little evidence has ever been presented for a left bias at NPR, and FAIR's latest study gives it no support. Looking at partisan sources—including government officials, party officials, campaign workers and consultants—Republicans outnumbered Democrats by more than 3 to 2 (61 percent to 38 percent). A majority of Republican sources when the GOP controls the White House and Congress may not be surprising, but Republicans held a similar though slightly smaller edge (57 percent to 42 percent) in 1993, when Clinton was president and Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. And a lively race for the Democratic presidential nomination was beginning to heat up at the time of the 2003 study.
FAIR's four-month study of NPR in 1993 found 10 think tanks that were cited twice or more. In a new four-month study (5/03–8/03), the list of think tanks cited two or more times has grown to 17, accounting for 133 appearances.
FAIR classified each think tank by ideological orientation as either centrist, right of center or left of center. Representatives of think tanks to the right of center outnumbered those to the left of center by more than four to one: 62 appearances to 15. Centrist think tanks provided sources for 56 appearances.
So the Daily Caller took a FAIR study that debunked the claims of conservatives that NPR is biased towards liberals, ignored the debunking, and pointed to the study as evidence that liberals say NPR is biased towards liberals.
Get it? They're "skanks" because they're wearing lingerie. It's hilarious, right?
(Not that it really matters, but contrary to the Daily Caller's implication that the lingerie in question is billed as Halloween costumes, it is in fact billed as … lingerie.)
The Daily Caller today takes a shot at breast cancer awareness group Susan G. Komen for the Cure, publishing a hit piece taking the organization to task for providing funds to Planned Parenthood. The article attempts to concoct an accusation of hypocrisy by saying that "some groups allege" that abortion can cause breast cancer:
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation is a breast cancer awareness powerhouse. As its influence has grown, so too have the number of its critics, who, while appreciative of the group's good works, cringe at the fact that some of the donations to Komen end up in the coffers of abortion provider Planned Parenthood.
In addition to the debate over the propriety of allocating money to Planned Parenthood, some groups allege that studies prove abortions and certain oral contraceptives can cause breast cancer -- while organizations such as Komen deny such links.
First of all, as the article itself points out, Komen has said that it rigorously audits the funds in question to ensure they are used "for screening, treatment or education of breast cancer only." Indeed, according to Planned Parenthood, 3 percent of its health care services spending goes to abortion services, while 17 percent goes to cancer screening and prevention.
More importantly, the Daily Caller's presentation of the question of whether abortion causes cancer as a "he said/she said" matter for debate is pathetic and irresponsible.
At the Daily Caller, that's two sides of an even argument. In the real world, it's ideologues with no idea what they're talking about versus actual experts.
Over the weekend, our buddy Jim Hoft had a meltdown that the "state-run media" was "so corrupt that they will not report that a book was hurled at Obama and barely missed hitting his head." Apparently at the end of a rally in Philadelphia yesterday, someone hurled a book in Obama's direction. It is unclear who did this and why. But, in three separate posts, Hoft whined that the media simply refused to cover that this happened. It's almost as if Hoft is happy that the incident occurred.
And, Hoft got his wish. Fox & Friends has covered the story at least twice this morning, and the Drudge report is prominently highlighting the incident:
Alex Knepper's biography on Andrew Breitbart's BigHollywood and Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller websites boasts that he's been "featured by the CBS Early Show, National Public Radio, the New York Times, and other media outlets." What it doesn't say is why he's been "featured" on outlets like CBS and NPR: because he ignited a firestorm of controversy when he penned a column arguing, as ABC News put it, "that some women who survive date rape invited it."
In March 2010, undergrad student Knepper wrote a column for American University's The Eagle which argued of date rape:
Let's get this straight: any woman who heads to an EI [frat] party as an anonymous onlooker, drinks five cups of the jungle juice, and walks back to a boy's room with him is indicating that she wants sex, OK? To cry "date rape" after you sober up the next morning and regret the incident is the equivalent of pulling a gun to someone's head and then later claiming that you didn't ever actually intend to pull the trigger.
"Date rape" is an incoherent concept. There's rape and there's not-rape, and we need a line of demarcation. It's not clear enough to merely speak of consent, because the lines of consent in sex -- especially anonymous sex -- can become very blurry. If that bothers you, then stick with Pat Robertson and his brigade of anti-sex cavemen! Don't jump into the sexual arena if you can't handle the volatility of its practice!
As the Washington Post noted days later, the "column sparked angry online responses from scores of students, and a handful of students demonstrated outside the newspaper's offices." Director of The Women's Initiative Sarah Brown wrote a letter to the editor stating that this "is not a fun argument about an abstract concept between Alex Knepper and the crazy feminists. Real people, both women and men, hurt physically and emotionally because someone took control of their body without their permission."
Jezebel's Ann North cited Knepper's column as another "victim-blaming crap," adding that an "alarming number of jerks have come out of the woodwork to claim that attending a frat party is equivalent to consenting to any and all forms of sex. This claim is especially damaging because assault is so disturbingly common on college campuses, because it frequently goes unpunished, and because college students are young and especially vulnerable to bullshit rhetoric."
The NFL is investigating the treatment of a television reporter at a New York Jets practice:
New York Jets owner Woody Johnson told USA TODAY Monday he offered his "apology" to a female TV reporter whose treatment Saturday at Jets practice is being investigated by the NFL.
NFL and team officials said Sunday they were looking into a complaint made by the Association of Women in Sports Media that the Jets made suggestive comments to Ines Sainz of Mexico's TV Azteca during and after a weekend practice at their Florham Park, NJ, facility.
Naturally, Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller sees a news story about a bunch of guys allegedly harassing a working reporter as an excuse to post a slideshow of photos of the woman under the headline "Baby got back: Meet Ines Sainz [SLIDESHOW]."
UPDATE: Several of the photos in the Daily Caller's slideshow include snarky captions that suggest Sainz had it coming. Like this gem: "The skin tight jeans — er, we mean, the sensible outfit that sparked the current controversy." Actually, it sounds like the controversy was sparked by the behavior of the New York Jets, whose owner has apologized to Sainz.
The worst analogy of the day, courtesy of Daily Caller contributor Ron Hart:
The "me, my and I" speeches Obama gives, in which he takes credit for his minor accomplishments and blames Bush for all else, no longer work. The economy has been under Democratic House and Senate rule since 2006. Obama taking credit for jobs "saved" is like the 9/11 hijackers taking credit for creating TSA jobs.
In January, Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz profiled the Daily Caller under the (print edition) headline "It's the Caller, not the Holler; Tucker Carlson and company say their site will maintain nonpartisan civility." Here's a taste:
The Fox News commentator launches his new Web site, the Daily Caller, on Monday. His partner is Neil Patel, a former Dick Cheney aide. His opinion editor is Moira Bagley, who spent 2008 as the Republican National Committee's press secretary. And his $3 million in funding comes from Wyoming financier Foster Friess, a big-time GOP donor.
As for his new partners, Friess says by e-mail: "Tucker and Neil present a huge opportunity to re-introduce civility to our political discourse. They are mature, sensible men who are very thoughtful and experienced with pleasant senses of humor and do not take themselves too seriously. They want to make a contribution to the dialogue that occurs in our country that has become too antagonistic, nasty and hostile.
Less than a year later, Tucker Carlson is publishing columns that compare the President of the United States to the 9/11 hijackers. So much for reintroducing civility to the political discourse.
Tucker Carlson has had shows on PBS, CNN and MSNBC. All were so successful that not a single one is currently on the air. And how can we forget his stint on ABC's Dancing With The Stars?
Perhaps that is why he's attempting a one-sided feud Keith Olbermann. He just couldn't stomach the fact that someone could make a show work on his former network home.
The more likely scenario is that he's looking for controversy to draw eyeballs to his next failed endeavor -- The Daily Caller, his factually challenged, misinformation pushing website.
Huffington Post notes:
Now he denies the very existence of a feud, though in doing so again laid into Olbermann, who he previously described as the most disliked person at MSNBC.
"I feel sorry for Keith," Carlson told Mediabistro. "What a sad old guy he is, a prisoner of his many phobias. I'm not feuding with him at all, as I tried to explain when I emailed him the other day from my new account, Keith [at] keitholbermann.com. He never responded. I hope he's okay."
By the way, TuckerCarlsonsNextFailedEndeavor.com is still available. Maybe I'll register the url so Tucker has a way to contact me.
Today, the front page of Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller blared the headline "Justice Sharia: Critics allege Kagan is sympathetic to Islamic law" over a large picture of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.
The conservative media has been circulating this claim for months now -- though to be honest, we're more accustomed to it being paired with an image of Kagan in a turban, rather than one of her standing behind a podium.
Nonetheless, it's important to again set the record straight on this tired, Islamophobic attack, especially because The Caller has chosen to revive it just as the right is whipping up an anti-Muslim frenzy regarding the community center and mosque set to be built near Ground Zero.
The Caller reports that, according to some conservative critics (more about this merry band later), one of Kagan's "primary disqualifications" is the supposed "approval of Sharia" she demonstrated as the dean of Harvard Law School. The familiar laundry list of Kagan's alleged offenses includes "condoning the acceptance of $20 million from Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal -- who blamed the attacks of 9/11 on American foreign policy -- to fund programs on Islam," "spearhead[ing] the 'Islamic Finance Project,' a program aimed at mainstreaming Sharia-compliant finance in America," and "award[ing] the Harvard Medal of Freedom to the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Iftikhar Chaudhry, who critics say is a promoter of Sharia."
None of these attacks is remotely accurate.