Archive for Media Morons

If You Repeat A Lie Often Enough, People Will Believe It

Did Bush lie us into Iraq?

n recent weeks, I have heard former Associated Press reporter Ron Fournier on Fox News twice asserting, quite offhandedly, that President George W. Bush “lied us into war in Iraq.”

I found this shocking. I took a leave of absence from the bench in 2004-05 to serve as co-chairman of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction—a bipartisan body, sometimes referred to as the Robb-Silberman Commission. It was directed in 2004 to evaluate the intelligence community’s determination that Saddam Hussein possessed WMD—I am, therefore, keenly aware of both the intelligence provided to President Bush and his reliance on that intelligence as his primary casus belli. It is astonishing to see the “Bush lied” allegation evolve from antiwar slogan to journalistic fact.

The intelligence community’s 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) stated, in a formal presentation to President Bush and to Congress, its view that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction—a belief in which the NIE said it held a 90% level of confidence. That is about as certain as the intelligence community gets on any subject.

Recall that the head of the intelligence community, Central Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet, famously told the president that the proposition that Iraq possessed WMD was “a slam dunk.” Our WMD commission carefully examined the interrelationships between the Bush administration and the intelligence community and found no indication that anyone in the administration sought to pressure the intelligence community into its findings. As our commission reported, presidential daily briefs from the CIA dating back to the Clinton administration were, if anything, more alarmist about Iraq’s WMD than the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate.

You can read it at the link. I happen to remember this, and find it shocking and discouraging that people who were adults at the time can’t recall it. I would also point out that among the western nations, only Israel stated that Saddam did not have WMD’s. Ariel Sharon said it publicly at the time. But one would have to read the Israeli press and assume that Israelis know something about what goes on in the Middle East in order to have taken him seriously. Sharon told the world that the problem was not Iraq, but Iran.

The scapegoating that the Left has employed against GW Bush will bite them really hard someday. This is because it contributed to the general cynicism about government which is ubiquitous today. Don’t get me wrong – Obama is a truly awful president and lies routinely to our faces (remember that red line in Syria? You can keep your health care plan?) but someday we might have a decent president again. And when he or she says we need to do something big, who will believe it?

– Aggie

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What Is A Bus But A Cage On Wheels?

Palestinian Terror Attack On Israeli Bus

Palestinian Terror Attack On Israeli Bus

During the Palestinian terror war, bus bombings happened almost daily, along with cafe bombings, school bombings, grocery store bombings, etc. I wonder if what happened to the unfortunate Jordanian pilot can help people understand? Nah.

– Aggie

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We Have a Winner!

Diogenes famously carried a lantern across the land of ancient Greece looking for an honest man.

He’d keep right on walking by Brian Williams, of course, but if he were looking for the biggest sap instead, he’d have his man here:

While no one can rule out Williams and NBC set out in a craven and intentional attempt to misappropriate valor from a dramatic wartime scenario, or even a well-intentioned white lie (Williams was trying to honor an involved soldier during his most recent retelling), it’s also possible he’s suffered an all-too-natural memory error.

Doctors like myself who grapple with memory impairments in our patients won’t issue a diagnosis on the basis of a single memory lapse or false memory, no matter how major. Admittedly, this one was earthquake-generating, but the dramatic nature and outsized impact of this error don’t make it a sign of disease, not without more frequent spells or other symptoms.

We don’t call single false memories like this a disease because they’re in fact normal, right alongside your occasionally forgotten car keys, your missing wallet or even your misremembered conversation.

Brian Williams has experienced a very public symptom of life, and we should all forgive him for that. Let he who has never lost his keys cast the first tomato.

Huh? Was it “a craven and intentional attempt to misappropriate valor”, (his words) or did Williams merely lose his car keys? The tale has grown (along with Williams’ nose) with each retelling, from the original report which was close to the truth to the latest versions which practically have him landing the bird like Sully Sullenberger on the Hudson River. The true story was broadcast to millions of people over the air; dozens of people who would have known he was “embellishing” told him to knock it off; it was hardly a “misremembered conversation”. It was pathological.

And now stories are coming out about other fabrications, particularly around Hurricane Katrina.

This doesn’t matter because Williams is a liberal. It matters because he is a newsreader. (I can’t call him a journalist.) That NBC put him back on the air last night tells you everything to know about that network. Their news division died with John Chancellor. It’s all entertainment now. And hey, I tuned in to see if he was on. Those five seconds were pretty entertaining.

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Watch Somebody On MSNBC Explain Reality To Obama

We usually don’t put up anything from MSNBC because their comments are typically inane, but the woman who speaks second here explains that what Obama said at the prayer breakfast about the Crusades and the Inquisition is exactly what ISIS put on the video of the burning of the Jordanian pilot.

– Aggie

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Oregonian Calls For Resignation Of Governor Two Weeks Into Term Over Green Issues

Despite the obvious ethical problems, the Oregonian endorsed him for election

Rarely do we get to enjoy a story that covers ethical violations, democrats, green energy and the stupidity of the MSM all in one place. Oregon will do that for you, and that’s why we love it so much here.

“I’m not going to consider resigning,” said Gov. John Kitzhaber at a disastrous press conference held Friday following revelations about the apparently borderless world of public policy and private gain in which he and fiancée Cylvia Hayes exist. “I was elected by the people of this state to do a job, and I intend to do it.”

No doubt, the governor does intend to do the job Oregonians gave him, which, simply put, is to pursue the interests of his constituents. That intention, however, is no match for an ugly reality of his own making, whose sordid elements keep surfacing with dispiriting regularity, most recently this week thanks to the work of Nick Budnick and Laura Gunderson of The Oregonian/OregonLive. Two people involved in Kitzhaber’s 2010 campaign helped Hayes find paid work with groups interested in Oregon policy, Budnick and Gunderson reported. Both have landed in Kitzhaber’s administration.

More ugliness may surface, but it should be clear by now to Kitzhaber that his credibility has evaporated to such a degree that he can no longer serve effectively as governor. If he wants to serve his constituents he should resign.

To recite every reported instance in which Hayes, ostensibly under Kitzhaber’s watchful eye, has used public resources, including public employee time and her “first lady” title, in pursuit of professional gain would require far more space than we have here and, besides, repeat what most readers already know. Suffice it to say there’s a pattern, and the person who bears the responsibility for allowing it to form and persist is Kitzhaber, who should know better. After all, as he pointed out during Friday’s press conference, he’s been serving in public office on and off since the 1970s.

Consider, instead, what Oregonians have learned during only the last couple of weeks. First, Hayes received a combined $118,000 in 2011 and 2012 through the Washington, D.C.-based Clean Economy Development Center even as she served as an unpaid energy adviser to Kitzhaber. This income is not fully accounted for on tax forms Hayes provided to The Oregonian/OregonLive. Neither has the governor fully accounted for the money in ethics filings.

A big chunk of Hayes’ fellowship money, $75,000, came from the San Francisco-based Energy Foundation, a nonprofit that funds clean-energy initiatives such as the low carbon fuel standard. Implementing a low carbon fuel standard is a priority for both Kitzhaber and Democratic leaders in the Legislature. The session’s first public hearing on a bill to that end happened on Monday.

How did Hayes end up with a fellowship funded by an organization with an interest in clean-energy policy in Oregon? A Kitzhaber campaign adviser, Dan Carol, helped arrange the funding following Kitzhaber’s election in 2010, Budnick and Gunderson reported. Carol subsequently landed a position within the Kitzhaber administration. That position, Willamette Week has reported, pays more than $165,000, making Carol Kitzhaber’s highest-paid aide.

Who knew following the trail of “clean energy” money could make you feel so dirty?

Another campaign adviser, Greg Wolf, helped land Hayes a position with the Rural Development Initiatives. The nonprofit, Budnick and Gunderson reported, wanted Hayes to help raise money for a clean economy project – including tens of thousands for which Kitzhaber’s support was needed. Wolf, like Carol, later secured a position in Kitzhaber’s administration.

Is it any wonder Kitzhaber now finds himself stranded in an ethical swamp? To understand the full extent of his predicament, consider his inability to answer one simple question during his press conference Friday: Is Hayes a member of your household? He answered this question in the affirmative on multiple occasions in ethics filings. But on Friday, following the discovery of apparently unreported fellowship income, he said, “I have no idea whether she is ‘legally’ a member of my household.”

The governor has not yet quibbled about the meaning of “is,” but Friday’s evasions were almost Clintonian.

More at the link, of course. Aside from the clean energy thievery, prior to the election is came out that Kitzhaber’s live-in partner, Hayes, had previously married a man for money. He wanted citizenship; she wanted money. They never lived together and got a formal divorce after he received US citizenship. The Oregonian forgave that and endorsed Kitzhaber anyway.

Aside from the relentless rain, Oregon is a fun place.

– Aggie

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A Simple Mistake That Anyone Could Have Made

Be honest. Haven’t you claimed to have been on a helicopter flying over Iraq? And the helicopter was forced down? But it wasn’t true? Brian Williams, nightly news anchor at NBC can’t be the only guy in the country who has made that little boast.

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams admitted Wednesday he was not aboard a helicopter hit and forced down by RPG fire during the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a false claim that has been repeated by the network for years.

Williams repeated the claim Friday during NBC’s coverage of a public tribute at a New York Rangers hockey game for a retired soldier that had provided ground security for the grounded helicopters, a game to which Williams accompanied him. In an interview with Stars and Stripes, he said he had misremembered the events and was sorry.

The admission came after crew members on the 159th Aviation Regiment’s Chinook that was hit by two rockets and small arms fire told Stars and Stripes that the NBC anchor was nowhere near that aircraft or two other Chinooks flying in the formation that took fire. Williams arrived in the area about an hour later on another helicopter after the other three had made an emergency landing, the crew members said.

See what I mean? A simple mistake. Like thinking you had dinner at McDonalds on a certain date in 2003, when really it was Wendy’s. I bet you can relate.

“I would not have chosen to make this mistake,” Williams said. “I don’t know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another.”

Williams made the claim while presenting NBC coverage of the tribute to the retired command sergeant major at the Rangers game, and the fans giving the soldier a standing ovation.

“The story actually started with a terrible moment a dozen years back during the invasion of Iraq when the helicopter we were traveling in was forced down after being hit by an RPG,” Williams said on the broadcast. “Our traveling NBC News team was rescued, surrounded and kept alive by an armor mechanized platoon from the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry.”

Again, no big deal.

Williams and his camera crew were actually aboard a Chinook in a formation that was about an hour behind the three helicopters that came under fire, according to crew member interviews.

That Chinook took no fire and landed later beside the damaged helicopter due to an impending sandstorm from the Iraqi desert, according to Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Miller, who was the flight engineer on the aircraft that carried the journalists.

“No, we never came under direct enemy fire to the aircraft,” he said Wednesday.

Didn’t Hillary Clinton similarly lie about being fired upon… where was it? Bosnia or something. And we are supposed to believe anything that comes out of the mouth of any of these dolts? They lie to embellish their credentials. It is truly sad. Aren’t they famous and successful enough?

– Aggie

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List Of Nations Advised To Show Restraint Grows Daily

Once upon a time, when this blog was in its infancy, the US, the UN and the EU cheerfully told Israel to “show restraint” each and every time Muslims bombed busses and cafes. That used to infuriate me, because I watched the restraint that we showed after September 11th – in both Afghanistan and Iraq. But because appeasement is really just another word for incentive, and because anything that comes with incentives grows and spreads, I’m happy to report that the list of nations needing to show restraint is growing. Let’s see.. Jordan, Japan, Syria, France, Yemen, Libya, Canada, Australia, England. Those are some of the most recent examples of nations which really need to show restraint. Have I missed any?

– Aggie

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Drudge Lead: Obama Outraged With Israel

This is a NY Times article, and you can just bet that they have great contacts with the Obama administration.

The administration has been so furious about this speech for so long, and can’t seem to let go of it, that I have concluded that the administration is helping Iran to get the bomb, pronto. Why else would they flip out like this?

The Obama administration, after days of mounting tension, signaled on Wednesday how angry it is with Israel that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted Republican leaders’ invitation to address Congress on Iran without consulting the White House.

The outrage the episode has incited within President Obama’s inner circle became clear in unusually sharp criticism by a senior administration official who said that the Israeli ambassador, Ron Dermer, who helped orchestrate the invitation, had repeatedly placed Mr. Netanyahu’s political fortunes above the relationship between Israel and the United States.

The official who made the comments to The New York Times would not be named, and the White House declined to comment. The remarks were the latest fallout after Mr. Dermer, without the White House’s knowledge, worked with House Speaker John A. Boehner to arrange the speech, which is scheduled for March.

G.O.P.’s Invitation to Netanyahu Is Aiding Obama’s Cause on IranJAN. 28, 2015
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at a Holocaust event on Tuesday, is scheduled to address Congress on Iran in March.Netanyahu Talk Stirs Backlash in Israeli RaceJAN. 27, 2015
The remarks are likely to escalate a feud between the White House, Republicans on Capitol Hill and Mr. Netanyahu over the invitation, which has led to a new low in American-Israeli relations and threatened to mar the long tradition of bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.

Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States. He said he did not intend to anger the White House over the speech. Credit Joshua Roberts/Reuters
Such officially authorized criticisms of diplomats from major allies are unusual.

In a telephone interview late Wednesday, Mr. Dermer said, “I have no regrets whatsoever that I have acted in a way to advance my country’s interests.” He said he never meant to slight the White House by keeping the confidence of the House speaker, who had suggested the invitation. He said he left it to Mr. Boehner to notify Mr. Obama’s team.

“My understanding was that it was the speaker’s prerogative to do, and that he would be the one to inform the administration,” Mr. Dermer said. “The prime minister feels very strongly that he has to speak on this issue. That’s why he accepted the invitation, not to wade into your political debate or make this a partisan issue, and not to be disrespectful to the president.”

Note to Jews who voted for Obama: You Own This. If the bomb drops on Israel, you were a big part of the reason why. Knowing full well that Obama has deep ties to the antisemitic Left (Jeremiah Wright!) you insisted that it was not true, that it was racism to point this out, that America has and will always have Israel’s back, ad nauseum. Now that there are no more elections for Obama to win, he is letting his Jew hatred shine.

– Aggie

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CBO Releases Truly Terrible ObamaCare News When The Media Is Obsessing Over Snowstorm

ObamaCare will cost $50,000 per insured, and fewer people will be insured than prior to ObamaCare

They picked the perfect day to release this:

Obamacare program costs $50,000 in taxpayer money for every American who gets health insurance, says bombshell budget report
Stunning figure comes from Congressional Budget Office report that revised cost estimates for the next 10 years
Government will spend $1.993 TRILLION over a decade and take in $643 BILLION in new taxes, penalties and fees related to Obamacare
The $1.35 trillion net cost will result in ‘between 24 million and 27 million’ fewer Americans being uninsured – a $50,000 price tag per person at best
The law will still leave ‘between 29 million and 31 million’ nonelderly Americans without medical insurance
Numbers assume Obamacare insurance exchange enrollment will double between now and 2025

WE NEED SINGLE PAYER! Quick, somebody get ahold of Nancy Pelosi!!

It will cost the federal government – taxpayers, that is – $50,000 for every person who gets health insurance under the Obamacare law, the Congressional Budget Office revealed on Monday.
The number comes from figures buried in a 15-page section of the nonpartisan organization’s new ten-year budget outlook.
The best-case scenario described by the CBO would result in ‘between 24 million and 27 million’ fewer Americans being uninsured in 2025, compared to the year before the Affordable Care Act took effect.
Pulling that off will cost Uncle Sam about $1.35 trillion – or $50,000 per head.

How stupid, exactly, are Democrats? I think $1.35 trillion stupid is a rough estimate.

– Aggie

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The Courage of His Convictions

How can we defend your freedom of speech, Jim Clancy, when you won’t defend it yourself?

Senior CNN international correspondent Jim Clancy appears to have deleted his Twitter account following a firestorm over a bizarre anti-Israel tirade last week.

Following the murder of 12 people at the Paris headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo magazine, Clancy got into an argument over whether the magazine has actually insulted the founder of Islam Mohammed in its famously provocative cartoons.

But the discussion rapidly deteriorated when Clancy launched a barrage of verbal abuse at several Jewish respondents, attacking them as “pro-Israeli” and accusing some of attempting to promulgate “an anti-Muslim and pro-Israel agenda.”

Several of his followers reacted with shock at his response, with some calling into question his objectivity as a journalist who frequently reports from the Middle East.

Clancy remained unrepentant, however, with a slew of tweets attacking “hasbara” (pro-Israel) activists.

He was also criticized by the head of a disability charity, after he tweeted to one of his critics: “@HumanRights2K Get a grip, junior. It’s my Friday night. You and the Hasbara team need to pick on some cripple on the edge of the herd.”

Jay Ruderman, who heads the Ruderman Family Foundation which advocates for greater integration of people suffering with disabilities, demanded an apology from Clancy, but was promptly blocked.

If CNN reporters are not free to taunt Jews and make fun of the disabled, the terrorists will have won.

Branding the “cripple” comment “appalling,” Ruderman asked how “in this day and age a senior anchor at CNN, a world leader in the media, would use a word such as ‘cripple’, which is a derogatory term for people with disabilities.”

“If a news anchor had hurled a racial epithet, CNN’s response undoubtedly would have been swift,” Ruderman said in a statement. “The disability community expects CNN to extend the same sensitivity to people with disabilities as it does to other minority communities.”

Last year, during the infamous “chickens**t” scandal, Ruderman complained to the White House over alleged comments by an unnamed senior official who referred to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as “Aspergery.”

How come the Left feels comfortable pushing the boundaries of free speech only against Jews? Why not call Al Sharpton chickens**t (when the epithet fits)? Isn’t Valerie Jarrett “Aspergery”? I’d defend their right to free expression if only they’d have the nuts to express themselves.

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Fox News Calls Nancy Pelosi a Lush! [UPDATED]

Correction: Fox News called John Boehner, not Nancy Pelosi, a lush. We regret the error.

Correction II: Boston.com, not Fox news, called John Boehner, not Nancy Pelosi, a lush. We regret the error.

[We’re just trying to get hired by Boston.com]

A Boston.com story that made light of a threat against House Speaker John Boehner has drawn the ire of the Ohio congressman, prompting an apology from the website.

Posted online Tuesday night, the story suggested that Boehner has a drinking problem and asked whether anyone would have noticed if Boehner had been poisoned. That comment was in reference to news that a former bartender at an Ohio country club where Boehner is a member has been arrested for allegedly threatening to kill the congressman.

“Stories about Boehner’s drinking have circulated for years,” wrote Victor Paul Alvarez, one of a handful of associate editors at Boston.com, in a passage that has since been removed from the website. “Had he been poisoned as planned, perhaps his pickled liver could have filtered out the toxins.”

Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, fired back in an e-mail Wednesday.

“I would have thought it would be obvious to any sentient human being that your item mocking the threats against the speaker and his family was completely insensitive and inappropriate,” Steel wrote. “Should you wish to offer an explanation, or – better – an apology, feel free to respond.”

Mike Sheehan, the chief executive of Boston Globe Media Partners LLC, said he spoke with Boehner’s office and sent a note of apology Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s very difficult to hit the epicenter of tasteless, mean-spirited, and humorless in one fell swoop,” Sheehan said in an interview.

In a statement released Wednesday, Boston.com general manager Corey Gottlieb said the Alvarez piece did not reflect the site’s values.

“The original column made references to Speaker Boehner that were off-color and completely inappropriate,” Gottlieb wrote. “We are sorry, and we will do better.”

Boston.com is owned by Boston Globe Media Partners LLC but operates independently from The Boston Globe and BostonGlobe.com.

“There is a really fine line between tongue in cheek . . . and what’s unfair or hurtful,” Gottlieb said, but Alvarez’s story clearly crossed that line. He declined to say whether Alvarez would be disciplined for the story.

Since threatening the life of a Republican is hardly news (until the culprit is awarded a Nobel Peace Prize), you may not have heard:

Last October, Hoyt allegedly told police he was going to kill Boehner, who he claimed was responsible for the spread of Ebola.

Hoyt allegedly said he planned to shoot Boehner and suggested he could poison one of his drinks.

Freedom of the press trumps all to me, so if the snide comment was in an opinion piece, I would defend it from the outside, even if I would have spiked it from the inside. (I run a blog, not a supposedly respectable news site. As editor the latter, I would never have allowed it, even if I might have written something like that here.)

But then, it has to go both ways. You can’t make fun of Boehner’s liver and Sarah Palin’s special needs son, and not let me have a go at Obama’s nicotine addiction, Pelosi’s Botox addiction, and John Kerry’s John Kerry addiction.

UPDATE
The guy got canned.

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Who Shot J(ews) R(epeatedly)?

Yesterday, we shared the opinion of the Turkish prime minister (or president or aga or bey or whatever), Turducken, that the French, not Muslims, carried out the massacres in Paris. The same article reported that at least one Russian newspaper suggested America was behind the atrocities. We take it as given that the Mossad is widely suspected. I doubt the boast from Al Qaeda’s Yemen franchise that they done the deed will change any minds.

But Chris Hayes has a novel conspiracy theory:

“Due to last week’s horrific murders in France, the 114th Congress’s first week did not get a lot of air time, which is probably a good thing for the GOP,” Hayes said before introducing a segment devoted to Congressional Republican infighting and the party’s legislative agenda.

The news this morning is that John Boehner was the target of an assassination plot. What are the odds that he was simultaneously hatching one of his own?

MSNBC: what a waste of air time.

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