January 20, 2015

Poor Michael Moore: At NBC, ‘Sniper’ Supposedly ‘Ignites Debate About War Films’; Mentions Moore’s ‘Snipers Are Cowards’ Tweet and Failed Attempts to Back Away

The leftist presss is clearly having a problem with the runaway popularity of “American Sniper,” which just pulled in an estimated $105.3 million at the box office during the four-day holiay weekend.

Rather than just tell us that “Sniper” topped the charts this weekend and moving on to other matters, NBC’s Today Show chose to dwell on the film’s “message about war.” Sadly for one leftist “heavyweight,” the network exposed his hateful movie-relate passive-aggressive critique, even after he tried to back away from it yesterday.

Video:

Moore-related transcript:

… Over the weekend filmmaker Michael Moore tweeted: “My uncle killed by sniper in World War II. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot you in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes.”

There was instant backlash. On Facebook, Moore insisted he wasn’t talking about the movie. But then he did talk about it, saying, “It’s too bad director Clint Eastwood had his characters calling Iraqis ‘savages’ throughout the film.” He also complimented an “awesome performance from Bradley Cooper,” and what he called an “antiwar sentiment expressed in the movie.”

Too late, Mike.

Everybody knows that you originally wanted us to think that you saw Chris Kyle as a coward. Nothing you say or do will ever change that.

January 19, 2015

Pathetic: Both Michael Moore and Seth Rogen Pretend Their Tweets Didn’t Criticize ‘American Sniper’

Your truly noted yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) how Michael Moore tweeted, in part, that “We were taught snipers were cowards.” Earlier today, Geoffrey Dickens at NewsBusters observed that Seth Rogen, whose “The Interview” movie was at least partially salvaged financially by freedom-of-speech supporters on the left and right who watched it online and in person in select areas, tweeted that “American Sniper kind of reminds me of the (Nazi propaganda) movie that’s showing in the third act of Inglorious Basterds.”

Tonight, both Moore and Rogen are in keister-covering walkback mode. Predictably, both are pretending that they didn’t imply and say what they really implied and said.

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‘American Sniper’ Brings Out Leftist Bile; Michael Moore Calls Snipers ‘Cowards’

Originally posted at 1 a.m. and brought forward for greater visibility.

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The popularity of “American Sniper,” the story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, has “shocked” Hollywood. Estimates are that by the time the four-day Martin Luther King holiday weekend ends, the Clint Eastwood-directed film will gross over $100 million and smash records in several R-rated film categories.

That such a movie has been so well received, causing long waiting lines in both red and blue America, has already caused certain leftists to come unglued (examples here, here [warning: profane language] and here). Perhaps the most appalling reaction on the loony left has come from Michael Moore, who, without naming the film itself, described snipers as “cowards” in the following tweet:

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January 12, 2015

Latest PJ Media Column (‘Three Major December Media Misfires’) Is Up

It’s here.

It will go up on Wednesday morning here at BizzyBlog (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

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The three major misfires identified in the column relating to Joshua Williams, Lena Dunham, and the fake Kwanzaa parade in Los Angeles barely scratch the surface of media malfeasance in December.

The following additional items, all of which appeared or took place in last year’s final month, many of them in its final ten days after many outfits had issued their year-end good/bad lists, were arguably more blatant and deserving than all but two of the items the Columbia Journalism Review designated as “cringeworthy” blunders” of 2014 (as noted in the column, CJR was accurate in selecting the Rolling Stone-UVA gang rape fabrications and New York Magazine falling for the story of a kid who claimed to have made $72 million trading stocks):

  • Politico Magazine arguing the “everything is awesome” for President Obama (article; related NewsBusters post by Tim Graham). I didn’t know ISIS had stopped beheading people. Oh, that’s because they haven’t.
  • Vox.com completely making up and then having to retract its claim that December 21, 2014 would be the longest night ever. This is just one of 46 “f-ups” Kevin Draper at Deadspin identified on December 30. That 46 excludes unhinged opinion pieces like Max Fisher saying that asking Muslims to disavow terrorist acts is “bigoted and Islamophobic,” or Zach Beauchamp arguing that animals should have some citizenship rights. If we were to add those, the real total might be more like 460.
  • CNN including Brittany Maynard on its list of extraordinary persons of 2014. Maynard’s “extraordinary” accomplishment was participating in an assisted suicide — her own. This horrible lack of judgment at least partially explains the network’s awful year in the ratings.
  • The press’s repeated and deliberate promotion of the The “Hands-up! Don’t Shoot!” Myth about Michael Brown before his death in Ferguson, Missouri.
  • Ignoring the dishonesty of Howard Zucker, the Andrew Cuomo administration official who supported a fracking ban in New York to protect his family and his children, when he has neither.
  • Ignoring New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s efforts to get other politicians to condemn the NYPD while pretending to want reconciliation, and possibly even enlisting the New York Times, which issued a disgraceful editorial smearing Gotham’s police force last week, in that effort.
  • Fox News’s Shepard Smith and unhinged Washingtonian Eleanor Clift separately telling audiences that they hope that a thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations doesn’t ruin what they apparently think is currently an island paradise.
  • The press pretending that a December congressional report on the IRS scandal had nothing new. Horse manure. As the Daily Signal reported, “The nation’s tax chief decided not to tell Congress that the IRS was targeting conservative groups, an action that would have brought to light the misconduct before the 2012 election …
  • And last but certainly not least, the “26 Ways the Media Botched Their Reporting on the Latest Benghazi Report,” documented by Sharyl Attkisson at the Daily Signal.

Even this list leaves about a half-dozen genuine botches on the cutting room floor.

January 11, 2015

Code Pink Gets Reuters Coverage — For a Protest Group of 20

The ability of tiny numbers of far-left fringe group demonstrators to get undue press attention virtually any time they want continues to be intensely annoying.

In mid-2007, Barack Obama made closing the prison at Guantanmo Bay a core promise of his 2008 campaign. That was 7-1/2 years ago. Obama has been in office six years. Gitmo is still open. So naturally, the aggrieved professional protesters at Code Pink organized a demonstration against Gitmo remaining active on yesterday’s 13th anniversary of the prison’s opening — at former Vice President Dick Cheney’s house. They got far more ink and bandwidth than they deserved from the press, including Reuters — i.e., far more than nothing.

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January 6, 2015

Rangel: ‘I Was Never Moved Until I Saw Dead People That Looked Like Me’

Let’s imagine a white Congressman saying that when he served in Vietnam, he was never moved at the sight of a dead U.S. soldier unless he was white. His career would be over, and deservedly so, within about five minutes of his statement. If he was a conservative or a Republican, even if he resigned instantly and was roundly and unanimously condemned by his colleagues, the press would remind us of that racist statement for years on end.

Now switch races and change the war to Korea. Otherwise, 23-term New York Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel just did the same thing on Monday on MSNBC, and you can almost make book that the establishment press will ignore it:

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January 3, 2015

Former NYT Reporter Christopher Hedges: ISIS Is ‘The New Israel’

Christopher Hedges has been gone from the New York Times for almost ten years. He has since admitted to being a socialist, been exposed as a serial plagiarist in work he has done since leaving the Times in 2005, and authored “the first issue of the Occupied Wall Street Journal, a newspaper associated with the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park.”

Hedges is the subject of this post because he has called into permanent question the quality, accuracy and objectivity of his entire 15-year body of work as a foreign correspondent for the Times. At an obscure web site called Truthdig on December 15, Hedges called ISIS “the new Israel”.

One would have expected Hedges to tell us about all of the recalcitrant Gentiles whom Israel government ordered to convert to Judaism under penalty of death, refused, and were beheaded as a result. Nope.

One would have expected Hedges to regale us with stories of Arab school children massacred by Israeli forces. Of course he couldn’t do that.

Instead, he compared ISIS’s creation to how Israel came to be a country, and of course blamed the post-9/11 U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — not our feckless foreign policy since 2009, which created the vacuums allowing ISIS to arise — for creating the conditions that gave rise to it:

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is our Frankenstein. The United States after a decade of war in Iraq pieced together its body parts. We jolted it into life. We bathed it in blood and trauma. And we gave it its intelligence. Its dark and vicious heart of vengeance and war is our heart. It kills as we kill. It tortures as we torture. It carries out conquest as we carry out conquest. It is building a state driven by hatred for American occupation, a product of the death, horror and destruction we visited on the Middle East. ISIS now controls an area the size of Texas. It is erasing the borders established by French and British colonial powers through the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement. There is little we can do to stop it.

ISIS, ironically, is perhaps the only example of successful nation-building in the contemporary Middle East, despite the billions of dollars we have squandered in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its quest for an ethnically pure Sunni state mirrors the quest for a Jewish state eventually carved out of Palestine in 1948. Its tactics are much like those of the Jewish guerrillas who used violence, terrorism, foreign fighters, clandestine arms shipments and foreign money, along with horrific ethnic cleansing and the massacre of hundreds of Arab civilians, to create Israel. Antagonistic ISIS and Israeli states, infected by religious fundamentalism, would be irreconcilable neighbors. This is a recipe for apocalyptic warfare. We provided the ingredients.

(ISIS) has launched a jihad against secular and discredited regimes in the Middle East rather than against Western targets abroad. It is seeking to establish, as the Zionists did in Palestine, a utopian, religious state. It holds up the ancient Caliphate—which united Muslims throughout the Middle East in the seventh century and whose time is considered the golden age of Islam—as an ideal, much as Jews held up the biblical kingdoms chronicled in the Hebrew Bible. ISIS, to build its state, has called on engineers, doctors and technicians to immigrate to the area it controls. And ISIS, although devoted to a fundamentalist form of Salafist Islam, is thoroughly modern.

The last bolded item is perhaps the most delusional, given its currency. ISIS has been threatening American and European targets since at least August.

A column this unhinged — even if plagiarized from ISIS screeds, which given Hedges’ history can’t be ruled out — makes every word Hedges wrote as a Times foreign correspondent presumptively dubious at best, and blatantly false at worst. Times editors were clearly okay with having such a person stationed overseas supposedly telling the American people what was going on in the Middle East.

An obvious exit question: How many other Christopher Hedges still toil at the Times?

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

December 30, 2014

At AP, Josh Lederman Glosses Over Ugly Afghan War Truths, Goes Gooey Over the Obamas

At the Associated Press on Christmas Day, reporter Josh Lederman carried out what might as well be his official administration stenographer duties with special aplomb.

Three paragraphs will illustrate how Lederman glossed over realities relating to the 13-year war in Afghanistan and went all gooey over Barack and Michelle Obama’s vacation:

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December 25, 2014

Positivity: Washington’s Gift

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:05 pm

This post, published in the Wall Street Journal on Christmas Eve in 2007, is a Christmas evening BizzyBlog tradition.

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Washington’s Gift

There is a Christmas story at the birth of this country that very few Americans know. It involves a single act by George Washington — his refusal to take absolute power — that affirms our own deepest beliefs about self-government, and still has profound meaning in today’s world. To appreciate its significance, however, we must revisit a dark period at the end of America’s eight-year struggle for independence.

The story begins with Gen. Washington’s arrival in Annapolis, Md., on Dec. 19, 1783. The country was finally at peace — just a few weeks earlier the last British army on American soil had sailed out of New York harbor. But the previous eight months had been a time of terrible turmoil and anguish for Gen. Washington, outwardly always so composed. His army had been discharged and sent home, unpaid, by a bankrupt Congress — without a victory parade or even a statement of thanks for their years of sacrifices and sufferings.
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December 23, 2014

AP’s David Crary Perpetuates Michael Brown ‘Hands Up’ Myth as ‘Police Killings of Blacks’ is AP’s Top Story of Year

Establishment press reporting has all too often been about perpetuating a narrative, even long after it has been proven false, than conveying facts and truth. Anyone arguing that 2014 has been one of the worst years ever for this growing trend won’t get an argument here.

An Associated Press poll about the top stories of the year got responses from 85 editors at subscribing AP outlets. Although the top story named wasn’t a surprise (disappointing, yes; surprise, no), the way the AP’s David Crary wrote it up to support the proven-false “Hands up, don’t shoot!” narrative on Monday was absolutely outrageous (bolds and numbered tags):

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December 10, 2014

Pace’s Pity Party at AP: Obama Still Handicapped by Bush 43′s ‘Legacy,’ ‘Security Apparatus’

Nearly six years into Barack Obama’s presidency, it’s still George W. Bush’s fault.

Early Wednesday morning, Julie Pace at the Associated Press proved yet again why it is more than appropriate to characterize the wire service where she works as the Administration’s Press. The headline at Pace’s story tells us that poor President Barack Obama still has to confront the “Bush legacy,” and is still stuck with his wars and “big chunks of Bush’s national security apparatus.” Cry me a river, Julie. One of Pace’s more important omissions is the fact that the enhanced interrogations program Senate Democrats are decrying was a creation of none other than Bill Clinton.

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November 28, 2014

LAT Blog Writer: Thanksgiving Is Time to Debate ‘Crazy Right-Wing Uncle’

Sometimes, one has to remember that op-ed writers don’t always get to pick their headlines, though I would hope that they’re allowed to register their objections. So it’s not clear that Los Angeles Times guest blogger Joel Silberman is responsible for the headline at his Monday blog post about how, or even whether, to deal with relatives who disagree with you politically on Thanksgiving.

But Silberman’s resume indicates that he would probably have been comfortable with the headline used: “What to do if your crazy right-wing uncle comes for Thanksgiving.” Excerpts and some background on Silberman follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine; links in final two excerpted paragraphs are in original):

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November 25, 2014

AP Initially Fails to Report That Ferguson Mayor Begged for Guard Help

It looks like the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, is choosing to become an active participant in the covering for the failure by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to carry out his most basic duty as the state’s chief executive in a timely fashion.

The AP’s unbylined three-paragraph report published at 2:12 PM ET this afternoon acts as if the Guard had a meaningful presence in Ferguson last night. It didn’t. It also describes the looters, thugs and miscreants who ran wild last night as “protesters” and “demonstrators.”

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NYT’s Cooper Sanitizes and Spins Report on Hagel’s Sacking for Print Edition

The New York Times continued its annoying, Winston Smith-like habit of rewriting history in virtually real time yesterday.

Helene Cooper’s original Monday afternoon report on Chuck Hagel’s sacking as Secretary of Defense is no longer available at the Times. However, since I anticipated that the paper would conduct a comprehensive cleanup yesterday when I posted on the paper’s original coverage, it is available here at my web host for fair use and discussion purposes. Cooper’s Tuesday Page 1 print edition replacement is starkly different from her original effort. Side-by-side comparisons of certain sections follow the jump.

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November 24, 2014

Huh? NYT Says Hagel ‘Wasn’t Fired,’ But Obama ‘Made the Decision to Remove’ Him

As is the case with so many executive changes in both the public and the private sector, there is vagueness in the circumstances surrounding the end of Chuck Hagel’s stint as Obama administration Secretary of Defense.

While it's not unusual for an exec to be asked to resign to avoid being formally fired, which was apparently the case with Hagel, the higher-ups involved are usually smart enough to pay tribute to the departed official and move on without letting contrary information get out. Apparently not this White House, and not the New York Times — unless their joint mission is to subtly discredit Hagel. The contradictions in today's report by Helene Cooper (saved here for future reference and fair use purposes) seem too obvious to be accidental (bolds are mine):

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