Surprised they didn't opt for the auto da fe analogy . . .
On Chris Hayes's MSNBC show this morning, Ali Gharib, editor of the "Open Zion" blog at the Daily Beast, described the questioning of Chuck Hagel at his Senate confirmation hearing as "a Republican purge" and a "Maoist public shaming." Michael Hastings of the Rolling Stone begged to differ, finding it more reminiscent of "Stalin." View the video after the jump.
In an interview with retired General Stanley McChrystal on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer grilled the former Afghanistan commander on his resignation following criticism of President Obama in a 2010 Rolling Stone article: "There were several demeaning quotes attributed to your staff members, even to you, about the President and about key members of his staff....Was he [Obama] furious about what had come out in that Rolling Stone magazine? Did he express displeasure with you?"
While McChrystal was supposedly on to promote his memoir, My Share of the Task, Lauer spent nearly the entire exchange harping on the two-year-old personal drama between the General and Obama: "Did you distrust the people at the White House? Did you distrust key members of the Obama administration when it came to their policy in dealing with Afghanistan?...Did you distrust the President and key members of the administration in terms of their handling of the war in Afghanistan?"
Liberal historian Douglas Brinkley gushed over President Obama on Thursday's CBS This Morning and Friday's CNN Newsroom, and tried to put the incumbent in the best possible light: "He's [Obama] a very natural person....He's a really warm and genial person. What he has going for him is he exudes family values." Brinkley later asserted to CNN's Suzanne Malveaux that Obama is an "intellectual...he reads all these books about Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, FDR...he's wonkish, in a sense of detail in history."
Both times, the Rice University professor downplayed the President's "BS-er" smear of his opponent, Mitt Romney, that emerged during his recent Rolling Stone interview of the Democrat by using the veneer of history: "It's another part of 'Romnesia', I suppose. The working man's 'Romnesia' is BS-er....I mean...there's no love between even John F. Kennedy and his own vice president, Lyndon Johnson; let alone Harry Truman, who once said about Eisenhower, he knows no more about politics than a pig knows about Sunday."
Traditional media weren’t the biggest fans of the movie “Atlas Shrugged: Part I” when it was released in April 2011. With “Atlas Shrugged Part II: The Strike” set to hit theaters on Oct. 12, it’ll be hard to top the derision of the last movie. Most reviews of the first film were short and to the point – this movie was terrible because conservatives, more specifically the Tea Party, will like it.
Contrary to popular belief, 'Paul Ryan is not Freddy Kruger'. Mainstream media outlets wasted little time in their attempt to discredit the newly appointed vice presidential candidate, while practically ignoring every new gaffe committed by the current one. The constant and vicious attacks of his conservative views and budget proposals mirror the ordeal Sarah Palin endured, but the career congressman has dealt with it all before.
Seemingly everyone has an unfavorable opinion that they're anxious to share, including musicians like Rage Against the Machine lead guitarist Tom Morello. In one of his many op-eds for Rolling Stone, the Nightwatchman called Ryan "the embodiment of the machine our music has been raging against for two decades."
Remember all the cries in the past for governmental transparency by the "progressive" media? Well, when it comes to the Department of Justice lack of transparency in refusing to turn over documents related to Operation Fast and Furious, Rolling Stone writer Jillian Rayfield excuses it away by claiming that the demand is really due to a GOP 'war' on Eric Holder:
A big part of the show is demonizing Holder himself. Several Republicans have recently called for Holder to step down, among them Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Jon Cornyn (R-TX), who did so to Holder's face in a Senate Judiciary hearing just last week. In one Republican primary debate, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum also both called for Holder's resignation. Romney, for his part, has steered clear of the issue so far, but he won't be able to for long if RNC Chair Reince Priebus gets his way. Priebus says that "Fast and Furious" will be a central 2012 campaign theme, so even if the contempt proceedings go away, it doesn't look like Holder will be off the hook anytime soon.
Rayfield also writes off any suggestion that the motivation for allowing guns to walk across the border was to enact harsher gun control laws:
There has also been the ludicrous suggestion, by the National Rifle Association and several House Republicans, that the Obama administration let the guns cross the border so it could eventually make a better case to enact harsher domestic gun laws. The documents would also purportedly provide information about the alleged mistreatment of whistleblowers who came forward about the operation.
Yes, how absolutely silly to think that DOJ officials would allow guns to cross the border for that ulterior purpose. ...Except that is exactly what officials in the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives were claiming as reported by Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News:
Documents obtained by CBS News show that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussed using their covert operation "Fast and Furious" to argue for controversial new rules about gun sales.
...ATF officials didn't intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called "Demand Letter 3". That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or "long guns." Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.
On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF's Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious:
"Bill - can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks."
And that was just one of several ATF emails expressing this sentiment. What other information is in the withheld Fast and Furious documents? Those who want to know are being written off by Jillian Rayfield as being part of the supposed GOP "war" on Eric Holder.
MSNBC’s Wagner Continues Pushing Grossly Distorted Voter ‘Purge’ Meme; Fails to Note Obama DHS May Be Breaking Law
In a segment titled onscreen "What's the Matter with FL," MSNBC's Alex Wagner today continued her network's efforts to flog conservative Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) for his voter "purge." This despite the fact that the "purge" -- which targeted a mere 0.02 percent of registered voters in the state-- has not disenfranchised a single eligible voter and has in fact brought to light noncitizens who were illegally registered to vote. What's more, neither Wagner nor anyone else on her panel informed viewers that the Obama administration itself appears to be violating federal law by not helping Florida with its voter rolls cleanup effort.
To service her network's spin on the matter, Wagner turned to Rolling Stone magazine's Eric Bates and Ari Berman, the latter of whom insisted that the Sunshine State's efforts were part of a GOP effort to "depress the turnout" of Obama-friendly voting blocs.
Of course, Berman failed to produce nor did Wagner demand evidence to substantiate such a claim. For her part, Wagner simply took it on face value and argued that, because the suspected noncitizens questioned by Florida were 58 percent Hispanic, 40 percent Democratic, and 14 percent African-American that it was proof enough that Gov. Scott had personally taken it upon himself to "purge the voter rolls."
"You've got a Southern state purging the rolls, clearly of people of color," agreed Bates.
But as Miami Herald reporter Marc Caputo informed MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell yesterday, there's a simple reason most of the suspected noncitizens caught in the "purge" were Hispanic. "Florida's largest immigrant group happen to be Hispanics and they're disproportionately registering as independents," Caputo noted.
Caputo also told Mitchell that some 13 noncitizens were caught by the state's inquiry thus far.
MSNBC has latched onto the fact that the Obama/Holder Department of Justice has called on Florida to stop its voter registration reconciliation as damning evidence that Florida is in the wrong,
But as the Herald's Marc Caputo reported today, there are legal experts who say the DOJ overstepped its bounds. What's more, it appears it is the Obama administration itself is derelict in enforcing a federal law which requires it to help states to remove noncitizens from voter rolls (emphases mine):
The Department of Justice acted politically and erred in demanding Florida cease its purge of noncitizen voters, according to a conservative former Justice lawyer who helped enforce federal voting laws for years.
The Justice Department’s voting-rights section said last week that Florida’s attempted purge probably broke federal law because the 1965 Voting Rights Act requires federal permission for the program and the 1993 National Voter Registration Act bans voter purges within 90 days of a federal election.
“If this ended up in court, the DOJ would lose,” said Hans von Spakovsky, with the conservative Heritage Foundation. “The justice department doesn’t have a basis in the statutes they’re citing.”
But von Spakovsky and other Republican lawyers say the law probably has been broken — but by the federal government itself.
Under federal law, the Department of Homeland Security is supposed to furnish citizenship information to the state for, among other things, checking voter registration rolls. But DHS, first asked for the data in mid October 2011, has refused, email correspondence shows.
A DHS spokesman declined to comment on whether the agency is breaking the law.