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Keith Olbermann's regular media critic guest, Michael Musto of the Village Voice, called Ann Coulter a 'bastard' on last night's Countdown.

The topic was the news that Vanity Fair has picked celeb photographer Annie Liebovitz to snap the first pics of Suri, newborn daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. There is controversy as to whether Suri actually exists, given that, months after her announced birth, there have been no photos or sightings of the child.

Musto is clearly a skeptic on the subject. When Olbermann asked him what we should expect from Liebovitz's images of Suri, Musto responded with this strained effort to draw a connection to the left's bête noire :

"We should expect an image of a pillow. An illegitimate pillow, mind you. A bastard pillow. What's the word for a female bastard? Ann Coulter! An Ann Coulter pillow!"



NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams ended his Wednesday newscast by reading a few e-mails from viewers, starting with one which matched an August 1 NewsBusters/August 2 MRC CyberAlert item I wrote, "NBC's Williams Ignores Declining U.S.


The thwarted terrorist plot to kill many Americans through smuggling explosives onto aircraft departing from the UK was apparently the work of "Asian" men, according to the local press (HT Michelle Malkin):



The fauxtography scandal is blowing out of control as proof after proof rolls in how much of the self-described photojournalism coming out of Lebanon is illegitimate. If you're a blogger (or are reading some) covering the story, drop me an email at msheffield@gmail.com and I'll include a link in this roundup. And of course, you can link in the comments as well. Comments are now open to unregistered users.

To get up to speed, check out Riehl World View, Hot Air, the Jawa Report, and Zombie. Little Green Footballs is also very much up on the story. To see previous NewsBusters coverage of phony photos, click the relevant categories below this posting.

See below for updates...

UPDATE 6:25. After an overnight hardware failure, NB is back up and running. The links will begin momentarily.

UPDATE 6:38. Snapped Shot is another blog worth checking out. Keep those links coming, folks!

UPDATE 7:05. Via NB reader Geepers comes this link to a German TV news show proving that the infamous Salam Daher, aka "green helmet guy," is a stage manager for Hezbollah. The video shows him rehearsing the removal of a body from an ambulance and giving directions to the camera operator.



In a classic “Do as I Say, Not as I Do,” the leader of the new cult the Global Warmingists, Al Gore, appears to not practice what he preaches. A USA Today op-ed by author Peter Schweizer reported Wednesday evening (hat tip to Drudge with emphasis mine):

Graciously, Gore tells consumers how to change their lives to curb their carbon-gobbling ways: Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, use a clothesline, drive a hybrid, use renewable energy, dramatically cut back on consumption. Better still, responsible global citizens can follow Gore's example, because, as he readily points out in his speeches, he lives a "carbon-neutral lifestyle." But if Al Gore is the world's role model for ecology, the planet is doomed.

Shhhh. Wait. It gets better (coffee cups down, kids!):



That truth is the first casualty of war has been borne home by the proliferating 'fauxtography' scandal of photographs of the current Middle East crisis doctored or staged so as to portray Israel in the worst possible light. At this point, can we look at any image from the area without a good dose of doubt?

Take this morning's report on the Today show. NBC's Richard Engel, in Tyre, Lebanon, reported that:

"The fighting has made humanitarian relief efforts almost impossible. Israel has cut roads and attacked vehicles, isolating Hezbollah and everyone else."

This was followed by a clip of the unidentified individual pictured here. Judging by his words and accent, he might have been a Red Cross official. He asserted:

"Lots of people have died because they just couldn't make it to a hospital in time. Ambulances clearly marked with the Red Cross were hit right in the middle of the roof of the car. The Red Cross stands for protection and neutrality. This should not have happened."



It seems some in the legacy media are entering into that next phase of narrative manipulation—a redefining of terms in order to 1) provide revisionary cover for its ideological fellow travelers, and 2) to fabricate and then facilitate a bandwagon effect. For instance, The New York Times this morning editorializes on the Lamont victory this way:

The rebellion against Mr. Lieberman was actually an uprising by that rare phenomenon, irate moderates. They are the voters who have been unnerved



If a long-time member of Congress lost a primary battle for re-election, and his/her campaign entourage shouted racial epithets at reporters and about her opponent after defeat, do you think this would have been on the evening news? Well, if said member of Congress was a Democrat, the answer apparently is “no,” for not one of the broadcast networks felt it was newsworthy to report Tuesday evening's events involving Rep.



The foiling of a terrorist plot to blow up American airplanes coming from the UK will be today's top story. Post here on it and anything else.


There is a noteworthy MSM tendency to downplay the gravity of terrorist acts by suggesting that they are local, home-grown incidents rather than forming part of international conspiracies. A recent example was the MSM's treatment of the Seattle Jewish center shootings in which a Muslim-American killed one woman and injured several others.



Also from Michelle Humphrey's bag of Tuesday night TV was HBO talk show host Bill Maher making his usual cracks about conservative haters and how the world is ruined by religion. MRC intern Chadd Clark did the transcribing, and took special notice to this crack on immigration:



Our own Michelle Humphrey noticed that NBC anchor Brian Williams appeared Tuesday on "The Daily Show," and in the midst of all the chummy banter, Jon Stewart was still cracking wise, in the face of the evidence, that the federal government has/had no presence in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. MRC intern Eugene Gibilaro transcribed it:



In leading Wednesday's CBS Evening News with how Senator Joe Lieberman lost the Democratic primary in Connecticut, fill-in anchor Harry Smith highlighted the number of U.S. servicemen killed in Iraq.


Bloggers—and to a much lesser extent some media outlets—have paid considerable attention to specific examples of media manipulation in the war being fought between Hezbollah and the IDF in Lebanon and Israel, but we seem be under-covering the overall framing of the media's coverage, particularly when it comes to the subject matter chosen for coverage.

This comes into sharp relief when contrasted against the coverage we've become used to from the war in Iraq, particularly as it relates to the media coverage allowed and provided by two different insurgencies in Lebanon's Hezbollah and Iraq's predominately Sunni insurgency.

In Iraq, we’ve become somewhat used to embedded reporters reporting from both sides of the conflict with a fairly wide latitude to operate. Stringers, both print media and photographers, have occasionally embedded within the insurgency, providing coverage from ambushes and sniper's nests alike. The insurgents themselves often seem to be media hungry, filming operations themselves and often releasing the tapes to the media or producing them on DVDs for public consumption in Iraq and throughout the Middle East.

By and large, the vast majority of video reporting allowed and encouraged by the Iraqi insurgency is combat-related. IED ambushes are particularly popular, often released as montages set to Islamist music as propaganda videos. The Iraqi insurgents have often seemed intent on portraying themselves as rebel forces actively waging a war for the people, whether or not the people would always agree.

Hezbollah, however, seems to be fighting a different kind of media war.



That didn't take long. Just yesterday, Ned Lamont was the netroot hero, the pride of MoveOn.org, the scourge of the GOP. Today, Dem nomination in hand, he began his run toward the center - with a little help from his MSM friends.

On this evening's Hardball, Chris Matthews scoffed at the fact that the RNC put Lamont's picture up on its website alongside Michael Moore, Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos, Howard Dean, and John Murtha. Well, let's see: Dean via his DFA organization openly campaigned for Lamont over Lieberman. Daily Kos put itself totally in the service of Lamont. As for Moore and Murtha, can anyone point to an iota of difference between their views on Iraq and those of Lamont?

Would Matthews have scoffed had the RNC put up this actual photo showing Lamont on his victory platform surrounded by Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and NOW's Kim Gandy?

Interviewing Lamont, Matthews offered him the chance to show what a non-partisan guy he is, inviting him to name his Republican 'heroes.' Lamont mentioned Teddy Roosevelt - for busting trusts, Colin Powell, and John McCain - for being willing to buck the status quo.

An aside - Lamont noted that he disagreed with McCain on 'choice.' I don't know about you, but of all the political sleight of tongue, using 'choice' as a euphemism for abortion is one that particularly grates on me.