As NewsBusters reported here, on the December 20, 2006 edition of The View, co-host Rosie O’Donnell sparked a war of words and the threat of a lawsuit over comments she made about real estate mogul Donald Trump. Her statement that he had been bankrupt "many times" was particularly infuriating to the billionaire. On the January 3 show, Barbara Walters, who noted O’Donnell’s absence from today’s show was due to a "long-planned vacation," was left to clean up the mess, and delivered this statement from ABC:
Barbara Walters: "Okay, guys, as I said earlier, Rosie is on a long-planned vacation with Kelli and the kids, and not, I can promise you, with Donald Trump. Now, speaking of which, ABC has asked me to say this, just to clarify things and I will quote, ‘Donald Trump has never filed for personal bankruptcy. Several of his casino companies have filed for business bankruptcies. They are out of bankruptcy now.’"
Walters then denied Trump’s charge that she regrets her decision to hire O’Donnell to replace Meredith Vieira:
No good deed goes unpunished?
Fallout from the execution of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein still dominates the New York Times, and it's not just conservatives who see some definite themes emerging from the massive coverage.
Slate's "Today's Papers" column noticed even back on Sunday:
On December 5 of last year, I wrote a blog post entitled 60 Billion Minutes, where I wrote:
We also know that Jamil Hussein has consistently been a source for at least 60 news stories over two years, and that Jamil Hussein is just one of many apparently fake sources that has driven Associated Press reporting in Iraq.
This presents us with the unsettling possibility that the Associated Press has no idea how much of the news it has reported out of Iraq since the 2003 invasion is in fact real, and how much they reported was propaganda. The failure of accountability here is potentially of epic proportions.
In the weeks since that date, the Associated Press has maintained that the stories they originally reported on November 24-25 of burning mosques and burning men is true, even though almost every single factual claim made in the account has been disputed. The AP maintains this position today, even after the Iraqi Interior Ministry Officially stated that the AP's source, Captain Jamil Hussein, simply didn't exist, and that no one by that name ever worked at the two police stations where AP said he did.
Apparently deciding that one puff piece on a Democratic leader isn’t enough, Wednesday’s "American Morning" featured a virtual DNC press release on incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her childhood city of Baltimore. Reporter Andrea Koppel noted that the Congresswoman comes from a neighborhood "full of proud American-Italian Catholics" and that Pelosi hopes voters will recognize the fact that she "places a premium on family values." The piece featured no criticism of the soon-to-be Speaker, only praise for her "historic moment":
Andrea Koppel: "Now, as Congresswoman Pelosi walks into the history books, becoming the first female Speaker of the House, she plans to pay tribute to her Baltimore roots. Professor Matthew Crensen says the visit could help her refashion her image."
Matthew Crensen (John Hopkins professor): "That she's not just a well-dressed lady from San Francisco, who is married to a millionaire, that she came from a working-class ethnic, religious neighborhood, that she's one of them."
Koppel: "And with Democrats set to take control of Congress this week, that message, that Pelosi places a premium on family values, is one that she, and her party, hope will resonate with middle-class America..."
Just to prove that Fox News Channel doesn't live up to the liberal stereotype of Music to Conservative Ears, angry E-mailers are demanding someone denounce Fred Barnes and Morton Kondracke for slamming conservatives who staunchly oppose illegal immigration. In their year-end Beltway Boys "awards show" this weekend, there was this clip of agreement:
On Wednesday’s "American Morning," CNN reporter Dana Bash profiled incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and revealed some "startling" details: The Nevada Democrat’s childhood nickname was "Pinky." Additionally, Reid enjoys listening to his iPod and reading "People" magazine. Unsurprisingly, Ms. Bash didn’t find time to mention the various scandals swirling around Reid. (Judicial Watch recently named him the tenth most corrupt politician of 2006.) The CNN correspondent, who traveled to Reid’s home of Searchlight, Nevada, began her piece by promising surprising revelations. Apparently the Senator’s musical taste fall into this category:
Dana Bash: "The senator from Nevada fights for Sin City but doesn't gamble or drink. A square-looking guy who listens to hip songs on his iPod."
[On camera: Harry Reid plays a 'Cowboy Junkies' song on his stereo]
Bash: "Cowboy Junkies!"
Reid: "You know the Cowboy Junkies?"
Bash: "And how does he keep up with music? Get this: Did I read that you're a ‘People’ magazine reader?"
Reid: "Yeah. I love ‘People’ magazine."
Unfortunately they don't give you any perspective from the medical community or the makers of distilled spirits or beer. Nope, they just give you two liberal critics of the alcohol industry to scare parents with tales of stomach pumps and binge drinking.
If a conservative talk radio host like Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity was being sued for defamation, would the media cover every aspect of the case like white on rice? Well, a federal bankruptcy judge ruled last Thursday that the lawsuit filed against liberal radio network Air America can go forward, but other than financial websites such as MSN Money and BusinessWeek, America’s media were largely disinterested in this Associated Press story filed Tuesday (emphasis mine throughout, hat tip to Dan Gainor):
Government contractor CACI International Inc. has won bankruptcy court approval to proceed with its defamation lawsuit against liberal talk radio network Air America and one of its hosts, Randi Rhodes.
A federal bankruptcy court in New York ruled Thursday that the case could proceed despite the fact that Air America has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
A LexisNexis search of virtually every major television and print outlet for the phrase “Air America or Randi Rhodes" since December 27 resulted in the loudest chirping of crickets one can imagine. Regardless, the article continued:
In the early hours of their congressional majority, Democrats have pledged to raise minimum wage and fix the U.S. health
Saddam Hussein was tried for genocide and crimes against humanity in events that happened over 2 decades ago. His guilt in that one trial spoke to a single chapter whose murderous mark personifies a sliver of the total crimes that Hussein committed in over a quarter century of terror. Yet the mainstream media is beside themselves in trying to recreate the image of Saddam Hussein the killer into Saddam Hussein the victim.