Has CBS's Mike Wallace gotten soft in his old age? His usual knock-out style was nowhere to be found during his interview with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, writes in the New York Sun:

Those mean-spirited Republicans. They're all about the politics of hate. And now this! Can you imagine, calling a political opponent an "evil, authoritarian, crypto-fascist puppet master"? Wait a sec. That wasn't a Republican. It's a Huff Poster describing Dick Cheney.

CBS's Mike Wallace spent a half-hour of network air time with Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and some of his questions were tough, about Hezbollah violence and Holocaust denial and the Iranian leader's desire to wipe Israel off the map.

60 Minutes contributor Mike Wallace engaged in a heart-to-heart with the man who says Israeli should be "wiped off the map" and the holocaust was a "myth."

Bring back Katie! OK, perhaps that's not the solution, but the sycophantish display that Ann Curry put on for Queen Noor and her anti-Israel/pro-Hezbollah views was enough to make you pound the TV screen in frustration.

Noor is a Princeton-educated Arab-American who is the widow of the late King Hussein of Jordan. Curry's opening set the tone. Rather than asking a probing question, Ann invited Noor to lecture America: "what insights might you offer America about what Hezbollah wants and what it's willing to do to get it?"

Noor blamed the Jews and lauded Hezbollah: "Hezbollah was created as was Hamas in the Palestinian territories during a period of Israeli occupation which is on-going in the Palestinian territories and in Lebanon. Hezbollah was largely responsible and credited by the Lebanese for having creating the pressure for having Israel withdraw from Lebanese territory."

Curry took Noor's notion a grotesque step further: "So it's almost seen as a savior."

Subbing for reporter/columnist Dana Milbank on the Washington Post's snarky "Zeitgeist Checklist" feature in the Sunday opinion section, Post reporter Michael Grunwald goes on a tear, with every time on the ten-item list having a lame connection to Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic drunk-driving rant. Here's how it starts with the number one issue of the week, the Middle East conflict:

Appearing on FNC's The O'Reilly Factor Wednesday, former CBS News anchor Dan Rather conceded there's a "problem" with America's media in its treatment of Hezbollah and Israel with "moral equivalence," even including himself as part of the problem.

From the AP:

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ordered government and cultural bodies to use modified Persian words to replace foreign words that have crept into the language, such as "pizzas" which will now be known as "elastic loaves," state media reported Saturday.

The presidential decree, issued earlier this week, orders all governmental agencies, newspapers and publications to use words deemed more appropriate by the official language watchdog, the Farhangestan Zaban e Farsi, or Persian Academy, the Irna official news agency reported.

Bill O'Reilly got his show off to a surprising start this afternoon, with a novel theory as to why the big-city newspapers have tread lightly in criticizing Israel for its role in the current conflict. During his opening monologue O'Reilly theorized that the papers are fearful of turning off liberal Jewish readers.

It is pretty amazing that CBS News can misquote, in headline form, someone they not only personally interviewed, but one that they themselves provided video clips of proving the inaptness of their headline. I guess they imagined that no one would actually take the time to watch the video clip?

But there it was in black and white.

CBS News - "Buckley: Bush Not A True Conservative"

Worse, the part of the video clip where William F. Buckley addresses Bush's status as a conservative isn't until the last two minutes of a 10-minute interview. Could they have assumed that many people would never stay with the interview all the way until the end to find out that the CBS headline is mere hyperbole and that Buckley never really said that Bush wasn't a "true conservative"?

Even the sub headline takes liberties with Buckley's words.

Even for a Boston Globe columnist, Robert Kuttner's effort this morning has to go down in the annals of Bush-hatred at its most rabid. Consider these excerpts, annotated with my comments:

  • 'The latest violence in the Middle East demonstrates the bankruptcy of the Bush administration's grand design for the region.' Stay with me - Bob's just clearing his throat.
  • 'The quagmire has demonstrated the humiliating limits of US military power.' Crocodile tears?
  • 'Saddam turned out to be telling the truth about nuclear weapons and Bush turned out to be lying,' Make your contribution today at SaddamDefenseFund@ramseyclark.org
  • 'Bolton and the other radicals in the administration want Israel to keep pummeling Lebanon a while longer.' No, they want Israel to keep pummeling Hezbollah, which is based in Lebanon.
  • 'The party of mutual Armageddon . . . the war party of Hamas, Hezbollah, the Israeli right, the Iranian ultras, Rumsfeld, and Cheney.' Moral equivalence strikes again. The terrorists, and those who would stop the terrorists - same difference.

'Today' never showed us just who was holding that placard. But judging from his comments this morning, just how surprised would we be to find it was NBC's David Gregory himself?

Did David perhaps rev up for his appearance by reading this all-out assault on Bush foreign policy from in the LA Times? In any case, he came loaded for Bush bear with a totally bleak tour d'horizon that included these gems:

  • "The president's foreign policy was designed to make the the Middle East safer. It's not."
  • "Crisis after crisis has undermined the Bush doctrine."
  • "A foreign policy that has yet to produce the promised results."