American Lori Berenson, middle-class Manhattanite turned foreign terrorist helper, was sentenced to life in prison in Peru in 1996 for housing Marxist terrorists of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA), which took part in assassinations, kidnappings, and bombings during the 1980s and 1990s. Berenson let them use her apartment as a storehouse for ammunition. Standing before police, she exclaimed in Spanish: "There are no criminal terrorists in the M.R.T.A. It’s a revolutionary movement!"

Novelist Jennifer Egan interviewed Berenson in Peru over several months as she shuttled between parole and jail before being freed for good, and came up with a 8,300-word portrait for Sunday’s upcoming New York Times Magazine (It was posted online Wednesday). 

Michael Calderone got a sneak peek at the cover shot of the newly revamped magazine, an image with her son that John Podhoretz at Commentary calls "consciously designed to make Berenson look like the Madonna with child."

Egan, a discerning fiction writer, brought none of that perception to this profile. Instead Egan found excuses for Berenson’s notorious outburst and terror ties, trying to put M.R.T.A.’s leftist political violence in context, offensively referring to a four-month hostage ordeal as the terrorist group's last "big idea," and chalking up Berenson’s own involvement to positive personal characteristics like her ability to “absorb fear and discomfort.”



A Christmas Eve report from Ian James at the Associated Press on developments in Venezuela caused me to go to the dictionary to make sure my understanding of the word "bold" is correct.

In context, here are the two most relevant definitions of the word found at dictionary.com:

  • (first listing) "not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring: a bold hero."
  • (third listing) "necessitating courage and daring; challenging: a bold adventure."

One thus has to take the following sentence, the first in James's report, as a virtually explicit expression of admiration for the latest authoritarian moves by the country's "El Presidente," Hugo Chávez:



 On Friday’s CBS Evening News, travel editor Peter Greenberg filed a report in which, without challenge, he passed on Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s charge that America is "the key part of the problem" of drug cartels in his country. And, even though the overwhelming majority of guns seized from Mexican drug cartels are known to originate from countries outside the U.S., Greenberg seemed to claim that all were bought in the U.S. Greenberg:

He (Calderon) claims American drug use is financing the cartels, and smuggled American guns are arming them. This is an example of the more than 90,000 weapons the Calderon government has confiscated in the last four years - almost all of them high-powered, and all of them bought in the United States.

But, as previously documented by NewsBusters, in April 2009 Fox News reported that 83 percent of guns recovered in Mexico originated outside the United States.



These are some of the outtakes that the Ecuadoran plaintiff lawyer Steve Donziger probably wished were left on the cutting room floor.

Back in May 2009, CBS's "60 Minutes" featured a story on the legal conflict between Chevron and an eco-group called the Amazon Defense Coalition for $27.4 billion in so-called environmental damage in Ecuador's rain forest from then-Texaco Petroleum's (Texpet) operation of oil well sites over a decade ago. However, in 1998, the government of Ecuador certified that Texpet, a minority partner in an exploration and production venture state-owned oil company PetroEcuador, had met Ecuadorian and international remediation standards and had released Texpet from future claims and obligations.

During that May 3 broadcast, Donziger was portrayed by CBS "60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley as a shining individual with a deeply rooted compassion for the indigenous people of the Ecuadorian Amazon.



Tony Harris, CNN Anchor; Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce (top); & Isabel Garcia, Coalición de Derechos Humanos | NewsBusters.orgOn Wednesday's Newsroom, CNN's Tony Harris omitted the pro-illegal immigration activism of guest Isabel Garcia, just as his colleague Suzanne Malveaux did more than two months earlier. Harris twice referred to Garcia as merely the "deputy public defender in Pima County, Arizona," and didn't mention her involvement in the beating and decapitation of a pinata effigy of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The anchor brought on the activist, as well as Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, the author of the state newly-passed anti-illegal immigration law, for two segments starting 10 minutes into the 11 am Eastern hour. After asking Senator Pearce's position on the federal government's new lawsuit against the enforcement of his law, Harris turned to the public defender: "Isabel, you've been patient. Weigh in here."

Garcia (her pro-illegal immigration organization, Coalición de Derechos Humanos, whose website features a logo incorporating the southwestern states into Mexico, was identified on-screen as the "Human Rights Coalition") immediately went on the offense against Pearce, playing the race/ethnicity card against the Republican politician:


Oliver Stone, Movie Director; & George Stephanopoulos, ABC Anchor | NewsBusters.orgLiberal director Oliver Stone revealed his anti-American bent on Monday's Good Morning America, praising the rise of mainly left-wing leaders across South America and even went so far to support Brazilian President Lula da Silva for "trying to strike to deal with Iran," wildly predicting "it's going to be like North Vietnam again" if the U.S. pursued sanctions against the country.

Anchor George Stephanopoulos interviewed the Oscar-winning director 44 minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour. Stephanopoulos referenced how Stone has "tackled war, Wall Street, and the Kennedy assassination" and is now "taking on South America. He says our neighbors to the south haven't gotten a fair shake from the American media, and, armed with a camera, he's set out on a road trip to try to change that."

Before asking about Chavez, Stephanopoulos played a clip from Stone's documentary "South of the Border," which included a sound bite from CNN's John Roberts that gave the impression that the anchor was condemning the Venezuelan leader: "He's more dangerous than Bin Laden, and the effects of Chavez, his war against America, could eclipse those of 9/11."

Actually, Roberts, in the January 15, 2009 segment from his American Morning program, actually was reading a quote from a book by his guest, Doug Schoen: "Right off the bat, in the very front of the book, you quote Otto Reich, who was the former ambassador to Venezuela back in the 1980s, as saying that he's more dangerous than bin Laden and the effects of Chavez, his war against America could eclipse those of 9/11."



On Monday’s The O’Reilly Factor, during the show’s regular "Reality Check" segment, FNC host O’Reilly seemed to pick up on a NewsBusters item which highlighted ABC’s Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts defending Mexican President Felipe Calderon using his speech in Congress as a forum to criticize Arizona’s effort to enforce laws against illegal immigration. In their defense of Calderon on Sunday's This Week show's Roundtable segment, the the two ABC News veterans brought up past American Presidents criticizing communist dictators in China and the Soviet Union.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the "Reality Check" from the Monday, May 24, The O’Reilly Factor on FNC:



Forwarding moral equivalence, ABC News veteran Sam Donaldson, on This Week, defended Mexican President Felipe Calderon for using a speech before Congress to criticize Arizona, by reminding viewers: “President Bill Clinton went to the Great Hall of the People and when Jiang Zemin was President of China. I heard President Clinton say, ‘what you did in Tiananmen Square was wrong.’ He lectured. We all said, that's terrific because it was the ox being gored on the other side.” After all, Donaldson contended, “he said what a lot of Americans are also saying, that that Arizona law is discriminatory.”

Host Jake Tapper pointed out “that law is actually supported by a majority of Americans” and expressed bewilderment at Donaldson’s reasoning: “I can't believe that you're actually comparing it to Tiananmen Square, right? I mean, you’re not?” Donaldson assured Tapper “I’m not comparing a massacre in Tiananmen Square to what’s happening in Arizona. But you raised the subject of having someone come to another country and lecture them.”

Instead of backing off, fellow ABC News vet Cokie Roberts, who used to co-host This Week with Donaldson, reaffirmed his point: “Our Presidents certainly do it. Israel about settlements. You know, ‘Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.’”


With “Sharp Words” forming the on-screen graphic, ABC anchor Diane Sawyer on Thursday night championed the domestic gun control argument espoused by a foreign leader trying to shift the blame for his nation's criminal activity, a remark neither CBS nor NBC found newsworthy:
Mexico's President Felipe Calderon today challenged a joint session of Congress on gun control, asking that they reinstate a ban on assault weapons, which expired in 2004, saying 80 percent of the traceable weapons used in those crimes in Mexico, right across the border, come from the U.S.
Viewers then heard from Calderon: “I admire the American Constitution, but many of these guns are not going to honest American hands. Instead, thousands are ending up in the hands of criminals.”


Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator | NewsBusters.orgOn Thursday's Situation Room, CNN's Jack Cafferty blasted President Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon for their criticism of Arizona's new anti-illegal immigration law, stating that the two were "whining" about the law. Cafferty singled out Calderon for having "a lot of nerve...complaining" about the Arizona law and labeled Congress's standing ovation for the Mexican leader "disgusting."

The commentator devoted his Cafferty File segment 13 minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour to slamming the two leaders' criticism of the Grand Canyon's State's newly-passed legislation. Cafferty wasted little time and targeted Calderon first for his criticism of the law on American soil: "Mexican President Felipe Calderon has a lot of nerve coming into this country and complaining about Arizona's immigration law, when all the state wants to do is protect itself against a flood of illegal immigrants from Calderon's country." He continued that "Calderon and President Obama are both whining about the Arizona law. Calderon, who also took the message to a joint meeting of Congress, is calling Arizona's law discriminatory."


Taxpayers may be forced to foot a portion of the bill for a new movie that has become a stark -- and violent -- message against the recently passed Arizona immigration law. The liberal political stance is nothing new in the movie world. That the film is still being considered for indirect public funding, however, is quite striking.

An online trailer for the film "Machete," released on Cinco de Mayo (and embedded below the fold), begins with the title character saying he has a "special message...to Arizona!" That special message, as the New York Post writes, seems to be "They just f---ed with the wrong Mexican."

Some commentators believe that the film could actually provoke violence. But at the very least, "Machete" seems to be making a very strong and provocative political statement about an extremely divisive issue -- while at the same time applying for tax breaks from the Texas state government. So Texans may be forced to help pay for a statment to which -- if national polls are any indicator -- many are opposed.



Which is more newsworthy: hearsay accounts of racial slurs unsupported by video evidence of the alleged incident, or video of a protester calling for violent revolution against the federal government, the imposition of socialism, and the annexation of the Southwestern states for Mexico?

If you chose the latter, you're probably not a journalist of the self-proclaimed "mainstream" variety. The legacy media has been largely silent on video of Los Angles schoolteacher at a La Raza protest of the recently-passed Arizona immigration law literally calling for the violent overthrow of the United States government.

"There's 40 million potential revolutionaries north of the border, inside the belly of the beast," Los Angeles high school history teacher Ron Gochez told a frenzied crowd, referring to the 40 million Latin Americans in the United States. He went on to claim that teaching or writing a book "is not part of the movement," and that his followers needed to go a step further -- to literal revolution (video embedded below the fold - h/t Jawa Report).