A short Associated Press item tonight notes that the Organization for American States is not happy with the state of Arizona for passing an immigration law-enforcement measure:


I don't expect AP to expand on OAS's statement any time soon, because in the process of doing so they might feel compelled to look at how some of the countries criticizing Arizona handle their own illegal immigrants.

The Pentagon rescinded the invitation of evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at its May 6 National Day of Prayer event because of complaints about his previous comments about Islam.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation expressed its concern over Graham's involvement with the event in an April 19 letter sent to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. MRFF's complaint about Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, focused on remarks he made after 9/11 in which he called Islam "wicked" and "evil" and his lack of apology for those words.

Col. Tom Collins, an Army spokesman, told ABC News on April 22, "This Army honors all faiths and tries to inculcate our soldiers and work force with an appreciation of all faiths and his past comments just were not appropriate for this venue."

Imagine being sued in a third-world country with a leftist government and you're a major international corporation with deep pockets. Sounds like you might have a deck stacked against you, right? 

Back in May, CBS's "60 Minutes" aired a one-sided segment that could be viewed as nothing short of serving as an accomplice in $27-billion extortion effort by a leftist Latin American government against Chevron (NYSE:CVX). The segment was about a lawsuit filed by the Amazon Defense Coalition (ADC), a group described as "eco-radicals," who are trying to squeeze $27 billion from Chevron for environmental cleanup that Ecuador's government signed off on more than a decade ago.

The ADC maintains it was working on behalf of 30,000 villagers, although there were only 48 named plaintiffs, to win funds for so-called environmental damage in Ecuador's rain forest from then-Texaco Petroleum's (Texpet) operation of oil well sites. A subsequent May 15 New York Times story followed, but neither CBS nor the Times gave much credence to the possibility of corruption in the Ecuadorian courts.

During an interview of Brookings Institution senior fellow Kevin Casas-Zamora on Wednesday’s American Morning, CNN anchor John Roberts not only failed to mention the liberal political leanings of the fellow’s organization, but omitted any mention of the scandal which led to Casa-Zamora’s resignation from the vice presidency of Costa Rica.

Roberts brought on Casas-Zamora to discuss the recent military coup in Honduras, which unseated President Jose Manuel Zelaya, who had been seeking a referendum to extend his term in office. He introduced him as the “senior foreign policy fellow with the Brookings Institution- also recently served as the vice president of Costa Rica.” Specifically, the fellow served from 2006 until 2007 as the country’s vice president and minister of planning and economic policy.

Juan Carlos Hidalgo of the CATO Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperty wrote a column for the Miami Herald on October 5, 2007 which reported that in a leaked private memorandum written to Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, Casas-Zamora had “suggested, among other things, withholding public money to mayors who failed to deliver their districts’ votes on CAFTA [the Central American Free Trade Agreement], and circumventing some electoral rules. The ensuing scandal led to Casas’ resignation and caused a dramatic fall in CAFTA’s popularity.”

When $27 billion is at stake, some companies would pay big bucks to win a PR battle, but one side of an environmental lawsuit doesn't have to, since CBS is pushing its position for free.

On CBS's May 3 "60 Minutes," correspondent Scott Pelley, who once compared global-warming skepticism to Holocaust denial, gave the plaintiff of a $27-billion frivolous lawsuit against Chevron a public relations victory with his report.

Pelley's report featured a suit filed by the Amazon Defense Coalition, a group described as "eco-radicals," who are trying to squeeze $27 billion from Chevron for environmental cleanup that the nation's government signed off on more than a decade ago. Pelley described ADC as working on behalf of 30,000 villagers, although there are only 48 named plaintiffs, to win funds for so-called environmental damage in Ecuador's rain forest from then-Texaco Petroleum's (Texpet) operation of oil well sites.

Once again, in its quest for a scapegoat for a crisis facing society, the media has set its sights on a large corporation.

A segment on the April 28 "World News with Charles Gibson" by ABC correspondent Jeffrey Kofman, reporting from La Gloria, Mexico, went after Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD) for operating a pig farm near the city where the swine flu pandemic is believed to have originated.

"When people heard here that a case of swine flu had been traced to this area, few were surprised," Kofman said. "And in the next breath they'll tell you they think they know where it came from."

The swine flu story has captured the news cycle for three days and counting now and that's perpetuating the hysteria, according to Fox News Channel's Brit Hume. 

Hume appeared on the FNC's "The Live Desk with Trace Gallagher" April 27 and blasted the media in general for hyping the swine flu story 24/7.

"I realize it's been a slow weekend in terms of news," Hume said. "The president went out and played golf on Sunday. The White House reporters don't have much to work with today, so they're trying to get a piece of this swine flu story, which you know, all the cable news channels are agog about, bug-eyed about. But so far, it doesn't amount to much in the United States of America."

On Tuesday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, Mitchell hosted two liberal guests in a discussion about President Obama’s national service program and the prospects for more gun control laws being passed by Congress in the near future. Speaking to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Mitchell repeated a grossly inaccurate statistic that 90 percent of guns used by Mexican drug cartels are manufactured in the U.S. Mitchell: "Mr. Mayor, first to you, why not go after the assault weapon ban, as President Calderone in Mexico is calling for? Ninety percent of the weapons used in the drug cartel crimes south of the border are said to have originated in the United States."

But, as previously documented by Mike Sargent, FNC's William LaJeunesse reported on April 2 that 83 percent of guns recovered from Mexican drug cartels are not from the United States. Most of these weapons are never submitted to the U.S. for tracing because they are clearly not American in origin.

After Bloomberg advocated passage of an assault weapon ban, but later indicated that almost all those killed using guns each day are killed using "illegal handguns," Mitchell did not take the opportunity to challenge the Mayor on just how much impact an assault weapon ban could have if such guns are are so rarely the weapon of choice by criminals. She then moved on to set up New York’s Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy to promote the passage of more gun laws. Mitchell: "And, Mr. Mayor, you mentioned Virginia Tech, Columbine anniversary was yesterday. Only weeks ago, we had the killings of police officers in Pittsburgh and in Oakland. Congresswoman McCarthy, is there any chance that something will be done in Congress? And also the gun show loophole which is sitting out there?"

While reporting on Obama meeting with anti-American Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at the Summit of the Americas on Sunday’s CBS Evening News, fill-in anchor Jeff Glor asked political correspondent Jeff Greenfield about a potential negative reaction to the encounter: "Jeff, let's start talking about Venezuela and Hugo Chavez. Is there fallout from it, real or imagined?"

Greenfield discounted any criticism as simply being from Obama’s right-wing opponents: "There is fallout among those people who already regard Obama as anything from a socialist, to a fascist, to a dangerously weak president. I'm talking about people on the right. If it doesn't spread beyond that, you're going to have the same situation where about 30% of the country really regards him negatively, but the rest says ‘so far so good.’"

Glor then asked: "Alright, let's talk also domestically now about Cuba. What has changed inside this country that makes these overtures more effective now?" Greenfield responded: "Among younger Cuban-Americans in Florida, there's much less rigidity about Cuba then there was at the time when to be in anyway sympathetic to Castro, or even open to relations, was political death...We also see among conservative groups, the American Farm Bureau, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a desire to open markets in Cuba...have made it politically palatable, domestically, for Obama to say ‘let's try something new.’"

Harry Smith, CBS On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith discussed President Obama’s brief meeting with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at the Summit of the Americas with former Bush Press Secretary Dana Perino and former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers, wondering: "Have the critics of this photo-op made a mountain out of a molehill?"

In a prior report on the meeting, correspondent Bill Plante explained: "President Obama defends his visit with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Asked about the notion that his willingness to talk to enemies of the U.S. was a sign of weakness, the President said it was unlikely that he was endangering the strategic interests of the United States...His simple handshake with Venezuela's president was a symbolic break with the Bush administration policy of shutting out unfriendly nations." Smith repeated Obama’s defense as he later wondered if critics were making too much of the encounter.

Katie Couric, CBS While reporting on the ongoing drug war in Mexico, CBS, NBC, and ABC have all cited a dubious statistic that claims that 90% of the guns being used in the violence are from the United States. On Thursday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Bill Plante reported: "Mexican drug gang violence spilling into the U.S. is the urgent issue of President Obama's visit...A major sore point -- more than 90% of the weapons which could be traced were bought legally in the U.S. and smuggled into Mexico by the cartels."

On Thursday’s NBC Nightly News, White House correspondent Chuck Todd declared: "In a joint press conference following their private meeting, President Obama acknowledged that 90 percent of the guns used by the drug cartels in this war with Mexico come from the United States." On Thursday’s Good Morning America on ABC, co-host Diane Sawyer referenced, and even further embellished, the figure while interviewing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano: "95 percent of the guns used were out of the United States. What is the U.S. going to do to stop the guns from getting there?"

However, on April 2, Fox News reported that 90% figure to be inaccurate: "The fact is, only 17 percent of guns found at Mexican crime scenes have been traced to the U.S. What's true, an ATF spokeswoman told FOXNews.com, in a clarification of the statistic used by her own agency's assistant director, ‘is that over 90 percent of the traced firearms originate from the U.S.’ But a large percentage of the guns recovered in Mexico do not get sent back to the U.S. for tracing, because it is obvious from their markings that they do not come from the U.S." The network reports failed to explain those details.

Maggie Rodriguez and Janet Napolitano, CBS While discussing the ongoing drug war in Mexico with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez wondered: "President Obama will meet with the Mexican president today, who has said that the money, the guns, and the appetite for drugs that fuel this war come from our country. My question is, how much blame do we accept?...Is one of the other things we can do reinstate the assault weapons ban in this country? Because President Calderon has said that ever since it expired, violence there has escalated."

In an earlier report on the issue, correspondent Bill Plante explained: "Mexican authorities are often out-gunned by the gangs. Military-grade arms, including grenades and machine guns, are easily purchased in the U.S. and smuggled into Mexico. Just as the drugs are easily moved north in response to heavy demand in the U.S...President Obama will promise today to step up efforts to stop the flow of weapons from the U.S. down into Mexico." Earlier media reports claimed 90% of guns involved in the Mexican drug war came from the U.S., a statistic which was later proven false by Fox News’s William La Jeunesse and Maxim Lott.