The topic was the disconnect between Hillary Clinton's support for the Iraq war and the fact that her coterie is composed of hard-core, anti-war liberals. In discussing it with guest Dee Dee Myers on this evening's Hardball, Chris Matthews let slip that he equates liberalism with 'caring' for peace and human rights.

Here's how it went down. Discussing Hillary's inner circle, Matthews suddenly interjected:


Does Osama bin Laden read the work of left-wing media figures and bloggers? It's quite possible, argues Brendan O'Neill:

When Al Jazeera broadcast Osama bin Laden's latest audiotape in January, it provoked the same sense of déjà vu as Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden, recently published by the leftist publishing house Verso.

The book is a collection of every public utterance made by the Al Qaeda leader from 1994 to 2004. According to The Observer's excitable reviewer, it shows that he is a "charismatic man of action, an eloquent preacher, a teacher of literature and a resilient, cunning, wonderfully briefed politician." To me, however, there was something irritatingly familiar rather than surprisingly eloquent about his tone and turns of phrase.

Then it struck me: Bin Laden is a blogger. Not literally, of course, but he certainly speaks the language of the blogosphere. He references Robert Fisk and Michael Moore, those darlings of the anti-war Web. His latest statement recommends that people read Rogue State by William Blum, whose e-mail newsletter, Anti-Empire Report, is frequently republished and discussed in the left-wing blogosphere.

On the same morning that Katie Couric was twinkling and giggling over Al Gore in some flowery garden, her co-host Matt Lauer took another senator from Tennessee to task: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. Near the end of the interview, Lauer pressed Frist on how "critics" say his choice of legislative issues coming up shows he's "pandering to the conservative base" for a potential presidential campaign:


Something frighteningly ominous has been happening on the Internet lately: Google, without any prior explanation or notice, has been terminating its News relationship with conservative e-zines and web journals.


More grist for the media-corporations-are-conservative crowd, proving that life is a little more complicated than Noam Chomsky preaches:

"This is how poisonous it's gotten in Washington," says a consulting lobbyist for a broadcast network. "You have Republicans taking money from companies and firms working to end their control of Congress, and even worse, working with outfits like MoveOn.org. And they are taking this money to not only help groups dedicated to defeating Republicans, but also for legislation that would regulate the Internet." [...]

What makes [Republican lobbyist Vin] Weber's cynical support of the legislation even worse, say Republican Hill staffers, is that his activities also aid MoveOn.org, the extremist, left-wing organization, which is now being financially backed by Google so that MoveOn can help Google with "Net Neutrality." Google has become the single largest private corporate underwriter of MoveOn. According to sources in the Democrat National Committee, MoveOn has received more than $1 million from Google and its lobbyists in Washington to create grassroots support for the Internet regulation legislation. Some of that money has gone to an online petition drive and a letter-writing campaign, but the majority of that money is being used to fund their activities against Republicans out in the states.

For example, MoveOn is said by one DNC source to have funneled at least $100,000 "Net Neutrality" money to its operations in Pennsylvania (where MoveOn is organizing against Sen. Rick Santorum). It has also sent funds to Florida, Ohio, and Missouri.


Anne Kornblut, the new New York Times reporter on the Hillary beat, betrays the liberal bent of the Times by reporting on Hillary’s fundraiser with Rupert Murdoch by quoting only the liberals outraged at her, and having no space for the conservatives outraged at him. "The brazenness of this move is almost too much to stomach," complains liberal blogger David Sirota.


In the face of continuously poor ratings, liberal fans of MSNBC host Keith Olbermann are teaming up to support their hero.

The liberal group MoveOn.org got in on the act earlier this year as it urged its membership to watch Olbermann's "Countdown" program in celebration of its third anniversary at the end of March.

The effort didn't seem to help much as a look at the ratings data indicates.

Much more at Olbermann Watch.


Matt Drudge reports that Air America Radio has been failing in New York of all places. Also, "Crashing the Gate," the book made by the creator of the liberal Daily Kos ("the most read blog on the internet," as he states), has only sold 2,062 copies in book stores.


When Ellen Ratner went a couple weeks without any major liberal loopiness, one wondered whether perhaps Jim Pinkerton was having a salubrious effect on her. But things got back to normal this morning when Ratner let Pinkerton goad her into boasting that she supports "open immigration."


An outraged liberal tried to connect a fictional neo-Nazi group, the "Grey Wolves," to a rally of the Minutemen United, an Ohio-based Christian group that planned to rally in Danbury, Conn.

The man, who calls himself both Rick Renage and Rick Regado, emailed a reporter for the Danbury News-Times that three busloads of Grey Wolves would show up wearing "black pants, black boots, red sox with black jackets and the swastika branded on the back." The purpose of his email was to tarnish the reputation of those rallying, and hopefully diminish their influence.


As has been noted here before, the surest way for a Republican to get himself invited onto a broadcast network news show and accorded respectful treatment is to be prepared to take shots at the Bush administration.


Is there something in the water at NBC/MSNBC? Laughing gas in the ventilation system, perhaps? Earlier today, I posted the photo below, showing Matt Lauer dissolving in laughter on this morning's Today show. It happened when Katie made her momentous announcement that she was leaving for CBS.