As wildfires rage throughout Southern California, media have predictably begun to blame this awful natural disaster on President George W. Bush much as they did almost exactly two years ago when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.

On Tuesday evening, MSNBC's Dan Abrams set up an interview with California Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Cal.) thusly:

But the fire storms in California`s raising tough questions about what the National Guard is extended too much to handle emergencies at home. Back in May, before the fire started, "The San Francisco Chronicle" reported that the California National Guard was down a billion dollars worth of equipment. Two hundred and nine vehicles in Iraq, including 110 humvees and 63 military trucks. According to report the California guard should have had 39 diesel generators on hand. They say it had none. The Kansas governor raised similar concerns earlier this year when she said the deployment of National Guard troops to Iraq hurt the emergency response to a deadly tornado in her state. The question -- is this another unanticipated cost of a prolonged and expensive war effort?

On Wednesday morning, CNN's John Roberts asked a similar question of FEMA Administrator David Paulison:



To commemorate the Media Research Center’s 20th anniversary this month, we’ve just published a special expanded edition of our ‘Notable Quotables’ newsletter with more than 100 of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes we’ve uncovered over the past 20 years. Earlier this week, I presented quotes showing the media’s sympathy towards totalitarian communism and hostility towards Ronald Reagan and other conservatives.

Today’s installment: The media’s love affair with Bill and Hillary Clinton. For 15 years, liberal reporters have made themselves looked like the sycophants they are, as they made excuse after excuse for the Clintons’ moral failings even as they applauded the couple’s supposed greatness. But perhaps no one looked sillier than Dan Rather on May 15, 2001, when the then-CBS News anchor was asked on Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor if he thought Bill Clinton was honest.

Video (0:41): Windows (1.26 MB), plus MP3 audio (163 kB).



As Valerie Plame does the interview rounds – CBS, NBC, CNN, NPR – someone might miss the far-left, Bush-hating blog interviews. On Firedoglake, the most notable pro-Plame blog, Plame did a typewritten chat with her leftist admirers on Monday.



As NewsBusters reported Friday, Rep. Pete Stark (D-Cal.) made some rather disgusting comments on the floor of the House last week about kids being sent "to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president`s amusement."

On Tuesday, Stark took to the floor once again, this time remarkably to apologize for his previous statement.

As the broadcast networks almost completely ignored Stark's comments Thursday - not one of the evening news programs bothered to report it all - one wonders whether the Congressman's statement today will get any more attention.

After all, what left-thinking media outlet is going to want to report a Democrat Congressman actually apologizing to a Republican President this way (video available here, h/t Hot Air):



To commemorate the Media Research Center’s 20th anniversary this month, we’ve just published a special expanded edition of our ‘Notable Quotables’ newsletter with more than 100 of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes we’ve uncovered over the past 20 years.

Yesterday, I wrote about the liberal media’s softness when it came to totalitarian communism. Today’s installment: The liberal media vs. Ronald Reagan and the GOP. TV reporters regularly condemned Reagan for his supposedly ruinous conservative policies, but it’s still astonishing to hear then-ABC reporter Richard Threlkeld castigate the Gipper on his last day as President, January 20, 1989.

Video (0:52): Windows (1.47 MB), plus MP3 audio (232 kB).


Al Gore: He Speaks for Us All

It would be quite the understatement to say that members of the media approved of Al Gore's Nobel Prize win. Sam Donaldson lauded Gore for doing something "very important." Cokie Roberts justified the former vice president's inaccuracies by claiming that even if it was propaganda, Gore made an important issue popular. Over on CNN, reporter Miles O'Brien, once again, declared that the debate over the subject is over.

The Great 'Prophet' Spoke From on High

Speaking of CNN, Margaret Carlson, a former panelist for the cable network, declared Gore's victory to be a "wonderful thing." The former Deputy Washington Bureau Chief for Time magazine also complimented the former VP for doing "a great thing" and referred to him as a "prophet." Just how do these journalists maintain such professional objectivity?



On last night’s episode of Kid Nation, each of the four districts had to chronologically assemble photographs of seven U.S. Presidents.



Get ready to learn everything you ever wanted to know about the Valerie Plame Wilson affair, for she is going to be interviewed by CBS's Katie Couric this Sunday on "60 Minutes."

And you can bet your bottom dollar the former CIA agent is going to be grilled like a terror suspect at Guantanamo Bay.

Or, maybe not.

As reported at CBSNews.com moments ago:



Ignoring the Donkey in the Room

Appearing on Wednesday's "Good Morning America," media critic Howard Kurtz and co-host Chris Cuomo marveled at the media's ability to turn Americans against the war in Iraq. Kurtz, who has a new book on the subject, claimed that the top three network anchors kept "framing the story in such a way" that the bad news finally had an impact. While Cuomo and Kurtz discussed the declining ratings of the network newscasts, somehow, media bias never came up as a reason. Over on FNC's "O'Reilly Factor," however, anchor Bill O'Reilly did broach the subject with Kurtz. Asked to name a conservative at either CBS or NBC, the media critic came up with the name of that well known right-winger, Brian Williams.

Which of You is the Least Bad?

Who would be the best candidate to help conservative Republican primary voters pick their nominee? That answer is, of course, obvious: Chris Matthews. The liberal anchor presided over a Republican debate this week and asked such insightful questions as whether the U.S. would "have gone to war in Iraq if we weren't so dependent on Middle East oil?" Chris, why not just chant, "No blood for oil"?



New York Times media reporter Jacques Steinberg picked up criticism of CBS reporter Rita Braver’s Sunday Morning interview on October 7 with vice presidential wife Lynne Cheney and her continuous conflict of interest with super-lawyer husband Bob Barnett in Thursday’s newspaper. But Steinberg allowed Braver to suggest something untrue: that she’s "stayed away" from Clinton interviews after her husband’s legal work for the Clintons in the White House years:

From September 1993 to August 1997, for example, Ms. Braver covered the Clinton White House; Mr. Barnett recused himself from any legal work related to the Clintons. Since then, Ms. Braver said yesterday, she had "sort of stayed away from the Clintons" in her coverage.

In fact, Rita Braver interviewed Hillary Clinton on November 30, 2003, a few months after her Barnett-negotiated memoir hit the bookstores. Here’s where the Steinberg story gets interesting:



Great Job, Boss!

ABC anchor, and former Clinton employee, George Stephanopoulos interviewed his old boss on ABC’s "This Week." Stephanopoulos sycophantically highlighted a story in The Atlantic about the ex-President's  philanthropy. Stephanopoulos quoted the author, "'History may remember Bill Clinton as the philanthropist who happened to be President" and then asked if Clinton was "okay" with that description.

He Hates Puppies

Why did President Bush veto a federal health insurance bill "for children?" Well, ABC painted the President as uncaring and not concerned about the poor, rather than mention the program actually covers more than just the destitute.



In case you missed it, the last episode of a CBS crime show, called "Cold Case," depicted Christian teens in an abstinence club as sexually active hypocrites that actually go to the extremes of stoning a member to death to keep their activities a secret. Quite extreme compared to reality. When is the last time you heard of a Christian abstinence club stoning someone to death?