The news that the National Rifle Association has chosen Oliver North as the organization’s next president left NBC “baffled” on Tuesday. Both the Today show and CBS This Morning focused heavily on the “controversial” figure’s connections to the Iran-Contra scandal from 30 years ago.
CBS Face The Nation host Bob Schieffer granted The Hollywood Reporter an interview to mark the 60th anniversary of that program. Asked about retiring, Schieffer said at 77, he doesn’t think about it: “My wife keeps an eye on me. She says, ‘When you start drooling, then it will be time to go.’”
But Schieffer has clearly forgotten the content of his program-length attack on conservative Oliver North 20 years ago, when he was the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate from Virginia. He suggested North was not a “professional” in his taking umbrage at the barrage:
It has been eight days since Marine Corps Commandant and Joint Chiefs of Staff member General James Amos spoke out against the current lack-of-leadership climate in Washington.
Specifically, in a question-and-answer session at the Brookings Institution on July 15 (PDF transcript here), Amos noted how badly the situation in Iraq has deteriorated since U.S. troops' departure in 2010, and questioned whether it would have happened if there had been "the right leadership, the right mentoring, the right government and courage" in place. This was a de facto callout of the Obama administration for failing to consolidate and secure the victory achieved in 2008. If this kind of criticism occurred during a Republican or conservative administration, it would be front-page news. Instead, a Google News search on "Amos Iraq" (not in quotes) returns roughly 10 relevant items, and the Associated Press has nothing relevant. The video and a transcript of Megyn Kelly's related interview of Oliver North Monday evening follow the jump.
Once again, as it did a month ago in two separate stories, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, left the name of Lois Lerner, the former IRS official who ran its section on tax-exempt organizations, out of its headline and opening paragraph. This time, for good measure, AP reporter Stephen Ohlemacher didn't reveal Lerner's name until Paragraph 3.
Before getting to Ohlemacher's journalistic malpractice, let's take a look at the how the Politico handled the same story of Congress holding Ms. Lerner in contempt yesterday, and at one example of how the AP itself covered the story of another controversial figure's anticipated congressional appearance in the 1980s.
On Friday, NewsBusters editor-at-large Brent Baker noted that the Freedom Alliance was strongly refuting allegations by blogger and radio host Debbie Schlussel that the veterans charity organization founded by Oliver North and actively promoted by radio host Sean Hannity was a "huge scam."
Upon an "exhaustive investigation," Tim Mak of FrumForum.com concluded in a March 19 post that there is "enough evidence to substantially rebut each of Schlussel’s claims."
You can find that piece here.
What's more, nearly an hour and a half before Mak provided readers with his analysis, veteran conservative journalist and American Spectator editor R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., personally penned a retraction to an earlier Spectator blog post entitled "Hannity's Big Rip-Off," in which writer John Tabin linked to Schlussel's incendiary allegations and concluded that "Hannity has a lot of explaining to do":
He also seized upon the opportunity to chide Fox News in the context of Oliver North, who was involved in the Iran-Contra scandal and currently works for the network. “North was convicted of criminal charges, but the conviction was vacated on appeal. Wonder what he’s doing now. Hmmm…” said Shuster.
When Bob Herbert, a columnist for the New York Times since 1993, recently charged in his column that the Republican Party deliberately targets black Democrats using ads featuring attractive white women to exploit racial resentment, and claimed as proof that the GOP does not run such ads against opponents who are white, the liberal columnist could have disproved this thesis by consulting a 1994 article in the paper he writes for regarding that year's Virginia Senate race involving former Senator Charles Robb, a white Democrat. The New York Times article, titled "THE 1994 CAMPAIGN: THE AD CAMPAIGN; The Senate Race in Virginia: Robb and North Trade Barbs," from October 15, 1994, describes an ad run by Republican Oliver North's campaign depicting the Playboy cover image of Tai Collins, a young blonde with whom Democrat Robb was romantically linked. (Transcript follows)
On a lazy December 30th Sunday afternoon, I flipped on the television, on which the previous evening I had left the History Channel (they were then doing a military analysis of the Bible, which was at once interesting and uninfuriating).
This time the tubes warmed to display a replay of Clear and Present Danger, the film based upon the Tom Clancy novel. Co-hosting the rerun were the Channel's in-house liberal historian, Steve Gillon, and guest liberal political commentator Neal Gabler (though of course neither was identified in any sort of ideological way).