Tarheeltalker

Squirming Liberals

You have on some level got to love the Juan Williams fiasco. Any situation that makes FOX look more even-handed than NPR just pleases me  no end. Basic business school ethics should tell you not to fire someone over the phone, especially someone who has  a media  platform where they can discuss it. Saw  a brief clip on CNN this morning and even they not even defend the firing much less the way in which it was handled.

Now, after a few days one might expect a mea culpa or two from NPR chief Vivian Schiller. And, lo and behold there was one. But that communication did not go to Mr Williams. Instead she sent an apology to NPR staffers and sent a letter to NPR stations. Cannot imagine why she apologized to them unless it was  to say sorry for no advance notice or for not firing Williams sooner. By the way, Williams said he had not been contacted by NPR while Ms Schiller said she had tried to do just that. Allow me to help her out  a bit. He is full-time at FOX now with a bit larger paycheck and no one telling him to hide his employer’s name when is on camera.

I suppose one could make the case that he is an individual for whom hope and change($) has worked out just fine.

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October 25, 2010 Posted by | Media, Politics | , , , , | 1 Comment

A Big Mess at the Agriculture Department

The Department of Agriculture and its head, Tom Vilsack  are not really a high-profile combo. But they are sure in the news these days. Kinda reminds me of an oft-repeated comment about baseball umpires. They are doing a good job when they are not noticed. But alas, for Mr Vilsack  that will no longer be possible. Whether he even retains his job is probably open to question. Would that not be  ironic if Ms Shirley Sherrod whom he fired and  has since tried to rehire retained her job and he didn’t?

A couple of things have intrigued beyond the actual firing/re–hiring. One is the fact that the White House said it was on board with the action and then after the media firestorm began to build, the President disavowed any connection to the firing. Could not resist that disavow. Mission Impossible was always one of favorite shows.

Ok, number two was a media type David Rodham Gergen, comparing Ms Sherrod to Nelson Mandela who by the way spent 27 years in a South African prison, led the country for  a time and would have to be considered an internationally known figure. Quite  a stretch, even for the liberal media.

Finally, a comment from Ms Sherrod, but not what you might think. Her epiphany she said came when she realized that it was not black vs white but rather rich vs poor. There are many comments that one could make. Rush called  it the idea of Obamunism which isn’t bad. I remain  convinced that it does not have to be  a situation of one side vs another. But when one of Ms Sherrod’s  latest media comments ( and she is all over the media now) is that she will not appear on Fox News since they are both biased and racist . Gotta wonder  on what basis she formed her opinion, do you not?

July 22, 2010 Posted by | Media, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Into the Lions,”er” Foxes Den

The President made quite  an interesting choice of venues yesterday. In the midst of heavy-duty intrigue and maneuvering on Capitol  Hill regarding health care, he appeared on Fox News. A gutsy move, I would have to say, being interviewed by probably his least favorite media outlet, other than probably Rush or Glenn Beck. The host was Bret Baier and the interview was quite interesting,

There was some give and take that seemed a bit testy, almost reminiscent of Dan Rather’s questioning of Nixon many years ago.  A number of media outlets used the term contentious, some  called it challenging or combative. I wonder about the timing unless the idea was to reach  a large audience and  gamble that the President would get his message out on  his terms. Not sure that he accomplished that.

For one, he made another, shall we say, misstatement, akin to the 3,000% decrease in health insurance premiums statement , made in Ohio a day or so ago.(Press Secretary Gibbs called it a misstatement, saying the President meant $3,000, which HHS Secretary Sebelius also used,I doubt that figure also) Baier asked about some of the “deals” that were made to entice wavering Senators to vote yes. One was to Senator Landrieu and had become known as the Louisiana Purchase. In responding, Obama referenced Katrina and all the difficulties that ensued for Louisiana. Then inexplicably, he compared it to the earthquake that affected  Hawaii. Unbelievable, partly because he lived there . Fortunately, Hawaii has not been impacted by an earthquake in many years. A minor pont, sure, but it replicated his earlier error in Ohio and did not help his case.

One other thing from the interview that bugged me a bit. Baier referenced some 18,000 e-mails that he had received and began to read from one of them. The President quickly responded that he receives some 40,000 emails and letters  daily. Sounded like he was playing a  numbers game. ” I get more mail than you,” ha! Not a presidential statement. How about one more. “Whatever they end up voting on…it is going to be  a vote for or against my health care proposal.”  That sums it up rather well, don’t you think?

March 18, 2010 Posted by | Media, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Congressman Alan Grayson

There are some members of Congress whose names are familiar to most people. Those would include Pelosi, Murtha, Conyers,Boehner, Kasich, Pence, William( the refrigerator) Jefferson, Jesse Jackson, Maxine Waters, Sheila  Jackson-Lee, to name a few. Some are known because of the position they hold or their  tenure or even their propensity to say nonsensical things. My representative is G K Butterfield, D, NC. As far as I know  Rep Butterfield is not widely known and does not fit into any of the preceding categories.

But, we also have another category.It seems to be occupied by only one person and that person is  Florida Democrat Alan Grayson. He is a first termer  who narrowly won election, 52%-48%. Why, one might ask is Florida’s  historically  Republican 8th district congressman well-known? Perhaps it is because he is trying very hard to live up or down to a title just bestowed on him, “The Biggest Jerk in Congress.”  Human Events  writer  Ross Kaminsky has so anointed  the congressman in an article  from February 3. I don’t know about the title. I was kinda leaning towards Al Franken, myself.

Kaminsky makes some pretty good points though. Grayson shares a profession with John Edwards and ranks as the 12th richest member of Congress and #7 in the House of Representatives. But, alas his wealth has bought him no immunity from foot-in-mouth disease or his  I never saw a Republican I did not want to attack affliction.

He has a particular disdain for Dick Cheney, likening him to a vampire and wondering if Satan did the intro for his  new book. He called Rush a” has-been hypocrite loser.” So many untrue metaphors in one sentence.  Maybe my favorite is this one since it includes me.  Fox News and the Republicans who collaborate with them are the “enemy” of America. Really. I had no idea.

At last count, there were 8 Republicans lines up to challenge Grayson this fall, I certainly hope the good people of Orlando and vicinity can find one to their liking, please.

February 6, 2010 Posted by | Media, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

CAIR’S “FOXY” Behavior

Lot of stuff going on at Fox News these days and not just the hiring of Sarah Palin as a  commentator, although that should be interesting.The real thing  that  interests me is the emergence of  CAIR spokesmen on the network. For the uninitiated, it is the Council for American Islamic Relations. Betcha there is no counterpart to it  in your favorite Middle Eastern country.

Anyway, one of the CAIR spokesmen was on Bill O’Reilly the other day, his second appearance in  a month. Ibrahim Hooper was discussing  profiling of Muslims following the recent Christmas Day bombing attempt. Prior to his appearance, CAIR’s top guy Nihad  Awad,  among others,  had appeared on FOX to refute any the notion that the Fort Hood shooter had any Islamic ties. Oh, almost forgot. After  Hooper’s latest appearance O’Reilly called him a ” stand-up guy.”  Somehow, he failed to make mention of the organization’s terror connections. Our government has it as an un-indicted terrorist  co-conspirator  as well as investigating it through the FBI.

(CAIR could be called many things but I suppose  a connection to FOX would have not been one of them. The Administration itself  barely considers them a news organization, much less a fair and balanced one. But that may charge.)

So, is there any reason, logical or otherwise, as to why these guys should get deferential treatment from the FOX guys? Could be. As Rush is wont to say, one should always follow the money. For our purposes, the money comes from a Saudi Arabian source and goes to both  CAIR and to FOX. The financial guy is a Saudi prince named al-Walid bin Talal, who at present owns a 5.5% voting share in the FOX parent company News Corp, run by media mogul Rupert Murdoch. That fact is no secret, as it is readily admitted by News Corp. But, our friend bin-Talal also helps bankroll CAIR as do other Saudis, a fact that is blatantly denied by their leadership, but has been confirmed  through State Department and other sources.

So CAIR, who is not a legitimate source for Islamic interests continues to portray itself as  such’ when in reality it is much closer to those who advocate violent behavior. Seems that with FOX, they are getting their own bully pulpit to influence American public opinion in  a manner not consistent with the usual perception  of  FOX as one who tilts to the right. Maybe Palin can look into this. Or better yet, what about it Mr Beck? Is there a story here?

January 12, 2010 Posted by | International politics, Media | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

And The Beat Goes On

So said Sonny and Cher way back in their 1967 song. Doubtless it did not refer to the ongoing battle, skirmish, tete-a-tete between the Obama Administration and those dastardly villains at Fox News. You know, the channel the administration loves to hate, doesn’t want to visit and probably wishes would just go away. Funny how Nixonian all this sounds. At least they are out in the open about their enemies list. Gotta get style points for that.

I made the mistake of watching part of a CNN roundtable program yesterday. The only panel members I knew were Bill Bennet and Donna Brazile. Bennett was his usual calm, reasoned self. Now, Ms Brazile, while outwardly calm, relied on words such as lies and smears etc when describing Fox’s “news coverage”.

Brief timeout, just  2 weeks ago, White House  guru David Axelrod and Fox news boss Roger Ailes met in New York for a chat. Talked about the weather no doubt. Shortly after that, Anita Dunn went on offense. Rather confusing is it not?

But then yesterday, Axelrod reversed his field and described Fox as  not really a news organization and  that further, their programming was “geared to make money.” Now that is a shocker. Who knows, maybe he and Ailes did just talk about the weather.

Gotta know that this jousting will continue.

October 19, 2009 Posted by | Media, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The White House vs. The Fox

It seems that the battle has ben joined, so to speak. On one side, we have the Fox News Channel and on the other, the Obama White House. There is an interesting cast of characters as well as several interesting observers.

Ms Dunn is the point person for the White House and went on rival CNN on Sunday to launch a few broadsides. She told CNN’S  Howard Kurtz that ” let’s not pretend that Fox is a  News Network the way CNN  is.” That’s  a good line to start the assault. But there was more. She said that the way we( presumably the Administration) view Fox is  as  a wing of the Republican Party . What was almost hysterically funny is  a  promo that ran during her interview. It was  publicizing Anderson Cooper 360 and here is what it said. A woman’s voice says , “I’m a lifelong Democrat and that’s why I watch Anderson Cooper.” The promo continued that Cooper is  a person that can be counted on to hold “right-wing” conservatives accountable. Interesting slant on objectivity, is it not?

Ms Dunn serves officially as White House Communications Director and unofficially as the head of the Call ‘Em Out Patrol, aiming to counter what the White House considers wrong or erroneous reporting.

Outside observers from both political persuasions say that the battle the White House has enjoined is  not necessarily a wise one. David Gergen, who worked in the Clinton Administration said it is a risky strategy and  can easily backfire. Tony Blankley, a former press secretary for Newt Gingrich, agreed, saying that it was his experience that going after a new organization is always a losing proposition. A non partisan  observer from  Politico, Nia Malika Henderson  opined that the administration’s approach would tend to only benefit Fox.

Even the president himself  engages in the battle. On September 20, he appeared on five new shows, declining to appear on Fox’s Chris Wallace show. On Sunday, Dunn admitted tat it was  a sort of payback. Just last week, Press Secretary Gibbs said Obama would not be on Fox until some time in 2010. Just a few months ago the President told CNBC’S John Harwood that there was one television station entirely devoted to attacking the administration. Bet  it wasn’t  ESPN to which he was referring.

This all brings to mind a couple of things. One is a  quote by Bill Clinton, “Never pick  a fight with people who by ink by the barrel.” And what    Republican president had a paranoia with the press? Does the name Richard Nixon sound familiar? He would recognize the Obama approach and probably advise  even stronger tactics.

One word to Anita Dunn and her folks, check out the ratings for any Fox News show-O’Reilly, Beck, etc and compare to Cooper, Olbermann, etc. The results may be worth your review.

October 13, 2009 Posted by | Media, Reading | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments