As promised, Bill O’Reilly has published his enemies list. All three of them. That’s right, out of the ever-expanding media universe, O’Reilly has identified just the New York Daily News, the St. Petersburg Times, and MSNBC as having “regularly helped distribute defamation and false information”. Perhaps sensing that his ballyhooed dishonor roll was a little light on enemies -- nowhere near the 205 Communists working in the State Department Joe McCarthy claimed to have on a list -- O’Reilly promised to “add more names to this list”. Let me give him a hand. Actually 20,000 hands -- belonging to the 10,000 people who have proudly signed on to HuffPost’s “Join the O’Reilly Blacklist” campaign.
President Bush was positively giddy during his Rose Garden appearance this morning. After spinning the upbeat economic numbers for the press, the president headed off, ignoring a shouted question about Iraq. And that's the bottom line for the White House: They might be able to spin the new economic numbers, but they can't spin the war -- including the news this morning that 10 Marines on foot patrol were killed by a roadside bomb near Fallujah. That's why now, more than ever, the Democrats need to make 2006 a referendum on the war. Fortunately, they already have a template for success: follow Jack Murtha.
This week’s hot topics included Bob Woodward, Duke Cunningham’s defense contractor ATM machine, that $10 million bat mitzvah, and President Bush’s new “Plan for Victory” -- which sounded an awful lot like his previous “Strategy for Victory”, with a twist: no more calling the insurgents “insurgents”! Don’t miss Marty Kaplan, Jesse Kornbluth, Paul Rieckhoff, Stephen Elliot, Stephen Schlesinger, and Bob Burnett on Bush’s speech; Trey Ellis, Patt Morrison, and Kaplan on Cunningham; and RJ Eskow and Anthony Lappe on the rockin’ bat mitzvah. Plus Danielle Crittenden’s latest Secret IM Session. And be sure and check out the best of the rest below in our Sunday Roundup.
Today's Meet the Press was a pretty dispiriting affair. And not just because it was, well, Meet the Press. The marquee guest was John McCain. Or, should I say, "John McCain." The guy who showed up looked like McCain, but didn't sound like McCain. What made the experience all that much stranger for me is that right after watching the show, I had breakfast with McCain's campaign finance reform partner, Senator Russ Feingold, whose fearless assessment of the reality in Iraq made it even clearer that the Straight Talk Express has gone seriously off the road. And the weirdest part was Russert's refusal to acknowledge any of it. The whole show had a surreal, subdued, almost underwater quality. You got the feeling that McCain knew the stuff coming out of his mouth -- "the president has done a good job" -- was absurd, and you kept waiting for Russert to ask: "But wait a minute, aren't you John McCain? What's happened to you?"
Forget the who, what, where, when, and why of Cunningham’s crimes, we all need to learn a lot more about MZM and ADCS, those Potomac alchemists who turned gifts to the Duke-Stir into golden defense contracts. Cunningham’s bounty may be the sizzle, but these as yet-unindicted firms are the steak… READ MORE
Secret Memo Reveals Hillary’s Red State Strategy for ‘08 Hillary Clinton’s attempt to rebrand herself as a Red State friendly Democrat continues with her decision to co-sponsor a flag-burning bill. And, according to a top secret strategy memo leaked to the Huffington Post, this is only the beginning. Here are the top ideas discussed by the “HRC Red State Street Cred Team”… READ MORE
Hillary's attempt to rebrand herself as a Red State-friendly Democrat continued with her decision to co-sponsor a flag-burning bill. But according to a top secret memo leaked to us by a senior (and wholly fictional) Clinton official, that was just the beginning.
The failure in Iraq has not just been the failure of the White House and of Congressional oversight. It has also been the failure of the entire foreign policy establishment -- which didn’t ask the hard questions that needed to be asked before the war, and which is now allowing the president to continue to wage his PR war without questions. Allowing the president to skip the traditional post-speech Q & A is a black mark on the Council of Foreign Relations and begs the question: If this isn’t the time to demand answers from the president, when will it be? READ MORE
After watching Bill Clinton’s jovial joint appearance with Bush 41 on Larry King Wednesday, I found myself wondering what planet this guy is living on. When asked about Iraq, he said “Every American ought to be pulling for this mission to succeed”, then backed up his argument by saying: “All you have to do is remember this terrible terrorist attack in Jordan that was launched from the Sunni section of Iraq to know that”. Huh? You lost me there, Bill. Are you suggesting that we need to fight them over there so they won’t blow up weddings in Jordan?
What’s a (theoretically) enlightened mother of two teenage daughters to make of a recent study showing that young women are “tearing down sexual taboos,” “are far less prudish”, and are “having sex at a younger age”? On the one hand, it’s clearly a good thing that, over the course of the five decades the study spanned, “feelings of sexual guilt plummeted, especially among young women”. I’m certainly all for guilt-free sex -- but not for kids. Especially mine! I mean, young girls are now, on average, starting to have intercourse at 15. 15! Oh. My. God.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (circa 2005): fingers being pointed, values being questioned, ugly epithets being displayed like ornaments on a tree. It's Ho, ho, hopeless. Don’t miss Bob Cesca, Eric Schmeltzer, Eric Boehlert, Nina Burleigh, and Larisa Alexandrovna taking on the war on Christmas. Then check out some of the best of the rest of this week’s posts in our roundup below. Plus, our “Eat the Press” watchdogs Harry Shearer and Michelle Pilecki taking a bite out of the media, Dalton Conley on a “Man’s Right to Choose”, Jonathan Tasini on why he’s running against Hillary, and Nora Ephron on Hillary and Condi.
Sharing the first segment of Meet the Press with Senator Lindsey Graham was Madeleine Albright. I actually like having guests with no power to do anything about the war in Iraq, or anything else for that matter. But if they are not going to use the freedom that comes with not being in power to say anything useful or original, why bother to book them? But it was in the second segment when the real unreality of the show hit you. This was the roundtable, which featured David Brooks, E.J. Dionne, and Mike Allen who had reported a piece on the inner workings of the Bush administration for this week's Time.
"Although [Miller] will not criticize Sulzberger," Auletta writes, "or discuss aspects of what happened, she does say, reluctantly, 'He was there solidly -- until he wasn't.'" The unanswered question is: at what point did Sulzberger change his mind about Miller and why?
I trust leaders of both parties were paying attention this morning. If they were, here's what each side should take away from the president's speech: The Democrats need to realize that Bush is so far gone on Iraq, he's not going to allow himself to be driven by what's good for the GOP. So they've got to stop waiting for Bush to do the political math, and start offering their full-throated support to Jack Murtha. And Republicans need to take a page from the Watergate years and send a delegation of party leaders -- pick those not currently under indictment -- up to the White House to tell the president that the jig is up.
Time magazine spent millions of dollars to protect a confidence. Matt Cooper had his bags packed and was ready to head off to jail to do the same. Viveca Novak broke the confidence for the price of a cocktail -- blurting it out to her buddy like a drunken sailor. And after all that, she is put on leave? Why not a big wet kiss and a hefty Christmas bonus to go along with it? For God's sake, what is it going to take before one of these Plamegate journalistic malefactors is handed a pink slip?
The Bush administration has a long and ignominious history of rhetorical intimidation, routinely equating dissent with a lack of patriotism and a lack of support for our troops. Now it appears it's moving on to actual intimidation.
President Bush wrapped up his telling of Lt. McGlothlin's story by explaining that in the fallen soldier's pocket was a poem that, as the president put it, "represented the spirit of this fine Marine. The poem was called 'Don't Quit.'" Then the topper: "In our fight to keep America free, we'll never quit." And just like that, the sacrifice of this courageous young American had been co-opted in the service of a disastrous war. Reduced to a zippy one-liner, a heart-rending punchline, a camera-ready sound bite used to equate for the nation a wise change of course with cowardly quitting.
As the holidays approach (just eight more shopping days until Christmas!), and more and more of our time and attention are absorbed by things other than politics, we’ve decided that this is the perfect time to introduce a new HuffPo feature we’re calling “Politics Aside”. This is where our bloggers will weigh in on the rest of their lives and interests. Books, movies, food, money, religion, sex, relationships, health, sports, music, travel, and much more. And you can find them gathered together by running your cursor over the Features heading on our top-of-the-page navigation bar and clicking on Politics Aside. As for me, when I put politics aside over the next few months, other than my kids I’m going to be focusing on the new book I’m writing for Little Brown, “On Becoming Fearless: Advice for Women”. And I would love it if you would be a part of the book…
It was a tough week for President Bush: Senate Dems blocked renewal of the Patriot Act, he had to give in on torture, and the buzz of high turnout in the Iraqi elections was killed by revelations about the White House's domestic spying -- aka "the president's program." It's hard to regain the approval of the American people when you are trashing their civil liberties. See what our bloggers had to say about these and other hot stories in our weekly Sunday Roundup below. And be sure to check out our new feature, Politics Aside, where we are gathering posts on books, movies, food, money, religion, sex, relationships, health, sports, music, travel, and more. p> WE DON'T WANNA KNOW: YOUR UNITED STATES SENATE p> HECK OF A JOB, VIVECA?
Imagine that: Viveca Novak provides Bush's Brain with a possible get-out-of-jail-free card and -- just weeks after she tells Fitzgerald things Rove's lawyer desperately wants the special prosecutor to hear -- Bush nominates her hubby to the Federal Election Commission. Now I'm not saying that one is payback for the other. But it sure is convenient. It may not be a case of quid pro quo but, if you were to make a list of things that would begin to repair the damage done to the credibility of the media, this sure wouldn't be among them. This appointment is the nonverbal equivalent of "Heck of a job, Vivie." And it cries out for further investigation.
What were Sulzberger and company thinking? There Pinch was, prancing around for the last year under the illusion that his defense of Judy Miller was going to be his reputation-making Pentagon Papers moment, while doing the exact opposite of what his father did with the Pentagon Papers by sitting on the bombshell NSA spying story for a year. Now, instead of crusading journalists, Sulzberger and his editors look like a bunch of schmucks -- or, worse, a bunch of toadies doing the White House's bidding.
I just listened to Mayor Bloomberg on CNN International discussing the New York transit strike. "We live in a country of laws," he said, "where there can be severe consequences for those who break them." Here is my question for the mayor: is it just the mass transit workers who live in a country of laws, or does the president of the United States reside there as well?