Tuesday, 16 October 2007

GUEST COMMENTARY: RUDY GIULIANI ON HILLARY CLINTON'S 'EXPERIENCE'

Ken Berwitz

Tonight, Hannity & Colmes (9PM Eastern time, Fox News Channel) will air an interview with Rudy Giuliani.  Here is an excerpt in which Mr. Giuliani talks about Hillary Clinton's "experience".  See if you can find even one word that you could dispute:.

R. GIULIANI: "Honestly, in most respects, I don't know Hillary's experience. She's never run a city, she's never run a state. She's never run a business. She has never met a payroll. She has never been responsible for the safety and security of millions of people, much less even hundreds of people.

"So I'm trying to figure out where the experience is here. It would seem to me that in a time of difficult problems and war we don't want on the job training for an executive. The reality is that these areas in which - maybe there are some areas in which she has experience but the areas of having the responsibility of the safety and security of millions of people on your shoulders is not something Hillary has ever had any experience with."
.

It should be fun hearing Ms. Clinton's answer to this.  If she can come up with one.

steve schneider the answer will be that mrs. clinton will continue running a positive campaign and we are not surprised by the negative campaigning by the republicans.mrs. clinton wants to concentrate on the problems that are facing the american people. her campaign will then proceed to smear anyone that gets in her way. steve (10/17/07)


RANDI RHODES UPDATE

Ken Berwitz

Earlier today I blogged  about Randi Rhodes, the leftward talk show host of Air America, being brutally mugged while walking her dog in Manhattan.  I wished her a speedy recovery and hoped that whoever did it to her was caught and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

I also villified the people who were using Rhodes' mugging as a vehicle for attacking the "right wing"

Well, now I have to backtrack.  A lot.

Here is the latest on this "attack", from the New York Daily News (bold print is mine):.

Air America host Randi Rhodes wasn't mugged

 There's no truth to the rumors that Air America host Randi Rhodes (above) was mugged near 39th St. and Park Ave. Sunday night. She is scheduled to return to the air on Thursday.

Air America radio host Randi Rhodes is temporarily off the air, but claims she was brutally attacked near her Manhattan apartment are bogus, her lawyer and a police source said today.

Fellow host Jon Elliott claimed on the liberal radio network that Rhodes had been mugged while walking her dog, Simon, on Sunday night. Elliot, who said Rhodes lost several teeth in the attack, waxed about a possible conspiracy.

"Is this an attempt by the right-wing, hate machine to silence one of our own?" he asked on the air, according to Talking Radio, a blog. "Are we threatening them? Are they afraid that were winning? Are they trying to silence intimidate us?"

A police source said Rhodes never filed a report and never claimed to be the victim of a mugging. Cops from Manhattan's 17th Precinct called her attorney, who told them Rhodes was not a victim of a crime, the source said.

Rhodes' lawyer told the Daily News she was injured in a fall while walking her dog. He said she's not sure what happened, and only knows that she fell down and is in a lot of pain. The lawyer said Rhodes expects to be back on the air Thursday. He stressed there is no indication she was targeted or that she was the victim of a "hate crime."

Rhodes started with the Air America when it launched in 2004. Her show airs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.

The network released a statement that said Rhodes "experienced an unfortunate incident."

"The reports of a presumed hate crime are unfounded," the statement read by a receptionist at the network's New York offices said. "Ms. Rhodes is looking forward to being back on the air on Thursday." .

Now this is, to say the least, different from the earlier reports. 

And, yes, it makes Jon Elliott look like a paranoid nutcake, which I suspect is wholly accurate.

So I apologize to readers for believing the initial report that Randi Rhodes was the victim of a mugging.  It apparently was nothing more than a BS fantasy of the leftwing website I made the mistake of taking at its word.

And Jon Elliott?  Think of him as a natural spokesperson for LAMB Central -- and an excellent choice for a venue like Air America. 

(For them's who don't know, a LAMB is a member of the Lunatic-left And Mega-moonbat Brigade).


THE RANDI RHODES MUGGING

Ken Berwitz

Randi Rhodes is a talk show host on Air America.  On Sunday night, while walking her dog in Manhattan, she was mugged and hurt badly, as you can see by the account below:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Randi Rhodes is the Victim of a Violent Attack

Randi Rhodes was mugged on Sunday night on 39th Street and Park Ave, nearby her Manhattan apartment, while she was walking her dog Simon.

According to
Air America Radio late night host Jon Elliott, Rhodes was beaten up pretty badly, losing several teeth and will probably be off the air for at least the rest of the week. At of late Monday night we have not able to locate any press accounts of the attack and nothing has been posted on the AAR website.


Several liberal blogs, including the Randi Rhodes Message Board and Democratic Underground have logged numerous posts on the Rhodes mugging with most of the posters expressing concern about the condition of the popular lib talker.

Morning talk host, Lionel filled in for Rhodes on Monday, but did not say anything about why she wasnt on hand to do her show. The Randi Rhodes board reports that
Sam Seder, who does a Sunday afternoon show for AAR, will be filling on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Elliott was extremely agitated when he reported on the incident. He opened his show by saying "it is with sadness that tonight I inform you that my Air America colleague Randi Rhodes was assaulted last night while walking her dog near her New York City home."

Pointing out that Rhodes was wearing a jogging suit and displayed no purse or jewelry, Elliott speculated that "this does not appear to me to be a standard grab the money and run mugging."

"Is this an attempt by the right wing hate machine to silence one of our own," he asked. "Are we threatening them. Are they afraid that we're winning. Are they trying to silence intimidate us."

Some of blog posters also expressed concerns that the attack on Rhodes was hate crime. Other posters warned that we need more facts before any judgements are made.

According to Elliott, Rhodes was resting in her New York City apartment and was not hospitalized.

Attacks on liberal talk radio stations and their hosts are not a new thing. About a month ago
a gunman fired a shot through a window at the studios of KPFT, Houstons, Pacifica station narrowly missing a DJ who was hosting music show at the time. There is currently a $10,000 reward offered to anyone who identifies the shooter.

This is not the first politically motivated attack on KPFT. More than 35 years ago, the Ku Klux Klan blew up the station's transmitters twice within the Houston station's first year on the air.

Also, according
to a blogger on Democratic Underground, Thom Hartmann said on his Friday show that his auto repairman, after replacing his windshield, pointed out to him that he had three bullet holes in his car.

Apparently, some right-wing critics of lib talk arent happy that conservative talk only accounts for 90% of the programming on talk radio. These whack jobs appear determined to whatever it takes to silence the opposing point of view.

Not surprisingly, the only talk radio host killed for his political views was a liberal. In 1984, two right wing extremists gunned down Denver talk show host Alan Berg. Bergs tragic murder was memorialized in a chilling movie
Talk Radio .

Let's start with the hope that Ms. Rhodes recovers as fully as possible (it can't be 100% if she's lost teeth).  Let's hope that the person or persons who mugged her are caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Let's also hope that not everyone immediately politicizes the mugging, as is done in the article I have shown you above (which came from an unnamed writer on an apparently liberal/left site called www.talkingradio.blogspot.com

Any regular reader of www.hopelesslypartisan.com probably knows that I don't like Randi Rhodes.  She is not a "liberal" talk show host, she is a far lefter whose comments make Imus look like a pussycat by comparison.  She was the one who suggested - in a humorous way, at least to her reckoning - that the president of the United States be shot to death.  In terms of her politics and what she says on the air, Randi Rhodes makes me sick to my stomach.

However, my disagreement with her positions has nothing whatsoever to do with my feelings about her physical safety.  I do NOT wish her ill, I certainly do not wish her physical harm, and I want whoever did this to her to be held to the fullest penalty our legal system provides.   

I wonder if the writer, who didn't have the courage to put his/her name to the above article, would feel the same if the victim was, say, Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity.

Randi Rhodes' mugging is not a political issue, at least not at this point.  If the mugger is found, we will then have a chance to know for sure what his/her/their motives were.  Until then, turning Rhodes' tragedy into a political hate-fest, based 100% on a combination of personal animosity and speculation, is odious.


NEWS REPORTAGE, A LA THE TODAY SHOW

Ken Berwitz

This morning, the Today show did a feature on Don Imus' impending return to the airwaves.

This is obviously a legitimate story, given the offensive, racist comment Imus made (calling the mostly-Black Rutgers University woman's basketball team "nappy-headed ho's") and well worth the time they gave it.  So far, so good.

But now, however, we get to what they reported -- or, more exactly, what they didn't report.  And then there is this little matter of the guest they chose to discuss Imus' return:

-Today reported that there was a very strong and very negative reaction to Imus' comments, which they supplemented with footage of protest marches. 

What they did not report, however, is that Imus had a 15 year history of making offensive comments like this without a thing happening to him.  And the reason this one comment turned into something more was that it was pushed hard by an entity called mediamatters.org (yes, one of my co-author Barry Sinrod's favorites).

Mediamatters.org is a hard-left activist website funded by the USA hating george soros and run by the conservative-who-eventually-realized-you-make-more-money-as-a-leftist, David Brock. 

With a pedigree like that, it is not surprising that a lot of the mainstream media in this country act like they're salivating at the corners of their collective mouths every time this site gives them directions as to what is and isn't newsworthy.

Mediamatters.org jumped all over Imus.  So mainstream media - which, again, never cared about his similarly racial comments over the years -  jumped all over Imus too, right on cue.  It is as simple, and as Pavlovian, as that. 

-Now we come to the one and only guest Today interviewed about the Imus incident.  No two sides here, just one guy. 

Using basic logic, you would think that if Today had one person on to discuss Imus, he/she would be prepared to present both sides. 

That probably would mean the guest would be a journalist.  It certainly could not be a partisan for one side of the issue, because that wouldn't be journalism at all, that would be explicit support for one side.  Complicity with that side.  Right?

So who is Today's one guest?  It is al sharpton:  a career racist and anti-semite whom media have spent years polishing and trying to sanitize for their viewers/readers. 

That's right, al sharpton.  The man who gave us the tawana brawley fraud, the Freddy's Fashion Mart torching, who called orthodox Jews "diamond merchants", who called Freddy Harari with his decades-long history in Harlem a "White interloper", who has avidly supported louis farrakhan, who proudly went to the funeral of khalid muhammad, a racist/anti-semite who made farrakhan look like a model of tolerance by comparison -- and, more recently, the guy whose voice was among the loudest demanding that Imus be taken off the air.

THAT was the one guest they brought on to discuss Imus. 

He was great, too.  What theater sharpton provides.  He assured Today show viewers that he believed in redemption and that Imus has every right to work, but that if Imus doesn't say the things sharpton approves of, he and his shadowy "group", the "National Action Council" could put the wood to advertisers and try to force them to back away. 

Now there's a great show of redemption.  If you don't become al sharpton's mouthpiece he will use the power and influence conferred upon him by an all too willing media, to bounce you off the air again.

So there you have it.  Information, Today Show style.  Geared to turning people into sheeple and keeping them that way.

Thanks, Matt.  Great going Meredith.  You're doing a bangup job.


"PHONY SOLDIERS"? HOW ABOUT A SOLDIER PHONY

Ken Berwitz

Yes, we've heard and seen countless stories about the thoroughly phony claim that Rush Limbaugh called all troops who don't agree with the war in Iraq "phony soldiers". 

But do you remember that soldier who was filing those horrible stories about US atrocities in Iraq for The New Republic?  Do you even remember that there WAS such an incident?

Well, let me refresh your memory:  Months ago The New Republic started publishing a series of damning eyewitness reports from the Iraq battlefield.  They were supposed to have come from a soldier named "Scott Thomas".  Trouble was, no one could find him.

Finally, it came out that the soldier's actual name was Scott Thomas Beauchamp.  And apparently just about everything he was reporting to The New Republic was either grossly exaggerated or nonexistent.   

Despite this, TNR stood by their reports, and promised to get to the bottom of what was true and what wasn't.

Now, I'll let the invaluable www.powerline.com take over and show you how this has played out after over two months:.

October 15, 2007
It's the coverup that kills you, part 2

Its been another week without word from the New Republic on the status of its "investigation" into the columns of TNR Baghdad Diarist Scott Thomas Beauchamp. "The editors" have not spoken on the matter since their August 10 update. At that time "the editors" spoke grandly of their "commitment to the truth" and their efforts to resolve the "legitimate concerns about journalistic accuracy" that had been raised by the critics of Beauchamp's TNR Baghdad Diarist columns. They also said they took those concerns "extremely seriously."

Nine weeks later, however, they have produced no new information and their promises seem empty. Indeed, TNR's August 10 statement and the silence that has followed become increasingly dishonest with each passing day. Then TNR said that the Army was "stonewalling" its investigation and that the Army had "rejected our requests to speak to Beauchamp." We now know that TNR editor Franklin Foer spoke with Scott Beauchamp on September 7. Of course, it wasn't TNR that reported this call, but rather blogger Bob Owens, who learned of the call from an Army spokesman.

Further, "the editors" responded to earlier reports that Beauchamp had recanted and no longer stood by his "Shock troops" column by saying, in TNR's carefully worded formulation, that "it is our understanding that Beauchamp continues to stand by his stories and insists that he has not recanted them." TNR did not deny the report, but neither was it conceding the fact.

Five weeks after speaking with Beauchamp "the editors" have not contradicted the report. And its accuracy has since been confirmed on the record by Beauchamp's commanding officer, Col. Ricky Gibbs. TNR has made no effort to challenge Gibbs's account either.

On August 10, after assuring their readers that they had "not thus far uncovered factual evidence (aside from one key detail) to discount his personal dispatches" (notwithstanding the fact that the mistaken "key detail" made nonsense of Beauchamp's "Shock troops" column), the editors asked the Army to allow them, "or any other media outlet, for that matter," to speak with Beauchamp. This statement is particularly galling in retrospect, as we now know that it is TNR -- not the Army -- that has gagged Beauchamp. On September 7 "the editors" asked their author to cancel interviews he had scheduled with the Washington Post and Newsweek. Given their "commitment to the truth," one wonders why they would make such a request. But do they deny that they did?

TNR editor Franklin Foer and executive editor Peter Scoblic seem to think that they can keep up this charade indefinitely, but it is only the indifference of the MSM that has let them get away with it for this long. "The editors" closed their August 10 update by saying that they refused to rush to judgment on our writer or ourselves -- virtually the only honest statement weve ever gotten from TNR on this matter. But it should not be the last. At some point theyll have to say something on the subject, only then the questions wont be about Beauchamp. They will be about "the editors."

UPDATE: Bob Owens comments here, John Podhoretz here..

Charles Johnson of www.littlegreenfootballs.com makes a terrific point about media's non-interest in this scandal:.

Contrast (media attention to this) with the MSM frenzy over a distorted quote from Rush Limbaugh; here we have a case where false, disgusting stories about soldiers in Iraq by a proven liar were disseminated by a so-called reputable source, and the New York Times, Washington Post, and every other mainstream outlet just blinks and moves on..

Does Johnson ever get THAT right!

If you want an example of  blatant media bias - media bias that attempts to manipulate you - this is a classic.  And don't ever forget that there's plenty more where that came from, most of which you're not going to read about in this blog. 

Be skeptical.  Be very skeptical.


DCC CONDEMNATION OF RUSH LIMBAUGH: UPDATE

Ken Berwitz

Here is the latest update on the DCC (Democratic Clown College) letter condemning Rush Limbaugh, which was signed by 41 Democratic Senators, including the instigator, senate malaise leader harry reid.

As you probably know, Limbaugh put the original letter up for auction on E-bay, with all proceeds pledged for a fund to educate the children of fallen marines and law enforcement officers. 

With three days to go, the current high bid is $50,300.  Count on it ending up appreciably higher.

If Senate Democrats had even the slightest idea of how idiotic Limbaugh is making them look, they would be on TV and radio already, pledging to match the high bid dollar for dollar.  In that way they might - MIGHT - be able to make a few of the more gullible among us see them in a positive light regarding the condemnation letter. 

After all, they would both be laughing at themselves (self-deprecation is great when trying to get out from under a mistake this big) and contributing every bit as much to the organizations Limbaugh is benefitting (i.e. they'd be philanthropists too).

But, at least so far, not a peep out of them. 

This, folks, is political tone-deafness at its finest. 


HILLARYGATE?

Ken Berwitz

Will the Republican party successfully nail Hillary Clinton as someone who spied on her political opponents - much as Richard Nixon's "plumbers" did during the Watergate scandal?

Well, here is an article from www.thehill.com, detailing the allegations Republicans would use to do so.  Please note the source - two long time reporters from, of all places, The New York Times.  As usual, the bold print is mine:.

GOP targeting Clinton on phone-call snooping
October 16, 2007
Republicans plan to seize on an allegation from the 1992 presidential campaign to tarnish Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) on the red-hot issue of government surveillance.

Government surveillance will be at the forefront of the political debate this fall as congressional Democrats and President Bush square off over legislation allowing electronic spying on U.S. soil without a warrant.

Republicans are focusing on an allegation in a recent book by two Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters, which suggests Clinton listened to a secretly recorded conversation between political opponents.

In their book about Clintons rise to power, Her Way, Don Van Natta Jr., an investigative reporter at The New York Times, and Jeff Gerth, who spent 30 years as an investigative reporter at the paper, wrote: Hillarys defense activities ranged from the inspirational to the microscopic to the down and dirty. She received memos about the status of various press inquiries; she vetted senior campaign aides; and she listened to a secretly recorded audiotape of a phone conversation of Clinton critics plotting their next attack.

The tape contained discussions of another woman who might surface with allegations about an affair with Bill, Gerth and Van Natta wrote in reference to Clintons husband, former President Bill Clinton. Bills supporters monitored frequencies used by cell phones, and the tape was made during one of those monitoring sessions.

A GOP official said, Hillary Clintons campaign hypocrisy continues to know no bounds. It is rather unbelievable that Clinton would listen in to conversations being conducted by political opponents, but refuse to allow our intelligence agencies to listen in to conversations being conducted by terrorists as they plot and plan to kill us. Team Clinton can expect to see and hear this over and over again over the course of the next year.

Gerth told The Hill that he learned of the incident in 2006 when he interviewed a former campaign aide present at the tape playing. He has not revealed the aides identity. Clintons campaign has not disputed any facts reported in the final version of his book, which became public this spring, he said.

It hasnt been challenged, said Gerth. There hasnt been one fact in the book thats been challenged.

Clintons spokesman panned the book but declined to discuss the allegation that Clinton had reviewed secretly recorded calls. We dont comment on books that are utter and complete failures, said Clintons press secretary, Philippe Reines. 

Her Ways Amazon.com sales rank is 43,016.

 Several legal experts said it was illegal to intercept cell phone conversations in 1992.

Its been clear that since 1986 it was illegal to intercept an individual cell phone call, said Barry Steinhardt, the director of the technology and liberty program at the American Civil Liberties Union.

In 1986, Congress broadened wiretapping law to prohibit the interception of electronic communications, as well as the use or disclosure of intercepted electronic communications. Two court cases have since cited that action in ruling the interception of cell phone communications illegal: Bartnicki v. Vopper, 2001, and Company v. United States, 2003.

Clinton has made privacy an issue on the campaign trail. In July, she discussed her privacy bill of rights in a speech to the American Constitution Society. The proposed rights, ensconced in the Protect Act, include the right to sue when privacy rules have been violated; the right to protect phone records; and the right to freeze credit in the event of identity theft.

During the same speech, she addressed the controversy over government surveillance.

Every president should save those powers for limited, critical situations, said Clinton, according to a copy of the speech posted on her campaign website. And when it comes to a regular program of searching for information that touches the privacy of ordinary Americans, those programs need to be monitored and reviewed as set out by Congress in cooperation with the judiciary.

That is the essence of the compact we have with each other and with our government, and we cannot ignore it.

In August, Clinton voted against an emergency law that temporarily expanded the governments power to conduct surveillance on American soil without a warrant. The bill was criticized for being overly broad and sidelining the role of a special court set up by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The Senates other Democratic presidential candidates, Sens. Barack Obama (Ill.), Chris Dodd (Conn.), and Joseph Biden (Del.), also voted against the bill.

Clintons chief political strategist, Mark Penn, became embroiled recently in a controversy over intercepted electronic communications. Mitchell Markel, a former vice president at Penns firm, Penn, Schoen & Berland, filed a lawsuit against Penn accusing him of intercepting e-mail. Markel claimed that the firm illegally monitored messages sent from his BlackBerry after he joined another company.
Markel dropped the suit in July after reaching a settlement with Penn, Schoen & Berland
.   
.

Hmmmm.  You read this and come away with the impression that, to Hillary, surveillance is a sometimes thing.  If you're surveilling to protect our national security, forget about it.  If you're surveilling to enhance Hillary Clinton's political ambitions, no problem at all.

Will this come back to bite Senator Clinton during the campaign (this, of course, assumes she will be the nominee - which, as of now, is certainly a great likelihood)?  Well, maybe.  A lot depends on how media handle it. 

If the past is any indication, "heroine Hillary" will be spared most of the brunt of this allegation.  But, who knows?  Maybe media will (gasp!) decide to treat her the way they'd treat other presidential hopefuls under the same circumstances. 

I'll wait and see.  But I can't say I'm optimistic.

 


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