Wednesday, 07 January 2009
MATT LAUER ATTAC....ER, RESPECTFULLY INTERVIEWS ANN COULTER
Ann Coulter was the first guest on the Today show this morning.
This appears to be the result of her being booked, then banned
from Today and every other NBC show, then unbanned and rebooked when
The Drudge Report exposed the ban and NBC realized how idiotic it looked.
The interview, conducted by Matt Lauer, was a pathetic joke - not unlike
Harry Smith's interview of Coulter on Tuesday.
Here is how it went, courtesy of Steve Gilbert at www.sweetness-light.com:
January 7th, 2009
To give just one example of how our watchdog media
cant even report the simplest things accurately, we present Matt Lauers
interview with Ann Coulter on this mornings Today Show.
During Mr. Lauers
interview he declared as a positive fact that Ms. Coulter had said she was
banned for life. She never did. That was a quote from an NBC source reported
by Matt Drudge.
Then Mr. Lauer offered another direct
LAUER: You said all kinds of things. That one of
the reasons you werent on the show was because the liberal mainstream media
hates conservatives. I mean, you do know that
COULTER: I didnt say that.
LAUER: Yeah, you did.
COULTER: Where did I say that?
LAUER: I think it was on Hannity & Colmes,
or something like that.
COULTER: That the mainstream media hates
conservatives? I didnt say that
LAUER (over): You know that weve had every
COULTER: I have much more colorful language. I
mean, youre capturing the thought, thats just not my
How many times have we seen the mainstream media
confront a conservative live on the air with something that is purported to be a
direct quote from them? Which, upon subsequent review, turns out to be
not a direct quote after all?
As it happens Ms. Coulter did not say
the mainstream media hates conservatives on Hannity & Colmes. (See below
for the full H&C transcript.)
Admittedly this is a minor point. But it
exemplifies an all too consistent pattern from our media masters.
Ironically, in another typical media ploy, later
in the same interview Mr. Lauer pedantically chided Ms. Coulter for dropping the
word almost from a sentence he quoted from her book.
FYI: If you click on the "More" link you will get a complete transcript
of Ms. Coulter's interview with Hannity & Colmes.
These people don't seem to realize that the only way to win when interviewing
someone they obviously despise, is to conduct a straight interview that exposes
what they despise about that person.
When Harry Smith and Matt Lauer conduct interviews in a way that makes it
clear they are interested in little other than "getting" their guest, it doesn't
make the guest look bad. It makes them look bad.
And it generates sympathy for the person they're going after. The exact
opposite of what they hope to accomplish.
Every book Ann Coulter writes zooms to #1 on the best seller lists. I
wonder how these guys feel about helping her sales along so
A TALE OF TWO HEADLINES
Here is the headline from L.
Brent Bozell's column of December 30, one week afterwards:
And here is the headline from Maureen Dowd's
column in today's New York Times:
Sweet on Caroline
I wonder what Dowd would say if the chronology were reversed.
CHRIS DODD AND THE (D-) FIREWALL
Don't try this if you're a Republican. It ain't gonna work
But if you have a (D-) after your name? Heeeyyyyyy, that's good.
What am I talking about? I'm talking about Chris Dodd (D-CT) and his "favorable" (some would say
"payoff") loan from Countrywide Financial.
Here is the Wall Street Journal's editorial on how Dodd has been insulated
from answering for this disgrace for a half year now - in no small part
because our wonderful "neutral" media have looked the other way:
Waiting for Dodd
Where are those Countrywide
With the opening of the 111th Congress yesterday,
all of Washington is tingling with the allure of a fresh start. Not so fast.
We've got some leftover business from the 110th Congress -- namely, Chris Dodd's
July 2008 promise to release the details of his sweetheart loans from
The Connecticut Senator got favored treatment from
the subprime mortgage purveyor, even as he was a power broker on the Banking
Committee that regulates the industry. When the news broke, the Senator first
denied that he sought or expected preferential treatment. He later admitted that
he knew he was considered a VIP at the firm but claimed he thought it was "more
of a courtesy." He also promised the Connecticut press that he'd come clean with
the documents and details of the loans. But six months later -- nada, zip,
The rest of the press corps may have moved on, but
we'd still like to know. All the more so because former Countrywide Financial
loan officer Robert Feinberg told us last fall that Mr. Dodd knowingly saved
thousands of dollars on his refinancing of two properties in 2003 as part of a
special program for the influential. Mr. Feinberg also reported that he has
internal company documents that prove Mr. Dodd knew he was getting preferential
treatment as a friend of Angelo Mozilo, Countrywide's then-CEO, and Mr. Feinberg
has offered to provide those documents to investigators.
Just before Mr. Dodd made his promise, Bank of
America closed its acquisition of Countrywide and Mr. Dodd has continued to
oversee BofA and the rest of the mortgage industry as Chairman of Senate
Banking. He will now play a lead role in drafting legislation affecting the very
business that gave him preferential treatment, yet he still refuses to release
the mortgage documents that would illuminate this treatment. As the Senate
Ethics Committee examines this case, Mr. Dodd's office reports that he is
cooperating with the investigation and that he still intends to make good on his
six-month-old pledge. But nothing in the Senate ethics process prevents Mr. Dodd
from coming clean with the public whenever he wishes.
We suspect there's at least one habit of the 110th
Congress that won't change in the 111th: The Members think they can get away
with anything -- and usually do.
This is, of course, the same Chris Dodd who was neck-deep in the Enron
scandal, as clearly detailed
by Dick Morris in 2002.
I suppose, therefore, that we shouldn't be surprised by the decision of most media
(with the notable exception of WSJ) to look the other way as Dodd continues to
stonewall the information regarding his deal with Countrywide.
After all, if you can get away with Enron, this is just small potatoes.
How sweet it is to be a Democrat. You have a firewall between your
actions and any accountability.
Just ask Chris Dodd (D-CT).
ABOUT THAT "SCHOOL" IN GAZA
By now you have heard, probably numerous times, that Israel fired a missile
into a school and dozens of civilians (presumably children among them) have been
killed or injured.
The world community is aghast. How can those Israelis be so
barbaric? They are lower than low.
The "school", like other schools, and mosques, and community buildings, was
specifically being used to stockpile weapons and fire them at Israel.
In other words, hamas was using its people at human shields in the hope that,
given a choice, Israel would rather allow its own people to be attacked than to
fire on a "school", kill civilians, and suffer the propaganda catastrophe it
Most of the time they're right. In this military operation they
Here is a nice summary of what happened from Noah Pollack:
Noah Pollak on the Gaza school incident in which school children were killed:
to propose a metric for evaluating whether a journalist is behaving
responsibly or not: If he reports that Israel bombed a UN school and killed
30 civilians, he is irresponsible. If he reports that Hamas used a UN school
as a weapons cache and base of operations for launching mortars at the IDF,
and the IDFs return fire killed the Hamas cell along, tragically, with a
yet-unspecified number of civilians, then he is behaving responsibly. If he
wishes to be particularly scrupulous, he might additionally note that
Hamas had rigged the
school with explosives which detonated after the IDF took out the mortar
team, killing a large additional number of civilians. And he might add that
you can go to the IDFs Youtube channel to view
footage from 2007 of Hamas using the very same school as a mortar-launching
base.I checked out
Journalists who abjure reporting the vital details of this
story should be called what they are activists masquerading as
From the Jerusalem Post: Witnesses: Hamas fired from school
Two residents of the area near UN school that was
shelled by the IDF on Tuesday said that they had seen a small group of
terrorists firing mortar rounds from a street close to the school. The two
spoke with The Associated Press by telephone on condition of anonymity for
fear of reprisal. And
The school grounds were being used by terrorists to
fire mortar shells at troops stationed nearby, and the soldiers responded by
firing mortars back, the army said. According to the IDF, the dead included
members of the Hamas rocket cell, including senior operatives Imad Abu
Askhar and Hassan Abu Askhar.The UN is
disputing the claim. But then, the UN is driving terrorists around in their ambulances.
Defense officials told The Associated Press that
booby-trapped bombs in the school had triggered secondary explosions that
killed additional Palestinians there.
The blog you just read provides a link to footage of the same
being used to fire missiles at Israel last year. I urge you to
click on it and see for yourself.
Next, we have Michelle Malkin's piece
on the "school" attack with the same footage from Pollack's commentary:
Scroll for updates
For context, watch this video from the UNRWA
boys school in Gaza in 2007:
Terrorists from the Gaza Strip fire mortars
from an UNRWA boys school in Gaza on 29 Oct. 2007. Hamas and other terror
organizations in Gaza make deliberate use of civilians living in populated
areas as human shields.
Heres another clip.
Fast forward to 2009:
An Israeli official says Palestinian militants
fired on Israeli soldiers from the courtyard of a U.N. school where dozens
of people died in fiery explosions.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity
because he said the army is still drafting the countrys official response
to the incident.
Palestinian medics said 34 people were killed
in an Israeli strike outside a U.N. school in the northern Gaza town of
Jebaliya. The United Nations confirmed 30 were killed and 55
The Israeli official said hostile fire was
directed at the soldiers from within the school. He said soldiers returned
fire and multiple explosions went off, presumably emanating from munitions
Hamas operatives are in the hospital and have disguised themselves as nurses
and doctors, one official said.
Flashback - more human shield ploys: Ambulances for terror.
Lawhawk has more. So does Israellycool.
Update: The Israeli
consulate has issued a statement:
Earlier today, upwards of 35 Palestinian
civilians were reportedly killed in two unfortunate accidents in Gaza, one
at a school run by UNRWA and the second at an apartment in Gaza City. These
deaths are indeed a tragedy, and investigations are underway to ensure that
further operations continue to avoid civilian casualties.
These initial investigations indicate that
Hamas used the UNRWA school to fire at IDF forces, indicating once again
that Hamas is more than willing to sacrifice Gaza citizens to promote
terrorism. International law recognizes that the presence of civilians in an
area of conflict does not delegitimize a military target. Israel and the IDF
will continue to abide by these laws and to make every effort to avoid
harming civilians in conducting further operations. We urge the
international community to strongly condemn Hamass cynical exploitation of
its citizens and firing of rockets, which remain the most effective way to
ensure peace for Gazans and Israelis alike.
Update: Related video and
analysis from Allahpundit here.
And more from Jim Hoft,
who writes that IDF says the bodies of two Hamas jihadis were found at the
school along with a missile launcher with anti-tank
Finally, I will post a short commentary from www.yidwithlid.com
which describes how the "neutral" humanitarian and media sources are treating
this despicable set-up:
Hamas' use of the children and other innocents
as human shields at the UN school got it desired effect yesterday. They
they fired mortars on Israeli troops, the troops returned the fire, and dozens
of civilians died or were injured, along with the terrorists. There is a
library full of evidence proving it isn't the first time Hamas has used
innocents as human shields.
Hamas built armories in the basements of
Mosques and schools, private homes and hospitals. They create their bunkers
and weapons factories in crowded neighborhoods. All of this "construction" was
done out in the public. Under the watchful eye of the UN as well as human
right's organizations such as Amnesty, Human Rights Watch (HRW), and
Where was Ken Roth, head of Human Rights Watch
when Hamas was violating international law and setting up children as human
shields? He was busy trumping up accusations of collective punishment against
Israel for defending herself.
How about Irene Khan the Secretary General of
Amnesty International, surely she must have noticed that Hamas was "drawing
targets" on hospital beds? No She was too busy blasting Israel for occupying
Gaza, even though Israel left Gaza three years ago.
David Kretzmer and Gila Svirsky of B'tselem
were too busy working on their annual report fabricating Palestinian civilian
casualties to prevent any REAL civilian casualties.
Where is the outrage? Why is no
one complaining that these supposed Human Rights groups have chosen to distort
international law, ignoring the real danger to Gaza civilians.
The blood of the innocent
women and children called out to these groups, but they fell on deaf ears,
these organizations were too busy creating false charges and anti-Israel
propaganda to notice the real human rights crimes.
Shame on you Ken
Roth and HRW, Shame on you Irene Khan and Amnasty International, Shame on you
David Kretzmer and Gila Svirsky of B'tselem. Their blood stain you just as if
you killed these human shields with your own hands. YOU
Ok. There are the facts.
At some point reasonable people must come to the conclusion that a)
this is what hamas and their pals intentionally do and b) they have
intentionally been doing it for a long time, not just this week:
Please remember how completely this story is being propagandized when you
read the inevitable new condemnations of Israel's action against its
enemy. And don't expect them to be any more accurate than the "school"
attack story is.
HAPLESS HARRY REID: SELF-APPOINTED DICTATOR
I didn't think hapless harry reid could be so egotistical and so imbecilic
that he would make this big a fool of himself twice in one day.
But I was wrong. Making a fool of himself seems to be the one thing he has a genuine talent
This morning reid reversed his stand of yesterday and agreed to seat
Roland Burris as Barack Obama's replacement in the senate.
This afternoon reid declared unequivocally that Norm Coleman will not serve
as a senator - regardless of whether he wins his court battle and is declared
the winner in Minnesota.
Hard to believe, isn't it, that reid could be this ridiculous. But here
is the proof, straight from Josh Kraushaar of www.politico.com:
Reid: Coleman will
"never ever serve"
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid offered the
toughest language he has ever used in arguing that Norm Colemans career in the
Senate is finished.
Norm Coleman will never ever serve [again] in the
Senate, Reid told Politicos Manu Raju. He lost the election. He can stall
things, but he'll never serve in the Senate.
Al Franken was declared the
winner today by the states Canvassing Board in the closely-contested Minnesota
Senate race, defeating Sen. Norm Coleman by 225 votes. Colemans campaign has
said it is contesting the result, preventing Franken from receiving an election
certificate until all the legal challenges are resolved.
Reid added that
he will not be trying to seat Franken in the Senate on Tuesday. When asked
if Franken would be sworn in tomorrow, Reid said: "No."
In his victory
statement today, Franken said he was ready to go to Washington and get to work
just as soon as possible. But a Franken campaign spokesman said he has not yet
made plans to travel to Washington.
Senate Republican leadership has
threatened to filibuster any attempt to seat Franken before his victory is
This, folks, is the man Democrats have made majority leader of the
Hapless harry is the guy who had to reverse his idiotic position on Roland Burris this morning because
it flew in the face of legal procedure. And his "learning curve"
was to fly in the face of legal procedure again this afternoon regarding
Can there possibly be a worse choice for majority leader - or, for that
matter, senator from Nevada - than this?
ROLAND BURRIS: WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MADE
What a difference a day made
Brought the sun and the flowers
used to be rain
The late, great Dinah Washington sang that so well. Little did she know that
she could have been singing it about Roland Burris.
According to CBS2News-Chicago, Mr. Burris, who was rejected for the
US senate by hapless harry reid, dumbfounded dick durbin and their Democratic cohorts on the grounds of
unacceptability just yesterday, apparently will be seated today:
Senate Democrats Plan To Accept
Blagojevich's Senate Pick Meets With Reid,
WASHINGTON (CBS) - Senate Democrats plan to accept
Roland Burris for President-elect Barack Obama's vacant seat.
scheduled to meet Wednesday with the Senate's top two Democrats -- Majority
Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and assistant leader Dick Durbin of Illinois -- on
Wednesday, a day after his paperwork was rejected at the opening of the 111th
Senate officials in both parties, speaking on the condition of
anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly for Senate members,
said there is a growing expectation on Capitol Hill that the saga will end with
Burris being seated.
Burris was selected by Gov. Rod Blagojevich in late
December, and went to the U.S. Capitol for the swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday,
but he was denied access to the Senate floor.
After going to the Capitol
Tuesday, Burris, who introduced himself as the "junior Senator from the State of
Illinois," told reporters outside the Capitol in Washington: "I presented my
credentials to the Secretary of the Senate and was advised that my credentials
are not are in order, and I will not be accepted, and will not be seated, and
will not be permitted on the floor," Burris said. "Therefore, I am not seeking
to have any kind of confrontation. I will consult with my attorneys on what my
next step will be."
Burris's attorney, Timothy W. Wright III, said that
"our credentials were rejected by the Secretary of the Senate. We were not
allowed to be placed in the record books. We were not allowed to proceed to the
floor for purposes of taking oath. All of which we think was improperly done and
is against the law of this land. We will consider our options and we will
certainly let you know what our decisions will be soon thereafter."
Blagojevich shocked Democratic leaders by appointing Burris to finish
the final two years of Obama's six-year term in the Senate just three weeks
after the governor was arrested on corruption charges in what federal
prosecutors said was a scheme to sell or trade Obama's vacated Senate seat to
the highest bidder.
Blagojevich denies the accusations and has yet to be
indicted. There has been no indication that Burris was involved in the alleged
scheme, and he has not been accused of any wrongdoing. Democrats have repeatedly
said the issue is Blagojevich, not Burris' qualifications.
Feinstein, who chairs the Rules Committee, told reporters Tuesday evening that
Burris should be seated.
"If you don't seat Mr. Burris, it has
ramifications for gubernatorial appointments all over America," the California
Democrat said. "Mr. Burris is a senior, experienced politician. He has been
attorney general, he has been controller, and he is very well-respected. I am
hopeful that this will be settled."
So what do you figure happened?
-Did Mr. Burris become more qualified overnight?
-Did rod blagojevich become legally able to appoint him overnight?
-Did Illinois secretary of state Jesse White's certification become legally
The answers, in order, are: no, his qualifications were the same
yesterday as they are today; no, his appointment was as legal yesterday as it is
today; no, White's certification was just as legally irrelevant yesterday
as it is today.
Hmmmmmmmmm. There must be something that changed, mustn't there?
Well, here are two things:
1) Roland Burris threatened legal action. And, since there is absolutely
no legal basis for rejecting him, it would make reid look as hapless,
inept and stupid as he is;
2) Democratic senator Feinstein jumped ship, demanded that Mr. Burris be seated and
pointed out that, if he is not, it will affect the legality of every other
Governor to appoint senate replacements (like Paterson of New York,
Could those factors have had something to do with
-Barack Obama is going to become President. This leaves his senate seat
-Mr. Obama's seat can be filled either by Governor blagojevich
appointing a replacement or the state legislature authorizing a special
-The state legislature, which is run by
Democrats, declined to authorize a special election. Presumably it did so out of
fear that, because of the scandals associated with blagojevich and other
Democrats, a Republican might win;
-This left Governor blagojevich solely responsible for appointing a senate
-blagojevich is under suspicion for lots of wrongdoing, very much including an attempt
to "sell" the senate seat in return for major personal benefit. However,
he has not been so much as indicted for, let alone tried and
convicted of, anything at all. In the eyes of the law he is as legitimate as
any other Governor in the US;
Democrats were in a real bind. If they allowed the election (which would
obviously have been the best idea, since it gives the people their choice) a
Republican might have won. So forget that; the people be damned.
On the other hand, they did not want blagojevich's selection for the
senate as a political albatross around their necks.
With this in mind, hapless harry, dumbfounded dick and their pals cooked up the idea of no election AND no
appointed replacement - unless they got to dictate who the appointed replacement
The result? They looked even more hapless, inept and stupid than before - which is no
small accomplishment. And it became clear, even to this dense-as-asbestos bunch, in just one
So suddenly Roland Burris - the same Roland Burris who was turned away,
George Wallace-style, by hapless harry on Tuesday - is going to be a senator on
Like the song says, "what a difference a day made".
WELCOME TO THE PARTY, BARACK
Well, there's at least one person who isn't seeing Barack Obama as a
Here are the particulars, from the Associated Press:
Report: Al-Qaida No. 2 blames Obama for Gaza
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader lashed
out at President-elect Barack Obama in a new audio message Tuesday, accusing him
of not doing anything to stop Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip, according to
an intelligence monitoring center.
The recording purportedly by Ayman al-Zawahiri was
al-Qaida's first comments on the Gaza crisis since Israel launched its offensive
against the Islamic militants of Hamas on Dec. 27.
In the comments, which were posted on a militant
Web site and obtained by the SITE Monitoring Service, al-Zawahiri described
Israel's actions in Gaza as a "crusade against Islam and Muslims" and called it
"Obama's gift to Israel" before he takes office later this month.
"This is Obama whom the American machine of lies
tried to portray as the rescuer who will change the policy of America,"
al-Zawahiri said, according to SITE. "He kills your brothers and sisters in Gaza
mercilessly and without affection."
Al-Zawahiri, who is Egyptian, also criticized
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, calling him a "traitor" for keeping Egypt's
border with the Gaza Strip closed since Hamas seized power.
"At the time when Israeli planes drop their bombs
from the air, he closes the borders with his forces so that the plan of the
killing of believers in Gaza is fulfilled," al-Zawahiri said, according to
He urged Egyptians and Muslims around the world to
pressure Mubarak into opening the border and to take a more active role in
Thousands of people in cities worldwide have held
mass street demonstrations to protest Israel's offensive, but al-Zawahiri said
those were not enough.
"Fight the Zionist Crusader campaign," al-Zawahiri
said, according to SITE. "Strike its interests everywhere you can reach them.
Support and back your mujahedeen brothers and children against them."
The audio message was accompanied by a still
photograph of the al-Qaida leader sitting with a gun in his lap.
The recording could not be immediately verified,
but SITE said it was posted on Web sites commonly used by Islamic militants. The
recording also carried the logo for al-Qaida's media production house,
No one said it would be easy. But I wonder if Mr. Obama expected to be
blamed for Israel's action in Gaza -- two weeks before his inauguration.
Barack Obama is going to become President of the United States.
Therefore, he's going to be blamed for everything, regardless of facts, logic or
I hope he gets used to it. Just like George Bush
EZRA LEVANT'S PERSPECTIVE ON GAZA
Ezra Levant is a brilliant thinker, brilliant writer, and a guy who made
Canada's Kangaroo Cour...er, I mean Human Rights Tribunal look like the frauds
that they are. I think the world of him.
Here is Mr. Levant's perspective on what is happening in Gaza, and whether certain
parties have the moral ground to criticize it:
Reality check on Gaza
Well, we could listen to anti-Israel words. Or we
could listen to deeds.
For example, we could look at how Russia dealt
with its Islamist threat in Grozny. In the mid-nineties, Russia basically
shelled the city until it turned to rubble -- killing 27,000 Chechens. Oh -- and that was just one of three Russian attacks on the city. You
can tool around on Google maps, satellite view, and
still see flattened areas of the city. I'm sure the United Nations General
Assembly is just polishing up the wording on their resolution to condemn Russia
How about Sri Lanka? Their civil war with the
terrorist Tamil Tigers has cost 70,000 lives.
When will Sid Ryan and CUPE* call for a ban on Sri Lankan academics?
Or how about the French? How about their own
tangle with Arabs, in the case of Algeria? 150,000 dead?
But we need not go that far back. How about the
first Gulf War, in which Canada participated? Depending on who you
ask, between 20,000 and 200,000 Iraqis
Or, my favourite yardstick of over-reaction:
Canada's October Crisis**, where a handful of bombs going off in mailboxes and a
couple of kidnappings was enough for the Liberals to put tanks in the street and
suspend civil liberties in the whole country. Geez, what would Trudeau have done
if actual rocket attacks had been launched, Gaza-style?
My point isn't to disparage any of the above
military missions, though some were clearly excessive. My point is to compare
the dainty approach taken by Israel -- which actually mass-dials Palestinian
cell phones in advance of attacks, warning civilians to get out of the way --
with the brutal approach taken by other countries, especially Israel's
I haven't even mentioned China's approach to Tibet
or East Turkmenistan, let alone the response by other Arab countries to
Islamists, like the massacre in Hama, Syria, where that city was
surrounded and just shelled and shelled until 40,000 people -- about a quarter
of the population back then -- were killed. By their own government.
The idea of any other country in the world --
including the very ethical U.S. -- acting as carefully as Israel in combat is
unthinkable. (When the world saw the U.S. "shock and awe" attacks that opened
the 2003 Iraq War, the global response was amazement and admiration, not human
rights complaints.) And the thought that Arab nations, or dictatorships
like China, would have any advice worth listening to, is
Usually I have follow-up remarks when I post someone else's
commentary. But not this time. Mr. Levant has said it all.
* Canadian Union of Public Employees
**In October 1970, two cells of the Front de Libration du Qubec (FLQ), a
revolutionary organization promoting an independent and socialist Quebec,
kidnapped British Trade Commissioner James Cross and Quebec Justice Minister
Pierre Laporte. Armed forces were sent into Quebec to help the police and the
federal government invoked the War Measures Act, temporarily suspending civil
liberties. (from http://canadaonline.about.com/cs/octobercrisis/a/octobercrisistl.htm)