Saturday, 06 June 2009

NBC: THE NATIONAL BARACK COMPANY?

Ken  Berwitz

Here is the beginning of a larger article from writer Nikki Finke:

EXCLUSIVE: GE/NBCU TRYING TO STIFLE OTHER MEDIA'S COVERAGE OF COMPANY: Immelt Orders Nielsen Media Iced Over GE-NBCU-Obama Story: NBCU's Zucker Follows Orders And Freezes Out The Hollywood Reporter For Past 6 Weeks

 

It's a very dangerous situation when any huge multinational corporation wages war against media companies. Especially when that huge multinational corporation is General Electric, which itself owns a media company, NBC Universal, and it's using all its power and influence and money to try to harm another media company, Nielsen, and Nielsen Business Media, and its trade publication The Hollywood Reporter. This certainly sounds like a situation which the FCC, and the FTC, and the U.S. Justice Department should be investigating. Just one problem: the controversy stems from GE/NBCU's coverage of President Obama. Here's what happened: According to my sources inside and outside Nielsen Business Media, The Hollywood Reporter trade publication ran a story dated April 22nd and updated on April 24th covering the "drama" at the most recent GE shareholders meeting in Orlando. THR's West Coast Business Editor Paul Bond wasn't sent to the meeting, but he interviewed about half a dozen people who'd been inside the shareholders meeting and told him what transpired (see below). Bond's THR story focused on the attempts by stockholders and Fox News Channel and other media to find out whether or not GE Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Immelt ordered his news operations to be less critical of President Obama and his policies.

Bond's story was immediately picked up by The Drudge Report under the headline "GE shareholders outraged over MSNBC bias; Microphone cut off." It became a widely posted news story on conservative and liberal and media websites everywhere. That's when, sources inside and outside Nielsen Business Media tell me, GE Chairman Jeff Immelt ordered a GE company-wide ban on all of The Hollywood Reporter's parent company Nielsen: advertising, editorial, the works. After a few days, the ban was reduced to GE's NBC Universal which chief Jeff Zucker carried out against Nielsen Business Media's The Hollywood Reporter and lasted six weeks. My NBC Universal sources believe the ban was lifted yesterday.

Nikki Finke is a highly accomplished writer with decades of serious credentials, who now writes what I would classify as a very high-end gossip column for LA Weekly (in 2007 the Los Angeles Press Club named her "Entertainment Journalist of the Year").

Given Ms. Finke's background, given the facts she lays out and given how overtly NBC is in the tank for Barack Obama, this comes across as fully credible to me. 

If the segment I posted is interesting enough to you, click on the link, read it all and decide for yourself.


THE OBAMA SPEECH: ANOTHER VIEW

Ken Berwitz

Here, from the Toronto Sun, is Peter Worthington's view of the speech President Obama made in Egypt. 

See what you think:

News Columnists / Peter Worthington

Obama blew speech

President did disservice to U.S. with condescending appeal to Muslims

The trouble with U.S. President Barack Obama's boffo speech in Cairo to the Muslim world was not what he said -- but that he said it.

To explain: The content was generally fair, rational, evenhanded and fitting for a moderator, arbitrator or neutral adjudicator.

But that's not what Obama is. He is, or should be, the embodiment of his country and its interests. When he appoints himself the go-between who sees all sides and takes no sides -- who chastises all conflicting parties equally and impartially -- he does a disservice to himself, his country and to truth.

His speech has generally been applauded. Superficially, at least.

But on reflection it was arrogant, condescending. A "father knows best" speech of moral and practical equivalency.

It was a speech that the world's moderate middle could relish and feel good about. But it was also a speech unlikely to appease extremist factions of any side. A speech that simply didn't ring true in many ways.

All civilizations are not equal. All cultures are not equal. Some are more benign than others, some more lethal. Some crueler and less deserving of tolerance.

Fine for Obama to stress the tolerant, benign nature of Islam, but whatever it was in the past it is not that tolerant or benign now -- and I'm not thinking of 9/11, or suicide bombers, or its bigotry towards women. Sunni and Shiites often cannot tolerate each other, and kill over the issue of who are the true followers of Mohammed.

Avoiding the word "terrorists," Obama chose the gentler word "extremists", which clouds what he's saying and softens the impact.

He slighted America by failing to mention that after 9/11, his countrymen showed remarkable generosity and grace by rejecting reprisals against Muslims and, in fact, going out of their way to absolve Muslims of blame.

There was nothing resembling the flavour of internment camps that were imposed on Japanese-Americans in the early days of the Second World War, when hysteria reigned.

MISLEADING

By his laboured impartiality, Obama seemed to imply that before his coming to presidential power, America was somehow lacking, negligent or derelict in generosity and decency. Nothing could be further from reality.

Stressing America's "unbreakable" bonds with Israel while pledging "we will not turn our backs" on the "intolerable" situation of Palestinians who endure "the daily humiliations that comes with occupation" is grotesquely misleading.

Good politics if it works, and effective diplomacy, but it's dishonest. Until the Arab countries attacked Israel in 1967, the West Bank and Gaza were "occupied" by Egyptians and Jordanians.

In his series of speeches around the world, Obama seemed intent on denigrating his own country by apologizing to other countries for its actions. Now he is setting himself up as the arbitrator and source of all wisdom in dealings with the Muslim world.

If he were UN secretary general rather than the president of the United States, his efforts might be more appropriate. But he isn't. Yet.

At least the Toronto Star is an Obamaniac -- witness its headline: "A speech that might change the world." Hmm. Wanna bet?

Hardliners around the world are unlikely to buy Obama's message. How he handles the next terrorist incident will be his big test.

.


PRESIDENT OBAMA AND NEON GODS

Ken Berwitz

How much further are our wonderful "neutral" media prepared to go in their unconditional love of Barack Obama?

Here is an indication, from Evan Thomas, the editor of Newsweek.  See if you can read it without launching whatever you've eaten in the last several hours:.

Newsweeks Evan Thomas: Obama Is Sort of God

By Kyle Drennen

 

Newsweek editor Evan Thomas brought adulation over President Obamas Cairo speech to a whole new level on Friday, declaring on MSNBC: "I mean in a way Obamas standing above the country, above above the world, hes sort of God."

Thomas, appearing on Hardball with Chris Matthews, was reacting to a preceding monologue in which Matthews praised Obamas speech: "I think the President's speech yesterday was the reason we Americans elected him. It was grand. It was positive. Hopeful...But what I liked about the President's speech in Cairo was that it showed a complete humility...The question now is whether the President we elected and spoke for us so grandly yesterday can carry out the great vision he gave us and to the world."

Matthews discussed Obamas upcoming speech marking the 65th anniversary of D-Day and compared it to that of Ronald Reagan. He then turned to Thomas and asked: "Reagan and World War II and the sense of us as the good guys in the world, how are we doing?" Thomas replied: "Well, we were the good guys in 1984, it felt that way. It hasn't felt that way in recent years. So Obamas had, really, a different task We're seen too often as the bad guys. And he he has a very different job from Reagan was all about America, and you talked about it. Obama is we are above that now. We're not just parochial, we're not just chauvinistic, we're not just provincial."

Thomas elaborated on Obama as God, patronizingly explaining: "He's going to bring all different sides together...Obama is trying to sort of tamper everything down. He doesn't even use the word terror. He uses extremism. He's all about let us reason together...He's the teacher. He is going to say, now, children, stop fighting and quarreling with each other. And he has a kind of a moral authority that he he can he can do that." In response, Matthews wondered: "If there's a world election between him and Osama Bin Laden, he's running a good campaign." Thomas agreed: "Yes, he is."

Oh, brother.

Can people possibly read Newsweek and think they are getting neutral, dispassionate journalism?

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel (both of whom, I suspect, are big Obama fans), said it very well in their classic song "Sounds of Silence"

"And the people bowed and prayed

To the neon God they made"

Little did they know they were writing about a US President.

Note of disclosure:  I went to the same high school as Simon and Garfunkel:  Forest Hills High in Queens, NY.  They are several years older than I am so I never saw them in school.  But I used to play ball with Paul's brother Eddie at the P.S. 144 playground, and Paul occasionally came by and screamed "Eddie, ma wants you home.  Now." 

I don't recall if he screamed on or off key.


THE ARROGANCE OF NANCY PELOSI

Ken Berwitz

If you think that Barack Obama is arrogant (and he is), take a good look at Nancy Pelosi.  She could teach Mr. Obama a thing or two about how it's done.

Connie Hair, writing for www.humanevents.com, has the particulars:

Pelosi Still Receives CIA Briefings, But Won't Say If They're Truthful

by Connie Hair (more by this author)

Posted 06/05/2009 ET
Updated 06/05/2009 ET

 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at her weekly press conference yesterday continued dodging questions about her accusations that the CIA lied to Congress about waterboarding terrorist detainees.  

Pelosi was pressed by reporters on whether she continued to receive briefings and admitted that she is still receiving the CIA presentatoins.  She refused to answer when this humble correspondent asked whether or not she believes intelligence professionals are still lying to her.  

House Republican leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) spoke about Pelosis continued stonewalling at his own presser that followed shortly afterward.

Its been three weeks since I asked Speaker Pelosi to back up her allegations that the CIA lied to her or purposely misled her, Boehner said. She made this claim, and it's her responsibility to either put forward evidence that they did, in fact, lie to her, which would be a crime, or she needs to retract her statements and apologize. Allowing this to hang out there is unconscionable. And I just think the -- the silence from Speaker Pelosi is deafening.

Boehner said that Pelosi believes that it's just all going to go away. Well, just trust me: it's not going to go away.

Who does Nancy Pelosi think she is? 

Does she think she is entitled to lie to our faces about being briefed on waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques (she must have lied, because she told several different stories of what happened until settling on the last one)?

Does she think she can finally settle on a claim that the CIA lied to her, and then not have to explain, expand upon or in any way evidence that claim?  Does she think she can simply call our CIA a bunch of liars, leave that hanging, and then go on her merry way? 

Sadly, if our wonderful "neutral" media are the determinants, the answer is yes.  Media dutifully reported Pelosi's daily explanations until she finished revising her story, then largely stopped reporting about it. 

Would they have ever in a million years done the same for Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich?  Or Dick Armey? 

I hope John Boehner means it when he says he will persist.  I hope he has the courage and fortitude to take what surely will be condemnation by the same media which are so willing to give Pelosi a free ride on her lies.

What a disgrace Nancy Pelosi is.  And what a disgrace our mainstream media have become.


THE UNITED STATES OF VENEZUELA

Ken Berwitz

I have written a number of blogs over the past few months which indicate the increasingly scary similarities between how hugo chavez and Barack Obama are taking over their respective countries.

This story, posted by Michelle Malkin today, is the scariest of them all so far.  Please read every word - and then be afraid for your country, because you ought to be:

The U.S. Department of Injustice
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2009

 

The seal of the U.S. Department of Justice bears a Latin phrase: Qui Pro Domina Justitia Sequitur. The motto refers to the Attorney General who prosecutes on behalf of Lady Justice. But under Barack Obamas politically corrupted DOJ, Lady Justice is getting the shaft.

 

To wit: Lets examine the uproar over Attorney General Eric Holders decision to protect hate-mongering thugs who harassed and bullied precinct workers and voters on Election Day in Philadelphia.

Oh, wait. Theres been no uproar. Let me tell you why.

 

Two weeks ago, in a highly unusual move, Holder dismissed default judgments his department had won against two of three defendants charged with violating the Voting Rights Act. On November 4, 2008, a billy club-wielding militant in military-style boots and beret stood outside a Philly polling location with a similarly-dressed partner. Citizen journalists from the Pennsylvania-based blog Election Journal captured the menacing duo on video. One of the watchdogs observed: I think it might be a little intimidating that you have a stick in your hand.

 

That was an understatement. Witness Bartle Bull, a Democratic lawyer who organized for Bobby Kennedy and worked for the civil rights movement in Mississippi, signed a sworn affidavit decrying the Election Day brutishness. Serving as a poll watcher that day, he called the behavior of Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson the most blatant form of voter discrimination I have encountered in my life.

 

One of them, Bull reported, taunted poll observers: [Y]ou are about to be ruled by the black man, cracker.

 

If the pair had been dressed in white sheets, all hell would have broken loose. But the ebony-clad thugs were members of the New Black Panther Party who had been dispatched by Malcolm X wannabe Malik Shabazz to guard the polls.  Translation: Protect them from scrutiny. Shield them from sunlight. Keep independent voters and observers out.

 

Who is Malik Shabazz? The bespectacled race hustler grabbed the spotlight in the weeks after the September 11 terrorist attacks by defending Osama bin Laden, blaming President Bush for 9/11, bashing Israel, and blasting our founding fathers as snakes. His group also infamously rallied behind the Duke University lacrosse rape hoaxer. And on the day before the presidential election last fall, one of Shabazzs field marshals, Minister Najee Muhammad, held a black power rally promising to send his forces to polls across the country to ensure that the enemy does not sabotage the black vote.

 

The Bush DOJ filed suit against Malik Shabazz, Samir Shabazz, and Jerry Jackson in early January 2009. None of the defendants filed an answer to the lawsuit, putting them all into default. Instead of taking the default judgment that DOJ is entitled to against all of the defendants, the Obama team fully dismissed the lawsuits against Malik Shabazz and Jerry Jackson. Jackson, you should know, is an elected member of the Philadelphia Democratic Committee and was a credentialed poll watcher. Witness Greg Lugones told me Obama campaign operatives were on site throughout the entire episode.

 

Former Justice Department official and voting rights scholar Hans Von Spakovsky added: I have never heard of the Department dismissing a case it has already won by default. They havesent the message that hurling racial epithets and slurs at voters and intimidating and threatening voters at the polls is fine with the Holder Justice Department at least if you are African-American. I seriously doubt that would have happened if the races had been reversed in this case.

 

Exactly. And to repeat: The harassment was aimed not just at voters, but at white poll workers trying to ensure a fair and lawful process in a city infamous for machine politics and street money pollution.

 

Who are the racial cowards, Attorney General Holder?

 

On the heels of this voter intimidation protection plan, the Obama Justice Department issued another decision that undermines electoral integrity but bolsters Democratic voter drives. The department this week denied the state of Georgia the ability to enact strict citizenship voter verification rules previously approved by two federal courts. As the Georgia secretary of state Karen Handel explained: DOJ has thrown open the door for activist organizations such as ACORN to register non-citizens to vote in Georgias elections, and the state has no ability to verify an applicants citizenship status or whether the individual even exists.

 

On top of all that, Holder recently politicized the legal review process involving the contentious issue of D.C. voting rights. After careful study, the DOJs Office of Legal Counsel had issued an opinion that a House bill on the matter was unconstitutional. Holder, who supports D.C. voting rights along with President Obama, overrode his staff lawyers rulingand simply ordered up an alternative opinion that fit the White House agenda.

 

Lady Justice is now protected by a security force armed with billy clubs and lawyers who serve the cause of protecting the re-election of Barack Obama over the rule of law.

Do you understand what is happening here? 

I am not accusing Barack Obama of trying to take over this country.  But I am accusing him of doing what someone who intended to take over the country would do.  And of using his toady, ass-kissing attorney general to ignore our laws and our constitution.

Am I overreacting?  Read that article again.  Read the facts.  Read what is actually happening, not the happy-horsemanure spin you are being fed.  Then answer me.

When do our media wake up.  When do they take off those blinders and see what is happening? 

The media in Venezuela took its sweet time doing so too.  How did that work out?


OUR ECONOMY - THE REAL STORY, NOT THE OBAMA STORY

Ken Berwitz

Can you possibly be gullible enough to think that this economy is creating jobs right now?

Well, if you're an Obamaniac the answer is yes.  You're going to believe anything.  Even jackass Joe Biden's preposterous claim that we gained 150,000 jobs.

But in the real world, unemployment just rose to a 25 year high of 9.4% and in the four months since we bankrupted this country with the so-called "stimulus package", the government itself reports job losses of about 1.7 million. 

Ed Morrissey, writing for www.hotair.com, has laid this out so clearly that even an Obamaniac might have to stop and rethink.  Here it is:

Unemployment up to 9.4%

posted at 10:11 am on June 5, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The unemployment numbers for May hit earlier this morning, and it looks like Barack Obama didnt save many jobs at all.  Despite claims from both Obama and VP Joe Biden that the Porkulus package had saved 150,000 jobs, unemployment went up another half-percent to 9.4%, setting a new record for the past quarter century.  Unemployment rose across a broad spectrum of demographics, too:

Nonfarm payroll employment fell by 345,000 in May, about half the average monthly decline for the prior 6 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.  The unemployment rate continued to rise, increasing from 8.9 to 9.4 percent.  Steep job losses continued in manufacturing, while declines moderated in construction and several service-providing industries.

The number of unemployed persons increased by 787,000 to 14.5 million in May, and the unemployment rate rose to 9.4 percent.  Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons has risen by 7.0 million, and the unemployment rate has grown by 4.5 percentage points.

Unemployment rates rose in May for adult men (9.8 percent), adult women (7.5 percent), whites (8.6 percent), and Hispanics (12.7 percent).  The jobless rates for teenagers (22.7 percent) and blacks (14.9 percent) were little changed over the month.  The unemployment rate for Asians was 6.7 percent in May, not seasonally adjusted, up from 3.8 percent a year earlier.

The AP has more of the details.  This time, even government workers felt the pinch, after a blizzard of hiring in April:

Job losses while slower in May were still widespread.

Construction companies cut 59,000 jobs, down from 108,000 in April. Factories cut 156,000, on top of 154,000 in the previous month. Retailers cut 17,500 positions, compared with 36,500 in April. Financial activities cut 30,000, down from 45,000 in April. Even the government reduced employment by 7,000 after bulking up by 92,000 in April as it added workers for the 2010 Census.

A month ago, I asked in an AIP column whether Porkulus was irrelevant, considering the lack of response to unemployment.  Dr. Christine Romer prepared the administrations battle plan in January  to get a massive stimulus plan in place immediately after taking office, and the economic adviser to President Obama warned of massive unemployment without the stimulus.  In fact, she predicted it could crest at 8.8% if no action was taken (page 5):

The U.S. economy has already lost nearly 2.6 million jobs since the business cycle peak in December 2007. In the absence of stimulus, the economy could lose another 3 to 4 million more. Thus, we are working to counter a potential total job loss of at least 5 million. As Figure 1 shows, even with the large prototypical package, the unemployment rate in 2010Q4 is predicted to be approximately 7.0 percent, which is well below the approximately 8.8 percent that would result in the absence of a plan.

Innocent Bystanders updated Figure 1 in May to reflect unemployment with the $787 billion Porkulus in place.

stimulus-vs-unemployment-may2.gif

It's not too often that one can declare, on the basis of a single graphic image, that a particular piece of legislation has been a failure, but I think this is such a case.

Not only has unemployment not followed the predicted dark blue line after passing the Obama/Pelosi Porkulus package, we have actually exceeded the boogeyman light blue line for unemployment.  We are heading towards double-digit unemployment and doing that while we incur the massive debt of the unstimulating stimulus package. We could just as easily have kept the money and ridden out the unemployment, much as were forced to do now, only being a lot poorer while doing it.

Why is this important?  It demonstrates that the President and his economic advisers have gotten pretty much everything about this economic collapse wrong.  Instead of contracting government spending and shoring up the credibility of the currency, theyre setting records in dissipating it instead.  Instead of focusing on fixing the problem that government explicitly created mortgage-backed securities theyve literally left that for last while they waste money chasing every Democratic constituency but ignoring the actual cancer in the financial system.

The people that brought you the original version of this graph have no business leading the economic policy of the US government, and well be paying for their mistakes for decades.

Anyone who reads this either understands perfectly what a completely BS bill of goods these people are shovelling our way, or is so completely memerized by Saint Barack that he could tell them the moon is made of green cheese and they'd bring a plate with a cheese knife and some apple slices.

Which one are you?


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