Monday, 03 May 2010


Ken Berwitz

Excerpted from Robert Spencer's blog at

Prosecutors in Cook County said Friday that James Larry, a Chicago Muslim, has confessed to brutally murdering his wife, his seven-month old son Jihad, and two of his nieces.  According to the Chicago Tribune, Larry was a prison convert to Islam who had been arguing with his wife over her refusal to become a Muslim and wear Islamic clothing. His sister revealed that he had been clutching a copy of the Koran and telling relatives that something in the book told him to kill someone.

Were James Larry a Christian, his murders would be front-page headlines, and talking heads on all the networks would be discussing in hushed tones the dangers of Christian fundamentalism, complete with clips of Robert DeNiro as the Scripture-addled maniacal killer in Cape Fear, or any number of hundreds of other Hollywood fantasies about violent Christian fanatics. 

But James Larry is a Muslim, and so true to form, outside of the Tribune and a handful of other sources, mainstream media coverage ignored the story altogether or, at very least, did not deem fit to print or mention all the inconvenient evidence that he was motivated to kill at least in part by such Koranic exhortations as kill the polytheists wherever you find them (9:5). The Associated Press story on the murders has none of that.  According to AP, Larry was just hearing voices.

Is Mr. Spencer right?  Would a fundamentalist Christian, who murdered his wife, child, and two nieces for not being as fundamentalist as he was, be a major story?  Are our wonderful "neutral" media, possibly out of fear, covering for radical Islam?

You tell me.


Ken Berwitz

Lester Kinsolving, who is both a White House correspondent and a talk show host, asked presidential press secretary Robert "Baghdad Bob" Gibbs a simple, reasonable question:  Why has Barack Obama not had a press conference in almost a year.

Watch this amazingly inept, bumbling, BS-laden non-answer (if you can't see it, just CLICK HERE):



My favorite part was when the press corps actually applauded Kinsolving's comment that Gibbs didn't give sufficient time to any but the "front row" people.

If there has ever been a more inept, clumsily dishonest, ridiculous press secretary in this country's history, I have not seen that person.

And if there has been a more intentionally removed, unapproachable, arrogant President in my lifetime, I have not seen that person either.


Ken Berwitz

Though I am committed to only publishing excerpts of other bloggers' work here, I do occasionally make an exception.  And this is one such instance.

Here, from (which I recommend that you check every day),  is Ed Morrissey's eye-opening article on the violence which has taken place since Arizona passed its legislation regarding illegal immigration:

Torches, smashed windows must have been a Tea Party!

posted at 10:12 am on May 3, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

After months of warning that Tea Party protests would erupt into violence, a wave of vandalism and violence crested in Santa Cruz this weekend.  Masked protesters wielding torches swarmed through the business district, smashing windows and chanting the streets are on fire! and Revolution! Its exactly the kind of armed uprising that Tea Party critics predicted except that it didnt erupt at a Tea Party:

A group of protesters demonstrating at a May Day rally for workers and immigrant rights downtown broke off into a riot vandalizing about a dozen businesses around 10:30 p.m. Saturday, police said.

Windows were left shattered and graffiti including anarchy signs were tagged onto buildings. The Rittenhouse Building, Urban Outfitters, Jamba Juice and Velvet Underground all had windows broken, according to Capt. Steve Clark.

Santa Cruz police asked for help from all agencies in the county to break up the riot of about 200 people. At one point, protesters lit a fire on the porch of Caffe Pergolesi and blocked access to firefighters, officers said. Police were able to clear out the demonstrators before more damage was caused.

A large rock sat outside Verizon Wireless on the 100 block of Cooper Street, where vandals tried to break the window twice, according to Clark.

Lets Lets do a quick recap. Tea Parties have been held in various locations for well over a year, and none of them has turned violent at all. Arizona passes an immigration law a week ago, and already weve had one Leftist demonstration result in violence, calls for the overthrow of the US, and rioting.

Will the same hyperventilating media that sees a militia in every Tea Party make the same broad-stroke analysis of the open-borders Left after a real show of violence and demands for revolution? Dont hold your breath.

Update: Bob Owens at Confederate Yankee says it wasnt just Santa Cruz, either, but also Asheville, NC. The Boss Emeritus finds another in San Francisco. She also finds a Univision reporter participating in a protest he was covering. Will Univision suspend the reporter as KOTA did Shad Olson?

I didn't catch one word about this on the Today Show this morning, even though that bunch has done numbers of stories on the potential for violence from Tea Partiers.  Nor did I see a word about it in the New York Times.

Evidently, their fantasy about violent Tea Partiers is more real to them than actual violence from people demanding that we effectively do not have borders in this country.

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs when someone calls them biased.


Ken Berwitz

Remember that old saying about the pot calling the kettle black?  Well, here is its modern counterpart.

After months and years of media villifying corporate CEOs for their outlandishly large salaries, here - excerpted from the New York Times of all places (more on this later) - is the lowdown on what some of the media heads earn.

The media industry may be going through some rough times, with the landscape changing day to day, but at least one aspect is business as usual: big paydays for the people at the top.


Top executives at the countrys largest media companies continued to reel in multimillion-dollar pay packages in 2009, a year of widespread cost-cutting throughout the industry. In several cases, the packages even increased from the year before.

At the top of the list is Leslie Moonves, chief executive of the CBS Corporation, whose pay package in 2009 totaled almost $43 million, more than twice what he made in 2008, according to an analysis by Equilar, an executive compensation research firm.

Not far behind was Viacoms chief executive, Philippe P. Dauman, who was paid nearly $34 million, a 22 percent increase over 2008. Sumner M. Redstone, who controls CBS and Viacom, was paid more than $33 million from the two companies combined.

Anybody who reads the business section knows the margins are being squeezed at media companies, so the fact that there are these huge packages makes no sense, said James F. Reda, the founder of James F. Reda & Associates, a compensation consulting firm with offices in New York and Atlanta.

At Comcast, the two highest-paid executives, Brian L. Roberts and Stephen B. Burke, were paid $25 million and $31 million. Mr. Robertss pay was essentially the same as the year before, while Mr. Burkes increased about $12 million, much of it because of one-time bonuses related to the companys purchase of NBC Universal.

What classic hypocrisy.  The same media that go after those corporate fatcats are playing exactly the same game exactly the same way.

But, then again, did you expect anything else?

Oh, and before you get too impressed with the New York Times for blowing the whistle on these bloviating windbag hypocrites, please be aware that, as the Times bled money and laid off hundreds of workers last year, the Times' CEO, Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger, got compensation of almost $6 million ($5,986,738 to be exact) - more than double the $2,331,599 he got for an equally disastrous year in 2008. 

And the TImes' President, Janet L. Robinson, got even more:  $6,262,755.

Isn't this what we all rail about?  The heads of companies which are losing money hand over fist getting huge paychecks, and big raises, even as the company loses all that money and lays off all those "little people"?

And, by the way, the chief "railer", the one who said just last week that "I do think at a certain point youve made enough money"?  He earned almost $6 million just last year himself  - before we count the costs of Air Force One, the White House living quarters and his huge staff.

Tell us more about Goldman Sachs, guys.....


Ken Berwitz

In 1956 I was ten years old.  The Chevrolet was America's most popular car (though it was displaced by Plymouth 1957), candy bars were twice the size they are today and cost a nickel, 25 cents got you into the movies for double feature, comic books were a dime, Mad Magazine was a quarter  and at White Castle the hamburgers were 12 cents and french fries were 8 cents.

It was also the first year that As The World Turns aired - a show that, along with other soap operas, was addictive to my mother (until she started to go to work, that is).

The first words said on As The World Turns's first episode were "Good morning, dear".  They were uttered by a character named Nancy Hughes, who was played by Helen Wagner.

As The World Turns was a huge hit.  Until this year it never left the air.  And until this year Helen Wagner never left the show, playing Nancy Hughes right up until last month.

This is the year that As The World Turns has been cancelled.  And - coincidentally, we assume - it also is the year that Helen Wagner has died.  Ms. Wagner passed away on Saturday, at the age of 91, of causes that have yet to be made public.   Her husband of 55 years, Robert Willey, died in May of last year.

The expression "the end of an era" is used a lot - often for events that really don't qualify.  But this does.  No one has ever come close to playing the same character on a single tv series for as long as Ms. Wagner did.

May Helen Wagner, and Nancy Hughes, rest in peace.


Ken Berwitz

NBC is getting ridiculous. 

No, that's wrong:  NBC has been ridiculous and is getting more ridiculous.

On Saturday - 10 days after the oil rig explosion - I put up a blog which quoted Barack Obama's press secretary, Baghdad Bob Gibbs, saying that the President had no intention of going to the Louisiana shore any time soon. 

I also put up a blog from the usually Obama-loving New York Times, which skewered him for waiting so long and doing so little.   The Times actually compared President Obama's AWOL act on the oil spill to (gasp!) President Bush's performance during hurricane Katrina, which the Times would have you believe was impossibly disastrous in every way.  And the Times wasn't alone in openly wondering when Mr. Obama and his administration were going to get involved.

So what happened?  Exactly what you would expect from an administration for which PR is the paramount issue.  Suddenly it was announced that President Obama would be heading down to Louisiana on Sunday.  Which he did.  Late, and only because he was being criticized, but there he was.

SOk.  Now we go to this morning's Today Show, which ran a story on the President's visit to that area.  And guess what?  An entire segment, and not one specific reference to the criticism that he waited a week and a half  before moving his bee-hind into action, and did so only because he was stung by some very visible criticism for his inaction.  Only a couple of seconds of Mr. Obama assuring us that he and his administration immediately addressed the spill.  To watch the Today Show report, you would swear that Mr. Obama was timely, concerned and every good thing you can think of.  In other words, on Today, that bee-hind was covered.

(NOTE:  THIS HAS BEEN ADDED AFTER THE ORIGINAL POST)  But then, a couple of segments afterwards?  There was a big, fat 40 second segment with CNBC's chief Washington correspondent John Harwood in which Lester Holt asked "if only from a PR standpoint" (no reason of substance you see) Mr. Obama should have made the trip sooner.  Harwood answered by saying "you could make that argument, Lester", and then immediately articulated the Obama spin that "administration officials say they waited until officials onsite wanted them to come on, come down, and were mobilizing resources all the while...."  

Funny thing, though:  Though Harwood was johnny-on-the-spot giving Obama's side of things, he did not mention either the media criticism, or the fact that Sunday's trip scheduled almost immediately afterwards.  Does that sound like a deliberate holdoff until "officials onsite wanted them" or an immediate reaction to bad PR?  Harwood didn't even bring that possibility up. 

Either it was a remarkable coincidence that the "officials onsite" asked him down at that exact time, or a blatant lie by the administration.  Which do you think it was?  In any event, Today viewers were not given those choices, were they?

This, folks, is just one more example of why more and more people run, do not walk, to other sources of news. 

And it is just one more example of why I call NBC the No Barack Criticism network.


Ken Berwitz

Evidently, we will be able to assess the collective intelligence of Ohio's 17th District this year.

james traficante, the disgraced phony-balony windbag who represented that district for 9 terms, before going to jail for 7 years on corruption charges, has filed to run for his seat again, this time as an independent.

Will he get votes?  You better believe he will.  traficante always positioned himself as some kind of working-class-hero, who stood up for the little guy.  And a lot of people probably still buy it, just as there are people who still go to fortune tellers and people who still send money to that Nigerian lady who emails that she is trying to get $10 million out of the country, and will pay 10% of it if she's helped.

If this guy wins, we should name his district Spudsville, Ohio.  Because you would have to be a spud to vote for him.


Ken Berwitz

I am no fan of Bill Maher's and disagree with many of his positions - including when he bashes religion.

But I give credit where credit is due.  Unlike so many others in the entertainment industry, Maher evidently has no problem bashing Islam as much as other religions.

In the following video clip, he does a hysterically funny "fundamentalist fashion show":


Maher doesn't "bravely" go afer Christianity and Judaism while hiding in the bathroom on Islam.  That is both courageous and principled in its own way. 

I commend him for it....or, at any rate, I will when I stop laughing.

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