Category Archive 'ABC'
04 Oct 2010

“The Flag of Islam Will Fly Over the White House”

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On Christine Amanpour’s October 3rd broadcast of ABC Television’s This Week, Anjem Choudary, a former British solicitor and Muslim cleric, spokesman for the group Islam4UK, predicted global Islamic rule, including over the United States.

“We do believe as Muslims the East and the West will be governed by the Sharia,” Choudray. “Indeed we believe that one day the flag of Islam will fly over the White House. Indeed, there’s even an oration of the Prophet where he said, ‘The day of judgment will not come until a group of my Ummah conquer the one house.’”

Hat tip to Newsbusters.

01 Sep 2010

US Media Committing Suicide By Ideology

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Daniel Greenfield, from across the border in Canada, looks at, and reflects upon, the American mainstream media’s determined self destruction.

Whether it’s Newsweek being sold to the husband of a Democratic congresswoman for a dollar, or ABC deciding to turn This Week into a BBC program by turning it over to Christiane Amanpour, last week the dying media itself provided us with two examples of why it’s dying.

By choosing radicalism over readers, the media continues narrowing its own readership and viewership, pursuing ideological purity, not only over integrity, but even over its own profits and future viability.

Take ABC’s news division, which has always been notorious for its political radicalism and distaste for the average American viewer.

Whether it was Peter Jennings comparing American voters to “a nation two-year olds” throwing a tantrum for voting in a Republican congress in 1994 (expect this metaphor to make a comeback after these midterm elections) or Ted Koppel turning the names of dead servicemen into an anti-war statement (Koppel was the alternative candidate to take over This Week), this has been the ABC way. But turning over This Week to Christiane Amanpour is part of the growing blend of ABC News and the BBC.

The question though is who is Christiane Amanpour meant to appeal to? To viewers who wanted another foreign talking head snootily reading the news at them, not to them. Who were desperately longing for an ABC News on air personality sympathetic to Islamic terrorists? And why would those people even bother with ABC News, when they already have the BBC.

The problem with the American media is that it doesn’t speak to Americans. That’s why FOX News is successful, and CNN is in the basement. Network news exists underwritten by medication and mutual fund commercials, and even so it’s losing money. ABC News is making severe cutbacks even while cutting Amanpour a 2 million dollar paycheck for a show hardly anyone watches anymore. …

And that is why the media is doomed. By putting politics over profitability, the media left alienated viewers and readers exactly during the critical transition period when it needed them most. And the worse its fortunes grow, the more radical its politics have become.

Ruling out NewsMax as a buyer, while selling Newsweek to the husband of a Democratic congresswoman for a dollar (still more than it’s worth) will allow it to keep grinding along for a time as a source of lifestyle tips and left wing rants. It is however only a matter of delaying the inevitable. The media cannot survive as a pity project. Not while it is alienating its remaining viewers and readers. And even a government bailout cannot sustain a financially unsustainable industry. And finally there are only so many jobs available at PBS and NPR.

When the left turned magazines, newspapers and TV news into its own bully pulpit, they helped drive away consumers, while locking up those same publications and broadcasts into a liberal ghetto, that was still not liberal enough for them. As print publications increasingly turn their websites into masses of blogs, it becomes hard to tell the difference between Time Magazine, Foreign Policy and the New York Times—and the Huffington Post and Daily Kos. All of them have angry left wing bloggers denouncing Republicans, America and Israel. The difference is that the official media outlets have more prominent names like Joe Klein or Robert Mackey blogging for them.

The Journalist scandal is the tip of the iceberg that shows just how thin the line between the press and the policies that they advocate really is. But that’s not news to anyone. The liberal media is not some right wing talking point, poll after poll shows most of people who read newspapers and watch the news have come to that conclusion on their own. Because while the media elite may sneer at them, the public knows quite well what they stand for. And the more the media goes left, the less the public trusts it. …

The left’s hijacking of American culture has turned institutions into rags and rubble, and it will only get worse. Because the left does not know when to stop. Does not understand that it should stop. That is why left wing revolutions that do succeed, eventually culminate in multiple levels of purges that exterminate many of the original revolutionaries, or send them off to fight and die somewhere else, turning them into convenient martyrs who look good on blood-red T-shirts.

Read the whole thing.

Hat tip to the Barrister.

21 May 2010

“I Leave the Field of Ideas to Doctor Schweitzer and Doctor Zhivago”

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Vladimir Nabokov

From the history of American television:

In the 1950’s ABC television Close-up! documentary series, John Daly interviews Vladimir Nabokov and Lionel Trilling, pt. 1 — 5:41 video — pt. 2 5:51 video

Nabokov lispingly delivers dismissive apothegms in an effete and frivolous style inevitably reminding one of Anthony Blanche, while Trilling is earnest, grave, serious, and sometimes just a bit obsequious.

Great lines:

“I don’t want to touch hearts, and I don’t even want to affect minds very much. What I want to produce is really that little sob in the spine of the artist reader. I leave the field of ideas to Doctor Schweitzer and Doctor Zhivago.”

“It was fun to breed her in my laboratory,” says Vladimir Nabokov of Lolita.

Hat tip to Cynical-C via David Ross.

11 Feb 2010

Interview With Bin Ladin’s Son

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ABC News talks to Omar bin Ladin in Dubai.

Apparently, Osama’s sons were not interested in volunteering to be suicide bombers.

Osama bin Laden’s son has a chilling warning for those who are hunting his father with drones, secret agents and missile strikes.

From Omar bin Laden’s up-close look at the next generation of mujahideen and al Qaeda training camps he says the worst may lie ahead, that if his father is killed America may face a broader and more violent enemy, with nothing to keep them in check.

“From what I knew of my father and the people around him I believe he is the most kind among them, because some are much, much worse,” Omar bin Laden, who was raised in the midst of his father’s fighters, told ABC News in an exclusive interview. “Their mentality wants to make more violence, to create more problems.” …

And despite the $25 million bounty on his father’s head and the ever-searching drones, Omar is confident that his father won’t be caught and that no Afghan will turn him in.

“It’s been 30 years now since he started fighting there. Who could catch him? No one…. This is the country that whoever gets in is stuck, be it the armies or the mujahideen,” he said. Omar says even he does not know where his father is. …

Osama bin Laden raised his family of five wives (plus one marriage that was annulled) and more than a dozen children in a way meant to make them tough and ready for the rigors of war. He shunned air conditioning and refrigerators in the desert heat, banned toys and the kind of laughter that showed too many teeth, refused to wince when his men used Omar’s puppies as the victims in chemical weapons tests. He would cane his children for the slightest misbehavior, at times hitting them so hard the stick would break.

Osama Bin Laden Urged His Sons to Be Suicide Bombers

“He didn’t treat us differently than any of his followers. He just expected us to act like everyone else, because he was the leader,” said Omar. He and his brothers were given weapons training. In a breaking point between them, Osama encouraged them to sign up for suicide missions, volunteering to blow themselves up.

“We were shocked. Why would our father say something like this to us? After he went away we just talked about it and said this was never going to happen, this was not our way.” Omar found the rare and substantial nerve it took to talk back.

“I objected, and said why did you do this? What is the point? He didn’t respond. We were not more important than his big goal…and nothing would stop him from this.”

Read the whole thing.

19 Jan 2010

Mikey Weinstein: Use of Trijicon Sights Producing “Jesus Rifles”

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John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Mikey Weinstein, vengeful secularist crusader against expressions of Christianity by the US Military and founder and proprietor of his own advocacy group, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, really knows how to write the kinds of press releases the liberal MSM cannot resist.

This time, Mikey, having noticed that the Trijicon gunsight company makes a practice of placing Bible verse references to light and vision as a kind of corporate logo on its hardware, alerted ABC News, informing its shocked and gaping journalists that the use of aftermarker equipment featuring such expressions by the manufacturer is wrong and illegal and unconstitutional, too.

It’s wrong, it violates the Constitution, it violates a number of federal laws,” said Michael “Mikey” Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an advocacy group that seeks to preserve the separation of church and state in the military.

“It allows the Mujahedeen, the Taliban, al Qaeda and the insurrectionists and jihadists to claim they’re being shot by Jesus rifles,” he said.

What Mr. Weinstein is insisting upon is the complete eradication of Christian religious expression, even to the point of banning references and allusions.

Presumably, someone serving in the US Military could not be permitted to wear a Yale t shirt or class ring either, since they would bear the Hebrew Urim and Thummim of Yale’s motto Lux et Veritas, another Biblical light allusion. And the CIA would need to give up its motto, inscribed on the floor of its Langley Headquarters, John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. The Department of Defense would have to uproot all the crosses in military cemeteries. Every single cultural allusion or reference to Christianity in history or to the Bible or religious expression in literature or music would have to be banned.

In reality, it is Mr. Weinstein, operating on the basis of a vindictive and malevolent hostility to a religious tradition different from his own, who is attempting to manipulate the media into assisting him in bullying public officials into enforcing his own irrational and extremist preferences, amounting to the illegal and unconstitutional suppression of Christian religious expression.

Frankly, there are a lot of Americans out there who think that if Mujahedeen, the Taliban, al Qaeda and the insurrectionists and jihadists out there complain they are being shot by “Jesus rifles,” that’s fine by us.

19 Apr 2008

Left Journalists Attack ABC Moderators

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The “Progressive” camp’s media hitmen are out in force attempting to avenge Obama’s loss of the recent debate as the result of critical questions about the democrat Left’s annointed candidate’s background and associations by ABC moderators George Stephanopoulos and Charles Gibson.

The Left likes to dish it out, but it doesn’t like to take it very much. Commentary’s Peter Wehner wonders just how “despicable” and “shameful” the same sort of questions would be if the shoe were on the other foot.

In an article today, Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post cites various media figures–from Tom Shales of the Post to Greg Mitchell of Editor & Publisher to Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News to MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann–who are outraged at the performance of George Stephanopoulos and Charles Gibson during Wednesday’s Democratic debate. The ABC News duo’s performance, we are told, was “despicable,” “shameful,” and “disgraced democracy itself.”

And what did Stephanopoulos and Gibson do to earn this scorn? Why, they asked Barack Obama some probing questions, including one about his past relationships with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Jr. and a former leader of the Weather Underground, William Ayers.

Consider this thought experiment: Assume that a conservative candidate for the GOP nomination spent two decades at a church whose senior pastor was a white supremacist who uttered ugly racial (as well as anti-American) epithets from the pulpit. Assume, too, that this minister wasn’t just the candidate’s pastor but also a close friend, the man who married the candidate and his wife, baptized his two daughters, and inspired the title of his best-selling book.

In addition, assume that this GOP candidate, in preparing for his entry into politics, attended an early organizing meeting at the home of a man who, years before, was involved in blowing up multiple abortion clinics and today was unrepentant, stating his wish that he had bombed even more clinics. And let’s say that the GOP candidate’s press spokesman described the relationship between the two men as “friendly.”

Do you think that if those moderating a debate asked the GOP candidate about these relationships for the first time, after 22 previous debates had been held, that other journalists would become apoplectic at the moderators for merely asking about the relationships? Not only would there be a near-universal consensus that those questions should be asked; there would be a moral urgency in pressing for answers. We would, I predict, be seeing an unprecedented media “feeding frenzy.”

As John F. Harris & Jim Vandehei observe, the Left is using its entrenched position atop the mainstream media’s high ground to punish deviation and to intimidate those not perfectly loyal.

My, oh my, but weren’t those fellows from ABC News rude to Barack Obama at this week’s presidential debate.

Nothing but petty, process-oriented questions, asked in a prosecutorial tone, about the Democratic front-runner’s personal associations and his electability. Where was the substance? Where was the balance?

Where indeed. Hillary Rodham Clinton and her aides have been complaining for months about imbalance in news coverage. For the most part, the reaction to her from the political-media commentariat has been: Stop whining.

That’s still a good response now that it is Obama partisans — some of whom are showing up in distressingly inappropriate places — who are doing the whining.

The shower of indignation on Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos over the last few days is the clearest evidence yet that the Clintonites are fundamentally correct in their complaint that she has been flying throughout this campaign into a headwind of media favoritism for Obama.

Last fall, when NBC’s Tim Russert hazed Clinton with a bunch of similar questions — a mix of fair and impertinent — he got lots of gripes from Clinton supporters.

But there was nothing like the piling on from journalists rushing to validate the Obama criticisms and denouncing ABC’s performance as journalistically unsound.

The response was itself a warning about a huge challenge for reporters in the 2008 cycle: preserving professional detachment in a race that will likely feature two nominees, Obama and John McCain, who so far have been beneficiaries of media cheerleading.

23 May 2007

ABC Reports US Covert Operation Against Iran

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ABC News:

The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert “black” operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on

The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, say President Bush has signed a “nonlethal presidential finding” that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran’s currency and international financial transactions.

How can the publication of this kind of story in time of war not be vigorously prosecuted by the Department of Justice?

You don’t find the MSM reporting on the organized activities of retired and actively serving Intelligence officers, including ABC’s informants on this matter, to mount a covert “black” operation to destabilize the Bush Administration though, do you?

06 May 2007

The Press Is Not The Public

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David Broder, in today’s Washington Post, claims the left has a mandate for defeat, surrender, and withdrawal.

The gap between public opinion and Washington reality has rarely been wider than on the issue of the Iraq war. A clear national mandate is being blocked — for now — by constraints that make sense only in the short-term calculus of politics in this capital city.

The public verdict on the war is plain. Large majorities have come to believe that it was a mistake to go in, and equally large majorities want to begin the process of getting out. That is what the polls say; it is what the mail to Capitol Hill says; and it is what voters signaled when they put the Democrats back into control of Congress in November. …

The question that naturally arises is why the strongly expressed judgment of the people — responding to news of increasing American casualties in a seemingly intractable sectarian conflict — cannot be translated into action in Washington. …

One way or another, public opinion ultimately will be heeded on the war in Iraq. It is hard to imagine the Republicans going into the presidential election of 2008 with 150,000 American troops still taking heavy casualties in Iraq.

It’s true that the democrats won control of Congress last November, but many other issues and factors besides the war, and a number of Republican scandals, undoubtedly also played a role in that election’s results. The democrats gained a very narrow Congressional majority, and can hardly be described as possessing a mandate to do anything other than avoid taking bribes and molesting pages.

Which mandate alone should represent a more than adequate challenge, requiring all the moral resolve and political will the democrat party can possibly muster, if not more.

One hears the claim a lot these days that public opinion thinks this, and public opinion demands that, as if opinion polls conducted by news organizations represented some sort of meaningful, objective, binding, and official process. This sort of claim represents the grossest sort of attempt by journalists to usurp political authority.

The poll Mr. Broder cites in his own editorial was conducted by two notoriously biased news organizations, the Washington Post and ABC News. And its results are based on the responses of a mere 1082 adults, including an intentional “oversample of African-Americans.”

Opinion polls of 1000 or so of the people willing to talk to pollsters on the phone prove basically nothing. Opinion polls are typically artfully crafted. The questions they contain steer answers in the direction their creators desire.

That WaPo/ABC poll, which Broder cited, asked:

Do you think (the United States should keep its military forces in Iraq until civil order is restored there, even if that means continued U.S. military casualties); OR, do you think (the United States should withdraw its military forces from Iraq in order to avoid further U.S. military casualties, even if that means civil order is not restored there)?

But if I asked instead:

Do you think (the United States should abandon the civilian population of Iraq to Islamic Fundamentalism and sectarian violence, if that means destroying our future credibility in the eyes of both our friends and our adversaries abroad): OR, do you think (the United States should keep its word and implant stable and democratic government in Iraq, even at the cost of US military casualties)?

the poll results would be quite different.

Mr. Broder’s polls never can produce anything resembling a mandate. They only represent propaganda, typically created by dishonest and dishonorable advocates.

The only opinion polls which count occur officially and in November. The last election was inconclusive, as are the war’s current results.

Members of the left and its allies in the punditocracy looking for a mandate for surrender, withdrawal, and defeat need to look for it in the results of the 2008 election, and stop claiming that they already possess it.

01 Oct 2006

Wheels Within Wheels

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Clarice Feldman, at American Thinker, identifies some interesting background to the recent Rep. Mark Foley improper emails story.

1) The same emails were given to the St. Petersburg Times last November. The paper did not run a story.

2) The Foley story was hinted at Monday 9/18 on a new, and highly inactive, blog purportedly created 7/28 to Stop Sex Predators. Its management is unidentified, and in six weeks of previous operation it had produced 7 posts, all minor research papers on ancient history.

This blog dropped the bomb on Congressman Foley last Sunday, publishing 4 emails evidencing suspicious interest in, and overly-cordial expressions of good will towards, a 16 year old page.

3) On Thursday, 9/28, an ABC news blog took up the story, noting that Rep. Foley’s democrat opponent Tim Mahoney was calling for an investigation. The same day, another party contacted ABC with more explicit emails. Foley resigned 9/29.

4) Brian Ross, an ABC reporter with an interesting record of leftish partisanship (early source for Rush Limbaugh arrest, Russell Tines leak), took up the Foley story armed with some new IM correspondence.

5) CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington), a Soros-funded leftwing political litigation group, has jumped on board, calling for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the House Republican Leadership in connection with the Foley scandal.

Clarice Feldman thus demonstrates that the demise of Rep. Foley is no accident. The whole thing is another cleverly conceived, professionally-executed partisan operation, aimed at gaining at least one House seat, and damaging House Republicans as much as possible, on the basis of a planted story scheduled to break just weeks before the November elections.

12 Sep 2006

Nefarious Rightwing Plot Unveiled

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Max Blumenthal, in the Nation, identifies the secret conspiracy behind ABC’s recent docudrama.

On Friday, September 8, just forty-eight hours before ABC planned to air its so-called “docudrama,” The Path to 9/11, Robert Iger, CEO of ABC’s corporate parent, the Walt Disney Company, was presented with incontrovertible evidence outlining the involvement of that film’s screenwriter and director in a concerted right-wing effort to blame former President Bill Clinton for allowing the 9/11 attacks to take place. Iger told a source close to ABC that he was “deeply troubled” by the information and claimed he had no previous knowledge of the institutional right-wing ties of The Path to 9/11’s creators. He reportedly said that he has commenced an internal investigation to verify the role of the film’s creators in deliberately advancing disinformation through ABC.

Heavens to Betsy! The director of Path to 9/11, David L. Cunningham, comes from an Evangelical family. And its writer, Cyrus Nowrasteh, has an alarming past, involving (writing episodes of Falcon Crest and) some sort of friendship with Mr. Apuzzo and Ms. Murty of the conservative Libertas film blog. And aha! Mr. Apuzzo has an alliance of some kind with David Horowitz.

Mr. Blumenthal, and the editors of the Nation, seem to be operating on the basis of some peculiar cultural and political double-standard which regards the friendships, professional associations, and artistic productions of leftists active in the Entertainment Industry as entirely wholesome, natural, and normal forms of personal association and creative expression; and which, at the same time, considers even a single television production incorporating some conservative perspectives as a major outrage, and any indentifiable ties between conservatives as ipso facto evidence of deep dark conspiracy.

Let’s see here: Hollywood, accusations of secret covert ideological associations & intentional designs to influence public opinion in unsavory directions, efforts to silence members of the industry on the basis of unpopular opinions… Haven’t we all heard of that sort of thing before? Isn’t that… McCarthyism?

11 Sep 2006

Path to 9/11

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ABC’s redacted Path to 9/11 concluded tonight. All sophisticated viewers, I think, agree with John Fund, that, however slightly fictionalized, docudramas based on events within living memory are a fundamentally bad idea. There is simply no legitimate way to combine the needs of theatre with factuality.

Although I’m no admirer of the genre, I thought Path to 9/11 was not entirely a bad thing. It seemed to me that the television mini-series represented our culture’s collective unconsciousness, whispering in our ear a (basically valid) warning about the sclerotic tendencies of large institutions faced with unprecedented challenges. I don’t think any of the purported facts were terribly far off the mark, and the spectacular reaction of William Jefferson Clinton, a number of officials from his administration, and the Democrat Congressional leadership was every bit as entertaining as the program.

11 Sep 2006

What ABC Didn’t Broadcast

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Allahpundit has a side-by-side comparison of both the censored and uncensored versions of controversial scenes from ABC’s Path to 9/11.

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