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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Brent Bozell’

Osama’s Controversial Aftermath

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

It’s inevitable that the joy and national unity over the killing of that monster bin Laden would cool. Already we’re debating the journalistic and political ramifications. President Obama told CBS he wouldn’t “spike the football” by releasing photos proving Osama is dead.

I agree with the president, as much as that pains my friend Sean Hannity and other conservatives (and non-conservatives like Juan Williams). Some argue that it will put to rest any conspiracy theories that this is but a hoax. No, it won’t.

Let’s go back to the American killing of Saddam Hussein’s sons Uday and Qusay in 2003. To deal with the paranoia and disbelief of Iraqis, the military allowed access to the bodies – after they did facial reconstructions to make the sons look more like they did before their faces were shot off.

Guess what? None of that helped with many Iraqis, who continued to express skepticism. The failure of the Hussein sons to reappear (and now Osama) should be proof for the doubters, but not so for fanatics. Before he had birthers; now we’ll have deathers.

Is the inherent risk of greater violence by the release of the pictures worth it? Reuters gained access to some grisly pictures of dead men at Osama’s compound. I look at them and see pictures of dead killers, murderers of innocent men, women and children – and I’m glad they’re dead. Many millions of Muslims will see pictures of what appear to be defenseless, innocent men – and will be outraged. Perception is everything. Why fuel it?

Why not just say – proclaim – Osama bin Laden’s dead, and we’re happy with the result? On the broader question, we can ask our media to please develop a consistent standard for these things. Why aren’t they going nuclear against Obama’s (correct) decision? Whatever happened to their “right to know”?

On August 4, 2005, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press proclaimed that a coalition of 14 media organizations and public interest groups they organized – including CBS, NBC, and The New York Times – had filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the ACLU in U.S. District Court in New York urging the release of Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse photos.

The RCFP also filed an amicus brief for the release of detainee-abuse photos in prisons other than Abu Ghraib, which the Obama administration agreed to release in April 2009.

“The government has taken the position in this case that the more outrageous the behavior exhibited by American troops, the less the public has a right to know about it,” complained RCFP executive director Lucy Dalglish.

So far, in the days since the White House announced it would not release the Osama photos, there’s been no objection from the RCFP.

Liberal journalists have favored gruesome images when the dead are American troops. In both wars with Iraq, in 1991 and in 2003, former CBS anchor Walter Cronkite insisted it was terrible (even “criminal”) that “we’re still not seeing the bloodletting.”

In 2006, CNN chose to show video, apparently made by Iraqi insurgents, of American soldiers being shot by a sniper. I don’t recall the liberal journalists or Senator Barack Obama raising objections to that.

Under the liberal standard here, it seems political: the “right to know” matches neatly with the need to embarrass (or “hold accountable”) the Bush administration. Embarrassment or accountability isn’t so urgent at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in the Osama case.

Team Obama also faces a curious controversy over Osama’s quick burial at sea, achieved so as to satisfy Muslim religious traditions. Once again, unlike many conservatives, I didn’t have an early objection to showing that respect – not to Osama, but to the faith he supposedly upheld. A quick glance at American military procedures for the burial of internees suggests a burial according to the religious rites of the deceased. That’s simple American decency.

But if it will help, upset conservatives can go to al-Jazeera and discover they’ve found Muslims who think the burial at sea was horrendous. Yahya Hendi, Muslim chaplain of Georgetown University, called the sea burial an “absolute violation” of Islamic traditions, and an unwise decision that (naturally) mars America’s image.

“Islamic law traditionally allows disposing of a corpse at sea only if the person dies on board ship and there is no possibility of getting the body to dry land before it decomposes,” added Marion Katz, professor of “Islamic law, gender and ritual” at New York University.

The Media Never Loved Reagan

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Is it not amazing that it’s taken the news media this long to discover that Ronald Reagan was a role model? While he lived and even after he died, they shot every arrow and dropped every bomb they could on this man and his reputation.

Now that we’ve been marking his 100th birthday and America is celebrating, they find him useful. They’re trying to rub Reagan’s magic all over a floundering Obama.

After Obama’s latest State of the Union speech – a dreary, boring spectacle for a normally riveting speaker – all three networks praised Obama as “Reaganesque,” as if he were one of the sunniest American exceptionalists. The cover of Time promised to explain “Why Obama [Hearts] Reagan,” and the story inside the magazine was titled “The Role Model,” oozing that Obama “realized long ago that Ronald Reagan was a transformational president.”

This is all a grand deception.

The multitude of Americans who were very young or yet unborn in the Reagan years might be misled from one enormous reality: in his prime, Reagan was deeply dispised by the the same media that now honor him. He was stupid, he was uncaring, he was evil, he was senile, and he was going to ruin America, if not destroy the world in a nuclear war.

The Media Research Center has assembled a Special Report to recount some of the most pernicious and false attacks on Reagan. Let’s consider just a few examples, among hundreds.

Take the class war. The “news” people were always waging it. ABC’s Richard Threlkeld went to a Miami riot scene in 1989 and announced: “There is an Overtown in every big city in America. Pockets of misery made even meaner and more desperate the past eight years.” NBC’s Bryant Gumbel proclaimed in 1989: “Largely as a result of the policies and priorities of the Reagan administration, more people are becoming poor and staying poor in this country than at any time since World War II.”

NBC reporter Keith Morrison took the cake in 1992: “Did we wear blinders? Did we think the ’80s just left behind the homeless? The fact is that almost nine in ten Americans actually saw their lifestyle decline.” Morrison completely ignored reality: Census Bureau data shows median family income increased in all income classes from 1981 to 1989.

The meanest attack was that Reagan’s lack of caring led to a pile of AIDS deaths. NBC’s Maria Shriver asked activist Elizabeth Glaser at the 1992 Democratic convention: “You place the responsibility for the death of your daughter squarely on the feet of the Reagan administration. Do you believe they’re responsible for that?”

A 1998 PBS program on Reagan claimed: “AIDS became an epidemic in the 1980s, nearly 50,000 died. Reagan largely ignored it.” CBS “Sunday Morning” TV critic John Leonard sneered that Reagan “took this plague less seriously than Gerald Ford had taken swine flu. After all, he didn’t need the ghettos and he didn’t want the gays.” He added, as Reagan’s legacy: “by 1992, 194,364 American men, women, and children were dead.”

(In reality, AIDS funding skyrocketed in the 1980s, almost doubling each year from 1983 – when the media started blaring headlines – from $44 million to $103 million, $205 million, $508 million, $922 million, and then $1.6 billion in 1988. This is what CBS calls “largely ignoring it.”)

But defense spending was, by contrast, an enormous waste. Take it from ABC’s Jim Wooten in 1990: “The dreaded federal deficit, created, for the most part, by the most massive peacetime military buildup in America’s history.” (But in 1990, defense spending was a fourth of the budget and had decreased 16 percent in the previous five years, while entitlements were half the budget and grew sharply.)

The reality of the Reagan years was a historic economic recovery, a strong defense posture that led to the demise of the Soviet empire, and an America that once more burst with pride. But media liberals were so obstinate in denying reality that CBS’s Morley Safer huffed just days after Reagan passed away: “When it gets down to the real substance, I don’t think history has any reason to be kind to him.”

All Reagan received was mudballs like this one from NBC’s Tom Brokaw at the end of 1989: “Reagan, as commander-in-chief, was the military’s best friend. He gave the Pentagon almost everything it wanted. That spending, combined with a broad tax cut, contributed to a trillion-dollar deficit…. Social programs? They suffered under Reagan. But he refused to see the cause and effect.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-media-never-loved-reagan/2011/02/09/

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