On NPR’s On Point today, a caller asked Brookings analyst Michael O’Hanlon to respond to Glenn Greenwald’s recent article which revealed O’Hanlon’s trip to Iraq had been choreographed by the Defense Department. “Well, I don’t have high regard for the kind of journalism that Mr. Greenwald has carried out here,” O’Hanlon said. “I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time rebutting Mr. Greenwald because he’s had frankly more time and more readership than he deserves.” Crooks and Liars has the audio.
Following President Bush and Karl Rove’s joint appearance yesterday on the White House lawn announcing Rove’s upcoming departure, CBS correspondent Bill Plante shouted, “If he’s so smart, how come you lost Congress?” For having the temerity to disrupt the White House’s scripted performance, Plante said he has been subjected to right-wing abuse:
As the President and Karl Rove walked away from the lectern after their emotional announcement of Rove’s resignation, I yelled a question: “If he’s so smart, why did you lose Congress?”
The President, as usual, didn’t answer. That’s OK — he doesn’t have to if he doesn’t want to. But judging by some of the reaction, you’d think I had been shouting obscenities in church!
“Unprofessional;” “Inappropriate;” “Unbecoming;” “Doesn’t show much class;” “you are a total idiot;” “Shill for the liberal Democrats.”
Christopher Hitchens on Rove:
I know something which is known to few but is not a secret. Karl Rove is not a believer, and he doesn’t shout it from the rooftops, but when asked, he answers quite honestly. I think the way he puts it is, “I’m not fortunate enough to be a person of faith.”
Rove, addressing President Bush:
At month’s end, I will join those whom you meet in your travels, the ordinary Americans who tell you they are praying for you. Like them, I will ask for God’s continued gifts of strength and wisdom for you and your work, your vital work for our country and the world, and for the Almighty’s continued blessing of our great country.
Last week, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani angered 9/11 rescue workers when he claimed he “was at ground zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers.” Though the insensitive and revealing comments garnered traditional news coverage, political pundits overwhelmingly ignored Rudy’s gaffe, according to a media analysis by Greg Sargent and Benjy Sarlin at The Horse’s Mouth.
In January, Fox announced that it would begin airing the “Half Hour News Hour” on Sunday nights, the so-called “right-wing answer to ‘The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.‘” “You can turn on any show and see Bush being bashed,” said creator Joel Surnow, producer of Fox’s 24. “There really is nothing out there for those who want satire that tilts right.” As Fox has learned, that’s because no one wants to watch that kind of satire.
TVNewser reports today that the HHNH has been canceled. In a memo to senior producers today, Fox News Corp.’s senior vice president Bill Shine announced:
Joel Surnow and I have mutually decided that we will not continue the Half Hour News Hour beyond its current 15 episode run. The last show will be presented on September 16th.
Shine claimed the reason for the shelving of the show was that Fox is “considering ways to retool the show for future scheduling needs.” He held out the chance that the show would air again: “There is still a chance you will see the program at some point in the future.”
The first show guest-starred right-wing all-stars Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter as President and Vice President. Watch a clip from a preview of the first show:
The reviews for the program were consistently dismal. Its very first review, from the Orlando Sentinel, decried the “[l]aughter, of an awfully canned variety, greets all the gags. Nothing happening on screen justifies these outbursts. … If we’re lucky, we’ll never hear of this dreadful show again.” “Sometimes the humor is so heavy-handed that it seems almost like self-parody,” said the New York Times. “The 1/2 Hour News Hour is slow torture all by itself,” said the Philadelpha Inquirer.
What the right-wing failed to grasp is Jon Stewart is funny not because he spins falsehoods but because he tells the truth.
I’ll offer a fuller reaction to Rudy Giualiani’s Foreign Affairs manifesto (short version: this man is batshit insane) tomorrow, but for now let me observe that I hadn’t quite realized the extent to which he intends to replace the War on Terror with a War on Usage: “We have responded forcefully to the Terrorists’ War on Us, abandoning a decadelong — and counterproductive — strategy of defensive reaction in favor of a vigorous offense.”
I’d known, of course, about the “terrorists’ war on us” but are the capital letters really necessary? Preventing the emergence of a world where this is a phrase we need to read regularly in our newspapers seems like reason enough to hope for Giuliani to be defeated.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) delivered a letter today addressed to Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and John Rockefeller (D-WV), urging them to fix the FISA law that was passed before Congress recessed:
I know both of you share my disappointment at the process that led to passage of the recent law, and at the flawed outcome itself, which you and I and many others strongly opposed. [...]
When the Senate reconvenes in September, I fully support your committees working expeditiously together and in a bipartisan manner to develop a longer-term statutory change that better serves American national security interests and comports with the Constitution and proper judicial and congressional oversight.
Justin Logan strolls through the archives of The Washington Quarterly to find Pollack & Bynum arguing that “a multinational force of initially at least 100,000 troops” would suffice to “reassure Iraq’s Shi‘a and Kurdish communities that repression at the hands of Iraqi Sunnis is at an end” and also “reassure Iraqi Sunnis that the end of their monopoly on power does not mean their persecution and repression, minimizing their incentives to oppose the process.” No insurgency, no sectarian violence. If only we’d listened to them!
Oh, wait. . . .
Karl Rove will grant his first post-resignation exclusive to right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh. A press release from Premiere Radio Networks states:
Live on the radio airwaves tomorrow, August 15, at 1:06 p.m. ET, Karl Rove will be a guest on The Rush Limbaugh Show. This is the former Deputy Chief of Staff’s first exclusive interview since his resignation from the Bush Administration.
On his radio show yesterday, Rush lavished Rove with praise, calling him “one of the smartest people you would ever run into” and a “fine, upstanding, cheerful, optimistic person just like the president is.”
With his softball questions and divisive partisan rhetorical attacks on progressives, Rush Limbaugh has made his radio show a friendly forum for the Bush White House. And he has been rewarded for it. While the White House hosted a group of ten top conservative radio hosts earlier this month, Limbaugh was treated to his own private confab with Bush. He described it recently on his radio show in the following way:
The president and I, Ed Gillespie in the room who took over for Dan Bartlett. We had cigars and beverages for a couple hours in the Treaty Room up in the residence. It was so much fun.
Just prior to the November 2006 midterm elections, Bush appeared on Rush’s show to emphasize his call for staying the course in Iraq. Limbaugh has also coddled numerous other administration officials on his show, including Dick Cheney, Tony Snow, Condoleezza Rice, and Donald Rumsfeld. Expect tomorrow’s appearance by Rove to be similarly treated as love fest.
“In one of the worst single incidents” in four years of war in Iraq, “three suicide bombers driving fuel tankers attacked a town, home to an ancient minority sect, in northern Iraq” today, killing at least 175 people while injuring hundreds more.