Mort Kondracke

Tags ››› Mort Kondracke
  • For Conservative Media, Iran Is Always A Year Away From Having Nukes

    Blog ››› ››› MIKE BURNS

    Recently, conservative media have been pushing for Israel or the United States to launch a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, in some cases justifying an attack by claiming that Iran is on the verge of acquiring a nuclear weapon. In the context of Fox's efforts to beat the drums of war, Fox News national security analyst KT McFarland distorted comments by Secretary of Defense and former CIA director Leon Panetta to claim that "Iran will have a nuclear weapon in a year or sooner." (Panetta actually said, "The consensus is that, if they decided to do it, it would probably take them about a year to be able to produce a bomb and then possibly another one to two years in order to put it on a deliverable vehicle of some sort in order to deliver that weapon.")

    Contrary to what conservatives claim, however, there are significant questions about whether Iran is planning to build nuclear weapons at all. Indeed, 2007 and 2011 National Intelligence Estimates found no conclusive evidence that Iran is even trying to build a bomb. In January 31 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper reiterated the fact that the U.S. intelligence committee does not have evidence to say that Iran is trying to build a bomb.

    But there is another good reason to have some skepticism when conservatives warn that Iran is on the verge of having a nuclear weapon: they have been warning that Iran is months, a year, or at most two years away from the bomb for years. Here are some examples:

    2005: Iran Is "Months" Away From The Bomb

    • In December 2005, both Rush Limbaugh and a Washington Times editorial repeated a distortion from the Drudge Report of comments by International Atomic Energy Agency director general Mohamed ElBaradei regarding how soon Iran might have a nuclear weapon; the Times claimed ElBaradei said Iran was "a few months" away and Limbaugh claimed ElBaradei said Iran was "months away." ElBaradei actually said that Iran may be able to produce a nuclear weapon "a few months" after it becomes capable of enriching uranium to a grade suitable for making weapons, which, according to the IAEA and news reports on U.S. intelligence at the time, was at least two years away.
  • Krauthammer latest Fox commentator to criticize Palin in the Fox 2012 Primary

    Blog ››› ››› FAE JENCKS

    On tonight's episode of The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly asked Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer to weigh in on the presidential prospects of potential Republican challengers to President Obama - specifically, those of Fox News' own Sarah Palin.

    O'Reilly asked Krauthammer why Palin is polling so far behind President Obama, as compared to other candidates like Mitt Romney and her Fox co-worker, Mike Huckabee. While initially, Krauthammer suggested that her lack of support was caused, in part because "the media's contributed enormously" to the "unprecedented" level of "animus to her," he focused the majority of his criticism on the way she has handled herself during her stint in the political spotlight. Watch:

    Krauthammer remarked specifically on Palin's infamous interview with Katie Couric, noting that it was not a "gotcha interview" and that she was asked "fairly simple questions." While Krauthammer "would have hoped" that Palin would "spend the next years sort of getting really deep into policy" even though "it sounds really dull," he points out that this has not been the case.

    Instead of studying up on policy, she has spent time, as Krauthammer notes, putting herself "out there," earning millions in free publicity by logging hours on Fox News.

    Krauthammer is hardly the first Fox contributor to knock Palin's credentials. Karl Rove is a frequent critic and has questioned Palin's recent foray into reality television, suggesting that she lacked the "certain level of gravitas" required in a presidential candidate. Fellow Fox News contributor Morton Kondracke agreed with Rove and even told Media Matters' Joe Strupp that he thinks Palin is "a joke."

    The year may be winding down, but the Fox News primary is certainly heating up.

  • Fox contributor Kondracke calls Sarah Palin a "joke"

    Blog ››› ››› BEN DIMIERO

    As we've seen, when a news network employs both politicians considering running for office and analysts expected to give their honest political assessments, things can get messy. A split is emerging in Fox News between people who think Fox contributor Sarah Palin is qualified to run for president, and those who don't.

    Fox contributor Karl Rove recently indicated that he did not feel Palin has the "gravitas" necessary for the presidency. Palin responded by questioning why Rove feels "so threatened and so paranoid." Apparently Rove has some company among Fox employees.

    As reported by Politico's Keach Hagey, Fox contributor Mort Kondracke thinks Jim DeMint and Sarah Palin "are responsible for the fact that the Senate did not go Republican" due to their support of candidates Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell, Ken Buck, and Joe Miller. Discussing whether Palin could be the GOP nominee in 2012, Kondracke said that she is "a joke even within her own party" and "the idea that she would be the presidential nominee is unthinkable."

    Kondracke has previously had harsh words for Palin, saying during an appearance on Fox News' Special Report in 2008 that she is "utterly unqualified to be President. She is the Dan Quayle of - she's worse than Dan Quayle. Dan Quayle at least had served as a senator and was, you know, and was conversant with national issues."


    Here's the video of Kondracke's comments:

  • After decrying "criminalizing politics," conservative media falsely claim WH's "garden-variety politics" broke laws


    Conservative media have claimed the White House's controversial conversations with Rep. Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff -- which have been described by experts as "garden-variety politics" -- constituted criminal activity. But when Bush administration official Scooter Libby was investigated, tried, and convicted, conservative media decried it as "criminalizing politics."

  • Fox News suspicious of Chamber defections, but network cheered AARP membership losses

    ››› ››› JOCELYN FONG

    Following reports that the White House has sidestepped the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to meet directly with CEOs about health care reform and that the Chamber believes the White House has encouraged defections of its members because of its positions on health care reform and other issues, Fox News figures and guests have asserted as fact that the Obama administration has urged these defections and have denounced the alleged White House strategy as, in the words of Charles Krauthammer, "Chicago-level politics." However, when reporting in August that 60,000 members had left AARP since July 1 because of AARP's support for health care reform, Fox News cheered the defections as being the result of, in Sean Hannity's words, AARP's "love affair" with President Obama and repeatedly hosted AARP defectors, who often fearmongered about the effects of health care reform on seniors.