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  • Washingtonpost.com removes "Mad Bitch" video; spokesperson says "satirical piece" "went too far"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    UPDATE: Politico's Michael Calderone reports:

    "The video was a satirical piece that lampooned people of all stripes," a Post spokesperson tells POLITICO. "There was a section of the video that went too far, so we have removed the piece from our website."

    Previously:

    Post's Milbank, flashing Hillary Clinton photo: "We won't tell you who's getting a bottle of Mad Bitch" beer

  • UPDATED: Tell us again why the Post fired Dan Froomkin?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    CJR sums up the Post's online idiocy from today:

    No joke. And I mean that literally: "Ménage à Stella Artois" manages to be both glibly insulting and extraordinarily un-funny. Which is, in itself, fairly insulting...One wonders how much of the Post staff's time and resources were devoted to researching, writing, staging, shooting, and editing such an extraordinarily value-free contribution to the annals of political commentary.

  • Lou Dobbs really wanted to be on The O'Reilly Factor this week

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    In fact, Dobbs was tentatively schedule for the Tuesday night broadcast, to talk about birthers, of course. But it appears his CNN boss may have put the kibosh on the appearance.

    From Mediaite:

    Now Mediaite has obtained the email exchange between Dobbs' team and the Fox producers, proving the CNN host's interest in appearing on the program.

    The emails show a lengthy exchange between Steve Karas, a publicist for Dobbs' radio show, and Rob Monaco, an O'Reilly Factor producer. Tuesday morning, Karas pitched a Dobbs appearance on the Fox News program, saying Dobbs was "very interested in coming on."

    I have to say it's becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of what CNN's bosses have final say over in terms of Dobbs and his birther crusade. CNN chief Jon Klein claims the cabler has no influence in terms of what Dobbs says on his radio show. Yet in this case, it was Dobbs' radio show flaks who were lining up an appearance on Fox News. Did CNN suddenly step in and overrule Dobbs' radio show publicity? And if it did, why can't CNN step in and overrule what Dobbs says on his radio show regarding birthers?

  • Birther "mastermind" Taitz reportedly calls CNN's Dobbs "very understanding," "biggest supporter"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From a July 30 Daily Beast article by senior writer Max Blumenthal:

    Among Taitz's "biggest supporters," she said, is CNN anchor Lou Dobbs. "I did Lou's radio show for half an hour and he was very understanding," she told me. "He became a supporter and since then he became a supporter of the whole [Obama eligibility] issue." Indeed, during the July 15 broadcast of Dobbs' radio show, he praised Taitz's work, suggested Obama might be "undocumented," and demanded the president "show the documents" to prove he was born in the United States.

    [...]

    By the time the ruling was handed down, Cook's case had become a conservative cause célèbre. Among the media bigwigs who publicized the case were Sean Hannity and Dobbs, who segued into a segment on Cook by announcing, "New questions are being raised about Obama's eligibility to serve as president." On his radio show the same day, Dobbs said Cook "should be taken seriously. There are real questions here that need to be answered."

    Taitz told me that Dobbs invited her on his nightly TV program to discuss the Cook case but wound up calling in sick. Instead, Dobbs' fill-in, Kitty Pilgrim, covered the story. Pilgrim was visibly embarrassed by the topic, remarking, "CNN has investigated the issue, found no basis for the questions about the president's birthplace... There is overwhelming evidence that proves the president's birth certificate is real."

    Taitz told me Dobbs assured her after the broadcast that he would bring her back on his program for a sympathetic treatment. But Taitz's appearance was canceled when CNN President Jon Klein declared Dobbs' questioning of Obama's citizenship a "dead story," then told Variety's Brian Lowry, "It would not be legitimate for Lou or anyone else at CNN to explore whether Barack Obama is an American citizen."

    Deprived of an appearance with Dobbs, her "biggest supporter," Taitz takes heart from the support she receives from the conservative online community and a cadre of Republican members of Congress.

    Previously:

    Meet the Birthers: This is who Lou Dobbs is mainstreaming

    Colbert to "mother" of birthers: "So few people are willing to compare the Obama administration to Nazi Germany"

  • National Review: Obama is a "racist" who's hiding information about his birth certficate

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Quite a busy week for the deep thinkers at National Review. Earlier this week we noted that NRO's Jonah Goldberg thought Glenn Beck had nothing to apologize for after going on TV and saying the President of the United States has a "deep-seated hatred of white people." (It's so obvious, people.)

    And now, NR's Andrew McCarthy claims Obama is concealing his true identity and that's why he won't release his 'real' birth certificate.

    Yep, I'm gonna say it: Bill Buckley must be rolling over in his grave.

  • New York Times vs. Washington Post

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Today, both have articles about Karl Rove's role in the firing of U.S. federal prosecutors. But the articles paint very different pictures.

    The Post headline:

    E-Mails Show Larger White House Role in Prosecutor Firings

    The Post lede:

    Political adviser Karl Rove and other high-ranking figures in the Bush White House played a greater role than previously understood in the firing of federal prosecutors almost three years ago, according to e-mails obtained by The Washington Post, in a scandal that led to mass Justice Department resignations and an ongoing criminal probe.

    By contrast, the Times allows Rove to frame the story with its headline:

    Rove Says His Role in Prosecutor Firings Was Small

    The Times lede:

    Karl Rove, addressing the dismissal of federal prosecutors in 2006 when he was a top adviser to President George W. Bush, said in a recent interview that he had sought status reports about vacancies in prosecutors' offices, pushed subordinates to find a job for a former deputy and monitored plans for dismissals as they evolved after Mr. Bush's re-election in 2004.

    My guess is that Rove and his attorney liked the Times story better.

  • Gee, where did 58 percent of Republicans get the idea that Barack Obama's citizenship is in doubt?

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    So, 58 percent of Republicans either think Barack Obama was not born in America, or aren't sure. As Politico's Glenn Thrush explains:

    That means a majority of Republicans polled either don't know about -- or don't believe the seemingly incontrovertible evidence Obama's camp has presented over and over and over that he was born in Hawaii in '61.

    Now, where on earth would people get the idea that Barack Obama might not have been born in Hawaii?

    Obama has, after all, proven that he was. The state of Hawaii and its Republican governor have said that he was born there. Prominent conservatives like Joe Scarborough have made clear that Obama was born in the US. Even many of the nuttier media conservatives -- Ann Coulter, David Horowitz, Michelle Malkin -- have dismissed the Birther conspiracy theories.

    But not everyone has been clear that there's nothing to this nonsense. Lou Dobbs promotes this insanity, pretending that Obama has not proven his citizenship. And CNN -- the "most trusted name in news" stands by him as he does so.

    CNN may not realize this yet, but this is not a game. Lou Dobbs' promotion of ludicrous conspiracy theories is not amusing, and it is not harmless.

    A frighteningly large number of people believe the patently, provably, obviously, clearly false claims that Barack Obama was not born in America. At best, that does significant damage to the public's ability to make informed decisions, without which democracy cannot properly function.

    That's bad enough, but what happens when some nutcase decides he's going to do something about this foreign interloper illegally sitting in the White House?

    The bottom line is that millions of Americans hold the false belief that Barack Obama's American citizenship has not been proved -- and CNN's Lou Dobbs is the most prominent media figure who has given that theory credence. The linkage between those two facts is clear -- unless CNN wants to argue that its reporting has no effects whatsoever on the beliefs of its viewers.

  • Politico's Thrush: Birther movement is "a proxy for racism"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From Glenn Thrush's July 31 Politico post:

    A whopping 58 percent of Republicans either think Barack Obama wasn't born in the US (28 percent) or aren't sure (30 percent). A mere 42 percent think he was.

    That means a majority of Republicans polled either don't know about -- or don't believe the seemingly incontrovertible evidence Obama's camp has presented over and over and over that he was born in Hawaii in '61.

    It also explains why Republicans, including Roy Blunt, are playing footsie with the Birther fringe.

    Surprise, surprise: Birther sentiment was strongest in the South and among the 60-plus crowd - presumably because seniors can't log on to the Internet and rely on rumor, word of mouth and right-wing talk radio.

    When do we start a serious dialog about the Birther movement being a proxy for racism that is unacceptable to articulate in more direct terms?

  • NY Post blows lid off Governor-attends-friend's-birthday-party scandal!

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Let me get this straight: After years of the media acting as though the most important decision in casting your vote is determining which candidate you'd rather have a drink with, and after the media decided that the president having a beer with a cop and a professor was so awesome it required on-screen graphics and a countdown clock, the New York Post thinks it's an outrage that the Governor of New York had a cocktail at a birthday party?

    Come on.

    And does anyone think the New York Post would have run this article if the Governor's name was "George Pataki," and the birthday party was at Sully's Irish Pub, and the drink was a bottle of Bud?

    Seems unlikely to me.

    But Governor David Paterson, at a birthday party for a BET executive (and longtime friend), drinking an Elderflower cocktail? Scandal!

  • Time's Michael Scherer should've quit while he was ahead

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    In his obligatory beer dispatch, he begins [emphasis added]:

    Four men sat at a table drinking beer--the most photographed beer in the world. That is pretty much all there is to say, which is just how President Barack Obama wants it.

    But alas, Scherer then goes on for 1,100 more words even though he doesn't have much to say. (i.e. "Consider that the beer they drank had been chosen for its symbolic value.")

    P.S. If anyone reads anything even remotely insightful printed anywhere in the mainstream media today about the beer event, please post a link in comments. To date, I certainly have seen anything that even comes close. But I have read and heard plenty of blah, blah, blah.