Posts Tagged ‘Reed Irvine’

Susan Rice’s Effort to Defuse Talking-Points Issue Backfires

by Roger Aronoff on Thursday, November 29th, 2012

This is article 251 of 472 in the topic Government Corruption

Once again, CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson is leading the way among mainstream journalists. The winner of this year’s Reed Irvine Award for Investigative Reporting is making the obvious point—that the Obama administration can’t seem to get its story straight about many aspects of Benghazi-Gate.

The issue on the table this week is why UN Ambassador Susan Rice was sent out to five Sunday talk shows on September 16th to explain what happened the previous Tuesday, September 11, in Benghazi, Libya, with talking points that proved to be false. Who asked her to be the administration spokesperson on the issue, and who changed the talking points to remove references to al Qaeda and terrorism that were in the original version from the CIA? This week, Rice was sent out, presumably to help rehabilitate her reputation before her expected nomination for Secretary of State, to replace Hillary Clinton in President Obama’s second term.

Attkisson pointed out, in an article titled “Who changed the Benghazi talking points?,” that “the question was first raised 12 days ago when former CIA Director General David Petraeus told members of Congress that his original talking points cleared for public dissemination included the likely involvement by terrorists and an al-Qaeda affiliate. Petraeus said somebody removed the references before they were used to inform the public.”

It turns out that Petraeus’ version of events changed from when he spoke to the Senate Intelligence Committee on September 13. At that time, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) was asked by Wolf Blitzer, shortly after hearing Petraeus’ explanation, “Does it look like this was a carefully planned operation that was in the works for a while? What’s the latest assessment on that?” Sen. Feinstein replied, “I can say that I’ve seen no evidence or no assessment that indicates it was. I can certainly say that. There was a protest. And it could well be that quickly some two dozen people took that as an opportunity to attack.”

Other reports had James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, making the changes himself. But later it turned out, as reported by The Cable, that they were said to be made by the Office of the DNI, but not by the DNI himself.

According to President Obama, speaking at his November 14th press conference, Rice made a “presentation based on intelligence that she had received,” and it was done “at the request of the White House.” Does that mean the White House cleared what she said?

When Ambassador Rice met on Tuesday of this week with three Republican senators who had expressed serious doubts about her ability and qualifications to become Secretary of State in light of her actions, she was accompanied by the Acting CIA Director, Mike Morrell, who told the senators that it was the FBI who had removed the references “to prevent compromising an ongoing criminal investigation.”

Then the story changed again. “But it was just a matter of hours before there was yet another revision,” wrote Attkisson. “A CIA official contacted [Sen. Lindsey] Graham and stated that Morell ‘misspoke’ in the earlier meeting and that it was, in fact, the CIA, not the FBI, that deleted the al Qaeda references.

Click to continue reading “Susan Rice’s Effort to Defuse Talking-Points Issue Backfires”
Go straight to Post

Katie Pavlich on Obama’s Lies and Cover-up of Fast and Furious

by Roger Aronoff on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

This is article 178 of 246 in the topic Congressional Investigations

Katie Pavlich, who literally wrote the book on Operation Fast and Furious, delivered a very timely talk to the Accuracy in Media “ObamaNation: A Day of Truth” conference on September 21st. It was the day after the Justice Department’s Inspector General issued a report on the scandalous gun walking operation that resulted in the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, and ICE agent Jaime Zapata, plus hundreds of Mexicans. She points out that it was mainly blogs that broke this story, but that Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News, who AIM honored this year with a Reed Irvine Award, had done an “amazing” job covering the story.

Pavlich, who is the news editor for, said that the President lied about the origins of Fast and Furious. “You had President Obama go on Univision,” she told the crowd, “which was interesting, because Jorge Ramos, who has asked about President Obama’s involvement in Fast and Furious in the past, did the job that the regular mainstream media in America won’t do and asked him some tough questions about Fast and Furious. In particular, ‘Don’t you think that Eric Holder should be fired, whether he knew about this or not, whether it’s incompetence or he lied about his involvement?’ And then President Obama lied. He straight up lied on Univision and said that Operation Fast and Furious was a Bush administration program. Well, considering Fast and Furious started in September and October 2009, long after President Bush left the office, it’s not a Bush administration program.”

Fast and Furious is back in the news this week, as Univision, a Spanish language network, partnered with ABC News, filed a devastating report showing some of the tragic consequences of this operation which sent some 2,000 guns into the hands of Mexico’s notorious drug cartels. The report, which appeared on the ABC News website, but did not air on their evening news shows, said, “As part of Operation Fast and Furious, ATF allowed 1,961 guns to ‘walk’ out of the U.S. in an effort to identify the high profile cartel leaders who received them. The agency eventually lost track of the weapons, and they often ended up in the hands of Mexican hit men, including those who ordered and carried out the attack on Salvarcar and El Aliviane, a rehabilitation center in Ciudad Juarez where 18 young men were killed on September 2, 2009.”

This AIM conference where Pavlich spoke was the same conference where Patrick Caddell said that the media have become “the “enemy of the American people.”

You can watch highlights of Katie Pavlich’s talk here:

Or you can watch the full-length talk, along with Q&A here; or you can watch it here along with the transcript.

Go straight to Post

Eco-Communism Celebrated Annually on Earth Day

by Alan Caruba on Thursday, April 19th, 2012

This is article 53 of 96 in the topic Environmental
Sen. Joe McCarthy

I came of age in the 1950s during a period when Joe McCarthy was raising hell about communists in the federal government. He was spectacularly inept, often made intemperate and inaccurate charges, but for the most part he was right. He managed to alienate his fellow Republicans and earn a slap-down from then President Eisenhower. By around 1953 his fifteen minutes of fame were up. His bombastic personality undermined the seriousness of the issue.

McCarthy was all bluster, but the publication of “The Venona Papers: Exposing Soviet Espionage and America’s Traitors” in 2001 revealed that his charges of widespread infiltration of the State Department and even the White House during the Roosevelt and Truman years were true. Venona was the U.S. code name given secret Soviet spy communications that had been recorded during and after World War II. In 1995, the National Security Agency began releasing the documents.

In 2000 Reed Irvine and Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media wrote about a conference, “Rethinking McCarthy” devoted to the myths surrounding McCarthy that were disputed by journalist M. Stanton Evans, a director of the National Journalism Center. Chief among them was that McCarthy never named any names of suspected communists in government, but Evans revealed a file of material showing that he had. The other myth was that those named had been cleared by congressional committees or were just mildly leftist. They were not.

It is not surprising that Rep. Allan West who recently said that there are some eighty communists in Congress today, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, drew the same response that McCarthy did in his era. Rep. West characterized the response as “A lot of buzz and inaccurate reporting.” called him a McCarthyite.

In the run-up to Earth Day on April 22nd—the birthday of Vladimir Lenin, the Soviet Union’s first dictator—Brian Sussman, author of the bestselling “Climategate”, has a new book, “Eco-Tyranny: How the Left’s Green Agenda Will Dismantle America” ($25.95, WND Books). If you read no other book about the relationship between environmentalism and communism this year, you must read this one.

Sussman has brought together all the relevant facts. “Karl Marx founded a philosophy that inspires dictators and demagogues,” writes Sussman. “Commencing with the Russian Revolution in 1917 to the present, Marx’s tyrannical ideology has been responsible for the documented deaths of more than 110 million individuals around the world.”

“Pollution,” writes Sussman, “never has been Earth’s most troubling foe—Marxism had. And Marxists have always seized upon pollution, both real and imagined, as an effective weapon in their unrelenting war on freedom.”

Americans are the victims of blunders by a succession of presidents, but it was Richard Nixon who kicked off the plundering of the nation by the environmental movement when, in 1970, he quietly signed into law the National Environmental Policy Act, followed by the Clean Air Act. “Nixon’s Clean Air Act expanded the ’67 law to autocratically allow the federal government to limit both industrial and mobile sources of air pollution. It set up the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Today, the EPA has become a rogue agency, barely controlled by Congress. “Today the EPA is eighteen thousand full-time employees strong, with an annual budget of $10 billion”, notes Sussman.

Click to continue reading “Eco-Communism Celebrated Annually on Earth Day”
Go straight to Post

CBS Proudly Accepts AIM’s Award, Despite Controversy

by Roger Aronoff on Sunday, February 12th, 2012

This is article 216 of 577 in the topic Media

As reported in a recent posting, Accuracy in Media presented its annual Reed Irvine Media Awards for Investigative and Grassroots Journalism amidst a trumped up controversy reported in The Washington Post, Politico and Big Journalism. Awards were presented to Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News for her investigative reporting on Operation Fast and Furious as well as Solyndra and other “green energy” projects in which the Obama administration has invested Americans’ taxpayer dollars; and Dana Loesch, Editor-in-chief of Andrew Breitbart’s Big Journalism, for her tireless work as a grassroots journalist.

The pro-Democratic Party media watchdog, Media Matters, led the effort to browbeat Attkisson and CBS into backing out of accepting the award. They claim her reporting was shoddy and that CBS shouldn’t allow her to accept an award from a partisan group, as they call Accuracy in Media. Yet as AIM’s Cliff Kincaid recently exposed, the head of Media Matters, David Brock, has created a so-called Democratic “Super PAC” specifically devoted to electing Democrats and defeating Republicans.

Kincaid, the director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, said at the awards event, AIM is nonpartisan, independent and yes, conservative.

It turned out that only a few hours before the event took place on Thursday, Ms. Attkisson contacted us at AIM to inform us she had been called away on assignment, and was sending someone in her place to accept the award on her behalf. That person was Chris Isham, the Washington bureau chief for CBS News. Chris was very gracious in accepting the award, saying, “Thanks very much, Roger, and thanks for the plug for Sharyl was very sorry not to be here today. She is traveling out of town on assignment. I am going to accept this award on her behalf and on behalf of CBS News. Sharyl will be donating the proceeds of this award ($1,000) to the family of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry (applause). As many of you may know, this murder was connected to the Fast and Furious Operation. In fact it was Terry’s death in December of 2010 that really motivated a number of whistleblowers to come forward and talk to Sharyl and members of Congress about what was going on and really generated the story and really allowed us and congressional investigators to dig into this and drill down on this operation. Sharyl has spoken with the family of Agent Terry and let them know that they will be receiving the proceeds. They were very heartened and heartened that people are still talking about this issue and focused on it. CBS News is very proud of Sharyl’s groundbreaking reporting, as you’ve described it. It represents the best at CBS News—the kind of original reporting that we are extremely proud of. That we are fully committed to and will remain.”

That was hardly a repudiation of AIM, or the award. CBS is very deserving of sharing in this award with Sharyl, and we fully endorse that.

Newsbusters Tim Graham gave a great analysis of the double standard—media have no problem accepting awards from liberal groups that overwhelmingly favor liberal journalists.

“This is not the liberal position,” wrote Graham, “when, say, journalists accept awards from their ‘progressive’ activist groups like the ‘Maggie Awards’ handed out by Planned Parenthood (Rachel Maddow).

Click to continue reading “CBS Proudly Accepts AIM’s Award, Despite Controversy”
Go straight to Post

How Polling is Affecting Our Country

by Senator Bob Smith on Thursday, July 28th, 2011

This is article 12 of 577 in the topic Media

In a recent AIM Report entitled, “A Brief History of the Modern Media,” Roger Aronoff, Editor of Accuracy in Media, coherently outlined the dramatic changes in the media over the past 70 years. My parents and grandparents could check on local, state, national and international events via the newspapers, radio and even the movie newsreels, if they were lucky enough or had the time to go to the movies!

However, that all changed quickly and dramatically. Aronoff describes how TV news burst on the scene with 15 minute (and later 30 minute) nightly broadcasts during the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s. With one click of the dial you could pick the network you trusted most to give you the news of the day. You only had three choices: ABC, CBS or NBC. Then as the decades progressed the flood gates opened. Aronoff describes the advent of PBS, Ted Turner and CNN, C-SPAN, conservative talk radio, Fox News, MSNBC and the Internet. The news was everywhere. You could see it, read it, hear it and you could access it any time of the day or night. You could get all sides, all views and you had a plethora of choices, depending on whom you believed would give you the truth.

In fact there was so much opportunity out there that it led to concern about balance in reporting and editing. Did everyone have an equal amount of time to present their views? Was one side of an issue overexposed to the detriment of another? We had already lived under the “Fairness Doctrine” from 1949 to 1987, a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulation which required media outlets to present both sides of an issue in an equal amount of time because it was the “fair” thing to do. Aronoff pointed out that even “Accuracy in Media” founder, Reed Irvine, actually supported the Fairness Doctrine, because at the time it seemed like the only way conservative voices could be heard on the airwaves. When it became apparent that with the Fairness Doctrine’s repeal, conservative voices began to emerge on talk radio and other platforms, Mr. Irvine soon recognized that we were better off without it. As Aronoff pointed out, “It is more important that the press remain free than being forced to be fair, according to the standards of politicians or bureaucrats.” Mercifully, the Fairness Doctrine has been laid aside, but watch your backside, the liberals have not given up!

There is, however, a very troubling development regarding the controversy about a free versus a fair press. The issue of polling causes one to wonder if manipulation would pass the smell test of a free media. In the name of a free press, should information gathered from early exit polling be leaked early causing some late voters to not feel the need to vote? Should elections be called before all polls are closed? Most media outlets, to their credit, have voluntarily shown restraint on this in recent years. However, is it a legitimate function of a “free” press? In my U.S. Senate re-election effort in 1996 all media outlets called the election for my opponent, Dick Swett, based upon pre-election polling and exit polling on election day. The next-day newspapers even had him winning based upon that information.

1 2 3
Go straight to Post

CPAC 2011—The State of the Conservative Union

by Roger Aronoff on Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

This is article 18 of 95 in the topic Republican Party

On the opening day of the conference, AIM gave the annual Reed Irvine Journalism Awards to Ken Timmerman and Tucker Carlson.

CPAC 2011, the Conservative Political Action Conference, was held in an environment unlike any in recent memory. The event, which takes place in Washington, D.C. each year and is sometimes called “The Conservative Woodstock,” featured plenty of controversy heading into the conference. Several major groups pulled out over a series of battles that rocked the conference and the organization that puts it on each year, the American Conservative Union.

The controversies involved the inclusion of GOProud, a gay activist group that claimed, and was claimed by the organizers, to be conservative on most issues, and thus welcomed into the big tent. But groups such as the Heritage Foundation, one of the most powerful and respected organizations in the conservative movement, opted out. A spokesman for Heritage said, “We want to promote economic freedom, a strong national defense and social conservatism. We think these policies are indivisible.” Other social conservative groups also dropped out, but most stayed. This, after all, has for years been the most important and complete gathering of conservatives under the same roof.

Another source of conflict involved the question of whether the Muslim Brotherhood, and by extension, radical Islamists, were quietly gaining a foothold in the conservative movement. The issue was aired out openly among the participants, which often occurs at CPAC. Ironically, some of the same questions were being asked in the context of the Egyptian revolution, which toppled the 30-year president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, that same weekend. Can the Muslim Brotherhood be trusted, or is it a radical group bent on establishing Sharia Law in the U.S. and Egypt? At CPAC, Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy and David Horowitz of FrontPageMag and the Newsreal Blog were arguing that Suhail Khan represented the stealth takeover of CPAC and eventually, possibly, the conservative movement. Khan is an ally of Grover Norquist, a board member of the American Conservative Union and the founder of Americans for Tax Reform, and one of the organizers of CPAC. Khan also worked in the George W. Bush administration, but his father had been very active in the Muslim Brotherhood, and Muslim Brotherhood-associated groups in the U.S.

A third controversy was the fact that the organization itself was being investigated for the reported embezzlement of $400,000 by the ex-wife of David Keene, the head of the ACU, until he gave that position up in the midst of all this, and it was announced that he would no longer be the force behind CPAC. Shortly thereafter it was announced that he was going to head up the National Rifle Association.

What gets most of the attention at CPAC are the likely presidential candidates who speak there, and the winner of the straw poll. This event is always viewed as a key stop on the path to becoming the GOP nominee in the next election. And this year was no exception.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Go straight to Post

Interview with Former Sen. Bob Smith, Now with AIM

by Roger Aronoff on Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

This is article 110 of 577 in the topic Media

“I just think there’s a time and place to be editorializing, and there’s a time and a place to be reporting, and if you blur that line, then you’re not doing your job.”

Bob Smith is a former two-term U.S. Senator, a Navy veteran, and now a Special Contributor to Accuracy in Media. Last week, following the elections, we discussed his fascinating career in the public arena, and his thoughts on a number of topics, including the meaning of the elections, the impact and role of the Tea Party movement, the media, and challenges and opportunities for the new Congress.

“Senator Bob” served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, and later worked with AIM founder and long time chairman Reed Irvine on the challenging issue of POW/MIAs, Prisoners of War/ Missing in Action. It is an issue that still resonates to this day. Smith chaired the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, and talks about the Senate’s handling of the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton, which had taken place in the House. He also discusses his campaign for the presidency.

Now he has joined Accuracy in Media as a Special Contributor, and will be writing and speaking and giving interviews, based on his years of experience dealing with the media. He shares many of the same concerns that AIM has about the media, and we are thrilled to have him on board with us. He discussed what it was like dealing with the media as a conservative, Republican senator, and what he sees going on with the media today. He said that “I just think there’s a time and place to be editorializing, and there’s a time and a place to be reporting, and if you blur that line, then you’re not doing your job.  You need to make it very clear when you’re editorializing…”

Below,  are a number of other excerpts from the interview. You can read the transcript or listen to the entire interview here.

Reagan was really my motivator.  He was the one that really got me going.  I always was interested in politics, but Reagan just really turned me on to what we really needed to do for America, and the great potential that our country had.

I took, I think, three to five trips, I believe, to Vietnam.  We went through prisons and met with Vietnamese leaders.  We could never—I still believe they kept men behind but we could never really bring one out, so to speak, and that seems to be the ultimate criteria for proof.  I know Reed Irvine was fascinated, was certainly helpful with us, all of us, who were working that issue at the time, in terms of writing about it and being supportive, and that’s where I got to know him. I think it was a good relationship, and one that I’ll always cherish as a member of Congress.

I don’t want to replay the whole issue here—Richard Nixon promised reparations to North Vietnam after the war.  Congress rejected it after they found out about the tortured prisoners.

1 2 3
Go straight to Post

Featuring YD Feedwordpress Content Filter Plugin