11/23/16

Can Trump Survive the Media Onslaught?

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

nyt

With CNN and MSNBC depicting the incoming Trump administration as the advent of a Fourth Reich, it should be obvious that the President-elect will have to go beyond his blistering tweets to cultivating sympathetic media and getting his own message out in a systematic way. But is the Trump transition team up to the job?

President Obama was ahead of the curve in this regard, having established an office of “Progressive Media and Online Response” to cooperate with “progressive” media sources. The Hillary Clinton presidential campaign understood this form of “outreach” as well, as we saw in the WikiLeaks disclosures of how they colluded with major media outlets and reporters. Trump has used tweets, meetings with the press, official statements, and an occasional video. But much more will be needed if the President-elect hopes to survive the transition with a team in power that can get things done and communicate directly with the American people.

In addition to Trump’s tweets, which serve a legitimate purpose, the President-elect should consider a position that is comparable to what the Obama administration had, albeit with a focus on conservative and alternative news media. Trump appears to have great confidence in Dan Scavino, who now carries the title of Director of Social Media & Senior Advisor to President-elect Trump. Scavino has a fascinating bio and has worked for Trump nearly half his life, including as the former Executive Vice President and General Manager of Trump National Golf Club, Westchester. But it’s not clear what role he is playing in the presidential transition.

What Obama did is worth studying. Jesse Lee was named as the White House Director of Progressive Media and Online Response in 2011. He helped Obama win a second term. According to Lee’s bio, he previously worked as Online Programs Director in the White House and in the New Media department for the Presidential Transition team doing online outreach. He also had worked in online communications for the Democratic National Committee leading up to the 2008 election, served as Senior New Media Advisor to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for the 110th Congress, and helped the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launch its online program from 2004 to 2006.

His current effort, as special assistant to the president and “director of rapid response,” includes dissemination of propaganda points about the greatness of Obamacare and other Obama administration initiatives.

While the Trump administration is being painted by the media as an extension of the White Power movement, it’s clear that the Democrats, including Obama, are going on the attack. Together, the media and the Democratic Party are functioning as the new obstructionists, determined to thwart progress and destroy the next administration’s nominees. Trump calls the media names and issues tweets, but there doesn’t seem to be much else being done in response to this coordinated assault.

A group called UltraViolet has placed full-page ads in The Arizona Republic, The Lincoln Star Journal, and The Reno Gazette Journal attacking Republican senators Jeff Flake (AZ), Deb Fischer (NE), and Dean Heller (NV) “for failing to speak out” against Trump’s appointment of Stephen Bannon, “a white supremacist and domestic abuser,” as chief White House strategist. The first charge is apparently a reference to Bannon’s Breitbart News having covered groups which talk about protecting the European heritage and Judeo-Christian traditions of the United States and other Western nations. Some of these groups are controversial and out of the conservative mainstream. But the idea that they are in favor of white supremacy is ludicrous. The “domestic abuser” charge against Bannon was dismissed as a spurious accusation made by an angry spouse in a divorce case.

Significantly, UltraViolet is run by Nita Chaudhary, who is married to Obama White House official Jesse Lee. She served as the Democratic National Committee’s first Director of Online during the 2004 cycle and started her career at People for the American Way. She was also the National Campaigns and Organizing Director at MoveOn.org Political Action.

Publicly, Democrats are saying that they intend to work with the Trump administration on some issues. Consider that the University of Arizona just took out a full-page ad in Politico, advertising a statement from the “National Institute for Civil Discourse,” whose members include such prominent Democrats as former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, a Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. The statement signed by Reich and others says Americans should move beyond the “bitter” election and “ensure that America’s next chapter is civil and respectful…”

Despite talk of “civil discourse,” Reich has just written a column titled, “The Trump Administration Will Be the Most Dangerous Since Richard Nixon.” And he writes this before Trump takes office!

Rather than take a wait-and-see attitude, Reich has also written a column, “The First 100 Day Resistance Agenda,” in which he advises, “Get Democrats in the Congress and across the country to pledge to oppose Trump’s agenda. Prolong the process of approving choices, draw out hearings, stand up as sanctuary cities and states.” He also suggests, “Boycott all Trump products, real estate, hotels, resorts, everything. And then boycott all stores (like Nordstrom) that carry merchandise from Trump family brands.”

Reich is a Democrat double-talker who puts his name on a statement promising peace and harmony, while telling the far-left to do everything possible to obstruct and destroy the next administration.

Reich’s double-talk will not be worthy of any media scrutiny, of course.

One way to overcome this onslaught is to continue to go on the offensive, not only against the media but also the media’s darlings, such as Hillary Clinton. When the liberal media see that Trump is apparently backing away from holding Mrs. Clinton accountable for her corruption, they know they are winning the information war and that they have the President-elect on the run.

Meeting personally with The New York Times, as Trump did on Tuesday, will not mollify his critics. The media will see such a meeting as a sign of weakness. He needs to reach out to allies in the media who are willing to cover him and his administration in a fair and objective manner. Another way to do this is to open up the White House press briefings of his new administration to conservative bloggers and media outlets. There’s no reason to reserve front-row seats for what he once called the “crooked media.” Let them stand in the back with their hands raised.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

11/15/16

Media Bias Has Become Mental Illness

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

trump

Aware that their credibility is shot with the American people, the publisher and executive editor of The New York Times sent a “To our readers” note on Friday, saying, “we aim to rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism.”

This was another way of saying, “Sorry, we blew it,” without being honest with readers.

Those familiar with the paper’s “journalism” understand this to be media bias. But Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. and Dean Baquet were suggesting something else—that something had gone wrong and they don’t quite know what happened, but don’t worry because the Times will get back to its mission of reporting truthfully.

Beating around the bush, they said Trump’s victory was “the biggest political story of the year,” which had “reached a dramatic and unexpected climax late Tuesday night…”

The word “unexpected” means that the paper’s predictions were wrong.

Then they said that the paper’s newsroom had covered the campaign “with agility and creativity,” which are terms for incompetence and bias. Some people cling to the old-fashioned idea that a paper should report events objectively.

Pretending to reflect on the poor coverage, they finally got to the problem without saying so directly. They asked, “Did Donald Trump’s sheer unconventionality lead us and other news outlets to underestimate his support among American voters?” and “What forces and strains in America drove this divisive election and outcome?”

In other words, Trump’s “sheer unconventionality” caused the paper to misreport what was happening. He had appealed to mysterious “forces and strains,” terms that apparently refer to the voters.

Sulzberger and Baquet insisted that the Times will “report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor, striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives and life experiences in the stories that we bring to you.”

In other words, they blew it during the 2016 campaign and will try to do better next time. But nothing is really changing at the paper. Nobody is being fired. And nobody is being hired who has an understanding of the conservative electorate.

The paper, they said, will “hold power to account, impartially and unflinchingly.”

But who will hold The New York Times accountable?

In a real howler, they then claimed, “We believe we reported on both candidates fairly during the presidential campaign. You can rely on The New York Times to bring the same fairness, the same level of scrutiny, the same independence to our coverage of the new president and his team.”

This is another indication that the paper is hopelessly liberal, and that nothing will really change.

The business as usual attitude was reflected in the front-page headline in the Times after Trump won: “Democrats, Students and Foreign Allies Face the Reality of a Trump Presidency.”

As Accuracy in Media Chairman Don Irvine noted, the headline was even funny to various MSNBC personalities, because it focused on the disappointment of liberals at Trump’s victory, rather than the victory itself.

Mark Halperin commented, “If a Democratic candidate who was thought to have a 10 percent chance of winning by The New York Times that ended up winning, and winning red states as Trump won blue states, I don’t think that would have been the headline. And I’ll just say again, the responsibility of journalists is to not report on their biases. It’s to go out and understand the country through the prism of the election and say, ‘Why are people feeling the way they’re feeling?’”

Of course, the Times was not alone.

Consider the story in Politico headlined, “Insiders: Clinton would crush Trump in November.” It began, “In the swing states that matter most in the presidential race, Donald Trump doesn’t have a prayer against Hillary Clinton in the general election.”

In a story headlined, “The Democrat Media Complex Will Never Understand What Happened Tuesday Night,” Stephen Kruiser at PJ Media commented that the talking heads want desperately to avoid the topic of the “overwhelming lack of political and intellectual diversity in their ranks,” but that the problem of their liberalism is compounded by their laziness.

This is a fact, as reflected in my analysis of Post “journalist” Dana Milbank, who got caught asking Democratic Party officials for help on an anti-Trump column.

For his part, Milbank crafted another anti-Trump column after the Trump victory, in the form of a letter to his daughter. “This is a sad day for our country,” he told her. “I want you to know that I did everything I could to prevent this from happening. My efforts and those of many others came up short.”

Those “many others” were in the media and the Democratic Party, for whom Milbank worked. Perhaps Post owner Jeff Bezos ought to ask the Democrats to pay Milbank’s salary.

Milbank told his daughter, “You are going to be okay.”

That’s more than what we can say about Milbank. He is not okay. He is more than just a lazy liberal who gets the Democratic Party to help write his columns. He is completely out of touch with the America he claims to be writing about.

Like those at the Times, Milbank and others at the Post will never change. They are elitists whose hatred for their fellow Americans borders on mental illness.

Like other liberals, they claim to be on a crusade for “the children,” in his case his daughter. It’s frankly despicable that he would use his kid as a political prop. She needs our prayers.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

06/21/16

Obama’s Red/Green Cover-up Begins to Unravel

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

ObamaRedGreen

Seven years into Barack Obama’s presidency, the scales may slowly be falling from the eyes of The New York Times. Could the truth about America’s red diaper baby President be starting to emerge?

In a story about papers of his reported father, Barack Hussein Obama Sr., the Times said that President Obama has shown no interest in “the newly discovered documents, which included nearly two dozen of his father’s letters, his transcripts from the University of Hawaii and Harvard University, and references from professors, advisers and supporters.” The paper added, “Nearly three years later, as Mr. Obama celebrates his last Father’s Day in the White House, the center [the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem] is still waiting” for a response from the President as to whether he is interested in seeing the documents.

What accounts for this strange behavior from Obama? Could the lack of interest have something to do with the fact that the Kenyan is not Obama’s real father?

Based on the documents in the possession of the Schomburg Center, it appears that the Kenyan Obama didn’t even claim the future President as his son.

“It was while pursuing his undergraduate degree at the University of Hawaii in 1960 that Barack Obama Sr. met Ann Dunham, a classmate,” the Times said. “Although he already had a wife and two children in Kenya, he married her the following year, after she became pregnant. Their son was born on Aug. 4, 1961. But Barack Obama Sr. never mentioned his new wife and son, not even in his scholarship applications” (emphasis added).

There’s more: “In 1963, as he applied for a grant to help cover his graduate studies at Harvard, Barack Obama Sr. was asked on a financial aid form about his marital status and number of dependents. He left the section blank” (emphasis added).

President Barack Obama listens to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood speak during a briefing on the response to Hurricane Sandy at FEMA headquarters in Washington, D.C., Oct. 31, 2012. Pictured, from left, are Secretary LaHood; Energy Secretary Steven Chu; John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate; Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

Joel Gilbert, a filmmaker with a keen interest in the case, is not surprised. “The Kenyan Obama never mentions Barry or Ann in correspondence or applications after Barry [Barry Soetoro was Obama’s name when it reflected his step-father’s surname] was born,” Gilbert tells Accuracy in Media. “Nor did any of the Kenyan Obama’s classmates know about a child or a marriage. This is just part of the mountain of evidence I cite in my film, ‘Dreams from My Real Father,’ that demonstrates the Kenyan Obama participated in a sham marriage to help cover up an affair between Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, and Frank Marshall Davis, Obama’s communist mentor.”

Davis was exposed as Obama’s communist mentor by Accuracy in Media in 2008, with the assistance of blogger Trevor Loudon, before Obama’s election to the presidency. The liberal media showed little interest. And when they did, they downplayed Davis’s Marxism, suggesting he was just a civil rights activist. That was the official Obama campaign line.

Later that same year, the 600-page FBI file on Davis was released, demonstrating Davis’s involvement in alleged Soviet espionage. Davis was even on the FBI’s internal security index, which was reserved for individuals who were considered wartime threats to the United States. Again, the media showed no interest, apparently realizing that the Davis connection would derail Obama’s campaign for the White House.

In 2012, Gilbert’s film was released, asserting that Davis was Obama’s real father.

But regardless of whether Davis was the real father or not, Obama was partially raised, by his own account, by Frank Marshall Davis from ages 9 to 18.

While the Times seemed perplexed by Obama’s lack of interest in the newly discovered documents, the paper “continues to celebrate the false background story of President Obama,” and perpetuates the notion that the Kenyan is the real father, Gilbert notes. To do otherwise would invite scrutiny of the Times and other news organizations for having failed to adequately probe Obama’s controversial background before he assumed the presidency.

Gilbert commented, “The New York Times article mentioned that President Obama did not respond to the Schomburg Center’s offer to share the documents. In fact, President Obama has expressed zero interest in the Kenyan Obama since he took office. The Kenyan Obama served as the diversion in Obama’s run for the presidency, to sell himself as the multi-cultural ideal who would be a post-racial president. This was necessary to hide the fact that Barack Obama’s real biological father and ideological mentor was Frank Marshall Davis, a Communist Party propagandist and one of the original ‘Black Bolsheviks’ in Chicago who was recruited by white communists to in turn recruit blacks into the Communist Party.”

He added, “The fact that the Kenyan Barack Obama never mentions Barry or Ann Dunham [in the Schomberg documents] is more indication that he took part in a sham marriage to cover up the affair between Ann Dunham and Frank Marshall Davis. Every time more information and letters come out, they reiterate there was no connection between the Kenyan Obama and the President.”

Gilbert’s interest in the topic has now extended to members of Barack Obama’s own alleged family. He interviewed Malik Obama, Barack’s alleged half-brother, about the subject of Barack Obama’s father. Malik Obama told Gilbert that he wants a DNA test and believes Frank Marshall Davis is the real father.

Based on all the available evidence, including the newly discovered documents, it would appear that the Kenyan Obama had been used not only for the purpose of concealing an illicit relationship between Obama’s mother and Davis, but also for hiding a Marxist agenda for America and the world.

But Obama’s cover-up goes much deeper than this.

As we have noted in the past, the same Obama campaign apparatus which asserted that Davis was just a black civil rights activist also claimed that Obama was a baptized Christian. However, Obama acknowledged in his book Dreams from My Father that his grandfather was a Muslim (page 104) and that he spent two years in a Muslim school in Indonesia studying the Koran (page 154). There is no evidence Obama was baptized as a Christian, in any formal sense, in Jeremiah Wright’s church, and no evidence that Obama ever specifically rejected Islam.

The truth may be somewhere in the middle. Edward Klein, author of The Amateur: Barack Obama in The White House, notes that Wright told him that he “made it comfortable” for Obama to accept Christianity “without having to renounce his Islamic background.”

All of this may help explain why Obama’s policies seem designed to benefit America’s enemies at home and abroad, including what Frank Marshall Davis called “Red Russia,” as well as the Muslim Brotherhood and its various fronts.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected]View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

05/11/16

Times Article on Ben Rhodes Exposes White House Contempt for the Press and Public

By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media

Ben Rhodes

A recent article by David Samuels for the New York Times Magazine demonstrates how President Obama and his Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes have been exploiting the media’s willingness to repeat and promote the Obama administration narrative of the day. In the interview Rhodes irreverently nicknames the foreign policy establishment “the Blob” and states that most reporters the administration deals with on foreign affairs are only 27 years old and know nothing. The Blob includes not only top media people, but also “Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates and other Iraq war promoters from both parties who now whine incessantly about the collapse of the American security order in Europe and the Middle East.”

Carlos Lozada of The Washington Post describes the Times’ piece as so sycophantic that it has become “gross” through excess chumminess, hypocrisy and absurdity. For example, Lozada writes, “It is the blindness of a writer who declares that Rhodes is ‘not an egotist’ while offering countless examples of that subject’s gargantuan self-regard, and not bothering to note the contradiction.”

Michael Grunwald has also criticized Samuels in an article for Politico. His point is that Samuels is a hawk who opposed the Iran deal, and ignored the nuances in the Rhodes/Obama foreign policy, which Grunwald clearly finds admirable.

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11/18/15

Terrorism, not Climate Change, Kills People

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

On November 13, the same day as the terrorist attacks in Paris, USA Today ran a full-page ad from billionaire Tom Steyer’s group NextGen Climate highlighting the alleged global threat from climate change. As hundreds of people were being injured or killed in Paris, the ad featured these quotes about the “climate crisis:”

  • Hillary Clinton: “An existential threat”
  • Bernie Sanders: “The greatest threat facing the planet”
  • Martin O’Malley: “Critical threat to our economy”

In a new development, we have just learned from Judicial Watch that Hillary Clinton was characterized by her Muslim-connected aide, Huma Abedin, as being “very confused” about the world leaders she was supposed to be communicating with as secretary of state. The confusion may also be reflected in Mrs. Clinton’s bizarre utterance that so-called climate change is an “existential threat” that is somehow comparable to Russian nuclear weapons, which could reduce America to a burned-out cinder.

Mrs. Clinton is not alone, however. All of the Democrats running for president, plus former Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore, want to treat changes in the weather as something to be addressed through new treaties, international agreements and global tax schemes. This campaign has taken precedence over defeating international terrorism.

At the Democratic Party debate this past weekend, Sanders claimed that “Climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism and if we do not get our act together and listen to what the scientists say, you’re going to see countries all over the world—this is what the CIA says—they’re going to be struggling over limited amounts of water, limited amounts of land to grow their crops and you’re going to see all kinds of international conflict…”

So from one disputed claim about people causing climate change, they have reached another disputed claim that climate change is causing people to commit terrorism.

On the same day as the Paris attacks, former Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore was staging his 24-hour climate change telethon from the foot of the Eiffel Tower to focus attention on this month’s United Nations climate summit in Paris. The attacks forced him to pull the plug on the event after five hours.

In advance of his ill-fated climate change telethon, People magazine asked Gore which Democrat he was endorsing for president. “It’s still too early, in my opinion, to endorse a candidate or pick a candidate,” he said.

But why is his endorsement worth anything? Al Gore has become a very rich man, a one percenter. He and his partners sold Current TV (Gore personally netted an estimated $100 million of the $500 million sale price) to the terrorist-supporting Middle Eastern oil and gas dictatorship of Qatar.

A member of Apple, Inc.’s board of directors, Gore is today worth as much as $170 million. Even the New York Times has wondered if his climate change campaign is designed to make himself rich, while preserving his lifestyle as an elite member of the one percent.

His telethon carried the official title of “Live Earth: 24 Hours of Reality.” The reality of terrorism got in the way of the broadcast, featuring various rock stars and co-sponsored by Arianna Huffington’s television channel, HuffPost Live.

Gore and his partners sold Current TV to Qatar so another Al Jazeera spin-off could be piped into American homes. The Al Jazeera America channel was the result, and it is now publishing nonsense like the piece by Rami G. Khourientitled, “Military responses alone will not defeat ISIL.”

Khouri acknowledges that “Religion is critical for shaping the theological concept of the Islamic State and the wider Caliphate…” But, he says, “it may not be the most important reason why individuals go there to live, work and do battle.” He lists “eight reasons why people across Islamic societies join or support ISIL.”

But none of the “reasons” for the rise of the Islamic State, in his analysis, consists of the hate-filled passages from the Koran which guide their beliefs and actions.

Instead, we are told, in reason number four, that their motivations include “To live among like-minded people in a society defined by camaraderie, peace, justice and wholesome family life.” Reason number six is “To find meaning, direction and purpose to one’s personal life, or to escape family or personal problems, loneliness or alienation.”

We are supposed to believe this may be why terrorists opened fire on people in Paris. This is why the Islamic State beheads people or burns them alive?

It is easy to forget that the website publishing this material is financed by a Middle Eastern dictatorship that promotes Islamic terrorism. Like the notion of the “existential threat” allegedly posed by climate change, Al Jazeera America constitutes a diversion from what really threatens America, our way of life, and our people. Perhaps that was the intention all along.

As serious as this is, the problem of foreign propaganda in the U.S. media market could get far worse. Television producer Jerry Kenney notes that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is planning to remove the barriers to broadcast station ownership by foreigners, a move that would enable American broadcasters to sell out to foreign interests, just like Gore did. The FCC could allow the sale of local broadcast stations and other media properties to the Chinese, Russian and Mexican governments, or to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The public must respond to what the FCC is planning to do by December 21.

08/6/15

The Progressive Cult of Victomology’s Tears for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio

By: Benjamin Weingarten

Have you noticed that the passive voice — as in “Mistakes were made,” or “The YouTube video caused the attack,” — has become ubiquitous in American political discourse?

Leave aside instances in which its usage reflects an unwillingness or inability for individuals to take responsibility for failure. There is another set of circumstances in which it is used to pernicious effect.

Exhibit A comes to us courtesy of the New York Times, in an article written about the declining popularity of Warren Wilhelm, aka New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Now I will not hold the use of the passive voice in the Times’ headline “New Poll Shows Mayor de Blasio’s Support Has Eroded” against The Grey Lady, but I do take issue with her usage in explaining just why it is that de Blasio’s poll numbers have declined so precipitously.

The Times writes:

Mr. de Blasio has encountered a series of difficulties in recent months, including the tussle with Mr. Cuomo, also a Democrat, over a disappointing legislative session in Albany, and distressing headlines about a rising murder rate — even as city officials have noted that overall crime continues to fall.

The mayor was also recently the subject of negative ads from the car-hailing company Uber, which opposed a proposed cap on its growth that the mayor had promoted. (The city has, for now, backed away from the proposal.)

Administration officials were quick to connect the increase in disapproving voters — a four-point uptick since May — to the Uber campaign, noting that the mayor’s numbers also suffered for a time last year during a public dispute with advocates of charter schools.

You see, for the progressive Times, Mayor de Blasio is a hapless victim. He has “encountered difficulties” through no fault of his own.

Were it not for those damn “distressing headlines about a rising murder rate,” or “negative ads from the car-hailing company Uber” or “a public dispute with advocates of charter schools,” de Blasio would be held in the same esteem as Hizzoner Koch.

(Image Source: New York Post, July 11, 2015).

(Image Source: New York Post, July 11, 2015).

What the Times fails to note is that headlines about the murder rate — and “the bad old days” returning to New York more generally — are not being written in a vacuum. Mayor de Blasio has opposed his predecessors’ law enforcement policies (and attacked their enforcers), policies that coincided with plummeting crime rates and an infinitely more pleasant and livable city. Had Mayor de Blasio maintained the law enforcement status quo to the same effect of rising murder rates and savage attackscop killings and squeegee men, then perhaps the Times would be justified in making de Blasio a victim of sorts. In light of his own words and actions, we cannot.

As for Uber, the company’s highly effective anti-de Blasio ads came in direct response to a policy the mayor pushed that would have impaired Uber’s ability to grow. Again, these ads did not occur in a vacuum. And what made them particularly bruising was that they illustrated the hypocrisy inherent in a “progressive,” “inequality”-busting mayor siding with entrenched interests against an upstart competitor providing opportunity for thousands of New Yorkers and convenience for hundreds of thousands if not millions more.

On those “charter school disputes,” again disputes are not the proximate cause of de Blasio’s waining political support. In fact, the public loves a spat when a politician is perceived to be looking out for them. Rather, de Blasio’s opposition to school choice in favor of public schools and the politically powerful public teachers’ union — and apparent unwillingness to expend political capital in support of charter schools in the rare instance when he does champion one — reflects a controversial position. Rightly, many in progressive New York are able to set aside their ideology when it means a better education for their children. The “dispute” is not the issue for Mayor de Blasio. The issue is the issue for Mayor de Blasio.

Bill de Blasio has not “encountered difficulties.” He has created them through his own policies. He is not a victim of chance. He is merely paying a political price for the disastrous outcomes of his own progressive agenda.

The real victims are New Yorkers who must live with him. Next time they ought to choose their mayor more wisely.

Featured Image: YouTube screengrab/Uber.

04/29/15

Iran Literally Fired a Shot Across an American Ally’s Bow, But Obama Won’t Dump His Disastrous Deal

By: Benjamin Weingarten
TheBlaze

What, if anything, would cause President Barack Obama to step away from the negotiating table with Iran?

This is the question I find myself pondering in light of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy Patrol’s unchecked act of aggression on Tuesday against America’s interests in the Straits of Hormuz – an act that in a sane world would in and of itself put an end to the president’s disastrous nuclear deal with Iran.

As of this writing, reports indicate that the Iranian Navy Patrol fired shots at and ultimately seized a commercial cargo ship, the M/V Maersk Tigris, which flies under the Marshall Islands flag. Some believe Iran was even targeting a U.S. vessel.

An Iranian warship takes part in a naval show in 2006. (Photo: AP)

An Iranian warship takes part in a naval show in 2006. (Photo: AP)

In a helpful dispatch, commentator Omri Ceren notes the significant implications of such an action given that the U.S. is: (i) Treaty-bound to secure and defend the Marshall Islands, and (ii) Committed to maintaining the free flow of commerce in the strategically vital waterways of the Middle East — as affirmed just one week ago on April 21 by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf and Pentagon Spokesman Col. Steve Warren.

The U.S. fulfilling its obligations to its protectorate, and acting to ensure vital shipping lanes remain open are not trivial matters.

Further, this act can be seen as a brazen test of the sincerity of U.S. resolve, as it was timed to coincide with the opening of the Senate’s debate on the Corker-Menendez Iran bill.

Yet there is a broader and perhaps more important context in which to consider what Ceren calls an act of “functionally unspinnable Iranian aggression.”

Even if we ignore the history of Iranian aggression against the U.S. and its allies since the deposal of the Shah in 1979, the firing upon and seizing of the Tigris marks the latest in a long series of such provocations that Iran has undertaken in just the last few months. Consider:

This rhetoric and action comports with Iran’s historic hostility toward the U.S. since the fall of the Shah. Lest we forget, this list of atrocities includes, but is certainly not limited to:

Would Iran’s most recent actions in the Strait of Hormuz coupled with the litany of other recent and historical bellicose acts lead one to question whether it is in the United States’ interest to continue negotiating with the mullahs?

Put more directly: In what respect can the U.S. consider Iran to be a reliable, honorable negotiating partner?

Iranian women hold an anti-US sign, bearing a cartoon of US President Barack Obama, outside the former US embassy in Tehran on November 2, 2012, during a rally to mark the 33rd anniversary of seizure of the US embassy which saw Islamist students hold 52 US diplomats hostage for 444 days. This year's rally came just days before US presidential election in which Republican challenger Mitt Romney has made Iran's controversial nuclear programme a top foreign policy issue. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Iranian women hold an anti-US sign, bearing a cartoon of US President Barack Obama, outside the former US embassy in Tehran on November 2, 2012, during a rally to mark the 33rd anniversary of seizure of the US embassy which saw Islamist students hold 52 US diplomats hostage for 444 days. This year’s rally came just days before US presidential election in which Republican challenger Mitt Romney has made Iran’s controversial nuclear programme a top foreign policy issue. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Concerning the content of the nuclear deal being negotiated, it should be noted that the Iranians have stated the agreement accomplishes the very opposite of what the American public been led to believe. With respect to sanctions, Iran says they will be fully lifted upon the execution of the accord. As MEMRI notes, in an April 9 address, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini gave a speech in which he called America a “cheater and a liar” and

publicly set out the negotiating framework for the Iranian negotiating team, the main points of which are: an immediate lifting of all sanctions the moment an agreement is reached; no intrusive oversight of Iran’s nuclear and military facilities; the continuation of Iran’s nuclear research and development program; and no inclusion of any topics not related to the nuclear program, such as missile capability or anything impacting Iran’s support for its proxies in the region.

It is no wonder then that the nuclear deal has been lambasted on a bipartisan basis, including at the highest levels of the national security establishment. Even former Secretary of State James Baker is highly critical of the Iran deal – and his animus toward Israel, perhaps the primary casualty of the deal, may be second only to that of President Obama.

As to whether Khameini’s portrayal of the deal is accurate, former CIA analyst and Iran expert Fred Fleitz asserts that under the terms of the agreement, Iran will (i) be able to continue enriching uranium, (ii) not have to disassemble or destroy any enrichment equipment or facilities, (iii) not be required to “permit snap inspections and unfettered access to all Iranian nuclear facilities, including military bases where Iran is believed to have conducted nuclear-weapons work,” (iv) be able to continue to operate its Arak heavy-water reactor, a plutonium source, in contravention of IAEA resolutions and (v) be subjected to an eased sanctions regime that will be incredibly difficult to re-impose.

If this were not enough, so intent is the Obama Administration on reaching a deal that it has been reported that for signing this agreement, Iran may even receive sweeteners including a $50 billion “signing bonus.”

The contorted logic used by the president in defense of his progressive stance towards Iran is worthy of Neville Chamberlain. During an interview with New York Times soulmate Thomas Friedman, Obama opined:

Even for somebody who believes, as I suspect Prime Minister Netanyahu believes, that there is no difference between Rouhani and the supreme leader and they’re all adamantly anti-West and anti-Israel and perennial liars and cheaters — even if you believed all that, this still would be the right thing to do. It would still be the best option for us to protect ourselves. In fact, you could argue that if they are implacably opposed to us, all the more reason for us to want to have a deal in which we know what they’re doing and that, for a long period of time, we can prevent them from having a nuclear weapon.

Sen. Tom Cotton provides a necessary corrective in a recent interview:

I am skeptical that there are many moderates within the [Iranian] leadership … I think it’s kind of like the search for the vaunted moderates in the Kremlin throughout most of the Cold War, with the exception that we could always count on the Soviet leadership to be concerned about national survival in a way that I don’t think we can count on a nuclear-armed Iranian leadership to be solely concerned about national survival.

As for Lord Chamberlain, Sen. Cotton – he of that irksome letter to Iran — takes a more charitable view, noting:

It’s unfair to Neville Chamberlain to compare him to Barack Obama, because Neville Chamberlain’s general staff was telling him he couldn’t confront Hitler and even fight to a draw—certainly not defeat the German military—until probably 1941 or 1942. He was operating from a position of weakness. With Iran, we negotiated privately in 2012-2013 from a position of strength … not just inherent military strength of the United States compared to Iran, but also from our strategic position.

To those who recognize reality, this deal – coupled with our weak response to the ongoing provocations of the Iranian Government — not only threatens our national security and that of our allies, but reflects an utter dereliction of duty to uphold the Constitution, and protect our people against foreign enemies.

In a word, it is treasonous.

04/24/15

Muslim Brotherhood Pay-rolled by Clinton Foundation

By: Denise Simon
FoundersCode.com

Per the Muslim Brotherhood website:

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is reporting that Gehad El-Haddad, described as “spokesperson of the Muslim Brotherhood”, was sentenced to life imprisonment in a 2103 case known as “the media trial”.

April 13, 2015 On April 11, 2015, Gehad El-Haddad, spokesperson of the Muslim Brotherhood, was sentenced to life imprisonment in case 317 for the year 2013 known as “the media trial”.

Fourteen defendants received death sentences while thirty seven including Gehad were sentenced to life in prison. Among the convicted are 15 journalists and spokespersons.

According to the case evidence list (pp. 25 – 26, excerpts attached in Arabic), the evidence against Gehad is that he “conducted three interviews for the New York Times, an American TV channel (PBS), and a Spanish newspaper (Elmundo)”.

In the NYT interview, Gehad said that the MB group came “close to annihilation once under Nasser, but this is worse.” He also added that the crisis “is creating a new tier of youth leaders” and that this “happened at Rabaa.”

El-Mundo published a lengthy interview with Gehad in Spanish in which he said “we remain committed to non-violence and will continue the peaceful struggle to restore democracy.” He also added that he cannot give in to offers that exchange the freedom of the country with personal safety and that he “would rather die for the country he wishes to live under the tyranny of a dictator.”

“I’m a wanted man for saying my opinion and for standing politically in opposition to the coup” these were Gehad’s statements to the PBS. He added “They’re trying to wipe the existent, decapitate the Muslim Brotherhood. And they can’t do that. It’s an idea. You can’t kill an idea”.

Gehad’s family will appeal the verdict.

In August 2013, the GMBDW reported on the arrest of Gehad El-Haddad by Egyptian security forces. At the time, we noted that although we were the first and only Western source known to have reported on El-Haddad’s employment by the Clinton Foundation, mainstream media reports mentioning this employment failed to credit the GMBDW.

Gehad El-Haddad, the the son of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader Essam El-Haddad, was a Senior Adviser on Foreign Affairs to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood ‘s Freedom and Justice Party, a position he held since May 2011. His resume also says that he was is a Senior Adviser & Media Spokesperson for the Muslim Brotherhood as well as a Steering Committee Member of the Brotherhood’s Renaissance (Nahda) Project. Mr Haddad was also the Media Strategist & Official Spokesperson for the presidential campaign of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. Gehad El-Haddad’s resume reports that he was the City Director for the William J. Clinton Foundation from August 2007 – August 2012. Among his duties at the Foundation were representing the Foundation’s Clinton Climate Initiative in Egypt, setting up the foundation’s office in Egypt and managed official registration, and identifying and developing program-based projects & delivery work plans.

*** It came down to Human Abedin, whose own family is deeply steeped in the Brotherhood and Sisterhood movement in Egypt and Qatar.

A senior Muslim Brotherhood operative recently arrested in Egypt worked for years at the William J. Clinton Foundation. The Clinton Foundation has also received millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and a foundation that is an Iranian regime front.

The current Egyptian government, which was put in power after the military overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood, has launched a sweeping crackdown on the Brotherhood and calls it a terrorist organization. One of the senior officials arrested is Gehad (Jihad) el-Haddad.

From 2007 to 2012, el-Haddad was the Egyptian director for the Clinton Foundation. El-Haddad’s father is Essam el-Haddad, a member of the Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau.

02/27/15

More Smoking Guns Confirm Benghazi Cover-up

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

We have repeatedly exposed how the mainstream media consistently ignore the “phony scandal” of the multiple terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya in 2012, and the unnecessary deaths of four brave Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Indeed, the mainstream media shy away from covering this scandal or, alternatively, dismiss efforts to expose the ongoing government cover-up as an attack on Hillary Clinton’s presidential chances.

But the media should be furious because they—alongside of the American public—were sold a lie by the Obama administration. And the media became one of the tools through which that lie was disseminated. The latest disclosures have come to light thanks to the ongoing efforts of Judicial Watch.

Document after released document shows that the Secretary of State, the Defense Secretary, the head of AFRICOM, and the President of the United States himself, were informed, shortly after the attack began, that Benghazi was an attack by terrorists. Yet most of the media, such as New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick, defensively maintain the official narrative years later that the attack “was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.”

“The Regional Security Officer reports the diplomatic mission is under attack. Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well,” states an email forwarded to Cheryl Mills, Secretary Clinton’s chief of staff at the time, as well as Clinton’s deputy chief-of-staff for policy and her executive assistant. It is dated September 11, 2012 at 4:07 p.m. EST—about a half hour after the attack in Benghazi began. The argument that senior State Department personnel did not inform their direct superior, Mrs. Clinton, of the facts surrounding the unfolding situation strains credulity.

“State Department emails released through a lawsuit by Judicial Watch show that then-Secretary Hillary Clinton knew as the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi was under way that it was being carried out by terrorists,” reports Jerome Corsi for WorldNetDaily. Yet, “Clinton blamed the attack on ‘rage and violence over an awful Internet video’” just days later when “she spoke at a ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base on Sept. 14, 2014” as the remains of those slain returned to the U.S. She also made similar assertions on September 12, 2012.

Andrew McCarthy, writing for National Review, connected the dots, detailing the anatomy of the attempted cover-up.

While the attacks were still going on, “Secretary Clinton issued an official statement claiming the assault may have been in ‘response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet,’” McCarthy writes. He continues, “Secretary Clinton’s statement took pains to add that ‘the United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others’—further intimating that the video was the cause of the attack. I have previously recounted that this official Clinton statement was issued shortly after 10 p.m.—minutes after President Obama and Secretary Clinton spoke briefly on the telephone about events in Benghazi, according to Clinton’s congressional testimony. The White House initially denied that Obama had spoken with Clinton or other top cabinet officials that night. The president’s version of events changed after Secretary Clinton’s testimony.”

The new emails from Judicial Watch also show that Clinton’s top officials were trying to get third parties to echo false information that they were fully aware was incorrect, according to the group’s President Tom Fitton, who spoke at a press briefing on February 26. And they stopped talking to the press so that statements about the video would receive more coverage.

Mills asked the State Department to stop answering press inquiries after Mrs. Clinton’s statement about “inflammatory material posted on the Internet” was “hanging out there,” writing, “Can we stop answering emails for the night Toria [Victoria Nuland] b/c now the first one is hanging out there.”

Fitton also said that the released emails leave no doubt that Clinton’s closest advisors knew the basic facts about Benghazi immediately, and that Clinton knowingly lied about the YouTube video’s role in Benghazi. He cited the failure of the media to have any curiosity about this issue and condemned Congress for not holding the administration more accountable.

The Select Committee on Benghazi contacted Judicial Watch a day before the press briefing regarding its documents and specialized knowledge about Benghazi, said Fitton. Yet the Select Committee began interviewing State Department officials earlier this month, without these documents.

The cover-up by the administration, including by Mrs. Clinton, has only become more apparent with the release of Judicial Watch’s most recent “smoking gun” emails from the State Department. Will the media continue to look the other way in an attempt to save Mrs. Clinton’s reputation and her White House bid, or will it finally begin to demand real accountability? Unfortunately, I think we already know the answer to that, leaving it up to Rep. Trey Gowdy’s (R-SC) committee, and groups like Judicial Watch, and our Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi.

02/11/15

Will Saudi Prince Thwart Terror Probes?

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

CNN has a problem: one of its hosts, Michael Smerconish, is uncovering evidence about the Saudi role in 9/11. But a CNN analyst, Frances Townsend, has been rubbing elbows with one of the alleged Saudi financiers of al-Qaeda. Perhaps they ought to get together and compare notes.

The strange story begins with Smerconish on his CNN show last Saturday interviewing attorney Sean Carter, who recently took a sworn statement from 9/11’s so-called 20th hijacker, Zacarias Moussaoui.

Convicted terrorist Moussaoui, speaking from behind federal prison walls, had told Carter and other attorneys suing Saudi Arabia over its role in 9/11 that three major Saudi figures, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Prince Bandar bin Sultan and Prince Turki al-Faisal, were on a list of donors to al-Qaeda prior to 9/11. The Saudi regime flatly denied the allegations and dismissed Moussaoui as a lunatic.

Alwaleed stands out as the Saudi on the list who could most be affected by the disclosure. He is the largest individual foreign investor in the United States, with investments in 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News; TimeWarner, the parent company of CNN; Citigroup; Twitter; and Apple. He has close personal relationships with corporate America’s CEOs, including, and especially, Rupert Murdoch.

Carter told Smerconish that he had confidence in the veracity of the allegations made by Moussaoui. “We actually brought some subject matter experts, counterterrorism experts with us so that we would be able to sort of gut check what he was saying throughout the testimony. And he provided incredibly detailed testimony about al Qaeda’s operations during that period, the organizational structure and who was responsible for certain activities, the nature of al Qaeda’s facilities within Kandahar [Afghanistan] at that time, and everything he said when he was providing this very detailed, directly responsive testimony checked out for us.”

Showing no deference to the prince, known as “His Royal Highness,” Smerconish said on his CNN show that the 28 classified pages of a congressional report on the role of Saudi Arabia in the 9/11 attacks should be released to the public. These pages reportedly concern Saudi financing of al-Qaeda, and may even name the top Saudis implicated in the 9/11 attacks.

Acting unconcerned, Alwaleed seems to be proceeding with business as usual. In fact, it was recently revealed that Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, participated in a business meeting with Alwaleed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) reported that the meeting was about “political, business and economic issues.”

What is also astonishing about the meeting was the participation of CNN National Security Analyst Frances Townsend, who previously served as Assistant to President George W. Bush for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and chaired the Homeland Security Council from May 2004 until January 2008.

If anyone should be aware of the role of Alwaleed and other Saudis in financing al-Qaeda, it is Townsend.

In addition to serving as an analyst for CNN, Townsend is currently Executive Vice President for Worldwide Government, Legal and Business Affairs at MacAndrews and Forbes Holdings. The firm is wholly owned by billionaire financier Ronald O. Perelman and maintains investments in cosmetics, entertainment, biotechnology and military equipment.

Townsend’s involvement in the meeting with Alwaleed assumes even more significance because she serves as president of the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), which is currently demanding that Twitter “immediately take action and adopt policies to stop extremists from misusing the social network.”

CEP President Townsend and CEP Chief Executive Officer Ambassador Mark Wallace co-authored a letter to Twitter CEO Dick Costolo “seeking an opportunity to discuss solutions to the growing crisis we face from extremists seeking to weaponize Twitter and commit cyber-jihad. Twitter rebuffed CEP’s invitation.”

But it was Alwaleed who invested $300 million in Twitter in late 2011. “Twitter is a very strategic investment for us,” he said at the time. Awaleed’s KHC even posted a video of the meeting. “During the meeting,” KHC reports, “Mr. Costolo thanked the Prince for giving him the opportunity to meet with him.”

It appears that the Townsend/Wallace letter that went to Costolo, and was copied to four different Twitter executives, should have gone to Alwaleed personally.

In 2005, Townsend, then Homeland Security Adviser to President George W. Bush, praised what she said was Saudi Arabia’s increasingly effective response to terrorism. “The Saudis really are making substantial progress,” she said.

A transcript from a counterterrorism conference in Saudi Arabia quoted her as praising “the leadership and commitment the Saudis have shown towards finding practical and effective ways to fight terrorism…” She said the U.S. and Saudi Arabia were engaged in a “critically important strategic partnership.”

But it appears that Townsend and other U.S. officials may have been privy to other information that cast doubt on Saudi Arabia’s counter-terrorism efforts.

In 2007, according to a leaked cable, The New York Times reported that Townsend had “told her Saudi counterparts in Riyadh” that President Bush was “quite concerned” about the level of cooperation the U.S. was getting from the Saudis.

It has, of course, been widely reported that 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudis and that al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was a Saudi as well. The bulk of the terrorists detained at Guantanamo Bay were from Saudi Arabia. What’s more, numerous reports implicate Saudi Arabia in funding the Islamic State, known as ISIS.

Former Senator Bob Graham (D-FL), the co-chairman of the official inquiry into 9/11, told Patrick Cockburn of the British newspaper The Independent, “I believe that the failure to shine a full light on Saudi actions and particularly its involvement in 9/11 has contributed to the Saudi ability to continue to engage in actions that are damaging to the U.S.—and in particular their support for ISIS.”

After the 9/11 attacks, the Saudi regime launched a public relations strategy in the U.S. that was analyzed in the academic paper, “Message strategies of Saudi Arabia’s image restoration campaign after 9/11.” The analysis notes that Saudi Prince Alwaleed’s donation of $10 million to a fund for 9/11 victims and their families was part of this campaign. But the donation was rejected by then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani after Alwaleed blamed the attacks on U.S. foreign policy.

The Alwaleed donation was described in the academic paper as part of the Saudi regime’s “Good Intentions” ploy to repair its battered image as a state sponsor of terrorism.

In the wake of Moussaoui’s allegations, it would appear that Alwaleed may be counting on his status as “the largest individual foreign investor” in the United States to discourage any more investigations into his financial activities.

As President Obama seeks Congressional support for a war against ISIS, with Saudi Arabia as an alleged ally in the fight, it would seem that the Saudi role in funding the Global Jihad Movement should take center stage.

But it appears that major American news organizations are compromised by their financial ties to the Saudis.