Media

Has Rush Limbaugh ever filled his own tank?

President Obama spoke Wednesday to Al Sharpton’s National Action Network’s 20th Annual Keepers of the Dream Awards gathering in New York.

Obama addressed an increasingly critical fact of American life — that the price of a gallon of gasoline is pushing $4. (In Chicago, where I live, and where Obama still keeps a house, even “regular” has topped the $4 mark.) The president knows that the unemployment rate might creep down toward 8 percent and make his reelection likely, but rising gas prices can trump all that and make him a one-termer.

So President Obama told his audience, "I don’t pump gas now, but I remember what it was like pumping gas.”

Well, that was fuel for Limbaugh’s Thursday morning radio rant.

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CNN shames itself on NPR coverage

I just saw a segment on CNN that defamed its own brand by airing the edited anti-NPR video that Glenn Beck and others have now successfully debunked, without any mention by the CNN anchor or correspondent that the segment CNN aired gave a dramatically false misrepresentation.

This embodies everything that is wrong in our media, and everything that has gone wrong with low-rated CNN. For CNN to air a false and dishonest excerpt of an edited video shortly before a vote in the House on NPR funding is a disgrace to the news organization so brilliantly founded by Ted Turner.

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Heroes and bullies

Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday morning unleashed a rant ranging from excoriation to ridicule on the subject of President Obama taking time today, while Japan burns and Libya suffers, to discuss with ESPN’s Doris Burke his NCAA basketball bracket picks.

The usual Limbaugh, I thought, clever but unfair, and yet ... It reminded me of something that has been bugging me lately. Why is Barack Obama so silent on events that are wracking the world? (He did suggest while talking to Burke that people go to USAid.gov for a list of charities providing help to the Japanese people.)

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Glenn Beck blasts anti-NPR Video

I have been harshly critical of Glenn Beck, but in the spirit of fairness today I give Beck high praise for his professionalism in revealing the full story of the anti-NPR video and exposing how its partial presentation, repeated ad nauseam and unfairly throughout the media, misrepresented the facts and slandered NPR.

I never thought I would write this, but I encourage every reader to go to Beck's website, the Blaze, and study for themselves the full video, and the whole truth, without the selective editing of the anti-NPR faction or the lazy misreporting that swept across the major media.

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Michael Moore's hypocrisy

Michael Moore says the top 400 richest Americans' wealth now exceeds the cumulative affluence of the bottom 50 percent of the American population, 155 million people.

For all of Michael Moore's faults, this statement is true. However, the message he attempts to make is impotent due to his own hypocrisy and his shallow understanding of why the wealthy are prosperous.

What strikes about Michael Moore is that he is a man who rails against capitalism and recently said rich people’s money "is not theirs, that's a national resource, that's ours. We all have this — we all benefit from this or we all suffer as a result of not having it."

For those who don’t know, Michael Moore is worth over $50 million. He made that fortune in our capitalist system by being a capitalist himself. I don’t see him rushing to give away his millions to the bottom 50 percent of income earners, nor have I heard that he voluntarily donated millions to the federal government.

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David Broder, gentleman and giant

Somehow, it seemed appropriate that news of the death of David Broder broke halfway into Wednesday’s White House briefing by press secretary Jay Carney.

One by one, you could see veteran reporters stare at their BlackBerrys in disbelief, then turn to share the news with their neighbor. We sat through the rest of the briefing stunned, like members of a team who just lost their leader — which, of course, we had.

David was not only the dean of the Washington Press Corps, he was, right up until his death at the age of 81, the best and hardest-working reporter in Washington. In fact, I last saw him at the White House, just outside the Briefing Room, a couple of weeks ago, on his way in to interview President Obama.

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Fox News should remove Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin

Now Mike Huckabee advances his presidential candidacy with a ridiculous attack on Natalie Portman. Funny how Huckabee rose to the defense of Bristol Palin but attacked Natalie Portman under similar circumstances. Make no mistake: I would never criticize Bristol Palin, and Huckabee should stop pandering by attacking Portman.

Fox should remove Huckabee and Palin unless they unequivocally state they will not run for president. A credible news network should not be a welfare program for partisan candidates or a source of unregulated campaign donations for them by paying them for airtime. And Fox should replace Glenn Beck, who crosses lines that credible news organizations should not cross, even in "opinion" hours, let alone family hours.

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I survived my month without Dana Milbank

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank has been hoping for a month without Sarah Palin: “I admit there were doubts in those early days about whether I could make it through all of February without invoking her name. The tremors and sweats were manageable.” (Irony!)

The others had backed down; the "Saturday Night Live" late-night comics (they still have that?) and Katie Couric, that incredible disappearing woman; New York Times columnist Frank Rich has quit, Letterman in a world of hurt, internally eviscerated by Vengeance Demons. Kathleen Parker, the first to call Palin “out of her league,” won a Pulitzer Prize for defending the old temple, then got “revised” out of her big new gig with Eliot Spitzer. And Keith Olbermann has been sent to the neverwhere with Al Gore.

Those who shrieked in pain and apoplexy into my phone on the day Palin was nominated for VP have not been heard from again. Hopefully they have gotten back on their meds.

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Courting birther nuts, Huckabee plays the Kenyan Mau Mau card against Obama

Where do Republicans find these guys? Now former Arkansas governor current Fox News host and possible aspirant to be America's president Mike Huckabee dramatizes again why a majority of voters reject the Republican far right and why the Republican field of presidential candidates is so weak.

In the endless need to consider cranks, weirdos and haters a core part of the Republican coalition, speaking on the radio, Huckabee said (falsely) that the president grew up in Kenya, and said (incredibly) that the president has a different view from most Americans of the Mau Mau revolution in Kenya.

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C-SPAN: The new reality show

On June 11, 2002, when "American Idol" premiered on the Fox Network, it introduced the American people to their first taste of crushing reality. Thousands of people auditioned in front of three judges, hoping upon hope that they would grab the brass ring, that their singing talents were so immense that they would be a big star.

Simon Cowell, who had the guts and the fortitude to tell the would-be singers that they sucked, mostly crushed the hopes of the overwhelming majority of contestants. Cowell wasn’t nice about it. He was brutal. And it was just about what America needed to hear. We can’t all be stars. Some people have voices that are best left in the shower.

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