Objectivity Distant Memory at ABC News

“Live from a remote cave in Afghanistan,

this is Osama Bin Laden reporting.”

Upon hearing an ABC News reporter using that name to sign off, the average American would probably receive anything the reporter said with a healthy dose of skepticism.  Why?  Because most Americans recognize the name of the Al-Qaeda leader and would not trust him to tell the truth.

But how would average Americans respond to an ABC News report about the controversial death of an Islamic clergyman in Dearborn, Mich., if it was reported by Sharaf Mowjood? Most wouldn’t give it a second thought — until, that is, they learned more about Mowjood.

Here it comes: Mowjood is a former government relations coordinator for the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Greater Los Angeles.  CAIR-LA is, in turn, one of the largest local entities of the national CAIR organization that, in 2007, was labeled by the U.S. Department of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist finance case in U.S. history, the Holy Land Foundation trial held in Dallas.

Do ABC News executives really think Americans won’t catch on to the fact that they’ve hired a terror-friendly reporter? I suppose anything is possible.  They are, after all, the same executives behind decisions that have recently produced the network’s worst news ratings ever.

See also: Controversy Swirls Around Dearborn Imam’s Death.

Hat tip:  Debbie Schlussel

Seven More Awards Due President Barack Obama (Update)

Citizens of the world awoke to find President Barack Obama had won both the Nobel Peace Prize and two Cy Young Awards.  Because no one likes surprises, I’ve combed the internet to uncover news about seven more awards (below) our nation’s 44th president will receive this year:

Barack Obama Caricature by Political Graffiti7.  World Series MVP — By way of Executive Order, President Obama will add himself to the roster of the winning team in Major League Baseball’s fall classic and then, via an unprecedented public-voting process supervised by ACORN, he will be named the “Most Valuable Player of the 2009 World Series”.

6.  Friend of Terrorists Award — For exemplary leadership of the U.S. military effort in the Global War on Terror Overseas Contingency Operations, President Obama will receive the top award from Osama Bin laden, founder of the terrorist organization behind the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

5.  The Roman Polanski Year of the Child Award — Based upon his demonstration of exceptional skills as a parent of pre-teen girls, President Obama will be named the first recipient of the award recently established by members of the defense team for film maker and accused child molester Roman Polanski [Note: Polanski lawyers deny that naming Obama as recipient of the award stands as a thinly-veiled effort to obtain a presidential pardon].

4.  Nobel Prize for Economics — After demonstrating to the world through bailouts, stimulus packages and other actions that have resulted in a rapid devaluation of the dollar, President Obama will be awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics;

3.  Miss America — After losing so much money in the down economy, Donald Trump will agree to award President Obama the title of “Miss America” in exchange for a federal bailout;

2. Best Actor — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will award President Obama its Academy Award® for Best Actor for his work as president of the United States; and

1.  Congressional Medal of Honor — After doing more than any previous occupant of the Oval Office to weaken the nation’s standing in the world, President Obama will award himself the nation’s highest honor just for having survived the blowback.

As more awards news surfaces, I’ll report it here.

* * *

UPDATE 10-9-09 at 2:54 p.m Central: As promised, I’m delivering more awards news!  See Still More Awards Coming to President Obama.

Uncle Jay Explains the News: Sept. 21, 2009

The news lately has been filled with very rude people, according to Uncle Jay.  In this week’s edition of Uncle Jay Explains the News, Uncle Jay appears to have become extremely civilized.

“Just trying to set a good example,” he says.  And as long as you don’t watch the final ten seconds, you’ll think he succeeds!

Obama Graces ‘Savage Dragon’ Comic Book Cover

From out of the “strange news” file comes word that a “Savage Dragon” comic book, the cover of which features a flag-waving President Barack Obama smacking terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, sold for $202.50 on eBay® Italy March 10.

An Image Comics Group’s publication, Savage Dragon brings to life the story of a “a large, finned, green-skinned humanoid whose powers include super-strength and an advanced healing factor,” according to Wikipedia.  “He is also an amnesiac: his earliest memory is awakening in a burning field in Chicago, Illinois. Thus, for most of the series, the origins of his powers and appearance are a mystery to readers. At the beginning of the series, he becomes a police officer and battles the mutant criminal “superfreaks” that terrorize Chicago.”

Picking up on the obvious Chicago link between Obama and the Savage Dragon, the folks at IHATETHEMEDIA.com surmised that the superfreaks terrorizing Chicago must be “Blagoman, RezkoMan and ACORNMan.”  Seems like a logical conclusion to me.

Spurlock’s Latest Effort Generates Little Buzz

In a post Dec. 5, 2007, I expressed skepticism about fast-food filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s claim that he had found Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. Three months later, I wrote a post about the release of a trailer for Spurlock’s documentary, Where in the World is Osama bin Laden? Since then however, I’ve heard very few news media mentions of Spurlock and his documentary — that is, until today.

Today, almost a month after the documentary was finally released, I finally heard some buzz about it while listening to talk radio on my way to Lambert International Airport this afternoon. It was described as “interesting” and received “three and three-quarter stars” during a movie review segment on the Frank O. Pinion show (a.k.a., “St. Louis’ only large morning show in the afternoon”).

When I returned to blogging a few hours later, I decided to look up other reviews of the flick and found this one published on the London Sunday Times web site. The newspaper review was less glowing and began this way:

In his previous film, Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock was the little guy who took on the Big Mac. Now he’s back with a new mission impossible: to find the most wanted man on the planet, Osama Bin Laden. I don’t think anyone can accuse me of giving the plot away if I reveal that we don’t actually find Bin Laden – but we do discover a very different, and less appealing, Spurlock than the one we saw before.

The review ended this way:

By the end, you feel you haven’t really learnt anything new. Spurlock’s big insight is that the majority of Muslims want to work, provide for their families and give their children the best start in life, just like you and me. I think he would have done better to give his family the best start by staying at home instead of making this film.

After carefully weighing these reviews, I’m recommending that you stay away from the theater whenever this documentary is showing. If, however, you feel you need to purchase something related to the topic of Spurlock’s documentary, I recommend you follow the filmmaker’s lead and make the claim that you found the world’s most-wanted terrorist.

To help you “sell” your claim, purchase and wear your very own “I FOUND OSAMA BIN LADEN!” t-shirt. To make a purchase, click here or click on the t-shirt image above.

Release Set for ‘Where in the World is Osama?’

Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock has released a new trailer for his upcoming documentary, “Where in the World is Osama bin Laden?”

Where in the World is Osama bin Laden? Trailer

News of its release comes nearly three months after I published a post expressing my deep skepticism about the claims made by the man behind the 2006 fast-food documentary, Fast-Food Nation. Others, including Debbie Schlussel, shared my doubts about Spurlock’s claims. Now, it appears we’ll be able to judge the authenticity of his claims when the “Where in the World…?” documentary is released April 18.

Until then, however, we’ll have to be satisfied with the trailer which, I might add, is painfully short of any worthwhile details.

New Hampshire GOP Presidential Forum Notes

Tonight’s New Hampshire Republican Presidential Forum on the Fox News Channel began this way:

“One of the five men sitting at this table tonight will be the Republican presidential nominee.”

Those words, used by Fox News moderator Chris Wallace to open the forum at Saint Anselm College, must have riled supporters of Ron Paul and Duncan Hunter tonight. At the same time, it served as evidence that life isn’t fair — especially in the world of presidential politics. And so began the forum.

Below are some of the highlights — with rush transcriptions (in quotation marks) and, in some cases, paraphrasing of candidates’ statements — from the first hour of the forum:

John McCain said he’ll stop spending in response to a question about his vote against the most-recent Bush tax cut.

Mike Huckabee countered accusations that he was a “tax and spend” governor by explaining how he made government work.

Mitt Romney said he cut spending, raised fees and, by the end of his first year — and every single year he was in office — his state had a surplus.

Rudy Giuliani was asked about his opposition to tax cuts. In response, he said, “The overall tax burden on New Yorkers was lowered by 17 percent by the time I left office.”

Fred Thompson was asked about his plan to extend the Bush tax cut and whether it was practical. He said his plan would not affect current retirees and would save billions of dollars — $4.7 billion to be exact.

Romney called Thompson‘s willingness to discuss Social Security as “bold” but, of course, had a different opinion about how to fix it.

Wallace switched the topics to “change” and populism, introducing it with a video clip of Governor Huckabee‘s recent description of himself as someone “more like the person you work with than the person who lays you off.”

Huckabee said, “If that’s populism, than I’m guilty.”

Romney took Huckabee‘s commentary as an insult to the folks who take risks as business owners. It didn’t fly well.

Huckabee jumped back in by explaining how he was the only candidate who wants to get rid of the corporate tax, the income tax and the death tax and replace them with the Fair Tax.

Guiliani said he’s the only candidate who’s dealt with the issue of poverty, inheriting a city with 1.1 million people on welfare and reducing that number by 670,000. He added, “As Republicans, we need to go into the neighborhoods and explain how our programs work.”

Thompson said he likes certain elements of Huckabee‘s Fair Tax, but was concerned that we might end up with both a consumption tax and an income tax at the same time. Further, he explained that a simple tax system might improve things for everyone — 10 percent tax on joint income of $100,000 or less (single-payer income of $50,000) and 25 percent for earnings over $100,000.

When the question of “Who is the best GOP candidate to shake up Washington?” was raised, McCain touted his status as an “agent of change” on numerous issues, including campaign finance reform.

Romney said “Washington is fundamentally broken” and “needs top-to-bottom change” a Washington insider (i.e., McCain) can’t deliver. He explained further that “There’s a very dramatic difference between talking about change and actually leading an organization (that’s done it).”

McCain countered by highlighting his leadership experience as commander of the Navy’s largest fighter squadron and said he knew how to get Osama bin Laden and would do it.

Thompson entered the discussion by saying we need to come together and do the right thing, and Giuliani cited the fact that “change” is what the Democrats — notably, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards — advocate and can be “for good or for bad.”

Citing Romney‘s recent contention that “We need a leader, not an expert,” Wallace asked the former Massachusetts governor to explain his belief.

“What they’re looking for is a president…who has judgment, wisdom (etc.)” instead of a person with the most expertise in a critical area that may be important right now.

McCain said, “Maybe we haven’t always gotten the best results from those governors” — an obvious jab at Romney.

McCain said he never heard Romney criticize the Donald Rumsfeld strategy. Conversely, Romney said he was busy running a state instead of criticizing officials at the federal level.

Changing the discussion, Wallace cited what he termed as errors committed by Huckabee before asking the former Arkansas governor if he believed he was truly ready to serve as president.

In response, Huckabee offered a laundry list of countries he’s visited as a state executive and explained that he had more executive experience than any of the candidates running.

Giuliani was asked to respond to a McCain jab that his only experience in dealing with terror and foreign policy was 9/11. He said, “As mayor of New York, I happened to be involved in practically every foreign policy issue” and cited the United Nation’s presence, in part, as a reason for it.

Thompson criticized Huckabee for statements made about closing Guantanamo and lifting sanctions against Cuba.

Huckabee said it’s not a matter of where we keep them that’s important.

McCain was asked by Wallace to explain a comment he made earlier — that he would get bin Laden. The answer wasn’t too awe-inspiring. His answer to the next question — about immigration — was interesting.

In explaining his 0ft-criticized stand on immigration reform, McCain said he had “never ever supported amnesty and never will” before saying “we need to move forward and fix this problem.”

Romney countered by saying there are millions of people waiting in line who want to be citizens of this country. Letting 12 million people (and its really 30+ million) who came here illegally, pay $5,000 and be able to stay here forever is wrong.

That’s it. I only had one hour to dedicate to this forum.