In 1999, former Pres. George Bush famously said, "I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors."
John Gibson, the Fox "News" anchor, takes an opposite view. He says he wants to "give a medal" to the Bush officials who deliberately jeopardized a top-secret, well-established CIA program that tracked the sales of weapons of mass destruction in black markets worldwide.
Why would a rightwinger like Gibby want to pin a medal on these traitors? Because the traitors are Republicans --- a cabal led by Dick Cheney and that included Karl Rove and Scooter Libby --- while the covert agent in charge of the CIA's top secret WMD tracking program, Valerie Plame Wilson, made a campaign donation to Al Gore in 1999.
(Ed Note: It is our understanding that she and her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, also contributed to George W. Bush's campaign at the time as well.)
In her 20 years as a spy for the United States, Agent Wilson worked for a front business, an oil industry consulting firm called Brewster Jennings and Associates. She frequently traveled overseas where she developed a network of secret "assets" --- foreign nationals who provided her with inside knowledge on the movement of chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons and materials in the worldwide terrorist black market.
The CIA will not say, of course, how many of these foreign assets were compromised, killed, wounded or kidnapped and tortured as a result of Cheney's treasonous conspiracy to forfeit them by exposing Agent Wilson's covert identity.
And only time will tell how many weapons of mass destruction were transported undetected because Agent Wilson's network was forfeited --- and whether one or more of these weapons will be used to attack the United States.
But none of that matters to Republicans like John Gibson and his cohorts at Fox "News" and in the Bush White House, whose patriotism is as fake as the made-in-China American flags pinned to their lapels. Gibson's remarkable statement advocating giving a medal to Rove, Cheney and Libby --- the "most insidious of traitors" who betrayed vital national secrets --- exposes him for what he is: an ideologue who puts his party ahead of his country even at the risk of national security.
Apparently Texas oil tycoon, T. Boone Pickens, who funded the so-called "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" propaganda campaign against John Kerry in 2004 to the tune of $3 million, seems, like the group themselves, to have trouble with the definition of the word "truth".
Earlier this month, at a DC dinner celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Rightwing publication American Spectator, Pickens made a very public challenge (not a bet), offering, as the Republicanist blog, American Thinker reported, "a million dollars to anyone who could prove wrong anything the Swiftboat Veterans charged about Kerry."
The similarly Rightwing blog RedState echoed that the challenge was made to anybody who "can prove anything the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth said in 2004 was false."
But it looks like Pickens was lying, as he is now trying to renege on the challenge since Kerry himself decided to take him up on it late last week, writing in a letter to Pickens (posted in full at the end of this article): "While I am prepared to show they lied on allegation after allegation, you have generously offered to pay one million dollars for just one thing that can be proven false. I am prepared to prove the lie beyond any reasonable doubt."
Kerry said that the $1 million should then be given to the Paralyzed Veterans of America, concluding his letter with: "I trust that you are a man of your word, having made a very public challenge at a major Washington dinner, and look forward to taking you up on this challenge."
Pickens, however --- wait for it --- has proven to be less than a man of his word. Who'd have thunk it? Rather than accept Kerry's offer to meet the challenge, he's moved the goal posts and Fox "News" Network stooge, Sean Hannity --- no man of honor either --- is entirely scummy enough to aide and abet Pickens in welching out of the challenge...
By Brad Friedman...trying to keep up with all from the road...
Our story so far...Last Friday I was at the BlogWorld Expo in Vegas, where billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner, HDNet media impresario, and blogger Mark Cuban gave the closing keynote address. I asked him about the various attacks on him from Bill O'Reilly concerning Redacted, the new Brian DePalma film which HDNet is releasing this week...and which O'Reilly has not seen...but has declared to be "anti-troop" nonetheless.
Cuban told me that he's "very grateful" to the far-Right Fox "News" desk-jockey for the publicity he's brought to what would otherwise have been a small film release. "Bill O'Reilly is my new best friend!" he declared. My coverage of that, blogged from the conference room just after his address, is here.
On Sunday, Cuban himself blogged more on the topic at his BlogMaverick site, in a post which begins, "I've grown to love Bill O'Reilly. Seriously. If there is anyone who can publicize a political movie, it's Bill and I truly appreciate that about him." Cuban then goes on to speak to O'Reilly's concerns about the film...which O'Reilly has not seen.
On Monday, a visibly angry (or mock-angry, as the case usually is) O'Reilly shot back. He ranted that in a different day FDR "might have incarcerated" Cuban and that "General Patton would have slapped the tar out of him." O'Reilly's ingenious plan to teach Cuban a lesson: A campaign calling for Dallas Mavericks fans to display "Support the Troops" signs at games, and for protesters to show up outside movie theaters showing the film with "Support the Troops" signs. O'Reilly said he would be doing so himself. We posted video of his silly rant yesterday.
Which brings us up to yesterday, when O'Reilly railed again against Cuban, calling him an "extremist." Ironically, Ann Coulter would join him for the conversation...about the film O'Reilly hasn't seen.
At the same time, MSNBC's Kieth Olbermann (O'Reilly's actual arch-enemy) jumped into the fray to have much fun at O'Reilly's expense from the night before. His report included a video-taped look at the actual answer Cuban gave to my question last Friday at the BlogWorld Expo (though not the question itself), along with an examination of O'Reilly's claim that Cuban would have been locked up by FDR and slapped by Patton for having produced the film...Which O'Reilly hasn't seen.
Olbermann also notes that the Dallas Mavericks had previously planned a "Support the Troops" night for the Texas National Guard at their upcoming home game anyway, but we're sure that O'Reilly will take credit for the thousands of green shirts with such a message --- long-planned to be given out to fans that night --- along with the Mavs' long-standing "Seats for Soldiers" program as some response to his ingenious plan to teach Cuban a lesson...by "promoting" his film for him, even though he hasn't seen it.
Here's last night's O'Reilly and then Olbermann videos, courtesy of our own video-ace, Alan Breslauer...
Lastly, Olbermann had a short follow-up segment with a former Reagan Administration Official, Constitutional Attorney Bruce Fein, for a historical look at FDR's actual imprisonment plans during WWII...
So now, if you cared, you're all up to date!
And a personal message for Cuban from The BRAD BLOG: Hey, it's been our pleasure to give your film all this free publicity! Sorry we haven't called you an extremist or called for you to be locked up, but it's the best we can do. (We also did a fairly good job of making noise with Dan Rather's blockbuster HDNet exposé on touch-screen voting machines to boot!) Both have been our pleasure. But, feel free to say thanks by purchasing a BlogAd here, as you've done on a number of the other progressive blogs, but not ours --- We could certainly use the support to keep taking down the bad guys! Not to mention an ad buy here is a great way to "thank" O'Reilly for all he's done for ya! Hope you'll consider it!
In what may be one of his most ironic public statements to date, far-Right Fox "News" commentator Bill O'Reilly charged last night that Dallas Mavericks owner and media mogul Mark Cuban's "arrogance is horrifying."
He then went on to call the billionaire blogger Cuban "anti-American" and noted, approvingly, that "during WWII President Roosevelt might have incarcerated" him and "General Patton would have slapped the tar out of him."
Why? Because Cuban's cable television network, HDNet, is distributing Brian DePalma's new film Redacted, apparently.
After Cuban, the billionaire entrepreneur, had earlier noted in his address that while he might feel O'Reilly was "a moron," for the various attacks the news commentator had unleashed upon him, he had thought better than to blog that point, noting that the written word hangs around forever on the Internet.
When The BRAD BLOG, who was present at the speech, later asked him during the Q&A if he felt O'Reilly's attacks have been a "net plus or minus" in regard to Redacted, the amused Cuban said that he was "very grateful" to O'Reilly, who he called his "new best friend" for all the attention he'd brought to the otherwise small film release.
Last night on The O'Reilly Factor, the Fox "News" host shot back, promising still more publicity for the film, by calling for the public to show up outside theaters showing Redacted with signs reading "Support the Troops." O'Reilly claimed that he will personally be at theaters holding up such signs, charging that "Mark Cuban has a grudge against his country" and that he is somehow "putting our troops in danger."
At the end of the segment, O'Reilly promised that he would "have more information about what we're going to do and when we're going to do it...coming up."
His "Talking Points Memo" tirade (video below) charges that "subsequently the effort became extremely difficult," after opposition to the Iraq War was brought by "the far-left." He then went on to include a quick, out of context video clip from Cuban's BlogWorld address. He did not show the part in which Cuban said he was "very grateful" to O'Reilly, or that he considered him his "new best friend."
Here's O'Reilly's "outraged" comments from last night's The O'Reilly Factor on Fox "News," along with a discussion with a Republican and a "Democratic" analyst which follows. (Thanks to Alan Breslauer for the video!)...
UPDATE:Cuban blogs on the ridiculous O'Reilly situation, in a piece which begins "I've grown to love Bill OReilly. Seriously. If there is anyone who can publicize a political movie, it's Bill and I truly appreciate that about him."
Blogged by Brad Friedman, from BlogWorld Expo in Las Vegas...
Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, several television networks and, in fact, a blogger, is "very grateful" to Bill O'Reilly, the Fox "News" media personality who has been attacking --- and even threatening --- him mercilessly, of late.
After first replying that O'Reilly's attacks didn't much matter, and that they had very little effect either way, I followed up to ask specifically about Brian DePalma's upcoming film, Redacted, which Cuban's network, HDNet is releasing shortly.
"When it comes to a specific project like Redacted," Cuban responded, "which is a small movie, it's grown bigger and bigger by the day. So I'm very grateful to him."
"Bill O'Reilly is my new best friend," he added, to laughter from the crowd which was made up of bloggers and industry-related folks of all political stripes.
I'll try to get the audio or video posted on that point later if I can, as an update. As the room is filled with several thousand bloggers, I suspect it should be easy to find shortly. (If anybody beats me to it, feel free to link it in comments, as I'll be off grid for the next several hours!)
P.S. As his address was in the same room where I had just finished up my final panel of the conference, I had the opportunity to chat with him quickly as we were trading places on the stage, and was able to thank him for HDNet's breathtaking Dan Rather Reportsinvestigative exposé on touch-screen voting technology. I encouraged him to keep going along those lines and support Rather's work in this regard. He agreed that it was an amazing report, and in turn, he thanked me for The BRAD BLOG's coverage of same.
So he's a billionaire who pays attention.
The most understated bio I've perhaps ever seen: On the big screens next to the podium where he was speaking, the title card read simply, "Mark Cuban, Blogger".
On his radio gabfest yesterday, CNN's resident rightwing crackpot Glenn Beck implied that because residents of Malibu "hate America," they were therefore unluckily suffering the loss of their homes to wildfires:
I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire [sic] today.
Leaving aside the fact that there isn't a "forest" within miles of Malibu, just seconds before that outrageous, though half-baked, assertion, Beck made a statement that contradicted what he was about to say:
[We're] all one America, that just because I disagree with you doesn't mean you hate America, and I love America. We all love America. We just disagree on how we should function...
He then contradicted himself in the same sentence a second time, saying he was not referring to Democrats but to nefarious people (liberals? terrorists?) who pretend to be Democrats:
There are a few people that hate America. But I don't think the Democrats are those. I think there are those posing as Democrats that are like that.
During the ninety full minutes of last night's lively Republican Debate on Fox "News" from Orlando, the word "Bush" was used only twice by the candidates. One time each by Ron Paul and then Fred Thompson.
Hat tip to BRAD BLOG commenter Floridiot for this one! But yes, that does seem to be a diaphragm that Fred Thompson's daughter (grand daughter?) is munching on at the beginning of a recent Fox "News" interview...
Oh look, it’s Folksy Fred Thompson doing a teevee interview and he’s got a little girl on his lap for some reason and OH JESUS CHRIST SHE’S EATING A DIAPHRAGM. Okay, you can stop the clip now — we have no idea what happens after it cuts away from the charming sight of a little girl chewing on her mother’s giant diaphragm. WTF, people, WTF? Is this what happens when all the real toys are covered in Red Chinese poison lead paint?
In case you're wondering if that could really be a diaphragm, someone at DU was kind enough to post a picture of a few, so you can judge for yourself. God God.
Our buddy Mike Rogers (who feels I should call him my Blogfather) of BlogActive.comowned Sean Hannity during his appearance on Hannity & Colmes. Rogers --- whose name is misspelled as RoDgers by Fox "News" --- originally outed Sen. Larry Craig last October, even though the mainstream media ignored him until the Idaho Statesmen picked up the story last week.
Hannity & Colmes break new terroritory tonight by discussing exorcism with two Catholic priests in light of a botched exorcism of a three year old child in Phoenix. First, Father Jonathan Morris, who believes more in God when he sees the presence of evil in someone, assures viewers that what took place in Phoenix was not actually an exorcism. Father Edward Beck then explains that being possessed by the Devil or an evil spirit is possible and that the cure for such a malady is exorcism.
Signs to look for to determine if the Devil has taken possession of a person include: speaking in a foreign language that is not one's own language, speaking in tongues, having a certain power or knowledge that one should not have, and seeing into the future.
At one point, Sean Hannity turns to Father Morris, who has witnessed an exorcism, and states:
I don't want to minimize this, I was just kidding about Alan. But, this is really serious here. I mean Christ, if we believe the Bible and I do, um, he exorcised demons with regularity. I mean often. What did you see at the exorcism you were at?
Father Morris, a Fox News contributor, responds by telling a story that happened to him in Spain while promoting the movie The Passion of the Christ. Long story short, the chief exorcist in Spain didn't know what to think about the movie until he went to his most difficult exorcism case and mentioned the Mel Gibson flick. The Devil inside the tough case immediately went crazy which assured the chief exorcist that the movie was okay since the Devil hates all good things.
Next week, the chief exorcist reviews The Simpsons Movie.
Raising Bill O'Reilly's ire this time is a doctored photograph that appeared on the DailyKos website of Senator Joe Lieberman on his knees seemingly unzipping George W. Bush's pants in prelude to performing a sexual act. The fairly tame photo is clearly meant as parody but, according to O'Reilly, is "very offensive" and a "disgraceful exposition." O'Reilly assures viewers that Lieberman "is a patriot and a man of conviction" who is "opposing the loons in the Senate" and deserves "respect not hatred."
O'Reilly goes on to threaten JetBlue and the Democratic candidates speaking at the dKos Convention before bringing on two consultants to discuss the matter further where he again compares dKos to Nazis and the KKK. And when Lanny Davis offers a weak defense that not everyone on DailyKos is a hater, O'Reilly screams, "Hey look, there was some good stuff on the Nazi site. You know, give to the kids, give to the Aryan kids."
Bill O'Reilly goes off the deep end tonight (video at left) because of alleged comments his producers claim to have found "on a vicious far-left website called the DailyKos, one of the worst examples of hatred that America has to offer." O'Reilly proceeds to take issue with Jet Blue for sponsoring the DailyKos convention (with 10 plane tickets!) which, coincidentally, is this week in two weeks, August 2-5. At one point O'Reilly makes some rather unfortunate comparisons with the DailyKos:
"Because this is hate of the worst order. It's like the Ku Klux Klan. It's like the Nazi party. There is no difference here. People should die - they want Tony Snow to die - Cheney to die."
UPDATE/ADDENDUM FROM BRAD: As dKos diarist "mcjoan" a pointed out over there in advance of O'Reilly's big hate scoop, perhaps No Spin Boy may have a gripe against dKos founder Markos Moulitsas Zuniga that he failed to mention in his hit piece. "Markos led the way in getting the Democratic presidential candidates to boycott the Fox debate," she writes, "and we're going to be having a Democratic presidential candidates forum at YearlyKos."
There's that, and the fact that dKos is only the largest community in the blogosphere, either Left or Right, and a grave threat to folks like Fox "News" and O'Reilly, since they have a habit of countering their spin with actual facts.
And most importantly, O'Reilly forgot to mention that the comments he alluded to on the site could well have been posted by anyone, since it's an open site. A question one might ask then (one that's at least as responsible as O'Reilly's ridiculous attack): Did Bill O'Reilly or one of his producers post those "hateful" comments at dKos themselves? Perhaps someone should ambush them to find out. Without evidence either way, I'll just go ahead and say O'Reilly did it himself. Why not? O'Reilly has no journalistic credibility and he's got the biggest show on cable "news." Perhaps we need to start making stuff up too!
FURTHER UPDATE FROM BRAD 7/17/07:Daily Kos' "DarkSyde" responds directly to O'Reilly segment, patiently explaining exactly what Billo doesn't grasp about the progressive blogosphere. "ShaunMcDonnell," a dKos diarist who claims to be a "Right-Leaning Lurker" takes O'Reilly to task for his hit piece calling it "easy" and a "cheap shot". And Kos himself posts a few of the pieces of hate mail (ironically enough) from O'Reilly's fans that he's received since the story ran yesterday.