National Review has a story today raising the prospect of President Barack Obama being impeached for his administration's response to the attack in Benghazi. Saying that the administration "purposefully and willfully misled the American people," Representative Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told National Review that impeachment calls are likely to increase as frustration over the administration's reticence grows among House Republicans. Chaffetz also aired the concern that White House staffers, in an attempt to keep the president from being judged too harshly, are hiding documents regarding the president's decisions on the attack, and the attack itself.
It’s been quite the busy week for President Barack Obama and his administration. There have been the conflicting reports about the Benghazi incident, the Justice Department’s nabbing of phone records -- both personal and private -- of AP reporters and editors, and the IRS singling out conservative groups. Put simply, scandal has been the word of the week. The president has also been compared to another scandal-plagued president, Richard Nixon. Naturally, there has been some dissenting opinion on the matter. Here are a few of them.
The surplus the United States government magically conjured up for the month of April has created a media maelstrom. A portion of the surplus was on behalf of higher tax receipts following tax season. Another part was a surprise influx of cash from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- to the tune of $95 billion. It would therefore make sense for the U.S. government to keep Fannie and Freddie as long as possible, to serve as a profit engine to zip up its deficits. Think about it. At the moment, the government has Fannie and Freddie in conservatorship. And for the time being, it’s unknown whether shareholders will be entitled to future profits -- all profits currently go to the government. There is also rumor that the two companies will be consolidated into a single entity.
The real interesting question is the last one: Does the power actually lie in Twitter’s hands? I don't think so, and the fact that it doesn't is what makes it not a media company.
National Review’s Kevin Williamson Wednesday had a very beautiful post on getting thrown out of a theater after he chucked the cell phone of an obnoxious fellow attendee. And it has everyone calling him a hero, and for good reason: Because it’s awesome. “The lady seated to my immediate right (very close quarters on bench seating) was fairly insistent about using her phone. I asked her to turn it off. She answered: ‘So don’t look.’ I asked her whether I had missed s something during the very pointed announcements to please turn off your phones, perhaps a special exemption granted for her."
Attorney General Eric Holder, in an interview with NPR, once again proved just how competent he is -- not. Responding to the general fury toward his Justice Department, after it was revealed it secretly obtained two months of reporter and editor phone records from The Associated Press, including their home and cell phones, Holder said he is uncertain of how many times information has been seized by government investigators during his four-year tenure.
Over 1,100 bodies have now been dug out of the rubble of the Rana Plaza building, which collapsed in one the worst factory accidents in the history of Bangladesh’s nascent ready-made garment industry, which only in recent years rose to become the world’s third-largest sewing machine after China and Italy. It’s easy for company executives, for shareholders, and, most of all, for consumers to cast most of the blame for these tragedies -- there have been many and there will be more -- on what is unambiguously the biggest culprit behind the Southeast Asian country’s dismal track record of workplace safety: the Bangladesh government itself.
Barbara Walters has announced her retirement from ABC. Uh, actually, she’s quitting next year, but thought it would be good to let the public know now so it will have time to digest and cope with this “tragic” news. Walters is actually a historic figure in United States broadcast journalism -- she was the first woman to co-anchor a nightly network news show back in the mid-1970s. But now she is involved in something called “The View,” a daytime talk show that has been on the air for some 15 merciless years.
It’s been almost 30 years since American journalists coined the phrase “sleaze factor” to describe President Richard Nixon’s administration. It was a richly deserved riposte. Since then, the phrase has fallen into disuse, but a series of scandals in President Barack Obama’s administration suggest it may be time to dust it off. The latest whiff of Obama administration sleaze comes from the Justice Department, which has been collecting telephone records of Associated Press reporters and editors. The White House hasn’t deigned to explain what looks to the rest of the world like contempt for the Fourth Amendment.
In a column for Bloomberg, Jeffrey Goldberg writes that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad isn't the only one crossing "red lines" today. Goldberg points out at least three instances in which President Barack Obama has crossed the line. "Obama also crossed a red line by frightening allies through indecision. The U.S. is still the greatest power in the world, and its friends look to it for leadership. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and even the U.K. and other European powers don't quite understand Obama's reluctance to get more deeply engaged in the Syrian crisis. (Note to apoplectic isolationists: Engagement doesn't have to mean armed intervention.) Allies have been lobbying for more than a year and half for Obama to provide weapons and training to the Syrian opposition, and the White House still won't commit."
As Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan prepares to discuss his disagreements on how to approach Syria, and other vital Middle East issues with President Barack Obama on Thursday at the White House, the Gatestone Institute’s Veli Sirin has written a sort of primer on just who exactly the president will be talking with. It’s a long one, so here are some snippets, but do give it a read.
On Tuesday, the Associated Press released an update to its social media guidelines. Obviously a response to the Boston Marathon bombing, the updates were intended to focus mostly on the news gathering and dissemination process around breaking news events -- called “sensitive situations.” And they did a decent job. This is my favorite part: If some of this advice doesn’t sound very concrete, there’s a good reason -- a lot of these decisions need to be made on a case-by-case basis, and they require you to call on your journalistic instincts.
One of the biggest stories this week has been the Liberator, the first fully functional gun-created 3D printer. After proving that the plastic gun can fire a live round, the Liberator’s creator, Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed, uploaded the blueprints to the gun so anyone could download them for free and use a 3D printer to create their own. The State Department has since ordered Defense Distributed to remove the download, but not before it was downloaded hundreds of thousands of times and shared to uncountable sharing web sites like The Pirate Bay.
Much has been written about the media’s unwillingness to make Kermit Gosnell and his appalling abortion practices front-page news. Or even back-page news, for that matter. He is on trial for the 2009 death of a mother of three and of four babies allegedly born alive; he was initially charged with the killing of seven babies. Gosnell also faces roughly 250 lesser charges of racketeering, conspiracy and alleged violations under Pennsylvania law. The prosecution maintains that Gosnell routinely performed illegal third-term abortions.
Let's be honest: Does it really matter that Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries doesn’t want fat people shopping in his retail clothing stores? The answer is a resounding "no." Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF), like every other business in the United States, started out with an idea. That idea, which still holds true long after the company’s conception in 1892, was to make clothing for a core brand of consumers that can be best described as cool, sexy and young -- a pretty good idea.
Prompted by the public outcry against its proposed ban on flight attendants wearing red lipstick and nail polish because it "impairs visual integrity," Turkish Airlines has gone back on its intentions, Chief Executive Temel Kotil said Thursday. The public's outrage came in large part from fear that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party, or AKP, with its conservative religious values, was infiltrating the state-run airline -- in short, that Islamization was gaining ground in Turkey.
Last week the New York Times published an interesting op-ed by journalist Frank Bruni, which essentially made the point that while we think we have reached full equality between the sexes, a double standard still exists. Using Amanda Knox -- the foreign exchange student who was convicted of killing her housemate in Italy, only to have the conviction reversed -- as his prime example, Bruni seems to argue that, unlike men, a woman's character is decided by her sexual lifestyle.
As a Canadian living in the United States, I get a lot of flak for the way I speak. But a map that has been gaining attention online has given me a new way to think about my funny “ehs.” Rick Aschmann, a professional linguist and Christian missionary, created a dialect map of North America, where he painstakingly tracked the eight major English dialects and their unique idiosyncrasies. To do so, he compiled tons of YouTube clips from Canadian and American English-speakers and included several dialect “tests” to help viewers learn more about how they speak.
During the red carpet arrivals telecast at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Benefit ball on Monday, celebrities struggled to name their favorite punk bands when probed by model Hilary Rhoda and William Norwich, the live stream hosts for the evening. Knowing the theme was punk ahead of the museum’s “Punk: Chaos to Couture” exhibit, guests must have researched, or required their assistants do the dirty work for them, or even had them make a playlist for ambiance while getting dressed in their punk duds, right? Wrong.
The media's use of the “liberal bias” term has become so overused it's lost all meaning. That is until something so egregious happens one is forced to realize that liberal bias is not a fantasy created by right-wing lunatics. On Friday, the former chairman of the Democratic Party in South Carolina, a man named Dick Harpootlian, insulted South Carolina's sitting Republican governor, Nikki Haley, by making what appeared to be a reference to her ethnic origin; she is an American-born daughter of Sikh immigrants from Punjab, India. Telling party members that Haley must be defeated in next year’s elections, Harpootlian implored the Democrats to “send Nikki Haley back to wherever the hell she came from.”