Apr
14
2014

Jon Meacham, Bush Family Publicist

George H.W. Bush (cc photo: FreeLancer CDBrown)

Time's Jon Meacham is, once again, telling readers to think differently about the Bush family.

Oct
11
2012

WaPo's Debate Advice: Make Sure Your Lies Are Devastating

Dick Cheney and John Edwards at the 2004 vice presidential debate.

In today's Washington Post (10/11/12), David Fahrenthold goes through some of the more memorable moments from recent vice-presidential debates–including several big, decisive errors. Like this one: In other instances, the job was done with a single well-timed put-down. "I'm up in the Senate most Tuesdays when they're in session," Vice President Richard B. Cheney told then-Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) in 2004. "The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight." That turned out not to be true. But for Edwards, it still hurt. So the lesson seems to be: Make sure your lie is […]

Sep
06
2011

Dick Cheney's Ho-Hum About Liberal Media Bias

When Dick Cheney appeared on the Today show, at the conclusion of the interview a camera that shows the crowd outside the studio picked up this image: That sign probably represented the harshest take on Cheney's record that TV viewers saw during the PR campaign for his book. Unsurprisingly, it caught someone's attention over at Fox News, and on Sunday host Chris Wallace decided to use it in a question about liberal media bias. That's not surprising. Cheney's response, though, is worth a look: WALLACE: What do you make of that? I mean, I somehow doubt that if Hillary Clinton […]

May
09
2011

Sunday Morning Torture

It's bad enough that corporate media are having such an ill-informed debate about whether torturing some prisoners helped find Osama bin Laden. But considering whom the media invite to this debate, it's probably not a surprise. Take yesterday's Sunday shows (please!). On NBC's Meet the Press, Obama national security adviser Thomas Donilon basically refused to take a definitive position on torture, waterboarding and intelligence. "No single piece of intelligence led to this," was his line. They followed up with a segment with former CIA head Michael Hayden and Rudy Giuliani, both of whom basically endorsed the idea that torture worked. […]

Nov
30
2009

More on Jon Meacham's Strange Cheney Attraction

Newsweek editor Jon Meacham's enthusiasm for Dick Cheney is not a new thing. Appearing on MSNBC back in 2004, Meacham praised the Republican National Convention speeches of Cheney and Sen. Zell Miller: If I taught at the Kennedy School, I would take these two speeches as ur-text of partisan rhetoric. I think it was a brilliant tactical night, one of the most brilliant in the age of television. These were two concise, rather devastating rhetorical hits at John Kerry. And there was just–they did not miss a base. They did not miss anything that they could hit. The remarkable thing […]

Jun
19
2009

Will Officials Take the Fifth Unless the Daily Show Is Muzzled?

Do they still teach the First Amendment in law school? That's what you have to wonder when you see a lawyer for the Obama administration's Justice Department arguing that statements made by former Vice President Dick Cheney in the Scooter Libby probe ought to be kept secret because a future vice president might refuse to speak to a future investigation out of concern "that it's going to get on the Daily Show" (Washington Post, 6/19/09). Really? That's how we're going to ensure that officials cooperate with criminal investigations, by using government secrecy to guarantee that their statements will never be […]

Jun
03
2009

On the Forgotten Profiteers of a Forgotten Iraq War

Pratap Chatterjee's new TomDispatch essay (5/31/09) explores how Dick Cheney's mercenary corporation Halliburton recently has managed to largely "Stay Out of Sight While Profiting From the War in Iraq" despite what Tom Engelhardt's introduction calls "hatfuls of charges against the company for a laundry list of alleged misdeeds": There were no protesters outside the [annual Halliburton shareholders] meeting this year, nor the kind of national media stakeouts commonplace when [CEO David] Lesar addressed the same crew at the posh Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Houston in May 2004. Then, dozens of mounted police faced off against 300 protesters in the […]

May
27
2009

GOP's Helpful Pundits Reinforce Public Fear

Noticing how "in the past week, Republican politicians and pundits have been striving mightily to invoke fear in the hearts of the American people," News Corpse blogger Mark Howard has collected (5/25/09) some choice quotes from GOP members "blanketing the airwaves with assertions that President Obama's policies on national security (Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, torture, etc.) will result in another 9/11": Cheney: "It is recklessness cloaked in righteousness and would make the American people less safe."… John Boehner: "I think this is a pre-9/11 mentality, and I think it'll make our nation less safe." Karl Rove: "They're doing the wrong thing […]

May
26
2009

'Self-Serving Propaganda'? No Problem on NPR

Wondering "why NPR decided it was appropriate to present Cheney's blatantly self-serving propaganda as anything remotely relevant to current policy," NPR Check contributor Brian (5/23/09) blogs about current president Barack Obama and former vice president Dick Cheney recently "attacking the policies of the other administration and defending their own positions in speeches." Even though each was given "in front of friendly audiences unable to challenge them," NPR's Morning Edition of May 22 "presented them as a face-to-face debate between the two men, alternating soundbites from each," and giving Cheney equal billing with the president in a piece titled "Obama, Cheney: […]

May
15
2009

Don't Even THINK of Lying to Bob Schieffer

CBS anchor Bob Schieffer was profiled byMarketwatch, where we learn: But don't get the false impression that Schieffer is a pushover for his important guests. When I asked him how he feels when subjects lie to him on the air or try to mislead the audience, he got right to the point. "I want to jump across the table and choke them," he said. Wow. First of all, this Marketwatch piece is largely about Schieffer's recent interview with former Vice President Dick Cheney. The irony isalmost too much; as Colin Powell's former chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson put it to […]

Apr
28
2009

The 'Important Historical Context' of Torture Punditry

Quoting Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter's strong words on the Keith Olbermann show about how "it's important, historically, to look at the context of" the "effort in these OLC memos to try to dress [torture] up as something else," Hullabaloo blogger digby takes issue (4/24/09) with his statement that "Dick Cheney stands almost alone" in still publicly defending the memos: Yes, Dick Cheney is forlorn and all alone. Many of the people who advocated taking the gloves off are leaving him out there hanging today. And one of them is Jonathan Alter. See, he forgot to mention–and Keith apparently didn't know–that […]