Candidate Accuses Fox News of Bias


An accusation of bias against Fox News is hardly news, unless the accusation comes from a Republican candidate. Fred Thompson might be right that Fox has been biased against him as the connections between Roger Ailes and Rudy Giulinai are well known. Thompson made an accusation of bias by Fox News in an interview (video above) with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.

Factcheck Corrects Giuliani’s Incorrect Statements on Clinton and Lawsuits found that, once again, Rudy Giuliani doesn’t have his facts right. From their summary:

Former Sen. Fred Thompson got the facts straight for his GOP debate debut Oct. 9. But former Mayor Rudy Giuliani added to a lengthening string of exaggerations and misstatements:

  • Giuliani claimed Sen. Hillary Clinton once called the free-market economy “the most destructive force in modern America.” She didn’t say that. She quoted another author who said free markets were “disruptive.” She also said free markets bring prosperity.
  • The mayor falsely claimed Clinton proposes to give $1,000 to “everybody.” Her proposed subsidies to workers’ retirement accounts would be for couples making up to $60,000 a year and would be $500 for those making up to $100,000.
  • Giuliani falsely claimed that more than 2 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product is spent on “frivolous” lawsuits. The figure is from a study about the cost of all lawsuits.

The article provides more detail on these issues. Regarding Giuliani’s misquotation of Clinton on the free market economy they wrote:

Misquoting Hillary: Giuliani wrongly attributed a quote to Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton, and he got the quote wrong as well:
Giuliani: And the leading Democratic candidate once said that the unfettered free market is the most destructive force in modern America.

Sen. Clinton, the “leading” candidate in public opinion polls, never said that. The quote is by Alan Ehrenhalt, author and executive editor of Governing magazine. Furthermore, Ehrenhalt didn’t call the free market “destructive” but used the somewhat softer term “radically disruptive.” As Clinton quoted him in her book, “It Takes a Village”:
Ehrenhalt: The unfettered free market has been the most radically disruptive force in American life in the last generation, busting up neighborhoods….

To be sure, Sen. Clinton agreed with that sentiment. But she also said in the same book, on the next page, that “the economy is also creating millions of new jobs, with small businesses starting at a record pace.” And later she said the free market is “the driving force behind our prosperity.” She was asked about the Ehrenhalt quote in a C-SPAN interview in 1996, and gave this response:

Clinton: I believe that. That’s why I put it in the book…. I just believe that there’s got to be a healthy tension among all of our institutions in society, and that the market is the driving force behind our prosperity, our freedom in so many respects to make our lives our own but that it cannot be permitted just to run roughshod over people’s lives as well.

Giuliani misleads when he says Clinton called the free market “destructive,” when what she has really said is that it is both disruptive to neighborhoods and people’s lives, and a driving force behind prosperity.

Right Wingers’ Favorite People

Right Wing News has surveyed right of center bloggers and compiled this list of their favorite people on the right. Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter head the list, but Bill O’Reilly only gets honorable mention. Apparently all those conservative bloggers who denounced Coulter for calling Edwards a faggot have forgiven her, and nobody on the right cares what Limbaugh said about those “phony soldiers.” Fred Thompson beats out the other declared Republican candidates, but does trail New Gingrich. Mitt Romney and John McCain didn’t even make the list. The winners are:

Honorable Mentions: Larry Elder – 4, Mary Katherine Ham – 4, Brit Hume – 4, Bill O’Reilly – 4, Jeff Sessions – 4, Robert Spencer – 4, John Stossel – 4, Walter Williams – 4

21 Tom Tancredo –5
21 Condi Rice – 5
21 Charles Krauthammer – 5
21 Hugh Hewitt – 5
21 John Bolton – 5
20 Sean Hannity — 6
20 Jim DeMint – 6
16 Judge Antonin Scalia – 7
16 Jonah Goldberg – 7
16 Tom Coburn – 7
16 Glenn Beck – 7
13 Glenn Reynolds — 8
13 Duncan Hunter – 8
13 Neal Boortz – 8
10 Victor David Hanson – 9
10 Laura Ingraham – 9
10 Dick Cheney — 9
9 Rudy Giuliani – 10
8 George W. Bush – 11
6 Fred Thompson – 13
6 Thomas Sowell – 13
5 Newt Gingrich – 14
4 Mark Steyn – 17
2 Michelle Malkin – 19
2 Ann Coulter – 19
1 Rush Limbaugh – 28

Fred Thompson Admits He Doesn’t Attend Church Regularly


Fred Thompson was asked about his church attendanceby reporters today. Unfortunately, but as expected from a candidate of the modern Republican Party, his answer came far short of the answer from the fictional candidate, Arnold Vinick, in the video above.

Thompson stated that he does not attend church regularly and avoided talk on religion:

“I know that I’m right with God and the people I love,” he said in Greenville. It’s “just the way I am not to talk about some of these things.”

Asked by reporters later to clarify his stance on religion, Thompson said: “Me getting up and talking about what a wonderful person I am and that sort of thing, I’m not comfortable with that, and I don’t think it does me any good. People will make up their own mind about that, and that’s the way I like it.”

That might displease some Republican voters, and it also falls far short of satisfying those of us concerned with Republican attempts to erode the principle of separation of church and state. This is far more important than a candidate’s church attendance. I’d much prefer religious candidates such as Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, and John Kerry who understand the importance of the separation of church and state over someone like George Bush, who is not believed to attend church regularly but backs the agenda of the religious right.

So far in the campaign Thompson has been trying to appeal to conservative religious voters, despite his lack of church attendance, such as in his recent statements on gay marriage:

“I would support a constitutional amendment which says some off-the-wall court decision in one state that recognizes a marriage in a state like Massachusetts cannot go to another state and have it recognized in that state,” Thompson said.

It will be interesting to see if this hurts Thompson. My suspicion is that it will not. First of all, limited church attendance hasn’t hurt George Bush. Secondly, conservative religious voters will still probably prefer him over Giuliani or Romney.

Rudy Giuliani–The Wrong Man to Deal with Terrorism

Rudy Giuliani is attempting to repeat Bush’s 2004 election strategy of running for president claiming to be the candidate who can best keep us safe from terrorism. We learned that in reality George Bush’s many mistakes have greatly exacerbated the problems of terrorism, and it appears we face the same dangers should Rudy Giuliani be elected. Time Magazine has reviewed Giuliani’s personal characteristics and knowledge of terrorism, providing further warnings about the dangers of electing him:

The evidence also shows great, gaping weaknesses. Giuliani’s penchant for secrecy, his tendency to value loyalty over merit and his hyperbolic rhetoric are exactly the kinds of instincts that counterterrorism experts say the U.S. can least afford right now.

Giuliani’s limitations are in fact remarkably similar to those of another man who has led the nation into a war without end. Some of the Bush Administration’s policies, like improved intelligence sharing between countries and our own agencies, have made the U.S. better at fighting terrorism. But others, from the war in Iraq to the treatment of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, have actually made the task much more difficult. The challenge for the next President will be focusing on and adapting the good tools and jettisoning the bad. Whether you conclude Giuliani can win this war depends ultimately on whether you think we are winning now.

Giuliani’s ignorance of terrorism was made clear when he repeated Bush’s ridiculous argument that the reason for terrorist attacks is simply that the terrorists hate us for our freedom to counter Ron Paul’s attempt to bring reality into an early Republican debate. Giuliani has claimed expertise on terrorism which he has shown no evidence of actually possessing:

Giuliani and his aides have said he has been “studying Islamic terrorism” for 30 years. This is an exaggeration. As a prosecutor and Justice Department official in the 1970s and ’80s, Giuliani had many successes—against white collar criminals and the Mafia. He did not direct major terrorism prosecutions that led to convictions…
Giuliani has also claimed he knows more about foreign policy than other candidates, but that’s exceedingly unlikely. John McCain spent 22 years as a Navy pilot and five as a prisoner of war and is now the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee in the Senate, where he has served for 20 years. He has been to Iraq six times; Giuliani has never been there. (Of the major candidates, only Giuliani, Fred Thompson and John Edwards have never visited Iraq.)

While having been to Iraq is not the only criteria for running for president, I wasn’t too surprised to find that the three candidates who I have expressed doubt over their competence to be president, Giuliani, Thompson, and Edwards, are also the three who have never been to Iraq. (more…)

Smear Tactics, Left and Right

This one is so inane I wouldn’t even bother to comment if Memeorandum didn’t show that so many right wing blogs are drooling all over this one. This one is about on the same level as the repeated posts in conservative blogs where they link to one absurd diary at Daily Kos and claim it represents the views of Daily Kos and the entire liberal blogosphere. Today’s example of this form of right wing idiocy can get starts with a post from Ed Morrissey.

Captain Ed exposes a rather lame attempt to smear Fred Thompson with a blog promoting the KKK under a url similar to his actual blog site. With a little detective work, Ed shows that the blog is actually owned by an attorney who has contributed to liberal causes.

If Ed had patted himself on the back for exposing this I wouldn’t blame him at all. I really doubt that anyone would be fooled by this smear on Thompson, but the person who put it up certainly deserved to be exposed. Ed’s updates actually are rather amusing after the guy realized people were on to him. Unfortunately this is quickly taken by the conservative blogosphere to be not the act of one individual but something representative of progressives. For example, Blue Crab Boulevard calls this “the latest in progressive progress.” (Gaius also is apparently unaware that not all of us consider ourselves to be progressives as opposed to liberals.) Iowa Voice claims that “This is what the left does. Routinely.”

What is especially hypocritical about this is that, while there are certainly individual cases of such behavior on both sides, it is the right wing which has institutionalized smear tactics as its major strategy. From the Swift Boat Liars to Plamegate to the right wing commentator of your choice, this is business as usual for the right wing.

Republican Bloggers Back Thompson, Oppose Paul

While most years the Republican nomination battle is fairly easy to predict, this year it is difficult to say what will happen. Rudy Giuliani has replaced John McCain as leader in the national polls, but this is hardly predictive of victory for Giuliani, especially as he has many views contrary to those of Republican primary voters. This may not be very predictive either, but seeing how the right wing bloggers rank the candidates might give some clue as to how primary voters might react to them. That is far from clear as support form bloggers didn’t give Howard Dean a victory in 2004, and while things could change, This year, John Edwards’ chances for victory appear to be dwindling despite his support in the blogosphere.

Right Wing News has polled right of center bloggers as to which candidates they like and dislike. Fred Thompson is both the most desired and has the fewest votes for least desired. While certainly not predictive of victory, it might indicate, as many already suspect, that Thompson will be the front runner after he enters the race this fall. Rudy Giuliani comes in second, but his undesired ranking is fairly high.

One surprise is that Duncan Hunter comes in third, beating out Mitt Romney. As his undesirable ranking is better than Giuliani’s, Right Wing News ranks Hunter second when they combine the most desired and least desired rankings. He might be worth keeping an eye on as someone who might have a chance of catching on more with the Republican primary voters should Thompson’s campaign run into problems.

The polls also demonstrates why I’ve been writing that Ron Paul has virtually no chance of winning the nomination. Paul supporters hope that the pro-war conservatives will split the vote allowing Paul to get more votes than any other individual. His differences from other Republicans probably did allow him to get past Brownback and Tommy Thompson on the lists of most desired, but he tops the list of least desired and comes in last place when most desired and least desired are both considered.

Republican primary voters might not see things exactly as the bloggers do. I wouldn’t be surprised if Giuliani or Romney comes out ahead of Thompson, and I wouldn’t start planning on a victory for Duncan Hunter yet. However the magnitude by which Ron Paul is found undesirable by so many conservative bloggers is likely to be shared by many Republican primary voters.

Ron Paul will probably do a little better than this survey suggests as he does have a small core of support which is not represented in the blogs this survey was distributed to. Some libertarians will come out to vote for Paul, but hardly enough to matter. The libertarian faction of the Republican Party, as well as every other group which doesn’t go along with the narrow views now advocated by the party, has been greatly reduced in number and there are not enough of them to allow an upset for Paul.

In a different year Paul might pick up a little more support, although still not enough to win, from anti-war independents. However this year it appears that independents plan to vote Democratic, primarily for Barack Obama and Bill Richardson. Perhaps if Hillary Clinton is successful in making her nomination appear inevitable by Iowa more of them will vote for Ron Paul as an act of protest, but there are typically not enough independents voting in primaries where this is allowed to overcome Paul’s high negatives among traditional Republicans.

SciFi Friday: First Glimpse of Doctor Who Christmas Episode, Star Trek Casting, Trashing Mistakes, And Fred Thompson Revealed

The BBC has released the first publicity shot for this year’s Doctor Who Christimas episode in which Kylie Minogue plays The Doctor’s companion. The episode, “Voyage of the Damned” takes place aboard the Titanic. Those who held off on watching Doctor Who until it starting airing on the SciFi Channel saw The Shakespeare Code tonight. While entertaining, this episode (and pretty much the entire first half of the season) was weak when compared to the final six episodes.

There are reports that William Shatner is saying he will not appear in the movie, but Leonard Nimoy will appear. Zachary Quinto, who plays Sylar on Heroes, is reportedly pushing to play Spock in the upcoming Star Trek movie. Besides possibly Quinto and George Takei there will be yet another connection between Heroes and Star Trek. Dominic Keating, who played Malcom Reed on Star Trek: Enterprise will play an Irish mobster in a recurring role.

Slice of ScFi Reports on a couple of upcoming miniseries from the SciFi Channel:

Coming up for the new season will be “Tin Man,” a six-hour miniseries that takes a new look at the Dorothy and Wizard of Oz story and brings it into the 21st Century…

The other new six-hour miniseries on tap for SCI FI will be something called “Going Homer.” This one will make good use of “Stargate SG-1″ and “Farscape” star Ben Browder and will be directed by Andrew Prowse (”Farscape”). Prowse is currently in post-production with his new film “Heatstroke,” a scifi actioner starring D.B. Sweeney.

“Going Homer” is a modern-day turn on Homer’s Odyssey but takes place on a road-trip that a 12-year old boy takes from Los Angeles to New York. He makes the journey to avoid the bitter custody battle ensuing over him. During his travels he is able to see and communicate with the ancient Greek and Roman gods. Problem is no one else can see or hear them as these giants of Earth’s past walk among mortal men, which makes it hard for the young boy to seek refuge from those gods out to destroy him. Other gods in the pantheon, however come to his rescue as he struggles to find his way home.

Fox has decided to trash the work done so far on for the next season of 24 and start over–something they might have considered last season. The interesting aspect is that the story was to take place in Africa. Either this would mean the entire season would have had to take place in or near Africa or they would have to scrap the real time format. I know there were some dull moments last season, but they would be nothing compared to all those episodes it would take to have Jack Bower fly to Africa. Some might argue that if he can drive anywhere in Los Angeles in a portion of an episode, he should be able to fly to Africa within an hour.

The producers of 24 aren’t the only ones to realize they need to go stop rehashing the same old thing. Disney is giving up those embarrassing sequels to their classic animated movies:

In a strategy shift, the Walt Disney Co. said it will stop making lucrative direct-to-DVD sequels of such classic animated films as “Cinderella,” a move that reflects the growing influence of former Pixar Animation executives John Lasseter and Steve Jobs, who once called the films “embarrassing.”

The change comes with a shake-up at the company’s DisneyToon Studios, including the removal of longtime President Sharon Morrill, who will continue with the company in another capacity, Disney said Friday…

DisneyToon will now only produce original DVD films, including an upcoming film starring the fairy Tinkerbell. It isn’t clear whether sequels already in production, such as “Cinderella III,” will continue…

Although those DVDs were moneymakers for the studio, Disney purists scoffed, including Messrs. Lasseter and Jobs. In a 2003 conference call with financial analysts, Mr. Jobs said how much he hated the DVD sequels.

“We feel sick about Disney doing sequels,” Mr. Jobs said. “If you look at the quality of their sequels…it’s pretty embarrassing.”

When Disney bought Pixar, it put former Pixar President Catmull and Mr. Lasseter in charge of its own animation efforts. Mr. Lasseter has made no secret of his disdain for sequels in general, although he is working on “Toy Story 3.” That movie is planned to be released in theaters, however, scheduled for 2010.

And, finally, P.Z. Myers has outed Fred Thompson. I’m not speaking about those rumors that he’s gay. Myers exposed him as an evil alien:


Thompson Tried to Suppress Watergate Investigation Years Before He Assisted Bush Cover Up of Iraq War Lies

The Boston Globe shows how, during the Senate Watergate hearings, Fred Thompson (left in above picture) was a mole for the Nixon White House:

When Thompson learned of Butterfield’s admission, he leaked the revelation to Nixon’s counsel, J. Fred Buzhardt .

“Even though I had no authority to act for the committee, I decided to call Fred Buzhardt at home” to tell him that the committee had learned about the taping system, Thompson wrote. “I wanted to be sure that the White House was fully aware of what was to be disclosed so that it could take appropriate action.”

Armstrong said he and other Democratic staffers had long been convinced that Thompson was leaking information about the investigation to the White House. The committee, for example, had obtained a memo written by Buzhardt that Democratic staffers believed was based on information leaked by Thompson.

“Fred was working hammer and tong to defeat the investigation of finding out what happened to authorize Watergate and find out what the role of the president was,” according to one investigator. Reading how Thompson tried to help Richard Nixon suppress the truth provides new perspective to Thompson’s support of Scooter Libby, which helps suppress the truth about the run up to the Iraq war.

Republican Plan to Oust Dick Cheney

This is such a good idea that we should be pretty safe that Bush will never go for it. Washington social scene writer Sally Quinn suggests that Congressional Republicans might try to tell Dick Cheney it is time for him to go–similar to how Republicans, led by Barry Goldwater, got Nixon to step down. They could use the excuse tha tit was for health reasons, but most would realize it was because of Cheney’s fingerprints on the worst of the last six years. This would both allow Cheney to take the fall for what has gone wrong, and pick a new Vice President who could become front runner for 2008:

The idea is to install a vice president who could beat the Democratic nominee in 2008. It’s unlikely that any of the top three Republican candidates — former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Sen. John McCain of Arizona or former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — would want the job, for fear that association with Bush’s war would be the kiss of death.

Nor would any of them be that attractive to the president. Giuliani is too New York, too liberal. His reputation as a leader, forged on 9/11 and the days after, carries him only so far. McCain, who has always had a rocky relationship with the president, lost much of his support from moderate Democrats and independents (and from a fair amount of Republicans) when the Straight Talk Express started veering off course. And no matter what anyone says about how Romney’s religion doesn’t matter, being a Mormon is simply not acceptable to Bush’s base. Several right-wing evangelicals have told me they don’t see Mormons as “true Christians.”

That leaves Fred Thompson. Everybody loves Fred. He has the healing qualities of Gerald Ford and the movie-star appeal of Ronald Reagan. He is relatively moderate on social issues. He has a reputation as a peacemaker and a compromiser. And he has a good sense of humor.

He could be just the partner to bring out Bush’s better nature — or at least be a sensible voice of reason. I could easily imagine him telling the president, “For God’s sake, do not push that button!” — a command I have a hard time hearing Cheney give.

It could work. As Vice President, Fred Thompson would only have to play a role. After playing a President, being Vice President shouldn’t be any harder. As long as they can keep Bush from doing anything too stupid, they could coast until 2008 and blame the lack of anything getting done on the do-nothing Congress.

Hopefully George Bush will never go for this. After all, if he has been reluctant to see a change in underlings like Rumsfeld, it would be even tougher for him to agree to a change in the guy he takes his orders from.