Free for All: 01/09/15

What’s on your mind?


71 Responses to “Free for All: 01/09/15”

  1. Al said:” While each of us are free to call them whatever we want, it would be bad form for a POTUS to upstage his counterpart with such a label, especially at this early stage.”

    Obama did first call it an act of violence. Then Hollande called it an act of terror, so the president’s spokesman, Josh Ernest used the words “act of terror”. He would NOT have used those words if they were not cleared by the President, because we all know by now reticent he is to use the word “terror”. We have known this for
    6 YEARS.

    For anyone to say that the people involved in these acts of terror are NOT “Islamic terrorists” is really not paying attention. Multiple witness have been quoted as saying these monsters have used the words “we have avenged the prophet” and “tell people we are Al Queda” is fairly definitive as to their religious leanings. These witnesses include people at the original scene in the offices of Charlie Hedbo and the man whose car was hijacked.

    To deny that the issue of Islamic terrorism is a real issue for the religion of Islam is to say that the leader of Egypt, Sisi, is a fool for saying that this issue needs to be addressed “relentlessly”.

  2. It’s somewhat naughty.

  3. Pam, you’re still running the Fox political attack that the French terrorist story is about POTUS not calling it the right thing. And it’s still obvious and lame.

  4. imnotblue Says:

    Come on wipam… Nothing to see here, keep it moving. We need to understand or enemy, but shouldn’t have all the information. That would be unfair or racist.

    Besides, like the NYTimes did, we can always change the facts, if they’re too “bigoted” for the public to know.

  5. No one is confused about the religion involved here. Obama chooses not to use “Islamic” because – I explained this – it identifies the entire religion as the actor in the terror attack. Which is inaccurate and, frankly, stupid. But Fox wants you think he’s a turrible America-hating Muslim-lover, and you’re in on the gig. Knock yourselves out.

  6. Working at Fox makes you paranoid. I have no idea how Shep interpreted “we have to be careful here” – a common, generic statement – as a personal attack on himself and FNC. It was a bizarre display.

  7. It’s hardly a new expression.

  8. He said “We need to be careful in the moments following” terrorist attack, blah blah. Not Fox, per se, just “we”. The man is on the show to discuss a terrorist attack and surrounding issues, but Shep chooses to hone in on a perceived slight to Fox. I generally expect better of Shepard Smith.

  9. ^ It’s in the DNA in that building. FNC has spent countless hours the last three days expressing how they feel about these events, and it repeatedly goes back to “Obama didn’t say Islam”. Because Fox thinks he should say it. That’s the news in this thing for them, that somebody didn’t do something the way Fox thinks they should.

    And this translated to Shep freaking out over nothing. The story in his head was that someone was hurting FNC’s feelings. That’s just weird.

  10. Speaking of Shep, I remember when when the Fox haters ran with some stupid story about Ailes not allowing Shep to come out and Sammon not allowing Shep at a wedding or something. That was fun. Ain’t no hater like a Fox News hater!

  11. I do feel bad for Shep taking heat from the Fox haters, though. I mean he’s not a female. He’s not blonde. He’s not pretty. Doesn’t make sense.

  12. joeremi wrote:
    “I have no idea how Shep interpreted “we have to be careful here” – a common, generic statement – as a personal attack on himself and FNC. It was a bizarre display.”

    Spot on Joe.

    This was my reaction as well. Did you notice in the video that he also snapped at a producer to change to a different camera shot?

    I posted on Twitter (only half in jest) that I wondered if Shep is hypoglycemic. I know I can also get a little testy when my blood sugar is low.

    Shep has a history of suddenly snapping at guests. Not sure where this comes from, but it is certainly unbecoming at times.

    Oh well. Apparently his fans loved it.

  13. Obama chooses not to use “Islamic” because … it identifies the entire religion as the actor in the terror attack.

    More precisely, the president witnessed President Bush being very careful and precise – over and over again – to draw clear distinctions between the peoples of Islam and Islamic terrorists, yet terrorist groups were still able to rally based upon false claims of “War on Islam.” Everyone, including all Muslims, know the religion of those hell-bent on terror.

    When the president of France speaks the world hears the voice of “that guy who is the leader of France”. But when our president speaks the world hears the voice of The United States of America. President Obama does not want the words ‘Islam” and “terror” used in the same sentence in his voice showing up on news clips shown around the world.

    Can’t find a link, but someone on Twitter posted a compilation of Arab newspaper cartoons responding to Je Suis Charlie that were very hard-hittng against Islamic terrorists. They pulled no pinches. Good for them. or something

  14. Despite this ‘controversy’, AJE isn’t the worst channel out there. They cover stories that are often overlooked or forgotten by others (ex. Haiti) and does actual investigative journalism (ex. Boeing), unlike some. That said, they’re not perfect. As I’ve pointed out this summer, there’s a very unhealthy obsession with the Israel-Palestinain conflict with top management and editors over there and quite a bit of the content emphasizes Israel’s faults but just touches those of Palestinians. Some of the journalists do try to be fair though. If you critically watch it like all other sources, you’ll be fine.

  15. Forgot to mention AJE is one of the few to not use the term ‘terror’ in branding its coverage. Another flaw I just noticed.

  16. ^ Many biases run so deep and have cultivated for so long that it is difficult for people to acknowledge even to themselves they have them. The same is certainly true for the other side of the Israel-Palestinian conflicts.

    What terminology do they use instead of “terror”?

  17. Local Fox news broadcasts are running a report by Troy Hayden of KSAZ Phoenix about a prominent area police shooting “activist” who accepted an offer by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to try out their deadly force training exercises. Two of the scenarios were shown and the gentleman performed quite well, although he did shoot an unarmed man who quickly approached him after being ordered “on the ground”. The man said that the experience changed his opinion considerably.

    I assume they’re showing this on FNC and it’s worth the watch if you get the chance. I think it’s on the myfoxphoenix website as well.

  18. I find it really irritating that reporters and pundits are insisting the wanted female terrorist wants to join her dead boyfriend/husband and become a martyr. No one knows if this is really her wish and it’s just lazy reporting to put out this meme as fact. It’s, most likely, the product of some pundit looking for a catchy one liner and sounds just sounds too cute by half.

    BTW: What would her version of 17 virgins actually be? Seventeen young studs?

    Here’s an idea for a cartoon I thought of that’s in the Charlie Hebdo tradition. A newly minted Muslim martyr arrives at what Muslims see as the ‘Pearly Gates’ and is met by his 17 virgins. The only problem is they are all fat and ugly. Caption: Noooooooo!

  19. The terminology that Al Jazeera uses isn’t any more germane to their overall reporting than what is said on Fox’s various opinion shows, necessarily. I’ve watched America Tonight a number of times, and almost always pick up on something I haven’t seen before. Stories about Chantix (stop-smoking drug) and other drugs; a story about “morsellation” in cancer treatment; missing persons who would otherwise get no attention. Not really seeing how stories like these would be influenced by how they interpret terrorism.

    You watch each news network knowing what their blind-spots are, and never assume that they are always and forever giving you The Truth. Pretty easy.

  20. Yes, what ^she^ says.

  21. @Al: They simply just called them ‘attacks’ and ‘siege’.

  22. This fascination with what various people call a mass attack eludes me. I guarantee you Howard Kurtz will “report” the “debate” about POTUS not saying “Islam” on Media Buzz. A “debate” entirely created by his own network, which chose to cover the France attacks as somehow meaning something bad about our president. Let’s ask Sharyl Attkisson!

  23. Both “attack” and “siege” are accurate, standard English descriptives of “war” that I don’t see a reason to have a problem with. It occurs to me that “terror” as an “ism” may not translate quite the same in some other cultures. To inflict terror requires the recipient of the acts to experience ‘terror” as an emotion, which is often construed to be a weakness.

  24. You make an excellent point, Al. “Terrorism” strikes me as a Western word created when someone in government or media wanted a descriptor for a politically motivated mass attack. Was it invented for the ’72 Olympics?

  25. If what I looked up is correct, the term originated in France circa 1794 as terrorisme and referred only to acts committed by a government. In modern usage, the definition has become muddled to the point of being useless for global communications

  26. Well gosh, I’m thrilled that Erik Wemple – some guy sitting at a desk with no responsibility for this – thinks CNN’s correspondents are in no more danger if they run the cartoons, but Zucker doesn’t have the luxury to just assume this. That’s one of the stupidest paragraphs I’ve ever read.

  27. This is one of those rare instances when all publications across all mediums should run the cartoons. It’s more risky for all over the long haul if they don’t.

    Equally important under the circumstances is that we encourage the running of these cartoons without bad-mouthing anyone who choose not to.

  28. — without bad-mouthing anyone who choose not to —
    Exactly. The people chortling over CNN’s choice don’t give a rat’s behind about “free speech”, they care about a chance to take a shot at CNN. I think the cartoons should be aired. I also think that’s easy for me to say, having nothing obvious at risk. If Fox chose not to air the cartoons (assuming that they have), I would understand that there are greater concerns than whose sack is bigger.

  29. But of course Wemple went after Zucker ’cause he’s a wingnut who assumes Zucker is a liberal, and he saw an opportunity to blast the guy for caring about his staff’s safety. Then Farris published it here for the same reason. Both have nothing better to do than take a tragic situation and use it to be @ssholes to people they presume to think differently politically. It’s pathetic.

  30. It’s more than just some theoretical freedom being defended, so it is of truly grave importance to run those cartoons. But that freedom being defended is equally the freedom not to publish something.

  31. I totally disagree about Wemple. He’s a media critic who’s been equally critical of Fox and MSNBC, and I see no reason to make such assumptions in this case. But yes, that’s how he is and will be used.

  32. jon gabriel retweeted
    Breaking News Feed ‏@PzFeed 10m10 minutes ago

    BREAKING NEWS: Arson attack at German paper that printed Charlie Hebdo cartoons. AFP

  33. When commenters here talk about printing ‘Charlie Hebdo’ cartoons are you referring to all the CH cartoons (including those offensive to Catholics, Jews/Israelis, Americans, right and left wing politicos etc.) or just those offensive to Muslims? I say print them all or none.

  34. Foxers would have raised absolute hell over some of those cartoons, a month ago, *shrug*. It’s different now. Perhaps we can all grow up, just a bit, about speech that offends us.

  35. The difference is that Catholics and Jews haven’t been killing or even threatening to kill anyone publishing editorial cartoons critical of their religions.

    To your larger point, however, I am Catholic (with a number of Jews and Muslims, blacks and whites, straights and gays, as well as conservatives and liberals among my immediate family). If I owned or controlled a media organisation it would absolutely be publishing, at this particularly important time, all such cartoons whether anyone felt offended by them or not. The freedom of speech is an inalienable right held by all and all should be relentless in defence of it; there is no such freedom from feeling offended.

  36. “Raising hell” it’s far different than “murder.”

    Free Speech means both being able to publish offensive cartoons and voice that offense.

  37. I really shouldn’t laugh, but.

    WSB-TV ‏@wsbtv 3m3 minutes ago
    Police: Out-of-control camel kills 2 people in Texas VIDEO: #2NewsNow

  38. imnotblue Says:

    Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd noted French Prime Minister François Hollande had declared France is at war with radical Islam and asked Attorney General Eric Holder, “Would you say the United States is at war with radical Islam?”

    Holder answered, “I would say that we are at war with terrorists who commit these heinous acts and who use Islam. They use a corrupted version of Islam to justify their actions. We are bound and determined to hold them accountable, to find them wherever they are, and then to try, as you indicated, to come up with ways in which we prevent young people who become attracted to this radical ideology from becoming members of these groups and perpetrating these heinous acts.”

    So is that a yes or no? Why is the administration avoiding the words “Radical Islam?”

  39. Why is the administration avoiding the words “Radical Islam?”

    Because it’s a pointless term demanded by childish conservatives looking for another excuse to hate the president. Holder gave a perfectly articulate and specific answer to the question, and you’re still not happy. Surprise!

  40. imnotblue Says:

    That makes sense.

    I figured the French was just placating the American right!

    Follow up question… Why didn’t the US have any officials at the rally in France today?

  41. Why is the administration avoiding the words “Radical Islam?”

    ^^My guess it’s because it drives pols and pundits on the right and people like blue absolutely crazy. Watching right-wingers go absolutely bananas over some perceived slight is always entertaining to us on the left. 😉

    “Why didn’t the US have any officials at the rally in France today?”

    ^^Well the A.G. and the Ambassador to French were there, and the last time I looked, they were Obama administration officials. I imagine Obama didn’t want to cancel his Sunday golf game so that’s why he didn’t go. I’m joking of course; but I’m sure that’s what we’ll be hearing tomorrow morning on F&F.

  42. I wouldn’t expect POTUS to show up – it would be a logistical security nightmare for France – but I at least expected to see Kerry. I don’t suppose we’ll ever know, but I’d be curious if the administration felt a high profile US presence could be dangerous.

  43. ““Raising hell” it’s far different than “murder.”
    Free Speech means both being able to publish offensive cartoons and voice that offense.”

    Hah. Ridiculous that you have to point that out. But, Foxers. And Megyn Kelly.

  44. imnotblue Says:

    @ Fritz

    I didn’t realize you thought the President and his administration where trolls. Seems somewhat beneath the Office, by of that’s what you want from your leaders… ooookay.

    And no… Holder was not at the event. Only the ambassador:

    So a ton of leaders and heads of state from across the globe attend, but we could only manage the ambassador? And why would adding in Obama have altered security? With that many world leaders, another would make it that much harder?

  45. Everyone else is the leader of a country; POTUS is the leader of the Western world. Yes, his security situation would have been a much bigger issue.

  46. I just hope and would assume that there was a reason. CNN has been on about ‘no official US presence’ all day. It looks really bad, unless there was a good reason.

  47. I caught 5 minutes of Harris’ “Insiders” crew babbling about how Obama hates America. It might be nice to hear the admin’s reasoning for how they handled the rally before going there, but it’s Fox News and their “Democrats”, so screw it.

  48. Good article by Ron Fournier about Charlie Hebdo. A somewhat more nuanced response to the topic than “Foxers. Megyn Kelly.”

  49. imnotblue Says:


  50. A New York tabloid has a screeching headline. This is my shocked face.

  51. New York Daily News is a liberal and Obama loving tabloid.

  52. Prime Minister Harper did not attend, either. The Minister of Security represented Canada for the gathering. PM Netanyahu was already in Paris, although I believe Palestinian PM Abbas did fly in for the event.

    There may not have been sufficient time for the president or Sec. Kerry to get over there. For most of the leaders in attendance, the travel distance would be like me catching a quick flight to Montreal for an afternoon. And while AG Holder was coincidentally in Paris at the time, the ambassador is a more appropriate representative.

    This is a stupid issue to be snarking about.

  53. Al, I agree the logistics make sense, but it still looks kind of terrible for the US. Unless there was a security reason to downplay our presence, it sure looks to me like a big miss. Which this administration is known for. That gang in the WH never seems to miss an opportunity to portray a tin ear.

  54. Don’t know if the list is complete but here’s a list and it supports Al’s theory:
    Instead of making the issue about electoral politics, it should be about whether France cares or not? If France is bothered, yes, it should be a bigger issue otherwise it’s almost pointless.
    Btw, Harper was at an event celebrating the 200th birthday of the first Canadian PM.

  55. This march was about the people of France and their need to begin healing. It is not about the US, which is going on four presidential terms of “war on terror” in one form or another. Perhaps it is best that our support was shown through our ambassador who lives there.

    I can almost hear Barack’s voice on a telephone call to Ottawa. “Steven, I need a favour. Can you find a reason to.. ah, not go to France?”

  56. This week’s Media Buzz was better than usual. The discussion of the cartoons (which Kurtz says Fox isn’t running) was surprisingly real, with Fred Francis quite strongly against the idea of publishing them, if it were up to him. I still think they should be aired, but the opposing thoughts are compelling.

  57. Without the killings, I’d never want to show those repugnant excuses for satire to anybody.

    Let me know if Media Buzz ever begins making a habit of being real. If so maybe I’ll give it watch.. on a trial basis.

  58. imnotblue Says:

    Really? So we don’t bother to send a high ranking official to France, to meet with other world leaders… and AG Holder, who is ALREADY there to talk about terrorism, can’t make time for the march? Really?!

    Saying it would have been “too hard” to get a flight over there is pretty weak. With all the power of the White House, a flight to France for the VP would have been too much? Where are their priorities? How poorly organized are they?

    Even CNN is asking “What were they thinking?”

  59. I’m confused Blue…

    Wasn’t your side calling the French “Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys” a decade ago? Wasn’t your side calling that part of the world (France, Germany, Spain, Italy, but not Tony Blair and England) “Old Europe” to discount and diminish their opinions regarding world affairs?

    Now what are you telling me? What was to be ostracized and marginalized is now deserving of standing side by side with? Make up your minds…

  60. For the record, I think he should have gone. But I’m not going to make a criminal case out of it the way the political ideological right is just to score points. If you haven’t figure out Obama by now, you never will. He is optic tone deaf and cares more about policy theory than how it looks.

  61. While I think he should have gone, I could also make a credible argument that Obama should have not gone. Europe, unfortunately, needs to endure this on their own. If we come in, then it becomes about the U.S. instead of about Europe because the U.S. has been at the forefront of this fight for the last decade. There is actual symbolism to be gained on the world stage by having Europe unite without the US.

  62. I think someone should have gone, which serves the dual-purpose of representing us while not making it about us. I thought from the beginning that Obama’s presence would be a security nightmare, aside from any other considerations.

  63. Let us not forget that Secret Service is not the trusted org that it once was, and do you really want those guys in Paris?

  64. imnotblue Says:

    I think you’re confusing me with Goundskeeper Willie… same hair, different accent.

    I think we can stand in solidarity with our allies (even France) against terrorism, and still disagree with them on the best ways to attack/defeat/handle it. And as the US, we don’t get the luxury of staying “You didn’t have our back, so we won’t have yours.”

    I agree with you about Obama’s tone-deafness… but it’s still surprising to me that there’s nobody else in the Administration with a lick of sense! The fact that Holder was there, and couldn’t (either himself or by order from someone else in the Admin) say “Go march” is unbelievable to me.

    Additionally, because the Admin seems to have trouble (for reasons I still can’t understand) in saying things like “radical Islamic terrorism,” it calls into question just how serious they are about doing something about this global problem. Once again, it comes across as them not taking things too seriously… and that’s a problem for ALL of us, not just Democrats or Republicans.

    As for this being a partisan right issue, Fareed’s commentary, Tapper’s, NY Daily News, and I’ve heard even MSNBC has talked about this, seems to undercut that notion.

  65. imnotblue Says:

    Send Biden… Send Kerry… make Holder show up!

    There were plenty of options if sending Obama himself wasn’t in the cards. And no, the ambassador wasn’t enough.

  66. Bill or Hillary.

  67. imnotblue Says:

    Billy, yes… Hillary, no.

    For Hilliary, it would have been seen as a campaign stop, and while one could make the “former SoS” argument, it would have been unnecessarily controversial.

  68. Yeah, Hillary is problematic, not the least because it would be seen as Obama Admin promoting her in ’16.

  69. That gang in the WH never seems to miss an opportunity to portray a tin ear.

    Turns out you were right, Joe. That the White House came out with a no-exuse “We screwed up” statement about it on a Monday is refreshing.

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