Friday, March 24, 2006

Laura Hits A Home Run

"People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news." ~ A. J. Liebling

OK. I admit it. I love Laura Ingraham!

The other day, Laura Ingraham made an appearance, along with James Carville, on NBC’s "Today" which was being guest hosted by Liberally biased newsman David Gregory. After viewing the interview, I thought Laura had acquitted herself admirably, but I had no idea how well.

The following is a partial transcript from the interview:

Gregory: "Right. But Laura, Laura what's your take on this, because obviously the White House has made a determination that speaking about the war candidly as they can is what's important now and yet it's clear that the President's having a hard time being heard."

Ingraham: "Well here, here's what I think David. I think with all the resources of networks like NBC. The Today show spends all this money to send people to the Olympics, which is great, it was great programming. All this money for Where In The World Is Matt Lauer? Bring the Today show to Iraq. Bring the Today show to Tal Afar. Do the show from the 4th ID at Camp Victory and then when you talk to those soldiers on the ground, when you go out with the Iraqi military, when you talk to the villagers, when you see the children, then I want NBC to report on only the IEDs, only the killings, only, only the reprisals. When people are on the ground whether it's recently, David Ignatius of the Washington Post, whether it's recently..."

Gregory: "Okay but, but Laura let's be, hold on, let's be..."

Ingraham: "Let me finish David because you got, you guys are, no, no, let me finish, let me finish..."

Gregory: "Wait a minute Laura! Wait a second! If you want to be fair. First of all the Today show went to Iraq. Matt Lauer was there, he reported there."

Ingraham: "Did he do a show, did you do a show from Iraq?"

Gregory: "Okay and we, and we've got a bureau there so..."

Ingraham: "Yeah. David, David to do a show from Iraq means to talk to the Iraqi military to go out with the Iraqi military, to actually have a conversation with the people instead of reporting from hotel balconies about the latest IEDs going off. It is very difficult in Iraq. People are struggling..."

Gregory: "And you, and you think Iraq is safe enough to, have you been there long enough to venture outside the hotel balconies?!"

Ingraham: "David, yes I did. I wasn't in a hotel balcony I was out with the U.S. military and it can be done in any part of the country. It is dangerous in the Sunni triangle..."

Gregory: "So, so Lau-..."

Ingraham: "...but NBC and networks of the United States..."

Gregory: "...Okay hold, hold, Laura, Laura, I get, I get, I get the point. I get the, I get the anti-network point. James the argument is that the media simply..." [Carville laughs]

Ingraham: "It's not funny."

Gregory: "...doesn't get it. But, but Iyad Allawi who's the, the Prime Minister, former Prime Minister said there's a civil war."

Carville: "Right, right. I think he's the former Prime Minister, we'll just stipulate for the moment that he's on the ground. Okay? He's somebody on the ground."

Ingraham: "No he actually isn't, James."

Carville: "Excuse me Laura, excuse me for speaking while you were interrupting. Now we can stipulate he's on the ground. 72 percent of the American troops say they want to get out of there within a year. I assume that they're on the ground also. Alright?...Now the truth of the matter is we're there. It's not the media's fault that we're there. It wasn't the media that said that we would be greeted as liberators. It wasn't the media that said it was in the last throes. It's the administration that's made this policy. Why don't they come to us instead of bashing the media and blaming everybody and say, 'Look we're gonna change our policy. We're gonna bring people together. This is what we're gonna do.' Because this, all this, 'it's all the fault of NBC that this,' there are 80 reporters have been killed over there."

Let me just interject here, No one charged that the media is at fault for the negatives being reported. She is simply saying that if they are going to report on the violence, they should balance each report with the positives, too.

Gregory: "Let me, let me redirect this guys. Let me redirect this to, to get off the media point."

Ingraham, mocking: "Yeah let's, let's get off the media."

(LOL! I love it!)

She then added, “The Iraqi military is taking over the battle space. The Iraqi military is stepping up. The Iraqi people are starting businesses across the, across the country with all of the threats of reprisals and all of the difficulty. That stands for something. That should be celebrated and that should be covered. The IEDs, yeah, cover it, cover the bombs, cover the difficulty but give a broad picture of what's happening in that country. It's a disservice to our troops and it's a disservice to everything that this country's about."

Laura has recently returned from Iraq, where she spent time on the ground with the troops, interviewing them on live radio, and getting the news from the horses mouth, so to speak. I listen to her show every day, and I can say that before her trip to Iraq, she was supportive of the war in Iraq, but after she came back, she had a renewed commitment to create awareness that the war is going much better than the media has been portraying. She has become much more passionate in her support of the troops.

As far as the Today show Interview went, if it were a prize fight and I had to judge her performance, I would probably have judged the fight 7 rounds to 5 with Laura getting the victory.

But apparently, she hit a home run. I never would have guessed it based on what I heard.

Suddenly, most of the major news networks are scrambling to report on something other than the latest IED bombing. They are actually starting to report the positives as well.

Additionally, talk shows across the board, both radio and television, are all talking about the sudden realization that there is indeed positive stories coming out of Iraq, and not just death, destruction, and hopelessness. As if this was not known already.

Instead of 24/7 destruction, Americans are learning there is construction going on there, too. Laura Ingraham fueled an awakening that so far, appears poised to change the way in which reporters report the news from Iraq.

I personally heard Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Don Imus, and Mark Levin talk about the issue on their shows yesterday.

In contrast, Richard Belzer, Hollywood actor and has been comedian, who stars in the television program, “Law And Order”, made some really asinine statements on Real Time with Bill Maher, regarding the troops on the ground in Iraq. He said, (and I paraphrase, because I didn’t see the show and I don’t have a transcript) that the soldiers in Iraq don’t know what’s really going on over there, because, unlike Belzer, they don’t read 20 newspapers a day.

Personally, I find it hard to believe that Belzer reads even one newspaper a day, except for the comics, let alone 20.

Can you believe that arrogant twaddle? Belzer, who has never made the trip to Iraq to see for himself, actually believes that newspaper reporters are better informed on how the war is progressing than the troops that are actually fighting the war!

It will be interesting to see, if in the future, the news media will start reporting the war responsibly for once.


Sheila said...

Crush! Crush!

Rose COlored Glasses Mark. :)

I saw that interview too and I didn't see waht you saw.

I actaully thought there were some good points on all sides.

Laura came out at the starting gate, combative and very rude. By the middle she had control of herself and was making sense.

I think all three were very good.

old soldier said...

The majority of the American mainstream media is Pravda’s antithesis. During the peak of the USSR, Pravda biased every article in favor of the Soviets – reality immaterial. Today our MSM biases against the President and the Global War on Terrorism. If Laura Ingraham has caused the MSM to look in the mirror, examine their product and possibly adjust their bias, then kudos to her. Enjoy it while it lasts; because the John Greens will surely cause this newfound honesty to be only a fleeting fantasy.

Mark said...

I said I wasn't that impressed with her performance, Sheila, but the evidence is in how the media is reacting. They are all talking about balancing the good with the bad news now, as if they didn't know they only covered the negative before. She woke them up.

Mark said...

Oh, and yes, Sheila, I admit it. I have a crush on her....LOL

Erudite Redneck said...

You think Laura I. is capable of shaming the whole dang media-industrial complex? Wow. Really? Pshaw.

She's hot. I'll give her that.

Hey, this ought to be the name of your blog!

"Excuse me for speaking while you were interrupting."

James Carville for president.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

how the media is reacting.

I've been catching bits and pieces, and it does sound like she struck a nerve with the MSM.

And I've caught her first hour or two all week, and she's been on a tear. Really good programs this week.

Mark, you can find that Belzer-Maher video if you really look. Flopping Aces had the video, but I can't seem to find it at the moment. I think has it for download. Good resource, as well as Here's one I heard on Hugh Hewitt's yesterday, talk about his take on the good and bad of Iraq reporting, along with Michael Yon: Click here.

You can also find a couple of Laura Ingraham appearances up there as well, including the one you cited.

the media's reacting with "don't shoot the messenger". I kept hearing those words like a mantra from various journalists this past week. Why not hate the messenger if the messenger is only delivering half the message.

In their arguments in defense of the media, they still don't seem to get it. I just hear many clueless reasoning that mischaracterizes what Laura Ingraham and others are complaining about when they talk about the imbalance, the negative coverage and anti-war agenda driven bias in reporting.

Mark said...

Check this out from Newsbusters:

"The Ingraham Effect? 'Today' Leads With Good News from Iraq
Posted by Mark Finkelstein on March 23, 2006 - 07:46.
Call it the Ingraham Effect. Two days after Laura Ingraham sent shockwaves through the MSM with a Today show appearance in which she charged that the media accentuate the negative in their Iraqi coverage, and just the day after a palpably stung Today responded with a segment defending its coverage, Today led its show this morning . . . with good news from Iraq."

Erudite Redneck said...

Ah, I missed the point that Laura I was on "The Today Show."

Ironic, isn't it? A talk radio host uses the MSM to shame the MSM.

Fine with me. But give credit where it's due: to the MSM, not to her lil talk show.

FrenziedFeline said...

I believe she was invited to appear, ER. No one should have expected anything different from her than what they got. I'm sure the Today show invited her to be herself--and her talk show isn't so little.

Lone Ranger said...

I listen to Laura because she has the stomach to do what I don't -- keep up with the "popular" culture. She ridicules liberals like no other talk show host can, and they hate that. You can't shame liberals because they have no shame. But mock their self-importance and they go into hate-mode. Or perhaps I should say they go deeper into hate mode because they're always bitter about something. As the old saying goes,that's why crocodiles won't eat liberals. Laura has replaced Rush in my listening lineup. If I miss her show in the morning, I can catch it immediately afterward on XM radio.

Marie's Two Cents said...

Mark I posted almost the same story today, and even included your name in it. I cant figure out how to do that trackback thing but I would sure like to link back to your story on Laura.

Mark said...

Frenzied's right. Laura's show is the 4th most listened to show in radio. Probably more than all the shows on Air America put together, including the 4 people who listen to Al Franken.

Lone Ranger, I seen her first! Get your own girl! LOL

Mark said...

Oh, Marie, I don't know how to do that trackback thing either. In fact, I'm not even sure what it is.

Jim said...

Can you say Bob Woodruff? Laura Ingraham was full of crap and herself.

She libeled the press by saying NBC newspeople report the war from their balconies in the green zone.

As Keith Olberman said, "that hotel balcony crack was unforgivable. It was unforgivable to the memory of David Bloom, it was unforgivable in consideration of Bob Woodruff and Doug Vought, unforgivable in light of what happened to Michael Kelly and what happened to Michael Weiskopft. It was unforgivable with Jill Carroll still a hostage in Iraq. And it was not only unforgivable of her; it was desperate and it was stupid [emphasis added]."

Mark said...

Jim, you can't take a few isolated cases where some brave or foolish journalists stepped outside the "aafe zone" whether knowingly or unknowingly, and make the case that the major news networks are reporting the war fairly.

As Laura said, The vast majority of the reports coming out of Iraq are about death, bloodshed and destruction. They do not report positives. And that does a tremendous disservice to the brave men and women fighting for your right to not support them.

There has been a great deal of progress made in Iraq in the last three years but one would never know it if they had to depend on the major media outlets.

Jim said...

I quote Digby at Hullabaloo:

"The mere fact that reporters must risk their lives every time they attempt to report the "good news" means that the news, by definition, cannot be all that good. It means that all those new schools and soccer games and litters of adorable puppies exist in the shadow of horrible violence ... All we have to do is imagine if we would agree that a new school being opened in St Louis was newsworthy on a day when 30 people were killed while shopping at the Safeway down the street and four Catholic churches around the country were blown up."

Jim said...

Take any newspaper or news program in the US, take out ANY story about Iraq or Afghanistan.

Now what have you got left? Good news or bad news? Even number of good versus bad? I don't think so.

This is another phoney issue presented by Rove and the Republic noise machine. It is the height of desperation. It demonstrates that Bush cannot support his actions by logic or success but must attempt to distract the people with a supposed media bias which has no bearing whatsoever on the success of his so-called policies.

Goat said...

Laura rocks on this issue, I rarely miss her show and she was on a roll this week. She is invariably pitted against two- three liberals and has learned to make her point. She along with, Ann, Michelle and a few others have forged a strong alliance of committed followers to counter their detracters.
Laura can be great, though her show can get a little weak at times, too many gimmicks, not enough hard journalism.

Mark said...

Jim, "The mere fact that reporters must risk their lives every time they attempt to report the "good news" means that the news, by definition, cannot be all that good."

That is true.

Laura didn't say that they shouldn't report the bad news. She only said they should report on the good along with the bad. It's called fair and balanced.

Usually, your comments are lucid and well thought out. But suggesting that Laura Ingraham is involved in some insidious plot devised by that evil genius, Karl Rove, and the Bush administration puts you right down there with the conspiracy theorists.

I'll bet the first they learned of this interview was, at the earliest, while it was on.

Jim said...

I'm not talking about Ingraham specifically, I'm talking about the whole "the media only reports the bad news" so it is unfair to Bush. Ingraham is just part of it.

Every Bush supporter on the planet is spouting this phoney issue this past week. Can it be any more obvious?

It's not an insidious plot. It's just how the machine works.

Gayle said...

People may say the MSM is not engaged in an insidious plot all they want, and I can say that it is an insidious plot all I want, because that is how I see it; that is how Laura sees it; that is how anyone who is not totally dependent on the mainstream television networks for news sees it. That is also how the soldiers in Iraq see it. That is how Michael Yon also sees it and in case you don't know who he is, he is an on-the-ground in the trenches freelance reporter, who tells it like it is.

Good for Laura! Way to go girl. And Mark, you absolutely do have good taste. She's a winner! :)

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Can you say Bob Woodruff? Laura Ingraham was full of crap and herself.

Jim, if you listened to her program this past week, she addressed the very points you bring up and acknowledged the 80 journalists killed out there, and praised reporters like Woodruff.

Many of the journalists in Iraq follow a herd mentality and it is soldiers among others who are saying that they are not all venturing beyond the safety zone of their hotels.

The way the major papers and tragedy tv covers Iraq, you'd think there are IED's and violence going on in 18 of the 18 provinces, rather than 2-3. Primarily within the Sunni triangle. And the terrorists and insurgents are counting on the imbalance of negative news reporting to demoralize and sap the will of the American people.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Buck Sargent e-mailed Hugh Hewitt the following from Mosul:

I heard the interview on CNN with Mike Yon and yourself and that irritating Aussie. (All I can think of when I hear him is Robert Downey Jr.'s "Wayne Gale" portrayal in Natural Born Killers).

Let me just say Cooper's argument that troops only "hide out on their bases" and don't see the "full picture" like those brave embeds do is total nonsense. They embeds are the ones never leaving the bases, and they are left to interview the support soldiers that never leave the wire either.

The infantry platoons spend more time out in the streets than any normal Iraqi would, and we spend up to 12 hours a day patrolling throughout the city and actually seeking out trouble wherever it may be. And we keep this pace up for a year straight. What Iraqi or reporter can make that claim? So to say we don't know what's going on is preposterous.

Journalists like Michael Ware are gloryhounds (you can hear it in his voice) that come to Iraq to make a name for themselves as "war correspondents", and the only way they can do that is if all they do is cover nothing but blood and guts and gore. It's not exactly great copy to file a report that says, "I spent eight hours on patrol and absolutely nothing remarkable happened and I was bored stiff." That would be the truth on the majority of patrols, but it's not exciting and no one wants to read that so it's not going to get filed.

Ware seems to believe that being objective means not taking sides. But you can still tell the whole truth and root for your country to win. I don't see that as cheerleading, it's common sense. As it currently stands, the MSM is not telling the whole truth and actually siding with the enemy on occasion. They'll jump at the chance to report completely unsubstantiated claims by Iraqis of killings or theft or abuse that simply isn't credible when you know even the first thing about the American "militry" (as Ware calls it). They give the ruthless killers the benefit of the doubt every time, just to spread more nonsense about us.

Most soldiers don't follow the news back home, and it's a good thing,
because it would make them sick to know how they're being portrayed in the media. But I must be a bit of a masochist, because I can't seem to get enough. And it certainly takes a toll when you read time and time again in the NYT about things you know to be untrue or misrepresented.

The media wants us to lose, and they're doing their damndest to see it happen. But I have faith that the American people are too smart to fall for that trick twice.

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

I heard about this on Rush's show and Laura's yesterday. I thought she did awesome and made some excellent points.

My theme recently has been wanting to prove how good the war is going and how great W is despite the negative, doom and gloom media's portrayal of things.

h said...

Erudite Redneck:
That's a typical Carville debatng tactic - ask your adversary a question, and as she attempts to interject her answer, accuse her of being rude by interupting.
As long as this weird-looking, screaming, saliva-launching maniac is the leader of the Democratic Party debating team, you're gonna keep losing.

Jim said...

gayle said: "that is how anyone who is not totally dependent on the mainstream television networks for news sees it."

Excuse be, but I am not totally dependent on the mainstream television networks. I watch cable new, Fox as much as any other, and I also read a variety of online sources, conservative and liberal. That IS NOT how I see it.

Erudite Redneck said...

Being right, being moral, being true toneself -- all are more important than winning sometimes.

Goat said...

Chatterbox, I constantly link to good news from Iraq and can provide you some good sources if you would like, just come pay the Barnyard a visit. All the right talkers paid kudos to Laura's fiery performance. She won't be backed down by Carville.