While You Were Sleeping: Casey Anthony Is Out On The Loose!

The long national nightmare may be just beginning. The most hated woman in America, former Orlando mother acquitted of murder Casey Anthony, is officially a free woman, after Orlando officials released her into an unmarked car beside an angry crowd. She will not be returning to her native habitat, but to an undisclosed location to which she was flown with attorney Jose Baez by her side.

Anthony walked out of the prison and into a car early yesterday morning, greeted by a crowd of onlookers– mostly hostile, though sprinkled with some marriage proposals. It is not known where she was driven or flown to, though speculation has been rampant, though she does have some money– almost $500, thanks to the donations of several admirers. Reuters reported that some in the crowd had been waiting since 3 PM outside the jail for Anthony’s midnight release.

The footage of Anthony simply walking out of a jail will be chilling to those who consider the verdict in her trial a grave injustice, though, removed from context, is rather uneventful. Watch the raw video via Fox 29 Philadelphia below:

Bill Maher To Egyptian Guest: “This Isn’t Fox News, This Is Reality”

On Bill Maher’s HBO show, besides going after Rush Limbaugh and encouraging guests to take shots at Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, what many might find surprising is that Maher often is not afraid to make arguments similar to those that might come from the mouths of the conservative power players he targets. In an interview with Egyptian-born journalist Mona Eltahawy, Maher confronted her with some unsettling facts regarding the beliefs of Egyptians.

Eltahawy exclaimed the nationwide protest in Egypt was the happiest moment of her life, arguing “President Mubarak is our Berlin Wall . . . if we can get our Berlin Wall to fall – and we will, I’m confident we will – you imagine the freedom fever that will spread across the region.” What Egyptians with “freedom fever” might do next was Maher’s concern, and the interview got a little testy when Maher brought up some facts. According to a Pew study Maher cited, a majority of Egyptians support stoning as punishment for adultery, the death penalty for Muslims leaving the religion, and were in favor of Sharia Law, and Maher wondered if this might pose a problem in the future.

When Eltahawy clearly did not want to discuss those issues and kept repeating that Egyptians just want freedom, Maher insisted she address the reality of his question, to which the following exchange took place:

Eltahawy: “I didn’t think we were going to get into Fox News kind of sparring matches that quick, but hey you want to go head-to-head, I will.”
Maher: “This is not Fox News, this is reality.”

If a tough question, followed by an expectation that the question be answered is a technique Eltahawy dimisses as something she expects only on Fox News, that actually sounds like a great endorsement from her for the channel. Regardless, viewers can always count on Maher for a unique perspective and as demonstrated here, an admirable boldness to ask questions that might make people uncomfortable.

Watch the clip from HBO below:

Latest Leaked Fox News Memo Looks Like Campaign ‘Fact Sheet’

Another in a series of potentially embarrassing internal memos authored by Fox News Managing Editor Bill Sammon has recently been leaked, and this one is a doozy. The memo, sent a week before Election Day 2008, reads like the oppo research “fact sheets” that the various presidential campaigns sent out to reporters during that election cycle, with a key difference. The source, in this case, was not a politician’s press office, but the Washington deputy managing editor of a major news network.

The memo comes from mortal enemy of Fox News and liberal media watchdog Media Matters, who has now released three in a series of these sorts of of internal emails from Sammon.

Previous memos from Sammon have instructed Fox News talent on how to frame discussion of health care reform and climate change, and while they were embarrassing, this one goes straight at the question of political bias, in at least the D.C. bureau of Fox News. Sent in the wake of a Barack Obama interview that surfaced in the closing days of the 2008 campaign, Sammon’s memo collects quotes from Obama’s autobiography, Dreams of My Father, that Sammon said claimed “references to socialism, liberalism, Marxism and Marxists,” along with “a couple of his many self-described ‘racial obsessions’.”

Fox News has consistently rested its credibility on the premise that there is a dividing line between their “straight news” and “opinion” programming. But Sammon’s status as a “straight news” editor, and his use of this “research” on Fox’s Live Desk raise legitimate questions about that separation, or at least blurs a line that should be clear cut.

There are many fine journalists who work at Fox News. Sammon’s continued presence at the network threatens to diminish their work, and you have to wonder how long the talent at Fox News will put up with embarrassments like these before they head out the door, or before Sammon does.

Given the hyper-partisan landscape of current opinion media, there are many who will willfully dismiss this report only because it came from Media Matters. But the memo itself is pretty damning, regardless of one’s political opinions. You can see the full memo at Media Matters.

Buchanan On Santorum’s Racial Abortion Comments: “They Don’t Offend Me”

Following in his own recent steps of defending a prominent conservative in turmoil when no one else was doing so publicly, MSNBC’s Pat Buchanan was at it again defending potential 2012 candidate for President, Rick Santorum and his racially charged comments about abortion. Buchanan appeared on Jansing & Co. and claimed Santorum’s “facts are correct.”

Buchanan elaborated:

Disproportionately, African-American women are the ones having abortions, and it’s African-American unborn babies who are being destroyed at a disproportionate rate. And this whole, if you will, birth control and abortion movement goes back to a fairly shameful period in American history, back before World War II – the eugenics movement – which had dreadful slogans as ‘more from the fit and less from the unfit.’

Furthermore, since African-Americans were not treated as persons under the Constitution for a long period of history, Buchanan essentially makes the argument that any black person today should oppose abortion and not be in favor of taking away the right of personhood from another class of individuals: the unborn. Buchanan, clearly unlike the commentator he is debating, is not offended by the comments, but still thinks Santorum should speak out and defend himself.

Discussing the always volatile mix of race and abortion requires careful verbal maneuvering, which Buchanan seems to demonstrate that he is a bit more experienced at than Santorum.

(h/t Talking Points Memo)

Watch the clip below from MSNBC:

President Obama’s Weekly Address: “We Carry On Now”

As a new week in Washington is about to begin with a return to focusing on healthcare, jobs and deficits, President Obama took one last opportunity to offer uplifting words and to make clear that now is the time to “carry on” from last week’s tragedy in Arizona, but hopefully to do so with a new tone.

In his weekly video address, Obama was reflective and inspirational suggesting “we are one American family – 300 million strong.” He went on to state that “as shrill and discordant as our politics can be at times,” he was happy to see all members of Congress this past week speaking on the floor to honor Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Obama concluded, “as business resumes, I look forward to working together . . . with members of Congress from both parties, because before we are Democrats or Republicans, we are Americans.”

The contrast between this video and that provided by Sarah Palin is noticeable. By filling his video with only positive words, Obama, like after his Arizona memorial speech, leaves critics hard-pressed to find anything to dislike. Interesting to wonder if Palin did decide to keep her video short and sweet, whether her critics too would have been willing to offer begrudging praise?

Watch the clip below from CNN:

Sen. Dick Durbin: Past Rhetoric Of Sarah Palin And Tea Party “Beyond The Bounds”

Senator Dick Durbin appeared on CNN’s State of the Union and told Candy Crowley that Sarah Palin’s gun imagery of targeting certain congressional districts was “beyond the bounds” and “not acceptable rhetoric.” Although when pressed by Crowley, Durbin did not want to suggest there was a direct connection between the rhetoric and yesterday’s shooting of Congresswoman Giffords, nor whether there was similarly unacceptable rhetoric amongst Democrats.

Durbin explained:

“We live in a world of violent images and violent words, but those of us in public life and the journalists who cover us, should be thoughtful in response to this and try to bring down the rhetoric, which I’m afraid has become pervasive in our discussion of political issues. The phrase ‘don’t retreat, reload’ – putting crosshairs on congressional districts as targets – these sorts of things I think invite the kind of toxic rhetoric that can lead unstable people to believe this is an acceptable response.”

Video Coming Soon

Fox News Abruptly Cuts Away From Giffords Vigil As Mourner Says ‘And I Say to You, Sarah Palin’

During a Fox News segment today, anchor Shep Smith tossed to a live shot of a vigil for critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and several seconds into it, as one mourner said “…and I say to you, Sarah Palin…” abruptly cut to a commercial. Sarah Palin, a Fox News contributor, has come under fire in the early aftermath of this mass shooting, as some are connecting it with her “crosshairs” ad from earlier this year.

With so little known at this time, cooler heads are resisting making political hay out of this shooting, but the coincidence of Giffords’ shooting, her placement on Palin’s “crosshairs” map, and Giffords’ own comments about that map have combined to make Palin an early scapegoat, particularly on the left. At best, though, it’s an eery, unfortunate confluence.

Here’s the video, from Fox News: