China Nabs U.S. Foreign Aid; Kucinich Ambushed by Olive Pit

Sunday, 30 Jan 2011 08:05 PM

By Special Fron Newsmax's Most Informed Sources

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Rupert Murdoch: Olbermann Is ‘Crazy’
2. MSNBC Ratings Soar After Olbermann’s Exit
3. Sargent Shriver Steadfast Against Abortion
4. U.S. Giving Foreign Aid to — China!
5. Fox News Wins State of the Union
6. Laura Ingraham Airs in Eight of Top 10 Markets
7. We Heard: House Freshmen, Herbert Zweibon, Dennis Kucinich
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1. Rupert Murdoch: Olbermann Is ‘Crazy’

While Keith Olbermann’s departure from his nightly cable news show “Countdown” appeared abrupt, it came in fact after “years of behind-the-scenes tensions” with MSNBC, according to a report.

Throughout his career Olbermann has been known as a “mercurial personality with a track record of attacking his superiors and making early exits,” Bill Carter and Brian Stelter wrote in The New York Times.

After Olbermann’s stint at Fox Sports Network ended in acrimony in 2001, Rupert Murdoch, head of the network’s parent News Corporation, said: “I fired him. He’s crazy.”

Many viewers were stunned when Olbermann — MSNBC’s top-rated host — suddenly announced his departure from the network at the end of his Friday, Jan. 21 show.

“But underlying the decision, which one executive involved said was not a termination but a ‘negotiated separation,’ were years of behind-the scenes-tension, conflicts and near terminations,” according to the Times.

That tension was so intense that Olbermann occasionally threatened not to come to work and producers had to notify a substitute anchor to be on standby.

He once complained that the topics he addressed on his show were “stories my producers force me to cover.”

After MSNBC suspended Olbermann in November for making donations to Democratic congressional candidates, he threatened to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” to protest the decision. Jeff Zucker, head of NBC Universal, was ready to fire Olbermann on the spot if he did so, an NBC executive told The Times.

Olbermann alluded to the discord in his departure announcement, saying that “there were many occasions, particularly in the last two and a half years, where all that surrounded the show, but never the show itself, was just too much for me.”

The New York Post reports that Olbermann — who began on “Countdown” in March 2003 — was trying to convince his bosses to let him out of his $7 million-a-year contract as early as last spring.

Olbermann was not looking forward to working for Comcast, which at the time was negotiating to purchase NBC Universal, according to the Post. Comcast Chairman Brian Roberts is a prominent Republican, and there were also whispers that Comcast was forcing Olbermann out.

Comcast has denied it was involved in Olbermann’s departure. And Eric Deggans writes in the St. Petersburg Times that “it would make no sense for [Comcast] to start a tenure running NBC by decapitating the cable channel’s biggest star.”

In leaving MSNBC, Olbermann reportedly agreed to stay away from television news for six to nine months. But he can still work in radio and on the Internet — and would be free to return to TV for the 2012 elections.

Editor's Note:



2. MSNBC Ratings Soar After Olbermann’s Exit

MSNBC’s ratings for its 8 p.m. show rose 50 percent on the first night Keith Olbermann did not host the hour.

With Lawrence O’Donnell hosting on Monday, the network had 1.5 million total viewers, up from Olbermann’s average of just over 1 million.

Rachel Maddow, the 9 p.m. host, also enjoyed about a 50 percent ratings bump on Monday, rising to 1.4 million viewers.

O’Donnell’s “Last Word” trounced CNN’s “Parker Spitzer” in the time slot — the latter drew just 483,000 viewers — but was trounced in turn by Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox News, which had 3.5 million viewers.

O’Donnell was likely the beneficiary of curiosity over what he might say about Olbermann’s departure. O’Donnell, whose show previously aired at 10 p.m., did say he owed his introduction to the network to his predecessor.

O'Reilly also discussed Olbermann, although he did not mention him by name and instead referred to him as a "hateful commentator."

Editor's Note:



3. Sargent Shriver Steadfast Against Abortion

Throughout his long career in public service, Kennedy brother-in-law Sargent Shriver was associated with a number of liberal causes, but he sided with social conservatives on one key issue — abortion.

“Unlike his famous brothers-in-law, Shriver upheld and defended Church teachings in the public square,” George J. Marlin, author of “The American Catholic Voter,” writes on The Catholic Thing website.

“Although he was a liberal, when it came to abortion he was solidly pro-life.”

After law school and a stint in the Navy, Shriver met his future wife, Eunice Kennedy, JFK’s younger sister. He went to work for her father, Joseph P. Kennedy, in Chicago, where he served as president of the city’s Board of Education and the Catholic Interracial Council, fighting discrimination in housing and education.

From 1961 to 1966, he headed the Peace Corps, then accepted President Lyndon Johnson’s offer to oversee the “War on Poverty” as head of the Office of Economic Opportunity.

Even when he ran as the Democratic Party’s 1972 vice presidential candidate, with George McGovern heading the ticket, and campaigned for the presidency in 1976, “he refused to bend on abortion,” Marlin observes.

Shriver wrote in a 1976 position paper: “I am strongly opposed to abortion. I intend to work in and out of government, as I have for the past decade, for the day when abortion will no longer be looked upon by anyone as a desirable or necessary procedure.”

Sargent and Eunice Shriver funded the first international abortion conference and the Georgetown University Kennedy Institute of Ethics to study life issues, Marlin notes.

After Shriver’s death on Jan. 21 at age 95, Sean Cardinal O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, said Shriver’s “commitment to preserving and protecting human life at every stage of existence, especially for the unborn, and working to lift people out of poverty were exceptional gifts of love and humanity.”

Editor's Note:



4. U.S. Giving Foreign Aid to — China!

What does economic superpower China have in common with many poor nations in the developing Third World? They all receive American foreign aid.

That’s right, the United States is among several industrial nations that still subsidize the world’s No. 2 economy, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Japan is the biggest donor, followed by Germany, France, Britain, and the U.S. — countries that are all in debt to China and running massive deficits.

American aid totals the modest sum of $65 million a year, but “why are we sending China any succor at all?” Investor’s Business Daily asked in an editorial.

“It’s hard to justify giving foreign aid to a communist state whose state-run organ, ‘The People’s Daily,’ wrote on the eve of [Chinese President Hu Jintao’s] visit to Washington: ‘China’s emergence is increasingly shifting to debate over how the world will treat China, which is the world’s No. 1 and has overtaken the U.S.’”

IBD points out that China spends at least $100 billion a year on its military, holds some $2.5 trillion in foreign reserves, and boasts more billionaires than any nation except the United States.

Hu recently pledged to double aid to Africa to gain access to its oil, and human rights groups say China is using that aid to prop up brutal regimes.

“So here we are giving charity to China (financing it by taking loans from China, our debt holder), which China uses to finance its wicked projects in Africa under the guise of charity,” IBD observes.

“Are we really this foolish? Apparently so.”

The editorial calls on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to investigate why America is still funding China.

Editor's Note:



5. Fox News Wins State of the Union

Fox News Channel easily beat rival cable news networks CNN and MSNBC in the ratings for its telecast of President Barack Obama’s Tuesday night State of the Union address.

About 43 million people tuned in to watch the speech on 11 television networks — 5 million fewer than watched last year’s State of the Union, The Washington Post reported.

In calculating viewership, Nielsen included ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Telemundo, Univision, and Centric.

Fox News Channel averaged 5 million of the 43 million. CNN lagged far behind at 3 million, and MSNBC averaged about 2.5 million.

Fox News had even higher viewership for its post-speech analysis, 5.4 million.

CBS was tops among the broadcast networks with 8.5 million during the 9-10 p.m. hour of the speech, narrowly beating out NBC’s 8.4 million. ABC had 6.7 million and Fox had 3.4 million.

Editor's Note:



6. Laura Ingraham Airs in Eight of Top 10 Markets

“The Laura Ingraham Show” has been steadily gaining new affiliate radio stations and now airs in eight of the top 10 metropolitan markets.

The show recently added stations in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C., and is now ranked the sixth largest syndicated show with more than 6 million weekly listeners, according to Talkers magazine.

In all, the show recently added 35 new affiliates, bringing the total to 328 stations — including 21 in the top 25 metro markets, its syndicator Talk Radio Network Enterprises reports.

“Laura Ingraham’s show is taking the nation’s capital by storm,” said Dave Houston, program director at WTNT in Washington. “All of our listeners are talking about this show.”

Phil Boyce, president of programming at Talk Radio, said Ingraham’s show “continues to drive listeners along with increasing affiliates in major markets. Her fan base is nationwide, loyal, and they want more of her.”

Ingraham, the most listened-to woman in political talk radio, said: “This is a critical time for our country both politically and culturally, and I feel like I’m just getting warmed up.

“Americans want and deserve smart, funny, and irreverent talk, and I intend to keep giving it to them.”

In addition to her radio show, which first aired in 2001, Ingraham has a weekly segment, “The Ingraham Angle,” on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” the top-rated cable TV news show. Her most recent New York Times best seller is “The Obama Diaries.”

Editor's Note:



7. We Heard…

THAT for many of the new members of Congress, the House of Representatives is truly a house — more than 20 percent will sleep in their offices rather than rent living quarters in Washington, D.C.

A CBS News survey found that 19 of the 87 freshman Republicans and two of the nine new Democrats in the House will spend nights in their office, using a storeroom as a closet and makeshift kitchen, and showering in the House gym.

One new Republican, Illinois tea party activist Joe Walsh, says he is on the job “to fix Washington, not to be seduced by it.”

THAT the Jewish community is mourning the death of Herbert Zweibon, founder and chairman of Americans for a Safe Israel and a member of the editorial board of the AFSI’s newsletter “Outpost.”

AFSI opposes any territorial withdrawals by Israel. In a 2007 interview with the Jerusalem Post, Zweibon said: “It makes little difference to us whether the government of the United States or the government of Israel believe that they can somehow compromise with the Muslim community. This just will not happen.”

The New York Sun said in an editorial that Zweibon, who died on Jan. 19 at age 84, “was against treating with or compromising with Israel’s enemies and made no apologies for the hard line he took.”

THAT liberal congressman and former Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has sued a House of Representatives cafeteria for selling him a sandwich wrap containing an unpitted olive he says caused dental damage when he bit into it.

According to the lawsuit filed on Jan. 3, the Ohio legislator seeks $150,000 in damages from companies that operate the Longworth House Office Building's cafeteria.

Kucinich says he bought the sandwich wrap "on or about April 17, 2008," and eating it caused "permanent dental and oral injuries requiring multiple surgical and dental procedures,” the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

"Said sandwich wrap was unwholesome and unfit for human consumption in that it was presented to contain pitted olives, yet unknown to plaintiff, contained an unpitted olive or olives which plaintiff did not reasonably expect to be in the food prepared for him, and could not visually detect prior to consumption."

Editor's Note:



Editor's Notes:

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