Krystal Ball

Former Va. Congressional Candidate Krystal Ball Couldn't See Through Prank Call On MSNBC

The next time someone tells you how secular liberals are intellectually superior to Christian conservatives, show them the video below. The next time a leftist tells you how Fox News and conservative, alternative media makes it all up, that the Mainstream (i.e., liberal) Media is the only trustworthy source for news, show them the video below. (Warning for obscene language.) If you haven't heard, this afternoon, the unabashed, pompous, left wing cable network MSNBC, which spends as much time ridiculing conservatives as it does "reporting news," proudly announced an "exclusive interview" with an eyewitness to the downing of the Malaysian airliner over the Russia-Ukraine border. It booked an American staff sergeant stationed at our embassy in Kiev, who claimed he saw the missile strike the plane from an office window. Or so it thought.

The man was a prankster whom producers and others either did not vet or did so poorly. Holding the bag was "anchor" Krystal Ball, a former Virginia left wing activist and Democrat Congressional candidate. When she asked him to apply his military expertise to what he saw, the man provided an obscene answer designed to promote "shock jock" Howard Stern. At this point, Ms. Ball is blameless. But, incredibly, instead of calling for him to be cut off, she asked a follow-up question that stunned even the prankster, who licked his chops with the opportunity to respond with a profane insult to her. Still, she persisted, trying to get a clarification.

The amateur production is incredible for a once proud news division of a major network. The home of Huntley and Brinkley (who did better ratings than Walter Cronkite) and Chancellor, now is the home of Ball and Maddow. In the digital age, it's easy enough to verify if a caller is calling from where he says he is. Compare his number to the one he gives, then call it back. Lookup the embassy's number. Call the embassy and authenticate his identity.

Worse than that, however, is that the MSNBC "journalists" did not know that Kiev is hundreds of miles form the incident's location. Furthermore, no one can see a surface-to-air-missile travel or strike a plane at 30-40,000 feet with the naked eye from an office window. None of this crossed anyone's mind. Maybe the high school interns were in charge.

After it took an embarrassingly sudden commercial break, Captain Obvious Ball gave this explanation:

We thought we had an eyewitness on the scene. That individual was not actually an eyewitness.

How ironic that in the Left's parlance Fox is referred to as "Faux News" it considers this network as a serious outlet for information. This is one embarrassment MSNBC and its groupies will never live down and may peel off what remaining commonsense viewers, moderate or liberal, it has.

Apparently the standards to be an on-air "journalist" there are to be an unapologetic far-left liberal, hate conservatives and Christians, be intolerant while preaching tolerance and . . . know nothing, not even the slightest clue, about the news, geography, the military, engineering or commonsense.

Scandalous behavior often increases one's stock in liberal circles. Thus, Ms. Ball's qualifications to work for MSNBC: Seen as a dynamic, young, bright, attractive candidate with a chance of upsetting Rob Whitman in Virginia's 1st House District in the 2010 Congressional elections, her slim chance disintegrated when a series of photos surfaced revealing obnoxious and suggestive behavior. Here's one:

Credibility, be damned apparently. Not necessary for a "news" organization as long as it's sufficiently left wing. So far, no one from MSNBC has been fired. Experts say at least 10 people had to be involved in putting the prankster on the air, from producers, researchers and writers, up to the "anchor," Ms. Ball. Imagine her powers of discernment at work in Congress.

Here's the video:

A Shocking Day: Chief Justice Hassell's Untimely Death, Webb Won't Run For Re-election

I was in the Senate Finance Committee this morning watching, thankfully, two good bills, which may lead to some much needed tax reform, fly through. The committee agenda was short, normal right after "crossover," and only six bills were heard, all passing on unanimous voice votes. Can't be much simpler than that. At what should've been a quick bang of the gavel to dismiss, committee Chairman Chuck Colgan (D-29, Manassas) made the announcement, the first one in public as it turned out: Former Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leroy Hassell, Sr., died, unexpectedly, at age 55 (WTVR.com). He previously stepped aside as chief justice, but remained on the court.  Governor Bob McDonnell ordered that the flag of the commonwealth be flown at half-staff on all local, state, and federal buildings and grounds (WTVR.com). New Chief Justice Cynthia Kinser was scheduled to be sworn in officially this week. There is no word on the status of that ceremony at this point. She will be the first woman Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice.

(Updated 4:45 p.m.: The governor has ordered that flags be flown at half-staff until his burial on all local, state, and federal buildings and grounds in Virginia. Additionally, Justice Hassell will lie in state in the Virginia State Capitol prior to burial. See his official statement honoring Justice Hassell)

Chief Justice Hassell was the first black person to serve in that position. He was a native Virginian, and proudly so. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli included this 2003 quote in the Richmond Times-Dispatch in his statement honoring Mr. Hassell:

I do not wish to serve, however, because I happen to be black. Rather, I desire to serve because I am a Virginian by birth who has a strong affection and love for the commonwealth and its people.

He will be missed. He was a man of great faith, intellect, warmth, stature and humility.

Later in the morning, a bombshell e-mail from a political consultant friend: U.S. Senator Jim Webb will not run for re-election in 2012 (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog). Though not totally unexpected, the timing (through no fault of Senator Webb) was strange, so soon after the sad news about Justice Hassell. Mr. Webb had not actively engaged in fundraising and many thought from the beginning he would term limit himself, given the flukish nature of his election — and a possible Defense Secretary appointment in a potential Obama second term.

Now, the attention turns to who the Democrats will nominate. Early speculation ranges from everyone from former Governor Tim Kaine and Terry McAuliffe (if he can be pulled away from running for governor) to former Congressmen Rick Boucher and Tom Periello, to Krystal Ball, who unsuccessfully challenged Republican Rob Wittman in the first district last year.