The Los Angeles Times's love affair with Barack Obama continues to writhe hot and heavy. We've reported on it in the past here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
The paper continued its string of flattering, adulatory profiles of Obama yesterday (Sat. 9/8/07) with a generous, front-page, 2100+-word piece. With the article are two photos, including a nice full-color pic of Barack and his wife Michelle enjoying a smooch (see images of the article here and here). As with other pieces the paper has run on Obama, any unflattering episodes about the candidate are downplayed or excused.
During a report on Friday's The Situation Room about each party's message regarding the war on terrorism, CNN's Bill Schneider slanted the piece toward plugging Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' challenge to Republicans. Schneider relayed the desire by Republicans to make the 2008 election about the war on terror, and, after summarizing Edwards' proposal for an "aggressive new policy against terrorism," Schneider concluded the report: "Edwards' message is: If the Republicans want to refight the 2004 campaign, bring'em on." (Transcript follows)
Since it is the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Jack Kerouac's ground-breaking book, "On The Road," many are using the occasion to reminisce about the author. However, Tom Hayden is using this anniversary as a way to lament in the Huffington Post over the fact that Kerouac was too much of an iconoclast to buy into his collectivist leftwing agenda:
Every now and then one has to read an article four or five times to actually believe someone could possibly write such nonsense.
The following item, from Time magazine's special report "The 50 Worst Cars of All Time," has to qualify as one of the most absurd pieces of...journalism I've come across so far this year (h/t NB reader Paul Head).
To set this up, it goes without saying that Ford's creation of the Model T represents a seminal moment in American history as it made cars affordable to the general population for the very first time, and caused a huge economic explosion in our nation.
Alas, that's not how Time sees it (emphasis added to really point out the stupidity):
Never's a long time, but, "Never Enough" seems appropriate for the state Democrats and their enablers over at the Denver Post. This morning, the paper's Local & Western Politics Blog runs an uncritical story about the desire of state Democrats to raise taxes again under the title, "Seventeen tax proposals under discussion in Colorado." The two liberal groups quoted, the Bell Policy Center and the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, are not identified as such. Members of Bell campagned with Ref C supporters a couple of years ago. And the CFPI's parent institute, the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, describes its mission as: "The Colorado Center on Law and Policy's mission is to promote justice and economic security for all Coloradans, particularly lower income people.
"CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric couldn't possibly expect to be criticized by a fellow, female, liberal journalist when she went to Iraq last week to report firsthand what was going on in that embattled nation.
Yet, on Sunday's "Reliable Sources," Salon editor-in-chief Joan Walsh ripped the leading member of the media sisterhood for "lobbing kind of softball questions," and not "working terribly hard to go beyond that kind of puff piece drop in for a few days kind of journalism."
In fact, Walsh demonstrated what happens when a discernibly liberal press representative dares to do an impartial, balanced report which doesn't exclusively bash Republicans, the president, and the war:
If you watched any television newscasts Friday, or read a paper Saturday, you were bombarded with claims of doom and gloom as a result of the August unemployment report showing 4,000 fewer people on American payrolls than in July.
Yet, what media largely ignored were shifting sociological population dynamics indicating this summer's poor jobs gains could be caused by the smallest percentage of teenagers seeking work since such data started being collected in 1948.
In fact, though the "civilian noninstitutional population" of persons sixteen to nineteen-years-old reached 17 million for the first time in history last month, only 5.665 million of these teens were employed, the fewest for any August since 1965 when the population of such young adults was only 13 million.
Isn't this newsworthy? Well, there's much more that was ignored in this report for those actually interested in facts rather than excessively bearish, pessimistic spin.
The state of Delaware's largest daily, the News Journal, writes that the state's 'All-white court casts long shadow' and laments that there is no African-American serving on the state's Supreme Court.
A former border state whose citizens kept slaves but also supported the Underground Railroad, Delaware today has a rich tradition of black culture and achievement.
But unlike other states with such diverse populations -- and many whose residents are far more monochromatic -- Delaware has never had a black jurist on its Supreme Court, the last stop for most criminal and civil decision-making.
Stop the presses! ABC's got a scoop: the situation in Iraq isn't ideal.
Trying to pave the way for the rejection of the Petraeus report, today's "Good Morning America" took the tack that the lack of complete calm is proof of the surge's failure.
Co-anchor Kate Snow set the negative tone by displaying a poll finding to the effect a majority of Americans believe the Petraeus report "will try to make things look better" in Iraq rather than portraying the situation "honestly."
Then it was on to a report from Iraq by ABC's Terry McCarthy. Don't miss the video of Snow and co-anchor Bill Weir walking in unison across the GMA stage, crossing a floor-map of Iraq to a video screen displaying McCarthy's report. Their studied maneuver reminded me of a bridesmaid and groom attendant doing their earnest best at a wedding rehearsal.
The leitmotif of McCarthy's report: yeah, things might be better in Iraq, but darn it, they're not perfect.
What is it about the Clintons that prompts supposedly cynical political reporters to use gauzy metaphors? In Sunday's Washington Post Book World, reporter Peter Baker reviewed Bill Clinton's book Giving by oozing about Bill and Hillary: "The notion of Bill Clinton taking on a secondary role as his wife leads a presidential campaign and, at least potentially, the country, has always been hard to imagine. For a man who has spent his life at the center of his own comet, it must be an enormous challenge to find the right place as another streaks toward the sun."
Maybe this is just another day at the office for a reporter who was so dazzled riding along with Hillary Clinton in Egypt in 1999 that he lamented she was settling for the Senate when people she met on her trip wanted her to be "Queen of the World."
Projection: The attribution of one's own attitudes, feelings, or suppositions to others.
Could Maureen Dowd's idée fixe -- that Republicans seek father figures -- be the projection of the columnist's deep-seated desire for a strong man of her own? Dowd's columns are as much pop psychology as political commentary. The NY Times columnist understands virtually everything in terms of the underlying impulses of the id, ego and super-ego.
When it comes to presidential preferences, Dowd's theory is that Republicans seek strong men who will dole out discipline and authority. Take today's [p.p.v.] opus, Old School Inanity, in which Dowd twice trots out her father-figure formula [emphasis added]:
In the past couple of days, the media have reported "grim" melting of ice in the Arctic while disgracefully ignoring the history of the region prior to 1979 and explorations of the area as far back as 1903.
As the Washington Post reported Friday (emphasis added):
The Arctic ice cap is melting faster than scientists had expected and will shrink 40 percent by 2050 in most regions, with grim consequences for polar bears, walruses and other marine animals, according to government researchers.
Unfortunately, like the Post, most press outlets conveniently ignored a crucial element of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration study being cited. As reported by the Seattle Times Friday (emphasis added):
Writing for the September 9 Style & Arts section, Washington Post staff writer Jonathan Padget found a queer angle on an upcoming NBC action drama. The ratings-challenged network is remaking the 1970s "Bionic Woman" sci-fi series. It's a ratings gamble for the peacock network with any demographic, yet Padget seems to peg the success of the show on gay viewers, and finds a way to smack around former "Grey's Anatomy" co-star Isaiah Washington in the process:
What's a thoroughly postmodern gay to do when one of the iconic heroines of '70s television is relaunched on a network that eagerly embraces an actor who gets dumped from his hit show on another network after proving himself all too comfortable with a certain homophobic slur?
You better put down your drinks, and make sure there's nothing in your mouths, for the New York Times's David Brooks made a comment on Friday's News Hour that is guaranteed to evoke uncontrollable fits of laughter from those on the right side of the aisle.
*****Updates at end of post include similar opinions from conservative bloggers, as well as a video of a CNN correspondent saying roughly the same thing, and a response from the Kos Kidz.
After introducing regular guests Brooks and Mark Shields, host Jim Lehrer asked their opinions concerning the just-released Osama bin Laden video.
Brooks was second up with this absolutely marvelous observation (final warning to put down your drinks, video available here):
Almost everybody within earshot of a broadcasting device yesterday knows that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a net loss of 4,000 jobs in the economy in August. Unemployment rate, at 4.6%, was unchanged.
Reporting, and misreporting, by the New York Times and Associated Press set Old Media's template for the story. Some reports, including this one by Vikas Bajaj at the Times, laid the entire onus of the loss on private companies:
Companies reduced their payrolls by 4,000 jobs in August, a sudden turnaround from the net increase of 68,000 jobs in July.
Much as when the organization he leads quietly made changes to the United States historical climate record at the prodding of Climate Audit's Stephen McIntyre, James Hansen of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies finally released critical computer codes scientists have wanted for years, but did so with absolutely no official press release.
As a result, not one media outlet covered this occurrence that years from now could be seen as a huge turning point in the climate change debate.
Despite the secrecy, there was great celebration amongst anthropogenic global warming skeptics that have wanted these closely held codes to be able to identify how NASA and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration make adjustments to raw climate data collected by weather stations.
One such skeptic is Anthony Watts, who happily reported Saturday (emphasis added):
Let's give Katie Couric (and her producer Rick Kaplan) some credit for doing a better job interviewing Syrian dictator Bashar Assad then Diane Sawyer's flippant what's-on-your-iPod interview back in February. On Friday's edition of The Early Show, Couric appeared live to introduce the taped piece. She pressed the Syrian leader on his support for insurgents going across his border into Iraq, and even aggressively pushed him with a quote from Sen. Joseph Lieberman arguing that "The notion that Al Qaeda recruits are slipping into and through the Damascus airport unbeknownst to you and others is totally unbelievable. It is therefore time to demand that the Syrian regime stop playing travel agent for Al Qaeda in Iraq."
Couric explained "during that interview, he denied that Syria was as big a feeding point for terrorists going into Iraq as the United States contends." MRC's Kyle Drennen captured the transcript:
While media carped and whined about the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina devastating New Orleans, a judge in Gulfport, Mississippi, ruled on a lawsuit filed against oil, coal, and electric utility companies that could have significant implications on future litigation involving greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.
Unfortunately, from what I can tell, not one press outlet found the judge's decision at all newsworthy. Not one!
To set this up, NewsBusters reported on August 15 a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of a number of Mississippians claiming that the greenhouse gas emissions of a very long list of companies doing business in the Gulf exacerbated the strength of Hurricane Katrina thereby making them responsible for the citizens' financial losses.
On Friday, LexisNexis Mealey's Legal News reported (very grateful h/t NBer Par for the Course):