Mother Teresa died ten years ago this week, just days after Princess Diana perished in a car crash, displaying a very interesting comparison in media reactions. Princess Diana, molded by so much positive publicity over the years into a "secular saint" when she died, drew superior coverage, both in amount and in tone. Mother Teresa's publicity was also very positive over the years, of course, but the media seemed more willing to solicit harsh criticism of her life, even at the time of her death. Brent Bozell chronicled that story in his column ten years ago:
Just last fall, as the networks exploded with coverage of Mark Foley's creepy instant messaging, we noted the networks (like ABC) had a very different way of covering Republican sex scandals -- especially the gay-themed ones -- than they did for Democrats. The best example is Barney Frank.
Notice how the networks define hypocrisy, and how liberals never seem to qualify. Frank was a lawmaker with a male-prostitution ring in his house, not to mention a lawmaker who kept getting the pimp's parking tickets waved off. Notice how they all mention "the voters" will decide, instead of going searching for legislators and party activists to underline his need to resign.
The people who manufacture the news in America are very persistent at writing the narrative exactly as it helps liberalism emerge victorious. On ethical scandals, they're very good at making sure Republicans force theirs to resign, and they're also very good at keeping Democrats shamelessly in power.
Yesterday, we brought you a classic example of How Liberals Think. Step one: identify a problem. Step two: propose "massive" government welfare programs to address it. The column was plucked from the pages of the Boston Globe. Today, the Globe's Big Apple corporate parent, the New York Times, gives another good illustration of the mindset.
As the title of its editorial indicates, Help for the $82,000 Family makes the case that families earning that much, or perhaps even more -- in excess of 300% of the poverty level -- should be entitled to participate in a healthcare welfare program known as S-chip.
If you needed any more evidence as to how little actor Alec Baldwin actually knows about politics, it was provided Saturday evening in the second sentence of his article at the Huffington Post (emphasis added):
"Even though [then Rep. Larry] Craig voted to censor Barney Frank for Frank's tryst with a male prostitute."
To begin with, Alec, the term is censure.
Adding insult to injury, a vote on censuring Frank never happened, for as reported by the New York Times on July 20, 1990 (emphasis added):
Brian De Palma wants to stop the war, and he thinks his new movie about an Iraqi girl's rape can help, regardless of the consequences or the rights and privacy of Iraqis. In a Friday August 31 Reuters article, De Palma asserted “The movie is an attempt to bring the reality of what is happening in Iraq to the American people.Sky News online picked up the thread that he hoped his film "Redacted" will alert people about “these horrible things things that are happening, this horrible war that I am financing as an American citizen.”
De Palma's comments were made Friday, at the Venice Film Festival, after showing the movie that is supposedly based on the rape of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl from Mahmudiya who was then killed and her house set on fire. You know, every day stuff in the military.
“Redacted” is a do-over for De Palma, who made the same movie back in 1989 when it was called “Casualties of War” and starred Michael J. Fox. This is De Palma's second try at the “American military rapes indigenous girl and everyone laughs, but the sensitive guy feels sorry and tells; someone has nightmares, and the military is still bad” storyline. At least it wasn't “The Bonfire of the Vanities 2.”
In a subscription-only editorial yesterday, Wall Street Journal Editorial Board member Stephen Moore notes that many countries in the rest of the world, including a few you'd never expect, are adopting the tax-cutting policies of Ronald Reagan, to their benefit:
Earlier this year the cover of Time Magazine depicted Ronald Reagan with a tear running down his cheek -- the message being that the political class has abandoned the Reagan legacy.....
Ironically, the Reagan economic philosophy of lower taxes, less regulation and free trade has never been more in vogue abroad -- so much so that it has become the global economic operating system.
Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich makes a hugging gesture toward the audience as moderator Margaret Carlson (rear) watches after Kucinich's his turn speaking at the Visible Vote '08 Presidential Forum sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and broadcast on the Logo Network in Hollywood August 9, 2007.
If it turned out that any of the major Republican presidential candidates had not only taken contributions from the recently surrendered fugitive Norman Hsu, but also had received donations from a felon during a prior campaign, do you think it would be reported?
Probably on front pages and newscasts for days, correct?
Well, although ABC's Brian Ross did mention during Friday's "World News with Charles Gibson" that Hillary Clinton's "kickoff senate fund-raiser in 2000 was organized by a convicted felon," not one news agency has mentioned since Wednesday's Hsu revelations the name of this individual, all the particulars, or that there is still a lawsuit pending against the Clintons concerning the matter.
For those interested, the New Media Journal did a seven-part series about Peter F. Paul last March with information about Hillary's largest benefactor which the media have almost completely ignored for seven years (emphasis added throughout, videos describing the details also available here, here, and here):
When I saw the New York Times headline "As Her Star Wanes, Rice Tries to Reshape Legacy," I really wasn't prepared for the amount of vitriol about to be heaped on the current Secretary of State.
In the end, I was sorry I even looked.
Helene Cooper's piece on Saturday began by addressing a May 25 article in the Stanford Daily, the newspaper of Stanford University, which discussed the possibility that Condoleezza Rice could return to the highly-regarded institution when President Bush's second term is over in January 2009.
Rather than citing one word from the article, Cooper instead shared reader reactions to it (emphasis added throughout):
Several media outlets used the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina as an excuse to promote the 2008 Democratic candidates. On CNN, right after running a glowing piece on Democrats such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, anchor Soledad O’Brien sermonized that "no event has damaged the Bush White House more than Katrina." Over on ABC, "Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts claimed that candidates from "both parties" would travel to New Orleans to "point out the Bush administration's shortcomings in fixing many problems that still exist, like those being forced to still live in trailers."
"Hardball" regular David Shuster managed to combine both the Katrina coverage with the scandal over Senator Larry Craig. He bizarrely claimed that the Craig incident "adds moral insult to the injuries being suffered today by the victims of Hurricane Katrina."
Sometimes, after you read a story from the MSM, you have to sit back and say to yourself, "just what in the heck that was all about?" Such is the case with the AP's latest titled "Clooney: Obama's like a rock star," a story that seems to present George Clooney's political opinion as if he is somehow a respected policy wonk, political pundit, or a well-known intellectual. There is no pretext for this story presenting Clooney's political meanderings and no sensible reason why the AP is presenting his blather as news. The AP just presents it straight forwardly as if it is somehow news we all just need to know. All in all, it is an amazing report for its senselessness, cluelessness, and pointlessness. On the other hand, it fits to a tee with the APs editorial position on politics and the world and this fact alone surely accounts for its publication.
You're a liberal. You've identified a problem -- the massive loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States; a net loss of 4.6 million jobs over the last 20 years. You've even done a decent job of identifying the causes of the problem: "Companies lose market share to foreign low-cost producers . . . or move their operations overseas in search of lower wages . . . or apply production techniques that require fewer workers."
So, what's your solution? Measures like reducing taxes and regulation to make U.S. manufacturers more competitive, perhaps? Of course not! Remember, you're a liberal. No, your solution is what you yourself describe as a "massive" new welfare program for affected workers and communities that will contribute to making U.S. manufacturers even less competitive and destroy even more jobs!
The “Scrapbook” section in next week's (September 10 cover date) Weekly Standard magazine excoriates actor Tim Robbins for charging, on last week's (August 24) Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, that, referring to Iraq, “we've killed over 400,000 of their citizens.” The un-bylined article commented: “He's wrong, of course. American soldiers have not been slaughtering 300 Iraqis a day for the last four years. Even for one of Hollywood's most feculent personalities, this is an appalling slander of U.S. troops.” Citing the Iraq Body Count Web site, the magazine pointed out that “the antiwar group's 'maximum count'” of “'civilian deaths caused by coalition military action and by military or paramilitary responses to the coalition presence (e.g. insurgent and terrorist attacks)'” as well as “'excess civilian deaths caused by criminal action resulting from the breakdown in law and order which followed the coalition invasion,'” stands at 77,555, “one-fifth the number concocted by Robbins's overactive imagination.”
The week had a gusher of economic news, and most of it was favorable:
Thursday, 2nd Quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was revised sharply upward to 4.0% from July's initial estimate of 3.4%; the final GDP number for the second quarter comes out in late September.
The most comprehensive quarterly housing report issued, from the government's Office for Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), showed that home prices nationwide increased ever so slightly during the 2nd quarter, and were 3.19% higher than a year earlier. That year-over-year result is greater than inflation during the same period.
The only really bad news I can think of at the moment: Consumer confidence took a hit in two different reports during the week (here and here).
Well of course consumer confidence was due for a hit. With the press, especially Time Magazine, working overtime to make the housing situation look like the crisis of the century, it's a wonder that anyone's getting out of bed to face the day.
Norman Hsu's appearance in a San Mateo County, California courtroom Friday to answer for a 1991 grand larceny charge, prompted full stories Friday night on the ABC and CBS evening newscasts catching up with the case of the fugitive donor to many Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton. On Thursday night, the NBC Nightly News became the first broadcast network program to report on Hsu, in a story from Lisa Myers detailed in this NB item, and on Friday night anchor Brian Williams offered a brief update about Hsu's court appearance.
On Friday's CBS Evening News, Sandra Hughes pointed out how “a large group of Hsu's bundling checks came from this little green house in Daly City, California that Hsu once listed as a home address. The Paw family, which lives here, has given $45,000 to Hillary Clinton since 2005.” Hughes also noted how Clinton has returned $23,000 in direct donations from Hsu, but on ABC's World News, Brian Ross reported that “in the last year Hsu has helped to raise more than a million dollars for Senator Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign” and he highlighted how Hsu “was scheduled to be one of the hosts of a major Clinton fundraiser in California next month.” Ross also saw a pattern, as he recalled a fact which has received little broadcast network air time -- that Clinton's “kickoff Senate fundraiser in 2000 was organized by a convicted felon.”
Thanks to a Wednesday night AP story by David Bauder (Breitbart, WashPost.com) CNN's Jack Cafferty and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough on Thursday highlighted the Media Research Center's new study, “Rise and Shine on Democrats: How the ABC, CBS and NBC Morning Shows Are Promoting Democrats on the Road to the White House” (Executive Summary). It found that, from January through July, the ABC, CBS and NBC morning shows devoted nearly twice the time to stories about, and interviews with, Democratic over Republican presidential candidates, avoided placing liberal labels on Democrats and also overwhelmingly posed questions which pressed candidates of both parties from the left.
NewsBusters and the MRC's CyberAlert regularly criticize Cafferty for his left-wing rants and attacks on conservatives, but we can't complain about his straight-forward summary Thursday night of the MRC's study: “The network morning news shows have given a lot more air time to the Democratic presidential candidates than to the Republican ones. That's according to a conservative media watchdog outfit called the Media Research Center.” Reading replies later in the hour, Cafferty included one which asserted “the media are overwhelmingly biased in favor of the Democrats. 90 percent of the media voted for Kerry.” But Cafferty couldn't resist ending with this one: “All are being fair except for the F-word network!”
Video clip of the August 30 “Cafferty File” segment in the 7pm EDT hour (1:10): Real (2 MB) or Windows Media (2.4 MB), plus MP3 audio (400 KB)
NBC’s "Today" Show’s heart-touching feature on Geraldine Ferraro’s blood cancer survival on Friday morning gave a hint at the ulterior motive that they had for running it. Substitute host Ann Curry introduced the segment, a "Today’s Update" feature by gushing, "She’s always been a ground-breaker, and she is still at it."
In the segment which ran during the 8 am hour of "Today," NBC News national correspondent Jamie Gangel interviewed Ferraro about her nine-year-long struggle against a type of blood cancer called multiple myeloma. Gangel, in her retrospective look at Ferraro’s 1984 run for vice-president, which introduced the segment, reported, "In 1984, Geraldine Ferraro made history as the first woman picked to run for vice president.... Twenty-three years later, she's making history again, but this time, medical history."
Anna Quindlen has advice for the Republican Party: Throw religious conservatives overboard. In her Sept. 3 Newsweek column. "Disinvited to the Party," she lauds the heartland's apparent embrace of Rudy Giuliani despite his serial marriages and "quasi-liberal positions on abortion, gay rights and gun control." To Quindlen, "quasi" means not adopting the actual platform language of the Democratic Party.
Quindlen's rant is a typical leftist smear, lamenting the rise of the Religious Right and blaming it on ... sheer malice. She fails to acknowledge the political and cultural forces that have assailed every traditional institution from church to the Boy Scouts. She fails to recognize that social conservatives could possibly be human beings with real interests who don't want to turn all personal responsibility for their lives over to government bureaucrats.
Here's her nostalgic look at the Republican Party she used to love: