New indictments on theft and perjury charges handed down against Democratic Mayor <a href="/people/sheila-dixon" target="_blank">Sheila Dixon</a> are a <a href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bal-dixon803,0,3065918.story" target="_blank">“blow to Baltimore’s pride”</a> leading “political watchers” to huff in disgust that it’s time to “get this over with,” reports Annie Linskey this morning at BaltimoreSun.com.<br /><br />Of course almost all of the political watchers quoted in the story – the exception being University of Virginia’s Larry J. Sabato – are, like Dixon, Democratic officeholders:<br /><blockquote>The new indictments issued last week in the City Hall corruption probe has many of Baltimore's political leaders impatient for resolution to a case that has spanned three years and left the city's reputation in limbo.<br /><br />"Most people I talk to are saying 'Let's just get this over with,' " said Baltimore Del. Curtis S. Anderson, a Democrat. "Let's get to trial and see what really happened."<br />
Ken Shepherd lives in New Carrollton, Md., with his wife, Laura, and children Mercy and Abraham. Ken graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland in 2001 with a Bachelors of Arts in Government & Politics and a citation in Public Leadership.
Ken has worked full-time for the Media Research Center since May 2001 and prior to that was an MRC New Analysis Division intern from October 1998 to May 2001.
In his spare time, Ken enjoys karaoke, tennis, reading, and discussing theology or politics.
<p>Blogger Jane Q. Republican has been reporting over at the <a href="http://ashevilleteaparty.wordpress.com/" target="_blank">blog for the Asheville, North Carolina, TEA Party</a> about a local newspaper reporter who was slated <a href="http://ashevilleteaparty.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/of-interest-to-local-a... target="_blank">to appear last Thursday evening</a> at a local MoveOn.org rally pushing for ObamaCare.</p><p>The reporter, Leslie Boyd of the Gannett-owned Asheville Citizen-Times, ended up cancelling her scheduled appearance at the <a href="http://pol.moveon.org/event/events/attendees/index.html?event_id=94577&a... target="_blank">July 23 rally</a> in front of Rep. Heath Shuler's (D-N.C.) district offices, but as Jane Q. notes, Boyd's plan to attend the rally as a participant violated specific provisions of the Gannett chain's code of conduct for journalists:</p><blockquote>
<p><img src="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/07/2009-07-31-Reverand... alt="photo by Associated Press | NewsBusters.org" vspace="3" width="186" align="right" border="0" height="190" hspace="3" />Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II, more popularly known as "Rev. Ike", has gone to his reward. The 74-year old prosperity gospel huckster died on July 29 in Los Angeles. </p><p>But in covering the story, the Associated Press and the Washington Post have carelessly tarnished legitimate preachers of the Christian Gospel by association, by lumping in Eikerenkoetter with more biblically orthodox Protestant preachers as an "evangelist."</p><p>The July 30 Associated Press obituary, <a href="http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1913662,00.html" target="_blank">linked here as syndicated at Time.com</a>, directly called "Rev. Ike" an "evangelist," while <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/30/AR200907... target="_blank">Joe Holley's July 31 obit</a> at the Washington Post indirectly styled the religious con man as an evangelist by comparing his popularity to Billy Graham:</p><blockquote><p>Claiming more followers during his heyday than any evangelist except Billy Graham, he earned an estimated million dollars a month from listeners across the hemisphere. </p></blockquote><p>But Holley's obituary makes clear "Rev. Ike" was interested not with saving souls but bringing in the sheaves of greenbacks:</p><blockquote>
<p>The average Israeli -- unlike globe-trotting liberal journalists -- is provincial and blissfully unaware of how wrong-headed his government is. That's why Barack Obama needs to work his persuasive charm on the Israeli public in order to put pressure on the Netanyahu government to accede to the Obama administration's demands as regards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. </p><p>That's according to <a href="/people/newspaper-magazine-wire/joe-klein" target="_blank">Time's Joe Klein</a>, who of course argued thus in a longer-winded and softer-sounding manner in his <a href="http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2009/07/28/our-israeli-allies/" target="_blank">July 28 blog post</a> (emphasis mine):</p><blockquote>
<p>Don't think of it as another tax. Think of it as tough love from Uncle Sam.</p><p>That's how Melissa Healy tried to sell Los Angeles Times readers on the notion of junk food sin taxes in her July 27 entry -- "<a href="http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2009/07/tough-love-for-fat... target="_blank">Tough love for fat people: Tax their food to pay for healthcare</a>" -- at the paper's Booster Shots blog:</p><blockquote><p>When historians look back to identify the pivotal moments in the nation's struggle against obesity, they might point to the current period as the moment when those who influenced opinion and made public policy decided it was time to take the gloves off.</p><p> As evidence of this new "get-tough" strategy on obesity, they may well cite a study released today by the Urban Institute titled "<a href="http://www.urban.org/">Reducing Obesity: Policy Strategies From the Tobacco Wars</a>."</p><p>[...]</p>
<p>Reliably liberal journalist Bonnie Erbe almost caused a few heads to explode here at Media Research Center headquarters today when yours truly passed along her July 21 blog post entitled, "<a href="http://www.usnews.com/blogs/erbe/2009/07/21/democrats-meaningless-tax-th... target="_blank">Democrats' Meaningless "Tax the Rich" Proposals Will Lead to Class Warfare</a>."</p><p>The PBS "To the Contrary" host and U.S. News & World Report contributing editor slammed the idea floating in Congress of adding a surtax on "the rich" to pay for health care:</p><blockquote><p>Perhaps Democrats are developing some sensitivity on their "tax the rich" theme. I can't see NOT taxing the rich. It's just that I disagree with the Democrats' definition of rich. The only way to fairly assess all Americans for the ridiculously expensive programs Democrats are pushing is to enact a flat income tax. Then upper-income persons necessarily pay more in taxes, as 10 percent of $100,000 is a lot more than 10 percent of $20,000. But that'll never happen, so tax-hungry Democrats are going the route of class wars. </p></blockquote><p>Fortunately for us, and you, our cranial pressure reduced when we came across the requisite Bush-bashing packed deeper in her blog post:</p><blockquote>
<p>Just six months into his presidency, President Barack Obama's administration is the target of a federal lawsuit, and that by a civil servant who alleges he was dismissed from his post in violation of the requirements of a law that Barack Obama himself once sponsored in the Senate.</p><p>Yet despite all this, the July 21 Washington Post print edition failed to carry the story, directing readers with this 39-word teaser atop page A15 (The Fed Page) to a Post blog:</p><blockquote><p>Former Inspector General Files Suit: Gerald Walpin, an inspector general who was fired last month by the Obama administration, has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, arguing that his removal was unlawful. Read more at washingtonpost.com/federaleye. </p></blockquote><p>Here's an excerpt from Washington Post staffer Ed O'Keefe's July 20 Federal Eye blog post, "<a href="http://voices.washingtonpost.com/federal-eye/2009/07/fired_ig_gerald_wal... target="_blank">Fired IG Gerald Walpin Files Suit</a>":</p><blockquote>
<p>She's the nation's <a href="http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1077/is_11_58/ai_106700553/" target="_blank">first black female billionaire</a>, a co-founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) whose political contributions <a href="http://www.opensecrets.org/indivs/search.php?name=Johnson%2C+Sheila&... target="_blank">skew heavily Democratic</a>, and in 2005 she backed the now outgoing-Democratic Gov.Tim Kaine's bid for office. But now Sheila C. Johnson has crossed the aisle to endorse Republican Bob McDonnell in his bid to be Virginia's chief executive, arguing that he has a better grasp on economic issues than his Democratic opponent. </p><p>Yet in reporting the news of the endorsement, the Washington Post elected to leave any word of Johnson's endorsement from its Metro front page headline. Instead, the Post blandly offered readers this headline and subheader:</p><blockquote><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/20/AR200907... target="_blank">Business Leaders Are Major Prize In Va. Race</a>: McDonnell, Deeds Seek Credibility Among Execs</blockquote><p>Indeed, in her July 21 story, staffer Rosalind Helderman pitted McDonnell's newsworthy endorsement against a "competing" announcement from the camp of McDonnell's Democratic opponent:</p><blockquote>
<p>In a highly individualistic and pluralistic America, there's some truth to the notion that the average religious Protestant tends to be a bit of a church shopper. Recent <a href="http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1894361,00.html" target="_blank">polling data</a> have shown that American Christians tend to hop around a bit over their lifetime between different denominations. So in some respect, the spiritual smorgasbord that is the American religious scene could be viewed, crassly, as a marketplace of competing brands and tastes. </p><p>That being said, it's not the only or primary lens through which religious reporters should see their beat. Enter US News & World Report "God & Country" blogger Dan Gilgoff, who wrote last week on the Episcopal Church USA's<a href="http://www.usnews.com/blogs/god-and-country/2009/07/16/the-episcopal-chu... target="_blank"> move to allow</a> the ordination of openly gay clergy. </p><p>In a <a href="http://www.usnews.com/blogs/god-and-country/2009/07/17/tapping-the-marke... target="_blank">follow-up blog post</a> entitled "Tapping the Market for Gay-Friendly Churches," Gilgoff painted the ECUSA and other liberal mainline churches as having been unable thus far to successfully market themselves to apolitical evangelicals. Yet in doing so, Gilgoff reveals not only that he views religious denominations as competing brands, but that he confuses fundamentally theological and ethical concerns with political ones (emphasis mine):</p><blockquote>
<p><img border="0" vspace="3" align="right" width="240" src="/static/2008/02/2008-02-12MSNBCKlein.jpg" hspace="3" height="180" />So what's the biggest obstacle to Mideast peace? Hamas terrorists who refuse to accept Israel has a right to exist? Perhaps the Iranian government that finances anti-Israel terror operations? Neither, according to Time's Joe Klein (shown at right in file photo), who insists in a <a target="_blank" href="http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2009/07/20/israels-rejectionist-front/">... 20 Swampland </a>blog post the fault lies with Israel:</p><blockquote><p>Benjamin Netanyahu's phony flexibility on a two-state solution was always <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/20/world/middleeast/20israel.html?ref=wor... it's now becoming apparent that Israel is the prime impediment to progress in the Middle East. Over the weekend, the State Department asked Israel's Ambassador Michael Oren to convey U.S. displeasure over continued Israeli settlement expansion in Jerusalem, which Netanyahu rejected out of hand. </p></blockquote><p>Although Netanyahu and his coalition government won their February election -- some three months after Obama won his and just weeks after his inauguration-- fair and square, Klein makes clear he has no use for the will of the Israeli people and the decisions of their duly-elected government if and when they peeve the Obama administration:</p><blockquote>
A search of Nexis shows that, from June 13-20, the Washington Post printed about 39 articles and columns pertaining to the fraudulent June 12 Iranian election, including nine page A1 stories. Some of the front page stories dealt with the Obama administration's response to the developments, such as Glenn Kessler's June 18 piece, "U.S. Struggling to Right Response to Iran."
Fast forward nearly a month later to July 15. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton essentially tells the Council on Foreign Relations that the right response is to nag Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about the Obama administration's determination to sit down with him.
Yes,the Iranian protests may have temporarily "shifted" the push for direct talks with Iran, but President Obama's offer still stands. After all, Clinton noted, the Obama foreign policy shop is committed to "a more flexible and pragmatic posture" with Iran.
Keeping in mind that the Iranian election is still hotly disputed inside that country -- opposition candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi won't concede to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- reporting the story on the front page of the next day's paper could reasonably be expected. Failing that, a story in "The World" section (pp. A8-A13) would also be appropriate.
Yet the Washington Post today did neither, failing to carry the story. Here's how CNN.com reported Clinton's remarks in a story filed the afternoon of July 15 (emphasis mine):
<p><img src="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/07/ilovelucy.jpg" vspace="3" width="240" align="right" border="0" height="161" hspace="3" />Might Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) have some "'splainin' to do" about racial insensitivity? Both Associated Press editor <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/ynews_pl701;_ylt=AlEqEJDXv.ZFcssKoeHkMRms0... target="_blank">Michael Giarrusso</a> and <a href="http://www.politico.com/blogs/glennthrush/0709/Coburn_might_have_some_sp... target="_blank">Politico's Glenn Thrush</a> raised the question in blog posts filed this morning. </p><p>Shortly before noon, Giarrusso noted that "Sen. Tom Coburn evoked a 1950s TV show in a quip responding to Sonia Sotomayor’s scenario about what he might do if she -- hypothetically, of course -- attacked him."</p><p>For online readers unaware of the half-century-old pop culture reference, Giarrusso explained:</p>
<p>Steven Rattner, a former New York Times reporter whose short tenure as Obama's so-called car czar "came under a cloud in April when details of alleged influence-peddling surfaced," announced his resignation yesterday, the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/13/AR200907... target="_blank">Washington Post's Peter Whoriskey and Tomoeh Murakami Tse</a> reported today.</p><p>Yet despite President Obama's penchant for naming numerous <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE54S5U120090529" target="_blank">policy czars</a>, news of the resignation was shuffled off to page A11 rather than trumpeted on the front page. Curiously, the Post did find space below the fold on page A1 for a story that basically boils down to how the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/13/AR200907... target="_blank">stress of being U.S. Attorney General</a> is wearing on Eric Holder. </p><p>What's more, the Rattner story itself is front-loaded with praise for Rattner from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Obama-approved GM chief Fritz Henderson, while less savory details about the influence-peddling investigation were buried towards the end of the 18-paragraph article. </p>
<div style="float: right"><object height="194" width="240"><param name="movie" value="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=Gd4zkUaGuz&c1=0x2F8A85&... name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=Gd4zkUaGuz&c1=0x2F8A85&... allowfullscreen="true" height="194" width="240"></embed></object></div>Last Tuesday, NewsBusters Editor-at-Large <a href="/blogs/brent-baker/2009/07/07/seven-soldiers-killed-afghanistan-get-1-20th-time-given-jackson" target="_blank">Brent Baker noted</a> that seven soldiers who had been killed the week prior in Afghanistan received just 1/20th of the evening newscast time that ABC, CBS, and NBC devoted to the passing of pop star Michael Jackson. <p>The same day, NewsBusters Publisher and Media Research Center President <a href="/blogs/nb-staff/2009/07/07/seven-u-s-soldiers-killed-afghanistan-get-1-20th-coverage-jackson-death" target="_blank">Brent Bozell</a> slammed the broadcast networks in a statement: "There is no justification for determining that the death of a celebrity over a week ago merits 20 times more news coverage than the tragic deaths of American soldiers in Afghanistan."</p><p>Perhaps in some measure reacting to the criticism, CBS's "Sunday Morning" program yesterday aired a nearly 3-minute-long opinion segment featuring Martha Gillis, whose nephew, 1st Lt. Brian Bradshaw, was killed on June 25 in Afghanistan. </p><p>In the video, Gillis criticized the media for its lack of coverage [audio <a href="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/07/2009-07-12-CBS-Gill... target="_blank">available here</a>]:</p><blockquote>
<p>The recession and new regulation are the prevailing winds preventing the windmill energy industry from picking up speed, the Washington Post's Jonathan Starkey reported in his <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/11/AR200907... target="_blank">July 11 story</a>, "Wind Projects at a Standstill."</p><p>Yet Starkey omitted a third reason that can be summed up in three words: Sen. Edward Kennedy.</p><p>The senior Democratic senator from Massachusetts <a href="http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2006/04/27/kennedy... target="_blank">has long opposed</a> a wind farm in Nantucket Sound. Yet while Starkey mentioned the planned project, spearheaded by the Cape Wind Associates, has faced "fierce opposition" he failed to discuss <a href="http://www.tedkennedy.com/mass/861/opposing-cape-wind" target="_blank">Kennedy's role</a> in efforts to scuttle the project:</p><blockquote>
One has to wonder if working for the Washington Post fits the Obama definition of a "shovel-ready" job given the paper's penchant for burying the lede.
Deep within his July 9-filed story "Protesters Clash With Police in Iran," Washington Post Foreign Service correspondent Thomas Erdbrink noted a very interesting development bearing implications on the Obama administration's foreign policy regarding Iran and handling of the global war on terror.
The last six paragraphs of Erdbrink's 18-paragraph story -- which ran in the July 10 print edition on page A12 -- note how the theocratic regime in Tehran praised the Obama administration for its relative silence on the Iranian election aftermath just one day before the U.S. government released Iranian detainees captured two years ago in Iraq (emphasis mine):
Imagine, if you will, an expert on the federal judiciary told a Washington Post reporter a few years ago during the Sam Alito nomination that the conservative jurist took "a kind of carpet-bombing" approach to the law, showing a determination "not to just defeat the other side, but to annihilate it" when rendering his opinions from the bench.
It's hard to image that being buried deep in an article on the jurist.
But of course the nominee in question isn't Alito, it's President Obama's pick of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace outgoing liberal Justice David Souter. Post reporter Jerry Markon opened his July 9 front-pager -- "Uncommon Detail Marks Rulings by Sotomayor" -- by noting Sotomayor's "unusual" attention to detail for an appellate judge.
<div style="float: right"><object width="212" height="172"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/A_kSUNn5rgE&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcf... name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/A_kSUNn5rgE&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcf... type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="212" height="172"></embed></object></div>Gov. Sarah Palin had something to do with the death of pop star Michael Jackson. That's an interesting theory proclaims <a href="http://www.sharptontalk.net/" target="_blank">radio host</a> and Jackson <strike>eulogizer</strike> opportunist Rev. Al Sharpton.<p>Our friend Brian Maloney at <a href="http://radioequalizer.blogspot.com/2009/07/sharpton-caller-links-sarah-p... target="_blank">Radio Equalizer</a> has the story. Embedded at right is the audio of the program in question. I've pasted Maloney's transcript below:</p><blockquote><p>FEMALE CALLER (31:50): He (Michael Jackson) is truly the soundtrack of my life. I also have a theory about Sarah Palin as well and I'm going to put it out there on radio, hopefully someone can investigate.</p>
<p><img src="/static/2008/02/2008-02-12MSNBCKlein.jpg" vspace="3" width="240" align="right" border="0" height="180" hspace="3" />Republicans, particularly those who are the biggest fans of Gov. Sarah Palin, are stuck in the vestiges of the 1984 "white-bread fantasy" of Reagan's "Morning in America," huffs Time magazine's Joe Klein in a July 6 Swampland blog post on "<a href="http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2009/07/06/sarah-palins-america/" target="_blank">Sarah Palin's America</a>":</p><blockquote><p>All this talk about Sarah Palin's constituency being "real Americans" raises the question, yet again, of who the unreal Americans are. Last September, when the Governor burst upon the scene like a head-on collision, I wrote that Palin's America--white folks, small towns, traditional values--was a Republican fantasy, a vestige of Ronald Reagan's "Morning in America" hornswoggle in the 1980s. (This fantasy was reinforced by John McCain's fetishizing of Joe the Unlicensed Plumber.) </p><p>Real America is much different from, and more interesting than, that white-bread fantasy, a problem the Republican Party--the party of immigrant bashing--will be wrestling with for the immediate future.</p></blockquote><p>Klein conveniently omitted that 2008 presidential nominee Sen. John McCain was hardly an immigrant basher, heavily criticized by conservatives in the GOP for his push for amnesty for illegal immigrants. What's more, it was President Reagan who signed the last amnesty bill in 1986, another inconvenient fact that cuts against Klein suggesting Reagan was a quasi-racist xenophobe.</p><p>As if to bolster his own cosmopolitan credentials with which to better slam Gov. Palin as provincial, Klein casually dropped a reference to a party he recently attended in the Islamic Republic of Iran:</p><blockquote>
<p><img src="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/04/2009-04-19-PBS-TTC-... vspace="3" width="240" align="right" border="0" height="180" hspace="3" />What could move avowed atheist Bonnie Erbe to say something positive about religious enthusiasm? Here's a hint, the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_flag_(LGBT_movement)" target="_blank">colors of the rainbow</a>:</p><blockquote><p> I walked into a huge church auditorium and there were thousands of gays and lesbians singing hymns and crying as they watched a gay pastor deliver a sermon, many of them for the first time. It was an extremely emotional experience. </p></blockquote><p>Erbe, a contributing editor at U.S. News & World Report, shared this anecdote in a July 2 blog post entitled "<a href="http://www.usnews.com/blogs/erbe/2009/07/02/gays-arent-necessarily-athei... target="_blank">Gays Aren't Necessarily Atheists</a>," in which the journalist shared two experiences that blew apart her stereotype of openly gay people being atheists. </p><p>Spurred on by an article by colleague Dan Gilgoff entitled, "<a href="http://www.usnews.com/blogs/god-and-country/2009/07/02/gays-step-up-effo... target="_blank">Gays Step Up Efforts to Reverse Gay-as-Godless Stereotype</a>," the PBS "To the Contrary" host confesses: </p>