Patrick Healy's "Political Memo" today in the New York Times portrays Sarah and Todd Palin as pro-choice by misreporting what the Alaska governor said recently about when she was pregnant with son Trig. Here's how Healy reported remarks Palin made Saturday during a campaign rally in Johnstown, PA:
Kathy Seals, a Republican voter who attended the Richmond event, said she admired Ms. Palin for “unabashedly speaking the truth, especially about life and the choices she made about her baby, Trig, and with her daughter.” Ms. Palin’s infant son, who has Down syndrome, is a frequent presence in his mother’s left arm as she shakes hands with supporters and moves from event to event.
Her references to her son are the most personal part of her speech, as she describes being scared when she first learned that the baby would have special needs. She and her husband, Todd, talked, prayed, reflected and ultimately decided to have the child.
One of the "undecided voters" on the panel at the Town Hall Debate - Ben Raybin - describes the experience in a guest article posted at BuzzFlash.com. The tagline at the end of the article notes that Raybin, now a law student at Vanderbilt University, is "a former staff writer for BuzzFlash."
Buzz Flash is a left-wing, pro-Obama, "independent media" website, as anyone can tell by looking at the site or even just their store, the BuzzFlash Progressive Marketplace, where you can support the cause by purchasing Obama stickers, liberal books and Joan Baez records.
As for Raybin, when he was an undergrad student at the University of Chicago - where Obama once served on the law school faculty - Raybin wrote this article for The:New:City, an Australian "web journal of urban and political affairs," while he was studying for a semester at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia
In the article, Raybin writes about what the Australian Labour Party can learn from America's Democratic Party as the ALP seeks to defeat Australia's conservative party.
Time magazine wonders if Sarah Palin has "a Pentecostal problem," but a closer look at Pentecostalism in America finds that while Time magazine may have a problem with Pentecostalism, America certainly doesn't, and there's no reason it should be a problem for Palin the way the race-baiting "G-D America" rantings of Rev. Jeremiah Wright were for Barack Obama.
Time does a fairly good job explaining the Pentecostal wing of American and global Christianity, though it gets some things wrong. (For example, many non-Pentecostal Christians also believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit, though differ in degrees on how it is manifested in the life of the believer. There are many members and leaders, though not all, within the very conservative and decidedly not-Pentecostal Churches of Christ who believe in the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer, for example.)
A couple days ago I had a chat with a friend - a left wing socialist Obama-supporter friend - who warned that Palin's past attendance at an Assemblies of God church would scare off voters the same as Barack Obama's membership in Trinity United Church of Christ became so controversial thanks to the racist anti-American rantings of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
One of Barack Obama's biggest lines, which he repeats at every campaign event and delivered in Tuesday night's Town Hall Debate in Nashville, is that the Wall Street financial crisis was created by deregulation - deregulation, he hastens to add, is the policy of George W. Bush, John McCain and the Republicans.
He made the charge in response to the first question in the debate (transcript) last night:
And I believe this is a final verdict on the failed economic policies of the last eight years, strongly promoted by President Bush and supported by Sen. McCain, that essentially said that we should strip away regulations, consumer protections, let the market run wild, and prosperity would rain down on all of us.
Jon Friedman, a "senior columnist" who writes the "Media Web" column for MarketWatch.com, says "the Sarah Palin Phenomenon is doomed" because the media, having built her up, now will begin to tear her down.
This is how the world works in the age of 24/7 news cycles. Whether the subject is Britney Spears, Michael Jordan or Sarah Palin, we inevitably raise stars to mythic levels, out of all reasonable proportions. Then we knock them down.
The current New Yorker story on the political problem that Barack Obama faces now that Iraq has turned the corner and victory is within our grasp grossly misleads readers about the role of "the surge" in that growing success:
At the start of 2007, no one in Baghdad would have predicted that blood-soaked neighborhoods would begin returning to life within a year. The improved conditions can be attributed, in increasing order of importance, to President Bush’s surge, the change in military strategy under General David Petraeus, the turning of Sunni tribes against Al Qaeda, the Sadr militia’s unilateral ceasefire, and the great historical luck that brought them all together at the same moment.
Did you get that? Luck — not the efforts of the American military and its coalition partners — was the main cause for our success in stabilizing Iraq, according to the liberal magazine.
The New Yorker writer intentionally separates the "surge" from the change in miltary strategy, and separates both of those from the turning of the Sunni tribes against al Qaeda, in order to downplay any success that might be ascribed to President Bush's (and Sen. John McCain's) stalwart support for the surge, and the appointment of Gen. Petreaus to run the war.
Survey question: If the media had the results of three independent surveys of corporate executives about the economy and two of them were more negative than the third, which one wouldn't get much coverage?
In the last few days, three such surveys have been released. Two of them - the Business Roundtable's quarterly CEO Economic Outlook Index and the Duke University/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook survey - got pretty good coverage in the media.
The third survey, conducted by the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, less so.
A new CNN report on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's quiet "research effort" to assess a possible presidential bid as an independent, is cleverly written to imply that Bloomberg is a dissatisfied Republican.
Bloomberg, a lifelong member of the Democratic Party, decided to run for mayor as a member of the Republican Party ticket.
Bloomberg, a former Democrat who was elected to the mayor's office as a Republican, joined a panel of moderate current and former lawmakers earlier this week at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. The group, made up of both Democrats and Republicans, called for a return to bipartisanship in government.
"What has changed is that people have stopped working together," Bloomberg said at the Monday gathering. "Government is dysfunctional. There is no collaboration and congeniality. There is no working together and 'Let's do what's right for the country.' There is no accountability today ... no willingness to focus on big ideas."
ThePolitico.com continues to publish hatchet hackery on Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson, with today's false coverage of Sen. Thompson's speech to supporters after his third-place finish in the Iowa Caucuses.
Politico reporter Roger Simon recently lied in The Politico about an incident at an Iowa fire hall involving Sen. Thompson and a fire helmet - an "error" that The Politico has never corrected even though video of the event clearly exposed the error.
Today, video again shows The Politico to be publishing fiction about Fred. This time, it is writer Ben Adler's coverage of the Thompson campaign's Iowa Caucus after-party, which uses words like "resignation" and "lackluster," though the video of the event clearly contradicts that depiction.
A recent NewsBusters post about the role that leftwing billionaire George Soros played in undermining, quite literally, the economic future of an impoverished region of Romania, prompted a reader to send me a link to a profile of Soros published in 2003 which contains a tantalizing mention of Soros' involvement with another mining project in Eastern Europe.
Writing in the London magazine New Statesmen about Soros and his "Open Society Institute,"journalist Neil Clark wrote,
Being a billionaire certainly has its advantages. You can throw your money around and get what you want, and in the case of leftwing billionaire George Soros, what he wanted was a proposed gold mine killed that would have brought economic prosperity to an impoverished village in Romania. Soros, who has investments in rival gold mining companies, organized opposition to the project via his Open Society Institute in Romania, working hand-in-hand with several non-Romanian NGOs against the project.
If Soros was a rightwing billionaire, his efforts and intervention in this matter would no doubt be scrutinized by the American media and held up as an egregious example of capitalism run amok and of undue Western interference in the affairs of another country.
But Soros is a primary funder of the American Left, and as such his activities get little scrutiny from a politically sympathetic American media. That's a shame. Because the shutdown of Gabriel Resources' mining project in Rosia Montana, Romania, means an immediate loss of hundreds of jobs and a long-term loss of perhaps thousands of jobs created at the mine and spillover economic growth in the impoverished region.
We here at NewsBusters spend a lot of time pointing out examples of liberal media bias and stupidity, and taking to task empty-suit reporters for a variety of offenses, including "gotcha" journalism wherein reporters set out their questions like a fur-trapper laying a line of traps. You've seen it - questions using quotes out of context, twisting words into a trap for the targeted political figure - usually a Republican of course.
Well, today I'd like to point you in the direction of someone who does it right. Peter Robinson, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, has been doing a series of in-depth interviews with various political figures, distinguished scholars, and leading journalists, and they are some of the most interesting and serious journalism you'll find anywhere.
There's no attempt to trip the interviewee into a gaffe, no gotcha journalism, no rhetorical tricks and traps. Just good questions designed to shed light on serious topics and issues.
It has been five days since Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen used an offensive ethnic slur to describe the Chinese workers who built the railroads across the American West in the 1800s. Bredesen used the term in a dispatch he wrote and emailed to some Tennessee newspapers while traveling in Beijing.
The ensuing media firestorm has yet to, well, ensue. Terry Frank explains why Bredesen's rude language won't be his "macaca moment," and takes issue with Bredesen's attempt to portray himself as the victim in the story. (He blames the newspapers for not editing his piece and, contradictorily, for suggesting the word might be offensive.)
Oh, did I mention that Bredesen is a liberal Democrat? That may explain why the media firestorm never ensued.
The Associated Press lets a false statement about the economy go into print unchallenged in its story today about the furniture industry's big semi-annual trade show in High Point, N.C.
HIGH POINT, N.C. — Doug Schock shook his head in disbelief while gazing at the empty elevators, typically full as they shuttle thousands of buyers between dozens of showrooms filled with the latest styles in sofas, bedroom sets, and dining room tables and chairs. Not so this fall at the High Point Market, the twice-annual home decor and furnishings trade show that sets the table for what consumers will see in stores next season.
"Those used to be packed. You used to have to elbow your way into showrooms," said Schock, a territory manager for OneCoast Midwest Home. "I know the economy has been down since 9/11, but the housing slump combined with the weak economy, you have a double whammy."
Has the New York Times started a journalistic jihad against corn-based ethanol? It certainly looks that way, judging from the spate of critical stories, editorials and blog posts emanating from the NYT in the past month. Consider the following selection of stories from the past few weeks...
The spin is that ethanol is good for the environment because it will “reduce our dependence on foreign oil.” But there are mixed opinions over the energy gains from ethanol. In 2006, a study out of the University of Minnesota found that ethanol returns only 25 percent more energy than it takes to produce it — and critics have suggested that the study didn’t calculate all the variables that go into producing it, such as the power to irrigation equipment to water the corn crop being used, the power consumed in making the fertilizers that nourish the crop, the cost of the farm equipment used to harvest it (and the fuel to power that farm equipment).
Steven Milloy asks, "Is billionaire investor George Soros using environmental pressure groups to block a gold-mining project for his own financial benefit?"
Milloy connects the dots and raises many of the same questions that I have been asking about Soros' involvement in the campaign to stop a gold mine project in the impoverished village of Rosia Montana, Romania.
The New York Times, PBS and other media outlets that have covered the Rosia Montana story have not pressed Soros on his motivation for opposition to the mine, even though he is a major investor in competing mining companies that have used similar mining processes he now opposes in the Rosia Montana project.
DailyKos.com, the Left's most popular website and a key source of fund-raising for Democrats from coast to coast, says Osama bin Laden and Ronald Reagan have a lot in common:
So is Osama bin Laden truly "evil?" Most people who lost family members at the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001 would probably consider him to be evil. Was President Ronald Reagan evil? Most residents of Beirut who lost family members when the USS New Jersey rained 2,700 pound Mark 7 shells on residential neighborhoods in 1983 during the Lebanese Civil War probably considered Reagan to have been evil. Bottom line? Bin Laden is no more evil than other revolutionary leaders in other times or even than ordinary national leaders who propel their countries to war for "national honor," or to acquire the resources of others, or even to "do good."
To translate Kos-speak: Osama bin Laden isn't a terrorist, he's a freedom fighter. And Reagan wasn't a freedom fighter - he was a terrorist.
On the eve of the August 29 second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina striking the Mississippi-Louisiana Gulf Coast, as the American news media prepared to do a slew of anniversary-update stories, the non-partisan Political and Economic Research Council released a hefty study of how the region's small-business sector is doing.
The Canadian Mining Journal is yearning for "impartial journalists" to investigate the organized opposition to a proposed gold mine in the impoverished village of Rosia Montana, Romania - opposition that the CEO of the Canadian gold mining company Gabriel Resources alleges is not local and reflects not the view of the people of the region but, instead, represents the views of radical environmental groups backed by billionaire George Soros.
In a blistering speech at a press conference in Bucharest yesterday, Gabriel CEO Alan Hill outlined the web of connections between Soros and many of the environmental groups and NGOs opposing the project, and also pushed back against the many lies being told by the opposition.
Gabriel Resources, a mining company based in Toronto, Canada, has begun to fight back against the lies and war of misinformation being waged against its proposed Romanian gold mine by leftwing billionaire George Soros. As I have written about several times on my own blog, BillHobbs.com, the poverty-stricken place village of Rosia Montana, Romania, is seeing its best-ever chance at economic progress and a better life for its people blocked by environmental groups and NGOs, and by Soros, a wealthy man who doesn't lack for things like indoor plumbing and electricity the way many of the people do in Rosia.
The New York Times, PBS and other media outlets have in recent weeks presented a false picture of the Rosia Montana project, describing it as a small village trying to fend off destruction by a big Canadian mining company. The real picture is much different - the truth is, the people of the village largely support the proposed mine, and want the benefits it will bring, and the opposition is largely non-local and heavily funded by Soros.
Led by a number of conservative bloggers (including, full disclosure, me), some of Tennessee's news media outlets have begun to report on the connections of convicted felon and big-time Democratic fund-raiser Norman Hsu to the Tennessee Democratic Party and the failed Senate campaign of former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr., who now heads the Democratic Leadership Council.
After a few days of reports by blogger Terry Frank, myself and other Tennessee conservative bloggers, and discussion on the popular Steve Gill radio show, following publication of a long list of Hsu's money recipients, the story has begun to appear in the mainstream Tennessee media, including the Nashville City Paper, the Knoxville News-Sentinel, and NashvillePost.com, so far, not in The Tennessean, which serves the capital city of Nashville, or the Memphis Commercial-Appeal.
I recently recieved a review copy from Simon & Schuster's "Free Press" imprint of a new book, written by U.S. Army Staff Sergeant David Bellavia, now retired from the Army and a co-founder of Vets for Freedom. The book, House to House: An Epic Memoir of War, is Bellavia's personal account of the Second Battle of Fallujah.
At times horrifying and at times deeply moving, House to House is a book of astonishing power and inspiration as Bellavia comes face to face with both the savages of al Qaeda and the terrorist "insurgency" and with his own soul.
Leftist uber-funder George Soros's group America Coming Together has been slapped with a $775,000 fine by the Federal Election Commission - the third largest fine in FEC history, but really only a minor fine considering the crime.
According to the FEC, ACT used tens of millions of dollars of unregulated cash to boost Democratic candidates during the 2004 elections. The Politico reports that, according to the FEC, ACT raised $137 million for its get-out-the-vote effort in 17 states in the 2004 elections, but the FEC found most of that cash came through contributions that violated federal limits or were otherwise barred by campaign rules.
Besides big money from Soros, ACT also got a lot of money from the Service Employees International Union.
A liberal activist merely alleges that Fred Thompson's breaking the rules by campaigning as a candidate while claiming merely "testing the waters" status with the FEC and it makes the news. Now we have a liberal organization hit with the third largest fine in FEC history for illegally raising and spending tens of millions of dollars to influence an American election. And ACT isn't the only group Soros funded to try to influence the election.
So ... do you think this story will be on the national news today or tonight?
A Nashville blogger thinks he's spotted clear evidence of conservative editorial bias on the part of the Tennessean, Nashville's Gannett-owned daily. The evidence: the paper balances a slate of syndicated national conservative columnists with some local liberal columnists.
Every day, the paper runs a column by such stalwart, nationally syndicated conservative pundits as Charles Krauthammer, Cal Thomas, Mona Charen, Michelle Malkin, or Thomas Sowell. Nearly every one of these right-leaning columns sounds like something right out of Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly. There is a relentless, liberal-bashing bias to all of these columns. ... And how does the Tennessean balance these conservative screeds? What nationally syndicated columnists of equal stature does our sole remaining daily newspaper offer?
David McCumber, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer managing editor at the center of the storm over his paper's refusal to publish photos of two men the FBI was seeking to identify and locate as part of an investigation into possible terrorist threats to the Seattle-area ferry system, once justified his paper's publication of a photo to readers by saying the paper "did it because we have an obligation to show you reality."
The photo in question came from the Indonesian tsunami tragedy. McCumber wrote about it on the paper's website.
"I Guess The P-I Missed This, Too," says Ed Morrissey at the invaluable Captain's Quarters blog, referring to information in an ABC News that a number of suspicious incidents have been reported on ferries in the state of Washington, according to the FBI, and the FBI has issued warnings to local law enforcement and alerted the Coast Guard to heighten their awareness in the area.
There have been a number of suspicious incidents this summer aboard Washington state ferries, which prompted the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Coast Guard to increase security along the ferry lines and to issue a warning to law enforcement.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer Managing Editor David McCumber has posted a blog item defending his decision to not run the photos of the two ferry passengers the FBI is seeking in order to question them about their suspicious activities on several Seattle-area ferries in recent weeks.
McCumber says the paper didn't consider the photos news-worthy.
I certainly have plenty of feedback to consider from the ferry photo issue as we go forward.
I understand that people have a hard time with the concept that we get to decide what is news and what isn't, and what is fair and what isn't.
Several people have basically told me I didn't have the right to withhold the photos of the individuals the FBI want to identify. One person even said, "You have a responsibility to obey all FBI directives."
You knew this was coming: the Seattle office of CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has come out against the FBI's release of photos of two men observed acting suspiciously aboard as many as six different Seattle-area ferry routes in recent week.
The Seattle Times - which published the photos at the FBI's request - reported Thursday that CAIR-Washington "resented" the release of the photos, which the FBI released in order to enlist the public in helping identify and locate the men so the FBI could talk to them. (CAIR also has an excerpted version of the Seattle Times story on its website.)
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is apologizing for its decision to run a haiku contest about its decision to not run the photos of two men sought by the FBI for questioning related to possibly terrorist-related activities involving the Seattle-area ferry system
The paper's "online reporter" Monica Guzman writes on the paper's "Big Blog":
The paper's decision not to run photos of the two Seattle ferry passengers sought by the FBI didn't take long yesterday to become part of a widespread debate that provoked readers around the country.
The Seattle Post Intelligencer is carrying an AP report of a suspicious package found on ferry, but still hasn't published the photos of two men the FBI is seeking in order to question them about their suspicious surveillance-type activity aboard several Seattle-area ferries in recent weeks. The AP report in the P-I says the details of the contents of the suspicious package "were not immediately available, but the Seattle Times' report, by a Seattle Times staffer, says Trooper Cliff Pratt of the Washington State Patrol's bomb squad, described the package, found rolled in carpet in a ferry bathroom earlier Wednesday morning, as possible remnants of a bomb that had not functioned correctly.