He was an absolute wreck until a fleeting glimpse of JFK saved his life and paved the road of his destiny.
Sounds like the dust cover to a Democratic politician's biography, right? Try the opening grafs to Washington Post reporter Mary Beth Sheridan's February 27 profile of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)
"His father abandoned him. His stepfather was an alcoholic. By his
sophomore year at the University of Maryland, Steny Hoyer was short of
cash, getting D's and drifting," Washington Post repoter Mary Beth Sheridan began her front page profile of House Majority Leader.
Then one spring day in 1959, a Pontiac convertible cruised past him
on campus, carrying a familiar figure. Hoyer followed it to the student
center. Spellbound, he listened as Sen. John F. Kennedy appealed to
young people to get involved in government.
"It was just like
that," Hoyer says, snapping his fingers as he sits in his U.S. Capitol
office. "Just like that." The next week, he switched his major from
public relations to politics. He started getting A's and went on to law
"You know the rest," he says.
As a lifelong Marylander, I do know the rest. Hoyer -- full disclosure, he's my congressman -- is a consistently liberal Democrat (lifetime ACU rating of 8), a point often softened by media portrayals which often refer to him as a moderate due to his penchant for supporting local military installations with government largesse.
Even in an age when eight-year-olds are expert video gamers, if you're a kid (or a 28-year-old blogger playing with your nephews) nothing beats an old-fashioned game of Cops and Robbers (or Jack Bauer vs. shady terrorist masterminds). But that doesn't sit well with liberal parents who abhor "gun violence." So what do you do if you're a liberal TV pundit like George Washington University's Jonathan Turley and your kids won't take the hint when you take away their toy guns and swords and other toy "weapons"?
Well, the law professor wrote yesterday about how he stopped worrying and learned to accept that little boys like to play with toy guns (in his kids' case more often with toy swords/lightsabers). He found that, surprise, surprise, little boys often act out good vs. evil dramas with their toy gun or sword play, and for some darn reason, it seems natural for them to do so:
The Associated Press reports that three journalists are being kicked out of Cuba for writing stories critical of the Communist regime: one BBC reporter, a Chicago Tribune reporter, and a correspondent for El Universal, a Mexican newspaper.
When I read this I recalled a study by MRC's Rich Noyes a few years back about CNN's Cuba coverage, which, by contrast, never incensed the Castro regime. In fact, Noyes found that stories filed from that bureau's chief Lucia Newman amounted to a "Megaphone for a Dictator."
My colleague Paul Detrick regularly monitors public radio and when doing so today he caught this gem from American Public Media's (APM) Marxist Place, er, "Marketplace" program.
A new study finds that high taxes and good healt go together. Researchers say states with higher taxes spend more money on social programs which ultimately leads to healthier kids.
Turns out APM didn't tell listeners about the political donations of the study's liberal author, nor turn to conservative health care experts for criticism or to offer market-oriented solutions to covering more children with health insurance.
My colleague Dan Gainor has the full story here, but basically CNN's "American Morning" aired a story today about some teens who got sick after drinking the new Spike Shooter energy drink. They shouldn't have even consumed the stuff -- the label says those under 18 or elderly (or with asthma, etc.) should steer clear of it. But that didn't matter to anchor Miles O'Brien, who lamented a lack of FDA regulation of energy drinks rather than faulted the kids for failing to heed the warning label.
Spike Shooter's warning label can be read at the product Web site, click "ingredients."
And no, I don't mean the cloud of smug from all the Toyonda Piouses.
Benefit concerts, even ones held to save the planet, generate lots of trash and traffic, and eat up plenty of electricity, half of which is generated in this country from coal-fired power plants. Just don't expect the liberal media to make those points as they cover former Vice President Al Gore's "Live Earth" concerts.
A few moments ago on the February 16 "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," NBC's Natalie Morales shared a story with the late night host of actor Alec Baldwin's attempt to score a lunch date with the "Today" show talent.
I'll update later in the morning with video, but basically, a few years ago, according to Morales, Baldwin called her on the phone and told her he was working on a movie about cable news. Was Morales available for say, lunch sometime to help Baldwin with his, well, research.
Morales wasn't born yesterday, so she kindly told the "30 Rock" star that she's married.
Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz gives readers of today's Style page a look at conservative blogger Michelle Malkin, and his portrait, at least to my eye, painted conservative blogger and author as paranoid, vindictive, obsessive and shrill.
Diamonds don't cause conflicts in Africa, bands of armed thugs do. But you wouldn't know that if you followed the media's slant on "conflict diamonds," which, much like stories on gun control, often blame the object instead of the evil person misusing it.
The Washington Post's Amit Paley did an excellent job giving a balanced, factual report just four days ago on a recent stock sale by Sallie Mae chairman Albert Lord. His February 14 Business section article, however, is a different matter. Instead of digging for evidence on both sides, Paley relayed Democratic complaints and clipped a quote from a company spokesman.
Despite his natural aptitude for rapping, Velshi will probably keep his day job, in which he earns well above minimum wage to spoon-feed bad economic theory to breakfast hour viewers. For instance, did you know government could grow the economy by mandating a higher minimum wage?
The media can't really deny the economy is doing great. But all good things come to an end,so what the heck, why not float the prospect of a looming recession? That's essentially what The New York Times did in today's paper.
Staff writers Eduardo Porter and Jeremy W. Peters turned to a Clinton economic adviser to suggest that the current economy is driven by a housing bubble similar to the tech bubble that drove the smokin' hot economy of the late 1990s.
“In both situations we had overinvestment, now in housing, then in fiber optics,” the Times reporters quoted Joseph E. Stiglitz, Clinton’s "chief economic adviser from 1995 to 1997."
[I guess those silly 2001 and 2003 tax cuts that have resulted in record tax receipts from a growing economy and its resultant jobs growth have nothing to do with it.]
Porter and Peters persisted in peddling a discredited media meme: it's the housing "bubble" driving the economy, but in fact:
A few days old but a goodie. I've seen in this one report something that's often missing from network treatment of the minimum wage issue: a quantification of how much the government wage mandate affects the bottom line for small businesses, and ends up screwing over the little guy.
Mark Messner, owner of Pepi's Pizza in south Phoenix, estimates he has
employed more than 2,000 high school students since 1990. But he plans
to lay off three teenage workers and decrease hours worked by others.
Of his 25-person workforce, roughly 75 percent are in high school.
"I've had to go to some of my kids and say, 'Look, my payroll just
increased 13 percent,' " he said. " 'Sorry, I don't have any hours for
Messner's monthly cost to train an employee has jumped from $440 to $580 as the turnover rate remains high.
"We go to great lengths to hang on to our high school workers, but
there are a lot of kids who come in and get one check in their pocket
and feel like they're living large and out the door they go," he said.
"We never get our return on investment when that happens."
Last week, NewsBusters bloggers Scott Whitlock (here and here) and Mark Finkelstein (here and here) separately addressed "Good Morning America" anchor Diane Sawyer's softball interviews with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
It's a shame it didn't come out before then, but this weekend Parade magazine released its 2007 World's Worst Dictators list. Al-Assad came in at number 10, up 6 slots from the 2006 list.
Oh well, I guess it's helpful to have the next time Sawyer enlarges her carbon footprint by flying around the world just to ask another thug completely innocuous questions while enjoying the touristy trappings of a Potemkin village.
The answer, in part, photoshopped models. And no, I'm not referring to Katie.
...thanks to technology, often not even the models themselves can compare to their portfolios. Increasingly, photos for print are enhanced and perfected to an astonishing degree. Not only are moles, acne and subtle facial hair erased from already pretty faces, but retouchers are routinely asked by editors and advertisers to enlarge eyes, trim normal-size ears, fill in hairlines, straighten teeth and lengthen the already-narrow necks, waists and legs of 18-year-old beauties. "We're always stretching the models' legs and slimming their thighs," says a photo retoucher who works for a high-end Manhattan agency. In some cases, hands, feet or even legs are replaced in photos when the subject’s parts don’t add up to a perfect whole.
But the bigger danger, the Newsweek reporters insist, is that twiggy models are actually leading American women to bulk up:
The City of Brotherly Love could soon become the second major U.S. city to ban trans fats from its eateries, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported today. The new law passed the city council unanimously and awaits Mayor John Street's signature.
So you'd think in a city like Philly you'd have plenty of people who would find such a ban ridiculous, and would not be shy about telling some reporters the same. That may well be the case, but in today's paper, the Inquirer's Patrick Kerkstra and Julie Stoiber only gave readers one critic of the ban, an official at the American Academy of Chefs. In fact:
If you're a regular viewer of network morning news shows -- a practice I don't really recommend, we watch them so you don't have to -- you know that CNN's "American Morning" is particularly concerned about the "epidemic" of childhood obesity.
Indeed, just two weeks ago, CNN's top doc, Sanjay Gupta, lamented a lack of regulation on Internet "advergaming" to children You know, playing Spoons with Snap, Crackle, and Pop, that sort of thing.
But this week, well, the crew at "American Morning" actually found it ridiculous that the makers of M&Ms have agreed to stop advertising to children. Not that they do much of that anyway, they just won't anymore, now that European regulators are breathing down their necks. And today, anchor Soledad O'Brien preached the virtues of moderation as she mocked schools that ban cupcakes. [cont'd...]
This was one of the topics discussed at a conservative bloggers briefing that I attended this afternoon: the media are complaining that Senate Republicans are shutting off a debate on Iraq war policy by, well, voting against shutting off debate.
Now, why is Fox the only outlet reporting that the "Democratic majority failed to shut off debate" instead of the Republicans succeeded in blocking debate. I am no parliamentary expert, that's for sure, but I do know cloture ends debate. So, how do Republicans voting against ending debate get accused of ending debate?
Every year on February 6, Ronald Reagan's birthday, the owners of Ropewalk Tavern in Baltimore throw a free birthday bash for the late great president complete with jelly beans and drink specials.
It's a bit of a hike from MRC headquarters in Alexandria, Va., but I may go this year. At any rate, it made me wonder how many other bars and restaurants throughout the fruited plain host similar parties.
Feel free to use the comments field to post information about any Reagan birthday bashes in your neck of the woods.
Here's my question. How many people look at that picture and think the
polar bears were living on some ice and it melted around them and now
they are stuck?
And, yes, I realize a polar bear can drown...
if, say, it's exhausted and swimming over 50 miles. But basically,
these things can swim 15 miles easily, at a speed of 6 miles an hour,
and they use the edge of an ice floe as a platform from which to hunt.
Where's the photograph of the bear chomping down on a cute baby seal?
no, I'm not denying that there's global warming, even as I sit here a
double pane of glass away from minus 12° air. I'm just amused at human
behavior, such as the way it is possible to feel arguments at us.
In particular, we are susceptible to argument by animal. We love the
animal, if it's pictured right, in a way that pulls our heartstrings.
I just caught this, originally posted on February 1 to the Web page for People's Weekly World. It's from a diatribe against the Fox television program "24" by PWW's John Wojcik.
Notice how the writer goes on to explain just why terrorism is such a bad thing. I mean, Stalin was just so much better at systematically killing people than some rinky dink terrorists. </sarcasm>
MSNBC commentator Keith Oberman [sic] rightly described "24" as "naked brainwashing."
All people of good will, of course, oppose terrorism. The Communist Party USA has often pointed out that terrorism substitutes individual acts of violence for the mass action essential for real progressive change.
Wojcik also cited NewsBusters as evidence of why "24" is an evil neo-conservative/Bush White House agitprop:
It's a few days old now, but still timely given today's release of the IPCC report on global warming. It's CNN's Lou Dobbs conceding that while there are scientists who disagree with the premise that global warming is anthropogenic, he's tired of their voices in the debate. So he's picking a winner. No word on if Lou is on the invite list for Al Gore's Oscar night after-party.
I clipped the relevant portions. Total run time of 0:55
Yesterday, President Bush became the second sitting president to ever take a stroll on the New York Stock Exchange floor (Ronald Reagan was the first to do so). Bush also gave a speech at Federal Hall in which he defended his tax cuts, as well as No Child Left Behind, and his policy initiatives in general. But his policy remarks got no attention last night on the evening newscasts, which instead hyped his talking points on CEO pay and income inequality, two liberal themes.
Most media storylines on the economy are predictable. Tax cuts "cost" the government money. The wealthy don't pay their fair share, and, socialized medicine is the only comprehensive way to address health care problems.
That last one's been in vogue lately as Democrats have raised health care as part of their "100 Hours" agenda. So our very own Julia Seymour took a look at the media's push for Big Brother to play doctor to 300 million Americans.
But then there's the ones that are just patently laughable. Like where the media pick the interests of say fish, over people. Look to none other than our friends at The Washington Post for that one. You can find our writeup on that here.:
If you wake up on Saturday mornings and flip on the telly hoping to catch solid Wall Street analysis or perhaps a roundup of foreign and domestic business headlines that affect your investment portfolio, don't waste your time with CNN's "In the Money."
Rather than looking to help average joes invest wisely and benefit from a strong economy and a resilient stock market, the CNN crew would much rather sound like Heidi Cullen hosting a movie night/slumber party for the Al Gore fan club.
PBS tonight airs a documentary on the late Milton Friedman, and perhaps surprisingly enough, the taxpayer-funded network did a good job. [check here for local listings]
UPDATE: You know it's gotta be good. NY Times reviewer Ginia Bellafante panned it for being too worshipful of the free market advocate. And yes, your eyes deceive you not, she found a downside to ending the draft (Friedman opposed military conscription, favoring an all-volunteer force).
Below is an excerpt from a review published to the BusinessandMedia.org Web site by Hillsdale political economy professor and BMI advisor Dr. Gary Wolfram.:
It's no secret many in the media feel that global warming is a settled scientific controversy. But even some scientists who agree that humans cause global warming think Gore's all wet when it comes to his dire predictions. Even so, The Washington Post showcased a Seattle-area teacher yesterday who was at a loss when it came to finding critics of Al Gore's brand of climate pseudo-science.
Portraying an angry parent as an enemy of sound science, reporter Blaine Harden shared with Washington Post readers the story of Federal Way, Wash., science teacher Kay Walls and her struggle to show “An Inconvenient Truth” to her students.
CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta found another explanation for why Junior is rolling round the family room with a spare tire: food advertising on the Internet.
It gets better. The study he's citing is 6 months old and hails from the liberal Kaiser Family Foundation. What's more, Gupta didn't give any tips for parents about how to regulate their kids Internet use and only gave 6 seconds to an advertising industry spokesman for comment.
Sounds like Dr. Sanjay has a fever, and the only prescription is bigger government.
UPDATE: I put together clips from Gupta's story, as clips from ABC's "World News" and CBS's "The Early Show" that display similar biases. You can find that video here (Windows Media) and here (Real Player).