When you think of California, a few things spring to mind. One is the state's love affair with the automobile. Another is, of course, how in the past 25 years the state the state has abandoned the center-right politics that gave it governors like Ronald Regan and George Deukmejian for hard-left, tax-and-spend politics.
So it should come as no surprise that the penchant for the latter is harming the former. In a Highway 1 blog post this morning at latimes.com, Los Angeles Times staffer Jerry Hirsch noted how it's high taxes that has a larger impact on the sky-high cost of owning and driving an automobile in California, not the price of gasoline (emphasis mine):
Noting that the teenage suspects in the slaying of Australian exchange student Christopher Lane already broke gun laws by possessing a revolver -- the minimum age to do so is 21 -- Stephens County [Okla.] District Attorney Jason Hicks told members of the press. We here at NewsBusters don't imagine Hicks's comments will bear repeating on national news outlets, but would be trumpeted by the same if he used the horrific slaying as an opportunity to push for more federal and/or state gun laws.
Yesterday evening a northern Virginia jury convicted Julio Blanco-Garcia, an illegal immigrant with a history of scrapes with law enforcement, of first-degree murder in the July 2010 stabbing death of Vanessa Pham. The 19-year-old victim was giving Blanco-Garcia a ride to a local hospital when he killed her in a fit of PCP-fueled paranoia.
We at NewsBusters have repeatedly raked Reuters over the coals for years now on various issues -- particularly their steadfast refusal in numerous stories to call terrorists "terrorists." But today a kudos is in order as the news wire -- in reporting Private Bradley Manning's desire to undergo hormone therapy to take on the persona of a woman named Chelsea -- refuses to call Manning a "she," something that Time magazine and NBC's Savannah Guthrie, among other journalists, are doing.
In Susan Heavey and Ian Simpson's 24-paragraph story this afternoon, the only times Manning was described as a "she" was when his lawyer was directly quoted [article accessed via ChicagoTribune.com]:
Well, there goes John McWhorter's shot at being invited on MSNBC anytime soon, especially any program featuring Joy-Ann Reid.
"[I]t’s time for the media to stop proudly emblazoning the race of white cops who kill black boys while cagily describing black teens as, say, 'from the grittier part of town,' as has been the case regarding [Australian exchange student Christopher] Lane’s killers," the Columbia University professor argued in his August 22 Time.com piece, "Don't Ignore Race in Christopher Lane's Murder." "The media needs to be as honest with black people as we need to be with ourselves. No group gets ahead by turning away from its real problems," he concluded, having already noted how:
Liberal constitutional law professor Adam Winkler took to the Daily Beast today to attack Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as an "extremist" on the Second Amendment. Winkler -- who filed a friend-of-the-court brief in 2008 backing the District of Columbia's gun ban -- drew upon an AP news wire account regarding comments Scalia made at a recent Federalist Society event about the purpose for which the Second Amendment was proposed by Congress in 1789.
But an official with the Federalist Society who was in attendance at the speech says Winkler is all wet. First, the key charge Winkler leveled at Scalia (emphasis mine):
Former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Rep. Chris Van Hollen is filing a federal lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service, alleging that IRS guidelines for 501(c)(4) organizations distort federal law and thereby encourage 501(c)(4) "social welfare" groups to heavily engage in political speech, contrary to statutory requirements that a 501(c)(4) exist solely for "the promotion of social welfare."
Of course, numerous conservative 501(c)(4) groups have taken heavily to the TV airwaves in campaign cycles past to run issue advertising that has bedeviled liberal Democrats and favored conservative Republicans, but nowhere in his 11-paragraph August 21 story on Van Hollen's lawsuit did Washington Post staff writer Josh Hicks consider that the Maryland Democrat just might have a partisan motivation behind his actions. As Georgetown University Law adjunct professor Warren L. Dean Jr. noted in a piece in the Washington Times in June , there's evidence this hobby horse about 501(c)(4) political activity is indeed motivated by Van Hollen's penchant for using the heavy hand of government to attack conservatives (emphasis mine):
The only team in professional football history to go undefeated getting a White House reception 40 years after the fact is worthy of real estate in print newspapers, but today's Washington Post elected to put a gauzy item on President Obama hosting the 1972 Dolphins not on the front page of the Sports section but the front page of the entire paper.
Leave it to the Lean Forward network to weave a war-on-women theme into just about anything. Today the network's Tamron Hall and Janet Shamlian hinted sexism was in play with a new NFL ban on large bans in stadiums. The move, they complained, disproportionately affected female football fans who might set out for the big game with a large bag or purse.
Here's how NewsNation host Tamron Hall introduced her show-ending "Gut Check" segment:
When the president's hometown paper the Chicago Tribune turns on ObamaCare, you know it's getting real. "This is a paper that endorsed him twice [for president]" and for which former Obama campaign manager David Axelrod used to work, NewsBusters senior editor and Rich Noyes told Fox Business Network's Stuart Varney on his August 20 FBN program Varney & Co.
On top of that, Noyes reminded Varney's audience, the Tribune "was very instrumental in clearing the path for Barack Obama to win his Senate seat in 2004 [by] taking out [Republican challenger] Jack Ryan with an expose of his divorce records." As such, the paper souring on ObamaCare is newsworthy, and the liberal media's lack of interest is also accordingly also notable, Noyes argued. [watch the full segment below the page break]
A Republican congressman is claiming that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton so vehemently denied that the Benghazi attack on September 11, 2012, was a terrorist strike that she "screamed" at a congressman in a private briefing just two days later.
For her "photo of the day" entry, Hot Air Green Room blogger Katie Pavlich noted how, "[d]uring the press conference and in an effort to take advantage of a good photo-op, the clueless anti-gun zealots pointed the seized firearms at...the audience." The photo shows rows of handguns resting on a blue-clothed table with the muzzles pointed towards the audience. What's more, Pavlich added in an update linking to pro-gun rights site BearingArms.com, it appears most if not all of the guns "had the actions/bolts closed and the safeties off."
Imagine a generally conservative evangelical figure switching his party affiliation from Republican to Democratic because in his view the 2012 Republican Convention's array of speakers and the party's platform convinced him that he could no longer in good conscience be affiliated with a political party which he believed steadfastly aligned itself with sinful positions on say care for the poor or immigration reform. Network news media would surely fall all over themselves to book that preacher on their morning and Sunday shows and print publications would scramble to get an exclusive interview.
Well, that sort of treatment has not greeted the Most Reverend Thomas Tobin, the bishop who oversees the Catholic diocese of Providence in Rhode Island. At a Young Republicans event last Tuesday, Tobin noted he joined the Democratic Party in 1969, but can no longer remain one, not after the 2012 Democratic convention's war-on-women/abortion-heavy confab. Providence TV station WPRI broke the story on August 13 (emphasis mine):
Back in May, liberal media outlets like Slate, the New York Times and MSNBC made a bit of a cause celebre the plight of a young Florida woman, Kaitlyn Hunt, who is charged with sex offenses for a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old classmate. Hunt's parents claim she is only being prosecuted because of the same-sex nature of the relationship, suggesting that anti-gay bigotry was motivating the prosecution.
Well, Robert Stacy McCain over at ViralFeed has an excellent August 15 post which shows that prosecutors have evidence that Hunt repeatedly violated court orders not to contact the alleged victim, sent graphic photos and videos to the victim, and even arranged rendezvous with the victim for sexual liaisons (emphasis mine, warning: disturbing language):
Here's another name to add to the "name that party" file: Michael Thornsbury. The Mingo County, West Virginia circuit court judge was the subject of a federal indictment on Wednesday "after federal authorities allege he targeted his ex-lover's husband and used his position on the bench to manipulate criminal charges against the man," Kate White of the Charleston [W.V.] Gazette reported yesterday.
The Mountain State has partisan judicial elections and Thornsbury is a Democrat. Both ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today covered the bizarre story on their August 16 programs, but both neglected to mention Thornsbury's party affiliation.
One day before the one-year anniversary of Floyd Lee Corkins's failed terror attack on the Family Research Council -- he was inspired by a "hate map" by the Southern Poverty Law Center -- MSNBC brought on SPLC's Mark Potok to mislead viewers about the nature of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing, insisting that the Tsarnaev brothers were not motivated by radical Islamic ideology so much as by right-leaning conspiracy theorist websites that investigators found in Tamerlan Tsarnaev's search history.
"This isn't the first time MSNBC has done this," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell reminded Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity during Hannity's August 15 "Media Mash" segment. Indeed, it was Hardball host Chris Matthews who on the day of the attack theorized that it was a homegrown right-wing terrorist responsible for the bombing because it occurred on Tax Day, Bozell noted. What's more, the Media Research Center founder added [for the full segment, watch the embedded video below the page break]:
Corrected from earlier | Just when you thought the whole Wendy Davis obsession was dying down, Vogue has up and done a puffy profile of the Texas state senator and abortion rights absolutist for its September issue. Now, I know you're tempted to run out to the newsstand and snatch up a copy, but apparently the Daily Beast's Erin Cunningham did America a favor with a blog post today about the "13 Things You Didn't Know About Wendy Davis."
"From her love of Victoria Beckham to her teenage rebellious phase [here are]13 things we learned from Vogue’s September-issue profile of Wendy Davis," the subheader for Erin Cunningham's August 15 post gushed. Predictably full of pablum and puffery, Cunningham closed her short piece on a absurdly trite note:
In the center of the Daily Beast's website is a "Cheat Sheet" digest which teases "must reads from all over" the Web. The Cheat Sheet typically runs a thumbnail image and caption, as well as a one-word reaction from editors in red-lettering. [see screen captures below page break]
Of the East Coast's most prestigious papers -- The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post -- only the Journal today failed to note Jesse Jackson Junior's Democratic Party affiliation, with staff writer Devlin Barrett failing to mention that fact in his 11-paragraph story. For their part, Washington Post staffers Ann Marimow and Rachel Weiner did mention Jackson is a Democrat, but that came 13 paragraphs into their 32-paragraph front-pager in the August 15 paper.
A protest sign depicting the severed head of George W. Bush dripping blood. A photoshop of the infamous photo of South Vietnamese General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Vietcong officer with President Bush's head photoshopped on the victim's body and "Kill Bush" as the caption.
Those are just two of "10 images mocking George W. Bush that were far worse than a harmless rodeo clown" that conservative blogger and columnist Michelle Malkin posted to her eponymous blog yesterday afternoon. "Over the years, I’ve meticulously chronicled progressive haters and their rank hypocrisy. It’s time for yet another refresher course as the libs go nuts over a rodeo clown," Malkin noted in introduction.
Thanks to some clever thinking from his staff, President Obama has an "ambitious plan to expand high-speed Internet access in schools that would allow students to use digital notebooks and teachers to customize lessons as never before," the Washington Post's Zachary Goldfarb giddily gushed in the lead paragraph of his August 14 front page article "Obama pushes Internet proposal."
"Better yet, the president would not need Congress to approve it," the Post scribe added. The catch, obviously, is that the so-called ConnectEd program "would cost billions of dollars" and so the president "wants to pay for it by raising fees for mobile-phone users" by getting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve the plan. Of course, that's just a tax on the American consumer by a different name, and it's taxation without representation to boot, but Goldfarb waited until about halfway through his article to get to any constitutional objection to the scheme:
In his August 13 story, "North Carolina's Attack on Voting Rights," the Daily Beast's Jamelle Bouie insults his readers' intelligence with tired, discredited left-wing talking points about the new North Carolina voter ID law.
Let's take a look at a few of them below. First there's the Republicans-are-disenfranchising-college-voters meme, which is my personal favorite:
Conservative PR guru and Reagan biographer Craig Shirley has an excellent piece over at Breitbart in which he explains why it is utterly detestable that anti-American leftist Jane Fonda was cast as Nancy Reagan in the new Hollywood film Lee Daniels' The Butler, and not, it's not just her infamous pose with North Vietnamese anti-aircraft guns.
Fonda, Shirley notes, sought to slam the door on Vietnamese "boat people" who were fleeing the brutal Communist regime, while other Americans across the political spectrum -- Shirley commends leftie folk singer Joan Baez for her advocacy of the boat people -- stood up for human rights and for welcoming asylum seekers (emphases mine):
When it comes to reporting on North Carolina's new voter ID law, NBC News's Pete Williams is an improvement over his colleagues at MSNBC, who practically portrayed the new law as the ghost of Jim Crow coming back to haunt the Tar Heel State with a new spin on the detested poll tax. That said, the peacock network's senior justice correspondent did not give viewers of the August 13 Nightly News a balanced or accurate portrait of the law, and indeed suggested that the law was motivated by racial and partisan animus.
Williams began his segment -- titled "The Fight to Vote" in an onscreen graphic which accompanied substitute anchor Lester Holt's introduction -- by noting the plight of one "Alberta Curry, who lives near Fayetteville [and] has voted in every presidential election since 1956." Ms. Curry, an elderly African-American woman, "doesn't have a birth certificate and says it will be hard to comply with North Carolina's tough new voter ID Law" which "was passed a month after the Supreme Court struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act," Williams complained. After dispatching with Republican Gov. Pat McCrory's point of view in a brief soundbite, Williams listed three changes rendered by the new law, the first of which was misleading:
Our friends at Breitbart.com caught how liberal Politico writer Glenn Thrush dutifully set about as gaffe goalie for prospective Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, defending her "Medgar Evans" gaffe as a mere "verbal typo." "Gaffe is accidental truth. Verbal typo is [a] brain fart," Thrush helpfully explained via Twitter.
In and of itself, it's no big deal, Breitbart's John Nolte admits, but for the obvious liberal media double standard in what passes for political reporting these days. "[T]oday's mainstream media is merciless at using slips of the tongue to undermine the competency of Republicans. Democrats, however, always get a pass. Even if the gaffe is noted by the media, it is never used to define or undermine the pol," Nolte concluded. Thrush's eagerness to rush to Hillary's rescue illustrates that it's not just bias by omission conservatives have to contend with, but an actual positive attempt by liberal journalists to act as Democratic gaffe goalies. Expect more Glenn Thrushes to come out of the weeds as the campaign season heats up and conservative bloggers and Twitter users make sport of their verbal faux pas.
The Washington Post reporter today that Mayor Vince Gray (D-Washington, D.C.) confirmed it was he who pressured gospel singer Donnie McClurkin to back out of Saturday's city-sponsored concert honoring the late Martin Luther King, Jr. McClurkin was the target of local gay activists because of comments he made in 2002 in which he testified about how he used to practice homosexuality but repented of that lifestyle because of his faith in Jesus Christ.
Although a group of local African-American pastors are furious about Gray's "insidious bullying tactics" and "outright infringement of Pastor McClurkin's civil rights," the Washington Post downplayed that angle in today's page B3 story, burying their outrage in the final third of the 9-paragraph article, "Gray made call to cut gospel singer from show." "Gay activists objected to scheduled headliner at King memorial," noted the subheader, giving the casual reader scanning the page no indication that McClurkin's treatment by the mayor has sparked outrage.
On Friday, I noted how ostensibly objective religion reporter David Gibson of Religion News Service has been tapped by Sister Simone Campbell to co-author her memoirs. Proceeds from the project will go into the coffers of NETWORK, Campbell's left-leaning "social justice" organization. Campbell, you may recall, addressed the Democratic National Convention last year and was a mini-celebrity on the Left for her attacks on Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan and his signature Ryan budget plan.
A review of Gibson's writing about Campbell's anti-Ryan budget "nuns on the bus" tour last year and this year's bus tour focused on immigration reform shows that Gibson's treatment of Campbell's politicking reads more like hagiography than objective journalism. Let's walk through a few samples. Here's Gibson from a September 6 item dutifully passing along highlights of Campbell's speech to the 2012 Democratic National Convention (emphasis mine):
Imagine the hand-wringing that would ensue among secular journalists were Franklin Graham or Bishop Harry Jackson to write a memoir with a mainstream media religion reporter on board as a credited co-author. Surely much ado would be made about an ostensibly objective journalist assisting a politically engaged, conservative clergyman to write a book the proceeds of which would go into his ministry's coffers. After all, how can you objectively cover such individuals after having helped them raise their public profile and financially benefited their pet cause(s)?
Now contrast that with the silence that's sure to greet Religion News Service reporter David Gibson's services as scribe to Sister Simone Campbell, the left-wing nun who was a convenient unofficial ally and surrogate for liberal Democrats last year as she savaged Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. As a national reporter, Gibson has covered Campbell as part of his beat as a national reporter for RNS.
The Guardian is unapologetically left-of-center editorially, but being a British publication, its geographical and cultural separation from the journalistic elite on this side of the pond helps inoculate it from venerating the sacred cows and cozying up to the favored pundits of the liberal media here in the States.
A prime example of that is Stuart Kelly's review of UC Riverside professor and Huffington Post blogger Reza Aslan's new book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Where American reviewers have praised Aslan's writing style if not his chops as a religious historian, Kelly took on both (h/t Michael Gryboski; emphasis mine):