"Congress could lower individual rates across the board by 44 percent and come up with the same amount of revenue if it eliminated all tax breaks" Washington Post reporter Josh Hicks noted in a January 10. Given the ongoing battles over taxes, spending, and the national debt in Congress, you'd think this would be worthy of front-page placement in the Post. Editors apparently disagreed, placing it on the bottom of page A13, today's edition of The Fed Page.
"Congress should simplify the tax code to ease the burden on filers, as well as take a hard look at the myriad tax breaks that cost nearly as much revenue as the government generates from individual income taxes," Hicks noted in his lead paragraph, referring to National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson's annual report to Congress. "[T]he existing code of 4 million words imposes a 'significant, even unconscionable' burden of compliance on taxpayers," Hicks noted, quoting Olson.
While many in the media have defended David Gregory's violation of the District of Columbia's strict gun laws when he held up a 30-round magazine during a December 23 Meet the Press interview, the Washington Post's Mike DeBonis is taking things a step further, insisting we don't know for certain whether Gregory held up an actual magazine or just something that "appeared" to look like one.
From DeBonis's page B3 January 10 story (emphases mine):
"On Tuesday is Tucson, a gun-buyback effort was disrupted by buyers who offered cash to those who came to trade arms for gift certificates." That's the caption the Washington Post ran to an Associated Press photo on page A3 of the January 9 print edition. The photo [embedded below the page break] was plastered above the headline for an unrelated story about former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) and husband Mark Kelly's new pro-gun control initiative.
But did the presence of legal gun purchasers really "disrupt" the Tucson police gun buyback program? If it did, it's news to the Arizona Daily Star, which reported no violent incident or other disturbance resulting from the peaceful protest/gun purchasing:
She had 12 paragraphs to play with, but in none of them did Washington Post religion reporter Michelle Boorstein find any space for a conservative Episcopalian or Anglican to voice objection to the decision by Episcopal authorities to permit same-sex wedding ceremonies in the historic Washington National Cathedral in Northwest Washington, D.C.
"In some ways, the announcement that is expected Wednesday morning is unsurprising for a denomination and a diocese that long ago took up the cause of marriage equality," Boorstein noted in the second paragraph of her January 9 story, but added that "the cathedral's stature and the image of same-sex couples exchanging vows in the soaring Gothic structure... is symbolically powerful."
The good news: President Obama is finally getting some scrutiny in the liberal media. The bad news: The scrutiny is usually from Obama's left and on absurd matters such as the diversity of the president's Cabinet, as judged by skin color and sex organs.
Take today's Washington Post, which devoted 21 paragraphs on page A7 to "Obama's bypassing of women for Defense, CIA posts." The "[c]hoice of white men disappointing to those who call for diversity," lamented the subheader to David Nakamura's January 8 story. Nakamura opened his article by observing "some critics noticed one thing that stood out" when President Obama "brought his Pentagon and CIA chiefs together Monday with their potential replacements... Each of them was a white man."
"[J]ust when we were finally starting to forget about those asinine comments [Rob] Parker made about Robert Griffin III on ESPN First Take about a month ago—and just as Parker was about to finish up his 30-day suspension from the Worldwide Leader—he's come out and, in a way, tried to defend what he said once again," Chris Yuscavage of Complex.com reported today.
"During an interview on a program called Flashpoint on Channel 4 in Detroit over the weekend, Parker talked about the backlash he received after calling RGIII a 'cornball brother' and didn't seem all that contrite about what he'd say about the Redskins quarterback," Yuscavage noted. You can read his full story here.
Because this year's presidential inauguration happens to fall on a federal holiday -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day -- Washington, D.C.-based federal employees this time around will not find the "extra paid holiday" that they enjoyed four years ago. Reporting this development, Washington Post writer Josh Hicks lamented in a January 7 The Fed Page article that [emphasis mine] "the historic event... will cost the region's government employees a quadrennial holiday, at least in terms of pay and leave."
That sound you're hearing now is the world's smallest violin. At no point in Hicks's 16-paragraph story did he see the occasion as a win, however slight, for American taxpayers: one day's pay for thousands of federal workers is a drop in the ocean of red ink in which the U.S. government swims, but hey, we'll take what we can get.
Needing 214 votes (of the 427 lawmakers who voted) to win reelection to the speakership on January 3, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) handily beat his closest opponent, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for the office, 220-192. Boehner did see a smattering of dissenting votes in his conference, but no serious challenger within his conference came close to depriving the Speaker of a majority on the first ballot.
Despite these facts, however, today's Washington Post blared on page A4 that "Boehner narrowly wins 2nd term as House speaker." "12 of most conservative Republicans staged rebellion against him," the subheadline for Paul Kane's story insisted melodramatically. The Ohio Republican "was narrowly reelected speaker... giving him a another [sic] chance to lead the chamber -- a task that has been difficult for him over the past two years," staffer Paul Kane began his 14-paragraph story.
Fast forward to January 3, 2013, when five percent of House Republicans failed to vote for Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) to be speaker of the House in the 113th Congress. Covering the story this afternoon, Bresnahan and colleague Jake Sherman sought to simultaneously argue that Boehner faced an uphill struggle to hold on to power and that he never really had a credible challenge to the speakership in the first place (emphasis mine):
You wouldn't know it from all the political oxygen in the media taken up with the fiscal cliff and the kerfuffle over the House not voting for a Hurricane Sandy relief package, but the Obama administration yesterday announced a regulatory change that will make it incredibly easier for some illegal immigrants to apply for legal status. The Washington Post gave the development six paragraphs of coverage which it placed at the bottom of page A15 in the January 3 edition of the paper. Nowhere in that brief story were any critics of the new policy approached for comment.
"Immigrants who are unlawfully in the United States and are closely related to U.S. citizens will soon be able to apply for permanent residency from inside the country," Post staffer Tara Bahrampour noted in the lead paragraph of her story, headlined in the print edition, "Residency path for some illegal immigrants eased."
While many of us can probably wax nostalgic about a job in our past that was thoroughly challenging and enjoyable, I'd venture to say not many of us would fondly recall unlimited expense accounts, much less free-flowing booze and a sexually promiscuous culture that treated female employees as ready-to-order mistresses. But then, you might if you worked for Newsweek in the 1960s and '70s.
In his "oral history" interview feature that was compiled for the magazine's final print edition, Newsweek.com staffer Andrew Romano chatted with some of the writers and editors from the Mad Men era of the weekly magazine. What particularly struck me was the almost wistful way in which many interview subjects fondly recalled sexual liaisons in the magazine's Madison Avenue office. Also seemingly excused by Newsweek alumni was the blatant sexual harassment female staffers were shown. At one point, one justified the harassment by attributing it to the journalistic profession writ large, practically absolving offenders of any personal responsibility (emphases mine):
Most of the January 2 front page for The Washington Post was devoted to the resolution of the so-called fiscal cliff, but editors made sure to leave space for a gauzy 33-paragraph story entitled "History at the altar: Maryland sees wave of same-sex weddings as law takes effect."
By contrast, an uplifting story involving a non-controversial religious tradition in African-American churches was shuffled to the bottom of page A2, despite the tremendous historical significance of the 2012 New Year's Eve "watch night" celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Just as the open casket for Emmett Till's funeral in 1955 was a grisly wake-up call to Americans about the need to seriously tackle civil rights issues in America, so grisly photos of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting crime scene could be a "transformational" moment in the gun control debate. Or so mused Jim Vance of NBC's Washington station WRC-TV the other night, passing on the suggestion he first heard from liberal radio host Joe Madison.
Vance did not outright call on parents of the Newtown massacre to push for release of the crime scene photos, but he came awfully close, suggesting that seeing the damage from AR-15 ammunition in the dead body of 6-year-old looks like might shape the debate. "Like Joe, I am not insisting on taking anybody's gun away, but I too think there might be some value to taking the discussion about this out of our heads, and into our guts," Vance insisted. [see video embed below page break]
Our friend Bob Parks, the senior video producer for our sister site MRCTV.org, was invited on Canada's Sun News recently to discuss ESPN's Rob Parker smearing Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III. Parker was skeptical of RG3, wondering if he was possibly a "cornball brother" who wasn't "down with the cause" because Griffin has a white fiancee and is rumored by some to be a Republican.
"Once Parker thought that there was an outside chance that Robert Griffin III might be, heaven forbid, a Republican, that's when all bets were off," Parks told Michael Coren of Canada's Sun News. Parker's complaint about Griffin's choice to marry a white woman by itself was a suspendable offense, Parks noted, but "being a Republican" and especially a "black Republican" athlete, well, "that's a pretty bad thing" in "the hallowed halls of ESPN," where the political lean of the newsroom defaults to the liberal Democratic side as in much of the rest of the media. [Watch the full video below]
The hard-left gun abolitionists are feeling their oats lately. Buoyed by the president's reelection and his hinting strongly that he will pursue gun control legislation in the wake of the Newtown mass murder, Daily Kos founder MarkosMoulitsas offered yesterday "Some thoughts on the coming gun debate" which essentially boiled down to a call to make illegal a broad array of guns that are right now perfectly legal and used daily by law-abiding Americans to protect their homes: rifles and handguns that are semiautomatics with detachable magazines.
"[I]f I were the benevolent dictator of this country, I'd simply outlaw guns with magazines. That would leave plenty of guns for people to hunt with and defend their homes," Moulitsas insisted. Of course, banning all guns with magazines would instantly make Granny's 9 mm semiautomatic pistol illegal. Sure, she may opt for a revolver, but generally speaking that means she's going to have less rounds to work with in a home defense scenario, not to mention stronger kickback. But really, in Moulitsas's mind, if you are a gun owner, like the shooter's mom was, you were probably a paranoid freak who deserves to be shot:
So our good friend Dan Joseph of our sister site MRCTV.org stopped by a pro-gun control demonstration in Washington, D.C., yesterday. As you might expect, he found some pretty dopey people spouting pretty dopey platitudes. The money shot, however, is at the tail end, where a helmet-haired bozo -- who earlier stepped on threatened to step on Joseph's foot cast, by the way -- admits that if you ban semiautomatic handguns that criminals will still get them, in which case, if you're a crime victim, "you're f***ed." [video follows page break; foul language warning]
An old journalistic saw about what's newsworthy goes a little something like this: "When a dog bites man, that's not a new story. Now a man bites a dog, that's a story." The idea is simple: News is something that is unusual, out of the ordinary, has a twist that makes it unexpected and shocking.
The same media that were "obsessive about the need for civility in the American public conservation" is deliberately ignoring the utter lack of civility, and worse, violence, from the left as evidenced by union thug violence this past week in Lansing, Michigan, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell argued on the December 13 Hannity program.
"What is key here is that reporters were there. That scene is crawling with journalists. They're all there. They're seeing it with their own eyes. It's not like they missed the story, it's not like they didn't have the footage, it's not like nobody told them about it," the founder and president of the Media Research Center noted on the weekly "Media Mash" segment. "They were there, they saw it. And still, they withheld it from the public," Bozell noted, going on to call for peaceful Tea Party protests of media censorship outside the headquarters of the major networks: [Watch the full segment below the page break]
Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey seemed absolutely shocked and appalled Tuesday afternoon, when MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall kicked off their interview on comprehensive immigration reform by asking him about breaking news from the Associated Press regarding the arrest and deportation order against an intern in the senator's office who is a registered sex offender. According to the report, the arrest was deliberately timed to fall AFTER the November 6 presidential election.
"Do you know anything about this report, senator," Hall asked a visibly annoyed Menendez. "We certainly wouldn't have known through any background checks since he is a minor about any sex offender status," Menendez insisted, "and once it came to our attention, our New Jersey staff director let the young man go from the program." [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
In his Washington Secrets column in the December 12 Washington Examiner, columnist Paul Bedard disclosed for readers the thrust of a recent email that Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe sent supporters: McAuliffe is a "mainstream" candidate fighting for Virginians against the "extremist" Tea Party conservative Ken Cuccinelli.
That's par for the course for a liberal Democratic candidate in a swing state, of course, but its notable for our purposes at NewsBusters because, as I've been writing the past few weeks, that's exactly the narrative that the liberal Washington Post is putting in their ostensibly neutral news articles. You can find those pieces here, here, and here. As the 2013 off-year election season heats up, expect to see the liberal media generally, but the Washington Post in particular, do its best to help the McAuliffe campaign sell its narrative. It may be hard to tell where the campaign talking points end and the supposedly neutral news media begins.
As I argued yesterday, the Advent season is exploited every year by the liberal media to tweak faithful Christians, using the holidays as a hook for liberal political and religious themes or to advance ancient heresies. Ditto with the Lenten season.
Well, the latest example comes from David Gibson of the Religion News Service, who has picked up on a new complaint from a feminist scholar, Margaret Miles, which boils down to essentially this: How come we never see depictions of the Virgin Mary breastfeeding the baby Jesus? I kid you not.
As we at NewsBusters have noticed, Advent and Lent seem to be the times of year that the liberal secular media loves to tweak devout Christians with attacks on historic, orthodox Christian teaching. The latest example is the media being abuzz over Irish playwright and novelist Colm Toibin's "The Testament of Mary."
The "silent, obedient, observant" Mary of Scripture that has "echoed down" through church history is ripped apart by "the masterful Irish writer Colm Toibin" who "puts a jackhammer to the cozy, safe, Christmas-card version" of the Mother of God, gushed Karen Long of the Cleveland Plain Dealer in a December 7 Religion News Service piece accessible at the Washington Post's "On Faith" section.
Reuters correspondent Andrea King Collier offered readers a heavily-slanted 27-paragraph story last evening about Michigan Republican lawmakers pushing a right-to-work bill in the state legislature. King Collier quoted only one proponent of the legislation -- Gov. Rick Snyder -- who was described as a "reluctant supporter of the measure," unlike "other Republican governors who have championed curbs on unions." Snyder sounded apologetic for the legislature's action, quoted by King Collier as saying "that issue was on the table whether I wanted it to be there or not."
By contrast, King Collier quoted three critics of the legislation: a union boss, an Obama White House spokesman, and a teacher's union member who was on hand outside the state capitol in Lansing to protest the bills under consideration.
Yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) a golden opportunity to prove just how popular President Obama's plan to avert the fiscal cliff is with his member of his own party. But, true to form, Sen. Reid refused to schedule the vote. "Not a single Senate Democrat has stepped forward to support it, and if you look at it you can see why.... It increases taxes," McConnell was quoted by Ramsey Cox in a story filed the afternoon of December 5 for TheHill.com. For his part, Reid dismissed McConnell's push for a vote as a stunt, although just last week he praised the president's plan, suggesting Obama and Senate Democrats were "on the same page."
Unfortunately this development failed to receive any mention on the evening newscasts for ABC, CBS, or NBC, nor on the December 6 morning programs for the same networks. Likewise both the New York Times and Washington Post December 6 print editions failed to report Reid's refusal to schedule a vote.
As the 2013 Virginia governor's race is already underway, the Washington Post is determined to set the narrative early on for its readers, and it goes a little something like this: Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is a hard-right conservative who's too extreme for the Old Dominion, especially in contrast to job-creating businessman Terry McAuliffe. McAuliffe, you may recall, served as Democratic National Committee chairman from 2001 to 2005. [Read related posts here and here]
In the December 6 paper, Post staff writer Ben Pershing continued the narrative with his treatment of liberal former congressman Tom Perriello's announcement the day prior that he would not run for governor and that he backs McAuliffe, giving the former DNC chief a virtual lock on the nomination next June. The race is now between "Cuccinelli, a conservative who is loved by his party base, and McAuliffe," a "businessman" who "previously ran the Democratic National Committee," Pershing noted. The term "liberal" was used twice in Pershing's 17-paragraph story, in relation to Perriello. There was no exploration of the question of McAuliffe's ideological leanings:
Chris Matthews is not one to let a pesky thing like facts get in the way of a favored liberal narrative. That's why, for example, on the Oct. 22 edition of Hardball he insisted the 9/11 assault on the Benghazi compound was "all about" the YouTube video "Innocence of Muslims," when by that time it was most clearly established that it was a premeditated terrorist strike.
Well, yesterday, Matthews's obsession with painting a significant minority of Republicans as loony secessionists colored his cherry-picking of a Public Policy Polling survey. The Hardball host glommed onto a statistic in a December 4-released PPP poll that found some 25 percent of Republican respondents said they favored their state seceding in light of President Obama's reelection. "What do you want to bet these are the same people who say that President Obama is a Muslim?" huffed Matthews in a tease for a segment entitled "If at First You Don't Secede." But a look at the cross tabs in the poll shows that 27 percent of Hispanics, 29 percent of voters aged 18-29, and even 12 percent of African-Americans favor secession. Those demographics, of course, are all ones which the president handily won. At no point in his segment on the poll, however, did any of these facts come up. [MP3 audio excerpts here; video follows page break]
The 2013 gubernatorial races may be in many ways a prelude of the 2014 congressional midterms. That certainly was the case in 1993 and 2009. So it's no surprise that the liberal media are doing their best to start writing the narrative about presumptive Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli, who presently serves as the commonwealth's attorney general.
In a December 4 Swampland blog post, Time's Alex Altman exemplified the boilerplate comparison we're already seeing in other outlets like the Washington Post: Republican Ken Cuccinelli is a "controversial by design," staunch Tea Party conservative who could be a risky bet for the governor's mansion while his likely Democratic sparring partner, Terry McAuliffe is an ideologically nondescript inside-the-Beltway mover and shaker (emphasis mine):
Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple jumped to the defense of Bob Costas in a Monday morning blog post entitled, "Bob Costas, please keep spouting off." While Wemple avoided stating whether he agreed with Costas and Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock on gun control per se, he made it perfectly clear he had a low view of the average Joe at home wanting to escape the world for three hours watching a football game.
This is "the mentality of the sports consumer," Wemple groused, "Give me the game, the X's and the O's, the instant replays, the halftime highlights and leave the rest of the world out of it." But, "NFL players live in our society and are bound by our laws. The things that they do affect the public beyond whether their teams cover the point spread," Wemple argued, concluding (emphasis mine):
Ever since we learned that the dopey YouTube trailer for "The Innocence of Muslims" was definitely not to blame for the dead consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya, we've heard virtually nothing about the movie from the mainstream media. But last Wednesday there was a development that merited some new attention: a court in Cairo placed a death sentence on seven Coptic Christians involved with the film.
The Christians sentenced in the case were tried in absentia and so are unlikely to face execution, unless of course they return to Egypt. Still, given the political situation and how it has yielded an Islamist president in Mohammed Morsi and a heavily Islamist draft constitution, one might think the media would pay some attention to this development. A search of Nexis yielded no hits on this story on either the broadcast networks -- ABC, CBS, and NBC -- nor the New York Times or Washington Post.
As I argued yesterday, the Washington Post is already at work with its spin operation to tar Virginia Republican gubernatorial contender Ken Cuccinelli as a right-wing radical in advance of the 2013 race. The spin operation continued apace, today on the front page of the paper's Metro section, where Richmond correspondent Laura Vozzella described for readers how Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling concluded that "the path to GOP nomination looked too steep" to venture.
In her 19-paragraph story November 30 story, Vozzella hailed Bolling as the "state's multi-tasker in chief" who "has been juggling the part-time job of Virginia lieutenant governor with running for governor and working as a private insurance man." But alas, Bolling, "who shares many of [Attorney General Ken] Cuccinelli's conservative views but has a more conciliatory style" was no match for the attorney general's forces, who "pulled off something of a coup" when they "[took] control of the Republican State Central Committee."