High school kids who graduate with flying colors in District of Columbia schools often find that college kicks their butt, the Washington Post's Emma Brown reported in a front-pager today headlined "College-bound D.C. grads pack hopes and fears." "Past valedictorians of low-performing District high schools say their own transitions to college were eye-opening and at times ego-shattering, filled with revelations that -- despite taking their public schools' most difficult classes and acing them -- they were not equipped to excel at the nation's top colleges," Brown lamented.
Yet nowhere in her 45-paragraph story did the Post education reporter -- and former math teacher -- find anyone to blame D.C. public schools teachers and administrators for the failure to properly prepare their students for the academic rigors of college. To the extent that sub-par teaching was fingered for blame, it was explained away by that usual liberal bogeyman: standardized testing (emphasis mine):
As we've shown here and here, the New York Times has trouble understanding the central Christian doctrine of the resurrection of Christ. As my colleague Clay Waters noted back in April, even in issuing a correction to a doozy of an error in a story this year, Times editors made another mistake in the correction that referred to the "resurrection into heaven" of Jesus.
Well, the Times has once again demonstrated it needs to go back to Sunday School. Take the June 14 David Brooks column -- " Religion and Inequality" -- wherein the quasi-conservative scribe misattributed a biblical passage by the Apostle Paul to Jesus. The Times dutifully issued a correction, but as you'll see below, it's still deficient (emphasis mine):
"The media finally recognized a[n] [Obama] scandal, but then slowly but surely they took their foot off the gas," Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity noted of the media's treatment of the IRS/Tea Party scandal as he opened the "Media Mash" segment with NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell on Thursday's Hannity. As Hannity opened the segment, an on-screen graphic [embedded below the page break] displayed data collected by Media Research Center (MRC) deputy research director Geoff Dickens which showed the broadcast media's waning interest in reporting on developments in the scandal.
"Look, the first two weeks of this scandal, 96 stories. The second two weeks, 31 stories. This week: one story. It's over," as far as the media are concerned, the MRC founder noted, even though the MRC's own CNSNews.com division broke some damning revelations related to the IRS scandal this week. For example, Bozell noted:
The Washington Post's Jim Tankersley today gave the George Soros-funded liberal Center for American Progress (CAP) 14 paragraphs of puffy coverage devoted to CAP's tax-heavy plan "aimed at recharging the U.S. economy." The liberal wish list is "meant to boost beleaguered middle-class workers," Tankersley noted.
In his June 13 story headlined "Plan aims to accelerate economy," the Post economic policy correspondent hailed how "The 250-page report, '300 Million Engines of Growth,' appears to be the most comprehensive effort yet by a think tank of any ideology to bridge what was the most glaring economic policy divide of the 2012 election." Tankersley then gushed that "[t]he core of the plan is the notion that economies grow and thrive best when prosperity is broadly shared." Yeah, you know where this is going, but Tankersley waited until the 8th paragraph (out of a 14-paragraph story) to note that it comes with, wait for it, "a parade of new or increased taxes" such as:
Virginia's junior U.S. senator, Timothy Kaine (D) became the first member of the world's greatest deliberative body to deliver a speech in Spanish. The former governor did so during debate on immigration reform on the Senate floor on Tuesday.
Covering the development, Washington Post staffer Ed O'Keefe gave readers an 18-paragraph story devoted to the history-making oration in his June 12 page A2 story headlined, "Kaine's Spanish speech on Senate floor is a first." Yet nowhere in the entire article did O'Keefe find any critics to complain that, maybe, just maybe, Kaine's ploy was a cynical effort at pandering to Hispanic Americans. Neither was there any concern about the logistics of debate in a chamber that is accustomed to speech and debate being conducted for the record in English.
You gotta love MSNBC for giving us the gems that are their "Lean Forward" ads. They never disappoint to boil down to 30-second spots the hard-left views of their hosts.
Take Chris Hayes, host of the primetime weeknight program All In, who, in his latest promo spot sounds an almost utopian note when he recalled how his parents -- whom he previously called his heroes, as opposed to, say military personnel -- taught him that while "life isn't fair... it should be":
Yesterday evening the Obama administration announced it would back down from plans to fight a federal judge's ruling that the Plan B emergency contraception pill must be made available over-the-counter and without age restriction in U.S. pharmacies. Previously the FDA permitted over-the-counter sales to girls and women aged 17 and older and the Obama administration wished to revise that age requirement down to 15.
But in reporting the story, both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal omitted any objection from pro-life or parents rights groups, even as they reported the reactions of abortion rights advocates. "We are pleased that women should soon be able to buy Plan B One-Step without the arbitrary restrictions that kept it locked behind the pharmacy counter when they needed it most urgently," the Journal's Jennifer Corbett Dooren quoted Nancy Northup of the Center for Reproductive Rights at the close of her 11-paragraph, page A3 story for Tuesday's print edition.
Checking back at Time.com today and searching for "State Department," I found that the magazine has still yet to get around to the story. But they have had time on Tuesday, apparently, to drum up "The 13 Funniest Celebrity First Tweets."
As I've noted before, Washington Post diplomatic correspondent Anne Gearan has demonstrated in the past a penchant for hagiographic coverage of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Well, yesterday Gearan turned her puffery to work for Susan Rice the outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations whose dutiful peddling of fallacious talking points after the 9/11 Benghazi attack ultimately doomed her nomination to succeed Clinton at Foggy Bottom.
Gearan devoted her 17 paragraphs story to explaining to readers of the June 6 Washington Post how "Rice, known for [her] toughness, has [her] work cut out for her" as the president's new national security advisor, a possible that does not require Senate confirmation. Apart from a brief reference to how Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) remain critical of her, the vast bulk of the story was strewn with glowing references to Rice, particularly from Democratic defenders (emphasis mine):
"Poll Finds Support Slumping for Health Law," blares the top headline on page A4 of Thursday's edition of the Wall Street Journal. "Americans' unease with President Barack Obama's health-care law has intensified," staff writers Patrick O'Connor and Louise Radnofsky noted, and that "just as the administration is gearing up to persuade people to sign up for some of its major provisions" according to a poll commissioned by the Journal and NBC News.
Among other things the poll found "the number calling [ObamaCare] a bad idea reached a high of 49%... with 43% 'strongly' holding that view" and double the number of poll respondents (38 percent to 19 percent) believing they will prove "worse off" under ObamaCare's implementation rather than "better off." Sure enough, however, NBC News elected to leave out those damning statistics from Thursday's edition of the Today morning show program.
In early 2012, after the breast cancer charity Komen for the Cure announced it would end its relationship with Planned Parenthood, the group quickly saw a 100 percent spike in fundraising. But alas, defenders of the nation's largest abortion provider and their accomplices in the liberal media, chief among them MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, struck back with a vengeance and the group eventually reversed itself under intense pressure from the Left. Ever since the epic Komen cave, however, the organization has seen faltering fundraising.
It's one thing, perhaps, for a major movie critic to grouse about product placement in a major motion picture and deem such an action a "sell out." But when a business writer does so, it kind of makes you scratch your head.
Ira Stoll of FutureofCapitalism.com has a great piece over at TIME magazine's website which makes an interesting observation about the late U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who died from complications from viral pneumonia this morning.
In his 30 years prior to first entering the Senate, Lautenberg made a fortune with a company that is now called Automatic Data Processing, Inc. or ADP. Along with Paychex, ADP is one of the nation's top payroll contract firms. Although Stoll didn't quite put it this way, it seems Lautenberg's fortune earned at ADP was made in no small part possible by the mind-numbing complexity of the U.S. tax code which drove millions of businesses to pay ADP to take care of the hassle for them:
Time magazine's Michael Grunwald got to thinking about how to end IRS abuse of power when it comes to reviewing applications for tax-exempt status. But somewhere along the line he opted for the ol' liberal standby: more TAXES!
In his commentary piece, "One Nation, Tax Exempt," Grunwald held out the idea of completely eliminating tax-exempt status for non-profits:
"I've been saying it from the very beginning," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell reminded Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity. When it comes to Obama administration scandals, the liberal media are eventually forced to cover them, but "they'll do a couple of stories, and then they'll say, we're done and they'll walk away."
That's exactly why the liberal media returned to adoring lapdog form last week and gushed over pro-Obama fluff like newly-released Obama senior prom pictures from 1979, the Media Research Center founder noted. "Nothing you and I can say can better illustrate how much in the tank the press is for Barack Obama," Bozell concluded, having noted how, by contrast, Lois Lerner's taking the Fifth before a congressional hearing on IRS abuse was ignored on the May 23 Good Morning America and Today programs. [watch the full "Media Mash" segment below the page break]
As we've documented time and again, Newsweek global business editor Daniel Gross has a history of anti-business and pro-big government bias.
Gross stayed true to form in his latest attack on a successful American business enterprise in his May 29 Newsweek feature, "Is Apple Too Clever By Half?" Gross's answer, unsurprisingly, was yes, and that the company was greedy because it has followed U.S. tax law scrupulously in a manner that lessened its tax bite.
"We have a tax problem; we are not collecting enough tax revenue -- period," Porter approvingly quoted the University of Michigan's Jim Hines, who whined, "we are never going to finance what we need with corporate taxes." Picking up on this thread, Porter lamented that the United States is "the only advanced nation that does not have a value-added tax, which is similar to a sales tax and can raise lots of revenue." Apparently the $2.5 trillion raised in federal revenue each year just can't cut it, according to Porter and Hines.
"When First Amendment advocates say Rosen was "falsely" characterized as a co-conspirator, they do not understand the law," huffed Pincus. "When others claim this investigation is 'intimidating a growing number of government sources,' they don't understand history." Lucky for us we have Pincus to school us all, I suppose. But the fact remains that when you consider the timeline of the investigation, there appears to be no legitimate reason for the FBI to have gone on a fishing expedition through Rosen's emails and phone records, considering what they already knew from their investigation of government records that narrowed down the leak to one suspect: intelligence adviser Stephen Jin-Woo Kim.
Corrected from earlier*: On the May 16 Kudlow Report program on Fox Business Network, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell hit the nail on the head, predicting that the media would quickly shift into the "Move On!" mode as they would start attacking Republicans as scandal-obsessed. The same evening on Fox News Channel's Hannity, Bozell noted how former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather was already using the Clinton scandal playbook and grousing that Republicans need to "move on."
Sure enough, a week later when the Media Research Center returned to Hannity for another "Media Mash" segment [watch the video embed below the page break], he had plenty of fresh material from the networks to illustrate how the liberal media are doing precisely that. After watching a montage of journalists complaining that Republicans may be guilty of "overreach" with their dogged pursuit of the IRS investigation, Bozell reminded guest host Eric Bolling that "this is the old game plan, which is":
Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hassan is still drawing his military paycheck while the Defense Department has refused to deem Hassan's victims as suffering combat-related wounds, which would entitle them to Purple Hearts and additional pay and benefits to aid the cost of their rehabilitation, Scott Friedman of Dallas, Texas, NBC affiliate KXAS reported on Wednesday morning. [watch the original KXAS report below the page break]
Yesterday, native Texan and MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall aired Friedman's report on her NewsNation program in her "Gut Check" segment in which she asked her viewers to weigh in on her Facebook page, "Should the Pentagon designate the Fort Hood shooting a terrorist attack?" [For their part, 76 percent of her viewers agreed that it should.] Although this is a pretty compelling report, at time of publication, neither NBC's Nightly News nor Today programs have aired the story.
While the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal this morning gave front-page coverage to yesterday's grisly beheading of a British serviceman on a London street in broad daylight, the New York Times placed their 20-paragraph story by London correspondent John F. Burns on page A7. Editors slapped on the headline, "'Barbaric' Attack in London Renews Fears of Terror Threat," with "barbaric" in scare quotes.
While the Post, Journal, and Times all ran quotes from one of the attackers as transcribed from a cell phone video filmed by a bystander, the Times curiously left out a portion of the rant where the attacker boasted, "We swear by the almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone."
When does a textbook example of a "local crime story" become worthy of 18-paragraphs of coverage in the national news pages of the New York Times? Well, it helps if it services a socially liberal narrative. Bonus points if that narrative involves persecution for the sake of sexual orientation in some shape or form.
When a major journalist breaks a gun law in the nation's capital on national TV in front of hundreds of thousands of viewers at home, you'd think it would be pretty much an open-and-shut case to prosecute. But when Meet the Press host David Gregory did just that last December -- displaying on-air an empty 30-round magazine during an interview segment with the NRA's Wayne LaPierre -- he got off scot-free when the District of Columbia failed to prosecute. The relevant law on the books in the nation's capital calls for a $1,000 fine and a year in prison for any civilian who possesses a ammunition magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds.
Two months later, annoyed with the District of Columbia for failing to answer her questions pertaining to the case, pro-gun rights opinion columnist Emily Miller of the Washington Times filed a freedom of information request. On Friday, Miller updated readers by noting how the District has been stringing her and other conservative bloggers along when it came to producing documents related to the Gregory investigation (emphasis mine):
But all that doesn't matter to the Post's Walter Pincus, who dutifully defended Team Obama in his May 21 column, "AP leak investigation less clear-cut than the uproar." It seems the national security correspondent and columnist doesn't mind an intrusive, secret investigation, now and then, so long as it's in service of aiding a liberal president or undermining a conservative one as in the now-infamous Valerie Plame case (emphasis mine):
While the the front page of today's Washington Post is actually reporting significant developments in two of Barack Obama's trifecta of scandals, the Washington Post Company-owned free tabloid the Express is busy lamenting if the president will ever get "A Break from the Storm?"
Perhaps, as "advisers say," he "should stage a major economic speech to drown out the noise[emphasis mine] of recent scandals," Express editors helpfully offered in a caption for their front-page photo illustration, which depicted a grimacing President Obama getting drenched in a downpour [see image below page break].
The liberal media are not really "up in arms" with the Obama administration, but are simply having a "lover's quarrel" over the AP scandal in particular, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told CNBC host Larry Kudlow on his May 16 The Kudlow Report program.
What's more, it won't be that long until "[t]he Bill Clinton syndrome is going to be upon us, where it's time to move on, we've covered it [the media will say] and they're going to turn the fire right on Republicans as being obstructionists. Mark my word," the Media Research Center founder predicted. [watch the full segment below the page break]
Imagine that in a week in which George W. Bush was dogged by not one or two but three scandals -- one of which was the IRS singling out liberal groups for stricter scrutiny -- a federal appeals court invalidated a recess appointment the Republican president made, finding he improperly ran an end run around the U.S. Senate. The national media would, no doubt, pick up on the story as evidence that the president was abusing power, weaving the development into a larger narrative about the president's untrustworthiness in light of the aforementioned scandals.
Well, yesterday the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling invalidating an Obama recess appointment that was made when the Senate was on a short break in between meetings. This is the second such ruling in four months as the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a similar ruling in late January. Predictably, however, both the May 16 broadcast network evening newscasts and the May 17 broadcast network morning shows completely ignored the ruling.
NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell and Fox News host Sean Hannity kicked off the "Media Mash" segment of the May 16 Hannity with a deliciously ironic clip of Hardball host Chris Matthews lamenting on his Tuesday program that President Obama is surrounded by adoring yes-men who can't bear to tell him bad news, and that that culture of groupthink leaves the president prone to embarrassing scandals. "A little irony there?! I couldn't resist! I had to start with that," Hannity said suppressing laughter. "Okay, a sycophant who's in awe and in love with Barack Obama. Chris Matthews, call your office," Bozell quipped, adding, "This is the man who spits to tell us how much Obama's the perfect man."
Well, this should be fun. President Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will hold a joint press conference in a few minutes in the Rose Garden. The last joint press conference the president held -- on May 13 with British Prime Minister David Cameron -- was met with some tough questions by the AP's Julie Pace.
Below the page break I'll be live-blogging the questions from journalists. As usual, please give us the questions you would like answered in the comments section. Also, who do you think might ask the toughest questions and who might try to help the president out with a softball? Let us know your thoughts.