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."
The same newspaper that succeeded in felling Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) with its constant drumbeat of the "macaca" kerfuffle and which tried but failed to scuttle Bob McDonnell's 2009 run for Virginia governor with Thesisgate is ginning up its spin operation in service of the Democrats once again, looking forward 11 months into the future with the 2013 gubernatorial election in the Old Dominion.
Witness the November 29 front-pager by Errin Haines and Laura Vozzella entitled "Choice for governor of Va. may be stark." Right off the bat, we have bias by labeling which casts the Republican as an ideologue and the Democrat as a pragmatist.
As we at NewsBusters have noted, the media's coverage of Mohammed Morsi's self-appointment as virtual dictator in Egypt has been dreadful. Surely TIME magazine would be a little more hard-hitting, right?
Wrong. Despite having the benefit of three reporters on the byline -- Richard Stengel, Bobby Ghosh and Karl Vick -- none of those men posed a really hard-hitting question and all of them let Morsi drone on with filibuster-length answers that dominated the interview. Below the page break you'll find the agenda of questions asked (emphases mine) -- the first one is an incredibly dopey non-question -- and you can read the TIME transcript here:
If former Baptist minister turned former presidential candidate turned Fox News Channel host Mike Huckabee ran a non-profit organization that was a) deeply in debt b) owed Uncle Sam years in back taxes and c) was in dispute with a conservative trade organization in D.C. over unpaid rent, it's hard to imagine Huck's competitors at MSNBC wouldn't gleefully note those financial woes from time to time.
Fox News, however, will most certainly restrain their schadenfreude at the latest news regarding MSNBC's resident Baptist minister turned presidential candidate turned bloviating host. Today's Washington Post reports that the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) is upset with Sharpton's National Action Network (NAN) for failing to pay months of back rent as well as failing to tender payment for rented office furniture:
Ah, the holiday season. It's that time of year when the liberal media loves to use Jesus and the Virgin Mary to push liberal talking points if not outright push the envelope. So while NPR is busy promoting a new novel that presents the Virgin Mary as a skeptic who believes her son Jesus was a fraud, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry went a safer but equally trite route, using the story of Jesus's nativity to erroneously lecture viewers that Jesus was the son of a single mother and that, as such, we should celebrate all kinds of families, not just the "1950s Leave It to Beaver"- style nuclear ones.
Last Tuesday night, Cindy Michaels and Tony Consiglio of ABC 7 out of Bangor, Maine, resigned on air. The Bangor Daily News's Andrew Neff reported that the duo told him that they resigned in part because senior management at their TV station wanted them to deviate from objectively covering the news to bearing a decidedly more editorial slant (see MRCTV video of the on air resignation below; emphasis mine):
In a dismissive post published yesterday afternoon, Gawker's Mallory Ortberg scoffed that, at least so far, no one was clamoring to move into a planned dorm at the University of Colorado which will be open only to students who are at least 21 years old and who have concealed-carry permits:
In last week's Food section, the Washington Post's Manuel Roig-Franzia cooked up a look at various First Families and their respective Thanksgiving traditions. While overall not that bad a feature, the current residents at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue received a fair bit of mushy treatment, especially for incorporating the produce of their organic White House garden into the Thanksgiving feast. [h/t my lovely wife Laura, who is hard at work on our Thanksgiving feast today]
What's more there will be "No creamy, gloppy, fattening dressing, either," Roig-Franzia gushed approvingly. "Their fresh produce will be dappled with a dressing that would make a dietitian beam, blended from shallots, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and olive oil." The Post staffer likewise included some vignettes about the last Democratic first family, the Clintons, and how Mrs. Clinton kept a sense of down-home Southern sensibility even in the fancy finery of the executive mansion's dining room:
It's rare that we take on liberal newspaper columnists. They're entitled to their opinions and no one expects them to adhere to a standard of objectivity. But on those occasions when a columnist transgresses the bounds of decency, we have to take note.
The Miami Herald's Leonard Pitts Jr. is one such opinion writer. In his November 17 column he argued some of the blame for a suicide in Key West, Florida, should be laid at the doorstep of conservative talk show hosts:
Our good friend Brian Maloney of the Radio Equalizer blog appeared on Wednesday's edition of Hannity to discuss left-wing radio hosts and their hateful rhetoric about conservatives.
Even though their ratings are paltry compared to conservative talk radio, it's vitally important to shine a light on their hate and criticize it, Maloney argued. "Pay attention to what they're saying, because often times what you hear on these shows ends up on the smear left websites, etc." and motivates the left-wing base to show up on election day. [watch the full segment below]:
Democrats picked up seven new House seats and expanded their caucus in the Senate by two seats, electing along the way the House's first Hindu member and the Senate's first Buddhist. But for liberal religion scholar Stephen Prothero, that's not good enough, because both chambers are still disproportionately too Protestant, with Republicans in particular looking too much like an "old-fashioned America" of yesteryear.
Rolling with the martial theme of the current edition of Newsweek -- "The Obama Conquest Lucky General or Master of the Game" -- writer Michelle Goldberg exulted in the GOP's defeat with her story, "The War on Women Backfires." "Republicans thought they could get away with the endless attacks on the fairer sex. They couldn't have been more wrong," thundered the subheadline (emphasis Newsweek's).
Of course, as we've noted here at NewsBusters, Goldberg conducted her own war on conservative women earlier this year with an attack on the "insufferable" Ann Romney. But conservative women, apparently don't seem to matter to Goldberg, who sees as misogynistic the notion of cutting off federal taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood, which of course happens to be the nation's largest abortion provider and hence largest murderer of unborn baby girls:
As my colleague Tom Blumer noted, early this morning, Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown and Josh Gerstein posited seven "hard questions" they anticipated being raised at today's presidential press conference. "[W]hen he holds his first full-scale news conference in eight months Wednesday, Obama will have to explain how he plans to re-create his national security team, what he knows about the burgeoning [Petraeus] scandal and why he didn’t get wind of it sooner, " Budoff Brown and Gerstein noted, adding, "It’ll probably leave him longing to talk more about the fiscal cliff, the less titillating storyline of the week." The Politico writers then listed seven questions that they anticipated would be asked. Some of the predicted questions ended up being asked in some form or another, but I've excerpted below the ones which didn't get pressed in any fashion at all (emphasis mine):
The shocking revelation of CIA Director David Petraeus's adultery has rocked Washington and has thrilled the media, perhaps a little too much.
Forget the pain that adultery causes and which Holly Petraeus must be feeling right now. For the Daily Beast/Newsweek's Lizzie Crocker, the whole situation is the perfect news peg to offer aspiring philanderers lessons they can learn from the ex-CIA chief's "rookie mistakes."
On the November 9 edition of the leftist program Democracy Now, socialist professor Cornel West denounced President Obama from the Left, saying he's not liberal enough for his tastes.
The Harvard professor said that his struggle for left-wing economic policies "intensifies" with Obama's reelection since the president is little more than a "Rockefeller Republican in blackface." In fact, West added, from his perspective, the late President Nixon was better on health care, as he was "to the left" of Obama on the issue. Our friend Bob Parks of our sister site MRCTV.org has the video, which I've embedded below the page break:
It's hard to imagine a major newspaper according Style section coverage to a 10-part documentary that was the brainchild of a conservative filmmaker with a penchant for conspiracy theories. But a left-winger, that's a different story. The Washington Post's Ann Hornaday today gave readers of the paper a 12-paragraph puff piece about "Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States" which premieres tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern on Showtime and focuses considerable attention on FDR's vice president Henry Wallace, a socialist who, had he been re-nominated in 1944 instead of Harry Truman, would have succeeded to the presidency in 1945 upon Roosevelt's death.
"Untold History" is a 10-hour-long documentary grounded "in indisputable fact," Hornaday assures readers, noting that Stone's collaborator in the project is an American University professor, Peter Kuznick.
"We can all be thankful" that "after 30 years of taking Christianity hostage and claiming that the church was really the Republican Party at prayer, this election actually revealed that the church is owned by neither Democrats nor Republicans," MSNBC's Martin Bashir pontificated at the open of is "Clear the Air" commentary which closed his eponymous November 9 program.
Fortunately for Mr. Bashir, making straw-man arguments and spouting overheated political rhetoric is not a sin. What is, however, is hypocrisy. You see, Bashir has been fond of using the Bible as a cudgel to attack conservative Republicans for having allegedly unbiblical, even anti-Christian politics. Take his hostile interview with Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) back in May, in which Bashir slandered Barton by saying he was for slashing funding to Meals on Wheels and that cutting back funding to the program was unbiblical:
As we've noted time and again, the Style section of the Washington Post has been reliably gaga over President Obama and liberal-friendly causes and campaigns. Today's Style page was no exception, with its front page dominated by an Obama for America photo that has been widely retweeted on Twitter and "liked" on Facebook.
"Snapshot of an equal, modern marriage," gushes the headline. "Loving image of Obamas is embraced by social media," added a subheader for Philip Kennicott's "Critic's Notebook" feature. "Who is embracing whom in that photograph of the Obamas that went viral on election night?" Kennicott asked in his lead sentence, laying the groundwork for a gushy item on how the Obamas exemplify a perfectly equal marital union, unlike, apparently, stodgy traditionalist, Republican first couples of yore (emphasis mine):
In his page A51 November 7 column, "Voting on same-sex marriage, with the Book of Leviticus ringing in my ears," the Washington Post's Courtland Milloy explained how, as a child raised in the "Bible Belt during the 1950s with that Old-Time Religion," he's still haunted by "Leviticus, that strong-arm book of the Bible that for years has tried to dictate my thoughts and actions through fear and guilt and on Tuesday dogged my every step to the polls."
What followed was Milloy recounting his consultations with two liberal theological influences in the local African-American community who helped convince him that voting for same-sex marriage was biblically kosher. He also tossed in a conservative black pastor who was quickly derided as a biblical literalist who is "not literate" in the estimation of a Howard Divinity professor. But at the very close of his column, Milloy rather gratuitously dropped in something that suggests he was struggling with lusting in his heart after President Obama's wife:
In his "Winners and losers from Election 2012" feature filed at his paper's website on Wednesday afternoon, the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza concluded that foreign policy in general was a "loser" in the campaign, failing to move votes (emphasis mine), "Despite all of the media attention that Libya drew in the final month of the campaign, foreign policy was an afterthought — at best — for most voters," he noted, adding that "Just 5 percent of people in the national exit poll said foreign policy was their most important issue. Interestingly, Obama won that group by 20+ points."
But as we've noted in numerous places on this blog, the administration's ever-shifting storyline on Benghazi failed to get scrutiny in the media, and new, damning revelations were downplayed or ignored, especially as the election drew closer and closer:
It's no secret that the liberal media have boosted Obama with bias by commission, going out of their way to treat him with gauzy coverage, softball interviews, and by hyping his celebrity status, but bias by omission played an even larger role in the media's part to ensure the president's reelection, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Stuart Varney this morning. [see video below page break]
Appearing on the November 7 edition Fox Business Network's Varney & Co. shortly after 10 a.m., Bozell, also the founder and president of the Media Research Center, told the audience that the media simply "stopped reporting the news" on things that would, if covered, make Obama look bad. The only questions which remain, Bozell added were:
During a November 6 chat with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell in which he handicapped the election, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) argued that Republicans had done themselves no favors by both having as many debates as they did in the primary season and turning those debates over to liberal journalists for moderating. "If you were going to have the debates, let them be sponsored by the Heritage Foundation or let them be sponsored by the Republican National Committee."
For her part, Mitchell was visibly upset by this charge and shot back that various state Republican Party organizations had co-sponsored those debates. "But they were controlled by the news media," Barbour reminded her. "But I am accepting your point," Barbour conceded, that the lengthy, debate-laden primary season hurt Romney's ability to campaign for independents' votes. [watch the video below the page break]
Updated: Franke-Ruta tweeted back | In a segment on the November 5 Now with Alex Wagner, Garance Franke-Ruta argued that it was "not preordained" that the devastation from Hurricane Sandy and Obama's subsequent photo-op responses would "work in his favor. The Atlantic magazine writer made those observations during a panel discussion on how, in Wagner's words, the hurricane "broke Mitt Romney's momentum" and that a "meme" the GOP can "seize on" should Gov. Romney fail to win tomorrow is to outright blame the cyclone for the loss.
Franke-Ruta offered that if Hurricane Katrina had happened eight days prior to Bush's 2004 reelection, it would have sunk his reelection chances and offered that, unlike Bush, Obama had not let the problems in the devastated areas "fester." Something tells me a number of Staten Islanders would take issue with you. From a November 4 item at the Huffington Post, no right-wing rag it (video follows page break; emphases mine):
Parkmobile, a company that runs an app by which smartphone users can pay for on-street metered parking, recently found itself bullied by a powerful liberal Democratic senator, simply for exercising its freedom of speech. The company found itself on the receiving end of Sen. Dick Durbin's wrath for having sent an email to its users in which it chalked up an increase in its transaction fees to "increased costs triggered by recent federal legislative reform enacted by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act's Durbin Amendment."
According to the Washington Post's Dina ElBoghdady, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) shot off a letter to the company hitting the claims as "grossly misleading." On top of that, Durbin sent another letter to Washington, D.C. Mayor Vince Gray, complaining that the company, which has a contract with the federal city's government to do business, "offer[ed] up incorrect, unsolicited legislative analysis while hiding behind poorly reasoned excuses for their own price hikes."
Remember the good ol' days when folks in the media were fond of telling us that conservative evangelical Christians would exhibit anti-Mormon bigotry and fail to vote for Mitt Romney simply because of his religion?
"Debate moderators and reporters love to ask pro-life candidates hard questions about abortion. Curiously, they don’t do the same for pro-choice candidates," Wax noted on his Kingdom People blog, before laying out ten queries he thinks are fair game that are never asked. Questions number 2 and 4, in particular are exactly the sort of questions that could both shed light on a politician's views and simulatenously trip him/her up in an awkward moment. You can find Wax's questions excerpted below the page break or read them at the TGC site here:
Back in April, MSNBC's Martin Bashir charged Gov. Mitt Romney with being a liar, went on to quote Mormon doctrinal texts, and strongly hinted that the Republican presidential candidate was in danger of hellfire. In early December 2011, Bashir hinted at a similar pronouncement of anathema on GOP candidate Herman Cain.
But now with just five days left until the election, Bashir is infuriated by a TV ad cut by former Baptist minister and ex-governor Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) which simply reminds Christian voters that God is watching their vote and that their choices at the ballot box ring through to eternity. "Will you vote the values that will stand the test of fire?" Huckabee asks in the spot. Bashir, no biblical illiterate he, erroneously took this to be a suggestion that Huckabee was suggesting the "unpardonable sin" was casting a vote for Obama. Both a review of the full context of the ad [embedded below the page break] and a basic understanding of the relevant biblical text Huckabee alludes to shows it's nothing of the sort. [MP3 audio of segment here; video excerpt of Bashir segment also follows page break]
In a way, you have to admire Politico for its dedication to dopey storylines that are thin on evidence but dutifully crafted to boost liberal Democrats. Take this Thursday afternoon post by David Rogers entitled "Can Kerrey Republicans lift him to a win?", playing off the term "Reagan Democrats" and referring to GOP voters in Nebraska who could return Bob Kerrey (D) -- lifetime ACU conservative score of just 8 out of a possible 100 -- to the Senate after a 12-year hiatus in the private sector, nine of which were filled as the president of The New School in New York City.
But in his 14-paragraph story, reporter David Rogers failed to find document any regular Joe Republicans in Nebraska who planned on voting for Kerrey who could explain their rationale, nor did he point to any polling data showing a significant defection of conservative Republicans to the Kerrey column. Instead, Rogers cited some moderate-to-liberal ex-Republican senators who have had kind words for Kerrey, while also touting as potentially decisive former senator Chuck Hagel's decision to officially endorse the Democrat:
Yesterday's Style page of the Washington Post devoted a gauzy piece by staffer Jason Horowitz to Obama's "data-driven guru" David Plouffe. Today, Horowitz's colleague Amy Gardner took her turn at Obama campaign puffery with her Style section front-pager, "
"Welcome to the 'Jen and Jay Show,' the latest iteration of the White House news briefing," Gardner opened her October 31 piece on the Air Force One press gaggles that Jen Psaki of the Obama campaign and White House press secretary Jay Carney conduct. "In the waning days of the campaign, the duo has given the briefings the feel of a vaudeville act: lighthearted and entertaining but also well rehearsed -- and deadly for Republican Mitt Romney." Gardner, ostensibly an objective journalist, oozed, going on to marvel at the showmanship of Psaki and Carney (emphases mine):