Discussing Barack Obama's second inaugural address with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) shortly after 4 p.m. EST today, MSNBC host Martin Bashir approvingly noted how the president "critiqued some of the negative things" in American politics today, such as when he said "name-calling is not a reasoned debate" and "I've taken an oath to God and country, not to party and faction."
"I was thinking, these were rebukes, frankly, to House Republicans, in no small degree," Bashir concluded. Of course, to worry about political name-calling is rich coming from Bashir, who on various occasions has compared Republicans and conservatives to bloodthirsty tyrants responsible for bloody political repression. Below is just a short list of Bashir's battiest attacks on conservatives or Republicans:
While the mainstream media has been transfixed with the Manti Te'o fake girlfriend story, it seems many outlets in the gullible liberal media were biting on another hoax, this one involving Florida Gov. Rick Scott and a band of Satanists supposedly set to stage a rally expressing their support for the Florida Republican.
Among the journalists taken in by the fake story was MSNBC's Martin Bashir, who could not wipe the devilish grin off his face as he reported what he thought to be a legitimate news story on his January 14 program, in a segment entitled "Dread Scott." [MP3 audio here; video embedded below]
"The far left is making [the average American gun owner and NRA member] a villain for abiding by your Second Amendment rights," and they're finding willing accomplices in supposedly objective journalists like Bob Schieffer, Brent Bozell argued on the January 17 edition of Fox News Channel's Hannity. The Media Research Center president was reacting to a soundbite in which the CBS anchor compared the political challenge of President Obama taking on the NRA to defeating the Third Reich in World War II.
"Surely passing civil rights legislation as Lyndon Johnson was able to do, and before that, surely defeating the Nazis was a much more formidable task than taking on the gun lobby," Schieffer noted on January 16 shortly after President Obama's press conference on gun control. "This is a turning point in this country.," Schieffer insisted, concluding, "Unless we figure out a way to make sure that something like Newtown never happens again, we're not the country that we once were." [watch the full Hannity "Media Mash" segment below the page break]
In a minute-long news brief on January 16, Michael Pope of Washington, D.C. public radio station WAMU misled listeners by noting that in 2012 Virginia Republicans passed and Gov. Bob McDonnell signed into law a bill requiring invasive transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking abortions in the Old Dominion.
"The legislation passed, and now Alexandria Delegate Rob Krupicka, a Democrat, is co-sponsoring legislation to repeal it," Pope noted. The only problem, however, is that the legislation was amended before passage to scratch the requirement for transvaginal ultrasounds while still requiring abortion-seeking patients to obtain non-invasive abdominal ultrasounds. As the Reuters news wire reported on Feb. 29, 2012 (emphasis mine):
When it comes to the Washington press corps, it seems journalists have two modes: garden variety liberal bias and rah-rah, fist-pumping Obama boosterism. The cover of today's Express tabloid exhibits both.
"Obama Draws the Line on Guns," exults the headline on the front of the January 17 Washington Post-published tabloid. The photoshopped image accompanying the headline is an upturned fountain pen from which a wisp of smoke is curling. [view the image below the page break]
In a 14-paragraph Style section front-pager today headlined "Ceremony is a civic ritual for all of us," the Washington Post's Sally Quinn waxed philosophical about how we as Americans need the pomp and circumstance of the quadrennial presidential inaugural ceremonies to unite us as Americans and swell our hearts with civic pride, regardless of who is president. "[T]his is America's chance to show the world what democracy looks like," Quinn insisted, dismissing the complaint of a "young colleague" of hers who asked her, "[W]hy bother to have a second inauguration" instead of "just get[ting] sworn in quietly" in a private ceremony.
Of course, on January 20, 2005, Quinn sounded a very different and quite sour note when it came to how President George W. Bush was to kick off his second term (emphasis mine):
Liberal Daily Beast writer Michael Tomasky joined the gang of other liberal journalists expressing their overwrought, melodramatic outrage this morning at the NRA's latest Web ad which calls President Obama to task for dismissing their call for armed guards in the nation's schools.
But, being Tomasky, he had to crank the amp up to 11, suggesting that the ad was darkly coded in a way that might inspire violence against the president's daughters (emphasis mine):
Liberal Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy is no stranger to NewsBusters criticism, but today he merits positive attention for going against the liberal grain on a policy issue: gun control.
While various liberals and some civil rights movement veterans have expressed outrage at the January 19 Gun Appreciation Day celebration -- noting its proximity to the federal observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day -- Milloy noted in his January 16 column the role that guns played in protecting civil rights activists in the 1960s (emphases mine):
Leftist radio host Mike Malloy is aghast at the notion of a "Gun Appreciation Day" to be celebrated by 2nd Amendment supporters on January 19 this year. On his January 14 radio program, Malloy attacked the "right wingers who want to see blood in the streets, the Hannitys, the Limbaughs, they want the killing to start. Glenn Beck would like nothing more!"
Updated: The National Rifle Association did NOT commission the app in question. James Joyner of OTB explains. | "Just weeks after the National Rifle Association forcefully blamed violent video games for gun violence, the gun-rights organization has released a new shooter game for kids as young as four," Andrew Mach complained in a January 15 story at NBCNews.com. "The game's launch comes one month after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., which touched off a national debate over how to limit gun violence," he added.
The implication, of course, is that the NRA is hypocritical and ghoulish with its January 14 release of the iPhone/iPad NRA: Practice Range app. And the age 4+ appropriateness rating is just icing on the cake. But an objective journalist might actually take a look into how Apple approves apps and assigns ratings, as well as how long it takes for an app to clear through its internal approval process. Mach failed to consider those things, so I looked into it.
On his January 10 program, pro-gun control Hardball host Chris Matthews was utterly perplexed at the very notion of gun shows themselves, going further than the call to close the so-called gun show loophole regarding background checks. " I'm a suburbanite city mouse. I generally have lived in urban -- suburban areas, but I don`t know why you need a gun show. I mean, if you want to buy a gun, you buy a car, you go to a dealer. Why do you have to have a show?" Matthews griped.
Well, now it turns out that Matthews's employer, NBC Universal, is actually sponsoring a massive three-day-long gun show in Las Vegas. The Washington Free Beacon's C.J. Ciaramella reported shortly after 6 p.m. Eastern on Friday:
"No one, anywhere, is talking about doing away with the Second Amendment, and no one, anywhere is advocating stripping away gun ownership," MSNBC's Alex Wagner insisted on the January 11 edition of her eponymous noontime program.
Nice try, Ms. Wagner, but exactly two years ago to the day, your colleague Richard Lui suggested it was time to "revisit the Second Amendment" following the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). In November of 2011, Wagner admitted to liberal comedian Bill Maher that she was "going to be pilloried for this" but that she would amend the U.S. Constitution to ditch the 2nd Amendment:
Appearing on the January 10 Martin Bashir program to discuss concerns being expressed by many in Washington -- predominantly on the Left -- that President Obama's second-term Cabinet will be less diverse in terms of race and gender than his first term, MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor took the opportunity to attack minority and women appointees of the George W. Bush Cabinet as self-hating minorities.
"I am much less concerned about the look of the Cabinet than I am the shape of this president's policies. I think that it's important to add that presidents like George Walker Bush, you know, had people like [Labor Secretary Elaine] Chao and [Commerce Secretary Carlos] Gutierrez and [Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice and [HUD Secretary Alphonso] Jackson and [Education Secretary Rod] Paige in his Cabinet, all cultural minorities and women alike, but all very, very dangerous to diverse communities," Taylor insisted. This isn't the first time Taylor has taken to MSNBC to excoriate a conservative who happens to be a member of a racial minority as self-loathing. From October 14, 2011:
"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.