Now that whiter-than-Wonder-bread Iowa has punched Barack Obama a first-class ticket to New Hampshire, can the mainstream media, particularly the New York Times, shut up about whether America is ready for a black president? That's what Michelle Malkin rhetorically asked on her blog before giving readers the answer.
Well, it looks like the answer is no. No, the MSM won’t stop yammering about un-diverse white voters. Here’s the NYTimes editorial this morning, right on cue as I predicted, clamoring for an end to the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary by zeroing in on its lack of, you guessed it, racial diversity:
Here's a story from the Miami Herald that's worth keeping track of for coverage in the larger mainstream media, particularly the networks. I highly doubt this story will be a priority for the MSM, although I'm sure conservative bloggers and perhaps immigration reform activists will make sure the American people become aware of it:
Hundreds of wannabe truckers took a detour on the way to the DMV and got bogus commercial driver's licenses, thanks to an Army National Guard sergeant.
Friday morning, authorities threw up the stop sign.
In a series of early morning raids throughout Miami-Dade County Friday, authorities from federal, state and local agencies arrested five people they say obtained licenses fraudulently. Two others were taken into custody later.
A frequent lament I've heard in conservative circles is that we're not as good at using the Internet to promote our message as the Left is. Of course, that fear may be a bit overblown to begin. After all, 2007 saw some marked success in conservative blogs growing in readership while liberal ones stagnated according to Simon Owens of Bloggasm:
It has long been understood that the largest liberal blogs have generally produced more web traffic than the largest conservative blogs. But I have noticed a general trend over the past few months that I didn’t want to write about until the end of the year. After surveying the traffic stats of many major political blogs, I found that web traffic for several major liberal blogs either declined sharply or stayed the same while major conservative blogs saw a sharp increase in traffic.
It's bound to be overlooked by the media at-large in large part due to the Iowa caucuses, but a court ruling that burdens the U.S. Navy with yet another environmentally-driven restriction was handed down from a federal district court judge yesterday. That judge, the Hon. Florence-Marie Cooper, is a Clinton appointee, a fact unreported by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Robert McClure (emphasis mine):
A federal judge forbade the Navy on Thursday from using a powerful form of sonar within 12 miles of the California coast and slapped other restrictions on naval war exercises in a ruling that could have repercussions in the Pacific Northwest.
U.S. District Judge Florence Marie-Cooper [sic] said noise from the Navy's midfrequency sonar far outstrips levels at which federal rules require ear protection for humans on the job. Whales' hearing is extremely sensitive.
"The court is persuaded that the (protection) scheme proposed by the Navy is grossly inadequate to protect marine mammals from debilitating levels of sonar exposure," Marie-Cooper wrote in her ruling.
The Navy offered to reduce the sonar's intensity when whales approached within about 1,100 yards and power down further before shutting the sonar off when the creatures got within 200 yards. The judge ordered sonar shut off when marine mammals are within 2,200 yards.
Alright, so Hillary Clinton bills herself as better suited for the Oval O because she has foreign policy experience, plus eight years as First Lady. And we all remember that then-Gov. George W. Bush was mocked in 1999 for not knowing who the military dictator of Pakistan is.
So why the media silence on Hillary Clinton's goof in thinking that Pervez Musharraf is up for election in Pakistan? In fact the elections that were scheduled for January 8 prior to Benazir Bhutto's assassination are parliamentary elections.
TVNewser has learned the CBS News blog PublicEye, once described as a "de facto ombudsman" of CBS News, has ceased operations. CBS Interactive cut several staff members last month, including Matthew Felling who was editor of the site.
A spokesperson for CBS Interactive tells TVNewser, "We weren't able to find a sustainable business model for Public Eye. We are exploring ways to maintain a similar spirit of public discourse by engaging the CBSNews.com audience and building a community around multiple voices."
Launched July 12, 2005, PublicEye stated its "fundamental mission" was "to bring transparency to the editorial operations of CBS News."
The return to opacity is unfortunate just as election '08 heats up. After all, it was former anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes and their obsessive adherence to discredited phony National Guard memos in 2004 that set the wheels in motion to provide CBS News consumers an advocate and watchdog in the form of PublicEye.
That's not to say, however, that Public Eye has exactly lived up to its defined mission. A review of NewsBusters archives yields evidence of that:
Last year's most bizarre and famously icky sex scandal was, of course, Senator Larry Craig's airport bathroom incident, in which the Idaho Republican was alleged to have been soliciting homosexual sex from an undercover cop. Suffice it to say no one who came across the story could walk away without knowing Craig's party affiliation, and in some cases his record as a conservative with some libertarian-friendly stances.
So how did the Associated Press's Bill Poovey treat a former Democratic Tennessee judge with an arguably nastier, kinkier, more disturbing sexual predilection? Not one mention of John B. Hagler's Democratic Party affiliation in Poovey's 23-paragraph January 2 story, even though the judge's sex fantasy recording sure spooked at least one veteran police officer (emphasis mine, h/t NB reader Chris Mario):
First, it goes without saying that Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy is entitled to his opinion as well, a columnist. So my gripe here isn't so much about liberal bias as it is about Milloy's insistence on projecting a politically correct pall, in the heat of playoff season, over the ONE thing that can unite Washingtonians across party lines. Our beloved Redskins.
Is it asking too much for the liberal Post columnist to refrain from resurrecting a fringe PC issue a mere three days after the Redskins clinched a playoff berth, and that while playing the despised Dallas Cowboys?
In: preachy AIDS activism on the peacock network's "ER."
Reports Los Angeles Times writer Greg Braxton in the the January 2 paper (emphasis mine):
Gloria Reuben raised more than a few eyebrows in 2000 when she went from the front lines of NBC's acclaimed "ER" to the back line of Tina Turner's rock 'n' roll tour. Now she's starting the new year by stepping forward into her past.
Reuben, who won accolades for her groundbreaking portrayal of Jeanie Boulet, a physician's assistant grappling with an HIV diagnosis, returns to the role Thursday night. She called the experience, which is being billed as a one-time appearance, both emotional and exhilarating.
On the December 18 "Studio B," Fox News Channel's Shepard Smith blasted an idea being floated by liberal San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) to slap a new tax on stores that sell soda. It makes for great video, especially given Shep's penchant for leaning left on global warming.
Of course, Shep did also hint that he thinks it would be better to outlaw tobacco rather than add so-called sin taxes on it. All the same, it makes for fun video as Shep wonders if sugary gum or comfortable mattresses will be taxed next for their alleged contributions to the "obesity epidemic."
Imagine for a moment that the FBI raided televangelist Pat Robertson's office for any reason whatsoever, much less say his 1988 presidential campaign. It'd be a story in the broadcast evening news programs, right?
So why the utter lack of interest in the December 12 federal probe into Al Sharpton's 2004 campaign? A review of Nexis for ABC, NBC, and CBS network news stories for December 12-18 yielded nothing on a December 13 FBI raid.
Here's an excerpt from the AP's reporting from December 13:
"Does Bill Clinton want his wife to win this thing?" Chris Matthews teased as he opened the December 17 "Hardball." After all, the former president, Matthews added later, was full of "chutzpah" and "a total card shark" in his December 14 interview with Charlie Rose.
Clinton told Rose essentially that Barack Obama should take a page from his decision not to run for president in 1988. The former president told Rose he concluded an '88 run was unwise due to his lack of political experience. Neither Matthews, nor guests Howard Fineman of Newsweek and Linda Douglass of National Journal were buying it.
What is it with Hollywood liberals and their penchant for messing with my childhood heroes by making them shills for liberal storylines. First "GI Joe." Then "Knight Rider." What's next, "The A-Team"? Maybe. (h/t Perez Hilton)
Variety reported yesterday that John Singleton is on board to direct a silver screen adaptation of the 1980s TV action drama "The A-Team." This time it sounds like oil company executives may end up being the bad guys.
Any time a major newspaper reports on gun buyback gimmicks, the reporter penning the story would do well to explore practical as well as ideological criticisms of such a program.
After all, gun buybacks do virtually nothing to prevent criminals from gaining access to weapons, and absolutely nothing to cause criminals to part company with their weapons. As such, the money spent on these programs is a waste of money and police resources, something that's especially true when the guns being discarded are owned by people who reside outside the jurisdiction running the program.
Yet that was of no concern to reporter Delphine Schrank in her December 16 piece in the Washington Post, "Police Net 279 Firearms with Buybac." Schrank's 16-paragraph article sounded like a press release for the city's Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), painting a win-win scenario with the gun buyback. An eeeeevil handgun is turned over to be destroyed, and the owner gets a fistful of spending cash:
Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" at 7:25 a.m. to Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.): "Senator, we've been talking about this all morning. Mitt Romney teared up on 'Meet the Press' over the weekend. I don't know if you saw it, what you thought of it. Do you ever tear up? When was the last time?"
Kiran Chetry, co-anchor of CNN's "American Morning" at 7:36 a.m.: "We saw Mitt Romney tear up on one of the other networks the other day. What makes you tear up, if anything?"
Both times Clinton answered with the same joke about tearing up this morning when she had had to wake up at the wee hour of 4 a.m. to get ready for the morning show chats. Both times she remarked she doesn't know how they do it. Both times the journalists in question thanked Clinton for her pander, er, candor. No, it was definitely the first one.
Washington Post Ombudsman Deborah Howell served up a flimsy excuse to a concerned reader wondering why the Post doesn't have Post staffers reporting on the Bilal Hussein controversy, rather than just running AP wire stories. Hussein worked for AP as a photographer.
Blogger Scott Johnson shared the reader's e-mail and Howell's reply, then added that even if one accepts Howell's excuse, there's no reason Post media reporter Howard Kurtz couldn't track developments in the story.
I'm caffeinated and ready to blog. I'll focus mostly on the questions from the moderator, Carolyn Washburn. I'm watching the feed from Fox News Channel.
Here goes nothin':
15:25 | Debate's over. Thought it'd never end. Washburn seemed much more at ease with the Democrats, as well as looser with the time constraints. I don't believe she ever cut anyone off, for example. The questions generally tacked to the left. The series of questions pressing the candidates on character issues was promising on paper but seemed uneven. Her question to Clinton on secrecy was soft. The question to Biden about his ill-advised jokes about Indians owning Dunkin Donut shops was good, but Hillary Clinton made similar comments about Indians and gas stations, which went unmentioned.
15:22 | Washburn: "What are the lessons from Iowa?"
15:20 | Richardson resolves to lose weight. Well, he could ask Huckabee about that policy plank.
15:17 | Washburn: "Tell us your New Year's resolution for 2008."
15:15 | Washburn asks about the use of signing statements when signing legislation.
"CIA tapes destroyed despite court order" blares an Associated Press headline today. But the court order allegedly breached applied to videotapes in possession of the U.S. military of interrogations at Guantanamo Bay, not videos of interrogations held at secret CIA sites in foreign countries.
But that's okay, insists AP writer Matt Apuzzo as "Attorneys say that might not matter."
But what attorneys? Apuzzo offers up attorney David H. Remes, "a lawyer for Yemeni citizen Mahmoad Abdah and others." According to Apuzzo, he's "asked [U.S. District Judge Henry H.] Kennedy this week to schedule a hearing on the issue. Kennedy gave the government until Friday to respond."
While it's hard to begrudge a defense lawyer from exploring any and all potential legal manuevers to assist his client -- that IS his job, after all -- it's notable that Mr. Remes is also an active Democratic campaign contributor, having given $500 to Sen. Hillary Clinton in July 2007.
The "Midwest Teen Sex Show" -- a video blog that advises teens to use abstinence (the condom, not the practice) -- is being praised by a blogger at CBSNews.com as "good for a laugh" while being informative.
"[T]he creativity and humor of these three young people really shines through," Irregularly Scheduled Programming (ISP) blog contributor Tony Maciulis enthused in his December 11 blog post. Elaborating on that point, Maciulis mused that "Sex and the City" was nothing more than a younger, urban spin on "The Golden Girls":
On December 10, Ontario teenager Aqsa Parvez was murdered by her father, allege Canadian investigators, over her refusal to wear the hijab, the traditional head scarf worn by Muslim women. The story has caught fire on the Web, particularly among bloggers interested in news pertaining to radical Islam.
As horrifying as the story is, it was only given five paragraphs on page A23 of the December 12 Washington Post, and that from a Reuters story. What's more, Post editors served up readers a bland headline that failed to hint that a religious reason was behind the violence: "Canadian Teen Dies; Father Is Charged."
Brian Williams Veteran journalist who became anchor of NBC Nightly News in 2004, replacing Tom Brokaw.
My nominee for 2007 Person of the Year is a woman--a woman with a history of abuse, a woman who has never run for elective office, someone we all know, someone who makes her presence known on a daily basis in all our lives and, for my money, is better than any male alternative. That woman is Mother Earth. I think the environment is the compelling issue of our time.
Yes, Time really felt the need to inform readers that Williams anchors the "Nightly News," although he's done so for three years now.
The "First Bible in English may have sparked fundamentalism," suggested the teaser headline on Yahoo.com's front page, as of 2:45 this afternoon. Clicking the link took me to a special feature for LiveScience.com by writer Heather Whipps. Here's her lede:
The translation of the Bible into English marked the birth of religious fundamentalism in medieval times, as well as the persecution that often comes with radical adherence in any era, according to a new book.
Harvard professor James Simpson, the book's author, drew a parallel between early Reformation English Protestants and modern day Islamo-fascists:
Without the clergy guiding them, and with religion still a very important factor in the average person's life, their fate rested in their own hands, Simpson said.
The Associated Press is reporting a second Hillary Clinton campaign volunteer has been shown the door for furthering rumors about rival Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) being a "Muslim possibly intent on destroying the United States.":
The Clinton campaign has decried the rumors as offensive and outrageous, and last week forced volunteer Jones County coordinator Judy Rose to resign after learning that she forwarded a such an e-mail on Nov. 21. But it turns out Rose wasn't the only one.
Linda Olson, a volunteer coordinator in Iowa County, had forwarded a similar version on Oct. 5, without comment, to 11 people. One of the recipients was Ben Young, a regional field director for Democrat Chris Dodd's campaign, who provided a copy to The Associated Press on Sunday.
As NewsBusters editor Brent Baker noted in an October 31 post, NBC "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams tossed Obama a softball at an interview on the matter of the Illinois Democrat being subtly "swift-boated" about his religion.
Williams hinted that Republicans were most likely to unfairly smear Obama, but given the fact that TWO Hillary Clinton workers have been given the boot thus far, what are the chances Williams will apply the left-wing "swift-boating" canard to Hillary Clinton? (emphasis mine):
Quickly reacting to the December 9 Washington Post's front page revelation yesterday that some Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi knew about waterboarding interrogation techniques YEARS ago, Time's Joe Klein sought to silence criticism of Democratic hypocrisy.
"The Senate's 88 to 5 vote" on a one-year reprieve for middle class taxpayers on the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) "blew a $50 billion hole in the Democrats' promise not to pass any spending or tax measure that would add to the deficit," Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman and Jeffrey Birnbaum reported today. The staff writers then rounded up three "conservative 'Blue Dog' Democrats" from the House of Representatives to rail against the Senate for lacking the courage to "take a tough vote," in the words of Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.).
But just how conservative are these "conservative" Blue Dogs? Try slightly left of dead-center.
Washington Post staffers Jonathan Weisman and Steven Mufson gaver readers of the December 7 paper an article on a "comprehensive energy bill" that passed the House of Representatives without delving into Republican criticism that the bill lacks any provision to produce or procure more energy domestically, such as from interior and off-shore natural gas and oil reserves.
Weisman and Mufson noted in the lede that the bill will raise "fuel-efficiency standards" and "require increased use of renewable energy sources" and later quickly dispatched with Republican opposition by finely chopping Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner's (R-Ohio) criticism:
Even House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) -- who assails the measure as a "no-energy" bill and as a tax increase that would raise, not lower, energy costs -- lauded the CAFE (corporate average fuel efficiency) standards as a good and reasonable compromise.
Oh really? On it's "Online Newshour" Web page, PBS -- hardly a right-wing news venue -- gave readers more of Boehner's critical quote:
What is it with Johnny Depp and Victorian Era serial killers?
Six years ago the liberal Hollywood fixture played London police detective Frederick Abberline in "From Hell," a violent conspiracy theory-driven whodunnit about the 1888 murder spree of Jack the Ripper. In his newest big screen release, Depp stars as the title character in "Sweeney Todd," a film about a fictional 19th century London barber who kills his customer-victims using his barber's razor.
Pretty ghoulish stuff, of course, but according to Depp, such a monstrous character is also deserving of some empathy. Reports Tom O'Neil of the Los Angeles Times:
Previously in NewsBusters, PJ Gladnick and I have blogged about South Florida newspapers, such as the Miami Herald, that have left out disgraced former Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne's political affiliation. Jenne is a Democrat, and a gun control-friendly one at that (more on that after the page break).
It appears Jenne's party registration remains under lock and key at the Herald. Here's reporter Wanda J. DeMarzo's short December 6 story on Jenne being sent to a prison camp in Georgia: