The Washington Post is paying due diligence to one of Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani's accomplishments as mayor of the Big Apple: cleaning up 42nd Street from its seedy adult-oriented businesses.
Ah, but the adult video stores and strip clubs just moved a few blocks over, the Washington Post's Keith B. Richburg reminds us in his January 29 article. Richburg made sure he took an inside look at the matter, interviewing an exotic dancer while she was, uh, working:
"Uncivil Discourse: Bush pressures Dems to fall in line for his final year."
That's how Newsweek.com teases a Richard Wolffe Web Exclusive analysis of President George W. Bush's final State of the Union address. Wolffe lamented the bitter partisanship in Washington, noting that the Bush-Pelosi-Boehner agreement on an economic stimulus plan was "the rare exception" of "respect and cooperation" that "is hard to find in the halls of Congress at the end of the Bush era."
Too bad, Wolffe gripes, that President Bush used his final State of the Union to chide Congress for failing to make tax cuts permanent (emphasis mine):
"How would you like to get the terrorists' perspective on tonight's State of the Union address?" asks Red State's Erick Erickson, noting the prime real estate -- "just three to four steps away from the House Democratic Whip's Office"-- that the al Jazeera network is getting to cover the State of the Union and the corresponding Democratic response tonight.
Romney struck first on the day before the winner-take-all Florida primary. He attacked the Arizona senator for his legislation reducing the role of money in politics, for his position on immigration and for his support of an energy bill that Romney said would have driven up consumer costs.
Funny, seems to me political campaigns are flush with cash and that campaign finance has grown, not shrunk, since 2002. What McCain's bill did do, however, was to enact a ban on so-called soft money, as well as institute bans on third-party issue ads airing 60 days prior to a general election. The issue ad ban was overturned in a 2007 Supreme Court ruling, despite McCain's wishes to the contrary:
Well, now Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (D) is facing mounting pressure to resign for pretty much the same thing: lying about sex under oath in a legal proceeding. While I'm personally curious whether any Democrats, particularly those supporting Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) for president will come forward and defend Kilpatrick -- you know, urging him to stay in office and fight to "work for the people of Detroit" -- the more immediate concern here at NewsBusters is, are the media noting or ignoring Kilpatrick's Democratic Party affiliation?
The answer so far? No, at least not the Associated Press. Reporter Corey Williams failed to mention Kilpatrick's party affiliation, although Williams did note Kilpatrick faces similar legal problems as Clinton:
"Whose side is Joe Lieberman On?" demands the subheading for "The Demublican," a January 24 Newsweek Web Exclusive centered on Sen. Joseph Lieberman's (I-Conn.) endorsement of John McCain for President. In the interview, reporter Jeffrey Bartholet presses Lieberman from the left on a host of policy issues and questions and on his loyalty to the Democratic Party. For his part Lieberman often points to issues where McCain has left the conservative fold, such as climate change and the Gang of Fourteen.
At no point, however, does Bartholet ask Lieberman if he feels the "party has left him" on national security/war on terror issues.
Below are the agenda of questions. I've bolded the ones that skew leftward or suggest Lieberman is disloyal or has no good reason to back a Republican over his party's standard bearers. For the full interview, click here.
Ten days after ESPN sportscaster Dana Jacobson's "F*** Jesus" outburst, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann made a dopey crack that made light of the Christian belief that Jesus was resurrected in an immortal body from the dead.
The remark came at the end of his "World's Best Persons" feature on the January 21 program as Olbermann relayed the story of one Feliberto Carrasco of Chile, who awoke from an apparently deep slumber in a casket at a wake being held for the presumed-to-be-dead elderly gentleman.
Quipped Olbermann as he eased into a commercial break, "So do I have the etiquette correct here, does Mr. Carrasco get his own religion now, or what happens? Is there a vote?"
Yesterday I noted that Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune slammed the Hillary Clinton campaign for lying about the context of Barack Obama's remarks about President Reagan's political leadership.
In the January 25 Washington Post, liberal columnist E.J. Dionne reminds readers that then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton had some kind words for the Gipper during his first campaign for president:
It was a remarkable moment: A young, free-thinking presidential hopeful named Bill Clinton sat down with reporters and editors at The Post in October 1991 and started saying things most Democrats wouldn't allow to pass their lips.
Ronald Reagan, Clinton said, deserved credit for winning the Cold War. He praised Reagan's "rhetoric in defense of freedom" and his role in "advancing the idea that communism could be rolled back."
It's a sad and horrifying story enough as it is, yet the Associated Press surely has compounded the grief for a Texas couple with its January 23 story, "Lawsuit: Stillborn Was Put in Laundry," excerpted below (h/t NB reader Tracy Zeeb):
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A couple filed a lawsuit against a hospital alleging that it sent their stillborn fetus's body with dirty laundry to the cleaners.
"I like how you think, senator," cooed "Late Show" host David Letterman in agreement with John Edwards's charge that "most of what" Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly says "is crap."
Letterman had asked the former senator about his "feud" with O'Reilly over Edwards's charge that the Bush administration is failing to care for military veterans to the extent that hundreds of thousands are winding up homeless.
The exchange came in a jovial January 22 interview in which Edwards joked about having Letterman as his running mate, or at the very least as a celebrity endorser a la Oprah Winfrey.
In a post to his Change of Subject blog, Chicago Tribune's Eric Zorn practically pressed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to go further than just stopping short of calling former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) liars:
Why stop short? The Clintons are lying about Obama's remarks on Reagan
(Barack) Obama stopped just short of calling (Hillary) Clinton and her husband liars... from the Swamp's live blog of last night's Democratic debate.
Hmm. I see no reason to stop short. Bill and Hillary Clinton have lied brazenly about Obama's recent statement about Ronald Reagan.
Zorn then turned to comments from both Clintons and an extended transcript of Obama's remarks to give readers a full and fair context for those remarks. Zorn got to the heart of the matter by concluding that the Clintons are hoping to tap residual left-wing hatred of Reagan even though they should and likely do know that the Gipper's political prowess offers lessons for Democrats, even if they lay asunder his policy goals (emphasis mine):
Liberal Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) is in trouble with the voters who elected nearly 15 months ago. In a state that is deep blue in presidential elections and has a 2:1 Democratic registration advantage, the former local Irish rocker is getting a chorus of boos from voters with poll numbers in the mid to high 30s. One major factor: the tax-hiking special legislative session he called in fall 2007.
Not to worry, Governor, the Washington Post has got your back. Here's the headline for the top Metro section story in my January 23 Maryland Home Edition of the Post:
It becomes apparent, however, that rebuilding O'Malley's positive press is high on the Post's agenda. Reporter John Wagner wrote of O'Malley's plan to take "modest steps" towards fulfilling what O'Malley insists is "protecting our priorities." Wagner takes care to focus on how a slowing economy could prove an obstacle to O'Malley's policy goals, but fails to address concerns that O'Malley's tax hikes could be part of compounding the problem by disincentivizing business from expanding or moving to the state:
Mark Moring has an interesting read at Christianity Today's Web site. He recalls all the popular movies in 2007 that feature life-affirming responses to unexpected pregnancy in films such as "Knocked Up," "Waitress," "Juno," "Bella," and "August Rush.":
To some, it was a year of war movies and "statement" flicks—including In the Valley of Elah, Lions for Lambs, and Rendition. Meanwhile, David Poland of Movie City News declared 2007 "Oscar's Year of the Man," noting that of the top sixteen contenders for best picture, only three were headlined by women.
But others noticed a different trend: In some ways, 2007 was the Year of Pro-Life Cinema.
The results aren't in yet, but most Cubans agree; the most famous candidate in Sunday's parliamentary election - Fidel Castro - has won overwhelmingly.
If that is true, and there is little reason to doubt it, the Cuban leader sidelined by emergency intestinal surgery nearly 18 months ago is now eligible for election to the Council of State, which in turn elects the nation's president from among its members.
It's the biggest question in Cuba: Will Fidel Castro return - if not as before, at least in title? Or, will his younger brother, First Vice President Raul Castro, who "temporarily" assumed the presidency as provided for by the Cuban Constitution, officially fill the post?
I don't know about you, but the suspense is killing me.
Chicago Tribune Washington bureau Economics Correspondent and The Swamp blogger Frank James took inspiration from some recent comments from Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), although liberals are likely to not be fond of the result.
James posted a photo (pictured at right) of President Ronald Reagan signing a 1983 law designating the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday:
Given the New Hampshire comments by Sen. Hillary Clinton about it taking a president to make dreams a legislative reality, for which she was excoriated by some of Sen. Barack Obama's supporters, and Obama's Nevada comments about Reagan being a transformational president, for which he was castigated by Sen. Clinton, her husband former President Bill Clinton and others, this seemed like an appropriate photo to run today.
Reagan Presidential Library photo via Chicago Tribune.
One of the American mainstream media's favorite John McCain memes is that South Carolina voters rejected the Arizona Republican in 2000 because of a baseless smear campaign about McCain's personal life. That bias is so infectious it's now a global pandemic, just witness this item from the January 18 edition of the London-based Financial Times:
McCain hopes to avoid repeat of 2000
For John McCain, victory in tomorrow's Republican primary in South Carolina would exorcise the ghosts of the bitterest moment in his political career.
It was in South Carolina in 2000 that his first presidential campaign crumbled after a vicious smear campaign by supporters of his opponent, George W. Bush.
A barrage of misinformation was spread through phone calls and leaflets, including claims the Arizona senator had fathered an illegitimate black child and that his wife was a drug addict.
The smears reinforced doubts about Mr McCain among social conservatives and helped deliver Mr Bush a victory that set him on course for the Republican nomination.
The problem, of course is that the smear tactics were not only never proven to be linked to the Bush campaign, they are taken on face value as THE driving factor rather than conservative distaste for the more liberal stances of John McCain when set in contrast to then-Gov. Bush.
For example, McCain ran, to be charitable, gun-shy on income tax cuts compared to then-Gov. Bush's tax cut plans. What's more, McCain actually pushed some tax hikes and demagogic rhetoric about a major industry in South Carolina centered on the state's most profitable cash crop, tobacco.
Take this Nexis transcript excerpt from Linda Douglass's report on the Feb. 3, 2000 edition of ABC's "World News Tonight" (emphasis mine):
"Bush allows Navy to use sonar in whale areas," blares the headline to an AP story on MSNBC.com about President Bush granting the Navy the right to continue to test mid-frequency active sonar in coastal waters despite a federal court judge's order for the Navy to stop.
"Judge had earlier ordered 12-mile no-sonar zone off California," reads the subhead.
Gee, I wasn't aware that whales had legal claims on U.S. coastal waters, let alone that they are considered "whale areas."
The issue at hand is whether environmental laws can and should be shelved from time to time for national security exemptions, and if the president can make that determination as commander-in-chief. So why not a headline that's more straightforward?
"Bush allows Navy to use sonar in coastal waters. Decision challenges court ruling aimed at protecting whales."
Writing in the January 16 Financial Times, reporter Marc Frank takes a look at Cuban politics as though it were an actual liberal democracy, not a Marxist dictatorship. Frank finds no irony or contradiction-in-terms in the way he qualifies the election as a public ratification of a pre-determined outcome. And in what amounts to a laughable print edition subheading, Frank's editor wrote this in the subhead to "Castro keeps world guessing on retirement":
Even if the head of state stands down, he may still be able to exert power from the sidelines, writes Marc Frank.
Gee, ya think?!
Here are the first few paragraphs of Frank's page 3 report, with my emphasis added:
Yes, the Democratic primary last night in Michigan was a beauty contest -- the delegates selected to represent their candidates will not be seated at the convention in Denver -- but it is something of a story that 45 percent of that primary's voters cast ballots in favor of alternatives to Clinton, including a sizable portion of them to uncommitted delegates.
Essentially this means that over 264,000 Wolverine State Democrats took time out of their day yesterday to vote against Hillary Clinton --voting uncommitted or for Kucinich, Dodd, or Gravel -- even though it didn't matter for much of anything.
The Washington Post picked it up on page A7 of the January 16 paper and Congressional Quarterly reported story on its Web page, noting the Clinton campaign heralded the victory with triumphant rhetoric even though her delegates will not be able to vote for her nomination at the convention:
Another liberal Democratic governor has backed off an illegal immigrant-friendly challenge to the new federal Real ID law. Yet in their coverage of Gov. Martin O'Malley's (D-Md.) reversal, the Baltimore Sun and Washington Post failed to note how drastic the Democratic governor's reversal was, nor to consider if low polls numbers and public disapproval were driving factors for the change of plans.
Bowing to federal pressure to crack down on undocumented immigrants, the O'Malley administration announced yesterday that in two years it would begin requiring all driver's license applicants to present a birth certificate, passport or some other documentation to prove they are legal residents of the United States.
From MyDamnChannel.com comes a gem: Katie Couric yukking it up with CBS News production staff off-the-air on primary election night in New Hampshire. (Warning: There is some profanity in the video).
Some of my favorites 1) Couric admitting she doesn't know much about Huckabee 2) Couric talking about how she thinks she creeped out Cindy McCain because she couldn't stop staring at her eyes. 3) "I'm always like oh sh*t, oh sh*t, oh sh*t, oh sh*t, oh sh*t" 4) "Give me one interesting exit poll, please!" 6) "Oh sh*t, I have seven seconds. [shrieks]"
It wasn't long after the fatal Minnesota bridge collapse on I-35 last summer that the liberal media jumped on the tragedy as a way to bash President Bush and the spending priorities of the Bush administration. Keith Olbermann suggested that Iraq war spending was to blame and Mike Barnicle, subbing for Chris Matthews on "Hardball" wondered if it gave Democrats political ammunition for growing the size of government.
Of course, this hardly was shocking for seasoned bias busters like our own Tim Graham, who noted parallels with media bias following a 1989 bridge collapse in San Francisco.
But now the investigation into the August bridge collapse is complete and it turns out that the seeds of the tragedy were planted in the 1960s when the bridge was built during the LBJ Era of massive social and defense spending with the Great Society and Vietnam respectively.
On January 9, a California appeals court struck down San Francisco's 2005 ban on handguns, citing that local governments lack authority under California law to enact such a ban (h/t NewsBusters reader John Kernkamp).
While this is a state law struck down on state constitutional grounds, not the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, it is a major victory for gun rights advocates -- in a liberal Democratic state no less -- in a presidential election year in which the Supreme Court of the United States is hearing a 2nd Amendment case in March (District of Columbia v. Heller).
Yet while the San Francisco Chronicle's Bob Egelko covered the story on January 10, I'm having trouble finding any coverage elsewhere in the media. When searching Nexis, I found no coverage of the San Francisco gun ban story in the New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Post, nor broadcast networks ABC, CBS, or NBC.
Meanwhile, as the Chronicle's Egelko noted in a January 14 story, San Francisco's district attorney has filed a friend-of-the-court brief backing the District of Columbia in its appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the District's 1976 handgun ban:
Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to summit Mt. Everest, died last week. CBS's Katie Couric noted the passing in her January 11 "Notebook" at her Couric & Co. blog, but in doing so made a gauzy reference to New York Senator Hillary Clinton (D). Curiously, Couric failed to note that the latter once falsely claimed her parents named her after the New Zealand adventurer. In fact she was born years prior to Sir Edmund's famous climb.
Newsweek's "Conventional Wisdom" column is a weekly window into the leftist soul of the editors at the weekly magazine. This week's CW is no different, as it insults the GOP conservative base as "nativist" while boosting Sen. John McCain, disses conservative Fred Thompson, lauds Hillary Clinton's "blood, sweat and tears" win in New Hampshire:
Blood, sweat and tears humanize her enough for N.H. win. But S.C. on 1/26 looks daunting.
A new "Veggie Tales" movie is hitting the silver screen and, as may well be expected, the New York Times doesn't like it much.
That's not so surprising coming from the hallowed pages of the broadsheet bible of the secular left. But as Jeffrey Weiss of the Dallas Morning News's Religion Blog notes, it appears the hostile NYT reviewer is wholly unfamiliar with the Veggie Tales franchise and so may hardly have been the best reviewer for the assignment in the first place:
The New York Times has a bad review today of the new VeggieTales film, "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything." It's a bad review, in the sense that it slams the movie. But it's also a badly written review in that it seems to be written by someone who has never heard of or seen any of the VeggieTales previous cartoons or movies. Here's the top of the review, by Neil Genzlinger:
*Update/Correction (15:28 | January 11): Grasmick has donated to Republicans running for statewide office (OpenSecrets tracks only federal contributions), as Mark Newgent of the RedMaryland blog notes, yet all told her state and federal contributions to the GOP are quite smaller than that of those to the Democratic Party. See Newgent's item here.
The January 10 Baltimore Sun, reporting on an escalating personnel struggle in Annapolis, dutifully noted liberal Gov. Martin O'Malley's (D) charge that state school superintendent Nancy Grasmick is a "pawn" of the GOP. Grasmick has served under three governors, two Democrats (Govs. Schaefer and Glendening), and Republican Robert Ehrlich.
Yet completely missing from reporter Liz Bowie's article was any mention of Grasmick's historic political ties to Democrats. Indeed, 30 seconds in an online would yield campaign contribution data showing Grasmick has only given money to Democrats.
According to OpenSecrets.org, in the past seven years Grasmick has given money to incumbent Democratic congressmen or congressional candidates such as Elijah Cummings, Dutch Ruppersburger, and John Sarbanes. Grasmick also gave $500 to the state Democratic Party in 1999, the first year of liberal Gov. Glendening's second term. Not once during her tenure was a contribution to a Republican* listed.
Yesterday fellow NewsBuster Matthew Balan and I wrote about media bias in Reuters and Associated Press reporting on the death of CIA turncoat Philip Agee. Today the Washington Post devoted a 23-paragraph obituary to Agee that was also somewhat lacking.
The Post's Joe Holley did relay to readers that former President George H.W. Bush believes Agee's role in divulging the names of covert operatives resulted in at least one death, that of CIA agent Richard Welch at the hands of Greek terrorists in Athens in December 1975.
Yet while Holley mentioned that in 1987 then-Secretary of State George Schultz denied Agee a passport due to "CIA reports that Mr. Agee was a paid adviser to Cuban intelligence, had trained Nicaraguan security officials and had tried to thwart the U.S. invasion of Grenada," Holley failed to follow the thread any further on Agee's sympathy with the Marxist regimes, particularly Fidel Castro's.
As a January 9 AP obit noted, Agee was a Castro apologist, writing as late as 2003 in the propaganda newspaper Granma defending Castro's crackdowns on pro-democracy activists:
Only one Supreme Court Justice seemed keen on overturning Indiana's voter identification law, Los Angeles Times reporter David Savage noted in a January 9 article at latimes.com. That would be liberal Clinton appointee Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But while Savage noted that "conservatives [were] leading the way," in questioning the validity of the Indiana Democrats' complaint about the law, he failed to note Ginsburg's ideological leanings. Nor did he suggest she's out on a far-left limb since none of other liberal colleagues shared her concerns: