Don't get me wrong. I like that mainstream media do take some efforts to report more religion and faith news items these days, including blogs like "The Seeker" at Chicago Tribune's home on the Web and the ongoing "On Faith" feature hosted by the Washington Post and Newsweek.
Slate magazine found out that Rudy Giuliani's daughter Caroline has a crush on Obama.
Well, maybe not a crush, but she had joined a pro-Obama Facebook group and describes herself as "liberal" (but then that's also how many Republican voters would describe Caroline's father).
The article, complete with evidentiary screen grab, was written this morning by Lucy Morrow Caldwell, like Caroline Giuliani also a student at Harvard University. Caldwell has a profile on Facebook in the Harvard and Washington, DC networks, and has poor taste in sunglasses, as the screencap below shows:
The Washington Post's Jose Antonio Vargas reported in the August 6 paper about worries in the Yearly Kos crowd that the liberal blogosphere is too white and too male. Critiquing that August 6 article, Jack Turner of "Jack & Jill Politics" disagreed with Vargas' assessment that every attendee at YearlyKos was wringing his or her hands about how to "diversify" the attendance.:
Recently Oklahoma officials announced a deadline extension to order special license plates dedicated to the global war on terrorism. Oklahoma is not the only state that has one. Virginia has had one for years that reads "Fight Terrorism" and features a Pentagon, the Twin Towers, and an American flag.
In other words, this is nothing new and its an unremarkable story. Except for MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, whose staff ran the item in his blog "The NewsHole" with no comment, letting his left-wing loyalists provide the yuks. The August 2 headline, however, was a snarky, dismissive phrase: "Ridin' In Style."
While some commenters found the new plate non-controversial and wondered what the big deal was, others took the chance to mock the design.
One "T. Brooks" from Oklahoma even pulled a Natalie Maines, all while referencing a classic country hit:
It's hard to write a blog aimed at being both red meat for Fox News haters and Reagan conservatives. That didn't stop Keith Olbermann's staff from trying yesterday in a blog that highlighted Giuliani's friendship with Fox News chairman Roger Ailes.
Implying that Ronald Reagan would have something damning to say about Giuliani "from the grave," Keith Olbermann's "NewsHole" blog picked up an item run on HuffPo and American Spectator that cited one brief reference from the Gipper's diaries that called the then-federal prosecutor "crazy."
The Los Angeles Times reports in the August 3 paper that "Los Angeles television newscaster Mirthala Salinas was suspended without pay for two months — but not dismissed — Thursday from KVEA-TV Channel 52 for covering Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa while they were romantically involved, a relationship that journalism experts said damaged the station's credibility."
But wait, there's more. The Telemundo reporter (pictured at right with Villaraigosa*) apparently has a history of dating Southern California Democratic politicians:
Her affair with Villaraigosa was an open secret in KVEA's Burbank newsroom and in the mayor's office at City Hall. Salinas also had dated Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez (D-Los Angeles) when he was divorced — and before he remarried his wife — as well as former Los Angeles City Council President Alex Padilla, now a state senator.
I found a rarity in Iraq media coverage in the August 2 Washington Post: a positive story on U.S. troops in Iraq. And it was on page 11. Not A-11 or B-11 but T-11, or the 11th page of my "Prince George's Extra," a special tabloid section that comes with Thursday editions of the Washington Post.
Sounding more like ABC's Sam Champion or Al Gore than a "fair and balanced" news anchor, Fox's Shepard Smith slammed Americans in general and his studio audience in particular in a recent "Studio B" interview with a British man who swam at the North Pole as a global warming-related publicity stunt.
See the YouTube video below the fold. Here's an excerpt of the exchange:
What follows are Klein's complaints from his August 1 "Swampland" blog post, followed by my snarky translation:
--it doesn't mandate that insurance companies cover everyone at the same rate, regardless of pre-existing conditions (community rating).
Who cares if you're a chain-smoking, trans fat-loving, Burger King-is-your-second home kinda guy with diabetes, high cholesterol and a coronary bypass under your belt? Health insurance companies shouldn't charge you a penny more than the marathon-running vegan next door whose idea of splurging is a little extra sugar in his mango strawberry soy milk smoothie.
I've already left my suggestions. If you're on Facebook, you can join their group and place yours. With its solidly liberal blogger bullpen and wildly liberal fan base (read the comments threads on an empty stomach), the blog could use a conservative voice to bring in balance in reporting and analysis of the '08 race and the Democratic Congress.
Update/retraction (13:11): Missed the update on LGF. It is in fact an image of a mosque in Brunei. My apologies to CAIR and to NewsBusters readers.
"Little Green Footballs" noticed yesterday that the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which is cheering the impending crimes prosecution of a Pace University student for putting a Koran in a toilet, depicted the US Capitol dome as though it were the dome of a mosque. Gone was the Statue of Freedom that graces a pedestal atop the cast-iron dome (see picture at right)
Now imagine if the Catholic League photoshopped the cross-topped dome of St. Peter's Basilica or if the Christian Coalition replaced Freedom with country church bell tower in an image endorsing its "American-Christian Voter Survey." Something tells me the media would not find some cynical way to round up liberal critics who would allege those conservative Christian groups want to turn the federal government into a theocracy.
Blogger Michelle Malkin has an excellent item today at RealClearPolitics.com about how the media have a lack of interest in stories about Christian missionaries kidnapped, brutalized, and tortured at the hands of Islamist terrorists. Here's an excerpt, after which I share my thoughts on what we could expect to see from the biased media should some of the South Korean missionaries make it back alive and find themselves interviewed on say "Dateline NBC":
The blood of innocent Christian missionaries spills on Afghan sands. The world watches and yawns. The United Nations offers nothing more than a formal expression of "concern." Where is the global uproar over the human rights abuses unfolding before our eyes?
The Baltimore Sun is hardly a right-wing rag, in fact its editorials and its overall news judgment, as many a Marylander registered on this site can tell you, is rabidly left-wing. But even the Sun, reporting on yesterday's heinous, grisly discovery of four murdered stillborn infants in Ocean City, Md., used the term "baby" to describe the victims. The Associated Press also used the term "baby" to describe the pre-born or stillborn victims.
So what's holding Andrea Stone of USA Today back? The word "baby" appeared twice in her July 31 story, but only in quotes, from a police spokesman and the Worcester County State's Attorney. Likewise the term "infant" was only used once in Stone's story, again within quotes from a police report.
Also to the Sun's credit--although really it should be standard practice when the MSM report on abortion matters-- Sun reporter Lynn Anderson avoided the left-wing euphemism "woman's right to choose" in favor of a grammatically correct phrase that includes the word "abortion." In this excerpt, Anderson is describing the law under which suspect Christy Freeman may be prosecuted:
SAN FRANCISCO — Brooke Brodack remembers her first online "hater."
Nearly two years ago, the person posted rude comments about a video she had posted on YouTube, says Brodack, 21, of San Francisco, whose videos show her lip-syncing and creating characters. "It was shocking to me. Why would someone want to be so mean for no reason?"
Why, indeed? Nasty comments, sometimes even death threats, have become ubiquitous on virtually any website that seeks to engage readers in discussion.
"Ur ugly u suk and u should die," says a typical comment beneath one of Brodack's many videos. Such vulgar messages have inspired heated discussions, and video responses, on YouTube.
Reporter Janet Kornblum later brought the topic around to how mainstream media Web sites have taken to banning comments after persistent problems:
The Washington Post 2008 campaign blog "The Trail" has an update on Cleavage-gate, a minor row that seems to have caught the paper's fashion critic Robin Givhan with a dear-in-the-headlights look while giving New York's junior senator a change to perk up her campaign's finances. [Update: Tim Graham has an excellent take on the matter, coming at it from a different angle than I did here. It's a good read. Check it out.]
As the Post's Howard Kurtz and Anne E. Kornblut note, Givhan protests that she:
...would never say the column was about a body part... It was about a style of dress. People have gone down the road of saying, 'I can't believe you're writing about her breasts.' I wasn't writing about her breasts. I was writing about her neckline.
No matter. Kurtz and Kornblut note that Hillary's acolytes are using Givhan's July 20 article to push-up fundraising:
Covering Raul Castro's July 26 hour-long Revolution Day speech, the Washington Post characterized the fill-in dictator's latest speech as one that "hits capitalist notes while placating hard-line party loyalists." But in truth Castro's speech was the typical Communist agitprop fare: empty promises for more pay, a call for harder work from the people, and above all else, blaming the United States for the collectivist economy's failure.
"Wearing his trademark tinted eyeglasses and military uniform, Castro, 76, struck distinctly capitalist notes before tens of thousands of flag-waving Communist Party loyalists," reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia noted in his July 27 story, filed the day before from Camaguey, a city 350 miles east of Havana.
Yet from Roig-Franzia's article itself, it becomes clear Castro is not a Latin incarnation of Milton Friedman. A little more foreign investment is the only capitalist bone to be thrown Cuba's way.
Nothing biased here, just an amusing video to kick off your weekend. Yesterday shortly after 3:30 p.m. Eastern on "Studio B," Fox News anchor Shep Smith cracked up his guests and crew by joking about the all-too-frequent incidence of false fire alarms at Fox News Headquarters in New York.
A week ago, NewsBusters editor and MRC vice president Brent Baker noticed that ABC had a decidedly negative slant on the Dow Jones industrial average closing above 14,000 points, much the same as it did in April, when the DJIA cracked 13,000.
Our friends at the MRC's Business & Media Institute (BMI) have documented the media's obsession with the so-called obesity epidemic in this country. [Update: BMI's Jeff Poor wrote about this today here.]
Of course, unlike real epidemics which involve communicable diseases, obesity is not a condition you "catch" from casual, or even intimate, contact.
But as true as that is and ever shall be, it can't hurt advancing the storyline to suggest that, yes, in a manner of speaking, fatness is catchable.
Do you ever wonder how "a single mother of two from Atlanta" who earns the minimum wage has the dough to plunk down for travel to Washington, D.C., lodging, and child care to attend a left-wing rally? I sure do. But then, it can't be that difficult when you're a professional victim for a left-wing group.
Washington Post reporter Xinyun Yang quoted one Irene Cole of Atlanta, Ga., at the close of his July 25 article "Democrats Cheer Wage Hike." "From $5.15 to $5.85 -- that's... a big raise, and we do thank you," Yang quoted Cole, who attended yesterday's "rally of union and activist groups on Capitol Hill."
Haven't I heard Cole's name before? Oh yeah, I have. It cropped up in January when I wrote about ABC's biased treatment of the minimum wage for the MRC's Business & Media Institute. Reporter Dean Reynolds cited Cole in his report on the January 10 "World News."
After reviewing that story, I realized two things. First, Cole misled the Post's Yang. She earns at least $6-an-hour (when she's working for private employers), and secondly, Cole is no stranger to whipping up crowds at liberal activist rallies (no word how much she's paid or compensated for expenses for her activist work):
Over at Time's "Swampland" blog yesterday, journalist Joe Klein all but suggested the GOP candidates might be hoping to chicken out of the upcoming YouTube debate on September 17, given the leftward slant of the YouTube questions.
Given the generally irreverent and, well, liberal tone of the questions last night--and the general skew of the YouTube audience leeward, do you think it's possible that some of the Republican candidates are having second thoughts about participating in their version of the CNN/YouTube debate on September 17?
And might there be an Ailes gremlin whispering to the candidates: The Dems stiffed us at Fox. You can stiff CNN.
I'm glad Klein agrees with us that the agenda of questions on Monday skewed heavily left-of-center, but where he's off-base is suggesting that Republicans should also be pushed from the left in the debate format.
The Chicago Tribune's Frank James thinks the Democrats really need to stop this insistence on retreat... from the word liberal. In short, James wrote at the paper's "The Swamp" blog today, if Democrats don't hunker down and fight Republicans on the dreaded L-word, the GOP will keep moving on and make "progressive" an epithet as well.
Here's James' argument, portions in bold are my emphasis:
Filling in on July 17 for Keith Olbermann, MSNBC's Alison Stewart devoted a "Countdown" segment to criticizing the dress Wendy Vitter wore during a July 16 news conference in which her husband, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), admitted to an affair with a prostitute.
With "Fashion Ho-Pas?" emblazoned on-screen (pictured at right), Stewart interviewed Radar Online's Jeff Bercovici, who snarked that Vitter's sartorial choice could mark "a complete reversal of the laws of skankery." [Video (1:37):Real (2.54 MB) and Windows (2.90MB), plus MP3 audio (753 kB)]
Olbermann returned to his program's hosting duties the next day and also hosted the July 19 program before turning over the helm yet again to Stewart for his July 20 show*, despite having had three days to become aware of the "ho-pas" segment, take disciplinary action against Stewart, and make her issue an apology. Olbermann either saw the light or felt the heat over the weekend, apparently, as he issued an apology about one-third of the way through his July 23 program (h/t Ian Schwartz):
He's a "burly man" with "rhetorical punch" from Catholic, blue collar roots in Baltimore who trekked a "remarkable rise" to become "one of Maryland's most powerful public officials." But today former state senator Thomas Bromwell (D-Md.) finds himself facing a judge and entering a guilty plea in a federal racketeering case that's been years in the marking. Reporting the story, the Washington Post's Philip Rucker calls Bromwell's saga "one of the state's largest public corruption investigations in years." Yet nowhere in Rucker's Metro section front pager "Bromwell Says He Accepts His Fate," is any mention of the politician's party affiliation, Democratic.
Something tells me Karen Ogden doesn't have a future in health care reporting in any large mainstream media publication or network. In the July 23 edition of her paper, the Great Falls Tribune editor took a sobering look at painkiller addictions and the black market for the narcotics on American Indian reservations in Montana. "Free" socialized medicine and the long wait times for surgery were partly to blame, she found. :
A perfect storm of factors is feeding the pill problem: grinding poverty coupled with handsome prices for contraband pills (a methadone tablet sells for up to $20 on the Blackfeet Reservation), a long history of addiction in American Indian communities and the fact there is no charge for patient visits or prescriptions at IHS clinics.
Some allege that crushing workloads for IHS doctors and political pressure on physicians from tribal officials and relatives — a function of life in close-knit reservation communities — also are to blame.
Another culprit, they say, is a budget crisis within the IHS that is forcing patients nationwide to wait months and often years for hip replacements, knee repairs and other badly needed surgeries.