So Sen. Barack Obama has pulled a Bill Moyers -- shunning U.S. flag lapel pins over political disagreements with the Bush administration -- and Time's Joe Klein applauds the move. After all, the Bush White House, according to Klein is an "administration that endorsed the troglyditic religious views of Christian fundamentalist mullahs," among other nasty un-liberal things.
I adore this country and abhor those, especially those lucky enough to live here, who don't. But to the extent that wearing an American flag lapel pin could be misconstrued as support for the most disgraceful administration in my lifetime, perhaps in American history, I can certainly understand why Barack Obama had reservations about it.
A day after slamming the president with a biased report on SCHIP, AP White House reporter Jennifer Loven worked her "Bush is a failure" meme into an "analysis" piece that chalked up every real or perceived failure of the Bush administration to the President and his team, and none to the persistent opposition of liberal critics in Congress:
WASHINGTON -- Over and over, President Bush confidently promised to "solve problems, not pass them on to future presidents and future generations." As the clock runs out on his eight-year presidency, a tall stack of troubles remain and Bush's words ring hollow.
Iraq, budget deficits, the looming insolvency of Social Security and Medicare, high health and energy costs, a national immigration mess - the next president will inherit these problems in January 2009. With Bush's popularity at an all time low and relations with the Democratic-led Congress acrimonious, he has little or no chance of pulling off a surprise victory in his time left.
While MSNBC's Keith Olbermann can hardly contain his glee at smacking around Rush Limbaugh over the taken-out-of-context "phony soldier" remark, it's notable that Olbermann himself essentially smeared Gen. David Petreaus as a phony at best and a traitor at the worst well before the Iraq war commander ever gave his assessment before Congress.
Indeed, before MoveOn.org issued the infamously juvenile "Betray Us" ad, Olbermann's minions plastered "Will Petreaus Betray Us?" in on-screen graphics during his August 16 program. [See also YouTube video appended at bottom of post]
Chatting with guest and liberal journalist Jonathan Alter on that program, Olbermann trashed the Petreaus report as a "ghost-written" concoction of the Bush White House, bound to be replete with partisan spin. Alter agreed, saying Petreaus has always been a "political" general, although he backtracked a bit to also say Petreaus was a "straight-shooter."
Associated Press reporter Jennifer Loven practically blew kisses to the Left with her biased coverage of President Bush's veto of the Democratic proposal to boost SCHIP by a whopping $35 billion over five years.:
WASHINGTON -- President Bush, in a sharp confrontation with Congress, on Wednesday vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have dramatically expanded children's health insurance.
It was only the fourth veto of Bush's presidency, and one that some Republicans feared could carry steep risks for their party in next year's elections. The Senate approved the bill with enough votes to override the veto, but the margin in the House fell short of the required number.
Ah yes, the old paint-the-conservatives-as-the-bad-guy trick. Bush's veto is [cue ominous music] a "sharp confrontation" that prevents kids from getting health care and is sure to doom the GOP to wander the electoral desert.
Those are all nice partisan talking points, but you'll notice no quote marks. It's all Loven's spin.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) took to a popular conservative blog today to issue a defense of radio host Rush Limbaugh against left-wing smear attacks. As NewsBusters has reported, Blackburn herself was the target of a "gotcha" game by MSNBC's David Shuster.
In "Why let the truth get in the way of a good story," Blackburn expressed to Red State readers her support for Limbaugh and noted her resolution before the House of Representatives to commend Rush for this dedication to America's men and women in uniform:
"It's not merely despicable, it's transparent," a top conservative blogger fumed of the Washington Post's slanted treatment of Iraq war coverage.:
How they can even continue posturing as neutral fact-finders presenting the news without favor or prejudice is beyond me. Do they not even understand they are lying to claim this posture? Or does it simply not even matter to them anymore?
Earlier today President Bush vetoed a bill to expand the federal State Children's Health Insurance Plans (SCHIP) by $35 billion over five years. Reporting the story, CNN.com pulled out all the stops, showing a cutesy photo of kid protesters on Lafayette Square (pictured at right) and rounding up a negative quote from an otherwise conservative Republican:
Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah was among those Republicans who split from the president. "It's very difficult for me to be against a man I care so much for," he told his colleagues on the Senate floor before the vote. "It's unfortunate that the president has chosen to be on what, to me, is clearly the wrong side of this issue."
A Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted September 27-30 found 72 percent of those surveyed support an increase in spending on the program, with 25 percent opposed. The poll's margin of error was 3 percentage points.
It doesn't take you a comprehensive Media Research Center study to know that the Huffington Post is a leftist site. Of course, MRC/NewsBusters' Tim Graham did such a study, but it's common knowledge in the media that HuffPo skews leftward. Yet New York Times staffer Bill Carter downplayed the liberal nature of the site in his October 2 story "CBSNews.com Chief to Lead a News and Blogs Site."
Carter kicked off his article by taking pains to avoid the ideological bent of HuffPo, instead painting HuffPo's new hire of a CBSNews.com staffer for chief executive as a sign that "new-media" outlets no longer have to sit at the MSM's version of the kids table:
The Huffington Post, a news Web site, plans to announce today the appointment of a new chief executive, Betsy Morgan, who will leave her job as the general manager of CBSNews.com.
Cherie Black of the Seattle P-I took the opportunity to inform readers of a liberal cancer patient's political stunt: putting out a personals ad looking for a Canadian man to marry, for health care, of course.
But while Black breezed past Canadian angst over American Jeanne Sather's hopes of cashing in on love and free health care, the P-I reporter failed to mention a prominent Canadian pol who recently went to the United States for cancer care.
OTTAWA–Belinda Stronach, the MP for Newmarket-Aurora and former cabinet minister, travelled outside Canada's health-care system to California for some of her breast cancer treatment earlier this year.
Stronach, diagnosed in the spring with a type of breast cancer that required a mastectomy and breast reconstruction, went to California in June at her Toronto doctor's suggestion, a spokesperson confirmed.
In a September 28 article on Time.com entitled, "What Bill O'Reilly Really Told Me," Fox News contributor Juan Williams explained the context of his conversation with O'Reilly that found itself fodder for context-mangling by liberal interest groups and O'Reilly's perpetual ratings victim, Keith Olbermann:
So, O'Reilly says to me that the reality to black life is very different from the lowlife behavior glorified by the rappers. He told me he was at a restaurant in Harlem recently and there was no one shouting profanity, no one threatening people. Then he mentioned going to an Anita Baker concert with an audience that was half black, and in sharp contrast to the corrosive images on TV, well dressed and well behaved.
A respected state climatologist resigns his post citing inability to do his job due to political pressure. Sounds exactly like the "inconvenient truth" scenario that Al Gore complained about in his book and documentary. Only thing is in this case it's a Democratic governor, Tim Kaine of Virginia, arguably silencing a climatologist who believes the globe is warming, but that the Gore-ian forecasts of doom are overwrought.
So how did the Washington Post report Dr. Pat Michaels's complaint of political pressure infringing on his academic freedom? By penning an article downplaying an arguable intrusion of political influence in the sanctuary of scientific inquest.
While the Post has been keen on furthering the meme that President Bush and his administration have conducted a campaign to silence scientists who believe in man-made global warming, staffer Jackie Spinner spun out an article on page B3 of the Saturday Post that found no substantial loss to the Old Dominion's citizens in Michaels's resignation.:
Our friend Brian Maloney at Radio Equalizer has an excellent run-down of Media Matters (MMA) latest attack on another of its favorite bogeymen: Rush Limbaugh. Earlier this week it was sharpening its knives over Bill O'Reilly:
Not content to wait until Bill O'Reilly's hoped- for demise, the George Soros- funded Media Matters / mainstream media smear machine has added a second target: Rush Limbaugh.
And this time, the distortion of words may actually be more severe than in O'Reilly's case.
Now, Media Matters has twisted and edited Rush's words in a way that makes it appear he's insulting the troops. They've taken the false idea that he called anti- war soldiers "phony troops" and spread it across the Internet. But Limbaugh said nothing of the sort.
Maloney explains that MMA took out of context a remark Limbaugh made about "phony soldiers:"
On August 26 and September 2, the Washington Post refused to run the weekly "Opus" comic strip by cartoonist Berkeley Breathed out of concerns of insensitivity to Muslims. NewsBusters associate editor wrote about the controversy here and here, and MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell discussed the Post's double standard on religious sensibilities on Glenn Beck's CNN Headline News program.
Weeks after the controversy has subsided, NewsBusters reader Rusty Weiss shot me a message informing me that a classic "Bloom County" strip from Breathed in the September 28 edition of Yahoo Comics is quite appropriate coming on the heels of the controversy (see below fold for the comic strip). Writes Weiss:
Within his article, Mufson brought in advertising critic and NPR host who injected his own political beliefs about oil companies like Chevron (emphasis mine):
"What these ads, like all oil company ads, do is accentuate the positive and don't mention the venality, the environmental impact and overarching greed that is at the bottom of their businesses," said Bob Garfield, a TV ad critic for Advertising Age.
Keith Olbermann this week has been happier than Ralphie Parker on Christmas morning over a left-wing group-generated controversy over Bill O'Reilly. But like the BB-gun-receiving protagonist of "A Christmas Story," lil' Keithie needs to know the dangers of (metaphorically) putting his eye out. After all, on September 9 on NBC's "Football Night in America," Olbermann made a cryptic crack that could be taken to be racially insensitive, if not racist.
As a country music fan, it often frosts me to flip open the pages of a newspaper and read snide, left-of-center snark from music reviewers about the right-leaning, patriotic sentiments of country musicians. Toby Keith, in particular, has been a favorite target of liberal journalists, although the tide's been turning a bit of late.
So here's something that might just end up "Shock'n Y'All": CBS "Early Show" co-anchor Hannah Storm praising Keith's patriotism, work ethic, and talent in a September 24 blog post:
Carter Wood of Shopfloor.org is not buying what Columbia Journalism Review is selling. Not after its smug, self-important pitch letter whining about supposed attacks on freedom of speech and press in America. Not after said sales pitch falls so close to Columbia welcoming dictator and enemy of press freedom Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
Columbia Journalism Review picked an inauspicious time to be sending out subscription pitches to Journalism School alumni, coinciding with the debacle that was Ahmadinejad's appearance at the university.
Reading through the pitch letter (.pdf copy here) signed by CJR Editor Mike Hoyt, we were struck by the unremitting hostility it emits toward U.S. institutions, primarily the government but also business and religion. In CJR's world view, a journalist's responsibility is apparently to attack, attack, attack -- because the institutions being reported on are corrupt and a threat to our freedoms.
And the come-on leads with a preposterous assertion:
The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that Telemundo reporter and mayoral mistress Mirthala Salinas is heading back at work after a two-month suspension, albeit demoted to a less prominent job within the network:
Television newscaster Mirthala Salinas, who was suspended without pay for two months in August after her affair with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa became public, is scheduled to return to work Monday. But she won't be taking up her old job as a fill-in anchor on evening newscasts for KVEA-TV Channel 52.
Instead, executives with the Spanish-language Telemundo network confirmed Monday that Salinas would be sent to the station's Inland Empire bureau in Riverside as a general assignment reporter, a notable fall for a one-time rising star who has become one of the most recognizable faces in local Spanish-language television.
That great liberal electronic short bus that is the Daily Kos offered the blogosphere another gem yesterday morning. DKos diarist laxmatt posted a poll on Sunday giving readers two choices for U.S. president, the current occupant George W. Bush or Iran's Mahmoud "Holocaust? What Holocaust?" Ahmadinejad.
The question reads, "I would rather have as President of the United States..." and lists the aforementioned presidents. I suppose this is on the same wavelength as the HuffPo blogger who said that at least Hitler, unlike President Bush, "meant well."
Roughly 24 hours after laxmatt posted his poll, Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs found that Bush was leading but A-jad still had a respectable plurality in his favor: 45 percent.
At the time of this posting, Bush's lead is up, but roughly 4 in 10 poll respondents still would prefer the music-hating, Sharia law-loving A-jad.
For a comprehensive listing of NewsBusters coverage of Daily Kos, click here.
Los Angeles Times reporter Matt Lait failed to inform readers that a critic of overcrowded jails is himself a convicted felon. [No, this is not a NewsBusted joke but check the bottom of the post if you want to make it one.]
What's more, Stephen Yagman is no petty one-time offender, notes Patterico:
There’s just one little thing about Yagman that The Times’s Matt Lait neglects to mention: Yagman is going to have a hard time continuing to represent these inmates . . . because he has been convicted of numerous felonies in federal court, and is likely headed to federal prison.
Indeed, the State Bar has taken notice, and has put Yagman on interim suspension. As the Metropolitan News-Enterprisereported on September 14:
When liberal journalists put on their political pundit hats to ostensibly handicap the policy stances of Republican politicians, you can rest assured that conservative or center-right stances will almost always be panned as political/electoral suicide.
Time magazine's Karen Tumulty is no exception in her recent Swampland blog post, "SCHIP: A Really Dumb Fight for Bush to Pick." in which the veteran reporter took President Bush to task for his veto threat for Democratic legislation that seeks to expand the size and mandate of the federally-backed State Children's Health Insurance Plans (SCHIP).
In the September 20 presidential press conference, CNN correspondent Suzanne Malveaux sought to blame President Bush and the GOP for a perceived nationwide deterioration in race relations. In doing so, Malveaux raised the plight of the so-called Jena Six, a group of black Louisiana teenagers charged in the beating of a white student.
Media outlets covering the controversy have generally skirted around reporting on the victim of the "Jena Six" assault, focusing more on the political dimensions of the controversy, particularly Thursday's Al Sharpton-led protests in the small Louisiana town. For example, in a separate post, NewsBusters contributor Matthew Balan notes how news outlets like CNN.com and USAToday are burying or ignoring details about victim of the Dec. 4, 2006 beating, Justin Barker.
Below are the questions Malveaux asked, as well as a separate "Jena Six" question posed by Michael Fletcher of The Washington Post, who the president referred to as "Fletch":
As a service to you the reader I'm watching the presidential news conference as covered on Fox News Channel. My goal here is to give you the questions the various reporters ask and if feasible, go back and clip video of the most biased questions.
Wrap-up, 11:27: There were no questions on the Hsu scandal and Hillary Clinton nor about Dan Rather's lawsuit, even though Memogate promulgated a bogus storyline intended to negatively impact Bush's 2004 reelection. The Jena Six controversy was raised by two reporters although it's had very little national media coverage. And unsurprisingly, no one asked about the Petreaus smear by MoveOn.org except Bill Sammon of the Washington Examiner (and also a Fox News contributor).
* * * * * * ** * * *
Bush turns over press conf to Michael Leavitt for q's on SCHIP, 11:20, Fox News fades out of press conference, as do other cable networks.
Bill Sammon, Washington Examiner, 11:19: What is your reaction to the MoveOn.org ad that mocked Petraeus. Would you like to see Democrats including presidential candidates repudiate the ad?
The Huffington Post is notable mostly for its shrill left-wing bloggers -- see Tim Graham's latest study-- but it can turn up some apolitical gems from time to time.
Rachel Sklar's September 17 "Eat the Press" entry is complete with photos of CNN's yummy (at least in Sklar's opinion) John Roberts from his days as a Canadian veejay (h/t TVNewser).:
Just over a week ago, we sent out the small, hopeful call: To be reuinted by a glowing, shining icon of my frostbitten Canadian childhood in the form of video footage of my early crush, J.D. Roberts. J.D. was a MuchMusic veejay, the host of "Toronto Rocks" on CityTV and the dashing, causally-mulleted flame of my secret heart.
You can find more pics of Roberts from his glory days in the Great White North here.
Dan Rather (file photo from Memogate days) is now suing his former employer for a cool $70 million. Jacques Steinberg of the New York Times has more.
Although it's impossible to sue the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy itself, Rather makes clear conservative groups and bloggers are to blame for his allegedly unfair dismissal from the former Tiffany Network:
When I saw this at the office yesterday, I was in stitches. Fox News Channel's Neil Cavuto aired B-roll of a saucy Paris Hilton burger ad while talking with conservative talk show host and author Laura Ingraham about her complaints in her book Power to the People and elsewhere about how cable news networks tart up their programming with skin. Asked by Ingraham if he was rolling such B-roll, Cavuto denied it, but the look on his face was priceless. (video embed below fold)
It's nothing new for Neil, who has a penchant for incorporating scantily-clad women in B-roll in his eponymous "Your World w/Neil Cavuto" program, and/or interviewing in-studio Hooters waitresses and Victoria's Secret models, always finding some business news angle of course.
I was going to clip the video for the heck of it, but Allahpundit at Hot Air beat me to it. You can read his post here or see the embedded YouTube video clip below the fold.
Since he became pontiff, the biased secular media have relished using harsh, loaded language like "ruthless" and "medieval" to describe Pope Benedict XVI. Blogger Mark Shea noticed those words appearing 126- and 169,000 times, respectively in a Google search.
But even worse, Shea argues, is how the media betray their utter lack of understanding of religious subjects when reporters start prattling on about how Benedict is "growing" during his papacy (h/t The Anchoress), when in reality they're just now discovering the clarity of what he's preached and taught all along: