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.
Just a moment ago, radio host Rush Limbaugh was blasting the mainstream media's notion that the YouTube debates represent a revolution in American presidential debates.
Not so, says Limbaugh, at least in terms of the content of the questions asked. They're still as inane and moronic, or brilliant (in rare circumstances) as they've always been because they're the same inance, moronic, or brilliant (rare circumstances) people asking them.
Instead, Limbaugh insists, we are seeing a revolution in media technology being confused for a nascent political revolution.
Now couple that, the notion that "new voices" are being heard in the YouTube debates ,with the wild left-wing skew we've documented at NewsBusters, and you see the media's liberal bias at work in staging the 2008 election in terms of liberal issue battlegrounds.
In the July 22 Washington Post, writer Monica Hesse interviewed Ron DeFore of the SUV Owners of America (SUVOA), for her Style section front-pager, "A Man Who Wants SUVs to Get More R-E-S-P-E-C-T."
But far from respect, Hesse's interview at turns shifted from an almost "Daily Show"-like mockery to an unqualified parroting of liberal talking points. You can find her interview here, but I found these three questions particularly to be cheap shots:
Brian Stelter bids farewell to readers of TVNewser.com today. The New York Times recently hired the Towson University graduate as a media reporter and he begins that gig full time on Monday. You may have read his reporting before from our editor's picks or as occasionally excerpted in NewsBusters posts themselves.
Stelter has done an excellent job with TVNewser and I'm sure he'll do well at the Gray Lady. And if whatever's in the water starts getting to him, well, that's what we have Clay Waters of TimesWatch.org for. (Bring bottled water, Brian!)
But seriously, from one news junkie/blogger to another, good luck, Brian.
There are millions of Web sites floating around the Internet on any given day, so finding five ones to label as the "worst" in the world is risible on its face. And if you did, wouldn't you think that NAMBLA, the Westboro Baptist Church, the KKK, pedophile sites and the like would constitute the absolute worst? I mean, MySpace is annoying, but it's not as bad as jihadist Web sites by any stretch.
But aside from the inanity of the undertaking, what caught my eye with Time magazine's "Five Worst Websites" list was eHarmony.com's inclusion.
"Our main beef with this online dating site is its power to cause utter despair," lament the writers at Time.
A Democratic presidential contender has hinted that he thinks some form of sex ed is appropriate for the nation's five-year olds.
I'm not exactly holding my breath for media outrage or at least interest in the topic, but I though Good Lt. at the "Jawa Report" has some good observations about how yet again, life seems to be imitating South Park:
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., told Planned Parenthood Tuesday that sex education for kindergarteners, as long as it is "age-appropriate," is "the right thing to do."
The left, at the rate of almost several times per month now, is intent on mimicking South Park's proverbial "theater of the absurd" in real life and real time. The episode? Season 5's "Proper Condom Use," in which the school board decides that condom use has to be taught to progressively younger grades to the point that the kindergarteners are learning about it.
Say you write for or edit the metro section of a major metropolitan newspaper and you have a juicy story of a local ex-mayor who was arrested for running a brothel. It's right on the heels of the Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) prostitution scandal and the politician in the local story in question was once a sheriff's deputy, clearly no stranger to anti-prostitution laws.
Party affiliation is just one more tidbit of information that couldn't hurt your readers, right?
The day after Independence Day, ABC reporter Terry Moran jotted down his thoughts on what makes some people become terrorists. His answer: freedom.
Rather than explore religious fanaticism or just plain depraved human wickedness, Moran insisted in a July 5 blog posting that modernity and the freedom of association it fosters is causing many a young Muslim male to descend into the hellish depths of terrorism.:
The Hill newspaper can be a good read for Capitol Hill coverage. It goes deeper than the superficial treatment the MSM often gives legislative matters.
That said, it seems to me the paper is taking at best a curious tack on an issue dividing fiscal conservatives of late: whether to sew up a federal tax loophole on private equity compensation and effectively raise some taxes as a result.
The Hill is painting the matter as one of conservative activists versus their GOP congressional allies with Jessica Holzer's July 18 article, "Conservatives break with GOP leaders on tax bill." The lede for the article lends the impression that some conservatives are finding a tax they actually like:
At a conservative Web activist happy hour yesterday, I learned about a new Web site that's a great resource for press and public alike, although I doubt many in the liberal media will catch on quickly, if at all.
WashingtonWatch.com is a Web site "maintained by Jim Harper, Director of Information Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, in his spare time, as a public service." Harper puts a dollar figure on the bright (or frankly mostly not-so-bright) ideas that Congress toys with day in and day out.
Making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes Costs $5,868.73 per family
Reporting on Mayor Adrian Fenty (D-D.C.) and his decision to appeal a gun rights case to the Supreme Court, the Washington Post failed to consult any of the half-dozen citizens of the District of Columbia who won the lawsuit in federal Circuit Court four months earlier.
Reporter David Nakamura quickly revealed to readers that the liberal mayor was couching his appeal as an effort to protect the citizens of the gun-crime-plagued city.
The District will ask the Supreme Court to uphold its strict 30-year
handgun ban, setting up what legal experts said could be a test of the
Second Amendment with broad ramifications.
The high court has
not ruled on the Second Amendment protection of the right to keep and
bear arms since 1939. But at a morning news conference yesterday, Mayor
Adrian M. Fenty (D) and Attorney General Linda Singer said they expect
the court to hear a case they called crucial to public safety.
A few grafs later, Nakamura quoted Fenty, who heads the city government that was the losing party to Parker v. District of Columbia. That's fair enough, Fenty is the guy taking the case to the High Court, he should be quoted first. But what about this Parker fellow?
He was nowhere to be found in Nakamura's article, although Post reporter Paul Duggan gave readers of the Post a glimpse into Palmer's plight in a March 18 article. Of the six plaintiffs on the case, libertarian and Cato Institute constitutional lawyer Robert Levy knew just one:
Fox News resident liberal blowhard Geraldo Rivera used his Saturday program to skewer conservative blogger and illegal immigration critic Michelle Malkin on the issues of illegal immigration and border enforcement.
If you want ignorant ranting about immigration and the Zina Linnik
case, go watch Geraldo Rivera (thanks to readers for e-mailing me about
it over the weekend and AP for clipping the vid). Utterly shameless.
Geraldo teased his Saturday night segment on the case by claiming that
Zina’s uncle, Anatoly Kalchik, would argue that Zina’s accused murderer
should be called a “monster” instead of an “immigrant:”
The tragic story was twisted to aggravate the immigration debate… A
little girl snatched and brutally murdered. Tonight her family speaks
out on why his “immigrant” label should be replaced by "monster."
only thing twisted, though, was Geraldo’s big tease. Mr. Kalchick did
not say what Geraldo said he would say. Geraldo didn’t even ask him
about the immigration angle in the interview that aired.
The Left must be afraid of Fred Thompson. The latest attack on the
former Tennessee senator: he's violating the "spirit" of campaign
finance laws by toying with his candidacy for too long, even as he
builds the framework to hit the campaign trail running. Yet
unfortunately for her readers, ABCNews.com's Jennifer Rubin
leaves out the liberal leanings of the two major critics of the former
senator that she cites in her recent story. Indeed, one group's president even has a link to First Amendment breacher, er, campaign finance reformer John McCain, a GOP candidate, while the
other group's executive director previously worked for Democratic 2008 candidate
Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) as well as liberal pols such as Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
Here are the offending passages, followed by my commentary (portions in bold are my emphasis):
On today's "Your World with Neil Cavuto," the host devoted a portion of his mailbag segment to viewers from across the fruited plain telling Cavuto of their local media outlets had ignored or downplayed yesterday's stock market closing. Cavuto noted that in contrast, a large market correction in February was blared on the front pages of the nation's largest broadsheets.
But a Florida Republican state legislator is only arrested for solicitation of oral sex from an undercover male police officer, and his party affiliation is rendered in the second paragraph of the AP story.
That doesn't seem to square with the AP Stylebook, which says party affiliation mention should be tested by relevance to the story and that in some stories "[p]arty affiliation is pointless."
Video (3:15):Real (2.38 MB) or Windows (1.99 MB), plus MP3 audio (1.11 MB).
It starts with Helen Thomas insisting that President Bush is responsible for al Qaeda in Iraq and ends with Martha Raddatz of ABC News misconstruing a new report on al Qaeda to conclude the terror network's threat is "greater than ever now." NBC's David Gregory and CBS's Jim Axelrod are also included. All questions betray an alarmist and defeatist tone on Iraq and/or push President Bush to consider hypotheticals involving Democrats passing legislation to curtail his management of the war.
I received an e-mail tip from a member of the news media who enjoys our work, pointing out some shenanigans at the Associated Press. The matter at hand was President Bush answering a question about Plamegate at today's White House news conference.
Here's an excerpt of his e-mail (emphasis mine):
If you haven't already, check out the AP Stories on the President's
press conference this morning (7/12). The item: BC-Bush 4th Lead by
Headline: Bush acknowledges administration leaked CIA operative's name.
However... quote in paragraph 6 contradicts headline: "I'm aware of the fact that PERHAPS somebody in the administration did disclose the name of that person.
President Bush is taking questions from the White House press corps about the Iraq report. I'll be live-blogging it. Hit refresh for updates. We may post some video later with highlights (or is it lowlights?). All times below are Eastern.
Helen Thomas, Hearst newspapers columnist, 10:45: Presses Bush on bringing in UN peacekeepers to Iraq. "Don't you understand, you have brought al Qaeda into Iraq," she insisted.
unidentified reporter, 10:48: "Mr. President, you're facing a rebellion from Republican senators" on Iraq.
unidentified female reporter, 10:50 on changing course on the Iraq war: "why are you so resistant to that idea, and how much longer" will the President continue with the surge before changing course.
Townhall.com's Josue Sierra's blog today shares with readers just how "SiCKO" the state of Cuban health care is.
Not every Cuban gets the Potemkin village treatment Michael Moore gave 9/11 workers featured in his latest documentary.
Click on this link to see how ill-equipped and run-down the average Cuban hospital is. Sierra links to the original blog post by Stefania Lapenna at "Free Thoughts." The photos were taken by one Dr. Darsi Ferrer.
The Washington Post today reported how the White House expects the federal budget deficit to shrink, but placed it in a five-paragraph story below the fold on page A6. Yet a Reuters story on the same development noted something that the Washington Post's Lori Montgomery left out of her story. The new White House figure of $205 billion "is still higher than many private forecasts, which have pegged the deficit at around $150 billion."
What's more, Post reporter Montgomery included a reference to President Bush crediting his tax cuts with the revenue surge, but added "that has been challenged by many economists." Montgomery failed to name any such economist, much less his/her rationale. After all, if tax revenue is growing at unexpected rates following tax cuts, are there many economists who actually expect tax revenues to roll in at a faster pace when levied at their pre-Bush tax cut levels?