As news outlets, notably MSNBC, CBS, and CNN, all tout gun control, it’s hard not to accuse these news outlets of exploiting tragedy to promote a left-wing political agenda when a new Washington Post/ ABC News poll shows that gun control isn’t a top political priority with the American people.
Examining the results of a new Washington Post poll, the Post's Chris Cilizza in his The Fix blog noted today that Americans believe the national debt and the federal government's chronic deficit spending are greater issues than gun regulation. In fact, only 28 percent of Americans, including a paltry 41 percent of Democrats, feel the gun control issue requires urgent attention:
In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting, PBS has decided to air a series of special programming in response to the tragedy in mid-February. We'll review the specials when they air, but early indications are that it will be heavily skewed towards more onerous gun restrictions.
The PBS specials, according to Diane Haithman of Deadline Hollywood, will be broadcasted between February 18-22. The series “will include a Frontline special report in collaboration with The Hartford Courant profiling the shooter; a NOVA documentary about violence and the brain, a Need To Know report on the “ripple effects of the shooting incident”, and an update on political action surrounding gun control from Washington Week With Gwen Ifill.”
Leave it to a Washington Post book reviewer to find a way to blame George W. Bush for the Irish Potato Famine. Okay, Peter Behrens didn't do exactly that, but he used the occasion of reviewing two books about the mass starvation of millions of Irish in the 1840s as an opportunity to bash the Bush administration over the federal response to Hurricane Katrina. Oh, I almost forgot, the bogeyman of the "free market" also finds itself in Behren's sights.
In his January 13 Washington Post item, Behrens reviewed two new books on the subject, The Famine Plot: England’s Role in Ireland’s Greatest Tragedy and The Graves are Walking: The Great Famine and the Saga of the Irish People, by Tim Pat Coogan and John Kelly respectively. Behrens favorably accepted Coogan's conclusion that “it was British reluctance to interfere with the supposed workings of the free-market economy that allowed famine to continue in Ireland at a time when the country was producing and exporting tons of food to England.”
Today's Washington Post editorial clings to the liberal anti-gun rights view that only the government should have access to "military weapons," by which of course they mean semiautomatic "assault rifles" like the AR-15. Of course, government corruption and incompetence has long been an avenue by which criminals have obtained weapons, the Fast & Furious gunrunning scandal being an instructive case in point.
But alas, the drug-running scandal was curious missing from the January 11 editorial in which the Post argued that in addition to an assault weapons ban, the U.S. government needs to crack down on international gun-smuggling, particularly on the Mexican border:
As my NewsBusters colleague Scott Whitlock pointed out on January 9, networks such as ABC and CBS, slammed the president for a lack of diversity in his second term administration, particularly with women. Whitlock wrote the “correspondent Jon Karl chided, ‘Well, some critics are looking at that emerging second-term cabinet and wondering, where are the women?’ He touted a New York Times article fretting about the "all-male look" of the new picks.
Oddly enough, concerns over diversity don't seem to be a problem for liberal Obama cheerleader and Washington Post In the Loop columnist Al Kamen. Now, with some major news outlets slamming for his apparent abandonment of women within his inner circle, Kamen asks for us to view this within the context of ‘musical chairs’ in his January 11 post – with fellow WaPo colleague Emily Heil.
While the media were quick to point out how Garden State Republicans were quick to criticize the House Republican leadership for not calling a vote on Sandy relief before the expiration of the 112th Congress, you probably haven't heard about how a potential Democratic challenger to Chris Christie has gotten into hot water for saying the Republican governor "prayed a lot" for the devastating natural disaster to boost his popularity.
That comment came a few days ago from New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D), in what seems to be another attempt by some Democrats in exploiting tragedy. While local New Jersey news outlets and some national publications have reported the story, it seems that thus far ABC, CBS, and NBC have ignored this in their evening new coverage last night:
Nearly one month after the Newtown, Conn., shooting, the official police report on the crime scenes is nearing completion, and a police spokesman tells the Daily Beast's Diane Dimond that there will be some shocking, eye-opening conclusions that counter much of the media' faulty initial reporting.
One such piece of misinformation was the early, egregious rumor that the shooter's mother, Nancy Lanza, was a survivalist or "doomsday prepper," a paranoid hoarder obsessed with what she considered the imminent collapse of society. In a January 7 post at the Daily Beast website, Dimond quoted a Lt. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police debunking that notion and saying a forthcoming police report will help to dispel urban legends that have crystallized in the public imagination:
Yes, abortion rights activists have reached a new level of depravity. Apparently, as everyone indulges in the holiday spirit, the pro-choice camp decided to create abortion ornaments – or 'abornaments' – to be part of the commemoration of the birth of Christ. The fact that pro-choice Americans threw this in the face of those who practice religion, or hold pro-life beliefs, is offensive in the extreme. Steven Ertelt of LifeNews wrote on December 19:
The pro-life group Life Dynamics has been highlighting so-called “Abornaments” that pro-abortion activists are promoting. They are sharing the images of the sacrilegious ornaments on the popular image sharing web site Pinterest.
Most of the so-called Christmas ornaments pictured involve the manipulation and desecration of plastic fetal models depicting unborn children at various stage of development before birth.
“It’s that time of year again for ABORNAMENTS! Every year, the pro-choice community celebrates abortion at Christmas by selling Abornaments Anyone disgusted? We are,” the pro-life group says. “What were they thinking?”
Far-left MSNBC weekend host Melissa Harris-Perry is no fan of marriage. The whole business is simply an act of “conspicuous consumption under the guise of tradition and love," she scoff. But the cynical feminist in her finds herself reduced to a “mushy mess when it comes to two fantastic people finding genuine happiness – and deciding to celebrate.” But that couple in question, naturally, is a same-sex couple, one half of which is, wait for it, transgendered.
Liberals politicians and journalists are on a full-blown assault on the Second Amendment ever since Friday's horrific shooting in Newtown, Conn. Gun ban-pushers like Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) are making the rounds in the media, including taxpayer-funded PBS. On December 17, NewsHour anchor Gwen Ifill gave Feinstein the floor to push her agenda. Naturally, Ifill failed to bring on an opposing point of view nor did she ask Feinstein tough questions.
There’s media bias – and then there’s just plain being unhinged. MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts exhibited the latter in his interview this morning with Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) was egregious and irresponsible. Roberts insisted that the United States has incredibly lax gun regulation while Kingston argued that mass shooting still happen in places where gun laws are stringent – namely in Europe. In turn, Roberts sneered, “so, we need to just be complacent in the fact that we can send our children to school to be assassinated?” [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
Suffice it to say the media coverage of the recent tragedy was an abject failure. Perhaps the most egregious example was how CNN initially reported that Ryan Lanza, brother of the real shooter Adam Lanza, was the culprit eliciting screenshots and information about his Facebook account that was disseminated on the Internet – and on the airwaves. David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun wrote on December 14 that:
Finally, Grover Norquist was the featured guest on the PBS NewsHour’s segment on the fiscal cliff. After previous editions of the program featured softball interviews with Paul Krugman and Max Richtman -- two members of the far left who oppose entitlement reform -- as well as moderate conservative Republican Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the NewsHour saw it fit to give time to the anti-tax activist who heads Americans for Tax Reform.
Of course the December 12 interview proved to be an occasion for liberal anchor Judy Woodruff to push back hard against Norquist on taxes, firing every possible liberal talking point at him she could. Norquist was adamant that the problem in Washington is spending, not taxation -- giving the president all the tax hikes he wants would generate about only two weeks worth of revenue, after all. But it didn’t take long for Woodruff to argue that the Clinton era tax cuts were the basis for strong economic growth. Norquist stood his ground and noted the role a conservative Republican Congress played in policies that helped fuel economic growth in the 1990s:
Remember the hand-wringing from the Left about how the Citizens United Supreme Court decision was supposed to turn America into a corporate dystopia. The media obligingly amplified those complaints. Well, the December 12 USA Today published an analysis showing minimal corporate participation in this year’s election cycle. In fact, their contributions amounted to roughly 10% of the mega donations doled out in 2012.
Granted, there was a lot of money spent on this cycle. $518 million dollars came from just 150 people, businesses, organizations, or unions, however:
Most folks dream of a white Christmas. No one, not even Elvis fans, want a blue one. But the Washington Post's Brian Palmer is fixated on how you can have a green one. Spoiler alert: He doesn't think trekking out to the local tree farm to fell your own tree is the way to go.
"Do you deserve a lump of carbon under your Christmas tree?" Palmer asked in his December 11 EcoLogic column. Apparently, the issue of tree farms during this holiday season is a point of contention within the environmentalist community. Yes, the greenies can't give it a rest, not even for the holiday season.
As Colonel Kurtz said at the end of Apocalypse Now: “the horror, the horror.” That sentiment encapsulated New York Times Republican David Brooks and syndicated columnist Mark Shields’ reactions to the rejection of the UN treaty on the rights of the disabled in the Senate last week. Brooks called it “embarrassment for the country” – while Shields called it “a profile in cowardice.” Regardless, it seems that both men forget that we have a similar bill called The Americans with Disabilities Act, which was passed under George H.W. Bush.
During the segment, which aired on December 7, NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff decided to end her interview with Brooks and Shields on this point:
The PBS NewsHour has yet to invite a strong conservative on the program to talk about the fiscal cliff. Tuesday night they had New York Times columnist, left-wing economist, and Obama cheerleader Paul Krugman to detail his view. Wednesday night they had moderately-conservative Sen. Bob Corker ( R-Tenn), but last night was the most interesting. PBS invited the Norquist of the left, Max Richtman, of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, who insisted we shouldn’t be in a rush to reform our entitlement spending.
After all, when the unfunded liability of both programs is around $100 trillion dollars, what’s the big hurry? Where’s the fire? Suffice it to say, none of Richtman's claims were met with skepticism by anchor Judy Woodruff. She continued with her interview, as if what Richtman said was fact.
Where’s my bacon, Obama? That's the attitude of Councilwoman JoAnn Watson, who said that in appreciation for Detroit having voted for the president, Obama should bail out the financially insolvent.
In fact, Watson says, “that’s what you do” when your friends help you out. Alas, the country sees the incompetence and the entitlement that has ruined Detroit. Just because you helped get the president re-elected, doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed loans to save your city. In fact, if such a list existed, I’d bet that most of California’s municipalities are probably in front of you, Ms. Watson.
During the December 4 edition of the PBS NewsHour, anchor Gwen Ifill decided to give a lofty eight minute and forty second interview to Obama cheerleader and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman so he can try to convince us that the fiscal cliff isn’t that big of a deal. Of course, in his estimation, Democratic proposals for higher taxes and higher spending were serious, while Republican alternatives to tackle the deficit were trivial. In fact, according to Krugman, “Obama is actually very serious in the real sense. It's just the notion he hasn't done anything on entitlement reform is totally unfair. He's done more than anyone has ever done before.”
And that’s why he needs $1.6 trillion dollars in tax hikes and $50 billion in additional stimulus spending to be "serious" about reining in deficit spending?!
As NewsBusters colleague Kyle Drennan noted today, the liberal media has mobilized their legions to defend embattled U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, complaining that the criticisms leveled by Republicans are motivated by racism, sexism or both.
But there most certainly is a double standard at play as Eliana Johnson of National Review noted in an excellent November 21 post in which she detailed how left-wing journalists and members of Congress attacked Condoleezza Rice as an incompetent Bush hack. Johnson wrote that:
It’s the Republicans who are in a bind. They’re beholden to the will of the evil genius Grover Norquist. They’re scared to death of The Club for Growth. That's the trite liberal media narrative that CBSNews.com's Brian Montopoli furthered earlier this morning in a piece in which he forecast that the Republicans, and only Republicans, are in for a bruising in the coming weeks should a "fiscal cliff" deal not be finalized. But in doing so, Montopoli conveniently forgets that Democrats have their pressure groups that hold their feet to the fire against any significant spending cuts and/or entitlement reform.
Perhaps Montopoli doesn't watch his own network's evening newscasts. On the Tuesday Evening News, correspondent Nancy Cordes noted that Democrats and President Obama are digging in their heels against any proposed deal which addresses entitlement spending. In fact, forty-two Democratic members of the House have signed on to a bill that explicitly prohibits cuts to the welfare state.
On the November 25 broadcast of ABC's This Week, former Bush advisor Matthew Dowd continued his shift away from the Republican Party by bashing conservative anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, saying he’s a impediment to good government. For good measure he childishly drew the connection to the name of a Muppet character on Sesame Street.
"Grover Norquist is an impediment to good governing…and the only good thing about Grover Norquist is he’s named after a character from Sesame Street…and that’s the last I hope we hear of him,” according to Dowd. It’s sad that some on the Right feel that fighting for the American taxpayer is “an impediment to good governing.”
Deck the halls! The Obamas were Christmas shopping on "Small Business Saturday," and spurring economic growth with their consumer spending. Economic activity that may come to an abrupt end if we take the plunge off the fiscal cliff.
CBSNews.com reporter Lindsey Boerma wrote on November 24 about the outing detailing how, “accompanied by his daughters Sasha and Malia, the president journeyed across the river to One More Page Books, which the White House described as an "independent, neighborhood bookstore." After consulting his Blackberry for an apparent holiday wish list, he purchased 15 children's books before even browsing the store.” But is President Obama really pro-small business?
In a striking blow for the environmental left, the International Energy Agency has released a report detailing how the United States is on track to outpace Saudi Arabia in oil production.
This surely puts the Obama administration in a bind concerning its green energy monomania that has dominated their energy policy for the past four years. This finding shows that the United States can be energy independent, and we have the resources to do so. However, the boot of government is trying to centralize and control those resources to expand their dependency agenda. It's hard to oppose someone who has his finger on the power switch. According to the report (emphasis added):
During Friday’s broadcasts of the PBS's NewsHour and NPR’s All Things Considered, liberals continued with their narrative about the fiscal cliff, and how it’s not all that bad. Previously, Mark Shields and E.J. Dionne agreed with New York Times-style Republican David Brooks that they would go off the cliff. The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne equated it with the “will of the people.”
But now, the Post’s Ruth Marcus and E.J. Dionne insist that the cliff isn’t a cliff. It’s actually a well-defined “slope." But in the words of Joe Biden, “this is a big f***ing deal.”
A congressional investigation into a failed venture capital firm run by a prominent former governor has faulted said governor for the debacle, which famously lost some billions in investor funds which, to this day, have not been accounted for.
No, it wasn’t Mitt Romney – it was former Democratic Governor of New Jersey Jon Corzine. One mystery that plagues this investigation is Mr. Corzine’s David Copperfield act that wiped $1.6 billion from MF Global’s client fund, which occurred days before the whole firm crumbled. Dina ElBoghdady of The Washington Post reported in the November 15 paper about this episode in financial malfeasance that cost people their jobs, and their savings – but it wasn’t too important for the paper's editors, who buried the item on page A18.
As the discussions about sex and sex scandals dominate the media due to the Petraeus affair, one affair the media are strangely silent about is that of New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, who was handily reelected last week despite shocking allegations that his idea of an Easter vacation was flying to the Dominican Republican to soliciting sex from prostitutes. Oh, and, like Secret Service agents in Colombia before him, the hookers are saying that he stiffed them on the tab.
The latest development in the Menendez saga, according to Scott Wong at Politico is that:
Oh, now they tell us. As Republicans lick their political wounds, Democrats bask in the glory of winning what was suppose to be a highly contested election, and Washington is abuzz about the looming fiscal cliff which will plunge millions of Americans into higher taxes, The New York Times’ Jonathan Weisman wrote today that liberals are now seeing some of Romney’s economic agenda as beneficial to the American middle class. You know, the people ‘Rich Mitt’ wanted to destroy.
Now that the partisan posturing can be tamped down a bit in the wake of the election, some Democrats and their boosters in the media are starting to see Republican policies as plausible avenues to help the American people.
Last Friday, in his first post-election remarks on PBS and NPR, New York Times columnist David Brooks downplayed his usual bash- conservatives narrative, and actually castigated liberals for wanting to go over the looming fiscal cliff. He said that liberals are more organized, they’ve won the election, and will get most of what they yearn for if we do go over the waterfall: increased revenue, tax hikes, and cuts to defense spending.
Strangely, his liberal colleagues, Mark Shields on PBS and E.J. Dionne on NPR, seemed to agree with this claim – undercutting the notion that this "cliff" is dangerous to both parties.
As voters cast their ballots to decide the future direction of the country, President Obama encouraged people to go our and vote – and bring their ID’s along with them. I guess the ship has sailed on Al Sharpton’s bridge he intended to sell to us. We have the President of the United States and the leader of the Democratic Party telling voters to bring their IDs to the polls. This is the seat of irony since the president's own attorney general equated Voter ID laws to a new poll tax and called them an affront to minority voters.