On Wednesday, as President Obama signed -- er, auto-penned -- the legislation preventing the onset of the "fiscal cliff" passed by Congress the previous day, the establishment press was busy understating its impact. A Friday evening Wall Street Journal editorial (note: not a regular news report) in today's print edition lays out the gory details.
But first, I will cite four examples of coverage which pretended that 99 percent of Americans won't see their income taxes increase in 2013.
Many of those who expressed outrage at the publication of a two-county interactive map of pistol permit owners by Gannett's White Plains, New York-based Journal News just before Christmas have raised serious concerns that the paper's action would directly harm law-abiding citizens. Evidence is pouring in that those fears are legitimate.
Fox News, doing something the wire services should have been begun within days of the map's publication, has unsurprisingly found that "Reformed crooks say the New York newspaper ... did a great service – to their old cronies in the burglary trade." Additionally, a Newsday report identifies four concrete examples of negative impact: "Inmates are taunting corrections officers" at an area jail; one of the counties' sheriffs says that it's "hurting law enforcement as a whole"; a Rockland County Democratic legislator who currently doesn't own a gun says "he now fears for his safety" and will get one; and a divorced woman who says her ex-husband tried to strangle her is worried that "now he can find me." Excerpts from the two news reports follow the jump.
Currently in Connecticut, unlike New York, handgun permit records can't be made public. Nutmeg State legislator Stephen D. Dargan, a Democrat from West Haven and co-chairman of the legislature's public safety committee, wants to change that. Borrowing from some of the specious reasoning used by Gannett's White Plains, New York-based Journal News to justify publishing an interactive map of two counties' pistol permit holders, he wants to make handgun permit information to be publicly accessible.
At the Hartford Courant (HT NewsMax), Jon Lender failed to deal with the issue of endangering non-permit holders because of the increased likelihood that they will be identifiable as "soft targets" (unless they happen to own rifles, for which permits are not required), and also didn't directly look into the possibility that Dargan has an additional motive -- intimidation of current and potential permit holders (bolds are mine throughout this post):
I'm almost surprised that the Politico's web site background isn't all black because of news delivered by its "On Media" reporter Dylan Byers on Tuesday.
The "bad" news is that "gun control" as a media obsession appears to have largely disappeared, especially when you consider that some of the primary remaining stories on the topic are about David Gregory's illegal but unprosecuted (as of yet) brandishing of a magazine on Meet the Press, a New York newspaper's publication of an interactive map of two counties' pistol permit dwellers, and said newspaper either feeling threatened or pushing for more publicity (my bet is on the latter) by hiring armed guards to protect its headquarters and staff from outraged readers. Here's part of Byers's narrative (charts are at the link; bolds are mine):
In a late Wednesday column at the Politico, the online website's Steven Sloan wrote that Democrats might be done hiking tax rates, specifically "that they’ve exhausted their ability to raise taxes on the richest Americans by jacking up their rates." But it's clear in later segments of his write-up that Democrats still want to go after "loopholes" and deductions, meaning that they still want to see effective marginal rates -- the ones which motivate high income earners' decisionmaking -- to get "jacked up." Such moves would also mean that the tax owed on a given amount of gross income would go up; i.e., they would be tax increases.
In suport of his misdirecting premise, Sloan quoted many Democrats, but somehow forgot to include Democratic President Barack Obama's stated position after the fiscal cliff mess concluded. In a video for supporters, as relayed by Joel Gehrke at the Washington Examiner, Obama didn't budge from using the same language he has used all along to justify tax increases. Gehrke's accurate headline captures the essence (video is at link; bolds are mine throughout this post):
Well, at least we know one of the New Year's resolutions on a certain radical professor's list. That resolution, undermining the Constitution whenver and wherever possible to serve the "progressive" agenda, has been on the list of the paper for which this professor wrote for quite a while.
On Sunday, in a New York Times op-ed ("Let’s Give Up on the Constitution") which appeared in today's print edition, Louis Michael Seidman, a professor of constitutional law (seriously) at Georgetown University, and the author of the forthcoming book "On Constitutional Disobedience" (given the conduct of the Obama administration, it's hard to understand why such a book is even neceeary is a mystery), wrote that "our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions." Here's more of what we will likely see from other quarters in the new year:
This is the eighth year I have done shopping and layoff-related searches on how often the words "Christmas" and "holiday" are used.
As has been the case since the enterprise began in 2005, news reports are far more likely to refer to the commercial time frame between Thanksgiving and Christmas as the "holiday shopping season." Meanwhile, compared to shopping references, news reports are several times more likely to refer to Christmas in connection with layoffs. This years raw results -- originally gathered here, here, and here at my home blog, along with comparisons to previous years -- follow the jump:
An unbylined Associated Press story at 1:34 p.m. (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) disgracefully covered a federal ruling which delivered a defeat (for now) against the enforcement of ObamaCare's contraception mandate.
Unlike the Hobby Lobby situation (covered earlier today at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), where the dispute is over certain portions of the contraception mandate requiring employers to cover abortifacient drugs and devices, the ruling in the case of Thomas Monaghan, the founder of Domino's Pizza who is now has a property management business, involves the entire contraception mandate. Monaghan nevertheless was able to get a temporary restraining order (TRO). The full five-paragraph AP report is after the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
One of the establishment press's favorite tactics to diminish the perceived strength of a position taken by people or companies they are inclined not to favor is to take objectively true facts and statements and reduce them to things only those people or companies "say" or "believe."
Hobby Lobby's court battle against the ObamaCare mandates is a perfect case in point, with both the Politico and Associated Press providing recent related examples of this fundamentally dishonest tactic. In the December 26 item at the Politico, Jennifer Haberkorn and Kathryn Smith also falsely framed the situation as an argument over "contraception" (more on that in a bit; bolds are mine throughout this post). But first, let's look at how the pair employed the "they say" tactic:
In their December 27 story about Lisa Jackson's resignation from atop her perch at the Environmental Protection Agency, Darren Samuelsohn and Erica Martinson at the Politico wanted readers to believe that occurred after "after four years of battling Republicans and industry while also giving the White House some heartburn along the way over her push for new clean air rules."
Please. It's not as if only Republicans oppose the EPA's energy-hostile agenda; last time I checked, most of West Virginia's national politicians, as well as many if not most of the state's coal miners who are losing their jobs as a result of out-of-control environmentalism, are Democrats. And I don't recall President Obama or the White House ever having any problems with what Jackson was saying or doing. The Politico pair also waited until the sixth paragraph of their report to mention Jackson's admitted use of an accountability-avoiding email account in the name of "Richard Windsor" to conduct official business. Excerpts from their report follow the jump:
So it's come to this: While those who gather by the hundreds, thousands, and sometimes even by the hundreds of thousands in support of conservative causes or against liberal ones usually are either ignored, underestimated, or denigrated by the establishment press, one gun-grabbing advocate protesting at a local gun show gets sympathetic treatment in one-third to one-half of a two-minute segment at a local TV station, along with front-page rotation at its web site.
Readers who have followed the controversy over a New York newspaper's decision to published the names and addresses of all pistol permit holders in two Empire State counties will surely note the irony in how the CBS station in Denver which covered Saturday's Tanner Gun Show at the Denver Merchandise Mart didn't name the lone protester, only referring to her in their televised report as "Karen." The woman is not named at all in the related text coverage, some of which follows the jump:
During the past two years, Republican governors and lawmakers in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan have been the targets of a great deal of negative attention from the establishment press, particularly on TV, as a result of taking necessary actions to get their states' fiscal houses in order and to become more economically competitive. Meanwhile, the Midwest's largest and Democrat-dominated state careens toward bankruptcy, and it's barely news.
In early 2011, Illinois enacted massive personal and corporate income-tax increases of 67% and 46%, respectively. The tax hikes were advertised as required to address the state's huge backlog of unpaid bills to vendors and other service providers, and to shore up its badly underfunded pension funds. Almost two years later, as two separate Associated Press reports this weekend demonstrate, the state still has a huge and possibly even larger stack of unpaid invoices, and its pension situation has worsened.
A week ago, Gannett's White Plains, New York-based Journal News published an interactive map containing " the addresses of all pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties" (previous related posts are here, here, and here). Like so many others throughout the U.S. and even throughout the world, Dylan Skriloff, Editor-in-Chief at the Rockland County Times, which calls itself "Rockland's Official Newspaper Since 1888," did not take it well, nor should he have. In a Thursday editorial, he blasted the Journal News and chose to publish "the home addresses of Journal News editors, publishers and the Gannet CEO to make a point; what’s good for the goose is good for the gander" (he also included phone numbers). Excerpts from his write-up follow the jump (bolds are mine):
It doesn't take much of an effort to find plenty of establishment press reports (just four such examples are here, here, here, and here) about the reaction to the Newtown, Connecticut coming out of Dunblane, Scotland, the site of a 1996 school massacre where sixteen children and one adult were murdered before the gunman committed suicide.
Most reports note that strict gun legislation was passed in the wake of the massacre, but don't cover the laws' impact. One of the four reports just cited, from CNN's Peter Wilkinson, called "How UK school massacre led to tighter gun control," waits 19 paragraphs before discussing results, and then fudges (bolds are mine throughout this post):
William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has relayed the latest turns of events in the David Gregory Meet the Press magazine brandishing incident (previous posts here, here, and here). The press is finally paying attention: "Now that the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department is on record that it told NBC News not to use the high capacity magazine in its segment with Wayne LaPierre, the big media is paying attention and taking this seriously."
Except that some in the press are, with anonymous sources, trying to excuse Gregory's and NBC's situation by saying that they somehow got permission to display the magazine. Uh, except that the New York Times says that any permission obtained doesn't matter. The permission supposedly came from the federal government's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF):
In response to Gannett's Jounal News headquartered in White Plains, New York publishing an interactive map containing the names and addresses of all pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland Counties (previous related posts are here and here), blogger Robert Cox at NewRochelleTalk.com (HT Instapundit) has produced an interactive map at a post entitled "Where are the Journal News employees in your neighborhood?"
It contains names, addresses, and various forms of Internet presence. Some of his narrative follows the jump:
Here's another entry for the "They can dish it out but can't take it" file.
Jammie Wearing Fool is reporting, with supporting links, that Editor CynDee Royle at the Journal News headquartered in White Plains, New York, which on Saturday, as noted on Monday at NewsBusters, published an interactive map showing the names and address of all pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland Counties, has taken down her Facebook page and made her Twitter account private (the latter may have been the case before the article was published). The paper has also recognized the outrage the published map cause, is offering a truly lame defense, and claims it didn't get everything it wanted (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
It's pretty close to a tie, but based on time stamps, Legal Insurrection's William Jacobson, at 11:23 a.m., was 22 minutes ahead of local DC TV station WJLA in breaking an important update to the David Gregory magazine clip saga going back to Sunday's Meet the Press program. (The classless credit hogs at Politico published a related story, didn't credit Jacobson, and while citing WJLA, failed to link to its report; thus I'm not linking to Politico.) Previous related posts on Sunday (NewsBusters; BizzyBlog) and Tuesday evening (NB; BB) only relayed the possibility that NBC might have asked DC Metro Police whether they could show a high-capacity magazine on the air.
The fresh news via Jacobson is that "NBC requested and was denied permission to use (i.e., show a) high capacity magazine in news segment" -- but went ahead and did it anyway (bolds are mine):
In a Wednesday morning report, the Associated Press's Sarah El Deeb certainly did her best to continue the ongoing campaign to convince the West that there's really nothing about which we should be concerned in Egypt's newly approved Constitution. She characterized it as "a new chapter in Egypt's two-year transition from authoritarian rule" and quoted a group whose Facebook page doesn't exist (despite that page being the first item found in a Google Web search on the group's name) telling us that the country is in "a new phase of legal disputes over legislation and control of state institutions," and that "the battle won't be very clear to regular people." I'm taking that to mean: "Don't pay any attention to us while the Muslim Brotherhoood and Islamists consolidate their power."
The AP reporter also mentioned the opposition's fears that the constitution "enshrines a prominent role for Islamic law, or Shariah, in governing the country's affairs and reinforces Islamists' hold on power." It's more than an abstract fear, because Sharia(h) is mentioned several times in the document itself (bolds are mine):
On December 18, in covering the aftermath of the official report on the terrorist raid on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya which killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, the Associated Press reported in the first three paragraphs of its coverage that "Three State Department officials resigned under pressure," identifying those who had stepped down as "Eric Boswell, the assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary responsible for embassy security, and Raymond Maxwell, the deputy assistant secretary of state who oversees the Maghreb nations of Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco."
It wasn't until the fourth paragraph that readers who got that far -- clearly a tiny percentage compared to those who saw the headline ("State Department security chief, 2 deputies, resign after damning Benghazi attack report") or only heard headline-based reports on broadcast outlets -- learned that "Some of the three may have the option of being reassigned to other duties." In other words, they might not be losing their jobs or even receive cuts in pay. At the New York Post this morning, Josh Margolin is reporting that the three identified by the AP plus one other person aren't being meaningfully punished in any sense:
Warner Todd Huston at Breitbart, Katie Glueck at the Politico, and William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection all reported today that NBC's David Gregory is under investigation by the Washington, DC Metro Police in connection with his apparent brandishing of "a 30-round magazine purportedly for an AR-15 or similar 'assault rifle'" on Sunday morning's "Meet the Press" program.
Jacobson further noted another potentially serious complication for NBC:
What similarities are there between a domestic terrorist organization and the alleged journalists at the Journal News headquartered in White Plains, New York? At least two biggies: total lack of respect for privacy and complete disregard for others' safety. The domestic terror group Earth First has an "EAT(IT) "Eco Assassin Team (in Training)," which has tired of "the stale old debate about adopting nonviolence as a movement principle." Accordingly, the Earth First Journal (HT to J. Christian Adams at PJ Media; those wishing to go to the original need to go there first, as I would rather not directly link) has published a top ten "'Eco-F***ers Prank-Hit List,' at least until we come up with something more creative."
The Journal News has published its own (conveniently unbylined) list, complete with interactive maps. The maps contain "the addresses (and names) of all pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties." Really:
A post-Black Friday weekend dispatch at the Associated Press on November 26 reported that "The holiday shopping season got off to a strong start on Black Friday, with retail sales up 7 percent over last year, according to one survey. Now stores just have to keep buyers coming back without the promise of door-buster savings."
It turns out that the originally reported number was far too rosy. Nevertheless, in both late Sunday and early Monday reports, AP retail writers Mae Anderson and Anne D'Innocenzio treated the actual result, which came in 60 percent lower, as "strong." Each report contained the following paragraph (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The original report comes from Al Jazeera (HT Gateway Pundit via frequent home blog commenter dscott), so caution is advised. But the related video appears to be from an independent source, and the IB Times in the UK is reporting the related attack as an actual event.
According to IBT: "The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been accused of resorting to chemical weapons after seven people died from poisonous gas fumes in an assault on Homs." From what I could tell, as of shortly before 10 a.m. ET, the U.S. establishment press had not filed a story. More from IBT after the jump (bolds are mine):
Two blog posts today should shred the credibility of Meet the Press's David Gregory in making arguments for gun control and against appropriate armed staff or security personnel at schools -- or they would, if journalists had the least bit of interest in exposing lawbreaking and hyprocritical behavior by their professional colleagues.
During the show, as reported at the Patriot Perspective, relaying a point first brought out by a member of the AR15.com forum site, Gregory "decided to wave around a 30-round AR-15 magazine" in direct violation of the District of Columbia "DC High Capacity Ammunition Magazines" statute. Given the Supreme Court's Heller ruling affirming that the right to keep and bear arms (and ammo) is an individual right, that law may not be enforceable, but it would also be interesting to know if Gregory's possession of an AR-15 magazine or his showing it on the air violated any of NBC's corporate policies. Additionally, the Weekly Standard's Daniel Halper pointed to Gregory's hypocrisy in mocking the NRA's Wayne LaPierre over his organization's advocacy of having armed guards in schools (internal link is in original; bolds are mine):
While the Associated Press, New York Times, and the vast majority of the U.S. establishment press have avoided directly referring to Egypt's newly-approved constitution, spearheaded by ruler by decree Mohammed Morsi, as oriented toward imposing Muslim sharia law in that nation, the international press hasn't been so reluctant. Who do you believe, the rest of the world or your agenda-driven U.S-based news sources? Additionally, as will be seen, the constitution is so unabashedly socialist it would have been labeled communist if it had appeared any time prior to 1990.
Russia-based RT.com opened its coverage of fraud allegations Saturday as follows: "Egypt's new Sharia-based constitution has been approved in a second round of voting, the ruling Muslim Brotherhood party said." Its headline a week ago after the first round: "Egyptians vote on hotly contested sharia-based constitution." Meanwhile, the New York Times blew through over 1,000 words in "analyzing" the results, and did not mention sharia once.
CNBC host Maria Bartiromo went after Maryland Senator Ben Cardin on the air on Thursday (HT PJ Tatler; original here) after it became clear that Cardin and his fellow Democrats won't support any measure to prevent the fiscal cliff from arriving as currently scheduled on Janaury 1 which does not include increases in the highest marginal income-tax rates. At the end of her tirade, she got applause and cheers from those around her.
I'll give her one cheer for clearly exposing Democrats' "my way of the highway" approach. She missed the opportunity to get to three cheers because it seems that she's just now recognizing after all these months that Democrats, including President Obama, won't accept any kind of a solution that doesn't involve raising the top rates -- even though they've been saying that very thing all along. Far more important: Even if you believe that the tax hikes discussed will actually increase government collections by $1.2 trillion over ten years, that amount is a tiny percentage of the trillion-dollar deficits the government will continue to run as long as the economy putters along at its current mediocre to poor pace.
On Thursday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told an Albany radio station some of his ideas for gun control: “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it.”
But in covering what Cuomo said, Thomas Kaplan at the New York Times prefaced Cuomo's specific statement, which he buried in the story's seventh paragraph, by writing that "Mr. Cuomo did not offer specifics about the measures he might propose." Looks "specific" enough to me, Tom. The Times, perhaps sensing that a statement such as Mr. Cuomo's might be the kind with the potential to seriously damage the gun control cause, buried Kaplan's story on Page A29 in Friday's print edition and gave it a boring headline:
At his news conference on Wednesday, President Obama opened with a statement of over 1,100 words, all of it on gun violence, including his announcement that "I’ve asked the Vice President to lead an effort that includes members of my Cabinet and outside organizations to come up with a set of concrete proposals no later than January -- proposals that I then intend to push without delay."
That should reasonably have been expected to put the gun control issue to bed for the rest of the day. How many meaningful questions could reporters possibly pose after all of that (other than the one Jake Tapper of ABC asked, which will be seen later in the post)? But as Ben Sisario at the New York Times's Media Decoder blog reported Wednesday afternoon, that didn't satisfy many media critics, who -- with Sisario seeming to agree -- expected and wanted to see an all-gun-control, all-the-time exercise, and were angry that it didn't unfold that way (bolds are mine throughout this post):