Old Media's coverage of the recently-lifted executive and congressional bans on offshore exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas largely overlooked an important element that should have been very relevant to the discussion.
Supporters of lifting the bans surely share much of the blame for only rarely citing it. Though they have frequently noted the hundreds of billions of dollars a years annually sent overseas to pay for oil that could have been extracted here, they have mostly missed a golden opportunity to tell the American people what over a quarter-century of drilling bans has cost the government and taxpayers. They also generally failed to tell us about the windfall that awaits if the end of the offshore and other bans finally leads to appropriately aggressive use of this country's God-given resources.
But if we had inquisitive financial reporters in the business press who were interested in information relevant to the "Drill Baby Drill" debate instead of merely repackaging the press releases they received from those on both sides (the sole exception I found was this Wall Street Journal editorial), many more Americans would have long ago learned about what follows.
You know how criminals often get caught because they can't resist bragging about their exploits? What follows may be yet another example of that phenomenon.
CBS correspondent Lara Logan, who spent several years covering the Iraq War, has previously been a news subject herself as a result of her extracurricular activities.
Logan had an affair with "a married federal contractor whom she met while stationed in Iraq," and became pregnant as a result. At the time of the linked Associated Press story, the father was "in the midst of a divorce from wife Kimberly, with whom he has a 3-year-old daughter." Early this year, the New York Post reported that Logan "apparently courted two beaus while she was in Baghdad, and has been labeled a homewrecker ...."
Now it appears that Ms. Logan may have left Iraq with questionable "souvenirs," according to the Post's Page Six (the Post obtained its core information from this ERSnews.com story; bold after title is mine):
If Old Media can cook their numbers to make their favored candidate look good, they will.
Earlier today, I covered two cooked AP-GfK polls (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog). The pollster dramatically changed the party-ID makeup of the second poll to include a much higher percentage of Democrats, and watered down the strong-GOP component of the Republicans sampled. As a result, the two poll results, taken together, fabricated an illusion of Barack Obama momentum, and John McCain decline. The results couldn't be more bogus; holding the mix constant from one poll to the next would have caused John McCain's lead from three weeks ago to shrink by about 1%.
Its also seems that if Old Media can't use a poll to fabricate its way to the result it wants, it simply ignores it. Two examples from the same poll will demonstrate this.
On Wednesday, NewsBusters' Scott Whitlock noted that ABC ignored its own national poll conducted with the Washington Post that showed a 4% national edge for Barack Obama -- down from 9% the previous week.
Yesterday, the Washington Post's Jon Cohen and Jennifer Agiesta didn't totally ignore the poll (full results are here). Like ABC, they ignored the topside result just mentioned, which is pictured below:
In the kitchens of the Associated Press, it's almost as if the wire service asked its chief cook -- er, pollster -- GfK Roper Public Affairs and Media, to do the following:
Whip up a tasty, representative poll after the Republican Convention.
Three weeks later, make the same dish, but this time adjust the mix of ingredients by radically oversampling Democrats and undersampling Republicans, thereby creating a false illusion of momentum in the campaign of Barack Obama, and of decline in John McCain's.
Hope people don't notice the changes in the recipe.
Of course we don't know if the differences between AP-CfK's Sept. 5-10 and Sept. 27-30 results were created deliberately, but the results sure look suspicious (both polls are available at PDF links found at AP-GfK's home page).
The more recent poll shows Obama with a 7-point lead among likely voters, both with and without leaners; the earlier poll showed McCain with a 5-point lead with leaners, and 4 points without.
Almost all of this 12-point swing (11 points with leaners) is more than likely almost completely due to major differences between the two polls' samples:
UPDATE, Oct. 1, 11:25 p.m.: The final number for deaths from hostile action came in at 8, which ties the previous lows of July 2008 and April 2003.
This item will likely not make an Old Media splash, because overall US troop deaths in Iraq in September will be higher they were in July and August. But they're probably not interested anyway.
To be sure, it would be ideal to note that no US soldiers have died.
Nonetheless, with eight hours remaining until the month ends in Iraq, in what would seem to be strong evidence that the gains from the 2007-2008 troop surge are holding, it is good to note that September US troop deaths from hostile action are at an all-time low (Source: icasualties.org; select "Hostile" in the drop-down bar to replicate):
The Associated Press apparently isn't satisfied going after Sarah Palin full throttle.
The GOP Vice-Presidential nominee's visit to New York City apparently went so well that an ABC pictorial series is called "Sarah Palin Takes News York" -- though the last slide takes a shot at the McCain campaign for setting boundaries on access to Palin during her meetings with foreign leaders. ABC claims that the media threatened to boycott covering her (yeah, right).
Both the New York Times and the AP chose to address Palin's observation that her parents had involvement in the recovery effort in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks. In a surprisingly pleasant development, the Times's story covered that angle reasonably well. But the AP's story (as carried at the Times web site), was incomplete, nasty ("rat-killers"), and condescending.
In a Thursday story by Chris Fusco and Dave McKinney that has been linked by Drudge, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on the latest developments relating to what was supposed to be a Barack Obama-sponsored $1.1 million botanical garden in an economically blighted area on the South Side of Chicago -- complete with "a gazebo, a parrot sanctuary, and a walk of fame."
While an Illinois state senator in 2001, Obama, as the Sun-Times reported in July, "gave $100,000 in state money to a campaign volunteer who failed to deliver" on the initial phase of the work or to garner additional community funds, leaving "what was supposed to be a six-block stretch of trees and paths ..... a field of unfulfilled dreams, strewn with weeds, garbage and broken pavement."
Now Illinois' Attorney General is investigating, and has determined where much of the money went -- sort of (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Virginia State Police chaplains can't invoke the name of Jesus Christ during department-sanctioned events.
But to the Associated Press and its reporter Bob Lewis, that's not the story. In all too typical traditional media fashion, and in what I believe is the wire service's first report on the controversy, Lewis decided that the real story is that Republican lawmakers are objecting to the ruling by the state's police superintendent, and to Governor Tim Kaine's agreement with it.
Before getting to what Lewis wrote, here is a local report on what has transpired, from Roanoke TV station WDBJ:
Six of 17 Virginia State Police Chaplains have resigned over a request they not reference Jesus Christ at public events.
Instead, they've been instructed by the Superintendent to offer non-denominational prayers, a decision made following a recent ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
On September 20, Noel Sheppard of NewsBusters posted on a misleading Associated Press/Yahoo poll on racism. The poll asserted that if Barack Obama loses, it will be because of "[d]eep-seated racial misgivings" held by "one-third of white Democrats."
Later that day, NB's Michael Bates criticized the AP's report on the poll for its historically inaccurate claim that the US "enshrined slavery into its constitution."
NB's Lyndsi Thomas got into the neighborhood of the concern I'm about to note on Sunday, when she noted that the pollsters tried to ferret out racism by asking questions that could be seen as purely political and having nothing to do with race.
But it seems to me that the pollsters engaged in a bit of hocus pocus. These three paragraphs from a story explaining AP's methodology carried at the Minneapolis Star Tribune gave me that impression:
Here's the related report from CBS2 in New York (note that this is not a transcript of the video report; the full vid has reax from Congressman Peter King of New York, a spokesman for the disabled who points out that FDR was "disabled," and the McCain campaign):
Late this afternoon, AP Special Correspondent David Espo cobbled together one of the most incoherent "comparisons" of two totally unrelated events I have ever seen.
In a piece that should be called "AP Writer's Bush Derangement Syndrome Meets Up with His Palin Derangment Syndrome; Hilarity Ensues," Espo attempts to paint current GOP tactics being employed to defend Sarah Palin in the Walt Monegan firing case with those Bush-Cheney used to ensure that the Florida results in the 2000 presidential election didn't get hijacked by Democratic Party efforts to selectively recount only certain counties and to exclude legitimate overseas military ballots.
Ed Morrissey of Hot Air noted a revision to an existing Associated Press report carried in the Miami Herald yesterday. It concerned Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius's accusations that Republicans are engaging in racial "code word" campaigning.
Among other adds, changes, and deletes, the revision deleted a racial reference in the original headline. It also removed a direct quote from Sebelius that "(Republicans) are not going to go lightly into the darkness."
Morrissey wasn't sure at the time he noted the revision whether the Herald or AP and writer Nigel Duara (with editorial help?) instigated the changes.
I can tell you that, as expected, it was AP, as the two Google News search pics taken during the noon hour Eastern Time show:
It is also yet another example of something an inquisitive media has failed to discover in the 21 months since an Obama presidential run became likely.
It's too bad. It's clear, from an underlying 2005 post at Analyze This, and other information S&L gathered, that had anyone in the media undertaken an effort to speak to Obama's co-workers at Business International, the firm where he worked after earning his bachelor's degree from Columbia, they would have found that the reality of that job differed sharply from how Obama described it in his best-selling Dreams from My Father.
Here are just three of many examples from S&L, comparing how Obama characterized his job and the reality described at Analyze This:
It has already been established (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) that the Obama campaign's ad ridiculing John McCain's computer skills, including the claim that McCain "can't e-mail," has several reality-based problems:
McCain has been an e-mail devotee since 2000, if not earlier, receiving help from a loving spouse to respond to messages, and was described by Forbes Magazine that year as "the U.S. Senate’s savviest technologist."
The reason McCain gets help with e-mail is that his severe war injuries prevent him from doing many things many of us take for granted, including typing on a keyboard.
Further, the current and previous Oval Office occupants have rarely used e-mail -- the former because he never learned how while in office, the latter because of legal considerations. Future occupants will likely be, and probably should be, similarly constrained.
So it's as clear as can be that Obama's ad is wrong and, intentionally or not, very mean to a man whose physical challenges are a result of beyond-the-call service to our country.
Beyond all that, Kevin Aylward at Wizbang has noted that McCain's 2000 presidential run was effusively praised as a groundbreaking high-tech campaign by a Democratic Internet pioneer in a 2005 book.
How interesting that ABC's Charles Gibson, as noted in this Associated Press dispatch, focused on Sarah Palin's foreign-policy bona fides when he interviewed her (a transcript is here). Also note the biased AP evaluation (bolds are mine):
John McCain running mate Sarah Palin sought Thursday to defend her qualifications but struggled with foreign policy ..... acknowledging she's never met a foreign head of state.
..... She also said she had never met a head of state and added: "If you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer that I just gave you."
Indeed. Palin's contention gains more support if you look at the prior experience of at least a couple of presidents and vice-presidents during the past few decades:
On August 31 at Newsbusters, Warner Todd Huston caught NBC political correspondent Andrea Mitchell's assessment about the kind of women who would be supporting the McCain-Palin ticket:
..... they (McCain-Palin) think that they can peel off some of these working class women, not college educated, who, the blue collar women who were voting for Hillary Clinton and may be more conservative on social causes.
Combining Mitchell's take with the statement by Eleanor Clift (noted by NB's Brent Baker) that "in many newsrooms" McCain's pick of Sarah Palin was "greeted by "laughter," you get the distinct impression that the media believe that women who are supporting McCain-Palin aren't very smart.
The Mitchell-Clift Maxim isn't passing the smell test in Ohio, at least if the results of the University of Cincinnati's Ohio Poll released earlier today (a PDF can be retrieved at this link; HT to NB commenter Dee Bunk) are to be believed.
I guess if the press can't find anything substantive to throw up against Sarah Palin, making stuff up will have to do.
A front-page article by the Washington Post's Anne Kornblut crows over what the reporter claims is a gaffe by GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin:
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska, Sept. 11 -- Gov. Sarah Palin linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, telling an Iraq-bound brigade of soldiers that included her son that they would "defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans."
The idea that Iraq shared responsibility with al-Qaeda for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, once promoted by Bush administration officials, has since been rejected even by the president himself.
On September 3, an Asian Times writer known only as "Spengler" described a radically different scene at Invesco Field during the final night of the Democratic Convention from that conveyed by the networks and pundits. If Spengler's take is accurate, it reveals a media elite more in the tank than even its harshest critics have imagined.
Rush Limbaugh mentioned Spengler's column during his show today (see Item 9 at the link; page will go behind Limbaugh's paid subscription wall in a week). As usual, Rush is right; it's a read-the-whole-thing item. Here's one important point Rush noted:
This guy thinks (Barack) Obama is going to lose because he has no character, he has no friends, all he has are people that he has used and stepped on as rungs of a ladder to get where he goes. He has no room for a real friendship because his angry wife, Michelle, crowds them all out.
If you think that's something, wait until you read some of Spengler's description of the atmosphere at Invesco Field on the night of Obama's Greco-Roman Oration. Rush says that what Spengler has written confirms what an unnamed friend of his relayed to him from another final-night attendee:
It remains to be seen whether this turns out to be Barack Obama's "Christmas in Cambodia" untruth, his Dukakis-in-tank hilarity -- or both.
Regardless, what follows is a pretty obvious "misstatement" that would not possibly be ignored if it were uttered by a conservative or a Republican.
In his hilariously titled post ("Mighta Joined If He Coulda Capped Some Cong") on Barack Obama's interview in a barn this morning (not kidding) on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, fellow NewsBuster Mark Finkelstein reported on Obama's answer to a viewer's question about whether he ever considered military service. You can read Mark's post for his overall thoughts, but I want to focus on something the Illinois senator said that several commenters at the post took exception to (photo courtesy DayLife):
You know, I had to sign up for Selective Service when I graduated from high school. .... But keep in mind: I graduated in 1979.
The media and the Obama campaign (but I repeat myself) are comparing the "experience" of'the Democrats' presidential nominee to that of the GOP's vice-presidential pick -- meaning, one must assume, that the debate over his experience vs. John McCain's is over, in McCain's resounding favor.
Let's look back a couple of months at a post I put up on July 14 (with minor revisions) that gives a, uh, concrete example of one of Barack Obama's management "experiences" -- one that the national media has (of course) totally ignored.
That will be followed by observations of commenter "Tom W" (not yours truly) at Pajamas Media.
If they indeed reflect what is happening on the ground, you won't hear about it from the Associated Press, or read it in the New York Times, or see it on the Big Three Networks news or cable shows -- which is why it's so necessary to post items like this here. In fact, it's fair to say that if you were going to see commentary and commenting such as that which follows, it would have occurred already.
It seems that media and Obama surrogates' (but I repeat myself) trash-talking and demonizing have lowered expectations of Sarah Palin's speech tonight to the "Can she get out a complete sentence?" level.
My sense is that this will work to her advantage, bigtime.