On Saturday, State Representative Carla Blanchard Dartez (D-La.) lost her re-election bid to Republican challenger Joe Harrison in a heated and controversial run-off. Yet the largest newspaper in Louisiana, The Times-Picayune (TP), chose to bury it as an afterthought in its coverage of the statewide election results. The Times-Picayune online edition, NOLA.com, placed this paragraph at the end of its story.
The only two incumbent lawmakers to lose in either chamber were Democrats. Chris Hazel dispatched Rep. Rick Farrar of Pineville in the 27th District primary. Challenger Joe Harrison topped Rep. Carla Blanchard Dartez of Morgan City to claim the 51st District seat in the runoff.
The TP made no mention of the 'Buckwheat' racial slur or the other controversies which surrounded this incumbent Democrat. Why is that?
Continuing the sky-is-falling mantra about lead laden toys, on Tuesday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Hannah Storm asked Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) spokeswoman, Julie Vallese:
...you are standing there, Julie, among a whole group of toys, 61 recalls, a third of those because of lead paint. Why don't you tell us as parents, why we just shouldn't buy books and clothes and pets this Christmas? Why even buy toys?
Of course that followed Julie Chen’s assertion on October 31 that Halloween and Christmas had been "ruined" because of the CPSC. It also complimented Lesley Stahl’s rant against the fast food industry on Sunday’s "60 Minutes." Not to be out done in alarmism, Storm began the segment by warning, "Millions of toys tainted with lead have been recalled so far this year, so it's tough to know what toys are actually safe to buy this holiday season."
According to ABC anchor Diane Sawyer, a new Oklahoma law making it a felony for U.S. citizens to knowingly provide shelter or transportation to illegal immigrants goes "across the line," "too far," and turns people into "vigilantes." Interviewing Lou Dobbs, CNN host and noted opponent of illegal immigration, on Tuesday's edition of "Good Morning America," Sawyer appeared to be aghast at what she considered "turning people in" for offering assistance to illegals.
The GMA host even quizzed Dobbs about whether his problem is with Hispanics in general. After noting a new Census Bureau report that found last names such as Garcia and Rodriguez are increasing in number, she guardedly wondered, "To Lou Dobbs, is this a good thing or a bad thing?" After Dobbs responded in favor of legal immigration, Sawyer plowed ahead with her question about the new Oklahoma law. She incredulously queried, "People are vigilantes about transportation and shelter? Isn't that going too far?"
As we at NewsBusters have noticed, the media often pass off professional or semi-professional liberal activists as average Joes and Janes. The effect, of course, is to give a feel of authenticity to the problems, real or perceived, that these folks are struggling with, and often demand government intervention for.
So it's not surprising that the "undecided voters" in the recent Democratic debate in Vegas were often liberal activists. Bryan Preston of Hot Air looked into it. You can check out his blog entry here, or watch the embedded video posted above. (h/t Michelle Malkin)
A couple of weeks ago, we challenged claims published by Los Angeles Times staffer Héctor Tobar and his paper. (NB, 11/6/07: "LAT Propagates Mexico Abortion Falsehoods") Before first-trimester abortions were made legal for the first time in Mexico City last April, they claimed that up to "one million women" each year had sought illegal abortions in Mexico. But by applying Tobar's own recent reporting, we demonstrated that the one million figure appeared to be grossly inflated, that the number was a flagrant exaggeration dispersed by abortion proponents.
Now Mr. Tobar has posted an item at the "La Plaza" blog at the Times that attests that NewsBusters reporting was right-on. Tobar admits "the 1-million figure appears too high." He acknowledges that there is an "obvious inconsistency" between the reported number of legal abortions currently being performed in Mexico City and that 1 million figure that was so widely propagated.
When a MSM dinosaur like Tom Brokaw says he thinks print newspapers won't be around in 10 years, that's probably an indication the industry in trouble. (Click for audio.)
The former NBC "Nightly News" anchor appeared at the Sixth & I Synagogue in Washington, D.C. on November 19 to promote his new book, "Boom!" Brokaw said he envisioned a major newspaper going completely digital in 10 years.
"I was at The Washington Post earlier today," Brokaw said. "And in the lobby they've got a wonderful graphic describing how the printing press works and where it is ... 75,000 copies an hour it can turn out. Its last run is at 2:15 in the morning and [has] an automatic paper roll that comes when they run out of paper and the ink is recharge and I looked at all that and I thought - ‘Ten years from now, will it be here?' I don't know. Probably ... if you would do a hardcore analysis - probably not. It'll be probably digital 10 years from now."
As NewsBusters readers are aware, one of the positions of those not buying into the manmade global warming hysteria is that the United Nations -- whose Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a large part of the alarmism -- is an organization that has seen more than its share of malfeasance and corruption.
The recent scandal surrounding the U.N.'s Oil-for-Food program is one example, with problems that eventually plagued UNICEF another.
Now, it has been revealed that the U.N. has been exaggerating the AIDS epidemic for many years. As reported Tuesday by the Washington Post (emphasis added throughout):
Facing a budget shortfall due in large part to overspending in years past, Gov. Martin O'Malley called a special session of the Maryland General Assembly to consider a package of tax hikes and a referendum on legalizing slot machines. Now that the freshman Democratic governor has proven successful in pushing through both, the Washington Post congratulated O'Malley with a front page article replete with pats on the back and attaboys from O'Malley's fellow Democrats. The icing on the cake: a signing ceremony photograph (shown above*) of O'Malley that appears to show him pumping his fist in victory.
Staff writer John Wagner opened his November 20 article with triumphal language that painted O'Malley as a respected statesman:
Perhaps nothing better illustrates the mental divide between left and right in this country than the starkly different reactions to the Newsweek blogs of new columnists, Markos Moulitsas and Karl Rove. The articles they wrote for Newsweek have already been covered in depth by Noel Sheppard which you can read here and here. It is the reactions to each of these columnists that are quite fascinating to read. In the case of Markos Moulitsas, the reactions from conservatives in the comments section were rather low key and primarily took the form of expressing policy differences.
Update | 10:48 AM ET -- Mystery Solved: Morning Joe Executive Producer Chris Licht has emailed me to say: "Mika was reading research emailed from a segment producer to her Blackberry: specifically, the Bloomberg News article re: Townsend says election is potential terrorism target."
Have a look at the screencap. It's Mika Brzezinski scrolling what looks to be her Blackberry as she poses a hostile question to Fran Townsend, President Bush's top White House adviser on terrorism and homeland security.
Townsend, who has announced that she's stepping down after four years in the Bush administration, appeared on today's "Morning Joe." After some conversation with Willie Geist, Mika Brzezinski took over, peppering Townsend with a series of challenging questions on everything from the failure to capture Bin Laden to waterboarding.
Mika appeared to have Blackberry in hand throughout. When it came to her last, and nastiest, question, she was busily scrolling it as she read off its screen.
Former Gov. Jim Gilmore threw his hat in the ring to replace Sen. John Warner on Monday, and The Washington Post is already classifying the race as Social Conservative vs. Pro-Business Centrist. Post reporter Anita Kumar quickly summed up the race this way:
For a traditionally conservative state that has favored Democrats since Gilmore left office, a matchup with former governor Mark R. Warner would provide a definitive choice for voters: Do they prefer a social conservative who cut taxes but left a deficit, or a centrist businessman who balanced the budget but raised taxes?
Gilmore, a conservative Republican who served from 1998 until 2002, and Warner, the pro-business Democrat who replaced him, clash on such topics as taxes, transportation, national security and immigration.
Notice how the Post doesn’t find tax-hiking to be a clash with being "centrist" or "pro-business." That’s at least in part because the business lobby in Virginia (at least northern Virginia) has been a barrel of tax-hike lobbyists.
The President's escalation strategy has failed. We need to stop refereeing this civil war, and start getting out now. -- Hillary Clinton, statement of August 23, 2007
As many had foreseen, the escalation has failed to produce the intended results. -- letter to Pres. Bush from Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, June 12, 2007
That's not a cement mixer you hear. It's the collective Dem gnashing of teeth. Things have gotten so bad -- meaning good -- in Iraq that now even the New York Times is reporting it. Have a look at Willie Geist -- sitting in for Joe Scarborough -- opening today's "Morning Joe" by holding up the paper's front page to display its headline: "Baghdad Starts to Exhale as Security Improves."
Last Sunday, from the pen of editorial page editor of the Seattle Times James Vesely, we got a pretty good indication of why the new media of the Internet is so swiftly taking over the traditional role of the old, dead tree media. One word describes it; arrogance. It is an arrogance of the assumed supremacy of the old media and the air of entitlement that it holds dear. It is the presumption that what they write is "truth," that newspapers are the arbiters of that truth, and that journalists are "democracy" personified and that without them we are naught but a "banana republic." And it is the sneering, discountenance with which they look upon the reading public as the great unwashed that has finally caught up with them. However, some are beginning to notice it and unless the dead tree media realizes this truth staring them in the face, they truly are a doomed industry.
Catching up with news from the end of last week, NBC and CBS on Friday night jumped to highlight an increase in Army desertions blamed on the Iraq war, but failed to note the rate has simply returned to its 2001 level or that the number of desertions by Marines, a service also heavily committed to Iraq, has fallen. Brian Williams led the NBC Nightly News with how “the number of desertions from the U.S. Army is way up in the six years we've been at war.” Jim Miklaszewski outlined how “over the past year, 4,698 soldiers were declared deserters. That's an alarming increase of 42 percent over the previous year, but a stunning 80 percent jump in desertions compared to the first year of fighting. As they did during the Vietnam War, many deserters flee to Canada to avoid a military court-martial in the U.S.” Unlike Miklaszewski, CBS reporter David Martin added some perspective by pointing out that “the overall number of deserters represents less than one percent of soldiers on active duty. During the last unpopular war, Vietnam, the desertion rate was five percent.”
Both networks linked their stories to Canada's top court rejecting asylum for two U.S. Army deserters. On NBC, a deserter living in Canada asserted: “The whole reason we're here is because this was a bogus war. There were no weapons of mass destruction. There were no links to international terrorism.” CBS featured another deserter who rationalized: “If I had been asked to go to Afghanistan, I would have gone there. But the Iraq War, I didn't want to have any part of that anymore.”
The casual assumption that state-funded broadcasting in America would be devoted to adoration of the head of state would be exactly wrong, at least during Republican presidencies. Instead, on Monday, National Public Radio’s program Day to Day (co-produced with the liberal website Slate) awarded five minutes to leftist author Naomi Wolf and her thesis that the Bush administration is orchestrating "the end of America," and President Bush is comparable to Adolf Hitler. The headline was very frank on the NPR web site: "Naomi Wolf Likens Bush to Hitler."
If a conservative compared President Clinton to a communist dictator, there is no chance that NPR would devote a serious five-minute interview to his "Clinton hater" thesis – and they should not. But NPR tilts so far to the left that extreme cartooning of the Bush presidency, comparing it to mass-murdering dictatorships, is presented as a harsh, but respectable subject of debate. A few minutes into the unspooling of this crackpot thesis, anchor Alex Cohen (a female) made an attempt to challenge Wolf that maybe she was overstating things a bit:
Will a television news magazine like "60 Minutes," "20/20," or "Dateline" ever devote an entire segment exclusively to the horrid state of America's weather stations?
Given the incessant reports of rising temperatures threatening to kill us all, wouldn’t a lengthy exposé into the accuracy of the devices at the heart of the matter be of interest to a population frightened to drive their cars, heat their homes, and – God forbid – exhale?
Consider the following information shared by weather station analyst extraordinaire Anthony Watts, published Sunday at Steve McIntyre’s Climate Audit, and try to figure out why this isn't one of the hottest stories in town (emphasis added throughout, h/t NBer dscott):
The U.S. military plans to seek a criminal case in an Iraqi court against an award-winning Associated Press photographer but is refusing to disclose what evidence or accusations would be presented.
An AP attorney on Monday strongly protested the decision, calling the U.S. military plans a “sham of due process.” The journalist, Bilal Hussein, has already been imprisoned without charges for more than 19 months.
As NewsBusters readers are well aware, we have for months been chronicling Nobel Laureate Al Gore's profit motive concerning the advancement of climate change hysteria.
Last Monday, it was announced that the Global Warmingist-in-Chief had been hired by Silicon Valley's most prestigious venture capital firm.
At the time, the implication was that Gore would assist Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in finding new, unknown eco-friendly companies to invest in.
According to Fox News's "The Journal Editorial Report," Gore's position with Kleiner Perkins may be to get a currently stalled energy bill through Congress that would end up helping companies the VC group has already invested in (video available here, h/t Tim Graham):
‘Tis the season for lackluster holiday sales and prosperous debt collectors. Fa la la la la, la la la la...
Everything is a little downbeat according to the economic news leading into the holiday shopping season reported on the November 18 "CBS Evening News" - that is of course unless you're in the debt business.
"It happens to be pretty good," said Brandon Bradshaw about this shopping season. "So, we're one of the lucky ones."
But, CBS Correspondent Randall Pinkston trotted him out for a reason.
"Brandon Bradshaw's business? Debt collection," concluded Pinkston. "Russ, retailers are counting on shoppers like him because this is the make-or-break season. Fourth quarter - stores depend on holiday shoppers for 25 to 40 percent of their annual profits."
On Sunday’s CBS "60 Minutes," anchor Lesley Stahl began a segment on calorie labeling for fast food by making this alarmist proclamation: "Obesity rates continue to spiral out of control in this country and nutritionists say one main reason is how dependent we've become on eating out." Enter the big government hero:
Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden is in charge of regulating New York City's $11 billion restaurant market...the chains are up against a formidable foe, because Frieden has a record of making big industry bend to his will. He's the one who forced smoking out of city bars and artery-clogging trans fats out of city restaurants. Both those bans spread nationwide, which is also happening with his new crusade.
Frieden’s latest "crusade" is to force big fast food chains nationwide to label the calories of all of their products, which were exempt from doing so. As Stahl explained, "Now, one of the most powerful health officials in the country wants to change that by forcing chain restaurants like McDonald's and Wendy's to spell out exactly how fattening their food is right when you decide what to order."
Americans would love the President Bush that Rush Limbaugh has had a chance to spend time with. That was one of Rush's concluding comments in a unique simulcast of his show that he conducted with Martha MacCallum on Fox News Channel this afternoon from 1:30-2 PM ET.
The ultra-liberal Seattle Times Op-Ed's the usual 21st century media line; the world is going to hell, only journalists can save us, and everything would be fine if it weren't for that darn Craigslist.
"Media companies, especially newspapers, are by default nearly the lone agents of the democratic form of government."
That statement is actually true, if your version of the word "democratic" uses a big D as opposed to a small d. The mainstream media companies you see today is what's left of 50 years of unchallenged "Democratic" mindset. The reason these bastions of liberal thought are failing is that the Internet age has made their bias apparent to people who, thanks to the Internet age, now have other places to get the news.:
Former ABC News anchor Carole Simpson suggested she endorsed Hillary Clinton for President of the United States last month because she couldn’t think of anything else to say when the Democratic candidate called on her at a political event. “I kept trying to get her attention,” Simpson told the Boston Globe’s Peter Schworm. "When I did, I realized I didn't have anything to say. I felt like a deer in headlights."
So rather than tolerate a few seconds of uncomfortable silence, Simpson told Clinton: “I want to tell you tonight, because I happen to be here with my students, that I endorse you for president of the United States.”
Is ‘The View’s’ token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck drifting leftwards? In a letter to Barbara Walters she hinted she may actually vote for Senator Hillary Clinton. On the November 19 edition of "The View," creator and co-host Barbara Walters read a letter from Elisabeth Hasselbeck updating the co-hosts on her new born baby Taylor Thomas and the congratulatory letter she received from Senator Clinton.
"Well, you know if you watch the show, you that Elisabeth is our resident Republican. Okay, alright? Fine. Taylor Thomas received an official letter from Senator Hillary Clinton today, wishing him well. She said ‘truly a most thoughtful and warm act. I may actually change my vote.’" [applause]
Sam Champion hyperventilated about the threat of extreme weather on Monday's "Good Morning America" and, once again, ignored the leftist connections of two cited experts. Scientists Michael Oppenheimer and Daniel Schrag, both of whom have vigorously slammed Republicans in the past, appeared in the segment to warn that global warming would only continue to cause unusual weather patterns as long as greenhouse gases keep increasing.
GMA identified Oppenheimer simply by his connection as a scientist for Princeton University. However, he has previously slammed Republican disagreement about climate change as "uniformed rambling." In the piece, Schrag scarily warned, "It's hard to overstate how big a change [climate change] could be in the weather we experience every day." This is same man who, in a Boston Globe column from December 2006, smeared GOP Senator James Inhofe, then the Chair of a Senate environmental committee, for using skeptical witnesses that Schrag derided as "a gathering of liars and charlatans, sponsored by those industries who want to protect their profits." To further make the point, the article is entitled, "On a Swift Boat to a Warmer World."
Here is the kind of lapse in logic that drives me crazy (no pun intended). The AP today has a story headline that just makes me cringe: "SUV plunges into canal, killing 7 people inside." Now here is the problem, HOW did an SUV go about killing these poor people? Did it unpark itself, drive across town, slam open its doors and gobble up some folks waiting at a bus stop and then drive them into a canal? Should we be wary of every SUV on the street for fear that it may kidnap us only to drive us off cliffs or into canals? Or is it more likely, AP, that a driver was responsible for killing the passengers INSIDE the SUV? Isn't it a tad more likely that the SUV did not kill anyone, but that the actions of the human at its wheel was the culprit?
In the free-for-all that followed Tavis Smiley’s hostile GOP presidential debate in August, Michael Fauntroy was featured by Smiley’s show and several other liberal media outlets as an instant pundit on the subject, author of the book plainly titled Republicans and the Black Vote. But Sunday night on the Huffington Post, Fauntroy slammed a not-so-new documentary on blacks and the GOP as pathetic propaganda:
In arguing that the Dems were racist and that the GOP has been miscast by the liberal media as the enemy of Black people, Emancipation, Revelation, and Revolution completely overlooks the role of ideology in policymaking. Conservatives have long opposed Black progress. Conservatives opposed Reconstruction and civil rights. Conservatives pushed the "Lily-White" movement that purged Blacks from leadership of state Republican parties throughout the South. Conservatives have pushed for the maintenance of a racial status quo that held down Blacks and then blamed them for the lots in life.
It would be logical to most Americans that having openly gay adults supervising impressionable young boys under the age of consent might be a bad idea, setting aside moral or religious considerations. It would also be logical to most Americans that private organizations reserve every right to set membership standards on moral and/or religious considerations. And to most lay persons, it would seem downright un-American for any American city to evict the Boy Scouts of America, of all organizations, from city-owned property for what amounts to political correctness.
Yet in covering such a story in "Philadelphia Gives Boy Scouts Ultimatum," the Washington Post's Dafna Linzer paints the Scouts as "anti-homosexual" while failing to suggest the city's liberal Democratic politicians are "anti-Boy Scout."