On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," Sam Champion, ABC weatherman and liberal environmentalist, escalated his campaign to encourage Americans to fight global warming. In addition to lecturing viewers about their contribution to climate change, he, once again, engaged in identification bias.
Champion’s segment featured a representative from the Natural Resources Defense Council, a liberal environmental group. The organization’s ideology, not surprisingly, went completely unmentioned. However, the weatherman began the piece by standing in front of a bank of televisions and scolding viewers for their energy output:
Sam Champion: "For example, did you know that even with the flip of a switch, we all contribute to global warming? Well, I know it sounds a little intense. But there are some small things you can do to change that, like paying attention to your carbon footprint...If you think you have nothing to do with global warming, think again. From the car you drive, to the house you live in, it all contributes to the problem."
Poll fixation by the media has been a frequent topic of discussion for conservatives as the press have focused ad nauseum on the falling approval numbers of President Bush the past couple of years.
With that in mind, will the press show equal interest in a study just released by the Gallup Organization identifying Hillary Clinton’s favorability rating plummeting an astounding thirteen percentage points in two months to one of its lowest levels since 1993?
Given the truly shocking results reported on Wednesday, one could easily envision this being the lead story for network evening news programs if the data was about one of the Republican presidential frontrunners, and if not for the massacre at Virginia Tech (emphasis added throughout):
Your tax dollars at work, paying public radio hosts to ask if "black folks" are into iPods.
NPR's taxpayer-funded "News & Notes" program for April 17 tried to introduce a story on demographic advertising by awkwardly asking in a caption on their website, "Do national technology trends play the same way in the Black community?"
Or as host Farai Chideya asked, "Do black folks really use stuff like iPods as much?"
After a demoralized Rosie O’Donnell stated the previous day that she gave up on gun control, Barbara Walters, on the April 18 edition of "The View," expressed disappointment in Rosie’s surrender. Rosie, again expressed her frustration with not accomplishing anything in the eight years since the Columbine massacre. Perhaps disarming her bodyguards would be a start.
BARBARA WALTERS: When I'm not on, I watch the program. And, I mean this tragedy that has happened is so terrible, but you Rosie are always so passionate. Right or wrong, you're passionate. You care. And you're one of the people who talked about gun control. And for me to hear you yesterday, because we haven't talked too much about it, numb, saying we're never going to get a gun control law, kind of giving up made me sad. I don't want to see you do that.
Over at the Huffington Post's Eat the Press blog, Jason Linkins objected Tuesday night to MSNBC's description of President Bush as "mourner-in-chief," demanding they stop because "It's emo and it's weird." Linkins admitted MSNBC was not the first to use this terminology. But perhaps liberals forget that the network news people employed it with Bill Clinton, too. In fact, on the July 25, 1996 World News Tonight, after a TWA plane crash, ABC's Jim Wooten tenderly hailed the Sensitive President, Bill Clinton, the nation's "chaplain in chief," an even stranger choice of words, given Clinton's historic reputation for indulgence:
Mr. Clinton is clearly more and more comfortable now in the role these times have forced on our Presidents --- first mourner and chaplain-in-chief. But his moments with the families must have struck him as especially poignant today, for when he left them in the hotel and entered his car, he buried his head on Mrs. Clinton's shoulder.
Earlier this morning the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a federal ban on partial-birth abortion. What's more, Justice Anthony Kennedy, whom many in the media often focus on as the "moderate" and "swing" justice on the Court, penned the majority opinion. While the mass murder at Virginia Tech is still the top story in the media, Fox News found room to give this landmark ruling prime real estate on its Web site. CNN, however, relegated the story to a link nine entries deep into its "latest news" list.
The screenshots I've included in this post are taken from Fox News and CNN's Web sites from around 11:30 a.m.
I've roundly criticized ABC's Brian Ross for his blatant falsehoods
regarding the "assault weapons" ban provision of the 1994 Crime Bill,
but it appears that not only has ABC News refused to retract these
false claims, it appears that the lie is spreading among other members
of the ignorati.
Enter one of the least, shall we say, "mentally agile" disciples of this profession at MSNBC.
Ian Schwartz has the video of Olbermann parroting of Ross's falsehoods.
At least one of the weapons used by the shooter is believed, as we
said, to be in nine millimeter semi-automatic pistol, which would be
like this one, with a clip designed to hold more than 10 shots. Clips
like those were banned under the Assault Weapons Law of 1994, but
Congress and President Bush allowed that law to expire more than two
I'll try this once more, making it so easy that even journalists can understand it.
Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are not
the only black people in America, and more than that they do not have
the ability to force themselves onto your news shows. There's a pattern
1) Bigot eruption somewhere 2) Lots of people condemn it 3) Al Sharpton goes on every teevee program 4) The media people turn around and use Sharpton's past as a distraction/excuse for the current bigot eruption
Al Sharpton is an imperfect spokesperson for an issue, and you keep
putting him on the teevee to be the spokesperson for that issue, then
the obvious conclusion is that this is a deliberate strategy.
Yes, Atrios, that is exactly the plan. Your post struck fear into the hearts of journalists everywhere for revealing their dark secret. It simply couldn't be that journalists are lazy and that Imus himself stupidly solicited Sharpton.
Average weekly earnings rose by 4.4 percent, seasonally adjusted, from March 2006 to March 2007. After deflation by the CPI-W, average weekly earnings increased by 1.6 percent.
And here's one for Paul "the rich are getting it all" Krugman of the New York Times -- Note who is being surveyed when these numbers are determined:
Earnings series from the monthly establishment series are estimated arithmetic averages (means) of the hourly and weekly earnings of all production or nonsupervisory jobs in the private nonfarm sector of the economy.
It's Joe and Josephine Sixpack whose earnings have "really" increased in the past year.
A few weeks ago as the world awaited the release of the most recent report from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, some well-known scientists were quoted as saying that the media’s sensationalistic coverage of the issue was interfering with a reasoned discussion on the topic.
Their thinking was that the more the press and Hollywoodans suggest that the problem is so dire that the world is coming to an end, the more likely the public will develop a sense of futility about the issue, and just begin to ignore it.
A fine example of exactly what these scientists were talking about was published in the most recent issue of New York magazine (h/t radio host Mike Church). In fact, Kurt Andersen’s article sounded such hyperbolic alarm that he had the gall to suggest that “fat, spoiled, 21st-century Americans” only have a 50-50 chance of possessing the “requisite gumption and discipline” to solve the problem (emphasis added throughout, apologies in advance for Andersen’s vulgarity):
A 40,000 strong union that supports journalists in Britain and Ireland has called for a boycott of all Israeli goods as punishment for "Israeli aggression in Palestinian territories". The story was covered last Friday by the UK based Online Press Gazette.
The National Union of Journalists has voted to boycott all Israeli goods for “aggression” in Palestinian territories. After almost an hour of debate at today’s Annual Delegate’s Meeting in Birmingham, the conference voted 66 to 54 in favour of the ban.
The controversial clause was part of a motion proposed by Mick Gosling, of the Press and PR branch, and called for the union to “condemn the savage, pre-planned attack on Lebanon” last summer and the “slaughter of civilians in Gaza” over the last few years.
It certainly was predictable that in the wake of the horrific Virginia Tech massacre, the ladies of ABC’s “The View” – in particular, former gun control advocate Rosie O’Donnell – were going to use the incident to once again attack the Second Amendment.
Yet, when such a discussion on Tuesday completely ignored Rosie O’Donnell’s own controversy surrounding this issue – it was identified in May 2000 that one of her bodyguards applied for a gun permit – the coffee klatch oozed with hypocrisy.
To properly set the table, Rosie and the gang were discussing the Virginia Tech killings, and all those present took a predictably anti-Second Amendment and anti-NRA stance with the predictable exception of Elisabeth Hasselbeck whose challenge to O’Donnell set off the following delicious exchange: (h/t and video available here thanks to NRO’s Media Blog):
Yes, "Good Morning America" did let us hear from a member of the VA Tech gun club saying he wished he could have had a concealed carry permit and "that I would not have felt that I was totally just a helpless victim at the mercy of this lunatic." But when it came to people in positions of authority, GMA, during it's first half-hour this morning, aired only the views of anti-gun advocates in a segment on how Cho got his guns. And a senior ABC reporter passed along the lament of those opposing the right to bear arms.
Narrating the segment, ABC investigative reporter Brian Ross [file photo] rolled a clip of Josh Horwitz of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, who complained: "Virginia's [attitude] is let's sell it and not find out anything about them and that may have led to a tragedy in this case."
For the second day, The Washington Post rounded up hostile global opinion toward America’s gun culture in a Molly Moore story headlined "Va. Killings Widely Seen as Reflecting a Violent Society: World Reaction Mixes Condolences With Criticism of Policies." But Moore’s article turned unintentionally comic when she quoted an Iraqi praising the gun-control policies of....Saddam Hussein. "But America has terrorism and they are exporting it to us. We did not have this violence in the Saddam era because the law was so tough on guns."
Perhaps it’s not surprising for a liberal newspaper to use a terrible mass shooting as an opportunity for pro-Saddam Iraqis to condemn how the United States has ruined their paradise. But it’s hardly a poster for the Brady Campaign’s gun-control aims – and Saddam’s dictatorship is hardly a model of nonviolence. (It can, however, illustrate the gun-rights crowd’s belief in guns as a bulwark against dictatorship.) Moore’s Iraqi section came about halfway through the article:
If Arnold Schwarzenegger, nominal Republican, wants to be allowed to run for president, why shouldn't Moktada al-Sadr be considered for a spot on the Dem ticket? After all, his views on U.S. withdrawal from Iraq put him firmly in the mainstream of the party of Pelosi The thought occurred to me while reading Moktada al-Sadr’s Gambit, an editorial in this morning's NY Times regarding the resignation of six members of al-Sadr's party as ministers in the cabinet of Prime Minister Maliki.
And what, according to the Times, was the gambit's goal?
"Mr. Sadr had his cabinet ministers resign in an attempt to bully the government into setting a timetable for the departure of American troops from Iraq."
Hmm. "An attempt to bully the government into setting a timetable for the departure of American troops from Iraq." Bullying the government? You mean like threatening to withhold funding for the military?
The latest Pulitzer Prize awarded to the New York Times wasn't so honored when it originally came out -- by conservatives or even by some liberals. Andrea Elliott's three-part series exploring Islam in America through the imam Reda Shata of the Bay Ridge mosque in Brooklyn was powerfully critiqued by Washington Times columnist Diana West:
Both the New York Post and the New York Sun have already pounced on the most egregious flaw of omission: not a mention, in 11,000-plus words, of the day in March 1994 when a man walked out of that same Bay Ridge mosque and, inspired by the anti-Jewish sermon of the day (delivered by a different, unidentified imam), armed himself and opened fire on a van carrying Hasidic Jewish children. Ari Halberstam, 16, was killed. The Times series, as it happened, concluded on the 12th anniversary of his death.
that disgraced radio talk-show host Don Imus has been booted, can we
finally get down to some “real talk” about the multiple issues embedded
in this racial theater? There is a lot to sort through here, but after
a week of debate centered around “nappy-headed hos,” half-assed
apologies, cries of censorship, and a curmudgeonly shock jock’s lame
attempt at being funny, many pundits have moved beyond the core issue
and now are talking about the perceived double standard they feel
exists between what Imus said and what often comes from the mouths of
Yet Imus and hip-hop really don’t have much in common. Imus was host
of a radio show that focused on the real news of the day, while hip-hop
is a fictionalized form of cultural expression. Imus is real, featuring
real guests and humor based on real topics. However loudly hip-hop
might claim to be real, it is not real; it is a form of representation.
This is why so few rappers use the names on their birth
certificates when performing.
The foreign press are having a field day wagging their collective finger at Americans, scolding us over our 2nd Amendment rights. It seems they are all of a mind to take our guns away from us... not that they have any say in the matter. But, at least one paper, the Daily Telegraph of Australia, got themselves in trouble with Americans over their insensitive choice of wording in a story about one of the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings.
In the piece "Was gunman crazed over Emily?", the headline as well as the first lines and of the article is so insensitive and sensationalistic that readers deluged the paper with complaints. So many complaints that they had to start a whole new story to address the slight.
In an April 17 article at CBSNews.com, investigative reporter Armen Keteyian tracked down the origin of the guns used by Virginia Tech mass murderer Cho Seung-Hui.
While Keteyian failed to consider what part restrictive anti-concealed carry policies on the Virginia Tech campus may have played in ensuring Cho faced no opposition from armed civilians, he found a former ATF agent to criticize current gun laws as too little to thwart terrorism.:
Lamenting how Democrats have lost their penchant for fierce advocacy of new gun control laws, Time's Karen Tumulty described as "modest" former Vice President Al Gore's stance on gun control in his 2000 campaign in an April 17 post at her magazine's "Swampland" blog.:
...in talking to Democrats on Capitol Hill, I'm picking up no enthusiasm
for a cause that many have deemed a political loser. Al Gore's
relatively modest proposal in the wake of Columbine for licensing gun
owners (as opposed to the more radical one of registering their guns)
is still widely believed to have been a factor in costing him the
election, losing him votes that he might otherwise have goten from, for
instance, gun-owning union members.
Talk about your really inconvenient truths, a new study to be released on Wednesday refutes one of the major cataclysmic claims of soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore and his band of not so merry global warming alarmists.
For those that have forgotten – or just intentionally blocked it out -- in the schlockumentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” Gore contended that global warming was responsible for increased hurricane activity with ominous portent for the future of such storms. In fact, this was a common media meme in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.
Yet, according to an article by Reuters Tuesday, not only does this appear not to be the case, but global warming actual reduces tropical cyclone frequency and intensity (emphasis added throughout):
Without any regard to how school shootings in recent years have occurred in states and nations with stricter gun laws, including one last year at a college in Quebec, Canada, ABC and CBS on Tuesday night focused stories and questions on Virginia's “lax” gun laws. “How the gunman purchased the murder weapon,” ABC anchor Charles Gibson teased an upcoming story, “Virginia's controversial gun laws: How lax are they? Brian Ross investigates.” Ross confirmed that “Virginia's gun laws, indeed, are regarded by law enforcement officials as among the most lax in the country.” Ross relayed how “for gun control advocates, the ease with which Cho [Seung-Hui] was able to legally get his Glock and a box of ammunition reveals the problems with Virginia's gun laws.” Over undercover footage recorded by the New York City Police Department, Ross explained how it shows “it's possible to buy a handgun at a Virginia gun store with no waiting period and only what is called an instant background check.” Though Ross aired a condemnatory soundbite from NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, he failed to note that Virginia has a lot fewer gun crimes per capita than does New York City.
As if the media have nothing to do with “igniting” a debate on guns (ABCNews.com on Monday posted the question: “Do you think this incident is a reason to pass stricter gun control legislation?”), Gibson asked President Bush: “After Columbine, there was ignited a national debate on guns. Do you think this is going to rekindle the national debate?” Over on the CBS Evening News, Katie Couric, also on scene in Blacksburg, pressed Bush: “As you well know, after events like this, discussions about gun control inevitably follow. Is it too easy, in your view, for unstable people to purchase guns in this country?” Leading into an earlier story from Armen Keteyian, Couric cited “the question I asked the President about gun control. It's something many people are thinking about after the tragedy here at Virginia Tech, especially considering the gunman needed only two IDs and a credit card to buy the weapons and ammunition he used.”
UPDATE: Showcasing the same undercover video as Ross, on NBC's Dateline Chris Hansen interjected how “gun sales in Virginia have been more than a sticking point with gun control advocates.” (See more at end of item below)
Here’s a shocking story that seems guaranteed to not be covered by the mainstream media: Sen. John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) told NY1 News that Don Imus shouldn’t have been fired by CBS Radio as a result of his recent statements about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.
I kid you not.
Although the interview is not scheduled to be broadcast until Tuesday evening, a partial transcript was posted at the NY1 News website (emphasis added throughout):
Better put away those combustibles, potables, and sharp objects again, sports fans, because a group of British parents in New Forest, England, are threatening legal action if soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore’s schlockumentary "An Inconvenient Truth" is aired in their schools.
I kid you not.
As reported in Tuesday’s Telegraph (emphasis added throughout):
Parents who claim that an award-winning film on climate change is inaccurate and politically motivated are threatening a legal challenge over the Government's decision to send it to every secondary school.
How absolutely marvelous. Dontcha just love the British? The article deliciously continued:
It’s not surprising that the mainstream media would quickly jump on the question of gun control in the wake of the mass shootings at Virginia Tech on Monday. On Tuesday, the second day for its new hosts, CNN’s "American Morning," broadcasting live from the Virginia Tech campus, jumped almost immediately on the gun control angle, citing from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, one of the leading gun control groups in America.
CNN correspondent Greg Hunter did two live reports on the guns that were used in the massacre during the competitive 7-9 am Eastern time slot. The first report, which came a mere 6 minutes after the top of the 7 am hour, cited that Virginia is "a state that is pretty easy to get a handgun, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence." Hunter then cited the reasons for this "finding" by the Brady Campaign, which included Virginia’s lack of a waiting period and no license requirements. He also cited the Brady Campaign’s advocacy of a "three-day background check."
Substitute hosting for Chris Matthews on last night's Hardball it didn't take long for David Shuster to bring up the specter of gun control in the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting. Shuster indicated that gun policies actually "enabled" the shooter to obtain his "weapons of choice." The following was Shuster's intro for the April 16th edition of "Hardball."
David Shuster: "At this hour, investigators are still trying to piece together what happened this morning on the Virginia Tech campus. Tonight, we will tell you everything we've learned about the killer's motive. We will bring you the most gripping interviews we have seen today from students who witnessed the rampage and tried to block the killer's path. And you will hear live from witnesses who saw the aftermath. Many questions are lingering tonight about the response by campus police, warnings to Virginia Tech students, even gun policies that enabled the killer to get his hands on his weapons of choice. But we start tonight with a campus community was rocked to its core and asking the question, why us?"
Perhaps a sign of how blind the liberally-biased media are to arguments from gun rights advocates, CBS's Andrew Cohen wrote in his Washington Post "Bench Conference" blog that "There Is Irony in the Tragedy at Virginia Tech."
I learned from CBS News' Armen Keteyian that school administrators and
college officials at Virginia Tech had in fact implemented reasonable
security measures (against the wishes of state legislators) designed to
limit guns on campus. In other words, even though the university was
relatively proactive in confronting the problem of guns on campus, the
brutal slayings occurred anyway.
Actually, that's not so much irony as the law of unintended consequences, something that any pro-gun rights advocate could tell Cohen. I've not seen a worse definition of irony since Alanis Morissette wrote a song about it. (continued...)
The April 17 New York Times did not focus on the "tremendous number of potential conflicts" of the AARP's decision to start offering health insurance while continuing to lobby the government.
The obvious conflict is regarding what AARP will lobby for once it begins providing private insurance to individuals.
But the Times didn't try hard to find that conflict. Only four people were quoted in the 700-word article including two AARP executives, liberal Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and Judith A. Stein of the Center for Medicare Advocacy.