Media: Back during the NYT's fanatical crusade about women's golf, the paper repeatedly stopped its columnists from criticizing its support to get women allowed into the Augusta National club on the grounds that doing so would send a discordant editorial voice. Many newspapers have similar policies. Apparently not the Minneapolis Star Tribune, though, where the paper printed a Sunday editorial that explicitly undercut a columnist who had argued that the staging of a play critical of the Roman Catholic church was hypocritical and wondered whether a similar play would be produced taking Islam to task. Scott at Power Line has the details.
Politics: Is Nancy Pelosi using the media to nudge Democrats she doesn't prefer out of the limelight? John Bolton resigns. Will the Bush Admin make another push to secure Baghdad? Ed Morrissey looks at how the sudden Obama-mania might be a sign of desperation among anti-Hillary Democrats.
ABC's George Stephanopoulos has shown that he's bi-partisan when it comes to advocating tax hikes. Before the election, he lectured Republican Senate candidate Stephen Laffey: "If the deficit continued to grow, it's not responsible to say you're never going to raise taxes." On Sunday, he pushed Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, a Democratic candidate for President, to call for higher taxes on energy. Stephanopoulos contended that "just about every expert on energy says the best way to become energy independent is to raise the price of oil and gas, to have a serious energy tax. Why not call for it?" Stephanopoulos followed up by pointing to Europe as a model to emulate: "Couldn't we become independent much more quickly if we had the kind of energy tax you see in Europe?"
When a domestic industry is having problems with foreign competitors, foreign-owned companies in the US, or outsourcing, there is usually plenty of media coverage.
But when an entire sector of the financial services industry is in jeopardy, namely the issuance of shares in companies going public for the first time (initial public offerings, or IPOs), the news and commentary can't seem to break out of the business-reporting realm.
Read the following, and then I'll attempt to explain why.
LONDON AND HONG KONG "HEART" SARBANES-OXLEY
Sarbanes-Oxley Quotes of the Day: Kudlow Discussion Group and John Fund Column
Joining an undistinguished list of Hollywoodans biting the hand that feeds them, actress Gwyneth Paltrow declared on Saturday that she prefers the British to her own countrymen, slamming the civility and intellectual capacity of all us uncultured Americanos. As reported by Agence France Presse (hat tip to Drudge, emphasis mine throughout):
Oscar-winning US actressGwyneth Paltrow feels dinner talk is far more interesting in her adopted homeland Britain than back in her native country.
"I love the English lifestyle, it's not as capitalistic as America. People don't talk about work and money, they talk about interesting things at dinner," she told "NS," the weekend magazine supplement of daily Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias on Saturday.
Isn’t that special? Not as capitalistic! Dontcha love all the Hollywoodans that complain about American capitalism as they charge movie producers tens of millions of dollars for four months work? Regardless of the oozing hypocricy, her worst insults were yet to come:
Well, it only took three weeks for the first unhappy liberal to recognize that he might have been conned by the Democrats’ bait and switch campaign scheme. It probably would have happened sooner, but the really dedicated pols have been too busy celebrating to notice all the pre-election promises being taken back like unwanted gifts the day after Christmas.
Surprisingly first in line at the returns desk was schlockumentarist Michael Moore who practically issued a fatwa at his website on November 29 demanding the new majority party bring American troops home from Iraq immediately or suffer the consequences:
ABC's Kate Snow is apparently no fan of Larry David's HBO original series. On this morning's GMA Snow was unable to curb her enthusiasm at the prospect of a presidential run by Hillary Rodham. In to discuss an indication that Hillary might soon be announcing her candidacy, Snow, literally wriggling with excitement, gushed to Robin Roberts:
"It’s the latest sign that maybe, just maybe, we might have a woman trying to run for president of this country.”
Snow claimed that by the end of the week Hillary would be calling on all top New York Dems "not to tell them that she's running, but to get their advice and support, if she goes for it." Right. Shy, retiring Hillary, not telling her Dem minions anything. Just asking advice. Say, why not call it a "listening tour"? Video clip: Real (2MB) or Windows (1.3MB) Plus MP3 (204KB)
'Today' invited John Murtha in for a victory lap this morning, and the Dem congressman from PA responded with breathtaking megalomania seasoned with anti-Americanism. Calling America "the enemy" in Iraq, he preened over having been "way ahead" and demanded the US now "take my advice."
NBC's invitation came in the wake of the leak of a Donald Rumsfeld memo floating the idea of redeploying American troops from Baghdad and other cities to safer areas in Iraq or Kuwait, where they would act as a “quick reaction force.”
Howard Kurtz takes up his Monday space with another soft-soap interview with CBS anchor Katie Couric and how she is "still gaining acceptance," as Dana Carvey's George Bush used to say about Dan Quayle. The story ends with CBS president Sean McManus fussing she's "under more scrutiny than probably any other person in television history." If that's so, the oppressive scrutiny certainly isn't coming from Kurtz.
The whole story focuses on inside baseball, the nuts and bolts of whether the CBS newscast is more soft news than hard news. Even when Kurtz turned to Couric promoting Michael J. Fox and embryo-killing stem cell research, it's only the reaction inside CBS that seems worth noting:
Boston Globe columnist James Carroll is no mere defeatist. In the clash of civilizations between West and Islamic East, he doesn't simply believe the West can't win. In his mind, it doesn't deserve to win. With open arms, Carroll embraces Eurabia.
In The Twain Begin to Meet, Carroll begins by citing Rudyard Kipling's famous "East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet." He ends by welcoming what he describes as "the power of Europe's new hope -- the twain meeting at last."
In between, he observes that "Europe became 'Europe' in the first place only in response to a challenge from Islam. . . . [I]t was the external contest with Islam that gave Europe its internal cohesion. The psychological mechanism is basic: Group identity follows from group threat."
Writer Tom Zeller manages to muddy the waters without ever directly mentioning the most troubling question of all: whether or not al Qaeda propagandists are using the Western media to foment civil war in Iraq. The closest Zeller comes to acknowledging this vital issue is mentioning the title of the Flopping Aces post that started the controversy, Getting News From the Enemy.
National Security Agency Director Stephen Hadley was Tim Russert’s guest on Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” and with the grilling he got, he’s probably sorry he accepted the invitation. In an interview that seemed more like an interrogation by an angry police officer, one of the most telling moments was when Russert enunciated a list of mistakes he believes were made in Iraq, and asked if President Bush is going to acknowledge each and every one of them.
If you’re playing at home, make sure to have your pencil handy so that you can check off each demand as Russert works his way through his list (video available here)
Qais al-Bashir, the AP reporter responsible for the burning Sunnis story, is up to the same old tricks. His article did not make it to the American media but was published in The Guardian. Guess the AP forgot about the Internet.
This time al-Bashir reported on the Baghdad Market bombing. While we know that the bombing did actually happen, the tall tale weaver ran with an inflated casualty count from one of the unauthorized sources from CentCom's list.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Three parked car bombs exploded in central Baghdad on Saturday near a predominantly Shiite area packed with vendors, killing at least 91 people and wounding dozens, officials said.The bombs were about 100 yards apart in the busy al-Sadriyah shopping district and exploded nearly simultaneously, according to police Lt. Ali Muhsin.
In traditional union style, the employees of the Inquirer and the Daily News are up in arms over the newspaper's new management and ownership. Their demands? The usual: Permanent pensions despite company fiscal performance and seniority privileges for long-time employees regardless of job performance. From the list of demands:
Seniority. As with most labor unions, the current Guild contract calls for workers with more experience at the company to be protected in case jobs are cut for economic reasons. After a drop in national advertising, the newspapers are considering as many as 190 layoffs company-wide, and they have floated the possibility of up to 150 job cuts in the Inquirer newsroom. The company wants wider latitude in being able to pick who goes; the union says the company has not developed any objective alternative system for choosing who would keep their jobs.
Pensions. Current Guild employees qualify for pensions equal to 1.6 percent of their yearly pay for each year served, within certain limits. While that is less than what teachers and many other public-sector employees earn, Tierney says the pension liability is more than the company can afford at a time when other companies are shifting from traditional pensions to 401(k) plans and other retirement arrangements whose costs are less expensive and easier to predict. The union says the company has not proposed an alternative of comparable value.
If they don't get what they're demanding, then they're threatening to strike. The current publisher plans to continue operating the paper with non-union work. The site that will host the news from the picketing journalists in that event is here.
Jawa Report: Main Insurgent Group, Ansar al Sunna, Decapitated in Iraq
Here they aren't:
Google News Search, sorted by Date, Nov. 27 - Dec. 2, on *Baghdad sniper captured* (NOT in quotes) -- Jawa Report's are the only relevant listings (darn, how did he get into Google News?).
Google News Search, sorted by Date, Nov. 27 - Dec. 2, on "Ansar al Sunna" (in quotes) -- Jawa Report is there. There is a Washington Post report that has the Ansar al Sunna news at the ninth paragraph of a story that is not only primarily about the possible finding of the remains of a downed F-16 pilot, but that also gives no clue in the headline that any additional news is in the article. As of when the search was done (3 PM on Saturday), all other articles listed were either foreign publications or smaller US web sites that track military matters.
Professional golfer Jerry Kelly isn't pleased with the media's coverage of the Iraq war. Neither is a U.S. soldier with whom Kelly spoke while the Madison, Wisconsin-based pro, along with fellow PGA tour members Corey Pavin, Howard Twitty, Frank Lickliter, and Donnie Hammond, recently spent eight days in Iraq under the auspices of the USO.
Kelly was interviewed about the trip by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel golf writer Gary D'Amato, whose story ran in Saturday's paper. Highlights:
The golfers visited 14 bases in Iraq, entertaining the troops with golf exhibitions and swapping stories with soldiers in conversations that stretched into the early morning hours...
In today's Boston Herald, columnist Jules Crittenden calls on the mainstream media to confront the Associated Press over its "shoddy" work:
When a company defrauds its customers, or delivers shoddy goods, the customers sooner or later are going to take their business elsewhere. But if that company has a virtual monopoly, and offers something its customers must have, they may have no choice but to keep taking it.
That’s when the customers, en masse, need to raise a stink. That’s when someone else with the resources needs to seriously consider whether the time is ripe to compete.
The Associated Press is embroiled in a scandal. Conservative bloggers, the new media watchdogs, lifted a rock at the AP.
When the MSM wants to be particularly nasty toward President Bush, it breaks out the references to his dissolute younger days. Witness this week's 'Time' cover story 'Can Bush find an exit?,' which manages a two-fer in the genre: a reference to W's hard-drinking past and an allusion to him as nothing less than a drug addict.
The story's very first lines:
"George Bush has a history of long-overdue U-turns. He waited until he woke up, hung over, one morning at 40 before giving up booze cold. He fought the idea of a homeland-security agency for eight months after 9/11 and then scampered aboard and called it his idea. But Bush has never had to pull off a U-turn like the one he is contemplating now: to give up on his dream of turning Babylon into an oasis of freedom and democracy . . . "
Did you know that Americans don't want to "live next door to a Muslim", or that Americans want all Muslims to "carry special identification", or that it is but "Ignorance" that is seen as a "Key Problem" to these foolish American's "hatred" and misperceptions?
Reuters knew, if you didn't. And they are happy to let us all know about it, too.
It all stems from a Radio host misusing his audience to make a point that Americans are no different than the Germans who turned a blind eye to Hitler's "Final Solution" against Jews during WWII.
Expect a pile of new-Congress stories extolling the historic highs for the number of women in Congress as part of the welcome wagon for Speaker Pelosi. I found one early indicator in a Nexis search, a public-radio show called "Weekend America," distributed on about 80 NPR stations via American Public Media. A report by correspondent Jill Morrison said the new high for women in the House (87 out of 435) is still a "small minority." That would seem to betray the feminist view that at least half of Congress should be female, if it were truly representative of America.
The females-are-superior-humans angle emerged. Democratic congresswomen-elect in the Morrison piece explained how "women tend to be a better part of the process" (Gabrielle Giffords) and "we get so much done because we make lists" and we'll get more government-mandated health care because "women are going to be less inclined to look at the politics of it and just say, you know, I need health care for my family." (Nancy Boyda)
Brent Bozell's column on Al-Jazeera English demonstrated a real affinity for the network in the liberal media elite. One CNN story by Frank Sesno noted "The reviews so far are mostly kind. The New York Times says the new network 'points to where East and West actually meet.' USA Today writes, 'in a globalized world, the broader the conversation and greater the competition for credibility, the better.' But the edition of the talk show "Inside Washington" Brent used shows not merely a tolerance, but an outraged hunger for an Arab-propaganda channel. They want it like the old MTV ads with rock stars saying "I want my MTV!" Here's a look at the transcript from the November 19 program:
Gordon Peterson, host: "Al-Jazeera English is on the air, but is not on the air here."
Sue Phillips, Al-Jazeera English (taped): "We adhere to Western broadcast standards. However, we will be very bold in our reporting. We will, of course, be impartial and accurate and objective as we can, but sometimes we will be controversial where it is necessary."
Peterson: "That's Sue Phillips, the London Bureau Chief of Al-Jazeera English, which debuted this week all over the world, but not on American cable systems. Why not, Colby?"
While they don't address each other explicitly, you might say that Jeff Jacoby's and Frank Rich's dueling columns on Iraq this morning reflect a civil war among American pundits. On the one hand, Rich of the New York Times, who in Has He Started Talking to the Walls?:
Claims Pres. Bush is "completely untethered from reality."
Accuses him of "flouting democracy at home."
Suggests that "a timely slug" administered to the commander-in-Chief by Jim Webb might have been a good thing; and
Casts as an "illusion" the notion "that America can control events on the ground."
And in this corner, Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe. In Fighting To Win in Iraq, Jacoby catalogues Jim Baker's history of foreign policy flops, including:
Former CBS reporter Bernie Goldberg was Bill O’Reilly’s guest on Thursday’s “O’Reilly Factor.” In the wake of actor Danny DeVito’s recent drunken rant about the President, Goldberg had some extraordinarily harsh observations about ABC’s “The View” (video available here). Goldberg began:
I would rather do hard time in a Ugandan prison than watch "The View". But I did watch the clip -- I did watch the clip online. And you know what it reminded me of? A Klan meeting.
Sound a bit farfetched? Stick with it:
You know, you go to a Klan meeting -- I mean, I've never been to one, but I imagine what it would be like. You go to a Klan meeting and all these idiots sit around and say, "Oh, yes, that man, he did that. Oh, that -- and he did that." And they all slap their knee, and they all laugh, because they're comfortable in their element.
NBC reporter Katie Couric (L) interviews actor Michael Richards on the set of 'Seinfeld,' March 25, 1998. Richards will personally apologize to three black men and a black woman he offended in a torrent of racial slurs unleashed during a recent nightclub performance, his spokesman said on Friday. REUTERS/Handout
How do you know when you've gone overboard with political correctness? When even the liberal panelists of Fox News Watch chide you for it. Host Eric Burns normally stays above the fray. But for some reason, on this evening's show he chose to criticize US Airways for removing from one of its flights six imams whose actions had made other passengers uneasy.
Said Burns, introducing the segment: "There were two stories in the news this week about religion. First, Pope Benedict in Turkey tried to encourage tolerance between Catholics and Muslims. Second, a story of tolerance of U.S. Airways and Muslims - there wasn't any - as six Muslim religious leaders, or imams, were recently yanked off a US Airways flight for no apparent reason other than that a passenger thought they were behaving strangely. Jane, I wonder if the moral of these two stories is first that the media are not at all captivated by this Pope . . but they are captivated by stories that seem to show that anti-terrorist policies sometimes go too far."
It would be political malpractice for Democrats to hand the microphone for their weekly radio address to someone whose remarks didn't advance the interests of their party. And sure enough, the transcript of left-wing preacher Jim Wallis's talk of today reveals nothing that wouldn't comfortably fit in the mouth of Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi.
Wallis might coyly call himself "non-partisan," but does that oblige the CNN-AP to follow suit? Yet in its story on Wallis's address, AP-CNN referred to Wallis as "non-partisan" and tried to bolster that view of him by adding that "the religious leader has been openly critical of Democratic politicians." Perhaps as a matter of the Dems' overly-partisan form. But as a matter of substance, Wallis's views are indistinguishable from those of the liberal mainstream of the Democratic party.
Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony certainly deserves his rightful share of criticism and rebuke for his handling of the church abuse scandal. However, a front-page headline in today's Los Angeles Times (Saturday, December 2, 2006) delivers an unfair and misleading impression over supposed "inaction" by the Cardinal.
Yesterday the Los Angeles Archdiocese announced it will pay a $60 million settlement to 45 people who say they were abused by Catholic priests. Today's Times reported the news with five articles, five photos, and 5078 words. (Two articles are on the front page: one is the major headline at the top of the page, and another is at the fold. The five articles I've counted also include a 'Q&A' piece and a Church-bashing commentary by staffer Steve Lopez.)
The Iraq government has set up an agency to monitor false news coming out of Iraq. After the Associated Press used a government source that doesn't exist, the government wants to make sure the AP and other media outlets cannot get away with similar fraudulent activity. Reports the UK Guardian.
Iraq's interior ministry has formed a press monitoring unit in response to what it described as "fabricated and false news" that misrepresents the country's security situation.
Singling out the Associated Press for criticism, spokesman Brigadier General Abdul-Karim Khalaf said yesterday that dedicated unit would monitor news coverage and even initiate legal action if journalists do not correct stories it believes to be incorrect.
On Thursday's World News with Charles Gibson, ABC correspondent Erin Hayes showcased military wives who voiced support for America's continued presence in Iraq and are worried that a troop withdrawal will come too soon. Hayes noted, "Some might assume that bringing all the troops home quickly and for good would be a great relief to those families. But that is not how many of them see it." Referring to the "war's eye view that convinced them there has been progress," Hayes played several sound bites of these wives making such assertions as "we do need to stay until it's done" and "I don't think that it would be in our best interest to just pull out right now." (Transcript follows)
On Friday's Countdown, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann attacked FNC's Bill O'Reilly, calling him a "holy you-know-what liar" because O'Reilly recently bragged that he had voiced the need for tough martial law early on to keep order in Iraq. During recent comments on The Radio Factor, O'Reilly misstated the date of his prediction as "the night that Saddam's statue fell" when, in fact, it was a mere two nights later (April 11, 2003, instead of April 9), still in the recent aftermath. Olbermann, likely inspired by an article from one of his regular sources in the form of the far-left Media Matters for America, seized on the date mixup to accuse O'Reilly, whom he referred to gratuitously as "Billow" and "Bill Orally," of being a "liar," and tagged the FNC host "Worst Person in the World." (Transcripts follow)
What really happened on Flight 300 in Minneapolis surely isn't what what the media originally reported (examples: Associated Press, Bloomberg). Richard Miniter's Pajamas Media's report, other blog reports, and the Washington Times get us as close as we'll probably ever get to the full truth.
OVERVIEW: As we have seen during the past two weeks in the reporting of incidents out of Iraq (the "Ramadi non-Airstrike" covered by Patterico, and the "Burning Six" assembled by Michelle Malkin), that the press will not wait to release a report that fits one of their templates ("Soldiers kill civilians," "Iraq is an incurable mess," "There is heavy bias against Islam," etc.) if the limited facts at hand seem to support that template. By the time the full set of facts catches up, millions of readers and viewers have been misled (and, of course, influenced); corrections, if any, are limited; and the press has moved on to their next story. "Drive-by Media" indeed.
As a convenience to readers, I have converted Miniter's PDF of Pauline's e-mail to HTML, and it is here. It did not convert perfectly, but no text was lost; I strongly recommend a full read, as it makes additional points not raised in this post. The 3.8 mb police report PDF file is not readily convertible.
Here's a portion of what Miniter wrote, (but DO read the whole thing):