A week ago (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I wrote up a post on the Miami Herald's coverage of how the chief of staff of Florida Democratic Congressman Joe Garcia had admittted to attempting to orchestrate "a sophisticated scheme to manipulate last year’s primary elections by submitting hundreds of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests."
I also noted that the story, which broke on Friday, May 31, was "getting very little notice," but that perhaps "the amount and scope of national coverage will increase when the work week starts." Well, the official work week has ended, and there has been almost no coverage anywhere, despite Congressman Garcia's stunning reaction to the news reported in a separate June 1 Herald story (bolds are mine):
This has to be an imaginary story, right? Most Democrats and others on the left continue to insist that voter fraud is not a problem, even in the face of examples like Minnesota U.S. Senator Al Franken, whose 312-vote "victory" margin in 2008 may have entirely consisted (and then some) of illegal votes by felons in just one county.
More recently, it seems that the claim is under revision. A Democratic Party county chair, in a Cincinnati Enquirer story about three out-of-staters who voted or attempted to vote in Ohio, is reported to have "long said there is no evidence of systemic fraud." Well, though they were were prevented from casting illegal ballots, a Florida Democratic congressman's chief of staff and his alleged cohorts definitely attempted large-scale "systemic" fraud last year. The Miami Herald, which played an important investigative role, had the story on Friday. A Google News search on relevant terms indicates that it's getting very little notice (15 items in total, most in Florida). Excerpts from Patricia Mazzei's Herald story follow the jump (bolds are mine):
They must be paying by the word over at Politico. It's difficult to come up with another explanation as to why reporter Jonathan Martin would slog through about 3,100 words on an item entitled "Black pols stymied in Obama era." He could have easily summarized why this is the case in eight words: "Because Barack Obama is all about Barack Obama." Oh, he could have added a few more, namely "and everybody knows Barack Obama is all about Barack Obama."
Since he didn't limit himself, yours truly will note a few things Martin still left out, identify a few interesting points that were made, and then quote certain naive and/or inflammatory statements contained in Martin's mess.
NewsBusters reported Sunday the media's chorus to silence Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) is growing louder.
As fate would have it, at roughly the same time, David Brooks was sitting down for a chat with PBS’s Jeff Greenfield at the 92nd Street Y during which the New York Times columnist said, “It doesn’t help that [Cruz] has a face that looks a little like Joe McCarthy” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
I guess we had better start paying closer attention to how the establishment press labels -- and mislabels -- congressional districts.
The headline at the Associated Press at a lengthy column composed by Charles Babington bemoaning the lack of willingness of Ohio First District Congressman Steve Chabot to "compromise," i.e., sell out his principles, reads as follows: "PARTISAN DISCORD FINDS ROOTS IN TOSS-UP DISTRICTS." Uh, Chabot won the district in the 2012 elections by 20 points. Babington's attempt to justify the "toss-up" classification also falls flat:
Tonight’s episode of NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit will showcase failed Republican Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin’s infamous remark that “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down” so the woman would not get pregnant.
NBC’s promo for the March 27 episode touts a storyline “ripped from the headlines” with “words that set off a national controversy.” In the promo run at the end of last week’s show, a man on a witness stand, who is sporting a flag lapel pin, declares: “It’s nearly impossible for a victim of legitimate rape to become pregnant.” [UPDATED with a summary of what aired]
It will be interesting to see how much national play this story gets. My guess is: "little."
Following up on a matter on which I initially posted last month, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported yesterday that the prosecutor for Hamilton County, Ohio, where the county seat is Cincinnati, is bringing charges related to improper voting against three people – including a longtime poll worker and a nun. In connection with the poll worker, reporter Sharon Coolidge notes something that should earn today's prize for inadvertent deadpan humor (in bold):
In what has become a recurring theme on MSNBC, Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough railed against the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for failing to invite Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J) to the event. On the February 26 edition of the program the self-described “true conservative” Scarborough slammed CPAC as not being about winning elections, but instead being an echo-chamber that focuses on “hate” and “anger.”
The segment began with liberal co-host Brzezinski expressing shock over the line-up of speakers at CPAC, including Sen.Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, prompting Scarborough to throw out that, “It shows just how sick some elements of the conservative movement are.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Rather than take Woodward head-on, Klein gutlessly goes after three words in his Friday piece: "moving the goalposts." What Woodward wrote, followed by a portion of Klein's clunker, appear after the jump.
Newly minted Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a Tea Party politician, is "raising bipartisan hackles" and otherwise being a "bad boy" in the previously collegial U.S. Senate, opined political reporter Jonathan Weisman on the front page of Saturday's New York Times: "Texas Senator Goes on Attack And Raises Bipartisan Hackles."
Clearly disturbed about Cruz's treatment of Obama's nominee for defense secretary Chuck Hagel, reporter Weisman even put a mike in front of not one but two liberal Democratic senators who likened Cruz to notorious Sen. Joe McCarthy. Well, at least Cruz is liked by what Weisman called "ardent conservatives."
In anticipation of Jesse Jackson Jr.'s indictment on Friday afternoon, Jonathan Allen and John Bresnahan at the Politico seemed all too willing to hand out sympathy cards to Jackson and his wife, both of whom stand to do time in prison for offenses relating to their raid of the congressman's campaign funds.
Specifically, the Politico pair wrote: "It’s a story of a Chicago power couple that lost track of the line between campaign cash and personal funds in a spiral of money troubles." Gosh, I didn't know that line was so blurred. Excerpts from the write-up follow the jump:
In his brief time in the United States Senate, Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is already making a name for himself on Capitol Hill, with the February 15 edition of Politico suggesting that his “no-compromise, firebrand style could turn off voters.”
In the 36-paragraph article, Politico’s Manu Raju waited until the 18th paragraph to include any direct quotes from the freshman Tea Party senator. What's more, Raju peppered the piece with numerous anecdotes meant to cast Cruz's assertive style in a negative light:
Behind closed doors, some Republican senators report that Cruz, in his stone-cold serious prosecutorial style, speaks at length when it’s far more common for freshman to wait before asserting themselves, particularly ones who were just sworn in.
Congressman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Fox News's Sean Hannity had a very entertaining debate about taxes Monday evening.
When Hannity told the Congressman he pays 60 cents in taxes on every dollar he makes, Rangel said, "It means that you need yourself a good accountant" leading Hannity to marvelously reply, "Charlie, if I used your accountant I'd be on the verge of getting in trouble in Congress."
Reporters at the Washington Post need a refresher already on the November elections. Obama beat Romney 51-47; Senate Democrats gained two seats, up to 53; House Democrats gained eight seats, but still trail 234-201. Somehow, the Post says this is a “shellacking.” That’s a word Obama used more accurately after the wave election of 2010, when the Republicans added a historic 63 seats.
In Friday’s Post, reporters David Nakamura and Rosalind Helderman discussed whether Republicans would move toward the center on immigration: “Months after GOP leaders began signaling that the party would shift positions on immigration in response to their shellacking in the November election, Republicans are still working out their stance.” The Post website carried a similar line from an AP article:
Last month, when the Republican Governor of South Carolina named GOP U.S. Representative Tim Scott to the U.S. Senate, the “first African American U.S. Senator from the South since Blanche Bruce of Mississippi in 1881” according to The State newspaper, thus becoming the only black -- Democrat or Republican -- in the Senate, ABC’s World News didn’t mention it.
Fast-forward to Wednesday night, and ABC anchor Diane Sawyer suddenly found it newsworthy that the Democratic Governor of Massachusetts appointed an African-American to replace new Secretary of State John Kerry, trumpeting: “Look closely at this picture. That is William ‘Mo’ Cowan of Massachusetts. He will be heading to Washington, DC soon and straight into the history books.”
In what has become a daily theme, once again, MSNBC is pushing a one-sided discussion on gun control. Speaking on Monday, January 28 with Dan Gross, the President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), host Thomas Roberts continued to lobby for congressional action for strict gun control. Naturally, Roberts failed to bring on a pro-gun rights advocate nor to feature one in a subsequent segment.
Roberts began the segment by hyping a New York Times article describing:
Some gun groups were seeking to, quote, introduce children to high powered rifles and handguns while invoking the same rationale of those older, more traditional programs that firearms can teach life skills like responsibility, ethics, and citizenship.
Here's something I discovered in the course of preparing a column which will appear elsewhere. It appears to speak to the lengths to which Barack Obama's administration and his campaign went to avoid having any kind of bad economic news appear before the fall elections.
By July of last year, the increase in food stamp program participation in the 42 months since Obama took office exceeded the increase seen during George W. Bush's entire eight years. But "somehow," the last monthly report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture before Election Day didn't reflect that reality. It turns out that USDA made an almost unheard-of substantial upward revision to reported July participation on December 7 in its second -- not its first -- post-election report. It is not at all unreasonable to believe that the original understatement was designed to ensure that Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates would not be able to capitalize on that grim comparative milestone, and that the revision delay until the second post-election report was designed to minimize the deception's visibility. The establishment press should have caught this, and didn't -- or worse, someone caught it and didn't care to report it.
As NewsBusters readers know, one of my great pleasures is pointing out the staggering stupidity of Bill Maher.
My hero came through once again on HBO’s Real Time Friday telling Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), “You really actually should be the Speaker because Democrats got a million more House votes” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A common media theme since the Republicans took over the House of Representatives in January 2011 has been that former President Ronald Reagan and former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill were great legislative partners despite being from different parties.
Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan threw some cold water on this notion on PBS’s McLaughlin Group Friday saying, “There’s a lot of myth about Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan working together. They did not" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The media's hatred of the Tea Party knows no bounds.
On Sunday's syndicated Chris Matthews Show, the Huffington Post's Howard Fineman said, "The Tea Party people are not here to legislate. They're here to demonstrate" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Strangely missing from NBC's look back on the 2012 campaign were gaffes and controversial statements from the Obama-Biden campaign. Friday's Today featured a mini-blooper reel of GOP mishaps on the campaign trail, but made no mention of Democratic controversies.
In its lengthy string of highlights from the 2012 campaign, Today included Mitt Romney's infamous "47 percent" remarks along with Rep. Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" meltdown. Today said nothing, though, of Biden's controversial "chains" comments or Obama's "you didn't build that" remark.
Following Susan Rice’s abrupt withdrawal from being considered for Secretary of State, NBC's Andrea Mitchell felt it important to sneer that Republican opposition to Ms. Rice was racially motivated.
Speaking on MSNBC’s The Cycle Thursday afternoon, Mitchell’s immediate analysis of Rice’s withdrawal was that, “this is not going to help Republicans at all, the fact that a woman and a woman of color has been forced out of a confirmation process even before she was nominated.” Andrea Mitchell must have forgotten that four years ago, Republicans in the Senate confirmed an African-American woman named Condoleezza Rice to be Secretary of State. But that wouldn't fit the liberal narrative NBC and MSNBC continue to peddle that Republicans have racist motivations behind their objections to Rice’s nomination to Secretary of State. [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell seemed unsure about the extent of Tea Party's political influence. During an interview of former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, O'Donnell first indicated that the movement was a potent force: "I want to ask you...about how powerful the Tea Party is. Is the Tea Party holding back House Republicans and Speaker Boehner from agreeing to additional revenues?"
The anchor later hinted the Tea Party's power was on the wane: "FreedomWorks spent $40 million in the last election, and you had less than one-in-four of a winning record on the candidates you backed. Was it the organization, or is the Tea Party weakened?"
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its latest report on food stamp program participation through September today. I received the email alerting me to the release at 5:17 p.m., so it seems reasonable to believe that USDA and the Barack Obama administration wanted the new data to get as little attention as possible (as will be seen later, it's currently getting none). If so, they have two probable reasons for wishing to minimize its impact.
The first and more obvious of the two is that the food stamp rolls increased by over 607,000 in September to 47.71 million, yet another all-time record. That's awful enough, but here's the real kicker: the participation figure for July, the last month of data available before Election Day, was revised up by over 150,000, changing that month's reported increase from 11,600 to just under 166,000. As will be seen after the jump, no other month's data was revised except August, where the changes were infinitesimal.