Wow, what a great year to work as a political cartoonist in California, especially if you're also a columnist.
Back in January, a California state senator name Rod Wright was convicted on all eight counts in his trial for voter fraud and perjury. Just a few weeks later, another state senator from California, Ron Calderon, was indicted on two dozen (!) counts of bribery, fraud, money laundering and other charges.
On April 1, Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray was denied a second term, defeated in the primary by upstart city councilwoman Muriel Bowser. The beginning of the end came on March 10, when the U.S. Attorney struck a plea bargain with a wealthy businessman who confessed he’d spent $668,000 on an illegal “shadow campaign” to fund get-out-the-vote efforts that helped Gray win the mayor’s office in 2010.
So the corrupt mayor of America’s most important city is thrown out. A political scandal? The same networks that were utterly breathless over the local story of Gov. Chris Christie’s aides slowing traffic on a bridge into New York City didn’t breathe a word about corruption in the nation’s capital. Unlike Gov. Christie, the mayor is a Democrat.
Let it be noted that at 7:17 p.m. on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, CNN.com finally broke down and posted a story on the alleged criminal behavior of California State Senator Leland Yee. The headline at the story by Matt Smith and Jason Carroll ("Feds: Calif. pol Leland Yee schemed to trade arms for campaign cash") gets to the heart of the matter — unlike the headline ("LAWMAKER YEE PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO FEDERAL CHARGES") at the Associated Press's most recent story on Yee. But Smith and Carroll waited until the fourth paragraph to tag Yee as a Democrat (the AP story at least got there at Paragraph 3).
CNN's story arrives 13 days after Yee's initial arrest, and 11 days, 9 hours and 58 minutes after a snippy person at the "CNN.com Writers" Twitter account — apparently one Eliott McLaughlin, according to the account's home page — claimed that its non-coverage of the Yee story was "in line with us covering state senators & state secretary of state races just about never." Yours truly disproved that assertion in about three minutes on March 29.
Thoroughly leeward cable network MSNBC touts its slogan as "Lean Forward." There are times when "Look the Other Way" would be more accurate in describing its coverage.
On her March 26 show, Rachel Maddow reported that more than two dozen people were arrested by police and FBI agents across California and charged in a "huge corruption, gun-running, racketeering, drug-trafficking sting, and at least one accusation of murder for hire." (Video after the jump)
No wonder so many people, especially young Americans, get their news from Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show." They've learned from long experience that they can't get it from places such as "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC that proudly and repeatedly tout themselves as "news" shows.
While attempting to show how balanced she is, Maddow on March 27 responded on a flurry of Democrat scandals so numerous that even MSNBC could not ignore them. But predictably for Maddow, she soft-pedaled what was arguably the most serious of the bunch -- the alleged attempt by California state senator Leland Yee to obtain shoulder-fired missiles and other heavy weaponry from Filipino jihadists in exchange for campaign cash. (Video after the jump)
When an unmistakable embarrassment to liberalism occurs, a standard establishment press fallback tactic is to accuse conservatives of some form of incivility — and if there really isn't one, to make up a story about it anyway.
That's exactly what Bloomberg Businsessweek's Paul M. Barrett did on Tuesday in covering the NRA's reaction to the arrest of California State Senator and ardent gun control advocate Leland Yee on gun trafficking charges. The story's headline claimed that the group did "a victory dance." Barrett's content claimed that it was "gloating" and "strained to veil its pleasure." In truth, the group was doing nothing of the sort — unless the speech police now believe that making any kind of obvious observation about a liberal's failure is inherently unfair:
Although its report has its shortcomings, particularly the fact that it didn't identify him as a Democrat for 24 paragraphs (as noted this morning), the Associated Press has at least treated California State Senator Leland Yee's arrest on corruption and gun trafficking charges as a national story, with two bylined reporters and seven others assisting.
The same cannot be said of CNN.com. Web searchers, including several center-right bloggers, have noted the absence of any story about Yee there since 2011 (still true as of 6:30 p.m.). A tweet from "CNN.com Writers" snippily snapped back with a howler disproved faster than you can say "covering Democrats' keisters":
It's no secret that the folks who run the New York Times are big fans of gun control. It turns out that they also favor controlling the use of the word "gun" in headlines about Democrats.
Over at National Review's Campaign Spot yesterday, regarding the news of Democratic California Senator Leland Yee's arrest, Jim Geraghty noted: "The New York Times greeted that news with a one paragraph summary on page A21 Wednesday with the headline: 'California: State Senator Accused of Corruption.'" That A21 one-paragrapher is an AP item. According to a long AP report on Yee's arrest, Yee, a longtime gun control advocate himself, is charged with "six counts of depriving the public of honest services and one count of conspiracy to traffic in guns without a license." In addition to burying the story in its back pages, let's look at what the Times did to the AP's original headline:
Remember last month when MSNBC's Rachel Maddow could not bring herself to even whisper that corrupt convicted mayors in Trenton and New Orleans were (place finger to lips) Democrats ...?
Last night, the pendulum swung all the way to the other side. There are so many Dems answering awkward questions from police and FBI agents that Maddow threw ideological caution to the wind and repeatedly -- almost obsessively -- cited their party affiliation. Curiouser still, to borrow from Lewis Carroll, Maddow downplayed what were arguably the most serious accusations of all, those leveled at California state senator Leland Yee. (Video after the jump)
In a 72-word Cheat Sheet item on their website today, Daily Beast editors failed to note California Democratic State Senator Leland Yee's party affiliation nor the fact that the alleged gun-running politician was an outspoken advocate of more gun-control laws.
To be fair, the Associated Press article that the Cheat Sheet item linked to mentioned both facts, but casual readers of the Daily Beast's news digest who failed to follow the link would have remained ignored to them:
Pass the smelling salts. Wednesday afternoon Pacific Time (early evening Eastern Time), someone at the Los Angeles Times actually noticed something quite a bit less than perfect about the Democratic Party and its politicians.
Okay, it's an analysis piece at the Politics Now blog by Political Editor Cathleen Decker. But most LA Times "analyses" are insufferably far to the left and consist of some combination of blatant falsehoods, mean-spirited attacks on Republicans and conservatives, bowing down to the pseudo-science of climate change, and effusive praise of Democrats even as they fail. Thus, Decker's piece sticks out like a red-clad University of Louisville fan sitting in the deep-blue University of Kentucky cheering section. Excerpts follow (bolds are mine):
Editor's Note:In the last 24 hours, State Senator Leland Yee (D-CA) has incriminated Rush Limbaugh for a racist fax sent to him by an unidentified individual which allegedly read, "Rush Limbaugh will kick your Ch--k ass and expose you for the fool you are.”
NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center (MRC) President Brent Bozell issued the following statement regarding the media reaction to this charge:
The media couldn't pin the Gabrielle Giffords shooting on conservatives, but that doesn't mean they've stopped trolling for proof that conservatives are racist and violent. In California, a liberal state senator running for Mayor of San Francisco named Leland Yee received an indirect death threat after he attacked Rush Limbaugh. Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Tony Beard said he and the California Highway Patrol are looking into the letter, which includes a drawing of a noose. The Los Angeles Times managed to start connecting dots to the Gabrielle Giffords shooting:
Yee, who is running for mayor of San Francisco, had recently accused radio personality Rush Limbaugh of mocking the Chinese language and culture during his radio program.
The fax received by Yee’s office Wednesday uses racist language about Yee and Obama and goes on to say: "Without exceptions, Marxists are enemies of the United States Constitution! Death to all Marxists! Foreign and Domestic!"