Reporting on yesterday's demise of New York City's jumbo-soda ban in New York State's Court of Appeals, the New York Times's Michael Grynbaum loaded his June 27 story with weighted language in favor of the vanquished side of the policy and legal arguments and presenting the fight as one between well-intentioned health advocates on one end and evil, greedy soda barons -- Big Fizz? -- on the other.
"The Bloomberg big-soda ban is officially dead," the Times staffer mourned in his lead sentence, adding (emphasis mine), "The state’s highest court on Thursday refused to reinstate New York City’s controversial limits on sales of jumbo sugary drinks, exhausting the city’s final appeal and dashing the hopes of health advocates who have urged state and local governments to curb the consumption of drinks and foods linked to obesity." By contrast, he noted "The ruling was a major victory for the American soft-drink industry, which had fought the plan." It was also a victory for the leave-me-the-hell-alone ethos of many a New Yorker who opposed the soda ban, but it seems Grynbaum failed to consult the proverbial man on the street by say hitting up a local bodega and asking the average customer for his or her thoughts.
Apparently journalists are happy to forgive when they agree with their former opponents.
Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury under President George W. Bush, wrote an op-ed in The New York Times on June 22, warning of the financial risks of climate change. Soon afterward, Paulson was publicly joined by billionaire liberal donors Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg in the “Risky Business” campaign to highlight the alleged “economic risks of climate change in the United States.”
Some facts are too convenient for the media to check, or retract.
Earlier this week Newsbusters reported that the media hyped a statistic about school shootings that originated from Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun group “Everytown for Gun Safety.’ There have been, according to the widely reported stat, 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook. The media dutifully repeated the number until it was debunked.
While CNN later retracted and amended their reporting of the questionable count to a much lower number, 15, NBC and ABC did not bother to correct their stories using that statistic. On last night’s ‘The Five’ Fox host Greg Gutfeld took issue with the media’s blatant blindness to the true data. Video after the jump.
First the good news: Ashley Fantz, Lindsey Knight and Kevin Wang at CNN did a very good job this morning in an online writeup debunking Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun group's claim "that there have been 74 school shootings in the past 18 months."
The bad news is that the web page still contains the CNN video which aired the Bloomberg claim without challenging it, thereby continuing to give it credibility.
Miguel Almaguer hyped on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News that "since the mass shooting in Newtown a year and a half ago, there's been at least 74 school shootings across the country – roughly one every week." However, the correspondent failed to mention that this figure came from the pro-gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety, which was founded earlier in 2014 by liberal billionaire Michael Bloomberg. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Tuesday, Kyle Becker of the Independent Journal Review spotlighted a series of Twitter posts from author and journalist Charles C. Johnson, which called out Bloomberg's organization for giving an "exaggerated impression of how many school shootings have taken place," as many they represent "all sorts" of different incidents involving guns in or near schools. Becker added:
Speaking to graduates at Harvard University on Thursday morning, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- no conservative he -- warned against the consequences of intolerance on college campuses. Not only did he warn those in attendance of falling prey to intolerance, but he warned against the growing disease that plagues college campuses; that is, the repression of conservative ideology.
It was a bombshell speech of sorts, considering this spring's spate of commencement speakers bowing out of their engagements thanks to vocal protests by left-wing student activist groups. But only two network morning shows bothered to mention Bloomberg’s remarks. CBS This Morning aired a sound bite, as did CNN’s New Day, which also devoted several minutes to discussing the speech with a panel of guests.
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's group Everytown For Gun Safety was also present — but barely. Media coverage of that group's activities largely tiptoed around the tiny number of people, some allegedly paid, the group was able to gather. Let's start with a Sunday morning report from NPR's Bill Chappell (bolds are mine throughout this post):
We got our answer on Monday, when Schultz happily interviewed Tom Steyer, a prolific Democratic donor who has pledged $50 million of his own money -- which will be matched by other members of “the party of the little guy” -- to support candidates who oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline and attack Democrats who support the project, which has interestingly been delayed by the Obama administration until after this November's midterm elections.
Conservative commentator S.E. Cupp had some tough words for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the wake of him giving $50 million to push his gun control agenda.
Appearing as a guest on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, the CNN Crossfire co-host mocked Bloomberg’s efforts: “Well, he's the best, and by that, I mean the worst face for gun control. And believe me, my friends at NRA high-fived when they heard about this. [See video below.]
Wednesday's NBC Nightly News featured an overwhelmingly positive profile of Michael Bloomberg's new gun control advocacy group. That built upon the network's cheerleading of Bloomberg on Wednesday morning.
Almost the entire story featured quotes from Bloomberg and supporters, with just one soundbite from the NRA. Anchor Brian Williams reported Bloomberg's $50 million pledge without a hint of irony after lamenting big money politics two weeks before.
In a glowing interview with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie touted the anti-gun activist's latest crusade: "You're putting $50 million into the effort....saying essentially this new group is going to borrow a page from the NRA's playbook. The NRA has been very successful in frightening lawmakers who oppose them....You're quoted in The New York Times this morning saying, 'We have to make them afraid of us.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Only two weeks earlier, NBC was wringing its hands over a Supreme Court ruling loosening campaign finance restrictions. On the April 3 Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed: "And you thought there was already too much money in politics. Fasten your seat belts. From now on, there's gonna be a whole lot more."
On Wednesday, Mayor John Tkazyik explained in the Poughkeepsie [N.Y.] Journal that he and almost 50 other mayors have dropped out of former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s group Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG).
The reason they left? They all felt Bloomberg was using the organization to trample on the Second Amendment rather than to push for the stricter enforcement of existing laws. Tkazyik complained that:
One would have expected the folks at the New York Times to be almost orgasmic witnessing leftist after leftist bash former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg at the inauguration of Bill de Blasio whilst touting income equality as the best thing since sliced bread.
Quite surprisingly, such wasn't the case Friday when the Times editorial board accused some of the speakers of being "graceless and smug":
Politico’s Alex Burns and Maggie Haberman have designated 2013 as “Year of the Liberal Billionaire,” as progressive titans like Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer unload their money bags on TV ads in off-year elections.
“Their arrival on the political scene, at the same time as many conservative donors remain disheartened from the GOP’s 2012 defeat, represents a shift in power in the arena of big-money campaigns,” Burns and Haberman assert. At least they allowed some more conservative sources to call out the media for giving liberal billionaires a free pass:
Striking the Northeast on Oct. 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy tragically devastated communities causing an estimated $50 billion in damages. By the end of January 2013, a relief bill was passed for Sandy aid, after the bill was delayed because of wasteful spending.
House Republicans opposed a pork-ridden $60 billion Senate bill ($10 billion higher than damage estimates) and chose not to vote on it. Politicians, including some Republicans, and the media criticized them for delaying this legislation. A $51 billion bill was passed by both houses of Congress by the end of January, after a $9.7 billion flood insurance bill passed in early January.
Piers Morgan still can't basic details about the gun rights debate right, even after his protracted involvement in the controversy, as he revealed on Tuesday's CBS This Morning. Morgan incorrectly claimed that the First Amendment – not the Second Amendment – protected the right to keep and bear arms: "I have no problem...with a family exercising their First Amendment (sic) right to defend their families with a handgun at home."
The CNN host also praised New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his prominent vocal and monetary support of gun control, and took President Obama to task for his apparent lack of action on the issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Appearing as a panel member on Sunday's Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, liberal columnist and former CNN correspondent Bob Franken accused those who complain about "class warfare" against the wealthy of themselves waging "class warfare," but in their case, "against everybody but the super rich class."
Franken's negative interpretation of those who support capitalism came after host Harris-Perry read a quote from outgoing independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg calling Democrat Bill De Blasio's campaign for mayor "class warfare and racist." Franken:
Two Colorado senators have been recalled, and either already are not serving their former constituents or won't be shortly. Yet according to today's Democratic Party talking points, their recalls, the first-ever in state history spurred by the ousted senators' support of gun-control measures passed earlier this year, are only "symbolic" — despite all the money that poured in from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun-control group to save them.
I have found no visible press pushback against this nonsensical claim. How many press members would remain silent if, say, a conservative or Republican special election loser in a congressional race said that his or her loss was "symbolic" because it didn't change who controls the House? (Answer: Zero.) Three reports containing the Dem meme follow the jump.
Even though MSNBC host Chris Hayes has a history of airing his far-left views and has even admitted to being a "liberal caricature," he does from time to time ask contrarian questions from a conservative point of view, and managed to do so on the Monday, September 9, All In show during an interview with New York Democratic mayoral candidate Bill De Blasio.
On the subject of taxing the wealthy, Hayes brought up criticism from outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg as the MSNBC host posed:
On Thursday morning, the Columbus Dispatch's Darrel Rowland reported ("Gun battle slated for high noon in downtown Columbus") that "Mayors Against Illegal Guns is coming to Columbus on Friday for an event urging Sen. Rob Portman to support expanding background checks on gun purchases," and that "guns rights groups are planning to make their voices heard, too." There was no follow-up on what happened at the Michael Bloomberg-supported group's rally; we'll see why shortly.
Organizing for Action, the group which exists solely to promote President Barack Obama's agenda, also scheduled a rally to promote illegal-immigrant amnesty in Columbus on Friday. Intrepid center-right blogger Jesse Hathaway reported attendance (HT Twitchy) of perhaps a half-dozen. A search of the first couple of pages (here and here) of results on "immigration" at the Dispatch's web site returned no relevant coverage (results were not sorted by date, but seemed to generally move backwards in time).
In advance of a month full of events oriented towards demonstrating displeasure with lawmakers who won't give carte blanche to President Obama's healthcare, gun control, "climate change," and immigration agendas, Organizing for Action Executive Director Jon Carson claimed that "We will own August." New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Mayors Against Illegal Guns also anticipated high levels of support during this months's "No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence" tour.
It hasn't happened in either case. If right-wing, tea party, or social conservative efforts fizzled as OFA's and MAIG's clearly are, those failures would be making headlines, and shown as proof that support for the related causes is weak. By contrast, the national establishment press is mostly ignoring and in some cases obscuring these left-wing implosions.
For her "photo of the day" entry, Hot Air Green Room blogger Katie Pavlich noted how, "[d]uring the press conference and in an effort to take advantage of a good photo-op, the clueless anti-gun zealots pointed the seized firearms at...the audience." The photo shows rows of handguns resting on a blue-clothed table with the muzzles pointed towards the audience. What's more, Pavlich added in an update linking to pro-gun rights site BearingArms.com, it appears most if not all of the guns "had the actions/bolts closed and the safeties off."
During a segment on the Martin Bashir show, the producers chose to air only five seconds of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 65-second answer at a press conference Monday to make it appear that he would have a completely different view of Stop and Frisk if he had a son (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Today another New York state court upheld an earlier decision in March that invalidated outgoing Mayor Mike Bloomberg's much-maligned "soda ban" which restricts many establishments in the Big Apple from selling soda cups larger than 16 ounces in capacity. As the media report on the court ruling, watch for a) the media to paint the ruling as a "blow" to an "ambitious," well-meaning effort by Bloomberg to save the city from corpulence and b) the ruling as a victory for Big Soda, even though the litigants in the case happen to be the New York Statewide Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce.
For two examples of this media narrative, I submit for your consideration two wildly different publications, Politico and, sadly, the Wall Street Journal. First Politico. Here's how Kyle Cheney opened his July 30 post, "Appeals court cans N.Y.C. soda ban" (emphasis mine):
Imagine if you will a conservative Republican mayor used public employees' work time to advocate stricter state-level abortion regulations throughout the country? The Left would, and to an extent rightfully so, raise a fit, and the liberal media would, again, rightly so, beat the drums and make the abuse of power a major national story.
But when it's liberal independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg doing the same thing to push a gun control agenda, the media are not-so-strangely silent, given the media's push for ever-more-restrictive gun laws.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was predictably unhappy with Saturday's verdict in the George Zimmerman case. He used it as an opportunity to go after what he calls "shoot first" laws, which people in the real world refer to as "stand your ground" laws.
It was an irrelevant rant, as Politico's Maggie Haberman pointed out: "In the Zimmerman case, neither the defense nor the prosecution ultimately used “Stand Your Ground.” Zimmerman’s attorneys ... presented a conventional self-defense strategy." Problem is, Haberman waited until her final paragraph to note that, and gave readers every impression that the case was about "stand your ground" up until that point (presented in full for fair use and discussion purposes; bolds are mine):
The hosts on Monday's NBC Today were all in agreement that New City Mayor Michael Bloomberg forcing all residents to sort out rotten food scraps from their garbage for composting – and to hold on to the refuse for days – was a "great idea" that would be "good for the environment." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Matt Lauer briefly explained the program: "[Bloomberg] wants you to take your food scraps, put them in a container about the size of a picnic basket in your home, hold them for a few days and then later put them in some larger...containers out on the sidewalk....This is going to be part of a voluntary program at first, which will then become a mandatory program." He added that "they've tried it with a few pilot programs here in New York and the participation was very high."
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg used his commencement address at Stanford University Sunday to push for immigration reform.
Speaking to the assembled, he said of the foreign graduates with student visas in attendance, “If those in Washington had any sense at all, they would be begging you to stay here in the United States.”
For a second night on Thursday, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on his The Last Word show tried to blame NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre for inspiring the ricin-tainted letters recently sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and President Barack Obama. The MSNBC host teased the show: