In February, yours truly sensed a misstatement of reality on the part of Associated Press reporter Scott Bauer in his description of the budget repair law the Wisconsin Legislature was then considering. At the beginning of his report, Bauer wrote that the law would "end a half-century of collectively bargaining," but later wrote that "unions could still represent workers" (That doesn't exactly signal an "end," does it?). In several other subsequent reports (examples here and here), Bauer insisted on incorrectly describing the law as "ending" or "eliminating" collective bargaining. It does neither.
Tonight, in reporting on the progress of the Badger State effort to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker, Bauer slightly rephrased his false claim, glossed over the current controversy over validation of petitioners' names and registration status, again contradicted himself, and made little effort at hiding his overt partisanship (bolds are mine throughout this post):
So much for Democrats heading into 2012 with a full head of steam. Looks like there might be concern among the party faithful that they need to raise their spirits.
Who better for that than Ed Schultz, the closest approximation you'll find on liberal radio and MSNBC to "motivational speaker" Matt Foley as portrayed by the late Chris Farley on "Saturday Night Live." (audio clips after page break)
Sometimes it's really hard to understand why certain events get heavy national press coverage while others which are arguably at least as significant and serious get little if any notice. This is one of them. Scott Walker, who solved a $3 billion projected deficit in Wisconsin, is a media and leftist (but I repeat myself) arch-villain because much of the balancing was done by adjusting public-sector employee contributions towards health and pension benefits to more closely but still more generously resemble what's seen in the private sector, and by reducing public-sector employees' ability to restore them to their formerly out-of-control levels through collective bargaining. Ditto for John Kasich in Ohio, where the projected deficit was $8 billion.
Meanwhile, the state of Illinois defers billions of dollars of payments to vendors by four or more months because, despite 67% and 46% increases in personal and business income taxes, respectively, it still doesn't have the money to come even close to staying current. Yet virtually all we've seen from the national press on the problem is one Associated Press story conveniently filed on a Saturday. Here are key paragraphs from the report by Christopher Wills (bolds are mine throughout this post):
CBS sided with supporters of the "Occupy Wall Street" protests on Monday's Early Show, bringing on former Democratic Senator Russ Feingold to boost the left-leaning demonstrations, with no Republican and/or conservative critics appearing as guests during the program. Feingold slammed Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain as "un-American" for his critique of the protests.
Near the end of her interview of the Wisconsin politician, anchor Erica Hill raised Cain's attack on the continuing anti-corporate rallies: "Republican candidate Herman Cain, weighing in over the weekend. He said that, basically, it's un-American to protest capitalism. Businesses have to make money, and if they can do a better job making money oversea- it's an unfortunate reality for many Americans- but they're concerned about their bottom line. Can there be some sort of common ground here?"
UPDATE: BizzyBlog commenter "Rich in Iowa" notes that what the AP is criticizing is "a clearinghouse for employers and job seekers hosted by the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and this site pre-dates Walker’s Governorship by, oh, maybe a decade."
Boy, Scott Bauer and the Associated Press have really, really nailed Scott Walker this time -- not.
Bauer found that some of the jobs listed in Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's "Job Center of Wisconsin" website are located in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan). Imagine that: The Badger State's governor is including jobs in neighboring states because he apparently believes that his state would be better off if some of its unemployed workers found jobs across the border. Oh the humanity.
Tonight Brian Williams will moderate, along with Politico's John F. Harris, the GOP presidential candidate debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. If recent performances by the NBC Nightly News anchor are an indication, candidates (particularly those favored by the Tea Party) should recognize his hostility to their agenda and be prepared for a number of topics and questions from the left.
Ever since its emergence, Williams has undercut the Tea Party, its champions within the GOP, and its cause of fiscal conservatism. At the same time, Williams has heralded its chief opponent Barack Obama.
A Monday New York Times story by Monica Davey, “After Months of Rancor, 2 Governors Alter Tones,” portrayed two first term Republican governors in the Midwest as on the defensive, even though both have emerged relatively unscathed in the face of fierce liberal opposition. Davey focused mostly on Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, though Gov. John Kasich of Ohio also featured. Davey put the onus on the Republicans to kiss and make up to their Democratic and union opponents, or at least "show, at least publicly, a desire to play well with others."
Earlier this summer, the Midwest-based Davey co-wrote a hostile story on how fiscal conservatism was hurting Indiana, led by Republican governor and then-presidential hopeful Mitch Daniels. Davey also coauthored a story in March 2011 on the aftermath of Gov. Walker’s win in Wisconsin over the unions, portraying the unions’ defeat as a political victory: “In Wisconsin Battle on Unions, State Democrats See a Big Gift.” (It didn’t turn out that way.)
In the minds of the Left and their cheerleaders in the mainstream media, Tuesday's recall elections in Wisconsin were "supposed to be... the end of the Tea Party." It was a "$30 million investment by the Left" and it completely tanked, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell argued on the August 12 edition of Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto."
"So what was the coverage of their failure?" Bozell asked, answering, "CBS, one story. The totality of NBC: 45 seconds. ABC? Nothing!"
When it comes to gratuitous references to race, it doesn't get more gratuitous than this.
James "Holmy" Holm works as a producer for Ed Schultz on his radio and MSNBC shows. In addition to that, Holm often accompanies Schultz on his radio program and espouses his views on politics and the news of the day. (audio clip after page break)
Editor's Note: Mr. Bozell will be on Fox News's "Your World with Neil Cavuto" around 4:45 p.m. EDT today to discuss the Wisconsin recall results and may also give his thoughts on last night's Republican presidential debate.
"These [Wisconsin] protests were supposed to be the rebirth of the Left going into the 2012 campaign" and yet when the "unions threw everything they had" they came up short of taking the state senate from Repubilcans, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted on today's "Fox & Friends."
Because the effort completely fizzled, it's no surprise the liberal broadcast media spent very little time reporting the results of Tuesday's recall election. "This was a huge Republican victory that nobody heard about," the Media Research Center founder added. [video embedded below page break]
Wednesday evening, the Associated Press's Sam Hananel, with predictable help from Scott Bauer, tried to do a Bing Crosby imitation ("Unions look for silver lining in Wisconsin recalls") in an attempt to "Accentuate the Positive" in reporting on the results of yesterday's attempts to defeat six Republican Badger State Senators in recall elections.
Democrats, leftists, and public-sector unions needed to win three of the six races to tentatively and perhaps only temporarily regain a State Senate majority. They only got two, putting the GOP's temporary majority at 17-16. Temporary? Oh, Hananel "somehow" forgot to tell readers that two electoral attempts to replace Democratic State Senators are taking place next week, and that their retention of those positions is by no means assured.
It's going to be a long, hot campaign . . . Yesterday, Politico reported that the Obama strategy is to "destroy" or "kill" his perceived chief 2012 rival, Mitt Romney. The Obamaoids are no doubt counting on close collaboration with their friends in the MSM.
Today we were treated to the kind of shameless smear that the left surely has in store. On his MSNBC show this evening, Chris Matthews flatly stated that Rush Limbaugh . . . wants to end the integration of the public schools and armed forces. View video after the jump.
ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday ignored the $14 million failure of labor and liberal groups to win back the state senate in Wisconsin through a recall vote. Both CBS's Early Show and NBC's Today covered the effort to retaliate against that state's legislation stripping collective bargaining rights for public workers.
Early Show's Elaine Quijano covered the story in a full report (though not until the 8am hour). The Today show, a four hour program, mentioned it only once. Quijano explained that four of the six GOP senators held on and added, "For Wisconsin Democrats, Tuesday's vote was supposed to be a chance at revenge." However, these same networks, back in February, found time to feature signs comparing Scott Walker to Hitler and other dictators.
On the bottom of page A4 in a teaser that reads "Wis. GOP on the ropes," the Washington Post alerted readers to a story on page A4 about how "Six lawmakers are fighting to survive recall challenges spurred by the governor's efforts to weaken unions."
MSNBC host Ed Schultz wants to be taken seriously as a TV host, but he hasn't yet learned not to promote victory for liberal Democrats before the results are all in. On Tuesday night, even after the polls closed, Schultz was touting a possible Democratic wave. Twice, he proclaimed before his 10 pm show came on that Democrats were "brilliant on the basics" in the Wisconsin ground game -- before they lost four and won two.
At 6 pm, Schultz told Al Sharpton "And if the Democrats are successful tonight, it is really the template on how to get it done. I mean, I think that the progressives in this state, as profound as it is, they have been brilliant on the basics. They have gone door to door. They have talked to their neighbors. They have taken people by the hand to do what they've got to do."
In his Friday report covering the June state and local employment report released by Uncle Sam's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Associated Press's Derek Kravitz told readers about the three biggest seasonally adjusted job-losing states (Tennessee, Missouri, and Virginia), but had nothing to say about states which gained jobs. This was a curious omission indeed, given that BLS told us that "nonfarm payroll employment increased in 26 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in 24 states."
Only Kravitz knows why he neglected to tell us about the job gainers, but the list of the top eight states in that department should make readers wonder if the wire service reporter's omission was motivated by inconvenient (for liberals and leftists) likely explanations for the improvements in most of them (keep in mind that though it's not an apples to apples comparison, the economy as a whole added only 18,000 seasonally adjusted jobs in June):
CBS's Bob Schieffer took on the role of a left-wing activist on Sunday's Face the Nation, as he pressed all four of his guests from both parties about cuts in state and local spending. Schieffer bewailed how both Republican Governors John Kasich and Scott Walker "cut deeply into education" and asked Democratic Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa if he felt good about making "draconian cuts" [audio clips available here]
The anchor brought on the governors of Ohio and Wisconsin, as well as the mayor of Los Angeles and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, a Democrat, for his half-hour program to discuss the impasse over the federal budget and the debt ceiling and its impact on their states. After an initial question to Governor Kasich, where Schieffer claimed how, apparently, "things are worse than ever" between the two political parties, Schieffer set up his first question to Governor Walker with his lament of the apparent cuts to education in the states of his two Republican guests:
I can't say that I'm up on what every state is doing, but it's hard not to notice contrasts between two trios of states singing decidedly different tunes:
Wisconsin, Ohio and New Jersey, three states with recently elected conservative Republican governors, have either put their budgets to bed, or are on the verge of doing so, by cutting costs and not raising taxes.
Connecticut, Minnesota, and California, three states with recently elected liberal governors who are Democrats, are on the verge of a shutdown, serious layoffs, or issuing IOUs. All three governors have enacted or want tax increases.
Vicki McKenna, the conservative radio talker in a very liberal town (Madison, Wisconsin), alerted us to how the Wisconsin State Journal carries a very obvious torch for the leftist rabble that trashed the state Capitol earlier this year to protest conservative Gov. Scott Walker's collective-bargaining proposal. They're touting as "news" a protester's persistent Mylar balloon:
The tens of thousands of protesters have left. The metal detectors are gone.
But a small reminder of the massive demonstrations that rocked the state Capitol for weeks on end remains. A mysterious heart-shaped red balloon still floats inside the Capitol dome, where it has hovered high over the rotunda since mid-February.
In a combined ten hours of programming, Wednesday, the networks devoted a mere 41 seconds to an important ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court that allowed Scott Walker's collective bargaining law to be implemented. NBC Nightly News' Brian Williams, however, found time to focus on Spider-Man and the 2012 Academy Awards.
On June 15, only NBC's Today and CBS's Early Show covered it. That day's newscasts, including Evening News and World News, totally skipped it (as did Nightline).
ABC, CBS and NBC's morning shows on Wednesday offered a scant 41 seconds to a major Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling permitting the state's collective bargaining law to go into effect. These are the same networks that, just four months ago, praised the "people power" of the liberal protesters and ignored signs comparing conservatives to Nazis.
On February 20, This Week host Christiane Amanpour compared events in the Middle East to protests in the U.S.: "This week: people power making history...Populist frustration is boiling over this week, as we’ve said not just in the Middle East but in the middle of this country as well." On Wednesday, ABC's Good Morning America skipped the latest ruling entirely.
As has been the case virtually from the beginning, the Associated Press's Scott Bauer has been clearly unhappy with 2011 Wisconsin Act 10, commonly known even to the Wisconsin Supreme Court as the "Budget Repair Bill." Today, the court ruled that the law as enacted by the Badger State's legislature and signed by Governor Scott Walker can go into effect on July 1.
Looking back at what's available of Bauer's body of work on the matter during the past four months, his consistent mischaracterization of the bill's contents, saying that it would "eliminate collective bargaining" when it doesn't (shown here and here), is truly striking. What's even more striking (pun intended) is how he and his employer described the law in the report's headline and first sentence in at least one early version this evening:
Pro-government union protests in Wisconsin and elsewhere have provided some stunning insight into the double standards that pervade coverage of major protest movements. One such double standard lies in media treatment of threats against public officials. News of the release of more than 100 pages of documented threats against officials of both parties in Wisconsin has brought that double standard to light.
Very often such threats are most intensely focused on a single individual perceived as the leader of the ideological or political opposition. President Obama was the target of perhaps less overt, if certainly as menacing threats during the early stages of his administration when a handful of demonstrators brought firearms to a presidential town hall meeting. That of course dominated the airwaves for the following week, as many in the media bemoaned what they presented almost uniformly as hints at assassination.
In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker, like President Obama, became the target of much of the rage from pro-union demonstrators. And like Obama, Walker received some very vocal - and in many cases more overt - threats against his life. Unlike threats against the president, however, those directed at Walker have received scant press attention outside of Wisconsin media.
Gosh, after Republican Governors Scott Walker and John Kasich succeeded in championing legislation curtailing many collective bargaining rights of unionized state and municipal employees in Wisconsin and Ohio, respectively, the establishment press had the meme all set. The GOP, conservatives, and Tea Partiers are enemies of labor and the middle class, while Democrats, liberals, and progressives are their champions.
Then along comes bluer-than-blue Massachusetts. As the Boston Globe reports, the Bay State's House "voted overwhelmingly last night (Tuesday) to strip police officers, teachers, and other municipal employees of most of their rights to bargain over health care, saying the change would save millions of dollars for financially strapped cities and towns." It's not a law yet, but it seems to be heading pretty quickly in that direction.
The Associated Press's beat reporters and editors must be beside themselves.
Not even the light sections of the New York Times Sunday paper offer an escape from politics. In “Social Q’s,” his Sunday Styles column on modern etiquette, Philip Galanes got political when answering a question from Amanda from Grand Island, N.Y., criticizing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for teacher bashing during his recent battle to reduce the influence of public-sector unions.
Q: I asked one of my professors if he would write a letter of recommendation for an internship I was applying for. He did, and I thanked him. And I got it. Am I supposed to thank him again? I don’t know the protocol.
It's a liberal cliche to ask conservatives why they "hate" the poor, minorities or personal freedom, so it's not surprising that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker endured that question in YouTube chat, Wednesday. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel highlighted "Fuzzy Duck," who inquired via Twitter, "Why do you hate education?"
In the video, Walker began, "Today we've got another question from Twitter and it comes from someone with the name @FuzzyDuck from Madison." (There's just something amusing about the nature of social media: Not many governors have reason to utter the name "Fuzzy Duck.")