Reporting on the passage of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's proposal to curb public union benefits and bargaining power, on Thursday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Cynthia Bowers referred to the union protestors in the state capital and declared: "After three weeks of relative restraint, passions ran over today."
That "restraint" has included threats against Republican state lawmakers (with an angry mob surrounding one of them), protestors storming the state capitol building, and signs comparing Governor Walker to Adolf Hitler. As a Media Research Center Media Reality Check detailed, the networks have failed to report on the most extreme actions of the protestors, while they were eager to condemn the "incivility" of the Tea Party.
Friday’s New York Times off-lead story from Madison by Monica Davey and A.G. Sulzberger, in the aftermath of a defeat for public-sector unions in Wisconsin, spun the win by Republican Gov. Scott Walker as a long-term political victory for Democrats: “Wisconsin Curbs Public Unions, But Democrats Predict Backlash.” The online headline was even more blunt: “In Wisconsin Battle on Unions, State Democrats See a Big Gift.” Walker has evidently awoken “the sleeping giant” of labor unions (as if they had previously stayed out of politics).
By contrast, there was no such wishful thinking or hunt for the bright side for the losers in the aftermath of the fiercely contested passage of unpopular Obama-care last year. Adam Nagourney’s front-page “political memo” of March 23, 2010, “For G.O.P., United Stand Has Drawbacks, Too,” suggested Republicans could pay a political price for opposing Obama-care. (It didn’t quite work out that way.)
The instinct here is that an Associated Press "story" by Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin, will get lots of radio and TV time tomorrow.
That would be a reasonable expectation, because what Bauer writes isn't really a "story" as much as it is a free political announcement. I'm predicting that the establishment press will love it, especially the opening paragraph:
Wis. defeat could help launch counterattack on GOP
With the labor movement suffering an epic defeat in Wisconsin and perhaps other states, union leaders plan to use the setback to fire up their members nationwide and mount a major counterattack against Republicans at the ballot box in 2012.
Gosh, about the only thing Bauer's lacking is a bullhorn.
Not to worry, Moore promises one of those tranquil conflicts devoid of violence.
What is it about self-proclaimed peace lovers that they are so often bellicose?
Latest example -- the agitprop filmmaker's appearance on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow show last night, coming shortly after the GOP-led Wisconsin state senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to curtail collective bargaining for most public employees. After Maddow introduced Moore and praised his "barnburning speech" in Madison over the weekend, Moore said this (video below page break) --
Picture this scenario: hours after the vote on Obamacare a Tea Party protester sent an email to leading congressional Democrats with a detailed description of plans to murder both those legislators and their families. The sender claimed to know where those Democrats lived, and said he had planted bombs in various places, including the capitol building.
What do you suppose the media reaction would be?
Odds are it would be a whole lot louder than the near-total media silence thus far over an email sent to Wisconsin Senate Republicans Wednesday night that states plainly: "You will be killed and your families will also be killed due to your actions." The email goes on to describe in detail how the sender plans on killing Republican members of Wisconsin's State Senate, who voted last night to enact Gov. Scott Walker's proposed reforms to public employee union collective bargaining. Read the full text of the email below the break, via 620 WTMJ's Charlie Sykes.
NBC's Meredith Vieira opened Thursday's Today show alerting viewers that Republicans in Wisconsin had caused a "capitol chaos" with a "surprise maneuver" to pass a "controversial budget proposal without Democrats" and her colleague Ann Curry, in teasing a John Yang story, did her one better calling the vote an "outrage."
In the ensuing Yang piece, headlined: "Outrage In Wisconsin,Senate Republicans Cut Union Rights, Bypass Democrats" Yang never bothered to mention the reason Republicans passed the bill "without Democrats" was because they were hiding out, but he did make sure to include footage of protesters repeatedly chanting "Shame!"
Which side of the Wisconsin battle over public-sector union bargaining does the Associated Press favor? Here's an easy way to tell. A Thursday morning report by Scott Bauer from Madison has this list of quoted people in the story:
1. Protesters (shouting "The whole world is watching!")
2. Sen. Dale Schultz, moderate Republican who voted against Gov. Walker's bill.
Here is how the Associated Press and reporter Scott Bauer headlined and opened their 10:09 p.m. report (saved here at host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) on the Wisconsin Senate's collective bargaining-related vote tonight:
The Wisconsin Senate succeeded in voting Wednesday to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers, after Republicans discovered a way to bypass the chamber's missing Democrats and approve an explosive proposal that has rocked the state and unions nationwide.
The graphic cap below from this post by Ann Althouse, who has been on the scene in Madison frequently during the past few weeks, says it all about the AP's coverage:
On Monday, in a story I will link after the jump, the Associated Press reported that on March 1 the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association (MTEA) dropped a lawsuit it initiated last year over the school district's refusal five years earlier to cover a prescription drug the union described as "an issue of discrimination, of equal rights for all our members” (that link will also appear after the jump).
So the questions submitted for our readers to ponder are these:
1) What drug was involved?
2) How much has the district spent defending itself against the lawsuit?
Less than two weeks into his new gig anchoring the 3 p.m. Eastern hour at MSNBC, Martin Bashir has already called the Tea Party "disingenuous," hailed Obama's response to the crisis in Libya, and supported raising taxes on the rich.
This afternoon Bashir added another item to that liberal laundry list.
While President Barack Obama was delivering a speech on education reform in Boston, the former ABC "Nightline" anchor seized on the opportunity to advance the fallacious narrative that Republican governors across the country are trying to vilify public school teachers.
Never let it be said that Ed Schultz isn't fair. Why, just yesterday he was putting in a good word for German national socialism.
Schultz, who has yet to encounter an infrastructure project that didn't make him swoon (an infatuation he shares with fellow MSNBCer Rachel Maddow), had this to say on his radio show with sidekick James Holm while complaining about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker rejecting a passenger rail line between Milwaukee and Madison (audio here) --
Remember during the peak of Bush Derangement Syndrome in the previous decade when it seemed that liberal media members had forgotten all of our nation's history prior to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003?
On Monday's "The Ed Show," the host went into a tirade about Wisconsin governor Scott Walker with seemingly no recollection of last year's healthcare battle (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In a short video on the New York Times's website, Brian Stelter, the paper's media reporter, comments on the "interesting" trend of cable news reporters "taking sides" in the Wisconsin budget battle - with Fox News on the right and MSNBC on the left, of course - and supposedly twisting facts to fit partisan narratives.
Asked about commentators "looking for a certain narrative on the way in" - even when the facts don't support it - Stelter singled out Bill O'Reilly and Ed Schultz as indicative of the trend. But he needn't look so far from home. The Times's own partisan pugilist, Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman, has consistently twisted facts in an effort to fit the Wisconsin debate into a leftist narrative.
Kate Zernike, Tea Party-beat reporter for the New York Times, whose reporting on the movement is marked by hostility and unfounded suspicions of racism, switched to the pro-union left-wing protests in Wisconsin for the front of the Sunday Week in Review, “As Goes Wisconsin...” The subhead: “The Midwest’s legacy of labor activism -- and conservative pushback -- are both in play today at the Capitol in Madison.”
Zernike set out the contradictory history of labor in Wisconsin before moving on to the top names on the liberal enemy’s list, Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who is demanding limits on public-sector unions, and the Koch brothers, whose vast philanthropy includes donations to groups all along the political spectrum.
The Media Research Center is out with another edition of our bi-weekly Notable Quotables newsletter, a compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media. Highlights from this issue include: Network reporters contrasting left-wing union protests in Wisconsin with recent uprisings against brutal Middle Eastern dictators, and journalists suggesting a “coordinated” Republican “assault on unions,” with MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski badgering Governor Scott Walker: “How this is not an attempt to crush the unions.”
In other NQ news, we think we’ve finally fixed the problems that have plagued MRC’s e-mail newsletters over the past few weeks, so if you’d like to subscribe (or unsubscribe) to Notable Quotables or any of the MRC’s other fine newsletters, click here.
Now, here’s a sample of our best quotes from the past two weeks, including six video clips — for the full edition (Web page or full-color, printer-friendly PDF), visit www.MRC.org.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman doesn't believe education is the key to solving America's economic woes.
Quite the contrary, in his recent article "Degrees and Dollars," the Nobel Laureate argued that the path to a more prosperous nation is for unions to have increased bargaining power and for everyone to have "free" healthcare:
The New York Times on Sunday offered an extraordinarily sober prediction: if the state of New York doesn't rein in spiraling costs of public employees, it will find itself unable to provide even essential services.
Despite clearly tying the problem to the power of New York's public employee unions, the Times editorial board assured readers that it's still pro-labor and is opposed to what Gov. Scott Walker is doing in Wisconsin:
For the fourth time in the last five weeks Evan Thomas has taken a political position quite contrary to the other liberal panelists on PBS's "Inside Washington."
In Friday's installment, Newsweek's assistant managing editor not only took on regulars Mark Shields and Nina Totenberg but also ridiculed the New York Times (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It's approaching three weeks since the budget battle began in Wisconsin and Alan Colmes still doesn't understand some of the facts.
On Saturday's "Fox News Watch," the perilously liberal commentator claimed Gov. Scott Walker exempted policemen and firefighters from his budget repair bill as a payback for their support during last November's elections (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Radio Equalizer blog found an amazing statement from Rosie O'Donnell on her satellite radio show: the Wisconsin budget crisis "I feel like this is the most important issue our nation is facing right now, and has for the last fifty, sixty years." Forget the civil rights struggles, the Cold War, or the impeachment battles of two presidents. Rosie also emphasized the bizarre left-wing concept that Gov. Scott Walker was like Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak:
There's apparently over 100,000 people in the freezing cold in Wisconsin standing there, and they have been for the last eleven days? It took seventeen days to get the government in Egypt to stop abusing their citizens after thirty years of rule...
I believe the people of Wisconsin were inspired by watching the people of Egypt ... stand up to tyranny and dictatorship, a thirty-year dictatorship taken down in seventeen days of peaceful protest. The people in Wisconsin deserve our support ...They are us.
Shep Smith: putting the liberal balance into Fox News Channel's fair-and-balanced reporting . . .
On Fox Report this evening, Shep sneered at Gov. Walker's budget-repair bill, sniffing at it as "so-called" reform, sarcastically adding that as far as union members facing layoffs are concerned, "it's no repair to them."
Later, interviewing FNC's White House correspondent Mike Emanuel, a nervous Smith sought reassurance that Florida wasn't heading down Walker's Wisconsin path.
Liberal radio host and reined-in MSNBC flamethrower Ed Schultz has provided another example of his erratic reverence for the Constitution, specifically that pesky First Amendment.
On his radio show Wednesday, Schultz harkened back to halcyon days of yore involving "old Democrats" made singular by their intolerance for discussion of that most sacred cow, Social Security (audio here) --
With all of the union strife in Wisconsin, Indiana and New Jersey, and indications of more to come, it might be time to shed a bit of light on unions as an economic unit.
First, let's get one important matter out of the way. I value freedom of association, and non-association, even in ways that are not always popular and often deemed despicable. I support a person's right to be a member or not be a member of a labor union. From my view, the only controversy regarding unions is what should they be permitted and not permitted to do.
According to the Department of Labor, most union members today work for state, local and federal government. Close to 40 percent of public employees are unionized. As such, they represent a powerful political force in elections. If you're a candidate for governor, mayor or city councilman, you surely want the votes and campaign contributions from public employee unions. In my view, that's no problem. The problem arises after you win office and sit down to bargain over the pay and working conditions with unions who voted for you.
Leftist blogger Ian Murphy is "a liar who broke every rule of journalism," with his phone call to Gov. Scott Walker in which he pretended to be conservative donor David Koch, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told the audience of last night's "Hannity."
The Media Research Center founder was reacting to CNN having practically promoted Murphy's prank by awarding him the title "Most Intriguing Person of the Day" on February 24 and by plugging his website, BuffaloBeast.com, on air.
Had Murphy been a CNN employee, he'd have been fired for his unethical and highly partisan manuever, Bozell noted, citing none other than CNN's own media reporter/critic Howard Kurtz. What's more, Bozell added, the media have been silent about Murphy's rabid left-wing rantings in the past, such as in 2008 when he wrote a piece entitled, "F**k the Troops" in Iraq.
Video embed and link to MP3 audio follow the page break
Earlier today, my Examiner colleague Mark Tapscott wrote on the left's tendency to create political bogeymen and then accuse them of just about everything under the sun. There's a bit more that needs to be added in the context of the left's newest bogeymen, the newly infamous Charles and David Koch. Just like they did previously in their attacks on the likes of Kenneth Starr and Richard Scaife, lefties are once again playing fast-and-loose with the facts regarding the Kochs.
Fortunately, lawyer John Hinderaker over at the Power Line blog has engaged in some industrial-strength deconstruction to debunk two hit-pieces against the Kochs and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker put out by Think Progress blogger Lee Fang. He goes through each piece point-by-point and demonstrates that when it comes to the Koch Industries and the environment (and everything else), there is no truth to the leftist smears. Both pieces (1 and 2) are must-reading.
Here's just a taste of the debunking (Fang quotes or summaries are in bold):
Here's more evidence that Newsweek keeps sinking as a credible "news" outlet. In their "Conventional Wisdom Watch" box in the March 7 issue, their top entry is an Up arrow for "Dirty Tricks." Media ethics, schmethics. The honored trickster is so-called "journalist" Ian Murphy of the "Buffalo Beast" for calling Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and pretending to be a capitalist, which he is certainly not. They explained: "Journo prank-calls Wisconsin governor. But is his refrigerator running?"
Typically, when Barack Obama declared he would not defend the Defense of Marriage Act, Newsweek gave an Up arrow for "Love," with a rainbow flag flying in the arrow. "Obama won't defend gay-marriage law. White House quits its stone-walling." Newsweek defines a Justice Department defending federal law as it presently exists "stone-walling."
During a report on the latest developments in Wisconsin for Wednesday's CBS Early Show, correspondent Cynthia Bowers proclaimed that the 14 Democratic state senators who fled to Illinois to block Governor Walker's budget proposal from passing have "become heroes to protesters." She lamented: "Now comes word, albeit from a Republican, some may be ready to come home and concede."
Bowers used the "hero" label following a sound bite from one of the fugitive state senators, Jon Erpenbach: "For him [Walker] to use dedicated public servants who clear our roads, take care of our sick, teach our kids, as poker chips is ridiculous." At the end of her report, news reader Jeff Glor wondered: "Any timetable right now, as far as you know, of when those Democratic senators might return to Wisconsin?" Bowers replied: "No. But the Senate Majority Leader did indicate to us that some of them want to come home. It's just a matter of how to finesse it, so they don't appear to be the bad guy in this with their constituents, and the protesters."
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Laura Ingraham interviews Assemblywoman Litjens.
As NewsBusters reported Tuesday, a Wisconsin Democrat Assemblyman vulgarly assaulted a Republican Assemblywoman last week disgracefully saying to her after a procedural on the state's budget, "You are f--king dead!"
Although the story was first broken by a Wisconsin radio station at 12:53 PM Monday, America's supposedly civility-minded media have almost completely boycotted it with the following exceptions: