One of the biggest concerns journalists have had since the explosion of blogs on the Internet is that people with no training in reporting will post “news” without verifying information obtained from a single person or uncertain sources.
An example of what can go wrong when such a procedure isn't followed was a blog posted on March 29, 2012, by Logan Smith claiming that South Carolina governor Nikki Haley -- considered by many to be one of the GOP's “brightest stars” at the time -- was about to be indicted on tax fraud charges, something that never happened and led to a defamation suit against the blogger, who was later slammed as an “idiot” and a “clown.”
During the 2011-2012 controversy over Wisconsin's Act 10, the establishment press, led by the Associated Press, clearly took sides against Badger State Republican Governor Scott Walker and the GOP-led legislature. No one was more blatantly biased than the AP's Scott Bauer, who repeatedly insisted in 2011 and 2012 that the law "strip(s) most public employees of their union right to collectively bargain." It does not. While Act 10 sharply limits the scope of what can be negotiated, it does not eliminate unions' right to exist, or to negotiate.
Walker will be releasing a new book, "Unintimidated: A Governor's Story and a Nation's Challenge," in November. Given the sustained national attention Act 10 received, the utlimately failed recall movement it inspired, and Walker's possible interest in seeking the nation's presidency in 2016, it's reasonable to believe that the AP would have wanted to carry Bauer's Monday morning review of the book as a national story. But thus far, it has not. I believe it's because Bauer comes across as a fundamentally dishonest and embarrassingly partisan sore loser.
One of the media’s recent race-baiting memes is to claim that voter ID laws are being proposed by Republicans to suppress minority votes.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is in lockstep with this falsehood, and claimed without producing any evidence on Tuesday’s Hardball that conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham was wrong when she recently said such laws were nondiscriminatory (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Has Glenn Thrush at the Politico thrown up the white flag on Democrats regaining control of the House until 2022, the first election cycle after the next wave of congressional and statehouse redistricting? If so, he clearly underestimates Republicans' ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but I digress.
It would appear that Thrush has thrust himself into the throes of despair, based on the bolded sentence seen after the jump from his Friday report on how 2010 losses of control of the U.S. House and especially control of so many statehouses and state legislatures "still haunt" Dear Leader Barack Obama:
None of these facts about Ted Strickland's record got into Alexander Burns's Tuesday coverage of Strickland's decision at the Politico. Instead, readers were treated to a narrative which made Strickland's fundamentally deceptive attempt to keep his job in the 2010 election seem almost heroic (bolds are mine throughout this post):
In an item which talks about a "secret retreat" planned by eight senators which is so "secret" that it's getting a two-page story, the Politico's John Bresnahan and Jake Sherman write that "If polls stay steady, (House Speaker John) Boehner will be at the helm of a House filled with Republicans disappointed that Obama will have another four years in the White House."
Uh, last time I checked, pollsters' results can hold steady or go in whatever cooked or uncooked directions they wish, and they still won't determine the outcome of the election. Ballots by voters and the presumably accurate inclusion and counting of such ballots will. Besides, as will be shown, there are even more valid reasons to question poll results now than in the past. Several paragraphs from the rest of B&S's BS, which is apparently designed to get the country ready to accept "revenue" (i.e., tax) increases, follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post).
Artur who? The seems to be the question at the New York Times and the national site of the Associated Press. Searches on former Congressman Artur Davis (in quotes at the Times, not in quotes at AP) return nothing relevant and nothing, respectively, even though Davis appears to be the only African-American current or former congressman to leave the Democratic Part and become a Republican in decades. As noted yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the AP treated the story as a local item yesterday, and the Washington Post carried the AP's story in its Metro local section.
It appears that the two entities might be using the old "Well, Politico covered it, so we don't have to" excuse. On Tuesday of last week, the online publication filed a story reporting rumors that Davis was changing parties. Two days ago (updated yesterday), Alex Eisenstadt made it appear as if anger and not political philosophy largely drove Davis to switch:
CBS chief White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell and Republican strategist Bay Buchanan had a bit of a tussle about women in the workplace on Sunday's Face the Nation.
When Buchanan said opportunities for women are currently unlimited, O'Donnell strongly disagreed claiming, "There is a glass ceiling in politics" which led the conservative to correctly point out this is largely due to women's personal choices rather than anything nefarious (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Kathleen Parker this weekend demonstrated that even so-called “conservative” media members long for the death of the Tea Party.
On the syndicated Chris Matthews Show, the Washington Post columnist predicted, “The Tea Party’s not going to have the same clout in the 2012 election as they did in the last cycle” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Thursday's CBS Evening News, Elaine Quijano touted a charge from Pennsylvania Democrats that the new voter I.D. law there "targets poor and elderly voters." Quijano also spotlighted that, according to unnamed "Pennsylvania court officials," there were no cases of "voters convicted of fraud in the last five years." However, in late 2010, the AP reported on a credible allegation of voter fraud in the state.
Anchor Scott Pelley introduced the correspondent's report by trumpeting how "Pennsylvania has just enacted one of the toughest voter I.D. laws in the country. It will require voters to provide a photo I.D. at the polls this November. Republicans say it's about preventing voter fraud. Democrats say the real target is the poor."
In her profile of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback on Wednesday, the Washington Post's Annie Gowen went through the predictable leftist checklist of things that should supposedly cause the rest of America not to like him. A state taken over by "tea party fervor"? Check. "Slashed" funding for "schools, social services and the arts"? Check. Imply that his predecessor, radical proabort and ObamaCare implementer Kathleen Sebelius, is a "moderate," and that he is somehow breaking a tradition of moderation? Check. Finding an old-line Republican who thinks he's going too far? Check. Oh, and mentioning that the eeeeeevil Koch brothers, who like the guy and have given him money (that might have something to do with the fact that Koch is headquartered in Wichita)? Check.
Here are excerpts from Gowen's report (HT Norma at Collecting My Thoughts, whose reaction is "Something good is happening in Kansas"; bolds are mine):
Time magazine's editor-in-chief Richard Stengel was asked on Sunday's Reliable Sources to respond to NewsBusters criticizing the inclusion of the Occupy Wall Street movement into Time magazine's "Person of the Year" award, given to "The Protester." In contrast, the Tea Party which helped the Republicans win a landslide election victory in 2010 earned only runner-up status in Time that year.
CNN host Howard Kurtz asked Stengel straight-up about criticisms of the magazine's bias: "Now, some of the criticism of this cover selection comes from the right, the conservative site, NewsBusters saying, 'Time is so liberal that it could not consider the Tea Party protest as a 'Person of the Year' entry, but that's not true with Occupy Wall Street.' Your response?" [Video below the break.]
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):
Political analysts across the country were closely watching votes on two key initiatives in Ohio Tuesday to get a sense as to where the nation is on the power of labor unions as well as the President's signature piece of healthcare legislation.
On MSNBC's Morning Joe Wednesday, the failure of Ohio's Issue 2 - which strikes down Governor John Kasich's (R) anti-collective bargaining law by public unions - was raised several times as a major defeat for Republicans, but not once in three hours did the overwhelming passage of Issue 3 - which effectively makes ObamaCare illegal in the state - surface.
Did David Gregory realize just how much he was letting down the mask and revealing his liberal bias? On today's "Meet The Press," Gregory stated as a simple declarative fact that Republicans have a "harsh stance" on immigration reform.
Did Gregory simply forget the "some say" fig leaf so favored by the MSM? Or is the MTP moderator so lost in the liberal media cocoon that he can't imagine anyone disagreeing with his assertion that the GOP view is "harsh"? View the video after the jump.
Dennis Miller on Wednesday weighed in on Newsweek's disgraceful cover of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).
Speaking with Fox News's Bill O'Reilly, America's favorite conservative comedian said, "Tina Brown is a mean girl" and "Michele Bachmann should not trust the mean girls on the Left" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Liberal bias is rampant among the media, but there is no more tangible example of it than in how the media treat Conservative women. The most recent cover of Newsweek features a very wide-eyed Michele Bachmann, looking surprised and unattractive. Perhaps more disturbing is the caption Newsweek placed below the presidential candidate's photo: "Queen of Rage."
Bachmann, an attractive 55 year-old mother of five, is a three term member of the House of Representatives, constitutional conservative and prominent voice of the Tea Party movement. But if you get your information from liberals or the mainstream media, you might know her as 'crazy,' a "zombie" a"phony-ass broad" and a "skank."
Fareed Zakaria on Sunday blamed the Tea Party for the "extraordinary polarization in Washington today."
"It's ideologically extreme, refuses to compromise, and cares more about purity than problem solving," Zakaria told viewers of the CNN program bearing his name (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Last night (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that the State of Minnesota, where the government is shut down but spokesman for the Department of Public Safety Doug Neville is somehow still working, is demanding that MillerCoors pull its products from Gopher State store shelves within days, and identified a number of questions non-inquisitive Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter Eric Roper should have asked and didn't.
One of the questions which didn't make my list, which wasn't intended to be comprehensive, is: "How much money is involved?" As seen in the headline, the answer is so trivial that it almost costs more to think about it than to say what it is. The potential embarrassment over this matter may partially explain why Democratic Farm Labor Governor Mark Dayton appears to have sued for peace this morning (covered later in this post). Readers will also have a hard time believing the penny-ante amount over which retailers whose "buyer's cards" have expired will from all appearances be prevented from buying alcoholic beverages for resale.
Well, I guess it's getting serious now in the melodrama known as the Minnesota state government shutdown.
If the Gopher State shutdown goes on much longer, hundreds of bars and restaurants will lose their ability to serve alcohol because they can't renew their liquor licenses. Worse, as reported by Eric Roper at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, MillerCoors, whose "brand license" somehow expired, will, be forced to "pull its beer from Minnesota liquor stores, bars and restaurants." The economic ripple effect will have a lot of Minnesotans crying in their beer, if they can find any.
If there's a less curious reporter than Eric Roper, I don't want to meet him. I've seen pet rocks with more curiosity than the Strib reporter demonstrated in the linked report. Consider the following paragraphs which Roper relayed without any hint of an attempt at follow-up:
In their Sunday evening coverage of the Minnesota government shutdown, Associated Press reporters Steve Karnowski and Amy Forliti failed to mention any form of the word "tax," failed to mention "spending" in the context of government outlays, and fretted that a prolonged shutdown might cause a "brain drain" from state government.
The failure to bring up taxes is clearly the item's most egregious oversight, since the shutdown is all about taxes, specifically Democratic Governor Mark Dayton's refusal to sign a state budget that doesn't contain tax increases on high income-earners.
Looking for updates on the Connecticut state budget mess earlier this afternoon, I searched the Associated Press's national site on the last name of Democratic Nutmeg State Governor Dannel Malloy, and found nothing recent (graphic saved here for future reference).
But there were two stories originating from the state which the wire service, the nation's de facto news gatekeeper, deemed worthy of national attention. Brace yourself.
I had to do a double take when I looked over this afternoon's dispatch out of St. Paul, Minnesota from Patrick Condon of the Associated Press.
Readers unfamiliar with the Gopher State budget impasse to this point would fail to learn from the AP report that the dispute is all about raising taxes. Democratic Governor Mark Dayton wants tax increases on "the wealthy" (which really means high income-earners, whether or not they happen to be wealthy). The state's top marginal tax rate is already a very high 7.85%.
Dayton has chosen to shut down the government because the Republican-controlled legislature won't pass a budget containing his desired tax increases. It really is that simple. Minnesota's government is closed (actually, partially closed) because Mark Dayton chose to close it. Period.
In his coverage of this weekend's We The People Convention in Columbus, Ohio early Saturday morning, Columbus Dispatch reporter Ben Geier found it "surprising" that many attendees would "go after the Republican Party and House Speaker John Boehner" in expressing their opinions relating to developments in Washington. It's as if he's totally unaware of what the movement's leading members and its grass roots activists have been saying (and proving) since the first anti-stimulus rallies in early 2009 (and at earlier events--see this comment below), since Utah Tea Partiers unceremoniously ousted supposedly entrenched incumbent Bob Bennett in May 2010, and since Ohio Tea Partiers ran serious but largely unsuccessful opposition candidates for State Auditor, Secretary of State, and the State Republican Party's Central Committee slots that spring.
Since Rip Van Geier missed it, here's the message: The Tea Party movement isn't about propping up a party; it's about electing sensible, Constitution-following conservatives to political office regardless of party, revising state and federal laws to reflect constitutional principles, and of course educating the general populace about those principles and their importance.
In the past few weeks, Gov. Rick Scott has traveled around the state extolling the accomplishments of the recent legislative session and promoting his success in pushing Florida down a more conservative, financially sound path.
Gov. Rick Scott at the budget signing in May, which was marred by reports that some Democrats were removed from the event
So why is his approval rating the lowest of any governor in America?
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.