On Sunday, The Daily Beast's Lizzie Crocker touted Femen's "gangs of attractive, topless women condemning religion, agitating against misogyny, and fighting dictatorship," as she introduced her interview of Inna Shevchenko, a prominent member of the radical feminist group from Europe. Crocker prominently featured a picture of Shevchenko wearing nothing but jean shorts at a protest in an attempt to emphasize this characterization.
The reporter noted how the members of the anti-Christian group refer to themselves as "sextremists," and pointed out some of their beyond crude tactics (which has not only included topless protesting, but also public urination). While Crocker also highlighted Femen's general hostility to religion as a possible "totalitarian instinct," she failed to mention that they have specifically targeted and disrupted Catholic Masses and events.
It would be easy to dismiss the attempt by the leftist groups Credo Mobilize and Forecast the Facts to prevent the Washington Post from publishing Charles Krauthammer's February 20 column ("The Myth of 'Settled Science'") as the whining of immature children who cover their ears and say "la-la, we can't hear you, and we're going to shut you up" every time they come across inconvenient facts.
Howard Kurtz takes the failed effort more seriously, and properly so, given that the petitioners are constantly trying to convince WaPo, the New York Times, and eventually the rest of the establishment press to do what the censors at the Los Angeles Times have already done: stop publishing any op-ed or letter to the editor from anyone they would consider a "climate change denier." Excerpts from Kurtz's Monday "Media Buzz" post at Fox News, plus a Fox News Special Report video showing Krauthammer brilliantly summarizing his column in 89 seconds, follow the jump.
Michigan Congressman John Dingell announced his retirement today. The Democrat's career as Congress's longest-serving member will end with this session.
With the help of a related statement by President Obama, press coverage predictably placed great emphasis on Dingell's decades-long advocacy of universal health care coverage and his involvement in the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act, which used to be the law governing the scope and implementation of state-controlled health care until the Obama administration's regime of pre-implementation waivers and post-passage changes turned it into the mush which should now and forever be called "Obamacare." That emphasis on Obamacare "somehow" overlooked an infamous but truthful statement Dingell made to WJR Radio's Paul W. Smith shortly after the original law's passage in March 2010. It's the kind of statement the press would have covered when Dingell originally made it (they didn't), and would never have forgotten if it had been made by a Republican or conservative.
In a complete non-surprise given their officials' reactions last week, the United Auto Workers union has filed an appeal with the National Labor Relations Board of the election they lost at Volkswagen's Chattanooga, Tennessee plant.
As would be expected for an organization whose journalists are members of the News Media Guild, a Friday evening report by Associated Press reporters Tom Raum and Erik Schelzig emphasized the "outside intervention" of First Amendment-protected statements made by Volunteer State politicians, including Senator Bob Corker, in the runup to the balloting, while ignoring and minimizing thuggish behavior and statements by UAW supporters and sympathizers. They also saved assessments that the effort is a long-shot at best, at least on the merits, for much later paragraphs — but with President Barack Obama's NLRB, you never know. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The AP's White House correspondent, surely at the suggestion of the group she is supposed to be covering objectively, writes that President Barack Obama's forays into unilateral executive action have been good for his soul. The President's authoritarian moves have apparently also been "cathartic" for the White House staff, now reportedly "buoyed by a new sense of purpose." Isn't that sweet? Excerpts from this piece of journalistic junk follow the jump (bolds are mine):
On Thursday, Kyle Drennen at NewsBusters noted that none of the three broadcast networks had covered the intent of the Federal Communications Commission, in the words of Byron York at the Washington Examiner, to "send government contractors into the nation's newsrooms to determine whether journalists are producing articles, television reports, Internet content, and commentary that meets the public's 'critical information needs.'"
Given that the nets take many of their new prioritization cues from the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, and to a lesser extent from the New York Times, it shouldn't surprise anyone that searches at the self-described "essential global news network" and at the Old Gray Lady indicate that neither outlet has covered it. The FCC has supposedly backtracked, but not really, as Katy Bachman at AdWeek noted yesterday (bolds are mine throughout this post):
ABC, CBS, and NBC have largely punted in covering the protests against the leftist government in Venezuela. Since Monday, only NBC Nightly News has devoted a full report on the demonstrations in the South American country. Altogether, NBC has aired just over two minutes of reporting on the story. Brian Williams also stood out for explicitly mentioning the political ideology of the regime: "Many...are feeling increasingly let down by the socialist government." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The network's Big Three competitors trail far behind in their coverage, with CBS only mentioning the protests during a 24-second news brief on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. The network's evening newscast, CBS Evening News, has yet to cover the story. ABC has devoted three news briefs on its morning and evening newscasts since Wednesday, for a total of 52 seconds of air time.
Despite the disturbing news on Wednesday that the Federal Communications Commission had developed a controversial plan to investigate television and radio newsrooms across the country, the broadcast networks of NBC, ABC, and CBS completely ignored the potential threat to press freedom.
In a February 10 Op/Ed for the Wall Street Journal, current FCC commissioner Ajit Pai warned: "Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its 'Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,' or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run."
That attention makes the press's virtual inattention outside of the Nutmeg State itself to what has since been learned all the more difficult to justify. It turns out that there are now three types of so-called "assault weapon" owners in Connecticut: those who registered by the deadline, those whose registrations came in after the deadline, and those who defied the state's registration demand. As J.D. Tuccille at Reason.com reported on Tuesday, the second group is on track to having their guns confiscated, and the number of people in the third group dwarfs those in the first two — a situation which has greatly upset the political establishment, particularly the editorial board at the state's largest newspaper (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine):
According to a USA Today item carried at ABC News, "Sixty percent of adults can't drink milk." In July 2012, the New York Times ran an item entitled, "Got Milk? You Don't Need It." But the last time I checked, everyone uses electricity to some extent.
I'm bringing up these points because, as a friend showed me earlier today, the establishment press has run stories galore in the past several weeks about increases in the price of milk, but, as I noted a couple of days ago, has paid virtually no attention to coming increases in wholesale electricity costs of up to 80% which are due solely to Environmental Protection Agency regulations requiring the use of unproven and not commercially available "carbon capture" technology.
The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, had an interesting pair of headlines near the top of its raw feed yesterday.
The first headline used the typical "Republicans attack" approach any time President Obama does something objectionable, which has been quite often. The headline was "Issa Rails Against Obama's 'Imperial Presidency.'" Of course, reporter Steve Peoples didn't let readers see the exact statement Issa made, perhaps because it would have shown that he wasn't "railing" (uttering a "bitter complaint" or a "vehement denunciation") at all. The current headline at the story at AP's national site doesn't have quote marks around "imperial presidency." Clearly, Peoples doesn't think much of Issa's claim, which makes the raw feed's next headline about Obama all the more ironic:
The left constantly rants about alleged illegal coordination between conservative and Republican candidates and groups with little to no proof. At least once, when it had no evidence, it went to court to try to get a judge to allow them to engage in a wide-ranging fishing expedition to find something, anything, which might "prove" it. Fortunately, a Wisconsin judge in mid-January turned back that request involving Badger State Governor Scott Walker and organizations which independently advocated for his 2010 election and defended him against the 2012 recall effort.
James O'Keefe's latest video involving Battleground Texas would appear to demonstrate that many in the left assume conservatives routinely engage in illegal campaign activity because, well, the left routinely engages in illegal campaign activity. Watch Project Veritas's latest video after the jump, and ask yourself whether the illegal use of voter information O'Keefe exposes would be ignored by the press if a conservative or Republican organization were engaging in it:
The January 2014 New Residential Construction report released by the Census Bureau this morning was very weak. Building permits fell from December by a seasonally adjusted 5.4% (-1.3% for single-family homes). Housing starts fell by 16.0% (-15.9% single-family. The annualized single-family starts figure of 573,000 was the lowest in 17 months.
Naturally, Martin Crutsinger at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, blamed it on the weather, and promised that prosperity is coming soon in his very first paragraph. Too bad some of the data he cited clearly refutes the "blame the weather" meme.
Appearing on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told host David Gregory that former President Bill Clinton had "embarrassed the nation" while in office. However, of the three network morning shows on Monday, only CBS This Morning mentioned the political headline. ABC's Good Morning America ignored it and even NBC's Today skipped the scoop from it's own network. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
You might think that journalists would consider the prospect of sharply rising electricity costs in a nation blanketed by an extraordinarily cold, snowy winter and buffeted by its accompanying high utility bills hugely newsworthy.
You would be wrong. Searches on the last name of Julio Friedmann, the deputy assistant secretary of the Energy Department who testified at a congressional hearing on energy costs and technology last week, return very few results (here and here), none from a major general circulation establishment press outlet. One business-oriented outlet, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, covered Friedmann's testimony on the impact of the EPA's new "carbon capture" rules. In doing so, reporter Mark Drajem included some incoherence and misdirection (bolds are mine):
The folks at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, are really having a hard time processing the UAW's failure to gain the ability to represent Volkswagen's Chattanooga, Tennessee workers in an election held last week. AP journalists, who themselves are members of the News Media Guild, are exhibiting characterstics of still partially being in Stage 1 (Denial) but mostly Stage 2 (Anger) of the grieving process.
A Monday evening report by Tom Krisher and Erik Schelzig comes off more as a "put up or shut up" dare to those who opposed UAW representation than anything resembling objective reporting. The pair wants to know what Republicans are going to do achieve job growth in the wake of the UAW loss. The obvious response is that despite well-known federally-imposed regulatory barriers to job growth, Tennessee Republican Governor Bill Haslam and the Volunteer State's GOP-controlled legislature have been doing a far better than average job, if you will, of creating a conducive atmosphere for payroll employment growth in the state. But first, let's visit our in-mourning AP reporters and headline writer (bolds are mine):
Robert McCartney slimed a Northern Virginia Catholic priest in a Sunday column in the Washington Post for his decision to end his parish's relationship with the Boy Scouts for letting openly-homosexual youth to join as scouts. McCartney blasted Father John De Celles, pastor of St. Raymond of Peñafort parish in Springfield, for his supposed "diatribes against gay behavior, liberal activists and similar targets in his weekly columns."
The columnist later touted how "De Celles is in the minority" in disbanding his parish's Cub Scout pack and Boy Scout troop, and bringing in an alternative youth group that "discriminates against boys who refuse to hide their homosexuality," as he spun it. He all but called for discrimination against those who defend traditional sexual morals: "I hope and expect that those with narrow-minded views will be the ones who end up 'marginalized.'"
Democrat and former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, who has been "shadowing" Chris Christie while taking every possible opportunity to accuse New Jersey's GOP Governor of either "lying" or of being "the most inept, incompetent chief executive imaginable," tried his schtick yesterday morning on Chris Wallace's Fox News show.
Unfortunately for Ted, establishment Republican and former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove was there to do what the press should have been doing, namely calling out his blatant hypocrisy. But the clever Strickland managed to get in the last word. Viewers not familiar with the details of how Strickland's Buckeye State government went after Joe the Plumber after his preelection encounter with Barack Obama in October 2008 will likely believe that the argument ended in a standoff. That situation needs to be remedied.
The three Associated Press reports I've seen on the UAW's failure to win the right to represent hourly workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee — the first two were covered in NewsBusters posts here and here; the wire service's 3:52 p.m. report is here — all mention in one way or another what UAW President Bob King is now calling "unprecedented outside interference" in the runup to the election. (VW, which can only run the factory with the kind of "workers councils" it has at its other worldwide plants in the U.S. if its workers are represented by an outside union, supported the UAW's efforts.)
But AP reporters Tom Krisher and Erik Schelzig, as well as panelists discussing the aftermath on Melissa Harris-Perry's MSNBC program this morning, "somehow" ignored the "outside interference" of the person who holds the most powerful political office on earth. That's right. President Obama, whose National Labor Relations Board conducted the election, weighed in on Friday morning with statements at a "closed door" meeting which were clearly designed to be leaked. Here is what Richard Cowan and Bernie Woodall at Reuters reported on Friday morning (HT Gateway Pundit):
Kyra Phillips heralded Facebook's recent decision to add more than 50 gender categories on Friday's CNN Newsroom. Phillips brought on Rich Ferraro of GLAAD to boost the LGBT activist group's role in the social media website's left-wing change, and tossed softball questions at her guest: "Rich, you actually worked on this project with Facebook. So, whose idea was it, and why did it become an issue and an important move for Facebook?"
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have so far punted on reporting the strong critique of the Obama administration's "disturbing retreat from democratic practices" with regard to the freedom of the press, according to Reporters Without Borders. The U.S. fell 13 places in the international group's annual "World Press Freedom Index" for the federal government's "increased efforts to track down whistleblowers and the sources of leaks."
The organization spotlighted the controversial leaks from Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden as examples, but also included the Department of Justice's seizure of the Associated Press' phone records as a "reminder of the urgent need for a 'shield law' to protect the confidentiality of journalists' sources at the federal level." Fox News' Shannon Bream devoted a brief to the Reporters Without Borders report on Wednesday's Special Report: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
While all three broadcast networks provided some amount of coverage to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai releasing 65 dangerous Taliban insurgents from prison on Thursday despite explicit U.S. objections, none of the reporting suggested President Obama's handling of the war in Afghanistan was to blame for the "tattered U.S. relations" with Karzai's government. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At the top Thursday's ABC World News, anchor Diane Sawyer declared "American outrage" over the release, followed by White House correspondent Jonathan Karl proclaiming: "It's another low-point for already tattered U.S. relations with President Karzai, who has been trying to get his own peace deal with the Taliban."
Yesterday a federal district judge in Virginia invalidated the state's constitutional provision defining marriage as an institution between a man and a woman. The judge immediately stayed her decision until such time as an appeals panel could affirm or reverse it, but naturally the broadcast networks -- ABC, CBS, and NBC -- all covered the development today on their respective morning programs.
But another federal court, this one in San Francisco and infamous for its leftist leanings, handed down another ruling Thursday which passed unreported onthe Friday editions of Today, Good Morning America, and CBS This Morning. That decision was one striking down California's overly-restrictive concealed-carry gun law. Reported Bob Egelko of SFGate.com (h/t Human Events; emphasis mine):
NPR's Richard Knox played up a Pennsylvania judge's dismissal of a homicide case involving admitted euthanasia as "a sign that attitudes about end-of-life decisions are changing, whatever most statutes say," in a Wednesday item for the public radio network's health news blog. Knox euphemistically described the contoversial practice, as he asserted that "the [judge's] decision is the latest in a series of recent developments signaling a reluctance of courts and state legislatures to criminalize medical care that may hasten death."
The correspondent also slanted towards pro-euthanasia groups by including two quotes from a representative of an "advocacy group," while providing none from pro-life opponents.
The latest evidence that Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis can't stay true to her convictions or doesn't have any (take your pick) is her position modification on abortion. Steve Ertelt at Life News relays an underlying Dallas News item, telling his readers that "Davis said she would back a 20-week abortion ban as long as it had two exceptions, to kill disabled babies and a health exception rendering any ban meaningless." Point taken, Steven but the idea that Davis would support anything described as a 20-week ban is a significant change from the position which supposedly drove her to filibuster a Texas law last year containing the ban.
Reaction from the establishment press can fairly be described as schizophrenic ("characterized by a breakdown in thinking and poor emotional responses"), and ranges from crickets to cries of "betrayal" to amazing exercises in excuse-making.
Former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin was convicted on 20 of 21 counts of corruption and bribery today.
USA Today reporter Rick Jervis did a bit of a profile of Nagin in the course of reporting on the convictions. It included a recounting of his time at the city's helm during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. But one thing his 2:39 p.m. report predictably did not include was Nagin's Democratic Party affiliation (bolds are mine):
In a column supposedly published on Sunday but "updated" on Saturday (I'm not kidding), Collins assessed the aftermath of the Supreme Court's odious Kelo v. New London decision in 2005 in reacting to a lengthy story by Charlotte Allen in the February 10 issue of the Weekly Standard. In the process, he betrayed two erroneous mindsets about the case which I believe are common among members of the establishment press. The first is that it was purely a matter of "conservatives" backing property rights against "liberal interventionism." The second is his contention that the total lack of any development in the contested area in the nearly nine years since the Court's decision "is not that compelling beyond New London."
It may be that we can finally identify the type of criminal conviction which might cause the New England conference of the National Associations for the Advancement of Colored People to call for the removal of a state legislator.
Based on a conversation Boston Herald columnist and radio talk host Michael Graham had with the group's president, it appears that some form of felony conviction might do the trick. By contrast, a misdemeanor — apparently regardless of the nature of that misdemeanor — would not. The "if a Republican said something similar, all hell would break loose" observation will become obvious once readers see what former Massachusetts State Rep. Carlos Henriquez stands convicted of doing (HT to James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web; bolds are mine throughout this post):
As I noted Monday night (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar of the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, displayed rare candor when he opened his 8:28 p.m. report on the latest unilateral changes to Obamacare by describing their motivation as "Angling to avoid political peril." I wrote last night that "I’ll be surprised if it (the "political" characterization) survives revisions later this evening." Well, it didn't.
At the AP's national site, the 8:28 p.m. link now goes to Alonso-Zaldivar's 3:27 a.m. rendition (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes). Just in time for review by morning news show producers and editors, the new story scrubs away any hint of political thinking on the part of the administration itself, instead depositing it with Democrats trying to hold the Senate in this November's elections. A national site search on "angling" confirms the old story's non-presence. There is a politics-related quote in the revised piece — but of course, only from a Republican.
Leftist protesters trying to portray themselves as mainstream gathered in Raleigh, North Carolina yesterday to protest moves made by the Republican-dominated state government yesterday.
One of protesters' major objections is to a voter-identification law passed last year. That's more than a little ironic, because guess what organizers required march participants to have? That's right: photo identification. Though he waited 13 paragraphs to do so, Gary D. Robertson at the Associated Press, apparently aware that several prominent center-right Internet outlets had already noted the breathtaking hypocrisy (examples here, here, and here), actually told his readers about it; I could not find another establishment press outlet which did. However, Robertson, in classic AP style, cited a Republican critic instead of simply reporting the damning fact (bolds and numbered tags are mine):