One of the largest Muslim organizations in North America is considering plans to build a summer camp on 114 acres of land in the Adirondacks. Via the Albany Times Union:
“The Islamic Circle of North America, a Muslim advocacy group based in New York City, hopes to raise money to develop a camp for children and families of all religions on land donated to it last year.”
The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), based in Queens, New York, is not devoid of controversy in a history that spans over 40 years, yet there is scant mention of these controversies by the media. The Times Union article states that, “U.S. law enforcement agencies have investigated, but never prosecuted, ICNA for terrorist connections.” And there is coverage of a fundraiser involving speakers having made anti-American statements in the past, which is quickly justified by saying, “the meeting raised money for homeless women.”
But the ICNA has so much more to offer in the way of newsworthiness, including an event involving radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, as well as a link to the presently relevant Muslim Brotherhood.
Earlier this afternoon, the House of Representatives voted for an amendment to a spending bill that would strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding.
Much of the debate on the measure happened last night, including a speech in opposition of the move by a Democratic congresswoman, Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who recalled her own abortion procedure.
After the vote came down today, ABCNews.com's Matthew Jaffe and John Parkinson posted an article that was skewed in favor of supporters of Planned Parenthood, featuring a video of Speier's nearly 3-minute-long speech and quoting heavily from that speech.
"Amendment Passes Despite Stunning Personal Testimony From Rep. Jackie Speier," lamented the subheadline to the story. [see screen capture after page break]
The fate of former Luzerne County, Pennsylvania Judge Mark Ciavarella is in the hands of a jury tonight.
After an initial media slip-up that occurred and was quickly "corrected" when he and a fellow judge were indicted two years ago ("Un-Name That Party" proof here), Ciavarella's party affiliation (Democrat, natch) has gone virtually unmentioned.
One such non-party-identifying example (overall details to follow) this evening comes from the Associated Press's Michael Rubinkam. Those who are unaware of the outrages allegedly perpetrated by the these judges need to brace themselves:
The Associated Press's Scott Bauer opened his report ("Wis. lawmakers flee state to block anti-union bill") from Madison, Wisconsin today by completely misrepresenting the nature of the legislation involved in the current standoff:
Faced with a near-certain Republican victory that would end a half-century of collective bargaining for public workers, Wisconsin Democrats retaliated with the only weapon they had left: They fled.
Wow. That's pretty serious. Any reasonable reader of that paragraph would believe that evil Republican Governor Scott Walker and the GOP-controlled legislature aim to end all collective-bargaining rights, break up the Badger State's public-sector unions, and relegate them to the ash heap of history.
But that's not what's at stake, as Bauer himself, after repeating the falsehood in his 34th paragraph, finally revealed what his definition of "elimination" is in Paragraph 36:
On Wednesday, with a bit of an assist from the Census Bureau's seasonalizers, the Associated Press's Derek Kravitz, with the help of Martin Crutsinger, covered the Bureau's just-published January data on housing starts and building permits. Though no one could accuse the AP pair of excessive cheerleading, they missed the most important comparison: How did January 2011 compare to January 2010? The answer: It was worse.
A brief unbylined Associated Press item today with a 9:15 a.m. time stamp, which appears to be based solely on an e-mail to an AP reporter (no other source for the quotes are cited), tells us that Nir Rosen seems to be backtracking from his Twitter claim of being "ashamed of how I have hurt others" in his comments about CBS reporter Lara Logan, who was sexually assaulted by a Cairo mob on February 11.
The report also has an odd final sentence (not in the screen grab which follows) that could reasonably be interpreted as an admission that wire service personnel either saw or knew of what happened to Logan, and failed to report it:
If you had to narrow it down to one person, the mainstream media's favorite evangelical Christian would probably be the politically liberal Richard Cizik.
The former National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) vice president resigned from the NAE in December 2008 after having made public statements to the effect that gay marriage and abortion were politically negotiable issues for Christians of good conscience. Before then he was actively involved in getting evangelical Christians to align with liberals on global warming-related legislative initiatives.
Twice on Monday (here and here), I took serious issue with the opening sentences of two Associated Press stories on Uncle Sam's fiscal situation.
First, there was Martin Crutsinger's Sunday stinker, which described the level of spending in President Obama's yet to be released 2012 budget as "$3 trillion-plus," timed so that early morning news readers, radio listeners, and TV viewers would hear it. Too bad that the real number, which the AP reporter acknowledged later on Monday, is really $3.73 trillion. If you think that's bad, the administration projects that total spending this year during fiscal 2011 will be $3.82 trillion.
Then there was Monday's muff by the AP's Andrew Taylor, who absurdly claimed that the federal government has only had "two years of big spending increases." It's actually three out of four if you use Obama-Geithner accounting, and four out of four if you flush their accounting tricks out of the numbers.
The inability to get through an opening sentence without insulting reasonably informed readers' intelligence seems to have spread to USA Today. Look at how the paper's Paul Davidson opened his story about what probably ought to be called "Son of Stimulus" in the hopefully unlikely event it ever becomes a reality:
On Friday's O'Reilly Factor, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly held ABC and NBC News to account for failing to cover the recent Planned Parenthood video stings conducted by the pro-life organization Live Action: "Fox News and CNN covered the...tapes extensively and CBS News did as well...However NBC and ABC News both ignored the situation....it was a pretty big omission." [Audio available here]
O'Reilly challenged two liberal political science professors on the lack of coverage and the reasoning behind it. Speaking to Dr. Caroline Heldman of Occidental College and Dr. Mark Sawyer of UCLA, O'Reilly cited the Media Research Center's reporting of ABC and NBC's silence on the issue: "Brent Bozell's organization basically says this is a pattern, because those news organizations are liberal and they like abortion – not like abortion – but they support abortion rights. They don't want to bring any attention to this kind of stuff." Both networks have continued to ignore the story.
Back in August and September, Lachlan Markay at NewsBusters did roundups of media infamy in connection with the exposure and subsequent arrests of eight officials and politicians associated with Bell, California. The cases involve abusively excessive salaries and benefits paid and allegedly kept secret from the city's residents.
During the August episode of media malfeasance when the story was first breaking, Markay found that "of the 351 stories (found vis Lexis Nexis) on the then-brewing controversy, 350 had omitted party affiliations, and one had mentioned they were Democrats only in apologizing for not doing so sooner." In September, when eight arrests were made, he further noted that "ABC, CBS, the Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, USA Today, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and the San Francisco Chronicle all reported on the arrests today without mentioning party affiliations."
Naturally you would expect, in reporting some of the seamier details found in court documents filed on Monday, that the Associated Press's John Rogers would again fail to tag Bell officials as Dems, and of course he didn't. Too bad -- he could have noted how these donkeys described themselves as pigs (bolds, which should not be missed, are mine):
It's going to be a long year for those of us who review Associated Press reports Uncle Sam's finances for evidence of bias and ignorance. Sometimes it seems that it would be easier to highlight the rare examples of fairness and balance.
Take the first sentence of Andrew Taylor's report on President Obama's 2012 budget (please; that goes for his report and the budget). It, in combination with the oh-so-predictable headline, makes you want to stop reading on in disgust (for the purposes of this post, I did endure the whole thing; bold is mine):
On Thursday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that Us Weekly's web site briefly posted a satirical item as legitimate news.
The satire item was about Sarah Palin criticizing Christine Aguilera's infamous National Anthem botch at last week's Super Bowl on Sean Hannity's Monday radio show. Palin didn't even appear on Hannity's show on Monday. Once caught by gossipcop.com, Us Weekly pulled the item.
The same cannot be said of Time.com. Time was also apparently fooled, but seems to be pretending that it knew the item was satire all along. Readers can judge for themselves from the graphics which follow.
UPDATE: The full text of the referenced Dallas Morning News item, courtesy of Rich Noyes at the Media Research Center, is here (posted for fair use and discussion purposes).
While looking for something else, I accidentally stumbled across a 2007 item in my blog's archives that makes the current soft media treatment of the Muslim Brotherhood even more outrageous than it already appears.
In September of that year, the Dallas Morning News, covering the Holy Land Foundation terrorist funding trial, directly described what had been learned about the Muslim Brotherhood and its goals -- not in Egypt, but the in U.S. (link is to excerpt at my blog; DMN article is no longer available at Dallas.com or in the ProQuest library database):
Muslim Brotherhood’s papers detail plan to seize U.S.
Somewhere in the bowels of the MSNBC newsroom, a decision was made today to devote considerable coverage to getting to the bottom of a disconcerting juvenile epidemic: car surfing.
That's right, the "fearless gamble" that is "all the rage" among American teenagers, according to NBC News correspondent Kerry Sanders, is an important enough story for a national cable news network to send one of its intrepid reporters to give live reports throughout the morning and into the mid-afternoon.
While the topic of car surfing received substantial coverage on "Jansing & Co." with Chris Jansing, "News Live" with Contessa Brewer, and "News Nation" with Tamron Hall, the recent sting operation that uncovered employees at a New York City Planned Parenthood office offering advice to a man posing as a pimp who admitted to exploiting minors as sex slaves received but a scant 30-second news brief during the 10 a.m. hour of "Jansing & Co."
James Taranto, who writes the “Best of the Web” column for the Wall Street Journal online, continues to be on fire on the subject of New York Times hypocrisy over “violent” political rhetoric. His Monday column opened with another moral excoriation of the Times, based on its Saturday editorial endorsing the latest cause from Common Cause, a left-wing advocacy group. An excerpt:
The New York Times editorial page, a division of the New York Times Co., on Saturday endorsed Common Cause's personal attack on Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. As we explained Friday, Common Cause, a Washington-based corporation, is complaining about Scalia and Thomas's having joined Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, the 2010 decision that overturned a law criminalizing certain political speech by corporations.
After arguing that “Common Cause's complaint is not only meritless but frivolous,” Taranto quoted a damning excerpt from the Times editorial.
Justice Scalia, who is sometimes called "the Justice from the Tea Party," met behind closed doors on Capitol Hill to talk about the Constitution with a group of representatives led by Representative Michele Bachmann of the House Tea Party Caucus.
At the top of Tuesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Erica Hill cheered President Obama's supposedly pro-business move of speaking at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday: "Obama's olive branch. The President reaches out into hostile territory and meets with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, urging the private sector to start hiring."
Introducing the later report on the speech, co-host Chris Wragge touted the event as Obama's continued "effort to make peace with big business," despite the Chamber being "a group that he has battled ever since he took office." Senior White House correspondent Bill Plante noted how "Mr. Obama pledged to work on lowering federal spending, revising the corporate tax code, and eliminating some federal regulations." What the coverage failed to point out was that 43 major new regulations were imposed by the Obama administration in 2010.
Today on CNN's Newsroom, anchor Kyra Phillips reported on "Confession: A Roman Catholic App," available from iTunes. Describing herself as a "woman of the cloth," Phillips claimed the app meant ". . .you don't have to go to church. You don't have to go see the priest. All you do is you go on to this app. . ." She also said the app is endorsed by the Vatican.
She was wrong on all counts. Designed to assist Roman Catholics in examining their consciences while preparing for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the app doesn't end the requirement to go to church (in most situations) and see a priest. Moreover, while the developer does indeed claim an imprimatur from the Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, that doesn't signify Vatican endorsement.
On Monday's Newsroom, CNN's David Mattingly continued his network's unbalanced coverage of homosexual issues with his proclamation that a lesbian couple raising kids in Jacksonville, Florida are "part of a new face on the old Bible Belt." Mattingly devoted four sound bites to the couple and the "pro-gay church" they attend, as opposed to only one from a local pastor who supports traditional marriage.
The correspondent began his report by noting that "Latisha Bines and her partner, Misty Gray of Jacksonville, Florida, are part of a new face on the old Bible Belt: same-sex couples, raising children, turning to pro-gay churches for support and acceptance." He also played two clips from Bines and Gray, one from a soccer game where they cheered on one of Bines's children.
Mattingly continued by highlighting a recent study about homosexual couples:
The search for ways to rehabilitate the Obama administration in the eyes of the public is seemingly a never-ending enterprise at the Associated Press.
Oh, they slip up occasionally. Late last week (covered yesterday at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), in an item primarily about how Congress really, really can't stop planned stimulus spending (uh-huh), the wire service's Brett J. Blackledge let slip that President Obama's stimulus program is "politically unpopular." In noting that the government wasn't able to spend the funds as fast as intended, Blackledge also indirectly confirmed an obvious truth the President admitted to the New York Times that he needed almost two years to learn: "there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects."
So what do you do if you're "The Essential Global News Network" and need to recover? Why, you find something that appears to be working (sort of), and rename it "stimulus." Voila! See how easy that is?
According to Brett J. Blackledge at the Associated Press, when it comes to unspent stimulus money, cue the MC Hammer ("U Can't Touch This") and go away.
In a Friday "analysis" in the wire service's "Spin Meter" category (HT Sweetness & Light), Blackledge, using words which clearly communicate which side he's on, in essence tells those whose goal it is to reduce federal spending to a more sustainable level that they're going to have to go somewhere else to find money that can't be spent.
There are a couple of silver linings in Blackledge's otherwise leaden analysis. First, he admits in his very first sentence that the stimulus program is "politically unpopular." Second, he notes that the government wasn't able to spend the money as quickly as promised in the heady days of February 2009, when passage of the stimulus bill that no one had time to read was supposedly the only thing preventing economic Armageddon:
April 1984 was the U.S. economy's 19th post-recession month while Ronald Reagan was President. It was a month during which the government initially reported that the unemployment rate remained at 7.7%, while the number of jobs added was 269,000. By the time the government made all its subsequent revisions over the next few years, the final jobs-added figure was 363,000.
On May 5, 1984, in an example of what Tim Graham at NewsBusters cited on Wednesday of the press's poor economic reporting during the Reagan era, the New York Times's Robert D. Hershey Jr. (link is to Proquest Database article copy, presented for fair use and discussion purposes) did what he could to downplay the good news, highlight the bad news, and create an impression that the good times might not last long, The report doesn't have the intense negativity found in many press reports during the George W. Bush era, but there is definitely an undercurrent of surprise and disappointment that things were going so swimmingly:
Someone needs to tell the Associated Press's Jeannine Aversa and Christopher Rugaber that just because the number of unemployed people declines, it doesn't mean that they "found work."
That must be what the pair believes. Their error-riddled and suspect supposition-driven Friday afternoon report, whose title predictably focused on the unemployment-rate drop while ignoring the pathetic increase in seasonally adjusted jobs, actually made that claim (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
On Thursday, Louisiana Federal District Court Judge Martin Feldman found that the Obama Interior Department was in contempt of his ruling that the offshore oil drilling moratorium, imposed by the administration in 2010, was unconstitutional. After Feldman struck down the initial drilling ban, the Interior Department simply established a second ban that was virtually identical.
While the story was reported on Thursday by wire services like the Associated Press and picked up by frequently cited internet news sites like Politico, the television media, including ABC, NBC, CBS, and CNN, all ignored the story.
"These reporters are going to eat their words in a big way," NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell predicted on last night's "Hannity" regarding the mainstream media personalities who have credited President Obama with the popular uprising against dictator Hosni Mubarak in Egypt:
What happens when the government crumbles? What happens when this country is reduced to utter anarchy? What happens when the killings begin and the death begins? Are they still going to credit Barack Obama's soaring oratory for that, or are they going to separate them? What happens if an Islamic caliphate takes over? Are they going to credit his soaring oratory at that point? No they won't.
Indeed, Fox News host Sean Hannity noted during the February 3 "Media Mash" segment, the media have glossed over the radicalism of the Islamic Brotherhood, portraying the Islamist movement as a benign force for democratic reform, not as an extremist group that would impose sharia law in Egypt.
On Wednesday, the inarguably correct Mark Levin, aided by flashbacks to monologues earlier in the week, laid out in detail the rule of law standoff the Obama administration has created in choosing to defy Monday's federal court decision declaring Obamacare null and void and continuing its implementation as if the ruling doesn't exist.
In the process, he also ripped in to the clear establishment press double standard at work.
Choice excerpts follow (internal links added by me; bolds refer to media-related comments; the rest is important for grasping just how serious this is):
Poor Associated Press National Writer David Crary. He doesn't seem to like what LiveAction.org did at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Perth Amboy, New Jersey in mid-January, and wants to make sure his readers leave his writeup with some level of doubt about the legitimacy of the group's undercover video showing a clinic manager willing to provide assistance to a pimp for his underage hookers.
His report yesterday, with an accompanying headline seemingly designed to avoid identifying the video's content opened thusly (bold is mine):
On Wednesday's O'Reilly Factor, guest host Laura Ingraham devoted two segments to Lila Rose's latest undercover video showing how Planned Parenthood aiding and abetting the covering up of sex crimes. During the first segment, Ingraham interviewed the pro-life activist. The conservative talker then debated Fox News contributor Jehmu Greene, who defended Planned Parenthood.
On the other hand, the Big Three networks' prominent morning and evening news programs have yet to cover the secret videos.
The guest host's two segments on the controversy came just before and after the bottom of the 8 pm Eastern hour. After playing a 30-second video clip from the undercover video, Ingraham turned to Rose and noted Planned Parenthood's claim that the video only showed an "employee gone bad."
The activist replied that Planned Parenthood's complicity was much broader (see the entire interview of Lila Rose here):
This year, MSNBC celebrates Presidents' Day with Chris Matthews's February 21 documentary “President of the World: The Bill Clinton Phenomenon.” The Impeached One has become, says MSNBC in its press release, "a hero to peoples across the globe."
It'd be great if Matthews questioned Clinton on a matter that, at least for a time, was a subject of considerable interest to the MSNBC host: the former president's personal behavior. On February 2, 2007, Matthews interviewed Ann Lewis, who served as Clinton's Director of Communications and then White House Counselor. In 2007, she was senior adviser to Hillary Clinton's campaign. Part of the interview:
MATTHEWS: Is Bill Clinton going to be a problem in this campaign?
LEWIS: Absolutely not.
MATTHEWS: Is he going to behave himself?
LEWIS: Bill Clinton has been around—in the first place, he‘s been around the world saving lives.
Yesterday the pro-life activists at Live Action released a video of a sting operation they conducted at a Planned Parenthood office in New Jersey. The video clearly shows the office manager giving counsel to a couple posing as pimp and prostitute who claimed to have minors employed as prostitutes, some from out of the country.
Yet despite the shocking content of the video, neither ABC, NBC, nor CBS covered the story in their February 1 evening news programs. Likewise the February 2 "Good Morning America," "Today," and "CBS Early Show" also failed to cover the story.