If you're going to write an article blasting the opposition for distorting facts, it absolutely behooves one to double check all of their own statements for accuracy.
Such is the case of Joan Walsh, Editor-in-Chief of Salon, who recently penned a piece titled, The Shame of Right-Wing "Journalism". The article includes the sub-heading, "Andrew Breitbart and Tucker Carlson distort facts to smear liberals, and it works. What liberals should learn."
Apparently, it didn't take long for liberals to learn at all, as Walsh was quickly called out by Chris Hayes of The Nation, feeling it necessary to make ‘a factual correction' in the piece.
Oh, sweet irony.
Walsh updates her piece with Hayes' response at the end, and admitting to the error, but it remains an amusing endeavor to combat alleged distorted facts with actual distorted facts.
The problem, as Hayes explains it to Walsh (emphasis mine throughout):
Memo to media members wishing to invite the Tea Party Founder on your show, or use him as a source for your biased reports: He isn't exactly who you think he is.
Since the NAACP voted to condemn extremist elements in the Tea Party, news networks, sites, and liberal blogs have rushed to include ‘Tea Party Founder', Dale Robertson, in their reports. Problem being, Dale Robertson as Tea Party anything has frequently and thoroughly been, um ... ‘refudiated'.
Despite this, the media has a history of holding Robertson up as a shining example of Tea Party racism. Why? Robertson once demonstrated a level of ignorance that boggles the mind by holding a sign reading "Congress = Slaveowner, Taxpayer = (N-Word)", at a Houston Tea Party Society (TPS) event.
The reality however, is that Robertson has predominantly self-described, if any, links to the Tea Party movement, while legitimate factions of the movement have had to repeatedly distance themselves from the man. Robertson was expelled from the event at which he was holding the aforementioned sign on the very same day. He was formally denounced in a statement released by the Houston TPS. He was called ‘no friend' of the Tea Party at Pajamas Media, and mocked at RedState. He was shown to be for his infamous sign, before he was against it.
So logically, the media has decided to help further the cause of the NAACP by bringing Robertson back out of the shadows. Since word of the the NAACP resolution got out, Robertson's name has appeared at...
On Sunday, CBS' Bob Schieffer admitted that he was on vacation the week before he interviewed Attorney General Eric Holder on "Face the Nation," and thus he had not heard the story of the Justice Department dropping the Black Panther voter intimidation case.
Bernie Goldberg believes him – and noted that Schieffer is simply living in the world of the New York Times, like other media elites. "I believe every word he said," Goldberg told Bill O'Reilly on Monday night's "The O'Reilly Factor."
"And the reason he doesn't know anything about the story...is because the story wasn't in the New York Times. That is the only world Bob Schieffer and all the other Bob Schieffers live in."
Managing Editor's Note: Earlier today, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell demanded that the media cover the explosive video footage of an NAACP banquet speaker admitting her racist views and abuse of power that led to her resignation as a Department of Agriculture official yesterday. The full text of that statement is found below:
The liberal media are deliberately spiking the shocking video that reveals an NAACP banquet speaker admitting her racist views and actions. We’ve waited a full 24 hours to see if any coverage of this exposé would surface. So far, nothing but crickets. The ABC, CBS and NBC evening and morning ‘news’ shows have all failed to even mention the damning video admission that is dripping with disdain for white people and that caused the official to tender her resignation.
Worse yet, it comes from the NAACP, the same organization that has feverishly accused the Tea Parties of racism. The thoroughly untrue accusation against the Tea Parties has been propped up and propelled by the incessant reporting of these same networks. Yet they decide to thwart this story about the NAACP.
The only thing more newsworthy than the charges of racism are the hypocritical charges of racism. The media must report this scandal.
The New York Times today touted two polls that supposedly demonstrate support for the Democratic position on unemployment benefits. But a further examination of the poll questions reveals that their findings were inaccurate; the questions misrepresented the issues at play, and the Republican position on the matter.
"Two national polls published last week suggest that most Americans are on [Democrats'] side of this debate," wrote Dalia Sussman. How she knows that fact is a mystery, given that the GOP argument -- that benefits should be extended and paid for with unused stimulus funds -- was never offered as an option to those polled.
Both polls asked, essentially, if respondents thought it was more important to extend unemployment benefits, or to preserve PayGo rules. Majorities said they thought extending benefits is more important. But under the GOP plan, the two are not mutually exclusive. Nowhere in either poll were respondents asked whether they would favor paying for extended benefits with unused stimulus funds. Neither the Times nor anyone else can accurately claim that voters favor one approach over the other since the GOP position was not an option.
"For ABC to be giving aid and comfort to these lies is absolutely disgraceful," Bozell argued on the July 16 "Media Mash" segment on FNC's "Hannity."
Also discussed on Friday's appearance was how the media persistently insisted that ObamaCare would not allow for federal funding of abortion and that conservative critics were misleading the public by claiming as much. Now, months after Democrats strong-armed generally pro-life Democrats into scuttling their objections and voting for the health care overhaul, MRC's CNSNews.com is reporting on how abortion will be covered on health insurance in at in at least two states under ObamaCare provisions.
"The reality is Doug Johnson and the National Right to Life Committee nailed this one right on the head.... It was true, it's perfectly true," Bozell noted of conservative warnings of taxpayer-subsidized abortion under ObamaCare.
During his visit to Holland, Michigan on Thursday, President Obama spoke with NBC's Chuck Todd. NBC aired the interview on the NBC Nightly News and The Today Show. (On Friday morning, NB's Geoffrey Dickens covered a separate aspect of that interview relating to the recess-appointed Donald Berwick.)
In reporting on that interview, the Associated Press quoted the President as telling "NBC" (i.e., Todd) that midterm congressional election results could come down to "a choice between the policies that got us into this mess and my policies that got us out of this mess." I prepared a post (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) that relied on the AP's quote. It turns out that the AP misquoted the President. I'll get to what Obama really said shortly.
But there is a also a significant omission in the transcript of the interview carried at the Page, Mark Halperin's blog at Time/CNN. I wouldn't know whether NBC, its transcription service, or the White House is responsible for it, but portions of Todd's questions relating to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs's acknowledgment that Democrats could lose control of the House in this fall's congressional elections are missing.
Both errors are visible in revisions I have a made to the relevant portion of the transcript that follows (the original video is here for those who wish to hear it for themselves; excerpted portion begins at about the 7:55 mark):
It's not a stretch to believe that the folks at the Associated Press would rather not report bad news from that communist workers' paradise known as Cuba.
Just look at how the wire service has dealt with clearly significant news about the island nation's economy. Though the news, carried originally at the Miami Herald, is three months old, the AP as best I can tell finally got around to writing a story about it late Friday, the beginning of a summer weekend when few are following the news closely. How convenient.
Here is some of what the Herald's Juan O. Tamay reported on April 19:
Raúl Castro admits that Cuba has one million excess jobs The figures on unproductive workers in the government and its enterprises surprised even some Cuban economists.
The stunning figure was revealed by Cuban leader Raúl Castro himself: The Cuban government and its enterprises might have more than one million excess workers on their payrolls.
The Associated Press is among many news organizations which have been ignoring the now-sworn testimony of J. Christian Adams, the whistleblowing lawyer who first asserted almost three weeks ago that there is "profound hostility by the Obama Civil Rights Division in the Justice Department towards a race-neutral enforcement of civil rights laws."
Adams resigned from the DOJ after the following sequence of events:
On Election Day 2008, armed men wearing the uniforms and jackboots of the New Black Panther Party were posted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the entrance to a polling site. They brandished a weapon and intimidated voters. After the election, the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice brought a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party and these armed thugs. I, and other Justice lawyers, obtained an entry of default after the defendants ignored the case against them.
Before a final judgment could be entered, however, our superiors ordered dismissal of the claims.
A search on "Christian Adams" (not in quotes) at the AP's main site returns nothing relevant. Sadly, that alone is not exceptional.
Given the above background, what is shocking, even to those of us who think they've seen it all from the wire service, is AP reporter Meg Kinnard's coverage of a South Carolina murder and "group" that wants it declared a hate crime. Guess who (bolds are mine):
Yesterday Hassan Nemazee was sentenced to 12 years in prison for running a Ponzi scheme some proceeds of which were funneled into Democratic campaigns. The New York financier was no stranger to liberal Democratic politics, having served as national finance chairman for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign and New York state finance chairman for John Kerry's 2004 presidential run.
Yet in reporting the development, both the Washington Post and the New York Times downplayed the story.
The Washington Post ran a five-paragraph AP squib in its page A3 digest headlined "Former Democratic fundraiser sentenced."
The New York Times not only buried the story deep in its July 16 edition on page A22, "Nemazee Gets 12 Years for Stealing $292 million," it failed to note that Nemazee served as a finance chairman on two Democratic presidential campaigns, painting him simply as a donor:
UPDATE, JULY 18: This post was based in an Associated Press's quote of a statement President Obama made to NBC News that "my policies ... got us out of this mess." Subsequent review of the video and transcript of that interview shows that the President really said "my policies ... are getting us out of this mess." I have prepared a follow-up post dealing with this matter and a separate significant omission in the transcript at BizzyBlog and NewsBusters.
What follows are the first three paragraphs from this short AP report on President Obama's interview with NBC:
It's bad enough the federal government's official budget deficit has topped $1 trillion for the second year in a row, according to the just-released June 2010 Monthly Treasury Statement. But, focusing only on receipts for the moment, a closer look makes it obvious that the situation is even worse than it appears. Don't expect the establishment press to take any interest in the annoying but revealing details that follow.
Here is what Martin Crutsinger of the Associated Press wrote about federal collections in his Tuesday report on Uncle Sam's current month and fiscal year deficit:
Through the first nine months of the current budget year, government revenues have totaled $1.6 trillion, up 0.5 percent from the same period a year ago.
It has become clear that the Democratic establishment does not have as much of an interest in press freedom as they would have the public believe. But what is even more telling is the media's spotty response to censorship efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.
On Wednesday, House Natural Resouces Democrats rejected an amendment that would ensure press transparency in the Gulf. The amendment came mere days after the Coast Guard rescinded a policy keeping journalists at least 65 feet from "essential recovery efforts."
Offered by Rep. Paul Broun, pictured right, the amendment stated: "Except in cases of imminent harm to human life, federal officials shall allow free and open access to the media of oil spill clean up activity occurring on public lands or public shorelines, including the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.”
Since the amendment's defeat, the response from the mainstream press has been a deafening silence.
During the previous presidential administration, the liberal media were more than happy to promote the Left's allegations of improper political interference by Bush officials in the workings of the federal government. The Bushies improperly revised government scientists' conclusions, bullied CIA analysts over their interpretation of Iraq intelligence, and perhaps worst of all, politicized the Justice Department, the media insisted.
Yet when it comes to a serious charge of political interference by Obama appointees at the DOJ involving voter intimidation, Newsweek's David Graham dismisses the charge as simply another effort by conservatives at "staging an effective piece of political theater that hurts the Obama administration."
As we've noted here at NewsBusters, the liberal media virtually ignored the story about how a DOJ career attorney's case against a New Black Panther member was dropped in May 2009 under the okay of an Obama DOJ appointee.
Now with attention being cast by conservatives on the media's bias by omission, folks like Graham are coming to the defense of the media by painting the matter as a non-scandal, evidenced in part by the conservative media outlets that have been the ones at the forefront of reporting the story:
In October 2007, I put up a BizzyBlog post (also cross-posted at the Cleveland Plain Dealer's short-lived Wide Open Blog) about William Garner (pictured at right), the Ohio man who killed five children (three of them and the lone survivor also pictured at right) to cover up a burglary in 1992.
At the time, it appeared that Garner's date with the executioner had been indefinitely called off, for specious Miranda-related reasons that you have to read to believe (and even then, it will be difficult).
On Tuesday, Garner's attempts to avoid his death sentence ultimately failed. Sadly, the Associated Press's unbylined coverage of his execution by lethal injection Tuesday allowed Garner and his lawyers to put forth one final batch of half-truths and untruths that require refutation (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
An Ohio man said he was "heartily sorry" for his carelessness (1) before he was executed Tuesday for the murders of five children in a 1992 Cincinnati apartment fire he set in an attempt to destroy evidence of a burglary. William Garner, 37, died at 10:38 a.m. at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, 18 minutes after the lethal injection began.
Once again, it's clear that reading editorials and op-eds at publications like the Wall Street Journal and Investors Business Daily becomes a requirement to be truly informed when a Democratic administration in power.
On July 6, Peter Ferrara at IBD noted that the annual report from the trustees of the Social Security and Medicare system is long overdue, and wondered why:
Are Overdue Reports Concealing ObamaCare Impact On Medicare?
Every year, the Annual Report of the Social Security Board of Trustees comes out between mid-April and mid-May. Now it's July, and there's no sign of this year's report. What is the Obama administration hiding?
An outraged electorate has just handed Japan's ruling party its hat in elections for half of the seats in the upper house of that country's parliament in a direct reversal of election results from a year ago. Opposition parties made major gains.
The results constitute a resounding rejection of a massive value-added tax increase proposed by a guy whose immediate predecessor of the same party sounded an awful lot like the U.S. President Barack Obama when he led his party to a historic victory a year ago. But, as will be shown later, you wouldn't know that from reading the Associated Press's coverage of Sunday's returns.
But first, a bit of background: The 2010 version of Naoto Kan (pictured at top right in an AP photo) is round two of an attempt by the country's Democratic Party (no direct relation that I know of, but philosophically they're nearly clones) to "remake" the island nation. If that sounds depressingly familiar, it should. The parallels of Kan's same-party predecessor's victory to Barack Obama's 2008 electoral win are eerie, as this August 2009 election night report from Eric Talmadge the Associated Press will demonstrate (bolds are mine):
Japan opposition wins landslide victory Vote seen as a barometer of frustrations over high unemployment, falling exports
One reason to hope that the Big 3 networks continue to muddle through their awful evening news ratings and somehow hang around is that there's an alternative out there that would be much worse.
If any of the networks ever considered outsourcing their nightly newscasts to the Associated Press, the likely result could be bad enough to make some long for the (relatively) good old days of Brian, Diane, and Katie.
An object example of the AP's pathetically one-sided, biased and completely not-transparent video reporting came last Tuesday when it covered the Department of Justice's lawsuit against Arizona's illegal immigration enforcement measure. The 1070 law tells police to verify citizenship status in "contact" situations (e.g., traffic stops and other routine matters) if they have a "reasonable suspicion" that the person or persons involved aren't here legally.
AP's go-to "expert" acts as if it's a given that the United States government has decided that being here illegally ("without documentation") isn't a crime. Seriously. During the 104-second report (first go here, then type "Arizona immigration" in the search bar near the bottom, and select "Fed. Suing to Block Ariz. Immigration Law"), AP reporter Brian Thomas interviewed no one who defended the law's constitutionality.
While devoting all of Sunday's Face the Nation to an interview with Attorney General Eric Holder, CBS host Bob Schieffer failed to ask a single question about the Obama Justice Department dropping a voter intimidation case against the Black Panthers or allegations that the department has adopted a policy of ignoring such cases.
Schieffer discussed a range of topics with Holder, from the federal lawsuit against Arizona's immigration law, to a potential criminal investigation into BP, to the trial of terrorist Khalid Shaik Muhammed and closing Guantanamo Bay. At the end of the interview, Schieffer even asked about Holder's infamous comment that the United States was a "nation of cowards" when it came to discussing race.
However, the Face the Nation host failed to use that comment as a transition to the Black Panthers case, despite the fact that former DOJ attorney Christian Adams recently testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, accusing the department of adopting a policy of refusing to pursue voter intimidation cases that involved black defendants and white victims.
Preconceived notions are dangerous things in journalism. They cause one to assume facts that aren't in evidence, leading to false or incomplete results.
A classic example has played out in the nearly three months since Arizona passed its "1070 law." Among other things, it mandates that law enforcement officials verify citizenship status in situations involving police contact if they have a reasonable suspicion that someone is not in the country legally.
It seems that virtually everyone covering the story has been assuming that Arizona's law is the first of its kind. Well, maybe as a "law" it is. But in Rhode Island, of all places, Boston Globe reporter Maria Sacchetti finally noticed on July 6 (HT Hot Air) that police have been doing what Arizona will start doing on July 29 since 2008 as a result of a gubernatorial executive order:
R.I. troopers embrace firm immigration role In contrast to Mass., they report all who are present illegally
Remember when media liberals were insisting (falsely, by the way) that RedState's Erick Erickson had advocated shooting a census taker? Well imagine that a journalist had approached, say, Dick Armey and the following exchange had ensued. Then try to imagine what the media's response would be.
JOURNO: Obviously you don't believe in killing census workers.
ARMEY: Umm, not in that context, no sir. No, no.
JOURNO: Okay, in what context?
ARMEY: Just for the sake of this interview, no context. I don't believe in that. There are too many other government forces out here that are much more powerful that I as a man would focus on. I wouldn't focus on the census workers, sir, I'd focus on the police.
Replace "census workers" with "babies" and "government" with "white," and you have the exact statement from Malik Zulu Shabazz, leader of the New Black Panther Party, made in an interview with Mediaite's Tommy Christopher (video below the fold).
Update: CBS earlier declined comment on Johnston apology.
On Friday's CBS Early Show, fill-in co-host Erica Hill confessed Levi Johnston's apology for making false statements about the Palin family was "highly under-reported." During the 'Early Wrap' segment, Hill told a panel of media pundits: "My favorite story of the week, which was highly under-reported...is that Levi Johnston came out and said....Some things he said about the Palin family were not true."
It's interesting that Hill used the phrase "under-reported," when CBS did not cover Johnston's admission at all since he made the statement in a Tuesday interview with People Magazine. Meanwhile, the network, and the Early Show in particular, heavily promoted Johnston's claims about the Palins last year.
Update: In a Wednesday article entitled "Will Levi's apology lead to media corrections?," Michael Calderone of Yahoo News observed: "Johnston used to have a lot to say. And the media — whether they were news, politics or celebrity outlets — listened. He appeared on the 'CBS Early Show,' 'Entertainment Tonight' and 'The Tyra Banks Show.'" Calderone attempted to get a response from CBS on Johnston's apology but they "declined comment."
In response to Hill, panelist Joe Levy, editor-in-chief of Maxim Magazine, dismissed the revelation: "Wow. So, a teenager who breaks up with his girlfriend says untrue things about her and her family? That is a shocker. I don't think that's ever happened before." Fellow panelist, Daily Show correspondent Olivia Munn, chimed in: "I think he needs to apologize for his Playgirl spread first and then go to the Palins....Because America is hurt, first and foremost, and then some people in Alaska."
"You would think that if you are NASA, your mandate is return us to the moon, take us to Mars.... No, according to the President of the United States, the mandate of NASA is to make Muslim people feel better about themselves," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell quipped this morning on "Fox & Friends."
The Media Research Center founder was referring to the under-reported story of how NASA administrator Charles Bolden told Arab news network al-Jazeera in an interview that President Obama had tasked him with outreach to the Muslim world to "find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering."
"We have to hitch a ride with the Russians if we want to go to outer space, but the mandate of NASA is to make Muslims feel better about themselves. You figure that one out," Bozell complained, adding, "You'd think that might be a news story."
The GOP as the party of obstructionism: it's a tried and true media meme, but very often falls a tad short of the truth. Yet on occasion, even stubborn facts are not enough to dispel such accusations.
Some in the media have taken President Obama's recess appointment of Donald Berwick to the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as an occasion to bash purportedly obstructionist congressional Republicans. Just one problem: the GOP didn't hold up the nomination.
In fact, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, which would have had jurisdiction over Berwick's appointment, said he "requested that a hearing take place two weeks ago, before this recess." Presumably, Grassley wanted to shine light on some of Berwick's more controversial positions, such as support for the rationing of care and his advocacy of the use of the health care system to redistribute wealth.
This morning CNNMoney.com reports "Jobless claims slide in latest week." The article starts:
The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance fell last week, according to a government report released Thursday.
There were 454,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended July 3, down 21,000 from an upwardly revised 475,000 in the previous week, the Labor Department said.
A problem with the story is the numbers are, according to the Department of Labor, "seasonally adjusted" with a statistical technique designed to accommodate fluctuations in the job market. DOL's release paints a more sobering picture:
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 463,560 in the week ending July 3, an increase of 22,560 from the previous week.
On Wednesday's Newsroom, CNN's Tony Harris omitted the pro-illegal immigration activism of guest Isabel Garcia, just as his colleague Suzanne Malveaux did more than two months earlier. Harris twice referred to Garcia as merely the "deputy public defender in Pima County, Arizona," and didn't mention her involvement in the beating and decapitation of a pinata effigy of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The anchor brought on the activist, as well as Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, the author of the state newly-passed anti-illegal immigration law, for two segments starting 10 minutes into the 11 am Eastern hour. After asking Senator Pearce's position on the federal government's new lawsuit against the enforcement of his law, Harris turned to the public defender: "Isabel, you've been patient. Weigh in here."
Garcia (her pro-illegal immigration organization, Coalición de Derechos Humanos, whose website features a logo incorporating the southwestern states into Mexico, was identified on-screen as the "Human Rights Coalition") immediately went on the offense against Pearce, playing the race/ethnicity card against the Republican politician:
The first six words (bolded by me) of Deb Riechmann's report from Kabul, Afghanistan for the Associated Press are refreshing:
"We are in this to win," Gen. David Petraeus said as he took the reins of an Afghan war effort troubled by waning support, an emboldened enemy, government corruption and a looming commitment to withdraw troops - even with no sign of violence easing.
It would have been even more refreshing if the AP's Riechmann, who obviously felt compelled to tick off as many of the reasons Petraeus and the troops he leads may not meet the goal as quickly as possible, would have reminded readers that Petraeus's boss, President Barack Obama, has been decidedly allergic to using the words "win" and "victory" in Afghanistan since his inauguration. One of her later paragraphs presented a perfect opportunity to remind readers of the president's aversion. She passed; she shouldn't have.
Petraeus, thankfully, feels no need to hold back, as noted later in Reichmann's report (bolds are mine):
Those looking for evidence that there is a move afoot in the establishment press to lower the bar for whatever economic accomplishments might be accomplished during the Obama administration will be interested in how the Associated Press's report on the government's June jobs report defined "normal" unemployment.
Perhaps it's valid for reporters Jeannine Aversa and Christopher Rugaber to refer to 6% unemployment as "normal," if by that they mean "typical non-recessionary" or "long-term average" unemployment. But I couldn't help but remember that during the Bush 43 and Reagan years, unemployment rates just above and occasionally even below that level were described by wire service reporters and other journalists as "persistent unemployment" -- i.e., decidedly not "normal." I quickly found several AP and other reports from those eras that confirmed my recall of what is now a demonstrated double standard.
Here is the opening sentence from the AP report, followed by the term-redefining paragraph (bold is mine):
At the Associated Press, Kelli Kennedy's Thursday report on fraud and abuse in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which is well done in several aspects, nonetheless significantly understated its losses.
The AP dispatch deals with a now-released Government Accountability Office report on the results of investigations in nine states.
Here are the first four paragraphs of Kennedy's report (HT David Freddoso at the Washington Examiner), including reference to a woman who is LIHEAP's version of a welfare queen:
A federal program designed to help impoverished families heat and cool their homes wasted more than $100 million paying the electric bills of thousands of applicants who were dead, in prison or living in million-dollar mansions, according to a government investigation.