Three years ago, Steve Skvara won the admiration of many in the mainstream media by basically calling for taxpayers to foot his wife’s health insurance. Now he's ba-a-ack! No longer hailed by Chris Matthews or People's Weekly World, he still manages favorable, unquestioning coverage. Today's nwi.com Web site, which bills itself as "the largest and most trusted media company in northern Indiana," carries the article "Health care spark gets a checkup." Written by editorial page editor Doug Ross, the piece starts:
In December, Steve Skvara of Union Township was hospitalized at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for 28 hours in hopes of a clean bill of health. He emerged with a bill for $96,000.
It was pleasant, he said, to have a waiter in a tux deliver his meal, but was that really necessary?
His experience is relevant because it was Skvara who lighted the fuse on the health care debate in which the nation is now embroiled.
It was on Aug. 7, 2007, that Skvara asked the seven Democratic presidential candidates what they would do to get health care to "the woman I love." Skvara explained that he lost much of his pension when LTV collapsed, and he was forced to sit across from his wife at the kitchen table, knowing he couldn't afford her health care.
One thing you can say about the Apparatchik Press -- er, the Associated Press -- is that it's leaving no stone unturned in its attempt to prop up their guy Barack Obama.
In the tenth paragraph of an AP report today by Ben Feller on President Obama's stack of priorities ("For Obama, big agenda and small window for results"), the wire service's Ben Feller bitterly clings to an AP-GfK Roper poll result that is sharply at variance with others, and assumes that it gives Obama a level of clout that doesn't exist outside the grounds of the White House:
Obama has a key edge in setting the agenda: public approval. His job-performance rating is holding mainly steady at 53 percent, while a new Associated Press-GfK poll finds that fewer people approve of Congress - a mere 22 percent - than at any point in Obama's presidency.
Well, of course his approval is 53% in AP-GfK la-la land. The poll's sample, as you can see at the top right (found at Page 31 of the 42-page PDF, consisted of 33% declared Democrats and 23% declared Republicans.
Buried in a recent New York Times profile of senior White House advisor David Axelrod was this nugget of information: he used to be a reporter with the Chicago Tribune.
The fact is hardly a secret -- the White House notes Axelrod's brief stint at the Tribune on its website. But that bit of information was an interesting element of a predictably laudatory profile. One of President Obama's chief message-men was a political reporter for a major newspaper. Who knows better how to address journalists than a former journalist?
For its part, the Times skipped over any discussion of the significance of Axelrod's experience in journalism. The paper simply noted his former position in passing.
CNN's Jim Acosta omitted the left-wing affiliation of pro-ObamaCare protesters during a report on Wednesday's American Morning, referring to them as only "health care advocates and labor groups." Acosta, like his colleague Nancy Cordes at CBS, also highlighted child protester Marcelas Owens, and labeled him a "brave young man."
Kiran Chetry and John Roberts introduced Acosta's report, and the anchors also failed to mention the political bent of the protest, which was organized by the Health Care for America Now coalition (HCAN's members include the AFL-CIO, NAACP, and Planned Parenthood). Chetry remarked that "thousands though rallied in Washington against what they call 'insurance industry bullying.'" Roberts stated that the demonstration was "one for the books."
"You know, do I hope that those people die screaming of rectal cancer? Yeah, you know, but I’m not going to spend a lot of energy on it." – Sean Penn (when addressing his detractors)
No, I’m not making it up, you can even view the video here. O’Reilly, feel free to examine his body language, though to be fair, there isn’t much of a body to work with. For those too lazy to watch the video, let me recap it for you: **Spoiler alert!** Sean Penn has decided to take the life-plunge and go full-retard. Honestly, I don’t even know what to say anymore. Clearly, his statement was made in the poorest taste possible. Even more appalling however, is that the media doesn’t seem upset about these remarks in the slightest.
Is it just me, or do the “outrageous” quotes from Limbaugh, Coulter, and Beck that send the mainstream-media into a tizzy pale in comparison to the vitriolic hatred of Penn?
The New York Times published a scathing editorial Sunday condemning Americans who have the audacity to request that attorneys who represented terrorists not set national legal policy. The Times smeared them and their elected representatives as McCarthyites, and criticized them for noting that colossal conflict of interest.
"It is not the first time that the right has tried to distract Americans from the real issues surrounding detention policy by attacking lawyers," the Times states of controversy over Attorney General Eric Holder's reluctance to inform Congress who in the Justice Department has represented alleged terrorists, and in what capacity are they now serving.
But the left has done just that -- use nominees' records as means to block their appointments -- and the Times hasn't complained. So why the sudden outrage? Well, the paper's liberal editorial board doesn't mind when the left attacks. But when conservatives demand answers, they are evil McCarthyites on a political witch hunt.
CNN's Kate Bolduan aired a slanted report on Catholic Charities of Washington's decision to no longer offer benefits to spouses of new employees on Saturday's Newsroom, playing four sound bites from proponents of same-sex "marriage" and none from opponents. Bolduan also omitted the liberal affiliation of one of the homosexual "marriage" advocates.
During the report, which first aired 11 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour (and reran during the 1 pm Eastern hour on Monday), the correspondent noted how homosexual couples could get their civil marriage licenses in DC starting on Tuesday, and that there was "controversial fallout" from the move: "Catholic Charities, the social services arm of the Archdiocese of Washington, just announced it will no longer offer health benefits to spouses of any new employees or current employees who aren't already covered under its plan. As a result, the nonprofit is effectively avoiding having to give benefits to same-sex partners, keeping with the Church's opposition to same-sex marriage."
Scher railed against the Bush tax cuts, and asserted that a 35-45 percent inheritance penalty (the estate tax or death tax) isn't punitive enough to stem the deficit crisis.
"But those massive tax breaks to the superwealthy don't quite have the same juice they used to. Especially, the estate tax - levied on the inheritances of the wealthiest heirs in America," Scher wrote. "This year, because of the Bush tax plan from his first term to gradually phase out the estate tax altogether, the estate tax is literally wiped off the books."
A Monday New York Times story by Stephanie Clifford gave one cheer to the National Enquirer tabloid for its work on breaking the news of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards's affair with Rielle Hunter, and their child. It was a story the Enquirer pursued almost alone and which could earn it an unprecedented Pulitzer: "From Rumor to a Hint of Respect."
But the excuses Clifford forwarded on behalf of the rest of the media were unconvincing, especially regarding the Times's own steadfast silence on the burgeoning scandal.
By being the first and, largely, the only publication pursuing the Edwards story through his denials of the affair and of fathering a child out of wedlock, The Enquirer is under consideration for a Pulitzer Prize, and it has strong support for its bid from other journalists. The success has Mr. Levine considering opening a Washington bureau to look for more dirt among politicians.
The Washington Post must dislike tax cuts even more than it likes President Barack Obama. On March 6, staff writer Lori Montgomery warned that the national debt would climb by $9.7 trillion under Obama’s budget.
Relying on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) for data, Montgomery reported that the debt would be "higher than White House forecast" but not because of spending increases by Obama. Instead, she used the CBO to attack Obama's "tax-cutting agenda" continuing a media theme of portraying him as fiscally conservative despite the largest budget ever.
"Proposed tax cuts for the middle class account for nearly a third of the ($9.7 trillion) shortfall," Montgomery wrote. Her one-sided article relied solely upon the CBO and its director Douglas W. Elmendorf.
[Update, 10:48 pm Eastern: Audio & video clips added.]
On Monday's Newsroom, CNN's Kyra Phillips sympathetically interviewed a woman who unapologetically Tweeted her chemically-induced abortion as it happened. Instead of offering the pro-life viewpoint, Phillips lamented how her guest received "e-mails and the responses [which] were so brutal." The anchor later admitted that she "didn't want to get into a debate about abortion" [audio clip available here].
During the interview, Phillips tossed softball questions at blogger Angie Jackson, who is known on Twitter as "antitheistangie," or "Angie the Anti-Theist" on her blog (Phillips didn't mention her guest's political or philosophical outlook during the entire segment). After playing a clip of Jackson from YouTube.com, Phillips first asked, "So, Angie- you know, did it take a while to come to a comfort zone, that you wanted to do this? Tell me how you eventually decided, this is how I'm going to do it and I'm going to let everybody see it happen."
It's bad enough that the Obama administration ("Obama administration encouraged by steady unemployment rate") and Harry Reid (see video snippet at link) both tried to pretend that February's Employment Situation Report issued by Uncle Sam's Bureau of Labor Statistics, which showed that the official unemployment rate was the same as January's 9.7% and that 36,000 seasonally adjusted jobs had been lost, was somehow a reason to be upbeat.
As many have pointed out for months, the expanded version of the unemployment rate has been well above 15% for quite a long time, and it at least occasionally gets referenced in media reports and political pronouncements.
But on the jobs added/lost front, what the press, pundits, and even opposition politicians are continuing to ignore is the key information that leads to the "seasonally adjusted" figure on which everyone seems to fixate -- to the point where it's not unreasonable to believe that almost everyone in America believes that 36,000 jobs lost is what really occurred during the month.
It isn't. Acknowledging that, and seeing what really did happen, is key to understanding that February's result really reflected a significant deterioration in the employment situation, not an improvement.
Former Birmingham, Alabama mayor Larry Langford (pictured at right in AP photo), who is a Democrat, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Friday for bribery.
In reporting the story, Reuters did what a competent wire service should do, informing readers of Langford's party affiliation early on:
The former mayor of Alabama's largest city, Birmingham, was sentenced on Friday for his role in corrupt bond deals that threaten to mushroom into a massive U.S. bankruptcy case.
Larry Langford, a 63-year-old Democrat, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Prosecutors had sought a term of at least 24 years after Langford's conviction on an array of fraud and bribery charges last year.
As has sadly come to be expected, the same cannot be said for the Associated Press. Though it eventually got around to identifying two associates of Langford as "former Democratic Party" officials, it avoided tagging Langford. In the process, the wire service may have set a "Name That Party" record for most felony convictions (60) handed to a politician whose party affiliation was never identified.
Beyond that, it appears that no establishment media outlet has raised a few self-evident points made in a Wednesday Wall Street Journal editorial, proving yet again that the paper's editorials are as much a real news source as they are a rundown of the editorialists' particular take on things.
The critical points of the editorial (link may require subscription, and will probably not be available in a few weeks) are these:
Bunning was trying to do in practice what Nancy and Pelosi, Harry Reid and President Obama are fond of only talking about (Clay Waters also made this point in one of those NewsBusters posts).
The outrage is the result of substance-free political gamesmanship.
(Tea Partiers take note) Many of Bunning's fellow party members headed for the tall grass when the media heat commenced.
What follows are the Journal excerpts that make those points (bolds are mine):
When the networks get a story involving food, labeling and health, they know just how to cover it: get reaction from their favorite lefty advocacy group, and paint consumers as defenseless patsies. That's what CBS' "Early Show" and ABC's "Good Morning America" did on March 4.
In an alleged violation of the Federal Food Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the FDA has issued its biggest crackdowns in fifteen years, putting seventeen food manufacturers on notice for what they say are misleading product labels for consumers. The food companies have fifteen days to respond to the charges, either challenging the allegations or offering plans to change their labels.
“Despite persistent violence and a critical election coming up, President Obama hardly ever mentions the war in Iraq,” Joseph Curl reports in today’s Washington Times, and the news media are largely aiding in this neglect. Curl discloses that “the last time a White House reporter asked about the Iraq war was June 26,” while ABC, CBS and NBC aired just 80 minutes of coverage in all of 2009.
The near-media blackout means that the success of President Bush’s “surge” policy in 2007 — a policy opposed by President Obama and Vice President Biden when both were presidential candidates and ridiculed by the networks as a "Lost Cause" — has gone virtually unreported in the past year. This week’s Newsweek is an exception, with a big Iraq War cover story declaring “Victory at Last.”
This one's a particularly egregious example of party-ID dodging, even for those of us who are used to seeing the establishment media avoid mentioning the political party of almost any disgraced or troubled Democratic public official.
Former Racine, Wisconsin mayor Gary Becker, a Democrat, was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for child enticement and attempted sexual assault of a child.
John Roberts and Kiran Chetry omitted mentioning that Annabel Park, the founder of the so-called Coffee Party, worked as a volunteer for President Barack Obama's presidential campaign, during an interview on Wednesday's American Morning. The anchors also didn't mention Park's past work for the liberal New York Times.
Roberts and Chetry interviewed the Coffee Party USA founder at the bottom of the 8 am Eastern hour. After an initial question about the origin of the name, the two asked about the principles of the nascent movement and if health care "reform" was going to be a major issue for it. In her last question to Park, Chetry did ask if the Coffee Party had any ties to a political party: "[T]he tea party movement really, in some ways, has been a challenge to Republicans to move more toward fiscal conservative ideals. Are you aligned with a party? I mean, as we know, passing health care reform has been a huge goal of liberal Democrats for decades. Are you aligned with the Democrats, trying to get them more to move to the left when it comes to health care?"
LoHud.com reports (HT to an NB e-mailer) that White Plains, New York Mayor Adam Bradley "turned himself in to police headquarters ... (Sunday) morning after his wife filed a complaint with police that he jammed her finger in a door around 9:30 a.m. Bradley was then arraigned on a third-degree misdemeanor assault charge at White Plains City Court."
The web site does not identify Bradley's Democratic party affiliation, which is perhaps forgivable under a belief that most local readers might know it already.
The Associated Press has no such excuse, at least once one of its stories goes over the national wires, as this one has:
That's pretty "clever" headlining, isn't it? Given that many "suburban" mayors, even in the Empire State, are Republicans, quite a few readers will naturally believe that the city's mayor is a GOP member.
There's no reason to believe that whatever readers attempt to discern from the headline will change after they read the unbylined story, which repeats the "suburban" theme and also fails to identify Bradley as a Dem:
In a week where several news outlets recognized significant happenings involving the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), the Associated Press seems to have decided that none of them merit mention. A search on "acorn" at the AP's main site returns the following:
This search doesn't completely eliminate the possibility that AP ran local or regional stories, but I didn't locate any in a Google News search on "ACORN."
What follows is a small sample of other coverage generated as a result of goings-on at ACORN during the past week. Readers can decide whether the wire service has decided that recognizing negative news about a scandal-ridden "progressive" organization is a bad idea:
Remember Van Jones? He's trying to make a comeback, and the mainstream media seems to be lending him a helping hand in getting back into the Washington power structure. Jones, in case you don't remember, was the administration's Green Jobs Czar. He resigned after it came to light that his name appeared on a 9/11 Truther petition.
That, it turned out, was not the extent of his wackiness. He led a vigil mourning "the victims of U.S. imperialism around the world." He was an admitted communist and black nationalist. Now, it turns out, he considered Americans who shipped off to Iraq to be human shields for Saddam Hussein "heroes."
He said just that on MSNBC's "The Abrams Report" in 2003, according to a transcript of the show (relevant portion below the fold). I would post video here, but MSNBC refuses to release it:
Yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted Fannie Mae's $72 billion loss announcement and the ward of the state's simultaneous $15.3 billion handout request.
Late Friday was also the occasion for the release by the Treasury Department of the "2009 Financial Report of the United States Government." The report shows how seriously the government's financial situation deteriorated during the fiscal year that ended September 30. The coverage of the report prepared by the Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger demonstrated how weak the press's communication of that seriousness is.
After presenting the first several paragraphs of Crutsinger's composition for the purpose of providing the basic facts, I'll concentrate on the AP writer's three worst paragraphs that followed (there is also a summary table from the report at the end of this post):
After the closing bell on Friday, just in time for everyone to stop paying close attention, mortgage behemoth and ward of the state Fannie Mae ("Fan") released its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results. Its press release (PDF) informs us that its $74.4 billion loss in 2009 (inclusive of dividends paid to the government) followed a $58.8 billion loss in 2008.
Oh, by the way, Fan also told us yesterday that it will need another $15.3 billion in cash by the end of March. That would bring the total of Uncle Sam's combined Fan-Fred cash infusions to $126 billion.
These outrageous results are made even more maddening by Zibel's kid-glove treatment of the problems at the two entities in paragraphs 8 through 10 of his report:
Democrats at the Feb. 25 health summit argued that under their proposal, 31 million of the 47 million uninsured Americans would receive coverage.
CNN's "American Morning" co-host Kiran Chetry repeated that claim Feb. 26 and asked one of her guests: Kenneth Thorpe, Prof. at the Rollins School of Public Health, about its validity and the debate surrounding the statistic.
"I mean there's 47 million uninsured Americans they [Senate Democrats] argue. And when you talk to Republicans, we talked to Sen. John Cornyn yesterday - ‘No, no, no - that's a wildly inflated number," Chetry said.
"If you can't even necessarily agree on who wants and needs health insurance at various stages of their lives, how can you move forward on who is going to get it under the plan?" Chetry asked.
Earlier this afternoon, NB's Tim Graham noted how NPR's Robert Siegel and Pew Research pollster Andrew Kohut spoke approvingly of "Millennials" as being "less 'militaristic' and less religious" than their elders.
At end of his post, Graham noted that Siegel and Kohut "somehow" forgot to discuss the key political finding in the poll, namely that the demographic's 32-point favoritism towards Democrats (62% to 30%) has declined by more than half (to 54% to 40%) in just one year of living in Obamaland. Shoot, if that trend continues for another nine months, it will be almost all even by Election Day in November.
Chris Matthews is widely known for his hasty--and often erroneous--conclusions about the conservatives he criticizes on his show. He has wondered if Rush Limbaugh really believes what he says and supported claims that Joe Stack is somehow tied to the "radical right".
During last night's "Hardball", he did it again. Matthews quoted former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich completely out of context to make it seem as if he had called Obama a socialist without having any idea what the word means.
In fact, Gingrich knows exactly what the word means, and spent considerable time clarifying and qualifying his statement. These additional remarks, however, were left out of Matthews's report in his attempt to delegitimize Gingrich's argument without actually addressing it.
Upon further research and examination into the Army's complete findings on the Fort Hood shootings, in a February 22 report, the Boston Globe's Bryan Bender conceded that politically-incorrect conservatives were right all along - just not in those words of course.
Immediately after Major Nidal Malik Hasan murdered 13 U.S. soldiers November 5, major news networks and publication bent over backwards to omit Hasan's Islamic identity or to excuse the killing of 13 soldiers as a result of stress or psychosis.
Report after report, interview after interview, and press conference after press conference, reporters, politicians, and government officials warned against jumping to conclusions - in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
"I pray God when the Democrats take back control we don’t make the kind of naked power grab you are doing." - Joe Biden, 2005
Few Americans would be shocked to hear that members of Congress are not always consistent, and occasionally outright hypocritical. Very often, however, the liberal media attempts to downplay Democratic double standards and highlight Republican ones.
Each recent change in the congressional majority, it seems has brought calls from the newly dominant party for an end to the filibuster. This Democratic majority is no different.
When noting rhetorical inconsistencies, however, the mainstream media has jumped at the chance to note that Republicans, now using the filibuster as a potential means to block Democratic health care legislation, were ardent advocates of majoritarianism in the Senate only a few years ago (as demonstrated in the video below the fold).
On February 14, CNN aired both segments of its special series “Black in America," and used the opportunity to perpetuate a harmful racial myth.
In the first installment, reporter Soledad O’Brien took viewers to Project Brotherhood, a clinic in the south side of Chicago offering free medical care and advice to its black residents.
“We are seeing an increasing amount of men with resources, who are just reluctant to access services elsewhere,” Dr. Pete Thomas, a clinic doctor told O’Brien.
“Why the reluctance? Dr. Thomas says black men are afraid of being exploited – a fear caused by history and the revelation that for forty years unsuspecting poor black men were used as medical guinea pigs in the infamous Tuskegee experiments,” O’Brien said.