The Washington Post editorial page threw itself today into quite an odd political position.
The Post seems to think that Bob McDonnell, the GOP candidate for Virginia governor, should be more vocal about his opposition to abortion. His opponent, Creigh Deeds, recently attempted to make a campaign issue out of his (somewhat newfound) support for abortion rights – a strategy that the Post called “risky.” Today’s editorial, however, backed Deeds’ strategy:
Mr. Deeds's strategy of stressing abortion may work or backfire; time will tell. But to suggest, as the McDonnell campaign has, that a campaign discussion about abortion "is engaging in the politics of division" is disingenuous and wrong. Thousands of Virginians have abortions every year, a decision that touches on families and futures. It's a fair and pressing topic of debate.
That is a somewhat perplexing position. On its face, that appears to be gently pushing McDonnell to engage on an issue critical to winning over Virginia voters. The problem is, the Post’s position would throw the current debate among Virginia voters wildly off-topic, according to no less a source than a recent Washington Post poll.
Readers are advised to make peace with the Maker soon. If we are to believe the recent utterings of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (pictured at right), humanity -- or at least humanity living life as we know it -- is not long for this earth.
The Sec-Gen's August 11 speech at the Global Economic Forum in Incheon, South Korea, was so over the top that it's likely the world's media kept its coverage of the event relatively muted to spare the poor man from worldwide embarrassment. There is nothing about the speech that I could find in searches on "Ban Ki-Moon United Nations" (not typed in quotes) at the New York Times or the Washington Post. A search on the same string at AP.org at 3:30 p.m. came up empty. An identical Google News search came back with a very light total of 42 results.
Here are key paragraphs from the Sec-Gen's hysterical speech, where he also (surprise, surprise) demands large sums of money "from public and private sources":
In an August 14 report appearing on the front page of the paper's August 15 print edition ("Health Debate Fails to Ignite Obama’s Web"), Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times (pictured at right) gave readers a fairly accurate impression, while avoiding the word, of activism turning into apathy in Barack Obama's DNC- and White House-orchestrated Organizing for America (OFA) effort.
While Zeleny's report and detailed work came out of Iowa, his key finding is intended to be a national temperature gauge: "But if a week’s worth of events are any measure here in Iowa, it may not be so easy to reignite the machine that overwhelmed Republicans a year ago."
That's why it's odd, to say the least, that Zeleny ignored the results of the nationwide reignition attempt that occurred and largely failed this past week, namely its "Office Visits for Health Reform." In fact, there are some signs that "Office Visits" did OFA's cause more harm than good.
Here are some key paragraphs from Zeleny's report:
Seton Motley, the Media Research Center's Director of Communications, was on the Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck to discuss the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s new "Chief Diversity Officer," Mark Lloyd.
Chief Diversity Officer Lloyd is virulently anti-capitalist, almost myopically racially fixated and exuberantly pro-regulation. He is a frightening guy to have having any power at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). And yet that is exactly where he currently stands, astride the private radio industry he loathes like a Socialist Colossus.
It does not bode well for free speech on the radio airwaves, but as Seton says to Glenn during this appearance, "That's irrelevent to these people."
ABC News correspondent Brian Ross tried to connect the health care town hall protesters to hate groups on Friday’s GMA. Ross cited the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose left-wing political affiliation he omitted, and used two sound bites from the SPLC’s Mark Potok, who hyped that President Obama supposedly “triggered fears among...white people...that they are somehow losing their country.”
The ABC News correspondent led his report just after the beginning of the 7 am Eastern hour by underlining how it’s apparently been a “very ugly week as the rhetoric about the President and the threats against him have deeply worried the people who track this country’s hate groups.” After summarizing how police in Los Angeles arrested a man suffering from “mental problems” for making threats against the White House, and how the case is apparently part of a “disturbing pattern,” Ross played his first clip from Potok, who emphasized, “I don’t think that these are simply people who are mentally ill or...you know, kind of off their rockers. I think that...in a very real sense, they represent a genuine reaction- a genuine backlash against Obama.”
The White House's perpetual campaign site, er, home page, currently has rotating messages at the top left. Two of them relate to health care (yellow underlines are mine):
The administration would be well-advised to hold back on the blather about "blatant falsehoods" and "misinformation" until their guy in charge stops disseminating them himself.
Take Obama's claim that the surgeon's fee for a single foot/leg amputation is $30,000 - $50,000 (please).
Here, from the White House's transcript of the President's Tuesday appearance in Portsmouth, NH, is the beginning of what Obama had to say in comparing the costs involved in preventive care against diabetes to the cost of one of its potential consequences:
Topside Update, 2:15 p.m.: Imagine that -- Roxana Mayer was also an Organizing For America "host" during the Texas primary last year.
Anyone visiting here even semi-regularly knows that the establishment media consistently fails to determine the legitimacy of people who "say the right things." Further, when someone else, often a blogger, digs and finds the truth, the reporters and publications involved may sometimes grudgingly acknowledge it, but even then usually incompletely; and more often than not, they won't give credit where due.
This all-too-typical scenario has played out in the past two days in the case of a certain Roxana Mayer. In two posts (here and here), LA-area blogger Patterico, best known for his relentless skewering of the target-rich environment known as the Los Angeles Times, exposed Ms. Mayer, who claimed to be a doctor when she spoke at a town hall meeting held by Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (and who later hugged her, as seen at the top right), as a leftist fraud.
As Patterico noted in the title of his second post, Mayer's mantra ought to be "I’m Not a Doctor But I Play One at Town Hall Meetings." Patterico also showed that Mayer was also a Texas Obama delegate at last year's Democratic Convention.
At first, the Houston Chronicle took Mayer's word that she is a doctor, failed to investigate her bona fides, and reported the following:
Who says the media are monolithic in their thinking?
Yesterday we informed you of the media's serial misuse of an Obama-as-Hitler poster from esoteric left-winger Lyndon LaRouche's website, as outlets like NBC (on their Nightly News and Meet the Press), CNN and MSNBC all ascribed the poster to sentiments roiled up by talk radio host Rush Limbaugh specifically and conservatives generally.
We were entertained by the fact that all of these highly trained, keen-eyed journalists missed the words "LaRouchePAC.com" - in fairly large type - printed at the bottom of every one of the placards they used for their little reporting projects.
Well apparently CBS hasn't yet learned the lesson we had hoped to impart. In fact, last night they did the other networks one worse.
For the words "LaRouchPAC.com" are prominently visible three times (screen captures below the fold) on two different Obama-as-Hitler posters during reporter Ben Tracy's segment, yet that doesn't stop him from blaming it on right-wingers.
As the second Obama-as-Hitler poster is shown, with LaRouchePAC.com clearly visible front and center, Tracy offers up:
Does the Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger moonlight as a Code Pink operative?
There has to be something that explains what I'll call his Iraqnaphobia.
Last month (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the AP reporter erroneously cited the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as a "major factor" explaining why "the deficit has widened." In a quick review of the related June 2009 Monthly Treasury Statement, I cited three examples of higher spending in other areas of government that were larger than last year, both in dollar and percentage terms, than the $33 billion, 7% increase in total defense spending. NB commenter Arminius further pointed out that "Our military spending amounts to 5 percent of GDP. Iraq and Afghanistan amount to 15 percent of that 5 percent. Obviously, as Tom notes, larger culprits are responsible for the massive deficit."
It's simply not possible that the two wars can be a "major factor." No matter -- This month, in an otherwise fairly decent report, Crutsinger did it again (bold after title is mine):
CNN’s Elaine Quijano failed to mention the left-wing political affiliation of Wendell Potter, whom she touted to be a health care “insurance company insider” on Wednesday’s Situation Room. When her network featured a glowing segment on the former Cigna spokesman over a month earlier, her colleague Jim Acosta also omitted Potter’s work as a senior fellow for the liberal Center for Media and Democracy.
Anchor Wolf Blitzer introduced Quijano’s report, which aired just after the beginning of the 5 pm Eastern hour, and described Potter as a “one-time insurance insider...turned whistleblower on industry tactics to try to sway the health care debate.” The CNN correspondent further described the former Cigna spokesman as being part of the pro-ObamaCare forces’ arsenal: “In the heat of the summer battle over health care reform, Democrats are deploying another weapon- he’s a former insurance company insider who’s speaking out once again.”
The media have repeatedly stated how "angry," "hostile" and "ugly" town hall meetings across America are becoming. They are of course largely ascribing the nastiness to conservatives voicing their opposition to (among other things) President Barack Obama and Congress' proposed government takeover of the health care system.
The press has been particularly offended by the "extreme" use of references to Adolf Hitler specifically and Nazis generally. One image they have repeatedly used as an example of this alleged right-wing extremism is a poster of President Obama - on whose face a Hitler mustache has been Photo Shopped - bearing the caption "I've Changed."
We have compiled a video montage (at right) of just some of the recent news programs that have ascribed this Obama-with-Mustache poster to conservative town hall attendees. (The Obama-with-Mustache image itself appears just below the fold.)
What Shawn Tully's column at CNNMoney.com did on July 24 to expose the truth about what ObamaCare does to the coverage of those who have employer-provided health insurance (discussed yesterday at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the Washington Post's Charles Lane did on August 8 ("Undue Influence; The House Bill Skews End-of-Life Counsel") to the myth that ObamaCare won't have serious negative consequences for patients who begin to have serious, potentially life-ending health issues.
Mr. Lane has clearly read the bill, clearly doesn't like what he sees, and calls it out in specific detail.
He starts out slowly by creating the straw-man argument that those "on the far right" see ObamaCare "as a plan to force everyone over 65 to sign his or her own death warrant. That's rubbish."
Of course it is, but so is the claim that opponents on the right or left are saying that. Even Sarah Palin's Facebook post never mentions "euthanasia," and Ann Althouse correctly characterizes Pailn's reference to "death panels" as "a good and fair polemical expression if in fact life-saving care will be rationed on this basis (of what Palin described as “level of productivity in society")."
There is plenty of reason to believe it will be, as Lane explains (bolds are mine):
Most of the viewer responses that CNN’s Jack Cafferty read during one of his “Cafferty File” segments on Monday’s Situation Room agreed with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Steny Hoyer’s “un-American” label against anti-ObamaCare protesters. Though he surprisingly remained neutral when he presented the issue, all but one of the responses sided with the two Democratic leaders.
Cafferty devoted his 5 pm Eastern “Question of the Hour” to Pelosi and Hoyer’s USA Today editorial which ran in Monday’s edition. He summarized their talking points, and then read an excerpt from Republican Senator Mitch McConnell’s response. His question to the CNN viewers: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Steny Hoyer call the town hall protests against health care reform ‘un-American.’ Are they?”
Ten minutes before the top of the 6 pm Eastern hour, Cafferty returned with his selected viewer responses. Only one response disagreed with the Democrats’ “un-American” label, but this particular example raised a chuckle out of the CNN commentator (who earlier this year compared Pelosi to Mao Zedong).
State-controlled General Motors issued a supposedly comprehensive 8-K report to the Securities and Exchange Commission last Friday.
If you only read the Associated Press's coverage of that document's release courtesy of reporter Tom Krisher, you would at least know that:
The company doesn't expect sales to improve during the rest of the calendar year.
That the $50 billion in post-bankruptcy funding it has received (over and above tens of billions in other forms of aid ranging from bailout loan write-offs to pension relief, none of which Krisher mentioned) may not last beyond "the short-term," which in accounting parlance usually means a year.
Despite the item just mentioned, GM has taken steps to get ready for a hoped-for initial public offering next year. (Though only time will tell, yours truly, as explained below, thinks this move looks more like posturing and misdirection than anything substantive.)
All of that is nice, but the fact remains that GM produced no second quarter financial results. Further, as I noted this weekend, GM has said that second quarter financials won't be coming out for a long time, if ever.
CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen tried to assuage the elderly over their concerns with ObamaCare on Monday’s Newsroom: “If there’s one group of people who needs to worry the least about health care reform, it’s probably the elderly... [they] already have Medicare.” This claim by Cohen ignores planned cuts to Medicare benefits announced by President Obama himself back in January.
Anchor Tony Harris brought on Cohen to answer viewer questions during the first minutes of the 11 am Eastern hour. One viewer named Jake asked if he would lose his Medicare under the Obama proposal. She replied, “If there’s one group of people who needs to worry the least about health care reform, it’s probably the elderly, and the reason for that is that the elderly already have Medicare. They already have government-sponsored health insurance. Reform is about helping people who are under the age of 65. So, he really doesn’t have to worry about his Medicare.”
The late Dr. Yury Verlinsky, a scientist "who developed a technology that allows a search-and-destroy mission on human embryos" was heralded by the New York Times recently as a man who helped childless patients conceive healthy babies.
Blogs on both sides of the political aisle exploded last night, as first reports rolled in about a union event breaking out at a fight. That’s an exaggeration, of course. However, here are the facts, as far as we’re able to tell.
Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) scheduled a last-minute town hall meeting for yesterday evening, essentially tagging along on Florida State Rep. Betty Reed’s (D) already-scheduled town hall meeting. This meeting was also officially hosted by the Service Employees international Union, a highly politically active union that is a reliable ally of liberal Democratic politicians. Between RedState.com and conservative talk-radio king Rush Limbaugh, local conservative activists found out about this meeting and decided to crash the party.
The first reports came in through the Tampa Bay local media, depicting a rowdy town hall meeting interrupted by conservative activists demanding to be heard. This was a fairly straightforward story which contained simple quotes and facts, written by one William March. There was one quote which was particularly intriguing:
Kudos to Steve Ertelt at LifeNews.com (the source of the graphic at the right) and to others in the pro-life community for getting the notoriously stubborn Associated Press to effectively back down on a false claim it made about the availability of abortion services in the version of the health care bill passed by a House Committee last week.
The Associated Press is coming under criticism from pro-life advocates who say its recent wrap-up article on the health care debate is misleading.
AP writer Charles Babington wrote a "fact check" story attempting to make the case that abortion is not included in the health care bills and that President Barack Obama doesn't want it to be included.
But Douglas Johnson, the legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, says that's not the case.
CNN’s Newsroom on Thursday ran a glowing documentary-style report about a pro-ObamaCare rally on Capitol Hill that was organized by a coalition of left-wing organizations. Anchor Heidi Collins introduced the report without referencing any of the organizers, which included ACORN, MoveOn.org and SEIU. The report also featured a former Obama campaign operative who pushed for the president’s plan.
The report, filed by CNN photojournalist Jeremy Moorhead, first ran 19 minutes into the 10 am Eastern hour of Newsroom, and ran again two hours later during the noontime hour. Collins introduced Moorhead’s report and described the apparent steadfastness of the left-wing activists, without referencing their ideology: “Despite the summer heat, thousands of activists have turned out on Capitol Hill to rally for health care reform. In today’s ‘Health Care in Focus,’ photojournalist Jeremy Moorhead gives us an inside look at the work and determination of volunteers hoping to make a difference.”
Yet when reporting the story shortly after 9:30 a.m. EDT today, "CNN Newsroom" anchor Heidi Collins neglected to mention Jefferson's Democratic Party affiliation.
What's more, ten minutes earlier, neither Collins nor CNN producer Mike Ahlers mentioned the party affiliation of another ethically compromised Democrat, admitted adulterer John Edwards. The former one-term senator is under investigation for payments made by his political action committee to a former mistress.
New York Times "This Land" columnist Dan Barry landed on Friday's front page with his literary, slightly affected profile of a "tent city" for the homeless in Providence, Rhode Island -- and may now wish he hadn't.
Because there was something left out of Barry's portrayal of John Freitas, the "chief" of the homeless encampment and a major part of Barry's column.
The chief emerges from his tent to face the leaden morning light. It had been a rare, rough night in his homeless Brigadoon: a boozy brawl, the wielding of a knife taped to a stick. But the community handled it, he says with pride, his day's first cigar already aglow.
By community he means 80 or so people living in tents on a spit of state land beside the dusky Providence River: Camp Runamuck, no certain address, downtown Providence.
Because the two men in the fight had violated the community's written compact, they were escorted off the camp, away from the protection of an abandoned overpass. One was told we'll discuss this in the morning; the other was voted off the island, his knife tossed into the river, his tent taken down.
The chief flicks his spent cigar into that same river. There is talk of rain tonight.
Yours truly and others have since April noted a precipitous and likely historic dive in Uncle Sam's monthly collections. Year-over-year declines actually began last summer. The degree of monthly fall-offs has gotten "progressively" worse since then.
Yesterday, the Associated Press finally went beyond blandly reciting year-to-date comparisons to note the historic significance of the cash crash at the Treasury. Even then, Stephen Ohlemacher's report understated the degree of the decline in receipts from economic activity (i.e., excluding last year's stimulus payments, which were treated by Treasury as "negative receipts"). He also only carried his analysis through June 2009, even though sufficient information about the full month of July was available in Treasury's last daily statement of the month released yesterday afternoon.
See if you think these two assertions mean the same thing:
Small businesses pay up to 18 percent more per worker than large firms for the same health insurance policy.
.... small businesses pay up to 18 percent more per worker to provide health insurance for their employees.
Of course they don't mean the same thing. But to the Associated Press's Tom Raum, they apparently do.
The first statement comes from the Executive Summary of a study produced by the President's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) called "The Economic Effects of Health Care Reform on Small Businesses and Their Employees" that the administration is using to promote passage of its health care plan. Based on dated information in the detailed CEA studay, the statement appears to be true, though with overly clever "up to" wording.
The second statement unfortunately exemplifies how the AP's Raum wrote up the CEA result in his story. This means that his write-up has several items that are demonstrably false.
Here are the story's first few paragraphs, with incorrect assertions noted in red:
Here's a particularly noteworthy "Name That Party" follow-up.
In a February post ("AP’s ‘Name That Party’ Twist: Disgraced PA Judges’ Dem Party ID Disappears After Initial Inclusion"; at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that the Associated Press had originally identified the party of two Democratic judges involved in a shocking scheme that pushed thousands of juvenile offenders into detention centers for minor offenses in return for millions in kickbacks.
However, in longer subsequent reports, the AP dropped the party affiliation of Luzerne County Judges Mark Ciavarella (pictured at left) and Michael Conahan.
This evening, in a 5-paragraph story (as of 7:47 p.m.; story could change over time) about a federal judge's refusal to accept plea agreements from the pair, AP Writer MaryClaire Dale stayed consistent with the wire service's see-no-Democrats approach to developments in this grisly story:
The zoo I'm referring to is the Franklin Park Zoo (FPZ), not the Massachusetts state legislature, although the slang version of the word's meaning likely applies there as well.
As reported in a July 10 Boston Globe story, in reaction to Patrick's line-item veto of $4 million of the FPZ's $6.5 million annual subsidy, Zoo New England, which runs the FPZ's two zoo sites, ".... in a written statement that echoed a letter sent earlier to legislative leaders, said they would be unlikely to find homes for at least 20 percent of the animals, 'requiring either destroying them, or the care of the animals in perpetuity.'"
After a fierce public and political backlash, zoo management appeared to pull back. Glen Johnson at the Associated Press on July 13 said that "it stepped back from that claim over the weekend, saying 'there are no plans for the zoo to euthanize any animals in the collection as a result of the budget cuts.'"
Four years ago, on June 23, 2005, a 6-3 Supreme Court majority ruled in Kelo v. New London that the New London, Connecticut government could condemn houses in that city's Fort Trumbull area in the name of redevelopment. A bit over a year later, the city settled with the area's final two holdouts, the Cristofaro family and Susette Kelo.
Since then the city has without success tried to engage a developer to build a hotel on part of the now-leveled area, and to put apartments or condos on the rest. Yes, you read that right; they're building residences where residences used to be.
The idea behind the hotel was that it would serve as lodging for visitors to the anticipated U.S. Coast Guard Museum.
Lawrence O’Donnell failed spectacularly on today’s "Morning Joe" this morning. The Democratic pundit wasn’t alone in that effort, as co-host Mika Brzezinski, and journalists Martin Savidge and Mike Barnicle all failed to correct his gaffe.
Apparently, the MSNBC political analyst is under the impression that Sarah Palin’s selection as Vice President drove down female support for the John McCain ticket – and claims that polling numbers back him up.
A recent CBS report by Scott Conroy and director of political coverage Steve Chaggaris is typical of the hyperbole to which the Old Media is prone when "reporting" (by that you can read dramatizing) Sarah Palin's political doings.
This report is not as chock full of it as some others that have utilized over-the-top phrases and rhetoric to beat down Palin, but there are a few here that ring typical of the sort of backdoor slams that the Old Media constantly over use in its Palin coverage.
In an "analysis" on how President Obama is dealing with the race issue, AP writer Charles Babington seems to have based his take on what happened to Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on the assumption that Gates was arrested for being black in his home, not that he was arrested for disorderly conduct and for his outrageous disrespect for a police officer -- something to which other police officers involved attest, officers that are themselves minorities.
Babington so soft-pedals Obama's gaffe against the police officers, leaving out so many details that, after reading the story, one finds it difficult to understand why Obama's words were so controversial. And it's all in a seeming effort to cover for the president and try to help him reclaim the high ground on race in America. The whole Babington piece appears to be far more of an effort to smooth the waters for Obama instead of provide any actual analysis of the incident.
Calling Obama's reaction to the Gates arrest "understated" and "perhaps obvious," Babington goes on to say that Gates was arrested in his home -- without giving any context at all -- and assumes that even with Obama in the White House race is still a major problem in America.
Watching Associated Press reports evolve, or as is all too often the case, devolve, can be a revealing exercise.
Example: What happened between 8 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday that would have caused the Associated Press and writer Nancy Benac to water down the headline and opening paragraphs of their story about the Obama-Gates-Crowley situation from this ....