When Obama IRS official Lois Lerner yet again pleaded the Fifth Amendment last Wednesday rather than answer challenging questions during a congressional hearing, the liberal media stifled yawns. To the extent the March 5 hearing was covered, media attention turned to the post-hearing fireworks between ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) rather than the substance of the questions Ms. Lerner refused to answer on the record under oath.
Fast forward to Monday afternoon with MSNBC.com lamenting how "Christie aides double[d] down on Fifth Amendment" in a state investigative probe of the Bridgegate scandal. Here's how staff writer Aliyah Frumin reported the story [emphasis mine; see screen capture below page break]
Alabama Democratic State Representative Alvin Holmes, who recently created a firestorm by calling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas "a very prolific Uncle Tom," was at it again on Tuesday.
This time, the issue at hand was a "fetal heartbeat" bill restricting abortions. Holmes, who apparently needs no help seeing racism in just about anything, claimed, in the words of Kala Kachmar at the Montgomery Advertiser, that "99 percent of the white legislators in the chamber would raise their hand to say they're against abortion, and that same 99 percent would make their daughters get an abortion if they were impregnated by a black man." Holmes was also robbed of his wallet and $300 earlier in the week. Guess which story was worthy of coverage at the Associated Press? With rare exceptions, the rest of the U.S. press also appears to have ignored Holmes' raging racism.
Few have defended the Obama administration, and especially Obamacare, as vocally and in my view often unreasonably, as Fox News's Juan Williams. He has gone so far as to call Republican Party opposition to Obamacare its "original sin," and absurdly claimed that "massive opposition" from Republicans is what forced HealthCare.gov's rushed rollout.
One blind spot Williams does not have involves how consistently horribly leftists treat African-American conservatives, or even African-Americans who express an occasional sensibly conservative thought. One reason the left is so brazen in its persecution attempts is its knowledge that no matter how uncivil or unreasonable, their attempts will almost never gain wide exposure in the nation's establishment press. The latest example concerns calls by the faculty at Rutgers University to prevent former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from her scheduled appearance as commencement speaker there this year. Williams expressed his outrage in a Thursday Fox News column (HT Hot Air; bolds are mine):
Viewers of ABC's morning and evening newscasts on Friday would have been left unaware of President Obama's gaffe of elementary proportions during a White House concert on Thursday evening. Both Good Morning America and World News omitted how the Democrat left out the first "E" in the title of Aretha Franklin's most famous song: "When Aretha first told us what R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her."
By contrast, the network's competitors at CBS and NBC covered the President's trip-up on their morning shows and evening news broadcasts. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams even mentioned a infamous spelling flub by a former Republican vice president: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Early Wednesday morning, Josh Lederman at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, opened a report on President Barack Obama's upcoming afternoon trip to Connecticut by writing that "Obama wants the U.S. to follow Connecticut's lead by raising the minimum wage." In a dispatch after Obama's speech in New Britain, Lederman wrote of "a show of support from like-minded governors," including those from the Nutmeg State, Massachusetts, Vermont and Rhode Island, all of which have minimum wages higher than the federally mandated rate of $7.25 per hour.
Correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation, but the four states Obama highlighted as examples to follow have economic performances ranging from mediocre to horrid during the past several years arguably tie to poor policy choices like high minimum wages — something Lederman should have noticed and didn't.
You don't even need to know the specifics to realize that today's economic reports were weak. All you need to know is that there was no mention of them in the Associated Press's list of Top 10 business stories as of 3:35 p.m. Among stories considered more important: a product review of Apple's tiny market-share program called iWork and three dozen passengers suing Carnival Cruise Lines.
This morning's release from ADP on February private-sector employment growth reported 139,000 jobs added; the previous four months were revised down by a total of 138,000. The Institute for Supply Management's Non-Manufacturing Index came in at 51.6%, showing relatively slow expansion (anything above 50% indicates expansion) compared to January's 54.0%. The reports missed expectations of 155,000 jobs added and 53.5%, respectively. AP coverage of these two reports somewhat understated their weakness, one quantitatively and the other qualitatively.
On Wednesday, CNN's Daniel Burke gave liberal-tinged spin/extrapolation about Pope Francis's answer to an Italian newspaper's question about secular civil unions. Burke asserted in a CNN.com article that the pontiff "reaffirmed the Catholic Church's opposition to gay marriage...but suggested in a newspaper interview that it could support some types of civil unions."
However, the journalist left out that despite the Bishop of Rome's generalized answer, he concretely opposed a proposed civil unions bill in Malta near the end of 2013. More recently, the Pope's spokesman lashed out at the Italian media in January 2014 for spinning a separate remark from the native of Argentina as "an opening to legal provision for civil unions for gay couples, a subject of debate in Italy."
Illegal immigration might be a hot topic for the media, but the networks remained mum when the government denied asylum to a German family seeking the freedom to educate their own children.
Uwe and Hannelore Romeike along with their children came to the United States in 2008, seeking political asylum because home-schooling is illegal in Germany. The family wants to homeschool due to its Christian beliefs. Obama’s U.S. Justice Department refused asylum status, and chose to defend its decision in litigation. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by the Romeikes on March 3 which initially signaled a deportation for the family. Despite the win for the Obama Justice Department, ABC, CBS, and NBC have not mentioned the story.
Lois Lerner, the IRS figure at the center of the Tea Party targeting scandal, once again pleaded the Fifth on Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. In more than 20 minutes of testimony the former director of IRS exempt organizations refused to answer Committee Chairman Darrell Issa on nine different occasions. The hearing also ended with a bit of fireworks between Issa and Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings.
So now that networks have dramatic footage of a government official repeatedly taking the Fifth and a heated clash between congressmen, will they actually report on the IRS scandal? [Video after the jump]
It appears that Aron Heller at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's press, might have been applying lessons learned from the wire service's U.S. business and economics writers in his coverage of Israel's settlement activity. Heller also seems strangely fond of this mythical thing known as the "international community."
AP business and economics writers like Martin Crutsinger and Christopher Rugaber have regaled us with the wonders of the alleged housing recovery during the past two years, but haven't been quite as good at telling us that over 4-1/2 years after the recession officially ended, new home sales and construction activity is still only about 60-65 percent of what is seen as healthy by most economists and analysts. Heller pulled an analogous trick in his report; fortunately Evelyn Gordon at Commentary (HT Powerline) was astute enough to catch his misdirection, one in which President Obama has also engaged.
The people who pretentiously call themselves journalists at the News Media Guild-represented Associated Press are really having a hard time getting over the representation election the United Auto Workers union lost two weeks ago at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The latest whine came from Erik Schelzig Friday afternoon. He must have believed he was being really hard-hitting in trying to hold Volunteer State Senator Bob Corker to his word that "If the UAW is voted down they're going to come here ... and affirm they're going to build a line here" within two weeks. Well, Erik, Corker clearly miscalculated. The Senator never dreamed that the UAW would appeal a secret-ballot vote it lost by 6.4 percent of the ballots cast, and also underestimated the chances of retalation by the U.S. government and the company's German union. Several paragraphs from Erik's execrable essay follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
NPR's Lauren Frayer repeatedly emphasized the conservative ideology of the ruling party of Spain on Thursday's Morning Edition, as she reported on proposed legislation there that would be, in her words, "one of the toughest abortion laws in Europe – a near-total ban, except in cases of rape or threats to the mother's health." However, she didn't point out the left-of-center political affiliation of opponents of the proposal.
Frayer noted how "topless women" shouted "abortion is sacred...surrounding a Catholic cardinal on his way into church a couple weeks ago," but failed identify that these protesters were from Femen, the radical feminist group that got its start in Ukraine by cutting down a memorial cross to victims of Soviet communism. The correspondent also played up how the party that proposed the pro-life law is "moving to the right – trying to keep members from defecting to a new far-right political party, similar to the Tea Party in the U.S."
In December, NPR, the New York Times, National Journal, and other establishment press platforms gave the Republican National Committee grief over the following tweet: "Today we remember Rosa Parks' bold stand and her role in ending racism." The tweet erronseously shortened the following sentence from a longer GOP statement: "“We remember and honor Rosa Parks today for the role she played in fighting racism and ending segregation." Juliet Lapidos at the Times noted that the tweet was corrected in 3-1/2 hours, and seemed to lament that it took so long.
The Associated Press and The Hill both reported on Noah Kai Newkirk shouting down the Supreme Court justices in their chamber, but ignored his far-left political affiliation. On Thursday, the wire service merely identified Newkirk's organization as "protest group 99Rise." Mario Trujilo of The Hill gave some a bit more information on Friday, but failed to disclose that 99Rise was founded by "a group of Los Angeles organizers active in Occupy" Wall Street.
By contrast, Lawrence Hurley and Joan Biskupic of Reuters explicitly mentioned the protester's ideology and his organization's background in a Thursday report:
Patrick Moore is one of the early members of Greenpeace, and was an important official in that organization from 1971 to 1986.
Moore is among the last people one might expect to be a "climate change denier," as those who irritate us with the idea that human-caused global warming is "settled science" like to characterize people who disagree with them. But he is, as seen in Congressional testimony earlier this week. The establishment press is ignoring Patrick; the few identified results at the link come from British newspapers and center-right outlets. An Investor's Business Daily editorial yesterday highlighted what Moore had to say (bolds are mine):
Separately, left-leaning law professor Jonathan Turley warned a Congressional committee on Wednesday that President Obama's extensive use of executive orders, executive actions, and unilateral regulatory moves threatens to enable the President, as Turley phrased it in a Fox News interview on Thursday, to "effectively become a government unto himself." If Turley had made his statement in 2006 or 2007 during the Iraq War, it would almost certainly have become a media obsession. Instead, as will be shown after the jump, Turley's testimony is being completely ignored by everyone except center-right news outlets and bloggers.
The news in two government reports on the economy today was not good. One showed that initial unemployment claims last week rose to a seasonally adjusted 348,000; raw (not seasonally adjusted) claims were virtually identical to last year's comparable week. To avoid the dreaded U-word ("unexpectedly"), a pair of Bloomberg News reporters described the result as "exceeding all forecasts." In the other report, durable goods orders in January fell by a seasonally adjusted 1.0 percent, while December's steep decline of 4.3 percent was revised down even further to -5.3 percent.
In separate reports at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Christopher Rugaber and Josh Boak did their best to excuse away the results and to find something positive to say. As readers will see, they had to dig pretty deep, and their efforts were unconvincing.
Even leftist groups like the ACLU and Sierra Club are worried about being crushed by the IRS, but the Big Three networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) aren’t telling their viewers about it. The comment period for new IRS rules, that would regulate political speech of groups on the left and right, ends on Thursday and it turns out the left is now fearing they will join the Tea Party in being targeted out of existence by the IRS.
On Tuesday, in an opinion piece headlined Liberals vs. the IRS, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) observed that: “The media have remained quiet about the IRS targeting of conservative nonprofit groups and even quieter about the proposed IRS rule to restrict their political speech.” The editorial writers then pondered: “Maybe our colleagues will snap out of their slumber now that the objections are coming from liberals.” The resounding answer to that question from ABC, CBS and NBC is NO.
Double standards in the establishment press's treatment of Republican and Democrat politicians is an unfortunate reality. Evidence that it's getting worse — to the point of begging the question, "At long last, have you no shame?" — can be seen in the disparate treatment of Florida's two major-party March 11 congressional special election candidates, Republican David Jolly and Democrat Alex Sink.
At the Associated Press, it is headline-making national news, via reporter Tamara Lush, that Jolly "was not charged and not at fault in a 1989 car crash in which he fatally struck a pedestrian, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report." Again: "NOT at fault." Meanwhile, it is not news at AP's national site that less than 30 hours ago, Sink, in a televised debate, resorted to offensive stereotyping in advocating changes in immigration law when she asked, "Where are you going to get people to work to clean our hotel rooms or do our landscaping?" Excerpts from Townhall.com's story, plus a video containing Sink's statement, follow the jump.
This morning at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Martin Crutsinger reacted predictably to the Census Bureau's January new home sales release by commenting primarily on the forest while mostly ignoring the widely divergent health of the trees. Though he compared January to December for the country's four regions, he failed to note that three of them reported the same or fewer sales than January 2013.
This caused him to spin an unsupportable assessment of today's news as "offering hopes that housing could be regaining momentum after a slowdown last year caused by rising interest rates." Maybe in the South, Marty, but nowhere else. Several paragraphs from Crutsinger's report, followed by a regional breakdowns, are after the jump.
We all know that MSNBC is a race-obsessed network, at least when it comes to any number of public policy issues for which Republicans or conservatives can conceivably be assailed as racist. But the GOP, perhaps now more than ever, is thoroughly pro-life, working to advance restrictions and common-sense regulations on abortion clinics at the state level.
So we're not holding our breath for the Lean Forward network to pick up on this disturbing statistic: As our friend Michael Chapman of our sister site CNSNews.com, nearly 72 percent of all abortions in Mississippi are conducted on black women.
At the Associated Press on Friday, Chris Tomlinson wrote a story of national significance ("State officials investigating Democratic activists") which the wire service appears not to have ever carried at its national site.
It is nationally significant because the establishment press, both in print and over the airwaves, has chosen to make the Lone Star State gubernatorial candidacy of Democrat Wendy Davis a national matter. However, continuing a pattern going back several months (examples here and here), when negative matters relating to her campaign or to those assisting it surface, all of a sudden we're supposed to believe nobody outside of Texas cares.
On Sunday, The Daily Beast's Lizzie Crocker touted Femen's "gangs of attractive, topless women condemning religion, agitating against misogyny, and fighting dictatorship," as she introduced her interview of Inna Shevchenko, a prominent member of the radical feminist group from Europe. Crocker prominently featured a picture of Shevchenko wearing nothing but jean shorts at a protest in an attempt to emphasize this characterization.
The reporter noted how the members of the anti-Christian group refer to themselves as "sextremists," and pointed out some of their beyond crude tactics (which has not only included topless protesting, but also public urination). While Crocker also highlighted Femen's general hostility to religion as a possible "totalitarian instinct," she failed to mention that they have specifically targeted and disrupted Catholic Masses and events.
It would be easy to dismiss the attempt by the leftist groups Credo Mobilize and Forecast the Facts to prevent the Washington Post from publishing Charles Krauthammer's February 20 column ("The Myth of 'Settled Science'") as the whining of immature children who cover their ears and say "la-la, we can't hear you, and we're going to shut you up" every time they come across inconvenient facts.
Howard Kurtz takes the failed effort more seriously, and properly so, given that the petitioners are constantly trying to convince WaPo, the New York Times, and eventually the rest of the establishment press to do what the censors at the Los Angeles Times have already done: stop publishing any op-ed or letter to the editor from anyone they would consider a "climate change denier." Excerpts from Kurtz's Monday "Media Buzz" post at Fox News, plus a Fox News Special Report video showing Krauthammer brilliantly summarizing his column in 89 seconds, follow the jump.
Michigan Congressman John Dingell announced his retirement today. The Democrat's career as Congress's longest-serving member will end with this session.
With the help of a related statement by President Obama, press coverage predictably placed great emphasis on Dingell's decades-long advocacy of universal health care coverage and his involvement in the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act, which used to be the law governing the scope and implementation of state-controlled health care until the Obama administration's regime of pre-implementation waivers and post-passage changes turned it into the mush which should now and forever be called "Obamacare." That emphasis on Obamacare "somehow" overlooked an infamous but truthful statement Dingell made to WJR Radio's Paul W. Smith shortly after the original law's passage in March 2010. It's the kind of statement the press would have covered when Dingell originally made it (they didn't), and would never have forgotten if it had been made by a Republican or conservative.
In a complete non-surprise given their officials' reactions last week, the United Auto Workers union has filed an appeal with the National Labor Relations Board of the election they lost at Volkswagen's Chattanooga, Tennessee plant.
As would be expected for an organization whose journalists are members of the News Media Guild, a Friday evening report by Associated Press reporters Tom Raum and Erik Schelzig emphasized the "outside intervention" of First Amendment-protected statements made by Volunteer State politicians, including Senator Bob Corker, in the runup to the balloting, while ignoring and minimizing thuggish behavior and statements by UAW supporters and sympathizers. They also saved assessments that the effort is a long-shot at best, at least on the merits, for much later paragraphs — but with President Barack Obama's NLRB, you never know. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The AP's White House correspondent, surely at the suggestion of the group she is supposed to be covering objectively, writes that President Barack Obama's forays into unilateral executive action have been good for his soul. The President's authoritarian moves have apparently also been "cathartic" for the White House staff, now reportedly "buoyed by a new sense of purpose." Isn't that sweet? Excerpts from this piece of journalistic junk follow the jump (bolds are mine):
On Thursday, Kyle Drennen at NewsBusters noted that none of the three broadcast networks had covered the intent of the Federal Communications Commission, in the words of Byron York at the Washington Examiner, to "send government contractors into the nation's newsrooms to determine whether journalists are producing articles, television reports, Internet content, and commentary that meets the public's 'critical information needs.'"
Given that the nets take many of their new prioritization cues from the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, and to a lesser extent from the New York Times, it shouldn't surprise anyone that searches at the self-described "essential global news network" and at the Old Gray Lady indicate that neither outlet has covered it. The FCC has supposedly backtracked, but not really, as Katy Bachman at AdWeek noted yesterday (bolds are mine throughout this post):
ABC, CBS, and NBC have largely punted in covering the protests against the leftist government in Venezuela. Since Monday, only NBC Nightly News has devoted a full report on the demonstrations in the South American country. Altogether, NBC has aired just over two minutes of reporting on the story. Brian Williams also stood out for explicitly mentioning the political ideology of the regime: "Many...are feeling increasingly let down by the socialist government." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The network's Big Three competitors trail far behind in their coverage, with CBS only mentioning the protests during a 24-second news brief on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. The network's evening newscast, CBS Evening News, has yet to cover the story. ABC has devoted three news briefs on its morning and evening newscasts since Wednesday, for a total of 52 seconds of air time.