The MSNBC gang's selective outrage about drug use and the liberalization of drug laws is abundantly clear in two stories on the network's website today.
"Americans change their minds on pot," blares the headline for item #4 in the top-stories lightbox. "Moral outrage is down and support for legalized marijuana is up," noted the caption teasing Jane C. Timm's story. The very next item in the lightbox, however, tut-tutted a disgraced Florida Republican. "Coke congressman to return to Capitol Hill," the headline alerted readers. "Rep. Trey Radel to return to Congress Tuesday after taking a leave of absence last year to attend rehab for his cocaine use," noted the teaser caption to Michele Richinick's January 7 story. [see screen capture below]
On Friday, in response to supposedly right-leaning New York Times columnist David Brooks admitting to having used marijuana in the past, one MSNBC anchor was inspired to give a five and a half minute segment recalling a near arrest experience while going through security to attend the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Friday's CBS This Morning hyped the California Supreme Court's decision to allow the Golden State to issue law license to illegal immigrants. Substitute anchor Anthony Mason touted the "historic ruling that could give millions of undocumented workers new freedom." Norah O'Donnell trumpeted how "supporters of undocumented immigrants are praising an unprecedented ruling."
O'Donnell later underlined "the decision that could...open new doors for millions." John Blackstone featured two soundbites from the new lawyer – Sergio Garcia – whose parents "brought him here illegally from Mexico when he was 17 months old," but none from opponents of the ruling [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump].
On Monday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC's Richard Wolffe mocked NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre for asserting a year ago that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," by using the example of Antoinette Tuff, who last August heroically talked a gunman in a school into surrendering.
Wolffe treated one exceptional and unlikely case as if it proved LaPierre wrong as he awarded Tuff the show's "person of the year" award. Wolffe: [See video after jump.]
On special edition of MSNBC's PoliticsNation on Monday in which a panel of MSNBC regulars selected awards for the year 2013, MSNBC contributor Joy Reid asserted that the "Knockout Game" was the "most overrated story of the year," as she complained that conservatives "went absolutely ballistic" and "wanted[ed] to stoke issues of race."
MSNBC contributor Jimmy Williams then brought up the IRS scandal in which conservative organizations were given closer scrutiny before the 2012 elections, with Williams charging, "Ain't nothing there. Never was, never will be," and with fellow panel member Krystal Ball chiming in that "It's not even a scandal."
On Monday's All In with Chris Hayes, host Hayes for a second time griped over Fox News giving attention to reports of primarily black teens playing a "knockout game" in which they target white victims for violence, suggesting that the game does not really exist.
As he awarded his choice for the "over-covered" and "under-covered" news stories for the year, Hayes began:
Instead of always taking incoming fire, how about Republicans start sending some back? It's great that they stopped HillaryCare, but if they had actually fixed health care by forcing health insurance plans to be sold in a competitive free market, there would have been no opportunity for shyster Democrats to foist Obamacare on us.
It's fantastic that we caught the Boston Marathon bombers, but why don't Republicans fix an immigration system that brings foreign terrorists and mass murderers to our country? Let the Democrats explain why we couldn't make room for a Danish surgeon because we needed another Chechnyan terrorist.
On Monday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, liberal columnist Cynthia Tucker compared sheriffs who refuse to enforce new restrictive gun laws to people in the South who opposed laws banning segregation, while liberal talk radio host Bill Press, apparently forgetting that the Justice Department routinely refuses to enforce immigration laws, recommended that these pro-Second Amendment sheriffs should be prosecuted.
He went on to smear the Tea Party as being founded on racism and opposition to a black President.
After noting a New York Times article on sheriffs opposing some of the new gun laws, MSNBC host Al Sharpton turned to guest Tucker who fretted:
Of the three major broadcast networks’ Saturday morning shows, CBS This Morning: Saturday gave the most background information on Colorado high school shooter Karl Pierson. To their credit, CBS reported on one particular Facebook post that gives us a window into Pierson’s ideological leanings.
Correspondent Barry Petersen mentioned it at the top of the second hour of the show: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Earlier this morning, Joe Newby at NewsBusters posted on the Denver Post's scrubbing of the word "socialist" from a fellow student's description of Karl Pierson, who police say shot two other students and then took his own life at Arapahoe High School on Friday. The Post story originally said that classmate Thomas Conrad described him as "a very opinionated Socialist." Sometime later, the Post watered the description down to "very opinionated" without telling readers what it had done.
Well, it's not perfect, but it's a start — and it's certainly a far cry from what President Obama is now willing to admit.
In his report Tuesday on the congressional hearing for John Koskinen, Obama's nominee to be the next IRS Commissioner, Stephen Ohlemacher of the Associated Press wrote that Koskinen "told senators Tuesday he will work to restore public trust in the agency in the wake of the tea party scandal even as the IRS takes on new responsibilities administering the president's health care law." That's a remarkable admission, given that the word "scandal" does not appear in Koskinen's prepared remarks, and of course given that Obama's current opinion of what is better described as the "IRS conservative targeting scandal" is that it isn't one ("they’ve got a list, and suddenly everybody’s outraged"). As nice as it is that he used the "S-word," Ohlemacher's dispatch still contained serious oversights, including his failure to cite the change in Obama's public stance since May and his contention that no one outside the IRS knew of its targeting efforts until then.
Whenever liberals are in a tight spot, they adopt the scorched-earth policy of argumentation. With no answer, they start demanding that you define words: What do you mean "liberal"? What do you mean "democracy"? What do you mean "patriotism"?
They retreat from argument, burning the English language as they go.
On Thursday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter played the liberal caricature by actually suggesting that, in light of former South African President Nelson Mandela's passing, Americans should practice "forgiveness" toward "hundreds of thousands of people" who are serving life prison sentences. Speaking to host Al Sharpton, Alter suggested:
Sharyl Attkisson touted 'Fast and Furious' whistleblower John Dodson as "a rare example, especially amid the Obama administration's war on leaks" during a segment on Monday's CBS This Morning. Attkisson, whose reporting on the arms trafficking scandal won CBS a Edward R. Murrow Award, spotlighted the ATF senior agent's new book on "the inside story of why he went public to expose the government's false denials about its gunwalking secrets."
The correspondent also pointed out how "there's still a court battle over the 'Fast and Furious' documents that President Obama is withholding from Congress under executive privilege". She also featured a clip from Dodson where he emphasized that this is an ongoing controversy that deserves more media attention: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Back in September, The New York Times promoted Bill de Blasio's mayoral candidacy with an editorial titled, "Don't Fear the Squeegee Man." The editorial informed readers that crime wouldn't get worse under de Blasio because "policing is far better than it used to be, thanks to innovations by Mayor David Dinkins." (Emphasis added -- the Times was not being sarcastic.)
Under the policing "innovations" of Mayor Dinkins, the annual murder rate in New York City rose to an all-time high of 2,245 in Dinkins' first year in office. After four years of hard work, the murder rate had dropped by about 10 percent, to a merely astronomical 1,995 per year.
The mainstream media has finally gotten around to covering the "knockout game" which has already been reported on Fox News. However, even though they are now beginning to report on it, they still cling to some biases. In the case of the Today Show it was a bias against defending yourself with legal weapons. In their story about the knockout game which included a segment about one of the perpetrators, Marvell Weaver, being caught and sent to prison, they completely skipped the reason why he was apprehended. Of course, to have reported on that reason for his capture would have damaged their bias against citizens arming themselves since Weaver was shot twice by his intended victim who was a concealed carry permit holder.
Here is the Today Show report by Jeff Rossen who very conveniently skipped the "little" detail of the perp being caught because he was shot in self-defense:
"Before we stuff ourselves with stuffing and trim the tree this Thanksgiving, TIME asks some public figures—from Michelle Obama to Rick Warren to our astronauts orbiting Earth—to share what they're grateful for," magazine editors noted in a November 25 post at Time.com today.
All told there were 18 individuals who were given a platform to note what they are thankful for. There were four prominent Democrats, two elected Republicans, and one pro-life activist among them. But the most noteworthy entry was that for "Chelsea" Manning, the feminine identity that convicted Army private Bradley Manning wishes to go by. Here's his entry in full (emphasis mine; the portion in italics at the end was written by TIME magazine):
Ed Schultz knows nothing about misdemeanor sentencing guidelines . . . Playing the race card over the arrest and conviction of Republican congressman Trey Radel for cocaine possession, Ed Schultz has claimed there is "no doubt" that an African-American who committed the same crime "would be facing jail time."
Really? Radel's crime was a misdemeanor, and he was a first-time offender. It would be highly unusual for anyone pleading guilty under such circumstances to be sentenced to jail time. DC jails could not possibly hold all the low-level misdemeanor drug offenders. View the video after the jump.
Last week, NewsBusters reported that PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff failed to ask about the “Fast & Furious” Mexican gun-running scandal during an interview with B. Todd Jones, the new head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. But on Monday’s NewsHour, Woodruff played a previously unannounced Part Two of her taped interview with Jones, and this time she asked a question about “Fast & Furious.”
That’s not to say Woodruff suddenly turned into a hard-hitting journalist. In fact, she didn’t get to “Fast & Furious” until her very last question. Even then, she brought up the topic very gently: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Wednesday's CBS This Morning stood out as the only Big Three morning show to spotlight Henry Chao's stunning revelation to Congress – that a significant portion of the I.T. infrastructure needed to support HealthCare.gov has yet to be built. NBC's Today completely ignored Chao's testimony, while GMA aired a 19-second brief that vaguely summarized the hearing. Meanwhile, the ABC show devoted a 1 minute and 45 second report to a puppy that sleeps with a baby.
Major Garrett reported that Chao "told Congress Tuesday the team making emergency repairs still has another major task to accomplish: building 30 percent to 40 percent of the web systems needed to make payments to insurance companies." Garrett also featured two soundbites from the testimony of a panel of cyber-security experts, who warned that the ObamaCare website remains vulnerable to hackers: [audio available here; video below the jump]
Early this morning the state of Missouri sent convicted serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin to meet his Maker, executing the white supremacist who targeted Jews and blacks in a killing spree in the 1970s.
The Big Three networks -- ABC, CBS, and NBC -- all featured stories on the execution on their websites this morning, but curiously NBC's teaser headline at NBCNews.com was worded thusly: "Shooter of Larry Flynt executed after Supreme Court denies stay." Clicking that teaser headline brought readers to a story by Alastair Jamieson headlined, "White supremacist who killed blacks and Jews is put to death in Missouri."
On Friday, convicted murderer and illegal immigrant Julio Blanco Garcia was sentenced to 49 years' imprisonment for the June 2010 murder of northern Virginia resident Vanessa Pham. True to form, in covering the story, the Washington Post's Rachel Weiner and Justin Jouvenal completely omitted the fact that Blanco Garcia was an illegal immigrant.
But in addition to omitting Blanco Garcia's illegal status, the Post reporters left out another nugget noted by at least one other local media outlets: local prosecutors believe that Blanco Garcia's motive initially was to rape Pham, contrary to his insistence he was merely driven to a moment of homicidal rage in a fit of PCP-fueled paranoia. Reported WTOP.com:
In a weird confluence of the nation's two most pressing issues -- Obamacare and our insane immigration laws -- this week we found out that the tens of thousands of "navigators" hired by the government to enroll people in Obamacare will include convicted felons.
Despite some "navigators" having already been exposed as having arrest warrants against them, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has no plans to screen out the criminals. (But rest assured: If your identity is stolen as a result of trying to sign up for Obamacare, no one will be more upset about it than President Obama.)
A former DMV clerk, Maria Cavallaro, and her accomplice, Jose Calderon, pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to helping roughly 300 individuals "most of them illegal immigrants" to obtain Virginia-issued "driver's licenses, learner's permits and identification cards for those... [who] were not eligible for them," Washington Post staffer Matt Zapotosky reported in the November 7 paper.
Suffice it to say, such a pervasive criminal conspiracy merits prime real estate in a major metropolitan newspaper, but Post editors seem to disagree, placing the 14-paragraph story on page B8 of Thursday's paper, the very back page of the Metro section:
On the plus side, here you have an example of a liberal not blaming George W. Bush for, well, whatever. Instead, this specific left winger, radio talker Thom Hartmann, is going with the liberal fallback position - It's All Reagan's Fault.
To earlier generations of leftists, Richard Nixon and Joseph McCarthy also proved useful as all-purpose boogeymen who could be cited repeatedly in vain attempts to end an argument. (Audio after the jump)
To a liberal, what's worse than smoking crack? Opposing higher taxes! Admission: I'm libertarian when it comes to drug laws. I believe the War on Drugs has been a big bust, excuse the pun, just like Prohibition was.
That said, I still found hilarious Chris Hayes' statement on his MSNBC show tonight, commenting on the admission by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford that he had smoked crack cocaine, that Ford had done worse things. Among the litany of Ford's failures that were worse than getting on the pipe? Opposing higher taxes and privatizing garbage collection! View the video after the jump.
Here’s a headline you couldn’t have found in Saturday’s Washington Post: “Washington Post Deliverer Almost Kills Professor, Leaves Him Unconscious on Sidewalk.” The Post carried a little story buried on B-3 inside the Metro section blandly headlined “Man arrested in attack on professor.”
You had to wait until paragraph six of Peter Hermann’s story to find the Post tried to spin furiously that this thug putting a professor into a coma wasn’t really a Post employee:
She had four paragraphs to work with, yet Time magazine's Madison Gray found no space to note disgraced former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s political affiliation.
The Illinois Democrat is in the news again today as he entered prison Tuesday morning to begin serving his 2 1/2-year long sentence. Here's how Gray reported it for the "Nation" section of his magazine's website:
To prevent more soft-target terror attacks like the deadly Al Shabaab strike on Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, policymakers around the world should consider liberalizing their gun laws to allow for armed civilians, the head of the the world's largest international police institution argued in an interview with ABCNews.com earlier this week. Unfortunately a search of Nexis finds that ABC has ignored this news development on its on-air programming. Competitors NBC and CBS have likewise censored the story.
As ABC's Josh Margolin noted, INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald Noble argued not only that an armed citizenry was a more sensible option than attempting to secure every "soft target" -- like malls, parks, and cafes -- but that it's hard to imagine a successful Westgate-style attack in the United States, particularly in gun rights-friendly states like Texas:
During the 2011-2012 controversy over Wisconsin's Act 10, the establishment press, led by the Associated Press, clearly took sides against Badger State Republican Governor Scott Walker and the GOP-led legislature. No one was more blatantly biased than the AP's Scott Bauer, who repeatedly insisted in 2011 and 2012 that the law "strip(s) most public employees of their union right to collectively bargain." It does not. While Act 10 sharply limits the scope of what can be negotiated, it does not eliminate unions' right to exist, or to negotiate.
Walker will be releasing a new book, "Unintimidated: A Governor's Story and a Nation's Challenge," in November. Given the sustained national attention Act 10 received, the utlimately failed recall movement it inspired, and Walker's possible interest in seeking the nation's presidency in 2016, it's reasonable to believe that the AP would have wanted to carry Bauer's Monday morning review of the book as a national story. But thus far, it has not. I believe it's because Bauer comes across as a fundamentally dishonest and embarrassingly partisan sore loser.