This morning’s episode of Starting Point on CNN wouldn’t be complete without host Soledad O’Brien doing what she does best: cheerlead for the Obama administration. Yesterday, the president chastised the American people for forgetting about the tragedy in Newtown last December, and said this was a critical moment for the nation to back his anti-gun agenda.
So of course O'Brien this morning invited slain Sandy Hook teacher Victoria Soto’s sister Jillian on the program to discuss the new ad released by Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The MAIG ad shamelessly plays on the emotions of Americans, specifically residents of Connecticut, in order to do damage control for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s failed campaign to ban assault weapons and so-called high-capacity magazines.
The liberal website Slate has taken post-Newtown commentary to a new low by tracking the amount of deaths via firearm that have occurred since December. It’s purely an emotional ploy to show how awful America, our right to bear arms, and gun owners really are, and how the perpetuate carnage. Hence, we must act, and pass ineffectual policies like an assault weapons ban. What’s odd is that this interactive map was posted yesterday, when President Obama testily chastised the country for Congress's failure thus far to enact his anti-gun agenda.
Furthermore, its seems Chris Kirk and Dan Kois, the two men compiling this butcher’s bill, are lusting for more macabre news, urging readers to help them "draw a more complete picture of gun violence in America" by tweeting "@GunDeaths with a citation" of "gun death[s] in your community" that "[aren't] represented here."
Barack Obama doesn't want the tragedy in Newtown to go to waste, using emotionally manipulative language to push gun control in a White House speech while surrounded by relatives of victims of gun violence. Jeremy Peters and Peter Baker reported in Friday's New York Times, "Months After Massacre, Obama Seeks to Regain Momentum on Gun Laws."
With resistance to tougher gun laws stiffening in Congress, a visibly frustrated President Obama on Thursday implored lawmakers and the nation not to lose sight of the horrors of the school massacre in Newtown, Conn.
Apparently the journalistic disease known as obsessive-compulsive interactive map publishing is spreading.
Late last year, Gannett's Journal News in White Plains, New York created a firestorm when it published an interactive map of gun permit holders in two counties north of New York City, obviously giving criminals, depending on how they target victims, the identity of places to rob to get guns or, by inference, people they could be comfortable wouldn't be carrying concealed weapons. On Wednesday evening, the Des Moines Register published an item still present on its site discussing the general degree of presence or absence of resource officers at Iowa schools. It also published a "handy" interactive map, since taken down, of which schools have resource officers, which ones don't, and which ones didn't respond to a survey on the topic. Excerpts from the report follow the jump (HT Newsmax via The Blaze):
A search at the Associated Press's national web site tonight at 11 p.m. ET on "Gosnell" returned one result: a very early Monday morning story by the wire service's Maryclaire Dale. This would indicate that the self-described Essential Global News Network hasn't carried a subsequent national report on the trial of Kermit Gosnell, the Pennsylvania and Delaware abortionist accused of eight murders, one of a patient and seven of babies allegedly born alive, even though there have now been three additional days of trial proceedings and testimony.
The later paragraphs of Ms. Dale's report includes a disturbing one describing Gosnell -- disturbing more because of what it may say about the AP reporter than Gosnell -- and two devoted to an attempted defense of the abortionist which, at least as written, constitute no defense at all (bolds are mine):
In an item about how Arizona Senator John McCain is sticking to his characterization of illegal immigrants as "illegal," Kevin Cirilli at the Politico relayed without the least bit of skepticism a claim by illegal-immigrant advocates that those who enter the country illegally should only be called "illegal" if they have previously been deported, and that those who illegally overstay their visas really aren't acting illegally at all.
McCain's current position (who knows what it will be tomorrow or a week for now?), as quoted by Cirilli, is that "Someone who crosses our borders illegally is here illegally. You can call it whatever you want to, but it’s illegal. I think there’s a big difference between someone who does something that’s illegal and someone who’s undocumented. I’ll continue to call it illegal.” Illegal-immigrant advocates -- incorrectly, as will be seen -- don't see it that way (bolds are mine throughout this post):
On the March 26 episode of Morning Joe, guest host Nicolle Wallace dusted off the issue of mental health reform, which has long been ignored by liberals in the media as regards the national debate over gun control. Wallace cited NY Times columnist David Brooks’ March 25 piece on gun violence. The piece focused on how Americans like to focus on the gun, instead of human nature – and how the “acquisition” of the weapon is subject to the least influence from policymakers in Washington.
It seemed that for a short while, the panel was in agreement that we don’t talk enough about the evil inherent in Adam Lanza's deadly mass shooting in Newtown Then again, Lanza was mentally ill, which brought things back to Wallace’s point (emphasis mine):
In a brief item Friday at Politico, Donovan Slack reported that President Obama has withdrawn his nomination of Caitlin Halligan for the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.
Concerning Republican senators' opposition to her nomination, Slack said it was "because they said she had a record of advocacy and an activist view of the judiciary" without citing specifics. It's almost as if Slack knew he had to write something, but wished to keep a rare Republican success at stopping an objectionable court nominee as vague and quiet as possible. In early March, the folks at Eagle Forum compiled a useful list of how awful Halligan would have been had her appointment made it through the Senate (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Call it Michael Moore's Jesse Jackson moment . . . Jackson once famously said that when he walked down the street and heard footsteps behind him, he was relieved to turn around and find a white person behind him.
This evening, on Ed Schultz's soon-to-be-extinct weeknight MSNBC show, a histrionic Michael Moore accused white gun owners of racism . . . then proceeded to say it was reasonable for them not to be afraid of their white neighbors . . . and admitted he felt more comfortable walking down the streets of Toronto than Detroit. View the video after the jump.
Today, the Washington Post's Ann Marimow and Aaron Davis published a rather celebratory piece on the Metro section front page claiming that a federal court panel's upholding of Maryland’s restrictive "may issue" concealed carry law is a “decision seen as [a] victory for public safety.” "'This is huge' for advocates of gun control," gushed the headline on the jump page, B8. Ever since Newtown, the Washington Post's editorial board has reinvigorated its push for fresh gun control, and ostensibly objective reporters at the paper have also done their part to stack the deck in how they color news related to gun rights issues.
A three-judge panel of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit -- comprised of jurists appointed by Democratic presidents -- ruled on March 21 that the law passed constitutional muster. Clinton appointee Judge Robert B. King wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel:
ABC continued ignoring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's move on Tuesday to drop a proposed federal ban on so-called assault weapons. Neither Wednesday's World News nor Thursday's Good Morning America covered the congressional development. This lack of coverage stands out in light of the network's hype of President Obama's supposedly "dramatic and emotional" lobbying effort for the ban during his State of the Union address.
NBC and CBS's Wednesday evening newscasts also ignored Senator Reid's deep-sixing of the gun control legislation. Their morning shows on Thursday devoted news briefs to Vice President Joe Biden and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's "renewed call" for the assault weapons ban, but failed to explicitly mention the Nevada Democrat's role in dropping the bill.
A funny thing happened on the way to banning assault weapons in the deep blue state of Maryland. Some Democrats in the overwhelmingly-Democratic House of Delegates are considering amendments to reform the bill to carve out some exemptions. Given the composition of the state government, it may be the best bet that gun rights advocates in Maryland can realistically hope for in the short term, but to the Washington Post, it's a "gut[ting]" of Gov. O'Malley's proposal, even as House Democrats pushing changes say they are seeking to avoid banning guns merely on the basis of cosmetic features.
In his page B1 March 20 story, "Proposals would allow some semiautomatic rifles in Md.," staff writer Aaron C. Davis opened by lumping in "veterans and sportsmen" unfavorably with the Aurora, Colorado, theater shooter and the Beltway snipers by noting that "[s]ome semiautomatic rifles" that were "popular" with the former were used by the latter and could be legal under a revised gun ban in the Old Line State.
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, which began on Monday. Gosnell is charged with murdering seven babies who were born after viability in his rundown abortion facility. The Big Three also gave the story minimal coverage back in January 2011, after the Philadelphia physician was arrested. ABC completely ignored it, CBS Evening News aired one full story, and NBC gave just 50 words on Today.
Even the New York Times covered the trial in a Tuesday article, though it appeared on page A-17. Writer Jon Hurdle documented how Gosnell is charged with killing the babies by "plunging scissors into their necks and 'snipping' their spinal cords."
Luo's usual beat is campaign finance, where he has a hobby of trying to get the IRS interested in GOP fundraising tactics he doesn't approve of. On Monday Luo displayed a very trusting nature in government regulation, assuming that the men lawless enough to murder women would have been stopped by gun restrictions.
The Maryland legislature recently voted to abolish capital punishment in the state, making Maryland the sixth state in the last six years to eliminate the death penalty.
The primary argument for repealing the law is that our justice system is imperfect and it's possible an innocent person could be condemned. Indeed, anti-death penalty activists presented Kirk Bloodsworth, a former death-row inmate, convicted of the 1984 rape and murder of a 9-year-old girl. His conviction was overturned on appeal after the court found the prosecution had withheld exculpatory evidence from the defense. However, Bloodsworth was retried and sentenced to two life terms, a conviction later upheld on appeal. In 1993, Bloodsworth was exonerated after DNA linked someone else to the crime.
We should give credit to the Associated Press's Calvin Woodward, with help from AP Polling Director Jennifer Agiesta and writer Alan Fram, for calling out politicians and other gun-grabbers who have been abusing a two decades-old gun-related statistic and passing it off as if it's still factual.
That's nice, but Woodward could have saved many words, mountains of paper, and tons of bandwidth by telling readers in plain English that claims such as one made President Barack Obama that "as many as 40 percent of all gun purchases are conducted without a background check" have never, ever been true. Instead, the AP reporter used 13 paragraphs, at one point excusing researchers who came up with a 30-40 percent estimate even "with a clear picture eluding them." There was never any defensible basis for their "estimate." Excerpts from Woodward's Wednesday item following the jump:
In a mild shock -- mild because it's mentioned before the elections, but probably won't be when it really matters after the polls close -- Frank Bajak and Jorge Rueda at the Associated Press, in a story about how the last opposition TV station in Venezuela is being sold to an insurance magnate who is reportedly "friendly with government," noted the extraordinary handicaps that Venezuela's opposition presidential candidate faces as he attempts to unseat the Chavista successor to the late dictator Hugo Chavez in April's upcoming elections.
Detroit's former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted Monday on multiple serious charges, including racketeering, fraud, and extortion. But Times reporter Mary Chapman buried Kilpatrick's Democratic party affiliation in paragraph 19 of her 21-paragraph report.
Even then, the Times never even directly labeled Kilpatrick a Democrat:
On March 11, 2013, Rep. Jim Moran (D-Virginia) held the "Preventing Another Newtown: A Conversation on Gun Violence in America" forum in Arlington, VA. During the question and answer segment. MRCTV asked if they'd eventually go after handguns. Moran hesitated and said those who think government is intruding in their lives are "paranoid - "but he also said he supports legislation to limit the purchase of handguns to no more than one per month.
"I can understand that there's always going to be people who are 'paranoid' over government attempting to intrude into their life and there are no plans to go after handguns, although I do support legislation that would limit the purchase of handguns to no more than one a month, which seems to be reasonable," Moran told MRCTV. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ilinois) was recently caught on video noting that current gun control proposals were just the beginning.
It will be interesting to see how much national play this story gets. My guess is: "little."
Following up on a matter on which I initially posted last month, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported yesterday that the prosecutor for Hamilton County, Ohio, where the county seat is Cincinnati, is bringing charges related to improper voting against three people – including a longtime poll worker and a nun. In connection with the poll worker, reporter Sharon Coolidge notes something that should earn today's prize for inadvertent deadpan humor (in bold):
There's something odd with a Sunday New York Times report on gun ownership in America. They claim the number of Americans owning guns are at its lowest since the 1970s. They attribute it to a reduction in violent crime, which contradicts the media narrative that we need more gun control, and the increased rates of Americans settling in urban areas. The problem is two years ago; the number of Americans owning guns was at 47 percent. Now, it's 35 percent. So, there was a twelve-point drop in two years, and a little over three months after Sandy Hook.
How could that be right? Here's what the Times duo of Sabrina Tavernise and Robert Gebeloff reported:
So, this story will make you chuckle. Politico reported today that the White House has basically told anti-gun groups and their allies in Congress to sit down, shut up, and let the White House drive the push for new gun control. Centralization of power when it comes to messaging has been a core characteristic of this administration, and when it comes to an issue as delicate as gun control – this is a tightly run ship.
So, here’s something that the liberal media will never aggressively pursue: a liberal Democrat, who is pro-gun. Why? It ruins their narrative that all gun-owners are right-wing zealots.
But the Atlantic has an excellent interview with Dan Baum, former staff writer for the New Yorker, in which he detailed his road trip across America to give a first-hand account of these rational and responsible Americans, who are vilified by the progressive left and Beltway liberals.
Granted, I don’t agree with everything he says, but the interview, which was conducted by freelance writer Hope Reese, had four great points.
"As we talk about history, today marks the 6-year anniversary that Scooter Libby was convicted of lying and obstructing in the leak investigation which led to your cover as a covert CIA operative being blown," MSNBC's Thomas Roberts noted at the close of his March 6 MSNBC Live interview with Valerie Plame. "We're getting word now that he has had his voting rights restored," the MSNBC anchor added. "How do you feel, as you look back, hindsight being 20/20, about what that moment in time did to your life, where you are today?"
Plame answered that she and her husband Joe Wilson "worked really hard to rebuild our lives" and that they "wish that there had been further repercussions," because, "The whole episode is just a small example of a larger pattern of behavior that we saw under the Bush administration." But alas, speaking of history, this short exchange was a bit misleading for viewers as it was Colin Powell confidante Richard Armitage who had leaked Plame's name to columnist Robert Novak, albeit inadvertently. From CNN.com on September 8, 2006:
CNN, which if I recall correctly severed formal ties with the Associated Press some time ago, quoted former congressman Joseph Kennedy II's reaction to the death of Venezuela's authoritarian leader Hugo Chavez as follows: "President Chavez cared deeply about the poor of Venezuela and other nations around the world and their abject lack of even basic necessities, while some of the wealthiest people on our planet have more money than they can ever reasonably expect to spend" ... There are close to 2 million people in the United States who received free heating assistance, thanks to President Chavez's leadership. Our prayers go out to President Chavez's family, the people of Venezuela, and all who were warmed by his generosity."
Here is how Christine Armario at the AP, with the help of Steve LeBlanc in Boston, sanitized Kennedy's remarks:
Last year the media did their level best to tar Republicans with the offensive comments that two Republicans made related to rape victims. But now that it's Democratic legislators insulting rape victims by insisting that they cannot be trusted to defend themselves with firearms, it's a different story.
Amanda Collins, now 25, was brutally raped on campus, and was unable to defend herself since guns aren’t permitted on college campuses. In fact, Colorado State Sen. Evie Hudak (D), has said that her “assault would likely had been worse had she been armed with a gun.” Jessica Chasmar of the Washington Times has the story:
The Chicago Tribune has less of a problem with a politician being a crook while in office than an ex-con running decades later for office, just so long as the former is a Democrat and the latter a Republican.
Take a look at what Bill Ruthhart of the Chicago Tribune did to Paul McKinley, who could be the possible GOP challenger to Democratic Illinois State House Rep. Robin Kelly. The Tribune focused more on McKinley's decades-old rap sheet than what he would do if elected to former Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr’s old congressional seat:
On Friday morning, Milwaukee County District Attorney, a Democrat, announced that an investigation into illegal campaigning and other illegal acts while current Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was the county's executive had concluded nine days earlier. Three former Walker aides, a political appointee, and two private citizens were sentenced. Two county officials pled guilty to crimes relating to campaigning on government time; two others stole money, one from a not-for-profit group and another from a county commission. One private citizen was sentenced for exceeding campaign contribution limits and laundering contributions; the other pled no contest to importuning a 17 year-old boy.
Walker himself was not charged. A top state Democratic Party official was so angry that he tweeted Jeffrey Dahmer analogies. It is pretty obvious, based on word choices he made in his related writeup, that the Associated Press's Scott Bauer, whose biased coverage of Walker has been clear for at least the past two years (previous NewsBusters posts with his tag are here), was also extremely displeased (bolds and numbered tags are mine):