Last week, the media rightfully crowed over U.S. success in killing Osama Bin Laden, an unquestioned bad guy in the war on terror. They noted that intelligence gathered from that raid may have led to an unsuccessful U.S. Predator drone attack on Anwar Al Awlaki, leader of Al Qaeda in Yemen. Unfortunately, while Al Awlaki is very much as bad as Bin Laden, the media haven’t always known it.
The mainstream media have recently described this America-born terrorist as a “central figure” of Al Qaeda and the New York Times, ABC News, and MSNBC have all called him “radical” when reporting on the recent attempted drone attack. Al Awlaki has been linked to the 2009 Christmas Day Underwear bombing attempt in Detroit, the Fort Hood Shooting and the failed Times Square bombing.
But just 10 years ago they claimed he was a “moderate” a bridge-builder, and a “prayer leader.”
The April 29 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton has the media world abuzz as the couple prepares to walk down the aisle this week. Although the affair is more than 3,000 miles away and focuses on the royalty of a foreign nation, the U.S. media is giving the wedding overwhelming coverage.
NPR's Renee Montagne apparently didn't take an alleged death threat seriously, as she practically chuckled during a report on Friday's Morning Edition about anti-Koch brothers protesters mistakenly calling a Des Moines, Iowa business named Koch Brothers office supplies.
Substitute co-host Mary Louise Kelly, noted that "Charles and David Koch are the billionaire owners of a giant industrial conglomerate based in Wichita, Kansas. They've poured millions into conservative and anti-union causes. People who don't like their politics have sent many critical e-mails and letters, even death threats, to Dutch Koch."
Imagine if a Tea Party backer by some miracle got to teach on a college campus, and began describing ways to, oh, I don't know, keep opposing politicians from conducting business, hack into their computers and destroy data, and make their staffs feel threatened. How long would that class last, and how long would it be before it became a national news story?
Well, Publius at Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com reports that " the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) and the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) sponsored two college courses: Introduction to Labor Studies and Labor Politics and Society, to be taught simultaneously through a video conference between to two campuses." Publius asserts, with video proof, that the courses really really are "How-to College Course(s) in Violent Union Tactics."
The two must-see BigGov posts are here and here. Direct links to the videos and brief descriptions follow the jump:
Chrystia Freeland has called the US prison system an "American Gulag Archipelago." The Global Editor-at-Large of Reuters made her comment during today's Dylan Ratigan show on MSNBC.
The context was a discussion of the recent WikiLeaks document dump about Gitmo, but Freeland was clearly speaking of the domestic US prison system, not our military prisons. Ratigan picked up on her theme, saying we could cut our prison costs in half if marijuana were legalized.
On Monday evening, the AP reported that a suspicious package destined for Rep. Peter King's (R-N.Y.) Washington congressional office was intercepted at an off-site mail facility and "contained a pig's foot and a note laced with several anti-Semitic references, according to a person with knowledge of the incident who requested anonymity because of the ongoing police investigation."
King, the AP noted, is "[t]he Republican congressman [who] chairs the House Homeland Security panel which held hearings last month on Islamic radicalization."
But a search of Nexis reveals that major newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post failed to report the story. The same appears to be true of the three broadcast networks: ABC, CBS, and NBC. ABCNews.com's "The Note" blog, however, did report the story Monday evening.
NPR's Dina Temple-Raston touted Attorney General Eric Holder's reluctance to give detainees at Guantanamo Bay military trials during a segment on Monday's All Things Considered. Temple-Raston and host Michele Norris only featured sound bites from the Justice Department head, omitting clips from supporters of the military tribunals.
Norris began by noting the Obama administration's "major reversal" in their decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other 9/11 suspects in military court. After playing a clip from Attorney General Holder's recent press conference, where he announced the move, the host turned to the correspondent and recounted how " in late 2009...Holder announced that these five conspirators will be tried in New York City in a civilian trial. So today's decision officially reverses that."
Temple-Raston, who conducted a sting operation against U.S. border agents earlier in 2011 by wearing a headscarf and posing as Muslim woman, mainly acted as stenographer for the attorney general, though she did acknowledge the mismanagement of the rollout for the civilian trials plan:
Once again, despite almost two months of national coverage Wisconsin's collective bargaining law and the protests and bad behavior which have accompanied it, the Associated Press is deciding that the nation's news consumers outside of the Badger State don't need to read, hear, or see news relating to unions and leftists acting illegally.
In a post on Saturday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that the wire service treated the arrest of Katherine Windels for issuing death threats to all but one of the GOP's state senators as a local story. Later on Saturday, NB's Noel Sheppard noted the virtual absence of media coverage of Windels' arrest on any broadcast network newscast or cable new show (except Fox's O'Reilly Factor).
The AP apparently believes that unions attempting to intimidate businesses into supporting their agenda -- or else -- isn't something that anyone outside of Wisconsin should care about. Even then, there is a palpable reluctance by the wire service to provide much in the way of accurate detail.
Even though the goings-on in Wisconsin this year connected with collective-bargaining rights legislation have been front-page news nationwide for well over a month, the Associated Press has apparently concluded that folks outside the Badger State couldn't possibly be interested in real threats of serious violence issued against Republican legislators who voted for it -- and their families.
The latest support for that contention comes in the AP's coverage of the indictment and arrest of Katherine Windels on four counts: two relating to "threatening injury or harm" and two for "bomb scares."
At first I thought that the wire service might have totally ignored the story when a search at the AP's home site on the woman's last name at 8:45 a.m. this morning came up empty. But AP did report the news -- in Wisconsin, treating it, at least based on the tag at the left seen below, as a local story ("Wisconsin woman Katherine Windels charged for threats to state senators"):
When it comes to marijuana, I'm a libertarian. That said, Cenk Uygur has made possibly the worst argument ever in favor of legalizing it. On his MSNBC show this evening, Uygur advocated the decriminalization of marijuana since, 74 years after the feds made loco weed illegal, people continue to smoke it, or as Cenk put it, the War on Drugs is unwinnable.
Yo, Cenk: Cain killed Abel more than 5,000 years ago. Murder has been illegal ever since, and yet people continue to commit it. By that logic, since the War on Homicide is also unwinnable, should we decriminalize murder?
Be sure to view the video after the jump. Not only will you hear Cenk make his nonsensical argument, you'll see Dem Rep. Jared Polis. On the one hand, the congressman went on to make a number of better arguments in favor of decriminalization. On the other, not to be unkind, but the man from Colorado looks like he's been on a few Rocky Mountain highs himself.
As a reminder that leftists have been poisoning the wells of civility and basic human decency for a very, very long time, I present these two items from the Associated Press and United Press International on April 1 and 2, 1981, respectively:
Tim McCarthy, a former Secret Service agent who took a bullet intended for President Ronald Reagan, will observe the 30th anniversary of the attempted assassination on Wednesday by going to Springfield to oppose legislation that would repeal Illinois's ban on concealed carrying of firearms.
McCarthy said he's alarmed that an Illinois House Committee approved a concealed carry proposal. The full House could vote soon.
As happens so often, the fact McCarthy, now the police chief of Chicago suburb Orland Park, is a Democrat isn't reported. In 1998, he sought his party's endorsement for Illinois Secretary of State.
A New York Times reporter who came under fire from the paper’s executive editor for his “cringe-making” and “ham-handed” reporting on a young rape victim in Texas returned to the story for Tuesday's front page: “3-Month Nightmare Emerges in Rape Inquiry.”
Keller criticized Houston Bureau Chief James McKinley’s March 9 story in his March 27 column for the Times Sunday magazine, giving it special place among various Times embarrassments “Between Ivana’s brassieres and W.M.D.’s are cringe-making one-offs like the ham-handed article that led some readers to think we were blaming the 11-year-old victim of a monstrous gang rape in Texas (the only way to make amends was to order up a whole new story)....”
McKinley’s initial story generated some reader outrage for seemingly being more concerned over the future of the young men being accused then of the rape victim herself, and with insensitive comments like this: “Residents in the neighborhood where the abandoned trailer stands – known as the Quarters - said the victim had been visiting various friends there for months. They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said.” Well, one cheer for editorial transparency on the part of Keller.
John Avlon again attacked conservatives, this time on the gun rights issues, in a Thursday column on CNN.com. Avlon bashed the "bumper sticker policies" and the "reason-free activist crowd" of Second Amendment activists. The Daily Beast writer also invoked Reagan's past support of gun control measures in another attempt to sever today's conservative activists from the former president's legacy.
On Wednesday's Newsroom, CNN hyped the concerns of psychiatrist Terry Kupers over the imprisonment of Wikileaks suspect Bradley Manning. Kupers labeled Manning's months-long solitary confinement "cruel or inhumane treatment, and by international standards, they constitute torture." The guest also claimed that "nobody has been accused of crimes like Bradley Manning's."
Anchor Carol Costello noted in her introduction to her interview of Kupers (which aired 47 minutes into the 10 am Eastern hour) that "Manning, the man accused of giving Wikileaks classified documents, spent most of the last nine months in solitary confinement. One psychiatrist tells CNN that amounted to torture, and it could have done more harm than good." An on-screen graphic trumpeted this charge: "Wikileaks Suspect 'Tortured': Doc: Months of solitary does permanent damage."
You begin to get an idea of how poorly served the news-consuming public is by the Associated Press when you compare its "reporting" on Obama czar Elizabeth Warren's appearance tomorrow before the House Financial Services Committee to an information-packed editorial -- yes, an editorial -- in the Wall Street Journal this morning.
You can read all of the over 750 words in the unbylined AP report without learning that Ms. Warren and various state attorneys general are attempting to shake down the banking system for $20 billion. You would think from the wire service's selective content that it's only Republicans who have opposed and continue to oppose the broad, unchecked authority her brainchild, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will have over U.S. banking policy and practices. It ain't so.
You knew, based on his track record of biased and inaccurate reporting during the Badger state standoff that Scott Bauer's Thursday attempt to explain the state's situation and events occurring up to that point ("Key questions surrounding Wisconsin union fight") wouldn't exactly be fair and balanced.
But it's Bauer's answer to one of his own crafted questions that revealed as much as anything I've seen in the past few weeks about where he's really been coming from.
The question is:
So when the Democrats come back to the Capitol, what's to stop the Republicans from passing almost anything they want?"
What do you think Bauer's answer was? The answer, and a link to the AP item, are after the jump. No fair Googling or search for an answer.
On Thursday's Newsroom, CNN's Ali Velshi claimed that Rep. Peter King has a "seemingly strange obsession with Islam and Islamists, or whatever you want to call it," given the lead up and the first day of hearings looking into the radicalization of American Muslims. Velshi also bizarrely stated that "I don't quite understand how when you put an -ist at the end of it [Islamism], it changes the subject."
The anchor discussed the hearings with former FBI agent Foria Younis, CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen, and former Catholic turned Episcopal priest Rev. Alberto Cutie during the last segment of the 2 pm Eastern hour. Midway through the panel discussion, Velshi turned to Cutie and made his claim about the New York congressman, along with his doubt about the validity of "Islamist" as a term:
The instinct here is that an Associated Press "story" by Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin, will get lots of radio and TV time tomorrow.
That would be a reasonable expectation, because what Bauer writes isn't really a "story" as much as it is a free political announcement. I'm predicting that the establishment press will love it, especially the opening paragraph:
Wis. defeat could help launch counterattack on GOP
With the labor movement suffering an epic defeat in Wisconsin and perhaps other states, union leaders plan to use the setback to fire up their members nationwide and mount a major counterattack against Republicans at the ballot box in 2012.
Gosh, about the only thing Bauer's lacking is a bullhorn.
Mark Potok of the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center claimed on Monday's Newsroom on CNN that radical Islam wasn't "our biggest domestic terror threat," that instead, "that pretty clearly comes from the radical right in this country." Anchor Suzanne Malveaux touted Potok as "expert on extremism" from "one of the most highly regarded non-governmental operations that are monitoring hate groups."
Malveaux brought on the SPLC spokesman at the bottom of the 12 noon Eastern hour to discuss the upcoming hearings by the House Homeland Security Committee on the radicalization of American Muslims. The anchor first asked him, "From your study of tracking radical groups, potentially hate groups, what do you think of this hearing? Is al Qaeda radicalizing Muslims? Is that our biggest homegrown terrorism threat right now?"
Potok replied with his "radical right" claim, and went on to criticize the chairman of the House committee, Rep. Peter King:
It appears the progressive New York Times is running an ugly campaign of character assassination against a real-life American hero who saved lives and helped to safeguard the nation’s sacred democratic process. The man with the bull’s eye on his back is Brandon Darby, formerly a far-left community organizer. The Old Gray Lady has accused Darby of encouraging a plot to firebomb Republicans at the 2008 nominating convention, when in fact he was instrumental in thwarting the conspiracy and saving the lives of Republican delegates and police officers.
Darby stands accused by the New York Times and by angry radical groups of acting as an agent provocateur. In the article Anarchist Ties Seen in ’08 Bombing of Texas Governor’s Mansion published February 23, 2011, the paper said Darby urged two radicals to firebomb the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. According to NYT reporter James C. McKinley Jr.:
On Friday's CBS Early Show, co-host Chris Wragge introduced a story updating the John Edwards scandal and potential legal charges against the former Senator: "...a grand jury has been looking at evidence that he may have violated campaign finance laws. Now the former Democratic presidential hopeful has hired a political heavy hitter to fight off possible charges."
In the report that followed, legal correspondent Jan Crawford continued to take the focus off Edwards and place it on prominent liberal attorney Greg Craig: "Edwards has now enlisted a heavyweight...Former Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig has joined Edwards' team....Experts say bringing him on the case is a sign Edwards is worried about where this investigation is heading." The headline on-screen throughout the segment read: "Bracing For A Fight; John Edwards Hires Fmr. White House Counsel."
American Lori Berenson, middle-class Manhattanite turned foreign terrorist helper, was sentenced to life in prison in Peru in 1996 for housing Marxist terrorists of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA), which took part in assassinations, kidnappings, and bombings during the 1980s and 1990s. Berenson let them use her apartment as a storehouse for ammunition. Standing before police, she exclaimed in Spanish: "There are no criminal terrorists in the M.R.T.A. It’s a revolutionary movement!"
Novelist Jennifer Egan interviewed Berenson in Peru over several months as she shuttled between parole and jail before being freed for good, and came up with a 8,300-word portrait for Sunday’s upcoming New York Times Magazine (It was posted online Wednesday).
Michael Calderone got a sneak peek at the cover shot of the newly revamped magazine, an image with her son that John Podhoretz at Commentary calls "consciously designed to make Berenson look like the Madonna with child."
Egan, a discerning fiction writer, brought none of that perception to this profile. Instead Egan found excuses for Berenson’s notorious outburst and terror ties, trying to put M.R.T.A.’s leftist political violence in context, offensively referring to a four-month hostage ordeal as the terrorist group's last "big idea," and chalking up Berenson’s own involvement to positive personal characteristics like her ability to “absorb fear and discomfort.”
On December 18, 2010, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric posted a video on her blog, Couric & Co., calling on Congress to pass tougher legislation to combat underage sex trafficking. However, what she failed to reveal to online viewers was that only two weeks earlier she attended a party at the Manhattan townhouse of Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender accused of trafficking underage girls. (h/t BigJournalism.com)
Couric and other media figures, including ABC Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos, were apparently at the event to speak with Britain's Prince Andrew about the upcoming royal wedding. As the New York Post reported on December 6: "Andrew regaled a bevy of media heavyweights at billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's Upper East Side townhouse the other night when he told of the royal family's joy over Prince William's upcoming wedding to Kate Middleton – and the glamorous guests asked for invitations."
On Monday's Newsroom, CNN's Martin Savidge teamed up with guests Rachel Sklar and Nick Ragone to oppose a proposed bill in Texas that would allow college students with concealed carry permits to carry handguns on campus. Savidge only had conservative talk show host Ben Ferguson on to voice his support for the bill during the segment, who faced off against the three.
The anchor brought on Sklar, Ragone, and Ferguson 48 minutes into the 2 pm Eastern hour for a panel discussion on the Texas legislation. He first turned to the former Huffington Post editor: "Rachel...what do you think of the idea of Texas allowing students to carry guns?" Predictably, Sklar ripped the idea:
Friday, a jury convicted former Luzerne County, Pennsylvania Judge Mark Ciavarella of "12 counts, including racketeering, money laundering and conspiracy, but acquitted him of 27 counts, including extortion" in connection with "what prosecutors said was a 'kids for cash' scheme that ranks among the biggest courtroom frauds in U.S. history." Ciavarella was "accused of using juvenile delinquents as pawns in a plot to get rich," i.e., that "he incarcerated youths for money."
The quotes in the previous paragraph are from Associated Press reporter Michael Rubinkam's story on the verdict. Rubinkam's report caps two years of the wire service's consistent failure to tell its own readers and viewers, as well readers, listeners, and viewers at subscribing outlets, the political party affiliations of Ciavarella and former judicial colleague Michael Conahan, who separately "pleaded guilty to racketeering last year."
Both former judges are Democrats. From all appearances, the AP said so just once in a report two years ago when the judges were indicted, and quickly pulled the reference, as shown in the graphic that follows:
The fate of former Luzerne County, Pennsylvania Judge Mark Ciavarella is in the hands of a jury tonight.
After an initial media slip-up that occurred and was quickly "corrected" when he and a fellow judge were indicted two years ago ("Un-Name That Party" proof here), Ciavarella's party affiliation (Democrat, natch) has gone virtually unmentioned.
One such non-party-identifying example (overall details to follow) this evening comes from the Associated Press's Michael Rubinkam. Those who are unaware of the outrages allegedly perpetrated by the these judges need to brace themselves:
On Wednesday's AC360 on CNN, ABC's Ashleigh Banfield punted on Nir Rosen's offensive Tweets against CBS's Lara Logan and tried to explain them away: "We're using a lot of electronics to get information out as fast as we can nowadays before we can really digest the ramifications of what we say...And so, I'm certainly not going to cast aspersions on Mr. Rosen. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
Anchor Anderson Cooper turned to Banfield and Salon.com's Joan Walsh immediately after playing his taped interview with Rosen during the 10 pm Eastern hour. Cooper first asked Walsh for her take on the controversy, and she promptly criticized the disgraced journalist: "I thought it was horrible, Anderson, and I assumed that he was making light of a sexual assault...So, I'm not going to call him a liar. Only he knows what he knew. But it was incredibly insensitive, and even...aside from the sexual assault aspect, to be mocking someone that you don't like who has been injured and mistreated, I would rather think that we don't have those responses...Maybe that's naive of me."