Reporters Ray Rivera, Al Baker, and Janet Roberts combined on a front-page Monday New York Times story questioning the frequency of "stop-and-frisk" policing by the NYPD in high-crime sections of the Brownsville neighborhood in Brooklyn: "A Few Blocks, 4 Years, 52,000 Police Stops." The text box: "Frisk Tactic Draws Questions Where It Is Used Most."
It's a quasi-followup to an overheated May 13 front-page Times story which focused more on the racial aspect of frisking: "City Minorities More Likely To Be Frisked -- Increase in Police Stops Fuels Intense Debate." The shoe leather analysis of that story was performed by the hard-left Center for Constitutional Rights, which the Times identified only as "a nonprofit civil and human rights organization." Monday's story also relied on research from the unlabeled leftists of CCR.
Yet the paper's reporters seem more worried about the frisking "frenzy" than do the residents of the crime-ridden neighborhoods that were the alleged victims of excessive stops and searches.
When night falls, police officers blanket some eight odd blocks of Brownsville, Brooklyn...The officers stop people they think might be carrying guns; they stop and question people who merely enter the public housing project buildings without a key; they ask for identification from, and run warrant checks on, young people halted for riding bicycles on the sidewalk.
UPDATE - 7/13, 1:30 pm: In the face of criticism, the Coast Guard just rescinded this policy, allowing reporters free access to Gulf spill recovery efforts. Details below.
Effectively reporting on the Gulf oil spill is now a Class D felony, punishable by a fine of up to $40,000.
That's right, the most transparent administration in history has made it a felony, effective July 1, to get within 65 feet of what the Coast Guard determines are essential recovery efforts. According to Anderson Cooper, officials tried to up that number to 300 feet.
Cooper, who claimed federal officials prevented CNN on two occasions from taking photographs in the gulf, seemed frustrated when he reported on the new laws the day they went into effect. The press is "not the enemy here" he pleaded. The new policies, he said, make it "very easy to hide failure, and hide incompetence."
Cooper also let loose this zinger: "Transparency is apparently not a priority with [Coast Guard Commandant] Thad Allen these days." Ouch (full video and transcript below the fold - h/t Ron Robinson).
One reason to hope that the Big 3 networks continue to muddle through their awful evening news ratings and somehow hang around is that there's an alternative out there that would be much worse.
If any of the networks ever considered outsourcing their nightly newscasts to the Associated Press, the likely result could be bad enough to make some long for the (relatively) good old days of Brian, Diane, and Katie.
An object example of the AP's pathetically one-sided, biased and completely not-transparent video reporting came last Tuesday when it covered the Department of Justice's lawsuit against Arizona's illegal immigration enforcement measure. The 1070 law tells police to verify citizenship status in "contact" situations (e.g., traffic stops and other routine matters) if they have a "reasonable suspicion" that the person or persons involved aren't here legally.
AP's go-to "expert" acts as if it's a given that the United States government has decided that being here illegally ("without documentation") isn't a crime. Seriously. During the 104-second report (first go here, then type "Arizona immigration" in the search bar near the bottom, and select "Fed. Suing to Block Ariz. Immigration Law"), AP reporter Brian Thomas interviewed no one who defended the law's constitutionality.
The timing of today’s announcement from the Swiss that fugitive director Roman Polanski will not face extradition to the United States coming just a couple days after we all witnessed Hollywood’s reaction to the audio tape of Mel Gibson’s raging, racist rant is fitting. What an interesting opportunity for a side-by-side look at Leftist Hollywood’s values.
It’s unlikely that anyone who’s considered a serious part of the Hollywood community will openly work with Mel Gibson again for a long, long time — if ever. WME, his agency, announced they had dropped him as a client within minutes of the release of the recording, and courtesy of the L.A. Times, the warning has already gone out making clear that anyone foolish enough to work with Gibson again will pay a heavy price:
There’s little chance he’ll land at another agency anytime soon — signing would bring down a horrible avalanche of bad PR to any agency that got within smelling distance and, more to the craven point, any agent that signs him has little hope of booking him any roles anyway since there isn’t a studio in town that will hire Gibson.
So toxic is the “Braveheart” director that the L.A. Times also “suggested” that now would be a “good time” for Tinseltowners to loudly and proudly condemn the former superstar, and a special point was made to single out his longtime friend Jodie Foster (who just finished directing a film that stars Gibson):
Preconceived notions are dangerous things in journalism. They cause one to assume facts that aren't in evidence, leading to false or incomplete results.
A classic example has played out in the nearly three months since Arizona passed its "1070 law." Among other things, it mandates that law enforcement officials verify citizenship status in situations involving police contact if they have a reasonable suspicion that someone is not in the country legally.
It seems that virtually everyone covering the story has been assuming that Arizona's law is the first of its kind. Well, maybe as a "law" it is. But in Rhode Island, of all places, Boston Globe reporter Maria Sacchetti finally noticed on July 6 (HT Hot Air) that police have been doing what Arizona will start doing on July 29 since 2008 as a result of a gubernatorial executive order:
R.I. troopers embrace firm immigration role In contrast to Mass., they report all who are present illegally
Remember when media liberals were insisting (falsely, by the way) that RedState's Erick Erickson had advocated shooting a census taker? Well imagine that a journalist had approached, say, Dick Armey and the following exchange had ensued. Then try to imagine what the media's response would be.
JOURNO: Obviously you don't believe in killing census workers.
ARMEY: Umm, not in that context, no sir. No, no.
JOURNO: Okay, in what context?
ARMEY: Just for the sake of this interview, no context. I don't believe in that. There are too many other government forces out here that are much more powerful that I as a man would focus on. I wouldn't focus on the census workers, sir, I'd focus on the police.
Replace "census workers" with "babies" and "government" with "white," and you have the exact statement from Malik Zulu Shabazz, leader of the New Black Panther Party, made in an interview with Mediaite's Tommy Christopher (video below the fold).
Issa's he said-he said claim of a rude middle finger from White House chief Rahm Emanuel somehow reflects badly on Issa, in Leibovich's telling.
As a sign of the pride Representative Darrell Issa takes in annoying the Obama administration, consider his account of a recent exchange with Rahm Emanuel, a former congressman and now the White House chief of staff. In describing the episode -- a chance encounter outside the House gym -- Mr. Issa smirked and raised his middle finger.
"That's the only thing Rahm did when he saw me," Mr. Issa, a California Republican, boasted in an interview in his House office. He waved the unfriendly digit in the air like a trophy before folding it into a nub (to mimic Mr. Emanuel, who lost part of his finger in a long-ago meat-cutting accident). More annoying? Mr. Emanuel, through a spokeswoman, said the incident did not occur.
Every Congress seems to produce a designated pest, adept at drawing attention to nuisance issues (and his nuisance self) while making trouble for the other party when it controls the White House. Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California, played that role during the Bush administration, while Representative Dan Burton, Republican of Indiana, did it before him in the Clinton years.
At the Associated Press, Kelli Kennedy's Thursday report on fraud and abuse in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which is well done in several aspects, nonetheless significantly understated its losses.
The AP dispatch deals with a now-released Government Accountability Office report on the results of investigations in nine states.
Here are the first four paragraphs of Kennedy's report (HT David Freddoso at the Washington Examiner), including reference to a woman who is LIHEAP's version of a welfare queen:
A federal program designed to help impoverished families heat and cool their homes wasted more than $100 million paying the electric bills of thousands of applicants who were dead, in prison or living in million-dollar mansions, according to a government investigation.
Which is the bigger story: a few power companies out West have started a pilot program to promote solar panels, or . . . police announce they will investigate allegations of sexual assault against a Nobel prize winner and former Vice-President of the United States? I'd guess most people would go with 'B.' But when it came time to highlight a story from the front page of today's Oregonian, Morning Joe went with the solar panels and ignored Gore.
I was all set to play this as a plain-vanilla case of the MSM burying unwelcome news for a Dem, when another theory occurred to me: could the Morning Joe folks actually have found a cleverly subversive way of getting the Gore story out there, perhaps against the wishes of their network overlords?
Have a look at the video of the Oregonian front page as Morning Joe displayed it during the "Morning Papers" segment [screencap after the jump].
Don't look now, but it seems the media have suddenly discovered a respect for states' rights. All it took was a Supreme Court ruling affirming the Second Amendment's role in protecting gun owners' rights from state or local infringement.
Newsweek called the ruling "bad news" for gun controllers because "the right to ‘keep and bear arms' in the U.S. Constitution's 2nd Amendment restricts state and local power to impose gun controls."
The ruling found that local and state governments cannot simply ban gun ownership. It left the door open for some restrictions, but the extent of those restrictions remains largely untested.
CNN declared the ruling "a potentially far-reaching case over the ability of state and local governments to enforce limits on weapons."
The Associated Press is still failing to tag the currently imprisoned former Detroit Mayor and former beneficiary of President Barack Obama's high praise Kwame Kilpatrick as a Democrat.
I know, same-old, same-old. And Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead. But there's more to this particular chapter in this ongoing "Name That Party" narrative.
The wire service kept its near-perfect Kilpatrick non-labeling track record intact in two shorter items and a lengthier treatment of the latest development in Kwame's calamaties, all published in roughly the past 24 hours. The closest Kwame got to being tagged as a Dem occurred in an otherwise detailed report turned in by Ed White, where he described Kilpatrick's mother, Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, as "D-Mich." The link to White's report doesn't contain his byline; I'll explain why later in the post, where I will also suggest that there is reason to believe the AP has attempted to bottle up White's full report.
A six-paragraph story carried at the Toledo Blade last night (HT to Maggie Thurber in an e-mail) described the latest and by far most serious development in this sickening saga:
In an indictment filed Wednesday, he’s accused of failing to report at least $640,000 in taxable income between 2003 and 2008, which includes money, private jet flights and personal expenses paid by the (Kilpatrick) Civic Fund.
Did you know that President Obama has nominated for a federal judgeship someone who believes a serial killer and rapist's "sexual sadism" should be a cause to give him a less serious punishment? Probably not, since the media have given it almost no coverage.
Robert Chatigny, nominated for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, believes that sexual sadism should be what's known as a "mitigating factor" in determining guilt and punishment for murder and rape. Counterintuitive as it may be, he thinks sexual sadism should be cause for a lighter sentence.
On top of all this, today NewsBusters sister site CNS News reported that 13 years before Chatigny delayed the execution of one Michael Ross, a serial killer and rapist, he had served as Ross's private defense attorney. Apparently he forgot to recuse himself. Will the media report this tidbit?
Liberals may like to boast of fighting the establishment and taking on the status quo, but it's conservative laws that are 30 times more likely to be deemed "controversial" - at least by the mainstream media.
In the past five years, when ABC, CBS, or NBC news reporters claimed a law was "controversial," they were most likely referring to legislation backed by the right.
This analysis looked at 110 news transcripts dating back to 2005 where the term "controversial" fell within three words of the term "law." Of these transcripts, 62 referred to policies that were clearly liberal or conservative. Of the 62 ideologically identifiable "controversial" laws, 60 were conservative and only two were liberal.
Whether it was NBC's "Today" on Jan. 2, 2008, referring to the "controversial new law in Arizona [where] businesses can be shut down if they intentionally hire illegal immigrants," or ABC's "Good Morning America" on Dec. 23, 2005, discussing the "extension of the Patriot Act just days before the controversial law was set to expire," conservative policies seemed to be more hot-button issues for the media than liberal policies.
On Sunday, New York Times reporter Randal Archibold offered up more of his slanted reporting on Arizona's pending new immigration enforcement law, suggesting that supporters of tough immigration enforcement are fostering fear by exaggerating the problem of violent crime on the border with Mexico: "On Border Violence, Truth Pales Compared to Ideas."
But does his evidence stand up? Two conservative writers say no, pointing to FBI statistics that show crime has increased substantially in towns outside major metropolitan areas and rural counties.
When Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Democrat of Arizona, announced that the Obama administration would send as many as 1,200 additional National Guard troops to bolster security at the Mexican border, she held up a photograph of Robert Krentz, a mild-mannered rancher who was shot to death this year on his vast property. The authorities suspected that the culprit was linked to smuggling.
"Robert Krentz really is the face behind the violence at the U.S.-Mexico border," Ms. Giffords said.
It is a connection that those who support stronger enforcement of immigration laws and tighter borders often make: rising crime at the border necessitates tougher enforcement.
But the rate of violent crime at the border, and indeed across Arizona, has been declining, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as has illegal immigration, according to the Border Patrol. While thousands have been killed in Mexico's drug wars, raising anxiety that the violence will spread to the United States, F.B.I. statistics show that Arizona is relatively safe.
An Associated Press writer has perpetuated a long-standing allegation of bias with two stories about corruption in New York State she wrote last Monday.
In one story, "NY AG: ‘Everyone does it' not a fraud defense'", Colleen Long wrote about the New York Attorney General's office rejecting arguments for dismissing corruption charges against Hank Morris, a former aid to State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, who avoided an indictment in 2007. Nowhere in the article is it mentioned that Morris is a Democrat. Meanwhile, in the other story Long wrote that day, it's all in the title: "Republican operative in NY accused of stealing $1M" about political consultant John Haggerty being indicted for defrauding New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
While Haggerty's political affiliations were mentioned both in the headline and the lede -- even though he was working for the Independence Party of New York at the time -- neither Morris' nor Hevesi's affiliation with the Democrats is mentioned at all.
The headline sounds sensational: "Cop punches girl in face during jaywalk arrest." That's how the June 17 NBC "Today" show began what might appear to be an even-handed story. But a closer look at what the network aired and what it left out show a far different result.
The morning segment repeatedly played a clip highlighting what Matt Lauer referred to as a "violent arrest" - a police officer punching a young woman who interfered in the arrest of the jaywalker. That clip was shown 14 times during the segment.
After the first showing of the clip, Lee Cowan told viewers, "Watch again, he closes his fist, winds up and lands a hard right to her face." Time and again, the segment returned to the video clip showing the police officer punch the 17-year-old.
What do Tea Partiers, Truthers, birthers, Birchers, militias, Pat Buchanan, Jerry Falwell, Barry Goldwater, Joe McCarthy, Father Coughlin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Ronald Reagan, Strom Thurmond, Rand Paul, Alex Jones, Orly Taitz, and Oklahoma City bomber Tim McVeigh all have in common? Approximately nothing, but don't tell Chris Matthews.
The MSNBC "Hardball" host spent the better part of an hour last night trying to associate all of these characters with one other. Of course he did not provide a shred of evidence beyond, ironically, a McCarthyite notion that all favor smaller government, and are therefore in league, whether they know it or not, to overthrow the government. Together, by Matthews's account, they comprise or have given rise to the "New Right."
The special was less a history of the Tea Party movement than a history of leftist distortions of the Tea Party movement. As such, it tried -- without offering any evidence, mind you -- to paint the movement as potentially violent. Hence, after Matthews tried his hardest to link all of these characters, he went on to paint them all as supporting, inciting, or actually committing violence. (Videos embedded at the end of post.)
To be sure, Hall says, "No he's not a hero. He's a jerk," but he only added that part in after his post was savaged by commenters. Earlier versions of the post, including the one automatically posted to Beltway Blips and the excerpt on Hall's author page show that clarification was added later, and the post itself notes, "Edit. note – this post has been slightly edited for clarity from an earlier iteration."
Hall's defense of Etheridge echos the DNC talking points that the videographers were unidentified and probably conservative. After all, assault is perfectly fine as long as it is done to a conservative or an alleged Republican operative. (Indeed, the media seems to have adopted this lesson in the Tea Party movement.) Hall said:
Gave reporter Jeff Zeleny about 330 words on Page A21 to recycle a Caucus Blog post softly covering the video-recorded arguable assault North Carolina Congressman Bob Etheridge committed against a questioner on a public street "last week," and which came to public light early Monday morning. The vague print edition headline (per the index): "Congressman Apologizes After Tussle."
Devoted almost 1,000 words on Page A15 to a story about a three year-old alleged shoving incident involving California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman that "no one else appears to have witnessed." Yet the headline gives the impression that the facts are not in dispute: "Settlement Was Paid in Whitman Shoving Incident."
It would appear, based on the graphic tease reproduced at the right and the underlying content, that the folks putting together videos at the Associated Press didn't get the memo that they should go as soft as possible on North Carolina Democratic Congressman Bob Etheridge.
Etheridge arguably committed assault "last week" when approached on a public street. The description of what occurred and its aftermath at AP video is quite a bit stronger than what is found in AP Reporter Martha Waggoner's Monday evening text report, as you will see shortly.
Despite having over 400 words with which to work, Waggoner also failed to record a comment -- or even a "no comment" -- from anyone else in the Democratic Party, or to give any indication that she or anyone else at AP tried to contact House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, any other Democrat in a leadership position, or anyone in the Obama administration.
Here's what the video and accompanying description look like in the AP's Raw Video report, which re-runs the original video without the original producer's interspersed words:
Note that the incident took place "last week," according to the linked BigGovernment.com post, which means that Etheridge didn't see the need for an apology until the video went viral.
So ... who does the intrepid Associated Press attempt to go to for comment? The Congressman? Apparently not, as you will see; the AP must see his "apology" as the end of the story. The person whom Etheridge arguably assaulted? Legal experts, who could weigh in on whether the congressman could be arrested and and charged? House or Democratic Party colleagues? No-no-no.
Get a load, in the final paragraph of what will probably end up being a brief initial report, of who the AP believes owes it a comment first and foremost:
Real Clear Politics currently has a video highlighting statements by Democratic Congressman James Clyburn Jr. of South Carolina. It teases the video with a question asked by Candy Crowley of CNN.
Once one sees the entire sequence, it's clear that Clyburn really answered Crowley's question before she even asked it.
Here's the full transcript of the vid, which begins after Indiana Republican Congressman Mike Pence had apparently made some points about how steps taken by the Obama administration to revive the economy to the point where it generates meaningful job growth aren't working. Clyburn's answer to when his party will stop blaming Bush is in bold:
Clyburn: Uh, Congressman Spence, uh, Pence keeps talkin' about, uh, the fact that, uh, we are, uh, failing in our approach. We all know exactly what this president inherited, and we will stop talkin' about that inheritance, uh, when uh Congressman uh Pence and others stop talkin' about takin' us back uh to those failed policies.
CNN's Kyra Phillips completely got it wrong on Friday's Newsroom as she reported on Pope Benedict XVI's latest apology for the priestly sex abuse scandal. Even after she reported that Pope was "begging for forgiveness," Phillips repeatedly claimed that "there are two simple words we haven't heard: I'm sorry." The Pope has actually used those words and has made multiple apologies.
The CNN anchor led the 9 am Eastern hour with the pontiff's request for forgiveness, which he made at a Mass in St. Peter's Square to close out the Catholic Church's Year for Priests, which began on June 19, 2009 and ends June 19 this year: "Here's what we're working on right now. Sex abuse in the Catholic Church- the Holy Father begs forgiveness, promises never again. But why is it that being Pope means never having to say, I'm sorry." Despite the continuing the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico and other top stories, Phillips highlighted the Pope's comments, along with the teenager stranded at sea and the opening of the World Cup in South Africa.
Editor's Note: The following was originally posted at Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood.
Seeing that George Soros and Sting are working together to “end the drug war” puts me in mind of a story an Army buddy who works in the DEA told me about busting in the door of a drug house only to find three occupants – the oldest four years old, having been left in charge while his “parents” went out to score meth. Yeah, drug use is a victimless crime – if you ignore the victims.
Apparently not content to subsidize the whining of the nonentities at Media Matters, Soros is taking a break from his adventures in currency manipulation and general scuzziness to enlist entertainment celebrities like Sting in his newest quest. The Drug Policy Alliance is the result, a group whose members, as its founder puts it, “come from across the drug use spectrum.” Yes, the junkies, stoners, hopheads, dope fiends, pill-poppers, and Lindsay Lohan are unanimous: Drug laws are bad, and it’s probably BusHitler’s fault.
The Associated Press's Karl Ritter clearly doesn't recognize how close to parody his report ("Rightist group jolts Sweden's tolerant self-image") on the mini-rise of the right-leaning Sweden Democrats Party is (I'll use "SD" as an abbreviation in this post).
Ritter is not afraid to label the SD, but won't label others. He begins by telling us that the SD is "far-right" because it is "preaching sharp cuts in immigration and calling Islam the greatest threat to Swedish society" -- conveniently, I believe, omitting the term "radical" in describing Islam. Other parties, of course, are "mainstream."
The AP reporter describes Sweden as having "a self-image of being more tolerant."
Self-image notwithstanding, a reader who gets as far as the nineteenth paragraph of Ritter's report learns that "tolerance" is a decidedly one-way street (bolds are mine):
The revolving door of political journalism underscores the brazen liberalism of today's newsrooms -- 15 former journalists now populate the Obama administration. And though taking a job in such a far left administration demonstrates journalists' overwhelming liberal politics, ABC News's deputy political director Teddy Davis has managed to raise the bar.
Davis announced yesterday his intention to leave ABC, and said he will be "working with the SEIU team on their political campaigns and policy agenda." The Service Employees International Union, of course, is a group of liberal shock troops who recently tried--and failed--to field far left candidates in an effort to defeat centrist Democrats.
So while some journalists have gone to bat for the Executive, Davis has managed to one-up virtually all of them in accepting a gig with one of the most partisan and thuggish groups on the political scene.
The American lawyers who flock to Guantanamo Bay to represent captured terrorists are simply fulfilling their duty to provide representation, it is often argued by those who seem to enjoy mucking up efforts to curtail future terrorism. But once representing the American beverage giant Coca Cola makes Attorney General Eric Holder a “corporatist” who’s going to “do the Devil’s work” and only “pretend” to go tough on BP after the oil spill, lefty talk radio host Mike Malloy (a onetime CNN news writer) argued Wednesday night. (Audio here.)
I guess you know this by now, the, uh, Justice Department under Eric Holder who defended, uh, was it Coca-Cola, against murder charges in, uh, South America? Good old Eric Holder, another corporatist, who, uh, is going to do the Devil’s work now and pretend that he is conducting a criminal investigation into the events that led to the oil gush?
For their part, the big three network evening newscasts reported Holder’s announcement of a “criminal investigation” against BP during their Tuesday night broadcasts, but only CBS’s Chip Reid struck what could be called a skeptical note about the Obama administration’s motives in publicly touting the investigation after a week of criticism about the federal government’s less-than-effective handling of the matter.
PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler on Tueday addressed Tavis Smiley's claim that Christian terrorists commit far more violence than Muslim ones. Smiley also issued a statement that defended his comments, though it misrepresented what those comments actually were.
"I don't think he made his case, or even came close," Getler said. He rightfully noted that the 2000 Columbine massacre, Smiley's only example of supposed Christian terrorism, "had nothing to do with Christianity." In fact, as Brent Bozell noted in his column today, the shooters even "mocked students who cried out for God to save them."
Though Getler should be applauded for noting Smiley's total failure to offer a convincing argument, he seems to suggest that a convincing case could be made, but simply wasn't in this instance. "One would think," Getler states, "that Smiley would have been better prepared to make what was certain to be a controversial case."