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."
What will it take for the MSM to stop smearing the falsely-accused Duke lacrosse players? Judging by the performance of ESPN's Steve Weissman this morning, legal exoneration is not enough.
Introducing an ESPNNEWS item on a lacrosse game between Duke and the University of Virginia, Weissman claimed that three years ago, the Duke team had been involved in "a devastating scandal," and that while the accused players had been exonerated, "the questions remain."
Weissman, looking for a hook to intro the story, went for the cheap moral equivalence between the false charges leveled against the Duke players, and the murder charge against a UVA player in the death of a women's lacrosse player.
Has it dawned on the MSM that the only thing that would have carried any weight today would have been Joe Sestak unequivocally stating that he wasn't offered the Sec. of the Navy job? He didn't. Sure, Pres. Obama's mouthpiece issued a denial.But if there was any way under heaven that the White House could have strong-armed Sestak into flatly stating that no one offered him the Navy post, it would have happened. It didn't.
Instead, all Sestak says is that Pres. Clinton offered him some measly advisory board position, which he rejected. And indeed, Sestak tells a reporter that Clinton told him that "Rahm Emanuel" had mentioned the possibility of an advisory board position. So we know Emanuel was in the mix. Sestak is quoted as saying that he only had "one phone call" with Pres. Clinton. But he never said he didn't subsequently hear from Emanuel or some other senior Obama aide.
A promo for a new Chris Matthews special on the "Rise of the New Right" is pretty much what you'd expect: Rand Paul, 9/11 Truther Alex Jones, and lots of militiamen shooting guns. That is the doctrinaire leftist snapshot of the Tea Party movement, so it stands to reason that Matthews will extrapolate it into some dire warning about our political future.
"There is a rising tide on the right," Matthews's ominously declares. "The tea party is determined to take power, what does that mean for America?" A claim by a militiaman that "the government's too big" is immediately followed by gunshots - a not too subtle way to paint Americans who favor less government (a majority, by the way) as extremists ala the infamous Hutaree Militia.
The promo opens with Rand Paul's "message from the Tea Party: we've come to take our government back." Paul's recent gaffe - he said he would not have voted for Title II of the Civil Rights Act - will probably give Matthews an easy segue into discussion of the horrible racists that make up the movement. The presence of Alex Jones suggests that Matthews will try to paint Tea Partiers as conspiracy theorists as well (video below the fold).
Just how desperately does the MSM want to bury the Sestak job-bribe story? Yesterday we reported Time editor Rick Stengel's risibly feigned ignorance of the matter.
On Morning Joe today, Joe Scarborough broke off a colorful metaphor to describe the liberal media's see-no-evil approach to the subject, saying the MSM wouldn't cover the story "if Rahm Emanuel announced it in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue wearing nothing but a Speedo."
Mika Brzezinski broached the subject by mentioning that she had gotten "hammered" by her husband and friends for her criticism of the MSM's failure to ask the tough questions on the matter.
In the May 26 issue of Rolling Stone, Taibbi's article, "Wall Street War," lamented the impact lobbyists in Washington, D.C. have had on the legislative process of the financial regulation reform. And in order to keep readers interested, he painted Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., as a villain with a degree of insult:
An 80-year-old Chicago man recently defended himself and his family from an armed burglar, using a firearm banned under the Windy City's stringent gun ban. Despite the robber getting off the first shot the elderly man was unhurt:
On the one hand, you might say it was the least surprising coming-out since Ricky Martin announced he was gay. On the other, it was refreshing to hear Mika Brzezinski say words we knew to be true but at least in my case had never heard her unequivocally pronounce before: "I'm a Democrat."
Mika made her declaration in the context of arguing that just because she's a Democrat doesn't mean she shouldn't ask tough questions about the Sestak job-offer allegations or Pres. Obama's handling of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Mika also took a surprising shot at her fellow MSMers for failing to ask the tough questions . . .
President Obama's nominee to the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Robert N. Chatigny, holds a disturbing fringe opinion that sexual sadism should be a legal mitigating factor. In fact, Chatigny put this belief in action while presiding over the case against the "Roadside Strangler" where he did everything in his power to keep serial rapist and killer Michael Ross from getting the death penalty. (WARNING: DISTURBING CONTENT)
The New York Times's former Middle East Bureau Chief thinks violent revolt is a laudable response to economic woes, and that murder is at least acceptable in pursuit of a far-left agenda. The media so concerned with the potential for violence from conservative groups are completely silent.
"Here’s to the Greeks," wrote Chris Hedges at Truthdig.com. "They know what to do when corporations pillage and loot their country." Riot, by Hedges's account, is the correct response. That the riots in Greece have so far killed three innocent people doesn't seem to bother him.
Oh but it's not violence borne of a frustration with an unsustainable welfare state that finally reached the inevitable conclusion of skyrocketing public benefits coupled with a fast-shrinking population. No, the riots are "a struggle for liberation" against the oppressive bourgeoisie (capitalists). Hedges is advocating in no vague terms mass political violence. The response from the media: crickets.
A protest noticed by the target's next-door neighbor who happened to be home at the time, namely journalist Nina Easton (who also took the photo at right), occurred in a Metro DC suburb in Maryland marked the next round of a national labor union's attempt at persuasion through intimidation.
IBD concisely describes what happens, and why it should cause so much concern:
Mob Rule From SEIU
On May 16, Washington, D.C., police escorted 14 busloads full of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members at least part of the way to storm the Chevy Chase, Md., home of Bank of America's deputy legal counsel, Greg Baer.
The order of just desserts that many of us hoped was on its way to Detroit serendipitously arrived today, in the form of a stiffer-than expected sentence of Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick for violating the terms of his probation -- so severe that, for perhaps the first time in his life, Kwame and his clan are, to borrow from Elvis, all shook up.
It's too bad that readers of Associated Press dispatches can't hand out sentences dictating that certain journalists be prevented from accessing a computer keyboard or other data entry device to publish anything for public consumption for as least as long (5 years) as Kilpatrick's maximum potential time in jail. If they had that power, the AP's Corey Williams would be guilty as charged for "waiting 8 paragraphs to identify the party affiliation of a major political figure involved in crime and/or corruption." If the sentence seems too harsh, recall that Williams is an at least one-time repeat offender, having co-authored an AP dispatch in April (noted by yours truly at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) that avoided mentioning Kilpatrick's Democratic Party pedigree at all.
Here are the first seven paragraphs of Williams's wimp-out (HT to an e-mailer, who also helpfully points out that Kilpatrick's mom, Carolyn Kilpatrick, is a Michigan congressperson, a relationship that has almost never been mentioned in any story about Kwame's calamities). Note the arrival -- finally -- of the aforementioned just desserts in the final excerpted paragraph:
When I saw the Associated Press's headline ("Disgraced former Ohio congressman dies at 79"), I started thinking about whom the wire service might be referring to.
Of course I knew he would be a Republican, because the establishment media never treats Democrats, even those who leave women who aren't their wives to drown in a submerged car, as "disgraced."
But even I never thought that the AP would reach back 20 years and attempt to give the national spotlight (raw feed proof as of 6:30 p.m. ET is here) to a former Ohio politician whom even most Ohioans -- even most Southwestern Ohioans -- don't remember. I clearly underestimated AP's cravenness. I guess "The Essential Global News Network" needed to find something to offset the hurt coursing through liberal circles today from seeing the GOP gain a seat, however temporarily, in Hawaii.
No "Name That Party" post would be complete without referring to how Democratic politicians in somewhat analogous situations were handled by AP upon their death. That's coming up.
But first, here is most of the wire service's story (for fair use and discussion purposes, of course) about the former congressman's death, complete with multiple party and political philosophy references, as well as guilt by association:
The report tells us that Oklahoma had a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 6.6% last month. That's far lower than the 9.9% reported for the entire USA two weeks ago. No state with a larger population has a lower unemployment rate than the Sooner State (states with lower April unemployment rates were KS - 6.5%; NE at 5.0%; ND - 3.8%; SD - 4.7%; and VT - 6.4%).
As seen in the chart below, Oklahoma's unemployment rate has been significantly lower than the national rate for well over two years, and on average in 2009 was that way across all major ethnic groups (source data for 2006 to 2009 can be accessed here; scroll down to "Annual Average Statewide Data"):
In a bizarre attempt to demonstrate how vital gun control is in his city, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley threatened to stick a bayonted rifle up a reporter's rear end and pull the trigger. Of course if a Republican had done the same to demonstrate the conservative position on gun control, there would be a media bonanza. Not so for the Democratic mayor.
"If I put this up your—ha!—your butt—ha ha!—you’ll find out how effective this is!" Daley told Mick Dumke of the Chicago Reader. Dumke had posed the very sensible question of how the city's draconian restrictions on gun ownership had helped, given that firearms are still widely accessible, and used in violent crimes throughout the city.
Daley didn't seem to understand the question; he went on about how many lives the confiscation of guns saves, while ignoring the reporter's point that gun control doesn't take firearms out of the hands of criminals. Or, for that matter, politicians peeved with reporters for asking inconvenient questions (video of the exchange below the fold).
Editor's Note: This post originally appeared at Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood.
The political thriller Fair Game premiered at Cannes today. (Pause for giant, collective yawn from Big Hollywood readers…)
The Sean Penn-Naomi Watts “starrer” (hey, it’s fun using unnecessarily awkward Variety-speak!) revisits the Valerie Plame Wilson scandal, an episode I’m not even going to bother recapping, because to do so would simply be coma-inducing for all of us. Besides, I already summed up the affair and dissected the screenplay’s political slant for Big Hollywood here. Suffice it to say, it’s a tale the Hollywood Left is hell-bent on getting Americans to care about.
As are its water-carriers in the media. In a deceptive puff piece an article last week for the Los Angeles Times, Rachel Abramowitz discusses the film and interviews its director Doug Liman. The first clue that we’re about to be sold a crockpot of hooey comes when she describes Valerie Plame as “the undercover CIA operative whose name was leaked to the media by the Bush White House in an effort to discredit her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson.”