A collection of "The Faces of Political Scandal," assembled by ABC News yesterday (HT to an e-mailer), once again demonstrates the media's relative reluctance to identify the membership of Democrats involved in scandal.
Of the 14 politicians identified, seven are Democrats and seven are Republicans. Five of the seven GOP members are identified as such, while only two of the seven Democrats were flagged. The montage also has a couple of surprising factual errors.
Here's the detail, slide by slide:
Current Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich -- Party not ID'd, while containing a quote with a Republican frame of reference ("Gov. Blagojevich has taken us to a new low," U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said. "This conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave.").
KHQA TV wishes to offer clarification regarding a story that appeared last month on our website ConnectTristates.com. The story, which discussed the appointment of a replacement for President Elect Obama in the U.S. Senate, became the subject of much discussion on talk radio and on blog sites Wednesday.
The story housed in our website archive was on the morning of November 5, 2008. It suggested that a meeting was scheduled later that day between President Elect Obama and Illinois Governor Blagojevich. KHQA has no knowledge that any meeting ever took place. Governor Blagojevich did appear at a news conference in Chicago on that date.
That's fine, except for the fact that the KHQA story in my NewsBusters/BizzyBlog post earlier today was from November 8 -- three days later (link again is to a file saved at my web host, obtained from Google cache shortly before it disappeared). It (obviously) talked about the meeting in the past tense (bold is mine):
On Tuesday’s Situation Room, CNN host Wolf Blitzer tried to downplay the significance of the arrest of the Democratic governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich by making an unequivocal statement about Republicans: “You know, most of the scandals -- most of the political scandals...in recent years have involved Republicans...and they’re all pretty well-known.” He continued by labeling the Democrat’s apprehension a “huge embarrassment.”
Blitzer made the remark to Karen Finney, the communications director for the Democratic National Committee, during the regular “Strategy Session” segment. Finney appeared with Republican strategist John Feehery, and the three discussed the political implications of Blagojevich’s arrest. Besides this most recent development, the CNN host only mentioned the recent defeat of Louisiana Representative William Jefferson as an example of a political scandal involving a Democrat.
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested today. The Associated Press's Mike Robinson actually identified "Blago's" party in the third paragraph of his 10:27 a.m. report (link is dynamic; cited report is also here for future reference; underlying news HTs to an e-mailer):
Updated below: CNN.com now noting Blago's Democratic affiliation
An unsigned CNN.com article on Tuesday which broke the news that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich had been arrested by federal authorities omitted his Democratic party affiliation. Both Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris face conspiracy and bribery charges related to the appointment of Barack Obama’s successor to his Senate seat.
The article did describe the accusations against the Illinois governor and his aide in detail. Among other things, Blagojevich is accused of trying to obtain “a substantial salary for himself at a either a non-profit foundation or an organization affiliated with labor unions; placing his wife on paid corporate boards where he speculated she might garner as much as $150,000 a year; promises of campaign funds -- including cash up front; [and] a Cabinet post or ambassadorship for himself.”
Attention, y'all in the South: Urban crime is partly your fault.
You see, if you didn't own so many guns, you wouldn't have so many of them stolen or sold at gun shows. Right now, those evil guns cross state lines and get used to commit crimes in urban areas.
I know all of this because the Associated Press's Seanna Adcox, acting as a mouthpiece for the Mayors Against Illegal Guns, has told me so (link is dynamic; 2 AM version saved here for future reference):
Report: South a big exporter of guns used in crime
The Columbus Dispatch has done some impressive work exposing the unauthorized and arguably illegal database diving done by State of Ohio employees into the records of Joe the Plumber in October. The rest of Ohio's and the nation's media have been virtually asleep.
In a previous post (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that Vanessa Niekamp, the state employee who blew the lid off the underhanded undertaking, was virtually unknown, while many other past government whistleblowers have been treated as media heroes.
A story in the Dispatch this morning that should be read in full (HT Michelle Malkin) about Ms. Niekamp's testimony before the Ohio House's Government and Elections Committee reveals just how imperiled she was.
While carrying out a personal order from a superior who was trying to cover his tracks, she was reminded that she was an "unclassified" employee. In plain English, she was threatened with her job if she didn't do what she was told (bolds are mine):
The party-ID treatment of Fabian Nuñez, whose term as California Assemly Speaker ended on May 13, but whose term in the Assembly ended just this past Sunday, was barely better than what Kerry observed in the articles she reviewed yesterday.
Here's the rundown, which I will follow with past examples of obviously disparate treatment of Republican politicians whose sons got into much less trouble with the law:
A criminal without legal status deported by US immigration officials is the subject of the latest pity party thrown by The New York Times. The Times seems to find it lamentable that this gang member and armed robber was deported from "his homeland" -- that would be the USA -- to Cambodia, the land of his birth (one he left when he was a 3-year-old). Why does the NYTimes bemoan the deportation of this thug? Why would he make a fine American despite his criminal history? He can dance, man!
The Times waxed maudlin that their friend "K.K." was deported at 26-years of age ending up in Cambodia, a land with which he was quite unfamiliar. Apparently, the Times feels "K.K." is doing wonderful work there, though, by teaching Cambodian street kids how to street dance. Yes, despite that he is a "former gang member" and convicted felon, the Times thinks he's a swell fellow because he is bringing "a little slice of Long Beach, Calif." to street kids in Cambodia.
Admission: Lawrence O'Donnell is emerging as one of my favorite media liberals. On the one hand, almost exactly one year ago, his anti-Mormon rant spurred me to action. But lately, watching him as a frequent MSNBC guest, I've been impressed by his acumen and willingness to call them as he sees them.
Take O'Donnell's intervention on tonight's "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," where he made the salient point that the scandal of the Marc Rich pardon is, ironically, being held against AG nominee Eric Holder . . . while Hillary Clinton skates.
In her story about pardon applications submitted to the Bush Justice Department before the President leaves office, the Associated Press's Lara Jakes Jordan made it seem as if pardon applicants appealing directly to the president is a new thing, and whitewashed the last-minute flurry of pardons granted by Bill Clinton in 2001.
Here are the key passages from Jordan's story:
Some high-profile convicts past and present are among more than 2,000 people asking President George W. Bush to pardon them or commute their prison sentences before he leaves office.
Junk-bond king Michael Milken, media mogul Conrad Black and American-born Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh have applied to the Justice Department seeking official forgiveness.
But with Bush's term ending Jan. 20, some lawyers are lobbying the White House directly to pardon their clients. That raises the possibility that the president could excuse scores of people, including some who have not been charged, to protect them from future accusations, such as former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales or star baseball pitcher Roger Clemens.
Of all the genres of interviews, those conducted by the media with family and friends of victims of tragedy are among the most difficult and often least successful.
A remarkable exception to that rule comes in the form of the interview David Gregory conducted on this morning's Today show with Rabbi Shalom Paltiel, who was a friend of the Chabad couple murdered in Mombai and is a fellow member of the Chabad movement.
Gregory demonstrates knowledge and sensitivity, and Rabbi Paltiel exhibits a faith and optimism in the face of tragedy that people of all faiths should find inspiring. I encourage people to watch.
This is not a promo for the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) per se, as there may be other similarly effective organizations out there to help families who homeschool their kids.
But if the following examples don't prove that homeschooled children and their parents need to have access to legal help at a moment's notice, I don't know what will. I will present blood-boiling excerpts here, but strongly advise all to read the full stories at the links.
It may not be an automatic disqualifier for an Obama administration appointment, as Ed Morrissey at Hot Air suggested on Friday, but it's certainly an affront to the personal privacy rights of individuals and families.
The Politico reported Thursday evening about the fallout resulting from an intrusive question on the president-elect's 63-question personnel form:
President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team is asking potential appointees detailed questions about gun ownership, and firearms advocates aren’t happy about it.
It's very doubtful that the name "Vanessa Niekamp" rings a bell with very many readers here. That's because the media elites like some whistleblowers, and not others.
In other circumstances, someone like Ms. Niekamp would be a heroine. In the current circumstances, she's barely a footnote. In my opinion, it's because she was involved in exposing shenanigans conducted on behalf of the then-presidential candidate the media loves and adores that threatened to derail his march to victory.
If it weren't for Vanessa Niekamp, the public might not have learned of the duplicitous and likely extra-legal dives into State of Ohio databases by state employees determined to dig up dirt on Joe the Plumber. A subsequent investigation by the Ohio Inspector General (OIG; PDF is accessible at the first item at this link) determined that Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director Helen Jones-Kelley and state employees at other agencies had engaged in "improper" records checks "without any legitimate business purpose."
Drumstick or breast for accused daddy killer? Details at 11!
If that wasn't quite how the Early Show played it, it's not far off. Of all the angles to promote its coverage of the story of the eight-year old accused of killing his father, CBS highlighted the issue of . . . where the boy would celebrate Thanksgiving.
During Tuesday evening’s “No Bias, No Bull” program, Washington Post national political correspondent and CNN contributor Dana Milbank implied, perhaps inadvertently, that the incoming Obama adminstration was like the North Vietnamese advancing on Saigon in 1975. Host Campbell Brown asked Milbank about the “backlog of at least 2,000 pardon applications” to the Bush administration before the president leaves office early next year, and he replied, “Yeah -- it sort of has the feeling of the last helicopter off the embassy roof in Saigon.” [audio available here]
Milibank made the remark during his regular “Political Daily Briefing” feature, which aired at the bottom half of the 8 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program. Earlier in the segment, the Post correspondent, as well as Brown, commented on Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman keeping his chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. Brown stated that “despite supporting John McCain, despite saying some pretty nasty things about Barack Obama on the campaign trail, Senator Joe Lieberman is going to keep his coveted chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee.” Milbank agreed with this labeling of some of Lieberman’s past statements about Obama in his reply: “It’s amazing -- looks like a full amnesty for Joe Lieberman. He said some awful things about President-Elect Obama, and now he gets -- I don’t think you could even really call it a slap on the wrist there...”
The Dallas Independent School District (DISD) has been committing crimes that would cause private companies performing similar acts to be raided and/or shut down: issuing fake Social Security numbers to foreigner with visas and/or illegal immigrants to get them on the payroll.
This is serious stuff. Yet Hobbs and her paper did everything they could to minimize the impact of the story, as seen in these excerpts:
A 44-year old New Jersey man has been arrested in Washington, D.C., for allegedly urinating on people while intoxicated at a Grateful Dead tribute band concert. Talk about embarassment, a Grateful Dead tribute band?! Oh, did I mention the man is a Jersey City Democratic councilman?
The AP ignored Steve Lipski's Democratic party affiliation in a November 9 story about the Friday incident, even though it was bylined from Jersey City and presumably a reporter filing from there could readily discover Lipski's Democratic Party affiliation. After all, the Democratic pol once ran unsuccessfully for Atlantic City mayor.
A November 9 UPI story on Lipski's arrest noted an unidentified source at D.C.'s popular 9:30 Club that Lipski has a rap for drunken, um, revelry:
Ah, the land of lollipops and unicorns has descended upon us now that the savior has won the election.
Perhaps with the safety of the completed election securely behind, Peter Slevin of the Washington Post did a very cutesy article covering the not-so-cutesy terrorist, Bill Ayers.
Ayers was gracious enough to come out of the woodwork to offer his viewpoints on the Republicans demonizing him during the campaign.
"Pal around together? What does that mean? Share a milkshake with two straws?" Ayers said.
No William, palling around together might include one pal giving another a glowing review of their book, or perhaps the two of you serving together on the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, or maybe even inviting Obama over to your home to help launch his political career. Hell, who's to say Bernardine Dohrn wasn't serving up milkshakes in your living room at the time? But maybe we're just splitting hairs on defining the term ‘pal.'
Blogger Patrick "Patterico" Frey yesterday devoted a blog post to the difference between how the media are reporting a thwarted assassination attempt against President Bush versus the recent arrest of some skinheads plotting harm to Sen. Barack Obama.
Patterico noted that the Bush conspirators were farther along in their plans than the skinheads targeting Obama, and yet there was no discernible mainstream media attention to the plot, wherein the principal conspirator pleaded guilty and was slapped with a 5-year sentence:
Guest blogger DRJ earlier posted about the alleged assassination plot against Barack Obama. As I always say when charges are made, charges are just charges, and have to be proved by the prosecution. But if these charges can be proved, then these men should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
But it got me thinking: this story is being reported everywhere, including in my beloved Los Angeles Times. I suspect it will be on front pages everywhere tomorrow morning.
Wendi C. Thomas, a black journalist that has written for such media outlets as the Charlotte Observer, the Indianapolis Star and the Nashville Tennessean, was recently asked by what she called a "white man in Memphis" if blacks would riot if Barack Obama should lose the upcoming general election. The question made her angry, and I can't blame her for that anger. But, after a brief flash of sanity, Thomas turned the tables and went on to decide that it will be whites, rather, that will riot if Obama wins, not blacks if he loses.
At first Thomas had the absolute right answer for that "white man from Memphis." She wrote at TheRoot.com that ascribing to "blacks" the actions of rioting from some blacks is not a logical exercise. Even if some blacks rioted after an Obama loss, it is illegitimate to decide that all 40 million blacks in America would agree with that lawlessness. Who could disagree with this sensible comment?
While the unsubstantiated reports of nasty remarks and advocacy of violence from attendees at McCain's rallies remains the buzz from the Old Media establishment and as the Old Media points its accusing finger at Gov. Palin, constantly calling her a racist, real violence has been perpetrated on a McCain supporter at the hands of an Obamaton. Yet, strangely enough, the media has remained silent on the incident.
An Arkansas TV reporter that had a bit part in Oliver Stone's movie "W" was found beaten unconscious in her Little Rock home on October 20 and in its report on the crime the Associated Press seemed to decide that she was beaten merely because she had appeared in the movie though this impression the AP seems to have is not supported by the police. One wonders why the AP decided to spend almost half its story focusing on her movie role when reporting this crime? Is the AP trying to say her connection with George W. Bush got her attacked? It sure seems like the AP is seized by another bout of Bush Derangement Syndrome with its unnecessary emphasis on this reporter's film role.
The APs obsession with the victim's movie role was odd, indeed. Even in its first few lines the AP ties KATV anchor Ann Pressly to her movie work saying in its first sentence that she "had a small part in the Bush biopic 'W.'" The AP takes pains to point out that in the movie, Pressly "speaks favorably of President Bush's 'Mission Accomplished' event on an aircraft carrier shortly after the start of the Iraq war." The report speaks about how she won the role in the film and then adds this odd sentence:
On Thursday’s The O’Reilly Factor, FNC’s Megyn Kelly filled in viewers on the current voter fraud controversy in Ohio involving ACORN, and Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner’s refusal to comply with a federal court ruling in spite of clear evidence of fraudulent voter registrations. Kelly: "She's required by federal law to have her state database linked up to the DMV, and to the Social Security Administration, so that she's got two ways of checking people's registration to make sure they're legit. ... And she's required to keep a list of the discrepancies. She has done neither. She admitted she has turned off the link between the state database and the DMV. ... She admits all this stuff. The state of Ohio is embarrassed because the federal government now has to come in and order the state to run a clean election."
Kelly also noted the potential impact of voter fraud given Ohio’s history of close presidential elections: "George Bush won Ohio by less than 200,000 votes, both in 2000 and 2004. She's admitting, admitting that 200,000 out of the 660,000 new voters are potentially problematic. And she won't let people verify whether, in fact, there is a problem."
Below is a complete transcript of Thursday’s "Kelly File" segment from FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor:
The son of an 8-term Democratic congressman from Illinois has pleaded guilty to having sex with jail inmates under his charge, the Chicago Sun-Times News Group reported today. Yet the congressman's Democratic Party affiliation was left out of the story altogether:
The son of U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush will spend six months in jail after pleading guilty to having sexual encounters with two female inmates and arranging encounters with another while serving as a state prison official.
Jeffrey M. Rush, 42, of the 700 block of Brookfield Court in Lake Zurich, pleaded guilty Wednesday to three counts of official misconduct and agreed to a sentence of 180 days in the Kane County Jail and three years probation, according to a release from the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office.
Two of the charges stem from sexual relationships Rush had with two female prison inmates between Feb. 1 and June 18, 2007, while he was serving as head of security at the Fox Valley Adult Transition Center at 1329 Lake St. in Aurora, the release said.
Liberals like Joy Behar claim to have open minds not casting judgment on others, unless of course it involves someone of a different political persuasion. On the October 14 edition of "The View," discussing Sarah Palin’s daugther Bristol’s pregnancy, Behar wondered where Governor Palin’s "family values" are. "The View’s" most reliable leftist berated Palin for allowing her daughter Levi Johnston to date since Freshman year of high school (high schoolers shouldn’t date?) Then playing the race card, Joy railed "if this was a black teenager that was pregnant, Obama’s kids, God forbid, they would be all over it like a cheap suit and you know it."
Sherri Shepherd gave her approval exclaiming "say it baby!" Filling in for Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Fox News host E.D. Hill, allegedly the conservative voice for the day, conceded "there are double standards."
On August 27, 1996, in the midst of that year's Democratic National Convention in the Windy City, the Chicago Tribune had interesting news (posted in full at my web host for fair use and discussion purposes) about what was then a new Internet initiative.
That Tribune story serves to confirm why the distancing from and supposed ignorance of the past activities of William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn by presidential candidate Barack Obama and other members of the Democratic Party ring very hollow.
James Coates's Tribune piece begins with an all-too-typical whitewash of the pair's violent past. But what's revealing is what Ayers and Dohrn were involved with, and who else was involved with them (bolds are mine):
Bernardine Dohrn and William Ayers took to the streets 28 years ago to protest what they considered the injustices in the world, especially the war in Vietnam.
The former leaders of the Weather Underground still are fighting injustice, but--adapting to the changing landscape of American politics--their current arena is the World Wide Web.
Interesting, Jew attributes his downfall to the examples of others, and, according to Buchanan, "is prepared to name others who he says have engaged in similar actions." Though there's clearly an element of personal responsibility avoidance at play here, it's nonetheless worth noting that AP and Buchanan still had no interest in learning where Jew picked up what Elias described as "lessons taught by other politicians."