The Democratic mayor of Oakland, CA and his wife recently admitted to failing to pay $239,000 in taxes since 2005. The San Francisco Chronicle covered the story, but made no mention of the mayor's party, in striking contrast to coverage of recent ethics violations by Republicans in the state.
"We owe taxes," Mayor Ron Dellums, pictured right, bluntly said in a statement on Tuesday. "The matter is being dealt with and will be resolved in short order." The IRS imposed a tax lien on the couple's $1.4 million home in the Foxhall Crescent neighborhood in Washington, DC, and 3,200 square foot house in Oakland Hills.
There is no party identification in the story, however, only a statement in the second-to-last paragraph that Dellums is a "stalwart of progressive ideals." It seems the Chronicle could not bring itself to state the he is a Democrat.
Either LA Times op-ed writer Peter Dreier lives in a cave, or he's all too willing to spread falsehoods to defend an organization where he once served as a consultant. Perhaps it's a little of both.
In that Thursday op-ed ("The war on ACORN; Conservatives are distorting and playing up the community organizing group's so-called scandals"), Dreier parroted ACORN CEO's now-discredited claims that "not a single person who signed a phony name on a registration form ever actually voted," and that undercover filmmakers James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles were only able to get help from two ACORN offices in starting up their proposed prostitution enterprises involving the importation of immigrant girls.
In running Dreier's op-ed, the Times miscalculated at least twice:
First, the paper failed to disclose Dreier's past relationship with ACORN as a consultant, something that is right there in his Occidental College bio, and that readers had a right to know.
Second, the Times somehow thought Dreier's propaganda would get past LA blogger and certified Times nemesis Patterico aka Patrick Frey. That was the far more serious blunder.
"I like him," Vidal said. "I wish he knew more about the United States. I was for Hillary at the beginning on the grounds she knew how to be president. Having sort of done the job as a spouse. And then I realized, you know, he's too intelligent for the job."
CNN featured pro-illegal immigration activist Isabel Garcia of Tucson, Arizona on two programs on Wednesday night, and inadvertently caught her giving inconsistent answers regarding a 2008 protest where she participated in the beating and decapitation of a pinata effigy of Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona [audio clips from programs available here].
Correspondent Soledad O’Brien featured Garcia in the first segment of her ‘Latino in America’ miniseries at 9 pm Eastern, where she was labeled as an “unapologetic champion of people many Americans love to hate- illegal immigrants.” After detailing her involvement with a high-profile deportation case, O’Brien stated that Garcia had “nothing to do with creating the pinata and only picked it up to defuse” the anti-Arpaio protest. The CNN correspondent cast a sympathetic light on the activist by noting how she has apparently received death threats for her work.
As Mike Bates documented on Monday night, CNN’s Rick Sanchez likened Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio to the segregationist “Bull” Connor during an interview on Monday’s Newsroom: “Like Bull Connor in 1960s, you’re going to sit there and tell the feds, you don’t care what they say, you’re going to do it your way and you're going to do it when you want to do it?” However, earlier in the segment, Sanchez also hinted that the sheriff was acting like a Nazi in his operations against illegal immigrants: “There are twenty-five years of laws and standards used by police departments where they’re real careful about probable cause, so that we don’t create a Gestapo environment in this country” [audio of both the Gestapo reference and the “Bull Connor” label available here; video at right].
The anchor first accused Arpaio of arresting people at random in his immigration raids: “What about the other people that- who you interfered in their lives simply while you were looking for someone else?” When the sheriff denied that he had, that “the others that were illegal, we put them in jail because they have committed other crimes,” Sanchez made the Nazi reference:
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was out campaigning this weekend with current NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is running for a third term. The New York Times loathed Giuliani's 2008 presidential campaign, and has run several revisionist articles suggesting his mayoralty, during which the city's crime rate plunged, was ridden with racial demagoguery and racist police brutality.
Raising the specter of a return to higher crime and greater anxiety, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani warned on Sunday that New York could become a more dangerous city if Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is not re-elected in November.
Mr. Giuliani did not mention Mr. Bloomberg's Democratic challenger, William C. Thompson Jr., by name. But during the first of two campaign events alongside Mr. Bloomberg, he said that not long ago many parts of the city were gripped by 'the fear of going out at night and walking the streets.'
"You know exactly what I'm talking about," Mr. Giuliani said at a breakfast sponsored by the Jewish Community Council in Borough Park, Brooklyn. "This city could very easily be taken back in a very different direction -- it could very easily be taken back to the way it was with the wrong political leadership."
Mr. Giuliani made his blunt -- and to some minds, incendiary -- comments a day before Mr. Bloomberg, a two-term incumbent, was scheduled to be endorsed by the city's largest police officers' union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, according to two people told of the plans. It would be a big step in his quest to secure the strongest anticrime credentials in the mayor's race.
[Update, 12:30 am Eastern Saturday: Josh Brahm of the RLCC, mentioned below, contacted me and sent me the link to an edited video taken of the assault, which is imbedded at right (obscene language warning). -MB.]
Steven Ertelt of LifeNews.com reported on Friday that a pro-life activist was assaulted on October 15 by a supporter of abortion in front of the Planned Parenthood in Fresno, California, during a vigil for the nationwide 40 Days for Life campaign. Ertelt also noted that local TV news outlets ignored the story of the assault in their evening broadcasts, brushing it aside either because the victim’s injury wasn’t serious enough, or because they thought a story on “chocolate-covered bacon” was more important.
Victor Fierro, director of Latinos4Life, a pro-life organization, was physically attacked by a “pro-choice woman,” according to the press release by Right to Life of Central California (RLCC), which was also cited in the LifeNews.com report. The woman “shouted obscenities” at the pro-life demonstrators participating in the 40 Days for Life vigil in front of the Planned Parenthood facility, “before attempting to break the event security camera and assaulting...Fierro....The attacker cut Fierro’s arm with an unknown object, drawing blood, and then stormed back to her car and fled the scene.” The entire incident was captured by the video camera, though most of the assault occurred outside of its field of vision. However, the camera did capture her face and her car’s tag number.
On Friday’s Hannity show on FNC, host Sean Hannity showed a pre-recorded interview in which he was joined by members of the rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd – Johnny Van Zandt, Rickey Medlocke and Gary Rossington – as the group talked about their latest CD, titled "God and Guns," and the three expressed their support for such conservative values as belief in God and the Second Amendment right of gun ownership. Medlocke alluded to the importance of being armed if one must face an intruder at home during the night. Medlocke:
But we believe in God, a higher power. And the guns is, is really our freedom of choice. Like you said, the Second Amendment. But we should be able to do what the Second Amendment says. And we should be able to have the right to own and protect our own in our home because if somebody breaks in your home at 3:45 in the morning, they're not there to have coffee with you. That's for sure.
Van Zandt later complained about the elimination of prayer from public schools:
We were out in California and we were watching the news, and superintendent arrested for kids praying in school. Hey, when we were kids, we said the Pledge of Allegiance because we were proud of this country, and we said prayer. You know, we thanked the good Lord above.
Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Friday, October 9, Hannity show on FNC:
On Monday's Special Report with Bret Baier on FNC, correspondent James Rosen filed a report describing the line of obstacles to acquiring a handgun legally in Washington, D.C., in spite of last year's Supreme Court ruling overturning the city's outright ban on handgun possession in the city. Host Baier introduced the report: "Correspondent James Rosen reports while it is now legal to get a handgun in the nation's capital, it is definitely not easy."
Rosen went through the steps of obtaining a gun during the report, and ended up playing a clip of NRA Executive Director Wayne LaPierre as he summed up the process. LaPierre: "What D.C. is doing is throwing up every obstacle, shackling the freedom to the point where it's no longer really a freedom."
Below is a compete transcript of the report from the Monday, October 5, Special Report with Bret Baier on FNC:
CNN correspondent Allan Chernoff highlighted New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s hidden camera operation against gun shows in several states on Thursday’s American Morning, but omitted any sound bites from gun rights supporters. Chernoff featured two clips from Bloomberg and one from NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, but only read an excerpt from a statement by the NRA.
Anchors Kiran Chetry and John Roberts introduced the correspondent’s report, which ran 11 minutes into the 6 am Eastern hour. Chetry summarized that the mayor’s “undercover sting operation in three states appears to catch gun show dealers selling weapons to buyers who admit that they could not pass a background check.” Roberts continued that Bloomberg claims that “this so-called gun show loophole is making it easier for criminals to get their hands on weapons.”
WaPo TV critic Tom Shales [file photo] has come up with a creative new defense of Roman Polanski: Hollywood thirteen-year olds aren't really thirteen.
NB reader FT pointed us to an online exchange between a reader and Shales today that included this [emphasis added]:
Tom Shales: Hello, Dunn Loring, I didn't want to sign off without trying to answer your question. I didn't realize I had written a column defending Roman Polanski and minimized his crime - are you sure it was me? I mean, I? There is, apparently, more to this crime than it would seem, and it may sound like a hollow defense, but in Hollywood I am not sure a 13-year-old is really a 13-year-old.
On Thursday's Late Show, David Letterman recounted how he testified before a Manhattan grand jury earlier in the day about how a man, whom he did not identify, left a package in his car three weeks ago and subsequently demanded $2 million or he would write a screenplay and book detailing, in Letterman's words, “all the terrible things that I do” – specifically, “that I have had sex with women who work for me on this show. Now, my response to that is: Yes I have.” (In March, Letterman married the mother of his five-year-old son.)
TMZ has learned the identity of the alleged extortionist who was arrested today for attempted grand larceny in the first degree. His name is Robert Halderman. He's 51 years old and lives in Norwalk, CT. Halderman has a business in Manhattan, where he was arrested today. CBS just issued a statement saying the suspect is an employee of "48 Hours." Halderman has been suspended pending results of the investigation.
John Ridley, a former MSNBC co-host and a Huffington Post contributor, used the California state budget crisis as an excuse to forego the extradition of rapist director Roman Polanski on CNN’s Campbell Brown program on Monday: “The people of California- we’re broke. What are we going to do? We’re going to prosecute him with IOUs? Let’s figure out some other way to deal with this for the moment.”
Ridley appeared with CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin just after the bottom of the 8 pm Eastern hour. Anchor Campbell Brown first asked the former MSNBC personality, “This guy [Polanski] raped a 13-year-old girl. Why is Hollywood rallying behind him?” He replied, “Roman Polanski’s story is really interwoven with the Los Angeles story. He came here- he made a seminal film...Rosemary’s Baby. And then, of course, the horrible- the Manson murders would happen to his wife, the Tate-LaBianca murders.....So, I think there are a lot of people who feel like- here’s an individual who represents Hollywood, who’s been persecuted by it, and has really lived a pretty horrible life, and what more can you do to this guy after 30 years...why not...let it rest?”
ABC’s Good Morning America on Tuesday America continued to raise questions about the arrest of Roman Polanski in Europe, spinning the case as a "31 year-old prosecutorial obsession." According to reporter Nick Watt, the film director has "been hunted since 1978."
The network correspondent observed that Polanski, who is wanted for child rape and was detained in Switzerland, "has some powerful friends." He explained, "Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has released this statement. ‘We're calling on every filmmaker we can to help fix this terrible situation.’" Watt also featured a snippet of ex-child star Melissa Gilbert on The View: "I think [Polanski’s] tried to atone. I think the punishment at this point may be excessive." Actress Debra Winger fawned, "We stand by, awaiting his release and his next masterwork.
Now, ABC did include one clip of a critic of the filmmaker. Professor and child advocate Wendy Murphy asserted that the director should face justice and that "no matter how much you like the guy's movies, he did something really bad." Co-host Robin Roberts also asked Polanski’s agent, "What do you say to his critics, who say even though it's been three decades, that justice hasn't fully been served yet?"
The View's Whoopi Goldberg yesterday offered the most outrageous and despicable defense of child rapist and Hollywood director Roman Polanski yet: "It wasn't rape-rape." That's right. Goldberg tried to claim that Polanksi drugging and having sex with a thirteen year old girl, who repeatedly uttered 'no' to the predator, does not qualify as 'actual' rape (video embedded below the fold).
Polanksi apologists have tried since he was arrested in Switzerland Sunday to excuse his actions on the grounds that he was traumatized by his horrible experiences as a Jew in Nazi-occupied Poland or that he has endured enough punishment since his conviction in 1978. But Goldberg's defense is so far the most insensitive, oafish attempt for an excuse yet (video embedded below the fold):
"How do you say 'FAIL' in Polish," Michelle Malkin quipped in a blog post this morning dealing with Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum, who in a September 27 blog post decried the arrest of Roman Polanski in Zurich the day before.
Applebaum, you may recall, failed to note in that blog post that her husband, Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, is pleading for Polanski's release. Well, Malkin noted today that Applebaum is defending her lack of full disclosure, despite having been called out on the blogosphere for the glaring omission:
There's a side of America that scares Frenchmen, French Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand was quoted by Time magazine Paris-based writer Bruce Crumley, and it's the side of American determination that doesn't let a 32-year-old rape case die, even if the perpetrator is an elderly survivor of the Holocaust.
Seeking to explain the "cultural divide" that's as "wide as the Atlantic" between America and Europe, Crumley noted that Europeans are "shocked and dismayed that an internationally acclaimed artist" such as Roman Polanski "could be jailed for such an old offense."
Of course, at no point did Crumley cite any public opinion polls with empirical data to back up his argument about the U.S.-European cultural divide on pursuing fugitives who jump bail after drugging and anally raping 13-year-old girls.
Hosts and reporters on Monday's Good Morning America hyperventilated about the arrest of fugitive Roman Polanski. Co-anchor Diane Sawyer worried that the detention of the director accused of child rape has created a "true international incident." Co-host Robin Roberts played up the supposed complexity of situation, referring to the event as an "international chess game."
Reporter Nick Watt fretted, "When Polanski, who is a French citizen, walked into a police trap here at Zurich Airport, he sparked an international row." Highlighting French outrage, he parroted, "This morning, another French minister said, ‘There is a scary America that has just shown its face.’"
In 1977 Polish-born filmmaker and Academy Award winner Roman Polanski pleaded guilty to having unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl, and then fled the United States before he could be sentenced. For three decades he has lived as a fugitive under the protection of the French government. But finally, on Saturday, September 26, the 76-year-old was arrested by the Swiss police after flying in to - ironically - receive an honorary award at the Zurich Film Festival.
Disturbingly, some are up in arms, claiming that - even though Polanski performed oral sex, intercourse and sodomy on a frightened girl he had plied with Champagne and a Quaalude - the incident should be forgotten. One such person is Tom O'Neill, the senior editor of In Touch Weekly. On September 28, during a CNN interview, O'Neill first claimed that Polanski "seduced" the young girl when it's obvious after reading her grand jury testimony that she was raped. Also, during that same interview, O'Neil argued that Polanski shouldn't be extradited to the U.S. for a trial, saying:
Washington Post columnist and blogger Anne Applebaum not only penned a September 27 blog post lamenting the recent arrest by Swiss authorities of child rapist and fugitive from American justice, Roman Polanski, she failed to let readers in on her conflict of interest.
Applebaum is married to Poland's foreign minister, who is lobbying for Polanski's release on bail.
Our good friend Patterico -- who works for the D.A.'s office that put out the arrest warrant -- has details at his blog (h/t La Shawn Barber):
Nothing mitigates director Roman Polanski’s unspeakable crime. Certainly Polanski has dealt with personal tragedy on a scale few of us can understand, but that’s not a license to drug, rape and sodomize a 13 year-old girl. Nor is perceived misconduct on the part of the trial judge, nor is the forgiveness of the victim (who reached an out-of-court settlement with Polanski).
And this may come as a surprise to some in Hollywood, but helming a few cinematic masterpieces doesn’t turn someone who anally raped a child into some kind of tragic hero… In all the revisionist history, the simple fact that Polanski plead guilty to “unlawful sex with an underage girl” is seldom mentioned at the top of the special brand of rationalizations extended to our celebrity class.
Well, finally, after 32 years, justice may be done. At the request of the U.S., the Swiss nabbed the 76 year-old fugitive and may extradite:
According to many in the liberal media, vehement conservative protestations to Obama and his policies are inciting, or have the potential to incite violence against the President. In their eyes, violent rhetoric and violent actions are one and the same. "Violent rhetoric begets violence," as one liberal talk show host put it.
So why are we not seeing blame heaped upon documentary filmmaker and avowed socialist Michael Moore for yesterday's G-20 riots in Pittsburgh? Moore does, after all, preach hateful and extreme anti-capitalist rhetoric. The cryptic slogan for his most recent movie, "Capitalism, A Love Story", reads, "Capitalism is evil, and you can't regulate evil." This line is eerily reminiscent of many of the socialist-anarchist slogans chanted by the G-20 protesters.
Assume for the sake of argument that violent rhetoric does beget violence. By this logic, shouldn't we blame Michael Moore's vitriolic indictments of investment banks for the brick that was hurled through a PNC Bank window yesterday? And if government aids and abets the evil that is capitalism, aren't Moore's words responsible for the bricks that were hurled at riot police in Pittsburgh?
Some liberals are using the death of a Census Bureau worker in rural Kentucky to bolster their wild claims that criticism of Obama is sparking political violence. But evidence is lacking, speculation is rampant, and left wing accusers are coming up short in their efforts to portray opposition to the president as somehow dangerous.
"This is the kind of violent event that emerges from a culture of paranoia and unsubstantiated attacks," writes Allison Kilkenny, a Huffington Post contributor and liberal radio host who, according to her bio, "makes sh***y world news funny." She was referring to the probable murder (authorities have not officially ruled it a homicide) of Bill Sparkman, whose body was found with the word 'Fed' carved into his chest.
'Fed', by Kilkenny's account, "has taken on a derogatory meaning in right-wing circles where fear and paranoia reign supreme... Such paranoia and anger isn't contained in the woods of Kentucky. The problem is systematic."
Last Wednesday, ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis promised that her organization would conduct a "total audit," and would name an independent auditor by Friday ("within 48 hours"). Later, it said it would do so yesterday.
The group finally acted today, in totally underwhelming fashion. We're not going to get a "total audit" after all. Instead, there's going to be an "internal investigation," and it will be conducted by former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger.
If this were a Republican group, or if the press were doing its job, this change in mission would be correctly labeled a watered-down cop-out. Instead, the Associated Press's Sharon Theimer played along with it and made no reference to ACORN's high-minded promises last week.
Last Wednesday, ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis, in the wake of James O'Keefe's and Hannah Giles's embarrassing video barrage, went into damage control mode:
As a result of the indefensible action of a handful of our employees, I am, in consultation with ACORN’s Executive Committee, immediately ordering a halt to any new intakes into ACORN’s service programs until completion of an independent review. I have also communicated with ACORN’s independent Advisory Council, and they will assist ACORN in naming an independent auditor and investigator to conduct a thorough review of all of the organization's relevant systems and processes.
The Politico entry from Ben Smith linked above reports that the (cough, cough) "Independent Advisory Council" consists of the following eight members:
Fair enough. But Breitbart asserted what I believe is a bigger point. It isn't just that the establishment media would have ignored the story if James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles had attempted to put it out there on their own. Breitbart believes that Big Media would have actively worked to bury it and to discredit its authors. There's little doubt that Andrew is absolutely correct.
In a column today, Salon’s Joe Conason drastically downplays the history of illegality that characterizes the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. In his revisionist history of the organization, Conason tries to show that ACORN may commit voter registration fraud, intimidate its employees to prevent them from unionizing, and willingly assist in the trafficking of underage sex slaves, but by and large it is a force for good.
For many years the combined forces of the far right and the Republican Party have sought to ruin ACORN, the largest organization of poor and working families in America.
Ah yes, ACORN is supposedly battling for the rights of the working class. But in 1995, the organization sued the State of California for an exemption to the high minimum wage laws in that state on the grounds that higher wages would mean they would have to employ fewer people. Incidentally, this is the exact same argument that every opponent of minimum wage laws employs, and ACORN has always battled for a higher minimum wage.
Leave it to the Associated Press to drive the establishment media's attempt to portray ACORN's serious impairment as almost entirely the product of the Republican Party.
Never mind that Democrats control the Senate, which voted 83-7 to pull HUD funding from the group earlier this week, meaning that the vast majority of Democrats supported the measure. Never mind that the House, including about 70% of Democrats, yesterday voted to totally defund ACORN by 345-75.
In the world of Jim Abrams and the Associated Press, it must be almost all the GOP's fault that this happened. Check out the headline (frequently used elsewhere, as seen in this Google Web search on the exact title in quotes) at the reporter's story:
After a summer swoon, you would think that the evening newscasts of the Big 3 networks would start to recover a bit now that many Americans are back from vacations, kids are back in school, and fall routines are getting established or re-established.
So far, you would be wrong.
It's early, and there's still plenty of time this fall to recover, but during the time period after Labor Day, the broadcasts primarily anchored by Brian Williams at NBC, Charles Gibson at ABC, and Katie Couric at CBS:
Are down a combined 28.5% from their peak in late January during the first full week of Barack Obama's presidency.
Have lost a combined 37.7% of their audience in the 25-54 demographic during the same time period.
Are down year-over-year compared to September 1, 2008, the week after Labor a year ago, by 8.9% overall and 18.1% in the 25-54 demographic.
At 19.55 million, are basically drawing audiences no larger than they were during this past (for them) miserable summer.
Gregory Hall, a former employee of scandal-plagued ACORN, labeled the organization “the most corrupt group in the country” on Wednesday’s Fox and Friends on FNC. Hall placed the blame squarely on the national leaders of the left-wing group: “They’re the ones that are constantly giving the orders that say- make the money, no matter what- lie, steal, cheat- and I’ve got the witnesses to prove it” [audio clips from the segement are available here].
Anchor Steve Doocy first asked the ACORN critic if he was surprised by the recently released undercover videos showing employees of the organization trying to abet underage prostitution, tax evasion, and other crimes. Hall answered, “No, I’m not surprised,” and explained that “there is not much good in ACORN anymore, as far as its mission, and definitely not through its executive board.”