In what almost seems a gleeful pronouncement, The New York Times trumpeted America's powerlessness over the recent capture by pirates of a captain of a U.S. run freighter on the high seas. With an April 9 headline that blares, "Standoff With Pirates Shows U.S. Power Has Limits," the Times almost seems to revel in that taking down of an arrogant America by mere pirates in power boats.
It's quite hard not to feel that the Times is celebrating the enfeebling of the "world's most powerful military," here.
The War Against Conservative Opinion (WACO) took an interesting turn on Saturday when liberal bloggers blamed right-leaning media members -- in particular, Fox News's Glenn Beck -- for the shooting deaths of three police officers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Since then, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and David Shuster have echoed this insanity on the air, as has CNN's Rick Sanchez who also pointed fingers at Fox News's Sean Hannity.
As my colleague Jeff Poor reported, this was Olbermann's rant during Tuesday's "Worst Person in the World" segment:
Unlike MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and CNN's Rick Sanchez who are disgracefully claiming Saturday's murder of three Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, police officers was caused by Fox News's Glenn Beck, the Washington Post surprisingly added some much-needed sanity to the debate Wednesday.
Practically mimicking Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign theme, the Post stated what should be obvious to all rational beings on the planet: It's the Economy, Stupid!
You mean it's NOT because conservative talkers don't agree with the policies of President Obama (see related NewsBusters posts here and here)?
CNN’s Rick Sanchez returned to blasting conservatives on Wednesday’s Newsroom program, blaming the recent murder of three Pittsburgh police officers on the Fox News Channel and other media on the right: “That weekend tragedy involves a man who allegedly shot and killed three police officers in cold blood. Why? Because he was convinced, after no doubt watching Fox News and listening to right-wing radio, that quote, ‘Our rights were being infringed upon.’” He tag-teamed with Media Matters fellow Eric Boehlert to argue that conservative media personalities like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity were offering “garden-variety fear and hate mongering...night in and night out.”
One could be sure that Sanchez would be pointing his finger squarely at his competitors on the right from the first moment he mentioned the gun issue, which was 13 minutes into the CNN program. After playing audio of gunshots from the Pittsburgh murders, he gave the following promo: “What you’re hearing there is three police officers killed by a man who thought President Obama would take away his guns. Who put that thought in his head? And how many more Americans believe that? Could it be 1.2 million Americans? You’re going to see why I’m asking that question.” Sanchez gave a further hint that his target was Fox News during another promo ten minutes later: “Are Americans being fed a pack of lies about President Obama and guns laws? And is it creating a gun buying panic? ‘We’ll report, you decide.’ That’s not too obvious is it?”
Keith Olbermann, whose Countdown show once depicted an image of Rush Limbaugh as a target of gunfire, on Tuesday accused FNC host Glenn Beck of inspiring the recent murder of three police officers in Pittsburgh by Richard Poplawski, and of "personally encouraging Americans to shoot other Americans." (Video of the June 27, 2006, Countdown show with Limbaugh as a target of gunfire can be found here.)
Blaming Beck for inciting fear of a gun ban, Olbermann linked the FNC host to the shooting in several plugs. In one example, he referred to Beck as "Harold Hill": "Harold Hill keeps telling the bumpkins that Obama is going to take their guns away. One of them shoots and kills three policemen because he`s convinced Obama is going to take his guns away. Harold Hill does not see the connection." After several plugs in which he suggested the gunman was reacting to Beck’s show, Olbermann pulled back only slightly from the accusation as he concluded his "Worst Person in the World" segment:
You, Glenn Beck, you personally are encouraging Americans to shoot other Americans. Maybe, especially if you're right about your religion, maybe not this psychotic in Pittsburgh. Maybe he is not your fault. I hope not. But what about the next one, Glenn? You want to cry about something on television. Cry about the next one. Beg him to ignore you. Beg the kids the next one orphans to forgive you.
CBS’s Katie Couric, formerly queen of “Today” show sunshine, has written a very anti-gun piece on her blog, Couric & Co. It seems worthwhile to do a point-by-point response, so below, please note that italics are from Couric's blog, and the response is in normal font.
Thirteen people shot dead in Binghamton, New York.
The Associated Press's determination to keep the identity of Democrats in trouble or under investigation hidden is indeed strong and persistent.
Its report (as of 11:03 p.m.; a copy is saved here at my web host for future reference) on the launch of an ethics probe into Democrat Jesse Jackson Jr.'s relationship with ousted former Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich, particularly relating to Jackson’s bid to be appointed to the Senate seat left vacant by President Barack Obama, does not refer to Jackson or Blago as a Democrat. Any more, that's relatively unremarkable.
What is a bit more remarkable is that the underlying Chicago Sun-Times story on the impending probe refers to Jackson twice as a "D-Ill," once in the report's very first sentence and once in the picture caption copied at the top right (which, of all things, is apparently an AP file photo).
This means that AP had to proactively scrub the Democratic Party references already present in its underlying source.
On Sunday's CBS Evening News, without providing a pro-gun rights view for balance, correspondent Randall Pinkston filed a report which featured the views of two public figures who support an assault weapons ban, including a clip of Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, a New York Democrat and leading supporter of gun control in Congress, as she complained about her efforts being thwarted by the NRA.
RANDALL PINKSTON: She ran for Congress, intent on curbing access to guns, but hasn't had much success.
REP. CAROLYN MCCARTHY (D-NY) CLIP #1: People say, "Yes, we should have better laws. Yes, we shouldn't have assault weapons." But then it goes away.
On Sunday's Good Morning America, ABC co-anchor Kate Snow interviewed New York University Professor Jim Jacobs, author of Can Gun Control Work?, as the show gave attention to the view that gun control has little effect in stopping criminals from obtaining guns. While it is to the show's credit that they allowed him to make his case as Snow presented a contrarian point-of-view, Snow did seem sincerely skeptical toward his presentation. As she plugged the segment, she referred to his views as a "controversial take," and seemed surprised by his views: "We're going to have a guest on this morning, a criminologist who has a, interesting take, you could say controversial take."
As one of her contrarian questions, Snow brought up the argument that a new law should be passed even if it would only save one life: "But the counterargument would be if it's possible to, a chance to save one life, to pass one new law, one new regulation to save one life, why shouldn't we at least try?" She also cited the Brady Campaign: "They have a very different view than your own. They say 1.7 million convicted felons have been stopped from obtaining guns with the laws that we already have on the books. Do you disagree with that?"
For both the Binghamton, New York, shooting spree, and the Pittsburgh case, Saturday's NBC Nightly News made a point of relaying word that the gunman either had a love of guns or was "passionate" about supporting gun rights. During a report on Jiverly Voong, who attacked the immigration center in Binghamton, correspondent Ron Allen referred to "some reports" that Voong "loved guns and hated America." Allen: "Some reports described him as an angry loner who loved guns and hated America. He had no criminal record, and police say they had no clue he was so dangerous."
In a report on Richard Poplawski, who murdered three police officers in Pittsburgh, correspondent Jeff Rossen related: "While the motive is unclear, friends say the gunman was upset after getting laid off from a local factory and became passionate about gun rights."
Then came a soundbite of Edward Perkovic, a friend of Poplawski: "He always said that if anybody ever tried to take his firearms, he was going to stand by what his forefathers told him to do and defend themselves."
One night after ABC's World News featured Diane Sawyer and Pierre Thomas fretting over the lack of interest by Congress in passing new gun laws in response to recent shooting sprees, Thomas appeared on World News Saturday and again treated as problematic the statistic that there are "more than 250 million legally registered guns in this country," and seemed to complain that Congress is not planning to enact more gun laws. After recounting several incidents of mass shootings in the past month, Thomas fretted: "Even with all that carnage, there's no major gun control legislation pending before Congress." And earlier on ABC's Good Morning America, co-anchor Bill Weir had also brought up the statistic that there are more than 250 million guns in America as he recounted mass murder statistics from various decades.
Of the three network evening newscasts, ABC's World News, substitute hosted by Diane Sawyer, uniquely seemed to lament the lack of political interest in enacting new gun laws to combat what correspondent Dan Harris earlier called "a signature American disaster, a shooting rampage," referring to the shooting spree in Binghamton, New York.
Sawyer introduced a discussion with correspondent Pierre Thomas by reading a statement from the Brady Campaign complaining about the government's lack of interest in more gun control compared to "salmonella poisoning in peanut butter crackers," and then the two fretted over the large number of guns in circulation in America and the unlikely prospects of more gun laws being passed by Congress. Sawyer: "We keep hearing there is a gun for every man, woman and child in this country, and now they have gone up by that much more. But what about Congress? Is there any move in Congress to try to take some kind of action?"
Thomas responded: "Well, one of the reasons why you heard that frustration from the Brady group today is that there's not a lot of sense of urgency on gun control." After mentioning Attorney General Eric Holder's recent expression of interest in a new assault weapon ban, Thomas continued: "But since that time, no real urgency from the White House or from Congress to take any meaningful gun control legislation to fruition."
Apparently, America’s love of firearms has not rubbed off on our Mexican neighbors quite as much as the mainstream media led us to believe.
It has been widely reported that 90 percent of the weapons used in the Mexican drug cartel wars come from America. As it turns out, that statistic is simply incorrect. According to the figures obtained from ICE and ATF officials by Fox News, only about 17 percent of the weapons recovered from cartel-related crime scenes in Mexico actually originate in the United States.
Here is something that you NewsBusters fans can help me with because I am having difficulty deciding what is going on with this one. We have a shooting incident in Minnesota perpetrated by three Muslim Somali immigrants but for some reason almost every single media report about the incident omits the names of the shooters, names of obvious North African or ethnic origin. So, the question is, did the Old Media in Minnesota purposefully leave the names unreported so that they could cover up the fact that the criminals were Somali immigrants? And, if so, why would they do this?
We start with the Minneapolis Star Tribune that reports that "three suspects were in jail Sunday following a shooting in Lakeville that injured four other people." Apparently one of those arrested took umbrage at being told to leave a party and began shooting up the place as he and his friends left. But, all we get from the StarTrib is "three suspects." No names or descriptions.
Just hours after MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews calls Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., the "Mata Hari of Minnesota" and Rolling Stone editor Matt Taibbi says "a guy huffing glue out of a paper bag" was making more sense the Bachmann, MSNBC "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann comes in for clean-up duties.
On the March 27 broadcast "Countdown," Olbermann confirms that Michele Bachmann Derangement Syndrome is alive and well at MSNBC. Dedicating the top of his show to Bachmann, Olbermann accuses the Minnesota congresswoman of breaking "several serious laws," for suggesting the American people should rise up against some of the liberal nonsense going on in Washington, D.C.
"The identity of the speaker is unmistakable, but this is not your standard red meat from Michele Bachmann, she may have broken several serious laws," Olbermann said.
Culture and Media Institute staff writer Colleen Raezler was in studio with Cam Edwards of NRA News on March 26 to discuss media coverage of the Mexican drug wars.
Responding to Paul Helmke's, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, claim that the U.S. should adopt Mexican gun laws Raezler told Edwards: "The really funny thing is that Mexico has very strict gun laws but that's not apparently stopping these, these drug runners and drug dealers from obtaining these weapons."
Edwards said he was "stunned" that the media barely reported Helmke's remark and specifically criticized one Associated Press reporter for not mentioning it in her story. "There weren't a ton of media in attendance there [at the Brady press conference], but The Associated Press was there."
NBC's Andrea Mitchell, in a taped interview from Mexico with Hillary Clinton on Thursday's "Today" show, partially blamed the Bush administration for Mexico's current drug cartel violence as she charged that "90 percent of the guns used by gangs," were available because the Bush White House and Congress let the assault weapons ban lapse. Mitchell even went as far to push the Secretary of State to "challenge the gun lobby," and "reinstitute," the ban.
ANDREA MITCHELL: And 90 percent of the guns used by the gangs come from the U.S., including the powerful assault weapons that were banned until Congress and the Bush White House let the ban expire.
MITCHELL TO HILLARY CLINTON: Why not take that on? It would be tough but why doesn't the administration challenge the gun lobby and take on the assault weapons ban and reinstitute it?
CLINTON: I'm, I'm not gonna, you know sugar coat it. It's a very heavy lift. I think that's a mistake. I think these assault weapons, these military style weapons don't belong on any one's street.
The following is a complete transcript of the segment as it was aired on the March 26, "Today" show:
On Wednesday, the New York Times did its best to muddy the seemingly clear-cut case regarding the character of cop-killer Lovelle Mixon, who shot and killed two motorcycle officers at a routine traffic stop in Oakland, then shot and killed two SWAT sergeants while on the run, before being himself killed by police.
The text box painted a mixed picture of the murderer of four officers: "A man who obeyed some conditions of parole, but not others," while the text from reporters Solomon Moore and Jesse McKinley suggested the killer had been "failed by an overloaded and flawed California penal system." Another omission: Three of the slain officers were white (the other had a Japanese surname). But even though Mixon was black, don't expect the Times to raise any hate-crime possibilities in this particular case. In fact, the Times didn't even mention their names.
When Lovelle Mixon walked out of a prison last fall in the remote town of Susanville, Calif., he knew exactly where he was headed: back to Oakland, back to his family and back to his life of dreams and zero prospects.
On Tuesday’s Newsroom program, T.J. Holmes because the latest CNN on-air personality to forward the dubious claim that guns from the U.S. are a major factor in the rampant drug violence plaguing northern Mexico: “I don’t want to say enabling, maybe not the best word. But still, so many of the guns that are being used in Mexico are guns that come across the border from the U.S.”
His guest, columnist Sam Quinones of the Los Angeles Times, wholeheartedly agreed: “...[W]e can do a lot about the guns.....If you talk to Mexican officials, pretty much they don’t want to talk about anything but all the guns that are coming....down to Mexico and into the hands of cartel guys who are then killing cops, terrorizing a population, and killing off each other and so on.”
I think it is finally getting to the point that when an Old Media story goes out over the wires without mentioning the party affiliation of troubled politicians, people naturally assume that all the criminal actions in said story are being perpetrated by Democrats. But, that assumption aside, we are still seeing reports nearly every day that omit the "Democrat" in any story involving criminal Democrats. Here is yet another one.
The Associated Press posted a story on the FBI's probe of questionable campaign donations to Senator Patty Murray and Representative Norm Dicks of Washington state. The possibly worrisome donations were from PMA Group, a lobbying firm founded by an aide of Representative John Murtha of Pennsylvania. With all these politician's names being thrown around in the AP report, though, it is curious that not a one of them were ever identified as Democrats. Not once.
Spitzer is best remembered for resigning as the Empire State's chief executive after being caught patronizing high-priced prostitutes over a period of several years, and for having a reputation as an attorney general on a self-aggrandizing crusade against against corporate corruption prior to that.
Spitzer is attempting to capitalize on the public's incomplete knowledge of his sorry saga to get back in its good graces.
A black woman from the District of Columbia who lost children to "gun violence" and who advocates for the victims of unsolved murders is calling on liberal Democrats to come to grips with the Second Amendment and vote for a bill before Congress that would give D.C. a vote in the House of Representatives at the cost of rescinding the city's stringent gun control laws.
"I want my vote to be counted. I want representation in Congress. And I also want the right to bear arms," Valencia Mohammed, director of Mothers of Unsolved Murders, is quoted in the March 21 Washington Post.
Mohammed went on to note the racist history of gun control against slaves and former slaves during Reconstruction before asserting she wants "all of those rights that they were denied."
An important story appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer on Tuesday. Here's how it began (Warren County is adjacent to and northeast of Cincinnati's Hamilton County):
County: no more food stamps for rich
Warren County’s poor (population) does not include someone with $80,000 in the bank, a paid-off $311,000 home and a Mercedes, members of the Warren County Board of Commissioners said Tuesday.
And if they have to fight the state and federal government over it, they will.
Recently the commissioners learned that this person, with the before-mentioned property, qualified for $500 a month in food stamps after she lost her job.
The Enquirer never told us why the County suddenly became motivated to do what it did.
Here's why (and how typical it is that the Enquirer either doesn't know this, or refused to give credit where due).
Someone who is "a source in the business" e-mailed State of Ohio Blogger Alliance founder Matt Hurley of Weapons of Mass Discussion. Matt put up a memorable post on March 13 containing the text of that e-mail:
Manny Aragon was one of New Mexico's most powerful law makers and power brokers. A former Senate president, Aragon was this week convicted and given a 67 month sentence for lining his pockets and that of his co-conspiritors with millions in fraudulently billed state contracting money.
While his "iconic" status is mentioned and his long standing position as a "Senate leader" is dutifully chronicled, his status as a Democrat doesn't seem to make the cut of a large portion of the stories on his sentencing.
Vincent Fumo's chronicle of corruption is extraordinary, even by the "standards" of Philadelphia, PA.
Thus, it's a journalistic fail that in a story about the convictions of former 30-year state senator Fumo and longtime associate Ruth Arnao, NBC Philadephia (HT Michelle Malkin) did not identify his or her Democratic Party party affiliation.
Here is a portion of NBC Philly's early-morning story:
Fumo Guilty on All Counts
Guilty is the verdict on all 137 counts for Vince Fumo in his federal corruption trail. His co-defendant Ruth Arnao is also guilty on all counts against her.
See, the thing that makes crazy people, well... crazy, is that they don't do things like normal people. Laws, rules, even simple human kindness is meaningless to such unbalanced people. The same can be said of criminals. See the thing that makes them criminals is that they don't obey laws. But the Memphis Commercial Appeal's Rich Locker seems to think making a law will magically make a wacko suddenly heed reason. On top of that, to illustrate his allusion he conflates the criminal actions of a man in Alabama to laws in Tennessee in order to justify his anti-gun sentiment for Tennesseans. Will these disingenuous Old Media types never learn a love of logic?
The tragic and criminal actions of the nut in Alabama that killed 10 people in a wild traveling rampage served as Locker's platform to advocate for a Tennessee law that would make illegal the carrying load guns in a vehicle. He seems to insinuate that such a law would have prevented the sicko in Alabama from driving around killing people. Locker neglects to reveal how some words on a piece of paper, though, could prevent a madman from transporting a loaded gun in a car.
The ABCNews.com Law and Justice front page currently features an article, dramatically titled "Will Steal For Food: Crisis Creates Criminals." On that same page, alleged bank robber Bruce Windsor is featured in an orange jumpsuit above a caption that reads: "In poor economy, police have arrested a rash of atypical alleged bank robbers."
On Monday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Ben Tracy filed a report documenting the thousands of guns that are illegally smuggled to Mexican drug cartels which they use in battle with the Mexican army, and suggested that lax gun laws in America are to blame. Without delving into the possibility that greater availability of guns in Mexico might help the country’s citizens to reduce that country’s overall crime rate, Tracy informed viewers that it is "nearly impossible" to buy guns in Mexico legally, as he pointed out America’s less strict laws:
Mexican law makes it nearly impossible to buy guns there legally, but less restrictive gun laws in the U.S. keep the firearms flowing over the border. Court papers in the [George] Iknadosian case claim U.S. border states provide three-quarters of black market firearms to Mexico. And with more than 1,000 people already killed in drug violence in Mexico this year, cutting off the gun supply is now a top concern on this side of the border.
SANCHEZ: Since the administration of Barack Obama began in this country, has there been a heightened sense of any kind of hate? We first started discovering this last night in one of the interviews we did.
But before we do that, I want to show you something now. I want you to just write down some numbers. These are hate groups in the United States, all right? Let's start with the first year. I think we're going to start with the year 2000 -- 602 hate groups at the time in the United States, as counted by the best resource on this, by the way, the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Now let's go to 2007. Uh-oh. It's going up, 888. Now let's go to 2008. Uh-oh. Going up again, 926.
Minutes later, Sanchez interviewed Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center:
POTOK: Well, as you suggested in your intro, there have been quite a growth over the last eight years.
Until about a year ago, that growth was driven almost entirely by these groups pushing the immigration issue and especially the idea that people with brown skin are kind of coming to destroy our country. In the last year, though, we have seen several other factors come into play, you know, the assent, obviously, of Barack Obama, the announcement by the Census Bureau that whites will lose their majority in this country along about the year 2042, and the crashing economy and worsening unemployment.
Seriously, do the kindly folks at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's editorial board even know what the definition of the word logic is? Their headline read, "Hysteria fuels sales of guns and ammo," the Sun-Sentinel takes Floridians to task for being so stupid as to be afraid of Obama's gun banning plans, claiming that Obama "didn't do it." But, even after telling readers no one wants to ban guns, the piece ends with the Sun-Sentinel editorial board advocating for the banning of guns! So the message is, no one wants a gun ban but we should ban guns? This is the sort of logical disconnect that fuels the very "hysteria" that the paper is claiming to want to dispel.
And this ridiculous about face isn't the only illogical idea or uninformed claim the piece makes, either. Just about every word in this piece proves that the editorial board of the Sun-Sentinel is wholly uninformed about the Constitution and the technical aspects of firearms, not to mention being uninformed about the various gun banning bills floating about Congress and the several states at this very moment.