The Muslim founder of BridgesTV, a cable network whose slogan is “connecting people through understanding” and which tried to “improve the image of Muslims in the United States,” was arrested on Thursday, for allegedly killing his estranged wife in a manner normally associated with Islamist terrorists -- chopping off her head.
Greg Mitchell, editor of Editor & Publisher, reported on Friday that Muzzammil Hassan, “a prominent Buffalo area businessman who founded the BridgesTV network to improve the image of Muslims in the U.S.,” had been charged with second-degree murder in the beheading death of his wife Aasiya Z. Hassan. Mitchell quoted from the network’s website, which described Mrs. Hassan’s “instrumental role in the creation of BridgesTV since she came up with the idea for the network.” The picture of the couple is still up on the website.
"A San Pedro girl's undocumented status means no financial aid. Money is tight, classes are tough, and just getting to campus takes 2 1/2 hours," reads the subheader for Song's February 2 Column One story.
Yes, despite the national and state economies in recession and California in a major budget crunch, the L.A. Times has the chutzpah to lament the obstacles to a taxpayer-subsidized college education for an illegal immigrant.
It seems considering legal immigrants and American citizens the victims of the high social and governmental costs of illegal immigration just isn't in Song's liberal hymnal. Apparently Song's aim was to paint one Karina De La Cruz as a downtrodden Cinderella in need of a beneficent fairy godmother (emphasis mine):
As noted Friday evening (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Jake Tapper at ABC's Political Punch blog revealed that former South Dakota senator Tom Daschle, Barack Obama's nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, had failed to pay over $100,000 in federal income taxes for 2005, 2006, and 2007, because he did not originally report the "the services of (a free) car and driver" provided to him by his employer, private equity firm InterMedia Advisers.
At 11:24 last night, Tapper posted a separate update (HT to NB commenter "slickwillie2001") indicating that Daschle's tax problems involve larger amounts, go well beyond the matter of a "mere" car and driver, and are not completely resolved (bolds are mine):
Former South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle (picture at right is part of a Getty Images pic at a related New York Times story) has just upped the ante in Washington's tax-avoiding/evading game of "Can you top this?"
Whereas recently confirmed Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner "only" $40,000 in back taxes and interest, principally relating to unpaid Social Security and Medicare taxes (with a dash of retirement-plan penalty and illegally deducted overnight summer camp expenses included in the mix), the man who Rush Limbaugh used to call "Puff" Daschle during his Senate days has upped to ante to six figures.
Today we have the corresponding opposite to prove the point of our favorite game, “Name That Party.” You see, today we have the case in point of the former Senate leader of New York's legislature Joseph Bruno. Mr. Bruno has been indicted on those ever lovin' federal corruption charges for "defrauding the people of New York from 1993 through at least 2006."
He's a rotten so-and-so, of course. Apparently the FBI has been after him for months and since before he retired from the state legislature. Now he faces an eight-count indictment issued by the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of New York.
One convicted on bribery, the other attacks cops at crime scene saying she wasn't driving drunk
Now that the media has had it's near orgasmic reaction to Obama's inaugural, it's apparently time for some more "name that party" fun for everyone. Today we have incidents widely separated by distance, but not separated at all in at least one way. We have in Alabama a pair of convictions on bribery and conspiracy of a state wide politician and a Jefferson County Minister and in Chicago we have a City Alderman arrested for drunken driving who decided to get all up in the faces of the arresting officers as they attempted to do their job. The coincidence between the two stories is that, you guessed it, none of the stories detailing these incidents could find room in them to identify these politicians as Democrats. I know, I know. You're shocked, eh?
Our first case is that of Alabama Sen. E.B. McClain and his pal the very in-trouble Reverend Samuel Pettagrue, both convicted after only a scant 8 hours of deliberation by a jury of their peers. It was guilty on all 48 counts for the pair in a Birmingham court because "Pettagrue accepted nearly $760,000 in state grant money obtained by McClain to run a nonprofit foundation and then gave McClain more than $300,000 in kickbacks."
The Associated Press's record of running interference for Treasury Secretary nominee Timothy Geithner continues mostly unabated.
My chronicle of AP's largely weak coverage, most of which has been previously detailed at NewsBusters (here, here, and here), is at the end of this post.
No AP report I have seen has noted that Geithner applied for and merely pocketed partial "reimbursements" from the International Monetary Fund for payroll/"self-employment" taxes. He signed IMF forms saying that he had paid or would pay those taxes. He didn't pay up for 2003 and 2004 until his returns were audited. He more than likely never would have paid up for 2001 and 2002 if he had not been nominated, even though a strong case could be made that he engaged in tax evasion.
These aspects of Geithner's tax situation, if widely known, would, I believe, cause the average taxpayer to object strongly to the very idea of his nomination. AP's alleged journalists appear to believe that this cannot be allowed to happen.
AP Personal Finance writer Dave Carpenter, in a mostly Q&A piece with a really weak title ("Meltdown 101: US tax laws can even foil the pros"), continued the silence on pocketed reimbursements yesterday afternoon (stored here for future reference). He also seems to have found every excuse for Geither except "the dog ate my W-2":
Mayor Gary Becker of Racine, Wisconsin, received some unwanted attention from the Old Media and the local police today because of his arrest for using a computer to solicit sex from a child. According to the Associated Press, Becker is "tentatively charged with attempted second-degree sexual assault of a child, child enticement, possession of child pornography, exposing a child to harmful materials, using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and misconduct in public office."
The AP spends several paragraphs detailing the world of Mayor Becker. It describes his election, his marriage and kids. It describes his accused crime and where and how he was snapped up by the police. But there is one little thing the AP can't seem to find any information on... his party.
That's right, once again the Old Media gives us an alleged criminal sexual pervert politician and somehow forgets to mention the accused is a Democrat.
When historians look back in wonder at how a long-established publication like the New York Times could have declined from its virtual king-of-the-world status in mid-2002 to its Bush-deranged, 85%-devalued shadow of its former self, they will surely make a few stops at Maureen Dowd's twice-weekly, lost-in-another-world columns (the Dowd picture is from the Times's web site).
Today's offering from Dowd (HT Hot Air Headlines) is intended to be a final figurative kick in the shins at George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, something she admits to fantasizing about having done to the Vice President this week when she had opportunities.
But the Dowd diatribe really ends up as a self-portrayal of someone who deeply imbibed the kool-aid her paper dished out over the past seven years and is beyond ever letting go, and serves as a microcosm of what the Old Gray Lady has done to itself in that same timeframe:
During a breaking news brief on Friday’s Newsroom program, CNN anchor Kyra Phillips failed to identify the party affiliation of Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon, a Democrat, who earlier in the day had been indicted on 12 counts related to a corruption probe by Maryland state officials. She did identify Dixon as “the first woman to serve as the city’s mayor” and “the first African-American female to serve as that city’s mayor.”
Phillips began the brief with a lament over corruption in politics in general: “Oh, as if we don’t have enough public corruption within our politics to report, we’ve got another piece of news that [is] just developing right now.” She then reported that the Baltimore mayor had been “indicted on public corruption...12 counts, I’m told -- perjury, theft, misconduct in office.” After describing some of the circumstances into the multi-year investigation, she continued her lament by focusing on the prestige of Dixon: “It’s a shame -- Mrs. Dixon was the first woman to serve as the city’s mayor -- also the -- you know, the first African-American female to serve as that city’s mayor.” The mayor’s Democratic affiliation was neither mentioned by Phillips during her brief, nor by CNN’s on-screen graphics.
A video report about last night's riot in Oakland related to the shooting death of an unarmed man at the hands of a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officer actually calls it .... a riot. What's more, the reporter notes, as is really often the case in situations such as these, how people he characterized as "professional protesters" egged others on and created the atmosphere that led to so much violence and vandalism.
CBS5 reporter Joe Vazquez filed "Inside the Oakland Riot: A First-Hand Account." It's a little too "gee whiz" to me, but it least it gets some usually unreported facts out.
If ever there was a new year's resolution the mainstream media could take up, it would be to note the party affiliation of indicted politicians regardless of their political party and especially when noting indictments in urban areas where one party holds a monopoly on city government.
Take for example a January 8 Baltimore Sun article running on page B4 of the same day's Washington Post*, that informed readers that Baltimore City Council member Helen Holton was indicted the day before "on bribery charges related to tax breaks for a high-end building under construction on the [Baltimore] city waterfront." Also indicted in the same investigation was Ronald H. Lipscomb, a real estate developer "with close ties to Mayor Sheila Dixon."
Neither Dixon's nor Holton's party affiliations were mentioned in the 5-paragraph Baltimore Sun brief, although a longer article available at the paper's Web site noted that Holton is a "West Baltimore Democrat." Dixons' party affiliation was left unmentioned in the Jan. 7 article filed by staffers Annie Linskey and Julie Bykowicz.
Ann Coulter made a second appearance during the 10 am Eastern hour of Wednesday’s Today show, and hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb continued the discussion about the apparent “venom” in her books. Kotb asked if Coulter’s style was “kind of like shock jock, shake the cage, freak everyone out, wake everybody up,” and later stated that she felt the tone of the conservative’s writing was “dripping with venom.” The two hosts focused Coulter’s take on single motherhood in her new book, as Matt Lauer had done in her earlier appearance on the NBC program.
Kotb began the interview with her “shock jock, shake the cage” question. Coulter answered that she tries to “write in an entertaining, intriguing way, so that people will read what I have to say.” After the three briefly discussed the writing process for the author, Kotb then brought up the title of Coulter’s chapter on the problem of single motherhood: “Victim of a Crime? Thank a Single Mother.” Coulter explained her central point in the chapter, that single mothers are “victimizing their children by raising their children without fathers,” and how these children are “70% of the prison population, 60% to 70% of future unwed mothers -- of murderers, of rapists, of juvenile delinquents, of teenage runaways.”
As most of you know, I originally posted this story on Sunday under the headline CNN Places Sarah Palin With 2008's Criminals, Sex Addicts, and the Corrupt here at NewsBusters. It raged all day Sunday in the Blogosphere and into the night among Palin fans and center right bloggers. Greta Van Susteren even posted about it on her FoxNews blog (It garnered 4 pages of comments there, too). A quick Google of the title of my NewsBusters piece gives several pages of hits all across the web. FreeRepublic, Lucianne.com, dozens of blogs and message boards took CNN to task for their outrageous inclusion of Sarah Palin's name among the year's worst criminal politicians.
Well by the time Monday morning arrived, CNN quietly and without explanation or apology erased Sarah Palin from the article I describe earlier.
Showing they have no sense of morality, no grasp of corruption and no understanding of what defines a criminal, CNN gives us another one of those ubiquitous year in review stories, this one titled "Politicians who fell from grace in 2008." In this one, CNN has decided to reveal for us their top eight politicians that found 2008 to be a "career-buster" because of their "crimes and misdemeanors" or their outrageous controversies.
CNN features corruption mired Rod Blagojevich, the sex crazed Elliot Spitzer and John Edwards, and the criminal bribe taker Ted Stevens among four others. Each of these men in the CNN list have either been convicted of criminal actions, are indicted for corruption, lost their positions, been drummed out of their party, or are soon to face jail time. Among these eight criminals, however, is a name that doesn't belong among this class of serial abuser of the public trust. It won't be shocking to note that among the worst sex criminals, bribe takers, liars and thieves in politics for 2008, CNN ridiculously included the name of Governor Sarah Palin.
Palin, however, has done nothing remotely like what these other political ner-do-wells have done. She did not take bribes, she did not indulge in sexual dalliances with co-workers or call girls, she did not get booted from her party or lose her job as Governor. She is not under indictment nor does she face jail time, yet CNN includes her in a list with Rob Blagojevich, John Edwards, Kwame Kilpatrick, Larry Langford, Tim Maloney, Elliot Spitzer and Ted Stevens.
Christmastime is the time of giving. So we can thank Bernie Madoff for giving Americans some special gifts this holiday season.
Yes, I said thank him. OK, maybe not a lot. But the one-time financial wizard's downfall is a morality tale that provides so many lessons it's almost impossible to know where to start.
If you've been living under a rock, the former chairman of the Nasdaq has been charged with securities fraud. Not just ordinary securities fraud, either. Reportedly, Madoff's sons turned in their father, and who could blame them. He had allegedly confessed to them "that his investment business was a giant Ponzi scheme' that cost clients $50 billion, a lawyer for the brothers" told Bloomberg.
Two situations over the weekend illustrate that the Associated Press's habitual failure to identify the political party of Democrats in trouble is more than likely a conscious decision. This is despite the AP Stylebook's guidance (as of 2000, the latest free edition I can find; a PDF is here) that a reporter should "include party affiliation if readers need it for understanding or are likely to be curious about what it is."
In both of the instances I will cite, local papers decided that party affiliation was important enough to include. But AP reporters decided that they weren't, even though out-of-state readers are less likely to know the party affiliation of the politician(s) involved.
On December 18, in an item that appeared on Page C1 of its December 19 print edition (the graphic at the right is a scaled-down version of what appears at the top of the online version), the New York Times's Wendell Jamieson provided us his perspective on what has became a Christmas staple, Frank Capra Jr.'s "It's a Wonderful Life." I would suggest that the piece reveals a lot more about the author and Old Media's mindset than it tells us about the film.
Jamieson's title gives a preview of the awful attack that is on the way: "Wonderful? Sorry, George, It’s a Pitiful, Dreadful Life."
It turns out that Jamieson is the Times's city editor. I find it telling that the Times chose not to inform of this "little" fact at the end of the piece.
There is really no substitute for reading, or I should say enduring, the whole thing. But here are some samples of what the person who decides on a daily basis what Times readers and probably a large percentage of the country will learn about news and events in the nation's largest city thinks of Capra's classic, and of James Stewart's town:
Associated Press writer Glen Johnson's story on the indictment of a close friend of Salvatore DiMasi, Massachusetts's Democratic Speaker of the House, is the latest in a long line of fairly long stories about Democratic politicians in trouble that fails to identify their party affiliation.
The story names a half-dozen politicians, all of whom are Democrats, without identifying the party of any of them. No variation of the word "Democrat" appears anywhere.
**UPDATE** Kieth Olbermann kicks in a few lies of his own on this story. With video below fold.
The national news has found its newest way to slam Governor Sarah Palin and that is to report heavily on any untoward actions made by her relatives by marriage -- or even soon to be marriage, for that matter. Next the Old Media will be strenuously looking for Palin neighbors that are unruly, Palin hairdressers that have parking tickets, Palin dog groomers that steal pens from work, and Palin fans that talk too loudly on cell phones while in a theater.
Now, it is beyond me why a person who is not yet even an official in-law by marriage of a public official is a major news story for a low-level drug bust. I can see where it might interest local media for a brief minute, but for this story to have spread all across the wires and the Old Media with nearly 1,000 stories on the national scene... well, it is rather silly, really. Evidence of the worst in tabloid maneuvers.
It's silly, of course, until one realizes that it is just another lame attempt by the Old Media to slime Governor Palin, even if it does have to be guilt by association. And it isn't even association by color of official government business, either. It is family business. In its zeal to slam Sarah Palin, Reuters even initially misreported the story to be Palin's daughter getting arrested for drugs instead of the soon to be Mother-in-Law. (my bold)
Poor schlumps out there know how to get along with next to nothing. But these were multi-millionaires that Bernard Madoff wiped out: show some sympathy! That was The Donald's daffy drift in speaking to Wolf Blitzer on this afternoon's Situation Room on CNN.
DONALD TRUMP: They put 100% of their money with this character, this sleazebag. 100% and they're wiped out. And you know, it's one thing when you grow up and you don't have money or you get to a certain age and you don't: you learn to live. [But] these people have had hundreds of millions of dollars and one phone call on a Thursday night: they're wiped out, have nothing left.
If the definition of a conservative is a liberal who's been mugged, look for Mika Brzezinski to start sounding like Pat Buchanan. The big news on Morning Joe today is that Mika got mugged. Not mugged by reality. Mugged mugged. The MJ co-host was outside her Washington, DC hotel early this morning, waiting for the car to take her to the studio, when a man approached and told her to give him $20 "and you won't get hurt." Mika gave him everything she had–$6–and the man went away.
Mika didn't want the news to be mentioned, but Joe Scarborough insisted. Brzezinski was ever the good trouper, repeatedly insisting everything was fine and suggesting the panel move on to other matters. But Scarborough was furious that the hotel, pointedly unnamed but apparently prominent, provided no security for a guest waiting right outside its doors.
On CNN anchor Campbell Brown’s “No Bias, No Bull” program on Monday evening, New York Daily News columnist Errol Louis and Time magazine editor-at-large Mark Halperin agreed that there was no problem with the transition team of President-Elect Barack Obama delaying the release of their internal findings into their contacts with the office of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Louis saw “nothing but pluses” over this decision, as it would push the release into Christmas week, a time where there “won’t be a lot of viewership.” Halperin emphasized that as long as “there are no embarrassing contacts or politically-sensitive contacts, they’re fine.”
Louis and Halperin participated in a panel discussion, which began 18 minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program, along with Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard. Brown first posed the following question to Louis: “As we have been talking about, the U.S. attorney asked Barack Obama, the transition team, to delay releasing their internal findings for at least a week, until they have had a chance to do interviews of their own -- probably some pluses to that for Obama, as well as minuses. What do you think?”
The Chicago company that was the site of a six-day worker sit-in has filed for bankruptcy. Though this appears to have been expected, it seems that many aspects of this story went under-reported or unreported.
The Chicago Sun Times story written by Francine Knowles and Sandra Guy makes it appear that Bank of America, the lender whose refusal to extend a credit line allegedly caused the company's failure, ended up "lending" over $1 million to fired workers (bolds are mine):
Betcha didn't know that the elected office of Senator of the United States of America was a color coded position? Apparently, Laura Washington of the Chicago Sun-Times thinks it is, anyway, because she is warning that Obama's "black Senate seat" will be lost because of this mess with Governor Rod Blagojevich getting arrested for trying to sell that "black seat" to the highest bidder.
In hers headlined "Black leaders see Senate seat being hijacked," Washington is ostensibly reporting on what black community leaders and politicos in Chicago are saying about who should be appointed to fill Obama's vacant seat. Still, Washington injected quite a lot of her own feelings into the tale of this gnashing of teeth and rending of cloth over the fate of that same seat to the effect that she endorses the idea that Obama's position in the Senate is officially a "black seat" and should stay that way.
Washington is worried most that if the seat is left to be filled by an actual vote of the people of Illinois, instead of an appointment by the governor, it will spell the end of the "black seat." At one point, Washington even claims that "white voters" are uninterested in why they might "deserve" a black senator and so cannot be counted on to vote black. That despite the fact that when Obama ran he was overwhelmingly elected by those same white voters -- not to mention that the other party also put up a black senate candidate to face him. Wouldn't it seem obvious that voting black is not much of a problem for white voters in Illinois?
During a report on Monday morning’s Newsroom program, CNN correspondent Jim Acosta used a clip of Sean Hannity from Fox News Channel, along with clips from two of their resident Obama defenders, to outline how Blagojevich corruption scandal was a “distraction” for President-Elect Barack Obama. The graphic on-screen throughout the report even stated how the scandal was “Distracting Obama.”
Acosta began his report with an online ad from the Republican National Committee, which highlighted “Obama’s past ties to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and questioning the president-elect’s handling of the scandal” and how “[c]omplete with eerie music -- this...website video has the feel of a campaign attack ad.”
The CNN correspondent then noted how “not all Republicans approve the message,” including Senator John McCain, who suggested that Republicans “should try to be working constructively together” with the incoming administration instead of focusing on possible connections to Blagojevich. Acosta continued on this point by introducing the Hannity clip: “Even conservative Sean Hannity has noted what federal prosecutors have made clear, that there are no allegations of wrongdoing facing the next president.”
Looks like we can possibly thank our meddling media for another possibly bungled investigation, this time over the selling of Barack Obama's Senate seat by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojavich. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune was working with Fitzgerald's office on the investigation but decided to stop doing so in favor of printing the sensational story they were sitting on. This forced the arrest early so that the paper wouldn't blow the whole investigation.
The story everyone thought they knew was that Fitzgerald moved when he did to stop a crime about to be committed. But, the WSJ reports that this isn't the case. Apparently the WSJ found that members of Fitzgerald's team wanted to let things roll for a little while longer so that they could catch the actual selling of the Senate seat with Governor Blagojevich, his facilitators and who ever was going to try to buy the seat all on the tape at once. But, the Chicago Tribune informed the prosecutors that they wouldn't wait any longer to put off publishing their story on the investigation. Once the Trib reported on the investigation, it was over for Fitzgerald and his folks for the investigative phase of the case.
There was a fire Friday at Wasilla Bible Church, where GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family are members. The fire did $1 million in damage. The photo at the right is among three that are in a slide show at Wasilla's local paper, the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, whose story is here.
The Washington Post has a short AP story at Page A02 (more on that shortly). The New York Times has nothing about it on its home page. A Times search on "Palin Church" (without quotes) leads to the same AP story; a review of today's print edition shows that the story appears on Page A41.
Does anyone think a similar fire at Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, which Barack Obama attended for almost two decades until earlier this year, would have been as quietly covered -- even if Obama had lost?
Maybe it's just as well that the AP's coverage isn't too prominent yet, because Rachel D'Oro's story added an agenda-driven undercurrent in the last excerpted paragraph:
You can just see the scene from the Wizard of Oz, where the wizard says ‘Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.'
When it comes to diverting attention from a scandal plagued home state, don't worry Senator Obama, USA Today has your back.
In a bizarre demonstration of spinning numbers with the sole purpose of getting people to look away from the recent Blagojevich scandal, John Fritze and others at USA Today took statistics from the Department of Justice and the U.S. Census Bureau, crunched them in the liberal media calculator, and decided they had proof that North Dakota is actually the most corrupt state in the nation.
CNN correspondent Jessica Yellin reversed course concerning her take on President-Elect Barack Obama’s “transparency” on the issue of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and the appointment of his successor in the U.S. Senate. During a segment on Wednesday’s Situation Room, Yellin criticized the outgoing Illinois senator for “not starting off on the foot he promised he’d start off on, which is more transparency and more candor than we’ve seen before.” Just under 17 hour later, minutes after Obama stated that he was “absolutely certain” that no one in his camp was involved in the governor’s alleged scheme to sell his senate seat, the CNN correspondent praised the president-elect: “I should also highlight...that he’s also set down a marker for transparency. He promised a transparent government...and he has revealed now much more than we usually hear in these kind of investigations scandals from a politician.”