If your child's school were invaded by Columbine-style killers, methodically murdering students in cold blood, would you want teachers to shoot to stop them? Gayle Fallon wouldn't. For that matter, Fallon doesn't think teachers "have it in them" to even try to save their students' lives. Fallon, the president of a teachers union in Houston, TX, made her views known during an Early Show segment this morning conducted by Harry Smith.
The topic was a decision adopted by a rural north Texas school district to permit teachers to carry guns in the classroom. Harrold, TX School Superintendent David Thweatt explained that the decision was prompted by the school's close proximity to an interstate and its remoteness—thirty minutes away from law enforcement—factors presumably making it a tempting target. Thweatt made clear that all guns have to be approved by the school board and teachers have to undergo extensive safety and related training. None of that mattered to Fallon.
HARRY SMITH: Gayle, when you first heard about this, what was your reaction?
GAYLE FALLON: Initially I thought it was a joke. However, after a couple of media calls, we realized it wasn't and we were asked whether our district would consider it, and it was absolutely no way would we consider it. One of the things that hit me is, you know, Columbine and the other incidents were generally initiated by students. Now, I've been around teachers a long time. They don't have it in them to aim at a student and kill him. They'll freeze. Nor would I want them to.
Yesterday I noted how the Washington Post practically scolded disgraced Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (D) for fighting in court for the right to travel out-of-state to the Democratic Convention in Denver later this month. I noted that Kilpatrick's party affiliation and superdelegate status were noted in the first two paragraphs of that article, something most reports by the Associated Press have failed to note.
Now in an August 15 report -- "Detroit Mayor Has Turbulent Day" -- AP's Ed White noted Kilpatrick's Democratic affiliation in the lede, but waited until paragraph 12 out of 17 to mention his superdelegate status:
(DETROIT) - Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's tumultuous day began with one judge suddenly declaring he could get rid of the ankle device tracking his movements and another ruling only hours later that it must go back on. By the end of the day, the embattled politician's hope of attending the Democratic National Convention was dashed.
If any further evidence was needed to prove that the country is in a recession, the CBS Early Show found it, as co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared: "Coming up this morning, during hard times in some U.S. cities, they're as good as gold. Manhole covers being stolen and sold for scrap." Co-host Harry Smith later introduced the segment on this desperate trend: "Across the country thieves are stealing metal objects like manhole covers because the price of scrap metal has sky rocketed."
Correspondent Priya David reported on the problem: "That's right, thieves are literally stealing the street right out from under you. One area of the nation hardest hit by these thefts is Philadelphia. Typically they'd lose about a hundred manhole covers or grates a year to theft. But in the past year, 2,000 have gone missing." She went to describe how: "When you look at this street, you probably see a manhole cover. But to a thief, this looks like free money." As David later mentioned, that "free money" isn’t much: "Each cover nets a thief a grand total of about $10."
David detailed how the crime wave was starting to take it’s toll: "In Philadelphia, this girl is one of two children who suffered minor injuries from falling into open holes." She then turned to Democratic Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter: "That can be a very dangerous situation. But, you know, you can never be too surprised at the creativity and the lengths that people will go, you know, when facing, you know, a financial challenge, trying to take care of themselves."
As the latest episode of Detroit's Kwame Kilpatrick Calamity has played out, we learn that there is a supplemental directive to add to the Associated Press's apparent commandment ("Thou shalt not name a Democrat's party") about politicians in trouble whose party mascot happens to be the donkey.
Several previous Kilpatrick-related AP reports, including this one from two weeks ago, have been cited at NewsBusters and elsewhere as examples of how closely that commandment is followed.
Jackson City Councilman Kenneth Stokes said he wants to propose a city ordinance that takes away pawn shop’s ability to sell guns.
“There’s too much violence in the city of Jackson,” Stokes said today. “I asked the young folks, where are they getting their guns and they say the pawn shops. I asked the older people where are they getting their guns and they say the pawn shops. We need to do something to make our city safe again.”
Of course Mr. Stokes doesn't realize that he cannot lawfully do this. And he doesn't realize that restricting a purchase in the city limits will not prevent criminals from getting guns in neighboring suburbs. And he doesn't understand that preventing lawful citizens from purchasing guns to protect their families and homes is what will keep the murdering thugs in his city. When criminals know that gun purchases are prohibited by law-abiding residents, they will choose to remain in that area and continue their criminal activities.
The Big Three networks continued to ignore the party affiliation of the now-incarcerated Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on Friday morning, just as they had done in their evening news programs the previous night. The Early Show on CBS chose to ignore the story of Kilpatrick’s arrest on a bail violation entirely, while ABC’s Good Morning America devoted one 16-second news brief to the story near the beginning of its 7 am Eastern hour.
Ironically, NBC’s Today show, which is devoting most of its programming to the Summer Olympics in Beijing, spent the most time on the subject. It first aired a 12-second news brief just after the top of 7 am Eastern hour, and devoted an entire segment to the story at the beginning of the 8 am Eastern hour. The report by correspondent Ron Allen was just shy of 2 minutes long, but still ignored Kilpatrick’s Democratic affiliation.
Previous NewsBusters posts by Brent Baker and Rusty Weiss have noted the "strange" and nearly complete memory loss exhibited by the TV networks (with the expected exception of fair and balanced Fox News) and the Associated Press concerning the political party affiliation of just-jailed Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
The New York Times's record during the past seven months has been almost equally disgraceful.
Here's the detailed rundown of 14 relevant stories I found in the Times since the troubles that ultimately led to the Mayor's indictment and recent incarceration began:
New York Times reporter Sean Hamill filed "Mexican's Death Bares a Town's Ethnic Tension," about a killing in the town of Shenandoah, Pa. Four teenagers on the town's high school football team have been charged in the death of Luis Ramirez, an illegal immigrant, after he suffered a beating July 12. The boys have been charged, among other counts, with "ethnic intimidation." Motive? Hamill had the audacity to suggest an overturned policy from the town of Hazleton, 20 miles away from Shenandoah, was somewhat responsible for the hostile atmosphere that led to the killing.
Mr. Ramirez's death has also reignited a regional debate over immigration that began two years ago when the town of Hazleton, about 20 miles from Shenandoah, enacted an ordinance that sought to discourage people from hiring or renting to illegal immigrants.
Imagine if the principal of a Catholic school in the metro D.C. region was found guilty of failing to report an allegation of child sexual abuse. It'd be considered worthy of front page news for the Washington Post, at the very least a front pager for the paper's Metro section.
Yet reporting the conviction of Abdalla I. Al-Shabnan on July 31, the Post buried the story on the 6th page of the Metro section. Here's how staffer Tom Jackman opened his story:
The director general of a controversial private Islamic school in Fairfax County has been found guilty of a misdemeanor charge of failing to report child abuse and fined $500.
Abdalla I. Al-Shabnan, head of the Islamic Saudi Academy on Route 1 in the Mount Vernon area, was arrested last month by Fairfax police, who said Al-Shabnan had been informed of the possible sexual abuse of a 5-year-old student at the school. School authorities are required by law to report alleged child abuse within 72 hours.
Chuck Todd has some advice for John McCain: embrace Ted Stevens' demise. The NBC News political director made his suggestion in the course of kibitzing McCain campaign strategy with Joe Scarborough on today's Morning Joe.
CHUCK TODD: Joe, why isn't McCain jumping on this Ted Stevens thing? He hated Ted Stevens.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: He did!
TODD: He should be dancing on this guy's political grave today. This is the John McCain Republican party versus the Ted Stevens Republican party. And he ought to be, he ought to be gloating today. And he's not touched it.
Update: An NB reader contacted Mike Allen, author of the article, to complain about the photo choice. Allen indicated he was unaware of, and not involved in, the photo selection. The accompaning photo was subsequently changed to one of the condemned solider.
Of all the millions of photos of George W. Bush, that displayed here is the one Politico.com chose to accompany its story, Bush Approves Soldier's Execution, of the president's authorization of the execution of a soldier convicted of four murders and eight rapes in North Carolina.
Was this a photo taken of Pres. Bush as he announced his decision? Apparently not. The story indicates that the president did not announce his decision in person, but did so via a statement from White House Press Secretary Dana Perino.
Does Politico have evidence that the president made his decision in anger? If so, it didn't report that. To the contrary, Dana Perino's statement says the decision was "difficult" for the president.
If there is a previous record for "Highest Level of Saturation Press Coverage with No Political Party Affiliation Named" (HT to e-mailer Jason), the Cleveland press corps almost broke it.
In looking over three publications' stories about today's massive and far-ranging police actions in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, Ohio, I found only one reference to the Democratic Party affiliation of those involved. Cleveland's sole daily newspaper put up a half-dozen related blog entries and failed to name anyone's party in any of them.
First, though, from the always-reliable (in shielding troubled Dems' party affiliations) Associated Press, writer Joe Milicia named no party in eight paragraphs:
The Associated Press's Ed White used almost 700 words in his story (link is dynamic; story in form found at 5:04 p.m. is also here) about the latest developments relating to Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick of Detroit, and failed to name his party affiliation even once.
Even beyond that, though he did tell readers that Kilpatrick faces a criminal trial for perjury, misconduct, and obstruction of justice, White failed to note that calls for Kilpatrick's resignation, which began in earnest with City Council's 7-1 vote in March, continue to mount.
[Update, 5:45 pm, by Matthew Balan: In the past year, Cafferty has called for the impeachment of Bush administration officials or criticized Democrats for failing to do so on 3 other occasions: August 21, 2007; January 7, 2008; and just over a month ago on June 12, 2008.]
You might call Jack Cafferty the Dennis Kucinich of the media. Actually, the CNN commentator would go the Dem congressman one better. Not content with mere impeachment, Cafferty has condemned Congress for not pursuing the possible prosecution of President Bush—to whom he sneeringly refers as "King George"—for war crimes.
The CNN commentator put war-crime prosecution on the table during his Cafferty File segment on this afternoon's CNN "Situation Room."
During the 9:00 a.m. hour of the July 16 "MSNBC News Live," Richard Pompelio, a lawyer with the New Jersey Crime Victims' Law Center, appeared as a guest for a segment on a New Jersey appellate court’s recent decision that cities cannot implement their own laws regarding child sex offenders. After asking Pompelio to describe Megan’s Law -- which requires law enforcement personnel to provide information about a child sex offender to the community in which the offender lives -- "MSNBC News Live" host Contessa Brewer worried:
The question that always comes up when you have these community hearings where law enforcement gather the neighbors and they say "look, we just wanna let you know that there's a sex offender moving in so that you can keep an eye on your children and stay safe." The neighbors say "why, why is he moving into my neighborhood.?" But they've served their time, they’ve done their, they've done the punishment so don’t they deserve a chance to come out and try to live a good life?
What Brewer must have forgotten is that the inspiration for Megan’s Law was the brutal 1994 rape and murder of seven-year-old Megan Kankaby Jesse Timmendequas, a twice-convicted sex offender who happened to live across the street from Megan.
The July 11 Second Amendment Freedom Rally in downtown Chicago was ignored by both of Chicago's major newspapers (Tribune search on "gun rally," not in quotes, is here [HT Say Uncle]; Sun-Times search on "gun" is here).
Focusing on the Tribune: Its editorial board last month advocated repealing the Second Amendment in the wake of the Supreme Court's Heller ruling, holding that the amendment confers an individual right. Perhaps not coincidentally, it has frequently covered anti-gun events with a similar number, or even fewer, participants, than were at Thursday's event.
At least one Chicago TV station did cover the Second Amendment Freedom Rally. Here is part of the report filed by Leah Hope at ABC affiliate WLS (video is also at the link; bold is mine):
Not that she is, but if Michelle Obama were in fact a Black Panther, what's the big deal? So seems to think Michelle Bernard.
Anyone who imagines that Bernard brings conservative balance to the MSNBC panels on which she regularly appears should think again. Yes, Bernard is head of the Independent Women's Forum, an organization with strong conservative roots. And true, Bernard served on the 2000 Bush-Cheney Presidential Inaugural Committee. But as the Daily Howler has documented [see 1/3 down page], her pronouncements on Hardball have often been supportive of Barack Obama.
More evidence of that was on display tonight when Bernard condemned the New Yorker cover in harsh terms and then, incredibly, seemed to say that there would be nothing wrong if the cover's caricature of Michelle Obama as a Black Panther were grounded in reality!
Along with a few of his police bodyguards Mayor Frank Melton of Jackson, Mississippi has been indicted on Federal civil rights violations. It seems that in his zeal to curb drug crime, Melton forced some local youngsters at gunpoint to take a sledgehammer to a private residence that Melton claimed was a drug house.
One little problem, Melton had no court order and no right to destroy a private residence. Yet he and his rogue police bodyguards illegally entered this private residence and wrecked the place anyway.
Did you know that violent white men are never arrested for their actions? The Chicago Sun-Times' Mary Mitchell is sure of it, if you aren't. In another of her typically race baiting articles, Mitchell this time says that any time a white man is engaged in violent behavior, he is let off "to go on his merry way," never to be "held accountable" for his actions. Race monger Mitchell is sure of this, see, because she saw a traffic scuffle between two "old white guys" where no arrests were made by Chicago police.
Two "old white guys" let go without arrest after a traffic altercation? Wow, case closed, racism exists, eh?
Got to be good looking 'cause he's so hard to see Come together right now Over me—The Beatles, "Come Together" (1969) [YouTube]
Bob Herbert just doesn't get it. As Noel Sheppard has noted, in his NYT column today Herbert accuses Barack Obama of "lurching right when it suits him, and . . . zigging with the kind of reckless abandon that’s guaranteed to cause disillusion, if not whiplash." The NY Times columnist goes on to condemn the candidate for "pandering to evangelicals;" agreeing with Justices Scalia and Thomas on a "barbaric" interpretation of the 8th Amendment; and playing a "dangerous game" with his "shifts and panders."
No, no, no, Bob! That's not what's happening at all. Obama isn't flip-flopping. He's simply fulfilling his pledge to bring us together. What makes Herbert's obtuseness all the more infuriating is that enlightenment was just a stroll down the corridor away, to the office of Gail Collins. Herbert's fellow Times columnist explained what is really going on during her appearance today on Morning Joe.
While the Sun's reporters should be commended for following the unfolding story -- today's article by staffer John Fritze made the front page of the print edition and was featured prominently on the Web site -- more often than not the Sun's coverage has omited Dixon's party label. There has been to my knowledge just one exception, a June 25 article on which Fritze shared the byline with reporters Lynn Anderson and Doug Donovan.
Ho no, here we go again. Gas price hysteria from the MSM.
"Here's a troubling look at what some people are doing for gas. A 34-year-old Kentucky woman was arrested for prostitution after she was allegedly trading sex for $100 gas cards."
So began a video story at ABCNews.com, which made today's top headlines roundup with the teaser headline: "Sign of the Times: Sex for Gas." While the short video report included a prosecutor calling it a "sign of the times" that someone would trade sex for gasoline, failing to put the phrase in quotes in the headline implies that ABCNews.com agrees with the prosecutor's personal opinion on gas prices and the criminal desperation supposedly caused by them.
Of course, there's also more to the story that we don't learn from ABCNews.com. Alleged hooker Angela Eversole may be a cheating hussy, but she's no whore, says her jilted boyfriend, according to WCPO-TV.:
Here's something you don't see every day: a major American newspaper admonishing the Supreme Court for ruling against the death penalty.
Yet, that's not even close to the oddest aspect of Saturday's editorial by the Washington Post, for the paper agreed with the Court's 5-4 decision to ban the death penalty for those convicted of child rape, but felt compelled to expose an error in how the Justices reached their conclusions.
In fact, the Post laid out a convincing enough case that the state of Lousiana might have grounds for a rehearing (emphasis added, h/t Hot Air headlines):
Federal investigators have electronic surveillance evidence that allegedly links Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers with receiving a payment or payments in connection with a city-approved sludge contract.
Ruh-roh. Conyers is the wife of John Conyers, the Dem Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee who continues to toy with the notion of seeking to impeach President Bush. So how did this morning's Today show report the story?
With more fallout from the Supreme Court's latest 2nd Amendment ruling, the Chicago Sun-Times has published an op ed wagging a finger at the Supremes saying that the Heller decision will be a "tax on Chicago citizens," and that it is a tax to be "paid in blood and money." The Times scolds the Court with all sorts of dire warnings and worries that blood will flow in the city but, as with D.C., the violence in Chicago with its extreme gun ban often causes the city to top the lists of the most violent cities in America. So, why the Sun-Times imagines the current 25-year-old gun ban is worth keeping is anyone's guess.
The Sun-Times, though, is filled with woe at the Heller decision and offers the downright stupid solution of more gun banning despite the singular fact that their "solution" has miserably failed in every city it has been tried -- including the very one they claim to care about. Not to mention that the Times seems to have no clue about the Constitution nor any respect for the citizenry of that same city.
It didn't take long for the Washington Post to weigh in on the wrong side of the Second Amendment issue, did it? The Post's Colbert I. King could not contain the disgust he feels for at least one part of the Constitution more in his response to the Supreme Court's Second Amendment ruling today. He flipped his top and went so far off the deep end that he seemed to imagine that Justice Scalia just gave the nod for citizens to get "machine guns" to indulge their newly affirmed ability to indiscriminately fire their loaded guns "at will" in D.C. In fact in this op ed, King was so unhinged that he seemed to utterly dispense with logic as he penned his newest ode to the wild-eyed phobia that is his inordinate fear of guns (yet, curiously, not of criminals).
King's very first few paragraphs seem to be written without the slightest bit of reflection of how illogical his position on the concept of gun laws is because it looks as though he imagines that criminals might obey a draconian anti-gun law, or any gun law for that matter if only it is enforced. One wonders why Mr. King thinks criminals are called criminals if laws would prevent them from doing anything? Worse, King can't seem to tell the difference between a law abiding citizen using a gun in self-defense and a criminal using it for evil. It seems as if to King criminals and citizens are indistinguishable.
If an elected official in the United States, at any level, promises to "rip apart" six year old rape victims, then describe in vivid detail how their lives would be ruined, one would assume such a statement would lead the news. But it did not.
Following up on D.S. Hubes post on the local media coverage, Massachusetts State Representative James Fagan (D) voiced his opposition to Jessica’s law requiring stiff mandatory sentences to child rapists. As a defense attorney, Fagan promised if such a law were in place and victims assume the stand "I’m gonna rip them apart." Fagan continued "I’m going to make sure that the rest of their life is ruined, that when they’re 8 years old, they throw up; when they’re 12 years old, they won’t sleep; when they’re 19 years old, they’ll have nightmares and they’ll never have a relationship with anybody."
By now, you have all heard of Wednesday's Supreme Court decision prohibiting the death penalty in cases of child rape. Having read several articles, the mainstream media's take on the case was mostly informational and understated. And that was to be expected. While the ruling could be considered a victory for civil libertarians, even the press understands that you can't do a victory dance when a child rapist is spared the death penalty.
Yesterday I noted how the Baltimore Sun failed to note the party affiliation of Democratic Mayor Sheila Dixon, who is under investigation for corruption.
To be fair to the Sun, I thought I'd note that Dixon's party allegiance is referenced in a June 25 story in the second paragraph:
Companies linked to a developer questioned in the state investigation of Mayor Sheila Dixon have made nearly $500,000 in political contributions in the past decade, state campaign finance records show.
The 57 limited liability corporations named in court records as having possible ties to Doracon Contracting President Ronald H. Lipscomb gave $487,000, almost entirely to Democrats, including tens of thousands to Dixon and Gov. Martin O'Malley.