A pricey Seattle suburb appears to be the recent target of arson at the hands of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), a radical environmentalist group that destroys property in the name of protecting the earth. In other words, ELF is an eco-terrorist organization.
Yet when covering the story, Seattle Times reporter Peyton Whitely refused to use any such label for the ELF. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer did, at least in a photo caption and headline for a story running on the paper's Web site today:
Street of Dreams homes burned, eco-terrorists suspected
Photo caption: "Eco-terrorists are suspected in using explosive devises to destroy or damage several Street of Dreams show homes, which burned in Woodinville."
Former Newark, New Jersey Mayor Sharpe James has been brought up on charges of corruption and the AP, The New York Times and several other outlets have all been reporting that jury selection for the event is underway this week. These news outlets dutifully reported the charges against James, reported his long political career, some even reported how popular he was in office. Yet, not one of them remembered to mention he was a Democrat. So, today's episode of "Democrat or Not?" leaves us right back where we usually are... with a story of corruption of a public official where his Democratic party affiliation is somehow not "relevant" to the story.
In two versions of the story the Associated press seems not to notice that Sharpe James is a Democrat (here and here).
Today's edition of "Democrat or Not?" gives us an example of a party affiliation that is mentioned by the MSM instead of one kept secret and naturally the party mentioned is the Republican brand. The strange part about this one, however, is the context in which it is reported. In what the media is calling a "politically motivated" family argument over Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton a stabbing occurred. But, here is the thing: neither of those involved in this family tiff are politicians and both were fighting over Democrats that they support. Yet, for some reason, TV station CBS 3 in Philly felt it necessary to mention that one of the combatants was a "registered Republican."
Now, we have all heard the Associated Press claim that mentioning a party is fine "when it's relevant." They've claimed they only mention a party when it is "relevant" to the story. If this practice is prevalent throughout the news industry it sure seems that they all think it "relevant" when a Republican is involved... in anything.
How anti-gun is Barack Obama? Will the media tell us? Cam Edwards at NRANews.com was alarmed by a recent blog post by David Bernstein at The Volokh Conspiracy. A December 13, 1999 article in the black newspaper the Chicago Defender reported on Obama's proposals at that time, as he ran and lost a primary against Congressman Bobby Rush the next year:
Obama is proposing to make it a felony for a gun owner whose firearm was stolen from his residence which causes harm to another person if that weapon was not securely stored in that home. [!!!]
Obviously, this is in the post-Columbine frenzy, but what sort of bizarre proposal is that? If I stole Obama's car and killed someone with it, would it be fair to make Obama a felon for it? Gun owners (at risk of being involuntary criminals) quickly ask what is the meaning of "securely stored"? But there's more from the Defender:
On Thursday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Maggie Rodriguez teased a segment on police brutality: "And in our next half hour, another woman badly hurt while in police custody. And it was caught on videotape. Growing concern this morning about police hostility towards women." In another tease, Rodriguez declared: "Coming up here in our next half hour, caught on videotape, women being hurt by police." At this time video of a male police officer tasering a woman appeared on screen with the caption: "Police Targeting Women?"
In the later segment, following a report by correspondent Jeff Glor on a recent allegation of a Louisiana police officer beating a woman in custody, Rodriguez and CBS Legal Analyst Lisa Bloom saw a broader trend as Rodriguez exclaimed: "What strikes me from this incident and others is that we're seeing male officers beating in this case, strip searching, tasing, female suspects and not even large women, you know, petite women like us."
At this point, Bloom made an outrageous generalization, comparing male police officers to convicted and suspected murderers:
On the Feb. 17 "American Morning," Veronica De La Cruz showed how two Web sites, operated by "the same owner," sold products to the shooters in both the Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University tragedies. She said it was "pretty shocking to figure this out." Anchor Kiran Chetry agreed, calling it an "eerie connection."
But De La Cruz was just getting started. She was even upset at the sympathy banners on the site because they were near banners that still advertised the company's business. "I want to show you the strange juxtaposition if you move down the page. Here's the NIU shooting and then ‘Save big on rifles and handguns' right underneath. You know, something that kind of turns your stomach, if you will," she added.
Here's one media bias everyone accepts (and expects): showing compassion and sympathy for a community after a horrifying mass murder, such as the killings at Northern Illinois University. The leftist website Alternet proved the exception to the rule, printing a bizarre article by an author named Mark Ames that trashed NIU as a mediocre school for mediocre students, and suggested that the "flat" plains of Middle America could make anyone shoot up a school or a post office. The headline was:
Northern Ill. University: Was the Killer Crazy, or the Campus Hopeless? Bracket this massacre as the work of a lunatic on drugs, and you miss the chance to consider the horrors of life in middle America.
Sure, it's garden variety AP labeling/double-standard bias, but it bears busting anyway.
At KnoxNews.com (h/t NB reader coffee260), one can read the tale of Nashville, Tennessee, state representative Rob Briley, who "has pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and property damage prior to leading authorities on a high-speed chase last September." Briley is a Democrat, but his party affiliation was not mentioned in the 6-paragraph story.
Yet another AP dispatch on another state politician, this one from Maryland, had a quite different treatment of that legislator's political affiliation.
On Thursday’s CBS "Early Show," while covering Roger Clemens’ testimony before Congress, co-host Maggie Rodriguez talked to sports radio talk show host, Chris "Mad Dog" Russo, who said of the hearing: "I thought the panel for the most part did a pretty good job on the Democratic side. And I'm not really a party politic guy, but the Republicans did a terrible job." Russo went on to bash Republicans and praise Democrats "...they let Clemens off the hook. Waxman was great, Elijah Cummings was great from Maryland."
Without challenging that assessment, Rodriguez asked: "Why do you think, real quick, that they did a terrible job? There's some talk that maybe they were star struck?"
Russo then made this accusation:
I don't think they were star struck. I don't know why all of a sudden, maybe Clemens is friends with the Bush family, he's a Republican, whatever it might be, this came across on party lines. The Republican guys here did an atrocious job because they directed all their questions at Mcnamee and talked about his terrible job with credibility and laid -- let Clemens get off the hook. Terrible job.
In light of recent high-profile shootings, Friday's World News with Charles Gibson featured a report that seemed to lament the absence of public calls for additional gun control. While not directly advocating new gun laws, the report cited statistics often used by those who support gun control. Before correspondent Pierre Thomas cited a poll showing 60 percent of Americans "favor stricter gun control laws," Gibson introduced the piece: "Well, there are 230 million guns in America. There are more guns than there are adults. In the past incidents, like the one in Kirkwood, would rekindle debate over gun control. But as ABC's Pierre Thomas reports, gun control advocates are now mostly silent." (Transcript follows)
Living in the DC area, Chris Matthews has surely been stuck in traffic more than once behind someone sporting the classic NRA bumper sticker: "If Guns Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Guns." Was Chris was listening too intently to NPR to consider the the truth of that pithy aphorism? You might think so, considering his anti-gun rant that seemed to assume that criminals, rather than law-abiding citizens, will obey restrictions on gun ownership.
On this evening's Hardball, riffing off Mitt Romney's Second Amendment defense during last night's GOP debate, Chris took aim at National Review's Deroy Murdock, a Giuliani backer.
The blogosphere continues to boil with outrage over the Times's front-page story from Sunday on veterans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan and committing murders, a story immediately discredited by cursory research as journalistically and statistically worthless. The paper's main finding, that 121 veterans either committed a killing in this country or are charged with one, was useless without context, which the Times either couldn't or didn't provide.
The story failed basic journalism, with the Times making no attempt to compare murder rates of veterans to that of the general population. Can one imagine the Times spouting out a raw number of murders committed by, say, illegal immigrants? Without context, the Times' big finding was useless, a single data point floating in space.
The Democratic presidential race is turning into a snippy identity-politics battle waged around the question: Is America more racist or more sexist? Is America too racist to deserve Barack Obama? Or too sexist to deserve Hillary Clinton? Liberals think this is a real puzzler, since they assume America is bigoted both ways. It’s going to be a long, America-accusing election year no matter who wins.
This is nuts. Our system of laws in this country contains energetic remedies for discrimination against blacks and women. Discriminatory attitudes still exist in isolated, politically irrelevant pockets whose existence is then magnified one hundred-fold by those in the media who want this picture of discrimination to exist. Blacks and women simply are not as a rule denied their humanity, as evidenced by a black and a woman vying to become America’s next president.
If we don’t want this year to be an exercise in liberal accusation and intimidation, we should force the Democratic front-runners to answer a different question. If we want to identify the one segment of American humanity that is routinely disregarded, we should ask them: when will you recognize the civil rights and humanity of the unborn baby? When will America overcome this injustice of destroying human lives in the name of "choice"?
While covering the murder of Marine Maria Lauterbach on Monday’s CBS "Early Show," Co-host Julie Chen used the opportunity to level broad charges against the military and its handling of sexual assault cases: "What did the Marines do to protect her, and when did they do it? It's a question we've heard asked for -- of the military for decades." This was followed by a report by CBS Correspondent David Martin, who agreed with Chen: "You're right, the military has long been accused of mishandling sexual assault reports, and there are now some protective measures in place."
Martin moved beyond Lauterbach, who reported being raped by the murder suspect, Cesar Laurean, last April, to other reports of sexual assault in the military:
MARTIN: Earlier in the Iraq war, revelations that there had been more than 100 sexual assault cases in Kuwait, Iraq , and the rest of the Persian Gulf, coupled with complaints from female service members that the male-dominated chain of command did not take their allegations seriously, brought this charge from Senator Susan Collins.
Could a description of Mary Jo Kopechne's death in a car accident possibly not mention Ted Kennedy till five paragraphs later?
That's how the Times Leader, the Wilkes Barre, PA-based newspaper reported the passing away at age 89 of Mary Kopechne's mother Gwen, a local resident.
Here's the opening paragraph [emphasis added]:
A mother who lost her daughter in a well-publicized automobile accident in Massachusetts nearly 39 years ago was remembered Saturday as a caring woman who loved talking, drinking coffee and making pancakes for breakfast.
Here's a story from the Miami Herald that's worth keeping track of for coverage in the larger mainstream media, particularly the networks. I highly doubt this story will be a priority for the MSM, although I'm sure conservative bloggers and perhaps immigration reform activists will make sure the American people become aware of it:
Hundreds of wannabe truckers took a detour on the way to the DMV and got bogus commercial driver's licenses, thanks to an Army National Guard sergeant.
Friday morning, authorities threw up the stop sign.
In a series of early morning raids throughout Miami-Dade County Friday, authorities from federal, state and local agencies arrested five people they say obtained licenses fraudulently. Two others were taken into custody later.
Last year's most bizarre and famously icky sex scandal was, of course, Senator Larry Craig's airport bathroom incident, in which the Idaho Republican was alleged to have been soliciting homosexual sex from an undercover cop. Suffice it to say no one who came across the story could walk away without knowing Craig's party affiliation, and in some cases his record as a conservative with some libertarian-friendly stances.
So how did the Associated Press's Bill Poovey treat a former Democratic Tennessee judge with an arguably nastier, kinkier, more disturbing sexual predilection? Not one mention of John B. Hagler's Democratic Party affiliation in Poovey's 23-paragraph January 2 story, even though the judge's sex fantasy recording sure spooked at least one veteran police officer (emphasis mine, h/t NB reader Chris Mario):
A subscription-only editorial in the Wall Street Journal on Monday propagated a carefully-worded whopper, but at least made a small change to the paper's insufferable 23-year "There Shall Be Open Borders" mantra (bolds are mine):
A recent paper by the Immigration Policy Center, an advocacy group, notes that "Numerous studies by independent researchers and government commissions over the past 100 years repeatedly and consistently have found that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes or be behind bars than the native born." Today, immigrants on balance are five times less likely to be in prison than someone born here.
None of this is to argue that illegal immigration doesn't have costs, especially in border communities and states with large public benefits. In the post-9/11 environment, knowing who's in the country is more important than ever. That's an argument for better regulating cross-border labor flows, not ending them.
The Immigration Policy Center's use of 100 years averages things out quite a bit, doesn't it?
Welcome to the 2007 Top Ten Lowlights of The New York Times. As usual, the year brought a cornucopia of biased behavior by the nation's paper of record, from sliming innocent Duke lacrosse players to defending illegal immigration to yet another liberal rant from a high-level Times executive (this year it was Executive Editor Bill Keller who did the honors). Times Watch has whittled down the absolute worst from another liberally slanted year from the New York Times. For the full report, visit Times Watch. Here are the headlines for a taste:
10. Bill Keller Unleashed in London -- "War Going Very Badly in Iraq"
9. The Haditha "Massacre"
8. Doubting the Fort Dix Six Terror Plot
7. France's Fearsome Nicolas Sarkozy
6. Gee, Why Is Dick Cheney So Secretive?
5. Reporter Chastised for Saying "Surge" Worth a Shot...
4. Blaming the Victims in the Duke "Rape" Hoax
3. Loving the (Illegal) Alien
2. Deep Discount for MoveOn.org's "Petraeus-Betray Us" Ad
The current column at the NY Times Opinionator blog, Huckabee and the Democratic Ideal, wonders "where’s the Democratic Mike Huckabee?" It answers its own question by approvingly citing David Seaton, an American expatriate blogger living in Madrid, who writes thusly [emphasis added]:
Democrats could learn a lot by studying Huckabee. I have no idea what is really behind Mike Huckabee’s friendly facade, but he is making some interesting and nuanced noises for a southern populist and I think Democrats should take note of these nuances and make some of the same noises.
In what seems to be an almost comical pattern among South Florida newspapers, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel has once again failed to apply the political party label to disgraced and imprisoned former Broward county sheriff Ken Jenne. Can you guess the political party to which Jenne belongs?
Imagine for a moment that the FBI raided televangelist Pat Robertson's office for any reason whatsoever, much less say his 1988 presidential campaign. It'd be a story in the broadcast evening news programs, right?
So why the utter lack of interest in the December 12 federal probe into Al Sharpton's 2004 campaign? A review of Nexis for ABC, NBC, and CBS network news stories for December 12-18 yielded nothing on a December 13 FBI raid.
Here's an excerpt from the AP's reporting from December 13:
Gail Collins might not be as crude as Billy Shaheen. But in her own Grey Lady way, the NY Times columnist has recycled the insinuation that transformed Shaheen into an ex-Hillary co-chair.
Let's first have a look at Shaheen's statement, as reported by the Washington Post:
"The Republicans are not going to give up without a fight ... and one of the things they're certainly going to jump on is his drug use." Shaheen said Obama's candor on the subject would "open the door" to further questions. "It'll be, 'When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?'" Shaheen said. "There are so many openings for Republican dirty tricks. It's hard to overcome."
Mika Brzezinski: back on the crime beat with another loopy liberal take on reality . . .
Yesterday, the resident lefty on the Morning Joe panel -- defying the facts of the volunteer guard who stopped the Colorado church shooter -- labeled as "the most inane thing" she'd ever heard the notion that one armed citizen could make a difference.
Today, in a breathtaking bit of revisionist history, Brzezinski tried to credit notoriously lax former Mayor David Dinkins rather than Rudy Giuliani for making NYC safe. So fierce was the return fire from Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough that, as pictured here, Mika ultimately took refuge under a sheaf of paper.
On December 10, Ontario teenager Aqsa Parvez was murdered by her father, allege Canadian investigators, over her refusal to wear the hijab, the traditional head scarf worn by Muslim women. The story has caught fire on the Web, particularly among bloggers interested in news pertaining to radical Islam.
As horrifying as the story is, it was only given five paragraphs on page A23 of the December 12 Washington Post, and that from a Reuters story. What's more, Post editors served up readers a bland headline that failed to hint that a religious reason was behind the violence: "Canadian Teen Dies; Father Is Charged."
There is one current story in Iraq that has attracted the full attention of the Associated Press, and that is the case of Bilal Hussein, an AP photographer and terrorism suspect. The AP report on Hussein's hearing yesterday leaves out the fact that Hussein was arrested with a known al Qaeda terrorist... one of but many troubling aspects of the news organization's decision to forego objective news reporting in favor of self-serving advocacy in a clear and pervasive conflict of interest.
The Associated Press, as an involved party in this case, should recuse themselves from reporting on Hussein's trial.
Don't confuse Mika Brzezinski with the facts. She's anti-gun and is not about to let some stunning counter-evidence change her mind.
If ever there was an illustration of how an armed citizen can make a difference, it is the case of Jeanne Assam, the brave woman who took out the killer at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. And yet . . .
On today's Morning Joe, Mika -- in newsreader mode -- dutifully reported the incident. But when Joe Scarborough sought to draw the logical inference, Mika put her anti-gun foot down.