In a report ("D.C. Poised to Exceed 2006 Homicide Totals"; HT Hot Air) on overall urban homicide, Allison Klein at the Washington Post used a word that I've never seen directly associated with criminal activity by groups of people, and she used it twice.
Here's the first:
The number of killings in the District this year already has reached the homicide count for all of last year, reversing a trend in which deadly violence steadily declined over the past four years.
With six weeks left on the 2007 calendar, the District has recorded 169 homicides.
"There's a whole lot of things that play into it," (D.C. Police Chief Cathy L.) Lanier said. "It's hard to say any one contributing factor is driving the homicides."
Among her theories: Neighborhood crews are having more violent flare-ups, and criminals are using assault rifles and other guns with more firepower.
Did the police chief really say "crews"? Note that the sentence has no quotations marks.
(Note: This is about a local Northeastern Ohio column, but deals with a media bias issue of broad significance.)
What Feagler revealed gets to the very heart of journalism's failure, why blogs exist, why many news consumers pay attention to them (in fact, feel that they must), and why they matter.
I really want to admire guys like Dick Feagler (and the relatively few gals, back in the day). Their telephones, steel trap memories, and Rolodexes were the "databases" of that era. They worked, and their modern counterparts still work, in an underpaid, underappreciated job that, when done correctly, is something you don't clock out of, and can go crazy in the blink of an eye. The Dick Feaglers used the old-fashion tools and applied the old-fashioned work ethic to do their jobs as best they could. Their successors are typically doing the same, with better tools.
But that avoids the real question: What was, and still is, their job?
Veteran Maryland political commentator, radio show host and White House correspondent Les Kinsolving often calls Maryland "The Land of Political Enchantment," and indeed the Old Line State never fails to enchant natives and outsiders alike with its bizarre --William Donald Schaefer comes to mind-- and often corrupt politicos.
Yet although the state is famously blue-hued with an overwhelmingly Democratic General Assembly, you can count on the media to ignore the party affiliation of Democratic state legislators who run afoul of the law.
Such was the case with the Associated Press today ignoring former state senator Thomas Bromwell's Democratic Party affiliation. AP follows the Washington Post's lead (see my July 24 article) in ignoring Bromwell's party connections.
That's Bill Lerach. Yes, THAT Bill Lerach. The self-styled, one-time "King of Torts," and former partner at the once-untouchable Milberg Weiss law firm. The now criminally convicted Bill Lerach.
For those who are unfamiliar with the story of Bill Lerach and Milberg Weiss, here's a relatively quick synopsis, courtesy of a subscription-only editorial at the Wall Street Journal excerpted by yours truly in May 2006, when Milberg Weiss and two of its partners were indicted:
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported on November 11 that Dubner, a co-author of "Freakonomics," addressed the Washington (State) Policy Center’s small business conference luncheon on November 8 and mentioned this apparent abortion/crime link during his speech. The link is a claim that Dubner’s co-author, Steven Levitt, first made in a 2001 paper entitled "The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime." As Dubner put it during his speech, "Unwanted children are much more likely to become criminals. What happens, then, when your population pool has removed from it a big chunk of the unwanted children?" Dubner and Levitt devoted an entire chapter to the supposed abortion/crime connection in Chapter 4 of "Freakonomics."
Should I be worried? I just agreed with something Neal Gabler said. On yesterday's Fox News Watch, the liberal media critic opined that the MSM is backing Benazir Bhutto over Pervez Musharraf in the current Pakistan crisis -- and not for the loftiest of motives.
And could Hillary fall prey to the scenario that brought down Michael Dukakis?
On Thursday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Russ Mitchell introduced a news brief in which reporter Byron Pitts speculated on a potential indictment of former NYPD Commissioner and Giuliani friend, Bernard Kerik. Mitchell began the segment by exclaiming:
Republican presidential hopeful, Rudy Giuliani, has stood by his good friend and associate, Bernard Kerik, through good times and bad. But that could change now that Kerik maybe in some big trouble.
Despite the fact that no indictment had actually been handed down yet, that did not keep Pitts from furthering the speculation: "CBS News has learned former New York City Police Commissioner, Bernard Kerik, could face indictment as early as today on criminal charges, including tax fraud and other counts."
While the "Early Show" had no hesitation in reporting a possible Giuliani scandal, the morning news program failed to mention the Hillary Clinton fund raising scandal involving fugitive Norman Hsu even once. That was true even when "Early Show" co-host, Harry Smith, had reported the story on the August 31 and September 6 CBS "Evening News" broadcasts, while filling in for anchor Katie Couric.
On Saturday, CNN ran an interview with Bill Cosby on "Larry King Live," which originally ran on Thursday October 18, in which the entertainer plugged his new book "Come on People: On the Path from Victims to Victors," about problems faced by America's black population. While Cosby talked about such conservative themes as personal responsibility, which in recent years he has been famous for discussing, the entertainer also demonstrated that he has not entirely made the trip over to the conservative side as he derided Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as "brother lite," repeatedly charging that Thomas "doesn't want to help anybody." Cosby also proclaimed that he "loves" far-left Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. (Transcript follows)
CBS's Public Eye blogger Matthew Felling sees curious timing in a controversy CNN reported on an October 31 program, but which took place weeks earlier, involving a stand-up comic and a noose:
Last night on CNN’s “Out in the Open” hosted by Rick Sanchez, he had a lively discussion/debate with an African-American comic who had worn a noose like a necktie as “a fashion accessory.” The segment began:
In the same vein as NewsBusters Warner Todd Huston's earlier blog today about labeling bias, the Associated Press found a Republican politician's alleged episode of gay sex worthy not only of mentioning his party affiliation, but of doing so in the lede.
SPOKANE -- A Republican state legislator from southwest Washington had sex with a man he met at an erotic video store and then told police he had been targeted in an extortion attempt, according to police documents released Tuesday.
State Rep. Richard Curtis, R-La Center, who on Monday declared, "I have not had sex with a guy," told police he was the victim in an extortion attempt by Cody Castagna at the posh Davenport Tower hotel Friday, search warrant documents said.
Curtis' party was also mentioned in the subhead for the article, although that may have been the work of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, where I found the article from a link in the paper's Big Blog.
Democrats never get "outed" as Democrats by the MSM if they are accused of crimes and corruption, but if they are Republicans... well, that party affiliation is rarely held back by that same media. Some may have scoffed at this claim that GOPers are always outed while Dems are always shielded, but here is so perfect an example of it that it almost seems that we wrote it ourselves as a Halloween joke. Today we have a case where the party affiliation of a Republican nearly leads the report of a legislator accused of a sex crime. Even more amusingly -- or sadly as the case may be -- our example here is written by the same AP reporter who failed to report the Democrat label in past stories. Nope, no bias here!
On October 4th, we had a Newsbusters piece displaying the "reporting" of one Chet Brokaw, Associated Press Writer, who gave us a little tale about a state Senator from South Dakota who is accused of sexually molesting a legislative Page. One tiny aspect of the facts of that particular story seemed to slip by old Chet Brokaw, Associated Press Writer and that would be that the accused legislator is a Democrat. So, go ahead... ask. What would old Chet Brokaw, Associated Press Writer, do if he should be assigned a story where the eeeeevil sex offender was a Republican lawmaker? Come on, I know you are dying to ask. Well, since you asked, here are the first two paragraphs of a recent piece by my man Chet Brokaw, Associated Press Writer:
Dorothy Parvaz, a columnist, blogger and member of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorial board, posted a short P-I blog post in which she sympathetically says she understands how someone would want to burn a church down because it is "an oppressive institution." And she isn't just shrugging her shoulders over the threatened arson of a church, but the planned arson of San Francisco's Grace Cathedral, a landmark building on Nob Hill. Is there a little hatemongering going on against religion in the Post-Intelligencer? Sure seems so.
We've met Miss Parvaz here on Newsbusters before, the last time when she said that GOP voters were "White, male, middle-aged and slightly stupid," and intimated that terrorism was nothing to worry about by calling the WOT "Bush's asinine 'war on terror.'" Well, this time she is ready to "understand" the burning of churches in a blog post about the arrest of a mentally suspect man named Paul Addis who was the goof responsible for the too early torching The Man figure at the last pot-head festival Burning Man 2007. This time, though, he meant to burn down the famous Frisco Cathedral.
Today it's being reported that Louisiana State Senator Derrick Shepherd stands accused by the FBI of money laundering. The AP duly reported the messy story surrounding this charge, of course. Their story was long and exhaustive for an AP report. Only one tiny, little thing seems to have been forgotten by the AP. They seem to have forgotten to mention that Shepherd is a Democrat. I know... shocking, eh? This is just another in a long, long line of MSM reports -- and AP reports in particular -- where a report on criminal activity by an elected official seems to lack party identification... IF that criminal activity is perpetrated by a Democrat, of course.
It's been five years since John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo terrorized Washington D.C. for three weeks by randomly shooting people, killing 10 and wounding three. The news at the time avoided all mention of anything Islamic including calling Muhammad by his old name before Islamic conversion, John Allen Williams.
Investor's Business Daily reveals how CNN's one hour special, "The Minds of the D.C. Snipers," still makes no mention of the Islam connection despite the following evidence:
"The jailhouse drawings of the younger sniper, Malvo, tell it all:
• One sketch of Osama bin Laden exalts him as a "Servant of Allah."
• A self-portrait of him and Muhammad is captioned: "We will kill them all. Jihad . . . Allah Akbar!"
• A sketch of the burning Twin Towers has as its caption: "America did this. You were warned."
He might be a middle-aged white guy from the Mountain West, but Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) suddenly understands the travails of people stopped for "DWB": driving while black. In the course of his interview with Matt Lauer, aired last night and excerpted on this morning's "Today," Craig tried to play the profiling card.
MATT LAUER: The fact that these motions seemed to replicate a well-established sequence of signals for soliciting anonymous sex, it's a coincidence?
The principle that there is a presumption of innocence in favor of the accused is the undoubted law, axiomatic and elementary, and its enforcement lies at the foundation of the administration of our criminal law -- U.S. Supreme Court, Coffin v. United States .
Was [there] enough evidence to find that they were not guilty? -- ABC News, Matter of Martin Lee Anderson .
Forget that musty old 19th-century Supreme Court stuff. According to ABC, there's a new legal standard in criminal cases; at least those in which the MSM is rooting for a conviction. Henceforth, the presumption of innocence is abolished. There shall be a presumption of guilt, and the burden will be on the accused to produce enough evidence to acquit himself.
On the Wednesday "Today" show, Ted Koppel joined NBC's Matt Lauer in refusing to expose the lie behind the Media Matters and Democratic attack on Rush Limbaugh over "phony soldiers", choosing instead to write the controversy off as just another "foolish" thing the talk show host had said. However when asked about Dan Rather's lawsuit of CBS, the former longtime host of ABC's "Nightline" expressed sympathy: "I feel great pain for Dan."
Koppel's compassion wasn't just reserved for Rather but he extended it to criminals too, as he was invited on "Today" to promote his latest Discovery Channel documentary on overcrowded prisons. During the segment, Koppel criticized "three strikes" laws and griped about the state of prisons in this country:
Now, here we have a very interesting debate about journalism, racism, crime and the new media on the internet. The Sacramento Bee has been forced to revisit a long standing, 15-year-old policy this week. It seems that for years the Bee has, for the most part, avoided mentioning the race of a suspected criminal in their crime coverage. They claimed that they only mentioned race when the story was "accompanied by a detailed physical description or when reporting a serial crime or when using police sketches of suspects." Critics of the paper, however, claim this policy is merely a paean to PCism and this refusal of the paper to mention the race of a suspect makes the Bee's coverage less than informative and has made it practically useless as a tool of assistance to the police.
As the Bee states in their editorial, "the issue's volatility has ebbed and flowed, sometimes lying dormant for months only to arise anew in the wake of a particularly heinous crime."
I am sure that "ebbed and flowed" is an understatement.
When members of the Duke University lacrosse team were falsely accused of raping a black stripper last year, media focused great attention on the woman in the middle of the controversy, and the supposed crime.
Yet, as pointed out Thursday by NewsBuster Matthew Balan, as the press report activities in Jena, Louisiana, the name of the white boy who was beaten by the "Jena 6," Justin Barker, is rarely mentioned, and the assault which precipitated the arrest of the "6" is either ignored, or downplayed.
Such was certainly the case on Thursday's "Nightly News" which led with the day's civil rights protests in Jena, but, for all intents and purposes, ignored the assault which precipitated the arrests of the six students in question.
Ironically, NBC's Brian Williams began the broadcast:
In the September 20 presidential press conference, CNN correspondent Suzanne Malveaux sought to blame President Bush and the GOP for a perceived nationwide deterioration in race relations. In doing so, Malveaux raised the plight of the so-called Jena Six, a group of black Louisiana teenagers charged in the beating of a white student.
Media outlets covering the controversy have generally skirted around reporting on the victim of the "Jena Six" assault, focusing more on the political dimensions of the controversy, particularly Thursday's Al Sharpton-led protests in the small Louisiana town. For example, in a separate post, NewsBusters contributor Matthew Balan notes how news outlets like CNN.com and USAToday are burying or ignoring details about victim of the Dec. 4, 2006 beating, Justin Barker.
Below are the questions Malveaux asked, as well as a separate "Jena Six" question posed by Michael Fletcher of The Washington Post, who the president referred to as "Fletch":
The websites of CNN and USAToday joined their "Big Three" network brethren in covering the march in Jena, Louisiana to support the so-called Jena 6, while at the same time, either burying mention of the teenager who was beaten by the six high school students, or not mentioning him at all.
CNN.com’s report, in which CNN correspondents Susan Roesgen, Tony Harris, Kyra Philips and Eliott McLaughlin were contributors, didn’t mention Justin Barker until the twenty-second paragraph of the story.
The teens were initially charged with attempted murder after they allegedly knocked out Justin Barker -- a white classmate -- while stomping and kicking him during a school fight on December 4, 2006.
Barker was taken to a hospital with injuries to both eyes and ears as well as cuts. His right eye had blood clots, said his mother, Kelli Barker.
Before this, the report focused entirely on the planned march in support of the so-called Jena 6.
On Sunday, law professor Jeffrey Rosen reviewed for the New York Times the new book "Until Proven Innocent -- Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case," by Stuart Taylor & KC Johnson, which, among bringing other injustices surrounding the case to light, also excoriates the mainstream press's shoddy coverage, much of which presumed the guilt of the three white lacrosse players.
Rosen called the book "riveting," but devoted just two sentences to the frequent passages that rip apart the Times's shoddy coverage of the case, taking particular aim at reporter Duff Wilson and columnist Selena Roberts.
On Wednesday, all three cable networks broke from their regular coverage to feature a press conference with O.J. Simpson’s lawyers. Standing to the left of attorneys Yale Galanter and David Cook was a man wearing a hat reading "I [Heart] Famous People" and a shirt with Simpson’s picture and the words "O.J. ‘07." This unidentified individual created several "must-be-seen-to-be believed" moments. He constantly interrupted, offered high fives to the bewildered lawyers and generally seemed to be enjoying himself.
Update 13:35 | Matthew Sheffield. The man in the video seems to be one Tony Barbieri, a comedian with a character named Jake Byrd who loves to insert himself into live events such as his earlier attempt to free Paris Hilton.
New York Times reporter Gretel Kovach reported on the tragic shooting death in Dallas of Jeffrey Carter Albrecht, the keyboard player for Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians, in "Musician Is Killed For Banging On a Door." But unwittingly or not, that headline (killed for banging on a door -- talk about harsh Texas justice!) suggested the shooting was an overreaction, and Kovach's article further politicized the issue from the second sentence on.
A Texas rock musician was shot to death here early Monday by a neighbor who fired through a closed door, thinking he was scaring off a burglar.
The incident occurred just three days after a new law took effect strengthening the right of Texans to use deadly force to protect themselves and their property.
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," anchor Chris Cuomo talked to the authors of a new book about how liberals in the media allowed their politically correct biases to color coverage of the accused students in the Duke lacrosse rape case. Critiquing the media, Cuomo acknowledged, "It was difficult to report on this story fairly because there was so much pressure about pushing the angle that something had to happen. Something had to happen. It couldn't be nothing." He even proclaimed a lesson of the case to be "what people have always suspected, which is be careful what you hear from the media."
Stuart Taylor, co-author of "Until Proven Innocent," indicted liberal journalists who hold an obsession with race and sex. He derided the media’s gleeful handing of the case, saying, "The New York Times loved it, or a lot of people at the New York Times loved it. USA Today loved it. Nancy Grace on CNN loved it." However, while Cuomo did engage Taylor and his co-author K.C. Johnson on the subject of the media’s failing, the GMA anchor ignored an example from his own network. In April of 2007, ABC reporter Terry Moran blogged on the network’s official site that Americans shouldn’t feel too bad for the Duke students because of their wealth. He also claimed that the women of Rutgers basketball team suffered more from Don Imus:
Leftist uber-funder George Soros's group America Coming Together has been slapped with a $775,000 fine by the Federal Election Commission - the third largest fine in FEC history, but really only a minor fine considering the crime.
According to the FEC, ACT used tens of millions of dollars of unregulated cash to boost Democratic candidates during the 2004 elections. The Politico reports that, according to the FEC, ACT raised $137 million for its get-out-the-vote effort in 17 states in the 2004 elections, but the FEC found most of that cash came through contributions that violated federal limits or were otherwise barred by campaign rules.
Besides big money from Soros, ACT also got a lot of money from the Service Employees International Union.
A liberal activist merely alleges that Fred Thompson's breaking the rules by campaigning as a candidate while claiming merely "testing the waters" status with the FEC and it makes the news. Now we have a liberal organization hit with the third largest fine in FEC history for illegally raising and spending tens of millions of dollars to influence an American election. And ACT isn't the only group Soros funded to try to influence the election.
So ... do you think this story will be on the national news today or tonight?