While reporting on the ongoing drug war in Mexico, CBS, NBC, and ABC have all cited a dubious statistic that claims that 90% of the guns being used in the violence are from the United States. On Thursday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Bill Plante reported: "Mexican drug gang violence spilling into the U.S. is the urgent issue of President Obama's visit...A major sore point -- more than 90% of the weapons which could be traced were bought legally in the U.S. and smuggled into Mexico by the cartels."
On Thursday’s NBC Nightly News, White House correspondent Chuck Todd declared: "In a joint press conference following their private meeting, President Obama acknowledged that 90 percent of the guns used by the drug cartels in this war with Mexico come from the United States." On Thursday’s Good Morning America on ABC, co-host Diane Sawyer referenced, and even further embellished, the figure while interviewing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano: "95 percent of the guns used were out of the United States. What is the U.S. going to do to stop the guns from getting there?"
However, on April 2, Fox News reported that 90% figure to be inaccurate: "The fact is, only 17 percent of guns found at Mexican crime scenes have been traced to the U.S. What's true, an ATF spokeswoman told FOXNews.com, in a clarification of the statistic used by her own agency's assistant director, ‘is that over 90 percent of the traced firearms originate from the U.S.’ But a large percentage of the guns recovered in Mexico do not get sent back to the U.S. for tracing, because it is obvious from their markings that they do not come from the U.S." The network reports failed to explain those details.
CBS Face the Nation anchor Bob Schieffer held his fifth Schieffer symposium at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth on Wednesday, and his panel was completely chosen from the set of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer: anchor Gwen Ifill and columnists David Brooks and Mark Shields. Associated Press covered it, but not so much on the issue of liberal bias. The headline was "Media panel says constant Obama coverage warranted."
Are the news media biased toward President Barack Obama?
David Brooks, a conservative columnist for The New York Times, said yes before a sold-out crowd of about 700 Wednesday at Texas Christian University. Mark Shields, a nationally syndicated liberal columnist, said no.
Brooks said : "I think the press is pro-Obama. Most of my colleagues are extremely committed to the craft of journalism. So I think most of the bias is unconscious — in framing the issues and what gets paid attention to."
Raspy left-wing talk show host Lionel (no surnames needed) hailed fellow leftist Bill Maher Friday on the Huffington Post with an article titled "God Bless Bill Maher." Lionel says he should win, without any challenge, "the award for best critical thinking by a television news commentator." (He quickly steps on that analysis by adding, "Bill Maher and Jon Stewart have earned my seal of approval for cogent commentary.") Why the honor? The atheism is apparently lovable:
Bill Maher has a point of view shot through his own perspective barrel with its own rifling. You can see his comedic ballistic marks. We know his frame of reference. Personally, I love his take on religion and [Maher's film] Religulous is brilliant. I'm biased. As is he.
Brent Bozell and others have asked if the ascent of President Obama will drain the swamp of hip-hop hate. In an interview with our news hounds at CNSNews.com (complete with video), hip-hop mogul and Obama supporter Russell Simmons suggested that hatred of the police and government continues, and he still doesn't see anything wrong with cop-killer anthems:
"Some people still see the suffering and the ignorance in the communities and the lack of opportunity – educational opportunity – lack of funding for health care and these things," said Simmons, "or if they still feel the police are an occupying force, they make a good song. My favorite song is ‘F--- tha Police.’ Right? Listen, I’m old. I like that song."
Simmons told CNSNews.com: "I don’t think there’s anything wrong with anything they said. They are not saying anything that’s not true."
The good folks at NBC, clearly wanting to avoid a "Nipplegate" replay, will not air animal rights group PETA's hyper-sexual television ad during Sunday's Super Bowl.
When you see it, you'll know why.
For those that have forgotten, on February 1, 2004, during the halftime festivities of Super Bowl XXXVIII, singer Janet Jackson had a "wardrobe malfunction" revealing her naked breast to a startled nation.
Five years later, according to PETA, NBC found its commercial, "which features a comely crop of models demonstrating their fondness for fresh produce," a tad too provocative (sexually explicit language warning):
On a day when GMA ran two warm-'n-fuzzy items about Barack Obama, the ABC show found yet another way to hit President Bush—literally and figuratively stooping to bash Barney, the presidential pooch. Relying on some ambiguous remarks by an aide to Pres. Bush, weekend co-anchor Bill Weir declared that "Barney's a jerk" and "everyone hates him."
"Access Hollywood's" nightly fare is usually devoted to the latest celebrity rumors, box office bombs, and red carpet fashion. But on January 2nd, the TV tabloid became a broadside for a liberal environmental cause.
Access Hollywood gave glowing coverage - and one minute, 17 seconds of air time -- to "Save the Whales Again," a pet cause of spokesperson and teen actress Hayden Panettiere.In the first 10 minutes of the show,"Access" played a combined 15 video clips and still shots of whales, many of which displayed the bloody creatures being dragged by their tails. The audio that accompanied the photos included a clip of Panettiere calling on children to "talk to your parents, organize your friends, stop this cruel and needless slaughter." Because after all, "It's our future, take a stand," she pleaded.
These December 31 stories are just too giggle-inducing to take seriously, but reporters are somehow avoiding the giggles (CNN stayed sober reporting both of these in its 10 am hour):
From Oregon: "An 80-year old woman grabbed a naked man named Michael Dick by the crotch and gave him a good squeeze; police nabbed him a few minutes later."
From New York: "Clintons Leading Times Square New Year's Eve Ball Drop."
All this humor can't help but remind me of Brent Baker's special 2,000th Cyber Alert, with oddities like this famous John McLaughlin line, delivered without laughter: "When we come back, is William Clinton a lame duck or a fighting cock?"
Baker also dredged up stories of naked Geraldo, Carville's jokes about his manhood, and Matt Lauer's tale of lion genitalia. That's enough of the oddball stuff for today.
Though O.J. Simpson was sentenced for robbery and related crimes yesterday, thirteen years ago he walked on a double-murder charge. That might be an isolated case, but Gail Collins apparently believes there are tens of millions of murderers roaming free in America. We call them by a different name: hunters.
Collins made her inane hunting = murder analogy in her column today in the course of taking one more gratuitous swipe at Sarah Palin. The gist of The Senate, Snowe and Dinkytown is that in a Senate where Democrats will fall one or two seats short of the magic 60, the few moderate Senate Republicans will play a crucial role. Collins focuses in particular on Olympia Snowe of Maine. And while wondering why McCain didn't choose her as his running mate, the columnist gets off her smear on Palin, and hunters in general [emphasis added]:
Sometimes you have to laugh at the overwrought emotion that Hollywood celebrities bring to their causes. In a story on Thursday’s Today (in the supposedly hard news 7am half hour), KNBC reporter Robert Kovasic reported on a debate in Los Angeles about whether to spend $40 million to renovate and enlarge the elephant compound at the Los Angeles Zoo, or instead create a 100-acre elephant preserve just outside the city.
MRC’s Geoff Dickens caught this soundbite of actress Lily Tomlin wailing about the plight of the elephant in the zoo: “The word, ‘zoo’ is sort of elephant-speak for Guantanamo. They’re really, they are suffering and being tortured.”
The elephant in question, named "Billy," was shown alternately munching on a leaf, walking near a pond, and sticking his truck over the fence at tourists with cameras — which is, I believe, an existence very similar to terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“[T]he 1.5-million-acre tip of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is critical for the health of an ancient caribou herd,” weatherman Sam Champion said on the May 6 “Good Morning America.”
“It’s a safe haven for calving every spring. The same area is valuable for another reason. Underneath it lies billions of barrels of crude oil, as of yet untapped. Oil companies say drilling can be done without danger, but environmentalists disagree. They think drilling would devastate the land and its wildlife,” said Champion.
The Biz Flog, the video blog of the Business & Media Institute, for July 16 focused on what it would take to drill in ANWR and how long it would take the financial benefits to get back to consumers.
Cam Edwards at NRANews.com shared this story with me about how one Bennington, Vermont teacher demonstrated the state's clash between gun culture and "peace" culture in a fourth-grade classroom. From Dennis Jensen in the Rutland Herald:
[Mother Wendy] Bordwell said that, during snack time, [her son] Jared was discussing the recent spring turkey hunting season with a classmate when [teacher Kathleen] Backus interrupted the conversation, insisting that there be no talk of "killing" in her classroom.
Reached through a relative, Backus declined to comment.
At Monday's board meeting, Bordwell read from a prepared statement.
In a May 15 article, Associated Press writer H. Josef Hebert practically cheered the addition of polar bears to a federal “threatened species” list thought of the subjectively positive effects this could have on the global warming debate: “The massive and powerful furry creature that lumbers across the Arctic ice may accomplish what 20 years of environmental activism has not done: force the issue that global warming already is having an effect and there is a price for both action and inaction.”
In his story, “Analysis: Polar Bear's Impact on People is Felt,” Hebert explained that the polar brings a “face” to the global warming debate. Whereas scientists have “long have talked of the visible damage that global warming has done to sea coral” this has “escaped the notice of the average person.” However, the polar bear, according to Wildlife Conservation Society President Steven E. Sanderson as quoted in the article, is different because it is “big, it's charismatic and it's powerful. It's beautiful and it generates sympathy. If it blinks out, you'll notice.”
In a rare case of balance, Wednesday’s CBS "Early Show" highlighted both sides in the debate over declaring the polar bear an endangered species due to global warming as correspondent Daniel Sieberg declared: "They're at the top of the food chain at the top of the world, but their future is at the center of a political tug-of-war over drilling for oil versus protecting their habitat."
Sieberg began his report with a dire prediction: "There are an estimated 20,000 - 25,000 polar bears in the Arctic region, but environmentalists warn that rising temperatures and disappearing sea ice will cause a 30 percent decline in their population over the next 50 years." He also played clips of liberal California Senator Barbara Boxer and John Kostyack from the National Wildlife Federation.
However, Sieberg also provided perspective from the Heritage Foundation:
"You are staring into the face of one thing scientists say you can do to fight climate change," ABC correspondent Dan Harris said as the face of a cow filled the screen. "Leave this cow alone and eat less beef. According to the United Nations, 18 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions comes from sending beef and dairy products to your kitchen table."
On the heels of accusations that the media exploited the death of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, now there are cries that NBC didn't spend enough time on Eight Belles' death. After her second-place finish in Saturday's Derby, the three-year-old filly snapped both ankles and was euthanized by a vet on the track.
Since Eight Belles' death was near the end of the “nearly three hours of coverage,” why is Hochberger penalizing NBC for not having a time machine and ignoring it earlier?
It didn't satisfy Hochberger that NBC refused to speculate and reported only when they knew the facts. She seemed to want the wall-to-wall guesswork reporting one finds with the “baby stuck in a well” crisis journalism where a network trains the camera on “breaking news” and continuously chatters about what might be happening, regardless of how much they know (all bold mine):
The leftist British newspaper The Guardian carried the headline of the weekend:
Surge in fatal shark attacks blamed on global warming
Four recent fatal shark attacks pushed the media to contact the shark-bite gurus to find out what could be causing the phenomenon, and it must be the humans' fault for being too active at the beach and too willing to drive SUVs, apparently:
'The one thing that's affecting shark attacks more than anything else is human activity,' said Dr George Burgess of Florida University, a shark expert who maintains the database. 'As the population continues to rise, so does the number of people in the water for recreation. And as long as we have an increase in human hours in the water, we will have an increase in shark bites.'
Some experts suggest that an abundance of seals has attracted high numbers of sharks, while others believe that overfishing has hit their food chain. 'I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but it's a convenient excuse,' Burgess said. Another contributory factor to the location of shark attacks could be global warming and rising sea temperatures. 'You'll find that some species will begin to appear in places they didn't in the past with some regularity,' he said.
The Yale Daily News breathlessly informed us of a female student, art major Aliza Shvarts, who claimed that her senior art project was a documentation of nine months of self-induced miscarriages. Her goal, of course, was to "spark conversation" about "the relationship between art and the human body." What is really the truth with this so-called "art" project, though, is that Shvarts has pulled the wool over the eyes of the Yale Daily News, the willing dupes who claim to be her professors, and anyone reading this story on Drudge and believing she really induced her own miscarriages. It's all a hoax. Or if not an outright hoax, it’s a misleading tale of a girl who hasn't a clue about how one becomes pregnant, what the fake drugs she took are really capable of doing, and the psychological pain of a real miscarriage.
It's also proof that our sources of news rarely if ever employ any common sense in how they write up the news. A tiny bit of logic put to this story of "self-induced miscarriages" would reveal it to be all stuff and nonsense. But, no, what we get instead is the story reported as if it is fact and not the cynical efforts of a kid that just wants her 15 minutes of fame. It is also proof that the liberal side of the abortion debate leads the ideological mindset of the news.
The front of Sunday's Week in Review featured "Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler" by food writer Mark Bittman, which considered the (by his lights) welcome possibility that Americans might be eating far less meat in the near future.
There might be more than a pinch of liberal ideology in Bittman's recipe. Back in May 2004, Bittman expounded on the joys of vegetarianism in phrases that sounded straight out of a PETA pamphlet.
With the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act that would ban the export of US horses for slaughter before Congress, the Times dove right into this activist Thunderdome. The NYT revealed after the state bans, unwanted horses face “more grueling travel” and are shipped to Canada or worse, “gruesome deaths” in Mexico, where their spinal cords are severed with knives (bold mine).
The American slaughterhouses killed horses quickly by driving steel pins into their brains, a method the American Veterinary Medical Association considers humane. Workers in some Mexican plants, by contrast, disable them by stabbing them with knives to sever their spinal cords, said Temple Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University..
At what point, exactly, did we come to hate humans for having the arrogance to assume they are wiser than beasts?
The "we" in that equation belongs squarely to the camp of the loony radical left, which now broadcasts that hatred for humans on the Air America radio network. How low can this disgraceful failure of a radio venture go? One of their newest hosts goes by the radio name "Lionel." (His real name is Michael LeBron.) "Lionel" unfurled a rather unique take on the tragic incident at the San Francisco Zoo, where a tiger mauled a teenager to death.
He cheered for the tiger.
Then he cheered the death of Steve Irwin, the beloved "Crocodile Hunter" of TV fame.
Are the two major political parties hosting primaries this winter? Or is it just the Democrats? Viewers who saw Monday's edition of "Good Morning America" might assume the latter. The ABC program devoted a lopsided 14 minutes and 56 seconds to breaking down the race between Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. A scant 31 seconds were given to the competitive Republican race.
Over the course of the two hour program, GMA featured four segments on the Democrats and only a solitary (and brief) piece on the GOP contest. This included co-host Diane Sawyer interviewing Barack Obama twice. ABC anchor and former Bill Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos talked to Senator Hillary Clinton. Kate Snow discussed the state of the New York senator's White House bid. Aside from mentioning the latest GOP polls in the show's intro, the only analysis of the Republicans resulted from Sawyer asking Stephanopoulos this banal question: "And what about the Republicans?" The conversation that followed lasted 31 seconds.
The talk-radio host known simply as "Lionel" joined the Air America team in May, and he has demonstrated he belongs on the exotic fringe with the rest of the network. Most people don’t take sides when a zoo tiger mauls a teenager to death. "Lionel" favored the tiger. His blog declared: "If you shoot a tiger with a sling-shot, you deserve to get mauled. That’s just how it works." The New York Post reported several teenagers that were victimized by the tiger had slingshots, but that has not been confirmed by San Francisco zoo officials. On his show Wednesday, "Lionel" was even more explicit:
Call me wacky, but hurray for the tiger that killed the kid who was...taunting him. Now, I know this is not right...but let's hear it for the wild...I loathe zoos. I'm still cheering the fact that some stingray whacked that Aussie pain-in-the-ass Steve Irwin.
You may have heard of "Hentish," the dog in The New York Times that was shot and killed by a Blackwater security guard earlier this week. However in the media's over zealous attempt to crucify Blackwater USA they left out a surprisingly telling piece about some of the dogs that were harbored at the Times compound in Baghdad.
The New York Post reported yesterday that these dogs had already attacked people before, including Eason Jordan who runs the blog IraqSlogger.com, and is a former CNN chief news executive.
"Eason's encounter, revealed on his blog yesterday, involved a dog named Scratch and left him with ‘three deep gashes in my right hand, sending blood spewing in all directions,'" the Post story said.
Eason's blog post also revealed other canine nightmares:
Modern politics sure is entertaining sometimes, especially when one politically correct cause threatens another one as in Norway where that country's moose population is being blamed for contributing to global warming:
The poor old Scandinavian moose is now being blamed for climate change, with researchers in Norway claiming that a grown moose can produce 2,100 kilos of methane a year -- equivalent to the CO2 output resulting from a 13,000 kilometer car journey.
Norway is concerned that its national animal, the moose, is harming the climate by emitting an estimated 2,100 kilos of carbon dioxide a year through its belching and farting.
See incredible Roberts double-standard Update at foot.
Michael Vick, victim. That's how Selena Roberts's article in today's New York Times largely portrays the NFL QB accused of involvement with dogfighting. The article's headline sets the tone: Vick Is Trapped in His Circle of Friends.
The crooked circle Michael Vick drew around himself has tripped and squeezed him.
The first to fail Vick was Davon Boddie, a cousin and personal chef. His marijuana possession charge in April led police to a white house with black buildings behind it on Moonlight Road in Surry County, Va. [Darn that Davon. If only he hadn't been busted on the pot charge, Vick might have been able to continue -- allegedly -- killing dogs that didn't make the grade.]
Yesterday I wrote a piece about reporter Mika Brzezinski's handling of a story that reflected a political double standard on her part. While hosting MSNBC's "Morning Joe" for the vacationing Joe Scarborough, Brzezinski aired a video of a female reporter chasing after Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Before she could catch up with the mayor however, the reporter was intercepted by a very large security guard and sent barreling into the side of what appeared to be a nearby dumpster. At the time Brzezinski brushed off the incident as "not that pressing," in stark contrast to the seemingly endless attention the David Vitter scandal received on "Morning Joe" throughout July. This morning however, Brzezinski seems to have changed her mind and now believes "That story's important."
For a little context, Villaraigosa, a Democrat, has been under scrutiny since he confessed to an affair with Spanish language reporter, Mirthala Salinas. Not surprisingly, Salinas received special access to the mayor during their affair.
Yesterday, after airing the video, Brzezinski gave her opinion as to the newsworthiness of the story. Here is her quote from the August 7 show:
Taylor to have plea agreement hearing on Monday Posted: Friday July 27, 2007 9:02PM; Updated: Friday July 27, 2007 9:45PM
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- One of Michael Vick's co-defendants doesn't want to wait for trial.
Instead, a plea agreement hearing has been scheduled for Tony Taylor at 9 a.m. Monday in the federal dogfighting conspiracy case.
Taylor's hearing was added to U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson's docket Friday, a day after he and the other three defendants pleaded not guilty before the same judge. Vick and the others still are scheduled for trial Nov. 26.
Prosecutors claim Taylor, 34, found the Surry County property purchased by Vick and used it as the site of "Bad Newz Kennels," a dogfighting enterprise. The Hampton man also allegedly helped purchase pit bulls and killed at least two dogs that fared poorly in test fights.
Perhaps Taylor's impending plea will squelch the annoying Old Media comparisons of the Vick case to that of the innocent Duke lacrosse players wrongly indicted by Prosecutor Mike Nifong last year.
A week ago, in probably the most egregious example of Duke-Vick projection, Sports Illustrated writer Peter King appointed himself to be NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's translator:
With the same sentiment that originally brought the spotted owl to fame, Reuters is now concerned that the proposed border fence between the U.S. and Mexico will harm butterflies and other creatures (see also Joe Steigerwald's prior post).
Upon further examination of its July 25 article, Reuters has concentrated on a realtively small forest area in Texas - described as being a "few miles" along the border - which is the habitat for ocelots (wild cats), birds, and over 300 species of butterflies.