On the ball. That's what the experts at The New York Times are, alright. They are the arbiters of all that's fit to print, remember? The ones that know all and see all, dontcha know? They are the ones with all sorts of advice on foreign policy, we must point out. So, it's a bit hard to fathom how The New York Times printed a hoax letter, supposedly from Bertrand Delanoe, the mayor of Paris, France, taking the State of New York to task for turning to the ditzy Caroline Kennedy to fill Hillary's Senate Seat.
That's right, The New York Times got scammed by a fake letter. Worse, they didn't even follow up to confirm the authenticity of the letter that arrived in their inbox via email. Someone at the Times just read the email then published the letter. And now they are apologizing for the negligence.
When It's the Democrats, the Media Falls SilentWe are now a week into the wall-to-wall coverage of the tape recorded fall of Senate seat auctioneer and sometime Illinois Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich. But there has always been a distinctly different tenor from the media in stories involving scandalized Democrats compared to their reports on corrupt Republicans.
During the 2006 mid-term elections, the news world was saturated with talk of a GOP "Culture of Corruption," a Democratic slogan repeated incessantly by the traditional media. The press cast three bad Congressmen and a single scamming lobbyist as representative of an entire Party gone bad, and their incessant drumbeat helped drive the GOP out of power.
Meanwhile, one prominent Democrat after another has been tinged with scandal, but the media has yet to stamp their Party as "Culturally Corrupt."
Some of America's leading bloggers had an opportunity to talk with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) Friday morning.
For those unfamiliar, Coburn is a true conservative and straight-talker who is always a treat on these conference calls due to his hold no punches, tell it like it is style.
Beyond the agenda items of the expanding federal deficit, earmarks, and bailouts, the Senator offered participants his must-hear view of who should be recruited by the Republican Party to return it to its conservative, fiscally responsible roots (audio available here).
We've already seen how the media is covering up for Barack Obama to the extent of removing any information on the web that would show he met with Rod Blagojevich recently as chronicled by NewsBusters editor Tom Blumer. And now we have evidence that Jesse Jackson, Jr. "misspoke" when he claimed yesterday that the meeting he had with Monday Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich was the first time the two had met in four years. It turns out that there is a video of a sobbing Jesse Jackson, Jr. embracing Blagojevich just last August at a breakfast of the Illinois delegation to the Democrat Nation Convention in Denver. Here is how the incredibly surreal hugfest was covered by the Chicago Tribune:
Let's hug it out
An emotional Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. touched off a surreal hugfest among bickering top Illinois Democrats meeting at a convention delegation breakfast, all in the name of party unity and Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential bid. Here's the tale of the tape:
Al Franken has discovered a new use for YouTube: uploading a video to that site in order to emotionally influence the Minnesota Canvassing Board to count the disputed absentee ballots in that state. Here is how Yid With Lid describes the Franken video:
Looking to put more pressure on the canvassing board who will determine the fate of the absentee ballots, Minnesota Senate Candidate Al Franken has created a sappy "tug at the heart strings" youtube video to try to convince them to allow in the rejected ballots that favor the Comic. The video plays like a bad episode of Queen for a day. It is simply an attempt to discredit the local election officials through cheap Soap Opera theatrics.
This is just too perfect. Earlier today, noting that none of the network morning shows explicitly identified Rod Blagojevich as a Democrat, I wondered out loud how the MSM would treat a Republican in like circumstances. It's taken less than three hours to get our answer.
Let's preface this by saying that Norm Coleman is not, repeat not, the target of an investigation. To mention him anywhere within a million miles of Blago is unfair. I'm citing the MSNBC coverage just for purposes of illustrating the double standard. At about 11:20 AM ET, here's how Contessa Brewer threw it to Norah O'Donnell.
CONTESSA BREWER: Let's head over to Norah now, live at the politics desk, with more on a potential problem for GOP Senator, and the incumbent here in Minnesota, Norm Coleman. Norah.
When promises candidate Barack Obama made to voters during the campaign get tossed aside like so much rubbish, will media hold his feet to the fire?
Such is an important question given how many pledges Democrats and their leaders made to garner the public's support in 2006 which ended up being completely irrelevant once the 110th Congress was sworn in.
For the most part, as each campaign commitment was tossed on the trash heep, Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, and all their accomplices were given a pass by "journalists" from coast to coast.
With this in mind, Politico on Monday published a list of campaign promises the president-elect has already gone back on -- or appears to be in the process of doing so -- that an honest media, despite their complicity in getting him elected, should be aggressively reporting if getting the policies enacted were more important than getting the person they liked in the White House (h/t Hot Air, photo courtesy AP via Politico):
Controversial Rep. Bill Jefferson (D-Louisiana), the congressman who notoriously hid tens of thousands of dollars of federal sting money in his freezer, lost his House seat in a shocker Saturday in an election delayed by Hurricane Gustav. Anh "Joseph" Cao, a 41-year-old Republican, will be the first Vietnamese-American in Congress. Obviously, this happened with next to zero national media attention, just as Rep. Jefferson was re-elected in 2006 after the freezer revelations without much national media attention. Will they report this ethnic first now?
Reporter Adam Nossiter in the New York Times suggested that the system failed, that a black-majority district failed to work as it was designed. Nossiter found that the problem was a surge of white voters angered by corruption charges:
The upset victory by the lawyer, Anh Cao, was thought by analysts to be the result of a strong turnout by white voters angered over federal corruption charges against Mr. Jefferson, a black Democrat who was counting on a loyal [read: black] base to return him to Congress for a 10th term....
On Monday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann compared Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss’s 2002 campaign against then-Democratic Senator Max Cleland of Georgia to a "turkey-killing machine," as part of a segment with Bloomberg News’s Margaret Carlson, formerly of Time magazine, in which the duo mocked Sarah Palin’s part in a campaign rally for Chambliss. Olbermann: "What is the more grotesque event to be standing in front of and not paying attention to? What we`re seeing now, she`s standing in front of Saxby Chambliss who ran that campaign against Max Cleland six years ago, or standing in front of a turkey-killing machine?" As she laughed, Carlson responded: "Both are killers." Referring to the presence of the rapper Ludacris in Georgia as he campaigned for Democratic candidate Jim Martin, the pair also made cracks about Palin being "ludicrous" as Olbermann tagged her as "Governor Ludicrous of Alaska," and Carlson called her "Miss Slight Ludicrous."
In every recount of the senate election from Minnesota, incumbent senator Norm Coleman has consistently been ahead of challenger Al Franken by hundreds of votes. At this point it looks like it will be impossible for Franken to exceed Coleman's total in the recount of the few ballots remaining. So what is the solution of New York Times guest op-ed columnist and associate professor of journalism at New York University, Charles Seife? Why just declare the election a "statistical tie" and flip a coin to determine the winner. Seife explains how he has come up with his laughable resolution for the election in which Coleman continues to lead:
Before the recount began on Nov. 19, Mr. Coleman and Mr. Franken were within about 200 votes of each other. With a little under three million ballots cast in the election, that margin was unbelievably small: a few thousandths of a percent separated the two candidates. So, as Minnesota law requires, election officials began counting, by hand, every single ballot from the more than 4,000 precincts around the state.
Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss won a run-off election in Georgia on Tuesday, CNN said, denying Democrats the chance for a 60-seat "super majority" in the Senate that would have enabled them to pass legislation virtually at will. Chambliss, an incumbent who first won his U.S. Senate seat in 2002, defeated Democrat Jim Martin for the seat in a race that gained national significance because Democrats and their independent allies held 58 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate after the November 4 election.
Today's run-off election for Georgia's Senate between incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss and Democrat Jim Martin has attracted a lot of attention, especially because it could put the Democratic majority one seat closer to the 60 seats needed for a filibuster-proof Senate. Michael Grunwald of Time magazine has a story up today about the importance of the outcome of the race, but instead of giving a fair-and-balanced look at how both candidates would affect the Senate, Grunwald uses the piece to attack Chambliss for being a "textbook Bush-Cheney Republican" and praise Martin for potentially being a repudiation of Bush and a "candidate of the middle class."
Grunwald starts off by reminding readers that Georgia is still "an extremely conservative state" despite a Time magazine article from June which wondered if Georgia would be "Obama's Ohio" in the election. The writer uses this characterization of Georgia to frame Martin's potential win as "a crowning embarrassment for the GOP" and attacks Republicans by saying it would "rival Obama's own victory as a repudiation of the Bush agenda of tax cuts for the rich, pork for the well-connected, belt-tightening for the working poor, drill-baby-drill, strict-construction judges and military adventurism." That's when the Chambliss-bashing starts, as Grunwald goes on to say, "not to mention the political cynicism that made Chambliss notorious after his ads in 2002 comparing his opponent, triple-amputee Max Cleland, to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein."
Following on the heels of complaints from Time magazine's Mark Halperin that the press hugely favored Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential election, ABC political correspondent Jake Tapper chimed in today to say that he agreed:
Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised to learn that I too wonder just how fair the media coverage of this campaign was.
Case in point: perhaps the most unfair and negative TV ad run during the entire campaign, by either side, was the Spanish-language TV ad Obama ran against Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz, that got very little media coverage.
That's how many Republicans are likely to react after retiring Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel blasted Republicans in general and Rush Limbaugh in particular, claiming Rush and fellow conservative talkers "don't have any answers."
David Shuster, subbing for Olbermann on tonight's Countdown, highlighted Hagel's remarks of today.
Looks like a couple of fellows pushing a book were able to convince the Boston Globe to let them contribute some soothsaying about the future of talk radio. Scratch that, they are talking about today, here and now -- and it's all bad. In the Boston Globe, Steve Elman and Alan Tolz have proclaimed "the rising irrelevance of talk radio," so Rush... fuggedaboutit. Hannity... go back to house painting. Michael Savage... go back to whatever the heck it was you were doing before you were "Michael Savage." It's over. Just like when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor (excuse my John Belushi). Finis ( a little French lingo there).
Unfortunately for Elman and Tolz, though, it appears that they don't even have their main facts straight, much less a crystal ball successfully tuned into the state of talk radio today. In fact, they get something wrong in their very first sentence.
Most recent unintentionally hilarious moment on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC cable show -- her interview with Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie over the upcoming recount in the Senate race between incumbent Republican Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger/reformed court jester Al Franken.
The interview on Wednesday night's show began innocuously enough, with a news caption at the bottom of the screen identifying Ritchie.
Ritchie described the mechanics of the looming recount, which is triggered by state law for margins of victory less than one-half percentage point. The next news caption read, "Sen. Norm Coleman (R) Has 206 Vote Lead Over Challenger Al Franken (D)" (albeit all in capital letters, as with all the captions).
Then came this eye-opener of a caption, presented as fact as with the preceding two when it is an allegation and a kneejerk one at that -- "Before Recount, GOP Trying To Smear Minnesota Secretary of State."
Sayswho ...? All that was needed to make this bird capable of flight were two more words ... "Democrats allege."Adding that, however, might convey an attempt by MSNBC to appear fair and balanced, the last thing its goo-goo viewership wants.
Showing once again that its opinion pieces serve a dual purpose as a news source, a Monday Wall Street Journal editorial noted that Democrats have quietly dropped a central plank of their successful 2006 effort to gain a congressional majority (HT Hot Air):
Late last week the leader of the House Blue Dog Coalition, Tennessee Democrat Jim Cooper, announced that with Barack Obama about to enter the White House, "I'm not sure the old rules are relevant anymore." Why not? Because, Mr. Cooper said, "It would be unfair to the new President to put him in a budget straitjacket."
Democrats ran on "paygo" in 2006, promising to offset any new spending increases or tax cuts with comparable tax increases or spending cuts. Once in charge on Capitol Hill they quickly made exceptions, waiving paygo no fewer than 12 times to accommodate some $398 billion in new deficit spending -- not that the press corps bothered to notice.
The Journal then goes on to explain what Paygo was really all about:
In the Coleman-Franken Senate recount battle developing in Minnesota, almost all media accounts fail to mention that Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, who largely controls the process, is not only a liberal Democrat, but also an ally of ACORN and liberal philanthropist George Soros.
Even fewer media outlets report the fact that both Ritchie and fellow Democrat Al Franken were endorsed by ACORN. Ritchie, like so many liberals, is dismissive of electoral fraud allegations in general. He failed to investigate claims by a conservative group about voter roll irregularities. (See "SOS in Minnesota," American Spectator, Nov. 7, 2008)
Now that Barack Obama has won his bid for the White House, Americans should get ready to learn some inconvenient truths about him and the folks surrounding the president-elect that media have safely hidden from the public in order to promote his messiah-like image.
First out of the gate were revelations about Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), the Obama supporter and Congressional Democratic Caucus chairman Obama has tapped to be his Chief of Staff (please see my colleague Jeff Poor's November 6 report on this subject).
On Friday, ABC's Brian Ross reported that Emanuel was on the Board of Directors of the failed financial institution Freddie Mac, a nice little tidbit conservatives on radio and in the blogosphere felt was important during this campaign, but for the most part mainstream media outlets didn't care about...conveniently until now (emphasis added, photo courtesy ABCNews.com):
Somebody claims they heard something at a Minnesota voting precinct. And that certain someone just so happened to have also been a reporter for a small leftwing newspaper. And upon that very thin gruel, TV station reporter Esme Murphy of WCCO in Minneapolis is claiming that the senate voting results in that state could be overturned. It's pretty ridiculous but let us allow Ms Murphy to make her absurd case:
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) ― Allegations have surfaced of voter irregularities involving a paid staffer of Sen. Norm Coleman, and the ramifications could have a profound effect on the outcome of Coleman's race against Al Franken.
A reporter for the Minnesota Independent, a progressive online publication, was working on a story about voter turnout when she overheard that Republican poll challengers monitoring voting at the precinct had brought in Mahamoud Wardere to help voters translate.
As the election postmortems continue, it seems a metaphysical certitude media representatives will cast Tuesday's results as indicative of a continued national shift to the left they believe began when the Democrats took over Congress in 2006.
However, the exit polls don't reflect such a shift at all.
In fact, there has been virtually no change to the percentage of folks claiming to be liberal or conservative in their political ideology since 2004.
Here are the relevant numbers (2004 here and 2008 here):
For years, and certainly throughout this campaign, the media contention has been that only the rich have done well since Bush was elected, and that his economic policies did nothing for lower and middle income wage earners.
Yet, a comparison of the 2008 and 2004 exit polls tells quite a different story about what voters made in those years.
In fact, the percentage of poor voters showed a huge decrease since 2004, while the percentage of folks making over $200,000 doubled.
The Nobel hasn't conferred any classiness on Paul Krugman. Dancing on the GOP's grave this morning in his NYT column, the newly-minted laureate impugns the party of Lincoln as "a haven for racists and reactionaries."
According to Krugman [file photo], tomorrow's election will purge the Republican congressional delegation of some of its more moderate members, leaving it even more "extreme."
The only evidence Krugman adduces in support of his Republican-are-racists slur is that GOP Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia "observing large-scale early voting by African-Americans, warns his supporters that 'the other folks are voting.'” Where's the racism, given that 90+% of African-Americans are expected to vote for Obama and presumably for Chambliss's Dem opponent?
View video after the jump of Joe Scarborough on today's Morning Joe ripping Krugman as a "shrill, silly, partisan cartoon-character" who takes his cues from the left-wing kookasphere.
Neuharth claimed that today's newspapers play the news straight, while in the "olden days" they didn't.
Put down all drinks before reading (bolds are mine):
Fewer newspapers try to dictate votes Plain Talk by Al Neuharth
More newspaper bosses across the USA have wised up to the fact that you readers are smart enough to decide who to vote for in Tuesday's election. Newspapers making presidential editorial endorsements this year likely will be the lowest percentage ever. Editor & Publisher, the trade journal, compiles the numbers.
In a damage control piece Thursday, Associated Press writer Kimberly Helfing attempted to portray Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha's last-minute use of high-profile advisor Tony Podesta as "shoring up" his support, characterized accusations directed at residents of his district as only targeting "some" of them, and failed to mention Murtha's opponent until the fifth paragraph.
The facts are that Murtha is not clearly ahead in the polls (ahead by not much here, behind by more here), that he may very well be behind in reality against challenger William Russell, and that Murtha directed his "racist" characterization at 12th District residents in general, not just "some" of them.
Here are the key paragraphs from Helfing's report: