In 2003, Halliburton Company received a great deal of scrutiny from the establishment press over certain no-bid contracts obtained in connection with the Iraq War. Examples, two of which are from the Associated Press, are here, here, and here. A Google News Archive Search on "Halliburton no-bid" not in quotes allegedly returns 1,760 items (Google's counter is suspect, but the list extends to at least 19 pages, or well over 190 items, including multiple items in some listings).
In 2010, the Washington Times was virtually alone among media outlets in reporting that the Obama administration, despite presidential candidate Barack Obama's campaign promise never to entertain such deals, had entered into a no-bid contract with KBR, a former subsidiary of Halliburton, "worth as much as $568 million." It turns out that CGI, the Canadian company which is the lead firm in the design and rollout of HealtCare.gov, also has a no-bid contract with the federal government. But an AP search on "CGI no-bid" (not in quotes) comes up empty. A Google News search on the same string (not in quotes) returns only four times, none of which are establishment press outlets (as would be expected, the Washington Times is one of the four).
During the 2011-2012 controversy over Wisconsin's Act 10, the establishment press, led by the Associated Press, clearly took sides against Badger State Republican Governor Scott Walker and the GOP-led legislature. No one was more blatantly biased than the AP's Scott Bauer, who repeatedly insisted in 2011 and 2012 that the law "strip(s) most public employees of their union right to collectively bargain." It does not. While Act 10 sharply limits the scope of what can be negotiated, it does not eliminate unions' right to exist, or to negotiate.
Walker will be releasing a new book, "Unintimidated: A Governor's Story and a Nation's Challenge," in November. Given the sustained national attention Act 10 received, the utlimately failed recall movement it inspired, and Walker's possible interest in seeking the nation's presidency in 2016, it's reasonable to believe that the AP would have wanted to carry Bauer's Monday morning review of the book as a national story. But thus far, it has not. I believe it's because Bauer comes across as a fundamentally dishonest and embarrassingly partisan sore loser.
Fox News has coverage today of the guilty plea of Jeffrey Garcia, a former congressional chief of staff who "pled guilty Monday to one felony charge and three misdemeanor charges after admitting he illegally requested hundreds of absentee ballots while he was running the campaign for Rep. Joe Garcia, who he is not related to."
The Fox story indicates that the Associated Press contributed to its report. That's odd, because a search on "Garcia absentee" (not in quotes) at the AP's national site done at 11:30 a.m. ET came up empty. That's because AP has from all appearances treated Garcia's plea and sentencing as a Florida story unworthy of national notice, despite the fact that the gaming the electoral system and allegations of voter suppression have been a national discussion topic for years. The one unbylined AP story I did find was also ridiculously sympathetic to Jeffrey:
At this point, really, what difference does having an election make? Watching Sunday's Good Morning America, you get the feeling that the liberal media have already anointed our country’s next president. On the October 20 edition of the program, ABC’s Martha Raddatz declared that Hillary Clinton was “on fire” while campaigning for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe on Saturday.
Co-anchor Dan Harris kicked off the Hillary watch by pretending that Mrs. Clinton was making a comeback: “[A] lot of people talking this morning about the return of Hillary Clinton, attending her first political rally in four years on Saturday.” [See video below the break.]
Just behind the "war on women" and charges of racism, MSNBC's third favorite bogeyman is the specter of "voter suppression." The network was obsessed with that meme in 2012 and will doubtless pound the pulpit on it in the congressional midterms, but it's been relatively quiet about it in 2013. That changed today when MSNBC Live anchor Thomas Roberts brought on Kathy Culliton-Gonzalez of The Advancement Project to forward the complaints of Virginia Democrats against a state voter registry clean-up that has removed about 38,000 from the state's rolls. Liberal Democrats in the Old Dominion took the state to court for daring to kick off the voter registry folks who had registered to vote in other states after having registered in Virginia. Federal judge Claude Hilton turned down their request to reverse the move.
In a Sunday morning report which tries to put the best possible face on a project which appears to be on track to make the $22 billion "Big Dig" in Massachusetts look like a petty cash disbursement, Juliet Williams at the Associated Press claimed that the $68 billion involved thus far "would span the state." No it wouldn't, unless all of the formerly Golden State north of the San Francisco Bay Area — roughly one-fourth of the state's land mass — were to secede.
Williams also wrote: "Voters in 2008 approved $10 billion in bonds to start construction on an 800-mile rail line to ferry passengers between San Francisco and Los Angeles in 2 hours and 40 minutes." Nope. It's an 800-mile rail "network" (quoting from the state's ballot measure guide) which was supposed to include San Diego to the south (see the top left at Page 6 at the link), and apparently now does not. In other text seen below, she cited that 2008 proposition, which carried by a margin of 52.7% to 47.3%, as evidence that voters "overhelmingly approved" the project.
The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty is trying to help the Republicans on the front page of Friday’s paper. It's not labeled "Analysis," but "Politics Debrief." The alliance between the “agreeable” GOP and the media is getting more transparent.
“What will it take to save the Republicans from the self-destructive impulses of the tea party movement? That the government shutdown was a political disaster for the party that engineered it is widely acknowledged, except by the most ardent tea partyers.” Soaking a handkerchief full of crocodile tears, Tumulty insists “very bellicose” junior conservatives will have to be quashed:
The New York Times is always selling its favorite Democrats, like this gooey introduction from Kate Zernike on Thursday’s front page: “Mayor Cory A. Booker of Newark easily won New Jersey’s special Senate election on Wednesday, finally rising to an office that measures up to his national profile.“
Who is it, precisely, who has built this expansive national profile? The politician, surely, but he’s had a lot of help from the national profile-builders of the major media. Zernike’s already measuring him for vice-president in 2016:
Electoral politics is frequently more a contest of biographies than it is of the issues, particularly if there is no incumbent involved. Of course, having an inspiring biography is only worth as much as the media allow it to be.
Not only is Republican Senate candidate Steve Lonegan at a disadvantage in this regard—the press very rarely tells of his inspiring story of overcoming blindness and a modest economic background—he is also harmed by the fact that the Democrat he is running against in the special election that’s being held today, Cory Booker, has a long record of fabricating his own biographical details.
Amidst all the blather about Republicans going over the cliff and taking the world with them, a tantalizing bit of truth broke through on today's Morning Joe. Doomsaying notwithstanding, the GOP is actually positioned to do OK in 2014.
Making the comment particularly surprising was its source: none other than Barack Obama's former senior adviser himself—David Axelrod. View the video after the jump.
The Washington Post is going gooey early in the 2016 presidential campaign. The top left of The Washington Post Wednesday carried the headline “And the awards go to...Hillary: A recent flood of honors also offers Clinton an unofficial 2016 platform.”
Post reporter Philip Rucker began by saying that Elton John was honoring Hillary “at a moment when everyone seems to be honoring the former secretary of state for something.” Turn inside, and you see the emcee of Elton John’s Hillary-boosting event was none other than NBC’s Matt Lauer:
NBC congressional reporter Luke Russert granted an interview to David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, and agreed with Brody's suggestion that the media can bite people of faith if they wear their faith on their sleeve too obviously.
"I think that's absolutely accurate," said Russert, saying snark is valued in religion coverage alongside stereotypes: (Video and transcript below)
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams continued to blame Republicans for the government shutdown, asserting that the budget impasse "traces its history back to a determined core of GOP House members who are vehemently against ObamaCare and were willing to shut down the government because of it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
However, he took it a step further by hinting at a way to get rid of such troublesome members of Congress holding up President Obama's agenda: "These members happen to be from very conservative districts where they won by big margins, and their jobs are secure more or less. And in both parties there are congressional districts that are set up by the states to keep the parties in power. But some believe if the system stays this way, our politics will kind of stay this way."
Did you really have to be a pluperfect political prognosticator to have foreseen that none of Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann or Donald Trump was going to be the 2012 Republican presidential nominee?
Yet on today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough—by way of establishing his fortune-telling street cred—boasted of having made those predictions, before proceeding to claim that: 1. Ted Cruz will not be the 2016 Republican nominee; and 2. there's a "very real chance" that Cruz will break from the GOP and run as an independent. View the video after the jump.
Three New York Times reporters' coverage of HealthCare.gov's systemic failures is inadvertently funny. Its opening paragraph quotes Henry Chao, described as "the chief digital architect for the Obama administration’s new online insurance marketplace," as "deeply worried about the web site's debut" way back in March, and hoping that "it’s not a third-world experience." The Third World, many of whose developers have shown that they can design functional interactive web sites, should feel insulted.
We've seen it with how the liberal media treats Joe Biden. The vice president's gaffes and erroneous statements are legendary, yet the press give ol' Uncle Joe gauzy treatment, celebrating rather than mocking him for his foibles and admiring his penchant for "retail politics." It's arguable that the Washington Post's Laura Vozzella did much the same for the Democrats' gubernatorial candidate in Virginia in her Metro section front-pager today, "When McAuliffe speaks, facts may take a back seat."*
Sure, the Post staffer noted, "McAuliffe's tendency to stretch the truth stands out even by the standards of politicians," but the Chicago-born Democratic politician owns it, by golly!
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison yesterday. As has been the case for nearly six years as his scandals and prosecution have unfolded (seen here in dozens of NewsBusters posts), press coverage has usually avoided the inconvenient fact that Kilpatrick is a Democrat, and almost completely ignored Barack Obama's hearty endorsement of him during the early stages of his 2008 presidential campaign. A YouTube video from a May 2007 speech at the Detroit Economic Club shows Obama thanking Kilpatrick for "doing an outstanding job of gathering together the leadership at every level of Detroit, to bring about the kind of renaissance that all of us anticipate for this great city."
News outlets failing to note Kilpatrick's Democratic Party affiliation yesterday included the New York Times, CBS in Detroit, the Detroit Free Press in an item carried at USA Today, and Mike Tobin at Fox News. The Associated Press outdid itself in this regard, as will be explained after the jump.
Charlie Rose's 18-second news brief on Thursday's CBS This Morning is the sole Big Three network mention so far of the Obama administration's decision to review the cases of dozens of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay in preparation for the possible release. Both ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today ignored this latest development in the ongoing controversy over the Islamist detainees at the U.S. military base.
Rose cited a report from the Miami Herald's Carol Rosenberg during the brief, and noted that the Defense Department also recently appointed a new special envoy for the closure of the detention camp: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Friday's Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, Dan Rather poured cold water on Wendy Davis' chances of winning the Texas gubernatorial race, but maintained a glimmer of hope: "I'm not predicting she'll win. If you have to bet the trailer money, you bet she loses. But overnight's a long time in politics – a week is forever – and we're talking about an election that doesn't happen [until] a year from now. So, let her rip."
Rather and Rachel Maddow also hyped the supposed extent of Davis' likely Republican opponent, Greg Abbott. After the MSNBC host labeled Abbott a "hardcore conservative," the former CBS anchor replied that the Texas Republican is "so far to the right...that he makes Rick Perry look like a liberal and Ted Cruz look like a moderate." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
In a story published early this morning by Manu Raju at the Politico which is primarily about Senate Majority Harry Reid's plans to aggressively pursue reelection in 2016, the Nevada senator took shots at the establishment press for "trying so hard to be fair that you are unfair."
Proving Reid wrong in real time, Raju failed to mention Reid's response last week to a question by Dana Bash at CNN — which by the way, as Matt Hadro at NewsBusters noted earlier today, has been pounding Republicans ever since as if to compensate. Bash asked Reid if it would be worth it to continue to fund clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health if doing so could help one child with cancer. His answer, on tape: "Why would we want to do that?" Excerpts from the Raju's report follow the jump (HT Ed Driscoll; bolds are mine):
Tomorrow the Supreme Court will hear arguments on a campaign-finance case that will "test the justices' willingness to buck public opinion," Wall Street Journal Supreme Court correspondent Jess Bravin noted in his page A4 article about the open of the high court's October 2013 term. Bravin devoted the first several paragraphs of his October 7 story, "Campaign Giving Tops High Court's Docket," to painting the Court as highly unpopular when it comes to campaign finance case law following Citizens United.
It wasn't until the 8th paragraph that Bravin actually explained to readers what the new case before the court, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, was all about:
You have to give credit where credit is due. In Saturday's Washington Post, columnist Melinda Henneberger did readers a favor by relaying the nastiness and misogyny that some liberal male voters in Virginia have exhibited towards female campaign volunteers for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli.
"[A]s Greater McLean Republican Women's Club President Anne Gruner was setting up her table Friday, laying out her 'Women for Ken' stickers and fact sheets, a man walking by suddenly swooped close to her face and started screaming, cursing and calling her a 'terrorist,'" Henneberger noted in the fourth paragraph of her Metro section front-pager. Later in the same story, Henneberger noted that:
CBS rekindled its love for pro-abortion politician Wendy Davis on Thursday's CBS Evening News, after the Democrat announced her candidacy in the Texas gubernatorial race. Norah O'Donnell trumpeted how "Davis was a little-known Democratic state senator in Texas. But her marathon defense of abortion rights drew national attention."
Manuel Bojorquez heralded how state legislator "stepped into the national spotlight with pink sneakers, during a 13-hour filibuster of new abortion restrictions here." However, Bojorquez was among the Big Three journalists who put that spotlight on Davis mere hours after she stalled the passage of pro-life legislation in the Lone Star State. At the time, he asserted that the filibuster turned the Democrat "a national political star". [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
"Wendy Davis, Misogyny Magnet," blared a teaser headline on the Time.com front page this afternoon. The headline was accompanied by a photo of the Democratic Texas state senator who is most famous for her lengthy but ultimately unsuccessful filibuster of a bill to regulate the Lone Star State's abortion clinics.
The article in question -- written by Center for American Progress Senior Fellow and former New York Times Opinionator columnist Judith Warner -- was posted in the magazine's Ideas blog, an opinion feature which does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Time's editorial board. That said, the premise of Warner's piece was essentially that the pro-choice lobby's favorite new bogeyman, Republicans engaged in a war on women* will propel Davis into the governor's chair next fall (emphases mine):
The Washington Post kept up its crusade to attack Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli in Thursday’s paper. In a story covering a debate between the two candidates vying to succeed Cuccinelli as attorney general, reporters Frederick Kunkle and Michael Laris put only one candidate’s quote on the front page: the Democrat attacking Cuccinelli as an extremist and abuser of power.
The Post offered Mark Herring’s outburst, and then waited until inside the paper for his quote to fall apart:
On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie acknowledged the liberal spin that congressional Republicans were punished electorally after the 1995 government shutdown was more a matter of faith than fact: "I mean, for 17 years it's been an article of faith that Republicans paid at the polls after the shutdown in the 90s. But these new House Republicans aren't so sure that's true." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That observation was in response to chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd declaring: "...while there are that small band of loud conservatives who are wanting to, you know, not cave, not give in to anything, do whatever it takes to stop the health care law, there is a growing chorus of moderate Republicans who are telling Boehner, 'Don't do this. You remember how bad this was for the Republican Party 20 years ago. What are you doing? You're putting the majority at risk.'"
"Is she Cinderella or Joan of Arc?" Time.com contributor Hilary Hylton mused of Texas State Senator Wendy Davis (D) in the lead sentence of her Friday, September 27 story, "Wendy Davis Laces Up Her Running (for Governor) Shoes." ] "Now that she’s on the verge of announcing a run for Texas governor, everyone is wondering whether the glass slipper will fit, or will she be a martyr for her cause?" Hylton reasoned.[h/t Joshua Trevino of the Texas Public Policy Foundation]
If by "everyone," Hylton means the subset of humanity that constitutes America's liberal political journalists, than yes, she may have a point. Most Americans and I would imagine most Texans, however, don't even know who Wendy Davis is. Hylton seems to get that and adds that, "In reality, the story unfolding in Texas will likely neither be fanciful nor tragic, but a very long, very expensive and very nasty political tale." Translation: win or lose (likely the latter), Wendy Davis will get banged up something fierce in her race for governor.
Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day. MSNBC social media editors marked the occasion with a Facebook post inquiring, "Have you registered to vote yet?"
But for the stock image to accompany the post, editors chose to show a clipboard with an Organizing for America flier which reads, "Register to Vote Here" and bears the O-shaped Obama logo in the top left-hand corner [see screen capture below page break]. It must be an old stock photo as Organizing for America is now Organizing for Action, but the group's mission is the same: pushing President Obama's liberal agenda.
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Norah 'we shouldn't editorialize' O'Donnell hinted that Senator Ted Cruz's 21-hour floor speech might jeopardize the Republican Party's chances in the 2014 congressional race. O'Donnell asked Cruz's colleague in the Senate, Bob Corker, if he was "concerned that what your fellow senator is doing could hurt your party's chances of taking back the U.S. Senate?"
Charlie Rose later played up how supposedly, "some people are saying this is about personal ambition and being seen fighting for this, because it serves his [Cruz's] own presidential ambitions." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Forget becoming President of the United States. It's too small an office for Hillary Clinton. What the former first lady really needs is a "strong global governing body" to captain, liberal writer Sally Kohn insists in a ludicrous post at Daily Beast, headlined "President of the Universe."
As icing on the cake, editors gave the post prime real estate, placing it in the fourth slot in the lightbox and giving it a propaganda poster-style image of Clinton (see below the page break):