Agence France-Presse, in a report on Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has been on Pennsylvania's death row for over twenty-five years for the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981, referred to the cop killer as a "human rights campaigner." Abu-Jamal, whose birth name is Wesley Cook, had his murder conviction upheld by a panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday, but the court also decided that either he must receive a life sentence, or receive a new sentencing hearing.
AFP’s headline for their report read, "US court overturns rights campaigner’s death penalty," and its opening sentence referred to "the death sentence passed against human rights campaigner Mumia Abu-Jamal." In its closing sentence, AFP referenced how Abu-Jamal "became a leading campaigner against the death penalty" while on death row.
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:
Those Clinton campaigners sure know how to slip the "subliminable" shiv in. Yesterday, chief Hillary strategist Mark Penn managed to work "cocaine use" into his comments while supposedly disassociating the campaign from charges of Obama drug use made by Hillary's New Hampshire chairman. See video of Penn in action here.
Today, it was the turn of Hillary supporter Evan Bayh to whack Barack while pretending to take the high road. A bit after 3 PM ET this afternoon, the Dem senator from Indiana with the Eagle Scout aura [who might well have his eye on the VP slot] was being interviewed by MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell about the current turmoil in Camp Clinton.
On CBS’s "Sunday Morning" this past weekend, reporter Martha Teichner did a profile of recently deceased ultra left-wing author, Norman Mailer, who she described as "... a hell of a big man for a short guy, scrappy, brilliant, controversial. Slugging away at life and letters until the very end." Of course, this was the same Norman Mailer that said of the World Trade Center in October 2001: "Everything wrong with America led to the point where the country built that tower of Babel, which consequently had to be destroyed."
Later Teichner remarked that "Mailer was unapologetically liberal, anti-war, anti-Nixon, anti-establishment." Well, he certainly was "anti-establishment" when he said to a "London Telegraph" reporter in February 2002, "America has an almost obscene infatuation with itself...The right wing benefitted so much from September 11 that, if I were still a conspiratorialist, I would believe they'd done it."
At another point, Teichner observed that "Norman Mailer loved playing the political provocateur." That proved true when in 2003, Mailer asserted to the "London Times" that, "Bush thought white American men needed to know they were still good at something. That's where Iraq came in...."
A major political figure calls for the torture and execution of homosexuals and the mainstream media ignores it. Why? Could it be because the individual is a high level Iranian official? The story "Gays Deserve Torture, Death Penalty, Iranian Minister Says" appeared on the front page of FoxNews.com, yet it was nowhere to be found on CNN’s, MSNBC’s, ABC News’, or CBS News’ websites.
The Fox News story, lifted from The Times of London, reports that in a "peace conference" with British MP’s in May, the leader of the Iranian delegation, Mohsen Yahyavi, stated according to the article that "homosexuals deserve to be executed, or tortured, and possibly both."
"The Times" story, appearing on the Fox News website, reports on the meeting as follows:
Sunny Hostin, a legal analyst for CNN’s "American Morning," demonstrated that she could not give an objective analysis on the legality of the death penalty during a segment on Wednesday’s show. Hostin, in a response to a question asked by co-host Kiran Chetry on the future of capitol punishment in the U.S., answered, "I think, as a society, perhaps, now we're moving towards the fact that, perhaps, killing by the state is not humane at all."
This "curious" reply, which came 21 minutes into the 7 am hour of "American Morning," wasn’t the only one Hostin made during the segment. Earlier, Hostin said that "people really are suffering" during lethal injection executions.
The State of Texas easily has the highest execution rate in the United States. That is part of the reason why you "don't mess with Texas." And why is it exactly that Texas stands alone in implemeting the death penalty? According to Reuters, the answer is evangelical Christians.
In his recent blog ("Making Headlines: The Law, Summer 2007"), CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen describes his midsummer night's dream of legal headlines he would "like to see, but probably won't." In the tradition of another more-famous CBS employee, Cohen lists his "top ten" legal headlines - a wish list with an obvious liberal slant.
Here are some of Cohen's headlines, along with the necessary translation.
What is it with Dems and hedge funds? Not long ago we learned that Mr. Two Americas worked for one. Today we find out, in a front-page profile in the New York Times, that Chelsea Clinton also works for a hedge fund.
But the Times was strangely shy about divulging the fact. Only those who persisted through 18 paragraphs and 977 words were rewarded with that noteworthy nugget. And even when the Times did get around to informing us, it managed to find a sympathetic spin to place on Chelsea's decision to work for what many liberals like to portray as the poster child for evil capitalism gone wild.
An Atlanta judge on Friday sentenced a child molester to life imprisonment for the sexual assault of two children.
However, during sentencing, Superior Court Judge Craig Schwall reserved his harshest criticism for the mother who allowed it to happen.
The following video of a WSB-TV report on the matter contains some possibly offensive language as it included specifics of the crimes committed by the assailant (extremely grateful h/t to our dear friend Ms Underestimated).
February 28, 2007 -- To those who remember the infamous 1981 Brinks heist in Nyack, Judith Clark is a self-indulgent '60s radical serving a well-deserved 75-year prison term for her role in the violent deaths of three heroic law-enforcement officers.
But to the Associated Press, which supplies news to the world, Judith Clark is a "former freedom fighter."
The front of Sunday's Style section in the Washington Post carried an article titled "Dead End," wishing for an end to capital punishment, or at least the odd pursuit of painless execution. Post staff writer Neely Tucker clearly implies America is barbaric for keeping it. No one in the piece really argues for it. Tucker even reports with dismay that 67 percent of Americans support capital punishment, "though their betters -- newspaper editorial writers, the French -- tell them they shouldn't."
Tucker's essay began by joking about killer Gary Gilmore, executed in Utah in 1977 for killing a motel manager the year before:
Gary Gilmore, patron saint of the modern American execution, hear our plea.
"TP couldn't help but pick up on the distinct strain of grudging admiration that ran through the NYT's coverage of Hussein's trip to the gallows. An early edition of the paper's lead story said that although the witnesses it interviewed were enemies of the dictator, 'their accounts of the execution were redolent of respect for the way in which their former tormentor died.' The final edition version of the story omits the prior passage but says the widely broadcast videotape of the event suggested that he 'lived his final moments with unflinching dignity and courage, reinforcing the legend of himself as the Arab world's strongman.' An accompanying front-page piece about the dictator's final moments relates that he 'looked strong, confident and calm." A fitting final performance, I suppose, for a master propagandist.'"
Just deserts were dished out to one Saddam Hussein last night. Few deserved it more than he.
There is no reason for me to recount his many crimes against humanity here, but it is a good thing he has paid for his evil -- and paid with his life.
That is all that needs to be said about that...
But, in reading the AP's story by Abdul-Zahra, something else comes to the fore that is vexing to anyone looking for truth in the media. Of course, truth is always in short supply from our friends at al-AP, but with Abdul-Zahra's report we see a constant misuse of the English language.
Imagine you're a US Senator. A citizen has just suggested that a former CIA Director and named FBI agents merit the death penalty as much as convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui. Do you:
A. condemn such an outrageous comment? B. move on to another topic? C. congratulate the citizen for making "an absolutely accurate point"?
If you're Joe Biden [D-DE], the answer, incredibly, is 'C'.
Here's how it went down. In a 'Hardball' devoted to reactions to today's jury decision giving life in prison to Moussaoui, both Rudy Giuliani and Biden had expressed regret that Moussaoui hadn't been given the death penalty, in light of the fact that he knew of but failed to disclose the 9/11 plot.
Wednesday’s lead Times editorial on lethal injection, "Lethal Cruelty," is another dubious attempt by the Times to argue that the death penalty is somehow unconstitutional, that pesky Fifth Amendment notwithstanding.
"Over the years, several justices have concluded that the death penalty is in all cases unconstitutional, including Justice Harry Blackmun, who famously declared, ‘From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death.’ We agree with Justice Blackmun and hope that the tinkering will someday stop and that the law of the land will recognize that the Eighth Amendment bars capital punishment completely. But even justices who think the Constitution permits capital punishment should find that lethal injections that torture prisoners in the process of killing them are unconstitutional."
Where is the liberal moral outrage? Oh, to be sure, the left is making its political points in the wake of the case in which a man is facing the death penalty in Aghanistan for having converted from Islam to Christianity. Story here. Administration critics have been quick to question the value of Pres. Bush's efforts in bringing democracy to the Muslim world if situations such as this one are the outcome.
But in reporting the matter on this morning's Today, NBC's Andrea Mitchell cast domestic protest of the matter strictly in terms of moral outrage on the part of the "Christian right".
I thought the MSM is ardently opposed to the death penalty. Aren't these the same folks who wrung their collective hands at the prospect of poor Tookie Williams getting the needle? Sure, he murdered four people in cold blood and joked about it, but hey! - he wrote a children's book.
But, no! The Today show was distraught at the prospect that "the 20th hijacker" might have slipped the noose [or the needle]. They went so far as to play a clip from a family member of one of the 9/11 victims saying that "I felt like my husband had been killed again." Shades of that NAACP anti-Bush ad from 2000. See item #2 here of this MRC report.
On Wednesday’s Good Morning America, news reader Bill Weir offered two widely different ways of describing the legal case involving the delayed execution of convicted killer Michael Morales in California. Weir’s second blurb on the story came at 8:32 AM and was attention catching:
Bill Weir: "New debate this morning over the death penalty after a last minute decision in the case of convicted killer Michael Morales. California prison officials postponed his execution indefinitely when doctors refused to administer a new court ordered method of lethal injection. Morales is on death row for torturing, raping and killing a 17 year-old girl. He claims lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment."
In an earlier take on the story in the 7:00 half hour, Weir offered scant context as to who Michael Morales is and what he did that caused a jury to sentence him to death:
When it comes to malign intent, Ellen Ratner will be hard-pressed ever to outdo the hope she expressed in 2003 that the Iraq war go badly in order to promote Democratic political interests.
But Ratner might well have plumbed a new personal low in religious stereotyping and sheer ignorance this morning when she explained Justice Sam Alito's recent vote to stay an execution by claiming that he votes the "Catholic ticket."
Her ill-informed allegation came in the course of "The Long & the Short of It," a regular Fox & Friends Weekend feature in which she debates conservative columnist Jim Pinkerton.
On a slow news day, a couple Today show notes, both concerning Matt Lauer.
Readers will recall, as described here, that on the eve of the confirmation hearings Lauer branded Sam Alito an "ultraconservative." No mea culpas from Matt this morning in the wake of Alito's vote splitting from the court's conservative wing and staying the execution of a death-row inmate. Today did label Alito's decision a "Supreme Surprise." Observed Katie Couric:
"Everyone expected Alito to be a reliable, consistent conservative on the high court which is why so many are a little shocked that he sided with liberals and moderates in his very first vote on the high court last night."
Two weeks ago, when the state of Virginia reported that DNA evidence underlined that executed murderer-rapist Roger Keith Coleman was actually guilty, Geoff Dickens revisited the goopy 1992 Time cover story by reporter Jill Smolowe making a passionate case for Coleman's innocence: "the courts have so far failed miserably. It is quite possible he will die, the victim of a justice system so bent on streamlining procedures and clearing dockets that the question of whether or not he actually murdered Wanda McCoy has become a subsidiary consideration."
Now that Smolowe looks a wee bit foolish, it's no surprise that when National Review's John J. Miller called to ask her about her story for the February 13 edition of NR, she abruptly claimed amnesia:
Last Friday I noted Roger Keith Coleman was proven guilty of murder through DNA testing and wondered if Time would note that fact, since back in 1992 they featured him as their anti-death penalty cover boy. Well in this week's Milestones section of Time they in fact did mention it. "DNA testing--which last week confirmed the guilt of Roger Keith Coleman, executed in Virginia in 1992 for the murder of his sister-in-law--did not exist at the time of his 1982 trial."
After that 35-word update, Time went on to excerpt a portion of the original article. The excerpt doesn't really do justice to how adamant they were in their defense of Coleman but in the end Time gets credit for their notice.
Readers will no doubt recall the hysteria from the mainstream media and anti-death penalty forces on the left over the execution of Stanley’s "Tookie" Williams last month.
Countless articles were written bemoaning Tookie’s loss and news anchors spoke glowingly of his supposed contributions to ending gang violence. That Tookie himself was the founder of the notorious "Crips" gang, responsible for so much murder and mayhem over the years, didn’t seem to enter into the equation. Neither did the four people he murdered in cold blood.
Now California’s next execution is scheduled for Tuesday, January 17, with multiple murderer Clarence Ray Allen doing the honors. As Allen’s execution approaches, one has to wonder when all the hoopla will commence? We're all waiting for the liberal glitterati to come out and show their support.
Way back in 1992 Roger Keith Coleman was Time magazine’s cover boy against the death penalty. Time ran the following over a photo of Coleman in chains: "This Man Might Be Innocent, This Man Is Due To Die." Fast forward to 2006 and DNA tests have proved Coleman was in fact rightfully convicted of raping and killing his 19-year-old sister-in-law. So far Time hasn’t touched the story in its online edition. As this morning’s Washington Post reports the DNA test results have hit anti-death penalty advocates hard: "The results stunned and disappointed those who have fought a 25-year crusade to prove that Roger K. Coleman was innocent. They also dashed hopes among death penalty foes that the case would catalyze opposition to capital punishment across the country."
In the May 18th, 1992 edition of Time reporter Jill Smolowe wrote breathlessly about how the legal system was failing this supposed innocent man.
Pat Robertson has no one to blame but himself for the criticism he's attracted in reaction to his latest looniness, in which he suggested that Ariel Sharon's recent stroke was divine retribution for dividing the land of Israel. For that matter, on the all-publicity-is-good-publicity theory, Robertson might be reveling in the notoriety.
So while the Today show can hardly be faulted for reporting Robertson's outrageous comment, was it necessary in doing so to take a gratuitous swipe at the beliefs of millions of Americans?
In its segment, Today catalogued a number of Robertson's controversial statements, from his suggestion that the United States should assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, to calling Islam a "scam," to predicting that Orlando could be hit with earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor for flying gay pride flags.
Medienkritik reports that German magazine Der Spiegel has a story entitled, "Execution of Tookie Williams: Self-Righteous State Organized Murder."
The article details how absolutely angry and furiously outraged Europe's moral elite is with the execution. In other news, German business ties with the Sudanese government are booming, thanks in part to direct support from the German government. Wonder how many black Africans the Sudanese government has executed of late? How "excruciating" was the death they suffered? Apparently not "excruciating" enough for the German media to care enough to report about its own government's dealings there...
Another article was headlined, "Execution in California: Williams' Excruciatingly Long Death."
Shane Bishop, NBC Producer A producer for "Dateline NBC" is apparently collaborating with a convicted killer in order to get a sensational story about another one. The Austin-American Statesman reports:
"Dateline NBC" producer Shane Bishop has a deal for Gov. Rick Perry: Promise to waive the death penalty for an imprisoned Arkansas murderer, and I'll help you solve two murders in the Fort Worth area in 1982 and 1983.
The unusual offer came in a Nov. 29 letter from the California-based Bishop to Perry and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, offering to help solve three cold murder cases in the two states if the chief executives would "guarantee not to pursue the death penalty" against an Arkansas convict serving life without parole for murder.