For well over two weeks, the Obama administration has been urging military action against the Assad regime in Syria for its use of chemical weapons.
At the Associated Press, in a "Fact Check" item at its "Big Story" site, Calvin Woodward told readers that "President Barack Obama voiced his conviction Tuesday night that Syrian President Bashar Assad was to blame for deadly chemical attacks against civilians, but again he offered no proof." Again? The AP reporter also questioned the number of civilian deaths involved. Excerpts follow the jump:
Wednesday marks the one year anniversary of the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi that left Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead and sent the Obama administration scrambling for a cover story that the Big Three broadcast networks initially bought and were slow to unravel.
A similar pattern has emerged in 2013. As new information about the administration’s actions before and after the attacks have been revealed through congressional testimony, whistleblowers, and eyewitnesses, the Big Three have responded by censoring, breezing past or spinning politically damaging bombshells. (full special report after the jump)
Imagine a radio station that does an interview and a video of it goes viral on the Web. Of course, you would expect such a station to feature that video on its website, probably its front page. Well, radio station 1010 WINS in New York City had such a video but instead of featuring it, they completely ignored it despite the fact that the video was highlighted on such websites as the Drudge Report, the Daily Caller, and many others. As of this writing you won't find that video, which was originally posted on YouTube by tvnewsnj anywhere on the WINS website.
The interview with the woman, Donna Jackson, of the Newark Non-Violence Coalition is a damning indictment of the level of violence in Newark, Mayor Cory Booker who was accused of being MIA while campaigning for senator, and of the news media whom Jackson accused of suppressing any bad news about Booker. The only way one even knows that WINS conducted this interview is the microphone which identifies it as 1010 WINS. Read the highlights of the dramatic interview and you will understand why this video went viral all over the Web with the notable exception of the WINS website:
In Part 1 of this pair of posts on the press whitewash of President Barack Obama's "red line" on the use of chemical weapons in Syria, I looked at the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler, who excused President Barack Obama's contradictory "red line" remarks as "offhand" statements" which shouldn't count for much compared to official statements and press releases by diplomats and the White House. (Who knew?)
PolitiFact's Jon Greenberg has also predictably weighed in with the excuse-makers. The web site didn't even bother applying a "Truth-o-meter" rating, claiming that Obama "never denied using the phrase or giving it the significance it has today." Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
As expected, the establishment press's excuse-makers have come out to defend the indefensible, claiming that President Barack Obama's Wednesday assertion in Stockholm that "I did not set a red line" with Syria and chemical weapons doesn't contradict his oft-quoted August 2012 "red line" statement.
I didn't think that the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler to be among those trying to explain it all away; (meanwhiile, PolitiFact has predictably weighed in; its post is the subject of Part 2). While he has been a bit heavier in handing out the "Pinocchios" in situations involving Republicans and conservatives than to Democrats and liberals, Kessler has rarely tried to convince readers that they didn't see or hear what the really saw and heard. Unfortunately, that's exactly what he did in this instance by giving the obvious contradiction "no rating." Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine; HT Hot Air):
It must be nice to be a political leader preferred by news agencies because you can count on them to pull unflattering photos. Such was the case with both Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Reuters when they pulled a bizarre photo of French President Francois Hollade in which he appears to have a clueless smiling clown expression on his face. The UK Guardian describes the controversy:
Two international news agencies are at the centre of a row over self-censorship after withdrawing an unflattering photograph of the French president, François Hollande. Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Reuters were subjected to criticism and widespread ridicule on the internet and social media sites after deciding to pull the picture.
Yesterday in Stockholm at the G20 summit, President Barack Obama said the following in regards to the use of chemical weapons in warfare: "I didn't set a red line. The world set a red line." For years, the press obsessed over the alleged untruthfulness of President George W. Bush's "16 words" ("The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa") in his 2003 State of the Union address. Today, the Associated Press won't even directly quote the first six of Obama's.
Regardless of whether one thinks that Obama's statement is an attempt to abdicate personal responsibility for his original "red line" (i.e., in the sand) statement a year ago or an assertion that his year-ago statement merely affirmed what the rest of the world believes, it's news, and should be presented to the nation's readers and viewers in quotes. But not at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, which is barely recognizing the existence of the "red line" at all.
On Thursday morning, the Columbus Dispatch's Darrel Rowland reported ("Gun battle slated for high noon in downtown Columbus") that "Mayors Against Illegal Guns is coming to Columbus on Friday for an event urging Sen. Rob Portman to support expanding background checks on gun purchases," and that "guns rights groups are planning to make their voices heard, too." There was no follow-up on what happened at the Michael Bloomberg-supported group's rally; we'll see why shortly.
Organizing for Action, the group which exists solely to promote President Barack Obama's agenda, also scheduled a rally to promote illegal-immigrant amnesty in Columbus on Friday. Intrepid center-right blogger Jesse Hathaway reported attendance (HT Twitchy) of perhaps a half-dozen. A search of the first couple of pages (here and here) of results on "immigration" at the Dispatch's web site returned no relevant coverage (results were not sorted by date, but seemed to generally move backwards in time).
Reporter Josh Lederman is in on it too. He never specficially describes Obama's current actions as "orders." Alternate words include "announced," "proposing," "executive actions," and "new policy." It isn't until the second-last of his 13 paragraphs that Lederman informs readers that "the White House has completed or made significant progress on all but one of the 23 executive actions Obama had previously ordered in January" (but the actions themselves are not called "orders".
Based on a review of the archive at Media Bistro's Evening News Category, NBC's Nightly News has just turned in its lowest consecutive two weeks of ratings in over six years. You'd never know that from reading Chris Ariens's narrative at today's ratings post there.
The Big 3 networks combined also failed to break 20 million during both the week of August 12 (19,859,000) and August 19 (19,994,000). That's probably not unprecedented, but it's definitely a rarity.
Note: This post contains graphic language and subject matter, and links to more of the same.
The UK Daily Mail has already reported that "The three boys alleged to have gunned down an Australian baseball player out for a run because they were 'bored' were influenced by an ultra-violent rapper." Specifically, "rather than being part of any gang, which had been suggested before, authorities believe the boys were just wannabes who were emulating the thuggish beliefs of their idols, with Chief Keef being prime suspect." The Chicago Sun-Times posted a similar story.
It turns out that Kenan Kinard, the unapprehended suspect in the murder of 89 year-old World War II veteran Delbert Belton in Spokane, Washington, whose full name, according to the Associated Press, is Kenan D. Adams-Kinard, also identifies himself (screen grab for future reference) as a fan of Chief Keef's "music" (I could not locate a Facebook page for Demetrius Glenn, the apprehended suspect). Who is Chief Keef, and what is he all about? That's after the jump, and it's not for the faint of heart.
While NBC, ABC, and CBS have censored coverage of the ongoing IRS scandal for weeks – even as new revelations have moved it higher up the rungs of the Obama administration – on Wednesday and Thursday, the networks all eagerly hyped 40-year-old tapes of President Richard Nixon discussing the Watergate scandal. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Perhaps the most infuriating was NBC, which hasn't touched the IRS story in 56 days, sending correspondent Peter Alexander to the lawn of the Obama White House to report on the decades-old Nixon recordings for Thursday's Today: "39 years have now passed since President Nixon abruptly resigned. Still, his life fuels our fascination. And these tapes, more than 340 hours worth, give us an unparalleled window into an unprecedented time of presidential turmoil." If only there was some current "presidential turmoil" Alexander could cover.
Rather than focus on the myriad of problems plaguing the implementation of ObamaCare, on Tuesday, all three network morning shows instead provided coverage of the First Family getting a second dog. On NBC's Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander happily announced: "Move over Bo, there's a new dog in town, Sunny. And for her inaugural play date, the White House released it's own music video. A pair of presidential pets frolicking on the South Lawn, that'll get tails wagging." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On ABC's Good Morning America, news reader Elizabeth Vargas reported: "The one-year-old female Portuguese water dog is described as full of energy and very affectionate. First Lady Michelle Obama took to Instagram to make the announcement, tweeting, 'So excited to introduce the newest member of the Obama family – our puppy, Sunny!'" On CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose declared: "That is the same breed as Obama's other dog, Bo....The two dogs appear to be getting along just fine."
Oprah Winfrey's attempt to inject race into a European shopping trip has blown up in her face. First, as summarized at Powerline, in response to a question as to whether she still experiences racism, Ms. Winfrey "told a tale about not being allowed to look at an expensive handbag in a boutique in Zurich because the sales lady assumed she wouldn’t be able to afford it."
The allegedly racist saleswoman didn't just sit there and take it (Update: nor has the store's owner), emphatically denying having ever said that, and laid out the entire encounter in quite believable detail, to the point where Ms. Winfrey felt compelled to go into damage control mode, delivering what TMZ has properly described as a "Passive Aggressive .. BS Apology":
The fix applied to the original story by Russ "Nobody's Fool" Bynum's is at least as weaselly as the original, especially when one realizes what will and will not end up in the historical record. The full correction, which based on the related video gives Obama a benefit of the doubt to which he is clearly not entitled, followed by the relevant portions of the story's revised content, are both after the jump.
What's a little Justice Department spying between friends? Or, more accurately, between a master and his lapdogs?
In May, Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder admitted to obtaining phone records involving 20 business, residential, and personal lines used by over 100 reporters and editors at the Associated Press during April and May 2012. After some lawyerly whining for appearances' sake, the wire service more appropriately known as the Administration's Press is back to its old tricks, and then some. On Wednesday, as will be seen after the jump, reporter Russ Bynum disgracefully covered up a geographic gaffe by President Obama during his Tuesday appearance on Jay Leno's show.
If there was a daily prize for "Propaganda Tool of the Day," Politico would have won it both yesterday and today.
Yesterday, as Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters noted, the web site changed the title of an embarrassing report by Kyle Cheney on low attendance at an Organizing For America event from "Poor attendance at Obamacare event in Virginia" (number of volunteers who showed up: one) to "Obamacare message war goes local." Today, the web site's Reid J. Epstein, in a report on OFA's totally unsurprising initiation of efforts to assist Democratic candidates in specific contests, informed readers that two people he had interviewed for the story "asked to be removed" — and that he honored their requests. Does Politico still expect its readers and the public to believe it is practicing journalism? Excerpts, including the prize-clinching reason why the two people involved asked to be removed, are after the jump.
Thursday evening, Politico reported that the Office of Personnel Management — after the unusual personal involvement of President Obama himself — had decided to issue new regulations this week to protect members of Congress and their staffs from seeing their health care premiums skyrocket once ObamaCare takes effect.
The new rules will protect a relatively small number of politically well-connected individuals, in spite of language in the 2010 health care law that specifically required that Congressmen, Senators and their aides “must be covered by plans ‘created’ by the law or ‘offered through an exchange,’ as Politico detailed.
In spite of the obvious double-standard just months before the law is poised to affect tens of millions of Americans, ABC and NBC have (so far) completely skipped this news, while CBS gave it a grand total of 18 seconds on Friday morning.
[UPDATED BELOW] CNN's Arwa Damon scored an exclusive interview with a suspect in the Benghazi attacks, yet CNN chose to air it only once. Aside from a brief mention of it on Thursday morning, the network has dropped its own scoop that it broke on 5 p.m. Wednesday on The Situation Room.
None of the three networks mentioned the story on their Wednesday evening news casts, and only CBS talked about Benghazi on Thursday, though they didn't mention Arwa Damon's report.
The establishment press's general refusal to cover clearly newsworthy developments in the Obama administration scandal involving the targeting of conservative, tea party, prolife and other groups by the Internal Revenue Service has been so negligent and blatant that several leading conservatives, including the MRC's Brent Bozell and talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh, called it out in an open letter earlier this week.
Consistent with the rest of their colleagues, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, appears to have had no substantive story on the scandal since July 18 -- and that one was about primarily Democrats beating the false meme that progressive groups were supposedly targeted similarly. The AP's negligence extends to the tax agency's shocking level of non-cooperation with House Ways & Means Committee investigators, as will be seen after the jump.
Since new developments broke last week in the IRS scandal, CNN barely reported on it before dropping the story entirely. The network also deflected scrutiny away from the White House's possible role in the scandal.
After Thursday's congressional hearing on the IRS targeting Tea Party groups, CNN issued just one report on it on Thursday afternoon. Correspondent Dana Bash reported "no proof" that the White House was involved and whitewashed the controversy that Tea Party groups supposedly received more scrutiny than liberal groups.
The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have essentially censored the latest IRS scandal news. Not a single network reported on the bombshell coming out of Thursday’s congressional hearing that IRS employees were ordered to send Tea Party tax-exemption applications to the office of the IRS’s Chief Counsel, which was headed by William Wilkins, who at that time was the only Obama political appointee at the IRS.
The Big Three networks have also ignored this week’s news that tax records of political candidates (including one-time GOP Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell) and certain donors were improperly accessed by government officials, and that the Justice Department has, so far, refused to prosecute the offenders.
Today, as the wire service AFP reported in a story carried at Yahoo.com, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in the question and answer exchange after his prepared testimony, told the House Financial Services Committee that "If we were to tighten (monetary) policy, the economy would tank."
That assessment of the economy's fragility qualifies as news, especially given the Obama administration's continued claim that the economy is "continuing to recover at a promising rate." Outlets besides AFP virtually ignored Bernanke's soundbite, which should be considered scary to anyone who realizes that Big Ben can't go on "stimulating" at his current rate forever.
Imagine if -- and you'd have to imagine it, because it never happened -- the George W. Bush administration had sent members of its Justice Department to a city where a black man charged with murder was claiming self-defense in the killing of a non-African-American for the purposes of ginning up protests against the accused. Establishment press coverage and would have been justifiably intense.
On Thursday, Judicial Watch revealed that it had obtained documents showing that "a little-known unit of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Community Relations Service (CRS), was deployed to Sanford, FL, following the Trayvon Martin shooting to help organize and manage rallies and protests against George Zimmerman." In other words, DOJ did to Zimmerman what I just noted Bush 43 administration never did and would never have considered doing. JW's bombshell is not news at the Associated Press or at the Politico.
The story at the Associated Press this morning on the Texas Senate's passage of legislation which, as summarized at Life News, "would ban abortions after 20 weeks and hold abortion clinics accountable by making them meet basic health and safety standards," claims to originate from Austin, the Lone Star State's capital city.
The coverage by AP reporters Chris Tomlinson and Will Weissert has references to events occurring at the "the Capitol building in Austin," so I have to believe that one, the other, or both were present during the hours leading up to the bill's passage. It is thus hard to believe that the gentlemen only reported on one of the following ugly incidents in a long list compiled by Life News in an email I received this morning. The AP pair also did not note President Barack Obama's tweet in support of the protesters' grisly cause.
What does a liberal cable television host do when a guest confronts her with an ugly truth? Why, she cuts off his microphone, of course!
That's what happened on Thursday, when Nancy Grace -- host of a weeknight program on HLN, which was formerly known as the Headline Network -- clashed with Frank Taaffe, a friend of George Zimmerman who stated that black teenager Trayvon Martin had drugs in his system during their encounter on Feb. 26, 2012, in Sanford, Fla.
The July 9 broadcast of Now with Alex Wagner wouldn’t be complete without a panel discussing Texas State Senator Wendy Davis – and the abortion battle in Texas. Yet, it reached a new level with New York Times op-ed contributor Beth Matusoff Merfish declaring that she was “proud” her mother underwent an abortion since “she had the wisdom and the courage to know that her own potential would be cut short by a pregnancy and to terminate that pregnancy and I think many of our mothers have similar stories and it is really important to talk about that.”
The MSNBC network is known for two things: A lack of dissent and touting the official Obama line. So, it's not surprising that the show's panel included Ben LaBolt, a former press secretary from Obama’s 2012 campaign, and Karen Finney, former DNC Communications Director and board member of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
As of 9:15 p.m. (saved here for future reference), the home page at Politico had no story on developments in Egypt, even though story teases on unrelated matters from Thursday and Friday were still present. A browser search on "Egypt" within the home page came back empty. As millions protest in Egypt, some claiming in banners that "Obama Supports Terrorism, the most important story this evening is "5 messaging challenges for Obamacare."