A year ago in March, an Investor's Business Daily editorial ("America's Enemies Don't Want U.S. Drilling") informed readers that "the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington put out a Twitter post expressing disappointment that the documentary 'Gasland' didn't win an Academy Award." Specifically: "Sadly, 'Gasland' didn't win an Oscar, because a Vzlan helped make it," Venezuela's Twitterer whined." IBD went on to note that "Gasland" had "a Venezuelan production assistant, Irene Yibirin, who ... (has) ties to the (Chavez) government's Foundation National Cinematheque. ... [O]n the site, she praised Chavez."
Why is this relevant? Well, as another IBD editorial on Thursday noted, EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz, who became deservedly infamous last week when his public articulation of his "Crucify Them" philosophy towards enforcement of environmental laws and regulations in a speech a year ago was exposed, really loves the film, which industry officials have shown is riddled with deceptions and outright falsehoods. Not only that, he was also involved in making it:
Yesterday, as apparently first reported at the Daily Caller, Oklahoma Republican Senator James Imhofe revealed that Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 administrator Al Armendariz had explained his enforcement philosophy towards companies within his jurisdiction as "[C]rucify them ... Find people who are not compliant with the law, and you hit them as hard as you can and you make examples out of them, and there is a deterrent effect there." Remember that Antagonistic Al was referring to those who are "not compliant." A YouTube video of Armendariz's remarks in fuller context is here.
The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, in what I would hope is only its first version of coverage (but don't count on any follow-up), did its level best to minimize the significance of Armendariz's remarks, with a headline designed to make people think he only said one bad word, and content which tried to emphasize that the administrator reserves his harsh treatment only for actual lawbreakers. At Forbes, Christopher Helman has made mincemeat of that pretense in one very prominent case.
Peter Overby filed a one-sided report on Thursday's All Things Considered about a liberal coalition's campaign against the conservative organization ALEC. Overby cited the "good government group" Common Cause without mentioning the organization's left-of-center ideology. More importantly, the correspondent failed to mention that he is a former employee of Common Cause.
The NPR journalist lined up three talking heads, who all criticized ALEC, while failing to include sound bites from defenders of the conservative group. Overby also omitted that one of the three works for a law firm that represented Common Cause.
It's difficult to be a good economist and simultaneously be perceived as compassionate. To be a good economist, one has to deal with reality. To appear compassionate, often one has to avoid unpleasant questions, use "caring" terminology and view reality as optional.
Affordable housing and health care costs are terms with considerable emotional appeal that politicians exploit but have absolutely no useful meaning or analytical worth. For example, can anyone tell me in actual dollars and cents the price of an affordable car, house or myomectomy? It's probably more pleasant to pretend that there is universal agreement about what is or is not affordable.
At the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar is floating the notion (saved here at host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) that members of the Supreme Court who seem inclined to strike down ObamaCare might do so without fully understanding it. Translation: Those dummies.
The AP reporter makes a claim which reads like a desperate talking point from Team Obama (and maybe it is). The essence of the "argument" is that if you have a required minimum plan design which includes many items individuals and families would never use and would never buy if left to their own devices, and you force them to purchase a health insurance policy with that design (or possibly better), it really isn't a bad thing any more if you allow some choice in copays and deductibles.
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose rolled over and deferred to chief Obama flack David Axelrod and his talking points defending the President's Monday rant against the Supreme Court and its deliberation on his health care law, along with its attacks on Mitt Romney. Rose tossed softball questions at Axelrod, such as, "Tell me what he [Obama] is saying when he talks about judicial activism."
The anchor even boosted Hillary Clinton as a possible 2016 presidential candidate for Democrats during his interview with the Obama aide: "[Nancy Pelosi] said her candidate is Hillary Clinton. She hopes Hillary Clinton will run....Do you expect that she'll be a nominee in- will be a candidate for president in 2016?" [audio available here; video clips below the jump]
NPR's Tamara Keith filed a one-sided report on Monday's Morning Edition about Mitt Romney's "apparent shift in emphasis, if not an outright reversal" on the issue of energy policy. Keith cited the "liberal news site Think Progress" as one of her main sources for her report. She also turned to a former aide to Democrats John Kerry and Deval Patrick without giving his political/ideological affiliation.
Fill-in host David Greene spotlighted in his introduction to Keith's report how "the GOP candidates have seized on price spikes as a line of attack against President Obama, largely saying the answer is more domestic oil drilling. But one of those candidates, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, used to have a position somewhat contrary to that."
CBS This Morning on Thursday gave New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg a platform to boost his pro-gun control agenda. Anchors Erica Hill and Charlie Rose tossed softball questions at the billionaire politician, enabling him spout his liberal talking points in favor of stricter gun regulations. Rose and Hill even let Bloomberg lecture the press about their supposed responsibility to push for gun control.
The mayor forwarded a beyond irrational argument against armed self defense: "Somebody's banging on your door and says, I'm going to come in and kill you...And this guy's got the gun out...You're better off not having a gun." Bloomberg also bizarrely claimed that "America is the only place where there is a murder rate with guns. Other places have criminal problems; other places have murders. But here, it's a unique thing." [audio available here; video below the jump]
On Wednesday's Morning Edition, NPR's pro-ObamaCare shill Julie Rovner predictably lined up backers of the contested law. Rover again cited the Kaiser Family Foundation and failed to mention their liberal leanings. She also turned to a former Clinton administration official, without identifying her as such, and played five total clips from liberals, versus only two from a conservative.
The correspondent hyped the "the potential impact on the relationship between the federal government and the states" if the Supreme Court struck down the controversial legislation, and that "virtually any program in which the federal government gives money to the states with conditions attached" could be at risk.
Charlie Rose boosted New York Times's staff "conservative" David Brooks for his endorsement of the individual mandate on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, but Senator Tom Coburn was having none of it. Rose quoted from Brooks, whom he labeled a "a Hamiltonian, and someone...you share views with." Coburn slapped down the pro-ObamaCare argument: "We just don't have the authority to tell people to do that" [audio clips available here; video below the jump].
The Oklahoma Republican continued, in part, that "Brooks...[is] a Hamiltonian. I'm not. I'm a Madisonian, and that says, as government grows, freedom diminishes, and what we've seen is our freedom diminished." The anchor followed up by spotlighting ObamaCare benefits: "So, therefore, you don't...support the requirement for pre-existing conditions, nor the fact that children, up until the age of 26, will come under their parents' plan?"
Taking the Constitution's limits on federal power seriously is just, well, backwards to liberal journalists. Take Ari Melber of The Nation. Sitting on the panel on the March 26 edition of Now with Alex Wagner, the MSNBC contributor dismissed as "retrograde" the notion that the ObamaCare individual mandate -- the provision forcing Americans to buy private health insurance or else pay a fine to the federal government -- violates the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
Melber, a former John Kerry presidential campaign staffer, made the remark in the midst of comments wherein he suggested the Obama administration could see a stunning victory before the high court, despite the conservative nature of the tribunal:
ABC, CBS, and NBC covered the far-left Occupy Wall Street movement with glee during 2011, devoting 33 stories on the air during the first eleven days of October alone to publicizing the protests. However, the Big Three networks have yet to mention the planned demonstrations in 140 cities across the U.S. today at noon local time against the Obama administration's sterilization, abortifacient, and contraception mandate.
The Coalition to Stop the HHS Mandate, which is being coordinated by the Illinois-based Pro-Life Action League; and includes multiple pro-life, social conservative, and religious groups, including Human Life International, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the Alliance Defense Fund, and Priests for Life; have organized the "Stand Up For Religious Freedom" rallies "in defense of religious freedom and STAND UP against the Obama administration's HHS mandate at federal building in cities across the country."
Here's some good advice from Rush Limbaugh's opening monologue today: "If I were you, I would regard every AP story, particularly this year, as nothing more than a propaganda piece for the reelection of Barack Obama."
What occasioned Rush's rant is the thinly disguised propaganda today from the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, concerning President Obama's visit to Cushing, Oklahoma to pretend that he's really a fan of the Keystone Pipeline, starting with the following headline:
Almost a month after touting on-air their poll finding that 61% of Catholics supposedly backed President Obama's controversial birth control mandate, CBS failed to mention their most recent poll that found that 57% are now against the regulation. The network devoted an article to the new poll statistic on their website, but failed to cover it on their morning and evening newscasts Monday into Tuesday.
Instead, CBS Evening News and CBS This Morning did some damage control on behalf of the President, downplaying his "all-time low" approval number and claiming that "there's little that he [Obama] can do...in the short term to affect gas prices, and gas prices hurts his political chances," as anchor Charlie Rose put it. Their poll partners at the New York Times also buried the finding in their front-page article on the poll, and spun it by suggesting that women were "split" on the controversy.
Charlie Rose and Bob Schieffer were President Obama's Amen corner on the issue of gas prices on Tuesday's CBS This Morning. Rose shamelessly claimed, "The President has a point...There's little that he can do...in the short term to affect gas prices, and gas prices hurts his political chances." Schieffer replied, "That's right on all counts...the problem is...people think there are things he can do about it."
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose hinted that Republicans needed to go further in decrying Rush Limbaugh's slam of radical feminist and law student Sandra Fluke. Rose asked Senator John McCain, "Are you satisfied that those Republican officials have gone far enough in condemning these statements?" McCain replied, "Oh, I'll leave that up to pundits like you, Charlie" [audio available here; video below the jump].
The morning newscast also highlighted how "seven companies have pulled commercials from Limbaugh's nationally syndicated show. Online data company Carbonite said the on-air attack crossed the line....Limbaugh had some defenders, but they were drowned out by those protests on the left, and critics on the right."
On Thursday's All Things Considered, Julie Rovner, NPR's resident ObamaCare flack, claimed that the U.S. Senate rejecting an amendment protecting religious liberty was "closer than the 63 percent majority that supports the contraceptive coverage requirement" from the federal government, according to the poll from the liberal Kaiser Family Foundation. The organization is an oft-used source for Rovner.
The group obtained the 63 percent figure by asking a question that omits the religious liberty component to the firestorm: "In general, do you support or oppose the new federal requirement that private health insurance plans cover the cost of birth control?" A Pew Research Poll from mid-February included that issue, and found that 48 percent supported an exemption for religious groups, versus 44 percent in support of the mandate.
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose lobbed a series of questions from the left at Republican Congressman Paul Ryan. Rose wondered if the recent trend towards social issues in the Republican presidential race was "troubling." The Wisconsin Republican replied, "It's not troubling for me, and...I think that's more about the media, and maybe the Democrats, who are trying to move it in that direction."
The anchor also touted the auto bailout as an Obama administration success: "The bailout- should that be an issue, and should the voters look at Governor Romney and Governor Santorum [sic] and say, we had an economic bail-out of the auto companies and look what happened? Profits are up, and they're both doing well." Rose later asked Ryan if he thought that the apparently better economic numbers was "good news for President Obama" [audio available here; video below the jump].
An AP report by Rachel Zoll brought to our attention by a NewsBusters tipster headlines a truly weird assertion about GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum ("Santorum benefits from mistaken religious identity"), and submits as evidence an item in a Christian magazine which in turn has its own weird headline ("Catholic Politicians You Thought Were Evangelical").
It turns out that the Christianity Today item tells us that it's not evangelical Christians who misidentify Santorum, whose Roman Catholic faith is well-known. The entity which committed the misidentification by deliberately including the former Pennsylvania senator on a list of "The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America" while acknowledging that he is a Catholic was ... Time Magazine, in February 2005. Thus, there is no support for Zoll's headline claiming that many people "mistake" Santorum's "religious identity," and that he somehow "benefits." Zheesh.
In a 37-paragraph front-page article today, Washington Post correspondents Laura Vozzella and Anita Kumar detailed how, as the "invasiveness" of an ultrasound requirement in an abortion regulation bill "emerged" that "enthusiasm waned."
Vozzella and Kumar examined how pro-choice activists ginned up protests via social media and how liberal-leaning comedians on Saturday Night Live and Comedy Central mocked the legislation. Yet not once in the entire story did Kumar and Vozzella note that abortionists in the Old Dominion who are affiliated with Planned Parenthood already do ultrasounds prior to conducting abortions. Despite discussing the ongoing controversy on MSNBC yesterday, Kumar also failed to mention the fact for that network's audience.
When ABC, CBS, and NBC finally got around to covering -- after two weeks of silence -- the controversy over the Obama administration's mandate that religious institutions provide health insurance for abortifacients, sterilization, and birth control, the networks downplayed the religious freedom component to the story, casting it instead as a political dogfight between liberals and conservatives.
MRC analysts studied all 36 stories, interview segments and mentions of the HHS mandate story on the Big Three broadcast networks from January 30 through February 15. Out of the 91 talking heads who appeared as soundbites on their morning or evening programs (or a small number of guests on the morning shows), politicians far outnumbered Church officials, by a margin of 60 to 9.
On Monday, the Washington Post's Greg Sargent forwarded a liberal talking point, that the Obama administration's controversial mandate for coverage of abortifacients and contraception without a co-pay would be used as a "wedge issue" by Republicans. Sargent also highlighted a split inside the GOP over the so-called "accommodation" made by the President on Friday.
The writer began his article, "Birth control as wedge issue against GOP, ctd.,"on his "Plum Line" blog by forwarding the White House's own labeling about the Friday proposal: "Now that Obama has reached an accommodation on birth control that has won some support on both sides of the debate, could it now become a wedge issue against the GOP, as I speculated the other day?"
Julie Rovner, NPR's on-staff shill for ObamaCare, filed an unashamedly one-sided report on Friday's Morning Edition about the controversial Obama administration mandate that forces religious institutions to include coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, sterilizations, and birth control.
Rovner turned to only two individuals for her pro-mandate report: Peggy Mastroianni, general counsel at the federal government's own EEOC, an organization which recently got slapped down in a unanimous Supreme Court decision concerning the rights of houses of worship in hiring and personnel matters; and Sarah Lipton-Lubet, a lawyer for the notoriously far-left American Civil Liberties Union, who until May 2011, worked for the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights.
After almost three weeks, CBS finally brought on a member of the Catholic hierarchy on Thursday's CBS This Morning to discuss the Obama administration health care mandate that forces Catholic institutions, like hospitals and colleges, to violate their consciences and pay for abortion-inducing drugs and contraception [audio clips available here; video clips below the jump]. On Good Morning America, ABC ignored the controversy for the second straight day.
It was also the second straight day that the CBS morning newscast brought on a Catholic cleric for his take about the prominent issue. By contrast, on Tuesday, NBC 's Today turned to their in-house radical feminist, Rachel Maddow, who blasted the completely warranted opposition to the new policy as a "pretty far-right perspective" and "an extension of anti-abortion politics."
After 19 days of controversy, CBS Evening News on Tuesday finally got around to covering the growing dispute between the Obama administration, who wants to impose a mandate for sterilizations and birth control on religious institutions, and the Catholic Church and its allies, who see it as a violation of religious liberty. All of the Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Tuesday covered the issue.
On Wednesday morning, CBS This Morning was actually the only network morning show that devoted a segment to the "hot-button issue," as anchor Gayle King labeled it. NBC's Today show gave a mere news brief on the "uproar" over the new federal policy, while ABC's Good Morning America ignored it.
On Monday (appearing in the print edition on Tuesday, New York Times op-ed columnist Joe Nocera gave President Barack Obama a pass for rejecting the Keystone Pipeline. In the process, he also complained about "the way our poisoned politics damages the country," and, in a revelation which shouldn't but did surprise him, learned that far-left environmentalists want to stop all tar sands development and not just the pipeline. Imagine that.
Here are several paragraphs from Nocera's column (my comments are in italics):
On Tuesday, NPR somehow thought a poll commissioned by abortion behemoth Planned Parenthood on the controversy over an ObamaCare birth control mandate was newsworthy enough to play up on its website. But later in the day, on All Things Considered, a show that reaches millions in the U.S., the media outlet spotlighted how the "new polling...suggests most voters, including Catholics, support the measure."
Correspondent Scott Horsley noted the "survey released today by Public Policy Polling," but completely failed to mention Planned Parenthood's name during his report. Horsley also highlighted a disturbing strategy from the pro-mandate camp without: "Supporters of the new policy are belatedly trying to refocus attention in a more popular direction, away from religious freedom and towards women's health care."
Is a Planned Parenthood poll really newsworthy? On Tuesday, NPR spotlighted a PPP poll commissioned by the abortion giant which found that a majority apparently supports a federal government mandate on birth control that violates the religious liberty of Catholic institutions. The network also trumpeted how "the poll...suggested that Mitt Romney...could pay a price at the polls" for opposing the mandate.
Writer Frank James began his article for NPR.org, "Poll: Majority Of Voters Support Birth-Control Mandate," by pointing out that the ObamaCare regulation was "controversial." But he didn't acknowledge that the poll was "done on behalf of Planned Parenthood" until the second paragraph, and left out any kind of ideological label for the left-wing organization.
ABC, CBS, and NBC spotlighted the Komen foundation's about-face on funding Planned Parenthood on their Friday evening newscasts, and played up the apparent role of social media in getting the charity to reverse its earlier decision. On World News, ABC's Diane Sawyer trumpeted the "dramatic day for people power," while on Nightly News, NBC's Lester Holt concluded, "score one for the power of social media."
The Big Three outlets also covered the 180 by the breast cancer organization on their Saturday morning shows. Altogether, the networks added seven more reports to the 13 from the first 60 hours or so of the controversy, bringing the total to 20 since February 1, versus only three on the face-off between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration since January 20 (the MRC documented and highlighted this imbalance in a report on Friday; ABC and NBC added mentions on their Sunday morning political shows).