One the eve of the nation's third-largest school district seeing a massive teacher's strike ABC's World News was strangely silent. Of course, even as other media outlets have covered the story, they've often done a poor job at presenting the public relevant information. For example, as my NewsBusters colleague Scott Whitlock reported today, CBS This Morning was the only broadcast network morning show on Monday to note that Chicago teachers make on average $71,000 a year.
Less than 48 hours from now, Chicago's teachers, whose union head insists, as quoted by the Associated Press, that "we are here to negotiate for better schools in Chicago," may walk off the job, leaving the children entrusted to them to languish in half-days of activities unrelated to learning "staffed by non-union and central office workers."
There seems to be an unwritten rule that news coverage of these matters not discuss the current earnings of those who are threatening to strike. In a writeup of over 900 words, AP writers Tammy Webber and Don Babwin stuck to that script, and also failed to tell their readers the size of the raise union negotiators initially requested. Those two figures follow the jump.
Liberals really should decide how they feel about the idea of southern states seceding from the union. The MSNBC crowd suddenly wraps itself in Old Glory and rediscovers the meaning of “treason” at the mention of it.
Others, like travel writer Chuck Thompson, wish they’d go. He honestly believes Southern conservatives are standing in the way of progress and solely responsible for political gridlock. The only ‘logical’ way of dealing with it in his mind is secession. Only then can the Northern states have the utopian society they’re apparently on the verge of attaining.
President Barack Obama recently wrote an executive order that established a White House initiative on educational excellence for black Americans that will be housed in the Department of Education. It proposes "to identify evidence-based best practices" to improve black achievement in school and college. Though black education is in desperate straits, the president's executive order will accomplish absolutely nothing to improve black education. The reason is that it does not address the root causes of educational rot among black Americans. It's not rocket science; let's look at it.
The president's initiative contains not one word about rampant inner-city school violence, which makes educational excellence impossible. During the past five years, Philadelphia's 268 schools had 30,000 serious criminal incidents, including assaults — 4,000 of which were on teachers — robberies and rapes. Prior to recent layoffs, Philadelphia's school district employed about 500 police officers. In Chicago last year, 700 young people were gunfire victims, and dozens of them lost their lives. Similar stories of street and school violence can be told in other large, predominantly black cities, such as Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland, Oakland and Newark.
In an apparent attempt to pin blame anywhere but on the Obama administration for the rising unemployment rate, a USA Today item currently carried at Newsmax's MoneyNews.com web site opens by claiming that "Companies across the country are cutting training programs for new employees, broadening the divide between workers with skills needed to compete in today's economy and those left out, pushing up unemployment rates in the process."
The incoherence is stunning, and it continues after the jump:
The New York Times’ quest for tolerance has taken a lunatic turn. A contributing author for New York Times Magazine is now pushing for boys who want to wear women’s clothing to be allowed to do so, in the name of gender fluidity.
The New York Times Magazine published a 5,500-word celebration of boys breaking traditional gender boundaries. Ruth Padawer, a professor at the Columbia University School of Journalism, wrote a long August 8 piece with the provocative title “What’s So Bad about a Boy Who Wants to Wear a Dress?” She then proceeded to attempt to convince readers that nothing was wrong with that with a litany of examples of young boys happily wearing “girls” clothing despite the skepticism of queasy parents and the bullying of intolerant individuals.
Penny Starr at CNSNews.com reports the Washington, D.C. Department of Health gave away 200,000 condoms at public high schools last year, according to department communications director Najma Roberts, which averages out to about 16 condoms for each of the 12,792 students.
According to the D.C. Public Schools website, there are 20 public high schools that serve 12,792 students. Roberts provided the names of 18 public charter schools that receive condoms for distribution to students, including Maya Angelou-Evans Middle School and Two Rivers PCS Middle School.
Make that -- a privately owned, non-union charter school company. No wonder Rachel Maddow's memory about this got selective.
Michigan's emergency financial manager law, enacted by the legislature in 2011 to allow the governor to appoint emergency managers to oversee insolvent municipalities and school districts, is one of Maddow's obsessions, right up there with gay marriage, Republicans as inherently evil, and her barfly Cocktail Moment on Friday nights. (video clip after page break)
On May 2, Matt Sheffield at NewsBusters ran down a list of national media outlets which failed to report the Occupy movement connections of the five men arrested by the FBI for plotting to blow up a suburban Cleveland bridge, despite the fact that the Cleveland Plain Dealer began noting those relationships from the get-go.
Matt wrote that the Associated Press recognized the connections, but watered it all down by "letting an Occupy Cleveland spokesman's claim the men 'weren't affiliated with or representing the group' go unchallenged." Yesterday, after one of the five arrested entered a guilty plea to avoid a probable life sentence, an unbylined AP report waited until the final of 13 paragraphs to even mention Occupy, and then proceeded to engage in the same dishonest downplaying -- even though evidence revealed a few days after Matt's post proved an undeniable, high-level relationship (bolds are mine; HT Instapundit):
Observers on the right and left have, for different reasons, long lamented that Comedy Central has become the main source of news for young people. But one group thinks the phenomenon is just fine. The academic left considers comedian Stephen Colbert an object of serious and perhaps even obsessive study.
The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi wrote an excellent piece on July 9, examining the academic world’s “unsettling” obsession with comedian Stephen Colbert. Farhi describes Colbert-related studies as the “academic cult of Colbert,” writing: “Yet ever since Colbert’s show, “The Colbert Report,” began airing on Comedy Central in 2005, these ivory tower eggheads have been devoting themselves to studying all things Colbertian.”
Since liberal producer Aaron Sorkin's HBO series The Newsroom made waves a couple of weeks ago with its infamous speech asserting that America is "not the greatest country in the world anymore," CNN host Piers Morgan has repeatedly brought up this charge with guests on his Piers Morgan Tonight show.
Morgan, who so far has not brought up the speech with any clearly conservative guest who might disagree with the premise, first raised the issue on the Wednesday, June 20, show with guest Billy Corgan of the rock group, the Smashing Pumpkins. Morgan:
In an analysis piece which, based on its title ("In divided era, what does July 4th mean?"), was as predictable as heat in July, Ted Anthony, who is tasked with writing "about American culture" at the Associated Press, attempted to explain, 236 years in, where what he claims is "the only nation in the world that was built solely upon an idea" stands. (Communism as an idea is what originally built the historically destructive Soviet Union, so Anthony is obviously wrong on that; readers will see another example later in this post.)
In the process, even beyond his tedious complaints about commerce ("Independence Day ... (is) more about the pursuit of happiness than life and liberty"), Anthony revealed utter ignorance about the nature and interrelationship of this country's key founding documents, as seen in the following excerpts (bolds are mine):
From the headlines to the verbiage in many establishment press write-ups, it would be easy to believe that the just-resolved controversy over interest rates on student loans affects virtually everyone in college who has borrowed money and anyone who graduated (or didn't) who borrowed and is still owes Uncle Sam.
That isn't so. To cite just one example, readers of Christine Armario's Saturday morning report at the Associated Press have to work way too hard to figure that out. Additionally those who listen to snippets of Armario's work on TV and radio broadcasts probably won't hear what she doesn't get to until her third paragraph:
The Tweet watchers at Michelle Malkin's Twitchy.com caught an Associated Press reporter seeking out (perhaps the term should be "solicitweeting," with "solicitweetion" as the related noun) negative comments about Mitch Daniels on Twitter earlier today from Purdue alumni and students about the appointment announced today of Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels to become that school's next president.
After the jump, readers will see AP reporter Tom LoBianco's birdbrained tweets, followed by what should be considered an embarrassing mistake in the copy of his co-authored story (saved here for future reference, fair use, and discussion purposes):
In her "Big City" column Sunday, "Principal Is Trampled In a Rush to Vilify," New York Times reporter Ginia Bellafante (pictured) rushed to the defense of school principal Greta Hawkins, the subject of conservative criticism for cutting the patriotic song "God Bless the U.S.A." from her Coney Island kindergarten's graduation ceremony after months of childrens' rehearsals, saying it would "offend other cultures." The New York Post reported on June 9:
It was to be the rousing finale of their musical show at the June 20 commencement. The kids, dressed up for their big day, would wave tiny American flags -- which, as the lyrics proclaim, “still stand for freedom.” But Hawkins marched in on a recent rehearsal and ordered a CD playing the anthem to be shut off, staffers said. She told the teachers to drop the song from the program. “We don’t want to offend other cultures,” they quoted her as explaining.
Bellafante was only concerned about the principal who nixed the patriotic song, suggesting all criticism was invalid and personal:
A regular media meme, especially since Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's comments regarding public sector employees last week, has been that there just aren't enough school teachers in America.
Such statements ignore that according to the Census Bureau, since 1960, the average class size in our public schools has declined by 40 percent as the number of teachers rose almost four times faster than the student population.
During the special 11:00 p.m. edition of The Ed Show on Tuesday, MSNBC host Ed Schultz fretted about what he viewed as "pretty damn scary stuff" that he believed Republicans would do in following Governor Scott Walkers example in pushing a conservative agenda in Wisconsin.
A bit later, during an interview with the Reverend Jesse Jackson, he asserted that conservatives are trying to "destroy and defund public education," which he claimed was "hurting the minority communities."
The Washington Post's Valerie Strauss -- who sends her daughters to private schools -- lashed out recently in her The Answer Sheet blog against Mitt Romney's ideas for education reform, in which school vouchers are a central piece.
Romney's ideas are predicated on "an ideology that demonizes unions." Strauss complained in her May 24 post -- which was also printed in the May 28 Washington Post on page B2 -- concluding that "if Romney gets a chance to run education policy according to his new plan, [you can] expect things to get worse."
At the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Jesse Washington's Friday evening coverage ("Who's an American Indian? Warren case stirs query") of the nuances involved in claiming Native American Indian heritage -- or ancestry, or biology, or allegiance, or identity, or identification, or membership (and I've probably missed a couple) -- occasioned by Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts is the journalistic equivalent of what the occasional Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball game was like (with final scores sometimes in the 20s) before the NCAA legislated the shot clock: a continuous exercise in stalling.
Washington's report is time-stamped at 10:31 P.M., meaning that its last rendition was at least 18 hours after the Boston Globe performed a rare exercise in journalism and found the following, of which there is no hint in the AP story:
Some passages in Barack Obama's commencement address Monday at Barnard College on Broadway didn't make the media quote machine -- especially the ones whacking the media, and the comparative stupidity of men. Now that's a way to build a gender gap. The "founding mothers" were smarter than the Founding Fathers, he quipped.
CNSNews.com reported the media slam -- which is an odd way to treat your most devoted supporters:
Thursday's CBS Evening News and Friday's CBS This Morning spotlighted the Washington Post's reporting on the accusation that Mitt Romney supposedly bullied a high school classmate almost 50 years ago. Evening News anchor Scott Pelley trumpeted how "what [Romney] said about it today made it relevant again." Political director John Dickerson touted how "the reporting of the story seems pretty solid."
Correspondent Jan Crawford reported on the Romney issue on the evening and morning newscasts. During the Thursday report, Crawford highlighted how one former classmate of Romney's labeled the alleged incident an "assault and battery." The following morning, she did contrast the allegation with President Obama's admitted drug use during his high school years and President Clinton claiming he tried marijuana, but "didn't inhale."
On Tuesday's All Things Considered, NPR's Claudio Sanchez spotlighted the efforts of college students who, with the assistance of the "liberal Center for American Progress," are lobbying Congress for an extension of low interest rates on their Stafford loans. While Sanchez did find a critic of the politicization of the loan issue, he came from another left-leaning organization, the Brookings Insitution.
All of the correspondent's soundbites came from the CAP-backed students and from Mathew Chingo of Brookings, with none coming from conservatives/Republicans. Sanchez noted how the students visited Senator Rob Portman and identified him as "a Republican from Ohio," but omitted that he is considered a possible running mate on the 2012 Republican presidential ticket. He also played up how one student was "upset about something one of the senator's staff members said," but failed to get the other side of the story.
Perhaps it’s unrealistic to expect history textbooks to present and analyze events and epochs with complete objectivity. But it’s entirely reasonable to demand that they don’t actively reinforce the news media’s liberal bias when it comes to recent history and individuals who are still alive and active in shaping that history.
Yet commonly used American history textbooks have eschewed historical analysis when discussing recent Supreme Court justices, and in its place substituted partisan political commentary.
CNN even noted it was an "election year" before giving Obama's Education Secretary a chance to share his "proudest" accomplishment from his time in office, no doubt bolstering the administration's re-election message.
Host Brooke Baldwin declined to ask any tough questions of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan during a lame Tuesday afternoon interview. Baldwin topped it all off with a soft parting question "on a more personal note." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On March 1, 2011, 14 year-old Makayla Norman of Dayton died of neglect at the hands of adults (her mother and three others) who were responsible for her care and safety. Makayla weighed 28 pounds when she died, and was found "covered in bedsores, living in filth and starved to the point the she looked more like a skeleton than a teenager." On Friday, her mother pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter and endangering children. The cases of the three other adults go to trial on April 16.
In January, an investigative report by Cox Newspapers Dayton-area staff writers Josh Sweigart and Doug Page identified several parties who could and should have prevented the neglect in the first place, or detected it while in progress: "the home care agency responsible for feeding her"; "an extensive bureaucracy where officials say fraud is a massive and growing problem"; her case manager (among those indicted), who "worked for CareStar of Ohio"; and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Bizarrely, two months later, while barely mentioning any of the aforementioned parties in their report, Mary McCarty and Margo Kissell at the Dayton Daily News, using questionable methods and verbiage (to be noted later), decided that one other element in Makayla's life should be nominated to receive part of the blame -- homeschooling:
For the umpteenth time, news unfavorable or embarrassing to the left comes from the UK instead of the USA.
In this instance, it was an unbylined item in Saturday's Daily Mail. For years, Oregon University Sociology and environmental studies professor Kari Norgaard has been spewing forth bigoted characterizations of anyone who dares not surrender to the gospel of global warming. But her bizarre outlook didn't get meaningful notice from the press all these years until she presented her, uh, work at the annual four-day ‘Planet Under Pressure’ international conference in London. Here is some of what the Daily Mail found, and which Rush Limbaugh for all practical purposes broke in the U.S. media. I hear echoes of the former Soviet Union's serial abuse of psychiatry just around the bend (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Commonly used history textbooks in American classrooms often misrepresent major historical events, and present material based in liberal political ideology rather than factual happenings.
The Culture and Media Institute has obtained six textbooks commonly used in American classrooms. Three of these textbooks are used to teach 8th graders: Glencoe’s “The American Journey,” Prentice Hall’s “The American Nation,” and Holt, Rinehart, and Winston’s “Call to Freedom: Beginnings to 1877.” The other three textbooks are used to teach 11th graders: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston’s “American Anthem,” Prentice Hall’s “America: Pathways to the Present,” and Prentice Hall’s “A History of the United States.”
He may have phrased it inartfully but Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is on to something when he talks about how college isn't the panacea that the media is always touting it as. While college can be useful for getting a job in fields which require professional certification, in many cases, students are being sold a bill of goods by universities who care more about making money than helping people get a decent-paying job. That's particularly true for certain majors and graduate degree programs.
In 2008-09, America's college and universities graduated 78,009 people with journalism degrees. For those graduates who could find a job in that field, they could expect a median starting salary of $35,800.
But most won't find a job in journalism -- the number of journalism jobs is projected to shrink by more than 6 percent from 2008 to 2018, a decline of 4,400 available job positions. That data lead The Daily Beast to put journalism at the top the list of the 20 Most Useless College Degrees (a list based on crunching numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Center for Education Statistics and Payscale).
Imagine you're a public high school principal and you've learned of a student walkout that's been in the works for months. This is an unacceptable disruption to the learning environment of which you are hired by the county and paid by the taxpayers to preserve. Also imagine the ringleaders of the walkout organized the protest via Twitter, and so you are able to find the organizers and give them a 5-day suspension. But that's when it hits the fan because the Occupy movement and other left-wing agitators start to make a stink about it online, ensuring, of course, local media coverage that's bound to paint you in a negative light.
That's exactly the pickle Edgar Batenga is in. The principal of Hyattsville, Maryland's Northwestern High School was painted by Washington Post writer Ovetta Wiggins today as a free speech-stifling, overly strict disciplinarian. Naturally, Wiggins began her 28-paragraph story by painting the chief student organizer as a victim (emphasis mine):
This probably won't surprise anyone, but it should be noted for the record: As of 3:45 p.m. today, almost 72 hours after the related story broke, the Associated Press has not reported on new revelations about the clear influence radical, racist professor Derrick Bell had on now-President Barack Obama 20 years ago -- so influential that Obama "routinely assigned works by Bell as required reading" in his University of Chicago law classes. The AP has also not told its subscribing outlets and news consumers about how many of its colleagues in the press withheld information on the relationship between the two during the 2008 presidential election campaign. A search on Bell's name (not in quotes) at the AP's main site returns nothing relevant, even though it has been shown that Obama told a Harvard audience that people should "[O]pen your hearts and open your minds to the words of Prof. Derrick Bell."
However, there has been no shortage of coverage at the AP and elsewhere of what Mitt Romney did with his dog 29 years ago. But of course, the dog story is far more relevant to Mitt Romney's governing philosophy than Obama's love of a professor whose core life contention revolves around insurmountable white racism (/sarc). The AP's cover-up treatment of Bell has been consistent, as seen in the first three paragraphs of its brief write-up after the professor's death in October 2011 (bold is mine):