Our good friend Dan Joseph of our sister site MRCTV is in Charlotte to cover the Democratic Convention. Yesterday he walked around Carolina Fest, a free festival in the Queen City preceding the start of the convention, the theme of which is "We make it possible."
Dan talked to street vendors who insisted that, yes, they built their business, without help from the government. Of course there seem to be a few Obama fans in the mix who self-consciously spinned for the president, including one business owner who said that the stimulus package "indirectly" benefited him because it all "trickles down." For the most part, however, the vendors were unwilling to credit the government for their hard work. Watch the video below the page break:
The Politico, in its report on what turned out to be the center-right's "Empty Chair Day," covered the reaction of one prominent member of organized labor to Clint Eastwood's supposedly horrible (if you believe leftist pundits) speech at the Republican National Convention.
If it was really that awful, they would be taking pity on Clint. Instead, they're getting hostile, meaning that the Hollywood Academy Award winner really got under their skin, as seen in an understated report by the online web site's Tim Mak and Juana Summers (bolds are mine througout this post):
In his weekend syndicated column, Deroy Murdock unearthed and relayed information the establishment press hasn't told the nation about how certain public-sector pension funds and university endowments have chosen to invest money entrusted to them in Bain Capital. Yes, Bain Capital.
Until three weeks ago, it would have been somewhat understandable if the business press didn't expect to find a story here. After all, who would expect that the organizations complaining the loudest and longest about the conduct of Bain, the private-equity firm GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney left over a decade ago, would actually have significant funds invested there? These people couldn't possibly be that hypocritical, could they? Oh yes they could.
Political junkies get excited about the Republican and Democratic national conventions, but for many Americans they provide a stark reminder of how out of touch our political system has become. The strange rituals and bad jokes seem oddly out of place in the 21st century, almost as strange as seeing an engineer use a slide rule rather than an iPad to perform some complex calculation.
While partisan activists tune in when their team's big show is on the air, most unaffiliated voters view the conventions as a waste of time and money. For the past week or so, everyone I know in the political world has been talking about the latest convention buzz. But I live far from Washington, and most people I talk to aren't wrapped up in politics. Among that group, the most common response to mentioning the convention was something along the lines of, "Oh, yeah, I forgot that was going on now."
For sheer arrogance and self-importance, it's pretty hard to top a pair of political pundits at Politico on the power they believe media "insiders" have to tell Americans what Mitt Romney really said and meant in his nomination acceptance speech at the Republican convention Thursday night.
I daresay that most Americans, almost six years after the web site's founding (January 23, 2007, according to Wikipedia), don't even know what the Politico is ("Oh, is that the new bar downtown?"). But by gosh, Jim VandeHei and John F. Harris, in an "analysis" updated early Friday morning, clearly believe that a couple hundred of their colleagues in the media (possibly including themselves), also largely unknown, will be able to take control of Americans' perceptions of Romney's presentation -- and, ultimately, of his campaign (bolds are mine):
Near the end of his Wednesday night speech at the Republican National Convention, vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan told his audience and the nation that "sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government."
This afternoon, NB's Kyle Drennen did a great job of runnng down the pathetic contention by establishment press "fact-checkers" that vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan somehow lied or misled viewers during his speech Wednesday night concerning the closure of the General Motors plant in Janesville, Wisconsin and what presidential candidate Barack Obama said at the plant in 2008.
No, WaPo, New York Times, and the Associated Press (called out by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air), the plant didn't close before Obama was elected; it closed in April 2009. But since we're on the topic of lies about auto plant shutdowns, let's look at one from late April and early May 2009 told by President Barack Obama himself with the assistance of his car czars and other apparatchiks. I blogged about this in mid-May 2009. My full post, which also appeared at NewsBusters, includes noting non-existent national press coverage (only the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Stephen Koff and other local reporters in the towns affected raised their voices).
Once again the folks at NBC News have "curated some of the notable speeches" from a night at the GOP convention. As I noted here and here, NBC left out some compelling speeches by minority politicians who started out in life as Democrats. This time, among the speeches that didn't make the cut was that of Tom Stemberg, the founder of Staples. Staples is one of the wildest success stories of Bain Capital, the much-maligned private equity firm that Mitt Romney co-founded.
While the Obama acolytes at MSNBC are insisting that the Janesville, Wisconsin, GM plant was "closed" in December 2008 on President Bush's watch, NBC News senior political editor Mark Murray was more nuanced in an appearance with Thomas Roberts on MSNBC shortly after 2:30 p.m. Eastern today. Even so, Murray's reporting was misleading and is easily negated by a Web search turning up reporting by the Janesville [Wis.] Gazette from February 2009.
Gas prices have risen to a nationwide average of $3.80 per gallon, per gasbuddy.com early this afternoon, and an Ohio average of over $3.90.
Is Asjylyn Loder at Bloomberg worried about the effects on drivers' pocketbooks and travel plans over Labor Day? Don't be silly. Loder is worried about its impact on Dear Leader's presidential reelection prospects, and avoids the implications of the ten-year rule of another Dear Leader, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, on the current situation. Her first three paragraphs in graphic form, plus a few more on Venezuela, follow the jump:
Bill Maher made a truly disgusting comment on NBC's Tonight Show Wednesday.
After host Jay Leno asked who he thought the mystery guest speaker would be at the Republican National Convention in Tampa Thursday night, Maher quickly replied without any hesitation, “George Zimmerman” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Ezra Klein, the "former" head of the Journolist news coordination conspiracy (given the evidence of coordination seen during the Republican convention, it's hard to believe it hasn't continued in some form), rolled out a graphic yesterday at the Washington Post which he touted as "the one graph you need to see before watching" the Republican convention.
To show would be to give it more attention than it deserves. Its core contention, delivered via the lefty-driven Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, is that "Tax Cuts, Wars Account For Nearly Half of Public Debt by 2019." They could have changed the title to "we're going to blame Bush for eight more years." Some of Klein's clanking follows the jump; I'll deal with the "Blame Bush's tax cuts" mantra after that (the "wars" claim has been addressed several times before, and is just as dumb):
CNN contributor Roland Martin quipped on Wednesday that "I'm a black man at a Republican convention. Of course I stand out." Martin then went after black RNC speaker Artur Davis as a "political fraud."
"[Y]ou can have Artur Davis, former Democrat, we don't know what he is now, with that ridiculous speech he gave last night, I call him a political fraud, he is," sounded Martin. [Video below the break.]
As you may be well aware, MSNBC did not air Democrat-turned-Republican Artur Davis's speech last night. Shortly before 10 p.m. Eastern, anchor Rachel Maddow seemed to offer the network's rationale: Davis was a low-profile Democrat who is just bitter because he was "absolutely destroyed" in his primary race for Alabama governor in 2010.
Yet in the very next breath, Maddow seemed positively giddy that the Democrats had landed former Gov. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) to speak at their convention next week. There was no mention that he too was being so thoroughly and "absolutely destroyed" by Marco Rubio in the primary election polls in 2010 that he dropped out of the GOP primary in order to run as an independent. He of course, subsequently lost to Rubio in the general election by 19 percentage points. [MP3 audio here; video embedded below page break]
TAMPA, Fla. -- This week when Mitt Romney strides to center stage to deliver his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, he might draw inspiration from an unlikely source: the song "I Am What I Am" from the musical "La Cage Aux Folles."
One of the chief complaints from voters about politicians is that they too often package themselves disingenuously to get elected, only to reveal their real agenda after they've won. That is what President Obama did in the 2008 campaign when he styled himself as a unifier who wanted to bridge the partisan divide by saying, "...we are not a collection of red states and blue states. We are the United States of America." He then governed more like he was in Soviet America with redistribution of income and more centralized power in Washington.
Noting that President Obama is not taking a break from campaigning, despite Hurricane Isaac's imminent landfall, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace noted this morning that the media should "stop all this nonsense about whether or not the Republicans should hold their convention tonight."
President Obama "isn't canceling his campaign. He's continuing to politick, because, guess what, what he's doing has no effect, good or bad, on what's going to happen to those folks along the Gulf Coast," Wallace told America's Newsroom host Martha McCallum. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
On Monday night, Politico posted two stories with the same theme: Tropical Storm Isaac seriously threatens to ruin the Republican convention and remind voters of Republican incompetence during hurricanes. Does anyone think this outfit is fair and balanced?
In the story “GOP fears ghost of Hurricane Katrina at RNC 2012,” Politico's Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman just keep skipping over the Democratic mayor of New Orleans and the Democratic governor of Louisiana as they predict the most damaging political scenario they can hope for, er, imagine as the storm spared the GOP convention site in Tampa:
Jonathan Karl would clearly rather ask others about their politics than answer questions about his own. In an impromptu interview at the RNC this morning, asked by NewsBuster Noel Sheppard what his politics are, an apparently uncomfortable Karl answered: "I would say fair and balanced: how about that?" When asked in a follow up whether he thinks he is indeed fair and balanced, Karl sarcastically replied: "No. What do you think?"
Karl and his producer also seemed none too thrilled to be caught on camera by NewsBusters. View the video after the clip.
The Associated Press, in a Sunday evening dispatch, reported that the refinery explosion in Venezuela, which has thus far killed "at least 39 people" and injured "more than 80" (as of 10 a.m.; now it's at 41) is "Venezuela's deadliest refinery blast ever." I'm sure that I join all readers here in expressing deep condolences and prayers for the victims and all who have been affected.
Obviously reporting the details as they emerge will for a time be more important, but it appears that the Amuay refinery explosion is the deadliest such refinery incident in world history, and by a wide margin. If so, the press, after determining that this is indeed the case it, should get around to reporting it as such.
When this NewsBuster entered a Spanish-language press conference at the Republican National Convention this morning, he was surprised to find former New Hampshire Governor and Romney surrogate John Sununu at the podium . . . holding forth in fluent Spanish.
Interviewed after his remarks, Sununu told NewsBusters that he was born in Havana and that his mother was originally from El Salvador. "As a boy, when I was bad, my mother would chew me out in Spanish. And since I was bad a lot, I learned a lot of Spanish!" Before saying goodbye, Sununu added "I love Brent Bozell!", President of NewsBusters's parent organization, Media Research Center. View a brief clip of Sununu speaking Spanish after the jump.
To get an idea of the Politico's priorities, first do a search on "Corzine." You'll find nothing from last week other than a reference to him as the defeated former Governor of New Jersey in an item about current Governor Chris Christie speaking at the upcoming Republican National Convention. So apparently no one cared to take notice of a New York Times story about how Corzine and apparently all other major players at bankrupt MF Global, which raided customers' accounts to the tune of $1.6 billion as it attempted to avoid its visit to death's door, will not face criminal prosecution.
Then go to something really, really important -- so important that it merited its own special breathless breaking news email a few hours ago. The nearly 1,400-word story from Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan that couldn't wait (actually, I believe it did, but more on that in a bit) is that a U.S. Congressman swam in the nude in Israel. Seriously -- I mean, unseriously (bolds are mine):
Let's see if this story gets any meaningful attention in the U.S., or if the Associated Press expands the brief unbylined item currently seen at its national site. I wouldn't bet on it -- and even if that occurs, I don't expect the U.S. establishment press to give what is contained therein much notice.
The AP's four-paragraph blurb tells us that independent columnists in Egypt are alarmed at what they see as the newly empowered Muslim Brotherhood's "attempt to control the state-owned press":
"Even at the Olympics, athletes in the sport of shooting face questions about gun violence." That's the digital edition headline for Washington Post reporter Katherine Boyle's August 1 story about the "stigma" that American Olympic shooters face for participating in a sport that "requires a machine that, when used maliciously, can kill people."
But as Boyle herself makes clear in her story, American Olympians who compete in shooting don't "face questions about gun violence" from fellow Olympians. From the last two paragraphs of her Style section front-pager [entitled in the print edition, "Shooting: Athletes battle for titles -- and to dispel the stigma of gun violence":
Imagine that Fox News had run a spoof video of someone seeming to line up a leading Democrat for a high-powered rifle shot. Need we state the obvious? MSNBC and the rest of the MSM would have interrupted all normal broadcasting for at least the rest of the day to condemn the outrage.
But if a liberal late-night TV show runs a clip of Sarah Palin seeming to take such a shot at Dick Cheney? Well, that's all in good fun. Conan O'Brien last night ran a spoof video of Palin, reacting to Cheney's recent comment that McCain's pick of her as his running mate was a mistake, seeming to line up Dick Cheney for a shot with a high-powered rifle. Morning Joe replayed the clip this morning and guest host Mike Barnicle pronounced it "pretty good!" as a guest smiled on. View the video after the jump.
I feel awful about what happened in Colorado, but can we stop the hugging and the teddy bears? Just as society can become inured to violence, it can also become inured to sentiment. There is nothing so hackneyed in the world of photojournalism as pictures of the hugging and the shrines with candles and teddy bears after a tragedy, with a piano softly trilling in the background.
This accomplishes nothing. If you want to do something, please write a check to a good charity, a family financially harmed by the shooting, or send flowers to a specific person.
During Tuesday night's edition of “The O'Reilly Factor,” the Fox News host got into a heated exchange with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) over the concept of Congress passing legislation that the FBI would be notified whenever anyone purchases “heavy weapons.”
Bill O’Reilly said it makes sense for Congress “to pass a new law that requires the sale of all heavy weapons to be reported to the FBI. In this age of terrorism, that law is badly needed.”
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):
*Corrected from earlier | WRAL, the CBS affiliate in Raleigh, N.C., recently published a searchable database of concealed carry licensees within the "WRAL viewing area, including Chatham, Cumberland, Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Halifax, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Orange, Nash, Northampton, Person, Sampson, Vance, Warren, Wayne, Wilson and Wake counties." Searches do not turn up names or street numbers, but they do give a number of permits issued to residents on that street.
By now the script should be familiar. A bombing or a mass shooting occurs and the media immediately look for a simple cause. Invariably, they turn to talk radio or some other conservative pit of "intolerance."
Within recent memory are tragedies like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the 1999 massacre at Columbine, the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings and the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others in Tucson. Some politicians and liberal interest groups have sought to link these and other violent incidents to the far right. There have also been incidents when some conservatives have tried to blame other tragedies on "liberals" "secularists" and abortion.