Brian Ross is not the only blameworthy party in the irresponsible smear of a 52 year-old Tea Party activist as the possible perpetrator of the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre early Friday. Everyone on the set of ABC's Good Morning America could have said "wait, this is premature and irresponsible" -- and didn't.
GMA co-host and former Bill Clinton advisor George Stephanopoulos's response to Ross's identification of 52 year-old "Jim Holmes" as perhaps the same "James Holmes" who had been arrested earlier that morning arguably added legitimacy to Ross's speculation: "OK, we'll keep looking at that. Brian Ross, thanks very much." As if they would actually find more of a tie-in, which of course they didnt. In his column yesterday, the underappreciated John Kass at the Chicago Tribune succinctly described Stephanopoulos's likely mindset, as well as how ABC was originally hoping to blame "social media" for Ross's GMA team-assisted smear (bolds are mine):
This morning, in the aftermath of the unspeakable Colorado massacre that claimed at least 12 innocent American lives and injured dozens more, ABC "news" investigative reporter Brian Ross appeared on ABC's Good Morning America and made the outrageous, irresponsible, and completely unfounded claim that the alleged gunman, 24-year-old Jim Holmes, is a member of the Tea Party. Apparently Ross has learned absolutely nothing from the media's disgraceful rush to judgment and dissemination of misinformation following the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in January 2011.
That's twice now that the "news" media have falsely implicated the Tea Party in murder.
On a day where politics was supposed to take a back seat to "prayer and reflection" in the wake of a deadly Colorado shooting, CNN let liberal mayors drive the debate about gun control on Friday afternoon.
"[W]hy hasn't your party, the Democratic party done more to legislate guns?" anchor Brooke Baldwin pressed Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. CNN also played a clip of Mayor Michael Bloomberg calling on President Obama and Mitt Romney to speak out about guns. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
While the Daily Kos first reacted with horror like everyone else to the Aurora shooting, it didn’t take too long for the America-bashing to begin. The blogger known as “Killer of Sacred Cows” grew angry that Rep. Louie Gohmert would suggest the madness could have been stopped sooner if someone else in the theater was packing heat. That apparently put him in “Idiotsville.”
But KoSC really wanted to blame the American Culture of Violence for the shooting, that our screwed-up social system doesn’t tolerate diminished mental capacity, it creates it:
ABC’s Brian Ross's disgusting attempt to link Friday morning’s tragic shooting to a Tea Party member is just the latest example of the liberal media’s knee jerk reaction to impugn conservatives in the immediate wake of horrific crimes. After the shooting of former Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords liberal reporters were quick to condemn the Tea Party and conservatives like Sarah Palin and Mark Levin.
Just two hours after the attack on Giffords, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman pulled a similar Brian Ross-like assumption without the facts when he wrote in a January 8, 2011 blog that “We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was. She’s been the target of violence before....Her father says that ‘the whole Tea Party’ was her enemy.” During MSNBC’s live coverage of the Giffords shooting Luke Russert blamed Obamacare opponents when he theorized: “Remember, this is the deepest fear that was in the back of everybody's mind going through the health care debate. A lot of members were threatened...It looks sadly like it's come to fruition today." (quote compilation and videos after the jump)
Michael Grunwald is doubling down on what many liberals in the media are only hinting at. "[T]here is nothing wrong with politicizing tragedy," the Time senior national correspondent wrote this morning, reacting to the Aurora movie theater shooting. "If advocates or experts or even politicians think their policy ideas can prevent the next Aurora—by preventing potential killers from obtaining guns, by making sure potential victims can carry guns, or by some other method—then by all means, now is the time to spread the word."
Grunwald's callousness on this count has generated criticism, and not just from conservatives. Noah Rothman of Mediaite complained:
Our friends at Twitchy have an astounding roundup of tweets from liberals who are blaming Rush Limbaugh for the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado.
None of the folks they featured are liberal celebrities or members of the media, but given how the media have blamed conservative talk radio for mass shootings before, it would not be surprising if liberal journalists and pundits today pick up this thread and tug on it.
Liberal CNN host Piers Morgan took to Twitter this morning after learning about the horrific mass shooting overnight at a screening of the new Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado.
As you can see from the screen capture below, Morgan has tweeted his calls for more gun control laws, but, as of 9:55 a.m. Eastern, has not tweeted any apolitical expression of condolences for the victims and their families.
The Jurassic Press is missing much in their reporting on the $50 billion bailout of General Motors (GM). The Press is open channeling for President Barack Obama - allowing him to frame the bailout exactly as he wishes in the 2012 Presidential election.
The President is running in large part on the bailout’s $30+ billion loss, uber-failed “success.” And the Press is acting as his stenographers. An epitome of this bailout nightmare mess is the electric absurdity that is the Chevrolet Volt. The Press is at every turn covering up - rather than covering - the serial failures of President Obama’s signature vehicle.
In a report currently time-stamped early Saturday morning, Emily Wilkins at the Columbus Dispatch claimed in her opening sentence covering Ohio's second We The People Convention in Columbus ("Fears fuel kinship at tea party convention") that "Tea party members are alone and scared — and to them, that’s a good thing."
Well, I was there this weekend in Columbus. I didn't see "alone" or "scared," or hear anyone say that such a combination of emotions would be "a good thing. Neither did the rest of Wilkins' report, some of which follows the jump:
MSNBC will debut a new program, Monday, featuring a 9/11 truth conspiracy theorist as a co-anchor. Toure Neblett will be one of the hosts for The Cycle, airing at 3pm on the cable network. Toure (who doesn't use his last name on MSNBC) has tweeted his suspicions about whether the 9/11 terrorist attacks were an inside job.
One entry on Twitter reads: "How could a plane crash into the Pentagon? And not appear on video cameras?? And leave little wreckage??? #Don'tbuyitfiremenow." Another tweet features a paranoid video claiming that the Pentagon was hit by a missile: "This fascinating video raises questions about the Pentagon attack: 757 or missle [sic]? http://bit.ly/12AOlN" Screen shots of these tweets can be found below.
"A labor union with strong ties to President Obama is helping make the Occupy Wall Street movement a more permanent fixture in the nation's capital, moving Occupy DC into office space the group can use to organize and grow through the presidential election," Aubrey Whelan of the Washington Examiner reported last night.
"The Service Employees International Union [SEIU], one of Obama's most vocal supporters among labor groups, is paying $4,000 a month for three offices the Occupy protesters will use for at least the next six months to plan future demonstrations, organize and host workshops," Whelan noted, adding that the office space is within the headquarters of the liberal Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). "Occupiers moved into their new digs Monday" and "[t]he SEIU will pay the rent for six months," Whelan noted, citing IPS director John Cavanagh.
The last national press reports on the five men arrested Monday for plotting to blow up a Cleveland-area bridge reassured everyone that none involved were in responsible roles in the Occupy movement. On Thursday, the Associated Press's Thomas J. Sheeran wrote that Occupy Cleveland spokespersons "said the men were associated with the group but didn't represent Occupy Cleveland or its non-violent philosophy." An earlier AP report paraphrased a claim that they "had been associated with the anticorporate Occupy Cleveland movement but don't share its nonviolent views." Reuters carried this quote: "They were in no way representing or acting on behalf of Occupy Cleveland."
Well, last night, the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Michael Sangiacomo reported that at least one of the five was once in a sufficiently responsible position within the Occupy group to represent it while signing a lease for space the group used. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, the wire services just noted and others will do with what follows:
A week ago, National Journal's Michael Hirsh quoted an unnamed State Department official who claimed that "The war on terror is over. Now that we have killed most of al Qaida, now that people have come to see legitimate means of expression, people who once might have gone into al Qaida see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism." If it's so over, then why were government officials referenced in Kimberly Dozier's Associated Press report this evening about the state of Al Qaida a year after Osama Bin Laden's death "on condition of anonymity because they say publicly identifying themselves could make them a target of the terrorist group"?
Dozier is a noteworthy exception to the usually dreadful reporting at the wire service, and has a personal reason for having her eyes open. While she was with CBS News in May 2006, she was critically injured by an IED in Iraq. After nine months, she returned to work. According to Wikipedia she joined the AP in the spring of 2010.
Kathleen Parker this weekend demonstrated that even so-called “conservative” media members long for the death of the Tea Party.
On the syndicated Chris Matthews Show, the Washington Post columnist predicted, “The Tea Party’s not going to have the same clout in the 2012 election as they did in the last cycle” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Just when you thought Occupy D.C. was dead and gone and, with it, the Washington Post's gauzy coverage, the paper has resurrected it's puffery of the leftist movement just in time for Easter.
This time, the Post fondly remembered the left-wing squatters' camp by awarding its sixth annual Easter Peeps Diorama Contest to Cori E. Wright of Falls Church, Va., for her "OccuPeep D.C." display. Wright, a decorative painter who works for the Architect of the Capitol told the Post that she "[doesn't] necessarily agree with the occupiers, but I agree with the right to occupy." [see photo of diorama below page break]
In what may be the most obvious over-employment of journalistic resources since the Associated Press assigned 11 reporters to review Sarah Palin's book in late 2009, seven journalists with the AP (yep, again) worked up a Friday afternoon item (saved here for future reference, fair use, discussion and embarrassment purposes) entitled "6 months later, what has Occupy protest achieved?"
Primary writer Meghan Barr, along with "Jeff Martin in Atlanta, Kathy Matheson in Philadelphia, Michael Gormley in Albany, N.Y., Erika Niedowski and David Klepper in Providence, R.I., and News Researcher Julie Reed in New York," recited an embarrassing, paper-thin list of accomplishments. They also completely avoided what most of the nation likely sees as the movement's primary achievement, despite the press's attempts to minimize and cover it up: showing us what the world might very well look like if the movement's leaders and primary instigators ever got their way -- ugly, dangerous, and filthy. Here is the complete list of key accomplishments the seven AP personnel cited (my comments in italics):
Anyone who saw what the Associated Press wrote when former Bush 43 press secretary Tony Snow died in 2008 (original AP article; related NewsBusters post) knew that the wire service would do what it could to subtly distort Andrew Breitbart's considerable accomplishments in exposing leftist hatred, duplicity, and criminality. The only question was what form(s) it would take.
Not surprisingly, reporters/distorters Philip Elliott and Sue Manning misrepresented or omitted key elements of the three episodes for which Breitbart will be best remembered -- the James O'Keefe-led ACORN stings; Shirley Sherrod, Pigford lawsuit opportunist; and his exposure (so to speak) of former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner's sleazy online escapades. The 11:44 a.m. version of their report (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purporses) was bad enough. In their 1:56 p.m. revision (saved here), perhaps egged on by the vitriol which has been posted all day at leftist sites, they descended into cheap-shot name-calling adjectives which would rarely if ever be used to describe activist leftists. In his opening hour today, Rush Limbaugh covered some of what happened during the three key episodes; I will expand on them later in the post:
But now the Post is finally getting around to detailing the violent tendencies of the movement, including the fact that an article circulating at an Arizona camp entitled "When Should You Shoot a Cop?" caused a homeland security bulletin to alert local authorities of potential violence in early November of last year.
A man in Berkeley has died as the result of a violent crime. A contributing factor to his death was a failure by the police to respond to a 911 called which was deemed a "non-emergency." The police were in a posture of only responding to "emergency" calls because "were preparing for an Occupy protest headed to UC Berkeley from Oakland."
It will be interesting to see if this gets covered by the establishment press outside of Northern California, especially now that Drudge had it in his headlines during much of the day. Here is part of the original report from KCBS in San Francisco:
Daryl Justin Finizio, the recently elected Democratic Party Mayor of New London, Connecticut has apologized to the families and homeowners who lost their homes as a result of the city's decision to condemn properties in the Fort Trumbull area of that city. Those efforts began over a decade ago. A lawsuit by the victims which attempted to stop the city from taking their properties and destroying their homes ultimately led to the Supreme Court's Kelo vs. New London decision in 2005. The Court ruled in favor of the City based on what it believed was "a carefully considered development plan." A few remaining holdouts who tried to get the city to reverse course after the ruling, including Susette Kelo, lost their battle and settled with the city in 2006. To my knowledge, no ground has been broken on any kind of new development in the area originally occupied by the homes in the 5-1/2 years since.
Obviously, one could argue that the apology is way too late, given that the buildings have long since been leveled.
It would appear that if Kevin Paul Dupont were king, he would be exploring how to send the Stanley Cup Finals exploits of Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas last year down the memory hole. Thomas "held the Canucks to eight goals in seven games" and became the first goalie ever to shut out his team's opponent in a deciding Game 7 on the road, helping the Bruins win their first Cup in almost 40 years.
Since he can't do that, the Boston Globe sportswriter appears to want to use Thomas's absence from the team's White House visit three weeks ago and subsequent Facebook postings as evidence that Thomas's "legacy" is in danger (his column's headline states that Thomas needs to "restore" it). In making his supposed case, the self-professed "confused" Dupont made and repeated a fundamental factual error. Those errors destroy any credibility he may have had in portraying Thomas's decision and subsequent Facebook postings as somehow disrupting team unity:
On Friday, the Daily Caller reported that Occupy movement protesters at CPAC were being paid $60 a day to be there. (Here I thought the left was really motivated these days. Guess not.)
At the self-described Essential Global News Network known as the Associated Press, this fact and other inconvenient items about the movement's pathetic efforts at and around CPAC are being ignored. Before demonstrating that, I'll identify what the additional embarrassments are.
The "moral argument" of the Occupy movement have been unfairly tarnished by violence and as well as frittered away by the group's lack of Tea Party-like political mobilization. That's the consensus of the liberal panelists on today's edition of MSNBC's Now with Alex Wagner.
The Nation magazine contributor Ari Melber kicked things off by blaming the recent violence and vandalism of the Occupy Oakland demonstrators on the "system" as it were, blaming police for excessive force against the well-meaning masses. [MP3 audio here; video coming shortly]
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) addressed the 39th annual March for Life this morning, a speech the media were alerted to five days ago. Conservative Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R-Va.) is the keynote speaker for tonight's Rose Dinner. Yet despite these news makers participating in annual pro-life rally, the Washington Post completely ignored the story in its print pages today.
There wasn't even anything in the Metro section about the march's downtown route and how commuters can prepare for altered traffic patterns, limited parking, and increased Metrorail ridership which are all impacts of the March's massive size. The Post usually at least devotes some information in the Metro section for major marches, demonstrations, and traffic-impacting events like marathons.
Yesterday's "Occupy Congress" push by the Occupy D.C. protesters resulted in four arrests at the U.S. Capitol and a lockdown at the White House after someone lobbed "an object similar to a smoke bomb" over the White House fence.
If such disturbing incidents accompanied a Tea Party protest, the harsh reaction by the Washington Post would be predictable and, indeed, to an extent justifiable. But Washington Post reporters Annie Gowen and Katie Rogers painted the protests in a generally positive light in Metro front page article, "Occupiers confront seats of power."* Indeed, Gowen and Rogers buried deep in their article the fact that one of the four protesters arrested was charged with assaulting a police officer.
Less than a year from its inception, the far-left Occupy Wall Street movement is already sputtering. Many liberal big-city mayors have ejected protestors from their campsites and their donations have dried up. To top it off, a big event touted to "Occupy Congress" fizzled big-time Tuesday in Washington, D.C. That didn't stop the Associated Press from trying to spin away the march's failure.
Instead of headlining its report from the event with the big news that a march expected to bring in up to 10,000 protestors ended up drawing in far less than that, the wire service headlined it with the matter-of-fact headline "Several hundred Occupy protestors rally at Capitol." While reporter Ben Nuckols did mention the failure to meet expectations, his story didn't mention the other big news that OWS is almost out of money:
The Occupy movement's unmasking as the radicals they really are and always have been continues, conveniently almost completely outside the notice of the establishment press.
As far as I can tell, only one press report by Erik Olson at the Daily News based in Longview, Washington is reporting, and even then with the use of a very inadequate headline, that Occupy Longview intends to "thwart" shipping activity at the Port of Longview. Specifically (bolds are mine throughout this post):
"Occuparenting isn’t easy," Dvorak began. "Your precious children? The ones who had violin lessons and SAT tutors and years of orthodontia and organic lunches?" They're now "sleeping under tarps, in the mud, rain and frigid temperatures, in an encampment that is home to an epic urban rat infestation."