Update: An AP official has responded to this post. That response, and my reply, are here.
Note: A sentence which erroneously reported the Eastern Time Zone equivalent of a story at the Kansas City Star has been removed.
The Associated Press appears to have done something unusual in its coverage of the the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case on Monday. Two identically worded stories with differing headlines are still at the AP's national site.
It is more than a little odd that the story with the earlier headline ("Cache of evidence in shooting, still huge gaps") is still present. The headline grossly mischaracterizes the nature of the publicly released data. The same story with a different and more accurate headline ("Amid evidence cache in Martin case, questions nag") is also still there. I don't think I've ever seen this happen at AP, especially not for over 24 hours (the time stamps on the two stories are both late Friday afternoon). Graphics with the two examples follow the jump.
New York Times reporter Michael Cooper, who did not hide his disdain for Republican candidate John McCain in 2008, sees an internal threat for Republicans hidden in "the recent flurry of socially conservative legislation" emanating from state legislatures in his Saturday lead, "Concern In G.O.P. Over State Focus On Social Issues." In a bid at guilt by association, both Cooper and another Times reporter cite ALEC, conservative-affiliated nonprofit, for extremely tenuous ties to the Trayvon Martin shooting.
Liberals have leapt on the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida to push for the repeal of "stand your ground" laws and to demand tighter gun control. (MSNBC'S Karen Finney blamed "the same people who stymied gun regulation at every point.") This would be like demanding more funding for the General Services Administration after seeing how its employees blew taxpayer money on a party weekend in Las Vegas.
We don't know the facts yet, but let's assume the conclusion MSNBC is leaping to is accurate: George Zimmerman stalked a small black child and murdered him in cold blood, just because he was black.
If that were true, every black person in America should get a gun and join the National Rifle Association, America's oldest and most august civil rights organization.
MSNBC analyst David Goodfriend appeared on Tuesday's Dylan Ratigan Show to slime the National Rifle Association as having "blood on its hands." Goodfriend, who was only identified as a Democratic strategist in an onscreen graphic, accused the pro-Second Amendment group of killing people via legislation: "Americans are dead because of what the NRA has done."
Goodfriend's diatribe was labeled an editorial "rant" by MSNBC, but typical of the network's hateful tone. Goodfriend's proof? He cited the anti-gun, liberal Brady Center and shilled for donations: "Folks, please go to www.BradyCenter.org. You'll see a picture of George Zimmerman and a quote: 'I am the NRA.' Just above that, you'll see a donate button. Do it!" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
NBC incessantly talked about race and racism after the Trayvon Martin shooting, but on Monday race took a back seat to guns as the problem at the heart of the case. On Monday's Today show, host Matt Lauer cited comedian Bill Cosby and asked if the media has focused too much on race "when guns are the real problem?"
Thus the liberal discussion shifted from race to guns as the Today's Professionals panel responded in the affirmative. Attorney Star Jones avowed that "the issue is guns."And citing his own business experience, former CNBC host Donny Deutsch insisted "when you go after the guns you're solving problems." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
In covering GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's appearance at the annual National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis yesterday, Associated Press aka Adminstration's Press reporter Charles Babington pretended to know nothing about President Barack Obama's opposition to basic Second Amendment rights. At least I hope he was pretending, because Obama's hostility to the right to keep and bear arms is longstanding, well-known, and did not stop when he swore an oath to "protect and defend the Constitution" on January 20, 2009.
I have excerpted Babington's first four paragraphs plus three others. I will follow that with a rundown of Obama's pre-2008 gun-hostile record, his meeting with the Brady group in May 2011, and this "little" thing called Operation Fast and Furious Babington and his establishment media colleagues have mostly deliberately ignored for well over a year (bolds are mine throughout this post; HT to a frequent emailer):
Last week, CNN had to walk back its assumption that George Zimmerman uttered a racial slur in his 9-1-1 call, and now an affidavit from the prosecution in the case says no racist words were voiced.
CNN first suggested on March 21, according to its "sophisticated" audio editing, that Robert Zimmerman said "f***ing coons" on his 9-1-1 call. But the network had to throw water on that assumption once they re-assessed the audio clip, changing Zimmerman's words from "coons" to "cold." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Using the Trayvon Martin tragedy as their hook, liberal lobby groups have set their sights on the conservative-leaning American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and its corporate donors, blaming the Sanford, Fla., shooting on the Sunshine State's Stand Your Ground law. ALEC supports conservative legislative efforts at the state level such as Stand Your Ground, as well as pro-business legislative priorities of interest to many food and drink companies.
But in reporting on recent victories by liberal groups in pushing companies like PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, and McDonalds to drop their support of ALEC, the Washington Post's Tom Hamburger failed to clue readers into the liberal allegiances of "advocacy groups" attacking ALEC and its corporate donors.
It doesn't take a special occasion or a holiday on the Christian calendar for Washington Post's On Faith feature to pound the pulpit for liberal political positions, but it certainly doesn't hurt. Take for instance how regular On Faith contributor and liberal theologian Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite used her April 1 blog post as the occasion to insist this Holy Week that Christians everywhere should put away their guns.
Brooks Thistlethwaite is no stranger to using holy writ to preach liberal political views --as our archive on her writings illustrates -- and she returned to the well once again to twist Scripture to service her political agenda:
Discussing gun laws in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting, CNN's Carol Costello played Bill Maher's liberal grievance about the lack of "sensible" gun laws. Costello then asked why no one was "talking seriously about America's gun laws?" during Tuesday's 10 a.m. hour of Newsroom.
The fact that CNN was giving such attention to a liberal comedian before adding on to his commentary and questioning America's gun laws is telling. And given the network's past bias, it's safe to say that Costello was toeing the liberal line and pushing for stricter gun laws for law-abiding citizens. [Video below the break.]
On Monday's Piers Morgan Tonight, as he interviewed Rick Santorum, CNN host Morgan suggested that America needs more gun control, and pressed the GOP candidate on whether it is "caring" for him, "as a Christian," to undo ObamaCare if elected President. (Video below)
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]
Support the Second Amendment and gun rights? Gail Collins doesn't want your kind in her town. In her Thursday New York Times column, "More Guns, Fewer Hoodies," the paper's former editorial page editor dropped her trademark (attempts at) humor in her attempt to use the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida to call for severely limiting access to firearms:"Really, just leave us alone. If you don’t like our rules, don’t come here. Is that too much to ask?"
Collins, a sudden liberal convert to states rights, was notably mute on the recent cases of Meredith Graves and Marine Ryan Jerome, arrested in Manhattan under dubious circumstances for carrying concealed handguns.
Less than two weeks after his suspension for previous intemperate tweets was lifted, CNN's Roland Martin was engaging in personally insulting "mis-tweetment" again this afternoon with PJ Media's David Steinberg.
In a series of tweets at around 5 p.m. tonight seen after the jump, Steinberg criticized Martin for spending so much time on the press's Trayvon Martin obsession -- where one person tragically died -- while ignoring the impact and meaning of the documents leaked by an unnamed Department of Justice official relating to the Fast and Furious "gunwalking" scandal -- as a result of which "at least 300 Mexicans, plus at least two American law enforcement agents" have been killed. Martin's responses were immature, insulting, condescending -- and all too typical of a press corps which, now that it is seeing poll results it doesn't like, has in certain cases taken to calling voters stupid.
In light of Monday's school shooting in Ohio, CNN hyped the alarm of gun control activists over the repeal of a Virginia handgun regulation, and also evoked the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre where 33 students lost their lives.
CNN's Kate Bolduan interviewed the father of a victim of the Tech shooting and asked him about his opposition to the handgun limit's repeal. She gave him a sympathetic interview but hosted no one from the other side to argue in favor of overturning the law. [Video below the break.]
Well, self-confessed Second Amendment foe Alex Wagner seems determined to not let Monday's deadly school shooting go to waste. For a third day in a row, Wagner complained about the nation's political climate when it comes to gun control legislation, even as Wagner seems to concede that new legislation would do little if anything to prevent school shootings from actually happening.
Sure, there is really "no way, theoretically or otherwise" that yesterday's school shooting in Chardon, Ohio, could have been prevented, self-confessed Second Amendment opponent MSNBC's Alex Wagner noted in a closing commentary on her eponymous program this afternoon. She then immediately delving into a gripe that America's fruited plain is riddled with incredibly lax gun laws thanks to that most evil of evil bogeymen, the "gun lobby" [video follows page break; MP3 audio here]:
In light of Monday's deadly school shooting in Ohio, both CNN host Piers Morgan and liberal comedian Bill Maher embarked on a lengthy liberal screed against the current gun laws in America. Maher went so far as to castigate gun owners for making their ownership a "theology," on Monday night's Piers Morgan Tonight.
"And Rick Santorum likes to talk about theology. This is a theology in this country. Guns are a religion. They're next to godliness for a lot of people," he ranted. Host Piers Morgan found America's gun laws "incomprehensible" and balked at the "ideological dream" of the right to bear arms. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
On Thursday's NBC Today, chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman scolded Rick Santorum for a recent humorous campaign ad that depicted Mitt Romney firing a mud-filled paint ball gun at a cardboard cut-out of the former Pennsylvania Senator: "I'm sick of guns. I'm sick of the violence. I'm sick of all of it. And I know it's tongue-in-cheek....I don't like it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Snyderman made the declaration during the Today's Professionals panel discussion on the show, which prompted attorney Star Jones to chime in that the ad made all the GOP candidates look like the Three Stooges: "...it does go to the whole Larry, Curly and Moe mentality of the Republican primary over the last few months. It's been almost like joking."
Well, let's see. During the early days of the Clinton administration, we had the sad spectacle of Treasury aide Josh Steiner telling Senators investigating the Whitewater real estate deals and the Resolution Trust Corporation that that he written untrue things in his diary, i.e., that "essentially .... he had lied to his diary." During the Paula Jones trial, the jury was entertained (members are said to have laughed) when Bill Clinton tried to answer a question by saying that "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is."
Soon, another insufferable howler may eventually enter the lexicon, courtesy of Monty Wilkinson, former deputy chief of staff to Attorney General Eric Holder, namely, "I lied in an email when I wrote that 'I've alerted the AG.'"
Pete Yost's Friday evening story at the Associated Press, also known to yours truly as the Administration's Press, on the latest development in the Operation Fast and Furious scandal (that's my word, certainly not Yost's) has a "this is a boring story, don't read it" headline ("Prosecutor intends to take 5th if called in probe"), followed by an opening sentence which acts as if it has nothing to do with at least 300 Mexican citizens, a slain Border patrol agent, and thousands of disappearing guns.
Yost's opening sentence: "A federal prosecutor in Arizona intends to remain silent if called for questioning in a congressional probe of a problem-plagued gun smuggling investigation." Yep, Yost wants readers who don't get past the first paragraph to believe that it's only the "investigation" that's messed up beyond all recognition, not what happened in the Fast and Furious operation. Here's more from Pete's pathetic piece (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Listeners to the Bill Press radio show on Thursday morning -- and there were probably not very many -- must have winced at the complete political schizophrenia or logical incoherence of the self-proclaimed "Mr. Gun Control." Press asked the audience if 18-year-old Oklahoma mom Sarah McKinley was right to shoot a home invader armed with a knife to protect her little boy? He said "damn right" -- and explained how he also favors banning all handguns and "assault rifles." So, um, how would Knife-Threatened Teen Mom defend herself in Bill Press's ideal America?
"I gotta tell you I am Mr. Gun Control, okay?I think there are too many guns. They’re too easy to get. Most people don’t need them," Press declared. "For hunting only I would say as long as they’re licensed and you know how to use them, that’s okay. But for any other reason, I would ban all handguns. I would ban all assault rifles. I’m as strong as you can get." [MP3 audio available here]
Matt Lauer became a regular co-host of NBC’s Today show on January 6, 1997 and while his partners have changed over the years from Katie Couric, to Meredith Vieira and most recently Ann Curry, he’s joined them in regularly serving viewers a hearty portion of liberal spin to go along with their morning cup of coffee.
Over the years Lauer has treated his Democratic guests with light and frothy questions, as was the case when he asked Barack Obama how he would be able to “manage” the “expectations” of those hoping he would be their “Savior” and “Messiah.” In contrast he’s hit Republicans with bitter queries about their ability to lead, like the time he asked then Senator-Elect Rand Paul if Republicans, after having rode a “wave of anger and energy” into office in the 2010 midterms, would then “govern in Washington with anger?”
Below are just a few examples of Lauer's bias over the years. For a more extensive collection please visit his Profile in Bias page. (video after the jump)
Well, that didn't take long. It took the Washington Post just four days into the new year to exploit a murder to bewail "easy access to firearms."
In "Taking off the safety," the Post editorial board today admitted that while "[t]here is no way to know whether tougher gun restrictions would have prevented" Benjamin Colton Barnes from obtaining the gun with which he murdered U.S. National Park Ranger Margaret Anderson during a routine traffic stop on New Year's Day, that "it is beyond dispute that easy access to firearms can quickly turn a simple argument or difficult situation into a deadly confrontation."
Imagine the media attention that would be garnered if any non-Muslim in the U.S. did something as sensationalistically violent and dramatic as to dress as Santa Claus and commit a mass murder against his own family at a Christmas gathering.
But this past weekend, a Muslim man in Texas who was reportedly angry at his family for becoming too westernized committed just such an egregious act, resulting in the deaths of seven people, as documented this morning by FNC's Fox and Friends. (Video below)
It seems that if you're a New York Times reporter on a mission to prove something you think must be obvious and your research leads to the exact opposite result from what you smugly expected, you forge ahead and try to pretend that you proved your point anyway.
At least that how it seems to have worked out for Times reporter Michael Luo in a report appearing in Tuesday's print edition which tried to show readers how one state which allows residents to carry concealed weapons with a permit is allegedly allowing large numbers of dangerous people to possess them. But the way the math works out, North Carolina, the state which the Times investigated, is far safer than many jurisdictions without such laws, even given the problems cited with pulling permits from those who have committed crimes and should not still be holding them. Additionally, the murder rate among North Carolinians who don't have permits or associate with those who do is higher than it is among permit holders. Here is Luo's pathetic attempt to make a case which can't be made:
Former New York City police commissioner Bill Bratton brought his pro-gun control agenda into a segment about the FBI's latest crime statistics on Tuesday's Early Show on CBS, blaming the "the insanity of the lack of gun control laws in this country" for an increase in police deaths during 2011.
Anchor Erica Hill introduced Bratton as the "chairman of Kroll, a worldwide investigative company. He's also the former chief of police in Los Angeles, New York City, and Boston." During most of the segment, Hill and co-anchor Chris Wragge asked their guest for his take about the overall decrease in violent crime, according to the FBI statistics.
She is the Fox News Channel body language expert who frequently appears on The O'Reilly Factor. Reiman would have a field day analyzing the bizarre body, facial, and hand twitchings of Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich who sat behind Attorney General Eric Holder as he was being grilled by Representative Sandy Adams about personal emails that Holder might have sent or received on the topic of Operation Fast & Furious. Incredibly, even though this was easily the most dramatic moment in both form and substance of the hearing, and possibly all these Fast & Furious hearings, it was completely overlooked by the media as you can check for yourself in Google News.
The fireworks begin at the 4:50 mark in this video and the bizarre Weich body language follows the 5:00 mark. Also note the frequent audible "throat clearings" by Weich who twice rises out of his seat: