While the Associated Press and the wire service's Seth Borenstein dither on what to report or whether to report anything about confessed document theft from the Heartland Institute by the Pacific Institute's Peter Gleick (a search on Gleick's last name at the AP's main national site at noon came up empty), Neela Banerjee at the Los Angeles Times incompletely reported the facts and fretted that the confession would "further deepen the uncertainty of many Americans" concerning "the scientific consensus on climate change."
What follows are the first five plus three other paragraphs from Banerjee's Tuesday evening report (bolds are mine):
The Associated Press's Seth Borenstein, his wire service, and most of the globaloney-advocating establishment press have a problem relating to development NB's Iris Somberg noted a short time ago.
Peter Gleick, described in a related UK Guardian story as "a water scientist and president of the Pacific Institute," said last week that he "obtained" documents from the Heartland Institute about its strategy to, in part and in Borenstein's words (from his 1,000-word dispatch), "teach schoolchildren skepticism about global warming." Now, Gleick has admitted that he stole them (Gleick's description: "I solicited and received additional materials directly ... under someone else’s name"). Oops. It get worse for Borenstein and the wire service on at least two levels.
It's bad enough when items which should so obviously be leading the news aren't. It's worse when you realize that one of the reasons for the deliberate avoidance is that the press is allowing itself to be coopted into treating insignificant orchestrated political stunts to chew up scarce time and resources.
Readers who are wondering why outfits like CNN (covered yesterday by Matt Hadro at NewsBusters), the New York Times (as noted by NB's Clay Waters) and the Associated Press (caught Tuesday by yours truly) would bother to prepare reports on a dozen-person anti-Mitt Romney demonstration at the Westminster Dog Show can stop wondering. At Polititicker, Hunter Walker and Colin Campbell report that Americans United for Change (home page; Facebook page), a Democratic Party-connected group, is driving it (bolds are mine):
On Monday, Calvin Woodward, with help from Martin Crutsinger and Pete Yost, produced a "Fact Check" on the budget proposal the White House released earlier that day.
After properly criticizing the administration's plan to use "about $850 billion in savings from ending the wars and steers some $230 billion of that to highways" (and actually quoting someone knowledgeable, who pointed out that "Drawing down spending on wars that were already set to wind down and that were deficit-financed in the first place should not be considered savings"), Woodward went off the rails:
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:
Those who believe that the establishment press has gone completely to the dogs can cite support for that contention in an Associated Press story about an anti-Mitt Romney demonstration at the Westminster dog show in New York earlier today.
The story is about how "a dozen demonstrators ... plus a few pooches" showed up to demonstrate against something Romney allegedly did 29 years ago. Really. This story is sooooo important that as of 2:46 p.m., it was the second item listed at AP's Top Sports News (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes):
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.
A "breaking" email I received from USA Today this morning is a definite sign of establishment press scrambling to give deceptive cover to an Obama administration mandate whose unpopularity continues to grow as more people become aware of it. It also shows the lengths to which the press will go to keep the relatively disengaged, which would include those who only primarily informed via email and other brief alerts without digging further, from encountering basic facts.
The email pretends that the president is about to announce a "decision" (as opposed to changing one), and refers to a "rule" without saying where the rule came from, or why:
Even when someone who helped prepare a new guide for gardeners on the coldest temperatures seen annually in different parts of the country says that their output doesn't fit the global warming template, an AP reporter decides that it really does.
In preparing his write-up last week on the release of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's revised the official guide for gardeners, the Associated Press's Seth Borenstein, the infamous writer of reports claiming that the Climategate scandals were no big deal, buried the following quote from a USDA official at Paragraph 17 of 24:
So a guy whose contract was terminated by NPR on a phony pretext for not toeing the liberal line enough, including writing a book ("Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It") which indicted the modern civil-rights movement for, well, undermining Black America, now appears to want eliminate "Constitution" and "Founding Fathers" from the lexicon of Republican candidates -- and possibly, it would appear, from political discussion in general -- because, well, they're racial code words. How ironic.
That is what Juan Williams outrageously claims in his latest column at the Hill today (bold is mine):
American Public Media (formerly American Public Radio) says that its "Marketplace" program "focuses on the latest business news both nationally and internationally, the global economy, and wider events linked to the financial markets."
Okay. One would expect, given the track record of leftist and communist movements and causes in ruining economies and creating unspeakable human misery, that if "Marketplace" were to do a segment on, say, Saul Alinsky, that it might note his antagonism towards free-market capitalism, and how damaging his "Rules for Radicals" recommendations have been in practice. Instead, those listening to yesterday's Alinsky segment got nothing but pap and misdirection orchestrated by a far-left labor prof:
A frequent emailer saw a silver lining in Rand Paul's detention this morning in Nashville by the Transportation Safety Administration which prevented him from speaking at today's March For Life rally in Washington: "Best way to get the MSM to mention pro-life rally."
Well, that's largely true. The local Nashville TV station video posted at Real Clear Politics mentions Paul's prolife purpose up-front, as does a commentary by James Fallows at the Atlantic (who incidentally described the rally as "mammoth"). But my emailer underestimated the lengths to which reporters at the Associated Press would go to keep anything pro-life out of a story. In their 750-word report (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes), Erik Schelzig and Eileen Sullivan completely misstated why Paul wanted to get on the flight he was not able to board -- which also means that their story's headline is incomplete:
Seen at Instapundit comes word of the site Bleeding Cool whose Darin Wagner asks this obvious question (no offense to Darin).
"You pick up a superhero comic book featuring a childhood favorite of yours, hoping to reignite some of that magic you felt way back when and you see that the opening sequence in the comic deals with an oil rig disaster," he wrote. "You immediately and disappointingly know what’s going to be said, either by your childhood favorite or by some other character given credibility within the story."
In the final three paragraphs of a report that was primarily about Mitt Romney trying to lower expectations concerning the results of tomorrow's South Carolina Primary voting, Steve Holland of Reuters told readers that Newt Gingrich canceled an appearance.
Holland then used that appearance as an opportunity to build on a meme the press has been working on for some time about the former speaker:
Republican Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel is challenging incumbent Democrat U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown this November. Despite the false bravado emanating from the DNC and Ohio's Democratic Party and polls solely based on name recognition, Brown, as the Senate's most liberal member (2009 and 2010 Club for Growth ratings: 0%) in a swing state, is very vulnerable.
Associated Press Ohio reporter Julie Carr Smyth has apparently preliminarily staked out a role as the race's designated Democratic Party talking point and innuendo relay person. Her Saturday report on Mandel ("Ohio Treasurer Seeks To Unseat Brown"; alternate title showing her byline is "Ohio treasurer focused on politics in 1st year") is so transparent it's almost funny.
There was a fascinating exchange last week between Melissa Cohlmia, spokesman for Koch Industries, and New York Times public editor (or ombudsman) Arthur Brisbane. Koch Industries, which engages in arts philanthropy and conservative-libertarian causes, is a target of obsession and hostility both by left-wingers and reporters and writers for the New York Times, as Times Watch has shown.
While Brisbane mostly defended the Times’s news coverage and its right to deliver anti-Koch opinions in op-eds and art critics, he admitted the paper’s overwhelming left-ward slant in its opinionizing made for “predictable and sometimes very dull reading,” “and there can be little doubt that the Times ownership and editorial page ascribe to a liberal perspective.”
The "Doomsday Clock" has been with us since 1947. It is a symbolic construct of the now left-leaning Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a group which "was established in 1945 by scientists, engineers, and other experts who had created the atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Project. They knew about the horrible effects of these new weapons and devoted themselves to warning the public about the consequences of using them."
Most people who know of it probably think that the clock's intent is to symbolize how close the world is to the disaster of nuclear war; that was indeed its sole focus for decades. However, the group just moved the clock from six minutes before midnight to five. Wait until you see why, as sympathetically reported on Tuesday by Doyle Rice at USA Today's Science Fair blog:
UPDATE: James Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute's blog has more, including the possibility that the original story misidentified "Bain Consulting," as well as a theory as to the story's original source.
It looks like someone ran with something they thought was too good to check.
A retraction described as a "Correction" currently on CNBC's web site tells readers: "A previous story incorrectly reported that Mitt Romney's former firm, Bain & Co., was part of a team of consulting companies that advised President Barack Obama on a decision to shutter car dealerships during the auto bailout. Bain & Co. said it has no connection to the "Bain Consulting" firm referenced in government documents." Several bloggers excerpted the original report, including Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Some of what he captured follows:
The 8:52 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. national headlines page at the Associated Press's main site this morning teased a story about how twenty -- wow, a whole twenty -- Occupy Wall Street protesters spent the night at Zuccotti Park after barricades which had been up for almost two months were removed. Not only that, but the related brief story (saved here as a graphic for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes), has an accompanying series of four photos (most stories usually have just one).
In an early-Sunday version of an Associated Press report which has since been revised to exclude the paragraph I'm about to cite, the wire service's Steve Peoples (authorship shown here) apparently had a hard time understanding how Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney could possibly have criticized President Barack Obama's economic stewardship in Saturday's New Hampshire debate in light of what he (Peoples) must have thought were wondrous numbers in the government's Friday employment report.
Even if you ignore the fact (which you really shouldn't) that December's reported 200,000 job additions after seasonal adjustment hid a mediocre actual performance on the ground in historical context, Peoples' reaction was remarkably ignorant and offensively aggressive:
In 1984, an Associated Press writer covering the Democratic primaries wrote that "In a presidential contest dominated by concerns over the economy, inflation, and unemployment, the Democratic candidates have been loath to acknowledge the extent to which Carter administration policies contributed to those problems. Democrats have also controlled Congress for most of the past three decades, which made it relatively easy to enact the policies Carter pursued."
Of course, that AP report really never happened. The establishment press never razzed Walter Mondale, Gary Hart, and the other 1984 Democratic presidential candidates about the ruinous Carter-Era inflation, 20%-plus interest rates, and high unemployment against which the Reagan administration was making significant progress in the early 1980s. But on Tuesday morning, Beth Fouhy at the Associated Press felt it necessary to wonder why this year's GOP primary candidates are rarely mentioning George W. Bush, even though the economy under Barack Obama is making relatively scant progress towards a genuine recovery and makes a much more appropriate target for criticism. Here was her comparable paragraph, plus the two which followed:
There are press memes which won't go away no matter what, and no matter how often disproven. One, repeated in an Associated Press report a couple of weeks ago as our troops were about to leave Iraq, claimed that "No WMD were ever found" there. The truth: Yes they were — along with 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium found in Iraq after Saddam was overthrown, specifically “the stuff that can be refined into nuclear weapons or nuclear fuel.”
Another meme which won't die and fails to pass the truth test was in an AP item by Julie Pace about President Obama's decision to defer raising the debt ceiling by $1.2 billion today. In it, she repeated the leftist line about how the national debt has grown so large (HT to an NB emailer):
I know, we're supposed to give TV shows and the like a bit of dramatic license to push a plot line. But doesn't it seem that an awful lot of the license taken tends to be pro-big government and left-leaning?
One pretty obvious example came along Monday night during the Season 2 finale of TNTs' "Rizzoli & Isles" (which ran again late tonight). The plot of "Burning Down the House" centered around the death of a Boston fireman in a major warehouse blaze. Ultimately, the perpetrator ended up being a fireman who was upset by "budget cuts," which were mentioned twice during the episode:
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:
In her profile of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback on Wednesday, the Washington Post's Annie Gowen went through the predictable leftist checklist of things that should supposedly cause the rest of America not to like him. A state taken over by "tea party fervor"? Check. "Slashed" funding for "schools, social services and the arts"? Check. Imply that his predecessor, radical proabort and ObamaCare implementer Kathleen Sebelius, is a "moderate," and that he is somehow breaking a tradition of moderation? Check. Finding an old-line Republican who thinks he's going too far? Check. Oh, and mentioning that the eeeeeevil Koch brothers, who like the guy and have given him money (that might have something to do with the fact that Koch is headquartered in Wichita)? Check.
Here are excerpts from Gowen's report (HT Norma at Collecting My Thoughts, whose reaction is "Something good is happening in Kansas"; bolds are mine):
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.
In February, yours truly sensed a misstatement of reality on the part of Associated Press reporter Scott Bauer in his description of the budget repair law the Wisconsin Legislature was then considering. At the beginning of his report, Bauer wrote that the law would "end a half-century of collectively bargaining," but later wrote that "unions could still represent workers" (That doesn't exactly signal an "end," does it?). In several other subsequent reports (examples here and here), Bauer insisted on incorrectly describing the law as "ending" or "eliminating" collective bargaining. It does neither.
Tonight, in reporting on the progress of the Badger State effort to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker, Bauer slightly rephrased his false claim, glossed over the current controversy over validation of petitioners' names and registration status, again contradicted himself, and made little effort at hiding his overt partisanship (bolds are mine throughout this post):
CBS Evening News on Wednesday hyped the "early success" of a provision of ObamaCare which allows young adults under the age of 26 to stay on their parents' health care. Correspondent Wyatt Andrews spotlighted a young woman afflicted with Crohn's disease as an example of this apparent success, all the while failing to mention the liberal agenda of a "patient rights advocate" featured in his report.
The first part of Andrews's report played as a human interest story, focusing on Caryn Powers, "one of those young adults who already benefits from the health care reform act." The journalist highlighted that "Caryn's medicine alone costs more than $3,000 a month. If she could not stay on her parents' health insurance, she says, she'd be bankrupt and unable to work as a nurse."
In running down the degree of religious seriousness of a few more recent presidents in an article portraying GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's heavy involvement with Mormonism, Semuels wrote (bold is mine):
On December 2, the Associated Press carried a story by Terry Collins with the following headline: "Murder charge filed in Occupy Oakland slaying."
What? I thought that the related November attack, despite a statement from an actual eyewitness, "was unrelated to the ongoing protest of U.S. financial institutions" -- i.e., that it was unrelated to Occupy Oakland. After all, the San Francisco Chronicle and the AP both carried statements to that effect several weeks ago. Surprise, surprise (not):