"A number of local chapters of the National Organization for Women are denouncing the DNC convention rules, saying that they unfairly exclude mothers with young children," Byron Tau of Politico reported on Monday morning, going on to quote feminist icon Gloria Steinem as complaining that "Women are the key to a Democratic victory, and sometimes, children are the key to women. It's both right and smart for the Democratic Convention to behave as if children exist."
Given their penchant for frequently featuring Politico reporters and for hyping the so-called war on women, it would be reasonable for MSNBC to pick up on the story. But alas, they have not, even though National Organization for Women president Terry O'Neill appeared on the Monday edition of the Ed Show and on today's MSNBC Live hosted by Thomas Roberts to discuss the Akin controversy.
If Ronald Reagan was the "Teflon President," then Joe Biden is the "Teflon Blowhard." He’s spent his entire career with his foot firmly lodged in his mouth, uttering an endless stream of impossibly stupid, vulgar, and insensitive things. And yet the media fall all over themselves to make excuses for blustery "Old Uncle Joe."
In what co-host Matt Lauer billed as a campaign ad "reality check" on Tuesday's NBC Today, a Romney ad criticizing the Obama administration for gutting Welfare reform was dismissed as ineffective, "too complicated" and "Pants on Fire" false. Meanwhile, an Obama ad slamming Romney over taxes was praised for making Romney look like a cross between wealthy Simpson's villain "Mr. Burns" and an "evil" version of Mad Men's Don Draper. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Much of the commentary came from ad critic and MediaPost.com editor-at-large Barbara Lippert. She quickly rejected the Romney ad: "I don't think it's effective because it's such a battle of images....It's too complicated. You have to turn it around in your mind." Then she enthusiastically gushed over the Obama ad and threw in her own nasty jabs at Romney:
Every four years, without fail, the liberal media wring their hands over the influence of pro-lifers on the GOP platform, suggesting that the party is too "extreme" in its position on abortion and hence out of step with middle-of-the-road voters. Of course, the same concern is not expressed regarding the Democrats' position on the same issue being too out-of-step with most Americans.
This year, the row over Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin's comments on rape and abortion are being seized upon as a springboard to attack the party. Witness MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts on today's MSNBC Live.
As part of her hour-long August 20 special edition of Now about to "women's issues," MSNBC's Alex Wagner devoted a 10-minute-long segment to the so-called pay gap -- women earning on average 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. Wagner's guests, Salon's Joan Walsh, Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Lilly Ledbetter predictably did their parts to help Wagner sell the pay gap issue as one with Republicans in the dark ages and Democrats as the white knights. "Why are Senate Republicans still fighting legislation to account for that gap and to make pay equal," Wagner asked Warren at the start of the segment.
But alas, the so-called pay gap is a "a solid statistic" that has been "described incorrectly" in anti-Republican attack ads, Politifact noted back in June (emphasis mine):
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):
MRC Research Director and NewsBusters senior editor Rich Noyes appeared on FNC's The O'Reilly Factor Friday night to talk about the so-called "mainstream" media's lack of interest in news that a volunteer at D.C.-based gay group walked into the Family Research Council's offices and opened fire, wounding a security guard.
Guest host Juan Williams branded the lack of coverage "outrageous." Noyes described how if the reverse had happened -- a Christian conservative volunteer invading a liberal headquarters with 50 rounds of ammo -- the same networks that barely touched the FRC shooting would undoubtedly have provided far more intensive coverage.
Floyd Corkins, a volunteer for the last six months at the D.C. Center for the LGBT Community, marched into the Family Research Center with a gun and serious ammunition, denounced FRC’s policy positions, and shot a security guard in the arm before being subdued. Another hate crime, but this time against perhaps the pre-eminent pro-family organization in America. CBS gave the story 20 seconds. NBC spent 17 seconds.
Imagine a volunteer for the Family Research Council marching into some gay group’s headquarters with a gun, and after shouting his opposition to the homosexual agenda, opened fire and wounded a guard before being subdued. Never mind evening news. This would be Breaking News! and for days there would be seemingly endless coverage of continued conservative hatred.
While USA Today and other liberal media outlets today were spinning the snap Gallup poll about Mitt Romney's pick of Paul Ryan in a negative light, data within the poll itself show that Ryan fared better with Republicans than Biden did with Democrats in 2008 in a similar snap Gallup poll in August 2008 just after Obama's announcement of his running mate.
Still working hard to avoid mentioning an outrageous Obama super-PAC ad that basically accused Mitt Romney of being responsible for the cancer death of a woman, Thursday's NBC Nightly News had the gall to instead promote pro-Obama fluff, as anchor Brian Williams gushed: "Knowing a hot product when he sees one, the President today visited the U.S. Olympic training facility in Colorado."
Williams made sure to inform viewers that Obama "Promptly took his shoes off, got on the mat, and said his grandmother would be proud there were no holes in his socks."
Last time I checked the Associated Press was a national news service.
So in a story about how a refinery fire in California will likely cause West Coast gas prices to hit $4 a gallon, why did reporter Jason Dearen ignore the fact that prices are already at $4 a gallon in many parts of the country already?
At the top of Tuesday's O'Reilly Factor on Fox News, host Bill O'Reilly rightly observed "the American media overwhelmingly favoring Barack Obama over Mitt Romney" and predicted that the slanted news coverage "will give the President about 3% or 4% of the popular vote" in the general election.
O'Reilly cited numerous studies over several years that demonstrated the media predisposition that "clearly favors the more liberal candidate, and has for decades." In 2004, then-assistant managing editor of Newsweek magazine, Evan Thomas, made a prediction remarkably similar to O'Reilly's when he admitted that media bias in favor Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry was "going to be worth maybe 15 points," a number he revised down to five points months later.
Clay Waters at NewsBusters addressed this item earlier today, but I want to emphasize one particular quote in the related New York Times piece which also caught the (possibly gullible) attention of Chris Ariens at Media Bistro's TV Newser: "In private meetings with columnists, he has talked about the concept of 'false balance' — that reporters should not give equal weight to both sides of an argument when one side is factually incorrect. He frequently cites the coverage of health care and the stimulus package as examples, according to aides familiar with the meetings."
Wow. Where do you start? I'll cite just one example in each area Obama cited. I suspect readers will have more.
You will probably be able to count on one hand the number of times the liberal media will wring their hands this campaign season about the national Democratic Party being beholden to the abortion lobby. To her credit, Melinda Henneberger of the Washington Post will be one of those reporters.
In her page August 8 "She the People" feature on page A2, "Democrats' Big Tent is a cold place for antiabortion advocates," the Post columnist lamented that while a Gallup poll shows a significant plurality of Democrats -- 44 percent -- "said abortion should only be legal 'in a few circumstances,'" that chances are incredibly slim that the party will alter its platform plank on abortion to soften its absolutist stand.
Since Mitt Romney is supposedly responsible for the death from cancer of a woman who died in 2006, seven years after the presumptive GOP nominee left Bain Capital, it seems more than fair to talk about what has resulted from the Obama administration's blatant favoritism towards UAW members while shafting former Delphi salaried workers.
Tonight, the Associated Press's Adwatch entry by Stephen Braun actually calls out the Obama super-PAC Priorities USA, specifically saying that the assertion by Joe Soptic, the woman's widower, "that Romney bears some blame in his wife's death is not backed up factually in the ad." Fair enough, but, especially because it was in the news today, let's look at the Delphi situation.
Well, it looks like Democrats in a Southern state have embarrassed party officials once again. Back in 2010, it was Alvin Greene in South Carolina, whose victory in that state's U.S. Senate primary so infuriated Palmetto State Congressman James Clyburn that he accused Greene of being a plant and called for a federal probe. Greene refused to step aside; incumbent Republican Jim DeMint defeated Greene in a landslide.
A similar script is playing out in Tennessee, where relative unknown Mark Clayton defeated seven other challengers in the Volunteer State's Democratic U.S. Senate primary. It turns out that Clayton is vice president of an alleged "hate group." If that characterization really fits Clayton's Public Advocate of the United States (there's ample reason to doubt that), then Associated Press reporter Lucas L. Johnson II "somehow" forgot to notice that a couple of national Democrats apparently agree with the group's supposedly "hateful" positions -- as well as, it would appear, President Barack Obama himself. Excerpts follow the jump:
The Associated Press carried two stories on Friday about the attempt by and ultimate failure of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman to avoid going back to prison.
In the first, ahead of that day's hearing, AP reporter Bob Johnson failed to mention Siegelman's Democratic Party affiliation. In the second, Johnson managed to get Democratic Party references designed to raise what appear to be partisan questions about whether Siegelman really deserved his fate into his 29th and 34th of 35 paragraphs. Excerpts follow (AP is using all uppercase in its national site headlines now; bolds are mine):
The wire services and other establishment press members appear to be getting more selective in what they will allow into their headlines, particularly omitting items which might hurt Dear Leader.
Take the coverage of yesterday's Employment Situation Summary from the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics. The news was a combination of bad and mediocre (though expectations-beating): The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 8.2% to 8.3% (or from 8.217% to 8.254%, if you're Obama administration hack Alan Krueger), while the seasonally adjusted number of jobs added was 163,000. Both results are really unacceptable when there's so much not utilized and underutilized labor. Three establishment press headlines avoided mentioning the rate increase, even though it was a major element of the underlying story:
In a glowing tribute to radical left-wing commentator Gore Vidal on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams could barely contain his adoration for the "prolific writer" who was "unquestionably brilliant." Williams further gushed that Vidal, "got his larger wish in life, to be remembered as both a polemicist and a man of letters. One of the most active and agile minds of his generation."
Compare that fawning eulogy to the shots Williams took at conservative icon William F. Buckley, upon his death in 2008: "Buckley paid dearly for some of his words: His defense of Senator Joe McCarthy, his early views on race and remarks he made about AIDS, saying those with AIDS should be tattooed to prevent its spread."
Sunday on ABC, as Rush Limbaugh noted on his show yesterday, Obama campaign senior adviser and former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs called GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney a "schoolyard bully."
Just a couple of hours later (the time stamp is noon on Sunday), what little is left of Newsweek published "Mitt Romney's Wimp Factor." Zheesh -- So which is it?
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.
Last night (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) I critiqued a short Associated Press item posted earlier Monday by reporter John Hanna which seemed quite alarmed at the notion that "Conservatives in Republicans are turning against moderates in their own party."
Hanna expanded his report on Monday. Its apparently final version, time-stamped at 5:16 p.m. at the AP's national site, goes further into describing those scary conservatives who want Republicans who will act on principle instead of just going along. What follows are excerpts from material added after the initial report:
Gosh, I think John Hanna and the Associated Press need to do something about their use of eliminationist language and violent imagery.
Look at how AP headlined Hanna's late morning report on the rise of conservatism in several midwestern and southern states at the likely expense of moderate incumbents (shown in full because of its brevity and for fair use and discussion purposes).
Sunday's CBS Evening News and the NBC Nightly News tried to spin negatively a vague statement by Mitt Romney advisor Dan Senor that the GOP presidential candidate would "respect" the Israeli government's decision if it chose to attack militarily Iran's nuclear capability, suggesting that the Romney campaign's words amounted to a criticism of the Obama administration, and thus a breach of protocol that American politicians in a foreign land should not criticize the U.S. government.
But the effort to paint the statement into a gaffe contrasts with the media silence in July 2008 when then-Senator Barack Obama, during a trip to Israel as he campaigned for the White House, claimed to be a member of a Senate committee on which he did not serve, in an effort to portray himself as tough on Iran, as he tried to take credit for the actions of the Senate Banking Committee.
In the kerfuffle over the initial refusal by Mitt Romney's campaign to allow reporters into a fundraising event to take place at an Israeli hotel on Monday, a position the campaign reversed late yesterday (early morning in Israel), the Associated Press's Kasie Hunt had, to say the least, an interesting take on property rights, while clearly misstating how the Obama campaign has handled press access.
It's becoming increasingly clear that the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, believes there are two primary kinds of users of its output: those who only read headlines and those who read on or click through. It often dresses up the headlines with inaccuracies, omissions, and occasional downright falsehoods, which more often than not are respectively rendered properly, included, and stated truthfully (or at least sort of close) in the actual content.
It's hard to find a more stark example of a contradiction between an AP headline and its underlying content than Martin Crutsinger's late afternoon report Friday following that morning's Gross Domestic Product report:
Today's report on the growth of gross domestic product (GDP) during the second quarter didn't impress anyone -- except, apparently those who send out email alerts to CNN Money subscribers.
For several years, it has seemed like the primary goal of these alerts has been to create the illusion of pervasive prosperity when the economic news is even remotely tolerable, and to ignore or downplay news that is really bad -- all so that the relatively disengaged can be convinced that the economy isn't performing as poorly as it really is. The email alert received shortly after the government released its report showing that the economy grew at an annualized 1.5% rate during the second quarter arguably fits both categories:
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):
I suppose the Associated Press deserves some credit for what appears to be a grudging acknowledgment that opponents of the oil and gas drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, aka "fracking," "sometimes mislead the public." Also, Kevin Begos's story does a good job of letting Josh Fox, producer of the fundamentally dishonest documentary "Gasland," hang himself with his own dodgy, reality-denying words.
But the credit pretty much ends there. Begos's report is a largely a study in false equivalence (y'know, everybody exaggerates -- except, Kevin, opponents do so serially while proponents do so rarely) and psychobabble (y'know, everyone uses "facts" they like and ignores the one that don't -- except, Kevin, for the inconvenient reality that opponents' "facts" are largely falsehoods). The problem is best exemplified in the final excerpted paragraph which follows the jump (bolds are mine):