Coverage of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's death and life was relegated to below the fold at USA Today this morning (pictured here; the paper stopped posting front-page pics two years ago).
Three items above the fold (excluding left-side teases to coverage of other stories) were considered more important that the Iron Lady's passing: "Remembering Annette Funicello"; a "Duplicate programs waste billions" item about wasteful government spending (useful, but it's not as if we didn't know this already); and to top it off, a 6x6 photo from the first half of the NCAA men's basketball finals, the result of which the paper was unable to report because the game ended after its publication deadline.
At the Weekly Standard's blog today, Daniel Halper relayed a pool reporter's notes from the Easter service President Barack Obama and his family attended this morning. The highlights from the Rev. Dr. Luis Leon's sermon" included the following statement: "It drives me crazy when the captains of the religious right are always calling us back ... for blacks to be back in the back of the bus ... for women to be back in the kitchen ... for immigrants to be back on their side of the border."
The latest estimate of economic growth for the final quarter of 2012 published by Uncle Sam's Bureau of Economic Analysis on Thursday told us that the economy grew at an annualized rate of 0.4%. Not annualized, that means it actually grew by 0.1%. A $100,000-a-year business doing that "well" during a quarter would have seen its sales increase by $25 (.001 times $100,000 divided by 4).
This week marks 10 years of Times Watch, the Media Research Center's project monitoring the liberal bias of the New York Times, America's most influential newspaper. Over the course of roughly 3,500 posts since March 2003, we have followed the Times through events historic (wars in Afghanistan and Iraq), pathetic (Jayson Blair, Howell Raines) and dangerous (the paper scuttling two separate anti-terror programs.)
Here in rough chronological order are the Top Ten highlights of the New York Times' 10-year investigation into the bias of the New York Times.
Two years ago today, I chronicled wire service reports which appeared shortly after John Hinckley's unsuccessful attempt to assassinate President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981 reporting that schoolchildren in many parts of the country cheered when they heard that he had been shot.
At the time, I suggested that school teachers and administrators who were appalled at the reactions might have been protesting a bit too much. Today, I located a 2004 item at National Review by Stanley Kurtz about another group which was happy to hear about the assassination attempt. The left's hypocrisy about "civility" -- and for that matter, basic human decency -- clearly goes way, way back:
St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bill McClellan is mighty proud of himself this week. Today, he wrote that the negative response to a column he wrote on Wednesday ("One last call to service – end military funeral honors") is "pig heaven for an attention-craving columnist." The porcine parallel McClellan made seems more than appropriate in the circumstances.
You see, Budget-cutter Bill is either too dense to realize or doesn't care that his cost-cutting suggestion to end all military funeral honors except for "men and women killed in combat" would disqualify someone he specifically cited as a hero who was not killed in combat as deserving of such treatment. But first, some lowlights from McClellan's original column (HT The Blaze; bolds are mine throughout this post):
In 2006, Joe Biden, then a powerful U.S. senator and future vice president, smeared Indian Americans as mostly working at the convenience store 7-11. At the time, NBC (and the other networks) completely ignored the story. This week, when obscure Republican Congressman Don Young referred to Hispanic migrant workers as "wetbacks," NBC's Today show devoted a full segment to the story.
Reporter Kelly O'Donnell on Friday explained how the Alaska Representative gave an interview to a local radio station and "used an offensive slur to describe" some Latinos. She then took this as an excuse to highlight the GOP as out of touch: "Young's comments come at a time when the Republican Party is struggling to connect with minorities after failing to do that in the 2012 presidential election where 71 percent of Latinos voted for President Obama." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is at it again, telling us peons that we're not deserving of our full measure of yet another freedom, this time to express ourselves.
As reported by Dana Rubenstein at CapitalNewYork.com (HT The Blaze), "As it turns out, Bloomberg, the highest-profile cheerleader for New York City's burgeoning tech scene, doesn't really like the social media revolution upon which much of it is premised." Excerpts after the jump reveal that Bloomberg wants tech, but only on his terms:
Joseph Lhota is a moderate Republican running for mayor of New York City, but Michael Barbaro's front page Thursday story focuses on an incident back in 1999 when he inflamed Manhattan's artsy liberal elite: "For Mayoral Hopeful Who Lost Fight to Remove Art, No Regrets." Barbaro also reminds us that the New York Times is guilty of double standards in its treatment of art that offends religious sensibilities.
Lhota was deputy mayor under Rudy Giuliani when controversy erupted over the Brooklyn Museum's display of Chris Ofili's painting of the "Holy Virgin Mary," clumped with elephant dung.
The Comcast Corporation, sole owner of NBCUniversal now, recently made the decision to refuse advertising from gun stores and ammunition manufacturers. Operating in 39 states and the District of Columbia, it is by far the largest cable company in the country. What's more, it holds a regional monopoly on cable TV in a multitude of markets, meaning it's the only affordable televised commercial access that many gun stores have.
The blanket directive was issued just as soon as its purchase of NBCUniversal was finalized, which has had a long-standing policy against gun-related ads on its networks.
Sometimes one learns interesting things perusing stories at tech web sites.
A report by Michelle Maisto at Eweek about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has one nugget of information which has been out there for a while, and another which I believe hasn't been and still isn't widely known about both Mayer and her former employer Google. Both items indicate to me that Mayer as a woman and the two tech companies involved are getting free passes from the press which a male CEO and non-tech would likely not receive. Excerpts follow the jump (internal link is in original; bolds are mine):
Don't tell us that Al Sharpton and MSNBC are hypocrites? Noooo!! The Reverend Al opened his show by praising President Obama's efforts to promote tougher gun control laws. But 28 minutes into the show, a commercial appeared for, of all things . . . Henry Repeating Rifles.
Go to Henry Rifle's website and you'll find one rifle described as "big, brutal and beautiful" and noting that it fires ammunition "said to have killed more game, big and small, and more men, good and bad, than any other in existence." Another model offered for sale, the AR-7, is based on a military rifle, Henry emphasizing that given its lightweight design "you can carry a large quantity of ammunition." Oh the horror! View the video after the jump.
On Thursday in Ramallah, as Daniel Halper at the Weekly Standard blog noted, U.S. President Barack Obama "addressed the assembled journalists while standing under a Yasser Arafat banner." Arafat is rightly considered the “father of modern terrorism.” Since U.S. establishment press coverage is non-existent, I'll take readers to an outraged Nile Gardiner at the UK Telegraph to express how utterly offensive Obama's silently condoning Arafat's legitimacy really is:
As hard as the establishment press has worked over the years to make certain politicians appear to be somehow out of touch with the situation of average Americans, you might think that two legislative leaders complaining about cuts in their Congressional offices' allowance might be news. One whined that her aides, some of whom "earn" in excess of $100,000 per year, are being "priced out" of a good lunch on Capitol Hill.
Don't be silly. The press only cares about making Republicans and conservatives appear out of touch. The complainers in question are Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who also heads the Democratic National Committee, and longtime Democratic Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia. The Washington Examiner's Paul Bedard noted Schultz's and Moran's whining on Wednesday:
Are congressmen four times as important as the President? CNN spent over four times more airtime questioning claims made by Rep. Michele Bachmann against President Obama than it did on President Obama's falsehood on the sequester.
Three weeks ago, CNN reporter Dana Bash corrected President Obama's statement that Capitol Hill janitors and police would receive a pay cut because of the sequester. Her report aired four times on CNN that weekend, for a total of three minutes of coverage. In contrast, Bash's confrontation with Bachmann got over four times more coverage this week.
There was nothing but festering distress and especially "division" on the right at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference held last week, at least according to the New York Times. As noted previously on NewsBusters, CPAC generated headlines like this one from Saturday: "G.O.P. Divisions Fester at Conservative Retreat."
As Noel Sheppard pointed out, George Will picked up on that headline on ABC's This Week: "...I guarantee, if there were a liberal conclave comparable to this, and there were vigorous debates going on there, the New York Times headline would be, 'Healthy Diversity Flourishes at Liberal Conclave.'" Actually, Will wasn't far off. A contrast of headlines from this year's CPAC and previous years of Netroots Nation -- a roughly equivalent annual meeting of liberals and leftists --shows an obvious disparity in tone.
A true "watchdog press would be all over" President Obama's "moving the goalposts" on the federal budget, NewsBusters senior editor Rich Noyes told Fox Business Network's Stuart Varney on Monday's Varney & Co.
Instead, the media are falling down on the job, failing to note how the president has broken promise after promise on federal spending, both from his 2008 campaign and subsequently as president:
Concerning a Wednesday incident which would surely have received much wider play if it had involved former Vice President Dick Cheney during the George W. Bush administration, Capital News Service reported that one of its reporters was forced by an aide to Vice President Joe Biden to delete photos he had taken at an event in Rockville, Maryland. Based on a Google News search on "Biden Maryland" (not in quotes, sorted by date with duplicates), the Politico's Dylan Byers was the only person in the national establishment press to run an item on the incident -- lending additional credence to the theory that stories the rest of the press won't touch get deliberately buried there with the excuse that "Oh, the Politico dealt with that already, so we don't have to."
Several paragraphs from the Capital News Service report follow the jump (internal link was in original; bolds are mine):
In what has become a common theme for the MSNBC conservative, Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough failed to live up to his self-titled conservative values on March 13. Following a ruling by a New York state court on March 11 invalidating New York City’s large soda ban, Scarborough and the rest of the Morning Joe crew sans Mika Brzezinski mocked Bloomberg’s failed efforts on March 12.
Despite Scarborough’s outright glee at the court’s decision, when given the opportunity to confront Mayor Bloomberg in person on March 13, Scarborough remained silent. Such a complete reversal is surprising, given the lengths Scarborough went to show his glee that Bloomberg’s latest nanny state overreach had been shot down. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
In a mild shock -- mild because it's mentioned before the elections, but probably won't be when it really matters after the polls close -- Frank Bajak and Jorge Rueda at the Associated Press, in a story about how the last opposition TV station in Venezuela is being sold to an insurance magnate who is reportedly "friendly with government," noted the extraordinary handicaps that Venezuela's opposition presidential candidate faces as he attempts to unseat the Chavista successor to the late dictator Hugo Chavez in April's upcoming elections.
In the fortnight leading up to the sequester, the broadcast networks ABC, CBS, and NBC wrung their hands about "all the catastrophes that would happen if these cuts went through," NewsBusters senior editor Rich Noyes noted on the March 7 edition of Fox Business Network's Varney & Co. Since, then, however, "they've spent no time asking how is the White House going to decide where these cuts are, how is the administration going to parcel out these cuts?"
In short, "[t]hey're not doing their watchdog function at all," the Media Research Center's research director told FBN's Stuart Varney. What's more, for the most part, the same networks lack any skepticism about how the administration might be targeting their cuts in such as way as to deliberately inflict pain, when it's completely in the power of the Obama White House to structure cutbacks in a way that minimizes its impact on the taxpaying American (watch the full segment below the page break):
President Obama's sequester-related press briefing on March 1 contained the usual fibs. Examples include but are certainly not limited to the following: "We've already cut $2.5 trillion in our deficit," when the entire amount involved is something which might happen in the future; his claim that his State of the Union laundry list "is the agenda that the American people voted for," when many of the items involved were never mentioned during the 2012 campaign; and that the sequester is "happening because of a choice that Republicans in Congress have made," despite the fact that his advisers with his personal approval originated the idea in 2011 and the reality that he was under no compulsion when he signed the bill setting it in place last week.
Since then, while the establishment press has largely ignored it, the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler has twice honed in on a relatively small but clearly refutable statement Obama uttered that day: "Starting tomorrow, everybody here, all the folks who are cleaning the floors at the Capitol ... they're going to have less pay. The janitors, the security guards, they just got a pay cut, and they've got to figure out how to manage that. That’s real." No it's not.
Venezuelan despot Hugo Chavez is dead of cancer at age 58, the end of a bizarre odyssey that took him to Communist Cuba in a failed attempt at a cure. William Neuman's off-lead story in Wednesday's New York Times credited the left-wing dictator for having "changed Venezuela in fundamental ways, empowering and energizing millions of poor people who had felt marginalized and excluded."
Last year the media did their level best to tar Republicans with the offensive comments that two Republicans made related to rape victims. But now that it's Democratic legislators insulting rape victims by insisting that they cannot be trusted to defend themselves with firearms, it's a different story.
Amanda Collins, now 25, was brutally raped on campus, and was unable to defend herself since guns aren’t permitted on college campuses. In fact, Colorado State Sen. Evie Hudak (D), has said that her “assault would likely had been worse had she been armed with a gun.” Jessica Chasmar of the Washington Times has the story:
The Washington Post editorial board today endorsed a plastic bag tax being considered in the Maryland General Assembly, insisting that the 5-cent excise tax will reduce plastic bag litter which clogs the state's streams and raise some "$7.3 million in revenue, a quarter of which would be retained by retail establishments like grocery stores." "It's a sensible measure that will help the environment -- if lawmakers have the spine to stand up to special interests," the paper huffed in its concluding line.
But what the Post failed to mention is that the bill, SB 576 -- entitled the Community Cleanup and Greening Act of 2013 -- specifically EXEMPTS plastic bags used to wrap newspapers, an exemption which obviously favors the Washington Post company:
On Friday morning, Milwaukee County District Attorney, a Democrat, announced that an investigation into illegal campaigning and other illegal acts while current Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was the county's executive had concluded nine days earlier. Three former Walker aides, a political appointee, and two private citizens were sentenced. Two county officials pled guilty to crimes relating to campaigning on government time; two others stole money, one from a not-for-profit group and another from a county commission. One private citizen was sentenced for exceeding campaign contribution limits and laundering contributions; the other pled no contest to importuning a 17 year-old boy.
Walker himself was not charged. A top state Democratic Party official was so angry that he tweeted Jeffrey Dahmer analogies. It is pretty obvious, based on word choices he made in his related writeup, that the Associated Press's Scott Bauer, whose biased coverage of Walker has been clear for at least the past two years (previous NewsBusters posts with his tag are here), was also extremely displeased (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Did you ever mean to say "If you are shy then I have an acre of land in the Everglades." and have it come out "If you're bashful I got a snake sitting under my desk here"? I mean, those sentences are so close to being identical, and these kinds of misstatements happen all the time, right?
Well, that's what you have to believe if you're still a defender of Connecticut legislator Ernest Hewett, who said the latter on February 20 to a 17 year-old girl at a public hearing and is now saying he meant to say the former. Most press covereage of Hewett's obviously lewd remark has done an acceptable job of tagging him as a Democrat, with a notable exception being Ken Dixon at the Connecticut Post (HT Hot Air via Instapundit; bolds are mine throughout this post):
In "G.O.P.'s Ideological Split Appears in Virginia Governor's Race," New York Times reporter Trip Gabriel saw a controversial candidate on one side of the Virginia governor's race -- Republican candidate Kenneth Cuccinelli, Virginia's attorney general, who has support in the Tea Party and social conservative wings of the party.
His likely Democratic opponent? Terry McAuliffe, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and controversial fundraiser for the Clinton administration. But judging by the paper's lack of coverage so far, only Republicans have a problem. Gabriel doesn't even mention Democrat McAuliffe until paragraph 12, and in an odd omission, calls him only "a businessman and former political operative."
On Monday, the Insitute for Illinois' Fiscal Sustainability (IIFS), an outfit associated with the Civic Federation, a "nonpartisan" organization which appears to have leftist instincts and funding, warned that the state government's $8 billion stack of unpaid bills will grow to $22 billion in five years. IIFS correctly blames out of control pension costs, and recommends several reforms which don't seem to match the urgency of the situation.
One thing the report doesn't do, concerning which the press appears to be completely incurious, is estimate how long it will take vendors in President Barack Obama's Democrat-dominated home state to get paid if the backlog of unpaid bills really becomes that large. The answer, in brief, is: "so long that no one with a brain will want to do business with the state, likely causing its government to completely collapse."