In shining examples of the phrase “better late than never,” Conor Friedersdorf -- a staff writer on politics and national affairs at The Atlantic -- and Dylan Byers -- a media critic for the Politico website -- hammered conservatives on Monday for charging that the mainstream media had mostly ignored or minimized the attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.
Friedersdorf called the charge the “Whopper of the Year,” while Byers accused conservatives of taking a “guilty-until-proven-innocent approach” regarding the reaction by President Barack Obama and his administration to the incident, which 11 months ago led to the deaths of four people, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
If there was a daily prize for "Propaganda Tool of the Day," Politico would have won it both yesterday and today.
Yesterday, as Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters noted, the web site changed the title of an embarrassing report by Kyle Cheney on low attendance at an Organizing For America event from "Poor attendance at Obamacare event in Virginia" (number of volunteers who showed up: one) to "Obamacare message war goes local." Today, the web site's Reid J. Epstein, in a report on OFA's totally unsurprising initiation of efforts to assist Democratic candidates in specific contests, informed readers that two people he had interviewed for the story "asked to be removed" — and that he honored their requests. Does Politico still expect its readers and the public to believe it is practicing journalism? Excerpts, including the prize-clinching reason why the two people involved asked to be removed, are after the jump.
MSNBC anchor Alex Witt is still steaming over the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. On Saturday’s edition of her program Weekends with Alex Witt, the host spent considerable time fuming about the House GOP’s 40th attempt to thwart ObamaCare, even hilariously worrying that the repeal votes were costing taxpayers money.
Addressing Jackie Kucinich of The Washington Post, Witt inquired, with no hint of irony, “So Jackie, these votes, do they cost money? I mean, are people wasting time and costing taxpayers money by holding these votes?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Tuesday, CBS This Morning pounced on a new study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) showing that President Obama is now the butt of more jokes on late night TV than any other politician.
"Since his re-election, late-night comedians have aimed 300 jokes at the President," CBS's Jeff Pegues announced. "That's only 100 fewer than all of those directed at Republican politicians combined."
As moderator David Gregory hyped a "feud" over national security between Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, former Senator Rick Santorum called out a stunning media double standard: "...the media has a fascination with how divided the Republican Party is and tends to ignore the divisions within the Democratic Party. And I think they are as very much as real on this issue." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough similarly noted Democratic divisions on matters of national security and surveillance: "Well, but it's not just the Republican Party....there are going to be those battles going on in the Democratic Party."
If ever a story had the earmarks of being agenda-driven from the get-go, Mackenzie Weinger's writeup at the Politico on Glenn Beck published Saturday morning fits the bill.
Weinger's premise is that Beck will never be as influential as he once was as long as he doesn't have a cable news program and continues to branch into entertainment-related ventures consistent with his beliefs. Excerpts, evidence which easily refutes Weinger's wishful thinking, and further commentary from yours truly follow the jump.
The one thing we can say safely about liberals is that they lack self-awareness, especially when one of their own acts badly. The Chronicles of Carlos Danger, the exploits of San Diego Mayor Bob “filthy” Filner, and the sexual proclivities of Eliot Spitzer have made the political scene a national joke. Yet, this lack of respect – and creepiness – is not treated by the liberal media as an indictment on the larger Democratic Party in much the same way as the media have helped Democrats use Republican skeezeballs like Mark Foley to lambaste the entire party.
Republicans have been quick to take the trio of Democrats behaving badly to turn the liberal Democratic/liberal media "war on women" meme on its head. Apparently it's having some success as MSNBC's Chris Jansing dutifully took to the air on her August 1 Jansing & Co. program to offer a rebuttal. The "war on women" is about "policy," not inappropriate sexual behavior, Jansing and her guests insisted. Apparently since MSNBC helped write the "war on women" meme, they're pretty defensive about when it's used to bludgeon their friends in the Democratic Party. Here's the relevant exchange between Jansing, TIME magazine's Eliza Gray, and veteran Obama-defender scribe Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times:
Who knew that merely getting just over six dozen people together to support having Iowa "expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul" would earn coverage from the Associated Press -- and then be treated as some kind of groundswell of support?
Well, it did. The item involved, complete with a headline which makes it appears if some kind of poll might have gauged Iowans' sentiments on the topic -- the better to deceive those who only see the headline -- follows the jump (posted in full because of its brevity; HT Instapundit):
Sarah Palin, call your office. PolitiFact, you've been refuted again.
In the later sections of a Wall Street Journal column on Sunday (in Monday's print edition), former Vermont Governor and unsuccessful 2004 Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean wrote in opposition (HT Twitchy) to Obamacare's Independent Payment Advisory Board, calling it "essentially a health-care rationing body." We'll let former Alaska Governor Palin take it from there with her August 7, 2009 Facebook post (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The situations involving disgraced and relapsed former Congressman Anthony Weiner and Ben Quayle, who hasn't been in politics for about a year, are very analogous. Just ask Katie Glueck at the Politico. Oh, and the the Weiner situation is also very analogous to that of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, who has returned $21,000 worth of gifts he should never have taken from a businessperson. Just ask Dana Milbank at the Washington Post.
There appears to be some kind of unwritten rule that you can't attempt to analyze a Democrats' scandalous involvement without dragging a Republican into the mix, no matter how distant or irrelevant the connection. First, let's look at Glueck with Quayle and Weiner (bolds are mine throughout this post):
At the White House on Thursday, President Obama let his radical leftist slip show when he accepted a 67 year-old letter from from Ho Chi Minh to U.S. President Harry Truman given to him by Vietnam's current president Truong Tan Sang and spoke of the letter's contents: "... we discussed the fact that Ho Chi Minh was actually inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson. Ho Chi Minh talks about his interest in cooperation with the United States. And President Sang indicated that even if it's 67 years later, it's good that we're still making progress."
Darlene Superville at the Associated Press relayed what Obama said in the final paragraphs of her report on Sunday without a hint of historical knowledge about mass murderer Ho Chi Minh's motivations for writing that letter. Perhaps she's too young and was so consistently indoctrinated by her teachers about how the U.S. was the "imperialist" and Ho Chi Minh was the "freedom fighter" to know any better. Based on his bio, New York Times reporter Mark Landler doesn't appear to be able to claim that kind of historical ignorance, but he has definitely retained a capacity to make excuses for repressive, murderous regimes. Excerpts from his coverage and a correct rendering of the history follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The title of her column is "What motivates a lawyer to defend a Tsarnaev, a Castro or a Zimmerman?" -- as if defending an alleged terrorist killer of three and maimer of hundreds, a imprisoner of multiple women and killer of pre-born babies (who yesterday pleaded guilty to the former and will escape the death penalty), and a man who killed an assailant only because he thought he would die if he didn't are all virtually equally problematic. Excerpts follow the jump.
Pretty much all you need to know about the current negligent media culture in Washington is summed up in two items involving the Politico's home page this morning -- one which is there, and one which isn't.
The featured story at top of the home page by Byron Tau is about infighting between "Big Marijuana" -- it seems like "Big Pot" would be a more succinct nickname -- and those who want to extend recent electoral victories in legalizing the drug. What isn't there on the home page, as confirmed in a word search, is any story with a headline or tease containing "IRS."
The establishment press's general refusal to cover clearly newsworthy developments in the Obama administration scandal involving the targeting of conservative, tea party, prolife and other groups by the Internal Revenue Service has been so negligent and blatant that several leading conservatives, including the MRC's Brent Bozell and talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh, called it out in an open letter earlier this week.
Consistent with the rest of their colleagues, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, appears to have had no substantive story on the scandal since July 18 -- and that one was about primarily Democrats beating the false meme that progressive groups were supposedly targeted similarly. The AP's negligence extends to the tax agency's shocking level of non-cooperation with House Ways & Means Committee investigators, as will be seen after the jump.
NPR in general and their legal affairs/Supreme Court correspondent Nina Totenberg in particular want the public to believe that they view sexual harassment charges against public figures as a very important issue that demands immediate and full coverage. The reality: they behave that way only if the accused has a Republican party identification.
The most recent evidence of that: the reporting on the charges of sexual harassment and sexual assault by San Diego’s current Democratic mayor and former 20-year U.S. Congressman Bob Filner. In the two weeks following the initial disclosure of the accusations July 11, which was followed by named accusers coming forward July 22, 23 and 24, NPR has aired a grand total of two pieces on the matter. The first occurred a full five days after the accusations first came out, on July 16 (even The New York Times reported it July 12). And both pieces were done by a public radio journalist in San Diego who doesn’t even work for NPR.
If a relative of GOP Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan had done what Joe Biden's niece Alana Biden appears to have done in the November 2012 election in New Hampshire, i.e., casting her ballot in a swing state where she doesn't really reside, establishment press coverage would be intense. But as of now, it's a virtual secret outside of the Granite State, and it certainly hasn't penetrated the nation's vast horde of low-information voters.
According to TV station WMUR (HT Gateway Pundit) in a Tuesday afternoon report, Ms. Biden, while working for the Obama-Biden reelection campaign, swore in an affidavit that she was a resident of the state. That claim appears to have been false, at least as normal people would define residency (though it might technically comply with poorly written state law; more on that shortly). Several other Obama campaign workers from other states, all of whom claimed the home of Democratic State Senator Martha Fuller Clark as their "home address," also voted in New Hampshire.
A very misleading sentence appeared in David Caruso's story this evening at the Associated Press about Nik Richie, the blogger who broke the story of disgraced former congressman and now-New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner's latest sexting escapade at his "The Dirty" web site. It certainly supports the notion that tagging the wire service with its "the Administration's Press" nickname is not at all out of line.
Note that the time stamp on Caruso's story is 7 p.m ET tonight, a mere three hours ago. Here is the deceptive statement: "Richie declined to reveal the woman's identity or put her in contact with the Associated Press, saying he had agreed to protect her anonymity." What rubbish. Her name is already known. Caruso and the AP are deciding on their own to withhold it, for obvious reasons which will be revealed after the jump.
CBS Evening News stood out among the Big Three evening newscasts on Tuesday in their failure to cover former Rep. Anthony Weiner's admission that he sent lewd text messages even after his resignation in 2011. The CBS show apparently deemed the British royal family's new baby, the doping scandal in baseball, and whale watching to be more important news items. ABC's World News and NBC Nightly News both devoted air time to the Weiner story.
The network finally reported on the latest revelations about the disgraced politician on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, but failed to point out his Democratic affiliation. Jan Crawford merely identified him as a "former U.S. congressman turned New York City mayoral candidate."
On Tuesday, neither ABC's Good Morning America nor CBS This Morning mentioned San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's Democratic affiliation, as they reported on the new sexual harassment lawsuit against the former congressman. The CBS morning show devoted a full report to the latest development in the sex scandal, while the ABC broadcast only devoted a news brief to the story.
NBC's Today has yet to devote even a news brief to the ongoing controversy surrounding the liberal politician. The only mention so far on the morning newscast was when correspondent Mike Taibbi made a 13-second reference to Filner during a July 13, 2013 report on Eliot Spitzer's run for New York City comptroller. By contrast, Today devoted a three-plus minute report to the massive Comic Con convention in San Diego on Sunday.
If the employment numbers seem better than one might have expected during the next few months, it may have nothing to do with private companies hiring people to provide goods and services people actually want. It may instead relate to the army of paper-pushers who are being hired to help individuals and families apply for ObamaCare subsidies starting on October 1.
If California's situation is typical of what will be happening nationwide, the total number of "enrollment counselors," also known as "navigators," hired for this supposedly short-term task will be huge. In the tarnished Golden State alone, according to Judy Lin at the Associated Press, 21,000 counselors will be hired from among "an estimated 3,600 community organizations ranging from Native American tribes and chambers of commerce to labor unions and faith-based organizations that will be authorized to help people buy insurance." Project that to the entire country, and we're talking about roughly 175,000 counselors.
What do you get when an already race-focused news organization staffed and run almost entirely by liberal journalists decides that it needs a full race desk alongside its foreign and crime desks? A full 259 separate on-air pieces (not including web-only ones) discussing Trayvon Martin over a 16-month period — 190 of them (80 percent) mention the word "black.". You also get coverage that furthers the narrative of whites targeting blacks. The theme that Trayvon Martin was unarmed was repeated in 89 stories (35% of the Trayvon stories).
Despite NPR always granting complete deference to a mixed-race President Obama being regarded as black, very few NPR journalists used the words "Hispanic" or "Latino" for Zimmerman. While the words were used in 15% of the the 190 articles that mention Zimmerman, only five of them (3%) called him simply "Hispanic" or "Latino."
NPR afternoon co-host Melissa Block inexplicably seems to have changed her view of the value of U.S. Senate candidates living in a state for a while before running. On the July 17 All Things Considered, Block wondered why Liz Cheney would run for a Senate seat in the West. She "grew up in the East. She only moved back to Wyoming last year. Why is she running for Senate now and launching a primary fight against the incumbent?“
While Cheney had lived off-and-on in Wyoming before considering a Senate run, in 2000 then-First Lady Hillary Clinton had never lived in New York. Yet Block blithely announced on the February 16, 1999 All Things Considered: “On the books, there's nothing to bar Mrs. Clinton from a New York Senate run. All she needs to do is set up residence here by Election Day, and that's worked before....Robert Kennedy came from out of town to win the New York Senate seat in 1964.”
On Wednesday, James Taranto at The Wall Street Journal exposed that the New York Times editorial page shamelessly changed its position on the filibuster in 2013 from nearly the exact opposite of its position during a Republican Senate majority in 2005.
“It's now clearer than ever that the Times's guiding principle is nothing other than the tactical interests of the Democratic Party,” wrote Taranto. On July 16, 2013, an unsigned Times editorial lamented that the Democrats caved in to Republicans and failed to shred the filibuster, just in case Republicans ever regain the majority (perhaps in the next election.) Harry Reid was too wimpy:
Today, as the wire service AFP reported in a story carried at Yahoo.com, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in the question and answer exchange after his prepared testimony, told the House Financial Services Committee that "If we were to tighten (monetary) policy, the economy would tank."
That assessment of the economy's fragility qualifies as news, especially given the Obama administration's continued claim that the economy is "continuing to recover at a promising rate." Outlets besides AFP virtually ignored Bernanke's soundbite, which should be considered scary to anyone who realizes that Big Ben can't go on "stimulating" at his current rate forever.
On ABC's This Week yesterday, former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer -- who resigned in 2008 when caught dead to rights illegally purchasing the services of prostitutes but was never prosecuted because, as announced two days after Election Day in 2008, the Department of Justice decided that "the public interest would not be further advanced by filing criminal charges" -- called the verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial "a failure of justice."
Of course, Politico's Juana Summers provided none of the background yours truly just did while only referring to Spitzer as "the former Democratic governor of New York who's now a candidate for New York City comptroller." Another statement Spitzer made on the same program deserves further scrutiny, which will arrive after the jump:
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was predictably unhappy with Saturday's verdict in the George Zimmerman case. He used it as an opportunity to go after what he calls "shoot first" laws, which people in the real world refer to as "stand your ground" laws.
It was an irrelevant rant, as Politico's Maggie Haberman pointed out: "In the Zimmerman case, neither the defense nor the prosecution ultimately used “Stand Your Ground.” Zimmerman’s attorneys ... presented a conventional self-defense strategy." Problem is, Haberman waited until her final paragraph to note that, and gave readers every impression that the case was about "stand your ground" up until that point (presented in full for fair use and discussion purposes; bolds are mine):
Imagine if -- and you'd have to imagine it, because it never happened -- the George W. Bush administration had sent members of its Justice Department to a city where a black man charged with murder was claiming self-defense in the killing of a non-African-American for the purposes of ginning up protests against the accused. Establishment press coverage and would have been justifiably intense.
On Thursday, Judicial Watch revealed that it had obtained documents showing that "a little-known unit of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Community Relations Service (CRS), was deployed to Sanford, FL, following the Trayvon Martin shooting to help organize and manage rallies and protests against George Zimmerman." In other words, DOJ did to Zimmerman what I just noted Bush 43 administration never did and would never have considered doing. JW's bombshell is not news at the Associated Press or at the Politico.
The story at the Associated Press this morning on the Texas Senate's passage of legislation which, as summarized at Life News, "would ban abortions after 20 weeks and hold abortion clinics accountable by making them meet basic health and safety standards," claims to originate from Austin, the Lone Star State's capital city.
The coverage by AP reporters Chris Tomlinson and Will Weissert has references to events occurring at the "the Capitol building in Austin," so I have to believe that one, the other, or both were present during the hours leading up to the bill's passage. It is thus hard to believe that the gentlemen only reported on one of the following ugly incidents in a long list compiled by Life News in an email I received this morning. The AP pair also did not note President Barack Obama's tweet in support of the protesters' grisly cause.
NPR’s Legal Affairs / Supreme Court correspondent Nina Totenberg loves to cast conservatives as fringy. In 2005, President George W. Bush nominated then-Circuit Court Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court. At the time, Totenberg seemed to be suffering from a fixation on the word “very,” calling Roberts “very, very conservative” and “very, very, very conservative.”
Even though Roberts voted for Obamacare last year, Totenberg insisted last week on the news magazine "Here and Now" (a new joint venture of NPR and Boston NPR station WBUR) that he was still “very, very conservative.” Maybe with more Roberts rulings that she likes, she'll whittle it down to “very conservative.” For now, "This is a very, very conservative justice who also believes in a certain level of , as he puts it, modesty, meaning don’t do it all at once if you can do it one step at a time."
While the station deserves plenty of blame for failing to catch the obviously phony names before airing them, at least half of the blame goes to the National Transportation Safety Board which fed it the improper information, as Politico's Nick Gass reports: